|Birth: ||Jan., 1623, England|
|Death: ||Oct., 1708|
Sarah Tracy, eldest child of Stephen Tracy & Tryphosa Lee, b. in or just before Jan 1622/3 likely in England while her parents were preparing to sail to Plymouth, Mass. on the Ann. Sarah died testate before Oct. 6, 1708, the date her will was probated (see below.) Some claim she is interred at "Mayflower Cemetery" at Duxbury, Mass., which did not exist until long after her death. Alternately she is claimed to be interred at the "Myles Standish Burying Ground," formerly known as the South or Chestnut Street Cemetery at Duxbury. Regardless of where she was interred, Sarah either had no original gravestone or her gravestone has long since decayed away from modern knowledge.
Historical accuracy is the foundation of family genealogy, and when historical documents contradict what is claimed in print, appropriate explanation is required why a change is necessary. The maintainer of this memorial, Sarah's descendant, has received repeated suggestions to change Sarah's birth location to Leiden, Holland. I recognize that Dexter in The England and Holland of the Pilgrims, 1905, p. 636, was among those claiming that the first three members of the Tracy family - Stephen, wife Tryphosa, and dau. Sarah - sailed together in 1623 on the Ann or companion Little James, and by inference dau. Sarah was born at Leiden. More recent documents make such claim unsupportable.
In Robert S. Wakefield's 1975 article The Adventurous Tryphosa (Lee) Tracy [TAG 51:71] and supplement regarding Tryphosa's May 1624 license to sail from England back to Leiden with 15-month old Sarah [ibid. 51:242], Wakefield adopted Dexter's 1905 conclusion that in the October 1622 Leiden poll tax Stephen and Tryphosa were, per Dexter's translation, the childless couple "Stephen Truer and Truy Voorsta, his wife" residing at the household of Thomas Brewer.[*1] Wakefield surmised that Tryphosa essentially made four sailings: 1) from Leiden to England after the birth of dau. Sarah, 2) back to Leiden in 1624 after Stephen sailed in 1623 on the Ann, 3) again from Leiden to England, 4) then from England to Plymouth in late 1624 or early 1625 with Edward Winslow aboard a ship purportedly named the Jacob.[*2]
Another Wakefield surmise required in the year 1624 that the Tracy family was individually residing on three different continents: Stephen at Plymouth, wife Tryphosa at England, and dau. Sarah with relatives at Leiden. This latter surmise, which requires mother and infant dau. to be separated, holds no water.
The simplest explanation is often the most plausible. It is more likely that Stephen and wife Tryphosa sailed to England BEFORE the birth of dau. Sarah in anticipation of being passengers of the Spring 1623 sailing of the Ann (which likely sailed in May and is known to have arrived at Plymouth in late July.) Otherwise, if the family sailed AFTER Sarah's birth, purportedly at Leiden, it would have required sailing from Leiden to England with a suckling new born child. It should be remembered that less than three years earlier many of the original 1620 Mayflower passengers (men, women and children) died by the Spring of 1621 from disease and other causes. Undoubtedly this was not lost in the minds of later Plymouth Colony arrivees. While there is no documentary proof, one could reasonably propose that following Sarah's birth Tryphosa, dau. Sarah, or both of them, were not capable of withstanding a voyage of two months across the Atlantic and why they did not accompany Stephen to Plymouth in the Spring of 1623.
Thus, it is more plausible that Sarah was born in England and that Tryphosa and dau. Sarah remained in England while Stephen sailed in 1623 to establish the family's rights at Plymouth. Following Stephen's arrival, in the undated 1623 first division of Plymouth's land (after arrival of the Ann) Stephen was assigned three acres. This has been the printed basis that Stephen, Tryphosa and dau. Sarah all sailed on the Ann in 1623, which obviously was not the case. In 1975 Wakefield further surmised that Stephen was assigned an acre for himself and two more, for two mysterious unidentified persons then with him at Plymouth. At the division Stephen Tracy's known family consisted of three persons, regardless if Stephen was the only member of the family then present at Plymouth. While there is no other like example in the 1623 division (a male assigned a number of acres for living family not yet at Plymouth), that does not mean it was not so for the Tracy family. In short, Wakefield's surmised "Adventures" of Stephen Tracy's wife Tryphosa probably never happened.
In Nov. 1638, Sarah Tracy m. George Partridge of Duxbury, Mass., a tailor by trade. Their marriage is of record in the Plymouth Colony Court Orders, but the day is missing (some claim it was the 16th). George Partridge's parentage and date of birth remain unknown. He wrote his will on June 26, 1682 at Duxbury, Mass. and d. prior to Oct. 10, 1695, the date his estate inventory was taken.
Of specific note, there is no proof, coincidental or otherwise, that George Partridge was the son or otherwise related to Rev. Ralph Partridge, the first pastor of the Duxbury Church. This despite George Partridge and Rev. Ralph Partridge being mutual residents of Duxbury for at least 22 years (1636 to 1658).
The widow Sarah (Tracy) Partridge's will dated Nov. 28, 1702 was probated Oct. 6, 1708 (Plymouth, Mass. Prob. Recs, 2:131-2), an abstract of which follows:
I bequeath to my eight daughters, Sarah Allien [Allen], Triphosa West, Elizabeth Allien [Allen], Ruth Thatcher, Mary Scif [Skiff], Rebeckah Fisher, Lidia Bruister [Brewster], Mercy Coburn [q.v., Colburn], all my linen great & small and woolen wearing clothes to be equally divided between them all, three of my daughters before named being deceased [i.e., Triphosa, Mary & Rebecca] my meaning is that their children should have their mother's part & that equally divided amongst them.
All my money which I die possessed of or which is owing to me should be equally divided amongst my ten children, it understood that the children of those that are deceased should have their mothers' part.
Son John to have my great bible as a gift of his father after my decease.
Ye sheep at ye vineyard [i.e., Martha's Vineyard] are my son [in-law] James Allein's by bargain.
My son James Partridge to be executor.
My son [in-law] Bruister & my son John Partridge to be Overseers.
Sarah Tracy and George Partridge had the following ten known children, likely b. at Duxbury, Mass. But there are no specific dates of record, as most were born prior to 1653 when the Plymouth Court required vital records to be kept by each town in the Plymouth Colony. To prevent immediate arguments the order shown and the children's individual "about" dates of birth follow that of Anderson in the Great Migration Begins (the GMB) sketch of George Partridge (Vol. 7:372-381). The GMB order does not follow the order in which the daus. are listed in their mother's will (assuming Sarah listed them in descending age order). As one will become aware, the GMB birth dates are illogical, suggesting four of the daus. were betw. two-six years older than their husbands contrary to the nature of things in that era. Other assumed dates contradict the longstanding GMB use of 22 as the average age a female married. The writer's research of his New England ancestors indicates girls-women were closer to 18-19 years old at marriage, were normally several to many years younger than their husband, and the first child was rarely b. more than 10-11 months after the wedding night:
i. Sarah Partridge, b. circa 1639 [GMB], d. Oct. 30, 1717 prob. at Bridgewater, Mass.; m. by early 1660 (eldest child b. Dec. 4, 1660) Dea. Samuel Allen, Jr., s. of Samuel Allen & Ann Whitmore, b. Nov. 10, 1632 at Braintree, Mass. He d. circa 1703, prob. at Bridgewater, Mass. Ten children of record at Bridgewater.
ii. Tryphosa (q.v. Triphosa) Partridge, b. circa 1641 [GMB] (eldest child b. Dec. 13, 1669), d. Nov. 5, 1701 at Duxbury; m. Dec. 16, 1668 at Duxbury, Samuel West, s. of Francis West & Margery Reeve(s), b. of record at Duxbury Nov. 28, 1643 [indicating per the GMB he was 2 years younger than his wife]. He d. at Duxbury May 8, 1689. Seven children of the family.
iii. Elizabeth Partridge, b. circa 1644 [the GMB uses 1643, but her g.s. says 1643-4], d. Aug. 8, 1722 at Tisbury, Mass., Ζ 79 (g.s.); m. by 1662 (eldest child b. Aug. 14, 1663) James Allen, brother of her sister Sarah's husband, b. circa 1637 at Braintree, Mass. He d. at Tisbury, Mass. July 25, 1714, Ζ 78 (g.s.). Twelve children of the family.
iv. Ruth Partridge, b. circa 1645 [GMB](eldest child b. Oct 9, 1670), d. Oct. 30, 1717 at Lebanon, Conn.; m. Jan. 5, 1669/70 at Duxbury, Rev. Rodolphus Thacher, s. of Rev. Thomas Thacher & Elizabeth Partridge (dau. of Rev. Ralph Partridge of Duxbury), b. Jan. 1, 1646/7 at Weymouth, Mass. [indicating per the GMB he was two years younger than his wife]. He d. at Preston, Conn. July 6, 1733, Ζ 87. Nine children of the family.
v. Mary Partridge, b. circa 1647 [GMB], d. before Nov. 28, 1702 (date of her mother's will); m. circa 1678 as his 1st wife, Dea. Nathaniel Skiff, s. of James Skiff & Margaret Reeves, b. Mar 20, 1644/5 at Sandwich, Mass. He d. Apr. 24, 1723 at Windham, Conn., Ζ 79 (g.s.) He m. 2) Ruth West, dau. of Francis West & Margery Reeve(s), b. circa 1651 at Duxbury. She d. Dec. 31, 1741 at Windham, Conn., Ζ 91 (g.s.) Mary (Partridge) Skiff purportedly had seven children prob. at Tisbury, Mass., but confirmation of who they were is hindered by the lack of vital records at Tisbury prior to 1700.
vi. Rebecca Partridge, b. circa 1649 [GMB], d. Aug. 15, 1694 at Dedham, Mass.; m. of record Nov. 27, 1678 at Dedham, Mass. as his 1st wife, Vigilance Fisher, s. of Lieut. Joshua Fisher & Lydia Oliver, b. of record at Dedham Nov. 21, 1654 [indicating per the GMB he was 5 years younger than his wife]. He m. 2) June 14, 1696 at Dorchester, Mass. the wid. Hannah Lyon, who survived him. He d. intestate at Dedham Apr. 10, 1713. Six children of record at Dedham by Rebecca Partridge.
vii. Lydia Partridge, b. circa 1651 [GMB], d. Feb. 2, 1742/3 at Duxbury, Mass.; m. Jan. 2, 1672/3 at Duxbury, Dea. William Brewster, s. of Love Brewster & Sarah Collier, b. circa 1646. He d. Nov. 3, 1723 at Duxbury. Seven children of record.
viii. Mercy Partridge, b. circa 1653 [GMB], d. Sept. 20, 1726 at Wrentham, Mass.; m. Mar 12, 1682/3 at Duxbury, Samuel Coburn, s. of Nathaniel Coburn & Priscilla Clark, b. of record at Dedham, Mass. Jan. 25, 1654/5 [indicating per the GMB he was two years younger than his wife]. He d. at Dedham May 18, 1694. Mercy m. 2) at Dedham on Mar. 27, 1702 as his 2nd wife, Cornelius Fisher, Jr., s. of Cornelius Fisher & Leah Heaton, b. of record at Dedham Feb. 8, 1658/9 [indicating per the GMB he was 6 years younger than Mercy.] He d. at Wrentham, Mass. Jan. 6, 1742/3, Ζ 84. Two children are recorded at Wrentham to "Cornelius & Mercy", the second b. on Oct. 27, 1710 when, according to the GMB, Mercy (Partridge)(Coburn) Fisher was 57 years old.
ix. John Partridge, b. Nov. 29, 1658 [GMB says perhaps 1655, his g.s. says 1658], d. Apr. 5, 1731 at Duxbury, Ζ 73 (g.s.); m. 1) Dec. 24, 1684 at Duxbury, Hannah Seabury, dau. of Dr. Samuel Seabury, Sr. & Patience Kemp, b. July 7, 1668 at Duxbury. Hannah d. at Duxbury before May 1700. John m. 2) May 23, 1700 at Duxbury, Mary Brewster, wid. of Wrestling Brewster. She d. at Kingston, Mass. Nov. 12, 1742, Ζ 81 (g.s.) Five children by first wife Hannah and two by second wife Mary.
x. James Partridge, b. circa 1660 [1657 per GMB], d. at Duxbury Jan. 20, 1743/4 (g.s., but no age stated); m. Apr. 24, 1712 at Duxbury, Mary Stetson, dau. of Capt. Benjamin Stetson & Bethiah Hawke, b. of record Apr. 21, 1678 at Scituate, Mass. She d. at Duxbury Sept. 27, 1727, Ζ 50 (g.s.) Mary was the gr.dau. of Cornet Robert Stetson of Scituate, Mass. They had no recorded children.
Obviously, there are multiple problems with the GMB basis of when the children were b. If found, their gravestones with stated ages at death would materially aid in determining when the Partridge children were actually born.
[*1] The 1622 poll-tax has never been filmed by the LDS or digitally scanned by the Leiden Archives, but the writer was provided a copy of the original handwritten record. A Leiden archivist reads the name "Steven Truer" as more likely Steven "Traer." The first name of Steven's wife is clearly "Truij," short for the Dutch female name Gertruyda (Gertrude.) The second name is clearly written as "voorssa" with the double "s" written in old English style resembling "fs." However, sounding the written Dutch name to English could result in Tru voorssa, Truvorsa, Trufosa, Tryphosa.
[*2] In William Bradford's History of Plymouth Colony and his separate Letter Book, on Dec. 18, 1624 the London Adventurers (backers of the Plymouth Colony) wrote to Bradford at Plymouth. The letter includes "we have sent you here some cattle..." of which one of the heifers was a gift from James Sherley "to begin a stock for the poor." Robert Cushman, Plymouth's agent in England, wrote a companion letter to Bradford dated Dec. 22, 1624. Bradford includes the first letter in a later portion of his chapter for the year 1625 (which began Mar. 25, 1625 per the Julian calendar then in use.) But, the name of the ship is not given. The first para. of Bradford's History for the year 1625 begins, "At the spring of the year, about the time of their Election Court" (likely the week of March 25, 1624/5) and is the conclusion of Bradford's continuation of the Oldham and Lyford affair that began in 1623. The next para. begins "Whilst that was in doing, Mr. William Peirce and Mr. Winslow came up from the waterside, being come from England..."
Charles E. Banks in Planters of the Commonwealth: 1620-1640 (Mass. Hist. Society, 1930, p. 58), referring to the same 2nd para. of Bradford's History for the year 1625, claims the ship was named the Jacob and sailed in 1625 "probably under the command of William Peirce, as Master, arrived at Plymouth early this year with cattle. Edward Winslow returned in her from England, but no other passengers are known." In 1986 Peter Wilson Coldham in The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1776 added the Jacob probably sailed from the Port of Bristol on England's southwestern coast.
Robert Cushman, whose son Thomas was being raised at Plymouth by Bradford, died at London in the Spring of 1625. On June 9, 1625 Bradford, who was unaware of Cushman's death until April 1626, wrote a return letter to Cushman, presumably to be carried to London on the return of the Jacob.
Thus, if 1) the Jacob sailed shortly after December 1624, if 2) it took two months for the Jacob to reach Plymouth, and 3) if Tryphosa and dau. Sarah sailed with Winslow on the Jacob, then one can narrow the time when Tryphosa and Sarah arrived to no earlier than the beginning of March 1624/5 to as late as April 1625. Further, that the Jacob sailed from England in the last quarter of the old Julian calendar year 1624, now known as the first quarter of the modern Gregorian calendar year 1625.
Stephen Tracy (1596 - 1655)
Tryphosa Lee Tracy (1597 - ____)
George Partridge (1617 - 1695)
Sarah Partridge Allen (1639 - 1722)*
Tryphosa Tracy Partridge West (1642 - 1701)*
Elizabeth Partridge Allen (1643 - 1722)*
Ruth Partridge Thacher (1645 - 1717)*
Lydia Partridge Brewster (1650 - 1743)*
Mary Partridge Skiff (1656 - ____)*
John Partridge (1658 - 1731)*
James Partridge (1660 - 1743)*
Sarah Tracy Partridge (1623 - 1708)
Rebecca Tracy Merrick (1625 - 1686)*
Ruth Tracy (1628 - ____)*
Mary Tracy (1630 - ____)*
John Tracy (1633 - 1718)*
Maintained by: Don Blauvelt
Originally Created by: GWC
Record added: May 24, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37443529