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Lieut John Tracy, Sr
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Birth: 1633
Plymouth County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: May 30, 1718
Windham County
Connecticut, USA

Lieut. John Tracy, only known s. of Stephen Tracy & Tryphosa Lee, b. on or after June 1, 1633 prob. at Duxbury, Mass. He is mentioned in the Mar. 20, 1654/5 will of his father, written at London, England: "to my sonne John Tracye what land and house I have there in Duxburrow alsoe one yoake of oxen and one horse."

The first mention of John Tracy in the colony records is on June 3, 1656 when named one of four surveyors of highways for the town of Duxbury. On the same date he was recommended for election as a freeman of the Plymouth Colony Corp. and was so admitted one year later on June 3, 1657. He is subsequently listed as a freeman of Duxbury in the colony's 1670 master list of freeman.

In 1677-78, 1680-83, and 1685-86 he was one of three selectmen managing the affairs of the town of Duxbury, Mass. In 1690 he was again chosen a selectman of Duxbury now referred to as "John Trasey, Sen." He was also a deputy to the Plymouth Court for Duxbury in 1683 and 1685.

From 1682 to 1688 he is called "Ensigne John Tracye" in the Plymouth Colony records, then in Oct. 1689 he was named Lieut. of the Duxbury train(ing) band [PCR 6:218].

In July 1683, "Mr. Ralph Thacher... petitioned the Court to take into theire consideration a graunt of land made vnto Mr Willam Kemp, lying within the towne of Duxburrow,... with meddow convenient to be layed forth vnto the same, which... was neuer yett layed out according to Court order, neither what was done about the laying of it out to be found vpon record nor in any other writing. This Court doth therfore order the three men appointed by the towne of Duxburrow to lay out the said lands and run the ranges, namly, Ensigne John Tracye, John Soule, and Willam Paybody, to... lay out the said meddow according to that proportion the said meddowes were ordered to be layed forth by the towne of Duxburrow att the first, that soe the vpland of the said Willam Kemp may be accomodated according to Court order." [PCR 6:93] This refers to land never laid out to Ralph (aka Rodolphus) Thacher's mother Elizabeth Partridge as heir to her first husband, William Kemp, who d. at Duxbury in 1641. Rodolphus Thacher was the husband of John Tracy's niece, Ruth Partridge [Rodolphus and Ruth (Partridge) Thacher are the present writer's ancestors.]

The last mention of John at Duxbury is Feb. 17, 1699-700 in a transaction in which "John Tracye, Sen." helped the town lay out a parcel of land to Joseph Chandler. In addition, he was a seller of property in a series of deeds between 1697 and 1702 mentioned further below.

At an unknown date, John Tracy m. Mary Prence, dau. of Gov. Thomas Prence of the Plymouth Colony and his 2nd wife Mary Collier, prob. b. at Duxbury, Mass. Anecdotally, John Tracy's brother-in-law was Arthur Howland, Jr., the husband of Elizabeth Prence, Mary (Prence) Tracy's sister. Gov. Prence, who enacted and then presided over some of the most restrictive early laws against Quakers in New England, first refused to permit Arthur to marry dau. Elizabeth perceiving Arthur as having Quaker leanings. However, Arthur eventually prevailed in his matrimonial quest.

Lieut. John Tracy d. of record at Windham, Conn. May 30, 1718, "in the 85th y. of his age." The cited phrase means on the day he died he was then 84 years old, and tatis su (i.e., , "Aged," in the XX year of his Age) 85, inferring that he was born on or after June 1, 1633. If he left a will, it most likely would have been found in the New London, Conn. Probate District, but that probate district is imperfect for the time of John's death. He does not appear in Manwaring's abstract of the Hartford Probate District and the Windham Probate District was not created until October 1719 from parts of the aforesaid two probate districts.

There is no record of when wife Mary died. In "A Historical Sketch of William Collier," pub. in 1925, the author claims Mary died before Jan. 25, 1696/7, giving no reference to a corroborating document. A series of deeds from John to various parties is recorded in Books 3, 4 and 5 of the Plymouth County deeds. The earliest of them was on Sept. 5, 1697 to John Rogers of Boston, in which John sold his primary Duxbury homestead. Wife Mary was not a signer waiving her dower rights, and all subsequent deeds from John at Duxbury also do not include wife Mary as a signer. As noted by the "Society of Colonial Wars in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts" (1906, Issue 8, p. 218) Lieut. John Tracy:

appears to have been possessed of a large property, for in 1700 to 1702 he made conveyances of a large amount of real estate situated in Duxbury, Plymouth, Marshfield, Bridgewater, and Middleboro. That in Duxbury was conveyed Dec. 30, 1702, to Thomas Loring, and is described in the deed as "all my farm in Duxbury about 80 acres and the buildings &c.," probably the homestead inherited from his father, Stephen Tracy, granted to Stephen by the Colony Nov. 2, 1640, described in the records as "80 acres of land with some meadow to it in Duxbury."

Lieut John and Mary (Prence) Tracy had the following children, their dates of birth unknown as no birth records for the family are found in the Duxbury vital records. Thus, the order is uncertain:

i. John Tracy, Jr., b. circa 1661, d. before June 1701; m. an unknown Deborah and had a purported seven children. On Jan. 11, 1694/5 by deed of gift, John Tracy, Sr. transferred multiple parcels of land to son John scattered along Jones River in the town of Plymouth. Junior subsequently resold the same lands on Mar. 19, 1694/5 to John Bradford of Plymouth.

ii. Apphia Tracy, b. circa 1663, d. Dec. 15, 1739 at Eastham, Mass.; m. Dec. 5, 1683 at Eastham, John Sparrow, s. of Capt. Jonathan Sparrow & Rebecca Bangs, b. Nov. 2, 1656 at Eastham, Mass. He d. there Feb. 23, 1734/5. Four children of record.

iii. Hannah Tracy, b. circa 1666; whether she was an actual child of the family cannot be confirmed by a known record.

iv. Stephen Tracy, b. on or after Dec. 20, 1673, d. Dec. 19, 1769 at Windham, Conn., 96 (g.s.); m. Jan. 26, 1707/8 at Windham, Deborah Bingham, dau. of Dea. Thomas Bingham & Mary Rudd, b. Dec. 18, 1683 at Norwich, Conn. She d. at Windham, Conn. Dec. 6, 1735, 52 (g.s.). Seven children of the family.

v. Susanna Tracy, b. circa 1675, d. on an unknown date after Sept. 8, 1751 (survived her husb.); m. Feb. 17, 1697/8 at Eastham, Mass., James Rogers, Jr., s. of James Rogers & Mary Paine, b. Oct. 30, 1673 at Eastham. He d. there Sept. 8, 1751.

Revised 3/16/2017
Family links: 
  Stephen Tracy (1596 - 1655)
  Tryphosa Lee Tracy (1597 - ____)
  Mary Prence Tracy (1639 - ____)*
  Apphiah Tracy Sparrow (1663 - 1739)*
  Stephen Tracy (1674 - 1769)*
  Sarah Tracy Partridge (1623 - 1708)*
  Rebecca Tracy Merrick (1625 - 1686)*
  Ruth Tracy (1628 - ____)*
  Mary Tracy (1630 - ____)*
  John Tracy (1633 - 1718)
*Calculated relationship
Body lost or destroyed
Created by: Don Blauvelt
Record added: Feb 16, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 48208128

- Camille Phelps
 Added: Apr. 16, 2016

- Summer
 Added: Feb. 3, 2016
In Memory of my 8th Great Granduncle
- dinsdale5
 Added: Jun. 5, 2015
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