Plymouth County Biographies

Part of the Massachusetts Biographies Project

John Carey

John Carey, immigrant ancestor, came from Somersetshire, near the city of Bristol, England, about 1634, and joined the Plymouth colony. The exact date of his arrival is unknown. From a manuscript over a hundred years old, written by a grandson of John, it is believed that differences with his brothers over the settlement of his father's estate led to his departure for the new world. His name is found among the original proprietors and first settlers of Duxbury and Bridgewater. It occurs in the original grant, as well as in the subsequent deed made by Ousamequin, the sachem or chief of the Pockonocket Indians, 1639. This deed was made to Miles Standish, Samuel Nash and Constant Southworth, as trustees in behalf of William Bradford, John Carey and fifty-two others therein named. Ousamequin was afterwards called Massasoit. The deed embraced fourteen miles square and was designated as "Satucket," afterwards called West Bridgewater. John Carey drew as his share a lot a mile wide, a portion of which is still occupied by his descendants. In 1656 "Duxbury New Plantation" was incorporated into a new and distinct town and called Bridgewater. John Carey was elected constable, the first and only officer elected in the town that year. He was also elected the first town clerk and held the office each consecutive year until 1681. In 1656 he was one of the ten freemen in the town. In the same year he was appointed on a jury "to lay out the ways requisite in the town." In 1667 Deacon Willis and John Carey were chosen "to take in all the charges of the latter war (King Philip's) since June last and the expenses of the scouts before and since June." John Carey was prominent among his fellow citizens and participated actively in public affairs. He was intelligent, well educated and public spirited. There is a tradition that he taught the first Latin class in the colony. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Godfrey, one of the first settlers of Bridgewater, in 1644. He died 1681.

Children: John, born 1645; Francis, 1647; Elizabeth, 1649; James, 1652; Mary, 1654; Jonathan, 1656; David, 1658; Hannah, 1661; Joseph, 1663, mentioned below; Rebecca, 1665; Sarah, August 2, 1667; Mehitable, February 24, 1670.

Source: Genealogical and Family History of the State of Connecticut: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. Volume IV