SOME DESCENDANTS OF
JOHN FOLGER OF WATERTOWN
AND MARTHA'S VINEYARD, MA.
JOHN FOLGER b. abt 1590-95 , poss. Diss, Co. Norfolk, Eng., d. abt. 1660 Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., Ma.; m. MERIBAH GIBBS bef. 1618 in England, possibly in Norwich. Coffin says of John that he came in the same ship with the Rev. Hugh Peter in 1635 (the Abigail[10/v2-66), that his wife was Meribah Gibbs, and that their son Peter accompanied them.[1/109] Both Savage and Farmer noting Coffin as their source for these statements, and it would appear that W.C. Folger also relied upon Coffin in his discription of the families arrival and early years in New England since his narrative closely follows their own.
Banks points out that John and Family might have first gone to Dedham, MA as John was proposed as a proprietor in 1638.[10/v.2-66] but there seem to be no earler references to him in Dedham which leaves about a three year period unaccounted for. Savage says that John was of Watertown, having a grant of a six acre house lot but removed (presumably to the Vineyard).[1/109]. W.C. Folger agrees but goes on to say it was "probable" that John and Peter were with Mayhew on the Island in 1641 or 1642. Bond in his History of Watertown gives this land grant a date in both 1642 and 1644[11/222, 1009].
A few authors imply that John Folger married a second time, to a member of the Parkhurst family of which Thomas Mayhew's mother was a member, and if true, this would have brought John into kinship with Maynew by marriage, and thus become a possible factor in the inclusion of the Folger family in the settlement of the Vineyard. This, so far as I have been able to determine, is pure speculation, for while the assertion has been made, no proof was shown nor was the evidence which served as the source of this supposition even mentioned. W.C. Folger simply says that "tradition" says John was a widower when he arrived and if that was correct the marriage would have had to take place after his settlement in New England. This tradition casts doubt upon the identity of Peter Folger's mother since it was Meribah who is acknowledged to have been John's widow.
Thomas Mayhew Sr., of Watertown, obtained the rights to Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and the Elizabeth Islands in 1641, and is said to have moved to the Vineyard as early as 1642, bringing some of his Watertown neighbors with him. John's son Peter is said to have removed to the Vinyard with Maynew and his daughter Joanna Folger is said to have been born on the Island in 1645 or 1646. This would place him there as early as 1645.
John's date of arrival on the Vineyard isn't known. Its probable that he arrived in 1640'. Banks has this to say of John's arrival: "of Peter we may infer that he resided with his father at Dedham and Watertown, and came with him to the Vineyard, although our first record of Peter at Edgartown antedates that of his father by five years." John's earliest official appearance in the Dukes County records was on 1 Sep 1652 when he was chosen as hog reeve along with his son Peter and two others.[10/v.2-66] Eight months later he drew a lot in the 8 May 1653 division of the Planting Field; and the same again at Crackatuxett on 21 Oct 1660. The latter share is noted as being to John "or his heirs" and Banks supposed this to approximate the time of John's death since a little over three years later his "Widow" drew a Lot at Quanomica "on his share".[ibid]
John Folger died intestate and testimony was taken in the Court on 30 Mar 1665 to record a "noncupative" Will for him.
"The testemony of John Pease sayth that Goodman Foulger said to him that his will then was that his wife should have that estate he left during her life to use for her comfortable living: though she spend it all for her livelyhood: this was a little before he sickened and died."
"The Testemony of Mary Pease the wife of John Pease, saith she heard Goodman Folger the elder say upon his last sickness that the estate he left his wife should have after him during her life:"
"The testemony of Goodwife Arey before the town was: she said that she went to John Folgers when he was sick before he died and saith she heard him say - wife to have all he had as long as she lived. Eleazer to have the house and land after his wife's death. Mary to have the cow presently and another after his wife's death. Nothing to Peter, "because he had spent or put away so much before."[12/v1-112]
Banks describes John Folger's "home lot" as being a half share consisting of five acres. "about halfway between the swimming place and the burial ground on Tower Hill". The house and lot went to Meribah Folger after John's death and then to Peter Folger. He sold it to Thomas Mayhew Sr. in 1664 and it is assumed that Meribah, or as Peter wrote her name "Myrable", was deceased by that time.[10/v2 p67]
Concerning the daughters of John and Meribah very little is found. Farmer and Savage mention only his son Peter.  Banks lists two daughters - Ruth and Joanna, both of whom signed as witnesses to a deed of their mother's in 1663, but says nothing further about them. Judy Jacobson in her "Southold Connections...." of 1991 attributes a daughter Mary to John and Meribah, with the birthdate of about 1617. Another source indicates that she married Peter Paine in about 1643 at Southold, Suffolk Co., Long Island, New York. While possible this seems strange, especially since the marriage was on Long Island, and also also because of the fact that she isn't mentioned in any other sources I've seen. A Mary IS mentioned in the testimony (shown above) of those who were called in to testify during the probate of John's estate. I had always assumed that it was Mary (Morrill) Folger, Peter's wife, since the only other two individuals mentioned were Peter Folger and his son Eleazer. Could it instead have been a reference to a daughter Mary? It is also interesting in this testimony that no mention was made of the other two daughters of John and Meribah, Ruth and Joanna, though they were both living in 1663.
1. PETER FOLGER
2. Ruth Folger
3. Joanna Folger
4. Mary Folger was born after 1617, probablyin Diss, Norfolk Co., Eng., and died before 18 Jul 1685, probably at Southold, Suffolk Co., Long Island, NY. Mary m. (1) Peter Paine about 1643. He was born on 14 Mar 1617 at Wrentham, Suffolk Co., Eng. and died bef 15 Sep 1658 in Southhold Long Island, Suffolk Co., NH. He was the son of Thomas Paine Jr. and Elizabeth Tuthill. Peter wasn't included in the list of the six children who came to New England Thomas and Elizabeth Paine.[2/60] Children: John Paine.
The Martha's Vineyard connection seems possibly to be that Thomas Mayhew's second wife, the Jane Gallion Paine, widow of Thomas Paine Sr had brought her
Mary Folger married (2) Jeremiah Vail as his second wife on 24 May 1660 at Southold, Suffolk Co., Long Island, New York He was born about 1618 in England., and died before 19 Oct 1687 in Southold. He had previously married (1) Catherine (_____) in England, and married (3) Joyce (_____) before 18 Jul 1685.
PETER FOLGER was born about 1617-1618 [1/109] in Norwich, Co. Norfolk, Eng. and died in 1690 at Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA. He married MARY MORRELL [1/109] in about 1644 possibly on Martha's Vineyard.
Farmer indicates that Peter Folger settled first at "Martin's Vineyard" in 1636 but thats at least six years too early since the first settlement didn't take place until after Mayhew had obtained the rights to Martha's Vineyard in 1641. Savage apparently got tht info from "Coffin". [1/p109]
Savage says Peter came from Norwich, County Norfolk, England in 1635, was early in Martha's Vineyard probably with Thomas Mayhew. Taught the Indians as Mayhew's successor. Learned the Wampanoag language. Removed about 1663 to Nantucket. Served there as interpreter for Tristram Coffin .[9/109]
In 1653 on Martha's Vineyard Peter Folger was appointed or chosen to "Stand for a year" although his position wasn't specified. Others designated at the same time were Thomas Maynew, Sr., Nicholas Butler, John Bland, Richard Smith, John Smith, and Edward Searle. [10/V1 p132][12/V1 p122]
[[[[[not sourced below this point. Working on it]]]]
1. JOANNA FOLGER was born about 1645 or 1646 on Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., MA and died on 18 May 1719 on Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA. She married JOHN COLEMAN in 1666 on Nantucket. He was born in April of 1644 in Newbury, Essex Co., MA. and died in Dec. of 1715 on Nantucket Island. He was the son of THOMAS COLEMAN and SUSANNAH (_____). Children: PHOEBE, Solomon, Jeremiah, John Jr, Thomas, Isaac, Benjamin and Abigail.
2. ELEAZER FOLGER
3. Bethiah Folger
4. Dorcas Folger
5. Bathshua Folger
6. Experience Folger
7. Patience Folger
8. John Folger
9. Abiah Folger
ELEAZAR FOLGER b. 1648 Martha's Vineyard, Dukes Co., Ma., d. 19 Dec. 1716 while visiting Boston.; m. SARAH GARDNER 1671 Nantucket, Nantucket Co., Ma.. she was born about 1650 in Salem, Essex Co., MA. and died on 14 Dec 1729 on Nantucket. She was the daughter of RICHARD GARDNER and SARAH SHATTUCK.
1. Eleazar Folger Jr.
2. Peter Folger
3. SARAH FOLGER was born on 24 Aug. 1674 on Nantucket, Nantucket Co., MA and died on 23 Mar 1732/33 on Nantucket. She married ANTHONY ODAR on 10 Mar 1701/02 on Nantucket. He was born possibly on the Isle of Wight in England and died on Nantucket. He was the son of NICHOLAS ODAR.
John Farmer, "Register Of The First Settlers Of New England"
Judy Jacobson, Southold Connections, Historical & Biographical Sketches of Northeastern Long Island, (Clearfield Co., Inc., 1991, repr. Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1997)(numerous mistakes and inconsistancies- considered only average in accuracy)
"History of Salem," Sidney Perley, Vol. I, 1924.
"Southold Branch of The Paine Family"
"The Corey Family of Southampton & Southold, Long Island, NY"
Genealogical & Family History of the State of Connecticut, Vol. I
"Wheeler Homepage and Genealogy" at: http://www.thewheelers.com/
"History Of Martha's Vineyard", Charles Edward Banks
James Savage, "A Genealogical Dictionary of New England"
Charles Edward Banks, "History Of Martha's Vineyard"
Bond, "History of Watertown"
William Coleman Folger, "The Folger Family", NEHGS, Jul. 1862, V.16, pp. 269-274