Garrett Church

While it is known that Garrett migrated to this country in 1633, it is not known from what part of England he came. Garret was born about 1611 (deposed December 17, 1662 aged about 51) and died in Watertown after July 20, 1684 (when he acknowledged two deeds) and before 3 Feb 1685/6 (deed acknowledged by John Stone, one of the witnesses). He was admitted to the Watertown, Massachusetts church (Puritan) before May 2, 1649, on which date he was made Freeman. His occupation was that of a planter, or farmer, and he signed his deed by a mark.

By 1637, he married m. Sarah (____). The records of births of Garret Church's children Mary and Jonathan give the mother as Mary, whereas the mother for all other children, both before and after these two, is given as Sarah. In the absence of other evidence, it is better to assume a simple scribal error rather than three wives for Garrett Church. Sarah Church was one of those who complained against John Chenery "for his defect in not regulating his swine according to town order"; no further record of her.

On March 2, 1640/1 "Garret Church" stood as surety for Christopher Grant, a Watertown man. In 1652 Grant sold land to Church, and other lands of Grant and Church were adjacent to one another. On April 1, 1634 Garrett Church gave 200 four-inch planks toward the construction of the sea fort; Phillip Tabor gave the same amount. On the same day "Garrett Church & Phillip Tabor hath bound themselves [in] 40s. apiece, to appear then to give testimony against Mr. Ch[ester] for selling commodities contrary to order". These records indicate that Garret Church had arrived in New England prior to 1634, and also connect him with two other men who resided at that time in Watertown.

On March 31, 1651 and February 3, 1651/2, he was on the Watertown committee "for the seeing unto the sufficiency of fences."

On February 3, 1656/7 the town allowed 3s. 8d. for "the carriage of things concerning Mary Davise her child to Garett Church". On November 2, 1677 the town paid 10s. "to Garrit Curch [sic] for fetching biscuit from Boston for the Foulgur's".

Garrett was granted 20 acres in Great Dividend at Watertown on July 25, 1636; granted two acres in Beaverbrook Plowlands on February 28, 1636/7; granted two acres in Remote Meadows on June 26, 1637; and granted sixty-three acres of farm on May 10, 1642.

In the Watertown Inventory of Grants, Garrett Church held six parcels: eight acres homestall; twenty acres upland in the Great Dividend; six acres upland beyond the further plain; three acres of Plowland; three acres in the Remote Meadow; and one acre of meadow at Beaverbrook. In the Composite Inventory he held the first five of these parcels, and also the farm granted to him in 1642; the acre of meadow was now in the hands of Isaac Stearns.

In the grant of Beaverbrook Plowlands on February 28, 1636/7 and in the grant of Remote Meadows on June 26, 1637, Garrett Church received two acres. In the Inventory of Grants and in the Composite Inventory, however, these parcels were listed as three acres. This adjustment may have been made because Garrett Church's first child was born shortly after these grants. When he came to sell these lands, however, they were each again two acres.

On October 5, 1652 Christopher Grant of Watertown and Mary Grant his wife sold to Garrett Church of Watertown six acres of planting ground and one acre of pond adjoining; the grantor provides the chain of title for these parcels: three acres of the upland was a grant from the town of Watertown to Christopher Grant; the other three acres of upland was granted by the town to Lawrence Waters, from whom Grant acquired it; and the acre of pond was granted by the town to John Lawrence, from whom Grand acquired it.

On January 20, 1681 Garrett Church of Watertown sold to Oliver Wellington of Watertown twelve acres in Watertown, the fourth lot in the fourth division and the fifth lot "in that tract of land". On August 22, 1682 "Garrat Church of Watertown, planter," sold to Samuell Sternes of Watertown four acres of meadow in that town. On December 9, 1684 Garrett Church of Watertown, planter, sold to John Sherman of Watertown two acres of plowland in the Further Plain in Watertown. On May 19, 1685 Garrett Church of Watertown, planter, sold to Thomas Rice, late of Sudbury, two acres of meadow in Watertown "called Little Cherry Meadow" within "the land called farm land & is bounded with a farm granted to Bullard". (These last two deeds were acknowledged by Garrett Church on July 20, 1685.)

On December 11, 1671 Garrett Church of Watertown sold to "my son Samuel Church" for "some considerations half my now dwelling house" and that "parcel of land which I brought of Christopher Grant" together with an acre of meadow adjoining. On February 13, 1684/5 Garrett Church of Watertown sold to "my loving son David Church of the same town" one house, barn, orchard and eighteen acres of upland and meadow, five acres of pasture, a farm of sixty acres, and thirty acres of Great Dividend. (This deed was acknowledged by John Stone, one of the witnesses, on 3 Feb 1685/6.)

The deed of February 13, 1684/5, inasmuch as it transfers the remainder of Garrett Church's real estate to his younger surviving son, stands in the place of a will, and Church was dead within a year. The deeds to sons Samuel and David are the only evidence for children surviving past infancy, but they do not preclude the possibility that one or more of the daughters may have married, since Church preferred to provide for his sons during his lifetime, and may have done the same with his daughters, but with personal estate instead.

Sarah's maiden name has not been found nor has any indication of the date or place of death of either Garrett or Sarah, though presumably both died in Watertown.

I'd be happy to exchange family information.
Please send e-mail to Sam Behling.

See lineage of Church Family

Read the Biography of Garrett's son, David Church

Read the Biography of Garrett's grandson, John Church

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