Zachariah Eddy

Zachariah, a farmer, was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1639. He was bound out at the age of seven to Mr. John Browne of Rehoboth, a man of some importance in Plymouth, being the Governor's Assistant from 1636-1655. He died in 1662, but in a deed dated December 29, 1661 he left to "Zacariah Eedey now resident in my family" 1/3 of 150 acres in Narragansett betwixt Quidnisset and trading house of Richard Smith."

On May 7, 1663 at East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, he first married Alice Paddock, daughter of Robert Paddock and Mary Holmes. ("Zachariah Eedey was married to Allice Padduck the seauenth of May, 1663, Plymouth.") Alice was born in Plymouth on March 7, 1640/1 and died September 24, 1692 in Swansea, Massachusetts. Sometime shortly after Alice's death, Zachariah married secondly, Abigail, widow of Dermit Smith (alias Jeremiah, for which Dermit was a common nickname). All of Zachariah's children were by his first wife.

On January 4, 1661, "Zachariah bought of Thomas Savery a piece of land lying near Whetstones Vineyard in the Major's Purchase bounded on or near where Eddy lives" On March 24, 1662 he received from his father Samuel, land near "Namassakeet" and later "The court has granted to Zacary Eedy a smale gusset of land lying betwixt his land and the brook, from his house below the path to Namasskett unto the aforesaid brooke unto a bridg or way neare unto a path that turns out of the old way unto Wm. Nelson's house, the sd. parcell of land so bounded as aforesaid, is granted unto the said Zacary Eedey...etc. on condition that the said Zacary Eedey doe continue a bridge neare his house in the place where it is needed for horse and cart, for the use of the countrey, for the full tearme of twenty years from the date hereof. Dated June 7, 1665."

From these records, it appears than upon completing his apprenticeship, Zachariah went to Middleborough and settled here, remaining for about 8 years. His house stood on the twelve acres, granted him by the court, near what was later known as Eddy's furnace, just south of the present Eddyville. In 1666 his bounds were laid out by Ephraim Tinkham and Henry Wood. In 1667 Hugh Cole, Constant Southworth, Josias Winslow, and others, all of Plymouth, purchased of King Philip all the marsh and meadow land of Mattapoysett. At this time, Rev. John Myles, who had been driven from his parish in Wales by new laws of the English king, was in Plymouth, but his preaching did not please the church members there, and he was advised by the court of Plymouth to go farther south beyond the borders of Rehoboth. The Court then decided to grant to him and those of like mind the new tract recently purchased from the Indians. On February 22, 1669, fifty-five men signed the articles of agreement which made this section into the new town of Swansea. Two of the signers were Zachariah Eddy and his brother Caleb. Thus Zacharaiah and Caleb became two of the first purchasers of Swansea and at the same time became members of the First Baptist Church in Swansea.

Zachariah took an active part in the Church life. In the old Church Book, now in the vaults of the B.M.C. Durfee Trust Co., of Fall River, there is a copy of a letter sent to a church in Boston, asking that the brethren in Boston help the Swansea Church in the selection of a pastor. Both Zachariah and Caleb Eddy signed this letter. Soon after the incorporation of Swansea, Zachariah Eddy was made Freeman of Swansea on May 29, 1670. The following year on May 11, he was chosen waywarden and on June 5 he was elected surveyor of highways.

In 1675 when King Philip's War broke out it is likely that Zachariah and his family took refuge in Plymouth for a few years. While there on June 5, 1677 he was summoned by the court of Plymouth to serve on the Grand Inquest. Some time in June of this same year, 1677, those who had formerly lived in Middleborough previous to the outbreak of the war, together with some who owned property within the borders of Middleborough, sixty-eight persons in all, met and agreed to resettle the town. The list of the names of "The Proprietors of the liberties of the township of Middleberry taken at Plimouth" contains the item, "Sachariah Edey, Samuell Edey, 1 propiration." When Samuel Eddy became a proprietor of the town of Middleborough, he thereby obtained the privilege of being a participant in all future divisions of the undivided lands belonging to the township. This right was passed on to his sons when they received from him the lands at Namassakett. When the land was sold by them, the proprietor's rights went with the land.

On July 23, 1673, Zachariah Eddy's name appears as the recipient of a lot in the South Purchase, which included the present towns of Rochester, Wareham, Carver, and a part of Middleborough. Later, on May 17, 1698, when the tract of land was divided, Zachariah received lots 128 and 129. On May 14, 1675, Zachariah was one of those who received a lot in the tract known as the "16 Shilling Purchase." He received lot No. 51.

After King Philip's War, when all danger from hostile Indians was over, probably about the spring of 1678, Zachariah and his family returned to Swansea. He was established there on October 21, 1679 when he purchased a piece of land from Thomas Barnes, and by this purchase obtained rights as a "second ranch man"; that is in any division of lands he would receive twice as much as a man of the "third ranch" (or third rank as it is more often written). The third rank man received one unit of a division, a second rank man, two units, a first ran man, three units. "Zachariah Edey of Swansea bought of Thomas Barnes of Newport ... My houselott, being 12 acres and 2 acres which I had of Jonathan Bosworth joining with ye 33rd page of ye book Land records...and all my rt in Common and divisions of land whatsoever may appertain to me as I was a second ranck man in Town of Swansea."

In 1681 both Zachariah and his brother Caleb were members of a jury called to view the body of William Makepeace who had been drowned. On June 7, 1681, Zachariah was propounded as Freeman by the court in Plymouth. There is no record of his having been admitted, but it would seen that he must have been admitted, for he was called upon to perform the duties of a Freeman. He was made constable. "This [Plymouth] Court imposes and authorizes Zachery Eddy to be constable of the ward of Showamett and to act within that ward as in every respect as an other constable might do and proper unto the proprietors of Showamett, respecting them at that place. Dated July, 1683."

Zachariah's name appears on the records in connection with several items of minor interest. On September 26, 1697, together with Hezekiah Luther he was appointed to take the inventory of Widow Bartram's estate. On April 5, 1719, Zachariah Eddy testified at Bristol that he was "then about 70 years of age and that a certain lot of land was laid out by Samuel Luther, Thomas Esterbrooks, and Hugh Cole, about 26 years ago in the right of John Allen."

Most of the first purchases of Zachariah Eddy in Swansey were in the Shawomet Neck probably on its western side, and bordering on the Mattapoisett River, probably along the present highway leading out of Swansea Village toward Fall River. On November 1, 1683, Zachariah Eddy of Swansey bought of David Wood of Middlebury, house carpenter: "1/2 share in land at a palce called Shawawmett in New Plymouth Colony - 1/2 part of the first division in ye Great Neck being in number the 2 & 20th lot and in quantity about 45 acres & ye 1 moiety or half part of second division being in quantity 5 acres & also 1/2 of ye 3rd division being about 36 acres and all ye same divisions and allotments are bounded as may appear by ye reocrds." Dated May 20, 1696.

Zachariah Eddy of Swansea bought of James Bell "a 5 acre lot of upland lying in Shawamott Neck in Swansea, belonging to the Shawomett Purhcase, 29 in number of the second division of small lotts purchased by me of Mr. Nicholas White of Taunton bounding easterly with Thomas Paine's lot; westerly with lot belonging to Gov. Josiah Winslow, Dec'd; northerly on a highway and southerly on Samuel Winslow, about 5 acres."

Zachariah Eddy bought of John Road (or Reed) of Freetown, "land being in Shawomett Neck in Swansey belonging to the freeman's purchase - meadow 2 acres a part of the third lot of meadows which fell by division to Thomas Thatcher of Boston and purchased of Thatcher by John Road (or Reed) bounded eastwardly with upland belonging to Shawomett Purchase, westerly with the river that parts Mattapoisett Neck and said Shawomett northerly beginning at a brook of water and from a tree marked 2 on north side said tree and three on south side," etc.

Zachariah Eddy of Swansey bought of "Richard Winslow of town of Boston, lot of land at Swansey known by name of Shawomett Neck, part thereof being already laid out in three lots, the great lot being the first of the 3, being 45 acres and in number the 23rd, the second is 5 acres and no 23 and the third beares the denomination of the outlett lott and is numbered 16, etc."

Zachariah Eddy of Swansey in County of Bristol bought of "John Borden of Portsmouth and Mary Borden his wife land in the township of Swansey and bounded eastward in part by land of Zachariah and partly by upland belonging to Shawmmonot Purchase, westerly by the river that driveth the fulling mill that belongeth to the said Zachariah Eddy and extendeth in length northwardly and southwardly from the aforesaid fulling mill to a small white oak which is marked and showeth near the mouth of the cove." From this deed it would seem that in addition to farming Zachariah had a mill somewhere near the present site of Swansea Village. This mill later came into the possession of his son Zachariah.

On July 30, 1691, James Brown sold to Zachariah Eddy in return for release of land at Narragansett, one rank right and a half of undivided lands, that is 1/2 of all the land yet undivided at the day of the date, pertaining and belonging to the said James Brown of Swansea. In this deed Zachariah parted with that land which Mr. Brown of Rehoboth had given him just before his death, probably in return for his services when an apprentice. Zachariah passed on the land obtained from James Brown to his son Zachariah. On October 14, 1695, the four sons of Samuel came to an agreement in regard to the ownership of the land which they had received from their father. Zachariah's share was on the east side of the Namasket River, in what was known as Capt. Southworth's Purchase.

This same year he sold to Obediah of Middleborough, his brother, certain lands in Middleborough. After the purchase of the lands in Shawomett near the head of the neck and bordering on the east side of the Mattapoisett River, Zachariah seems to have purchased the lands adjoining on the west, so that all the land of the present Swansea Village on the south side of the highway and extending from the main highway on the east, to the road which leads to Gardner's Neck, on the west, was a part of his possessions. This would include the present Stevens estate, the Eddy Burial Plot and the Swansea Dye Works and the land upon which the houses bordering the highway on the south are situated.

It would seem that his homestead was on or near the Stevens estate. This plot he sold to Caleb Eddy his son in a deed dated January 27, 1710/11. Zachariah Eddy, yeoman, "to son Caleb Eddy, homestead, houses etc. at Mattapoisett...50 acres of upland and meadow and salt marsh etc. at the head of Spring Brook, then by Spring Brook to walt water, then rounding by low water until it comes to a stake in the little cover before my the brook near the Indian line; edge of Rocky Run Brook...Country Road."

The section west of Spring Brook and extending to the road leading down to South Swansea, he sold to his son Zachariah on December 29, 1696. Zachariah Eddy, yeoman, "to son Zachariah Eddy, Jr. yeoman, 20 acres lying at a place commonly called and known by the name of Matapoysett in Swansey, bounded northerly with a highway, easterly with the fence and Spring Brook to the Salt Water, southerly to the land of Ralph Chapman and bounded westerly with the highway which leadeth to the land of Ralph Chapman...excepting and reserving the Burying Place on the premises which is to lye and remain as a burying place for and to the families of the said Eddys & for such their neighbors as the said Eddys shall admit of forever." Dated December 29, 1696. Acknowledged March 19, 1696/7. The exact location of this land sold to Zachariah is very clear. The highway leading to Ralph Chapman's is the road leading off of the main road down to South Swansea. This was the western boundary; the present highway in Swansea village probably was the northern; Spring Brook which is now partly on the Stevens estate and separates the Stevens estate from the Eddy Burial Plot was the eastern boundary; and the salt water and Ralph Chapman the southern. The Burial Plot mentioned in the deed to Zachariah was used by the descendants of Zachariah for over a hundred years as the place to bury their loved ones. The oldest stone therein, which bears any inscription, is dated 1700.

On January 22, 1700 Zachariah bought of Capt. T. Brooks, 20 acres at Mattapoisett. Zachariach Eddy "ffuller bought of Ralph Chapman of Newport…upland and salt marsh meadow at Mattapoisett Neck in Swansea about one and a half acres." Bounds mention a mill pond and low water mark. Dated May 18, 1705. On March 23, 1704/5, Zachariah bought of Hugh Cole 3 acres on the River that parts Mattapoisett and Shawomet. In addition to these lands at Shawomet and Mattapoisett, Zachariah owned land at Towissett, which he sold to Ralph Chapman and lands at Kickimuit near the Kickimuit Bridge, which he sold to Nathaniel Cole.

Besides the purchases already mentioned Zachariah bought several other tracts of land in Swansea, so that he became a large landholder. As his sons grew to manhood and wished to start out in life for themselves, he deeded to them one after another, certain of his properties. The parts given to Zachariah and Caleb have already been mentioned. On July 8, 1700 Zachariah Eddy sold to "well-beloved son John Eddy of Swansea, blacksmith, a piece of land lying and being in a place called Shawmut and in the township of Swansea, containing 40 acres and two 5 acre lots which he had purchased of James Bull or Bell and Richard Winslow." His wife Abigail signed this deed, which was witnessed by Thomas Seamons, Daniel Wilbur, and John West. Again on January 7, 1705/6 he sold to "my well beloved son, John Eddy of Swansea, blacksmith, 5 A. [acre] and the 3 A. lot, I bought of J. Little…and also my meadows lyngon the south ward side of the line which runneth between my son Joshua Eddy and my son John Eddy to the middle of the land as there it runneth."

Zachariah sold to "my son Joshua Eddy, cooper, for the great love I bear him land and meadow at Mattapoisett which I purchased of Hugh Cole." To his son Obadiah Eddy, tanner, he gave 90 acres near the brook on the Indian line, with the proviso that Obadiah could not sell it without the father's permission. To his son Ebenezer, who was living in Middleboro, he gave the 60 acres bought of Thomas Savery and Benjamin Eaton, and all of the rest of the lands east of the said sixty acres, also "400 A. which is called the Major's Purcahse, and the three acres bought of Robert Ransom, and right in Assawamsett Neck, and a gusset of 12 A. granted by Plymouth, reserving 12 A. to myself." John Eddy was a witness to this deed.

There are many other records of land transactions on file. One deed was signed by wife Alice, another by wife Abigail. Elizabeth Eddy, Mary Eddy and Samuel Eddy witnessed the deed of April 23, 1690; Bethia Smith witnessed a deed of September 14, 1699; Caleb Eddy and Samuel Eddy witnessed a deed of August 4, 1698.

Having thus disposed of most of his possessions to his sons during his lifetime Zachariah had but little to leave to his children as an inheritance. He died in Middleborough, and his will, dated November 4, 1718, mentions his wife Abigail, and all of his sons, to whom he states that he has given to them the land which he considers their share. It mentions also his daughter Elizabeth Whipple, who is deceased and his son-in-law, Samuel Whipple; his grandson Edward Eddy; and his wife's son, Timothy Smith. To his son Joshua he left his great Bible. In the Eddy Burial Plot which Zachariah set aside to be a place for the burial of the Eddys forever are many graves, marked by stones which bear no inscriptions. Without doubt Zachariah and his two wives lie buried in some of them. The plaque below was erected by the Eddy Family Association and reads:



24, 1689 IN HER 82nd YEAR.


This tablet erected by the Eddy Family Association, Inc. 1946

Abigail survived her husband and left a will dated January 2, 1720, which mentions daughters, Abigail Hatch, Bethia Eddy, Hannah Simmons; son-in-law, Remembrance Simmons; daughter, Hopestill Kelley; and granddaughters, Ann, Abigail, and Amy, daughters of Caleb Eddy, whom she called her son-in-law.


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

See lineage of Eddy Family

Read the Biography of Zachariah's grandfather, William Eddye

Read the Biography of Zachariah's father, Samuel Eddy, Emigrant to America

Read the Biography of Zachariah's son, Joshua Eddy

Read the Biography of Zachariah's grandson, John Eddy

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