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Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700 Crucial for Genealogists

New England Marriages 1700s

When we think of a critical desk reference for colonial New England genealogy, the first source that comes to mind (or should come to mind) is James Savage’s Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England. Savage’s work is so important because it purports to identify every New England settler who arrived before 1692 regardless of their station, rank, or fortune. Given the nature of subsequent New England settlement patterns, Savage would claim that the vast majority of New Englanders living on the eve of the American Revolution were connected to his “First Settlers.” (By the way, searching for female lines in the Dictionary is now far easier thanks to the recent publication of Patty Myers’ Female Index to Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, by James Savage.)

Notwithstanding the importance of Savage, there is another work that belongs on the reference shelf of every serious New England researcher, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, by Clarence Almon Torrey.

Torrey worked for over 30 years to produce a comprehensive listing of the 37,000 married couples who lived in New England between 1620 and 1700, or virtually every married couple living in New England before 1700. Each entry in this thousand-page work gives the couple’s marriage date or the birth year of a first child, the maiden names of 70% of the wives, the birth and death years of both partners, mention of earlier or later marriages, the residences of every couple and an index of names. While many of the names in Torrey will appear in Savage’s Dictionary, New England Marriages Prior to 1700 both supplements and goes beyond the contents of the former and with precision that official marriage or birth dates provide. Following is a sample page of “Gardiners”  from Torrey’s Marriages, which should give readers a good idea of what they can expect to find throughout the volume.

NEW ENGLAND MARRIAGES PRIOR TO 1700, p. 294 

GARDNER, John (ca 1624-1706) E Priscilla (GRAFTON); b 1654, 20 Feb 1654 (20 Feb 1652 and 20 Feb 1653/4 are wrong); Salem/Nantucket
GARDNER, John & Susanna (GREEN); b 1681; Boston/Salem
GARDNER, John (-1684) & Mehitable (HINSDALE); b 1681; Hadley GARDNER/GARNETT/GARNET, John & Mary STOWELL; 25 Feb 1682/3,, 25 Feb 1681; Hingham
GARDNER, Joseph (-1675, 1676?) & Ann DOWNING (1634-1713),, m/2 Simon BRADSTREET; bef 8 Aug 1656, Aug 1656, no issue, b 8 Aug 1658
; Salem
GARDNER, Joseph & Bethia MACY (1650–); 30 Mar 1670; Nantucket/Salisbury GARDNER, Joseph/Josiah? (see Joshua) & Mary (CORBIN?] (1658?-1721, ae 61); b 1679; 
Hadley/Roxbury
GARDNER, Joseph/James? & Hannah ELWELL (1674-);; 2 Jan 1694/5; Gloucester GARDNER, Joshua (see Joseph) (-1700) & Mary WELD?/GARDNER; 22 Mar 1681/2, 23 Mar 1681,, 22 Mar 1681; Roxbury
GARDNER, Nathaniel (1669-1713) E Abigail (COFFIN) (-1709); b 1686; Nantucket GARDNER, Nicholas & __?; b 1649
GARDNER, Peter (1617-1698) & Rebecca CROOKE (-1675, ae 45); 9 May 1646; Roxbury GARDNER, Richard (1626-1638) & Sarah (SHATTUCK?] (1632-1724); ca 1645, 1652; early settler of Nantucket/Salem/Martha’s Vineyard
GARDNER, Richard (-1698, ae 79) & Ann/Anna BLANCHARD, w Thomas; 18 Oct 1651; 

Woburn/Charlestown
GARDNER, Richard (1653-1728) & Mary AUSTIN (-1721);
17 May 1674; Nantucket/Martha’s Vineyard
GARDNER, Samuel (-1696) & 2/wf Elizabeth
_?___ (-1676);  b 1648; Hartford/Wethersfield, CT/Hadley
GARDINER, Samuel (1629-1689) & 1/wf Mary (WHITE) (-1675);; b 1658; Salem GARDNER, Samuel (1648-) & (1/wf) Elizabeth (BROWN) GRAFTON, w Joseph; 24 Apr 1673, 24 Jun; Salem
GARDNER, Samuel (ca 1627/8-1689) & 2/wf Elizabeth PAINE, w John; 2 Aug 1680; Salem GOARDINER/GARNER/GARDINER? (-1690, 1695?) & Susannah SHELLEY; 20 Dec 1682; Plymouth
GARDNER, Samuel & Susanna (BAXTER)?  ?HYDE/DANIEL, w Stephen; 1690 or bef,

?3 Dec 1680?; Salem
GARDENER/GARDINER?, Samuel & Elizabeth GOODWIN;; 11 May 1693;; Boston GARDNER/GARNET, Stephen & Sarah WARREN;; 22 Dec 1687:; Hingham GARDNER/GARDINER, Stephen (1667-1743) & Amy (SHERMAN) (1681-); b 1700 GARDNER, Thomas (-1638) E ? (-1658); in Eng, b 1614; Roxbury/Cambridge GARDENER, Thomas (1592-1674 & 1/ wf ?Margaret (FRYER) (-1659) (doubtful); b 1620; Salem
GARDNER, Thomas (1615/16-1689) & Lucy SMITH (-1687); 4 Jul 1641; Charlestown/?Roxbury/ Cambridge
GARDENER, Thomas (-1682) & 1/wf ?Hannah HOPSCOTT?/HAPSCOTT? (-1644+); b 1643; 
Salem
GARDNER, Thomas & __?_; b 1654?; Pemaquid
GARDNER, Thomas’ (ca 1592-1674) & 2/wf Damaris (SHATTUCK) (-1674), wid; b 1668, ca 1659; Salem
GARDNER, Thomas (-1682) & 2/wf Elizabeth (HORNE/ORNE);; b 1668; Salem GARDNER, Thomas (-1695) & Mary

PORTER (1645-); 22 Apr 1669, 24 Jun 1669,
22 Jun; Salem
GARDNER, Thomas (ca 1645-) & Mary BOWLES (1655-);; 17 Nov 1673,, 19 Nov; Roxbury
GARDNER, Thomas (-1696) & Mary HIGGINSON, m/2 Edward WELD 1689,, m/3 James LINDALL; 4 Apr 1695, 4 Jun 1695, no issue; Salem
GARFFEILD, Benjamin (1643-1717, Waltham) & 1/wf Mehitable (HAWKINS
) (1656-1675); b 1 Apr 1673; Watertown
GARFEILD, Benjamin (1643-1717) & 2/wf Elizabeth BRIDGE, m/2 Daniel HARRINGTON 1720; 17 Jan 1677; Watertown
GARFIELD, Benjamin (1674-) & Bethia (HOWE?];; b 1701?; Watertown
GEARFFIELD, Edward (1575-1672, ae 97?) & 1/wf Rebecca ? (?1606-1661); ca 1622; 
Watertown
GERFILD, Edward (1595-1672) & 2/wf Joanna/Hannah(?__BUCKMASTER/BUCKMINSTER, w
Thomas; 1 Sep 1661; Watertown
GARFFEILD, Edward & Mehitable CHILD;; 8 Jul 1691; Watertown

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