The island of Nantucket was settled in the 1640s by English Puritans who had grown discontented with the rule of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay. This work consists of detailed genealogies of the majority of the First Purchasers of Nantucket (the original owners of the island, as they were called). It is excerpted from Alexander Starbuck’s much longer History of Nantucket County, Island, and Town, constituting the final 200 pages of that opus. The volume begins with biographical sketches of the First Purchasers, in which the author explains to what extent each man figured in Nantucket’s British beginnings and gives an account of that pioneer’s immediate family and the circumstances of his death. The First Purchasers included: Thomas Macy, Benjamin Coffin, Tristram Coffin, Edward Starbuck, Richard Swain, William Bunker, John Swain, Thomas Barnard, Robert Barnard, Christopher Hussey, Thomas Mayhew, Peter Coffin, Stephen Greenleaf, William Pile, Robert Pike, Tristram Coffin, Jr., James Coffin, Thomas Coleman, Nathaniel Starbuck, Thomas Look, and John Smith. Not every one of the First Purchasers actually settled on Nantucket, though a majority did so. Even so, many of these founders were well acquainted with one another and, in a number of instances, were connected through intermarriage as well. These relationships are clearly established by Mr. Starbuck’s genealogies of the following founders from their origins in England through four or five generations to the eve of the American Revolution and beyond: Barnard, Bunker, Coffin, Coleman, Folger, Hussey, Macy, Starbuck, Swain, and Worth.
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