The Lawrence family, in New England, claim to be related to the George Washington family in England. This is probably correct, as the Christian Register, cautious in its statements, indorses it as a fact.
John1 Lawrence was first at Watertown, Mass., where he was freeman 1637, afterwards at Groton, Mass., where he was a leading citizen; m. in England Elizabeth , by whom he had eleven children; she d. at Groton, Aug. 29, 1663; m. second Susanna Batchelder. By her he had two daughters. John Lawrence d. at Groton, July 11, 1667; wid. Susanna d. July 8, 1668. From his will: “to the town of Groton I give £100; to ye Church of Christ in Groton I give £40 to be laid out for ye procuring of some silver vessel or vessels for ye churches use as ye shall order; also £20 ye income to be annually paid or accounted for ye settled or ordained minister.” Another clause relating to his children: “I will that after my lawful debts and engagements are paid ye residue to be disposed to every of my children born to me by my former wife to each and every one of you in equal portions.”
Will has his autograph signature.
Sons Joseph and Nathaniel executors.
Nathaniel2 Lawrence, b. Aug. 15, 1639, at Watertown; m. March 13, 1660-1, Sarah Moss, b. at Sudbury, Mass., Sept. 16, 1643,
grand-dau. of Samuell1 Morse, propr. at Dedham, Mass., 1638; town officer; d. in Medfield, Mass., 1654; mentions in will wife Elizabeth, dau. of Hannah, wid. of son John.
John2 Morse m. Hannah Phillips, dau. of Ensign Henry Phillips of Dedham, who d. in Boston, “leaving a good estate and a fine character.”
Dea. Nathaniel Lawrence buried his first wife in Groton, 1684; m. second Hannah , who witnessed a deed1701, d. afterwards. He was made freeman May 15, 16’72; a deacon; much employed in town business; a representative of Groton. In advanced life he lived at Charlestown Farms, where he d. April 14, 1724. Will prob. May 8, 1’724, mentions son John.
John3 Lawrence, b. at Groton, July 29, 1667; m. at Groton, Nov. 9, 1687, Anna Tarbell, b. at Groton, June 10, 1670.
She was grand-dau. of Thomas1 Tarbell of Watertown, to whom was granted with four persons, in 1665, 20 acres of land for erecting a mill, to be exempt from taxation for 20 years [Butler, p. 36], and dau. of John2 and [Anna Longley] Tarbell.
John Lawrence was a farmer and blacksmith.
He was the ancestor of Amos and Abbott Lawrence, the distinguished merchants and philanthropists, for whom the city of Lawrence was named.
He removed from Groton to Cambridge Farms [Lexington] 1698-9. His wife Anna d. Dec. 19, 1732; he d. March 12, 1’746-“7. From his estate his sons John, William, Benjamin, and Amos received £120 each. His son Amos m. Abigail Abbott; son Jonathan Lawrence was made sole executor of the will, receiving, besides money, “the land in the township of Townsend.”
Jonathan4 Lawrence, b. Feb. 24, 1705-6, at Cambridge Farms; m. Feb. 22, 1726-7, Elizabeth Swain, b. 1707.
She was descended from William Swain, representative of Watertown 1635-36; appointed by the General Court of Massachusetts Colony, March 3, 1635-6, with Andrew Ward, both of Watertown, as the two commissioners to govern the people of Connecticut.
Jonathan Lawrence settled first in Sudbury, afterwards in Framingham, where he was residing in 1736. In this year his father John Lawrence executed a deed in favor of him. Soon after this he returned to Lexington. “Dec. 28, 1761, an order was passed [in town meeting] to pay Jonathan Lawrence £2. 13s., 4d. for his wifes keeping one of the womens schools.” He d. March 19, 1773; his wid. d. July 4, 1790.
The following is a clause in his will: “I give my negroes among all my children, to be settled among them as they shall agree, as soon as may be after my decease.”
Micah5 Lawrence, b. March 15, 1738-9; m. at Winchester, N. H., 1765, Eunice Willard, dau. of Col. Josiah Willard. She d. at Keene, N. H., Oct. 20, 1788, age 44 years.
Micah Lawrence was grad. Harv. Coll. 1759; taught school in Worcester; ordained at Winchester, N. H., Nov. 4, 1764, as successor of Rev. Thomas Ashley [the first minister]. He had trouble with his people, who thought him “unfriendly to the war”; after a third council he was dismissed. After 1777 he preached in different places. He d. in Keene, N. H., Oct. 20, 1798, age 60 years.
Eunice6 Lawrence, b. at Winchester, N.H., July 22, 1767; m. at Winchester, Jan. 7, 1791, John s Wait; m. second, 1800, Solomon Ware of Niagara Falls, N.Y. She was the mother of Sarah [Wait] Davis, wife of William6 Davis.
My grandmother, Mrs. William Davis, remembered having seen her grandfather, Rev. Micah Lawrence. She always spoke with much feeling when referring to the treatment her grandfather received from this church in Winchester. And she was probably correct in saying, “He was loyal,” for no public record or church record has been found that would discredit her statement. She received this impression from her grandfather, Gen. Wait, who certainly was capable of forming a correct estimate of loyalty, or disloyalty, in another in the days of the American Revolution.