Leavitt, Levett, Levitt, Levit

John LEAVITT, Deaon. Origins unknown, born circa 1612; migration 1634,  Tailor, resident of Dorchester in 1634, admitted to Dorchester church before 3/3/1635-6,  in Hingham by 1636; died 11/20/1691 age 83, will dated 11/30/1689 proved 1/27/1691-2;  Freeman; Sargeant by 1664;  possibly has brother Thomas

Spouse: (1) _____ married circa 1637, died 7/4/1646 Hingham, buried there 7/5/1646  (2) Sarah ____ married 12/16/1646, died 5/26/1700 [may have been Sarah Gilman]

Children by 1st wife: John born circa 1637, married 6/27/1664 Bathsheba Hobart daughter of Rev. Peter, she married 2nd Joseph Turner; Hannah baptized Hingham 4/7/1639 married John Lobbell of Hull 7/29/1659; Samuel baptized Hingham 4/1641 removed to NH, married by 1665 Mary Robinson daughter of John; Elizabeth baptized Hingham 4/8/1644 married (1) 3/25/1667 Samuel Judkins son of Job; (2) after 1677 Richard Drake; Jeremiah baptized Hingham 3/1/1645-6, at Exeter 1770, not in father's will 1689. By 2nd wife: Israel baptized Hingham 4/23/1648, married Plymouth 1/10/1676-7 Lydia Jackson daughter of Abraham; Moses baptized Hingham 8/2/1650,  married Exeter 10/26/1681 Dorothy Dudley daughter of Samuel; Josiah baptized Hingham 5/8/1653, married Margaret Johnson, cleared of fornication charge 6/3/1674; Nehemiah baptized Hingham 2/24/1655-6,  married Alice ____  after 8/25/1684 widow of Daniel Gilman; Sarah baptized Hingham 2/25/1658-9 married Nehemiah Clapp 4/17/1678 son of Edward and Sudbury 9/18/1685 Samuel Howe son of John; Mary born 6/12/1661 Hingham, baptized 6/23/1661, married Benjamin Bates at New London CT; Hannah born 3/20/1663-64 Hingham, baptized 3/27/1664,  married Joseph Loring 10/25/1683 Hingham son of Joseph, and Hingham 8/25/1693 Joseph Easterbrook; Abigail born 12/9/1667 Hingham, baptized 12/15/1667 married Isaac Lasell 1/20/1685-6 Hingham son of John, and by 1692 Isaac Johnson


Josiah LEAVITT, cooper, farmer, baptized Hingham 5/4/1653, died 9/14/1708 age 55, on 6/3/1674 cleared of a charge of fornication

Spouse: Margaret JOHNSON (Margery) married 10/20/1676 daughter of Humphrey & Eleanor Johnson; born 1659 died in Hingham 6/7/1739 age 80

Children: Josiah born 7/28/1679 married Abigail Gill; Joseph 7/23/1681 married Judith Hobart; Margaret born 10/20/1683; Jeremiah 8/21/1685 married Jael Hobart; Joshua born 8/1/1687; David born 8/16/1691; Asaph 7/31/1695; Hezekiah born 9/17/1697 married Mary Beal & Grace Hatch; Mary born 10/7/1699 married Matthew Cushing


Margaret LEAVITT born 10/20/1683

Spouse: Caleb LINCOLN married 11/17/1709

Children: Thankful


Thankful LINCOLN married 2/9/1737 Hingham, born 1714 Hingham, died 3/2/ 1786 Hingham

Spouse: Samuel JOY born 8/20/1706 Hingham MA, died 121/28/1792 Hingham, occupation cooper; corporal in Gray's company at Halifax 1759

Children:  Mary; Elizabeth married Jesse Sprague

The Great Migration BeginsJohn LeavittOrigin: Unknown.  Migration: 1634 (based on grant of land at Dorchester [DTR 7]).  First Residence: Dorchester. Removes: Hingham 1636.  Occupation: Tailor [SLR 9:157; SPR 8:243].  Church Membership: Admission to Dorchester church prior to 3 March 1635/6 implied by freemanship.  He was deacon of the Hingham church as early as 27 Apr 1675 [SCC 596], and had probably transferred his church membership from Dorchester to Hingham by 1639, when he had a child baptized at the latter church [NEHGR 121:11].  Freeman: 3 Mar 1635/6 (a "John Levett") MBCR 1:371].  Oath of allegiance, 29 Oct 1678 [SCC 976].  Education: He signed his will. His inventory included "books" valued at 1 [SPR 8:243].  Offices: Deputy for Hingham to MA General Court, 14 May 1656, 14 May 1664 (as "S[ergean]t Jno. Levitt"), 3 Aug 1664 [MBCR 4:1:255, 4:2:100, 117].  Commissioner to end small causes at Hingham (as "Deacon Jno. Levit") [SCC 480].  Suffolk grand jury,, 28 July 1674, 27 Jan 1679/80 [SCC 457, 1107].  Sergeant by 1664 [MBCR 4::1001.  His inventory included "arms & ammunition" valued 1 4s. [SPR 8:243].  Estate:  On 1 Sep 1634, "John Levit" was one of ten men who were to "have 3 acres apiece up Naponset" in Dorchester [DTR 7]. On 22 Nov 1634, "John Levit" was one of thirteen men who were to "have six acres of land granted them [for] their small and great lots at Naponset betwixt the Indian field and the mill" [DTR 8].  On 2 Nov 1635, it is "ordered that John Levite shall have 8 acres of upland ground and 4 acres of marsh ground, to lie on the west side of Mr. Ludlowe's Neck next Naponset River" [DTR 13].  On 2 Jan 1637/8, it is "ordered that Mr. Makepeace shall have 4 acres of marsh joining to his land bought of John Levit at Mr. Ludlowe's Neck" [DTR 26].  "The several parcels of land and meadow legally given unto John Leavitt by the town of Hingham": "a houselot five acres of land & with two additions he had more it makes the homelot six acres," 7 July 1636; "a planting lot three acres of land lying in the plain neck," 1637; "four acres & half of planting land lying in the plain neck," 1637; "one acre and a quaarter of saltmarsh lying as you go unto Strait's Pond," 1637; "three quarters of an acre of fresh meadow lying in Crooked Meadow," 1637; "three quarters of an acre of fresh meadow lying in Turkey Meadow," 1637; "a great lot fifteen acres of land lying over the bridge leading unto Sittuate," 1637; "half an acre of fresh meadow in Rocky Meadow," 1637; "two acres of saltmarsh at Conyehassett it's the 13th lot in the first division ... and is in satisfaction for meadow given at Nantascutt,"  1647; and "three acres and half of saltmarsh at Conyehassett it is the eleventh lot lying on the southeast side of the river" [HiBOP 96v-97r].  On 25 Jan 1661[/2?], "John Leavit of Hingham" sold to "Daniel Cushin of Hingham aforesaid ... all that my llot containing two acres ... which I lately purchased of Joseph Andrews, lying and being in the township of Hingham aforesaid in the field call the Plain Neck by the fresh river" [SLR 4:3-4]. On 21 Oct 1674, "John Leavitt of Hingham in NE, tailor, & Sarah Leavitt his wife" sold to "John Prince of Hingham aforesaid, planter, ... all that their planting lot containing four acres & a hoaf ... as it was granted to the said John Leavitt by the town of Hingham, the said lot of planting land ... in the field there called the Plain Neck" [SLR 9:157[58].  In his will, dated 30 Nov 1689 and proved 27 Jan 1691/2, "John Leavit of the town of Hingham ..., tailor, "bequeathed to "Sarah Leavit my well beloved wife all the rest, residue & remainder of my personal estate" and 'the use of all my houses & lands, meadows & commons which I now have and am possessed of in the said town of Hingham either by gift or purchase or that I shall be possesed of in the said town of Hingham at the day of my death for & during the term of her natural life"; to "my grandchild Samuel Judkin," 14, "after the decease of the said Sarah Leavit my wife my abovesaid whole estate of houses & lands, meadows & commons in said Hingham and also what moveable estate that my wife shall not have disposed of in her lifetime, shall then be valued & equally divided to my nine children ..., to my sons Samuel Leavit, Israel Leavit, Moses Leavit, Josiah Leavit & Nehemiah Leavit and to my daughter Sarah How, the wife of Samuel How, and my daughter Mary Bate, the wife of Benjamin Bate, & my daughter Hannah Loring, the wife of Joseph Loring, & Abiel Lazel, the wife of Isaac Lazell (except the said fourteen pounds before hereby bequeathed to the abovesaid Samuel Judkin which said fourteen pounds my mind is it shall be ducted from the estate before division"; "whereas I lent to my daughter Sarah How when she was a widow & called by the name of Sarah Clap the sum of five pounds & ten shillings in money, my mind & will is that the said five pounds & ten shillings shall be reckoned & accounted to her as a part of her proportion"; "whereas the said estate being to be divided into nine parts will make my sons' & daughters' portions equal, upon consideration of what I have done for & given to my daughters upon their marriages, my mind & will is that my said four daughters shall pay each of them five pounds apiece (which make twenty pounds) to my grandchild John Leavitt, the son of y said son Israel Leavit"; "whereas it is said before in this my will, that my said estate after the death of my wife shall be divided into nine equal parts as to the quantity of my estate, yet nevertheless my mind & will is to settle some of my lands to two of my sons as followeth, that is to say, I do give & bequeath unto my said son Israel Leavit a great part of my home land, where he the said Israel Leavit now dwelleth ... [and] a   piece of y great lot lying on the eastward side of the river (to wit) all that piece of upland which he have now fenced in & have it now in his occupation, and the piece of meadow joining to it which he have now cleared ... [and] another piece of land joining to the former piece of land ... [and] four of my shares of the commons (viz:) four shares of the undivided lands in the said township of Hingham, provided always & it oin my mind & will that when the estate shall be appraised after the death of my wife, that if the said lands, meadow & commons last abovementioned and given to the said Israel Leavit shall then be prized at more than the said Israel's ninth part of my estate shall come to that then the said Israel Leavit shall pay the overplus of the value of the said land, meadow & commons to the rest of my children towards the making their parts of my estate"; to "my said son Josiah Leavit after the death of my said wife all my great lot of land lying in said Hingham containing fifteen acres of land ... (except a part of the said lot which I have formerly sold to the said Josiah Leavit and also except such parts & pieces of the said great lot given & before mentioned in this my will to my said son Israel Leavitt), the said great lot my said son Josiah Leavit now dwelleth upon ... [and] four shares of the commons," with the same contingencies as for the lands granted to Israeel Leavitt; "Larah Leavit my well beloved wife to be sole executrix"; "my well  beloved friends Daniel Cushing Sr., Capt. John Smith, Captain John Jacob, Lieutenant Matthew Cushing and Daniel Cushing Jr." to be overseers; "whereas Captain Joshua Hobart, Lieutenant John Smith, Nathanael Baker & I the said John Leavitt heretofore purchased a tract of land fifteen miles square of the Indians which said tract of lands is called by the Indians [Twunckoc?] lying & being beyond the town of Providence & near to the Narraganset Country in New England and I having an eighth part of the said tract of land of fifteen miles square still in my hand & in my possession, and whereas the said Captain Joshua Hobart and the said Lieutenant John Smith and myself did also purchase of the Indians another tract of land of six miles square lying & being near to the former tract of land abovementioned, and is called by the name of Pennycooke, and I having a third part of the said tract of land of six miles square still in my hand & in my possession, I do hereby give & bequeath all my parts & proportions of the said two tracts of land ... unto my said nine children and two grandchildren" in eleven equal parts; "upon further consideration, I do give & bequeath unto Bathsheba Turner the wife of Joseph Turner of Scittuate, formerly the wife of my son John Leavit deceased, the sum of twenty shillings in country pay (to wit) that which is of the growth of the country" [SPR 8:63-66].  (See SLR 7:161-64 for further details of the first of the Indian purchases mentioned in the will.)  The inventory of the estate of "John Leavit late of Hingham, tailor, deceased, who died the 20th day of Nov 1691," taken 21 Dec 1691, totalled 611 14s. 6d., of which 492 10s. was real estate: "the dwelling house & barn & the land joining to it, that is to say the land ten rods from the eastward of the leanto that joins to the barn and at the end of the ten rods to run southward on a square line till it come to Thomas Sayer's land," 55; "the rest of the home land that Israel Leavit dwells upon & the fresh meadow joining to it," 45; "the land & meadow in the Great Lot that Israel Leavitt is to have," 12; "the land in the Great Lot that Josiah Leavit dwells upon lying between his own swamp & the commons, and to run down to the river westward," 60, "the pasture in the Great Lot," 30; "the further pasture lying on Turkey Hill next to Capt. Smith's," 47 10s.; "the pasture land at Turkey Hilll (joining to John Mansfield's land( given to John Leavit by the town at the request of Josiah the Sagamore," 75; "the piece of salt marsh in the home meadow purchased of Joseph Andrews," 48; "a piece of salt marsh near Streight's Pond," 24; a piece of salt marsh lying at Cooper's Island," 12; "a Great Lot 15 acres of land on the Great Plain that was Buck's," 4; "his lot in the first division of Conahasset upland," 30; "his lot in both parts of the third division of Conahasset upland," 10; "his lot in the fourth division of land in Higham next Waymouth line," 11; and "fourteen shares & half a share of commons," 29; "Mrs. Sarah Leavit the executrix made oath in county court that this is a true inventory of the estate of her late husband Deacon John Leavit late of Hingham deceased"; "Josiah Leavit at the time that this inventory was offered to the court did challenge a piece of land at Turkey Hill which was given by the town of Hingham at the request of Josiah the Sagamore saying it was given by Josiah to him at the death of his father and further that he had taken possession thereof [SPR 8:243].  Birth:  By about 1612 (based on estimated date of marriage).  Death:  Hingham 20 Nov 1691 (as "Deacon John Leavitt") [NEHGR 121:278], "aged 83" [Hingham Hist 2:428].  Marriage: (1) By about 1637 _______,. She died at Hingham on 3 July 1646 and was buried there on 5 July 1646 [NEHGR 121:19].  (She has been called Mary, probably based on the admission of a "Mary Lovett" as a member of Dorchester church about 1638 [DChR 3; Pope 282, 293].  The Leavitt family had already moved to Hingham before the second church was organized, so this church admission is almost certainly not for the irst wife of John Leavitt.).  (2) Hingham 13 Dec 1646 Sarah ______ [NEHGR 121:19 (bride's name not given)]. She died at Hingham on 26 May 1700 [Hingham Hist 2:428].  (Her same has been given in some secondary sources as Sarah Gilman, but Walter Goodwin Davis, in his account of Edward Gilman {1638, Hingham}, says only that she "died after arrival in New England" [Abel Lunt Ane 160]. However, the repeated association of John Leavitt with Daniel Cushing, who did marry a daughter of Edward Gilman, suggests that this wife may well have been Sarah Gilman [Abe Lunt Ane 160, SLR 4:3-4, 6:297, 8:22, 9:156]).  Children:  With first wife: i.  John Leavitt b say 1637; m Hingham 27 June 1664 Bathsheba Hobart [NEHGR 121:116], daughter of the Rev. Peter Hobart (or Hubbard) Hingham Hist 2:235].  ii. Hannah Leavitt, bp Hingham 7 Apr 1639 [NEHGR 121:11]; m Hingham 29 July 1659 John Lobdell {NEHGR 121:109].  (On 27 Apr 1675, Suffolk Court ordered "Deacon John Levit of Hingham to take care of & make provision for his grandchild Hanna Lobdell who is at present at Hull & that he have the estate left her by her father's will delivered to him according to will for her education" [SCC 596].)  iii. Samuel Leavitt bp Hingham [blank] Apr 1641 [NEHGR 121:13]; m by 1665 Mary Robinson (eldest known child b Exeter 2 July 1665 [Exeter Hist 28g]), daughter of John Robinson [GDMNH 424-25, 591].  (Under the entry for John Robinson, Noyes, Libby and Davis include "A daughter, married Samuel Leavitt" [GDMNH  591, and under the entry for Samuel Leavitt state that "He may have married a daughter of John Robinson" [GDMH 424]. They present several pieces of circumstantial evidence which point toward that conclusion. Further study is recommended.)  iv. Elizabeth Leavitt bp Hingham 8 Apr 1644 [NEHGR 1121:17]; m (1) hingham 25 Mar 1667 Samuel Judkins [NEHGR 121:120] son of Job Judkins [1636, Boston) [Kempton Anc 1:359-62]; m (2) after 1677 Richard Drake (on 3 Jan 1695//6, "Elizabeth Drake, widow and relict of Richard Drake late of Boston ..., carter, heretofore the relict widow of Samuel Judkin late of Boston aforesaid, sawyer, also deceased, and Hannah Judkin of Boston aforesaid, spinster, the only surviving daughter of the said Samuel Judkin deceased by the said Elizabeth," sold land in Boston to "Richard Sherren of Boston aforesaid, victualler" [SLR 14:328-31; Kempton Anc 1:361]).  v. Jeremiah Leavitt, bp Hingham 1 Mar 1645/6 [NEHGR 121:18]; living at Exeter in 1670 [Exeter Hist 116, 136; GDMNH 423]; not named in father's will, 30 Nov 1689 (Secondary sources state that he moved to Rochester [Hingham Hist 1:428; GDMNH 423], but evidence for this has not been found.)  With Second Wife:  vi.  Israel Leavitt bp Hingham 23 Apr 1648 [NEHGR 121:20]; m Plymouth 10 Jan 1676/7 Lydia Jackon [NEHGR 121:199] daughter of Abraham Jackson (Preserved Hall and Lydia Leavitt were married at Hingham on 25 Jan 1698/9 [Hingham Hist 2:283]; in his will of 16 Jan 1707/8, Abraham Jackson included a bequest to "my five children Abraham Jackson, Nathaniel Jackson, Eliazer Jackson, John Jackson & Lidia Hall" [PPR 3:323]).  vii.  Moses Leavitt bp Hingham 2 Aug 1650 [NEHGR 121:23]; m Exeter 26 Oct 1681 Dorothy Dudley [Exeter Hist 28g], daughter of Samuel Dudley [GDMNH 209, 424].  viIi. Josiah Leavitt bp Hingham 8 May 1653 [NEHGR 121:103]; on 3 June 1674, he was cleared of a charge of fornication [PCR 5:147]; m Hingham 20 Oct 1676 Margaret Johnson [NEHGR 121:199].  ix.  Nehemiah Leavitt bp Hinghm 24 b 1655/6 [NEHGR 121:105]; m after 25 Aug 1684 Alice (____) Gilman, widow of Daniel Gilman [GDMNH 262, 424].  x.  Sarah Leavitt bp Hingham [25] Feb 1658/9 [NEHGR 121:109]; m (1) Hingham 17 Apr 1678 Nehemiah Clap [NEHGR 121:201], son of Edward Clap {1635, Dorchester} [GM 2:2:76-81]; m (2) Sudbury 18 Sep 1685 Samuel Howe, son of John Howe {1639 Sudbury} [Howe Gen 1:7-8; Hingham Hist 2:428].  xi.  Mary Leavitt b Hingham 12 June 1661, bp there 23 June 1661 [NEHGR 121:112]; m New London "the beginning of this month" [Oct} 1682 Benjamin Bates [NEHGR 121:210].  xii. Hannah Leavitt b Hingham 20 Mar 1663/4 bp there 27 Mar 1664 [NEHGR 121:115]; m (1) Hingham 25 Oct 1683 Joseph Loring [NEHGR 121:213], son of John Loring [Hingham Hist 3:29]; m (2) Hingham 25 August 1693 Joseph Easterbrook [NEHGR 121:280; Hingham Hist 2:208].  xiii Abigail Leavitt b Hingham 9 Dec 1667, bp there 15 Dec 1667 [NEHGR 121:121] m. (1) Hingham 20 Jan 1685/6 Isaac Lazell [NEHGR 121:269], son of John Lazell [NEHGR 88:257-60]; m (2) by 1692 Isaac Johnson [NEHGR 88:259-60].  Comments: Five of the sons of John Leavitt resided at one time or another at Exeter NH. They were part of a larger migration from Hingham to Exeter which took place over a period of two decdes or more, and included Edward Gilman (1638 Hingham) and John Folsom (1638 Hingham) and many members of those two families as well [GDMNH 237=39, 262-65].  

Genealogical & Family History of the State of Maine Vol 3: John Leavitt was about twenty years old when he reached the shores of the New World. He was among the first settlers of the common land known as Mattapan which plantation September 7 1630 was established under the direction of the general court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony as the town of Dorchester. John White the first minister of the church established as the nucleus of the town and his followers were mostly from Dorsetshire England, and they gave to the new town the name of the municipal borough and capitol of the shore Dorchester located eight miles north of the seaport at Weymouth from which port they probably took ship for New England, and it is safe to presume that John Leavitt was a Dorsetshire man. The settlement at Mattapan antidated the settlement of the town of Charlestowne, Watertown, Roxbury, and Boston although the general court established the town government of Charlestown August 23 1630 and of Boston, Dorchester, and Watertown on September 7 1630 and of Roxbury September 28 1630. In 1633 the town of Dorchester was described as ye greatest towne in New England. John Leavitt appeared before the general court and took the freeman's oath March 3 1636, he having removed from Dorchester to that part of the colony which included the common lands known as Borilove established as the town of Hingham September 2 1635. He was deacon of the church for many years was selectman of the town 1661, 63, 65, 68, 72, 74, and 1675 was a representative in the general court of Massachusetts Colony 1656 64 and held other offices of trust and honor in the town and colony. He was married about 1636 but the name of his wife is not recorded. She died July 4 1646 and he married for his second wife Sarah December 16 1646, died May 26 1700. Deacon John Leavitt was by trade a tayler and died in Hingham November 20 1691 aged eighty three years. The children of Deacon John Leavitt by his first wife were 1 John of Hingham born 1637 married Bathsheba daughter of Rev Peter Hobart June 27 1664. He died soon after and his wife married November 19 1674 Joseph Turner. 2 Hannah baptized April 7 1639 married John Lobdell of Hull. 3 Samuel baptized April 1641 removed to Exeter New Hampshire. 4 Elizabeth baptized April 8 1644 married Samuel Judkins March 25 1667. 5 Jennial baptized March 1 1645 46 removed to Rochester Plymouth Colony. Children of John Leavitt and his second wife Sarah 6 Israel qv baptized April 23 1648. 7 Moses baptized April 12 1650 removed to Exeter New Hampshire. 8 Josiah May 4 1653. 9 Ne hemiah January 22 1655 56. 10 Sarah February 25 1658 59 married Nehemiah Clapp of Dorchester and as her second husband Samuel Howe.11 Mary June 12 1661 married Benjamin Bates of New London Connecticut October 10 1682. 12 Hannah 2d March 20 1663 64 married Joseph Loring October 25 1683. 13 Abigail December 9 1667 married January 20 1685 86 Lasell.

History of the Town of Hingham: The family tradition concerning John Leavitt is that he was an indented apprentice in England and that he absconded from his master and came to this country when nineteen years of age and settled first at Roxbury and afterwards in Hingham. If this tradition is correct he must have arrived in this country before the year 1628 as he died November 20 1691 aged 83. He received a grant of land in this town in 1636. His homestead was in Leavitt street recently so named on both sides of the river and is now principally owned by the descendants of his sons Israel and Josiah. He was a deacon of the church. In his will executed November 30 1689 and proved January 27 1691 2 he mentions his sons Samuel, Israel, Moses, Josiah, Nehemiah, and the widow of his son John, also his daughters Mary, Sarah, Hannah, and Abigail.

Founders and Patriots of America Index: Leavitt, John (1608-Nov 20, 1691) m. 1637 Mary Lovit MASS XXX, 55.

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Prepared by Karen E. Smith Howell - comments, suggestions, and corrections are welcome.
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