Jeffrey Ferris as a Freeman

The earliest record of Jeffrey Ferris

, that I am aware of, is an action by the Massachusetts General Court in 1635, making him a “freeman”. He was listed on a list that included 7 other men from Watertown, Massachusetts.

Jeffrey, with children Joseph and Peter, are listed in 1634 as arriving in Watertown, Massachusetts. This is the period that has been labelled The Great Migration.

The Ancestry cite shows that he owned land in Wethersfield in 1641. Also in that year he is recorded as owning land in Stamford, Connecticut. In November, 1650, he first purchased land in the Greenwich, Connecticut area.

3 marriages in this document. An unnamed wife from 1629 or earlier to 1658. She died in Stamford. Susanna Norman Lockwood, a widow, from 1659 to 1660, dying in Greenwich. Judith Feake Palmer, a widow, from about 1659 until Jeffrey’s death in 1666.


During the American colonial period, a freeman was a person who was not a slave. The term originated in 12th-century Europe.

In the Massachusetts Bay Colony, a man had to be a member of the Church to be a freeman; in neighboring Plymouth Colony a man did not need to be a member of the Church, but he had to be elected to this privilege by the General Court. Being a freeman carried with it the right to vote, and in Plymouth only freemen could vote by 1632.[

Updated: December 27, 2023 — 10:32 pm

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