Who was Edward Starbuck?

Put simply, Edward Starbuck (1604-1690) was one of my tenth great grandfathers. He was a colonial immigrant, most likely from the watery, cross-border area of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire in England’s East Midlands dubbed by Celia as “Starbucky Territory.” He arrived in Dover (in present day New Hampshire) about 1638.[1] His wife, Katherine, and his children who were born in England may have traveled with him or may have followed months or years later.[2] After several years of living in Dover he moved to Nantucket.[3] On the surface, he lived an uninteresting life, but what lies below the surface is fascinating.

Edward was likely a puritan but he was also called to court for anabaptist beliefs.[4] After more than twenty years of living in Dover, he moved to Nantucket to start over.[5] He may have gotten fed up with the religious or civil atmosphere in Dover or simply concerned for his holdings and livelihood with renewed efforts by the Mason family to recoup their lands in Dover.[6] He may have been pulled by the opportunity to settle new land.[7] Whatever his personal feelings were, he linked his name and efforts to those of nine other men who moved to the sparsely settled island about 1660.[8] There he again became a town leader and had dealings with the local Native Americans while doing what he could for his family.[9] Along the way he left his name and actions documented by various sources which, with some analysis, can form the basis of his life story which this website aims to tell.

[1] N. E. Stiles, Manual of the First Church, Dover, New Hampshire Organized December 1638, (Dover, New Hampshire: N. E. Stiles Job Print, 1893) 15; digital images Internet Archive (www.internetarchive.org : accessed 10 August 2021).

[2] “Rockingham County, NH deeds,” database with images, Ava (222.avafidlar.com : accessed 9 Jun 2022), Edward Starbuck and first mention of Katherine in Dover.

[3] Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston, Massachusetts : unknown publisher, 1794; reprint by Munroe & Francis, 1810), 155-156; digital images, Internet Archive (www.archive. Org : accessed 2 June 2022).

[4] Massachusetts Bay Colony, Massachusetts State Archives Collection, colonial period, 1622-1788  vol 10, document 212 & 212a, Edward Starbuck, 1648; FHL film number 2,294,420, item 1; digital images 514 & 516/1646, Family Search (www.familysearch.org: accessed 10 September 2021).

[5] R. A. Douglas-Lithgow, Nantucket, A History (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1914) 27; Internet Archive (archive.org : accessed 14 April 2022).), 62-63.

[6] Massachusetts Bay Colony, Massachusetts State Archives Collection, Colonial Period, 1622-1788, vol 3:446, Edward Starbuck, 1654, FHL microfilm 2,294,197, item 1, image 585/1626. Petition against Edward Colcord.

Arthur J. Worrell, Quakers in the Colonial Northeast (Hanover, New Hampshire and London, England: University Press of New England, 1980), 10-11.

Otis Grant Hammond, “The Mason Title and its Relations to New Hampshire and Massachusetts,American Antiquarian vol 26 (Oct. 1916); 247-252: image copy, American Antiquarian Society (www.americanantiquarian.org : accessed 25 Aug 2022).

[7] Alexander Starbuck, History of Nantucket (Rutland, Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1969), 19. Large land purchase on Nantucket, later divisions were made amongst the first ten proprietors.

[8] Nantucket, Massachusetts, Deed Book 2: 8, Edward Starbuck, 1659/60, FHL film 906,232, item 2, image 132/621; digital images,  Family Search (www.familysearch.org : accessed 18 January 2022).

[9] Dukes County, Massachusetts, Land Records 1620-1986 Book 1: 339, Edward Starbuck, 1660/61; FHL film 911,711, item 1, image 202/445; digital images, Family Search (www.familysearch.org : accessed 24 February 2022).

Author: ancestorquests

I'm Keri-Lynn, an "amateur professional" genealogist. I have a degree in Family History and have been researching my family lines for many years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *