ROYCE, Robert - I30798

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Robert ROYCE

Royce Coat of Arms
This family name is found with various spellings in the early records Roise, Royce, Royse, Rise, Rice, and even, by some writers thought to have been confounded with Rose.[1]

I. There has been a persistent effort to identify the Robert Rice made freeman at Boston 1 April 1634 --disarmed in 1637 as one who favored Wheelright and the opinions of Mrs. Hutchinson, revelator and to whom three children were there born and recorded [2], with the Robert Royce who appears as an early settler of Stratford, Connecticut, where land was recorded in his name as late as 1658. According to Donald Lines Jacobus, the careful genealogist of New Haven, in an article printed in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register for January, 1926, there is no foundation for this attempt, since the Boston man left a widow Elizabeth, and the Connecticut man left a widow Mary.

Before 1650 he was at Stratford, west of New Haven[3], where be was still living in 1656, when the estate of Humphrey Spinning was inventoried at New Haven.[4] In 1657 he removed to New London, Connecticut, and was granted land by the town, his holding being the original Post lot, on Post Hill.[5] By trade he was a shoemaker, but was a man of integrity and good repute, and entrusted with public offices. He was constable in 1660, and the next year was representative to the General Court of Connecticut.

In 1663 he was one of the townsmen, and again in 1668. In 1663 he petitioned the town for grants of land upon which to settle his sons Samuel and Nathaniel, which were obtained. "Their father also gave them his mountain farm 'bought of Weaver Smith, and lying west of Alewife Brook, by the mountain.” The name of Royce's Mountain was long retained in that locality. The Royce Mountain farm was purchased by John and Wait Winthrop in 1691, and the present (1895) Miller farm is a part of it.[6]

In 1667 he was appointed to keep a tavern, being freed from training the same year, presumably on account of his age. Of his five sons, Jonathan removed to Norwich, and the other four became settlers at Wallingford, "a township that had been recently set off from New Haven, and previously called New Haven Village."[7]

The name of Robert Royce's wife was Mary, she being, it is supposed, the Mary Sims, of Long Sutton, whose marriage at Martock, Somersetshire, England, on 4 June 1634, to a Robert Royce, was there recorded. They came from Ipswich, England, in the ship Francis.[8]

Robert Royce died in New London, Connecticut, in 1676. "None of the Royce family were left at New London after the death of Robert, but his aged widow, who, in 1688, was still an occupant of the Post Hill homestead, which was subsequently sold to John Prentiss. The remainder of the Royce land was purchased by Reverend Gurdon Saltonstall, and has of late been known as the Mumford lot. It lies west of the old burial ground, and was the original house lot of Reverend Richard Blinman."[9]

Savage also states that the widow was living on the estate in 1688, but Mr. Jacobus is of the opinion that she lived with her son Samuel at Wallingford, quoting the following item from New Haven County Records (1: 25 1): "On July 14, 1697, Vpon ye Request of Ensigne Samll Royse son of Mary Royse of Wallingford Deceased intestat the Court graunted powr of Adstraton of ye Remaining estate of ye sd Deced to him, ye sd Ensigne Royse for ye Recovering of any debt or debts due to ye Deced And yt he give an accompt of his Adson wn by ye Court Required." The Beach Family Association uses the coat of arms shown in accompanying sketch.

CHILDREN, known, but order of birth uncertain.[10]

  1. Nehemiah, born about 1635; died at Wallingford, 7 November 1706, aged 72. He married at New London, 20 November 1660, Hannah, daughter of James Morgan[11], born at Roxbury, Massachusetts, 18 July 1642; died at Wallingford, 12 December 1706. The home of Nehemiah Royce at Wallingford is still standing and has been purchased by descendants.
  2. Jonathan; married Mary SPINNING.
  3. Samuel; died (before 24 December) 1711. "He was ensign of the Wallingford train band as early as 1697; deputy to Connecticut General Court May 1710, and August 1710." He was married (1) at New London, 9 January 1617, to Hannah, daughter of Josiah and Elizabeth (Foote) Churchill, called by Savage and Miss Caulkins, Churchwood. The will of Josiah Churchill in 1683, named his daughter Ann Rice, and did not mention a daughter Hannah. The names were used quite interchangeably, however, in early times. She was born at Wethersfield, 1 November 1644. After her death, Samuel Royce married (2) at Wallingford, 5 June 1690, Sarah, daughter of John and Mary (Bruen) Baldwin, born at Milford, 25 September 1655, and died at, Wallingford, 11 January 1729. There were three sons born of the first marriage at New London, and three daughters and a son born at Wallingford. The second wife bore three sons and one daughter, the latter of whom was the Mary Royce, born 17 February 1695, who married in 1717, John Beach For continuation of this family line please see the LEWIS biography.
  4. Nathaniel; died at Wallingford, 8 February 1726. He was ensign of the Wallingford train band, and representative to the General Court at the sessions of May 1693, September 1693, May 1694, May 1699, May 1702, and October 1704. He married (1), recorded at Wallingford, 27 October 1673, Esther who died 19 June 1677. He married (2). 21 April 1681, Sarah Lothrop, born at New London, (recorded at Norwich), in October 1655. She died 11 November 1706, and he married (3) 24 August 1707, Hannah, nee Wilcoxson, whose first husband had been Sergeant Peter Farnham Deacon Henry and Joanna Rutke or Rutty, John and Elizabeth, of Dorchester, who died in 1704.[12] Hannah Royce died 6 February 1708, and Nathaniel married (4) 25 August 1708, Abigail, daughter of Nathaniel Cooke, (if Windsor[13], widow first of Joshua Pomeroy and afterwards of David Hoyt, the marriage occurring, according to Savage, "after her return from captivity in Canada"[14].
  5. Isaac; died at Wallingford in 1681. He married at New London, 15 December 1669, Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Scudder) Lothrop and granddaughter of Reverend John Lothrop, the early pastor of the church at Scituate, Massachusetts. She was born, presumably at Boston, in March 1648. She died at Wallingford about 1690, after having married (2) Joseph Thompson.
  6. Ruth; married (1) at New London, 15 December 1669, same day as her brother above mentioned, to John Lothrop, brother to Elizabeth. "This double marriage was performed by Daniel Wetherell, Commissioner, and probably in the Court room, as it was recorded among other proceedings of the Court. Marriages were sometimes conducted in that manner, the couple entering the room with their friends, and arranging themselves in front of the bench."[15] John Lothrop was baptized at Boston, 7 December 1645, and died at Wallingford, 26 August 1688, aged 44. Ruth married (2) at Wallingford, 12 February 1689, Abraham Doolittle, born in New Haven, 12 February 1649, and died at Wallingford, 10 November 1732.
  7. Sarah; died at Norwich, 1 May 1711; married John Calkins, who died at Norwich, 8 January 1702.

Jonathan ROYCE

II. Jonathan ROYCE lived at New London and Norwich, Connecticut. He was made a freeman of Connecticut in October 1663. He married probably about the end of 1656, Mary, daughter of Humphrey SPINNING, of New Haven. She died about 1658, and he married (2) in June 1660, Deborah, daughter of Hugh and Ann CAULKINS, born at Gloucester, Massachusetts, 18 March 1645. This marriage and the births of the children which issued were recorded[16] apparently all at the same time, in Norwich, Connecticut, to which place Jonathan Royce removed from New London, and where he was a first settler.[17]

In the records of the inventory of his estate, 22 September 1690, and its final settlement[18], as well as in the administration of the estate of his youngest son David.[19], who died before January 12, 1712, unmarried, are found proofs of the fact of his earlier marriage with its issue of one child, the daughter Mary, who married John Beach, of Wallingford. The latter is named among the other sons in law of Jonathan Royce, and sharing equally with them; in the distribution of his estate, while at the settlement of the estate of David Royce, above mentioned, besides naming his full sisters and brothers, there is reference also to, "Mary Beach, half sister of the Deceased."

Jonathan Royce's widow was granted administration of his estate, and subsequently she married (2) ???? Woodward, as proven by a conveyance "given on 14 December 1709 by Deborah Woodward of Lebanon, Connecticut, to her son David Roise of Norwich, of 'land at Beaver Brook which was formerly my beloved husbands Jonathan Roises.'”[20]

CHILD of Jonathan and Mary:

  1. Mary, born about 1658; married John BEACH.

CHILDREN of Jonathan and Deborah:

  1. Elizabeth, born in January 166112; married William Bacchus.
  2. John, born in November 1663; settled in Mansfield, where he was sergeant of the train band. Was representative to General Court 1715, 1717 and 1719.
  3. Sarah, born October 1665; married Samuel Lincoln.
  4. Abigail, born September 1667; died in August 1668.
  5. Ruth, born in April 1669; married 4 June 1694, Caleb Chappel.
  6. Hannah, born April 1671; living in 1690; died before 1713, probably unmarried.
  7. Abiah, born April 1673; married ii March 169011, Robert Wade.
  8. Jonathan, born August 1678; settled in Norwich; married in March 1700, Ruth, daughter of Matthew Beckwith born at Lyme, Connecticut, 14 March 1681.[21]
  9. Deborah, born 10 August 1680; married in December 1699, Thomas Stoddard.
  10. David, born 19 August 1682; died before 13 January 1712, when his property was distributed among his brothers and sisters or their heirs. He was unmarried.


III. Mary ROYCE, was probably born in Stratford, near New Haven, or shortly after the removal of the family to New London, though the records at neither place carry the event. She was married in December 1678, to John BEACH, of Wallingford, the register there omitting to give her surname.

For continuation of this family line please click for the  [1].
  SOURCE:  Ancestry and Posterity of Joseph Smith and Emma Hale by Audentia Smith Anderson.


  1. (Genealogical Dictionary of New England, Savage, 3: 570.)
  2. (ibid. 3: 570)
  3. (History of New London, Caulkins, 293)
  4. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 59: 268.)
  5. (History of New London', Caulkins, 294.)
  6. (Ibid. 294.)
  7. (Ibid. 294.)
  8. (Ancestry of Arthur Orison Dillon, 1927, 32.)
  9. (History of New London, Caulkins, 294.)
  10. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 80: 107 9.)
  11. (Genealogical Dictionary of New England, Savage, 3:.570)
  12. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 62: 15.)
  13. (journal of American History 4: 376)
  14. (3:570)
  15. (History of New London, Caulkins, 294.)
  16. (Norwich Vital Records 1: 33)
  17. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 1: 314.)
  18. (New London County Court Records, 1689 1703, 31, 41)
  19. (New London Probate Journal 1: 13 1 )
  20. (Norwich Deeds 1: 422.)
  21. (Boston Transcript, 2 July 1928.)