George Chessman

M, b. 6 January 1687, d. June 1760
     George Chessman was born on 6 January 1687 at Wales. He married Jane Duril on 12 July 1713 at Braintree, Norfolk, Massachusetts. George Chessman CHEESMAN, CHEESEMAN, CHESSMAN, CHESMAN, CHEASMAN, ETC. George Cheesman as it was formerly commonly written, a native of London, England according to the late Dr. Ebenezer Alden of Randolph, (or Wales, Western Britain, according to David Cheesman) was by tradition a British sailor impressed in service in England for 4 years and while on duty in Boston Harbor in 1711 made his escape in a boat coming up Monatiquot River where he took to the woods for security from recapture. The woods around Cranberry Pond were a favorite spot for deserters, so it is said, and there was a place known as 'the haunts' where they were concealed and fed by the inhabitants. Tradition says he made the acquaintance of one who sympathized with him and fed him until the search was over, and her sympathy ripened in to love and they were married, says Samuel A. Bates the Braintree historian. This tradition is quite plausible as the Durell or Duran house was in this region, on Liberty St., east side, just north of Cranberry Brook. The land was sold by the widow Durell to George Chessman Mar.6,1712/3, she reserving use of the house for herself (S.D. 59-168). The Durell - Chessman house was on a knoll a little way back from the street and is not to be confused with the one near the street where another later house stood a little further north where old lilac bushes are yet (1950) growing, and which was occupied by the Noyes family and later by Stephen Chessman who married Lucy Noyes and then called the Chessman place. George Chessman married Jane Durrell, daughter of the widow Sarah Durell probably shortly before the land was sold to him. He joined the church in now Braintree July 12,1713, but when Christ Church was formed in now Quincy he became a communicant there and was elected warden 1730-2, and his youngest child was baptized there in 1730. He died about 1771 at now Randolph says Dr. Ebenezer Alden, aged about 84 and his wife was buried June 12,1760 according to Rev. Mr. Niles records. The Chessman Gen. (1893) by Samuel Chessman gives the tradition of George Chessman very closely following that of Samuel A. Bates but adds he was a student at Glasgow, Scotland at the time of his impressment into His Majesty's service.

FROM PREFACE WRITTEN BY SAMUEL CHESSMAN IN 1893: Since I commenced writing the following genealogical record, there have many things come to view that could not be seen at the commencement in 1874. There were then only some family bible records and these cannot be fully verified. I have not had the opportunity of examining the old records myself, but other interested parties have been making the search and the result of their united findings, as reported to me, I have recorded on the following pages At this writing December, 1893, we have not found any record to support what I have heretofore written in regard to John Chessman and Ruth Penniman and their family of six sons. All of the authentic records show that George Chesman who came from Great Britain, and Jane Duran of Braintree, Mass. as recoded on page one were the first ancestors of the family in the United States. What I wrote about John and Ruth is applicable to George and Jane, except the date of his coming to this country, and that of their marriage and the dates of the birth of their six sons. The date of George coming to America is not known nor the date of the marriage to Jane Duran. The birth of their first child, John Chesman is recorded on the Braintree records May 31st, 1713. I take my dates from this and let all the old numbers stand that I had made for the six sons of John and Ruth. There has been some discussion among the different branches of the family in regard to the spelling of the name. It appears by the records at Braintree that our first ancestor, George is recorded as Chesman, which spelling is retained by some of his descendants. Those of George and Martha Russell spell Chessman. Those of Samuel Chesman and Mary Tower generally use the double s. A few spell Chesman. The descendants of Clifford Chessman and Lydia Orcutt spell Chessman. The descendants of Edward Chessman and Margaret Dyer spell Cheesman, Cheeseman. Mathias Cheesman and Miriam Shaw's descendants generally spell Chesman. The four different ways of spelling the name are found on the public records of Braintree and Boston, where most of the early family records have been found. Dr. Hobart Cheesman, of New York City, writes to me that the spelling Chesman prevails in the Braintree records up to and including the birth of Edward Chesman (No. 32) born April 9th, 1726. Thereafter the prevailing spelling is Cheesman, comprising a great majority of all the entries of the names in the published copy of Braintree records. It is not claimed for this record that it contains all the names of the descendants of George and Jane Chesman, but all those dates of birth or marriage that I have secured. I will say here that it is not definitely known from what part of Great Britain George Chesman, our ancestor, came. One tradition says Glasgow, Scotland. One says Wales. One says England. He was undoubtedly an English subject and most likely an Englishman born, although the name is found in Wales as far back as the beginning of the sixteenth century. I have incidentally collected so many traditions and public records that I think it my duty to put it in a shape that it may not be lost. I am aware that it is not a perfect record, but is givenen as I found it, and contains things pointing to facts which will materially assist any one who may wish to correct and extend it. The descendants of George Chessman and Martha Russell are not fully satisfied with my version of Daniel Chessman's (No. 24) record. But I have not been able to verify that part of his record which relates to a period prior to 1812. I have given Daniel's record as full and fair an investigation as I was able to do under the circumstances, not having the opportunity to personally examine the public records of Boston and Braintree. My researches lead me to think that Daniel was not aware of the existence of George Chesman (No. 28) when he wrote his record, the only George Chessman of which he had any knowledge was the one on his record as No. 7. This difference of opinion will only affect the record of sixty one persons who are numbered on this record. As the rest on the record are undoubtedly descended from George Chesman and Jane Duran. It seems very probable that Daniel's George (No. 7) is the same as George (No. 28) of my record, thereby making all noted on this record descendants from George, (No. 1.) There has been some difference of opinion about the maiden name of George Chesman's wife, Jane. Rev. Samuel Niles has on his Church record in 1711, widow Durin and on the Suffolk County record is found a conveyance of land to George Chesman by widow Sarah Durell. This is supposed to be the mother of George Chesman's wife Jane, written in this record Jane Duran. I have found many interesting traditional incidents that did not properly belong to the main record, I have therefore thought best to add an appendix, which contains some items of a historical nature, and anecdotes relating to our early ancestors, some verses which have a historical bearing in relation to our pilgrim fathers; also my grandfather's will, which shows the early spelling of the name. My grandfather was a grandson of George the first, and always retained the original spelling of the name; his children and grand children spelled their names Chesman, up to about the year 1838, when I added another s making it Chessman. The other members of my father s family adopted the same spelling. The other branches of my grand father's family continue to spell the name Chesman. It will be seen by this record that the first American generation born to George and Jane Chesman consisted of eight children, two daughters which I have been unable to trace, and six sons, the eldest son John left no record of any male descendants. The other five have a well defined record which I have been able to follow clearly to the sixth and seventh generation each branch front the five sons can be traced by their numbers back to George the first and his wife Jane Duran. I find the descendants scattered from Massachusetts, (the original home of the family) to California, Oregon, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. The post office address of litany can be found on pages 64 and 65 of this record. With these few words of explanation, I leave this little book to the present and future generations hoping it will prove a pleasure to them to learn something of the early history of their ancestors, and prove an incentive to future research into the history of the family.

FROM PAGE 71 APPENDIX WRITTEN BY SAMUEL CHESSMAN IN 1893: While collecting the genealogical record of the Chessman family in the United States, I find many interesting items that cannot prop-erly be put in that record. I shall therefore put them in an Appendix that they may not he lost to future generations. Much of this is tradition, some copied from old record of Braintree, Mass. and Boston, some from old bibles. The first tradition we have, was collected from old people, and says that George Chessman was attending school or college in the city of Glasgow, Scotland, when about nineteen years of age, he was captured by a press gang from an English ship of war and kept in prison a few days near the coast and then put on board the ves-sel, as his captors were afraid that his influential friends would liberate him. After serving a year or two, he made his escape in the following manner: The ship of war being in Boston harbor lying in Nantasket Roads, at anchor, a boat having been carelessly left at the stern, he dropped into it cut-ting the rope and floating with the tide 'till he dared to use the oars, he found his way up Manatiquat river, landing at what is now East Braintree, he taking to the woods, following a path that run toward what is now, A. D. 1893, Hol-brook, the path having been laid out as a street called Liberty street. He went on until he came to a large pine woods and was in hiding for some time, subsisting on roots and berries, he saw, a young girl (Jane Duran) driving a cow with a tinkling bell on her neck, he made himself known to her and she supplied him with provisions until he saw the ship of war leave harbor, which he could see from his elevated position in a hut constructed of pine limbs in a tree top.. He then came down and was cared for by her family, he afterward married her. The date of the marriage of George Chesman and Jane Duran, our first ancestors, is not known. Their first child was born May 31St, 1713, and in regular order follow-ing the birth of seven other children up to 1730. Traditions say that there have been many other sailors made their escape from the same place and hiding in the woods to evade being captured by those who wanted to capture them for the reward of $2.50 paid for their capture. There is a traditional story, similar to the above about John Chessman, and Ruth Penniman, it was believed for many years that John and Ruth were our original ancestors in America; on making diligent search at Braintree, Boston and Roxbury, no such record can be found. As further proof to sustain George, we find on record in Braintree that Mrs. Duran transferred land to George Chesman in 17 I 2. George Chesman was chosen constable in 1735 and refused to serve and was fined five pounds sterling, which he paid as the law required.

FROM PAGE 72, CHURCH HISTORY, BRAlNTREE, MASS. WRITTEN BY SAMUEL CHESSMAN IN 1893: Christ's Church of Braintree, was supposed to have been organized about 1704, up to 1725 no church bad been built. The land on which the first meeting house was built was granted to them as a free gift by William and Benjamin Vassie, August 26th, 1726, for building a Church of England and no other purpose. This meeting house was completed in 1728. Dr. Miller was the first Rector. The first meeting was held on Easter Monday, 1728. Early in the year 1728, Henry Turner, Peter Margrand, John Vassie, George Chesman, Benjamin Vassie and Samuel Pain made an agree-ment with Mr. Miller by which he was to receive one hundred pounds ster-ling to pay his expenses while absent in England preparing for the Ministry. This sum to be repaid to the above persons with interest within one year, if before that time he should be appointed Rector of the Episcopal Church in Braintree by the honorable society for the promotion of the Gospel in foreign parts. Dr. Ebenezer Miller was the son of Samuel Miller of Milton Hill, born 1703. Christ's Church of Braintree has a very long and historic record. Among its communicants have been the influential citizens of the town, especially was this the case of the old families, now nearly extinct in the Parish, viz., Apthropes, Barlands, Cleverleys, Millers, Winslows, Vas-salls, Stedmans, Cheesmans, Vassies, Margrands, Pains and Governor Shirley, some of whose children are buried in the cemetery. George Chesman's wife Jane died June 12th,1760. George Chesman was warden of Christ's Church in 1730, 1731, 1732, 1743, 1746 and 1755. George Chesman was given leave to build a pew in 1733, in Christ's Church, it seems he did not build as in the following year he was again given leave to build a pew three feet wide, eleven and one-half feet long, four feet high, fourth pew in number in broad aisle, a board for a seat. Those that were able were granted leave to build by the Church.

FROM PAGE 82 CHESEMAN COAT OF ARMS WRITTEN BY SAMUEL CHESSMAN IN 1893: Description copied from Burke's heraldry, Astor Library, New York, by H.C. [Dr. Hobart Cheesman] Cheesment-Severn of Penybont Hall, County Radnor, (a border Coun-ty in Wales.) John Cheesment-Severn, Esq., of Penybont Hall and Davanner Park, late M.P. for Fowey, Barrister at Law, Esq., of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath, &c., &c., son of the late Capt. John Cheesment by Sarah his wife, daughter of Thomas Grace, Esq., of Castledermot, lineally derived from Edward Cheseman, Cofferer to Henry VII, who was lord of the manor of Norwood and East Greenwich and died in 1510. Mr. Cheesment-Severn assumed his additional surname by Royal License. He bears an escutcheon of pretense for his wife, Mary Anne, the only child of John Price, Esq. of Devanner Park. ARMS. --Per chev. arg. and erm., three mullets countercharged, in the chief point an escallop, all within a bordure engr. gu., charged with eight plates. An escutcheon of pretence, sa. a chev. between three spear's heads, arg., the points embraced gu.

CREST.-A demi horse salient, pierced in the breast by an arrow.

MOTTO. - ?Virtus Secura Sequetar.?

BIOGRAPHY: March 17, 1735/6. Moderator. 'The Free-holders and other inhabitants of the town duly quailfied & having had legal warning assembled to transact sundry affaairs of the town. . . Then they proceeded to chuse Constables, and . . . votes for Two Constbles were called for, which being brought in & collected, it appeared that Moses Pain Junr and George Chessman were chosen.' March 22d. 1735/6. Moderator. 'George Chessman paid £5 -- George Chessman Declared his refusal to serve as a Constable to which office he was chosen the 17th of this Instant, and paid the penalty being five Pounds.'

BIOGRAPHY: GEORGE CHESMAN (JOHN ) , son of JOHN CHESMAN and RUTH PENNIMAN, born at Wales, UK on 1687; died at Randolph MA on Jun 1760 at 73 years of age. He married at Braintree MA on 1712 to JANE DURAN, born at Braintree MA on bap 27 Sep 1702; died at Braintree MA on June 12, 1760 at 57 years of age; daughter of (Nicholas) Duran(T) and Sarah (Durrel/Duran).

BIOGRAPHY: George Chesman was born in Wales (see Daniel Chesman's history in Samuel's book). He was conscripted in the British Navy in 1707 and served four years. In 1711, when his Ship was ln Boston Harbor, he jumped ship and hid on the Durell property. Interestingly, on March 6,1712, he was deeded land off Liberty Street, near Cranberry Brook, Braintree, MA, by Sarah Durell, who became his mother-in-law that year. It would seem that George may have fallen in love with, Jane, the daughter of the family that hid him from the British authorities. George and Jane were living on that property when Jane died in 1760.

BIOGRAPHY: Perhaps there is collaborating history from Queen Anne?s War of 1702/1713 in John Simon's Engravings of the Four Kings: More Than Meets the Eye By Jack Campisi, Ph. D. ??.. In July 1711, sixty ships under the command of Sir Hovedon Walker arrived in Boston, and after a short stay, left for the St. Lawrence River and Quebec?. [Walker's attempt failed to capture Quebec in 1711. The British (seeking to duplicate their easy seizure of Port Royal in 1710) launched an ill-conceived and poorly executed invasion of Quebec from Boston. Walker commanded the British fleet which met with severe weather; over 900 men were lost and eight ships wrecked. The invasion was eventually abandoned and Walker dismissed from the service.]

BIOGRAPHY: George's last address was with his youngest child, Mathias, in Randolph, MA, having outlived his wife, Jane by 11 years. He is buried in Union Cemetery, Holbrook, MA. He died in June 1760 at Randolf, Norfolk, Massachusetts, at age 73.

Child of George Chessman and Jane Duril