Colby Generations 1-5

Generation No. 1

THOMAS COLBIE was Christened on December 20, 1567 in Sempringham, Lincolnshire, England.  He was the son of Matthew Colbie and a tailor by occupation.  Thomas was usually designated as “junior” to distinguish him from his elder brother named Thomas.  He married Anne (Agnes) Jackson May 4, 1596 in Horbling, Lincoln, England.  He made his will December 10, 1625.  The Will of Thomas Colbie of Horbling, county of Lincoln, taylor, sick of body … to my five sons William Colbie, Richard Colbie, Anthony Colbie, Mathew Colbie & Rob’t Colbie half of my goods to be equally divided amongst them, but my will is that my son William Colbie shall have my house at Dunnington (Donington) for part of his portion of goods aforesaid, which cost me eight pound … if any of these my sons die before age 21 at which time the legacies shall be due unto them, then his or their shares to be divided amongst the overlivers.  Residue to wife Agnes Colbie whom I make executrix.  Robert Allen supervisor.  Witnesses:  Rob’t Allen, Thomas Baxter.  signed by mark.  Proved 21 Apr 1626 (Lincoln consistory Court Wills – 1626/292).

 Generation No. 2


 Anthony Colby, son of Thomas Colbie, was christened on September 8, 1605 in Horbling, Lincolnshire, England  and died February 11, 1660/61 in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts.  He was a Planter and Sawmill owner.  His religion was Puritan and he married Mrs. Susannah Waterman about 1632.  She died July 8, 1689.

Anthony was buried at Amesbury’s first burying ground, Golgotha.  No stones remain to mark the graves of the earliest settlers, but a plaque lists their names.  Tradition says there were around forty graves on this bluff overlooking the Powow River – on Macy Street, in Amesbury.

Anthony in Boston

In 1630, John Winthrop sailed on the flagship Arbella with a fleet of eleven ships from England to the New World.  In his company, on the ship Confidence, was Anthony Colby.  Anthony was the first Colby in America.  The Confidence sailed on April 8, (or April 30), 1630 from Yarmouth and reached Boston on June 12.

We have no means of knowing whether it was sudden impulse which led Anthony on shipboard that Spring day or whether he had long been a member of the Puritan church

A full account of the voyage can be found in Winthrop’s “History of New England,” – of the tempests and the hostile fleets.   They first saw land at Mt. Desert, then coasted by the places where he afterwards dwelt.  They mention with delight the land-breeze, “so pleasant a sweet air as did much refresh us, and there came a smell off the shore like the smell of a garden.”

While waiting for the tide and making the port at Salem, Mass., most of the people went ashore at Cape Ann, “and gathered store of fine strawberries.”  The land seemed much like England, but with fowl and fish in great plenty.

The name of “Anthony Chaulby” appears upon the record of the Boston First Church as No. 93, beside that of Jared Haddon.

The first covenant with 150 names is dated Charlestown, August 27, 1630.

Then comes a list marked “Added Names,” and another dated 1633.  The first arrival numbered 800.  The church covenant which they signed was as follows: — “We promise to walk in all our ways according to the rule of the gospel, and in all sincere conformity to God’s holy ordinances, and in mutual love and respect to each other, so near as He shall give us grace.”  Mr. Colby was evidently a thorough going Puritan; for not all that came joined a church.

He and Susannah were christened in Boston on September 8, 1633.  He was listed as a freeman on May 14, 1634.   He was a “planter,” who received land in the first division in Salisbury, Massachusetts in 1640, and again in 1643.  His association with John Bosworth, Garrett Haddon and Joseph Redding implies that he may have been a servant of Simon Bradstreet, who also came from Horbling.  As early as 1642, a meeting of the freemen of Salisbury, Massachusetts ordered that thirty families must move to the west side of the Powow River, where they eventually formed the town of Amesbury.

Rev. John Cotton, one of the great preachers of England, came in 1633.  He escaped the sheriffs there with great difficulty, who were sent to arrest him.  He became pastor of the First Church.  On the second Sabbath afternoon he made the customary confession of faith for himself and wife; and then gave his reasons for not himself baptizing, while at sea, their son, — born on the passage and therefore named Seaborn: — because there was no church gathered there, and also because he was not a minister except when connected with a church.  So the child was baptized here, the father presenting it.  Then another father presenting another boy, it was baptized with the name of John Colby, son of Anthony and Susannah.

Mr. Cotton remarked that this beautiful symbol was not employed for any effect upon these baby boys, but for its influence upon their fathers, being “an incentive for the help of their faith.”  And thus the deep impression made upon the minds of those present caused it to be chronicled by more than one, for us who live later.

But a fatal disease broke out among them, attributed to unwholesome fare at sea, and proved infectious. – Consternation seized upon them, and a hundred returned home within a year.  Those remaining dwelt for months in a few huts and tents, and suffered indescribably from the inclemency of a New England winter.  We will not wonder if Susannah wanted now to move away from the water’s edge, and give their little one the shelter of the Cambridge woods.

The earliest inhabitants of Amesbury is dated March 19, 1654-5, and contains the name of Anthony Colby.  Anthony was a “planter” and owned an eighth share in a saw mill.  He once was fined one shilling for disorderly behavior during a town meeting.  In 1654, Amesbury’s first town clerk Thomas Macy was accused of harboring a Quaker and had to flee Amesbury.  His flight is the subject of the poem, “The Exiles” by John Greenleaf Whittier.  His misfortune was Anthony and Susannah’s gain; they bought the house and added to it to accommodate their large family.  The price of the house was written as: 38 pounds, to be paid as follows: by a mare fole at ten pounds, three pounds in boards and in course, twelve or fourteen pounds in money, rest in pipe-staves or hogshead staves, cattle all at prices current; Indian corne at three s., wheat & Barley five s.”  The bill of sale was dated 23d, 2d mo, 1654.

Anthony added a meeting room and dining room to the front of the house, raised the roof to add two bedrooms, and added sleeping space for children behind and above the two bedrooms.  The house was occupied by Colbys until the Twentieth Century, when it was donated by Luther Colby to the Amesbury Historical Cemetery Society to be kept as a museum by the Daughters of the Revolution.

The Colby house is a well-preserved, unspoiled example of the colonial saltbox style of house.  It can be visited at 259 Main Street, Amesbury, Massachusetts.

In William Pynchon’s accounts as colony treasurer for 1632-4 is the following item: “paid Anthony Colby for 2 days attendance at court to witness against William Coling and 3 others for drunkeness.”

Anthony lived in this house until his death February 11, 1660, when the “dwelling house and barne and 14 acres of upland in tillage” were valued at seventy pounds.  After his death, Susannah married William Whittridge. .

In Cambridge

He was in Cambridge in 1635.   There was not much chance for farming in Boston, and all the good pasturage was across the river.  Anthony lived in Cambridge several years.  He took the oath of freeman here in 1634.  But he did not like Cambridge, and soon departed.  What was the matter with Anthony, was he a rover?  No, Cambridge was overcrowded.

We seem to see Susannah and the new baby and little Johnny in a long cart, which held their scanty valuables, while the father drove a couple of scrawny cattle and carried his piece of heavy artillery.

In Ipswich

Rowley and Ipswich included a marshy stretch between Salem and Newbury.  The list of first settlers is dated 1634, and three years later a name is added which has always been called “Arthur Colebeye.”  No such party is ever heard of again, and Mr. Savage guesses he may have been a brother of Anthony.  A better guess would have been that “Arthur” was bad writing for “Anthony;” for the latter lived some years in Ipswich before he went to Salisbury in 1640.

Estate of Anthony Colby of Salisbury

Inventory of the estate of Anthony Colby, late of Salisbury, deceased, taken Mar. 9, 1660, by Sam. Halll, Tho. Bradbury and Tho. Barnett: His waring Apparrell, 2 li 10s.; 1 feather bed and bolster and old Cotten Rugg, a payer of course sheets & a course bed case, 4li. 15s.; one old warming pan, 3s 4d.; an other feather bed, feather pillow, feather bolster & a payer of sheets & Cotten Rugg, 4li. 10s.; about 8li. of sheeps wooll, 10s. 8d.; five pound of cotton wooll, 5s.; 10li. of Hopps, 6s. 8 d.; a bed case, feather pillow & bolster case, a payer of sheets & old cotten Rugg, 1li.; an Iron pott, pott hooks & Iron skillett, 6s. 8d.; a copp. Kettle & a payer of tramells, 1li.; a little old brass skillett & old morter & pestle, 3s. 4d.; trayes & other dary ware, 15s.; a landiron, gridiron, frying pan, old cob iron, 5s.; in old peuter, 3s. 4d.; 4 seythes, 8s.; 2 pillow beers, 3s.; table, two joynstooles, 2 chayres, 1li.; old swords & 2 old muskets, 1li.; one chest & one box, 10s.; an old saddle & a pillion, 10s.; old lumber, 10s.; a grindle stone with an Iron handle, 3s. 4d.; a new millsaw & 1-2 an old one, 1 li.; a croscutt saw & half a one, 1li.; a broad how, 3 forkes, a rake, 2 axes & an Iron Spade, 12s.; 5 yoakes, 10s.; 2 Iron cheynes, 10s.; halfe a tymber cheine & a new draft cheyne, 1li. 15s.; an old tumbrill with an old payer of wheeles, 1li.; 2 sleades, 1 li.; a long cart & wheels & Spanshakle & pin & 4th pt. of an other cart, 2li.; a plough & plough Irons, 10s.; 2 Canoas & 1-2 a canoa, 3 li. 15s.; 6 oxen, 42li.; 6 Cowes, 27li.; 2-3 yeare old steers, 7li.; 2 Yearlins, 3li.; 2 calves, 1li.; 7 swine, 5li. 5s.; 8 sheep, 4 li.; 1 mare & colt, 20li.; 1 horse 10s.; a dewiling house & barne & 14 acres of upland in tillage, 70li.; a pasture of about 30 acres 20li.; 2 lotts att yt wch is cald Mr. Hall’s Farme, 5li. 10s.; about eighteen acres of fresh meadow, 40li.; ye accoodacon bought of Mr. Groome, 6li.; 2 lots of sweepage & one higgledee piggildee lott, 4li.; 60 acres of upland towards pentucett bounds with meadow to be laid out, 10li.; ye 8th pt. of ye old saw mill, 30li.; 40 bushells of wheat, 9li.; 10 bushels of barley & 6 of rie, 3li.  4s.; about 60 bushels of Indian corne, 9li. 19s. 4d.

Copied from the files of the Norfolk county court records, and sworn to by the widow Colby, Tho. Bradbury, rec. “Anthony Colby, debtor: To Sam. Worcester, 1li. 2s. 6d.; Abram Morrill, 2li., 10s. 10d.; John Tod 10s.; Tho. Clarke, 9s.; Mr. Russell of Charlstown, 10li.; Mr. Gerish, 5li. 8s. 6d.; Mr. Woodman, 2li. 14 s.; Jno Bartlett, 2li. 2s. 1d.; Steven Sweat, 2li, 5s. 5d.; John Webster, 13s.; Steven Greenleif, 13s; Goodman Peirce, 10s.; Goodman Cillick, 3li.; Jno. Lewis, 1li. 10s.; Orlando Bagly, 5li. 19s.; Jno Blower, 6s.; Mr. Worcester, 1li. 13s. 6d.; Mr. Bradbury, 16s. 9d.; to the widow Colby, 10li.; Henry Jaques, 2li. 10s.; Willi. Huntington, 11s.; John Severans, 1li. 13s. 8d.; Jno. Clough for grass, 6s.; for 9 weeks worke, 8li. 2s.; total, 68li. 14s. 7d.

Debtor p Contra: Rodger Eastman, 10s.; Robert Clements, 1li. 5s.; from ye town, 9s.; Jno. Maxfiend, 2li.; Leonard Hathorlee, 1li.; Sam. Worcester, 14s. 6d.; Goodman Morrill, 1li. 10s.; Steven Flanders, 6s.; Goodman Randall, 6s.; boards at ye saw mill, 3li. 7s. 6d.; loggs to make 2000 of bord, 2li. 5s.; for work done to ye estate, 1li. 2s. 6d.; total 11 li. 15s. 6d. Norfolk Co. Quarterly Court Files, vol. 1, leaf 33.

“The division of the estate of Anthony Colby of Salisbury late deceased, made by Tho. Bradbury and Robert Pike, Apr. 9, 1661, by order of the county court held at Salisbury.  To ye widdow for hir part & the two youngest children: ye dwelling house, barne and 14 acres of upland in tillage, 70li.; ye ferrie meadow, 30li.; ye household goods, 19li. 19s. 4d.; a yoake of Oxen 14li.; 3 Cowest, 13li. 10s.; 7 Swine, 5li. 5s.; in sheep, 2li. 10s.; in Corne, 21 li. 4s.; the boggie meadow, 10li.  To John Colby: an acre of land aded to his halfe acre at his house, 2li. 16s.; two cheyns, 10s.; a yoake of oxen, 15li. 10s.; Mr. Groom’s accomodacons, 6li.; in sheep, 1 li. 10s.; a cart & wheels, span, shackle & pin & ye 4th pt. of another cart, 2li.  To Sarah, ye wife of Orlando Bagly: one Cowe & One 3 yeere old steere, 8li.; a young horse, 10li.; another Cowe, 4li. 10s.; p. Isaac Colby, 5 li. 16s.  More payd by Isaac Colby to Orlando Bagly for ye which the estate was debtor, 5li. 19s. 8d.  To SAMUELL COLBY: one yoake of oxen, 13li.; the pasture, 20li.  To Isaac Colby: the eleven lotts of marshe at Mr. Hal’s farme, 2 lotts of sweepage & one higledee pigeledee lot, 9 li. 10s.; To Rebecka Colby: a Cowe, one 3 year old steere, & ye mare colt, 14li.; two calves, 1 li.; a bed & bolster, 4 li. 10s.; p. Isaac Colby, 2 li. 11s.; p. Sam. Colby, 5li. 4s.; in corne, 11s.  This division was consented to by the widow Colby and all the children who were of capacity.  Confirmed by the Norfolk county court at Salisbury, 14: 2: 1663, and recorded by Tho. Bradbury, rec. Norfolk Co. Quarterly Court Files, vol. 1, leaf 34. ++

“Upon the petition of Susanna Whittredge formerly Colbie the Ipswich court Mar. 28, 1682 granted her power with the advice of Samuell Colbie and Thomas Colbie to sell enough of the estate left in her hands by her former husband for her necessary support in her old age, not exceeding the value of two of the parts or shares which the court Apr. 9 1661 allotted to her for her part of the estate.” ++  “Petition of Thomas Challis, Orlando Bagly, Ephraim Weed and Ebenezer Blasdell for some part of the estate of their grandfather Anthony Colby formerly of Salisbury left in the hands of their grandmother Susanna widow of Anthony, administratrix to his estate, afterward Susanna Whithredg, deceased: the Court Ordered the division of the estate Apr. 9, 1661, and it was allowed 14:2m:1663.  Also such of us as have married the daughters of John Colby, deceased, eldest son of said Anthony and Susanna by virtue of the last will of John Colby, as we are informed that Samuell Colby of Amesbury the only son surviving (although not the eldest) of said Anthony and Susanna, hath letters of administration granted him unto the estate of Susanna Whithredg, deceased, and hath exhibited a large account of debt from the estate and also he designeth a further application for liberty for alienation of more of said estate.  “We address ourselves to the court “where we think we ought for ye interposing & improvement of ye authority for ye prevention of ye evacuation of ye estate whereunto we have right (as we think) out of half gills or gills, and ye exhausting & wasting thereof by such embezelling trifles,” also crave your advice whereby we may be orderly possessed of our rights.  Dated Sept. 28, 1698.  Citation to Samuell Coleby to appear before Jonathan Corwin, Esq, at the house of Mr. Frances Elles to take administration on the remaining estate of Anthony Coleby of Amesbury, deceased.  Dated Salem, Nov. 16, 1699.  Said citation read to Samuell Coleby Nov. 18, 1699 by Ebenezer Blasdell, Constable of Amesbury.”

Anthony and Susannah were ancestors of President Chester A. Arthur.

Children of ANTHONY COLBY and SUSANNAH are:

i.  JOHN4 COLBY, d. 11 Feb 1673/74; m. FRANCES HOYT, 14 Jun 1655.

ii.  SARAH COLBY, d. 18 May 1663; m. ORLANDO BAGLEY, 06 Mar 1653/54.

iii.  SAMUEL COLBY, b. Abt. 1639, Rowley, Essex, MA; d. Aft. 1699; m. ELIZABETH SARGENT, Bef. 1668.

iv.  ISAAC COLBY, b. 06 Jul 1640, Salisbury, Essex, MA; d. Aft. 1699; m. MARTHA JEWETT, Bef. 1670.

v.  REBECCA COLBY, b. 11 Mar 1642/43, Salisbury, Essex, MA; d. Bef. 1675, Haverhill, Essex, MA; m. JOHN WILLIAMS, 09 Sep 1661.

vi.  MARY COLBY, b. 1647, Salisbury, Essex, MA; m. WILLIAM SARGENT, JR, 23 Sep 1668.

3.     vii.  THOMAS COLBY, b. 08 Mar 1649/50, Salisbury, Essex, MA; d. 31 Mar 1691, Amesbury, Essex, MA.

viii.  AMOS COLBY, b. 1654; d. Bef. 1699.

 Generation No. 3


Thomas Colby, son of Anthony, was born March 8, 1649/50 in Salisbury, Essex, MA, and died March 31, 1691 in Amesbury, Essex, MA.  He married Hannah Rowell September 16, 1674 in Amesbury, Essex, MA, daughter of Valentine Rowell and Joanna Pinder.  She was born in January 1652/53.  Joanna, daughter of Henry Pinder of England, was an early settler of Amesbury.

Thomas Colby received the Oath of Allegiance, 20 Dec 1677.

Marriages for Children:

(1) Thomas to Frances Willoughby, 1698

(2) Isaac to Hannah Getchell, 5 Dec 1701

(3) Jacob to (1) Hanna Hunt, 9 Apr 1711, and (2) Elizabeth Elliot, 11 Nov 1724

Hannah married (2) Henry Blaisdell, about 1691.  No Issue.


4.        i.  THOMAS5 COLBY, b. 01 Jul 1675, Amesbury, Essex, MA; d. 04 Jun 1741.

ii.  HANNAH COLBY, b. 1676; d. Aft. 1700.

iii.  ISAAC COLBY, b. 1679; m. HANNAH GETCHELL, 05 Dec 1701.

iv.  ABRAHAM COLBY, b. Aft. 1679; d. Aft. 1700.

v.  JACOB COLBY, b. 13 Apr 1688; m. (1) HANNA HUNT, 09 Apr 1711; m. (2) ELIZABETH ELLIOT, 11 Nov 1724.

 Generation No. 4

4.  THOMAS5 COLBY (THOMAS4, ANTHONY3, THOMAS2, MATTHEW1) was born 01 Jul 1675 in Amesbury, Essex, MA, and died 04 Jun 1741.  Thomas Colby served as “Snowshoe Man” in 1708.  He married FRANCES WILLOUGHBY Abt. 1698, daughter of WILLOUGHBY.  She died Aft. 1748.


i.  EZEKIEL6 COLBY, b. 12 Apr 1699; m. MARY ELLIOT, 24 Dec 1724.

ii.  SARAH COLBY, b. 23 Dec 1700; d. Bef. 1743; m. JOHN ELLIOT, 20 Dec 1721.

iii.  JUDITH COLBY, b. 22 May 1703; m. ENOCH CHASE, 25 Jan 1725/26.

5.      iv.  ORLANDO COLBY, b. 03 Feb 1705/06.

v.  THOMAS COLBY, b. 16 Jul 1708; m. MARY.

6.      vi.  FRANCES COLBY, b. 17 Nov 1710.

vii.  HANNAH COLBY, b. Abt. 1714; m. THEODORE HOYT, Abt. 1736.

viii.  NATHANIEL COLBY, b. 10 Jan 1714/15.

ix.  ANNE COLBY, b. 28 Mar 1718; d. Bef. 1742.

x.  ABRAHAM COLBY, b. Abt. 1720, Amesbury, Essex, MA; d. 1809, Concord, Merrimack, NH; m. ELIZABETH BLAISDELL, 23 Mar 1741/42.

xi.  WILLOUGHBY COLBY, b. 23 Sep 1723; d. Aft. 1748.

 Generation No. 5

5.  ORLANDO6 COLBY (THOMAS5, THOMAS4, ANTHONY3, THOMAS2, MATTHEW1) was born 03 Feb 1705/06.  He married KEZIAH ROWELL 12 Sep 1726, daughter of JOB ROWELL, blacksmith, living in Chester, Rockingham, New Hampshire in 1748 .  She was born Abt. 1720.




iii.  RUTH COLBY, m. Mr. DAVIS.



7.      vi.  MOSES COLBY, b. 1731, Sandown, Rockingham, New Hampshire; d. 1777, Danville, Rockingham, New Hampshire; m. Anna Tuxbury, about 1755.

6.  FRANCES6 COLBY (THOMAS5, THOMAS4, ANTHONY3, THOMAS2, MATTHEW1) was born 17 Nov 1710.  She married MOSES LOWELL 06 Jun 1730, son of GIDEON LOWELL and MIRIAM SWETT.  He was born Abt. 1705.

MOSES LOWELL, aka Corporal Moses Lowell


8.        i.  WILLOUGHBY7 LOWELL, b. Abt. 1749; d. 17 Jun 1823.