An online post on a message board reads: “Just ran across his name in the Norwich Rate Book. He paid rate to poor in the parish of St. Peters Permontergate, and I would try there for baptism and parents There was only two other Gedney in this rate book, one John Gedney of St. Ellens, who was "poore" and I assume maybe the John Gendmey who came with John Pearse to America in 1637, as did the other John Gedney. Then there was a "widow Gedney", poore of St. Giles Parish in Norwich. This Rate book was 1633-1634 only, the earlier two volumes apparently lost. Hope that helps, trying to find the John Gedney who came with John Pearse as his servant.” Note: A Rate was collected in each parish for support of the sick and poor, maintenance of roads and church, and other parish expenses. So it would be our equivalent of a tax book.
Stripes (a quarterly publication of the Texas State Genealogical Society) states:
In May 1985, four hundred descendants of the Gedney bloodline met for a family reunion in the Lincolnshire (England) village of Gedney, names for a Viking tribe, the Geddeneys, from the Isle of Ged (Gjedda or Ged-fish) that had settled the area. The gathering drew people from England, Australia and the United States. Present were descendants of John Gedney, my direct ancestor. Three hundred thirty-seven years after he left the political and religious turmoil of England for the unknown new World, members of the American branch of John Gedney’s family returned to their roots.
John Gedney was born in 1603 in Lincolnshire, England. In Norwich, Norfolk, John was admitted as a Freeman worsted weaver in 1629. The family belonged to the parish of St. Peter Permontergate where his daughters, Lydia and Hannah, had been christened. English Baptismal records show his wife’s name was Sarah.
He was examined for passage to New England on 11 November 1637, and sailed with his wife and children on the Mary Ann from Great Yarmouth, England to Salem, Massachusetts.
In Salem, John became a Freeman in March 1638 and received eighty acres of land. At a general town meeting in December 1639, John Gedney was called by the town to keep an inn. Also Lt. William Clarke was chosen in 1645 to keep an “ordinary” (inn) in Salem, but after William’s death, John Gedney kept the principal tavern in the town. In 1665 John Gedney served as a Selectman.
His wife, according to the baptismal records of the children born in Salem, was Mary, apparently a second wife. Indications are that she was Mary Prince. A widow, she and her children, Robert, Bethia and Rebecca were shown in the Rate Books of Easter 1634 in John Gedney’s Parish of St. Peter Permontergate. In 1651 Salem, Mary Prince’s children were counted in John Gedney’s household. Later records show he married Catherine, who was probably the widow of William Clarke, the innkeeper. Catherine’s daughters Susannah and Hannah Clarke, married John and Bartholomew Gedney, sons of the girls’ stepfather, John Gedney. He made his will 22 September 1681 and died 5 August 1688 at the age of eighty-five. His will was published in Vol. 21 of the American Genealogist.
He was a worsted weaver in Norwich, County of Norfolk, England before coming to Salem, Massachusetts. He came to America on the Mary Ann from Yarmouth in May of 1637 with his wife Mary (age 25), their three children, Lydia, Hannah and John, and two servants.
John became a freeman in March 1638. In Salem he became a proprietor, and innkeeper and vintner. For many years he owned the "Ship Tavern" nearly opposite the head of Central Street, including an extensive orchard in the rear of the property.
The Essex Antiquarian – Volume IV dated 1900:
Salem Quarterly Court Records And Files
April 29, 1641
Lists a civil case where Thomas Weeks and Jno Gidney v Wm Pester
November 25, 1641
On the last leaf of the first book is a copy of the oath of a freeman and the following lists: -
November 62 … Mr. Gedney
June Court 62 Mr. Gidney for ftrong water
John was part of a grand jury dated June 6, 1647. He’s also listed as settling a case of slander between Theophilus Bayley vs Hugh Burt Jr dated April 27, 1649. Mrs Gedney is listed as being able to claim and prove that “Susan the wife of Samuell Archard for having a needle workd napkin founde in her hands and Converted in Coines” This Susan was put in the stocks. This was dated December 27, 1649. The same date, “Mr. Gedny fined for suffering several strangers in his house, being an ordinary, in time of lecture.”
His first wife was named Sarah according to his exam for permission to go to Salem,
dated May 11, 1637, but the mother of his children was names Mary in the baptism
records of their children in Salem. It could be that her name was Mary Sarah, but this isn’t proven. After Mary's death, John married Catherine,
probably widow of William Clarke. Catherine died in August of 1688.
The Gedney and Clarke Families reads:
John Gedney was admitted for an inhabitant of Salem at “a towne meeting ye 7th of 6th moneth,” 1637 having recently arrived from England, as appears by the following extract from a list of passengers of the ship Mary Ann of Yarmouth, Wm. Goose, master, deposited in the Rolls Office in London:
“May the 11th 1637. The examination of John Gedney of Norwich in Norff. ***** to passe for New England with his wife Sarah ageed 25 yeares ***** Lediah, Hanah and John; mor 2 Seruants; William Walker ageed ***** Burges ageed 26 yeares are desirous to passe for Salam.”
The following extracts referring to Mr. Gedney are taken from the earliest volume of Salem Town Records now known to be in existence:
“At a meeting vpon the first day of the 11th moneth 1637” there was “graunted to John Gedney 80 acres of land whereof six acres of it are medow, lying neere to Mr. Gardner & is to be layed out according to former order.”
“At a general towne meetinge held the 11th day of the 10th moneth 1639, ***** “John Gedney is called by the towne to keepe an Inne, & John Holgraue layeth his down.” In a list, made probably in 1637-8, to regulate the distribution of marsh and meadow lands according to the number of persons in a family, Mr. Gedney appears to have seven in his family. At a meeting, held “the 14th of the 7th moneth 1640,” it was voted “That or Brother Gedney & or brother Balch & or brother ffogg doe enquire about fustian spinsters & to informe the towne the next 2d day.” He took part in the government of the town as selectman in 1655. He was always styled a vintner in the records and was, as shewn above, an innkeeper; and, after the death of Lieut. Wm. Clarke, kept the principal tavern in Salem.
His first wife, according to Mr. Savage, was wrongly named on the Custom house recors; certainly the mother of his children whose baptisms are found recorded at Salem, was Mary. Her maiden name and the date of her death have not been ascertained. He afterwards married Catherine ______, whose surname is not given, but we may conclude that she was the widow of Mr. William Clarke (before referred to) who in 1645 was “chosen to keep the ordinarie in Salem.” Otherwise I know not how to account for his being in possession of the well known Clarke’s Farm; which is described in the following grants: “By the Towne in general the 19th of 4mo, 1637 ***** “Agreed that Mr. Clark shall hauv 200 acres by the sedar pound (pond) not exceeding 20 acres medow; to be Laid out according to the discretion of the Layers out.” “At a meeting the 13 of the 12 moneth 1642. Granted to Willm Clarke 60 acres of land in leiw of that land wch hath lost by lying out of Lyn bounds being within the Lymitts of Lyn though laid out by Salem. The sixty acres are to be laid out by the towne of that land that lyeth South from Mr. Downyngs great medow towards Mr. Johnsons land.” “The 13th of the 8th mo 1649 ***** “Granted vnto Mr. Gedney the land and medow wch was taken from Mr. Clarkes ffarme by the men of the towne of Lin.” This farm lies within the present borders of the town of Peabody (recently known as South Danvers and more anciently as the Middle Precinct of Salem) close to the borders of Lynnfield and near the well known farm granted to Co. John Humphrey. Mr. Clarke and wife Cartherine had, among other children, only two (daughters) who seem to have survived him, viz., Susanna and Hannah, who became the wives of two sons of their step-father Mr. Gedney, viz., John Gedney, jr and Bartholomew Gedney. John Gedney of Salem, vintner, by his deed of 15 March, 1677-8, for love and affection, conveyed to his "son Bartholmew Gedney and Hannah his wife and to my daughter in law Susanna Gedney widow of John Gedney my farms in Salem by Ceader Pond formerly granted by y e towne of Salem to Mr. William Clearke deceased and 60 acres additional
granted to same William Clearke and afterward continued to me John Gedney." Susanna's portion is
thus described in a deed of conveyance which she made to her son Wm. after her marriage to her second husband, Mr. Parkman, as follows: "Deliverance Parkman of Salem Mercht and Susanna Parkman my wife, the only surviving Daughter and living child and Heirs of our Father Mr William Clark, Late of Salem in ye County and Province aforesd d Dec'd" * * * "For that Love and natural Affection wch we Have and Bear to our son William Gedney who bears up ye Christian name of our said Deceased Father Have given granted and By these presents Do freely Clearly and Absolutely Give Grant and Confirm unto ye sd William Gedney all that Our Farm both upland and meadow commonly known by ye name of
Cedar pond farm or Clarkes farm wch was Granted by ye Town of Salem in ye year 1642 Containing about one hundred and Fifteen acres be it more or less lying and Being in ye Township of Salem being ye one halfe of ye abovesd Grants Butted and Bounded westerly on Mr. Joseph Newhall northerly wth1 our Sister Hannah's halfe now in the Possession of Cousin Francis Clarke easterly with John Nurse and Golds southerly on Salem Common" (18 July 1715). The history of the other half will be traced in the account of Bartholomew Gedney's family.
Mr. Gedney's tavern, called the Ship Tavern, seems to have stood about where John Turner, Esq., afterwards built his house, well known in recent times as the .Mansion House, famous as a good inn, and opposite the head of Central Street. It is interesting to note that this lot or the next (now occupied by the Essex Coffee House) has been the site of Salem's most frequented hostelry, almost without a break, for more than two centuries.
Mr. Gedney owned a part of the Christopher Waller lot. (formerly John Whitlock's) on the north side of the
lane leading to the Pound (now Browne Street, next to St. Peter's Church). This he divided into two portions in 1661, and gave one of them, with a new dwelling house thereon, to bis son John Gedney, jr., mariner, and the other (also with a dwelling house on it) to his son-in-law Nicholas Potter and Mary his wife, Mr. Gedney's daughter. His wife Catherine relinquished her dower. The next year (1662) he bought of John (and Sarah) Ruck a lot of land on the present northerly corner of Summer and High Streets, which in 1664 he conveyed to his son Bartholomew.
He died, it is said, 5th August, 1688, aged eighty-five years, having made a will 22d Sept., 1684, which was proved at Salem 12th Dec., 1688, and recorded at Boston,
7th Feb., 1688.
To this union of John and Mary Gedney were born seven known children:
3. John Jr, born about 1636/7
5. Bartholomew baptized June 14,1640
6. Eleazer, baptized May 15, 1642
7. Sarah, baptized June23, l644
John died August 5, 1688 in Massachusetts. His will was dated September 22, 1684,
was proved at Salem December 12, 1688, and recorded at Boston February 7, 1688.
An online text of his will reads as follows:
". . . .This twenty second day of September One Thousand Six hundred Eighty and Foure I John Gedney of Salem . . . . in health of body . . . .
Item. I give to my daughter in law Rebecca Putnam one of my feather beds in the parlour chamber and ye tapestry Coverlidd and five pounds household stuffe.
Item. I give unto Bethiah Hutchinson that now liveth with me five pounds in money and the debt which her father Joseph Hutchinson oweth unto me being on my book thirteen pounds sixteen shillings seven pence to be paid to her by her father Joseph Hutchinson.
Item. I give unto my son Bartholomew Gedney and my Grandson Eleazer Gedney and unto their heirs my pond of salt Marsh lyeing on the south field side commonly called Emryes Marsh to be equally divided into two parts and my son Bartholomew to take his choice.
Item. After my funeral charges debts and legacies as aforesaid are paid I give my Grandchildren the children of my son Eleazer Gedney deceased one fourth part of my remaining estate or the value thereof to be paid to them in equall porcons as they come of age.
Item. I give unto my daughter Susanna Gedney and unto her children she had by my son John Gedney and their heirs one half of the remaining estate after all the above named bequeaths are allowed for out of the whole estate (that it to say) the one half both of money moveables houses and lands.
Item. I give unto my son Bartholomew Gedney, his wife and children and their heirs all the remainder of my estate in money moveables houses and land and shipping reall and personal of what nature or Kind so ever . . . .
My well beloved son Bartholomew Gedney . . . my whole and full executor . . .
John Gedney Senior signed by mark. Witnesses: John Browne, Sr; John Marston, Sr; Acknowledged to be his own etc. August 3, 1686 in presence of John Pickering, Samuel Gardner, Jr and John Marston. Witnesses sworn August 2, 1686 before William Browne, Stephen Sewall Clerk. Probated December 12, 1688."
John and Mary are buried in the Gedney tomb in Burying Point Cemetery, Salem Essex County, Massachusetts.
Hixson Trails - Margaret Madara Free
Genealogy Dictionary of New England – Savage
The Gedney and Clarke families – Henry F. Waters
Stripes – article written by Carol McGraw Renner
The Essex Antiquarian – Volume IV dated 1900 and Volume VI dated 1902
Gedney and Corwin Mentions In Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records 1627 - 2001 Essex County, Salem
John Gedney Deeds