Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Robert Cushman Family- US 1621 to Current

** Connected to the William Harlow Family at William Harlow (1657-1711) **
** Underlined names are linked to their connecting pages**
Generation One:
Robert Cushman- b. between 1580-1585 at England; m. Unknown; d. January- February 1625 at England
Their Children:
1. Thomas b. February 1608 at England

      Robert Cusham was a nonconformist or Puritan. He was one of those at Leyden and he and Deacon John Carver, "two of the most active, reliable, and judicious memebers of their community werre selected to go to London in the year 1617 and open negotiations" to make an application to settle in new territory in North Amercia.. After issues with this agreement. Robert and William Bradford returned to England in the early part of 1619 to try again. On 8 May 1619 Robert wrote the following letter to Rev. Robinson and the Leyden Church:
To his Loving Friends.
I had thought long since to have writ unto you; but could not effect that which I aimed at, neither can yet set things as I wished. Uet, notwithstanding, I doubt not but Mr. Brewster hath written to Mr. Robinson; but I think myself bound also to do something, lest I be thought to neglect you.
     The main hindrance of our proceedings in the Virginia business is the dissensions and factions, as they term it, amongst the Council and Company of Virginia, which are such as that ever since we came up no business could by them be despatched. The occasion of this trouble amongst them is, that a while since Sir Thomas Smith, repining at his many offices and troubles, wished the Company of Virginia to ease him of his office in being treasurer and governor of the Company, he having sixty voices, Sir John Wolstenholme sixteen voices, and alderman Johnson twenty-four. But Sir Thomas Smith, when he saw some part of his honor lost, was very angry, and raised a faction to cavil and contend about the election, and sought to tax Sir Edwin with many things that moght both disgrace him and also put him by his office of governor. In which contentions they yet stick, and are not fit nor ready to intermeddle in any business; and what issue things will come to, I know not, nor are we yeat certain. It is most like Sir Edwin will carry it away; and if he do , things will go well in Virginia; if otherwise, they will go ill enough always. We hope in two or three Court days things will settle. Mean space I think to go down into Kent, and come up again about fourteen days or three weeks hence; except either by these aforesaid contentions, or by the ill tidings from Viriginia, we be wholly discouraged; of which tidings as followeth.
      Capt.Argall is come home this week. He upon notice of the intent of the Council, came away from Sir George Yeardley came there, and so there is no small dissension. But his tidings is ill, although his person be welcome. He saith Mr. Blackwell's ship came not there until March but going towards winter they had still northwest winds, which carried them to the southward beyond their course; and the master of the ship and some six of the mariners dying it, seemed they could not find the Bar, till after long seeking and beating about. Mr. Blackwell is dead, and Mr. Maggner, the captain. Yea, there are deaad, he saith, a hundred and thirty persons, one and other, in the ship. It is said there was in all a hundred and eighty persons in the ship, so as they were packed together like herrings. They had amongst them a flux, and also want of fresh water; so as it is here rather wondered that so many are alove, than that so many are dead. The merchants here say it was Mr. Blackwell's fault to pack so many in the ship; yea, and there was great murmuring and repining amongst them and upbraiding of Mr. Blackwell for his dealing and disposing of them when they saw how he disposed of them and how he insulted over them. Yea, the streets at Gravesend rang of their extreme quarreling, crying out on of another, "Thou hast brought me to this. I may thank thee for this." Heavy news it is, and I would be glad to hear now far it will discourage. I see none here discouraged much, but rather desire to learn to beware by other men's harms, and to amend that wherein they have failed; as we desire to serve one another in love, so take heed of being enthralled by other imperious persons, especially if they be discerned to have an eye to themselves. It doth often trouble me to think that in this business we are to learn and none to teach. But better so than to depend upon such teachers as Mr. Blackwell was. Such a stratagem he made for Mr. Johnson and his people at Emden; much was their subversion. But though he then cleanily yet honestly plucked his neck out of the collar, yet at last his foot is caught.
      Here are no letters come. The ship Captain Argall came in is yet in the west parts. All that we hear is but his report. It seemeth he came away secretly. The ship that Mr. Blackerll went in will be here shortly. It is as Mr. Robinson once said; he thought we should hear no good of them.
      Mr. Brewster is not well at this time. Whether he will go back to you or go into the north, I yet know not. For myself, I hope to see an end of this business ere I come, though I am sorry to be thus from you. If things gone roundly forward, I should have been with you within fourteen days. I pray God direct us, and give us that spirit which is fitting such a business.
      This having summarily pointed at things which Mr. Brewster, I think, hath more largely writ of to Mr. Robinson, I leave you to the Lord's protection.
Yours, in all readiness & C.
Robert Cushman
London, May the 8th 1619

     Robert continued to be involved in securing the transportation arrangements of the Pilgrims. Due to him being one of he chief managers was most likely the reason he returned to London with those who were in the Speedwell. Having been left behind and trying to secure passage for the remaining Pilgrims, Robert wrote and published in England an article on the subject of settling in America called Reasons and Considerations Touching the Lawfulness of Removing Out of England into the Parts of America.
     Robert Cushman and his son, Thomas, sailed on the Fortune in early July, leaving from London. On Friday 9 November 1621, the Fortune arrived odd Cape Cod. WIth the Colony down to half their population due to illness, Robert was planning to return to England to inform the ohers of the conditions in New Plymouth. On 12 December 1621, Robert gave a sermon that became the first sermon delivered in New England that was printed. It was delivered inthe Common House which stood on the south side of Leyden Street, just where the steep descent of the hill commences , on the ground covered by the residence of Capt. Samuel D. Holmes. On the 13th , he sailed back on the Fortune for England. He left behind his only son and his wife who is thought to have passed earlier is not known. The Fortune on its return was captured by the French and was waylaid in France until it finally returned to England on Monday, 17 February 1622.
      In July of 1622, Mr. Weston of the Virginia COmpany sent over 50-60 men at his own charge to plant for him, they were not Puritans. Robert wrote to the Colony about them as "They are no men or us, and I fear they will hardly deal so well with the savages as they should. I pray you, therefore signify to Squanto, that they are a distinct body from us, and we have nothing to do with them, nor must be blamed for their faults, much less can warrant their fidelity."
     In the spring of 1623, at the time of the first divsion of land. It was for those who settled in Plymouth, but for only one year. In 1624, the Governor gieves every person an acre of land permanently.  Robert Cochma was given on acre-- these lye on the south side of the Brook to the Baywards. In 1624 Mr, Winslow on the Anne brought a letter from Robert to Governor Bradford, dated at London, 24 January 1623-24.He again writes to Bradford, Allerton and Brewster from London on 18 December 1624.
      William Bradford wrote to im in return but the letter never reached Robert for he had passed away about January or February of 1625.

Generation Two:
Thomas Cushman- b. February 1608 at Canterbury, Kent, England; m. abt 1636 Mary Allerton at Plymouth, Plymouth, MA; d. 10 december 1691 at Plymouth, Plymouth, MA, aged 84 years.
Their Children:
1. Mary b. 16 September 1637 at Plymouth, Plymouth, MA; m. Unknown Hutchinson; d. Before 1690, aged 52 years.
2. Thomas b. 16 September 1637 at Plymouth, Plymouth, MA; m. 17 December 1644 Ruth Howland at Plymouth, Plymouth, MA; d. 1726. aged 88 years.
3. Sarah b. abt 1641 at Plymouth, Plymouth, MA; m. 11 April 1661 John Hawkes
4. Isaac  b. 8 Fenruary 1649 at Plymouth, Plymouth, MA; m. 1675 Rebecca Rickard;
5. Fearce b. 20 June 1653 a Plymouth, Plymouth, MA; d. young
6. Lydia b. 1654 at Plymouth, Plymouth, MA; m. 16 October 1679 William Harlow at Plymouth, Plymouth, MA; d. 11 February 1719 at Plymouth, Plymouth, MA, aged 65 years
7. Eleazer b. 20 February 1656 at Plymouth, Plymouth, MA; m. 1687 Elizabeth Combes
8. Elkanah b. 1 June 1661 at Plymouth, Plymouth, MA; m. 1677 Elizabeth Cole      
       Thomas came over on the Fortune in 1621 with his father. When Robert returned to England, Thomas was left in the care of Governor Bradford. He was admitted a freeman on 1 January 1633. He served as a juryman in 1635. In 1637, Thomas was granted the marsh before the house he liveth in which Mrs. Fuller doth not use and the little parcell at the wading place on the other side of the Jones River (now Kingston). He resided there the rest of his life.
     In 1645, he purchsed the Prence's farm at Jones River (now known as Rocky Nook in Kingston) by echanging land at Sowams for it for £75. The house was loacted in the area known as Elder's Spring. In 1649 Thomas was appointed to the office of Ruling Elder of the Church at Plymouth. He held this position for over forty-three years.
At his death, Thomas was buried at the southerly brow of Burying Hill. His grave stone was erected by the Plymouth Churchm twenty-four years after his death. The inscriptions reads " Here lyeth buried Ye Body of that precious servant of God; Thomas Cushman who after he had served his generation according to the will of God particularly the Church of Plymouth for many years in the Office of a Ruling Elder, fell asleep in Jeasus, Decmr Ye 10 1691 and in Ye 84 year of his age."


1. A Historical and Hiographical Genealogy of the Cushmans: The Descendants of Robert Cusham, The Puritan from the year 1617 to 1855, Henry Wyles Cusham, Little , Brown and Company, Boston, 1855.

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