JOHN SNOW (Richard ) was born about 1640 at an unknown place and spent his life from early childhood until his death,2,8 on November 25, 1706, in Woburn.6 He married there by 1667 MARY GREENE (see Greene, P; 335) and in 1671 had occasion to sign a receipt to her uncle Capt. JOHN CARTER for her share of her father's estate.4 He had received during his father's life, and doubtless at the time of his marriage, land to live upon and meadow and this property was confirmed to him by his father's wills in January, 1676. He, in common with his three brothers, was bound to provide food and fuel for their mother. Search in published material has revealed no details of the life of JOHN . He, as well as his father, was evidently one of the pioneers who performed their daily work so unobtrusively that it attracted no comment,. did not stand out noticeably, yet such men were the back bone of the colony. So the only way we can approximate an understanding of the conditions he faced is through study of the history of Woburn during the period of his life, with the addition of a few incidents.
Apparently the purveying of sensational tales, regardless of authenticity, is not exclusively, a modern fault for about 1660 it was reported17 in England
"That 18 Turksmen of war [on] the 24 of Jan y 1659-60 landed at a town [referring to Charlestown, mother of Woburn] three miles from Boston, killed 40, took Mr. Sims minister prisoner, wounded him, killed his wife and three of his little children, carried him-away with 57 more, burnt the Town, carried them to Argier (Algiers?I their loss amounting to 12,ooo pound __the Turk demanding 8,000 pound ransom to be paid within seven months".17
The only discrepancies18 in the above tale are that Turkish men of war did not raid or burn Charlestown, The Rev. Symmes and others were not kidnapped or
SNOW FAMILY 555
held for ransom, none of his family were killed and his children were all adult by 1659-60 instead of being "little".18 When Josselyn visited the colony and reported this wild English tale to the pioneers it must have created a sensation!
The tragic losses by fire in those days, when every necessity, cost such a burden of effort, seem most appallingly heavy, and to our modern minds the methods of fighting fire seem needlessly crude. In this connection, we find a ruling of 1661 which would have had its bearing on every one of our Woburn families, for it was "Ordered that Thomas Brigden, sr., deliver the town buckets to any person upon notice of fire within the town; provided the said Brigden takes care for bringing them to the Meeting House again. And is to be satisfied for his pains and care therein".17 A home could have burned down while Brigden was searched for or awakened and the church visited.
In October, 1667, twenty-five citizens of Woburn petitioned the General Court "May it please this honorable court to vouchsafe some help to our town of Woburn in dividing a lump of this wilderness earth";17 and "The selectmen mette the 5. day of Octob. 1674, and agreed on the 15 day of this instant mo. to goe throo the Towne, and ecsarnin the familys about Catichisinge ".16
RICHARD SNOW would have experienced the earlier anxieties over the threatened loss of their charter (see Appendix "B", p. 694) and JOHN would have felt the injustice of Andros' regime in the greatly increased taxes, the threatened loss of their lands and other strictures.
About 1686 a farmer of Woburn was called to account for his wife's extravagance in dress. He answered, "That he thought it no sin for his wife to wear a silk hood and silk neck [neckerchief ?]; and he desired to see an example before him!"15,17 probably meaning that if it was to be considered a sin, he desired proof of the claim.
Kindly treatment of the aged or infirm is frequently seen in the Woburn records, in the remitting of taxes, in the restoration of land forfeited for non-payment of taxes, or in actual furnishing of food and clothing in cases of need.16
Of the seven children of JOHN SNOW, at least four married and reared families of well behaved children. Ebenezer died in young manhood; Nathaniel was probably crippled or ailing for he received his small share of his father's property in money19 rather than in land which the other sons shared. At the age of fifty-one, Mary was still unmarried;³ the life of Timothy was spent in Woburn, where he served the military company15 as sergeant from 1716 until 1737; HANNAH with her husband had removed 4 about 1715 to Killingly, Connecticut, (where some of her Snow relatives later followed her)15 and the two older Sons removed to New Hampshire, John , who became an ensign, settling permanently in what is now Hudson in that state and becoming one of the most useful men of the town until his death in 1735. Zerubbabel evidently lived for a time near Concord, New Hampshire20 but apparently returned to Woburn before his death.
JOHN SNOW died intestate in November, 1706, and on April iz, 1707, his widow
DAWES AND ALLIED FAMILIES
and children signed19 an agreement as to the disposition of his property. .At his death his estate owed £16 to his eldest son John and £12 to Timothy" as though they might have helped to maintain the family. JOHN CUTLER signed the agreement in behalf of his wife HANNAH . By this document, the widow MARY was to use for life all the household stuff and one-third part of the other movables, housing and lands; John was to retain the home and over twenty acres already in his hands on condition that he pay £12 to Timothy and £3 to his sister, HANNAH CUTLER. In view of their payment of certain amounts to the other heirs, Zerubbabel and Timothy were to divide between them, the remainder of the housing and lands, including the widow s third after her death.19 The description of land includes reference to the Hungry-plain field.
1. New England Register, XIV, 358; Hotten's Emigrants, p.141, Barnstable [co. Devon, Eng.] Parish Register, Thos. Wainwright 1903, part I, P. 50
2. Savage, IV, 138-9; History of Woburn, S. Sewall, 1868,pp. 113, 115-9,640-1.
3. Manuscript Genealogy of the RICHARD SNOW Family cornpiled by G. B. Snow, Long Beach, Calif., deposited at Newberry Library, Chicago, pp. 3-17.
4. Woburn Historical Sites, W. R. Cutter, 1892, pp. 23-3, 37.
5. History of Middlesex Co., Mass., D. H. Hurd, 1890, I, 347-8; Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, Ser. 3, I, 38-45.
6. Vital Records of Woburn, Mass., I, 243; II, 180, pt. 2, pp. 29, 38; III, 259-60.
7. History of Philip s War, G. M. Bodge 1896, pp. 170-2, 434-6; Mss. Snow Genealogy; Hurd's Middlesex Co., I, 383, Sewall's Woburn, pp. 113, 115-8.
9. Vital Records of Chelmsford, Mass., p. 318; History of Hudson, New Hampshire, K. Webster, 1913, pp. 126-7.
10. Cutler Genealogy , N. S. Cutler, 1889, p. 21.
11. History of Lexington, C. Hudson, 1913, II, 142-3.
12. Pierce Genealogy, F. C. Pierce, 1882, p. 28.
13. History of Woodstock, Conn., C. W. Bowen, 1932, IV, 195.
14. Ibid., II, 258; Hudson's Lexington, II, 143; Putnam's Monthly Historical Magazine, 1895, III, 296.
15. Hurd's Middlesex, I, 350, 377, 383, 387-8.
16. Sewall's Woburn, pp. 49, 59-60, 66-8.
17. History of Charlestown, R. Frothingham, 1845, pp. 112-3, 210.
18. Savage, IV, 243-4; Pope's Pioneers, p. 444; Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown, G. B. Wyman, 1879, p.927.
19. Search of Middlesex Co., Mass., Records by E. L. Moffatt, Allston, Mass., Probate File No. 20820, Vol. XI, 190.
20. History of Concord, N. H., J. 0. Lyford, 1896, I, 138, 143-4; History of Concord, N H N. Bouton, 1856, pp.68, 78, 124, 139, 543; Concord, N. H. Town Records, 1894, App. p.543, History of Merrimack and Belknap Counties, N. H. D. H. Hurd, 1885, pp. 57, 61-2.
21. Genealogical Bulletin, 1903-4, I, 171; Hartwell Genealogy, L. W. Densmore, 1895, p. 35.
22. Snow-Estee Ancestry, N. E. Snow, comp. by M. M. Jillson, 1939, I, 1-6, 49.