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Notes for Manasseh Kempton

Research Notes:

The Great Migration reports [1]:

Manasseh Kempton
Origin: London
Migration: 1623 on Anne
First Residence: Plymouth

Occupation: Planter.

Freeman: In "1633" Plymouth list of freemen, before those admitted on 1 January 1632/3 [PCR 1:3]; in list of 7 March 1636/7 [PCR 1:52]. In the Plymouth section of the Plymouth Colony lists of freemen of 1639 and 1658 [PCR 8:173, 197].
Education: He made his mark to deeds [PCR 12:204] and to an agreement [PCR 3:211].

Offices: Deputy for Plymouth to Plymouth General Court, 4 June 1639, 2 June 1640, 18 January 1643/4, 5 June 1644, 20 August 1644, 28 October 1645, 3 March 1645/6, 7 July 1646, 7 June 1648, 8 June 1649, 4 June 1650, 5 June 1651, 6 June 1660, 2 October 1660 [PCR 1:126, 154, 2:68, 72, 74, 94, 104, 123, 144, 154, 167, 3:187, 198]. Plymouth grand jury, 7 March 1636/7, 5 June 1638 [PCR 1:54, 87]; petit jury, 3 March 1639/40, 1 June 1641, 6 September 1641, 7 December 1641, 7 June 1642, 6 June 1643, 5 November 1644, 5 October 1652 [PCR 7:15, 20, 23, 25, 31, 35, 38, 62].
Committee "to treat with the now partners ... concerning the trade," and committee to lay out highways for "Plymouth side," 1 October 1634 [PCR 1:31]; appointed Plymouth assessor, 3 March 1634/5, 1 March 1635/6 [PCR 1:33, 38]; committee to regulate prices and wages, 5 January 1635/6 [PCR 1:36]; committee to reunite Plymouth and Duxbury, 14 March 1635/6 [PCR 1:41]; committee to allocate hay grounds, 20 March 1636/7 [PCR 1:55]; committee to make laws, 6 May 1639 [PCR 1:121]; committee to lay out land, 16 September 1641 [PCR 2:25].
Plymouth assessor, 20 September 1642, 9 October 1643, 21 November 1644, 4 November 1648, November 1649, 4 November 1650, 25 November 1651 [PTR 1:11, 16, 19, 28, 29, 31, 32].
Committee to confer about the war, 26 and 27 September 1642 [PTR 1:11; PCR 2:45]. In Plymouth section of 1643 Plymouth Colony list of men able to bear arms [PCR 8:189].
Estate: In the 1623 Plymouth land division "Manasseh [Kempton] & John Fance" were granted two acres jointly, as passengers on the Anne [PCR 12:5]. In the 1627 Plymouth cattle division "Manases Kempton" and "Julian Kempton" were the eighth and ninth persons in the eleventh company and shared the benefit of a heifer and two she-goats brought over in the Anne [PCR 12:12, of 12-13].
Assessed 18s. in Plymouth tax lists of 25 March 1633 and 27 March 1634 [PCR 1:9, 27].
Permitted to mow "at the Iland Creeke abutting upon Stephen Tracie's ground & Edmund Chandlers," 1 July 1633 [PCR 1:14], "against the fence of the said George [Soule], & against the fence of Thomas Little," 14 March 1635/6 [PCR 1:41], and "at Joanes River where Mr. Bradford and Constance Southerne do get hay," 20 March 1636/7 [PCR 1:56].
On 5 January 1637/8 "Manasseth Kempton" of New Plymouth, yeoman, gave twenty acres "whereon the said John Faunce doth now dwell" to Faunce [PCR 12:26]. On the same day, "Manasseth Kempton of New Plymouth, yeoman," gave twenty acres "whereon the said Nathaniel doth now dwell" to Nathaniel Morton [PCR 12:26]. (These two parcels of land would be the twenty-acre shares received by Manasseh Kempton and his wife in the "second division" of land at Plymouth, authorized on 3 January 1627/8 [PCR 12:13].)
On 2 July 1638 "Manasseth Kempton ... & the rest of the neighborhood there request enlargement at the end of their lots where they dwell" [PCR 1:90]. On 1 June 1640 "Manasseth Kempton is granted an enlargement at the head of his ground, to extend up into the woods as far as Nathaniel Morton's ten acres last granted him," and also granted a piece of meadow [PCR 1:154]. On 1 December 1640 Henry Cobb sold his house in Scituate, with twelve acres of upland and a parcel of meadow and eighty acres of upland in the fourth lot, and a twelve acre parcel of marsh to "Manasseth Kempton" [PCR 12:65].
He was granted ten acres "in the South Meddows towards Aggawam, Colebrook Meddowes," 2 November 1640 [PCR 1:166]. On 8 April 1645 "Manasseth Kempton of New Plymouth ... planter" sold to Joseph Tilden of Scituate, yeoman, eighteen acres on Cooper's Island and an eighteen acre marsh [PCR 12:105]. On 26 February 1645/6 his nephew Ephraim Kempton, having taken a bond to hold his uncle "Manasseth" harmless for any debts of the estate of Ephraim Kempton Sr., gave his goods to Mr. William Paddy, merchant, as security for the bond [PCR 12:125-26]. On 3 June 1647 "Manasseth" Kempton exchanged parcels of land in Plymouth near the swamp with Richard Church [PCR 12:144].
On 23 October 1643 Peregrine White of Marshfield sold to "Mannasses Kempton of Plymouth ... planter ... all those his uplands and meadows lying at the Eel River in Plymouth Township aforesaid lately assigned and confirmed unto the said Peregrine by Mr. Edward Winslow in the public court held at Plymouth the twenty-eight of September Anno Domini 1642" [MD 18:33-34, citing PCLR 2:2:114]. On 14 February 1659[/60] "Mannasses Kempton of Plymouth yeoman do ... make over the abovesaid deed unto Ephraim Morton my son-in-law," reserving some portions of meadow for himself [MD 18:34, PCLR 2:2:115].
On 22 February 1650/1 "Mannasses Kemton of Plymouth, planter", gave to his "son-in-law Ephraim Morton" a parcel of land and a parcel of meadow at Sagaquas and his part and right in the land at Satuket. In case Morton's brothers wished to settle on the land, Kempton ordered that it be divided equally among them [PCR 12:204]. On 22 June 1651 Edward Bangs of Eastham, yeoman, and Rebecca his wife, sold to "Mannasses Kemton" of Plymouth, yeoman, forty acres of upland in Plymouth [PCR 12:209]. Kempton was one of those having an interest in the lands at Punckateesett near Rhode Island March 1651 and he shared lot #34 with Nathaniel Morton [PTR 1:36, 69]. Manasseh Kempton was one of the Dartmouth Purchasers [MD 4:187].
On 4 January 1660[/1] "Mannasses Kemton of Plymouth" deeded to "his son-in-law Nathaneell Morton of Plymouth ... two acres of fresh meadow" in Plymouth, as well as the use of Kemptons's "marsh meadow at the Island Creek in the Township of Duxburrow" [MD 15:31, citing PCLR 2:2:44].
On 20 February 1660[/1] "Mannasses Kemton of Plymouth" deeded to William Harlow of Plymouth "two acres of fresh meadow lying in the meadow commonly called the south meadow," and on the same day he deeded to "his son-in-law Nathaneell Morton Sr." of Plymouth "all that his part, portion or share of land belonging to him as a townsman of the town of Plymouth which said land is commonly called and known by the name of Punckateesett" [MD 15:184, of 184-85, citing PCLR 2:2:54]. On 21 February 1660[/1] "Mannasses Kemton" of Plymouth, yeoman, deeded to Ephraim Morton of Plymouth "the one half of all that his lot or share of land commonly called the purchase land lying and being at Acushena, Coaksett and places adjacent both upland and meadow" [MD 15:185, citing PCLR 2:2:55].
On 12 July 1661 or 1662 "Mannasses Kemton of Plymouth" gave permission for "his son-in-law John Morton of Plymouth" to make use of "his marsh meadow at the Island Creek in the township of Duxburrow" [MD 17:108, citing PCLR 2:2:98].
In a letter dated 6 November 1661 Manasseh Kempton gave to the church of Eastham a parcel of land in that town [PCLR 3:104].
On 27 June 1662 "Mannasses Kempton" of Plymouth, yeoman, deeded to "his son-in-law Nathaniel Morton Sr." of Plymouth, yeoman, "a certain parcel of upland ground lying and being in the township of Plymouth aforesaid at a place called Hobshole alias Wellingsly ... the said parcel of upland ground which was the land of Samuell Jeney and by him sold unto John Rickard and by him sold unto the said Mannasses Kemton" [MD 17:104, citing PCLR 2:2:94]. On the same day Captain Thomas Southworth of Plymouth sold to "Mannasses Kemton and Nathaniell Morton both of Plymouth aforesaid, yeomen, ... all that his parcel of upland ground lying and being at Hobshole alias Wellingsley"; Kempton then gave his half share of these lands to Abraham Jackson of Plymouth [MD 17:104-05, citing PCLR 2:2:95].
On 24 July 1662 "Mannasses Kemton of ... Plymouth ... yeoman" sold to "Richard Higgens" of Eastham "twelve acres of upland ground lying at Nausett in the township of Eastham aforesaid with six acres of meadow ..., with two acres of meadow at the harbor's mouth, with two acres of meadow at Billingsgate," and on the same day he sold to Lieutenant Joseph Rogers of Eastham "forty acres of upland ... at a place called Barly Neck in the township of Eastham" [MD 17:166-67, citing PCLR 2:2:99, of 99-100]. On 1 October 1662 "Mannasses Kemton of ... Plymouth ... yeoman" sold to John Smalley of Eastham "two acres of marsh meadow ... in the Township of Eastham aforesaid near unto the now dwelling house of the said John Smalley; between other meadow of his on each side thereof the which said two acres of meadow ... was sometimes the meadow of Mr. Will[i]am Bradford", and on the same day he sold to John Bangs of Eastham "one acres [sic] and three-quarters of marsh meadow ... in the Township of Eastham aforesaid at a place commonly called and known by the name of Namskekett; which was sometimes the meadow of Mr. Will[ia]m Bradford deceased and a part of his purchase land there" [MD 17:239-40, citing PCLR 2:2:106].
On 2 May 1665 the "supervisors of the estate of Mannasses Kempton Sr. deceased came into the court and owned that Josepth Harding of Eastham hath made payment to the successors of the said Mannasses Kempton for two acres of marsh meadow which the said Josepth Harding bought of the said Mannasses Kempton lying at the great meadow" in Eastham [PCLR 3:27].

Birth: Baptized Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, 26 February 1589/90, son of George Kempton [TAG 67:134].
Death: Plymouth 14 January 1662/3 [PCR 8:23].
Marriage: By 1627 Juliana (Carpenter) Morton, widow of George Morton; she died Plymouth 19 February 1664/5 "aged fourscore and one years" [PCR 8:25].

Children: None recorded.

Associations: His younger brother Ephraim Kempton came to Plymouth by 1642 [TAG 67:134; PCR 2:89, 3:17, 114].
Comments: The English origin of the Kempton brothers was published in 1992 by Dean C. Smith, including biographical details on both brothers before migration [TAG 67:132-35]. In particular, Manasseh Kempton had belonged to Separatist congregations in Colchester and in London and was closely affiliated with Henry Jacob [Burrage 1:319, 2:299].
On 13 February 1639/40 Henry Coggan of Barnstable sold to Manasseh Kempton the remaining years of service of James Glass, servant to the said Henry [PCR 1:139].
"Manasseh Kempton" contributed 6d. to purchase drumheads at Plymouth 29 May 1643 [PTR 1:14]. He was on the committee to build a wolftrap at Broken Wharf 10 February 1643/4 [PTR 1:16]. In 1644 he was one of those in the "Ele" River company who were to gather in case of war [PTR 1:17].
Sometime in 1646 the Plymouth inhabitants were divided up into "teams." The portion of the list that explains the significance of the teams is torn and destroyed. "Mannasses Kemton" headed a team consisting of Samuel Dunham, Ephraim Morton and Thomas Morton [PTR 1:33].

Bibliographic Note: In 1996 Dean Crawford Smith published a large body of data on the Kempton family in England and a line of descent from Manasseh's younger brother Ephraim [Kempton Anc 1-117].

The information about Manassas Kempton's association with separatists in Colchester and London is from Champlin Burrage. [2] [3]


[1] Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995), 1119, [AmericanAncestors].

[2] Champlin Burrage, The Early English Dissenters in the Light of Recent Research (1550-1641), Vol. 1 (London: Cambridge University Press, 1912), 319, [GoogleBooks].

[3] Champlin Burrage, The Early English Dissenters in the Light of Recent Research (1550-1641), Vol. 2 (London: Cambridge University Press, 1912), 299, [GoogleBooks].