Theophilus Frary (1629-1700)

 

                1.  Theophilus1 Frary,Capt., son of John Frary and Prudence Townsend, was born by 15 May 1629.  Theophilus died 17 October 1700 in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, at 71 years of age.  His body was interred in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, Granary Burial Ground.  Inscription: "Here Lyeth Buried ye Body of Theophilus Frary Deacon of ye South Church Aged nere 72 Yeares Died August 17 1700." 

 

                He married twice.  He married Hannah Eliot in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, 4 June 1653.  Marriage register says "married by Mr. Wm. Hibbins, Theophilus Frery and Hannah Elliott, daughter of Jacob Elliott of Boston deceased, 4:4:53. 

 

                Hannah was born in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA 29 January 1636/7.  Hannah was the daughter of Jacob Eliot,Elder and Margery ?.  Hannah died before 12 June 1690 at approximately 53 years of age.  She was christened in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, 29 January 1636/7.  

                Hannah was admitted to the Dedham Church on "25d 3m 56." She received 50 pounds from the will of her mother dated October 31, 1661 and proved November 7, 1661. Theophilus and Hannah were admitted to the First Church of Boston on the "24th day of the 3d moneth 1663." Her date of death has not been learned but was presumably before the date of her husband's second marriage in 1690. Theophilus and Hannah (Eliot) Frary were the 8th great-grandparents of George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States and 9th great-grandparents of George Walker Bush, the 43rd President of the United States. 

                Excerpts from previous Frary publications -- She was niece of the Apostle to the Indians, the Rev John Eliot. For her mother's will, see 3 v10:362 (Elliot?) "Find a Grave" said she is the 3rd child of Jacob & Margery Eliot - Cemetery unknown. In 1644, in Boston, Deacon Eliot's daughter suffered a head injury. Accounts differ: Hannah who married Theophilus Frary or Abigail, wife of Thomas Wyborne? While playing near a cart, its tailgate fell onto her head. It "drove a piece of her skull before it into her brain so as brains came out. Seven surgeons .. concluded that unless the piece of skull could be drawn out ... there was no hope for the child's life .. earnest prayers were made to the Lord for it and in six weeks it pleased God that the piece consumed, and so came forth, and the child recovered perfectly; not did it lose the senses at any time." Another note adds, "A silver plate she afterwards wore on her skull where the orifice remain's, as big as a half crown." [3:33:63 footnote] 

 

                He married Mary Allen in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, 12 June 1690.  The Boston Marriage Register said: "Theophilus Frarey and Mary Greenwood, June 12, 1690, by Samuel Sewall, Esq." 

 

                Mary was born circa 1634.  Mary was the daughter of Samuel Allen and Ann ?.  She married Nathaniel Greenwood in Weymouth, Norfolk Co, MA, 24 January 1655/6.  Mary died 7 December 1709 in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, at 75 years of age.  

 

                He was christened in Norwich, Norfolk, England, 15 May 1629.  He was baptized at St. Clement and St. Edmund Church in Norwich, Norfolk, England as Theophilus Frarie son of John Frarie. 

                Theophilus was the first child of John and Prudence (Townsend) Frary. He would have come to the New World around 1637 with his parents. He was married first to Hannah Eliot, who was the mother of all of his children. After her death he was married to the widow Mary (Allen) Greenwood. Theophilus and Hannah were admitted to the First Church of Boston on the "24th day of the 3d moneth 1663." He was an executor of the will of his brother John dated 27 March 1670. "The inventory of the estate of Alexander Beck was taken 26 October 1674 by William Salter, Jacob Eliot and Theophilus Frary..." He witnessed a deed for William Harris in November 1674. From the June 11, 1675 will of his father: "...and I do hereby make my deare and loveing son Theophilus Frairy sole heire to and of my estate, paying all such Legacies and Bequeathalls as are any way herein expressed. I will and Bequeath unto my three sons all my wearing Cloaths, Both Linen and wollen, hatts, Boots and Shoos; all which Legacies and Bequeathalls Beingdully and truly performed, my will is that all the remainder of my estate, Being equally proportioned, my son, Theophilus Frairy to and injoy the one halfe and the other halfe be equally divided Between my son Samson and Eliezer Frairy." He was overseer to the will of Lydia (Eliot) Penniman Wight which was proved July 27, 1676 and he was called "my loving cousin." He took inventory of the estate of Edward Raynsford on September 3, 1680. "Administration on the estate of Robert Walker was granted to the widow Sarah Walker on 17 August 1687, Samuel Sewall of Boston, merchant and Theophilus Frary of Boston, cordwainer, were sureties to the administration bond, issued the same day." He became a Deacon of the Old South Church: "Judge Sewall thus describes in his diary under the date of November, 1685, the method at that time of appointing or ordaining a deacon:-- 'In afternoon Mr. Willard ordained our Brother Theophilus Frary to the office of a Deacon. Declared his acceptance January 11th first now again. Propounded him to the congregation at Noon. Then in even propounded him if any of the church of other had to object they might speak. Then took the Church's Vote, then call'd him up to the Pulpit, laid his Hand on's head, and said I ordain Thee, etc., etc., gave him his charge, then Prayed & sung 2nd Part of 84th Psalm.' In 1691 Theophilus Frairy of Boston, Samson Frairy of Deerfield and Eleazar Frairy of Hatfield sold to Henry Adams the 6 1/2 meadow property originally of John Frairy by Stop River near Frairy's Bridge. In 1693 he gave his father's homestead to the town of Medfield to use as a church lot. In 1696 the town voted to sell the house and use the proceeds to fence in the lot. 

                Deeds: On 25 October 1664, "Jarred Bourne late of Muddy River" sold to Theophilus Frary and Jacob Eliot "all that my parcel of land formerly purchased of Samuell Andrewes of Cambridge being eight acres... & two small parcels of Meadow." "February 11, 1674/5, Theophilus Frary (cordwainer) with wife Hannah deed to their son-in-law, Isaac Walker and wife Hannah, land, N.E. by lane that leads N.W. from house of Jacob Eliot to the sea, sd Eliot S.E. and S.W., sd Frary N.W. Boylston St." March 26, 1675, Theophilus Frary exchanges a nook of land with John Leverett, Their lands lying next each other on E. side of the new lane laid through the pastures in the field going to Roxbury, Washington St. S. of Boylston St." "April 23, 1678, Theophilus Frary (cordwainer) with wife Hannah deeds to Wm. Kent (cook) land, old highway that leads twoard Roxbury E., sd Kent and wife Mary S. new highway that leads toward Roxbury W., sd Frary N. E. side of Washington St., S. of Boylston St." "June 30, 1708 Estate of Capt. Theophilus Frarey; Partition of estate. To Andrew Belcher and wife Hannah, daughter of sd Theophilus Frarey, a pasture, W. Orange St., N. in part Solomon Kneeland, and partly by sea, N.E. the sea, [E. side of Washington St., S. of Boylston St.]. Also W. part of an orchard fronting on Frog Lane, W. land late of James Balston, E. other part of orchard, S. land late of Capt. Jacob Eliot. [S. side of Boylston St.] The other fronts W. by Orange St. Hannah Kent, N. land belonging to Thomas Walker, E. the sea [E. side of Washington St., S. of Boylston St.] To Samuel Lillie and wife Mehitable, daughter of late Capt. Frarey, two pieces of pasture land (left by father's Will), one near entrance Gate to Town of Roxbury, fronting E. on highway, N. Stephen Minot, S. William Denison and Nathaniel Brewer, W. Town Marsh [W. side of Washington St. near Roxbury Line] Also a wharf and pier on seaboard side of Beach St., [side of Beach St.] To Abigail Arnold her share of her father's land, and houses, left by his Will, house andland fronting E. by Orange St., N. Frog Lane, S. Thomas Downes, W. land of late Asaph Eliot. S.W. corner of Boylston and Washington St." "August 9, 1731, Thoephilus Frary: Silence Allen deposes that the marsh land on the N. & E. side of the pasture belonging to Jonathan Belcher on E. side of Orange St. was formerly the estate of Theophilus Frary, and for upwards of 40 years was reputed to belong to sd Frary, E. side of Washington St. S. of Boylston." 

                A biography on Theophilus from Addresses and Essays from Old South Church Affiliates (Boston), date and author unknown: "Theophilus Frary, cordwainer, son of John, of Dedham, was chosen the third deacon of the "Old South Church," Nov. 8, 1685, was a Representative in 1693, married Hannah Eliot, the eldest daughter of Jacob Eliot, Senior. They had twelve children, Theophilus, John, Theophilus again, and again Theophilus, Abigail, Mehitable, Mehitable again, John again, Prudence, Samuel, Bethiah and Hannah. The signature of Mr. Frary is on the petition against intruders in 1677. His name is also affixed to the Indian deed of Boston, March 19, 1685, recorded Suffolk Deeds, 1708, Vol xxiv, page 101. With Messers. Eliot, Oliver, Davis and others he remonstrated in 1687 against having Epicopal services in the Old South Church. Joshua Moodey in a letter to Increase Mather, Jan. 8, 1688, writes thus concerning Mr. Frary and Parson Ratliff: "I hinted to Sewall the story about Deacon Frary covented and bound over with sureties for forbidding Ratliff to read Comon Prayer at the grave of old Lilly (Samuel). The relations desired Cap. Frary to speake and had requested the parson to forbear beforehand, when at the House, but he went on, and being hindered, complained to Justice Lidget, Foxcraft and Bullwant who so treated Frary. Now when the deceased did not desire it, but left the sum all to the Executors and they forbade it, methinks it should not bee imposed; and what a case are we all in. King the attorney, saith it will cost him 100 mark, and that hee is bound to due his duty (I mean Ratliff is) and the proclamation will not relieve him. Cap. Frary is bound to the good Behavior, and will be for 12 mo (to fearful reproach and snare). What does the proclamation for liberty of consc. doe, if such imposition are allowed! This is a very tremendous thing to us. (4th Mass Hist. Coll. viii, 370, 371. At the March meeting of the town of Boston in 1673, Theophilus Frary was chosen Moderator. May 12, 1675, he was made Lieutenant to the foot company under command of Capt. John Hull; in 1683 he was Captain and John Wing his Lieutenant. Mr. Frary had a second wife whose name was Mary, probably widow of Nathaniel Greenwood, of Boston, for in her will, made Jan. 27, 1707-8, she mentions - "my son Samuel Greenwood," and his brother Isaac, who was then deceased. Deacon Theophilus Frary died Oct. 17, 1700. In his will, dated Sept. 11, 1697, he gives to Mary, his wife, a silver tankard, marked I.E.M.; to his brother Eleazer and Sampson lands in Medfield "which of right belonged" he says, "to my deceasedd father John Frarey," to each five pounds in money and his wearing apparrell; one half his printed books to be equally divided between them. His three daughters, Hannah Belcher, Abigail Arnold, and Mehitable Lillie, Executrixes of his estate, October 31, 1700." 

                Theophilus and Hannah (Eliot) Frary were the 8th great-grandparents of George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States and 9th great-grandparents of George Walker Bush, the 43rd President of the United States through their daughter Mehitable Frary Lillie. 

                Excerpts from previous Frary publications -- He was admitted an inhabitant of Boston, Feb 23, 1656/7. At least one deed calls him a cordwainer, or leatherworker 11 v2:201. Always prominent in civil, military and church affairs, he was surveyor 1659-87 and again in 1689; and Deputy to the General Court beginning in 1689. 3 v16:8717:206-7 &19:91,92,473 17 He was a founder of the Third (Old South) Church of Boston, 1669, and was elected deacon in 1685. He held strong objections to Anglican ceremony, which apparently led him to interrupt the funeral of Edward Lillie, the father-in-law of his daughter, Mehitable. For this act he was severely fined and placed under bonds.17 &14 v2:178 

                He was a member of the noted Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, 1666; was commissioned lieutenant of the Foot Company, 1675; and was its acting Captain in 1683. During King Philip's War, he was Commissary of the Colonial Army.18:92 &3 v37:366 His will, written Sep 11, 1697, and probated Oct 31, 1700 8, named his second wife, Mary; his three daughters, Hannah Belcher, Abigail Arnold and Mehitable Lillie; and his brothers, Samson and Eleazer. A lot at Orange Street and Frary Lane was known as Frary's Corner. All his children were by his first wife, the first two born at Dedham and the others at Boston. p.503 of "The Frary Family in America: A Continuation" pub. 1985 Theophilus moved to Boston, where he was a successful leather craftsman and prominent in civic and religious affairs. It appears that he was also quite outspoken, as evidenced by his interruption of the Anglican funeral of his daughter's father-in-law because of objections to the nature of the ceremony. This act resulted in his being fined and placed under bonds. Neither John, Jr. nor Theophilus had sons to continue the Frary name. Journal #14 Aug 1993 p. 953 Capt. Theophilus Frary Boston, Mass., Selectman's Records: "Meeting Mar. 5, 1766: Page 204, reference to use of land near South Market granted to Capt. Theophilus Frary his heirs, for 70 years from 1695, occupied now by Robt. Hewes. "1705. Page 80 Reference to lands of Capt. Theophilus Frary, late of Boston near the Salt Ponds. "1700-1782. Page 5, Capt. Theophilus Frary with Pen (sic) Townsend and Capt. Byfield chosen by vote of town to join with ye selectmen to give instruction to representatives in 1701." [509: Answer to #2964-4, May 7, 1938] [378] [11:318] Tandem reference to Theophilus Frary and Penn Townsend is significant because of Theophilus's mother being a Townsend. Penn, son of William and Hannah (Penn) Townsend of Boston, had a brother Eliezer, and Prudence named a son Eleazer. A relationship, perhaps of cousins, is suggested. Email received from Lois Lehman - Aug 2010: Barb, there is at least one child's birth to Theophilus and Hannah that isn't list in your records that I found from the Boston Public Library listing of church records.  I have attached it.  A REPORT RECORD COMMISSIONERS  CONTAINING BOSTON BIRTHS, BAPTISMS, MARRIAGES, AND DEATHS, 1630-1699. BOSTON: ROCKWELL AND CHURCHILL, CITY PRINTERS, NO. 39 ARCH STREET. 1883. BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY First Church  Baptism Theophilus of Tlieophilus Frayry, 1657 Births and baptisms John of Theophilus and Hannah Frary born September 19th, 1658 John of Theophilus Frayry 26 day 7 mo, year (death?) Theophilus of Theoph: & Hannah Frary born Dec. 4, 1660 John of Theophilus and Hannah Frary deceased the 31st of July, 1660 Theophilus of Theophilus Frairy Theophilus of Theoph: Hannah Frary born Jan. 30, 1661 Abigail of Theoph : & Hannah Frarye born Sept. 5, 1662 BIRTHS AND BAPTISMS Abigail of Theophilus Frary Mehetable of Theoph: & Hannah Frarye born Jan. 23, 1664 Baptism Mehitabel of Theophilus Frary Mehetabel of Theophilus Frayry 11 day 12 mo (death?) John of Theophilus & Hannah Frarey born Dec. 11, 1668 Prudence of Theophilus & Hannah Frarey born Aug. 23, 1670 Samuel of Theophilus & Hannah Frarey born May 13, 1673 Bethiah of Theophilus & Hannah Frarey born Dec. 5, 1674 Theophelus Frarey Mary Greenwood were married by Saml. Sewall Esq , 1690 Prudence Frary widdo dyed Fe'bry 24, 1690  "Find a Grave" said he died Aug 7, 1700, near 72 yr, deacon of South Church, Boston. Farber Gravestone Collection: Frary, Theophillus picture of gravestone "Here Lyeth Buried y bodi of Theophilus Frary Deacon of y south Church in Boston Aged Nere 72 yeares died August 17, 1700 City: Boston State/Province: Massachusetts Cemetery: Granary Carver Description: Skulls/Skeletons, 1700-1719 (Multiple Carvers) Ornamental carving: Rosettes; Winged Skull Stone type: Slate Verse: 

 

 

 

 

 

                  Theophilus Frary,Capt. and Hannah Eliot had the following children: 

 

                2                      i.                      Theophilus2 Frary was born in Dedham, Norfolk Co, MA 17 September 1654.  Theophilus died before 20 September 1657 at approximately 3 years of age.  He was christened in Dedham, Norfolk Co, MA, 17 September 1654.  

                                                                                              He was baptised at the First Church of Dedham. He presumably died before 20 September 1657 when another son of this name was born. 

                3                      ii.                    Hannah Frary was born in Dedham, Norfolk Co, MA 31 January 1655/6.  Hannah died 4 April 1729 in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, at 73 years of age.  She married twice.  She married Isaac Walker by February 1675.  Isaac was born in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA circa 1648.  Isaac was the son of Isaac Walker and Susanna Symonds?.  Isaac died 19 October 1688 in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, at 40 years of age.  His body was interred in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, Kings Chapel Burying Ground.  Inscription: Here lieth buried ye body of Isaac Walker aged 40 years & 7 months departed this life ye 19 of October 1688 

                                                                                              She married Andrew Belcher in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, 13 February 1689/90.  They were married by Thomas Danforth, Esq. 

                                                                                              Andrew was born in Cambridge, Middlesex Co, MA 1 January 1647/48.  Andrew was the son of Andrew Belcher and Elizabeth Danforth.  Andrew died 31 October 1717 in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, at 69 years of age.  

                                                                                              He was a widower. He was a wealthy shipowner and a member of the Massachusetts Council, 1702-17. His son, Jonathan, became Royal Governor, 1730-41, and was Governor of New Jersey later. 

                                                                                              She was christened in Dedham, Norfolk Co, MA, 17 February 1655/6.  She was baptised at the Dedham Church. 

                                                                                              Hannah's parents conveyed to son-in-law, Isaac Walker, and to Hannah, land in Boston, Feb 22, 1674/5. From the June 11, 1675 will of her grandfather, John Frary: "I will and bequeath unto my grante Child, Hanna Walker, the daughter of my son, Theophilus Frairy, five pounds to bee paid by my heires within the space of one full yere after my wifes decease." Hannah had no children of her own but raised the younger Belcher children. June 30, 1708 Estate of Capt. Theophilus Frarey; Partition of estate. To Andrew Belcher and wife Hannah, daughter of sd Theophilus Frarey, a pasture, W. Orange St., N. in part Solomon Kneeland, and partly by sea, N.E. the sea, [E. side of Washington St., S. of Boylston St.]. Also W. part of an orchard fronting on Frog Lane, W. land late of James Balston, E. other part of orchard, S. land late of Capt. Jacob Eliot. [S. side of Boylston St.] The other fronts W. by Orange St. Hannah Kent, N. land belonging to Thomas Walker, E. the sea [E. side of Washington St., S. ofBoylston St.] "February 5, 1717/8 Hannah Belcher, widow of Andrew, receives from Jonathan Belcher double house and land S.E. corner Washington and Bedford Sts." "February 5, 1717/8, Hannah Belcher (widow) receives from the Executor of the Estate of Andrew Belcher, deceased, his right and title in a certain house and land S.W. side of Elm St. Also another house, with land and shops North and union Sts." "January 3, 1718/9, Hannah Belcher, widow, deeds to Jonathan Belcher and Daniel Oliver, Esq., and Benjamin Eliot (bookseller), as trustees, the wooden house an dland belonging thereto, in Wing's Lane, now in her posssession, and her sister Mehetabel Lillie. Also all the house and lands in Anne St., in possession of Mrs. Abigail Arnold, the wharf at South End in the improvement of John Nelson, Esq., land in the occupancy of the sd Jonathan Belcher, all that double house an dland in the possession of Mrssrs. Oakes an dLawton, also the orchard in the improvement of Benjamin Simpson Elm St." "December 7, 1724, Abigail Arnold (widow): agreement between sd Abigail, Samuel Welles (clerk) and wife Hannah on one part, and Theophilus Lillie (merchant) Mehetable Lillie and Elizabeth Lillie, spinsters, for the maintenance of Hannah Belcher, widow, that Theophilus, Mehetable and Elizabeth Lillie to have care of Hannah Belcher during her natural life and the time of her insanity." She left all of her property to the children of her sister, Mehitable Lillie. She also inherited from the estate of Jacob Eliot, her grandfather. 

                4                      iii.                   Theophilus Frary was born in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA 20 September 1657.  Theophilus died 24 September 1657 in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, at less than one year of age.  He was christened in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, 20 September 1657.  At the First Church of Boston, MA. 

                5                      iv.                   John Frary was born in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA 19 September 1658.  John died 31 July 1660 in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, at 1 year of age.  He was christened in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, 26 September 1658.  

                                                                                              Excerpts from previous Frary publications -- First Church Baptism John of Theophilus and Hannah Frary born September 19th, 1658 John of Theophilus Frary 26 day 7 mo, year. John of Theophilus and Hannah Frary deceased the 31st of July, 1660. 

                6                      v.                     Theophilus Frary was born in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA 4 December 1660.  Theophilus died before 30 January 1661/62 in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, at approximately 1 year of age.  He was christened in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, 9 December 1660.  

                                                                                              A death date for this Theophilus has not been located and a birth date for a fourth sibling of the same name was found but due to the confusing nature of all these same named siblings we are guessing that the last birth date may indeed be the death date of this individual. 

         +        7                      vi.                   Abigail Frary was born 5 September 1662. 

                8                      vii.                  Mehitable Frary was born in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA 23 January 1664/5.  Mehitable died before 4 February 1665/6 in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, at approximately 1 year of age.  She was christened in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, 29 Janaury 1664/5.  

                                                                                              Excerpts from previous Frary publications -- First Church Baptism Mehetable of Theophilus & Hannah Frarye born Jan 23, 1664. 

         +        9                      viii.                Mehitable Frary was born 4 February 1665/6. 

                10                   ix.                   John Frary was born in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA 11 December 1668.  He was christened in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, 20 December 1668.  

                                                                                              No further information found. He is presumed to have died young. 

                11                   x.                     Prudence Frary was born in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA 23 August 1670.  Prudence died 22 May 1680 in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, at 9 years of age.  She was christened in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, 27 August 1670.  

                                                                                              Prudence was baptized at the Old South Church in Boston. The records of the Old South Church show a Prudence Frary that died May 22, 1680 who is presumed to be this person. 

                12                   xi.                   Samuel Frary was born in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA 13 May 1673.  Samuel is deceased.  Young. 

                                                                                              He was christened in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, 18 May 1673.  

                                                                                              He was baptised at the Old South Church. No further information found. He is presumed to have died young. 

                13                   xii.                  Bethiah Frary was born in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA 5 December 1674.  She was christened in Boston, Suffolk Co, MA, 6 December 1674.  

                                                                                                She was baptised at the Old South Church. No further information found. She is presumed to have died young. 

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Founded in 1970, the Frary Family Association (FFA) promotes the knowledge and history of the Frary Family and its descendants in America and elsewhere.
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