They Came to America

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Robert Page

St. Marys Church, South Walsham

Sometime before the year 1000 a man named Orme had a farm in a village in Norfolk (the land of the Norsemen), and a town sprung up it. The town was named Ormesby. The Old Norse term for farm or enclosure was ‘by’. About six hundred years later, in 1603, in a town that now had a church dedicated to St. Cuthbert, a man named Robert Page and his wife Margrett (nee Goodwynge) had a son, whom they named Robert, after his father. In all Robert and Margrett had five children, four boys: Robert, Francis, Thomas and Henry and a daughter, Rebecca.

On October 8, 1629, perhaps when the harvesting was done for the year, Robert married Lucea (Lucy) Warde, the oldest of seven children of Francis Warde and Susannah Browne, of the nearby village of Filby. The wedding took place in the 14th-century church of St. Mary’s in South Walsham, Norfolk.

After the wedding Lucy and Robert settled in the village of Ormesby, where they had three children: Margaret, Francis and Susannah. Robert was in line to inherit the family property upon the death of his parents, he could have settled down to a simple life like he had always known.

In 1635 a new bishop was appointed in Norwich: Bishop Matthew Wren, a supporter of the new Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud, who tried to impose high-church rituals, on a population that was becoming more and more puritan. The crack-down by Bishop Wren caused a number of people to leave the country. We do not know if that was what precipitated the emigration of the Page family, but there are records that the Metcalf family, whom sailed a few days before them, left specifically due to religious persecution. Since, once in New England, Robert was a Deacon, it seems likely that this would have been a cause for his leaving as well.

Whatever the reason, in the beginning of April 1637, Robert, his wife, their three children – none older than 7 and the youngest likely a babe in arms, together with a young man named William Moulton and Lucy’s 15 year old sister, Anne, headed to the harbour at Great Yarmouth. There, telling officials that "being desirors to passe into New England to Inhabitt," they secured passage on the ship ‘The Rose’ and sailed away from Norfolk to a new world on April 11, 1637 – the same day that Robert’s mother died.

They arrived in Boston on June 8, 1637. Robert was 33, Lucy was 30. They settled in Salem, where their next three children were born, Samuel, Rebecca and Thomas, were all baptized in Salem on Sep 1, 1639. Unfortunately, young Susan, the baby on the voyage appears to have died young, and may have already died at this point.

In 1639 the growing family removed to the brand new settlement of Hampton, founded primarily by people who, like the Page family, came from Norfolk County, in England. The first land grants were given in December 1639. Robert Page, received his land grant, along with many others in June 1640. It was a grant for 10 acres of land for a house-lot, lying between the house lots of William Marston, on the west, and Robert Marston, on the east, abutting the Meeting house Green on the south, and other land of his, on the north.

Robert was an energetic and enthusiastic man. He was a very active part of the community, being a member of the first board of selectmen. On May 18, 1642 he became a Freeman, around the same time, he and Lucy had another daughter, Hannah. A couple of years later, their last child, Mary, was born.

He again served as a selectman in 1647, 1652, 1659, 1667 and 1670. He was a member of the general assembly in 1657 and again in 1668. He was also marshal of the Old Colony of Norfolk, which included Hampton.

He built the first sawmill in the town, a privilege he was granted by vote of the town. He was required to build this sawmill within one year, but since he was also busy building the parsonage, the time was extended to two years.

Robert Page was a very successful man. In 1659, when 76 persons were taxed, his tax was the highest, and amounted to one twentieth of the whole sum. Seated in accordance with their social position and standing in the community, Robert Page had the most honorable place - in the front seat. He was a Deacon in the church, in fact for more than 20 years he was the only deacon in the church, and was then succeeded by his son Francis.

Lucy died in 1665 at the age of 58. Robert lived until 1679, and died at age 75.

The Map of Hampton, NH showing original boundary in orange.

Robert Page m Lucy Warde

     Mary Page m Samuel Fogg

             Seth Fogg m Sarah Shaw

                      Seth Fogg II m Meribah Smith

                                 Seth Fogg III m Elinor Philbrick

                                           Caleb Fogg m Olive Prescott

                                                 Newell Fogg m Rachel York

                                                          Caleb (Charles) Fogg m Jane Wheeler

                                                                    Ann Wheeler Fogg m Alfred Burr Howard

                                                                           Max Clinton Howard m Rose Ann Forderdunz

                                                                                    Ruth Howard