Plymouth County Biographies

Part of the Massachusetts Biographies Project

Francis West

The following biographical sketch was extracted from "Francis West of Duxbury, Mass., and Some of His Descendants," by Edward E. Cornwall, published in April of 1906 in the New England Historic Genealogical Register:

"Francis West, a house carpenter by trade, being a single man, invited by a Mr. Thomas of Marshfield, Massachusetts, left the town of Salisbury in England and came to N. England, and settled in Duxbury, Mass., and married Margery Reeves, by whom he had five children, viz., Samuel, Thomas, Peter, Mary, and Ruth." So wrote Judge Zebulon West (1707-1770), a great-grandson of the emigrant, who probably learned these facts from his father, also named Francis (1669-1731), who lived with the emigrant in Duxbury until he grew up.

Francis West married Margaret Reeves, in Duxbury, Feb. 27, 1639, and died in that town, Jan. 2, 1692, aged 86. He is spoken of as a carpenter in the Duxbury records, and the Plymouth Colony records show that he made a pair of stocks for the town of Duxbury in 1640. In 1640 and 1642 he was a member of the Grand Jury; in 1642 he bought a house and land in Duxbury (Millbrook); and in 1643 he was on the list of those able to bear arms. He was admitted freeman in Plymouth Colony in 1656. In 1658 he was surveyor of highways in Duxbury; constable in 1661; and in 1662, '69, '74, '78, '80 and '81 was a member of the "Grand Enquest." During the last years of his life his son Peter took care of him, and his estate, which amounted to only £16:15:0, was given to Peter by the Probate Court.