John Bayles or Bayless I
Born: 1617, possibly Norwich, Norfolk, England
Died: after 1682, Jamaica, Queens Co., New York
Occupation: laborer, farmer, surveyor
Public Office: Setauket, New York Constable, delegate to meeting of Jamaica Town Deputies.
Marriage: about 1640, Connecticut or Long Island, New York
Wife: Rebecca Bayles (maiden name unknown)
Died: after 1682, unknown
It is an interesting fact that the record of the first of our ancestors in this country is more fully documented thanthat of most of his descendants. There is no question that he was of the pioneer type, restless, active in civicaffairs and an inveterate land trader. While it would be tedious to list all of the minor activities of his manydescendants, it seems worth while to give the history of John (1) in some detail.
1617. Born in England. While we have no information regarding his family or ancestors, it is clear that he cameof humble yeoman stock, as he never learned to sign his name. The weight of evidence indicates that he camefrom the Parish
of St. Peters of Mancrofts in Norwich, Norfolk, England.
1635. June 10. Sailed from London on the Truelove for Bermuda at the alleged age
of8.[Hotten.]It is customaryfor a ship to clear for the first port of call. During the colonial period it was very common for ships to make atriangular voyage, calling first at the West Indies with trade goods, thence to New England with molasses andfinally back to England with rum and other New England produce. Their prompt appearance in New Englandproves beyond question that many, if not all, of the passengers on this trip stayed with the Truelove until itreached Boston.
1635-54. We are satisfied that John (1) came to America as an indentured servant of William Wells, born inNorwich in 1605, who was a fellow-passenger on the Truelove. It was common for young men to work theirpassage in this way.The fact that Hotten gives Wells' age as 17 in 1635 does not alter this conviction. Wellscame of a wealthy family, but his older brother John was heir to the estate and all William got was a first-ratelegal education and a modest sum of money to start him in life. Wells arrived in Boston in 1635, was in Lynn in 1638, in New Haven in 1639 and in Southold, L. I.,in 1640. [Hayes.]
1640, when Wells moved to Southold, John (1) had worked out his passage and was free to do as he pleased,and it was probably about this time that he married Rebecca. The fact that his marriage is not mentioned inClemens' Marriages Prior to 1699 proves nothing, as this list is by no means complete. Equally the fact that John(1) does not appear in the earlier records as having been in Boston, Lynn and New Haven, together withWilliam Wells, does not disprove our theory, as only masters and heads of households were so listed.Duringthe period 1640-54 we can only assume that John (1) worked at a trade (we do not know what) and saved whathe could.
1654. Southold. The records of the First Church show that John (1) was living there before 1654. [Holgate.]Theshort trip by boat across Long Island Sound would not have been difficult, even for a man with a wife andseveral children. Whether he made this move at the urging of his old friend and former employer, or wasattracted by Rev. John Youngs, whom he may have known in England, we do not know. It seems more probablethat Wells, who may have offered him employment, was the attraction.
1656. Southold. Bought a lot on the Town Street of Thomas Scudder. [Case.] He could very well have lived and worked in Southold for some time until he had saved enough to buy a home-lot.
1657. Southold was first settled in 1640. A Town Street was laid out and trees were felled to open it. In 1657 aresolution was passed at Town Meeting that all who owned property on Town Street must remove the stumpsin front of their lots. A study of a few wills indicates that very few of the early settlers had horses, and the factthat the stumps were allowed to remain in place so long is strong evidence that still fewer had any sort ofwheeled vehicles.[Case.]
1661. Southold. Sept. 22. Sells his house and home lot to John Tuthill. [Moore.]
1661. Jamaica. July 14. Voted in Town Meeting. [RJ 1-101.]
probably the sale of his property in Southold was made or agreed upon before John (1)
Jan. 30, Jamaica. Candidate for Magistrate. [RJ 1-13. ]
1662. Apr. 3, Jamaica. Licensed to keep an ordinary.
1663. Dec. 3, Jamaica. T. M. voted him a delegate to a meeting of town deputies. [RJ 1-25 ]
During this period John (1) was involved in the New Jersey land grant.
While he probably did not movehis family to New Jersey, he was away from Jamaica most of the time during these two years.
1666. Jamaica. Surveys land. [RJ 1-33 ]
1668. Setauket. Accepted as a townsman by T. M. [BR 1-156 ]
1668-74. Setauket. Resident and taxpayer, proved by numerous entries in the Brookhaven Records. In spite of thefact that John (1) spent six years in Setauket, it seems that none of the many Bayleses in Brookhaven Town(Township), of which Setauket was the principal village, are descended from him. Instead, they trace their lineback to Elias Baylis (Bayles) who came to Setauket in 1656. See Part 3. [Thompson p. 262 ]Whether Elias ofSetauket was any relation to John (1) we do not know. We are only sure that he was not the same person as Elias (4) who was the son of John (1).
1672. Jan. 10, Setauket. Elected Constable. [BR 1-131 ]
1674. Apr. 22. "John Bayles, now of Setauket" trades land in Brookhaven with Thos. Bigs for land in Jamaica,"formerly the property of John Bayles. [BR 1-121 ]
1674. May 28, Jamaica. Attended T. M. [RJ 1-94]
1676.-1682. Jamaica. Many references. [RJ ]
1682. Oct. 18. Made his will. [NYW 1-122 ]
1682. Oct. 20. Jamaica. Deed to son Elias. [RJ 1-220]
1682. Dec. 13. Jamaica. Will proved. [NYW 1-122]
John (1) was married to Rebecca, who survived him. The following list of children is given in his will.They arearranged according to the order given in the will, with due allowance for the fact that sons were always namedfirst, and for the fact that Rebecca (2) must have been old enough to marry, have a child and die before Rebecca(12) was born. The dates of birth are reasonable approximations. The marriages are taken in part from the N. Y.Hist. Soc. Coll., 1892, p. 122.
John b. 1641-2 d. 1696 m. Mar. 12, 1665 Ruth Rusco
Rebecca b. abt. 1643 d. before Rebecca (12) was born m. Nicholas Stilwell, leaving a son, Elias
Elias b. abt. 1645 d. after 1699 m. abt. 1674 Sarah
Elizabeth b. abt. 1646 d. after 1682 m. Dec. 31, 1664 James Hubbard
Thomas b. abt. 1647 d. abt. 1689
Jonathan b. abt. 1650 d. after 1682 m. abt. 1685 Elizabeth Cardell
Mary b. 1654 d. 1733 [C.A.G. 5-187 ] m. 1680 George Hewlett, 1639-1722
9 Damaris b. abt. 1656 d. after 1682 m. Nov. 13, 1679 Nathaniel Lyns of Gravesend
Abigail b. abt. 1658 d. after 1682 m. before 1682 Daniel Smith
Ruth b. abt. 1660 d. after 1682
Rebecca b. abt. 1662 d. after 1694 m. Jan. 11, 1664 Richard More