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Researching George [Phelps?] of the Ship Recovery

Written by John Plummer, transcribed by David Phelps.

Settlement Patterns of the Recovery Passengers


Town records of new Dorchester offer the earliest documentation of colonial residence for many Recovery passengers. 17 Not only do there appear the perviously mentioned Newberry, Elwell, and Terry; but there are also found a number of shipmates. John Pope appears in records of 3 November 1634;18 Thomas Swift and Thomas Bascomb in those of 22 November 1634;19

Jonathan Gillette, under 17 April 1635;20 and Robert Dibble, under 17 December 1635.21 Three female passengers also appear to be wives of Dorchester colonists who had come over earlier—Mary Cogam, wife of Mr. John Cogan;22 Sarah Hill, wife of Mr. William Hill;23 and Elizabeth Parkman, who appears in records of colonial Dorchester under age 5 August 1633.24 Dorchester is the place that most—perhaps all—of the Recovery passengers first resided in the New World.

However, five of them subsequently emerge in the records of nearby Hingham (then called Bear Cove). The first was John Elderman—who is surely the John Alderman mentioned on 30 September 1634 as having been lost25 and not the John Elderkin suggested by Colket.26 Three other passengers (Thomas Wakeley, Joseph Andrews, and David Phippen) are in the first record of Hingham proprietors dated 18 September 1635;27 and another, Thomas Shaw, was there in 1639.28 A sixth passenger, Anthony Eames, was a proprietor of Hingham in 1636, although he had appeared among the inhabitants of Charlestown two years earlier.29

Two other Massachusetts towns, Salem and Taunton, attracted a small number of Recovery passengers. John Alderman, mentioned above as a Hingham resident in 1634, subsequently was listed among land grantees at Salem in 1636—together with passenger John Hardy.30 Although the latter had been declared a freeman of Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634, the record of that event does not indicate the town in which he lived at the time.31 William Bowne of the Recovery appears to be the William Bound named as a Salem church member in 1636.32 And Hezikiah Hoare appears on a list of men able to bear arms at Taunton in 1643.33

Passengers Daniel Norchat and John Wotts have not been placed, even tentatively, in New England.


David Phelps Phelps Family Research
304 Bridlewood North, Colleyville, Texas 76034