Meet the Planters – John Warner, Jr.

Meet John Warner, Jr.

The most prominent member of the Warner family was without a doubt, John Warner, Jr. He was born at Ipswich about 1644, where he was baptized on September 24, 1649, and came to Quaboag with his father in 1665. He was one of the proprietors of Quaboag, having purchased a single lot, the transaction recorded in his account with John Pynchon on November 11, 1670. Although his stay at Quaboag was to be of short duration, there is no evidence to indicate the precise date of his removal from Brookfield. However, on February 12, 1668/9 he joined with other inhabitants of Hadley in petitioning the General court, protesting against a proposed levying of taxes on imports and exports of the Colony. In 1672, he was at Suffield, where he was paid for constructing a saw mill for John Pynchon. He probably lived there until 1674, when on April 2nd on that year, he married Lydia Boltwood of Hadley, Here (Hadley), in 1675, was born his first child. There then is an interval when John Warner, Jr. apparently was away from Hadley, possible in the military service, since this period coincides with the outbreak of King Philip’s War.

Further evidence to indicate his involvement in the war is the following entry in the records of Massachusetts Bay, dated May 9, 1678: “In ansr to Peticon of Jno Warner, lately of Hadley, now of Springfield, the Court judges it meet to grant the peticoner 20 pounds to be paid him by the Treasurer of the Country for the present, towards his disbursements on and for Ye country.”

The following quotation is offered in substantiation of the date of his return to Hadley: “November 15, 1676. Agreed with John Warner to have my mill one year now coming in halves, he to tend it well, grind all the corn that comes to it, and allowing me one-half the tole, he to keep it in good trim and be at—charge and look to the—. He came not to Hadley till toward the end of November: and then beating and trimming the mill for three or four days so that he set into grinding but on the first day of December, 1676. I say his year began December 1, 1676.”

On December 1, 1677, the above agreement was renewed, suggesting that he intended to remain at Hadley for another year.

The records show that his second child was born at Springfield on April 4, 1677, as were the other eight in the succeeding years. On December 31, 1678/9 he was one of 132 inhabitants of Springfield to take the oath of allegiance to the King (Charles II). On October, 1679, he was elected a freeman of the colony, and he took the oath of that office at Northampton on March 30, 1680. In January, 1681/2, he was assessed 8 shillings, 3 pence for building the Fort River Bridge at Hadley. He was probably a nonresident taxpayer at this time. On March 1, 1681/2, he was referred to as “My Miller” by John Pynchon, in his ledger. His wife Lydia died on January 26, 1682/3, and he soon re-married (on August 31, 1683) Sarah Warner, widow of Daniel Warner of another lineage.

In 1685, John, Jr.,, was one of 123heads of families in Springfield on whom the Outward Commons on both sides of the “Great River,” were divided as a precaution against their being returned to the Crown. On August 12, 1686, the ledger of Mr. Pynchon tell us that John Warner, Jr., was also a sawyer.

His marriage to Sarah was short lived, due to her premature death on January 24, 1686/7. However, he soon ventured into another marriage, this time with Sarah Ferry, this union faring no better since she died two years later (July 25, 1689), at the age of 20 years. He took for his fourth wife, Rebecca (Williams) Cooley widow of Obadiah Cooley, Jr. of Longmeadow, on November 26, 1691, who lived until October 18, 1715.

In 1692, he was appointed constable at Springfield. There then appears an interval of about two years where John is again in residence at Suffield. Proof of this lies in the account books under the heading “John Warner of Suffield.” The dates of the entries range from March 29, 1695 to February 11, 1696/7. He is referred to as a miller (at Suffield) during this period in an account dated January 3, 1696/7. It appears that he then again removed to Springfield, where he was elected a selectman of that town in 1697, 1698, 1702, and 1703.

He built a grist mill on the banks of the Mill River in Springfield and at a town meeting on March 8, 1709/10, was granted permission to move this mill to another location. On April 14, 1710, he conveyed by deed this mill and its house to his son Ebenezer.

After a long active life, having survived four wives and sired 10 children, John Warner, Jr. died at Springfield on January 21, 1723/4, at the age of about 80.

The one direct descendant of John Warner, Jr., who is of special interest to us, is Lydia, his eldest child, born at Hadley about 1675, and married at Springfield, on April 29, 1696, to Josias Beamon. He was the son of Simon Beamon and was born on February 4, 1662/3. They removed to Brookfield and settled during the second settlement. He died at Brookfield on May 30, 1725 and she re-married, at Brookfield, William Palmer on January 24, 1727/8.