The Hatches

Editor's Note: When you see these three dots surrounded by a gray rectangle — 1 — you can click on it to get further information about the topic. Click a second time, and the message goes away.

Samuel Sheldon married Tryphenia Hatch in the 1820's. Unfortunately, both were destined to die young and their child would be raised by Tryphenia's parents, Zenas Hatch and Susanna Lewis. The Hatches went back seven generations:

Here is a short biography of these seven couples. Much of the information comes from Genealogy and History of the Hatch Family by the Hatch Genealogical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1925.

THOMAS HATCH (1598-1661) and GRACE (LEWIS?) (1598-1688)

Spelled Hatch, Hacche, or Hach, this surname is apparently derived from an Anglo-Saxon word, Hacche, which means a door or floodgate, stakes put up to catch fish, or a bar across a woodland path to stop deer. The first Hatches were established landowners in Devonshire, England. There appear to have been four distinct branches. One family are descendants of Thomas Hatch, whose only son was Jonathan. They were instrumental in settling both Yarmouth and Barnstable, Massachusetts.

There has been much confusion over the years when working with the Hatch genealogy because there were two Thomas Hatches, one from Scituate, the other an early proprietor of Dorchester, Massachusetts. The Thomas Hatch of this story is the latter one, the proprietor.

Thomas Hatch was born about 1598 in England. It is believed (but not proven) that he came to America on the ship,“Mary and John, 300 tons, Captain Squib, master” early in 1634. Apparently, he had with him his two children: Jonathan and Lydia. He was certainly a part of the great Puritan migration from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Not much is known about his life before he came to New England, but he married a young woman by the name of Grace, probably a second wife. Her family name seems somewhat uncertain, though some sources list it as Lewis.

There is a family story about their romance which goes like this: “Miss Grace, it seems, was a very winsome and popular young woman and Thomas had more than one rival...But the contest finally simmered down to Thomas and one other, and Miss Grace found it difficult to decide...Finally, as they were farmers, it was agreed...that fate should be determined by a reaping match: he who could reap a certain equal measured portion of a field of grain to get the prize. And Miss Grace, being herself a farmer’s daughter and a skilled reaper determined that she also would have a hand in the contest.... Reaping grain at that time was done by the hand sickle. In the meantime as her fate was so near a determination, Miss Grace did some vigorous thinking...and having concluded that, on the whole, she rather liked Thomas a little the better, she slyly cut over a little onto Thomas’s portion, thus enabling him to finish slightly ahead.”

Thomas and Grace married in about 1634 in Massachusetts after his arrival. She was born between 1598 and 1608, possibly in Wales. If Thomas and Grace had any children, we do not know about them, but she did act as stepmother to two children that Thomas had brought with him to America:

To become a freeman, a person had to be at least 25 years of age, a man with a family, a land owner, and a member of the Puritan or Congregational church. Thomas was made a freeman on 14 May 1634. This gave him the right to vote and to have a voice in public affairs of the Colony.

Thomas Hatch was, by all accounts, a “public spirited citizen” and “a man of business ability.” As a property owner, he was no doubt a man of influence. On 7 January 1639, he and nine others purchased land and formed a new township in the area now known as Yarmouth (on the Cape Cod peninsula). The nine families established homes — log houses — in the area. The town, run by a committee, was incorporated 17 January 1639. They were of “strict moral and religious character“ and were picky about who else could settle there. Anyone wanting to live there had to be accepted by the committee; eventually, 25 families established a home there.

Despite what seemed like a good thing for all, a dispute arose over the division of land when the town was initially formed. Because of this dispute, Thomas moved to the town of Barnstable on 1 June 1641. “He was an upright man and he may have felt that he had not been fairly dealt with or at any rate that he would prefer to reside where he could live amiably with his neighbours and in undisputed possession of his property.”

Thomas and his wife resided in the town of Barnstable for the balance of his life. In 1643, his name appears on the roll of those “able to bear arms in Barnstable” when he was about 40 years old. One year later, in 1644, his name is on the “list of approved inhabitants of Barnstable,” suggesting that he was held in high esteem by his neighbours. It is likely that he owned land, but the records were destroyed in a fire.

Thomas Hatch died on 7 May 1661 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA. An inventory of his estate was taken by two men, Isaac Robinson and Thomas Ewer, and sworn to by his widow, Grace. It totaled 17 pounds 18 shillings.

Grace was a widow for 27 years and it is believed that she died in 1688 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA.

JONATHAN HATCH (1625-1710) and SARAH ROWLEY (1626-1710)

Jonathan Hatch was born on 7 Sep 1625 in England. As a young boy of nine, he came to Massachusetts with his father, Thomas Hatch, in 1634.

It is presumed that Jonathan’s biological mother died in England when Jonathan was young. His father married a woman named Grace after they came to Massachusetts and Grace attempted to be a stepmother to the young boy of ten. At an early age, Jonathan was unwilling, it is said, to conform to the “restrictions of the intolerant age in which he lived.” His strong willed behaviour apparently became too much for his father and stepmother and, as it was common in those times, Jonathan was apprenticed at the age of 12 to Lt. Davenport of Salem, Massachusetts.

The discipline of a soldier would benefit him, they thought, but Jonathan did not like this discipline and after serving for two years, he deserted and went to Boston. Most likely he hoped to get to Yarmouth (where his father lived), but he was unsuccessful and wandered the streets instead. On 2 September 1640 “he was arrested as a fugitive from service and was censured to be severely whipped and ... [was] committed [as] a slave to Lt. Davenport.” But Jonathan did not wait for punishment. He ran away and this time managed to reach his father’s home in Yarmouth.

Jonathan would have been, by now, about 15 years old, and it is assumed his father took him in again. On 1 December 1640, he was arrested and charged with slandering Captain Nicholas Simpkins. Jonathan won his case, however, and Captain Simpkins was fined 40 shillings. However, Jonathan’s father moved to Barnstable in June 1641, and left Jonathan behind. He struggled to earn a living, but he was unable to gain employment. On 1 March 1642 he was “taken as a vagrant and for his misdemeanors was censured to be whipped” and it was ordered that he be returned (again) to Lt. Davenport. Jonathan refused to go, and said he would not stay if he were sent there. The sentence was reconsidered, and Jonathan was not sent back to Lt. Davenport.

The court appointed Mr. Stephen Hopkins as Jonathan’s protector, and for a while, Jonathan seemed to enjoy a stable situation. However, Mr. Hopkins died about two years later. Jonathan was now 19, more than old enough to take care of himself, and in 1645 he was one of four men who went on an expedition with other men from other towns to fight the Narragansett Indians.

Jonathan married Sarah Rowley, daughter of Henry Rowley and Sarah Palmer, on 11 April 1646 in Falmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts. Sarah was born in 1626 in Nottinghamshire, England.

Jonathan and Sarah had the following children:

Jonathan continued to be a jack-of-all-trades — and also occasionally got into trouble. In 1651, he helped to build a road between Plymouth and Sandwich, but on 2 March 1652, he was charged with “furnishing an Indian with a gun, powder, and shot.”

On 7 October 1654, Jonathan finally achieved what he wanted: his own land and a log house. With his family, he moved to the southeast part of the town, known at that time as “Sepneset on ye South Sea” (Sepneset was the Indian name for the area.) Jonathan, his family, and many other residents of the area annually pickled barrells of oysters and sent them to market. In 1657, Jonathan took the oath of fidelity at the General Court for the colony of Plymouth. He was the head of his family and a taxpayer, so he was entitled to vote for Deputies and any other town business.

At that time, that part of the town was wilderness, inhabited only by Indians. There were no white settlers within several miles of Jonathan and his family for several years. He was friendly with the local Indian groups, traded with them and is said to have “treated them well.” But Jonathan grew to dislike the isolation. In 1659 he searched for more promising prospects, and turned his attention to an area on the sea near Barnstable known as Succonnesett, meaning “place of the black clam shells.” Along with others, Jonathan moved his family there. He built his house near a narrow neck of land about a half mile southwest of the present village of Falmouth. Jonathan and Isaac were the first white settlers in the area, and Moses, Jonathan’s son, was the first white child born there. Jonathan extended his land holdings, including land that was given to him by an old Indian chief.

Meetings, including church meetings, were often held at Jonathan’s house. When Succonnesset was finally separated from Barnstable and given the name of Falmouth, the meeting was held at Jonathan Hatch’s house. Jonathan became very involved in the town affairs: determining the size of lots, attending sales of lands, and overseeing transfers of titles. On 24 June 1690 he took the Freeman’s oath and was admitted as a Freeman of the Colony at the County Court at Barnstable.

Before he died, Jonathan Hatch gave away all of his land to his children. Jonathan died on 10 Dec 1710 in Falmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts. He was 84 years old. Sarah died just seven days later, on 17 Dec 1710, also in Falmouth. 2

JONATHAN HATCH JR. (1652 - AFT 1696) and ABIGAIL WEEKS (1658 - AFT 1696)

Jonathan Hatch Junior was born on 17 May 1652 in Barnstable, Barnstable, Massachusetts.

Captain Jonathan Hatch was a farmer and resided in Falmouth, Massachusetts all of his life. He was chosen ensign of the military company on 2 October 1689. On 24 June 1690, at the County Court, he took the freeman’s oath.

He married Abigail Weeks, daughter of Williams Weeks Sr. and sister of John and William Weeks of Falmouth, Massachusetts, on 4 Sep 1676 in Falmouth, Barn- stable, Massachusetts. Abigail had been born in 1658 in Dukes County, Massachusetts.

Jonathan and Abigail had the following children:

When Jonathan and Abigail died is not known, but it is assumed that it was after 1696, the date of their last child’s birth.

NATHANIAL HATCH (1693-1748-50) and MARY WEEKS (1696-1750)

Nathanial Hatch was born on 30 Jul 1693 in Falmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts..

Nathanial married Mary Weeks 3, daughter of John and Mercy (Rowley) Weeks on 20 September 1714 in Falmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts. Mary had been born on 3 Sept 1696.

Nathanial and Mary had the following children:

Nathanial died between 1748 and 1750 in Falmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts. Mary died in about June 1750, also in Falmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts.

DAVID HATCH (1725-1788) and MERCY TOBEY (1722-1774)

David Hatch was born on 10 Nov 1725 at Falmouth, Massachusetts. He married Mercy Tobey, daughter of Ebenezer Tobey and Mary, on 19 Mar 1749 in Falmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts. Mercy had been born on 26 Jul 1722 in Falmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Ebenezer Tobey and Mercy Hatch.

Nathanial and Mercy (sometimes called Mary) married on 19 March 1749-1750. They had the following children:

David is listed in Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War as having served in the Continental Army “with Col. Nathaniel Freeman’s regiment, dated Sandwich, June 10, 1771, a resident of Mashpee.” He was also engaged to protect the town of Falmouth. He was involved with three regiments: Captain Wadsworth’s company, Col. Bradford’s regiment and Captain Joseph Wadsworth’s company. He returned, dated Valley Forge, 28 January 1778. He also enlisted for the town of Sandwich for eight months. According to these records, his children are listed as: Keziah, Abel, Emma, Seth, Micah, Paul, Beulah, Mehitable, Mary, David, Grace, and Lydia. [It is not know why Michael and Micah are not on the list. Perhaps they were no longer dependent on their father.]

Mercy (often called Mary) died in about 1774, and David took a second wife, Elizabeth Fuller, in about March 1774. It is not known if they had any children together, but she would have definitely step-mothered some of David’s children from his first marriage.

David died in 1788 in Mashpee, Barnstable, Massachusetts. Mercy died much sooner — in 1774, also in Mashpee. When he died, David Hatch (his son) was the administrator of his estate and John Tobey was appointed guardian to five minor children; this would probably have been Lydia, age 16, and Grace, age 19. It might have also included Beulah, age 26, and Mehitable, age 23, if they were not yet married. Or there may have been younger children, born to his second wife, Elizabeth.

MICAH HATCH (1759-1842) and MARY LUMBERT (1769-1832)

Micah Hatch was born on 29 June 1759 in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, just three years before Massachusetts ratified its constitution and 17 years before the American Revolution. Barnstable County is known as the Cape Cod Region with Cape Cod Bay to the north and Nantucket sound to the south; the city of Barnstable is the county seat.

Micah was a veteran of the Revolutionary War. His pension file is on file at Heritage Quest (Search for the Revolutionary War). He was a private in Captain Elisha Nye’s company. He enlisted 31 Jan 1776 and served until 21 Nov 1776 (9 mos 21 days). His company was stationed at Elizabeth Islands for defense of the seacoast; the roll was sworn to in Barnstable County. In September 1778, he served for 8 days on an alarm at Dartmouth and Falmouth with Captain Simeon Fish’s company.

Micah married Mary Lumbert, probably after the Revolutionary War and before 1783. Mary was born 7 Feb 1769; thus, she was ten years younger than Micah and certainly very young when she began bearing Micah’s children (she would have been only 14 when their first child was born in 1783).

Their children were:

Micah can be found in the 1790 Census in Barnstable, but before 1800, he and Mary moved to Washington County, Vermont as they can be found in the 1800, 1810 and 1820 Censuses there.

Mary died on 17 Dec 1832, in Middlesex, Vermont. Micah followed ten years later, on 12 May 1842, also in Middlesex. They are both buried at the North Branch Cemetery, Middlesex, Washington, VT. On the next page is his tombstone with the DAR metal sign beside it, indicating that he was a Revolutionary War soldier.

ZENAS HATCH (1783-1877) and SUSANNA LEWIS (1788-1861)

Zenas Hatch was born 5 November 1783 in Barnstable County, Massachusetts. He was the eldest of eight children born to Micah and Mary (Lumbert) Hatch. In 1800, when Zenas was 17 years old he moved with his family to Montpelier, Washington County, Vermont. He was the son of Micah Hatch and Mary Lumbert.

Zenas married Susannah Lewis on 24 February 1805, in Middlesex, Washington, VT. Susannah had been born 23 Apr 1788 in Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Solomon Lewis and Susanna Linnell. [Solomon Lewis was born 10 April 1750 in Barnstable, MA, and died 16 Sept 1839 in Montpelier, Washington County, VT. Susanna Linnell was born in 1752. They were married on 24 Sept 1822 and are both buried in the North Branch Cemetery, Middlesex, Washington County, Vermont. The Linnell line began in the 1580’s in London, England, with Robert Linnell who married Peninah Howse. Robert and Peninah arrived in America in 1638 and, like the Hatches, originally settled in Massachusetts. Robert was Susanna’s great-great-great grandfather.]

Zenas served in the military during the War against England in 1812, where he fought in the Battle of Plattsburgh. The British army under Lieutenant General Sir George Prevost and a naval squadron under Captain George Downie converged on the town of Plattsburgh which was defended by American troops under Brigadier General Alexander Macomb and ships commanded by Master Commandant Thomas MacDonough. Downie's squadron attacked shortly after dawn on 11 September 1814, but was defeated while Downie was killed. Prevost then abandoned the attack by land and retreated to Canada. The battle took place shortly before the signing of the Treaty of Ghent which ended the war.

Zenas and Susannah had the following seven children:

Zenas Hatch, with his wife Susanna and four young children (Seth, Zenas Jr, Tryphena and Temperance) started from Vermont to the Northwest Territory around 1815. They settled in Madison County, Ohio, for two years. In 1818 they moved to Bennington Township, Licking County, Ohio, where they remained for the rest of their lives.

The farm in Bennington Township was located six miles east of Croton and nine miles west of Utica. Zenas farmed this property for a short time and then moved to another farm not far away. They moved a total of seven times, but always remained in Bennington Township, Licking County.

Their daughter, Tryphenia, married Samuel Sheldon, in 1820. She gave birth to a son, whom she named Lewis William Sheldon, a few years later. Her husband died in 1830 and Tryphenia returned from Virginia with her young six year-old son. Just one year later, in 1831, she was dead, and Zenas and Susannah took over the responsibility of raising their grandson, Lewis William Sheldon.

Susanna Lewis Hatch died, at the age of 73, on 29 Sept 1861 in Licking County, Ohio. Her husband, Zenas, survived 16 years. He died 2 Jan 1877, also in Licking County. They are both buried in the Homer Cemetery, Burlington Township, Licking County, Ohio.

Zenas Hatch can be found in the 1810 Census for Middlesex, Chittenden, VT, on page 341. Michael Hatch, Solomon Lewis and William Lewis are on the same page. He can also be found in the 1820 Census for Jefferson Township, Madison County, Ohio, page 74. For 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, and 1870 Censuses he is living in Licking County, Ohio. He is also in the Licking County, Ohio death Records, Book 1, A-K, 1874-1882, Registered in Probate Court Office. He was 93 years old. Susannah's tombstone is at the left; it was broken in half. Zenas's tombstone is at the right.

This page written and researched by Susan Overturf Ingraham, a descendant of these Hatches. Page last updated February 12, 2016.

Return to Table of Contents for Exploring Ancestral Roots: Overturfs, Hansens, McDonalds and Mahoneys

★ ★ ★


  1. These three dots behave exactly like a footnote. Click on them and you will get more information about the topic. 

  2. Photo of tombstone supplied by Brian Nickerson in 2008. 

  3. Mary's name is sometimes seen as Mariah or Mercy. Her last name is seen as Weeks and Weekes. 

  4. For more about Tryphenia's life, click on her name.