Family Card - Person Sheet
Family Card - Person Sheet

NameSgt. John SHATTUCK 198
Birth Date11 Feb 1647
Birth PlaceWatertown, Massachusetts
Death Date14 Sep 1675
Death PlaceCharlestown, Massachusetts
FatherWilliam SHATTUCK (1622-1672)
MotherSusanna HAYDEN? (-1686)
Misc. Notes
According to Shattuck’s Memorials199, “JOHN SHATTUCK, s. of William, (p. 61,) was b. in Watertown, Feb. 11, 1647; and, according to the records of that town, ‘was drowned as he was passing over Charlestown Ferry, the 14th Sept. 1675,’ ae. 28 y. 7 m. 3 d. He had lands granted to him in Groton in 1664, but it does not appear that he was an inhabitant of that town for any great length of time, if at all. He was a carpenter, and resided principally in the Middle District -- the present village of Watertown; where he was employed by the town, in 1669 and subsequently, to keep the town mill, then situated near the present bridge leading to Newton Corner.

“The year 1675 is well known in history as the commencement of the most disastrous war with the Indians that ever occurred in New England. It has been entitled ‘Philip’s’ war, from the name given to the notorious Metacom, the principal leader of the [p. 69] different tribes. It was undoubtedly the intention of King Philip to destroy all the white inhabitants; and at one time fears were entertained that he would carry his designs into execution. Many of the frontier towns were burned and deserted by the new settlers. Among other places early attacked were the remote settlements on the Connecticut River. As a means of protection a military company was organized under Capt. Richard Beers, a distinguished citizen of Watertown, of which young John Shattuck was appointed sergeant,* [original footnote: “* In the books of the Treasurer of the Colony, now in possession of the Genealogical Society, are several entries of payments for the services of John Shattuck as sergeant in this expedition.”] and proceeded to Hadley. Hearing that Squawkeague, now Northfield, had been attacked, they marched, on the 4th of September, 1675, to its relief; and while on their route a large force of Indians who lay concealed, suddenly rose and fell upon them with overpowering fury. Of thirty-six men of whom the company was composed, sixteen only escaped death. Capt. Richard Beers was killed. Sergeant Shattuck, one of the sixteen whose lives were preserved, was immediately despatched as a messenger to the Governor of the Colony to announce the result of the expedition. On the 14th of September, ten days after the battle, as he was crosing the ferry between Charlestown and Boston, he was drowned. Gookin, (Trans. Am. Antiquarian Society, Vol. II., p. 466,) describes this event as follows: --

“‘About this time a person named Shattuck, of Watertown, that was a sergeant under Capt. Beers, when the said Beers was slain near Squakeage, had escaped very narrowly but a few days before; and being newly returned home, this man being at Charlestown, in Mr. Long’s porch, at the sign of the Three Cranes, divers persons of quality being present, particularly Capt. Lawrence Hammond, the Captain of the town, and others, this Shattuck was heard to say to this effect: “I hear the Marlborough Indians, in Boston in prison, and upon trial for their lives, are likely to be cleared by the court; for my part,” said he, “I have been lately abroad in the country’s service, and have ventured my life for them, and escaped very narrowly; but if they clear these Indians, they shall hang me up by the neck before I ever serve them again.” Within a quarter of an hour after these words were spoken, this man was passing the ferry between Charlestown and Boston; the ferry boat being loaded with horses and the wind high, the boat sunk; and though there were several other men in the boat and several horses, yet all escaped with life, but this man only. I might mention several other things of remark here that happened to other persons, that were filled with displeasure and animosity against the poor Christian Indians, but shall forbear, lest any be offended.’

“[p. 70] It is proper to remark, in explanation of this narrative, that a painful suspicion was entertained at the time that some of the half christianized Indians in the settlements were privy to and partners in the conspiracy of Philip. Gookin did not share this suspicion, and he therefore opposed the war and those engaged in it. He had acted as counsel for the Indians then on trial; and he considered it criminal in any one to speak against them, notwithstanding some of them were convicted and were afterwards executed for murder. Whether Mr. Shattuck made the remarks, in ‘effect,’ as here given, or whether they were a mere heresay report, is uncertain; but Gookin seems to have considered his accidental drowning a special Providence, executed upon him as a punishment for his honest but fearless expression of opinions on subjects which he had just discussed with ‘divers persons of quality’! This judgement, however, if indeed it was one, did not occur alone; others happened to other persons for similar acts. Mr. Shattuck, as an honest, independent young man, having opinions of his own, and not afraid to express them on a proper occasion, would not be very likely to speak in the most mild and friendly terms of an enemy that had, only ten days before, betrayed and killed twenty out of thirty-six of his companions in arms; and he is to be commended for his conduct, and her his exhibition of a characteristic trait of the family.

“He m. June 20, 1664, in his eighteenth year, RUTH WHITNEY, b. in Watertown, April 15, 1645, dau. of John Whitney [a footnote on the descent of Ruth Whitney from John Whitney of England appears here]. On the 6th March, 1677, eighteen months after the death of Mr. Shattuck, she m. 2, Enock (or Enosh as often written) Lawrence, b. March 5, 1649, s. of John Lawrence; and in 1678, they removed to Groton, with several of his relatives, at the re-[p. 71]settlement of that town, taking with him the four young children by her first husband; and they probably occupied the land granted to Mr. Shattuck, in 1644. From this family the Shattucks of Groton and Pepperell originated. Mr. Lawrence d. in Groton, Sept. 28, 1744, ae. 95 y. 6 m. 23 d. The date of her death has not been determined.”
Birth Date15 2mo 1645
Birth PlaceWatertown, Massachusetts
FatherJohn WHITNEY (bp. 1621-1692)
MotherRuth REYNOLDS (1620->1695)
Misc. Notes
Lemuel Shattuck201 gives further details on the ancestors of Ruth (Whitney) Shattuck and on her children by her second husband Enock Lawrence.
Marr Date20 Jun 1664
ChildrenJohn (1666-1709)
 Ruth (1668-)
 William (1670-1744)
 Samuel (1673-1758)
Last Modified 15 Dec 1999Created 1 Dec 2017 using Reunion for Macintosh
New England genealogy files of Robert J. O’Hara, automatically output by Reunion for Macintosh. For additional genealogical data in other formats, including specialized lists of immigrant ancestors and notable kin, please visit my main genealogy page: For information about many of the localities mentioned here please visit