Family Card - Person Sheet
Family Card - Person Sheet

NameMary LOKER 43,177
Birth Date28 Sep 1653
Birth PlaceSudbury, Massachusetts
Death Date28 Oct 1735553,554
Death PlaceGroton, Massachusetts
Burial PlaceGroton, Massachusetts553
FlagsGravestone documented
FatherJohn LOKER (~1608-1653)
Misc. Notes
According to Butler’s History of Groton555, “A romantic story has come down, by family tradition, to the present generation, of the courtship of this loving pair of fruitful progenitors, and is still preserved with much accuracy, it is presumed, as a nursery tale. John Loker, of whom we have no other account than as connected with this affair, is said to have been wealthy, and he and his wife to have been somewhat aristocratic in their feelings and notions. Having only one daughter, and she exceedingly fair and of good promise, they disdained to betroth her to a blacksmith, the son of a blacksmith, however rich and otherwise unexceptionable he might be. They had set their hearts upon Mary’s marrying a lawyer. So when they found that there was a strong attachment bewteen their idol, the fair Mary, and the young blacksmith, they remonstrated, but unwitting pursued a direct course to foster and strengthen it. They forbade his entering their house, or having any communication whatever with their daughter; and the more effectually to prevent any intercourse, they grated the windows of her apartment in the house; and when they thought there was any danger of an interview between them, they locked her in. Jonas, however, was not to be baffled by grates and locks. He took opportunities, when the cold night wind blew, and the pelting storm raged, when no listener could overhear the soft whispering of true lovers, to place himself beneath her grated window, and there enjoy the sweet communion with his dearly-beloved. Their intercourse was soon discovered by the chagrined parents; and the next expedient resorted to was to place Mary in some secluded spot, under the care of some watchful and faithful guardian. Chockset, now called Sterling, then a frontier settlement, was chosen as the place of her seclusion. Jonas searched [p. 288] the country around, and made diligent inquiry to find the place of her banishment, for some time in vain. At length, being one day in the wilds of Chockset, he made his usual inquiry of some young men he saw, if they had any pretty girls in their neighborhood. They told him there was to be a quilting that very day, where all the girls would be; that they themselves were going in the evening to dance with them, and invited him to be one of the party, where he might see for himself. He cheerfully accepted the invitation; and on arriving at the cottage where the seamstresses of the settlement were assembled, whom should he there find, but his adored Mary Loker. This was indeed a happy adventure. Concealing, as well as they could, their former acquaintance, they took opportunities to be partners in the dance, and made assignments for future meetings. Having thus fortunately discovered the place of her banishment, he renewed his visits, till her parents finding it out, took her home. She was then sternly told, that she must reject the blacksmith, and receive the addresses of the lawyer. She resolutely replied, ‘she would never marry to anyone but Jonas Prescott.’ The rejoinder was, ‘Then you shall never have a farthing of our property.’ To this there was a general demurrer; a decree for marriage without dowry followed. The consummation took place before even the most common utensils for housekeeping could be procured; (some delay might have been made, to see if the old folks would not relent, and provide her some;) the tradition positively asserts, that her only implement for boiling was a two quart kettle, and her wash-tub, the shell of a large pumpkin. From this happy pair sprung the doctors, warriors, civilians, statesmen, noticed in the text; with other numerous descendants, of whom Mary lived to see one hundred and seventy-five.”

Unfortunately for this story, Threlfall reports that Mary’s father John Loker died 18 June 1653 at Sudbury, three months before Mary was born. “(See Newton Genealogy p. 17-18 for a full transcript of the will.)”556 If this is correct, then the story above cannot be correct as it is reported. Perhaps Mary Loker’s mother remarried and the story actually pertains to a step father, or perhaps it is entirely a fiction.

Green’s Epitaphs557 reproduces Mary Loker’s gravestone from the Old Burying Ground in Groton: “HERE LIES BURIED/YE BODY OF YE/WIDOW MARY/PRESCOTT RELICKS/OF JONAS PRESCOTT/ESQR WHO DECD/OCTOBR YE 28SH A D/1735 IN YE 82D/YEAR OF HER AGE”
Spouses
Birth DateJun 1648548
Birth PlaceLancaster, Massachusetts
Death Date31 Dec 1723549,550
Death PlaceGroton, Massachusetts
Burial PlaceGroton, Massachusetts549
FatherJohn PRESCOTT (1604-1681)
MotherMary PLATTS-GAWKROGER (1606-)
Misc. Notes
(Details of Children to be entered from Butler’s History.)

According to Green’s Epitaphs551, the name Prescott “is the most distinguished name in the annals of Groton, and the families bearing it have been numerous. Jonas, the progenitor, was the son of John and Mary (Platts) Prescott, and was born at Lancaster, in June, 1648. He was a blacksmith by trade, and owned the mill in the south part of Groton, now within the limits of Harvard. It is said that a grant of land made by the town, about the year 1675, when it was much in need of a blacksmith, induced him to remove nearer to the village. He built a house and shop on the lot, which was situated on the easterly side of James’s Brook, perhaps a third of a mile south of Lawrence Academy. He bought lands, until he became one of the largest owners of real estate in the town. Two years ago, a piece of wall was removed, which separated a part of this lot from the highway, near where it forks from the Boston road, and which contained a stone bearing this inscription: --

“I. P./1680/Rebuilt by/O. P./1784/Rebuilt by/S. J. Park/1841.

“The initials I. P. are those of Jonas Prescott, and O. P. those of his grandson, Dr. Oliver Prescott.

“Jonas married, December 14, 1672, Mary, daughter of John and Mary (Draper) Loker, of Sudbury, and they had four sons and eight daughters. Two of the sons died young, but all the other children lived to grow up and have families. The eight daughters, with one exception, married Groton men, and were blessed with numerous offspring. Jonas filled many important positions in the town, and represented it in the General Court during the years 1699 and 1705; he died December 31, 1723, aged 75 years.”

Jonas Prescott was captain of the Groton company during Queen Anne’s War (see Green’s Indian Wars)552 and was also grandfather of Col. William Prescott, the commander at Bunker Hill.
ChildrenMary (1674-)
 Elizabeth (1676-)
 Jonas (1678-)
 Nathaniel (Died as Infant) (1680-1681)
 Dorothy (1681-)
 James (Died as Child) (1684-1704)
 Sarah (1686-)
 Abigail (1688-)
 Martha (1690-)
 Susanna (1691-)
 Benjamin (1695-)
Last Modified 1 Nov 2009Created 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: http://rjohara.net/gen/ For information about many of the localities mentioned here please visit NewEnglandTowns.org: http://newenglandtowns.org