Family Card - Person Sheet
Family Card - Person Sheet

NameJames PRATT 6
Birth Date1752
Birth PlaceEngland?
Death Date14 May 1784833
Death PlaceLancaster, Massachusetts
Death Memo“by Suicide”
FlagsRevolution (1775-81)
Misc. Notes
The 1998 Pratt Directory834 provides the following information on James Pratt (with square brackets in the original): “JAMES b. 1752, Eng. M. 16 Nov 1769, Lancaster (Worc.) Ma., at age 17 Zerviah RUGG several yrs his senior. Both rec’d full comm’n 17 Mar 1771, First Ch. there. He d. there 14 May 1784, ‘suicide.’ Zerviah d. there 22 May 1806, age 60, ‘injury by a fall in a fit of insanity.’ Index to Worc. Co. Prob. Series A lists #47681 adm. of est. 1784 for James of Lancaster; #47682 guard. for minor James; #47767 guard. for Samuel; #47609 guard. for Betsey; #47765 guard. for Sally; all in 1786. On p. 225 Lancaster 1790 is Zerviah: 0-0-2. [Note: in adj. Shirley one Zerviah PRATT, ‘gr’dtr of John DWIGHT,’ was bapt 1804, par. unnamed. This was poss. a d/o Ebenezer b. 1766 or an adult baptism for Zerviah (RUGG) PRATT.]”

But there seems to be some conflict here with other sources. The SAR Patriot Index566 includes a James Pratt d. 1784 who m. Zerviah Rugg, and who is identified as a private in the Massachusetts militia, but this James’ birthdate is given as 1739. This SAR record would seem to derive from the following entry in MSSRW835 (with square brackets in the original): “PRATT, JAMES. Descriptive list of men raised in Worcester Co. to serve in the Continental Army, agreeable to resolve of Dec. 2, 1780, as returned by Seth Washburn, Superintendant for said county, June 12 [?], 1781; Capt. Thurston’s co., Col. Whitney’s regt.; age, 42 yrs.; stature, 5 ft. 5 in.; complexion, light; occupation, farmer; engaged for town of Lancaster; engaged May 27, 1781; term, 3 years; also, Private, Capt. Elnathan Haskell’s co., Col. William Shepard’s (4th) regt.; muster rolls for June-Sept., 1781; enlisted May 28, 1781; also, muster rolls for Oct., 1781-Feb., 1782, dated York Hutts.” Whether this James Pratt who served in the Continental army is the same James Pratt who m. Zerviah Rugg is not clear, although they both apparently lived in Lancaster. Further research into the sources of the Pratt Directory entry is needed to resolve the matter. The MSSRW James Pratt who was born in 1739 would seem to be closer to the likely age for a husband of Zerviah Rugg (who was b 1745). The Pratt Directory836 does have a very short entry for the MSSRW James: “JAMES, 17 Mar 1739, Sudbury, Ma., s/o Josiah c. 1690 and Keturah (Graves). Listed in DAR Pat. Ind. as a Pvt.”

Update: Apparently the earlier 1980 edition of the Pratt Directory listed James Pratt the son of Josiah and Keturah (Graves) Pratt as the James who married Zerviah Rugg. What was the basis for claiming in the revised edition that Zerviah’s husband James Pratt was born in England in 1752? All the circumstantial evidence points to the James Pratt b. 1739 in Sudbury as the James who married Zerviah Rugg. An age-at-death statement (as from a gravestone) could resolve this question, but I have not been able to locate one.
Birth Date10 Aug 1745837
Birth PlaceLancaster, Massachusetts
Death Date22 May 1806838
Death PlaceLancaster, Massachusetts
FatherNathan RUGG (1718-1786)
MotherZerviah FROST (1719-1807)
Misc. Notes
For a comprehensive treatment of her descent from the immigrant John Rugg (1632-1696), an early settler of Lancaster, see “The Descendants of John Rugg” (Ellen R. Rugg, 1911. New York: Frederick H. Hitchcock, Genealogical Publisher)

Marriage intention 21 October 1769 in Lancaster.839

She died as a result of “Injury by a fall in a fit of Insanity.”840
Marr Date16 Nov 1769841
Marr PlaceLancaster, Massachusetts
ChildrenJames (1770-)
 Samuel (1772-1845)
 Sally (bp. 1776-)
 Betsey (1780-)
Last Modified 29 Sep 2012Created 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