RJO’s Ancestors in the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts
This is one of a series of genealogical pages on my ancestors who served in early American wars, including the Pequot War (1637–1638), King Philip’s War (1675–1676), King William’s War (1689–1698), Queen Anne’s War (1702–1713), Dummer’s War (1723–1726) and King George’s War (1744–1745), the French and Indian War (1754–1763), the American Revolution (1775–1781), and Shays’ Rebellion (1786–1787). Ancestors who belonged to the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts are recorded as well (this page), and a special essay on Lexington and Concord and the Nineteenth of April is also available.
The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company (1637– )
“In 1637 a group of prominent residents of Massachusetts Bay, mostly Boston merchants and magistrates, founded the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, in clear imitation of the like-named organization in London. Although this body did have some military importance, it may be viewed also as the seventeenth-century equivalent of a men’s eating club” [Anderson xli]. The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company is still in existence today—it is the oldest military body in America—and its members serve as a ceremonial guard to the governor of Massachusetts at official functions. Persons who are descended from early members of the Company may apply for membership in the Company by right of descent.
PHILLIP ELIOT (25 Apr 1602–24 Oct 1657) — 8G Grandfather
Admitted to the Artillery Company in 1638. “He was brother to the Apostle to the Indians, and was deacon of his church. He was Representative, 1654, and three years after, and was a gentleman of some distinction. His will was made October 21st, 1657, and proved February 11th, next after. He died October 24th, 1657” [Whitman 75–76].
RICHARD BRACKETT (bapt. 16 Sep 1610–3 Mar 1689/90) — 10G Grandfather
Admitted to the Artillery Company in 1639. “He was dismissed from Boston Church to Braintree, 1642, and ordained Deacon, July 21st, 1642. He was the third Captain of the militia in Braintree, and Town Clerk for many years. He died March 3d, 1691, aged 80” [Whitman 103].
ROBERT LONG (about 1590–9 Jan 1664) — 10G Grandfather
Admitted to the Artillery Company in 1639 [Whitman 103]. He was an innkeeper in Charlestown and over the course of his career amassed a considerable estate [Wyman 625].
THOMAS ADAMS (1611–20 Jul 1688) — 8G Grandfather
Admitted to the Artillery Company in 1644. “Braintree, 1642; freeman 1643; removed to Concord 1646—afterward to Chelmsford, where he was the first Town Clerk; Representative 1673—died July 20th, 1688, aged 76” [Whitman 141].
ROBERT HALE (about 1607–16 Jul 1659) — 8G Grandfather
Admitted to the Artillery Company in 1644. He was a resident of Charlestown and “a founder of the Church there in 1632, and Deacon; freeman 1634. Ensign of the Train-band” [Whitman 142].
- Anderson, Robert Charles. 1995. The Great Migration Begins. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society.
- Whitman, Zachariah G. 1842. The History of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company (second edition). Boston: John H. Eastburn.
- Wyman, Thomas Bellows. 1879. The Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown, in the County of Middlesex and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1629–1818. Boston: David Clapp and Son.
© RJO 1995–2016