John Eaton, Sr. was born 21 August 1611 in Dover, Kent, England to Nicholas Eaton (1574-1637) and Katherine Master (1578-1626) and died 10 November 1658 Dedham, Norfolk County, Massachusetts of unspecified causes. He married Abigail Batcheler (1600-1658) 5 April 1630 in Dover, Kent, England.


John Eaton, Sr. embarked for Boston 27APR1635 aboard 'Elizabeth & Ann' with two children. His arrival in Massachusetts in 1635, was 15 years after the Mayflower. He was declared a Freeman 25MAY1636 at Watertown, Massachusetts where a couple of his children were born. He evidently had indentured himself to pay for passage.

John Sr. helped build the first bridge over the Charles River. He was on the Dedham Town Committee appointed to 'fell Pynes and Oake' for the Dedham Town Hall in 1637. He also served as Surveyor of Highways and 'Wood Reeve' several years. His house was valued at ten pounds eight shillings for tax purposes.

He received the following grants of land at Watertown:

  • 25JUL1636 40 Acres
  • 28FEB1636 6 Acres
  • 26JUN1637 6 Acres
  • 9APR1638 3 Acres

1635 Voyage of Elizabeth and Ann


He was a passenger on the English ship Elizabeth and Ann, which sailed from London in 1635, bound for New England. The ship arrived safely to Massachusetts in 1635. Several members of the Eaton / Damon family sailed on this trip. John's name and one stepchild are not found on this list and probably sailed earlier to New England:

18) - Thomas Eaton (age 1) - John Eaton (1611-1658) family
21) - Abigail Eaton (1600-1658) (age 35) - wife of John Eaton (1611-1658)
23) - Jane Damand (age 9) = John Eaton Family / stepchild
24) - Mary Eaton (age 3) = John Eaton Family -

Watertown Founders Monument

Watertown Founders Monument

He is listed on Watertown Founders Monument, commemorating the first settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts. The town was first known as Saltonstall Plantation, one of the earliest of the Massachusetts Bay Colony settlements. Founded in early 1630 by a group of settlers led by Richard Saltonstall and George Phillips, it was officially incorporated that same year. The alternate spelling "Waterton" is seen in some early documents.

1636 Dedham Compact

First Church of Dedham.

He was one of the signatories (#32) to the Dedham Compact, a key historical document for the creation of the new colonial town of Dedham, Massachusetts, located in Norfolk County, Massachusetts. The first 35 signatures were collected in August 1636 and another 90 more soon thereafter. This document provided for the common governance and defense of the community. Dedham is known for keeping excellent historical records of its early years.

This strongly suggests that all children after 1636 were born in Dedham MA.

Marriage and Family

  1. Thomas Eaton (1629-) - born/died in Dover, England
  2. Mary Eaton (1631-1676) - Sailed to America
  3. John Eaton (1632-1634) - born/died in Dover, England
  4. Thomas Eaton (1633-1649) - Sailed to America
  5. Abigail Eaton (1639-1711) - Born in Watertown MA
  6. John Eaton (1640-1695) - Born in Watertown MA
  7. Jacob Eaton (1642-1646) - Born in Dedham MA

Stepchildren - Two children from Abigails first marriage must also have traveled to America:

  1. John Daman (1621-1708)
  2. Jane Damon (1624-1680)


Offspring of John Eaton, Sr. and Abigail Batcheler (1600-1658)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Thomas Eaton (1629-)
Mary Eaton (1631-1676)
John Eaton (1632-1634)
Thomas Eaton (1633-1649)
Abigail Eaton (1639-1711)
John Eaton (1640-1695)
Jacob Eaton (1642-1646)


Vital Records

Last Will

John Sr.'s will was dated 2SEP1658 & presented 9OCT1658 & read:

"John EATON, of Dedham, though sicke, yet sound in memory, doe make this last Will. - I give ynto Abigail my wife, the free vse of my parlor in my now dwelling house, & the Leantoe thereunto adjoining and all the household stuffe at present in them to her use, all the tearme she shall remaine a widdow; & sufficient firewood for her vse, to be provided and Layd in the yard at her assignment, I give my wife, the annuitie of 6 pounde p ann. to be payd at end of each halfe yere after my decease, in such things as she needeth out of my estate here-after to be disposed of, during her life; or the third pt of my Lands during the same tearme; her selfe to chose which of these two she best liketh. I give unto my (wife) so much of my other household stuffs as comes to the value of £5, such as her selfe shall make choyse of, and also one Cowe her selfe to choose. I give to John Dammant, of Reading £5, to John Plimpton, of Meadfield £5, unto Edward Hobsman my kinsman, 40 shillings. The remainder of Estate shall be devided into equall pts. & that pt. of her potion which my daughter Mary have received to be acconted thereunto; the one halfe wehereof I give to John EATON my sonne, and his heyres forever and the halfe to Mary and Abigail, my two daughters and their heires; my sonne and my two daughters to pay my wife, their mother, that 6 p. ann as above written I nominate Abigail, my wife, to be my executrix." Signed: "John EATON"

Estate Inventory

nventory of estate amounted to: £392.10, including:

"Land in the Island Playne' £23, two pcels in the great plaine #19, by South Plaine, at foule Meadow, Right in an Island in the swamp, &c...Inventory shows that he owned a lot in Fowl meadows, but that his principal estate was on Dedham Island, ...included the land on which the Powder House Rock was located.' The inventory "...also included 31 yards new cloth...Bridle & Sadle 1 pillion, 1 pannel...7 lad Hay from foule meadow...dwelling house & 2 barns(including orchard)...Furniture, rugg, blanket, Wearing apparell, farming Tools Oxen 7 calves 2 mares, 1 colt, sheep, lamb swine, carts, ploughs, yokes..."



Footnotes (including sources)