John Greene was born circa 1594 in Bowridge Hall, Gillingham, Dorset, England, United Kingdom to Richard Greene (c1540-) and Mary Unknown (c1550-) and died circa December 1658 Warwick, Kent County, Rhode Island, United States of unspecified causes. He married Joan Tattersall (c1595-) 4 November 1619 in St Thomas Church, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom. He married Alice Daniels Beggerley 1644 in England, United Kingdom. He married Philippa Unknown (c1600-1687) .


John Greene, Sr served on the Warwick town council in 1647 and 1648, was the Warwick Deputy to the Rhode Island General Court from 1649 to 1657, and was named a Warwick freeman on a 1655 list of freemen.[1] He was the magistrate for the Rhode Island General Court of Trials in March 1656.[1] He died sometime between 28 December 1658 when he wrote his will, and 7 January 1659 when it was proved.[2] Greene, his wife, and many descendants are buried in the Surgeon John Greene Cemetery, now located behind the Narraganset Bay Baptist Church on West Shore Road in Warwick.[3]

1636 Providence Plantation

Narragansett Indians receiving Roger Williams

One of several settlers of Providence Plantation in 1636, 1st settlement in the future state of Rhode Island. This group was followers of Roger Williams, who was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for heretical preaching. In early 1636 his group went to purchase territory immediately to the west of Plymouth Colony, from the Narrangansett Indians. It is present-day Providence, Rhode Island.

Greene's name is found on the 1638 land deed for Providence Plantation.

1642 Warwick Settlement

Warwick City Hall

Warwick was founded in 1642 by Samuel Gorton and his followers convinced Narragansett Indian Chief Sachem Miantonomi agreed to accept 144 fathoms of Wampum for what was known as "The Shawhomett Purchase". This included the present day towns of Warwick, Coventry and West Warwick. The following year, a major dispute erupted over the purchase leading to significant trial in the colonial courts.

Marriage and Family

Greene had seven children, six of whom grew to maturity, and all with his first wife, Joan Tattershall (or Tatarsole).

  • The oldest child, John, lived a long life which was almost entirely devoted to public service, including ten one-year terms as Deputy Governor of the colony.[2]
  • The second son, Peter, married Mary Gorton, a daughter of colonial President Samuel Gorton.[2]
  • A great grandson, William Greene served as Governor of the colony for 11 one-year terms during the middle of the 18th century, and his son, William Greene, Jr. served as the second governor of the State of Rhode Island during the American Revolutionary War.
  • Greene is also the ancestor of former United States President Warren G. Harding, and of General Nathanael Greene, the only American general in the American Revolutionary War, besides George Washington, to serve for the entire war.[4]



Offspring of John Greene and Joan Tattersall (c1595-)
Name Birth Death Joined with
John Greene (1620-1708) 15 August 1620 Salisbury, Essex, England 27 November 1708 Warwick, Kent County, Rhode Island Anne Almy (1627-1709)
Peter Greene (c1621-1659) 1621 1659 Mary Gorton
Richard Greene (c1624-)
James Greene (c1626-1698)
Thomas Greene (1628-1717) 4 June 1628 Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom 5 June 1717 Warwick County, Rhode Island, United States Elizabeth Barton (c1636-1693)
Jone Greene (c1630-)
Mary Greene (1633-)


Surgeon John Greene's ancestry (and that of his Rhode Island contemporary and second cousin once removed, John Greene of Quidnessett) has been traced to various Lords de Greene de Boketon. Sir Thomas, the 5th Lord, born in 1292, married Lucie, daughter of Eudo de la Zouch (descended from Capet kings) and Millicent, one of the sisters and heirs of George de Cantelupe, Lord of Abergavenny.

Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General
Ω Birth
  • The Genealogical Directory says he was born 1n 1597. However, Rixford says that his direct descendant, Henry Lehre Greene, put the date at 1585.
₪ Wedding

Qbradlee30, Thurstan, Robin Patterson

See also

  • ^ a b Anderson, Sanborn & Sanborn 2003, p. 142.
  • ^ a b c Austin 1887, p. 88.
  • ^ Find-a-grave 2007.
  • ^ Roberts 2009, p. 582.
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