Joseph Morse II was born 1610 in Henham, Essex, England to Joseph Morse (c1585-) and Dorothy Barber (c1585-) and died 4 March 1689 Sudbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts of unspecified causes. He married Hester Pierce (1612-1694) 1636 in Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.


1634 Voyage to America


He was a passenger on the 1st Voyage of the English ship Elizabeth, which sailed from Ipswich in April, 1634, bound for New England. The ship arrived safe at Massachusetts Bay. Passenger list information was transcribed in the 19th century by Michael Tepper from records found in London, the Public Rolls Office, formerly at Carleton Ride. Note the ship sailed in April 1634, but the passeger listed is dated six months later to November 1634. Do not confuse this list with the second voyage of the Elizabeth made in 1635.

According to the shipping lists, Joseph Morse came to America in 1634 in the ship Elizabeth of Ipswich, Suffolk.

Joseph agreed to take John Ball (1620-1675)'s daughter Ester for two years. Ester was Joseph's niece and the Ball's were apparently unable to care for their children due to the condition of the mother.[3/1:57] Joseph was to receive 18 pence per week - four punds from John Ball, the rest from the town.[3/1:64] Seems like no one took anyone in for free back then - not even family. Joseph was chosen in 1659 to "looke to the order concerning hogs & Fences".[3/1:64]

Joseph did not leave a will, and judging by the size of his estate at the time of his death, it must be assumed he had already distributed his possessions to his children. The inventory of his estate was taken by Theophilus Roads and John Mason and amounted to 6.2.6.[4/7:167]

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.

He settled in Watertown, where he was admitted freeman May 6, 1635 and was a proprietor of Watertown in 1636.[1]

In the first inventory of lands and grants in Watertown, taken in 1639, Joseph Morse had 1) a homestall of eighteen acres bounded east by John Coolidge (1604-1691), on the west by the common, north by John Witherell, and south by John Clough and William Paine; 2) one acre of meadow in Patch Meadow; 3) lot 4 of two acres of remote meadow; 4) lot 26 of 25 acres of upland being a great divident in the third division; and 5) a farm of 73 acres of upland in the sixth division.[5/1:35] In the second inventory of about 1644, the 18 acre homestall was not mentioned but was replaced by an eight acre homestall bounded north by the highway, south by Richard Woodward, west by John Wincoll, and east by John Sprague. The 73 acre farm was replaced by three lots: three acres of plowland; two acres of plowland in the further plain; and lot 6 of six acres of upland beyond the further plain.[5/1:91] The third inventory of about 1646 listed only the 18 acre homestall described in the first inventory.[5/1:123]

Marriage & Family

He married Hester/Ester Pierce ,daughter of John and Elizabeth Pierce,in 1636 in Watertown,Middlesex,MA. They are the parents of eight children,born either in Watertown or Groton.

  1. Joseph Morse (1637-1677) -30 Apr 1637-1677/Susanna Shattuck
  2. John Morse-28 Feb 1638-23 Jul 1702/Abigail Stearns
  3. Jonathan Morse-Nov 1642-d.12 May 1643
  4. Jonathan Morse-7 Nov 1643-31 Jul 1686/Abigail Shattuck
  5. Hester Morse-7 Mar 1645/Jonathan Bullard
  6. Sarah Morse-2 Jun 1649-2 Jun 1669/Timothy Cooper
  7. Jeremiah Morse-1651-27 Sep 1727/Abigail Woodward
  8. Isaac Morse-1654


Offspring of Joseph Morse II and Hester Pierce (1612-1694)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Joseph Morse (1637-1677) 28 April 1637 Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts 1677 Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Susanna Shattuck (1642-1716)
John Morse (1638-1702)
Jonathan Morse (1642-1643)
Jonathan Morse (1643-1686) 7 November 1643 Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts 31 July 1686 Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Abigail Shattuck (1656-1695)
Hester Morse (1645-)
Sarah Morse (1649-1669)
Jeremiah Morse (1651-1727)
Isaac Morse (1654-)



  • Several references indicating the death date for Joseph is 4 Mar 1689/90. One of them is the "New

England, The Great Migration and The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1635", page 170


Footnotes (including sources)