Justinian Holden was born 6 October 1611 in Lindsay, Surrey, England and died 2 August 1691 Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts of unspecified causes. He married Elizabeth Jennison (1601-1673) 1641 in Worcester County, Massachusetts. He married Mary Freeman Rutter (1647-1691) 1672 in Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.


Justinian Holden was baptised in Lindsey, Suffolk, England on October 6, 1611, son of William Holding and his wife Rose. He sailed for New England with his older brother Richard, on the 'Elizabeth', from Ipswich, England, in April 1634.

1634 Voyage of Elizabeth


They were passengers 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.

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 one of the first proprietors. He owneed 8 lots by 1644. His homestall was bounded south by Belmont Street, west by Grove Street, north by G. Parkhurst, east by R. Holden. In 1673, he sold this lot to Rev. John Sherman.

In 1653 he was made a freeman in Watertown, he then bought some land in Cambridge, the estate of Deacon Nathaniel Sparhawk, for 210 pounds. The estate included 294 acres, a dwelling, a barn and other buildings. Justinian was made freeman in 1657. Justinian was a carpenter.

Marriage & Family

It is probable that he had no children with his first wife, and after her death, he married a much younger woman. Justinian probably did die in Cambridge, but it is impossible that he is buried in Mt. Auburn Cemetery, because it was not organized until 1831. He is just memorialized there.

1st Marriage: Elizabeth Holden

An Elizabeth Holden, probably his wife, died in Cambridge on March 18, 1672-3. Her maiden name was probably Jennison. They most likely had no children, and family lore says that she was much older than Justinian.

2nd Marriage: Mary Rutter

Soon after, probably in mid 1673, he wed Mary, daughter of John Rutter and Elizabeth Plympton, who was born about 1647. Even though he was over 60 years old when they were married, Justinian and Mary became the parents of seven children, the first being born in April, 1674, the last in August, 1681. In a deposition in 1679, he says he is about 66 years old. It seems unlikely that a man should raise such a large family at the age of sixty, but the purchases of land made in 1649 & 1653 were made before any son of Richard or Justinian was of age, and that same land was bequeathed to Justinian’s children in 1691. Justinian died between August 12, and Ocober 6, 1691. The inventory of his estate was 1153 Pounds. His widow Mary was living in 1716.


Offspring of Justinian Holden and Mary Freeman Rutter (1647-1691)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Samuel Holden (1674-1728) 28 April 1674 Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts 1 April 1728 Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Susanna Shattuck (1679-1728)
John Holden (1675-1768)
Isaac Holden (1677-1772)
Mary Holden (1678-1758)
Marah Holden (1680-1724)
Abigail Holden (1681-)
Grace Holden (1681-1714)
Joseph Holden (1683-1768)
James Holden (1685-1766)
Elizabeth Holden (1686-1767)
Daniel Holden (1688-)
Ebenezer Holden (1690-1756)




Footnotes (including sources)