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 Robert Jackson of Hempstead by Harry Macy
The Other Side of the Story


Good morning Jane
I've been looking at your Jackson web site.
It appears that you have not read Harry Macy's article in the Record, Jan 2000 pg 3.
It is quite comprehensive and straightens out Robert Jackson's three wives and the children thereof.
It would be nice if you would incorporate the efforts of this distinguished genealogist into your site.
   Bob Clarke
   Cypress TX

OK, in the interest of full disclosure and fairness, I have found Harry Macy's report and am posting it.  Ah, the difficulties of reconstructing history!  This does resolve a puzzlement.  

Harry Macy, Jr., The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 131 Number 1, Robert Jackson's Wives and Children, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, January 2000, page 6 and 7. 

"The idea that Robert Jackson's wife was Agnes Washburn derives from two documents.  Court testimony in 1659 regarding William Washburn's will establishes that Jackson was married to Washburn's daughter (without giving her name), and Jackson's own 1683 will names a wife Agnes.

"What the creators of "Agnes Washburn" failed to notice was that the court testimony clearly states that Jackson's wife was deceased.  On 5 June 1659 "only Robert Jackson... protested against the said will on behalf of his deceased wife and two female children that are now living, had by the daughter of the aforesaid testator."  In the will, made in September 1657, William Washburn gave "to Sara the daughter of Robert Jackson one yearling heifer," but did not mention Sara's mother, his daughter, and no record has been found that gives her first name.  All we can safely say is that Robert Jackson married a Washburn.

"Based on the likely birth dates of his children, Robert Jackson's marriage to Miss Washburn probably took place about 1650-53.

"In 1661 John Winthrop, Jr., made an entry in his medical journal for "Pudington of Hempstead, 13 years old, daughter of Robert Jackson's wife of Hempstead."  Robert Puddington (or Purington) was a resident of Newtown (then Middelburg), Long Island, in January 1657.  Agnes' maiden name has not been found. Her marriage to Robert Jackson probably took place around 10 April 1660, when he purchased a house in Maspeth Kills, Newtown.  He is last mentioned in the Newtown records 29 October 1670, when he and Agnes sold a farm at Maspeth Kills, "this same farme that was Robert Pudingtons formerly," and "Agnesse my wife" signed with her mark.  Finally, in his 1683 will Robert Jackson mentioned a great deal of movable property that was to go to Agnes, some of which he described as that "which she brought with her," wording that usually means the wife had a prior marriage.

"From his will and 1683 deed we can identify five children of Robert Jackson who reached adulthood, two sons, John and Samuel, and three daughters, Mary, Martha, and Sara.  There is no reason to believe that Agnes was the mother of any of these children, as all of them were clearly born while she was still married to Robert Puddington.

"In the 1659 Washburn will testimony... Robert Jackson protested only on behalf of "two female children that are now living, had by the daughter of the aforesaid testator," despite the fact that at this time he had at least one more daughter and two sons, all probably still minors.  This strongly suggests that these other children were not born of Jackson's Washburn wife...

"It is also unlikely that William Washburn had a daughter old enough to bear all these children.
Thus it would appear that before he married Miss Washburn, Robert Jackson had at least one other wife, whose name is totally unknown to us, and she was the mother of at least three of his children.  This previous marriage most likely took place in England prior to emigration."

My first inclination was to want to read Robert's Will.  Sure enough, he mentions Agnes but not her father's name nor her maiden name.  I had been under the impression though that Robert was too young to be married when he immigrated with his father to this land.  Again, you are welcome to email me with comments on this.  I have since changed my data base to come in line with Mr. Macy's article.  Mr. R. G. Clarke's web site (in Resources) was most helpful with this change.

Regretfully, I failed to note the URL where I downloaded Mr. Macy's article, but the original source is given above.

P.S. 20 April 2006  It appears that there was more to this article than I had found earlier.  Mr. Frank Jackson sent me a summary of the article which was on page 10 of the above publication.  In the summary, Mr. Macy lists Robert's children in a slightly different manner than I had.  Even he says the order of birth is uncertain.  But I have decided to list the children the same as this well recognized genealogist has done. 


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Copyright 2003-2009, all rights reserved.   Copyright for the Macy article remains with Mr. Macy.  This site owned by Janie Jackson Kimble.  You are welcome to use any of this information for your personal use, but it may NOT be copied, uploaded on any web site, or used for commercial use in any form. This page was revised  April 20, 2006 and very slightly edited January, 2009.