The Families of Jacob Waterhouse

1605- 1676

Compiled by
Jerry Edward Waterous

Salem, Massachusetts


WATERHOUSE in England.

The family name Waterhouse decended from the Norman race, frequently but mistakenly assumed to be of French origin. They were more accurately of Viking origin. The Vikings landed in the Orkneys and Northern Scotland about the year 870 A.D., under their King, stirgud the Stout. Thorfinn Rollo, his decendent, landed in northern France about the year 940 A.D. The French King, Charles the Simple, after Rollo laid seige to Paris, conceded defeat and granted northern France to Rollo. Rollo became the first Duke of Normandy, the territory of the north men. Rollo married Charles' daughter and became a convert to Christianity. Decended from Rollo was Duke William of Normandy (William the Conqueror) who invaded England in 1066 and was victorious of the Saxon King Harold at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Duke William granted his Norman nobles much of the land of England for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings. Amongst these Normans is believed to have been the Waterhouse ancestor. The first record of the name Waterhouse is found in Lincolnshire, the lands of Kirton in the 13th century as Ab Aquae Domo or Sir Gilbert Waterhouse to whom the arms "or, a pile engrailed sable" were granted during the reign of Henry III. Sir Gilbert's descendant in Kirton in Lindsay, in Lincoinshire, through his son Roger, was a Sir Edward Waterhouse who was ancestor of the Waterhouse branches at Hemel Hempstead, and Berkhampstead, in Hertfordshire. They migrated to Ireland to Castle Waterhouse in Fermanagh. Waterhouse ancestors also settled in Dublin where a Sir Edward Waterhouse was Knighted by the Lord Deputy of Ireland in the 1500's. Descendants of Sir Gilbert also acquired Hope Hall and Shibden Hall in Halifax, in Yorkshire.

Jacob WATERHOUSE in America.
Waterhouses that migrated to the English colonies in America were Joseph Waterhouse who settled in Virginia in 1622, Jacob Waterhouse who settled in Connecticut in 1635, Samuel Waterhouse in Virginia in 1642, and William Waterhouse in Virginia in 1654. Others were John Waterhouse in Philadelphia in 1820, Michael in Philadelphia in 1804, followed by John in 1828 and Samuel in 1868.

In 1635 Jacob Waterhouse sailed from the town of Chester England and came to America. Jacob was born in 1605 (1610) and through his father descended from the Waterhouse family of Halifax in West Riding which claimed their descent from Sir Gilbert Waterhouse of Kriton, who lived in the reign of Henry III. Sir Gilbert Waterhouse, Knight of Kriton in Lincolnshire England was granted a coat of arms, "or, a pile engrailed sable", by Henry III who reigned from 1207 to 1272.

Jacob came to America to find his fortune and was in Wethersfield Connecticut in 1637, when he was one of eighteen men from Wethersfield who fought in the Pequot Indian Campaign under the command of Captain John Mason of Winsor. New England colonists feared the Pequot Indians of the Connecticut River Valley more than other Indians of the area. In 1636 Massachusetts settlers accused a Peguot of murdering a colonist. In revenge, they burned a Pequot village on what is now Block Island, Rhode Island. Then Sassacus, the head Pequot chief, gathered his warriors together. Another chief, Uncas, helped the settlers with his band of Peguots, later called Mohegans. The colonists and their Indian allies attacked a Pequot village near West Mystic Connecticut at sunrise on June 5, 1637. They burned the vi]lage and hundreds of Indians died. Later that month, the colonists captured most of the remaining Pequot Indians and sold them into slavery in Bermuda. Per the account of Aaron Starke and his peer, Jacob Waterhouse; "We being solders under the command of Captain John Mason with many more when we went against the Pequots. When marching through Narragansetts country, the Narragansetts came armed and tendered themselves to go with us in that service against the Pequots. They were readily accepted. As we approached the Pawcatuck River, the Ninecraft and Miantonomos and others warned the had come into Pequot country and advised that we be careful lest we should be destroyed".

Jacob and his wife Hannah owned a house and 2 1/2 acres on Sandy Lane in Wethersfield. It was here that their first three children were born, Rebecca (1638), Isaac (1641) and Abraham (1644).

In 1645, John Winthrop the younger founded a new town in Connecticut called Pequot, later renamed New London. John Winthrop the younger was the son of Jonh Winthrop, governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. John Winthrop the younger went on to become the governor of Connecticut in 1657, 16591676. Jacob Waterhouse was one of the original founders of New London in 1645 along with Robert Hempstead, Cary Latham, Thomas Miller, William Morton, Isaac Willey and Winthrop's sister-in law Margaret Lake, and Thomas Peters, a minister. Marshes and meadows in the vicinity were mowed that year at Fog-plain by Cary Latham and Jacob. Jacob was number seven on the list of first planters and was chosen overseer of the weirs in 1649. He was granted by a general vote and joint consent of the townsmen to have six acres, more or less, for a house lot next to John Stebins. Jacob also owned land north of town on the vest bank of the river which covered "the neck at the strait's mouth", and had a grant at Alewife brook. The remaining children of Jacob and Hannah were born in New London, Elizabeth (1647), John (1650), Joseph (1652), Benjamin (1655), and Jacob Jr. (1658).

In 1650, Jacob was instrumental in the construction of the original part of a town grist mill in New London, per the direction of John Winthrop the younger. The mill was used continuously for 300 years. It is now owned by the city and is kept as a historic building.

In 1646, the inhabitants of New London complained to the Commissioners of the United Colonies of New Haven that they were abused and wronged by the Mohegan Indians as their Chief Uncas came from Mohegan in a hostile way with 300 men into the English Plantation. They took cattle belonging to Jacob Waterhouse and William Morton and kept them for a week before bringing them back at the urging of Jacob.

The Indians were not without complaint. On May 25, 1649, John Hayes, an Indian, complained to John Winthrop the younger that about 30 hogs supposedly belonging to Jacob Waterhouse had destroyed much of John Hayes and other Indians corn crop. He requested that representatives be sent to view the damage and arrange restitution.

Jacob's sons John and Joseph served in the King Philip's War in the campaign through the Narragansett country. John was present at the Narragansett Fort fight in December 1676. King Phillip became chief of the Wamanoag Indians in 1662. His Indian name was Metacomet. As Philip saw the increasing amounts of land taken by the settlers, he became concerned that the colonists would in time destroy his people. King Philip's War (16751678) was an attempt to wipe out the English settlements in New England. King Philip was killed in 1676 and the war continued for two more years. The Indians killed more than 1000 colonists and destroyed twelve towns.

In 1676 Jacob was 71 years old. It was thought necessary for someone to go immediately to warn some white settlers a few miles away of an Indian party in the area. Jacob undertook this service on horseback, but going through the woods in the darkness of night, he rode off a precipice and was killed. His will was probated on September 21, 1676 dividing his holdings among his children with life use of their home to his wife, Hannah.


  1. Rebecca b-1638. Married Thomas Williams.

  2. Isaac b1641. d7 Oct 1713.

  3. Abraham b-1644.

  4. Elizabeth b1647. Married John Baker. Married second to P. Hackley.

  5. John b1650. d1687.

  6. Joseph b1652.

  7. Benjamin b-1655. Killed by sea pirates!

  8. Jacob Jr. b-1658.

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