John Bailey1

b. circa 1585, d. 2 November 1651

8th great-grandfather of Ruth Minerva Fairfield.
10th great-grandfather of Laura Jane Munson.
Family Background:
Fairfield and Allied Families
Appears on charts:
Pedigree for Ruth Minerva Fairfield
     John Bailey was born circa 1585 in England.1 He died on 2 November 1651 in Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts, being called "Old John Bailey."2,1,3
     John Bailey is traditionally said to have lived in Chippenham, co. Wilts, and, with his son, to have been a passenger on the ill-fated Angel Gabriel which was cast away at Pemaquid in the great storm of 15 August 1635 at the end of a long voyage from Bristol.4 The experience was so terrifying, the story continues, that he did not dare to return to England, and his wife and other children were unwilling to run a similar risk to join him in America. In any event, in 1649 the court decreed that he, "having used sufficient means to procure his wife over from England, and she utterly refuseing to some," should not be constrained to go over to her, still using what means he might to persuade her to come to him.1,5

     The Angel Gabriel , built for Sir Walter Raleigh's last expedition to America in 1617, sailed from Bristol, England, in the spring of 1635, and upon arrival off the coast of Maine in August, encountered a hurricane which traversed coastal New England. On 15 August 1635, the hurricane overtook the vessel at Permaquid and drove it upon the rocks with some loss of life. At least eleven families sailed to New England on her last voyage: Andrews, Bailey, Blaesdell, Bradbury, Burnham, Cogswell, Furber, Haines, Hook, Simpson, and Tuttle. The Angel Gabriel passed into legend, and the ship became almost as desirable a carrier of passengers as the Mayflower or the Mary & John. A search for her remains in the waters off Permaquid over the last quarter of a century have so far been unsuccessrul.

     John and his son, both weavers,3 settled in Salisbury where he had land granted him in the divisions of 1640, 1642 and 1643, also a fishing grant in the Powwow River in 1642. He was a commoner of the town in 1650. He and his family lived quiet and respectable lives and their names seldom appear in the court records. He brought two suits against Samuel Winsley in 1649, but withdrew them before trial, and in the same court Philip Challis withdrew a suit of trespass against Bailey. He was freed from all training in April 1649, allowing the military company of Salisbury 5s. yearly. In 1650 he moved to Newbury, where he died in 1651.1 Another source gives his removal to Newbury, where he was a yeoman, as spring of 1651.3

     John Bailey made his will on 28 October 1651. To his son John he left his house and land in Salisbury for life, with remainders to John's son Joseph and his younger brother (James), they to pay their oldest brother John £40 as his grandfather's gift. John, as son and executor, was to pay his mother £6 a year, his brother Robert £15 and his sisters £10 apiece, but only on condition that they came to New England. In case they did not come but sent by messenger for their portions, they were to receive 5s. apiece. His executor was to pay the passages of those that came over. To his son John Bailey's children, a young beast apiece, "their father is to breed these beasts for every of his children till these beasts groeth to cows or Oxen." Overseers: my brother John Emery sen of Nubery and Mr. Thomas Bradbury of Salisbury. Witnesses: William Ilsley, John Emery, jr. After his signature was added a devise of the house and land he had bought from Valentine Rowell to the wife and children of William Huntington. this substantial legacy probably indicates some relationship, but not that of father and daughter. The will was proved 13 March 1652. The inventory added up to £271.6 Click to view image

Children of John Bailey


  1. [S863] Walter Goodwin Davis, "Massachusetts and Maine Families," Massachusetts and Maine Families in the Ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis (1885-1966): A Reprinting in Alphabetical Order by Surname, of the Sixteen Multi-Ancestor Compendia, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1996), Vol. 1, 65, originally published in The Ancestry of Phoebe Tilton (1947).
  2. [S864] Essex Institute, Vital Records of Newbury, Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849 (Salem: Newcomb & Gauss, Printers, 1911), 2 vols., 2: 547.
  3. [S1066] Unknown author, "Descendants of John Bailey of Salisbury", Essex Antiquarian vol. 5, no. 7-9 (July 1901): 123.
  4. [S863] Walter Goodwin Davis, "Massachusetts and Maine Families," Massachusetts and Maine Families, Bailey, Vol. 1, 65, noting that this tradition was first printed by Joshua Coffin in his History of Newbury, 1845, originally published in The Ancestry of Phoebe Tilton (1947).
  5. [S855] George Francis Dow, ed., Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, 9 vols. (Salem: Essex Institute, 1911-1973). Transcribed and Abstracted from the Original Manuscript by Harriet S. Tapley, I: 166.
  6. [S863] Walter Goodwin Davis, "Massachusetts and Maine Families," Massachusetts and Maine Families, Bailey, Vol. 1, 65, 66, originally published in The Ancestry of Phoebe Tilton (1947).
  7. [S863] Walter Goodwin Davis, "Massachusetts and Maine Families," Massachusetts and Maine Families, Bailey, Vol. 1, 66, originally published in The Ancestry of Phoebe Tilton (1947).