Thursday, August 1, 2013

Simon Crosby the emigrant : featured library resource for August 2013

Our library has many volumes devoted to individual family histories.  Have you checked the catalog to see if your ancestors might be represented there?

An anonymous library patron has gifted us with a slim volume to augment our family history collection.  Simon Crosby the emigrant : his English ancestry, and some of his descendants was first published in 1914 in Boston.  (Our volume is a facsimile reprint, undated.)  The author, Eleanor Davis Crosby (1845-1915), had published other genealogies and in this volume identifies the English roots of her husband's ancestor, tracing the family line back to 1440.  The name Crosby, given to several English villages, meant "town of the cross."

Simon Crosby came from Holme-on-Spalding-Moor in Yorkshire (don't you love these hyphenated English town names?), and settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife and infant son after emigrating to Boston in the spring of 1635.  His father Thomas Crosby followed him to America soon thereafter.  The Crosbys emigrated for religious reasons, along with other followers of the charismatic preacher Thomas Shepard, a man of about Simon's age.  Simon Crosby must have been a capable man, as he was elected as a selectman in Cambridge soon after his arrival.  Unfortunately, he died in 1639, aged about 30.  His widow Anne remarried after 6 years, and took their 3 sons with her to her new husband's home in Billerica.

The first son Thomas, who arrived in this country as an infant, attended Harvard College and became a preacher, employed in Eastham on Cape Cod for 15 years; twelve children were born to him there.  He later became a merchant in Harwich.  The second son, named Simon, also had a large number of children, and settled in Billerica where his mother and step-father lived.

If Crosby is one of your family names, please come and peruse this book at our Library soon!


  1. I love this kind of post, Carol! Informative without giving away all the goodies! I hope I have one of these Crosby's in my database! If so,I'll be in when I arrive home in September! Thanks!

  2. Hello. I believe there is a mistake in your report on the patriarch, Simon CROSBY. He and his son, Simon (of Billerica) are my ancestors. And, I'm almost positive that Simon's widow's 2nd husband was of Braintree, MA -- not Billerica. So, that is where she settled with her young boys. One of her sons was of Braintree, another son was of Cape Cod, and then the son in Billerica.
    Betty (near Lowell, MA)

  3. Simons widow Ann Brigham Crosby married 2nd Rev William Tompson of Braintree. Simon Crosby and Ann had three sons:
    1. Rev Thomas of Eastham, Mass (My ancestor)
    2. Simon who settled in Billerica, Mass and
    3. Joseph who continued to live in Braintree, Mass