John Cogswell (1592-1669) was a leading figure and large landowner in the early history of Ipswich, Massachusetts and a deputy for the General Court of Massachusetts. He is the immigrant ancestor to an astonishing number of notable Americans.
John Cogswell, born in Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire, England, was a successful merchant in London, England before migrating to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635. Cogswell married Elizabeth, the daughter of Rev. William Thompson, vicar of Westbury in 1615. Twenty years later, in 1635, Cogswell and his family embarked on the unlucky ship, the Angel Gabriel, for Massachusetts. However, the ship crashed off of the coast of Maine during the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635. Cogswell salvaged most of what he lost from the wreck and headed south for Boston, Massachusetts before settling in Ipswich.
In Ipswich, Cogswell was granted 300 acres of land now known as Cogswell's Grant and he received freeman status to allow him to run for public office. He eventually became a deputy to the General Court for Ipswich, in addition to fulfilling functions for the town. Cogswell died in 1669. He was honored with a five-mile long funeral procession followed by a service conducted by Rev. William Hubbard. The historian Darrett B. Rutman states that Cogswell's will is "exceptional in providing for the formal education of a daughter." Although he was a man of reputation in his time, his greatest legacy for posterity is surviving the great hurricane and leaving many celebrated descendants.
John Cogswell and Elizabeth Thompson had many children; however, the following children left notable descendants:
William Cogswell (1619-1696). He married Susannah Hawkes. He and his son, Jonathan, signed a petition to protect John Proctor and his wife Elizabeth during the Salem witch trials. An influential citizen of Ipswich, he acquired the Rev. John Wise to be the first pastor of Chebacco Parish. Descendants include Princess Diana. Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince George of Cambridge, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr and Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Charles Francis Adams, Sr., Henry Adams, Brooks Adams, Margaret Mead, Tennessee Williams, William Cogswell, Thomas Pynchon
John Cogswell Jr (1622-1653). He died of a snake bite on a return voyage from London, a year after his wife, Elizabeth Thoth's (of England) death. He left behind three children, John, Samuel and Elizabeth Cogswell - the youngest but a year old. Descendants include Henry D. Cogswell
Ancestry.com Family tree of Stewart/Burdine, among many others.
- Cogswell Family Association
- John Cogswell at Find a Grave
- Historic New England: Cogswell's Grant
- Amazon link to the book Descendants of John Cogswell
- Amazon link to the book Ancestry of Diana
- link to the book The Cogswells in America
- The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, vol 2, C-F
- Winthrop's Boston by Darrett B Rutman
- Link to Massachusetts signers related to Cogswell
- Link to some writers related to Cogswell
- Ancestry of Tennessee Williams
- Ancestry of Thomas Pynchon
- link with famous New England descendants of Cogswell
- link with Cogswell's connection to Presidents Adams and Coolidge and Prime Minister Childers
- link with Cogswell's political positions