Puffer Genealogy

Matthias PUFFER[1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

Male 1635 - 1717  (82 years)


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  • Name Matthias PUFFER 
    Born 1635  Braintree, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Gender Male 
    FindaGrave
    Died 9 May 1717  Dorchester, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Buried Dorchester, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • GRID=Unknown
    Person ID I15473  Puffers
    Last Modified 4 Jan 2018 

    Father George PUFFER,   b. 1600, Dorchester, Dorchestshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Sep 1639, Braintree, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 39 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth SEDLEY,   b. England, Weymouth, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Feb 1676, Braintree, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F8221  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Rachel FARNSWORTH,   b. Mar 1642, Braintree, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Jul 1675, Mendon, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 33 years) 
    Married 12 May 1662  Braintree, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Children 
     1. Joseph PUFFER,   b. 17 Mar 1663, Braintree, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Jul 1675, Mendon, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 12 years)
     2. Lt. John PUFFER, Sr.,   b. 10 Oct 1665, Braintree, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Jan 1750, Canton, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years)
     3. James PUFFER,   b. 4 Jun 1668, Mendon, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1718, Dorchester, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 49 years)
     4. Esther PUFFER,   b. Abt 1675, Mendon, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Jun 1748, Mendon, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 73 years)
    Last Modified 28 Jun 2020 
    Family ID F8222  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Abigail EVERETT,   b. 19 Nov 1647, Dedham, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Dec 1685, Dedham, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 38 years) 
    Married 11 Apr 1667  Dedham, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Children 
     1. Benjamin PUFFER,   b. 1678, Braintree, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Mar 1679, Dedham, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 1 years)
     2. Jonathan PUFFER,   b. 28 Sep 1679, Mendon, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Jan 1756, Bradford, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)
     3. Samuel PUFFER,   b. 22 Feb 1680, Dedham, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Dec 1685, Dedham, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 5 years)
     4. Eleazer PUFFER,   b. 30 Jan 1684, Dedham, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Jan 1747, Sharon, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years)
     5. Abigail PUFFER,   b. 18 May 1685, Dedham, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Jul 1772, Dorchester, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years)
    Last Modified 28 Jun 2020 
    Family ID F8224  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Mary SPURR,   b. 1637, Braintree, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 14 May 1697, Dorchester, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 60 years) 
    Married 14 May 1697  Milton, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Last Modified 28 Jun 2020 
    Family ID F8223  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Documents
    Torrey'_s New England Marriages to 1700 - Puffer.jpg
    Torrey'_s New England Marriages to 1700 - Puffer.jpg

    Photos
    matthias puffer 1635 monument2.jpg
    matthias puffer 1635 monument2.jpg
    Matthias Puffer Mendon, MA Monument
    Matthias Puffer Mendon, MA Monument

  • Notes 
    • Was born about 1635. He lived in Mendon (Braintree) until after the birth of his second son. About 1666, he made his home in Mendon, Worcester County, MA. Matthias Puffer was one of the thirteen persons ordered to be settled in the plantation of Nipmug, later called Mendon, in September, 1663, and in 1671-2 he was a selectman of Mendon. He was one of a committee "Deputed by the towns of Dedham and Mendon to Run the Lyne between them" in 1669. At a town meeting Oct. 18, 1674, the town of Mendon chose Puffer "to goe to Natick to fech Asnawaket up for to shew us the bounds of the land that he sold to Moses Paine and Peter Brackett and all so gave him full power to act in the behalf of the Town as if themselves were present."

      "A tract of land eight miles square was purchased for L24, and a deed of April 22, 1662, was signed by Anawassanauk, Quashamait, Nanconet and Upanboquin. Matthias Puffer had a thirty acre lot, on its northeast corner being "A greate Rocke with A Springe running from under it into Muddy Brooke." (The Deadham Historical Register, Vols 13-14)

      At a general town meeting May 6,1675, the town sold to Matthias Puffer a tract of land lying between John Bartlett's house lot and the mill, and also twenty acres of land in some other place where he shall choose, "and for the said tracts of Land Mathias pufer doth Ingage to care one and to manigge the work of the towne In settelling the bounds and preambulations of the said town att the generall Court or Courts as ned may Require untill it be seteled unto us by the honered Court and all so to pay and bare all the Charges that may be demanded or mabe nedfull or necessary upon the said town from all dewes or demand upon the said Acount."

      "Granted to Mathyas Puffer Tenn Acores of land and twenty five more of a cores on the south side of the runlett that Runs downe at the End of his house lott on the right hand or side of the old fotte path."

      His home lot was about one mile south of the present post office in Mendon. On what part of it his building stood no records or reliable traditions indicate. It is positively certain, however, that the Swandale Cemetary is situated on what was once part of the Puffer house lot. As the valuable and attractive spring, now or lately owned by W.S. Wilcox, was near by, it is quite possible that the Puffer house stood on a spot now included in the cemetery. Dr. Metcalf thought that the locations of the Puffer house was marked by an old cellar hole, which had be pointed out to him forty years before he published his book. But Dr. Loring Puffer and others who have studied the matter since then are satisfied that this was not the location, though it is a spot of historic interest, for it is now understood to be the place where the first murder was committed in Mendon. The victim was Mrs. Thomas Sanford and the house stood in the pasture now or lately owned by Willard S. Wilcox a little southeast of the Daniel Thurber house, now or lately occupied by C. Austin Fletcher. Thomas Sanford formerly owned the Austin A. Taft place, buying it about 1713 of Deacon Peter Holbrook, but he sold it for a long time before the murder and bought the place first mentioned. Puffer was built on this site. The first house was destroyed by the Indians at the beginning of King Philip's War.

      M.M.A. writes in the Milford Journal, Aug. 19, 1901: "Mr. Puffer's house-lot extended from the now Providence and Worcester road to this spring (on the Wilcox place) and as no other house-lot extended farther than Muddy Brook and the Puffer house-lot only in a narrow strip of land just to reach the spring, it would seem that the object of Mr. Puffer in asking to have this special piece of land set off to him as that he might enjoy this beautiful spring of running water for his family use. This would not be convenient if his house was at the west end of this house-lot across Muddy Brook with a third of a mile to travel and a swelling brook to ford. Our records, so far as found, make mention of Matthias Puffer's house in two different places. In both it is more probable that its location was at or near the spring than at the extreme west end of his house-lot, where, evidently, his second house was built, he perhaps not feeling that he could again locate where the blood of his wife and son had been so ruthlessly spillied.

      "That Matthias Puffer did return to Mendon after King Philip's War is shown by an agreement made by him with the town of Mendon Jan. 9, 1684, to rebuild the Benjamin Albee corn mill (which stood near where Lewis B. Gaskill now lives) and maintain said mill and provide it with a miller for the term of twenty years."

      The first victims of King Philip's war in MA were the wife and son of Matthias Puffer, killed by Indians at Mendon July 10 or 14, 1675. The event has been commemorated by a suitable monument at Mendon, inscribed with a list of the victims. After this massacre the inhabitants returned to Braintree, Weymouth and other older towns the Indians burned, Mendon the following winter. After the war, about 1780 (sic 1680 ), when some of the inhabitants had returned to the desolate village, a complaint was made to the General Court because Puffer had not returned to help built up the settlement again. To the Court he made answer: "To the Honored Counsil Now Sittinge in Boston, The humble petition of Matthias Puffer Humbly sheweth That whereas your petitioner hath been Complained of for being absent from Mendon to ye discourgement of those that remaine, my answer is that I at first departed with ye consent of the Town, provided I carried away the Widow Gurney (whose husband is thought to have another victim of the massacre) at my own charge which I accordingly performed and since the Majors warrant to summon me and the rest thither againe I have returned thither againe and have ben helpful t o them by procuring them ammunition and otherwise. Indeed I have been forced to return to Braintree to take care of my children that are left.

      "My wife was slaine by the barbarous Indians and my eldest son; several of the best of my cattell killed; to maintain the garrison many more of them, I have left; my estate lost; my condition is desolate and I am not in ye capacity that others are whose families are not broken, I humbly beseech the Honored Councill to consider my case & not expose my poore children to ruin for I have not estate to maintain my children without my labour and care, to him that is in affliction pitty should be showed.

      " I think my case is the case of the widow if not worse. My humble petition is that I may be suffered to remaine at Braintree that I may be a succor to my children which else will be exposed to ruin and your petitioner shall ever pray, Matthias Puffer."

      After living at Dedham for a time, he finally settled in Dorchester. His farm was in that part of town afterwards incorporated as Stoughton. He was surveyor of highways at Dorchester in 1702 and tyhingman in 1705. He joined the church at Milton Nov. 12, 1693. He deeded 120 acres of the 340 acres that he bought in 1696 of James Foster to his son John.

      His house was the next north of the Doty tavern. It was enlarged and repaired about 1810 by John Davenport. In 1879 it was the oldest house in Canton. He deeded it to his son Jonathan Puffer.

      He died at Dorchester, May 9, 1717. His will was dated April 23, 1714, proved June 24, 1717. He left to his wife Mary a third of the real estate and ten pounds in money and bequeathed also to his sons John, James, Jonathan and Eleazar and daughters Hester Sumner and Abigail Crane. Jonathan was executor. In the will the name is spelled Puffar. He signed by mark, which was an old English or Geman capital "M".

      Will

      "In the Name of God Amen April the Twenty Third One Thousand Seven hundred and fourteen I Matthias Puffar of Dorchester in the County of Suffolk in Her Majesty's Province of MA Bay in New England yeoman having by the Goodness and patience of God lived to Old age-but being in perfect mind and memory thanks to be god for it, therefore calling to mind the Mortality of Body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to dye Doe make this my Last Will and Testament That is to Say Principally and first of all I Give and recommend my Soul into the hands of God that give it and my Body I recommend to the Earth to be buried in Decent and Christian manner at the Discretion of the Executor nothing Doubting but at the General Ressurection I shall receive the same again by the Almighty Power of God, and as touching such worldly Estate wherewith I hath pleased God for to Bless me in this life I Give Demise and Dispose of the Same in the following manner & form Imprimis I Give and bequeath to Mary Puffar my dealy beloved wife after my Decease the income of one Third of my Estate and Ten pounds in money to be paid to her by my Executors out of my moveable Estate Item I have and bequeath unto my well beloved son John Puffar one halfe of my Meadow lying in the foul meadows and no more because he has sufficient portion already. Item I give to my beloved son James Puffar besides what I have gen him already out of my Estate the one halfe of my Salt meadow lying in Dorchester which is three acres. Item I give to my beloved Daughter Hester Sumnar the one half of my fresh meadow in the foul Meadows. Item I give to my wel beloved Son Jonathan Puffar whom I Constitute and appoint one of my Executors of this my last will and Testament one halfe of my Salt meadow in Milton and fifty Acres of Land lying on the North Side of the Indian line and one halfe of my Six score Acres of Land in Dedham near to Wrentham. Item I give to my beloved son Eliazar Puffer whom I also Constitute to be one of my Executors all my housing and the Land thereunto Adjoyning which I have not already Disposed of to my Son James and Jonathan & also one halfe of my salt meadow in Milton Item I give to my well beloved Daughter Abigail Crane one halfe of my lot of Land in Dedham near Wrenthem & I Do hearby Utterly Disallow all other wills and Testaments Confirming this and no other to be my Last Will & Testament In Witness w hereof I have Set to my hand and seal this Day and year above written

      ye marke
      Matthyas "M" Puffar,
      & a seale

      Signed Sealed and Declared by Matthyas Puffar in Presence of us

      Samuel Andrewes,
      Samuel Andrewes, junr.,
      Peter Lyon.

      Examinded p Jos. Marion Regr.

      Inventory

      First his wearing apparel 5: 0: 0
      Secondly the Homestead 150: 0: 0
      Thirdly the Salt Meadow 74: 0: 0
      Fourthly Land in the Township of Dedham 60: 0: 0
      Fifthly Meadow in a place called by the name
      Fowle Meadow 12: 0: 0
      Sixthly by Cattle and Swine 25: 0: 0
      Seventhly Being and Household Stuff 16: 0: 0
      _ ______

      The whole comes to L 342: 0: 0

      The same being apprized this 19th day of November
      1717 by John Fenno, Benjamine Blackman, Thomas Tole-
      man

      By the Honble Samuel Sewall
      Esqr Judge of Probate &c.

      He married, first, at Braintree, March 12, 1662, Rachel Farnsworth, daughter of Joseph Farnsworth of Dorchester. She was killed by Indians at Mendon, July 10, 1675.

      He married, second, at Dedham, April 11, 1677, Abigail Everett, born 16 47, daughter of Richard, one of the pioneers of Cambridge, Dedham and Springfield. She died at Dedham Dec 27, 1685.

      He married, third, at Milton, May 14, 1697, Mary Crehore, probably thew idow of Teague Crehore of Milton.

      From Canton Mass. Historical Society, Canton Bicentennial Book, Chapter 1

      "Looking east from the bridge over 128, we can make out the Davenport House over the southeast edge of the highway's cloverleaf. Built in 1711 , this is the oldest house still standing in Canton (the Fenno House was the oldest until its relocation to Sturbridge Village in the 1940's). Jonathan Puffer erected the house with the assistance of the Ponkapoag Indians using cedar from the Ponkapoag bogs. (Ed note. Puffer Genealogy states that Matthias was the builder, not Jonathan, his son. DMC)

      John Davenport purchased the house in 1717. The house would remain in his family for 183 years until 1900. It then passed to their relatives, the Farringtons, who occupied the home until 1924 when they moved to a new house up on Route 138.

      The house was sold to the Homans family who greatly enlarged it. The wing which is visible from Route 128, is such an expansion and is known as the ballroom. The house is unique in that many of its original features are still intact, including a fireplace with beehive oven."

      From Daniel T.V. Huntoon's "History of The Town of Canton, Massachusetts (1893)

      John Davenport appears as a lessee on the Indian land, May 30, 1705, in connection with Peter Lyon. There is no evidence that he ever resided on his land. He was a Milton man, and lived in the old house in the rear of the mansion of Isaac Davenport, which was occupied by Samuel, father of Nance, until his death, Dec. 6, 1793. John died there in 1725. His son John was born in 1695, and purchased his estate from Jonathan Puffer in 1 717. The house, situated down the lane running easterly on Cherry Hill, has ever since been owned and occupied by the Davenport family. Tradition asserts that the Indians greatly helped in the building of this house . It probably was erected about 1711, for that year Jonathan Puffer was " allowed liberty to get one load of clapboards and two loads of cedar bolts from the common swamps."


  • Sources 
    1. [S160] Early Census Index, Massachsetts, , ; digital images, (: access ed )., Worcester County; 1669; 184.

    2. [S128] Canton, Massachusetts Historical Society, Canton Bicentenial Book, Chapter 1.

    3. [S140] History of the Town of Canton, Massachusetts 1893.

    4. [S2] Descendants of George Puffer of Braintree, Massachusetts 1639-1915, page 14-21.

    5. [S2] Descendants of George Puffer of Braintree, Massachusetts 1639-1915, 14-21.

    6. [S2] Descendants of George Puffer of Braintree, Massachusetts 1639-1915, 20.