Captain & Deacon CAPEN John, Sr.

Captain & Deacon CAPEN John, Sr.[1]

Male 1612 - 1692  (80 years)

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  • Name CAPEN John 
    Prefix Captain & Deacon 
    Suffix Sr. 
    Birth 26 Jan 1612  Dorsetshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Gender Male 
    Emigration 24 Jul 1633  Weymouth, Dorset, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    _UID 5A5926A3D61D4771A20ADFB4B1C9DB5B167C 
    Death 4 Apr 1692  Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Burial Aft 4 Apr 1692  Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 3
    Address:
    Dorchester North Burying Ground 
    Captain John Capen, Sr. gravestone
    Captain John Capen, Sr. gravestone
    Notes 
    • John, a shoemaker by trade, may have arrived in New England with one or more of his older married siblings, before the July 1633 arrival of their parents. But, he may alternately have arrived with his parents on the unnamed ship from Weymouth, England that arrived at Boston on or about July 24, 1633 [John Winthrop's Journal, 1:129]. His father Bernard and brother-in-law Nicholas Upsall were first granted four acres of land at Dorchester on Aug. 5, 1633. John Capen, a minor until January 1633/4, was made freeman on May 14,1634.

      Capt. Capen was a shoemaker by trade. He was ordained a Deacon of the Dorchester First Church on Feb. 13, 1658/9, and at his death the Dorchester church entered in its record:

      4th of Aprill 1692 Deacon John Capen a military officer 50 years at length a Capt: & Deacon of ye chh 34 years in His fourscoreth Year Rested from His Labors & Slept in ye Lord.

      He was a Selectman 16 yrs, repeatedly Deputy to the General Court, Town Recorder, and Captain of the Militia in 1646.
    Person ID I86302  Noyes Family Genealogy
    Last Modified 27 May 2013 

    Father CAPEN Barnard,   b. 1563, Dorsetshire, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 8 Nov 1638, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 75 years) 
    Mother PURCHASE Joan,   b. CA 1579, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 25 Mar 1653, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 74 years) 
    Marriage 3 Jun 1596  Dorsetshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4
    • (31 May 1596 in their own time by the Julian calendar.)
    Family ID F40735  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 CLAPP Radigon,   b. CA 1616, Sidbury, Devonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 10 Dec 1645, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 29 years) 
    Marriage 20 Oct 1637  Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Children 
     1. CAPEN Joanna,   b. 31 Oct 1638, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 19 Nov 1638, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 0 years)
     2. CAPEN John, Jr.,   b. 21 Oct 1639, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 8 Jun 1707, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 67 years)
    Family ID F33936  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 23 Feb 2024 

    Family 2 BASS Mary,   b. CA 1631, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 29 Jun 1704, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 73 years) 
    Marriage 20 Sep 1647  Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Children 
     1. CAPEN Samuel,   b. 29 Jul 1648, Braintree, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 19 May 1733, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 84 years)
     2. CAPEN Barnard,   b. 24 Mar 1650, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 2 May 1691, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 41 years)
     3. CAPEN Mary,   b. 6 Jul 1652, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 8 Feb 1678 (Age 25 years)
     4. CAPEN James,   b. 17 Nov 1654, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 3 Jan 1717/8, Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 63 years)
     5. CAPEN Preserved,   b. 4 Mar 1656/7, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 20 Oct 1708, Dorchester, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 51 years)
     6. Rev. CAPEN Joseph,   b. 29 Dec 1658, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 30 Jun 1725, Topsfield, Essex, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 66 years)
     7. CAPEN Hannah,   b. 1 Oct 1662, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 16 May 1729 (Age 66 years)
     8. CAPEN Elizabeth,   b. 29 Jan 1666/7, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 17 Apr 1680, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 13 years)
    Family ID F33935  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 23 Feb 2024 

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsEmigration - 24 Jul 1633 - Weymouth, Dorset, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Capen House dismantled
    Capen House dismantled
    The former 1675 Capen House in Milton, Mass. in 2007, after being dismantled to its skeleton frame for storage for a future buyer and a better day. The picture represents one-half of the original length of the structure, the other half already completely dismantled. The opening for the front door in the middle of the original front of the house, is at the bottom center of the photo. [Courtesy of Landmark Services, Inc., Walpole, Mass.]

    Captain John Capen house
    Captain John Capen house
    The celebrated Capen House as it appeared prior to 1909 when it was still in Dorchester, Mass.

    "The original house, considered to be the second oldest house in New England, was built in the style of the West Country with heavy framing. The farthest end of the house, consisting of four or five rooms, was built first; and some hundred years later the end nearest the street was added. The house was built on one side with especial reference to protection from the Indians; and [John Hewins, a later owner] found several arrows, during his residence there, which had been sent with hostile intention by the wily savages against the home-fortress of his ancestors. The house, which originally stood on Washington Street across from Melville Avenue at the corner of Washington Street and Dunlap Road, remained in the Capen family for nearly 270 years." [Dorchester Atheneum]

    According to "The Barnard Capen House" in the Feb. 25, 2007 issue of the Boston Globe, Vanessa Parks, Correspondent:

    The Bernard Capen house at Dorchester, Mass. was long believed to have been built in 1638 representing one of the oldest standing houses in New England. It has now been determined it was actually built in 1675. The house had been in the Capen family for more than 270 years in well-preserved condition. It was purchased in 1909 by a Harvard professor and relocated piece by piece from Dorchester to Milton for use as a summer house. By 2003, the then owner, who was 6'4" tall, found it impractical to live in due to its low ceilings. Failing to draw interest from historical groups for its preservation versus demolition, a renovation company specializing in the restoration of old New England structures purchased the house and dismantled it down to its original frame putting the dismantled sections in storage. Historic New England was able to date the original timber frame by use of dendrochronology, or the counting of tree rings in timbers. The dendrochronology lab at Oxford University in England determined that the timber samples were from trees felled in the winter of 1674-5, indicating they were probably used to frame the house in the summer of 1675. According to Anne Grady, an architectural historian, the house represented the fifth oldest house Historic New England had dated.

    Although the article identifies "yeoman" John Capen as the original owner, he was either Bernard Capen's only son that came to New England, Capt. John Capen along with John's second wife, Mary Bass, or Capt. John Capen's eldest son John, Jr. by first wife Redegon Clap. In 1675 the four youngest children of Capt. John were still minors whereas in 1675 John, Jr. had nine children less than twelve years of age with three more children to follow by 1684. The only way to really tell is by a review of land deeds at Dorchester, which the writer has not attempted.

    Suffice it to say, man often fails to outlast the things they make, or at least that was the case in times gone by.


  • Sources 
    1. [S3808] Internet-Find A Grave, Find A Grave Memorial #9567967.

    2. [S175] Book-Torrey; NE Marriages Prior to 1700, p.133.

    3. [S6296] Periodical-American Ancestors, Spring 2013; 14:19 John Capen; A Sketch From The Early New England Families Study Project.

    4. [S3808] Internet-Find A Grave, Find A Grave Memorial #5823815 [Don Blauvelt] 3/3/2010.