The Herrick line

[A sidebar to The quixotic gallantry of Herrick McGregor.]

On his mother’s side James Herrick McGregor descended from Henerie Hericke, a Massachusetts immigrant of 1629. Herrick McGregor was of the ninth generation of New World Herricks. Such, at least, is the narrative established in Jedediah Herrick’s Family Register, published in 1846, and “revised, augmented and brought down to A.D. 1885” in Herrick Genealogy. Both are digitized and readily available on the internet. Neither cites sources; but they have the ring of authenticity.

Briefly, the Herrick family of Leicester “claim their descent from Ericke, a Danish Chief, who invaded Britain during the reign of Alfred.” The earliest known ancestor was “Eyryk, of Great Stretton and of Houghton, co. of Leicester, temp. Henry III. [1216-1272].”

The immigrant Henry Herrick is supposed to have been the son of Sir William Heyrick of Beau Manor in Leicester, who memorialized the birth thus:

Thursday, 16th of August, 1604, my wife were brought a bead [a-bed] of a fifthe sonne; Sir David Murray, Mr. John Spilman, and my Lady Aston, his gossips [godparents]. He is nursed at Thissilworth, at 2s. 6d. a week. His name is commanded by Prince Henry to be Henry; and Sir John Spilman would need have him John. And that he was named Henry.

The Family Register adduces several reasons — not relevant to our story — for identifying the immigrant Henry Hericke as Sir William’s fifth son.

Henry, the narrative goes, visited Virginia before arriving at Salem, Mass., on June 24, 1629. He married Editha Laskin (born 1614) of Salem. They settled at ”Cape-Ann-Side,” i.e. on the north side of Massachusetts Bay; established a prosperous farm in what became the town of Beverly; raised a large family. He died in 1671; she lived until at least 1674.

The line of descent:

2nd generation: their fourth child Henry, baptized January 16, 1640; he inherited the farm; married Lydia [Woodbury?]; he died in June 1702 (page 26 of the Family Register, 134 in the Genealogy).

3rd generation: their fifth child Jonathan, baptized 1672, Beverly, “whence he rem[oved] to Concord, Mass., where he possessed considerable property, in mills, etc.;” his second marriage was to Bethiah Conant, September 13, 1713 in Beverly; he died in 1724 (Register p. 34, Genealogy 198-9).

4th generation: their fifth child Joseph, born 1720; married Lois Cutler of Chelmsford, Mass. in 1742; bought a farm in Groton, Mass., 1744, and sold it 1746; “lived a while in Townsend, Vermont and finally settled in Brattleboro, Vt.;” he died March 16, 1795; she died August 5, 1812, age 92 (p. 35/p. 201).

5th generation: their eldest child Jonathan, born September 26, 1743 in Concord, Mass.; married Mehitabel French (born March 15, 1751) in 1770; he died in October 1828; she died March 29, 1836 (p. 35/p. 201).

6th generation: their eldest child Jonathan, born April 1, 1771; married Lucinda Dickerman of Brattleboro, Vt., 1799; they settled in Farnham, P. Q., Canada (p. 35/p. 201).

7th generation: their second child John L[ocke], born March 22, 1811; married Annie Chalmers (born March 11, 1819 in Scotland)* on January 27, 1840 in Abbotsford, Quebec;** he died December 15, 1886 in Rutland, Vt.*** (Genealogy, p. 202).

* 1881 Census of Canada, Granby, Shefford, Quebec; Roll: C 13201; Page: 39; Family No: 204.

** Quebec, Vital and Church Records [Drouin Collection], 1621-1967.

*** Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908.

8th generation: their eldest child Lamira Jane, born December 4, 1840; married James McGregor, July 2, 1860; died July 12, 1877 (Genealogy p. 202).

9th generation: their fourth child, James Herrick, born March 4, 1868 [sic] (p. 202).


Genealogical register of the name and family of Herrick, from the settlement of Henerie Herricke in Salem Massachusetts, 1629-1846; with a concise notice of their English ancestry. By Jedediah Herrick. Bangor: Samuel S. Smith, 1846.

Herrick genealogy: A genealogical register of the name and family of Herrick from the settlement of Henerie Hericke, in Salem, Massachusetts, 1629 to 1846, with a concise notice of their English ancestry. By Gen. Jedediah Herrick. Revised, augmented and brought down to A.D. 1885 by Lucius C. Herrick, M.D. Columbia, Ohio: privately printed, 1885.


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