A One-Name Study
for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname
Notes for Elisha BISBEE
His birth date, place & parents are unknown. On 7 Sep 1642, which was soon after his arrival in Scituate, is found the single occurrence of his surname spelling as "Besbeach" when Elisha Besbeach was ordered to appear in the next General Court to answer for libel against Mr. Charles Chauncey.
[Bisbee, Frank J., (1956) ''Genealogy of the Bisbee family : Descendants of Thomas Besbeech (Bisbee) of Scituate, Duxbury and Sudbury, Massachusetts'.' Otter Brook Press, [https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89062848551;view=1up;seq=34 HathiTrust.org] (p18) ''Caution: contains errors''.]
Thereafter, Elisha's surname was spelled either Besbey, Bisbey, Besbe, Bisbe, or Bisbee.
Elisha married by 1645 to [[UNKNOWN-120553|Joanna (Unknown)]].
& they settled at Scituate, on the west side of the North River, south of the road between Marshfield and what is now Norwell. This was their home for a number of years while Elisha ran a ferry and a tavern for travelers.
All of their children were baptized at the Second Parish Church in Scituate, MA) but In all of these records, the mother's name was not given. Their children included ...# Hopestill Bisbee bpt=7 Sep 1645 m1=Sarah (unknown) m2=27 Feb 1696 Joseph Lincoln res=Hingham# John Bisbee bpt=21 Dec 1645?  m=13 Sep 1687 Joanna Brooks (daughter of William)
# Mary Bisbee bpt=10 Sep 1648 m=15 Jan 1678 Jacob Beals # Martha Bisbee bpt=27 Apr 1651 m=1677 Jonathan Turner. He removed to Duxbury d=12 Nov 1695
# Elisha Bisbee, Jr, bpt=29 Oct 1654 d=1715
# Hannah Bisbee bpt=7 Dec 1656 m=1687 to Thomas Brooks
=== Property and Positions ===Elisha was a cooper by trade and operated, in 1644, a ferry in Scituate, where the old Union Bridge once stood. His house was nearby on the west side of the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_River_(Massachusetts_Bay) North River], south of the road between Marshfield and what is now Norwell. He kept a tavern there for travelers between Plymouth and points north.
[Deane, Samuel, (1831) ''History of Scituate, Massachusetts, from its first settlement to 1831''. [https://archive.org/stream/historyscituate01deangoog#page/n228/mode/2up Archive.org] (Pages 220-1).]
Jonathan Turner, who was Elisha's son-in-law, lived nearby and had a tannery. In his will, Elisha called himself a glover, but he was commonly known as a cooper.
Elisha was among men of Scituate found fit to bear arms in 1643 [Plym. Col. Rec., 8:192], and admitted a freeman 3 Jun 1652 [Plym. Col. Rec., 2:167, 3:7]. Later, in 1658, he was listed as a freeman of Marshfield, MA [Plym. Col. Rec., 8:201]. He was taxed in Scituate on 5 Jul 1666 [Plym. Col. Rec., 7:130], and he was appointed 7 Jun 1679 to "looke after the Minnesters Rate" in Marshfield [Plym. Col. Rec., 5:37].
=== Death and Legacy ===Elisha died after April 1688 and before June 1690 ''probably'' at Duxbury, Massachusetts.
Elisha made his Last Will on 6 April 1688, and it was probated on 4 June 1690.
[Plymouth County Wills, Vol 1, Page 69.]
He mentioned his sons: Hopewell, John, and Elisha, Jr., and his daughters: Mary Beal, Martha Turner, and Hannah Brooks, also his grandchildren. His estate was appraised at ?83 15s 4d.
=== Research Notes ===He was NOT a son of Thomas Besbeech. Unfortunately, some have included Elisha Bisbee as a son of Thomas Besbeech. As pointed out by Anderson, this is impossible for reasons of chronology as well as the will of Thomas Besbeech (written on 25 Nov 1672).
[Anderson, Robert Charles, (1995) "Thomas Besbeech," featured name. ''Great Migration 1634-1635, A-B.'' [https://www.americanancestors.org/DB114/i/7051/263/235167015 AmericanAncestors.org] NEHGS, (Vol A-B p263-66).]
Thomas and his wife were married early in 1619, and their first daughter was born almost exactly one year later. All of the children's baptisms were recorded. There is simply no "room" for an eldest son to fit. In addition, no record of an Elisha has ever been found in the Thomas Besbeech family.
Apparently the reasons for assuming they were father and son were the spelling of their names and proximity, although Thomas Besbeech had removed from Scituate by 1639, prior to Elisha's arrival.
''The Genealogy of the Bisbee Family'' by Frank J. Bisbee lists Elisha as the first born of Thomas, "in early records, Elisha is referred to as Elisha Besbeach, which would indicate his connection to Thomas, who spelled his name Besbeech".
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