A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname

Notes for Roger CONANT

Roger Conant was baptized in All Saints Church in the parish of East Budleigh, Devonshire, England on 9 April 1592. Prior to his departure for the Americas, he was employed as a Salter in England. His father was the leading merchant of Clayton, a neighboring parish. Family tradition says that as a boy young Roger met Sir Walter Raleigh.

Roger was a man of intelligence and his reputation is that of a "pious, sober and prudent gentleman," also he has been characterized as being "moderate in his views, tolerant, mild and conciliating, preferring the public good to his private interests. A man of true courage, simplicity of heart and strength of principles," and historians pay glowing tributes to his abilities, integrity and honor.

On 11 November 1618, Roger married Sarah Horton at Saint Anne's Church, Blackfriars, London. By 1623 Roger, with his young family, and Christopher came to New England, it being likely that the vessel in which they were passengers was the passenger ship "Ann," which arrived at Plymouth about July of that year. They had religious disagreements with the church and undoubtedly had an adventuresome spirit. No other ship has been discovered with a record of their being aboard.

Although Roger Conant was not the foremost leader in the Massachusetts Colony, he certainly was instrumental in its development. He was a first settler of Salem, was an agent of the beginning of the Colony for three years and served in many civic capacities. He was known to be of great integrity and character and always put the good of the community ahead of his own desires and ideas. He was an excellent arbitrator, often settling matters that could have caused much division and even death. Also, because of his connections and reputation in England, his influence brought the formation of the Massachusetts Colony into reality.

From http://www.ova.org.uk/EastBudleigh.htm comes the following: East Budleigh is an ancient village, well-established by the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066 and called Bodelie in the Domesday Book. East Budleigh was probably settled by invading Saxons during the late 7th or early 8th century. In the Domesday Survey of 1086 a substantial Royal manor was described with boundaries approximating those of the present parish. It most probably had a church in Saxon times, standing in the prominent position where the present church now stands.

The birthplace of Sir Walter Raleigh, now known as Hayes Barton, is in Hayes Lane about one mile outside the village. The Raleigh family settled in East Budleigh around 1537 and leased Hayes Barton from the Duke family, who owned it for 400 years. Sir Walter Raleigh was born there in 1552.

Roger Conant, founding father of the city of Salem, Massachusetts, was also born in East Budleigh. He sailed for America in 1623 and, together with a band of courageous followers, established a new settlement at a place called Nahum Keike, an Indian name, later changed to Salem, "city of peace". A bronze statue of Roger Conant now stands outside the Witch Museum in Salem.
He was christened in All Saints Church.


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