Capt. George Watson
d.31 Jan 1688/9 Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Facts and Events
GEORGE WATSON, CAPTAIN, OWNER OF WATSON'S POND
Immigration: 1633 New England Note: Captain George Watson is purportedly born in Holme on Spaulding, co. Yorkshire, Grantham, co. Lincoln or in London according to various sources. Charles Edward Banks recorded his origin as Dedham, Essex, England. George became a Freeman March 1633/34 in Plymouth, although he did not appear on the Freeman List. It is possible that he emigrated from Dedham, Essex, England in 1631 and lived in Penobscot from 1631 to 1633, when he removed to Plymouth. He died at age 87, and an inventory of his estate is taken on 2nd February 1688/9.
11th Feb 1632: "Examinations of John Deacon, Henry Sampson, George Watson and Oliver Gallow before Captain Walter Neale in New England; of Thomas Willett and William Phipps before Captain Henry Keye; and of Edward Astley before Attorney - General Noye in the case of Edward Astley. (CSPC)."
[Note: Contrary to the long-held belief that George Watson is the son of Robert and Elizabeth Watson of London, there is no evidence that either person ever existed in the colonies. Therefore, the origins of George's birth and parents are yet to be identified. However, an unverified entry is found of a marriage 28th Jun 1602 for Robert and Elizabeth (Pye/Peye/Paye) Watson in Holbeach, Co. Lincoln, England. Their list of children included George, Samuel, Nathaniel, Frances, Thomas, John and Robert.]
"Mr. Watson was one of the most respectable and useful members of the early settlement at Plymouth, holding various offices of trust, and faithfully performing his public duties, while his prudence enabled him to become quite independent, owning large tracts of land. he reared up a family of four children - three having died in infancy - from whom have sprung many of the most useful and prominent men of the colony and state down to the present period." At the meeting of the Council of War at Plymouth, 12th May 1653, when public apprehension is aroused of armed conflict with the Dutch of New Amsterdam, two barques were pressed for the service, one the vessel in which George Watson sailed.
George is a captain in the Plymouth Militia. Also, he served in 1653 as Captain of the Bark Expedition under Captain Myles Standish, against the Dutch in New York.
George is deeded 1/2 share in the Taunton Iron Works on 29th March 1663/64 from James Leonard, Sr., father of his son-in-law Thomas Leonard who had married (1662) his daughter Mary Watson. He is deeded another 1/3 share in the Taunton Iron Works on 8th December 1676 from his son-in-law Thomas Leonard. George Watson accumulated wealth in Plymouth in other transactions as well. He received a house and land from Thomas Hope on 29th April 1670. He is deeded a house on 26th October 1670 from Nathaniel Masterson. He received meadow land in Mattapoiset from Joshua Tizdell (Tisdale) on 3rd June 1685. Also, George deeded land on 9th September 1681 to his son Elkanah.
George Watson bought about 40 acres of land and a pond in Taunton, Massachusetts, New England from John Gilbert in 1664. The pond and land became a Massachusetts State Park sometime in the 20th century, On the the property behind the bathrooms and guard station towards the pond, a large stone is placed there with a plaque that reads. "JOHN GILBERT BORN IN ENGLAND IN 1580 CAME TO AMERICA IN 1635, WAS ONE OF 46 COHANNET PURCHASERS, SETTLED NEAR THE GREAT WEIR IN 1638, WAS REPRESENTATIVE AT THE GENERAL COURT IN 1639 IN 1641, FOR HIS SERVICES TO THE TOWN OF TAUNTON, HE WAS GRANTED THE LAND NOW OCCUPIED BY THIS PARK, HE BUILT HIS FARM HOUSE AND NAMED IT "PONDSBROOKE" AND LIVED HERE UNTIL HIS DEATH IN 1657. HIS BODY IS BURIED NEAR THIS SPOT."
Interestingly enough I will note here that on the hill overlooking the pond under some pine trees near this plaque, there are small groups of cobblestones embedded in the ground separated by a few feet apart in between them. There are probably quite a few different relatives burie