top of page





Lawrence G. Robbins

and Julie Callahan 


Nicholas Robbins Family

Editor's Introduction:  Christmas came early for the Nicholas Robbins Family this year! In October we were contacted by someone who recently purchased a 17th Century deed containing Nicolas Robins' name.  Would we like to receive an image of the deed, we were asked. Would we ever!  


To our great delight, the deed refers to New Plantations property previously owned by Nicolas Robins! The deed is a real find and it is an important historical document for our Robbins family's history.  


An image and transcription of the original 17th Century deed, as well as a background explanation of the property history written by Lawrence G. Robbins should not be missed.  

When Nicholas Robbins died in 1651, he left a will which set forth the division of his lands in Duxbury and the "New Plantations" (Bridgewater) among his wife and children. The deed picture below covers certain lands in the "New Plantations," which subsequently became the township of Bridgewater. By his will, Nicholas left half of his "New Plantations" lands to his son, John, with the remaining half to be divided evenly between his three daughters, Katheren, Mary and Hannah. The divisions are sixths, with three sixths going to John and one sixth going to each of the daughters. This deed transfers about one of the sixth parts which fell to Mary in later years.

Questions or comments about this newsletter are most welcome and may be addressed to Julie Callahan at  

Nicholas did not live to see the day when the proprietors of the "New Plantations" began to make divisions of their grants. The "New Plantations" were an extension of Duxbury to the west. As a Duxbury proprietor, Nicholas was granted one part of the extended area with the location of each grant within the "New Plantations" to be arranged and agreed upon at a later date. Those divisions did not begin until 1656, five years after Nicholas's death. Judging by the language of the subject deed, this particular parcel was part of Mary's one sixth share of Nicholas's grant once they began dividing the grants and identifying the locations of each division within the boundaries of the "New Plantations."

Going forward a few more years to 1690, the year of the subject deed. In the 35 years that had passed since the original divisions began, another generation had become part of the process. Mary married George Turner around 1655 and they moved to Bridgewater soon after the first divisions of the town lots began in Bridgewater. As was customary in that day, deeds involving a married couple were recorded in the male's name, hence George signed (made his mark) on the subject deed.  Also notice that Mary has added her signature in 1697 with a note at the bottom right corner of the deed. This is because George died in 1695. Another important thing to notice about the subject deed is that it in an agreement to transfer lands between Elihu Brett and George Turner. Elihu Brett was George and Mary Turner's son-in-law. I've read about some of the land swapping that was going on in Bridgewater during this era and this might be part of it. More research in Plymouth and Bridgewater might reveal the history of this particular parcel.

Brett was George and Mary Turner's son-in-law. I've read about some of the land swapping that was going on in Bridgewater during this era and this might be part of it. More research in Plymouth and Bridgewater might reveal the history of this particular parcel.


To sum up, the subject deed covers land which was originally part of Mary (Robbins) Turner's one sixth share of her father Nicholas Robbins's "New Plantation" grant in Bridgewater, Plymouth Colony. It is signed/marked by her husband, George Turner in 1691 and signed by Mary herself in 1697 after her husband's death in 1695. The other party in this deed is Elihu Brett, George and Mary Turners's son-in-law, husband of their daughter, Ann Turner. John Turner's name also appears on the deed. He is son of George and Mary Turner. The care of Mary fell to John following George's death.

Contributor Sends Image of 17th Century Deed
Naming Nicolas Robins
In Memoriam
James Clark Robbins 

Robbins, Joseph Colwell Of Cambridge, MA, died peacefully at home on Tuesday, November 11th, 2014, Veteran's Day. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Lee T. Robbins, their two sons, Loring G. Robbins, his wife, Gena, and their daughter, Sophia, and John M. Robbins, his wife, Shaye, and their daughter, Zady. Joe was pre-deceased by his two sisters, Mary Deland deBeaumont, and Cornelia Bradley. He was a much loved uncle to 5 nieces & nephews, 11 grand nieces and nephews, and 15 great grand nieces and nephews.

Published in The Boston Globe from Nov. 15 to Nov. 16, 2014.  Re-published here with permission from L.T. Robbins.

Additionally, I offer belated condolences to the family of Joseph Colwell Robbins.  Joseph exchanged e-mails with Lawrence G. Robbins concerning articles in The Nicholas Robbins Family Newsletters and content concerning Joseph's family contained in the Robbins Family "Green Book" --further demonstrating his love of family and genealogy.  We are sorry for your loss and will keep your family in our thoughts and prayers.  


A reprint of Joseph's obituary from The Boston Globe may be found farther below in this newsletter.


By Lawrence G. Robbins

bottom of page