Witt and Rooles family research

I am wondering if there is anyone there who can assist with researching my Essex County ancestors. John Witt was supposedly born in 1612 in Lynn and Sarah Rooles in 1616 also in Lynn. This is based on family trees so may or may not be accurate. Probably married in Lynn and at least had a a daughter Anne who married a Rev Jacob Barney.

Thanks for any help...I live in metro Detroit so not close (enough)...

Jim Flood


Hello Jim,

Thank you for contacting the Essex Society of Genealogists.

I referenced the Alonzo Lewis book "The History of Lynn" and did find a little information on John Witt.  He appears in Lynn in 1640, died in December of 1675.  His wife's name was unknown but his children were believed to be Ann, Elizabeth, Sarah, Mary, Martha, John and Thomas.  Lewis believed that some in the family spelled their name DeWitt and they could have been Dutch or Huguenot.

There was also an article in The Essex Genealogist, (Volume 18, Pg 164-165) concerning John Witt.  It was written by Marcia Wilson Wiswall Lindberg.  She wrote that John Witt was probably born in England about 1617.  He was a resident of Groton, Mass, before he established himself as a resident of Lynn in 1650.  Lundberg says that he may have had a first wife who he married in England (perhaps she was named Elizabeth)  and a second wife (perhaps Sarah) who was probably married at Groton.  The second wife married twice after John Witt's death.

John Witt's daughter Ann was probably a child of his first wife.  According to Wiswall-Lindberg,  Ann was probably born at Lynn in 1638 and died at Rehoboth, Mass 17 March 1701, age 63.  She married Rev. Jacob Barney Jr at Salem, Mass. 26 May 1660.  Children of Ann Witt and Jacob Barney, born at Lynn or Rehoboth:

1.  Hannah, 2 Mar 1661
2.  Sarah, 12: 7M; 1662
3.  Abigail, 3: 8M; 1663
4.  John, 1:  6M: 1665
5.  Jacob, 21:  3M: 1667
6.  Ruth, 27 September 1669
7.  Dorcas, 22:  2M:  1671
8.  Joseph (lieutenant)  9 Mar 1672
9.  Israel,  17 Jun 1675
10.  Jonathan, 29 Mar 1677
11.  Samuel, 10 Feb 1678/9
12.  Hannah, 6:  12M:  1681

You may be able to pick up the trail of these folks by looking at www.ma-vitalrecords.org.  It's a free on-line site which posts birth, marriage, and death information for Massachusetts towns from the beginning of record keeping until 1849 (as long as the town hall hasn't burned down of course).  At books.google.com you can read Lewis's History of Lynn.  Page 183 has John's information.  Also, you may be able to locate Some of the Descendants of John Witt by Frank W Balcomb (Freedy Press of Peabody, published about 1943).
This was mentioned by Wiswall-Lindberg.

Hope this helps in your search.


Peg Plummer, Volunteer, ESOG