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Flegg / Flagg Genealogy
An ancient armigerous family of County Norfolk, England,
deriving its name from the hundreds of East and West Flegg near Norwich. Records
of the family go back to about 1120. For at least five generations it flourished
as landed gentry.
For three successive generations, the heads of the family
attained the honor of Knighthood, Arms Per pale in chief a label of five points.
About 1280, Sir William de Fleg died without surviving male issue. His estates
went to his daughters and the main line died out.
Later generations bearing the family name descended from younger sons and
sank to yeoman estate. Ancestors of the emigrant, Thomas Flegg can be traced
with certainly only as far back as James Flegg, born about 1440.
Alger DeFleg was born about 1115 in East Dereham, England. He died
The family of De Flegg was seated in the latter part
of the twelfth century in; the county of Norfolk, on the east coast of England,
and bears the name of the Hundreds of East and West Flegg in that county,
where they held grants in the reign of Henry II.
In the Southeastern corner of Norfolk there is a dense
Danish settlement occupying the Hundreds of East and West Flegg (from the
Norse word "flegg" or Danish "vlak", meaning flat), a space of some eight
miles by seven, well protected on every side by the sea and the estuaries
of the Bure and the Yare -- (From "Words and Places" by Isaac Taylor, 1885).
That the family was not of Saxon origin is indicated
by their residence in this Danish settlement, their affiliations with Norman
families so soon after the reign of William the Conqueror and their connection,
in official positions, with the Roman Catholic Church. It is probable that
they were either Danes or Norman-French, and took their name from the Danish
Hundreds where they held grants of land, the Norman-French "de Flegg" meaning
"of Flegg". In the reign of Henry II there were living two brothers, Alger
de Flegg and Henry de Flegg. Henry was Prior of Norwich in 1168, and his brother
Alger was living in 1160.
From Ch 1, The De Fleggs in England, from Family Records of the Descendents
of Gershom Flagg. By Norman Gershom Flagg and Lucius C.S.Flagg.
He had the following children:
2. Henry De Fleg
Henry was born about 1140 and died before 1217 at age 77. Henry de
Flegg of Flegg Hall and Hicklin in the Hundred of West Flegg county of Norfolk,
in 1204, is mentioned in records of Herald’s Visitations in the first year
of the reign of King John (1199) as holding patents to three divisions of
land. His children were:
Sir John De Fleg was born about 1165 and died about 1236 at age 71.
He was a knight and married Margaret De Bassingham, daughter of Sir Peter
De Bassingham. Their children were:
2. Philip married Sarah De Sotterley
3. William De Fleg was born in East Dereham, England.
Sir William de Flegg, of Flegg Hall, living in the 53rd of Henry III, 1268,
sold Flegg Manor to the de Mautebys
Sir John De Fleg was born about 1190 and died before 1242 at age 52.
His occupation was knight and at age 25 about 1215, he married Beatrice, who
died before 1264. Their children were:
2. William was born about 1220 in East Derham, England.
William died in England after 1278 at age 58. At about age 30, he married
Petronella and had two children.
Philip was born about 1225 and died before 1286 at age 61. His children
2. William, born about 1255.
Philip was born about 1250. His heir was:
Philip, born about 1275 in East Dereham, Norfolk, England. He acquired lands
in Scarning about 20 miles west of Norwich, Norfolk. He dropped the "de" from
his name, as became the custom during the reign of King Edward 3rd. His children
1. Adam, born in 1300
2. Ralph, born about 1305
William was born about 1310 in probably Norwich. His children were:
2. Thomas, born about 1345
John was born about 1340 and died about 1395 at age 55. His child
John was born about 1370. His heir was:
William, born about 1400 in Near East Dereham, Norfolk, England; his children
1. John born about 1430 and died before 1480 at age 50.
He was a priest.
2. Margaret, born 1433
3. William, born about 1435 and died in 1481 at age 46.
4. Isabel, born 1438
James was born about 1440 in Near East Dereham, Norfolk. He married
Margaret ? about the age of 25 and was a yeoman by trade. He died in
East Bradenham, Norfolk in 1527 at age 87. His children were:
2. William, born about 1470
John was born about 1465, married Margaret Wenne about 1490. He died
in 1536 at age 71. Their children were:
* 1. William was born about 1490 in Shipdham, Norfolk, England and about
1513 he married Anges? Their children were:
** 2. Thomas, born about 1516, married Dionis Bolter and ecame an attorney.
He was buried in 1558.
** 3. Elizabeth, born about 1518
** 4. John, born about 1520, became a yeoman and died at age 61
James was born in 1514 and married Agnes ? at age 24. He died in 1560,
age 46. Their children were:
1. Margaret, born 1539
2. Joane, born about 1541
3. Thomas, born about 1543
4. Dionis, born about 1545
5. Agnes, born about 1547
6. Elizabeth, born about 1549
7. Ceciley, born about 1551
8. Katherine, born about 1553
9. Marian, born about 1555
* 2. Joane
* 3. Thomas, born about 1493 and about 1517 he married Maud ? He died
* 4. Richard, born about 1495 in Shipdham. He was Catholic and at
age 24 he married Margaret ? Richard died in 1550 and Margaret in October
• 1. Michael, born before Aug 20, 1564 in Shipdam.
He died in 1628 at age 63. He was a yeoman by trade and married Anna
• Allen, born after 1570; he married Nazareth Devoroys
on July 3, 1612 at age 42.
The genealogist who researched the Flegg ancestry finds proof that a Thomas
Flegg was baptized in Hardingham, Norfolk, England on May 6, 1621, and proceeded
to prove that this was the Thomas that came to New England and establishes
his lineage for several generations. Thomas was the youngest of the
four sons of Allen and Nazareth (Devoroys) Flegg. He was seven years
old at his father’s death and came under the control of his oldest brother
Henry, which whom he probably lived with during the next few years. Nazareth
was born April 3, 1583 in Hardingham, Norfolk and died in 1621. Allen
died April 21, 1632 in Hardingham.
Allen and Nazareth (Devoroys) had four children:
1. Henry Flagg, born 1612
2. Michael Flagg, born 1615
3. Bartholomew Flagg, born 1619
4. Thomas Flagg, born in 1621
In 1633 William Laud became archbishop of Canterbury
and started to enforce conformity upon the Puritans. Matthew Wren became
bishop of Norfolk in 1635, and his active persecutions of the Puritans caused
a large migration of them to New England during the next two years.
At the same time there was great economic and industrial depression in England
and young men joined this migration, not on account of religious motives,
but with the object of bettering their material condition. Thomas Flegg
fit this category, however he did join the Puritan church in 1690. Among
the emigrants to New England in 1637 were twenty-five families whose records
have been preserved, because the law required that lists be made of all persons
leaving England. Though many of the lists have been lost, the Public
Records Office in London has a list of 115 Norfolk residents licensed to
pass to New England in April 1637 on either the ship John and Dorothy or
the Rose. The family of Richard Carver of Scratby is named, and included
three servants, one being Thomas Flege, age twenty-one years.
If Thomas were baptized in 1621, how could he be “21
years” in 1637? It was customary for young unmarried men to engage themselves
for two or three years as an employee of an older planter who would pay their
passage to the New World. Thomas Flegg’s age was probably deliberately
over-stated to make him appear to be of legal age. In this way he would
avoid detention, for the law was quite strict about minors trying to leave
the country. If Thomas Flegg were a large and mature-appearing youth
of sixteen, he could have made a bluff as being of age. One genealogist
states that while Carver came from a parish five miles from Flegg’s home parish,
there is no other Thomas Flegg of the area who could have been the emigrant.
Carver died in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1640, and the following year Thomas
Flegg, having served out his term of indebtedness begins to appear on Watertown
records, and does until his death in 1698.
Thomas and his wife Mary had eleven children:
1. Gershom, born April 16, 1641, bore a name given by several New
Englanders to first- born son after arrival, the word meaning “exile.”
He married Hannah Leppingwell in 1668, and died July 6, 1690.
2. John, born June 14, 1643, was named for Thomas’ grandfather, John
Flegg of Shigdham. He married Mary Gale in 1670, had three children
and died February 6, 1696 in Watertown.
3. Bartholomew, born February 23, 1644/1645, was named for Thomas’
brother Bartholomew, who was born in 1619, and whose name is the only one
found in Norfolk from 1400 to 1650, except the cousin Bartholomew who whom
later genealogist erroneously assign Thomas as a child. Indians killed
him in 1675.
4. Thomas, born April 28, 1646 was, of course, named for his father.
He married Rebecca Dix on February 18, 1667, had five children and died in
Watertown in 1719.
Note: It is possible there was an unrecorded child born in 1648.
It has been claimed in the Flagg genealogy that a William Flegg was born in
this interval and was killed by Indians in an attack on Lancaster in 1675,
but it was Bartholomew who met this fate.
5. Michael Flagg, born March 23, 1650/1, was obviously named
for another of Thomas’ brothers, Michael of Reymerston. He married 1st
Mary Bigelow on October 16, 1711.
She died September 3, 1704 and Michael then married Mary Lawrence Earle on
December 27, 1704. He had three children by his first marriage.
6. Eleazer, born May 14, 1653, had a Bible name then in vogue in
New England. He married Deborah (Wright) Barnes, had three children,
and died May 1722 in Concord.
7. Elizabeth Flagg, born March 2, 1655, was doubtless named
for Thomas’ grandmother, Elizabeth, second wife of John Flegg. She married
Joshua Bigelow on October 20, 1676,
had twelve children, and died August 9, 1729 in Watertown.
8. Mary Flagg, b 14 Jan 1657, was named for her mother.
She m 03 June 1674 Samuel Bigelow,
had ten children; d 07 Sept 1720.
9. Rebecca, born September 5, 1660, may have been named for Thomas’
older cousin Rebecca, daughter of John Flegg of Whinbergh, the only woman
of that name found in this family. She married Stephen Cook on November 19,
1679 and died June 20, 1721 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
10.Benjamin, born June 25, 1662, bore a name commonly given by Puritans
to what they expected was a youngest son, however, in this case there was
a miscalculation. He married Experience Child in 1689, had nine children
and died May 3, 1741 in Worcester.
11. Allen, born May 16, 1665, was named for Thomas’ father Allen.
He married Sarah Ball, had nine children, and died October 1711 in Watertown.
One more proof remains: Thomas Flegg, like all colonist between the ages
of 16 and 60, had to take part in military training. On April 5, 1681,
he petitioned to be relieved of training, and form paying the annual five-shilling
fine for those unable to train. The implication is that in 1681, he
was sixty years of age, and thus eligible to be relieved on account of age.
Other records of interest concerning Thomas Flegg are that he owned a home
stall of six acres, and a lot of twenty acres. He served as selectman
eight times between 1671 and 1685 and as late as July 10, 1693, was chosen
to serve on the grand jury. In 1659, he lost an eye by a gunshot accident.
He made his will in 1697 and died February 6, 1697 at age seventy-six.
Mary, his widow, made her will on December 30, 1702, which was attested
April 21, 1703, and inventory for distribution taken May 25, 1703.
Her husband having previously bequeathed most of his property to their sons,
Mary divided her movable and remaining property equally among their daughters.
The executor was Samuel Biglo, and
the witnesses were Nathaniel Wilder, Ephraim Wilder, and John Warren.
This brings to mind the question of whether Mary was a Wilder daughter or
After the deaths of Thomas and Mary, the family surname soon changed to
the spelling Flagg, and is so used by all descendants in America today.
Howe, Bigelow Family of America pages ;
Bigelow Family Genealogy Vol I;
Subject: Ezra and Deborah (Bigelow) Holden
From: Beverly Barnhart < firstname.lastname@example.org >
Hello,My name is Beverly Barnhart. I have been researching
my family, which through a long line leads back to Ezra and Deborah Bigelow
Holden. Their son Ezra Shattuck Holden married Elizabeth
Davis, who is my 3 greats grandmother. I don't know if you
are interested, but I have her birth and death date, as well as Ezra Shattuck's
as well as pictures. Are you interested in these to have posted on
your site? I also have pictures of Elizabeth's parents, Jason and
Martha (Phillips) Davis, and Ezra and Elizabeth's children. (They had
nine, only four living to adulthood.) I also have pictures that are
unidentified, am curious if you know of anyone who might help me.
They are somehow associated with the Holdens. I also have pictures
of Joseph and Susan (Brown) Holden, who
was Ezra Shattuck's brother.
Do you have pictures of Deborah and Ezra or any of their kids, besides
Ezra S. and Joseph? Also do you have any info regarding Ezra
and Deborah, besides birth and death info, maybe an obit (may be too
soon for that) Anyway, if there is anything I can do for you,
let me know.
Beverly sent me many pictures and Genealogies of Family: Holden page 1, Holden
page 2, Holden page 3, Holden page 4, Davis,
page 1; and Flagg family; .....................ROD
Modified - 10/22/2005
(c) Copyright 2005 Bigelow Society, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Rod Bigelow - Director
< email@example.com >
Rod Bigelow (Roger Jon12 BIGELOW)
P.O. Box 13 Chazy Lake
Dannemora, N.Y. 12929
< firstname.lastname@example.org >
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