FLAGG Family


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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 after 1160.
     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:
1.    John    
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:
1.    John
2.    Philip
3.    William
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:
1.    John
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:
1.    Simon
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.
3.    Philip
Philip was born about 1225 and died before 1286 at age 61.  His children were:
1.    Philip
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 were:
1.    Adam, born in 1300    
2.    Ralph, born about 1305
3.    William
William was born about 1310 in probably Norwich.  His children were:
1.    John
2.    Thomas, born about 1345
John was born about 1340 and died about 1395 at age 55.  His child was:
John was born about 1370.  His heir was:
William, born about 1400 in Near East Dereham, Norfolk, England; his children were:
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
5.    James,
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:
1.    John
2.    William, born about 1470
3.    Unknown
4.    Unknown
5.    Unknown
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:
**1. James,
** 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 in 1524.
* 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 of 1558.
•    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.
•    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 not.

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
Date: 08/27/2005
From: Beverly Barnhart < bevjbarn@yahoo.com >
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 Barnhart
Beverly sent me many pictures and Genealogies of Family: Holden page 1, Holden page 2, Holden page 3, Holden page 4, Davis, Darby,  
Holmes pictures
page 1; and Flagg family; .....................ROD 10/20/2005

Modified - 10/22/2005
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Rod  Bigelow - Director
    < rodbigelow@netzero.net >

Rod Bigelow (Roger Jon12 BIGELOW)
P.O. Box 13  Chazy Lake
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