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Annotated Bibliography of the Genealogy of
John Rogers, the Smithfield Martyr
 
Citations are listed in chronological order to emphasize the development of our knowlege of the genealogy of John Rogers.
1850 H.G. Somerby.  "Extracts from the Candler Manuscript in the British Museum."  New England Historical and Genealogical Register 4( ): 178-180.  Just a few sentences of  text plus 12 scanty pedigree charts, one of John Rogers, the Martyr, the others of surnames Fisher, Chaplaine, Moody, Crane, Fiske, Thompson, Underwood, Chickering, Nuttall, Ward, and Whiting of Boxford.  The manuscript of the pedigrees is so poorly organized that Somerby could not "attach" all the individuals.
1851 [Augustus D. Rogers.]  "Genealogical Memoir of the Family of Rev. Nathaniel Rogers, of Ipswich, Essex Co., Mass., who came from Old to New England, A.D., 1636, Son of Rev. John Rogers, of Dedham, Essex, Old England, who was a Grandson of Rev. John Rogers, Prebendary of St. Pauls, Vicar of St. Sepulchre, the Proto-Martyr in Queen Mary's Reign."  New England Historical and Genealogical Register 5(2): 105-152; continued 5(3): 311-330.
1851 Publishing Committee of the Register.  "Note to the Genealogical Memoir of the Rogers Family."  New England Historical and Genealogical Register 5(2): 224, which states in part:
Although the Publishing Committee of the Register, as they have announced, do not feel themselves responsible for articles which appear over the signatures of contributors, yet they feel constrained to notice some statements in the article on the Rogers family, pp. 105-152, of this number.

The statement that Nathaniel Rogers of Ipswich, Mass., was a descendant of the Marion Martyr, or in other words, that John Rogers of Dedham, Eng., the father of Nathaniel, was a grandson of the Martyr, is believed to be dependant wholly on tradition for its authority.  The enquiries which have been bestowed upon this subject by genealogists in England and this country have failed to verify this tradition, which cannot be traced beyond the time of Hutchinson.  That it may be verified by future enquiries is possible.  But while it rightfully belongs in the category of traditions, it should be suffered to remain there.

1858 Augustus D. Rogers.  "Genealogical Memoir of the Family of Rev. Nathaniel Rogers, of Ipswich, Mass., 1636" [Continued from Vol. V, p. 330]. New England Historical and Genealogical Register 12(4): 337-342.
1859 Augustus D. Rogers.  "Genealogical Memoir of the Family of Rev. Nathaniel Rogers, of Ipswich, Mass., 1636" [Continued from Vol. XII, p. 342].  New England Historical and Genealogical Register 13(1): 61-69.
1861 Joseph Lemuel Chester.   John Rogers:  the Compiler of the First Authorized English Bible; the Pioneer of the English Reformation; and Its First Martyr.  Longman, Green, Longman, & Roberts, London.  452 pp.   Exhaustive, scholarly, the reference to have.  Out of date, but only in the sense of new knowledge having been added, not that Chester's research was faulty.  Reviewed in the NEHG Register (1863: 93):
In the preface we find this history of the volume:  "The writer, in common with thousands of his New England brethren, was traditionally a descendant from the Marion Proto-martyr.  During a protracted visit to the mother country, he devoted a considerable time to genealogical researches, in order to establish if possible the correctness of these claims.  Those researches have been thorough and minute, and he believes that there is little informaiton of any value, respecting the families bearing the name of the Martyr, that can be gleaned after him, at least from accessible and responsible sources."  Mr. Chester, after satisfying himself that he and all others who trace their ancestry through Rev. John Rogers of Dedham, Eng., are not descendants of the Martyr, at least in a direct paternal line, began to feel that justice had not been done to that heroic man, and that a new Biography of him was needed.  In the volume before us, he has given a well prepared memoir, contianing everything of importance releative to his subject that could be discovered.  Following the memoir are biographical sketches of some [of] the principal persons claiming to be descendants; and an appendix of documents and other matter.  The following items, which we derive from the volume, will interest our readers, and especially such as suppose themselves descended from the Martyr.

John Rogers, there can be little doubt, was born "about the year 1500, and probably at the little village or hamlet of Deritend, in the parish of Aston, then in the suburbs of, but now quite surrounded by the city of Birmingham."  His father, it would seem, was John Rogers of Deritend,—the fifth generation in descent from John Fitz Rogers, who married a daughter of Sir Simon Furnseup, descended from the Earls of Bush;"—who by his wife, Margery Wyatt, had three sons and two daughters, John, William, Edward, Eleanor who m. Robert Mylward, and Joan also married.  Of these, John, supposed to be the martyr, married Adrian Pratt alias De Weyden of Brabant by whom he had eleven children, thus given from the visitation of Warwick, 1563:  "1.  Daniel of Sunbury, county of Middlsex, clerk of the council to Queen Elizabeth (ob. 1591), who married Susan, daughter of Nicsius Yetsworth, clerk of the signet, and secretary of the French tongue.  2.  John, a proctor of the civil law, who married Mary, daughter of William Leete, of Everden, county of Cambridge, D.C.L.  3. Ambrose.  4. Samuel.  5. Philip.  6. Bernard.  7. Augustine.  8. Barnaby.  9. Susan who married John Short, merchant of London.  10.  Elizabeth who married James Proctor, chancellor of Salisbury.  And, 11.  Hester, who married Henry Ball, physician."  From this [p. 94] and another pedigree in the Harleian MSS., we find that the children of Daniel were a son and a daughter, viz:  1.  Francis who married a daughter of ___ Cory and had a son Francis.  And 2.  Posthuma, who married ___ Spears; and that the children of John and Mary Rogers were, Cassandra, Elizabeth, Hecuba, Constantine, John, Edward, Mary and Varro (a son).

Mr. Chester has shown himself an able and conscientious investigator, and we are pleased to learn that he intends to continue his genealogical researches in England and that other New England families are likely to have the benefit of his skill and experience.
1862 "Notes and Queries." New England Historical and Genealogical Register 16(2): 174.  Given here in its entirety:
IV.  In a folio edition of the Book of Martyrs, with copper plates, 1732, I find on page 379 the famous "Advice" of Mr. John Rogers to his children—which the New England Primer (ed. 1777) informs us was written a few days before the martyr's death—ascribed to Mr. Robert Smith, a painter, who suffered at Uxbridge, Aug. 8, 1555.  As much more poetry of "the same sort" is there given, from the pen of Mr. Smith, there can be little question that the celebrated lines of the Primer
"Give ear my children to my words," &c.
are inadvertently set down to Mr. Rogers.—[Ed.
1863 Joseph Lemuel Chester.  "The Rogers Genealogy and the Candler Manuscript." New England Historical and Genealogical Register 17(1): 43-50.  The entire paper is worthy of a good study.
In my Life, &c., of John Rogers the Martyr, recently published in London by Messrs. Longman & Co., I have discussed at length the assumed connection of the Rogers families of New England with him, through his alleged son and grandson—Richard Rogers of Wethersfield and John Rogers of Dedham—and shown, I think, conclusively, the entire fallacy of the claims so pertinaciously urged during the last few years.  My investigations have been of the most careful and thorough character, and I am satisfied that there is little, if any, more to be learned on the subject from responsible sources at present accessible.  Tracing my own descent distinctly from John Rogers of Dedham (the name being preserved to my maternal grandmother), I have felt the disappointment as keenly as any of the thousands of my countrymen at home, with whom, in common, I have always heretofore indulged the agreeable delusion; and they may rest assured that I spared no pains to establish, as a fact, what I was finally compelled to pronounce under the overwhelming weight of evidence, an utterly baseless fiction.
1863 "Book Notices"  New England Historical and Genealogical Register 17(1): 93-96.  Review of Chester (1861).
1863 "The Rogers Family."  New England Historical and Genealogical Register 17(4): 326-330.   Contains the wills of Rev. Richard Rogers of Wethersfield and Rev. John Rogers of Dedham, Co. Essex, England, prefaced on p. 326 by:
[We are most happy to place before our readers the following copies of wills, kindly furnished us by our valued correspondent, Joseph L. Chester, Esq.  In the Register, v, 105, was published a very full account of the Rev. Nathaniel Rogers; and on p. 116, the author of the article asserts that the Rev. Richard Rogers of Wethersfield, England, was a son of the proto-martyr; and that Rev. John Rogers of Dedham, England, was a grandson of the same John Rogers.  The publishing committee, on p. 224, disavowed any responsibility for this statement.  Mr. Chester, in his valuable memoir of the martyr, entirely refuted the claim; but these wills, referring to the real relatives of our New England family, are interesing and new.

We need hardly add, that Mr. Chester's work will be recived by all genealogists as conclusive; and that the apocryphal relics of the martyr must cease to receive our devotion.  It is by no means the only family tradition which has proved on investigation to be unfounded...—Ed.]

1864 William S. Appleton  "Rogers, Sparhawk and Crane."  New England Historical and Genealogical Register.  18(3): 243.  Correction with regard to the identity of Margaret Crane, wife of Rev. Nathaniel Rogers.
1867 William S. Appleton.  "Sparhawk — Rogers — Stoughton — Cooper." New England Historical and Genealogical Register  21(2): 172-173.  More on the wife and children of Rev. Nathaniel Rogers.
1867  J.W.D. "Notes and Queries."  New England Historical and Genealogical Register  21(3): 283-284.  On p. 284, an item about Rev. Nathaniel Rogers, including some first-hand documents of genealogical significance.
1873 W.S. Appleton. "English Wills."  New England Historical and Genealogical Register  27(3): 238-239.  Includes will of Robert Crane, father-in-law of Nathaniel Rogers of New England.
1878 Pearce W. Penhallow.  "Memoir of the Penhallow Family." New England Historical and Genealogical Register  32(1): 28-  .  In a footnote on p. 30, in reference to Rev. Nathaniel Rogers:
Judge Penhallow adds:  "This Mr. Rogers descended out of the loins of the famous Mr. John Rogers, who was martyred in the Reign of Queen Mary."  The manuscript here quoted bears date Feb. 23, 1713.  This is the earliest date to which we can trace the statement that the Ipswich Rogers family is descended from the martyr.  We next find it in 1764, in Hutchinson's History of Massachusetts, vol. i, 194.  The statement or tradition is erroneous, however.  See the Life of John Rogers, the proto-martyr, by Col. Joseph L. Chester, LL.D., of London, England, a descendant of the Rev. John Rogers of Dedham, England, through the Rev. Nathaniel Rogers of Ipswich, Massachusetts, from whom the Rev. Nathaniel Rogers, of Portsmouth, N.H., named in the quotation, was also descended.  Col. Chester has collected sufficient evidence to prove that this family is not descended from the martyr, as above stated.—Ed.
1884 "Joseph Lemuel Chester, LL.D., D.C.L."  New England Historical and Genealogical Register  38(1): 1-20.  Biography, including bibliography of the late J.L. Chester.
1885 John Ward Dean.  "Descendants of the Rev. Daniel Rogers of Littleton, Mass."  New England Historical and Genealogical Register 39(3): 225-230.
1887 Henry F. Waters.  "Genealogical Gleanings in England."  New England Historical and Genealogical Register  41(2): 158-188.  Discovery of the father and grandfather of John Rogers of Dedham, namely, John Rogers, the Younger, of Chelmsford, Essex.  Includes two-page pedigree chart.
1888 Henry F. Waters.  Genealogical Gleanings in England.  Vol. I, Pt. 2.  New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston.  Reviewed in the NEHGS Register (1888: 417), which reads,
"...this patient gleaner has settled beyond dispute the pedigree of the Rogers families of New England, descendants of Rev. John Rogers of Dedham, whom popular tradition had made of the lineal progeny of the martyr."
1888 Abner C. Goodell, Jr.  "Remarks on Mr. Waters's English Researches." New England Historical and Genealogical Register  42(1): 40-45.
1888 "Book Notices."  New England Historical and Genealogical Register 42(4): 415-422.  Review of Waters (1888).
1890 Henry F. Waters.  "Genealogical Gleanings in England."  New England Historical and Genealogical Register  44(3): 296-308.
1565. Sep. 29, Susanna, wief of William Shorte, grocer, and daughter to Mr. Rogers, late burned in Smithfield.  [Parish Register of St. Mary Woolnoth, Burials, p. 188]
[Footnote:]  If Col. Chester had seen the [above] entry he might have been spared much labor in proving the family of the proto-martyr.  This entry, taken with the pedigree found in the British Museum, constitutes proof positive.—Editor.
1925 Frederick A. Virkus, ed.  The Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy: First Families of Ameria, a Genealogical Encyclopedia of the United States.  Vol. 1.  Albert Nelson Marquis, Chicago (reprinted 1968 by Genealogical Publ. Co., Baltimore, MD).  Beginning on p. 3521:
ROGERS Giles (1643 or 45-1730; desc. John Rogers, the martyr, burned at the stake, 1555; nephew of Thomas Rogers, Mayflower pilgrim), came to Va., 1670,  returned 2d time, 1680;  m in Eng., Rachel Eastham.
c1927 J. Montgomery Seaver.  Rogers Family History.  American Historical-Genealogical Society, Philadelphia, PA.
A "vanity publication," as Seaver unabashedly declares in his own Introduction.  The work is derived entirely from secondary sources, so it's useful only as a collection of "leads."  However, you will be hard pressed to follow those leads because not only are there no in-text citations, which means it's impossible to determine the source of any given datum, but his list of resources at the end will make consulting his sources difficult (e.g., his citation of the 1851 article from the NEHGS Register reads:  "Memoirs of Rev. Nathaniel Rogers of Ipswich, Essex County, Old England, Boston, 1851" — good luck on finding this one if you weren't already aware of what it was).
1946 I. Newton Williams.  The Rogers-Turfler Family: a Search for Ancestors. Clarence W. Smith Press, Bradley Beach, NY. 114 pp.   Reviewed by Milton Rubincam  (1948: 25), who states:
"The usual claim of descent from the famous English martyr of Queen Mary's time, John Rogers, is made, based upon previously printed works.  No documentary evidence is advanced to support the assertion.  On p. 20 Gov. Bradford's account of Thomas Rogers, the Mayflower passenger, is quoted; it is significant that the Governor made no reference to the Pilgrim's alleged grandfather, John Rogers the martyr.  It seems to this reviewer, at least, that had such a connection existed it would have been a matter of great pride to the Governor and would have been prominently mentioned in his account of the founding of Plymouth Plantation."
1948 Milton Rubincam.  "Current Information for Genealogists." National Genealogical Soc. Quart. 36(1): 24-26.  Review of Seaver (c1927).
c1963 Henry Poelnitz Johnston.  Little Acorns from the Mighty Oak.  Featon Press, Birmingham, AL.  357 pp.  Reviewed by Rubincam (1963: 129), who states,
"It is regrettable that Mr. Johnson falls into the old trap of claiming Rev. John Rogers, the Martyr (1555) as ancestor of the Mayflower Rogers family (pp. 124-125)."
1963 Milton Rubincam.  "Book Reviews."  National Genealogical Soc. Quart. 51(2): 128-132.  Review of Johnston (c1963).
1975 Leon Clark Hills.  History and Genealogy of the Mayflower Planters and First Comers to Ye Olde Colonie. [apparently self-published]  Reviewed by Rubincam (1975: 312), who states:
"As long as he sticks to American records, the author is on firm ground, but he is far off base when he tries to show a descent to Thomas Rogers (1587?-1621) of Plymouth from the Rev. John Rogers (1507-55) the Martyr..."
1975 Milton Rubincam.  "Book Reviews." National Genealogical Soc. Quart. 63(4): 303-314.  Review of Hills (1975).
 

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