Saturday, January 21, 2012

Surname Saturday ~ Buffum of Salem, Massachusetts


Robert Buffum was born about 1590 at Buffum, Yorkshire and was married twice in England before coming to Salem, Massachusetts.  In October 1649 he was granted 40 acres in what is now known as “Buffum’s Corner” (near Boston and Essex Streets in Salem).   The Buffums were early Quakers.  His family was fined regularly for not attending the preferred meetings of worship (they skipped Puritan services), and so they show up in court records. 

Robert Buffum’s will was witnessed by his Quaker friends and neighbors who would not “swear on the book” and so the document was refused by the court.   His wife Tamosin was administrix of his estate.   The inventory was made on 15 November 1669 and this named his children.

“On Nov 25 1668, Mary Neale testified that when her father, Robert Buffum was sick, she tended to him until he died, and heard her mother, Tamosin asked her father several times to make a will: of which he seemed to take little notice till a little before his death when he said that he would have his son Joshua have a double portion, and for the rest of the children, he would make no difference betwixt them, for, he said, that they are yours as well as mine. About the same time other testimony was taken, Gertrude Pope, widow, testified that being at the house of Robert Buffum, while he lay at his death bed, he would have me and Elizabeth Kitchen take notice of what he has said, as to his estate, he would leave to his wife, for she had helped him to get it and the children were hers. Testimony of Elizabeth Kitchen to the same effect. Petition of john Wilson, William Beanes and Jeremiah Neale, children and heirs of Robert Buffum humbly showth that 'whereas our father Robert Buffum died intestate and an inventory of his estate was brought in by relict Tomosin and she appointed administratrix, etc, who since that time has disposed of the same according to her fancy or affection led her, or else keepeth the same still in her hands; we your petitioners, being children of the deceased, humbly conceive that as children, we ought to according to the law of God and this jurisdiction each of us to have a share or portion which is our right, and therefore humbly do supplicate this honored Court as fathers of this country to our causes into your pious and Christian consideration and be fathers to us in helping us to that we who are the children may not be deprived of which we humbly conceive according to law of God and this jurisdiction is ours. We subscribe yours in all service to command.”  From One Hundred and Sixty Allied Families by John O. Austin, Salem Press, 1893.

Robert Buffum was buried in the Old Burying Ground in Peabody, but his remains were removed to Harmony Grove Cemetery near the western entrance.   In 1991 the Buffum Family Association erected a memorial stone which you can see at this link to his sketch at

The Buffum genealogy, showing my lineage from Robert Buffum:

Generation 1:  Robert Buffum, born about 1590, son of James Bougham and Margery Raylton, died before 2 December 1669 in Salem, Massachusetts; married first to Margaret Blessing on 23 August 1613 at St. Nicholas Church, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England (no surviving children); married second to Tamoson Ward on 11 August 1634 at the Church of St. Lawrence,  South Walasham, Norfolk, England.  She was the daughter of George Ward and Dionis Burrow, born about 1606 and died 23 March 1688 in Salem, Massachusetts.  She married first to John Thompson on 29 November 1632 at the St. Nicolas Church, Great Yarmouth, and had one child, Margaret, born about 1632. 

Children by Tamosen, born in Salem:
1.  Joshua Buffum, born 22 February 1635, married Damaris Pope
2.  Mary Buffum, born about 1637, married Jeremiah Neal
3.  Deborah Buffum, born 1639 (see below)
4. Damaris Buffum, born 30 January 1641
5.  Robert Buffum, born 30 November 1643, died June 1645
6. Lydia Buffum, born 19 February 1644, died 1718
7.  Sarah Buffum, born about 1648, married William Bean
8.  Caleb Buffum, born 29 July 1650, married Hannah Pope, sister to Damaris above.

Generation 2:  Deborah Buffum,  born 1639, died about 1668; married on 12 August 1658 in Marblehead, Massachusetts to Robert Wilson, born about 1630 and died on 18 September 1675 in Deerfield, Massachusetts at the Bloody Brook Massacre.  Two children.   You can read about the tragic story of Deborah Buffum, persecuted for showing up naked to the Salem village Puritan meeting and for being a professed Quaker, at this link:

Generation 3:  Robert Wilson married Elizabeth Cook
Generation 4: Isaac Wilson married Mary Stone
Generation 5: Robert Wilson married Elizabeth Southwick
Generation 6: Robert Wilson married Sarah Felton
Generation 7: Robert Wilson married Mary Southwick
Generation 8: Mercy F. Wilson married Aaron Wilkinson
Generation 9: Robert Wilson Wilkinson married Phebe Cross Munroe
Generation 10:  Albert Munroe Wilkinson married Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 11:  Donald Munroe Wilkinson married Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

For more information:

Buffum Family History, compiled by Owen A. Perkins, Fort Worth, TX,  1975  (two volumes)

Buffum Family Association
2945 Peppertree Drive
Lexington, KY  40513

Buffum Family Museum
8335 Boston Colden Road
Colden, NY 114033

There is a sketch in Massachusetts and Maine Families in the Ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis, by Walter Goodwin Davis, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co, 1996, Volume III, pages 405-8. 

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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