Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Pratt Migration II-Henry

Henry Pratt, son of Aaron, grandson of Phineas, was my greatx5 grandfather. He was born in what is now Cohasset, Massachusetts (then part of Hingham) 5 June 1685. His mother was also a Pratt, named Sarah. I don't know whether or not she was a relative. Allen Woodruff found no family connection in America, but there may have been some in England. He was the oldest of eleven children. He married Hannah Learned at "...the latter end of Dec.1709" in Newton, Then known as Newtown, it is now a residential suburb of Boston on the Charles River. 
About all we know about Henry is that he was a blacksmith. (I wonder how and where he learned the trade?). Henry and Hannah must have moved to Needham before 1711 since all of their thirteen children were born in Needham. Or maybe he migrated from Cohasset to Needham and just went to Newton to marry Hannah. But he died in Newton (1 Nov 1750) so I don't really have the story straight. Needham is just a few miles south of Newton and is now another suburb of Boston. It was named for the town of Needham Market in England. Henry and Hannah must have been among the earliest residents because it was first incorporated in 1711, the same year their first child was born. Of their  thirteen children our ancestor Moses was next to last. Hannah died in 1767 or 1768 in Needham.
Farming in Needham was not easy. The familiar English crops wheat, barley and rye did not thrive in Needham's poor soils. Even Indian corn had limited success. Early settlers tried grazing, winter lumbering, orchards, tanneries and grist mills on the Charles River in the early 1700's. Since all required horses and tools Henry probably did alright as a blacksmith.

Emailed Oct. 10

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