John Barowe of Yarmouth, cooper, aged 28 and Anne his wife were licensed to go to New England on 10 May 1637. [Pioneers of Massachusetts by Pope, p. 82]. He was granted land at Salem with an additional five acres granted on 8 November 1637 [History of Salem by Perley, I:450]. He is listed in the land grants dated 25 December 1637 as Jo: Burroes with 2 in his household. [Perley, I:462]. In one of his footnoted comments, Perley says this couple had no children and moved to Lynn post 1644 without proof. Perhaps he noticed the 1663 Essex County Court record that noted a John Burroughs as constable. However, all the other references in that book are to John Burrill. It was he who was the constable. No Burrows/Barrows/Burroughs records appear in 17th century Lynn records.
On 1 9 mo. 1656, Phillip Cromwell sold land to Francis Skerry that is partly described as "one acre of it was Richard Leache Sr.'s and 1 1/2 acres that was John Leaches and 1/2 acre Robert Leaches situated between land of Robert Fuller and an acre of land of John Burrows on the West butting on the North River." [Essex County Deeds 1:81]. Later on 2 11 mo. 1664, Phillip sold more land this time to Stephen Haskett described in part as "bounded north with the highway that goes between the North river and said house and east with land of John Gedney and south with land that was one Burrows (a cooper) and later Benjamin Fermaies" [Essex County Deeds 2:289]. It seems from these two references that the cooper's land was given to Benjamin Fermayes or Vermayes who was admitted to the Salem Church on 6 March 1641/42. He moved to Plymouth and married Mercy Bradford, the daughter of Gov. William Bradford on 20 December 1648 at Plymouth [Plymouth VRs, p. 656]. He died in the West Indies and left no children. His probate papers mention this piece of land, but not how he acquired it. [see Walter Goodwin Davis, Massachusetts and Maine Families of Walter Goodwin Davis I:197 under Blessing from The Ancestry of Sarah Johnson].
These are the only records in New England that can be certainly matched to this man. Importantly we know he was born ca. 1609; he had a wife named Ann; and he was a cooper. Her age may be in error because it is highly unusual for a man to marry a woman 12 years his senior. It most likely that he and his wife died in the 1640s.
One group of researchers believe that he is the same man who appeared in Newtown, Long Island [Founders of Early American Families by Meredith Colket, p. 54]. A John Burroughs does appear in the work, Annals of Newtown in Queens County, NY by James Riker (1852), p. 383. Using the original records upon which this work is based, Minutes of the town courts of Newtown 1656-1690 (1940), we can see that a John Burroughs was there as early as the first record, which is a tax list for 1656. This John Burroughs died in August 1678 at age 61 (b. ca. 1617); was said to be married twice, although his first wife’s name is nowhere to be found; his second wife was the widow Elizabeth Reed and he had children Jeremiah, Joseph, John, Joanna, and Mary. This John was a leader of Newtown and was the town clerk from the earliest records that survive. He wrote petitions and letters. The reason to doubt this being the same man as the one in Salem is the discrepancy in his age (8 years) and the disparity in careers. The Salem man was a cooper, an apprenticed trade whereas the Newtown man was clearly educated and acted as town clerk for over twenty years.
The second group of researchers believe the Salem man to be the one who appears in Plymouth, Mass. The following is a list of the primary records for the John Barrows of Plymouth, Mass.
John Barrow was fined 10 shillings in March 1665/6, which fine was noted as a debt on 8 June 1666. [Records of the Colony of New Plymouth by Shurtleff, pp. 115-16]. Francis Billington, planter sold land to John Barrowes [no occupation given] of New Plymouth, for the sum of fifteen pound sterling on 25 December 1668. [Plymouth Colony Deeds 3:129]. John Barrows witnessed the will of Josiah Winslow of Marshfield on 2 July 1675 [Plymouth Colony Wills 4:2:115-17]. John died at Plymouth on 14 February 1691/2 [Plymouth VRs, p. 135]. No age was given. John left a will dated 12 January 1691/2 in which he mentions his eldest son Robert to whom he gives the land bought from Billington with the proviso to pay his brother Benajah 20 shillings when he comes of age; son Joshua to have thirty acres at Monponset that was granted by the town of Plymouth to John, with the proviso to pay his brother Ebenezer 20 shillings when he comes of age; two daughters (unnamed) to get 10 shillings apiece and wife Deborah Barrows. The will was presented on 6 April 1692 at which time Deborah Barrows made an oath to the inventory. [Plymouth County Probate 1:133, abstracted at MD31:159-60]. These are the only records for this man.
Other information must be reasoned out. His son Robert married at Plymouth, Ruth Bonum on 28 November 1666 (Plymouth VRs, p. 665). If 25 at marriage Robert was born ca. 1641 and if John was 25 at the birth of Robert his birth would be ca. 1616. That would make him 75 at death. Deborah Barrows married Nathan Fish on 20 December 1687 (Plymouth VRs, p. 85). If 22 at marriage, she was born ca. 1665 and therefore John was likely married to Deborah (---) sometime earlier. It appears from the confluence of records that he married upon arriving in Plymouth, but there is no certainty of that nor is her maiden name known.
Joshua Barrows is likely the Joshua Baros who married at Chelmsford, Mary Chamberlain on 24 July 1696. (Chelmsford VRs, p. 181). He was born ca. 1670 and was certainly of age in January 1691/2 when John wrote his will. Their son Joshua as Joshua Barrus was born there on 24 October 1696 (Chelmsford VRs, p. 21). Joshua died at Attleborough between 30 December 1747 and 4 April 1749 the dates on which his will was written and proved. [Bristol County Probate 11:679] In his will he mentions his sons Thomas and Samuel, sons of his now wife Deliverance, and son Joshua and daughter Hannah Parsons, who had already received their shares.
A Mary Burrows (sic) married at Duxbury on 6 January 1698, John Wormall [Duxbury VRs, p. 228]. If this is the second of the two unnamed daughters, she was born ca. 1676. However, a Mary Burrows, daughter of James was born in Boston on 30 October 1679. James Burroughs married Sarah Church, the daughter of Richard and Elizabeth (Warren), and granddaughter of Richard Warren of the Mayflower. See “James Burroughs of Boston and Bristol and Some of His Descendants” by Jane Fletcher Fiske, FASG, TAG 58 (1982):85-90. James and his wife left no probate papers; they married at Hingham, lived in Boston to 1683 and afterwards in Bristol. It is impossible to positively identify the Mary Burrows of the Duxbury record since John Barrows failed to name either daughter specifically. See also “Descendants of Joseph Wormall of Scituate” by Donna Valley Russell, FASG and Alicia Crane Williams, MD 43 (1993):153-162.
Benajah Barrows married at Rehoboth on 13 August 1706 to Lydia Bucklin (Rehoboth VRs, I:24]. He died at Attleborough on 5 January 1754 in his 71st year, so he was born ca. 1682. [Attleborough VRs, p. 632]. Ebenezer Barrows married Elizabeth Lyon sometime before 8 October 1712 when their first child is recorded at Attleborough. Both of these sons were not of age (21) in 1691/2 and were certainly born after 1671. I would give Ebenezer a provisional birth year of ca. 1685.
No record in Plymouth ever gives John an occupation nor mentions his first wife’s name. No record gives a previous residence. Given Robert’s first marriage in 1666, he is clearly a generation older than his siblings and so John must have married twice. There is no doubt that Robert is his son, not only in the will, but as he deeds lands on 19 September 1701 to Joseph Sturtevant, he notes “I Robert Barrow, son of John Barrow, late of Plymouth deceased.” [Plymouth County Deeds 4:68].
These are the only records that exist. All other records on Internet sites are complete fabrications including, but not limited to, Robert’s birth in Salem, and Deborah (---) Barrows’s maiden name.