There's a great clue in the Richard Walker sketch in The Great Migration 1620-1633, III:1910, that led me to look this up. The deed in question, Middlesex County Deeds 7:83, “Capt. Richard Walker of Reading and Sarah my wife and Lt. Thomas Marshall of the same and Rebeckah my wife for 30 pounds sold to Francis Smith, 500 acres of upland and meadow in Reading, bounded on the southwest by common lands of Malden; on the southeast by the common lands of Boston, on the east lands of Richard Rowten of Lynn and north by the little river and lands of Thomas Clarke and Lt. Thomas Marshall. The deed is dated 29 September 1646; affirmed by witnesses on first day 9 mo. 1654 and recorded on 9 April 1679.
There is a book at NEHGS, The Beginning of Reading & Lynnfield, Massachusetts by Loea Parker Howard (1937), which lists the land grants made to the citizens of Lynn in 1639 that became Reading. This list is from the Essex Court Records and appears in Volume II: 270. Only three men were granted lots that were 500 acres.
- Thomas Willis whose land was given to his son-in-law the Rev. John Knowles who then sold it to Isaac Hart. See NEHGR 30:463.
- Edward Holyoke. This land is mentioned in his 1660 will.
- Edward Howell.
Now, the question becomes, was Edward Howell of Lynn and then Southampton, NY, the father of Sarah Walker and Rebecca Marshall? Edward was born in 1584 and his first known marriage to Frances Paxton was in 1616. He was 32 and could easily have had a wife previous to that. If married ca. 1609 he could have had two daughters born in the early 1610s to be the wives of those two men.
The administration of the estate of Edward Howell was granted on 6 October 1655. That’s awfully close to the date of the affirmation of the above deed [within a year]. Edward doesn’t use the names Sarah and Rebecca with his other known children, but sadly, neither Richard Walker nor Thomas Marshall name a son Edward (or better Howell). Is this new and exciting information or just a wild goose chase?