Chatham in Barnstable County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
The Nickerson Family
William Nickerson, founder of Chatham, arrived in Salem in 1637 aboard the ship, John and Dorothy, with four children, his wife, Anne Busby and her parents. A weaver by trade, he left Norwich, England to escape the persecution of Bishop Wren of the Church of England against nonconformists. After first settling near Little bass Pond in Yarmouth, he bargained with Monomoyick tribal sachem, Mattaquason, for a parcel of land at Monomoit (now Chatham) in 1656. A shallop, cloth, several kettles, axes, knives and wampum served as payment. By 1664 William, Anne and eight of their nine children and their families were living in various parts of the 4000 acres of Monomoit. However, because it was illegal to purchase tribal lands directly, it wasn’t until 1682 with a payment of ninety pounds and a Plymouth Colony Court settlement that the purchase was made legal. William was active in both civil and religious affairs. He called his family together on the Sabbath to read and explain the scriptures and later became a lay leader and founder of the village church.
William Nickerson’s original homestead site lies a short distance from the
Eighth generation descendent, William Emery Nickerson, inventor of the Gillette safety razor, gathered 300 Nickerson’s together in Chatham in 1897 to form a family genealogical society. For the next 30 tears correspondence was collected from scattered Nickerson descendants all around the United States and Canada. Today the Nickerson Family Association continues to update and add to genealogy records. Award winning volumes have been published reflecting years of research which have been devoted to Nickerson genealogy.
The Nickerson House serves as a genealogical research center and headquarters of the Nickerson Family Association. The relocated early 19th century Caleb Nickerson House operates as a period restoration and living history teaching museum.
William Nickerson’s Purchase
This sketch shows the lands of Monomoit purchased by William Nickerson and refers to the deed of 1672, signed by Mattaquason and his son John Quason. All the land compromising the present town west of Frost Fish Creek, the head of Oyster Pond, the Mill Pond, and all the meadowland on Tom’s Neck (more than 4,000 acres) was owned by William Nickerson. The Native Americans retained the rest of the land. The only road shown on the map is Kings
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Places.
Location. 41° 42.517′ N, 69° 59.214′ W. Marker is in Chatham, Massachusetts, in Barnstable County. Marker is on Orleans Road (Massachusetts Route 28) 0.1 miles west of Seapine Road, on the left when traveling west. The marker is located on the grounds of the historic Nickerson House. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Chatham MA 02633, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Squanto, Indian Guide (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of First Settlers Home (within shouting distance of this marker); Chatham’s Wampanoag History (within shouting distance of this marker); The Tisquantum (Squanto) Story (within shouting distance of this marker); Operations Building (approx. 0.4 miles away); Chatham Radio/WCC (approx. 0.4 miles away); Antenna Trail Exhibits (approx. half a mile away); The 1914 Marconi Radio Station Complex (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chatham.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 31, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 31, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 74 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 31, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.