Monday, June 4, 2012

Fryeth alias Norman

Captain Richard Norman Sr.(Probably changed his name from Richard Fryeth possibly adopting the maiden name of his mother Joan Norman) was born between 1580 and 1587 in Dorchester or Charminster, England (Dorset)(Long John Silver country).(Also reported Orchard Portman, Somersetshire)  He came to  Massachusetts in 1623/4, and soon moved to Cape Ann. Then, when the original settlement failed because the settlement was too far from the fishing grounds, for the Dorchester Company(he was an employee of the company and may not have intended to stay here at first)he moved to Salem(Naumkeag) in 1626 under the organization of Richard Conant, before Governor Endicott arrived and later moved to Marblehead.  
He became a fisherman and/or a shipwright along with his son, John, and was probably not a Puritain.  He died between April 22, 1653 and June 27, 1664.

The existing information is garbled as there are conflicting reports but these facts should be essentially correct or at least give a feeling for the circumstances.

Richard's wife's name was Margaret or Mary Alford, b 1585, m. September 2, 1605, d.1645...though this too is a bit inconsistant in the reports.(She may have been a second wife.)

There is a story of Lt. Richard Norman Jr. in August of 1683 who tried to swim to shore from his Shallop(a pleasure barge) near Misery Island(off Beverly Farms in Salem Sound)and drowned on the way.

There is a reef named Norman's Woe between Cape Ann and Marblehead near where one of the Normans had settled. There were a number wrecks there.  The most famous was the ship "Favorite" out of Wiscasset, Maine in December of 1839.  A number of bodies washed ashore, one, an older woman, was lashed to a piece of the ship.  It inspired Longfellow to write "The Wreck of the Hesperus" .
I cannot say for sure that these Normans were related to ours, but it seems like a remarkable coincidence.

John Fryeth SR. was supposedly born in Ipswitch, Somerset England, but the family is reported to be in Bishopworth.  He was born about 1500 and died around 1578 in Windford, England, while married to Joanne(Joan)(last name unknown, but probably Norman)also reported to have a similar lifespan from 1500 to 1578.  They had a son named John (Fryeth)Norman born between 1520 and 1530 in Bishopworth,died 3/7/1579  He married Agnes(last name unknown) between 1555 and 1556 in Ipswich.  There is a missing generation here, but John was the grandfather of Captain Richard Norman, the immigrant discussed above.

Richard Norman Sr. deeded to Richard Norman Jr. a house and ten acre lot "in Marvellheade upon Darbe Fort side" along with cow commons.

Susanna Norman was born about 1612-15 and died on December 23, 1680.  She was living in Greenwich, Connecticut, having married Robert Lockwood around 1633-1635 in Watertown Massachusetts.
Robert was born on January 14, 1599-1600,in Combs, Suffolk England.  He died Sept. 11 1658 in Fairfield Connecticut.  She had a second husband: Jeffry Ferris who she married about 1661.  He was born about 1610 in England and died in Greenwich Connecticut on May 31, 1666.  

Wikipedia states the following:

Charminster was the English town of origin of Richard Norman and family, one of the Planters of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in America, who arrived there in ca. 1626.

Fryeth as a name only really comes up with names related to John Fryeth.  He is cited as the father or in some cases the grandfather of Richard Fryeth alias Norman, but there are disputes as to the relationship.  Playing with the spelling produces a variant spelling of FRIETH.  Searches for this results in towns in central(that is very central) England named Frieth in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.  This could be the origin of the name, but I am just speculating.

I just picked this up from, thank you Mr. Forsythe...
from Public Record Office, Court of Requests, Unindexed Records, Bundle 466:
"On 23 October 1603 Richard Fryeth alias Norman brought SUIT AGAINST AGNES FRYETH alias Norman, WIDOW OF JOHN FRYETH alias Norman of Ipswich, co. Suffolk, AND HER DAUGHTER ELIZABETH, WIFE OF EDMUND GREENLEAF, about land in the parish of St. Mary at the Tower, Ipswich. The evidence shows that the plaintiff, Richard Fryeth alias Norman, was son and heir of John Fryeth alias Norman, that Elizabeth Greenleaf was the plaintiff's half sister, and that Agnes Fryeth alias Norman was his stepmother and evidently much younger than her husband, whom she described as having been old and decrepit in 1576, when the land in dispute was purchased, so that she was obliged to support the family until he died in September 1590. Richard Fryeth alias Norman claimed the land as his father's son and heir, but his stepmother claimed that the land was bought with money that she herself had earned."

Additional info published:               

Richard Norman Sr., (fisherman, shipwright)'s Timeline

March 18, 1576
Horningsheath, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom
Charminster, Dorset, England, United Kingdom
February 7, 1606
Age 19
Charminster, Dorset, England, United Kingdom
January 12, 1610
Age 23
Charminster, Dorset, England, United Kingdom
Age 26
July 31, 1617
Age 30
Dorchester, Dorchestershire, England
October 17, 1619
Age 32
Charminster, Dorset, England, United Kingdom
Age 36
Southwick, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
Age 36
Cape Anne, Gloucester, MA




  1. I have been doing my geneaology for a few years now and just discovered that Richard Norman was my 10th great grandfather. I have had so much fun learning about all of my great grandparents. Just thought I'd introduce myself. My name is Ann. I live in Muskegon MI.

  2. Isn't this cool? I too am a descendant of Richard Norman, Sr

  3. Richard Norman is my 11 great grandfather. My name is Norma. I live in Maine.

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  5. I would not place too much faith in the PRO suit quoted above. As far as I am aware, it is speculation that Richard Fryeth and Richard Norman are the same person.