Eltweed Pomeroy is believed to have come to America in 1630, in the ship “Mary and John.” He took the oath of freeman, in the Colony of Massachusetts, March 4, 1632. (Mass. Colony Records, Vol. I., p. 367.) He was one of the first settlers and proprietors in the town of Dorchester, and first selectman in 1633. (Hist. of Dorchester, 1859, pp. 33, 35.)
No knowledge of his English home and ancestry has been obtained though much effort has been made to verify various traditions. Researches are now in progress, and it is hoped they will not be entirely fruitless.
[Note: Dr. Rodman did not know more about Eltweed (as he indicates in the above paragraph), but as of January, 2007 the Pomeroy line has been traced back to 1328. Eltweed was born on 4 July, 1585 in Beammister, DC, England, christened as an adult on 4 May, 1617 in Beaminster, Dorchester, Dorset, England, a month after he married his first wife Joanne Keech Kreech on 4 March 1617. Joanne apparently died with no known surviving children, and on 7 May, 1629 Eltweed married his second wife Margery (or Mary) Rockett, in Shewbourn, Dorset, England. It was a year after this marriage that he and Mary embarked for Massachusetts. – CA]
The spelling of the surname has varied from that of his own signature of Pumery to the present Pomeroy. The Christian name is variously spelled, Elty, Eltwed, Eltwud, Eltwood, and Eltweed; and there are suggestions that the crabbed MS. may mean Eldad, or even Edward. But as Eltweed Pomeroy the sturdy armorer and gunsmith is now known to a large circle of descendants, and this spelling will be followed.
In 1636-7, Mr. Pomeroy emigrated with Mr. John Warham’s congregation to Windsor, Conn. (Hist. of Dorchester, p. 75) Scanty as are the records of his life – something of his standing and character may be gathered from incidental references to him to be found in Stiles’s “Ancient Windsor,” Vol. I., p. 164 et seq. His place in the meeting house was on the “long seats” ; land was granted him in 1638 ; he had a house and lot in the Palisado, which he sold to Thomas Nowell in 1641 ; and he made gifts of houses and land to his son Caleb, and his youngest son Joseph, the latter getting “the little stone house built on his land, adjoining his dwelling house” which he allowed Mrs. Elizabeth, widow of Rev. Ephraim Huit, to build “in time of her widowhood, by way of courtesy; which she enjoyed ; and after her death, said Eltweed Pomeroy took for his own, at a price agreed upon between him and those which she desired to be her overseers and friends to order that little estate which she left for children ; which price he hath payed as they appointed him.”
[Although I am not certain exactly where this house was located, I am providing a Mapquest link to the First Church in Windsor, the nation’s oldest Congregational Church. This building (their fourth) was built in 1794, but is next to the original cemetery, with the oldest marked gravesite dated 1644. (About 75 yards NE up the road, Palisado Ave., is one of the oldest surviving frame dwellings in Connecticut, the Fyler House, built in 1640.) This is most interesting if you click on "Arial Image" to see the actual terrain. No doubt grandpa Pomeroy’s home was in the neighborhood. – CA]
Of his first wife, the mother of his eight children, we know only that she was named Mary, and died in Windsor, July 5, 1655. [Actually, Dr. Rodman did not know about Eltweed's wife in England, Joanne, and this Mary was his second wife – but the one with which he emigrated to the U.S. – and we do know a bit more about her than Dr. Rodman did 100 years ago. – CA] On Nov. 30, 1661, he married second [third – CA] Lydia (Brown), widow of Thomas Parsons. In 1665 he made generous provisions for his “dear and loving wife Lydia.”
In 1671 he removed to Northampton, Mass., to live with his son Medad. Tradition says that he became blind. He died at his son’s house in March, 1673, being probably about seventy-eight years old.
We are descendants of Eltweed’s 8th child, Joseph, who was born in Windsor in 1652. Our grandfather Joseph had just turned three years old (on 20 June) when the next month his mother Mary died.
It is interesting to point out that it is this child Joseph Pomeroy who grew to adulthood and married Hannah Lyman, and Hannah’s lineage traces back into the oldest of lines in England (through the Lymans to the Lamberts to the de Umfrevilles - Hannah was 18th great grand-daughter to King Henry I.