Joseph Rogers was born in Watford, Northhamptonshire. He is noted as being baptized on 23 January 1602/03.
Before coming to the New World, Rogers was part of the Leiden congregation in the Netherlands. He came to the Plymouth colony on the Mayflower, in the company of his father, Thomas Rogers. By 1639 he had moved to Duxbury; he is noted as requesting land in that area in 1638 and is named on a committee for the Duxbury highway repair in 1638/39. He is mentioned as "of Duxborrow" in the records of a 1646 land sale. Rogers probably moved very soon after this mention, as he is named lieutenant of Nauset (later Eastham) in 1647. In Eastham, he might have taken up residence with Beriah Higgens, as in his will he mentions that he "lived with him a Greate while." Rogers lived in Eastham until his death.
Although his father did not survive the first winter, Joseph's brother John took his chances in the New World and at an unknown date joined his brother in Plymouth. It is uncertain whether Rogers' sisters Elizabeth and Margaret ever came to the colony; they were listed as living in Leiden in 1622.
Rogers married a woman named Hannah, whose surname is unknown. They had four sons and four daughters: Sarah (1633), Joseph (1635), Thomas, Elizabeth (1639), John (1642), Mary (1644), James, (1648), and Hannah (1652.) Joseph seems to have had a clean bill of health concerning his marriage; he is not mentioned in any case for any sort of sexual offence. His home life was not one of unmarred happiness, though. Sarah died in infancy, and Joseph predeceased his father. Roger's eldest son had suffered from "a most deadly fall" on 25 December 1660, and lingered for two days before dying. John Hawes was indicted for "violently and by force of armes" killing Rogers Jr. (The two might have been wrestling when Rogers Jr. suffered his fatal injury.) Hawes was found not guilty of the crime on 5 March 1660/61.
Had Rogers lived longer, he would have seen his family greatly diminished. Thomas, the second son and the executor of Rogers' will, died a few months after his father, along with the youngest son James. By October of 1678, only John Rogers was left to administer his father's estate.
In the first land division in 1623, Rogers received two acres, on "the South side of the brooke to the baywards." He added cattle to his goods in 1627, sharing a heifer "of the last yeare" from the "Greate white back cow that was brought over in the Ann" with William Bradford, Thomas Cushman, William Latham, Mannasses Kempton and Julian Kempton, and the Morton family. Along with the cattle, Rogers shared 2 nanny goats.
Early on, Rogers tried his hand in the transportation business. A court record from 2 March 1635/36 states that he was granted permission to run a ferry over Jones River, which ran near his house. The charge was a penny per passenger.
Rogers may have possessed over 100 acres in Duxbury at one point, having been granted 60 acres of land in 1638 and an additional 50 in 1640. There are four known land deals involving him from the time of his arrival in Eastham. A 1658 purchase from the Potonumaquatt tribe totals six and one half acres. In 1662 Manasses Kempton sold Rogers 40 acres of upland in the area "Called the Barly necke…." In 1665 Rogers is mentioned as having rights to 100 acres of land that William Nicarson had illegally purchased from the natives. It is not known whether Joseph Rogers actually bought the land he was entitled to. The Plymouth court gave him liberty in 1670 to purchase land from Indians living near Eastham.
It is also not known exactly how much land Rogers held at his death. In his will he mentions holdings "at the barly necke, Pochett Iland Paomett Billingsgate or elsewhere purchased or unpurchased…." An inventory of his household comes to 56 pounds, 9 shillings, and 11 pence. Rogers, like many Cape Cod families, owned a fishing boat ¾ in his case, two " canooes."
Joseph Rogers was an upstanding citizen in the colony. He was a purchaser in 1626, and he is listed as a freeman in 1633. His reputation was untarnished by any criminal accusations, although he does appear as a plaintiff in a 1632/33 civil case. (Edward Doty had not carried through on a contract involving six pigs. Rogers received 4 bushels of corn in compensation.)
He also had a history of community involvement. While in Duxbury, he was sworn into the post of constable for 1640. On June 1, 1647, he was sworn in as lieutenant of Nauset (later Eastham,) an office he held until 1661, when he was released. In 1658, he served on the Council of War. He was re-sworn into his lieutenant's office in 1664, and held it until his death. Rogers was also often involved in community land transactions, serving as a trustee over a piece of Duxbury land in October 1646. In 1664 Lieutenant "Josepth Rogers" is given authority to survey a piece of land from Bridgewater to the Bay line, along with Josias Cooke, Gyles Hopkins, Henry Sampson, and Experience Mitchell. In 1670, Rogers served as a selectman along with Nicholas Snow, Daniel Cole, and Josias Cooke.
He died between the 2nd and the 15th of January 1677/78, in Eastham, New Plymouth, a few weeks short of his seventy-fifth birthday.
LIEUTENANT JOSEPH ROGERS' CONNECTIONS
Alden, John named trustee of Duxbury land along with Rogers, 20 October 1645
Berry, Samuel testified about Rogers' bequests, 5 March 1677/78.
Brett, William named trustee of Duxbury land along with Rogers, 20 October 1645
Buckett, Marie gets land next to Rogers' in casting of lots, 1623
Cloake, Thomas received land near Rogers, 7 July 1674
Cole, Daniel served as selectman with Rogers, 1670
Cooke, John appointed with Rogers to a highway commission, 20 August 1644
Done, Daniel appraised Rogers' goods, 15 January 1677/78.
Freeman, Lt. assigned to view island with Rogers, 7 June 1665
Gibson, John received land near Rogers, 7 July 1674
Higgins, Beriah Rogers mentioned living with him "a Greate while" to Jonathan Sparrow and Samuel Berry. Sparrow and Berry testified that Rogers had wanted to leave him a bed, two blankets, and his best suit of clothes to Higgens, but had forgotten to add it to his will. 5 March 1677/78
Hopkins, Giles given liberty to survey land between Bridgewater and Bay line with Rogers, 8 June 1664
Latham, William was in cattle division group with Rogers, 22 May 1627
Kempton, Julian was in cattle division group with Rogers, 22 May 1627
Mitchell, Experience given liberty to survey land between Bridgewater and Bay line with Rogers, 8 June 1664
Nicarson, Willaim part of his lands assigned to Rogers, 7 June 1665
Pearse, Abraham exchanges land with Rogers, 31 July 1646
Pompmo sold land to Rogers, 1 June 1658
Sampson, Henry given liberty to survey land between Bridgewater and Bay line with Rogers, 8 June 1664
Snow, Nicholas served as selectman with Rogers, 1670
Soul, George named trustee of Duxbury land along with Rogers, 20 October 1645
Southworth, Constant named trustee of Duxbury land along with Rogers, 20 October 1645
Standish, Miles named trustee of Duxbury land along with Rogers, 20 October 1645
Tracye, Stephen mentioned as once sharing a meadow with Rogers, 25 October 1649
Twining, William witnessed Rogers' will, 2 January 1677/78.
LIEUTENANT JOSEPH ROGERS
PRIMARY SOURCE REFERENCES
1602/03 23 January Anderson 1995, 3: 1598
Joseph Rogers baptized in Watford, Northhamptonshire.
1620 No Specific Date Anderson 1995, 3: 1598
Rogers is a passenger on the Mayflower.
1620/21 No Specific Date Anderson 1995, 3: 1598
Rogers' father, Thomas, dies.
1623 No Specific Date PCR 12: 4
In the cast of lots for land, Rogers gets two acres on "the South side of the brooke to the baywards."
No Specific Date PCR 12: 6
Marie Buckett gets an acre adjoining Rogers' land. Her acre lies "on the other side of the town towards the eele-river."
1627 22 May PCR 12: 12
In the division of cattle, Rogers gets a share in a heifer "of the last yeare" from the "Greate white back cow that was brought over in the Ann." He also gets two nanny goats. William Bradford, Thomas Cushman, William Latham, Manasses and Julian Kempton, and the Morton family are in his group as well.
1632/1633 2 January PCR 1: 6
Rogers sues Edward Doty for "non-performance of covenants in a contract between them wherein six pigges of five weeks old were due unto the plaintiff." Rogers wins 4 bushels of corn.
1633 No Specific Date PCR 1: 4
Rogers is listed as a freeman.
No Specific Date Davis 1883, II: 221
Sarah Rogers born.
25 March PCR 1: 11
Rogers is rated 9s in corn.
1 July PCR 1:14
Rogers is ordered to mow "that which he mowed last yeare."
1634 27 March PCR 1: 28
Rogers is rated 9s in corn.
1635 No Specific Date Davis 1883, II: 221
Joseph Rogers, Jr. born.
1635/36 2 March PCR 1: 39
The court gives Rogers permission to run a ferry over Jones River near his dwelling house. He is allowed to charge a penny per head, in order to maintain "a sufficient ferry."
14 March PCR 1: 40
Rogers is ordered to mow hay along the Jones River. His mowing companions are Thomas Prence, Thomas Cushman, and Edward Dowty.
1636 7 June PCR 1: 42
Rogers serves on a jury.
1636/37 20 March PCR 1: 56
Rogers is ordered to shared his "old hay ground" with Thomas Prence, "to be decided apportionable to their cattle."
1638 4 June PCR 1:85
Rogers is to be remembered for lands "on Duxborrow side" when they are surveyed.
2 July PCR 1: 90
Rogers requests land around Iland Creeke Pond, "if it be not prejudiciall to Mr Bradford."
7 August PCR 1: 93
Rogers is granted land for corn fields in "the place where hee desireth." William Bradford would view the land and appoint it to him.
6 November PCR 1: 101
Rogers is granted 60 acres of upland and meadow, "lying about a mile and a half from the brooke beyond Mr Bradford farme, upon Mattachusetts Payth, on the west side thereof."
1639/40 3 March PCR 1: 141
Rogers is nominated for the post of constable of Duxbury.
5 March PCR 1: 117
Rogers is assigned to the Duxbury highway repair.
1639 No Specific Date Davis 1883, II: 221
Elizabeth Rogers born.
1640 6 Apri PCR 1: 144
Rogers is granted land next to Mr. Vassells' farm at the North River. This land totals to 50 acres of upland and meadow ground. He also received some other small divisions of land, and a joint holding. His brother John also received 50 acres in the same area, together with Constant and Thomas Southworth.
2 Jun PCR 1: 155
Rogers is sworn in to his constabulary post in Duxbury.
1642 No Specific Date Davis 1883, II: 221
John Rogers born.
1642/43 7 March PCR 2: 53
Rogers is granted four to five acres of meadow lying above Massachusett path. This land is noted as being two miles from the Bradford farm.
1644 No Specific Date Davis 1883, II: 221
Mary Rogers born.
20 August PCR 2: 75
Rogers is appointed to lay forth a highway from William Bradford's farm to the Bay. He is appointed for Duxbury with John Rogers, and shares the commision with John Howland and John Cooke (who represent Plymouth.) The four men are instructed to pick a fifth if they can't agree on the plan.
1645 20 October PCR 2: 88
The people of Duxbury are granted "a competent pporcion" of land around Saughtuckquett. They will pick the center and from that mark the appointed land would stretch four miles out. Rogers was nominated to be a trustee of this land, along with Miles Standish, John Alden, George Soul, Constant Southworth, and William Brett.
1646/47 2 March PCR 2: 111
Rogers serves on a jury.
1647 1 June PCR 2: 117
Rogers is established as lieutenant of Nawset (later Eastham,) to "exercise theire men in armes…"
1648 No Specific Date Davis 1883, II: 221
James Rogers born.
1651 10 June PCR 2: 177
Rogers is listed as a purchaser.
1652 No Specific Date Davis 1883, II: 221-222
Hannah Rogers born.
Joseph Rogers moves to Sandwich.
1658 1 June PCR 3: 142
Rogers purchases some land from Pompmo of the Potonumaquatt tribe. He buys Aquaquesett, five acres, and Mattahquesett, one and a half acre of land.
2 October PCR 3: 153
Rogers is appointed to the Council of War.
1660/61 5 March PCR 3: 205
The verdict comes in on the trial of John Hawes, who had been accused of "violently and by force of armes" killing Joseph Rogers Jr. of Eastham by giving him "a most deadly fall" on December 25, 1660, from which he died forty-eight hours later. Hawes was found not guilty.
1661 1 October PCR 4: 5
Rogers is freed from his military office as Lieutenant of the military company of Eastham.
1663 1 June PCR 4: 37
Rogers serves on the Grand Enquest.
24 July Mayflower Descendant 17(3) 1915: 167-68
Manasses Kempton sells Rogers 40 acres of upland in the Barley Neck area.
1664 8 June PCR 4: 64
Rogers is reestablished into his old military office.
8 June PCR 4: 67
Rogers is given liberty to "looke out" a parcel of land between Bridgewater and the Bay line, together with Josias Cooke, Giles Hopkins, Henry Sampson, and Experience Mitchell. The land is "for their accommodation."
1665 7 June PCR 4: 96
Rogers is charged to "view a certain iland petitioned for by Richard Higgins" along with "Leiftenant Freeman." The pair can purchase the land and "depose of it" to Higgins if they see fit.
7 June PCR 4: 96
Rogers is assigned 100 acres of William Nicarson's land next to Mannamoiett. If he wants the land, he must pay Nicarson. (Nicarson's land had been illegally purchased from the natives. The court had let him keep 100 acres and confiscated the rest.)
1670 7 June PCR 5: 35
Rogers is named as a selectman for Eastham together with four others.
7 June PCR 5: 39
The Court gives Rogers liberty to purchase land from natives near Eastham, at a place called Naamcoyicke.
1674 7 July PCR 5: 150
The Court gives two Indians, John Gibson and Thomas Cloake, land near Rogers.
1677/78 2-15 January Mayflower Descendant 3(2) 1901: 67-71
Joseph Rogers dies.
PCR The Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, edited by Nathaniel B. Shurtleff and David Pulsifer (Boston: William White, 1855-61; New York: AMS Press, 1968). 12 v. in 6.
The Mayflower Descendant, CD ROM Legacy Edition, 1996.
Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633 (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995). 3v.
Davis, William T. Ancient Landmarks of Plymouth (Boston: Williams, 1883).