and his wife
of Scituate, Plymouth Colony
The Stetsons came to America sometime after the baptism of their first child in England (1636) and before Robert's election as Constable in Scituate, Plymouth Colony (1643), probably around 1642. Earlier researchers claimed he had arrived by 1634, when he received a large grant of land on North River, Scituate (Stetson 1:9; Deane 340-341; Savage 4:183). However, more recent scholarship points to this later date (GR 151:439).
Robert Stetson swore to the Oath of Fidelity at Scituate, probably in 1642 (GR 151:438). He was elected to the office of constable at Scituate on 7 March 1642/43 (GR 151:438). He was recorded as a man able to bear arms in Scituate in 1643 (GR 1:257).
Robert Stetson called himself a carpenter, of Scituate, on deeds written on 3 December 1651, 1 October 1652, 28 August 1658, and 10 November 1662 (MD 15:32; 19:65; 41:65; 42:148).
On 31 October 1651 Robert Stetson sold his house, barn and adjoining land in Scituate to Humphrey Johnson (MD 17:100-02). On 10 November 1656 a permit to erect a sawmill in Scituate was issued, and Robert Stetson responded (MD 13:45). For the full text of the permit, see below. On 10 November 1662 Robert Stetson sold his one-third right in the sawmill to Joseph Tilden. He stated that the sawmill on Third Herring Brook had been built by Timothy Hatherly, Joseph Tilden, and Robert Stetson (MD 19:65).
In addition to his election as Constable in 1643, Robert Stetson held numerous public offices. He was Scituate's representative in the General Court of Plymouth Colony in the years 1654-6, 1658-66, 1667, 1669, 1670-1671, 1673, 1674, and 1677-1678 (Col Gen 3:229). In 1664 her served on the Commission to set the boundary between Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies (Col Gen 3:229; Deane 341). From 1666 to 1671 he served Scituate as a Selectman (Stetson 1:12). He also was foreman for road building in Scituate, and in 1668 purchased of Sachem Shikatabutte for the Colony a tract of land at Drinkwater (Hanover), of 6 square miles. Most of it had already been granted to him by the Colony.
Robert Stetson was active in the small military force of Plymouth Colony. For twenty years, 1656 to 1676, he held the title of "Cornet"--second in command of the cavalry of the colony (Stetson 1:12-18; Col Gen 3:229; Deane 341). At the start of King Philip's War he was sent in a group to Mount Hope to interview King Philip. He later fought in King Philip's War. He was "press master" for Scituate, resaponsible for military recruitment, in 1675. With Isaac Chittenden he led the defense of Scituate on 21 April and 20 May 1676.
Robert's wife, Honour Stetson, died in 1684 (Sci Internet). They were both members of Second Church (Congregational) of Scituate (Pratt).
Some time after his first wife's death, Robert Stetson married MARY2 HILAND Bryant. The daughter of Thomas1 and Deborah Hiland, Mary was baptized at Tenterden, co. Kent, England, on 27 March 1631 (Sci Internet). She was brought to America by her parents in 1637, and married John Bryant, as his third wife, in April 1664 (VR Sci 2:38). They had eleven children. John Bryant died at Scituate on 20 November 1684.
Robert Stetson dictated his will at Scituate on 4 September 1702 (Savage 4:183). In it he provided for his wife Mary; daughter Eunice Rogers; and Abigail, widow of son John. Cornet Robert Stetson died at Scituate on 1 February 1702/3 (VR Sci 2:444), age 90 years. His will was proved in Plymouth County on 1 March 1702/3 (Savage 4:183).
The name "Stetson," often written "Studson" or "Stutson," comes from the Danish for "stepson."
Robert Stetson and his first wife Honour had the following children:
Information on this family is found in the following:
A writing appointed to be recorded as followeth:
At a full town meeting of the town of Scituate, November the tenth, 1656: Free liberty was this day granted to any man or men of the town to set up a saw mill upon the third herring brook as near the North River as conveniently it may be on these conditions, viz: that in case any of the townsmen do bring any timber unto the mill to be sawn the owners of the mill shall saw it whether it be for boards or planks before they saw any of their own timber and they are to have the one half for sawing of the other half. And in case any man of the town that doth not bring any timber to the mill to be sawn shall want any boards for his own particular use, the owners of the mill shall sell him boards for his particular use so many as he shall need for the country pay at three shillings and six pence an hundred inch sawn. but in case the men of the town do not supply the mill with timber to keep it at work, the owners of the mill shall have liberty to make use of any timber upon the common to saw for their benefit. and in case any man or men of the town do undertake to build a saw mill as aforesaid they shall begin the work within three months after this day or else this order to be void.
James Torrey, Town Clerk
We whose names are underwritten do testify that we were with Robert Studson at work the ninth of February 1656 to provide timber to build the saw mill that the said Robert Studson hath built.
Joseph Wormall (his mark)
John Hudson (his mark)
Joseph Berstow (his mark)
Go to Name List Index