Ralph Paine and Dorothy

My 10x Great Grandparents, Ralph Paine and Dorothy moved from Rhode Island to Massachusetts. Ralph was born about 1660 perhaps in Rhode Island. There were a few Paine families there and researchers seem to be divided as to which family he came from. Dorothy also is thought to be born about 1660 and her surname is unknown as well as her family.

There are variations of the surname spelling : Paine/Pain/Payne.

It is estimated that Ralph and Dorothy married about 1680 in Rhode Island and had 5 children: Mary @1680, John@ 1685, Sarah @ 1686, Thomas @1690, and Joseph @1695.

Ralph became a Freeman in Newport, RI on 5 May 1677. He purchased 90 acres in Providence, RI in June 1677 and he sold it in 1681. By 1688, he purchased land in Freetown, MA. His land was on Lot 19 and it was on the Assonet Bay. The area is known as Payne’s Cove. Below is a portion of Freetown.  The Assonet Bay is clearly labeled. Payne’s Cove, which is labeled, is located about the middle part of this photo.

Ralph was a farmer and was a Grand juryman in 1696, on the trial jury for the Common Pleas court, and Constable in 1702. In 1706, Ralph and Dorothy were brought before the General Sessions court. Their married and pregnant daughter, Sarah Briggs had left her husband, Amos, and returned home. The court ordered them “to use their interest with her that she may return and do her duty to her husband”. Sarah did return to Amos and they eventually moved to the same lot, 19 as the Paine family. In 1710, Amos testified that in a General Sessions court that Sarah Hathaway abused Dorothy Paine. He testified that Sarah “by flinging her down on the hard ground bruising her flesh and drawing blood in several places and threatening to throw her in the creek if she roamed there again”. It sounds like Dorothy may have been trespassing and Sarah was out of control. The parties came to an agreement privately and there is no documentation what the agreement was. The Hathaway’s lived in the adjacent lot 18. I am descended from Jacob Hathaway and he has a sister named Sarah born 1686. She didn’t marry until 1714 so she probably was still living in Freetown. I wonder if she is the one who threw Dorothy down who would have been in her 50’s and Sarah would have been 24.

There were many deed transactions leading up to Ralph’s death. He was giving land to his sons. Below is his mark and Dorothy’s mark.

Ralph’s will is dated 23 Apr 1722. He named his wife, Dorothy, to have the house, orchard, and land that he did not gift. He gave his 5 children more land. Put aside land for a cemetery that was already in use. I do not know who was buried there before him. The movable goods to be divided by daughters Mary and Sarah after their mother Dorothy dies. John was the executor. The total of his estate was 346 pounds.

Ralph died before 30 Jan 1727/28 when his inventory was taken. Their son John presented the final accounting of the estate on 19 Feb 1728/29. In the list of debts paid included  a coffin for his wife and digging the grave. So Dorothy died about a year after Ralph.

I believe they are buried in the Payne Cove cemetery in Freetown but I cannot access it easily as it is on private land now. There is supposed to be 2 small boulders with the initials RP on one and DP on another. It has not been found by other researchers.


Ralph Paine and Dorothy, their son,

John Paine and Rebecca Davis, their son,

John Paine Jr and Philip Strange, their daughter,

Abigail Paine and Edward Chace, their son,

Walter Chace and Barbara Brown, their son,

Edward Chace and Julia Goodrich, their daughter,

Sarah Jane Chace and Jabez Bostwick, their son,

John Day Bostwick married Ida Shelby, their son,

Charles Bostwick married Alpha Wilkins, their daughter,

Florence Bostwick -my grandmother


http://yankeeancestry.tripod.com/painR1.html author Gerrity, Robert website accessed 2/16/2018.

Records of the colony of Rhode Island and Providence plantations, in New England. Printed by order of the General assembly Author Rhode Island, Bartlett, John Russell, 1805-1886 ed, Rhode Island p564.
A History of the town of Freetown, Massachusetts : with an account of the Old Home Festival, July 30th, 1902 Author Freetown (Mass. : Town)
The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 15

Massachusetts Land Records, 1620-1986,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9Z7-TZ88?cc=2106411&wc=MCBR-S6B%3A361612901%2C362322801 : 22 May 2014), Bristol > Deeds 1714-1735 vol 3-4 > image 289 of 599; county courthouses and offices, Massachusetts.

Ralph Paine Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991 Death: Abt 1722 – Massachusetts, USA, Ancestry

4 thoughts on “Ralph Paine and Dorothy

  1. Hi, in 1970, when I started doing genealogy research on the family, Helen Gurney Thomas and I found the Payne/Paine cemetery on what was Payne land between route 79 and Payne Cove. The oldest stones were still in tact and were ballast stones from the ship. R.P. was chiseled in one and D.P. was chiseled in the other. Unfortunately, I did not bring my camera with me that day and had hoped to return but did not so do not have pictures. However, I understand that the graveyard had been preserved up until about 10 years ago. I’m planning a day trip in a week or two to locate another family cemetery and will check in to see if there is anything left of the Payne Cemetery while there. I think much of this property may have become where the new Amazon facility has been located.


  2. Hi! This is Robert M. GERRITY, the author of the Ralph Paine and Descendants book you cite. Could get my name spelled correctly in your url? Its GERIITY, not Gerry. Thanks on that.

    When Helen Thomas gave me the tour in 1988, we couldn’t find the stones. Likely just overgrown. I understand that since then the Town of Freetown has taken on oversight of the private cemeteries. The Freetown Historical Commission has been updating or creating Findagrave memorial pages. Beyond that, I’ve no idea what’s happening. Suggest any one go to the Town’s website and/or call ahead. Also, the Town library and the Commission may have centralized records for preservation since the time I was there.

    Best wishes on your researches.

    NOTE: There is no evidence AT ALL that Ralph is related in any way shape or form with either the Ipswich Paines, the Plymouth Colony Paines (Stephen and his descendant who do move into Seekonk in the 1690s and into RI thereafter; also in eastern Connecticut) or the Long Island Paines. I put his birth date around 1650 but it could be say 1655. When made a freeman in 1677, he has an “estate” to meet the property requirements (not a lot but just enough). Only DNA analysis of direct descendants can address this issue with some new information, re haplogroups.


      1. Thanks! My apologies for taking so long to acknowledge your courtesy. Your reply went to the junk box and I hardly ever look into that. Must do so more regularly. I appreciate your presentation. Also, thanks for the clear signature images. I did not have any. No cell phone cameras at hand in 1988 when I got to handle Ralph’s original will at Bristol Probate. If I see anything else, I’ll let you know. If there is anything else you might like to know, reply. My Chase information really stops with the Walter Chase articles in the 1930s REGISTER. I would pleased to include more information on them down to the Bostwicks, if you are so inclined (footnote credit, of course).

        Have a good spring. Robert M. Gerrity


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