Andover Shattucks

The Andover Shattucks are a branch of the Massachusetts Shattucks. They have the genetic marker Y23841 that links them to the descendants of Dr. Philip Shattuck (1648-1722), one of the sons of the founder, William Shattuck (1622-1672). See the page devoted to Dr. Philip Shattuck.

Andover is a town in Essex county, Massachusetts settled in 1642. It is twenty miles north of Watertown, MA, the original homestead of the Shattucks of the USA.

Gil Shattuck, a descendant of the Andover Shattucks, traced his ancestry back to Andover but he came up against a brick wall in the paper trail when he got there, just as Lemuel Shattuck had done in his Shattuck family chronicle in the middle of the 19th century. The following article written by Gil is a wonderful example of how to use the combination of DNA testing, paper trail study and local historical studies to unearth a missing distant direct male ancestor made invisible by a missing birth record or baptism, in this case Joseph Shattuck of Andover. Gil enlivens his account with interesting stories about his ancestors passed down through the generations. I reproduce it here in full with Gil's permission. His footnotes are at the end of the article.

Where Gil sits in Shattuck genealogy can be found at node at the bottom of this page: Dr. Philip Shattuck 1648-1722

Joseph = Joseph? – The Andover Shattuck Question

by Gilman Shattuck


One of the open puzzles for the Shattuck genealogy [1] is precisely where do the Andover, Massachusetts Shattuck’s fit into the family tree. DNA analysis confirms their origin to the Stogumber Shattock’s, presumably through William [2] of Watertown, Massachusetts and Dr. Joseph [3]. Lemuel Shattuck placed them with the Groton, Massachusetts branch [4]. DNA analysis shows that there is no direct link from Groton to Andover.

A careful study of the early generations following William, suggests a very plausible, if conjectural, link between Watertown and Andover.

Dr. Joseph Shattuck was grandson of William. His first born was Joseph, who unfortunately died at 24 days.

The second child was Rebecca [5], born Jan. 10, 1711 who had a fascinating story:

She married on October 6, 1724, at the early age of 13 y. 8 m. 26 d., Alexander Sampson. Tradition represents her to have been of a precocious development and remarkable beauty,

“Twice seven consenting years had shed

Their utmost beauty on her head [6] ”

Mr. Sampson is said to have been a reputable gentleman from London, who had visited this country for the benefit of his health, with the intention of a speedy return; but meeting with beautiful Miss Shattuck, her attractions were too irresistible to allow him to carry out his purpose.

He married and remained here; but while upon a pleasant excursion in Boston harbor, his boat was attacked by a shark, and he was tipped overboard and devoured.

Before this unfortunate event, he had fathered four children, the first Elizabeth, born April 9, 1728, mother Rebecca being 16 y. 11 m. 3 d.

Obviously, Miss Shattuck was both a physically precocious and beautiful woman. It not unreasonable to believe that she was also tall for those times. There are many mentions of Shattuck men being tall and strong probably the women as well. This was true then and is true now, I am above average height, my two sons are over six feet tall as was my father, a brother, and his grandfather. Aunts were also tall.

This leads us to the third child of Dr. Joseph, also Joseph [7], born Sept 22, 1712. Father Joseph was a very successful and very prosperous physician, initially practicing in Boston. The family attended the Brattle Street Church in Boston His wife, Mary Ladd together with Rebecca and Joseph were all baptized at that church in 1712. Even though in 1699 it was the fourth Congregational church to be gathered in Boston, it was perhaps the most prestigious. Parishioners include John Hancock, Joseph Warren, John Adams, Abigail Adams, Richard Clarke, Elizabeth Greenleaf, Jane Mecom, John Lowell, Lydia Hancock, Henry Cabot Lodge, James Bowdoin among others [8].

Dr. Joseph moved back to Watertown to join his father’s practice of medicine 1715. His father, Philip [9] died in 1711 aged 74. Dr. Joseph died May 19, 1729, at the early age of 42.

One does not know what the dynamics of the family were. Dr. Joseph’s older half-brother, Philip, appeared to have had no interest in following his father as a physician and moved to Saybrook, Connecticut. Perhaps young Joseph had other ideas as well. Did he now take off to make his life on his own terms elsewhere?

Was this the young lad that turned up in Andover at the farm of Zebadiah Chandler? Physically very mature and tall for his age like his sister Rebecca, when asked his age he could pass readily for 18-19. He quickly became part of the family, first marrying Joanna, daughter of Zebadiah, on June 3, 1726, and then buying land of Zebadiah to establish his own farm.

The first Watertown Joseph named his first born surviving son, Joseph. If our Andover Shattuck was following that custom and is our Watertown Joseph, not just was his name Joseph but it was his father’s as well. That naming custom for the first born son was followed by subsequent generations of the Andover branch [10]. Other instances of the name Joseph are only found with other Watertown or Andover Shattuck descendants.

To my way of thinking, this relationship has much more substance than that proposed by Lemuel. Lemuel assumed that there was a child born in the gap of the Groton family [11]. In fact, there might have been a miscarriage or even more plausible, a full term pregnancy and an infant dying a few days after birth and not baptized. The record is dotted with such events.

The trek to Andover from Watertown was shorter and easier than to Groton.

Groton was a battlefield during French and Indian Wars. In 1676, during the King Philip's War, Indians attacked the town and burned down all but four garrison houses. The surviving residents fled to Concord and other safe havens returning two years later to rebuild the town. A second attack occurred in 1694 during King Williams War. Later during Queen Anne’s War, his cousin John [12], living in Groton had been slain by native Americans in 1709.

When the town was settled in 1655, it was much larger (about 200 square miles in comparison to Andover about 55) than it is today and was sparsely populated in comparison to Andover.

Not an attractive destination.

The population of Andover had grown rapidly settled after its settlement in 1636 as well as had nearby towns on the fertile meadows of the Merrimac River [13]. Raids from Native Americans did occur but settlers were better able to defend themselves because of their greater number. The rapids in the river at the new Shattuck Farm in Andover provided a springtime bounty of salmon, herring and shad.

Some of the other early Watertown Shattuck’s can and should be considered as well as the Watertown Joseph. Their life history tells us, though, that they either remained in Watertown or lived in other nearby towns but not in Andover.

Lemuel actually sets the stage for Watertown Joseph:

  • He could not find a link for Joseph [14], leaving the door open with an open link.
  • He tells the story of sister Rebecca, suggesting much about her brother.
  • Perhaps as well, he implies something of the dynamics of the Dr. Joseph family.

Will a few more DNA tests for descendants of the Watertown and Andover Shattuck’s forge the link?


[1] Most references are to Lemuel Shattuck. Memorials of the Descendants of William Shattuck. Boston. Dutton and Wentworth. 1855. Page number is followed by name identification number.

[2] 58 - 1

[3] 86 - 18

[4] 78 – 10, 83 - 12

[5] 106 - 50

[6] William Wordsworth. “To a Highland Girl”.

[7] 86 – 18.3

[8] Ellis Loring Motte, Henry Fitch Jenks, John Homans, editors. The Manifesto Church: Records of the Church in Brattle Square, Boston: With Lists of Communicants, Baptisms, Marriages, and Funerals, 1699-1872. Boston. The Benevolent Fraternity of Churches. 1902.

[9] 71 - 5

[10] Joseph 149 – 116, 220 -252, 353 – 489, 353 – 489.1

[11] 84 – 12.10?

[12] 77-10.

[13] Philip J. Greven, Jr. Four Generations: Population, Land, and Family in Colonial Andover, Massachusetts. New York. Cornell University Press. 1970. This book, originally based on his Ph.D. thesis, is an incredibly valuable source of demographic information including population growth and marriage age specifically for the Andover area. (It has been reprinted seven times.) According to Greven, most young men in Andover married towards the end of their twenties, but did our mature and precocious Joseph quickly marry the young Joanna and gain entry into the Zebadiah Chandler Family?

[14] 86 – 18.3

Andover Genealogy

Where Gil sits in Shattuck genealogy can be found at node at the bottom of this page: Dr. Philip Shattuck 1648-1722