William Shattuck's Property in Watertown

Nancy Shattuck, who is an Elder Pepperell descendant, has provided the following information about the original homestead of the Shattucks in America.

William Shattuck (1622-1672) owned four acres of land in Watertown, apparently when he was still in his late teens. Lemuel Shattuck on page 58 of his Descendants:

William Chattuck.

1. An Homstall of one acre, by estimation, bounded souwest with Ccmmonland, ye east wth John Clough and ye west wth William Perry in his possession.

2. Three acres of upland, by estimation, bounded the north wth Joseph Morse, the south wth William Perry, the east wth John Clough &. ye west with Common land in his possession."

It appears to be one acre or arable land and three acres of "upland," presumably less favorable for farming. That one acre would probably not be enough to sustain his family, which suggests early in his life he was successful weaving and selling the products of his loom. This enabled him to purchase more land, and probably increased his income from farming. It was an auspicious start for a family that would have many successes in America in subsequent centuries, down to this day.

We get an idea of where Watertown is relative to Boston with this photograph supplied by Nancy. She circled in red the view of Boston in the distance.

Nancy sent a picture of the Watertown original land grants. Nancy: "This map was published in Henry Bond’s Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown Massachusetts, 1855."

A close up of the area circled in blue shows the location of William's land.

Nancy's comments on these maps tells a story of a very successful weaver and farmer who expanded this first footprint of Shattucks in America to a very sizable foundation for his descendants. Nancy:

The Shattuck land (except for the Stonybrook farm land, which I understand was located to the left of this map), is between Fresh Pond and the Parkers Reservoir. It was bounded by present day Washington Street (the road that went to Fresh Pond).

The map does show a small 3 acre lot labeled “WS,” which I am taking to be William Shattuck’s “uplands” mentioned in the land grants, but the 1 acre lot for the homestead is probably too small to show on this map. I think this lot is his, because he buys the land immediately adjacent that Clough owns.

Shattuck purchased the land from his immediate neighbors Clough (33 acres), Sanderson (10 acres), and Livermore.(32 acres). The first purchase from Clough shows on this map (there were three successive buyers recorded). William Shattuck is the last owner recorded; he purchased the land of Clough – 3 acres on one side of the road, 30 acres on the other side of the road.

He also purchased Sanderson’s land, which bordered Clough’s 3 acres on one side of what is called now "School Street", and stretched up what is now called Parker Reservoir on the other side. These purchases post-date the grants shown on this map. He lived in the house that Sanderson built, and it is reported to have a great view of Boston and fresh pond. When I visited Watertown, I took snapshots showing that you can indeed see Boston from this hillside, though it has been too developed to see Fresh Pond any longer.

Much later, about three years before his death in 1672, he also purchased Livermore’s land, which was adjacent to Clough’s and Sanderson’s land on both sides of the road.

In Beatrix Larson's Shattuck Memorials II, on page 8, there is a map showing William's property apparently acquired from the Groton Historical Society. She calls the area "Belmont on Common Hill" and describes the location of the property as being "south of the Fitchburg Railroad, east of Common Street, on the hill north and near Washington Street, and was in view of Fresh Pond." The town was apparently given permission to make bricks "at the clay pitts near William Shattuck's." Washington was an ancient road leading from Common Street to Fresh Pond. A spring nearby by called Shattuck's Spring.