My Ancestors (7) – Rev. Stephen Bachiler – 1561 -1660

(1) Rev. Stephen Bachiler, (2) Theodate (Bachiler) Hussey, (3) Stephen Hussey, (4) (Abigaill Hussey) Marshall, (5) Major Elihu Marshall, (6) Elizabeth (Marshall) Guion, (7) Elijah Guion, (8) Elijah Guion II, (9) Alfred Beck Guion, (10) Alfred Duryee Guion, (11) Alfred Peabody Guion, (12) Judith Anne Guion


The following is paraphrased from COLONIAL ORIGINS of the CALIFORNIA GUIONS, An Informal Genealogical Study by Ernest Jerome Hopkins.

“The story of Elizabeth Marshall’s various ancestors begins back in England, where all were Puritans — non-conformists, Dissenters, afterward Roundheads — call them what you please — all at any rate were in rebellion against the established Church of England.

The main background of their story is familiar to every school child, but the conventional New England historians have told it from the Orthodox Puritan angle, so let me go over it again. The English Dissenters differed in one important respect from the French Huguenots: the Huguenots represented a united front to their Catholic persecutors. In England, the religious rebels had plenty of rope, and this permitted them to split up into all sorts of minor sects that flayed each other as well as flaying the common enemy, the Church of England. There were more individual variations of “Puritanism” than there are freak religions in Los Angeles today. And each sect or sub- sect regarded itself as exclusively right with God, and every other Puritan sect as heretical and doomed to hell. To say, as the textbooks do, that the Puritans came to America to “seek religious freedom” is the highest sort of bunk. Each group was after religious freedom for itself, though some, as we shall see, were more liberal and tolerant than others.

One little band, the Pilgrims from Scrooby, England, got a head start and in 1620, after spending some time in Holland, chartered the “Mayflower” and came across, founding Plymouth.

Eight years later came a whole flock of other sects, (the “Mayflower” Pilgrims regarded them as heretics) that founded Boston and Charleston to begin with, then other towns along Massachusetts Bay. The reason some of them scattered out into outlying towns was simple enough: one gang, in Boston, got control of the colonies government, and became about as rigid a set of religious and official tyrants as could be found.

A third and similar group, whose members had various individual troubles with the Boston Puritans for 25 or 30 years, then banded together and bought Nantucket Island, out in the Atlantic Ocean, where they could thumb their noses at the tyrants.


It was in 1632 that the Rev. Stephen Bachiler arrived, bringing his second wife Helen and about seven of his ardent followers. He promptly went to Saugus, and with his usual energy got the people busy digging a dugout for a church; they made speed, for Bachiler held services there on Sunday, June 8, 1632, which was just three days after his arrival in Boston.

Well, in that first service on June 8, 1632, Bachiler had two babies to baptize. He put aside the older one, a youngster named Thomas Newhall, and reached for slightly younger Stephen Hussey (first child of Christopher Hussey and Theodate (Bachiler) Hussey), with the words:’ I will baptize my own child first.’ And he did. People loved a “character” in those days, and this anecdote of how her ancestor was the first child to be christened at Lynn lived on to be recorded in the traditions of Nantucket, where Stephen Hussey afterward spent much of a very long life.

Now, according to the Puritan authorities, this baptism wasn’t legal, and Stephen Bachiler had no right to preach at all, for he hadn’t obtained a license. It was this offense, for which he was called up on the carpet that began the fighting preacher’s 22-year history of the controversy on this side of the water — he had had 50 years of it in England before that.

First, after four years of trouble with Boston, the Hussey’s and other colonists decided to leave Saugus and move farther north. They bought land 30 miles up the coast, at the mouth of the Merrimack River, and they are in 1636 founded the town of Newbury — Newburyport today. Again, Christopher Hussey’s name, and that of “ye auld widow” Hussey, were on the original proprietors’ list.

In 1638, Bachiler, in the name of his “Company of the Plough”, petitioned the general court for permission to buy a “plantation” at a spot still another 20 miles up the coast, the Indian name was Winnicunnet. The general court granted it — to get rid of some troublesome people, probably. This settlement became Hampton, New Hampshire.

It was on a Tuesday, October 16, 1638, that Bachiler and the Hussey’s, including “ye auld widow”, eighth-year-old Stephen and apparently another child or two, sailed up the coast in a shallop, to the new location. On July 5, 1639, their houses and lands at Newbury were sold for “six score pounds”, quite a sum. The pioneering process that had been gone through at Saugus (Lynn) and Newbury, was repeated for the third time at Hampton. Christopher Hussey became a town leader, holding office as magistrate, Selectman, Town Clerk, and Captain of the town’s militia. He was also a deacon at the Hampton Church and served for the second time as representative to the General Assembly at Boston, representing Hampton as he had represented Newberry before.

Source: COLONIAL ORIGINS of the CALIFORNIA GUIONS, An Informal Genealogical Study by Ernest Jerome Hopkins, finished in 1952. For more information:

Next week, I will continue the story of how our ancestors settled Nantucket Island.

Tomorrow, I’ll begin a week of letters written in 1944, when all five of Grandpa’s boys are in the service of Uncle Sam.

Judy Guion


7 thoughts on “My Ancestors (7) – Rev. Stephen Bachiler – 1561 -1660

  1. My progenitor John Brown (c. 1595-1686) and his wife Sarah were among the group that left Massachusetts from Hampton with Stephen Bachiler.

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