Who was Simon Onge and
What Role did he play in the life of John Fuller of Newton
Symon Onge was born in Lavenham, Suffolk, UK and bp.11 April 1619, the son of Edmond Onge and Frances Reed who married in Brent Eleigh (close to Lavenham) 8 April 1602. Edmond died in 1629/30 and on 14 June 1630, Frances was granted administration of his estate which totaled £297. Frances and family immigrated to New England on the Lyon arriving 5 Feb 1630/1 and were among the first residence of Watertown, MA. Watertown records indicate grants of three parcels of land to Frances Onge: 30, 6 and 6 acres. The vital records indicate that Frances Onge ‘widow’ was buried in Watertown Cemetery 12 Nov. 1638, “Æ 55 y”.1.a According to the baptism records below, at the time of her death, the ages of the surviving children would have been: Marie, 32; Elizabeth, 22; Simon, 19; Isaac, 9; Jacob, 8.
Children (1-4 were baptized, Lavenham Parish, Suffolk, UK)1.a
- Marie, bp. 23 March 1605/6 is almost certainly the Mary Onge, age 27, who came to New England on the Francis in 1634 (Holden 279). Most of the passengers on the ship settled in Watertown and Cambridge, and among her fellow passengers were part of the Hammond family 1.b , also from Lavenham and Justinian Holden, who acquired the Onge propriety.
- Elizabeth, bp. 23 July 1616 and probably married Justinian Holden, who had a wife Elizabeth from circa 1642 until 1673, but no children by her (Holden Gen 58n).
- Symon, bp. 11 April 1619; d. late 1678, apparently unmarried.1.c
- Isaac, (twin) bp. 1 July 1627. Rebecca, (twin) bp. 1 July 1627; bur. 28 July 1627.
- Jacob, b. say 1630; m. by 1671 to Sarah_____. She m.(2) Chelmsford 22 January 1689/90 Abraham Byam.1.d Jacob’s Probate Records (Middlesex, Massachusetts case #16232) show that Jacob Ong Sr. of Groton, MA died there in 1685.
Life of Simon Onge1.a
1619 – born in Lavenham, Suffolk, UK – Father Edmund Onge
1631 – immigrated to Watertown, New England with mother at age 12
1638 – was 19 when his Mother died
1644 – held three lots in Watertown
1647 – sold his house and ground in Watertown
1660 – (circa) – acquired a small farm on deeded land, John Fuller originally purchased in 1658
1678 – died intestate in Newton, unmarried
1678 – (Dec 21) brother Jacob, was granted administration of the Estate by the Probate Court 2
Probate Court Documents for Simon Onge2
- 1678, Nov 8, Inventory of Simon’s Estate
- 1678, Dec 17, Probate Court named Jacob Ong as Administrator of the Estate3
- 1678, Dec 10, Letter to the Probate Court from John Fuller
- 1679, [….], document showing the estate paid Richard Child 35 shillings
Simon Ong (shown as ‘Ong’ in these records) died intestate (without a Will) in October, 1678 in Newton and the Probate Court arranged an inventory, which was taken on Nov. 8, 1678 by William Bond, Nathan Fisher and Henry Spring. The inventory totaled £86 of which the buildings and land of 22 acres totaled £70.
Court Order – Administrator of Estate2,3,4
Court Order 17 Dec, 1678
At a coun[ty] court hold[en] at Charlestown [Massachusetts] Decemb[er] 17th 1678
Jacob Ong is granted administration on the estate of Simon Ong his Bro[ther] Deceased in Cambr[idge] Village and he has subm[it]ted an Inventory of his estate on Oath.3,4
Bona Copia Tho[mas] Danforth Record[ed] [Judge Probate Court]
The 1678 Letter to the Probate Court – written by John Fuller
On Dec 14, 1678 John Fuller of Newton wrote a letter to the Judge of the Probate Court and asked the Judge to please inform the Court that the 22 acres of land in the estate inventory was his land and that he only allowed Simon Onge the right to live on the land during his lifetime. In this letter, John admitted he owned “the greater part of that land mentioned of in Simon Onge inventory” which indicates that he recognized that Simon had paid some amount towards the value of the land.2
To Mr Danforth
Honoured Sor [Sir] I would Intret [entreat] one small kinese [kindness] of you that you would bee pleased to Informe the honoured Court for mee that the greates [greatest] part of that Land mad[e] menicion[mention] of in Simon Onge Invanoy[inventory] of his Estat[e] is my Land, and that he had it but for the time of his Life, and then it was to return to mee agene [again] as it will apeare, theerfor I thought good to Informe the honoured Court of it: that so tha[they] might not grant out administration to my estat[e]: for the Land is mine and it never was Layed out to Simon Onge nor he never had any Righting of it. So I rest your [servant] to sarve [serve] you in Love, dated 14: 10: month 78 [Dec 14, 1678] [signed] John Fuller.2
Simon Onge Estate Paid Richard Child2
Transcribed: Ong from Symon Ong of Cambridge Village to Richard Child of
Watertown, the sum of thirty five shillings. 1-15-69
Two Court Cases
After Simon’s death, the land acquired from John Fuller was the basis of two Court Cases.
- Fuller vs Onge – County Court of Middlesex, Massachusetts
- Onge vs Fuller – General Court of Massachusetts
See: Fuller vs Onge.
[Note: We already have the baptism record for John Fuller’s wife, Elizabeth from Lavenham, UK. The probate records and Will of James Fuller of Lavenham, UK reveal two interesting facts and one conclusion:
- Simon Onge’s father, Edmond Onge, was one of the witnesses to the 1618 to the Will of James Fuller in Lavenham, UK.5
- John is explicate in his 1678 letter and his testament before the courts of law in Massachusetts, that he only let Simon use the land for his natural lifetime. John would not have done that for a stranger.
- Therefore, these Probate Court records, including John’s letter can be viewed as a link between John Fuller of Newton and Lavenham, James Fuller and the Onge family, which has led us to speculate as to the Most Likely Ancestral Line for John of Newton]2
- a. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III. (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2010), (Originally Published as: New England Historic Genealogical Society. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III, 3 Vols., 1995, Onge, pages 1360-63.
1.b. Hammond, page 853: “The Hammond family came to New England in at least three stages. In late 1630 or early 1631 John Winthrop Jr. noted receipt of £7 5s from “Goody Hammond to send her husband” (WP 3:6). This supports the conclusion that William Hammond was a passenger on the Lyon when it sailed from Bristol in late 1631.On 26 Sept 1633 Governor John Winthrop wrote to Sir Simonds D’Ewes, informing him that “Yours by young Hamond I received,” indicating that William Hammond Jr. probably sailed for New England in one of the ships that arrived in the fall of 1633 (WP 3:139). His sister Anne and brother Thomas may also have some at this time, for they are not included a year later in the passenger list of the Francis, which sailed from Ipswich in the spring of 1634 with Elizabeth Hammond (aged 47), Elizabeth Hammond (aged 15), Sarah Hammond (aged 10) and John Hammond (age 7) on board (Hotten 279).”
1.c. Onge, page 1362: “In the 1643/4 land inventories, Simon Onge held three lots, none of which were granted to him (WaBOP 65, 146). On 20 February 1646/7 Simon Onge of Watertown sold to Jonas Eaton his house and ground in Watertown (SLR 1:81). Simon Onge died intestate in Cambridge Village (Newton) late in 1678, and administration was granted on 21 December 1678 to “Jacob Ong…his brother” (Middlesex Court Records 3:271).”
1.d. Onge, page 1362: “The existence of Jacob Onge, brother of Simon, creates a problem. There do not appear to be any gaps in the list of children baptized to Edmund and Frances in Lavenham (unless there was a child baptized in another parish between the marriage in 1602 and the baptism of Mary in 1605/6, and Frances was already 45 when Moses was baptized in 1628. It is possible that Frances was pregnant when Edmond died in 1630, and Jacob was born late in 1630 or early 1631, perhaps even on the voyage to New England. Another possibility would be that the John baptized in 1624 should really be Jacob.”
- Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871. New England Historic Genealogical Society online database, 2014. From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives, Boston, MA, USA; Case No. 16233, Simon Ong, 1678. Note: During the research of the court cases – Fuller vs Onge and our quest to find out more about Simon Onge, we reviewed these Probate Court records and discovered the 14 Dec. 1678 letter written by John Fuller to the Probate Court, hidden amongst the probate papers. The letter was first published on this website 14 Sept. 2017, where it remains today.
- The Probate Court Judge added a note to the bottom of the inventory document that on Dec 17, 1678 the role of Administrator was granted to Jacob Ong and that Jacob had attested the inventory on oath.
- The document describing the Probate Court proceedings at Charlestown, Massachusetts on December 17th 1678 wherein the Court named Jacob Ong, administrator of the Simon Ong Estate, was not part of the Probate Court papers; but was discovered in the Middlesex County Court File Papers (Folio Collection), Folios 82-112, Years 1678-1685 by a NEHGS research team in 2014, along with several trial documents; NEHGS Project M042814D.
- Ernest Frederick Fuller, descendant of John Fuller of Newton, John Jr. Line, family researcher, resident of Massachusetts and Florida, USA. E.F. Fuller noted that one of the witnesses to the James Fuller Will of 1618, was Edmond Onge, father of Simon Onge.