There is a lot of unsubstantiated information printed about a James Babcock (Badcock at the time) arriving North America in 1623. Careful research shows he probably arrived between 1630 and 1640 and he is well documented from 1642 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. James (1612-1679) and his wife Sarah (1616-1665) had 4 children (James, John, Job and Mary) in the 1640’s. Their second child seems to be the only one with more than 2 generations of descendants named Babcock so John (1644-1684) is the American-born progenitor of the vast majority of the American Babcocks. He married Mary Lawton and the Babcock tree branches significantly from them:
Stephen BABCOCK (author of the Babcock Genealogy), A. Emerson BABCOCK of Brighton, NY, Addie ROPER of Wittenberg, WI, Havilah Babcock (co-founder of Kimberly-Clark), Stephen Moulton BABCOCK (inventor of the Babcock Milk Test), John B BABCOCK (Medal of Honor recipient) and Craig RICE descend from James, their first child; Elisha BABCOCK (Coronado Hotel, San Diego) descends from John, their fourth child; William J BABCOCK (another Medal of Honor recipient) descends from Job, their fifth child; The BABCOCKs of Northport descend from George, their sixth child; and George Herman BABCOCK (co-founder of Babcock and Wilcox) descends from Col. Oliver BABCOCK, their tenth child.
Stephen Babcock, author of the Babcock Genealogy
Stephen Babcock is the author/compiler of the Babcock Genealogy published 1903 in New York by Eaton & Mains. He was totally blind by the age of 19 from an injury received at the age of 16. In 1853 he entered the New York School for the blind and became a teacher there two years later. He helped create raised dissected maps that became a standard at schools for the blind. He was a long time member, Trustee, and Treasurer of the First S. D. B. Church of New York City. He was the fifth cousin of Jehu Babcock.
The next few paragraphs from his book highlight the Ship Anne story, opinions refuting it as a myth, and information about various Babcock lines descended from John (1644-1684) and his wife Mary Lawton (1644-1711).
From A Catalogue of the Names of the First Puritan Settlers
of the Colony of Connecticut by R. R. Hinman
“James Babcock was born in Essex, England, in 1580. In 1620 he moved to Leyden, in Holland, and remained there nearly three years, and being a strict Puritan in his faith, he removed from Holland to Plymouth in 1623, and arrived in July of that year. He came to this country in the ship Anne. He had four children born in England who came with him, viz. James, John, Job and Mary. He lost his wife by death, and married a second wife in 1650. He soon had a son–he named him Joseph; this son, between 1670 and ’80, emigrated to Connecticut, and settled in the vicinity of Saybrook, and was the ancestor, in this State, of the family at Hartford, New Haven and other parts of Connecticut.”
From the Babcock Genealogy
by Stephen Babcock
“A myth often repeated and published by writers, who probably believed it true, states that James came to this country in the ship Anne, etc.”
From Hinman and Wells Babcock Records
by Col. Andrew J. Babcock
“In 1881 I first saw their writings, and with many others believed them implicitly, but after the most diligent and careful research I am convinced there is but little truth in the writings of either Hinman or Wells concerning the Babcock family…. We are of the opinion [James] came between the years 1630 and 1640.”
A. Emerson Babcock of Brighton, NY
A. Emerson Babcock was to have a volume included in the Babcock Genealogy by Stephen Babcock published in 1903 but his volume, Isaiah Babcock Sr., and His Descendants, was published under separate cover that year. In his letter to Addie Roper dated 11 May 1902 he enclosed a brief history of Isaiah Babcock and claimed to be the only person alive to have “a full and correct history of him”. In his subsequent letter to Addie”, he acknowledges genealogy records Addie has sent him, refutes one of the records, and asks for more data. A. Emerson Babcock was the seventh cousin of Robert A Babcock. In his book, A. Emerson Babcock credited Adelaide Roper as a major contributor.
Addie Roper of Wittenberg, WI
Addie Roper was born in 1843 as Louis Adelaide Babcock. She was the family historian and prepared their Genealogy of the Babcocks. In it, she refers to herself as still unmarried, dating it to 1885 or earlier. The Babcock Family Record that Addie maintained shows that her sister Melissa died in 1882. The 1900 Census of Wittenberg, WI, shows Josiah Roper (Melissa’s widower) and Addie were married about 1885. Children of Josiah and Melissa Roper included Gertrude who married a Mark Cottrell. Their youngest was Emerson Cottrell. Emerson Cottrell of that Babcock line married Anna Rettig in about 1928 and her brother John Rettig married Gladys Babcock of our line in 1929. Addie’s “Babcock Family Record” was updated as recently as 1915.
Before 1902, Addie Roper was only able to trace her lineage back as far as Isaiah Babcock but in that year she corresponded with A. Emerson Babcock of Brighton, NY. According to the letters she received from him she apparently enclosed the “Genealogy of the Babcocks” in her correspondence to him. As a result of their collaboration she contributed to A. Emerson BABCOCK’s book and she was able to accurately identify her ancestral line back to James BABCOCK born 1612. Addie was the second cousin twice removed of A Emerson Babcock and the fifth cousin of Jehu Babcock. Lyman and Lavina Babcock and others of the family are buried in a cemetery near Wittenberg, WI.