By Noel C Stevenson
John Walker is a descendant of one of the early comers to New England, namely Robert Walker of Boston. In the Essex County, Massachusetts Court Records is an original of a deposition made by one Robert Walker. Circumstantial evidence indicates that the Robert Walker who made this deposition is one and the same Robert Walker from whom our ancestor John descends. This deposition discloses that Robert Walker was born c. 1607, inasmuch as he was 72 in 1679 and he was probably born in Manchester, England. That being the case, our Robert Walker is probably son of Thomas Walker of Higher Ardwick in the Parish of Manchester, and Margaret (Bardsley) Walker. At least, several genealogists have assigned him those parents. Although the fact is, there is not sufficient evidence to definitely prove that Robert is the son of Thomas and Margaret and for that reason we will commence the ancestry of John Walker with Robert Walker, from whom we can prove he descended.
1. ROBERT Walker, born c 1607, emigrated from Manchester, Lancashire, England, and settled in Boston, Massachusetts by 1631. He joined the Church in Boston in 1632, became a freeman on 14 May 1634, and was a founder of the Old South Church at Boston in 1669. He owned a house and garden bounded on the north by Boston Common. He died 29 May 1687 in Boston. An account is given of his death and burial in the Diary of Judge Samuel Sewall:
“May 29 (1687) Sabbath…Dame Walker desired me to pray with her husband, which I do…Robert Walker dies, about a quarter after twelve. He was a very good man and conversant among God’s New England people from the beginning…Tuesday, (May 31st, 1687) Goodm(an) Walker is buried, Capt. Eliot, Frary, Hill, Deacon Allen, Mr. Blake, Pain. Bearers: Mr. Saunderson and Goodm(an) Serch lead the Widow. Gov. Bradstreet, Mr. Cook, Mr. Addington, with the chief guests, were at our house. Burial over about four o’clock.”
Letters of Administration were granted to his widow, Sarah Walker, on 17th August 1687. Samuel Sewall was one of the sureties on her bond as administratrix.
Robert Walker married about 1635, probably at Boston, Sarah (Leager?). She was born about 1611 and died at Boston, 21 December 1695.