Rhode Island Presidents & Governors


"The State originally consisted of four towns: Providence settled in 1636. Portsmouth in 1638. Newport in 1639, and Warwick in 1642. The Executive heads of Portsmouth and Newport were entitled Judges until 164 then those two towns united, and the chief officer thereafter was called Governor. Providence and Warwick had no executive head until 1647."

"In 1651 a separation occurred between the Towns of Providence and Warwick* on the one side which continued the Government established under the charter [and thus had Presidents*] and Newport and Portsmouth** on the other under a new Government under the Coddington Commission [which first had Coddington as Governor** and then Presidents**]." Starting with the Royal Charter of 1663 the executives were all called Governor. In the list below a [P] means President. [From: Rhode Island Governors for Three Hundred Years, State of Rhode Island Graves Registration Committee, 1954.] Detailed statistics are listed below the charts. Links in the charts go to pictures of the graves.

Rhode Island Presidents and Governors Before 1842
1647 John Coggeshall [P] 
1648 Jeremiah Clarke [P] 
1649 John Smith [P] 
1650 Nicholas Easton [P] 
1651 Samuel Gorton [P]* 
1652 John Smith [P]* 
1653 Gregory Dexter [P]* 
1651 William Coddington ** 
1653 John Sanford [P]** 
1654 Nicholas Eaton [P]** 
1654 Roger Williams [P]** 
1657 Benedict Arnold [P]** 
1660 William Brenton [P]** 
1662 Benedict Arnold [P]** 
1663 Benedict Arnold 
1666 William Brenton 
1669 Benedict Arnold 
1672 Nicholas Easton 
1674 William Coddington 
1676 Walter Clarke 
1677 Benedict Arnold 
1679 John Cranston
1680 Peleg Sanford 
1683 William Coddington 
1685 Henry Bull 
1686 Walter Clarke 
1686 The Charter superseded by Sir Edmund Andros, but restored  
1689 Henry Bull 
1690 John Easton 
1695 Caleb Carr
1696 Walter Clarke 
1698 Samuel Cranston
1727 Joseph Jenckes 
1732 William Wanton 
1734 John Wanton 
1741 Richard Ward 
1743 William Greene 
1745 Gideon Wanton 
1745 William Green 
1747 Gideon Wanton 
1748 William Greene 
1755 Stephen Hopkins 
1757 William Greene 
1758 Stephen Hopkins 
1762 Samuel Ward 
1763 Stephen Hopkins 
1765 Samuel Ward
1767 Stephen Hopkins 
1768 Josias Lyndon
1769 Joseph Wanton 
1775 Nicholas Cooke
1778 William Greene 
1786 John Collins 
1789 Arthur Fenner 
1805 Henry Smith, Acting Gov. 
1806 Isaac Wilbour, Lieut. Gov. 
1807 James Fenner 
1811 William Jones 
1817 Nehemiah R. Knight 
1821 William C. Gibbs 
1824 James Fenner 
1831 Lemuel H. Arnold 
1833 John Brown Francis
1838 William Sprague 
1839 Saml. W. King, Act. Gov. 
1840 Samuel Ward King
Rhode Island Governors Under the Constitution of 1842
From the Rhode Island Manual, 1981-1982
1843 James Fenner 
1845 Charles Jackson 
1846 Byron Diman 
1847 Elisha Harris
1849 Henry B. Anthony 
1851 Philip Allen 
1853 Francis M. Dimond, Act. Gov
1854 & 1856 William W. Hoppin 
1857 Elisha Dyer, Sr. 
1859 Thomas G. Turner
1860 William Sprague, 2nd 
1863 William C. Cozznes 
1863 James Y. Smith 
1866 Ambrose E. Burnside 
1869 Seth Padelford 
1873 Henry Howard
1875 Henry Lippitt 
1877 Charles C. Van Zant 
1880 Alfred H. Littlefield 
1883 Augustus O. Bourn 
1885 George P. Wetmore 
1887 John W. Davis 
1888 Royal C. Taft 
1889 Herbert W. Ladd 
1890 John W. Davis 
1891 Herbert W. Ladd 
1892 D. Russell Brown 
1895 Charles W. Lippitt 
1897 Elisha Dyer, Jr.
1900 William Gregory 
1901 Charles D. Kimball 
1903 Lucius F. C. Garvin 
1905 Geroge H. Utter 
1907 James H. Higgins 
1909 Aram J. Pothier
1915 R. L. Beeckman 
1921 Emery J. San Souci 
1923 William S. Flynn 
1925 Aram J. Pothier
1928 Norman S. Case 
1933 Theodore F. Green 
1937 Robert E. Quinn 
1939 William H. Vanderbilt 
1941 J. Howard McGrath 
1945 John O. Pastore 
1950 John S. McKiernan 
1951 Dennis J. Roberts 
1959 Christopher Del Sesto 
1961 John A. Notte, Jr. 
1963 John H. Chafee 
1969 Frank Licht 
1973 Philip W. Noel 
1977 J. Joseph Garrahy 
1985 Edward D. DiPrete 
1989 Bruce Sundlun

From Ralph Mohr book on 350 years of RI Governors. For additional information see the Political Graveyard web site, or the biographies linked below.
 

Christopher Del Sesto (1958 - 1960), born March 10, 1907 in Providence

Dennis Joseph Roberts (1951 - 1958), born April 8, 1903 in Providence

John Sammon McKiernan (Dec. 19, 1950-Jan. 2, 1951), b. Oct. 15, 1911, Prov.

John O. [Orlando] Pastore (Oct. 6, 1945 - Dec. 10, 1950), b. March 17, 1907, Providence

James Howard McGrath (1941 - Oct. 6, 1945), b. Nov. 28, 1903 in Woonsocket

William Henry Vanderbilt (1939 - 1941), b. Nov. 24, 1901, New York City

Robert Emmet Quinn (1937 - 1939), b. April 2, 1894, in Phenix, RI

Theodore Francis Green (1933-1937), b. Oct. 2, 1867, in Providence

Norman Stanley Case (Feb. 4, 1928 -1933), b. Oct. 11, 1888 in Providence; buried in Swan Point Cemetery

Emery J. San Souci (1921 - 1923), b. July 24, 1857 in Saco, Me, d. Aug. 10, 1936 in Providence; buried in Mt. St. Benedict Cemetery, Hartford, CT


** link to biographical sketch & photo: http://www.rootsweb.com/~rigenweb/articles/140.html

Robert Livingston Beeckman (1915 - 1921), b. April 15, 1866, NYC, NY, d. Jan. 21, 1935 in Montecito, CA, buried in Tarrytown, NY, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

  ** link to biographical sketch & photo: http://www.rootsweb.com/~rigenweb/articles/112.html

Aram Jules Pothier (1909 - 1915, 1925 - Feb. 4, 1928), b. July 26, 1854 Province of Quebec, d. Feb. 3, 1928, Woonsocket, buried Precious Blood Cemetery, Blackstone.

 ** link to biographical sketch: http://www.rootsweb.com/~rigenweb/articles/194.html

James Henry Higgins (1907 - 1909), b. Jan. 22, 1876, d. Sept. 16, 1927, buried Mt. St. Mary's Cemetery, Pawtucket

George Herbert Utter (1905 - 1907), b. July 24, 1854 in Plainfield, NJ, d. Nov. 3, 1912 Westerly, RI, buried River Bend Cemetery, Westerly. ** link to biographical sketch & photo: http://www.rootsweb.com/~rigenweb/articles/114.html

Lucius Fayette Clark Garvin (1903 - 1905), b. Nov. 13, 1841, Knoxville, TN, d. Oct. 2, 1922, Lonsdale, Cumberland, RI, buried Swan Point, Lot 41, Group 394, Catalpa Ave. ** link to biographical sketch: http://www.rootsweb.com/~rigenweb/article102.html

Charles Dean Kimball (Dec. 16, 1901 - 1903), b. Sept. 13, 1859 in Providence, d. Dec. 8, 1930 in Providence, buried Swan Point, Lot No. 11, Group 394, Catalpa Ave. http://www.rootsweb.com/~rigenweb/articles/215.html

William Gregory (1900 - Dec. 16, 1901), b. Aug. 3, 1849 in Astoria, NY, d. Dec. 16, 1901 in Wickford, RI, buried Elmgrove Cemetery.


Elisha Dyer, III (1897 - 1900), b. Nov. 28, 1839 in Providence, d. Nov. 29, 1906 in Providence, buried Swan Point, Lot 1, Group 196, Beach Ave.

Charles Warren Lippitt (1895 - 1897), b. Oct. 8, 1846 in Providence, d. April 4, 1924 in Harmon-in-Hudson, NY, buried Swan Point, Lot 1, Group 260, River Ave.

Daniel Russell Brown (1892 - 1895), b. March 28, 1848 in Bolton, CT, d. Feb. 28, 1919 in Providence, buried Swan Point, Lot 4, Group 397, Catalpa Ave.

Herbert Warren Ladd, (1889 - 1890, 1891 - 1892), b. Oct. 15, 1843, New Bedford, MA, d. Nov. 29, 1913, Providence.  Buried Swan Point, Lot 3, Group 77, Forest Ave. ** link to biographical sketch: http://www.rootsweb.com/~rigenweb/article37.html

Royal Chapin Taft (1888 - 1889), b. Feb. 14, 1823, Northbridge, MA, died June 4, 912, Providence.  buried Swan Point, Lot 2, Group 87, Laurel Way. ** link to biographical sketch: http://www.rootsweb.com/~rigenweb/article39.html

John William Davis (1887 - 1888, 1890 - 1891), b. March 7, 1826, Rehoboth, MA, d. Jan. 25, 1907, Pawtucket.  Buried Riverside Cemetery, Pawtucket.

George Peabody Wetmore  (1885 - 1887), b. Aug. 2, 1846, London, England, died Sept. 11, 1921, Boston.  Buried Island Cemetery, Newport.

Augustus Osborn Bourn (1883 - 1885), b. Oct. 1, 1834 in Providence, died Jan. 28, 1925 in Bristol, RI, buried Sawn Point, East 2/3 of Lot 2, Group 176, Forest Ave. ** link to biographical sketch: http://www.rootsweb.com/~rigenweb/articles/130.html

Alfred Henry Littlefield (1880 - 1883), b. April 2, 1829, Scituate, RI, died Dec. 21, 1893, Central Falls, RI.  buried Swan Point, Lot 4, Group 287, Spruce Ave. ** link to biographical sketch: http://www.rootsweb.com/~rigenweb/article104.html


Charles Collins Van Zandt (1877 - 1880) b. Aug. 10, 1830 in Newport, RI d. June 4, 1894 in Brookline, MA. buried:  Island Cemetery, Newport (NT001)

Henry Lippitt (1875 - 1877) b. Oct. 9, 1818 in Providence, RI d. June 5, 1891 in Providence, RI buried:  Swan Point, Group S, South Ave & Ridge Way  (PV003) ** bio sketch: http://www.rootsweb.com/~rigenweb/article37.html

Henry Howard (1873 - 1875) b. April 2, 1826, in Cranston, RI d. Sept. 22, 1905, Harris, RI buried: Greenwood Cemetery, Phenix, RI  (CY059)

Hon. Seth Padelford (1869 - 1873) b. Oct. 3, 1807 in Taunton, MA d. Aug. 26, 1878 in Providence, RI buried: Swan Point, Lot 1, Central Group, River Ave.  (PV003)

Ambrose Everett Burnside (1866 - 1869) b. May 23, 1824, in Liberty, Indiana d. Sept. 13, 1881, in Bristol, RI buried:  Swan Point, Lot 3, Group 286, Spruce Ave.  (PV003)

James Young Smith (1863 - 1866) b. Sept. 15, 1809, Poquonoc Village, Groton, CT d. March 26, 1876 in Providence, RI buried: Swan Point, Lot 59, East half of Group 59, Forest Ave. (PV003)

William Cole Cozzens (March 3, 1863 - May, 1863) b. Aug. 26, 1811 in Newport, RI d. Dec. 17, 1876 in Newport, RI buried: Island Cemetery, Newport (NT001)

William Sprague, 2nd. (1860 - March 3, 1863) b. Sept. 12, 1830 in Cranston, RI d. Sept. 11, 1915 in Paris, France buried: Swan Point, Group 273 1/2 Avenue B  (PV003)


William Goodwin Turner (1859 - 1860) b. Oct. 24, 1810, in Warren, RI d. Jan. 3, 1875,  in Warren, RI buried:  South Cemetery, Warren, RI (WR011)

Elisha Dyer (1857 - 1859) b. July 20, 1811, in Providence, RI d. May 17, 1890 in Providence, RI buried: Swan Point, Lot 1, Group 196, Beach Ave. (PV003)

William Warner Hoppin (1854 - 1857) b. Sept. 1, 1807 in Providence, RI d. April 18, 1880 in Providence, RI buried: Swan Point, Lot 4A, Group 192, Beach Ave.  (PV003)

Francis Moore Dimond (July 20, 1853 - 1854, acting governor) b. June 6, 1796 in Bristol, RI d. 1858 in Bristol, RI buried: Juniper Hill Cemetery, Bristol (BR002)

Philip Allen (1851 - 1853) b. Sept. 1, 1785 in Providence, RI d. Dec. 16, 1865 in Providence, RI buried: North Burial Ground, Providence  (PV001)

Henry Bowen Anthony (1849 - 1851) b. April 1, 1815 in Coventry, RI d. Sept. 2, 1884 in Providence, RI buried: Swan Point, Lot 5, Group 311, near Magnolia Ave.  (PV003)

Elisha Harris (1847 - 1849) b. Sept. 8, 1791, in Cranston, RI d. Feb. 1, 1861 in Harris, RI buried: Greenwood Cemetery, Phenix, RI  (CY059)

Byron Diman (1846 - 1847) b. Aug. 5, 1795 in Bristol, RI d. Aug. 1, 1865 in Bristol, RI buried: Juniper Hill Cemetery, Bristol, RI  (BR002)

Charles Jackson (1845 - 1846) b. March 4, 1797 in Providence, RI d. Jan. 21, 1876 in Providence, RI buried: North Burial Ground, north side of Lindon Ave., 70' west of Eastern Ave. (PV001)

Thomas Wilson Dorr (April 18, 1842 - June 28, 1842, unrecognized) b. Nov. 5, 1805 in Providence, RI d. Dec. 27, 1854 in Providence, RI buried: Swan Point, Lot 2, Group 215, Beach Ave.  (PV003)

Samuel Ward King (1840 - 1843) b. May 22, 1786 in Johnston, RI d. Jan. 20, 1851 in Providence, RI buried: family lot, Hartford Ave., Johnston, 1/4 mile west of Providence line (JN021)


William Sprague (1838 - 1839) b. Nov. 3, 1799 in Cranston, RI d. Oct. 19, 1856 in Providence, RI buried: Swan Point, Byron Sprague lot, Group 163, Prospect Ave. (PV003)

John Brown Francis (1833 - 1838) b. May 31, 1791 in Philadelphia, PA d. Aug. 9, 1864 in Spring Green, Warwick, RI buried: North Burial Ground, west side Eastern Ave.  (PV001)

Lemuel Hastings Arnold (1831 - 1833) b. Jan. 29, 1792 in St. Johnbury, VT d. June 27, 1852 in Kingston, RI buried: Swan Point, Evergreen Path, Lot 168, Group 204, First Congregationalist Society Ground (PV003)

William Channing Gibbs (May 1821 - May, 1824) b. Feb. 10, 1790 in Newport, RI d. Feb. 24, 1871 in Newport, RI buried: Island Cemetery, Newport (NT001)

Nehemiah Rice Knight (May, 1817 - Jan. 9, 1821) b. Dec. 31, 1780 in Cranston, RI d. April 20, 1854 in Providence, RI buried: Grace Church Cemetery, Providence (PV005)

William Jones (May, 1811 - May, 1817) b. Oct. 8, 1753 in Newport, RI d. Apr. 22, 1822 in Providence, RI buried: Swan Point, Lot 7, Group 204, Beach Ave. (PV003)

James Fenner (May 1807 - 1811, 1824 - 1831, 1843 - 1845) b. Jan. 22, 1771 in Providence, RI d. April 17, 1846 in Providence, RI buried: North Burial Ground, west side, Ridge ave., 70' south of junction Chapel Ave. (PV001)

Isaac Wilbour (acting governor 1806 - 1807) b. April 25, 1763 in Little Compton, RI d. Oct. 4, 1837 in Little Compton, RI buried: Wilbour Cemetery, West Main Road, Little Compton, RI  (LC010)


Arthur Fenner (May, 1790 - Oct. 15, 1805) b. Dec. 10, 1745 in Providence, RI d. Oct. 15, 1805 in Providence, RI buried: North Burial Ground, west side, Ridge ave., 70' south of junction Chapel Ave. (PV001)

John Collins (May, 1786 - 1790) b. June 8, 1717 in Newport, RI d. March 8, 1795 in Newport, RI buried: Family Lot, Castle Hill Neck, Newport, RI (NT018)

William Greene, Jr. (May, 1778 - May, 1786) b. Aug. 16, 1731 in Warwick, RI d. Nov. 29, 1809 in Warwick, RI buried: Greene-Roelker Cemetery, Warwick, RI  (WK040)

Nicholas Cooke (Nov., 1775 - May, 1778) b. Feb. 3, 1717 in Providence, RI d. Sept. 14, 1782 in Providence, RI buried: North Burial Ground, corner Prospect & Main ave. (PV001)

Joseph Wanton (May, 1769 - Nov. 7, 1775, deposed) b. Aug. 15, 1705 in Newport, RI d. July 19, 1780 in Newport, RI buried: Golden Hill Cemetery, Newport (NT014)

Josias Lyndon (May, 1768 - May, 1769) b. March 10, 1704 in Newport, RI d. March 30, 1778, in Warren, RI buried: Old Kickemuit Cemetery, Warren, RI, Serpentine Rd., 0.8 miles from Child St. (WR003)

Samuel Ward (May, 1762 - May, 1763; May, 1765 - May, 1767) b. May 27, 1725 in Newport, RI d. March 26, 1776 in Philadelphia, PA buried: Common Ground Cemetery, Newport  (NT003) reinterred from First Baptist Church, Philadelphia, PA in March 1860.

Stephen Hopkins (May, 1754 - May, 1757; March 14, 1758 - May, 1762; May, 1763 - May, 1765; May, 1767 - May, 1768) b. March 7, 1707 in Providence, RI (now Scituate, RI) d. July 13, 1785 in Providence, RI buried: North Burial Ground, east side Elm Ave., opp. Hopkins Ave. (PV001)


Gideon Wanton (May, 1745 - May, 1746; May, 1747 - May, 1748) b. Oct. 20, 1693 in Taunton, MA d. Sept. 12, 1767 in Newport, RI buried: Friends Burial Ground, Newport, between White & Fiske sts. (NT008)

William Greene (May, 1743 - May, 1745; May, 1746 - May, 1747;  May, 1748 - may, 1755; May, 1757 - Feb. 22, 1758) b. March 16, 1695 in Warwick, RI d. Jan. 23, 1758 in Warwick, RI buried: Greene-Roelker Cemetery, Warwick, RI  (WK040)

Richard Ward (July 15, 1740 - May, 1743) b. April 15, 1689 in Newport, RI d. Aug. 21, 1763 in Newport, RI buried: Common Ground Cemetery, Newport, RI  (NT003)

John Wanton (May, 1734 - July 5, 1740) b. Dec. 24, 1672 in Scituate, MA d. July 5, 1740 in Newport, RI buried: Coddington Cemetery, Newport, RI (NT009)

William Wanton (May, 1732 - Dec., 1733) b. Sept. 15, 1670 in Scituate, MA d. Dec., 1733 in Newport, RI buried: Golden Hill Cemetery, Newport, RI (NT014)

Joseph Jenckes (May, 1727 - May, 1732) b. 1656 in Pawtucket, RI, formerly Providence, RI d. June 15, 1740 in Providence, RI buried: Mineral Spring Cemetery, Pawtucket  (PW001) the original headstone is in the possession of RIHS

Samuel Cranston (March, 1698 to April 26, 1727) b. Aug. 1659 in Newport, RI d. April 26, 1727, in Newport, RI buried: Common Ground Cemetery, Newport, RI  (NT003)

Caleb Carr (May, 1695 - Dec. 17, 1695) b. 1623 in Great Britain d. Dec. 17, 1695 in Jamestown, RI buried: Family lot, Jamestown, moved from original family lot on Mill Street, Newport, about 1900 (NT027)

John Easton (May, 1690 - May, 1695) b. c. 1617 in Wales, Great Britain d. Dec. 12, 1705 in Newport, RI buried: Coddington Cemetery, Newport, RI (NT009)

Henry Bull (May, 1685 - May, 1686; Feb. 27 to May 7, 1690) b. 1608 in South Wales, Great Britain d. Jan. 22, 1693 in Newport, RI buried: Coddington Cemetery, Newport, RI  (NT009)

William Coddington, Jr. (May, 1683 - May, 1685) b. Jan. 18, 1651 in Newport, RI d. Feb. 4, 1688 in Newport, RI buried: Coddington Cemetery, Newport, RI (NT009)


Peleg Sanford (March 16, 1680 - May, 1683) b. May 10, 1639 in Portsmouth, RI d. about 1700/1701 in Newport, RI buried: "probably somewhere on his Portsmouth farm"

John Cranston (Nov. 8, 1678 - March 12, 1680) b. 1625 in Great Britain d. March 12, 1680 in Newport, RI buried: Common Burial Ground, Newport, RI (NT003)

Walter Clarke (1676 - 1677; May, 1686 - June 29, 1686; 1696 - 1698) b. 1640 in Newport, RI d. May 22, 1714 in Newport, RI buried: Gold Hill Cemetery, Newport, RI  (NT014)

Nicholas Easton (President & Governor, 1650 - 1651; 1654; 1672 - 1674) b. 1593 Lymington, Herts Co., England d. Aug. 15, 1675 in Newport, RI buried: Coddington Cemetery, Newport, RI  (NT009)

William Brenton (1660 - 1662; 1666 - 1669) b. c. 1600 Hammersmith, Middlesex Co., England d. 1674 in Newport, RI buried: Fort Adams, Newport, RI (NT017)

Benedict Arnold (1663 - 1666; 1669 - 1672; 1677 - 1678) b. Dec. 21, 1615 Leamington, England d. June 20, 1678 in Newport, RI buried: Arnold Cemetery, Newport, RI  (NT011)

John Sanford (1653 - 1654) b. c. 1600 in Alford in Lincolnshire, England d. 1653 in Portsmouth, RI buried: "probably somewhere on his Portsmouth farm"

Gregory Dexter (May, 1653 - May, 1654) b. 1610 in Olney, Northampton, England d. Feb. 23, 1669 in Providence (1700?) buried North Burial Ground, Providence, RI  (PV001)


Samuel Gorton (1651 - 1652) b. Feb. 12, 1592 in Gorton, England d. between Nov. 27 and Dec. 9, 1677 in Warwick, RI buried: Warwick, 300' rear of his former home, Rocky Point Road (WK067) [The Family History and Story of Samuel Gorton - http://www.rootsweb.com/~rigenweb/article20.html]

John Smith (1649 - 1650; 1652 - 1653) b. 1602 in England d. July, 1663, in Warwick, RI buried: in Warwick, opposite 1948 West Shore Road (WK028)

Jeremy Clarke (May, 1648 - May, 1649) b. Dec. 1, 1605 in England d. Nov. 1651 in Newport, RI buried: next to his son Walter Clarke, Gold Hill Cemetery, Newport, RI  (NT014)

John Coggeshall (May, 1647 - May, 1648) b. Dec. 9, 1599 in Halstead, Essex Co., England d. Nov. 27, 1647 in Newport, RI buried: Coggeshall Cemetery, Newport, RI

Roger Williams (Chief Officer & President, 1645 - 1647, 1654 - May, 1657) b. c. 1599 in Wales, Great Britain d. between jan. 16 and April, 1683 in Providence, RI buried: Providence, under Roger Williams Monument, Prospect St.

William Hutchinson (1639 - 1640) b. Aug. 14, 1586 (baptised) Alford, Lincolnshire, England d. 1642 in Portsmouth, RI buried: "probably somewhere on his Portsmouth farm"

William Coddington, Sr. (1638 - 1639-1640; 1640 - 1647;  1651 - 1653; 1674 - 1676; 1678) b. 1601 Lincolnshire, England d. Nov. 1, 1678 in Newport, RI buried:  Coddington Cemetery, Newport, RI  (NT009)

Sir Edmund Andros (1686 - 1689) b. Dec. 6, 1637 London, England d. Feb., 1714 in London, England buried: St. Anne's, Soho, London, England

Charles Stuart (May 29, 1660 - Feb. 6, 1685) b. May 29, 1630 London, England d. Feb. 6, 1685 London, England buried: Westminster Abbey, London, England




From Tercentenary of New England Families, 1620 - 1920, American Historical Society, 1919. p. 215 - 216.

The surname Carr, though common in England and Ireland as well as in America is distinctively Scotch in origin.  The earliest record of the name is in the Domesday Book, complied in the eleventh century. William Karre, who accompanied William the Conqueror into England, became the founder of the earliest families of Carr and Kerr, in England and Scotland.  The posterity of this Norman ancestor settled in the North of England on the borderlands between England and Scotland; at a later date many went to the North of Ireland.  In England the Norman-French Karre became Carr, just as Knut became Canute.  In Scotland the surname has remained Karr, Kerr and Ker. The names of four of the family appear on the Ragman's Roll, a list of the Scotch baronets who swore fealty to Edward I. at Berwick in 1291 and a few years later.  They were:  Andrew del Ker, of Stirlingshire; Henry Ker, of Edinburghshire; Nicholas Kerre, of Peebleshire, and William Ker, of Ayrshire.  The Kerrs appear among the East Border clans in 1547; in the Middle Marches in 1587; in Berwick in 1590; in Roxburgh and Lauderdale in 1597.  The family has been represented from time immemorial in Berwickshire, Roxburghshire, Edinburghshire, Wigtonshire, Ayrshire, all tracing authentic pedigrees from the beginning of the fourteenth century A. D.  The Kerrs and Carrs possess, or at different times have held, the Dukedom of Roxburgh; the Marquisats of Beumont, Cessford, Lothian, and Roxburgh; the Viscountcy of Boxmouth; the Lordships of Caverton, Ker, and New Battle.  Many have been members of the Scotch Parliament. The surname signifies 'stout', accounding to Hanna.

The pioneers to America from Scotland, England, and Ireland during the colonizing period of our history were numerous.  The first of the name to come to the shore of New Enlgand was George Carr, who with his wife Lucinda was a passenger on the 'Mayflower'.  At a later date came Caleb Carr, founder of the most notable branch of the family in America, a figure of note in the early affairs of the Rhode Island Colony, of which he was president in 1695.

(I)  CALEB CARR, immigrant ancestor and progenitor, was born in London, England, December 9, 1616, the son of Benjamin and Martha (Hardington) Carr; he embarked in the ship 'Elizabeth and Ann', at London, in 1635, coming to America with his older brother, Robert Carr, in whose family he remained until he reached his majority.  At an early age he became active in public affairs in Newport, and in 1654-1658-59-60-61-62 he served the Colony as general treasurer.  On January 30, 1671, he was allowed L4 for services done by him.  On April 11, 1676, he was appointed one of the commissioners 'to take care and order the several watches and wards of this island, and appoint the places.'  This year he bought the services of an Indian captive (taken by Providence men).  In 1679-80-81-82-83-84-85-86-90-91 he was assistant for Newport.  In 1687-88 he was chosen justice of the General Quarter Session and Inferior Court of Common Pleas.  In May, 1695, he was elected governor to succeed Governor John Easton, who had been in office for the five preceding years.  Up to this period, for most of the time, public service had been rendered gratuitously by civil officers.  It was now enacted that the governor should have ten pounds a year, the deputy governor six pounds, and the assistants four pounds each.  Governor Carr did not live long enough to reap much reward for the discharge of his duties as chief magistrate.  He died in Newport, December 17, 1695, the fourth governor who died while in office.  He was buried in a small family burying ground on the north side of Mill street [moved to Jamestown], between Thomas and Spring streets, Newport. Caleb Carr married (first) Mercy ----; (second) Sarah Pinner, daughter of Jeremiah and Frances (Latham) Clarke, and widow of John Pinner; she was born in 1651, and died about 1706.

(II) EDWARD CARR, son of Governor Caleb and Mercy Carr, was born in Rhode Island, in June, 1667.  In 1698 he was made a freeman, and thenceforward until his death took a prominent part in official life.  In 1669 he was deputy to the General Assembly from Jamestown.  He filled the office again in 1702-03-05-06-07-09, serving at the same time as clerk of the Assembly. From 1701 to 1707 he served as member of a committee appointed to audit the accounts of the colony.  Edward Carr was a resident of Jamestown, and was a large landowner there.  On October 6, 1686, he married Hannah Stanton, who was born November 7, 1670, and died in 1712.  She was the daughter of John and Mary (Harndel) Stanton, and granddaughter of Robert Stanton, founder of the family in Rhode Island.

(III)  SARAH CARR, daughter of Edward and Hannah (Stanton) Carr, was born in Jamestown, Rhode Island, December 28, 1708.  On October 12, 1732, she married Resolved (2) Waterman, son of Captain John and Anne (Olney) Waterman.


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