Mary Loker (1680-1767)
Mary Loker was born on 03 Aug 1680 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts as the third child of John Loker and Sarah Rice. She had three siblings, namely: Sarah, John, and Henry.
A couple years before she was born, Mary’s dad accepted “twenty pounds of money of New England, and also forty acres of land on the west side of the great river of Sudbury, in some place of the common land, that he, the said John Loker, shall choose, near to that called the World’s End” in exchange for giving up a house and land that the town of Sudbury wanted for their minister. So, it seems that Mary grew up at the World’s End in the northeast side of Sudbury.
When she was 22, she married Stephen Bacon, son of John Bacon and Rebecca Hall, on 06 Jan 1703/04 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
Stephen Bacon and Mary Loker had the following children:
- Sarah Bacon was born on 17 Sep 1704 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts. She married Theoder Rider on 18 May 1726 at Sherborn, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
- Mary Bacon was born on 20 Mar 1708 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts. She married Ebenezer Felch on 15 May 1728 in Massachusetts.
- Stephen Bacon was born on 11 Apr 1713 in Needham, Norfolk, Massachusetts. He died on 02 Jan 1780.
- Henry Bacon was born in Needham, Norfolk, Massachusetts. He married Mary Gay on 07 Nov 1744 in Wrentham, Norfolk, Massachusetts. He married Hannah Underwood on 05 Apr 1764 in Natick, Middlesex, Massachusetts. He died on 21 Jan 1803.
- John Bacon was born on 30 May 1721 in Needham, Norfolk, Massachusetts (Suffolk County). He married Abigail Sawin on 24 May 1744 in Natick, Middlesex, Massachusetts. He died on 19 Apr 1775 in Arlington, Middlesex, Massachusetts (Then called Menotomy).
When their uncle John Loker died in 1762, the Bacon children were remembered in his will. As was not uncommon in days of old, John called his sister’s children his cousins when he referred to them in his will. The boys were gifted land, on the condition that they pay sums of money to their sisters and female cousins (daughters of their aunt Sarah Loker Graves).
…I give to my cousins Hennery Bacon Stephen Bacon & John Bacon all my lands in Needham to be equally divided between them they paying to their sisters Sarah Rider & Mary Felch thirteen pounds, six shillings & eight pence lawfull money a peace in twelve months after my decease & also to pay my brother John Graves four daughters twenty one pounds, six shillings & eight pence lawfull money to be equally divided between them to be paid in twelve months after my decease…
Mary and Stephen Bacon started their married life in Sudbury, but then moved to Dedham, and finally settled in Needham, Massachusetts. Needham was incorporated in 1711, about the time the Bacon family arrived. So, again, Mary was living at the edge of civilization. The Bacon family lived on the west side of Needham, closer to Natick than Needham. They had to travel seven or so miles to get to church in Needham. Even when Natick got a pastor and there were meetings there, because of the town boundaries and rules dictating where people worshipped, the family had to travel to Needham for worship.
We can only generically imagine what Mary’s life was like. Colonial women were subservient to the men in their families and worked hard. Their duties included cooking over fires or in brick ovens and preparing the fires. Mary would have had to churn the butter and bake the bread. She would have had to make household supplies like candles and soap. She was likely cleaning constantly due to smoke and soot from the fireplaces that warmed the house and were used for cooking. Mary would have been responsible for emptying chamber pots, spinning, weaving, knitting, making clothes, as well as washing and ironing clothes. She would also have had the responsibility for taking care of her children. Lucky for her, she had two daughters who would have been expected to help her with her duties. Mary would also have been responsible for taking care of the animals. She likely fed the livestock, picked eggs, and milked the cows. She also would have been the primary person to take care of anyone who was sick, probably preparing home remedies. Like modern woman, she likely got great joy from raising her children and seeing grandchildren born. She would have attended church services, but she wouldn’t have been allowed to vote or hold any kind of public office, and, as a married woman, she couldn’t own her own real or personal property.
Mary and Stephen Bacon enjoyed a long marriage. They both lived to old age. Stephen Bacon died on 8 Feb 1766 at the age of 88. Mary Loker Bacon wasn’t a widow for long. She died on 18 Jun 1767 in Needham, Norfolk, Massachusetts at age 86.
Where is she in the tree?
Ancestry.com. The New England Historical & Genealogical Register, 1847-2011 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
“Colonial Women,” Land of the Brave, Web, 26 Jul 2017, https://www.landofthebrave.info/colonial-women.htm.
George Kuhn Clarke, History of Needham Massachusetts 1711-1911 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The University Press, 1912), Google Books, 26 Jul 2017, https://books.google.com/books?id=YDriJEQN4CwC.
“Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FHRT-4Z7 : 13 July 2016), Steven Bacon and Mary Loker, 06 Jan 1703; citing Marriage, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States, , town clerk offices, Massachusetts; FHL microfilm 185,455., Family Search – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, discussion list (familysearch.org).