Henry Collins1, starch maker, aged 29, with his wife Ann, aged 30, three children and five servants, came in the ship Abigail in June, 1635. They were certified from the parish of Stepney, England. Probably this was not their home, but the place of their last sojourn in England. The servants were evidently his workmen in the business which it would seem he had been carrying on in England.
He settled at Lynn. March 9, 1636-7, he was made ''freeman," which means he became a citizen of the colony, entitled to the privilege of voting and holding office in the colony. No man could become a ''freeman" at that time unless he was a church member. In 1638 eighty acres of land, upland and meadow, were assigned him. He lived on Essex Street. Lynn records show that he served as selectman. When Nahant was divided among the householders of Lynn, in 1657, he was one of seven men chosen to lay out the "lotts" and see that the shares were equal. He is mentioned as one of the appraisers of at least six estates.
The Deposition of Henry Collins Aged fifty-five years or thereabouts sworn sayth:
That he knew the milne that stood one Sagomoore Hill in Lyn yt ye same milne was Mr. John Humfrey his
milne & yt she was A very useful milne After Mr. Humfrey went out of ye country & this Deponent sayth:
yt ye towne was much Dannified for ye want of her After yey had taken her away for yis Deponent sayth yt
he wth others of ye Neighbors was forced to Carry Corne to Salem To grind : ye other milne in Lyne sometimes being Dryed up in summer & in winter frozen.
The will of Henry Collins cannot now be found, but it is referred to in probate records. It was dated February 10, 1686, and was probated March 31, 1687. Later an agreement was made by the sons to carry out the provisions of the will, and this agreement is on file at Salem.
Ann, the widow of Henry Collins, died September 29, 1691. Her blindness, which she mentions in the following will, explains the fact that she was unable to sign her name, but made her mark instead.
WILL OF ANN COLLINS
Lynn the 8 day of Sept 1690. In the name of our Lord god everlasting amen.
I Ann Collins of Lynn in the County of Essex in New England widow and the relict of Henry Collins senr of
Lynn aforesd deceased I the said Ann being very aged and my time of departure out of this world most uncertain and may be very sudden as I have cause to think by reason of some late providences of god in visiting me with some touches of his hand upon my frail body and hath taken away my natural sight I thought meet to improve the present time the lord affords me and being through mercy free from my pains and distemper's and in my perfect memory. And clear understanding Do make my last will and testament and dispose of what estate the lord hath afforded me of wt was left unto me by the last will of my husband above-sd deceased.
First I therefore Commend and commit my spirit into the hands of my dear lord Jesus Christ in whom I
doe believe only for eternal life and salvation: on whom alone I trust and Relye Renounceing wholly my own righteousness believing his to be al sufficient and yt I shall be covered and so accepted of god my heavenly father through Jesus Christ my blessed mediator and redeemer In which faith I rest and trust, That after breath is spent and natural life is gone from me I shall ascend in my Spirit unto god And therefore quietly commit my body to the grave there to rest till the glorious resurrection of the dead by Jesus Christ Committing my dearly beloved children and grand children all of you to the grace of god in Jesus Christ, humbly desyreing his peace and love may be bestowed on them so as it may keep them in his fear and in love & peace one wt another continually Amen.
As for my temporal estate that god of his mercy hath vouchsafed to me to dispose of, I give and bequeath to be divided & disposed of after my decease as hereafter followeth. Renounceing all former wills It. I give to my eldest son Henry Collins my horse. Item I give to my grandson Nathan Collins a Cow & a young mare
and after my decease twenty shillings out of my estate then left if it will reach to doe [it] and so I leave that to my executor's. Item I give to my grandchildren viz these children of my son John Collins deceased & not named in my will before viz. Elizabeth Mary Daniel Hannah Loice the sum of three pound to be paid to each one so much out of my estate if it will reach yrunto. as a testimony of my love to them, who were suddenly deprived of their father and of his estate. Item I give to my two grandsons, the sons of John Collins deceased viz Samuel and Joseph Collins', the sum of five shillings to each of you after my decease. And so to Abigail now townsend. Item I give to Sussannah Collins the daughter of Benjamin Collins, twenty shillings. I doe ordain & appoint my son Henry Collins, and my son Joseph Collins to be my two executor's of my estate and unto this my last will & testa* And to make me a comely and Decent burial and to perform all my just and honest payment, and legacies, according to my will satisfying all their and my necessary charges And well considering what my estate will bare in honesty and honor.
Moreover I give unto my grandchildren Johnsons viz Mary Richard Ruth, Samuel to each one the sum of twenty shillings after my decease that is as is expressed for all if my estate shall reach to perform all moreover
I doe ordain and desire my well respected and trusty friends Mr. Jeremy Shepherd pastor of the church of Christ in Lynn and Oliver purchase to be my overseers, to see this my last will and testament to be performed and fulfilled. And now that ye promises y* are contained & expressed in this sheet of paper is my last will & testament, for confirmation of the same that it is so I the said Ann Collins, widow & relict of Henry Collins senior deceased affixed and set my own hand and seal hereunto, as also that I have paid unto Elizabeth Collins now alias Basset, so much of my legacy to her in Indian corn the sum of 2 P.
i. Henry2, b. in England about 1630.
ii. John, b. in England about 1632.
iii. Margery, b. in England about 1633.
iv. Joseph, b. about 1642.
When Lynn became a city in 1850, the mayor in his inaugural address mentioned Henry Collins as one of thirteen early settlers whose descendants were represented in the first city council. Later, in 1876, a list of the names of twelve of the early settlers of Lynn was prepared, and also the number of voters of each name at the time the list was made. There were twenty-three voters by the name of Collins, which was the ninth name on the list, and it was stated that that had been the relative position for fifty years. So it will be seen that there is ample field for research in the records of the Lynn Collins', but our work lies with the Southborough and Fitzwilliam Collins' and their Lynn ancestors.