It is a common assumption among amateur genealogists that American families trace back to a single immigrant ancestor, or to two or three brothers. That idea rather implies that only one representative of each name came hither; but obviously that is a fallacious, even an absurd, assumption. Ingalls was not so common a name 300 years ago as were some others, but I have previously shown that it was more or less widespread in England at the beginning of the seventeenth century, especially in the vicinity of Boston, and it is by no means improbable that Edmund and Francis were accompanied by, or were followed by, one or more cousins. In the early records of Massachusetts there occur some references to persons of the name whom we are unable to associate with Edmund and Francis, or otherwise to place.
There are, however, others for whom we can account. Thus, there are persons of the name at present who trace back to Maudit Engles, a fuller from Wiltshire, who came to Boston in 1635. There was a Barnet, Barnard, or Bernard Ingolls in Boston, as an adult, about 1660, who had posterity. The Ingalls family of Charlestown, whom Mr. Burleigh traces to Edmund Ingalls, erroneously I am sure, may come from either of those stocks. At a much later period a family of Scotch descent, of the name Inglis or Ingles, arrived in Boston and their children took the name of Ingalls. Dr. Burleigh in his genealogy of the family has rather a long list of persons of the name whom he was unable to connect with Edmund. In respect of some of them no doubt this was owing to failure of records, but as regards some the explanation is doubtless that in fact they do not connect.*
I may pause here to make some further genealogical remarks. The Ingalls who emanate from Rehoboth probably descend from Edmund, although there is no documentary proof of their connection so far as I am aware. Their progenitor was John Ingalls and John3 (Robert2) is known to have removed from Lynn to Rehoboth between 1691 and 1694, and probably this is the John who was the forefather of the Rehoboth branch. There is, however, some confusing evidence. There is but little trace of John, the son of Edmund, following the mention of him in his father's will in 1648. Later in that year John Ingalls is of record as a resident in Ipswich, and was probably the same. There is no positive evidence of his ever subsequently living in Lynn. In the early part of 1649 John Ingalls, described as being of Lynn, sold to Daniel King his house and six acres of land adjoining (which was probably his inheritance from his father) together with several other parcels of land and this looks like clearing out.
In the record of the death of a daughter of John and Elizabeth in 1676 the father is called John, jr., which implies the contemporaneous existence of John, sr., who would be John2. However, in 1676 and again in 1678 the oath of fidelity and allegiance was taken by Robert, sr., Robert, jr., John, Samuel and Nathaniel, the latter four being presumably the sons of Robert2 and these five being all the male adults of the name in Lynn at this time. John, jr., was doubtless the son of Robert and the suffix implies that John2 was still living, but not necessarily in Lynn and probably not. In 1687 John Ingalls, "late of Tiverton," was recorded in Bristol, R. I. Dr. Burleigh jumped to the conclusion that this was the son of Edmund and that he removed from Bristol to Rehoboth. This was mere conjecture, expressed in ignorance of the records in respect of John3 (Robert2) existing in family papers. Uncertainty is increased by the fact of record that Benjamin Ingalls, whom we do not associate with Edmund in any way, was living in this district in 1682, implying the possibility of relatives of his own being there, and that the Rehoboth branch descended from one of them. Nevertheless the certainty that John 3 (Robert2) went from Lynn to Rehoboth and the recurrence of the name Edmund (a rather unusual given name in the early colonial days) among his descendants implies this descent and I adopt it as a reasonable assumption in the absence of proved connection and hereinafter shall describe descent in that way without further reservation.
Even more difficult is the case of Eldad Ingalls who married in Haverhill in 1719, removed to Chester, N. H., and became the progenitor of an extensive family. Dr. Burleigh assumes that he emanated from Andover, but the vital records of the place which have been collected more fully than when Dr. Burleigh compiled his genealogy, do not contain his name. Nor does it appear in the genealogy of the Andover branch compiled by Solomon Ingalls about 1800. This is rather weighty negative evidence, and Dr. Burleigh was reduced to an assumption that does not well withstand critical analysis. Haverhill is close to Andover and Elda was association by marriage with Samuel4 (Samuel3 Henry2) but whatever be conjectured in respect of him we can only safely say "parentage unknown." I concede the probability of his coming from the Andover branch of the Ingalls family, but nevertheless there is the possibility, that he derived from a different family.
* Uriel H. Crocker in the American Law Review, October, 1875, tells a romantic story of how William Ingalls, of Boston lost a valuable property in that city by a defect in title and recovered it by tracing back his ancestry to Mauditt Engles who had conveyed it in 1660 under conditions that had been broken, thereby invalidating all subsequent transfers.
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