Table of Contents

Name Origin
Family Origin
The Oak
Edmund &
In Lynn
Spread of Family



 WITHOUT becoming genealogical, it is useful to trace the geographical spread of the family for several generations. This is shown in the accompanying tree, on the next page, which gives the main ramifications during the first five generations. Such a chart would become rather complicated if it were carried further down.

  In general the main branches of the family stuck to their land, but as progeny multiplied and land was subdivided there was naturally dispersion. Most persistent has been the main stem of the family in Lynn, but already in the second generation there were offshoots to Ipswich and Andover. In the third generation Lynn sent off sons to Rehoboth and Marblehead. In the fourth generation Lynn branched to Salem and Sullivan (Maine) and Andover to Salem and Abington (Conn.). In the fifth generation the Andover sons spread into New Hampshire, especially to Rindge and Chester, and to Pomfret, Conn., while the Ipswich sons went to Dunstable. In the histories of all of those towns the name of Ingalls was prominent.

  I have often speculated as to how closely the brothers of the second generation and the cousins of the third and fourth kept in touch with each other. I suppose the association was much the same as it has been in our own days. It is clear that it existed, for there were several cousin-marriages, and Francis Ingalls is of record as paying visits to Andover, and journeys to Ipswich by the Lynn men were not infrequent, their attendance being required at county court. Such excursions appear to have been made by horseback.


  The places to which the Ingalls, of the second generation removed were not far away from Lynn. Neither Ipswich (Chebacco) nor Andover is more than 20 miles distant, which a century ago would have necessitated about eight hours travelling with an ox-team. With the poorer roads of 1650 the time required was probably longer. On foot a day's walk would accomplish the journey among any of these places--from Lynn to Ipswich or Andover, or, from Ipswich to Andover. The next generation went much further afield, Rehoboth, Mass., and Abington, Conn., being many miles from Lynn and Andover respectively. We go now from Andover to Lynn by automobile in less than an hour.


  With the fifth generation we get down to the immediate pre-revolutionary time. From all of those towns there were many sons who entered the Continental Army.

  In the sixth generation the Andover branch of the family, already in New Hampshire, spread elsewhere in that state into Maine and Vermont. From Buxton and Sullivan in Maine there were migrations to other places in state. From Rehoboth, Mass., there was a movement into New York. The dispersion of the name thenceforward became diffuse. Along with this it disappeared from Andover, Ipswich and Rehoboth. The experiences in the army during the Revolutionary War had a good deal to do with inspiring these migrations after that war.

  Descendants of Edmund Ingalls have performed military service in every war in which the Colony of Massachusetts and the United States of America have been involved. 

  Under the flag of the colony--a red cross in a white field--Samuel Ingalls2 served in King Philip's war. Edmund, his son was a soldier in the expedition against Quebec in 1690. In the French and Indian war Capt. Henry Ingalls5 of Andover led an Andover company and Edmund Ingalls commanded a Lynn company that marched to Canada in 1758 and was killed.* Lieut. Benjamin Ingalls was at the capture of Lunenburg in 1745 and remained in the British army until 1765.

  *This is of record in Lewis' history of Lynn, but I am unable to identify among the Lynn family anyone by this name who conjecturally would have been born about 1730. All of its members up to that time are well accounted for except David4 (Samuel2 Robert3 ) who was born in 1693 and is known to have been living in 1721. He may have had a son Edmund. Neither David nor Edmund appear on list of Lynn tax-payers in 1754, but that is not evidence of non-existence.

  Responding to the Lexington alarm, April 19, 1775, were six Ingalls from Lynn, nine from Andover, three from Pomfret, two from Rindge and one from Rehoboth. The Ingalls who went from Lynn were in Capt. Farrington's company, of which they constituted a sixth.

  The names subsequently on the Revolutionary rolls, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut, are counted by scores. Most of them served on the land, but a few served on the sea. Capt. Eleazer Collins Ingalls of Lynn was commissioned commander of the privateer schooner "Flora," 4 guns and 12 men, but he was captured along with his vessel at Guadelupe in 1779 and he was taken to Dartmoor and confined there as a prisoner of war. After the war he became a shipwright and helped to build the Constitution in 1797. Dr. Burleigh in his genealogy of the family lists the Ingalls sons who served in the army during the revolution of Massachusetts. I have counted seven from Lynn, 21 from Andover, eight from Rehoboth, two from Marblehead, and two from Dunstable, besides many from other towns and many whose home town is not stated. A large number of the name appear in the New Hampshire roll, while from Abington, Conn., Capt. Zebediah Ingalls led a company in which were six of his sons and nephews.


  During the naval war with France in 1799 Capt. Abner Ingalls lost his brig to the French at Fayal and did not obtain indemnity until many years afterward.

  Under the stars and stripes there was a roll of Ingalls in the War of 1812. Again in the Mexican war, in which Rugus Ingalls, served as Captain in the First Dragoons. In the Civil War their number was legion--some as officers, many as privates. In the Spanish war and in the Great War there was service again, as no doubt there will be in any future wars.

  In spreading over the United States the scions of Edmund Ingalls have given their name to numerous towns and places. There are towns named Ingalls in Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, and North Carolina. There is Ingells in New York and Ingold in North Carolina. Illinois has Ingalton and Michigan has Ingallston. In Maine there is a village of Ingalls Road and in Massachusetts there is Ingalls Crossing. The province of New Brunswick has Ingalls Head.

  In Rindge, N. H., the Ingalls Memorial Library, erected by Mrs. Sophia Ingalls Wallace, perpetuates the memory of her father, Thomas Ingalls6 (Jonathan5, Josiah4, Josiah3, Henry2) who was an influential citizen of Rindge, whither his grandfather moved from Andover in 1764.

  I think it is futile to point out distinguished figures in a family, implying that good qualities are derived from one strain. A person of the ninth generation from a paternal ancestor must have had 255 other ancestors if there were no intermarriages, and a group of a thousand, or more, seventh cousins of the same name is obviously very different in blood. Similarity in looks, in character and in physical and mental qualities frequently exists among brothers and sisters, and not uncommonly among first cousins, but among second cousins it is practically all gone. Yet second cousins have a common great-grandfather and that is not going very far back.

  Nevertheless there is a natural pride that we are bound to feel in viewing distinguished bearers of the name that we ourselves bear and try to uphold.

  It seems to me that the most eminent among all who have borne the name of Ingalls in America. is the young girl who is known as the Countess. Mary Ingalls, wondrously beautiful, distinguished in character and well-beloved, married a French nobleman and after one happy year died. This is a simple, pathetic story; but she was celebrated by a poet and so she lives forever, and her grave by the Merrimac river is a shrine. 


  The simple stone that marks her grave was first protected by an iron fence surrounding the plot but in order to preserve it from vandals it became necessary to enclose it within a heavy grill. The stone to the right, leaning forward, marks the grave of her mother, who died in the same year. 

Haply yon white-haired villager 
  Of four-score years can say 
What means the noble name of her 
  Who sleeps with common clay. 
Her rest is quiet on the hill,
  Beneath the locust's bloom;
Far off her lover sleeps as still
  Within his scutcheoned tomb.

  Descending to the material our greatest representative was John James Ingalls, born in Middleton, who was a statesman and for many years a leader in the Senate of the United States. Gifted as a scholar and as an orator it was said of him that his vocabulary was equal to "Worcester and Webster boiled down and filtered through Carlisle." His political career has now been all but forgotten, but he lives as the author of "Opportunity," which is the world's most famous sonnet.


  Rufus Ingalls rose to be a major general in the army of the United States. During the Civil War he was the quartermaster general of the Army of the Potomac. He was a close friend of General Grant, by whom he was highly esteemed  

  These three distinguished scions of the Ingalls family came from Andover, the Countess and the Senator directly therefrom; the General from an offshoot into Maine, his birthplace having been Denmark in that state.

  In writing this history of the Ingalls family I have gone into many minor details, believing them to be of human interest. After all, the annals of the family are simple. Our men have been farmers and soldiers and workers. There have been but few scintillating stars. Probably the same summary might, be made of the majority of Puritan families. To a large extent they are compositions of the same blood, for if any of us trace back our ancestry in fan-shape we find that we have many common ancestors. I have previously suggested that blood and the name are two very different things. Nevertheless with a name there is associated something indefinable. I have noticed how strong this is with the Ingalls name. Our daughters marry and acquire another name but they always continue to be Ingalls; and often their husbands sentimentally become so. The women whom we marry join us not only in fact but also in spirit.

  Generation by generation the blood is diffused, gradually the lands that sustained it pass into other possession, even the old homes in course of time become forgotten, but the tradition and the spirit run forever with the name.

pp. 76-84

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