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Richard Sikes - Timeline

The time line below, courtesy of Ed Chase, is reprinted from Volume 7, #1

Richard Sikes 1618 - 1676

Before September 4, 1639: Came to America, first to Dorchester, then to Cambridge. (This followed Arch Bishop Laud's persecution of the Puritans, and was just prior to the English Civil War of 1642 to 1649.)

May 3, 1640: Made a Freeman at Cambridge.

Before Dec. 6, 1640: Married Phebe.

Between December 6, 1640 and June 11, 1651: Fathered six children -- Rebecca in Roxbury, Experience, Increase, Nathaniel, Victory and James in Springfield.

1641: Removed to William Pynchon's wilderness town of Springfield, along the "Great (Connecticut) River". (Springfield was much less strict than the Massachusetts bay towns.

1642: Worked as an appraiser.

1643: Helped set boundaries.

1644: Elected a Selectman.

1650 - 1654: Was on the Board of Townsmen.

1652: Was a sworn presenter to the town. (He relinquished his half of fines due on at least two occasions.)

1653: Sealer of Weights and Measures.

While he held many offices, he also was a carpenter and a farmer. He swept the meeting house, and rang the meeting house bell for weddings and funerals. In 1667, Richard supplied the pulpit. He also petitioned for the forming of the towns of Suffield and Enfield. He was a member of the "Train Band" until forced to relinquish the task for reasons of health.

Richard Sikes died at the age of 55 on March 16, 1676 in Springfield. This was the winter following the burning of Springfield in October, 1675, by warriors under Metacom (or King Philip) at the height of King Philip's War. About two thirds of the buildings and winter food stocks had been destroyed in the attack which resulted in a winter of near starvation in the river towns.

Surely Richard Sikes left all the generations who followed a rich and wonderful legacy. He helped create a viable major town in what was then the Upper Connecticut Valley and was the progenitor of a family with wide spread branches. Generations who followed build on his example to help create a new nation.

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