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Generation One: John Niles

John Niles

Born: 1603 in perhaps England*.
Died: February 8, 1693/94 in Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA, age about 91.1
Married: (1) Jane [?REED] 1635 in Braintree, MA.
Married (2) Hannah AMES ABT 1655

John Niles is generally accepted as the original progenitor of the majority of families by that name in North America.

Children of John Niles and Jane are:

  • Hannah, born February 16, 1636/37 in Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; married (1) Peter SHOOTER; married (2) Nathaniel MOTT, December 25, 1656 in Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA.
  • John, born March 4, 1638/39 in Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; died September 7, 1683/4 in New Shoreham, Washington Co., RI.
  • Joseph, born August 15, 1640 in Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; married Mary MICALL (or McCall) November 2, 1662. (d. September 07, 1683)
  • Nathaniel, born August 16, 1642 in Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; married Sarah Sandys 14 February 1670/71 in New Shoreham, Washington Co., RI; died December 22, 1727 in Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA.
  • Samuel, born 12 May 1644 in Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; ; married Mary BILLINGS 20 April 1680; died September 5, 1724 in (Braintree).
  • Increase, born December 16, 1646 in Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; married Mary Purchase December 4, 1677; died 01 September 1693.
  • Benjamin, born February 11, 1650/51 in Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; married Ruth ( ) Niles; died 1712 in Lyme, New London Co., CT.

Child of John Niles and Hannah Ames:

  • Isaac, born April 20, 1658.


John Niles, of Dorchester and Braintree, Mass., ancestor of all of this surname in the northern part of the United States, as far as the name has been traced, was born, probably in England, about 1603, and died at Braintree 8 Feb. 1693/4, the entry of his death in the town records calling him "Old John Niles" and giving his age as "about 91." He married first, probably in 1636, Jane [?Reed] of Braintree, who died 15 May 1654; and secondly Hannah (___) Ames, widow of William Ames. She survived John Niles, and died 31 Jan. 1703. John Niles was at Dorchester in Sept. 1634, and settled at Braintree in 1636. (Source: Taken from the New England Historic Genealogical Register, Volume 85, April 1931)

In 1634 Dorchester, Mass. towns first book of records, p. II: John Niles, Francis Tuthill, John Leavitt, Thomas Rawlines, and others have 3 acres apiece upon the Neponsett. 3 Nov. 1634: It is ordered that John Niles, Francis Tuchine, John Leavitt, Thomas Rawlines and others, shall each of them have six acres of land granted them for their small and part lots at Neponsett betwixt Indian Field and the Mill. (Source: Descendants of John Leavitt the Immigrant, by Emily Leavitt Noyes)

* The notion that John 1 Niles was born in Wales is only a family tradition. The evidence now points to his being born in Beaminster, County Dorse,  England (Allend D. Niles).


1 Samuel Bates, "The Records of Braintree 1640 to 1793", 1880, p. 660.

Last Updated: November 14, 2020

Copyright 2020 by Stanley J. Niles