Jacob Hathaway was born in the Garrison House in Taunton Massachusetts in 1676, where his parents had fled for safety with his two older sisters and his brother John, when the Indians attacked their home town at the beginning of King Phillip’s War. He was the fourth child of John Hathaway Jr. and his wife Hannah Burt Hathaway.

Jacob married Phillipa Ruth Chase on January 28, 1697 in Scituate, Massachusetts. She was born in Freetown, Massachusetts on July 5, 1679. Her parents were Benjamin Chase and Phillipa Sherman Chase. The Chases and the Shermans were Quakers, which would have great influence on Jacob, and by 1719 Jacob had joined the “Society of Friends”, more commonly known today as Quakers.

In 1715 Jacob Hathaway was commissioned as an Ensign under Captain Josiah Winslow. He served as one of Freetown’s three selectmen in 1716, 1719-1729, and 1731-1748.

Jacob Hathaway was a very wealthy man who owned slaves. It is more than a little disturbing in modern times to find you had ancestor(s) who were slave owners. The fact is that the practice was widespread and common in colonial Massachusetts, especially among wealthy land owners who needed labor to work their lands. This is not to excuse the fact that Jacob held black slaves, something that by today’s standard we find despicable. It is however fact, and being fact it is worthwhile to understand what went on in Massachusetts and in Freetown concerning slaves. The biography of Jacob Hathaway, available for downloading below, explores this issue in more detail.

Jacob died in late 1758 or early 1759 at the age of 83. His wife, Phillipa, was still alive in 1759. We do not have a record of her death. His will was probated February 6, 1759. It is quite extensive and a transcript of this will is available for downloading below.
Jacob and Phillipa Hathaway
To view/download the biography of Jacob Hathaway, click on the button on the left.
June 2011
To view/download a transcript of the Will of Jacob Hathaway, click on the button on the left.