Roger Mowry (1610-1666), early immigrant and founder of Providence, RI


Roger Mowry was born in Drimpton, Dorset, England about 1610.

He sailed from Weymouth, Dorset, England on June 20, 1628 aboard the ship Abigail, a small sailing vessel with only 13 other passengers, and arrived at Salem, Massachusetts (then called Naumkeage) on September 6, 1628.

He settled at ‘London Plantation’ under the governorship of John Endicott. On May 18, 1631 he was made a freeman.

For many years he served as the “neat herd” of Salem, who daily herded all of the cattle from town to feed outside the town. He had to be ready at the gate to the commons one hour after sunrise. He was paid 7 shillings per head per season for his service.

By 1638, he had more than fifty acres of land granted to him at Salem.

In 1649 he moved with Roger Williams (his neighbor and his friend) to found Providence, Rhode Island.

In Providence the Court of Providence appointed him to keep a “house of entertainment”, an inn and tavern from which he sold spirits. Town meetings were held in the tavern, and Roger Williams held his prayer meetings there.

In 1653 he built the stone Olney House, the first hotel and inn in Rhode Island. The inn was one of only 5 building not burned by the Narragansett Indians during King Phillip’s War.

Olney House

Olney House

His house on the corner of Abbot Street and North Main Street in Providence was still standing in 1900, the last house of the original settlers to survive.

In 1655 he served as a constable for Providence, and the tavern did double duty as a jail.

He was my 11th great grandfather.

Jerry Milo Johnson to Roger Mowry


6 Responses to “Roger Mowry (1610-1666), early immigrant and founder of Providence, RI”

  1. 1 Owen

    I enjoyed reading this. I am in the 6th generation of Morey in Ohio starting with Ephraim and Emily Braman Morey in abt. 1830 due to being able to take advantage of the Connecticut Firelands claim Ephraim’s father had. Interesting how spelling had changed over time (Morey) (Mowry) (Mowrey). Counting back probably Roger would be an 11th great grandfather for me to. My family tree would have come out under Roger and Mary Johnson Mowry’s sone Benjamin and his wife Martha Hazard. Thanks for posting this; it gives people like me just finding out about geneologies some more information to go by.

  2. 2 Frank Carr Mowry

    Roger Mowry would be my 7th great grandfather. Thomas being his father and George being Rogers grandfather. My Mowry relatives were from Milan, Ohio.

    • 3 Kevin C. Mowry

      Hello. My name is Kevin Conway Mowry & I’m also a direct descendant of Roger Mowry. I’m originally from Nebraska and the Mowry family there is mainly located around Dawson County. We also have family in California (which is where my father, Jefferson Conway Mowry, was born).

      I lived in Ohio a short while and met some Mowrys there (around the Darke & Montgomery County areas), although we were never able to find any direct relations. Seeing from you post that your also from Ohio, I’m hoping you can tell me of other areas in Ohio where there may be other direct descendants. And, just out of curiosity, do you know if our family has any connection to Mowrystown Ohio?

      • 4 Frank C Mowry

        Hi Kevin,
        I am Frank Mowry & live in Columbiana,Oh. I am a direct descendant of Roger Mowry also.He would be my 8th great grandfather. I have found a good amount of desendants are buried in Milan,Oh.I looked up mowrystown but I found the name of the town came from a Squire Abraham Mowry who I don’t think is related. I did know we are I assume cousins of Lucille Ball & Johnny Depp. I would appreciate any info you could supply.
        Thanks for contacting me.
        Frank Mowry

  3. 5 Jim Osborne

    Roger Mowry was married to my 9th great aunt, Mary Johnson

  4. Roger is my ancestor, too. Thanks for profiling him here!

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