My connection to the Balch family begins seven generations ago when Cornelius Larcom (1653-1747) [my 7th great grandfather] married Abigail Balch (1663-1706).
The book, Genealogy of the Balch Family in America by Galusha Burchard Balch (available to read on Google Books) shows the marriage as February 8, 1680-81. Abigail was his first wife. They had four children, all boys: Jonathan (March 8, 1690-1); Cornelius (February 15, 1697-8); Benjamin (February 6, 1699-1700); and David (October 28, 1701) [David is my 6th great grandfather.]
You’ll notice in this 17th century map of Beverly (which also came from the book Genealogy of the Balch Family in America), which was drawn by Samuel W. Balch, that Larcom’s corner (Cornelius’ father, Mordecai Larcom’s (1629-1712) property) is located in the upper right hand region of Beverly Farms. You can also see other surnames that are connected to the Larcom name by marriage at some point: Haskell, West, Herrick, Lovett, Woodbury, & Baker.
Cornelius & Abigail bought the old John West estate near West Beach, what I now call the Cornelius Larcom estate. I have written a previous post about it here.
Mordecai and his son Cornelius are our earliest documented settlers in America. There is speculation that Mordecai’s father might be William Larcom (Latcome); however, I have yet to find any proof on his emigration or any actual records of his life before America.
The Larcom and Balch families were practically neighbors during this time, which makes complete sense as to why Abigail & Cornelius wed.
The history of the Balch family is fascinating, and one that I take pride in as part of my heritage. Benjamin Balch (1628-1714) was Abigail Balch’s father, and is my 8th great-grandfather. He lived in the home his father, John Balch (1579-1648) built – which still stands today. John Balch gained title to the land on November 11, 1635, through the “Thousand Acre Grant” and was living on this property by 1636. I have written a previous post about the house here.
John Balch was born in Bridgewater, Somerset, England in 1579. He and his first wife, Margaret, were part of a group sent to New England by the Dorchester Company to establish a fishing industry. The Dorchester Company first landed in Weymouth in 1623, then moved north to Gloucester in 1624, but the settlement there was not successful. When the company was recalled to England, the Balches, Roger Conant, John Woodbury, Peter Palfry, and others stayed in Massachusetts and moved south to Naumkeg, now Salem, in 1626. – From historicbeverly.net
I was fortunate to attend a Balch reunion in Beverly, Massachusetts in 2010 with my granddaddy, Edward J. Larcom (1927-2013) and my father Edward T. Larcom (1948-present). We “met” Benjamin Balch’s character, had a lovely lunch and toured the Balch house.