Mary Waters was born in Salem around 1646. Her parents, Richard and Rejoice Plaisse Waters, had migrated from London to Salem, Massachusetts 10 years earlier in 1636. Mary was in a big family with 10 siblings who all stayed in the Salem area, some as neighbors, their whole lives. On August 27, 1667 Mary married Clement English. Clement was a merchant. He and Mary had 6 children.
In 1671 Mary’s dad Richard’s will left lands & money to his kids. “Allso my will is that the rest of my children viz Abigail punchard Mary English Susana Pulsiver and Hanah Striker who neither of them haue had any pt. or portion of my estate already as my fore mentioned Children have had, shall haue the rest of my estate.”
Mary, her married sisters and a brother all had homes on Cat Cove, part of Salem Harbor, about 1 mile northeast of Salem Commons. Mary’s husband Clement built a “dwelling house and a little cowhouse” on the land. The map snapshot shows Water family land, bottom then clockwise, Hannah Waters Striker, Abigail Waters Punchard, Ezekiel Waters 2, Mary Waters English Stephens. The Google map shows the area today. Mary’s house was still there in 1702, gone before 1742.
Mary was a widow in 1682 and married John Stephens, a fisherman, who helped with her with her husband Clement’s estate. The family stayed in Cat Cove, “Historically the Salem Harbor was the site of one of the major international ports in the colonies.”
James was born in England around 1568, during the first Queen Elizabeth’s reign, his parents are unknown. He was an apprentice in the Ironmongers Company in 1592. ‘Ironmonger’ was the word for a manufacturer of iron goods, today the word is still used in England for a hardware store worker or owner. Once James finished his ironmonger apprenticeship he married Phebe Manning.
James and Phebe were parents of at least 7 children. Those who didn’t survive to adulthood are buried in St Botolph without Aldgate Churchyard, in present day East End, London. James wrote his will in 1676 and requested that he be buried in the same cemetery “in or near the place where my children do lie buried”. The will divided his estate in to three parts, one for his wife, one for his son Richard, not the first born, but may be the only surviving son. The third part James divided between St Botolph church, the poor living in East Smithfield, and some friends: a cordwainer, a shoemaker, and a (black)smith.
James’s widow Phebe remarried and with her husband and son Richard sailed to America.
The gate around Aldgate was standing until the mid 1700s, history at Wikipedia. The illustration of the gate, c. 1650, Anonymous cartographer public domain, University of Toronto Wenceslaus Hollar Digital Collection. Wikipedia
James’s will is in New England historical and genealogical register volume 51 page 406 at Archive.org, a digital book.