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"Surely I will remember your wonders of old"

Psalm 77:11


 Go forth from your country, and from your own people, and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse.  And in you all the people of the earth will be blessed.”

“To your descendants I will give this land.”

Genesis 12



It began with my clearing my mind so that it lay as quiet as a hidden pool of water, as receptive as the pool to every pattern the slightest breeze might start quivering across the surface. Then the memories would come....It was so long ago... that it all happened, the People scattered to every compass point. It was all in my memory, the stream of remembrance that ties the People so strongly together.


from Ingathering: The Complete People Stories by Zenna Henderson

"My eyes have lately been opened to truths which ignorance...had heretofore hidden from my view." - Davey Crockett

from NOT YOURS TO GIVE - The life of Davey Crockett by Richard S. Ellis

The Macedonian Call

"Come Over and Help Us"
Acts 16:9
The Seal of the Massachusetts Bay Company


“Some of them had their speech strangled from the depth of their inward dolor with heartbreaking sobs…adding many drops of salt liquor to the ebbing ocean.”
- eyewitness account :The Winthrop Fleet of 1630 by C. E. Banks

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Matthew 5:14



Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck and to provide for our posterity is to follow the Counsel of Micah, to do Justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. For this end, we must be knit together in this work as one man. We must entertain each other in brotherly Affeccion. We must be willing to abridge our selves of our superfluities, for the supply of others necessities. We must uphold a familiar Commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each other, make others Condicions our own, rejoice together, mourne together, labour, and suffer together, always having before our eyes our Commission and Community in the work, our Community as members of the same body, so shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. The Lord will be our God and delight to dwell among us as his own people, and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of his wisdom, power, goodness and truth then formerly we have been acquainted with. We shall find that God [ ] is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies, when he shall make us a praise and glory, that men shall say of succeeding plantations: 'May the Lord make it like that of New England.' For we must consider that we shall be as a City Upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us; so that if we shall deal falsely with our god in this work we have undertaken and so cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God and all professors for God's sake. We shall shame the faces of many of God's worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into Curses upon us till we be consumed out of the good land whither we are going: And to shut up this discourse with that exhortacion of Moses, that faithful servant of the Lord in his last farewell to Israel Deut. 30: Beloved there is now set before us life and good, death and evil, in that we are Commanded this day to love the Lord our God, and to love one another, to walk in his ways and to keep his Commandments and his Ordinance, and his laws, and the Articles of our Covenant with him that we may live and be multiplied, and that the Lord our God may bless us in the land whither we go to possess it: But if our hearts shall turn away so that we will not obey, but shall be seduced and worship other gods our pleasures, and profits, and serve them, it is propounded unto us this day, we shall surely perish out of the good Land whither we pass over this vast Sea to possess it;

Therefore let us choose life,

that we, and our Seed

may live; by obeying His

voice, and cleaving to Him,

for He is our life, and

our prosperity.


"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. "

- John 15:5


Ralph Hemmenway is the progenitor of the majority of Hemenways, Hemingways, and Heminways in America. Little is known of Ralph's origins. He is not listed on any ship’s documents nor has any record of his birth in England been found to date.

It is known, however, that he was part of the Great Migration of Puritans (Independents) to New England that began when John Winthrop's fleet landed in 1630. The Puritans were largely of the English middle and upper middle classes. Unlike the Pilgrims who were humble, relatively poor people who wanted to be left alone, the Puritans were by and large substantial men. They were farmers, artisans, merchants, lawyers, landed gentlemen, and well educated. They were accustomed to using worldly power and desired to use it to serve God's will.

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were periods of wrenching social change and political dislocations in Europe. Armies raped and pillaged. Public immorality and corruption were rampant. The Puritans saw both church and state rulers participating in this hell on earth rather than acting to restrain man's evil as they should. They sought to purify the Church and create a renewed "New" England.

"Under...Archbishop Laud, every corner of the realm was subjected to constant and minute inspections. Every little congregation of dissenters was tracked out and broken up. Even the devotions of private families could not escape the vigilance of his spies, and many thousands of upright and industrious men, among them nearly eight clergymen, were driven by persecution to emigrate to New England...A large number of them were educated, and to their influence it is owing that schools were so early established, and that so much attention was paid to instruction in every New England community. Said one of their number, in the quaint language of those days, "God shifted three kingdoms that he might send over choice grain into the wilderness"

- Francis S. Drake 1878

The tyrannical Archbishop Laud

See Worldly Saints: The Puritans as They Really Were by Leland Ryken


The emphasis of their religion on Bible reading and the proliferation of it, caused them to establish "Free Schools" and made New England one of the most literate societies in the world. These were the precursors of our public school system, which was, in the past, wildly successful. They established Harvard only six years after they landed. In 1672 Ralph, along with about 23 others, endowed Harvard College with "liberal contributions."

Rev. Asa Hemenway wrote in 1880: "It is difficult to trace the family prior to 1634. The same difficulty is found by all whose ancestors immigrated about that same time, as the time 1632 to 1636 was the period of the great rush of immigrants to New England, and many expedients were resorted to to get passage. Many unmarried men and women were entered as "servants", no name being given, and they cannot be traced by either ship or nativity."

Whatever Ralph's origins, it is clear that he rose rapidly. He came as a young single man, about 22 years of age, in a migration of primarily intact families. While he is listed as a "man servant" in 1633, he was already one of the larger landowners and taxpayers in Roxbury by 1639. He married Elizabeth Hewes in 1634, whose family was of some means. Her brother Joshua soon became a prominent man in Roxbury.

He is listed in the records of the First Church in Roxbury as:

Ralph Henningway, a man servant, came to Roxbury in 1633.
Freeman Sept. 3, 1634, married Elizabeth Hewes. Became one of the largest land holders in Roxbury. Active in town affairs. An original donor of the Free Schoole.
Died June 1 or 8...(1678)


"...Then may we ever loyally

make Roxbury our boast

Let deeds that were and deeds that are

Be sung from coast to coast."

- Mary C. Gourley 1930

The exact date of the arrival of the first settlers of Roxbury is not known. A large number of vessels came out in 1630. The first arrived in May, and the arrivals continued till the fall of the year. The trials of that season fell heavy. "We found the colony in a sad and unexpected condition," says Thomas Dudley, "above eighty of them being dead the winter before; and many of those alive weak and sick; all the corn and bread amongst them all hardly sufficient to feed them a fortnight." Contagious diseases seized on the emigrants on their voyage that year. When they arrived they were feeble, sick and dying daily of fevers and the scurvy. The exposure and hardships they were forced to endure after landing only multiplied their affliction. They were so weak that they could not carry their baggage to the place where they meant to build a fort and settle together. Having no time to deliberate, being forced to provide some shelter before the winter should surprise them, they dispersed themselves in small bands about the bay, to shift as best they might. One of these bands, whose head is said to have been William Pynchon chose a place midway between Dorchester and Boston, for their habitation, a spot two miles from Boston, which they named Rocksbury.

- from The History of Roxbury

Thomas Dudley

The lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul.
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil.
For thou art with me,
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me
In the presence of mine enemies.
Thou anointest my head with oil,
My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life.
And I will dwell in the house of the lord forever.

23rd Psalm

Most of its settlers arrived within a few years from that time. The first came from England with Winthrop with those who came over when the Massachusetts charter was brought over, and a home trading company formed into a foreign provincial government. Some of them were signers of the Cambridge agreement...That simple writing imported more than they dreamed, and may now illustrate their character.

- from the History of Roxbury


"Upon due consideration of the state of the Plantation now in hand for New England, wherein we, whose names are hereunto subscribed, have engaged ourselves, and having weighed the greatness of the work in regard of the consequence, God's glory and the Church's good, as also in regard of the difficulties and discouragements which in all probabilities must be forecast upon the prosecution of this business; considering withal, that this whole adventure grows upon the joint confidence we have in each others fidelity and resolution herein, so as no man of us would have adventured without assurance of the rest; now for the better encouragement of ourselves and others that shall join with us in this action, and to the end that every man may without dispose of his estate and affairs as may best fit his preparation for this voyage; it is fully and faithfully agreed amongst us, and every of us doth hereby freely and sincerely promise and bind himself, on the word of a christian, and in the presence of God, who is the searcher of all hearts, that we will so really endeavour the prosecution of this work, as by God's assistance, we will be ready in our persons, and with such of our several families as are to go with us, and such provision as we are able conveniently to furnish ourselves withal, to embark for the said plantation by the first of March next, at such port or ports of this land as shall be agreed upon by the Company, to the end to pass the seas (under God's protection) to inhabit and continue in New England: Provided always, that before the last of September next, the whole government, together with the patent for the said plantation, be first, by an order of Court, legally transferred and established to remain with us and others which shall inhabit upon the said Plantation, and provided also, that if any shall be hindered by any such just and inevitable let or other cause, to be allowed by three parts of four of these whose names are hereunto subscribed, then such persons, for such times, and during such lets to be discharged from this bond. And we do further promise, every one for himself, that shall fail to be ready through his own default by the day appointed, to pay for every days default the sum of 3 pounds, to the use of the rest of the company who shall be ready by the same day and time."

Harvard College

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