The Gale/Gael family in Massachusetts begins with Richard Gale and his wife Mary who came from England in the 1600s. Richard and Mary lived in Watertown, in Middlesex County, west of Boston. They had at least five children, four of whom were alive when Richard died in 1678/79. Mary died in 1681 and it is not known where they are buried. In Richard's will he names his oldest son Abraham as executor. Abraham remained in Watertown, married Sarah Fiske, daughter of Nathan and Susannah Fiske of Watertown, and they had at least fourteen children. Abraham died in Watertown in 1718, leaving a will, and Sarah died ten years later in 1728. They are buried in the Grove Hill Cemetery in Waltham, Massachusetts.

When Abraham wrote his will, just before his death in 1718, he named his wife Sarah and their two youngest sons, John and Joshua, as his executors. John and Joshua were to take care of and provide for their mother. Unfortunately, just a year after his father, Joshua died. He was only twenty-three. Because he died "without issue of his own body," his property was divided among his brothers Abraham, Ebenezer and John and his sisters Mercy, Abigail, Mary and Lydia according to his 1921 probate court records. The document was signed by Abraham, Ebenezer, John and Mercy, all signing by mark.

The other of Abraham's two youngest sons, John Gale, was born in 1687 in Watertown. Sometime around 1720 he married a woman named Lydia whose parents are unknown. A marriage record has not been found. John and Lydia had five children before John died in 1734/35 leaving five minor children and a widow. He is buried in Grove Hill Cemetery where his parents were buried.

John died intestate and, because of this, there is paperwork having to do with the guardianship of his children. A Watertown man named Daniel Benjamin, a trader, was appointed guardian of the five children. By 1742, when the estate was finally being settled, it was decided that the real estate was not worth dividing and it was given to the oldest son, Joshua, who then had to pay his brothers and sisters the amount of forty-five pounds, eleven shillings, four pence and two farthings each as their shares of the estate. His mother Lydia received a portion for quitting her dower rights. Lydia remarried in 1736 to John Sadler of Upton in Worcester County. She moved there and she and John Sadler had a daughter, Hannah.

Within five years of the estate being settled, Joshua, who had never married, died young, like his father. He did, however, leave a will. In his will he left money to his two sisters, Lydia Gale and Sarah Peirce, wife of Josiah Peirce of Waltham, and to his brothers John and Jonas. He also left money to his half sister, Hannah, daughter of John Sadler.

Sarah Gale, who was ten years old when her father died, married Josiah Peirce while in her late teens. They married in Waltham in 1743/44 but lived and raised their family in Worcester. Sarah died first, in 1802 in Worcester. Josiah, who had played an active part in the American Revolution, died not long after, in 1806 in Worcester. It is not known where they are buried.

Sarah and Josiah Peirce had sixteen children, the youngest of whom was Jarvis, born in 1771. It is through Jarvis and his wife, Rhoda Darby, of Westminster, Massachusetts, that my line descends. Jarvis and Rhoda eventually settled in the southern part of Illinois about 1818 when Illinois became a state.

The name Gale has been spelled in various records as Gael, Gayle, Gail, Gaill, Geal and Galle but the name was most commonly spelled Gale by the mid to late 1700s.


Four Generation report of the descendants of Richard Gale, with index
For further descent from Sarah Gale, see the Peirce/Pierce family page.

The will of Abraham Gale, 1718, Watertown,son of Richard and Mary Gale, father of John Gale, grandfather of Sarah Gale Peirce

Images from the will of Abraham Gale, 1718, Watertown,

The parentage of Sarah Gale, wife of Josiah Peirce
Clearing up the confusion as to the correct parents of Sarah Gale of Watertown

The guardianship of Sarah Gale, daughter of John and Lydia Gale

The will of Joshua Gale, d.1747, showing the relationship between Joshua, Sarah Gale and Josiah Peirce.

The Pierce/Peirce Family
The descent from Sarah Gale continues through the Peirce line.


The image of Richard Gale's mark comes from his will, written 25 February 1678, in Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Probate Court Records, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Administration of Estate of Richard Gale, #8823, 1679. FHL MF 397069.

Information on the Gale family comes from several sources: The Gale Family Records of England and America, by George Gale, 1866; Henry Bond's Genealogies, 1855; Vital records of Watertown, Worcester and other Middlesex and Worcester County towns; Wills of Richard Gale, Abraham Gale, John Gale and Joshua Gale.



Anne Healy's Genealogy, Created October 2002
Photographs and web page content, Copyright 2002- , Anne Field, all rights reserved.
Please feel free to link to my web page. For permission to use any pictures or content on my web pages, please email me at


25 Feb 2010 [home]