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Robert Russell, Mary Marshall, and "Scotland Yard"

South Parish Burying Yard, Andover

Robert Russell and Mary Marshall are my 8th great-grandparents by the following path:  RWA → Fred Pemberton Abbott → Arthur Merrill Abbott → Justin Edwards Abbott → Benjamin Abbott → Benjamin Abbott → Mary Chandler Abbott → Priscilla Holt Chandler → Hannah Russell Holt → Robert Russell and Mary Marshall


By tradition, Robert Russell was native of Scotland born about 1630 and arrived in New England by 1659 when his marriage to Mary Marshall was recorded at Andover.[1] Robert Russell appears on an early military list from about 1659 when the town militia selected John Osgood as Sergeant.[2]


Mary Marshall was the eldest daughter of Thomas and Joanna Marshall. Thomas Marshall was a carpenter and resided in Reading, Ipswich, and Andover. It is not known with certainty when the Marshall family arrived from England but was by the mid-1630’s.[3] On 31 May 1704, Thomas and Joanna Marshal made their last known land transaction when Thomas and wife Joannah, formerly of Ipswich but now of Andover, conveyed a property in Ipswich to Abiel Marshall for the purpose of settling a property dispute (Abiel Marshall was a grandson of Thomas and Joanna). The transaction was witnessed by Robert Russell, Mary Russell, and James Russell.[4] It seems likely that in their advanced years Thomas and Joanna Marshall were living with their daughter Mary and her family. Thomas and wife Joanna each lived to nearly age 100 years.[5]


On 13 April 1691, Robberd Russell was made freeman in Andover.[6] He received a 4-acre house-lot in the town of Andover prior to 1662.[7] On 6 January 1676/7 (recorded 8 August 1716), Robert and wife Mary sold their 4-acre house lot and dwelling house, ten acres of upland, and six acres of meadow to Samuel Martin for £57 and other and diverse good causes.[8]


The main Russell property was south of the Shawsheen River and adjoined the property of Nicholas Holt and family. On 30 April 1684, Robert Russell acquired from Daniel Chace of Newbury 20 acres of upland lying between Robert’s current holdings and the land of Samuel and Henry Holt which was part of the great division of Nicholas Holt.[9] The Russell landholdings were known as “Scotland Yard” or the “Scotland District,”[10] with the main street in the district of Scotland Drive where you can purchase your $1 million plus home. The Russell homestead was at Rocky Hill and continuing to the east, an area that underwent development in 1984.[11] Another descendant of Robert Russell, Deacon Joseph Russell, built the Russell House in 1805 which is now on the National Register of Historic Places.


Mary Marshall Russell was one of the 35 founding members of South parish church in Andover which was legally organized on 17 October 1711.[12] Robert was the first person buried in the South parish burial ground. His burial occurred three days after Rev. Samuel Phillips was called as the first pastor of South parish in December 1710.[13]

[1] Cutter, Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of the State of Massachusetts, volume 4, p 2180

[2] Bailey, Historical Sketches of Andover, p 167

[3] Lindberg, “3 Thomas Marshalls”, Essex Genealogist, volume 16, 1996, p 158; Anderson, The Great Migration, entries for Thomas Marshall

[4] Massachusetts Land Records, Essex County, 15:230

[5] Thomas, Jan. 15, 1708-9, a. near 100 y; Joannah, wid. Thomas, May 16, 1708, a. abt. 100 y.

[6] “List of Freemen”, NEHGR, volume 3, 1849, p 351

[7] Greven, Four Generations, p 46

[8] Massachusetts Land Records, Essex County, 30:139

[9] Massachusetts Land Records, Essex County, 6:129

[10] Bailey, Historical Sketches of Andover, p 119. The reference to the Scotland District in Andover derives from the early property holdings of Robert Russell and the designation of the Scotland district continues. Just one example of this was the Scotland School which served the South parish of Andover until it was lost to fire in 1902;

[11] Andover Historic Preservation, “28 Rocky Hill Road”, The location is now site of a seven-bedroom, million-dollar plus home.

[12] “The Founding of the South Parish of Andover”,

[13] South Church of Andover, Historical Manual of the South Church in Andover, p 58

Family information for Robert Russell and Mary Marshall can be seen here:



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