NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

July 22, 2013

Pike family descendants visit town

More than 50 descendants of one of Salisbury’s founding families met in the area recently to learn more about their ancestors and visit some historic sights in the town once known as Colchester.

Members of the Pike family held a mini-reunion, with workshops on genealogy and how to go about tracing their ancestry back about five centuries, to when John Pike first emigrated from England to the shores of what would become the United States.

John Pike was born in Bridgewater, England, in 1573, married Dorothy Day in 1612, came to America and died in Salisbury in 1654. The couple had many children, leading to several strains of Pikes throughout the country.

It is for one very famous Pike, Zebulon Montgomery Pike, for whom Pike’s Peak is named, crediting him as its discoverer.

According to Roy Pike, the Pike family has a large reunion every five years in Colorado, but this year a mini-Pike family reunion was held here in honor of Salisbury’s 375th anniversary. Fifty-two Pike descendants traveled from all over the country to visit Salisbury and learn more about those who came before them. Pike, who lives in Oklahoma and summers in Maine, said the family has identified 24 DNA clans, tracing the lines of the family after it arrived in America from Europe.

Salisbury Historical Society member Paul Turner did the honors locally, welcoming the Pike descendants. Turner opened up the society’s museum, giving reunion attendees a tour and past history of their relatives.

A tour of Salisbury’s one-room Pike School museum was also arranged, as was a trip to the town’s oldest cemetery, where the man known as “John 1” is buried.

Salisbury Public Library is the repository of the Pike family papers and memorabilia, and there are many books about the family as well.

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