American Pioneer Chronicles:

Colonial Women: the heart, sweat, soul—the foundation of our Nation

Persecuted families tended to marry young and Sarah Burr may have set her cap on John Cable while still aboard the Arbella, flagship of the Winthrop Fleet. She was only a child and John a teenager when they survived the disease-filled, crowded, foul-smelling trek across the Atlantic, leaving Laxfield, England and landing in Salem in 1630. Stalwart Sarah spent the next decade learning true survival skills; planting, harvesting, preserving, spinning, weaving and sewing. Her knowledge of medicinals and midwifery were also a necessity. Sarah’s place in the Puritan Colony was registered when she and John married, relocating to Springfield, a trip courageously undertaken while pregnant with her son John. As the wife of a sawyer, Sarah was fortunate, as he had built a suitable cabin and secured a small plot of arable land well before inflicting such a difficult move on her. Women were still a scarce presence in the Colony, pioneer Sarah would have been one of less than a dozen European women there. Her family was rocked with a local Witch trial targeting her family, after which she would move her family once more, 100 miles south to Fairfield. Her ability to sustain the family was both backbreaking work and a source of esteem. In an unrelentingly harsh time, she raised at least three children living until her death at 45. Sarah’s trailblazing courage and drive forged her into a true pioneering matriarch of New England, giving opportunity for her eleven grandchildren and future progeny.

Please support our research and view our books for purchase at