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John J. Waters, Jr.

  • Professor Emeritus of History

PhD, Columbia University

418 Rush Rhees Library
(585) 275-9358


American History

Research Overview

My major published articles have been concerned with "The Traditional World of the New England Peasants," "Patrimony, Succession, and Social Stability," and "Family, Inheritance, and Migration in Colonial New England," and my book on the Otis Family — which received the Jamestown Prize from the Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg -- was one of the first multi-generational studies of an American pre-industrial family. My students have studied colonial tax evasion, female literacy, social standing as seen in New England burials (a "grave situation"), profile of "conversion" experiences, the intellectual world of Harvard's "Tutor Flynt," and the New England Sermon World of Jonathan Mitchel. And I am currently working on the seventeenth century settlement volume in Harper Collins's New American Nation Seriese.

Selected Publications

  • "Colonial Settlement Patterns," in the Encyclopedia of North American Colonies (1993).
  • "Naming and Kinship in New England..., 1693-1759," New England Historical and Genealogical Register, (1984).
  • "Family, Inheritance, and Migration in Colonial New England: The Evidence from Guilford, Connecticut," William and Mary Quarterly (1982).
  • "Patrimony, Succession, and Social Stability: Guilford, Connecticut in the Eighteenth Century," Perspectives in American History (1976).
  • "From Democracy to Demography: Recent Historiography on the New England Town," inPerspectives in Early American History: Essays in Honor of Richard B. Morris (1973).
  • The Otis Family in Provincial and Revolutionary Massachusetts (1968).