Balch Migration to America
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The first migration of a Balch to America occured in 1623. John Balch migrated from Bridgwater, Somerset, in the southwest part of England, to a portion of Massachusetts that was then known as "Naumkeag". Later the Naumkeag area would become known as Salem (derived from Hebrew and Arabic words for peace) and this area would gradually be divided into smaller towns and villages. John Balch was given a land grant, in the vicinity of modern Beverly, Mass., and built his house there sometime in the 1630's. The map of Massachusetts, you see above, shows the original Naumkeag area with Beverly being highlighted a darker red. (Map: From Wikipedia)

In the process of looking for historical information, concerning the Balch family, I came across some interesting information from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. In the ownership of the Historical Society is a large collection of documents collected from one segment of the Balch family. In one segment, of a thirty nine page description of this collection, they discuss the first Balches to settle in America.

"The earliest recorded Balches in America date to the seventeenth century when three Balches arrived in America….John Balch came to America in 1623 and settled in Massachusetts; another Balch family member established himself in the colony of Virginia; and the third Balch, also named John, left Somerset, England for Maryland in 1658."

~Source: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

This quote, from the Historical Society of Pennysylvania, suggests that there were three Balch settlers who came to America in the 1600's. In my research I've found information about John Balch, who settled in Massachusetts, and a John Balch who settled later in Maryland. I have never found mention of this other Balch, that settled in Virginia, in any of my research. Has anyone out there heard of this third Balch before? If you have information to share I would appreciate it.

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