John and Samuel Gatchell/Getchell arrived in Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1636 (the year Harvard was founded as the first college in America) after sailing from southwest England on the Hopewell in 1635. (Marblehead was founded in 1629 as a commercial fishing operation, settled initially mostly by non-conformists from England’s West Country. Marblehead is also known as the birthplace of the US Navy.) Today, there are over 10,000 of their descendants in North America.

John Gatchell/Getchell settled in Salem, Massachusetts. (Originally called Naumkeag, the first settlers arrived in 1626 to leave the strict Pilgrim society in Plymouth.) His younger brother Samuel eventually moved from Salem, Massachusetts to Hampton, New Hampshire in 1645 to finally Salisbury, Massachusetts in 1650, as a merchant. (About 45 miles north of Boston, Salisbury, with a population today of 7,400, was incorporated in 1640.) Samuel’s grandson Samuel III settled in Maine as did generations of his descendants through today. Many Maine descendants married Canadians and some moved to Canada. Others moved west to Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, California and Nevada. Recent generations moved to Florida upon retirement.

The Gatchell/Getchell brothers were unlikely to be Puritans. Public records show John Gatchell/Getchell was fined for his long hair and other free-thinking practices at odds with the Salem establishment. There is also speculation that John Gatchell/Getchell’s wife Wibera may have been Native American.

New England Expansion
Born in Essex, Massachusetts, Samuel Getchell III buys land in Berwick, (southern) Maine, in 1736. Dennis Getchell III buys a large farm in Limestone, (northern) Maine (across the border from Grand Falls, New Brunswick) around 1840.

Westward Movement
Born in Marshfield, Maine, Washington Getchell files a claim near Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, 1852, the year the Federal government opened up areas west of the Mississippi to homesteading. Warren Getchell moves to Minnesota from New York in 1856. Born 1840 in Middle Simons, New Brunswick, William Harmon Getchell moves to Idaho, Washington and California.

Gatchell/Getchell Art
See 1887 print by Edith Loring Getchell.