- There is no record of Elisha's date or place of birth. In fact, there is no direct evidence linking him to Thomas Besbeech. He is thought to be the son of Thomas because they both lived in Scituate and had similar surnames.
General Court 7 Sept. 1642, Governor Bradford--- "Elisha Besbeach of Scituate, planter acknowleageth to the King etc....the condicion etc....that if the said Elisha Besbeach do personally appear at the next Court of the Sovrigne Lord the King to be held at Plymouth the first Tuesday in November next, to answer to all such matters as on his said Majesty's behalf shall be objected against him concerning a libell made against Mr. Charles Chauncey and aside the further order of the Court and not dep't. the same without license that then, etc..."
Shortly after the libel incident concerning the minister Charles Chauncey, Elisha Bisbey married Joanna and lived on the west side of North River, south of the road between Marshfield and what is now Norwell, Mass. He lived there for a number of years and ran a ferry where Union Bridge now stands. He also kept a tavern there for travelers between Plymouth and points north. Ferry rates were fixed by law. Jonothan Turner, son of Elder Turner and Elisha's son-in-law, lived about 30 rods northwest of the road near the river where he had a tannery.
There were several ferries and bridges across the North River; Little's Ferry and Bridge was three miles below Union Bridge at a place called Dagget's Ferry. The upper ferry was tended by Elisha Bisbey in 1645. John Tolman was the last ferryman before Union Bridge was build in 1801 with the privilege of taking toll. The Union Bridge is on the road between Marshfield and Norwell, Mass.
Elisha Besbeech was of an age to bear arms in Scituate in 1643.
General Court 5 June 1651, Governor Bradford--- "Ppounded to take up their freedom," 22 men, including Elisha Bisbey, also, "Sworne for Grand Inquest, as above, Elisha Bisbey."
General Court 5 June 1658.------- "Governor Prence Assistants, William Collyere, John Alden, Josias Winslow, Thomas Sudworth, William Bradford and Thomas Hinckley." Walter Briggs complained against Robert Spraught in an action of the case to the damage of twenty pounds, for the serving of one year of his time and for other debts and dues. The jury found for the defendant, the cost of the 'Suite." The jurymens names were, Josias Winslow, Sr., John Browne, James Browne, William Merricke, Elisha Bisbey, John Hathaway, William Wetherill, William Curtiss, Abraham Blush, John Dingley, Thomas Pincen, Samuel Hicks and Randolph Elmes.
In the earlier records Elisha Bisbee is called Besbeach which definitely associates him with Thomas Besbeech. In most of the later records he signs, and is called, "Besbe" and "Besbey."
Governor Prence appointed Elisha Bisbey and Christopher Winter, Constables of Marshfield 9 June, 1659. In those days the office was one of high trust and responsibility.
Elisha served on Juries in 1651, 1658, 1660 and 1662. He was engaged in business as late as 1662, winning a suit against John Rogers to recover 20 pounds for "timber and cooper stuff." He was also a Grand Juryman in Marshfield in 1651.
On 7 June, 1670, Governor Prence appointed Elisha Bisbee as a committee with John Bourne to look after the Minister's Rate (Collector of Minister's Rates or taxes).
The will of Thomas Chillingworth of Marshfield, 7 June 1653, listed in the inventory for the Probate Court, "Debts owing by him to Elisha Bisbey, 12 s."
Elisha Bisbee Sr. made his will 6 Apr. 1688. It was probated 4 June1690. He bequeathed to his sons, Hopestill, John and Elisha Jr., and to his daughters, Mary Beal, Martha Turner and Hannah Brooks, and to his grandchildren. His estate was appraised at 83p. 15s. 4d. In his will he called himself a glover but was commonly known as a cooper. (Plymouth Co. Wills, Vol. 1, p. 69.)