Yesterday, my friend, Gibb, asked the obvious question. "What is your specific interest in finding a Massachusetts version?" So here is the story.
At Thanksgiving I was up in the Boston area and was doing some looking into my family background, on my mother's father's side. That would be the Ponds. I found that they got started over here with Robert Pond and his wife, Mary, who were from Groton, in Suffolk, England. They came over, along with about 700 other folks, with Governor John Winthrop to Boston in 1630. Robert and Mary Pond settled in Dorchester.
Robert was a house carpenter! Sometime in the early 1630's, he built a house there in Dorchester. That house lasted until 1873, when they tore it down to widen the road! Here is a story, with pictures about that old house:
This gave some real meaning to the idea of a "house carpenter" for me. Sadly, Robert died in 1637. But, his wife, Mary, remarried. And you may have guessed it. She married a sea captain! His name was Edward Shepard and he was from Cambridge. Now I realize that the story is a little out of sequence, but all of the characters are there. Mary even had a young son, named Daniel. All of this immediately reminded me of the ballad of "The House Carpenter." And I began to wonder if any versions of this ballad had ever been found in the Boston area or in Massachusetts.
So far, we have not been successful in finding such a version, although these families did multiply and spread out all over the Northeast. Robert's oldest son, Samuel, did not come over to Massachusetts with his father and mother, but apparently arrived some time later. Or, Samuel may have been a brother to Robert. Things are a little murky. But anyway a descendant of Samuel Pond shows up in the Adirondacks. He was a hero of the Battle of Plattsburg, and later settled in the early 1800's in the Elizabethtown area of Essex County. His name was Benjamin Pond.
It is entirely possible that "The House Carpenter" did find its way to Massachusetts, and traveled from there. Maybe Sarah Willard came from Boston! Keep looking.