William Twining

William TWINING (1599 – 1659) was Alex’s 11th Great Grandfather; one of 4,096  in this generation of the Shaw line

Twining Family Coat of Arms

William Twining was born 20 May 1599 in England.   (Either in Berkhamstead  in Suffolk or  Painswick in Gloucester.)  His parents were  William  TWENYNGE  and  Mabel NEWCOMBE.  However, reliable information  is wanting; family tradition almost uniformly asserts that he came from Wales.  Another story is that he came from Yorkshire, England, and one, an aged spinster living in the vicinity of Eastham, speaks of a “taint of French blood.  

The name of his first wife is not known.  She probably was still living in 1641 when Isabel was married.

William was in Yarmouth on Cape Cod by 1641, soldier in 1645, removed to Eastham by 1651 when he was the constable. He married his second wife Anne Doane in 1652 in Eastham, Plymouth Colony.  William died 15 Apr 1659 in Eastham, Plymouth Colony.

Anne Doane was born 17 Aug 1600 in Manchester, Lancashire, England.  Her parents were John Doane and Lydia [__?__]  of Devonshire. She was probably a sister of Deacon John Doane (Wikipedia), who was born 1590, came from Wales to Plymouth  Colony in 1630, one of the founders of Eastham and assistant of Governor Thomas PRENCE in 1633.   (See discussion below) Anne died 27 Feb 1680 in Yarmouth.

Children of William and Unknown:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Isabel TWINING 1615
St Albans, Hertfordshire, England
Francis BAKER
17 Jun 1641 Yarmouth
16 May 1706 Yarmouth
2. Elizabeth Twining 1 Oct 1617 Cheltenham, Gloucester, England ca. 1670 Eastham, Barnstable, Mass
3. William Twining 25 Oct 1619 Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England Elizabeth Dean
ca. 1650 Eastham, Mass.
4 Nov 1703 Newtown, Bucks, PA

English Ancestry

“The surname Twining is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and signifies ‘two meadows’. It is a place name and the family was seated in Gloucestershire, England, where, on the river Avon, a few miles from Tewksbury, there is a village of that name. It is claimed that members ofthe family emigrated to America from the section at the junction of the Severn and Avon rivers. John Twining appears as the Abbot of Winchicombe about the middle of the fifteenth century, and in the Scottish locality the name is said to be found on tombstones of at least as early a date.

“The Twinings of Twining belonged to the race which was English before William the Conqueror arrived, and the home from which they sprang is in the county of Gloucester. Prior to the Saxon Invasion under Cuthwrin, in577, there is no mention of the name, the origin of the patronymic originating at that time. Twining Manor dates from the time of King Edward 1., and from that day on we find the name spelled in some fourteenor fifteen different ways contained in the records, especially in Tewkesbury, Pershore and Evesham. Among the prominent members of the family was Richard, 1472, Monk of Tewkesbury Abbey, John, Lord Abbott of Wimcombe, 1474,  and Thomas, Monk of Kewkesbury, 1539.

William’s father William Twenynge, son of Thomas and Elsabeth, was baptized 10 Feb 1561/62 in Painswick, Gloucestershire. The parish of Painswick, in the union of Stroud, Eastern Division of Gloucestershire is six and a half miles south southeast from Gloucester. In the Domesday Book it was called Wiche, and was the property of Roger de Lacy. A later owner, Pain Fitz-John gave it its present name. The town is in a hollow in Spoonbed Hill. It marks the intersection of the road from Stroud to Gloucester with the road from Cheltenham to Bath. There was a weekly market on Tuesdays. In addition there was a sheep market on the first Tuesday after All Saints Day, and cattle and sheep fairs on Whit-Tuesday and September 19.

It is a little hard to say what the church would have looked like in the sixteenth century, as Lewis describes it having “incongruous styles built over time”. By the nineteenth century it was spacious, with a very high spire, and a peel of twelve bells. On the summit of Spoonbed Hill there is a double-trenched archaeological site of about three acres that was probably built by the ancient Britons, then used by the Romans. Earl Godwin fortified it in 1052 against Edward the Confessor. During the Civil War the royalist forces of Charles I had a camp there.

William married 3 Mar 1593/94 to Mabel NEWCOMBE. They had at least three children:

i. Mary,
ii. Thomas,
iii. WILLIAM, d. 1659; m. Anne Doane; emigrated to New England. See below.

William Twining’s American Career

Nine of our ancestral families were first comers in Dennis:  1 . Francis Baker, 2.  Daniel, Baker, 3. William Chase,  4. Thomas Folland, 5. Thomas Howes, 6. John Joyce, 7. David O'Kelley, 8. William Twining, 9. Gabriel Weldon.  Map courtesy of Lynn Keller and Cape Cod Genealogical Society

Nine of our ancestral families were first comers in Dennis: 1 . Francis Baker, 2. Daniel, Baker, 3. William Chase, 4. Thomas Folland, 5. Thomas Howes, 6. John Joyce, 7. David O’Kelley, 8. William Twining, 9. Gabriel Weldon. Map courtesy of Lynn Keller and Cape Cod Genealogical Society

1 Jun 1641 – His  name, ‘Mr. William Twining, Sr.,’is found in the court records of Plymouth Colony is a case of trespassing regarding certain lines. He was then a resident of Yarmouth, situated some thirty miles southeast of Plymouth, and incorporated as a town in 1639. His daughter Isabel was married there on the same date, and his first wife was then living.

1643 – Freeholder and included in the list of those able to bear arms at Yarmouth, and for the next two years the records rank him among the militia, consisting of fifty soldiers, to each of whom was given, on going forth, one pound of bullets and one pound of tobacco.

1645 – William  was one of eight soldiers sent out on a fourteen-day mission against the Narragansett Indians.  Of the eight soldiers, the leader of the expedition was Jonathan Hatch , and other members included Nathaniel Mott .  The famous Myles Standish  of the Mayflower was the overall military leader of Plymouth at the time.

By 1651 he had moved to Nauset, now Eastham, Barnstable county, Massachusetts.

3 Jun 1652 – admitted a freeman in Eastham.

5 Jun 1651 chosen constable of Eastham.

13 May 1654 – Granted two acres of meadow, ‘lying at head of Great Namshaket.’ He was a considerable land owner, though not of the class called ‘Town-purchasers.

1655 – His name is included in the list of twenty-nine legal voters of freemen in  Eastham. The same records show that several parcels of land were granted to him at Rock Harbor, Poche Neck (now called East Orleans), and other localities on the cape. He appears to have resided in Poche, on the east side of Town Cove, ‘on the lot containing two and one-half acres, lying next the Cove.’

1658 – William’s brother-in-law Francis BAKER had a grant of 10 acres of land in Eastham, lying near to William Twining (Eastham Town Record 1:97). In 1659 Francis and Isabel were still living on this land but soon sold it to William Twining Jr. and returned to their Yarmouth farm. Here he spent the remainder of his life.

15 April 1659.  Died in Eastham. That he was a man of more than ordinary character is shown by the titles of Mister he fixed to his name in the early records, a distinction given to but few men, even though they were men of substance.

Excerpted from Genealogy of the Twining Family descendants of William Twining Sr.by Thos. J. Twining, Sidney, Indiana 1890

To the fifth generation the families were confined to the narrow limits of Cape Cod and Bucks Co., PA. The Yarmouth records imply the William Twining was there at least as early as 1641, the date of his daughter Isabel’s marriage. It is questionable whether he first landed at Yarmouth.  It is more probable that he first touched shore at Plymouth and was among those early settlers who became dissatisfied with their location and sought new homes at various places along the Cape Cod Coast.

That he was a man of more than ordinary character is shown by the title which prefixes his name in the early records, an appellation of honor which was rarely applied in those days, as shown by the History of Massachusetts Bay, which tells us that ” the first settlers of thses Colonies were very careful that no title or appellation be given where not due. Not more than a half dozen of the principle gentlemen of the Massachusetts Colony took the title Esquire, and, in a list of one hundred freemen, not more than four or five were distinguished by a Mr., although they were generally men of substance. Goodman and goodwife were the common appellations.”

Additional to this, another historian says, referring to the changes at Plymouth and the standing of those who first came to Eastham: “The church at Plymouth regretted their departure, for they who went out from her were among the most respectable of all the inhabitants of Plymouth.” To the Orleans records is due the statement that William Twining married Annie Doane, 1652, and that she died Feb. 27, 1680. His death occured at Eastham April 15, 1659, and he was probably not more than 65 years old. No data is at hand regarding his first marriage and it is conjecture whether his wife died before he came to our shores or soon after.

A footnote in the Twining Genealogy stated that ” Annie was probably the sister of Deacon John Doane, b. 1590 d. 1686; came from Wales to Plymouth in 1621, one of the first founders of Eastham, and assistant to Governor Prence in 1633.

” Cape Cod Library of Local History and Genealogy” pg. 473 ”

William Twining, the ancestor of the Cape Cod family of the name, was in Yarmouth in 1643, and included a list of those able to bear arms, he went forth as a soldier in 1645 against the Naragansett Indians. The precise date of his removal to Eastham with his family, the Eastham records do not show, but he was there located before 1651, as that year he was constable of the place. His place of residence, it is understood, was on “Poche Neck,” now called East Orleans, but the particular spot is not known to the writer. He was a considerable land owner, though not of the class called “Town-purchasers.” His days in Eastham were few. He passed away April 15, 1659. His wife Anne, survived him, and died Feb. 27, 1680.

His children are not all known. Some of them, doubtless, crossed the ocean with him. Isabel married Francis Baker of Yarmouth, the ancestor of the Baker family, in 1641; Elizabeth married John Rogers of Eastham in 1669; and William married Elizabeth, daughter of Stephen Deane, whose widow married Josiah Cooke of Eastham.”

This account places Elizabeth Twining Rogers as the daughter of the first William, however the Twining Genealogy and the History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania call her Eliza and have her as the daughter of William Twining Jr. and Elizabeth Deane. These same references give William Jr’s marriage date as 1652 and place her birth as after 1654. Other references (the Gen. Dictionary of New England Settlers Vol. 4, pg. 353) hint that the Ann that died in 1680 was a second wife and the mother of Eliza and Ann.  Since the History of Bucks County, and his will which follows, place the girls as daughters of William Jr. and gives his mother as Ann Doane we will use that lineage until otherwise proven different. Unless otherwise cited source information is taken from The Twining Genealogy and Histories of Cape Cod, Eastham and Bucks County, Pennsylvania

“Willam Twining senir: Died the 15th of Aprill 1659” [Plymouth Colony Records in MD 17:201]

There are difficulties with the above  details about Anne Doane. The John Doane assumed to be her father, who came to Plymouth Colony, was born ca. 1590 and called himself about 88 years in his will, dated 16 May 1678. He died 21 Feb 1685/86 (when others called him “about a hundred”—a common exaggeration in those days). The inventory of his estate was taken 21 May 1686, sworn to eight days later by Abigail Doane. A 1648 deed listed John’s wife as Ann, while one in 1659 listed Lydia. Abigail was probably his daughter, who later married Samuel Lothrop. There are only five known children, none of whom was named Anne.

However, there was another “John Done”, aged 16 who came on the True Love in 1635.   There are two other Doanes in early Massachusetts records that may or may not be connected to this family. Henry Doane was in Watertown in 1643, and Deacon John Doane came from England to Plymouth in 1630. He removed to Eastham in 1644, and died 15 April 1659. It has been suggested that Deacon John Doane’s sister Anne Doane was the second wife of William Twining.  During the pastorate of Mr. Treat in Eastham in the 1670s, three Doanes were deacons: John, Daniel, and Joseph.  Is it possible that any of these men could have been a brother of our Anne? In any event, our Anne Twining (whose maiden name, and natal family, appear to be hiding behind a brick wall) died 27 February 1679/80.


1. Isabel TWINING (See Francis BAKER‘s page)

3. William Twining

William’s wife Elizabeth Dean was born about 1630 in Plymouth.  Her parents were Stephen Dean and Elizabeth Ring.  Her father was a passenger on the Fortune in 1623.  Her mother  arrived with her mother Mary Durrant Ring most probably on the second Mayflower, which sailed from Gravesend in March, and landed at Salem MA. on 15 May 1629. Elizabeth died in Feb 1708/09 in Middletown, Buck, Pennsylvania.

Elizabeth’s maternal grandparents were William RING and Mary DURRANT. Their daughter Miriam married our ancestor John WING II as his second wife.

William RING had been aboard the Speedwell, sister ship to the Mayflower, intending to voyage across the Atlantic in 1620. William was, however, among the passengers who could not fit aboard the Mayflower when the Speedwell was deemed unseaworthy. He returned to Leiden and died there sometime between 1620 and 1629.

At Dartmouth, on August 17th, after leaks forced the ship into port, one of the separatist leaders,  agent Robert CUSHMAN wrote that “Poor William Ring and myself do strive who shall be meat first for the fishes, but we look for a glorious resurection.” When the “Mayflower” set out alone on September 6th, neither William nor Mary were aboard.y

Elizabeth was an infant when her grandmother, Mary Ring, died, bequeathing her a piece of red cloth, and enough green say, shipped from England, to make her a coat.

William and Elizabeth Twining lived in Eastham, Barnstable County, and were members of the established Congregational church. In 1677 William was a deacon in the church. But at some point after that they became convinced of the faith and practice of the Religious Society of Friends, known in derision as Quakers. Sometime before 1697 they removed to the more congenial colony of Pennsylvania, settling in Newtown, Buck County. There they were active members of Middletown Monthly Meeting. Elizabeth was appointed to two small committee charged with the delicate task of laboring with women whose behavior gave Friends cause for concern.

The court records mention William Jr. first, June 3, 1652, when he was admitted and sworn; 1652 he was one of the Grand Jury and again in 1668 and 1671. He was a deacon at the Eastham Church, as early as 1677. He was a proprietor of land at “Easton Harbor” and had interest in Drift Whales at the end of the Cape. In 1695, he and his son William were enumerated among the legal voters of Eastham.

Near the latter date, his religious views seem to have underwent a radical change. He has evidently become convinced of Friends’ priciples and now contemplates removal to the newly settled Province of Pennsylvania, where the tenets of Quakerism were maintained in their purity, and freed from the intolerance of New England theology. The records testify that there were Quakers in Eastham, but it can not be found that they held Monthly Meetings in the town. They doubtless belonged to the Sandwich Society, which was organized very early. Although this Society makes no mention of William’s name upon its minutes, it is most probable he became, as also his wife and son Stephen and his family, identified with said Society prior to removal.

1695 is the year he says goodbye to the land of the Pilgrims. It marks an important epoch in the family history. Hitherto the name appears to have borne honor to the Congregationalist Church alone. Up to this date, a period of near six decades, the family was confined on the historical Cape Cod; but now the house becomes about equally divided, religiously and geographically, and henceforth it is Quaker and Congregation blood flowing in parallel lines from generation to generation.

“Deacon Twining,” now having donned the Quaker garb, speaks the Quaker tongue, becomes the unretaliative friend of the Indian, whom he seeks to elevate. He is in fact a believer and exponent of all that is comprehended in the teachings of Penn, Fox and Barclay. Upon those of his descendants from this new home in the wilderness of Pennsylvania, on the banks of the Delaware River, were stamped those newly aquired principles which time nor space have failed to efface. “

Cape Cod Library of Local History and Genealogy” pgs. 473 -474

William Twining William Twining, the son, who married Elizabeth Deane, came with his father’s family to Eastham, and settled near his father, their land adjoining. He was a considerable land owner. He had a three-acre lot, called a house lot, granted him in 1659, adjoining his father’s land; a ten-acre lot granted at Poche; meadow at Great Namskaket, Billingsgate and Boat Meadow in 1659. He had twenty acres of land at Poche granted in 1664, which was formerly possessed by Josiah Cooke and Francis BAKER; and also meadow granted him in the same year, which was located at Namskaket. In 1668, he was again put in legal possesion of some swamp land near his garden, which adjoined Richard Bishop’s land.

He was a quite and peacable man, and occupied but a few official positions in the town. He was a deacon of the church in Eastham in early 1677. Historical Papers Eastham and Orleans pg. 877 ” Cape Cod Library of Local History and Genealogy” The deacons who officated during Mr. Treat’s pastorate were John Doane, Samuel Freeman, Josiah Cooke, Daniel Doane, William Twining, John Paine and Joseph Doane.

The apostacy of Mr. Twining while holding the office of deacon, and his removal with a portion of his respectable family to the banks of the Delaware, in Pennsylvania, to join the Society of Friends and become an exponent of the peculiar views of George Fox, must have given rise to much comment in the puritanical town.

What lead to his apostacy, and to his removal to the far-off Quaker settlement in his old age, when there were others of his belief in Mr. Treat’s parish, is, at this distance of time, past conjecture. But he did not long have the pleasures of his new home, as death closed his earthly career November 3, 1703.

His wife , Elizabeth, daughter of Stephen Deane, survived him and died Dec. 28, 1708. His will is dated at New town “ye 26 of fourth month in year 1697.” Mr. Twining had two sons, Stephen and William.

Stephen with his family of children removed at the time his father went, and became a leading man in the settlement, where he died in 1715.

William and a sister Elizabeth, the wife of John Rogers, remained in Eastham, and their father remembered them in his will, leaving them his estate in Barnstable county. Deacon Twining, it appears, as well as his son Stephen, opposed the liquor traffic in the settlement, and asked that it might be restricted amoung the Indians.

Elizabeth was buried in Middletown on 28 Twelfth Month (February?) 1708/09.

Children of William and Elizabeth:

i. Elizabeth Twining,  b. 1649 in Plymouth Colony; d,  10 Mar 1725 in Eastham, Massachusetts; m. John Rogers, of Eastham, son of Joseph and Hannah. Joseph and his father Thomas had arrived on the Mayflower in 1620.  Some records say that Elizabeth was the daughter of William Twining Sr. instead of William Jr.

ii. Susanna Twining, b. 25 Jan 1652/53 or 28 Feb 1653/54.

iii. William Twining, b. 28 Feb 1653/54; d. 23 Jan. 1733/34; said to have m. Ruth Cole. However, Ruth (Cole) Young is listed as the third wife of Jonathan Bangs.

iv. Anne Twining, b. 1654; m. Oct. 3, 1672 Thomas Bills. It appears that Thomas Bill[s] was the second husband of Elizabeth Sargent, daughter of William. Presumably after her death Thomas went on to marry the Twining sisters, Anne and Joanna, one after the other.

v. Joanna Twining, b. 30 May 1657; d. 4 Jun 1723 in Shrewsbury, Monmouth Co., New Jersey; m. her sister’s widower, Thomas Bills.

vi. Stephen Twining, b. 6 Feb 1658/59 in Eastham, Mass.; d. 18 Apr 1720 in Newtown, Bucks Co., Penna.; m. Abigail Young

vii. Mehitabel Twining, b. 8 Mar. 1660/61; d. 8 Jul 1743 in Newtown, Bucks, Pennsylvania; m. Daniel Doane; settled in Bucks, Pennsylvania.

Some records say that Elizabeth was the daughter of William Twining Sr. instead of William Jr.

Elizabeth’s husband John Rogers was born 3 Apr 1642. His parents were Joseph Rogers and Hannah [__?__]. Joseph, age 17 and his father Thomas arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. John died between 1713 and 10 Aug 1714

Thomas Rogers, a Mayflower Pilgrim and one of forty-one signatories of the Mayflower Compact, was among those who did not survive that first harsh Plymouth, Massachusetts winter of 1620-1621.

Thomas Rogers was accompanied by his son, Joseph, but not his wife or other children, who had stayed behind in Leiden. There is record of his wife and other children in the 1622 poll tax of Leiden. Thomas died during the first winter in Plymouth, when Joseph was 18. Joseph married Hannah, who bore him four sons and four daughters. Thomas’ daughters Elizabeth and Margaret apparently came to New England later, but no further information is available. Thomas’ son John came to Plymouth about 1630. On April 16, 1639, John married Anna Churchman, who bore him one son and three daughters.

Governor William Bradford (Mayflower passenger) wrote of Thomas Rogers in 1650: “Thomas Rogers, and Joseph, his sone (came). His other children came afterwards… Thomas Rogers died in the first sickness, but his son Joseph was still living, and was married with 6 children. The rest of Thomas Rogers children came over, and were married, and had many children.

Joseph Rogers was born in 1602/03 in Watford, Northampton, England. He and his family came to Leiden, Holland, where they are first recorded in 1618. By 1620, the family had sold its house, and Joseph came with father Thomas on the Mayflower to Plymouth. His mother Alice, brother John, and sisters Elizabeth and Margaret remained behind in Leiden.

After his father’s early death, Joseph appears to have resided in the Bradford household for around ten years. He married about 1632, and his first child Sarah was born on 6 August 1633. He moved from Plymouth to Duxbury around 1638, and lived there for a number of years, before moving to Eastham around 1646, and resided in Sandwich for a few years around 1650 before returning to Eastham. He died in Eastham in Jan 1677/78; in his will he names his wife Hannah, the only record found that names his wife.

The Twining Genealogy and the History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania call her Eliza and have her as the daughter of William Twining Jr. and Elizabeth Deane. These same references give William Jr’s marriage date as 1652 and place her birth as after 1654. Other references (the Gen. Dictionary of New England Settlers Vol. 4, pg. 353) hint that the Ann that died in 1680 was a second wife and the mother of Eliza and Ann. Since the History of Bucks County, and his will which follows, place the girls as daughters of William Jr. and gives his mother as Ann Doane I’ll use that lineage until otherwise proven different.


William Twining – Bio








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10 Responses to William Twining

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  3. Joan Twining Moore says:

    I see your question about Anne Twining. In our family history I see that there is an Anne Twining listed as having died in 1675. She was the daughter of William Twining anf Elizabeth Dean of Eastham,Ma. They married in 1650. Her siblings were; Elizabeth, Susanna, William, Mehiable, Joanna, and, my forebearer, Stephen. She was the second child born, but I don’t have a date. Stephen was the last and he was born in 1659. Could this be your Anne? If so we are cousins! -Joan

  4. Joan Twining Moore says:

    Please let me know. -Joan

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  9. Jeff G says:

    Trying to figure out more on Anne Twining (Doane). You state her parents were John Doane and Lydia [__?__] of Devonshire. But then it states she was probably the sister of Deacon John Doane. However, the Doane Family Association doesn’t list John Doane as a child of John and Lydia. Their research leads them to believe Deacon John was John “cordwainer”, son of Nicholas Done and Joane. I’m trying to figure this out myself, but it appears to treat John Done (suspected father) and Deacon John Done (suspected brother) as two people, but it seems they are actually one person and Lydia is Deacon John Done’s second wife. If this is the case, then John and Lydia could not be Anne’s parents due to John’s age, with I believe the Doane Family Association puts the birth at May 28, 1592. If Anne was Deacon John’s brother, might her father be Nicholas Done? Trying to make sense of all this… Thanks for any clarification or discussion you could provide.

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