William Story

William STORY (1614 –  1702) was Alex’s 9th Great Grandfather; one of 1,024 in this generation of the Miller line.

Immigrant Ancestor - Story Coat of Arms

Immigrant Ancestor – Story Coat of Arms

Our William Story’s  history is uncertain.  There are two options.

Option 1 is that he was an unknown William Story who married   Sarah STARBUCK about 1646 when Sarah was only about sixteen years old.   William must have died unmentioned before Oct 1649 when Sarah at the age of 19 married Joseph Austin, leaving Ann as an orphan unmentioned in the records of Sarah and Joseph.

Option 2 is that he is the William Story who married Sarah Foster in 1640 and Ann Story’s birth records are missing from the Ipswich records that we know have some holes.  Ipswich is the town of Ann’s birth.  Ipswich is very close to Haverhill where Stephen Dow and Ann Story were married.

Option 2 sounds more likely to me, let’s go with that.

William Storey was born 1614 in Norwich, Norfolk, England. His father was Robert (not Augustine) STOREY (1588-) The first mention of William in England is found in the following:

Norwich, England:      An Index of Indentures of Norwich Apprentices Enrolled with the Norwich Assembly; Henry VII – George II, page 157:       Story, William, son of Robert dec.; apprenticed to  John Coats of Norwich, carpenter, 1634 for 7 years.

He  left Norwich and arrived in Boston 8 June 1637 from Yarmouth in one of two ships:  either the Rose (William Andrews, Jr. master) or the John and Dorothy (William Andrews, master).  In the combined passenger list, there is a Samuel Dix with wife, two daughters, and two servants.  One of these is William Storey b. 1614.  As Dix was a joiner, presumably Story was an apprentice in that trade.  The Dix family has not been located.  William married Sarah FOSTER on 1640 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass.  William  died 20 Jan 1702 in Chebacco Parish, Ipswich, Essex, Mass.

Sarah Forster was born 15 Oct 1620 in Exeter, Dervonshire, England, England and was christened 15 Oct 1620 in Theydon Garnon, Essex, England. Her parents were Reginald FOSTER and Judith WIGNOL.  Sarah  died in 1681 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass.

Sarah Starbuck was born about 1630 in Dover, New Hampshire.  Her parents were Edward STARBUCK and Catherine REYNOLDS.  Sarah married Joseph Austin in 1649 in Nantucket MA.   Sarah married a third time to Humphrey Varney on 2 Jan 1663/64 in Ipwich, Mass.  Humphrey was the widower of Sarah’s sister.  The Book of Dow speculates that Sarah married William Story  late in life after Humphrey died, but Humphrey was born about  1642 Barbados and died after William  2 Jun 1714 Dover, NH.  Sarah died on 6 Jun 1719 in Dover Strafford County, NH..

Children of Wiliam and Sarah Foster:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Seth Story 1645
Elizabeth Cross (daughter of our ancestor Robert CROSS)
Ipswich, Mass
 9 Oct 1732
2. Sarah Story 13 Dec 1645 Richard Walker
29 Oct 1661 in Ipswich
29 May 1723
3. Ann STORY ca. 1646 Ipswich. Stephen DOW I
16 Sep 1663 the Haverhill First Church
3 Feb 1714/15
Haverhill Mass.
4. Samuel Story  c. 1647
Elizabeth Burnham
 29 Oct 1727
Norwich, CT
5. William Story  c. 1650
Susannah Fuller
25 Oct 1671 Ipswich
20 Jul 1721
Brookline, Norfolk, Mass
6. Abigail Story 1654
After 1669
7. Hannah Story 19 Aug 1662
William Swan
3 Dec 1683
Rowley, Mass.
Thomas Jewett (Son of Ezekiel JEWETT)
18 May 1692
8. Susanna STORY  4 Mar 1664 John Clark
13 Jul 1681 Lynn, Mass
Cornelius BROWN Jr.
1688 in Lynn, Essex, Mass.
9 Jan 1734
Boxford, Essex, Mass.
9. Mary Story  c. 1666

Children of Sarah Starbuck and Joseph Austin

i. Nathaniel Austin (c. 1650 -)
ii. Deborah Austin (c. 1650 – )
ii. Benjamin Austin (c. 1652 -)
iv. Deborah Austin (c. 1651 – 4 Feb 1718 Nantucket) m. 1668 John Coffin
v. Mary Austin (c. 1655 – 1 Jun 1721 Nantucket) m. 1674 Richard Gardner
vi. Thomas Austin (c. 1656 – >1698) m. abt. 1677 Ann Otis

Joseph Austin is said to have come to Dover about 1647 from Hampton, NH, where there was a Joseph Austin in 1642. He was taxed in Dover in 1646. In 1649, he purchased of Richard Waldron one-fourth part of the “old mill” at Cocheco, Lower Falls for “accomodation” of which he received the wood of three acres. In 1658, he exchanged with Elder William Wentworth “Emery’s Farm” for other land. Joseph lived in Cocheco.

“Joseph, planter, Dover, had case in court in 1647; taxed Oct. 19, 1548. Bought one quarter of a sawmill of Richard Waldron 20 Set. 1649. He deposed 27 June, 1661, ae. about 45 years [P. Files.] His will dated 25 Jan. 1662, was probated July 1, 1663, by widow Sarah; beq. to wife and children; son Thomas to have a double portion; brother Peter Coffin one of the overseers.”

He owned and operated a mill with his father-in-law, Edmund Starbuck and William Furber, buying/ his share from Richard Waldron. He was a constable in 1656-57. In 1658 he exchanged the “Emerson Farm” for other land. When he died, his will left a double portion to his son, Thomas, who remained in Dover. His wife and the other children returned to Nantucket to live with Grandfather Starbuck. His wife married Humphrey Varney.

Children of Sarah and Humphrey Varney
vii. Ebenezer Varney b. 5 SEP 1664 Dover, NH
viii. John Varney  b. 5 SEP 1664 Dover, NH. d. 14 AUG 1666 Dover, NH.
ix. Peter Varney  b. 29 MAR 1666 Dover, NH.
x. Joseph Varney  b. 8 OCT 1667 Dover, NH. d. 1668
xi. Abigail Varney  b. 10 Jul 1669  Dover, NH.
xii. John Varney  b. 1671 Dover, NH

William Story’s American Career

William Story was a carpenter of Ipswich and Dover, NH.  The children of William Story are not all known because Ipswich has no records until 1648.  So there might have been an Ann among them.   William moved to Dover in 1648, but Dover records are as defective as Ipswich.  He appears there is a deed as William Storer.   According to The Book of Dow, he married second when both were too old for children, Sarah Starbuck.   Incidently, it may be noted that Ann’s oldest daughter married a Dover man.

Dover was settled in 1623. It’s citizens…early adopted a form of town and provincial government of their own. Dover was annexed to Massachusetts, by vote of its citizens, 9 Oct  1641. The early town and provincial books were destroyed soon after the annexation to Mass. Dover’s oldest town book now in existence was begun Dec. 27, 1647; it has the following town rate which is the earliest tax rate of Dover now on record.” Amongst the many on this list were: # s. d. # s. d. William STORY – Rated £78: 04: 00 and to pay 4d p# is 0001: 02: 01 Joseph Austin – ” 0091: 10: 00 ” ” 0001: 11: 02 Edward Starbuck – ” 0045: 10: 00 ” ” 0000: 15: 04 Francis Littlefield – ” 0060: 15: 00 ” ” 0001: 00: 03

William was a subscriber to Major Denison in 1648. He had a share and one half in Plum Island, 1664. He was a Surveyor of Highways, 1662. He possessed lands in Chebacco (Essex) Nov. 10 1652. On May 8,1649 he purchased from Henry Archer and his wife, a farm of ninety acres, beyond Chebacco Falls. In 1671 he had permission to have a Mill on the Chebacco River.

In the town records of Ipswich for the year 1648 there is a list of one hundred and sixty one persons who subscribed the sums severally set against their names as an annual contribution to a fund for expenses of military instruction to be paid to Major Dennison 1 so long as he shall be their leader Eight of this number were at that time undoubtedly residents of Chebacco viz John Burnbam 4s Thomas Burnham 3 William Cogswell 4s John Choate 5s Robert Crosse 4 William Goodhue 8 Thomas Low 2 t William Story 2s Probably the following in the same list were also inhabitants of this place at that time John Andrews Jr 3s John Perkins Jr 5

William signed the petition in support of John Proctor oldest son of our ancestor John PROCTOR  and his wife Elizabeth Proctor at the Salem Witch trials.

William left a will recorded 10 Oct 1691 and proven 20 Jan 1703.  However he had dispursed much of his property before that time….Administration was granted for William’s estate on 20 January 1702/3 to his oldest son, Seth.


William Story was a subscriber to Major Denison 1648.  Had a share and a half in Plum Island, 1664.  In 1679 he was a voter in Town affairs, with the addition of “senior.”  Mary Story, his daughter, joined the Church by taking the Covenant, April 12, 1674.

He sold a lot of land to William Knowlton, previous to February 12, 1643.  He purchased of William Symonds, Gent. and John West, yeoman, two lots of land, adjoining other land which he had bought of Robert Kinsman, seven acres of which was granted by the town of Ipswich to John Wedgewood.

He was surveyor of Highways, 1662.  He then had the addition of “carpenter.”  He possessed lands in Chebacco, Nov. 10, 1642, adjoining on the northwest, land of John Webster.  He purchased, May 8, 1649, of Henry Archer and Elisabeth his wife, a farm of ninety acres, granted unto Archer by the Town of Ipswich, beyond Chebacco Falls.  He had permission to have a Mill, 1671, Chebacco river.  in February, 1672, Abr’hm Perkins complained against ” William Story, sen’r, for taking of a load of green timber about Dec’r last; oke timber, which he drew over my farme of the south side Chebacco river; either off the commons or my farme.”

One source says a brother named Seth and a sister named Emily came to Mass. with William.  Letter 1944 to ABSB from Conn. State Library says William settled in Ipswich, proprietor early as 1642, owned much land.    His wife Sarah deposed in 1668 that she was about 48 years old.  Essex County Deeds p 596 says William Story had seven children:  Sarah, Seth, William Jr., Abegail, Samuel, Hannah, and Susanna;  BUT there was a Ruth Story.  One Ruth Story “daughter of William” is mentioned in a document dated 1693, recorded in the office of the Clerk of Courts, Town of Salem MA.  This is a Deed of Gift in the will of Grandfather Story in April 1693.  Deed 1 April 1693 given by Mr. William Story Sr. of Ipswich MA 1693 to his son Seth Story and son William Story Jr. (LC Folio 596)


1. Seth Story

Seth’s wife Elizabeth Cross was born 3 Mar 1649/50. Her parents were Robert CROSS and Anna JORDAN.  Elizabeth died 12 Mar 1735/36 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass.

Seth became a deacon and was quite prominent in Ipswich Senior Deacon, 2nd Church of Chebacco. Chebacco was incorporated as Essex in 1819. The name Chebacco is Agawam in origin and refers to a large lake whose waters extend into neighboring Hamilton.  Early on, Chebacco Parish lobbied for status as an independent town, asking for permission to build a meeting house. In colonial times, the existence of a meeting house in a settlement conferred de facto autonomy, so Chebacco Parish was denied permission to build such a structure. Popular history tells that one written dictate was issued stating that “no man shall raise a meeting house”, so the residents of the settlement interpreted it as to mean that women would be allowed to do so. It is reported that a local woman, Madam Varney, assembled the town’s women and construction of a meeting house was carried out by them while the men looked on.

Seth fought in Narragansett winter fort under Capt. Samuel Brocklebank of Rowley during ‘King Phillip’s War with the rank of sergeant.

“Here lyes ye body of Deacon Seth Storey aged 87 years decd Octr ye 9th anno domini 1732”      .Old Graveyard Essex, Essex County, Mass

“Here Lyes Ye Body of Mrs Elizabeth Story Wife of Dea’n Seth Story Who Died March 12, 1736, Aged About 85 years”      Old Graveyard , Essex, Essex County Mass

2. Sarah Story

Sarah’s husband Richard Walker  was born 1637 in Lynn, Middlesex, Massachusetts. His parents were Richard Walker and  Jane Talmage.  He died 1721 in Lynn, Middlesex, Massachusetts and was buried 1721

5. William Story

William’s wife Susannah Fuller was born 4 Aug 1650 and died 4 Jun 1707 in Boston, Mass.  Her parents were John Fuller and Elizabeth Emerson.  They moved to Concord, then to Charlestown, Roxbury, and Brookline, Mass.

6. Abigail Story

Most sources state that Abigail died in 1658, but an Abigail Story, age 15 was serving Thomas LOW’s wife in Ipswich in 1669.

7. Hannah Story

Hannah’s first husband William Swan was born 24 Feb 1660 in Haverhill and died: 14 Apr 1682 in Cape May, NJ.  His parents were Robert Swan and Elizabeth Acy.

Hannah’s second husband Thomas Jewett was born  20 Sep 1666 in Rowley and died: 6 May 1731 in Boxford, Essex,  Mass.  His parents were Ezekiel JEWETT and Faith PARRAT.  After Hannah died, he married Faith [__?__].  Thomas died 6 May 1731 in Boxford, Essex, Mass..





The Book of Dow, Genealogical Memoirs of the Descendants of Henry Dow 1637, Thomas Dow 1639 and Others of the Name, Immigrants to America During Colonial Times. by Robert Percy Dow 1929



The Descendants of William Story  by Robert Pratt, pub. 2000 pp 1 – 4 detail all that is known about William Story


25 NOV 1731 Boxford, Essex, Mass.
Spouse: LAKEMAN, William 
b. 1710 Ipswich, Essex, Mass.
d. 14 MAR 1780 Boxford, Essex, Mass.

This entry was posted in 11th Generation, Double Ancestors, Historical Monument, Immigrant - England, Line - Miller, Twins, Witch Trials and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to William Story

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  15. This Story coat of arms is copyright of http://www.4crests.com. Please remove it, or at least add a link to our website and remove any advertising to outside companies, such as Ancestry.com…. This amounts to you using my images to collect ad dollars for yourself. Please cease and desist. You have quite a huge number of my graphics on your site at minerdescent.com

    Mike Kennaugh

  16. Richard W Bump says:

    If Susanna (Story) Browne passed away on 9 Jan 1734 at age 74 (Boxford, Vrs), the later a fairly definite number. Also there being big gaps between children. The date you use is the only date found in Vital records for an “unknown” daughter. Isn’t it more likely she was born before the date you use?

    My guess was abt 1660

  17. Sarah says:

    I believe William Story is my 9th great grandfather through his son, Samuel Story, Sergeant Jacob Story (1686-1772), Stephen Story (1716-1796). I have Stephen Story married an Elizabeth Story (1718-1791) possible cousins? My line goes through their daughter, Anne Story (1740-1791). Then my line becomes mixed with the Andrews Family. I also have a Burnham as my 4th great grandmother on that line but Samuel Story also married a Burnham.

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