William Corser

William COURSER (1609 – 1673) was Alex’s 10th Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Shaw line.

William Corser – Coat of Arms


William Corser, of Boston, supposed to have been the first of the name in this country, was born Aug., 1609 in England.  He married Joanna [__?__] before 1638 in Boston, Mass. He came over at the age of twenty-six in the bark “Elizabeth and Ann,” which sailed from London, May, 1635.  In a previous entrie, of date Feb. 17, 1634, the names of a William Courser, aged 24 — perhaps the same with the preceding — and 148 others are registered for transportation to the Barbadoes, in the ship Hopewell, Capt. Wood.

William died before July, 1673.

William was a Cordwainer as was his son John

Children of William and Joanna:

Name Born Married Departed
1 Archelaus Courser? c . 1636
Boston, Mass
Rachel Roper
1661 Dedham, Mass
Dedham, Mass
2. Deliverance Courser 4 Jan 1638
3. Joanna Courser 12 Dec 1639
4. John CORSER 6 Mar 1642 Dedham, Norfolk, Mass. Margaret [__?__] 1713 in Massachusetts.

In Middle-English, the word corser (with its equivalent courser, a variant spelling of the same word) is found in use as a common name, signifying first, a steed or war-horse ; and second, a horse-dealer. The root is found in the Latin word currere, signifying to run, whence a course, and cursor, a runner.

Encyclopedia of Heraldry, or General Armory of England, Scotland, and Ireland :

” CoRSER (Edinboro’). Argent, three horses’ heads couped sable, bridled of the first. Crest — a Pegasus proper. Motto — Recta Coitrsay Or, in other words — On a white field, three horses’ heads cut off, sable, with bridles of the first-mentioned color. A Pegasus (winged horse of the Muses) proper is one of the natural color, whatever that may be. The motto varies as given by different authorities, but we accept the above as probably correct. It is supposed to be Latin, of the kind known as Low (or Medieval) Latin — the word coursa (equivalent corsa, as in Italian) being derived from the old French or Middle-English coiirs or cors — and signifies, Right Course, or more freely. On the Right Track.

A second description, presumably of arms granted to another rising son of the family, differing slightly from the preceding, but with the same general heraldic device, is also found as follows :

” CORSER. Argent, on a chevron sable, three horses’ heads couped of the first.” Here we have three white horses’ heads displayed on a dark chevron (i. e., figure “representing two rafters of a house meeting at the top “). — Arms answering to this description, we may note, appear to have been adopted by that branch of the family of which the venerable clergyman mentioned below was an honored representative. Crest — same as above. Motto — Recto cursu.

Based on the roll of the Elizabeth and Ann, William was a shoemaker.

William took the freeman’s oath. May 25, 1636, — the day on which Harry (afterwards Sir Harry) Vane was elected Governor of Massachusetts, for whom, as a good churchman, he probably voted, — and the next year purchased a house near the Common, which he afterwards sold to John Chamberlain ; was by trade a cordwainer, and at one of the first meetings of the town was chosen sealer of leather.  He was allowed to be inn holder.


1. Archelaus  Corser

Archelaus’ wife Rachel Roper was born 18 Mar 1639 Dedham, Norfolk, Mass. Her parents were John Roper (1611-1676) and Alice [__?__].

Archelaus’ name appears  on a “List of those who subscribed to the minister’s house [Lancaster, Mass.] in 1688.  The list was among the papers of Jonathan Wilder found by Joseph Willard.

Archelaus resided for a while at Cambridge, Mass., and subsequently at Lancaster, where his children were born.

Children of Archelaus and Rachel:

i. Rachel Corser, b. Oct 1662.

ii. Simon Corser, b. 3 Aug 1667.

iii. Simom Corser, b. 15 Jun 1669.

iv. Mary Corser, b. 11 May 1670.

No further trace of this family has been discovered.

4. John CORSER (See his page)


Genealogy of the Corser family in America : embracing many of the descendants of the early settlers of the name in Massachusetts and New Hampshire with some reminiscences of their trans-Atlantic cousins (1902)

New England marriages prior to 1700 By Clarence Almon Torrey


Genealogical guide to the early settlers of America: with a brief history of … By Henry Whittemore

This entry was posted in 12th Generation, Immigrant - England, Line - Shaw, Missing Parents, Tavern Keeper and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to William Corser

  1. Pingback: John Corser | Miner Descent

  2. Pingback: Missing Parents | Miner Descent

  3. Pingback: Passages | Miner Descent

  4. Ron Corser says:

    Alex–or whoever created this site.
    Do you know where in England William Corser/Courser and family were from? We have some incomplete family history. Please email me.

    • markeminer says:

      Hi Ron,

      As far as I know, there is no record of William’s birth. He was listed in the passenger list of the “Elizabeth and Ann,” which sailed from London, May, 1635


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