John Williams

John Williams (1600 – 1674)  was Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Miller line.

Immigrant Ancestor

John Williams was born in 1600 in England. He was baptized 7 Dec 1607 in  Newbury, Berkshire, England.  There is a family tradition which asserts that he came originally from Wales.   His parents were John WILLIAMS and Elizabeth PALMER.  He married Jane GOULD.  John died 10 Feb 1674 in Haverhill, Essex, Mass.

Jane Gould was born about 1610 in England.  Jane died 21 Nov 1680 in Haverhill, Essex, Mass.

Children of John and Jane:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Sarah Williams  c. 1628 John Ayres (son of John Ayer)
5 May 1646 Haverhill
25 Jul 1662
2. John Williams 25 Oct 1636 Salisbury, Essex, Mas Rebecca Colby
(Daughter of Anthony COLBY)
9 Sep 1661 in Salisbury, Mass
Hester Blakeley (widow of John Bond)
5 May, 1675
30 Apr 1698
3. Mary Williams 20 Sep 1641 Newbury, Essex, Mass Daniel BROADLEY
21 May 1662 in Haverhill, Mass.
6 Oct 1714 in Haverhill, Mass.
4. Lydia Williams 16 Mar 1643 Haverhill Unmarried 1677
5. Joseph Williams 18 Apr 1647 Haverhill Mary Fuller
18 Nov 1674 Barnstable, Mass
4 Jan 1721
Norwich, CT

In his will, dated Dec 9, 1670, proved 1673-4, he mentions his children John, Joseph, Mary and Lydia, and his daughter Sarah’s child, Sarah Eyers. The births of Mary and Lydia were recorded at Newbury, Lydia and Joseph at Haverhill.

The sojourn of John Williams in Newbury was not associated with any event of record until 1640, when he appears as petitioner to found  the new town of Haverhill with the Rev. John Ward, the promoter of the scheme, and others, William White, James DAVIS, John Robinson, Henry Palmer, Samuel Gile, Christopher Hussey, and Richard Littledale, to whom were added four from Ipswich. To do this he must have been a man of some mark and substance, and of character equal to those with whom he was associated. A beautiful site was chosen on the opposite bank of the Merrimac River, some six or seven miles farther up the stream, and almost twelve miles from the sea. This spot they named Haverhill after the English town from which its projector came.

1642 – John Williams was admitted freeman in Haverhill.

In 1643, according to a town vote, the valuation of his property was put at eighty pounds, which compares favorably with the other land owners. Every stockholder who emigrated at his own expense was to receive fifty acres for each member of his family; and every fifty pounds contributed to the company’s stock entitled the stockholder to two hundred acres of land.

In 1667, John Williams received a share in the distribution of some lands belonging to the town, which confirms the statement that he was one of the original proprietors, and to be such he must have been in possession of means brought from the old country. According to the statement in the “Sewell Papers,” which refers to this particular party of emigrants, viz., the settlers of Newbury, Massachusetts, ” Men of means, dissatisfied with the state of affairs in their native England, favored the exodus of their sons to America, and assisted them with money for that purpose.” It is even stated that houses in such towns as Newbury were owned by English proprietors, who received rental therefrom.

He died Feb. 10, 1673. Will dated Dec. 9, 1670; daughters Mary, Lydia and Sarah; grand child Sarah Eyers. Inventory of Widow’s estate was presented by son Joseph 29 March 1681.”


1. Sarah Williams

There were two John Ayres in early Massachusetts.  One married Sarah Williams and Mary Wooddam and the other married Susannah Symonds.  Genealogies show both the Williams and Symonds marriages with a date of 5 May 1646 in Haverhill, but I think the Ayres/Williams connection is correct.

Sarah’s John Ayres was born in 1623 in Lavenham, Suffolk. His parents were John Ayer and Hannah Evered. After Sarah died, her John Ayre married 26 Mar 1663 in Haverhill, Essex, Mass to Mary Wooddam (b. 1634 in Salisbury, Essex, Mass; d. 1694 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass.) This John died between 1694 and 1711 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass.

The other John Ayres was born about 1621 in England. He married 5 May 1646 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass to Susannah Symonds (b. 1617 d. 2 Feb 1682 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass.)  Susannah’s parents were Mark SYMONDS and Joanna [__?__]. This other John was killed by Indians 2 Aug 1675 in Northfield, Franklin, Mass. with seven others, at the fight at Brookfield.. Though he had received large grants of land at Brookfield, some 2,000 acres, his family undoubtedly returned to Ipswich and its vicinity, the settlement having been broken up, and rendered unsafe.  His widow presented an inventory of his estate, now recorded at Salem, on which she wrote, “I have seven sons and one daughter.”

This other John’s parentage is unknown,  but it seems highly probable that he was accompanied to New England by two of his brothers-in-law, William Lamson and William Fellows.   The ground for the conjecture is this. William Lamson died at Ipswich in 1659, leaving eight children. His widow Sarah wished to marry one Thomas Hartshorn, but was opposed by her brothers William Fellows and John Ayres. Now as Ayres married a Symonds, and there is no record of any sisters of his wife who married Lamson and Fellows, it is fair to conclude that their wives were own sisters of John Ayres.

We learn from deeds at Salem, that this other John Ayres lived at Ipswich 1648, and as a tenant on Mr. John Norton’s farm. In Nov 1672, he seems to have sold out all his rights in the town, including those derived from his father-in-law, Mark Symonds,

2. John Williams

John’s first wife Rebecca Colby was born 11 Mar 1643 in Salisbury, Essex, Mass.  Her parents were Anthony COLBY and Susanna WATERMAN.  Rebecca died 10 Jun 1672 in Haverhill, Essex, Mass.

John’s second wife Hester Blakeley was born about 1630.  Her parents were Joseph Blakely and Sarah Williams.  She first married 15 Aug 1649 Newbury, Essex, Mass. to John Bond (1624 – 1674).

3. Mary Williams (See Daniel BROADLEY‘s page)

5. Joseph Williams

Joseph’s wife Mary Fuller was born 16 Jun 1644 in Scituate, Plymouth, Mass. Her parents were Samuel Fuller and Jane Lathrop. Mary died 11 Nov 1720 in Norwich, New London, CT.

Joseph Williams was called deceased in 1720 but executed a deed as late as March 1719, m. Haverhill 18 Nov 1674 Mary Fuller. Last record in Haverhill is birth of Hannah in 1683, added as inhabitant in Norwich in 1702.


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7 Responses to John Williams

  1. Pingback: Daniel Broadley | Miner Descent

  2. Pingback: Famous Cousins | Miner Descent

  3. Pingback: Anthony Colby I | Miner Descent

  4. Pingback: Mark Symonds | Miner Descent

  5. Pingback: John Ayre | Miner Descent

  6. This Williams coat of arms is copyright of Please remove it, or at least add a link to our website and remove any advertising to outside companies, such as…. 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

    Mike Kennaugh

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