Francis Wyman Sr.

Francis WYMAN Sr. (ca. 1592-1658)  was Alex’s 11th Great Grandfather, one of 4,096 in this generation of the Shaw line.

Francis Wyman - Coat of Arms

Francis Wyman was born about 1592 in West Mill, Hertfordshire, England,.  He married Elizabeth RICHARDSON on 2 May 1617 in West Mill.  After Elizabeth died, he married Jane [__?__].  Francis died 19 Sep 1658 in West Mill.

Francis was baptized at St. Mary The Virgin Parish Church - Westmill, Hampshire, England

Elizabeth Richardson was born 13 Jan 1593 in West Mill, Hertfordshire, England,  Her parents were Thomas RICHARDSON and Katherine DUXBURY.  Elizabeth died 22 Jun 1630 in West Mill.

Children of Francis and Elizabeth:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Thomas Wyman
 5 Apr 1618
West Mill
2. Francis WYMAN  24 Feb 1618/19 West Mill, Herts England Judith Pierce 30 Jan 1644 Woburn, Mass
Abigail Justice REED
2 Oct 1650
Woburn, Mass.
30 Nov 1699 in Woburn, Mass.
3. Lt. John Wyman 3 Feb 1621
West Mill
Sarah Ruth Nutt.
5 Nov 1644
Woburn, Mass
24 May 1688
Woburn, Mass.
4. Richard Wyman 24 Mar 1623
West Mill
5. William Wyman 31 Aug 1628
West Mill

The Wyman surname is very old and comes from the Anglo-Saxon, Wigund, meaning “Man of War”

Francis failed to pay his tithe for a number of years and so irritated the vicar that he lost patience with Francis and took him to court. The record appears in the tithe book: ‘1640 Francis Wyman payed 15 April 1640 17/5d at the Court at Hitchin for ye Calves valued at 8s ye Calfe, for eleven years last past viz for ye years 1623, 1624, 1625, 1626, 1627, 1628, 1629, 1630, 1631, 1632, 1633, the sum of 17s5d by the hand of Mr. Dawson Curate to Dr. Ward of Much Munden for which there is an Act in Court unto me Richard Taylor parson of Westmill which Calves were fallen in St. Croft.

Francis Wyman made his will 15 Sep 1658 he had another wife Jane. Francis Wyman was a husbandman of Westmill.  Will proved 14 Feb 1658/59

‘I Francis Wyman of the Parish of Westmill in the county of Hertford, husbandman, 15 September 1658. I do give and bequeath unto Jane my wife the full sum of ten shillings of lawful English money to be paid unto her by mine executor presently after my burial. Item I do give and bequeath unto my two sons Francis Wyman and John Wyman which are beyond sea ten punds apiece of lawful English money to be paid unto them by mine executor if they be in want and come over to demand the same. I do give and bequeath unto my sister Susan Huitt widow the full sum of forty shillings of lawful English money to be likewise paid to her by mine executor within one whole year next coming after my decease. I do give and bequeath unto Thomas Wyman my son all that my messuage of tenement wherein I now dwell with all my other buildings and outhousing thereunto belonging, and all my lands, orchard, garden and yards, with all and singular their appurtenances whatsoever, to him and his heirs forever. All the rest of my goods &c. to my said son Thomas, whom I appoint executor. Pell, 116.’


The two Wyman brothers Francis and John were seventeen and fourteen in 1636 when they immigrated and so probably came with their older uncles,  Samuel RICHARDSON (1602 – 1658) and Thomas Richardson.  [Abigail WYMAN married her second cousin Samuel’s son Stephen RICHARDSONThe first definite record that we find of the Wyman brothers in New England is when the town order founding Charlestown Village (Woburn ) were signed in 1640; which the Richardsons and Wymans all signed. By that date the Wymans were 21 and 18.      He owned a tannery  at the present Main and Wyman Streets near Central Square.

1. Thomas Wyman

Francis  and John  had an older brother, Thomas, who stayed in England and inherited the family farm there.  In 1658, their father back in England wrote out a Will giving small amounts of land to his sons John and Francis if they wished to return to England to claim it.

25 Feb 1679 – Overlooked by many is the fact that a grant of land was made in Woburn on this date to a John Wyman, a wheelwright. This was not Lt. John Wyman the brother of Francis, but rather the son of Thomas and Ann (Godfrey) Wyman and hence the nephew of the Wyman brothers. This John was know as Sergant John Wyman.

3. John Wyman

John’s wife Sarah Ruth Nutt was born 19 Sep 1624 in England. Her parents were Miles Nutt and Sarah Branson. After John’s death, Sarah married 25 Aug 1684 to Thomas Fuller of Woburn (b. 1618 in Wortwell, Norfolk, England – d. 3 Jun 1698 in Salem, Essex, Mass.) Sarah died 24 May 1688 in Woburn, Middlesex, Mass.

Lieutenant John Wyman and his brother Francis Wyman were among the first settlers of Woburn in 1641. They were tanners by trade, church members and persons of much respectability and worth.  Francis and John became tanners in Woburn, perhaps having learned the craft in England (Buntingford, two miles north of Westmill, was a tanning center in Hertfordshire)  Their tanning business carried on until 1768 when it was sold to David Cummings. The water needed for tanning was diverted from a brook which was done away with when the nearby Middlesex Canal was built about 1800. Woburn became the tanning center of the country.  They owned together five hundred acres of land in Billerica.

Francis and his brother John both worked as tanners in Woburn, Mass. A variety of tooled leather scabbards

John took part in “the Great Swamp Fight December 19, 1675,” where he was wounded. John’s son, John “Jr.” also took part in that fight, and was killed.

1640 – 500 acres of land in Woburn (now Burlington) was granted to Mr. Thomas Coytmore and was subsequently sold by Joseph Rock to Francis and John for £50 in Oct. 1667.

26 May 1647 – John Wyman the brother of Francis was made a freeman at age 25

1655 – Rev. Henry Dunster, first president of Harvard College,  sold 500 acres in what became the town of Billerica, Massachusetts to Francis and John Wyman for 100 pounds sterling.  Dunster had been granted the land in 1648.  Because of Dunster’s Baptist leanings, he was removed as the president of Harvard and apparently needed some cash. After some political maneuvering the pending town of Billerica was persuaded to lay out the grant which was entirely within the new town. The grant was on the border of Woburn, adjacent to where the Wymans already had land.

Between the 1640s and 1660s, Rev. John Eliot (“Apostle to the Indians”) and Daniel Gookin both worked with Harvard College and others to Christianize local Indians — who likely came mostly from the Massachusett (Massachuseok), Wampanoag, Nipmuc, Penacook and Pawtucket tribes.

By about 1666 the Indian Christianizing efforts resulted in a new “Praying Indian Town” named Shawshinock established near the headwaters of the Ipswich River in Billerica, northeast of the Francis Wyman House. Gookin retained land near the Wyman House,

1657 – The Woburn selectmen agreed to exchange 94 acres of land the Wymans already possessed in the town for an equal amount “adjoining to their land at Billerica….” Again, in 1661, Francis exchanged with “the town of Woburn..a parcel of land lying in the treasury…(for land at)…his farm next Billerica.”  That same year Billerica granted 70 acres in the same general area to the Wyman brothers, which was laid out- the return was made in 1663.

1671 – Francis, John, and eleven other citizens of Woburn were hauled before the County Court for publicly manifesting contempt for the ordinance of baptism and for attending illegal assemblies of the Anabaptists. Nothing much happened and both were later active in the local (Congregational) church. John Wyman seemed to have been convinced of the ‘error’ of his ways and was admitted back to the church in Woburn and took an active part in the settlement of Rev. Jabez Fox as a colleague of Rev. Thomas Carter in 1697. In his will 10 March 1683/4 he gave them 40/ each calling them his ‘Reverend Pastors’.

Francis however always retained his partiality for the Baptists for in his will 5 Sept. 1698 he gave to two elders of the Baptist Church in Boston, Mr. Isaac Hull and Mr. John Emblen £20 each.

Whereas John Wright, Isaac Cole, ffrancis Wiman, John Wiman, ffrancis Kendall, Robert Peirce, Matthew Smith & Joseph Wright, members in full communion with the Church of Christ at Woburne, were presented by the Grand Jury of the County of Middlesex in New England at the Court in October last (1671) for refuseing communion with the Church of Woburne in the Lord’s Supper, and rejecting the counsell of neighboring churches, and all other measures for healing the disorder and scandall thereby occasioned: This Court having heard their severall answers, wherein they pretend and alledge that the grounds of their withdrawing are sundry scruples in poynt of conscience, not daring to partake with the church for fear of defilement by sin, giving some reasons of their dissatisfaction, which not being satisfactory to the Court, who are sensible of the scandall thereby redounding to our profession, and considering the directions given by the word of God and laws of this Colony, requiring the attendance of all due meanes for preserving the peace and order of the churches in the wayes of godliness and honesty, that so all God’s ordinances may have passage unto edification, according to the rules of Christ.

This Court do therfore, upon serious consideration of the whole case, order that the respective churches of Charlestown, Cambridge, Watertown, Redding & Billerica be moved and requested from the Court, according to God’s ordinance of communion of churches, to send their elders and messengers unto the church of Woburn the ( ) day of March next, where the brethren that were presented as above said are ordered and required to give a meeting together with the church there, and shall have liberty humbly and inoffensively to declare their grievances, and the church also to declare the whole case for the hearing of their proceedings: And after the case is fully heard by the said councill, they are to endeavor the healing of their spirits, and making of peace among them, for the issuing of matters according to the word of God, and to make returne of what they shall do herein to the next county Court to be held at Cambridge: And the Recorder of this Court is ordered seasonably to signify the Court’s mind herein to the several churches above named. It is ordered that the Court’s final determination in the above named case be respited, untill they receive the councill’s return, and the above named persons that were presented by the Grand Jury are ordered to attend at the next court at Cambridge.'(3) These people of Woburn were prosecuted before the Middlesex County Court Dec. 1671 for contempt for the ordinance of Infant Baptism as administered in the church of Woburn and for withdrawing from that church and attending the assemblies of the Anabaptists which was not allowed by law.

An early map of the Daniel’s farm in Billerica dated 1668 shows two Wyman houses on land in Woburn at the present site, although it must be admitted that the map leaves much to be desired in the way of scale; nonetheless, the houses of Francis Wyman and John Wyman appear approximately the correct location in Woburn (now Burlington). By 1669 the Wyman farm had developed to the point that Billerica says a boundary dispute that what they were really after was the tax on the “great farme which the Wymans bought & (amounting to) 8 or 9 pounds p. annum.” The same year reference is made to Francis Wyman’s present habitation ” & neere the line &” and to the fact that Wyman paid tax to both Billerica and Woburn.

Dec 1672- A negro servant belonging to John Wyman Senior, being convicted ‘of abuse offered to two of Wamesit Indians wounding them on the head and elsewhere’ is sentenced to pay the Indians ten shillings – Middlesex County Court Records Vol III. page 47

19 Dec 1675 – John took part in “Great Swamp Fight” where he was wounded.    He was the second officer in the only cavalry troops the English had at the Narraganset Fort fight.   In this fight his son John was killed, but he escaped with a wound in his cheek from an Indian arrow.

Great Swamp Fight painting.jpg

Great Swamp Fight painting From: "Annual Record of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachussets" Published 1900

John Sr. had an indentured servant named Simpson working in the Wyman tannery. Simpson was a Scot who had fought against Cromwell and when captured was sent to New England as an indentured servant. Simpson also fought in King Philip’s War. After his son’s death, John petitioned the General Court to excuse Simpson from further duty;

To the Honorable Govers: ye Council now Sitting in Boston
The Petition of John Wyman.
Humbly Sheweth that yore Petitioner Hath beene often out in the service of ye Country against the Indians: his sone also was out and slaine by the enemy: and his servants hath beene long out in the warrs and now being reduced to greate wants for clotheing: desires liberty to come downe from Hadly where he now remains a garrison souldier: and he is a taner by traid and yore Petitioner bought him on purpose for that management of his tan yard: and himselfe being unexperienced in that calling doth humbly request that favore of your honors to consider the premisses and to grant his said servant Robert Simpson a dismission from this present service that so his lether now in the fatts may not be spoyled but yore Petitioner be ever engaged to pray &c.

Jno. Wyman.

4. Richard Wyman

There is also found in Boston a tailor named Thomas Wyman or Wayman who was in the 1675 war against the Narragansett Indians. He is believed by some to be the son of the brother Richard Wyman, hence another nephew of Francis and John Wyman

Sources: [Artistic Representation]

Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and personal …, Volume 2 By Ellery Bicknell Crane

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5 Responses to Francis Wyman Sr.

  1. Pingback: Francis Wyman | Miner Descent

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