Rev. Henry Dillingham

Rev. Henry DILLINGHAM (1568 – 1625)  was Alex’s 11th Great Grandfather; one of 4,096  in this generation of the Shaw line.   Two of his children, Edward and John were early immigrants.

Dillingham – Coat of Arms

Henry Dillingham may have been born in 1568, Dean, Bedfordshire, England. His father was William DILLINGHAM (c. 1527 -24 Feb 1602/03, Cotesbach, Leicestershire, England) and Kathrina MARSTON. He married Oseth [__?__] in 1591 in Cotesbach, Leicestershire, England.  After Oseath died, he married Margaret [__?__]. Henry died 4 Dec 1625, Cotesbach, Leicestershire, England at age 57 and was buried 9 Dec 1625, Cotesbach, Leicestershire, England .

St. Mary’s Church, Cotesbach, Leicester, England – Henry Dillingham Rector of Cottesbach who was also patron of the living of Bitteswell in 1606. His son Edward was a Gentleman landowner of Bitteswell before emmigrating to Massachusetts in 1632.

Oseth [__?__] was born in 1568 in Cottesbach, , Leicestershire, England. Oseth died 16 Jun 1609 in Cottesbach, Leicestershire, England

Children of Henry and Oseath:

Name Born Married Departed
1. John Dillingham baptized
17 Sep 1592
Cotesbach, Leicestershire England
2. Henry Dillingham 17 Feb 1592/93
Cotesbach, Leicestershire England
29 Jul 1609
3. Edward DILLINGHAM  baptized on 6 Dec 1595 at Cotesbach, Leicester, England Ursula CARTER at Cotesbach, Leicester, England, on 14 Feb 1614/15.  between 1 May 1666 when he wrote his will and 5 June 1667 when it was proven in Sandwich, Plymouth Colony.
4.  Gilbert Dillingham bapt.
24 Oct 1597
Cotesbach, LeicestershireEngland
19 Aug 1609
5. Mary Dillingham 5 May 1600
Cotesbach, Leicestershire England
21 Oct 1609
Cotesbach, England
6. Catherine Dillingham c. 1600 William Allen
of Burrow, Leics
7. Martha Dillingham 29 Jan 1601/02
Cotesbach, Leicestershire England
11 Jul 1609
Cotesbach, England
8. Oseath Dillingham 12 Feb 1602/03
Cotesbach, Leicestershire England
9. John Dillingham 13 July 1606 Cottesbach, Leicestershire Sarah [__?__] 1635
Ipswich, Mass

Repeated tragedy struck in 1609 when his wife and four of his children died within 4 months.

Rev. Henry Dillingham was the rector of Coltesbach in Leicester and also owned a freehold estate in the neighboring parish of Bitteswell.

Notes prob by Dean Dudley Edward Dillingham … Most probably the son of Edward Dillingham Gent Freeholder in 1630 (see Nichols History of Leicester Vol 4 Part 1 Page 42) Son of Rev Henry Dillingham Rector of Cottesback who was also patron of the living of Bitteswell in 1606 (ditto p 47) Rev Henry Dillingham of Cottesback d.Dec 9 1625 and on his monument is “Henry Dillingham qui his sepullus est Dec 9 1625”. He was Rector of the Parish of Cottesback from 1607 until Dec 1625 (ditto p 148,150). Edward Dillingham of Sandwich named his eldest son after his own grandfather the Rector. Notes by ED Later it seems to have been figured out that Edward Dillingham Gent Freeholder was in fact the immigrant. He married and had one of his sons in England. His brother John came here in 1630 with Gov Winthrop; Edward followed in 1632. Rev Henry b c1555 Rector 1607 d 1625 Edward Gent b c1580 Edward Immigrant b c1605 m c1626 Emigrant 1630 Deputy 1642 d 1667 Henry his son b 1627 in England Rev Henry b c1570 Rector 1607 d 1625 Edward Immigrant b c1600 m c1626 Emigrant 1630 Deputy 1642 d 1667 Henry his son b 1627 in England The latter seems more likely, since all the generations of our family run more than 30 years. The former requires that the Rev Henry was 52 years old when he became Rector. If we could find the Rev Henry’s date of birth it would probably settle the question completely. [WE DID! He was the second of four brothers and was born in 1568, son of William.] But Margaret Haile says Henry received his BA from Christ’s College (Cambridge) in 1574/5; MA 1578; ordained Deacon and Priest 1581; Rector of Cotesbach 1581; died there December 1625. This makes him born c.1550 and getting on when Edward was born 1595, but certainly more likely his father than his grandfather. Based on these arguments I show The Rev Henry as the father of Edward, both Gent Freeholder and Immigrant. Why would a freeholder emigrate? Maybe because the Puritan son of a Church of England clergyman was uncomfortable in England under Charles I, or perhaps because he saw the civil war coming (it started in 1644, I think) and didn’t want to disagree with his father, whom he chose to honor by naming his son Henry. The Reverend Henry Dillingham was born during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and died (Dec 1625, from his tombstone) during the reign of Charles I. [DILLIN.GED]

1602 Document signed Rev. Henry Dillingham


6. Catherine Dillingham

In 1619 William Camden, Clarenceux King of Arms, made a Visitation of the County of Leicester, and recorded pedigrees of many families. The Dillinghams were not so honored, but two of them married above their station and appear in the Allen and Marstone pedigrees. William Allen of Burrow, Leics married Katherina (or Catherine) daughter of Henry Dillingham of Deane. Was this our Henry? He might have moved from Deane to Cottesbach afterward; alternately this might have been his cousin. Winthrop Alexander has the same source: “William Allen of Burrow, county Leicester, aged 26 in 1619, married Katherine, daughter of Henry Dillingham of Dean. Their first child was born 1619.” Alexander does not identify her father Henry as the father of Edward, etc. and lists his eight children by name. Katherine would fit in the middle of these. Moreover, Henry was Rector of Cottesbach in 1600. Henry father of Katherine may be a cousin of our Henry. [DILLIN.GED]

9. John Dillingham

Edward’s brother John Dillingham also immigrated.  While Edward lived in Plymouth, John was up north in Ipswich.

John Dillingham, brother of Edward, sons of Henry and Oseth. Edward was appointed his executor 6 Sept 1636. Arrived in Plymouth either with Edward or earlier. Possibly John in 1630, Edward in 1632. From a Caldwell genealogy: John Dillingham was from Leicestershire, and came in the fleet with Winthrop. He was first at Boston. He received his title and was made a freeman in 1630. His name appears in Ipswich in 1634, the year following the settlement of the town by Winthrop and twelve others. In November 1634 he had a grant of six acres in Ipswich, lying on the west side of the town and the north side of the great swamp. He sold marsh lands to William Payne. He probably died in 1635. Mr. Savage says that “dead” is written against his name (No.71) in the list at Boston. At the time of his death he had an adventure of 604 pounds 3s 11p on board ship Sea Flower. He left a wife, Sarah, and two children, Edward and Sarah. The wife and son very soon followed him to the grave. July 10, 1636, Widow Sarah Dillingham, made her will being then “weak and sick.” Edward, the son, was then dead, and the little Sarah was committed to the guardianship of Richard Saltonstall, Esquire and Mr Samuel Appleton. Winthrop Alexander quotes historical documents about John and his wife Sarah at some length. (pp 249-253). [DILLIN.GED]

The New England historical & genealogical register and antiquarian …, Volume 7 By New England Historic Genealogical 1853

[Edward Dillingham, gent. Freeholder of Bitteswell, Co. Leicester Eng., about A. D. 1600. Arms :—Argent, ten fleurs de lis   Thomas Dillingham living at. Over Dean, A. D. 1600, had sons, viz.—1 John born 1600, D. D. 2. Theophilus born 1602, Master of Clare Hall, Camb. A. D. 1654, left posterity. Rev. Thomas, of the same family, was Rector of All Saints, Barnwell Co. Northampt. A. D. 1618, left posterity. William wrote a Life of Dr. Chadderton. The family were very numerous in the Parish of Dean about A. D. 1600. • D. D.}

John immigrated in 1630, first living in Boston and then Lynn 1632, and Ipswich 1634. He visited England in late 1631, visiting Essex at least, and returning to New England by 1632. He married by 1634 (and possibly during his visit to England in 1631-2) Sarah Caly; she died at Ipswich between 14 July 1636 (date of will) and 6 September 1636 (court order on estate).   John died betwen Dec 1634 (grant of land in Ipswich) and July 1636 (will of wife Sarah).

He was admitted to Boston church as member #71, which would be in the winter of 1630/31.

FREEMAN: Requested 19 October 1630 and admitted 18 May 1631 (both times as “Mr. John Dillingham”).

EDUCATION: Sarah Dillingham made provision in her will for the education of her daughter Sarah, and the estate papers contain references to payments for the child’s education, and to books which belonged to her .

OFFICES: Jury in trial of Thomas Dexter, 3 May 1631 [MBCR 1:86].

ESTATE: In November 1634 granted “six acres of land, lying at the west end of the town [Ipswich] on the south side of the great swamp”; on 29 December 1634 granted sixty acres of meadow in Rock Meadow, also thirty acres of upland adjoining to it [Ipswich Town Records].

Since John Dillingham died about 1635, and his wife within a year or so, the records of their estates are totally intermingled. In 1645, when most of the accounts had been settled, the General Court ordered that the “wills of John and Sarah Dillingham with the inventory shall be kept by Mr. Nowell and Hibbins and Richard Saltonstall discharged [MBCR 2:145; EPR 1:10]. This implies that only one inventory was taken, apparently after both husband and wife had died; the will of John Dillingham has not survived, although that of Sarah has.

On 14 July 1636 “Sarah Dillingham of Ipswich widow” made her will, bequeathing to “my only child Sarah Dillingham my whole estate in land and goods (except such particular legacies as hereafter are named),” but if she dies before marriage or before reaching the age of twenty-one, the estate is to be equally divided among “my mother Thomasine Caly, my brothers Abraham Caly and Jacob Caly, my sister Bull and my sister Bast, the wives of John Bull and John Bast, and my sisters Rebecca Caly and Emme Caly,” all of whom are now living in England; to Mr. Ward, pastor of the Ipswich church, £5; to Richard Saltonstall Esq., £10, and to Mrs. Saltonstall his wife a silver bowl; to Mr. Samuel Appleton, £5, and to his wife a silver porringer; Mr. Saltonstall and Mr. Appleton to be executors [EPR 1:3-4].

The undated inventory, apparently of the estate of both John and Sarah Dillingham, totalled £385 14s. 5d., of which £130 was real estate: “the house with the appurtenances, viz. fencing, apple trees with other fruits in the gardens with 30 acres of uplands, 60 acres of meadow & 6 acres of planting ground near the house,” £130 [EPR 1:4-5].

1645 – Our ancestor John PERKINS was appraiser to the estate of Sarah Dillingham.

John Perkins’ signature on Sarah Dillingham’s Inventory

On 6 September 1636 the General Court ordered that “Mr. Dudley, Mr. Endecot and Mr. Bradstreete, or any two of them, should examine the accounts between Mr. Richard Saltonstall and Edward Dillingham, and report on the estate of John Dillingham and his wife, deceased” [MBCR 1:177; EPR 1:6]. Edward Dillingham, brother of John, had apparently been bequeathed one-third of the estate of John Dillingham in the latter’s will, and nearly ten years passed before he and Richard Saltonstall settled all outstanding differences, with Saltonstall accusing Edward Dillingham of taking unfair advantage. During this time there were several allowances made to the surviving child, Sarah Dillingham, for her maintenance and education. In 1645 the court allowed Richard Saltonstall £924 2s. 1d. from the estate. Also, Dudley, Endicott and Bradstreet were replaced as commissioners by Increase Nowell and Thomas Mayhew, and Mayhew himself was later supplanted by William Hibbins [EPR 1:5-10; WP 3:384].

ohn Dillingham’s movements during his brief span of years in New England are not well recorded, but the following itinerary is suggested. His appearance in several records in late 1630 and early 1631 (request for and admission to freemanship, admission to Boston church, service on criminal trial jury) all point clearly to his arrival in 1630 as part of the Winthrop Fleet. His only residential connection is with Boston, based on church membership, and this is probably where he spent his first year or so in New England.

In late 1631 John Dillingham appears to have made a trip to England, probably returning to New England in early 1632. In a letter of 20 June 1632, James Wall of Witham, Essex, writing to John Winthrop Jr., speaks of “one Mr. John Dillingham of your plantation that had many goods and all the cows I was to receive, and he owed me money but would not speak me when he was here in England, though he was within 2 miles of my house and spoke with some of my kinsmen,” and then goes on at length about how the debt should be recovered [WP 3:80].

Aside from the implication that Dillingham was in England in late 1631 or early 1632, we may have here a clue as to the time of his marriage and the origin of his wife. We know from her will that John Dillingham’s wife Sarah was a Caly, and there may be some relationship with the Thomas Caley of Little Waldingfield in Suffolk, another correspondent of John Winthrop Jr. Note also that Henry Jacie, for many years a close neighbor of the Winthrops in Suffolk, in a letter of 12 June 1633 to John Winthrop Jr., sends his regards to “Mr. Dillingham of Rocksbury” [WP 3:128]; whether this reference represents an actual brief residence of John Dillingham in Roxbury, or simply confusion on Jacie’s part, we cannot tell.

After his return to New England in 1632, Dillingham seems to have taken up residence in Lynn. On 3 September 1633 the General Court appointed commissioners to hear the differences among John Dillingham, Richard Wright and Thomas Dexter, the latter two being associated with Lynn at this date [MBCR 1:108]. On 4 March 1633/4 the General Court ordered that “Mr. Dillingham shall be rated for the cattle he is possessed of, of Mr. Downeings” [MBCR 1:112; see WP 3:91, 163]; Emanuel Downing’s business interests in New England were carried out in Lynn, prior to Downing’s own arrival. Furthermore, John Dillingham’s elder brother Edward, when he came to New England about 1635, sat down at Lynn.

While John Dillingham was not in the list of the first twelve allowed to settle at Ipswich, he must have followed soon after, for he was receiving grants of land there in 1634.

Savage, and some others writing on John Dillingham in later years, have stated that John Dillingham had a son Edward, who had died by the time of Sarah (Caly) Dillingham’s will in 1636. There is no record evidence for this, and it probably derives from a misreading of the complicated estate proceedings of John and Sarah Dillingham, which frequently mention John’s elder brother Edward Dillingham.

Children of John and Elizabeth

i. Sarah Dillingham, b. say 1634; m. about 1654 John Caldwell (named son Dillingham Caldwell) [Augustine Caldwell, Caldwell Records (Boston 1873), pp. 9-13].


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11 Responses to Rev. Henry Dillingham

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  4. Dave Wiltshire says:

    More than interested in communicating with whoever put together the information about Rev. Henry Dillingham. There is clear evidence that 1568 is NOT his year of birth and it would be great to put the record straight if anyone wants to correct this matter.

    • markeminer says:

      Hi Dave,

      What year do you have for Henry’s birth? What makes you think 1568 is wrong? That year would imply Henry was 23 when he married Oseth in 1591.

      Thanks, Mark

      • Dave Wiltshire says:

        So that is the basis for the use of 1568 and not other life events or appearance in a family document that includes him? I know Winthrop Alexander suggests 1568, but I note you have said you have found his date of birth – “If we could find the Rev Henry’s date of birth it would probably settle the question completely. [WE DID! He was the second of four brothers and was born in 1568, son of William.]” Sorry I missed the “WE DID!” when I read your information originally anf did not realise that you had actually found evidence of his birth in 1568 and I must have overlooked this when I read part of your post. I assume this means that the missing record of his baptism has been found, leading me to use other sources to establish his approximate year of birth? If you let me know the source of this then I will re-evaluate the evidence I have and update the records that I have compiled on behalf of the family.

        Thank you in anticipation.


  5. Stephenie says:

    Hello, I am an ancestor of a family line that one of Rev. Henry’s great great great (and so on) grandchildren married into, Margaret Dillingham, and to me anyone who is related to someone who marries into my family even so long ago is family to me, I decided to branch out after hitting a bump. But unless you already have looked 1568 has been listed for his birth, I have yet to check if there are any other years listed on another site, hard to since it costs money on sites just to find ancestors and such. If I do find anymore information I will share it but thank you for creating this, I love learning about past people that are some how associated with my family at some point.

  6. Dave says:

    As we move towards the 2nd Worldwide Dillingham Reunion in July, I am still intrigued by the evidence for 1568 being used as his year of birth? I wondered what the source of this was as it is clear from the previous posts that evidence had been found. I am coming to the end of my 30 years researching the family worldwide and all the details I have managed to gather points to a very different approximation of his birth year. However, since evidence has been found I would have to accept this evidence, but I am just intrigued by what it is?

    Just in case it helps, I will mention the following, but since you have evidence of 1568, then all of this will be irrelevant –

    Although Winthrop Alexander included an estimate of Henry Dillingham’s year of birth as 1568, the first clue to Henry’s more likely date of birth appears in Venn’s “Alumni Cantabrigienses”. Henry Dillingham matriculated as a pensioner from Christ’s College in May 1570 and, according to a list in St Mary’s Church, Cotesbach, Henry Dillingham became Rector in 1581. Henry’s enrollment at Cambridge University in 1570 suggests that he was at least aged about 12 or 13 at this time, giving an estimate of 1558 or earlier.

    In addition to the above, the will of Joan Dillingham, Henry’s grandmother, makes reference to William Dillingham’s children, John and Harry. There is little doubt that for Harry we can read Henry, establishing that he was born no later than 26th August 1558. The enrollment information would support that the Harry in the will survived to maturity and later became Rev. Henry Dillingham of Cotesbach.

  7. Stephenie says:

    Thank you for the information =) I sometimes find it hard to always rely too much on dates because I ran into multiple ancestors (same person) where multiple sites have listed different birth or death dates.

  8. Dave says:

    Mark clearly has other evidence, but he has not responded yet. It will be very interesting to know what his detail is, because it must have been very carefully researched for him to be so certain that 1568 is correct.

    • Stephenie says:

      Oh I know, I have been doing my own research (which lead me to this site) and I research to the point of headaches because there is either so much information or not enough. But I always make notes if there is a difference in dates listed for the same person.

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