William Heath

William A. HEATH (1550 – 1623)  was Alex’s 12th Great Grandfather; one of 8,192 in this generation of the Miller line.

Heath Family Coat of Arms

William A Heath was born in 1550 in Ware, Hertford, England. His parents were Edward HEATH (1525 – 1592) and Alice [__?__] (1529 – 1593). He married Alice CHENEY 9 Jun 1580 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England .  William died 7 Jan 1623 in Ware, Hertford, England.

Alice Cheney was born 1552 in St Martins, Wiltshire, England. Her parents were Robert CHENEY  and Joan HARRISON. Alice died 24 Dec 1593 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England.

Children of William and Alice:

Name Born Married Departed
1. John HEATH 15 Aug 1574  Salisbury St Martins, Wiltshire, England. Alis BARTHOLOMEW
12 Feb 1599
St Martin, Wiltshire, England
1644 in England
2. William Heath 5 Aug 1581
Ware, Hertfordshire, England
Mary Cramphorn
10 Feb 1616/17 – Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England
Mary Perry
29 Jan 1622/23 in Gilston, Hertfordshire
29 May 1652 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.
3. Alice Heath bapt.
23 Dec 1583
Ware, Hertfordshire, England
Nathaniel Larke
19 Sep 1614 Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England
10 Oct 1640 Ware, Hertfordshire, England
4. Elder Isaac Heath  ~1585 Elizabeth Miller
14 Jan 1628/29 Ware, Hertfordshire, England
21 Jan 1660/61
5. George Heath 4 Aug 1588 Ware, Herts, England
6. Mary Heath 24 Mar 1594  Ware, Hertfordshire,  England John Johnson of Roxbury
21 Sep 1613 – Ware, Hertfordshire, England
15 May 1629 Ware, Hertfordshire,  England
7. Prudence Heath 6 Nov 1597 – Hertfordshire, England Edward Morrison (Morris)
25 Oct 1622 – St. Mary Mounthaw, London, England
22 Jan 1631 – Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England
8. Thomas Heath  ~1603 Oct 1603
9. Thomas Heath 30 Sep 1604 Ware, Herts, England Elizabeth Mumford
9 Apr 1627 Great Amwell, Herts, England


William’s father Edward Heath was born 1525 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England. His father was Robert HEATH (1500 – 1575). Edward died 8 Mar 1592 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England.

William’s mother Alice Carter was born 24 Dec 1529 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England. Alice died 24 Dec 1593 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England

Alice’s father Robert Cheney was born about 1520.  His father was  Robert CHENEY  (~1490 – ~1542), whose will was written 26 Oct 1542, naming son Robert and daughter Agnes/Annes Donne, and requesting burial in the churchyard of Saint Lawrence, Waltham.  Robert, son of Robert, was grandson of yet another Robert CHENEY (b. ~1460), a resident of Waltham Abbey, Essex in 1494.   Robert’s will was made 1 Oct. 1567 and proved 13 Mar 1567/68 in Waltham Abbey, Essex, and names his children, his step-father Mr. Bryttayne, his sister Donne , his wife’s brother William Harrison, and her brother-in-law Christopher Goldinge .

Alice’s mother Joan Harrison was born about 1525, Waltham Abbey, Essex.  Her parents were John HARRISON and Agnes [__?__].  She was named in her father’s will dated 4 Jan. 1549/50 as Johanne Cheyney. Married second in 1568 to John Hanford (bur. 7 Feb. 1610/11, Waltham Abbey, Essex). John was married second 12 Dec. 1597, at Waltham Abbey to Alice Wicksted.   Joan was buried 14 May 1597 in Waltham Abbey, Essex.


That William, and not either of his brothers Robert or John, was the father of the next generation of Heaths in Ware is strongly suggested by the fact that he inherited his father’s house there, to the exclusion of his brothers. He was probably well established there already. Although the Ware parish registers do not include the name of the father of children baptized there in the period 1581-1604, the spacing of the baptisms strongly implies that there was only one Heath family having children in the parish in the 1580s and 1590s. Beginning in 1604, the baptismal registers include the father’s name, and that year William’s son Thomas was baptized there.

Chronology suggests that this was William Heath’s last child. Significantly, no further children for this William appear in the registers of either Ware or Great Amwell.

2. William Heath

William’s first wife Mary Cramphorne was bapt. 12 Jan 1591/92 in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, England.  Her parents were Thomas Crampthorne and Mary Lyndesell. Mary was buried at Great Amwell 24 November 1621, as “the wife of William Heath of Ware End.”

William’s second wife Mary Perry was born in Sawbridgeworth. Mary died 15 Dec 1659 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.

William is said to have come from Nazeing, Essex, England but his parents resided in Ware, Herfordshire, England.

Model of the ship, Lyon, located in the lobby of City Hall, Braintree, UK. The Braintree Company and Stephen Hart and family sailed to New England on her in 1632.

Model of the ship, Lyon, located in the lobby of City Hall, Braintree, UK. The Braintree Company and Stephen Hart and family sailed to New England on her in 1632.

William and his second wife immigrated in 1632 from Little Amwell, Hertfordshire, bound for Roxbury on the Lyon bringing 5 children, Mary, Isaac, Mary, Peleg, Hannah. The Lyon #4: Sailed from London June 22, 1632, arriving in Boston September 14/16, 1632. The master, William Pierce, brought 123 passengers whereof fifty children, all in health. They had been twelve weeks aboard and eight weeks from Land’s End.

William and Mary soon joined the Roxbury Church.

Great Migration Begins:

FREEMAN: 4 Mar 1632/33

EDUCATION: Signed his name as witness to the will of John Grave [SPR Case #38], but made his mark to his own will.

OFFICES: Deputy to General Court for Roxbury, 14 May 1634, 18 Apr 1637, 17 May 1637, 13 Mar 1638/39, 22 May 1639, 4 Sep 1639, 13 May 1640, 7 Oct 1640, 7 Oct 1641, 8 Sep 1642. Magistrate for particular court, 25 May 1636

Committee to “consider of the act of Mr. Endicott, in defacing the colors,” 6 May 1635
Committee to distribute “land & meadow at Conihasset,” 13 May 1640
Committee to value livestock, 13 May 1640
Committee to “settle things between Hingham & the plantation to be settled at Nantasket [Hull],” 2 Jun 1641
Committee to “levy & proportion a rate of £800,” 14 Jun 1642
Committee to “consider whether in trial of causes to retain or dismiss juries,” 27 Sep 1642
Committee “to consider of the order for the burning of grounds,” 14 May 1645

On 22 May 1651 at “the request of William Heath, of Roxbury, being above sixty years of age, this Court thinks meet he should be exempted from all trainings”

ESTATE: William Heath died at Roxbury just before the land inventory was taken there. The fourth entry in this land inventory, immediately after that of Rev. John Eliot, is for Isaac Heath, son of William. As there is a later, shorter, entry for Isaac Heath, as well as one for his younger brother Peleg Heath, this early entry would contain the lands which had been granted to the immigrant. At the time of the Roxbury land inventory William Heath’s widow would have held a life interest in these lands, which were at her death to be divided between the two sons. Thus, before his death William Heath held twelve parcels of land, nine by grant from the town and three by purchase: “dwelling house, barn, orchard and houselot, three acres”; “fourteen acres of salt marsh”; “six acres of upland in the calve’s pasture”; “six acres of salt marsh in Gravelly point”; “four acres of upland at Stoney River”; “four and twenty acres not far from Gamblin’s End”; “sixteen acres at the Great Pond”; “six acres … lately bought of Mr. William Perkins”; “in the second allotment of the last division being the eleventh lot … ninety-four acres, three quarters and thirty pole”; “in the four thousand acres two-hundred fifty and six acres”; “three roods of swamp land lately the land of John Stow”; and “four acres … lately the land of Richard Pepper, lying in the upper calve’s pasture”

In his will, dated 28 May 1652 and proved 21 October 1652, “Will[ia]m Heath of Roxbury” bequeathed to “my loving wife” the new end of my house that I now dwell in both above and below and half the great barn and half the barn yard, also all my arable land and meadow, also my cattle and moveables, on condition that she pay all debts, and pay “my daughter Mary Spere” £10 and “my daughter Hannah” £10; “my son Isaac” presently to possess the old end of my dwelling house with convenient yard room for his wood, also half the great barn and barnyard during my wife’s life; “my two sons” to have all my houses and lands, “my son Isaac being my eldest son” a double portion and “my son Pelig” a single portion; to “my daughter Mary that I had by my first wife 40s. a year out of all my lands to be paid by both my sons” and “I do entreat my wife in the mean season to have a motherly care over her and see that she want nothing that is convenient for her”; “my three friends … my dear brother Elder Heath, John Rugles, & Phillip Elliott” overseers.

Children of William and Mary Cramphorne

i. Mary Heath, bapt. Great Amwell 10 May 1618; living unmarried 28 May 1652, the date of her father’s will, and from the wording of the bequest, she was probably incapable of caring for herself.

ii. Isaac Hearth bapt. Great Amwell 21 May 1621; d. 29 Dec 1694 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass; m. 16 Dec 1650 in Roxbury to Mary Davis.

Children of William and Mary Perry

iii Stillborn daughter, bur. Ware 27 Nov 1623.

iv. Peleg Heath, bapt. Nazeing 30 Jan 1624/25; m. by 1652 Susanna [__?__] (In her 14 June 1652 will, widow Dorothy King bequeathed to “my daughter Susanna Heath one little flockbed” ; Dorothy King was three times a widow and Susanna was daughter of her first husband, who may have been a Barker [Weymouth Hist 3:22, 312, 349-50].)

v. Mary Heath bapt. Nazeing 2 Sep 1627; m. by 1644 George Spear (called “Mary Spere” in her father’s will; child bp. 21 April 1644

vi. Hannah Heath bapt. Nazeing 5 Nov 1629; m. by 1658 as his first wife Isaac Jones (daughter Hannah b. Dorchester 20 Nov 1658 and bp. there 21 Nov 1658 ; Elizabeth (Miller) Heath, widow of Isaac Heath, uncle of this Hannah Heath, made a bequest on 1 Jan 1664/65 of 15s. to “Isaack Jones his daughter that he had by Hannah Heath” , leading to the conclusion that the Hannah Jones who died at Dorchester on 28 Nove 1658 was the wife of Isaac and not the daughter .

BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: For many years the best treatment in print of William Heath was that published by Walter Goodwin Davis in 1945 [Annis Spear Anc 29-34]. In 1978 Peter Walne found a few additional items, mostly relating to the marriages of William Heath [NEHGR 132:20-21]. In 1992 Douglas Richardson published an article which detailed the English origin of William Heath and his brother Isaac Heath, as well as others as noted above [NEHGR 146:261-78]; unless otherwise noted, the parish register entries above are from this article. In 1995 Richardson published an article supplementing that of 1992, solidifying the evidence that the immigrants William and Isaac Heath were sons of William of Ware, and identifying their mother [NEHGR 149:173-86].

The ancestry of Annis Spear, 1775-1858, of Litchfield, Maine  By Walter Goodwin Davis

The ancestry of Annis Spear, 1775-1858, of Litchfield, Maine
By Walter Goodwin Davis

William Heath 2

William Heath 3

3. Alice Heath

Alice’s husband Nathaniel Larke was born 1595 in Little Amwell Ware, Hertfordshire, England. Nathaniel died 24 Feb 1649 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

Children of Alice and Nathaniel:

i. Elizabeth Larke b. 23 Jul 1615 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

ii. John Larke b. 2 Nov 1617 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

iii. Mary Larke b. 2 Apr 1620 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

iv. Benjamin Larke b. 20 Oct 1623 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

v. Joseph Larke b. 20 Oct 1623 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

vi. Susan Larke b. 1 Jun 1625 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

vii. Nathaniel Larke b. 15 Sep 1626 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

4. Isaac Heath

Isaac’s wife Elizabeth Miller was baptized 3 Mar 1593/94 in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, England. Her parents were Thomas Miller, gentleman, and Agnes [__?__]. Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire is located about 26 miles North Northeast of London, and about 10 miles Northeast of Ware.

Elizabeth was a sister of Agnes, wife of Robert Bernath, sister of Joseph Miller and sister of Margaret, wife of Thomas Waterman. (all on arrival to Roxbury, Colony of Massachusetts on 22 Dec 1630.)

Isaac immigrated about September in 1635 on the Hopewell, Captain Babb commanding, on its second trip of the year to Massachusetts. His nephew, Isaac Morris/Morrison had come to Massachusetts in the Hopewell on its first trip. Coming with Isaac Heath were his wife Elizabeth, one child, and a cousin, Martha Heath. The record shows:

Isaac aged 50, harnis maker (harness maker)

w. Elizabeth 40

d. Eliz 5 and

Martha 30 ( daughter of Thomas and Agnes Heath and future wife of George Brandied)

William Lyon 14 (William Lyon, orphan child of William and Anne (Carter) Lyon, placed in care of Isaac on the “Hopewell” )

Upon landing the family proceeded to what is now Roxbury, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts where brother William Heath was already settled. His house was west of the road that led from Boston to the Meeting House. Isaac was one of the chief men of the town.

Time Line

24 Jun 1634 – Isaac appears on the role of the Court of High Commissioners to answer certain charges brought against him.

25 May 1636 – Isaac was made a Freeman in Roxbury.

1637 & 1638 – Isaac represented Roxbury in the General Court in 1637 in 1638.

1637 – Chosen Ruling Elder of the Roxbury church, and held that position until his death.

1645 – Isaac was one of the founders of the Roxbury Free School in 1645.

1659 – John Johnson in his will, proved in 1659 called Elder Isaac Heath “my loving brother,” and named him overseer of the will. (8:261)

21 Jan 1661 – Isaac died in what is now Roxbury, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, aged about 75 years. He left a will dated 19 Jan 1660/61, two days before his death, and proved 31 January 1660/61 referred to three kin:

first cousin Martha (Heath) Brand, wife of George Brand of Roxbury

niece Mary Mory (John Johnson’s daughter),

nephew and niece Edward Morris and his Elizabeth (Morris) Cartwright children of Isaac’s sister Prudence Heath.

Besides John, Elizabeth, and Mary, children of John Bowles who married his only surviving child, Elizabeth Heath, and he gave the larger portion to his son-in-law John Bowles.

The ancestry of Annis Spear, 1775-1858, of Litchfield, Maine
By Walter Goodwin Davis

Isaac Heath 2

Isaac Heath 3

6. Mary Heath

Mary’s husband John Johnson was born in 1588 in Canterbury, Kent, England. He came to New England probably with Winthrop’s fleet in 1630. He was chosen by the General Court as Constable of Roxbury, Mass., in that year. Mary and John had ten children born between 1614 and 1628, five of whom immigrated to New England.

His second wife, married by 1633, was possibly Margery Scudder, born England, buried 9 June 1655 in Roxbury, daughter of William, died 1607, and Margery Scudder of Darenth, Kent. John married third in 1655 or later Grace Negus, died 19 Dec 1671, widow of Barnabas Fawer, and sister of Jonathan and Benjamin Negus. John died 30 Sep 1659 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.

John was made a freeman on 18 May 1631. He subsequently served the town and colony in many capacities, including Constable (first on 19 Oct 1630), Surveyor General, Town Clerk, Deputy to the House of Deputies, and Clerk of the Military Company of Massachusetts. The position as Surveyor General of Arms and Ammunitions of the Colonies made Capt. Johnson responsible for the acquisition, maintenance and distribution of the primary means of protection. Gov. John Winthrop wrote in his Journal under the date of 6 February 1645:

“John Johnson, the Surveyor General of Arms and Ammunition, a very industrious and faithful man in his place, having built a fair house in the midst of the town, with divers barns and outhouses, it fell on fire in the day time, no man knowing by what occasion, and there being in it seventeen barrels of the country’s powder, and many arms, all was suddenly burnt and blown up, to the value of four or five hundred pounds, wherein a special providence of God appeared, for, he, being from home, the people came together to help and many were in the house, no man thinking of the powder till one of the company put them in mind of it, whereupon they all withdrew, and soon after the powder took fire and blew up all about it, and shook the houses in Boston and Cambridge, so that men thought it had been an earthquake, and carried great pieces of timber a great way off, and some rags and such light things beyond Boston meeting house, there being then a stiff gale south, it drove the fire from the other houses in the town (for this was the most northerly) otherwise it had endangered the greatest part of the town.”

John was one of the founders of the town and church at Roxbury and, together with his sons Isaac and Humphrey, was an original donor to the Free School in Roxbury.

Children of Mary and John

i. Sarah Johnson b. 12 Nov 1624 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England; d. 5 Jan 1683 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass; m. 1657 Lynn, Essex, Mass to William Bartram (1625 – 1690)

7. Prudence Heath

Edward Morris (Morrison) was born about 1595 in England. Edward died 22 Jun 1631 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

Children of Prudence and Edward:

i. Elizabeth Morris b. 11 Feb 1624 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

ii. Isaac Morris b. 3 Feb 1626 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England

iii. Mary Morrison b. 10 Dec 1629 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

iv. Edward Morris b. 22 Jan 1632 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England; d. 27 Oct 1690
Woodstock, CT; m. Grace Bott


Bartholomew Heath 1 — Source: Ancestry of Charles Stinson Pillsbury and John Sargent Pillsbury (1938)

Bartholomew Heath 2


Hudson-Mohawk genealogical and family memoirs:  Volume 2 By Cuyler Reynolds 1911


Ancestry of Charles Stinson Pillsbury and John Sargent Pillsbury (1938) By Holman, Mary Lovering, 1868-1947; Pillsbury, Helen Pendleton Winston, 1878-1957


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7 Responses to William Heath

  1. Pingback: John Heath | Miner Descent

  2. Gina C Sessions-Keitz says:

    Prudence Heath / Edward Morrison (Morris) are my 10th great grandparents

    Nice to meet you cousin !

  3. Pingback: Favorite Posts 2013 | Miner Descent

  4. Terrie Burrell says:

    Looking for Alice Heath who married my ancestor John Burrell (Burrill). John was a settler in Roxbury 1634. He came from Herfordshire England. His first wife died leaving him with their two sons, Maurice John b. May 3, 1626 and Zachareah (no info).

  5. jedh says:

    Does no one see the issue of John Heath, b. 1574, Salisbury, Wiltshire, with a couple married in Ware, Hertfordshire in 1580. Who had all their other children from 1581 to 1604 in WARE? There is no record I have found showing John having any connection to Ware. I would be interested to hear from others who have caught the “error” in this family history. I get that William, b. 1581, supposed brother of John, came to the Colonies in 1632. Was John aboard the same vessel? Was there any other reasoning used to connect those two as brothers? I am researching for a friend, and would love to provide him a true ancestry of John Heath, b. 1574, Salisbury. I am okay with the Nazeing, Essex connection to Ware in the Heath family, as they are but 8 miles apart, and dates correlate a bit better. Just not, as yet, willing to buy into the Ware to Salisbury connection, with the six years delay in marriage of the parents. I look forward to hearing the evidence that might prove me wrong in my assumption that John was born to a different set of parents in Wiltshire.



  6. Virginia Sholin Smallwood says:

    There seems to be a problem with the youngest three children of Wiliam Heath, born 1550, and Agnes Cheney, born 1560. They were Prudence, born 1597; Thomas, born 1603; and another Thomas, born 1604. The problem is that their mother, Anges Cheney, died 29 Jun 1594, which of course was before the births of these children.

    Another source says those dates were actually their baptismal dates. Could the baptisms of those children have been that much later than their births, or did William, who lived until 1624, have taken a second wife, the mother of those youngest three children?

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