Who was the first wife of William Sabin of Rehoboth?

+2 votes


While working on de-duping multiple profile pages, I was drawn into digging into more recent research about William Sabin's first wife, who hasbeen thought to have been a daughter of Richard Wright (possibly Mary, although where that name comes from I do not know). The most recent hight quality research done on early New England settlers is the Great Migration series conducted by Robert Charles Anderson, so I thought I'd look up what he says about Richard Wright, supposed father-in-law of William Sabin.
Well, Anderson points us to research conducted and published in 1992 by Gale Ion Harris ("Captain Richard Wright of Twelve-Mile Island and the Burnhams of Podunk," in The American Genealogist vol. 67 (1992): pp 32-46), results in a completely new theory about Richard Wright of Rehoboth and a second wife, and suggests that Richard married the widowed MOTHER of William Sabin, and NOT that Richard was father of William Sabin's wife. 
RL Bowen, in his 1948 book Early Rehoboth (volume III, pp 113-130) initially believed that a daughter of Richard Wright married William Sabin because, citing Plymouth Colony land records (volume 3, p 262), William Sabin of Rehoboth sold land he'd purchased before 1654 "of my father-in-law Richard Wright."
It would be normal to conclude, then, that William was married to Richard Wright's daughter. As Gale Ion Harris points out, though, the term "father-in-law" could also be interpreted as "step-father" (i.e., husband of William's widowed mother) and additional analysis done by Harris suggests that. This article is a MUST READ for descendants of William Sabin.
Unfortunately, the research re-opens the question: who was the first wife of William Sabin? It's looking pretty clearly that it was NOT a daughter of Richard Wright.
WikiTree profile: William Sabin
in Genealogy Help by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (752k points)
See the related questions below. The 1994 work cites nothing other than "Titchfield Parish Records" without anything more specific. We have no way of confirming if such a baptism exists and if it did exist, if it was for the immigrant WIlliam Sabin of Rehoboth.

If it DID exist, and if it DOES refer to William Sabin of Rehoboth, then it's more likely he married a daughter of Richard Wright, not that Richard Wright married William's widowed mother and had 3 children by her. She would have been too old to give Richard Wright children between 1640-1643.

I put some source data in a comment above, plus I have a different copy of his will.  Maybe another page of it?  Here's that info.

Will of William Sabin Suffock Records, Boston Liber X. pp 60, 61, 62 Made June 4, 1685 Probated July 5, 1687 Bee itt known vnto all men That I, William Sabin, of the Town of Rehobeth, in the Government of New Plymoutn in New England, Being through the Goodness and Sparing Mercy of God in good health, and Competency of understanding, yett not knowing how soon or how suddaine God may in his all wise providence put a Period to my Natural Life Having for the glory of God and the good of my wife and children and the peaceable Settling of the Estate God by his goodness betrusted me with all. hat made this last will and Testament this Fourth day of June in the yeare of our Lord One Thousand Six Hundred and eighty ffive. Desiring and Charging my Deare Children after my Discease to keep with God and Observe his holly Commandments performing all those Christian Duties that God in his Wholly word requires of them, setting up and upholding both in family and in Publique. Imprimis. I do resigne my soule into the hands of the Lord Jesus my Dear Redeemer and my body to be decently buried. ITEM It is my will that my lawful debts shall be Discharged. ITEM I give and bequeath vnto my Deare and beloved wife my Dwelling house and halfe of the Barne and the Halfe of my home Lotte and Orchard and a piece of Salt Meadow adjoining to Capt. Hunt's: and my ffresh meadow called Wright's Meadow, and my pasture in Mantom's neck, and six acrea of Land in the Second Division and adjoining to Mr. Smith's and foure acres in the greate playne where itt is sodded and free vse and Improvements of Herbage and Commonage; all said lands, houses and Orchards, during her Widowhood if she marry not during her naturall life. Likewise I bequeath to my Deare wife foure cows, Two Oxen, a Mare and twenty Ewew and all my Swine, and all my household goods and all the Cloatwoll fflax and Corne within Doors and Barne or vpon the ground. ITEM I give and bequeath unto my sonn Samuel, Laying between Samuel and Nathaniel Pero's Land, and John Titus", to him his hears or assignes forever. ITEM I give and bequeath vnto my sonn Joseph the acre of Meadow att Palmer's River, Lying vnder the Hill over the Brooke against the Long Spring, att the Southern end, and ten acres of that Division that is now a Surveying, to him, his Heirs and Assigns Forever. ITEM I give and bequeath vnto my sonn Benjamine, the other half of the Eleaven acres of Land in the Second Division which I Gave to my sonne Benjamin, His Heirs and Assigns Forever. ITEM I give to my sonn James the other half of my home lotte and orchoard and Barne and the rest of my lands in the Second Division and Grate Playne that is not before Disposed, And two acres of Salt Marsh and part of fresh Meadow in the forke of Palmer's River, to him, his heirs or assignes forever. Likewise I give him a yoake of Oxen and a Mare. ITEM I give to my sonn John the Mill Lotte wch is twelve acres, and my neck lotte and two acres to him, his heirs forever. ITEM I give to my sonn Hezekiah, twenty acres att Palmers River. and two acres of Salt Marsh and a piece of Meadow called the Hole att Palmer's River, and Twenty acres of the division that is now laying out to him, his heirs and Assignes forever. ITEM I give to my sonn Noah my Lotte of Land upon Ragged Playne, and all my Meadow and pond att Mr. Brown's pond and two acres of Salt Meadow to him, his heirs and assignes forever. ITEM It is my will that my foure sonnes James, John, Hezekiah and Noah shall have my Commonage to be equally divided betwixt them, (Excepting the vse and improvement I have given in my will.) ITEM I give vnto my Three daughters Experience, Abigall and Hannah three pounds a piece to be paid by Nathanial Allen that is due me by bill. ITEM I give vnto my grand-child Samuel Allen Six pounds of a Debt due me from Nathaniel Allen as appears by bill. ITEM I give vnto my foure youngest daughters, Mehitable, Mary, Sarah and Margarett, five pounds a piece at their Marriage out of the rest of my Estate. I give my wife two books to have her choice, and the rest I give to my children, the Eldest to Chuse one first and soe all of them Successively and then to begin againe until they have chosen them all. ITEM Itt is my will that if my wife marry that shee shall then resigne vp the house, barne, and Lands to my sonn James whom I doe by this will enjoyne him and his heirs to pay his mother five pounds a yeare during her natural life, if she require itt, and itt is my will that my sonn James shall have the said Lands and houses, if my wife marry not, at her decease. ITEM Itt is this my will that my beloved wife shall be executrix and my sonn James, Executor to this will, and I appoint my sonns Samuel and Benjamin to be Overssers to my will. With his Seal and Signed, Sealed in the presence of Thomas Cooper William Carpenter Signed, William Sabin

One final bit of info for you.

He was the son of Samuel (or Richard) Sabin & Mary Bushe Sabin. William's 1st wife (1639) was daughter of Richard Wright. Both Richard and William were co-founders of Rehoboth, MA. the Sabins were members of the Weymouth Church in 1642. William was a miller by trade and owned land in what is now Seekonk, MA. He was made a freeman of Rehoboth on June 3, 1657. He contributed a large sum of money to help establish the first free public school in America, 1643. On June 6, 1649 he was presented to court for shorting some customers on corn he had milled for them. He was cleared by the jury. William was a man of considerable culture and possessing wealth as is shown by an account of his estate & gifts for the relieving of the wants of those who suffered from the ravages of the Indians. He could read & write, as proved by his large collection of books. His estate was worth 53 pounds at the time Rehoboth was settled. With his first wife, Mary, they had 12 children. She died in 1663 so William then married (1663) Martha Allen (our ancestor). Two of Martha's brothers married 2 of Williams daughters from his first marriage. Martha and William went on to have 8 more children. William was the jury foreman that convicted of murder the 3 Indians whose hanging in June of 1675 initiated the beginning of King Phillip's War. The Indians burned William's mill in March 1676 and killed his 29 yr. old son, Nehemiah the following June. To date, William is known as the progenitor of the Sabin family in America and Canada with a database of over 35,000 names.


1 Answer

+1 vote
Regardless the wife's name, and anything about any Mary Wright, she certainly should not be listed as born in 1618 in Massachusetts, since no English settlers had arrived at that time. Presumably, though not 100% certainly, she was born someplace in England, no?
by Elizabeth Winter G2G6 Mach 7 (70.6k points)
edited by Elizabeth Winter
Fixed.  Elizabeth and others, such impossible birthplaces are scattered throughout wikitree. When you see them on open profiles, please feel free to edit them replacing the with either England (if that's most likely) or Unknown (or blank) and check the "uncertain" option.

I have several sources in FamilySearch I'm going to attach to this question so that whoever takes care of William Sabin can check it out and input what they feel is appropriate.

Rehobeth land records showing William Sabin's involvement in the road building decisions of the town and the transfer of some of his property to his son Nehemiah

William Saben in entry for Sarah Saben, "Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915"

William Sabine, "Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001"
William Sabine Alias Rehobeth, "Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001"
William Sabine, "Massachusetts, Marriages, 1695-1910"
William Sabine, "Massachusetts, Marriages, 1695-1910"
A Deed of William Sabin to Anthony Perry: (names father-in-law Richard Wright) "To all people to whom this present writing shall come, William Sabin of Rehoboth within the Collonie of New Plymouth in New England husbandman sendeth greeting; Whereas I the said William Sabin by my deed of bargain and sale bearing date the eighteenth day of September in the year of our lord one thousand six hundred fifty and foure for the consideration therein mentioned did seek and absolutely bargain sell and enfeof and confirm unton Anthony Perrey of Rehoboth aforesaid husbandman; and to his heirs and assigns forever one moyety or half she of sixteen acres of salt meddow or marsh in Rehoboth aforesaid at a place called and knowne by the name of the hundred acres tongue, be the same more or less which said moyety I the said William Sabine bought with other lands of my father-in-law Richard Wright; and is bounded on the east by the medow of Phillip Walker, as it is possessed by the said Anthony Perrey, and his assigns, and one moyety or half she of such acres of fresh meddoe be it more or less in Rehoboth aforesaid at a place commonly called bushy meadow, scituate lying wand being between the meddoe of the chilren of Allexander Wichester, deceased, on the south and the meddow of Phillip Walker on the north and the sixth lott once belonging to the said Richard Wright on the north and of the place commonly called the Great Plaine in Rehoboth aforesaid consisting of thiry acres be it more or less and moyety or half she of the secdivision lott belonging formerly to the said Wright consisting of fourscore acres be it more or less and as the same is now by the free and full consent and agreement of me the said William Sabine possessed by the said Anthony Perrey and his assignes it is bounded on the west by the land of John Titus and of me the said William Sabin and of Esther Hall widdow and on the south by the pound estated of Commonage, in the township of Rebobeth aforesaid with the privileges right s and emunities whatsoever thereunto belonging all aforementioned premises I the said William Sabine bought of my said father-in-law Richard Wright to have and to hold, etc. signed; William Sabine Witness: Daniel Smith, Richard Leonard, Nathanial Paine, & Nicholas Peck"

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