What's the source for the parentage of Sarah (Walker) Tisdale?

+4 votes

Sarah (Walker) Tisdale's profile claims parents James Walker Sr and Elizabeth (Browne) Walker and siblings James Walker Jr and Philip Walker. The only source cited is "Anderson's Great Miigration [sic] Study Project" (no volume/page).

However, in GM VII:202, Anderson seems to be leaning the opposite way: "we suggest that the widow Walker and Philip Walker, if related to John and Sarah, were not mother and brother to these two siblings, but more distantly related, or perhaps not related at all."

The dispute is discussed and sourced on the profile of brother James, but the parents and sibling are attached there anyway.

Even if the widow Walker family were an accepted theory, there's no source (not even on Philip's or "Elizabeth's" profiles) supporting any of the claims for her first name, maiden name, or late husband's name. The profile for "James Sr" doesn't cite any sources and actually says that he cannot have been the husband of widow Walker.

Is there a more recent quality source that would support Sarah's (and James') proposed parentage? If, as I suspect, not, then what is the proper cleanup needed for this group of profiles?

WikiTree profile: Sarah Tisdale
in Genealogy Help by Cheryl Hammond G2G6 Mach 2 (24.8k points)

The change history shows that the profile was created, with those parents attached, without any sources.

The reference to the Great Migration series was added later by a contributor who added other content to the biography.

Oh dear.  That is one ugly profile where no post merge editing was done. I simply have to go in. (cleanup only)

As most researchers know history is not always correct without documentation. I have found this on Sarah Walker: 

NameSara WalkerGenderFemaleBaptism Date01 Mar 1618Baptism PlaceRadcliffe,Lancashire,EnglandFatherJames WalkerFHL Film Number0547193, 0844812Household Members

Name Age
Sara Walker  
James Walker

Records also show that James and Elizabeth Walker were married in Radlliffe. Birth record also shows that James Jr. was born in Radcliffe as well. Nothing has been found on Phillip. Also, James Walker Sr. did not come to America and is not buried here. Most likely Phillip never knew his father as he was born the same year James died. Hense, "widow Walker" and following her two eldest children to America. 

I have also found this:



11 Dec 1594 • Clitheroe, Lancashire, England

Baptism: 11 Dec 1594 St Mary Magdalene, Clitheroe, Lancashire, England Elizabeth Bayley - Supposed daughter of John Browne & Margaret Bayley Abode: Lynne Register: Baptisms 1569 - 1614, Page 1, Entry 326 Source: LDS Film 1278857

There has been difficulty in finding that James Walker married Elizabeth Browne other than the marriage record in Radcliffe. It may be possible that she was not given the last name of her supposed father "John Browne" but carried the name of her mother Margaret Bayley.


Still researching.

That looks like a solid start!

One next step would be to confirm that the baptism record actually exists outside of an LDS/FHL index. (At least it's a microfilm source and not some compilation of family trees. I usually feel pretty OK about their microfilms.)

Essential after that would be to prove that that baptism record belongs to this Sarah. There were 3 other Sarah Walkers of the same age in New England alone at that time, which reminds us that there could have been many other Sarah Walkers in England. Proving that a particular baptism record corresponds to a particular adult is difficult.

Anderson shows that the passenger Sarah (aged 17 in 1635) had a brother James (aged 15 in 1635) (GM7:207) and married John Tisdale, all of whom were named as family in John Brown's will (GM7:202). So if there's a baptism record for James at the correct age in the same place to the same parents, that would help support the idea that these are the baptisms of those passengers. If a relationship can be proved between those parents and the John Brown whose servant and kin the passengers were, that would be additional support.

(Note that John Brown did not name the "widow Walker" or Philip in his will, which Anderson takes as evidence that those two Walker families were not closely related.)

Without complete evidence, though, it's premature to connect parents on Sarah's profile, and could potentially be misleading to list the baptism record as a "source" for this Sarah.

There is record for James and Phillip as well. Same town, same church.

James Walker Event Type: Baptism Baptism Date: 9 Jan 1620 Parish: Radcliffe, St Mary Parish as it Appears: Radcliffe St Mary Parish Church Father's Name: James Walker Reference Number: L210/1/1/1 Item Number: 2 Archive Roll: 841

I have also found that Elizabeth may have not traveled under "Browne" but may have carried her mother's maiden name of Bayley which makes her difficult to locate documentation on.

 Baptism: 11 Dec 1594 St Mary Magdalene, Clitheroe, Lancashire, England Elizabeth Bayley - Supposed daughter of John Browne & Margaret Bayley Abode: Lynne Register: Baptisms 1569 - 1614, Page 1, Entry 326 Source: LDS Film 1278857

It is also possible that John did not mention Elizabeth in his will because she died before he did and did not feel the obligation to mention Phillip who died in Rhode Island.
Great progress! :)

An interesting read is  New England, The Great Migration and The Great Migration Begins 1620-1635 for John Browne. t states that Sarah and James were the nephew and niece of John Browne and gives a full account of his life here.

3 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer

I added sources and some bio to her profile, which is still a mess! with all the notes and supposedlies, which now have sources of from whence they may have come.

Test: Genealogy of Col. Israel Tisdale and His Descendants, cited on her profile, says that John Tisdale Sr., immigrant, married Sarah Walker who came on the ship Elizabeth in April 1635, so some of the notes might be able to be removed?

This source below seems to be the one that has widow Sarah Walker might be the sister of John Browne or might be his wife's sister, and might be the mother of James, Sarah and Philip, etc. etc. which appears to be where a lot of the original profile came from?

Memorial of the Walkers of the Old Plymouth Colony, embracing Genealogical and Biographical Sketches of James of Taunton; Philip of Rehoboth; William of Eastham; John of Marshfield; and Thomas of Bristol; and of their descendants from 1620 to 1860. By JBR Walker Member of the Old Colony Historical Society Northampton, Metcalf & Co Printers, 1861. 8vo pp xix and 451


by Chris Hoyt G2G6 Pilot (768k points)
selected by Cheryl Hammond
I've detached her parents and re-reworked her bio with sources (including yours above).  Can we get a PPP so they aren't attached back without Project review?
0 votes



Sara Walker Tisdale
Learn about sponsoring this memorial...
Birth:  Mar. 1, 1618
Dorset, England
Death:  Dec. 10, 1676
Bristol County
Massachusetts, USA
Plymouth Colony Records show that she died at Taunton MA in Dec 1676.
According to the passenger list, on 15 Apr 1635, "James Walker 15 years & Sarra 
Walker 17 years servants to Jo[h]n Browne a baker & to one W[illia]m Brasey 
linendraper in Cheapside, London," were enrolled at London as passengers list 
for New England on the Elizabeth.
Sarah was born about 1618, & settled in Plymouth upon arrival in New England.
She married by about 1639 John Tisdale {1636, Duxbury}.
Sarah was sister of James Walker {1635, Plymouth} & neice of John Brown {1635, 
Plymouth}, who, on 23 November 1655, deeded land to "my cousin John Tisdale... 
and my cousin James Walker, his brother-in-law."
Source: Anderson's Great Migration Study Project. 

Family links: 
  John Tisdale (1614 - 1675)
  John Tisdale (1641 - 1677)*
  James Tisdale (1644 - 1715)*
  Joshua Tisdale (1646 - 1718)*
  Sarah Tisdale Dean (1648 - 1726)*
  Joseph Tisdale (1656 - 1721)*
  Mary Tisdale French (1658 - 1731)*
*Calculated relationship
Tisdale Burying Ground 
Bristol County
Massachusetts, USA
Plot: there is currently no stone or marker
Maintained by: Ray Malenfant
Originally Created by: Connie Edwards Thomilson
Record added: Mar 05, 2009 
Find A Grave Memorial# 34489464
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
Hi Frank!  I'm not seeing sources there - what am I missing?
That's what I found and I don't know where you need to look for the sourcing you seek.
After having done the narrative cleanup, it's clear that one of the contributors of the many duplicates simply copy/pasted the Find-a-grave entry. It was word-for-word. But I've cleaned it up.
+1 vote

The sources I have found for the Walker family so far are these: England Select Births and Christenings 1538-1975:



England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975


Name Sara Walker
Gender Female
Baptism Date 01 Mar 1618
Baptism Place Radcliffe,Lancashire,England
Father James Walker
FHL Film Number 0547193, 0844812
Household Members
Name Age
Sara Walker  
James Walker

England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975


Name James Walker
Gender Male
Baptism Date 09 Jan 1620
Baptism Place Radcliffe,Lancashire,England
Father James Walker
FHL Film Number 0547193, 0844812
Household Members
Name Age
James Walker  
James Walker

England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975


Name Elizabeth Bayley Or Browne
Gender Female
Baptism Date 11 Dec 1594
Baptism Place Clitheroe,Lancashire,England
Father John Browne
Mother Margaret Bayley
FHL Film Number 93711
Household Members
Name Age
John Browne  
Margaret Bayley  
Elizabeth Bayley Or Browne

There is also been documentation located for the marriage of James Walker and Elizabeth Browne married June 6, 1614 in Radcliffe, England. As I said before, it is being found that not all historic information was documented correctly, even in the U.S. census records a lot is incorrect.  




by Pamela Joyce Compton G2G Rookie (230 points)

There is also this record for Sarah:


Manchester, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1541-1812


Name Sarah Walker
Event Type Baptism
Baptism Date 1 Mar 1617
Parish Radcliffe, St Mary
Parish as it Appears Radcliffe St Mary Parish Church
Father's Name James Walker
Reference Number L210/1/1/1
Item Number 2
Archive Roll 841
Household Members
Name Age
Sarah Walker

Hi Pamela, thanks for your continuing work on this! Again, those records look interesting, but other than the names matching, I'm not seeing any evidence that those Walkers are the same Walkers who emigrated to New England. James, Sarah, and Walker are all very common names. It does help that the dates match the passenger list. It's a good start.

When documenting the English origins of New England colonists, I've seen researchers do at least these two things:

  1. A complete search of all records (birth/baptism, marriage, death/burial, land, tax, wills, and many many more) in the entire surrounding area, to prove that the children named in the baptism records didn't die in England, and weren't recorded living in England after the immigrants arrived in New England. Do we know for sure that the James and Sarah in those Radcliffe records didn't marry or die in Lancashire? Maybe we do - I just haven't seen that yet. Online records would not be enough to answer this question. Someone would need to search in England. Wish I could. :)
  2. A search of wills, letters, other documents for any possible family members of the colonists, either in New England or in England, looking for any specific information that would prove a connection. For example, occasionally an English will says something like "my daughter x, wife of y, living in New England" - that's the holy grail right there. If we could find a will in Radcliffe or Clitheroe for James Walker of the correct age and if we could prove that he's the same guy named as the father in those baptisms and if his will named his daughter as Sarah Tisdale, or named some Tisdale grandchildren, then we would be good to go.

The thing is, these kinds of searches can be very difficult when we're talking about a small number of unmarried young people with common names. The work that was done to prove English origins of the Rice family, for example (published in The American Genealogist vol. 10 with followups in vols 61 and 63), relied on the fact that Edmund Rice and his wife Thomasine had less-common names and migrated as adults with a large family. Their list of known children in New England was able to be matched up with the complete list of matching baptisms in Stanstead. With so many matches, the connection was easy to be confident about once it was found. These Walkers are almost the opposite in every way. It may not be possible to prove where they came from, at least not until DNA is much more advanced than today. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try, though! :)

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