William Bailey (senior) was likely born in the 1600s or 1610s. William married Grace (who married again Thomas Lawton), and should not be confused with their son William Bailey Jr. who married a daughter of Hugh Parsons.[Research Notes]
William married Grace (unknown). They had:[Research Notes]
And possibly also:
William Bailey is first documented in Rhode Island in June 1655.
On March 5, 1655[/6?], William Balie Sen. and Gabriel Hicks sold to Joshua Coggeshall about 26 acres in Portsmouth. On March 24, 16[ ] (date not written), Joshua Coggeshall sold to William Bailey Sen. 20 acres of land. On June 5, 1655 Gabriel Hicks sold a parcel of land to William Bayly.
At the General Court of Trials held at Newport on June 1658, "an Indian named Casseejuwasuck [was called to court] to answer William Bayly for Forceable takeinge away his goods", but did not appear.
On August 13, 1661, William Bailey entered into an agreement with Thomas Lawton. That William Bailey would have the right to farm on 60 acres of Thomas' land adjacent to Hugh Parson's land, and that if William wished to sell the land, that it would be sold back to Thomas at a value determined by an impartial judge. And in case William died that his wife Grace, so long as she remained a widow and up to three years after Thomas' death, would remain in possession of the land.
William Bailey Sr., along with his wife and children, were listed on a 1694 land survey for John Stepney (William's son-in-law) as persons transported to Albemarle, North Carolina. The date of transport was either damaged or illegible on the record, but likely occured in the mid to late 1660s.
In late 1664, "Grace baylye wife of william baylye late of portsmouth" was called to court but did not appear. Its possible that at this time William Bailey was in Albemarle, North Carolina.
William Bailey's inventory was taken December 3, 1669. It amounted to £45-10-2, and was witnessed to by Thomas Brook, Hugh Parsonn, Thomas Eaton, and William Baley.
There has been lots of confusion regarding this family, largely originating in Austin's Genealogical Dictionary. He assumed that there was only a single William Bailey in Portsmouth during this period, and tried to fit the facts to that incorrect assumption. His work has since been copied and cited by numerous books and individual family trees, propagating his error.
William Sr. married Grace (surname unknown), and their son William Jr. married a daughter of Hugh Parsons. William Sr. died by December 1669, and William Jr. died March 15, 1669/70, which contributed to Austin's error.
Please see the G2G post about this family.
Many people claim that William Bailey came from Great Milton, Oxfordshire. I have not seen any evidence supporting this. If there was a Bailey family living in Great Milton at the time, evidence would need to be found and an argument made for this case.
His wife Grace's alleged surname 'Nicholson' may have been found in Great Milton records, as there's no record connecting her to that name in Rhode Island.
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