William Beardsley

William Beardsley (abt. 1605 - bef. 1661)

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William Beardsley
Born about in Derbyshire, Englandmap [uncertain]
Ancestors ancestors
Son of [uncertain] and [uncertain]
Husband of — married in Ilkeston, Derby, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died before in Stratford, Fairfield County, Colony of Connecticutmap
Profile last modified | Created 14 Sep 2010
This page has been accessed 8,841 times.
The Puritan Great Migration.
William Beardsley migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640). (See The Great Migration (Series 2), by R. C. Anderson, vol. 1, p. p. 222-227)
Join: Puritan Great Migration Project
Discuss: pgm
Flag of England
William Beardsley migrated from England to the American Colonies in 1635.
Flag of the American Colonies in 1635




Testing currently indicates that William's male lineage belongs to
Y DNA haplogroup I-A4637
See this YFull Analysis of a FTDNA Big Y test.

Beardsley/Beardslee paternal relationships confirmed [1]


William Beardsley[2][3]
Neither the names of William's father and grandfather have been proven. Some researchers have suggested that John Beardsley could have been named “Thomas John Beardsley” or “Thomas Beardsley”. However, middle names were not used at that time, and no other data has been found to prove, dispute, or change that which is suggested. Similarly, his son may have been William or Hugh; probably not “William Hugh”. Recent ‘new’ Parish marriage records now appearing on-line only confuse the issue. Corroborating records could confirm these Parish marriage records, but none have been found to date, and their existence is unlikely. [NFD[4]]

Beardsley Family Name

This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from some minor, unrecorded or now "lost" place, believed to have been situated in Nottinghamshire or Leicestershire where the name is most popular. An estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets are known to have disappeared since the 12th Century, due to such natural causes as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eighth of the population perished, and to the widespread practice of enforced "clearing" and enclosure of rural lands for sheep pastures from the 15th Century onwards. The placename is believed to derive from the genitive case of the Olde English pre 7th Century byname "Beard", from the vocabulary word for a beard, with "leah", wood, glade, clearing, hence, "Beard's wood". Early recordings of the name include the marriage of Jese Beardsle and Edward Weze on February 26th 1575, at Carlton by Market, Bosworth, Leicestershire, and the marriage of Joan Beardsley and Thomas Weston at Gedling, Nottinghamshire, on April 16th 1604. William Beardsley, a mason, aged 30 yrs., was an early emigrant to New England, leaving London on the "Planter" in April 1635. A famous namebearer was Aubrey V. Beardsley (1872 - 1898), an English illustrator noted for his stylized black and white illustrations, especially for Oscar Wilde's "Salome". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Beardsley, which was dated November 28th 1573, marriage to Joane Ulsecroft, at Ashby De la Zouch, Leicestershire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling. [©: Name Origin Research www.surnamedb.com 1980 – 2010]

Disputed Parents

Hugh Beardsley and Margaret (Hassall) as parents are not proven, but despite the uncertainty Hugh Beardsley is the best known candidate.


There seems to be no evidence which would support the tradition that William Beardsley was born in Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire. He was most likely born in Derbyshire (where he was married) or in Hertfordshire (where the passengers of the ship "Planter" received a certificate just before emigration). He was most likely born in 1604 or 1605 (based on his age, 30 years old, when he emigrated in 1635).
No evidence for the following birth information: 09 MAR 1603 Stratford On Avon, Warwickshire, England[3][5][2]


26 Jan 1631/2 to Mary Harvey at Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England (St Mary's ?)[6]


"A Mason Wm Beardsley ... 30" was aboard the Planter, Nicholas Trarice, Master, which embarked on 02 April 1635 from England. The passengers brought a certificate from the Minister of St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England, [Rev. Adam Blakeman].[7][5][2][8][9] The ship arrived at Boston, Massachusetts.[3][10]

Death and Legacy

William Beardsley's will was dated 28 September 1660 and was proved on 06 July 1661at Stratford, Fairfield County, Connecticut.[11][2][12] He was buried at the Union Cemetery, Stratford, Fairfield County, Connecticut.[citation needed]

William & Mary Beardslee Plaque

In the year, 1939, the 300th anniversary of the settlement of Stratford, Connecticut, the descendants of William and Mary Beardsley, placed a bronze plaque as a memorial which reads as follows:

To honor the memory of
William and Mary Beardsley
and the other first settlers of
Stratford who landed near this spot
in the year, 1639.
Erected by the Beardsley Family Association.
This plaque is on a boulder, placed in Sandy Hollow, near the spot where the first settlers landed. The boulder came from a Beardsley homestead, located near enough to Sandy-Hollow, to make one visualize that undoubtedly the children of William and Mary Beardsley, played upon this rock. [Find A Grave]
Note: The "Beardsley Rock:" Plaque
  • "He [Evert Lewis Beardsley] lived, and died, in the house which was built by his ancestor, Henry Beardsley, in about 1760, and which has always remained in the family. It is situated on Lundy’s Lane, formerly called Rockly Land, and now known as Linden Avenue.
    The “Beardsley Boulder”, which was placed in Sandy Hollow, Stratford, 1939, by the Beardsley Family Association, came from this Beardsley Homestead, and was donated, by Evert.
    This boulder has a bronze plaque on it, commemorates William Beardsley and his wife Mary, and the other first settlers of Stratford."[13]


mason by trade[2][10]


Freeman: 07 DEC 1636 Massachusetts[10][14]
Residence: 1638 Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut[15]
a founder of Stratford, Connecticut: 1639[15][14][2]
Residence: 1644 Stratford, Fairfield, Connecticut
Representative: 1645 Connecticut[11]
elected deputy to General Court seven years
Stratford, Fairfield, Connecticut[2]
Will Proved: 06 JUL 1661 Stratford, Fairfield, Connecticut[2][14]

The Planter 1635

Founders of New England: Records of Ships Passenger Lists from England to New England between 1620 and 1640. This set of ships passenger lists includes ships to Virginia (a catch-all phrase to mean almost anywhere along the coast), Barbadoes, Bermuda, West Indies and of course New England
Lorine's Note: This set of records consists of various passenger lists, names of individuals ready to sail to New England, and names of those taking the Oath of Allegiance (in preparation for sailing). It is not always obvious when each ship left. Researchers will have to determine whether or not a ship made more than one sailing each year it is mentioned. The original spelling has been maintained, so you will see "Landen" for "London", etc. Note that common words found are "uxor" meaning "wife", "mr" for "Master" (of the ship)
Finding the names: You can browse each list, starting with the one below (scroll down). To browse the passenger lists of all ships I have online for this 20 year period to New England see the list of all known ships that made the voyage. I hope to find passenger lists for every ship on the list, so if you have a ship list, please consider donating it to Olive Tree.
Transcriber: Laura Freeman
The Planter, April 1635[16]
2n Aprilis, 1635.---Theis under written names are to be transported to New England imbaqued in the Planter Nic's Trarice Mr bound thither the p'ties have brought Certificate from the Minsiter of St Albens in Hertfordshire, and Altestacon from the Justtices of peace according to the Lords Order. First Names; Surnames ;Ages
Jo: Tuttell A Mercer 39
Joan Tuttell 42
John Lawrence 17
Wm Lawrence 12
Marie Lawrence 9
Abigall Tuttell 6
Symon Tuttell 4
Sam Tuttell 2
Jo: Tuttell 1
Joan Autrobuss 65
Marie Wrust 24
Tho: Greene 15
Nathan Huford servant to Jo: Tuttell 16
Wm Beardsley A Mason 30
Marie Beardsley 26
Marie Beardsley 4
John Beardsley 2
Joseph Beardsley 6mo:
Allen Perley Husbandman 27
Mary Chitwood 24
Tho: Olney Shoemaker 35
Marie Olney 30
Tho: Olney 3
Etenetus Olney
Geo: Giddins Husbandman 25
Jane Giddinss 20
Tho: Savage Taylor 27
Richard Harvie A Taylor 22
ffrancis Peabody Husbandman 21
Wm Wilcockson Lynen wever 34 34 [I believe this is the father and mother of phoebe/ phebe Wilcoxon m/ John Birdsey Jr.]
Margaret Wilcockson 24
Jo: Wilcockson 2
Ann Harvie 22
Willm ffelloe A Shoemaker 24
ffrancis Baker A Taylor 24
Tho: Carter 25 Servant to Geo: Giddens pred.
Michell Willmson 30 Servantto Geo: Giddens pred
Elizabeth Morrison 12 Servant to Geo: Giddens pred.

From Genealogical and Family History of the State of Connecticut:

William Beardsley, the BEARDSLEY immigrant ancestor, was born in England in 1605.
He came to this country in 1635 in the ship "Planter" with his wife Mary, aged twenty- six, children Mary, aged four, John, aged two, and Joseph, aged six months. According to the family tradition, he was a native of Stratford-on-Avon. the home of Shakespeare, and it is believed that he gave the name of Stratford to the settlement in which he made his home, now Stratford, Connecticut. One of his descendants who settled in western New York named the town in which he located Avon in honor of the Beardsley who came with Rev. Adam Blakeman from St. Albans, England, and settled first at Hadley, Massachusetts. In 1638 he removed to Hartford. Connecticut, and in the following spring to Stratford, of which he was one of the first settlers. He was deputy to the General Court seven years. He was a mason by trade. His will was dated September 28, 1660, and proved July 6, 1661. His inventory, dated February 13, 1660-01, amounted to three hundred and thirty-three pounds fifteen shillings eight pence. He died at the age of fifty-six years, leaving several young children.
Children :
1. Mary, born 1631 : married Thomas Wells.
2. John, born 1632 ; captain ; died November 19, 1718.
3. Joseph, born 1634; mentioned below.
4. Samuel, born. 1638; had land in what is now Bridgeport.
5. Sarah, born 1640 ; married, June 8, 1668, Obadiah Dickinson.
6. Hannah, born 1642 ; married Nathaniel Dickinson.
7. Daniel, born 1644; died 1730.
8. Thomas, mentioned by Savage.


  1. Y-DNA confirmation can be verified via Beardsley/Beardslee DNA Project at FTDNA
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Orcutt: Page 1130
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Filby
  4. Beardsley family researcher Nick Dann
  5. 5.0 5.1 Marilyn Scribner
  6. Great Migration 1634-1635, A-B. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.) Originally published as: The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume 1, A-B, by Robert Charles Anderson, George F. Sanborn, Jr., and Melinde Lutz Sanborn. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999. Pages 222ff
  7. Hotten, John Camden, (1874) The Original Lists of Persons of Quality; Emigrants ... London: Hotten, Archive.org (Page 45).
  8. Jacobus: Pages 45-46
  9. Coldham, Peter Wilson, "The Complete Book of Emigrants 1607-1660" (pg. 128).
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Savage: Page 148
  11. 11.0 11.1 Savage: Page 149
  12. Cutter, William Richard, (1911) Genealogical and Family History of the State of Connecticut, Volume II. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co, Archive.org (Vol 2, Page 726).
  13. Holt, Nellie Beardsley, (1950) Beardsley Genealogy: The Family of William Beardsley, One of the First Settlers of Connecticut. West Hartford, CT: Archive.org (Page 3).
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Cutter Page 1471
  15. 15.0 15.1 Holmes: Page xvii
  16. See Passengers of the Planter.

Misc Errata:

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with William by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:

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Images: 5
William Beardsley Image 1
William Beardsley Image 1

Stained Glass Window Dedicated to 'William Beardsley', East Galway Methodist-Episcopal Church, East Galway, New York
Stained Glass Window Dedicated to 'William Beardsley', East Galway Methodist-Episcopal Church, East Galway, New York

Beardsley marker in Union Cemetery, Stratford, Connecticut -
Beardsley marker in Union Cemetery, Stratford, Connecticut -

Stratford, Connecticut Colony, 1639
Stratford, Connecticut Colony, 1639

Excerpts from " An Uncommon Journey: The History of Old Dawson County, Montana Territory - The Biography of Stephen Norton Van Blaricom"
Excerpts from


On 23 Oct 2018 at 15:21 GMT SJ Baty wrote:

ah, much better :-)

On 19 Sep 2018 at 20:07 GMT Deb (Lewis) Durham wrote:

I believe the most appropriate flag would be the Massachusetts Bay Colony Flag that came into use in 1636. Flags_of_Colonial_America-6.png

On 19 Sep 2018 at 19:47 GMT SJ Baty wrote:

That American flag sure stands out like a sore thumb! Would be better served with whatever British colonial flag was used in the 1630's!

On 5 Nov 2017 at 15:42 GMT S B wrote:

On 8 Oct 2017 at 20:47 GMT S (Hill) Willson wrote:

I agree, the listed parents should be removed as there are no sources. They could be listed in bio, but should not be in data fields.

On 8 Oct 2017 at 19:24 GMT Anne B wrote:

Shouldn't Hugh and Mary (at least) be marked as uncertain? If not removed altogether?

On 8 Oct 2017 at 18:06 GMT Anne B wrote:

Source: ?? Marilyn Scribner. Marilyn posted a message regarding Beardsleys to one of the message boards. The message I found had nothing to do with William. She's been on the profile forever. I would suggest removing her altogether, replacing "No evidence for the following birth information: 09 MAR 1603 Stratford On Avon, Warwickshire, England" with - Many Ancestry and other trees suggest a baptism of 9 Mar 1603 in Stratford (etc). The registers of Stratford-on-Avon, in the county of Warwick ...Vol. 1 Births, Transcribed by Richard Savage contain no entries for anyone named Beardsley or any name that remotely resembles Beardsley . Link https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015082240592;view=1up;seq=179

On 8 Oct 2017 at 14:55 GMT Anne B wrote:

Why is William a notable? Yes he has a wikipedia article, but is he any more notable than the 40,000 other immigrants during the puritan great migration?

On 12 Aug 2017 at 15:58 GMT Kenneth Kinman wrote:

Not sure why his marriage date is given as 26 June 1630.

In the marriage section of the biography, it says 26 January 1631/32, and the source is Anderson (which is generally regarded as very reliable).

On 11 Aug 2017 at 13:22 GMT Kenneth Kinman wrote:

Does anyone have any objections to changing the birth information to something like 1605 (uncertain), England.

Also, Mary Harvie is currently shown as wife of both William and his father Hugh. Since William is known to have married her, I propose that she be removed as a wife of Hugh Beardsley.

more comments

William is 15 degrees from Amy Gilpin, 12 degrees from Joshua Slocum and 10 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.