William Ellery
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William Ellery (1727 - 1820)

William Ellery
Born in Newport, Newport, Rhode Islandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 11 Oct 1750 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts Baymap
Husband of — married 28 Jun 1767 in Bristol, Rhode Islandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 26 Jul 2014
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1776
William Ellery participated in the American Revolution.
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Contents

Biography

William Ellery was a Founding Father in the American Revolution
William Ellery was born at Bristol, Rhode Island, October 31, 1701, and graduated at Harvard College in 1722; died March 15, 1764. He was afterwards a wealthy merchant of Newport; he was elected to the offices of Judge Assistant and Deputy Governor. (p. 89)[1][2] He married Elizabeth Almy, daughter of Colonel Job Army, on Jan. 3, 1723. (p. 33;p. 35)[3] Their son William was born in Newport, December 22, 1727 and entered Harvard College about 1743, taking his first degree in 1747. (p. 91)[1] While living in Cambridge he met his future wife Ann Remington. (p. 90; p. 92) [1][4]
He returned to Newport and probably began business as a merchant. (p. 91) [5] On Oct. 11, 1750, (p. 327) [6] he married Ann Remington of Cambridge, born February 19, 1725, (p. 621)[7] daughter of Superior Court Justice Jonathan Remington. (p. 92)[5](p. 590;p. 327) [6]They had seven children together. (p. 78) [8]
She died September 7, 1764, age 39 at Cambridge and was buried there. (p. 94) [5](p. 542) [6]
Children by his first wife:
Elizabeth born August 13, 1751 (p. 95); [9]died August 30, 1807 (p. 182); [10]married Massachusetts Chief Justice Francis Dana. (p. 621) [11]
Lucy born September 21, 1752 (p. 95); [9]died May 25, 1834 (p. 182); [10]married Hon. William Channing, RI Attorney General. (p. 621)[11]
Ann born April 17, 1755; [9] died September 20, 1834; unmarried; p. 182)[10] buried at Cambridge. (p. 542) [6]
William born March 2, 1757 (p. 95); [9]died September 3, 1759. [10]
Almy born February 14, 1759 (p. 95); [9]died December 25, 1839; married Hon. William Stedman. [10]
William born October 9, 1761; [9]died May 9, 1886; married Abigail Shaw.[10]
Edmund Trowbridge born November 2, 1763; [9]died March 13, 1847; married Catharine Almy. (p. 182) [10]
In his early years as merchant, he also served as Naval Officer to the Colony. (p. 94) At the time of the revenue acts and non-importation agreements, he gave up the mercantile and joined the Sons of Liberty. He served on committees that worked to appeal the repressive revenue acts. (p. 100; p; 106)[5] He enjoyed both agriculture and horticulture, and learning as much as he could from European gardeners and produced large crops on his lands.(p. 95) [1]
He remarried on June 28, 1767 to Abigail Carey, his second, cousin, who bore him nine more children. (p. 96) [1] (p. 78)[8] She was born November 10, 1742; died July 27, 1793, daughter of Col. Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Wanton) Carey. (p. 181) [10]
Children by his second wife:
Abigail born March 28, 1768; died October 14, 1768. (p. 182) [10] [12]
John Wilkins born May 18, 1770 [12]; died October 4, 1778. (p. 182) [10]
Abigail born February 2, 1772; died September 20, 1772. (p. 182)[10] [12]
Ruth Champlin born September 4, 1773; died March 31, 1777.(p. 182)[10]
Susan Kent born July 11, 1775; died April 14, 1828; unmarried. (p. 182)[10]
Philadelphia born November 5, 1776; died December 30, 1856; unmarried. (p. 182)[10]
Nathaniel Carey born May 13, 1778; died October 18, 1839. (p. 182) [10]
Ruth Champlin born May 23, 1779; died December 30, 1779. (p. 182) [10]
Mehitable Redwood born January 4, 1784.(p. 183) [10]
George Wanton born December 24, 1789; died January 26, 1867; married Mary Goddard. (p. 183) [10]
In 1768 and 1769, he served as clerk to the court and in 1770, he began to practice law. He had a considerable legal practice that included not only his neighbors, but people from the surrounding Colonies. (p. 96) [1]
William Ellery appeared as a first time delegate for Rhode Island in the Congress of 1776, taking his seat on May 14th and signing the Declaration of Independence that summer. ( p. 107) He continued in Congress in the years 1776 to 1779, 1781, and 1783 to 1786. (108) [1] He was nicknamed the ‘Congressman on horseback’, for he made the 250 mile journey to congress as well as most of his travels by horse, rather than carriage or coach as was the custom. (p. 78)[8]
In October, 1776 he was assigned to the Marine Committee. In October, 1779, a Board of Admiralty was established to oversee the naval and marine affairs of the United States based on the reports of the Marine Committee. This Board consisted of five commissioners , two from Congress and three non-congressional members. Mr. Ellery was elected to the board Dec., 1779, and in July 1789, his term as delegate having expired, he was elected commissioner. (p. 110)[1]
At the close of 1785, William Ellery left the Congress and public life. One of his last efforts in Congress, was to abolish slavery in the country. An act which was unsuccessful. (p. 78)[8]
During the war years he had suffered the loss of his home, burned by the British along with much of Newport in 1776, (p. 78)[8]and his family was driven to the interior. Newport had lost both trade and wealth. He began his life as a man of business. (p. 129) [8]
In 1786, he was elected Commissioner of the Continental Loan Office, for the State of Rhode Island by Congress. He was appointed Collector of Customs for Newport in 1790, upon adoption of the Federal Constitution, an office he held until his death, (p. 129) [8] of which he once wrote “ A Collector’s office is a troublesome one, and if it did not furnish me and my children with the necessaries of life, I would resign it at once.” (p. 143)[5]
He was an advocate of religious freedom and charitable giving. However, although a devout Christian who regularly worshipped with Congregationalists, he never was connected with a church. (p. 135) [5]
About eighteen months prior to his death, he began suffering from ‘rheumatic paroxyms’. In February, 1820, he suffered an increase in his arm pains with accompanying severe symptoms. He could no longer himself read, and his strength further weakened by week’s end. On February 15, 1820, he passed away in his 93rd year. (p. 147) [5]
Burial: Common Burying Ground, Newport, Rhode Island
William B. Ellery Death February 15, 1820[13]

Military

Ellery, William
Birth: 12-22-1727, Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island
Death: 2-15-1820, Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island
Service: Rhode Island; Rank(s): SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, PATRIOTIC SERVICE
Service Source:
GOODRICH, LIVES OF THE SDI, P 155-156
Service Description:
1) SIGNER OF DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE;
2) MEMBER OF CONTINENTAL CONGRESS [14]
  • For a catalogue of his papers and correspondence see Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts Division: [15]

Notes and other sources

Newport Marriages :
220 ELLERY, Wiliam, Jr. of Newport and ___ Remington of Cambridge, m. by Rev. Nathan Appleton, Oct. 11, 1750. (p. 27)
53 ELLERY, William and Elizabeth Almy, m. by Rev. James Honeyman, Jan 3, 1722-3. (p. 27)
Newport Births (p. 95)
59 ELLERY, William (of William and Elizabeth) Dec. __, 172_. (p. 95)]
220 Ellery, Elizabeth of William Jr. Aug. 13, 1751.
220 “ Lucy, Sept. 21, 1752.
220 “ Ann, April 16, 1755.
220 “ William, March 2, 1757.
220 “ Almy, Feb. __, ___. (1759)
220 “ William, Oct. 9, ____. (1761)
220 " Edmond Trowbridge, Nov. 22, 1762. [9]
Baptisms:
Elizabeth Ellery, of William Jr. and Ann, Aug. 18, 1751.
Lucy Ellery, of William Jr. and Ann, Sept. 24, 1752.
Ann Ellery, of William Jr. and Ann (Record Oct. 16, 1764), May__, 1755.
Ann Ellery, of Hon. William, May 23, 1756.
William Ellery, of Hon. William and Ann, March 13, 1757.
Almy Ellery, of Hon. William and Ann, Feb .18, 1759.
William Ellery, of Hon. William and Ann, Nov. 1, 1761.
Edmund Trowbridge Ellery, of Hon. William and Ann, May 6, 1763.[16]
ELLERY
Hon. William Ellery, Dep. Gov., 63 y., March 15, 1764.
Ann Ellery, wife of William Jr., 39 y., Sept. 7, 1764.
Abigail Ellery, of William, b. Aug. __, 1768.
Abigail Ellery, of William, 4 m., Oct. __, 1768.
Nathaniel Ellery, of William, b. May 12, 1769.
John Wilkins Ellery, of William, b. May 18, 1770.
Abigail Ellery, of William, b. Feb. 2, 1772.
________, dau. of William, 1 y., Sept. 24, 1772. [12]
Cambridge Births
Remington, Ann, d. Jonathan and Lucey, Feb. 19, 1724-5. (p. 590) [6]
Cambridge Marriages
Remington, Anna and William Ellery (of Newport, RI, int.), Sept. 11, 1749 (Oct. 11, 1750. CR1) (Aug 23, 1750, int.) (p. 327) [6]
Cambridge Deaths
ELLERY, Ann, w. William of Newport and d. Judge –––– Remington, dec., Sept. 7, 1764, a. 39 y. GR1 (p. 542) [6]
Elery, Ann (d. William and Ann of Newport, RI. GR1), bur. Sept. 20, 1834, a. 79 y. (p. 542) [6]
Bristol Births
1-169 CAREY, Abigail, of Nathaniel and Elizabeth, Nov. 12, 1742. (p. 68) [17]
Bristol Marriages
1-33 ELLERY Willliam, of Newport, and Mrs. Abigail Carey, of Bristol; m. by Rev. John Burt, June 28, 1767. (p. 20)[17]
William appears as head of household in the 1774 census of Rhode Island[18]. William's household distribution and inferred attributions are
  • one man over 16: William
  • four boys under 16: sons William, Edmond, John, and unknown
  • three women over 16: Abigail and daughters Lucy and Ann
  • two girls under 16: daughters Almy and Ruth
  • one Indian: unknown
  • two Blacks: unknown

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7
  2. Source: Lives of William Pinkney, William Ellery, and Cotton Mather Hilliard, Gray, Boston, 1836
  3. Source: Historic Families of America: William Almy of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, 1630 Publ. by C. K. Miller, Chicago, 1897
  4. Source: Lives of William Pinkney, William Ellery, and Cotton Mather in The Library of American Biography: Vol. VI Publ. by Hilliard, Gray & Co. Boston, 1836
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Vital Records of Cambridge Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849 Compiled by T. W. Baldwin, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, 1915
  7. Source: History of Cambridge Massachusetts: Supplement and Index by Mary Gozzaldi, Heritage Books, Dec 1, 1986
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 The Signers: The 56 Stories Behind the Declaration of Independence by Dennis Brindell Fradin, Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Jan 1, 2003
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 Vital Record of Rhode Island 1636- 1850: Newport: Vol 4. By James N. Arnold, Narragansett Historical Publ. Co., Providence)
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 10.15 10.16 10.17 The Rhode Island Historical Magazine, Volume 4 by Henry Edward Turner, Risbrough Hammett Tilley Newport Historical Publishing Company, 1883
  11. 11.0 11.1 History of Cambridge Massachusetts: Supplement and Index by Mary Gozzaldi, Heritage Books, Dec 1, 1986
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Source: Vital Record of Rhode Island 1636- 1850: Newport: VOL. VIII. Episcopal and Congregational. (Dr. Ezra Sylve's Record Births & Deaths) By James N. Arnold, Narragansett Historical Publ. Co., Providence
  13. Find A Grave: Memorial #2805
  14. DAR.org
  15. http://www.rihs.org/mssinv/Mss407.htm
  16. Source: Vital Record of Rhode Island 1636-1850: VOL. VIII. Episcopal and Congregational *(Second Congregational Church Newport, Rhode Island Baptisms) By James N. Arnold, Narragansett Historical Publ. Co., Providence)
  17. 17.0 17.1 Vital Record of Rhode Island 1636- 1850: Bristol: Vol 6: Part I. By James N. Arnold, Narragansett Historical Publ. Co., Providence)
  18. 1774 Census


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