William Holbrook
Privacy Level: Open (White)

William Holbrook (bef. 1620 - 1699)

Capt. William Holbrook
Born before in St. Johns, Glastonbury, Somerset, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married before 1655 (to 9 Sep 1696) in Massachusettsmap [uncertain]
Husband of — married about 1696 in Weymouth, Suffolk, Province of Massachusetts Baymap [uncertain]
Descendants descendants
Died after age 79 in Scituate, Plymouth, Province of Massachusetts Baymap
Problems/Questions Profile manager: Chris Hoyt private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 28 Dec 2008
This page has been accessed 7,921 times.



William Holbrook immigrated to New England as a child during the Puritan Great Migration (1621-1640).

William was the son of Thomas and Jane (Powys) Holbrook. William was baptized at St. Johns, Glastonbury, England on June 12, 1620 [1][2] Its assumed, but not proven that William accompanied his parents to New England on the Marygould, arriving in Dorchester, Massachusetts Bay Colony, 7 Jun 1635. See Research Notes

William Holbrook married first, about 1643 but prior to 1655, Elizabeth Pitts, daughter of Elizabeth Pitts.[1]

He lived at Weymouth until 1663, when he removed to Mendon. After the Indians drove him back, in 1676, he settled in Scituate.[3]

Elizabeth died at Scituate, Massachusetts in 1696. He married secondly, about 1696, Abigail Wright, who survived him. William was her third husband. [4] Abigail was the widow of Robert Sharp and Thomas Clapp, both of Scituate.[3] [5]

Abigail Wright was born in England about 1623, and came to New England in 1630 with her father Richard Wright. [6] Abigail had married first about 1640, Robert Sharpe who died in July 1653/4. [6] [4] [5] and married secondly, about 1657, Thomas Clap who died April 20, 1684. [6] [4] [5]

Captain William Holbrooke died at Scituate on July 3, 1699. [6] [7]

William made his will on 9 November 1696. His inventory was taken on 11 July 1699.[3][8]

His will was written on September 9, 1696. In it he names: [Note: The copy of his will spans across 2 pages and is difficult to read as such]

his wife Abigail
eldest son Samuel as Executor
son Cornelius
granddaughter Mehitable
son William
daughter Hopestill Read
daughter Elizabeth Bick
daughter Jane Balcum
daughter Mehitable Sprague [9]

His widow Abigail Holbrooke's will was written on November 28, 1702 and proved on February 13, 1707/8. [4]

Holbrook's probate inventory indicated that he enslaved a Black man appraised at £26 pounds. [10]


  • 1647: Freeman. [11]
  • 1655: August 1: Willam Holbrook and his wife Elizabeth are granted administration of the estate of Mrs. Elizabeth Pitts, mother of his wife. [1]
  • 1660: William Holbrook bought land at Scituate (Cohassett) but did not settle there. [11]
  • He was of Weymouth until 1662. [11]
  • 1662: May 5: He had an allotment of land in Mendon. [11] [12] [13]
  • 1663: September He was to be settled at Mendon with the other grantees of the allotment, of which he had 40 acres and interest in the common lands. [13]
  • He had other allotments totaling 165 acres west of the 'great river' (Uxbridge).[13]
  • 1663: December 4: William Holbrook listed as owning 9 acres/52 lots in the first division of lands at Weymouth, Massachusetts bordering Braintree. [14]
  • 1663: December 4: William Holbrook listed as owning 27 acres/60 lots in the second division of lands. (p. 284) [14]
  • 1670: February 25: William Holbrook and wife Elizabeth sold three acres of Weymouth land to Stephen French. (p. 513-4) Suffolk Deeds Lib. XIII 318-9.[15]
  • 1670: Bought 40 acres from Moses Paine east of Mendon village. [13]
  • 1675: The residents of Mendon abandoned the town which was attacked and burned during King Philip's War and returned to Weymouth. [12] [13]
  • 1679: December 2: William sold his forty acres at Mendon to his nephew Peter Holbrook, and other Mendon lands to his brothers John and Thomas. [13]
  • 1685: March 18: William Holbrook, John Holbrook, and others signed a deed at Weymouth, Massachusetts. [ p. 469: Suffolk Deeds Lib. XIII 293-6] [15]
  • He spent his later years at Scituate. [13]
  • He was a Captain and a Deacon. [13]


by Elizabeth born at Weymouth [3]

  1. Elizabeth born about 1646[16]; married first John Sprague, brother to Jonathan who married her sister Mehitable, on December 13, 1666 at Hingham; married second, prior to 1689, James Bick. (p. 1737-8) [17] [5]
  2. Hopestill born c 1648; died January 12, 1705/6 at Mendon [18]; married Samuel Read on March 10, 1668 at Rehoboth. [19] [16]
  3. Samuel (eldest son) born c 1650 probably at Weymouth; died in 1719: married Mary ___. [16] [11]
  4. Jane born about 1651; married ?first John Albie/Albee at Medfield on October 18, 1671[20]; married ?second Alexander Balcom about 1676. [16] [5]
  5. Mehitable born about 1652; married Jonathan Sprague before 1672. Jonathan was the son of William and Millicent (Eames) Sprague. [5] [17]
  6. William born at Weymouth on June 23, 1657 [21]; died at Mendon on November 19, 1714 [18] [16]; married Margaret Fairbanks at Sherborn, Massachusetts on January 23, 1683. [22] [11]
  7. Cornelius born at Weymouth on November 10 or 19, 1662 ; died there on December 14, 1742 [21]; married first Margery ___; married second  :Experience ___. [16] [11] [5]

See Research Notes for information on disproven children Persis, John and Experience.

Research Notes

Disputed children:

  • No daughter Persis: Several sources place a daughter Persis in William's family. History of Weymouth includes her as the 8th child, "Persis, d[ied] unm[married] 1696."[3] Other sources identify her as Persis Holbrook who married John Farrow, [16] [11] who is clearly a daughter of Samuel, identified in his will. Wikitree contributors could find no records to indicate that William had a daughter named Persis. Cole-12288 16:19, 13 October 2023 (UTC)
  • No son John: At least one source places a son John Holbrook d. 13 May 1721 in this family.[16] No primary sources were found to support the existence of such a person, and previously attached son John Holbrook (1664-1721) was removed.
  • No daughter Experience: A couple sources report a daughter Experience Holbrook (1670-1721) who married first ___ Albee; married second ___Hyde. [16] [11] No evidence was found to support this.

A note about migration: It is assumed he emigrated with his parents, but uproven. Other family members are shown on the passenger list of the Marygold, William is missing.[23][24]

Source Notes

Weymouth Births

Holbrook, W[illiam] s. W[illiam] and Elizebeth [dup. Elizabeth] June 23, 1[65]7. (p. 135)
Holbrook, Cornelios [dup. Cornelius] s. William, Nov 19 [dup. Nov. 10] 1662. (p. 130)

Weymouth Deaths

Holbrook, Cornelius, s. William, Dec. 14, 1742. (p. 279) [21]

Scituate Deaths

HOLEBROOK, William, Mr., July 3, 1699. (p. 397) [7][25]

Medfield Marriages

HOLBROOKE, Jane and John Albie, Oct. 18, 1671. (p. 113; p. 149) [20]

Mendon Deaths

Read, Hopstill, w. Samuel, Jan. 12, 1705-6. (p. 492)
Holbrook, William, Ens., Nov. 19, 1714 (p. 474)[18]

Sherborn Marriages

Holbrook, William and Margret Fairbanks, Jan. 23, 1683. (p. 140) [22]

Rehoboth Marriages

READ, Samuel and Hopestill Holbrook, May 10, 1668. (p. 312) [19]

New England Marriages

HOLBROOK, William (1620-1699) & Elizabeth [PITTS] ca 1643, b 1658, b 1655; Hingham/Weymoth/Scituate/Mendon. (p. 380)
SHARP, Robert (? 1617-1656) & Abigail WRIGHT (?1622 - ) m/2 Thomas CLAP 1656?; m/3 William HOLBROOK aft 1679, 1684+; b 1643; Roxbury. (p. 663)
CLAP, Thomas ( -1684) & Abigail (WRIGHT) [SHARPE] w Robert, m/3 William HOLBROOK, 1684+; after Jan 1655, 1656?; Deham, Weymouth, Scituate.(p. 154)
HOLBROOK, Cornelius (1662-1742) & 1/wf Margery [?EAMES/?LOWELL] b. 1687; Weymouth. (p. 379)
HOLBROOK, Cornelius (1662-1742) & 2/wf Experience ___; b. 1695; Weymouth. (p. 379)
SPRAGUE, Jonathan (1648-1741) & Mehitable [HOLBROOK] dau. Wm. b 1672; Hingham/Providence/Smithfield, RI (p. 698)
SPRAGUE, John ( - 1683) & Elizabeth [HOLBROOK], m/2 James Bick by 1689, 13 Dec. 1666, Hingham. (p. 697)
BALCOM, Alexander ( - 1711) & Jane [HOLBROOK] dau. Wm., b. 1672; by 1664?; Portsmouth RI/Providence. (p. 35) [5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Anderson, Robert C. Thomas Holbrook in: The Great Migration 1634-1635, G-H, NEHGS, Boston, Massachusetts, 2003, p. 352 (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009.) Originally published as: The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume III, G-H, by Robert Charles Anderson. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2003.
  2. Davis, Walter Goodwin. The Ancestry of Joseph Neal 1769-c. 1835 of Litchfield Maine. Portland, Maine: Southworth-Anthoensen Press, 1945. "Ancestry of Joseph Neal, Chapter XI, Holbrook of Weymouth, Pages 131 to 132"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Chamberlain, George Walter. The history and genealogies of Weymouth, Massachusetts, Boston: Wright & Potter Printing Co. for Weymouth Historical Society, 1923. v 3, p 270. HathiTrust
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Anderson, Robert C. Robert Sharp in: The Great Migration 1634-1635, R-S. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2012.) Originally published as: The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume VI, R-S, by Robert Charles Anderson. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Torrey, Clarence Almon. New England Marriages Prior to 1700, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, Maryland, 1985
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Vol. 99: pp. 240-2: Vital Records from The NEHGS Register. Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (Compiled from articles originally published in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register.)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Vital Records of Scituate Massachusetts to the Year 1850, NEHGS, Boston, Massachusetts, 1909
  8. "Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Records, 1633-1967," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-997D-JDSK : 22 March 2023), Probate records 1686-1702 and 1849-1867 vol 1-1F > image 164-165 of 490; State Archives, Boston.
  9. Case 10270p. 8-9: Plymouth County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1686-1881. Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.)
  10. Plymouth County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1686-1881.Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.) cited in this WikiTree profile.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 Vinton, John A. The Vinton Memorial, Comprising a Genealogy of the Descendants of John Vinton of Lynn, 1648, S.K. Whipple and Co., Boston, Massachusetts, 1858. p 334. Internet Archive
  12. 12.0 12.1 The New England Historical & Genealogical Register, Volume 21, David Clapp & Sons, Printers, Boston, Massachusetts, 1867
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 Morse, Abner. A Genealogical Register of the Inhabitants and History of the Towns of Sherborn and Holliston, Press of Damrell & Moore, 1856
  14. 14.0 14.1 Historical Sketch of the Town of Weymouth, Massachusetts, from 1622-1884, A, Mudge & Sons, Printers, 1885, Appendix C: p. 283
  15. 15.0 15.1 Suffolk Deeds: Liber -I-XIV [1629-87], Rockwell & Churchill, Boston, Massachusetts, 1903
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 16.7 16.8 Cross, Rev. Roselle Theodore. My Children's Ancestors: Data Concerning about Four Hundred New England Ancestors of the Children of Roselle Theodore Cross and His Wife Emma Asenath (Bridgman) Cross. Champlin Press, Twinsburg, Ohio, 1913. pp 90-91. Internet Archive.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Anderson, Robert C. William Sprague in: The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III. p. 1737-8 (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2010), (Originally Published as: New England Historic Genealogical Society. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III, 3 vols., 1995).
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Baldwin, Thomas, compiler. Vital Records of Mendon Massachusetts to the Year 1850, NEHGS, Boston, MA, 1920
  19. 19.0 19.1 Vital Records of Rehoboth 1642-1895, Marriages, Intentions, Births and Deaths
  20. 20.0 20.1 Vital Records of Medfield Massachusetts to the Year 1850, NEHGS, Boston, Massachusetts, 1903
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Vital Records of Weymouth Massachusetts to the Year 1850, NEHGS, Boston, Massachusetts, 1910
  22. 22.0 22.1 Baldwin, Thomas, compiler. Vital Records of Sherborn Massachusetts to the Year 1850, NEHGS, Boston, Massachusetts, 1911
  23. Anderson, Robert C. "The Trouble With Thomas Holbrook" in Great Migration Newsletter: V. 11: June 2002: p. 9-10
  24. Hotten: James C. The Original Lists of Persons of Quality... ; from mss. preserved in the State Paper Department of Her Majesty's Public Record Office, England, London, England, 1874, p. 285
  25. "Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q29G-7TN4 : 18 February 2020), William Holobrook, 03 Jul 1699; citing Death, Scituate, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, Boston; FHL microfilm 007009271.

See also:

  • Memoir of the Farrar Family, by Timothy Farrar Clary, Printed by William Wardell, Andover, 1847
  • One Hundred and Sixty Allied Families

Is William your ancestor? Please don't go away!
 star icon Login to collaborate or comment, or
 star icon contact private message the profile manager, or
 star icon ask our community of genealogists a question.
Sponsored Search by Ancestry.com

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships. Paternal line Y-chromosome DNA test-takers: It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with William: Have you taken a test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Comments: 16

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
This person immigrated to New England between 1621-1640 as a Minor Child (under age 21 at time of immigration) of a Puritan Great Migration immigrant who is profiled in Robert Charles Anderson's Great Migration Directory (or is otherwise accepted by the Puritan Great Migration (PGM) Project).

Please feel free to improve the profile(s) by providing additional information and reliable sources. PGM encourages the Profile Managers to monitor these profiles for changes; if any problems arise, please contact the PGM Project via G2G for assistance. Please note that PGM continues to manage the parent's profile, but is happy to assist on the children when needed.

posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
I see no primary sources supporting a daughter Persis for William. It looks like History of Weymouth misplaced the daughter of Samuel Holbrook. See comments below and Persis Holbrook

Unless there are original records supporting a daughter Persis, she should be detached. Any objections?

posted by M Cole
i don't see her here, but she may have been previously and erroneously attached at some point.
posted by Chris Hoyt
It looks like she's been removed already, altho without collaboration.
posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
Looks like Persis is in Torrey, but no parents listed (normal). https://www.americanancestors.org/DB1568/i/21174/531/426922900
posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
See older comments below about Samuel Holbrook's will naming Persis mn Farrow as his daughter. It looks like (Persis) https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Holbrook-715 and (Persis) https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Holbrook-569 are now in a proposed merge.
posted by Chris Hoyt
I think it's pretty clear that Persis who married John Farrow is the daughter of Samuel. I think what is perhaps open is the mention in History of Weymouth, "Persis, d. unm 1696" as the 7th child of William.

I've added research notes that we couldn't find a record of a daughter Persis, as I don't see either a birth or death from your extracted records, so I'm assuming Chamberlain just added an additional Persis by mistake when he intended to just note her as a daughter of Samuel.

posted by M Cole

Below is exactly how it is entered in History of Weymouth, Massachusetts Vol 3, page 270 3. CAPT. WILLIAM? HOLBROOK (Thomas') was born in England near 1627; died at Scituate 3 July, 1699. He married (1) Elizabeth —, daughter of widow Elizabeth Pitts, who died at Scituate in 1696. He married (2) Abigail , who survived. She was widow of Robert Sharp and of Thomas Clapp of Scituate. He re resided in Weymouth till about 1663, when he removed to Mendon. The Indians drove him back in 1676 and thereafter he settled in Scituate. He made his will 9 Nov. 1696, providing for his wife Abigail. To his son Cornelius he gave his lands in Weymouth, he to pay his own daughter Mehitable Holbrook £5 at marriage. He bequeathed to his daughters Elizabeth Buck, Hopestill Reed, Mehitable Sprague and Jane Balcom, and to his son William, and Samuel, whom he calls eldest son.

Children, born in Weymouth: Elizabeth,” m. (1) 13 Dec. 1666, John Sprague and m (2) John Buck. Samuel, “eldest son;” m. Mary ____ and had at Weymouth, Persis, b. 11 Oct. 1676. He removed to Scituate. William, b. 23 June, 1657; settled in Mendon. Hopestill, m. 1688, Samuel Reed. 7. Cornelius, b. 10 or 19 Nov. 1662. Jane, m. Alexander Balcom. Mehitable, m. Jonathan Sprague. Persis, d. unm. 1696.

The Persis that married John Farrow was the Child of Samuel and Mary Holbrook. John, Millicent, and Experience not listed as children in this source. The Persis listed as a child of William has been questioned in other sources as confusion between this Persis and Samuel's daughter Persis who married John Farrow. "Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915", database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FCQR-NR4 : 14 January 2020), Samuell Holbrook in entry for Persis Holbrook, 1676.

"Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915", database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FCQR-NRW : 14 January 2020), Persis Holbrook, 1676.

"Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001," database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FHH1-PXC : 10 November 2020), Persis Holbrook in entry for John Farrow, 3 Apr 1696; citing Marriage, Scituate, Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay Colony

above for your thoughts and consideration

posted by Katherine Cappon
The Holbrook line is covered in several pages here beginning page 153. Some sources too. https://archive.org/details/stonegregggeneal00chas/page/152?q=Holbrook+Holbrooke+Somerset?q=Holbrook+Holbrooke+Somerset
posted by Clare Bromley III
Thanks, Jillaine. I agree, likely about 15 when his parents came to New England.
posted by Chris Hoyt
While he was not apparently on ships list, the article Chris links to points out the trouble with these early lists. William may have come later or may have been on the same ship and simply not listed. We don't know. We know he was born in England and died in New England-- and that he presumably emigrated prior to 1640, so yes, let's add PGM to his profile. Thanks, Chris.
posted by Jillaine Smith
Should he be PGM? see: p. 9-10 in The Trouble With Thomas Holbrook in

Great Migration Newsletter, V.1-20.(Online Database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015.) (requires subscription https://www.americanancestors.org/DB1567/i/21155/9/45663937)

Hotten: James C. The Original Lists of Persons of Quality; Emigrants; Religious Exiles; Political Rebels; Serving Men sold for a term of years; apprentices; children stolen; maidens pressed; and others who went from Great Britain to the American Plantations, 1600-1700 : with their ages and the names of the ships in which they embarked, and other interesting particulars; from mss. preserved in the State Paper Department of Her Majesty's Public Record Office, England, London, England, 1874, p.285

posted by Chris Hoyt
The William Holbrook that married Elizabeth Pitts was the son of Thomas and Jane Powys Holbrook. See Holbrook-3. They should be corrected and then merges. See: Thomas Holbrook - son William -

Anderson, Robert C. Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume III, G-H p. 352-3> Also, some of the siblings on this one are incorrect.

posted by Chris Hoyt

Featured Asian and Pacific Islander connections: William is 19 degrees from 今上 天皇, 17 degrees from Adrienne Clarkson, 19 degrees from Dwight Heine, 19 degrees from Dwayne Johnson, 16 degrees from Tupua Tamasese Lealofioaana, 17 degrees from Stacey Milbern, 14 degrees from Sono Osato, 29 degrees from 乾隆 愛新覺羅, 19 degrees from Ravi Shankar, 22 degrees from Taika Waititi, 18 degrees from Penny Wong and 14 degrees from Chang Bunker on our single family tree. Login to see how you relate to 33 million family members.