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William Munroe (abt. 1626 - 1718)

William Munroe aka Munro
Born about in Scotlandmap [uncertain]
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 1665 in Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts Bay Colonymap
Husband of — married 1672 (to Aug 1692) in Lexington, Middlesex County, MAmap
Husband of — married 1693 in Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts Bay Colonymap [uncertain]
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 92 in Lexington, Middlesex, Province of Massachusetts Baymap
Profile last modified | Created 11 Sep 2009
This page has been accessed 8,365 times.
There are disproven, disputed, or competing theories about this person's parents. See the text for details.
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William Munroe is a member of Clan Munro.

William and his alleged brothers Robert, George, and Benedict all fought at the Battle of Worcester. William was sent to the American colonies as a prisoner of war. They were listed on 13 May 1652 on a list of the banished as Munroes: Robert, Hugh, John, and a name obliterated by time, supposedly William. They were shipped to London on 11 Nov 1651 by Je. Rex, Robert Rich, and William Green in the "John and Sarah."

If William was an apprentice, it was for a short time. He was on his own by 1657. He is first referred to in the Cambridge, Massachusetts records of 1657 when he and Thomas Rose were fined for not having rings in the noses of their pigs. In 1660 he settled in Cambridge Farms, now known as Lexington, near the Woburn line. This part of town became known as "Scotland." He was a freeman in 1690 and in 1699 received communion into the church.

[1] William Munroe was born in Scotland on October 10, 1625,[citation needed] and belonged to the famous clan bearing that name. He came to America in 1652, probably a prisoner of war taken by Cromwell at the battle of Worcester or soon afterward and sold in service to an American proprietor. William Munroe worked out his time and acquired the property in Cambridge as early as 1657. He settled in Cambridge Farms, now Lexington, in 1660 near the Woburn line his farm being on Woburn Street. He was married three times and though he was forty years old at the time of his first marriage raised a family of thirteen children. He died January 27, 1716/7 O.S., and his will dated November 14, 1716.


According to an image of his contemporary gravesite memorial, he was born about 1626,[1] most likely in Scotland. Some sources may show his year of birth as 1625.


Married 1st. about 1665 Martha George daughter John George, was in Lexington, Massachusetts in 1671
Married 2nd. 1672 Lexington Massachusetts, Mary Ball[2] born 1651 Watertown, Massachusetts, died August 1692 Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts, daughter John Ball, and Elizabeth Pierce.
Married 3rd. Elizabeth b-1636, died December 14, 1715 daughter William and Elizabeth


Recorded children of Martha George:
John Munroe born March 10, 1666, Lexington, Massachusetts, died September 14, 1753, Lexington, Massachusetts; married Hannah Marrett, born August 17, 1668, Cambridge, Massachusetts, died April 14, 1716, Lexington, Massachusetts: 2nd marriage Rachel
(II)-Martha Munroe born November 2, 1667, Lexington, Massachusetts: married John Commee
(II)-George Munroe, b-1671, baptized February 26, 1699, Lexington, Massachusetts, died January 17, 1749, Lexington, Massachusetts: married Sarah Moore (1637-1752)
(II)-William Munroe born October 10, 1669, Lexington, Massachusetts, married 1702 Mary Cutler died June 26, 1713, daughter of Thomas Cutler   
Recorded Children of Mary Ball:
(II)-Daniel Munroe, born August 12, 1673, Lexington, Massachusetts, died February 25, 1733, Lexington, Massachusetts; married Dority
(II)-Hannah Munroe, b-1674, Lexington, Massachusetts, d-1736: married December 21, 1692, Waterton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, Joseph Pierce, born October 2, 1669.
(II)-Elizabeth Munroe, b-1676, Lexington, Massachusetts; married Thomas Rugg
(II)-Mary Munroe, born June 28, 1678, Lexington, Massachusetts, died June 16, 1753; married 1700 Joseph Fassett born October 02, 1674, Malden, Massachusetts, died August 11, 1754.
(II)-David Munroe, born October 6, 1680, Lexington, Massachusetts, died June 19, 1755, Canterbury, Connecticut: married March 1, 1704, Concord, Massachusetts, Deborah Howe, born October 19, 1685, Canterbury, Connecticut, died September 1, 1748, Canterbury, Connecticut daughter Samuel Howe and Mary Nutting
(II)-Eleanor Munroe, born February 24, 1683, Lexington, Massachusetts; married August 21, 1707, William Burgess.
(II)-Sarah Munroe, born March 18, 1684, Lexington, Massachusetts; married 1707, George Blanchard
(II)-Joseph Munroe (Corporal Joe) born August 16, 1687, Lexington, Massachusetts, d-1787; married Elizabeth.
(II)-Benjamin Munroe, born August 16, 1690, Lexington, Massachusetts,, died April 6, 1766, Lincoln, Massachusetts: married Lydia Stone.
(II)-Susanna Munroe baptized February 26, 1699.    


Death: 27 JAN 1717/8 in Lexington, Middlesex County, Massachusetts[1][3]
William wrote his will on 14 November 1716. According to an image of his contemporary gravesite marker, he died on 27 Jan 1717/8.
"Here Lyes ye Body of Mr WILLIAM MUNROE Aged about 92 Years."
"Decd Janry 27th, 1717"
Note: The year "18" appears to have been inscribed below the year 1717.[1]
His will was probated on 6 April 1719.[3]


Date: JAN 1717/8
Place: Old Lexington Burial Grounds, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts[1]


His will was written on 14 November 1716 in Lexington, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts and was probated on 6 April 1719.[3]

Research Notes

Disputed Parents:

  1. Robert (Munro) Munro XXth of Foulis: This profile previously inferred Robert (Munro) Munro XXth of Foulis as the father of William Munroe of Lexington. Robert Munroe had no male issue, so he has been removed as the father of William.[4][5]
  2. Robert Munro of Aldie: Historical research suggested that William Munroe was one of Robert Munro of Aldie's sons and the unknown "Munrow" listed as a prisoner of war on the "John and Sara" ship (1652). However, Y-DNA research performed in 2018 (reported by Mark E. Monroe) does not verify this assumption.[6][7][8]

Disputed Date of Birth: A previous version of this profile reported his birth date and location as 10 Oct 1625 in Alvie, Inverness, Scotland. This information appears to be based on the assumption he was William, son of Robert Munro of Aldie (see discussion about disputed parents). Until supporting proof can be provided, the birth date was edited based on his approximate age at the time he died, as shown on his contemporary grave marker.[1]

Other Notes:

  • Note: transported to New England in 1651 following his capture at the Battle of Worcester 3 September 1651 at Worcester, England Monroe Tavern in Lexington was built by his son William I thnk the two Williams are confused here, the transported William was born in 1625 and died in 1719[2]
  • from TORREY: MUNROE, William1 (?1625-1718, ca 92) & 1/wf Martha [GEORGE], dau John; by 1665/6; Charlestowm/Cambridge/Lexington {McCormick-Hamilton 773; Reg. 100:3; Reed (1956); Charlestown 404, 681; Lexington 2:449; Cambridge Hist. Supp. 527; Fallass 188-9; Cram 139; Warren (#5) 154; Reg. 33:357, 50:211}
  • Prisoner of war, banished to Massachusetts. in the ship John and Sara that arrived Boston May 13, 1652.  Others banished include Robert Munro, John Munro, Hugh Munro, and one unknown.  
  • Fact: first immigrant, he may have been a prisoner-of-war sent to the Boston area to serve as an indentured servant for a number of years. He then settled in Lexington and generations of Munroes survived him there. He was A Scotts pow captured by Cromwells Army @ the Battle of Worcester in Eng, shipped in 9-3-1651 to America on the ship named John and Sarrah. He later had land granted near early Woburn Mass, known as early Scottland.
  • Banished to Boston 1651 by Cromwell after being taken prisoner at Battle of Worcester, arriving in Boston on the “John & Sarah”. Appears as William Row at Cambridge in 1657; a settler of Lexington in 1660; made a freeman in 1690; received into church communion on 02/01/1699; selectman from Cambridge in 1694; no issue by the third marriage
  • Our Scotch ancestors "William was born in the county of Ross in Scotland in 1625. He was taken prison at the battle of Worcester in 1651 and deported to America in 1652. He [had 3 wives] Married (1) Martha George in 1665 by whom he had four children; (2) Mary Ball by whom he had nine children; (3) Elizabeth Wyer without issue. He died in Lexington, Massachusetts on the 27th of January 1716/7.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Find a Grave, database and images ( accessed 19 September 2023), memorial page for William James Munroe (10 Oct 1625–27 Jan 1717), Find A Grave: Memorial #15839600, citing Old Burying Ground, Lexington, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA; Maintained by Heather Rojo (contributor 46865484).
  2. Torrey, Clarence Almon. New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011. Vol. 2, p. 1049. Available with sources at ($).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871.Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives. Digitized images provided by Case 15716: Will
  4. Stephen, Leslie. Lee, Sidney. The Dictionary of National Biography. 1917, Oxford University Press, London: Humphrey Milford. Vol. XIII, Masquerier though Myles, Pp. 634-5. Available on Also available on Google Play.
  5. Robert MUNRO, XVIII of Foulis family group sheet on Clan Munro USA.
  6. Family group sheet for William MUNROE of Lexington. Clan Munro USA.
  7. Robert Munro of Aldie, Commissary of Caithness: family group sheet on Clan Munro USA.
  8. Clan Munro Y-DNA project, citing comparison of Group 8 (William Munroe of Lexington, MA), haplogroup R, with Group 11 (Munros of Foulis & those related), haplogroup I. Available on Accessed 19-Sep-2023.

See also:

  • Birth Date Sources: October 10, 1625 :

County Ross, Aldie, Kinrose, Alvie, Inverness-shire, Scotland Sources: - U.S., Find a Grave Index, 1600s-Current - - 1,60525::0 - 1,60525::104786497 - - American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI) - Godfrey Memorial Library, comp. - 1,3599::0 - 1,3599::685277

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Comments: 18

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The portrait that was recently attached to this profile was removed because it was an image of one of William Munroe’s descendants, Colonel William Munroe, who fought in the American Revolution.
posted by Laurence Mohr
The current biography for this profile reads the following:

“William Munroe, son of Robert of Aldie, is the 18th in direct descent from that first Donald who, in the eleventh century, founded the Clan Munro.”

This statement is disputed by Clan Munro USA, which holds the opinion that his parents are unknown. Please see their website for rationale, including a contradictory Y-DNA result.

This dispute has not been clearly addressed in the current version of this profile.

posted by Laurence Mohr
edited by Laurence Mohr
I removed all editing I did that may suggest William Munroe may be the son of Robert of Aldie. As of now, we have no clue exactly who the father of William Monroe is.
posted by Keith Mann Spencer
your website is not found, do you have another link? thank you
posted by Suzane Oliver
Clan Munro updated their domain name from .org to .com. The current URL is:

posted by Laurence Mohr
His gravestone says he died 27 Jan 1717/18. Is there another source for the 1716/17 date?
posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
Thanks Bobbie, I fixed the transcription error.
posted by Laurence Mohr
Please note the genealogy accepted for William Munroe [1] by Clan Munro USA shows his parents as "unknown". See the following links for rationale:

William Munroe on Clan Munro USA [2] Clan Munro Y-DNA project [3]

posted by Laurence Mohr
The confusion appears to stem from the facts that William Munroe's likely father, Robert Munro, Commissary of Caithness, died in or before 1633, as did Robert Munro, 18th of Foulis, who is currently linked to this profile.
posted by Matthew Dryden
William Munroe is undoubtedly under the wrong parents. If William was the son of Robert Munro, 18th Baron of Foulis, would his baronetcy not have been passed down to his son in 1633, rather than to his younger brother Hector? In addition, Hector Munro's Wikipedia page (,_1st_Baronet) mentions that his brother Robert had only daughters.
posted by Matthew Dryden
According to geneanet (with various sources) this is the decendance: Robert Munro XXIV Baron of Foulis, 3rd Baronet of Navar is the father of William Munro (1626 - 1718)'s/KtbxLxgNLCDSJvdlFjMsbJQZvNvZjMfDGq?projector=1

posted by Jane Schaefer
Hi Jane, thanks for your comment. As the profile reflects under research notes, this relationship has been disproved by Y-chromosome DNA results. The relationship is also rejected by the Clan Munro Association.


Also see:

posted by Laurence Mohr
Monroe-1512 and Munroe-10 appear to represent the same person because: Dates, spouse March. Correct LNAB is Munroe.
posted by Bob Keniston Jr.
Munro-663 and Monroe-1255 do not represent the same person because: Both are slated to merged into Munroe-10
posted by Bob Tonsmeire
Monroe-1255 and Munroe-10 appear to represent the same person because: Same name, same wife, similar dates
posted by Bob Tonsmeire
Munro-663 and Munroe-10 appear to represent the same person because: Same name, same wife, similar dates
posted by Bob Tonsmeire
Monroe-1255 and Munro-663 appear to represent the same person because: Similar name, same wife
posted by Bob Tonsmeire
Monrow-1 and Munroe-10 appear to represent the same person because: Same spouse/birth/death dates.

Rejected matches › William Munro (abt.1628-)William Monroe

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