||William Potter migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).|
Join: Puritan Great Migration Project
Two William Potters (at least) were early immigrants and are often confounded.
Here profiled was baptized at Lewes on 28 August 1608, son of William Potter and Hannah Langford, immigrated aboard the Abigail (Savage incorrectly attributed this voyage to the other William Potter), removed to New Haven by 1641, married Frances Unknown, was executed on 6 June 1662 at New Haven.
The other William Potter was found in 1637 at Watertown. Sold his Watertown land in 1645 and removed to Stamford [SLR 1:66, GMN 1:8]. He may have married Dorothy, widow of John Brown/Browne and mother of daughters Hannah and Mary. Hannah may have been the Hannah Potter who married John Mead. That William Potter's will was dated 18 September 1684, and was probated on 9 March 1684/5 [Stamford Town Records, transcribed, 25, 128]. It mentioned the children of his son-in-law, John Mead (who married Hannah Potter).
An article by Patricia Law Hatcher, published in 2004, identifies the parish records for the Potter and Beecher families at Lewes. William was baptized on 28 August 1608 at St. Thomas as in the Cliffe, Lewes, Sussex, England, son of William Potter and possibly his 2nd wife, Ann/Hannah Langford. William's father was buried at Lewes on 14 August 1619. William's mother married in January 1619/20, as her 2nd, and possibly as his 2nd, to John Beecher.
This finally resolves the identity of the immigrant, Ann/Hannah (Langford) Potter Beecher of New Haven, Connecticut (who was sometimes assumed to have been two different women).
Note: This profile reported birth information: January 9, 1602 at Kingsbridge, Devon, England, without evidence or citation.
We have record of William Potter on the passenger list for the Abigail. The ship left Plymouth, England destined for Boston in New England on June 4, 1635; among the passengers were William Potter age 27, wife Frances age 26 & 4 month old son Joseph Potter. His mother and brother, John, with his step-brother or half-brother, Isaac followed him to New England.
William settled briefly at Watertown and removed by 1639, with his brother John Potter, to New Haven Colony. However, his church membership at New Haven is implied by 22 August 1641, when two of his children were baptized there.
William married by 1635 to Frances Unknown.
Children of William and Frances Potter:
William Potter was an educated Puritan, a "planter" or farmer, and a land owner at New Haven. He was an active member of the church and well-respected among the other parishioners.
Nothing is known about him between the time he sailed aboard the Abigail and 22 August 1641, when his two eldest daughters were baptized at the New Haven church.
He was a member of the New Haven militia but was fined on 6 September 1643 for coming late to training day. On 4 January 1643/4, William was one of the eleven men fined for defective guns, and on 7 October 1651, he was fined for neglecting training day, neglecting to show his arms, and neglecting to bring note of his estate for taxation purposes. On 3 August 1652, he was again fined for neglecting to show for training day.
William held several parcels of land granted by the town, and he also purchased an additional 27 acres from Mr Evance on 5 October 1647. He purchased another 22 acres on 2 September 1651 from Mr. Robert Newman, including a house and a barn. At his death, William's estate was valued at £190 4s of which £90 was in real estate.
Written 19 May 1662. Inventoried 1 Aug 1662
Anderson also reports that William Potter's will was dated 19 May 1662, inventoried on 1 August 1662, and proved on 3 March 1662/3.
This profile apparently was confounding two different William Potters. Part of the problem may be the use of the 1900 NEHGR article (which follows Savage). Roberts used this article in his Genealogies of Connecticut Families ... Anderson cautions that Savage incorrectly assigned the Abigail voyage to the other William Potter and split this New Haven William Potter into two men.
Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.
On 14 Apr 2018 at 00:22 GMT Anne B wrote:
On 9 Apr 2018 at 21:03 GMT Vic Watt wrote:
On 23 Oct 2016 at 00:36 GMT Cynthia (Billups) B wrote:
William Potter-1209 was featured by Anderson in his Great Migration series. He immigrated to Watertown and removed to Stamford, Connecticut in 1645 (never lived at New Haven).
On 18 May 2016 at 18:04 GMT Cynthia (Billups) B wrote:
Have set Potter-1209 as a rejected match. As the biography points out, there were two different William Potters, one in New Haven (this profile) and one in Stamford (the other William Potter).
On 19 May 2015 at 10:12 GMT Anne B wrote:
William is 17 degrees from Judy Garland, 19 degrees from Mindy Silva and 16 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.