First Families of Westerly, Rhode Island

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Profile manager: David Randall private message [send private message]
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For a brief history of the Rhode Island Colony prior to the founding of Westerly, please see my companion page, Rhode Island Colony Primer

Also check out my Sabbatarian ("Seventh Day") Church of Westerly free page, as many of our Westerly ancestors were founding members of this break-off denomination.



The primary objective of this project is to provide a gateway to each of the founding families of Westerly, Rhode Island, in order that their individual profiles can be fully developed. Some of these Colonists already have wonderful profile pages, while others are greatly lacking in detail or appear to not exist at all. Wouldn't it be great if we could give each of these remarkable individuals the recognition they deserve, preserving their stories for generations to come?

In order to prevent a loss of information, This page has been set to "Public". If you would like to assist in upgrading this page, drop me a note and I will be happy to add you to the trusted list - just post a comment here on this page, in G2G using the project tag, or send me a private message.

Thanks, David Randall.

The Founding of Westerly

On 29 Jun 1660, a Montauk captain named Sosoa sold a tract of land to a group of Newport colonists, which had been awarded to him by the chief Narragensett sachem, Canonicus, for his role in expelling the rival Pequots from the area. Known as Misquimiquat, the 150-square-mile tract was located in the Rhode Island Colony's remote southwestern corner, and covered the land that now encompasses the towns of Westerly, Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton. The name "Misquamicut, means “salmon place,” for the plentiful wild salmon that lived in the ocean and spawned in the rivers. (Thus, the reason Westerly’s town seal pictures three salmon.)

The initial six share holders of the Misquamicut purchase were William Vaughn, Robert Stanton, John Fairfield, Hugh Mosher, James Longbottom, and Shubael Painter (although Painter does not appear on the original purchase agreement). Very shortly, those share were divided amongst a company that numbered about 80 men. On 27 Aug 1661, a group of these shareholders petitioned the Rhode Island Court of Commissioners for permission to settle a township at Misquamicut. On behalf of the entire company, the letter was signed by nine men: John Coggeshall Jr., John Crandall, James Barker, Caleb Carr, James Rogers, Lt. Joseph Torrey, and John Cranston. Of these men, only Rev. Crandall appears to have actually settled in Westerly. In fact, it appears that very few of the original subscribers ever settled at Misquamicut. Some were likely deterred from settlement by the remoteness and ruggedness of the region, and others may have had concerns with the increasing hostilities developing over the boundary dispute with Connecticut. But most had likely joined the company for purely speculative purposes and never intend to settle there in the first place.

The first occupants white settlers arrived in the region about 1 Sep 1661, having travelled either by boat along the coast, or by Indian trails through the deep forests. There, they cleared the thick brush and built log homes, sometimes half beneath the earth and half above, thatched with slabs and bark. These homes rarely had windows.

On 14 May 1669, Misquimcut became the fifth town incorporated in the Colony of Rhode Island, with it's name then being change to Westerly, most likely based on its location in the colony. During the rule of Gov. Andros, the town’s name was changed briefly to Haversham, but the former name was restored in 1689. Charlestown separated from Westerly in 1738, as did Richmond in 1747, and Hopkinton in 1757. The remaining town of Westerly now comprises about thirty-three square miles.

Original Lists of Westerly Inhabitants, 1668-1679

This project focuses specifically on the Freemen presented in the first four town lists of Westerly (1668, 1669, 1671, 1679) and their wives. Ancestors and descendants of these families can be traced by clicking on their individual profile links.

Original Freemen of Westerly, 1668

The names of such as inhabit Misquamacott [Westerly], who have formerly presented their names to be made free of the Colony, doe now again present them to this present Assembly, sitting this 28th of October, 1668, and are admitted, viz: Joseph Clarke, John Maxson, James Badcoke Jun'r, John Badcoke, Job Badcoke, John Randall, Daniel Crome, John ---, John Lewis, John Tharp, Jonathan Armstrong, Daniel Stanton, Nicholas Cottrell Jun'r, and James Case."

Free Inhabitants of Westerly, 1669

John Crandall, Edward Larkin, Stephen Wilcox, John Lewis, James Cross, Jonathan Armstrong, John Maxson, Jeffrey Champion Sr, John Fairfield, Daniel Cromb, Nickolas Cottrell, Shubael Painter, Tobias Saunders, Robert Burdick, John Randall, John Mackoon, John Sharp, Daniel Stanton, James Babcock Sr, Thomas Painter, James Babcock Jr, John Babcock, Job Babcock, Josiah Clark.

Oath of Fidelity, 1671

May 18, 1671 - Upon consideration of a petition presented by the towne of Westerly, it is ordered by the Court, that several inhabitants be called on to see how they stand as to their fidelity to his Majesties and this Colony, viz: John Crandall, Tobiah Sanders, Joseph Clarke, Robert Burdick, John Maxon, John Randall, Job Badcock, James Badcock Jun’r, Thomas Painter, Shuball Painter, Jeoffery Champlin Sen’r, John Lewis, Richard Swaite, John Mackoone, Richard Segar, George Lanphere, Steven Wilcox, Jonathan Armstrong, Nicholas Cottrell Jun’r, Daniell Crumb, John Farifield, Edward Larking; all of which persons did promise to stand to their engagement to his Majistie and this Colony. But James Badcock Sen’r, Joh Badcock, Jeoffrey Champlain Jun’r, and Augustine Williams being called did not appeare.

Oath of Fidelity, 1679

The inhabitants of Westerly being by warrant required to appeare at this Court to give the oath of allegiance to his Majesty, and of fidelity to his Majerty’s authority, for this Collony, these persons here named appeared, and gave oath, viz: Mr. Tobias Saunders, Gersham Cotterill, Robert Burdick, Henry Hall Sen’r, Edward Larken, William Champion, John Fairfield, James Crandall, John Randall, Peter Crandall, John Macoone, John Lewis, Daniell Crome, Christopher Champion, James Badcock, Henry Hall Jun’r, Joseph Clarke, Jonathan Lewis, Capt’n James Pemblton, Thomas Burdick, Mr. Thomas Wells Sen’r, John Balmiter, John Badcocke, John Wells, George Lampheare, Thomas Wells Jun’r, Jeffery Champion, Richard Parssmore, Nicholas Cotterill, Joseph Pemblton, Job Badcocke, John Parner, Richard Swaight.

Links to the First Families of Westerly

The following is a list of inhabitants identified in the Westerly town records of 1668, 1669, 1671, and 1679, along with the names of their spouses when known. Sons whose names appear below their father's, are those whose names also appear on one or more of the above lists. Additional family members can be found by clicking on the link to each individual's personal profile page.


Jonathan Armstrong (1622-?)
Spouse: Unknown


James Babcock, Sr. (1612-1679)
Spouse 1: Sarah --
Spouse 2: Elizabeth March
James Babcock, Jr. (1641-1698)
Spouse: Jane Brown
John Babcock (1644-1685)
Spouse: Mary Lawton
Job Babcock (1646-1718)
Spouse : Jane Crandall


Robert Burdick (1630-1692)
Spouse: Ruth Hubbard
Thomas Burdick (1655-1732)
Spouse: Martha --


Jeffrey Champlin, Sr. (1626-1695)
Spouse: Eulalia Garde
Jeffrey Champlin, Jr. (1652-1715)
Spouse: Hannah --
William Champlin (1654-1715)
Spouse: Mary Babcock
Christopher Champlin (1656-1732)
Spouse: Unknown


Joseph Clarke, Jr. (1642-1727)
Spouse 1: Bethia Hubbard
Spouse 2: Hannah Weeden


Nicholas Cottrell, Jr. (1648-1716)
Spouse: Anne Peabody
Gershom Cottrell (1652-1711)
Spouse: Bethia Wilcox


John Crandall (1618-1676)
Spouse 1: Mary --
Spouse 2: Hannah Gaylord
John Crandall, Jr. (1649-1676)
Spouse: Elizabeth Gorton
James Crandall (1651-1681)
Spouse: Unknown
Peter Crandall (1655-1724)
Spouse: Mary Babcock


Daniel Cromb (1652-1713)
Spouse: Rachel Roberts


James Cross (?-?)
Spouse: Unknown


John Fairfield (?-1689)
Spouse: Amphillis --


Henry Hall, Sr.
Spouse: Constance Rogers
Henry Hall, Jr.
Spouse: Constance Maxson


George Lanphere (1643-1731)
Spouse 1: Mary Readwood
Spouse 2: Jane Hulet


Edward Larkin (1646-1741)
Spouse 1: UNKNOWN
Spouse 2: Lydia --


John Lewis (1631-1690)
Spouse: UNKOWN
Jonathan Lewis (1659-1708)
Spouse 1: Jemimah Whitehead
Spouse 2: Deliverance Townsend


John MacCoone (1630-1705)
Spouse 1: Deborah Bush
Spouse 2: Sarah Wood
Spouse 3: Mary --


John Maxon (1639-1720)
Spouse: Mary Mosher


Spouse 1: Catherine --
Spouse 2: UNKNOWN
Spouse: Mercy Lamberton


John Palmiter (1645-1704)


John Parmer (?-?) [Could he have actually been a Palmer?]


Richard Passmore (?-?)


James Pemberton (1655-1702)
Spouse: Hannah Lord



Tobias Saunders (1630-1695)
Spouse: Mary Peckham


Richard Seager (1595-1682)
Spouse: Elizabeth Moody


John Sharp (1643-1676)
Spouse: Martha Vose


Daniel Stanton (1648-1690)
Spouse: Sarah Wheeler


Richard Sweet (1653-1744)
Spouse: Priscilla Carpenter


Thomas Wells Sr. (1626-1700)
Spouse: Naomi Marshall
Thomas Wells Jr. (1661-1716)
Spouse: Sarah Rogers
John Wells (1629-1700)


Stephen Wilcox (1633-1690)
Spouse: Hannah Hazard


Augustine Williams (1653-1701)
Spouse: Hannah Norton

Resource Links

Westerly and Her Witnesses by Frederick Dennison, 1878

Westerly at Wikipedia

Town of Westerly Website

Westerly Library

Westerly Historical Society

Rhode Island Historical Society

Rhode Island Genealogical Society

New England Historic Genealogical Society

Westerly at Family Search

Westerly at LDS Genealogy

Rhode Island Genealogy (Links)

History of Rhode Island’s Five Indigenous Tribes


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