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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, New Haven, Jamestownmap
Surnames/tags: PGM Andrews
Profile manager: Halsey Bullen private message [send private message]
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"There is much confusion in Savage, Pope, and elsewhere about the early William Andrewses of New England." Robert Charles Anderson.[1]

If anything, Anderson--WikiTree's touchstone for the Puritan Great Migration--understates the confusion. Many other genealogists, including Anderson himself, have confused one or more of the 6 men named William Andrews who apparently came to New England during the 20 years of the Great Puritan Migration.

Summary of Conflation and Identification

Dec 2021:

Of the 6 men listed below (discounting William of Virginia who is not conflated with the men of New England), 4 are well-established as separate individuals:

  1. William of Lynn (not on wikitree)
  2. William the schoolteacher of Cambridge and Hartford
  3. William the mariner of Cambridge (not on wikitree)
  4. William the New Haven founder

The other 2 men, William the carpenter and William the servant are where the problem lies. It is possible that William the carpenter is also William the New Haven founder, since the founder was contracted to build some buildings but that is the only thing that potentially links them and William the carpenter has hardly any distinctive records.

Nothing seems to link William the servant with anyone else and he is definitely NOT William of Lynn (who was dead by 1639), William the schoolteacher (who was already a constable and schoolmaster before 1639 and certainly not a servant). Nor was a man as prominent and wealthy as the 1639 founder of New Haven charged with assault and the servant of another man in that same year. Neither was he likely to be the same as William the mariner who was a freeman and selectman in 1640, both unlikely for a servant charged with assault in 1639. Was William the servant also William the carpenter (assuming the carpenter was not the New Haven founder)? Maybe, but there just seem to be not enough records found for the servant or the carpenter to determine their fate.

As listed in Anderson's seminal work on that subject,[2] they arrived in (or by) the following years (nicknames added by Halsey Bullen to help distinguish them):

  1. 1633, to Lynn, where this first William "the Lynn man" (not yet profiled on WikiTree) was made freeman on 4 March 1633/4 and therefore was a church member likely a year before this date, therefore immigrated likely 1633. He served on a jury there 27 June 1637. Anderson speculates he died late 1637 or early 1638 based on 2 factors: 1) He did not appear in the 1638 Lynn land grant and 2) A "widow Androes" received a bequest in the 4 Jun 1640 will of Hugh Churchmann of Lynn and Anderson found no other Andrews family in Lynn this early. If this reasoning is accurate, then William of Lynn did not move elsewhere and is a unique person vs. the other William Andrews noted here who arrived later and/or lived longer.[1]
  2. 1634, to Cambridge, then to Hartford where this second William, "the schoolteacher" was schoolmaster and town recorder and had wife Abigail. At Cambridge he was made freeman on 4 March 1634/5, one year to the day after the first William was made free (therefore he was a church member and land owner likely at least one year prior). This man received a grant of land Cambridge in December 1634, served as selectman there in 1635, and as constable in 1636, joined the overland trek led by Rev. Thomas Hooker to found Hartford in 1637, and settled there.[3] Conflation note: The Great Migration 1:63 entry is for the schoolteacher who married Abigail (she later married Nathaniel Barding) and who died in Hartford in 1659. Anderson refers to the TAG 35:55 article by Jacobus to differentiate him from another William Andrews of Cambridge who had a wife Mary, she dying in 1640, two years AFTER the 1638 birth of a son to William and Abigail. Jacobus goes about proving that the man of Cambridge and the man of Hartford were different based mainly on the names and deaths of their wives, and the births of their children.
  3. 1635, to Massachusetts Bay, perhaps from Landford, Wiltshire, definitely on the James in a voyage that ended in a hurricane. This third William, "the carpenter", not yet profiled on WikiTree, appears on the passenger list, which identifies him as a carpenter from Hampsworth[4], a location that doesn't seem to have existed then. Anderson states that this man cannot be connected with records of any of the other William Andrewses who came to New England in that period.[5] Conflation note: both this entry and "William the servant" noted below reference Great Migration Vol 1. page 62 where Anderson says that he found no New England records to connect the carpenter who emigrated 1635 with this man, nor to connect them with anyone else. Another conflation note: William "the New Haven Founder" below is also listed as the 1635 carpenter immigrant on the James in this (unsourced) Andrews family publication.[6]
  4. 1635 from Ipswich, Suffolk to Charlestown, then settled in Cambridge, where this fourth William "the mariner" lived .[3] Anderson states that he did not arrive until 1637 and was not made freeman until 13 May 1640. This man was an established mariner sailing out of England before deciding to shift his base to Massachusetts, married twice, and lived out his life, when ashore, in Cambridge. He came belatedly into the church in 1639 and was the William Andrews who was made freeman in 1640, then served as selectman in Cambridge. [7] Conflation note: This Andrews-749 seems to be the most badly conflated with William Andrews-1045 the schoolteacher who moved to Hartford. Jacobus does not go into much detail at all on the William Andrews who married "Mary" (she died 19 Jan 1639/40, BEFORE the "widow Androes" of Lynn noted above who received a bequest in a June 1640 will) and was NOT the schoolteacher of Hartford.
  5. 1638 Dorchester, where a fifth William, "the servant", was charged in General Court with assaulting his master William Coggin, and consequently was placed as a servant to John Endicott. No other records yet found connect him with any of the other William Andrews.[5] Conflation note: both this entry and "William the carpenter" noted above reference Great Migration Vol 1. page 62 where Anderson says that he found no New England records to connect the carpenter who emigrated 1635 with this man, nor to connect them with anyone else.
  6. 1639 in New Haven Colony, where the sixth William, "the New Haven founder", participated in the establishment of the colony government, apparently his first appearance in any records in New England. Many of his his responsibilities assigned by the town concerned construction and wood, tasks related to carpentry, suggesting that he might be the third William "the carpenter" who immigrated in 1635 on the James. But if so, where was he between arrival in 1635 and his mid-1639 first appearance in the New Haven records? More possible Connecticut info here, need to research[6] This book asserts (without citing a source) that he came in 1635 on the James, i.e. that he was William "the carpenter" noted above.
  7. 1616 Oh, and to add to the confusion another William Andrews immigrated to Jamestown in the Virginia colony in 1616.

These six or seven men have been confused in many genealogies, including some WikiTree profiles. Facts that pertain to one of them have been attributed to a different man. Some have been erroneously conflated. Some may need to be conflated if they are actually the same person. And some of the "facts" summarized here as a starting point may be incorrect.

The purpose of this free-space profile is to assemble what is known about the various William Andrewses who settled in the new land by 1640 that will help in distinguishing between them. The purpose of course is to facilitate working collectively towards more accurate profiles of each man. Please feel free to improve or correct what is here and to add to it.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Robert Charles Anderson in The Great Migration Begins, p. 45-46 $subscription, citing Massachusetts Bay Colony Records Vol.1, p. 368 and Essex Quarterly Court Records, Vol. 1, p. 6
  2. Anderson, Robert Charles, The Great Migration Directory: Immigrants to New England 1620-1640: a Concise Compendium, (Boston, 2015, New England Historic Genealogical Society), p. 8
  3. 3.0 3.1 Anderson, Robert Charles, The Great Migration , Immigrants to New England 1634-1635,(Boston, 1999, New England Historic Genealogical Society), pp. 63-66 $subscription, citing Massachusetts Bay Colony Records Vol.1, p. 170
  4. Drake, Samuel G., Results of some researches among the British archives . . .Founders of New England (Boston 1860), p. 56, the one source cited by Anderson
  5. 5.0 5.1 Anderson, Robert Charles, et al, The Great Migration , Immigrants to New England 1634-1635,(Boston, 1999, New England Historic Genealogical Society), p. 62 $subscription citing Massachusetts Bay Colony Records Vol.1, pp. 246 & 269
  6. 6.0 6.1 Genealogical history of John and Mary Andrews, who settled in Farmington, Conn., 1640 : embracing their descendants to 1872; with an introduction of miscellaneous names of Andrews, with their progenitors as far as known; to which is added a list of some of the authors, clergymen, physicians and soldiers of the name. by Andrews, Alfred, 1797-1876 Publication date 1872 p. 15
  7. Jacobus, Donald Lines. "Andrews Families of Western Connecticut." the American Genealogist 35:55 $subscription 1959

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Comments: 6

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I happened upon your post, tonight, and happened upon this tonight ; I thought you might be interested :

https://archive.org/details/pioneersofmassac00pope/page/18/mode/2up It starts at the bottom of page 18 ; it states that William the mariner was the husband of Mary that died January 19, 1639/40 and William the carpenter was the servant / striker of Mr. Henry Coggan and assigned to Mr. Endecott.

posted by Sharon Creamer
Unfortunately, I don't see any citations by Pope to sources for those assertions. And it seems that William the mariner lived (in Cambridge) well beyond 1639/40, when another William, more likely the Lynn man, died. And why would a man identified as a carpenter in 1635 have become a mere troublesome servant 4 years later? Anderson mentions Pope in is comment about "much confusion" cited at the top of the page, and I think the passage you cite is what he (Anderson) was talking about. .
posted by Halsey Bullen
edited by Halsey Bullen
I've polished up some of the profiles and de-conflated William the mariner and William the schoolteacher by edits to the mariner. Unless/until records can be found for william the servant and william the carpenter, there may not be a lot more we can do.
posted by Brad Stauf
Probably not, although I will look further at the work of the late Alfred Andrews, who shared my sentiment that Wiiliam "the carpenter" who came in the James was also (my ancestor) William "the New Haven founder"
posted by Halsey Bullen
That does seem to be the most likely match for the carpenter. I didn't see anything concrete (or wooden, ha ha) linking him to the founder other than William of New Haven being paid to do some construction, which is at least something. If I missed or mis-stated anything in the summary I wrote at the top please feel free to edit as needed, you are doubtless more familiar with these histories than i am.
posted by Brad Stauf
Great job on this Halsey! It is very helpful.
posted by S (Hill) Willson