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William Symmes (1626 - 1691)

Capt. William Symmes
Born in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married about 1652 in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusettsmap
Husband of — married before 1676 in Charlestown, Middlesex, Massachusetts Bay Colonymap
Descendants descendants
Died at age 65 in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusettsmap
Profile last modified | Created 6 Jan 2010
This page has been accessed 1,676 times.
The Puritan Great Migration.
William Symmes migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
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Capt. William Symmes[1] was ?born 10 Jan 1625/1626 at Dunstable, Bedfordshire, England.

William Symmes was baptized at Dunstable, Bedfordshire on Jan. 10, 1626/7, son of Zachariah and Sarah (Baker) Symmes. (p. 641)[2]

He came to New England with his parents and sisters on the ship Griffin in 1634. [3]

  • 1677: April 27: On the list of Charlestown freemen. [4]
  • 1667/8: March 11: Appointed tithingman. [4]

He married Mary Sparhawk, daughter of Nathaniel Sparhawk about 1652. [2]

He married Mary Chickering about 1675.

William died September 22, 1691 in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts. [4]

Source notes

Passengers on the Griffin: Arrived at Boston September 18, 1634

Rev. Zachariah Symmes of Canterbury, Co. Kent
Mrs. Sarah Symmes
William Symmes
Mary Symmes
Elizabeth Symmes
Huldah Symmes
Hannah Symmes
Rebecca Symmes [3]

from Lee Richardson 'Ric' Luther Symmes, WFT Vol 2 Tree #5554, 1995:

son of Zechariah Symmes, Reverend and Sarah Baker.

Some dispute as to death date: Symmes Memorial says Feb 4, 1670/1; while American Genealogist"s extract from Register of St George's, Canterbury, 1538-1800: says he died Jan 28, 1670/1.

Zechariah signed the register in St Peters in Dunstable from 1625 until 1633. He was frequently harassed by prosecutions in the Bishop's Courts run by William Laud, Archbishop of London,(beheaded in 1644/45).

He arrived in Boston, with his wife and seven children, in the ship "Griffin, Sept 18, 1634, along with about 200 other immigrants. Mr. Symmes, and his wife Sarah were admittted to the church in Charlestown, Dec 6, 1634, and subsequently ordained their teacher. Difficulties arose with the pastor, one Reverend James, and subsequently, James left for Providence in 1637.

Mr. Symmes was elected freeman of the colony May 6, 1635.

He became involved in controversy concerning one Mrs Hutchison who claimed revelations from God.

He must have been a man of no small ability to retain a firm hold of such a parish for so many years. "He knew his bible well".

The Quakers came to New England in 1656. The propogated contempt for the ministry and of the civil power. Some went naked through the streets.

The Town of Charlestown gave Mr. Symmes a tract of three hundred acres of land, extending from the north end of Mystic Pond to the borders of Woburn. The Town also granted three hundred acres in the "Land of Nod".

Zechariah is buried in the old Charlestown Mass. cemetry called "Phipps". He preached at the 1st congregationalist church in Charlestown. It was founded by Governor Winthrop who arrived in 1630 with 10 ships. However, most of the congregation decided to move to the Boston peninsula (Sawmut), to get away from the dampness of the low ground at "the neck", avoid the risk of privateers and French attack, and to get better quality water.(source plaque at 1st Boston burying ground -- next to the "King's chapel"). About 30 remained, and had the church reconvenented in 1632, and Zechariah was elected first minister. Subsequently, the church moved up to a variety of meeting houses, the most recent being on Green St. The ruins of the old church were found when a new expressway was built by the River.

The Phipps Street Burial ground has a small hill, and a number of Symmes graves are evident at the crest. There is also a a receiving tomb # 43 on the east side containing one "Caleb Symmes". Our information is that the limestone stone of Zechariah has long since become illegible. LRLS 1992.

Capt.Symmes received that title from being an officer in the train bands. He was a lieutenant in 1687. At the time of his death, he was in hs 65th year. He had seven children. He died suddenly, [5]


  1. Genealogies of the Early Families of Weymouth, Norfolk, Massachusetts. Author: George Walter Chamberlain, M.S. Publication: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Baltimore: Reprint, 1984 Note: #NS1749291 Repository: Note: #NS1749293 Call Number: 84-80081 Media: Book. p. 640.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Great Migration 1634-1635, R-S. (Online database. 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.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild Vol. 2
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The History of Charlestown, Massachusetts, Part 1, by Richard Frothingham, C.C. Little and J. Brown, Boston, MA, 1845
  5. Brøderbund WFT Vol. 2, Ed. 1, Tree #5554, Date of Import: Jan 16, 1999

See also:

  • Lee Richardson 'Ric' Luther Symmes, Brøderbund Software, Inc., World Family Tree Vol. 2, Ed. 1, (Release date: November 29, 1995), "CD-ROM," Tree #5554, Date of Import: Jan 16, 1999. (1995), "Electronic," Date of Import: Jan 31, 1999.
  • Robert John Theile, Brøderbund Software, Inc., World Family Tree Vol. 2, Ed. 1, (Release date: November 29, 1995), "CD-ROM," Tree #5604, Date of Import: Jan 16, 1999. (1995), "Electronic," Date of Import: Jan 31, 1999.


  • WikiTree profile Symmes-81 created through the import of BDM7-7-11.ged on Jul 8, 2011 by Brian McCullough.
  • This person was created on 21 March 2011 through the import of Rose Family Tree.ged.
  • This person was created on 06 January 2010 through the import of gl120368.ged
  • WikiTree profile Symmes-76 created through the import of oldweymouth families072011.GED on Jul 5, 2011 by Alyson X.
  • WikiTree profile Symmes-79 created through the import of oldweymouth families072011.GED on Jul 5, 2011 by Alyson X.

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Rejected matches › William Symmes (abt.1544-)