John Williams
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John Williams (abt. 1600 - bef. 1668)

John Williams
Born about in Englandmap
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 1620 in Englandmap [uncertain]
Descendants descendants
Died before before about age 68 in Scituate, Plymouth Colonymap
Profile last modified | Created 22 Sep 2009 | Last significant change: 9 Nov 2022
18:05: M Cole edited the Biography for John Williams (abt.1600-bef.1668). (adding Maintenance Category: Needs Relationship Check (parents)) [Thank M for this | 1 thank-you received]
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The Puritan Great Migration.
John Williams migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
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John Williams of Scituate came in the Charles from Barnstable, England with his wife and four oldest children[1] [2]

He appears as a farmer in 1633[3] and as a freeman in 1639. He served as a Deputy and Surveyor of Highways several times between 1640 and 48[1] [2].

His wife was Anna[1] [2][4]

Their children included:

  1. Hannah or Anna, who married John Barker and Abraham Blish, and who died in 1657[1] [2]
  2. Edward, born about 1619 in England[1] [2], who married and died without chldren
  3. Capt John Williams, born about 1624 in England[1] [2]. He married Elizabeth Lathrop, but had no children, and he left his estate to his grand-nephew, Samuel Williams Barker [1]. With James Briggs he was a respondent in a complaint by his nephew, John Barker[5] [6], and he died in 1694[1]
  4. Mary[2], who married Anthony Dodson November 12, 1651[1]

His wife Anna died February 16 1657[2]

John Williams was made guardian for John Barker (presumably his grandson by his daughter Anna). John Barker later sued John Williams over the way he had executed his duties. Succeeding in this suit, he sued again for more money, this time ending in non-suit. John Williams then countersued for defamation, and this again ended in nonsuit[6].

John Williams, Sr. died, leaving a will written December 19, 1667 and proved March 5, 1668 (dates his will was written and probated)[3][7]. It names

  • daughter Mary Dodson
  • sons Edward and John
  • granddaughters (daughters of John Barker) Anna wife of John Pratt, Deborah wife of William Burden, and Mary Barker
  • grandsons John and Abraham Barker[8]
  • Nicholas Baker of Scittuate

Executrix was his daughter Mary Dodson, with "overseers" of his last will and testament Thomas Kinge senr., Isack Chettenden of Scittuate, and Ensign Marke Eames of Marshfield. Witnesses were Mr. Thomas Kinge and Mr. Nicholas Baker.

Research Notes

Copied text to be incorporated into bio.

  • Lines on this tree descend through his daughters Ann and Mary.
  • According to Deane, he "came, we believe, with Mr. Hatherly from London 1632, and took up a farm on the north side of Scituate Harbour, very early. In 1646 he was one of the Conihassett partners. . . . The house which was erected by John Williams as early as 1634, has been built upon since, and if tradition be true, there is one part of the original building preserved. . . . It was the oldest house in Scituate, if this be the original house."

: John was one of the Conihassett Partners of Scituate. He was a freeman in Scituate in 1639. He was a deputy from Scituate in 1643, 1644, 1647 and 1648.

The following is written by Samuel Deane in his HISTORY OF SCITUATE, MASSACHUSETTS: FROM ITS FIRST SETTLEMENT TO 1831, Boston (1831): James Loring [Publisher], : page 385

  • believed to have come with Mr. Hatherly from London 1632, and took up a farm on the north side of Scituate Harbour, very early.
  • 1646 he was one of the Conihasset partners, when his farm was included in Mr. Hatherly's 400 acres, which he accepted as his quarter of the purchase.
  • According to the tradition, the house later rebuilt on Williams's land, contains one part of the original building (built by Williams as early as 1634). "The massive beams, the wooden walls, interlined with brick, and the port holes, witness that it was a garrison house, as we know from records that it was." If true, it would be the oldest house in Scituate, and probably one of the oldest in New England.
  • Wife: Ann. Children: Ann (the oldest) m John Barker of Duxbury 1632 , Capt John, Edward a householder in 1647, on Kent street, at the corner where the cart way turns toward the 3d. Cliff. d 1671, leaving no family (estate administered by brother John)
  • The son Capt. John: householder in 1647; bore arms 1643. Inherited his father's house. "a man of energy and activity, both in civil affairs and in war.

A commander of a company in Philip's war, "on duty from March to the Autumn in 1676. He commanded the right wing of the ambuscade at the time when Philip fell. He lived to a good old age, and deceased in Scituate 1694, leaving no family, and making his sister's son, Williams Barker, his principal legatee." One of the most noteworthy seventeen-century homes in America, the Williams-Barker house is said to be the second oldest standing house in the United States. In this historic building, the heavy beams and wooden walls, once pierced for portholes, bear witness to its use as a garrison in the year 1676.

John Williams, the builder of the house, moved to Scituate with Mr. Hatherly from London. That he was of the same family of Oliver Cromwell is a tradition in the town.

Upon the death of John Williams, his son Captain John Williams inherited the house and farm of some two hundred acres. He was the captain of the military company that pursued King Philip to Mount Hope and commanded the right wing of the ambuscade when the chief was killed. The courageous captain died in 1694 and his gravestone, the oldest one in the Scituate burial ground, can still be seen.

John Williams, of Scituate Birthdate: 1592 Birthplace: Probably England, (Present UK) Death: 1667 (74-75) Scituate, Plymouth County, Province of Massachusetts, (Present USA) Immediate Family: Husband of Ann Williams Father of Anna Blish; Lucy Barker; Edward Williams; Capt John Williams Jr; Ann Agnes Williams and 5 others Emigration Year: 1638 Managed by: Ed Ekins Last Updated: September 2, 2018 View Complete Profile view all Immediate Family

Ann Williams wife

Anna Blish daughter

Lucy Barker daughter

Edward Williams son

Capt John Williams Jr son

Ann Agnes Williams daughter

John Williams son

Mary Williams daughter

Lydia Williams daughter

Sarah Williams daughter

Joseph Williams son About John Williams, of Scituate His mother is unknown. The name of his father is not proven.

His will was dated 19 December, 1677. His father may have been a Nathaniel. His mother is unknown. John Williams. Born ca 1600.

Otis and Deane claim that John came to Scituate in 1632, but the earliest record of him in New England is on 5 Mar 1638/9 when he was propounded for a freeman of Plymouth Colony. The likely time of arrival for John is late in the 1630s.

It is sometimes said that John Williams was a son of a Nathaniel Williams.

John married Ann ______.

Their children include:

Ann Williams (-16 Mar 1657/8) Capt. John Williams (ca 1624-22 Jun 1694) Edward Williams (-1671) Mary Williams One source listed as Sir John Williams.

Since the Pilgrims arrived in the 1620's I beleive that this generation was born in England.

From: Bowman, George Ernest. "Plymouth Colony Wills and Inventories: The Will of John Williams, Sr." THE MAYFLOWER DESCENDANT, volume 17 (1915), Boston: Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, page 109. An Abstract of the Will of John Williams

[the Will Of John Williams, Sr.]

[fol. 50] "John Williams senir of Scittuate " made his will 19 December, 1667*, and it was probated at Plymouth "the fift Day of March 1667 " * on the oaths of the two witnesses, "Mr Thomas Kinge" and "Mr Nicholas Baker". Bequests were as follows: To "my Daughter Mary Dodson all my land both upland and meddow lying within Cohassett bounds" also "all my house all goods beding Chest and Apparrell Linnin and woolen Cloth with all my bonds bills and Debts" also "ten oxen and steers and thirteen Cowes and my horse;" To "my son Edward Williams ten pounds;" To "my son John Williams five pounds ;" To "my three Grandchildren the Daughters of John Barker fifteen pounds That is to say To Anna the wife of John Pratt the sume of six pounds and to Deborah the wife of William Burden the sume of five pounds and to Mary Barker the sume of four pounds;" To "my two grandchildren John Barker and Abraham Barker five shillings apeece;" To "Nicholas Baker of Scittuate forty shillinges" "all the aforsaid Legacyes shalbe payed within one yeare after my Decease in Currant New England pay; all the rest of my goods and Chattles not given and bequeathed my Debts and legacyes being payed I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Mary Dodson aforsaid" The daughter, Mary Dodson, is to be sole executrix; and "my trusty and welbeloved frinds Thomas Kinge senir: and Isacke Chettenden of Scittuate and Ensigne Marke Eames of Marshfeild to be overseers of this my last Will" The will was signed by a mark.

  • These two dates were old style.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Some Ancestral Lines; Being a Record of Some of the Ancestors of Guilford: Solon Tingley and His Wife, Martha Pamelia Meyers, Collected by Their Son, Raymon Meyers Tingley, page 38-9, page 441, by Tingley, Raymon Meyers, (Tuttle, Rutland, Vt, 1935)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Ancestors of Henry Rogers Winthrop and His Wife Alice Woodward Babcock, pages 38 (Barker), 562 (Williams) ([New York?], 1927)
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The MacDonough-Hackstaff Ancestry", pages 461-465
  4. Torrey's New England Marriages, Volume 3, page 1679 New England Marriages to 1700. (Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.) Originally published as: New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015
  5. Vol 1, page 23 Plymouth Court Records, 1686-1859 Plymouth County, MA. CD-ROM. Boston, MA.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2002. Copyright, 2002, Pilgrim Society. (Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Genealogy of the Blish Family in America, pages 9-14 by Blish, James Knox, (n.p.: [H. L. Throop], 1905)
  7. Mayflower Descendant Volume 17, page 109 shows the will of John Williams Sr, an extract from Plymouth Colony Wills and Inventories, found in Mayflower Descendant: A Magazine of Pilgrim Genealogy and History. Boston, MA: Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1899- . (Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2010)
  8. MacDonough notes that "Abraham Barker" is probably a mistake, there being no such person, and that it should have been recorded as "Abraham Blush".
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed 14 June 2021), memorial page for John Williams (unknown–1668), Find a Grave Memorial ID 205531501, citing Men of Kent Cemetery, Scituate, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Requiesce In Pace (contributor 50075301) .

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Comments: 4

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I've identified the sources of the large blocks of text in the research notes, which should make it easier to incorporate into the bio.

There are a couple of other issues:

  • A couple of sources place him on the Charles but without a date, which makes me suspicious. One of the sources for this is Tingley-Myers which is not particularly reliable:
  • The bio uses sources saying he was a farmer in 1633, but the Great Migration Directory gives his arrival by 1636.
  • Also, GMD gives his origins as unknown. Which makes me question the attached parents. Are there any reliable sources for parents Nathaniel & Elizabeth, who supposedly died in Scituate?
posted by M Cole
edited by M Cole
Williams-94 and Williams-67616 appear to represent the same person because: Seems to be the same person, I am still researching him and have limited info, but what we have does match well.
Williams-17228 and Williams-94 appear to represent the same person because: He was the father of a duplicate, now being merged with his daughter.
posted by Laurie Giffin

Rejected matches › John Williams (bef.1602-bef.1602)