Saturday, June 17, 2017

Douglas Family Update [Gen. 3]

Third Generation
3.  William Douglas Sr.12,67 (William-2, William-1) was born circa Jul 1609 in Easton Maudit, Northamptonshire, England.5 Alternate [undocumented]: 9 August 1610 - Castle Douglas, Kirkculdbright, Scotland. He was baptized on 22 Jul 1609 in Easton Maudit, Northamptonshire, England.1 He died on 26 Jul 1682 at the age of 73 in New London, New London Co., Connecticut.1,8 The origins of the family of William Douglas has been the focus of some debate. Some sources list the family as being of English origin, others claim Scottish roots.

In a response to an e-mail query, Douglas researcher Kyle Kuser replied, "William Douglas was born in Scotland in 1610..."

A Family Group Sheet copied from "Gedpage Version 2.00 Unregistered" also gives the birthplace as Scotland, specifically Castle Douglas, Kircud Bright, Scotland. It also lists William's parents as Robert Douglas and Jean Ross.

Another e-mail exchange, with Leslie Mahler [who authored the TAG article on the parentage of Anne Mattle/Motley] dismisses the idea that William Douglas was born in Ringstead, the site given by some sources, as there is no supporting evidence; no Douglas family records appear in the Ringstead Parish records. She does state that it is possible that he was born in London or in Scotland, as reported elsewhere.

Family Group Sheets copied from LDS records give Douglas' place of birth as Ringstead, Northampton, England.

DNA records suggest that William could not be the son of Robert Douglas and Jean Ross.

Research being conducted by descendants of William Douglas via Douglas History UK website offers the following courtesy a report from researcher Ed Douglas: William's alleged birthplace, Castle Douglas did not exist in Kirkudbright in 1610. The village of Carlingwark became Castle Douglas in 1792. Threave Castle served the area until 1640, when it was abandoned. A birth there for William is conceivable, although doubtful, since the Maxwells ruled the area at that time.

The Douglas Archives website includes a post entitled "What we know, and what we want to know, about William Douglas and Anne Motley" by William Douglas. Mr. Douglas suggests that William Douglas may have been the William Douglas baptized 22 July 1609 in Easton Maudit, Northamptonshire.

The parents of this William were William 'Dugleys' and Anne/Agnes Juniwaie, who married at Easton Maudit on 26 September 1602. William's grandparents were William 'Douglasse' and Elizabeth.

The Motleys were from Ringstead, about 16 miles from Easton Maudit.

William Douglas was probably born in either Scotland or Northamptonshire, England about 1609/10 and by the 1630s was in the London area. Whether he came with his family, as an apprentice, or as a young man looking for employment is not known.

He met and married, about 1635,  Anne Mattle of Ringstead, Northampton.  She was the daughter of Thomas Mattle and had two brothers, Robert and William. William apparently died at an early age and Robert and Thomas died by 1670. The couple had at  least two children before leaving for America about 1640.

The Douglases first arrived in Massachusetts, settling at Cape Ann [Gloucester] then moving to Boston, where on 6 August 1640 William was "allowed to be a townsman, he being himself as becometh a Christian Man." By 28 February 1641, he was in Ipswich where he was "entitled to a share of the common land."  By 1645, the Douglas Clan was back in Boston, where William was made a freeman on 6 May 1646.

[It is possible that two different William Douglases are being described in the previous paragraph. If that is the case, then the subject of this article is the latter William who arrived in Boston in 1645.]

William Douglas was a cooper [barrel maker] in Boston. On 1 May 1646 he purchased from Walter Merry and Thomas Anchor  "one dwelling house in Boston, situate between the lotts of John Sweet and John Seabury together with the shopp that was Thomas Anchor's and the ground thereunto belonging."

On 12 March 1647 he purchased a small house adjoining the first property in which there was a tenant living. William sold 56 3/4 perches of his house lot to Henry Browne, mariner, of Limehouse on 20 June 1648. The lot was described as having 31 feet fronting on the sea and 5 rods on the street.

In December of 1659, William Douglas purchased a house "that was Robert Isbell's" on New Street from William Hough of New London, CT.

The Douglas family, now with five children, moved to New London, CT in 1660. William bought a house on the side of "meeting-house" hill, and the town granted him a tract "by the waterside on the bank." In payment for his services to the town he was also granted two farms. The first of 60 acres, was three miles west of the town plot and had a brook running through it. The farm was inherited by son William and remained with a direct male descendant for over two centuries.

William Douglas and Cary Latham were appointed in the winter of 1662-63 as property appraisers for the  town of New London. Their appraisals were delivered to the General Court of Hartford, where on 11 March 1663 they were rejected. The reasons given were that "they have not attended any rule of Righteousness in their works, but have acted very corruptly therein and therefore do order the Treasurer that he send forth his warrant to ye Constable at New London to levy four pounds upon the estate of Cary Latham and two pounds upon Mr. Douglas as a fine for their corrupt and deceitful acting therein."

The townspeople thought this was too severe so, at the town meeting held on 31 March, it was resolved that, "Whereas Cary Latham and Mr. Douglas are by the Court fined for not fully presenting the town list for 1662, the town sees cause to petition the Court as a grievance, not finding wherein they have failed, except in some few houses." The petition was successful and the fines were remitted on 14 May 1663.

Douglas was active in community and church affairs. In 1676, he was elected one of the first two deacons of the New London Congregational Church. William travelled to Boston to secure the services of Simon Bradstreet as a minister for the new church. The town added 20 acres to the Douglas farm for this service and purchased a house from Douglas for Bradstreet until a parsonage could be built. The 20 acres and the land where the parsonage was built was voted to be permanently reserved for use of the ministry. The land became the first burial ground for New London and is where William Douglas is interred.

While serving as town clerk, on 15 August 1667, William was chosen to hold the box of contributions to be offered to Rev. Bradstreet and William Nichols for their advice concerning the contents. At that time, the Congregational Church was established as the church of the Connecticut Colony, and all landowners were taxed for the support of the church and ministry, as well as for the common defense and town expenses.

Another farm, inherited by son Robert and kept in the family [male descent] until at least 1879,consisted of 100 acres and lay toward the head of Jordan Brook, about four miles from town on the northeast side of the swamp called Cranberry Meadow, with the Indian path from Mohegan to Nayhanic running across the farm.

King Philip's War broke out in 1675. The Mohegans, under the leadership of Uncas, were a serious threat to New London.  William Douglas and William Hough were part of a seven-man committee to fortify the settlement. 350 troops, including many friendly Indians, were quartered in New London. Food, clothing, and shelter were major problems. Supplies were impressed from the local citizens. The troops finally marched out for the confrontation with King Phillip's warriors. At Narragansett on 19 December 1675, the Indians were defeated and a thousand killed.

A second army was raised and quartered in New London in 1676. Among the Indian allies were Uncas and the Mohegans. The war came to an end following the death of King Phillip on 12 August 1676. All male Indian prisoners were executed, The women and children were given to the friendly Mohegans or distributed among the English colonists for servants.

A council had been held at Hartford on 19 May 1676 where Daniel Witherrel and William Douglas were elected commissioners to the Army at New London, to oversee the provisions, arms, ammunitions, and other necessities of war, and to keep a true account of their transactions. On June 21, the council ordered Mr. Witherrel and Mr. Douglas to send to Norwich, CT, for delivery  to Commissary Tracey, "700 of bread, a barrell of porke, 10 bushells of pease, and 50 bushells of Indian corn, and the powder and bullits in their hands and fifty pounds of tobaccoe; and in case Capt. Denison send for any Indian corn, what he sends for is to be abatted out of the 50 bushells of corn they are to send to Norwich, all of which is to be at Norwich Sunday night next."

The Society of Colonial Wars and Index of Ancestors show William Douglas as Commander of the Army, Province of Connecticut.

Over the years, William served as townsman, "recorder and moderator", "sender and packer", and was on several committees. In 1672, and twice afterward, he was chosen deputy to the General Court at Hartford. It is apparent that he was one of the most prominent members of New London and continued with his church activities until his death. The diary of the Rev. Simon Bradstreet, preserved through the years, has the following entry: "1682, July 26, Mr. William Douglas, one of ye Deacons of this Church, dyed in ye 72 years of his age. He was an able Christian and this poor church will much want him."

In 1670, Anne Mattle Douglas had to journey to Boston to appear before George Bellingham to establish her claim to an inheritance in England. Her perferred route would have been by water, the inland roads being crude or non-existent at this early date. At Boston, local persons testified that they had known Anne and her family in England and that she was the daughter of Thomas and the sister of Robert, now both deceased; Anne was proven their legal heir. A copy of her deposition is on file in New London. Anne died at home about 1685, when she was age 75 years. She is presumed to be interred beside her husband in the old church cemetery.

William Douglas Sr. and Anne Mattle \ Motley were married about 1635 in England.12,6,9 Anne Mattle \ Motley10, daughter of Thomas Mattle \ Motley, was born about 1601–1604 in Denford, Northamptonshire, England.9 She died about 1685 at the age of 84 in New London, New London Co., Connecticut.11 She was also known as Anne Douglas.10 Anne's year of baptism was given in the Denford records as 1601, but in 1670 she gave her age as 66. This would make her birth about 1604.*

Anne married William Douglas in 1635. He was either six or nine years younger than Anne. The couple arrived in Massachusetts sometime in 1645 or early 1646. On 7 March 1645/6, "Willyam Douglesse a cooper and Anne his wife" were admitted to the Church of Boston, and the following day they had their children Elizabeth, Sarah, and William baptized there. On 1 May 1646, William purchased a house in Boston from Walter Merry and Thomas Anchor. On the 28th of July, 1657, Douglas was admitted as an inhabitant of Boston..

The Douglases moved to New London, Connecticut in 1659. William served as a recorder, property appraiser, and a deputy to the General Court at Hartford. The diary of Rev. Simon Bradstreet states that on "July 26 [1682], Mr. William Douglas one of the Deacons of this Church dyed in the 72 year of his age. He was an able christian and this poor church will much want him."

*Because of the discrepancy in years of birth, two Anne Mattles have been included in the family group. This very well could be an error and Anne was making herself a bit younger in the deposition.
William Douglas and Anne Mattle \ Motley had the following children:
4 i. Ann Douglas, born abt 12 Jun 1636, St. Mary Bothaw, London, Middlesex, England; married Thomas Bishop, 7 Jun 1683, Roxbury, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts; married Nathaniel Gary \ Geary, 14 Oct 1658, Roxbury, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts; died 16 Sep 1691, Roxbury, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts.
ii. Elizabeth Douglas was born about 19 Nov 1637 in St. Mary Whitechapel, London, Middlesex, England.12 She died on 12 Mar 1639/40 at the age of 2 in St. Mary Whitechapel, London, Middlesex, England.12
5 iii. Robert Douglas, born abt 6 Mar 1639, St. Mary Whitechapel, London, Middlesex, England; married Mary Hempstead, 28 Sep 1665, New London, New London Co., Connecticut; died 15 Jan 1715/6, New London, New London Co., Connecticut.
6 iv. Elizabeth Douglas, born abt 26 Aug 1641, Ipswich, Essex Co., Massachusetts; married John Chandler, 16 Feb 1658/9, Roxbury, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts; died 23 Sep 1705, Ipswich, Essex Co., Massachusetts.
7 v. Sarah Douglas, born abt 8 Apr 1643, Ipswich, Essex Co., Massachusetts; married John Keeney, Oct 1661, New London, New London Co., Connecticut; died 4 Aug 1689, New London, New London Co., Connecticut.
8 vi. William Douglas Jr., born abt 1 Apr 1645, Boston, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts; married Abiah Hough, 18 Dec 1667, New London, New London Co., Connecticut; married Mary Seamer, Jul 1715, New London, New London Co., Connecticut; died 9 Mar 1724/5, New London, New London Co., Connecticut'

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