William Arms (c.1654 - 1731)

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Birthplace: Jersey, Channel Islands, England
Death: Died in Deerfield, MA, USA
Occupation: Farmer, Real Estate speculator, Knitter of stockings
Managed by: Kevin Reese ARMS
Last Updated:

About William Arms

FIRST GENERATION:

William Arms I (1654-1731) immigrated from England to Hadley,Massachusetts and married Joanna Hawks in 1677, moving to Deerfield, Massachusetts about 1684. Descendants lived in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and elsewhere.Some descendants immigrated to Quebec and elsewhere in Canada.

It was not until 1998 when a record of his baptism was found in recently catelogued and indexed records in Jersey. Earlier Arms historians thought he might have assumed the name of Arms.

William Arms, the ancestor of the Arms family in the United States, came from either the English Island of Jersey or Guernsey, in the English Channel. It is (was) presumed that he assumed the name of Arms, as none of this name are found on the island from whence he came. He was a knitter of stockings by trade. The first heard of him was his marriage with Joanna, daughter of John Hawks, one of the settlers of Hadley Mass., in1677. His name appears in the town records of Hatfield Mass.,in 1677. He removed from Hatfield to Sunderland and thence to Deerfield Mass. about 1684. It is said of him that he was a good farmer, industrious and economical, devotional and religious, and a quiet and obliging neighbor. He would knit a pair of stockings while going to and returning from the mill at Hatfield. In 1698 he was chosen farm viewer, and one of a committee to build a school house and hire a school commissioner. After that his name appears almost yearly in the town records. Also in the records of Sunderland Mass., from1714 to 1722, where he is spoken of as "Good Mr. Arms." He served in the Indian fight at Great Falls, where now is Gill Mass., May 17, 1676, for which his son John was one of those entitled to the township, granted by the General Court 1736. His body lies in the old burying ground at Deerfield, a little east of the center of the grounds, adjacent to his son William and grandson William. p. 5

(Supposed to have been born on Isle of Jersey, 1654 - died Deerfield, Mass. Aug 25 1731), came from either the Isle of Jersey or Guernsey, presumed to have assumed the name of Arms,as no one of that name is found on either of the Islands. (19Sept 1655 Jersey baptismal record obtained in 1998)

Immigrated in 1674 to Hatfield, Mass.

First known as soldier under Capt. William Turner at Hadley,Mass., April 6, 1676; In Indian fight at Great Falls, May 19,1676; Married Joanna Hawks on Nov 21, 1677 at Hatfield Mass.,where he speculated largely in real estate; he also owned real estate in Hartford.

William and his family moved to Deerfield about 1698 and then settled at the south end of the street on "Arms Corner", now in possession of his descendants George A. and Richard C. Arms, for which he exchanged Thomas Hunt a house and land in Hartford.

He was a knitter of stockings and he could knit a pair while going to and from the Hatfield Mill. According to History of Deerfield and other sources.

He was a constable, 1699. A tithing man, 1700 and served in other town offices.

1699 William was instrumental in helping to establish the first schoolhouse.

William and Joanna's family suffered no injury, loss of life or property during the 1704 massacre. Her brother John Hawks life was spared because he was away from home, however his wife and children lost their lives.

He was a Sunderland Mass., 1714-1722, and returned to Deerfield Mass. about 1722. Died their 25 Aug 1731.

William was a soldier in King Phillips War.

Book NEW ENGLAND MARRIAGES PRIOR TO 1700 lists him as being 71years old when he died in 1731, which would mean he was born in1660.

THE STORY OF THE FALLS FIGHT - as told by Nellie and Ella Graves.

The occasion of the Fight is set forth in a letter dated Hadley,April 29, 1676, to the Governor and Council of Massachusetts,written by the Rev. John Russell, son of one of our grand fathers on the Graves side.

"This morning about sunrise, came to Hatfield, one Thomas Reede (a soldier who was taken captive). He relates that they, (The Indians) are now planting at Deerfield, and have been so these three or four days or more, saith further, that they dwell at the Falls, on both sides of the river, are a considerable number, yet most of them old men and women. He cannot judge that there are on both sides the river above 60 or 70, fighting men. They are secure, and scornful, boasting or great things that they have done or will do. This being the state of things,we think the Lord calls us to make some trial what may be done against them suddenly, without further delay, and therefore the concurring resolution of men here seems to be to go out against them tomorrow night so as to be with them, the Lord assisting,before the break of day. We need guidance, and help from Heaven. We humbly beg your prayers, advise and help if may be."Signed John Russell, William turner, John Lyman and Isaak Graves.

William Arms, Hatfield, a soldier on Philip's war, 1676, served under Capt. William Turner, m. 1677 Joanna Hawks, had eight children there, removed to Sunderland, thence to Deerfield,where he died in 1731; and there lived his son John Daniel and William, an six of the name had in 1828 been gr. at N. E. coll.- Genealogical Dictionary of New England Settlers.

Residence:

1655 baptism at Ile of Jersey, Channel Islands

1674 Immigrated

1676 settled in Gill, Franklin Co., Mass.

12 May 1698 settled in Deerfield Mass.

--------------------

William Arms, the ancestor of the Arms family in the United States, came from either the Island of Jersey or Guernsey, in the English Channel. It is presumed that he assumed the name of Arms, as none of this name are found on the island from whence he came. He was a knitter of stockings by trade. The first heard of him was his marriage with Joanna, daughter of John Hawks, one of the settlers of Hadley, Mass., in 1677. His name appears in the town records of Hatfield, Mass., in 1677. He removed from Hatfield to Deerfield, Mass., about 1684. It is said of him that he was a good farmer, industrious and economical, devotional and religious, and a quiet and obliging neighbor. He would knit a pair of stockings while going to and returning from the mill at Hatfield. In 1698 he was chosen farm viewer, and one of a committee to build a school house and hire a schoolmaster; in 1699, a constable; in 1700 a tythingman; in 1 701, fence viewer and school commissioner. After that his name appears almost yearly in the town records. Also in the records of Sunderland, Mass., from 1714 to 1722, where he is spoken of as " Good Mr. Arms." He served in the Indian fight at Great Falls, where now is Gill, Mass., May 17, 1676, for which his son John was one of those entitled to the township granted by the General Court 1736. His body lies in the old burying ground at Deerfield, a little east of the center of the grounds, adjacent to his son William and grandson William. -------------------- William was a soldier under Captain Turner at Hadley, April 6, 1676. He was also in the Falls fight May 19, 1676. He came to Deerfield, MA about 1698. He settled on the south end of the street on "Arms" corner.

INSCRIPTION: Here lyes the body of Mr William Arms who decd August ye 25, 1731 in the 77th year of his age.

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William Arms's Timeline

1654
1654
Jersey, Channel Islands, England
1655
September 19, 1655
Age 1
St. Brelade's Parish, Jersey, Channel Islands, England
1677
November 21, 1677
Age 23
Hatfield, Franklin, Mass.
1678
February 14, 1678
Age 24
Hatfield, Hampshire, Ma
1679
December 25, 1679
Age 25
Deerfield, Franklin, MA
1681
November 21, 1681
Age 27
Deerfield, Franklin, MA
1683
October 6, 1683
Age 29
Hatfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, USA
1685
1685
Age 31
Hadley, Hatfield Co., Ma
1687
September 11, 1687
Age 33
Deerfield, MA, USA
1689
August 26, 1689
Age 35
Hatfield, Hampshire, Ma