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William Munroe's Geni Profile

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William Munroe

Also Known As: "Munrow", "Monroe"
Birthplace: Alvie, Inverness-shire, Scotland
Death: Died in Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Munroe; Robert Munro and Ethel Munro
Husband of Martha George; Martha (or?) Elizabeth Munroe; Mary Munroe and Elizabeth Johnson
Father of William Andrew Munro; George Munroe; Martha Comee; William Munroe, Jr.; John Munroe and 13 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Munroe

William Munroe was a 17th century Scottish soldier who later became a settler in the United States and a Free Mason.


William was born in 1625, third son of Robert Munro, Comissary of Caithness, who in turn was the third son of John Mor Munro, 3rd of Coul, a descendant of George Munro, 10th Baron of Foulis.

Battle of Worcester

He is one of four men by the surname of Munroe recorded as being captured at the Battle of Worcester in 1651 and transported to America during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms as an indentured servant. He is likely to have been fighting alongside other men from the Clan Munro such as Sir Alexander Munro of Bearcrofts who was fortunate enough to escape.

William is almost certainly one of four men transported on the ship called the John and Sarah, though the record of this has been damaged so that his first name is obscured. The names of the other three men are still fully visible on the ship's record.


William Munroe is known to be the ancestor of a vast family of Munroes in New England, United States. William married three times. He remained single for the first thirteen years after his arrival in Massachusetts, finally marrying about 1665. His first bride was Martha George, whose father once worked for Massachusetts governor John Winthrop. At the time of Martha's marriage, her father faced trouble with Puritan authorities for founding an illegal Baptist church in Charlestown. Martha died a few years after the marriage, leaving William to raise four young children.

William then married twenty-year-old Mary Ball of Watertown, a woman with a troubled past. Her parents were in and out of court on charges of beatings and neglect, amid hints that the mother was insane, and Mary herself had suffered judicial sanctions for an out-of-wedlock child. William brought stability to Mary's life, and they had ten children together during their twenty years of marriage.

His third wife was Elizabeth Johnson Wyer, a widow of a Scots tailor from Charlestown.


William began acquiring small pieces of land in Cambridge Farms, which is present-day Lexington, and he and his sons and a son-in-law purchased 100 acres (0.40 km2) in 1695. With increased landholdings came greater status in the community, and he was made a freeman, chosen as one of the town Selectmen, and admitted as a member of the church. William died in 1719.


In the 18th century a descendant of his claimed to fire the first shot in the American Revolutionary War at the Battles of Lexington and Concord on 19 April 1775. Of the seventy-seven Lexington militiamen involved in the battle, eleven were Munroes, including Robert Munroe, who was one of the eight men killed, and Srg. (later Col.) William Munroe, who was the orderly sergeant. Munroe Tavern, which was used as a field hospital by Lt. Gen. Hugh Percy for retreating British soldiers, still stands in Lexington today. Monroe had many descendants in the Lexington area who also fought at the Battle of Lexington, including his great great grandson, Solomon Peirce, who was wounded in the battle.

-------------------- From:

William Munroe, son of Robert of Aldie, is the 18th in direct descent from that first Donald who, in the eleventh century, founded the Clan Munro. William and his brothers Robert, George and Benedict all fought at the Battle of Worcester. William was sent to the American colonies as a prisoner of war. They were listed on 13 May 1652 on a list of the banished as Munroes: Robert, Hugh, John and a name obliterated by time, supposedly William. They were shipped to London on 11 Nov 1651 by Je. Rex, Robert Rich and William Green in the "John and Sarah." If William was an apprentice, it was for a short time. He was on his own by 1657. He is first referred to in the Cambridge, Massachusetts records of 1657 when he and Thomas Rose were fined for not having rings in the noses of their pigs. In 1660 he settled in Cambridge Farms, now known as Lexington, near the Woburn line. This part of town became known as "Scotland." He was a freeman in 1690 and in 1699 received communion into the church. Epitaph Here lyes ye body of Mr. William Munroe aged About 92 years Dec'd Janry 27 1717/18


Born at Aldie, Scotland.

William married three times.

1. Martha George 2. Mary Ball 3. Elizabeth Johnson

William was a Scottish soldier captured by Cromwell's forces at the Battle of Worcester and then marched to London to be sent to the colonies as an indentured servant.

William may have been aboard the "John and Sara" as there were four Monros (sic) aboard but the first name of one of the Munros is illegible.

William was indentured to John Adams, a millwright of Cambridge, Mass. before he earned his freedom.

William started buying land in Cambridge Farms (now Lexington), married Martha George and his family lived in the area known as Scotland.

William and Martha had four children, John, Martha, William and George.

About 1671 a woman named Mary Ball joined the household, likely as help for Martha.

Martha died within the next year and William then married Mary Ball.

William and Mary had 11 children before Mary died, possibly during childbirth, in 1692.

William then married Elizabeth Johnson.

William is buried in the Old Burying Ground in Lexington next to his second wife Mary Ball.

William's parents, both born and died at Scotland were:

Father: Robert Munroe, 1600 - 6 Nov 1633 Mother: Ethel Medd, 1597 - 1633

William's Scottish paternal grandparents were:

Grandfather: Farquhar Munro, 1565 - ? Grandmother: Katherine MacCulloch, 1565 - 1647

More information:

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William Munroe's Timeline

Alvie, Inverness-shire, Scotland
Age 27
Age 40
March 10, 1666
Age 41
Lexington, MA
November 2, 1667
Age 42
Lexington, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Age 42
Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
Age 42
Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
October 10, 1669
Age 44
Lexington, Middlesex, MA, USA
October 10, 1669
Age 44
Age 47
Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States