William Rockwell (c.1591 - 1640) MP

‹ Back to Rockwell surname

Is your surname Rockwell?

Research the Rockwell family

Deacon William Rockwell's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

Birthplace: Fitzhead, Somerset, England
Death: Died in East Windsor, (Present Hartford County), Connecticut Colony
Occupation: Yoeman Deacon on the Church
Managed by: Thomas Edward Shirley
Last Updated:

About William Rockwell

Departed Plymonth 20 Mar 1630 and Arrived Plymouth 30 May 1630 on the "Mary and John".

Travelled by foot from Boston to found Dorchester

Deacon in Dorchester

Moved to Windsor in 1637

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

"WILLIAM ROCKWELL was born in England. The parish register of Holy Trinity, Dorchester, England, records the marriage of William Rockwell to Susana [sic] Capen, April 14, 1624. (P) The Rockwell family traces its origin to Sir Ralph De Rockwell, Norman Knight, who accompanied Empress Matilda into England, 1139, where she laid claim to the English throne. He ultimately joined King Henry II, and was given large grants of land in the County of York, England. (P) William Rockwell came to Dorchester, Massachusetts from England, 1630. He was a freeman and Deacon of the Dorchester Congregational Church. He removed to Windsor, Connecticut, where he died May 15, 1640. His wife, Susana Capen, was the daughter of Bernard and Joan (Purchase) Capen. She was born April 5, 1602 at Dorchester, England, and died November 13, 1666 at Windsor, Connecticut.

Baptized Fitzhead, Somersetshire, 6 February 1590/1, son of John and Honor (Newton) Rockwell. (Other sources give the year of baptism as 1591/2.) Came from Dorchester, Dorsetshire to Massachusetts Bay in 1630 on the "Mary & John." Deacon of the Church. First settled in Dorchester; moved to Windsor in 1638.

She married (2) Windsor 29 May 1645 as his second wife MATTHEW GRANT. She died at Windsor 13 November 1666

Joan Rockwell Baker (1625 - 1683)*

Samuel Rockwell (1631 - 1711)*

 

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

William with his wife and three children were a part of the Winthrop delegation of the Puritan emigration sailing from Plymouth England on the "Mary and John" having departed there March 20, 1630, with Captain Squeb, arriving at Nantasket on May 30, 1630. The Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock less than ten years before that date.

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

William came to America in 1630 on the ship Mary and John. He settled first in Dorchester, Massachusetts and then in Windsor, CT. -------------------- Sailed on Mary and John, 1630 -------------------- "The vessel in which Deacon Rockwell and his passengers came over on the ship 'Mary and John.' In those days it was called a large ship of four hundred tons. She sailed from Plymouth, England on March 20th, 1630 with 140 passengers, being 72 days on the passage. The word of God being preached and expounded every day during the passage. Great pains were taken to construct this company as would compose a well ordered settlement. In consequence of some misunderstanding about the place of landing, and having no pilot to take the vessel in, the passengers and all their goods with 16 head of cattle were landed by the ship's boats near the site of Watertown and later located at Dorchester, Massachusetts.

William Rockwell appears to have been a very ardent Christman. The history of Dorchester, Mass. refers to him in a list of gentlemen past middle life, with adult families and good estate as being elected a Deacon in the first church formed by the Rev. William Warham and Rev. John Maverick and their friends in the new hospital at Plymouth, and who came over to Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1630.

The Rev. William Warham had been a prominent minister from Exeter, England and the Rev. John Maverick was a minister of the established church and resided 40 miles from Exeter, England. Deacon William Rockwell was one of the first three 'selected men' of Dorchester, Mass. On Nov. 9th, 1630, he was selected one of the jurymen on the trial of Walter Palmer for the murder of Austin Brochus, the first trial by jury in New England. He was one of 24 Freemen who took the Oath of Fidelity May 18th, 1631. He was closely associated with the Rev. Warham and Rev. Maverick, and his fellow Deacon, William Gaylord. He and Rev. Gaylord were appointed administrators on the estate of John Russell in Sept. 1632. He was appointed to lay out the first land grants at Dorchester, and as one of the Deacons of the Dorchester Church, signed all acts and orders of the Plantation prior to 1635. He had land granted to him near Sabin Hill June 27, 1636.

In the printed town record of Dorchester under date of Dec. 17, 1635, he is granted a half acre of ground next Mr. Strongtons 'near' the fish house to build him a house on the condition that he 'goe away' and leave the Plantation, he shall leave the sayed house and ground to the Plantation in paying him the 'chardge.' In 1636, June 22, his house is referred to in the history where Goodman Rockwell now dwells and July 5th, 1636 he had 8 acres given him on Indian Hill. Also mention is made to his 'lot in the common.'

In some genealogies the town of Dorchester is called Nantasket, an Indian name, but the name was changed to Dorchester, it being the name of the town from which the passengers on the 'Mary and John' came from England. The town now called Windsor in Connecticut was formerly called Sunsetting, an old Indian name by which that locality was named."

Source: Family history researched by Ada Banks --------------------

Biography

William arrived on the "Mary and John" in 1630 at Boston, Massachusetts or from Fitzhead, Somerset to Windsor, Conn, 1624 (Boyd (President) p56.

William was christened 6 Feb 1591, Holy Trinity Church, Dorchester, Dorset, England. He was buried 15 May 1640, Old Cemetary, Sunsetting, Windsor, CT or Palisado Cemetery, Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut.

Anderson lists five children: Joan, John, Samuel, Ruth and Sarah. About the extra children incorrectly associated with this family he writes:

   "All secondary sources include in this family a son Joseph and a daughter Mary. This is derived from a pedigree prepared in 1731 by Matthew Rockwell, great-grandson of the immigrant [NYGBR 2:99-102]. Mary is said to have married Jeffrey Baker, so this is a simple error for Joan; there is no independent record for a son Joseph, who is in any case said to have died young. There may be some confusion with the children of William Rockwell's brother Richard, who did have a Joseph and Mary among his six children."[1] 

Sources

   Filby, P. William, ed.. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. Farmington Hills, MI, USA: Gale Research, 2009.
   Familysearch.org
   U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900. Yates Publishing.
   Gary Boyd Roberts. Ancestors of American Presidents. New England Historic Genealogical Society; Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA; 2009.
   The great migration begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 - Robert Charles Anderson - P. 1594-1597
   Henry Ensign Rockwell, The Rockwell Family in America: A Genealogical Record from 1630 to 1873 (Boston, 1873).
   Francis Williams Rockwell, The Rockwell Family in One Line of Descent (Pittsfield, MA 1924). 
view all 30

Deacon William Rockwell's Timeline

1591
February 6, 1591
Fitzhead, Somerset, England
February 6, 1591
Fitzhead, Somerset, England
February 6, 1591
Holy Trinity Ch, Dorchester, Dorset, England
February 6, 1591
Fitzhead, Somerset, England
1624
April 14, 1624
Age 33
Dorchester, Dorset, England, (Present UK)
1625
April 25, 1625
Age 34
Dorchester, Dorset, England, (Present UK)
1627
1627
Age 35
1627
Age 35
Dorchester, Dorset, England
1630
1630
Age 38
Dorchester, MA
1630
Age 38