William Sprague, of Hingham

Is your surname Sprague?

Research the Sprague family

William Sprague, of Hingham's Geni Profile

Records for William Sprague

504,169 Records

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

William Sprague, of Hingham

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Upway, Dorset, England
Death: Died in Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Hingham, Plymouth, Massachussetts, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Edward Sprague and Christiana Corbin
Husband of Millicent Sprague
Father of Anthony Sprague, Sr.; John Sprague; Samuel Sprague; Elizabeth Sprague; Jonathan Sprague and 6 others
Brother of Alice Eames; Lt. Ralph Sprague; Francis Sprague; Edward Sprague, II; Richard Sprague and 3 others

Occupation: A Founder of Charlestown, MA, Constable, Collector of towns rates, , Planter
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Sprague, of Hingham

William Sprague (October 26, 1609 – October 26, 1675) left England on the ship Lyon's Whelp for Plymouth/Salem Massachusetts. He was originally from Upwey, near Weymouth, Dorset, England.

He was the youngest child of Edward and Christiana Sprague.

comments

July 2014

From Our Family Trees Blogspot Tues May 24 2014:

"William (age 19) with two of his brothers, Ralph ( age 25), and Richard (age 23) came with Governor Endecott aboard the Abigail, in the interests of the Massachusetts Bay Company, paying their own transportation. The ship departed with fifty or so "planters and servants" on 20 June 1628 and arrived at Salem, 6 Sept 1628." (3)

Charles Banks Topo has:

"Eedes, William, from Dorsethsire, bound for Salem. Ref: Hist Record of Putman Co, NY. 36 pg 37. Hoyt, Simon, from Upway, bound for Charlestown and Salem, Dorchester, Windsor Ct. Ref: Hist Record of Putman Co, NY. Notation states he was aboard to Lions Whelp or the Abigail, 1629. 36 pg 36. Sprague, Ralph, Richard and William, all from Upway, Dorsetshire, bound for Salem 169. Ref: Pope. 36 pg 35."

Timeline

  • 1629- He and brothers Ralph and Richard were at the head of the list of settlers at the meeting of the inhabitants of Charlestown, MA.
  • 1629- He visited Hingham, Ma in a boat.
  • 1635- His wife Millesaint was admitted to the Church in chalestown, MA.
  • 1635/6, January 2- His name appears for the last ime in the list of inhabitants of charlestown, MA.
  • 1636- He and his father-in-law obtained grants of land in hingham, MA and removed there, where he continued to live (except at one time he appeared as a resident of Milford, MA). His house lot was on Union Street over the River.
  • 1636-1647: The Town gave him many parcels of land and meadow.
  • 1645- He was chosen one of seven Selectmen, "to order prudential affairs of the town."
  • 1651, March 28- He purchased of Thomas Hammond, "Planter," a dwelling house with 5 acres of land adjoining his own homestead, together with other lands in that locality; also 20 acres on the opposite side of the river against the end of the aforesaid house lot.
  • 1662- Constable and Collector of town rates.
  • 1675, October 19- He made his will.

Notes

William arrived at Naumkeag (Salem) with his brothers Ralph and Richard. They were employed by Governor Endecott to explore and take possession of the country westward. They explored the land over to (present day) Charlestown, Massachusetts, between Mystic and Charles rivers, where they made peace with the local Indians. On February 10, 1634, the order creating a Board of Selectmen was passed, and Richard and William Sprague signed it.[1]

William lived in Charlestown until 1636, before moving to Hingham, where he was one of the first planters. His house lot, on Union St. "over the river" was said to be the pleasantest lot in Hingham.[2]

He was active in public affairs, and was constable, fence-viewer, etc. William’s will names his wife, Millicent (Eames), and children, Anthony, Samuel, William, Joan, Jonathan, Persis, Johanna, and Mary.[1]

Other Sprague relatives became soldiers in the US Revolutionary War and two of them became governors of the state of Rhode Island.

Lucille Ball and her brother, Fred Ball, were direct descendants.

Links

Citations

  1. “The Cranston-Johnston Spragues of Rhode Island,” Transcribed from History of Rhode Island (American Hist. Soc. 1920) by Susan W. Pieroth. Available at RI USgenweb archive.
  2. Sprague, Warren Vincent, Sprague Families in America, Vermont, 1913.
  3. The Abigail and John Endicott "Passengers known to be on board the Abigail from Weymouth 1628 ... Ralph Sprague of Upwey (son of Edward), Richard Sprague (brother of Ralph), William Sprague (brother of Ralph and Richard)"

William came over on the pigrim ship "Higginson" in 1629. Sailed with brother by the name of Richard Sprague.

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

William was the youngest child of Edward and Christiana Sprague. He came to America in 1628 to Charlestown, Massachusetts and then moved to Hingham Massachusetts by 1636.

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

Selectman, Constable, and Collector of town rates.

Came to Salem, MA with his brothers Ralph and Richard in 1628.

Siblings: Alice who married Richard Eames at Fordington, St. George, Dorset Co., England, Ralph born 1603, Edward, Richard born 1605, and Christopher.

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

Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical Society Notes:

(I) William, son of Edward and Christian Sprague, was born in Upway, Dorset, England, and died in Hingham, Massachusetts, October 26, 1675. He was granted land in Hingham on "the playne" in 1636. He was selectman in 1645, and constable in 1661. He married, in 1635, Millicent, daughter of Anthony Eames. She survived him, and died in Hingham, February 8, 1696. Children: Anthony, John, Samuel, Jonathan, Persis, Joanna, Jonathan (2), William, Mary and Hannah, all except the first born in Hingham.

William Sprague, the son of Edward & Christina Holland Sprague, came to America when he was about 19 years old. He came with his brothers, Ralph and Richard, on the ship "Abigail" to Salem in 1628.

William and his brothers are listed as settlers of Charlestown in 1629. In 1636 he removed, with his father-in-law, Anthony Eames, as land was granted to him that year on "the playne". He settled in Hingham, Massachusetts, and resided on Union Street, "over the river", then moved to Providence, Rhode Island. On March 28, 1651 he purchased of Thomas Hammond, "Planter", a dwelling house with 5 acres of land adjoining his own homestead. At one time he moved for a few years to Medeford, Mass, but returned again to Hingham. He was a selectman in 1645, and constable in 1661. He is described as intelligent with strict integrity.

He and his wife Millicent Eames Sprague were the ancestors of United States Senator, William Sprague, and Gov. William Sprague of Rhode Island. Their son Anthony married Elizabeth Bartlett in 1661. Public duties indicate he was held in honor and esteem by fellow townsmen. His will mentions his wife, Millesaint, sons: Anthony, Samuel, Wiliam, John and Jonathan, and daughters: Persis Doggett, wife of John Doggett; Joanna Church, wife of Caleb Church; Mary King, wife of Thomas King.

From the web page: http://aleph0.clarku.edu/~djoyce/gen/scituate/RR01/RR01_041.htm#P6575

"William "came to New England, settling in Charlestown, where he was living until 1636. He removed to Hingham, whither he went in a boat, landing on the side of the cove, on a tract of land afterward granted him by the town, and he became one of the fist planters there. His house lot is said to have been the pleasantest in town. Many grants of land were made to him from 1636 to 1647. He was constable, fence viewer, and held other offices at various times. He deeded to his son Anthony certain lands, February 21, 1673, for six and thirty pounds of lawful money of New England and nine pounds of merchantable corn."

Charlestown, MA Time Line with Original Settlers Exerpt:

http://www.bostonfamilyhistory.com/neigh_char.html

1629: The original territory includes three hills: Bunker, Breed's, and Town. Much of Middlesex county is situated within Charlestown's original borders: Malden, Everett, Woburn, Stoneham, Burlington, Somerville, and parts of Medford, Cambridge, Reading, and Wakefield. The semi-circular street grid layout is conceived by engineer Thomas Graves. Town records list the original settlers as follows: Reverend Francis Bright, Engineer Thomas Graves, Ralph Sprague, Richard Sprague, William Sprague, John Meech, Simon Hoyte, Abraham Palmer, Walter Palmer, Nicholas Stowers, John Stickline, and original settler Thomas Walford.

Here is mention of the "Sprague Brothers" from the "First Church in Boston" (pp 16-32) notes: "The history of First Church in Boston begins with the occupation of Charlestown by the English colonists under Winthrop. It was there that the founders -of our church signed the covenant and became a body of worshippers. The Arbella, the vessel in which they crossed the ocean, put into Salem harbor the 12th day of June, 1630, and went to Massaachusetts" the 17th of the month. After exploring the latter neighborhood, she returned to Salem the next day but one, and, joined by the rest of the fleet, again set sail, and came to anchor'in Charlton harbor, as Winthrop calls iti early in July. They found ~that other Englishmen had visited the spot before them. The Sprague brothers, Ralph, Richard, and William, together with others, - had previously made their way to the place, through, the woods, from Salem, in the summer of 1629. "

From "A Story for Olden Times" (A Sprague Family History for Children) by Caroline Stetson Allen, 1915:

In June or July, 1629, the Spragues, Ralph & his brothers Richard & William, came to Massachusetts on one of the vessels in Higgensons Fleet. The dwelling house of William Sprague was on Hingham Plain, about a mile from the old meeting house in the village of Hingham. William Sprague signed this will October 19, 1675. He bequeaths to Millicent Sprague, his wife:

1.  Ten Pounds in Money, one horse & one cow
2.  Ten Pounds per annum, to be paid during her lifetime, by her son William, the summering & wintering of one cow & one horse, and the use of 1/2 of the dwelling house, and 1/2 the orchard, according to a gift of the dwelling house & orchard & several other lands & commons.   
                               
3.  Thirty Five Pounds due him from his son Anthony, to be paid 5 pounds 

per year till the whole be paid, but if Millecent should die before the whole paid, the remainder to be distributed equally among 6 of his children (Anthony, Samuel, William, Persis - Mrs. John Doggett, Joanna - Mrs. Caleb Church, & Mary - Mrs. Thomas King.

                               
4.  All his household stuff & furniture, linen, woolen & utinsels of household during her lifetime, and after her decease, the same to go to the six children above, equally. 

References taken from "Sprague Family Memorial".

"

The descendants of this family became very widespread in America, some moving from Hingham to towns like Attleborough, Providence, etc.

Ralph's life had been one of tremendous courage, faith and an indomitable pioneering spirit. He had taken the responsibility not only for his own family but also his two brothers, to travel to the New World to face unknown dangers. When he died at the age of 50 he left his widow Joanna with four sons and one daughter, Mary. Both Phineas and Mary were under the age of 21. Thus did Ralph with Joanna and his brother William with his wife Millicent found the Sprague dynasty in New England. In addition, the three brothers, together with other compatriots were responsible for co-founding Charlestown and shaping the future of Massachusetts.

(NOTE: continued in William Sprague's brother's eldest son, John Sprague.)

From Richard Fricke.

William Sprague immigrated to America in 1628 with his two brothers, Ralph and Richard on the ship Abigail, with Governor Endicott and landed at Salem on September 6, 1628. Ralph became a Lieutenant and Richard a Captain. The brothers were the first settlers of Charleston and are buried there. In 1629, the three brothers were listed as settlers of Charlestown. In 1635, William's wife was admitted to the church in Charlestown. In 1636, he was granted land on Union Street in Hingham, MA. He was a Selectman in 1645 and later a Constable and collector of taxes.

"Ancestral File - Ver 4.11" William Sprague (AFN:73NL-VG)

"Sprague Families in America", by Dr. Warren Vincent Sprague, page 124.

1629. The names of Ralph, Richard and William Sprague stand at the head of the list of settlers in the record of the first meeting of the inhabitants of Charlestown.

1629. He visited Hingham in a boat.

1635. Millesaint his wife was admitted to the Church in Charlestown.

1635-6, Jan 2. His name appears for the last time in the list of inhabitants of Charlestown.

1636. He and his father-in-law obtained grants of land in Hingham and removed there, where he continued to live (except at one time he appears as a resident of Milford, MA). His house lot, on Union St. "over the river" was said to be the pleasantest lot in Hingham.

1645. He was chosen one of 7 Selectmen, "to order the prudential affairs of the town."

1651, March 28. He purchased of Thomas Hammond, "Planter" a dwelling house with 5 acres of land adjoining his own homestead, together with other lands in that locality; also 20 acres on the opposite side of the river against the end of the aforesaid house lot.

1662. Constable and Collector of town rates.

1675, October 19. Made his will. All of the children were born in Hingham except Anthony, who was born in Charlestown.

From Nancy Johnsen Curran.

William Sprague came on the "Lyon's Whelp" in 1629. "Planters of the Commonwealth", Banks, page 61.

"The Genealogical Register", July 1930, page 324.

William Sprague, fuller, of Upwey, County Dorset, England was a settler at Salem, MA in 1628 and at Hingham, MA in 1636.

"History of Hingham", Volume II, Genealogies, by George Lincoln, 1893,

William Sprague, according to the family tradition, arrived at Salem, MA, with his brothers Ralph and Richard, in 1629. On January 2, 1635/36, he was an inhabitant of Charlestown, and shortly after, his son Anthony was born there. (See Frothingham's "History of Charlestown.") He probably settled in Hingham during the summer or autumn of 1636, as land was granted to him that year on "the Playne". Other lots also were given him for planting purposes the same year, and at later dates. On the 28th of March, 1651, he purchased of Thomas Hammond, "Planter", a dwelling house with five acres of land, adjoining his own homestead. together with other lands in that locality; also twenty acres on the opposite side of the river against the end of the aforesaid home-lot. At one time he appears as a resident of Milford but returned again in a few years to Hingham.

1645 Selectman

1661 Constable

From Frank Polkinghorn, correspondent.

William Sprague, soon after marrying, made an exploratory trip to Bare Cove, later Hingham. He probably settled there in the summer or fall of 1636 as land was granted him that year on the Plain. His lot was about two miles north of the Patent Line dividing Massachusetts Bay Colony from Plymouth Colony. Other lots were granted to him for planting purposes from 1636 to 1647. On January 30, 1645, he was one of the seven men chosen to order the dwelling house and five acres of land adjoining his own homestead together with other lands in the locality; also 20 acres on the opposite side of the river against the end of the aforesaid home lot. At one time he was a resident of Marshfield but returned in a few years to Hingham. In 1662, he was the disbursing officer for the town; also Constable, Fenceviewer, etc. On February 21, 1673 he deeded his son, Anthony, certain land for L36 of lawful money of New England and L9 in merchantable corn.

His will dated October 19, 1675 mentions wife Millesaint: son William; son Samuel; daughter Persis Doggett, wife of John Doggett; Joana Church, wife of Caleb Church; Mary King, wife of Thomas King, son John, and son Jonathan.

"The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical", American Historical Society, Inc., 1920, pages 400-402.

William Sprague settled first in Charlestown, Mass., where he lived until 1636. He then removed to Hingham, landing on the side of the cove, on a tract of land afterward granted him by the town, and he was one of the first planters there. His house lot is said to have been the best situated in the town. Many grants were made him from time to time. He was active in public affairs, and was constable, fence-viewer, etc. William Sprague died October 6, 1675; his will bequeaths to his wife, Millicent, and children, Anthony, Samuel, William, Joan, Jonathan, Persis, Joanna, and Mary. He married in Charlestown in 1635, Millicent Eames, daughter of Anthony Eames, who died February 8, 1695/96.

"Genealogy (in part) of the Sprague Families in America", by Augustus B. R. Sprague, page 10.

William Sprague, of Charlestown and Hingham, planter, was born in England, and was the youngest son of Edward Sprague. He married Millesaint Eames, daughter of Anthony Eames. She died February 8, 1696.

He remained in Charlestown until 1636, eight years. His name is mentioned in all the town meetings, as a citizen thereof until January, 1635.

His wife, Millesaint, was admitted into the church in Charlestown in 1635, and his eldest son, Anthony, was baptized there May 23, 1636.

He came to Hingham in 1636, in a boat, and landed on the east side of the cove, on a lot of ground that was afterwards legally granted to him by the town, and was one of the first planters of the town, the name Bare Cove having been changed to Hingham, Sept. 2, 1635.

William Sprague's houselot was said to have been the pleasantest lot in Hingham; it was about two miles north of the Patent Line which formerly divided the old Massachusetts Colony from the Plymouth Colony. Many parcels of land and meadow, recorded in the "Old Grant Book,", were given to him by the town, covering a period from 1636 to 1647. These gifts indicate esteem in which he was held by his fellow townsmen.

January 30 1645, he was one of seven men chosen in town meeting to order the prudential affairs of the town.

In 1662, he was disbursing officer for the town; was also constable, fence viewer, etc.

February 21, 1673, he deeded to his son, Anthony, certain land for six and thirty pounds of lawful money of New England, and nine pounds in merchantable corn.

He died October 26, 1675.

WILLIAM SPRAGUE'S WILL

In the Name of God, Amen. The nineteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord God, One thousand, six hundred, seventy & five. I, WILLIAM SPRAGUE, senior, of Hingham, in New England, being sick in body, but yet of perfect memory; praised by almighty God! do make and declare this my last will and testament, in manner and form following: Revoking, and by these presents, making void, and of no force, all and every will and wills heretofore by me made, and declared, either by word or writing, and this to be taken only, for my last will, and none other.

FIRST and principally, I commit and commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God, and my body to the earth, to be decently buried, at the discretion of my executor hereafter mentioned, hoping of salvation, both of soul and body, by the mercies of God in the merits of my Saviour Jesus Christ. And as for such temporal estate as it hath pleased God to bestow upon me, I do order, give and dispose the same in manner and form as followeth -- that is to say:

FIRST -- I will that all those just debts and duties that I owe in right and conscience to any person whatsoever, shall be well and truly contented and paid by my Executor hereafter named out of my Estate, with my funeral charges, which I will shall be first paid.

Item -- I give and bequeath unto Millesaint Sprague, my loving wife, the sum of Ten pounds in money, and one Cow and one Horse.

Item -- I give unto the said Millesaint, my wife, ten pounds per annum during the term of her natural life, (to be paid to her by my son, William Sprague, which I have reserved for her, as may fully appear by a deed of gift under my hand and seal to my said son, William, of my house and several lands and commons, as is therein expressed, ) and the summering and wintering of one cow and one horse, and the use of one half of my dwelling house, and half the orchard, according as I have reserved upon the said deed of gift.

Item -- I give unto Millesaint, my said wife, thirty and five pounds which is due from me by my son, Anthony Sprague, to be paid five pounds a year till the whole be paid: that is to say, in case my said wife live till all the said payments be made to her: but if my wife decease, before all the said payments of thirty and five pounds be made, then my mind and will is, that what is remaining unpaid of the said thirty and five pounds at my wife's decease, shall be divided equally amongst all my children hereafter named, that is to say: my son Anthony Sprague, my son Samuel Sprague, my son William Sprague, my daughter, Perses Doggett, the wife of John Doggett, Joanna Church, the wife of Caleb Church and Mary King, the wife of Thomas King, every one of them to have part and part alike.

Item -- I give unto Millesaint, my said wife, all my household stuff and furniture, linen, woolen, and utensils of household whatsoever, for and during the term of her natural lie; and after my wife's decease my mind and will is, that it shall be divided amongst all my aforesaid children, every one of them to have part and part alike. And all my cattle not before given to this my will, to be immediately after my decease, disposed of by my Executor, as followeth; that is to say: to my son William Sprague two steers three years old and the [?] and one cow; and all the rest of my cattle to be equally divided among the rest of my children aforenamed, every one of them to have part and part alike.

Item -- I give and bequeath unto Anthony Sprague, my SWORD, which was my brother Richard Sprague's and one of my biggest pewter platters, and twenty shillings in money; which, with what I have given him before, in Land, and other things, and his part of my household stuff and cattle, after the decease of myself and my wife, as it is afore expressed, I judge a sufficient portion for him.

Item -- I give unto my son John Sprague, a piece of salt marsh, lying at Lyford's liking river, in Hingham, containing two acres and a half, be it more or less, which was given me by the town of Hingham, to enjoy to him, and his heirs, and assigns forever. And I do give unto my son John Sprague my searge suit of apparel, which with a Neck of Upland, called Sprague's Island, lying by the aforesaid meadow which I formerly gave to him, I judge a sufficient portion for him.

Item -- I give unto my son Samuel Sprague my cloth coat, which was my brother's and one of my biggest pewter platters.

Item -- I give and bequeath unto my son Jonathan Sprague, threescore acres of Land, lying in the bounds of the township of Providence, in New England, which I lately purchased of John Dexter, of the said Providence which said threescore acres of land, I do give to my son Jonathan during the term of his natural life; and after his decease unto his heirs male, lawfully begotten of his body, lawfully begotten or to be begotten; and for want of such hairs, the said threescore acres of Land to return to the next heirs of the Spragues descended from me. Also, I give unto my said son Jonathan Sprague my best cloth suit of apparel.

Item -- I give unto William Sprague one feather bed, which the used to lodge upon when he lived with me, and one on my biggest pewter platters.

Item -- I do make and ordain Millesaint Sprague, my loving wife, my full and sole executrix of this my last will and testament.

In witness whereof, I the said William Sprague have hereunto set my hand and seal, the day above written.

WILLIAM SPRAGUE and a seal.

Signed, sealed, published and delivered by the above said William Sprague, senior, to be his last will and testament, in the presence of us witnesses.

DANIEL CUSHING, sen.

MATTHEW CUSHING.

Daniel Cushing, sen., and Daniel Cushing, jr., appeared before John Leverett, Esq., Governor, etc.

Elbridge Henry Goss, "The History of Melrose, County of Middlesex, Massachusetts", (The City of Melrose, 1902), pages 77-80.

THE SPRAGUES. The Sprague families have ever been very prominent and intimately connected with the history of this town from its earliest days. It is quite certain that our territory was visited and traversed by the three brothers, Ralph Sprague, Richard Sprague and William Sprague, who came over from England, at their own cost, and who with three or four more, by joint consent and approbation of Mr. John Endicott, Governor, did the same summer of Anno 1628, undertake a journey from Salem, and travelled the woods above twelve miles to the westward, and lighted of a place situate and lying on the north side of Charles River, full of Indians called Aberginians. Their old Sachem being dead, his eldest son, [Monohaguaham] by the English called John Sagamore, was their chief, and a man naturally of a "gentle and good disposition,20 by whose free consent they settled about the hill of the same place by the said natives called Mishawum, [afterwards called Charlestown,] where they found but one English pallisadoed and thatched house, wherein lived Thomas Walford, a smith, situate on the south end of the westermost hill of the East Field, a little way up from Charles River side, and upon survey, they found it was a neck of land generally full of stately timber, as was the main, and the land lying on the east side of the river, called Mystick River, from the farm Mr. Cradock's servants had planted called Mystick, which this river led up unto; and indeed generally all the country round about, was an uncouth wilderness full of timber."21

There is no doubt whatever, but that the Spragues and their companions, were the first civilized men whose feet trod upon the soil, and whose eyes gazed upon the territory now Melrose, who explored with the view of making a permanent settlement.22 Undoubtedly other explorers traversed our territory very soon after the Spragues, for Gov. Thomas Dudley, writing to the Countess of Lincoln, in England, March 28, 1631, in giving an account of the dispersal of settlers which had taken place before this date, at various places around Boston, says: "others upon the River Saugus between Salem and Charlestown." In travelling from Charlestown to Saugus, seeking out a proper place for settlement, it is quite feasible to suppose that our valley was visited by them in their wanderings. That the Spragues found this particular tract of country pleasant and attractive, from its varied scenery and adaptability as a place of settlement, is evidenced by the fact that as early as 1638, only nine years later, the Spragues having left Salem and settled in Charlestown, both Ralph and Richard owned by allotment, a large tract of land near Ell Pond, naming it "Pond Feilde."

This covered a large part of what is now the westerly part of the town. Ralph Sprague had "Ninetie acres of land by estimation, more or lesse, scituate in Pond feilde;" and Richard had sixtie acres of land by estimation, more or lesse, scituate in pond feilde,25 bounded on the one side by Ralph Sprague, on the northeast by ell pond and the river [that comes through the meadow into Ell pond. -- Green,] and on the northwest by the comon.26

All this territory belonging to Charlestown, north of the Mystic River, was then called Mystic Side.

These three Spragues were the sons of Edward Sprague, a fuller, of Upway, County of Dorset, England. Ralph and Richard were both prominent in Charlestown affairs, both being among the founders of the Church, members of the General Court, Selectmen for several years, and officers in the Boston

20 His home in Malden was upon the creek which runs from the marshes between Powder Horn Hill, on which the Soldiers' Home is now situated, and Winnisemmet, into the Mystic River, at Sweetser's or Beacham's Point.

21 Charlestown Records, Vol. 1. The above record was written by John Greene, in 1664, and is wrong in its chronology. Gov. Endicott did not arrive at Salem, until September, 1628, consequently the Spragues could not have gone on their journey during the summer of 1628, as above stated. Corey, in a letter to the writer, dated Feb. 1, 1901, thinks that the Spragues did not come over with Gov. Endicott, in 1628, but with Higginson in 1629, and during that summer made their journey. This view is sustained by Savage in his Genealogical Dictionary, and Frothingham in his History of Charlestown, p. 14.

22 Concerning the route of the Spragues during this exploration there is some controversy. Corey in his History of Malden, p. 19, says: "Their probable course may be traced along the Salem path, which we may believe already existed as an Indian trail." Such a trail would necessitate the crossing of the Abousett, or Saugus River, in what is now East Saugus, and near its mouth where it is quite wide and deep. A bridge was built here about 1639, after which the Salem Path undoubtedly was much travelled. This entered Malden by Black Ann's Corner, then after following the present Salem Street a while ran northwesterly through the Scadan Woods into the southerly part of Melrose, thence wound around north of Wayte's Mount. But I am led to believe differently. It is distinctly stated in the Charlestown Records, that these explorers "travelled the woods above twelve miles to the westward." The History of Lynn by Lewis and Newhall, p. 137, under date of 1631, shows a far more probable route of travel for this early date: "At this time, there was no bridge across Saugus River, and people who travelled to Boston were compelled to pass through the woods in the northern part of the town, and ford the stream by the Iron Works, which were near the site of the present woolen factories in Saugus Centre." These factories were north of the Saugus Town Hall. Here the river was easily forded. Traces of this trail existed until within a short time. From the ford it continued westerly, entering the confines of Melrose, a little way south of the cliffs below John Doherty's, on Upham Street, entering the woods and passing over what became the road from Malden through Saugus to Lynn, and which was laid out in 1796, a part of which is now known as Altamont Avenue; and so on to the region of Spot Pond. After reaching our valley it would seem that the Sprague party turned to the south, crossed the Mystic, and ceased their journeying at Charlestown, where they soon afterwards settled. As we shall see, the Spragues owned land to the west and south of Ell Pond, on record as early as 1638, showing undoubted ownership some years before; clearly indicating to my mind, that this valley was thus explored and admired during that first expedition.

23 Richard Frothingham, in his History of Charlestown, p. 20, gives the names of "The inhabitants yt: first settled in this place and brought it into the denomination of an English Towne," and the three Spragues, Ralph, Richard and William, are first on the list.

24 Variously spelled in early documents: L, Ell, Eel, Ele, in one place in the Charlestown Records as Elme; and in the Cogan deed, hereafter referred to, "Yeale." It was evidently first named L on account of its shape and it was always

so considered by the early inhabitants; but by general usage is now, and has been, spelled Ell.

25 "This makes it certain that the first recorded name of the section

now known as Melrose, was Pond Feilde. It also fixes the taking up of land here, as early as 1638." Address of Hon. Levi S. Gould, at annual banquet of the

Highlands Congregational Church in 1897.

26 Charlestown Book of Possessions, in "Third Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston," pp. 33, 46. Undoubtedly the first compilation of the kind in America.

27 Traced from the original document,

now at City Hall, Boston.

THE PIONEERS OF MASSACHUSETTS, pages 11320-11329, Ancestry.com, 1998.

William, bro. of Ralph and Richard, planter, Charlestown, rem. to Hingham. Propr. 1636. Town officer. Wife Millicent adm. chh. Char. 3 (2) 1635; ch. Antony bapt. 23 (3) 1636, John bapt. at Hing. April, 1638, Samuel bapt. May 24, 1640, Jonathan bapt. March 20, 1641-2, d. 4 July, 1647, Persis b. Nov. 12, 1643, (m. John Doggett,) Joanna b. Dec. 1645, (m. Caleb Church,) Jonathan b. May 28, 1648, William b. July 2, 1650, Mary b. April 5, 1652, (m. Thomas King,) Hannah b. Feb. 25, 1654, d. 31 March, 1659.

He d. 26 Oct. 1675. Will dated 19 Oct. 1675. To wife Millicent; ch. Anthony, Samuel, William, John, Jonathan, Persis, wife of John Doggett, Johanna, wife of Caleb Church, and Mary, wife of Thomas King. To Anthony the sword that was his bro. Richard Sprague's. The widow d. 8 Feb.1695-6.

ABRIDGED COMPENDIUM, Frederick Virkus, page 3529.

SPRAGUE, William (1609-75) brother of Ralph), from Eng. to Charlestown, Mass 1629- removed to Hingham, Mass., 1636; m Millicent Eames.

The WINTHROP SOCIETY

John Beardsley, Secretary

2690 Walker Avenue,

Carmel, CA 93923

Among those who came with Rev. Francis Higginson, in the fleet of 1629. He was married to Mellicent Eames on May 26 1635 in Charlestown, Suffolk, MA

The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biograþhical, by the American Historical Society, Inc., 1920. For an unknown reason there are two coþies of the book with the same title þage, but with different contents. From þages 400 - 402

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

SPRAGUE FAMILY The Cranston-Johnston branch of the Spragues formed one of the mast notable and historically

prominent of Rhode Island families since the beginning of the seventeenth century. Members of this family have been leaders in practically every department of the life of the State throughout two centuries. Three generations of the Cranston Spragues, William Sprague, his sons, Governor William and Amasa, and the latter’s sons, Amasa, Governor William (2), and Byron, together and in turn founded and developed one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of the cotton cloth manufacturing industries of the day in the world. William Sprague, Governor of the State of Rhode Island, during the Rebellion, a gallant soldier and citizen whose name occupies a brilliant page in the history of the State, was of this branch.

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

For more information- see line of Daniel4, Ebenezer3, John2, William1 line.

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

William Sprague immigrated in 1628; William landed in Salem with his brothers Ralph and Richard. He was sent by Governor Endicott to explore the land where Charlestown now stands and was one of the first settlers in Charlestown, he removed to Hingham in 1636.

Will Dated October 19, 1675. To wife Millicent; ch. Anthony, Samuel, William, John, Jonathan, Persis, wife of John Doggett, Johanna, wife of Caleb Church, and Mary, wife of Thomas King. To Anthony the sword that was his bro. Richard Sprague's.

"Pioneers of Massachusetts" by Charles H. Pope

page 429

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

William Sprague "received grants of land in Hingham, was selectman, constable, Collector of taxes. Left considerable property and a large family of whom John was our progenitor." ** Millisaint Eames, his wife, should probably share in the credit for all that progeny and success.

  • * From "Gerry Remembers: A history of the Howe Family of Port Orchard, Washington" by Gerry Howe Sprague Bruckart with Esther Bretthauer Sicks, 1997. According to a note, the information was sent to Wendell Phillip Sprague by his cousin Olive, in a letter in 1916.

Death date, New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 121:197 (Anderson 1995). -------------------- William and his brothers, Ralph and Richard, arrived at Salem, MA aboard the 'Abigail' in 1628, removing to Hingham in 1636. He was a selectman in 1645, and constable and collector of town rates in 1662.

"History of the Early Settlement of Bridgewater", by Nahum Mitchell. Ralph, Richard and William Sprague, were among the first comers and settlers in Massachusetts Colony in 1628. They were brothers, and settled at Charlestown, from whence William, the youngest, removed to Hingham.

"The Brothers Ralph and William Sprague and Some of Their Descendants", from the April 1909 NEHGS Register, page 147. We know that Ralph and William Sprague were the sons of Edward Sprague, fuller, and his wife Christian, of Upwey, county Dorset, England, as they are mentioned in his will, dated 16 June 1614. He had altogether six children, three of whom came to America. Of these three, only Ralph and William concern us.

"The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical", American Historical Society, Inc., 1920, pages 400-402. William Sprague, immigrant ancestor and progenitor, was a son of Edward Sprague, of Upway, Dorsetshire, England. Edward Sprague lived at Fordington, Dorsetshire, in early life, and was a fuller by trade. He married Christina, and died in 1614. His will was proved June 6, 1614, in the prerogative court at Canterbury, and copies of the document made at this time are still in possession of the family. Three of his sons, Ralph, Richard, and William came to America. In Prince's "Chronology" we find the following mention of the brothers: Among those who arrived at Naumkeag are Ralph Sprague, with his brothers Richard and William, who, with three or four more, were employed by Governor Endicott to explore and take possession of the country westward. They traveled through the woods to Charlestown, on a neck of land called Michawum, between Mystic and Charles rivers, full of Indians named Aborginians, with whom they made Peace." Ralph Sprague was about twenty-five years of age when he came to New England in 1631. Captain Richard Sprague commanded a company of the train band. On February 10, 1634, the order creating a Board of Selectmen was passed, and Richard and William Sprague signed it. Richard Sprague left no posterity. His sword which is named in his brother William's will, was extant in 1828.

"American Families--Genealogies and Biographical Information from Most Authentic Sources Including Much Valuable Material Drawn from Hitherto Unpublished Family Records with Accurate Reproduction--and Descriptions of Ancient Emblazonry Compiled by Masters of Genealogic and Heraldic Science", published by The American Historical Society, Inc., New York, 1921, pages 30-40. Edward Sprague lived in Upway (Upwey), Dorsetshire, England, a small hamlet situated midway between Dorchester and Weymouth, the seaport, four miles from either town, and at the foot of the Ridgway Hill, where the River Way takes its rise. He was a fuller by trade, and it is claimed that his fulling mill of three hundred years ago has been but recently demolished. He possessed considerable property for his time, as his will and inventory show. That he was a man of quality, the preamble of his will bears testimony. Upway town records have been destroyed by fire since his time, so that many things of primary interest are unobtainable. The original will of Edward, probated Oct. 13, 1614, a few days after his death, requesting Ralph to "promise that his mother Christiana shall quietly enjoy the said living until he shall be one and twenty years of age," has been handed down, in fine preservation with writing distinct, to the present generation. The widow Christiana married John Corbin, of Upway. (NOTE: The above text is virtually identical to that found in the "Ralph Sprague Genealogy, by E. G. Sprague, page 23.)

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

Immigration: Abt. 1629 arrived to the Colonies aboard the ship Lyon`s Whelp

-------------------- From: Rootsweb, ID I0698 Scottish/English roots

There has been a considerable amount written about William Sprague. Also online is a copy of his last will and testament.

He came over on the ABIGAIL with his brothers Ralph and Richard in 1628. He arrived at Salem and was removed to Hingham.

From Prince's Chronology: The brothers Sprague (Ralph, Richard and William)were employed by Endicott to explore and take possession of the country westward. They travelled through the woods to Charlestown, on a neck of land called Mishawum, between the Mystic and Charles rivers. The area was full of Native Americans, Aberginians, with whom they made peace. The Hon. Edward Everett., in his address commemorative of the bi-centennial of the arrival of Winthrop at Charlestown, said: 'Ralph , Richard and William Sprague are the founders of the settlement in this place, and were persons of substance and enterprise, excellent citizens, generous public benefactors and the head of a very large and respectable family of descendants'[Archie.FTW]

-------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Sprague_(1609–1675) William Sprague (October 26, 1609 – October 26, 1675) left England on the ship Lyon's Whelp for Plymouth/Salem Massachusetts. He was originally from Upwey, near Weymouth, Dorset, England.

William arrived at Naumkeag (Salem) with his brothers Ralph and Richard. They were employed by Governor Endecott to explore and take possession of the country westward. They explored the land over to (present day) Charlestown, Massachusetts, between Mystic and Charles rivers, where they made peace with the local Indians. On February 10, 1634, the order creating a Board of Selectmen was passed, and Richard and William Sprague signed it.[1]

William lived in Charlestown until 1636, before moving to Hingham, where he was one of the first planters. His house lot, on Union St. "over the river" was said to be the pleasantest lot in Hingham.[2] He was active in public affairs, and was constable, fence-viewer, etc. William’s will names his wife, Millicent (Eames), and children, Anthony, Samuel, William, Joan, Jonathan, Persis, Johanna, and Mary.[1]

Other Sprague relatives became soldiers in the American Revolutionary War and two of them became governors of the state of Rhode Island.

Lucille Ball and her brother, Fred Ball, were direct descendants.

++++++++++++++ "The Sprague Family: from Dorset to Massachusetts and Gibraltar", by Joan Watkins, 1992, correspondent.

(NOTE: continued from William's brother, Richard Sprague notes.)

William, the youngest of the brothers married Millicent Eames in 1634/5. Together with his wife and new father-in-law they removed to Hingham where he was granted land. Later in his lifetime he purchase various plots of land and in 1662 he was made Constable of Hingham and Collector of the town rates. They had ten children, only eight surviving. These were Anthony, John, Samuel, Jonathan, (died) Persis, Joanna, William, Mary and Hannah who died aged 3. The descendants of this family became very widespread in America, some moving from Hingham to towns like Attleborough, Providence, etc.

Ralph's life had been one of tremendous courage, faith and an indomitable pioneering spirit. He had taken the responsibility not only for his own family but also his two brothers, to travel to the New World to face unknown dangers. When he died at the age of 50 he left his widow Joanna with four sons and one daughter, Mary. Both Phineas and Mary were under the age of 21. Thus did Ralph with Joanna and his brother William with his wife Millicent found the Sprague dynasty in New England. In addition, the three brothers, together with other compatriots were responsible for co-founding Charlestown and shaping the future of Massachusetts.

(NOTE: continued in William Sprague's brother's eldest son, John Sprague.)

From Richard Fricke.

William Sprague immigrated to America in 1628 with his two brothers, Ralph and Richard on the ship Abigail, with Governor Endicott and landed at Salem on September 6, 1628. Ralph became a Lieutenant and Richard a Captain. The brothers were the first settlers of Charleston and are buried there. In 1629, the three brothers were listed as settlers of Charlestown. In 1635, William's wife was admitted to the church in Charlestown. In 1636, he was granted land on Union Street in Hingham, MA. He was a Selectman in 1645 and later a Constable and collector of taxes. "Ancestral File - Ver 4.11" William Sprague (AFN:73NL-VG)

"Sprague Families in America", by Dr. Warren Vincent Sprague, page 124.

1629. The names of Ralph, Richard and William Sprague stand at the head of the list of settlers in the record of the first meeting of the inhabitants of Charlestown.

1629. He visited Hingham in a boat.

1635. Millesaint his wife was admitted to the Church in Charlestown.

1635-6, Jan 2. His name appears for the last time in the list of inhabitants of Charlestown.

1636. He and his father-in-law obtained grants of land in Hingham and removed there, where he continued to live (except at one time he appears as a resident of Milford, MA). His house lot, on Union St. "over the river" was said to be the pleasantest lot in Hingham.

1645. He was chosen one of the seven Selectmen, "to order the prudential affairs of the town."

1651, March 28. He purchased of Thomas Hammond, "Planter" a dwelling house with 5 acres of land adjoining his own homestead, together with other lands in that locality; also 20 acres on the opposite side of the river against the end of the aforesaid house lot.

1662. Constable and Collector of town rates.

1675, October 19. Made his will. All of the children were born in Hingham except Anthony, who was born in Charlestown.

From Nancy Johnsen Curran.

William Sprague came on the "Lyon's Whelp" in 1629. "Planters of the Commonwealth", Banks, page 61.

"The Genealogical Register", July 1930, page 324.

William Sprague, fuller, of Upwey, County Dorset, England was a settler at Salem, MA in 1628 and at Hingham, MA in 1636.

"History of Hingham", Volume II, Genealogies, by George Lincoln, 1893, repr. 1982, page 163.

William Sprague, according to the family tradition, arrived at Salem, MA, with his brothers Ralph and Richard, in 1629. On January 2, 1635/36, he was an inhabitant of Charlestown, and shortly after, his son Anthony was born there. (See Frothingham's "History of Charlestown.") He probably settled in Hingham during the summer or autumn of 1636, as land was granted to him that year on "the Playne". Other lots also were given him for planting purposes the same year, and at later dates. On the 28th of March, 1651, he purchased of Thomas Hammond, "Planter", a dwelling house with five acres of land, adjoining his own homestead. together with other lands in that locality; also twenty acres on the opposite side of the river against the end of the aforesaid home-lot. At one time he appears as a resident of Milford but returned again in a few years to Hingham.

1645 Selectman

1661 Constable

From Frank Polkinghorn, correspondent.

William Sprague, soon after marrying, made an exploratory trip to Bare Cove, later Hingham. He probably settled there in the summer or fall of 1636 as land was granted him that year on the Plain. His lot was about two miles north of the Patent Line dividing Massachusetts Bay Colony from Plymouth Colony. Other lots were granted to him for planting purposes from 1636 to 1647. On January 30, 1645, he was one of the seven men chosen to order the dwelling house and five acres of land adjoining his own homestead together with other lands in the locality; also 20 acres on the opposite side of the river against the end of the aforesaid home lot. At one time he was a resident of Marshfield but returned in a few years to Hingham. In 1662, he was the disbursing officer for the town; also Constable, Fenceviewer, etc. On February 21, 1673 he deeded his son, Anthony, certain land for L36 of lawful money of New England and L9 in merchantable corn.

His will dated October 19, 1675 mentions wife Millesaint: son William; son Samuel; daughter Persis Doggett, wife of John Doggett; Joana Church, wife of Caleb Church; Mary King, wife of Thomas King, son John, and son Jonathan.

"The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical", American Historical Society, Inc., 1920, pages 400-402.

William Sprague settled first in Charlestown, Mass., where he lived until 1636. He then removed to Hingham, landing on the side of the cove, on a tract of land afterward granted him by the town, and he was one of the first planters there. His house lot is said to have been the best situated in the town. Many grants were made him from time to time. He was active in public affairs, and was constable, fence-viewer, etc. William Sprague died October 6, 1675; his will bequeaths to his wife, Millicent, and children, Anthony, Samuel, William, Joan, Jonathan, Persis, Joanna, and Mary. He married in Charlestown in 1635, Millicent Eames, daughter of Anthony Eames, who died February 8, 1695/96.

"Genealogy (in part) of the Sprague Families in America", by Augustus B. R. Sprague, page 10.

William Sprague, of Charlestown and Hingham, planter, was born in England, and was the youngest son of Edward Sprague. He married Millesaint Eames, daughter of Anthony Eames. She died February 8, 1696.

He remained in Charlestown until 1636, eight years. His name is mentioned in all the town meetings, as a citizen thereof until January, 1635.

His wife, Millesaint, was admitted into the church in Charlestown in 1635, and his eldest son, Anthony, was baptized there May 23, 1636.

He came to Hingham in 1636, in a boat, and landed on the east side of the cove, on a lot of ground that was afterwards legally granted to him by the town, and was one of the first planters of the town, the name Bare Cove having been changed to Hingham, Sept. 2, 1635.

William Sprague's houselot was said to have been the pleasantest lot in Hingham; it was about two miles north of the Patent Line which formerly divided the old Massachusetts Colony from the Plymouth Colony. Many parcels of land and meadow, recorded in the "Old Grant Book,", were given to him by the town, covering a period from 1636 to 1647. These gifts indicate esteem in which he was held by his fellow townsmen.

January 30 1645, he was one of seven men chosen in town meeting to order the prudential affairs of the town.

In 1662, he was disbursing officer for the town; was also constable, fence viewer, etc.

February 21, 1673, he deeded to his son, Anthony, certain land for six and thirty pounds of lawful money of New England, and nine pounds in merchantable corn.

He died October 26, 1675.

WILLIAM SPRAGUE'S WILL

In the Name of God, Amen. The nineteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord God, One thousand, six hundred, seventy & five. I, WILLIAM SPRAGUE, senior, of Hingham, in New England, being sick in body, but yet of perfect memory; praised by almighty God! do make and declare this my last will and testament, in manner and form following: Revoking, and by these presents, making void, and of no force, all and every will and wills heretofore by me made, and declared, either by word or writing, and this to be taken only, for my last will, and none other.

FIRST and principally, I commit and commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God, and my body to the earth, to be decently buried, at the discretion of my executor hereafter mentioned, hoping of salvation, both of soul and body, by the mercies of God in the merits of my Saviour Jesus Christ. And as for such temporal estate as it hath pleased God to bestow upon me, I do order, give and dispose the same in manner and form as followeth -- that is to say:

FIRST -- I will that all those just debts and duties that I owe in right and conscience to any person whatsoever, shall be well and truly contented and paid by my Executor hereafter named out of my Estate, with my funeral charges, which I will shall be first paid.

Item -- I give and bequeath unto Millesaint Sprague, my loving wife, the sum of Ten pounds in money, and one Cow and one Horse.

Item -- I give unto the said Millesaint, my wife, ten pounds per annum during the term of her natural life, (to be paid to her by my son, William Sprague, which I have reserved for her, as may fully appear by a deed of gift under my hand and seal to my said son, William, of my house and several lands and commons, as is therein expressed, ) and the summering and wintering of one cow and one horse, and the use of one half of my dwelling house, and half the orchard, according as I have reserved upon the said deed of gift.

Item -- I give unto Millesaint, my said wife, thirty and five pounds which is due from me by my son, Anthony Sprague, to be paid five pounds a year till the whole be paid: that is to say, in case my said wife live till all the said payments be made to her: but if my wife decease, before all the said payments of thirty and five pounds be made, then my mind and will is, that what is remaining unpaid of the said thirty and five pounds at my wife's decease, shall be divided equally amongst all my children hereafter named, that is to say: my son Anthony Sprague, my son Samuel Sprague, my son William Sprague, my daughter, Perses Doggett, the wife of John Doggett, Joanna Church, the wife of Caleb Church and Mary King, the wife of Thomas King, every one of them to have part and part alike.

Item -- I give unto Millesaint, my said wife, all my household stuff and furniture, linen, woolen, and utensils of household whatsoever, for and during the term of her natural lie; and after my wife's decease my mind and will is, that it shall be divided amongst all my aforesaid children, every one of them to have part and part alike. And all my cattle not before given to this my will, to be immediately after my decease, disposed of by my Executor, as followeth; that is to say: to my son William Sprague two steers three years old and the [?] and one cow; and all the rest of my cattle to be equally divided among the rest of my children aforenamed, every one of them to have part and part alike.

Item -- I give and bequeath unto Anthony Sprague, my SWORD, which was my brother Richard Sprague's and one of my biggest pewter platters, and twenty shillings in money; which, with what I have given him before, in Land, and other things, and his part of my household stuff and cattle, after the decease of myself and my wife, as it is afore expressed, I judge a sufficient portion for him.

Item -- I give unto my son John Sprague, a piece of salt marsh, lying at Lyford's liking river, in Hingham, containing two acres and a half, be it more or less, which was given me by the town of Hingham, to enjoy to him, and his heirs, and assigns forever. And I do give unto my son John Sprague my searge suit of apparel, which with a Neck of Upland, called Sprague's Island, lying by the aforesaid meadow which I formerly gave to him, I judge a sufficient portion for him.

Item -- I give unto my son Samuel Sprague my cloth coat, which was my brother's and one of my biggest pewter platters.

Item -- I give and bequeath unto my son Jonathan Sprague, threescore acres of Land, lying in the bounds of the township of Providence, in New England, which I lately purchased of John Dexter, of the said Providence which said threescore acres of land, I do give to my son Jonathan during the term of his natural life; and after his decease unto his heirs male, lawfully begotten of his body, lawfully begotten or to be begotten; and for want of such hairs, the said threescore acres of Land to return to the next heirs of the Spragues descended from me. Also, I give unto my said son Jonathan Sprague my best cloth suit of apparel.

Item -- I give unto William Sprague one feather bed, which the used to lodge upon when he lived with me, and one on my biggest pewter platters.

Item -- I do make and ordain Millesaint Sprague, my loving wife, my full and sole executrix of this my last will and testament.

In witness whereof, I the said William Sprague have hereunto set my hand and seal, the day above written.

WILLIAM SPRAGUE and a seal.

Signed, sealed, published and delivered by the above said William Sprague, senior, to be his last will and testament, in the presence of us witnesses.

DANIEL CUSHING, sen.

MATTHEW CUSHING.

Daniel Cushing, sen., and Daniel Cushing, jr., appeared before John Leverett, Esq., Governor, etc.

Elbridge Henry Goss, "The History of Melrose, County of Middlesex, Massachusetts", (The City of Melrose, 1902), pages 77-80.

THE SPRAGUES. The Sprague families have ever been very prominent and intimately connected with the history of this town from its earliest days. It is quite certain that our territory was visited and traversed by the three brothers, Ralph Sprague, Richard Sprague and William Sprague, who came over from England, at their own cost, and who with three or four more, by joint consent and approbation of Mr. John Endicott, Governor, did the same summer of Anno 1628, undertake a journey from Salem, and traveled the woods above twelve miles to the westward, and lighted of a place situate and lying on the north side of Charles River, full of Indians called Aberginians. Their old Sachem being dead, his eldest son, [Monohaguaham] by the English called John Sagamore, was their chief, and a man naturally of a "gentle and good disposition,20 by whose free consent they settled about the hill of the same place by the said natives called Mishawum, [afterwards called Charlestown,] where they found but one English pallisadoed and thatched house, wherein lived Thomas Walford, a smith, situate on the south end of the westermost hill of the East Field, a little way up from Charles River side, and upon survey, they found it was a neck of land generally full of stately timber, as was the main, and the land lying on the east side of the river, called Mystick River, from the farm Mr. Cradock's servants had planted called Mystick, which this river led up unto; and indeed generally all the country round about, was an uncouth wilderness full of timber."21

There is no doubt whatever, but that the Spragues and their companions, were the first civilized men whose feet trod upon the soil, and whose eyes gazed upon the territory now Melrose, who explored with the view of making a permanent settlement.22 Undoubtedly other explorers traversed our territory very soon after the Spragues, for Gov. Thomas Dudley, writing to the Countess of Lincoln, in England, March 28, 1631, in giving an account of the dispersal of settlers which had taken place before this date, at various places around Boston, says: "others upon the River Saugus between Salem and Charlestown." In traveling from Charlestown to Saugus, seeking out a proper place for settlement, it is quite feasible to suppose that our valley was visited by them in their wanderings. That the Spragues found this particular tract of country pleasant and attractive, from its varied scenery and adaptability as a place of settlement, is evidenced by the fact that as early as 1638, only nine years later, the Spragues having left Salem and settled in Charlestown, both Ralph and Richard owned by allotment, a large tract of land near Ell Pond, naming it "Pond Feilde."

This covered a large part of what is now the westerly part of the town. Ralph Sprague had "Ninetie acres of land by estimation, more or lesse, scituate in Pond feilde;" and Richard had sixtie acres of land by estimation, more or lesse, scituate in pond feilde,25 bounded on the one side by Ralph Sprague, on the northeast by ell pond and the river [that comes through the meadow into Ell pond. -- Green,] and on the northwest by the comon.26

All this territory belonging to Charlestown, north of the Mystic River, was then called Mystic Side.

These three Spragues were the sons of Edward Sprague, a fuller, of Upway, County of Dorset, England. Ralph and Richard were both prominent in Charlestown affairs, both being among the founders of the Church, members of the General Court, Selectmen for several years, and officers in the Boston

20 His home in Malden was upon the creek which runs from the marshes between Powder Horn Hill, on which the Soldiers' Home is now situated, and Winnisemmet, into the Mystic River, at Sweetser's or Beacham's Point.

21 Charlestown Records, Vol. 1. The above record was written by John Greene, in 1664, and is wrong in its chronology. Gov. Endicott did not arrive at Salem, until September, 1628, consequently the Spragues could not have gone on their journey during the summer of 1628, as above stated. Corey, in a letter to the writer, dated Feb. 1, 1901, thinks that the Spragues did not come over with Gov. Endicott, in 1628, but with Higginson in 1629, and during that summer made their journey. This view is sustained by Savage in his Genealogical Dictionary, and Frothingham in his History of Charlestown, p. 14.

22 Concerning the route of the Spragues during this exploration there is some controversy. Corey in his History of Malden, p. 19, says: "Their probable course may be traced along the Salem path, which we may believe already existed as an Indian trail." Such a trail would necessitate the crossing of the Abousett, or Saugus River, in what is now East Saugus, and near its mouth where it is quite wide and deep. A bridge was built here about 1639, after which the Salem Path undoubtedly was much traveled. This entered Malden by Black Ann's Corner, then after following the present Salem Street a while ran northwesterly through the Scadan Woods into the southerly part of Melrose, thence wound around north of Wayte's Mount. But I am led to believe differently. It is distinctly stated in the Charlestown Records, that these explorers "traveled the woods above twelve miles to the westward." The History of Lynn by Lewis and Newhall, p. 137, under date of 1631, shows a far more probable route of travel for this early date: "At this time, there was no bridge across Saugus River, and people who traveled to Boston were compelled to pass through the woods in the northern part of the town, and ford the stream by the Iron Works, which were near the site of the present woolen factories in Saugus Centre." These factories were north of the Saugus Town Hall. Here the river was easily forded. Traces of this trail existed until within a short time. From the ford it continued westerly, entering the confines of Melrose, a little way south of the cliffs below John Doherty's, on Upham Street, entering the woods and passing over what became the road from Malden through Saugus to Lynn, and which was laid out in 1796, a part of which is now known as Altamont Avenue; and so on to the region of Spot Pond. After reaching our valley it would seem that the Sprague party turned to the south, crossed the Mystic, and ceased their journeying at Charlestown, where they soon afterwards settled. As we shall see, the Spragues owned land to the west and south of Ell Pond, on record as early as 1638, showing undoubted ownership some years before; clearly indicating to my mind, that this valley was thus explored and admired during that first expedition.

23 Richard Frothingham, in his History of Charlestown, p. 20, gives the names of "The inhabitants yt: first settled in this place and brought it into the denomination of an English Towne," and the three Spragues, Ralph, Richard and William, are first on the list.

24 Variously spelled in early documents: L, Ell, Eel, Ele, in one place in the Charlestown Records as Elme; and in the Cogan deed, hereafter referred to, "Yeale." It was evidently first named L on account of its shape and it was always so considered by the early inhabitants; but by general usage is now, and has been, spelled Ell.

25 "This makes it certain that the first recorded name of the section now known as Melrose, was Pond Feilde. It also fixes the taking up of land here, as early as 1638." Address of Hon. Levi S. Gould, at annual banquet of the Highlands Congregational Church in 1897.

26 Charlestown Book of Possessions, in "Third Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston," pp. 33, 46. Undoubtedly the first compilation of the kind in America.

27 Traced from the original document, now at City Hall, Boston.

THE PIONEERS OF MASSACHUSETTS, pages 11320-11329, Ancestry.com, 1998. William, bro. of Ralph and Richard, planter, Charlestown, rem. to Hingham. Propr. 1636. Town officer. Wife Millicent adm. chh. Char. 3 (2) 1635; ch. Antony bapt. 23 (3) 1636, John bapt. at Hing. April, 1638, Samuel bapt. May 24, 1640, Jonathan bapt. March 20, 1641-2, d. 4 July, 1647, Persis b. Nov. 12, 1643, (m. John Doggett,) Joanna b. Dec. 1645, (m. Caleb Church,) Jonathan b. May 28, 1648, William b. July 2, 1650, Mary b. April 5, 1652, (m. Thomas King,) Hannah b. Feb. 25, 1654, d. 31 March, 1659. He d. 26 Oct. 1675. Will dated 19 Oct. 1675. To wife Millicent; ch. Anthony, Samuel, William, John, Jonathan, Persis, wife of John Doggett, Johanna, wife of Caleb Church, and Mary, wife of Thomas King. To Anthony the sword that was his bro. Richard Sprague's. The widow d. 8 Feb.1695-6.

ABRIDGED COMPENDIUM, Frederick Virkus, page 3529. SPRAGUE, William (1609-75) brother of Ralph), from Eng. to Charlestown, Mass 1629- removed to Hingham, Mass., 1636; m Millicent Eames.

The WINTHROP SOCIETY John Beardsley, Secretary 2690 Walker Avenue, Carmel, CA 93923 Among those who came with Rev. Francis Higginson, in the fleet of 1629. He was married to Mellicent Eames on May 26 1635 in Charlestown, Suffolk, MA

"The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" - Biographical, Pages 400-402. William Sprague, immigrant ancestor and progenitor, was a son of Edward Sprague, of Upway, Dorsetshire, England. Edward Sprague lived at Fordington, Dorsetshire, in early life, and was a fuller by trade. He married Christina, and died in 1614. His will was proved June 6, 1614, in the prerogative court at Canterbury, and copies of the document made at this time are still in possession of the family. Three of his sons, Ralph, Richard, and William, came to America. In Prince's "Chronology" we find the following mention of the brothers: Among those who arrived at Naumkeag are Ralph Sprague, with his brothers Richard and William, who, with three or four more, were employed by Governor Endicott to explore and take possession of the country westward. They traveled through the woods to Charlestown, on a neck of land called Michawum, between Mystic and Charles rivers,. full of Indians named Aborginians, with whom they made peace." Ralph Sprague was about twenty-five years of age when he came to New England In 1631. Captain Richard Sprague commanded a company of the train band. On February 10, 1634, the order creating a Board of Selectmen was passed, and Richard and William Sprague signed it. Richard Sprague left no posterity. His sword, which is named in his brother William's will, was extant in 1828. William Sprague settled first in Charlestown, Mass., where he lived until 1636. He then removed to Hingham, landing on the side of the cove, on a tract of land afterward granted him by the town, and he was one of the first planters there. His house lot is said to have been the best situated in the town. Many grants were made him from time to time. He was active in public affairs, and was constable, fence-viewer, etc. William Sprague died October 6, 1675; his will bequeaths to his wife, Millicent, and children, Anthony, Samuel, William, Joan, Jonathan, Persis, Johanna, and Mary. He married, in Charlestown, in 1635, Millicent Eames, daughter of Anthony Eames, who died February 8, 1695-96.

From Rick Ingersoll, correspondent. "The Descendants of Joel Jones", page 234. WILLIAM SPRAGUE, married Millicent Eames in 1635. They had 10 children, 8 of whom were living at

Page 235

the time of his death. He was a prominent citizen, and there are many deeds on record of tracts of land and lots transferred to him. He appears to have held several local offices.

CHILDREN

  • I ANTHONY, b. Sept. 2, 1635.

II John, bap. in Apr., 1638.

III Samuel, bap. May 24, 1640.

IV Jonathan, bap. Mar. 20, 1642; d. July 4, 1647.

V Persis, bap. Nov. 12, 1643; m. 1673, to John Doggett.

VI Joanna, bap. Dec. 16, 1644; m. Dec. 16, 1667, to Caleb Church.

VII Jonathan, b. May 28, 1648.

VIII William, b. May 7, 1650.

IX Mary, b. Apr. 25, 1652; m. Thomas King of Scituate.

X Hannah, b. Feb. 24, 1654-5; d. Mar. 31, 1658.

William Sprague died Oct. 26, 1675, at Hingham. His widow died Feb. 8, 1696. He was 66 years of age when he died. William Sprague left a large estate, which gave his widow a comfortable income, besides providing for all his children. His house occupies the best site in Hingham, and the exact spot is known, and his descendants were living on the original lot up until very recently, and likely still are.

"The Ralph Sprague Genealogy", by E. G. Sprague, page 28

William was the youngest of the family, and still a minor, came to America with his brothers in 1629. Lived in Charlestown until 1636, as his name appears in the records of the various meetings during this time. In 1635, he married Millicent, dau. of Anthony Eames, and the following year he removed to Hingham with his father-in-law, where they had obtained grants of land. Here many public offices were assigned to him, and from their nature it is evident he was held to be a man of intelligence and strict integrity by his fellow townsmen. It appears from his will that he possessed a large landed estate and a competency of personal property. He died in Hingham when about sixty-six years old. Millicent his widow died in Hingham.

His descendents today are numerous and distinguished as the genealogy of the descendents of William which has recently been compiled and published by Dr. W. V. Sprague of Chauncey, Ohio shows. Mr. Everett, in his oration at Charlestown, said that the three Spragues, "the founders of the settlement of this place," "were persons of character, substance, and enterprise; excellent citizens, generous public benefactors, and the heads of a very large and respectable family of descendents." [2, 5]

view all 42

William Sprague, of Hingham's Timeline

1610
October 26, 1610
Upway, Dorset, England
1614
June 6, 1614
Age 3
Upway, Dorsetshire, England
June 6, 1614
Age 3
Upway, Dorsetshire, England
June 6, 1614
Age 3
Upway, Dorsetshire, England
June 6, 1614
Age 3
Upway, Dorsetshire, England
1629
1629
Age 18
Charlestown, MA
1635
May 26, 1635
Age 24
Charlestown, Massachusetts Bay Colony
September 2, 1635
Age 24
Charlestown (within present Boston), Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
1638
April 1638
Age 27
Duxbury, Plymouth co., Massachusetts
1640
May 24, 1640
Age 29
Hingham, Suffolk County (Present Plymouth County), Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)