Abigail Richmond

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Abigail Richmond (Davis)

Also Known As: "Abigail (Davis) Ussell Richmond-Webb"
Birthdate: (48)
Death: July 1682 (44-52)
Sakonnet (presently a village of Little Compton), (Present Newport County), Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Colonial America
Place of Burial: Little Compton, Newport County, Rhode Island, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of James Davis and Rachel Davis
Wife of Capt. Edward Richmond
Ex-wife of Capt. Richard Ussell
Mother of Abigail Gardner; Edward Richmond; John Richmond; Elizabeth Palmer; Mary Palmer and 6 others

Managed by: David P Himes
Last Updated:

About Abigail Richmond

Abigail Davis

  • Birth: say 1633 - Probably England
  • Death: Jul., 1682 Sakonnet Newport County Rhode Island, USA
  • Parents: James [sic: WILLIAM] Davis and his unknown first wife
  • Married: 1) Richard Ussell (annulled) 2) Edward Richmond

Not to be confused with her younger 1/2 sister Abigail, 1635-1639


Children with Edward Richmond:

  1. Abigail, born 1656.
  2. Edward, born 1658.
  3. John, born about 1660.
  4. Elizabeth, born Dec. 6, 1666.
  5. Mary, born 1668.
  6. Esther, born 1669.
  7. Silvester, born 1672; baptized at Little Compton, R. I., Nov. 3, 1700.
  8. Sarah


Birth seen as Oct. 31, 1635 Newport Newport County Rhode Island, USA without records cited.

Anderson's Great Migration Project notes:

“When William the Locksmith died in 1643-4, his estate was settled March 7, 1643-4 by the General Court of Massachusetts (Vol. II, p. 58): ‘In the case of William Davies dying intestate, it is ordered, the eldest sonne to have twenty marks, the other sonne, a yonger daughter by his former wife, six pound apiece, the eldest daughter two pound, & the widow to have the rest for her selfe & bringing up of the two yonger children, & at twenty years of age, or at their marriage, to give them five pound a piece, & if any losse come, to make the estate less than one hundred pounds, to abate each p portionablely.’ From this we find that William at his death in 1643-4 left four children by a first wife and a widow with two younger children probably her own. Later we find that this widow was named Mary, that she married John Cowdall, Condell, or Condall (there are various spellings), and that they moved to Rhode Island where one of the daughters,Abigail Davis, was married to Edward Richmond after court proceedings held May 20, 1657 and had a large family. The names of all six children of the William who died in 1643-4 are not definitely known. One was William the gunsmith and another the above Abigail, but the other four are uncertain.”1333

"He was said to have been in Boston in 1635. He is listed as having a daughter Abigail who was born 31 Aug 1635 and died 24 Dec 1639, which clearly could not have been the Abigail who married Edward Richmond.

“William, smith, Boston, 1635. Wife Mary; ch. Abigail b. 31 (8) 1635, d. 24 (12) 1639; Thomas b. 15 (1) 1636, d. (5) 1638, Aaron b. 20 (5) 1638, d. 32 (8) 1639, John d. 20 (1) 1640, Trine (son) b. 10 (6) 1640, Mary b. 3 (8) 1644.

He died in 1644; the widow m. 2. John Cowdall, who sold house and land which had been Davies’ 8 (12) 1644. His son William petitioned the Gen. Court for the portions due to him and his bors. and sisters; referrred to a deed of Cowdall and his mother. [Arch. 15 B.] 148

Since ‘the eldest duaghter’ received less than ‘the other son ‘ or ‘a younger daughter’, it may be that she was already married, which would place her birth about 1623 or perhaps a bit earlier. William Davis Jr., gunsmith, who would be ‘the eldest son’, was apparently an adult by 1645, when he petitioned the court regarding his father’s estate [MA Arch 15B:254], and so born by 1624. There is no record which can be connected with ‘the other son,’ and ‘a younger daughter’ would be Abigail who became enmeshed in marital difficulties in Rhode Island. (The existence of two daughters named Abigail living at the same time was a rare but well-documented situation; in seventeenth-century New England such same-name siblings were always half-siblings.)

"On May 20, 1657, Abigail Davis petitioned the Assembly alleging that her step-father John Cowdall and her mother had forced her into a marriage with Richard Ussell, and later in the same year the Assembly declared that the marriage was unlawful and that she was free to marry Edward Richmond, whom she declared in her petition to be her choice. When old Portsmouth was divided and Newport organized, Portsmouth was reorganized, and James Davice (Davis) signed (by his mark);, April 30, 1639, forming 'the body politick' of Portsmouth: and in the list of the inhabitants of Acquednic Island (who had become such by consent of the goverment), dated September 1, 1640, James Davis's name appears; it does not appear again, and as there were no other of the name (save, possibly, Nicholas, who lived till 1671), it would seem that he was the father of Abigail Davis, and at the time Abigail married Edward Richmond, he had died and his widow had married John Cowdall."3

In one copy of "The Richmond Family", her father's name of James Davis was crossed out and the name "William Davis" was handwritten in.

"Abigail (2) Davis, the first wife of Edward (2) Richmond . . went to court in 1657 to annul her forced marriage to Richard Ussell. The court committee, headed by Roger Williams, finally decided in her favor, but only after delaying the decision for six weeks 'due to the great disturbance made by the bystanders'. (9) The following summer (1658) Abigail and Edward were charged with living together contrary by law, and having a child (Abigail, born 1656) out of wedlock. They were fined and then conveniently declared to be married by the court 'as they been twice published according to law but . . . (Rev.) Obediah Holmes forbade it'. (10) 1163

"The Richmond Genealogy suggests that the father of Abigail Davis was James Davis of Portsmouth (11), but thwre was a William (1) Davis, locksmith, of Boston, who died in 1643/4, leaving a widow, Mary, and a daughter, Abigail (12). The widow married John Cowdall and the family relocated to Portsmouth, RI."1163. "1657.

19. Ordered, that Mr. Richard Tew, Mr. John Greene, Jr., of Warwicke, Mr. Thomas Harris, of Providence, and Edward Greenman, of Newport, are apoynted a sub-committee to goe to Abigail, daughter-in-law to Mr. John Cowdall, and to carrie the petition that was presented to the court in her name, and to enquire of her if she owne it to be hers, and to informe themselves of other circumstances from her thereabout, and to make report thereof to the Court to-morrow morninge, at the meetinge of the Court.

20. Vpon a petition of richard Ussell, to this court for justice concerninge an execution graunted to him against Edward Richmond, or Newport, for the sum of three pound, thirteen shillings; which execution beinge unserved by reason that noe estate was found to serve it on, and now beinge adjitated in the Court for redress in the same, here appeared John Richmond, of Newport, Sen'r, and to the Court doth agree to pay the sayd sum mentioned in the execution to Richard Ussell or his assigns, before the 24th of June next, upon the penalty of a double bond forfeiture, payable to the sayd Ussell, recoverable by law.

21. Concerninge the nihil dicit entered against Richard Ussell and John Cowdall, of Newport, by Edward Richmond, before the court of tryalls in October last, at Portsmouth, some difficulty arisinge in the Courts aboute it, and they referringe it to this Court to consider; the Court declareth that the Jury shall enquire of the damages upon the sayd nihil dicit, and judgment and execution shall be entered and graunted at the General Court of Tryalls a Warwicke in June next, in that case. . .

24. The Report of the sub-committee yesterday chosen and sent to Abigall, daughter of John Cowdall is, that haveinge read the petition to the sayd Abigall, which was subscribed Abigall Davis, she owned the sayd petition to be her act, and likewise disclaimed Richard Ussell, and only owned Edward Richmond, and further professed that what she had done with respect to Richard Ussell, was for feare of being forced to it by her father and mother.

25. Vpon adjitation concerninge Richard Ussell and Abigall Davis, the Court declareth theire resolution to consider and debate the matter, as to theire sence concerninge the marridge of the sayd Ussell with the sayd Abigall Davis, whether it were legall or not.

26. Vpon the great disturbance made by standers by in the beginninge of the adjitation abovesayd, the Court hath for the present deferred the debate of the matter any further. . .

41. It is ordered, and by this court declared, that the maridge of Richard Ussell with Abigall Davis was an unlawfull marridge." 850

"On May 20, 1657, Abigail Davis petitioned the Assembly, alleging that her stepfa. John Cowdall and her mo. had forced her into a m. with Richard Ussell, and later the same year the Assembly declared that the m. was unlawful and that she was free to marry Edward (2) Richmond, whom she declared in her petition to be her choice (Richmond, p. 5). "9


3. Joshua Bailey Richmond, The Richmond Family 1594-1896 and Pre-American Ancestors, (Boston: The Compiler, MDCCCXCVII).

9. Joan S. Guilford, The Ancestry of Dr. J.P. Guilford, Orange, CA: Seridan Psychological Services, 1990, Vol. 1.

850. Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby & Walter Goodwin Davis, Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, (Portland, ME: Southworth-Anthoensen Press, 1928-1939), Vol. 1.

1163. Bowerman, Robert H., "The Family of John & Elizabeth (Irish) Richmond," 2222 Miantonomi Ave, Middletown, RI 02840., Copy held 1998 by present writer.

From the Find A Grave page on Abigail Davis Richmond:


Birth: Oct. 31, 1635 Newport Newport County Rhode Island, USA

Death: Jul., 1682 Sakonnet Newport County Rhode Island, USA

Wife of Edward Richmond, married 1658, mother of Sylvester Richmond.

Family links:

Children: Sylvester Richmond (1672 - 1754)*

Spouse: Edward Richmond (1632 - 1696)

Burial: Richmond Cemetery Little Compton Newport County Rhode Island, USA

Created by: Lady Annne Record added: May 01, 2009 Find A Grave Memorial# 36603000

Abigail DAVIS died after 1672 in Little Compton, Newport, RI. She was born 1635 ?. "Austin gives the following: '1657, May 20. The petition of Abigail Davis, daughter-in-law (i.e. stepdaughter) of John Cowdall, having been read by a committee of the Assembly, it was shown that her marriage with Richard Ussell, was for fear of being forced to it by her father and mother, and later in the same year the said marriage was declared an unlawful one by the Assembly. She was thus enabled to marry Edward Richmond, whom she had declared in her petition to be her choice.' A check of Savage showed no listing for Ussell, but under Cowdall he said that John married Mary Davis in 1655 and that she was the widow of William Davis, of Boston. But Savage also says that Abigail died at the age of four. Richmond says it was James Davis who must be Abigail's father since his name is among those forming 'the body politick' of Portsmouth April 30, 1639, and in the list of the inhabitants of Acqednic Island dated Sep. 1, 1640. Apparently there were no other Davises in the area except Nicholas, who lived till 1671." (Bonnie Hubbard)

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Abigail Richmond's Timeline

February 26, 1656
Age 22
Newport, Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
December 3, 1658
Age 24
Little Compton, Newport County, Rhode Island, Colonial America
December 3, 1658
Age 24
Newport, (Present Newport County), Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, (Present USA)
December 6, 1666
Age 32
Sakonnet, Plymouth Colony
Age 34
Little Compton, Plymouth Colony
Age 34
Saconnet, Plymouth Colony
Age 38
Little Compton, Plymouth Colony
Age 38
Little Compton, Newport County, Rhode Island, United States