Deacon William Cowdrey

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William Cowdrey

Also Known As: "Cowdray", "Cowdery"
Birthdate: (73)
Birthplace: Weymouth, Dorset, England
Death: October 11, 1687 (73)
Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
Place of Burial: Reading, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of George Cowdrey; Wiliam Cowdrey; Fannie Cowdrey and Joanna Cowdrey
Husband of Joanna Liscense and Alse Cowdrey
Father of Nathaniel Cowdrey, I; Hannah Cowdrey; Matthias Cowdrey; Bethia Carter; Willaim Cowdrey and 5 others

Managed by: Cecilie Nygård
Last Updated:

About Deacon William Cowdrey

An early settler of Reading, Massachusetts. William Cowdrey or Cowdery, Emigrant Ancestor, was born in 1602 in Weymouth, England. He married (1) Joanna, who died May 1666 and (2) Alse (Alice). William died on Nov. 10, 1687, at Reading, Massachusetts.

Children of William and Joanna :

  1. Nathaniel
  2. Mathias, b. Sept. 30, 1641; d. March. 25, 1663.
  3. Bethia, b. Apr. 17, 1613; m. Sept. 18, 1667, to Samuel Carter, Jr. They had three children ;
  4. Hannah, m. Sept. 18, 1667, to John Polly of Roxbuiy, Mass.

William Cowdrey or Cowdery sailed from Southampton, England, in 1630. He settled first at Lynn, Mass. Lived on the site of the late Quannapowett House on the Common. He was Deacon, Clerk of the Writs, Town Clerk, Selectman, and Representative to the General Assembly of the Colonies, and was for a long time a most influential and useful citizen. The town of Reading was incorporated in 1644, and there is reason to conclude that he was one of the first inhabitants at or about the time of its incorporation. (History of Reading; and History of Lynn, Mass.).

Along with Deacon Thomas Parker and Deacon Thomas Kendall, Deacon Cowdrey was one of the founders of the church and a commissioner to try small cases.

"William Cowdrey, of Weymouth, England, who came to America in 1630, spelled the name at times, Cowdrey, and at other times Cowdery. I have seen it in his own handwriting spelled both ways. The old

time Town Clerk spelled the name according to its pronunciation, Cowdry. Nathaniel, son of William, fol- lowed the example of his father ; his name being found spelled in three different ways. His descendants be- came more particular, however, and after the marriage of Nathaniel (1G60) to Mary Bachelder, we find most of the descendants of Samuel, the son of Nathaniel's first wife, Elizabeth, spelling the name Cowdery ; while the children of Nathaniel's second wife, Mary Bachelder, spelled it Cowdrey. One family in Ohio have adopted the French form, Coudray."


Note: (Mehling, Pgs. 37-48). William Cowdrey (or Cowdery) was the first ancestor of which we have records. He was born in 1602 in Weymouth, on the southern coast of England and sailed to the colony in 1630, leaving from Southampton about 60 miles to the east, an early good harbor. William married first Joanna_____ in 1 638, who died 6 May 1666 and was the mother of his four children. He married 2 nd, Alse (Alice)_____,(NFI). His children were as follows: Child #1, Nathaniel, Sr., our direct ancestor, b.abt 1635-1637, bef 1639. Child #2, Mathias, b. 30 Sept 1641, d. 25 Mar 1663. Child #3, Bethia, b. 17 Apr 1643, m. 18 Sept 1667 to Samuel Carter, Jr., they had three children: Samuel Carter 3rd., William Cart er, Bethia Carter. Child #4, Hannah, m. 18 Sept 1667 to John Polly of Roxbury, Mass., 7 children. William was a Deacon, Clerk of the Writs, Town Clerk, Sele ctman, and Representative to the General Assembly of the Colonies. He was for a very long time a very influential and useful citizen, and is in a great many early reference sources on colonial citizens of importance. He died on 10 Nov 1687 at Reading, Mass.

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Deacon William Cowdrey's Timeline

Weymouth, Dorset, England
Age 16
Probably England
September 30, 1641
Age 27
Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts
April 17, 1643
Age 29
Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Age 31
Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
October 11, 1687
Age 73
Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States