Deacon William Rockwell

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William Rockwell

Birthplace: Fitzhead, Somerset, England (United Kingdom)
Death: May 15, 1640 (45-53)
East Windsor, (Present Hartford County), Connecticut Colony, Colonial America
Place of Burial: Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Rockwell, Sr. and Honor Rockwell (Newton)
Husband of Mary? Rockwell and Susanna Grant
Father of Joseph Rockwell; Joan Ingraham; John Rockwell; Samuel Rockwell; Ruth Huntington and 3 others
Brother of Richard Rockwell; John Rockwell, Jr.; (No Name) Rockwell; Joan (Or Joanne or Jane) Farthinge and Roger Rockwell

Occupation: Yoeman Deacon on the Church
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Deacon 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


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] 


   Filby, P. William, ed.. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. Farmington Hills, MI, USA: Gale Research, 2009.
   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). 

1/4/2015 LOOK UP THE PURITAN MIGRATION TO US-.. Found various information on Capen and Rockwell...also found a site that did their best to confirm passengers that were on some of the 11 ships that came over from England...One being the Mary & John Ship and they listed 3 different lists... one being an "A" list which does show Suan Capen, wife of William Rockwell along with William and two children John and Joan which also coincides with findagrave on these parties and Son Samuel would most likely have been born after they arrived in the US which again matches up. Also shows Susan's age as 28 which also coincides with her birthdate and landing in US in 1630. Also William's age of 39. Anyways, I am listing all of the passenger list found from this site as there are other familiar sounding names on that record as well such as Phelps and may be some others: "A" List

Our "A" List of those who were CERTAIN or HIGHLY PROBABLE passengers aboard the ship the Mary and John 1630. However, we have attempted to compile a new list of possible passengers and then rate them as follows:

•Our "A" List - Certain or highly probable

•Our "B" List - Probable

•Our "C" List - Possible

Name Approx. Age From (in England) CLAPP, ROGER 21 Salcombe Regis, Devon COGAN, ELIZABETH wife of John Endicott 23 Chard, Somerset COOK, ARRON 14 Dorchester, Dorset DENSLOW, NICHOLAS 57 Bridport, Dorset

 Elizabeth Doling, wife a. 56 Bridport, Dorset 
 Temperance Denslow, daughter   21 Bridport, Dorset 
 Joan Denslow, daughter   15 Bridport, Dorset 

DYER, GEORGE a. 51 Dorchester, Dorset

 Elizabeth _____, wife a. 50 Dorchester, Dorset 
 Elizabeth Dyer, daughter a. 15 Dorchester, Dorset 
 Mary Dyer, daughter a. 10 Dorchester, Dorset 

FORD, THOMAS a. 42 Dorchester, Dorset

 Elizabeth Chard, second wife a. 41 Dorchester, Dorset 
 Mary Ford, daughter   17 Dorchester, Dorset 
 Joan Ford, daughter   12 Dorchester, Dorset 
 Abigail Ford, daughter   10 Dorchester, Dorset 
 Hepzibah Ford   4 Dorchester, Dorset 

FILER, ANNE probably widow a. 40 Probably Dorset

 Katherine Filer a. 12 Probably Dorset 
 Walter Filer a. 11 Probably Dorset 

GALLOP, JOHN a. 35 Bridport, Dorset GAYLORD, JOHN a. 30 Probably Somerset GAYLORD, WILLIAM a. 39 Crewkerne, Somerset

 ____, wife a. 37 Crewkerne, Somerset 
 Elizabeth Gaylord, daughter a. 14 Crewkerne, Somerset 
 William Gaylord, Jr., son   12 Crewkerne, Somerset 
 Samuel Gaylord, son   10 Crewkerne, Somerset 

GILLETTE, JONATHAN a. 24 Chaffcombe, Somerset HOLMAN, JOHN 28 Dorchester, Dorset HOSKINS, JOHN a. 45 Probably Dorset

 Thomas Hoskins, son a. 10 Probably Dorset 

LOMBARD, THOMAS 49 Thorncombe, Dorset

 ____, wife a. 47 Thorncombe, Dorset 
 Barnard Lombard, son a. 22 Thorncombe, Dorset 
 Thomas Lombard Jr., son   12 Thorncombe, Dorset 
 Joshua Lombard, son   9 Thorncombe, Dorset 
 Margaret Lombard, daughter   6 Thorncombe, Dorset 

LUDLOW, GEORGE 33 Dinton, Wilts LUDLOW, ROGER 40 Dinton, Wilts MARSHFIELD, THOMAS a. 30 Exeter, Devon

 ____, wife a. 28 Exeter, Devon 
 Sara Marshfield, daughter a. 3 Exeter, Devon 
 Samuel Marshfield, son a. 2 Exeter, Devon 
 Mercy Marshfield, daughter a. 1 Exeter, Devon 

MAVERICK, REV. JOHN 51 Awliscombe, Devon

 Mary Gye, wife   51 Awliscombe, Devon 
 Elias Maverick, son a. 26 Awliscombe, Devon 
 Mary Maverick, daughter   24 Awliscombe, Devon 
 Moses Maverick, son   21 Awliscombe, Devon   
 Abigail Maverick, daughter   17 Awliscombe, Devon 
 Antipas Maverick, son a. 12 Awliscombe, Devon 
 John Maverick Jr., son a. 11 Awliscombe, Devon 

PHELPS, WILLIAM a. 35 Crewkerne, Somerset

 Ann Dover, wife a. 33 Crewkerne, Somerset 
 William Phelps Jr., son   11 Crewkerne, Somerset 
 Samuel Phelps, son   10 Crewkerne, Somerset 
 Nathaniel Phelps, son   5 Crewkerne, Somerset 
 Joseph Phelps, son   1 Crewkerne, Somerset 

ROCKWELL, WILLIAM 39 Dorchester, Dorset

 Susan Capen, wife   28 Dorchester, Dorset 
 Joan Rockwell, daughter   5 Dorchester, Dorset 
 John Rockwell   2 Dorchester, Dorset 

ROSSITER, EDWARD a. 55 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset

 ____, wife a. 53 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset 
 Nicholas Rossiter, son a. 31 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset 
 Ann ___, wife of Nicholas R. a. 29 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset 
 ___, child of Nicholas a. 4 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset 
 ___, child of Nicholas a. 2 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset 
 Bray Rossiter, son a. 20 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset 
 Jane Rossiter, son a. 16 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset 
Hugh Rossiter, son, a. 15 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset 
 Joan Rossiter, daughter a. 14 Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset 
 ___, possible relative or servent - - Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset 
 ___, possible relative or servent - - Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset 
  ___, possible relative or servent - - Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset 
 ___, possible relative or servent - - Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset 

SANFORD, FRANCES, widow a. 42 Dorchester, Dorset

 Henry Smith, son a. 20 Dorchester, Dorset 

SOUTHCOTE, RICHARD a. 40 Devon TERRY, STEPHEN 21 Dorchester, Dorset UPSALL, NICHOLAS a. 30 Dorchester, Dorset

 Dorothy Capen, wife a. 25 Dorchester, Dorset 

WARHAM, REV. JOHN a. 34 Exeter, Devon

 Susanna Gallop, wife a. 32 Exeter, Devon 

WAY, HENRY a. 47 Bridport, Dorset

 Elizabeth Batchelar, second wife a. 43 Bridport, Dorset 
 Henry Way Jr., son   19 Bridport, Dorset 
 Aaron Way, son   16 Bridport, Dorset 
 George Way, son a. 15 Bridport, Dorset 
 Hanna Way, daughter   15 Bridport, Dorset 
 Susanna Way, daughter   9 Bridport, Dorset 
 Richard Way, son   5 Bridport, Dorset 

WILTON, DAVID 21 Beanminster, Dorset WOLCOTT, HENRY 51 Lydiard St. Lawrence, Somerset

 Elizabeth Saunders, wife   44 Lydiard St. Lawrence, Somerset 
 Henry Wolcott Jr., a. 20 Lydiard St. Lawrence, Somerset 
 George Wolcott, son a. 15 Lydiard St. Lawrence, Somerset 
 Christopher Wolcott a. 12 Lydiard St. Lawrence, Somerset 

BRANKER, JOHN a. 22 Honiton, Devon

 Abigail Searle, wife   18 Honiton, Devon 

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. Buried at Windsor 15 May 1640. Married at Holy Trinity, Dorchester, Dorsetshire, 14 April 1624, Susan Capen, daughter of BERNARD CAPEN . She married (2) Windsor 29 May 1645 as his second wife MATTHEW GRANT. She died at Windsor 13 November 1666

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Deacon William Rockwell's Timeline

February 6, 1591
Fitzhead, Somerset, England (United Kingdom)
February 6, 1591
Fitzhead, Somerset, England (United Kingdom)
February 6, 1591
Fitzhead, Somerset, England
February 6, 1591
Holy Trinity Ch, Dorchester, Dorset, England
April 25, 1625
Dorchester, Dorset, England (United Kingdom)
Dorchester, Dorset, England
Age 38
Dorchester, MA
Age 38