Dr. William Avery

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William Avery

Birthdate: (64)
Birthplace: Barkham, Arborfield, Berkshire, England
Death: March 18, 1686 (64)
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Kings Chapel Cemetery, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Avery and Joanne Avery
Husband of Margaret Avery and Mary Avery
Father of Mary Tisdale; Dea. William Avery; Robert Avery, Ensign; Rachel Sumner; Jonathan Avery and 3 others

Occupation: Physician
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Dr. William Avery

WARNING: William’s parentage is in dispute. Some show him as the son of Robert and Joane Avery.


  1. Occupation: Physician
  2. Occupation: Apothecary (Pharmacist)
  3. Will: 15 OCT 1683 Created 5
  4. Event: Event 1677 Freeman at Dedham
  5. Residence: AFT 1654 Dedham, Norfolk County, Massachusetts
  6. Military Service: 1673 Lieutenant in the town of Dedham's company
  7. Note:
   From 'Genealogical Record of the Dedham Branch of the Avery Family in America,' p. 19
   WE now take up the record of our earliest ancestor who crossed the Atlantic. He, in 1650, cast in his lot with the settlers of the town of Dedham, Mass., bringing with him his wife, Margaret, and three children, from the parish of Barkham, County of Berkshire, Eng. Of these three children born in Barkham we make special mention, as there is a certified copy of the certificates of their baptisms in Mr. W. T. Avery's possession, signed by the rector of the parish. Additional interest is attached to this fact of the baptisms, from the engraving we are so fortunate as to be able to present, of the church in Barkham parish, standing on the site of the ancient church, where Dr. William Avery worshipped and his children were presented for the consecrating rite. The ancient church has crumbled away, but the surrounding scenery has probably changed not essentially; if the arching trees are not the same that waved their branches over the gathering congregation in the days when our ancestors trod the path with reverent feet, yet they cannot be far from being their very counter-parts. The scene is suggestive of quiet, rural beauty, and as we imagine the serene Sabbath mornings on which so many feet pressed the way to the village church, we almost wonder that any one could leave these pleasant places for a rude lot in an untried land, and again are we made to feel that our forefathers and mothers must have been people of high courage, born of a lofty, noble purpose, to have relinquished so much that endeared to them the land of their birth.
   [p. 20] We give here the copy of the baptismal certificates of the three children of Dr. William and Margaret Avery, who were respectively:
   i. Mary 5.
   ii. William 5.
   iii. Robert 5.
   "1645. Mary Avery, the daughter of Margaret and William Avery, was baptized the 19th of December
   "1647. William the sonne of William and Margaret Avery, was baptized the seven and twentie day of October.
   "1649 Robert Avery, ye sonne of William and Margaret Avery, baptized the viith of December.
   "I, Arthur Roberts, rector of Barkham, certify the above to be a true copy of the Baptism Register of the said parish. Extracted this 15th day of March in the year of our Lord, 1880. By me.
   (Signed) ARTHUR ROBERTS."
   These three children were the only children of William and Margaret Avery, who were born in England, and his circumstance is what probably gave rise to a belief which has been current for years among some, at least, of the Dedham Averys, that the entire Avery family in this country descended from three brothers who came to America soon after the landing of the Pilgrims. This is entirely erroneous. The progenitors of the different lines of the Avery family on this side [of] the Atlantic were not brothers.
   Other children were born to William and Margaret Avery after they took up their life in Dedham. The full list is as follows: --- [see children in this file]
   Sometimes incorrectly referred to as "of Filongley, Warwickshire, England." 


Carol R. Austin, cr_austin@prodigy.net at Rootsweb: William and his family came to America about 1650 and were among the early settlers of Dedham. He was a blacksmith and physician, and later moved to Boston where he opened a book store and an apothecary shop.

Sue Whitewater, ssuzyd@aol.com at Rootsweb: He lived in a Parish of Barkham, near Oxenham or Wokingham, Berkshire. He married about 1644, and Settled in Dedham (MA? Apparently is saying that William arrived in America before 1644). A physician and surgeon, a member of Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of MA. Post of sergeant, then Lt. He served in King Phillip's War, and was a representative to the Gen. Court of Colony from Springfield in 1669. After the death of his first wife, Mary, he moved to Boston. His apothecary shop was the first ever established in New England.

Genealogical Dictionary of New England Settlers : Will dated Oct. 15, 1683. He was a lieut. 1673, of the town's comp. and freeman 1677. Possibly he/s the bookseller, mentioned by Thomas, in his Hist. II, certainly the rep. for Springfield 1669.

He came to Dedham, MA in 1650, bring his wife, Margaret, and 3 children from Barkham Co., Berkshire, England. He is designated as Sergeant in 1669, and was a Deputy to the General Court, 1669, from Springfield; Lieutenant of Dedham Co., 1673; Member of Ancient and Honorable Artillery Co. He was the earliest educated physician known to have taken up his life in Dedham.

From brian.p.parker@att.net at Rootsweb: He brought with him a painting of the Avery Arms and the silver seal with the Avery arms engraved on them. He was an educated man and did much to improve living conditions in Dedham.

Several sites at Rootsweb give his father as Christopher rather than Robert. However, from Avery Family Genforum: Nothing I've seen indicates a second son for Christopher Avery from Devon, England, either. James attested in court in New London CT in 1683 that he was the only son and heir of his father, Christopher, according to the Groton Avery Clan (p.43). The same book lists thirteen children for James Avery b. 1646, but no Samuel among them. Cyrus probably got his Avery lines mixed up when he got back into the 17th century. It is a documented that one of the 13 children of Capt. James Avery and Joanna Greenslade was a Samuel Avery. True there was not another sibling of Capt. James. However, one of James's sons was Christopher. Often this is where the mis up is. Cyrus's sister is who married into the Rockefeller line. But there is no mistake about Samuel. This has been long documented through the Rockefeller line. Ancestry.com. also lists a Samuel. He is also found in the Avery publications.

Some say that William's parents are William Avery (b Jul 25, 1588) and Mabel Belcher (b abt 1585).

view all 23

Dr. William Avery's Timeline

April 1619
Fillongley, Warwickshire County, England
March 28, 1621
Arborfield, Berkshire, England
Barkham, Berkshire, Eng
Barkham, Berkshire, England
October 27, 1647
Age 26
Barkham, Berkshire, England
Age 25
Of Duxbury, Plymouth, MA
December 7, 1649
Age 28
Barkham, Berkshire, , England
Age 28
May 26, 1653
Age 32
Dedham, Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony