Rev. John Churchill

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John Churchill, M.A.

Birthplace: Muston, Dorset, England
Death: Died in Steeple, Dorset, England
Place of Burial: Steeple, Dorset, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of John Churchill, of Stinsford & Muston and Eleanor Churchill
Husband of Sarah Churchill
Father of Mary Churchill; Elizabeth Churchill and Sarah Collins
Brother of Richard Churchill, of Muston; Josiah Churchill; Joseph Churchill; Anne Churchill; Edith Churchill and 10 others

Occupation: Rector of Stinsford and Steeple
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rev. John Churchill

3 daughters, no sons. Cannot be the father of John Churchill of Plymouth Colony or Josias Churchill of Wethersfield, although there is possibly common ancestry (DNA Haplogroup I-1)


1. Reverend John R. CHURCHILL Rector of Stinsford and Steeple M.A was born about 1603 in Muston, Dorset, England. He was instituted on 16 Mar 1636 in Stinsford, Dorset, England. He was instituted on 22 Jun 1637 in Steeple, Dorset, England. He signed a will on 14 Oct 1681 in Steeple, Dorset, England. He died in Mar 1682 in Steeple, Dorset, England. He was buried on 28 Mar 1682 in Steeple, Dorset, England.

He was married to Sarah surname unknown between 1639 and 1641 in Steeple, Dorset, England. Sarah’s birth date is uncertain but is given by an unreliable LDS submitter as 1602 making he older than her husband John Churchill. She died before 23 Oct 1678 in Steeple, Dorset, England. (She was buried on 23 Oct 1678 according to the parish register.)

Reverend John R. CHURCHILL Rector of Stinsford and Steeple M.A and Sarah had the following children:

  1.        +2       i.       Sarah CHURCHILL (born before Feb 1642).
  2.        +3       ii.       Mary CHURCHILL (born before 6 May 1646).
  3.        +4       iii.       Elizabeth CHURCHILL (born before Feb 1648).


From Re: Churchill Website and association 2001 (msg from Bill Churchill)

As mentioned above, the surname of Reverend John of Stinsford’s wife, Sara, is unknown. However, some LDS references taken from actual parish records call her “Mrs. Sarah Churchill.” It has been speculated that the honorific “Mrs.” meant that she was a Churchill widow; however, in this time the honorific “Mrs” or Mistress was used only for un-married gentry. Thus, a register entry “Mrs. Sarah Churchill” would have meant that Sarah was a maiden (never married) and of gentry status.

Harry Hadaway who has genealogy site Hadaway/ hadawaypage.htm lists her surname as Sarah May and gives a Janice Melinda Maxwell as his source. Janice, however, says that she does not know Sarah’s maiden name. Janice is aware that Harry lists Sarah’s name as May based on her information. Janice said that she contacted Harry after his posting. Harry had apparently mistakenly entered the month of Janice’s date of death for John (the month of May) as Sarah’s surname. Mr. Hadaway acknowledged this but has never changed the information in his listing. It should be noted that that Janice’s date of death for the Reverend John is actually incorrect. Janice has 23 May 1659 but Sarah actually died bef 23 Oct 1678 but likely in the month of October. According to Hutchins and the actual Purbeck parish register, Sarah was buried on 23 Oct 1678. Actual death dates were rarely recorded in this period.

John and Sarah Churchill are known to have had the following children:

Sarah Churchill is listed as born in 1623 in Stinsford, Dorset by LDS sources. The Pedigree of Churchill does not give her birth date as birth dates were not recorded in that period but says that she was baptized at Steeple on 3 February 1642. She married William Collins on 19 Sep 1664 on the Isle of Purbeck and was buried on 9 Dec 1675 at Steeple, Isle of Purbeck, Dorset, England.

Mary Churchill is listed as born in 1625 in Stinsford by LDS sources. She was baptized at Steeple on 6 May 1646 according to the Pedigree of Churchill. LDS records say that she married William Clark on 8 Sep 1654 on the Isle of Purbeck. The Pedigree of Colliton makes no mention of a William Clarke marriage but says that she married John Scovile, Gentleman, on 8 Sep 1665 at Steeple, Isle of Purbeck, Dorset.

Elizabeth Churchill was born in 1629 according to LDS sources. According to the Pedigree of Colliton she was baptized on 8 Feb 1648. There is no mention of her birth date. She married Nathaniel Bond on 21 Dec 1667. She died on 18 Dec 1674 at Steeple and was buried 21 Dec 1674 at Steeple, Isle of Purbeck, Dorset according to the Pedigree of Colliton.

John Churchill who is said by LDS records to be the son of this John and Sarah Churchill is listed as born in 1620 at Muston. This birth information was submitted on IGI F500506, Sheet 27 by a Fred E. Sawyer. Mr. Sawyer lists The Churchill Family in America, other unspecified IGIs and something called T.I.B as his sources. The only information Mr. Sawyer could have obtained from The Churchill Family in America would have been its conjecture to the effect that John of Plymouth may have descended in some way from John and Eleanor (Miller) Churchill. John and Eleanor were the Reverend John’s parents. The only other IGI information that has been verified as valid is the Steeple infant baptism records for the daughters of John and Sarah. All other dates were provided by IGI “submitters” who did not provide valid sources.

From DEVON-L Archives 2009 (message from Bill Churchill)

Yes, I have seen the IGI entries saying that John CHURCHILL of Plymouth was born at Muston in 1610, 1620, etc.

The most widely circulated claim for the origin of John Churchill of the Plymouth Colony is a birth date ca 1620 in Dorset, England. A second claim is that this John Churchill was born in Holland. The Holland claim came from a "may have been born in Lyden, South Holland in 1618" IGI entry.

The 1620 birth was first reported by Mrs. Verda Shaw Tullus of Ogden, Utah (USA) in her 1983 family submittal to the LDS. Fred E. Sawyer of American Falls, Idaho repeated the information in a 1987 submittal. Neither report was based on a Parish record. From what we now know it is likely that the 1920 report came from the simple assumption that our John of Plymouth was about the age of his wife Hannah Pontus at the time of their marriage.

However, in the 1990s several enterprising researchers expanded upon this by naming the fictional 1620 John as the son of a Reverend John R. Churchill and his wife Sarah. This reverend John really existed and was a prominent Anglican clergy who, over his career, became Rector of Steeple and then Stinsford parishes in Dorset.

Unfortunately for the submitters, the Reverend John Churchill was (and is) quite well documented. Original church registers have his children's baptisms. Also, his will and probate have survived to the present day. He had three daughters and NO Son. In short, there are no baptism records for a John Churchill born in 1620 to the Reverend John - only false made-up claims.

So far no records for a John Churchill born in Holland have been found. However, a birth record there would simply mean that a Churchill family lived in Holland in the period. Again, no such actual record is known.

The current thinking comes from DNA results. The American Plymouth Churchill's DNA signatures turn out to be similar to present day English Dorset (Wareham and Colliton) Churchills. However, the signatures indicate that the American Plymouth Churchills ARE NOT directly descended from Dorset Churchills. Based on their paper genealogies the Dorset Churchills originally came from Devon. Thus, we now suspect that the Plymouth Churchill's are directly from a 17th Century Devon family. Unfortunately, to date, we have not been able to locate a present day Devon Churchill from any of the Devon groupings. Hopefully one day we may find one.


  1. THE CHURCHILL FAMILY.; Wharton Dickinson Upsets a Blue Book Genealogy. 1912


  • The visitation of the county of Dorset, taken in the year 1623 by St. George, Henry
  • Pg.28
    • Churchill.
  • Will'm Churchell of Dorchest. in com. Dorset gent. = ch: Vertue (m. . . . . Hunton), John (m. Elino'r Miller), Grace (m. Joh. Wattes) Churchell.
    • Vertue vxr . . . . Hunton of Knoyle in com. Wilts.
    • Grace vxr Joh. Wattes of Dorchest.
    • John Churchell of Dorchest. Esq. = Elino'r da. of John Miller of Keyme in com. Dorset. ; ch: Mathew, Anne (m Lancelet Cooper), Edith, Jane, Sara, Geruas, Rich., John, Rob't, Maximilian, Jasper, Thomas, Will'm (m. Mary Yarde) Churchell
      • Mathew 9 sonne.
      • Anne vx. Lancelet Cooper of ffaringdon in com. Deuon.
      • Edith 2.
      • Jane 3.
      • Sarah 4.
      • Geruas 2.
      • Rich. 3.
      • John 4.
      • Rob't 5.
      • Maximilian 6.
      • Jasper 7.
      • Thomas 8.
      • Will'm Churchell of Muston in com. Dorset Esq. now liuinge 1623. = Mary da. of Geo. Yarde of Cherston fferrers in com. Devon. ; ch: Christian, John Churchell
        • Christian a da. ætat. 2 annor. 1623.
        • John Churchell sone and heyre ætat. 1 yeare annoru' (sic) 1623.


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Rev. John Churchill's Timeline

Muston, Dorset, England
Age 22
Stinford, Stinford, Dorchestershire, England
Age 25
Stinford, Stinford, Dorchestershire, England
Age 40
Stinford, Dorset, England
March 28, 1682
Age 79
Steeple, Dorset, England
March 28, 1682
Age 79
Steeple, Dorset, England, United Kingdom