Richard Williams, Immigrant

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Richard Williams

Birthplace: St. Mary, Wotton Under Edge, Gloucestershire, England (United Kingdom)
Death: February 11, 1693 (82-90)
Taunton, Bristol County, Province of Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Neck O Land Cemetery Taunton Bristol County Massachusetts, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of William Williams and Jane Williams
Husband of Frances Williams
Father of John Williams, II; Elizabeth Williams; Samuel Williams; Nathaniel Williams; Joseph Williams, Sr. and 4 others
Brother of Ann (Anna) Hall; Elizabeth Williams; Jane Williams; John Williams; Roger Williams and 4 others

Occupation: tanner
Managed by: Peter Douglas Olson
Last Updated:

About Richard Williams, Immigrant

Richard Williams (immigrant)

Richard Williams was born on 26 Jan 1606/1607 in St. Mary, Wotten-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire, England. He died on 15 Sep 1693 in Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts. He was buried in 1693 in Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts. He was baptized on 28 Jan 1606/07 in Parish of St. Mary the Virgin, Wotten-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, England. He immigrated about 1636 from England to Dorchester, Massachusetts. He was employed as a tanner. He resided in 1632 in Parish of St. John, Gloucester City, England.

  • Richard married Francis (Deighton) DIGHTON daughter of John (Dighton) DEIGHTON on 11 Feb 1632/32 in Parish of Witcomb Magnor, Gloucester, England by Mr. Stubbs, teacher.

In the Genealogical Gleanings in England, Vol. I page 551, Lists, Richard Williams & Elizabeth Deighton Date Of Marriage: February 11, 1632 in the Parish of Witcombe Magna Gloucestershire England -


Richard Williams was born in Jan 1606 in Gloucester, England. He was christened on 28 Jan 1607 in Gloucester, England. He died on 15 Sep 1693 in Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts. He married Frances Dighton\Deighton on 6 Feb 1632 in Gloucester, England.

Was the original immigrant to the US. Was a tanner by trade. Baptismal record can still be seen in St. Mary the Virgin Church in Gloucester, England. (Page 584, Vol. 2 of "Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts" states he "was among the first purchasers of Taunton. He was a man of good abilities, was deputy to the General Court of Plymouth Colony from 1645 to 1665; selectman in 1666 and 1667. He was one of the proprietors of "New Purchase," now Dighton. He was a member and deacon of the First Church.

He died in the year 1693, aged eighty-seven years. The children born to Richard and his wife Frances (Dighton)--the eldest two being born while the parents were living in Gloucester, in the parish of Whitcombe Magna, and both of whom died when young--were:


  • 1 - John was baptized March 27, 1634. Died 1636.
  • 2 - Elizabeth was baptized Feb. 7, 1635-36. Died young.
  • 3 - Samuel, born 1638 Dorchester, MA. Died Aug 1697 Taunton, MA. Married Mary (Jane) Gilbert.
  • 4 - Nathaniel Williams, born Nov 17, 1639, Taunton, MA. Died August 16, 1692, Taunton, MA. Married
  • 5 - Joseph Williams, born 1642, Taunton, MA. Died August 27, 1692, Taunton, MA. Married
  • 6 - Thomas Williams, born 1645.
  • 7 - Elizabeth Williams, born 1647, Taunton, MA. Died Oct 20, 1724, Dorchester, MA.
  • 8 - Hannah Williams, born 1649.
  • 9 - Benjamin Williams, born 1651, Taunton, MA. Died July 1701.


From The genealogy and history of the family of Williams in America: more ... By Stephen West Williams (Google Books) -


"Richard Williams came to this country from Glamorganshire, England, in 1632, and settled soon after at Taunton, Bristol county, Massachusetts. It is believed that the first Englishmen who traversed the soil of the ancient town of Taunton, (called by the Indians Cohannet,) were Edward Winslow and Stephen Hopkins, in their visit to Massasoit, in July, 1621. They found it depopulated and desolate; the ravages of the great plague was every where discernable. At Fetiquet and Namasket there were Indian villages. The territory of Taunton proper (which formerly included within its limits the towns of Berkley and Raynham) were claimed by the sachem of Fetiquet. In this territory there were no Indian settlements except in a small part of Raynham. It appears, however, that the country bordering on the river had been thickly populated on the land on both sides for considerable distance. When first visited many of the remains of the natives were discovered unburied. At the head of the list of the purchasers of Taunton, stands the name of Henry Uxley; who he was, does not appear. His house and lot was sold to Richard Williams, who may in some measure be considered the father of Taunton, as he was in the place before the purchase of Miss Pool. Mr. Williams was a Welshman, and it is not improbable that he was a relation of Roger Williams. A tradition has always existed among his descendants, that he was related by blood to Oliver Cromwell, (which name was changed from an estate,) and one of Cromwell's ancestors bore the name of Williams. (Rural Repository, 1846.)"

Ancestry of Richard Williams and Francis Deighton

Previous historians and genealogists have shown royal descent for the Richard Williams family, either through Richard Williams or his wife Frances Deighton, who is traced to Charlemagne by the medieval historian von Redlich, (NEHG 97:342-343). In his "Descent of General Douglas McArthur." von Redlich produced an ancestry chart leading from Richard and Frances to "Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Emperor of the West, born 2, Apr 747, died 28 Jan. 814; married in 771 the Swabian Princess Hildegard, died 30 Apr. 783."

The line continues with

  1. Pepin, King of Italy,
  2. Bernard, King of Italy,
  3. Pepin, Count of Senlis,
  4. Herbert I, Count of Vermandois,
  5. Herbert II,
  6. Albert 1,
  7. Herbert III,
  8. Otho,
  9. Herbert IV,
  10. dau. Adelaide (Adelheid), who m. Hugh, the Great, Duke of France and Burgundy, son of Henry I, King of France, by Anne, dau. of Yaroslav I, Grand Prince of Kiev;
  11. Isabel de Vermandois who m. 2nd William de Warenne, second Earl of Surrey,
  12. Gundred de Warenne w. m. Roger de Newburgh, second Earl of Warwick;
  13. Waleran de Newburgh,
  14. Alice de Newburgh, w. m. William, Baron Mauduit,
  15. Isabel de Mauduit, who m. William, fifth Baron Beauchamp of Elmley Castle;
  16. Walter de Beauchamp, Steward of the Household of Edward I, King of England;
  17. Giles de Beauchamp,
  18. John de Beauchamp,
  19. Sir William de Beauchamp,
  20. Sir John de Beauchamp, Lord Treasurer of England;
  21. Sir Richard de Beauchamp,
  22. Anne de Beauchamp.
* (See family tree for the more recent lines that lead to Richard and Frances Williams). Richard Williams is Charlemagne's 21st grandson. Born- Glamorganshire, England   Married  Gloucesterhire,England-  , Williams Family

Richard Williams of Taunton, MA, was baptized in the parish of St. Mary the Virgin in Wotton-Under-Edge, Gloucester, England in 1607 and died in Taunton, Massachusetts August 1693. Married Frances Deighton, sometimes spelled "Dighton". Richard and Frances Williams' descendants are linked in marriage with many well-documented early American families such as those of Captain John Gallup, Governor Thomas Dudley, John Woodbridge VI, Pilgrim Thomas Rogers, Pilgrim John Howland, Pilgrim Samuel Fuller (the son of Pilgrim Edward Fuller), Reverend John Lothrop, and Governor William Leete.

Richard was a tanner by trade. He was a man of good abilities, was deputy to the General Court of Plymouth Colony from 1645 to 1665; selectman in 1666 and 1667. It is not know exactly when Richard Williams came to New England, nor upon which vessel. The biographer Charles Williams believes him to have come about 1636/7, rather than in 1633, as Pope suggests. He came with his wife, Frances and two children, probably her two eldest sisters and their spouses. Richard and Frances settled soon in Taunton. He was among the original purchasers of the Teticut Purchase, The North Purchase and the South Purchase, now comprising collectively the towns of Taunton, Raynham Berkeley, Norton, Mansfield, Easton and Dighton, the last so named for his wife Francis. He was one of the original shareholders in the Iron Works of Taunton and received income from this venture until 1691. In 1693, his son Thomas directed that these moneys go to his Mother, Francis, these sums continuing until 1700. He, himself, was a tanner, as his son Joseph succeeds to this business after his death about 1692/3. He was called by Emery, the "Father of Taunton." He was a member and deacon of the First Church. He died in the year 1693, aged eighty-seven years. The children born to Richard and his wife Frances (Dighton) were: John (died England), Elizabeth (died England), Samuel, Nathaniel, Joseph, Thomas, Elizabeth, Hannah, and Benjamin.

Richard and Frances' children married children of other early settlers, e.g., children of John Rogers and Anna Churchman of Duxbury, Thomas Gilbert and Joan Rossiter of Taunton, George Macey and Susanna Street of Taunton, and Thomas Bird Sr and Ann ? of Dorchester. Samuel married Mary (Jane) Gilbert. Samuel married as his second wife Hannah (Anna) Rogers, daughter of John Rogers (her third marriage) late in life. Nathaniel married Elizabeth Rogers, daughter of John Rogers, granddaughter of Pilgrim Thomas Rogers. Joseph married Elizabeth Watson. Elizabeth married John Bird of Dorchester. Thomas married Mary Macey. Hannah married John Parmenter of Boston. Benjamin married Rebecca Macey, Mary's sister. See the Richard Williams Family project for more details. MASSACHUSETTS.

Immigration 1636/7


circa January 28, 1607  
Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, England  


February 11, 1693  (86) 
Taunton, Bristol County, Province of Massachusetts  

Richard Williams Memorial

Birth: Jan. 28, 1607 Wotton-under-Edge Stroud District Gloucestershire, England Death: Sep. 15, 1693 Taunton Bristol County Massachusetts, USA

Family links:

 Frances Deighton Williams (1611 - 1706)*
 Nathaniel Williams (1630 - 1692)*
 Joseph Williams (1640 - 1692)*
 Elizabeth Williams Bird (1647 - 1724)*
 Benjamin Williams (1651 - 1701)*
  • Calculated relationship

Burial: Neck O Land Cemetery Taunton Bristol County Massachusetts, USA

Created by: Anonymous Record added: Jun 30, 2005 Find A Grave Memorial# 11266104


Category: Original 46 Purchasers of Taunton Category: Taunton, Massachusetts Puritan Great Migration


Parentage; Date and Place of Birth ===Richard Williams, the son of William Williams and Jane (Woodward) Williams, was baptized in the parish church of St. Mary the Virgin, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, England.<ref name="Baptism"/><ref name="TAG10p24"/><ref name="TAG9p144"/><ref name="TauntHist81"/><ref name="RoyalAncestryIIp412"/><ref name="OurRoyals"/> His date of baptism has been variously published in secondary sources as January 28, 1606,<ref name="TauntHist81"/> January 28, 1607<ref name="TAG10p24"/><ref name="TAG9p144"/> or January 28, 1608.<ref name="RoyalAncestryIIp412"/><ref name="OurRoyals"/> Now that the image of the original parish register is readily viewable online at (excerpt attached as an image to this profile), it is apparentthat the correct date is in fact January 18, 1606/7, as the record islisted under baptisms for January 1606 (old-style calendar) and the date is clearly an 18 rather than a 28, based on both the fact that thefirst digit is more similar to the recorder's 1 than his 2 and the fact that it is listed above a record dated January 25.<ref name="Baptism"/>

Marriage ===William married Frances Deighton on February 11, 1632/3at Great Witcombe, Gloucestershire.<ref name="OurRoyals"/><ref name="RoyalAncestryIIp412"/><ref name="Marriage"/><ref name="TAG10p25"/> Their marriage was recorded as follows:: Richard Williams of the parishe of St. Johns in Gloucr and Frances Deighton of the parishe of St Nicholas in Gloucr Aforesayd, were marryed the xith day of February at Witcombe Magna, by Mr Stubbs [t]eacher 1632.<ref name="QuarterMillen163"/><ref name="Marriage"/><ref name="TAG10p25"/>

Immigration; Residency at Dorchester and Taunton ===Several sources say that Richard and his family immigrated to New England about 1636 or 1637.<ref name="RoyalAncestryIIp412"/><ref name="TAG10p25"/> It is unlikely that they arrived in 1636, however, as there is a record of the baptism of their son Samuel at St. Nicholas, Gloucester, England in February 1636/7.<ref name="SamuelBpt"/> His brothers-in-law John Lugg and Samuel Hagburne/Hackburne probably emigrated at about the same time.<ref name="TAG10p25"/>

Although Richard was one of the original 46 purchasers in 1637 or 1638of land that became Taunton, Plymouth Colony,<ref name="TauntHist28-9"/><ref name="QuarterMillen114"/><ref name="TAG10p25"/> he also purchased land in Dorchester, Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637.<ref name="QuarterMillen114"/> It appears that Richard and Frances initially lived in Dorchester for a few years, as they are listed as having been members of the First Church of Dorchester prior to 1639.<ref name="DorchesterChurch4"/><ref name="TauntHist83"/> They probably moved to Taunton by 1639.<ref name="QuarterMillen114"/><ref name="TauntHist83"/> The proposition that Richard Williams of Taunton was the same person as the Richard Williams who was baptized in Wotton-under-Edge is confirmed by a 1646 power of attorney that "Richard Williams of Taunton in N.E.: Tanner sonne of Wm Williams late of wooten under edge ffuller deceased" made in favor of his brother Samuel Williams of Essignton in Gloucester for the sale of his right in a tuck mill and certain lands.<ref name="TAG10p25"/>


Richard and Frances ahad the following children:# John, bpt. March 27, 1634 at St. Nicholas, Gloucester, England,<ref name="JohnBpt"/><ref name="QuarterMillen163"/><ref name="TAG10p28"/> d. young<ref name="TAG10p28"/># Elizabeth, bpt. February 7, 1635/6 at St. Nicholas, Gloucester, England,<ref name="Elizabeth1Bpt"/><ref name="QuarterMillen163"/><ref name="TAG10p28"/> d. February 15, 1635/6 at Gloucester, England<ref name="Elizabeth1Bpt"/># Samuel, bpt. February 2, 1636/7 at St. Nicholas, Gloucester, England,<ref name="SamuelBpt"/> m. Jane Gilbert,<ref name="TAG10p28"/> d. August 1697 at Taunton<ref name="MayFams"/># Nathaniel, b. November 17, 1639 at Taunton,<ref name="MayFams"/> bpt. February 7, 1641,<ref name="TAG10p29"/> m. November 17, 1668 Elizabeth Rogers in Taunton,<ref name="TAG10p29"/> d. August 16, 1692 at Taunton<ref name="MayFams"/># Joseph, b. about 1643 at Taunton,<ref name="TAG10p29"/> m. November 28, 1667 Elizabeth Watson in Taunton,<ref name="TAG10p29"/> d. August 17, 1692 at Taunton<ref name="MayFams"/># Thomas, b. about 1645 at Taunton,<ref name="MayFams"/><ref name="TAG10p29"/> m. Mary _____,<ref name="TAG10p29"/> d.1706at Taunton<ref name="MayFams"/># Elizabeth, b. about 1647 at Taunton,<ref name="MayFams"/><ref name="TAG10p29"/> m. John Bird,<ref name="TAG10p29"/> d. October 20, 1724 at Dorchester, Province of Masschusetts Bay<ref name="NEHGR5p257"/><ref name="MayFams"/># Hannah, b. about 1649-50 at Taunton,<ref name="MayFams"/><ref name="TAG10p29"/> m. John Parmenter,<ref name="TAG10p29"/>d. August 12, 1683 at Taunton<ref name="MayFams"/># Benjamin, b. June 1652 at Taunton,<ref name="MayFams"/><ref name="TAG10p29"/> m. March 12, 1689/90 Rebecca Macy in Taunton,<ref name="TAG10p29"/> d. July 1701 at Taunton<ref name="MayFams"/>

Public Life ===Richard was a tanner by trade, as established by (1) the 1646 power ofattorney referenced above in which he described himself as "Richard Williams of Taunton in N.E.: Tanner"<ref name="TAG10p25"/> and (2) a 1699 deed which refers to "Richard Williams, late of Taunton, Tanner."<ref name="TauntHist738"/> He was also one of the original investors in the Taunton Iron Works.<ref name="QuarterMillen41"/>

Richard was prominent in Taunton town affairs. He served as a deputy to the General Court of the Plymouth Colony 10 times from 1643 to 1665<ref name="TauntHist573"/> and as a selectman 19 times from 1645 to 1677.<ref name="TauntHist571"/> He was for many years a deacon of the church.<ref name="TauntHist83"/>

Will; Death ===Richard made his will on May 5, 1686. In his will, he made bequests tosons Samuel, Nathaniel, Joseph, Thomas and Benjamin, daughters Elizabeth and Hannah, and wife Frances and appointed his sons as joint executors.<ref name="Will"/><ref name="TAG10p26"/> The inventory of Richard's estate was filed on September 15, 1693,<ref name="Inventory"/><ref name="TAG10p28"/> which means that Richard probably died shortly before that date. Richardsons' "Royal Ancestry" states that he died in August 1693,<ref name="RoyalAncestryIIp412"/> which seems reasonable but it is unclear what source that specific date was based on. Richard's will was proved October 11, 1693.<ref name="Will"/><ref name="TAG10p28"/>


<references/> See also:* "Richard Williams (immigrant),* Frost, Josephine C. Ancestors of Amyntas Shaw and His Wife Lucy Tufts Williams (Not Published, 1920) Page 17

view all 15

Richard Williams, Immigrant's Timeline

January 28, 1606
Parish of St. Mary the Virgin, Wotton-Under-Edge
January 28, 1607
St. Mary, Wotton Under Edge, Gloucestershire, England (United Kingdom)
January 28, 1607
Parish of St. Mary the Virgin, Wolton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, England
March 1634
Wooten-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire, England (United Kingdom)
February 7, 1635
Wotten-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire, England (United Kingdom)
Taunton, Plymouth Colony
November 17, 1639
Taunton, (Present Bristol County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts), (Present USA)
February 7, 1641
Taunton, (Present Bristol County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts), (Present USA)
Taunton, MA, United States