William Barsham of Watertown

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William Barsham

Also Known As: "William Burcham", "William Bossom", "William Bosson"
Birthdate: (74)
Birthplace: Colchester, Essex, England
Death: Died in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of William Barsham and Ann Yelverton
Husband of Annabella Barsham
Father of John Barsham; Hannah Spring; Joshua Barsham; Susanna Capen; Capt. Nathaniel Barsham and 4 others

Occupation: Carpenter
Managed by: Marilyn Jeanne Haslem
Last Updated:

About William Barsham of Watertown

About William Barsham

Came in The Winthrop Fleet in 1630, likely on the Mary and John. Probably married about 1635. Made Freeman on 9 March 1636/37. Wrote codicil to original will on 15 April 1684. Will of Wm. Barsham 28 Aug 1683, sworn 29 Aug, codicil 15 Apr 1684, gives only money or moveables to his sons and 4 of his 6 daus. His only remaining pieces of land he gave to 2 daus: Rebecca Winship and Eliz. Barsham. They were to share 4 acres of meadow, and then each was given a farm, Rebecca's with 73 acres and Eliz's with 64. Will incl. descr. of these farms with acreage and abuttors. Farm of Rebecca was one orig. granted to William (#56), and Eliz. got farm orig. granted to John Smith Sr. (#97). Conclusion inescapable that Wm. Barsham succeeded to homestall and farm of the John Smith Sr., and that this happened in late 1645 or early 1646.

Will of William Barsham

In his will, dated 28 August 1683 (with codicil of 15 April 1684) and proved 29 August 1684, William Barsham bequeathed to son John a two-year old heifer and the "vantage" [increase], four ewe sheep and £5 in silver; to "William Barsham the son of my son John Barsham" twenty shillings in silver; to son "Joshuah Barsham" twenty shillings in silver and "my good musket"; to son "Nathaniall Barsham ... all my working tools and my furnace kettle"; to daughter "Hanna Spring" a cow, four ewe sheep, £3 in silver and "my bible"; to daughter "Susanna Capen" a cow, four ewe sheep, £3 in money and "my joined chair"; to daughter "Sarah Browne" a cow, four ewe sheep, £3 in silver and "my great armed chair"; to daughter "Mara Bright" a pair of oxen, four ewe sheep, £3 in silver and a great armed chair; to daughter "Rebecka Winship ... my farm of seventy-two acres"; to daughter Elizabeth Barsham "my farm of sixty-four acres"; to last two daughters, Rebecca Winship and Elizabeth Barsham, four acres in Thatcher's Meadow and all household stuff not previously mentioned to be divided between them; in a codicil of 15 April 1684 he bequeathed to "my daughters Hannah Spring, Susanna Capen, Sarah Browne, Mary Bright and my son John Barsham to each of them twenty shillings apiece."

A William Barsham also appears from Watertown, Mass Colony in Weathersfield, CT records in 1634. Another birth year seen as 1588.


WARNING: Some show this William who m. Anne Yelverton immigrated and died in Massachusetts. We have seen no real evidence for this. LDS Ancestral files can be notoriously inaccurate and apparently are in this case. Many show this couple as the parents of the immigrant William Barsham of Watertown. Again, this is apparently bogus.

Researcher James C. Barton has identified a book, which may be the source of the misinformation, that shows this William Barsham as the son of William Barsham who m. Ann Yelverton tited, "Samuel Richardson (1602-1658) and Josiah Ellsworth (1629-1689) Some Descendants" compiled by Ruth Ellsworth Richardson. Ms. Richardson has no documentation for the claim. As Barton says, "No references, sources, or authorities are shown... Regarding this, the NEGHS wrote to me in answer to my specific question as follows: "It didn't take very long to establish that the book makes no documented and reasonably reliable case. In fact, it makes no case at all. It simply makes the statement; the relevant pages are enclosed. The book lists some five pages of research sources, essentially a bibliography, but there are no footnotes, and only a few source attributions."

Furthermore, The Great Migration Begins, by Robert Charles Anderson, a highly respected source, says Barsham's origins are unknown.

Barton notes "It strikes me as amazing that people like Anderson (Great Migration), Faris (Plantagenet Ancestry), and Richardson (Magna Carta Ancestry), all in the past several years, were not able to find the connection to Watertown that Ruth Ellsworth Richardson found over 30 years ago. One might reasonably conclude there is no known record of any such connection."


Genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of ..., Volume 3 edited by William Richard Cutter

The old colonial Bossons are of BOSSON French Huguenot extraction. and became seated on the Isle of Jersey at the time of the expulsion. From thence the immigrant ancestor came to New England some time before 1630 and settled in the plantation at Salem. There are various traditions relating to the antiquity of the family, the origin of the surname, and also of the high position and honorable deeds of various persons who bore the patronymic in European countries. The ancient records confirm the traditions in all essential respects, and as evidence of the social position of the familv in times anterior to the immigration we may note the arms: "per pale gu. and ar., a chief or." and the crest: "a garn in fesse" which was worn by the ancestors of the immigrant William, and even afterward, when he sat down in Watertown in New England.

fI) William Bosson came over some time before 1630, in company with his son William, and was first of Salem and later of Watertown. 1636. His name appears as Basson and Barsham. as well as Bosson. He served at a coroner's inquisition in 1630, selectman in 1653 and also as sealer of weights and measures: bought lands in Watertown in 1646-7.

The baptismal name of his wife was Annabel, but her family name is unknown. He died July 3. 1684. Children: 1. William. 2. John, born December 8, 1635. 3. Hannah, January 7. 1637-8. 4. Joshua. March 16. 1641. 5. Susan, January 28, 1641-2. 6. Nathaniel. 1644. 7. Sarah. 8. Mary, June 24, 1648. 9. Rebecca, December 12, 1657. 10. Elizabeth, July 29, 1659.

WIKIPEDIA: The Winthrop Fleet was a group of eleven sailing ships under the leadership of John Winthrop that carried approximately 700 Puritans plus livestock and provisions from England to New England over the summer of 1630.

The Puritan population in England had been growing for many years leading up to this time. They disagreed with the practices of the Church of England ... The King's imposition of Personal Rule gave many Puritans a sense of hopelessness regarding their future in that country, and many prepared to leave it permanently for life in New England.

Motivated by these political events, a wealthy group of leaders obtained a Royal Charter in March 1629 for a colony at Massachusetts Bay.[2]

A fleet of five ships departed within the month for New England that included approximately 300 colonists, led by Francis Higginson.[3] However, the colony leaders and the bulk of the colonists remained in England for the time being, to plan more thoroughly for the success of the new colony. Later that year, the group who remained in England elected John Winthrop to be Governor of the Fleet and the Colony. Over the ensuing winter, the leaders recruited a large group of Puritan families, representing all manner of skilled labor, to ensure a robust colony.

Winthrop's Journal gives lists the eleven ships that were in his fleet.


  1. History of the Military Company of the Massachusetts, Now Called the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts" (Vol. 1) by Oliver Ayer Roberts. "William Burcham (1644)"


  1. 68. Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, Kimball Everingham, Genealogical Publishing Co.


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William Barsham of Watertown's Timeline

Colchester, Essex, England
December 8, 1635
Age 25
Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA
January 7, 1637
Age 27
Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA
January 15, 1640
Age 30
Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts
January 28, 1641
Age 31
Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA
Age 34
Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Age 36
Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts
June 24, 1648
Age 38
Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts
October 12, 1657
Age 47
Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States