Dea. William Douglas

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William Douglas, of New London

Birthdate: (72)
Birthplace: of, Northamptonshire , England
Death: July 25, 1682 (68-76)
New London, New London, Connecticut
Place of Burial: New London, New London, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of unknown father of William Douglas; Robert Douglas; unknown mother of William Douglas and Jean Douglas
Husband of Ann Douglas and Anne Mattle Douglass
Father of Ann Bishop; Robert Douglas, of New London; Elizabeth Chandler; Sarah Keeney and Deacon William Douglas, Jr.

Occupation: Deacon, Cooper
Managed by: Jonathan William Shea
Last Updated:

About Dea. William Douglas

Deacon William Douglas, Sr. cannot be the son of Robert Douglas of Pittendreich based on recent DNA testing.1

William Douglas, one of the Pilgrims, who came over to Plymouth with his wife and children, and who subsequently removed to New London CT.

From "Ancestors of Captain Richard Douglas of the Revolutionary Army."

First. William Douglas, died July 26. 1682. He was Ipswitch N. England, 1641, of Boston 1645, made Freeman of Massachusetts 1646, of N. London CT. Dec. 1659, He was born in 1610, his wife was about the same age, her maiden name was Ann Maltte - she was the daughter Thomas and sister of Robert Maltte of Berigstead in Northamptonshire, England - both of whom died before 1670, leaving property to which she was {...illegible text...} heir - Family tradition says he was buried near the large tree which was used as a place of interment by the first settlers of N. London, CT.

-per Colonial families of the United States of America Children of WILLIAM DOUGLAS and ANN MATTLE are:

  1. i. ANN3 DOUGLAS, b. 1637; d. 16 Sep 1691, Roxbury, MA; m. NATHANIEL GEARY
  2. ii. ROBERT DOUGLAS, b. 1639; d. 15 Jan 1715/1716, m. MARY HEMPSTEAD.
  3. iii. ELIZABETH DOUGLAS, b. August 26, 1641, Ipswich, MA; d. 23 Sep 1705, New London, CT; m JOHN CHANDLER, DEACON.
  4. iv. SARAH DOUGLAS, b. April 06, 1643; d. 4 Aug 1689; m JOHN KEENEY.
  5. v. WILLIAM DOUGLAS, DEACON, b. April 01, 1645, Boston, MA; d. March 09, 1723/24, New London, CT; m. ABIAH HOUGH.

brief biography

DEACON WILLIAM DOUGLAS, the immigrant ancestor, was b. 9th August, 1610,doubtless in Scotland ; m. probably about 1636, Ann MATTLE, dau. of Thomas MATTLE of Ringstead, England. In 1640, with his wife Ann and two children, Ann and Robert, William DOUGLAS went to New England. Tradition says that they landed at Cape Ann. They settled first in Gloucester, but removed within [p.1 88] the year to Boston, where he is first mentioned in the Boston records on 31st June, 1640 , when he was made a Freeman. Here moved shortly to Ipswich where he was entitled to a share of the public land, 28th February, 1641. There he remained for about four years,returning to Boston in 1645. He was a cooper by trade and on 1st May,1646, there is record of his purchasing from Walter MERRY and Thomas ANCHOR, a dwelling house, shop and land. Later he went to New London, Connecticut, and obtained considerable property through purchase and grants from the town. One of his farms was inherited by his son William and has remained in the hands of descendants for over two centuries. In 1662-1663 he was appointed one of the Appraisers of Property for the town of New London. The land for a new church was purchased from him and the graveyard still remains on that place. He and Mr. WILLERBY were appointed to deliver provisions to Commissary TRACY at Norwich during King Philip's War. His education for the times was liberal. He held many important offices in the town at different times. He was Deputy to the General Court in 1672 and once or twice later. In May, 1670, his wife, then sixty years old made a journey to Boston to establish her claim as heir to her father's property. She d. in New London in 1685 and William DOUGLAS himself d. there on 26th July, 1682



All direct male line Douglases who can trace by tried and true genealogical research to 1610 William are grouped in that table under the heading R1b Group Type 1: (R-U106). From an ancestor of William Douglas, 1610, New London. That means they all have or are predicted to have the U106 SNP mutation. No other participant, of all the Douglases who list Scottish ancestors, or any others for that matter, have that mutation. But thousands of other people of other surnames do have that mutation which says it first occured many years before 1610, like at least 2-3000 years. This says that William Douglas 1610 was not closely related to any other Douglas whose descendants have been tested--no others, whether or not they claim Scottish Ancestry, have the U106 mutation.

There are a few participants in that same table that claim descendancy from the Earls of Morton. I guarantee you that they are not related to our William 1610s Douglas, or whatever his surname evolved from, ancestors. Discovery by Betsey Howes of the surname in the same area of England, Northamptonshire, at the same time as William's wife lived there, is compelling evidence that our William was not the one baptized in Glasgow.


"DEA. WILLIAM1 DOUGLAS, was born in the year 1610, without

doubt in Scotland, though in what part of Scotland there is no

means of knowing. Had he been born in England, and been

acquainted with his wife from childhood, there would doubtless

have been some mention of the Douglases on the parish records

of Ringstead, the home of his wife and her family, the Mattles.

His father, whose name there is reason to believe was ROBERT

DOUGLAS, was born not far from 1588, and beyond this point no

effort has been able to penetrate, in this line. How and where

William Douglas became acquainted with his wife, Ann Mattle, is

unknown; but their marriage must have taken place at his parish

church, probably in 1636, when they were, each of them, 26

years old, as their daughter Ann was born in 1637.

Ann Mattle was the only daughter of Thomas Mattle, of

Ringstead,(*) Northamptonshire, England, where she was born in

1610, the year of her husband's birth. She had two brothers,

both older than she, Robert, born in Ringstead, Oct. 5, 1595,

and William, baptized at the parish church, April 6, 1599. Of

these, William appears to have died young, no mention being

made of him when the family estate was inherited by Ann; and

Robert, the eldest of the children, was unmarried or without

descendants at the time of his death, for Ann was the "next

heare." Robert and the father, Thomas, both died previous to

1670, the latter probably many years before, and their property

fell to Ann. It thus appears that Ann's descendants are the

only descendants of Thomas Mattle, who, judging by the birth of

his son Robert, was born as early as 1575, more than three

hundred years ago.

(*) There are several Ringsteads in England. Ringstead in

Northamptonshire, is a parish pleasantly situated in the

midst of a gently undulating, upland country, on the London

and Northwest Railway, 4 1/2 miles north-northeast of Higham

Ferrers, where there is a fine old church. The parish is now

united with Denford parish, the vicar residing at Thrapston.

William Douglas emigrated to New England with his wife and two

children, Ann and Robert, in 1640, though the exact time of

their arrival and the name of the ship which brought them are

unknown. The very common tradition is that the company landed

at Cape Ann.(+) William settled at Gloucester,Ø near by, but

removed to Boston that same year. The first mention of him on

the Boston records is under date of "The 31st of the 6th

moneth, 1640," [Aug. 31, 1640].

"William Douglas is allowed to be a townesman, he behaving

himselfe as becometh a Christian man."€

(+) "Cape Ann Lane," the first street settled in

New London, Conn.,

whither William subsequently removed, is said to

have received its

name from his owning land on it.

Ø See SAVAGE'S Genealogical Dictionary of New

England, p. 63.

Previous to 1752 the year began with the 25th of

March, that month

being reckoned as the first.

€ Boston Town Records, Vol. I, p. 45.

He did not, however, remain in Boston, but removed the next

year to Ipswich, where he was entitled to a share of the public

land, Feb. 28, 1641.(*) He remained at Ipswich some four years,

returning to Boston in 1645.

(*) Ipawich Records, Vol. I.

He followed the cooper's trade in Boston, and May 1, 1646,

purchased of Walter Merry and Thomas Anchor, "one dwelling

house in Boston, situate betweene the lotts of John Sweete and

John Seabury, to-gether with the shopp which was Thomas Anchors

and the ground thereunto belonging;"(+) also, March 12, 1647,

of Walter Merry, "one little house with the ouse late in the

tenure and occupation of John Newgrove, adjoining to the former

house and ground."(+)

(+) Book of Possessions, (compiled by order of the General

Court of April, 1684.) p. 148.

June 20, 1648, he sold "unto Henry Browne of Limehouse,

mariner, a parcell of land, part of his houselott in Boston,

containing fifty six perches, three quarters, of land, be the

same more or lesse; being in front at the sea thirty one foote,

and in fronte toward the streete fyve rod, three foote, or

thereabouts." In December, 1659, he purchased of William Hough,

of New London, Conn., "the house that was Robert Isbell's in

New street." Soon after, in 1660, he removed with his wife and

three of his children, Robert, Sarah and William, to New

London. That same year he purchased "a house on the so. side of

meeting-house hill." A tract of land "by the waterside, on the

bank so. of Mr. Raymond's" was also granted him by the town. He

had besides, two farms, both granted him in remuneration of

services to the town; the first, in 1660, consisting of 60

acres, and described as being "three miles or more west of the

town plot, with a brook running through it."

This farm was inherited by his second son, William, and has

remained in the family, in the direct line of his male

descendants, for over two centuries. Miss Caulkins, the

historian, speaking of the house in 1865 says: "The house is

very ancient, and a part of it, which has heavy timbers

overhead and is propped with rude posts in the area, probably

belongs to the first dwelling built upon the spot, which was

before 1670."

In the winter of 1662-3, William Douglas and Cary Latham were

appointed appraisers of property for the town of New London.

They duly made their appraisal, which was delivered to the

General Court at Hartford. But, for some reason, the court was

not satisfied with the result, and

"At a Gen" Assembly held at

Hartford, March 11, 16 6/6 2/3. "This Court hauing duly

considered the valuation of ye estate of N: London, apprized by

Cary Latham and William Douglas, doe judge, that they haue not

attended any rule of Righteousness in their worke, but haue

acted very corruptly therein, and therefore doe order the

Treasurer that he send forth his Warrant to ye Constable of N:

London, to Levy Four pounds vpon ye estate of Cary Latham, and

Two pounds vpon Mr. Douglas his estate, as a fine for their

corrupt and deceatful acting therein."(*)

(*) TRUMBULL'S Colonial Records of Conn., Vol. I., p. 392.

At this proceeding, which was altogether too severe, the town

was indignant; and, at a Town Meeting held March 31, it was

resolved that,

"Whereas Cary Latham and Mr Douglas are by the Court fined for

not fully presenting the town list anno 1662, the town see

cause to petition the court as a grievance, not finding wherein

they have failed, except in some few houses."(+)

(+) New London Rec.

The remonstrance had the desired effect, and

"At a Gen" Assembly of

Electors held at Hartford, May 14, 1663. "This Court remits

Cary Latham and Mr. Douglas fine, wch was imposed upon them by

the Court in March, for there transgressions in making their


Ø Col. Rec. of Conn., Vol. L, p. 405.

In 1665, the church at New London began to feel some

uneasiness in regard to their minister's views. In 1661, the

Rev. Gershom Bulkeley (so written by himself) had succeeded the

Rev. Richard Blinman as preacher. When he came, he entered into

a covenant, as Miss Caulkins says, "to become minister of the

town on a salary of oe80 for three years, and afterwards more,

if the people found themselves able to give it." Feb. 25,

1664-5, their uneasiness had increased, but the town voted that

"they were willing to leave Mr. Bulkley to the libertye of his

conscience without compelling him or enforcing him to anything

in the execution of his place and office contrarye to his light

according to the laws of the commonwealth."

June 10, 1665.--"The Towne understanding Mr. Buckleys

intention to goe into the Bay have sent James Morgan and Mr

Douglas to desire him to stay untill seacond day com

seaventnight wich day the Towne have agreed to ask againe Mr

Fitch to speake with him in order to know Mr Buckleys mynde

fullye whether he will continue with us or no to preach the


The application was unsuccessful; and Oct. 9, another town

meeting was held, in which "Mr Douglas by a full voate none

manifesting themselves to the contrary was chosen to goe to Mr

Wilson and Mr Eliott to desire there advise and help for the

procurinage of a minister." Nov. 24,--"a town meeting

concerning what Mr Douglas hath done about a minister" was

held, and they decided to extend a call to the Rev. Simon

Bradstreet, of Boston. In consideration of his journey to

Boston for a minister, twenty acres were added by the town to

Mr. Douglas's farm.

Mr. Bulkeley now stood in debt to the town for his year's

salary, paid in advance; and Jan. 12, 1666, "Mr Douglas and

goodman Hough are voted by ye Towne to demand the 80 pound of

Mr Buckley which he stands ingaged to pay to ye towne." It was

not, however, till after repeated dunning, and Mr. Bulkeley had

mortgaged his house, that he paid back his salary.

Mr. Bradstreet arrived early in the year, and the town

purchased of Mr. Douglas, a house and lot for the new minister,

until they should build a parsonage. June 1, it was "Voted by

the towne that the house now agreed upon to be built for the

ministry and also the house and land bought of Mr Douglas

together with ye land which hath hitherto been reserved for the

ministry both to us and our succeeding generations never to be

sold or alienated to any vse forever." To this day the land is

occupied by the old first burial ground of New London, and

there repose the ashes of the good old deacon.

He was always active in the church economy. There appears upon

the records under date of Aug. 15, 1667, while he was town

clerk:--"Myselfe chosen to hold the box for contributions and

this to be propounded to Mr Bradstreet to have his advise

therein. William Nichols is also chosen for that worke." Mr.

Douglas was chosen one of the first two deacons of the church

in 1670.

Dec. 9, 1667, another farm of one hundred acres was granted

him "towards the head of the brook Jordan about four miles from

town," on the northeast side of the swamp called "Cranberry

Meadow." Across the farm ran the Indian path from Mohegan to

Nayhantic. It was inherited by his oldest son, Robert, and

this, too, is still in possession of the family in the direct

line of male descendants.

At the breaking out of King Phillip's war in 1675, the

colonists took active measures for their safety. A General

Council was convened at Hartford. At a meeting of this council,

May 19, 1676,--

"This Councill doe appoynt and fully impower Mr Daniel

Witherell and Mr William Douglas of New London to be

Commissarys to the army at that place or elcewhere as they

shall be appointed, to see to the provisions, arms, ammunition

and other such things as shall be needfull for the warr, and to

provide what shall be wanting and dispose of such things as are

committed to them or either of them, according to such orders

as shall be giuen them, and the duty of that place in all

respects: and what either of them shall doe in attendance of

that duty shall be held as good, whether it be for impressing

or quartering or any other thing within the compass of that

office; and they are to keep true accompts of all their

transactions, and to render their accompts, or any estate of

the country's in their custody, to such as shall be impowered

to require and receive the same."

June 21,--"The Councill ordered that Mr Willerby and Mr

Dowglass send to Norwich to be deliuerede to Commissary Tracey

seven hundred of bread, a barrell of porck, ten bushells of

pease and fifty bush: of Indian corn, and the powder and

bullits in their hands and fifty pounds of tobaccoe; and in

case Capt. Denison send for any Indian corn, what he sends for

is to be abatted out of the fifty bushells of corn they are to

send to Norwich, all of which is to be at Norwich Munday night


As may be seen from the foregoing and from the frequent

mention of his name on the records of the town, Dea. Douglas

was one of the most prominent members of the flourishing

community of New London. His education, for those times, was

liberal. He was consulted on all occasions of embarrassment or

danger, and manifested a lively interest in the welfare of his

town. He was one of the townsmen in 1663, 1666 and 1667,

recorder and moderator in 1667 and 1668, sealer and packer in

1673 and 1674, and on various important committees from year to

year. He was chosen deputy to the General Court at Hartford in

1672, and once or twice later. He continued to take an active

part in the affairs of the church and town till the time of his

death. The Rev. Simon Bradstreet, in his diary, which is still

preserved,(*) says:--

"1682 July 26, Mr William Douglas one of ye Deacons of this

Church dyed in ye 72 year of his age. He was an able christian

& this poor chh will mvch want him."

(*) The original MS. journal of Mr. Bradstreet is in

possession of Henry

Stearns, Esq., of Springfield.

In May, 1670, Mrs. Douglas made a journey to Boston and

appeared before Gov. Bellingham in order to establish her claim

to an inheritance which had fallen to her in the old country.+

James Johnson and the widow Elizabeth Meares, then of Boston,

but formerly of Little Broughton, Northamptonshire, testified

that they had known her and her family in England, and that she

was the daughter of Thomas, and sister of Robert Mattle, of

Ringstead. But father and brother were now dead, and

+ A copy of her deposition is on file in New London, and is

printed in

the Appendix to this volume

Ann was proved to be legal heir to both. She was at this time

60 years of age, and was, consequently, born in 1610. She must

have been possessed of great energy and endurance, to have

performed, at her advanced age, the journey from New London to

Boston and back, when the conveniences for traveling were

extremely limited. Mrs. Douglas died at New London about 1685.

They had but five children as far as known.

2. i. ANN2, b. in Scotland(*) in 1637; m. Nathaniel


3. ii. ROBERT2, b. in Scotland(*) in 1639; m. Mary


4. iii. ELIZABETH2, b. in Ipswich, Mass., Aug. 26,

1641; m. Dea. John


5. iv. SARAH2, b. in Ipswich, Mass., April 8, 1643;

m. John Keeney.

6. v. WILLIAM2, b. in Boston, Mass., April 1, 1645;

m. 1st, Abiah

Hough, 2d, Mrs. Mary Bushnell. "


view all 18

Dea. William Douglas's Timeline

Northamptonshire , England

ON THE BASIS OF FARMER'S REGISTER. BY JAMES SAVAGE Originally Published Boston, 1860-1862 (Vol 2)

September 8, 1611
Age 1
Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland
Age 27

ON THE BASIS OF FARMER'S REGISTER. BY JAMES SAVAGE Originally Published Boston, 1860-1862 (Vol 2)

Age 29
New London, New London, Connecticut

ON THE BASIS OF FARMER'S REGISTER. BY JAMES SAVAGE Originally Published Boston, 1860-1862 (Vol 2)

August 26, 1641
Age 31
Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts, Colonial America

ON THE BASIS OF FARMER'S REGISTER. BY JAMES SAVAGE Originally Published Boston, 1860-1862 (Vol 2)

April 8, 1643
Age 33
Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts

ON THE BASIS OF FARMER'S REGISTER. BY JAMES SAVAGE Originally Published Boston, 1860-1862 (Vol 2)

April 1, 1645
Age 35
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony

ON THE BASIS OF FARMER'S REGISTER. BY JAMES SAVAGE Originally Published Boston, 1860-1862 (Vol 2)

Pg. 143 of The Pioneers of Massachusetts