William 'the Tailor' Gifford, of Sandwich

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William 'the Tailor' Gifford, of Sandwich

Also Known As: "Ambrose", "of Sandwich"
Birthdate: (72)
Birthplace: England
Death: December 21, 1687 (68-76)
Sandwich, Cape Cod, Plymouth Colony
Immediate Family:

Son of unknown father of William Gifford and unknown mother of William Gifford
Husband of 1st wife of William Gifford and Mary Gifford
Father of Annaniah Gifford; John Gifford; Christopher Gifford; Robert Gifford; James Gifford and 2 others

Occupation: Tailor
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William 'the Tailor' Gifford, of Sandwich

William Gifford was probably born around 1615. He immigrated to New England after 1643, and settled in Stanford, Fairfield County, Connecticut. He was ordered whipped and banished from Connecticut in 1647, and went to Sandwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts. His first wife has not been identified, but his second wife was Mary Mills, whom he married on 16 July 1683, at Sandwich. William Gifford died 21 December 1687 at Sandwich, Barnstable County, Massachusetts at approximately 72 years of age. Most of the Giffords in the United States are descended from him.

Marriages and Children

William Gifford was married to at least one as-yet-unidentified woman, probably in England prior to emigration. He had seven children with this first wife. Much later in life he married Mary Mills (1660 - 1734) in 1683 and had two sons. His daughter Mary is often erroneously listed as the daughter of his second wife, Mary Mills; however she was most likely a child of his earlier marriage.

  1. Unknown Wife
    1. John Gifford (d. 1708 Sandwich, Massachusetts) married Elishua Crow
      1. Elizabeth Gifford (25 February 1665/6 - 19 October 1701) married Israel Tupper
      2. Samuel Gifford (12 March 1666/7 - 24 April 1738 Sandwich, Massachusetts) married Jane Loring 2 November 1699
      3. John Gifford (12 June 1668 - 1750 Rochester, Massachusetts) married Desire Sprague 24 November 1696
      4. Mary Gifford (born 9 October 1669) married Robert Ransom
      5. Grace Gifford (born 17 August 1671) married Gideon Hoxie
      6. William Gifford (7 May 1673 - 1733 Falmouth, Massachusetts) married (1) Elizabeth Wheaten 13 March 1701/2; (2) Experience (Bowerman) Claghorn 7 November 1726
      7. Yelverton Gifford (22 April 1676 - 31 March 1772 North Kingstown, Rhode Island) married 28 February 1714 Ann Northrup
      8. Josiah Gifford (born 17 February 1681) married Mercy Chadwick 11 March 1714/5
    2. Hannaniah Gifford (died c.1709 Manasquan, Shrewsbury Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey); married Elizabeth (see http://members.cox.net/swarling/gifford/monmouth0001.htm)
      1. William Gifford (died 1723 Shrewsbury Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey); married (1) Margaret Parker; (2) Sarah
      2. Joseph Gifford; married Hope
      3. John Gifford, probably married Mary Cammack
    3. William Gifford (c.1653 - 1739 Falmouth, Massachusetts); married (1) unknown; (2) Lydia Hatch 21 June 1711
      1. Gideon Gifford (born 6 October 1676); married Mehitable Jenney
      2. Gershom Gifford (born 10 June 1679); married Deborah Bowerman 11 August 1704
      3. Seth Gifford (17 March 1681 - after 1745); married Johanna
      4. Experience Gifford (born 7 October 1685); married John Wing 23 May 1710
      5. Jabez Gifford (7 February 1686/7 - 1761 Dutchess County, New York); married Dinah Sheldon November 1716 (Jamestown, Rhode Island
      6. Mehitable Gifford (7 July 1689 - 18 January 1782 Dartmouth, Massachusetts); married Samuel Willis 24 March 1712/3
      7. Justice Gifford (12 October 1691 - March 1739 Falmouth, Massachusetts); married Ruth Gifford 4 January 1715/6
      8. Mary Gifford (25 May 1694 - 28 April 1731 Bridgewater, Massachusetts); married Isaac Willis 6 April 1724
      9. Hannah Gifford (born 24 October 1696); married Obediah Butler 14 September 1732
      10. William Gifford (16 February 1699 - 5 Dec.ember 1789); married Mary Swift 3 August 1727
      11. Temperance Gifford (born 17 December 1701)
      12. Amy Gifford (born 5 August 1713); married Humphrey Harrison 25 October 1733
      13. Silas Gifford (30 June 1715 - 1761 Falmouth, Massachusetts); married Elizabeth Weeks 1 March 1738/9
      14. Nathan Gifford (born 25 January 1717 - November 1798 Falmouth, Massachusetts); married Mercy (Robinson) Weeks 29 September 1740
      15. Melatiah Gifford (4 May 1719 - 1783 Falmouth, Massachusetts); married (1) Hannah Claghorn 10 February 1737/8; (2) Sarah Bowerman 7 December 1743
      16. Sarah Gifford (born 17 September 1725), married Ichabod Perry
      17. Joseph Gifford (28 July 1728 - 30 April 1775 Falmouth, Massachusetts); married Zerviah Robinson 19 December 1761
    4. Christopher Gifford (July 1658 - 22 November 1748 Little Compton, Rhode Island); married Mary Perry
      1. Meribah Gifford (31 October 1687 - 1732); married Nathaniel Soule 20 July 1708
      2. Christopher Gifford (5 May 1688 - 29 March 1689)
      3. Audry Gifford (born 17 September 1689) married Eliash Smith 8 April 1731
      4. Enos Gifford (1 February 1693/4 - May 1769 Little Compton, Rhode Island) married Phillis Allen
      5. Mary Gifford (born 6 October 1695), married Thomas Borden 3 August 1721
      6. Christopher Gifford (15 April 1698 - 1767 Dartmouth, Massachusetts) married Mary Borden 6 June 1721
      7. Deborah Gifford (born 2 February 1700), married Benjamin Wilbur 9 November 1724
    5. Robert Gifford (1660 - 1730 Dartmouth, Massachusetts), married (1) Sarah Wing; (2) Elizabeth
      1. Jeremiah Gifford (died 1771 Dartmouth, Massachusetts); married Mary Wright
      2. Mary Gifford (died January 1772 Dartmouth, Massachusetts); married Nathan Soule 12 June 1704
      3. Benjamin Gifford (died 1754 Dartmouth, Massachusetts); married Sarah Tompkins
      4. Stephen Gifford, married Mary
      5. Rebecca Gifford; married Jacob Soule 22 January 1709/10
      6. Timothy Gifford (died 1780 Dartmouth, Massachusetts); married Hannah Tompkins 18 April 1717
      7. Ann Gifford, married William Swan 26 June 1717 Newport, Rhode Island
      8. Lydia Gifford, married Nathaniel Soule
      9. Simeon Gifford (died 1749 Dartmouth, Massachusetts), married Susannah Jenkins 13 May 1725
    6. Patience Gifford (died 1673), married Richard Kirby 19 October 1665 Dartmouth, Massachusetts
      1. Temperence Kirby
      2. John Kirby
      3. Robert Kirby
      4. Experience Kirby
      5. Sarah Kirby
  2. Mary Mills (died 10 February 1734) married 16 July 1683
    1. Jonathan Gifford (14 May 1684 - 10 February 1734 Sandwich, Massachusetts) married Lydia Abbot 3 August 1708
      1. Maria Gifford (16 October 1709 - 21 December 1784 Hanover, Massachusetts) married Melatiah Dillingham 31 January 1734/5
      2. Peleg Gifford (14 August 1711 - July 1802 Conway, Massachusetts); married Abigail Shepherd 27 April 1743
      3. Rebecca Gifford (born 18 September 1713); married Daniel Wing
      4. Bethiah Gifford (born 1 July 1715); married Isaac Peckham 12 May 1737
      5. Silas Gifford (14 February 1716/7 - 27 August 1800 Dartmouth, Massachusetts); married Rhoda Gifford
      6. Hannah Gifford (born 10 May 1719); married Benjamin Hammond 24 March 1742/3
      7. Anne Gifford (born 4 August 1721)
    2. James Gifford (10 March 1685 - 20 October 1734 Sandwich, Massachusetts) married Deborah Lewis 30 March 1710
      1. Dinah Gifford (born 29 October 1712); married John Atkins 13 February 1728/9
      2. Remember Gifford (born 6 May 1714); married Noah Borden 27 June 1742
      3. Sarah Gifford (born 6 April 1716)
      4. James Gifford (8 October 1717 - 1752)
      5. Cornelius Gifford (9 February 1718/9 - 29 April 1808 Lee, Massachusetts); married Elizabeth Barlow 4 May 1741
      6. Silvanus Gifford (18 October 1720 - 8 February 1804 Lee, Massachusetts), married (1) Jeneverah Walker 28 July 1748; (2) Tabitha Dexter 2 December 1790
      7. Mary Gifford (born 7 June 1722); married Thomas Ashley
      8. Deborah Gifford (born 5 September 1724); married John Borden 22 December 1748
      9. George Gifford (born 30 May 1726)
      10. Thomas Gifford (28 April 1728 - after 1800); married Content Borden 22 December 1748
      11. Eleanor Gifford (born 27 March 1730); married William Chanter 4 December 1747

Biographical Sketch

William Gifford probably arrived in New England after 1643, as he does not appear on the list of those to bear arms that year. He first settled at Stamford, Connecticut, but was ordered whipped and banished in 1647. The first record for him in Massachusetts is among a list of debts due on the inventory of Joseph Holiway ‘of Sandwidg’ in December 1647. He served on the Grand Inquest 4 June 1650. He was one of four men (Thomas Tupper, Thomas Burges, Nathaniel Willis, and William Gifford) ordered to call a town meeting for the new Sandwich plantation (original deed dated 22 May 1651). The June 1658 list of holdings at Sandwich included William’s land.

William was a proprietor of lands at Sandwich, Barnstable County, Massachusetts. Although he suffered the persecutions visited upon the Quakers of that time, he prospered in material affairs and became a large landowner. In Bowden's "History of the Society of Friends in America," it is mentioned that two English Friends, named Christopher Holden and John Copeland, came to Sandwich on June 1657, and had a number of meetings. "Their arrival was hailed with feelings of satisfaction by many who had been long burdened with a lifeless ministry and dead forms in religion." William Gifford became a Quaker in 1658. Soon after, he was fined a number of times for not taking the oath of fidelity, and for "seditious utterances" against the King. In 1658, he was fined £10. There was also a distraint [a property seizure] upon his estate of £57, 19s. to satisfy fines imposed for his heterodoxy, as viewed by the authorities, viz., refusing to take oath, attending Quaker meetings, etc. The property taken to pay his fines consisted of 4 steers, 2 heifers, 1 bull, 3 cows, 5 young cattle and 1/2 of a horse and 1/2 swine.

It required only the slightest pretext to warrant the arrest of a Quaker and, despite his experiences in Connecticut, apparently William Gifford hadn't yet learned how to avoid trouble. Marshal George Barlow was one of the most active officers in arresting Quakers for "tumultuous carriage at Quaker meeting", refusing to take oaths, and harboring "strange Quakers". On 6 October 1659, the Marshal made complaint against William Gifford "for affronting him in the highway near a bridge over which he should have driven some cattle; yet forasmuch as William Gifford affirmeth that he was not directly in his way but in an old path leading to his house, the Court suspends the judgement for the present until the place be viewed and so the matter be made more evident." Despite the widespread dislike and suspicion of Quakers, sometimes even the all-too-willing judges had to suspend sentence, or release the prisoner with an admonition.

William Gifford owned land in Massachusetts (Sandwich, Falmouth and Dartmouth), Rhode Island and Connecticut. "Gifford genealogy, 1626-1896" includes a facsimile of deed for a 40-acre parcel purchased from a Suckanessett (Falmouth) Indian named Job Attukkoo on 24 July 1673.

Except for five years in New Jersey, William Gifford resided in Sandwich until his death. From 1665 to 1670, he joined with George Allen and the sons of Peter Gaunt, to found Monmouth, New Jersey. They purchased lands from the Indians and received the Monmouth Patent on 8 April 1665. In 1670 he moved back to Sandwich.

At the Sandwich Friends [Quakers] monthly meeting held at William Allen's house on 4 March 1683, William Gifford and Mary Mills stated their intention to marry. William was 68 years old. Mary was a 23-year-old "vagabond" "travelling" Quaker missionary. However, the next day William Gifford was fined '...for taking his wife without orderly marriage, forasmuch as there were many circumstances in the action that did alleviate the fault, is only fined fifty shillings, the Court abateing the fine in extent of it respecting the premises. 5 March 1683/4, Gov. Hinckley'. Many Quakers at this time were fined for "fornication" because Quaker wedding ceremonies weren't sanctioned by the civil authorities.

The actual marriage took place at the meeting of 16 May 1683 at William Allen's home in Sandwich, Plymouth Colony, the couple "having expressed their intentions at two meetings". Both signed the certificate (not by mark). There were thirty witnesses.

Will of William Gifford (c.1615 - 1687)

All to whom these presents shall, come know ye, that, I, William Gifford of the Town of Sandwich in New England, being weak in body but through the mercy of God have my understanding and memory continued unto me and having in my consideration the uncertainty of my continuance here in this world and being also willing and desirous to get in order my outward concerns and to dispose me;

Item: I do make this my last Will and Testament, herewith revoking and making void all other and former wills whatsoever, whence soever, besides what I have already given unto all my children, sons and daughters:

First: I now give unto my son John twenty shillings in silver money.

2nly: I now give unto my son Hannaniah ten shillings in silver money.

3 ly: I give unto my son William one stock of beese.

4 ly: I give unto my son Chistopher one oxe and one sow and a payer of sheep.

5 ly: I give unto my son Robert five pounds in current money to be paid of the date of my hand.

6 ly: I give unto my daughter Mary five pounds in current money to be paid in two years from the date of my hand.

7 ly: I give unto my granddaughter Temperence Kirby twenty shillings in silver money.

8 ly: I give unto my two grandsons John and Robert Kirby five shillings apiece in silver money.

9 ly: I give unto my two granddaughters Expierence and Sarah Kirby five shillings each in one year from hand of.

10 ly: I give unto all the rest of my grandchildren one shilling apiece in silver money.

More I gave unto my daughter Mary above mentioned one cow to be paid four years after the date hand of all my other gifts above mentioned to be paid in two years after the date hand of.

Furthermore, I give unto my two sons, namely Jonathan and James Gifford, ten acres of uplands being at Sukanesset, and lying by old Rowley’s land in twenty acre lots and also one quarter of a share of ye undivided lands in Sukanesset.

For the satisfaction of those concerned herein, I hereby give to understand yet besides that I have given disposed of, having a parcel of land then remaining in my possession, and having since disposed of it to my son William, the produce of this land do I give for the satisfaction of the particulars above mentioned and of what is yet remaining, I give five pounds to be improved for the rite and service of truth by my friends in Sandwich called Quakers.

Furthermore, I do make my wife Mary, the Executrix of this my Last Will and Testament, and I do constitute and make my loving friends Jacob Watt, the elder of Rhode Island, Edward Perry and William Allen the overseers of this my last Will and Testament, for true and faithfull preformance of it. And when these above mentioned gifts are Preformed then give my above overseers full power to help my above said Executrix in the disposing of it as they shall judge meet, and that it shall not be disposed of without their concent.

Dated the ninth day of ye second month, April 1687


According to genealogist Paul Gifford, "...his descendants created the largest Gifford family in the world today. The healthy climate, the low death rate, and the easy availability of land in the 17th and 18th centuries in New England meant that, if sons were born, they would propagate the name in large numbers. And they did. In 1850, there were 4,964 people named Gifford (including variants) in the United States. This was already more than twice the number in 1851 in all of Great Britain (1,536 in England; 381 in Scotland). In 1998, the rate of occurrence was still almost double in the United States as that in Great Britain.


Studying William Gifford is a great opportunity to learn how to carefully evaluate the wealth of genealogical information that is available online. Not only are errors copied and magnified more easily than in the past, but there are also completely fictional family trees that were originally created by fake genealogists and have been accepted as accurate for many years. There was a wave of this kind of bogus research in the late 1800s and apparently this Gifford line was one of those affected. Contemporary researcher Paul Gifford says that he "...had to learn about bogus genealogies from the very beginning. My uncle had an old sheet...written by a "professional genealogist," which stated that one Walter Gifford, son of Sir Ambrose Gifford, came to Massachusetts in 1630. This, plus the completely fictional English line, was published in a county history in 1912."

  • Name: Many online trees list him as William Ambrose Gifford. Middle names were not yet in use during William's lifetime, so this cannot be accurate. The first recorded use of a middle name is in the 1680s.
  • Parentage: His parents are unknown but extensive research indicates that he was almost certainly not the son of: Anthony Gifford of Dublin, Ireland; Ananias Gifford, a member of the Merchant Taylors Company who married Hester Grigg in 1606; Philip Gifford of a London Parish; John Gifford, ironworker of Lynn, Massachusetts; nor Hananiah Gifford of St. Ives, Huntingdonshire, who married Mary Bentley in 1612.
    • It seems likely that the William Gifford who was the son of Anthony Gifford of Dublin was probably the one who married Elizabeth Grant in 1636 at St. Martin in the Fields. However, there are no baptismal records of any children in the London area, as would be expected if this person were the same as the colonist.
    • Ananias Gifford (b. c.1579), merchant tailor, married Hester Grigg in 1605, and married a second time at St. Martin in the Fields in 1621. Ananias was the son of Henry Gifford, yeoman, of Sevenoaks, Kent, but it appears that he had no children.
    • Philip Gifford of London had a son William of about the right age. But researcher Paul Gifford notes that "none of the names of William's children are close to Philip. Note also that Philip was undoubtedly the father of John Gifford, master of the iron works at Saugus (Lynn), MA, but there is nothing in New England to tie John and William together, as would be expected if they were brothers."
  • Possible Catholic Origins: Family historian William Alexander Roper notes that "...the absence of baptismal record may not be an indication that the Gifford family in America did not descend from Giffords of London (or of Kent)...there seem to have been at least a few Giffords who were Catholic "recusants" and who were cited and fined for refusing to attend church services. These Giffords presumably were covertly practicing Catholicism when practice of the Catholic religion was strictly banned. And this would also explain the absence of church records reflecting Gifford baptisms or marriages. Religious persecution was a pretty good reason to flee England for the Colonies, whether one was a Puritan or a Catholic."
  • Place of Origin: William Gifford probably did not come from London. Researchers have reconstructed Gifford families in London for that period, and looked at guild records and other records, and haven't found anything promising. More likely he was apprenticed to a tailor in another part of England.
  • Marriages: William Gifford's first wife has not been identified. His second wife was Mary Mills. He was never married to Patience Russell nor Elizabeth Grant.


The following sons of William have been confirmed through yDNA testing: John, Annaniah, William, Robert and Jonathan (partial). No descendants of Christopher or James have been tested to date. REF: (1) http://www.pcez.com/~bigshoe/du/Elli/tupper.html (2) http://members.cox.net/swarling/gifford/GiffordDNA.htm

Sources and Further Information

William arrived in New England after 1643. He was a Quaker and suffered the persecutions visited upon the Quakers. Even though he was persecutions he became very prosperous in material affairs and became a large land owner. In 1647 was ordered by the courts to be whipped and banished.

Between 1665 and 1670 he purchased Monmouth County New Jersey. He also owned land at Dartmouth NH, Sandwich, Falmouth MA and Rhode Island.

From the history of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, New Jersey; by Salter 1890 We find the following;

William Gifford is named as being assigned a share of land in Monmouth among the original purchasers in 1667. He was probably the William Gifford who about that time lived in Sandwich Mass. In 1659 he was fined 57L 19S for refusing to swear allegiance and he, George Allen and other Quakers were quite prominent at Sandwich previous to and about the time the first settlers came to Monmouth. The will of William Gifford, founder of thre family in this country was probated March 2, 1687. It is said by Bristol County descendents that the Gifford family trace their origins back the Conquest battle of Hastings in 1066. Sir Randolph de Gifford was a standard bearer of William the Conqueror; a descendent named Sir Ambrose Gifford had a son, Walter who came to America in 1630 and was founder of the American Branch of the family.

William Gifford Gifford b 1615 London Middlesex Eng m 1642 1.) Patience Russell; 2) 1653 ancestor Elizabeth Grant m. 3) 1683 Barnstable Mary Mills d 9 Mar 1686/7 Sandwich Barnstable MA

Ancestor (10) Robert was second of three sons b to Elizabeth; there were a total of 10 Gifford children

REF.: < http://www.macomberkin.com/tng/getperson.php?personID=I48338&tree=macomberkin >.

Emigration Bef 1647 [4] Occupation described as a tailor in a deed by his son Christopher . Residence 1665 Monmouth, New Jersey, United States. one of the proprietors || by purchase of land from the Indians. Will 9 Feb 1687 Sandwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States. Died 21 Dec 1687, Sandwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States. Probate 7 Mar 1688 Sandwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States. Religion 1650, Sandwich, Barnstable, MA, USA, Quakers. Buried Sandwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States.

Married Elizabeth Grant about 1651, London, Greater London, England, UK.


1. Page 47. GIFFORD. The family of Gifford is of high antiquity and was seated at Honfleur, Normandy, three centuries before the conquest of England by Duke WIlliam [the Conqueror] Several Gifford fought at the battle of Hastings in 1066 as standard bearers of the Conqueror, to whom it is stated they were related by blood. The family enjoyed great distinction at the English court for several centuries and at one time five peerages existed in the family name. Many genealogists claim that William Gifford, the first Gifford whose line we are able to claim in this country, was the son of Philip Gifford and Mary Turner of London; if this is correct, the family can then be traced back another 19 generations to Osbern de Boebec, Lord of Lonqueville, Normandy, born about 950. The name Gifford [Gyffarde] was assumed by his three sons, Walter, Randolph and Osbern, all of whom fought at the battle of Hastings.

[1] WILLIAM GIFFORD, immigrant ancestor, according to “Huntington’s History of Stamford, Connecticut,” was before the court of that settlement in 1647. The sentence of the court against him was that he be whipped at the court’s discretion and banished. The supposition is that this William Gifford is the same William Gifford we find in Sandwich, Massachusetts, and a member of the grand inquest at Plymouth in 1650. He continued to reside in Sandwich until his death with the exception of five years between 1665-70, when he with George Allen and the sons of Peter Gaunt, all of Sandwich, together with others, were first proprietors of and settled Monmouth, New Jersey, having purchased the land from the Indians, and to whom the Monmouth Patent was granted 8 April 1665. They being adherents to the Quaker faith, suffered severely by fines and vexatious suits, both in Massachusetts and New Jersey. William Gifford owned land in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. His Massachusetts possessions consisted of lands in sandwich, Falmouth and Dartmouth. He married patience [Russell?] and had children: John, Stephen, Hannaniah, Patience, William, Christopher, Robert. His second wife, Mary Mills they had: Jonathon, James, and Mary.

WILL OF WILLIAM GIFFORD OF SANDWICH: “besides what I have already given unto all my Sons and also to my Daughter”; to son John 20s; to son Hannaniah, 10s; to son William, “one stock of Beese”; to son Christopher, a crosscut saw and a new pair of shoes; to son Robert £5 in two years from date; to daughter Mary, £5 in two years from date, and a cow in four years; to grand-daughter Temperance Kirby, 20s; to grand-sons John and Robert Kirby, 5s. each; to granddaughters, Experience and Sarah Kirby, 5s each; to “all ye Rest of my Grand Children,” one shilling each; all other gifts to be paid in two years from date; to sons Jonathan and James Gifford, 10 acres of upland “at Suckanesit and Lying by old Rowlies Land in the twenty acre Lotts and also one qua[rter] of a sheare of ye undivided Lands in Suckanesit”; “besides wt I have before disposed of having a parcel of Land then Remaining in my po]sses]sion and having since disposed of it to my son William, the produce of this Land do I order for the satisfying of the particulars above mentioned, and of what is yet remaining I do give five pounds to be Improved for the use and Service of truth by my ffriends in sandwich Called quakers; wife Mary to be executrix; Jacob Mott the Elder of R. I., Edward Perry and William Allen to be overseers; what remains after legacies are paid to be disposed of by executrix and overseers. Will dated 9 April 1687.


  • a] Genealogical and Family History of Central New York:
  • b] “Gifford Genealogy” Published by Harry E. Gifford of Wollaston, Massachusetts, 1896.
  • c] Abstractrs of Barnstable, Massachusetts, probate records.
  • 2. New England Marriages prior to 1700. Page 301. Mary was his second wife.
  • 3. Gives his name as William Amborse Gifford. Our HUBBARD ANCESTRY and American Hertiage by Jean Hubbard Lorenz. 1974.
  • 4. Includes Notes for William GIFFORD: [Sherman, Lucy Ancestors. FBC.FTW] He arrived in New England after 1643 as he didn't appear in the list of those to bear arms that year. First mentioned 4 Dec. 1647 in "list of debts due in inventory of Joseph Holiway of 'Sanndwidg'. By 1651, a Quaker, married, with family.


Three strong possibilities as to English ancestry:

  • He was a taylor

  • London Merchant Talyor Guild notes reflect that William, a son of Anthi Gifford, a gentlemen, of Dublin, Ireland, was apprenticed to Thomas Southern of new Exchange, London for 7 years from 7 Dec 1628 to 7 Dec 1735.

  • 1/17/92- - He was shown as son of Ananias Gifford (master tailor) of St. Peters, Westcheap, England and Hester Grigg.

He was a Quaker. He founded Monmouth, New Jersey, owned land in MA including Falmouth, Sandwich, and Dartsmouth. He also owned land in RI. He was in a Grand Inquest in 1650.

From John Astro's work: 1--WILLIAM. Sandwich, Mass. It is claimed by some that he was son of Walter Gifford and that the latter was son of Sir Ambrose Gifford of England, and the statement is further made that Walter emigrated to Massachusetts in 1630. It needs better proof, however, than any of which the author has knowledge to substantiate these claims.

He was early a proprietor of lands at Sandwich, and early joined the Quakers; being fined a number of times for not taking the oath of fidelity, and for "seditious utterances" against the King.

  • 1650, 6, 4. He was on Grand Inquest at this date.
  • 1651, 5, 22. He and three others were granted authority to call town meeting, at three days notice; and it was voted, "that what neighbors stay away above an hour, after the time appointed, shall lose their votes in what is done before they come."
  • 1658. In a list of those who owned lands at Sandwich, and had bounds recorded. Fined this year œ10.
  • 1658, '59. In these years there was a distraint upon his estate of œ57, 19s. to satisfy fines imposed for his heterodoxy, as viewed by the authorities, viz., refusing to take oath, attending Quaker meetings, etc. The property taken to pay his fines consisted of 4 steers, 2 heifers, 1 bull, 3 cows, 5 young cattle and 1/2 of a horse and 1/2 swine.
  • 1675, 4, 23. He was in a list of those having just rights and privileges in town of Sandwich.
  • 1677. Surveyor. He was a large landholder at Dartmouth, and Falmouth, as well as Sandwich.
  • 1680 to 1684. Deeded sons Robert and Christopher, nearly 400 acres at Dartmouth.
  • 1687, 4, 9. Will, proved 1688, 3, 9. Ex., wife Mary. Overseers, Jacob Mott of Rhode Island, Edward Perry, Wm. Allin. To son John 20s. silver money. To son Hananiah 10s. To son William 1 stack of bees. To son Christopher 1 cross cut saw. To son Robert £5 two years after decease, and to daughter Mary £5 two years after decease. To granddaughter Temperance Kirby 20s. and to grandchildren John, Robert and Sarah Kirby, 5s. each. To all grandchildren, 1s. each. To daughter Mary 1 cow after 4 years. To two sons Jonathan and James 10 acres at Falmouth, and 1/4 of a share belonging to me in undivided land at Succonessett (Falmouth). To the Friends in Sandwich called Quakers, £5.
  • 1687, 12, 21. Inventory appraised by John Nye and William Bassett. One of the most active officers in arresting Quakers for tumultuous carriage at Quaker meeting, refusing to take oaths, harboring "strange Quakers," etc., etc., was Marshal Barlow. At one time (1659, 10, 6) this Marshal made complaint against William Gifford "for affronting him in the highway near a bridge over which he should have driven some cattle; yet forasmuch as William Gifford affirmeth that he was not directly in his way but in an old path leading to his house, the Court suspends the judgment for the present until the place be viewed and so the matter be made more evident." It seemed to require but slight pretext in those times to warrant the arrest of a Quaker; but sometimes the pretext was so very slight that even the all too willing Judges had to suspend sentence, or release the prisoner with an admonition.
  • More About William GIFFORD: Occupation: Taylor, arr in New England aft 1643; before 1647.
  • More About William GIFFORD and Patience RUSSELL:
  • Marriage: 11 Feb 1634/35, St. Martin-in-, the-Fields, London, England.40

Children of William GIFFORD and Patience RUSSELL are:

  • 1. +John GIFFORD, b. 1640, Probably in England, d. 1708, Sandwich, MA

3. William Gifford, a tailor, born probably around 1615, was in Sandwich, Massachusetts, by 1647 and died there 21 December 1687. He became a Quaker in 1658. He married, as his second or later wife, on 16 v [July] 1683, at Sandwich, Mary Mills. He had a total of six sons and two daughters. Probably 85% of Gifford's in the U.S. are descended from him.

William Gifford "the Tailor" was born in Sandwich, England about in1616. He immigrated to New England in 1643 and settled in Stanford, Fairfield Co., Connecticut. He was tried a number of times for not taking the oath of fidelity and for seditious utterances against the King. He was whipped and banished from Connecticut in 1647. He went to Sandwich, Barnstable, Mass. His first wife is unknown. His second wife was Mary Mills. William was the proprietor of lands. In 1658, he was fined L 10 and seizure of property of L 57 19 S for not taking the oath and not attending Quaker meetings. He owned land in Mass., Rhode Island, and Conn. He purchased land from the Indians at Monmouth, New Jersey - the Monmouth Patent was granted on April 8, 1665.

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William 'the Tailor' Gifford, of Sandwich's Timeline

Age 27
Sandwich, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States
Age 27
July 16, 1658
Age 43
Sandwich, Cape Cod, Plymouth Colony