William Phillips, of Taunton

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William Phillips

Also Known As: "William Phillips of Taunton"
Birthplace: Kirkton-in-Holland, Lincolnshire, England
Death: Died in Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Christopher Phillips, of Devon and Agnes Phillips
Husband of Elizabeth (Parker) Phillips
Father of Maj. William Phillips; Elizabeth Walker (Phillips); James Phillips, Sr.; Mary Phillips; Hannah Phillips and 6 others
Brother of Thomas Phillips; Christopher Phillips; Katherine Phillips and Elizabeth Phillips
Half brother of Mary Phillips; Agnes Phillips and Katherine Phillips

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Phillips, of Taunton

His ancestry is unknown. Richard Ripley, whose information is often unreliable, says William Phillips (son of Christopher Phillips and Agnes Abram) was born 12 May 1588 in Kirton-in-Holland, Lincolnshire, England.

He married Elizabeth Parker on 1618 in Taunton, Somersetshire, England, daughter of Hugh Parker.

He was one of the first purchasers in Taunton, Massachusetts in 1637 or 1638. Taunton, (once called Cohannet), was bought from Massasoit, a friendly Indian Chief. William was a surveyor in 1653 and his name is listed as one of those "who had taken up freedom in 1648". his will dated 16 April 1654 said that he was then 3 score and ten (70) at the least.

DNA tests on their descendants confirm that he was not a brother of (Rev.) George Phillips, of Watertown.


It is not known how William reached America. His name is not found on passenger list for the ships of the Winthop Fleet passage of 1630, on which his brothers George and John are found. William's brother Thomas (with wife Ann) were on the list to sail with the Mayflower in 1620, but they did not make the passage, and spent the rest of their lives in England. Checking the Mayflower lists further, there is no record of William Phillips either on the acceptance list, nor on the actual ships of the three-ship Mayflower group.

On the first list of Mass. Bay Colonists to apply for Freeman Status (October 19th, 1630), appears the name 'William Phelps'. This is probably this William Phillips, and suggests that William may have arrived on the 'Lyon' in 1630 (see below).

Son William appears to have been first married in Lincoln in 1638, but was remarried in America.

Two children are found here for William Phillips and Elizabeth Parker, both born in England, and both dying in Massachusetts; these children were born between 1619 and 1621; so that seems to be proof that there was no passage with the Mayflower of 1620 or its immediate successors.

There would certainly be more children born in England and/or America between the marriage of son William in 1638, and the first birth event (recorded in this family tree) in America in this family, the marriage of daughter Elizabeth in Massachusetts in 1646. Records will be readily available for these other children, and will no doubt surface here eventually.

William Phillips and some or all of his family (families very often split up for the cross-Atlantic voyage) may have been a passenger on board the 'Lyon', under Lyon Captain William Pierce, her Master, which made four voyages between 1630 and 1632, under the auspices of John Winthrop. In his letter of March 28, 1630, to his wife, written from the Arbella, off the Isle of Wight, after noting the sailing of the Mary and John, Winthrop wrote: 'and the ship which goes from Bristowe (Bristol) carrieth about eighty persons'. This was the Lyon and she probably sailed from that port to accommodate passengers living In the West Counties -- Lancashire, Cheshire, Warwick, Gloucestershire, and Somerset.

She could thus carry about 80 passengers on each trip, as well as provisions for the colony, but her passenger lists are not known.

Immigration 1634-5

Half brother of Hannah Boyden, Agnes or Anne Phillips.


The Last Will and Testament of William Phillips of Taunton Deceased; Exhibited before the Court holden att Plymouth the sixt Day of March 1654 on the oath of James Walker;

Aprill the 16th Anno Dom: 1654 In The Name of God Amen I William Phillips of Taunton of the age of threescore and ten att the least being visited by the hand of God with sicknes and great weaknes neare unto Death not being likely to continew in this world; yet being through the mercye of God of pfect understanding and memory and willing according as I ame pswaded it is my Dewty to sett my house in order before I goe home I doe therfore as I came from the Dust comitt my body to the Dust untill the Day of Judgment and my spirit into the hands of God beleiving in him that when my body shall againe arise he will according to his gracious prmise make mee ptaker of spirituall and heavenly glory with Jesus Christ And for my outward estate which god hath given I Doe in this my last will give and bequeath as followeth viz: Imprimis my house that I now Dwell in with my out housing and all my lands that I have of Right appertaining and belonging to mee in Taunton with my Right and Interest that I have in the Iron worke newly Erected and built att Taunton with all my household stuffe of one kind and another I give it all Joyntly and equally unto my wife Elizabeth Phillips and my sonne James Phillips To enjoy it all equally together whiles the Lord continew theire lives together; but if the Lord be pleased to take away my wife by Death; then my son James Phillips shall possesse and Injoy all the things formencioned as belonging and appertaining to him and his for ever but if the Lord bee pleased to take my son James away by Death without Issue then my will is that after the Decease of my wife then the estate of mine as the Lord continueth it shalbee and appertaine unto the children of James Walker my soninlaw to bee Devided amongst them equally I give and bequeath unto my Daughter in law Elizabeth Walker an heifer of the age of two yeares old and to her little daughter Hester Walker an heifer of a year old to bee theires after my decease The rest of my stuffe which I also Injoy and the Lord have given mee I leave them as the Rest of my goods with my wife and my sonne and soe Comitt and Comand them and it and all to the blessing of the Lord And also I confirme this to bee my last will and Testament and Doe heerby appoint my sonne James Phillips to be my Exequitor and pay all Debts of mine every where and pforme the legacies heerin contained and these I Rest heerin signing this my owne signe upon the sixteenth Day of Aprill in the yeare of our lord 1654; Witnessed by The signe of Olofer Purchise William Phillips James Walker


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William Phillips, of Taunton's Timeline

May 12, 1588
Lincolnshire, England
January 7, 1605
Age 16
Taunton, Somersetshire, England
January 7, 1605
Age 16
Taunton, Somersetshire, England
June 23, 1616
Age 28
Alford, Lincolnshire, England
March 18, 1619
Age 30
Probably Taunton, Somerset, England, (Present UK)
Age 32
Taunton, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
December 1639
Age 51
Of, Taunton, Somersetshire, England
Age 51
Dorchester, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Age 53
Dorchester, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA