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William Vinson (Vincent)

Birthdate: (82)
Birthplace: Possibly of, Stoke d'Abernon, Surrey, England
Death: September 17, 1690 (78-86)
Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of unknown Vincent and William Vinson's mother
Husband of Sarah Vinson and Rachel Vinson
Father of Sarah Parsons; Hannah Ellery; Elizabeth Gardner; John Vinson; Richard Vinson and 5 others

Occupation: Pot maker
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Vinson

William Vincent, later Vinson

  • Born in England about 1610; perhaps Jun., 1608 in Surrey, England
  • Death:  Sep. 17, 1690 Gloucester Essex County, Massachusetts
  • his mother apparently migrated also
  • spouses: Sarah (unknown) Vinson died February 4, 1660/61. He remarried. His 2nd wife was Rachel Varney, widow Langston, married in October 17, 1660 in Salem, Mass.


William Vinson and Sarah were married abt 1635 in Massachusetts.


Their children born in Gloucester, Mass, included

  1. Sarah Vinson Parsons, m. Jeffery Parsons at Gloucester 11 Nov 1657[4]
  2. Hannah Vinson Ellery, m. William "Ellaire" at Gloucester 8 Oct 1663 [1664?][5]
  3. Elizabeth Vinson Gardner, b. 14 May 1644 at Gloucester[6]; m. James Gardiner 19 June 1661[7]; d. at Gloucester Mar. 4, 1684[8]
  4. John, b. 15 May 1648 at Gloucester[9]
  5. William (recorded as Vinsonne), b. 9 Sept 1651 at Gloucester[10]; d. at Gloucester 9 Dec 1675[11]
  6. Richard, d. at Gloucester 24 July 1652[12]
  7. Richard, b. 1 Sept 1658 at Gloucester[13]; d. at Gloucester 26 Dec 1675[14]

William Vinson and Rachell Varney were married on June 10, 1661 in Gloucester, Mass.

Their children born in Gloucester, Mass:

  1. Abigail Vinson Elwell, b. 28 May 1668 at Gloucester[18]; m. Jacob Elwell at Gloucester 5 July 1685[19]
  2. Thomas, b. 1 April 1662 at Gloucester[20]; d. at Gloucester 31 Dec 1675[21]

In his Will transcribed below, written on March 19, 1685 (New Style), William had the following heirs:

  • Wife Rachel
  • Son John, gone and apparently unheard of, possibly dead
  • Daughter Abigail, apparently unmarried
  • Daughter Sarah Parsons, living
  • The children of daughters Gardner and Ellary, both deceased
  • "Daughter in Law" Mary Day
  • John Cooke, son of "Son in Law" John Cooke


This appears to be the point where the family modified the name from Vincent to Vinson.

Occupation: Potmaker

Vinson had some means, as Susanna Day was his servant before her marriage.

From Davis, Walter Goodwin. The ancestry of Charity Haley, 1755-1800: wife of Major Nicholas Davis of Limington, Maine. (Boston, Mass.: Stanhope Press, 1916):

  • William Vinson (Vincent) was born about 1610. He was in Salem with his mother and a cousin, Anthony Bucstone [sic: Anthony Buxton, Sr.] in 1636 when land was laid out to them at Marblehead. He was made a freeman at Gloucester on 10 May 1643, where he served as selectman in 1646 and several subsequent years. He sold land to John Rowe in 1651 and another lot to his "son-in-law" Hugh Rowe in 1684 (Essex Deeds 9:286).
  • His first wife, Sarah, died 4 Feb 1660 and he married second on 10 June 1661, Rachel Varney Cooke, a widow. He died 17 Sep 1690.
  • His will, dated 19 Mar 1684, mentions his wife, son John "in case he be living and return home again", daughters Abigail, Sarah Parsons, deceased daughters Ellery and Gardner, daughter-in-law Mary Day, Jr. and John Cook, son of his son-in-law, John Cook (Essex Probate 303:4). Hugh Rowe was the husband of Rachel Langton, daughter of Rachel Varney and Joseph Langton. Mary Day was the daughter of Rachel Varney and Joseph Langton. "son-in-law" John Cook was the son of Rachel Varney and Thomas Cooke.


"I William Vinson of Glocester in the County of Essex in New England considering the Certainty of Death & the uncertainty of the time thereof, And with all knowing it to be the Will of God that a man should set his House in order before he depart this Life doe therefore Declare & make knowne this my Last Will & Testament in manner & forme following

"First I commit my Soule into the hands of God the Father of Spirite & my Body to the Grave to be decently buryed by my Surviving Friends. And for my Goodes & outward estate I thus dispose of them.

"Imprim. I give & bequeath unto my deare & Loving Wife Rachel Vinson during her Naturall Life all my Whole Estate both of Houses & Lands Cattel Sheep & Horse kind except only Such Cattell as shall be hereafter in these [premises?] bequeathed by way of Legacy unto any of my Children other wise. I give unto my Sayd Wife all my estate above mentioned both of Houses & Lands Household Goodes & Cattell the same to injoy during the time of her Natural Life.

"And after my Wifes decease it is my Will & I doe hereby appoynt that my sonn John Vinson in Case he be Living & returne home agayne shall have my House & Barn & all the upland upon the Westerne Side of the Cartway that I used to bring Wood & Hay to my House and Barne upon or by. Also I give unto my sonne John Vinson all that my parcell of Salt Marsh lying & being Situate in the upper end of little good Harbour Marsh next to the great Harbour. The sayd parcell of Marsh being Seaven Acres more or lesse.

"And Futhermore it is my wish that if my Sonne John come no more then my Daughter Abigail shall have all the estate given to him, to her owne proper use & behoofe & to the Heires of her body Lawfully begotten for ever. But in Case hee should come agayne there shee is only to have the House I now dwell in & all my Land upon the Easterne Side of the Cart way abovesayd as also all the rest of my Lands both meadow & upland Cattell & Horse kind & Household Goods not otherwise disposed of in this my Last Will & Testament to her & her Heires as abovesayd for ever, after the decease of my Selfe & her Mother. And in Case my Sayd Sonne Come noe more, then I doe hereby declare that shee is too have & is it my Will that Shee Shall have & injoy all the Legacy above given to him and all my whole estate both of Houses & Lands viz Meadow & upland with all & singular the Appertenances Household Goodes also & Cattell of all kinds whatsoever viz, Horse, Neat, & Sheepe, after the decease of her Mother (if she surviveth) to her & her heires as abovesayd for ever, provided always & it is my wish & meaning that they shall not hindere but that if my Sayd Wife doe come to [deleted word] want while Shee Continueth my Widdow it Shall then be lawfull for her to sell part of the Lands or Cattell abovesayd to supply her wants from time to time while Shee Continueth my Widdow viz, if the Incomes of Sayd Lands & Cattell will not Convenientlly & decently mayntaine her.

"And in Case my Daughter Abigail come to injoy all the Lands abovesayd Shee Shall then pay or Cause to be payd to my Daughter Sarah Parsons the full Summe of Seaven pounds. And three pounds to my Daughter in Law Mary Day in Cattell or Goodes or both within one yeare after the decease of her Mother if Shee Surviveth.

"And in Case my Sayd Daughter Abigail doe dye before Shee be of age or marryed then it is my Will & I doe hereby appoynt that what estate is left her shall be divided equally between my Daughter Parsons (if Living) if Dead, then between the Children of my Daughter Parsons Surviving and the Surviving Children of my Daughter Gardner & my Daughter Ellary (both deceased) or their Heires Surviving either as they shall agree amongst themselves to part them; or whom they or the major part of them Surviving & mett together shall agree to Choose to to divide Sayd Goods & Estate Equally amongst the, only it is to be rememberd that I doe hereby appoynt forty shillings to be payd unto John Cooke the Sonne of my Son in Law John Cooke.

"And in Case my Daughter Abigail doe dye after She is marryed without Child then her Husband if he surviveth shall have one halfe of the estate & the other halfe of the estate shall be equally divided as abovesayd between the partys abovesayd or their Heires Surviving. And if it fall out that my Sayd Wife be driven [illegible] through [illegible] want as is above expressed to Sell any Considerable part of the Lands to Supply her wants or that my sonne John doe come agayne then my sayd Daughter shall pay none of the Legacyes above mentioned to Daughter Parsons or Mary Day.

"Item. I give & bequeath to my Daughter Abigail a Cow [crossed out words] presently after my decease to be payd by my wife if Shee Surviveth that is to Say if my Sayd Daughter be then of Age or marryed but if Shee be not Shee shall not have it till Shee be either marryed or of Age. Also I give to my Sayd Daughter my Island in the Harbour commonly called by the Name of five pound Island the same to injoy now presently provided that if my Sonne John doe Come agayne Shee shall then resigne it up to him agayne otherwise to injoy it to her & the Heires of her body Lawfully begotten for ever.

"Item I give & bequeath unto my Daughter Sarah Parsons one Cow to be payd & given her after my decease.

"And Concerning my Sayd Wife I shall expresse a word or two viz. in Case Shee doe marry agayne after my decease the man that Shee shall marry until shall before marriage be firmly bound to keepe both Houses & fences in like good Repayre as hee shall find them as also to leave them in like condition at my Sayd Wifes decease to by Sayd Heires or them that in Case of her Death are to possesse them. And for the full confirmation of this my Last Will & Testament I doe hereby ordayne & appoynt my deare & Loving Wife Rachel Vinson to be Sole Executrix to see this my Will & Testament to be duly & truly executed & performed.

"In Witnesse Whereof I have hereunto set my hand & Seale the nineteeth day of this Instant March Anno one thousand six hundred & eighty foure.

"Memorand. before the Sealing hereof I doe give Liberty to my daughter Abigail to sell her part of the Houses & Lands in the Case her Brother John Vinson my Son Should Come agayne, giving him the first refusall of it. Also it is to be remembered that part of the third line & part of ye fourth Line of this page is blotted by my order. "-- The marke of T William Vinson "Sealed & Subscribed in the presence of Peter Duncan William Cogswell "Peter Duncas & Wm Cogswell appeared in open Court att Salem 25th Nov 1690 & made oath that they were present & saw Wm. Vinson signe seale & order this to be his last will & testament & he was in of a disposing mind so ye [illegible] understanding "Attest. Benjn Gerrish ???"

A fragment of the Inventory is included in the Estate file, and it shows William's Estate was worth £160 3s 6p


Barber and Delorey Source: Lura Woodside Watkins, Early New England Potters and Their Wares. Cambridge, MA, 1950, pp. 16-18. Watkins "speculates" regarding the birth place of William Vinson, noting that he called himself a "pot baker", a Dutch term. A migration from the Low Country to Essex, England, occurred about 1600.

His parents are Unknown

Frequently seen as with no evidence to support as:

I. Sir Francis Vincent, MP, 1st Baronet Vincent, of D'Abernon 1st bart., was M.P. for co. Surrey, in the 1st parliament of king Charles I., m., 1st, Sarah Vincent da. of sir Amias Paulet, governor of Guernsey and Jersey; 2dly, Mary, da. of sir Henry Archer, knt.; and 3dly, Eleanor, da. and h. of Robert Mallett, esq., and widow of sir Arthur Acland, knt.; by his 2d and 3d wives he had no issue, but by his 1st he had, besides several sons who d. without issue, 2 das., Elizabeth, m. John Acland, esq., and Margaret, m. sir Francis Gabell, knt., and a son and successor, Sir Anthony. (see note 1) Source: John Debrett, William Courthope, Debrett's Baronetage of England, Edition 7.


  1. Debrett's is incorrect that all sons died without issue: Amias Vincent has sons noted in the parish registers of Stoke d'Abernon, co. Surrey (pub 1917) & on the Visitations of Devon 1620. See (
  2. not a known child of Sir Francis Vincent, 1st Baronet of D'Abernon see Visitations of Devon in 1620
view all 15

William Vinson's Timeline

June 1608
Stoke d'Abernon, Surrey, England
Age 28
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
August 10, 1642
Age 34
Gloucester, Essex, Mass
May 16, 1644
Age 35
Gloucester, Massachusetts, United States
May 15, 1648
Age 39
May 15, 1648
Age 39
Gloucester, Essex, Mass
September 9, 1651
Age 43
September 1, 1658
Age 50
Gloucester, Essex, Mass
Age 49
Gloucester, Essex, Mass