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Richard Williams Family

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To document the descendants and ancestry of Richard Williams, the founder of Taunton, Massachusetts.

  • A wonderful multimedia introduction to Richard Williams and Francis Deighton and their hometown can be found on our cousin, Charles Adler's family website.
  • Frances Deighton, sometimes spelled "Dighton".
  • Richard and Francis Williams' descendants are linked in marriage with many well-documented early American families such as those of Governor William Leete.
  • This is a fun way to show how interrelated the early American settlers were and trace their movements. So the aim is to document the Williams family's movements, marriages, education, professions, and avocations to gain insight into the early social history of the United States.
  • Richard was the original immigrant to the US. Was a tanner by trade. Baptismal record can still be seen in St. Mary the Virgin Church in Gloucester,England. (Page 584, Vol. 2 of"Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts" states he "was among the first purchasers of Taunton. He was a man of good abilities, was deputy to the General Court of Plymouth Colony from 1645 to 1665; selectman in 1666 and 1667. He was one of the proprietors of "New Purchase," now Dighton. He was a member and deacon of the First Church. He died in the year 1693, aged eighty-seven years. The children born to Richard and his wife Frances (Dighton)--the eldest two being born while the parents were living in Gloucester,in the parish of Whitcombe Magna, and both of whom died when young--were: (1) John was baptized March 27, 1634. (2) Elizabeth was baptized Feb. 7, 1635-36. (3) Samuel married Mary (Jane) Gilbert and is mentioned farther on."

Frances Dighton was the subject of a commemorative coin issued in 1962 on the 250th anniversary of the founding of Dighton, Massachusetts. The coin, while out of stock, is still shown on here:


Francis Cooke, Early MA & New England Families

What is known about Richard Williams

Richard WILLIAMS was born in Jan 1606 in England. Richard had a sister Elizabeth, both then in New England, both of whom were legatees in Gloucestershire by another sister Jane. Savage references William of Salem, 1637, and finds that he came from Great Yarmouth, England, aged 40 with w. Alice, 38 and two children whose names are not seen, and Elizabeth aged 31 who may have been his sister. He further says he may have been of Watertown later.

Frederick Virkus (Abridged Compendium) says Richard Williams was born in 1599 in Wales and came to Salem, Massachusetts in 1633. Richard was a founder of Taunton, Massachusetts in 1637. He was a representative to Gen Ct. from 1646-48 and in 1650. He was baptized on 28 Jan 1607 in Wotten Under Edge, Gloucestershire, England. He emigrated about 1636 from possibly Dorchester, Massachetts. He died in 1692/93 in Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts. He had an estate probated on 10 October 1693 in Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts.

The Charles Williams Genealogy, an extensive 800 page volume, gives considerable insight and substantiating references for the English Ancestry of Richard Williams of Taunton. This volume claims and gives various references for direct family ties to Welsh royalty predating the use of surnames and that of William The Conqueror. and includes ties to the famous Cromwells of England, including Sir Thomas, beheaded by Henry VIII. The veracity of these statements is beyond the scope of this genealogy, but it makes for interesting reading.

Ancestry of Richard Williams and Francis Deighton

Previous historians and genealogists have have shown royal descent for the Richard Williams family, either through Richard Williams or his wife Frances Deighton, who is traced to Charlemagne by the medieval historian von Redlich, (NEHG 97:342-343). In his "Descent of General Douglas McArthur." von Redlich produced an ancestry chart leading from Richard and Frances to "Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Emperor of the West, born 2, Apr 747, died 28 Jan. 814; married in 771 the Swabian Princess Hildegard, died 30 Apr. 783."

The line continues with

  1. Pepin, King of Italy,
  2. Bernard, King of Italy,
  3. Pepin, Count of Senlis,
  4. Herbert I, Count of Vermandois,
  5. Herbert II,
  6. Albert 1,
  7. Herbert III,
  8. Otho,
  9. Herbert IV,
  10. dau. Adelaide (Adelheid), who m. Hugh, the Great, Duke of France and Burgundy, son of Henry I, King of France, by Anne, dau. of Yaroslav I, Grand Prince of Kiev;
  11. Isabel de Vermandois who m. 2nd William de Warenne, second Earl of Surrey,
  12. Gundred de Warenne w. m. Roger de Newburgh, second Earl of Warwick;
  13. Waleran de Newburgh,
  14. Alice de Newburgh, w. m. William, Baron Mauduit,
  15. Isabel de Mauduit, who m. William, fifth Baron Beauchamp of Elmley Castle;
  16. Walter de Beauchamp, Steward of the Household of Edward I, King of England;
  17. Giles de Beauchamp,
  18. John de Beauchamp,
  19. Sir William de Beauchamp,
  20. Sir John de Beauchamp, Lord Treasurer of England;
  21. Sir Richard de Beauchamp,
  22. and Anne de Beauchamp.

Richard Williams has a sister, Elizabeth, in America and Jane, in England

  • According to Washburn Family Foundations, and the Charles Williams volume, Richard had a sister Elizabeth, also living in New England. His sister, Jane, who remained in England, mentions in her will her brother Richard Williams and sister Elizabeth Williams "that are in New England."
  • It is not know exactly when Richard Williams came to New England, nor upon which vessel. Charles Williams believes him to have come about 1636/7, rather than in 1633, as Pope suggests. He came, however, with his wife, Francis and two children, probably her two eldest sisters and their spouses. Richard and Francis settled soon in Taunton. He was among the original purchasers of the Teticut Purchase, The North Purchase and the South Purchase, now comprising collectively the towns of Taunton, Raynham Berkeley, Norton, Mansfield, Easton and Dighton, the last so named for his wife Francis. He was one of the original shareholders in the Iron Works of Taunton and received income from this venture until 1691. In 1693, his son Thomas directed that these moneys go to his Mother, Francis, these sums continuing until 1700. He, himself, was a tanner, as his son Joseph succeeds to this business after his death about 1692/3. He was called by Emery, the "Father of Taunton."
  • In Crozier's General Armory, New York, 1904, the description of arms for William Williams and Richard Williams, Taunton, 1637 (Wooten-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire), England is given as noted in an attached drawing. The description by Williams is interesting:
  • "Sable, a chevron argent, between three spears heads of the last, points embrued gules." In English it means the shield is black; the chevron (imitation of the rafters of a house) is of silver; while the spear heads of the last means they are the same color as the chevron; the points saturated or dripping blood red.
  • The three spear heads embrued gules indicate descent from Caradog. (see p. 1595 Burk's Landed Gentry, 1846) called Caractacus by the Romans, Duke of Gloucester. The branch of the Williams family represented by William Williams of Wooten-Under-Edge was descended from Caradog. (see pages 7 and 15)."
  • Williams indicates another armorial to which descendants are entitled: " is that of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn as follows: Gold shield, a Lion Rampant in Red with pays in position for striking, mouth open with tongue raised, tip ( here a description of tip as either of Gold or darker red is crossed out and in handwritten letters is the word blue) The crest is a crown. Also in a handwritten note is the approximate as follows: "or a lion ramp gu. armed and _________, azure (see Burks General Armory).

William Williams and Jane Woodward Williams, Gloucester

  • Richard Williams was the son of William (John) Williams and Jane Woodward.
  • William Williams was born about 1555 in Huntingdon, Wotton-under-edg, Gloucester, England. He died on 29 Sep 1618. He married Jane Woodward on 4 Dec 1603.
  • Jane Woodward was born in 1569 in Synwell, , Gloucester, England. She died on 2 Feb 1614/1615. She was buried in Wotton-under-edg, , Gloucester, England. She was William's second wife.
  • William and Jane Woodward had the following children:
  1. Elizabeth, born 1605. May have emigrated to New England. Appears to have not married.
  2. Richard, born in Jan 1606 in Gloucester, England. He was christened on 28 Jan 1607 in Gloucester.
  3. Jane, christened on 19 Mar 1609 in Whetenhurst, Gloucester, England. She was baptised at St. Mary the Virgin church. Apparently unmarried before 1655 testate.
  4. Roger, born about 1610 in St. Mary, Wooten-Under Edg, Gloucester, England.
  5. John, born on 26 Apr 1612 in St. Mary, Wooten-Under Edg, Gloucester, England.
  6. Samuel, born about 1614 in St. Mary, Wooten-Under Edg, Gloucester, England. He died in 1669 in Synwell, , Gloucestershire, England.
  • William Williams' first wife was Jane Shepheard with whom he had two children.
  • Jane Shepheard died in 1603. She married William (John) Williams on 15 Nov 1585. Their children were:
  1. Samuel, born about 1595 in Synwell, Gloucestershire, England. He was a fuller at Eastington Co. Gloucester
  2. Ann, christened on 9 Dec 1600 in Gloucester, , , England. She married John Hall. They had four children: John, Samuel, Daniel, and Susanna.
  • Richard Williams and Francis Deighton (Dighton)'s children were:
  1. John, b. 1633/34, likely died young in England
  2. Elizabeth, b. 1635/36, likely died young in England
  3. Samuel, b. 1637/38
  4. Nataniel (First), b 1639
  5. Joseph, b. 1642/43
  6. Thomas, b. 1645
  7. Elizabeth, b. 1647
  8. Hannah, b. 1649
  9. Benjamin, b. 1651

Notable Marriages

  1. Richard Williams m. Francis Deighton
  2. their son Nathaniel I married Elizabeth Rogers, granddaughter of Pilgrim Thomas Rogers
  3. their son Nathaniel II married Lydia King
  4. their son Nathaniel III married Mary Atherton
  5. their son Seth Williams married Mary Snow
  6. their son Zephaniah Williams married Olive Howe
  7. their son Giles Williams married Fanny Maria Gallup, who was a descendant of (1) Captain John Gallup, (2) Pilgrim Samuel Fuller (son of Pilgrim Edward Fuller), (3) Governor Thomas Dudley, (4) John Woodbridge VI, (5) John Lothrop, (6) Governor William Leete and (7) Pilgrim John Howland and his wife Pilgrim Elizabeth Tilley
  8. their son Arthur Williams married Hattie (Harriett) Hawley Stowe, descendant of John Stowe, III

Mayflower" ancestors

  1. their son, Samuel Fuller. Samuel Fuller's daughter Mary Fuller married Joseph Williams of Haverhill, MA (not a member of the Richard Williams family). Mary Fuller's mother was the daughter of Rev. John Lothrop of Barnstable, MA. The great granddaughter of Joseph and Mary Williams was Sarah Giddings (1730 -1788) who married Col Nathan Gallup, a descendant of Captain John Gallup. Their son Lodowick Gallup (1814 - 1863) married Margaret Phelps, a descendant of the Phelps family that arrived on the "Mary and John" as the first ship in the Winthrop Fleet in 1630 during the Great Migration. Lodowick and Margaret Gallup's daughter, Fanny Maria Gallup, married Giles Williams, a direct descendant of Richard Williams, and my great great grandfather.
  2. Thomas Rogers - John Rogers, the son of Thomas Rogers, was the father of Elizabeth Rogers who married Richard Williams' son, Nathaniel (First).
  3. John Howland, Elizabeth Tilley, and her parents John Tilley and Joan Hurst Tilley - Desire Howland, the daughter of Elizabeth Tilley and John Howland married John Gorham. Their daughter, Elizabeth Gorham Hallett married Captain Joseph Hallett, their daughter Lois Hallett Cobb married Henry Cobb, their daughter Eunice Cobb Gallup married Col. Nathan Gallup, their son Lodowick Gallup married Margaret Phelps, their daughter Fanny Maria Gallup Williams married Giles Williams.

The Great Migration

  1. "Mary and John" in the Winthrop Fleet 1630 Captain John Gallop, William Phelps Sr, wife Anne Dover Phelps, son William Phelps Jr.
  2. "Arabella" in the Winthrop Fleet, Governor Thomas Dudley
  3. "Griffin" 1631 Captain John Gallop, wife Christobel, son John
  4. "Griffin" 1634 John Lathrop
  5. "St. John" 1639 Governor William Leete

Military Service by Descendants of Richard Williams

A Roll or list of Soldiers in Easton, April 7, 1757 Ebenezer Williams Paul Williams Seth Williams Silas Williams Jr. Timothy Williams In 1771 Third Regiment of Militia, West Company Macey Williams - ensign 1775 Macey Williams promoted to Captain.

Revolutionary War

Colonel George Williams served in Rhode Island and was chosen by the Legislature to be colonel of the Third Bristol county regiment, 1776.

War of 1812

During the War of 1812, there were several Williams from Raynham, Massachusetts in Captain Samuel Wilbor's Company, Raynham. Notice also the names of families related to the Williams, e.g., Dean, Robinson and Wilbur.

CAPT. SAMUEL WILBOR'S COMPANY, RAYNHAM. Joseph Hull, Daniel Wilbor, Johu D. Gllmore, Calvin Washburn, Benjamin D. Richmond, Cassina D. Shaw, Warren Lincoln, Daniel Dean, Simeon Robinson, John Robinson (2d), Thomas Simmons, Jr., Ambrose Lincoln, Jr., Isaac Hall, Benjamin L. Boodry, Jouathuu Dean, Reiibeu L. Frazer, Godfrey Koblnsou, Jr., Enoch Williams, Ell Williams, Phllo Williams, Stephen Williams, Raynham; Johu Philips, Samuel Dean, Joseph Dean, Benjamin Hathaway, Elkauah Hathaway, Samuel Newhull, Levi L. Crane, Abijah Babbit, Berkley; Johu B.Talbot, Edward Terry, Palemou Phlge, Aaron Chace, Jr., Surraunus Philips, Frederick Briggs, Jonathan Palmer, Dightou.

Places Associated with the Richard Williams Family and Relatives

  • Taunton, MA Founded in 1637 by members of the Plymouth Colony, Taunton is one of the oldest towns in the United States. The city takes its name from Taunton, Somerset, in southwestern England. An English woman, Elizabeth Pole, from Taunton, was instrumental in the founding of the American Taunton. The native Americans called the region Cohannet before the arrival of the Europeans. Taunton is also known as the Silver City, as it was an historic center of the silver industry beginning in the 19th century when companies such as Reed & Barton, F. B. Rogers, Poole Silver, and others produced fine-quality silver goods in the city.
  • Dighton Dighton, MA was originally part of Taunton's South Purchase and other surrounding towns. It was separated in 1672, officially incorporated in 1712. It was named for Frances Dighton Williams, wife of Richard Williams, a town elder. At the time of incorporation, the town included land on both sides of the Taunton River, including the land of Assonet Neck, which includes Dighton Rock, a rock found in the shallows of the river which includes cryptic carvings whose origins are debated to this day. However, in 1799, that land on the east bank of the river was annexed by Berkley, thus giving that town the claim of being the home of the rock.
  • Suffield Suffield, CT was originally known as Southfield—which was pronounced Suffield. On May 20, 1674, the committee for settling the town petitioned "that the name of the place may be Suffield, it being the southernmost town that either at present is, or like to be in that Countrey, and neere adjoining to the south border of our Patent in those parts." The petition was granted by the Massachusetts Court on June 3, 1674. Suffield was incorporated as a town in March 1682.[1]
  • For a town its size, Suffield has had a remarkable effect on the history of the region and the nation. Its native and adopted sons include Rev. Ebenezer Gay, a renowned Congregational minister; U.S. Postmaster General Gideon Granger; real estate speculator Oliver Phelps, once the largest landowner in America; composer Timothy Swan; architect Henry A. Sykes; sculptor Olin Levi Warner; Seth Pease, surveyor of the Western Reserve lands in Ohio, most of which were controlled by Suffield financiers and speculators; and Thaddeus Leavitt[2], inventor of an early cotton gin, merchant and patentee of the Western Reserve lands.[3] Thanks to the town's early prominence and wealth, it boasts an astonishing collection of early New England architecture.[4] The Kent family, for whom the town's library is named, originated in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and boasted relations to many prominent early New England families, including the Dwight family of Northampton, Massachusetts, the Hooker family of Hartford, the Dudleys of Guilford, Connecticut and the Leavitts of Suffield.[5][6] Descendants of Robert Olds, who arrived from Sherborne, Dorset, in 1667, include automotive pioneer Ransom Eli Olds, Copperhead Ohio politician Edson Baldwin Olds, his great-grandson USAAF General Robert Olds, and his son, iconic USAF fighter pilot Robin Olds.
  • Barnstable Barnstable MA is named after Barnstaple, Devon, England. The area was first explored by Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602. It was one of the first towns to be settled, one year behind Sandwich, in 1638, and was incorporated in 1639. The early settlers were farmers, led by the Reverend Joseph Hull,[4] but soon fishing and salt works became major industries in town. By the end of the 19th century, there were some 804 ships harbored in the town. But this came to a decline with the rise of the railroad, which had arrived in 1854, and by steamships.
  • John Lothropp (also Lothrop or Lathrop, born in Etton, Yorkshire, 1584; died 1653) was an English Anglican clergyman, who became a Congregationalist minister and emigrant to New England. He was the founder of Barnstable, Massachusetts... After arriving in Plymouth aboard the Griffin, Lothropp first went to Sciuate where there were problems ... Lothropp petitioned Governor Thomas Prence in Plymouth for a "place for the transplanting of us, to the end that God might have more glory and wee more comfort."{Otis, 1888 p198} Thus as Otis says "Mr. Lothropp and a large company arrived in Barnstable, October 11, 1639 O.S., bringing with them the crops which they had raised in Scituate."{Otis, 1888 p198} There, within three years they had built homes for all the families and then Lothropp began construction on a larger sturdier meeting house by Coggin's (or Cooper's) Pond, which was completed in 1644. This building, now part of the Sturgis Library in Barnstable, Massachusetts is one of John Lothrop's original homes and meeting houses, and is now also the oldest building housing a public library in America. Lothropp's relatives include a large number of famous Americans.
  • Raynham, MA The area which would become Raynham was settled in 1639 as a part of Taunton, which was founded by Elizabeth Poole, the first woman to found a town in America. In 1652, iron was found along the Two Mile (Forge) River, and the town claims to be the site of one of the first successful iron works in America, and the last of those early iron works to officially close (in 1872). The eastern end of Taunton, was separated from Taunton and was incorporated as Raynham (named for the English town of Raynham in County of Norfolk, England) on April 2, 1731. Many ships' hulls were built along the Taunton River in Raynham, which were sailed down the river towards Fall River and Narragansett Bay for final fittings. The town also had other small manufacturing industries, but for the most part it was, and still is, known for its rural and agrarian base.
  • Scituate, MA
  • Milford, CT The land which today comprises Milford, Orange and West Haven, Connecticut was "purchased" on February 1, 1639 from Ansantawae, chief of the local Paugussets (an Algonquian tribe) by English settlers affiliated with the contemporary New Haven Colony. Originally, the area was known as "Wepawaug", after the small river which runs through the town, and which has given its name to several streets in both Milford and Orange.
  • During the Revolutionary War the Milford section of the Boston Post Road, a vital route connecting Boston, New York and other major coastal cities, was blockaded by Continental forces and Fort Trumbull was constructed to protect the town. The site of the blockade is commemorated by the Liberty Rock monument.
  • Historic Sites Associated with Richard Williams Descendants:
  • Abiathar King Williams House, Taunton, Bristol County, Massachusetts
  • Enoch Williams House, Taunton, Bristol County, Massachusetts


  • Mayflower Families Cooke discusses the Williams and specifically Richard Williams.
  • Williams and Johnson Families 1888 to 2010 by Deborah Williams with Commentary from Anne R. Dick, written by my cousin with input from my mother is an invaluable source for the Williams family. A lot of my material is straight from Deborah Williams' research. Her research in turn owes a lot to the extensive hand-written genealogy done by Aunt Elsie.
  • * Richard Williams of Taunton An Overview From the Charles Williams, M.D. Genealogy The Ancestry and Postery of Richard Williams of Taunton. This handwritten book cited everywhere is by a descendant of Charles Crosby Williams and I believe the only copy is in Taunton, MA.

"WILLIAMS, CHARLES CROSBY of Boston, Mass , b. in North Anson, Me., Dec. 23, 1855, Ph. G. Mass. Coll. of Pharmacy 1881, M. D. Harvard Coll. 1886, sec. U. S. Examining Surgeons for pensions, secy. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, member Massachusetts Medical and other societies; son of William of North Anson, Me., b. there Jan. 13, 1826, (m. 1st, Dec. 6, 1846, Mary A. Bates, d. Aug. 9, 1849, m. 2d, Jan. 2, 1855, Mary B. Breck, 7th in desc. from Edward Breck of Dorchester, Mass., who came from Lancaster co., Eng., 1637); son of William of North Anson, Me., b. in Wiscassett, Me., June 16, 1781, d. in North Anson Nov. 5, 1839 (m. 18o7, Amy Gray of York, Me.); son of Elemuel of Woolwich, Me., b. in Easton, Mass., Mar. 2, 1751, d. in Woolwich Sep. 23, 182o (m. Apr. 28, 1777, Anna Hilton of Woolwich, Me.); son of Timothy of Easton, Mass., b. in Taunton, Mass., Sep. 28, 1714, town clerk of Easton many years (m. Jan. 4, 1736, Elizabeth Brittern of Raynham, Mass.); son of John of Taunton, Mass., b. there Aug. 27, 1675, d. there Aug. 18, 1724 (m. Hannah, dau. of Increase Robinson); son of Nathaniel, b. in Taunton, Mass., bapt. Feb. 7, 1641, d. Aug. 16, 1692 (m. Nov. 17, 1668, Elizabeth Rogers of Duxbury, Mass., who was 5th in desc. from John Rogers, the martyr, who was burnt at Smithfield, Eng., 1552); son of Richard of Taunton, Mass., b. in Wooton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, Eng., bapt. Jan. 28, 16o6, d. in Taunton, Mass., 1693, came to America 1636, settled in Taunton 1637 (m. Feb. 11, 1632, Frances, dau. of John and Jane Dighton of Gloucestershire, Eng.); son of William of Synwell, a hamlet in Wooton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, Eng., d. Sep., 1618; son of William."