Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Brintons and Bagleys with a Connection to Shakesphere. Williamson Line

Family Line

William Brinton (b. 1636) - Ann Bagley (b. 1634)
10th Great Grandparents
John Willis - Ester Brinton
William Willis - Mary Titus
John Willis - Abigail Willets
John Willis - Margaret Cornell
John Willis - Phebe Bennett,
Bennett Willis - Katherine Nosseman
Jonathan Willis - Anabella Phlegar
Margaret Ann Willis - George Matthew Williamson
William J. Williamson - Effie Helen Victor
Vennie, Ima Della, Inez, Lillie Ethel, Josie, Emmett, Walt, Charles, Maurice.
Charles - Luella

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Welcome to our Williamson Virtual Family Reunion around our digital campfire for tonight's story. What a day indeed. The wind is blowing, bringing in a strong cold front from the Pacific. A warning to our distant cousins in the mid west and east coast. There be a storm brewin and it be a wicked one at that! We are in for days of rain and possibly even snow.

Tonight we discuss two families we are tied to through our Willis line. Now, a word of caution. Genealogy isn't always an exact science. With that taken as a given in all our discussions, I must preface my remarks by making you aware of a dispute I can't seem to resolve. The parentage of our Great Grandfather Bennet Willis. We are descended from Bennet Willis, that can be taken to the bank. Who his parents really are is the debate. The majority of the Willis documents I've found online give his parentage as I've illustrated it above. However, there are a few Willis genealogists that give a different set of parents for Bennett. I've spent hours myself trying to solve the dispute but can't. Perhaps some day when there are more records available. Until then I've decided to accept the majority opinion and give it to you for your consideration.
Please remember, what the stories we tell about the Willis line beyond Bennett could be debated and should not be taken as the absolute truth. It is just the best that I can find at the moment and could be proven incorrect later. Could be - unlikely but possible. OK?

So gather around the fire and let me tell you about our 10th Great Grandparents William and Ann. Much of this material tonight was taken direction from the research done by another family and can be found at the following web site (http://www.mccullough.nl/).

The Brintons and Bagleys

The Brintons and Bagleys were Quakers who immigrated to America from Staffordshire Co., England. William Brinton married Ann Bagley in 1659 while in England. They had five children (3 girls, Esther, Ann & Elizabeth, and 2 boys, William & Edward) between the years 1660 and 1675. One son, Edward Brinton, died at an early age.

A Shakespeare Connection

Ann's brother, Edward Bagley (an 11th Uncle to us) has also become the subject of much recent research, as he was mentioned as a "kinsman" and named as executor of Lady Elizabeth Bernard's will. Lady Bernard was Shakespeare's granddaughter and last surviving direct descendant, and Edward could very well have ended up with Lady Bernard's (and by extension, Shakespeare's) papers. Unfortunately, the nature of the connection between the Bagley's and the Shakespeare family has not yet been conclusively determined, and so it is not yet possible to say if this connection also applied to Ann Bagley Brinton. However, the research article by John Taplin gives at the very least some interesting insights into life and social relationships in the Brinton's hometown area in the 1500 and 1600's.

Returning to the Brintons in America
In an effort to escape religious persecution, William came to America in the spring of 1684 with his wife and his only living son, William. The family settled near what is now New Castle, Delaware. It is said they lived in a cave throughout the first winter. They survived thanks to gifts of game supplied by the Indians that traveled the trails near their shelter. Once the weather cleared, William built the family a log cabin and planted a pear tree as a symbol of a fruitful future. He purchased 50 acres from Thomas King in March of 1686 and 450 acres in Oct. of that same year in Birmingham. These purchases included the lands on which he was already living. In 1688 he purchased an additional 400 acres.

Several years later, the son William , built the William Brinton 1704 House pictured above on an adjoining part of this land. William Sr. and Ann had originally left their three daughters Ann, Elizabeth, and Esther behind in England, but eventually these children and their husbands also emigrated to this area.

As Quakers, William and Ann lost much of what they owned to the British government. William was again on the unpopular side of religion within seven years of coming to America as he joined the rebellious Quaker, George Keith. This group broke up after a few years, William and his family returned to the Orthodox Quaker church where they were members in good standing at Concord Monthly Meeting at the time of their deaths, shortly after one another.

A biography of Ann, written in part by her husband William, was reprinted in "The Friend", Vol 33, a Quaker publication.

So, to wrap up, again we find we are descended from good rebellious Quaker stock along the Willis line. Persecuted in England they sailed the six to twelve week voyager across the Atlantic in hopes of finding a new home in a new country.


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