.

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 tenous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Henry Willis and Mary Pease. Our 9th Great Grandparents on the Williamson Line.

Proud to be British!

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello to All,
Well, I’m tired. I’ve been searching for a family tie to England for several months now. You might want to call it an obsession but I'd say more of a curiosity. This has turned into kind of a hobby. I like to write and history was always my favorite subject in school. Come to think of it, the History Channel is a favorite also. So, you put all of that together and "Presto!" this blog.

Those of you that read the blog know of the brick wall stopping us in our search for the first Williamson immigrants from England or Wales to America. Remember, our current theory is our Williamson ancestors came from outer space. We will leave it at that until something else pops up in my research. For sanity’s sake, I’m giving that area of research a rest and decided to pursue another line to see if I can drag our family ties across the Atlantic to our homeland - England.

Now, how do I do it? Well, I'm interested in the stories of our ancestors. I want to know who they were and what they did. A name on a family tree chart is where I start. Once I settle on a name I beat it to death is multiple internet searches using Google, Bing etc. Throw in hours spent on Ancestry.com and other genelogy sites and, with a little bit of luck, I'll find something that will lead to something else which usually leads to someone in the family that knows the family history we share and was kind enough to post it to the web.

Tonight I pronounce SUCCESS! We’ve finally jumped the Atlantic and can directly trace our Willis line to England, all the way back to the 1500’s. I’ll have more to post on this over the next several weeks so keep reading.

Tonight I introduce you to the first in our Willis family line that crossed the Atlantic.
OK, Williamsons, are you ready to meet your first English relatives? They were devout Quakers (buy a box of Quaker Oats in their honor the next time you are wandering Walmart's aisles) who suffered persecution for their beliefs while in England, thus prompting their immigration to America.

First, the family line:

Henry Willis and Mary Pease my 9th Great Grandparents.
to
John Willis
to
John Willis
to
John Willis
to
John Willis
to
Bennett Willis
to
Jonathan Willis
to
Margaret Ann Willis - George Matthew Williamson
to
William J. Williamson
to
The Nine Williamson Children (our parents and grandparents)
to
Charles Williamson
to
Me.

HENRY WILLIS was born 09/14/1628 in Warminster, St. Denys, Wiltshire, England, and died 09/11/1714 in Westbury, Long Island, New York. He married MARY PEASE 09/14/1654 in Warminster, St. Denys, Wiltshire, England, daughter of ROBERT PEASE and MARGARET KING. She was born 06/12/1632 in Warminster, St. Denys, Wiltshire, England, and died 04/23/1714 in Westbury, Long Island, New York.

The following information was taken from Hicks, Benjamin D., Willis Family of Long Island, (New York: New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, Oct. 1884 Vol. XV reprinted in Hoff, Henry B. Genealogies of Long Island Families Baltimore :Genealogical Pub. Co., 1987]), p. 743.
Henry and Mary resided in the town of Devizes until 1667, where their three elder children were born. The year after the great fire they moved to London, where they lived for seven or eight years and had several children. It being soon after the rise of the religious sect called Quakers, of which they were members, they suffered, in common with their friends, imprisonment and persecution at the hands of the officials, and much abuse and annoyance from the rabble because of their peculiar views.

About the year 1675 Henry and his family (except the eldest daughter Mary) emigrated to America and found a temporary home in the town of Oysterbay, on Long Island. A year or two thereafter he purchased of Captain John Seaman a piece of land in the adjoining township of
Hempstead (now North Hempstead), where he permanently settled, giving the place the name of Westbury, after a town in his native county in England, which it continues to bear to the present day. Henry Willis died in Westbury July 11, 1714, and his wife Mary on April 23, 1714.

1 comment: