Wilcoxson #8060

William Wilcoxson (1601-1652)

Born in England.  Arrived at Boston, Massachusetts in May 1635, later settling in Connecticut and

Margaret (Birdseye?) (1611-1675)

Born in England.  Arrived at Boston, Massachusetts in May 1635, later settling in Connecticut.

Wilcoxson #8060

Many descendants in this line have dropped the last syllable of Wilcoxson, shortening it to Wilcox, from about the middle of the eighteenth century.

Derbyshire, location on the map of England. In 2003 the Ordnance Survey placed Church Flatts farm, near Coton in the Elms (extreme southern Derbyshire), as the furthest point from the sea in Great Britain – about 70 miles.

According to Hotten[1], William Wilcoxson (age 34), together with his wife, Margaret [surname unknown, although some sources report it as Birdseye[2]] (age 24) and their infant son, John (age 2), sailed from London on the ship Planter on 5 Apr 1635 and arrived at Boston, Massachusetts 26 May of that year.  (The Curtiss Genealogy of 1903[3] states that Joseph Hawley[4] sailed to America on the Planter along with Stratford proprietors Adam Blakeman[5], William Wilcoxson and William Beardsley, but this has never been proved).  William and Margaret probably married in England about 1632.  The passengers of the Planter embarked with a blanket certificate, confirming their character, from the minister of St. Albans, Hertfordshire, there is no reason to believe that William was from that specific place.  The records of the shire do not contain his name, and he was more likely from either the town of Biggin or Wirkswork, Derbyshire.  The parish records of Derbyshire confirm that many Wilcoxsons lived in the surrounding villages.  His father may have been William Wilcoxson (1560-1626) of Wirksworth, Derbyshire, England who married Anne Howdische on 8 Feb 1575, and whose children were George, William (the younger son), Anne and Mazie.  This William mentions his son, William (age 25), in his will of 1626.  Since William was a linen weaver (according to the passenger records of the Planter), and Biggin was an area where flax was grown and woven into cloth, there is credibility to this theory.  According to Orcutt[6], his first American home was at Concord, Massachusetts.  William was made a freeman of the Massachusetts Bay Colony on 7 Dec 1636.  Since he later appears at Stratford, Connecticut in the year 1639, he could not have lived more than four years at Concord, where two of his children were probably born (Joseph and Timothy).

William Wilcoxson was one of the early settlers of Stratford, Connecticut, and he had a home lot in the center of the village. The earliest map of Stratford (as it was 1639) shows seventeen families living there.  William Wilcoxson‘s lot was in the center of the town, and his neighbors were William Beardsley and John Peat.  Across the street, lived the Widow Elizabeth Curtis.

William represented Stratford as deputy to the General Court in Hartford in 1647.  Some sources say that he left Stratford to live for a time in Hartford and Windsor, but it is evident that he died in Stratford, as an inventory of his estate was taken there 16 Jun 1652.  In his will made in May 1651, William left £30 to the church in Concord, Massachusetts where the family had attended so many years before.

The children of William Wilcoxson and Margaret are listed as follows: (1) John, born in England and died 19 Mar 1690.  He married (1st, 1656) Johanna Titterton, (2nd, 1658) Deborah Titterton and (3rd) Elizabeth Bourne; (2) Joseph, born at Concord, Massachusetts and died 9 Feb 1703.  In 1658 he married Margaret Sheathers; (3) Timothy Wilcoxson, born about 1638 at Concord, Massachusetts and died 13 Jan 1713.  He married Joanna Birdseye (possibly 1st cousins); (4) Samuel, born at Stratford, Connecticut and died 12 Mar 1713/4.  In 1665 he married Hannah Rice; (5) Elizabeth, born at Stratford, Connecticut and died 16 Apr 1663; (6) Hannah, born at Stratford, Connecticut; (7) Sarah, born at Stratford, Connecticut; (8) Obadiah, born at Stratford, Connecticut and died 1714 and (9) Phebe, born at Stratford, Connecticut and died 20 Sep 1743.  She married (1st, 1669) John Birdseye (possibly 1st cousins) and (2nd, 1680) John Beach.

All of these births occurred between about 1633-1651.  The arrangement shown above is in the order presented in History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield[7] and the one which seems most reasonable in view of their respective marriage dates and other considerations.  No birth record exists anywhere for any of these children.

William died early in the year 1652.  This is known as there is a probate record of the inventory of his will dated 16 Jun 1652.  Margaret was later remarried to William Hayden.  Just when or where it was that the widow Wilcoxson met William Hayden (an immigrant of 1630) of Windsor we do not know.  It may be that the two families had known each other in Derbyshire or that they had become acquainted at Concord.  According to Records of the Connecticut Line of the Hayden Family[8], Margaret married William Hayden sometime in the year 1663[9].  The latter had then removed from Windsor to Killingworth with Margaret and the younger Wilcoxson children, along with his own children of his first marriage. By that time, John, Joseph, Timothy remained at Stratford with their families.  Elizabeth removed with her husband, Henry Stiles to Windsor while Joseph and his family joined his parents in Killingworth.  He settled there permanently.  Samuel, who married the following year at Windsor, probably did not live long at Killingworth, if at all.  Samuel eventually settled in Simsbury, and Obadiah settled in East Guilford (now Madison.)  The younger children who accompanied their mother to Killingworth were, therefore: Hannah, Sarah, Obadiah, and Phoebe.  Margaret died at Killingworth about 1675.

Timothy Wilcoxson and Joanna Birdsdeye were married on 28 Dec 1664.  Joanna Birdeye was born 18 Nov 1642 in Stratford, Connecticut and died in August 1713 at the same place.  The daughter of Timothy Wilcoxson and Joanna Birdseye (1st cousins) is Elizabeth Wilcoxson, born 6 Nov 1673 in Stratford, Connecticut and died 10 Sep 1762 in Farmington, Connecticut. On 7 Jun 1697 she married Joseph Hawley (the son of Samuel Hawley and Mary Thompson), born 6 Jun 1675 in Stratford, Connecticut and died 20 Nov 1752 in Farmington, Connecticut.  The lineage of Elizabeth Wilcoxson and Joseph Hawley is continued under the heading of Joseph Hawley (1603-1690).

[1] John Camden Hotten, ed. The original lists of persons of quality: emigrants, religious exiles, political rebels, serving men sold for a term of years, apprentices, children stolen, maidens pressed, and others, who went from Great Britain to the American plantations, 1600-1700 (1874).

[2] The early generations of the Birsdeye family in Connecticut are a bit murky, and the facts that are generally reported are supported more by family tradition than documentary proof.  There is obviously a complicated connection among the Birdseye, Wilcoxson and Hawley families that may reach all the way back to England.  If Margaret is a Birdseye, then she is probably a sister or perhaps a cousin to our ancestors John Birdseye and Joseph (or Edward) Birdseye (our 10th and 11th great grandfathers), brothers who settled in Stratford and Wethersfield, respectively.  They are the sons of John Birdseye (1571-1649), discussed under his own heading.

[3] Frederic Haines Curtiss. A genealogy of the Curtiss family: being a record of the descendants of widow Elizabeth Curtiss, who settled in Stratford, Conn., 1639-1640 (Rockwell and Churchill Press) 1903.

[4] My 10th g-grandfather, discussed under his own heading

[5] My 9th g-grandfather, discussed under his own heading

[6] Samuel Orcutt, A history of the old town of Stratford and the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut (1886).

[7] Jacobus, Donald Lines. History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield (New Haven, Connecticut: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor) 1930.

[8] Hayden, Jabez Haskell. Records of the Connecticut Line of the Hayden Family (Windsor Locks, Connecticut: Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co.) 1888.

[9] Other sources indicate dates as late as 1668.


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