Almy #10954

William Almy (1601-1677)

Born in England.  Arrived in Massachusetts by 1635 and

Audrey Barlowe (1602-1676)

Born in England.  Arrived in Massachusetts by 1635.

Almy 10954William Almy is the son of Christopher Almy of South Kilworth, Leicestershire England and Joan Anne Clarke.  He was born about 1600 at South Kilworth and died about 1676/7 in Portsmouth Rhode Island.  In 1626 in Lutterworth, Leicestershire England, he married Audrey Barlowe of Lutterworth.  She was born about 1602 and died after 1676 (from will where she was mentioned), and is the daughter of Johnis Barloe and Margareta Woodland.

Massachusetts Bay records contain three entries, which apply to a William Almy present in Massachusetts in 1631 and 1634. These records have been cited to argue that the subject under consideration came to New England in 1630, returned to England in 1634, and came a second time to New England in 1635.  However, some grounds for doubting this, and it is not known if these are the same man.  It is known that William Almy came to New England in 1635, along with his family, on the Abigail.  The passenger list for that voyage indicates: William Almond [Almy], aged 34 years [husband], Audry Almond [Almy], aged 32 years [wife], Annis Almy, aged 8 years [daughter] and Christopher Almy, aged 3 years [son].  From the probably landing date of the Abigail in Boston (8 Oct 1636), the birth dates of these individuals are deduced.

There seems to be some confusion regarding William Almy’s connection to John Winthrop[1], with the claim advanced by some that William might have been a member of the company known as the Winthrop Fleet[2].  The Winthrop Fleet was a well planned and financed expedition that formed the nucleus of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  As mentioned above, William’s presence in Massachusetts in 1630 is questionable.  Some confusion may arise from the fact that there was a passenger Wynthropp John age 27 on the Abigail, but this man is not the John Winthrop of note in the history of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Early Map of Cape Cod

Early Map of Cape Cod

In about 1637 William removed to Sandwich on Cape Cod, in the Plymouth Colony, where he and nine others were given liberty 3 Apr 1637 to look for a place to settle.  He was granted land amounting to eight and one half acres on 16 Apr 1640, which was sold to Edmund Freeman on 22 Jun 1642.  On that day he also sold his house in Sandwich, and soon thereafter he arrived in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. He held a number of minor offices in Rhode Island and appears to have been prosperous.  In Portsmouth he was granted land on 14 Nov 1644 at the Wading River and he was freeman in 1655.  He sold eight acres of his holdings to Richard Bulgar on 5 Jan 1656. It is supposed that he was of gentry origins, as indicated by the fact that he is always referred to as Mister in the records.

Several times over the years, William Almy caught the attention of the authorities due to legal issues.

  • In 1636 William Almy gained a suit and secured a judgment against the estate of David Johnson, but compromised the case with the widow.
  • On the same date, one Robert Way was ordered to serve William Almy until he had satisfied the sum of his indebtedness to him, which amounted to £111.
  • In December 1638, he was one of several Sandwich men fined for keeping swine unringed.
  • In May 1650, in a letter from Roger Williams to John Winthrop, the activities of the crew of a French prize vessel were described, and it is reported that one of them, having lain with Mr. Almie’s daughter[3] of Portsmouth, is like now to marry her.  The parents and the English are troubled greatly.  (The outcome of this encounter is unknown).
  • In November 1652, William Almy of Rhode Island sued John Smith of Warwick, merchant, claiming that Smith and his partner William Field doth detain & keep from the said William Almy … the quantity of five anchors and a half of liquors worth 40 pounds.  The town of Portsmouth first dismissed the case, but later re-examined the evidence and found for Almy.
  • In October 1669, the town of Portsmouth instituted a suit against William Almy for throwing a fence across a highway which doth lead to one of the most principal watering places for cattle in this town.  Almy began a countersuit. The town of Portsmouth won the suit in court and on 6 Jul 1671 began to try to enforce their victory.

William Almy was one of the first members of the Society of Friends (Quakers) in America.

The children of William Almy and Audrey Barlowe are as listed follows:

  1. Ann (sometimes Annis or Agnes) Almy, born about 1628 in Leicestershire, England and died May 1709.  In about 1648 she married John Greene (Jr.)[4], son of Dr. John Greene and Joan TattersallJohn Greene (Jr.) was born 1620 in Salisbury Wiltshire, England and died 27 Nov 1708.  He became Deputy Governor of Rhode Island.
  2. Christopher, born about 1632 in Leicestershire, England and died 30 Jan 1712/3.  On 9 Jul 1661 he married Elizabeth Cornell, daughter of Thomas Cornell and Rebecca.  He was a freeman of Portsmouth in 1658 and was in New Jersey by 1676
  3. John, died before 1676/7 in America  (mentioned as dead in his father’s will).  He married Mary Cole.  She married second in 1677 John Pococke.
  4. Job, born about 1640 in Sandwich, Massachusetts.  He married Mary Unthank of Warwick, Rhode Island.
  5. Catherine, born in Portsmouth, Rhode Island 1645 and died about 1703.  She married (1st) Bartholomew West about 1652 and (2nd) Nicholas Brown[5].

The lineage of Ann Almy and John Greene (Jr.) continues under the heading of (Dr.) John Greene (1597-1659).

John Winthrop (1588-1649) was a wealthy English Puritan lawyer and one of the leading figures in the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

John Winthrop (1588-1649) was a wealthy English Puritan lawyer and one of the leading figures in the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

[1] John Winthrop (1588 –1649) was a wealthy English Puritan lawyer, and one of the leading figures in the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the first major settlement in New England after Plymouth Colony. Winthrop led the first large wave of migrants from England in 1630, and served as governor for 12 of the colony’s first 20 years of existence. His writings and vision of the colony as a Puritan “city upon a hill” dominated New England colonial development, influencing the government and religion of neighboring colonies. Born into a wealthy landowning and merchant family, Winthrop was trained in the law, and became Lord of the Manor at Groton in Suffolk. Although he was not involved in the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Company in 1628, he became involved in 1629 when the anti-Puritan King Charles I began a crackdown on Nonconformist religious thought. In October 1629 he was elected governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and in April 1630 he led a group of colonists to the New World, founding a number of communities on the shores of Massachusetts Bay and the Charles River. Between 1629 and his death in 1649, he served 12 annual terms as governor, and was a force of comparative moderation in the religiously conservative colony, clashing with the more conservative Thomas Dudley and the more liberal Roger Williams and Henry Vane.  Although Winthrop was a respected political figure, his attitude toward governance was somewhat authoritarian: he resisted attempts to widen voting and other civil rights beyond a narrow class of religiously approved individuals, opposed attempts to codify a body of laws that the colonial magistrates would be bound by, and also opposed unconstrained democracy, calling it the meanest and worst of all forms of government.  The authoritarian and religiously conservative nature of Massachusetts rule was influential in the formation of neighboring colonies, which were in some instances formed by individuals and groups opposed to the rule of the Massachusetts elders. Winthrop’s son, John, was one of the founders of the Connecticut Colony, and Winthrop himself wrote one of the leading historical accounts of the early colonial period.  His long list of descendants includes famous Americans, and his writings continue to be an influence on politicians today.

[2] Ancestors who are known to have arrived with America with the Winthrop Fleet are William Gager and Hannah Mayhew (my 10th g-grandparents) and John Sayles and Phillipa Soales (my 11th g-grandparents). It is also possible that William Almy (my 11th g-grandfather) was a member of the Winthrop Fleet voyage in 1630, but this has not been proven.  These individuals are discussed under their own headings. The Winthrop Fleet consisted of eleven ships carrying approximately 700 passengers sailing from Yarmouth, Isle of Wright to Salem. The ships of the fleet were the flagship Arbella, Ambrose, Hopewell, and Talbot, (which sailed 8 Apr 1630) and Charles, Jewel, Mayflower, Success, Trial, Whale, and William & Francis (which sailed in May 1630).

The Arbella -- Gov. Winthrop's Flagship, The Pioneers' Village, Salem, Massachusetts (Created/Published: Tichnor Bros. Inc., Boston, postcard issued circa 1930-1945)

The Arbella — Gov. Winthrop’s Flagship, The Pioneers’ Village, Salem, Massachusetts (Created/Published: Tichnor Bros. Inc., Boston, postcard issued circa 1930-1945)

[3] This cannot be Anne, who married John Greene by 1649, so, unless there is a third daughter otherwise unrecorded, this record must refer to William’s daughter Catherine.

[4] Brother of James Greene, the g-grandfather of General Nathanael Greene of Revolutionary fame (1742-1786).  He was a major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War.  When the war began, Greene was a militia private, the lowest rank possible, but he later emerged from the war with a reputation as George Washington’s most gifted and dependable officer.  Refer to the article under “Notable Kin” more details.

[5] According to some sources, Nicholas Brown (1639-1711) may be the second husband of my 10th g-grand aunt, Catherine Almy (1636-1688), but I have not investigated this connection.  This Nicolas is a 1st cousin 1x removed of Sarah Browne (1600-1653), the mother of Pardon Tillinghast (1622-1718), my 9th g-grandfather, discussed under his own heading.


One comment

  • I descend from Christopher Almy and Elizabeth Cornell, also Jasper Crane, and my Cogswell son-in-law is a direct descendant of John Cogswell. I recently learned that Audrey Barlow (or Barlowe) is a gateway ancestor, or perhaps you are aware of that already? She descends from William de Longespee, natural son of Henry II etc. Very much enjoying your site, very interesting and very well done.

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