Winn #5190

Edward Winn (1600-1682)

Born in England (or possibly Wales).  Arrived in Massachusetts by 1640 (probably a few years prior) and

Joanna (or Jane) (1605-1649)

Born in England.  Arrived in Massachusetts by 1640 (probably a few years prior).

Winn #5190

Woburn, Middlesex County, on the map of Massachusetts

Edward Winn was probably born in England[1].  We don’t have any solid information on his early life or his parentage.  However, some sources report was a carpenter or master builder and came from Ipswich, England or its vicinity.  No record of his birth has been found, but based on the probable birth year of his first child Ann (before 1630), one can estimate a birth year for Edward Winn of about 1600-05.  He died at Woburn, Massachusetts on 5 Sep 1682.  In England he married Joanna [surname unknown] in about 1625.  As is the case with Edward, we don’t have any solid information on her early life or her parentage.  The couple emigrated to New England with children Ann, Elizabeth and Joseph (and possibly accompanied by Moses Cleveland, his apprentice, who later married his daughter, Ann) before 1640, when Edward Winn first appears in the town records of Woburn.  In this record, he is recorded as one of the Commissioners present at a meeting at the house of Mr. Thomas Graves in Charlestown, Massachusetts, at their first meeting, held on 18 Dec 1640, for consulting on the affairs of the contemplated town of Woburn.  The proceedings of this meeting are reported by Sewall in his History of Woburn[2].  The name of Edward Winne is among the thirty-two Persons subscribed to these Orders.  The “Orders” were the five conditions for inhabiting the new town of Woburn.  The first order fixed the price of land at six pence an acre.  The second order required return of lots if they were not improved in 15 months.  The remaining orders concerned fencing, inmats (archaic usage) and timber.

Welcome to Woburn, Massachusetts

Welcome to Woburn, Massachusetts

Prior to settling at Woburn, Edward Winn lived at Charlestown, Massachusetts, and he was probably in the colony for a few years prior to the establishment of Woburn in 1640, placing his date of arrival most likely in the late 1630s.

Edward Winn married:

  1. Joanna, about 1626 in England.  No record of her birth has been found but it was probably 1601-08.  She died on 8 Mar 1649 at Woburn.
  2. Sarah Beal, 10 Aug 1649 (her second husband).  She was born about 1608 and died 15 Mar 1680 at Woburn.
  3. Anne, or Hannah (Page) Wood, previously married to William Page and Nicholas Wood.  She was born about 1608 and died before between 9 Sep 1685 (date of will) and 1 Nov 1686 (date of probate).

Edward Winn was made a freeman on 10 May 1643 and was taxed in Woburn in the rate for the country on 8 Sep 1645 and the subsequent rates.  He was one of the leading men in town affairs and was chosen a town officer, a Surveyor for Sale (1658-9) and Selectman (1669).  The signature of Edward Winn appears as a subscribing witness on 10 Apr 1653 to a deed[3] of George Polley to John Lakin of Groton, of land at Woburn, some of it lying on land of Moses Cleveland.

Edward Winn in his will, dated 6 May 1682, names his son Increase, his son Joseph’s daughter Sarah, the three youngest children of his daughter Ann, wife of Moses Cleaveland and the three youngest children of his daughter Elizabeth, wife of George Polley.

The children of Edward Winn and Joanna are listed as follows (the first two certainly born in England, and the third probably born there as well):

  1. Ann, born before 1630 and died 6 Jan 1681/82 at Woburn.  On 26 Sep 1648 at Woburn she married Moses Cleveland.  Moses came to New England as a ship carpenter’s apprentice in exchange for passage to America.  The name of Moses’ master is not ascertained with certainty, but is conjectured to be Edward Winn, who would become his father-in-law.  Ann and Moses Cleveland are direct ancestors of President (22nd & 24th) Grover Cleveland[4].
  2. Elizabeth Winn, born before 1631 and died 2 May 1695 at Woburn.  On 21 May 1649 she married George Polley (1625-1683), and their lineage is continued under his heading.
  3. Joseph, died 22 Feb 1714/15.  He married Rebecca Reed, who died about 1734.  Joseph was a soldier in King Phillip’s war (1676) and an ensign in Phipps’ Canada expedition to Quebec in 1690.
  4. Increase was born 5 Dec 1641 – the first birth entered in the records of Woburn, Massachusetts.  He died 14 Dec 1690 at Woburn.  On 13 Jul 1665 in Woburn he married Hannah Sawtell, who was born 10 Dec 1642 at Watertown, Massachusetts and died 18 Feb 1722/23 at Woburn.  Increase was a sergeant in the company of Capt. Thomas Brattle of Boston, in King Philip’s war   He was a prominent citizen of Woburn and selectman for 1687-8.  Increase and Hannah Sawtell are direct ancestors of President (31st) Herbert Hoover[5].

The Winn family had a rich history in Woburn, Massachusetts. The 1879 Winn Memorial Library in Woburn was designed by American architect H. H. Richardson and is now a National Historic Landmark. (The statue in front depicts Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, 1753-1814, an American-born British physicist and inventor whose challenges to established physical theory were part of the 19th century revolution in thermodynamics. It is a replica of an original scupture located at the “Englischer Garten” in Munich, Bavaria, Germany).


[1] Some sources suggest he could have been originally from Wales (as the Winn surname is of Welsh origin), but there is no evidence to either support or refute this theory.

[2] Samuel Sewell. The History of Woburn, Middlesex County, Mass., from the grant of its territory to Charlestown in 1640 to the year 1860 (Boston, Massachusetts: Wiggin and Lunt, publishers, 1868), p. 529-30.

[3] This deed is recorded in NEHGR, XLV: 81-82.

[4] Discussed under “Notable Kin”

[5] Discussed under “Notable Kin”


One comment

  • Lucinda A. Winn

    Our family has a fourteen generation direct male descendancy from Edward Winn and Joanna Sargent through their son Joseph.

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