Nielsen Hayden genealogy

William Chesebrough

Male Abt 1595 - 1667  (~ 72 years)


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  • Name William Chesebrough  [1, 2
    Alternate birth Abt 1594  [3
    Born Abt 1595  [4, 5, 6
    Gender Male 
    Died 9 Jun 1667  Stonington, New London, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5, 7
    Buried Wequetequock Burial Ground, Stonington, New London, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Person ID I10601  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others
    Last Modified 23 Mar 2019 

    Family Ann Stevenson,   b. Abt 1598,   d. 29 Aug 1673, Stonington, New London, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 75 years) 
    Married 15 Dec 1620  St. Botolph's, Boston, Lincolnshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5, 6
    Children 
     1. Nathaniel Chesebrough,   b. Bef 25 Jan 1630,   d. 22 Nov 1678, Stonington, New London, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 48 years)
    Last Modified 17 Nov 2018 
    Family ID F6183  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Emigrated 1630 in the Winthrop fleet. First in Boston, then Rehoboth 1643, New London 1649, Stonington 1650. He was a blacksmith, a gunsmith, and literate.

      Along with TNH ancestors Walter Palmer, Thomas Stanton, and George Denison, he was one of the founders of Stonington, Connecticut. He was the first European to make his residence there.

      "William Cheeseborough was one of those men of substance who came to New England to live life as they wished, and not to become part of the Puritan hegemony." [Robert Charles Anderson, The Winthrop Fleet, citation details below.]

      From his Find a Grave page:

      In 1634 he was elected constable of Boston. He later moved to Braintree, and in 1640 he was elected deputy to the Massachusetts General Court. Soon after, he moved to Rehoboth, Plymouth Colony where he took an active and prominent part in organizing the town of Rehoboth.

      The General Court of that colony later ordered him to be arrested for an affray with an Indian, which led him to look further for a new permanent home. John Winthrop, Jr. urged Chesebrough to settle in his new settlement at Pequot, but he decided against it and and finally chose to settle at the head of Wequetequock Cove in the Pawcatuck area instead. It was another friend, Roger Williams, who encouraged and assisted him in moving to Pawcatuck during the summer of 1649 when he moved his family into their new house in Wequetequock, including his wife and four sons, Samuel, Nathaniel, John and Elisha.

      Mr. Chesebrough, traded with the Indians and with people of Long Island, which was prohibited by the General Assembly of Connecticut. In January, 1652, the town of Pequot gave him a large tract of land, which was afterwards liberally enlarged until it embraced between two and three thousand acres. Mr. Chesebrough succeeded in drawing around him a number of "acceptable persons" and the settlement of the town was begun. In 1654, however, the planters wanted to separate from Pequot for religious and civil purposes. This measure was resisted by the planters at Pequot. In the meantime, Massachusetts laid claim to the settlement, and the dispute went up to the court of the Commissioners of the United Colonies. In 1658 the court awarded all the territory east of Mystic River to the Massachusetts Colony, under the name of Southertown, until 1662, when it was included in the new charter, and again became a part of the colony of Connecticut. In 1665, the name Southertown was changed to Mystic. In 1666, it was again changed to Stonington.

      Mr. Chesebrough held numerous positions of trust not only in the Massachusetts Colony, in the town of Rehoboth, in Plymouth Colony as well. He was elected to several positions between 1653 and 1656.

      He held the office of Townsman (Selectman) until Southertown was annexed to Connecticut, and was the first man elected deputy after the reunion. He succeeded in restoring amicable relations with the Court which had been seriously disturbed by the jurisdictional controversy. After his return, he was elected first selectman of the town, and re-elected every year up to the time of his death, on June 9, 1667.

      *****

      His monument in Wequetequock Burial Ground, Stonington, Connecticut, reads:

      WILLIAM CHESEBROUGH
      THE FIRST WHITE SETTLER OF
      STONINGTON. BORN IN ENGLAND
      1594, MIGRATED TO AMERICA
      IN JOHN WINTHROP'S COMPANY
      WHICH PLANTED BOSTON IN 1630.
      AFTER SPENDING A FEW YEARS
      IN REHOBOTH MASS, HE WITH
      HIS WIFE AND FOUR SONS IN
      1649
      FIXED HIS PERMANENT HOME IN
      THIS, THEN WILDERNESSS, AND
      BUILT HIS DWELLING HOUSE
      NOT FAR FROM THIS MONUMENT.
      HE TOOK A LEADING PART IN THE
      ORGANIZATION OF THE TOWN AND
      THE CONDUCT OF ITS EARLY AFFAIRS.
      HE DIED JUNE 9, 1667.
      A BOLD PIONEER, A WISE ORGANIZER,
      A FIRM CHRISTIAN.

  • Sources 
    1. [S253] Ancestry of Robert Harry McIntire and of Helen Annette McIntire, His Wife by Robert Harry McIntire. Norfolk, Virginia, 1950.

    2. [S756] Early New England Families, 1641-1700, by Alicia Crane Williams. Online database, New England Historic Genealogical Society.

    3. [S972] Genealogy of the Descendants of William Chesebrough of Boston, Rehoboth, Mass. by Anna Chesebrough Wildey. New York: T. A. Wright, 1903.

    4. [S101] The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Volumes 1-3 and The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England,1634-1635, Volumes 1-7, by Robert Charles Anderson. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1996-2011.

    5. [S2306] The Winthrop Fleet: Massachusetts Bay Company Immigrants to New England 1629-1630 by Robert Charles Anderson. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2012.

    6. [S2413] Randy A. West, "Updates for some English Records for some Great Migration Immigrants Who Came by 1635." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 172:245 (Summer 2018); 172:353 (Fall 2018); 173:187 (Spring 2019).

    7. [S1368] Findagrave.com page for William Chesebrough.