Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Thomas Willett, Mayor of New York

Male Abt 1610 - 1674  (~ 64 years)


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  • Name Thomas Willett  [1
    Suffix Mayor of New York 
    Born Abt 1610  [2
    Gender Male 
    Died 3 Aug 1674  Swansea, Bristol, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I15416  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestors of JTS
    Last Modified 19 Nov 2017 

    Family Mary Brown,   d. 6 Jan 1669 
    Married 6 Jul 1636  Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Children 
    +1. Mary Willett,   b. 10 Nov 1637, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Jun 1712, Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)
     2. Sarah Willett,   b. 4 May 1643,   d. 13 Jun 1665  (Age 22 years)
    Last Modified 30 Nov 2018 
    Family ID F9721  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Emigrated to New England in 1630. First at Penobscot, then Plymouth, Rehoboth, New York in 1665, and Swansea, Massachusetts in 1668.

      First and third mayor of New York City following its takeover by the English.

      From Wikipedia:

      Willett was placed in charge of the Plymouth Colony's trading post with the Native Americans at Castine in what is now Maine, and there developed the skills in trade and native language which would serve him well. The French forced Plymouth to abandon their operations at Castine in 1635.

      Willett married Mary, daughter of John Brown(e), Sr., a leading citizen of the Plymouth Colony. He moved with the Brown(e) family from Plymouth westward to the eastern shores of Narragansett Bay to Wannamoisett, near present-day Barrington, Rhode Island, and became a major merchant, trading with New Amsterdam. He was elected one of the assistant governors of the Plymouth colony, and acted as arbitrator in disputes between the English and Dutch colonies. He eventually became the Plymouth Colony's chief military officer.

      Accompanying the English commander Richard Nicolls, he contributed to the peaceable surrender of New Amsterdam to the English on September 7, 1664.

      When the colony received the name of New York, Willett was appointed the first mayor (12 June 1665) and a commissioner of admiralty on August 23, with the approval of English and Dutch alike. The next year he was elected alderman, and became mayor a second time in 1667.

      Shortly after he withdrew to Swansea, and here, after having lost his first wife, he married Joanna Boyse, the widow of clergyman, Reverend Peter Prudden. He was a member of the New York governor's executive council from 1665 to 1672 under Richard Lovelace. He retired in 1673, and died in 1674, at the age of sixty-nine. He was buried in the Little Neck Cemetery at Bullock's Cove, Riverside area of East Providence, Rhode Island.

  • Sources 
    1. [S1139] Ancestral Lines, Third Edition: 206 Families in England, Wales, the Netherlands, Germany, New England, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania by Carl Boyer III. Santa Clarita, California: 1998.

    2. [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.