Andrews Genealogy


William Andrews Genealogy

William Andrews. William and Mary Andrews were the emigrant ancestors of the Andrews line. But little is known as to William Andrews' early life and nothing whatever is known with reference to his wife Mary. There were several William Andrews in the Colonies during the early days of the Puritans and it is often difficult to distinguish between them. About all that is known of his early life is contained in the following statements from Pope's Pioneers of Massachusetts, and it is certain that this does not all apply to our William Andrews. This book states that "Godly parents prought him up until be was 17 years of age." That he was apprenticed at Ipswich, England, and came first to Charlestown and that in his absence his wife moved to Cambridge, "which pleased him." He was made Freeman March 4, 1634-5, and that he lived in Cambridge and sold all his house and lands and rights n Cambridge Sept. 25, 1637. That his wife died in 1640. The book contains other statements but they evidently apply to another William Andrews who came to Cambridge a few years after our William Andrews went to Hartford and the writer of the book confused the two William Andrews. This second William Andrews was a mariner. The History of Massachusetts 1630 to 1877 also states that ancestor William Andrews was a mariner, but also confuses him with his follower at Cambridge.

Ancestor Wm. Andrews first appeared at Cambridge, so far as reliable records go, Dec. 1, 1634. But he was probably there some time before then. He soon took a prominent plan in the affairs of the town. His ability to do this was owing perhaps to his superior education. He was afterwards a school teacher and was no doubt well educated for those times. He wrote an excellent hand, as is indicated by the old Hartford Records, written by him when town clerk and county recorder. His home lot in Cambridge, then called Newtown, was on the northeast corner of Dunster and Winthrop streets and occupied about one-fourth of the block, surrounded by Dunster, Winthrop, Mt. Auburn and Holyoke streets. Dec. 1, 1634, William Andrews was granted five acres in the West Field. This Field was about one mile northwest of the settlement. Aug. 20, 1635, all the meadow land, undivided, belonging to Cambridge, was ordered measured and divided to every man, according to his several proportions. In this division, William received two and one-half acres. On Feb. 8, 1635-36, William owned two houses in the town. It may be that one of these was for Francis Andrews, who seemed to be a younger brother of William, but Francis was then not married.

On March 4, 1635, William was made Freeman in Boston, the county seat, together with Thomas Scott, Thomas and Timothy Stanley, Samuel Greenhill and William Pantry, all men intimately associated with William Andrews.

William also was chosen one of the nine townsmen or selectmen for the town for one year on Nov. 23, 1635, at a general meeting of the town. He was also, at the same meeting, chosen constable for the year following. The constables during those years, at least until 1666, were always townsmen.

Oct. 27, 1636, according to the books of record of Mass. Bay Colony, Newtown presented a book of their records under the hand of William Andrews, constable, John Benjamin and William Spencer.

He attended a meeting of selectmen on the 7th of Dec., 1635. At this meeting it was ordered that a bridge be built on the town side of the river, down to a low water mark, and a ladder on the other side. Apparently this was a swampy place, called a "ship marsh," on the town side of the Charles river, which they bridged so as to reach the ferry, over the river; while on the other side the banks were high and a ladder was needed. There were but five of the nine selectmen present at this meeting, so they ordered that whosoever appears not within half an hour after the ringing of the bell shall pay for the first offense six pence, and for the second day twelve pence, and double it every day, unless he has a just excuse such as may give satisfaction to the rest of the company. The following meetings were much better attended. On Jan. 4, 1635-36, William attended the meeting and seven other selectmen were present. They granted some lots in the pine swamp field to several persons, two acres being granted to James Hosmer, "provided he buy a house in the town or else to return again to the town." On the 8th of February, 1635-36, all the selectmen were present. Various orders were entered in reference to land. It was ordered that whosoever hath or hereafter shall have any ground lying in the bounds of the town and shall desire to let or sell the same, he shall not let or sell the same to anyone who is an inhabitant of the town, or will be within twelve months thereafter upon the forfeiture of all such land unto the town. (Apparently they were seeking to get new comers.) That there shall be one acre railed in with double rail, for dry cattle to lie in at night. A list was made showing 38 persons having 78 houses in the town, many persons having more than one. William Andrews had two, with a population of about 600 persons, including servants and slaves.

At the meeting of March, 1635-36, the selectmen agreed with Richard Rice to keep 100 cows for three months, and to have ten pounds after the ships come in, or in June, also to have three men to help him the first 14 days, and one man the next seven days. He to fetch the cows into the town every morning out of the common, half an hour after the sun is up, at the furthermost and to bring them into the barn half an hour before the sun goeth down; and to pay three pence a cow every night he leaveth out any.

The meeting of June 6, 1636, was probably the last attended by the selectmen William Andrews, Thomas Hosmer, Andrew Warner and Clement Chaplin, as it is supposed that they all went to Hartford about that time, and none of these were reelected the following November. This exodus to Hartford seemed to disorganize the government, as there were no more meetings of the council until Oct. 3, 1636. At this meeting on June 6, 1636, it was agreed with Mr. Andrews, that his man keep the calves for 13 shillings a week, "so long as we think good, only we are to provide him a man for the present, if he should require it of us." From this it would seem that Mr. Andrews was contemplating leaving for Hartford, but expected to retain at least a part of his land and a hired man.

Just when William Andrews went from Cambridge to Hartford is not known but probably it was in the summer of 1636, and it may be that he went with the Hooker company in early June.

It is said that his wife Mary died at Braintree Jan. 29, 1640 (new style). The records show the death there of Mary, the wife of Mr. William Andrews 19 (11) 1639, that is the 19th day of the 11th month, 1639, which would be Feb. 29, 1640, new style. There was another William Andrews whose wife died about that time apparently and in that neighborhood, and who went to Cambridge about 1640, and it is very likely she was the one who died about then, as ancestor William's wife was alive in May, 1638, and married his second wife Abigail Graves, apparently before 1641. There is also a record of William's wife dying in Cambridge Feb. 29, 1639. This was probably our ancestor. She may have returned to her father's home.

His second wife was Abigail Graves, a sister of George Graves, who lived within a block of William at Hartford, probably lived with her brother before her marriage. They did not come from Cambridge but probably came direct from Hertford, England.

William Andrews' home lot in Hartford, presumably granted to him when he first came to Hartford, was the northeast corner lot on what was then called the road from the mill to the south meadow and the highway on the bank of the river at the crossing of the road from the mill to the country. These roads are now called respectively Elm street and Trinity street. This lot, however, was in what is now the West Park and was on the south bank of the little river, just at the west end of the island. The house was located in the southwest corner of the lot, just at the street corner.

He was first town clerk in 1639. In the land division in the same year he drew 30 acres of land. In 1640 he was awarded 10 pounds sterling, for teaching school. At a particular court held March 4, 1651, he was confirmed recorder for the Town of Hartford.

William first appeared in Hartford, according to the records, as one of the proprietors in the division of land Jan. 13, 1640 (new style), when he was awarded 30 acres. Jan. 24, 1640, his name appears among those specified by order of the townsmen as "the names of such inhabitants as have rights in undivided lands," and a year later, March 13, 1641, he received 33 acres in the distribution of the east side of the river in Hocazi.m (now East Hartford). This land was all bought finally from the Indian tribe of Suchlago.

William was the schoolmaster of Hartford, also sometimes called the letter writer. Dec. 16, 1642, it was ordered that 30 pounds a year shall be settled upon the school by the town forever, and at a meeting in April, 1643, it was ordered that Mr. Andrews should teach the children in the school one year next ensuing from the 25th of March, 1643 (0. S.), and that he shall have for his pains 16 pounds, and therefore the townsmen shall go and enquire who will engage himself to send their children and all that do, shall pay for one quarter at the least and for more if they do send them after. And Mr. Andrews shall keep account between the children's schooling and himself and send notes at the time of payment and demand it. And if his wages doth not so come in then the townsmen must collect and pay it. (A pound was worth at that time about $3.00.)

This order contains the germ of the free public schools, which bore fruit April 23, 1674, when a free public school was established. Apparently Mr. Andrews continued to teach until shortly before his death in 1659. In March 1649, he was granted by the town 10 pounds for the year which began Sept., 1648, which paid him until the 25th of December, 1648.

Nov. 29, 1650, it was ordered that Mr. Andrews shall attend to keep the school for this present year and to have 10 pounds paid him by the town, beside that which he is to have from the parents of the children. His year began on the 29th of September, last. Jan. 17, 1656, the town granted him 10 pounds for schooling for the year 1655, and 10 pounds for the year 1656, when it is out. As Wm. Pitkin was made schoolmaster after William Andrews' death, it is probable that the latter died "in the harness," as it were.

It is probable that the school was kept in the house of Mr. Andrews or in the church or some other building, as on Feb. 11, 1649, the townsmen agreed that 40 pounds shall be paid to the townsmen to the end that a suitable building be built for such purpose, not to be devoted to any other use or employment. There seems to have been some trouble in regard to it as there was no house built during the lifetime of Mr. Andrews.

Mr. Andrews was also town recorder, being appointed at a meeting of the town Jan. 22, 1652, and he acted as such until 1658. He is said to have been an accomplished clerk and scholar, as the records which are yet preserved, in his exact and beautiful penmanship sufficiently indicate.

He died in 1659. His will dated April 1, 1659. Inventory taken Aug. 3, 1659. Amount 211, 14s, 11d. His second wife was Abigail Graves, aunt of George Graves of Hartford. After his death she married Nathaniel Barding, who lived on Lord's Hill, and who died about 1674.

Connecticut History State Library, Vol. XII, page 369.

Thomas Andrews of England had sons John, Samuel, Nathaniel, Elinor and Alice in New England.

Will of Margaret Harrison of Battersea, England, March 1, 1641, was witnessed by Richard Andrews and Thomas Andrews was executor.

Will of William Andrews of Hartford. Dated April 1, 1659.

I, William Andrews, being sick and weak, but of perfect memory, do in this, my last will and testament, give and bequeath to Abigail my wife, my home barn and home lot, as it is enjoyed between my son Edward Grannis, and me; also I do give and bequeath unto the said Abigail, my wife, all my meadow land, that lyeth in the place called Hockamum, and all my uplands, also during the term of her natural life. Also I give to the said Abigail, my wife, two cows and one yearling calf. Also give unto her, 4 yards of kersey, and 3 dozen buttons and silk and all of her movable goods, during the time she liveth unmarried. If the said Abigail, my wife, shall see cause to alter her condition by marrying another man, then my will is that such of the movables as she can conveniently spare, shall be disposed of among the children as she shall see fit, with the advice of the overseers of this my will. Also my will is to give unto my son, John, one working steer, also my will is, that Abigail my wife, shall dispose of my land, a meadow and swamp, housing and home lot, among the children, to every one of them, some, as she shall think fit, with the advice and consent of the overseers of this my will. I do hereby make Abigail, my wife, sole executrix, of this my will and testament, and also do instruct my loving friend Edward Stebbins, and my brother George Graves, to assist my wife, and to see that this my will, executed and performed.-Signed, William Andrews. Dated April 1, 1659. Edward Stebbins, George Graves, witnesses.

In the court records of Hartford county there is no record with reference to any of William Andrews' sons, except the statement that John of Farmington was made Freeman May 18, 1658. Apparently the records are not complete in reference to Freemen. Thomas and Samuel Andrews were both made Freemen but the court records do not show it. However, the list of all Freemen in 1669 are preserved, and they are among the number.


  1. William Andrews, probably died young. Nothing further known. American Magazine of Genealogy, 1930.

  2. Elizabeth Andrews was married to Edward Grannis, May 3, 1654. She was probably born in 1636 or 1637, and perhaps some years earlier. She was no doubt a daughter of William Andrews by his first wife Mary. When she married Grannis she was living at Farmington, apparently permanently, as she was called Elizabeth Andrews of Farmington, daughter of William. There was no other Andrews at Farmington then but the members of John's family, and so far as I know, Elizabeth had no other relatives or intimate friends there. After her marriage she went to Hartford, and she and her husband lived with the family of William Andrews. At that time John of Farmington had five children, the oldest but 8 years old, and they were coming every two years. John's wife must have been badly in need of some assistance, especially as they were apparently attending church in Hartford, and they couldn't take all the babies there. Therefore I believe it to be fair to assume that Elizabeth was living there with her brother John's family. Also three years before Elizabeth was married John's son Joseph was born, and he was the baby of the family until about a month before Elizabeth was married, when Rachel was Elizabeth was married May 3, 1654, and on March 31, 1656, she had a son born and she named him Joseph.

  3. Thomas Andrews.

  4. John Andrews.

  5. Samuel Andrews.

  6. Esther Andrews, born Sept., 1641. Married Thomas Spencer, Jr., 1658. Died March 6, 1698.

  7. Abigail Andrews born Died at Hartford May, 1655.



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