From the files of Stephen M. Lawson
Maj. Gen Humphrey and Mary (Wales) Atherton
Maj. Gen. Humphrey ATHERTON - b. 1609, Winwick, England;
d. Sep. or Dec. 17, 1661, Boston, MA. To America on 'James' from
Bristol 1635. Possibly son of Edmund ATHERTON (d. Apr.
10, 1613) of Winstanley, Lancashire. Lived at Lancashire, England
and Dorchester and Boston, MA. Admitted freeman at Dorchester
May 2, 1638; member of artillery company 1638; Lt. 1645; Capt.
1650; Maj. 1652; Speaker of the House 1653; Maj. Gen. 1661. Tradition
says death resulted from a fall when his horse stumbled over a
cow lying in the road. Humphrey was married "when an infant."
Mary - b. about 1610; d. 1672. Some compilations give
Mary the surname WALES, apparently based on the will of Nathaniel
WALES which calls Humphrey ATHERTON "loving brother-in-law."
Torrey's New England Marriages Prior to 1700 calls the
WALES surname claim "doubtful." Possibly the daughter
of John WALES.
Children of Humphrey and Mary Atherton
See Notable Cousins for
lines to: Susan Brownell ANTHONY, Robert Hutchings GODDARD, King LEKA
I, Alfred Lee LOOMIS, Henry Lewis STIMSON, and Raquel WELCH
- Elizabeth - b. 1628/31, England. There is some question whether
Elizabeth was born before or after Jonathan. Elizabeth was sometimes
called Catherine. Married Dr. Timothy MATHER (b. 1628, Liverpool,
England; d. Jan 14, 1684), second son of Rev. Richard MATHER, and
brother of Rev. Samuel, Rev. Nathaniel, Rev. Eleazer, and Rev. Increase
MATHER. Timothy married second Mar. 20, 1678/9 Elizabeth WEEKS.
Children of Elizabeth (ATHERTON) and Timothy MATHER: Rev. Samuel MATHER
of Windsor married Hannah TREAT; Nathaniel died as infant; Richard
married Catharine WISE; Catharine; Nathaniel; Joseph married Sarah
CLAP; and Atherton married first Rebecca STOUGHTON, and second Mary
- Jonathan - A soldier in King Philip's war. He was sentenced Jul.
30, 1675 to lose two weeks' pay for breaking the Sabbath, having cut up
an old hat and putting the pieces in his shoes to ease the pain of
- Consider - d. Apr. 26, 1687. Married Dec. 19, 1661 Anna ANNABLE,
daughter of John. Son of Consider and Anna ATHERTON: Humphrey married
Elizabeth, daughter of Capt. John and Elizabeth (PRESTON) WITHINGTON.
- Isabel - bap. Jan. 23, 1630, Winwick,
England; d. Dec. 18, 1661, Boston, MA. Married Nathaniel
- Mary - b. about 1636; d. Sep. 2, 1692, Dorchester, MA. Married
Apr. 9, 1667 Joseph WEEKS (bap. Dec. 4, 1636, Seaton, Devonshire,
England), son of George WEEKS and Mary CLAPP. Mary and Joseph WEEKS had
- Margaret - b. 1638; d. 1672. Married Dec. 30, 1659 James
TROWBRIDGE (b. 1626; d. May 22, 1717). James married second on Jan. 30,
1674 Margaret JACKSON (b. 1649; d. Sep. 16, 1727). Children of Margaret
(ATHERTON) and James TROWBRIDGE: Elizabeth married John MYRICK/MERRICK;
Mindwell married Jonathan FULLER; John; Margaret married Ebenezer STONE
(ancestors of Susan B. ANTHONY, and of Robert H. GODDARD); Thankful
married Dea. John WARD; and Hannah married John GREENWOOD.
- Rest - bap. May 26, 1639; d. 1708. Married Mar. 15, 1661 Obadiah
SWIFT (1638-1690), son of Thomas and Elizabeth (CAPEN) SWIFT.
- Increase - b. Jan. 2, 1641/2; lost at sea about 1675.
- Thankful - b. Apr. 29, 1644; d. Apr. 11, 1719, Dorchester, MA.
Married Feb. 2, 1665/6 Thomas BIRD (1640-1716) of Dorchester, Suffolk
Co., MA, son of Thomas and Anne. Children of Thankful and Thomas BIRD:
Joseph; Thankful married Jeremiah FULLER; Sarah married Jonathan JONES;
Anne married John CLARKE, Jr.; Thomas; Mary; Submit married Isaac HOWE,
Jr.; Mercy married first Eleazer HYDE, and second Joseph BARTLETT, Jr.;
Patience died in infancy; and Benjamin married Johannah HANES or
- Hope - bap. Aug. 30, 1646; d. Jun. 8, 1677. Graduated Harvard
1665; ordained 1671; freeman 1672; minister at Hatfield, MA, and
Chaplain. Married 1674 Sarah HOLLISTER (b. about 1654; d. 1691),
daughter of Lt. Joseph of Wethersfield. Sarah (d. Dec. 8, 1691) married
second about 1680 Timothy BAKER of Northampton, MA, son of Edward and
Joan. Children of Hope and Sarah ATHERTON: twin Hope died in infancy;
twin Joseph married first Mary TAYLOR, and second Mindwell BROWN; and
Sarah married John PARSONS.
- Watching - b. Aug. 24, 1651. Married Jan. 23, 1677 Elizabeth
RIGBY, daughter of Samuel.
- Patience - b. Apr. 2, 1654; d. 1691. Married Jul. 7, 1685 Isaac
HUMPHREYS (1651-1735), who married second on Oct. 6, 1692 Ruth
The Wales Family in England
The information on the Wales family is from a variety
of sources. Kristen M. Schnoonover provided additional Wales Family
relationships and information, including the line to her grandfather
Sherwood Clinton Schnoonover. The compilation of Frank Dyer has
extensive details not included here on eight generations of the WALES
family in America. The databases for SCHOONOVER
are available through RootsWeb WorldConnect.
Detailed information on one line of WALES descendants, including
the families in this narrative, appears in John Redington of
Topsfield, Massachusetts, and some of his Descendants with Notes on the
by Cornelia M. Redington Carter, edited by Josiah Granville Leach
(Boston: 1909), pages 37-60. Most information presented here is from
this book, which is available in PDF format from Google Books.
John WALES - b. Idle, Yorkshire, d. 1610, Calverly,
Yorkshire. His will, dated Sep. 4, 1610 and proved Nov. 26, 1610, names
the seven listed sons. From the little information available from
undocumented sources, it appears that John WALES married at least two
times, with Nathaniel being his son by Ms. RESAMOND and Mary possibly
being his daughter by a third wife. John's second wife appears to have
been Margaret HOBSON, bur. May 17, 1600. It may be, however, that one
or more of the wives mentioned were wives of another John WALES of
Yorkshire. John may have also had currently unidentified daughters.
- Nathaniel - bap. Feb. 26, 1586, Calverly,
Yorkshire, England; d. Dec. 4, 1661, Boston, Suffolk Co., MA.
- bap. Dec. 15, 1588, Calverly, Yorkshire, England; d. May 11, 1669,
Leeds, England. Educated Trinity College, Cambridge and became minister
at Pudsey in 1614, and Vicar of Calverly from Dec. 23, 1615 to 1662.
Elkanah's will was made at Leeds on Apr. 27, 1669 and proved Jul. 20,
1669, naming many relatives, including "brother Nathaniel late of
Boston in New England," and his three sons. He published several items
in the 1650s. Married first on Jun 13, 1616 at Leeds to Anne PARKER
(bur. May 16, 1660, Pudsey, Calverley, Yorkshire), and second Elizabeth
CLAVERING, widow of Thomas BUTLER.
- Samuel - b. about 1590, d. 1626, Morley, Calverly,
Yorkshire, England. Educated at Cambridge and served minister of Old
Chapel, Morley. Rev. Samuel WALES' The Whole Duty of a Christian
was published in 1627. He had five children, including sons Samuel,
John, Nehemiah and Elkanah.
- Jonathan - bap. Nov. 12, 1592, Calverly, Yorkshire, England.
- John - bap. Feb. 2, 1594, Calverly, Yorkshire, England.
- Timothy - bap. Mar. 12, 1596, Calverly, Yorkshire, England.
- Benjamin - bap. May 27, 1599, Calverly, Yorkshire, England; bur.
there Mar. 12, 1600.
- Benjamin - bap. Oct. 27, 1605, Calverly, Yorkshire, England.
Daughter Rosamond married Jeremy BOWERS.
- b. about 1610; d. 1672. Mary's father may have been a different John
WALES than the father of the other listed children, though in his will
Nathaniel WALES calls Humphrey ATHERTON his "loving brother-in-law."
Note that other interpretations of the kinship phrase are possible, and
the wife of Humphrey ATHERTON may not have been surnamed WALES.
Possibly married Humphrey ATHERTON.
The Wales Family in America
Nathaniel WALES - bap. Feb. 26, 1586, Calverly, Yorkshire,
England; d. Dec. 4, 1661, Boston, Suffolk Co., MA. Said to be
the son of John WALES
and his first wife. Nathaniel left Bristol England aboard the
'James' on May 23, 1635 and arrived at Boston, MA on Aug. 17,
1635, and was mentioned in the journal of co-passenger Rev. Richard
MATHER. Nathaniel and wife Susanna became church members at Boston on
Mar. 3, 1651, and he became freeman on Nov. 2, 1637. As a weaver of
Boston, his will was made Jun. 20, 1661 and his estate was inventoried
Jan. 3, 1661/2. Nathaniel was married second by 1636 to Susanna
GREENWAY, daughter of John GREENWAY (d. between
Feb. 5, 1650/1 and May 6, 1652, Dorchester, MA), whose wife in
America was Mary (d. Jan. 23, 1658/9, Dorchester, MA) [ref. TAG
Miss BULLOCK - d. England. Probably a sister of Edward
BULLOCK, whose 1649 estate papers identify Nathaniel WALES as
Children of Nathaniel Wales
- Sarah - bap. Dec. 28, 1613, St. Wilfred's, Calverly Parish, Idle,
- bap. Nov. 5, 1616, St. Wilfred's, Calverly Parish, Idle, Yorkshire;
d. Mar 1690, Milton, MA. Estate inventoried Mar. 31, 1690. Timmothy's
wife has not been identified, but circumstantial evidence suggests that
she may have been a daughter of Joseph TWITCHELL and Elizabeth LOVETT.
Children of Timothy WALES: Timothy married second Sarah; Nathaniel
married first Susanna BLAKE, and second Lydia HUNTINGTON; and Eleazer.
- Anna - bap. 29 Nov. 1618, St. Wilfred's, Calverly Parish, Idle,
- bap. Oct. 18, 1620, St. Wilfred's, Calverly Parish, Idle, Yorkshire;
bur. Oct. 17, 1707, Dorchester, MA. Married Elizabeth (d. Nov. 26,
1701, Dorchester, MA). Children of John and Elizabeth WALES: John;
Hannah married Ebenezer BILLINGS; Content married John MASON; Elizabeth
died young; and Elkanah.
- Nathaniel - bap. Apr. 18, 1624, St.
Wilfred's, Calverly Parish, Idle, Yorkshire; d. May 20, 1662, Boston,
Suffolk Co., MA.
- Priscilla - Named by one undocumented source as a possible
daughter of Nathaniel and his second wife, Susanna GREENWAY. However,
Susanna's father John GREENWAY makes no mention of a WALES grandchild
in his will.
Nathaniel and Isabel (Atherton) Wales
Nathaniel WALES - bap. Apr. 18, 1624, St. Wilfred's,
Calverly Parish, Idle, Yorkshire; d. May 20, 1662, Boston, Suffolk
Co., MA. Son of Nathaniel WALES
and Miss BULLOCK. Lived at Falmouth, England and Boston, Suffolk Co.,
MA. To America on 'James' from Bristol 1635 with his father and
step-mother. His will was made May 18, 1662, identifying himself as
ship-carpenter of Boston. Married about 1648 in MA.
Isabel ATHERTON - bap. Jan. 23, 1630, Winwick, Lancaster,
England; d. Dec. 18, 1661, Boston, Suffolk Co., MA. To America
on 'James' from Bristol 1635. Isabel was probably either half
first cousin, or some other close relations of her husband. Daughter
of Maj. Gen. Humphrey ATHERTON and Mary WALES,
and possibly granddaughter of John WALES.
Children of Nathaniel and Isabel Wales
- Nathaniel - b. before 1650, MA; d. Mar. 23,
1718, Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA.
- b. about 1652; d. Jan. 20, 1712/3, Dorchester, Suffolk Co., MA.
Married first Mary (d. Apr. 1700, Dorchester, Suffolk Co., MA; and
second Dec. 19, 1700, Roxbury, Suffolk Co., MA Hannah PEAKE (b. Jan.
10, 1661/2, Roxbury, Suffolk Co., MA; d. Jun. 1, 1731, Dorchester,
Suffolk Co., MA), daughter of Jonathan PEAKE and Sarah FRENCH.
- Jonathan - b. about 1655. Lived at Boston. Married
Elizabeth BAKER. Daughter of Jonathan and Elizabeth WALES: Elizabeth
married Mr. CUTTING.
- Mary - b. Feb. 9, 1658, MA; d. Oct. 18, 1732, Dorchester,
Suffolk Co., MA. Married first on Jun. 4, 1684 at Dorchester, Suffolk
Co., MA to Nicholas GEORGE (d. Apr. 9, 1691, Boston, Suffolk Co., MA).
Married second on Aug. 5, 1697 at Dorchester, Suffolk Co., MA to
Roger and Hannah Billings
Roger BILLINGS - d. Nov. 15, 1683, MA. The published
accounts of a connection to the BILLINGS family of Somersetshire,
England, and a number of earlier generations is the subject of
an article in TAG 74:1 (Jan. 1999) by Paul C. Reed entitled
"Two Somerby Frauds," with the second part, pages 28-30,
titled "The Fraudlent Ancestry of Roger and William Billing(s)
of Dorchester, Massachusetts." The conclusion is that that
"The origin of the Billing(s) family of Dorchester, Massachusetts,
and Stonington, Connecticut, is unknown." Roger BILLINGS
was of Dorchester, Suffolk Co., MA in 1640; freeman 1643. Purchased
from Indians a tract of land 2.5 by 2 miles, bordering the Rhode
Island line. He married first Mary (d. 1644); second Hannah; and
third Elizabeth, daughter of John PRATT.
Hannah - d. May 25, 1662. Second wife of Roger, and
mother of all but the eldest and youngest children.
Daughter of Roger and Mary Billings
- Mary - b. Jul. 10, 1643; d. Dec. 10, 1643.
Children of Roger and Hannah Billings
- Mary - bap. Nov. 23, 1645. Married on Dec. 16, 1663, Samuel
BELCHER of Braintree. Son: Dea. Gregory married Elizabeth RUGGLES.
- Hannah - Married Feb. 24, 1665, John PENNIMAN.
- Joseph - d. before 1683. Son: Joseph.
- Ebenezer - bap. Oct. 26, 1651. Married Hannah, daughter of John
- Samuel - bap. Oct. 26, 1651.
- Roger - b. Nov. 18, 1657; d. Jan. 17, 1717/8. Settled in Canton.
Married Jan. 22, 1678 by Gov. Bradstreet, Sarah PAINE (b. about 1658;
d. Sep. 19, 1742), daughter of Stephen. Children of Roger and Sarah
BILLINGS: Hannah; Joseph married Ruhamah BADCOCK; John perhaps married
Mary VOSE; Roger; William married Ruth CREHORE; Sarah; Stephen married
Elizabeth FENNO; Mehitable married John CREHORE; Moses married Miriam
VOSE; Ann; Abigail; Elizabeth married Stephen BALDWIN; Isaac perhaps
married Beulah VOSE; and an unnamed daughter.
- Elizabeth - b. Oct. 27, 1659; d. Oct. 22,
1676, probably at Braintree, MA. Married Nathaniel
- Zeppora - b. May 21, 1662; d. Oct. 8, 1676.
Son of Roger and Elizabeth Billings
- Jonathan - d. Jan. 14, 1677.
Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Billings) Wales
Nathaniel WALES - b. before 1650, Dorchester, Suffolk
Co., MA; d. Mar. 23, 1718, Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; bur. Hancock
Cemetery, Quincy, MA (no marker). Son of Nathaniel
WALES and Isabel ATHERTON.
His will was dated Dec. 10, 1713, but was questioned by some heirs and
not allowed by the court. In the will, Nathaniel named daughter
Elizabeth CHILD of Woodstock, daughter Sarah THAYER (deceased) and her
two daughters Sarah and Joanna, son Nathaniel, daughter [Deborah]
Veazie, and son-in-law Nathaniel THAYER. He took the oath of allegiance
in 1679, and was admitted to the Church at Braintree on Feb. 27, 1681,
his second wife, Joanna, being admitted on Jun. 15, 1684. A weaver by
trade, Nathaniel deposed that he was "aged 41 or thereabouts" on Jan.
21, 1690/1. Nathaniel held many town offices between 1693 and 1706, and
was a deacon of the church. He was ordained as church ruling Elder on
Feb. 17, 1701. The home he established at Braintree in 1673 was still
in the WALES family when it burned in 1903. Married first about 1674;
and second 1676-1678 Joanna FAXON (b. Sep 20, 1661, Braintree, MA; d.
May 11, 1704, Braintree, MA), daughter of Thomas FAXON and Deborah
Elizabeth BILLINGS - b. Oct. 27, 1659, Dorchester, Suffolk
Co., MA; d. Oct. 22, 1676, Dorchester, Suffolk Co., MA. Daughter
of Roger BILLINGS and Hannah.
Children of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Wales
- Elizabeth - b. Feb. 10, 1675,
Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA. Only child of Elizabeth and Nathaniel
WALES. Married Lt. John CHILD.
Children of Nathaniel and Joanna Wales
- Joanna - b. Apr. 18, 1679, Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; d. there 7
days later. First of children of Joanna and Nathaniel.
- Sarah - b. Mar. 11, 1680/1, Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; d. 1709,
Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA. Married on Jan. 25, 1703/4 to Nathaniel
THAYER. Children of Sarah and Nathaniel THAYER: Susanna; and Joanna.
- b. Dec. 29, 1683, Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; d. May 17, 1750. A
weaver by trade, he inherited the Wales home at Braintree, and held
several town offices. Married about 1708 at Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA
to Esther ASHLEY (b. Mar. 25, 1690, Boston, MA), daughter of Edward
ASHLEY and Mary HOLLOWELL. Children of Nathaniel and Esther WALES:
Nathaniel died as infant; Joanna died young; Esther married James
THAYER II; a child died as infant; Mary died young; and Nathaniel died
- Joanna - b. Dec. 19, 1683, Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; d. Sep.
27, 1707. Did not marry.
- b. Dec. 1, 1685, Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; d. Dec. 12, 1763,
Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA. Resided at Braintree, where he held several
town offices. Married May 17, 1708 to Elizabeth HOLBROOK (b. Sep. 30,
1684, Weymouth, Norfolk Co., MA; d. Feb. 27, 1763), daughter of Samuel
HOLBROOK and Lydia. Children of Elkanah and Elizabeth WALES: Elizabeth
died as infant; Elkanah died as infant; Samuel died as infant;
Nathaniel married first Anna WILD and second Anne (WALDO) FITCH; and
Sarah died young.
- Deborah - b. Oct. 16, 1687, Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA. Married
Feb. 5, 1708 to Samuel VEASIE.
- Thomas b. Oct. 6, 1689, Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; d. there Feb.
22, 1689/90 (22nd day of 12th month of 1689).
- Mary - b. Apr. 1, 1691, Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; d. Nov. 25,
1718. Married on Apr. 8, 1714 at Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA to John
- Samuel - b. Jun. 23, 1693, Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; d. young.
- Thomas - b. Apr. 19, 1695, Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; d. Sep.
26, 1775. Thomas wrote his will Sep. 13, 1768 (never probated), named
wife Sarah, sons Samuel, Ephrain, Atherton, Nathaniel and Moses, and
daughters Deborah CURTIS and Mary SMITH. A blacksmith by trade, he
removed to Randolph, MA about 1725 where became deacon of the church
and held numerous town offices. His homestead remains occupied by
descendants. Married on Jan. 13, 1719 at Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA to
Mary BELCHER (b. Jun 1697, Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; d. Jan 30, 1741,
Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA), daughter of Samuel BELCHER and Comfort
HARBOR. Married second on Sep. 7, 1742 to Sarah HAYWARD (b. Oct. 19,
1705), daughter of Jonathan HAYWARD and Sarah RUGGLES, and widow of
Samuel BELCHER, Jr. Children of Thomas and Mary WALES: Samuel married
Mary; Atherton married his step-sister Sarah BELCHER; Mary died young;
Nathaniel married Sarah HAYWARD; Ephraim died as infant; Ephraim died
young; Moses married step-sister Elizabeth BELCHER; Deborah married
William CURTIS; Thomas died as infant; Mary married Timothy SMITH;
Thomas died unmarried; and John died as infant. Children of Thomas and
Sarah WALES: Joanna died young; Ephraim married first Mary BEALE, and
second Esther LITTLEFIELD; and John died as infant.
- b. Apr. 29, 1697, Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; d. Jul. 18, 1767; bur.
Central Cemetery, Randolph, MA. A weaver, he settled by 1727 at
Randolph, MA, where he held positions as surveyor of highways and
tithingman. Joseph and Hannah became members of the church at Randolph
in 1731. It appears that the following entry in the Braintree records
refers to Joseph prior to his marriage: "Joanna, ye daughter of
Mehetable White, by Joseph Wales, (as she sais) was born 6th January
1720." Joanna WALES was married on Mar. 10, 1743 to Benjamin LUDDEN.
Joseph WALES was married on May 7, 1723 to Hannah ALLEN (b. Sep. 25,
1704; d. Apr. 17, 1777; bur. Central Cemetery, Randolph, MA), daughter
of Samuel ALLEN and Abigail WEBB. Children of Joseph and Hannah WALES:
William married Lydia SPRAGUE; twin Abigail died young; twin Hannah
married Nathaniel PAINE; Joseph married first Abigail BASS, and second
Micah THAYER; Samuel; Daniel died as infant; Sarah married Samuel
BELCHER; Jonathan married Rachel TAFT; John married Eunice THAYER;
Esther married Joshua FRENCH; Nathaniel; Lemuel married first Reliance
ALLEN, and second Silence FRENCH; Elisha died young; and Jacob married
- John - b. May 25, 1699, Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; d.
Feb. 25, 1765, Raynham, MA. Married Nov. 8, 1733 Hazadiah LEONARD.
Graduated Harvard College 1734 with AB and AM, and ordained at Raynham,
MA on Oct. 20, 1731. Rev. John WALES was minister at Raynham, MA from
1731 to 1765. Children of John and Hazadiah WALES, including: Rev. Dr.
Samuel; and Rev. Atherton.
- Rachel - b. Oct. 15, 1701, Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; d. May 23,
1748. Married on Nov. 12, 1719 to Capt. Ebenezer THAYER.
- Atherton - b. Mar. 8, 1704, Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA; d. Nov.
29, 1795, Marshfield, Plymouth Co., MA. First minister of 2nd church of
Marshfield. Married on Nov. 5, 1730 to Mary NILES, daughter of Rev.
Samuel NILES. Graduated Harvard College 1726 with AB and AM. Rev.
Atherton WALES was minister at the Second Church of Marshfield from
1739 to 1765.