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Lesson 7 - Readings for the Williams Family

The Williams Family

From The History of Deerfield, Vol. II, George Sheldon, 1895, pgs. 377 & 378

John, s. [son] of Samuel, b. [born] 1664; 'The Redeemed [rescued] Captive';... began preaching here June, 1686...soon became the guide, counselor and friend of all the people...He m. [married] July 21, 1687, Eunice,...she was k. [killed] the next day after the captivity, Mar. 1, 1704...
He m. [married] (2) [his second wife] Sept. 16, 1707, Abigail, wid. [widow] of Benj. [Benjamin] Bissell...she d. [died] June 21, 1754, a. [age] 81.

Ch. [children]: Eliezer, [born] July 16, 1688
Samuel, [born] Jan. 24, 1690; town clerk 1713; lieut. [lieutenant], cap. [captured] 1704 and redeemed [rescued]; in July, 1711, he 'having the French Tongue', was sent to escort a party of French prisoners by land to Can. [Canada]; d. [died] June 30, 1713
Esther, [born] Apr. 10, 1691; cap. [captured] 1704; red. [redeemed- rescued] and m. [married] June 21, 1715 Rev. [reverend- minister] Joseph Meacham of of Coventry, Ct.
Stephen, [born] May 14, 1693
Eliakim, [born] May 1, 1695, d. [died] Apr. 15, 1696
Eunice, [born] Sept. 17, 1696; cap. [captured] 1704; m. [married] in Can. [Canada] 1713, Amrusus, an Indian of Caghnawaga, and became herself an Indian in habit and feeling; nothing could induce [make] her to ret. [return] to a civilized life...she d. [died] abt. [about] 1786
John, [born] Jan. 19, 1698; k. [killed] 1704
Warham, [born] Sept. 16, 1699; cap. [captured] 1704 and returned
Jemima, [born] Sept. 3, 1701; d. [died] Sept. 11, 1701
Jerusha, [born] Sept. 3, 1701; d. [died] Sept. 16, 1701
Jerusha, [born] Jan. 15, 1704; k. [killed] by Indians Feb. 29, 1704
Abigail, [born] Sept. 27, 1708
John, [born] Nov. 23, 1709; d. [died] June 11, 1714
Eliakim, [born] Feb. 6, 1711
Elijah, [born] Nov. 13, 1712
Sarah, [born] Sept. 8, 1716; d. [died] Feb. 19, 1737

From New England Captives Carried to Canada Vol. I, Emma L. Coleman, 1925, pgs. 44 & 45

Rev. [Reverend] John Williams and His Family.
He, his wife Eunice (Mather), five children- Samuel, Esther, Stephen, Eunice and Warham- and the negro man Frank, were taken. Two little children and the negro woman were killed. Eliezer the eldest alone was spared; he, aged fifteen, was away at school. Mrs. Williams and Frank were killed on the journey.

From Family & Landscape, Amelia Miller & Susan McGowan, 1996, pgs. 38 & 39

Williams Family

"At a town meeting on January 5, 1687, it was voted to provide the Reverend [minister] John Williams with a house lot on 'meeting house hill' and to 'build him a House 42 feet long 20 wide with a lentoo [leanto] on the back side of the house & finish sd [said] House, To fence his Homelot & within 2 years after this agreement to build him a Barn.' The agreement was to 'encourage Mr. John Williams to Settle amongst them.'"

On February 29, 1704, in the French and Indian attack, the minister's house was targeted, and he and five of his children were taken captive to Canada. His wife, Eunice Mather Williams , was killed on the 'march to Canada', and two of their children were killed on the Williams doorstep. It was reported that the house, valued at L300 [300 pounds], was lost and that the barn was burnt, as well as everything in the house and barn.

The Reverend [minister] John Williams was ransomed [rescued] in 1706 by Ensign John Sheldon who had traveled to Canada...On December 6, the General Court voted him L40 [40 pounds] on the condition that he return to Deerfield within three weeks and remain for a year. At a town meeting in Deerfield on January 9, 1707, it was voted that 'the Town would build a house for Mr Jno [John] Williams in deerfield as big as Ens [ensign] Sheldons a back room as big as may be thought convenient'.

The minister, who did return to Deerfield, remarried in September 1707. His second wife was Abigail, widow of Benjamin Bissell of Hartford, Connecticut. Mr. Williams and his second wife had five children, one of whom died young. Mr. Williams died on June 12, 1729, just prior to [before] the completion of the town's fourth meeting house on the Common.

From The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion, John Williams, 1706, pgs. 10 & 11

"On Tuesday, the 29th of February, 1703-4, not long before break of day, the enemy came in like a flood upon us; our watch being unfaithful...They came to my house in the beginning of the onset, and by their violent endeavors [attempts] to break open doors and windows, with axes and hatchets, awaked me out of sleep; on which I leaped out of bed, and, running towards the door, perceived [saw] the enemy making their entrance into the house. I called to awaken two soldiers in the chamber, and returning toward my bedside for my arms, the enemy immediately broke into the room, I judge to the number of twenty, with painted faces, and hideous acclamations [exclamations]. I reached up my hands to the bed-tester [bed curtains] for my pistol...Taking down my pistol, I cocked it, and put it to the breast of the first Indian that came up; but my pistol missing fire, I was seized by three Indians, who disarmed me, and bound me naked, as I was in my shirt, and so I stood for near the space of an hour. Binding me, they told me they would carry me to Quebeck."

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