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William Pontus

Male 1583 - 1652  (69 years)


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  • Name William Pontus 
    Born 1583  Of Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 9 Feb 1652  Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Notes 
    • !Biographical Review Ply. Co. Mass 974,48 D3b

      The Churchill Family in America by Gardner Asaph and Nathaniel Wiley Churchill. Fustian-worker in Leyden. Was from Dover, England

      Pope says that Pontus was "from near Dover, England," but the marriage record says only from England, and then adds (as translated) "living in the Marendorp near Douveren," which may explain the confusion. His bride is also said to be from England.

      On 15 October 1622 William Pontus lived in the Zevenhuysen section of Leiden with his wife and daughter, was a woolcarder, and was "too poor to be taxed" [Dexter 629]. This daughter is assumed to be Mary, described in the will of William Pontus as "my eldest daughter."

      The appearance of William Pontus in the "1633" list of Plymouth freemen, early enough to have been admitted no later than 1632, and his former residence in Leiden, lead to the conclusion that he was probably on one of the last two ships known to have brought members of the Leiden congregation, in 1629 or 1630. His absence from the 1633 and 1634 tax lists indicates that his estate had not improved since 1622, and his absence from the 1643 list of men able to bear arms suggests that he was already sixty, and so perhaps born a few years before 1585, as estimated above.

      On 6 February 1638/9 "John Dunhame and Will[ia]m Pontus do undertake to procure the herring weir repaired and drawn and what they agree for with any that shall do the work shall be paid by the whole town according to each in proportion of shares" [PTR 1:5]. On 25 March 1640 "Will[ia]m Pontus, Thomas Lettice and John Greemes shall repair the herring weir and draw it and deliver the shares" for the ensuing three years [PTR 1:7].


      From: "The Great Migration Begins"

      WILLIAM PONTUS

      ORIGIN: Leiden, Holland

      MIGRATION: 1632

      FIRST RESIDENCE: Plymouth

      OCCUPATION: Fustian-worker (from Leiden marriage record).

      FREEMAN: In "1633" Plymouth list of freemen ahead of those admitted 1 January 1632/3 [PCR 1:3]. In 7 March 1636/7 list of Plymouth Colony freemen [PCR 1:52], and in Plymouth section of 1639 list [PCR 8:174].

      EDUCATION: Signed his will by mark.

      OFFICES: Plymouth trial jury, 7 June 1636, 7 March 1636/7, 4 September 1638 [PCR 1:42, 96, 7:5].

      ESTATE: On 5 February 1637/8 William Pontus requested "6 acres of lands to be laid to his house as near as conveniently may be" [PCR 1:76]. 5 March 1637/8: "Whereas, by a General Court long since" William Pontus was granted two lots totalling forty acres upon which he built a house, and has since, "for the more commodious receipt of people into the town of New Plymouth," relinquished all but five acres of the forty, these five acres are confirmed to William Pontus, and he is granted six more acres "towards the New Field" [PCR 1:78-79].

      On 31 December 1641 "Will[ia]m Pontus is granted two acres of upland to his half acre of meadow in the woods beyond his house about Agawam Path" [PCR 2:29 (a Plymouth town meeting, recorded in the colony records)].

      On 19 January 1647[/8?] Samuel Dunham of Plymouth sold to James Glass of Plymouth six acres of upland which had been given to Samuel by his father John Dunham, who had reserved timber rights on the land; to complete the transaction John Dunham released to James Glass the timber rights in return for "a small moiety of land belonging unto William Pontus aforesaid being estimated at about half an acre" [PCR 12:150].

      In his will, dated 9 September 1650 and proved 4 March 1652/3, William Pontus bequeathed to "my eldest daughter Mary ... my dwelling house with all my lands, goods and all things else whatsoever," except "unto my other daughter Hannah twenty shillings sterling as an addition to her portion which ... I have already given her," and named "my son-in-law James Glasse" executor. On 4 March 1652/3 John Dunham testified that he heard Pontus say "that he had given unto his son-in-law, John Churchill, and Hannah, his wife, one third part of his meadow at the watering place near Plymouth," and that the other daughter, the widow Mary Glass, consented [MD 11:92, citing PCPR 1:1:114].

      The inventory of the estate of William Pontus was taken 20 February 1652/3 and totalled 12 17s., of which 8 was real estate: "his house and land," 8 [MD 11:92-94]. (See PTR 1:3 for a description of the location of the house of William Pontus using reference points of 1889.)

      BIRTH: By about 1585 based on date of marriage.

      DEATH: Plymouth 9 February 1652/3 [PCR 8:14].

      MARRIAGE: Leiden 4 December 1610 [NS] Wybra Hansen [Leiden 203]. She died after 15 December 1633 (when she was named as a creditor in the estate of JOHN THORP [MD 1:160]).

      CHILDREN:
      i MARY, b. Leiden by 15 October 1622; m. (1) Plymouth 31 October 1645 James Glass [PCR 2:88; NEHGR 111:178]; m. (2) by 17 January 1653[/4] PHILIP DELANO.
      ii HANNAH, b. say 1624; m. (1) Plymouth 18 December 1644 John Churchill [PCR 2:79]; m. (2) Plymouth 25 June 1669 Giles Rickard [PCR 8:32; see TAG 30:145].

      ASSOCIATIONS: JOHN DUNHAM had also lived in the Zevenhuysen section of Leiden, and presumably came to Plymouth at the same time as William Pontus, at which time the two men were granted adjacent parcels of land for their homelots. This may betoken no more than decades of neighborliness, but a kinship connection may also be indicated.

      COMMENTS: Pope says that Pontus was "from near Dover, England," but the marriage record says only from England, and then adds (as translated) "living in the Marendorp near Douveren," which may explain the confusion. His bride is also said to be from England.

      On 15 October 1622 William Pontus lived in the Zevenhuysen section of Leiden with his wife and daughter, was a woolcarder, and was "too poor to be taxed" [Dexter 629]. This daughter is assumed to be Mary, described in the will of William Pontus as "my eldest daughter."

      The appearance of William Pontus in the "1633" list of Plymouth freemen, early enough to have been admitted no later than 1632, and his former residence in Leiden, lead to the conclusion that he was probably on one of the last two ships known to have brought members of the Leiden congregation, in 1629 or 1630. His absence from the 1633 and 1634 tax lists indicates that his estate had not improved since 1622, and his absence from the 1643 list of men able to bear arms suggests that he was already sixty, and so perhaps born a few years before 1585, as estimated above.

      On 6 February 1638/9 "John Dunhame and Will[ia]m Pontus do undertake to procure the herring weir repaired and drawn and what they agree for with any that shall do the work shall be paid by the whole town according to each in proportion of shares" [PTR 1:5]. On 25 March 1640 "Will[ia]m Pontus, Thomas Lettice and John Greemes shall repair the herring weir and draw it and deliver the shares" for the ensuing three years [PTR 1:7].

      In 1644 and 1648 William Pontus wintered one of the cows that was kept for the poor [PTR 1:19, 27]. The cattle mark of William Pontus was a "swallow cropped upon the [word lost] and a snip cut out upon the outside of the right ear" [PTR 1:1].

      BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: In 1938 L. Effingham deForest prepared a full account of the family of William Pontus [Moore Anc 423-28].
    Person ID I594832  7_families
    Last Modified 15 Sep 2006 

    Family Wybra Hanson,   b. 1590, Of Dover, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 4 Dec 1610  Leyden, Zuid, Holland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    +1. Hannah Pontus,   b. 1614, Leyden, Zuid, Holland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Dec 1690, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)
     2. Mary Pontus,   b. 15 Oct 1622, Leyden, Zuid, Holland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. Wybra Pontus,   b. 1625, Leyden, Zuid, Holland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 15 Sep 2006 
    Family ID F215145  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 4 Dec 1610 - Leyden, Zuid, Holland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 9 Feb 1652 - Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts Link to Google Earth
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    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S407] Massachusetts, Plymouth, Plymouth - Vital Records to 1850, Lee Douglas van Antwerp (Main Author), Ruth Wilder Sherman (Added Author), (Camden, Me. : Picton Press, c1993), 660 (Reliability: 3).