Person:Roger Williams (10)

Rev. Roger Williams
b.21 Dec 1603 Middlesex, England
d.Bet 27 Jan 1682/83 and 15 Mar 1682/83 Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
m. 2 Jan 1597
  1. Robert Williams
  2. Katherine Williams
  3. Sydrach Williams1599/00 - 1647
  4. Rev. Roger Williams1603 - 1682/83
  • HRev. Roger Williams1603 - 1682/83
  • WMary Barnard1609 - 1676
m. 15 Dec 1629
  1. Mary Williams1633 - 1681
  2. Freeborn Williams1635 - 1709
  3. Providence Williams1638 - 1685/86
  4. Mercy Williams1640 - 1705
  5. Daniel Williams1642 - 1712
  6. Joseph Williams1643 - 1724
Facts and Events
Name Rev. Roger Williams
Gender Male
Birth[1] 21 Dec 1603 Middlesex, EnglandLong Lane?
Marriage 15 Dec 1629 High Laver, Essex, Englandto Mary Barnard
Death[3] Bet 27 Jan 1682/83 and 15 Mar 1682/83 Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Alt Death[1] 1 Apr 1683 Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Alt Death[2] bet 16 Jan and 16 Apr 1683/84 Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Burial? Middletown, Newport, Rhode Island, United States
Reference Number[1] Q391591?
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the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Roger Williams (21 December 1603between 27 January and 15 March 1683) was an English-born American Puritan minister, theologian, and author who founded Providence Plantations, which became the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and later the U.S. State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, now the State of Rhode Island. He was a staunch advocate for religious freedom, separation of church and state, and fair dealings with Native Americans.

Williams was expelled by the Puritan leaders from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and established Providence Plantations in 1636 as a refuge offering what he termed "liberty of conscience." In 1638, he founded the First Baptist Church in America, in Providence. Williams studied the indigenous languages of New England and published the first book-length study of a native North American language in English.

Roger Williams graduated from Cambridge University, England, in 1627, and embarked for the Massachusetts Colony in December 1630. Arrived in Boston in February 1631 and settled in Salem as a "minister." He became assistant minister in Plymouth, Massachusetts and was initially well-recieved. However, he soon got into trouble because of his opinions about church and state, so he returned to Salem.

Among his views: Chritianity a "democratice" religion, people should govern themselves; he wouldn't accept a position in the Boston Church because it was not "seperated" from the English Church. He insisted that the king could not grant ownership of land because the true owners were the indians, and insisted that religion could not be forced upon the people.

In October 1635 the General Court sentenced him to banishment because of his dangerous opinions about goverment authority and religion. He was given until Spring to move from Salelm, but the local leaders soon learned that he would not refrain from sharing his controversial opinions. They found that many people went to his house "taken with an apprehension of his 'Godliness. They immediately resolved that he should be banished to England.

In January 1636 a messenger was sent to Salem to apprehend him, but when the officers arrived they found he'd left three days before. They didn't know where he had gone. Thirty-five years after his bansishment and escape, he wrote: "I was sorely tossed for one fourteen weeks in a bitter winter season, not knowing what bed or bread did mean." He was apparently assisted by the friendly indians.

Having left the Massachusetts Colony he helped establish a new colony that was to become Rhode Island. He named the city of Providence in tribute to the "Providences of the Most Holy and only Wise (God)." He dedicated Providence to democracy, seperation of church and state, and toleration in religion. In 1639, dissatisfied as he was with the other churches, he established a new one: The First Baptist Church.

Image Gallery
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Roger Williams (theologian), in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.

    Death not sourced and discussed in text as "early in 1683." April 1 thus sounds like a guess, and it conflicts with Great Migration, which cites an article in The American Genealogist as finding him deceased by March 15.

  2. Roger Williams Family Association,
  3. Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995).

    BIRTH: About 1606, son of James and Alice (Pemberton) Williams [TAG 28:197-200].
    DEATH: Providence after 27 January 1682/3 and before 15 March 1682/3 [TAG 28:207].
    MARRIAGE: High Laver, Essex, 15 December 1629 Mary Bernard, daughter of Rev. Richard Bernard [NEHGR 113:189-92]; she died after August 1676 (in late August 1676 "it seasonable came to pass that Providence Williams brought up his mother from Newport in his sloop & cleared the town of all the Indians to the great peace and content of all the inhabitants" [PrTR 8:14]).

  4.   Williams, Roger, in American National Biography Online.
  5.   Savage, James. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England: Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692, on the Basis of Farmer's Register. (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co, 1860-1862)

Lyon (1631)
The Lyon made several voyages under Captain William Peirce 1630-1632.
Sailed: 23 Aug 1631 from London, England
Arrived: 2 Nov 1631 at Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony

~50 (Full List)
William Parke - James Penniman - John Perkins - John Sanford - Robert Scott - Samuel Wakeman - Roger Williams & others

Resources: Primary Sources:
Other information:

Founders of Providence, Rhode Island
Roger Williams was exiled from Massachusetts Bay in June 1636 for his religious beliefs. He settled the area now known as Providence with a few others, and two years in 1638 purchased it from the Narragansett. He then deeded 12/13 of it to twelve other religious dissenters known as the "Original Proprietors." There also exists in City Hall in Providence a manuscript that purports to show the lands of the first settlers, as originally allotted. It is undated, but appears to have been created before about 1650.
First Comers with Williams: William Arnold, John Smith, William Harris, Francis Wickes, and possibly Joshua Verin and Thomas Angell
Original Proprietors: Stukely Westcott, William Arnold, William Carpenter, John Greene, Thomas James, Robert Cole, William Harris, Thomas Olney, John Throckmorton, Francis Weston, Richard Waterman and Ezekiel Holliman.
Other early landowners (from south to north): Robert Williams - Christopher Unthank - William Hawkins - Robert West - Hugh Bewitt - John Lippitt - Matthew Weston - Edward Hart - Thomas Hopkins - Widow Sayer - Widow Tiler - Nicholas Power - William Wickenden - William Man - William Burrow - Adam Goodwin - Thomas Harris - Joshua Winsor - John Field - William Field - Richard Scott - George Rickard - John Warner - Chad Brown - Daniel Abbott - William Reynods - John Sweet - Alice Daniels - Widow Reeve - Benedict Arnold - John Greene Jr. - Edward Manton - Thomas Painter - Matthew Waller - Gregory Dexter
Resources: History of the State of Rhode Island - Lands and Houses of the First Settlers of Providence

Current Location: Newport County, Rhode Island   Parent Towns: Boston   Daughter Towns: Newport