Person:William Shurtleff (2)

William Shurtleff
m. 18 OCT 1655
  1. Capt. William Shurtleff1657 - 1729/30
  2. Thomas SHURTLEFFABT 1659 - ABT 1733
  3. Abiel ShurtleffBET 1666 - 1732
Facts and Events
Name William Shurtleff
Gender Male
Alt Birth[1] abt 1624 apprenticed in 1634
Birth? 16 May 1624 Ecclesfield, Yorkshire, EnglandCitation needed
Marriage 18 OCT 1655 Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MAto Elizabeth Lettice
Death[1] 23 Jun 1666 Marshfield, MassachusettsKilled by lightning
Burial[1] 24 Jun 1666 Marshfield, MA

Probably born in the parish of Ecclesfield, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. ("His surname is rare in England, with a prominent family of the name found at Ecclesfield, Yorkshire, but without a known connection to the New England immigrant." [2]) An apprentice in Plymouth, Mass. as early as 1643. In 1656 was surveyor of highways and was a juryman in 1657. Became constable for Plymouth on June 7, 1659. Was made a freeman May 1660 at which time he probably moved to Marshfield.

His house was destroyed by fire in 1666. While he and his family were staying with their neighbor John Phillips, there was a thunderstorm. There were 14 people in the sitting room. William Shurtleff was holding his wife Elizabeth's hand and was holding one of his children in his other arm. A stroke of lightning passed down the chimney, which destroyed it, and "smote" almost everyone in the room. William Shurtleff, Mrs. Phillips, and Jeremiah Phillips were instantly killed and the lightning then passed out through the door, splitting it into pieces.[3]

Apprentice to Thomas Clarke.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 William Shurtleff sketch, in Great Migration Newsletter. (Boston, Massachusetts: Great Migration Study Project), [1].

    BIRTH: By about 1624 (assuming he was about ten years old on 2 September 1634 when he put himself apprentice for eleven years [PCR 1:31]).
    DEATH: Killed by lightning at Marshfield on 23 June 1666 [see COMMENTS below]. “William Shirtly” was buried at Marshfield on 24 June 1666 [MarVR 10].
    MARRIAGE: Plymouth 18 October 1655 Elizabeth Lettice [PCR 8:17], daughter of Thomas Lettice.

  2. Great Migration citing Shurtleff Gen 2:535-55
  3. See also Great Migration, citing Shurtleff Gen 559, transcribing letter of Samuel Arnold. See also Morton 206; Two Voyages 194; Hull 222.