Person:William Wardwell (3)

m. 9 Jan 1672/73
  1. Mercy Wardwell1673 - 1754
  2. Elizabeth Wardwell1675 - 1675
  3. Samuel Wardwell, II1676/77 - 1756
  4. William Wardwell1679 - 1751
  5. Elizabeth WardwellAbt 1680 - Aft 1710/11
  6. Eliakim Wardwell1687 - 1753
  7. Rebecca Wardwell1691 - 1736/37
m. 25 Nov 1706
  1. William Wardwell1709 - 1790
  2. Thomas Wardwell1709 - 1776
  3. Jonathan Wardwell1711 - 1788
  4. Sarah Wardwell1714 - 1757
  5. Dorothy Wardwell1715/16 - 1751
  6. Phoebe Wardwell1717 - Aft 1763
  7. John Wardwell1719 - 1799
  8. Hannah Wardwell1721 - Aft 1780
  9. Eliakim Wardwell1722/23 - 1754
  10. Nathan Wardwell1724 - 1738
  11. Mary Wardwell1726/27 - 1738
  12. Joshua Wardwell1728 - Bet 1770 and 1805
  13. Abiah Wardwell1731 - 1738
  14. Bethiah Wardwell1734/35 - 1738
Facts and Events
Name William Wardwell
Gender Male
Birth[1] 9 Nov 1679 Andover, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
Marriage 25 Nov 1706 Andover, Essex, Massachusetts, United Statesto Dorothy Wright
Death[2] 22 Apr 1751 Andover, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
Occupation? Cheshire, Berkshire, Massachusetts, United StatesWeaver

The second of the three sons of Sarah (Hooper) Hawkes and Samuel Wardwell, was born November 9, 1679 in Andover, Massachusetts, Bay Colony and named for his paternal uncle, William Wardwell (1607-1670), the first of the two brothers to emigrate to the New World in 1633.

In mid-August of 1692, William, just a few months shy of his 13th birthday, witnessed the arrest of his father on charges of witchcraft. Samuel was examined at Salem and then imprisoned. Just a few weeks later, on September 1, William's mother, 42, his sister, Mercy, 19, and his half-sister, Sarah Hawkes, 21, were also accused and imprisoned at Salem. All four had confessed at their preliminary hearings, for by that time, it was obvious that those who confessed were not being brought to trial, let alone hanged.

For reasons still unknown, Samuel Wardwell, 49, was suddenly ordered to stand trial on Tuesday, September 13,1692. At that time he recanted his confession for he would not lie to save his soul. This so enraged the court that he was found guilty and was hanged at Salem on September 22, 1692. He was the last man in America to be hanged on charges of alleged witchcraft.

The sheriff seized Samuel's moveable property, and then the Selectmen of Andover, fearing that the four younger Wardwell children remaining at home (Samuel Junior, William, Elizabeth, and Eliakim) might be endangered---even imprisoned, or become a tax burden to the town, placed them out in neighboring homes in Andover with the county court's approval. The Court at Ipswich had instructed "for ye time being, the children be placed out, or if need require, binde out the said children in good and honest families."

William was placed in the North End home of Mary (Aslet) and Corporal Samuel Frye, one of the Selectmen, as was his brother-in-law, John Aslet. William was to live with them "till he come to be of ye age of one and twenty years" (i.e. 1700). Frye was to teach William "ye trade of a weaver and to find him with a suite of apparel att ye end of said term of tyme". Only half-brother Thomas was exempt from the Selectmen's decisions, as he was 21 years of age. Sister Rebecca, 1, had been cared for by her maternal aunts since her mother's imprisonment.

At Salem, on January 10, 1692/93, the Widow Wardwell and her two daughters were brought to trial in Salem. The girls were found not guilty and were released upon paying their fees. However, Sarah Wardwell was found guilty, as were two other women, and they were returned to prison. Death warrants were immediately signed for them and for those condemned in the previous September. But Governor Phips issued a pardon for all of them in late January, and Widow Sarah Wardwell returned to her home in Andover.

With the return of their mother, it is most probable that all of the children were reunited at the Wardwell homestead. However, William continued his apprenticeship with Samuel Frye until he was 21. Early in 1706, William's half brother Thomas died, and his estate was presumably inherited by his three half-brothers, Samuel, William and Eliakim. Thomas had not only maintained the family homestead with its "accommodations" during the events of 1692, but had also been able to purchase additional lands, including 17 acres on the east side of the Boston Road, which he had purchased from Abraham Foster

On November 25, 1706, William, 27, married Dorothy Wright, 18. She was the daughter of Walter Wright and his second wife, Elizabeth (Peters) Sadie, and the half-sister of John Wright, who had married William's sister Mercy in 1697. William and Dorothy established their home in Andover on the hillside toward the east end of town, later known as "Wardwell's Hill". They had at least 15 children, but only nine are known to have lived to adulthood. William, besides being quite successful in the weaver's trade, was active in the building of mills and the like in Andover in conjunction with his father-in-law, Walter Wright, a weaver, his mentor, Samuel Frye, and Christopher Osgood (sister Rebecca's father-in-law).

When William's younger brother, Eliakim, came of age in 1708, he left Andover to seek his fortune in York, Maine. Many of Andover's youth had gone west to settle in outposts of the Massachusetts Colony. Thus William and his brother, Samuel, became actively engaged in the real estate business.

Brother Eliakim returned briefly to Andover in 1711 to sign the family petition to the General Court authorizing elder brother Samuel to receive monies due for the seizure of their father's moveable property in 1692.

All of the Wardwell children signed their names in full; for even though they had had troubled childhoods, all had been well-educated. They received £36.12.0 from the Government of Massachusetts, the 3rd highest awarded to date, but representing only the actual value of the moveable estate taken. There was no compensation for the grief and suffering endured by the families of the innocent victims of 1692. By the time the money was granted, William's mother had died.

The South End of Andover finally gained its own meeting house in 1710, the congregation consisting of 35 members, only three of whom were from the North Parish. The establishment of another minister and a second parish in South Andover had been one of the underlying causes of accusations of witchcraft in Andover in 1692. On October 7, 1711, the first minister was ordained. William is of record of joining the South Church on April 4, 1714, while Dorothy was admitted as a member on January 28, 1727/28.

William and Samuel probably divided some of the lands inherited from their father shortly after 1716. For late in that year, Samuel married the widow Returne (Ellinwood) Giles. What lands they retained together they apparently swapped together and with neighbors.

"The swamp east of John Wright, "laid out to the right of our honored father, Samuel, deceased", was sold jointly by the two brothers, as was brother Thomas' 17-acres to their neighbor, Joseph Lovejoy, for £24. William had land alloted to him "near the Down Shott at Foster's Pond and upland", which he sold to Samuel Preston. He also sold land "on the Carlton Path on the way over Boston Hill" to the Frye brothers; and some of Thomas' orchards on the west side of the road to Timothy Lovejoy. In 1723, William deeded meadow west of the Shawshin River to the Abbot brothers.

"From 1650 to 1728, there had never been more than 13 children's deaths recorded in a single year in Andover. But in 1729, 30 children died, and in 1736, 40. The latter high number was due to a great 'pox', believed to have been throat distemper, which swept over New England, raging at intervals from November of 1735 until 1739, peaking in 1738. Thousands died of this great 'pox', mostly large numbers of children.

"In Essex County alone, 1,400 children died of the disease. "The year of 1738, at the height of the pox, was the only year in which deaths exceeded births in the entire history of Andover up to 1800." In a three-week period in the late summer of 1738, four of William's children died: the eldest was 14, the youngest 31.

Through his weaver's trade, mills, and large property holdings, William became a prosperous citizen of Andover. His sons were all apprenticed to a trade: William II, a cooper; Joshua, a tailor; John, a leather-dresser; and Thomas probably a cordwainer like his grandfather. What trade Jonathan and Eliakim followed is unknown, but certainly one of them must have been a weaver like his father. William deeded much of his lands to his sons, for which he received some reimbursement:

"William II paid his father £300 for a share of the estate "near the Bridge on the way from my house to the South Meeting House near Josiah Ballard". Jonathan "whose estate lay over on the Merrimack lands far away from the Holt and Wardwell Hill farms, had accumulated £1,000 and got the lion's share of the Wardwell hills and swamps with a plot on the Boston Road called the 'Streights'. John owned an estate in Andover and in Frye Village, while Thomas and Eliakim had houses near the center of town."

William Wardwell, the only son of Sarah (Hooper) Hawkes and Samuel Wardwell to remain in Andover, died on April 22, 1751, in his 72nd year. He was survived by his wife of 45 years, all six of his sons, several daughters, and at least 12 grandchildren. Dorothy (Wright) Wardwell remained a widow for 22 years, dying in Andover on October 19, 1773, in her 86th year.

The six sons lived and died in Andover, and, like their parents, all had large families. Eight grandsons served in the Revolutionary War.

-William Wardwell of Andover, Massachusetts with an Informal Collection of His Descendants through the 8th Generation. Marjorie Wardwell Otten

"The death of Thomas Wardwell in 1706 is explained by a paper giving to Joseph Lovejoy, a neighbor, for 24 pounds, the 11 acres 'our brother Thomas deceased bought of Abraham Foster an the east side of Boston road.' Twenty years later, after Samuel and William were both married and the estates divided, William sells a bit of poor Tom's orchard on the west side of the road to young Tim Lovejoy and Mary Corneille, a Wilmington lass, not the first to come, however. Dorothy Wright signs with William after 1710, and land lotted to them near the Down Shott at Foster's Pond and upland sold to carpenter Sam Preston, with Nathanie1 Abbott's bounds all in with Fosters, Lovejoys, and Wardwells give the first map of our now democratic South Center, then the aristocratic suburb of the busy North Parish.... In 1723, Wm. deeds to Ben and Sam Abott, the brothers west of the Shawshin, his meadow over there, one bound going down, "the brook belonging to me, William" maybe Barker's or the Red Spring. In some papers, come glimpses of the Boston cousin, William, the coachmaker, and his widowed sisters who are cousins of a generous John Edwards of Ipswich... In 1723, Wm. deeds to Ben and Sam Abott, the brothers west of the Shawshin, his meadow over there, one bound going down, "the brook belonging to me, William" maybe Barker's or the Red Spring. In some papers, come glimpses of the Boston cousin, William, the coachmaker, and his widowed sisters who are cousins of a generous John Edwards of Ipswich. About this time, 1735, Sam and Return sell the homeplace, and its improvements, to JosephParker, the aged inn-keeper over on the North Parish borders and with their band of eight, follow the Holts and Farnums to Somers, Ct. then Hampshire Co. Joseph Parkers daughter Martha, wife of Joseph Luck or Locke,has a portion containing the buildings conveyed to her heirs forever, and I have often wondered if the Locke estate was not the nearest of the name to the acres that went to the sister Lydia, wife of Thomas Head of Woburn. Quit-claims from Sam down to 1743 and from Return till 1777, concerning Beverly lands indicate the 1ength of life and give Andover Ingalls and other valuable hints about their new home. William with Dorothy sells out to the elder son, William paying 300 pounds for a share of the estate near the Bridge "on the way from my house to the South Meeting house near Josia Ballard, He was a cooper as was his son, and grandson Nathan, the last marrying a Dracut girl whose mother was Phebe Farnum, the daughter of the soldier whose courtship is mentioned on p.74 of Bailey History. Nathan sells his estate to his sister Olive, wife of Simeon. Towne and seems to be located between Carter's Hill and "Pilfershire." Phebe married Thomas C. Mason. Sallie and Herman Jones, with Mary and James Hovey building up Scotland district while brother Isaac goes over to Danvers. "

-Some Wardwell Tax-Payers Charlotte Abbott Andover Townsman 07 May 1897

  1. Births, in Andover, Essex, Massachusetts, United States. Vital Records of Andover, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849. (Topsfield, Massachusetts: Topsfield Historical Society, 1912), p.376.

    WARDWELL, William, s. Samuell and Sarah, [born] Nov. 9, 1679.

  2. Andover, Massachusetts Vital Records.