Saturday, January 7, 2012

Surname Saturday - Worcester

William Worcester's signature
in the 1635 Olney Parish Register
The Reverend William Worcester attended St. John’s College at Cambridge University in England in 1620.  He was ordained as a deacon on 21 December 1622 at Peterborough Cathedral, and was vicar of Olney from 1624 to 1636 until he was suspended for refusing to read an edict from the King which allowed sports and games on the Sabbath.  His beliefs had begun to mirror the Puritans.  He came to America after this and was settled as the pastor of the first church gathered at Salisbury, Massachusetts about 1638.

The place in Salisbury's Colonial Burial Ground, believed to be his burial spot, was marked with a bronze tablet which reads “Here lies buried the body of Rev. William Worcester, the first minister of Salisbury, who came from England about 1639 and died 1662. This stone was laid on his grave to prevent disinterment by wolves. This tablet is affixed by his descendants, 1913." 

As I mentioned in my sketch of Reverend Joseph Hull, it is a blessing to have a minister as an ancestor because they left so many  interesting records.

The Worcester Genealogy:

Generation 1:  William Worcester, probably the son of Joseph Worcester of Rugby, Warwickshire, England, married first Sarah Unknown.  She died in Salisbury, Massachusetts 23 April 1650, married second on 23 July 1650, Rebecca Swaine, who died in Ipswich, Massachusetts on 21 February 1695.  She had been previously married first to Henry Bylie, second to John Hall.  Her fourth husband was Samuel Symonds.  Thirteen children:

1. Mary, buried about 1630 in Olney
2. Patience, buried 19 November 1630
3. Samuel, born in England, died 1681 Lynn, Massachusetts, married Elizabeth Parrott
4. Susannah (see below)
5. John, baptized at Olney on 26 March 1636 and buried at Olney on 26 March 1637
6. William, baptized at Olney 15 January 1638, died at Boston 1683; married Constant Unknown
7. Sarah, died at Salisbury 1 April 1641
8. Sarah, born at Salisbury 4 April 1641
9. Timothy, born at Salisbury, 14 May 1642, died 1672, married Susannah Unknown
10. Moses, born at Salisbury 10 November 1643; married first Elizabeth Stuart, second Sarah Remick Soper
11. Sarah, born at Salisbury 22 April 1646, died 9 January 1649/50
12. Elizabeth, born at Salisbury 9 April 1648, died 1649
13. Elizabeth, born at Salisbury 9 November 1649, died before 1662

Generation 2:   Susannah Worcester, baptized at Olney on 5 May 1634; married on 4 October 1653 to Thomas Stacy.  He was born about 1620 in England and died 23 July 1690 in Ipswich. Five children:

Generation 3:  William Stacy married Mehitable Weymouth
Generation 4: Mary Stacy married John Thompson
Generation 5: Mary Thompson married Richard Nason
Generation 6: Mercy Nason married William Wilkinson
Generation 7: Aaron Wilkinson married Mercy F. Wilson
Generation 8: Robert Wilson Wilkinson married Phebe Cross Munroe
Generation 9: Albert Munroe Wilkinson married Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 10:  Donald Munroe Wilkinson married Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

William Worcester’s will was proved in the Norfolk county court, Massachusetts.  A copy made from the original is on file in the probate office at Salem, and can be read in The Essex Antiquarian, Volume XI, #2, pages 60 -61.  There is a book The Worcester Family in America by John P. Worcester, 2005, available to view online at  An article in The American Genealogist Volume 71, pages 50- 51 discusses his possible English origins.

There is also a good website

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Thanks for the mention of the genealogy at, will check it out. My Worcester line daughters out in the sixth generation with Sarah Worcester who married John Fox.

  2. Yet another common line for us, Heather: I'm descended from William's son Timothy and his wife Susannah, through their daughter Sarah.

    Thanks for the info on William, and letting us know about that book on FamilySearch. I LOVE that site!

    1. Thanks for sharing this link. I shared it with another DAKIN researcher. She pointed out that since you reference the Worcester Family website as your source, there is an error on that site that another Dakin researcher tried to tell the webmaster with no response. SO, I'm posting it here so other WORCESTER & DAKIN & CHENEY researchers might pick up the corrections.
      "Huldah Cheney married Timothy Worcester on January 20 or 29, 1690/91. The Worcester book erroneously says that Huldah Cheney married Simon Dakin as her second husband. The Dakin book (AHD) says that Huldah Cheney Wocester's daughter Huldah married Simon Dakin (Jr.) and the Vital Records of Bradford and Concord proved that to be the case." [page 6 "Worcester" of DAKIN FAMILY FROM THOMAS OF CONCORD TO THOMAS OF DIGBY INCLUDING THE FAMILIES OF THEIR WIVES" compiled by Elizabeth H Dakin, 2008