Saturday, June 8, 2013

Surname Saturday ~ Kettell of Charlestown

Charlestown, Massachusetts

Richard Kettell’s origins are unknown, but he was probably from England.  The first record of him was when he and his wife were admitted to the church in Charlestown, Massachusetts on 30 July 1633.  He was made a freeman on 4 March 1634/5.  He was a cooper and a sergeant in the militia. His wife was “Atherton Haulghe’s maid servant”. 

Richard Kettell owned about 33 acres, which was a lot of land in Charlestown.  In his will he mentions his children, grandchildren, and the division of this land. In his will he lists land near the mill pond, which you can see in the map above.  His son, John Kettell, removed to Gloucester, and lived for a time in Lancaster where his wife was carried off by the Indians in 1676 during one of the raids, and she spend some time with the captive Mary Rowlandson.   There is a Kettell's Cove in nearby Gloucester in the town of Manchester-by-Sea, very close to the house where my Uncle Robert Wilkinson lived for many years. 

I am descended from two of Richard Kettell’s children, Hannah and Jonathan.

Some sources for Kettell information:

The Great Migration Begins, by Richard Charles Anderson, Boston: NEHGS, 2000, Volume II, pages 1124 – 1128. You can also see Charlestown Genealogies by Thomas Bellows Wyman, 1879, Volume 2, page 574, and the Thayer Genealogy by Ruther Thayer Ravenscroft, Colorado Springs, 1943.


Generation 1: Richard Kettell, born about 1609 in England, died 20 June 1680 in Charlestown, Massachusetts; married about 1636 to Hester Ward, born about 1612 in England, died 5 July 1679 in Charlestown.  Six children.

Lineage A:

Generation 2: Hannah Kettell, born 27 October 1637 in Charlestown, died 27 August 1708 in Charlestown; married on 26 June 1656 in Charlestown to John Call, born 6 March 1636 in Faversham, Kent, England, died 19 April 1697 in Charlestown, Massachusetts.  Eight children.

Generation 3: Mehitable Call m. John Rand
Generation 4: Caleb Rand m. Katherine Kettell ( his second cousin)
Generation 5: Caleb Rand m. Mary Mayhew
Generation 6: Mary Rand m. Asahel Bill
Generation 7: Reverend Ingraham Ebenezer Bill m. Isabella Lyons
Generation 8: Caleb Rand Bill m. Ann Margaret Bollman
Generation 9: Isabella Lyons Bill m. Albert Munroe Wilkinson
Generation 10: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

Lineage B:

Generation 2:  Jonathan Kettell, born 1646 in Charlestown, died 18 December 1720 in Charlestown; married on 30 March 1676 in Charlestown to Abigail Converse, daughter of James Converse and Anna Long.  She was born 13 October 1658 in Woburn, and died 25 January 1691 in Charlestown.  Five children.

Generation 3.  Jonathan Kettell, born 23 August 1681 in Charlestown, died 21 January 1764 in Charlestown; married first on 8 May 1707 in Boston to Katherine Hands, daughter of John Hands and Mary Bell.  She was born about 1681 and died on 8 March 1748.  He married second to Eunice Treadway on 24 October 1748.  He had ten children with his first wife.

Generation 4: Katherine Kettell and Caleb Rand (see above)

Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. I wonder if Charlestown MA was named for the same King Charles as Charlestown SC? My history jingle tells me the sequence is Charles I, James I, Cromwell (1649-60), Charles II, James II. Probably both towns were named for Charles I.

    1. Yes, you are correct. And Boston's famous Charles River, too.

  2. Richard Kettell is my eighth great grandfather. My mother was a RAND. Thanks for posting this information.

  3. Richard is a progenitor of my family tree. We are direct descendants through Joseph. He had 6 children: Hannah (1637); John (1639); Joseph (1640/41); Samuel (1642); Nathaniel (1644); Jonathan (1646). he indeed emigrated in 1633 from England. He was, in addition to above, admitted Freeman in 1635, was a Juryman in 1660 and chosen Sealer of Weights & Measures in 1663. He is mentioned in Frothingham's History. His autograph is printed there. He bequeathed to John "one peise of Marsh by ye Mill Pond by estimation 2 Acres more or less." I am still working on his connection with John Kettell of Kings Langley, Co. Hertford England who was granted a Coat of Arms in 1570; whose son was Ralph Kettell (a protege' of Lady Paulet), President of Trinity College in Oxford for 44 years. He built Kettell Hall (part of Trinity College). He was noted for "eccentric and often humorous words and deeds".

  4. I have since discovered that Richard Kettell was born in 1609 at Faversham, Kent, England. I have discovered that his parents were Nathaniel Kettell, born abt 1585, Kent, England, and Anne Lord born abt 1589. Still trying to connect John. Anyone have any info or ideas?

  5. Anyone know the description of that coat of arms granted in 1570 to John Kettell?