Saturday, March 24, 2018

Surname Saturday ~ WAY of Dorchester, Massachusetts

Second Church of Dorchester


My 11th great grandfather, Henry Way (1583 – 1667), lived in Bridport in the parish of Allington, Dorset, England where his six children were baptized.   Some say that he arrived in New England aboard the ship Mary and John with his wife Elizabeth Bachelor, and five children, but there is no passenger list for that ship.   They arrived at Nantasket on 30 May 1630 and settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts. The first record of Henry Way is in 1631 when his fishing boat rescued three men from a sinking ship [from The History of New England from 1630 to 1649, by John Winthrop, volume 2, page 71].  He signed a document to support the Dorchester school teacher on 7 February 1641/2 and he was admitted to the Second Church of Dorchester on 5 May 1643. 

Henry Way was a merchant, and he is often seen in records that have to do with mariners or boats. There was another merchant named “Mr. George Way” who had business in New England and might have been a kinsman.  George Way made a trip to Dorchester.

In a 1632 record “A shallop of one Henry Way of Dorchester, having been missing all the winter, it was found that the men in her, being five, were all killed treacherously by the eastern Indians.  Antoher shallop of his being sent out to seek out the other, was cast away at Aquamenticus, and two of the men drowned.” [ from The History of New England from 1630 to 1649, by John Winthrop, volume 2, page 95] In his book Great Migration Begins, Anderson believes that the author William Hubbard, in his book A General History of New England from Discover to MDCLXXX, 1815, page 198”erroneously supposed that these entries indicated that Henry Way not only owned the shallops, but was in one of them when the tragedies occurred”.

I descend from Hannah Way (b. 1615/6), my 10th great grandmother who married Bray Wilkins.  You can read all about the WILKINS lineage at this link:  

Henry Way's youngest son, Richard Way (1624 - 1697) had four wives.  His second wife, Bethia Mayhew, is also my 10th great aunt.  I descend from her brother Rev. Thomas Mayhew (about 1620 - 1657) and her sister, Hannah Mayhew (1635 - 1723) who married Thomas Daggett in 1657. Yes, a double Mayhew lineage with a cousin connection, too! 

For more information on the WAY family:

The Great Migration Begins, by Robert Charles Anderson, 1995, Volume III, pages 1951 – 1953.

Way Family History, by Mary Elizabeth Way, published 1974.

The American Genealogist, Volume 61, pages 241 – 256.

My WAY genealogy:

Generation 1:  Henry Way, born about 1583, in Allington, Bridport, Dorset, England, died 24 March 1667 in Dorchester, Massachusetts; married 22 January 1615 in Bridport to Elizabeth Bachelor.  She was born about 1587 and died 23 June 1665 in Dorchester.  Six children.

Generation 2:  Hannah Way, baptized on 3 March 1615/6 in Allington, Bridport; married about 1636 to Bray Wilkins.  He was born about 1610 in Wales, and died 2 January 1702 in Middleton, Massachusetts.  Eight children.

Generation 3:  Margaret Wilkins m. Philip Knight
Generation 4:  Elizabeth Knight m. Samuel Towne
Generation 5:  Rebecca Towne m. Stephen Johnson
Generation 6:  Ruth Johnson m. Richard Cree
Generation 7:  Stephen Cree m. Hannah Smith
Generation 8:  Sarah Cree m. James Phillips
Generation 9:  Hannah Phillips m. Thomas Russell Lewis
Generation 10:  Hannah Eliza Lewis m. Abijah Franklin Hitchings
Generation 11:  Arthur Treadwell Hitchings m. Florence Etta Hoogerzeil
Generation 12:  Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer Allen (my grandparents)


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, “Surname Saturday ~ WAY of Dorchester, Massachusetts”, Nutfield Genealogy, posted March 24, 2018, ( accessed [access date]). 

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