Reverend William Walton - Elizabeth Cooke Family Group

Parents   Parents
      William Cooke Martha White
        b. perhaps Yorkshire, Ebgland b. England
        Will proved 26 Jun 1615 at Canterbury, England d. England
Reverend William Walton Elizabeth Cooke
b. abt. 1602 in Seaton, Devon, England b. 1605 in Seaton, Devon, England
d. Nov 1668 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts d. 1682 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts
Relationship Events
Marriage 10 Apr 1627 Reverend William Walton to Elizabeth Cooke at Holy Trinity, Dorchester, Doorset, England
  John b. 6 Apr 1628 in Seaton, Devon, England; no further records
  Elizabeth b. 27 Oct 1629 in Seaton, Devon, England; m. 1) abt.1649 in Beverly Essex, Massachusetts Lot Conant (b. abt., 1624 in Cape Ann, d. 29 Sep 1674 in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts); ten children: Nathaniel, John, Lot, Elizabeth, Mary, Martha, twins Sarah and William, Roger and Rebecca Conant m. 2) 10 Jan 1681 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts Andrew Mansfield (b. abt. 1623 in England, probate 28 Nov 1683 Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts
  Martha b. 26 Apr 1632 in Seaton, Devon, England; m. Benjamin Mountjoy (d. 1659); no children; d. aft. 1700
Jane bp. 8 Feb 1634/35 in Seaton, Devon, England; Died Young in England
William b. abt. 1637 in in Hingham, Essex, Massachusetts; d. 3 Sep 1640 in Marblehead
  Nathaniel b. 3 Mar 1636/7 in Hingham, Essex, Massachusetts; no children; d. about 1710 in Marblehead
  Samuel b. 5 Jun 1639 in Marblehead; m. Sarah Maverick (b. 20 Dec 1640 in Chelsea, Suffolk, Massachusetts, d. 10 Jun 1714 in Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts); seven children: Samuel, Sarah, Martha, Elizabeth, William, Mary, and John Walton; d. 22 Mar 1717 in Reading, Essex, Massachusetts
  Josiah b. 20 Dec 1641 in Marblehead; no children; Jun 1673
Mary Walton b. 14 May 1644 in Marblehead; m. by 1663 Robert Bartlett (b. abt. 1638 in Frampton, Dorsetshire, England; probate 27 Jun 1717 in Marblehead; seven children: William. Nathaniel, John, Mary, Martha, Josiah, and Abigail Bartlett; d. bef. 1702

What We Know About This Family


Reverend Walton, a Puritan, and his wife, the niece of the minister John White, who had settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts, fled England in fear he would be executed for his unorthodox beliefs.

An Overview of Their Lives

Rev. William Walton was born between 1598 and 1605 near Wimborne St. Giles, Dorset, England, about 25 miles northeast of Dorchester, England. He earned his B.A. in 1621 and then his M.A. in 1625, both from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, England. He served as Deacon among the Dorset clergy, September, 1621. He was licensed 31 Mar 1628 as "Master William Walton, Curate in Charge of Seaton and Beere, Devon".

He married Elizabeth Cooke 10 Apr 1627 in the Holy Trinity Church in Dorset, England where her uncle John White was a rector. We know even more about the family of Elizabeth. Her grandparents were John White of Stanton on St. John Oxon and Isabel Bawle, and they had two children John and Martha White.

Reverend John White is considered the founder of Dorchester, Massachusetts, and as such deserves to have his story told. He was Rector of Holy Trinity and St Peter's churches from 1606 to 1648. He was at the center of the group that took control of the town after the great fire of 1613 and ran it with a vision of a godly community in which power was to be exercised according to religious commitment rather than wealth or rank. Dorchester became briefly a place that could boast a system of education and assistance to the sick and needy nearly three hundred years ahead of its time. White and his parishioners established the Napper's Mite almshouses and a brewery to help maintain them. Work was found for all the fit poor of the parish, and the profits of the brewery looked after the poor and disabled.

He sympathized with the struggles of the Puritans for freedom of worship and was involved with the group that sailed on the Mayflower. In 1623 he personally organized a group that established a small trading post at Cape Anne.

He worked hard, making many trips to London, not easy in those days, to get a charter for the Massachusetts Bay Company, and to create an alliance between wealthy London merchants and West Country seamen. This enabled a fleet of ships to sail in March 1630 with the first large party of English people to settle in New England. The first ship to sail was the Mary and John, which carried people from Dorset, Somerset and Devon personally recruited by White. On June 1630, they landed and founded the settlement of Dorchester, Massachusetts.

White's reforms and his opposition to the High Church policies of Archbishop Laud brought him, and the town, into conflict with the King. But while Dorchester declared itself on the side of Parliament in the Civil War, it surrendered to the Royalists without a fight in 1643. John White had fled to London, and although he returned to Dorchester after Cromwell's victory in 1646, he had lost some of his influence and died there in 1648.

The First Parish Church of Dorchester, Massachusetts

The church was established by the emigrants from Dorchester and the south west who founded the town of Dorchester on 30 March 1630. As well as the church they founded the first elementary school supported by public money in the new world and so laid the foundation for the American public school system. They also held the first town meeting that determined policy through open and frequent discussion, a forerunner of the American democratic way of life. In all of this they were inspired by the ideal of the Kingdom of God on earth and the attempt to realize this in Dorchester, Dorset in the time of the Reverend John White. The current guide to the First Parish Church says, 'Theirs was the ideal and we inherited from them the task. We must never give it up.'

For a hundred and seventy-six years there was no other church in Dorchester, so for historic reasons the First Parish Church belongs to all the people, and retains a commitment to the life of the community. The leaflet goes on: " Our traditions are Christian; our rootage is Puritan, our government is congregational; our theology is Unitarian; our achievements and loyalties are American; our concerns are humanitarian; and our commitments are independent, Among the charter members of the colony of Dorchester was Roger Ludlow, who moved to Windsor Connecticut in 1636. He wrote a book on the democratic procedures of Connecticut that furnished the outline of the Constitution of the United States. Besides Windsor, people from the colony founded Dorchester, South Carolina, and from there established Midway, Georgia. The First Parish Church is referred to as a Foundation Stone of the Nation, and we back in Dorchester, Dorset may feel some pride in our ancestors' part in laying it."

The earliest settlers in the northern part of America were the Puritans and the Pilgrims. Puritans were Protestants in England who had one common idea - they wanted to purify the Church of England and do away with Priests, fancy robes, colored windows in churches and religious music. They emulated the religious principles of the French Religious leader and reformer - John Calvin. They took the Bible literally. For a long time all Puritans were opposed by officials of the Church of England and also by the English Government. Many changes had taken place in the church during Henry VIII's time when, about 1536, power was taken away from the Roman Catholic Church in England. Even the changes he made did not satisfy the Puritans who also wanted to abolish priesthood and bishops. During the reign of King James I some Puritans completely broke away from the Church of England. These Puritans were non-conformists. Reverend William Walton was one of these. Had he not come to America, it is very possible he could have been beheaded because of his religious beliefs. He and many of his fellow ministers had been trained at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and it is largely this group of Puritans who came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1630 on.

As an aside, the Pilgrims - first called Separatists - were also very religious, and most of them were not as well educated as the Puritans. Like the Puritans, they wanted to set up their own congregations, but the English authorities did not approve and persecuted them including sending them to prison. In 1607-08 many of them went to Holland and formed a congregation there. They spent some time in Amsterdam and then later moved to Leyden where most of them lived for the eleven years prior to their sailing to America.

William and Elizabeth Walton started their married lives in their home country, having their first children there. At this point, a word about the discrepancies found in how many children they had. About most, there is no question. They may have had a daughter Elizabeth born in 162 who died before her sister the second Elizabeth was born in 1632. These two girls share the same date of birth (with different years), so I suspect there was only one Elizabeth and that the listing of the second one was an error in the records. One source also said that there was a son William buried in 1640. The passenger records show that William Walton with wife Elizabeth came with children Martha, John, and Elizabeth. The date of arrival was 1636, but some events recorded happened prior to that date.

Records show that William and Elizabeth were among the first settlers of Hingham (then known as Barecove, Mass.) They were also among the 29 men who, with Reverend Peter Hobart, and his little band of colonists, drew house lots and received grants of land for pasture and tillage in the first distribution of lots in Hingham on Sept. 18, 1635. That date establishes the beginning of the Walton family in America. That area is now a part of Melville Gardens at Downer's Landing. It is a sunny nook sloping down to the shore and, for more than three hundred years, has born the name of Walton's Cove. The bell tower of the old Ship Church still stands. It bears the date of 1631,

On March 8, 1635, William took the oath of "freeman".


"The family moved to Marblehead, Mass., one of the oldest settlements in the colony, and most primitive, in 1637. It was in need of a minister. William Walton was the first missionary and he served as teacher and preacher for the next thirty years.

The houses were rude log huts with thatched roofs in which sputtering pine knots were the chief source of light. Cooking was done on spits, in kettles hung on a crane in the fireplace or in fireplace ovens. There was no magistrate - not even a constable to enforce the law. For further information read "Walton History" by Hattie Walton Heninger. Court records reveal that much of the turbulence of which Marblehead had been accused was due to the prevalent use of rum which was made from foreign molasses imported by the colonies. The congregational form of church government was established by law in Massachusetts in 1651. Their little chapel, though built of rough-hewn logs, was a sacred edifice dedicated to the worship of God. The people met there on the Sabbath day, the men sitting at the head of the pews with muskets loaded in the event of an Indian attack. "The "Plain Farm" was purchased for grazing by the leaders of Marblehead, who persuaded William Walton to stay, thus creating a financial resource for the Town, and reinforcing the power of the group under the leadership of Moses Maverick and John Peach, Sr. And so it was that William Walton became the first minister in Marblehead.

William Walton died of apoplexy November 9, 1668 at Marblehead. He died intestate and under the court's appointment, Elizabeth administered his estate with the approval of the children. It is believed his resting place is "Old Burial Hill." Elizabeth died in 1682.

About the Children

  • John Walton made the journey to America with his parents, but no further records can be found for him. Some Ancestry users and his Find-a-Grave listing show that he died in Norfolk City, Virginia. I can find no corroborating records. It's probable he predeceased his father as his brother Nathaniel is named as the eldest son in his father's will.

  • Elizabeth Walton  married first Lot Conant (Connant) in about 1655. Lot was a Selectman in Marblehead in 1666 and removed to Beverly, where he died in 1674. In 1681, the widow Elizabeth Conant married Andrew Mansfield, Sr. of Lynn, and was his third wife. Andrew Mansfield, son of Robert, was born in England about 1620. He came to Boston in 1636 and to Lynn in 1639 before his father (Lewis and Newhall, p. 187). On 26 March 1661 being then about 38 years old, he made affidavit to the Court at Ipswich, Mass., that he had been an inhabitant of Lynn about 22 or 23 years and in June 1669 "about 49 years old, he testified in court concerning the estate of Frances Axey." (Records and files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Mass. Vol. VIII 1680-1683 p. 256-257, also Warner). Andrew was very active in Town affairs. He was made freeman 8 July 1645. He was a selectman, was on committees for laying out roads and settling land disputes. He served as trial juror and on Grand Jury 1650-1677. He was called "sergeant" from 15 March 1663. This showed the confidence which the people had for his legal ability. "There are many letters on file in the clerk of the courts office of Essex County in his clear legible handwriting showing his ability and that the esteem in which he was held was well merited. Two of his daughters had married two of Elizabeth's sons before their marriage. In his will, he named two sons: Andrew and Daniel Mansfield and four daughters: Hannah and Bethiah Conant and Lydia and Deborah Mansfield.

  • Martha Walton was the widow of Benjamin Mountjoy in his probate in 1659. Martha was named in the wills of some of her siblings, and she deeded property to her nephew William Bartlett in Sep 1670 making it possible to place her death after that date. They had no children.

  • Nathaniel Walton was a yeoman who resided in Marblehead and died testate about 1710, childless and unmarried.

  • Samuel Walton, married Sarah Maverick, who was born at Chelsea, Mass. and died at Reading, June 10, 1714. She was the daughter of Elias and Ann Harris Maverick (and niece of Moses Maverick in Marblehead). Samuel was among 14 householders who took the oath of allegiance Dec. 28, 1667. He served in civic and church activities as a "tithing man" (tax collector), constable and selectman. He was a farmer and also a mariner who found the fishing business highly competitive. After the death of his father and mother and the settlement of his father's estate, he inherited the place of his birth where all his children were later born.

  • Josiah Walton was a mariner or fisherman. He was wounded when struck by lightning, 23 June 1673 at sea (Savage). He died soon after as a result of his injuries. His will probated Nov 1673, mentions his Mother Walton, brother Nathaniel, and sisters Martha Munjoy, Elizabeth Conant, and Mary Bartlett. The widow Elizabeth was named as Executrix. His mother was widowed by this time, so it's likely she was the executrix named since no wife was mentioned and the few assets he had at such a young age were bequeathed to his siblings. No record of a marriage exists for him, but it's possible the widow referred to was a wife named Elizabeth.

  • Mary Walton and her husband Captain Robert Bartlett are our direct ancestors and have their own family group page. They had seven children who were still living when their father wrote his will. Mary, predeceased her father, but his will left a legacy to her husband and children. Robert and Mary's last child was born in 1687, and Robert married for a second time the twice-widowed Rebecca Greene Pinson Bubier in 1702, so we know Mary died at some time between those two years. Rebecca survived him. He wrote his will in 1714, and it was probated in 1717. He described himself as a "husbandman" and had enough real property in Dunstable and Marblehead to leave acreage and/or dwellings to each of his children and his two Homan grandsons.

Proof of Relationship

Proof of relationship comes from the wills, vital records, and genealogical articles.

What Else We Need to Learn

The goal of this project is to trace every line of ancestry to the arrival of its first immigrant to America. The basic information of each couple is considered complete when we know the dates of birth, marriage, and death for both spouses. their parents' names (or whether they were the immigrant), and the child or children in our ancestry line.

The research on this family is basically complete.



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