Vincent Stilson - Nichole Pulliblank Family Group

Parents   Parents
Hugh Stitson Mary Hayne William Pulliblank Johann Lukesmore
        b. abt. 1585 in Modbury b. abt. 1590 in Modbury
  d. England d. England   d. 6 Sep 1658 in Modbury d. 9 Apr 1644 in Modbury
Vincent Stilton/Stilson Nichole Pulliblank
bp. 27 May 1621 in Modbury, Devon, England b. 26 Sep 1618 in Modbury, Devon, England
d. bef. 13 May 1690 in Milford, New Haven, Connecticut d. aft. 4 Sep 1656 in ?
Relationship Events
Marriage 2 Jun 1640 Vincent Stilson to Nichole Pulliblank in Modbury, Devon, England
Marriage Bef. Jun 1676 Vincent Stilson to Grace (Surname Unknown) in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts
Marriage Aft. Jun 1676 Vincent Stilson to Mary (Surname Unknown) in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts
Children of Vincent and Nichole
  Thomasin Stitson bp. 13 Sep 1640 in Modbury; no further records; d. bef. 1687 in ?
Agnes Stilson bp. April 29, 1642 in Modbury; m. July 10, 1668 in Plymouth, Devonshire, England Thomas Hawkins (b. abt. 1640; probate 17 Nov 1721 in Marblehead); six children: James, Joanna, John, Robert, Thomas, and Priscilla Hawkins
  Vinson/Vincent Stilson, Jr. bp. 19 Oct 1649 in Modbury; m. 1) bef. 1685 in Marblehead Sarah (d. bef. May 1695); two children: Susanna and Vincent Stilson, III; m. 2) 4 May 1696 Susannah Langdon Baster Gray (b. 23 Oct 1677 in Boston, d. 1757 in Boston)); d. after 1687
Richard, bp. January 11, 1652 in Modbury, d. January 15, 1652 in Modbury
Mary Stilson, bot. June 18, 1654 in Modbury; d. bef. 1670. Read more about the two Mary's below.
  James Stilson, bot. September 4, 1656 in Modbury; m. (abt. 1669 Margaret Gould (b. abt. 1649 in New Harbor, Lincoln, Maine): five children: Margaret, Mary, James, John, and Infant Girl; d. 2 Aug 1689 in Muscongus Island, Maine (killed by Indians).
Children of Vincent and Grace or Mary
  Mary Stilson, b. 1670 in Marblehead; m. George Barley (b. 1660 in Milford, d. Jan 1707 in Fairfield, Fairfield, Connecticut; seven children: John, Nehemiah, Elizabeth, George, Ebenezer, Mary and John Barley; after 1707
  Moses b. probably in 1673-1684 in Marblehead or Milford, New Haven, Connecticut; m. 17 Mar 1705 in Milford Charity Bailey (b. 4 Feb 1686 in Boston, d. 3 Jul 1736 in Newtown, Fairfield, Connecticut); nine children: Moses, John, James, David, Susannah, Jonathan, Mary, Anna, and Sarah Stilson; d. Probate 1777 in Newtown
  Hugh b. probably in 1674-1678 in Marblehead or Milford, New Haven, Connecticut; m. 1) 1699 in Milford Martha Fenn (b. 10 Jun 1677 and d. 23 Jun 1723); five children: Martha, Samuel, Joseph, Benjamin, and Stephen Stilson; m. 2) in Milford about 1723 Jane (Surname Unknown) (b. abt. 1687 in Connecticut, d. 29 Jun 1767 in Newtown, Fairfield, Connecticut); one child: Vincent; d. 4 Mar 1786 in Fairfield
  Charles b. probably in 1676-1682 in Marblehead or Milford, New Haven, Connecticut; d. after 1687
Susanna, b. 9 Nov 1680 in Milford, New Haven, Connecticut; no further record; d. bef. 1687

What We Know About This Family


Vincent Stilson was born as Vincent Stitson in England. His first cousin, Robert Stitson, also immigrated to Massachusetts, settling in Ipswitch. Unfortunately, we don't know the names of their shared grandparents, who would be our direct ancestors. Robert's descendant, John B. Stetson, was the creator of the Stetson Hat and founder of the John B. Stetson Company in 1856. Much of the information about our first Stilsons is derived from the excellent summary of the Stilson family on WikiTree. Those notes can be found in the Documents section.

An Overview of Their Lives

Vincent and his first wife, Nichole Pulliblank married in Plymouth, England and had six children in Modbury in the same county. In England, the name was spelled Stilton. Once they arrived in America, the name mutated in various ways, but our ancestral family of Marblehead became "Stilson." Modbury is recorded in the Domesday Book. It has had permission to hold a weekly fair since before 1199. The population of the town was greatly reduced as a consequence of the Black Death in the 14th century. Modbury was the site of two battles in the English Civil War. The first battle was a minor royalist victory on 9 December 1642, when a small Royalist force put to flight a smaller Parliamentarian force. The second Battle of Modbury occurred on 21 February 1643 when the Royalists forces, expecting an attack by Parliamentarian forces assembled at nearby Kingsbridge, had fortified the town. Outnumbered approximately four to one, and running short of ammunition, the royalists retreated. This victory was largely instrumental in the lifting of the Siege of Plymouth, and the driving of the encircling Royalist forces into Cornwall. The departure of families from Modbury and District to the Americas has been continuous from the mid-16th Century through to the mid-20th Century. The most outstanding name to make the journey was the local family of "hatters" called Stidson who morphed into STETSON in the USA, world famous for their Stetson hats! John Batterfield Stetson was descended from Vincent's first cousin, Robert, who settled in Ipswitch.

Vincent likely purchased property in Milford as early as 1646, although he did not live there until about 1678. Vincent was still living in England when his youngest first-brood child, James, was baptized in 1656. Vincent's definitive presence in New England is dated from 2 Dec 1664 when "Vensom Stedson" was appointed to an Essex County jury of inquest to determine the cause of death of an Indian named Peter. His date of arrival can be dated therefore as sometime between those two years; i.e., 1656 - 1664. Nichole's death date and place is unknown. The large gap between Vincent's two broods of children indicate that James was probably her last child, and the others were born to his second or third wife.

In 1676, his second wife Grace testified as Grace Stilson in a defamation lawsuit. She testified that a woman named Rebecca came to the house inquiring for her husband about a pair of shoes and that the deponent Grace asked her husband, Vincent, to take a measure of Rebecca's feet. This record tells us that Grace was the wife of Vincent in 1676, that Vincent was a shoemaker, and that they were in Marblehead in 1676. Unfortunately, no records exist to tell us when Nichole died. It would have been sometime between 1656 when her son James was baptized in England and in 1676 when Grace was deposed.

In 1666, a servant (or slave?) named Alexander Fowles was given the sentence of a fine or a whipping for running away from his master Vincent Stilson. In 1668 Vincent was fined among others for swearing. In the same year, both he and his son, Vincent, were among those who signed a petition against imposts. In 1669, Vincent served on a jury inquest to determine the cause of drowning for another of our ancestors, Henry Coombs. In 1671, the estate inventory of John Croad listed a debt to Sergeant Stillson. In 1674, Vincent was recorded among other Marblehead residents as having signed two petitions in March. Thomas Hooper was shown to have owed a debt to Vincent for shoes in 1674. In 1676 was filed a suit by Vinson Stilson against Charles Gibbs, in behalf of Eliza, his wife, for defamation based on her allegedly saying he had offered her money "to play the rogue with her and that he was the cause of the death of her last child." In 1677, Vincent Stilson and his sons Vincent, Jr,. and James, appeared on the list of men taking the oath of fidelity before Samuel Ward, commissioner of Marblehead and also one of our direct ancestors.

In 1680, the birth of Susannah was recorded in Milford. The name of her mother was not listed. Vincent was married to his third wife, Mary, when he wrote his will in Milford in 1687. We know that Vincent and his first wife. Nichole, had the first six children in Modbury. I have accepted the probability of Nichole's daughter Mary having died, and that a second daughter Mary was born about 1670 based on the date of her husband's death when he left five minor children. I don't know which of his latter two wives, Grace or Mary, was the mother of Vincent's children, Mary (the second), Moses, Hugh, Charles, and Susannah.

Vincent made his will on September 17, 1687. In his will he made bequests of one shilling to sons Vincent Stilson, James Stilson and daughter Agnes Hawkings, three pounds to sons Hugh and Charles when they reach 21, and five shillings to my [daughter] Barly wife of George Barly, "she already having had her portion." Vincent grants his house and lands in Milford to his son Moses, but it is to be divided between Hugh and Charles if Moses does not live to 21 or get married. Vincent's wife Mary is to have the use of the Milford homestead for life and received the residue of his estate. The inventory of his estate was taken on May 13, 1690 and totaled over 161 pounds. Notice that the amounts bequeathed to the children were greater for his younger children. This "second brood" also followed him to Milford while the first brood remained in Marblehead. His widow Mary survived him and married Simon Couch. The children who survived their father (named in his will) were Vincent, James, and Agnes by his first marriage, and Mary, Moses, Hugh, and Charles by the later marriage(s).


Additional Information About the Children: (be sure to visit the Documents section for many details)

  • Thomasin Stitson had a baptismal record in England, but no further records have been found. She may have married in England, or she may have come to New England, but she is not mentioned in her father's will in 1687, so we presume she died before then. Interestingly, a woman by the name of Tamsin Gover of the correct age sat for a deposition in the 1676 suit that Vincent brought in Marblehead. It's possible this woman was Thomasin using her married name. No other records of Govers in Marblehead exist, so it's not possible to ascertain her relationship to the Stilsons.

  • Agnes Stilson and her husband, Thomas Hawkins, are our direct ancestors and have their own family group page. They married in Plymouth, England in 1668 and followed her father to Marblehead. Thomas was a tailor. They had six children and remained in Marblehead.

  • Vincent Stilson. Jr. came with his father or soon after from England and settled in Marblehead where his name appears a number of times. He was listed in 1668 among the inhabitants of Marblehead signing a petition against imposts. In 1676, he was found guilty of "great incivility to divers women and was fined." The inventory of the estate of Samuel Condie, taken April 30, 1678, shows a debt to Vinson Stillson, Jr of 1li, 1s. 1677. The list of men taking the oath of fidelity before Samuel Ward, commissioner of Marblehead, included both James Stilson and Vinson Stilson. The inventory of the estate of Nicholas Fox, taken November 16, 1677, includes debt due to Vincent Stilson, Jr. of 19s. 2d. On 22 July 1678, our direct ancestor "John Deverix of Marblehead Senr. sold to Vinson Stilson Jr. a quarter acre in Marblehead." "Vinsint Stilson" was listed as member of an inquest, dated October 25, 1682, regarding a drowned man. James and his wife had two children, and they remained in Marblehead.

  • James Stinson's life ended in tragedy. Born in England, he either came with or followed his father to Marblehead. His name appeared in several Marblehead records. In 1677, he took the oath of fidelity before Samuel Ward, commissioner of Marblehead. He was among those signing a petition dated June 25, 1678 relating to the licensing of public houses for drinking. The inventory of the estate of William Pears, taken April 29, 1678, includes a debt to James Stilson of 1li. In 1679, a record of the estate of Vinson Gallison, showed payment to James Stilson of 3 shillings "for mending of shooes." James Stillson was among members of the jury of inquest that returned a judgment dated October 7, 1681, that Thomas Baerns died by drowning. James moved northward and married Margaret Gould, with whom he had five children. In about 1687, James was killed by Indians while canoeing to Muskegon Island. Their infant baby girl was thrown into a fire and burned to death, and Margaret and two of the children, James and Margaret, were taken captive to Canada. Margaret, the mother was "redeemed" from captivity six years later and married Thomas Pitman of Marblehead where the two remained until their deaths in their 90's. The two children remained in captivity until they were ransomed six years later.

Proof of Relationship

Proof of relationship of our ancestors, Agnes and her parents, lies with the vital records, genealogical articles, and Vincent's will.

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 complete, but later research may provide more information.



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