Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Allen line: William Warriner, immigrant

Once again, records from the 1500's and the 1600's are hard to come by, difficult to read, and are interpreted differently by different genalogists and family historians.  But because this one is fun, I'm going to include what may be a myth, but may just possibly have a grain of truth to it, in this narrative.

William Warriner is believed to have been born in Lincolnshire, England in 1582.  It is possible that there is a generation missing between this man and his supposed children, but it is not impossible that the family I am going to present belongs to this man.  Just keep in mind that there may be another Warriner who is actually the father of the children I'll mention.

Before we discuss William and his family, there is a family tradition that is too interesting to leave out.  It is believed that another William, possibly the immigrant's father (or if there is a missing generation, grandfather) eloped with a Lady Alice Clifford and in their escape, members of the Warriner family (presumably on the side of the love-struck couple) escaped.  If this is true, there may be a very interesting family history based on Alice Clifford, a member of the Howard or Howe family. However, all that is really known is that an Alice Warriner, wife of Mr. Warriner, died on January 19, 1619, with records at Canterbury Cathedral.  Even if there is no interesting family history to Alice, and even if she was not Lady Alice at all, but there was still an elopement, it's fun.

It is even slightly possible that our William was the husband of this Alice, and that he waited another 20 years before he married again, and started another family.

So, let's go with what we think we know.  William was born in Lincolnshire, England (or possibly elsewhere), and lived for 56 years before immigrating to the New World.  He seems to have come from England in or before 1638, and a year later, married Joanna Searle or Scant.  There are family historians who have looked at the same records and arrived at different conclusions as to her name, but there is a record of a man named Searle who referred to his brother in law, William Warriner, in his will, so I am leaning towards the name of Searle. I could be persuaded to change my mind if I see other documentation, however.

The marriage took place in Agawam, and was then considered part of the Connecticut Colony but soon became Springfield, Massachusetts, and this is where the Warriners made their home.  William was already a freeman, meaning he had the power to vote, owned property, and met church approval. He was constable and selectman at different times in Springfield, so even though this would have started as a very small town, and was governed primarily by the Pynchons, he was respected.  William and Joanna are known to have had three children and some lists show as many as eleven. Joanna died in 1660 and William married one year later to Elizabeth Gibbons, the widow of Luke Hitchcock.  (I've blogged about Luke Hitchcock earlier.)  William died on June 2, 1676.

No will was found for William Warriner, but there are records of his inventory, compiled September 26, 1676 as agreed to by Elizabeth his widow, and heirs James Warriner, Joseph Warriner, and Thomas Noble.  The estate totaled a little over 160 pounds, including 6 different plots of land, an ox, two steers, three horses, and various household goods.  "Cloathing and Bookes" were appraised at 56 pounds and 12 shillings, which was almost a third of the estate.  Either our ancestor was a clothes horse (in Puritan Springfield?) or he had a substantial library. I prefer to think he had a lot of books, but that is speculation on my part.

William is recognized as an early settle of Springfield, and I'd love to hear his story in his own words. I'd like to know what he knows about the story regarding Lady Alice, and of his life in England, whatever it may have been.  I'd like to know more about his religious beliefs, and when he became a Puritan.  Since he died shortly before the outbreak of King Philip's War, I'd love to know what tensions he would have lived with, in his community, with the native Americans.  There are always more questions than answers, I guess.

Our line of descent is:

William Warriner-Joanna Scant or Searle
Hannah Warriner-Thomas Noble
Elizabeth Noble-Richard Church
Jonathan Church-Ruth Hitchcock
Ruth Church-Thomas Noble
Stephen Noble-Ruth Church
Ruth Noble--Martin Root Jr.
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendents

Fun fact:  The Noble and Hitchcock lines would repeat for several generations, as this was a small town and the early families stayed in close proximity for several generations.