William Chase and Mary Townley

William Chase and Mary Townley

9X Great Grandparents


William Chase

Birth 4 January 1607 Wivenhoe, Essex, England

Death 4 May 1659 Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts


Aquila Chase (1580-1670)

Martha Sarah Jelliman (1588-1643)

  • Note: Parents are thought to be Aquila Chase and Martha Sarah Jelliman

Occupation:  Housewright

The Housewright
A Housewright is somebody who built houses in Colonial Times. A Housewright is similar to today’s carpenters because they both build houses but housewrights also chopped down the trees, carved the wood into boards, and shaped the boards to fit properly together to frame a house.
Some of the tools that a housewright used were the ax, chisel, saw, hammer, auger, and brace and bit. Housewrights also used simple tools like wooden wedges and wooden pegs to make the floor boards fit tighter together.

 Mary Townley

Birth 5 MAR 1603 , Norfolk, , England

Death 6 OCT 1659 Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts


John Townley (1576-1608)

Mary Louney (1580 – 1659)

Marriage ~ 4 May 1659

benj chase marri


“William Chase, he came with the first company, 1630 he brought one child his son, William, a child of ill qualitys, & a sore affliction to his parents: he was much afflicted by the long & tedious affliction of his wife; after his wives recovery she have him a daughter, wich they named mary borne aboute the middle of the 3rd month, 1637. He did after yet remove intending to Situate but after went with a company whoo mad a new plantation at Yarmouth.” Mary Chase the wife of William Chase, she had a paralitik humor which fell into her back bone so yet she could not stir her body, but as she was lifte, and fill her with great torture, & caused her back bone to goe out of joynt, & bunch out from the beginning to the end of witch infirmity whe lay 4 years & a half, & a great part of the time a sad spectakle of misery; But it pleased God to raise her againe, & she obre children after it.” (N.E.H.G.R., 1881).j Such is the language of the first church in Roxbury, now Boston Highlands, Mass.


William came over in thee fleet which brought Governor Winthrop and his colony. He was one of Mr. Stephen Bachilor’s company, who spent the winter of 1638 at Matacheese (Yarmouth), and the only one who remained after that unfortunate enterprise was abandoned. October 9, 1630, he applied for admission as a freeman, and on May 14th, 1634, he took the freeman’s oath.


William Chase (died 1659) is believed to have been born and raised in England. He was a carpenter who built houses and made cabinets. He immigrated to New England in 1630 with Winthrop’s fleet with wife Mary (maiden name not Townley) and son William age 8. They landed at Salem, MA and then went to Scituate, MA and then settled at Roxbury (now Boston Highlands), MA where William Chase was church member #13. Roxbury Church records confirm that William Chase and his family were there 1630-1637. During this time wife Mary was paralyzed for 4.5 years, but she did eventually recover. William Chase was on the Roxbury 14 May 1634 Freeman list for Massachusetts Bay Colony. Daughter Mary Chase was born to William and Mary Chase in 1637 at Roxbury, MA as church records show. William Chase and his family moved to Mattacheese (soon Yarmouth) by November 1637 “for religious reasons” and they lived near Stony Cove there. William Chase was chosen Constable at Yarmouth, MA 05 March 1639 and he took that oath of office on 04 June 1639. Son Benjamin Chase was born to William and Mary Chase in 1639 at Yarmouth, MA as church records show (baptism was 18 April 1652). In 1643 William Chase (died 1659) and son William Chase (1621-1685) were on the 1643 Yarmouth list of men able to bear arms and in 1645 they served against the Narragansett Indians. In 1657 William Chase (died 1659) took the Oath of Fidelity to England and on 03 June 1657 he was chosen Surveyor of Highways. William Chase’s (died 1659) will was dated 04 May 1659 and mentions wife Mary and sons William and Benjamin. It was proved 13 May 1659 and the estate inventory was dated 14 September 1659. Then wife Mary Chase was found dead in October of 1659. A 06 october 1659 Coronor’s Inquest ruled he death to be of natural causes and the court ordered distribution of the estate on 06 October 1659 also.

Son Benjamin Chase (1639-1731) was a cooper by trade. He married Phillippee Sherman (1652-1731) in about 1673 at Portsmouth, RI and their first 2 children were probably born there. Benjamin Chase was on the May 1674 Portsmouth, RI Freeman list. It appears that this family moved to Freetown, MA in the late 1670s as their next/other 4 children were born there. Benjamin Chase was a Freetown, MA Selectman for 1698 and 1699 and 1705 and he was Assessor there for 1691. Benjamin Chase was appointed guardian of granddaughter Sarah Makepeace on 06 March 1705. Benjamin and Phillippe Chase joined the First Sabbatarian Church of Newport, RI on 17 April 1717. Benjamin Chase’s will was dated 06 September 1730 and it was proved 25 July 1731 according to Bristol County Probate Records.


wm chase arrival


I, William Chase, of Yarmouth, the elder, being aged and sick in body, but of perfect memory, thatks be to the Lord, do make my last will and testament, as followeth: First, I give and bequeath unto my son Benjamin, after my decease, one heifer calf and two steer calves, of a year old and upwards; also I give to my son William, who hath had of me already a good portion, the sum of five shillings, to be paid in any good pay, if he demand it. All the rest of my goods, cattle and chattels, I give and bequeath nto Mary, my wife, together with this my dwelling house, the land and all the appurtenances thereunto belonging; as also half ofmy lot of land at the Bass pond, which I bought of William Palmer, a middle line made, and that haf part next to Darby’s I give unto her Mary, my aforesaid, as also my orchard and land I bought of Goodman White, now in my possession, all unto her us and disposing during her natural life, if she continues a widow, and when she dies, to dispose a third part of that estate God shall leave her, as she shall t hink good; the other two parts to our son Benjamin’s part; but if it shall please God that she shall marry, my will is that she shall have a third part of that estate, and the other two parts to be to or son Benjamin aforesaid/ Also I do make my wife Mary aforesaid, the executrix of this my last will and testament, and do appoint my neighbors Robert Dennis an Richard Taylor, tailor, overseers of this my last Will and Testament and have herunto subscribed my hand this 4th day of May, 1659.

Witnesses hereunto: Richard Hoar. Mary Dennis.

These witnesses deposed before me, Thomas Prince, Gov’r. this 13th of May 1659.

Inventory Sept. 14, 1659 – L. 74, s 279 d 16 (Vol. 2, Part 2, p. 64, Plym. Records.)

William Chase, d. between May 4 and 13, 1659 in Yarmouth. Mary his wife was found dead in October 1659.


Burial ~ Baptist Church Cemetery ~ West Harwich, Barnstable County, Massachusetts

wm chase

William Chase 3

wm chase2

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Sayre, Ralph Hall.  Sayre Family: another 100 years, Volume 3.  Lincoln, Nebraska:  iUniverse,

     Inc.  2003. Digitized.  

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     Baltimore:  Clearfield Co.  1994. Web.

Wilbour, Benjamin Franklin.  Little Compton Families.  Baltimore:  Clearfield, Inc.  2003.


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