Saturday, January 31, 2015


Continuing on with the 2015 edition of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.
at her No Story Too Small blog:

My 7x great grandfather Benjamin Walker is another of my "quiet" ancestors
for whom I've found very little information so far. I've found some land records
that I have to analyze. He's probably better know as the husband of Grace Tay,
(also known as Grace Toy) one of whose embroidered samplers has survived to
this century and is well known. Luckily I've found information on her father and
grandfather and they will be my next subjects.

Grace Tay's grandfather (and my 8x great grandfather) was William Tay who was
born in England around 1608.  He had to have come to Massachusetts sometime
before 1644 because he married Grace Newell, daughter of Abraham and Francis
Newell, on  14Sep 1644. I had found he died in Boston in 1683 and thought he may
have spent his whole life there until I found this a history of Billerica, Ma. when I
googled his name :

TAY. 1. "William was granted '-a ten-acre lot or one single share,"
1656, November. The tirst location of a part of this grant was made 1658,
December, as follows : '"fifty and six acres" (or one-half of his upland)
"be it more or less, his house standing upon part of the same, bounded by
ye country road on ye East ; by the comons (partly East) and South; and
North, partly by ye comons, partly by Willm Chamberline and Willm French,
partly by Henery Jeiffs, and on ye West and North-West partly by comons
and partly by Henery Jeftts ; also what meadow lyeth in ye said land is
granted to him for one acre and a quarter, in part of his first division of
meadow." This place was west of Bare Hill, and was near if not exactly
where Dr. Noyes lives. Mr. Tay was in Boston as early as 1643, a dis-
tiller there. He was town clerk, 1664. As his name does not appear on
the garrison-list of 1675, it seems probable that he fled to Boston before
the indian alarms of that year, and never returned, as he died there. I am
indebted to Savage for his family record. He m. 1644, Sept. 14. Grace
Newell, of Roxbury. His will was proved 1683, April 12. and gives his
age 72. His widow d. in Roxbury 1712, April 11. aged 91. Ch. Grace, b.
1645, Aug. 23; m. Thomas Willice, 2. John. h. 1647, Nov. 16, and d.
before his father, leaving dau. Elizabeth. Isaiah, b. 1650-1, March 4; was
in King Philip's War, and lived in Boston; a Representative in 1700, and
often after. Abiel, b. 16.53-4. Jan. 21. Nathaniel, 2, b. 1655-6. Feb. 23.
Jeremiah, b. 1657, July 18 ; lived in Boston. Elizabeth, b. 1660. June 25. 


Henry Allen Hazen, History of Billerica, Massachusetts: With a Genealogical Register

A. Williams and Company, 1883 - Billerica (Mass.)

I hadn't known before about the time William Tay had lived in Billerica, nor
that he had been town clerk!


Celia Lewis said...

Great to have these snips and pieces of history of your great-greats, Bill. Nice post.

Bill West said...

Thanks, Celia!