Saturday, October 07, 2017


Sarah (Sterling) Farnham's father, my 9x great grandfather William Sterling is an interesting fellow. He has one of the longest entries of any of my ancestors in any of  William Richard Cutter's genealogy books. He earned a living in several professions, was married four times and had eighteen children with three of his wives. Here's what Cutter had to say about him:

(I) William Sterling, the immigrant ancestor, was born not far from London, England, in 1637, and died in Sterling City, Lyme, Connecticut, January 22, 1719. The first mention of him in New England is found in the Essex records at Salem, Massachusetts, 1660 61, where the names of five of his children are given as born "at Rowley Village at Mirimack." This village is now Bradford, on the opposite side of the Merrimac river from Haverhill, where William Sterling lived for many years. He was taxed in Rowley between 1660 and 1664; in 1662 bought land in Haverhill, and settled on a ridge east of that town on the Merrimac. A ferry across the Merrimac established in 1647, was operated from this land, and is still used, one of the oldest in the country. In the spring of 1669 he sold his Rowley property, with the provision that "the Road to ve Ferry be open for ever." Before 1683 the town conveyed to him a lot of about twelve acres, upon which he built a house, afterwards used for an inn. He is called "mariner" in the early records, and was also a shipbuilder and a miller. In 1684 the town granted him ten acres of land at the Fishing River, that he might set up a corn mill. This was in part payment for William's house and land, which the town had bought for the use of its minister. In 1692 he was elected one of six tythingmen, and reelected in 1694-95-96. He was also constable of Haverhill. Sometime in the autumn of 1697 or the spring of the following year, he removed to Lyme, Connecticut, and first bought land there November 29. 1701. He made other purchases of land at later dates. From early records it appears that he was a shipbuilder in Lyme. He spent the last years of his life at Sterling City, a hamlet within the bounds of Lyme, founded by his son Daniel. August 7, 1718, he deeded to the latter all his property.

He married (first), about 1659, Elizabeth___  , who died in Haverhill, February 6,1675; (second), in Haverhill, December 19, 1676, Mary (Blaisdell) Stowers, born there, March 5, 1641-42, died there May 29, 1681, daughter of Ralph and Elizabeth Blaisdell, and widow of Joseph Stowers. Her father was a tailor of Salisbury, received land there 1640, died before 1650; was in York, Maine, 163740. He married (third), in Haverhill, April 24, 1683, Ann Nichols Neale, widow of John Neale, whom she married in 1672. He married (fourth), in Lyme, Mary Sayer (or Sawyer), daughter of Hugh and Jane (Latham) Hubbard, and widow of Ichabod Sayer, of New London, whom she married in 1697; she was born November 17, 1674, survived her husband, and was living in 1714. Her father, Hugh Hubbard, was said to be from Derbyshire, England, and married in 1673. Children of first wife: William, born about 1660-61; Elizabeth, August 6, 1662; Richard, August 5, 1663; Mary, September 14, 1664: John, May 7, 1666; Hannah, February 14, 1667; Sarah, May 4, 1669; Abigail, May 27, 1670; Nathaniel, June 25, 1671; Daniel, October 2, 1672, died May 27, 1673; Daniel, September 19, 1673; James, February 6, 1675. Children of second wife, born at Haverhill: Jonah or Josiah, October 21, 1677; Jacob, August 29, 1678; Ruth, December 17, 1679; twins, May 21, 1681, died May 29, 1681. Child of third wife, born in Haverhill: Ann, March 14, 1684 -pp533-534.

New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of Commonwealths and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 2,    Lewis historical publishing Company,  New York, New York.  1913

There are some who say his first wife was Elizabeth Sawtelle but thst han't been established as certain yet.

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