THE WILLETT FAMILY HISTORY

As Researched by Monique Willett

Forward by Her daughter – Veronique (Nikki) Willett My mother spent hours researching the Willett family history. As I a child I remember sitting quietly in a library while my mother researched books and history to find any clues to the family (can you imagine being quiet at the age 5 for that long?). Much of her research also brought her to France looking up what happened to the French Huguenots of the Willett ancestry. My mother’s family history was not as successful due to many of the wars that destroyed records. Funny enough, one thing she did find that in her ancestry and my fathers, at one time in history each family lived in the next town from each other and could have at one time passed by or known each other. It truly is small world. The text below has again has been left in the original writing by my mother. Those text noted in bold are references to the current Willett family descendents. After reading all this history and knowing the arrival of our Family in the early days of America – I can’t say that I am a Daughter of the Revolution, but I guess a Daughter of the Loyalists? The Willett Family has a Coat of Arms, which hangs in the Fort Anne Museum in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Miss Gertrude Willett of Granville, a descendent of Walter Willett, donated it to the museum. This Coat of Arms is the same Coat of Arms that was granted in 1583 to Thomas Willett of Walthamstow, Essex, England. Arms: Argent three bars gemelles, in chief three Lions rampant sable. Crest: Out of a Ducal Coronet or a Heathcock Volant sable, beaked and legged gules.

MOTTO: DIEU ET MON DEVOIR (Translation – God and My Duty)
(Note from Veronique Willett: My mother has a lot more history on the Willett family as existed in the late 1500s in England. In these notes, she told me that she had found some information that the Willett family was granted the coat of arms as they were part of the Royal Cloth Makers. I am also still trying to find a picture of the coat of arms itself. In addition, she also has notes from the de Ste Croix, Prioleau and Gallaudet side. I am still tying to comprehend the notes to add it to this history.)

WILLETT Thomas Willett in England was one of the proctors General of the Court of Canterbury of the Arches in the city of London, and citizen and Cloth worker of London. His wife's name was Joyce. He had a son Edward and a daughter Elizabeth. He had a Manor in Walthamstow. He was probably buried in the crypt of the church that is still standing. Don and I went there and saw the church, but with the passing of the years, Walthamstow has become part of the greater London and is now a city. There was no sign of the Manor house and the beautiful country as it must have been in his time. The will was written on the 20th of October 1593. Edward Willett had a son, Thomas Willett, who was christened on the 5th of September 1571 at Saint Peter-Le-Poer, in London. Saint Peter-Le-Poer is among the churches that were demolished in 1908. The present block of ground lying between STONE and PEARL Streets, Coenties Alley and Hanover Square, which constituted, in the 17th century, the small track situated East of the STADT HUYS and between HOOGH STRAET and the river shore became, at an early day, somewhat of an English quarter in the town. Here in 1645, Thomas Willett received a grant of land lying next to the 'GREAT TAVERN' a parcel of irregulate shape, averaging about one hundred and seventy-five feet in width, and extending from the road or HOOGH STRAET, to the river, a distance of something over one hundred feet. Thomas Willett, the grantee of the HOOGH STRAET land, - appears in 1643, then being a young man of twenty-two years - as one of the English soldiers in the employ of the West India Company. Emigrated from the Shire of Essex in England, he remained in New Amsterdam for several years, still apparently in the employ of the West India Company. He was one of those who took part in the massacre of the Indians, by Director Kieft's orders on the night of 25 February, 1643 at Paviona. Upon the next day, he was one of the witnesses of the killing of the Dutchman, Dirck Straetmaker, and his wife, who in spite of warnings to the contrary had insisted on visiting the scene of the horrid butchery of the preceding night, where the bodies of the slain were still lying. He and his wife were there murdered by some of the enraged Indians who had already begun to gather in the vicinity - the Dutch soldiers being too far away to afford relief. He married in 1643, Sarah Cornell. Sarah Cornell was the daughter of Thomas Cornell who left from England to come to Boston in 1636 with the second Winthrop Expedition and Rebecca Briggs. Thomas Cornell, with his family, had immigrated to America several years before, from the Shire of Essex in England. They had acquired from the Indians a tract lying just east of the Bronx River. Here he established a plantation, which with those of his neighbors, Jonas Bronck and Edward Jessup, formed the outposts of civilization, near New Amsterdam along the East River. Thomas Cornell's tract soon took the name of Cornell's Neck, and his farmhouse was situated nearly two miles southeast of the
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WILLETT present village of West Farms. Thomas Willett appears to have remained at New Amsterdam for several years, still apparently in the employ of the West India Company. Although his ground-brief for the land on Hoogh Street was only obtained in 1645, there is evidence that he had built upon the plot before that time, his house occupying very nearly the site of the present building, No 48 Stone Street, -now an old tea and coffee warehouse. He served under Governor Kieft. Thomas Willett must have died within a year or so from the last mentioned date, for in November 1647, his widow Sarah married Charles Bridges, of Canterbury. He had two sons, Thomas Willett and William Willett. Let us take a brief glance at the land at the time of the British occupation. On the West, lying between the Hudson and the Bronx rivers, was Colen Donck; next came Broncksland between Harlem and the Bronx; next to Eastward came the West Farms; East of this track was Cornell's Neck; adjoining it on the North Oostdorp, or Westchester, beyond on the Sound was Throgg's Neck; and North of Westchester was Pell's purchase of 1654. The only settlement or town in the whole district was Westchester; and the settlers had an agreement with Pell, who claimed the land to the East river, by which they were to pay him a certain annual rent. This they failed to do and in acknowledgment of his right on June 14, 1664, they surrendered into his hands all right, title, and interests in the lands. We have already referred to Thomas Pell's purchase of 1654 and to his claim of ownership of Westchester, which was admitted by the settlers. He now advanced the claim to all the land eastward of the Bronx River, as far as Richbell's purchase by the Connecticut authorities. He even tried to oust Mrs. Bridges, daughter of Thomas Cornell, from her property at Cornell's Neck, which she had inherited from her father. She was Thomas Willett's widow. The case was tried before a jury September 29, 1665; Pell lost his case. The case was very important. It validated, under English law, every land, grants, conveyance, deed or patent given by the Company of its officers, and secured to every holder of land the possession of his lot, farm, or track. It is almost impossible to locate with accuracy any of the early grants as the land marks often have disappeared entirely or have lost their identity with the passage of many generations. The bounds of the Manor of Pelham are fairly well defined. It comprises 9166 acres of which 6100 acres were bought by Governor Leisler in 1688 for the Huguenot settlement of New Rochelle. On the female side the Willetts are descendants of Huguenots who settled in New Rochelle.

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WILLETT In April 15, 1667, Governor Nicolls confirmed to William Willett, a grandson of Thomas Cornell and son of Sarah Cornell, the original tract of land known as Cornell's Neck or Black Rock. Before us is the mouth of the Bronx River, with the low shores of Cornell's Neck on the opposite side, and beyond that over the East River are the high hills of Long Island. In 1909, Cornell's Neck could be reached by a trolley line running down Clason Point Avenue from Westchester Avenue about two miles. The Neck was occupied by Thomas Cornell, one of the ROCKMORTONS' Colonist in 1643. The Neck remained in the possession of the Willett family until 1793, when the West half was conveyed to Dominick Lynch. He built a mansion that later became the Sacred Heart Academy, and later was known as the Clason's Point Military Academy. In 1673, the Dutch again obtained possession of New York and we find the inhabitants of Westchester, and of adjacent hamlets, offering to submit themselves to the states General and the Prince of Orange. Sarah Willett, daughter of Thomas Cornell, must have been an attractive widow, for she was so pestered and annoyed by suitors, both Dutch and English, she was obliged to appeal to the Court for protection from their ardent advances. She finally married Thomas Bridges. The house of Charles Bridges, formerly of Thomas Willett, was on a narrow lane, leading from High Street down to the East River shore. (This lane occupied the site of the present building, number 52 Stone Street.). This lane separated the original grant of Thomas Willett from that of his English neighbor, Richard Smith. We have already mentioned that Sarah Cornell married in 1647, Charles Bridges and for many years Bridges and his family, including his young step sons Thomas and William, resided part of the time in the house on Hoogh Street, or in Ulissingen, now Flushing, Long Island. After the death of Charles Bridges, Sarah's married John Laurence of Flushing. Colonel Thomas Willett (2), born in 1645, (baptized Nov. 26, 1645, in the Reformed Dutch Church of New Amsterdam) married in 1667/68 to Helena Stoothoff, born in 1646. Colonel Thomas Willett drew his will at Flushing on Aug. 19, 1672, and he died between that date and Oct. 11, 1722, when the will was proved. Helena died in 1703/04. Thomas Willett was appointed, on October 13, 1668, to be a Cornet, with his brother William, as a Lieutenant of a volunteer troop of horses to be raised on Long Island. In 1671, he was Lieutenant of a troop of horses. In 1676-1678, he was Captain and High Sheriff of Long Island. In 1679 1680 he was one of three Justices of the Peace. He bought land from the Indians at Cow Neck Long Island. In 1687, the Militia of the Province was put in readiness to meet the French, Col. Nicholas Bayard for New York, Major Thomas Willett & Capt. John Jackson for Queens were in command. In 1690, Leisler's orders to
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WILLETT Queens County officers was to arrest Colonel Willett for alleged adherents to James the second, he was forced to flee. In 1692 Petition of Col. Thomas Willett on behalf of Officers and soldiers employed in the 1687 Expedition to Albany for arrears of pay. In 1692, Order to Colonel Willett to dispatch 800 men to Albany. In 1695, a letter of Governor Fletcher to Colonels Young, Willett and Heathcote was to hasten their detachment to Albany. Colonel Willett was among those paid for service on the Canadian Expedition in 1711. From 1710 to 1715, Colonel Willett was a member of the General Assemblies of the Province. It would appear that his home in Flushing became the Colden Estates, known as Spring Hill in the late 18th Century, and since the late 19th century, as the Cedar Grove Cemetery. The records of the Grace Church, Jamaica, give the burial of Charles Willett at 'Coll. Willetts' in 1719. The 1762 deed between the Willett family and Colden (Cadwallader Colden was Lt. Governor and frequently acting Governor of the Province of New York). This was his county seat, where he lived when released from official cares, and here he died on September 20, 1776. Lt. Governor Colden had given the property (on which was the house he erected in 1762-1763) to his son David Colden. It was confiscated in about 1779, and then had a succession of owners until it became the Cedar Grove cemetery. We are told that in Colden's days, this farm was one and one half miles south of the village of Flushing, and about two hours traveling time from the city. Also, the Willett burial ground was near the North line of the farm, not far from the present Horace Harding Boulevard. Colonel Willett's wife, Helena, died about 1704, less than sixty years before this deed, and hers is the first known death in the family in Flushing. This Thomas Willett led an interesting life during the period of New York's development. The king appointed him in 1689 to the Council of the Province, serving from 1691 to 1698 under Governor Slaughter, Fletcher, and Bellemont. The judicial services of Colonel Willett were many, through much of his life he was a Justice of the Peace. As a Justice of the Peace for the North Riding of Yorkshire, he served in 1680 at the Court of Assises, then the highest Court of the Province. As a leader of the community, he was undoubtedly the Thomas Willett appearing on the early record concerning the parochial church of Jamaica; his son was also an active member (Grace Church, Jamaica was the successor erected in 1734.) The prior church lacked a name and was the old Episcopal church of the region. Thomas Willett’s first wife was Helena Stoothoff, in one later deed by her son her name was Anglicized to mother Elena Willett deceased. Thomas Willett’s second wife was Charity Stevenson, to whom he was married by license on Jan. 13,
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WILLETT 1705. Charity Willett of Flushing died in May 1712 according to the records of the Society of Friends there. Helena Stoothoff's parents were Elbert Elbertsen Stoothoff (1620-1688) from Holland to Flatlands L.I. who signed himself Elbert Elbertsen, and Altje Cornelise Cool, they were married at the Dutch Church New Amsterdam on August 27, 1645. The daughter, Helena was born around 1646-49 and was married about 1667 to Thomas Willett. She died between January 8, 1703/04 when she deeded the Stoothoff family land to her children. The census of the inhabitants of Flushing 1698 gives: Coll. Thos & Mtrs Thomas Willett Alena his wife Sarah his wife Elbert Sarah his daughter Cornelius \ his sons 1 Negro Abraham / John (3) / Alena \ daughters Elizabeth / John Clement servant Negroes : Francis, Jeffrey, Harry, Jack and Dick and Mary Thomas Willett married to Sarah is the older son of Thomas Willett. WILL and TESTAMENT Overview: Thomas Willett of Flushing for love to my son Elbert 200 acres or four fifty acres lots. To our children namely William, Thomas, Elbert, Charles, Cornelius, Abraham, John, Sarah alias De Key, Helena and Elizabeth convey land in Flatlands bequeathed to us by the last will and testament of our father Elber Stoothoff deceased. Thomas Willett drew his will at Flushing on August 19, 1722, and he died between that date and October 11, 1722, when the will was proved. I leave to my eldest son William (3) of Westchester what I have already given to him by deed, one of my slaves, my seal ring, my riding horse and saddle and its furniture and my sword and pistols. To my second son Thomas of Flushing all those lands in Flushing that I have given to him by deed and various other lands including a boggy meadow lying on the Northeast side of a creek near the house where my son now lives. To Abraham all those lands in Flushing and elsewhere that I have formerly given to him by deed and other lands a patentee right of land which belongs to the place where my son now lives. I leave to my son John (3) all those lands that I have given to him by deed. I leave to my three sons Thomas Abraham and John my certain swamp in Flushing called Doughty's Swamp, and all my lands and salt meadows on Newton's Neck. My son John shall have for his share two fifty acre lots. I also give to my three sons my two patent rights of meadows at Fresh Meadow in Flushing. I also leave to each of my sons a
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WILLETT Negro slave. I make my four sons executors. Children of Thomas Willett (2) 12 (11 by 1st wife & 1 by second) William born 1668, Sarah born 1670 was the oldest daughter of Thomas and was married May 9, 1694, to Jacobus De Key, (De Kay) born 1672. By 1698, they were in possession of one of the houses on the Willett homestead in New York City and were given title thereto in 1701, by her father, Thomas Willett, as part of her marriage portion. Thomas born 1672, Mary born 1674, Elbert born 1676, Charles born 1678, Helena baptized March 27, 1681at Flatbush, Cornelius born 1683, died 1722, Abraham born 1685, John Willett (3) born about 1690 married in 1714 Mary Rodman born in 1693. John died in 1774. Elizabeth born about 1692 is listed in the 1698 Census as the youngest daughter of Thomas Willett, who names her in his Will of 1722 as daughter Elizabeth Stevenson. She married May 24, 1711, Daniel Stevenson of Newtown, who was born about 1692 and died in Flushing in 1754. Mary born about 1705, issue from a second marriage, she married 16 March 1723 Samuel Rodman. She died May 21, 1751 at the age of forty-six and is buried in Newport Rhode Island. Cornelius Willett was born in 1710, married Elizabeth Oakley who was born in 1720 and died in 1792. Cornelius died in 1781. In his will he mentioned daughter Rachel Haviland and her son Willett Leaycraft. Daughter Mary Willett was born in 1746 and married in 1762 to John Van Ranstand. Her eldest son Cornelius Willett Vanranst, grand son Edward Stevenson, minor daughter Martha unmarried, daughter Sarah unmarried, grand daughters Elizabeth and Amelia Ogilvie and are to be brought by my wife; my grandson James Graham and my daughter Mary Graham wife of Augustin Graham Elbert Willett born in 1676 married Joanna Varick. Their son Edward Willett born 1702 and died 1794 married to Aletta Clowes. Their son Marinus Willett born 1740 and died 1830 married to Margaretta Bancker. He became Mayor of New York. Dr. John Rodman, Mary’s father came from England to the Barbados then to Newport Rhode Island in about 1682. He was Freeman in 1684, removed to Block Island in about 1688 to Flushing Long Island in 1691, Freeman in New York City 1698, Physician, Quaker, and married to Mary Scammon. Children of John Willett and Mary Willett (Rodman). Jonathan born 21 October 1722 at Flushing. He died in Bucks County in 1804/05. He was married to Deborah Lawrence. Their children were Obadiah, John, Samuel, Sarah (Mitchell), Anne (Mitchell), Mary (Paxson), Elizabeth (Kirkbride), Helena (Carter), Jonathan, Walter. Samuel of New York and Pennsylvania was born 11 February 1723 /24, at
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WILLETT Flushing, son of John and Mary, according to the Quaker records. He died in Bucks County Pennsylvania Jun. 7, 1757/61. He is buried in the cemetery next to the Friends Meeting House, fourth row from the East wall, 25th gravestone from route 213 or Maple Avenue. It was evidently in the late 1740’s or early 1750 that he married a younger sister of his brother John 's wife. She was Elizabeth Lawrence, born Feb. 10 1729. Information was found in the Willett Family of Flushing, Long Island, with the Branch in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, by Miss Rosalie Fellows Bailey. The 1753 condemnation for marrying out, since both were Quakers families, must have been based on some irregularity under the strict Quaker tenets, which the couple no doubt wished to have disposed of in order to have a good character reference to bring to their new home. This would explain the time lapse since their marriage. The undated certificate to Ephamane or Esphemane, Pa. listed by Hinshaw, is shown on the original records to have been signed at the meeting of 3rd. of 5th month 1753. 1753, 6th of 4th mo., Samuel Willett and his wife sent in a paper condemning there marrying out of the unity of friends and desired a few lines by way of a certificate. Later in 1753, 3rd. of 5th mo. a certificate directed to Esphemene in Pennsylvania for Samuel Willett and his wife was signed. In 1754, the Will of Samuel Lawrence of Flushing names inter alia wife Mary, children Deborah Doughty, Elizabeth Willett, Margaret Lawrence and Mary Waters, Augustine and Thomas Lawrence, proved 1760. June 9 1757, the Will of Samuel Willett of Northampton Twp. Bucks County Pa. yeoman, names wife Elizabeth, brother in law Joseph Thomas, Executors, Eldest son Augustine, youngest son Lawrence, daughters Catherine and Caroline. They were affiliated with the Middletown Monthly Meeting of Quakers. In his Will, Samuel Willett devotes a plantation to eldest son Augustine, a minor and to younger son Lawrence, also to daughters Catherine and Caroline. The Will was proved on June 11, 1761. It is believed that Samuel Willett named in his Grand-mother’s Will, Mary Lawrence, was born after his father’s death, and that is the reason he is not mentioned in his father’s will. After Samuel Willett’s early death, “Elizabeth Willett widow married January 15, 1761, to Joseph Thornton, bachelor” in the Dutch Church of North & Southampton, Bucks Co., by Pennsylvania License of December 24, 1760. Being a Quaker, he was censured for this marriage in a church, by several monthly meetings of Middletown in 1761, but the marriage was finally accepted 5 November 1761. The Middletown Mo. registers also the birth of Joseph Thorton on 29th day 10th mo. 1736, so he was younger than his wife. They had two children.
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WILLETT October 9, 1775, the Will of Mary Lawrence of Flushing, widow of Samuel, names inter alia great grand daughter Mary Colden, grandson Samuel Willett six silver tablespoons, grandson Augustine a silver cream pot and pepper box, niece Mary Hicks, and bequeath the rest of the estate to sons Thomas and Augustine and to his daughter Deborah Doughty, Elizabeth Thornton (once Elizabeth Willett) and Mary Waters; executors the 2 sons and son in law Samuel Doughty. It was proved in 1784. Mary Lawrence, widow of Samuel of Black Stump (near Flushing, Long Island) died April 17 1776. Jonathan Willett witnessed in 1756 the Will of his uncle Abraham Willett of Flushing. It was in the mid 1740s that he married Deborah Lawrence, daughter of Obadiah Lawrence of Flushing. Obadiah Lawrence of Flushing was a minister of the Gospel. He died on the 30th of September 1732. At a monthly Meeting at Middletown, Jonathan Willett produced to this meeting a certificate for himself and his wife from the monthly Meeting of Friends of Flushing, Long Island, recommending them to as Friends of orderly Life and Conversation. In 1778, on the 8th of October, Jonathan Willett was disowned by Middletown for holding Negro slaves. In 1804, the 8th of October, the Will of Jonathan Willett of Middletown twp., Bucks Co., Pa., mentioned wife Deborah, son in law Samuel Mitchell Executor. Rest of the estate to eight children: Obadiah, John, Samuel, Ann Mitchell, Elizabeth Kirkbride, Sarah Mitchell, Mary Paxson, and Helena Carter. If his son Jonathan, who was absent, should return, he was to have an equal share. Son Walter Willett has had a large portion of the Estate. Walter married Martha Harding on March 24, 1766, at the Dutch Church of North & Southampton, Bucks County Pa. She was with child before marriage. In 1784, Walter Willett was on the list of all persons attainted of high treason. His name appeared, and also Samuel, in the “Muster Rolls of discharged Officers and disbanded soldiers and Loyalists taken in the County of Annapolis before the 18th and 29th of June 1784." On October 16, 1786, he was applying for financial relief as a loyalist; he testified to the Royal Examiners that he was formerly of Pennsylvania and resided in Granville Nova Scotia since 1784. Catherine Willett married Joshua Comley in October 1766. She died on July 31, 1826. They lived on the Green Briar Spring ancestral homestead of the Comly family at Moreland twp., Philadelphia County, near the present Somerton. They had twelve children. Caroline Willett born May 5th 1750, married November 14, 1770, Augustine Stevenson, born April 22, 1744. She was a daughter of Samuel Willett of Black Stump, Long Island, and of Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel Lawrence. Caroline died
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WILLETT May 1, 1813, mother of nine children. Augustine Willett (was named for his mother’s brother) inherited silver from his grandmother, Mary Lawrence of Flushing) married Elizabeth Hicks on October 2, 1770, in a disorderly manner with a woman not in community with Friends and without the consent of her parent. Augustine was a man of note in his day. His wife was the daughter of Gilbert Hicks of Four Lanes End, now Langhorne, Bucks County. Hicks was a loyalist who died March 8, 1786, in Nova Scotia. Augustine Willett, who was on the patriot side of America, raised a Company at his own expense and joined the army. He was Samuel’s brother. He is to have been at the Battles of White Plains, Trenton, Germantown, and Brandywine. He was Lieutenant of the County in 1791, Captain of Bucks Co. Dragoons in 1793, Brigade Inspector, Major of General Murray's Brigade of Pa. Militia in the Whiskey Insurrection in 1794, and was commissioned Brigadier General in 1800. He died in 1824 and was buried in Friends burying ground at Attleborough (now Langhorne). His grandson Charles lived and died on a portion of the Homestead track. October 13, 1821, the Will of Augustine Willett of Bensalem Twp. Bucks Co., Pa, names wife Elizabeth, son of Joseph, John Paxson of Bensalem and Charles Dyer of Moreland Twp., Executors; devotes to wife the use of 234 acres of land during her life-time; devotes real estate to son Joseph, daughters Mary, Elizabeth and Sarah and their children, and two daughters Grace, Euphemia, Margaret and Lydia Willett, proved on December 22, 1824. The 5th of September 1776, Samuel Willett and Benjamin Scott, two young men who had a birthright amongst Friends of this Meeting, are gone and entered into the War, and as war is so inconsistent with Friends' Testimony, it is the sense of this Meeting that they immediately are testified against. Walter and Samuel were first cousins, born in New York and came from Pennsylvania, where they had settled, to Nova Scotia in the Loyalist Group of 1783. Samuel had served on the Loyalist side of the Revolution as a Cornet of a cavalry regiment. On the June 1784, Muster Roll of discharged Officers and Loyalists taken in Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, he is listed as Cornet, D. Officer Br. Legion, who had settled in Granville and had in his household only a servant. Samuel had to be born in 1758/1759. There is a question about when he was born as he was not mentioned in his father’s Will. The Will was dated 1757 and proved in 1761, and his mother remarried in 1761. He settled in Wilmot and was on the 1792 ratable list there -- Wilmot and Granville being townships in Annapolis County. In 1786, he married Leah de Ste. Croix, daughter of a
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WILLETT French Huguenot Loyalist who came to the country at the same time. Samuel Willett was a man of good education and fine intellectual powers, scrupulous and exact in the performance of all his duties. They had twelve children born between 1787 and 1806: Samuel, Joshua, Benjamin, Walter, Thomas, Augustine, Lawrence, Leah, Eliza, Caroline, Temple and Margaret. Seven of the twelve are listed as having died unmarried and it is safe to presume that most of these seven probably died as infants. Only two, Joshua and Walter, are recorded as having produced large families. Samuel was not named in his father's Will, this leads to wonder if he was a posthumous child. He is mentioned in his grandmother's Will, Mary Lawrence. Samuel's older cousin and son of Jonathan, was Walter. In the Archives in Halifax one can read, “At Yarmouth, on the 19th, after a lingering illness that he bore with patience and resignation, SAMUEL WILLETT ESQ. died in the 81th year of his age in Dec.1839." Mr. Willett was a Cornet in TARLETON’S DRAGOONS, so highly signalized for bravery and enterprise during the American Revolutionary war, and had witnessed much active service. He was a man of strict integrity and a truly loyal subject (Page 3 Nova Scotia Royal Gazette No 49 VOL XXXVIII, 4 Dec. 1839). Walter was Jonathan Willett’s eldest son. He possessed a farm of 173 acres in Bucks County, by marriage to Martha, eldest daughter of Thomas Harding. He was proscribed and his estate was confiscated. He received 7000 pounds Congress money from Martha Willett by sale of real estate. It is said that by laws of Pennsylvania his wife is now her own mistress and can purchase his personal estate, the same as if divorced and that it is considered a divorce. Martha Willett of Bucks County, had a household of two males over sixteen, one male under sixteen and three females. The 1814 Will of Martha Willett devotes to children Caroline Paxson, Thomas Willett, Ann Walton, Phineas Willett, Walter Willett and Martha Dyer and to children of late daughter Rachel Baldwin, to grandson George Willett, natural son of Gilbert Willett, deceased, to granddaughter Martha Baldwin, her estate. It was proved on January 25, 1815. In Nova Scotia, Walter Willett is listed as a Lieutenant and has in his household a child over ten years and a servant. He married again to Abigail and had by her ten more children born between 1787 and 1805. When he applied for financial relief in 1786, a Loyalist testified to the Royal Examiners that Walter was formerly of Pennsylvania, and resided in Granville Nova Scotia since 1784. He was a native of America, he joined the British Army under Sir William Howe just before the Battle of Germantown and was with the army and frequently employed to get intelligence.
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WILLETT Joshua Willett was born in 1788 in Nova Scotia. He married Catherine Durland in 1811, when he was 23 and she was 29. Their home was established in Nictaux Falls. They had eight children between the years 1812 and 1826. Catherine was born in 1782 and she died on the 23rd of July, 1861. There is a gravestone in the Nictaux Baptist cemetery for Catherine. No record of Joshua's death appears in the inscription. It is likely that Catherine predeceased him due to the wording of the marker; “In Memory of Catherine, Wife of Joshua Willett, Died July 23, 1861, aged 79 years”. Their son, Bamford Steven Willett, was born in Nova Scotia in 1826. He was first married to Salome Parker of Nictaux, daughter of Edward and Elizabeth Parker. Their children were still-born and on September 9, 1872, when she was forty two, Salome died in childbirth. She is buried in the Parker’s lot of the Nictaux Baptist Cemetery Bamford then married Lavinia Taylor in 1873 from Auburn, Nova Scotia. Bamford was a very religious man, he always began his day by a reading from the bible. Lavinia was a seamstress, and people from Auburn, Nova Scotia, who remembered her, hold her memory in high esteem. Lavinia was about thirty and Bamford was nearing fifty when they married. Lavinia died in 1928. They had three children, Charles Stephen Willett born in 1874, Harry Bamford born in 1876 and Lena born in 1878/1979. Bamford Stephen died May 7, in 1910, just twenty four days after his 84th birthday. Lavinia was 68 years old at the time, she lived another 18 years, some of which she spent in the States working again as a seamstress. Her last years were spent in what was known as the Bushman House in Nictaux Falls, and it was here that she died in her 86 Birthday, Jul. 23, 1928. Both she and her husband are buried in the Nictaux Baptist Cemetery Lena, the only daughter of Bamford Willett, married Joseph Baltzer around the turn of the century and their home was in Halifax. They had no children. During the infamous Halifax Explosion in 1917, Lena alone at the time suffered a great shock, and in the fear that followed, her mind failed. She spent many years in an institution. She died at home however at age 52 in 1930. Harry, the second son of Bamford and Lavinia and the only child to remain at old homestead married Cassie Celia Cross on September 25 1907. He was then 31 years old and Cassie was 21. For ten of their marriage life they lived in one-half of the Bamford Willett’s house, and it was there that five of their eight children were born. Clarence Reginald b. February 10 1909 Stanley Bamford b. August 9, 1910 m. Louise Nixon Dorothy Olive b. September 28, 1912 m. Freeman McLean Marjorie Derinda b. October 8 1914 m. Roland Atchinson Raymond Douglas b. February 20, 1917 m. Angelina Bruce.
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WILLETT In 1917 the family moved into their own house, a large farm on the Nictaux South Mountain, there they had three more children. Leroy Cecil b. June 9. 1919 m. Helen Grouse. Carl Llewellyn b. March 1924 died December 12 1942 in St. John New Foundland in the Armed Forces. For fifteen years the Willetts lived on this farm, and Cassie remembers that there was a seemingly continuous streak of misfortune, particularly with the live stocks, culmulating in the collapse of the barn and the disastrous loss of the animals inside. In 1933, not long after this tragedy, the Willetts moved to the present homestead on the Nictaux Plains. Harry then began roadwork, opening a gravel pit on his property, although he did not altogether abandon farming. In mid 1937, he became ill and on December 30 of the same year, at the age of 61, he died of cancer.

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WILLETT

Our Immediate Family – My Great Grand Parents Charles Stephen Willett, born 1874, in Nova Scotia, married Elizabeth Mae Scofield in 1897, in Middletown Nova Scotia. He died in Boston MA on November 1914 of pneumonia. Elizabeth Mae Willett died in Boston MA on May 1928. According to their son Charles (Fred) Willett, they lived at one time at Sterling Street in Roxbury, Marshfield St. Roxbury/Dorchester, Conant St. and Calumet St. Roxbury. Elizabeth died while living at Calumet St. Their children were Archibald Willett, born in Nova Scotia, later moved to US, adopted by Edward Bean and Lola Bean his aunt and uncle, in Arlington, MA, about 1915. Later moved to Seattle, Washington. Winifred Willett was born in Nova Scotia, moved later to US. She married Melvyn Hollis about 1925, lived in New London, Conn. Josephine Mae Willett, born in Nova Scotia in 1901, moved later to US., married Edward Wright Thomson in 1927. One daughter Patricia was born 1932 in Roslindale, MA. Josephine died in 1971. Margaret Willett was born in U.S. about 1930, she married Chester Newton Brantrock, MA. Later she married Mr. Wheelock. She died in 1989 in Warren Rhode Island. Edward Willett was born in Nova Scotia. Moved to U S. married Nora Walsh and fathered many children. The family moved to U.S. about 1903. The records on birth, marriages etc. were destroyed when the local church burned down. Elsie Willett was born in Boston MA. 1913. Charles Frederick Willett was born in Boston MA. May 28, 1915. Married Doris Davis on February 28, 1940. Lived in Melrose MA. until June 1981. One child, Constance Evelyn, was born on June 25 1946 in Melrose MA. Doris Davis died November 19, 1977. Charles then moved to Warren Pa. and married Margaret Olson on February 4, 1978. Charles died 21 January 1995. (Note from Veronique Willett: My great Uncle Charles (known as Fred) had a great passion for model trains. I still remember to this day his basement full of trains and models he put together with such detail.)
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WILLETT Myrtle Willett, born in Nova Scotia, June 12, 1898, later moved to US, married Lockhart J Smith in Brantrock, MA, on May 31, 1919. They had two children, Lockhart J. Smith, Jr. and Marie. Myrtle died in October 1972. (Note from Veronique Willett: My great Aunt Myrtle held the large family reunions to keep the family together. I have the pleasure to remember those picnics very fondly. Sadly, after she died, the reunions stopped and many family contacts were lost.) Carl Eugene Willett born in Nova Scotia, on September 25, 1900, later moved to US., married 25 February 1930 in Brookline MA to Etta Smith who was born in Nova Scotia on September 12, 1902. Carl at the time lived at 138 Botolph St. He was a Salesman. Etta lived at 700 Huntington Ave. She was a housekeeper. Etta died 17 April 1963. Carl died June 29, 1978. Carl and Etta had four children. (Note from Veronique Willett: The above are my grandparents. Although I do not remember my grandmother who died when I was around two, we do miss them.) Gordon Willett born on 13 March 1930. Gordon married Elaine Preston, born in Sept. 1933., on the 1 June 1957. They have two daughters, Diane born Aug. 21, 1959 and Sharon born on August 11 1962. Diane married David Brown on December 13, 1986. They have three children Jesse born Dec. 14 1988, Joshua born 20th Feb.1991 (now deceased) and Justin Michael born 15 Feb. 1994. They reside in Greenville South Carolina. Sharon Willett still remains single. Donald Eugene Willett born 18 Feb. 1932. Donald married Monique Favreau, born 10 October 1925, in La Rochelle Charente Maritime France on the 24 September 1955. They were married in the morning in the Town hall in La Rochelle France and in the afternoon in the Cathedral in La Rochelle. Lucette Fleuret was her maid of Honor. They have one daughter Véronique born 23 February 1961, at St. Elizabeth Hospital. Véronique married on 9 Sept. 1989 in Boston Waclaw Jurczyk, born 16 July 1959 in Krakow Poland. They have no children. Shirley Willett born May 23, 1933 remained single. Richard Willett born Nov. 26 1936 married Rita Kennedy. They have three children, Laura born August 21 1960, Susan born Dec. 1962 and Jeff Willett, Rita’s son, adopted by Richard Willett. Laura married in December 1994 a man in the military, they left for Japan after the wedding. Susan married on the fifteen of July 1995 they live in Los Angeles.
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