An American Family History

Margery Collins Williams

John Endecott (or Endicott) was the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

John endicott
Governor John Endicott
A Puritan was a member of the religious group in the 16th and 17th centuries that advocated "purity" of worship and doctrine who believed in personal and group piety. Puritans were persecuted in England and came to America so they would be free to practice their religion.

Margery Collins Williams was born on November 6, 1633 in Stepney Parish, London, Middlesex County, England. Her parents were Henry and Ann Collins. She immigrated to America with her parents on the Abigail in 1635.

When she about 27, she married Isaac Williams about 1660 in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts. Isaac was born in 1621. He was a cordwainer and constable.

The Williams family settled in Salem. Margery and Isaac's children included:
Deborah Williams Gray Holgate (married Joseph Gray and Dr. James Holgate who had been married to Magdalen Dwinnell),
Sarah Williams Lander (married John Lander),
Elizabeth Williams Mansfield (August 23, 1660, married Joseph Mansfield),
Isaac Williams, Jr. (December 20, 1662, married Mary Endicott the granddaughter of Governor John Endicott),
Deborah Williams Gray Holgrave,
Sarah Williams Lander,
Benjamin Williams (1666),
Jonathan Williams (1667),
Jonathan Williams (1669),
John Williams (1672), and
Ebenezer Williams (1674, married Elizabeth Trott).

Margery's daughter Deborah Williams Gray was Magdalen Dwinnell Holgate's husband, Dr. James Holgate's, first wife. 

Isaac died in 1696 and Margery died in October, 1702 when she was 68 years old.

Children of Anne and
Henry Collins, Sr.

  • Anne Collins
  • Henry Collins, Jr.
  • John Collins
  • Margery Collins Williams
  • Hannah Collins Ingersoll
  • Joseph Collins
  • Mary Collins Johnson
  • Benjamin Collins
  • A cordwainer (or cordwinder) made shoes from fine, soft leather. There was a distinction between a cordwainer, who made shoes, and a cobbler who repaired them.


    A Puritan woman's clothing consisted of underpants, stockings, linen, shift, petticoat, chemise (underblouse), bolster (a padded roll tied around the hips under the skirt), bodice, skirt, apron, coif (cap), outer gown and shoes. A woman might wear a ruff or bow and an apron. Cloaks were worn instead of coats. Women carried a small cloth draw-string bag or reticule and perhaps wore a chatelaine.

    Salem is in Essex County, Massachusetts and was a significant seaport in early America. John Endicott obtained a patent from England and arrived there in 1628. Salem originally included much of the North Shore, including Marblehead. Salem Village also included Peabody and parts of Beverly, Middleton, Topsfield, Wenham and Manchester-by-the-Sea.


    Women played an essential role in American society as mothers and homemakers.
    Europeans who made the voyage to America faced a difficult journey of several months.



    The History of Salem, Massachusetts by Sidney Perley

    John Lander, a joiner and about twenty-eight years of age, came to Salem in 1671. March 22, 1671. . .John Lander married Sarah Williams.

    American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.

    from The New England Ancestry of Dana Converse Backus, p. 187

    The first mention of Isaac Williams in Salem town records is dated July 7, 1659. At a meeting of the selectmen he and Henry Skerry were chosen to seal the weights. He would then be about thirty years old since according to the list of Early settlers of Essex and Old Norfolk he was aged 36 in 1665. That he belonged to the second generation of a Williams family of New England seems probable. The name was not an uncommon one in the Massachusetts Bay region in the early years. He is called Constable October 15, 1664, in a Quarterly Court record.

    His wife's name was Margery and in all probability she was the daughter of Henry and Ann Collins, aged two when brought to New England in 1635 with her brothers, Henry aged 5 and John aged 3.

    The birth of a daughter, Elizabeth Williams, August 23, 1660, is the earliest of their family records in Salem, followed by the birth of Isaac, December 20, 1662. Sarah and Deborah were both baptized the 5th of June 1664, but that they were older than Elizabeth is shown not only from the order of their listing in their father's will but from the date of the marriage of Deborah to Joseph Gray, August 10, 1675, eleven years after her baptism. It would appear that these two daughters had been born before the family settled in Salem. Five children (Benjamin, two Jonathans, John and one unnamed) all older than Ebenezer (who was baptized in December 1674) doubtless died young since their names do not appear in their father's will.

    The will of Isaac Williams, cordwainer, was dated January 21, 1695, O.S. and was probated the following November the 9th 1696.

    To beloved wife Margerie Williams all my estate to be given as she pleaseth to any or all of my children.

    He appointed her sole executrix, and as overseers my Brother Henry Collins and Mr. Samuel Phillips. A codicil, dated two days later, confirms the will and gives a token payment of a shilling each to daughters Sarah, Deborah and Elizabeth, to sons Isaac and Ebenezer.

    His widow, Margery, died about six years later. Her will was dated the 1st and probated the 12th of October 1702. She bequeathed to sons Isaac and Ebenezer, to Ebenezer's wife, and to daughters Sarah Lander (whose husband had died in the midwinter of 1698/9) and Elizabeth Mansfield. Her daughter, Deborah (Williams) Gray, had been married to her second husband, Dr. James Holgrave, June 14, 1690. Isaac had married, August 2, 1685, Mary Endicott, daughter of Dr. Zerubbabel, son of Governor John Endicott. Ebenezer married Elizabeth Trott December 26, 1698, about two years after his father's death.

    Mary White Rowlandson,Talcot
    was captured by Native Americans
    during King Philip's War (1675-1676).
    Old Style Calendar
    Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

    A constable was an elected official who was responsible for keeping the peace. His duties were more limited than the sheriff's. He apprehended and punished offenders, helped settle estates, and collected taxes.
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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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