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(Deacon) William Douglass and Ann Mattle

(Deacon) William Douglass.
Born (9 August-S2)(in 1610-S1,S2) in (Scotland-S1); son of Robert Douglass. (S1).

Of the origin and signification of the name Douglass, one of the most ancient and honored in the annals of Scotland, there is no account which is altogether satisfactory. As no theory yet advanced can be relied upon as absolutely trustworthy, no consideration need be given to any. In regard to the spelling of the name, whether with one s or two, there has also been much discussion, without, however, quite settling the point. Although Douglass is the spelling most universally followed by the Scottish branches as far back as record exist, in certain branches Douglas is sometimes found. Hume, the historian of the family, always spells the name Douglass. Authentic records of the family go back to William of Douglass and the year 1175. (S1).

In Burke's "Heraldry" the Douglass coat-of-arms is thus described: "Argent a man's heart Gules ensigned with an imperial crown proper; on a chief azure three stars of the first." (S1).

Ths most conspicuous public character the family has produced in America was the Hon. Stephen Arnodl Douglass, L.L.D., judge, United States senator and leading Democratic statesman of that turbulent period, previous to the civil war. He was the leading rival of Abraham Lincoln for the presidency of the United States, and one of the greatest lawyers and politicians of his day. After his defeat for the presidency by Mr. Lincoln, with the magnanimity of the truly great man, he gave his great rival his hearty support in his efforts to suppress the rebellion. Judge Douglass was a lineal descendant of Deacon William, the emigrant, and was of the seventh generation in America. (S1).

Tradition has it that he was born in Scotland, but recent work by Betsey Howe suggests that William's family came from Easton Maudit, Northamptonshire, England. (S2).

He married Ann Mattle about 1636. (S1,S2).

William Douglass emigrated to New England with his wife and two children, Ann and Robert, in 1640. (S1,S2). Traditon has it they landed at Cape Ann. (S2).

Two Brothers, "William" & "Robert Douglas" emigrated to the newworld in the second voyage of the "Mayflower". (Robert Douglas remained at Plymouth Mass, a few years ago the writer examined a list of voters of that town and found about one fourth were of the name Douglas, no doubt they were his descendants. (S2).

He settled, first, at Gloucester, Mass., but removed the same year to Boston, where he is first mentioned on 31 (June-S2)(August-S1) in 1640, as follows:
William Douglass is allowed to be a townesman, he behaving himselfe as becometh a Christian man. (S1,S2).

He did not long remain in Boston, but removed the following year to Ipswich, where he received a share of the public land on 28 February 1641. (S1,S2).

He remained in Ipswich four years, returning to Boston in 1645. (S1,S2).

He followed the cooper's trade in Boston and bought and sold houses and land. (S1,S2).

On 1 May 1646 he purchased a dwelling house, shop and land of Walter Merry and Thomas Anchor. (S2).

In 1659 he purchased of William Hough of New London, Connecticut, The house that was Robert Isbell's in New Street. (S1).

In 1660 he removed to New London with wife and three children, Robert, Sarah and William. He purchased other property and had two farms granted him in remuneration of services to the town. On one of these farms he built his house, which Miss Caulkins describes in 1865, thus: The house is very ancient and a part of it which has heavy timbers overhead and is propped with rude posts in the area, probablay belongs to the first dwelling built upon the spot, which was before 1670. The farm was inherited by his second son William, and remained in the family in the direct line of his male descendants for over two hundred years. (S1).

He became prominent in town affairs, and in 1670 was elected one of the two deacons of the church. He was townsman, recorder, moderator, dealer and packer and on various important committees from year to year. He was chosen deupty to the general court at Hartford in 1672, and once or twice later. He remained active in town and church until the date of his death. (S1).

He died on 26 July 1682 in New London. (S1).

Douglas Family Bible. Handwritten inscription (ink, faded with age) and dedication from Erskine and Sophia Douglas to their daughter Laura and John Atwood (son-in-law?) is found on front flyleaf.
William Douglas, died July 26. 1682. He was Ipswitch N. England, 1641, of Boston 1645, made Freeman of Massachusetts 1646, of N. London CT. Dec. 1659, He was born in 1610, his wife was about the same age, her maiden name was Ann Maltte - she was the daughter Thomas and sister of Robert Maltte of Berigstead in Northamptonshire, England - both of whom died before 1670, leaving property to which she was {...illegible text...} heir - Family tradition says he was buried near the large tree which was used as a place of interment by the first settlers of N. London, CT. (S2).

Ann Mattle.
Born in 1610; the only daughter of Thomas Mattle of Ringstead, Northamptonshire, England. (S1,S2).

In May 1670, Mrs. Ann Douglas made a journey to Boston and appeared before Gov. Bellingham in order to establish her claim to an inheritance which had fallen to her in the old country. James Johnson and the widow Elizabeth Meares, then of Boston, but formerly of Little Broughton, Northamptonshire, England, testified that they had known her and her family in England, and that she was the daughter of Thomas, and a sister of Robert Mattle, of Ringstead. But father and brother were now dead, and Ann was proved to be legal heir to both. She was at this time 60 years of age, and consequently born in 1610. She must have been possessed of great energy and endurance, to have performed at her advanced age, the journey from New London to Boston and back, when the conveniences for traveling were extremely limited.(S2).

Ann (Mattle) Douglas married, second, Thomas Bishop. (S2).

She died about 1685 at New London, Connecticut. (S1).

CHILDREN of (Deacon) William Douglass and Ann Mattle:
  1. Ann Douglass. Born in 1637 in Scotland. She emmigrated to New England with her family in 1640. (S1). She married (Deacon) John Chandler of Roxbury, on 14 October 1658. They had ten children. (S1).
  2. Robert Douglass. Born in 1639 in Scotland. He emmigrated to New England with his family in 1640. (S1). He married Mary Hempstead.
  3. Elizabeth Douglass. Born on 26 August 1641 in Ipswich, Massachusetts. She married (Deacon) John Chandler of Roxbury on 16 February 1658, They had eight children. (S1) [Obviously this source confuses her marriage and the marriage of her sister Ann].
  4. Sarah Douglass. Born on 8 April 1642 in Ipswich, Massachusetts. She moved with her parents to New London, Connecticut in 1660. She married John Keeney in October, 1661. she died on 4 August 1689, leaving one child, Susannah Keeney, who married Ezekiel Turner.
  5. (Deacon) William Douglass. Born on 1 April 1645 in Boston, Massachusetts. He moved with her parents to New London, Connecticut in 1660. After the death of his father he was chosen deacon, an office he held over fifty years until his death. Hie married (1) Abiah Hughes. His eight children, all by his first wife, were born in New London. He married (2) Mary Bushnell, who survived him. His son William (3) was also Deacon William.


(Deacon) William Douglass and Ann Mattle
Robert Douglass and Mary Hempstead
William Douglas and Hannah
John Douglas and Elizabeth Gusterfield
Elizabeth Douglas and James Webb
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