Friday, April 2, 2021

52 Ancestors - Week 376: #587 Sarah (Woolley) Fletcher (1651-????) of Concord and Chelmsford, Massachusetts

Sarah Woolley (1650-????)  is #587 on my Ahnentafel List, my 7th great-grandmother, who married #586 Joshua Fletcher (1645-1713) on 18 July 1682  in Chelmsford, Middlesex County,  Massachusetts.

I am descended through:

*  their daughter #293 Elizabeth Fletcher (1698-1775) who married #292 Joseph Keyes (1698-1744) in 1720. 
*  their son #146 Jonathan Keyes (1722-1781) who married #147 Elizabeth Fletcher (1720-1761) in 1746.
*  their daughter #73 Elizabeth Keyes (1759-1793) who married #72 Zachariah Hildreth (1754-1829) in 1777.
*  their son #36 Zachariah Hildreth (1783-1857) who married  #37 Hannah Sawtell (1789-1857)  in 1810.
*  their son #18 Edward Hildreth (1831-1899) who married #19 Sophia Newton (1834-1923) in 1852.
*  their daughter #9 Hattie Louisa Hildreth (1857-1920) who married  #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) in 1874.
*  their son #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) who married #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962) in 1900.
*  their son #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) who married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)  in 1942.
*  their son #1 Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-living)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Name:                   Sarah Woolley[1]
*  Alternate Name:   Sarath Woolly[2]
*  Alternate Name:   Sarah Willy[3]
*  Alternate Name:   Sara Wily[4]   
*  Sex:                   Female    

*  Father:              Christopher Woolley (1617-1700)    
*  Mother:            Ursula Wodell (1628-1674)  
2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
 *   Birth:              about 8 May 1651, Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1–2]  

3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Spouse 1:          Joshua Fletcher (1645-1713)    
*  Marriage 1:       18 July 1682 (about age 31), Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1.3-6]
*  Child 1:             Rachel Fletcher (1683-1743)    
*  Child 2:             Timothy Fletcher (1685-1705)    
*  Child 3:             John Fletcher (1687-1773)    
*  Child 4:             Joseph Fletcher (1689-1772)    
*  Child 5:             Sarah Fletcher (1690-1737)    
*  Child 6:             Jonathan Fletcher (1693-????)    
*  Child 7:             Jonas Fletcher (1694-1777)    
*  Child 8:             Elisabeth Fletcher (1698-1775)  
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):  

The family and biography of the descendants of Christopher Woolley of Concord, Massachusetts was described in:

[1] Irene Cynthia Gould, "Christopher Woolley of Concord, Mass., and Some of His Descendants," New England Historical and Genealogical Register (Boston, Mass. : New England Historic Genealogical Society), Volume 75, Number 1 (January 1921), page 29, #1, Christopher Woolley family sketch.

Sarah Woolly was born 8 May 16-- in Concord, Massachusetts, the daughter of Christopher and Vrsilla (Wodell) Woolly[1-2].  The Concord town record book says:

""Sarath daughter of Christopher & Vrsilla Woolly the (8) of the (3) mo : 16--"

She was probably born in 1651 or 1652 as the third child of this couple, and the 4th child was born in 1654.  

Sarah "Willy" married Joshua Fletcher (1645-1713), as his second wife, on 18 July 1682 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts[1.3-6].  They had 8 children, all born and recorded in Chelmsford[5-6]:

*  Rachel Fletcher (1683-1743), married 1706 Peter Buss (1680-1752).
*  Timothy Fletcher (1685-1705).
*  John Fletcher (1687-1773), married 1712 Hannah Phelps (1683-1737).
*  Joseph Fletcher (1689-1772), married 1712 Sarah Adams (1691-1761).
*  Sarah Fletcher (1691-1737), married 1709 Thomas Reed (1689-1773).
*  Jonathan Fletcher (1693-1777), married 1735 Jane Chamberlain (1706-1771).
*  Jonas Fletcher (1694-1777), married 1722 Elizabeth Robbins (1700-1782).
*  Elisabeth Fletcher (1698-1775), married 1720 Josepj Keyes (1698-1744).

It is not known when Sarah (Woolley) Fletcher died.

Joshua Fletcher died 21 November 1713 at age 68 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.  There is no known burial location for either Joshua or Sarah.

1. Irene Cynthia Gould, "Christopher Woolley of Concord, Mass., and Some of His Descendants," New England Historical and Genealogical Register (Boston, Mass. : New England Historic Genealogical Society), Volume 75, Number 1 (January 1921), page 29, #1, Christopher Woolley family sketch.

2. George Tolman (compiler), Concord, Massachusetts Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1635-1850 (Concord, Mass. : Committee on Printing, 1894), page 6, Sarath Woolly birth entry, 8 May 16--, daughter of Christopher and Ursilla .

3. "Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988," indexed database and digital image, (, "Chelmsford, Mass. Town Land Records with Births, Marriages and Deaths," page 26 (image 35 of 230), Joshua Fletcher and Sarah Willy marriage entry.

4. Town of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Vital Records of Chelmsford, Massachusetts to the Year 1850 (Salem, Mass. : The Essex Institute, 1914), Marriages, page 230, Joshuah Fletcher and Sara Wily entry, 18 July 1682.

5. Edward H. Fletcher, The Descendants of Robert Fletcher of Concord Mass. (Boston, Mass. :  Rand, Avery & Co.,  1881), page 29, #8 Joshua Fletcher family sketch.

6. Winifred Lovering Holman, Robert Fletcher of Concord, Mass. Bay, 1637: a study of his life and family from the New England records, typescript (1930, 93 leaves); accessed on FHL Microfilm 0015506 Item 11; citing typescript at the New Hampshire Historical Society,  Concord, New Hampshire., Joshua Fletcher family sketch.

NOTE: In 2014, Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog. I have extended this theme in 2021 for an eighth year to 416 Ancestors in 416 Weeks. The list of 52 Ancestors biographies from my great-grandparents to the 7th great-grandparents (in work) is in

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

I've only just come across your blog/research, and am impressed with the quality of your work, and the clean, clear way you are able to present it.

I've recently paused research on my family to do some research on my step-children's ancestors, and I find that I'm looking at some of the same lines you've researched - specifically the Joshua Fletcher + Sarah Wily/Willy/Wolley -> Elizabeth Fletcher + Joseph Keyes -> Elizabeth Keyes path in Massachusetts. Joshua and Sarah would be my step-kids 8G grandparents.

After a lot of digging, I've come to the same conclusions you've posted. But one thing (and only one) still bothers me - The mention in the "Fletcher Genealogy" (your source #5 in this post) that Joshua and Sarah's daughter Elizabeth (b. 10 Jun 1698) married Samuel Hartwell at Concord in 1723. I've been triple-checking all my research, and everything looks good, so I'm coming to the conclusion that that piece of information is simply incorrect. Given that Joseph Keyes appears to have been alive until 1744, and that Joseph and Elizabeth had a daughter (Lidia) in 1724, it wouldn't have been a 2nd marriage for Elizabeth. It certainly seems unusual in any case, as Samuel Hartwell appears to have been born in 1645, and would have been 78 years old to Elizabeth's 25 if they were married in 1723.

If you have considered this piece of conflicting information, and come to any conclusions yourself, I'd be interested (and grateful) to hear your thoughts. I will be away from my research materials until early next week, but wanted to post this now before I lost the link or forgot!