Mary Williams b. 1683

Mary Williams 8th great grandma on RootsMagic tree

Mary Williams was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1683, the oldest child of Daniel and Rebecca Rhodes Williams. In 1709 Mary and Epenetus Olney married. They would have lived in the Stone Ender home Epenetus began building in 1702 or so. The Stone Ender home stayed in the Olney family from the time it was built till it was demolished around 1898. Mary and Epenetus had 9 children: James, Charles, Joseph, Anthony, Mary, Amy, Ann, Martha, and Freeborn. The family lived on a farm: “Here was raised in those early days beans. “turnops”. “wheate”, Indian corn. rye. “flex”, while in the orchard, through which passed the road leading to the Providence settlement, there were “Apple and peach tree, fruited deep”.

The current address for their farm is 370 Woonasquatucket Avenue, Centerdale, Providence County, RI. The farm and home stood for almost 200 years on the banks of the Woonasquatucket River about 6 miles northeast of Providence 41°50’45.1″N 71°28’37.5”W.

370370 Woonasquatucket Avenue Olney site

ON the banks of the Woonasquatucket River in Rhode Island

Roger Williams Family Association online: Genealogy, Daniel Williams, 27 i. Mary3 Williams, m. Epenetus Olney Jr. Mary and Epenetus’s daughter Martha is the mom of Marrtha Angell the mom of Asa Angell the dad of Dexter Angell the dad of Delia Angell the mom of Matilda Flood the mom of Philippa Mockford the mom of Elizabeth Speedy.

Olney’s Stone ender home at Library of Congress 

At Archive. org. A genealogical dictionary of the first settlers of New England Volume 3 page 313.

At HathiTrust. Early Rhode Island houses: Isham, Norman Morrison, 1864-1943, plate 33.  State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Volume 3 page 627 – 630.

Roger Williams 1638 land deed


Rhode Island Roots volume 5 page 1 a snapshot of the referenced deed

In 1636 Boston courts decided  Roger Williams had to return to England. He was creating problems in the colony, accused of having diverse thoughts. Roger encouraged freedom of religion, ‘soul liberty’, a separation of church and state. He would ask the courts and churches to explain how stealing lands from the native Americans fit in with the beliefs of the new colony. As the colony prepared to export him, Roger Williams fled in the night. He headed down river to present day Providence, Rhode Island. With help from the Narragansett tribe he founded a colony based on his beliefs. March 24, 1638 the first land deeds were signed by the native people selling the lands and witnessed by Roger Williams and Benedict Arnold (Gov’r not American Revolution soldier).

Years later Roger’s son Daniel said, “Can you find such another now alive or in this age? He gave away his lands.” It is pretty amazing for those times and anytime: Roger owned all that land, legally and he thought, ethically purchased, but he didn’t keep the lands he shared them. He wanted the new Providence Plantation to succeed so he started deeding land to his friends and followers and they all started working on building a place built on Roger’s ideas.

Rhode Island Roots. Warwick, RI: Rhode Island Genealogical Society, 1975–. (Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2018.)


Roger Williams b. 1602

Roger Williams 10th great grandfather on RootsMagic tree

Williams, Roger A Key_ Of the WordsRoger Williams was born in 1602 in London and is known for a lot: he founded Rhode Island, he wrote many books including A key into the Language of America: A help to the Language of the Natives in that part of America called New England, he founded the still standing First Baptist Church and so much more.

Direct descendancy from Roger Williams is pretty well proven through Dexter Angell (VII 1.) who mentions daughter Delia in his will. Delia is the bonafide mom of Matilda Flood who married Richard Mockford and they are parents of Philippa Flood Mockford Speedy, aka great grandma Speedy. Roger Williams of Province, RI by Anthony, Bertha Williams at HathiTrust this same book is used by the Roger William Family Association as a source.

Roger Williams Park and Betsy's houseIn 1871 Roger Williams’s 3rd great granddaughter Betsy Williams donated 100+ acres of land to the state of Rhode Island with the condition that it be used as a public space for everyone and have a statue of Roger Williams. There is actually a book saved about this whole event, Ceremonies at the unveiling of the monument to Roger Williams at HathiTrust

And the People’s Park

Mercy Williams b. 1640

Mercy Williams 10th great aunt on RootsMagic tree

Mercy Williams was born in Providence Rhode Island 1640 to Roger and Mary Barnard Williams, original settlers of Providence. At age 20 or so Mercy married Resolved Waterman, his family also original settlers of Providence. In the summer of 1670  Resolved died and Mercy was a widow at age 30.  Widow Mercy Williams Waterman was called to Court several times to finalize her late husband’s estate.

Mercy ignored these summons or letters through the fall 1670 and into winter of 1671. Maybe because her heart was broken.

“Januarey ye 9th: 1671 William Carpenter; Roger Williams, Thomas Olney senr: William Harris, John Sayles, and Thomas Olney junr; ffor as much as much time hath benn spent in adjetation and debate in matters as to the settling of ye Estate of the deceased Resolved Waterman, and nothing yet brought to a Conclusion; it is therefore ordred and agreed upon that ye Councill doe send for, and desire John Throckmorton, John Whipple senr:  Gregorey Dexter, John Browne, Christophar Smith, and  Thomas Arnold senr: to meete with ye said Councill upon munday ye 16th of this instant about 9 of ye clock in ye Morning at ye house of John Whipple senr: there to lend theire advice and give theire aprehentions as Concerning ye setlement of ye said Estate. The meeteing is adjorned unto ye 16th: instant, 9 in ye Morning.”
Page 103

At the next meeting January 23, 1671:
“Mercy Waterman
The towne Councill hath often mett about ye settlement of yor husband (who is lately deceased) his Estate: They have at last come to a detirmination and have appoynted yourselfe ye Exsecutrix, to Administer upon ye Said Estate; The Councill being now againe mett doe request your presence now at ye house of John whipple senr: to take a letter of Administeration from us & also to give in bond Concerning ye premises.”
Page 104

Mercy appeared before the Court, probably on January 23, and she does not accept any power of Administration nor any bond. The Court considers Mercy’s response and seems to ignore it saying Mercy is responsible for the estate.
Page 105 

Resolved’s inventory from August 29, 1670 is listed and directly after “Nathaniell Waterman, who by the Towne Councill was appoynted as next of ye Kinn, to take an Jnventarey.” and then a line drawn as if the matter is closed, and there is nothing else regarding Mercy and the estate of Resolved Waterman.
Page 107

At HathiTrust: Providence (R.I.). Record Commissioners. The Early Records of the Town of Providence, V. 1-21, Providence: Snow & Farnham, city printers, 1892-1915
Catalog page at HathiTrust

Daniel and Rebecca Rhodes Power Williams marry 1676

Daniel is the second son of Roger Williams, Roger is credited with founding Rhode Island when banished from Massachusetts because of radical religious beliefs. Rebecca Rhodes is the daughter of Joanna Arnold and Zachariah Rhodes, she first married Nicholas Power (he may have died at sea) she married second Daniel.

When they married around December 1, 1676 King Philips War was just ending. Dated entries in Volume 8 of The early records of the town of Providence, trace the end of the war, understood by most to be the deadliest war of the colonies.  From the preface, “The period succeeding the time embraced in the last named volume was one of disaster to the town, for the Indian War which had raged with varying success throughout the New England Colonies was then brought within the confines of Rhode Island. During a part of this period, previous to March, 28, 1676, and for some time thereafter the town was practically deserted, its business well nigh suspended and a portion of it destroyed by the ravages of the Indians. The townsmen however carried on such governmental affairs as were actually necessary, and during this time Roger Williams held the office of Town Clerk.”

Daniel and Rebecca’s wedding is recorded (Volume 8, page 15)

Dan: Williams & ye Widow Rebekah Power were married ye 2 of 10th ye first Mariage since God mercifully restored ye Towne of Prouidence.

So this could be the most real wedding story ever. “Our town was completely destroyed by war, people fled or were killed until only about 30 remained. We persevered, made a commitment and married.”

In this same Volume 8 Daniel’s brother Providence (page 14) is credited with rescuing his mom and maybe the town?

by Gods Providence it seasonably came to pass ye Providence Williams brought up his mother from Newport in his sloop and cleared ye towne by his vessel of all ye Indians to ye great peace and Content of all ye Inhabitants


Providence (R.I.). Record Commissioners. The Early Records of the Town of Providence, V. I-XXI … Providence: Snow & Farnham, city printers, 1892 (there are assorted editions of this ebook)

Skelton was a weak link, now disconnected b. 1584

Update summer 2017. The Skelton family through Elizabeth Marsh/March was a weak link, now the family is disconnected, it’s false that Thomas Olney married Elizabeth Marsh daughter of John Marsh, The Ancestry of Emily Jane Angell, disproves this.

Samuel Skelton 12th great grandfather (Olneys and Angells) was born in about 1584 to a religious family, his father William was rector in Coningsby, Lincolnshire, England. Samuel attended Clare College at Cambridge earning an MA in 1615. Skelton was friendly with John Endecott, first Govr of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. John convinced Samuel to join him in the New World. Samuel, his wife Susannah Travis and their children sailed on the George, arriving in Salem on June 23, 1629.  The Skelton family received benefits to make their travels and life in the New World more appealing, this included land and this 2 page list of stuff, pages 239-40 of Every day life in the Massachusetts bay colony by Dow at HathiTrust

The church in Salem was a pretty official Church of England church, Samuel became the pastor and carried on. Until January 1, 1630. The Anglican Book of Common Prayer was removed from the services and the Salem church became “the second independent Congregational church in New England”.  This new Salem church, for a few years, united the beliefs of the Pilgrims and Puritans. Skelton died in 1634. His assistant Roger Williams (10th great grandfather) took his spot.

Roger had serious issues with

  • the Church of England
  • taking land in the name of God- from the people already living on the land
  • the King of England
  • governments and religions co-mingling
  • oaths of allegiance

Williams was eventually tried and convicted in Salem for dangerous ideas then escaped in the night from Massachusetts and created his own colony: Providence.


Samuel Skelton at Wikipedia

Dow, George Francis, 1868-1936. Every Day Life In the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Boston: The Society for the preservation of New England antiquities, 1935.

Betsy Williams donates Roger Williams’s land 1877

Roger Williams had a 3rd great granddaughter, Betsy who on October 16, 1877 donated all of her great great great grandfather’s land to the state of Rhode Island.

A  book was published to commemorate the ceremony (read the 52 page book here at HathiTrust) an abridged version: Providence, founded by Roger Williams in 1636, had secured no large public park, and had erected no statue in memory of its founder. Happily, a farm given to Mr. Williams by his friend, the sachem Miantunnomi (small bio on Wikipedia he was convicted of treason?), was in possession of his great-great-great-grand-daughter, Miss Betsy Williams who determined to honor her 3rd great grandfather’s memory bequeathed this land for a public use and a statue of Roger Williams was unveiled.

I need more information on this statue and monument, Clio is a the base front writing on a tablet, Roger is holding a book with the words Soul and Liberty. N 41° 47.111 W 071° 24.998. The Google map site from 2011 is missing Clio’s tablet at the base of the monument.

Ceremonies- monument to Roger Williams

Monument to Roger Williams 1877. Location: N 41° 47.111 W 071° 24.998

  • Mr Franklin Simmons of Rome created the statue.
  • A Mighty Fortress is Our God was the hymn sung.
  • Professor J Lewis Dimar of Brown University gave the oration.
  • Children of the Public Schools sung the Choral
  • Reverend E G Robinson, President of Brown University gave the blessing.