The following message was posted in reply to a March 11, 2002 query by Justin Maitland on the "Reed Family" Forum. I thought that this message might be of interest to some readers of this Forum.
Please read Mr. Maitland's original query so that you will understand the context in which this reply was made.
Mr. Justin Maitland,
I will try in this overlong message to pass along what I know about the immigrant William READE, born SAY 1605, married to Avis, who lived in the Weymouth Plantation of the Massachusetts Bay Colony (now Town of Weymouth, Norfolk Co., MA) and died there CIRCA 1658. My apologies in advance if this reply is information overload - as may be evident I have been doing research on this William READE for a long time.
Usually reliable sources (listed below) give the following facts about the immigrant William READE of Weymouth, born SAY 1605, married to Avis:
1. He was one of TWO immigrant William READEs who lived in Weymouth in a portion of the period 1635 to about 1658 (but not at the same time);
2. Authors of compiled READE/READ/REED genealogies published prior to about 1920 did NOT recognize that there were TWO immigrant William READEs living in Weymouth in the period 1635 to about 1658. They assumed that there was only one William READE living in Weymouth in this era, and they created a (false) composite person by combining the data associated with the TWO individuals;
3. Now - a quick diversion! Many facts are now known about the FIRST of these TWO immigrant William READEs to arrive in Weymouth. (He is NOT your William READE, born SAY 1605, married to Avis.) But you may find the following seven facts about the life of the FIRST immigrant William READE while in Weymouth to be of interest, since they describe a very different life then that of your ancestor (see point 4. just below):
a. He arrived in Wessagusset (which became Weymouth later that year) in early June 1635 with the Hull Company as one of the original settlers;
b. He was married to his first wife Susan (or Susanna) Hayme;
c. They did NOT have a child named James;
d. He held several responsible positions in local government;
e. He owned a substantial amount of real estate in Weymouth;
f. None of his children settled in Weymouth as adults;
g. He left Weymouth about 1646 and moved to Boston.
To repeat, the above seven facts do NOT apply to your William READE of Weymouth, born SAY 1605, married to Avis.
4. Very FEW facts are known about the SECOND of these TWO immigrant William READEs to arrive in Weymouth. He is your William READE, born SAY 1605, and is the subject of this message. Some facts about his life while in Weymouth are:
a. He probably arrived in Weymouth shortly before 1653 (see below);
b. He was married to Avis ________ ;
c. They had a child named James who was born CIRCA 1657;
d. He held no public positions;
e. He lived in (and may have owned) a house on a lot;
f. Some of his children settled in Weymouth as adults;
g. He never left Weymouth and died there (see below).
Note the sharp contrast between the events in the Weymouth life of the FIRST immigrant William READE (in point 3. just above) and those of the SECOND immigrant William READE.
5. Among the few additional facts known about the SECOND immigrant William READE, born SAY 1605, married to Avis, are:
a. The first mention of him in Weymouth Town records was when he was elected a freeman (or voter) of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, at Weymouth, on 18 May 1653 (see "The Reade Record", Vol. X ,1917). This date is almost eighteen years after the founding of Weymouth on 02 September 1635.
b. He died while living in Weymouth BEFORE 06 April 1658 per the Weymouth Town records (see George Walter Chamberlain, "Genealogies of the Early Families of Weymouth, Massachusetts", [originally published as Vols. 3 and 4 of "History of Weymouth, Massachusetts", 1923], reprinted by the Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1984, pp. 568-9);
c. He lived and died in Weymouth while Weymouth was a part of Suffolk Co. Weymouth was in Suffolk Co. from establishment of this County in 1643 to 1793, at which time Weymouth became part of the "new" Norfolk Co. (there had been an older Norfolk Co. in a different part of the state).
d. He and Avis had eight known children who survived early childhood - the only child with a high probability of having been born in Weymouth was their youngest child, James (see Chamberlain, op. cit., pp. 568-9);
6. Based on the 1653 date of the first appearance of the SECOND immigrant William READE in the Weymouth Town records and the fairly short time that new settlers usually took to be given freeman status, "The Reade Record" (Vol. X, 1917) concluded that he (and his wife and family) arrived in Weymouth "but a short time before" 1653.
7. It is HIGHLY unlikely that the SECOND immigrant William READE, married to Avis, came to the American Colonies on a ship called "Assurance de Lo' (London)" which departed Gravesend, Kent , England in July of 1635 headed for the Virginia Colony (see "The Reade Record", Vol. II ,1909). "The Reade Record" article concluded that the William READ who was known to be a passenger on this voyage was "transported to Virginea" (the Virginia Colony) and stayed there;
a. This conclusion of "The Reade Record" severed the identity connection between the passenger William READ, age 30, on the 1635 voyage of the ship "Assurance de Lo' (London)" and a William READE of Weymouth, married to Avis. The severance of this identity connection also destroyed the analysis (i. e., 1635 - 30 = 1605) that was used by early genealogists (see below) to calculate a birth date of "1605" for their composite William READE of Weymouth;
b. The birth date of the FIRST immigrant William READE of Weymouth, married to Susan (or Susanna), is known to be CIRCA 1607 from the fact that he was listed as age 28 in March 1635 on the departure passenger list of his (different) ship;
c. Therefore, the foundation for claiming a birth date of "1605", or more properly "CIRCA 1605", for the SECOND immigrant William READE of Weymouth, married to Avis, has been destroyed;
8. The parents, date of birth, place of birth, siblings, former place of residence in (probably) England, place and date of marriage, wife's maiden surname, ship used to reach the American Colonies, port of departure, date of arrival in the American Colonies, and port of arrival of the SECOND immigrant William READE of Weymouth, married to Avis, are all UNKNOWN (by the proof standards of today's professional genealogist).
a. Since the birth date of the SECOND immigrant William READE of Weymouth, born SAY 1605, married to Avis, is still completely UNKNOWN, I have used the modifier "SAY" before the date of "1605" to indicate a LARGE uncertainty in this date. Using "SAY 1600", "SAY 1610" or "SAY 1615" would have been equally precise.
The above facts and conclusions come primarily from articles published about the SECOND immigrant William READE of Weymouth, born SAY 1605, married to Avis, in "The Reade Record" between 1909 and 1917. Chamberlain's 1923 work used data from "The Reade Record" as well as from primary sources. Very little additional reliable data about the SECOND immigrant William READE of Weymouth, married to Avis, has been published since 1923.
"The Reade Record" was the private periodic publication of the Reade Historical and Genealogical Association of Boston, MA, during the existence of this Association in the first three decades of the twentieth century.
The Reade Association was the first to discover that there were TWO immigrant William READEs of Weymouth. The Reade Association made this discovery during the course of carrying out extensive research on all early immigrant READE/READ/REED families in the American Colonies. Of particular interest is the fact that the Reade Association did careful genealogical research about the SECOND immigrant William READE of Weymouth, born SAY 1605, married to Avis.
By the way, "The Reade Record" identified the SECOND immigrant William READE, born SAY 1605, married to Avis, with the title "William READE of Weymouth". They also gave him the number of "READE No. 16" on their list of the 44 distinct (unrelated) immigrant READE/READ/REED heads of families in Colonial America.
Copies of "The Reade Record" are hard to find, but before he died in 2001 the late Gregg Kinney transcribed and placed portions of selected articles in "The Reade Record" which dealt with the SECOND immigrant William READE of Weymouth, born SAY 1605, married to Avis, on the lower portion of a web page at:
The two early compiled genealogies on READE/READ/REEDs:
1. Jacob Whittemore Reed's 1861 book "The Reed Family in Europe and America", John Wilson and Son;
2. John Ludovicus Reed's 1902 book "The Reed Genealogy - Descendants of William Reade of Weymouth, Massachusetts", The Lord Baltimore Press;
are VERY UNRELIABLE sources of information about an immigrant William READE of Weymouth, born SAY 1605, married to Avis.
As noted above neither author recognized that there were TWO immigrant William READEs living in Weymouth in the period 1635 to about 1658. They assumed that there was only one William READE living in Weymouth in this era, and they created a (false) composite person by combining the data associated with the TWO individuals;
As discussed above both genealogies made unsupported claims that a William READE of Weymouth, married to Avis (or Ivis):
- was born in 1605;
- sailed from Gravesend, Kent, England on the "Assurance de Lo" in 1635
In addition, Jacob Whittemore Reed made the claims, unsupported by any evidence or citations, that a William READE of Weymouth, married to Ivis:
1. May have been the son of Richard Reade (b. 1577) and Joan Dale (see p. 38);
2. Was supposed to be the son of William Reade and Lucy Henage (see p. 310);
3. Was brother to John Read of Rehoboth (see p.186).
I know of NO reliable proof to support any of these claims.
In addition, John Ludovicus Reed made the claims, unsupported by any evidence or citations, that William READE of Weymouth, married to Avis:
1. Previously lived in Maidstone, near London, England (see p. 1);
2. Wife's surname was "Deacon" - purely on the basis on speculation and name identities (see p. 2).
I know of NO reliable proof to support either claim.
Finally, John Ludovicus Reed repeated the error of Jacob Whittemore Reed by attributing an extra child, Esther, to William and Avis (see p. 5). Per Chamberlain (op. cit., pp. 565-6) Esther was born at Weymouth on 08 May 1641 to the FIRST immigrant William READE and his wife Susan (or Susanna) Hayme.
The Reade Historical and Genealogical Association of Boston, MA spent a great deal of effort and time correcting many errors in the complied genealogies of Jacob Whittemore Reed and John Ludovicus Reed. They also determined that there was a VERY LOW probability that Avis' maiden surname was "Deacon". They did, however, find some circumstantial evidence (but no proof) that the maiden surname of Avis MAY have been "Chepman" or "Chapman".
The Dodd book that you mentioned in your message is Henry Martyn Dodd's 1912 book titled "Read Genealogies" and subtitled "Of the Brothers and Sisters and Families and Descendants of Israel READ, Abner READ, John READ, Polly READ (Hetherington), William READ, Wolcott READ, Lewis READ, Nathaniel READ", privately published. This book did NOT provide compiled and analyzed genealogical data on a William READE of Weymouth or any other early READE/READ/REED. All of Dodd's compilation and analysis was focused on the descendants of a specific male READ who was thought to have been born about 1740-50. This specific male READ was the father of the individuals listed in the subtitle of his book.
However, in his "Introduction" chapter Dodd did cover a wide range of topics related to the then current state of READ genealogy. For example, for reference purposes he reported the lineage of early READE/READ/REEDs developed by John Ludovicus Reed. As a part of a paragraph on "Reads in America" (on p. 7) Dodd mentioned some of the claims (including a mention of the ship "Assurance") of Jacob Whittemore Reed and John Ludovicus Reed related to a William READE of Weymouth. In 1912 Dodd was not aware of the fact that there were TWO immigrant William READEs of Weymouth.
To his credit Dodd continued to work very hard on READ genealogical issues after his book was published in 1912. In the period between 1912 and 1914 Dodd became aware of the work of The Reade Historical and Genealogical Association of Boston, MA, as reported in "The Reade Record". In fact, Dodd worked closely with the staff of the Reade Association on issues related to his own READ branch (his mother was a READ). As a result, he acquired an understanding of the existence of the TWO immigrant William READEs of Weymouth as discovered by the Reade Association.
Being a very precise and accurate researcher Dodd issued in September, 1914 a four-page "Supplement No. 1" to his 1912 book. Dodd's 1914 Supplement contained his new findings about his own work on later READs. It also contained a section reporting his newly acquired knowledge of the existence of and facts about the TWO immigrant William READEs of Weymouth. In this section Dodd backs away from the information that he presented on p. 7 of his 1912 book with the words "Since this book was printed it has been found that the statements in the Read Genealogies as to the early Read immigrants need changing." Since Dodd himself retracted his earlier words on p. 7 of his 1912 book, these words are meaningless as a reliable source.
I hope that this information is helpful in your research. I tried to base this information on the most reliable sources known to me, but as you know such sources sometimes provide bad data. And I may have overlooked even more recent and reliable sources. Please do your own validity checks.
Good Luck !
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