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Descendants of Deacon William Douglas, b1610


Descendants of Deacon William Douglas, b1610

Researching all the living descendants of Deacon William Douglas, and attempting to confirm his ancestory.

Location: Worldwide
Members: 26
Latest Activity: May 25

Deacon William Douglas

There are conflicting reports as to the origins of William Douglas, and some of the theories have already been challenged, if not disproved, by the dna project.

There are suggestions as to travel on the Mayflower (second voyage), though that too seems unlikely.

Whatever his origins, he founded a dynasty.

All contributions to this study are very welcome

Discussion Forum


Started by William Douglas. Last reply by Russell Lynn Drysdale Nov 9, 2015. 9 Replies

Douglas and the Mayflower

Started by Beverley Poling. Last reply by William Douglas Oct 23, 2012. 4 Replies

Letter from Ed Douglas

Started by William Douglas Mar 3, 2012. 0 Replies

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Comment by Robin Spencer on May 25, 2019 at 20:08

I can put a bit more detail to the brick wall that surrounds Deacon Wm Douglas.   First, I found that kit #N11063 has done BigY DNA testing and is clearly among the Y lineage descendants of Deacon Douglas.  So I pasted N11063's Y111 STR data into two very large FTDNA projects:  ScottishDNA and EnglandGB, each > 5000 members.  As shown above, in both cases there are no common ancestors for N11063 (aside from #156809, another known Douglas) back at least 30-40 generations.  At 30 generations we have a hint with ancestors Benjamin Wright and Edward Terrill -- those are both worth investigating though both are at the limit of surname origins.  In the Scottish dataset there is nothing to 40 generations, far before surnames and any clan history.  This is not proof, but given the size of these projects and predilection for Scots to do DNA testing, it does suggest that the brick wall for Deacon Douglas is substantial --- specifically, this rules out an easy case of missing a Scots connection by just one or two generations to a large clan.   In addition, I noticed in the Big Tree that R-BY13790 (the terminal SNP for Deacon Douglas) that there is only one Douglas and several surnames Fox, so I also checked N11063's STRs against the Fox surname data -- with the same result:  no common ancestor within ~40 generations.

Comment by Sherry Duty on March 10, 2019 at 23:02

Birth for Deacon William Douglas complicated by calendar change.   The Julian Calendar replaced by Gregorian Calendar in 1752.

The 1752 Calendar Change

Today, Americans are used to a calendar with a "year" based the earth's rotation around the sun, with "months" having no relationship to the cycles of the moon and New Years Day falling on January 1.  However, that system was not adopted in England and its colonies until 1752.  

The changes implemented that year have created challenges for historians and genealogists working with early colonial records, since it is sometimes hard to determine whether information was entered according to the then-current English calendar or the "New Style" calendar we use today.
Throughout history there have been numerous attempts to convey time in relation to the sun and moon.  Even now the Chinese and Islamic calendars are based on the motion of the moon around the earth, rather than the motion of the earth in relation to the sun, and the Jewish calendar links years to the cycle of the sun and months to the cycle of the moon.

Comment by Sherry Duty on March 6, 2019 at 21:55

William W. Hough, Thanks so much for your reply

The information did come from messages found on line from Carol Maginnis but not confirmation by records. So, I was not sure, I have not been able to find her book as it is not in print and Carol has passed so cannot contact her. Did your perusal have information about her sons, Gideon and Stephen and their indenture at such a young age? I will probably not be searching in the Conneticut Records unless I can find them on line.  I do have Henry Rowland for her husband, but do come up crossing Roland and with Howland as I have a few of those also, with all the second, third and even a few fourth marriages,  it seems early New Englander were all related. Gideon (Born Dewolfe/ died Deolph) is my 7th great grandfather. Thankyou for all you help and the confirmation.

Sherry Paul Duty

Comment by William W. Hough on March 6, 2019 at 20:48

William, the first line of the biography and your post should have said Wallace Barton Douglas.  I didn't have him but had his father and mother in my database.  I now have him.  He is indeed a descendant of Deacon William Douglas, born 1610, and his wife Ann Mattle.  His line back is Asahel M. (1814), Israel Jr. (1769), Israel (1742), John (1701), William (1666), Robert (1639, William (~1610).  I also descend from Israel Jr. in this line.  There were a lot of Douglass cousins who went to Leyden, New York around 1800.

Comment by William W. Hough on March 6, 2019 at 19:08

Further comment on Sherry Duty's post.

Sherry, your first post is accurate.  Elizabeth Douglass indeed had two husbands and two children by each that you correctly name.  The second husband was Henry Roland, not Howland, and I found 11 different spellings of this surname in my search, all beginning with "R".  I spent a couple of hours with the Carol Maginnis "de Wolf" book (2 volumes) in the library, and am extremely impressed with her work.  She lists a number of sources: vital records, land records, church records, orphan's court records, and probate records for New London, Lyme, and New London County, Connecticut. You could duplicate her work by examining records in courthouses in Connecticut or on microfilm at the LDS Family History Center in Salt Lake City.  I am not going to try.  A lot of the dates she gives are derived, meaning you can bracket for example a marriage between the last child of one mother to the date of an indenture by the step mother.  I might derive a broader window in some cases, but her derivations are all reasonable.

WorldCat lists the libraries that hold the Mcginnis book.  Search for the author "Carol Maginnis" and at least one of the results should give you a list with lots of public libraries.  Or you can email me at and I can give you more info on what I found in my search.

Comment by William Douglas on March 6, 2019 at 11:13

Does anyone have Wallace Barton Wallace (September 21, 1852 – December 9, 1930) in their family?  He was a lawyer, jurist, and politician.

His biography states that his ancestors were 'Sir William Douglas and wife, who was a Miss Ringstad'.

It seems to me that they are more likely Deacon William Douglas, born 1610, and his wife Ann Mattle, daughter of Thomas Mattle of Ringstead, England.  

Comment by Edward Fenner Douglass III on February 25, 2019 at 17:49

I have Elizabeth Douglas (b. 1677) in my database.  The entry is probably based on CHJ Douglas' tome on the Connecticut Douglases.  Only one marriage to Henry ROWLAND is shown as William Hough reports.  The date of marriage appears to be 25 Nov 1703, possibly in Lyme, CT.  She died Aft 14 Jul 1715.  I have no other notes about her and if there were any in CHJD, I would have copied and pasted them into my database.  No Find-a-Grave information.

I don't have a copy of Carol Maginnis book.

In our search through the Northamptonshire public records, I believe we were looking for Douglases pretty intently.  Whether we searched for alternative surname spellings, I am not certain.  Betsey Howes would be the best person to ask about this.  I will do so.

William Hough is correct:  our search failed to find any record of William Douglas, b. abt 1609 in the Northamptonshire public records.

FreeReg a few years back was turning up many Douglases in Northamptonshire and neighboring counties.  But not a "William Douglas."  Is the FreeReg work continuing?  Have they found more Douglases?  Were they searching on alternative spellings of "Douglas" besides Dugleys?  Betsey Howes was tracking the FreeReg work for us back 10 years ago.  I  will ask her if she has been continuing to follow this effort.

I will ask Julie Hornung if she is familiar with the Carol Maginnis book or if she can access it.

Comment by William W. Hough on February 25, 2019 at 3:35

Two comments on postings by Sherry Duty. 

The only husband of Elizabeth Douglas listed in the Douglas Genealogy by Charles Henry James Douglas (available on Google Books) is Henry Rowland (not Howland) on page 63.  However, another book on the DeWolfe family, "Dolphs and De Wolffs" by Carol Maginnis, in which I found a snippet that suggests that she did indeed marry a DeWolfe before Rowland, should be examined.  I can't see the whole entry, but a number of libraries have copies.  Email me at if you can't locate a copy,

The William Dugleys found in the baptismal records of Easton Maudit may very well be our William Douglas.  There was a substantial effort about 9 years ago to look for a marriage record between a William and Ann Motley in parishes in Northamptonshire.  See the letter from Ed Douglas on this site dated Mar 3, 2012.  To my knowledge, none has been found but more and more records are being transcribed.  Don't know if anyone has revived that study in the last few years.  Ed might also comment on Sherry's posting.

Comment by Sherry Duty on February 25, 2019 at 1:17

Hi, I am new. I have been looking for information about Elizabeth Douglas born 1677, granddaughter of Deacon William, by his son Robert and Mary Hempstead. The Elizabeth Douglas I am looking for married first Stephen DeWolfe 1679 - 1711, they had two children Gidion and Stephen, she married Henry Howland and indentures her children at the ages of 6 years and 4 years, she then had two more children with Henry Howland,  Elizabeth and Sarah.  I am looking for any records that would prove or disprove this story. In my search came across this record, could this be the baptism for Deacon William Douglas?


Baptism entry While we have made all efforts to correctly record the information in the original document there may be different interpretations of the written words. If you have access to the original document and believe we have made a mistake you are encouraged to report this to us. Report an Error in this Data

(only fields with a value are shown) Value
County Northamptonshire
Place Easton Maudit
Church name St Peter and St Paul
Register type Unspecified
Baptism date 22 Jul 1609
Person forename William
Person sex M
Father forename William
Mother forename Agnes
Father surname DUGLEYS
Notes Latin entry translated into English
Transcribed by Anna Rufer
Credit Kay Collins
File line number 670

Comment by William Douglas on February 23, 2019 at 18:00


Members (26)


Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?

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