The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

What we know, and what we want to know, about William Douglas and Anne Motley


We are trying to determine the parents of William Douglas, born about 1610, who left the UK and ended up in New London, CT. 

William (abt 1610-1682) & Ann (abt 1610 – 1685) DOUGLAS

    Ann (b. abt 1636 in UK - 1691)

    Robert (b. abt (1638/9 in UK - 1715)

    Elizabeth (b. 1641, bp 1646/7 Boston MA - 1705)

    Sarah (b. 1643, bp 1646/7 Boston MA - 1689)

    William (b 1645, bp. 1646/7 Boston MA - 1725)


This is what we have found so far, and the places we have searched.  Most are via the internet.



1635 - William DOUGLASS who m Anne MOTLEY of Ringstead, Northamptonshire about 1635 (marriage record has not yet been found),


1640 - arrive in America abt 1640.  No record of their voyage, accompanied by 2 children, Ann b 1636 and Robert 1638/9, have been discovered.  According to Leslie Mahler in his TAG article (The American Genealogist 1999), Ann may have been bp at St Mary Bothaw and Robert at St Mary Whitechapel in 1638/9.  (TAG, Leslie Mahler 1999)


    We know that Anne MOTLEY/MATLAT, at least, was from Ringstead because she was listed as one of her father Thomas' heirs.  In 1612 her father Thomas' will was probated.  By sometime before 1670 her father's inheritance was in her brother Robert's possession.  Anne deposed that she was her father's last surviving heir in 1670 in Boston, MA before Gov. Bellingham, her brother Robert being deceased.  That deposition was accompanied by depositions by James JOHNSON and his sister Elizabeth JOHNSON MEARES of Boston MA, both of whom knew Anne from Ringstead.  (Charles Henry James Douglas, "Douglass Genealogy”, p 51 - 51, 515 - 517)


    In searching FreeReg parish registers for Northamptonshire we have found a DOUGLAS family that includes a son, William bp July 22 1609 in Easton Maudit, who might have been the man who m Anne MOTLEY and who later traveled to America.  Our goal is to prove or disprove this theory.  There is no proof that our William is part of the Scottish family so often chosen as his, just an assumption of Scottish birth and naming patterns to identify his father as Robert, and then finding people in the OPR that match. (Of course we have done the same thing initially, using Northants, but we hope to find a verifiable connection between this William and our Ann.)   We wish research to be done at the Northampton Registry Office and wherever else you deem necessary into William DUGLEYS  (DOUGLAS) b July 22 1609 s of William DUGLEYS and Anne/Agnes JENIWAIE to establish if he is the man who m Anne MOTLEY/MATLAT/MATTLE.




Three generations of the DOUGLAS family of Eason Maudit

(Information from FreeReg)

William DOUGLASS(E) and Elizabeth LNU had the following children baptized in Easton Maudit beginning with

      Thomas (7/17/1568),

    +William (4/1/1571),

      Richard and John (twins)(11/15/1573),

      Nicholas (12/5/1574),

      Marie/Mary (3/17/1576/7), and

      Elizabeth (5/12/1580).

The twins died young, Richard (12/4/1573) and John (Feb 10 1573/4)

William certainly and Nicholas and Thomas probably married and continued the name. Marie Dugleys may have married Marke Kinge in Lamport, Nov 6, 1599.

There is no further information on their youngest daughter, Elizabeth.

William DUGLEYS (called senior, wool man) was buried 6/ 12 /1616

and Elizabeth was buried 7/ 2 /1615 (wife of William senior).


+ William DUGLEYS m Anne/Agnes JENIWAIE (9/26/ 1602 in Easton Maudit and had the following children,

Thomas (8/28/1603),

Mary (2/27/1604/5),

Anne (3/10/1606/7),

++ William (7/22/1609),

Martha (6/27/1612),

Lidia (2/19/1614/15),

John (12/30/1617),

Nicholas (9/24/1620) and

Nathaniel (1/6/1621/2).


Of these children, Anne DUGLEIS was buried Feb 28 1627/8,

Thomas DUGLIS m Joyce WALTER 10/9/1627,

Lidia DOUGLAS m William FRANKLIN 11/3/1642,

Mary DUGLIS m William MICHELL 8/9/1632,

John was buried 11/1/1666 (may have been m to Elizabeth LNU and had 6 children bp EM, Joseph, Margret, John, Elizabeath, Anne, Elizabeth).

There is no further information on Martha, Nicholas or Nathaniel.

    ++We believe that William m Anne MOTLEY b 1601, of Ringstead, abt 1635 and had 6 children with her, Anne, Elizabeth, Robert, Elizabeth (again) Sarah, and William.  They came to America and settled first in Boston, then Ipswich in the Bay Colony, then moved to New London CT where both William and Anne died in the 1680’s.

Agnes DOUGLAS was buried June 21 1642 and William was buried 11/26/1654 in Easton Maudit.


Extended family

    Nicholas DUGLEYS of Thingden m Margaret YOUNG of Thingden 4/30/1604 in Easton Maudit with the agreement of the vicar of Thingden.  They had William DUGLISS bp 5/30/1619 and An DUGLIES bp 6/20/1620 in Yardley HASTINGS, and probably others.  Nicholas DUGLIS the elder was buried 12/10 /1632 in Yardley Hastings.  Margaret DOUGLAS, wid, was buried 3/19/1645/6 in Yardley Hastings.  The families of the children of William DOUGLASS and Ann JENNAWAY are easily followed in Parish Registers for Easton Maudit for another 100 years or so.


MOTLEY Family from Denford and Ringstead

Birth record, Anne, sibs as well as sibs children,

(Information from FreeReg)

    An MOTLEYE, Sept 20 1601, Denford, fa Thomas, MOTLAY, William April 15 1599, Denford, fa Thomas July 20,1606, Denford, fa Thomas,

    Robert MOTLEY.  Oct 1 1595, fa Thomas, Ringstead.  Katherine Jan 8 1608, Ringstead, fa Thomas.  Children of Robert, MOTLEY Hanna (MORLEY) dau Robert and Ann Oct 16 1627 Ringstead, John, s Robert Nov 29 1629, Ringstead, Isaack s Robert, June 9 1633 Ringstead.


Earlier DOUGLAS/MOTLEY in Northants from Phillimore,+northamptonshire,+easton+maudit&hl=en&ei=fIKYTtSJB-Tr0gGkzpjCBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&sqi=2&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false,+northamptonshire,+easton+maudit&hl=en&ei=fIKYTtSJB-Tr0gGkzpjCBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&sqi=2&ved=0CEAQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q&f=false


the following DOUGLAS wills are listed:

.    Agnes DOUGLAS, Chipping Warden, Book D 1527 - 1532 # 106, Thomas DOUGLAS, Chipping Warden, Book D 1527 -1532 #41, DUKYLLYS, John, Pytchley, Book E 1531 - 1538 #88, DUGLESSE, Robert, Greatworth, Book S 1567 - 1569, Richard DOUGLYSE, Wellingborough, Book V 1578 - 1589, #53, Richard DOUGLAS, Wellingborough, 2nd series 1610 - 1644, 1632 #50,


the following MOTLEY will is listed:

·    MOTLEY, als MATLAT, Thomas, Ringstead, 2nd series, 1610 - 1644, 1612 #44

·    Thomas MOTLEY's will, witnesses Simon TUTHILL (Symon TOOTHILL), Robert GOODE, and Thomas ROBINSON (Thomas ROBINCE), proved June 22 1612.

Anne MOTLEY DOUGLAS had two brothers and one sister as listed in her father's will, William, Robert and Katherine.  Another son, Thomas, had dy.


Later DOUGLAS Wills in Northants from Rushden Heritage

Easton Maudit Wills,

·    DOUGLAS Nicholas labourer 1664 4th 6 135 68

·    DOUGLAS Sarah widow 1733 08 Oct

·    DUGLAS Thomas butcher A+I 1730 bundle 17 Mar

·    DUGLIS John butcher 1666 bundle 74

·    DUGLIS John butcher 1666 4th 10 202 72

·    DUGLIS Nicholas labourer 1664 loose 44


Very early records from Medieval

MATLATT, Ryngstead Henry VIII 34 (1544)

GOODE in Eston Mawdyt Henry VIII 34 (1544)

Higham Ferrers Hundred, Northamptonshire Tax Assessment, 34 Hen VIII: Higham Ferrers Hundred(1544)

William DUGLAS Fawsley Hundred, Everdon Magna, 15 Henry VIII, (1525)


    William DOUGLAS and Ann MOTLEY are said by various sources to have been married in Ringstead. There are no marriages registered for Motley/ Douglas in Ringstead, Denford, or Easton Maudit in FreeReg or Rushden Heritage records for 1635 or any other year.

·    When and where did they marry?


Travel to Cape Anne/Gloucester MA thought to be 1640

    The bp of Robert was Whitechapel March 6 1638/9 and the next child, Elizabeth (2) was b on Aug 26 1641 in Ipswich MA.  William DOUGLAS was a Townsman in Boston MA Aug 31 1640 making it likely that he traveled with his family to America around April/May 1640.


Synopsis of data from Leslie Mahler (TAG 1999) link above

    The material was actually published on The American Genealogist (TAG) in 1999 in an article on the English ancestry of Anne MOTLEY of Ringstead written by Leslie Mahler.  Mr Mahler discovered no birth date for William or a marriage for Anne and William but there is quite specific material on the 6 children they had.  The date of their marriage is a bit earlier (abt 1635) based on the probable bp of their first child, Anne, on June 12 1636 at St Mary Bothaw, London.  Mr Mahler says no name for the mother is given, unlike the two following children who were bp at St Mary Whitechapel, London.


    He puts this Anne as probable daughter b to Willia(m) DOWGLASSE.  The next child is Elizabeth bp Nov 19 1637 and buried (DOWGLASSE) March 12 1639/40, da of William and Anne DOWGLAS.  The next child is Robert bp March 6 1638/9, son of William and Anne DOWGLASSE.   In 1640 the family came to America and Elizabeth(2) was b Aug 26 1641, bp Boston March 8 1646/7.   Next was Sarah b April 8 1643, bp Boston March 8 1646/7, and last was William b April 1 1645 in Boston, bp Boston March 8 1646/7. 


    Since we think Anne MOTLEY DOUGLAS was bp in Denford (next to Ringstead) Sept 20 1601 she was almost 45 when she had William (although there is the possibility that another daughter named Anne was born to Thomas MOTLEY and his wife after 1601 and before 1606 when their next child, Thomas, was born - Denford and Ringstead records are spotty in this early period).  Assuming William DOUGLAS was b 1609, Anne was 5 or 8 years older than him.  Or our dates for William are all off.  I have found a number of DOUGLASes in Northants from the mid 1500's to the mid 1600's (on FreeReg) but it remains to discover if William was part of one of these families.



Northamptonshire connections of Anne MOTLEY DOUGLAS

    In her deposition in May 1670 Anne, who was claiming her rights as the last surviving heir of Thomas MOTLEY who died in 1612, named her lawyer as James COLSON of Ringstead. see p 515 – 517


Also Anthony COLSON (d 1630) possible grandfather.

    Father of James COLSON, of Ringstead, gr 23 January 1681-2 to James COLSON, of same, the father.   Sureties, William ROGERS, of Holcott, yeoman and Richard MALLARD, of Northampton, labourer.  James COLCON, the father, was living in 1693

– GROOME, Timothy of Ringstead, gr 19 September, 1693 to Richard GROOME of great Catsworth, co Hunts, cordwinder.  Sureties.  James COLSON of Ringstead, husbandman, Joseph CAVE of Oundle, scrivener.   There is a third mention of James COLSON in the Administration of Thomas COALES of Ringstead, carpenter whose inventory, 4 pounds, 2 shillings and 8 pence was taken by Dec 24 1684 by James COLSON and John MORTON.

    MEARS, John, s of William and Elizabeth Johnson MEARS b in Ringstead in 1635, just before they left for America.  Elizabeth deposed in Boston that she knew Anne from Ringstead.


Other possible areas to investigate.


    Reference to Wm DOUGLAS of Easton Maudit, 1620 and the Vicar in "The Plain Man's Pathways to Heaven" Christopher Haigh p 45,


Also Anthony COLSON

    Anthony COLSTON mentioned p 115 as having reported on "similar gatherings in Ringstead" 1630.


    Reference to Denford and Higham Ferrers in early Puritan activities in "Mystical Bedlam, Madness, Anxiety and Healing in 17th Century England" by Michael McDonald p 69


    Relationship to Henry DOUGLAS of Boston MA - possible cousin.  Henry arrived before 1640 perhaps with wife Judith, Children, Ann b 1640 d 1678 m Eliphalet HETT, Thomas b abt 1642 m Hannah PADDY and they and their infant son Thomas were all dead by 1680 and John b abt 1644 perhaps m Shua COLCORD NASON in 1686.  Shua and daughter Mary Douglas lived beyond 1712 but John probably died in 1689.


    The DOUGLAS family of Burton Latimer:  Thomas and Edward signed the Vestry Record for 1633 and Thomas was a clerk for the church for 3 years starting in 1641.


    Ship tax Charles I records for collection of Ship Tax in Northants shows resistance in villages such as Ringstead and Easton Maudit.  1630's Lists of people owing ship tax not printed in Charles I Domestic records, only the towns.


    Coopers guild in Northants.  William DOUGLAS was cooper in America.  He had to have trained somewhere. Relationship between Castle Ashby and Easton Maudit? 

·    Could William become a cooper there? Henry YELVERTON records??


Nonconformists of interest

Peter BULKLEY from Odell, Beds

John COTTON, Boston, Lincs

both were high profile Puritan ministers in Boston MA

Were William and Anne nonconformists??



Last updated by William Douglas Nov 11, 2011.

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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