The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

This is a continuation of the last blog.

We have the exact birthdate of Douglas Willet. We know that Douglas and Isabel were married as early as 1635 or 1636 because they attended a wedding in Scotland in 1636. First daughter, Sarah Douglas, suffered a tragic death at the age of twelve. We have the year she died. Elizabeth Douglas, the second child, had to have been born about 1641. In his will Edward Douglas informs authorities that son, Edward Douglas, Jr., be 'of age' at eighteen. Edward Douglas received his patent which represented the total acreage that his father had accumulated, in the year 1661. We may presume that Edward Douglas, Jr., was born in 1643. 

It seems likely that Lt. Col Edward Douglas would have a baptismal  record in the cathedral at Norfolk. Also he would seem to be in the Visitations.

John Willet, husband of Elizabeth Douglas, when he passed away, left Elizabeth strattled with debt. It appears, though, that his family has some redeeming qualities. I shall try to find them. Captain William Willet, his son, sold a large part of his plantation to John Custis in order to stabilize his situation. I have been able to determine that Captain Willet had a daughter, going by the name of Martha and she is probably the eldest daughter of Captain Willet and Anne Stringer. I, also, suggest that Captain Willet's grandmother also went by the given name of Martha. In his will William Willet gives a negro to each of them. I have determined that their mother was Martha Willet. These granddaughters represent the close of the 4th and 5th generations and I shall provide detailed information about them at that time.

The parents of John Willet must have been living in Albany, New York. They were probably born in England. I shall edit this later and add my reasons for this reasoning.

The seal used by the Willet family was a rampant lion. Their coat of arms included five rampant lines. The family received permission from the Crown to use the lion in this manner as the royal family also had rampant lions on their shields. My understanding of this family was that they were heavy into prossessing goods sent to them from Europe. Their knowledge of business made them choose Albany as a place to settle is understandable as it was situated on the Hudson River and was a contact point for American natives who would keep the emigrants supplied with pelts. There was a meeting in Albany concerning depredations made by the Indians from the Rivers of Maryland and Virginia, causing problems for the white settlers. Two delegates were chosen to attend a meeting in Albany to resolve the problem. John Willet went to Albany along with the delegates from Virginia, namely Southy Littleton and Robert Livingston. John Willet is recorded in Albany as the one who presented Southey Littleton's will for probate.


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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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