The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

Rather than edit an existing blog I feel what I have to say needs highlighting as I have considerable new information on John Willett, husband of Elizabeth Douglas, second child of Lt. Col. Edward Douglas and Isabella Dale. The eldest daughter of Edward Douglas and Isabella Dale was Sarah Littleton who died in 1658 at the age of twelve. Sarah was born in 1646, Elizabeth was born about 1646. We may presume that John Willett was born about 1644. John Willett died in 1680 and his widow, Elizabeth Willett, was Adm. of his estate. John Willett was thirty-six years of age when he passed away. It must have been a sudden death as their was no will. As Adm. of his estate Elizabeth made a valiant effort to settle the estate and to no avail. She paid off some of her husband's debts buy treating some of the tobacco raised on the plantation, was provided. Also Elizabeth had an Inventory Sale which include fine furniture and silver. On 30 Aug 1631 Captain Nathaniel Walker was made Administrator of the estate as he was the principal creditor. Elizabeth Willett had fled the country. I have read a couple of sources over the years that Elizabeth had returned to live in Yorktown, Virginia. She had married again and had a new family. I have not seen the documentation for this but it seems plausible.  

You may remember I discovered the seal of Captain William Willett, son of John Willett. That seal shows a rampant lion. I found the coat of arms for the family and the Arms tell me that John Willett was either a son or grandson of the person granted the seal

At Fort Anne Museum, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, "Granted to Thomas Willett of Walthanistowe, Essex, England, in 1583. Arms-Argent three bars gemelles, in Chief three Lions rampant sable  Crest-Out of a Ducal coronet or a Heathcock Volart sable, beaked and legged gules.  Motto-Dieu et mon Devoir.' The King approved the use of the rampant Lions. The Willetts were noted as an indispensable part of the royal cloth makers,

William Willett born 22 May 1586 in London, husband of Isabelle Anne Stringer mar 1607 in London. William Willett had to be the grandfather of John Willett of Northampton County, Virginia. I have recorded the seal of Gawton Hunt, impressed on the will of Gawton Hunt, dated 1754 in Northampton County. Gawton was a grandson of Lt Thomas Hunt, Gent the emigrant who was born in Salop, Shrewsbury, Shropshire. This seal had six shields etched and impressed on the will. I, immediately, recognized two of the shields-that of Thomas Hunt and that of John Tankred. One of the remaining four has to be that of Colonel John Stringer. Once that is identified we can see how Isabelle Ann Stringer fits in the picture.

John Willett came to Northampton County either with John Custis or shortly thereafter. John Custis is noted for sponsoring John for his transportation, This means that John Willett lived in the Neverland's when John Custis was there. The year before he died John Willett was made a Commissioner for Northampton County by the Governor. A few years before he died John Willett attended a meeting in Albany, New York along with others to discuss problems with the Indians about the waterways and how to resolve the problems. Only two were designated for the meeting. Yet is was important for John to attend. I had felt strongly that John wanted to see some of his Willett relatives who were living in the colony of New York. I have more to provide and will do so later in the day.

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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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