William Brewster was born about 1645 at Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, the son of Love Brewster and Sarah Collier. Love was a Mayflower passenger with his parents William and Mary Brewster, and I wrote about him here. William is my 8th great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family. William’s birth is not recorded, but he is mentioned in Love’s will, bequeathing him a kettle and a gun.
On 2 Jan 1672 William married Lydia Partridge at Duxbury. She was born Duxbury about 1651, the daughter of George Partridge and Sarah Tracy. I wrote about George and Sarah here.
William and Lydia had eight children, born Duxbury,
Sarah b. 1674
Nathaniel b. 1676 who m. Mary Dwelley
Lydia b. 1681, m. Job Cushman
William b. 1683, m. Hopestill Wadsworth
Mercy b. 1685, m. Edward Arnold
Benjamin, b. 1688, removed to Connecticut, m. 1st Elizabeth Witter, 2nd Sarah Caulkins
Joseph, b. 1694, m. Elizabeth Turner
Joshua, b. about 1698, m. Deborah Jackson
I descend through Joshua.
William was a church deacon and is called carpenter or planter in records. He was a freeman and served on juries. He was a large landholder in Duxbury and there are many recorded deeds of his purchases and sales. He bought most of the property east of Standish Street and north of Myles Standish’s property, which included the property owned by his grandfather Elder William Brewster. He purchased the farm that belonged to his uncle Jonathan Brewster, as well as Richard Moore’s property at Eagle Nest’s Point. He likely benefited financially from his grandfather William Collier who was the richest man in the colony.
Lydia (Partridge) Brewster was mentioned in her mother Sarah Tracy Partridge’s 1702 will, along with her seven sisters and two brothers. She was to receive her share of linen, woolen clothing, cash and remainder of the estate. Her husband was to be an overseer of the estate.
In 1669 William and his brothers Nathaniel and Wrestling sold land in Dartmouth which had been a gift from their mother Sarah (Collier) Brewster. William was the only one of the brothers to sign the deed; the others used their marks.
William died 3 November 1723, aged near 78, and is buried Old Cemetery in Duxbury. He died intestate, surprising since he was a man of means. He had already deeded land to his sons William, Joseph, Joshua and Nathaniel so perhaps he felt a will was unnecessary.
Lydia died 2 Feb 1742/43 at Duxbury, at about 93 years of age. It would seem she would be buried next to William but a stone for her has not survived.
Lamont “Monty” Healy, Elder William Brewster and the Nook, 3-part series, Duxbury Clipper, June 26, July 24 and August 28, 2013
Henry A. Fish, Duxbury Ancient & Modern, 2012, Duxbury 375th Anniversary Revised Edition, based on 1925 edition
Barbara Lambert Merrick, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Volume 24, Part 1, Elder William Brewster, GSMD, 2014