Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and love that this blog helps with that. I consider much of my research as a work in progress, so please let me know if you have conflicting information. Some of the surnames I'm researching:

Many old Cape families including Kelley, Eldredge/idge, Howes, Baker, Mayo, Bangs, Snow, Chase, Ryder/Rider, Freeman, Cole, Sears, Wixon, Nickerson.
Many old Plymouth County families including Washburn, Bumpus, Lucas, Cobb, Benson.
Johnson (England to MA)
Corey (Correia?) (Azores to MA)
Booth, Jones, Taylor, Heatherington (N. Ireland to Quebec)
O'Connor (Ireland to MA)
My male Mayflower ancestors (only first two have been submitted/approved by the Mayflower Society):
Francis Cooke, William Brewster, George Soule, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, Richard Warren, Peter Browne, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, James Chilton, John Tilley, Stephen Hopkins, and John Howland.
Female Mayflower ancestors: Mary Norris Allerton, Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, Mrs. James Chilton, Sarah Eaton, and Joan Hurst Tilley.
Child Mayflower ancestors: Giles Hopkins, (possibly) Constance Hopkins, Mary Allerton, Francis Billington, Love Brewster, Mary Chilton, Samuel Eaton, and Elizabeth Tilley.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

William Paine/Payne b. ca 1560, and His Wife Agnes/Ann Neves of Lavenham, Suffolk, England

William Paine was from Lavenham, Suffolk, England, likely born there about 1560, son of William Paine Jr. and his wife Joane/Joanna whose maiden name is not known. He is my 13th great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family. His last name is often spelled Payne. Although he never lived in Massachusetts, at least five of his children did. I have not found William’s birth record (the Lavenham parish registers start in 1558 and perhaps they were spotty at first). This research is very much a work in progress; feedback is most welcome!

William married Agnes/Ann Neves on 28 December 1584 in Lavenham at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. I have read in various places, including WikiTree, that she was baptized 2 December 1565, at St. Mary’s Church, Nowton, Suffolk, the daughter of William and Agnes (Marberry) Neves, but I have not been able to confirm that with my own work yet. 

Agnes and William’s children, most baptized St. Peter and St. Paul in Lavenham:

  1. Elizabeth baptized Lavenham 11 Sept 1586, married William Hammond there in 1605 and immigrated to Watertown, Massachusetts, where she died in 1670
  2. Anne baptized Lavenham 17 December 1587, married Richard Neve at Lavenham on 2 Sept 1613, immigrated to Watertown where she died in 1676
  3. Judith baptized Lavenham 22 June 1589 
  4. Dorothy born about 1589, married Simon Eyre, migrated to Boston where she died in 1650;  unsure if she is also the Dorothy Payne who married Hugh Baker 31 [sic] Sept 1615
  5. Susan baptized  Lavenham 1 January 1590, died there in October 1591
  6. Susan baptized Lavenham 9 April 1592
  7. Frances who died as a child in July 1594 at Lavenham
  8. Jane born 1593; died Lavenham July 1594
  9. Phebe baptized Lavenham 1 April 1594, married John Page there on 5 June 1621 and migrated to Watertown where she died in 1677 
  10. William baptized Lavenham 20 Feb 1596/97, married a woman named Ann, migrated to Ipswich, Massachusetts and then to Boston where he died in 1660; became a very wealthy man
  11. Richard baptized Lavenham 20 February 1596/97, also married a woman named Ann, died there in 1645
  12. Frances born and died in 1600, Lavenham (baptized 20 July; buried 12 August)

I’m not certain, but they may have also had:

13. Thomas born about 1587; need to do more research 

14. Robert, born in Lavenham about 1601, married 1st Anne Whiting, 2nd, Dorcas ___?__, immigrated to Ipswich, Massachusetts and died there by 1684

I descend from Elizabeth who married William Hammond at Lavenham. They immigrated to Watertown, Massachusetts. I wrote about that couple here. 

William died in June 1621 and was buried at St. Peter and St. Paul churchyard in Lavenham, as William Payne the elder, on 9 June 1621.

William appears to have died intestate but Ann Payne of Lavenham, widow, wrote a will dated 7 December 1635. It was not proved until 25 April 1646. I have only seen excerpts from the will. She left her property and goods to her daughter Susan: the property was a capital messuage in the Lavenham market place “in the tenure of Thomas Dister and myself.” A messuage is a dwelling house with its outbuildings and adjacent land. She left son Richard 10 shillings, so it would seem he already received family land. She asked to be buried in Lavenham churchyard. Daughter Susan was to be executrix and residuary legatee.

Although Agnes/Ann had 12 or more children, only Richard and Susan were alive and in England at the time of her death, although Richard died that the same year. At least five of her children immigrated to Massachusetts, four or more died very young, and I’m not sure what became of Judith.

Agnes was buried at St. Peter and St. Paul Churchyard on 8 Oct 1645.

Lavenham was a market town, in the hundred of Babergh, and on the river Bret. It is 18.5 miles from Ipswich and 61 miles northeast of London. St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church is a notable “wool Church,” funded by wool merchants and farmers who made their fortunes in the medieval wool trade. The original parts of the stone building were built in the 14th century. 

There has been a great deal of confusion about William Paine's identity; many online trees have him as the son of Anthony and Martha (Bastell) from Bury St. Edmunds and Nowton. Much of this stems from Albert Paine's 1881 book, The Paine Family. 

See Jeanie Roberts' blog post about this mis-identification: http://www.jeaniesgenealogy.com/2013/05/english-ancestry-of-william-paine-and.html


G. Andrews Moriarty, The Register, “Genealogical Gleanings in New England,” Vol 79, 1925

William Paine WikiTree: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Paine-470

Henry F. Waters, The Register, “Genealogical Gleanings in England,” vol 69, 1915 [includes Payne records from the Parish Registers of Lavenham 1558-1653); has footnote that no wills of Lavenham Paynes were found 

Agnes/Ann Paine’s will: Achdeaconry of Sudbury, book 55, folio 291

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