Family Card - Person Sheet
Family Card - Person Sheet

NameWilliam LONGLEY 32
Birth Date2 Jun 1614
Birth PlaceFirsby, Lincolnshire, England
Death Date29 Nov 1680
Death PlaceGroton, Massachusetts
Immigr Dateby 1638
FlagsGroton Proprietor, Immigrant
FatherJohn LONGLEY (~1585-1639)
MotherAnn PEARSON (~1585-)
Misc. Notes
According to Shattuck’s Memorials,186 “William Longley settled in Lynn about 1638, where he was one of the selectmen in 1645, and a clerk of the writs in 1655. He removed to Groton, where he was the town clerk in 1666. He d. there, Nov. 29, 1680, leaving a will dated 6 days before his death. His widow, Joanna m. Benjamin Crispe. She survived him and d. in Charlestown in 1698. She also left a will, dated April 12th, and proved Dec. 28th of that year. (See Genealogical Register, Vol. VII., p. 188; Mid. Prob. Rec., Vol. IV., p. 231; Mid. Deeds, Vol. XII., p. 77; Vol. XXXII., p. 532, and Vol. XXXVII., p. 702.)” An account of his children follows.

Green187 identifies the father of William Longley as “Richard Longley, of Lynn” but it seems more likely that William and Richard were brothers rather than father and son. Anderson in the Great Migration Newsletter188 notes that “In 1661 William Longley, earlier known as Richard Langley, sued the town of Lynn for land which he felt he had been granted to him, but withheld. The main point in contention was whether this man now calling himself William Longley was the same as the Richard Langley who had indeed received a grant of town land in 1638.” This confusion is also noted by Skeate (see below).

According to Skeate’s Tarbell genealogy,189 “William 1 was one of the grantees of Lynn, where he was a proprietor by 1638, and was admitted freeman (under the name of Langley) on March 14, 1639. He held various offices at Lynn, including selectman, clerk of writs, magistrate, etc. He appears to have been interested in law suits, and in the court of Lynn are found a number of claims for land against various neighbors of William 1 Longley. In 1662, he prosecuted the town of Lynn for not laying out to him 40 acres of land, accorded him in the division of lands in 1638, because the clerk had written his name as Richard instead of William. Eventually he was given 40 pounds or 40 acres (his choice). When in 1663, John Hathorne (Hawthorne) complained to the church at Lynn that Andrew Mansfield and William Longley had given false testimony in a recent land case, he took them to court and Hathorne was found guilty of slander and sentenced to pay 10 pounds fine, and make a public apology, or pay 20 pounds and costs.

“In 1663, William 1 prosecuted Thomas Newhall for committing assault and battery on his wife when she assisted in running a land line with her husband. Maybe this is one reason the family moved to Groton in 1663. He bought the house, orchard, and lands of Thomas Browne at Groton for 80 pounds sterling, and sold to the same person, for 125 pounds sterling, the house and lands in Lynn which William 1 and his wife had owned.

“Thus William 1 Longley, along with Richard Blood and Capt. James Parker, became the largest original proprietors of Groton and the surrounding lands. Large tracts of native forests were eventually divided into farms and held by his descendants. Some of his land was in the portion of the Groton land which became Shirley, MA. John 2 Longley was also an original proprietor of Groton.

“William 1 Longley first appears in the town records of Groton in June 1663, when he with Capt. James Parker, and others voted not to let Rev. Samuel Willard have use of the house and lands devoted by the town to the purposes of the ministry. Many incidents in the history of Groton show that William 1 was not in agreement with the customs of the clergy in that day....William 1 Longley was a selectman of Groton in 1665 and town clerk in the next two years. When Groton was destroyed by Indians in the spring of 1676 and the townspeople were forced out, he and his family went to Charlestown for a year or two where they had a grant of land. He returned to Groton and rebuilt his house there, however. He died Nov. 29, 1680. His widow married about 1683, Benjamin Crispe, and survived him to die at Charlestown, probably at the home of one of her children, April 18, 1698, age 79. A number of her family as well as she, are buried in the old Phipps Burial ground at Charlestown.”

Additional details of children to be entered from Savage.

Birthdate and place from to be confirmed.
Birth Dateabt 1619
Death Date18 Apr 1698
Death PlaceCharlestown, Massachusetts
Burial PlaceCharlestown, Massachusetts (Phipps burial ground) (south side of hill near Brigden, Ballatt, Fosdick, and Kettell, fide Hunnewell’s Charlestown, 1888)189
Will Date12 Apr 1698191
Immigr Date?
Misc. Notes
ChildrenElizabeth (-1676)
 William (-1694)
 Hannah (~1642-1680)
Last Modified 26 Jul 2004Created 1 Dec 2017 using Reunion for Macintosh
New England genealogy files of Robert J. O’Hara, automatically output by Reunion for Macintosh. For additional genealogical data in other formats, including specialized lists of immigrant ancestors and notable kin, please visit my main genealogy page: For information about many of the localities mentioned here please visit