Genealogy: Winthrop

This genealogy of the Winthrop ancestors of Frederick Wickham is an excerpt from the transcription of a handwritten notebook I discovered in my grandmother’s papers. The family history in this notebook was the work of two women, Agnes Caroline Wickham and her daughter, Harriott Benedict Wickham Barton (my grandmother), who separately researched and made entries in it over a period of seventy years.  Agnes Wickham wrote roughly half of the entries in the notebook from 1909 to 1915.  In 1915, she gave handwritten copies of her work to each of her five children: Eleanor, William, Lucy, David and Harriott.  Harriott continued her mother’s work off and on for the next sixty years, adding entries as late as 1977.

Dave Barton

Winthrop Genealogy


My father found the following somewhere: English descent

1.  Adam Winthrop, married Joane (or Jane) Burton, daughter of D. Burton (or possibly widow of D.B. & co-heir of Lord Burnell.

2.  Adam Winthrop; married Agnes Sharp in 1534, daughter of Robert Sharp of Islington, she being 18 and he 36.  His previous wife was Alice Heury.

3.  Adam Winthrop; married Anne Browne, daughter of Henry B. of Edwordston

4.  John Winthrop, only son of Adam III.; married Mary Forth.

Mary Forth, wife of John Winthrop, was daughter and sole heir of John Forth, Esq. of Great Stambridge, Essex, who was the sixth son of William Forth of Hadleigh, Butley Abbey (or Priory) in Sulfolk, connected with many ancient, distinguished families.

Adam Winthrop III., John Winthrop and Mary Forth were characters in the novel “The Winthrop Woman” published around 1955 to 1965.


From the Chambers Encyclopedia

I.  John Winthrop of Massachusetts Colony was born in Groton, England, January 12, 1588 – sailed from Yarmouth, April 7, 1630; died at Boston, March 26, 1649.  Had three wives, first two died early, third about 1616.  Poet & Philosopher; kindly.  Brought the Colony Charter with him to America.  Governor, 1630-34; 1637-40; 1642-44 and from 1646 to his death.  Married to Mary Forth Winthrop, mother of John Winthrop II.

II.  John, Governor of Connecticut, was born at Groton Manor in Suffolk England, February 12, 1606.  Educated at Trinity College, Dublin & at Inner Temple. Went to America 1631 – was chosen a magistrate in Massachusetts but returned to England.  In 1635 went to Connecticut, built a fort at mouth of Connecticut River.  Was made Governor of the Colony and founded city of New London 1661.  Married (1) his cousin Martha Forth who died in 1634 (2) Elizabeth Read.  In 1676 represented his colony in the Congress of United Colonies at Boston.  He died in Boston, April 5, 1676.

1.  Elizabeth, baptized July 3, 1636

2.  Fitz John, born March 14, 1638 (also Governor of Connecticut).

3.  Lucy, born June 28, 1640.

4.  Waitstill, born February 27, 1641.

5.  Mary, born September 6, 1644.

6.  Martha, born 1646.

7.  Margaret

8.  Ann.

III.  Waitstill, born February 27, 1641 at Boston; married (1) Mary Brown, daughter of William of Salem – she died June 14, 1690 (2) Catherine Brattle, widow of John Ceyre – she died August 5, 1725.  He resided in Boston and was Major General of Massachusetts forces and Chief Justice of Massachusetts and Councilor of Royal Province of New England, 1686-1689.

1.  John, baptized October 12, 1679; died soon after.

2.  John, born August 28, 1681; died August 1, 1747.

3.  Elizabeth, born May 11, 1683; died soon after.

4.  William, born December 7, 1684; died September 25, 1693.

5.  Ann, born November 28, 1686.

6.  Joseph, born September 13, 1689; died September 27, 1693.

IV.  John, born August 28, 1681.  Graduated at Harvard College 1700.  Was a Fellow of the Royal Society.  Resided much in England.  His home was in Boston & New London.  He married Ann Dudley, daughter of Governor Joseph and Rebecca (Lyng) Dudley of Massachusetts, December 16, 1707.  She was born August 27, 1684.  He died August 1, 1747.

1.  Mary, born September 18, 1708; died about March 1767.

2.  John Still, born January 15, 1720; died June 6, 1776.

V.  Mary, born September 18, 1708; married Joseph Wanton, August 21, 1729; died March 1767.

1.  Elizabeth, married Thomas Wickham, December 22,


[The following is from the Wickham Genealogy Page]

4.  Thomas, born April 5, 1736; married Elizabeth Wanton, December 22, 1762; died, March 21, 1817. (1) Admitted as freeman 1759.  In 1778 was paid 30 pounds for a whale boat by the state.  About 1881, when thrown into jail because of sympathy for England, his father-in-law was Colonial Governor for King, he presented to the assembly a petition praying to be released from prison, and payment of 5,000 silver dollars, to be restored to full citizenship.  Assembly gave him freedom of Newport upon payment of 500 silver dollars and bonds for his good behavior during the war.  January 1782, he prayed for permission to go to New York in interest of his distressed family.  Assembly allowed this, if in return he agreed to procure copies of accounts from books of Joseph and William Wanton at New York, as committee may request, and if Joseph and William Wanton do not allow him to examine books, and make copies of same, the Assembly will take estate which they now permit Mrs. Sarah Wanton, widow of late Joseph Wanton, Esq., to enjoy for her comfort and the education of her children. (4) In 1784 a petition was presented for restoration of a house and land, etc. to Thomas Wickham, his wife Elizabeth & other heirs of Joseph Wanton, and a committee was appointed to look into matter (report not given).  In 1791 Thomas Wickham with others of Trinity Church, Newport, petition Assembly to allow them to have a lottery, the proceeds to make much needed repairs on church.

1.  Thomas, born November 7, 1763.

2.  Mary Winthrop, born May 22, 1772

3.  Elizabeth, born November 2, 1773

4.  Catherine, born January 23, 1775

5.  John, born April 2, 1785

6.  William, born July 7, 1778 – served in U.S. Navy, March 1798.

7.  Ann, born April 2, 1785 – Died at Sodus Point, N.Y

8.  Thomas, born April 2, 1785 – Married Katherine Rutger.  This must be “Aunt Katie” in Angelica’s poem about the house.

All above were natives of Newport, R.I.

5.  William, born July 7, 1778; married Catherine Christian, (daughter of Frederick & Elizabeth Hodgkinson Christian) March 24, 1803;  died at Sodus point, New York, May 1875.  He went to sea when 13 years old – sailed all over the world and at 21 was Captain of a ship.  The old spy glass was his, and the scratch on one of the lenses was made by a passenger when on a trip home from Russia.  Frank Wickham told me that William had a chance (even signed up) to go on the ill-fated Astor expedition (as 1st Mate, I think), but Catherine objected so strenuously that he gave it up.  The ship reached Oregon, but all on board were killed there, presumably by Indians. Abandoning the sea, he went into business in New York with his brother Thomas as an importing merchant.  They had a shipping business in New York after 1803.  Their ships sailed to the West Indies and one was lost on a return voyage.  In 1807, when President Jefferson put the Embargo on U.S. shipping out of U.S. ports, they had a ship loaded, ready to sail.  Being in hard circumstances, they took a chance, sent the ship out and it was caught and confiscated with its cargo.  This ruined them.  William then went to wilderness shore of Lake Ontario and built a cabin, moving his family up there about 1812 (the year his son, my grandfather, Fredrick was born in New York City).  William had fishing boats and nets there.  The British raided from Canada, burning his cabin, boats, and nets.  The U.S. Government reimbursed all settlers who swore they stayed to defend their property, but William refused to lie (as others did), so had no relief, until, in later years, Congress granted to him and his descendants the right to fish in Lake Ontario forever, regardless of season.  William & Katherine buried in the woods during the raid their silver, including, I think, a tea set given by Queen Anne to William’s ancestor for service to the Queen with their ships out of Rhode Island (Queen Anne’s War). (5)

William Wickham married Catherine Christian in 1803.  She lived in Philadelphia. Her father, Frederick Christian had married Elizabeth Hodgkinson. (6) Elizabeth’s father, or grandfather, John Hodgkinson, according to family legend, was originally John Erskine, Earl of Mar, who took part in the Jacobite insurrections in Scotland in early 1700’s, was in the conspiracy to restore the old Stuart “pretender” to the throne, was captured, escaped to Ireland (where he changed his name to Hodgkinson) then to America. (See Webster Biographical Dictionary).

“There was a young man in Philadelphia who was attentive to me, and while I couldn’t say I loved him, I thought more of him than of any other young man I knew. One day he invited me to go horse back riding and I felt that day he was going to ask me to marry him, and I had made up my mind to accept him. Just as I came downstairs in my riding habit, my brother came into the house with a young man whom he introduced to me as Captain Wickham.  I knew right then I was going to refuse the other young man that afternoon, and I did.  Later your grandfather asked me and we have been lovers ever since.”  Told by Katherine Christian + Wickham (daughter of Frederick & Elizabeth * Hodgkinson Christian) to Sara Wickham of Huron, Erie County, Ohio. (They were married in Christ Church, Philadelphia).

+ The Christians were Flemish people who had settled in Philadelphia.

* Elizabeth Hodgkinson was a granddaughter of Lord Erakeyre,

Earl of Man, who (about 1816) lost his title because of his part in the attempt to put the Stuart “Pretender” back on the throne.  He fled to Ireland and changed his name to Hodgkinson.

1.  Elizabeth Wanton, born December 22, 1803; married Alden S. Baker; died February 4, 1892.

2.  John William, born 1806, died 1893?; married (1) Marial (2) Sarah (3) Elizabeth Van Ransellaer; died 1893. Father of Schuyler Wickham.  Cousin Schuyler, of Huron, Ohio.  My father took me (not quite three years old) to visit them.  Uncle John was very old, long white hair – sat by the window & looked sadly down the river (which was back of their house).  Handsome man.

3.  Thomas, born 1808; married (1) Proseus, (2) Frances Shipley.

4.  Samuel Christian, born 1810 (died young)

5.  Frederick, born March 11, 1812; married Lucy Preston (my grandparents).

6.  Samuel Christian, born 1819 (died)

7.  Samuel Christian, born 1824; married Gertrude Van Ransellaer.  My “Aunt Gertie” Van Rensellaer Wickham had summer house in Huron, Ohio (very interesting old lady).

6.  Frederick, born March 11, 1812; married Lucy Preston, June 15, 1835 at Norwalk, Ohio; died January 12, 1901; buried at Norwalk. (7) In early life a sailor on the Great Lakes, but gave it up at request of his wife.  At time of marriage was captain of a schooner, DeWitt Clinton, owned by himself and brother John.  Baptized as infant in St. John’s Episcopal Church in New York City.  Brought up at Sodus, New York.  Came to work in Norwalk, Ohio in store of Wickham, Alling & Christian (relatives).  Returned to sailing.  Last trip he left his boat at Perrysburg, Ohio in December 1834, 5 or before, and walked most of way to Norwalk; there went to work in office of Norwalk Reflector, belonging to his father-in-law.  He later became owner and editor of the paper.  Having lived in early life in the wilderness of western New York, he had no education, could not read nor write until grown up.  He then acquired an education and was one of best known editors of Northern Ohio for more than 50 years.  Was Associate Judge of Court of Common Pleas in Huron County, Ohio, Mayor of Norwalk – member of State Senate during Civil War. (8) Soon after coming to Norwalk, he was very homesick, walking with an acquaintance, he passed a yard where a girl was picking flowers.  He was introduced and was given a flower.  He later says his homesickness vanished immediately.  The girl was Lucy Preston, later his wife.  His son recalls that he spoke of that incident to his wife the day before her death. (9) Their home was the large white house with two-story vine covered porch, on the north side of West Main Street, Norwalk, just east of the library.  Said to have been a wedding present to Lucy from her brother.  Now the Firelands Museum (the house was moved around the corner to Case Avenue. Several of the Wickham Brothers had a shipping business – owned a number of Lake Erie sailing ships – Also sold nets & other things to the fishing boatmen.  The Twine House at Huron, beside the river, was one of their warehouses.  Their ships went up into Lake Superior, etc. – Their ships were built up the Huron River, near Milan.

(1) History of Western Reserve, p. 1689, by Upton

(2) History of Western Reserve

(3) Records of Rhode Island

(4) Records of Rhode Island; History of Western Reserve.

(5) Told by Frank Wickham, who had it from his father.

(6) See Webster’s Biographical Dictionary, page 488.

(7) History of the Western Reserve, p. 1688-9-90).

(8) History of Western Reserve

(9) Told by Frank Wickham

NOTE: Agnes and Harriott cited their sources in the margins of original notebook.  I included these citations as footnotes, attempting to keep them as close as possible to where they appear in the original notebook.

I would appreciate critiques and corrections of this genealogy. Please comment below. Thank you.

© 2006, 2009 by David W. Barton. All rights reserved

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