William Chapman was probably born in the early 1650's. Nothing isknown of his parents. It is conjectured his birthplace was England although New England has not been completely ruled out. It is not known if he was indentured as a servant for passage to America or as a minor between 1670-1671.
If he is the immigrant it is possible that one Daniel Hovey, Jr. may have been his master in March 1678 at which time his period of indenture was extended by one year. Hovey paid a fine for him at this time. In November of that year he took the Oath of Allegiance to King Charles II, an oath which was required of all males over age 16.
The Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts to Essex County, Massachusetts, Vol VII, p 157 show that in 1678 William took the Oath of Allegiance to King Charles II, an oath which was required of all males over age 16.
The Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, Vol VI p 425 show one Ephraim Fellows complaining that Wm. Chapman had spoiled a cow of his appraised at 4li., court ordered that said Chapman serve Daniell Hovey one year after his time is out, said Hovey having paid Fellows for it.*
By March 30, 1682 this indenture must have been satisfied as he married Elizabeth Smith. She was the daughter of John Smith, who as tenant of Mr. Appleton, had a share in Plum Island, MA in 1664. John Smith had become a commoner in 1707. They were married in Ipswich, MA.
A William Chapman was included in a list of bonds held by the estate of Joseph Parker of Ipswich in 1685. (Ibid. Vol IX p. 575)
According to the Town Rate Tax List of October 30, 1687 under Gov. Andros, William owned no land or house and paid only two shillings tax on one cow and two sheep at Topsfield.
It is believed that the subject of this article did not have the advantages of being a Freeman of this colony. The oath of fidelity to the Colony was required of all who served in any capacity, and at certain periods all desirable residents were required to take the oath. But such persons were not made Freemen by taking that Oath. The Freeman of the Company was virtually what we today would call a shareholder, a member of the corporation chartered in 1629.
Sometime between 1684 and 1687 they appear in Topsfield, MA where they were admitted to the First Church (Congregational) there. On March 21, 1703 they were baptized in this church. At its inception about 1639, this town was called New Meadows. The History of Topsfield, Massachusetts by George Francis Dow tell us that the records of the Congregational Church in Topsfield begin with the ordination of Rev. Joseph Capen in 1684. He included Wm and Elizabeth in his list of members which he recorded during his years at Topsfield Church. According to a statement in his History, p 271 on March 21, 1703 they were baptized in this church.
William and Elizabeth appear on the church list of Boxford, MA Church in 1704. According to the Historical Collections of every town in Massachusetts by Barber the Rev. Symmes was the pastor of the First Congregational church in 702 during the period of time our subjects would have lived there.
The land boundaries between Boxford and Topsfield were not established until 25 Feb 1701 and further on 28 Nov 1707.
The Boxford town Records show the following:
|Province Tax 1714||William Chapman||00||17||08|
|Province Tax 1715||William Chapman||00||12||04|
|Minister's Rate 1715||William Chapman||00||11||09|
|Town Rate 1715||William Chapman||5+|
|Town Rate 1715-16||William Chapman||00||03||02|
|Province Tax 1717||not mentioned|
It is known that on 21 Apr 1718William took a mortgage with the Stoddards for property in Ashford, CT. His sons William and John had also purchased land in Stoddard's Tract there. William and Elizabeth signed the deeds with an X.
As husbandman of Ashford, William sold this property on 09 Jan 1732/33 to David Smith (now husband of Mrs. Mehitable (nee Presson) Chubb yeoman of Ashford for four hundred pounds. (Mehitable was mother to Dorcas who married Jonathan Chapman, son of William2). This consisted of 80 acres including one house and one barn. William and Elizabeth were probably in their late 60's or early 70's.
Nothing more is known of this couple at this time. Did they remain here until their death or did they move back to MA and live with their daughters or?
The two sons and their families moved to Connecticut at the same time their parents did. It is believed Ann Chapman Clifford stayed in Massachusetts with her family as did her sister Elizabeth Chapman Kimball. Note: Another theory is that William may have been brother to Thomas Chapman of Charlestown, MA and they had immigrated together.
Married Elizabeth Smith, born c1656, died c1732.*
Children of William and Elizabeth (Smith) Chapman were:
William Chapman was born 30 May 1682 Ipswich, Essex, MA*.
Married (1) Anne Jenks 25 Dec 1703/4* Boxford, Essex, MA. They had five children.
Married (2) Mrs. Abigail (Clark) Lyon (widow of Thomas Lyon) 18 Jul 1718.* Woodstock, Windham, CT. (See Chapter 2)They had three children. There were also seven Lyon children.
John Chapman born 16 Aug 1687 Topsfield, Essex, MA; married 18 Apr 1712 Ipswich, Essex, MA.
Married: Martha Davis. Martha was born 26 Nov 1686 Amesbury, CT.* She was the daughter of John and Elizabeth (Gilley) Davis. * Children:
Ann was born 19 Jan 1690/1 Ipswich, Essex, MA*.married 25 June 1716 Ipswich, Essex,MA. Married: John Clifford, son of John Clifford and Sarah Godfrey of Hampton, New Hampshire. John was born 06 Feb 1687.