History of the Child/Childs Family

There’s a special kind of closeness
that only families know
That begins with childhood trust
and deepens as you grow
There’s a special kind of happiness
in sharing little things
The laughter, smiles and quiet talks
that daily living brings
There’s a special kind of comfort
in knowing your family’s there
To back you up, to cheer you up
to understand and care
Of all the treasurers life may bring
your family means the most
And whether near or far apart
that love will hold you close.
Author unknown
Families are the cornerstone of America. Former President Ronald Reagan, the best president since Abraham Lincoln, said,

"The family has always been the cornerstone of American society. Our families nurture, preserve, and pass on to each succeeding generation the values we share and cherish, values that are the foundation for our freedom. In the family we learn our first lessons of God and man, love and discipline, rights and responsibilities, human dignity and human frailty."

The story of our family should be very important to all of us, if we do not study the history of our ancestors we are destined to make the same mistakes they made. Learning from the mistakes and successes of our forefathers will put us on a higher and better road in life. Their history can help us to see weaknesses and strong points in our own character, and thus help us to see areas we need to strengthen, and areas we need to change. It has been said family history does not merely gratify curiosity but it elevates, because the record shows the character of the best of the race; and these characteristics become standards of morals and positions, which descendants try to emulate in their lives.
Shortly after the slaves were set free, one was heard to say, "We ain’t what we should be, and we ain’t what we could be, but thank God we ain’t what we were." By looking back we can see if we have made progress and this experience should inspire us to set higher goals for our future. Some people have family members they would like to forget. Some have unpleasant memories of a painful childhood. We have all made mistakes. Most of these sad situations cannot be changed. In the movie, "Roots" this statement was made, "You won’t know where you are going until you know where you have been."

So what is the value of researching, studying and compiling the history of our ancestors? It’s simple, so we know who we are, where we are going and why we possess the character we have. So we can understand each other better. We may forget where and from whom we came. It preserves the identity of families and individuals. It is necessary in questions of medical problems. Medical questions may arise and a reason could be given for the illness. It is important in legal titles to an estate. Often the rights of heritage are lost because legal documents and records were destroyed or a systematic record of family was not kept. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of compiling a well prepared genealogy. Family history shows how much we are indebted to our forefathers for our physical, mental and moral characteristics from which we cannot escape. Our ancestors affect our destiny so we need to recognize our ancestors and hold dear those characteristics that are beneficial, while avoiding those that are found to be a detriment. Much of our physical suffering and moral decay in this life can be avoided and corrected by taking notice to our ancestors. Carl Marx, father of communism said, "Take away the heritage of a people and they are easily persuaded." Do you want to be easily persuaded and ruled by others or do you want to think for yourself and be challenged to become someone who is a benefit to society? Looking back to your ancestors can help you go forward for your descendants.

It has been said, before most people begin to boast about their family tree they do a pruning job. That is not true in my case. A true historian will reveal the facts whether they are good or not. It is important to know both the good and the bad because history does repeat itself and without knowing where we’ve been we can’t know where we are going. I like to think of myself as a true historian. I will report the family history as I have found it to be in my research. It is not my intention to hurt anyone but rather, to help each of us to become better people because we took a look at our family history.


As I was researching I came upon this pleasant thought regarding families. The thoughts so touched me that I want to share them. "We are a family that was born in the mind of God eons before our physical existence became a reality. God made us unique individuals who could fit perfectly into His plan for our family. He did not create our many different personalities to push us into conflict but to give balance to our lives by drawing from each other’s strengths as well as complementing each other’s weaknesses, knowing we would need each other to accomplish His special purpose for our lives. He wove certain traits and characteristics into each of us to benefit the entire family. As we place our complete trust in the Lord, He helps us to grow, nurture and to share and love one another.
Thanksgiving Day
Over the river and through the wood,
To grandfather’s house we go
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
Through the white and drifted snow.
Over the river and through the wood,
Oh how the wind doth blow.
It stings the toes and bites the nose
As over the ground we go.
Over the river and through the wood,
To have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring "Ting-a-ling-ling!
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!
Over the river and through the wood,
Trot fast my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground like a hunting hound
For this is Thanksgiving Day.
Over the river and through the wood,
And straight through the barnyard gate,
We seem to go extremely slow…
It is so hard to wait!
Over the river and through the wood,
Now grandma’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!
By: Lydia Maria Child
In my research I have found that some members of the Child, Childe family were involved in King Henry II conquest of Ireland and its government in the 12th century. According to the Camden Publication a Walter Childe was living in Hereford in 1294. Thomas Childe was a tenant of Priory of St. Mary’s Worcester Co., England, in 1304. In 1350 Roger Baldwin, a descendant of the Baldwins of the Roll of Battle Abbey, married Jane, daughter of William deWigley and Alice LeChilde, great granddaughter of John L’Enfant, who married Emblema daughter of Richard Acheley, descendant of William Achilles, who is named in the Festa De Nevelle of Henry III’s reign, and Lawrence Childe who was Bishop of St. Asaph’s in 1382. Johani Childe lived near Finchdale, Durham, England in 1362. Thomas Childe made a presentation valued at 12 pence to the judges of Wigorn (Worcester) in 1601.
Other family members resided in Shrewsbury, Salop County, England, and in Pool-Court, Pennock, and Northwick, Worcester County, England. A Baldwin Childe and Robert L’Enfant are mentioned in the Cartulary of St. Nicholas, Essex County, England. Robert L’Enfant was Provost of Shrewsbury during the reign of Henry III. He signed his name Robert LeChild as a witness, and Robert LeChilde on other documents. In 1320 Richard LeChild was the lord or ruler over the manor (landed estate of a feudal Lord) in Worcester County, England. His two sons succeeded him – William LeChilde in 1350 and Thomas LeChilds in 1353 and his grandson, Thomas LeChilde, who was an escheater for the county of Worcester in 1428. He was in charge of transferring property back to the feudal Lord or government.

Richard Harbord genealogy researcher from England writes: My great great great, grandmother was Elizabeth the daughter of Richard & Mary Child (born, Crancher) of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk in England, baptized there at St Nicholas Church on 29.9.1776. Her father, Richard was a cordwainer making ropes in Lowestoft, Suffolk and later he set up a lucrative sail-making business in Yarmouth. He had enough resources to enter the Polling lists of 1798-1818, dying in 1820. The family lived in South Town. When Elizabeth married, her portrait was painted in the town showing her in a Jane Austin pose with a background, a classical column, draped red curtain and sheep in a pastor al scene. I also have a picture of her much later in life when living in Upper Parliament Street, Liverpool. From it we can see in the background her furniture, costume and jewelry. In the 1830 Liverpool was a very wealthy port and her husband my ancestor William Harbord, was in charge of 300 custom's officials. From the very humble beginnings in the trade of her family, Elizabeth saw her son Richard develop a country estate - Lorton Park in Cumberland.  The fascination for me is that the Child families were intimately bound up with the fortunes of this great and ancient fishing town, Yarmouth which has a very rich history.  It has nothing to do with squires, bankers and governors - more to do with industrial labor skills and material production.  In the mid-to late 19th century there were some dozen families called Child and living mainly in the narrow 'Rows' (lanes) of the town.

1294 Walter Childe of Hereford, England
1304 Thomas Childe, of Worcester Co., England
1320 Richard Childe of Northwick, Worcester Co., England
1350 Willaim LeChild and 1353 Thomas LeChilde both of Northwick, Worcester Co., England
1353 Thomas LeChilde had three sons: 1428 Thomas LeChilde, William Child and John Child. The later two immigrated to London
1428 Thomas LeChilde of Worcester Co, grandson of 1320 Richard Childe was the father of William Childe of Northwick, Worcester Co., England.
William Childe was the father of
Edmund Childe of Northwick
Edmund Childe was the father of William Child, High Sheriff of Worcestershire, in 1586.
William Child was the father of William Child, of Pensax, High Sheriff, in 1599.
William Child of Pensax was the father of William Child, lord of the manor of Northwick, in 1634.
It is my belief that Thomas Childe, a tenant of Priory of St. Mary’s in Worcester County in 1304 could be the grandfather or father of Richard LeChild, Lord over the manor of Norwick in Worcester Co in 1320. If not his grandfather or father at least a relative being from the same county of Worcester, and having the same surname and first family names such as William, John, and Richard. 1428 Thomas LeChilde, grandson of Richard LeChild of Norwick in 1320 had at least two sons William and John. 1428 Thomas LeChilde was the forefather of William Childe and Edmund Childe both of Northwick, Worcester County, and William Child high sheriff of Worcestershire, in 1586 and William Child of Pensax, high sheriff in 1599 and William Childe, lord of the manor of Northwick, in 1634. The sons of 1428 Thomas LeChilde of Norwick, William and John, probably the two youngest, one or more of whom, migrated to London. They intermarried with the Wheeler family, originally of Wiltshire, and the goldsmith of "Marygold" Temple Bar, Fleet Street, London during the reign of King James I.


Richard Childe, of London England, descendant of 1428 Thomas LeChilde of Norwick County and descendant of either of William or John who migrated to England before the reign of Charles I is more likely a descendant of William who migrated to England during the reign of Charles I. Richard Childe, merchant of London, England traded with the West Indies and the American colonies, and was the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire in 1640. He also was the great grandson of the second High Sheriff of Queen Best’s time. He was the father of Sir John Child of the East Indies, a Civic and Military ruler and was made governor of Bombay and Calcutta, India, in 1653.  Sir Josiah Child, son of Richard Childe was a merchant, political economist and philanthropist, two of, perhaps the most distinguished individuals of any carrying the surname Child. Sir Josiah Child had been an active and important trader with the colonies in the 1600s. It was said that his stubborn character and heavy purse help to prolong, for fifty years, the inevitable war between the colonies and the mother country, known as the War of Independence. It was said he questioned the expediency of passing the Navigation Act, which required all British colonies to trade only with the ships and ports of the mother country, which proved to be offensive to the colonies. Sir Josiah was the first to perceive and warn his government of the trouble that was brewing between the colonies and England. And trouble did come just as he had warned about sixty years earlier. We must not forget other distinguished family members Sir Francis Child of London, England. Sir Francis Child was a banker, goldsmith and sociologist, perhaps cousin to Sir John and Sir Josiah.
At this time 10-29-2004 I’m thinking our first ancestor to America is possibly a younger brother to Richard LeChilde merchant of London, England. This then would make us cousins of Sir John Child, Sir Josiah Child and Sir Frances Child. I believe our first ancestor to America, William Child is a relative of Richard LeChilde, Lord of Manor (landed estates) in Norwick, Worcester County, England in 1320. Reasons for my thinking this are: names are the same names given to his descendants. And our family Coat of Arms indicates that we are from the same family line as Richard LeChilde, merchant of London, England.
Family members in England from 1294 to 1640.
Walter Childe
Thomas Childe
Johani Childe
Lawrence Childe
Thomas Child
Alice LeChilde
John L’Enfant
Baldwin Childe
Robert L’Enfant
Thomas LeChilde
William Childe
Edmund Childe
William Child
William Child
William Child
John Child
Richard Childe
Sir John Child
Sir Josiah Child
Francis Child
Our Childs family had an influence on the new colony. Richard Childe, a merchant of London, England in the early sixteen hundreds traded with the West Indies and the American colonies. A group of London merchants, including Richard Childe, totaling 214, petitioned the British government for a charter, that they, at their own adventures, costs and charges, share in the East India spice trade.  Queen Elizabeth granted a royal charter to the Merchants of London December 31, 1600.  The time between 1601 and 1613 the merchants of the East India Company took twelve voyages to India.  The royal charter indicates, the East India Company was both empowered and to govern.  The merchants imported oriental spices, silks, calicoes, sugar, and ivory.  After the mid18th century the cotton goods trade declined, while tea became an important import from China.  Fast passages to India and China were also offered by the merchants.  Richard Childe and his sons, John and Josiah were merchants of this East India Tea Company. Tyndal says that Josiah applied himself chiefly to the East India trade, which, by his management rose so high that it drew much envy and jealousy upon himself and the company.  The shares in the East India Company advanced during his presidency from L70 in 1664 to L370 in 1691.  He was by far the richest member of the East India Company, with one-third of its stock on his own hands and that of his dependants. Richard Child was one of the London merchants who petitioned Queen Elizabeth for a charter, given December 31, 1600, to share in the East India spice trade.  Richard Childe was one fourth owner of the Mayflower that carried the Pilgrims to New England. The son of Richard Childe, merchant of London, Sir Josiah Child succeeded his father in the trade business with the American colonies and the West Indies and became president and principle share holder of the East India Company. This company transported tea from India to England and her colonies. It was said Sir Josiah was not an acknowledged nonconformist, but always upheld religious liberty, and was a judicious counselor for the colonies. In my research I found that his national sympathies were with the New England colonies.

A Walter Childe owned ships that delivered supplies to the Jamestown Colony. Another of our ancestors, son of Richard Childe, Dr. Robert Child, a distinguished graduate of Bennet’s College, of the University of Cambridge, England, and of the most, renowned medical school of the world, that of Padua, Italy, from which he received his medical diploma, came to Boston, MA, around 1644-45 by the advice of such men as Emanuel Downing, John Winthrop, Jr. and Hugh Peters, to assist in developing the mineral wealth of the new country. In 1645 the Rev. Hugh Peters wrote Governor John Winthrop stating that the honest man, Dr. Robert Child, had come to Massachusetts and will be of exceeding great use to the country if the country will know how to use him. It was Rev. Peters’ prayer that the people would not play tricks with such a man by their jealousies. This admonition was important because the events that followed proved his admonition to be necessary. Dr. Robert Child having liberal views regarding political and religious liberties brought to the people’s attention that their laws, "The Charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company" guaranteed political and religious liberties and these liberties were being deprived because they were showing preferences to the Puritan rulers. He claimed the right of petition and to have his grievances heard before the colonial magistrates. This so aroused the hatred and fear in the colonial magistrates that they not only disgraced him, imposed a fine upon him, imprisoned and expelled him from the country, but called for God’s vengeance upon his head. They attributed the following to God’s anger: A messenger carrying Dr. Robert Child’s petition accident stumbled and was injured, a house was burnt and a natural phenomenon of a storm at sea occurred and they attributed these incidents to God’s anger. A minister, John Cotton, in his sermon, compared Dr. Robert Child’s petition to a Jonah, and exhorted the passengers on the boat carrying Dr. Child back to England, "In case they thought God’s special anger rising, to search for the hidden petition, appease God and free their ship of this evil spirit by throwing it into the waters." Afterwards they alleged they piously did and God stilled the waters. However, Dr. Child and his petition arrived safely in London. His brother Maj. John Child, later to become Sir John Child, represented his brother in the courts of England regarding the case of "New England’s Jonah cast up at London." Dr. Child’s hopes and endeavors in the New England colonies were blasted. He remained in England, but retained the friendship of Gov. Winthrop.

I do not know the outcome of the case of, "New England’s Jonah cast up at London," and if it had a direct effect on the colonies, but four years later, in 1649, the "Toleration Act" was passed giving religious toleration to all in the colony.
Our ancestors lived at a time when America was being born. They were beginning to experience the pains of birth that were to become even harder and more severe than they realized.

The Boston Tea Party 

Block of tea like what was thrown into the Boston Harbor during the Boston Tea Party of 1773

Josiah Child was a political economist and president of the East India Company.  He had been an active and important trader with the colonies in the 1600s.  It was said that his stubborn character and heavy purse helped to prolong, for fifty years, the inevitable war between the colonies and the mother country, know as the War of Independence.  It was said he questioned the expediency of passing the Navigation Act, which required all British colonies to trade only with the ships and ports of the mother country, which proved to be offensive to the colonies.  Sir Josiah was the first to perceive and warn his government of the trouble that was brewing between the colonies and England.  And trouble did come just as he had warned about sixty years earlier. Our ancestors lived at a time when America was being born.  They were beginning to experience the pains of birth that were to become even harder and more severe than they realized. 

On April 22, 1773 members of the Sons of Liberty protested the upcoming Tea act, by dressing as Indians and destroyed a small cargo of tea in the New York harbor.  In 1773 the Tea Act passed parliament and needless to say, relations with England were deteriorating fast!  On May 10, 1773 the English Parliament tried to rescue the bankrupt East India Company of which Sir Josiah Child was president and formulator, and gave it the monopoly in tea sales in the colonies. This really angered the people in the colonies!  The merchants and citizens felt they were being forced to buy protected British tea that is suppose to be marked down in price but was really marked up with the tax on it.  On October 19, 1773, a patriotic group of people went aboard the merchant ship, "Peggy Stuart" and burnt the ship and it's cargo of tea.  On a cold night December 16, 1773   an angry crowd of Bostonians gathered at the Boston Harbor, disguised as Indians, went aboard three British ships loaded with tea and dumped over $100,000 dollars worth of tea  342 cases XE "342 cases" , into the harbor.  This the most famous of the tea acts, but there were more tea acts to follow. The British decided that the tea would be more safe stored somewhere off the ships in the harbor, so they brought their tea ashore at Charleston, South Carolina and stored it safely in a warehouse, (later it was seized and sold by the Patriot forces in July of 1776.)  Still in 1773 tea was unloaded at the port of Philadelphia, but was left to spoil in storage. Many tea protests took place in other seaports.

As of August, 2010 in Richmond, KY at a Cracker Barrel restaurant hangs a mirror painting of a ship and information regarding the East India Company, formulated by Josiah Child in 1600.   In the center of the mirror is a picture of a ship and above the ship the words East India Company are displayed.  In smaller words under the ship reads, " Granted Royal Charter by H.M Queen Elizabeth, 31st. December 1600.  Under those words in large letters reads: Fast passage to India and China.  Importers of Oriental spices, silks, calicoes, sugar and ivory.

Personal note: October 25, 2009 we returned home from worship service and I fixed a crock pot full of stew, beef, potatoes and carrots to take with us to KCA, the youth camp for the Christian Church in this area at Brodhead, KY; south of us.  We left at 4:00 p.m. and drove behind the church bus so we would find the place.  This is where Sonny will bring MAP next summer as their week of serving as missionaries.  The camp was having an early Thanksgiving Day dinner.  Revolutionary War soldiers came for the occasion and were camped there.  They were dressed in Revolutionary War attire, tents and equipment.  They did a reenactment of the war.  Norm and I went to the area where the Revolutionary War encampment was located and talked with two of the soldiers.  One of the soldiers told us all about his long barrel gun like the Red Coats used.  I told them that I had a story for them but after they heard it they may not want us to be part of the group.  I told them that our family were part owners of the tea they threw into the Boston Harbor.  Well, that set off a flurry of conversation.  We were then introduced to another soldier who had a very small block of the tea like what was thrown into the Boston Harbor.  He told us all about the tea and I took several photos of the block of tea and the soldier.  The soldier told me if I would go to Fort Boone's Borough there I could purchase a block of the tea like was thrown into the ocean during the Boston Tea Party. In June, 2010 I went to Fort Boone's Borough and purchased a block of tea, the same kind of tea that was thrown into the Atlantic Ocean during the Boston Tea Party April 22, 1773.  As of July 30, 2010 I am in the process of placing the block of tea in a shadow box along with the story of the Boston Tea Party in a matted frame to display on my living room wall.  The name of the tea is Twinings of London.  In 1706 a man by the name of Thomas Twining started selling fine tea in England.  Today, Twinings still sells some of the world’s best teas from the original store in the Strand, London, and in more than 100 countries throughout the world.   The tea is grown on the Darjeeling Plantations in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in northeast India.  The high altitude, soil and climate contribute towards the unique and delicate taste of this tea.  Twinings Darjeeling uses the finest first and second flush teas (those picked in the spring and summer) in this blend of tea.  Darjeeling is often regarded by connoisseurs as one of the finest teas.  Darjeeling is best drunk black or with a touch of milk. This is the brand of tea that all Cracker Barrel Restaurants serve to please their customers.

To this day, 2010 I have been told the loss of revenue that occurred during the Boston Tea party is still on the company books in London.  Over $100,000 dollars worth of tea, in 342 cases, was dumped into the Boston Harbor.  The tea came in pressed blocks and when you wanted to prepare tea you scraped the block of tea to get the amount you wanted.  The soldier that we spoke with said I could probably get a block of tea at Fort Boones Borough.  When I go to the Fort I should ask for Bill Farmer and he can possibly get me a block of tea. It is said that the very wealthy colonials would buy a block of tea just for displaying in their home just because they could afford to buy it. It was a status symbol.

The soldier with whom I spoke is Anthony Machal Mt. Vernon, KY 40456 and he works as a mechanist at Tekeko in Berea.  

When the War of Independence broke out twenty-two of the Child family name was among the first company of volunteers and minute men, when Lexington, MA, was attacked by the British, April 19, 1775. Fifty to ninety Minute men lost their lives that day, at Concord, Massachusetts. Eight men were killed and ten wounded at Lexington.

Listed are the twenty-two Child Massachusetts patriots

Aaron Child

Abel Child

Abijh Child

Abraham Child

Daniel Child

David Child

Elijah Child

Elisha Child

Isaac Child

John Child

Jonah Child

Jonathan Child

Joshua Child

Josiah Child

Lemuel Child

Moses Child

Phineas Child

Reuben Child

Silas Child

Samuel Child

Solomon Child

Timothy Child

On November 24, 1775 one of our ancestors, Moses Child was sent by George Washington to East Maine and Nova Scotia to inquire about the condition of those colonies, the disposition of the inhabitants towards the Americans, the condition of the fortifications, dock yards, the number of soldiers, sailors, ships of war and their ability to transmit the earliest intelligence to General Washington. Moses Child was to act with caution and secrecy. He was to keep an accurate account of his expenses, and upon his return he would be rewarded in a monitory manner for the fatigue of his journey and the services he rendered to his country. He was to conduct and discharge this business with expediency and fidelity.
One of our very own, Silas Childs served our country as an officer during this war. In the year 1778 he was a Captain in the Regiment of militia and served under Col. John Williams. The rank of Major was bestowed upon him later in the war. Our 1744-45 Isaac Childs also served in the Revolution. He was a brother to Silas Child.
From my research I know that members of the Childe, Child, Childs, family were living in America among the English Colonies in 1630. At this time in my research I’m thinking our family line is possibly from the Walter Childe of Hereford, England, born before 1294. It would be wonderful and most satisfying to me if I could give the parentage of our first ancestors to America perhaps that will come later. For now I am tremendously joyful and satisfied in my soul to have found our first ancestors to America. I have been seeking and searching for this person for the past 15 years and the Lord has blest my efforts.
In January 1997, my sister-in-law, Marilyn Childs Mears sent me a newspaper article, "The Roots of the Matter" by Val Adkins, from the Meadville Tribune, newspaper. The article spoke of a Jan Garland in California who was seeking information on the Childs family of Morris Corners, Rome Twp. Crawford County, PA. I immediately made contact with Jan by e-mail. In 1998, my husband and I made a trip to California and while there met Jan and her husband. Jan is an avid genealogist like me. She is a tremendous researcher using the internet with much success. She has been most gracious to share with me what she uncovered regarding the Childs family. Time passed by and I was involved in family projects and had not taken time to communicate with Jan on a regular basis. The last part of January, 2000 we were in Paragould, AR with our son and a package was forwarded to me from our home in Illinois. The package was from Jan and was filled with new information on the Childs family that she had located. I was so excited for her as she had found the connection to her ancestor James Manning and Clemon Childs, but it still didn’t take me back beyond 1750 at least I didn’t think so at the time. I studied the information and we continued to send information back and forth between us. Jan continued to do research for me on our Childs family line. On February 2, 2000 Jan sent me an e-mail message with exciting new clues regarding the family. For several days and nights I burnt the mid-night oil reading and rereading the material she sent. We made a trip back to our home in Illinois to process some book orders for our son and I was able to pick up a copy of the book, Genealogy of the Child, Childs, and Childe Families of The Past and Present in the United States and the Canadas, from 1630 to 1881. Late one evening around February 7, 2000 I retired to my bed, picked up the Childs genealogy book again and began to read and search. I compared names from the family tree charts that Jan had sent earlier. At 2:00 am I was overwhelmed with joy immeasurable! I leaped from my bed and danced around the room holding the book close to my heart. I had finally made the connection to our first ancestor to America. I was so excited I just had to share with someone the information I had been seeking the past 15 years. Norman was sound asleep in the same bed from which I had just leaped. I danced around the room to his side of the bed and shook him, saying "Norman! Norman! I’ve finally FOUND IT! I’ve FOUND IT!" He sat up quickly and replied very grumpy, "FOUND WHAT!" I replied, "Your first Childs ancestor to America! He said, "Oh, wonderful now let’s go to sleep! Needless to say there was no sleep in me that night. The next day I called Jan in California to tell her that I had made the connection. We both were so joyous! We now know who our first ancestor to America was and we are officially cousins.
Now for the rest of our ancestral history:
Our first ancestor to the New England Colony was William Child. He was born about 1595 in England, possibly in Suffolk County or Worcester County. His wife’s name is unknown to the author at this time. He was one of the early emigrants to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It appears from such evidence as I can attain, that he was the brother of Ephraim Child, who left England around March 1, 1630. June 8, 1630 he may have been standing beside Governor Winthrop at the rail of the ship Arabella, as he got his first sight of New England. Ephraim was most likely the oldest of the two and is thought because of age to be the first of our family to come to America, but his brother William may have been the first. Our William probably came to America in 1630 on the ship Arabella with his brother Ephraim and Governor John Winthrop. But it is very possible that he came in 1629 when two ships, with some two hundred Puritans aboard, left England sailing past Land’s End. As the coast of Cornwall faded in the distance, their leader, the Reverend Francis Higginson, exclaimed to the passengers, "We will not say as the Separatists (Pilgrims) were wont to say at their leaving of England, ‘Farewell Rome!’ or ‘Farewell Babylon!’ But we will say, ‘Farewell dear England! Farewell the Church of God in England, and all the Christian friends there! We do not go to New England as Separatists from the Church of England, though we cannot but separate from the corruption in it, but we go to practice the positive part of church reformation, and propagate the Gospel in America!" The Puritans wanted to purify the Church of England from within, but found they had to separate themselves from it as the Pilgrims had done.
The Pilgrims and Puritans were not compelled to sign passenger list on the sailing vessels because they were Englishmen and were just moving from one English colony to another. The historians of today are compelled to obtain dates by comparing events and deeds of the Pilgrims and Puritans from historical records.
When Governor John Winthrop arrived at Salem in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630 his heart was made heavy as the ship drew near the settlement. The people came near to the ship in ragged clothing and looking gaunt. They were glad to see people from their homeland but Governor Winthrop knew immediately something was wrong. It was something more serious than ragged clothing and the thinness of their bodies. They appeared apathetic, lifeless. The life was gone from their faces. Winthrop quickly learned what had happened to the people the previous winter. These Puritans who sailed to the new world in 1629 suffered from scurvy and were severely weakened by the long voyage at sea as well as a bitter cold winter, fever and other illnesses. It was the same sickness and weather conditions that plagued the Pilgrims during their first winter in America nine years earlier.
Our William was a man of some landed estate and was made a freeman in 1634 which means he was allowed to purchase land and that gave him the privilege of voting. He seems to have married in England, and three sons were born to him. The first son Joseph was probably born in England around 1629 as we have no record of his birth in the colonies. William’s other two sons, Richard and John, are found on the Watertown, MA records as born in that town in the years 1631 and 1636 respectively. William seems to have died early, a victim to the severe climate. And if he did come in 1629 his health may have been weakened by the severe climate and perhaps the sickness of scurvy. His widow is mentioned in the will of Mrs. Elizabeth Palmer Child, wife of Ephraim, brother of William. She left William’s wife her wardrobe, which was, "more ample than that of most of the colonists." William’s brother Ephraim was a true friend to William’s sons, while he was living, and left them portions of his estate upon his death, even though his grand-nephew and namesake, Ephraim Child, son of Benjamin Child of Roxbury, MA, was his acknowledged heir. Benjamin was the nephew of Ephraim and William. It appears from my research that our ancestors were of the Puritan persuasion.


The Childs Family Genealogy © 2004