Pilgrims and Strangers

The Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halstall (1882)

The first Stogumber Shattocks came over to America from England during the great migration of pilgrims to the Massachusetts Bay Colony between 1629 and 1640. This was part of the first great diaspora of Shattocks from their home villages in Somerset around the time of the formation of the English Colonies. There are descendants of two Shattocks from Stogumber who are found in the United States: those with the surnames Shattuck and its variation Shadduck, and those with the surname Parrish. Not all people with the Parrish surname in America are Shattocke descendants. The Parrish Shattocks (and the Byars branch) have a genetic marker that identifies them as descendants of the Shattocke common ancestor: A8033. I discuss their story on the Parrish page of this site. Descendants with the Shattuck and Shadduck surname are profiled on the William Shattuck the Progenitor page. Stogumber Shattocks page.

It is likely the Shattocks who left Somerset for an uncertain future in the English colonies were motivated by religious, political and economic reasons. On this page my primary focus is the religious motivations. On the Stogumber Shattocks page my focus is on the social, political and economic factors that contributed to the diaspora of Shattocks from Stogumber.

An important book on English immigration to America, "Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America" by David Hackett Fischer (Oxford University Press, 1989), sets the stage (pp. 16-7). King Charles I tried "to rule England without the parliament and Archbishop William Laud purged the Anglican church of its Puritan members." It was a time of economic depression, epidemic disease, religious strife and constitutional crisis. It was estimated that 21,000 emigrants fled conditions at home for the Massachusetts Bay colony. As I point out on the Stogumber Shattocks page, the flight of Shattocks to the New England colony had a mix of reasons. On that page I emphasize the economic reasons.

American Separatists

The first settlers in America were known as separatists because they fave up on the Church of England's ability to reform itself, in favor of a simpler, plainer religious practice, a conscious decision to distance themselves from Catholic ritual and liturgy. The Virginia colony was aligned with the English establishment, so the Puritan separatists chose to settle north of Virginia. A storm landed them in Massachusetts Bay. We do not know if the indentured servant who went to the Chesapeake bay colony in Virginia in 1637, Jon. Shattock (born 1615) was motivated by political and religious reasons. He may have been forced to settle in Virginia because the owner of his contract had business interests in the colony. (See his story on the Parish Branch page.) William Shattock (1622-1672), known as William Shattuck in America, may have also arrived in America under contract as a weaver. The Puritans did not want non-believers on the ship, and corrupting their colony, but was forced to accept them to help pay for the voyage. William's skill as a weaver may have earned his passage. Although we cannot be certain his reasons for migrating were purely religious, but he did settle among the Puritan separatists in the Massachusetts Bay colony.

Fischer argues that it is not persecution that drove people to leave the comfort and continuity of their English villages. It was a desire to serve God's will and be free of temptation, in other words to form a new social order in the virgin land. Like modern communes, they wanted a retreat from their motherland where they could create a social environment for their families that was based on their shared Puritan beliefs. This meant that, more than any other group emigrating to America, the Puritans migrated with their whole family. "To a remarkable degree, the founders of Massachusetts traveled in families--more so than any major ethnic group in American history." (Fischer p. 25) This is an extremely important point with regards to the founding of the Shattuck family. Were the three Shattucks who came over in the great migration (widow Damaris, Samuel Shattocke and William Shattocke) from separate families? It seems likely that they were Shattocks who lived in a village or in nearby villages. Fischer p. 25: "The nuclear families that moved to Massachusetts were in many instances related to one another before they left England."

Dr. Michael Shattock, who is a descendant of the Milverton branch of our family, thinks the situation in the colony was much more savage and acrimonious than the Thanksgiving images of the Pilgrims marketed to us every year. He draws on the research of the distinguished historian found in a book Mike recommends, Bernard Bailyn in the more recent study of the early colonial years in New England published in 2012 "The Barbarous Years: "The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675" (Knopf). From a review of the book on Amazon:

    • "They were a mixed multitude—from England, the Netherlands, the German and Italian states, France, Africa, Sweden, and Finland. They moved to the western hemisphere for different reasons, from different social backgrounds and cultures, and under different auspices and circumstances. Even the majority that came from England fit no distinct socioeconomic or cultural pattern. They came hoping to re-create if not to improve these diverse lifeways in a remote and, to them, barbarous environment. But their stories are mostly of confusion, failure, violence, and the loss of civility as they sought to normalize abnormal situations and recapture lost worlds. And in the process they tore apart the normalities of the people whose world they had invaded."

BBC: The Pilgrim Fathers, members of English Separatist Church sect of Puritans, leaving Delft Haven on their voyage to America July 1620

This is the environment the Shattocks who emigrated to the Massachusetts colony landed in. However, what can we say about the Shattocks of west Somerset and their neighbours?

According to Fischer, typical settlers belonged to the middle strata of society, not the aristocracy and not the poor or disadvantaged. "The great majority were yeomen, husbandmen, artisans, craftsmen, merchants and traders--the sturdy middle class of England." (p. 30) Most of the immigrants to the Colony paid their own way with the cost of outfitting and moving a family of six about £50, roughly what a middle class Englishman would earn in a year. That would be equivalent to $50,000 to $70,000 in today's dollars. This eliminated the poor and the financially strapped. The exception are those with a skill, such as weaving, that gave them economic value in the colony or those willing to enter into a labor contract (indenture) to cover the the cost of their transport and initial settlement in the colony. The two Shattock founders in the Virginia and New England colonies fit into these exceptions.

Not everybody was allowed into the colony. You needed to qualify. "The heads of these families tended to be exceptionally literate, highly skilled, and heavily urban in their English origins. There were a people of substance, character, and deep personal piety." (p. 31) Less than a third were involved in agriculture. This is important because it gives us clues as to the identity of the Shattock migrants. It also gives us clues about where to find Shattock ancestors: in villages, not isolated farms. And for other Shattocke family branches, this portrait of the New England Puritans presents a snapshot of where our ancestors stood in English society, where they lived, and what occupations they pursued in the early 17th century. And a very, very important point to note is that the Shattocks who found a new life in the Massachusetts Bay colony were deeply religious and non-conformists.

There is evidence that the Stogumber Shattocks were non-conformists, so it is not surprising that the founder of Shattocks in America, William Shattuck, was born in Stogumber on March 16, 1622. It took me quite a long time to track him down to this tiny village now so far off the main highways of Somerset. I think my discussion of the research that led me to Stogumber is useful to all descendants of Stogumber Shattocks, because it can be said that a majority of them were also religious non-conformists. The Virginia Shaddocks, who are a branch of the Milverton Shattocks, and in turn the Stogumber Shattocks, are descended from a late 17th century Quaker who left Somerset for the Quaker colony in Pennsylvania. There were other branches of the Milverton Shattucks who were actively involved in the non-conformist churches in Wellington. My own English ancestor, Thomas Mitchell Shaddock (1834-1912) left Devon in 1850 a Methodist and may have sought a new life in western Ontario to be among his Methodist relatives. However, typical of the migrants to the North American continent, Thomas Shaddock had very strong economic reasons for leaving Southwest England, experiencing economic devastation for farm laborers in the midst of the mechanization of farming. The New Brunswick Shaddicks, also a branch of the North Molton Shattockes, a branch in turn of the Stogumber Shattocks, were also Methodists who were deeply religious. So this account of the pilgrimage of Stogumber Shattocks to the new world applies to many later emigrations as well.

You are probably familiar with real crime stories where a forensic profiler develops a detailed description of the likely perpetrator or a crime. In trying to discover the identity of the Massachusetts Shattuck pilgrims, you can think of what I have described so far as a profile of who our Shattocke emigrant to the colony was likely to be.

West Somerset

But where did that immigrant come from? If you read the page I have written about the Somerset Shattocks, you will see that all Shattockes in the world come from a small area in the west of Somerset, in the southwest of England. In fact, in the early 16th century all Shattockes lived within thirteen miles of each other in west Somerset, although there was a least one family living in North Molton, on the border of Devon and Somerset, across the Exmoor wilderness.

It is almost certain the Shattockes who landed in the Massachusetts Bay colony were from west Somerset. And that narrows our search for their home village down to a matter of a few miles.

Where in west Somerset? A researcher early in the 20th Century, Charles Edward Banks, collected information about early settlers in New England between 1620 and 1650. It was published in 1937 by the Bertram Press in a book titled, "Topographical dictionary of 2885 English emigrants to New England, 1620-1650." He identified two Shattocke immigrants to Massachusetts, William Shattock, who settled in Watertown, just outside of Boston, and Samuel Shattock, who settled in Salem, just to the north. His sources were Charles Henry Pope (The Pioneers of Massachusetts, Boston 1900) and Sidney Perley (The History of Salem, Salem 1924-28).

Banks identifies the ships that carried the first pilgrims to the Massachusetts Bay colony. The "Mary and John" made two trips from Plymouth, England to Massachusetts Bay, one in 1630 and once in 1633-34. According to a book by Ann Natalie Hansen (The English Origins of the 'Mary and John' Passengers, Sign of the Cock, 1985), the passengers came from many towns in Dorset, Devon and Somerset. Charles Edward Banks, in The Planters of The Commonwealth in Massachusetts, 1620-1640, Boston, 1930 (p. 87), wrote: "Mary and John, Thomas Chubb, Master. She sailed from Plymouth, England, March 20 [1630], with one hundred and forty passengers from the counties of Somerset, Dorset, and Devon."

Title page of Captain John Smith's 1616 work A Description of New England. The Puritans who left England might have seen this "ad" encouraging them to emigrate to North America.

The night before sailing must have been a mixture of excitement and chill fear among the strangers who met in the coastal town of Plymouth in the south east of Devon, England. They had no idea of the trials they would be put through, including being dumped in the wilderness by a captain who feared taking his ship up the Charles River. Hardships and disease took their toll.

There is an excellent short account of the voyage by Maude Pinney Kuhns in The "Mary and John:" A Story of the Founding of Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1630 (The Tuttle Publishing Company, 1943). An excerpt from the book can be found here. You get a very good idea of the incredible hardships faced by the early settlers seeking their own land and freedom after centuries or millenniums of bondage and finding hostility in the weather, in the native people, and even among their own people. The story of the Shattocke families in the Massachusetts colony is at the very core of the American experience. Shattuck ancestors were among the very first immigrant people to a new land that offered the promise of religious and economic freedom. The central celebration is Thanksgiving every year when American families come together and acknowledge their shared history and their solidarity and mutual support. The Shattockes of New England are among the nation's founders.

The passenger lists for the Mary and John in 1630 and 1630-34 have never been fully reconstructed. We don't even know if the two Shattockes were on the same ship. I have consulted the latest passenger list for the Mary and John maintained by the Winthrop Society, an organization composed of descendants of Winthrop Fleet passengers, and Shattocke or any of its variant spellings are not listed. There are no Shattockes that appear on other passenger ships during this period.

The best reason why we do not find William and Samuel on the Mary and John passenger lists is that they would be 12 and 14 in 1633-34. Children were not usually listed as passengers. Still, you would expect to see at least a father or fathers for them and Damaris' name.

"The Landing of the Pilgrims" (1877) by Henry A. Bacon

In the end it probably does not matter if the Shattockes who emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay colony were on the Mary and John. The fact is we can be certain that they emigrated from west Somerset. As I show on the page devoted to west Somerset (English Heritage), I establish the area in west Somerset as the origin point for all Shattockes throughout the world.

William and Samuel Shattuck were cloth craftsmen, the former a weaver and the latter either a serge weaver, a hatter or both. So it is certain they came from villages that had a large population of Shattocks involved in the cloth cottage industries.

Those villages are Tolland, Stogumber, West Bagborough, Milverton, Norton Fitzwarren, Stogumber, Bridgwater, West Monkton and the town of Taunton. I discuss Tolland and West Bagborough on the Bishop's Lydeard page and Stogumber on the Stogumber page.


Stogumber is the most likely origin of William Shattuck because DNA results firmly point to that village. On the Stogumber page there is a story of the emptying of Stogumber due to the decline of the cloth trade and the emigration of its Shattocke inhabitants out of west Somerset. Tolland is a possible point of origin for Samuel Shattuck because his Christian name is found in the local parish records and because there is a Henry Wolcott of Tolland who made the pilgramage to the Massachusetts Bay colony. He was a Puritan, possibly a Quaker. This is the second major reason why I think Tolland and Stogumber are likely origin points for the Shattocke pilgrim immigrants. There as a very active Puritan community in this area of west Somerset. And people in the wool and cloth trade were non-conformists.

In looking at the Christian names of Shattocks in this area, you do come across many William and Samuel Shattocks. William Shattocke married Marye (sic) Crosse in Combe Florey Nov. 29, 1595, a village only one and half miles from Tolland. He baptized a daughter, Johanne Shattocke Apr. 19, 1598. In 1653 a different William Shattocke, his wife and children, destitute, are ordered by the court to be removed from Tolland back to Crocombe, about 5 miles away. Presumably Crocombe was their native parish. There was a Shattocke family living in the area from which Henry Wolcott emigrated. Can we find a Samuel Shattocke in Tolland? Yes we do. The reference comes from Lemuel Shattuck's Descendants. Lemuel Shattuck in his Memorials (p. 13) says: "In the year 1525 Samuel Shattocke and Alice Shattocke of Tolland, in Somersetshire, appear upon the Rolls which contain Assessments of the Subsidies granted by Parliament."

The cloth export market in the early 17th century went into decline in the Stogumber area. There is a clear example of the decay of the cloth industry in the Stogumber area that might have driven Shattocks out of Stogumber. In Philip Ashford's study of the west Somerset woolen industry he cites an example (p. 171). Richard Wolcott (c. 1610-1658) was a fuller in Stogumber: "Richard had been in possession of a tucking mill and two clothing racks in the village since before 1634 when the facilities had been described as ‘in decay’." The Stogumber area derived most of its income from the export of cloth. There was some food crops, but mostly for local consumption: subsistence farming. When the cloth industry declined Shattocks who had thrived on the cloth cottage industry had to find other markets for their skills. In the case of the founder of Shattucks in America, a weaver and a farmer, it was his weaving skills.

Shaddock Christian Names

There were already multiple Shattock families in Stogumber when parish records began in 1559, and a lot of Shattock families lived there up to 1760. There is a record that goes all the way back to 1454.

Other names found in the West Bagborough parish registers are Johanna and William, which are names found among William Shattuck's children. Was he remembering his close relatives back home?

"Samuel" was a very rare christian name among early Shattockes. Plus it has a biblical origin, making it a very popular name in Puritan families (According to George R. Stewart, author of American Given Names, New York, Oxford University Press, 1979).

"Samuel" appears to be a Christian name popular in the area of Tolland and West Bagborough at the time. But it is not a popular name among Shattocks in other areas of Somerset at this time. There is a Samuel born in 1662 in Taunton. But the only places where we find Samuel Shattockes before that date are a Samuel Shattocke, who was assessed for land in Tolland in 1525 (according to Lemuel Shattuck in his Descendants) and a Samuel Shattick born in West Bagborough in 1575.

Samuel Shattock of Tolland owned enough property for it to be taxed. I think he was probably born in Stogumber about 1490, which would make him a son or grandson of Roger Shattock. Certainly the fact that the Shattockes of Tolland appear to a relatively wealthy family fits within the scenario Fischer describes for New England pilgrims. The Shattockes of Tolland were able to afford emigration to the Massachusetts Bay colony. Samuel Shattuck in Salem owned a shop.

We know that William Shattuck (ca. 1622-1672) of Watertown, Massachusetts, one of the first Shattockes in the Massachusetts Bay colony was a weaver because he left his loom to one of his sons. And we know that Taunton, Somerset was a major woolen industry center and the woolen industry was dominated by Dissenters who separated from the Church of England to return to a more fundamentalist interpretation of the bible. So it is not surprising to find William Shattuck both a weaver and a Puritan Dissenter.

The DNA Evidence for William Shattuck's Birthplace

The Shattocke family tree I developed is derived from DNA data. It shows the Shattucks of America and the Shattocks of west Somerset are genetically linked. All descendants of William Shattuck of Watertown (ca. 1622-1672) have an SNP mutation called Y19751. All descendants of the west Somerset branch of the Shattocke family I call the Stogumber London Shattocks share that mutation with Shattucks. They most likely have ancestors in Stogumber. (See the page devoted to the Southwark, London Shattocks.)

The two original male pilgrims in the early records of the colony, William and Samuel, where not brothers and some people have said. There are no records of them together in Massachusetts and they seem to have lived in separate towns (Watertown and Salem). The widow Damaris lived in Salem, she is not the mother of Samuel since she had children with her second husband, Capt. Thomas Gardner in the early 1650s. Since Samuel Shattuck was born about 1620, Damaris would had to have been beyond her childbearing years and could not have children with Gardner. Let's see if we can find a home for Samuel in the area around Stogumber.

Is there a likely candidate for Samuel Shattuck's father or grandfather in west Somerset?

Samuel Shattock of West Bagborough

Samuel is a forename we find as early as 1625, when Samuel Shattock appears in a tax list for Tolland, just a few miles from Stogumber. It is certainly possible Samuel was an ancestor of Samuel Shattuck, since there were only a handful of Shattocks alive in 1525.

There is a Samuel Shattock born to Richard Shattock 1 Jun 1575 in West Bagborough, (West Bagborough is only 5 miles from Stogumber). But he disappears after that. No record of him. So a possible scenario is that he was the grandson of the earlier Samuel Shattuck and also the father of Samuel Shattuck (born in 1620). Samuel Shattock of West Bagborough may have been the husband of Damaris. He would have been 45 years old when he had Samuel, not impossible. And he would have been 55 or older when he emigrated to the colony. Again, this is not impossible, there were people who emigrated at that age. The other possibility was that he was the grandfather or father and never left West Bagborough. But then we would expect to see at least his burial record in West Bagborough and a birth record for a "son" Samuel.

Samuel Shattuck has a biblical Christian name and he gave his children biblical or religious names. The evidence is that many Shattocks in the area around Stogumber and West Bagborough were dissenters or non-conformists. Certainly the subsequent history of Shattucks in America, who were very religious non-conformists, supports this. And it appears Samuel Shattuck's family were Quakers. In fact according to Lesley Morgan, in an article she wrote about early Stogumber baptists, there was a Robert Shattock who was buried in Stogumber in 1669 without Church of England rites because he had not been baptized, presumably the earliest record of a non-baptist burial in Stogumber. If Samuel Shattuck had not been baptized he would not have been entered into the West Bagborough parish baptism record. It may be the case that Samuel Shattock born 1575 in West Bagborough became an anabaptist and never baptized his children. And he may have emigrated because he was very religious and wanted to be part of the new community of non-conformists in the Massachusetts Bay colony.

The speculative scenario might be that Damaris and Samuel Shattuck of Salem were brother and sister. Samuel Shattuck names his first son Samuel which suggests that his father or grandfather had that name. And one of his daughters was named Damaris which suggests it was his sister who was the "widow Damaris" who also lived in Salem. The Samuel born in 1575 is the only Samuel found in Somerset at this time. It is possible Samuel Shattuck born 1575 emigrated with his wife Damaris to the colony because he belonged to a congregation that emigrated en masse. Part of the evidence for this is the fact there are very few Shattockes in West Bagborough after 1620, whereas there was at least three families before that.

Lemuel speculates that William Shattuck of Boston, who lived there between 1650 and 1658, and was a shoemaker, was not related to William of Watertown (1622-1672). I think Lemuel is correct. In fact there is a William Shattock born in West Bagborough in 1606 and another born in 1627 who could have joined the pilgrimage of Puritans and Quakers to the promised land. And there were William Shattocks born in 1616, 1621, 1622 and 1623 in Stogumber. According to Lemuel Shattock (p. 13 Descendants) there was a William Shattocke and Joanna in the Taunton area who were assessed for goods in 1597. But he would in his seventies by 1650. This makes it most likely the William of Boston was from Stogumber or West Bagborough.

I think Samuel Shattock born 1575 died in Salem at a relatively old age for his time, around 60 years of age. Given that Stogumber was a center for the wool and cloth trade, were is a very good chance he was a serge maker and hatter and his son followed in his footsteps.

If indeed Samuel of West Bagborough was the ancestor of Samuel of Salem then it is too bad he has no direct male descendant. He would belong to a different genetic haplogroup than William of Watertown, and we would have been able to test a descendant for that. As I show on the Bishop's Lydeard page, the West Bagborough Shatticks were probably descended from the Staplegrove Shattocks.

In the case of William of Watertown we are on much more solid background. We have DNA evidence that links him to the Stogumber Shattocks.

If it is the case that Samuel of of Salem was a West Bagborough descendant, than that explains why the two west Somerset Shattocks lived in different towns and have no record of contact. Staplegrove and West Bagbrough Shattockes share an ancestor at least a generation before 1500. Samuel and William would be separated by five generations or more. They would be third to fifth cousins.

William Shattock of Stogumber

William Shattuck of Watertown's birth date is not found in New England records but most genealogists have estimated he was born in 1622.

There is a William Shattock born 1606 in West Bagborough. But he would have been 16 when he conceived William Shattuck. And there is no record of a William Shattock born in West Bagborough around 1620. So unlike Samuel, William was not born in West Bagborough, but most likely in Stogumber, a mere five miles away. There are a lot of Shattocks in the area, and they went back at least as far as the middle of the 15th century, and the Williams found in the West Bagborough have been shown to have Staplegrove ancestors.

St. Mary's in Stogumber, home to Shattock baptisms, marriages and Sunday services

The only place in the entire county of Somerset where there was born a William Shattock around this time was in Stogumber. In fact there are three William Shattocks that were born, all to John Shattocks (plural). (My cousin John Shattock of Leicester discover the 1621 and 1622 baptism records in the Stogumber parish records.)

John Shattock

William Shattock 1 June 1621

William Shattock 16 March 1622

William Shattock Mar 16 1623

Philip Shattock Mar 2 1624

John Shattock (Johan) Mar 18 1626

Ann Shattock Jan 18 1627

George Shattock Nov 16 1628

Richard Shattock Jun 14 1629

Marie Shattock May 22 1631

There must have been at least two John Shattocks who had sons named William. In fact, in the 1842 Protestation Return, which listed all males in Stogumber who were over the age of eighteen, there were two "John Shatoks."

Unfortunately the mother's name is not given.

It is possible the William Shattock born in 1621 died in infancy. It was common practice to name a second male child with the same Christian name as a deceased first child. This would be important if you were intent on honoring a male relative by naming your child after him. The other possibility is that the Williams were born further apart but baptized between 1621 and 1623.

"John Shattock" is an important name. William of Watertown named his first male child John. He also had a brother or cousin named John. William of Watertown named his second child Philip. William of Stogumber had a brother or cousin named Philip. However, according to the naming convention of the time, Philip could be the maternal grandfather's name.

If William Shattock born March 16, 1622 in Stogumber is the same as William Shattock who immigrated to the Massachusetts Bay colony, why is there no evidence of the rest of the family in Massachusetts? Did he undergo a conversion to the Puritan religion and leave his family behind? But he would have been in his late teens when he emigrated.

Did he become a servant to another family immigrating to the Puritan colony? Did he go over to the new land with relatives, that is his "cousin" Samuel and "aunt" Damaris and an uncle who died on the way or in the new colony? Did his entire Stogumber family emigrate but succumbed to disease in the trip over and after landing? I think the fact there are two John Shattocks alive in Stogumber in 1642 suggests that William traveled without his father and presumably mother.

William was a weaver who must have learned his trade from his father. And John Shattock of Stogumber was living in a wool village. According to British History Online:

Weavers, fullers, dyers, and clothiers were prominent in the parish in the 16th and 17th centuries, including members of the Sweeting and Dashwood families. Individual craftsmen were clearly prosperous.

A weaver died in 1636 leaving looms, two reeling machines, cloth, yarn, flock, and wool worth £22. Another seems to have finished his own cloth, for he owned not only weaving equipment but also two racks, shears, a brass furnace, and a supply of wool and cloth.

The other factor that makes this a strong possibility is that villages in Somerset can be identified by the common Christian names that you find in their parish records. William is a rare name in Staplegrove and Milverton Shattocke families at this time. The name is quite common in the cluster of Shattock villages further up the Tone Valley, in Stogumber, West Bagborough and Tolland. The first marriage we find in the Stogumber parish records is the marriage of William "Shaddock" to Alice Lewse in Stogumber May 7, 1560. They have a child William, born Aug. 27, 1565. There is a second William born Dec. 26, 1578, but it is not clear who the parents of this William was since their names are not entered into the record. John Shattocke is born April 7, 1577. There is a second John Shattock born Apr. 14, 1595. Were these the father and grandfather of William Shattock? A John Shattock died Jan. 6 in 1561 or 1562 and another who died May 16, 1695. One of these is more likely to be the grandfather.

Curiously, William and John are very common Christian names in the North Molton registers at this time.

What of William of Watertown's other children? The next son was named William, presumably after himself, although it could have been his grandfather if his grandfather was named William. Then two biblical names follow, Benjamin and Samuel. Perhaps this reflects William's intensified religious beliefs.

As I discuss on the Massachusetts Shattucks page, William acquired his one acre of land in Watertown at or before the age of seventeen and married three or four years later. Children could be indentured servants as early as the age of seven, so we need not be surprised that William could have left his service under a weaver at that young age and embarked on an adult life. It is possible he inherited the land from his father, indeed could have lost his entire family by the age of seventeen if they had emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay colony and fallen victim to disease. But since there is no evidence of a Shattuck family in Watertown, the more likely scenario appears to be he was in the service of an enterprising weaver who left Somerset to found a weaving business in the new world.

There is however, one more piece of evidence that makes William of Stogumber a likely match for William of Watertown. The 1641-2 Protestion Returns, which listed all men of the age of eighteen or over in a parish, lists the following William Shattocks in Stogumber:

  • Shatock, William
  • Shatock, William jun
  • Shatock, William

I went through the parish records beginning in 1560 to determine how many Williams would have survived until the 1641-2 Protestation Returns. The number of William Shattocks who were born and died during the period left five Williams alive. So there are two William Shattocks unaccounted for. One of them could have been William Shattuck of Watertown, Massachusetts.

In the reconstructed ancestral Shattock tree at the top of the page, I have worked out William's probably genealogy. It shows four generations of Shattocks before them, each with the Christian name of John, father, grandfather, great grandfather and great great grandfather. His third great grandfather is Samuel Shattock, born about 1490, a grandson of Roger Shattock.

Further Reading

To learn more about the English village where William Shattuck (1622-1672) migrated from, and his possible economic reasons for his perilous pilgrimage to Watertown, read the Stogumber Shattocks page.

Read about the other immigrant from Stogumber to the Virginia colony on the Parrish Branch page.