Born:  ABT 1585/1586   Southwark, Surreyshire, England
Note:  “One of the last public services rendered by Mr. William Collier was a testimony given by him, 16 April 1668. . . It will be seen to be of great value from the fact that it is the only document so far as known in New England which gives any idea as to the time of his birth. It reads as follows: – ‘Mr William Collier aged 85 or thereabouts Testifieth . . .’ ”   – Anna C. Kingsbury, A Historical Sketch of William Collier, (Self-published, 1925).

Occupation:  Was a London merchant.  Records refer to his as a grocer and owner of a brew house in London.  In his youth, he was apprenticed to William Russell for eight years and was entered and sworn in the Gorcers’ Company of London on 16 August 1609.

Marriage:  16 MAY 1611 to Jane Clark in St. Olave, Southwark, England
Source:  Robert S. Wakefield, “The Children of William Collier,” The American Genealogist, Vol. 49 (4), (October, 1973).

Living:  St. Olave, Southwark, England

Birth of Daughter:  18 FEB 1611/12 (baptized)
Name:  Mary Collier

Birth of Daughter:  14 SEP 1613 (baptized)
Name:  Hannah Collier

Birth of Daughter:  10 JAN 1614/15 (baptized)
Name:  Rebecca Collier

Birth of Daughter:  30 APR 1616 (baptized)
Name:  Sarah Collier

Birth of Son:  18 MAR 1617/18 (baptized)
Name:  John Collier

Birth of Daughter:  09 MAR 1618/19 (baptized)
Name:  Elizabeth Collier

Birth of Son:  23 MAR 1619/20 (baptized)
Name:  John Collier

Living:  Bermondsey, Surrey, England

Birth of Daughter:  13 JAN 1621 (buried
Name:  Catheren Collier

Birth of Son:  16 MAR 1622/23 (baptized)
Name:  James Collier
Place:  St. Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, Surrey

Birth of Daughter:  28 MAR 1624 (baptized)
Name:  Martha Collier
Place:  St. Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, Surrey

Birth of Son:  12 AUG 1625 (buried)
Name:  William Collier

Birth of Daughter:  12 MAR 1626/27 (baptized)
Name:  Liddia Collier

Death Records:  1625
Note:  Death records in the St. Olave parish indicate there were other children, namely Catherine and William, and that the Plague of 1625 probably took the life of Martha, John, William, Hannah and Liddia who all died in 1625.

Note:  15 NOV 1627
Details:  He was one of the adventurers to New England from London.

Tax List:  02 JAN 1932/33

Immigration:  1633
Place:  Came from England to Massachusetts on the ship “Mary and Jane”.
Note:  “William Collier – One of the few Adventurers to come to live in New England, he was praised by Nathaniel Morton (New England Memorials, p. 91): “This year (1633) like-wise Mr. William Collier arrived with his family in New England, who as he had been a good Benefactor to the Colony of New Plimouth before he came over, having been an Adventurer unto it at its first beginning; so also he approved himself a very useful Instrumen in that Jurisdiction after he arrived, being frequently Chosen, and for divers years serving God and the County in the place of Magistracy, and lived a godly and holy life until old Age.”   – Pedigree Chart from Nancy D. Adams, 1526 Pelican Point Drive, Sarasota, FL 34231-6792.

Note:  “He immediately took a predominant position in the Plymouth Colony and was Magistrate and assistant Governor of Plymouth Colony for 28 years. He was a businessman and assisted in the settlement of accounts with the Merchant Adventures and handled the business of the colony. He was commissioner at the first meeting of United Colonies in 1643 and served on the Council of War. He was among the first purchasers of land in Duxbury, Mass. and was the first settler in Duxbury. He was the wealthiest man in the colony, as he paid the highest taxes.”  – Charles A. Collier, The Story of our Branch of the Collier Family, (Santa Barbara, CA: Privately printed, 1975).

Freeman:  01 JAN 1633/34
Place:  Plymouth, Massachusetts
Note:  “The next group of men admitted as freemen are recorded at the court [of Plymouth Colony] of 1 January 1633/4: Mr. William Collier, Thomas Willet, John Cooke and Thomas Cushman. These are the last four names in the list prior to ‘The rest admitted afterward.’ ”   – Robert Charles Anderson, “Plymouth Court Records,” Great Migration Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 2, April – June, 1992.

Taxes:  25 MAR 1633
Details:  “Mr. Collier’s men” assessed 18s. in Plymouth tax list of 25 March 1633

Taxes:  27 MAR 1634
Details:  “Mr. Will[iam] Collier” assessed £2 5s. in list of 27 March 1634

Office:  01 OCT 1634
Details:  On the committee to lay out highways, for “Duxbery side.”

Note:  1634/35 – 1665
Details:  “He was often elected Plymouth Colony Assistant between 1635-37, 1639-51, and 1654-65. He appeared to side with the more conservative leaders, such as in the 1645 fight with Vassall. James Cudworth wrote that “Mr. Collier last June would not sit on the Bench, if I sate there” (Bishop, p. 176).

Land Rec:  05 JUL 1635
Note:   Mr. William Collier was granted a parcel of land in the woods called North Hill, with some “tussicke march ground”

Office:  02 MAR 1635/36
Details:  Committee to view farm land, 2 March 1635/6

Office:  06 MAR 1637/38
Details: Committee to set bounds for Scituate, 6 March 1637/8

Office:  04 FEB 1638/39
Details: Committee to view North Hill and set bounds, 4 February 1638/9

Moved to:  AFT 1639
Place:  Duxbury, MA
Note:  While William was a resident of Duxbury, he was also known as an excellent benefactor of Plymouth Colony.

Office:  07 MAR 1642/43
Details: Committee to treat with Massachusetts Bay, 7 March 1642/3, 10 June 1650

Office:  10 OCT 1643
Details: Council of War, 27 September 1642, 10 October 1643, 1 June 1658

Note:  1643
Details:  He was Plymouth Commissioner and send to the first meeting of the Congress of United Colonies.

Note:  1644
Details:  Mr. Collier and ‘whom he pleaseth wth him,’ of Duxbury, with the Governor and Mr. Prence of Plymouth, and Mr. Winslow and Mr. Thomas of Marshfield, were chosen to revise the laws.”    – Justin Winsor, History of the Town of Duxbury, Massachusetts, with Genealogical Registers, (Boston: Crosby & Nichols, 1849).

Office:  02 JUN 1646
Details: Coroner

Office:  07 JUL 1646
Details: Committee to draw up the excise

Freeman:  1646
Note:  This is a list of the freemen of Duxbury for this year; . . . “The elections and other business of the Colony were confined to the freemen, who were, on special application, admitted to those rights, church-membership, however, being a necessary qualification. This was a requisite until about 1664, when it began to be discontinued; but was not, however, entirely given up until 1686. A certificate from the pastor of a good moral character, was nevertheless required.
    Mr. Wm. Collier . . .”    – Justin Winsor, History of the Town of Duxbury, Massachusetts, with Genealogical Registers, (Boston: Crosby & Nichols, 1849).

Note:  A copy of the certificate of election of William Bradford and John Browne as Commissioners from Plymouth Colony on 1 June 1647 is on file. It was signed by William Collier, along with Myles Standish and William Thomas.   – George Ernest Bowman, “Governor William Bradford’s credentials as Commissioner of the United Colonies with an Autograph of Myles Standish,” Mayflower Descendant, Vol. 25, No. 1, January, 1923.

Land Rec:  06 MAR 1649/50
Details:  William “Colliar” made over his right to a ten acre parcel of upland in “Duxborrow” to “my kinsman William Clark”

Office:  JUN 1649
Details: Committee for the letting of trade

Office:  03 JUL 1656
Details: Auditor

Office:  03 JUN 1657
Details: Committee to review the laws

Note:  He was an enterprising man, and engaged much in business, and during most of his life employed in the government of the colony, as Assistant and otherwise. In 1658, ‘The court ordered a servant to him, because he can not easily come to public business, being aged and having much private business.'”    – Justin Winsor, History of the Town of Duxbury, Massachusetts, with Genealogical Registers, (Boston: Crosby & Nichols, 1849).

Note:  “That men of the highest respectability were elected to retail the ‘strong water’ was certainly the case; for we find that in 1660, Mr. Collier, who was eminently distinguished in the public affairs of the colony, was licensed to sell the beverage to his neighbors in Duxbury; and it can be justly considered that one, who is well known to have been one of the wealthiest among them, would not have selected this as a means of gain, but rather at the instance of the magistrates, who well knew him to be a sober and discreet man, and one who would not be likely to sufffer any transgression of their laws.”    – Justin Winsor, History of the Town of Duxbury, Massachusetts, with Genealogical Registers, (Boston: Crosby & Nichols, 1849).

Land Rec:  03 OCT 1662
Details: “Mr. Collyare” complained that the records of his grant at the North Hill were lost and could not be found, and the court ordered that the land be viewed and the report of it be recorded

Land Rec:  02 JUL 1667
Details: The court agreed to a grant of thirty or forty acres of land for Mr. William Collyare’s grandchild, “that grand child who is now servicable unto him”

Land Rec:  02 MAR 1668/9
Details: The court granted him fifty acres in the tract of land at Namassakett

Death:  After 29 MAY 1670 (in list of Duxbury freemen) and before 5 JUL 1671 (administration granted on estate).

Freeman:  29 MAY 1670
Note:  Freemen of Duxbury – . . . * Mr. Wlliam Collyare, dec’d. . . * Those marked * are crossed out on the record. ”   – Justin Winsor, History of the Town of Duxbury, Massachusetts, with Genealogical Registers, (Boston: Crosby & Nichols, 1849).

Burial:  Probably at Harden Hill, Duxbury, Massachusetts
Note:  “Mr. Partridge was probably interred in the first burial place of the town, which was a knoll in the south eastern part at Harden Hill, as it is called. If any stones were ever placed here they have since been destroyed by the ravages of time or otherwise, as none at the present day exist. Probably, however, none were erected, in hopes of concealing from the Indians their loss by death, and consequent weakness; or in the earliest periods the difficulty of procuring stones from England was so great, that few, in any, could have been placed here. This was probably used as a place of sepulture for about sixty years, and here were, doubtless, buried most of the founders of the town and church. Here, probably, rest the remains of Standish, Alden, Collier, Partridge and others, whose memory we delight to cherish, but whose graves must forever remain unknown. We have the most positive evidence that there was a burying ground here. Some years ago, while a sloop was building in this vicinity, there were found by the workmen, the bones of a female and an infant buried together. About the close of the last century a small sloop grounded on the marsh near by in a severe gale, and a party of workmen proceeded to get her off. While here, they discovered in the bank lately washed by the sea, the appearance of a coffin, and on closer examination they perceived the nails, though all were in a very decayed state. On the shore beneath there were found three skulls and several bones, apparently of the thigh. The teeth in one were perfect, and in one there were two. On one there was some light sandy hair. The bank here has washed away some twenty feet within fifty years. Some, however, incline to the belief that this was an Indian yard, but the fact that it was near the first church, and other considerations influence me to believe that it was an English burial place. There were fifty or seventy years ago, traditional reports, that there was a burying ground a short distance to the West of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Esq. Sprague, when plowing, used always on that account to leave undisturbed this portion. Maj. Alden was accustomed to observe that he believed John Alden, the Pilgrim, was buried here, and that this was the first burying ground, and the one at Harden Hill cliff was an Indian one. However, there is no positive evidence on this point either way.”   – Justin Winsor, History of the Town of Duxbury, Massachusetts, with Genealogical Registers, (Boston: Crosby & Nichols, 1849).

Estate:  05 JUL 1671
Details:  The court appointed Gov. Mr. Constant Southworth, Mr. Thomas Clarke, and “Benjamine Barlett,” or any three of them to administer the estate of “Mr. William Collyare,” deceased [PCR 5:68]. On 29 October 1671 the court ordered that “Daniell Cole” was to have all such particulars out of the estate of “William Collyare” that are extant

Parents are Abraham Collier and ?


“In his “Moore and Allied Families” (1938), L. Effingham DeForest showed (pp. 196f.) that on 6 March 1649-50 Collier called William Clarke his kinsman when he granted him ten acres in Duxbury, New England. From Boyd’s Index of Marriage Records in the library of the Society of Genealogists in London, it was recently learned that William Colliar married Jane Clarke on 16 May 1611 at St. Olave’s, Southwarke, in Surrey. If this man was the same as his namesake at Plymouth, the use of the term ‘kinsman’ would be sufficiently explained, but as yet there was really no proof that the two men named Collier or Colliar were identical. That they are, indeed, the same begins to be proved by the will of Zaccheus Cole of St. Olave, Southwark, citizen and grocer of London, dated 16 Nov. 1630, which appoints as overseer William Colliar, grocer, and was witnessed by Jean Collier. In this will the testator name his brother Frances, his brothers Nathaniel, John and Daniel Cole, and appointed his brother Job Cole executor (PCC 106 Scrope, no. 1246). In New England the will of John Cole, dated about 1637, refers to his brothers Job Cole and Daniel Cole, to sister Rebecca and to Eliza Collyer; and left legacies to ‘each of Master Collier’s man, Edward, Josiah, Arthur, Ralph and John.’ Job Cole lived ca. 1643 at Yarmouth, as did Daniel Cole (N.E. Hist. and Gen. Soc 4:35, 258). There can be thus no doubt that Job Cole, the apprentice in New England of William Collier, was either kinsman to or identical with Job Cole of Southwark, named in the 1630 will of his brother, Zaccheus Cole. We are now on firm ground in believing that William Collier, the well-known merchant adventurer, was, indeed, the same as the aforesaid grocer of Southwark also named in the will of the same Zaccheus Cole in 1630. But there remains a slight puzzle: Why was Collier styled ‘brewer of London’ if he was actually a grocer of Southwark?”  – John G. Hunt, “Origin of Three Early Plymouth Families: Cole, Collier, and Clarke,” The American Genealogist, 42, No. 2, (April, 1966).

“What of the Clarke ancestry? A clue may lie in the will of John Arnold, dyer, of St. Olave’s, Southwark, dated 16 March 1617/18 (PCC) Soame no. 1228). In it the testator referred to Richard, Hugh and William Clarke, sons of testator’s late sister Joyce Clark, decd, and the children of his brother Thomas Arnold. Of this will a witness was William Collyer, doubtless the man who in 1633 came to New England, for note that the latter was in 1612 obligated to John Arnold, dyer, for setting as his surety, and 1612 is the year after Collier married Jane Clark, perhaps kinswoman to JohnArnold’s sister Joyce. It is worth also stating that a John Clarke married Elizabeth Hobson on 17 Aug. 1589 at St. Olave’s, Southwark, the parish in which the Colliers are found. While this is very inconclusive as to the Clarke line, it is hoped that these data will permit researchers into that family to gain further insight into its possible origin.”  – John G. Hunt, “Origin of Three Early Plymouth Families: Cole, Collier, and Clarke,” The American Genealogist, 42, No. 2, (April, 1966).

Jane Clarke     

Born:  ABT 1590  England

Death:  after 28 June 1666 when she consented to a deed made by her husband

Parents are John Clarke and Elizabeth Hobson

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