General Notes: WILLIAM NICKERSON was born in Norwich, Norfolk, England about 1604. He
was a weaver by trade and no doubt belonged to the Weaver's Guild of Norwich. He signed himself as a "Weaver" long after he came to America, and he practiced his trade to some extent. About 1630 he married Anne Busby, the daughter of Nicholas and Bridget (Cocke) Busby, who was then about 22 years old.
On accounts of the persecutions of Bishop Wren, of Norfolk, whose zealous efforts against non-conformists drove 3000 small craftsmen out of the country, William decided to go to America with his family. Their examination, just before their departure from England reads thus: "The examination of William Nickerson of Norwich, in Norfork, weaver, aged 33, and Anne, his wife, aged 28, with four children, Nicho, Robartt, Elizabeth, Anne, are desirous to go to Boston in New England, there to inhabit. April 8, 1637."
They sailed from Yarmouth, England, April 15, 1637, on the ship John and Dorthy, Capt. William Andrews, Master, accompanied by the consort Rose, commanded by the Captain's son. WIth them sailed his wife's parents, and all the Nickerson children. In the same part was 18 year old Samuel Lincoln, the ancester of Abraham Lincoln, and also Joseph Lincoln, the famous author of Cape Cod stories. They arrived in Salem, Massachusetts, in New England on June 20, 1637.
On May 2, 1638, William Nickerson took the oath of a free-man at Boston, though it was likely that he was living in Watertown with his wife's people who came there after a brief stay in Newbury, Massachusetts. On December 1, 1640, he was proposed as a free-man at the Plymouth Colony Court, evidently planning to settle in the jurisdiction of the Old Colony rather than that of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
He took the oath of fidelity June 1, 1641, and on the same date he was on the grand jury and propounded to be a free-man at the next court, being described as of Yarmouth. Evidently he moved his family to Yarmouth about this time. His house and farm were near Folland's Pond (then known as Little Bass Pond) at the head of Bass RIver. When he later moved to Monomoyick (Chatham), he sold his Yarmouth farm to James Matthews, and the deed thereof was still in the Amos Otis papers as late as 1864.
On March 1, 1641 he was complained of as a "Scoffer and jeerer of religion", which was true to his spirit of a non-conformist. Several times in the next twenty years he was in trouble with the church, and very likely that had much to do with his decision to move into the wilderness of Monomoy. His trouble with the minister seemed in no way to affect his standing as a citizen, because he continued to be chosen to responsible civil offices as long as he remained in Yarmouth.
In 1643/4 he was among those between 16 and 60 able to bear arms in Yarmouth. He was chosen on the committee headed by Captain Myles Standish to settle disputes over land boundaries which had become acute in Yarmouth.
On May 14, 1648, in the final allottment of lands at Yarmouth by the Standish Land Court, 10 acres of upland and 6 acres of meadow were laid out to him at Little Bass Pond ("toward the South sea", the record reads). This was the farm he had lived on for about 8 years and he also had purchased 6 acres of meadow in "Nobscusset Meadows", now known as Hockanom.
Willaim died in Monomoit, Mass. between August 30, 1689 and September 8, 1690 and was buried at Burial Hill (presently Chatham Port, Mass.)
15 April 1637 Sailed from Yarmouth for America
01 June 1641 Took the oath of fedelity
William married Anne Busby, daughter of Nicholas Busby and Bridget Cocke, about 1627 in prob. Norwich, England. Anne was born before 2 Feb 1608 in prob. Norwich, Norfolk, England 1,2 and died after 18 May 1686 in prob. Monomoit, Mass..1
+ 8 M vii. John Nickerson was born in 1640 in prob. Yarmouth, Mass. and died before 11 May 1714 in Prob Yarmouth, Massachusetts.
+ 10 M ix. William Nickerson was born in Jun 1646 in prob. Yarmouth, Mass. and died before 7 Apr 1719 in Chatham, Massachusetts.
+ 11 M x. Joseph Nickerson I was born in Dec 1647 in Yarmouth, Mass and died about 1731 in Harwich, Mass. about age 84.
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