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1. William TUBBS(1) (2) was born between 1610 and 1615 in Cambridge, England.(3) William is also believed by some sources to have been from Sutton, Isle of Ely, Cambridge, England. He arrived between 1628 and 1630 in Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MA. (4) He settled about 1638 in Duxbury, Plymouth Co., MA. (5) He died on May 2 1688 in Duxbury, Plymouth Co., MA. (6) The Will of William Tubbs
Provided by Louis MacCartney

The 20th day of February 1677 I William Tubbs senr of Duxbury n the Collony of New Plimouth do declare & make my last will and testamentr in the manner and form ffollowing viz haveing committed me Eternal Concomments humbly unto God; I doo dispose of that temporal Estate which in mercy he hath given me as is hereafter expressed, Imprimis, I give and bequeth unto my loveing wife Dorothy (after the payment of the small legacys hereafter mentioned) all my Estate boath reall & personall viz my house & all my land & Chattell both movable and immovable which I now have or posess within the Township of Duxbury aforesaid during the time of her naturall life to this Intent that she improve the said Estate for the bringing up of my two youngest Children namely Benjamin and Joseph & after my said wives decease I give all my Estate to my youngest Children & to there heires & assignes for ever to be equally devided between sain Benjamin and Joseph also I give unto my son Samuell ten shillings to be paid after my decease at his demand Item I give unto my son William one gun or musguitt which I had of John ffoster to be delivered to him at my decease Item to my daughter Bethyah I give five shillings to be paid to her on demand after my decease Lastly I nominate and appoint my said wife to be sole Executrix to this my will In witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand & seale the day year above written

the marke of William Tubbs (X)

John ffoster

An Essay by Louis MacCartney, TUBBS Family Researcher

In the USA there are two main branches of the Tubbs family. Most members of the family are descended from one common ancestor, William Tubbs, who is first found at Plymouth Colony in 1635. A second major branch are the people who trace back to South (North ?) Carolina where a John Tubbs was born 6 Aug. 1758 (of unknown parents), fought in the Revolution, and later lived in Tennessee, then Alabama; another branch comes from John, Joseph, and Samuel Tubbs who were residents of Maryland and of whom family tradition indicates that "three brothers came from England". Finally, there are miscellaneous later groups who trace to immigrants from England, Ireland, and sundry places in Europe.

William Tubbs' date and/or place of birth are unknown. But they have been the subject of much speculation. So has his parentage. Many have felt he might have been the son of a Samuel and a Bethya because his two eldest (known) children bore these names, and because of the frequency and manner in which they occur among his grandchildren, etc. The Hon. Charles Tubbs thought he may have come from Sutton, Isle-of-Ely, Cambridgeshire, England and made two or three trips to the U.K. hoping to find the link, without success. Why he connected William with Sutton is a mystery, whose clue is unknown. A Thomas Tubbs married at Haddonham, Camb. 12 Nov.1607 Elizabeth Phypers. They had several chn. recorded there up to 1627 including a William B. 30 Mar. 1623; but he is too young (see later) to be our subject. No names of the other children seem to indicate relationship to our William.

Others have looked to the landed gentry, of southeastern England, who bore the name, for his ancestry. But it seems doubtful any direct link exists or can be proved, though this may have been the area of his birth. There is nothing in the record to indicate he was of gentle birth. In fact, the opposite is a reasonable conclusion. We know that he was a servant (indentured, likely for passage money) early in his adult life. This indicates that he was from the class of tradesmen. The evidence of this is in the Plymouth Court Record (PCR IV-18) concerning the award of land at Saconett (now Little Compton, RI) then a part of the Colony. Williams's name is among those originally considered for award, the list comprised of "those now freemen, formerly servants". Winsor gives this event as occurring 3 June 1662 when land at Saconett Necke was granted to "such as that were servants and others that are ancient freeman".

We can, perhaps, fix the approximate date of William's birth. William was a Freeman (citizen) at Plymouth in 1637 and again at Duxbury in 1638. This gave the right to vote. The usual conditions attached to this privilege or honor were that the person be a Church member, sober, industrious, and ordinarily at least 21 years of age. Thus he was born by 1616. In 1643 he was part of a military company whose members ages were between 16 and 60. Hence he was born after 1583. Moreover, his second marriage, in 1672, was to a relatively young woman (she bore a child as late as 1674-5). Nor did he die until 1688. These facts seem to indicate birth at or after 1610. Summing up, it can be stated that he was probably born between 1610 and 1615.

William in a 1664 deed identified himself as a "shoomaker". He was in fact a cordwainer, that is tanner and shoemaker, converting the raw hide to the final product. The trade was passed through several generations of the family. This fact may provide further clues to his antecedents.

The earliest known record of William Tubbs occurs when he brought suit against John Barnes 7 May 1635 (PCR I-34). William had contracted to deliver twelve bushels of corn to Barnes. But he was able to deliver only ten. Barnes refused to pay for the ten and William sued. Barnes was buying for re-sale. He pleaded loss of the profit on the undelivered corn as basis for nonpayment. The Court granted him damages of the profit lost on the two missing bushels and ordered him to pay in full for the ten received, plus Court costs, less said damages. From these facts we may reason that William arrived at Plymouth circa 1628-30. The corn which was the subject of the suit was raised in 1634 or earlier for the suit was in the spring of 1635. Barnes bought for re-sale, William probably did not, likely raising the corn himself. It is improbable that he was indentured while he did this. Thus by the spring of 1634 he was finished with his indenture, a period of say three to five years. Hence he was at Plymouth by the end of 1630 and perhaps as early as 1628.

William was among the Freemen listed at Plymouth on 7 Mar. 1636/7 (PCR I-53). He was admitted again at Duxbury 2 Jan. 1637/8 (PCR I-74). During the summer of 1637 he was a volunteer in the War against the Pequot Indians (PCR I-61). In Aug, 1643 he was in the Military company raised in the Colony because of new troubles with the Indians (PCR VIII-189). The company was of men "such are of honest and good report and Freemen, not servants, and shall be well approved by the officers and the whole company, or major part". William Tubbs was also a Surveyor of Highways in Duxbury for the year 1678. Also in 1685, though this latter may have been William Jr.

He must have prospered for when, with Court approval, the limits of Luxury were extended considerably westward, he was among the original proprietors who financed the purchase from Osamequin (Massasoit) in 1649. This vast tract of land today forms all or parts of six or so of the present town(ships)s of Plymouth County. But if William prospered in the world about him, he did not at home.

William married, probably at Duxbury, 9 Nov. 1637 Mercy Sprague, born probably in England ca. 1620; living in RI July 1668; daughter of Francis. With her parents she arrived at Plymouth in July 1623 on the vessel "Ann", the third to land at Plymouth. (Savage says; Francis Sprague, wife and one daughter came on Ann. At division of cattle in 1627, Mercey and Ann were his only named children. Francis was living in 1666.) The Spragues lived at Plymouth until ca. 1631-2 when Francis was among the early settlers of Duxbury. William also settled there for in all records following his marriage, he is given as a resident of Duxbury. When the marital troubles began is not clear. But in Nov. 1653 William sold his home "with the consent of Mercy". This was not an ordinary procedure. The reason is not known. However this may shed light on later events.

As early as Mar. 1651/2 Mercy was before the Court "to answare for mixed dauncing". She was cleared of this charge with an admonishment (PCR III-5). At Court held 3 March 1662/3 Joseph Rogers "cpmplaineth against Rebeckah and Allice Pierce" asking for damages of L20 for saying that he and Mercy Tubbs were seen lying under a blanket. However Joseph did not appear when the case was called and was non-suited. Therefore it seems the gossip was factual. At the next session of Court, 1 June 1663 "the Court being informed that Josepth Rogers of Namasakeesett hath frequently and from time to time kept companie with Merceye, the wife of William Tubbs, in a way and after such a manor as hath given cause att least to suspect that there hath been laciuiouse (lascivious) actes committed by them, the Court . . . hath required (him) to remove his dwelling . . . and that if att any time he shall bee taken . . . in companie of the said Merceye Tubbs . . . he shall (be) seuerly whipt." (PCR IV-42)

Not daunted, the couple persisted. So at October Court "Wee present Josepth Rogers and Merceye Tubbs, for that they were both lyeing together one night on a bed, under a rugg, before the fier; and also the same Merceye Tubbs for that att another time she carried vnseemly in the presence of Josepth Rogers." The jury gave a verdict of true presentment (guilty). Joseph and Mercy were each heavily fined. Mercy apparently left home at this time. Shortly thereafter William Paybody (Peabody) granted William a divorce, but the Court overruled him 8 June 1664, fining Paybody L5 "for making a writing regarding William Tubbs marriage vows". (PCR IV-66) At the same Court session William published, with regard to Mercy, that he was "disowning all debts that shee shall make vnto any from this time forward." (PCR IV-66) John Arthur was in Court 1 Aug. 1665 "for entertaining the wife of one Talmon and the wife of William Tubbs". (PCR IV-104)

William periodically petitioned for a divorce until 3 June 1668 when his pleas were recognized and notice sent to Mercy through the government at RI, where she was living, to return to William or lose all rights and claims against him. (PCR IV-187) Her negative reply was received by 7 July 1668 and the Court that day gave William his divorce. "Mercy have for four years and upward" absented herself. (PCR IV-192)

William m. second, in the Spring 1672 Dorothy (_____) Joanes (or Soanes), b. ca. 1632; living at Duxbury 20 Sept. 1694; widow of William Joanes, of Sciuate. William and Dorothy entered into an ante-nuptial agreement about his estate. (See later) She was the executrix named in his will. Nothing is known of her life prior to 1668. That year she bore a dau., Mary. (Child of William and Dorothy Joan" (sic) Her date of birth is presumed from her last pregnancy.

William d. at Duxbury 2 May 1688. His will dated 20 Feb. 1677 was probated 13 June 1688. It names as chn.:
i. Samuel
ii Bethyah
iii William
iv Benjamin
v Joseph

He was married to Mercy SPRAGUE (daughter of Francis SPRAGUE and Anna) on Nov 9 1637 in Duxbury, Plymouth Co., MA.(7) He was divorced from Mercy SPRAGUE on Jul 7 1668 in Duxbury, Plymouth Co., MA. (5)(8) Mercy SPRAGUE(9) was born about 1620 in England. She arrived in Jul 1623 in Plymouth MA aboard the ship "ANN". She was noted as having a sister named "Ann" in 1627. She moved in 1631/32 to Duxbury, Plymouth Co., MA. She was in court in Mar 1651/52 in Duxbury, Plymouth Co., MA.(10) She was in court on Mar 3 1662/63. She was In court on Jun 1 1663 in Duxbury, Plymouth Co., MA. (11) She was Separated from William before Jun 8 1664. She moved on Jun 8 1664 to Rhode Island. William TUBBS and Mercy SPRAGUE had the following children:

child+2 i. Samuel TUBBS.
child+3 ii. Bethyah TUBBS.
child+4 iii. William TUBBS.

He was married to Dorothy (_____) SOAMES in 1672 in Duxbury, Plymouth Co., MA.(12) Marriage date also recorded as Mar 16, 1675 in Plymouth Co., MA Dorothy (_____) SOAMES(9) was born about 1632. Dorothy's former married name is also listed by various sources as JOANES or SOANES. William TUBBS and Dorothy (_____) SOAMES had the following children:

child+5 i. Benjamin TUBBS.
child+6 ii. Joseph TUBBS.