William Carpenter (Rhode Island)

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Wiliam Carpenter
Born abt. 1610
Amesbury, Wiltshire, England
Died 7 September 1685
Providence (Pawtuxet section now in Cranston)
Known for First surnamed Carpenter to make permanent residence in America
Stonehenge near Amesbury in Wiltshire, England

William Carpenter (born about 1610 probably in Amesbury, Wiltshire, England - died September 7, 1685 at Providence (Pawtuxet section now in Cranston, Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations) was a co-founder of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. He was listed by 1655 as a "freeman" of the colony.

Life and career[edit]

William Carpenter was the son of Richard Carpenter, who was born in England, probably in or near the Wiltshire town and parish of Amesbury or the adjacent parish of Newton Ton(e)y. His mother may have been Alice Knight, but this is not confirmed.

William married Elizabeth Arnold (23 Nov 1611 - after 7 Sep 1685), who was born in Ilchester, Somerset, England, the daughter of William Arnold (24 June 1587 - 1675/76) and sister of Benedict Arnold, the first governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.[1] William and Elizabeth had eight children together: Joseph, Lydia, Ephraim, Priscilla, Timothy, Silas, Benjamin, and William. William and his wife Elizabeth (née Arnold) were probably buried on their homestead in present day Cranston, Rhode Island.[2][3]

William Carpenter is the first person bearing the surname "Carpenter" to make permanent settlement in America.[4] He settled in Providence, Rhode Island, then called Providence Plantation and was instrumental in the development of the Colony holding many public offices.

Original 1600s town layout of Providence, RI with many of the street names on the East Side named after the original homestead strip owners. William Carpenter's lot is left of the letter "D" in Providence Neck.

Providence Plantation[edit]

While William Carpenter was not one of the first six male settlers of Providence Plantation with Roger Williams[5] in 1636, he arrived early the next spring with seven others.[6] His name is listed in the first deed executed in the Colony by Roger Williams.[7][7][8] In 1640, his name appears with the names of 38 others on an agreement to form a government in Providence.

For defense against Indian attacks, William Carpenter built a block house on his property, the first in the colony, soon after settling there. In an Indian attack during King Phillip's War, many of the surviving Providence Plantation settlers gathered there for protection inside the block house. Because of William Carpenter's block house or fortified position, the settlers' brave stand compelled the Indians to retreat. William's son William Jr. was killed in the attack with many other settlers.[9] During King Phillip's War, the counsel of the most judicious inhabitants of the colony was sought by the General Assembly, and Carpenter was one of 16 individuals named in this request.

Public offices[edit]

William Carpenter was one of four appointed by Boston authorities “to keepe the peace in [Pawtuxet],” 1642[–1658?].

Commissioner (deputy?) for Providence to Rhode Island General Court Assembly
1657-1665, 1675, 1676, 1679.
Appointed juror, General Court of Trials
1657/8 (but did not serve), 1661[/2], 1663, 1664; juror for Grand Inquest, 1658/9, 1663, 1665; then warden (magistrate) for General Court of Trials, 1660/1.
Providence town meeting moderator
June 1662, June 1665, September 1665, April 1666, September 1666, October 1670, December 1670, February 1670/1, April–September 1671.
General assistant for Providence to Rhode Island General Assembly
1665-1672.
Providence justice of the peace
1665/6, 1667, 1668 and officiated marriages from his office as an assistant for the Providence to the Rhode Island General Assembly from 1669-1671/72.
Providence town councilman
January 1670/1, June 1673.

Section References:[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21]

Relationship with other New England Carpenter families[edit]

William Carpenter of Providence, son of Richard Carpenter of Amesbury was a reportedly a first cousin of William Carpenter of Rehoboth, son of William Carpenter of Shalbourne, England. In addition he supposedly was closely related to Alexander Carpenter of Wrington, Somersetshire, and Leiden, Netherlands, of whom his four married daughters were in the Plymouth Colony in the early 1620s. This derives from Amos B. Carpenter’s[22] unsupported claim that Richard of William of Shalbourne, and Alexander Carpenter were brothers. No genealogical evidence has been found even hinting at a link between the Wrington Carpenters, on the one hand, and either of the other two afore-mentioned families, on the other; a connection is highly improbable. Traditional genealogical research methods provide good reasons to doubt also that Providence William and Rehoboth William were closely related.[23]

Results of recent genetic (Y-DNA) testing coordinated by the Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project support this conclusion: Based on a number of 67-marker tests, “we can state with 95% confidence that the most recent common ancestor of the two groups [descendants of the Providence and Rehoboth Carpenters, respectively] was more than 2 generations before the immigrants and less than about 20. Therefore, the DNA testing has very nearly ruled out the often-repeated claim that the Williams were first cousins. The most likely estimate is about 7 generations, but that is a very rough estimate, and the 95% confidence interval is a more reasonable description of what the DNA is telling us” (Carpenter Cousins).[24]

Genetic research[edit]

The Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project[25] has conducted Genealogical DNA testing on twenty males with genealogical paper trails. Nine males who have incomplete genealogical data but match genetically were placed in subgroups of Group 2.[26] These twenty nine males are believed to be descendant of the immigrant William Carpenter (born about 1610) who settled in Providence, Rhode Island from England.

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ John O. Austin, Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island, 1887, p 242
  2. ^ 36; John Osborne Austin, The Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island, rev. ed. (Baltimore, 1969)
  3. ^ 5:323–25, 6:141, 150, 17:62–63; The Early Records of the Town of Providence, 21 vols. (Providence, 1892–1915); digital images online at http:// books.google.com and www.ancestry.com
  4. ^ SEE: "GENEALOGICAL & FAMILY HISTORY OF WESTERN NEW YORK", LEWIS 1912, PAGE 274.
  5. ^ See: Pawtuxet at: http://www.pawtuxetcove.com/
  6. ^ 3:90–91, 4:73, 14:274; The Early Records of the Town of Providence, 21 vols. (Providence, 1892–1915); digital images online at http:// books.google.com and www.ancestry.com
  7. ^ a b See also: William Carpenter in New England appears in Providence records under the heading "Agreements & orders the second year of ye Plantation" (Robert Charles Anderson, George F. Sanborn Jr., and Melinde Lutz Sanborn, THE GREAT MIGRATION: IMMIGRANTS TO NEW ENGLAND 1634-1635, Vol. 1 (A-B) [Boston, 2000], p. 84, citing Hingham Book of Possessions, p. 30; THE EARLY RECORDS OF THE TOWN OF PROVIDENCE, Vol. 1 [Providence, 1892], p. 3).
  8. ^ SEE: "Genealogical History of the Carpenter Family" aka "The Carpenter Memorial", by A.B. Carpenter 1898, page 34 (No. 9-4).
  9. ^ Amos B. Carpenter (1898). Genealogical History of the Rehoboth Branch of the Carpenter Family. Carpenter & Morehouse. p. 34+. (No. 9-4)
  10. ^ Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, 1628–1886, ed. Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, 5 vols. in 6, 4:1: 332, 333; (Boston, 1853–1854)
  11. ^ Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurtleff, ed. (1853). Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England: 1642-1649 2. Massachusetts: W. White, printer to the commonwealth. pp. 26–27. 
  12. ^ Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurtleff, ed. (1854). Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England: 1642-1649 5. Massachusetts: W. White, printer to the commonwealth. 
  13. ^ passim, 4:52, 6:103–4, 7:227, 8:11, 47, 15:84–149; The Early Records of the Town of Providence, 21 vols. (Providence, 1892–1915)
  14. ^ Horatio Rogers, George Moulton Carpenter, ed. (1892). The Early Records of the Town of Providence 1. Providence (R.I.). City Council: Snow & Farnham. p. 28. 
  15. ^ Horatio Rogers, George Moulton Carpenter, ed. (1893). The Early Records of the Town of Providence 2. Providence (R.I.). City Council: Snow & Farnham. pp. 110, 114, 118–19, 128, 131. 
  16. ^ Horatio Rogers, George Moulton Carpenter, ed. (1893). The Early Records of the Town of Providence 3. Providence (R.I.). City Council: Snow & Farnham. pp. 2–247. 
  17. ^ 1:366, 419, 428, 468, 480, 492, 501, 504, 508, 2:38–449, passim, 3:28–29; Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England, 10 vols., ed. John Russell Bartlett (Providence, 1856–1865); digital images of vols. 1 and 3 online at www.familysearch.com
  18. ^ 1 1:39, 50–51, 70, 2:42–75, passim; Rhode Island Court Records: Records of the Court of Tri-als of the Colony of Providence Plantations, 1647–1670, 2 vols. (Providence, 1920–1922); digital images online at www.ancestry.com
  19. ^ 1, 6, 7, 8; Rhode Island General Court of Trials, 1671–1704, transcr. Jane Fletcher Fisk (Boxford, Mass., 1998)
  20. ^ 159; More Early Records of the Town of Warwick, Rhode Is-land, ed. Cherry Fletcher Bamburg and Jane Fletcher Fiske (Boston, 2001)
  21. ^ For other assignments, activities, etc., see: 2:123–24, 3:19, 28, 31, 42–43, 58; The Early Records of the Town of Providence, 21 vols. (Providence, 1892–1915); digital images online at http:// books.google.com and www.ancestry.com. and RICR 1:430, 444, 482, 507, 2:151–537, passim; Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England, 10 vols., ed. John Russell Bartlett (Providence, 1856–1865); digital images of vols. 1 and 3 online at www.familysearch.com and 46; Rhode Island General Court of Trials, 1671–1704, transcr. Jane Fletcher Fisk (Boxford, Mass., 1998)
  22. ^ Amos B. Carpenter, "A Genealogical History of the Rehoboth Branch of the Carpenter Family in America" [informal title: Carpenter Memorial] (Amherst, Mass., 1898)
  23. ^ Carpenters' Encyclopedia of Carpenters 2009 (DVD format).
  24. ^ http://www.familytreedna.com/public/carpenter%20cousins%20%20dna/default.aspx Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project.
  25. ^ "Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project". Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  26. ^ "Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project - Table 1 - Group 2". Retrieved 2009-10-22. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Virginia DeJohn Anderson (1991; repr. 1992). New England’s Generation: The Great Migration and the Formation of Society and Culture in the Seventeenth Century. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-44764-5. 
  • Francis J. Bremer (1995). The Puritan Experiment: New England Society from Bradford to Edwards. Lebanon, N.H.: UPNE. ISBN 978-0-87451-728-6. 
  • Carl Bridenbaugh (1974). Fat Mutton and Liberty of Conscience: Society in Rhode Island, 1636–1690. Providence: Brown University Press. ISBN 978-0-87057-143-5. 
    • The Bridenbaugh volume is a good general introduction to Rhode Island history but nevertheless misinterprets Weeden (Early RI 87) in saying that, to build William Harris’s Pawtuxet house, William Carpenter was brought from Amesbury in Massachusetts Bay Colony (see Bridenbaugh 38, 141).
  • Samuel Hugh Brockunier (1940). The Irrepressible Democrat Roger Williams. New York: The Ronald Press Company. ISBN 978-0-471-07041-2. 
  • Bruce C. Daniels (1983). Dissent and Conformity on Narragansett Bay: The Colonial Rhode Island Town. Middletown, Conn.: Books on Demand. ISBN 978-0-608-03570-3. 
  • Stephen Foster (1996). The Long Argument: English Puritanism and the Shaping of New England Culture. Chapel Hill, N.C.: UNC Press. ISBN 978-0-8078-4583-7. 
  • Harris Papers, Collections of the Rhode Island Historical Society, vol. 10 (Providence, 1902);
  • Anne Keary, "Retelling the History of the Settlement of Providence: Speech, Writing, and Cultural Interaction on Narragansett Bay," The New England Quarterly 69(1996):250–86;
  • Glenn W. LaFantasie, ed., The Correspondence of Roger Williams, 2 vols. (Providence, 1988);
  • Patricia E. Rubertone (2001). Grave Undertakings, An Archeology of Roger Williams and the Narragansett Indians. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. ISBN 978-1-56098-975-2. 
  • William R. Staples (1843). Annals of the Town of Providence. Providence: Knowles and Vose. 
  • Hugh Trevor-Roper (1940; repr. 2000). Archbishop Laud: 1573–1645. London: Orion Publishing Group, Limited. ISBN 978-1-84212-202-0. 
  • Keith Wrightson; David Levine (1995). Poverty and Piety in an English Village: Terling, 1525–1700. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-820321-6. 

Further reading[edit]

History and Genealogy of the Carpenter Family in America From the Settlement at Providence, R.I., 1637-1901, Daniel Hoogland Carpenter, The Marion Press, Jamaica, New York, 1901

See also[edit]

External links[edit]