William Gordon Weld

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William Gordon Weld (1775–1825) was an American shipmaster and ship owner. He is notable as an ancestor of several famous Welds.

Ancestry and early life[edit]

Main article: Weld Family

Weld was a descendant of Joseph Weld, who came to Massachusetts Bay Colony in the early 17th century and was involved in the Pequot War and subsequent negotiations.

Weld lived his early life in Weld Hall, the family home on Weld Hill in the Forest Hills section of what is now Jamaica Plain. Named after the prominent local revolutionary sympathizer and historian Reverend Dr. William Gordon, Weld was the fifth son[1] of Colonel Eleazer Weld, one of seven Weld family American Revolutionary War veterans.[2]

Like many family members, William Gordon Weld graduated from Harvard, a university with Weld ties from the 17th to the 21st centuries.

Maritime industry[edit]

Weld turned his attention away from agriculture and concentrated on maritime shipping. He created a fleet of "China clippers" and profited from trade between Asia and the New World.

His fortune suffered a notable setback during the War of 1812. A British frigate cruising off Boston Harbor captured one Weld's ships carrying a valuable cargo of wine and Spanish silver dollars. Weld himself was captured and may have paid a ransom to be released.


Weld married Hannah Minot (1780–1860), a member of a Massachusetts family represented by such notables as George Minot and Henry Davis Minot. They had one daughter and eight sons. (see chart).

The home William and Hannah built was in the Minot family's possession by the mid 19th century and later became the home of Andrew James Peters, Mayor of Boston, (and James Michael Curley rival) after he married a Minot.

Among those descended from William Gordon Weld and Hannah Minot are:


  1. ^ http://www.jphs.org/people/2005/4/14/weld-family.html
  2. ^ A Volume of Records Relating To The Early History of Boston Containing Boston Marriages From 1752 to 1809 (Boston, Municipal Printing Office, 1903) lists a March 31, 1761 marriage intention notice re: Eleazer Weld and Mary Hatch. The dates involved make it probable that Mary Hatch was William Gordon Weld's mother.