The CHAMBERLAIN Family of Billerica in Middlesex co., Massachusetts

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WILLIAM CHAMBERLAIN (abt 1620 - 1706) of Billerica m. Rebecca Unknown
REBECCA CHAMBERLAIN (b. 1663) m. Thomas Stearns

First Generation

WILLIAM CHAMBERLAIN (abt 1620-1706) of Billerica

Parents: Glazier [Ref] argues that Thomas, Edmund and William Chamberlain are the sons of Francis Chamberlain who went to Virginia on the Marmaduke in 1621. On 7 Feb 1624/5 Francis, age 45, lived in Elizabeth City, Virginia, with his wife Rebecca, age 37, his son Francis, age three, and four servants. This Francis lived next door to Daniel Gookin. In May 1635 Thomas Chamberlain, age 20, left Gravesend for Virginia. In 1644 -- nine days after the arrival of a ship carrying refuges from Virginia -- a Thomas Chamberlain and Daniel Gookin were made freemen in Boston. Thomas and his wife Mary lived in Chelmsford. Glazier believes that this Mary is the Mary Parker who left Gravesend for Virginia in 1635, age 15. Thomas's second wife was Mary, the widow of Sgt. John Parker. Edmund was born in 1617/8. He married first Mary Turner in 1646 and second Hannah (Witter) Burdett in 1670 in Chelmsford. Glazier argues that our William may be the William who left Gravesend for Virginia in Sep 1635, age 16, and the William who settled in Boston in 1647.

William Chamberlain was born about 1620. He died on 31 May 1706, age about 86, in Billerica [Ref] He married first Rebecca Unknown. She died in 1669. [Ref, pp. 780-1] The Woburn town records say that Rebecca died in prison in Cambridge. [Ref] Savage says that she was imprisoned 'on the preposterous charge of witchcraft'. [Ref] He married second Mary Unknown.

William was admitted as an inhabitant of Woburn on 6 (11) 1648. [Ref cites town records] On 3 (12) 1648 William and Edmund Chamberlain were given 10 or 20 acres of land, the exact amount to be decided. [Ref cites town records] On 26 (7) 1650 William was given more land. [Ref cites town records] On 10 (11) 1651 he was on a committee to look into giving Allen Convars more land. [Ref cites town records]

The origin of Chelmsford was a 1652 petition signed by citizens of Concord and Woburn requesting the right to look at land on the other side of the Concord River. In May 19 May 1653 29 men, including Isaac Learned, James and Joseph Parker, John Sternes, Edmund and William Chamberlain, Thomas Adams, William Fletcher, Robert Proctor and Richard Hildreth requested a grant of six square miles. [Ref] William never took up residence. [Ref]

On 9 (9) 1658 the proprietors of Billerica on Mr Dudley's farm and the inhabitants signed an agreement that those who had already taken up an allotment granted in town should be equally accomodated with upland and meadow as those on Mr Dudley's farm. William Chamberlain, John Stearns, and George Farley were three of the three of the 18 signatories. [Ref]

William Chamberlain, Sr is on a 1679 Billerica tax list. [Ref] He is also on a 1688 Billerica tax list. [Ref]

Children of William Chamberlain and Rebecca Unknown. The last nine children are recorded in the Billerica vital records. [Ref]

  1. Timothy Chamberlain was born on 13 Aug 1649 in Woburn. [Ref cites town records] He probably died young. [Ref]
  2. Isaac Chamberlain was born on 1 Oct 1650 in Woburn. [Ref cites town records] He died on 20 Jul 1681 in Billerica. [Ref]
  3. William Chamberlain, Jr is on a 1679 Billerica tax list. [Ref]
  4. John Chamberlain was born about 1654 in Billerica. [Ref] He died on 24 Feb 1703/4. [Ref] He is on a 1679 Billerica tax list. [Ref] He married Deborah Jaco on 6 Dec 1681 in Billerica. [Ref] She died on 24 Feb 1703/4. [Ref]
  5. Sarah Chamberlain was born on 20 May 1655. She died on 17 Jan 1735/6. [Ref] She married Ens. John Shed on 9 Jan 1676/7. [Ref] He was born on 2 Mar 1655 and died on 31 Jan 1736/7. [Ref]
  6. Jacob Chamberlain was born on 18 Jan (probably) 1657. He died on 11 Apr 1712 in Newton. [Ref]
  7. Thomas Chamberlain was born on (probably) 20 Feb 1658. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Stedman) Hammond on 18 Apr 1682 in Cambridge. [Ref] She was born on 3 Nov 1664 and died on 1 Feb 1733 in Newton. [Ref]
  8. Edmund Chamberlain was born on 15 Jul 1660. He married first Mrs. Mercy Abbott, widow of Woburn, on 26 Aug 1691 in Woburn. [Ref] She died on 27 Feb 1697/8 in Billerica. [Ref] He married second Abigail Unknown. [Ref] He is on a 1688 Billerica tax list. [Ref]
  9. Rebecca Chamberlain was born on 25 Feb 1662/3. She married first Thomas Stearns. She married second George Farley.
  10. Abraham Chamberlain was born on 6 Jan 1664/5.
  11. Ann Chamberlain was born on 3 Mar 1665/6.
  12. Clement Chamberlain was born on 30 May 1669.
  13. Daniel Chamberlain was born on 27 May 1671.

Second Generation


Parents: William Chamberlain and Rebecca Unknown

Rebecca Chamberlain was born on 25 Feb 1662/3 in Billerica. [Ref][Ref] She married first Thomas Stearns on 20 Jun 1688 in Concord. [Ref] She married second George Farley on 14 Jul 1699 in Billerica. [Ref] George was the son of Caleb and Rebecca (Hill) Farley. [Ref] He was born on 30 Jun 1677 in Woburn and he died before 14 Aug 1733, when inventory was taken on his estate. [Ref] Rebecca was about 14 years older than George and she had four daughters when they married. [Ref]

Children of Rebecca Chamberlain and George Farley. The births are given by Stuart [Ref]

  1. Lydia Farley (twin) was born on 29 Apr 1702.
  2. Anna Farley (twin) was born on 29 pr 1702. She married Hezekiah Kendall, the son of Jacob and Alice (Temple) Kendall, born 26 May 1701 in Woburn. [Ref]
  3. Enoch Farley was born on 23 Jul 1704 and died on 17 Aug 1723. [Ref]
  4. Esther Farley was born on 31 May 1707. She married Jonathan Baldwin on 19 Jan 1725 in Billerica. [Ref] Jonathan, the son of Jonathan and Mary (French) Baldwin was born on 21 Feb 1700 in Billerica and died there on 17 Feb 1735/6. [Ref]


Chamberlain, George Walter, William Chamberlain of Billerica, Mass., and his descendants, unknown, unknown, 1985.

Cutter, William Richard, Genealogical and Personal Memoirs, New York, 1908, republished, Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., 2008.

Glazier, Prentiss, "Chamberlain Familites of Early New England," The American Genealogist 51, 1975, 151-3.

Jeffries, Walter Lloyd, "Town Rates of Newton and Billerica, Mass.," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 31, 1877, 302.

Kidder, Frederick, "Materials Toward a History of Billerica," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 6, 1852, 85-86.

Massachusetts Vital Records

Paige, Lucius R., "Middlesex Statistics. 1680," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 5, 1851, 171.

Savage, James, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692, Vol. I-IV, Boston, 1860-1862.

Stuart, Donna Valley, "Some Descendants of George Farley of Billerica," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 136 1982, 43 - .

Waters, Wilson, History of Chelmsford, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Courier-Citizen Co., Lowell, MA, c. 1917.