The FARWELL Family of Boston, Lincolnshire, England, Chelmsford and Concord in Massachusetts

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WILLIAM FARWELL (d. 1637) of Boston
HENRY FARWELL (d. 1670) of Boston, Chelmsford and Concord m. Olive Welby
MARY FARWELL (b. c. 1642) m. John Bates
OLIVE FARWELL (b. c. 1645) m. Benjamin Spalding

First Generation

WILLIAM FARWELL (d. 1637) of Boston

Parents: He might be the son of James Farwell of Rainham Martin, who died between 5 Jul 1593, when he signed his will, and 3 Aug 1593, when it was proved, and his wife Katherine. But there is no proof of this. [Ref, p. 18]

William was buried on 5 Sep 1637 in Boston, Lincolnshire. [Ref] He married second the widow Joan Cole on 17 Jul 1617 in Boston. [Ref] She was buried in Jan 1641/2 in Boston. [Ref]

William was a tailor of Boston. [Ref]

William was a freeman on 19 May 1620 in Boston. [Ref] He was Sargeant at Mace of the borough in 1631. [Ref, p. 16]

William Farwell, tailor of Boston, signed his will with his mark on 1 Sep 1637. He left bequests to his wife Joan; his eldest daughter's son and daughter; his son Pickerell's son. [Ref, p. 10] His son Henry's claim on his father's estate was satisfied by the real estate transaction on 9 Feb 1635/6. (See his son's entry.) [Ref, p. 15-16]

Joan Farwell signed her will with her mark on 16 Jan 1641. She left bequests to her husband's grandchild Symon Clarkson; Rebecca Nixon, the widowed daughter of her husband; Sarah Pickering; Elizabeth Collyer; her sister Katherine Kyme; the daughter of George Kyme; Kathreen Bowis; William Jackson; Elizabeth Collyer. [Ref, p. 13]

Children of William Farwell and his first wife:

  1. Henry Farwell married Olive Welby.
  2. Unknown daughter married Unknown Clarkson.
  3. Rebecca Farwell married Unknown Nixon.
  4. Unknown daughter married Unknown Pickerell.

Second Generation

HENRY FARWELL (d. 1670) of Boston, Chelmsford and Concord

Parents: William Farwell [Ref]

Henry Farwell died suddenly on 1 Aug 1670 in Chelmsford. [Ref][Ref] He married Olive Welby on 16 Apr 1629 in Boston [Ref] in St. Botolph's church. [Ref, p. 30] At the time, Rev. John Cotton was still vicar of the church. [Ref]

Henry was a tailor of Boston, Lincolnshire. [Ref] He was elected Sergeant at Mace of the borough in 1635, but declined. [Ref, p. 16]

On 9 Feb 1635/6, Henry, his father and their wives sold a messuage, garden and orchard in Boston to Thomas Welby, gentleman, and George Smyth, gentleman, for £60. [Ref] Soon after, Henry and Olive and their children Elizabeth and John migrated to New England. [Ref] They settled first in Concord and later in Chelmsford. [Ref]

Henry Farwell was chosen to be a deacon at a church meeting “16 of 9 [16]60" in Chelmsford. [Ref] He was a tailor. [Ref]

Henry Farwell, tailor of Chelmsford, wrote his will on 12 Jul 1670. He mentions his wife Olive; his sons John and Joseph Farwell; his daughters Mary Bates and Olive Spalding; Elizabeth Wilbore. Inventory of his estate was taken in Aug 1670 [Ref, p. 26-27]

Children of Henry Farwell:

  1. Elizabeth Farwell was baptised on 27 May 1630 in Boston. [Ref][Ref, p. 26] She died on 9 Nov 1670. [Ref, p. 39] She married Joseph Wilbore about 1651. [Ref] Joseph, the son of Samuel and Ann (Smith) Wilbore, was baptised on 28 Feb 1629/30 in Sible Hedingham, Essex, England. [Ref] He died on 27 Aug 1691 in Taunton. [Ref]
  2. Samuel Farwell was baptised on 9 Jun 1633 in Boston. [Ref, p. 26] He was buried on 20 Jun 1634. [Ref, p. 26]
  3. John Farwell was baptised on 25 Oct 1635 in Boston. [Ref, p. 26] He married first Sarah Wheeler on 4 Nov [?] 1658. [Ref] Mary, the daughter of Timothy and Jane Wheeler, was born on 22 Jun 1640. [Ref, p. 39] She died on 23 May 1662. [Ref] He married second Sarah Fiske. [Ref, p. 26] Sarah was the daughter of the Rev. John Fiske of Chelmsford. [Ref, p. 39] John Farwell of Concord, age about 50, made his will on 6 Apr 1685; it was proved on 15 Sep 1686. [Ref, p. 40-41] He was a farmer. [Ref, p. 40]
    some descendants of John Farwell
  4. Ens. Joseph Farwell was born on 26 (12) 1640 in Concord. [Ref][Ref] He died on 31 Dec 1722. [Ref, p. 41] He is buried in South Nashua, NH (then Dunstable). [Ref, p. 41] He married Hannah Learned. [Ref, p. 26][Ref, p. 41]
    On 30 (3) 1671 the selectman of Chelmsford assessed the residents of the town to pay the minister; Joseph Farwell was assessed a moderate rate: £1.09.8. [Ref]
    some descendants of Joseph Farwell
  5. Mary Farwell was born about 1642. She married John Bates.
  6. Olive Farwell was born about 1645. She married Benjamin Spalding.

Third Generation

MARY FARWELL (b. c. 1642)

Parents: Henry Farwell and Olive Welby [Ref, p. 26]

Mary Farwell was born c. 1642. [Ref, 1;45] She married John Bates [Ref, p. 26] on 22 Dec 1665 in Chelmsford. [Ref]

OLIVE FARWELL (b. c. 1645)

Parents: Henry Farwell and Olive Welby [Ref, p. 26]

Olive Farwell was born about 1645. [Ref, p. 26] She married Benjamin Spalding, the son of Edward Spalding, on 30 Oct 1668 in Chelmsford. [Ref]


Anderson, Robert Charles, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633. Vol. 1-3. Boston, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995. Online: New England Historic Genealogical Society website, entry for Samuel Wilbore.

Durrell, Harold Clarke, "John Wittemore Farwell, B.L.," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 84, 1930, 3-5.

Farwell, John Dennis, The Farwell Family: A history of Henry Farwell and his wife Olive (Welby) Farwell of Boston, England, and Concord and Chelmsford, Mass., 1605-1927, with twelve generations of their descendants: also lineages of many allied families: records of John Dennis Farwell, Orange, TX, F.H. Farwell and F.B. Farwell, 1929.

Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850. Online Database:, New England Historical and Genealogical Society, 2001-2007.

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

Wilbour, Benjamin Franklin, "The English Ancestry of Samuel Wilbore, of Boston, and William Wilbore, of Portsmouth, R.I.," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 113, 1959, 94-104.