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General/Captain William Watts Rearsby, Leicestershire 1600s

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General/Captain William Watts Rearsby, Leicestershire 1600s

Postby ALewis » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:42 am

Hi, the other day I discovered my 9x great grandfather William Watts. I'm wondering if anybody can help me with my research please.

His wife was Frances and they had the following children baptised in Rearsby:

Edward 1656
William 1663
Katherine 1665 (my 8x great grandmother)
Anna 1670

In all their baptisms William is listed as a General. His wife Frances was buried 1697 in Rearsby, a widow and wife of William Watts a General. Her will was proved in 1697. I haven't found a marriage for them.

I have found reference to Katherine in Google Books (she was buried in Queniborough):

"Here lieth the body of Catherine, wife of Dallington Ayres, Goldsmith, London, and daughter of Capt. Watts. She died September 12, 1739, aged 74".

I don't know William's baptism or who his parents were. I haven't found a burial for William Watts in Rearsby online yet, which makes me wonder if he was buried elsewhere. I am also interested in finding out more information on his career as a General or Captain. Was he a Captain of a ship or a Captain during the English Civil War?

On various websites and Google Books, I have seen references to a Captian William Watts in the 1650s associated with Jamaica and Lord Willoughby of Parham. They set up a "West Indies Company". Can't find any proof that this is my Captain Watts of Rearsby.

Any help or advice on tracking him is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance. :)
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Re: General/Captain William Watts Rearsby, Leicestershire 16

Postby ciderdrinker » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:13 pm

Hi and lovely to hear from you.
Let's see if I can help

William was buried at Rearsby
Willus Watts General was buried 8th of October 1672.
It's in latin so it doesn't come up when you type in William.

Other burials Edward 16.3.1656 s of William and Frances his wife
Anna 15.10.1691 spinster
Samuel s of William and Frances 24.5.1659

There seems to be an older generation. William Watts senior.
William Watts the elder buried 26.10.1656
Elizabeth widow buried 10.8.1658
Alicia wife of William buried 7.4.1633
Thomas bapt 10.3.1621 s of William Watts.
George s of William buried 17.3.1634 ( bapt 8.4.1626)

It looks like William Watts the elder had two wives.I'd guess he and one of them were your William's parents.
William of Rearsbie married Alice Blithe of Eastwell by licence in 1618.
William Watts and Elizabeth Asplond at North Kilworth 17.1.1635.
It would probably be the oldest son named after his father so William junior would be born c 1618.

Going further back Thomas Watts Will 1640 gives a lot of family.
William the elder seems to be his nephew ,eldest son of his late brother Samuel and wife Marie/Mary.
Her Admin in 1648 names William as her eldest son and there is an Admin for a younger son Rev George Watts 1640.(born c 1590 at Cambridge 1608).

ps just spotted William the elders Will 1658 under PCC wills at National Archives.That should crack it.But I can't get it up on Ancestry to see what's in there .So you may have to pay the fee.

There is also Thomas Watts 1642 on there ,he seems to be the cousin Thomas Watts mentioned in Thomas Watts 1640 Will in Leicester archives.

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Re: General/Captain William Watts Rearsby, Leicestershire 16

Postby avaline » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:28 pm

ciderdrinker wrote:ps just spotted William the elders Will 1658 under PCC wills at National Archives.That should crack it.But I can't get it up on Ancestry to see what's in there .So you may have to pay the fee.

Or not, as the case may be....

William Watts the Elder [Willus Watts Senior]. Will dated 6 Feb 1656
To the poor of Rearsby 40 shillings
To Elizabeth Spencer, Widow (his servant) 20 shillings
To each of the servants 4 shillings
To Mary Musson, Elizabeth Musson & Ann Musson (his nieces, daughters of his brother-in-law, Thomas Musson) £100 to be equally divided once they reach 18 or marry
To his sister, Elizabeth Duffy (?) £50
To his nephew, John Duffy, £10
Everything else, once debts etc paid, to be divided equally between his sister Margaret Watts, his Brother in Law Thomas Musson and his wife Mary (William’s sister), who he also names as executors.

Proved London 20 Nov 1658 by the Oaths of Margaret Watts, Thomas Musson & Mary his wife
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Re: General/Captain William Watts Rearsby, Leicestershire 16

Postby ALewis » Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:28 am

Hi Ciderdrinker and avaline, thank you for your replies and taking the time to help me with my research, much appreciated.

Ciderdrinker - great to see you on this forum too. Very helpful all the wills and parish records you have found, especially confirming William Watts' burial and identifying a burial for son Samuel. In Frances' will dated 1697, she also bequeaths to her son George Watts and daughter Mary Watts. Interesting that you mention Rev. George Watts and an earlier Samuel Watts and Mary/Marie having children. Naming conventions seem to be consistent, definitely food for thought.

avaline - Thank you for looking up the will of the older William Watts and transcribing it for me. It's very interesting about the connection to his Musson relatives. I have found an inventory of goods for my ancestor General William Watts in 1672 in Rearsby. Three people were tasked with carrying out the inventory - one of those was a Thomas Musson! This is possible evidence to link my William as a relative to the older William Watts.

I'm still not sure exactly how General William Watts fits in with these earlier Watts families in Rearsby. However, based on the circumstantial evidence, I think we may be onto something!

Again many thanks. :-)

Kindest regards,

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