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The Williams family of Long Island

Descendants of Robert Williams an early Proprietor of Hempstead
    ROBERT WILLIAMS was listed as one of the early proprietors of Hempstead, Long Island, New York, in 1647. In 1645-6 he purchased from the Indians a large tract of land centered at what is now Hicksville. Thus he was well established in the Hempstead area for at least eight years before he appeared on the Oyster Bay purchase deed. Thompson in the "History of Long Island" states that he was a close relative of the celebrated Roger Williams.
    In 1653, Robert Williams was one of a company of men who accepted land from Indians by a deed from an Indian named Assiapum for Oyster Bay, New York, it being the first record of conveyance in that locality:
"Anno Dni one thousand Six hundred & fifety th[ree] This writing witnesseth yt Asiapum alias Mohenes have sold unto Peter Wright, Samuell Maio, William Leuerich, Their heyrs Executors administrators, & assignes all his Land Lyeing & Scituate upon Oyster Bay & is bounded by oyster River to ye east side, & Papaguatunk river on ye west side with all ye woods, rivers marshes uplands, ponds & all other the appurtenances lying betweene the bounds afore named, with All ye Islands Lying to ye Sea ward excepting one Island Comonly Called Hog Island & bounded neere Southward by a point of trees called Canteaiug. In Consideration of which bargaine & sale he is to receave as full satisfaction six Indian Coates, Sixe Ketles, Sixe fathom of wampum, sixe Hoes, sixe Hatchetts; three pair of stocking[s] thirty Auln-blades or Muxes [heads for eel spears], twenty Knives, three shirts, & as much peage [black wampum] as will amount to ffoure pounds sterling In witness whereof he hath set to his marke in ye prsence of
William Washborne, Anthony Wright, Robert Williams, Asiapum or Mohenes X his mark on the back is the following:
we within named Sam: Maio, Peter Wright & William Leuerich, doe accept of as joynt purchasers with ourselves ye persons under specified to the like right privileidgs as we ourselves in ye Lands purchased of Asiopum & particularly mentioned in ye writeing made & subscribed by himselfe & other Indians respectively interessed & in the names of such as were absent acted by him & them all: witnes our hands: joynt purchasers with us
    Mr. Washbourne, William Leuerich, Tho: Armitage, Samuell: Mayo, Dan: Whitehead, Anth: Wright, Rob: Williams, Joh: Washbourne, Ric: Holbrooke
With this document, still preserved in the town clerk's office at Oyster Bay, opens the history of the village. There were ten men present, four of whom, Peter Wright and his brother, Anthony, Samuel Mayo and the Reverend William Leverich came from Sandwich, Massachusetts. Of the others, Robert Williams, Daniel Whitehead, Thomas Armitage, and William and John Washbourne had already settled on Long Island at Hempstead. Richard Holbrooke came from Springfield, Massachusetts.
    Robert Williams seems to have come from New Haven, Connecticut, colony and evidently took up tracts of land in various parts of Long Island. At a town meeting of Hempstead, on 14 March 1659, "there was granted unto Robert Williams, by general vote of town meeting, six acres of meadow land." "Also on the same day there was let unto Robert Williams the town barn for the ensuing year, for the sum of fifty-three shillings to be paid in corn at the usual prices, and the yard is to be common both to the house and barn."
Robert married Sarah Washburn. They were the parents of five children.
    Robert Williams made his will on 2 December 1680 and it was proved on 23 April 1682. Letters of administration were granted to Samuel Spicer and John Browne on 5 August 1682. The witnesses to the will were John Winter, Richard Kempton and B. Honols. He left to his son, Hope Williams, 100 acres of land; to another son, John Williams, 100 acres; and to a grandson Robert Williams, forty acres. He left to his wife, Sarah, all his plantation, during her life "if she keeps herself a widow."
    He does not name his daughters in the will but makes the following provision for them: "If my daughters marry and they want land, if their husbands will come and dwell upon mine, they shall go to my overseer and they shall give them land to live on, for them and their heirs. If any of my sons or daughters doth walk disorderly, according to the truth, they shall have no part or parcel in this my will." He named as overseers his wife, Sarah, and Samuel Spicer and John Browne.
    Daughter Phebe Townsend and her husband, John, evidently requested land as indicated in the transaction below, dated 30 January 1692:
"Whereas John Townsend ye Husband of my Daughter Phebe having often times requested of me Land in Right of his wife according to ye Last Will and Testament of my Husband Robert Williams deceased, and Consulted w(th) John Bowne one of my Husbands Overseers concerning ye Matter, wee do Mutally agree in Consideration of ye Necessity of ye Sd John Townsend, And in order to ye ffulfilling of ye Will of ye Sd Robert Williams, according to ye true Intent & Meaning, as also ye exp(r)sse words of ye Sd Will, We ye Sd Overseers of ye will aforesd, Have Given and Granted unto ye Sd John Townsend Husband of ye aforesd Phebe Townsend daughter of ye Sd Robert Williams Aforesd ffifty Acres of Wood Land and one Hundred Acres of Plaine Land for him ye Sd John Townsend & his Heires to possesse and enjoy forever, ffor ye Sd John Townsend to take up by ord(r) Und(r) our hands Deputing men to Lay out ye Same where ye Sd John Townsend Shall Judge Meet near & Convenient for him in any of ye Sd Robert Williams Land untaken up; But if either John or Hope Williams Sons of ye Sd Robert Williams Should obstruct the taking up of ye Sd Land & plaine in ye very place where ye Sd John Townsend Shall at ffirst Judge ffitt, Meet, Convenient, as Claiming right to take up ffirst, by virtue of a former grant or Gift by their ffathers Will; that then it Shall & may be Lawfull for ye Sd John Townsend in pursuance of this our Grant to take up the Sd Wood Land & plaine Land in any place whereever he Shall please throwout the whole Tract of ye Sd Robert Williams Wood & plaine Land whereever he Shall Se Cause it being Land not already taken up, To w(ch) wee Set our hands and Seales this thirtyeth Day of ye Eleventh Month, one Thousand Six hundred Ninety and two

Signed Sealed & dd in P(r)sence of us John Bowne, Mare (W) Willitts marke, James Townsend, Richard Willitts"
The mark of Sarah (S) Williams
"The Cape May County Magazine of History and Genealogy."
"OYSTER BAY TOWN RECORDS", Volumes I and II, published by order of the town by Frederick E. Willets, Daniel Underhill, Edward T. Payne, Committee.
"The History of Long Island" by Benjamin F. Thompson, 1843
"The Village of Oyster Bay, Its Founding and Growth from 1653 to 1700" by Van S. Merle-Smith, Jr., 1953.