Some of the Descendants of

of Weymouth, Massachusetts

First Generation

Tracing Reed ancestors in New England is difficult, because there were so many of them. James Savage, in Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, published in 1860, identified sixty-two Reed male heads of households in New England in the seventeenth century, in thirty-four apparently unrelated lines (3:515-20). Some of the links between families in the line presented on this web site are very weak links. But they are the most likely, presented in respected journals and books.

The name Reed, Read, or Reade, has been in England at least since 1139. It may come from the Saxon word rede, which means advice, counsel, or help; or it may simply come from the plant, a reed.

A William and Susan Reed came to Weymouth in 1635 with the main group of settlers to that town. This family had moved to Boston before 1646. The births of his children, William (1639) and Esther (1641) were recorded at Weymouth.

The William and Avis Reed who were the ancestors of most of the Weymouth Reeds COULD BE the WILLIAM1 REED and AVIS CHEPMAN who married at Long Sutton, county Somerset, England, on 26 October, 1635. Avis came from Knole, a hamlet in the eastern part of the parish of Long Sutton. The family of William and Avis Reed appear to have left Long Sutton some time after the baptism of their first child, 20 January, 1635/6. William and Avis Reed appeared in Weymouth, Massachusetts, probably some time before 1651.

William Reed probably took the Freeman's Oath at Weymouth on 18 May, 1653 (GR 3:192).

William Reed probably died in Weymouth some time between 11 January, 1657/58 and 6 April, 1658. On the first date, he was alive enough to buy some lumber. On the second date, the town's Selectmen ordered that widow Reed be allowed to have a garden plot in front of her house. On 6 February, 1659/60, they further granted that widow Avis Reed have a swamp lot.

Widow Avis Reed received a grant of 10 acres in the First Division and 30 acres in the Second Division of land in Weymouth on 14 December, 1663. The last mention of her in a written record was on 19 December, 1670, when a neighbor's deed made reference to her bordering land. She died some time after that date.

William and Avis Reed, of Weymouth, Massachusetts, had the following children:

    • bp. at Long Sutton, co. Somerset, England, on 20 January, 1635/6
    • m. on 11 May, 1657 JOHN VINING
    • b. in 1637
    • b. in 1642 (Aldridge, 13)
    • d. at Weymouth on 17 August, 1663 (record literally reads: 18th month, 17th day, 1662) (VR Wey 2:371)
    • m. at Weymouth on 19 December, 1662, JOHN WHITMAN Jr. (VR Wey 2:159)
      • d. at Weymouth on 1 February, 1712/13 (VR Wey 2:371)
  4. THOMAS2 REED b. at Weymouth, abt 1645
    • b. in 1647
    • d. at Weymouth on 16 April, 1655 unmarried
    • b. prob. at Weymouth, abt. 1649
    • d. at Dighton, Ma., on 13 January, 1720/21 (VR Taun 3:171)
    • Residence: Taunton, Ma.
      • b. at Weymouth in 1653
      • child of George Frye of Weymouth
      • d. at Dighton, on 20 October, 1730 (age 77) (VR Taun 3:170)
  7. WILLIAM2 REED b. bef 1650
  8. JAMES2 REED b. at Weymouth bet 1657-1660


Information on this web page comes from the following sources, which can be consulted for further information:

Other references abbreviated above:
New England Historical and Genealogical Register.

VR Taun
Vital Records of Taunton, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850.

VR Wey
Vital Records of Weymouth, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850. Boston: NEHGS, 1910.
For a further discussion of the problems in distinguishing between the various William Reeds, see the late Gregg Kinney's web site.
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