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As his stone says, Grandpa (8G) William was about 92 years old when he died in 1717, full of years and honors, survived by Elizabeth, his third wife, and most of his seven sons and seven daughters.

Our half third cousin, six generations removed, Mary Munroe Sanderson, a Lexington great-granddaughter who lived to the age of 104, recalled that the farmhouse at “Scotland,” William’s farm on the Woburn line, came to resemble a rope-walk, as he would add a wing to the house each time a son reached his majority.
While raising a large and prosperous frontier family, he served more than one term as a Selectman of Cambridge in His Majesty’s colony of Massachusetts.

An American success story, to be sure. One that would have been hard to predict in 1652, when William came to New England in chains. Oliver Cromwell captured him, in company with 8000 of his fellow Scots faithful to Charles Stuart, at the disastrous (for Charles) Battle of Worcester (September, 1651). Having no more profitable use for a large crowd of fractious Highlanders, Cromwell sold them for ten pounds a head to planters in the New World. As “redemptioners,” William and his fellows had the Biblical seven years as indentured servants to pay off their transportation. By then, one supposes, they would no longer pose a threat to the Parliamentary Party.

In 1660, as a free man, William obtained a land grant of some 60 acres, indicating that he had by then switched his denominational allegiance from Presbyterian to Puritan/Congregational. One could of course neither vote nor own property until one had “owned the Covenant”.
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