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any errors in
It is not possible that a work of this description, containing such a mass of facts and abounding in names and dates, should be free from error. For
my own examinations, I alone, of course, am responsible; but for the statements of others, and for their correctness in names and dates, I cannot vouch, though believing in their substantial accuracy.
The entire volume is the result of my own personal investigations, with only the following exceptions; viz.: 1. The visit to France. 2. The examination of parish registers and other archives in Sussex and Kent in England, and in the Island of Jamaica. 3. Some names and dates in the American genealogy, chiefly in the fourth generation.
My correspondents have been very kind in attending to my inquiries; but their answers, in great measure, concern the fifth and succeeding generations, which do not come within the purview of this volume. I thank them all most heartily, and shall treasure up their communications for use, should I, at some future day, be able to publish a full genealogy; and, if not, whatever they have furnished or may hereafter furnish will be carefully arranged and preserved.
In the earlier generations, it has been my great privilege to be able to impart information to the family, instead of being a recipient. I have found a plentiful lack of knowledge on this subject. Perhaps not one person out of the second branch of the American house, and not many of that branch, could trace, in unbroken line, to Major Willard ; and but few could run back to his sons, their stopping-place, generally, being with the fourth generation ; and all of an earlier date, for the most part, a blank. So true is it, that want of curiosity and a neglect of opportunities soon blot out whole
generations from remembrance. I have therefore deemed it very important — though swelling the volume beyond my original purpose — to include the fourth generation in the male line; so that all of the present day, bearing the family name, can easily unite themselves in a connected series, through the elder American branches, with Richard Willard, of Horsmonden.
The engraving of the old church a church which dates back, probably, to the thirteenth century - forms the frontispiece. It is from a beautiful sketch made in England by a friend, whom I am not allowed to name, though to “name him” would be “ to praise.” The engraving facing page 123 is from a sketch very kindly made by the accomplished wife and daughter of Rev. William M. Smith Marriott, a Christian gentleman, and the worthy Rector of Horsmonden. It is a fine representation of the grand old oak which has flourished for centuries near the church, both of which are fair illustrations of the stability of the English character and institutions. To each and all of them I desire to express my sincere thanks for their great kindness.*
The engraving which faces page 80 represents the arms.
It is copied from the earliest impression which Mr. Lower has seen, and is considered ancient.
In a preceding page, I have referred to the considerate attentions of my correspondents in answering my inquiries. As what concerns any one of the family concerns all, and as I shall carefully arrange and preserve whatever genealogical information I may receive, I would here earnestly invite any and all of the descendants of our common ancestor, whether in the male or the female branches, more numerous, perhaps, than any other family in the country, — to furnish me, without further request, whatever they may possess in relation to their own line of descent, or any of the collateral lines.
* In the body of the work, I have mentioned the valuable services rendered to me by Rev. Mr. Hunter, of London. The extracts from the “Subsidy Rolls," which he furnished, placed me at once on the right track, and saved me from great labor, otherwise unavoidable, and perhaps unprofitable.
There are those who will be able to answer many of the following questions, and all will be able to contribute something in relation to their own immediate family :
1. Your name; time and place of birth ; place of education ; occupation or profession ; offices held ; marriage, to whom, when, and where; the names and residence of the
of or husband; whether your wife or husband is living, and, if not, give the time, place, and cause of their death, with their age.
2. Your children ; time and place of birth; place of education ; occupation or profession; offices held; marriages, to whom, when, and where, with the names and residence of the parents of each wife and husband; time, place, and cause of the death of any of your children. Be particular in naming all the marriages.
3. Your grandchildren. The same questions as in No. 2.
4. Your parents; their names; time and place of birth ; place of education and residence; their occupation or profession ; offices held ; time and place of their marriage; time, place, and cause of death, and age at death.
5. Your brothers and sisters. The same questions as in No. 4.
6. Your grandparents on both sides. The same questions as in No. 4.
7. Your great-grandparents on both sides. The same questions
as in No. 4.
8. In mentioning the death, if you cannot give the date of birth, please to give the age at death, if in your power.
9. Give delineations of character, moral and intellectual, especially where the individuals, men or women, have possessed any peculiar, remarkable, or interesting traits; also relate any wellvouched anecdotes tending to illustrate character.
10. Mention any instances of longevity.
11. Please to give the personal appearance of those you may describe, as to stature, good physical development and strength, unusual comeliness of person, &c.
12. Have you portraits of members of your branch of the family in the present or in any preceding generation ? If so, of whom? and by whom executed ?
13. As all the value of genealogical information depends on its accuracy, please to discriminate with precision between your own personal knowledge, and information derived from other sources ; and mark carefully the bounds between what you are satisfied is true history in your branch of the family, and what is tradition having a greater or less degree of probability.
Boston, September, 1858.