Rev William Eddye

Bristol, Bristol Unitary Authority, Bristol, England
Death 23 Nov 1616 (aged 55–56)
Cranbrook, Tunbridge Wells Borough, Kent, England
Burial Cranbrook, Tunbridge Wells Borough, Kent, England
Memorial ID 39433785 · View Source
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For additional research on William Eddye refer to the “Other People’s Research” section below. NOTE: If a link takes you to a PDF launch page, go to the “Family Members” section at the bottom of this page and select the desired link. An internal error within Find-a-Grave’s software sometimes loses links.
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WILLIAM EDDYE, VICAR OF CRANBROOK, CHURCH OF ST. DUNSTAN, the "Cathedral in the Weald", Cranbrook, County Kent, England. Earliest recorded and confirmed ancestor of this Eddy family line.

Son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, cleric, family patriarch. Born in 1560~* to Margaret Thomas~*and Thomas Eddye II~* at Bristol, England. Half brother to John and Christopher~*
~*William's birth year, father's name, mother’s name, names or existence of half brothers HAVE NOT BEEN VERIFIED. Until it is verified and confirmed by the Eddy Family Association (EFA) that Thomas Eddye and/or Margaret Thomas were indeed William Eddye's father and mother, William Eddye, Vicar of Cranbrook, officially remains the earliest known Eddy ancestor. NOTE: This memorial may not report any further findings by the EFA.

William Eddye enlisted as a "Sizar" at Trinity Hall, at the University of Cambridge, England, and received a B.A. degree in 1583. After graduation, William moved a short distance to Thurston Parish in County Suffolk, where he occupied the church position of "Curate" from about 1583 to about 1586. During this period he was enrolled at Trinity College, at the University of Cambridge and in 1586 received the degree of "Magister in Artibus" (Master of Arts).

On Nov 20, 1587 married (#1) Mary Fosten (d. 7/18/1611 in Cranbrook, County Kent, England), daughter of Ellen (Munn) and John Fosten. Sired eleven children (all born in England):
1) Nathaniel* (or Nathanaell) (bapt. 3/30/1589 at Staplehurst Kent, d. bfr. 1611).
2) Mary (Marie) (bapt. 1591), m. Simeon (or Simon) Merdon. Bore two children: Katherine, Robert.
3) Phinias (bapt. 1593, d. bfr. 1641), m. Katherine Courthropp. Sired five children: Peter (d. 1619), Anne, Margaret, Susanna, Abigail (d. btwn 12/1639 and 6/1641). Phinias moved to Portsmouth England. m. Christian (of unknown surname) sometime before December 1639.
4) John** (bapt. 1597 in Cranbrook, England), m1. in 1622 Amy Doggett (b.1597, d. aft.1645), m2. in 1666^^ Joanna Bates^^ Meade (b. 1603, d. 1683). John sired, and Amy bore ten or eleven~ children. Children born in England: Benjamin (bur. 1639), John (bapt. 1622, d. 1622 @ 8 mos), John [#2]* (bapt. 1624), Sarah (b. 1624, d. 1740), m. John Marion, Mary (bapt. 1625, d. 1683), m1. Thomas Horton, m2. Robert Richard Ashley. Children born in America: Pilgrim*~ (b. 1634, d. unkn), m1. William Baker, m2. Isaac Steadman, m3. Sylvester Eveleth, Pilgrim [#2]*~ (b. 1634, d. young), John [#3]* (b. 1636/37), Samuel (b. 1640, d. 1711), m. Sarah Meade in 1664, Abigail (b. 1643, d. bfr. 1677), Ruth (b. 1645, d. unkn), m. unkn Gardner. John and Amy traveled on the ship "Handmaid" when John was about age 33, landed at Plymouth (Plymouth Colony) on Oct 29, 1630 (O.S.). In genealogy records John was referred to as "John Eddy of Watertown".
5) Eleanor "Ellen" (bapt. 1599, d. 1610).
6) Abigail (bapt. 1601), m. John Benjamin in 1619. Bore ten children: John (b. 1620, d. 1706), m. Lydia Allen, Abigail (b. 1624, d. 1704), m1. Joshua Stubbs, m2. John Woodward, Samuel (b. 1628, d. 1669), m. Mary unkn, Mary (b. 1630, d. 1646), Joseph (b. 1633, d. 1704), m1. Jemina Lumbert, m2. Sarah Clark, Richard (b. 1640, d. 1706), m. Anna unkn, Joshua (b. 1642, d. 1684), m. Thankful Stowe, Caleb (b. 1643, d. 1684), m. Mary Hale, Abel (b. 1645, d. 1713), m. Amathea Merrick (or Myrick), Mary (b.1646, d. 1646). Immigrated with her husband and family to America in 1632 aboard the ship "Lion", sailing from Bristol England to Boston, Massachusetts - settled in Watertown, Massachusetts.
7) Anna (or Anne) (bapt. 1603, d. 1678), m. Barnabas Wines. Bore five children: Anna (b. abt. 1633), Barnabas (b. abt. 1636), Sarah (b. abt. 1640), Samuel (b. abt. 1645, d. 1728/29), Prudence (b. abt. 1650). Immigrated to America with Barnabas and family, date unknown, settled in Watertown, Massachusetts.
8) Elizabeth (bapt. 1606, d. aft. 1617).
9) Samuel** (b. 1608, bapt. 1608, d. 1687), m. Elizabeth Savory (or Savery) (b. 1607, d. 1689). Sired five children in Plymouth: John^^ (b. 1637, d. 1715) known as "John Eddy of Tisbury/Martha's Vineyard", m. Hephzibah Doggett^^ (or Daggett) (d. 1726) in 1658 at Watertown, Zachariah (b. 1639, d. 1718), m. Alice Paddock in 1663, Caleb (b. 1643, d. 1713), m. Elizabeth Bullock, Obadiah (b. 1645, d. 1727), m. Bennet Ellis in 1668, Hannah (b. 1647). Samuel traveled on the ship "Handmaid" at about age 22, landed at Plymouth (Plymouth Colony) on Oct 29, 1630 (O.S.). In genealogy records Samuel was possibly referred to as "Samuel the Pilgrim". Samuel and wife Elizabeth were both buried in the Eddy Cemetery, Swansea, Bristol County, Massachusetts.
10) Zacharias (bapt. 1610, d. aft. 1616)
11) Nathaniel* (bapt. 1611, d. 1611).
Refer to “Deciphering Dates” below regarding dates indicated as “OS”
^^ not verified
* see NOTE 1 below.
** see NOTE 2 below.
~ RE #4 John Eddy’s children: other research does not support the existence of two children named Pilgrim, and in all likelyhood there weren’t.

Unless Zacharias survived beyond childhood, married and had sons, - which there is no record of - there are no descendants of William, bearing the surname of Eddy, except those who trace back to either John (#4 above) or Samuel (#9 above).

William's wife Mary (Fosten) died in July 1611, possibly at the birth of Nathaniel #2.

On January 12, 1591, under the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I, William Eddye was appointed the Vicar of Cranbrook by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop Whitgift, the head of the Church of England.

On Feb 22, 1613/14 O.S. at Cranbrook, County Kent, married (#2) Sarah Tayler (or Taylor) (last will dated Aug 1, 1637, proved Feb 5 1639/40 O.S.), who came to the marriage with at least two sons. Sired one child with Sarah:
1) Priscilla (bapt. 1614, d. btw. October 1617-1637).

Under the rein of His Majesty King James I, William died Nov 23, 1616 O.S. in Cranbrook, County Kent, England. Actual burial site lost - most likely buried under the church Chancel as was tradition, or if in the church yard, marked by a wooden marker or cross that has been lost to time.

▪️[POSSIBLE] PATERNAL ANCESTRAL PATH ^^^ (William’s possible father, grandfather, great grandfather, etc.)
1) Thomas Eddye II (b. abt.1542, d. bfr.7-2-1579) in England - m1.^ Margaret Thomas (b. 1530. d. 1600)^; m2.^ Elizabeth (maiden name unknown)~* (b. 1530, d. 1600)^, children: John (b. 1558, d. 1638)~*, Christopher (b. 1562, d. 1638)~*
2) Thomas Eddye I (b. abt.1519, d. 7/1578) - m. Mary Greenshawe (b. abt.1523, d. abt.1598)
3) Thomas Addys (b. 8/21/1495, d. 1/17/1525) - m. Anne English (b. 1491, d. 1525)
4) Degory Addis (b. 1465, d. 2/27/1520) - m. Anne Pewtrell (b. 1469)
~* not verified
^ marriage order unknown, and birth and death dates unsure
^^^ none of these names, relationships or dates have been verified. Refer to WikiTree note below RE Thomas Eddye II possibly not being William’s father, which if true would eliminate #1 through #4 above as ancestors.

Related specifically to dates in the above text, in order for any date noted as "O.S." ("Old Style"), to match our modern day "Gregorian" calendar one must add 10 days to any date between 1600-1700, and add 11 days to any date between 1700-1752. The modern day calendar was made law in 1752, thus any date after 1752 is based on our modern day calendar.

* NOTE 1
Note that during this period of time it was not uncommon to find two or more children in a family with the same given name. To differentiate one child from another they would, in many cases, expand the given name as in "John the Elder" and "John the Younger", or assign a suffix as in "Henry I" and "Henry II". In all cases it was likely that if an earlier born child with the given name died, a later-born child might be given the same name - as is the case of William’s family with two Nathaniel’s, and John Eddy's family, with three sons named after him.

** NOTE 2
Two of William's sons, John and Samuel, are the patriarchs of the largest clan of North American Eddy's. Other large Eddy clans - those descendants related to John Eddy of Taunton NJ, and desendants related to John Eddy of Woodbridge NJ (of the Scotish Eddey line) are spread across the United States and Canada. It has been established by DNA testing (as of April 2010) that the other two clans are not related in any way to the Reverend William Eddye (see Note 3***), however the Eddy Family Association (EFA) embraces and tracks all three family lines, with perhaps expectation that all three lines merge further back in time, if indeed that is possible with the aforementioned DNA results (please correct me on this if you have a better grasp on how this works than I - which wouldn’t be much of a stretch).

*** NOTE 3
From the Eddy Family Association: “The surname Eddy is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word ead - English. Eade, Eadie, Eddy, being the root for words meaning wealth, prosperity and success. Ead, Saxon, meaning blessed or happy. Eddie, in Gaelic means an instructor.”

According to the Eddy Family Association's "Eddy Family in America". William Eddye was the earliest known recorded ancestor of this "Eddy" family line. Vicar Eddye spelled his name with the "ye" ending during his lifetime and in his last will and testament, however he used the "ie" ending for the spelling of his children's surname in his will (as "Eddie"). The "Eddye" spelling was supposedly carried into the next generation, but at some point the ending "e" was dropped resulting in "Eddy".

For the descendants of Vicar Eddye, "Eddy" has become the officially correct spelling within the greater English-rooted Eddy family line, and is used exclusively in all official references to family lineage for William's descendants. The spelling of Vicar Eddye's surname is an exception. In reality, family grave markers and monuments in the U.S., Canada, and England may, and do, include variations of the spelling of the surname "Eddy".

Other variations possibly used by Vicar Eddye's descendants: "Eddie", "Eedey", "Edey", "Edy", "Eddey", "Ady", "Adye", and possibly “Addys” and “Addis”. It has been noted that the Scotish line of the family spells the surname “Eddey”

Rev. William Eddye's two sons, John and Samuel, who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1630 are included on the list of Great Migration Immigrants mentioned in Puritan Pedigrees: the Deep Roots of the Great Migration to New England, by Robert Charles Anderson.

Relationship to this memorial's creator: 9x Maternal Great Grandfather


Map of Southeast England by Scott Lasswell

Information about William’s mother was provided courtesy of Zachary Smith

Many thanks to Emily Rocha for sponsoring this memorial (which eliminated the ads, and made the memorial more dignified)

Note that information contained herein may differ from other research sources noted below:

Eddy Family Association
The Eddy Family Association’s (EFA) family history books were used extensively in compiling this research. The EFA has dozens of volumes on the Eddy's in America, and a fine discussion of the Eddy surname's origin in their books and online.

Wikipedia also has an article on the Eddy surname at:
It has been suggested that has a discussion of William Eddye titled The Eddy Family in America that is superior to this one. This author does not claim that the information presented here is all there is on William Eddye, and we are sure that Find-a-Grave doesn’t intend for, or even want this venue to include a full historical account of any one person. Unfortunately this author does not have access to This discussion (Find-a-Grave) is based on Eddy Family Association research, the final word on Eddy family history - even information provided by, which isn’t always correct. This author does not doubt that has a good discussion that should be seriously considered. If you have access to, check it out.

WikiTree was used to expand William Eddyes’s possible Ancestral Path back in time (none of that information has been verified). No other information provided at WikiTree was included herein, although both profiles used many of the same sources, and came to similar conclusions. The WikiTree profile is an expanded version of this information. It offers a section challenging the belief that Thomas Eddye II (or Addyes) is William’s father, and a full transcription of William’s very lengthy Last Will & Testament.

Minor Descent
For a much more extensive discussion of William Eddye I suggest going to his page on MinerDescent (URL below). This memorial’s creator has not compared the information found at MinerDescent so cannot attest to its accuracy. No information provided in William Eddye’s bio at MinerDescent was used in this memorial. Photos of St Dunstan’s Church are courtesy of MinerDescent (limited use granted on 10/13/18).

House of Names
Links to discussions on origins of the name, spelling variations, migrations to Ireland and America.

Family Members

Gravesite Details Actual burial site lost - most likely buried under the church Chancel as was tradition, or if in the church yard, marked by a wooden marker or cross that has been lost to time.
  • Created by: R S Lasswell
  • Added: 13 Jul 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 39433785
  • Emily Rocha
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rev William Eddye (1560–23 Nov 1616), Find A Grave Memorial no. 39433785, citing St Dunstan's Churchyard, Cranbrook, Tunbridge Wells Borough, Kent, England ; Maintained by R S Lasswell (contributor 46574418) .