Monrow, William

Battle:Battle of Worcester in Worcester, Worcestershire, England
Ship/Arrival:John & Sara, May 1652
Prisoner and List:
Name Variations:
Other SPOW Associations:
Every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy; please independently verify all data.

A list of the passengers aboard the John & Sara of London bound for New England:
Monrow, Hugh. NEHGR, SD
Monrow, John. NEHGR, SD
Monrow, Robert. NEHGR, SD
Monrow, [_____]. NEHGR, SD [We assume this is William Monrow.]
Name Variations: Monrow, Monroe, Munroe, Munro
Resided: Charlestown, Cambridge, Lexington, Massachusetts


First Generation in the New World

1. WILLIAM¹ MONROW, was born, presumably in Scotland and died at Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts on 23 Jan, 1718.1 He married, first, at Charlestown, Massachusetts, by 1665/6, MARTHA GEORGE.2 He married, second, in Charlestown by 1673, MARY BALL.3 He married, third, in Massachusetts about 1693, ELIZABETH (JOHNSON) WYER, the widow of EDWARD WYER. She died at Lexington on 14 Dec 1714.4

Biographical Notes:
1. William Munroe (American Soldier) at Wikipedia

Children of William¹ and Martha (George) Munroe:
2. i. JOHN² MUNROE, (William¹), was born at Cambridge on 10 Mar 1666.5
2. ii. MARTHA² MUNROE, (William¹), was born at Cambridge on 02 Nov 1667.6
2. iii. WILLIAM² MUNROE, (William¹), was born at Cambridge on 10 Oct 1669.7

Children of William¹ and Mary (Ball) Munroe:
2. i. DANIEL² MUNROE, (William¹), was born at Cambridge on 12 Aug 1673.6
2. ii.
2. iii. MARY² MUNROE, (William¹), was born at Cambridge on 28 Jun 1678.6
2. iv. DAVID² MUNROE, (William¹), was born at Cambridge on 06 Oct 1680.6
2. v. ELINER² MUNROE, (William¹), was born at Cambridge on 24 Feb 1682/3.5
2. vi. SARAH MUNROE, (William¹), was born at Cambridge on 18 Mar 1684.5
2. vii. JOSEPH² MUNROE, (William¹), was born at Cambridge on 16 Aug 1687.5
2. viii.
2. ix. BENJAMIN² MUNROE, (William¹), was born at Cambridge on 16 Aug 1690.5
2. x. MARY² MUNROE, (William¹), was born at Cambridge on 03 Apr 1699.8

Here Lyes ye Body of Mr. William Munroe Aged about 92 Years Dec’d Jan 27, 1718.

Published on: 09 Dec 2014
Updated: 25 Mar 2020
Researcher: Teresa Rust
Editor: Teresa Rust

Sources and Notes:

Married third, the widow of Edward Wyer, Elizabeth (Johnson) Wyer

William Munroe at Heather Wilkenson Rojo’s blog

Story about Mary (Munroe) Sanderson and the Man in Her Bed at the blog Boston 1775:

The following is an excerpt from
Rapaport, Diane. “Scots for Sale, The Fate of the Scottish Prisoners in Seventeenth-Century Massachusetts,” (New England Ancestors. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2000-2009.) (Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009.)

RE: William Monrow

According to local and family tradition, William was a Scottish survivor of the Battle of Worcester, although his name does not appear specifically on the John and Sara transport list. (A “Monrow” on the document whose first name was torn or obliterated is believed to have been William.)[13] Other Munro prisoners accompanied William on the John and Sara, including a John, Robert and Hugh “Monrow,” but apparently they were not close kin, and the other men served their indentures far away from William in Plymouth Colony.[14]

William began his indenture in the Menotomy area of Cambridge, Massachusetts (now the town of Arlington) for millwright John Adams.[15] Later William worked for and rented land from Joseph Cooke of Cambridge[16] (whose brother Thomas coincidentally fought for Cromwell at the Battle of Worcester).[17]

William remained single for the first thirteen years after his arrival in Massachusetts, finally marrying about 1665. His bride was Martha George, whose father once worked for Massachusetts governor John Winthrop but now faced trouble with Puritan authorities for founding an illegal Baptist church in Charlestown.[18] Martha died a few years later, leaving William to raise four young children.[19] He remarried, to 20-year-old Mary Ball of Watertown, a woman with a troubled past. (Her parents were in and out of court on charges of beatings and neglect, amid hints that the mother was insane, and Mary herself had suffered judicial sanctions for an out-of-wedlock child.)[20] William brought stability to Mary’s life; married twenty years, they had ten children together.[21] His third wife was Elizabeth Johnson Wyer (widow of a Scots tailor from Charlestown).[22]

Gradually William purchased small pieces of land in Cambridge Farms, and by 1695 joined with sons and a son-in-law to purchase 100 acres;[23] his area of town came to be known locally as “Scotland.”[24] With increased landholdings came greater status in the community. He was made a freeman, chosen as one of the town Selectmen, and admitted as a member of the church.[25] When he died on January 27, 1718, he was one of Lexington’s most respected citizens.[26]

Other Scots from the John and Sara settled near William Munro, but some were not so fortunate.

  1. William, Jan. 23, 1718.” Massachusetts: Vital Records, 1620-1850 []
  2. MUNROE, William1 (?1625-1718, ca 92) & 1/wf Martha [GEORGE], dau John; by 1665/6; Charlestown/Cambridge/Lexington” New England Marriages to 1700. Originally published as: New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015. []
  3. MUNROE, William1 (-1718) & 2/wf Mary [BALL] (1651, 1640?-1692, ae 41); by 1673; Charlestown/Cambridge/Lexington {Reed (1956); McCormick-Hamilton 102, 598, 773; Charlestown 51, 681; Lexington 2:449; Fallass 189; Fish Anc.; Warren (,5) 154; Blake-Glidden 29 New England Marriages to 1700. Originally published as: New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015. []
  4. William’s wf., Dec 14, 1714.” Massachusetts: Vital Records, 1620-1850 []
  5. [] [] [] [] []
  6. [] [] [] []
  7. William, s. of Will[ia]m and Martha, Oct. 10, 1669.” Massachusetts: Vital Records, 1620-1850 []
  8. Mary, d. of W[illia]m and Mary, Apr. 3, 1699.” []