From the files of Stephen M. Lawson
Haye Ancestry in England
The principal information source for the Ensign ancestry in
England is a series of articles on "The English Ensigns," by Paul C.
Reed, in The American Genealogist [TAG 75 (2000)].
William and Joan (Tufton) Haye
William HAYE - b. about 1495; d. Aug. 22, 1538,
Salehurst, Sussex. Son of John HAYE. No will or probate
has been located, but an inquisition post mortem at Robertsbridge
on Oct. 17, 1542 identifies widow Joan HAYE, eldest son (age 17
years 6 months) William, son Thomas and five daughters. Only the
age of the eldest son is given, so it is not certain that the
daughters were all younger. Also named in the inquisition, among
others, was John TUFTON, son of Nicholas TUFTON. William HAYE
had a brother John (b. about 1497) who is found on the 1524 and
1525 tax rolls of Robertsbridge, and who had at least one son,
Thomas (bur. Jun. 13, 1597, Salehurst, Sussex), a tailor at
Married about 1520, Northiam, Sussex.
Joan TUFTON - b. about 1505, Northiam, Sussex. The 1538
inquisition post mortem for Nicholas TUFTON names daughter Joan
HAYE. Daughter of Sir Nicholas TUFTON
and Margaret HEVER.
Children of William and Joan
- William - b. Jan 1521, Sussex; d. about Oct 1588. Will dated Aug.
12, 1588 and proved Oct. 30, 1588. Named in the 1576/7 will of David
PILCHER as "my Broother Wyllyam Haye." Married Joane (bur. Nov. 15,
1591, Salehurst, Sussex), whose will was dated Nov. 4, 1591 and proved
Jan. 14, 1592. Children, with birth order not known: Thomas; Edward;
Susan married Leonard BISHOP; Anne married Thomas BURNELL or BURRELL;
Mary married; Bridget married; and Elizabeth married. The husbands of
Mary, Bridget and Elizabeth (order not known) were Anthony NORMAN,
William ALLFREY, and William HIXE.
- Thomas - b. about 1523, Sussex; d. 1591/2. Will dated Aug. 24,
1591 and proved Mar. 23, 1592. Thomas held various public offices at
Hastings, including Bailiff, Mayor and representative. His will names
Constance PILCHER, but does not specify her relationship (his niece,
later wife of Thomas ENSING). Named in the 1576/7 will of David PILCHER
as "may Brother Thomas Haye." Married second Elizabeth BAKER (will was
dated Jul. 5, 1597 and proved Oct. 20, 1597), daughter of John BAKER.
Children of first marriage: William married second Mary HAWES; and John
married first Mary MORLEY, and second Anne COULSTON. Children of Thomas
and Elizabeth: Thomas married Dorothy APSLEY; Isaac married Hester;
Abraham married Anne JACOB; Edmund married Mary MORGAN; Elizabeth
married Goddard FORSTER; Grace; Dorothy; and Ferris (son).
- Joane - b. about 1525. One daughter of
the five of William HAYE married David PILCHER.
It is not known which of the sisters Joane, Mary, Agnes, Bridget or
Margaret married David PILCHER about 1555. The sisters, listed in the
order named in their father's will, were likely born at about 2 year
intervals from about 1525 to about 1533. Assuming a then common
marriage age of about 22 (age 35 when youngest child was born), it
might be concluded that the youngest sister married David. However, if
David's wife was his age, it might be concluded that the eldest sister
(age 43 when youngest child was born) married David. Thus, any one of
the sisters may have married David PILCHER.
- Mary - b. about 1527.
- Agnes - b. about 1529.
- Bridget - b. about 1531.
- Margaret - b. about 1533.
Pilcher Ancestry in England
Only a bare outline of the possible brothers, father, and earlier
ancestors of Thomas PYLCHER of Battle, Sussex, is given. For more
details and an analysis of this possible ancestry, refer to "The
English Ensigns," by Paul C. Reed, Part II (TAG 75:132-33).
John PYLCHER -
Katherine BASSET - Daughter of John BASSET of
- John - "John Pylcher, father to William, had issue
Lawrence who is elder brother to the said William and who is still
- Lawrence - Living the 1504-1515 era, and possibly later.
- William - Resided 1524-25 at Eastborne, Sussex, about 12
miles from Battle.
- Joan - Married ----- DRYVER.
- Thomas - Possibly Thomas PYLCHER of
Thomas and Elizabeth (Fynch?) Pylcher
Thomas PYLCHER - b. about 1475; d. by 1524. Thomas was
conceded a plot of land thirty feet square in the Battle market
place in 1499 to build a new house. He witnessed a will in 1501,
and was an inquest juror. His parents have not been determined
with any certainty, but indirect evidence suggest the possiblity
that he was the son of John PYLCHER.
Elizabeth FYNCH? - bur. in the church at Battle. Her will, dated Jan.
13, 1538, provides a great deal of information about her family
and her social status. Married second by 1524 David LEWYS (bur.
in the church at Battle).
Children of Thomas and Elizabeth
- Luke - b. say 1501; d. about 1547,
- Thomas - b. say 1503. His will, dated Feb. 26, 1543/4, names his
wife, three son under age 22, two unmarried daughters under age 20,
brother-in-law John LOVE, nephew Edward ALFORD, and niece Johanne
ALFORD. Educated at the monastery at Battle. Married Alice. Children:
Richard; Thomas; Luke; Elizabeth; and Julyan.
- Katherine - b. say 1505. Married John LOVE the Younger of Battle.
His will, dated Aug. 20, 1548, names wife, four sons, and daughters
Johanne and Julyan. Children: Richard; John; Elizabeth; Johanne;
Julyan; Robert; and William
- Anne - b. say 1507. Married John ALFORD. Children: Edward; and
- John - Educated at the monastery, he became a monk at Battle.
Luke and Alice Pylcher
Luke PYLCHER - b. say 1501; d. about 1547, Battle, Sussex.
His will was dated Jun. 1, 1547 names wife Alice, his four daughters
and sons David and Thomas. Educated at the monastery at Battle,
he was named in the Abbey accounts about 1510, and was said to
have "worn out three pairs of shoes in one half-year."
Luke was taxed a modest sum in 1524-25. He was a feoffe of John
GOTLEY on Apr. 20, 1525, and in 1527 held land in two locations
within Battle. Luke has been identified as a Burgess of High Street
in Battle, an inquest juror, a rent collector and property manager,
and a provider of cattle to the abbey household. Son of Thomas
PYLCHER and Elizabeth FYNCH?.
Alice - Surname not found. her willl was written Jan.
26, 1558/9, calling herself "Alce pylcher wedow lat wyf of
luke pylcher" and names a number descendants and their spouses,
including her deceased son Lawrence. The residual of her estate
went to "davyd pylcher."
Children of Luke and Alice
- David - b. say 1526; d. about 1576,
- Lawrence - b. say 1527. Daughter: Alce.
- Thomas - b. say 1529; d. about 1573. His will, dated Feb. 20,
1571/2, names wife Elizabeth, three daughter and an unborn child.
Married Elizabeth. Her will, dated Mar. 13, 1573/4 names her three
daughters and son Thomas, as well as her sister Grace. Children: Mary;
Alice; Elizabeth; and Thomas.
- Joan - b. say 1531.
- Alice - b. say 1533. Married Bartholomew GEFFEREY, son of Thomas
GEFFEREY of Ripe. His will, dated Dec. 8, 1574 and proved Jun. 2, 1575,
names wife Alice and four sons. Sons: Richard; Davie; Arthur; and
- Agnes - b. say 1535; bur. Jan. 21, 1570/1, St. Clement, Hastings.
Married James SEISLEY (bur. Mar. 17, 1571/2, St. Clement, Hastings).
His will, dated Mar. 14, 1571/2 and proved Apr. 1, 1572, names two
daughter, three sons, and brothers-in-law David PILCHER and Bartholomew
GEFFEREY. Children: Mercy; Mary; Richard; John; and Abraham.
- Mercy - b. say 1537.
- Margaret - b. say 1539.
David PILCHER - b. say 1526; d. about 1576/7, Battle,
Sussex. His will, dated Mar. 10, 1576/7, mentions, but does not
name, his wife, and names all of his children. Appointed as executors
of the will are "my Broother Wyllyam Haye, and my Brother
Thomas Haye." Son of Luke PYLCHER and
Miss HAYE - Daughter of William HAYE and
Children of David
- Thomas - b. about 1556/7. A plebeian at Balliol College, Oxford,
he matriculated 1575 at age 18, was scolar in 1575, fellow 1576, B.A.
Mary 28, 1576, and M.A. May 16, 1579. Though he is not named in the
1583 will of his brother Luke, it is believed he was the Rev. Thomas
PILCHARD who was ordained a Catholic priest at Laon in 1583 and
martyred Mar. 21, 1585 at Dorchester by being hanged, drawn and
- Luke - b. about 1588; d. 1583. His will was dated Jun 20, 1583
and proved Jul. 23, 1583, naming brother John, brothers-in-law William
NOWELL and William FRENCH, and niece Helene FRENCH, suggests that Luke
- Anna - b. about 1560; bur. May 24, 1617, Rye, Sussex. Will dated
May 5, 1617 and proved May 14, 1617. Married William FRENCH (bur. Mar.
12, 1602/3, Rye, Sussex), tailor, shipowner and merchant of Rye.
Children: Helene married Smallhope BIGGE; Elizabeth married Joseph
BENBRIDGE; Joan married James MARTIN; Bridget married Thomas DALLETT;
Mercy married Mr. EDWARDS; Anne died young; Mary married John
BENBRIDGE; and Margaret died as infant.
- Mercy - b. about 1562. Married William NOWELL (b. about 1558; d.
before Dec. 18, 1584) of Battle and Rye, Sussex, son of William NOWELL
of Lancashire. Children: John married first Bridget CASTREETE, and
second Sarah BENBRIDGE; and Mary married John AUSTEN.
- John - b. about 1564; bur. Sep. 19, 1621, Rye, Sussex. While a
resident of Salehurst, Sussex, he obtained on Dec. 16, 1586 the
license, and was married at Burwash, Sussex on Dec. 19, 1586 to
Catherine COLLYN (bur. Aug. 13, 1590, Burwash, Sussex). John was
married second to Joan HEPDEN (bur. Aug. 8, 1624, Burwash, Sussex).
Children of John and Catherine: Elizabeth married Daniel BEINSON; and a
son died as infant.
- Constance - b. about 1568, Sussex; bur.
Feb. 24, 1624/5, Rye, Sussex. Married Thomas ENSING.
Ensing/Ensign Ancestry in England
The principal information source for the Ensign ancestry in
England is a series of articles on "The English Ensigns," by Paul C.
Reed, in The American Genealogist [TAG 75 (2000)].
Thomas ENSING - b. say 1571, Sussex; bur. Feb. 2, 1631/2,
Hove, Sussex. His will,
dated Dec. 14, 1631, was proved Mar. 27, 1632 in Prerogative Court,
Canterbury. Though one or more generations are missing, it is
likely that Thomas was a descendant of Thomas ENSING of Winchelsea,
Sussex, and of John ENSING, who lived in 1478 at Robertsbridge,
Salehurst, Sussex. Thomas ENSING of Winchelsea was mayor there
several times between 1519 and 1538, and a Member of Parliament
in 1529. He was the father of Joan ENSING, who married first Peter
MASTER, and second Philip CHUTE. Thomas ENSING, who was possibly
born at Robertsbridge, Sussex, was living at Rye, Sussex, by 1595,
remaining there until relocating to Hove, Sussex, sometime after
his wife's death in late 1624 and before writing his will in late
1631. Rye was a port city and Thomas ENSING was a prominent citizen
and public figure. He was land chamberlain in 1599, purchased
a tenement called the Vyne in 1600, posted a £800 bond for
the estate of his brother-in-law William FRENCH in 1602/3, was
jurat and auditor in 1607, a bailiff in 1609, mayor in 1614, and
deputy mayor in 1615. He appears many times in the Rye records
until the port declined in the mid 1620s. During religious conflicts
in 1623/4, he was called gentleman and was charged with other
Puritan Reformists with obstructing activities of the established
church. Thomas was married on May 27, 1594 at Brightling, Sussex.
Constance PILCHER - b. about 1568, Sussex; bur. Feb.
24, 1624/5, Rye, Sussex. Daughter of David
PILCHER and Miss HAYE.
Children of Thomas and Constance Ensing
- John - bap. Jun. 8, 1595, Rye, Sussex; d. Jan. 1620/1, London. In
his will of Jan. 5, 1620/1 (proved Jan. 16, 1620/21), John calls
himself "Citizen and ymbroyderer of London," and names his father
Thomas, mother Constance, wife Margaret, father-in-law William POWELL,
brother-in-law William POWELL, sister-in-law Avis POWELL, and his own
siblings, excepting brother Edward, who was apparently deceased.
Married on Oct. 12, 1620 at St. Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, Surrey to
Margaret POWELL, daughter of William POWELL. Margaret married second on
May 13, 1622 at St. Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, Surrey to Henry
- Mary - b. about 1597, Rye, Sussex prob.; d. by Mar. 1641/2,
Cranbrook, Kent. Married Robert COUCHMAN of Cranbrook, Kent, by Oct. 7,
1627 when their first child was baptized. Her widower married second on
Mar. 24, 1641/2 Katherine (BOTTINGE) DORLEY, widow of Henry DORLEY,
whom she had married Nov. 26, 1633 at Cranbrook, Kent. Children of Mary
and Robert: Thomas; Constance; Elizabeth; David; Robert; and Mary.
- bap. Apr. 1599, Rye, Sussex; d. 1663/4, Duxbury, Plymouth Co., MA;
will dated Jul. 16, 1663, and proved Jun. 9, 1664, with inventory of
his estate being taken Feb. 17, 1663/4. Thomas was married first on
Apr. 27, 1629 at Cranbrook, Kent to Hannah WYBOURNE (d. 1638, probably
at Scituate, MA), daughter of John WYBOURNE (b. 1568; d. 1616/7,
Smarden, Kent), and granddaughter of George WYBOURNE (b. say 1545; d.
1610, Staplehurst, Kent) and Margery (SAYER) PAYNE. Thomas was married
second on Jan. 17, 1638/9 at Scituate, Plymouth Co., MA to Elizabeth
WILDER (b. about 1618; d. between Nov. 1, 1676 and Nov. 19, 1686,
Marshfield, MA prob.), daughter of widow Martha WILDER of Hingham, MA.
Sarah, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth, was convicted 3 Oct 1665 of
whoredom and whipped. Elizabeth, as the widow ENSIGN seeking some
measure of justice for her daughter, filed a suit against Thomas
SUMMERS for £500 damage for "inticing and drawing away her
daughter unseasonably, and by unlawfull meanes, against her will, and
abusing her daughter." Elizabeth was awarded 50s and the cost of the
suit. Children of Thomas and Hannah: Hannah died as infant; Thomas died
as infant; Thomas did not marry; John probably died young; and Hannah
married Thomas SHEPHERD. Children of Thomas and Elizabeth: John
married; Sarah married first Joseph WADE (son of Nicholas WADE and
Elizabeth HANFORD), and second Thomas MANN; and Hannah married Thomas
WADE (son of Nicholas WADE and Elizabeth HANFORD). (Note that Thomas
ENSIGN had two daughters named Hannah who married, one by each of his
- Edward - bap. May 10, 1601, Rye, Sussex; d. before Jan. 1620/1.
He is the only sibling not mentioned in the will of his brother John
- David - bap. Jul. 3, 1603, Rye, Sussex. Admitted as pensioner at
Emmanuel College, Cambridge on Apr. 2, 1622, and matriculated in 1622.
He received his B.A. 1625-6 and M.A. 1629, and became Fellow in 1629.
David was Rector of Preston, Northants. His son Edward ENSINGE was
admitted sizar at Magdalene College on Jan. 8, 1657/8, at age 15, and
received his B.A. 1661-2.
- James - bap. Jun. 1, 1606, Rye, Sussex; d.
Dec. 11, 1670, Hartford, Hartford Co., CT.
- Constance - bap. Nov. 13, 1608, Rye, Sussex; bur Jun. 15, 1632,
Hove, Sussex. Married on Jun. 6, 1631 at Glynde, Sussex to Edward FOWLE
(bur. Mar. 13, 1639/0, Hove, Sussex) of Weeks, Hove, Sussex. Edward,
churchwarden of Hove in 1632, 1639 and 1640, married second Elizabeth
and had children John (died infant), Henry, Elizabeth (died infant),
and probably a child born after his death. Edward's will was dated Mar.
3, 1639/0 and proved May 8, 1640, and names daughter Constance, wife
Elizabeth, being with child, son Henry, brothers John FOWLE and Thomas
FOWLE, and brother-in-law John CHATTFIELD. Child of Constance and
The Ensign Family in America
The principal information source for the Ensign family is a
series of articles in The American Genealogist which presents
and extends previously published material and adds extensive new
research findings. Of particular note are articles by Paul C. Reed in
TAG 75 (2000), by Robert E. Bowman in TAG 73 (1998), by Eugene A.
Stratton in TAG 61 (1985), and by Douglas Richardson in TAG 60 (1984)
and 56 (1980). Refer to these TAG articles for source
documentation and much more detail than is presented here. As always,
this compiler is responsible for any transcription or interpretation
errors of the cited articles. A fine presentation of information about
the children and descendants of Thomas ENSIGN and Constance PILCHER was
located on the web site
of Ralph Dean Clark (1999).
James and Sarah (Elson) Ensign
James ENSIGN - bap. Jun. 1, 1606, Rye, Sussex, England;
d. Dec. 11, 1670, Hartford, Hartford Co., CT. Son of Thomas
and Constance PILCHER. At Cambridge MA 1634; freeman
Mar. 4, 1635; to Hartford 1639; constable 1649 and 1662; chimney
viewer 1655; townsman 1656. His name appears on Hartford's Founders Monument. Founding
member of 1st Congregational Church, Hartford, and member of 2nd
Congregational Church 1670. Will dated Nov. 23, 1670, with inventory
taken Dec. 23, 1670 at £729.2.9.
Sarah - b. England; d. May 1676, Hartford, Hartford
Co., CT. Inventory May 29, 1676. Although her surname is often
reported to be ELSON, no substantive evidence is known that supports
Children of James and Sarah Ensign
- Sarah - b. probably in England; d. Jun. 23, 1659, Hartford, CT.
Married May 6, 1651 John ROCKWELL (b. Jul. 18, 1627, Dorchester,
Dorset, England; d. Dec. 13, 1673, Windsor, CT). Their daughter Ruth
married Daniel MIX.
- Hannah - Married about 1670 Joseph EASTON (d. Dec. 30, 1711), son
of Joseph. Children: Joseph married Sarah SPENCER; James married Jane;
Hannah married Richard MILES; Elizabeth married first Thomas BUNCE, and
second Caleb BULL; Jonathan married Elizabeth CADWELL; Timothy;
Thankful married Stephen TROWBRIDGE.
- Mary - bap. Aug. 1, 1649,
Hartford, CT; d. Jul. 1, 1723, Suffield, CT. Married Samuel SMITH.
- David - b. 1644, Hartford, CT; d. Dec. 13, 1727, West Hartford,
CT. Chimney viewer 1666; surveyor of highways 1669. Married first Oct.
22, 1663 Mehitabel GUNN (b. Jul. 28, 1644; d. Jan. 30, 1720), daughter
of Thomas. David and Mehitabel were divorced Oct. 1682, and she married
second Isaac SHELDON. David married second Sarah WILCOX (b. Oct. 3,
1648; d. Feb. 3, 1717/8), daughter of John WILCOX and Sarah WADSWORTH.
Children of David and Mehitabel: David probably died young; James
married first Lydia BAKER, and second Anna; Thomas married Hannah
SHEPARD; Sarah; and Mary. Son of David and Sarah: David married first
Hannah SMITH, and second Sarah MOODY.
- Lydia - bap. Aug. 19, 1649, Hartford, CT.