An American Family History

Deacon William Fiske and Sarah Kilham

Wenham, Essex County, Massachusetts

Wenham, Essex County, Massachusetts was settled in 1636. The first settlers called it Enon or Salem Village. It was officially set off from the Town of Salem on May 10, 1643.

Deacon William Fiske and Sarah Kilham married on January 15, 1662 in Wenham, Essex County, Massachusetts.

William was a weaver.

William Fiske was born on January 30, 1663. Sarah Fiske Cook was born on February 5, 1664. Ruth Fiske was born on March 2, 1666. The first Samuel Fiske was born on March 2, 1667. Martha Fiske was born on May 4, 1668. Joseph Fiske was born on February 10, 1669. The second Samuel Fiske was born on February 16, 1670. Joseph Fiske was born on April 14, 1672. Benjamin Fiske was born on April 6, 1674. Theophilus Fiske was born on July 28, 1676. The first Ebenezer Fiske was born on February 10, 1677. Deacon Ebenezer Fiske was born on March 22 1679. Jonathan Fiske was born on July 22, 1681. Elizabeth Fiske Foster was born on December 12, 1684.

William died on February 5, 1728. His sixth son, Ebenezer Fiske, appointed executor of his will. Sarah died January 26. 1737.
1677 Map of New England
click to enlarge
Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

Coverlets (Coverlid) are woven bedcovers, used as the topmost covering on a bed.


Wenham was first settled by English Puritans. The church was formed in 1644 with John Fiske as pastor.

from The Fiske Family by Albert Augustus Fiske

Deacon William Fiske of Wenham. William Jr., the eldest son of William Fiske, the Emigrant, born in 1642, was married, January 15, 1662, to Sarah Kilham, of Wenham, and by her had the following fourteen children, the record of whose names and births was found among the private papers of his grandson, William Fiske, Son., of Amherst.
William, born Jan. 31, 1663; mar. Marah, (surname not given).
Sarah, Feb. 5, 1664; married John Cook.
Ruth, March 2, 1666; no record of marriage.
Samuel, March 2, 1667; died young.
Martha, May 15, 1668; no record of marriage.
Joseph, Feb. 10, 1669; died young.
Samuel, Feb. 16, 1670; mar. Elizabeth Browne, 1699.
Joseph, April 14, 1672; married Susanna Warner.
Benjamin, April 6, 1674; married Mary Quarles, 1699.
Theophilus, July 28, 1676; married Phebe Lampson, 1700.
Ebenezer, Feb. 10, 1677; died young.
Ebenezeb, March 22, 1679; mar. Elizabeth Fuller, 1710.
Jonathan, July 22, 1681; died Feb. 14, 1705.
Elizabeth, Dec. 12, 1684; married Eliezer Foster, 1704.

Mr. Fiske, by occupation a weaver, was admitted a freeman in 1670, and chosen Deacon of the Congregational Church (of which his uncle, Rev. John Fiske, was first pastor) in 1679. He also held various public offices. . .He inherited to a large extent his father's ability and worthy character, and died at a good old age, February 6, 1728, in his 86th year. His widow survived him several years and died January 26, 1738, in her 98th year. In his will, dated 1725, and proved 1728, all the foregoing children are mentioned as legatees, except Jonathan, who had died previously; but no clue is given to the families intermarried, none of them being mentioned by name.

Essex County, Massachusetts was created on May 10, 1643 by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when it ordered "that the whole plantation within this jurisdiction be divided into four sheires."

Deacons played a respected and important role in early New England churches. They sat in a raised pew near the pulpit and had special duties during communion.

William Fiske, Jr., born in Wenham 1642, where he was married in his 21st year (Dec. 15, 1662) to Miss Sarah Kilham, was elected a deacon of the Congregational Church in 1679.

They were the parents of fourteen children, ten of whom grew up and had families. Of these, seven were sons, viz.: William, Samuel, Joseph, Benjamin, Theophilus, Ebenezer and Jonathan.

Deacon William died in 1728, aged eighty five years, universally esteemed and lamented.

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©Roberta Tuller 2023
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