This is a transcription of Stukely Westcott in England and His Emigration to America from History and Genealogy of the Ancestors and Some Descendants of Stukely Westcott by Roscoe L. Whitman, 1932, page 9.
Stukely Westcott in England and His Emigration to America
Beyond the year of his birth, 1592, nothing has been positively revealed of the youth of Stukely Westcott. That he was born in the shire or county of Somerset in England of the posterity of Thomas de Wescote and Elizabeth Littleton, his wife, of Wescote in the parish of Marwood in Devonshire, whose descendants settled in Somerset in the late 15th century, there is every belief.
Based upon the age of his children, he was married about the year 1617-8 when about twenty-six years of age. His wife, according to Laura LaMance, author of “The Greene Tree,” was probably Rosanna Hill of Somerset. They are definitely located in the Spring of 1622 in the Southern part of Somerset in the parish of Yeovil, from which place they started for New England thirteen years later.
Rosanna Hill “descended from an ancient family long seated at Houndstone, near Taunton, Somersetshire.” Her father, William, as already stated, was of Poundeford, some twenty miles West of Yeovil. Her mother was Jane, daughter of John and Joan (Cottington) Young of Axminster in Devonshire, and her paternal grandfather was Walter Young, a younger son of the house of Bassildon in Berkshire, who was “fined by the first Queen Mary for not taking the order of Knighthood.” Her maternal grandmother was Rosanna (Wardwell) Waite, for whom she was named. The Wardwell family was Welsh and is traced through the LaSalles to France. They emigrated to Wales in 1565.
The earliest of the Hill family traced in this research is Richard, probably born in the year 1350 at Helegan in Cornwall. In 1399, he was the king’s sergeant, lived at Shilstone in Devon and was ancestor of Abigail Hill, Lady Mashem. He was married twice; both Cornish heiresses. His son, Robert, was sheriff of Devon in 1428-9 and resided at the family seat of Hawkstone Park, Hodnot, in the parish of Shobrooke where Raddon is located and where Thomas and Alice (Walker) Wescott later settled on the Raddon estates. Sir Robert Hill, probably grandson and namesake of the preceding Robert, was born in 1492 and became the first Protestant mayor of London. His father was Thomas Hill. Sir Robert died 1561, unmarried.
“Before 1900,” says Fred A. Arnold in his “Account of the English Homes of Three Early ‘Proprietors’ of Providence—William [page 10] Arnold, Stukely Westcott and William Carpenter” (1921), “every county in England had been combed to find the name Stukely Westcott, without success, until 1902, Mr. Edson S. Jones found the name at Yeovil, as the father of Samuel, baptised Mar. 31, 1622. This, without support of record, does not prove that he was the Stukely Westcott who came in 1635 to New England, but circumstantial evidence very strongly favors that conclusion. The name of Stukely and of Westcott is common in Devon and Somerset, but the combination of these names has so far been found nowhere before 1622 at Yeovil and so far as we know is unique, and the name of his daughter Demaris is very unusual.” In Thomas Wescote’s Devon, the name Demaris appears only twice.
This son, Samuel, whose birth is recorded at Yeovil in 1622, checks as to age with the third child of the children of Stukely Westcott who made the crossing in 1635. That this Stukely Westcott was he who came to America thirteen years after the birth of Samuel, seems to be fully substantiated by memoranda made in April, 1656, by Benedict Arnold and found among his old family papers. He wrote:
“June 24, 1635, arrived in Massachusetts Bay. Sailed from Dartmouth of Devon May 1, 1635, all but one of the Party (William Carpenter) coming from Ilchester in southern Somerset or within five miles of that place.”
“My father (Willliam Arnold) and his family Sett Sayle ffrom Dartmouth in Old England, the first of May, friday & Arrived in New England (Thursday) June 24, 1635. On board was Stukely Westcott, 43, of Yeovil, and his wife with children Robert, Damaris, Samuel 13, Amos 4, Mercy and Jeremiah.”
That Benedict, then twenty years of age, should have singled out the Westcotts to mention in his memoranda, may be safely explained by his promising friendship with Damaris Westcott, then about fifteen years old, and who later became his wife.
William Carpenter, born 1603, appears to have been the lone bachelor of the party, but he did not remain a bachelor for long, for soon after reaching America his attention to Elizabeth Arnold, daughter of William, ripened into marriage. Their descendant in the fifth generation, Mary Carpenter, of Silas, of Silas, of Benjamin Westcott, of Samuel, of Jeremiah, of Stukely.