I’m skipping my dad’s side of the family tree this week, unfortunately his is the branch I have the least amount of information on, and I want to sit down and really have a chance to talk to him about some of the remaining people on his family tree that I have left to write about.
So this week I am back to my husband’s maternal side of the family, and I will write about William Hibbs Sr. , my husband’s 8 times great grandfather. I was able to find information about William Sr. and Jr. in the following book: Sheppard-Marshal and Allied Families.
William Hibbs Sr. was born about 1629/30 in Dean Forest, Gloucester, England. His parents are unknown.
In 1654 he married a woman named Joanne (unknown last name but she was also from the Dean Forest region) and the couple had the following children, Jane (born1654/55), Jonathan (1657-1697/98), Mary (born 1659), Sarah (1660-1702), Hannah (1662-1756), William (1664-1708- My husband’s 7 times great grandfather). You can read about his son William Hibbs Jr. in this post.
The following information was from the “H.R. Hibbs unpublished manuscripts”
William Sr. joined the Quakers in England, shortly after they were established by a man named George Fox. As a result of being a Quaker, as opposed to being a member of the Church of England, William Hibbs was fined for not attending church and imprisoned as well. William Hibbs was either a farmer or minor and was rather well off financially. He and his family lived on the west side of the Severn River near Lydney, England and not far from the Welsh border.
In 1677, William Hibbs Sr. was aware of the danger his family was in and sent his youngest son William Hibbs Jr. (my father’s 7 times great grandfather) to America to keep him safe and also to help begin a new Quaker colony. William Hibbs Jr. was only about 13 at this time. William Hibbs Jr. traveled to America with a group of other Quakers on a ship called the Kent.
On March 6, 1686 William Hibbs Sr. was beheaded because of his religious beliefs at the behest of King James II. His wife Joanne may have also been beheaded at this time. William’s crime was as follows “He did not attend church services required by English law or pay the tithes as required and said ‘The King can go to the Devil.”
William Sr’s oldest son Jonathon was executed in 1698 for also being a Quaker. He was either beheaded or drawn and quartered.
When William Hibbs Sr. sent his son William Jr. to America in 1677, Charles II was king of England. In 1685 King James II took the throne and William sr. must have known his life was more in danger because he wrote his will the following January in 1686. In February 1686, King James II sent his men to arrest William Sr, and on March 6, 1686 he was beheaded.