Captain William W Traske

M, #2725, b. 14 December 1585, d. circa 20 May 1666
Father*Nicholas Traske b. 1561, d. 29 Apr 1589
Relationship9th great-grandfather of William Robert Thomas Boyd
ChartsWilliam Robert Thomas Boyd Pedigree
Marjorie Carolyn Hartle Pedigree
     Captain William W Traske was born on 14 December 1585 at Somerset, England, son of Nicholas Traske.1,2 Captain William W Traske married Sarah Unknown in 1633. Captain William W Traske died circa 20 May 1666; It appears he was dying when he made his will. The will was proved in court 28 June 1666.
     According to a book "Passages of the Planters", there is a record of a Captain William Traske as a passanger upon the ship "The Sea Lion" which departed Delft, Holland during June of 1624 to New England. According to the historians Will and Ariel Durant, in "The Age of Exploration", Captain Traske and Woodbury, Connaut, Balch, and Palfrey (The Old Planters) were confronted by Miles Standish and company while they were operating a fishing station, at Cape Ann, Massachusetts, during the year 1624. This paved the way for the Salem settlement. It is very likely that William Traske made several trans-Atlantic journies during the 1620's. His arrival at Naumkeag in 1628 on the "Abigail" with Governor Endicott was probably his last arrival to Massachusetts. Captain Traske was pivotal in the formation of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was named one of the five "Old Planters" of the colony. The others being Peter Palfry, John Balch, John Woodberry and Roger Conant. These men were all settlers before Endicott's arrival, and hence were called "Old Planters".

The Bay Colony's original company organizations are slightly vague, since the men of the colony trained and carried out guard duty from the day the ships anchored. Salem dates from 17 April 1629 under Captain John Endecott. This date is based on the letter of general instructions. By 1634 Endecott had been succeeded as company commander by Captain William Trask. (Ref. Records Mass., 1:386-98, 85, 93, 95, 120; Johnson, Wonder - Working, 19-22; Shelley, Underhill, 133-4.)

The companies in the Bay proper, covering the 1630 settlements, are all 8 ruled to have an organization date of 12 April 1631, based on the law requiring training passed by the General Court. These companies were: Captain John Underhill's (Boston and Roxbury); Daniel Patrick's (Watertown, Medford and Newtown); Richard Southcot's (Dorchester); and John Endecott's (Salem). Note that Underhill and Patrick had dual status as both company commanders and as hired "technicians." By 1635 the force had grown to 800 or so men in at least five companies: Underhill's (Boston); Patrick's (Newtown); CPT John Mason's (Dorchester); CPT William Trask's (Salem) and CPT Nathanial Turner's (Saugus). He was granted land at Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, America as of 25 January 1635; 200 acres.3 In December 1636, with the colony facing war with the Pequots, a regimental organization was adopted for the colony's approximately 1,500 men. Under the overall command of the Governor as "chiefe general!" three geographically-based permanent regiments were set up, each commanded by a colonel and a lieutenant colonel, and each with a paid training officer (mustermaster). All regiments and companies were directed by the General Court to hold elections of officers prior to the next Court session and to report the results. Note that these units predate by six years the regiments of England. The act to execute this organization was passed on 13 December 1636 (ref. Records Mass. 1:186-187). The organization of 13 December 1636 with the results of commissions issued on 9 March 1636/7 (ref. Records Mass. 1:186-187). Captain William Trask was part of the East Regiment which is detailed as:

EAST REGIMENT (101st Egr Bn) COL John Endecott; LTC John Winthrop, Jr. Mustermaster CPT William Trask Salem: CPT William Trask Saugus (renamed 1637 as Lynn): CPT Daniel Patrick Ipswich: CPT Daniel Dennison Newbury: CPT John Spencer (NOTE: Missing is Marblehead which had town status 1633.) He left a will on 15 May 1666 at Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, America.4


Sarah Unknown b. 1608, d. 1667
Marriage*He married Sarah Unknown in 1633. 
Last Edited2 Jan 2013


  1. [S34] Various, Internet,

    Captain William Traske (also spelled Trask) was born 14 December 1585 in East Coker, Somerset England.
  2. [S65] Unknown author, Book, Sidney Perley, The History of Salem Massachusetts

    Capt William Trask was born about 1587, perhaps in Somersetshire England and had been probably a military officer.
    Capt William Trask lived easterly of Trask burying ground; representative; married Sarah ----; died May 15, 1666; she survived him; children 1. Sarah born Jan 1 1634-5; married Elias Parkman; 2. Mary baptized Jan 1 1636-7 married John Loomis; Susanna baptized June 10 1638; married Samuel Aborn; 4. William baptized Sept 19 1640; 5. John baptized Sept 18 1642; Eliza baptized Sept 21 1645.
  3. [S34] Various, Internet,
    On 25 January 1635 Captain William Trask (as well as Peter Palfry, John Balch, John Woodberry and Roger Conant) was granted 200 acres of land (the whole being 124 rods by about 1,290) as a gift for defeating the Pequot Indians. This land was situated at the head of the North River near Peabody Square. Trask was also given two grants in the South Peabody area including a l00-acre farm near Spring Pond. However, it was the grant that was near what is now Peabody Square that was the most important. Trask and his descendants built dwelling houses and at least four mills in this area by ca. 1660. In addition, Salem granted several houselots in the same area. These grants represented the start of the village of Brooksby, now Peabody. Peabody's first mill, a grist mill, was built in 1634 by Captain William Trask near the old mil1 pond at Peabody Square. The pond is MHC Reconnaissance Survey Town Report: Peabody 8 now filled but originally existed in the vicinity of where Walks Street crosses the railroad tracks today. Some researchers Say this is the oldest mill in America. By 1640 Trask built a second mill about 1/2 mile downstream from the first near present Grove Street. This mill may have been a tidal mill. In ca. 1656 a samp mortar mill replaced the original Trask grist mill on the pond near Peabody Square.
  4. [S34] Various, Internet,