- Born: Est 1600, , Cheshire, ENG
- Marriage: Ann WILMOT about 1635 in Wallingford, New Haven, CT, USA
- Died: Jul 1, 1678, , St. Michaels Parish, , Barbadoes about age 78
What we know about William Bunnell is that he shows up in Watertown, MA by 1630 as a juror in a murder trial. This means that he would have been of age by 1630, and was probably born in 1610 or earlier. His early arrival in our country, has made his descendants eligible for entry into the "Order of Founders and Patriots." (F-32)
He apparently moved to New Haven, CT by 1638. He is in the General Court Meeting Records of New Haven, CT. On April 3, 1650 (when he would have been about 40+), "the Court freed old Goodman Bunill from paying his poll money to ye towne, because of his poverty, age and weakness." In Jan. 1650/51, his landlord told him he'd give him a years rent if he would peaceably leave the premises. He asked the court for assistance in getting William Bunill to move out. The court gave William 3 weeks to find a new residence. He finally left, apparently to England, about 4 weeks after this court decision.
While he was in England, his wife and father-in-law apprenticed his son to Nico Elsy and his daughter to Sam Whitehead. William had returned to America by Oct. 7, 1651 as he was in court on said day to get his children back because he needed their help. This violated the terms of the apprenticeship. William's wife had only done what was proper, considering she had no money to care for them. The court did decide to pay William a sum of 2 shillings a week to help compensate for the loss of his children. On March 11, 1651/52, the court asked William if they could "put forth his boy" (second oldest son) so that the "Towne may be at as little charge as may be." His apprenticeship was to be paid for by a townsman with a cow. The boy was to be in service to him for several years to pay off the cost of the cow and to learn discipline as he was "spoyled for want of govermt." William refused to have his son apprenticed out. The court therefore withdrew his 2 shilling stipend for his family.
A year and a half later, Feb. 27, 1653/4, Goodwife Bunnil was in the court records as being very ill. The town decided it had done as much as it could for her, and that it was time to have her two youngest children "put out" so as to receive an education and lesson the burden of the town.
By May 1, 1654, Goodwife Bunill and one of her children had died. In this court session, William asked the court to return him to England. "The court ordered that the Townsmen and Treasurer should help him gain passage on a ship bound from Milford to Newfoundland. He said he had friends in England to care for him. This is the last record of him in the New Haven Town Records, Vol. I, (1649-1662) by Franklin Bowditch Dexter, New Haven Historical Society, 1917. (F-136)
William's birth date and death date are not by any means known. The dates above are only second hand sources that might not apply to this William Bunnell of New Haven, Connecticut.
A commonly but erroneously printed parentage for William Bunnell of New Haven, is Thomas Bonnel (or Boonell) who fled from Ypres, France (Flanders) about 1577-79. He settled in Norwich, England. He married twice, the first wife being unknown. He had 4 sons by the first wife, one still recorded by name as Benjamin (b. before 1595). His second wife was Jaque Marie Bygote. This marriage brought forth 2 sons and 4 daughters. Four of their names are known: Elizabeth (chr. Aug. 10, 1595), Abraham (chr. April 15, 1599), Isaac (chr. 1601), and Judge (chr. Mar.1605/06). Benjamin, son of Thomas, might have been born in Flanders and died after 1607 in London. He and an unknown wife, had a son named William, born about 1610. (F-136) This theory has pretty much been dispelled as it came from an early 20th century researcher, Carolyn Syron Valentine, who only found one Bunnel in England at the time, and so she connected it, stating clearly that it was a guess. People have since taken it as truth, when in current records, at least a dozen parents fit the names and time lines for this William Bunnel. (F-410)
Noted events in his life were:
• death2 (conflicting), Aug 5, 1678, , , Barbados.
William married Ann WILMOT, daughter of Benjamin WILMOT and Anne LADD, about 1635 in Wallingford, New Haven, CT, USA. (Ann WILMOT was born about 1614 in , , , England and died in Mar 1654 in New Haven, New Haven, CT, USA 226.)