The Brothers Wyman

Francis and John Wyman were born at Westmill, Hertsfordshire, England and baptized there in the Church of St. Mary. Westmill is just south of Cambridge, which was a chief source of the puritan movement in the 1600’s. Sometime after the death of their mother in 1630, they came to New England, most probably in 1636 with her two brothers named Richardson.  At that time, they were teenagers and settled in Charlestown.

In 1640, the brothers, together with three uncles, signed the Woburn town orders when the town was established.  They were able to purchase the land at six pence per acre.  They established a tannery in Woburn and lived, at first, on what is now Wyman Lane. Francis had twelve children, nine of whom survived him, and John had ten children.  In addition to their homes in the center of town, the Wymans built farms in the outlying area of Woburn in what later became the town of Burlington, against the boundary with Billerica.  In 1655, for £100 the Wymans purchased 500 acres from the Rev. Henry Dunster, the first president of Harvard College, which had adjoined their land in Woburn.  Later in 1665, the Wymans purchased the Coytemore Grant of 500 acres for £50 sterling.  In a dispute between the town of Woburn and general court in 1666, it was decided that the land was to be laid out next to the Billerica-Woburn near their houses.  This is the evidence that dates the age of the homestead.

Francis and John were the progenitors of thousands, and their courage and vision to leave their homeland at an early age led them to begin life in a strange environment.  They were industrious and patriotic, serving in many capacities in their communities.  They were firm in their religious beliefs and supported the church.  They gave two sons to the King Philip’s War; Francis Jr. was fatally wounded and John Jr. was killed outright in the Narragansett Swamp Fight.

The Francis Wyman Association, Inc. was incorporated in 1902 and has held gatherings since 1899.  The members are dedicated to supporting and maintaining the homestead and building a genealogical file available to all Wymans.

The Wyman Crest

One of the family members had passed down to here a painted Wyman crest.  One the back of the painting was a small note.  She sent the paragraph to the Association to share, so here it is.  There were some words that did not make sense on the note so the words in parenthesis are added to maybe make more sense of the note.

“The Wyman arms are Welch (Welsh) and the men of Wales went on the third crusade to Palestine in 1189.  A way-man (Weyman/Wyman) was a guide who met new divisions and showed them to the safest way to get to the battlefield.  In the crusades all the men under a given commander bore the commander’s crest to distinguish them from those fighters under other leaders. The motto of a coat of arms was then (the) password. Audaxet vigilans (Audax et Vigilans) means bold and watchful.  The figure of a cock combed, wattled and spurred maybe (may be) thought of as a warning against Peter’s Sin.  It was often seen on churches.  On the shield, the silver field means purity of life, the black fensse, mourning for those lost in war, fire balls, self-defense.  The helmet and mantle are simply ornamentle (ornamental) as use on a coat of arms but they suggest the warlike spirit of crusades.”

For more information about the homestead go to History of the Homestead.

For more genealogy information contact Ginny Mucciaccio at ginny@wymanassociation.org