From the NEHGS Register… a copy of which was found in the barn in Brookline, inscribed in pencil to Mrs. George L. Pratt, 1891.
HISTORICAL AND GENEALOGICAL
WILLIAM FLETCHER WELD
William Fletcher Weld
THE family of Weld dates back to 1352, William Weld, High Sheriff of London. The New-England branch came from Suffolk, the home of Governor Winthrop.
In 1632 Captain Joseph Weld, with his brother, the Reverend Thomas Weld, being “Puritans of the Puritans,” came to New England for freedom ; not penniless adventurers, with nothing to lose and everything to gain, but leaving behind home, comfort, prosperity and assured position, for conscience’ sake.
Captain Joseph Weld settled in Roxbury, Mass., and became a freeman in the colony, which made him a grant of several hundred acres, now West Roxbury Park. This was the family home for nearly two hundred years.
Being well trained in arms, he was a valuable aid to Governor Winthrop in military affairs, and served in numerous fights with the Indians. His death was a great loss to the colony, and is mentioned by Winthrop. Savage stated that he was the richest man in the colony, at the time of his death, and was one of the first donors to Harvard College, of which his brother Thomas was of the first Board of Overseers.
William Fletcher Weld, the subject of this sketch, the sixth generation from Captain Joseph Weld aforesaid, was born in the old homestead, April 15th, 1800. His grandfather, Eleazer Weld, was a Judge, and also Colonel in the Revolutionary War, and Paymaster of Washington’s army at Cambridge, in 1777 and 1778.