Re: Francis Billingsley, County Salop, England
All of the Billingsleys almost certainly descend from someone who came from the village of Billingsley in Shropshire. The earliest reference that I have found is from the fourteenth century, when a man bought land in Worfield (a few miles to the north of Billingsley) and acquired the surname of de Billingsley after the place where he had come from. His descendants lived in Worfield, Claverley and Astley Abbotts for the next four centuries. It is unclear, however, where the Billingsleys who emigrated to the states tie into the family. Contrary to the claims of H.Davis, the author of the Billingsley book, they are not descended from Francis Billingsley and Bridget Vernon of Astley Abbotts. Davis believed that their son John married a woman named Agatha and emigrated to Holland, and some of his children in turn emigrated t the states. John son of Francis and Bridget, however, died in London in the 1650s, and his will makes it clear that he was not the Dutch John Billingsley.