William French and Mary Lothrop

William French was probably born in England, perhaps about 1603, although details of his birth and parentage are open to debate.

William's first wife was named Elizabeth and was born about 1605 (some sources suggest a maiden name of Godfrey). By 1635, the couple had four children:

In mid-1635, the family emigrated from England to New England on the ship "Defence" which arrived in Boston on October 2, 1635. The family removed promptly to Cambridge, Massachusetts where William worked as a tailor and more children were born:

Meanwhile, on October 4, 1640 in nearby Barnstable, Massachusetts, Mary Lothrop was born to Thomas and Sarah (Learned) Lothrop.

About 1652, the French family moved to Billerica, Massachusetts as some of the first to settle there. William was a selectman for nine years. He also served in the militia, as a lieutenant and, later, as a captain.

In 1656 in Barnstable, 16-year-old Mary Lothrop married John Stearns as his second wife. Mary and John had five children, four of whom were born in Billerica:

The household probably included John's son -- also named John -- from his first marriage (to Sarah Mixer).

Lifelines of William French, Mary Lothrop and their
other spouses with periods of marriage indicated. Both
John Stearns and Isaac Mixer had other marriages as well.

William French's wife Elizabeth died in 1668.

Mary (Lothrop) Stearns' husband John died in March 1669.

On May 6, 1669, William French and Mary (Lothrop) Stearns were married. 28-year-old Mary was about 34 years younger than her new husband. Nevertheless, William continued to father children into his 70's. The couple had four daughters:

William died in Billerica on November 20, 1681 in his late 70's. His widow was 41.

Mary would marry once more -- to Isaac Mixer, Jr., perhaps in 1687. Isaac was the brother of Mary's first husband's first wife. Both bride and groom had survived two spouses.

Isaac Mixer died November 22, 1716 in Watertown, Massachusetts.

Mary (Lothrop)(Stearns) Mixer lived well into her 90's, dying in Billerica after 1735.

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