William Nason – 1517/27-1573

William Nason (or William Nasonne) is our first known ancestor. In the 1500s Nasons began appearing in Stratford-upon-Avon, Wellesbourne and Charlecote villages, county of Warwickshire, in the West Midlands region of England. Before that, they may have lived in another part of England, or arrived from Holland, as one 19th century writer posited.

Stratford-upon-Avon, 16thc.

The information on William Nason is sketchy. He may have been born in Rowington, a village 13 miles north of Stratford-upon-Avon. His birth year is given as 1517, 1525, and 1527. Henry VIII was King of England when he was born. In 1530, Pope Clement VII denied the king’s request for an annulment. Shortly after King Henry VIII severed ties with the Catholic Church and declared himself head of the church in England. Periodic religious tensions and persecutions followed and flared-up periodically in England and areas of English influence for the next several hundred years.

On November 14, 1549 William Nason married Isabel Baker. Isabel Baker was born in 1522 or 1529 in Stratford-upon-Avon. They had five children. Ananias Nason, my direct ancestor, was born on July 10, 1551 in Charlecote. (He died on December 3, 1631). He had three brothers and one sister. John Nason (dates unknown), Edmund Nason (dates unknown), Richard Nason (date of death 1570?) and Isabell Nason (birth 1549?).

Ananias Nason was a small child during the reign of Queen Mary I (1553-1558), the oldest daughter of King Henry VIII. Also known as Mary Tudor, she attempted to reverse the Protestant Reformation but was unsuccessful. When she died her half-sister, Elizabeth, daughter of Anne Boleyn, became Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603). Her reign is often represented as a golden age in English history, with flourishing in the arts and in exploration. Ananius Nason grew up and lived during this dynamic period of English sovereignty. The Shakespeare family also lived in this area. Ananius’ son and grandson knew and interacted with William Shakespeare, the famous poet and playwright.

Isabel Baker Nason died in 1565 at Stratford-upon-Avon. She may have been 34 or 43 years old, so it is possible she died in childbirth. William Nason died in Charlecote on September 30, 1573. He may have been 56, 48 or 46 at the time of his death.




  • Hello,

    I too am a direct descendant of Ananais Nason. Im always looking for information and source material.

    Seth Nason

  • Hi Seth! Thank you so much for writing. It was good to hear from you. If you come across information on Ananais Nason in your searches, please come back and share it via another comment on this post. I’m sure other Nason descendants would also appreciate your discoveries. All the best, Karen

  • Hello, It looks like I’m also a direct descendant of William Nason, it would be so cool to visit England and walk where they walked. I’ve never wanted to see England, but now its different. I have been to Kittery Maine….

    • Hi Beth, Thanks so much for writing. Yes, it was a special feeling to walk in their footsteps in Kittery and in England. Karen

  • I’m a descendant of Ananias Nason as well. Any further information is greatly appreciated!
    Thank you!
    Cheryl Simnes

  • We have the same ancestors and I have been trying to find out who the parents of William Nasonne are. Our search ends with William and I would love to keep going back farther. I went to Statford-upon- Avon a few years ago which was amazing. I was born and grew up in Maine. I would love to learn more. My mother is a Nason. The first of my Nason line to be female. 17 Generations I think.

  • Hi Tabitha, great to hear from you! I have looked all over in books, family papers, and the web, and compiled my findings in this post – https://familystoriesbykad.com/nason-family-origin/. People who commented also provided information.

    I visited Stratford-Upon-Avon in September 2018. I made a point to go visit Holy Trinity Church to feel, see, touch a place where Shakespeare and the Nasons had been present. Since you’re a Mainer I’m sure you’ve been to Pipe Stave Landing in South Berwick. I saw it for the first time the year before I went to England. I’m so sorry that I could not have spent more time there. I fell in love with Maine.

    Thank you so much for writing and all the best in your searches. – Karen

By Karen