William Ellery was born in Newport, Rhode Island on December 2, 1727. He was home-schooled by his father, a merchant and Harvard College graduate. In 1747 William Ellery graduated from Harvard College where he had excelled in Greek and Latin.
Ellery returned to Newport where he worked first as a merchant, next as a customs collector, and then as Clerk of the Rhode Island General Assembly. Ellery started practicing law in 1770 at the age of 43 and became active in the Rhode Island Sons of Liberty.
After Samuel Ward's death in 1776, Ellery replaced Ward in the Continental Congress. Ellery was among the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. In terms of square inches, the size of Ellery's signature on the Declaration of Independence was second to only John Hancock's famous signature. Ellery was also a signer of the Articles of Confederation.
After going through my tree, I found that William Ellery and Lyman Hall were also cousins.
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