Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Deep Connecticut Roots

The settlement of colonial Connecticut began in earnest is the mid-1630s with groups traveling from the Massachusetts Bay Colony either overland to the Connecticut River Valley and places like Wethersfield and Hartford, or via ship along the coast to places like New Haven and Milford. In each of these groups there were a number who were my ancestors. While the migration from England known as the Great Migration ended somewhat abruptly in 1640 with the outbreak of the civil war there, the spreading of the colonists to other new cities and towns, both along the Connecticut River and along Long Island Sound continued.

I had always thought of my ancestors being from New Haven as my mother’s maiden name was Pierpont and the Pierpont family is centered there due to Rev. James Pierpont who became the pastor of the Congregational Church in the late 1600s. Although he was from Boston and received his education at Harvard, he was very well connected and through marriages of his and his descendants established lineages with many other Connecticut families. My father’s family was originally from Dutchess County, NY, but they had also married into a number of CT families.

So, when there was a recent Facebook posting about the founders of Hartford and I decided to see which of them were in my family tree, I was somewhat surprised to discover that about a quarter of them are my ancestors (*1). I was able to do this because I spent several weeks last year tracing back all my family lines to the original immigrant families so I could simply do name searches for each of the Hartford founders to see if they were in my tree. I still have quite a few roadblocks and a number of relationships that I don’t totally trust, but I’m pretty sure of most of my research (*2).

Recently, there are been a number of postings in another Facebook forum about ancestors from other Connecticut cities/towns and I’ve been wondering if I would have similar success there. There is a list in (*3) that shows the founding date of each city/town in the state, so I have undertaken a quest to go through the early cities. I’ve used the first 20 years of founding dates, i.e. 1633-1653 as the cutoff as there are 14 on that list and then a gap until later settlements.

Below are the overall results as well as the details for the other 13 cities/town in alphabetical order. I am astounded at how deep and broad my Connecticut genealogical roots are!

A few notes on the below. First, the number of founders of each place is sometimes subject to interpretation. For some there are multiple sources which quote different figures. I have not tried to reconcile these disparate figures, but have used the references that seem to have the most inclusive list of individuals. Second, there are sometimes different spellings for a person’s name. This is fairly common in colonial times and especially vowel substitution makes genealogical research challenging. Third, I’ve used the following notations in the detail list: (a) g9gf means great*9 grandfather; (b) I’ve marked with an “*” those who are ancestors of my wife who has some family lines back to CT, some of these are to the same individuals as my ancestors, some are in addition; and (c) the notation “(step)” refers to a few cases where a woman had multiple marriages, usually due to the death of a first husband, and while she is my direct ancestor, the individual listed as a founder is not the father of the child that led to me.




*1 – https://ramblinrussells.blogspot.com/2020/11/founders-of-hartford.html

*2 – https://ramblinrussells.blogspot.com/2019/04/great-migration-ancestors.html

*3 – https://ctstatelibrary.org/cttowns/counties


Deep River (formerly Saybrook)


·       Lion Gardiner - *



·       William Bateman – g9gf

·       James Bennett – g9gf

·       William Frost – g10gf

·       Henry Gray – g9gf

·       George Squire – g9gf

·       Thomas Staples – g10gf*

·       Benjamin Turney – g10gf

·       Ephraim Wheeler – g9gf

·       Thomas Wheeler – g10gf




·       John Bronson – g8gf

·       William Hickox – g9gf

·       Thomas Orton – (step)g9gf

·       Thomas Upson – g8gf*

·       George Wyllys - *




·       John Bishop – g11gf

·       Francis Bushnell – g11gf

·       William Dudley – g10gf

·       John Parmarly/Parmalee – g8gf




·       John Hall – g9gf

·       Giles Hamlin – g8gf

·       George Hubbard – g10gf*

·       William Smith - *

·       Nathaniel White – g8gf




·       Nathaniel Baldwin – g9gf

·       Timothy Baldwin – g9gf

·       Henry Botsford – g9gf

·       Nathaniel Briscoe – g9gf

·       John Burwell – (step)g9gf

·       Nicholas Camp – g10gf

·       George Clark – g9gf

·       Jasper Gunn – g10gf

·       John Lane – g9gf

·       Richard Miles – (step)g8gf

·       James Prudden – g11gf

·       Peter Prudden – g9gf

·       Micah Tomkins/Tompkins – g9gf

·       Thomas Wheeler – g10gf

·       Thomas Uffott/Ufford – g9gf


New Haven


·       William Andrews – g10gf*

·       John Charles – g10gf

·       John Clark – g10gf

·       John Cooper – g9gf*

·       Jasper Crane – g10gf

·       Timothy Ford – g8gf

·       Matthew Gilbert – g9gf*

·       Matthias Hitchcock – *

·       William Ives – (step)g8gf

·       Andrew Messenger – g9gf

·       John Peacock – g10gf

·       William Potter – g8gf*

·       William Preston – g10gf

·       Robert Seeley – g10gf

·       George Smith – g9gf

·       Nathaniel Turner – g10gf

·       William Tuttle – g9gf

·       Thomas Yale – g9gf


New London


·       George Chappell - *

·       Robert Isbell – g9gf

·       Thomas Stedman – g9gf





·       George Abbitt/Abbott – g9gf

·       Thomas Fitch – g9gf

·       John Gregory – g9gf

·       Ralph Keeler – g9gf

·       Daniel Kellogg – g8gf*

·       Thomas Lupton – g8gf

·       Matthew Marvin Sr – g11gf

·       John Ruscoe – g9gf




·       Francis Bell - *

·       Jeffrey Ferris - *

·       Joseph Garnsey – (step)g11gf

·       John Holly – g10gf

·       Francis Holmes – g11gf

·       Simon Hoyt – g9gf

·       Nicholas Knapp - *

·       Robert Lockwood – g8gf

·       Obadiah Seeley – g10gf

·       Henry Smith - *

·       John Waterbury – g11gf

·       Jonas Weed – g10gf*




·       Adam Blackman – g10gf

·       Richard Boothe – g10gf

·       John Curtis – g8gf*

·       Thomas Fairchild – g10gf

·       Henry Gregory – g10gf

·       Francis Hall – g9gf

·       Richard Harvey – g10gf

·       John Hurd – g9gf

·       Joseph Judson – g9gf

·       John Peacock – g10gf

·       Thomas Sherwood – g10gf

·       John Tompson/Thompson – g10gf

·       Thomas Ufford – g9gf

·       John Wells/Welles – g9gf*

·       William WIlcockson/WIlcockson – g10gf




·       Robert Seeley – g10gf

·       Nathaniel Foote – g8gf






·       Matthew Allyn – g11gf

·       John Bartlett – *

·       William Buell – g10gf

·       Nicholas Denslow – g11gf

·       Thomas Dibble – g9gf

·       John Drake – *

·       John Hawkes – *

·       William Hulbert – *

·       Joseph Loomis – g10gf*

·       Thomas Newberry – g11gf

·       Thomas Newell – g9gf

·       Nicholas Palmer – g10gf

·       Thomas Parsons – g9gf

·       William Phelps – g10gf

·       Eltweed Pomeroy – (step)g9gf

·       Samuel Pond – g9gf

·       John Porter – g10gf

·       John Taylor – g10gf

·       Richard Vore – g10gf


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Wolcott History – Echoes of Farmingbury

Many readers of my various blogs about Wolcott will know that the town was known as Farmingbury before it was incorporated and recognized by the State of Connecticut in 1796 and was then renamed Wolcott in honor of Lt. Governor Oliver Wolcott who cast the deciding vote in favor of that incorporation. But what was the basis of it being named Farmingbury, and can we still see any of the residual of the decisions that had been made prior to 1796? Through the use of a number of maps, I’d like to explore that question.


Connecticut Town Formation

In the early days of the Colony of Connecticut and then the State of Connecticut following the Revolutionary War, the towns/cities were fairly large geographic areas. The below partial map of the state from around that time shows the area immediately around what is now Wolcott (*1).

[Map from 1776]

Let’s look at just two of these towns, Farmington and Waterbury. Farmington is roughly rectangular and occupies the entire area west of Hartford and Wethersfield. There are a few villages within the town, including New Cambridge (later to be renamed Bristol), and Southington (an abbreviation for South Farmington). Waterbury also occupies a much larger area than it does now. It includes the villages of North Bury, West Bury, and Salem. Note also that the river that runs up that valley is called the Waterbury River – it later was renamed as the Naugatuck River.

Farmingbury is too small a place to be noted on the map.

Now let’s look at a newer map of roughly the same area from the present day (*2).

[Map from 2020]


Based on the dates in (*3), the following towns have been carved out of Farmington: Southington (1779), Bristol (1785), most of Berlin (1785), Burlington (1806 from Bristol), Avon (1830), New Britain (1850 from Berlin), and Plainville (1869). Similarly, Waterbury has been broken up into: Watertown (1780), Plymouth (1795 from Watertown), Middlebury (1807), part of Prospect (1827), Naugatuck (1844), and Thomaston (1875 from Plymouth),

Wolcott was carved out of both Waterbury and Farmington (actually from Southington). Although Wolcott was not incorporated until 1796, the first petition to do so was several years earlier. The timing here is likely some of the reason why the first few attempts were not approved and why even the 1796 petition met with resistance.

In 1787, the only town which had split off of Waterbury was Watertown and that had only happened a few years earlier. Similarly, the only splits from Farmington had been Southington and Bristol. All of these had also been of much larger populations. Farmingbury was not only a very small community, but by spanning the border of New Haven and Hartford counties, they were disrupting things in a significant way, i.e. it was not just carving off a piece of one town, but carving off sections of two towns in two different counties. That they were ultimately successful in doing so is a tribute to their tenacity as well as the assistance of the Lt. Governor who cast the tie-breaking vote in the State Senate.

Residual Features

The below maps are all snipped from a “parcel viewer” from the Wolcott Assessors office (*4).

The border between the Waterbury portion and the Farmington portion of Farmingbury is the “bound line”. I have discussed that earlier in (*5). The land to the east of the “bound line” was laid out in long lots.  Orcutt, in his seminal book, “History of the Town of Wolcott (Connecticut) from 1731 to 1874, with an account of the Centenary Meeting, September 10th and 11th 1873; and with the Genealogies of the Families of the Town” describes it as follows:

The Farmington part was laid into "long lots," being in three tiers, of one mile each. The first tier joined Waterbury, or the "bound line," the second lay east of the first, and the third east of the second, extending to the foot of Southington Mountain. The whole length of each "long lot" is said (in some of the deeds) to have been three miles. The lots were numbered from north to south, and must have commenced near the northern boundary of Wolcott.

But can we find evidence of all of this today? The answer is a resounding yes! Let’s look at a number of examples. First, let’s look at an overview of the entire area.

[Parcels – overview]


You can see in this picture the western boundary of Hartford County (the former boundary of all of Farmington). The roughly North-to-South line enters Wolcott at the jog in the northern boundary of the town and proceeds down to the southern edge of town. Let’s zoom in and look a little closer at this boundary line.

[Parcels – town overview]


Here you can still see the residual of this former county line. It’s clearly visible in the edge of properties in the middle part of the town in the northern section, fades out near Center Street, then reappears a little fainter in the area below Scovill Reservoir. Also note (1) the presence of another parallel north-to-south line spaced a bit to the east of the bound line (comprised of Route 69, Woodtick Road, County Road, and East Street in the southern end. There are also some large rectangular pieces of property in the NE part of town. Let’s zoom in on several of these features.

[Parcels – NE]


Looking at the NE part of town we can clearly see the remains of several of the “long lots” that were a part of the original Farmington/Farmingbury, even in the part of town to the west of Route 69. Also note the parallel lines – the leftmost one being the residual of the bound line border of the two counties now only viewable in property lines, the center one being Route 69 north of Woodtick Road, another one farther east being Beecher Road, and the border of Wolcott being on the eastern edge of this picture. The blue line which traces property lines from the former Bound Line Road to the intersection of Route 69 and Woodtick Road is exactly one mile in length!

[Parcel – SE]


Here we have a similar portion of town near Hitchcock Lake. Again, note that there are several property lines running at the same angle (a right angle to the former Bound Line Road. Bound Line Road here no longer exists by that name, but one residual that remains is the jog in Central Ave. Again, the blue line from that jog to East Street is exactly one mile in length!

[Parcels – NE cemeteries]


Finally, I want to zoom in one final feature. Here we see a wooded section near the Wilson Road intersection with Woodtick Road. Woodtick Road here is one mile east of Bound Line Road. The diagonal road on the east side of the map is a now closed part of Beecher Road and the road running to the east from it is part of the New Britain Reservoir property and runs all the way to the edge of Wolcott. The path in the woods and the road to the east form the edge of one of the “long lots”. The old Pike’s Hill Cemetery is about where the “N” along the path is located, and the old Northeast Burying Ground is right where the path comes out on Beecher Road.

[Parcels – Escarpment]


Before leaving these parcel views, I want to look at one final one which shows the complete eastern side of Wolcott. Here you can clearly see that the portion carved out of Farmington is a five-sided figure. The western edge is the former “bound line”. The northern edge is perpendicular to that edge and runs about 2.5 miles in an ENE direction. The eastern edge is parallel to the bound line and runs south until it runs into the escarpment which drops off into what is now Southington. It then jogs slightly to the right and follows the escarpment down to a point which meets the former southern edge of Hartford County, then it turns back WSW to the southern end of the “bound line”.

Thus, we see from Farmington’s (Southington’s) perspective, it was a “carve out” defined by a combination of county edges and a geographic feature of the uncrossable escarpment.


The history of the town of Wolcott is a composite of many factors. The shape of the town was dictated by a combination of geography (an escarpment which was nearly uncrossable by roads), the decision by early colonial settlers at defining county boundaries, timing (when the town fathers requested that the town be founded relative to other towns being carved out of the larger ones), and politics (the tie-breaking vote by Lt. Governor Oliver Wolcott).

It is now over 200 years later, with the 225th anniversary of the town just a month or so away. And we can still see some of the residuals of that long-ago time in lot lines, major roads (both their direction and distances between them) which ran along the edges of lot lines, and even the location of some of the cemeteries (which were also located on the edges of lot lines – all features that may be imperceptible unless you look at a high-above overview of these features!

Many things have changed over the years with new roads, subdivisions, etc. reshaping the town. But the echoes of those long ago times still resound in many ways.


*1 - https://www.flickr.com/photos/uconnlibrariesmagic/3332887013/in/set-72157617878169122/

*2 - https://jud.ct.gov/ADA/ct_map.htm

*3 - https://ctstatelibrary.org/cttowns/counties

*4 - https://wolcott.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=e22cf98e70004152ae7dfbecdeabc769

*5 - https://ramblinrussells.blogspot.com/2015/04/wolcott-history-farmingbury-part-1.html


Saturday, November 14, 2020

How Geography Affected Wolcott Growth

There are some geographic features about my hometown of Wolcott, CT which have had a major impact on its growth over the years. This is an attempt to identify some of that impact.


Synopsis of Wolcott geography

Connecticut, although not a large state, has several distinct geographic/topological features that break it up into different areas. The southern border of the state is defined by the Long Island Sound and this sheltered body of water provides easy salt-water access to that part of the state. The center of the state contains the Connecticut River which traverses the state in a general north-to-south direction and the broad river valley with rich soil is easily able to be traversed and planted. There are also a number of smaller rivers (Housatonic, Naugatuck, Quinnipiac, Thames, etc.) which also provide water travel to other parts of the state. The NW portion of the state is quite elevated and is sometimes called the Litchfield Hills, or the foothills of the Berkshires.

Wolcott is perched on the edge of this area, with a large drop in elevation (an escarpment) defining the eastern border of the town. There are no roads which travel down this escarpment, the only routes being one to the north which goes down a steep hill into Bristol and another being just below the southern end of town which goes down a steep hill into Southington. You can clearly see this drop-off in a geological map from the 1950s (*1).

The northern part of the town has higher elevations, with several hills exceeding 1000 ft. So, even within the town, there are distinct areas.

Except for a few streams which flow from the NE corner into Bristol and a few which flow down the escarpment on the east, the only significant waterway is the Mad River. It and its various tributaries cover the rest of the town (*2). There are no natural lakes, the only significant bodies of water being man-made through various dams which were constructed to hold water for use in power generation at other cities farther down these streams/rivers (*3).

In the below map of the state, you can see this sharp boundary of the escarpment as the color change just to the NE of the first “C” in Connecticut. The two lakes in this area are Scovill Reservoir and Hitchcock Lake which I address below.

[Map of Connecticut]



Impact on when the town was founded

In the days of colonial New England, the date of founding of most towns/cities was based on the availability of transportation. And transportation was impacted most by the use of water transportation. Thus, most new settlements began near, or at least close to, navigable water, especially the southern coast and the areas along the Connecticut River. Thus, the first cities/town in CT were founded in places like Hartford (1635), New Haven (1638), Milford (1639), Middletown (1651), Farmington (1645), and New London (1646), etc. Later, additional towns/cities sprang up along the smaller rivers in places like Wallingford (1670), Waterbury (1686), Danbury (1687), etc. These initial towns covered large geographic areas, and over the years were carved up into smaller pieces with the creation of other towns. For a complete list see (*4).

But Wolcott, being isolated by geography, was not a part of all this settlement. It was not until places like Hartford and New Haven were approaching their centennial year that the first individuals settled in town with the arrival of John Alcox and his family in 1731. While the area had been surveyed and lots defined, they were all owned by people who lived elsewhere. The town straddled the border between Farmington to the east and north and Waterbury to the west and south and was, appropriately, called Farmingbury. But it was empty of human inhabitants. Even the Native Americans did not live there. There was a trail which traversed the NW part of town, but that only served to connect the main Tunxis settlement in Farmington with a smaller one called Mattatuck (which became part of Waterbury) (*5).

Geographic features delayed settlement of the area for nearly 100 years. These same factors made for slow growth. The inhabitants were mostly farmers who belonged to the church in Waterbury. Since travel to Waterbury was difficult over dirt roads, they petitioned to have their own parish in 1770, which was granted. But requests to have their own town were continually turned down for the next several decades due to the small population. It was not until 1796 that the town was incorporated (and renamed Wolcott) and got its independence from Waterbury and Southington (which had split off of Farmington in 1779). The population of Wolcott at the time was slightly smaller than 1000 (*6).


Impact on lack of industry

Water is not only a means of navigation, but a source of power for industry as well. The Mad River is only large enough to provide power in the portion below the area around Center Street after several tributary streams have merged with it. Much of the early water-powered industry was for local consumption with things like flour mills or saw mills. But there was one attempt at something with more far-reaching impact.

Seth Thomas, one of the more famous people born in Wolcott (back when it was still called Farmingbury), began making clocks at a factory along the Mad River near the current intersection of Route 69 and Center Street in the early 1800s (*6). But because clocks have a market far beyond local farmers, he needed access to a larger population, so a few years later he asked the town fathers if they could construct a road between Wolcott and Cheshire to the southeast. (Cheshire had been split off of Wallingford in 1780 and there was good transportation from there down to the coast and thence to the larger markets in NY, etc.) The town fathers refused. In 1807, Seth closed his nascent business in Wolcott, went to work for Eli Terry (after whom Terryville is named), then bought out Terry’s factory, then bought out Heman Clark’s clock factory in Plymouth Hollow. These factories were on the Naugatuck river and thus had access to the larger markets he needed. In 1865, Plymouth Hollow was renamed Thomaston in his honor.

There were no other significant businesses the size of what the Seth Thomas factory became for many generations because of lack of easy access to larger markets. Even the water power from the Mad River was given away. The town fathers sold rights to out-of-town companies for the creation of dams and construction of lakes so that the water power could be used downstream. Beginning around 1860 and continuing through 1917, Hitchcock Lake, Scovill Reservoir, and Cedar Lake were created for use at mills in Waterbury, and the Southington and New Britain Reservoirs were created for water use in those respective cities.


Impact on population growth

Because of its geographic isolation, the population of the town began a slow decline, from its high in 1810 (952) to fewer than 500 (491) in 1870. It did not reach 1000 in population again until 1930 (*6). It was during this period that the water rights in town were sold off. While the Mad River dams were only for keeping water to be used to power industrial plants downstream, the watersheds of the reservoirs were also cleared of homes and roads, leaving the vast stretch on the top of the escarpment void of human habitation.


Impact on identity and connectedness

By the mid-1930s, with the town approaching its 150th anniversary, the town was no larger than it had been at the beginning of the period. The only roads in town were dirt or gravel, making travel slow and dirty. The school system was all regionalized with individual one- or two-room schools in each part of town. The town was not large enough to have its own post office or phone exchange. Thus, the northern portion of the town got those services from Bristol (RFD mail and LU-dlow phone numbers). And the southern portion got similar services from Waterbury (with PL-aza phone numbers). It was a long-distance phone call from one part of town to the other – even in cases where you could see the house on the other side of the separating line.

So, people in the north identified with Bristol and, if they were employed outside of farming, worked in the clock factories in Bristol. Those in the south similarly identified with Waterbury and often worked in the brass mills there. Because there were no roads which descended the steep escarpment to the east, there was little connectedness with Southington. And with the main roads being north-south roads, there was similarly little connectedness with Plymouth to the NW.

In 1935, a major event happened which finally began to change this isolation. A new road was constructed through the town that connected Waterbury to Bristol – called appropriately the Waterbury-Bristol Road initially (later becoming known as Wolcott Road or Route 69 once Wolcott grew large enough). (It was probably funded through the federal government’s WPA program, although I have not been able to verify that.) And, even more significantly, it was paved – the first such road in Wolcott. A significant feature of this new road was a long straight stretch up the hill north of Center Street that gave quick access to the northern part of the town.

Travel across the town was now quick for the first time. And with quicker travel came population growth, especially after WWII when all the GIs came home from the war and were looking to settle down and start families.

My father was one of these GIs. He got married and bought 23 acres in the extreme northern end of town but was still working at his pre-war job in Waterbury – 7 miles away. A new multi-room school was being built a short distance away to support this surge in growth. But even in the late 40s, my father used to say that there were many days that he did not see another car on the road until he reached Waterbury. But the path had been laid, and it was not too many years before the traffic greatly increased to the opening up of the town through this simple act of building a new road that lowered the geographic barriers (with the exception of the escarpment still remaining on the east side of town).


Impact on ancestry

Most of the early cities/town in CT started small. Even Hartford, the capital of the Connecticut Colony, only had 163 families in 1640. So, availability of marriageable partners was somewhat limited and there were often multiple such marriages between these families. This practice is called endogamy and I have documented some instances in my family tree (*7). As new towns were settled, the new settlers were often from multiple other towns, but those from any one supplying town were likely related to others from that town and the new composite town would give new opportunities for marriage between individuals from the first set of towns. Thus, over time, many people in town would have some sort of family connection to many other people in that town.

The first generation of towns were places like Hartford (1635) and New Haven (1637). The second generation of towns were places like Wallingford (1670) and Waterbury (1686). Wolcott is representative of the third generation of towns. I have previously listed some of my ancestors from some of these, including Hartford (*8), Wallingford (*9), and Waterbury (*10) where I have ancestral/cousin relationships with a large percentage of the early residents. But this will also be true of nearly anyone who has such deep roots in colonial New England. Wolcott and other third generation towns will likely have the highest percentage of such ancestral connections because they were products of the endogamy of each of the preceding generations of new, small towns.



Many small towns have some of the above features. But the geography of Wolcott, with the barrier of the escarpment to the east and lack of navigable waters contributed greatly to the history of the town. However, this also made it an ideal place for me to grow up in the 1950s and 1960s. I couldn’t have asked for any place better!



*1 - https://web.tapr.org/~wa1lou/whs/wlct535556A.jpg

*2 - https://ramblinrussells.blogspot.com/2015/09/wolcott-history-rivers-and-brooks.html

*3 - https://ramblinrussells.blogspot.com/2015/09/wolcott-history-lakes-and-ponds.html

*4 - https://ctstatelibrary.org/cttowns/counties

*5 - https://ramblinrussells.blogspot.com/2015/07/wolcott-history-indians.html

*6 - https://ramblinrussells.blogspot.com/2015/04/wolcott-history-chronology-of-wolcott.html

*7 - https://ramblinrussells.blogspot.com/2019/04/endogamy-consanguinity-and-nepotism-in.html

*8 - https://ramblinrussells.blogspot.com/2020/11/founders-of-hartford.html

*9 - https://ramblinrussells.blogspot.com/2018/09/wallingford-connections.html

*10 - https://ramblinrussells.blogspot.com/2018/09/waterbury-first-families.html



Friday, November 13, 2020

Founders of Hartford

Recently someone posted a link on Facebook that contained pictures of the four sides of the Founders of Hartford monument. This monument, located in the Ancient Burying Ground in Hartford, contains the engraved names of all the individuals who were among the founders of that city (*1, *2, *3, *4, *5). The list of individuals is based on those who were included in the Book of Distribution of Land as settlers before February, 1640. Thus, it includes not only the original party of 100 who came in 1635 with Thomas Hooker, but those who came there in the remaining years of the Great Migration which ended abruptly when England got involved in a civil war.

The original monument had been erected in 1837, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the renaming of the original settlement of Newtown to Hartford in 1637. It was replaced by the current monument in 1986.

I recognized several of the names on this monument as being in my family tree and thought I would see how many of my direct ancestors are listed there. In the early years of New England, the population of most towns/cities were relatively low, so there was much endogamy as the number of eligible individuals for marriage was limited. Thus, I found that roughly a quarter (41 of 163) of those listed were among my ancestors. These are listed below with the notation of ancestral relationship (e.g. g9gf = 9th great grandfather). My wife also has some lines of her family tree back to colonial Connecticut and these are indicated by an “*”. There are 19 of her direct ancestors on the monument, 11 of whom are in common with mine. (There are others with whom one of us has a connection such as William Edwards who is the father-in-law of my great*9 aunt, but those connections are too complicated to try and list here).

Here are the four sides of the monument followed by the list of those individuals who are direct ancestors of myself or my wife.




·       Jeremy Adams – g9gf

·       Matthew Allyn – g11gf

·       Francis Andrews – g9gf*

·       William Andrews – g10gf*

·       John Arnold – g9gf*

·       Thomas Barnes – g10gf*

·       Nathaniel Bearding – *

·       John Bronson – g8gf

·       Thomas Bunce – g9gf

·       John Crow – g9gf

·       William Goodwin – g9gf

·       Samuel Greenhill – g10gf

·       Stephen Hart – g9gf

·       John Haynes – *

·       William Hills – *

·       William Holton – *

·       Thomas Hooker – g9gf

·       John Hopkins – g10gf*

·       George Hubbard – g10gf*

·       William Hyde – g11gf

·       Thomas Judd – g9gf*

·       Ralph Keeler – g9gf

·       William Lewis – g10gf

·       Richard Lyman – g9gf

·       John Marsh – g9gf

·       Matthew Marvin – g11gf

·       Reinold Marvin – g8gf

·       Thomas Munson – g9gf

·       William Parker – g10gf

·       Stephen Post – g11gf

·       Thomas Porter – g10gf

·       William Pratt – g9gf

·       Thomas Richards – g8gf

·       Thomas Root – *

·       Thomas Scott – g10gf

·       Richard Seymour – g9gf

·       John Skinner – g9gf*

·       Giles Smith – g10gf*

·       Thomas Spencer – *

·       Timothy Stanley – g9gf

·       George Steele – *

·       John Steele – g10gf

·       Thomas Upson – g8gf*

·       Henry Wakeley – g9gf

·       Samuel Wakeman – g9gf*

·       Andrew Warner – g8gf

·       John Warner – g8gf

·       Thomas Welles – g8gf

·       George Wyllis – *




*1 - https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Founders_of_Hartford%2C_Connecticut

*2 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Hartford,_Connecticut

*3 - https://familypedia.wikia.org/wiki/Hartford_Founders_Monument

*4 - https://www.foundersofhartford.org/historic-sites/

*5 - https://www.foundersofhartford.org/founders-monument-names/