Recently in the Facebook group New England Family Genealogy and History, someone posted a hand-drawn map of Waterbury, CT, with the names of the residents and where they lived. I recognized many of the names as being families in my family tree and decided to see how many of the individuals listed on the map were related to me.
Notes on the maps
In doing this research, I was drawn to the fact that many of these individuals were listed in an old book on the history of Waterbury (*1). This book was written in 1858. The hand-drawn map was a copy of the map that appears in the first chapter of this book, but with a few important details left out.
First, the original map has many of the names in parentheses indicating that the dwelling there was not part of the original layout of the town (then still called Mattatuck, the name was not changed to Waterbury until several years later). The below list of individuals restores those parentheses.
Second, there were a few notations not carried over to the hand-drawn version. For example, the name Thomas Judd near the top would seem to indicate that there were three such individuals since Thomas Judd Sr and Thomas Judd Jr had homes farther down the street. But the original map notes that the structure toward the top was Thomas’ blacksmith shop, not a house.
The map in the book is an attempt to show the layout of the original town around the end of the 1600s, with the first dwellings have been constructed around 1678 and some of the latter ones some 20 years later. For example, John Bronson Sr. was one of the first settlers, but his son John Jr. was born in Mattatuck in 1665 and was not granted the dwelling shown on the map until he became of age and married. It was not until 1686 that the name was changed from Mattatuck to Waterbury.
Notes on the annotated list
The designation of individuals as “Sr.” or “Jr.” is not necessarily the typical father/son relationship as we would use it today, but is based on the relative year in which the individuals became proprietors in the town. In those instances where it does not correspond to a father/son relationship I have inserted an italicized comment after the name of the individual.
Because the book in which this map is found is based on sources of information in Mattatuck/Waterbury records, the date of death of each individual can be found in the book. However, since except for sons who later became proprietors themselves, they were not born in Mattatuck, the dates of birth are not taken from the book. I have relied on other sources for the date of birth, subject to the typical irregularities in records of the time.
One of the things that becomes pretty obvious in looking at the below list is how many of these families were related to each other, as you can see the last names of the wives were often from one of the other families listed. Being part of such a small community, it is only natural that the friendships that developed would lead to some of this, but it was also just a continuation of the practice that had already been in place as most of these families moved here from Farmington where they had already known each other and often intermarried. For example, Abraham Andruss Sr was already married to Rebecca Carrington when he moved here. These family connections are also the reason why I am related to so many of these families.
My mother was Sylvia [Pierpont] Russell. Her Pierpont ancestors did not move to Waterbury until the end of the 1700s when Ezra Pierpont moved from New Haven to the East Farms area of Waterbury. But Ezra’s in-laws were already living in the area as his father-in-law was one of the first settlers of Wolcott (then called Farmingbury and part of Waterbury) in 1731. It is through these ancestors of mine and their later intermarriage into many of the families from Waterbury that have given me so many connections to this group of “first families” of Mattatuck/Waterbury. In some cases I am connected to these individuals by more than one ancestral path In these cases I have listed the shortest/most straightforward connection.
List of First Families
o Abraham Sr. (1652-1729), m. Rebecca Carrington, great*8 grandfather
o Abraham Jr. (not the son of Abraham Sr, but a later arrival of the same name) (1648-1688), m. Sarah Porter (daughter of Robert Porter), no relation
o (Abraham 3rd) (son of Abraham Jr.) (1680-1733), no relation
o Benjamin (1653-1688), m. Mary Andrews, great-uncle of 1st cousin, 8 times removed
o John Sr. (1643-1711), m. Hannah Scott, great*8 grandfather
o (John Jr.) (1665-1746), m. Mary Hickock, great*7 grandfather
o Isaac (1645-1719), m. Mary Roote, great*7 grandfather
o John (1645-1690), half-brother of great*8 grandmother (Rebecca m. Abraham Andrews)
o Joseph (1649-1713), m. Sarah Stanley, grandfather-in-law of great*7 uncle (Thomas Upson)
o Thomas (1647-aft. 1721), m. Rachel Leonard, no relation
o Samuel Sr. (1643-1695), m. Hannah Upson, grandson-in-law of great*8 grandfather (Stephen Upson)
o (Samuel Jr.) (1669-1713), m. Elizabeth Plumb, great-grandson-in-law of great*8 grandfather
o (Joseph Jr.) (Son of Samuel Sr., not of Joseph Sr.) (1678-1725), m. Elizabeth Gaylord, great-grandson-in-law of great*8 grandfather
o Joseph Sr. (1645-1687), brother of Samuel Sr.
o (Stephen) (1630-1689), m. Dorcas Bronson (sister of John and Isaac), great*8 uncle
o Benjamin (1636-1690), m. Hannah Spencer, no relation
o Thomas Sr. (1638-1703), m. Sarah Steele, grandfather-in-law of great*7 uncle
o Thomas Jr. (1662-1724), m. Sarah Gaylord, father-in-law of great*7 uncle (Thomas Upson)
o Philip (1649-1689), m. Hannah Loomis, great-uncle of great*7 uncle
o Thomas (1650-1723), m. Elizabeth Wrothem, no relation
o John (1646-1696), no relation
o Jeremiah (1623-1699), m. Johanna Stanley, great*8 uncle
o Daniel Sr. (1628-1690), m. Mary Scott (sister of Edmund Scott Sr.), great-grandfather-in-law of Lucy Bronson (first cousin, 6 times removed)
o (Daniel Jr.) (1652-1726), m. Deborah Holcomb, grandfather-in-law of Lucy Bronson
o Richard (1658-1739), m. Ruth Holcomb, great uncle of Lucy Bronson
o Robert (1624-1692) (not related to other Porter family), m. Mary Scott, no relation
o (John) (1672-1712), no relation
o Thomas (1645-1721), m. Mary Stevenson, no relation
o Obadiah (1646-1702), m. Hannah Andrews, great*7 grandfather
o John (1667-1735), great*7 uncle
o Edmund Sr. (1618-1690), m. Hannah Mary Bird, father of great*7 uncle
o Edmund Jr. (1658-1746), m. Sarah Porter, brother of great*7 uncle
o (George) (1657-1724), m. Mary Richards, great*7 uncle
o Jonathan (1657-1745), m. Hannah Hawk, brother of great*7 uncle
o John (1667-1726), m. Hannah Richards, great*7 grandfather
o (William) (1703-1755), m. Hannah Richards, great*6 grandfather
o John (1676-1755), m. Susannah Ward, great*7 grandfather
o Timothy (1653-1728), m. Mary Strong, brother-in-law of Joseph Gaylord (above)
o John (1647-1729), m. Hester Newell, brother-in-law of Joseph Gaylord (above)
o Stephen Sr. (1655-1735), m. Mary Lee, great*7 grandfather
o (Stephen Jr.) (1686-1777), m. Sarah Bronson, great*7 uncle
o Daniel (Mrs.) (Sarah Roe), (1653-1727), aunt of 7th great-grandfather
o John (1649-1723), m. Margaret Howard, great*7 grandfather
o Thomas (brother of John) (1645-1714), m. Elizabeth Southerton, great*7 uncle
o John (1633-1726), m. Mary Upson, brother-in-law of great*7 grandfather (Stephen Upson)
o (Stephen) (1677-1713), m. Mary Gaylord, nephew of great*7 grandfather
*1 – The history of Waterbury, Connecticut by Henry Bronson, 1858 (map is insert between pages 16 and 17)