There are over 2000 persons in the American ancestries of the four White, Griggs, Judd, Cowles principals in this study. These are in the descents from 277 immigrant (or in a few cases, first identified) ancestors. Where English or other European origins are known, they are included, but the emphasis is on the experience of the families in America. I intend this work to be useful to anyone with family associations in early New England, New Amsterdam, and early New York. Four American Ancestries is fully annotated (footnotes); it includes an extensive list of references, an eleven-generation Ahmentafel, and an every name and place index. I have also included contextual material about places, early settlements, and contemporary accounts. In all there is a fascinating outline of these families’ journies in the first 250 years or so of European settlement in what became the United States.
I used the resources of the New York Public Library and the New England Historical and Genealogical Society and online sources to include the most up-to-date and authoritative genealogical work on these families. The annotations should be useful to others working on these families. Although it is not meant to be a read-through book, many parts can be enjoyed by those unrelated to the families from descriptions of early New London, New Haven, Fairfield, the Indian Wars, early Massachusetts Bay towns, New Amsterdam, Harlem, Ulster settlement of Pennsylvania, the Hudson Valley, the Revolution, War of 1812 and much else.
From the Introduction:
The principals in this compilation are my four grandparents. Their lives were almost entirely spent in the same city, Waterbury, in central Connecticut; each was descended from forebears who were early on American shores. At the outer edges of the fan-shaped lineage of each of the four are people who arrived in Massachusetts and in New Amsterdam in the seventeenth century, 1620s to 1660s, the great majority in the 1630s. Those coming to Massachusetts were mostly from England; those to New Amsterdam were Dutch, French Huguenots, and from Westphalia. There are exceptions to these early places of entry: some came directly to New Haven Colony; there was a party of Quakers who came to what was then West Jersey in the 1660s, and an immigrant likely from Ulster came to Pennsylvania through Delaware Bay in the Scots-Irish emigration of the 1720s. The latter was the last in these lineages to arrive in America.
How did it come to be that these four grandparents came to their marriages and to live where they did? What does the defining of these lineages tell about life in America in the 250 years that separated the four from most of their immigrant ancestors? What would tracing all the lines reveal about family inter-marriages and relationships? In the analogy of a river system, what (and who) were the tributaries? Questions such as these are part of a quest to sort out who and what came before in family and, in the broadest sense, community. That is the basis for my curiosity—and, of course, my grandparents’ ancestries are my own.
Over 250 years the “tributary” families had made many “removes.” There were always other places to go to, where more or better land was available, new trading patterns could be developed, a seaport became active, or, in the early days, an entire church congregation moved. These families share what has come to be considered a characteristic American pattern: moving from place to place over the generations. There were far more geographic choices for the first immigrants, than those they could reasonably expect in their homeshires in England. This was made possible by the establishment of towns and ports as the Indian population declined through disease and defeat. In these ancestral lines, however, though the removes were numerous over the years, they were largely within Connecticut, Massachusetts, and the Hudson Valley; no one went further west.
The study follows my investigations in some contextual detail of several of the female lines in my maternal grandmother’s lineage. In The Hatch and Brood of Time (1999) I concentrated on four generations of the New England Phelps family ending with the marriage in the 1840s of a New England Phelps woman to a Haring with New Amsterdam roots. In More Lasting than Brass(2004) I traced the Haring and related families through the Revolution, through the young Republic and on to this marriage to a Phelps. The present study covers a broader field. While the patrilinear lines are well established, tracing the female lines has greatly expanded the area of interest.
The origins of many of these 17th century immigrants have been established. The largest number is from the British Isles, overwhelmingly England, with a few from Wales, one or two from Scotland, an immigrant likely from Ulster in the 18th century. About one eighth of the immigrants came through New Amsterdam, most of these were Dutch-born, some were Huguenots and other Protestants who had sought refuge in the Netherlands; there is even a man from Norway, perhaps attracted by an emigration bonus from the Dutch West Indies Company. A considerable number of the immigrants can be identified only by the first town records associated with them; no place of origin or parentage has yet been unearthed. Almost all of these, however, can be presumed English.
Much of this compilation is based on my survey of the relevant genealogical literature, books, and periodicals consulted in libraries and online. I made a diligent search to find the latest research on all the families. In its absence I relied on the best older accounts I could find. On several families there is more detailed archival research (Phelps, Griggs, Wolcott, Coley, and related families, Ayers, Pancoast, among others).
To enrich the study, I have added commentary from contemporary sources, histories, and modern accounts. Richard Warren of the Mayflower was in the small party that first landed on North American sands; Mount’s Relation has an account of this first encounter with the land and the Indians. Cotton Mather in his Magnalia or, the Ecclesiastical History of New England, celebrated several of the figures herein (Richard (1) Denton, John (1) Davenport, Abraham Pierson, among others), and I have excerpted these. John Winthrop’s Journals have entries relating to several of the families early in their lives in New England. Capt. John Mason and Lion Gardiner published accounts of their experiences in the Pequot War in the 1630s, a conflict which involved a number of men in these lines, victims and warriors (of the latter, Robert (1) Seeley was in the Fairfield Swamp Fight and at the Mystic Fort, both massacres). William Hubbard wrote a contemporary account of King Philip’s War, a conflict in which several of those in these ancestries were killed. (George (2) Denison was second in command in that war’s Great Swamp Fight and massacre in Rhode Island.) In the case of both these wars recent scholarly books provide additional context. Thomas (1) Chittenden and John (1) Bishop were among the founders of Guilford, Conn., and came by ship directly to the Connecticut shore. The Guilford Compact which members of that party agreed to deserved inclusion in full, a founding document. Roger Wolcott was second-in-command of the New Englanders who successfully laid siege to the French fortress at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia in 1745; included here are transcripts I made of his account of that action, and also of his autobiography, a rare example in the early generations of the emergence of a personal voice. (The manuscripts are held by the Connecticut Historical Society.) The most comprehensive study of the West Country families who settled first Dorchester, Massachusetts Bay and within a few years established Windsor, Connecticut, is Frank Thistlethwaite’s Dorset Pilgrims, quoted extensively in connection with the many families from that place. Accounts of the engagements in which men were involved in the wars of the 18th century, King William’s War, Queen Anne’s War, King George’s War, and the French and Indian War provide depth to the references to the involvement of the men who were participants. The pension applications submitted by Revolutionary War veterans are included, with contextual material. (See Clark, Chapman, Green, Griggs.) Nineteenth century town histories often provide interesting context. Among those used extensively here are Frances Manwaring Caulkins’ New London history, and Edward E. Atwater’s New Haven.
Four American Ancestries includes nine-generation (some 10 and 11) descents included from these first known ancestors in America, 277 in total.
Abbott: George of Rowley Abbott: Robert of Branford Adams: Henry of Braintree Adams: Jeremy of Cambridge and Hartford Adgate: Thomas of Norwich Allen: Gideon and Joseph Allen of Fairfield Allyn: Matthew of Windsor Andrews: John of Farmington Andrews: Robert of Ipswich Ashman: Robert of Jamaica, N.Y. Ayers: David of Monaghan, York Co., Pa. Baldwin: John of` Milford Bancroft: John of Lynn Barker: Robert of Plymouth, Marshfield, and Duxbury Barlow: Edward or Edmund of Charlestown Bassett: William of New Haven Beecher: John of New Haven Bertholf: Guiliam of East Jersey Betts: John and Mary of Hartford? Bigge: Rachel (Martin) of Cranbrooke, Kent and Roxbury Birchard: Thomas of Roxbury, Hartford, Saybrook, Martha’s Vineyard, and Norwich Bishop: John of Guilford Bishop: Thomas of Ipswich Bissell: John of Windsor Blinn: Peter of Wethersfield Bliss: Thomas of Hartford and Springfield Boardman: Samuel of Wethersfield Bogert: Cornelius Jans of Flatbush, Long Island, New York Bogert: Jan Laurens of Bedford Corners Long Island and Harlem Boosey: James of Wethersfield Bourne: Thomas of Marshfield Bowen: Richard of Weymouth and Rehoboth Bradfield: Leslie of Branford Bradley: Elizabeth (_____) of New Haven Brewer: Daniel of Roxbury Bulkeley: Peter of Concord Bullard: William of Dedham Bunce: Thomas of Hartford? Burnham: Thomas of Podunk Cadwell: Thomas of Hartford Capen: Bernard of Dorchester Carpenter: David of Farmington Carwithey: David of Salem Caulkins (Calkins): Hugh of New London Chandler: William of Roxbury Chapin: Samuel of Springfield Chapman: Edward of Windsor Chittenden: William of Guilford Churchill: Josiah of Wethersfield Claessen: Dirck of New York City Clark: William of Bedford, Westchester Clarke: Daniel of Windsor Cogswell: John of Ipswich Coit: John of New London Cole: Henry of Hartford and Middletown Coley: Samuel of Milford Collins: Edward of Cambridge, Medford, and Charlestown Colton: George of Springfield and Longmeadow Cooke: Aaron of Windsor Cooper: John of New Haven Coultman: John of Wethersfield Cowles: John of Harford, Farmington, and Hatfield Curtis (Curtice): Richard of Salem Daniel: Stephen of New Haven Davenport: John of New Haven Davis: Samuel of Boston de Conselje: Jan of New Amsterdam de Vaux: Frederick of Harlem, Morrissania, Eastchester Dean: Samuel of Jamaica, Long Island Deming: John of Wethersfield Denison: William of Roxbury and New London Denton: Richard of Wethersfield, Stamford and Jamaica, Long Island Dibble: Abraham of Boston, Haddam, and Hampshire Co., Mass. Downey: James Drake: John of Windsor Dunham: John of Plymouth Colony Durant: George of Malden and Lyme Dwight: John of Dedham Dyckman: Johannes of Albany Edwards: John of Stratfield Eells: John of Windsor Farnham: Ralph of Ipswich Farrington: John of Dedham Filley: William of Windsor Firman (Fairman): John of Salem Foote: Nathaniel of Wethersfield Ford: Thomas of Windsor and Northampton Fox: Margaret (Clark) of Windsor Frost: William of Fairfield Fuller: Robert of Rehoboth Gaines: Henry of Lynn Gardiner/Gardner: Thomas of Roxbury Gaylord: William of Dorchester and Windsor Gibbard: William of New Haven Gold: Nathan of Fairfield Goodyear: Stephen of New Haven Graves: Thomas of Charlestown Graves: Thomas of Hartford and Hatfield Gray: Henry of Fairfield Green: Jacob of Norwalk Greenhill: Samuel of Hartford Gregson: Thomas of New Haven Gridley: Thomas of Hartford and Farmington Griffin: John of Windsor and Simsbury Griggs: Thomas of Roxbury Griswold: Edward of Killingworth Gunn: Thomas of Windsor Haight: Simon of Dorchester and Stamford Hanford: Eglin (Hatherly) of Scituate, Thomas of Norwalk Haring: Jan Pietersen of New Amsterdam Harris: Walter of New London Harrison: Richard of New Haven Hawkes: Adam of Charlestown and Lynn Heaton: Elizabeth of New Haven Hickox (Hickok, Hickocke): William of Farmington Hide: Humphrey of Fairfield Hinckley: Samuel of Barnstable Hines (Hine): Thomas of Milford Hobby (Hubbe, Hubby): John of Greenwich Holcomb: Thomas of Windsor Hollister: John of Wethersfield Hough: William of New London Hovey: Daniel of Ipswich Howard: Zebulon Hubbard: George of Middletown Huntington: Simon; Christopher of Norwich Hurlburt: Thomas of Saybrook and Wethersfield Hyde: William of Norwich Ives: William of New Haven Jackson Jones: John of Concord Jordan: Jeffrey of New London Jordan: John of Guilford Kilbourne: Thomas of Wethersfield Kimberly: Thomas of New Haven and Stratford Kirby: John of Hartford and Middletown Latimer: John of Wethersfield Law: Richard of Stamford Lay: Robert of Saybrook Lenthall: Robert of Weymouth and Newport Lines: Ralph of New Haven Lockwood: Robert of Fairfield Loomis: Joseph of Windsor Lord: Thomas of Hartford Manwaring: Oliver of New London Marshfield: Thomas of Windsor Marvin: Mathew of Hartford and Norwalk Marvin: Reinold of Saybrook and Lyme Miles: Richard of New Haven Mitchell: Matthew of Stratford Moore: Thomas of Windsor Morton: William of Hartford Moses: John of Windsor Mould: Hugh of New London Munson: Thomas of New Haven Newberry: Thomas of Dorchester North: Edward of Boston Nott: John of Fairfield Pancoast: John of West Jersey Parker: Edward of New Haven Parker: William of Hartford, Saybrook and Lyme Patteson: Edward of New Haven Peck: William of New Haven Pemberton: James of Charlestown and Malden Phelps: William of Windsor Phippen: David of Hingham and Boston Pierson: Abraham of Branford and Newark Porter: John of Windsor Post: Stephen of Saybrook Potter: Ann Hannah Langford (Potter) Beecher of New Haven Prichard: Roger of Wethersfield and New Haven Prindle: William of New Haven Prudden: James of Milford Ranney: Thomas of Middletown Raymond: Richard of Salem, Norwalk, and Saybrook Reed: John of Norwalk Richards: John of New London Richards: Thomas of Hartford Rider: Thomas of Long Island Roberts: William of Milford Robinson: Thomas of Guilford Rockwell: William of Windsor Rogers: James of New London Rose: Robert of Branford Rowland: Samuel of Stratford Royce: Robert of Stratford and Wallingford Rumrill: Simon of Enfield Ruscoe: William of Newtowne and Hartford Sackett: John of New Haven Sage: David of Middletown Sanford: Thomas of Milford Savage: John of Middletown Scattergood: Thomas of West Jersey Schut: Jan Hermanszen of New Amsterdam Scott: Benjamin of Braintree Scott: Thomas of Hartford Seabrook: Robert of Stratford Seeley: Robert of Watertown, Wethersfield, New Haven, and Huntington, L.I. Selleck: John of Fairfield Seymour: Richard of Hartford and Norwalk Shepard: Edward of Cambridge Sherman: Edmund of Wethersfield and New Haven Sherwood: Thomas of Fairfield Shute: Richard of Eastchester Skinner: John of Hartford Smith: Francis of Roxbury Smith: John of Sandwich Smith: John of Sudbury and Lancaster, Mass. Smith: Samuel of Wethersfield Smith: Thomas of New Haven Snow: Anthony of Marshfield Sperry: Richard of New Haven Squire: George of Fairfield Stanley: John of Farmington Stanley: Timothy of Hartford and Hadley Stanton: Thomas of Stonington Starr: Comfort of Cambridge, Duxbury, and Boston Stebbins: Dea. Edward of Hartford Stebbins: Rowland of Springfield Steele: George of Hartford Steele: John of Hartford and Farmington Stent: Eleazer of Branford Stoughton: Thomas of Windsor Stow: John of Concord Street: Nicholas of New Haven Strong: Elder John of Hartford and Northampton Strycker: Jan of Flatbush, Long Island Tapp: Edmund of Milford Tefft: William of Boston Thomas: John of New Haven Thompson: Anthony of New Haven Thomson: Thomas of Hartford and Farmington Thrall: William of Windsor Tibbals: Thomas of Milford Tinker: John of New London Tinkham: _____ of New Haven Todd: Christopher of New Haven Tourneur: Daniel of Harlem Treat: Mathias of Wethersfield Treat: Richard of Wethersfield Tuttle: William of New Haven Tyler: Peter of Branford Upson: Thomas of Hartford van Putten: Cosyn Gerritsen of New Amsterdam Vicars or Vicaris: George of Salem and Hull Volckertzsen: Dirck of New Amsterdam and Bushwick, Long Island Warner: Andrew of Middletown Warren: Richard of the Mayflower and Plymouth Waterman: Robert of Marshfield Webb: Christopher of Braintree Weld: Joseph of Roxbury Welles: Thomas of Hartford and Wethersfield Welton: John of Farmington and Waterbury Wetmore: Thomas of Middletown Wheeler: Ephraim of Fairfield Wheelock: Ralph of Medfield White: John of Hartford Whitehead: John of New Haven and Branford Whiting: Nathaniel of Dedham Wilcox: John of Hartford Wiley: John of Reading, Mass. Wilkinson: Widow Parnell of Bermuda Willett: Nathaniel of Hartford Wilmot: Benjamin of New Haven Wilson: Charles of Norwalk Winchell: Robert of Windsor Wolcott: Henry of Windsor Wooding (Wooden): William of New Haven Woodruff: Mathew of Farmington Wright: Deacon Samuel of Northampton Wright: Richard of Massachusetts and East Windsor