Richard Church, II, of Hartford - Death and burial place of Richard Church

Started by Bob Hardiman on Wednesday, August 21, 2013


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8/21/2013 at 10:02 AM

According to

Alice M. Church, compiler, A Genealogy and History of the Church Family in America: Descendants from Richard Church of Hartford, Connecticut and South Hadley, Massachusetts (hereafter Alice M. Church) (1949; reprint, Salem, Massachusetts: Higginson Book Company, 1997), Preface.

Richard Church, b. 6 Feb 1601, died 16 December 1667 while living with his daughter Mary Graves [in Hatfield (Hampshire), Massachusetts (Mass.)] (In 1915 his gravestone was in good repair.)

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8/30/2013 at 9:32 AM

Bob - I will attempt to answer both of your queries concerning Richard Church of Plymouth (1608-1668) who was married to Elizabeth Warren (1617-1670) and Anne Marsh (1600-1684) who married Richard Church of Hartford (1610-1667):

1. Richard Church of Hartford (1610-1667):
Born: 2/6/1610; Braintree, Essex County, England
Died: 12/16/1667; Hadley, Mass
Married Anne Marsh in 1627; Braintree, Essex County, England
Father: Richard Church (1570-1623; Braintree, Essex County, England
Mother: Alice Vassell (1572-1621); Braintree, Essex County, England
Immigrated to America: circa 1630 with wife Anne and ch Samuel & Edward

Copy of a portion of: The Warner-Harrington Ancestry of Samuel, Freda and John Warner by Frederick Chester Warner (1866- )

1. John at Church, b.1335 d. 1396, of Great Parndon Parish, Manor of Geround, Co. Essex, England, is the first of this family known. In 1360 he married Catherine, daughter of Richard Winchester. She died 1438. 2. John Chyrch, b. 1365, d. 1450 m. Catherine-----. He was a resident of the city of Leicester, Eng. and held much property. In 1399 he was elected Burgess of Parliament. Was elected again in 1420 and, from 1402 to 1422, was Mayor of Leicester. 3. John Church, married Agnes----. He was a merchant. 4. Reynold Church, Married 1496, Margaret Greene, daughter of Robert Greene of Chester. He owned lands in Leicester, Nautwich and Castell Camps. 5. Robert Church, b. ab. 1505. He was a counsellor-at-law and Steward of the Earl of Oxford. 6. John Church, married about 1547, Catherine Swan. He was of Sanford, Co. Essex and was made freeman 1547. He had an armory. 7. John Church, b. ab. 1548, married Joan Titerell. The distress of the poor during this time was very great and he was appointed by the officers of the church one of "two able persons to be gatherers for the poor". He died before 4 Nov. 1593. 8.Richard Church, b. 9 May 1570, married 15 Dec 1592, by general license in the Bishops Court, London, Alice----, widow of his brother Henry Church. In 1613 he settled in Braintree, County Essex, England. Ref. -Simon Church of Chester, Connecticut, -Charles W. Church, 1914. Children born in England: Alice b. 12 Jan 1603 d.---, m. 18 may l624, Thomas Green of Witham. John b. 17 May 1607, d. 15 July 1638, m. 29 Sept. 1629, Elizabeth Marsh. Henry b. 4 Nov. 1609, d.--- m.----Browne Richard b. 6 Feb. l610,d. 16 Dec 1667 m. Anne, d. 10 Mar. 1684. Arnold b. 23 Mar.1611, d.---- m. Margaret Ward, sister of Nathaniel Ward of Hartford. 9.Richard Church, b. 6 Feb. 1610, England, d. 16 Dec 1667, age 57, Hadley, Mass., m. 18 May 1627, England, Anne----. b. about 1610, d. 10 march 1684, age 83, Hatfield Mass.

Evidently Richard Church came to America with his relatives, John Marsh, Nathaniel Marsh and Isaac Graves, all of whom came from Braintree, County Essex. He probably came in 1636 and went to Hartford, Ct. the same year with the party of Rev. Mr. Hooker. He first appears as an original proprietor of Hartford in 1637. In 1639-40 his homelot was on the east side of what is now North Main street. That year he drew 12 acres of land in the "cow pasture". He was elected chimney-viewer in 1648 and surveyor of highways in 1655. In March 1655 he was freed from watching and warding (military duties). On 18 April 1659 he was one of 60 persons from Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor who met at Nathaniel Ward's house in Hartford and signed an agreement to remove themselves and their families out of Connecticut and into Massachusetts. Soon afterward he settled in what is now Hadley. On 10 July 1660 Richard Church was one of the witnesses to the deed given by the Indians conveying the land in what is now Hatfield to the Hadley planters. In 1663 his 8 acre home lot in Hadley was located on the west side of the street, the seventh lot south from the river and the fourth south of Joseph Baldwin's another ancestor. In March 1663 he was rated at L100 and drew 4 acres, 1 qrs. 33 rods in the first division of land. He died in Hadley in 1667. After his death, his widow Anne moved to Hatfield where her son Samuel had settled and where she died in 1684, in the 84th year of her age.

Note: The Genealogical Magazine, Vol.3, p. 192 states that nothing is known of the place of origin, parentage, or ancestral line of Richard Church of Hartford and that his marriage to Anne Marsh is pure fiction. Ref.- Memorial History of Hartford County, Connecticut History of Hadley,-Syllvester Judd, 1905. Ancestory of Thomas C. Brainerd, 1948.

Children born in England To Richard and Anne Church: Edward b. 26 Feb. 1628, d. 19 Sept 1704, m/----Mary----, b. about 1636, d. 30 Sept. 1690. Samuel b. 3 Mar. 1629, d. 13 april 1684, m.Mary Churchill, b. 24 March 1639, d. 1690. Mary b. 2 Nov1632, d. 9 j 1695, m. about 1648 Isaac Graves, d. 19 Sept 1677, Hatfield. John b. 9 may 1636, d. 1691, m. Oct. 1657, Sarah Beckley, d. 16 Oct 1691. 10. Edward Church, b. 26 Fet. 1628, County Essex, England., died, 19 Sept 1704, age 76, Hatfield, M. Mary---, b. about 1636, died 30 Sept 1690, age 54, Hatfield.

Deacon Edward Church came to America with his parents. The first record found of him here is in 1654 when he was living in Norwalk, Ct. He probably married about that time. He moved to New Haven, Ct. in 1656 and, on 5 August 1656, a court held at New Haven approved the sale by James Clark to Edward Church of 10 acres in the first division. He probably continued to live in New Haven until after 1659. In that year, his father and brother Samuel decided to settle in Hadley and soon afterward Edward moved there also as one of the original proprietors. He drew the 8 acre homelot on the middle highway to the meadows. On 27 Jan. 1663 he was chosen one of the first surveyors of highways. In March of that year he was rated at L80 and drew 3 acres, 2 qurs. 9 rods in the first division of lands. On 19 Feb 1668-9 he signed the protest against the tax in imports into Massachusetts and, in 1671, was elected a selectman. In October 1672 he signed the petition for an additional 8 miles square to be added to the east side of Hadley. This grant included what is now Amherst. Before 1681 Edward church sold his homelot to Joseph and Thomas Selding and moved to Hatfield. He was taxed as a nonresident of Hadley in Jan. 1681-2(12s 7d for building Fort River bridge) and 1686 (11s for town debts). In April 1703 he drew 52-1/2 acres in the division of woodlands in the 8 mile addition. He was a Deacon of the Hatfield church and died in 1704. Ref.-History of Norwalk, Connecticut. New Haven Town Records. History of Hadley,-Sylvester Judd, 1905 Children: 2 born New Haven, Ct., 7 born Hadley: Rebecca born about 1654, d. 9 Je 1726, m.11 Feb. 1677 Joseph Selden, died 14 July 1724, Lyme, Connecticut. Mary born 7 Nov.1656, d. 1 May 1743, Sunderland, Married 25 Dec. 1679, Phillip Russell, died 19 may 1693, Hatfield Massachusetts. John born 1658, died 19 may 1676, killed in Falls fight. Samuel Born 4 april 1662, died 6 May 1662, Hatfield Massachusetts. Naomi born 12 May 1666, died----, Married 1 May 1687, Joseph Bodman, died 8 July 1711, Hatfield Massachusetts. Sarah Born 18 May 1670, died---, married 3 Dec 1697, William Porter of Haddam, Connecticut. Hannah born 1672, died 11 Oct. 1756, Married about 1691, Ebenezer Billings. Richard born 18 Jan. 1675, died 4 april 1763, m 1691, Mary---, Died 22 Dec 1776, Hatfield Massachusetts Hepzibah born 24 Dec. 1678, died 13 Sept 1696, Married 16 Sept. 1696, Samuel Spencer of Bolton, Connecticut.

2. Richard Church of Plymouth
Born: 6/1608; London, Middlesex, England
Died: 12/27/1668: Dedham, Mass
Married: Elizabeth Warren; 3/14/1635, Plymouth, Mass
Father: George Church (?)
Mother: Margarit Northup (?)
Immigrated to America: Circa 1630, became a freeman in 1632

There is virtually no documentation on his parentage other than the birth of a Richard Church in 1608 to a George Church in Middlesex, England. This is supposition that George Church was his father. Further, there is no source documentation on George Church other that his marriage to a Margarit Nortup. The implication that George Church immigrated to America cannot be documented either.

So, it is well documented that there were two Richard Church's who immigrated to America and Massachusetts around 1630 and frequently, genealogists mix the two profiles and families. Hope this helps!


8/31/2013 at 8:27 AM

1. In my orignal note I mis-typed 1915 instead of 1935.
2. The english Church history--said to have been compiled by Gustave Anjou-- you cite was discredited by eminent genealogist, Mr. [J.] Gardner Bartlett, in “The Genealogical Magazine,” Vol. Ill, pg. 192, Dec. 1915 to September 1916, it probably should not be taken as positive proof of the English ancestry.
3. I woul be happy to send you a copy of Bartlett,s article.

<private> (Church)
6/4/2015 at 9:04 AM


The history of Richard and his family is made murky by fraud: Gustave Anjou created one of his many fraudulent genealogies around this family, exploiting the family's lack of known history.[2][3] The duped descendant, Charles Washburn Church, published the results in 1914.[4] Worse, Anjou birthdates were accepted by many later genealogists, even appearing in Lucius Barbour's Families of Early Hartford, Connecticut.[5]

The wary genealogist of the Richard Church family should look to sources that either predate 1914, or which discuss Anjou genealogy, and which are backed by primary sources.

What is wrong

A page from Charles Washburn Church's defrauded genealogy. Fraudulent information in red, reasonable guesses in green. The rest is accurate, from primary sources.[6]
So far as is actually known: He was NOT the son of Richard Church and Alice Vassell [7]; neither he, nor his wife Anne, nor her father, were from Braintree, England (or Braintree, Massachusetts); his wife's last name is unknown, she is NOT the daughter of Edward Marsh.

He was not born Feb. 6, 1610; c. 1600 is more likely, based on Anne's birth year, and on the likely birthdate of their daughter Mary (c. 1625; see below)

He did not come to Hartford with Hooker in 1636: first, no profile in Anderson's Great Migration argues an arrival later than 1636; second, William Deloss Love does not list him among those who came with Hooker, or who came soon after[8]; third, his plot of land shown in the 1640 map of Hartford is very small and to the north[9], both of which indicate a later-comer, also according to Love[10].Benjamin Tinkham Marshall

In fact all of the exact Church family birth and marriage dates prior to 1647 are unknown; the first birth record we have is for Richard and Anne's granddaughter, Mary Graves, born July 5, 1647 in Hartford [11], to Mary (Church) Graves and her husband, Isaac Graves.

What we do know

Here is what know or can deduce from the records: his wife Anne, died in Hatfield, March 10, 1684, in her 84th year[12], so was born about 1600; lacking other evidence, it's reasonable to assign Richard the same birth year. Their son Edward's tombstone gives his age at death as well as his death date: [13] he was 76 in September 1704, so he was in fact born c. 1628.

Son Samuel Church was made freeman in Hartford on May 21, 1657, so was at least 21 on that date; thus was born before May, 1636. [14]

Similarly, son John Church was made freeman, May 20 1658, so was at least 21, and was born before May, 1637.[15]

Daughter Mary (Church) Graves' first child Mary Graves, m. Frary, was born July 5, 1647, according to the Hartford vital records [16]. Mary Graves was also Anne and Richard's first grandchild; Anne would have been 47 when she was born, and it is thus quite possible that both Anne and her daughter Mary Church were about 23 at the birth of their first child -- very typical for the era. A 1625 birthdate for Mary Church seems a reasonable estimate.[17]


Richard Church and his family first appear in Connecticut's records in January 3 1639/40, when he was awarded the right to 12 acres of land[18]; what we know about the family must be deduced from that and later records. (While this is often called "the first division," it was actually a general cleaning-up and regularizing of prior claims and grants, including reclamation of undeveloped plots, by the fledgling Hartford town government.)

[Following needs sourcing from Hartford early records -- Trumbull. And some narrative and background.]

1639 - He drew 12 acres of land in the first division.

1643 - Richard volunteered and served as Sargent in the Pequot Indian War.

1652 - One of the original members of The Church of Hartford.

1658 - Richard was made Freeman in Connecticut.

1659 - Because of a religious squabble withdrew from Conn. with 60 other persons to form the town of Hadley, Massachusetts. One of the original citizens to sign the agreement on Apr 18, 1659 at Goodman Ward's home in Hartford agreeing to settle the area then (or soon) called Hadley, Massachusetts. (This was later divided into Hadley, and Hatfield, South Hadley, Amherst, and Granby. The Church family settled in the portion west of the Connecticut River which became Hatfield in 1670.) (Suspect lack of land was a partial motivation.)

1667 Dec 16 - Richard died at the home of his daughter, Mary Graves, in what was then part of Hadley.

(1670 After much petitioning, Hatfield is allowed to form its own town from the portion of the original Hadley west of the Connecticut River. Suspect this meant they could build their own church and didn't have to cross the Connecticut every Sunday.)

1683/4 Mar 10 - his widow, Ann Marsh, daughter of Edward Marsh, died in Hatfield, Massachusetts, in her 84th year[19].


Richard's parents and siblings are unknown

He was married to Anne Marsh (1600 – 1683)

Their children included:

Edward Church (1628 – 1704)
Mary Church Graves (abt. 1625 – 1695)
Capt Samuel Church I (1636 or before – 1684)
John Church (1637 or before – 1691)

Free of Anjou information

Lesses, Richard; Richard Church of Hartford's Ancestry, posting to soc.genealogy.misc 11/16/1996 Link to record
Boltwood, Lucius Manlius; Genealogies of Hadley Families: Embracing the Early Settlers of the Towns of Hatfield, South Hadley, Amherst, and Granby; Metcalf printers, 1862.
Judd, Sylvester; History of Hadley, including the early history of Hatfield, South Hadley, Amherst and Granby, Massachusetts; H.R. Hunting and Company. Springfield, Mass. 1905
Love, William DeLoss The Colonial History of Hartford: Gathered from the Original Records; published by the author, Hartford, CT, 1914. At
Porter, William S.; Hartford in 1640 prepared from the original records by vote of the town and drawn by William S. Porter Very high-resolution copy at University of CT
Trumbull, J. Hammond, ed.;The public records of the Colony of Connecticut, prior to the union with New Haven Colony, May, 1665, transcribed and published under the supervision of the Secretary of State; Hartford: Brown & Parsons, 1850 (Public Records Hartford) At
White, Lorraine Cook, Bailey, Christina. The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records: Hartford 1635-1855 Genealogical Publishing Company, 2003 memorial for Deacon Edward Church, (Hill Cemetery, Hatfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts), #15358255 Link to memorial at Findagrave
Bartlett, J. Gardiner; Erroneous Pedigrees; Church. The Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 3 (Dec. 1915/Sept. 1916), Boston : Eben Putnam,1905-1917
Compromised by Anjou information

Church, Charles Washburn; Simeon Church of Chester, Connecticut, 1708-1792, and his descendants, by Charles Washburn Church (C.W. Church genealogy); The Mattatuck Press, Waterbury, CT, 1914. Title page.
This is the original publication which included the fraudulent Anjou information.
Marshall, Benjamin Tinkham; A Modern History of New London County, Connecticut, Volume 2, 1922.
This has the bogus genealogy, hook, line & sinker. If you need a summary of the fraudulent genealogy, here it is.
Barbour, Lucius; Families of Early Hartford, Connecticut,
Doesn't reproduce the fraudulent ancestry, but includes the [fraudulent birthdates and Anne as daughter of Edward Marsh of Braintree.]
With other errors

Descendants of Richard Church of Plymouth, Mass., by John Church, Rutland, Vt.: Tuttle Co., 1913.
Conflates Richard Church of Hadley with Richard Church of Hingham

↑ John A. Church, For an early published genealogy, it is well sourced and refers to original or published records. HOWEVER, it appears it confuses Richard of Hadley with Richard of Hingham!
↑ Lesses
↑ Bartlett, p 192
↑ C.W. Church genealogy
↑ Barbour
↑ C.W. Church genealogy, p.11, detail, with overdrawing by Patricia J. Hawkins showing fraudulent items
↑ Lesses; Gardiner
↑ Love, p.32 At
↑ Porter; Note that north is to the right on this map at U.Connecticut
↑ Love, p.32 At
↑ Bourbour CT Vital Records, p.178. At
↑ Boltwood p.18; this may be from an old gravemarker, or a town record; I've found no clear source, but several older genealogies repeat it. At
↑ link to photo at findagrave.comEdward Findagrave memorial
↑ Public Records Hartford, p. 297, At
↑ Public Records Hartford, p 315, At
↑ Hartford Vital Records, p.178 At
↑ Like many genealogists, I round estimated birth years to the nearest five; assigning Mary Church a 1625 birth year moves her closer to her brothers' likely birthdates; also Anne and Richard were not a very fertile couple for the era, with only four children, whereas Mary and Isaac Graves proceeded to have ten children, averaging one every 2.5 years until Mary's death, so an earlier first child is likelier for Mary than for Anne.
↑ Love, p.125 At
↑ Boltwood p.18. Several older sources state "in her 84th year" or "AE 84". This may be from a town record, or it may have been a transcription from an old wooden grave marker.

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