Bygod Eggleston (c.1587 - 1674) MP

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Nicknames: "Beget", "Bagot", "Bygood", "Bigod", "Bigot", "Baggett", "Begett", "Egleston", "Eagleston", "Eagleton", "Eglestone", "Eglerton", "Eglinton", "Eggliston", "Egleton", "Eggleson", "Eccleston"
Birthplace: Settrington, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Death: Died in Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut Colony
Occupation: Freeman, Farmer
Managed by: Janet Sue Smith
Last Updated:

About Bygod Eggleston

Bygod Eggleston (1587 - 1674), son of James A. Eggleston and Margaret Harker, was among the founders of Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1630, and of Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut, in 1635. He was baptised at All Saints Church, Settrington, Yorkshire, England on 20 February 1586. He died at the age of 87 on 1 September 1674 at Windsor. Bygod married (1) Mary Talcott c1594 - before 1630), daughter of John Talcott (1562 - 1604) and Anne Skinner (1574 - 1637) about 1611 at Norwich, Norfolk, England. She died prior to his emigration to the Colonies about 1630, where he married (2) Mary Wall.

Marriages and Children

  1. Mary Talcott (born c.1592 of Norwich, Norfolk, England) married c.1611 Norwich, Norfolk, England. This wife of Bygod is sometimes referred to as Brigget in old records, which has led to confusion on the part of some genealogists. They are the same woman.
    1. James Eggleston (baptised 14 April 1612 St. Margaret's, Norwich, Norfolk, England - died13 August 1613 Norwich, Norfolk, buried 20 August 1613 St. Margaret's, Norwich, Norfolk)
    2. Mary Eggleston (baptised 19 January 1613/4 St. Margaret's, Norwich, Norfolk - before 1630 England). This daughter of Bygod did not live long enough to marry, never went to the Colonies, and should not be confused with the Mary Egellston from an unrelated family who married Edward Sanderson in Connecticut.
    3. James Eggleston (1617 Norwich, Norfolk, England - 1 December 1679 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut) married prior to1656 Esther Kelsey, daughter of William Kelsey, as their eldest child was born on 1 January 1656 at Windsor, Connecticut. After the death of her first husband Esther married (2) James Eno and then (3) John Williams, so that (as George McCracken put it) "she was surnamed Williams at her death, not, as so often claimed, at her birth".
    4. John Eggleston (1618 Norwich, Norfolk, England - 1646 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut)
    5. Samuel Eggleston (1620 Norwich, Norfolk, England - 1 February 1690 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut) married by 1663 Sarah Disborough (born 6 March 1663 Middletown ), daughter of Nicholas Disborough
  2. Mary Wall (born c.1610 Braintree, Essex, England - 8 December 1657), daughter of Moses Wall and Ann Skinner, widow of Robert Aylett, married c.1637 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut
    1. Mary Eggleston (born 1636) married John Denslow 7 June 1655 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut
    2. Thomas Eggleston (26 August 1638 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut - May 1697 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut); never married. With his brother, Samuel, made freeman of Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut on 20 May 1658; resided in East Windsor on land bought from John Terry. Thomas built the first brick house in Connecticut.
    3. Mercy Eggleston (29 May 1641 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut - 29 Aug 1684, Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut) married John Denslow, probably the brother of Henry Denslow of Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut. They were possible nephews of Nicholas Denslow of the Mary and John, not sons. The male line of John Denslow became extinct with the death of his sons. The only descendants are through his daughter, Rebecca.
    4. Sarah Eggleston (born 28 March 1643 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut - 18 July 1713 Simsbury, Hartford, Connecticut) married John Pettibone (1640 Simsbury, Hartford, Connecticut - 15 July 1713 Simsbury, Hartford, Connecticut) 16 February 1663/4 Windsor, Connecticut. John Pettibone was the first of that name to come to America. He may have come from Wales and may have been a soldier under Oliver Cromwell. He was a Freeman in 1658.
    5. Rebecca Eggleston (8 December 1644 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut - date unknown). Records had her named spelled "Rebekah"; the name is sometimes given as Deborah (e.g., in N.E. Reg. 5, 225). Perhaps died young as she is not mentioned in her father's will.
    6. Abigail Eggleston (b. 2 June 1648 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut; baptised 18 June 1648 - 30 July 1689, Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut) married 14 October 1669 John Osborn
    7. Joseph Eggleston (baptised 30 March 1651 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut - c.1720 Stonington, New London, Connecticut)
    8. Benjamin Eggleston (18 December 1653 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut - 16 December 1729 East Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut) married Hannah Shaddock, daughter of John Osborn and widow of Elias Shaddock, 6 March 1678 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut
  3. Sarah Talcott (born c.1591 Windsor - 25 July 1689 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut)

The Church of All Saints at Settrington

The East Yorkshire village of Settrington was once the domain of the Bygod family. In the 1530’s the owner of the manor was Sir Francis Bygod, and he took part in the "Pilgrimage of Grace", a northern revolt against Henry VIII in protest of the dissolution of the monasteries. The revolt failed and the state took stringent retribution against the rebels and their property, effectively wiping out the Bygods of Settrington.

Fifty years later, Bygod Eggleston was baptized in the Church of All Saints at Settrington on 20 February 1586. His parents were James Eggleston and Margaret Harker. There is speculation that Margaret's mother was a Bygod. It seems likely that the boy was named after the Bygod family of the estate, although the reason is unknown.

Early Life

James and Margaret had three daughters after their son was born, and then Margaret died. James then married Juliana Frear, and had four more children before his death in 1613. Bygod was about 27 when his mother died. He and two of his sisters, Dorothy and Jane, moved to Norwich, Norfolk to live with their father’s brother, Sylvester. Elizabeth stayed in Settrington with her father and stepmother. Bygod was on the Norwich militia list as a servant of Robert Coulson. This was not a standing army, but a list of all able-bodied householders and their servants who could be called to muster several times a year. Sylvester and his son, Edmund, appear on the list as well.

It was also while in Norwich that Bygod married Mary Talcott (born c.1592 of Norwich, Norfolk, England), daughter of John Talcott, about1611. Together they had five children: James, born in April 1612 and died in August 1613; Mary, who was baptized at St. Margaret’s Church in Norfolk on Jan 19 1613; another James, born in 1617; John, born about 1620; and Samuel, born in 1627. Perhaps Mary died in childbirth, as so many women did, because she did not emigrate with the young family in 1630.

Migration

Bigod Eggleston's migration pathway is one of the more interesting encountered among those who came to New England. He was born in Settrington, Yorkshire, in 1586, and then about 1610 accompanied or followed other members of his family to Norwich, Norfolk. The last record for him at Norwich is the baptism of his daughter Mary on 19 January 1613/4.

He then showed up in 1630 at Dorchester, which has led many to place him on the Mary and John. From Norwich, on the eastern side of England, to Plymouth, in the southwest, was a tremendous journey in 1630, but apparently Bygod Eggleston and his surviving children made that journey in preparation for the even more unthinkable journey to the New World. If he were on the Mary and John, one would expect him to have come from one of the West Country counties of Devon, Dorset or Somerset, but we have no record for him anywhere from 1615 to 1630.

The Mary and John

Prior to the departure of the Mary and John, its passengers formed a Congregational church with the purpose of emigrating to North America to enjoy civil and religious privileges. They chose Reverend John Warham and Reverend John Maverick to be their pastor and teacher. Bygod Eggleston brought to the colonies with him three sons, James, John and Samuel. A daughter Mary, another son James, and his first wife, are assumed to have died before Bygod left England and little else is known about them.

On March 20th, 1630, a few days before the Great Migration began with the departure of the seven-ship Winthrop fleet, the "Mary and John", a 400-ton ship with 140 persons on board, departed Plymouth. They arrived in Nantasket (present-day Hull), Massachusetts, seventy days later on the 30th of May. The master of the vessel, Captain Squeb, refused to sail up the Charles River as planned, because he had no charts for the area and feared running the ship aground. Instead, he left his passengers and all their 150,000 pounds of livestock, provisions and equipment in a desolate locale twenty miles from their destination. Later the captain would be obliged to pay damages for this conduct, but that was no help to the settlers at the time.

The New World

Fortunately some earlier settlers in the area were able to obtain a boat and helped the Mary and John passengers up the Charles River to Watertown. They landed their goods and erected a shelter, but soon found that a nearby neck of land called Mattapan was a more desirable location, moving there and founding a settlement in the early part of June. They named the place Dorchester, after the town in England, the former home of many of the settlers.

In the summer of 1635, Rev. John Warham and his congregation moved westward to Matianuck, at the confluence of the Farmington and Connecticut Rivers. When Rev. Warham and sixty members of his congregation arrived, they renamed the place Dorchester. Two years later the name was changed to Windsor, by decree of the colony’s General Court. Bygod Eggleston is listed as one of the founders of Windsor, Connecticut. Windsor is about six miles north of where the city of Hartford, Connecticut stands today.

A Curious Affair

Bygod married Mary Wall about 1637 in Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut, daughter of Moses Wall and Anne Skinner; together they had nine children. Some ten years after Bygod Egleston came to Windsor he was involved in a curious affair which it is difficult to interpret accurately. The Public Records of the Colony of Connecicut I, 127, report that at a Particular Court held at Hartford 5 June 1645, "Baggett Egleston, for bequething his wife to a young man, is fyned 20 s. George Tuckye, for his misdemeanor in words to Egleston's wife, is fyned 40 s. and to be bownd to his good behauior and to appear the next Court. Tho: Ford acknowledgeth himself to be bownd in x L to this Comonwealth and George Tucky in 20 L that the said George shall appear at the next Court, and keepe good behauior in the meane season." Tuckye did not appear at the next session, and nothing further about the affair is to be found in the records. Whatever happened, it does not seem to have seriously interrupted Bygod Egleston's family life. He was 58 years old at the time, had four young children besides the two older sons, and was to have three more within the next eight years. A fanciful account in the Knickerbocker Monthly for January 1851, represents Bygod as an aging man of plebeian character whose young wife is constantly quarreling with him because of his failure to attain higher social position; this bickering makes him angry enough to wish to be rid of her.

A Member of the Community

Bygod and his son James were admitted as freemen of Connecticut Colony on 21 May 1657 (Pub. Rec. Col. Conn. I, 297), his name being spelled "Begatt Eglstone." On 18 January 1659/70 his name is in the list of householders in Windsor who had paid for seating in the meeting-house, and in May 1668 it is reported that for 50 shillings he undertook "to cleanse the meeting-house this year" and for 28 shillings to beat the drum for meetings.

Bygod's Will was written in 1673, just a year before his death. Bygod Eggleston died on 1 September 1674. Mathew Grant of Windsor thus record Bygod Egleston's death: "Begat egelston Dyed septem'r 1, 74. nere 100 yer ould." As a matter of fact, he was only 87. He is buried at the Founder's Monument plot, Palisado Cemetery, Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut.

Last Will and Testament

Eglestone, Bygatt, Windsor. Invt. &116-03-00. Taken 24 October 1674by Old William Trall, Thomas Dibble sen., Mathew Grant.

Will dated 13 November, 1673.

I Bigat Egllstone of Windsor, in ye county of Hartford, being aged and weake, doe make this my last will and testament as followeth; I comit my sould in the hands of God, and my body to be buried in seemly manner by my friends. My Estate, which is but Small, this is my will; My house and land after my decease I give to my son Benjamin, he being the staff of my age, on this condition, that he shall maintaine his Mother during her life and pay my Depts.

And in case yt my son Joseph should come and demand a portion, his brother shall pay him forty shillings as he is able with conveniency. Also to my son James and my son Samuel & my son Thomas, And to my Daughters Mary, Sarah & Abigail, to eyther of these three shillings apiece. All ye rest of my estate I give to my son Benjamin, and doo make him my exsequitor.

Beget Egleston Witness; Nath. Sslyer Abraham Randall, John Hosford.

Legacy

Bygod Eggleston had at least 63 grandchildren and 144 great-grandchildren.

The Mother of Bygod Eggleston

Probably no early colonist has had more erroneous conjectures made about him than Bygod Eggleston. This is due to the total absence of records relating to his mother and his wives. We now have proof that his mother was not Juliana Harker, as has been widely accepted in the past. The conjecture was based on the fact that in his will of 1612, James Eggleston named Julian as his wife and a neighbor, Ralph Harker, as his brother. The assumption was that Ralph had an older sister named Juliana or Julian who married James Eggleston and became the mother of his eight children.

Rosalie Eggleston and Linda Eggleston McBroom have identified the mother of Bigod Eggleston as Margaret, daughter of Miles Harker of Settrington.

Settrington Parish Register

The following Egleston entries from "The Register of the Parish of Settrington, 1559-1812," transcribed and edited by Francis Collins, and privately printed for The Yorkshire Parish Register Society, 1910, pertain to the family of Bygod Egleston (or Eggleston) of Windsor, Connecticut, and include the date of baptism and the paternity of the emigrant.

Entries From the Register of the Parish of Settrington, 1559-1812:

BAPTISMS

  • 1586 Feb 20 Bygod s. of James Egleston Page 11
  • 1592 Oct 8 Elizabeth d. James Egleston Page 14
  • 1595 Nov 2 Janet d. James Egleston Page 15
  • 1599 Dec 5 Matthew s. of John Egleston Page 17
  • 1603 Jun 19 James s. of James Egleston Page 18
  • 1604 Mar 31 Mary d. John Egleston Page 19
  • 1606 Apr 6 John s. James Egleston Page 20
  • 1607 Jul 12 Robert s. John Egleston Page 21
  • 1608 Feb 28 Margaret d. James Egleston Page 22
  • 1623 Dec (7) Anna d. Matthew Egleston Page 31
  • 1625 Sep (4) Mary Egleston Page 32
  • 1629 Apr (19) Tamizin d. Matthew Egleston Page 34
  • 1631 Feb 3 Matthew s. Matthew Egleston Page 36
  • 1632 Apr 25 Jane d. James Egleston Page 36
  • 1632 Aug 23 James s. John Egleston Page 36
  • 1634 Mar 20 Mary d. James Egleston Page 38
  • 1635 May 10 John s. John Egleston Page 38
  • 1637 Jan (28) Frances d. James Egleston Page 40
  • 1640 Nov (22) Jane d. John Egleston Page 42
  • 1640 Dec 4 James s. James Egleston Page 42
  • 1643 Feb (25) Laurence s. James Egleston Page 45
  • 1647 Jun 20 Peter s. James Egleston Page 46

BURIALS

  • 1596 Mar 15 Janet w. John Egleston Page 58
  • 1613 Mar 30 James Egleston Page 63
  • 1616 Feb 22 Modwina Egleston Page 65
  • 1633 Dec 9 John Egleston Page 69
  • 1633 Dec 23 Jane Egleston, his wife Page 69
  • 1634 Jan 20 Mary Egleston Page 69

MARRIAGES

  • 1592 Nov 10 John Egleston and Janet Ranyell Page 80
  • 1597 Nov 6 John Egleston and Modwina Tomlinson Page 81
  • 1614 June 5 William Bainton and Julianna Egleston Page 84
  • 1621 Feb 13 Matthew Egleston and Mary Smith Page 85
  • 1635 Jul 27 John Avison and Margaret Egleston Page 88
  • 1631 Nov 20 John Egleston and Ursula Fisher Page 87

Pre-1634 Planters Of Massachusetts Bay Colony

Although no original complete lists survive which name the passengers of the ships sent to America by the Massachusetts Bay Company from 1628 to 1630, researcher Col. Charles E. Banks published a partial reconstruction of the passenger list of the Winthrop Fleet (published 1930); this list includes Bygod Eggleston. His name also appears on a partially-reconstructed list of the first settlers of Dorchester who arrived on the Mary and John in 1630, or were known to be in Dorchester before 1632.

Notes and Discussion

  • The claim has been made that the "Mary Egellston" who married at Watertown on 16 October 1645 Edward Sanderson was the daughter of Bigod Eggleston baptized in Norwich in 1614 , but this is unlikely for many reasons: the Mary baptized at Norwich would have been thirty at the time of this marriage; Bigod did not name her or any children of hers in his will; and the Egglestons of Windsor had no known connection with Watertown at this early date.
  • Most accounts of the family state that James and Samuel were twins, but there is no evidence in favor of this, and few dates to help in sorting out the chronology for these two men. However, James Eggleston has an entry dated 8 December 1640 in the Windsor land inventory whereas Samuel does not; and the two men married about seven years apart.
  • Clarence Almon Torrey published the basic information on the Eggleston family in Yorkshire in 1934. This was supplemented by John G. Hunt, who pointed out the correct reading of the records for the daughter born in 1641, thus requiring that the daughter Mary named in the will must have been born earlier. Genevieve Tylee Kiepura added some further comments in 1969, expanding considerably on the clue provided by Torrey regarding the Egglestons in Norwich.
  • One of the persistent rumors is the claim that Bygod's maternal grandmother was a Bigod, this stemming from Bygod's unusual Christian name. While the family of Bigod had some importance in the 12th and 13th centuries and cadet branches of the Bigods held the manor of Settrington until 2 June 1537 when Sir Francies Bigod was put to death for treason, no link has been found of any blood relationship between Bygod Eggleston and the Bigod line.
  • The Mary Eggleston, daughter of Bygod, who was baptized 19 January 1613, Norwich, England, has been ignored by previous searchers. Evidently they believed she died in England. Dr. Rosalie Eggleston now raises the question, is she the Mary Eggleston who married Edward Saunderson, 1 Oct 1645 in Watertown, Massachusetts?

Sources and Further Reading

  • Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995. 621. Print.
  • Coleman, James Cash. The Genealogy of William Coleman of Gloucester, Mass., and Gravesend, England, 1619-1906. Goshen, NY: Independent Republican, 1906. Print.
  • Collins, Francis. The Register of the Parish of Settrington, 1559-1812. [Leeds]: Priv. Print. for the Yorkshire Parish Register Society, 1910. Print.
  • Eggleston, George Teeple. Some Descendents of Bygod Eggleston of Yorkshire, England and Windsor, Connecticut. [S.l.]: G.T. Eggleston, 1981. Print.
  • Eggleston, Rosalie, and Linda Eggleston. McBroom. Bygod Eggleston, Englishman & Colonist, and Some of His Descendants. Toledo, OH: Mary & John Clearinghouse, 1991. Print.
  • Kempton, Elsie Eggleston, and Ione Eggleston Ward. Our Eggleston and Allied Families, Compiled by Elsie Eggleston Kempton and Ione Eggleston Ward. Rev. Ed. Saginaw, MI: E.E. Kempton, 1975. Print.
  • Kiepura, Genevieve T. "Eggleston Facts and Fiction." National Genealogical Society Quarterly 57.4 (Dec. 1969): 255-61. Print.
  • Kuhns, Maude Pinney. The "Mary and John"; a Story of the Founding of Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1630. Rutland, VT: C.E. Tuttle, 1971. Print.
  • Manwaring, Charles William. A Digest of the Early Connecticut Probate Records. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub., 1995. Print.
  • Oncley, Lephia French. Our Weaver Cousins: Ancestry of Samuel Stanton Weaver, 1793-1857, and His Wife, Lucy Billings Palmer, 1798-1851, with Some of Their Descendants and Related Families. Ann Arbor, MI: Mrs. J.L. Oncley, 1995. Print.
  • Parsons, Milton A. Eggleston Notes 1.1 (Dec 1962): n. pag. Print.
  • Periodical for the collection and interchange of family history and genealogical data about Eggleston individuals and families within the United States, with some data about ancestors in England. Bigod Eggleston (1586-1674) and two of his sons immigrated from England to Windsor, Connecticut; he married three times (twice in England). Includes transcripts and extracts from local, county, state, and federal sources (town records, cemeteries, vital records, census, etc.).
  • Russell, Marjorie M. Russell Roots & Branches: The Genealogy of Ira Russell, His Wives Betsey Bickford Deering and Eunice Jerusia Lee, Their Ancestors and Descendants. Provo, UT: Press Pub., 1981. Print.
  • Torrey, Clarence A., Ph.D. "English Origin of Bygod Eggleston." The American Genealogist 10.97 (Apr. 1934): n. pag. Print.
  • Torrey, Clarence Almon, and Elizabeth Petty. Bentley. New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub., 1985. Print.
  • Ward, Ione Eggleston., and Elsie Eggleston. Kempton. Our Eggleston and Allied Families. Saginaw, Michigan.: n.p., 1970. Print.
  • The Winthrop Society page for Bigod Eggleston
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Bygod Eggleston's Timeline

1586
February 20, 1586
Settrington, East Yorkshire, UK
1587
February 20, 1587
Settrington, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
February 20, 1587
Settrington, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
February 20, 1587
Settrington, Yorkshire, England
February 20, 1587
Settrington,Yorkshire,England
February 20, 1587
.,Settrington,Yorkshire,England
February 20, 1587
.,Settrington,Yorkshire,England
1612
April 13, 1612
Age 25
England, (Present UK)
1612
Age 24
Norwich, Norfolk, England
1613
January 6, 1613
Age 25
Norwich, Norfolk, England, (Present UK)