About Francis Nichols, Jr.
Francis Nichols, son of Francis and Margaret Bruce, of Ampthill
Francis Nichols, the son of Margaret Bruce and Francis Nichols of Ampthill, was baptized on September 12, 1620 in the parish of Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire. There are records for three of his siblings being baptized there as well.
He was of "tender yeares" in 1624, enrolled at Oxford in 1639, alive in 1652 and died in Europe (possibly in Paris) before 1672.
"Francis Nicolls" of Abbots Langley, matriculated at Christ College, Oxford, 6 Dec 1639.
See the profile of Sgt. Francis Nichols of Sedgeberrow, Worcestershire and Stratfield, Connecticut for a discussion of how the two Francis Nichols have been confused. They may be related, but one is the son of John and Joan of Sedgeberrow and the other is the son of Francis and Margaret (Bruce) of Ampthill.
Here is what is on the profile of Sgt. Francis Nichols of Sedgeberrow, Worcestershire and Stratfield, Connecticut:
While the couple (Francis Nichols and Margaret Bruce) did have a son named Francis, he was baptized in 1620, of "tender yeares" in 1624, enrolled at Oxford in 1639, alive in 1652 and died in Europe before 1672. He and Sgt Francis Nichols were NOT one and the same man.
To take it a step at a time:
I. Parish registers for Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire, ENG., show the marriage of Francis Nicolls to Margaret Bruce on 28 Aug 1609.
However, by 1609, Sgt. Francis Nichols of Stratford, CT, probably had five kids of his own.
II. Three of Francis and Margaret's children were baptized in the same parish: a daughter, Bruce, 27 Oct 1611; Edward, 1 Jan 1614/15; and a son, Francis, 12 Sep 1620. Their two other sons, Richard and William, apparently were baptized elsewhere (original records apparently do not exist today or have not yet been found).
However, Sgt. Francis' youngest son, Caleb, was born about 1618-20.
III. The will of Francis Nicolls, Esq., was written 2 Sep. 1624 and proved 10 Nov 1624 in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury by his widow Margaret and by Thomas, Lord Bruce, who were named executors and charged to care for the children "for their yeares are tender."
However, by 1624, Sgt. Francis Nichols' own children may have been of "tender yeares," but he certainly wasn't.
IV. Francis and Richard Nicolls, sons of Francis Nicolls of Abbots Langley, matriculated at Christ College, Oxford, 6 Dec 1639.
However, in 1639, the Connecticut General Court appointed Sgt. Francis Nichols to train the men of Stratford and exercise them in military discipline.
V. The will of widow Margaret Nicolls of Ampthill, county Bedford, was made 26 Jun 1651 and proved 22 Apr 1652 (same court as above). Her son Francis was designated residuary legatee.
However, by 1652, Sgt. Francis Nichols of Stratford, CT, was dead.
VI. The "Biography of Colonel Richard Nicolls . . ." (Edward H. Nicol, 1884) mentions Richard's will, written 1 May 1672 and proved 3 June 1672. In this will, Richard asks that a memorial be erected at Ampthill and inscribed with the names of his parents, his brother William and himself, "expressing alsoe that the rest of my Brothers Edward and Francis dyed, the first at the Hague, the other at Paris, not enduring to live under the Tyranny of the late Usurpers . . . ." In addition to the biography cited, several current Nichols researchers have visited England and report to have seen this will with their own eyes.
However, Sgt. Francis Nichols died on this side of the pond, possibly in Southold, Long Island, NY, where he'd lived with his second wife Anne Wines.
VII. Almost 70 years ago, Donald Lines Jacobus, the author of the "History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield," said of Sgt. Francis: "It should hardly be necessary to refute the foolish assertion that he was brother of Gov. Richard Nicolls of New York, though he may have been related to that family."
The source in the citation below has been refuted in subsequent genealogical research, including by Donald Lines Jacobu (see above)
Page 5 - Francis Nichols was born about 1595 in England: died 1650 at Stratford, Conn. He was the son of Francis Nichols of Ampthill, Bedford County, England, and his wife, Margaret Bruce. He waws a brother of Col. Richard Nichols, Governor of New York in 1664, who returned to England and never married.
Page 6 - The manuscript records of Rev. George Huntington Nichols of Hoosic Falls, NY state that Francis Nichols seems to have come to New England, landing at Boston, in 1635, with his three sons. Francis Nichols located temporarily at Watertown, Mass., afterwards at Wethersfield, Conn., and finally settled permanently at Stratford with his sons Isaac and Caleb in the Spring of 1639, and became a man of prominence. Frances Nichols appears in Statford, Conn. in 1639, among the first settlers. He was apparently a widower when he came. Francis Nichols also owned property in Southold on Long Island. Source: The ancestors and descendants of Humphrey Nichols of Newark, New Jersey Lakehurst, N.J. : Published 1917 - Pages 5-6 http://0-persi.heritagequestonline.com.alpha1.suffolk.lib.ny.us/hqoweb/library/do/books/results/image?urn=urn:proquest:US;glhbooks;Genealogy-glh232969099;19;-1;&polarity=&scale=