Hannah (Ann) Potter / Beecher

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Hannah (Ann) Potter / Beecher (Mead)

Also Known As: "Hannah Potter", "widow Potter", "Goodwife Beecher"
Birthplace: Spaldhurst, Kent, England
Death: Died in New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John Mead and Cisley Mead
Wife of William (John) Potter and John Beecher
Mother of John Potter, IV; William Potter; Isaac Beecher and Joseph Beecher
Sister of Hannah Potter

Occupation: Midwife
Managed by: Hatte Anne Blejer
Last Updated:

About Hannah (Ann) Potter / Beecher

See timeline tab for additional citations

"John Beecher's wife, Hannah and her children were to join John in the spring of 1638, but when their schooner landed, they received the tragic news of John's death.  Hannah Beecher was a respected midwife and was allowed to settle on John's land, where she raised her family alone, never remarrying."

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See well reasoned article "The Widow Potter-Beecher of New Haven" by Donald Lines Jacobus, M.A., F.A.S.G. in The American Genealogist (1958) v.34, p.218, where he concludes, "It is my strong belief that only one woman is involved in the [above] records, a midwife who was mother of William and John Potter and of Isaac Beacher."

Patricia Law Hatcher, "English Origin of the Potter and Beecher Families of New Haven, Connecticut," The American Genealogist 79 (2004):28-33. Hatcher has definitively settled a problem which was tentatively resolved nearly half a century ago by Donald Lines Jacobus. References to a widow Beecher and a widow Potter in early New Haven have been thought by some to refer to two women, while others (including Jacobus) have thought these records referred to one woman. Hatcher has found English records for this family in Lewes, Sussex, where William Potter married Ann Langford on 6 October 1607. This couple had four children, two of whom, sons William and John, survived and accompanied their mother to New England in the late 1630s. William Potter died in 1619 and his widow married John Beecher early in the following year. They had two children, one of whom, son Isaac, also made the migration to New England.

From Dictionary of Ancestral Heads of New England Families by Holmes: "Hannah, widow of John BEECHER of Kent, England, came to Boston in 1637 with her family, the only son being Isaac who became identified with New Haven, CT."


  1. Families of Ancient New Haven by Donald Lines Jacobus, pg. 162, 1459


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Hannah (Ann) Potter / Beecher's Timeline

Spaldhurst, Kent, England
Age 22
Manchester, Lancashire, England
October 6, 1607
Age 23
Lewes, Sussex, England

"Isaac Beecher was born in the year 1623, in Lewes, Sussex, England.  He was the son of John Beecher and his wife Hannah Langford Beecher of Lewes.  John Beecher was his wife's second husband.  She had previously been married to a William Powell, who died in 1619, leaving Hannah a widow with frou children.  Hannah married John Beecher the following year.  Isaac had  four older half siblings and one full siblings." (from http://deepinthewoods.me/sitemap/clucas-families/the-beecher-family...)

England & Wales Marriages, 1538-1940
Name: William Potter
Gender: Male
Spouse's Name: Ann Langford
Marriage Date: 6 Oct 1607
Marriage Place: Lewes, Sussex, England
Source Citation: Place: Lewes, Sussex, England; Collection: St Thomas; -; Date Range: 1606 - 1642; Film Number: .
Source Information:
Ancestry.com. England & Wales Marriages, [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.
Original data: Genealogical Society of Utah. British Isles Vital Records Index, 2nd Edition. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, copyright 2002. Used by permission.


U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900
Name: Mrs Hannah Potter
Gender: Female
Spouse Name: William Potter
Spouse Birth Year: 1582
Year: 1607
Number Pages: 1
Source Citation: Source number: 56.000; Source type: Electronic Database; Number of Pages: 1; Submitter Code: RHR.
Source Information:
Yates Publishing. U.S. and International Marriage Records, [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.
Original data: This unique collection of records was extracted from a variety of sources including family group sheets and electronic databases. Originally, the information was derived from an array of materials including pedigree charts, family history articles, querie.

August 28, 1608
Age 24
Lewes, Sussex, England
February 1620
Age 36
Lewes, Sussex, England
Age 39
Of Kent, England
April 1638
Age 54
New Haven, Connecticut

"John Beecher's wife, Hannah and her children were to join John in the spring of 1638, but when their schooner landed, they received the tragic news of John's death."

Link: http://deepinthewoods.me/sitemap/clucas-families/the-beecher-family...

Age 54
New Haven, Connecticut

"Hannah Beecher was a respected midwife and allowed to settle on John Beecher's land ...". Link: http://deepinthewoods.me/sitemap/clucas-families/the-beecher-family...

"A rather confused record of Hannah, and I don't have the answers. According to a 1953 history of the town of New Haven, the 'Widow Potter' aka 'Widow Beecher' was an important member of the community, she being the midwife. Numerous references occur to her in the early records of the New Haven Colony, but there has been some controversy over whether she was two people or one, the emminent genealogist of New Haven, Donald Lines Jacobus, thought that she also the Widow Beecher ..." (2)

1 Jacobus, Donald Lines, Families of Ancient New Haven (Genealogical Pub. Co., Baltimore, 1974).

2 New Haven Colony Historical Society, Ancient Town Records (New Haven Colony Historical Society, 1917).

Age 57
New Haven, Connecticut

1641 Map of New Haven shows two adjacent town lots on the southwest portion of town - one assigned to John Potter and the other assigned to Widow Potter. There is no town lot assigned to the Widow Beecher. In the records and the Index of the Ancient Town Records of New Haven the entries indiscrimately refer to both Widow Potter and Beecher, indicating that she was the same person. This would make sense since she was living in town also with 3 sons, Issac Beecher, John and William Potter. Her name would easily get mixed up and she might be referred to by either moniker.

Link: http://www.spicerweb.org/Genealogy/legacyfiles/3233.htm

Age 63