James Olmstead (Olmsted) (1580 - 1640)

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Birthplace: Harwich, Essex, UK
Death: Died in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
Managed by: Thomas M. Clifford
Last Updated:

About James Olmstead (Olmsted)

JAMES OLMSTEAD III was baptized at Great Leighs, on 4 December 1580.

James married, on 26 October 1605, at Great Leighs, JOYCE CORNISH. Her lineage is unknown.

When James left his home at Fairsted, he left in its burying place his wife and four of their seven children. Joyce was buried there on 21 April 1621.

James Olmsted, together with two sons, Nicholas and Nehemiah, two nephews, Richard and John, and a niece, Rebecca, came to New England in the ship "Lyon," under Capt. William Pierce, Master. The ship sailed from London on 22 June and arrived at Boston on the Lord's Day 16 September 1632, after a voyage of twelve weeks.

Note: Four Lyon trips: 1630, 1631, 1632, 1632. The Lyon hit a reef April 10, 1633 (Peirce was 'driving') and it sunk, replaced by the Rebecca, built in the colonies.

Sailed from London June 22, 1632, arriving in Boston September 14/16, 1632. The master, William Pierce, brought 123 passengers.

“He brought one hundred and twenty three passengers, whereof fifty children, all in health. They had been twelve weeks aboard and eight weeks from Land’s End.”

Olmstead, James of Fairstead, Essex, wife Joyce and children Nehemiah, Nicholas, Richard, John and Rebecca

    (From Fairstead, Essex, bound for Boston and Hartfoed, CT. Ref: Banks Mss. 36 pg 46)

Source: http://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/lyon4.htm

Gov. John Winthrop’s Journal (Vol. 1, pg. 92) states about Capt. Pierce: “He brought one hundred and twenty three passengers, whereof fifty children, all in health. They had been twelve weeks aboard and eight weeks from Land’s End.”

The Olmstead family soon settled at Mount Wollaston, now Quincy, near Boston, but in the course of a year, they removed to New Town, now known as Cambridge, Massachusetts.

James was made a Freeman 6 November 1632 and was chosen by a popular vote 3 November 1634 to be the Constable.

He removed to Hartford, Connecticut, in June of 1636, where he was an original Proprietor. His name appears on the face of the Founder's Monument in Hartford, Connecticut. Click here to read about the monument. Richard Olmstead's name also appears on the monument. This probably is James's nephew, as his brother, Richard, died in England.

He received 70 acres in the distribution of 1639; his home-lot was on the highway now Front St.

His will is dated 28 September 1640. The Inventory amounted to £397.19.2. He died before November of 1640.

The Rev. Mr. Hooker mentions James's death in a letter, "slept sweetly in the Lord, having carried himself gratiously in his sickness."

In 1986, a memorial consisting of a maple tree and granite marker was placed in the Center Church Cemetery (Ancient Burying Ground) in Hartford, in honor of James Olmsted and his brother Richard.

--------------------

Came to America from Braintree, England on the Lyon Ship, under Captain Pierce, and arrived in New England, after 1 12 week voyage. First settled at Mt. Wallaston, now Quincy, Massachusetts (near Boston), and then moved to Newtown, now Cambridge, which was termed the "Braintree Colony." In 1636 moved to Hartford, Conn. He brought his 2 sons, Nicholas and Hehemiah, 2 nephews, Richard and John; and his niece, Rebecca with him on the ship.

--------------------

James OLMSTED - bap. Dec. 4, 1580, Great Leighs, Essex; d. Sep. 18, 1640, Hartford, CT. Son of James OLMSTED and Jane BRISTOW. His name appears on Hartford's Founders Monument. From The Family History of Judge Ellsworth D. Belden..., by Stanley R. and Elvera Belden, 1980: "When James left his home at Fairsted, he left in its burying place his wife and four of their seven children. James Olmsted, together with two sons, Nicholas and Nehemiah, two nephews, Richard and John, and a niece, Rebecca, came to New England in the ship 'Lyon,' under Capt. PIERCE, arrive at Boaston on the Lord's Day 16 September 1632, after a voyage of twelve weeks from Braintree, England. There were 123 passengers, of whom 50 were children. They soon settled at Mount Wollaston, now Quincy, near Boston, but in the course of a year, they removed to New Town, now known as Cambridge, Massachusetts. James was made a freeman 6 November 1632 and was chosen by a popular vote 3 November 1634 to be the Constable." He removed to Hartford, CT in the summer of 1634. In 1986, a memorial conisting of a maple tree and granite marker was placed in the Center Church Cemetery (Ancient Burying Ground), Hartford, CT in honor of James OLMSTED and his brother Richard OLMSTED. Married Oct. 26, 1605, Great Leighs, Essex, England.

One of the 12 men appointed by Rev. Thomas Hooker to select the site of Hartford, and lead the emigration there in 1635.

Joyce CORNISH - bur. Apr. 21, 1621, Fairsted, Essex, England.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Children of James and Joyce Olmsted

Faith - bap. Jan. 7, 1606, Fairsted, Essex, England; bur. there Mar. 3, 1627.

Frances - bap. Feb. 14, 1609, Fairsted, Essex, England; bur. there the same day.

Mabel - bap. Sep. 30, 1610, Fairsted, Essex, England; bur. there Feb. 18, 1621.

Nicholas (our line) - bap. Feb. 15, 1612, Fairsted, Essex, England; d. Aug. 31, 1684, Hartford, CT.

James - bap. Jan. 22, 1615; probably died young.

Nehemiah - bap. Nov. 10, 1618, Fairsted, Essex, England; d. Oct. 2, 1657, Fairfield, CT. Sgt. in 1657. Married Elizabeth BURR, daughter of John BURR, Sr. Elizabeth married second Obadiah GILBERT of Fairfield, CT, and third Nathaniel SEELEY. Nehemiah and Elizabeth OLMSTED had one child.

Mary - bap. Apr. 18, 1621, Fairsted, Essex, England; bur. there Apr. 24, 1621.

--------------------

JAMES OLMSTEAD III was baptized at Great Leighs, on 4 December 1580.

James married, on 26 October 1605, at Great Leighs, JOYCE CORNISH. Her lineage is unknown.

When James left his home at Fairsted, he left in its burying place his wife and four of their seven children. Joyce was buried there on 21 April 1621.

James Olmstead, together with two sons, Nicholas and Nehemiah, two nephews, Richard and John, and a niece, Rebecca, came to New England in the ship "Lyon," under Capt. William Pierce, Master. The ship sailed from London on 22 June and arrived at Boston on the Lord's Day 16 September 1632, after a voyage of twelve weeks.

Gov. John Winthrop’s Journal (Vol. 1, pg. 92) states about Capt. Pierce: “He brought one hundred and twenty three passengers, whereof fifty children, all in health. They had been twelve weeks aboard and eight weeks from Land’s End.”

The Olmstead family soon settled at Mount Wollaston, now Quincy, near Boston, but in the course of a year, they removed to New Town, now known as Cambridge, Massachusetts.

James was made a Freeman 6 November 1632 and was chosen by a popular vote 3 November 1634 to be the Constable.

He removed to Hartford, Connecticut, in June of 1636, where he was an original Proprietor. His name appears on the face of the Founder's Monument in Hartford, Connecticut. Click here to read about the monument. Richard Olmstead's name also appears on the monument. This probably is James's nephew, as his brother, Richard, died in England.

He received 70 acres in the distribution of 1639; his home-lot was on the highway now Front St.

His will is dated 28 September 1640. The Inventory amounted to £397.19.2. He died before November of 1640.

The Rev. Mr. Hooker mentions James's death in a letter, "slept sweetly in the Lord, having carried himself gratiously in his sickness."

In 1986, a memorial consisting of a maple tree and granite marker was placed in the Center Church Cemetery (Ancient Burying Ground) in Hartford, in honor of James Olmsted and his brother Richard.

--------------------

Came to America from Braintree, England on the Lyon Ship, under Captain Pierce, and arrived in New England, after 1 12 week voyage. First settled at Mt. Wallaston, now Quincy, Massachusetts (near Boston), and then moved to Newtown, now Cambridge, which was termed the "Braintree Colony." In 1636 moved to Hartford, Conn. He brought his 2 sons, Nicholas and Hehemiah, 2 nephews, Richard and John; and his niece, Rebecca with him on the ship.

--------------------

The Lyon, 1632

The Lyon departed London June 22, 1632, with 123 passengers (including 50 children) and arrived at Boston September 16, 1632.

"They had been twelve weeks aboard and eight weeks from 'Land's End'." (Winthrop's "Journal", I, 92)


James Olmstead

James Olmstead b. 1580 in Great Waltham, Essex, England

m. 28 October, 1605 in Great Leighs, Essex, England, Joyce Cornish .

James and family arrived in the Puritan colony of Mass on September 16, 1632 with the first newcomers known under the name of "Pilgrims". Came to Boston Harbour on the ship "Lyon" Sept.16th 1632.

Father: James OLMSTEAD b. 1550 in Great Leighs, Essex, England

Mother: Jane BRISTOW [m: 12 August 1576 in Great Leighs, Essex, England]

d. 28 September 1640, in Hartford, Connecticut.

James Olmsted III was baptized December 4, 1580 in Great Leighs parish, Essex County England. His parents were James Olmsted Jr. and Jane Bristow.

He married Joyce Cornish on October 26, 1605. They had one child born in Great Leighs named Faith who was baptized January 7, 1606 and died March 3, 1627 at Fairsted England. Soon afterward the family moved to Fairsted where they had the following children:

Francis - baptized February 14, 1609

Mabel - baptized September 30, 1610; died February 18, 1621 at Fairsted

Nicholas - born February 15, 1612

James - baptized January 22, 1615; died young

Nehemiah

Mary - baptized April 18, 1621; died April 24, 1621

Joyce Cornish died on April 21, 1621 shortly after Mary was born and James apparently never remarried.

The Olmsteds probably belonged to the Congregationalist church and they seemed to be tolerated until Charles I came to the throne in 1625.  His religious advisor, William Loud (later Archbishop of Canterbury), began a system of repression of all churches other than the Church of England and put into effect actions which made the Church of England rival that of Rome in pomp and ceremony. This second action was aimed right at Puritan sensibilities. In addition the pastors of each church were forced to read a royal order from the pulpit declaring that Sunday pastimes of hawking and dancing should be encouraged. Those pastors who refused faced fines, imprisonment, confiscation of property, or physical mutilation.  One such pastor was "pilloried, whipped, branded, slit in the nostrils, and his ears cut".  Many other pastors fled to the Netherlands, among those in 1630 was Thomas Hooker, a Congregationalist Puritan, who preached in Essex county where the Olmsteds were living. 

These repressive conditions forced James Olmsted, his two sons Nicholas and Nehemiah, his two nephews Richard and John, and his niece Rebecca (children of his brother Richard) to leave for the new world. They left Braintree England in June of 1632 in the ship "Lyon" under captain Pierce which carried 123 passengers, 50 of whom were children. They arrived in New England on Sunday September 16, 1632.

They first settled at Mount Wallaston (now Quincy) Massachusetts but within a year "by the order of the court" they moved to Newtowne (now Cambridge). James occupied a house on the northern side of Harvard street on the site of what was called in 1912 the Wadsworth house. The land was later acquired by Harvard University. James was made a freeman on November 6, 1632 and was chosen to be the first constable of Newtowne by a popular vote.

While in Newtowne they formed a church and wrote Thomas Hooker in the Netherlands to come and take charge over them. Thomas Hooker arrived on September 4, 1633. Thomas Hooker believed that each church should be independent and that the people had the right to choose their magistrates and decided what powers they should have. After he arrived his congregation became known as the Braintree Colony and because of its liberal views soon came into conflict with the Massachusetts authorities.

During the summer of 1634 the congregation decided to send an exploration party to check out a site where the Dutch had built and abandoned a small fort the previous summer on the Fresh River (now the Connecticut River). James was one of the men in the party. The report was favorable so the congregation decided to move. Beginning on October 15, 1635 about 60 men, women, and children walked 100 miles through the wilderness driving 160 head of cattle, horses, and swine ahead of them. Mrs. Hooker, who was ill, was carried all the way on a litter. They arrived October 29, 1635 to the site which was to become Hartford, Connecticut.

Winter struck early and severely shortly afterward causing the small sailing boats which were bringing their tools, furniture and other supplies to be wrecked or frozen in at the mouth of the river. To survive most of the settlers had to return to Newtowne leaving only a few behind to care for the livestock. These few survived by hunting and by trading with the Indians.

The next Spring on May 31, 1636 Thomas Hooker and nearly 100 people returned to Hartford. James is among those listed on the Founders Monument in Hartford. That same year Hartford joined the towns of Wethersfield and Windsor to form the Connecticut colony. In 1637 Hartford sent a war expedition to battle the Pequot Indians (see Nicholas Olmsted) and in 1639 Connecticut adopted Thomas Hooker's ideals of a government by the will of the people by ratifying the Fundamental Orders, the first written constitution giving voters the right to elect their officials.

In Hartford James lived in a house on Front street and in 1639 he received 70 acres in the last free land distribution by Hartford. He died in September or October of 1640 at age 59 in Hartford after a short illness. Rev. Hooker mentioned his death in a letter: James Olmsted "slept sweetly in the Lord having carried himself graciously in his sickness". When James died he left the following: 1 horse, 1 mare, 1 colt, 1 yolk of a steer, 4 cows, 3 calves, 13 hogs, 30 bushels of wheat, 12 bushels of peas, 3 goats, 15 loads of hay, 1 plow, pewter dishes and iron pots.

Will of James Olmstead

28 Sept 1640 , Hartford, Connecticut

Olmstead, James, Hartford. Invt. 397-19-02 Pounds. Taken 28 September, 1640, by John Steel, Edward Stebbing.

Will: It is my will to give my estate betweene my two sonns, that is to say, the one halfe to my son Nicholas, and the other halfe to my sonne Nehemiah, equally divyded betweene the both, with this reservation, that, if my brother Lymus doe make his word good to make my sonne Nicholas wifes portion as good as any child he hath, for so I understand his prmise is, but if he shall refuse so to doe, I shall then refuse to give my sonne any parte of my moveable goods, cattell or debts; but my will is to leave the thing wth Richard Webb and William Wodsworth to see my Brother Lumus doe prforme his prmise, and as the said Richard Webb and Will Wodsworth shall doe I shall be content. And if my brother Lumus doe prforme his prmise, then my will is their portions shall be a like, only Nicholas shall abate so much as I have given him before. And my will is that my sonne Nehemiah shall give out of his portion ten pound to my Cossen Rebeca Olmstead that now dwelleth with me, and he shall pay yt her with in three yeares after my decease, and I leave her to be disposed by Richard Webb and Will Wadsworth, and as shee shall carry herselfe yt shall be in their power ether to give her the ten pound or to detayne yt fro her. I doe give my servant Will Corby five pound, to be paid when his tyme comes forth, and I doe will my sonne Nehemyah to pay him out of his owne portion; And I doe will that Will Corby doe searve his tyme with my sonne Nehemiah. And I leave my sonne Nehemiah wth Richard Webb and Will Wadsworth, intreating them to have the ouer sight of him and the disposeing of him as their owne child. But if my sonne Nehemiah shal goe contrary in Bestowing himselfe any way contrary to the judgement of my two friends, Rich. Webb and Will Wadsworth, the yt shall be in their power to comannd and take a hundred pound of his estate and dispose of yt as they thinke fitt. I give to my two frynds, Richard Webb and Will Wadsworth, wch I put in trust, six pounds and a marke to be paid equally betweixt them, and my two sonnes shall pay the, the one pay the one halfe and the other pay the other halfe.

Ja. Olmstead

Witness: Richard Webb, Will Wadsworth

Source: A Digest of the Early Connecticut Probate Records pg 28-29.

Wee whose names are hereunder written, the frynds intrusted by the decesed w'thin named, haueing litell acquaytance w'th things of this nature, and being by him suddenly caled hereunto, in a sore stresse and pang of his sicknes, wherein he expected a p'rsent dep'rting, he being senceble of his owne weakenes, hasted to an issue of this busines, did seuerall tymes desire vs to aduise him what he should doe, and many times did wishe us to doe what we thought meet o'rselues.

Now we hauieng since his disease, togather w'th his tow sonns, Nicholas & Nehemiah, to who he hath bequethed his estate, taken into more serious consideration what is done, an obsearueing some things to be ouerpast, of w'ch we are p'rswaded that if ether they had com to his owne mynd, or otherwise had then bine suggested by vs, he would redily and cherefully haue attended thereunto: Wee therefore, togather w'th the reddy & free consent of his sonns abouesaid, (well knowing, out og long and good experience, the disposition and constant practice of their father,) hath mutually agree, as desierus to fulfil that w'ch we conceaue to be his mynd, to ad to those bequethe w'ch are spesified w'thin, these legases following:

That is to say, to his Kynsman Richard Olmstead, fiue pownd, and to his Kynsman John Olmstead, fiue pownd to be paid vnto them w'thin three yeres after his disase. And vnto the Church of Christ in Hartford, Twenty pownds, to be paid at the same tyme of three yeres after the decease of there said father. In witnesse whereof we haue sett to our hands.

Will Wadsworth Nicholas Olmstead Nehemiah Olmstead.

Source: The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut Vol 1 pg 447

ORIGIN: Fairstead, Essex

MIGRATION: 1632 on Lyon [ Hotten 150]

FIRST RESIDENCE: Cambridge

REMOVES: Hartford 1636

CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Admission to church membership prior to 6 November 1632 implied by freemanship, presumably to Watertown, since Cambridge church was not yet organized. Probably joined the church at Cambridge when it was formed in 1633, and remained with this church when it went to Hartford.

FREEMAN: 6 November 1632 [ MBCR 1:367].

EDUCATION: In his inventory were "3 bibles & 3 other books" (£2 5s.) and "15 quire of paper" (6s. 3d.).

OFFICES: Cambridge constable to pay "James Omsted" 10s. for making the highway by William Butler's pales, 2 June 1634 [ CaTR 8]; "James Olmsted" chosen constable of Cambridge for year following 3 November 1634 [CaTR 10]; elected selectman 3 February 1634/5 [CaTR 11]; committee to survey town lands, 3 February 1634/5 [CaTR 12].

ESTATE: On 5 August 1633 granted one acre cowyard at Cambridge [CaTR 5]; assigned proportional share of five in division of meadows (one of the largest in town), 20 August 1635 [CaTR 13]; granted five acres (as "James Homsted"), 8 February 1635/6 [CaTR 17]; in list of those with houses, 8 February 1635/6 [CaTR 18].

  In the Cambridge land inventory, under date of 4 June 1635, "James Olmsteade" was credited with eight parcels of land: half a rood in town with one house and backside; "one house and about one acre" in Cowyard Row; four acres in the Old Field; one acre in Wigwam Neck; twenty-two acres and a half in the Neck; two acres in the Ox Marsh; five acres and a half in the Long Marsh; and nineteen acres in the Great Marsh [ CaBOP 8]. Although there is no record of the transaction, most of James Olmsted's land in Cambridge came into the possession of Edward Goffe, and the houselot and cowyard row lot are now part of Harvard Yard [ Morison, maps facing pp. 188, 192].
  In the Hartford land inventory of February 1639[/40] James Olmstead held thirteen parcels of land in Hartford: two acres with dwelling house, outhouses, yards and gardens; one acre, three roods and thirty perches in the Little Meadow; five acres and twenty-four perches of meadow and swamp in the North Meadow; thirty-two acres, three roods and nine perches of meadow and swamp in the North Meadow; four acres and thirty-two perches on the east side of the Great River; twenty-six acres in the Old Oxpasture; two acres, three roods and eight perches in the Venturers' Field; sixteen acres, three roods and eight perches in the Cowpasture; eight acres and two roods of meadow and swamp in the South Meadow; two acres, three roods and thirty-one perches of meadow and swamp at Hockanum; four acres, two roods and thirty-three perches in the Neck of Land; seven acres, three roods and sixteen perches in the Neck of Land; twenty acres, two roods and twenty-four perches in the Cowpasture [ HaBOP 314-17].
  In an undated will (attested 28 September 1640) James Olmstead of Hartford divided his estate equally between his two sons Nicholas and Nehemiah (dependent upon a settlement to be made on Nicholas by his father-in-law Joseph Loomis), with small legacies to "my cousin Rebecca Olmstead that now dwelleth with me," and to servant Will[iam] Corby. In a later agreement between the executors and the two sons of James, kinsmen Richard and John Olmstead were given £5 apiece, and the Hartford church £20 [ Manwaring 1:28-29; CCCR 1:446-47].
  The inventory, taken 28 September 1640, totalled £397 19s. 2d., and included "2 acres of English corn of the ground" and "13 acres of ground broke up," but this certainly did not include all his land [CCCR 1:448-49].

BIRTH: Baptized at Great Leighs, Essex, 4 December 1580, son of James and Jane (Bristow) Olmstead.

DEATH: Hartford before 28 September 1640 (date of inventory).

MARRIAGE: Great Leighs, Essex, 26 October 1605 Joyce Cornish; buried Fairstead, Essex, 21 April 1621.

CHILDREN (all but first baptized Fairstead, Essex):

i   FAITH, bp. Great Leighs 7 January 1606[/7]; bur. Fairstead 3 March 1627/8.   
ii   FRANCES, bur. Fairstead 14 February 1609/10. (This event is published at one point as a burial and at another as a baptism [Olmsted Gen xi, 5], but the transcript has it as a burial.)
iii   MABEL, bp. 30 September 1610; bur. Fairstead 18 February 1621/2.
iv   NICHOLAS, bp. 15 February 1612/3; m. by about 1645 Sarah Loomis, daughter of Joseph Loomis (eldest known child d. 1646 and next child b. 20 November 1646 [ Grant 81; HaVR Barbour 237]; among the "children of Mr. Joseph Loomis" who received a distribution on 2 December 1658 was "Nicholas Olmsted" [Manwaring 1:135-36]).
v   JAMES, bp. 22 January 1615/6; no further record.
vi   NEHEMIAH, bp. 10 November 1618; m. by about 1655 Elizabeth Burr, daughter of JEHU BURR, as the first of her three husbands.
vii   MARY, bp. 18 April 1621; bur. Fairstead 24 April 1621.

ASSOCIATIONS: Three children of Richard Olmstead, nephew of James, came to New England: Richard (bp. 1612), John (bp. 1617) and Rebecca (b. say 1620) [Olmsted Gen 5]. It has been claimed that they came to New England in 1632 with their greatuncle, but there is no evidence to prove this, and they may well have come later.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: The standard genealogy for the Olmstead family is Henry King Olmsted and Geo. K. Ware, Genealogy of the Olmsted Family in America Embracing the Descendants of James and Richard Olmsted and Covering a Period of Nearly Three Centuries, 1632-1912 (New York 1912) [cited above as Olmsted Gen]. This presents the records obtained as a result of research in England (supervised by Frederick Law Olmsted!), including speculations on earlier generations [x-xv]. The parish register entries above are taken from this work, augmented by examination of a transcript of the register at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford.

-------------------- "James Olmsted was made a freeman Nov 6, 1632 and was chosen Constable by a popular vote (the first one so chosen) Nov 3, 1634. At a general meeting of the whole town, Feb 3, 1634-5, it was agreed upon by a joint consent that 7 men should be chosen to do the whole business of the town . . so there were then chosen John Haynes, Symon Bradstreat, John Taylcott, William Westwood, John White, William Wadsworth and James Olmsted. Also chosen to join with Constable James Olmsted were John Benjamin, Daniel Denison, Andrew Warner and William Spencer, which 5 according to the order of the Court shall survey the town lands and enter the same in a Book appointed for that purpose. These 5 men shall meet every first Mon in the month at the Constable's house in the forenoon at the ringing of the bell."

"James Olmsted was one of the original proprietors of Hartford, and in the Land distribution of June 1639, he received 70 acres. That he was a man highly considered in the community in which he lived is evident from the prominence that his name occupies in the old list of the "Original and early members (1633-1639)" of the first church of Hartford, in which list his name comes 12th and in such illustrious company as follows: Gov. John Haynes, Gov. George Wyllys, Gov. Edward Hopkins, Gov. Thomas Wells, Gove. John Webster, Rev. Thomas Hooker, Rev. Samuel Stone, Elder William Goodwin, Major Willian Whiting, Hon. Matthew Allyn, Hon. John Talcott, James Olmsted."

"James Olmsted's house lot was on the road from Little River to the North Meadow.  It was the main road from Windsor to Wethersfield, now Front St.  The house which James or his son Nicholas built on this lot was standing until about 1835.  There are now 3 brick houses on the lot, not far from the gas works.  He died in Sep or Oct 1640 in Hartford." 

ORIGIN: Fairstead, Essex MIGRATION: 1632 on Lyon [ Hotten 150] FIRST RESIDENCE: Cambridge REMOVES: Hartford 1636 CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Admission to church membership prior to 6 November 1632 implied by freemanship, presumably to Watertown, since Cambridge church was not yet organized. Probably joined the church at Cambridge when it was formed in 1633, and remained with this church when it went to Hartford. FREEMAN: 6 November 1632 [ MBCR 1:367]. EDUCATION: In his inventory were "3 bibles & 3 other books" (£2 5s.) and "15 quire of paper" (6s. 3d.). OFFICES: Cambridge constable to pay "James Omsted" 10s. for making the highway by William Butler's pales, 2 June 1634 [ CaTR 8]; "James Olmsted" chosen constable of Cambridge for year following 3 November 1634 [CaTR 10]; elected selectman 3 February 1634/5 [CaTR 11]; committee to survey town lands, 3 February 1634/5 [CaTR 12]. ESTATE: On 5 August 1633 granted one acre cowyard at Cambridge [CaTR 5]; assigned proportional share of five in division of meadows (one of the largest in town), 20 August 1635 [CaTR 13]; granted five acres (as "James Homsted"), 8 February 1635/6 [CaTR 17]; in list of those with houses, 8 February 1635/6 [CaTR 18].

  In the Cambridge land inventory, under date of 4 June 1635, "James Olmsteade" was credited with eight parcels of land: half a rood in town with one house and backside; "one house and about one acre" in Cowyard Row; four acres in the Old Field; one acre in Wigwam Neck; twenty-two acres and a half in the Neck; two acres in the Ox Marsh; five acres and a half in the Long Marsh; and nineteen acres in the Great Marsh [ CaBOP 8]. Although there is no record of the transaction, most of James Olmsted's land in Cambridge came into the possession of Edward Goffe, and the houselot and cowyard row lot are now part of Harvard Yard [ Morison, maps facing pp. 188, 192].
  In the Hartford land inventory of February 1639[/40] James Olmstead held thirteen parcels of land in Hartford: two acres with dwelling house, outhouses, yards and gardens; one acre, three roods and thirty perches in the Little Meadow; five acres and twenty-four perches of meadow and swamp in the North Meadow; thirty-two acres, three roods and nine perches of meadow and swamp in the North Meadow; four acres and thirty-two perches on the east side of the Great River; twenty-six acres in the Old Oxpasture; two acres, three roods and eight perches in the Venturers' Field; sixteen acres, three roods and eight perches in the Cowpasture; eight acres and two roods of meadow and swamp in the South Meadow; two acres, three roods and thirty-one perches of meadow and swamp at Hockanum; four acres, two roods and thirty-three perches in the Neck of Land; seven acres, three roods and sixteen perches in the Neck of Land; twenty acres, two roods and twenty-four perches in the Cowpasture [ HaBOP 314-17].
  In an undated will (attested 28 September 1640) James Olmstead of Hartford divided his estate equally between his two sons Nicholas and Nehemiah (dependent upon a settlement to be made on Nicholas by his father-in-law Joseph Loomis), with small legacies to "my cousin Rebecca Olmstead that now dwelleth with me," and to servant Will[iam] Corby. In a later agreement between the executors and the two sons of James, kinsmen Richard and John Olmstead were given £5 apiece, and the Hartford church £20 [ Manwaring 1:28-29; CCCR 1:446-47].
  The inventory, taken 28 September 1640, totalled £397 19s. 2d., and included "2 acres of English corn of the ground" and "13 acres of ground broke up," but this certainly did not include all his land [CCCR 1:448-49].

BIRTH: Baptized at Great Leighs, Essex, 4 December 1580, son of James and Jane (Bristow) Olmstead. DEATH: Hartford before 28 September 1640 (date of inventory). MARRIAGE: Great Leighs, Essex, 26 October 1605 Joyce Cornish; buried Fairstead, Essex, 21 April 1621. CHILDREN (all but first baptized Fairstead, Essex):

i   FAITH, bp. Great Leighs 7 January 1606[/7]; bur. Fairstead 3 March 1627/8.   
ii   FRANCES, bur. Fairstead 14 February 1609/10. (This event is published at one point as a burial and at another as a baptism [Olmsted Gen xi, 5], but the transcript has it as a burial.)
iii   MABEL, bp. 30 September 1610; bur. Fairstead 18 February 1621/2.
iv   NICHOLAS, bp. 15 February 1612/3; m. by about 1645 Sarah Loomis, daughter of Joseph Loomis (eldest known child d. 1646 and next child b. 20 November 1646 [ Grant 81; HaVR Barbour 237]; among the "children of Mr. Joseph Loomis" who received a distribution on 2 December 1658 was "Nicholas Olmsted" [Manwaring 1:135-36]).
v   JAMES, bp. 22 January 1615/6; no further record.
vi   NEHEMIAH, bp. 10 November 1618; m. by about 1655 Elizabeth Burr, daughter of JEHU BURR, as the first of her three husbands.
vii   MARY, bp. 18 April 1621; bur. Fairstead 24 April 1621.

ASSOCIATIONS: Three children of Richard Olmstead, nephew of James, came to New England: Richard (bp. 1612), John (bp. 1617) and Rebecca (b. say 1620) [Olmsted Gen 5]. It has been claimed that they came to New England in 1632 with their greatuncle, but there is no evidence to prove this, and they may well have come later. BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: The standard genealogy for the Olmstead family is Henry King Olmsted and Geo. K. Ware, Genealogy of the Olmsted Family in America Embracing the Descendants of James and Richard Olmsted and Covering a Period of Nearly Three Centuries, 1632-1912 (New York 1912) [cited above as Olmsted Gen]. This presents the records obtained as a result of research in England (supervised by Frederick Law Olmsted!), including speculations on earlier generations [x-xv]. The parish register entries above are taken from this work, augmented by examination of a transcript of the register at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford.

--------------------

from Genealogy of the Olmstead family in America

" . . . the family of our honored relative, James Olmsted, who, together with two sons, Nicholas and Nehemiah, two nephews, Richard and John, and a niece, Rebecca, arrived in New England, on the Lord's Day, Sept. 16,1632, in the ship Lyon, under Capt. Pierce, after a voyage of 12 weeks from Braintree, England. There were 123 passengers, of whom 50 were children.

" They settled first at Mount Wallaston, now Quincy, near Boston, but in the course of the year, 'by order of the Court,' they removed to Newtown, now Cambridge."

" The recent settlers of Newtown," says Holmes, "had, while in England, attended the ministry of the Reverend Thomas Hooker, who, to escape fines and imprisonment for his non-conformity, had now fled into Holland." So, as Mather, another contemporary, remarks, " immediately after their settlement at Newtown, they expressed their earnest desires to Mr. Hooker that he would come over into New England and take the pastoral charge of them. At their desire he left Holland, and, having obtained Mr. Samuel Stone .... as an assistant in the ministry, took his passage for America, and arrived at Boston, Sept. 4, 1633."

He proceeded at once to Newtown, to take up the duties of his pastorate. There the Braintree Colony, as it was termed, abode until the summer of 1636, when, dissatisfied by the form of government of the colony of Massachusetts and tempted by the charm of this pleasant Connecticut valley, of which they had heard reports,1 they "took their departure from Cambridge," and, in the words of Trumbull, " travelled more than a hundred miles through a hideous and trackless wilderness, to Hartford. They had no guide but their compass; made their way over mountains, through swamps, thickets, and rivers, which were not passable but with great difficulty. They had no cover but the heavens, nor any lodgings but those which simple nature afforded them. They drove with them a hundred and sixty head of cattle, and by the way, subsisted on the milk of their cows. Mrs. Hooker (who was ill) was borne through the wilderness upon a litter. The people generally carried their packs, arms, and some utensils. They were nearly a fortnight on their journey."

This brings us in our narration of the wanderings of our worthy family to the beautiful city, near which we have met today to do them honor. The family was soon to separate. Indeed, my own ancestor, Richard Olmsted, who was a youth of 20 when he arrived in America with his Uncle James, was now a young man of 24. That he was married by 1640 is more than probable, for we find that by that date he had quit his uncle's house, and was in possession of a home lot of his own. The records show that at a town meeting on the 11 th of January, 1640, a vote was passed, taking part of the lot of Richard Olmsted for a burial ground. " This is the ground in the rear of the First Church buildings on Main Street," as Walker tells us, "where so many of Hartford's early dead still repose." It contains a monument to the early settlers of this city, and is worthy of a pilgrimage, if any of you have not yet seen it. James Olmsted's lot was on Front street, not far from where the gas works now stand.

However, as I have said, the family was soon to part company. The wanderlust was upon them, and in 1651 Richard Olmsted, defying the dangers of wild beast and Indian, struck still deeper into the wilderness, and founded, with his family and with other friends, the town of Norwalk.

-------------------- JAMES OLMSTEAD III was baptized at Great Leighs, on 4 December 1580.

James married, on 26 October 1605, at Great Leighs, JOYCE CORNISH. Her lineage is unknown.

When James left his home at Fairsted, he left in its burying place his wife and four of their seven children. Joyce was buried there on 21 April 1621.

James Olmsted, together with two sons, Nicholas and Nehemiah, two nephews, Richard and John, and a niece, Rebecca, came to New England in the ship "Lyon," under Capt. William Pierce, Master. The ship sailed from London on 22 June and arrived at Boston on the Lord's Day 16 September 1632, after a voyage of twelve weeks.

Gov. John Winthrop’s Journal (Vol. 1, pg. 92) states about Capt. Pierce: “He brought one hundred and twenty three passengers, whereof fifty children, all in health. They had been twelve weeks aboard and eight weeks from Land’s End.”

The Olmstead family soon settled at Mount Wollaston, now Quincy, near Boston, but in the course of a year, they removed to New Town, now known as Cambridge, Massachusetts.

James was made a Freeman 6 November 1632 and was chosen by a popular vote 3 November 1634 to be the Constable.

He removed to Hartford, Connecticut, in June of 1636, where he was an original Proprietor. His name appears on the face of the Founder's Monument in Hartford, Connecticut. Click here to read about the monument. Richard Olmstead's name also appears on the monument. This probably is James's nephew, as his brother, Richard, died in England.

He received 70 acres in the distribution of 1639; his home-lot was on the highway now Front St.

His will is dated 28 September 1640. The Inventory amounted to £397.19.2. He died before November of 1640.

The Rev. Mr. Hooker mentions James's death in a letter, "slept sweetly in the Lord, having carried himself gratiously in his sickness."

In 1986, a memorial consisting of a maple tree and granite marker was placed in the Center Church Cemetery (Ancient Burying Ground) in Hartford, in honor of James Olmsted and his brother Richard.

--------------------

Came to America from Braintree, England on the Lyon Ship, under Captain Pierce, and arrived in New England, after 1 12 week voyage. First settled at Mt. Wallaston, now Quincy, Massachusetts (near Boston), and then moved to Newtown, now Cambridge, which was termed the "Braintree Colony." In 1636 moved to Hartford, Conn. He brought his 2 sons, Nicholas and Hehemiah, 2 nephews, Richard and John; and his niece, Rebecca with him on the ship.

--------------------

James OLMSTED - bap. Dec. 4, 1580, Great Leighs, Essex; d. Sep. 18, 1640, Hartford, CT. Son of James OLMSTED and Jane BRISTOW. His name appears on Hartford's Founders Monument. From The Family History of Judge Ellsworth D. Belden..., by Stanley R. and Elvera Belden, 1980: "When James left his home at Fairsted, he left in its burying place his wife and four of their seven children. James Olmsted, together with two sons, Nicholas and Nehemiah, two nephews, Richard and John, and a niece, Rebecca, came to New England in the ship 'Lyon,' under Capt. PIERCE, arrive at Boaston on the Lord's Day 16 September 1632, after a voyage of twelve weeks from Braintree, England. There were 123 passengers, of whom 50 were children. They soon settled at Mount Wollaston, now Quincy, near Boston, but in the course of a year, they removed to New Town, now known as Cambridge, Massachusetts. James was made a freeman 6 November 1632 and was chosen by a popular vote 3 November 1634 to be the Constable." He removed to Hartford, CT in the summer of 1634. In 1986, a memorial conisting of a maple tree and granite marker was placed in the Center Church Cemetery (Ancient Burying Ground), Hartford, CT in honor of James OLMSTED and his brother Richard OLMSTED. Married Oct. 26, 1605, Great Leighs, Essex, England.

One of the 12 men appointed by Rev. Thomas Hooker to select the site of Hartford, and lead the emigration there in 1635.

Joyce CORNISH - bur. Apr. 21, 1621, Fairsted, Essex, England.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Children of James and Joyce Olmsted

Faith - bap. Jan. 7, 1606, Fairsted, Essex, England; bur. there Mar. 3, 1627.

Frances - bap. Feb. 14, 1609, Fairsted, Essex, England; bur. there the same day.

Mabel - bap. Sep. 30, 1610, Fairsted, Essex, England; bur. there Feb. 18, 1621.

Nicholas (our line) - bap. Feb. 15, 1612, Fairsted, Essex, England; d. Aug. 31, 1684, Hartford, CT.

James - bap. Jan. 22, 1615; probably died young.

Nehemiah - bap. Nov. 10, 1618, Fairsted, Essex, England; d. Oct. 2, 1657, Fairfield, CT. Sgt. in 1657. Married Elizabeth BURR, daughter of John BURR, Sr. Elizabeth married second Obadiah GILBERT of Fairfield, CT, and third Nathaniel SEELEY. Nehemiah and Elizabeth OLMSTED had one child.

Mary - bap. Apr. 18, 1621, Fairsted, Essex, England; bur. there Apr. 24, 1621.

--------------------

JAMES OLMSTEAD III was baptized at Great Leighs, on 4 December 1580.

James married, on 26 October 1605, at Great Leighs, JOYCE CORNISH. Her lineage is unknown.

When James left his home at Fairsted, he left in its burying place his wife and four of their seven children. Joyce was buried there on 21 April 1621.

James Olmstead, together with two sons, Nicholas and Nehemiah, two nephews, Richard and John, and a niece, Rebecca, came to New England in the ship "Lyon," under Capt. William Pierce, Master. The ship sailed from London on 22 June and arrived at Boston on the Lord's Day 16 September 1632, after a voyage of twelve weeks.

Gov. John Winthrop’s Journal (Vol. 1, pg. 92) states about Capt. Pierce: “He brought one hundred and twenty three passengers, whereof fifty children, all in health. They had been twelve weeks aboard and eight weeks from Land’s End.”

The Olmstead family soon settled at Mount Wollaston, now Quincy, near Boston, but in the course of a year, they removed to New Town, now known as Cambridge, Massachusetts.

James was made a Freeman 6 November 1632 and was chosen by a popular vote 3 November 1634 to be the Constable.

He removed to Hartford, Connecticut, in June of 1636, where he was an original Proprietor. His name appears on the face of the Founder's Monument in Hartford, Connecticut. Click here to read about the monument. Richard Olmstead's name also appears on the monument. This probably is James's nephew, as his brother, Richard, died in England.

He received 70 acres in the distribution of 1639; his home-lot was on the highway now Front St.

His will is dated 28 September 1640. The Inventory amounted to £397.19.2. He died before November of 1640.

The Rev. Mr. Hooker mentions James's death in a letter, "slept sweetly in the Lord, having carried himself gratiously in his sickness."

In 1986, a memorial consisting of a maple tree and granite marker was placed in the Center Church Cemetery (Ancient Burying Ground) in Hartford, in honor of James Olmsted and his brother Richard.

--------------------

Came to America from Braintree, England on the Lyon Ship, under Captain Pierce, and arrived in New England, after 1 12 week voyage. First settled at Mt. Wallaston, now Quincy, Massachusetts (near Boston), and then moved to Newtown, now Cambridge, which was termed the "Braintree Colony." In 1636 moved to Hartford, Conn. He brought his 2 sons, Nicholas and Hehemiah, 2 nephews, Richard and John; and his niece, Rebecca with him on the ship.

--------------------

The Lyon, 1632

The Lyon departed London June 22, 1632, with 123 passengers (including 50 children) and arrived at Boston September 16, 1632.

"They had been twelve weeks aboard and eight weeks from 'Land's End'." (Winthrop's "Journal", I, 92)

James Olmstead

James Olmstead b. 1580 in Great Waltham, Essex, England

m. 28 October, 1605 in Great Leighs, Essex, England, Joyce Cornish .

James and family arrived in the Puritan colony of Mass on September 16, 1632 with the first newcomers known under the name of "Pilgrims". Came to Boston Harbour on the ship "Lyon" Sept.16th 1632.

Father: James OLMSTEAD b. 1550 in Great Leighs, Essex, England

Mother: Jane BRISTOW [m: 12 August 1576 in Great Leighs, Essex, England]

d. 28 September 1640, in Hartford, Connecticut.

James Olmsted III was baptized December 4, 1580 in Great Leighs parish, Essex County England. His parents were James Olmsted Jr. and Jane Bristow.

He married Joyce Cornish on October 26, 1605. They had one child born in Great Leighs named Faith who was baptized January 7, 1606 and died March 3, 1627 at Fairsted England. Soon afterward the family moved to Fairsted where they had the following children:

Francis - baptized February 14, 1609

Mabel - baptized September 30, 1610; died February 18, 1621 at Fairsted

Nicholas - born February 15, 1612

James - baptized January 22, 1615; died young

Nehemiah

Mary - baptized April 18, 1621; died April 24, 1621

Joyce Cornish died on April 21, 1621 shortly after Mary was born and James apparently never remarried.

The Olmsteds probably belonged to the Congregationalist church and they seemed to be tolerated until Charles I came to the throne in 1625. His religious advisor, William Loud (later Archbishop of Canterbury), began a system of repression of all churches other than the Church of England and put into effect actions which made the Church of England rival that of Rome in pomp and ceremony. This second action was aimed right at Puritan sensibilities. In addition the pastors of each church were forced to read a royal order from the pulpit declaring that Sunday pastimes of hawking and dancing should be encouraged. Those pastors who refused faced fines, imprisonment, confiscation of property, or physical mutilation. One such pastor was "pilloried, whipped, branded, slit in the nostrils, and his ears cut". Many other pastors fled to the Netherlands, among those in 1630 was Thomas Hooker, a Congregationalist Puritan, who preached in Essex county where the Olmsteds were living. These repressive conditions forced James Olmsted, his two sons Nicholas and Nehemiah, his two nephews Richard and John, and his niece Rebecca (children of his brother Richard) to leave for the new world. They left Braintree England in June of 1632 in the ship "Lyon" under captain Pierce which carried 123 passengers, 50 of whom were children. They arrived in New England on Sunday September 16, 1632.

They first settled at Mount Wallaston (now Quincy) Massachusetts but within a year "by the order of the court" they moved to Newtowne (now Cambridge). James occupied a house on the northern side of Harvard street on the site of what was called in 1912 the Wadsworth house. The land was later acquired by Harvard University. James was made a freeman on November 6, 1632 and was chosen to be the first constable of Newtowne by a popular vote.

While in Newtowne they formed a church and wrote Thomas Hooker in the Netherlands to come and take charge over them. Thomas Hooker arrived on September 4, 1633. Thomas Hooker believed that each church should be independent and that the people had the right to choose their magistrates and decided what powers they should have. After he arrived his congregation became known as the Braintree Colony and because of its liberal views soon came into conflict with the Massachusetts authorities.

During the summer of 1634 the congregation decided to send an exploration party to check out a site where the Dutch had built and abandoned a small fort the previous summer on the Fresh River (now the Connecticut River). James was one of the men in the party. The report was favorable so the congregation decided to move. Beginning on October 15, 1635 about 60 men, women, and children walked 100 miles through the wilderness driving 160 head of cattle, horses, and swine ahead of them. Mrs. Hooker, who was ill, was carried all the way on a litter. They arrived October 29, 1635 to the site which was to become Hartford, Connecticut.

Winter struck early and severely shortly afterward causing the small sailing boats which were bringing their tools, furniture and other supplies to be wrecked or frozen in at the mouth of the river. To survive most of the settlers had to return to Newtowne leaving only a few behind to care for the livestock. These few survived by hunting and by trading with the Indians.

The next Spring on May 31, 1636 Thomas Hooker and nearly 100 people returned to Hartford. James is among those listed on the Founders Monument in Hartford. That same year Hartford joined the towns of Wethersfield and Windsor to form the Connecticut colony. In 1637 Hartford sent a war expedition to battle the Pequot Indians (see Nicholas Olmsted) and in 1639 Connecticut adopted Thomas Hooker's ideals of a government by the will of the people by ratifying the Fundamental Orders, the first written constitution giving voters the right to elect their officials.

In Hartford James lived in a house on Front street and in 1639 he received 70 acres in the last free land distribution by Hartford. He died in September or October of 1640 at age 59 in Hartford after a short illness. Rev. Hooker mentioned his death in a letter: James Olmsted "slept sweetly in the Lord having carried himself graciously in his sickness". When James died he left the following: 1 horse, 1 mare, 1 colt, 1 yolk of a steer, 4 cows, 3 calves, 13 hogs, 30 bushels of wheat, 12 bushels of peas, 3 goats, 15 loads of hay, 1 plow, pewter dishes and iron pots.

Will of James Olmstead

28 Sept 1640 , Hartford, Connecticut

Olmstead, James, Hartford. Invt. 397-19-02 Pounds. Taken 28 September, 1640, by John Steel, Edward Stebbing.

Will: It is my will to give my estate betweene my two sonns, that is to say, the one halfe to my son Nicholas, and the other halfe to my sonne Nehemiah, equally divyded betweene the both, with this reservation, that, if my brother Lymus doe make his word good to make my sonne Nicholas wifes portion as good as any child he hath, for so I understand his prmise is, but if he shall refuse so to doe, I shall then refuse to give my sonne any parte of my moveable goods, cattell or debts; but my will is to leave the thing wth Richard Webb and William Wodsworth to see my Brother Lumus doe prforme his prmise, and as the said Richard Webb and Will Wodsworth shall doe I shall be content. And if my brother Lumus doe prforme his prmise, then my will is their portions shall be a like, only Nicholas shall abate so much as I have given him before. And my will is that my sonne Nehemiah shall give out of his portion ten pound to my Cossen Rebeca Olmstead that now dwelleth with me, and he shall pay yt her with in three yeares after my decease, and I leave her to be disposed by Richard Webb and Will Wadsworth, and as shee shall carry herselfe yt shall be in their power ether to give her the ten pound or to detayne yt fro her. I doe give my servant Will Corby five pound, to be paid when his tyme comes forth, and I doe will my sonne Nehemyah to pay him out of his owne portion; And I doe will that Will Corby doe searve his tyme with my sonne Nehemiah. And I leave my sonne Nehemiah wth Richard Webb and Will Wadsworth, intreating them to have the ouer sight of him and the disposeing of him as their owne child. But if my sonne Nehemiah shal goe contrary in Bestowing himselfe any way contrary to the judgement of my two friends, Rich. Webb and Will Wadsworth, the yt shall be in their power to comannd and take a hundred pound of his estate and dispose of yt as they thinke fitt. I give to my two frynds, Richard Webb and Will Wadsworth, wch I put in trust, six pounds and a marke to be paid equally betweixt them, and my two sonnes shall pay the, the one pay the one halfe and the other pay the other halfe.

Ja. Olmstead

Witness: Richard Webb, Will Wadsworth

Source: A Digest of the Early Connecticut Probate Records pg 28-29.

Wee whose names are hereunder written, the frynds intrusted by the decesed w'thin named, haueing litell acquaytance w'th things of this nature, and being by him suddenly caled hereunto, in a sore stresse and pang of his sicknes, wherein he expected a p'rsent dep'rting, he being senceble of his owne weakenes, hasted to an issue of this busines, did seuerall tymes desire vs to aduise him what he should doe, and many times did wishe us to doe what we thought meet o'rselues.

Now we hauieng since his disease, togather w'th his tow sonns, Nicholas & Nehemiah, to who he hath bequethed his estate, taken into more serious consideration what is done, an obsearueing some things to be ouerpast, of w'ch we are p'rswaded that if ether they had com to his owne mynd, or otherwise had then bine suggested by vs, he would redily and cherefully haue attended thereunto: Wee therefore, togather w'th the reddy & free consent of his sonns abouesaid, (well knowing, out og long and good experience, the disposition and constant practice of their father,) hath mutually agree, as desierus to fulfil that w'ch we conceaue to be his mynd, to ad to those bequethe w'ch are spesified w'thin, these legases following:

That is to say, to his Kynsman Richard Olmstead, fiue pownd, and to his Kynsman John Olmstead, fiue pownd to be paid vnto them w'thin three yeres after his disase. And vnto the Church of Christ in Hartford, Twenty pownds, to be paid at the same tyme of three yeres after the decease of there said father. In witnesse whereof we haue sett to our hands.

Will Wadsworth Nicholas Olmstead Nehemiah Olmstead.

Source: The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut Vol 1 pg 447

ORIGIN: Fairstead, Essex

MIGRATION: 1632 on Lyon [ Hotten 150]

FIRST RESIDENCE: Cambridge

REMOVES: Hartford 1636

CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Admission to church membership prior to 6 November 1632 implied by freemanship, presumably to Watertown, since Cambridge church was not yet organized. Probably joined the church at Cambridge when it was formed in 1633, and remained with this church when it went to Hartford.

FREEMAN: 6 November 1632 [ MBCR 1:367].

EDUCATION: In his inventory were "3 bibles & 3 other books" (£2 5s.) and "15 quire of paper" (6s. 3d.).

OFFICES: Cambridge constable to pay "James Omsted" 10s. for making the highway by William Butler's pales, 2 June 1634 [ CaTR 8]; "James Olmsted" chosen constable of Cambridge for year following 3 November 1634 [CaTR 10]; elected selectman 3 February 1634/5 [CaTR 11]; committee to survey town lands, 3 February 1634/5 [CaTR 12].

ESTATE: On 5 August 1633 granted one acre cowyard at Cambridge [CaTR 5]; assigned proportional share of five in division of meadows (one of the largest in town), 20 August 1635 [CaTR 13]; granted five acres (as "James Homsted"), 8 February 1635/6 [CaTR 17]; in list of those with houses, 8 February 1635/6 [CaTR 18].

In the Cambridge land inventory, under date of 4 June 1635, "James Olmsteade" was credited with eight parcels of land: half a rood in town with one house and backside; "one house and about one acre" in Cowyard Row; four acres in the Old Field; one acre in Wigwam Neck; twenty-two acres and a half in the Neck; two acres in the Ox Marsh; five acres and a half in the Long Marsh; and nineteen acres in the Great Marsh [ CaBOP 8]. Although there is no record of the transaction, most of James Olmsted's land in Cambridge came into the possession of Edward Goffe, and the houselot and cowyard row lot are now part of Harvard Yard [ Morison, maps facing pp. 188, 192]. In the Hartford land inventory of February 1639[/40] James Olmstead held thirteen parcels of land in Hartford: two acres with dwelling house, outhouses, yards and gardens; one acre, three roods and thirty perches in the Little Meadow; five acres and twenty-four perches of meadow and swamp in the North Meadow; thirty-two acres, three roods and nine perches of meadow and swamp in the North Meadow; four acres and thirty-two perches on the east side of the Great River; twenty-six acres in the Old Oxpasture; two acres, three roods and eight perches in the Venturers' Field; sixteen acres, three roods and eight perches in the Cowpasture; eight acres and two roods of meadow and swamp in the South Meadow; two acres, three roods and thirty-one perches of meadow and swamp at Hockanum; four acres, two roods and thirty-three perches in the Neck of Land; seven acres, three roods and sixteen perches in the Neck of Land; twenty acres, two roods and twenty-four perches in the Cowpasture [ HaBOP 314-17]. In an undated will (attested 28 September 1640) James Olmstead of Hartford divided his estate equally between his two sons Nicholas and Nehemiah (dependent upon a settlement to be made on Nicholas by his father-in-law Joseph Loomis), with small legacies to "my cousin Rebecca Olmstead that now dwelleth with me," and to servant Will[iam] Corby. In a later agreement between the executors and the two sons of James, kinsmen Richard and John Olmstead were given £5 apiece, and the Hartford church £20 [ Manwaring 1:28-29; CCCR 1:446-47]. The inventory, taken 28 September 1640, totalled £397 19s. 2d., and included "2 acres of English corn of the ground" and "13 acres of ground broke up," but this certainly did not include all his land [CCCR 1:448-49]. BIRTH: Baptized at Great Leighs, Essex, 4 December 1580, son of James and Jane (Bristow) Olmstead.

DEATH: Hartford before 28 September 1640 (date of inventory).

MARRIAGE: Great Leighs, Essex, 26 October 1605 Joyce Cornish; buried Fairstead, Essex, 21 April 1621.

CHILDREN (all but first baptized Fairstead, Essex):

i FAITH, bp. Great Leighs 7 January 1606[/7]; bur. Fairstead 3 March 1627/8. ii FRANCES, bur. Fairstead 14 February 1609/10. (This event is published at one point as a burial and at another as a baptism [Olmsted Gen xi, 5], but the transcript has it as a burial.) iii MABEL, bp. 30 September 1610; bur. Fairstead 18 February 1621/2. iv NICHOLAS, bp. 15 February 1612/3; m. by about 1645 Sarah Loomis, daughter of Joseph Loomis (eldest known child d. 1646 and next child b. 20 November 1646 [ Grant 81; HaVR Barbour 237]; among the "children of Mr. Joseph Loomis" who received a distribution on 2 December 1658 was "Nicholas Olmsted" [Manwaring 1:135-36]). v JAMES, bp. 22 January 1615/6; no further record. vi NEHEMIAH, bp. 10 November 1618; m. by about 1655 Elizabeth Burr, daughter of JEHU BURR, as the first of her three husbands. vii MARY, bp. 18 April 1621; bur. Fairstead 24 April 1621. ASSOCIATIONS: Three children of Richard Olmstead, nephew of James, came to New England: Richard (bp. 1612), John (bp. 1617) and Rebecca (b. say 1620) [Olmsted Gen 5]. It has been claimed that they came to New England in 1632 with their greatuncle, but there is no evidence to prove this, and they may well have come later.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: The standard genealogy for the Olmstead family is Henry King Olmsted and Geo. K. Ware, Genealogy of the Olmsted Family in America Embracing the Descendants of James and Richard Olmsted and Covering a Period of Nearly Three Centuries, 1632-1912 (New York 1912) [cited above as Olmsted Gen]. This presents the records obtained as a result of research in England (supervised by Frederick Law Olmsted!), including speculations on earlier generations [x-xv]. The parish register entries above are taken from this work, augmented by examination of a transcript of the register at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford.

-------------------- "James Olmsted was made a freeman Nov 6, 1632 and was chosen Constable by a popular vote (the first one so chosen) Nov 3, 1634. At a general meeting of the whole town, Feb 3, 1634-5, it was agreed upon by a joint consent that 7 men should be chosen to do the whole business of the town . . so there were then chosen John Haynes, Symon Bradstreat, John Taylcott, William Westwood, John White, William Wadsworth and James Olmsted. Also chosen to join with Constable James Olmsted were John Benjamin, Daniel Denison, Andrew Warner and William Spencer, which 5 according to the order of the Court shall survey the town lands and enter the same in a Book appointed for that purpose. These 5 men shall meet every first Mon in the month at the Constable's house in the forenoon at the ringing of the bell."

"James Olmsted was one of the original proprietors of Hartford, and in the Land distribution of June 1639, he received 70 acres. That he was a man highly considered in the community in which he lived is evident from the prominence that his name occupies in the old list of the "Original and early members (1633-1639)" of the first church of Hartford, in which list his name comes 12th and in such illustrious company as follows: Gov. John Haynes, Gov. George Wyllys, Gov. Edward Hopkins, Gov. Thomas Wells, Gove. John Webster, Rev. Thomas Hooker, Rev. Samuel Stone, Elder William Goodwin, Major Willian Whiting, Hon. Matthew Allyn, Hon. John Talcott, James Olmsted."

"James Olmsted's house lot was on the road from Little River to the North Meadow. It was the main road from Windsor to Wethersfield, now Front St. The house which James or his son Nicholas built on this lot was standing until about 1835. There are now 3 brick houses on the lot, not far from the gas works. He died in Sep or Oct 1640 in Hartford." ORIGIN: Fairstead, Essex MIGRATION: 1632 on Lyon [ Hotten 150] FIRST RESIDENCE: Cambridge REMOVES: Hartford 1636 CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Admission to church membership prior to 6 November 1632 implied by freemanship, presumably to Watertown, since Cambridge church was not yet organized. Probably joined the church at Cambridge when it was formed in 1633, and remained with this church when it went to Hartford. FREEMAN: 6 November 1632 [ MBCR 1:367]. EDUCATION: In his inventory were "3 bibles & 3 other books" (£2 5s.) and "15 quire of paper" (6s. 3d.). OFFICES: Cambridge constable to pay "James Omsted" 10s. for making the highway by William Butler's pales, 2 June 1634 [ CaTR 8]; "James Olmsted" chosen constable of Cambridge for year following 3 November 1634 [CaTR 10]; elected selectman 3 February 1634/5 [CaTR 11]; committee to survey town lands, 3 February 1634/5 [CaTR 12]. ESTATE: On 5 August 1633 granted one acre cowyard at Cambridge [CaTR 5]; assigned proportional share of five in division of meadows (one of the largest in town), 20 August 1635 [CaTR 13]; granted five acres (as "James Homsted"), 8 February 1635/6 [CaTR 17]; in list of those with houses, 8 February 1635/6 [CaTR 18].

In the Cambridge land inventory, under date of 4 June 1635, "James Olmsteade" was credited with eight parcels of land: half a rood in town with one house and backside; "one house and about one acre" in Cowyard Row; four acres in the Old Field; one acre in Wigwam Neck; twenty-two acres and a half in the Neck; two acres in the Ox Marsh; five acres and a half in the Long Marsh; and nineteen acres in the Great Marsh [ CaBOP 8]. Although there is no record of the transaction, most of James Olmsted's land in Cambridge came into the possession of Edward Goffe, and the houselot and cowyard row lot are now part of Harvard Yard [ Morison, maps facing pp. 188, 192]. In the Hartford land inventory of February 1639[/40] James Olmstead held thirteen parcels of land in Hartford: two acres with dwelling house, outhouses, yards and gardens; one acre, three roods and thirty perches in the Little Meadow; five acres and twenty-four perches of meadow and swamp in the North Meadow; thirty-two acres, three roods and nine perches of meadow and swamp in the North Meadow; four acres and thirty-two perches on the east side of the Great River; twenty-six acres in the Old Oxpasture; two acres, three roods and eight perches in the Venturers' Field; sixteen acres, three roods and eight perches in the Cowpasture; eight acres and two roods of meadow and swamp in the South Meadow; two acres, three roods and thirty-one perches of meadow and swamp at Hockanum; four acres, two roods and thirty-three perches in the Neck of Land; seven acres, three roods and sixteen perches in the Neck of Land; twenty acres, two roods and twenty-four perches in the Cowpasture [ HaBOP 314-17]. In an undated will (attested 28 September 1640) James Olmstead of Hartford divided his estate equally between his two sons Nicholas and Nehemiah (dependent upon a settlement to be made on Nicholas by his father-in-law Joseph Loomis), with small legacies to "my cousin Rebecca Olmstead that now dwelleth with me," and to servant Will[iam] Corby. In a later agreement between the executors and the two sons of James, kinsmen Richard and John Olmstead were given £5 apiece, and the Hartford church £20 [ Manwaring 1:28-29; CCCR 1:446-47]. The inventory, taken 28 September 1640, totalled £397 19s. 2d., and included "2 acres of English corn of the ground" and "13 acres of ground broke up," but this certainly did not include all his land [CCCR 1:448-49]. BIRTH: Baptized at Great Leighs, Essex, 4 December 1580, son of James and Jane (Bristow) Olmstead. DEATH: Hartford before 28 September 1640 (date of inventory). MARRIAGE: Great Leighs, Essex, 26 October 1605 Joyce Cornish; buried Fairstead, Essex, 21 April 1621. CHILDREN (all but first baptized Fairstead, Essex):

i FAITH, bp. Great Leighs 7 January 1606[/7]; bur. Fairstead 3 March 1627/8. ii FRANCES, bur. Fairstead 14 February 1609/10. (This event is published at one point as a burial and at another as a baptism [Olmsted Gen xi, 5], but the transcript has it as a burial.) iii MABEL, bp. 30 September 1610; bur. Fairstead 18 February 1621/2. iv NICHOLAS, bp. 15 February 1612/3; m. by about 1645 Sarah Loomis, daughter of Joseph Loomis (eldest known child d. 1646 and next child b. 20 November 1646 [ Grant 81; HaVR Barbour 237]; among the "children of Mr. Joseph Loomis" who received a distribution on 2 December 1658 was "Nicholas Olmsted" [Manwaring 1:135-36]). v JAMES, bp. 22 January 1615/6; no further record. vi NEHEMIAH, bp. 10 November 1618; m. by about 1655 Elizabeth Burr, daughter of JEHU BURR, as the first of her three husbands. vii MARY, bp. 18 April 1621; bur. Fairstead 24 April 1621. ASSOCIATIONS: Three children of Richard Olmstead, nephew of James, came to New England: Richard (bp. 1612), John (bp. 1617) and Rebecca (b. say 1620) [Olmsted Gen 5]. It has been claimed that they came to New England in 1632 with their greatuncle, but there is no evidence to prove this, and they may well have come later. BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: The standard genealogy for the Olmstead family is Henry King Olmsted and Geo. K. Ware, Genealogy of the Olmsted Family in America Embracing the Descendants of James and Richard Olmsted and Covering a Period of Nearly Three Centuries, 1632-1912 (New York 1912) [cited above as Olmsted Gen]. This presents the records obtained as a result of research in England (supervised by Frederick Law Olmsted!), including speculations on earlier generations [x-xv]. The parish register entries above are taken from this work, augmented by examination of a transcript of the register at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford.

--------------------

from Genealogy of the Olmstead family in America

" . . . the family of our honored relative, James Olmsted, who, together with two sons, Nicholas and Nehemiah, two nephews, Richard and John, and a niece, Rebecca, arrived in New England, on the Lord's Day, Sept. 16,1632, in the ship Lyon, under Capt. Pierce, after a voyage of 12 weeks from Braintree, England. There were 123 passengers, of whom 50 were children. " They settled first at Mount Wallaston, now Quincy, near Boston, but in the course of the year, 'by order of the Court,' they removed to Newtown, now Cambridge."

" The recent settlers of Newtown," says Holmes, "had, while in England, attended the ministry of the Reverend Thomas Hooker, who, to escape fines and imprisonment for his non-conformity, had now fled into Holland." So, as Mather, another contemporary, remarks, " immediately after their settlement at Newtown, they expressed their earnest desires to Mr. Hooker that he would come over into New England and take the pastoral charge of them. At their desire he left Holland, and, having obtained Mr. Samuel Stone .... as an assistant in the ministry, took his passage for America, and arrived at Boston, Sept. 4, 1633."

He proceeded at once to Newtown, to take up the duties of his pastorate. There the Braintree Colony, as it was termed, abode until the summer of 1636, when, dissatisfied by the form of government of the colony of Massachusetts and tempted by the charm of this pleasant Connecticut valley, of which they had heard reports,1 they "took their departure from Cambridge," and, in the words of Trumbull, " travelled more than a hundred miles through a hideous and trackless wilderness, to Hartford. They had no guide but their compass; made their way over mountains, through swamps, thickets, and rivers, which were not passable but with great difficulty. They had no cover but the heavens, nor any lodgings but those which simple nature afforded them. They drove with them a hundred and sixty head of cattle, and by the way, subsisted on the milk of their cows. Mrs. Hooker (who was ill) was borne through the wilderness upon a litter. The people generally carried their packs, arms, and some utensils. They were nearly a fortnight on their journey."

This brings us in our narration of the wanderings of our worthy family to the beautiful city, near which we have met today to do them honor. The family was soon to separate. Indeed, my own ancestor, Richard Olmsted, who was a youth of 20 when he arrived in America with his Uncle James, was now a young man of 24. That he was married by 1640 is more than probable, for we find that by that date he had quit his uncle's house, and was in possession of a home lot of his own. The records show that at a town meeting on the 11 th of January, 1640, a vote was passed, taking part of the lot of Richard Olmsted for a burial ground. " This is the ground in the rear of the First Church buildings on Main Street," as Walker tells us, "where so many of Hartford's early dead still repose." It contains a monument to the early settlers of this city, and is worthy of a pilgrimage, if any of you have not yet seen it. James Olmsted's lot was on Front street, not far from where the gas works now stand.

However, as I have said, the family was soon to part company. The wanderlust was upon them, and in 1651 Richard Olmsted, defying the dangers of wild beast and Indian, struck still deeper into the wilderness, and founded, with his family and with other friends, the town of Norwalk.

JAMES OLMSTEAD

ORIGIN: Fairstead, Essex MIGRATION: 1632 on Lyon [Hotten 150] FIRST RESIDENCE: Cambridge REMOVES: Hartford 1636 CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Admission to church membership prior to 6 November 1632 implied by freemanship, presumably to Watertown, since Cambridge church was not yet organized. Probably joined the church at Cambridge when it was formed in 1633, and remained with this church when it went to Hartford. FREEMAN: 6 November 1632 [MBCR 1:367]. EDUCATION: In his inventory were "3 bibles & 3 other books" (£2 5s.) and "15 quire of paper" (6s. 3d.). OFFICES: Cambridge constable to pay "James Omsted" 10s. for making the highway by William Butler's pales, 2 June 1634 [CaTR 8]; "James Olmsted" chosen constable of Cambridge for year following 3 November 1634 [CaTR 10]; elected selectman 3 February 1634/5 [CaTR 11]; committee to survey town lands, 3 February 1634/5 [CaTR 12]. ESTATE: On 5 August 1633 granted one acre cowyard at Cambridge [CaTR 5]; assigned proportional share of five in division of meadows (one of the largest in town), 20 August 1635 [CaTR 13]; granted five acres (as "James Homsted"), 8 February 1635/6 [CaTR 17]; in list of those with houses, 8 February 1635/6 [CaTR 18].

  In the Cambridge land inventory, under date of 4 June 1635, "James Olmsteade" was credited with eight parcels of land: half a rood in town with one house and backside; "one house and about one acre" in Cowyard Row; four acres in the Old Field; one acre in Wigwam Neck; twenty-two acres and a half in the Neck; two acres in the Ox Marsh; five acres and a half in the Long Marsh; and nineteen acres in the Great Marsh [CaBOP 8]. Although there is no record of the transaction, most of James Olmsted's land in Cambridge came into the possession of Edward Goffe, and the houselot and cowyard row lot are now part of Harvard Yard [Morison, maps facing pp. 188, 192].
  In the Hartford land inventory of February 1639[/40] James Olmstead held thirteen parcels of land in Hartford: two acres with dwelling house, outhouses, yards and gardens; one acre, three roods and thirty perches in the Little Meadow; five acres and twenty-four perches of meadow and swamp in the North Meadow; thirty-two acres, three roods and nine perches of meadow and swamp in the North Meadow; four acres and thirty-two perches on the east side of the Great River; twenty-six acres in the Old Oxpasture; two acres, three roods and eight perches in the Venturers' Field; sixteen acres, three roods and eight perches in the Cowpasture; eight acres and two roods of meadow and swamp in the South Meadow; two acres, three roods and thirty-one perches of meadow and swamp at Hockanum; four acres, two roods and thirty-three perches in the Neck of Land; seven acres, three roods and sixteen perches in the Neck of Land; twenty acres, two roods and twenty-four perches in the Cowpasture [HaBOP 314-17].
  In an undated will (attested 28 September 1640) James Olmstead of Hartford divided his estate equally between his two sons Nicholas and Nehemiah (dependent upon a settlement to be made on Nicholas by his father-in-law Joseph Loomis), with small legacies to "my cousin Rebecca Olmstead that now dwelleth with me," and to servant Will[iam] Corby. In a later agreement between the executors and the two sons of James, kinsmen Richard and John Olmstead were given £5 apiece, and the Hartford church £20 [Manwaring 1:28-29; CCCR 1:446-47].
  The inventory, taken 28 September 1640, totalled £397 19s. 2d., and included "2 acres of English corn of the ground" and "13 acres of ground broke up," but this certainly did not include all his land [CCCR 1:448-49].

BIRTH: Baptized at Great Leighs, Essex, 4 December 1580, son of James and Jane (Bristow) Olmstead. DEATH: Hartford before 28 September 1640 (date of inventory). MARRIAGE: Great Leighs, Essex, 26 October 1605 Joyce Cornish; buried Fairstead, Essex, 21 April 1621. CHILDREN (all but first baptized Fairstead, Essex):

i   FAITH, bp. Great Leighs 7 January 1606[/7]; bur. Fairstead 3 March 1627/8.    
ii   FRANCES, bur. Fairstead 14 February 1609/10. (This event is published at one point as a burial and at another as a baptism [Olmsted Gen xi, 5], but the transcript has it as a burial.) 
iii   MABEL, bp. 30 September 1610; bur. Fairstead 18 February 1621/2. 
iv   NICHOLAS, bp. 15 February 1612/3; m. by about 1645 Sarah Loomis, daughter of Joseph Loomis (eldest known child d. 1646 and next child b. 20 November 1646 [Grant 81; HaVR Barbour 237]; among the "children of Mr. Joseph Loomis" who received a distribution on 2 December 1658 was "Nicholas Olmsted" [Manwaring 1:135-36]). 
v   JAMES, bp. 22 January 1615/6; no further record. 
vi   NEHEMIAH, bp. 10 November 1618; m. by about 1655 Elizabeth Burr, daughter of JEHU BURR, as the first of her three husbands. 
vii   MARY, bp. 18 April 1621; bur. Fairstead 24 April 1621. 

ASSOCIATIONS: Three children of Richard Olmstead, nephew of James, came to New England: Richard (bp. 1612), John (bp. 1617) and Rebecca (b. say 1620) [Olmsted Gen 5]. It has been claimed that they came to New England in 1632 with their greatuncle, but there is no evidence to prove this, and they may well have come later. BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: The standard genealogy for the Olmstead family is Henry King Olmsted and Geo. K. Ware, Genealogy of the Olmsted Family in America Embracing the Descendants of James and Richard Olmsted and Covering a Period of Nearly Three Centuries, 1632-1912 (New York 1912) [cited above as Olmsted Gen]. This presents the records obtained as a result of research in England (supervised by Frederick Law Olmsted!), including speculations on earlier generations [x-xv]. The parish register entries above are taken from this work, augmented by examination of a transcript of the register at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford.


The Great Migration Begins Sketches PRESERVED PURITAN


-------------------- Olmsted Family Genealogy THE RESULT OF THE SEARCH FOR THE ANCESTORS OF JAMES OLMSTED, SET ON FOOT BY FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED* Mr. Briggs of London was employed in 1890 to search all available records in order to ascertain the birthplace of the family of the Olmsteds who came to New England in 1632. They were members of the Rev. Thomas Hooker's congregation, commonly known as the Braintree Colony, which fact pointed to County Essex. The distinguished genealogist, Mr. Henry M. Waters, most kindly gave Mr. Briggs a copy of a portion of two parish regis- ters, one of Fairsted, County Essex, the other of Great Leighs, in the same county. The Fairsted register, given below, proved to contain the record of the baptism of the children of one James Olmsted, the record of the burials of several of his children, and of that of his wife, Joyce. This, without any doubt, is the record of the Family of the James Olmsted who emigrated to New England in 1632. Mr. Waters also found, in the adjoining parish of Great Leighs, the record of one James Olmsted, who married in 1576 Jane Bristow, and had baptized in that parish eleven children. The second son, Richard, was baptized 22d March, 1578-9. James, the third son, was bap- tized 4th December, 1580, and married 26th October, 1605, Joyce Cornish. In Great Leighs two of his children were baptized and in Fairsted the five others. Mr. Briggs searched in Somerset House for all the wills under the name of Olmsted and found among a great number of others that of James, the father of James Olmsted, the emigrant, and grandfather of Richard, John and Re- becca, and of Nicholas and Nehemiah — all of whom came to New England in the " Lyon " in 1632. He then proceeded to search the Subsidy Rolls. He found that James Olmsted who married Jane Bristow had belonged in the neighboring parish of Great Waltham, and that his father, James, had married there one Alice (family name not found, but presumably either Hawkyns or Sorell). The fourth payment of the subsidy (due 3d year Edward VI.) was not collected till the 6th year of Edward VI. (1552-3) and in the return then made " the widowe Holmestede " is found in the parish of Great Waltham " in the place of James," showing plainly that he had died in the interval between 1550 and 1553. It seems to be proved that James and Alice were the parents of the James who lived at Great Leighs, and died in 1595, and grandparents of James, the emigrant. The Sorells and Hawkynses mentioned in the will of " Als," below, both lived near James in Great Waltham. While the name of William Olmsted is met with in the Rolls as owning lands in Felsted, thus confirming the statement in the Harleian MSS., No. 6071, f. 319, British Museum (given herewith) that the family of Olmsted, whose original seat was Olmsted Hall, County Essex, had a branch established in Felsted. All the above mentioned parishes are very near together. Some of the property was freehold and some leasehold. Farther back than James — ^born probably in 1520 — it has not been possible to go with certaintyt but there is every probability that James, born in 1520, descended from one Richard Olmestede *Toward thd expenses of the search, running over many years before Mr. Waters set us right, Vice-President Marlin E. Olmsted, of Philadelphia, contributed $25, Rt. Rev. Charles T Olmsted, of Utica, $10, and Mrs. Kate O. Beebe, a daughter of John Olmsted, of Springfield, $10. tThere is mention in the rolls of one James Olmsted, at Braintree, and Beatrice, his wife, who may have been the parents of the James who married Alice. Introduction xi Felsted, who brought a suit for the recovery of money due him from one Bartholomew Barber, thus bringing the record near to the time when the " Hall " passed from the name of Olmsted. It might be possible to find soniething in the Manor Rolls of the Earls of Oxford, if they exist for the period, also in the Feet of Fines, relating to the transfer of lands in all parts of the country. Proofs of the truth of the foregoing statements Fairsted Church Record^ Buried: 3d March, 1627, Faith, dau. of James Olmsted; 14th February, 1609, Frances, dau. of James Olmsted. Baptized children of James Olmsted: Mabel, 30th September, 1610; (Emigrant) Nicholas, 15th February, 1612; James, 22d January, 1615; (Emi- grant) Nehemiah, 10th November, 1618; Mary, 18th April, 1621. Buried: Mabel, dau. of James Olmsted, 18th February, 1621; Mary, dau. of James Olmsted, 24th April, 1621; Joyce, wife of James Olmsted, 21st April, 1621. Baptized children of Richard Olmsted: Mary, 6th July, 1615; (Emigrant) John, 16 February, 1617; Sara, 2d November, 1620; Joseph, 2d December, 1627. Buried: Richard Olmsted, 16th November, 1641; Frances Olmsted (wife of Richard), 10th September, 1630. Great Leighs Church Records James Olmsted and Jane Bristow, married 12th August, 1576. Bap- tized: Thomas, 7th June, 1577; Richard, 22d March, 1579; James, 4th De- cember, 1580; Elizabeth, 2d September, 1582; Nicholas, 24th November, 1583; Mary, 10th October, 1585; Mabell, 16th July, 1587; Elizabeth, 2d No- vember, 1589; John, 20th February, 1592-3; Mary, 15th December, 1593; Thomas (twin), 15th December, 1593. Buried: EUzabeth, dau. of James Olnisted, 19th December, 1582; Mary, dau. of James Olmsted, 22d December, 1594; James Olmsted, 2d December, 1595. Married: Thomas Olmsted and Margaret Sache, 4th February, 1599; James Olmsted and Joyce Cornish, 26th October, 1605. Children of the sons of James and Jane Bristow Olmsted: Thomas, born 7th June, 1577; married, 4th February, 1599, Margaret Sache. Children: Jane, baptized, 7th September, 1603; died young; Thomas, baptized, 21st June, 1606; buried 12th November, 1606; John, baptized, 9th November, 1607; died young; Elizabeth; John Olmsted, baptized 20th February, 1592-3, married, 25th April, 1623, Deborah Robinson, dau. of the incumbent of Fair- sted parish. Children: Catherine, John, Samuel, James, EUzabeth. WILLS Commissary of London for Essex and Herts, 2Qth May, 1592 Abstract of the will of James Hampstead of Much Leighs, County Essex, yeoman. To Thomas Hampstead, my oldest son, land &c in Braintre Manor, called Lowes pasture, containing 16 acres and a rod Calves Croft, 3 acres, a meadow called Alms House, &c. To Richard my second son tenements called Fords and Marshalls and 26 acres of land in my occupation and that of John Allen, joyner. xii Olmsted Family Genealogy To James Hampstead, my third son, land called Broomes Croft, in the tenure of one Huckerbye and other landholders of the same maner. _ To Nicholas my fourth son a free tenement called Beeves als Bells in the ph of Braintre. To John my fifth son, a messuage called Mair and a house in Halfieldwick in Terling. To my daughter Mabel, £40. To my daughter Elizabeth, £40 when 21 or married. [Signed] James Holmestede, Witnesses: wife Jane extrix. Thomas Hubbard Richard-Hyde. Robert Turner. Thomas Tannack. Proved 8th January, 1594-5, * Commissary of London 214, \Qth May, 1627 Will of Nicholas Holmsted of Much Parrendon (Parndon) Co: Essex. To my son John 2 tenements in Braintre called Beers als Bells now in occupation of John Corby and Burnham. To Mary, my daughter, £60, when 18 or married. To John my son, when 21, £40. To John, my brother Richard's son, 20s. To Elizabeth my eldest brother's dau., 20s. To Nicholas, my brother James' son, 6s. 8d. To my sister Mabell, 10s. To my brother John, 10s. My wife Rachel to keep and educate my brother Richard's son, John Wife Rachel exor. William Wood, the elder, of Rye Hill and my brother James to be over- seers. Witnesses : William Wood. Thomasine Wall, et al. Proved at Stortford, 7th March, 1627-8, Invent: £147: "01: "08. The wife Rachel had had for first husband Thomas Graves, the younger, of Stansted Abbott, County Herts. She claimed his share in the " Red Lion" Inn and involved Nicholas Olmsted in a lawsuit (in 1610 or so) which was decided in her favor. He prays in his will that his son John shall have the Inn. Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 2 Brundenell, ith August, 1634 Will of Thomas Slany of London, haberdasher. Abstract Estate to be divided into 3 parts according to the Custom of London. One third to wife Elizabeth. *The Rev. J. J. Manning, late Rector of Fairsted, thought that the farm called Rank's Green, in that parish, was the one occupied by James Olmsted, the emigrant. This was in 1894 held by Henry Homsted Speakman. Mr. Speakman did not know how he came by his middle name, which is so like Olmsted. The name of Olmsted under the form of Holmested is still known in Braintree, County Essex. Introduction xiii One third to his five chiidren, John, Mary, Lidia, Sara and Elizabeth. The other third as follows: To my sister Bazies* 3 children £5 apiece the said legacy to be paid to Barnaby Bowtelle of Dedham, for them. To Joseph my sister Holmested's youngest son a similar legacy to be paid to Mr. Statham of Terling. To my niece Sara Holmestead 30s. To my nephew Richard Holmestead 4 nobles. Proved 28th July, 1638. Archdeaconry of Essex, Rypton clxvij 167 Abstract of the will of Als Hownstedi of the psh of Great Lees, wedoo. 2nd July, 1533. To sons James William and John To the High Altar of Lees Parva [Little Leighs] 8s. John Sorell and son James exor. John Hawkyn of Much Waltham, supervisor. Witnesses: Sir Roger Hyde, curat. John Ingelond. William Thare. And others mo. To be buried in the churchyard of our Ladi. To Jams and William all my copyhold lands equally between them. To my son John a seme of wheat. Proved 2nd August, 1533. Commissary Court, Essex, Herts, 1613. "Abstract of the will of John Hawes the elder of St. Lawrence in the County of Essex, yeoman, 7 August, 1613, proved 12 October, 1613. Mentions son John and Elizabeth, his daughter; kinsman John Anthony; Charles Anthony the younger, a sister's son; Martha Anthony, youngest daughter of said sister; Frances, the eldest daughter of sister Alice Anthony; John Olmsted, son of Richard Olmsted and of daughter Elizabeth, Israel, their second son, Jedidiah their third son and Elizabeth their daughter; daughter Elizabeth wife of Richard Olmstead, clerk; Julian Veale of Mai- den, widow; wife Elizabeth."

The cause of the emigration of our Puritan forefathers from England to America is a matter of historical record, but it may not be amiss to recall the subject here. During the last half of the reign of Queen Elizabeth a great change had come oyer the people of England. As Green puts it, " England became the people of a book, and that book was the Bible." Even the love of pure let- ters of the Renaissance gave way to the love of this book. It was in every- body's home, and its influence upon the mind and conscience of the people was amazing. " A new conception of life and of man superseded the old." " Theology rules there," said Grotius, speaking of England .'shortly after Elizabeth's death. A certain gravity of demeanor disclosed itself even in the country gen- tlemen like our ancestors, whose diversions before this had been of the lighter sort, such as hawking, fencing and dancing. The brilliancy of dress of the Renaissance disappeared. A more sober vestment characterized the Puritans, and an increasing fondness for simplicity in all things, but especially in the forms of worship. Most of the Puritans were undesirous of separating them- selves from the Church of England, but they attempted to "purify" it from within, and to simplify its ritual, which reminded them of popery. They refused to wear the surplice, to baptize with the sign of the cross, to bow at the name of Jesus, to make use of the ring in the marriage ceremony, and to acknowledge the divine authority of the episcopate. Elizabeth had tried in vain to force her people into an acceptance of the church administration that she prescribed, and had gone so far as to execute certain non-conformists. Then came James, the hope of the Puritans, but, although educated as a Presbyterian, upon his accession to the throne he "renounced the Calvinistic sympathies he had cherished in Scotland," and turned a deaf ear to the pleas of his Puritan subjects. It was about this time that the Separatist congregation at Scrooby succeeded in leaving England, and settled for a brief while in Holland, whither a portion set sail for the New World in the Mayflower, landing at Plymouth, Dec. 21, 1620. Introduction xvii Meanwhile, the Puritans remaining in England had fallen upon bitter days, by the accession in 1625 of Charles I to the throne of his father. The new monarch's chief religious advisor was Wm. Laud, Bishop of London, and later Archbishop of Canterbury. This eminent but narrow-minded divine was a formalist by temperament and education. The crude simplicity of the reformed church was repugnant to him, and he determined to restore to the Church of England the pomp and ceremonial that he deemed was its rightful possession, as a branch of the great Catholic Church of the world. "Bowing to the altar was introduced into all cathedral churches." The communion table was given its pre-Reformation position in the chancel, instead of the position it had occupied for more than half a century in the middle of the nave. Most shocking of all to Puritan standards, diversions on the Sabbath day were not only encouraged by Laud and his supporters, but every English pastor was compelled by royal order to read from the pulpit a declaration in favor of Sunday pastimes. Refusal to comply with these and similar orders was met with fines, imprisonment, confiscation of property, and even execution. Such was the condition of affairs in 1630, when in the County of Essex, in the neighborhood of our Olmsted ancestors, the Reverend Mr. Thomas Hooker, a preacher of great ability and renown, was silenced for non-con- formity. To escape imprisonment and worse, he fled to Holland. Indeed, it was well that he fled, for he might have met the fate of another non-conformist minister who was that same year "pilloried, whipped, branded, slit in the nos- trils, and deprived by successive mutUation of his ears." Up to this time emigration to America had been slow, and the colony in New England numbered only some few hundred souls, but now the Puritan exodus began upon ah unprecedented scale. Two hundred Puritans had re- cently embarked for Salem. These were soon followed by eight hundred more under John Winthrop. These in turn were followed by seven hundred more. In all, seventeen ships had beaten their way across the seas before the close of the year 1630. " Nor were these emigrants," as Green declares, "like the earlier colonists of the South, 'broken men,' adventurers, bankrupts, criminals; or simply poor men and artisans, like the Pilgrim Fathers of the Mayflower. They were in great part men of the professional and middle classes; some of them men of large landed estate." Of the latter class was the family of our honored relative, James Olmsted, who, together with two sons, Nicholas and Nehemiah, two nephews, Richard and John, and a niece, Rebecca, arrived in New England, on the Lord's Day, Sept. 16, 1632, in the ship Lyon, under Capt. Pierce, after a voyage of 12 weeks from Braintree, England. There were 123 passengers, of whom 50 were children. " They settled first at Mount Wallaston, now Quincy, near Boston, but in the course of the year, 'by order of the Court,' they removed to Newtown , now Cambridge." " The recent settlers of Newtown," says Holmes, "had, while in England, attended the ministry of the Reverend Thomas Hooker, who, to escape fines and imprisonment for his non-conformity, had now fled into Holland." So, as Mather, another contemporary, remarks, " immediately after their settle- ment at Newtown, they expressed their earnest desires to Mr. Hooker that he would come over into New England and take the pastoral charge of them. At their desire he left Holland, and, having obtained Mr. Samuel Stone .... xviii Olmsted Family Genealogy as an assistant in the ministry, took his passage for America, and arrived at Boston, Sept. 4, 1633." He proceeded at once to Newtown, to take up the duties of his pastorate. There the Brain tree Colony, as it was termed, abode until the summer of 1636, when, dissatisfied by the form of government of the colony of Massachusetts and tempted by the charm of this pleasant Connecticut valley, of which they had heard reports,^ they "took their departure from Cambridge," and, in the words of Trumbull, "travelled more than a hundred miles through a hideous and trackless wilderness, to Hartford. They had no guide but their com- pass;jnade their way over mountains, through swamps, thickets, and rivers, which were not passable but with great difficulty. They had no cover but the heavens, nor any lodgings but those which simple nature afforded them. They drove with them a hundred and sixty head of cattle, and by the way, subsisted on the milk of their cows. Mrs. Hooker (wAo was ill) was borne through the wilderness upon a litter. The people generally carried their packs, arms, and some utensils. They w^re nearly a fortnight on their journey." This brings us in our narration of the wanderings of our worthy family to the beautiful city, near which we have met today to do them honor. The family was soon to separate. Indeed, my own ancestor, Richard Olmsted, who was a youth of 20 when he arrived in America with his Uncle James, was now a young man of 24. That he was married by 1640 is more than prob- able, for we find that by that date he had quit his uncle's house, and was in possession of a home lot of his own. The records show that at a town meeting on the 1 1th of January, 1640, a vote was passed, taking part of the lot of Richard Olmsted for a burial ground. " This is the groimd in the rear of the First Church buildings on Main Street," as Walker tells us, "where so many of Hartford's early dead still repose." It contains a monument to the early settlers of this city, and is worthy of a pilgrimage, if any of you have not yet seen it. James Olmsted's lot was on Front street, not far from where the gas works now stand. However, as I have said, the family was soon to part company. The wanderlust was upon them, and in 1651 Richard Olmsted, defying the dangers of wild beast and Indian, struck still deeper into the wilderness, and founded, with his family and with other friends, the town of Norwalk. There remains to me now only the pleasant duty of welcoming to this meeting you, my kinsmen and friends, who have deemed it worth while to check the busy looms of toil, and to ponder a little upon the courage, upon the devotion to principle, and upon the love of liberty that characterized our revered forefathers.^ 1- James Olmsted is said to have been one of twelve men dispatched by the Colony in the summer of 1634 to investigate lands along the Connecticut River. 2. The author is indebted for some of the matter in the foregoing sketch to the following works: John Richard Green, A Short History of the English People, London, 1889, Part III. John Fiske, The Beginnings of New England , Boston, 1898. Benjamin Trumbull, A Complete History of Connecticut, New Haven, 1818, Vol. I. George Leon Walker, History of the First Church in Hartford, Hartford, 1884. The Olmsted Christening Blanket FAMILY HEIRLOOMS THE OLMSTED CHRISTENING BLANKET By Miss Fannie M. Olmsted of Hartford, Conn. When James Olmsted in 1632, with a small company of kinsmen in a larger body of compatriots, turned, disheartened, from the civil and religious questions that vexed their country, to face at the age of fifty-two the unknown problems of her colonies in New England, he left a desolated home at Fairsted. In the God's Acre of that " fair place " slept his wife and four of their seven children. Mary, baptized AprU 18, 1621; the mother buried April 21st; the baby buried April 24th. The parish register tells this sorrowful chapter of the story; and if only for this one association it is easily understood why there was brought among the family possessions to the New World the christening blanket, or " bearing-cloth," such as was used at that time for infants upon ceremonial occasions. This interesting relic is still in existence, having been handed down from parent to child in the following direct line: — James* (d. 1640), Nicholas^ (d. 1684), Joseph' (d. 1726), Joseph* (d. 1762), Joseph' (d. 1775), Simeon" (d, 1803), Joseph' (d. 1861), Joseph, Jr., M.D.' (d. 1864). During later generations the merciless theology had softened, which prompted the baptism of children in church the Sunday after birth, and the last person for whom the " bearing-cloth " was used. Dr. Olmsted, was eight months old when carried on it to the First Congregational Church at Enfield, September 2, 1821, to be christened by the Rev. Francis Le Baron Robbins. The blanket is now in the possession of Dr. Olmsted's children. It is of yeUow satin damask, not unlike cloth-of-gold in effect, handsome in itself, but extremely trying to the infant complexion, which caused, perhaps, a fas- tidious parent to deny the present owners the honor of making their first church visitation in it. It measures 45 by 32 inches, there being two breadths of the narrowly woven fabric. A quilted lining once formed part of the garment, it is said, but long since some thrifty ancestress, more housewifely than antiquarian in taste, removed this moth-alluring feature, disclosing a seam " backstitched " with exquisite nicety along the red silk selvedge. Whose deft fingers fashioned it and what loom wove the rich textile we know not. Design and texture suggest the Orient, and it is most probable that a ship of the East India or the Turkey Company brought it from far-away Persia or Arabia or India or China, whence came so many luxuries to the English homes of that period. The parish registers of Lees Magna and Fairsted are rich in baptismal records of the family; a Christian lineage, we see, but here again the history of the bearing-cloth beyond the seas is conjectural. Fancy may have play in these matters, each dreamer for himself, the known facts are that by nine generations of the same name the relic has been treasured in a Connecticut home. XX Olmsted Family Genealogy The appraisers of James Olmsted's estate, John Steel and Edw. Stebbing, neighbors not only in the " New Towne " now called Hartford, but in that earlier " New Towne " which became Cambridge, note the item, " diuers smale things in a trunke," valued at £Z. Was it the trunk that " Grand- father Olmsted " kept for security imder the head of his bed, from which he used to take the christening blanket to show to favored visitors of an earlier generation than ours ? He was born May 14, 1776. His great-grandfather, the grandson of James, died but fourteen years before, and intervening genera- tions kept the story fresh. There was no chance in this direct and constantly overlapping succession for memory to distort the facts, however few details have been transmitted. Christening blankets similar to this are not unknown, but they are un- common. Governor Bradford's (1590) is still preserved, and occasionally one that has enwrapped babies destined for worthy, if less eminent careers, is found. The Olmsted blanket, however, is the only one known by the writer to have been so long in the possession of lineal descendants. By them it has been treasured in memory of an ancestor whose name is on the Founders' Monument in Hartford's Ancient Cemetery, and whose earlier home was on the present site of Harvard University. Thence, after passing a few years peculiarly honored and trusted by the little community, James Olmsted preceded his pastor and near neighbor, the Rev. Thomas Hooker, to the Connecticut Valley, where the christening blanket has been at home for over two hundred and seventy-five years. THE OLMSTED TANKARD Scarcely less interesting than the Olmsted Christening Blanket is the Olmsted Tankard, which is said to have been brought over also from England in the good ship " Lyon " in 1632, and which is held to be the " one woodden cuppe " mentioned in the inventory of the estate of James Olmsted. It is now in the possession of his descendant, Mr. Ralph Wm. Cutler, of Hartford, Conn. It is made of white cedar, with handle and cover of white pine and hoops of split willow. Such tankards were occasionally brought to America by the early colonists, but only a few of them are still in existence. For its age, its unusual beauty of outline, and the memories that attach to this old cedar " cuppe," from which the Olmsteds may have drunk to the success of their quest for liberty in a new land, before setting out from their English home, we prize the Olmsted Tankard. Old Olmsted Tankard GENEALOGICAL Descendants of James Olmsted of Hartford, Conn. FIRST GENERATION JAMES OLMSTED, the ancestor of the Hartford, Ct., branch of the Olm- sted family, was the son of James and Jane (Bristow) Olmsted of Great Leighs, Essex Co., England, where he was bap. Dec. 4, 1580. He married at Great Leighs, Oct. 26, 1605, Joyce Cornish, who died and was buried at Fairsted, Essex Co., April 21, 1621. 1, Faith; bap. Jan. 7, 1606, at Great Leighs, Essex Co., Eng.; she was buried at Fairsted, Mar. 3, 1627. 2, Frances; bap. at Fairsted, Feb. 14, 1609. 3, Mabel; bap. at Fairsted, Sept. 30, 1610; buried there Feb. 18, 1621. 4, Nicholas +. 5, James; bap. at Fairsted, Jan. 22, 1615; probably died young. 6, Nehemiah +■ 7, Mary; bap. at Fairsted, April 18, 1621; buried Apr. 24, 1621. " In a large volume bound in vellum, now in the Rolls Office, Chancery Lane, London, are records of a few of the early emigrants to New England. On the cover of the volume containing the earliest of such records yet dis- covered, is this inscription: — " A booke of Entrie for Passengers by y^ Comission, and Souldiers according to the Statuti" passing beyond the Seas, begun at Christmas, 1631,

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James Olmstead's Timeline

1580
December 4, 1580
Harwich, Essex, UK
December 4, 1580
Great Leighs or Leez Magna, County Essex, England
December 4, 1580
Great Leighs,Essex,England
December 4, 1580
Great Leighs, Essex, England
December 4, 1580
Great Leighs, Essex, England
December 4, 1580
Great Leighs, Essex, England
December 4, 1580
Great Leighs, Essex, England
December 4, 1580
Great Leighs, Essex, England
1601
1601
Age 20
Great Leighs, Essex, UK
1605
October 26, 1605
Age 24
Chelmsford, Essex, England