Joseph Hawley, Sr. (c.1602 - 1690) MP

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Birthplace: Parwich, Derbyshire, England
Death: Died in Stratford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA
Occupation: Yeoman, Town recorder
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About Joseph Hawley, Sr.

The Hawley Society has conducted extensive research here as well as England and has no located no substantial evidence as to Joseph’s parentage. DNA evidence does not yet connect the Hawleys in North America with those living in Great Britain.

Source: The Hawley Society

May be the sibling of Hannah, Elizabeth, Robert, and Thomas. He is assumed to have come to America circa 1629-1630, possibly accompanied by Thomas Hauley and Robert Haule, who may have been brothers. He may have first lived in Massachusetts, where Thomas Hauley settled permanently.

Joseph was in Stratford, CT in 1649. The first record mentioning Joseph Hawley places him in Stratford, Connecticut, in 1650. He had probably not been there more than a year or two (the birth of his son Samuel in 1647 or 1648 is not found in Stratford records). He married Katharine Birdseye circa 1642. Hannah Hawley lived in Milford, CT with her second husband, Capt John Beard. I believe that it is Capt John Beard who is mentioned in the will below ("Capt John Geard"). Elizabeth Hawley married Richard Booth circa 1640, soon after he arrived in Stratford, CT. Thomas Hawley came first to Roxbury, MA. His daugther, Dorothy, married John Booth, son of Richard and Elizabeth, and settled in Stratford, indicating a family link. Robert and Thomas remained in Massachusetts, as mentioned above. The names of the Hawley parents in England are not known.

Joseph Hawley was a founder of Stratford, CT

Joseph Hawley's Last Will and Testament

I Joseph Hawley of Stratford, Yeoman, sometime Justice of the Peace, or commissioner in Stratford, in the Colony of Connecticut and County of Fairfield, retaining the understanding and reason the Lord hath given me, do leave this my last will. My spirit I commit into the hands of Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, my body to a comely buriel, and after my debts and funeral expenses are discharged, I do, as hereinafter followeth, dispose of what worldy estate I shall be possessed of at my death, viz:

I do hereby confirm to my children all the lands given them as they are recorded to them, further I give to my son Samuell Hawley, all my lands and buildings in Parwidge in Darbyshire in Old England, to him, his heirs and assigns, after the death of my now wife Katharine Hawley. Moreover I give to him my meadow called the common meadow on the Great Neck, and my meadow at Galep's Gapp, between Porter's children and me.

I give to my son Ephraim Hawley, one acre and a quarter of meadow in ye Great Neck on the east side of the creek, the south side of which is a part of that meadow purchased of Mr. Zacher Walker. All the right of that peace of meadow on the Great Neck, both of the west side of the creek and east, which I purchased of Mr. Walker, I give to my son, John Hawley.

I give to my grandchildren, John Chapman and Joseph Chapman at Seabrook, fifteen pounds to each of them when they come to the age of one and twenty years, in such goods and chattels as my executors are able best to pay them.

I give to Joseph Hawley, my son Samuel's son, besides what is upon record given him, my lot at the field gate called the Stubing lot, the whole of it.

I give to my sons, Ephraim and John Hawley, the two little lots on Claboard Hill and what was laid out to me at the Gallos Creek, also a little lot by Joseph Curtus' lot, purchases of Mr. Ripon, that was laid out to John Wheeler, being above one acre.

I give to my daughter Hannah Nichols, twenty shillings, and to my daughter Mary Coe, twenty shillings. Moreover, I give all my grandchildren five shillings apiece.

Moreover, I appoint my three sons, Samuel Hawley, Ephraim Hawley, and John Hawley, my executors, and do given unto them all my lands in Stratford, Darby and Woodbury equally amongst them, their heirs or assigns forever, also I give unto them all and whatsoever is my estate in debts or otherwise not given, they paying all legacies and debts, and taking care of their mother, my now wife, that she hath whatsoever she needeth during her widowhood; also, I will that my wife Katherine Hawley, shall have the disposing of what household stuff she pleases, and what cows she desires to keep and what corn she shall desire from my said executors or any other needful thing whatsoever wherey her life may be comfortable; and all this I command whilest she remains unmarried. It is to be understood that what of the above said estate my wife disposes of, it is to be to her children or grandchildren, and if she die and leave households undisposed of, then they are to be divided amongst all my children equally that are living, and such children of mine that are called away by death those children shall have their parts.

I give to Mr. Israel Chancie five pounds, and in case their fail to be an difference amongst my above-named executors, my will is that Mr. Israel Chancie and Capt John Geard shall have the power to put a final issue to any difference.

That this is my will I declare by setting my hand and seal this 17 of September, 1689. Joseph Hawley. {Wax Seal}

Memorandum, John Hawley shall have Uriah Mills the remainder of his time and fulfil his indentures.

Signed and Sealed in the presence of Joseph Curtis, Recorder.

Notes: There are several things worth noting about Joseph's will. One of course is that he named the property in England from which it has been assumed that he orginated. Another is that this property being located in England, would be subject to the English rule of primogeniture, which assured that real property would be inherited by the eldest son. This rule was not part of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, which permitted the inheritance of real property to be governed by a will. So, Joseph left his eldest son, Samuel, the English property in compliance with English law, made specific bequests of other real property located in Connecticut, and then split the balance among all three named sons, equally.

Sources: Hawley, Elias Sill; The Hawley Record. Pres sof E. H. Hutchinson & Co, Buffalo, NY, 1980. The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged Edition, New York, 1966. History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield, Donald s Jacobus, M.A., Fairfield, Donald s Jacobus, M.A. 1930


As of the date of his will, September 17, 1689, he owned "lands and buildings in Parwidge in Darbyshere, Old England" which he left to his son, Samuel Hawley. It appears possible, therefore, that he originally came from Parwich -- though far from certain. He is assumed to have been born around 1603 (deduced from other data on his life). His handwriting as Town Clerk has been termed peculiar and of a sort used at that time on state documents in London; thus it is possible he was educated or trained there, and may have had a government position. He is assumed to have come to America circa 1629-1630, possibly accompanied by Thomas Hauley and Robert Haule, who may have been brothers. He may have first lived in Massachusetts, where Thomas Hauley settled permanently.

The first record mentioning Joseph Hawley places him in Stratford, Connecticut, in 1650. He had probably not been there more than a year or two (the birth of his son Samuel in 1647 or 1648 is not found in Stratford records).

Joseph Hawley held several offices in the local government over the years, and acquired large land holdings in Connecticut. He died May 20, 1690.

According to Elias S. Hawley, The Hawley Record (Buffalo: E.H.. Hutchinson, 1890), Joseph was probably one of five siblings who emigrated from England to America. There were apparently two sisters, Hannah and Elizabeth, in addition to the two brothers mentioned above (Thomas, who settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts and Robert who settled in Rhode Island). We know neither the name of Joseph's father, nor whether the father came to America. --------------------

Joseph Hawley (1603–1690), born in Parwich, Derbyshire, England, was the first of the Hawley name to come to America in 1629.[1][2] He settled at Stratford, Connecticut in 1650, becoming the town's first town clerk or record keeper, tavern (ordinary) keeper and a shipbuilder.

The Hawley Record of 1890 states that Joseph arrived in Boston, Massachusetts around 1629 or 1630 along with Thomas and Robert, who spelled their last name Haule. Thomas and Robert may have been brothers to Joseph or his sons from a first marriage. The Curtiss Genealogy of 1903 states that Hawley sailed to America in the ship Planter in 1635 along with Stratford proprietors Adam Blakeman, William Wilcoxson and William Beardsley. Hawley married his second wife, Katherine Birdseye, in 1646 and moved to Stratford, CT with his young children Samuel and Joseph. The Hawleys raised eight children in Stratford; Samuel, Joseph Jr., Elizabeth, Ebenezer, Hannah, Ephraim, John and Mary.[4]


Came to America in 1629 or 1630, and owned a great deal of land in Connecticut - was the largest taxpayer in the county. Was the town clerk and recorder from 1650-1666. he was elected to the State Legislature 30 times in the last 33 years of his life. This info came from the Hawley Record by Elias S. Hawley - Buffalo NY - 1890


Joseph Hawley, b. 1603, probably at Parwich, Derbyshire England; at Stratford, Fairfield County CT in 1649 and perhaps before. He married Katherine Birdseye, daughter of John Birdseye, ca. 1646. His son Samuel married 1) Mary Thompson and 2) Patience Nichols; they remained at Stratford. Benjamin Hawley, son of the second marriage, married Experience Dibble. Benjamin farmed at "Landsend", Hawleyville, and all the Hawleys of Newtown are supposed to be descended from him, so I would assume Hawleyville was named after him and his family.

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Capt. Joseph Hawley's Timeline

Parwich, Derbyshire, England
Parwich, Derbyshire, England
Age 27
Boston, Massachusetts
Age 27
Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
May 14, 1647
Age 45
Stratford, Fairfield, CT, USA
January 9, 1649
Age 47
Stratford, Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
Age 48
Stratford, Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
September 17, 1654
Age 52
Stratford, Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
May 26, 1657
Age 55
Stratford, Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
August 7, 1659
Age 57
Stratford, Fairfield, Connecticut, United States