Capt. Robert Seeley (1602 - 1667) MP

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Nicknames: "Captain Robert Seeley"
Birthplace: Earith,Bluntisham,Huntingdonshire,England
Death: Died in New York City, NY
Managed by: Jocelynn Elaine Oakes
Last Updated:

About Capt. Robert Seeley

http://www.seeley-society.net/nathaniel/sgs1.html

Captain Robert Seeley; b. circa 1600 England; baptized 4 Jul 1602 St. Johns, Huntington, England; m. Mary Mason 15 Dec 1626 St. Stephens, Coleman St., London; m. Mary (wid. of Walker) Manning 22 Dec 1666 NY;1973 d. before 17 Nov 1668 NY; The estate was probated 19 Oct 1668 New York, NY.

He migrated in 1630 to Watertown, Middlesex, MA, on Lady Arabella (named for Lady Arabella Johnson, widowed on same crossing) Founded Watertown, MA, to Wethersfield, 1635; to New Haven, 1638; set out for Delaware Riv. in 1651, turned back by Dutch at N.Y.; to Southold, 1652; to Huntington, 1662. (WF 91). He was a freeman as of 18 May 1631 Watertown, Middlesex, MA. He moved to Wethersfield, Hartford, CT, in 1636. He moved to New Haven, New Haven, CT, in 1639. He moved to Huntington, Suffolk, NY, in 1662. Cordwainer.

Known children of Captain Robert Seeley and Mary Mason were:

  • 227. i. Nathaniel, b. 1629 London, Middlesex, England; m. Mary Turney; m. Elizabeth dtr. Jehu Burr.

There were no known children of Captain Robert Seeley and Mary (wid. of Walker) Manning.

First married to Mary Heath Mason

Seeley Genealogical Society, 1997

ROBERT SEELEY --THE FIRST GENERATION

1 ROBERT SEELEY (1) (christened 4 July 1602, SL John Parish, Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, England; d before 11 Oct 1667, New York City, NY; died intestate; estate administered 19 Oct 1668)

Son of William (christened 23 Feb 1563/4, Great Gransden; d 1614; bur 5 Jun 1614, Bluntisham) and Grace Prett (bur 15 Nov 1635, Bluntisham) Seeley. They were married 30 Sept 1584, Great Gransden. It seems likely that William Seeley was the son of Thomas (bur 6 Oct 1579, Great Gransden) and Elizabeth Mitchell/Michell (christened 11 Jul 1539; bur 24 Feb 1563/4, Great Gransden) Seeley. Thomas Seeley was the son of William (bur 8 Dec 1565, Great Gransden) and Elizabeth (bur 6 Sep 1560, Great Gransden) Seeley.

m 1st 15 Dec 1626, St. Stephen's Church, Coleman St., London, England, Mary Heath Mason, (b about 1590; d between 10 Mar 1646 and 1651, New Haven Colony, CT). Widow of Mr. Heath. Widow of Walter Mason (bur 1 Sept 1625). She had ten known children; Rebecca Heath, Ambrose Heath; John Heath; Phillip Heath; Mary Heath; Stillborn Heath; Judith Heath; Rebecca Mason, Elizabeth Mason, and Abigail Mason, all of whom died before or during 1626.

m 2nd, 22 Dec 1666, New York City, NY, Mary Manning Walker, a widow. Sister of Captain John Manning.

Robert's birth date and place are unknown. A search of the parish records of Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire included the following entry from St. John's Church: "chr 4 Jul 1602, Robert son of William Seley and Grace his wife." A search for a previously published christening date in Bluntisham cum Earith showed that the 22 Aug 1602 date correctly reads "Ralphe ye sonne of Wm. Stookley."

An apprenticeship record for a Robert Seely recorded in the Cordswainer Company records, now at Guildhall Library in London is as follows: "Robert Seley ye sonne of William Seley of Hunt in ye county of Hunt joyner bound to John Plomer citt[izen] & c [= and et cetera] to serve from ye day & c for 7 yeeres dat 10 Marcij 1623 ii [2] s[hillings]." A cordswainer was a shoemaker, originally it meant someone who worked with cordovan leather. Normally an apprentice was about 14 years old, but it appears that Robert was older and more experienced because he did not serve out the seven years. He likely came to London already skilled as a shoemaker but unable to ply his trade, he served a short apprenticeship. Sometime after 1 August 1626, there is a "Record of Robert Seley late the apprentice of &c being made free by redemption a white spone OO". In other words, he bought his freedom not with a monetary payment (O(~zero shillings, zero pence) but by a symbolic presentation of a silver spoon. He was then free to work in London. He was also free to apply to become a citizen of London.

Robert was 24 and probably a bachelor when he married. Mary was twice widowed and had been a mother since 1608. She was probably 36 years old. A 12 year difference in their ages seems rather large, but as a new freeman of the Company of Cordswainers, Robert was probably considered lucky to have a house and shop awaiting him. Robert and Mary were probably well acquainted as fellow Puritan worshipers in St. Stephen's parish.

Nine months and one day after their marriage, Mary and Robert's son Nathaniel (SGS #2) was baptized in St. Stephen's Parish on 16 Dec 1627.

Descendants of Robert Seeley (SGS #1)--Generations One through Five

Revised from April, 1977 edition

Robert Seeley, left London, Monday, 29 Mar 1630, and sailed, 8 Apr 1630 from the Isle of Wight, along with his wife and child as a part of the John Winthrop Fleet, on the ship Arbella/Arabella. They arrived in Salem MA, 12 Jun 1630.

Soon after arrival, Robert accompanied a group led by Sir Richard Saltonstall going four miles up the Charles river to found a new settlement of Watertown. Robert's landholding at Watertown was 16 acres, one of the largest "homestalls" allotted to any of the planters. The average allotment was five or six acres.

In Jul 1630, Robert was one of forty one who organized The First Church of Watertown. He was one of the first 25 freemen of Watertown. He applied in Oct 1630 and was admitted 18 May 1631.

Robert brought at least one servant from England. In 1631, Philip Swaden was ordered whipped for running away from his master, Robert Seeley. On 14 Jun 1631, Philip Swaden was released by Robert Seeley from the balance of his service for ten shillings.

In Nov 1634, Robert and Abrarn Browne were appointed to survey and lay out the lots and roads of Watertown. Robert was granted a home lot of sixteen acres which he later sold to Simon Eire, Sr. in 1644. He also had twenty two acres of "upland" which was later sold to one Barshane.

In 1635, he was ordered to "surcease to do any business for the town." About this time, Robert joined a small colony that settled Wethersfield, CT where his home lot was 3 Ω acres.

In 1636, he was appointed by the General Court of CT to take an inventory of the estate of Capt. John Oldhams, who was murdered by the Indians at Block Island, where he had gone to trade.

In May 1637, Robert was appointed a Lieutenant and was second in command under Captain John Mason in the expedition against the Pequot Indians on the Mystic and Pequot (Thames) Rivers. He was one of the first to enter the fort in the desperate "Fort Fight" on Friday, 26 May 1637. He was severely wounded. Captain Mason says in his report, "Lieutenant Seeley was a valiant soldier. I myself pulled the arrow out of his eyebrow." Robert wore the scar on his brow the rest of his life. Pequot Hill, where the fight took place, is about 8 miles northeast of New London, CT. In June 1637, he was paid 20 shillings per week and 150 bushels of corn by the inhabitants of Wethersfield.

Robert sold his house and lot in Wethersfield to Mathew Mitchell and in the fall of 1638, he joined the "Quinpiac" or New Haven Colony.

On 25 Mar 1639, it was recorded that "Lt. Seeley and Gordon Andrews shall walk to the woods and if they find any timber lying in the woods ,uncross cut and squared, they shall have liberty to seize upon it half for themselves and half for the town." In Jun 1639, the church members of New Haven Colony met to sign the Fundamental Agreement, which declared that only church members could choose public magistrates and officers. Robert Seeley was 26th among the original signers. His name is 14th in the original list of freemen in New Haven Colony. Robert was a member of the General Court at New Haven. He was appointed Marshall of the colony. He was reappointed to the office in 1640, 1641, and 1642.

On 7 May 1640, in settlement of the suit for land, the court decided that LL Seeley should have 150 bushels of corn and 20 shillings for delay of payment and on 7 Oct he was ordered to pay Cockwell 4 pounds, 11 shillings either in money, corn, or cattle. In 1641, Edward Haworth was ordered to pay LL Seeley 20 shillings for "taking his canoe without leave."

In 1642, New Haven records show that Robert was rated at 179 pounds. There were four in the family. In the same year, he was chosen LL of the New Haven Train Band. In 1643, he was sent as the head of a force to cooperate with Captain Underhill in aid of the Dutch against the Indians. Colonel George Fenwick mentioned Robert Seeley among the "distinguished men" from Hartford who were his guests at Saybrook Fort. In 1644, he was appointed to serve on a committee to see about a channel being dug to bring ships closer to the town. The General Court commissioned Robert, Lieutenant of Artillery in 1645.

Also in 1645, Robert was requested to advise the court as to prices and quality of the leather being used by inhabitants, "that some course may be taken of it to moderate the price of leather and shoes." This preceded his being appointed "sealer of leather." in May, 1646. Robert asked for permission to go to England in 1645/46. The court granted him a leave of absence but it appears that he did not go until later.

In Feb 1646, the Court asked Lt. Seeley to consider what privileges to allow seaman with reference to watches and training. In March, "Brother Seeley" and others were ordered to sit in the 4th seat of the middle seats, and "Sister Seeley" and others, in the 6th seat in the women's seats in the middle. In May, 1646, Robert sold his New Haven house to John Bassett.

In 1646, Lt. Seeley asked the Court to pay him 50 shillings for time he spent hunting a lost boat, but the Court refused. On 1 May 1647, the Court appointed him to inspect and dispose of unsold lots in the area, and also to reserve lots suitable for the construction of a college.

On 22 May 1648, Robert was commissioned Captain of Artillery. In June, as "sealer of leather," he complained to the Court that leather not fit to be sealed was being used and named persons doing so. In Oct, he was one of a committee to report damage to corn and meadows and to inspect the wharves.

In 1649, Robert was a rate maker. In May, he submitted his resignation as Lieutenant but the Court took up a subscription to pay him extra to retain the office. In Nov, the Governor petitioned the Court for help from the town to enable Robert Seeley to buy Robert Bassett's house. The petition indicates that Robert wanted to remain and follow his trade of shoemaking.

On 3 Aug 1651, Robert gave his son, Nathaniel, his house and land. No mention was made of Mary Mason Seeley at this time, and so it is believed that she died before this transaction. Nathaniel, in turn, sold it to Peter Mellory.

On 23 Mar 1652, Robert and three others were present on Southold, Long Island, when the Indian Chief Yokes gave possession of Shelter Island to Captain Nathan Silvester and Ensign John Booth.

In 1653 and 1654, Robert was appointed as Captain to the New Raven forces under Major Sedgwick and Captain Leverett, English officers, against the New Netherlands, and in Mar 1654, was put in charge of some troops and took part in the seizure of the trading place at "Dutch Point" in Hartford. In Jun 1654, he was appointed to act against the Dutch. In Jan 1654, he petitioned the Court to pay for his services in the Dutch campaign, but they refused, saying they did not "absolutely require his attendance." Then to "encourage him in any service this way," voted to give him 5 pounds. In Aug 1654, Robert was sent with 12 pounds of powder and 30 pounds of lead as a present to keep peace with the Long Island Indians.

Robert apparently returned to England in 1655 and stayed until 1661/2. On 22 Nov 1659, Nathaniel Seeley of Fairfield, CT, "son of Robert Seeley in England," sold land that was his father's. In Feb 1662, at a town meeting in Huntington, Long Island, it was ordered that a boat be sent to CT to bring Capt. Seeley to Huntington. On 28 Apr 1662, the New Haven General Court stated, "Captain Seeley being returned from England, a motion was made in his behalf for some encouragement for his settling amongst us." In Oct, the General Court awarded him 15 pounds and gave him the use of a house in Saybrook, where he took charge of the fort and ammunition.

In 1663, Robert had a controversy with the town of Stratford about his rights to land there. On 14 May, the Court ordered the town of Stratford to pay him 25 pounds and he gave up all rights and titles. In this same session, Capt. Seeley was chosen commissioner for the town of Huntington, Long Island. He was appointed chief military officer in Huntington to exercise and train soldiers.

Robert Seeley, John Ogden and others, settled the town of Elizabeth, NJ in 1665. Robert had a home lot of 6 acres. There was a suit brought before the courts in 1666 by the town of Huntington which questioned the title of the land at Easton's Neck. This was the third such suit and Robert Seeley was successful in defending his claim in each case.

After his marriage to Mary Manning Walker, Robert is believed to have lived on the Manning Estates on Manning's Island, off the coast of New York City. Robert Seeley died intestate in New York City, NY, on 11 Oct 1667. He is believed to have been buried on the Manning Estates. letters of administration were granted to his widow on 19 Oct 1668.

His widow, Mary Manning Walker Seeley, on 2 Nov 1668, sold his property at Elizabeth, NJ to Governor Philip Canteret for 44 pounds. On 15 July 1669, she sold his lands in Huntington, Long Island. It was in this document that she referred to John Manning as her brother.

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ROBERT SEELEY

ORIGIN: London MIGRATION: 1630 FIRST RESIDENCE: Watertown REMOVES: Wethersfield 1636, New Haven 1639, Saybrook, Stratford, Huntington 1662 RETURN TRIP: "Lieut. Robert Seely had liberty to go for England although a public officer," 26 October 1646 [NHCR 1:275], but apparently did not go, as he was in New Haven on 1 February 1646/7 [NHCR 1:292] OCCUPATION: Cordwainer. On 25 May 1646 and 31 January 1647/8 "Lieutenant Seely" was chosen leather sealer at New Haven [NHCR 1:242, 356]. In court in 1647, Lieut. Seely and others were asked to render an opinion on a case over bad shoes. Seely, speaking for them all stated that the leather is very bad, not tanned, nor fit to be sold for serviceable leather, but it wrongs the country, nor can a man make good work of a great deal of it. And we find the workmanship bad also, first there is not sufficient stuff put in the thread, and instead of hemp it is flax, and the stitches are too long, and the threads not drawn home, and there wants wax on the thread, the awl is too big for the thread. We ordinarily put in seven threads, and here is but five, so that according to our best light, we lay the cause both upon the workmanship and the badness of the leather [NHCR 1:351-52]. CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: On 25 October 1639 "Lieutenant Seely" was one of those "members of other approved churches" who had been received into the New Haven Church since 4 June 1639 (implying that he had been a member of the church at Watertown or Wethersfield, or both) [NHCR 1:20]. By 10 March 1646/7 he had been assigned a place in the fourth seat in the meetinghouse [NHCR 1:302]. FREEMAN: Requested 19 October 1630 and admitted 18 May 1631 [MBCR 1:80, 366]. New Haven freeman's list by 1639 [NHCR 1:9, 17]. EDUCATION: Served an apprenticeship as a cordwainer and purchased his freedom in the Cordwainers' Company, which presumes some education [NEHGR 116:160]. OFFICES: Watertown lot layer, 13 [worn]ember 1634 [WaTR 1:1]. Ordered to cease to do any business for the town, 14 [worn]ember 1636 [WaTR 1:2].

  New Haven committee to "walk the woods," 25 November 1639 [NHCR 1:25]. Viewer of meadow, 2 September 1640, 16 June 1645, 1 February 1646[/7], 31 January 1648[/9], 10 March 1648[/9] [NHCR 1:41, 164, 292, 428, 446]. Committee to consider the digging of a channel, 3 July 1644 [NHCR 1:143]. Leather sealer, 8 April 1645, 25 May 1646, 31 January 1647[/8], June 1648 [NHCR 1:161, 242, 356, 384]. Advisor on lots, 23 March 1647[/8] [NHCR 1:376]. Rater, 15 October 1649 [NHCR 1:495].
  Judge, Huntington, May 1663, May 1664 [CT Civil List 47]. Deputy, Huntington, May 1664 [CT Civil List 47].
  Lieutenant (second in command under Mason), Pequot War, May 1637 [CT Civil List 47]. Marshal, New Haven, October 1639 - November 1642 [CT Civil List 47]. Lieutenant, New Haven train band, August 1642 [CT Civil List 47]. Lieutenant, Artillery Company, March 1645 [CT Civil List 47]. Captain, New Haven Col. Tropp, June 1654 [CT Civil List 47]. Commander New Haven troops again Ninigret, October 1654 [CT Civil List 47]. Lieutenant/Captain, Huntington train band, May 1663 [CT Civil List 47].

ESTATE: At Watertown his holdings included "an homestall of sixteen acres ... granted to him"; "twenty two acres of upland ... granted to him" [WaBOP 83-84].

  In a list of the planters at New Haven about 1643 "Robt. Ceely" had four persons in his household, was valued at £179, had 18 3/4 acres and 32 acres in the first division, 3 3/4 and 8 acres in the neck, 10 3/4 and 32 acres of meadow, 43 acres in the second division, and paid 18s. 5d. in a yearly rate on land [NHCR 1:91]. On 16 June 1645 "Lt. Seely and Jer. Witnell" complained that their meadows were completely unserviceable and petitioned to have their rates altered; the court agreed to study the matter [NHCR 1:164].
  On 3 November 1646 the court recorded that "Lt. Robert Seely" had sold his house and houselot in town to John Basset, with two acres of upland from the first division [NHCR 1:276].
  On 22 December 1662 William Jones of New Haven "in the right of my wife Hannah Jones otherwise Eaton daughter of Theophilus Eaton" sold to "Captain Robert Ciely all that island commonly called Eaton's Neck on the eastward of Oyster Bay otherwise Huntington Bay together with a parcel of land upon Long Island joining thereunto to the eastward" [HuntTR 1:42-43].
  On 19 October 1668 letters of administration on the estate of Robert Seeley were granted to his widow Mary [FOOF 1:524].
  On 15 July 1669 "Mary Seely, widow, of the City of New York, and Captain John Manning, of the City of New York, aforesaid, executor in trust to the aforesaid widow," sold to Andrew Messenger of Jamaica, Long Island, yeoman, "all our right, title and interest in an accommodation or allotment situate and lying in Huntington upon Long Island ... formerly in the tenure or occupation of Captain Robart Seely deceased and since confirmed unto me Mary Seely widow, late wife of the said Captain Seely deceased, and to my trusty and well beloved brother Captain John Manning" [HuntTR 1:137-38].

BIRTH: Baptized St. Johns, Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, 4 July 1602, son of William and Grace (Prett) Seeley [Seeley Anc 6]. (Alan Phipps demonstrated that an earlier claim for the baptism of the immigrant, in another parish in the same county, was a misreading of an entry for a person of another surname [NEHGR 116:160, 164; Seeley Anc 1-2].) DEATH: By 17 October 1668 (when his widow applied for administration on his estate). (Fanjoy and Ward state that "Robert Seeley died intestate Oct[ober] 1667, and in Oct[ober] 1667, the General Court of Connecticutt abated the widow's vote [sic] for last yeare and this yeare'" [Seeley Anc 24]; this error derives from a misreading and misapplication of a record of 18 October 1677 in which the Court granted "the widow of Captain Seely about thirty-three shillings due from her for her country rate last year, and her rate this year," an entry pertaining to the widow of Nathaniel Seeley, who had been killed during King Philip's War [CCCR 2:327].) MARRIAGE: (1) St. Stephen, Coleman Street, London, 15 December 1626 Mary (_____) (Heath) Mason, widow of William Heath and Walter Mason [TAG 16:43; NEHGR 116:163; Seeley Anc 4-5]. "Sister Seely" was placed in the sixth seat in the New Haven meetinghouse, 10 March 1646[/7] [NHCR 303]. She died before 1651.

  (2) (New York license) 22 December 1666 Mary (Manning) Walker [NYMarr 345]. She died after 15 July 1669 [HuntTR 1:137-38].

CHILD:

   i   NATHANIEL, bp. St. Stephen, Coleman Street, 16 September 1627 [TAG 16:43]; m. (1) about October 1649 Mary Turney, daughter of Benjamin Turney [FOOF 1:525; Gillespie Anc 474]; m. (2) say 1674 Elizabeth (Burr) (Olmstead) Gilbert, daughter of JEHU BURR and widow of Nehemiah Olmstead and Obadiah Gilbert [Fairfield LR 1:615; FOOF 1:221, 452, 525-26]. 
 

COMMENTS: On 9 October 1648, Lieut. Seely suggested that the court set out a place "to shoot at a mark upon" [NHCR 404].

  On 14 May 1649 "Leiutenant Seely" made a motion to the court that they

would be pleased to accept of the service he had done in the town in the place of a lieutenant for the time past, and that they would be pleased to choose some other to supply the place for the time to come, for he finds it not comfortable for his family, nor pleasing to his own spirit to hold it as the case stands. He doth not desire to put the town upon charge in point of any salary, yet leaves it to themselves to do as they shall see cause, professing it is an affliction to him to withdraw from this society, but there is a way open for him, and he desires to attend providence in it, if he cannot see a way of comfortable subsistence here [NHCR 1:457].

  The court discussed this motion for a long time and agreed to bring it before the next general court that "he may not go out of the jurisdiction" [NHCR 1:457]. At the next court no settlement was reached, but a small sum was gathered in the town which "satisfied him for the present" [NHCR 1:461]. A similar partial resolution was offered at the next court, which he again accepted 25 June 1649 [NHCR 1:466].
  At court 12 November 1649 the governor suggested that

Lieutenant Seely might have some help from the town to buy Robert Bassett's house, for he is now resolved to stay here & to follow his trade of shoemakeing, and shall not remove unless the town be satisfied that God by his providence calls him away [NHCR 1:500].

  Many secondary sources claim that Obadiah Seeley of Stamford was a son of Robert Seeley, but this should be rejected. Robert Seeley married for the first time in 1626, and had son Nathaniel in 1627, so Obadiah, if he was a son of Robert, must have been born in 1629 or later. But the eldest son of Obadiah was born in the late 1640s, when Obadiah, under this hypothesis, could have been nor more than twenty, and perhaps even less. This chronological impediment is not fatal, but it makes the connection highly unlikely. Beyond this we see that Robert Seeley and Obadiah Seeley lived in different towns, that they do not appear in the records together in any action, and that the name Obadiah does not appear among the immediate descendants of Robert (through his son Nathaniel), nor does the name Robert appear among the immediate descendants of Obadiah. All these clues indicate that Obadiah was not son of Robert.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: In 1939 Helen Turney Sharps published a brief article including entries from the parish register of St. Stephen, Coleman Street, London, pertaining to Robert Seeley and his family [TAG 16:43-44]. (In 1946 this same journal published an even briefer note claiming that there was a second baptism in that parish for a Nathaniel Seeley, son of Robert [TAG 22:194]; Ralph M. Seeley accepted this in 1962 [NEHGR 116:163], but in 1992 Alan Phipps showed that this was an erroneous reading and belonged in another family [Seeley Anc 5].)

  In 1962 Ralph M. Seeley published records relating to Robert's apprenticeship, his residence in London and his first wife's prior marriages [NEHGR 116:159-65].
  In 1992 Harold N. Fanjoy and C.G. Ward published a volume on one branch of the descendants of Robert Seely, and included a chapter, prepared by Alan Phipps, on the English ancestry of the immigrant [The Seelys of New Brunswick [St John, N.B., 1992], cited above as Seeley Anc]. While the material in this English section is excellent, the rest of the volume should be used with caution.

-------------------- Robert Seeley History

From here: http://www.seeley-society.net/nathaniel/sgs1.html


 ROBERT  SEELEY  - -THE  FIRST  GENERATION
1 ROBERT SEELEY (1) (christened 4 July 1602, SL John Parish, Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, England; d before 11 Oct 1667, New York City, NY; died intestate; estate administered 19 Oct 1668)
Son of William (christened 23 Feb 1563/4, Great Gransden; d 1614; bur 5 Jun 1614, Bluntisham) and Grace Prett (bur 15 Nov 1635, Bluntisham) Seeley. They were married 30 Sept 1584, Great Gransden. It seems likely that William Seeley was the son of Thomas (bur 6 Oct 1579, Great Gransden) and Elizabeth Mitchell/Michell (christened 11 Jul 1539; bur 24 Feb 1563/4, Great Gransden) Seeley. Thomas Seeley was the son of William (bur 8 Dec 1565, Great Gransden) and Elizabeth (bur 6 Sep 1560, Great Gransden) Seeley.
m 1st 15 Dec 1626, St. Stephen's Church, Coleman St., London, England, Mary Heath Mason, (b about 1590; d between 10 Mar 1646 and 1651, New Haven Colony, CT). Widow of Mr. Heath. Widow of Walter Mason (bur 1 Sept 1625). She had ten known children; Rebecca Heath, Ambrose Heath; John Heath; Phillip Heath; Mary Heath; Stillborn Heath; Judith Heath; Rebecca Mason, Elizabeth Mason, and Abigail Mason, all of whom died before or during 1626.
m 2nd, 22 Dec 1666, New York City, NY, Mary Manning Walker, a widow. Sister of Captain John Manning.
Robert's birth date and place are unknown. A search of the parish records of Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire included the following entry from St. John's Church: "chr 4 Jul 1602, Robert son of William Seley and Grace his wife." A search for a previously published christening date in Bluntisham cum Earith showed that the 22 Aug 1602 date correctly reads "Ralphe ye sonne of Wm. Stookley."
An apprenticeship record for a Robert Seely recorded in the Cordswainer Company records, now at Guildhall Library in London is as follows: "Robert Seley ye sonne of William Seley of Hunt in ye county of Hunt joyner bound to John Plomer citt[izen] & c [= and et cetera] to serve from ye day & c for 7 yeeres dat 10 Marcij 1623 ii [2] s[hillings]." A cordswainer was a shoemaker, originally it meant someone who worked with cordovan leather. Normally an apprentice was about 14 years old, but it appears that Robert was older and more experienced because he did not serve out the seven years. He likely came to London already skilled as a shoemaker but unable to ply his trade, he served a short apprenticeship. Sometime after 1 August 1626, there is a "Record of Robert Seley late the apprentice of &c being made free by redemption a white spone OO". In other words, he bought his freedom not with a monetary payment (O(~zero shillings, zero pence) but by a symbolic presentation of a silver spoon. He was then free to work in London. He was also free to apply to become a citizen of London.
Robert was 24 and probably a bachelor when he married. Mary was twice widowed and had been a mother since 1608. She was probably 36 years old. A 12 year difference in their ages seems rather large, but as a new freeman of the Company of Cordswainers, Robert was probably considered lucky to have a house and shop awaiting him. Robert and Mary were probably well acquainted as fellow Puritan worshipers in St. Stephen's parish.
Nine months and one day after their marriage, Mary and Robert's son Nathaniel (SGS #2) was baptized in St. Stephen's Parish on 16 Dec 1627. 
Descendants of Robert Seeley (SGS #1)--Generations One through Five

Revised from April, 1977 edition

Note* This Nathaniel did not die in infancy and did not have a brother Nathaniel. The previously reported Nathaniel Seeley, baptized 1 May 1629, was a son of Robert and Mary Hoskins.
Note* No record has been found of an Obadiah being born to Robert and Mary in England. Current research indicates that Obadiah was not the son of Robert and Mary.
Robert Seeley, left London, Monday, 29 Mar 1630, and sailed, 8 Apr 1630 from the Isle of Wight, along with his wife and child as a part of the John Winthrop Fleet, on the ship Arbella/Arabella. They arrived in Salem MA, 12 Jun 1630.
Soon after arrival, Robert accompanied a group led by Sir Richard Saltonstall going four miles up the Charles river to found a new settlement of Watertown. Robert's landholding at Watertown was 16 acres, one of the largest "homestalls" allotted to any of the planters. The average allotment was five or six acres.
In Jul 1630, Robert was one of forty one who organized The First Church of Watertown. He was one of the first 25 freemen of Watertown. He applied in Oct 1630 and was admitted 18 May 1631.
Robert brought at least one servant from England. In 1631, Philip Swaden was ordered whipped for running away from his master, Robert Seeley. On 14 Jun 1631, Philip Swaden was released by Robert Seeley from the balance of his service for ten shillings.
In Nov 1634, Robert and Abrarn Browne were appointed to survey and lay out the lots and roads of Watertown. Robert was granted a home lot of sixteen acres which he later sold to Simon Eire, Sr. in 1644. He also had twenty two acres of "upland" which was later sold to one Barshane.
In 1635, he was ordered to "surcease to do any business for the town." About this time, Robert joined a small colony that settled Wethersfield, CT where his home lot was 3 ½ acres.
In 1636, he was appointed by the General Court of CT to take an inventory of the estate of Capt. John Oldhams, who was murdered by the Indians at Block Island, where he had gone to trade.
In May 1637, Robert was appointed a Lieutenant and was second in command under Captain John Mason in the expedition against the Pequot Indians on the Mystic and Pequot (Thames) Rivers. He was one of the first to enter the fort in the desperate "Fort Fight" on Friday, 26 May 1637. He was severely wounded. Captain Mason says in his report, "Lieutenant Seeley was a valiant soldier. I myself pulled the arrow out of his eyebrow." Robert wore the scar on his brow the rest of his life. Pequot Hill, where the fight took place, is about 8 miles northeast of New London, CT. In June 1637, he was paid 20 shillings per week and 150 bushels of corn by the inhabitants of Wethersfield.
Robert sold his house and lot in Wethersfield to Mathew Mitchell and in the fall of 1638, he joined the "Quinpiac" or New Haven Colony.
On 25 Mar 1639, it was recorded that "Lt. Seeley and Gordon Andrews shall walk to the woods and if they find any timber lying in the woods ,uncross cut and squared, they shall have liberty to seize upon it half for themselves and half for the town." In Jun 1639, the church members of New Haven Colony met to sign the Fundamental Agreement, which declared that only church members could choose public magistrates and officers. Robert Seeley was 26th among the original signers. His name is 14th in the original list of freemen in New Haven Colony. Robert was a member of the General Court at New Haven. He was appointed Marshall of the colony. He was reappointed to the office in 1640, 1641, and 1642.
On 7 May 1640, in settlement of the suit for land, the court decided that LL Seeley should have 150 bushels of corn and 20 shillings for delay of payment and on 7 Oct he was ordered to pay Cockwell 4 pounds, 11 shillings either in money, corn, or cattle. In 1641, Edward Haworth was ordered to pay LL Seeley 20 shillings for "taking his canoe without leave."
In 1642, New Haven records show that Robert was rated at 179 pounds. There were four in the family. In the same year, he was chosen LL of the New Haven Train Band. In 1643, he was sent as the head of a force to cooperate with Captain Underhill in aid of the Dutch against the Indians. Colonel George Fenwick mentioned Robert Seeley among the "distinguished men" from Hartford who were his guests at Saybrook Fort. In 1644, he was appointed to serve on a committee to see about a channel being dug to bring ships closer to the town. The General Court commissioned Robert, Lieutenant of Artillery in 1645.
Also in 1645, Robert was requested to advise the court as to prices and quality of the leather being used by inhabitants, "that some course may be taken of it to moderate the price of leather and shoes." This preceded his being appointed "sealer of leather." in May, 1646. Robert asked for permission to go to England in 1645/46. The court granted him a leave of absence but it appears that he did not go until later.
In Feb 1646, the Court asked Lt. Seeley to consider what privileges to allow seaman with reference to watches and training. In March, "Brother Seeley" and others were ordered to sit in the 4th seat of the middle seats, and "Sister Seeley" and others, in the 6th seat in the women's seats in the middle. In May, 1646, Robert sold his New Haven house to John Bassett.
In 1646, Lt. Seeley asked the Court to pay him 50 shillings for time he spent hunting a lost boat, but the Court refused. On 1 May 1647, the Court appointed him to inspect and dispose of unsold lots in the area, and also to reserve lots suitable for the construction of a college.
On 22 May 1648, Robert was commissioned Captain of Artillery. In June, as "sealer of leather," he complained to the Court that leather not fit to be sealed was being used and named persons doing so. In Oct, he was one of a committee to report damage to corn and meadows and to inspect the wharves.
In 1649, Robert was a rate maker. In May, he submitted his resignation as Lieutenant but the Court took up a subscription to pay him extra to retain the office. In Nov, the Governor petitioned the Court for help from the town to enable Robert Seeley to buy Robert Bassett's house. The petition indicates that Robert wanted to remain and follow his trade of shoemaking.
On 3 Aug 1651, Robert gave his son, Nathaniel, his house and land. No mention was made of Mary Mason Seeley at this time, and so it is believed that she died before this transaction. Nathaniel, in turn, sold it to Peter Mellory.
On 23 Mar 1652, Robert and three others were present on Southold, Long Island, when the Indian Chief Yokes gave possession of Shelter Island to Captain Nathan Silvester and Ensign John Booth. 
In 1653 and 1654, Robert was appointed as Captain to the New Raven forces under Major Sedgwick and Captain Leverett, English officers, against the New Netherlands, and in Mar 1654, was put in charge of some troops and took part in the seizure of the trading place at "Dutch Point" in Hartford. In Jun 1654, he was appointed to act against the Dutch. In Jan 1654, he petitioned the Court to pay for his services in the Dutch campaign, but they refused, saying they did not "absolutely require his attendance." Then to "encourage him in any service this way," voted to give him 5 pounds. In Aug 1654, Robert was sent with 12 pounds of powder and 30 pounds of lead as a present to keep peace with the Long Island Indians.
Robert apparently returned to England in 1655 and stayed until 1661/2. On 22 Nov 1659, Nathaniel Seeley of Fairfield, CT, "son of Robert Seeley in England," sold land that was his father's. In Feb 1662, at a town meeting in Huntington, Long Island, it was ordered that a boat be sent to CT to bring Capt. Seeley to Huntington. On 28 Apr 1662, the New Haven General Court stated, "Captain Seeley being returned from England, a motion was made in his behalf for some encouragement for his settling amongst us." In Oct, the General Court awarded him 15 pounds and gave him the use of a house in Saybrook, where he took charge of the fort and ammunition.
In 1663, Robert had a controversy with the town of Stratford about his rights to land there. On 14 May, the Court ordered the town of Stratford to pay him 25 pounds and he gave up all rights and titles. In this same session, Capt. Seeley was chosen commissioner for the town of Huntington, Long Island. He was appointed chief military officer in Huntington to exercise and train soldiers.
Robert Seeley, John Ogden and others, settled the town of Elizabeth, NJ in 1665. Robert had a home lot of 6 acres. There was a suit brought before the courts in 1666 by the town of Huntington which questioned the title of the land at Easton's Neck. This was the third such suit and Robert Seeley was successful in defending his claim in each case.
After his marriage to Mary Manning Walker, Robert is believed to have lived on the Manning Estates on Manning's Island, off the coast of New York City. Robert Seeley died intestate in New York City, NY, on 11 Oct 1667. He is believed to have been buried on the Manning Estates. letters of administration were granted to his widow on 19 Oct 1668.
His widow, Mary Manning Walker Seeley, on 2 Nov 1668, sold his property at Elizabeth, NJ to Governor Philip Canteret for 44 pounds. On 15 July 1669, she sold his lands in Huntington, Long Island. It was in this document that she referred to John Manning as her brother.
Child (2)
By 1st wife:
2* Nathaniel SEELEY (bapt. 16 Dec 1627, St. Stephen's Parish, London, England; d 19 Dec 1675, Great Swamp Fight, Narragansett Bay, RI) m 1st, 6 Oct 1649, New Haven, CT, Mary Turney (bapt. 16 Sep 1631, Soulbury, England; d before 1674). Daughter of Benjamin and Mary O'Dell Turney. m 2nd, about 1674, Fairfield, CT, Elizabeth Burr Olmstead Gilbert. Daughter of John/Jehu Burr. Widow of Nehemiah Olmstead by whom she had a daughter, Sarah Olmstead who m Robert Seeley SGS #6. She was also the widow of Obadiah Gilbert by whom she had a son, Obadiah Gilbert.
*Note The previously reported Nathaniel Seeley (SGS #3), bapt. 1 May 1629, St. Stephen's Parish, London, England was Nathaniel Hoskins, a son of Robert and Mary Hoskins.
*Note No record has been found of an Obadiah Seeley (SGS #4) being born to Robert and Mary Seeley in England. Current research indicates that Obadiah was not the son of Robert and Mary.
References:
Ault, Helene B. research
Houtz, Esther research
Huntington, Long Island records

New Haven, CT records
Phipps, Alan J. research
Winthrop's Fleet of 1630

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New York City Wills, 1665-1707 results for Robert Seeley Page 29.--CAPT. ROBERT SEELEY of this city died intestate. Letters of Administration granted to his wife Mary, October 19, 1668. _______________________

England & Wales Christening Records, 1530-1906 about Robt. Seley

Name: Robt. Seley

Gender: Male

Christening Date: 4 Jul 1602

Christening Place: Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, England

Father's Name: William Seley

Mother's Name: Grace

Source Citation: Place: Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, England; Collection: St John; -; Date Range: 1592 - 1644; Film Number: 1040636.

Source Information:

Ancestry.com. England & Wales Christening Records, 1530-1906 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.

Original data: Genealogical Society of Utah. British Isles Vital Records Index, 2nd Edition. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, copyright 2002. Used by permission.

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Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s about Robert Seeley

Name: Robert Seeley

Year: 1630

Place: Salem, Massachusetts

Source Publication Code: 1262

Primary Immigrant: Seeley, Robert

Annotation: Date and place of settlement or date and place of arrival. Names not restricted to the Order of Founders and Patriots of America.

Source Bibliography:

COLKET, MEREDITH B., JR. Founders of Early American Families: Emigrants from Europe, 1607-1657. Cleveland: General Court of the Order of Founders and Patriots of America, 1975. 366p.

Page: 260

Source Citation: Place: Salem, Massachusetts; Year: 1630; Page Number: 260.

Source Information:

Gale Research. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2010.

Original data: Filby, P. William, ed. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. Farmington Hills, MI, USA: Gale Research, 2010.

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U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 about Robert Seeley

Name: Robert Seeley

Gender: Male

Birth Place: En

Birth Year: 1602

Spouse Name: Mary Mason

Spouse Birth Place: En

Spouse Birth Year: 1590

Marriage Year: 1626

Marriage State: En

Number Pages: 1

Source Citation: Source number: 609.000; Source type: Electronic Database; Number of Pages: 1; Submitter Code: JWC.

Source Information:

Yates Publishing. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.

Original data: This unique collection of records was extracted from a variety of sources including family group sheets and electronic databases. Originally, the information was derived from an array of materials including pedigree charts, family history articles, querie.

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Family Data Collection - Marriages about Robert Seeley

Name: Robert Seeley

Spouse: Mary Mason

Marriage Date (Day, Month, Year):

15 Dec 1626

City: St Stephens

County: London

Source Information:

Edmund West, comp.. Family Data Collection - Marriages [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2001.

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U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 about Robert Seeley

Name: Robert Seeley

Gender: Male

Birth Place: En

Birth Year: 1602

Spouse Name:

Mary Manning

Marriage Year: 1666

Marriage State: NY

Number Pages: 1

Source Citation: Source number: 610.000; Source type: Electronic Database; Number of Pages: 1; Submitter Code: JWC.

Source Information:

Yates Publishing. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.

Original data: This unique collection of records was extracted from a variety of sources including family group sheets and electronic databases. Originally, the information was derived from an array of materials including pedigree charts, family history articles, querie. 

_________________________

Millennium File about Robert Seeley

Name: Robert Seeley

Spouse(s):

, Mary Mason , Mary Manning

Birth Date: 1601

Death Date: 11 Oct 1668

Death City: New York City

Death County: NY

Death State: New York

Death Country: USA

Parents: William Seeley, Grace

Children: Nathaniel Seeley

Source Information:

Heritage Consulting. Millennium File [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2003.

Original data: Heritage Consulting. The Millennium File. Salt Lake City, UT, USA: Heritage Consulting

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PHILIP SWADDON, SERVANT OF ROBERT SEELEY

PHILIP SWADDON

ORIGIN: Unknown MIGRATION: 1631 FIRST RESIDENCE: Watertown REMOVES: Piscataqua (Kittery) 1633, Dover 1640, St. George by about 1653 OFFICES: Piscataqua assessor, 25 June 1640 [ MPCR 1:54]. ESTATE: In a sale of land at Braveboat Harbor (in Kittery) on 5 May 1636 reference was made to "Phillip Swadden's now wigwam" [ YLR 1:1:11].

  On 20 April 1654 "William Reves aged 38" deposed that "about 16 or 17 years ago, hearing some dispute between John Treworthie and Phillip Swad[o]n concerning the place that John Treworthi's house then stood on which is at Piscadeway River, at the harbor's mouth near the house where Hugh Gollisen last built, I heard Phillip Swaden say, whose land then it was, to John Treworthie, I give you but leave to build your house and to have free egress and regress from the waterside to your house and to the sawpit and not else" [ Doc Hist ME 4:106-07]. On 24 April 1654 "Phillip Swadden" deposed "that John Treworgy had no more granted to him upon the neck of land, on which Mr. Hugh Gunnison now liveth in the great harbor of Pascattaquack on Kittery side, but to build a house in the said cove where Mr. Gunnison now liveth, and to have from the house to the well & also to the waterside free egress & regress, which lay directly from the house to the water" [Doc Hist ME 4:112].

BIRTH: About 1600 (deposed on 27 August 1673 "aged about seventy-three or thereabouts" [YLR 3:13]). DEATH: After 27 August 1673 [YLR 3:131]. MARRIAGE: None recorded. CHILDREN: None recorded. ASSOCIATIONS: As Philip Swaddon first appears in New England records in 1631 as a servant of ROBERT SEELEY, it may be that Swaddon came to New England with Seeley in 1630.

  Noyes, Libby and Davis report that "[o]ne Philip S[waddon], clothier, was of Hilmerton, co. Wilts, in 1619" [ GDMNH 668].

COMMENTS: On 14 June 1631 "it is ordered, that Phillip Swaddon shall be whipped for running away from his master, Rob[er]t Seeley, intending to go to Virginia" [ MBCR 1:88]. On 16 August 1631, the court ordered that "Phillip Swaddon shall be set free from his master Robert Seely, upon payment of 10s. to his master" [MBCR 1:91].

  In 1633 Ambrose Gibbons at Piscataqua paid to "Phillip Swadden for 9 bushels of corn" five pounds of beaver [ NHPP 1:72].
  On 27 August 1673 "Phillip Swadden aged seventy-three years or thereabouts" deposed that "about thirty-eight or thirty-nine years since [i.e., about 1634 or 1635], living then at Pischataqua, do positively know that Mr. Thomas Wannerton gave to Nicholas Frost a parcel of land up in Pischataqua River, now known by the name of Kittery" [YLR 3:13].
  On 9 July 1639 "Thomas Hett of Hingham, planter," gave a power of attorney to "Lieutenant Richard Morris, against Philip Swadden dwelling near the river of Pascattaquay in New England for 56s." [ Lechford 107].
  "Phillip Swaddon" was one of the "inhabitants of Pascataway who made their appearance" at Saco court on 25 June 1640 [MPCR 1:42]. At this court "Phillip Swaddon of Pascattaway" deposed regarding William Sevey tearing down Mr. John Beaple's fish stage [MPCR 1:52].
  On 20 October 1640 Phillip Swaddon was one of the signers of the Dover Combination [NHPP 10:701]. On 4 March 1640[/1] Phillip Swaddon signed the letter to the Governor of Massachusetts, protesting the actions of Capt. JOHN UNDERHILL in attempting to undermine this combination [NHPP 1:128].
  On 5 July 1643 THOMAS WIGGINS successfully sued Phillip Swaddon; at the same court Swaddon also acknowledged a judgement against him by Phillip Mannering and was fined for an unspecified offense [NHPP 40:9-10]. On 31 August 1643 "Phillip Swadden" was one of four men presented for "felling timber [and] clearing of clapboard & pipe staves" [NHPP 40:11].
  On 21 January 1650/1 "Phillip Swadden" was listed among the petty debtors in the estate of Robert Button [ NEHGR 8:59]. On 22 September 1652 "Mr. Philip Sweden" was a debtor to the estate of Bozoun Allen [NEHGR 8:61].
  In 1701 Sylvanus Davis reported that about "50 years agone" Philip Swaddon was the only settler "on the east side of Sisquamego," near St. George [NEHGR 21:356]. On 1 June 1653 Philip Swaddon witnessed a transfer of land in the Muscongus Bay area, and on 14 June 1659 he witnessed a transfer of land on Damariscotta River [YLR 12:323, 16:113].

The Great Migration Begins Sketches PRESERVED PURITAN

John Ayresadded this on 16 Jul 2008

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ROBERT SEELEY, CORDSWAINER

An apprenticeship record for a Robert Seely recorded in the Cordswainer Company records, now at Guildhall Library in London is as follows: "Robert Seley ye sonne of William Seley of Hunt in ye county of Hunt joyner bound to John Plomer citt[izen] & c [= and et cetera] to serve from ye day & c for 7 yeeres dat 10 Marcij 1623 ii [2] s[hillings]." A cordswainer was a shoemaker, originally it meant someone who worked with cordovan leather. Normally an apprentice was about 14 years old, but it appears that Robert was older and more experienced because he did not serve out the seven years. He likely came to London already skilled as a shoemaker but unable to ply his trade, he served a short apprenticeship. Sometime after 1 August 1626, there is a "Record of Robert Seley late the apprentice of &c being made free by redemption a white spone OO". In other words, he bought his freedom not with a monetary payment (O(~zero shillings, zero pence) but by a symbolic presentation of a silver spoon. He was then free to work in London. He was also free to apply to become a citizen of London.

taken from the Seeley Genealogical Society web page

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THE GREAT MIGRATION BEGINS

ROBERT SEELEY ORIGIN: London MIGRATION: 1630 FIRST RESIDENCE: Watertown REMOVES: Wethersfield 1636, New Haven 1639, Saybrook, Stratford, Huntington 1662 RETURN TRIP: "Lieut. Robert Seely had liberty to go for England although a public officer," 26 October 1646 [ NHCR 1:275], but apparently did not go, as he was in New Haven on 1 February 1646/7 [NHCR 1:292] OCCUPATION: Cordwainer. On 25 May 1646 and 31 January 1647/8 "Lieutenant Seely" was chosen leather sealer at New Haven [NHCR 1:242, 356]. In court in 1647, Lieut. Seely and others were asked to render an opinion on a case over bad shoes. Seely, speaking for them all stated that the leather is very bad, not tanned, nor fit to be sold for serviceable leather, but it wrongs the country, nor can a man make good work of a great deal of it. And we find the workmanship bad also, first there is not sufficient stuff put in the thread, and instead of hemp it is flax, and the stitches are too long, and the threads not drawn home, and there wants wax on the thread, the awl is too big for the thread. We ordinarily put in seven threads, and here is but five, so that according to our best light, we lay the cause both upon the workmanship and the badness of the leather [NHCR 1:351-52]. CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: On 25 October 1639 "Lieutenant Seely" was one of those "members of other approved churches" who had been received into the New Haven Church since 4 June 1639 (implying that he had been a member of the church at Watertown or Wethersfield, or both) [NHCR 1:20]. By 10 March 1646/7 he had been assigned a place in the fourth seat in the meetinghouse [NHCR 1:302]. FREEMAN: Requested 19 October 1630 and admitted 18 May 1631 [ MBCR 1:80, 366]. New Haven freeman's list by 1639 [NHCR 1:9, 17]. EDUCATION: Served an apprenticeship as a cordwainer and purchased his freedom in the Cordwainers' Company, which presumes some education [ NEHGR 116:160]. OFFICES: Watertown lot layer, 13 [worn]ember 1634 [ WaTR 1:1]. Ordered to cease to do any business for the town, 14 [worn]ember 1636 [WaTR 1:2].

  New Haven committee to "walk the woods," 25 November 1639 [NHCR 1:25]. Viewer of meadow, 2 September 1640, 16 June 1645, 1 February 1646[/7], 31 January 1648[/9], 10 March 1648[/9] [NHCR 1:41, 164, 292, 428, 446]. Committee to consider the digging of a channel, 3 July 1644 [NHCR 1:143]. Leather sealer, 8 April 1645, 25 May 1646, 31 January 1647[/8], June 1648 [NHCR 1:161, 242, 356, 384]. Advisor on lots, 23 March 1647[/8] [NHCR 1:376]. Rater, 15 October 1649 [NHCR 1:495].
  Judge, Huntington, May 1663, May 1664 [ CT Civil List 47]. Deputy, Huntington, May 1664 [CT Civil List 47].
  Lieutenant (second in command under Mason), Pequot War, May 1637 [CT Civil List 47]. Marshal, New Haven, October 1639 - November 1642 [CT Civil List 47]. Lieutenant, New Haven train band, August 1642 [CT Civil List 47]. Lieutenant, Artillery Company, March 1645 [CT Civil List 47]. Captain, New Haven Col. Tropp, June 1654 [CT Civil List 47]. Commander New Haven troops again Ninigret, October 1654 [CT Civil List 47]. Lieutenant/Captain, Huntington train band, May 1663 [CT Civil List 47].

ESTATE: At Watertown his holdings included "an homestall of sixteen acres ... granted to him"; "twenty two acres of upland ... granted to him" [ WaBOP 83-84].

  In a list of the planters at New Haven about 1643 "Robt. Ceely" had four persons in his household, was valued at £179, had 18 3/4 acres and 32 acres in the first division, 3 3/4 and 8 acres in the neck, 10 3/4 and 32 acres of meadow, 43 acres in the second division, and paid 18s. 5d. in a yearly rate on land [NHCR 1:91]. On 16 June 1645 "Lt. Seely and Jer. Witnell" complained that their meadows were completely unserviceable and petitioned to have their rates altered; the court agreed to study the matter [NHCR 1:164].
  On 3 November 1646 the court recorded that "Lt. Robert Seely" had sold his house and houselot in town to John Basset, with two acres of upland from the first division [NHCR 1:276].
  On 22 December 1662 William Jones of New Haven "in the right of my wife Hannah Jones otherwise Eaton daughter of Theophilus Eaton" sold to "Captain Robert Ciely all that island commonly called Eaton's Neck on the eastward of Oyster Bay otherwise Huntington Bay together with a parcel of land upon Long Island joining thereunto to the eastward" [HuntTR 1:42-43].
  On 19 October 1668 letters of administration on the estate of Robert Seeley were granted to his widow Mary [ FOOF 1:524].
  On 15 July 1669 "Mary Seely, widow, of the City of New York, and Captain John Manning, of the City of New York, aforesaid, executor in trust to the aforesaid widow," sold to Andrew Messenger of Jamaica, Long Island, yeoman, "all our right, title and interest in an accommodation or allotment situate and lying in Huntington upon Long Island ... formerly in the tenure or occupation of Captain Robart Seely deceased and since confirmed unto me Mary Seely widow, late wife of the said Captain Seely deceased, and to my trusty and well beloved brother Captain John Manning" [HuntTR 1:137-38].

BIRTH: Baptized St. Johns, Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, 4 July 1602, son of William and Grace (Prett) Seeley [Seeley Anc 6]. (Alan Phipps demonstrated that an earlier claim for the baptism of the immigrant, in another parish in the same county, was a misreading of an entry for a person of another surname [NEHGR 116:160, 164; Seeley Anc 1-2].) DEATH: By 17 October 1668 (when his widow applied for administration on his estate). (Fanjoy and Ward state that "Robert Seeley died intestate Oct[ober] 1667, and in Oct[ober] 1667, the General Court of Connecticutt abated the widow's vote [sic] for last yeare and this yeare'" [Seeley Anc 24]; this error derives from a misreading and misapplication of a record of 18 October 1677 in which the Court granted "the widow of Captain Seely about thirty-three shillings due from her for her country rate last year, and her rate this year," an entry pertaining to the widow of Nathaniel Seeley, who had been killed during King Philip's War [ CCCR 2:327].) MARRIAGE: (1) St. Stephen, Coleman Street, London, 15 December 1626 Mary (_____) (Heath) Mason, widow of William Heath and Walter Mason [ TAG 16:43; NEHGR 116:163; Seeley Anc 4-5]. "Sister Seely" was placed in the sixth seat in the New Haven meetinghouse, 10 March 1646[/7] [NHCR 303]. She died before 1651.

  (2) (New York license) 22 December 1666 Mary (Manning) Walker [ NYMarr 345]. She died after 15 July 1669 [HuntTR 1:137-38].

CHILD:

   i    NATHANIEL, bp. St. Stephen, Coleman Street, 16 September 1627 [TAG 16:43]; m. (1) about October 1649 Mary Turney, daughter of Benjamin Turney [FOOF 1:525; Gillespie Anc 474]; m. (2) say 1674 Elizabeth (Burr) (Olmstead) Gilbert, daughter of JEHU BURR and widow of Nehemiah Olmstead and Obadiah Gilbert [ Fairfield LR 1:615; FOOF 1:221, 452, 525-26].

COMMENTS: On 9 October 1648, Lieut. Seely suggested that the court set out a place "to shoot at a mark upon" [NHCR 404].

  On 14 May 1649 "Leiutenant Seely" made a motion to the court that they

would be pleased to accept of the service he had done in the town in the place of a lieutenant for the time past, and that they would be pleased to choose some other to supply the place for the time to come, for he finds it not comfortable for his family, nor pleasing to his own spirit to hold it as the case stands. He doth not desire to put the town upon charge in point of any salary, yet leaves it to themselves to do as they shall see cause, professing it is an affliction to him to withdraw from this society, but there is a way open for him, and he desires to attend providence in it, if he cannot see a way of comfortable subsistence here [NHCR 1:457].

  The court discussed this motion for a long time and agreed to bring it before the next general court that "he may not go out of the jurisdiction" [NHCR 1:457]. At the next court no settlement was reached, but a small sum was gathered in the town which "satisfied him for the present" [NHCR 1:461]. A similar partial resolution was offered at the next court, which he again accepted 25 June 1649 [NHCR 1:466].
  At court 12 November 1649 the governor suggested that

Lieutenant Seely might have some help from the town to buy Robert Bassett's house, for he is now resolved to stay here & to follow his trade of shoemakeing, and shall not remove unless the town be satisfied that God by his providence calls him away [NHCR 1:500].

  Many secondary sources claim that Obadiah Seeley of Stamford was a son of Robert Seeley, but this should be rejected. Robert Seeley married for the first time in 1626, and had son Nathaniel in 1627, so Obadiah, if he was a son of Robert, must have been born in 1629 or later. But the eldest son of Obadiah was born in the late 1640s, when Obadiah, under this hypothesis, could have been nor more than twenty, and perhaps even less. This chronological impediment is not fatal, but it makes the connection highly unlikely. Beyond this we see that Robert Seeley and Obadiah Seeley lived in different towns, that they do not appear in the records together in any action, and that the name Obadiah does not appear among the immediate descendants of Robert (through his son Nathaniel), nor does the name Robert appear among the immediate descendants of Obadiah. All these clues indicate that Obadiah was not son of Robert.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: In 1939 Helen Turney Sharps published a brief article including entries from the parish register of St. Stephen, Coleman Street, London, pertaining to Robert Seeley and his family [TAG 16:43-44]. (In 1946 this same journal published an even briefer note claiming that there was a second baptism in that parish for a Nathaniel Seeley, son of Robert [TAG 22:194]; Ralph M. Seeley accepted this in 1962 [NEHGR 116:163], but in 1992 Alan Phipps showed that this was an erroneous reading and belonged in another family [Seeley Anc 5].)

  In 1962 Ralph M. Seeley published records relating to Robert's apprenticeship, his residence in London and his first wife's prior marriages [NEHGR 116:159-65].
  In 1992 Harold N. Fanjoy and C.G. Ward published a volume on one branch of the descendants of Robert Seely, and included a chapter, prepared by Alan Phipps, on the English ancestry of the immigrant [The Seelys of New Brunswick [St John, N.B., 1992], cited above as Seeley Anc]. While the material in this English section is excellent, the rest of the volume should be used with caution.

The Great Migration Begins Sketches PRESERVED PURITAN

John Ayresadded this on 16 Jul 2008

view all 17

Capt. Robert Seeley's Timeline

1602
July 4, 1602
Bluntisham cum Earith, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdon, England
August 22, 1602
Earith,Bluntisham,Huntingdonshire,England
August 22, 1602
Bluntisham, Cum Earith, Huntington, England
August 22, 1602
Bluntisham cum Earith, Hun, Eng
August 22, 1602
Bluntisham, Cum Earith, Huntington, England
1626
December 15, 1626
Age 24
London, England
1627
September 16, 1627
Age 25
London, England
1630
October 1, 1630
Age 28
<Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut>
1630
Age 27
1667
October 19, 1667
Age 65
New York City, NY