William Hyde of Norwich

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William Hyde

Birthplace: Essex, England
Death: Died in Norwich, New London County, Connecticut Colony
Cause of death: Death date is date will was proved.
Immediate Family:

Son of Unknown father of William Hyde of Norwich; William Hyde; Unknown mother of William Hyde of Norwich and Ellen Hyde
Husband of Hester Hyde; Ann Hyde and Joanna Hyde
Father of Hester Post and Samuel Hyde of Connecticut

Occupation: Founder and original proprietor of Hartford, 1636. Selectman 1637., a 1st settler of Hartford 1636, then at Saybrook and Norwich, Townsman, Selectman, settler of Norwich
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Hyde of Norwich

William Hyde or Hide was born in England. His first documented appearance was in 1636, as one of the founders and original proprietors of Hartford, CT.

"William Hyde (aka “Hide”) was among the most revered of the original Norwich proprietors. He was no doubt born in England, probably circa 1595 – 1600. In 1679, he was termed “Old Goodman Hyde” in Norwich records, indicating that he was probably one of the eldest inhabitants of the town. William’s parentage and ancestral home in England have not been discovered, although much speculation exists – both in print and across the internet. To date, however, there has been no documentary evidence presented to show where William Hyde was born nor who his parents may have been."

It is likely that William came from Essex, England, approximately 40 miles northeast of London. Beginning in 1631, several groups of Puritans, calling themselves the Braintree Company, left the Braintree and Chelmsford areas of Essex to settle in Mount Wollaston, now known as Quincy, MA. (It should also be noted that more than a few are listed as coming from Devon, England, and that several sold their properties and moved to London in preparation for the trip to America.) They were relocated sometime around 1633 to Newtowne, MA by order of the General Court, ostensibly because of a gap in the defenses of the new colony. On Sept 4, 1633, their pastor, Rev. Thomas Hooker and his assistant, Rev. Samuel Stone arrived in Boston on the ship Griffin. Hooker had been a pastor and teacher at Chelmsford between 1626-29 before fleeing to Rotterdam in 1631. Almost from the time he arrived at Newtowne, Hooker was at odds with the local governing body.

William Hyde married as his second wife on June 4, 1667, Mrs. Joanna (----) Abell, widow of Robert Abell of Rehoboth, Connecticut. The Rehoboth marriage record lists William as “William Hide of New Norwich”.

He is said to have married Hester Trott in England, but there is no evidence to date of his wife’s first or maiden names. He and his yet unnamed wife had the following children:

  1. Esther or Hester Hyde, probably born in England, married to John Post.
  2. Samuel Hyde b. 1637 at Hartford, CT; married June 1659 Jane Lee. They had Elizabeth b. Aug 1660; Phebe b. Jan 1662; Samuel b. May 1665; John b. Dec 1667; William b. Jan 1669; Thomas b. July 1672 and Sara b. 1675, both died young; and Jabez b 1677.

Above from Hyde Genealogy Association


  1. Hyde Genealogy Association
  2. Find A Grave William Hyde
  3. Find A Grave Founders of Norwich
  4. Hyde Genealogy
  5. Hyde Family Genealogy online family tree. Take with a grain of salt since parents are unproven and unlikely.
  6. Families of Norwich, Connecticut

Below needs to be sorted out.

Historical Notes:

  • Immigrated to the New World in 1633 in the company of Rev. Thomas Hooker.and his daughter Hester.
  • On arrival, he and the Reverend founded Hartford and the Church of Hartford
  • He and his son were two of the original 35 proprietors of Norfolk, Connecticut

Biographical Summary:

William Hyde (1600-1681) - was born in 1600 in Stockport, England and died on 6 Jan 1681 in Norwich, CT . He was the son of William Hyde and Eleanor Molineux. William married Mrs.____.

Then William married Joanna. She died after 1682 .

William - came to America from Chestershire (Cheshire), England.

"Founder and original proprietor of Hartford, 1636. Selectman 1637." (This is stated on a monument in an old graveyard of First Church of Hartford, Conn.) No children from his second marriage to Joanne, the widow of Robert Abell. Children with Mrs. _____

  1. Hester Hyde was born about 1625 in England and died on 13 Nov 1703 in Norwich, CT . Hester married John Post on 31 Mar 1652/1653 in Saybrook, CT. John was born on 16 Sep 1629 in Otham, Kent, England. He was the son of Lt. Stephen Post and Eleanore Panton. He died on 27 Nov 1711 in Norwich, CT .
  2. Samuel Hyde was born about 1637 in Hartforf, CT and died Jul 1677 in Norwich, CT .

William Hyde, Proprietor of both Hartford and Norwich, Connecticut.

First Generation of this Hyde family in America is William Hyde.

William Hyde came to this county from England about 1633, with the Rev. Thomas Hooker, first minister of Hartford. 

He first settled at Newton, Mass., but soon 'moved to Hartford, where he is found before 1640, a resident and proprietor. His name appears on a monument lately erected to the " Founders of Hartford."

He removed to Saybrook about 1648, and finally went to Norwich 1660, where his name and that of his son Samuel appear among the "35 original proprietors," and they appear together and active in affairs concerning the welfare of the town.

They formed but one family at first, and their allotments of land were contiguous. The name of his wife does not appear, but he had two children.

He outlived his son by many years, and d. Jan. 6, 1681 or 2. His age is not known, but he was styled "Old Goodman Hyde," in 1697, a title of affection quite common in those days.

William Hyde was contemporary with, and there has always been a live tradition in the family that he was nearly allied to, Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, whose dau. Anne Hyde m. James 2d of England, and became the mother of Mary of Orange and Anne of Denmark, both queens of England.

Children of William Hyde and ( Hester?):

1. HESTER, born in England, married at Saybrook John Post, son of Stephen Post, March, 1652. They had two sons and seven daughters. John Post was also one of the "35", and his home was across the street from his wife's father's. He was an active, influential man in the town. Hester Post died Nov.13, 1703. John Post, died Nov. 27, 1710, aged 84. Many distinguished people are among their descendants.

2. SAMUEL, born 1636, probably at Hartford, married Jane Lee, June, 1659, of Saybrook. "In Aug., 1660, was born to Samuel and Jane Hyde, a daughter Elizabeth, the first white child born at Norwich." (Christopher Huntington was the first male child.) "The home where this first child of Norwich opened her eyes to the world, stood on a declivity sloping to the town street, with higher land in the background, bristling with massive rocks and heavily shadowed with chestnut and oak."

This homestead remained in the Hyde family for five generations, the last occupant of the name being Elisha Hyde, Esq., mayor of the city.

Samuel Hyde died in 1677. His widow afterward married John Burchard. She lived to be 90.


  • Extracted fromHistory of Norwich, Connecticut: from its possession by the Indians, to the year 1866 (Google eBook). Frances Manwaring Caulkins, 1866 - History - 704 pages
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William Hyde of Norwich's Timeline

Essex, England
Age 31
Norwich, New London, Connecticut, USA
Age 33
From England To Newton,MA (with Rev. Thomas Hooker)
May 23, 1635
Age 35
Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut, Colonial America
May 23, 1636
Age 36
Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
Age 36
Founder and original proprietor of Hartford, 1636
Age 36
Removed to Hartford,Hartford Co,Connecticut (with Rev. Thomas Hooker)
- 1637
Age 36
Above stated on a monument in an old graveyard of First Church of Hartford, Conn
Age 37
Selectman in Hartford
Age 41
Surveyor of highways in Hartford