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Great Migration: Passengers of the Speedwell, 1635 & 1637

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Walter Harris, Mary Fry and 6 children and 3 servants came on the Speedwell in 1637.

Genealogy Data Page 1657 (Family Pages)

Note: Walter Harris's English origins are unknown. But he sailed from Weymouth on Apr 22 1637 with "his wife, six children and three servants" on the ship Speedwell This would indicate that he came from a relatively prosperous background.

He was made a freeman of the colony of Massachusetts Bay on Jun 2 1641, by which time he was living in Weymouth. Records (by no means necessarily complete) indicate that he owned two eight-acre parcels there about 1643. In the late 1640's he appears to have been living in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and was granted land in New London, Connecticut, on May 20 1652, at Pequot Harbor.

He and his wife were above average in economic status, owning a considerable supply of pewter, silver spoons, and such household items of convenience as a gridiron, copping knife, brewing tub, smoothing iron and two cushions.. He is referred to as "Goodman Harris," which would indicate a status below those who were called "mister." The house in New London consisted of a front room and shop room with a lean-to on the back and two chambers above. Today it would be called a Cape Cod house.

Source: (Individual) Abbreviation: Harris Title: Charles Harris, Walter Harris and Some of His Descendants Source: (Individual) Abbreviation: NEHGR Title: New England Historical and Genealogical Register Data: Text: "Walter and Mary (Fry) Harris of New London, Connecticut," by Gale Ion Harris. Vol. 156, Apr. 2002, pp. 145-158. Given Name: Walter Death: 6 NOV 1554 New London, Connecticut ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Since the New England Historical and Genealogical Register is fairly reliable, this data may be correct.

But the following source tells a different story.

Genealogical and family history of ... - Google Books of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley

Compiled under the Editorial Supervision of Cuyler Reynolds Vol. 3

Page 1349

Walter Harris:

(I) Walter Harris, the immigrant ancestor of the Harris family, came to America in the "William and Francis" from Norwich, England, it is supposed. He took passage on March 6, 1631, at London, and arrived at Boston, June 5, of that year. It is probable that his mother, "widow of Walter Harris," and his brother Gabriel came with him. Gabriel returned to England for property left behind and was lost on the return journey. Walter Harris settled at Weymouth, Massachusetts, 1632. He remained in Weymouth until 1649, and possessed a large landed property still called the "Harris Range." In 1649 he removed to Dorchester, and in 1652 to New London, Connecticut, where he died, November 6, 1654. On his first application for a house lot at New London he is styled "of Dorchester," which makes it probable that his last temporary abiding place had been in that town. He married, at Weymouth, Massachusetts, Mary Fry, who survived him by less than three months, one inventory and settlement of estate sufficing for both. The will of Mrs. Harris is one of the oldest extant wills in the county, and is rich in allusions to costume and furniture. From it it is clear that the Harris family ranked in point of comfort and accommodations with the well-to-do portion of the community. They had a better supply of pewter than is found in many early inventories, and such articles of convenience as a gridiron, chopping knife, brewing tub, smoothing iron, "four silver spoons and two cushions." The house consisted of a front room, lean to, shop room, and two chambers. Among the children were Gabriel, mentioned below, and Thomas. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~