James Ensign, of Hartford

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James Ensign

Birthplace: Rye, Sussex, England
Death: Died in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Place of Burial: Ancient Burying Grounds Hartford, Hartford, CT
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas 'Gentleman' Ensign and Constance Ensign
Husband of Sarah Elson and Sarah Ensign
Father of Mary Smith; David Ensign, Sr.; Hannah Easton; Mary Smith; Lydia Ensign and 2 others
Brother of John Ensign; Deacon Thomas Ensign; Edward Ensign; David Ensign; Mary Ensign and 1 other

Occupation: Cooper. Constable, townsmen, surveyor, chimney-viewer.
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About James Ensign, of Hartford


Birth: 1590 Fordwich, England Death: 1670 Hartford Hartford County Connecticut, USA

The son of THOMAS ENSIGN who died 1632 in England, James left England with his wife, SARAH (ELSON) ENSIGN and perhaps his oldest child for America between 1632 and 1634. He was made a freeman on March 4, 1634/5 in Newtown (Cambridge) in the Mass. Bay Colony.

He may have been associated with Rev. Thomas Hooker's company since the family soon removed to Hartford and his name is on the Founder's Monument pictured at right.

He was an early proprietor being alloted a tract of land on the south side of Hartford. Being civic minded, he served a constable, chimney-viewer, townsman, and surveyer. On April 18, 1659, he was one of a number of the inhabitants of Hartford who signed an agreement to remove to Hadley, Mass, something that he never actually did, staying in Hartford.

His occupation was that of a cooper. At a hearing on September 4, 1662, it was decided that the son of William "Eares" (Ayers) would be assigned to James Ensign as an apprentice until he is 21 years of age to be instructed in the are of trade of a cooper. On March 3, 1674/5, John "Eares" appeared before the court acknowledging that he had received full satisfaction from his Master in being taught his trade.

James & his wife, Sarah, together with thirty others separated from the First Church and formed the South or Second Church of Hartford on Feb. 12, 1670.

He died some time between the writing of his will on November 23, 1670 and the taking of his inventory on December 23, 1670. His son-in-law & my ancestor, JOSEPH EASTON, was a witness to his will.

Their children: 1. Sarah m. John Rockwell 2. David m. (1) Mehitabel Gunn, (2) Sarah Wileys 3. Mary m. Samuel Smith 4. Hannah m. Joseph Easton 5. Lydia bpt. Aug 19, 1649

Family links:

 Sarah Elson Ensign (1612 - 1676)*

 Sarah Ensign Rockwell (1630 - 1659)*
 Mary Ensign Smith (1639 - 1732)*
 David Ensign (1644 - 1727)*
 Hannah Ensign Easton (1644 - 1711)*
  • Calculated relationship

Burial: Ancient Burying Ground Hartford Hartford County Connecticut, USA

James ENSIGN - bap. Jun. 1, 1606, Rye, Sussex, England; d. Dec. 11, 1670, Hartford, Hartford Co., CT. Son of Thomas ENSIGN and Constance PILCHER. At Cambridge MA 1634; freeman Mar. 4, 1635; to Hartford 1639; constable 1649 and 1662; chimney viewer 1655; townsman 1656. His name appears on Hartford's Founders Monument. Founding member of 1st Congregational Church, Hartford, and member of 2nd Congregational Church 1670. Will dated Nov. 23, 1670, with inventory taken Dec. 23, 1670 at £729.2.9.

James was a Puritan, who probably came from the County Kent in England, to the eastern part of Massachusetts with The Rev. Thomas Hooker Colony and settled at Mount Wollaston around 1632 and later moved to Newtown which was later renamed Cambridge. There is still an Ensign Crest preserved in a church window at St. Mary's in Chilham, County Kent. It is called the "Arms of Ensign".

James was made a freeman of Massachusetts Bay Colony on March 4, 1634. James and his wife Sarah did migrate with the Hooker Company to Hartford, Connecticut in the year 1635 or 1636He was prominent in the church and community affairs, serving as constable, chimney viewer, and apparently surveyor. There is a monument there recording the first settlers of Hartford and his name is recorded on the monument.


Possibly associated with the Rev. Thomas Hooker (ancestor of Doug Arters): the Ensign name is listed on the monument with the other founders, such as Richard Risley, presumed ancestor of Mark Risley of the town of Gerry, Chautauqua County, NYS.

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James Ensign, of Hartford's Timeline

June 1, 1606
Rye, Sussex, England
June 1, 1606
Rye, Sussex, England
Rye, Sussex, England
Age 28
August 1, 1639
Age 33
Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut
Age 33
Hartford, Conneticutt
November 26, 1644
Age 38
Hartford, (Present Hartford County), Connecticut Colony
Age 39