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John Cowles

Also Known As: "Cole"
Birthplace: Probably Gloucestershire, England
Death: Died in Hadley, Hampshire County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Place of Burial: Hatfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of James Cowles and Mary Cowles
Husband of Hannah* HART; Mehitable Hart; Sarah Cowles and Hannah Cowles
Father of Hannah Stanley; Samuel Cowles; John Cowles, II; Elizabeth Lyman; Sara Goodwin and 2 others
Brother of Abigail Sullivan

Occupation: farmer, constable, surveyor, jurior, Farmer, Constable, Surveyor, Juror
Managed by: Linda Sue
Last Updated:

About John Cowles

• ID: I2337

  • Name: John COWLES
  • Given Name: John
  • Surname: Cowles
  • Sex: M
  • _UID: 241EDE917875654E9C87AA605CE707430BBD
  • Change Date: 1 Feb 2006
  • Note: Genealogical and Family History of the State of Connecticut: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. Volume I Tolman (The Cowles Line).

John Cowles

  • came from England in 1635 to Massachusetts;
  • removed to Hartford, Connecticut, in 1635-39;
  • to Farmington, Connecticut, in 1640 ,
  • and thence to Hadley (now Hatfield) Massachusetts, in 1664.
  • He died in 1675.

John Cowles, immigrant ancestor, was born in England, and was among the early settlers of Hartford, Connecticut . Not long after the year 1640 he located at Farmington, Connecticut, and in 1652 was one of those who organized the church there. He was born in the west of England, it is thought, about 1598 .

He bought land on the corner at the north end of Farmington village, known afterward as the Dr. Thompson and Bodwell places. Selling this property, he bought three lots just south of the present meeting house and built a house there.

He spelled his name Cowles in order to distinguish himself from another man named Cole of the same town, and from that time to the present the descendants of his eldest son Samuel have spelled the name Cowles and those of the youngest son John have, until the beginning of the nineteenth century, favored the spelling Cowls.

He was a farmer. He was deputy to the general assembly from Farmington in 1653-54. In 1659 he was one of the signers who started the settlement at Hadley, Massachusetts, but was probably not there among the first, being a resident at Hadley in 1662. He was one of the twenty-five "engagers" in Hadley to establish themselves in Hatfield "across the river" before March, 1661.

His record in Hatfield begins January 14, 1660-61, according to the records of that place, and he died there September, 1675, and was probably buried there. He was one of a committee that laid out a burying place for the town, February 14, 1669, and there was no other cemetery there until 1848.

His widow Hannah, after his death, went to live with son-in-law, Caleb Stanley , of Hartford, where she died March 16, 1683, and she was buried there. Her will was dated October 27, 1680, and in it she states that her husband's last will was dated December 11, 1674. The homestead in Hatfield was in possession of descendants until April, 1898.


  • 1. Samuel, born 1639, mentioned below;
  • 2. John, 1641;
  • 3. Hannah, 1644, married Caleb Stanley, of Hartford ;
  • 4. Sarah, 1646, married Nathaniel Goodwin ;
  • 5. Esther, 1649, married Thomas Bull;
  • 6. Elizabeth, 1651, married Edward Lyman;
  • 7. Mary, June 24, 1654, married Nehemiah Dickinson.

Savage, James. A Genalogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692, - Vol. I-IV (4). Boston, 1860-1862.

Cowles, John, Farmington 1652, rem. a. 1664, to Hatfield, d. Sept. 1677, leav. wid. Hannah, wh. d. at Hartford 1684; JOHN, of Hatfield, freem. 1690, wh. m. Deborah, d. of Robert Bartlett of Hartford; Samuel of Farmington; beside four ds. One had . Nathaniel Goodwin of Hartford; Esther, ano. d. m. Thomas Bull. This person was thot. to be br. of James Cole, and so was his own name; but the rec. vary. to Coale, Cowle, Coales, Colles, Cowles, Coule, or Coules, the descend. have gen. adopt. the we. JOHN, sen. and JOHN jr. were at Hadley 1668. ROBERT, Plymouth 1633.

John Came to MA abt 1635, Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut 1635-9, to Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut 1640 and to Hadley and Hatfield, MA 1659-6

The name Cowles may be pronounced as "Coles", and spelled that way too in some places. The name may have originally been Cole, and is spelled many ways, such as Coale, Coales, Cowls, and Cowles. Name found in England as early as 1553 and the Cole name much earlier.

1 2 3

  • Birth: 1598 in , Gloucester, England 4
  • Death: 15 SEP 1675 in Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts 2
  • Burial: Possibly SW side of the mill river
  • Occupation: farmer, constable, surveyor
  • Ancestral File #: 8K30-JH
  • Father: James COLE b: 1563 in , Essex, England
  • Mother: Mary b: 1564
  • Marriage 1 Hannah HART b: ABT 1613 in England
    • Married: 1632 in England 3
    • Children
      • 1. Samuel COWLES b: 1637 in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut
      • 2. John COWLES b: FEB 1641/42 in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut
      • 3. Hannah COWLES b: 2 FEB 1644/45 in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut
      • 4. Sarah COWLES b: 1646 in Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut
      • 5. Esther COWLES b: 1649 in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut
      • 6. Elizabeth COWLES b: 1651 in Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut
      • 7. Mary COWLES b: 24 JUN 1654 in Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut
      • 8. Elizabeth COWLES b: 1656 in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut


  • 1. Abbrev: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, A
    • Title: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ancestral File (R) (Copyright (c) 1987, June 1998, data as of 5 January 1998)pyright (c) 1987, June 1998, data as of 5 January 1998)pyright (c) 1987, June 1998, data as of 5 January 1998).
    • Note: ABBR Ancestral File (R)
    • NAME Family History Library
    • ADDR 35 N West Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150 USA
  • 2. Abbrev: AF-Elizabeth H Stanley
    • Title: Susan Bayton, AF-Elizabeth H Stanley
    • Note: Date of Import: Nov 26, 2003
  • 3. Abbrev: WFT-Vol 12, Tree 940a.FTW
    • Title: WFT-Vol 12, Tree 940a.FTW
    • Note: Date of Import: Sep 28, 2004
  • 4. Abbrev: WFT-Vol 71, Tree 317.FTW
    • Title: WFT-Vol 71, Tree 317.FTW
    • Note: Date of Import: Sep 28, 2004

John Cowles (Reference # 6786) is our first known ancestor in the Cowles line.

  • He was born 1598 probably at Gloucestershire, England and
  • died 13 September 1675 at Hatfield, Hampshire Co., MA.
  • He was buried at Hatfield in the "old" cemetery on Prospect St. No original stone marks the spot but a memorial has been placed there.

He married Hannah (Reference # 6787) 1638. Her name is sometimes seen as Mehitable Hart but this appears to be incorrect.

  • She was born 1613 and
  • died 17 March 1683/4 at Hartford, Hartford Co., CT.
  • She is buried in the Ancient Burying Ground, Center (First) Church, Hartford, CT. The original stone remains and has been described as "a good early stone by George Griswold of Windsor."

Source: <>

Notes for John 'Cole' Cowles:

From the Genealogy Book by Frank Cowles 1887

There was in Hartford and then in Farmington, Conn. one John Cole, a farmer, by some thought to be a brother to James, the cooper. To distinguish himself and his family from the family of James, he varied the spelling of his name. In the Farmington records the name is spelled Collles, Colles, and finally in 1682 Cowles.

More About John 'Cole' Cowles:

  • Burial: Possibly s.w. side of the mill river
  • Fact 8: Cowles Book at History Center
  • Fact 9: See notes
  • Immigration: Abt. 1634-1635
  • Namesake: Changed from Cole to Cowles
  • Occupation: Farmer/Constable/Surveyor/jurior

John was at Farmington in 1652, and removed about 1664 to Hatfield, where he was freeman in 1666.

Event 1: 1652 in At Farmington

Event 2: 1664 in rem to Hatfield

Event 3: SEP 1677 in died

Event 4: 1668 in John Sr. & John Jr. were both at Hadley.

Event 5: 1634 in came to America from Gloucester

(f/g) John Cowles Birth: 1599, England Death: Sep., 1675 Hatfield Hampshire County Massachusetts, USA

Family links:

 Hannah Bushopp Cowles (1617 - 1683)
 Samuel Cowles (1639 - 1691)
 John Cowls (1641 - 1711)

Burial: Hill Cemetery Hatfield Hampshire County Massachusetts, USA Maintained by: Debra Originally Created by: William Currie Record added: Feb 08, 2009 Find A Grave Memorial# 33648074 -tcd

John COWLES Torrey's New England Marriages to 1700 Vital Records (incl. Bible, Cemetery, Church and SSDI) Marriage 1639. Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, United States

Volume: Volume 1, Page(s): 386 COWLES, John (1598-1675) & Hannah ____ (1613-1683, 1684); by 1639; Hartford/Farmington, CT/Hatfield {Hartford Prob. 1:295; Fellows (1940) 146; Morton (1947) 24; Dickinson (1955) 263; Cole (1887) 99; Cowles 1:25; Flagg Anc. 296; Booth (1910) 120; Paine (,5


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John Cowles's Timeline

Probably Gloucestershire, England
Age 41
Hartford, Connecticut Colony
February 2, 1641
Age 43
Farmington, Hartford County, Connecticut Colony
February 2, 1645
Age 47
Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut Colony
February 6, 1645
Age 47
Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut
February 8, 1645
Age 47
Farmington, (Present Hartford County), Connecticut Colony
- 1657
Age 49
Hartford, Connecticut, United States