John Whitmore, of the New Haven Colony

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John Whitmore

Also Known As: "Wetmore"
Birthplace: probably of, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England
Death: Died in Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States
Cause of death: Killed by Indians while stealing his cattle
Place of Burial: Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Whitmore, of Hitchen and Mary Whitmore
Husband of John Whitmore's 1st wife and Joanna Whitmore
Father of Thomas Whitmore; Francis Whitmore; Mary Brewer; Anne Farrar; John Whitmore and 1 other

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About John Whitmore, of the New Haven Colony

John Whitmore

  • b.say 1589, probably of Hitchen, Hertfordshire, England
  • d.Oct 1648 Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut
  • Father: Thomas Whitmore of Hitchen
  • Mother: Mary Meade
  • Wives: 1) unknown 2) Johanna Kerrich, widow of John Jessup


By his first wife he had born in England -

  • 1. Thomas b 1615, married Sarah Hall.
  • 2. Anne, b 1621, married George Farrar.
  • 3. Mary, b. 1623, married John Brewer.
  • 4. Francis, b. 1625.
  • 5. John, b 1627, died at Stamford, 1650.


Birth year is estimated; he was the father of five children in 1630.

Family records, based on old English records dating from 1215 on, establish that "Whitmore" is one of the oldest of family names.

It comes from the Gothic "wid", meaning spear and "mar", meaning famous, together signifying "famous with the spear", the name of a Gothic King.

Tradition is that John and his brother, George, came to America about 1630. John, a widower, settled at Massachusetts Bay, along with four of his five children, his wife having died in England.

The children thought to have been with him were, two sons and two daughters: Thomas, Ann/Anne, Mary and Francis. [There is disagreement amongst professional genealogists as to whether his son, Francis Whitmore Sr., is from a father by the name of Nicholas Whitmore, who lived at Hitchen, Hertfordshire, England and never immigrated to America.]

However, extensive research shows THIS Francis did, in fact, receive land from his FATHER, John Whitmore of the New Haven Colony. Extensive research indicates John's parents were Mary Meade [abt. 1558-8 October 1604] and Thomas Whitmore [abt.1558-1648] of Hitchin, Hereford, England.

John was among about nine men who set out from Massachusetts Bay about 1633 and founded a settlement along the Qunnitukqut River (later called the "Connecticut River"). It was at an Indian village called "Pyquag", which would later be known as Wethersfield, Connecticut.

Tradition has it that his wife, the mother of his children, had died in England.

His name first appears in town records when he sold 58 acres of land in 1639. He married the widow of John Jessup, Hannah [Johanna], nee Kerrich. They had no children together.

Because of religious disputes they, and several other families, left Wethersfield in 1641, moved sixty miles west and founded the township of Stamford.

John was killed in October of 1648, supposedly by Indians, who wished to take his cattle. The complete inquest into the murder of John is recorded on pages 458 through 463 of: Record of the Colony and Jurisdiction of New Haven (Hartford, 1855) by Charles J. Hoadly.

The exact location of his burial is not known at this time. It is recorded as at Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut; probably on his farm. Johanna/Joanna may also be buried in the same location, on the old Whitmore farm.

Burial: Body lost or destroyed Specifically: Probably buried on his farm in Stamford.

  • Find A Grave Memorial# 71592896
  • The Whitmore genealogy : a record of the descendants of Francis Whitmore of Cambridge, Massachusetts (1625-1685)
    • 1. Savage, James. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England: Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692, on the Basis of Farmer's Register. (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co, 1860-1862), 4:526-527.
      • John (Whitmore), Wethersfield 1639, but in what part of Mass. he had first liv. is not found, but prob. he brot. from Eng. all the five ch. he ever had, Thomas, b. a. 1615; Francis, a. 1625; and John, a. 1627; beside two ds. Ann, said to be b. a. 1621; and Mary, a. 1623; rem. a. 1641 to Stamford, and was one of the first sett. At S. he was in good repute, m. a wid. Jessup, was chos. a rep. to New Haven assemb. 1647, and murd. by Ind. in Oct. 1648. The act was not a case of private hatred, but seems to have been the deed of the whole tribe, and the Col. of Conn. was moved to unite with that of N. H. in a just revenge. See Trumbull, Col. Rec. I. 197. JOHN, Hartford 1646, s. perhaps of the preced. had Sarah, b. 16 Dec. 1647; rem. prob. to Stamford bef. or soon after d. of his suppos. father.
    • 2. John Whitmore, in Adams, Sherman W. (Sherman Wolcott), and Henry R. (Henry Reed) Stiles. The History of Ancient Wethersfield, Connecticut: Comprising the Present Towns of Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, and Newington; and of Glastonbury Prior to its Incorporation in 1693, from Date of Earliest Settlement Until the Present Time with Extensive Genealogies and Genealogical Notes on Their Early Families. (New York: The Grafton Press, 1904), 2:785.
      • Whitmore, (Whittemore, Whetmore. Wetmore), John, came to Weth., 1639 or earlier, and took a home-lot (See Chapt. VII, Vol. I) which he sold in 1641, having previously rem. to Stamford, where he Is found on the 2d and 3d lists of sett. and in the 1st distrib. of ld. He was murdered by Inds. at Stamford in 1648, acc. to Huntington, or in Sept., 1649, acc. to S. W. A. His invent, of est. am't'g to £217 04-02, presented to Connecticut., at New Haven, 26 May, 1656; he rep. S. in N. H. Col, Ct.; was prob. related to Thomas of Midd. See Hazard's State Papers, 127, and there is an affid, in St. Rec. in which Goodwife Whittemore, wife of John, affirms that he sold a certain piece of Id, to his son, John.
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John Whitmore, of the New Haven Colony's Timeline

Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England
Age 26
Royden, Essex, England
Age 26
Hitchen, Hertfordshire, England
Age 32
Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England
Age 34
Probably Hitchen, Hertfordshire, England, (Present UK)
Age 34
Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England
Age 38
Westerfield, Essex, England
October 1648
Age 59
Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States
Age 59
Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States