Major William Chittenden

Is your surname Chittenden?

Research the Chittenden family

Major William Chittenden's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


William Chittenden

Birthdate: (66)
Birthplace: Cranbrook, Kent, England
Death: Died in Guilford, New Haven Colony, (Present Connecticut)
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Chittenden and Elizabeth Chittenden
Husband of Joanna Cruttenden
Father of Thomas Chittenden, I; Elizabeth Wright; John Chittenden; Nathaniel Chittenden, Sr.; Mary Leete and 5 others
Brother of Nathaniel Chittenden; Thomas Chittenden and John Chittenden

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Major William Chittenden

William Chittenden

  • Birth: in England
  • Baptism: JUL 17 1608 Hawkhurst, Kent, England
  • Death: BY OCT 24 1660 in Guilford CT
  • Parents: William Chittenden and Elizabeth Markley of Hawkhurst, Kent
  • Spouse: Joan Sheafe, who survived him and married Abraham Chittenden 2nd
  • emigrated to America 1639
  • Occupation: Soldier and Magistrate

6 Children including

  1. Thomas Chittenden baptized NOV 20 1936 Hawkhurst, Kent, England. Married Joanna Jordan.


The will of Elizabeth (Sheafe) Chittenden Chittenden, dated 24 November 1665, proved 9 June 1669, named her now husband, Abraham Cruttenden Senr.; her former husband Willm Chittenden; eldest son Thomas Chittenden; son Nathan Chittenden; daughters Johanna, Mary, and Hanna Chittenden.

Executors were to be son Thomas Chittenden and son Thomas Wright. An inventory of her estate was taken in January 1668/9.

While two of her living children, John and Elizabeth, were not mentioned in the will, Joan Cruttenden directed that her estate was to be divided into seven equal parts. Her eldest son Thomas was to have one part, and the other "sixe children" were to have the rest. Nathaniel, Joanna, Mary, and Hanna were given certain specific items. Joan (Sheafe) (Chittenden) Cruttenden was buried at Guilford 16 August 1668. Abraham Cruttenden died in January 1683."


Arrived in America 10 Jul 1639. William was one of the company led by Rev. Henry Whitfield (a relative, as he was married to the sister of Rev. Whitfield's wife, Dorothy). They were married in England. William was the principal military man of the Plantation, having been a soldier in the English Army and having fought in the Netherlands in the Thirty Years War, where he attained the rank of Major. He was one of the six men selected to secure the land from the Indians and one of the four Magistrates chosen to have "full power and authority to act, order, and despatch all matters respecting the publick weale and civile government of the Plantation, until a church is gathered among them".

On the gathering of the church, June 29, 1643, these Magistrates resigned their trust and William was elected principal military man of the colony, also Magistrate of the Plantation, and Deputy of the General Council until his death in 1660. It is said that he was one of the leaders of the emigrants from Parish of Cranbrook in Kent. There is listed a Joanna Chittenden as a child of William but with no birth date.?? I am descended from this William six times: William, Thomas, William, etc.; William, Thomas, Josiah, etc.; William, John, etc.

Talcott says: [In the New Haven Colonial Records, p. 417, we find this entry: "An Inventory of the estate of William Chittenden of Guilford, deceased, was presented, amounting to £677 16s. 7 d. as presented and proved in court at Guilford, the 21st of February, 1660-1, upon oath of Joane Chittenden, the widow and relict of the sayd William Chittenden, deceased, for the quantity, and by the testimony of Abraham Cruttenden Senior, John Fowler, and William Stone, appraisers, for the valuation to be just. William Lette, Governor."]


William Chittenden "was one of the company of twenty-five, gathered chiefly from the counties of Kent, Surrey, and Sussex, in the south of England who determined to leave their native land and seek a new home in the wilderness, in order to enjoy the free exercise of their religious principles. Their first recorded act as a separate community was the Covenant, which they signed on ship-board, while on the passage, and which is here transcribed."


We, whose names are hereunder written, intending by God's gracious permission to plant ourselves in New England, and if it may be, in the southerly part, about Quinnipiack: We do faithfully promise each to each, for ourselves and families, and those that belong to us; that we will, the Lord assisting us, sit down and join ourselves together in one entire plantation; and to be helpful each to the other in every common work, according to every man's ability and as need shall require; and we promise not to desert or leave each other or the plantation, but with the consent of the rest, or the greater part of the company who have entered into this engagement.

As for our fathering together in a church way, and the choice of officers and members to be joined together in that way, we do refer ourselves until such time as it shall please God to settle us in our plantation.

In witness whereof we subscribe our hands, the first day of June, 1639.

Robert Kitchell, John Hoadly, Thomas Norton, John Bishop John Stone Abraham Cruttenden, Francis Bushnell, William Plane, Francis Chatfield, William Chittenden, Richard Gutridge, William Halle, William Leete, John Hughes, Thomas Naish, Thomas Joanes, William Dudley, Henry Kingsnorth, John Jurdon, John Parmelin, Henry Doude, William Stone, John Mepham, Thomas Cooke,

                                                                     Henry Whitfield.''

"This company sailed from England for America about the 20th of May, 1639, in a ship (The St. John) of 350 tons, and after a passage of about seven weeks arrived in New Haven about the 10th of July. They made arrangements for settling in Guilford in the autumn of the same year, adding to their company some few whom they found in New Haven. The deed of purchase of the lands for the colony from Shaumpishuh, the Sachem of Menunkatuck is dated Sept. 29 (Oct. 9 N.S.), 1639."

"Prominent among the original settlers of Guilford was William Chittenden. He came from the parish of Cranbrook, in Kent, some 35 miles S.E. of London. Little is known of his antecedents. In the record of baptisms in the parish of Marden, near Cranbrook, occurs this entry:


March 1594. William, son of Robert Chittenden,

[Signed] Salmon Boxer, Vicar of Marden."

"There is no reason to doubt that this William is identical with William the emigrant. No other records of the Chittenden family can be found in the adjacent parishes, Cranbrook, Marden, Welford and Goudhurst, for the last half of the sixteenth century."

"Mr. Chittenden was a man of ability and influence, and during his whole life filled many important offices in the plantation. He was one of the six persons selected to purchase the lands in Guilford from the native owners, and was also one of four (Robert Kitchell, William Chittenden, John Bishop, and William Leete) who received, according to the record, "full power and authority to act, order and dispatch all matters respecting the publick weale and civile government of the plantation, until a church is gathered amonge us.' On the gathering of the church, June 19 (June 29 N.S.), 1643, these four magistrates resigned their trust to the church, which, as in New Haven, exercised control in secular and civil matters, as well as in those relating to religion."

"Mr. Chittenden was the principal military man of the plantation, bearing the title of Lieutenant. Savage state, I. 381, that 'he had been a soldier in the English Army in the Netherlands in the Thirty Years War, and that he reached the rank of Major.' He was a magistrate of the plantation and deputy to the General Court until his death."

Source: Talcott, Alvan, A.M. M.D., "Chittenden Family: William Chittenden of Guilford, Conn. and His Descendants., Press of Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, New Haven, CT, 1882. Added JZ

Emigrated 1639 from Cranbrook, England to Guildford, CT.




The publication in 1882 of the Chittenden genealogy,[1] purporting to identify the father of William' Chittenden of Guilford, Connecticut, as Robert Chittenden, of Marden, Kent, has obscured his real ancestry. A 1901 Register article pointed out that this identification was only a possibility, [2] but at least two later secondary sources have taken this possibility to be fact.[3]

This article will show that William'Chittenden was actually the son of William" and Elizabeth (Markley) Chittenden of Hawkhurst, Kent. Elizabeth's will, dated 24 February 1635[/6?], mentions son William Chittenden, his wife Johan, and their daughter Johan. Since we already knew that William Chittenden married Joan Sheafe and had a daughter Joan, it looked as if Elizabeth were the mother of William Chittenden.

To establish the earlier ancestry of the family involved reconstructing the entire Chittenden family of Hawkhurst based on parish registers and wills. And during the research, the 1643 will of the immigrant's uncle, Thomas Chittenden, was found mentioning "my cousin William Chittenden which is in New England" and his children Johan and Thomas. This made the identification a certainty since the family reconstruction showed the testator was a brother of William"Chittenden and the Hawkhurst parish registers showed the first two children of William and Joan Chittenden were Joan (baptized 1634) and Thomas (baptized 1636).

view all 30

Major William Chittenden's Timeline

March 1594
Cranbrook, Kent, England
March 1594
Cranbrook, Kent, England
March 1594
of Marden, Essex, England
March 1594
of Marden, Essex, England
March 1594
of Marden, Essex, England
June 19, 1635
Age 41
Cranbrook, Kent, England
Age 42
Cranbrook, Kent , England
Age 44
Cranbrook,England to Guilford,Connecticut
Age 48
Guilford, New Haven, Connecticut