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Mary Ferris (unknown)

Birthplace: Greenwich, Kent, England
Death: Died in Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut
Place of Burial: Greenwich, Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Mary Ferris' father and Mary Ferris' mother
Wife of Jeffrey Ferris, of Greenwich
Mother of John Ferris; Joseph Ferris; Mary Merritt; Peter Ferris and James Ferris

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Mary Ferris

Mary -----ne was the first wife of Jeffrey Ferris (1610-1666). She is buried in Stamford, Connecticut and has a death date recorded of 31 May 1658.

Jeffrey's will was dated 6 January 1664 in Fairfield, Connecticut, and probated 9 March 1667. It named not only his own children, but those of his two later wives by others, Lockwoods and Palmers. (link2)

5 children of Jeffrey and Mary Ferris include:

  1. Peter, born 1636, died 1706; married first on 15 July 1654 Elizabeth Reynolds, born about 1634/1635, died before 1705; married second Ruth Weed.
  2. Joseph, born 20 September 1638 in Greenwich, Fairfield Co., Connecticut, died between June 9 and July 24, 1699 probably in Stamford, Fairfield Co., Connecticut, at 60 years of age. He married on 20 November 1657 in Stamford, Fairfield Co., Connecticut, Ruth Knapp, born 6 January 1640/1641 in Watertown, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, died about 1702 in Stamford or Greenwich, Fairfield Co., Connecticut. Ruth's date of death is in question because it is said that she sold her property rights to her son, Joshua in 1711. Joseph was one of the original patentees named in the patent granted to the Town of Greenwich by the General Assembly in May 1665. He was an influential citizen in Greenwich; in 1672 he is recorded as one of the 27 proprietors and in 1688 as one of the 52 landowners. In 1681-1682, Joseph was a representative to the General Court.
  3. John, born 1640, died 1714/1715; married first Grace Pawling; married second Mary Jackson
  4. Mary, born about 1636, died 1706/1707; married first Jonathan Lockwood; married second Thomas Merritt
  5. James


The name of Jeffrey’s first wife and mother of his known children remains unknown. Much research has been done and speculation abounds, but the actual documentation, such as the page of the Stamford Town Records, which contains her death record, is worn away. What is legible is her death date of May 31, 1658. On the tombstone her name has weathered away leaving only ‘Mary -----ne’. There are some that think her maiden name was Browne, Thorne, or Bowne; a case can be made for each because of connections with those families and Jeffrey, but no proof exists. (link1)

See discussion:

No Proof

A tradition claims that she was of noble birth and married Jeffrey against the wishes of her family, and so they fled to New England. She was once suggested to have been Anne Howard. It was also once claimed that she was Anne Milton, sister of the blind poet, but this was not supported by research of the Milton Family. The maiden names of Browne, Thorne, or Bowne have also been suggested, as well as a Judy Burns. Her badly weathered tombstone appears to read "Mary". Her death is recorded in Stamford Town Records, the edge of the page worn away: "____, wif to Jeffrey Ferris, diec 31:5:58" (i.e., 31 July 1658).


Mary was born about 1615 into an aristocratic Catholic family. She was the daughter of Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel and Alethea Talbot. When she about 17 she met Jeffrey Ferris and fell in love with him. When her father heard about it he was furious, ordering her to stop seeing him. After hearing this Mary and Jeffrey eloped and got on a ship for New England.

Brief Biography

Jeffrey and Mary settled in Connecticut where she converted to Protestantism. Jeffrey founded several towns in Connecticut including Greenwich which was named after Ferris's home town. Mary faithfully followed her husband for about 26 years before she died at the age of about 43 in Stamford.


Mary's maiden name is undocumented, although there are many voices in genealogy wanting to give her one. This makes her parents and siblings also unknown. Like most women of history, she sits quietly in the shadow of her husband. What has been documented is that she married Jeffrey in England and immigrated with him in 1634. The following children are most likely hers.

Peter Ferris, 1636 – 1706 Joseph Ferris, 1638 – 1736 James Ferris, 1638 – 1705 Mary Ferris, 1639 – 1707 John Ferris, 1640 – 1715 James Ferris, 1643 – 1726

Family links:

 Thomas Howard (1585 - 1646)
 Alethea Talbot Howard (1581 - 1654)

 Jeffrey Ferris (1610 - 1666)

 Peter Ferris*
 John Ferris (1640 - 1715)*
  • Calculated relationship

Burial: Unknown

Created by: Observer4wing Record added: Apr 09, 2012 Find A Grave Memorial# 88272749

view all 12

Mary Ferris's Timeline

Greenwich, Kent, England
Age 20
Newtown, Fairfield County, Connecticut Colony
June 20, 1635
Age 21
Probably England
September 28, 1636
Age 22
Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA
Age 22
Probably England
Age 28
Stamford, New Haven Colony
May 31, 1658
Age 44
Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut
May 31, 1666
Age 44
Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut
October 25, 1941
Age 44
November 5, 1941
Age 44