Nathaniel Phelps, I

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Nathaniel Phelps, I

Also Known As: "Deacon Nathaniel Phelps"
Birthplace: Crewkerne, Somerset, England
Death: May 27, 1702 (78)
Northampton, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Phelps, of Windsor, CT and Mary (Elizabeth) Phelps
Husband of Elizabeth (unknown) Copley / Phelps
Father of Mary Clesson; Deacon Nathaniel Phelps, II; Abigail Alvord (Phelps); William Phelps, I; Thomas Phelps and 1 other
Brother of Richard Phelps; Samuel Phelps; Unknown Son Phelps and Baby Girl Phelps
Half brother of Cornelius Phelps; Joseph Phelps of Windsor; Mary Phelps; Sarah Phelps Wade; Lt. Timothy Phelps and 2 others

Occupation: Deacon
Managed by: Kristal Amber Fawcett
Last Updated:

About Nathaniel Phelps, I

Nathaniel Phelps arrived in America on the Mary & John May 30 1630 with father William and stepmother Ann (Dover) , brothers William Jr., Samuel, & Joseph.

Deacon Nathaniel Phelps of Dorchester, Connecticut

Excerpted from "The Phelps Family of America and Their English Ancestors" Two volumes. By Judge Oliver Seymour Phelps and Andrew T. Servin. (Eagle Publishing Company of Pittsfield, Mass., 1899).

Deacon Nathaniel Phelps was born in England about 1627. Nathaniel came to New England with his parents and their five other children, at the age of three, residing in Dorchester six years and then in Windsor where he grew to manhood and purchased, of his brother, Samuel, the Orton place opposite his father's for his own occupation.

He married Mrs. Elizabeth (Eliza) Copley (born between 1620 and 1623) on September 17, 1650, in Windsor, CT. Mrs. Copley was married first to Thomas Copley, by whom she had at least two children.

About 1654, he made claim to a division of land in Northampton and shortly removed to the new settlement, with his wife and several children being among the earliest arrivals, although he paid slip rent in Windsor as late as Jan. 4, 1659.

Nathaniel was a pious man, of good intellect and sound discriminating judgment. He was chosen Constable, being the first person in Northampton actually elected to that important office, according to records available, serving after Robert Bartlett had officiated in that capacity.

He signed the petition for a Minister and with his wife, signed the church covenant; served as tithing-man and was one of the first deacons, honored and respected by his fellow-men.

With others, he contributed land for disposal for town needs and made a subscription to Harvard College, in 1673-1673.

Deacon Nathaniel, his sons, Nathaniel, Jr. and William, were admitted as freemen, by the General Court at Boston, May 11, 1681, after having taken the Oath of Allegiance before Major Pynchon, on Feb. 8, 1679.

His wife, with several young women, was fined for indulging in vain and extravagant display.

In 1675 and 1676, King Philip's war was waged; and, from 1688 to 1698, the first French and Indian War was carried on, during the reign of the Monarchs, William and Mary. Nathaniel, with the other pioneers, had to participate in the common defense against their enemies, especially in their desperate defense of Northampton, during the attack by Philip's men, March 14, 1676.

The homestead, granted to him, was where the Parochial School is. His son, Nathaniel, Jr., had a grant west of it and together they owned a strip of land bordering on Park street, from Knightbrook to Prospect Streets.

He occupied his homestead forty-three years, and his descendants dwelt on the farm until 1835. It comprised the land that became the site of Miss Margaret Dwight's School, later the college institute of J. J. Dudley, now Shady Lawn. The old homestead stood a few rods north of the present structure.

Deacon Nathaniel Phelps died in Northampton, MA on May 27, 1702, at 75 years of age. His wife, Eliza, also died in Northampton on Dec. 6, 1712. Their youngest daughter, Abigail lived 101 years, four months and 11 days.


Nathaniel PHELPS was born in Mar 1624/25 in Crewkerne, Somerset Co., ENG. (18712) He was baptized on 6 Mar 1624/25 in Crewkerne, Somerset Co., ENG.(18713)

  • He died on 27 May 1702 in Northampton, Hampshire Co., MA.(18714)
  • Parents: William PHELPS and Mary (m. William Phelps).
  • He was married to Elizabeth COPLEY on 17 Sep 1650 in Windsor, Hartford Co., CT. (18715)(18716)


Category: Puritanism, North America Category:17th Century American Immigration Category:Puritan Great Migration Category: Mary and John sailed March 20 1630 Puritan Great Migration

Biography ==Nathaniel was the son of William Phelps and his first wife Mary, whosemaiden surname is unknown. He was born on 6 Mar 1624/25 in Crewkerne, Somerset, England. <ref>The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III. (Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2010), (Originally Published as: New England Historic Genealogical Society. Robert CharlesAnderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III, 3 vols., 1995).</ref>, <ref>Parish Records of St Bartholomew Church, Crewkerne, Somerset, England</ref> (The correct way to show the birth year it is that he was born in 1625, not in 1624.)

Nathaniel and Elizabeth resided in Windsor on the Orton place, near his father, but removed about 1656 to Northampton, Massachusetts and were founders of the town. Nathaniel was one of the first deacons of the Northampton church, freeman 11 May 1681. DEACON NATHANIEL PHELPS (I) was born on 3/6/1625 in Crewkerne, Somerset, England. He was the son of William Phelps. His father brought thefamily to America in 1630 and William became a prominent man in New England. They first lived in Dorchester, Massachusetts and in 1636 they moved again to create the town of Windsor, Connecticut. He married Elizabeth (maiden name unknown) (unknown-12/6/1712) on 9/17/1650 in Windsor, Connecticut. She was the widow of Thomas Copley and came to America with her children Thomas Copley and Elizabeth (Copley) Langton. Nathaniel and Elizabeth had 6 children: Mary; Nathaniel (6/2/1653-6/19/1719); Abigail; William; Thomas; and Mercy. Nathaniel moved his family to Northampton, Massachusetts by 1656. His land was located near Park Street. He was likely chosen to be Constable in 1656 and 1657. He sold his plot of land in Windsor to Robert Hayward in 1657. By 1658 he had accumulated 4 acres for his home lot and 29 acres of meadow land. He was offered the position of Constable in 1658. The followingyear in 1659 he donated 4 acres of land to Northampton for the minister. While he was living in Northampton, he was still paying for slip rent in Windsor in 1659. In 1660 he was elected as Constable. He also was a signer of the town’s first church covenant in 1661, creatingthe First Church of Christ in Northampton. In 1672 he donated 2 bushels of wheat for the building of Harvard College. In 1676 Nathaniel’s wife Elizabeth, and a few other individuals, were fined flaunting around nice clothes and “extravagances.” On 2/8/1679 he, with his sons Nathaniel Jr. and William, took the Oath of Allegiance before Major Pynchon. Also in 1679 he was elected as a tithing-man for the town. While he was previously noted a freeman in 1663, he was again made a freeman in 1681. By 1688 he was noted as a Deacon of the church. He died on 5/27/1702 in Northampton, Massachusetts.


<references />

  • Crewkerne Parish.
  • Great Migration Series, 1995.

Secondary Sources ==*The Phelps family of America and their English ancestors Vol I by Judge Oliver Seymour Phelps and Andrew T. Servin. Page 89-91*Stiles, The history and genealogies of ancient Windsor, CT (1891) 1:159, 179, 478 & 2:565

  • Hull, History of Eastern Vermont (1858) Pg. 689-90*Savage, A genealogical dictionary of the first settlers of New England (1861) 1:456 & 3:406*Trumbull, History of Northampton, MA (1898) Vol. 1, Pg. 27, 33, 37, 54, 57, 59, 78, 107, 145, 291, 374, 391, 571*Historical catalogue of the Northampton First Church, 1661-1891 (1891) Pg. 6, 9, 16, *Find-A-Grave Virtual Cemetery memorial #37414831*Ancestry DNA Tree, lymankd53. Nathaniel Phelps, born bet 1624 and 1627 in Crewkerne, Somerset, England. Died 27May1702 in Northampton, Hampshire, MA. Son of William Phelps and Elizabeth Marshall. Husband of Elizabeth Copely (1628-1712). Father of Nathaniel (1653-1719). Married 17Sep1650. Although the listing of his mother does not match this profile, everything else matches. This conclusion is strengthened by the fact that Steve Selbrede has multiple DNA matches with William as a MRCA, who is also a common ancestor with lymankd53.

Acknowledgments ==Thank you to Kim Elder, Loren Fay and Kitty Smith for contributions to this profile.

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Nathaniel Phelps, I's Timeline

March 6, 1624
Crewkerne, Somerset, England
May 6, 1624
Crewkerne, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
Age 5
To New England on the Mary & John
Age 10
Windsor,Hartford Co,Connecticut
June 21, 1651
Windsor, Hartford, Conn.
June 2, 1653
Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
April 5, 1655
Windsor, Hartord County, Connecitcut Colony, (Present USA)
- 1657
Age 30
moved to Northampton,Hampshire Co,Massachusetts