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Rebecca Newell (Olmstead)

Birthplace: Fairstead, Essex, England
Death: Died in Farmington, Hartford County, Connecticut Colony
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Richard Olmstead, Sr and Frances Olmstead
Wife of Thomas Newell
Mother of Rebecca Woodford; Thomas Newell, Jr.; Hester Stanley; Sarah Smith; Martha Newell and 5 others
Sister of Richard Olmstead, Immigrant; John Olmstead; Joseph Olmstead; Mary Olmstead; Israel Olmstead and 1 other

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rebecca Newell

from Genealogy of the Olmstead family in America

" . . . the family of our honored relative, James Olmsted, who, together with two sons, Nicholas and Nehemiah, two nephews, Richard and John, and a niece, Rebecca, arrived in New England, on the Lord's Day, Sept. 16,1632, in the ship Lyon, under Capt. Pierce, after a voyage of 12 weeks from Braintree, England. There were 123 passengers, of whom 50 were children.

" They settled first at Mount Wallaston, now Quincy, near Boston, but in the course of the year, 'by order of the Court,' they removed to Newtown, now Cambridge."

" The recent settlers of Newtown," says Holmes, "had, while in England, attended the ministry of the Reverend Thomas Hooker, who, to escape fines and imprisonment for his non-conformity, had now fled into Holland." So, as Mather, another contemporary, remarks, " immediately after their settlement at Newtown, they expressed their earnest desires to Mr. Hooker that he would come over into New England and take the pastoral charge of them. At their desire he left Holland, and, having obtained Mr. Samuel Stone .... as an assistant in the ministry, took his passage for America, and arrived at Boston, Sept. 4, 1633."

He proceeded at once to Newtown, to take up the duties of his pastorate. There the Braintree Colony, as it was termed, abode until the summer of 1636, when, dissatisfied by the form of government of the colony of Massachusetts and tempted by the charm of this pleasant Connecticut valley, of which they had heard reports,1 they "took their departure from Cambridge," and, in the words of Trumbull, " travelled more than a hundred miles through a hideous and trackless wilderness, to Hartford. They had no guide but their compass; made their way over mountains, through swamps, thickets, and rivers, which were not passable but with great difficulty. They had no cover but the heavens, nor any lodgings but those which simple nature afforded them. They drove with them a hundred and sixty head of cattle, and by the way, subsisted on the milk of their cows. Mrs. Hooker (who was ill) was borne through the wilderness upon a litter. The people generally carried their packs, arms, and some utensils. They were nearly a fortnight on their journey."

This brings us in our narration of the wanderings of our worthy family to the beautiful city, near which we have met today to do them honor. The family was soon to separate. Indeed, my own ancestor, Richard Olmsted, who was a youth of 20 when he arrived in America with his Uncle James, was now a young man of 24. That he was married by 1640 is more than probable, for we find that by that date he had quit his uncle's house, and was in possession of a home lot of his own. The records show that at a town meeting on the 11 th of January, 1640, a vote was passed, taking part of the lot of Richard Olmsted for a burial ground. " This is the ground in the rear of the First Church buildings on Main Street," as Walker tells us, "where so many of Hartford's early dead still repose." It contains a monument to the early settlers of this city, and is worthy of a pilgrimage, if any of you have not yet seen it. James Olmsted's lot was on Front street, not far from where the gas works now stand.

However, as I have said, the family was soon to part company. The wanderlust was upon them, and in 1651 Richard Olmsted, defying the dangers of wild beast and Indian, struck still deeper into the wilderness, and founded, with his family and with other friends, the town of Norwalk.

  1. Has No Children Martha NEWELL
  2. Has No Children Rebeckah NEWELL b: Jan 1642/1643 in Farmington,Connecticut
  3. Has No Children Mary NEWELL b: Mar 1645/1646 in Farmington,Connecticut
  4. Has No Children John NEWELL b: Jan 1646/1647 in Farmington,Connecticut
  5. Has No Children Thomas NEWELL b: 2 Mar 1649/1650 in Farmington,Connecticut
  6. Has No Children Esther NEWELL b: Jul 1652 in Farmington,Connecticut
  7. Has No Children Sarah NEWELL b: Abt 1654
  8. Has No Children Hannah NEWELL b: 14 Apr 1658 in Farmington,Connecticut
  9. Has Children Samuel Olmstead NEWELL b: 5 Dec 1660 in Farmington,Connecticut
 10. Has No Children Joseph NEWELL b: 20 Apr 1664 in Farmington,Connecticut

Thomas Newell was the first of the name to settle in Farmington, whither he came from Hartford, in its early settlement — it is said from Hertfordshire, England. At what time he came to this country is unknown. He married Rebeckah Olmstead, a neice of John and Richard, and sister of the first James of Hartford (see Savage), with whom she came over to Boston September 16th, 1632, six years after the settlement of Connecticut by the English. Thomas Newell appears in Farmington among the original settlers not long after 1640. In the church records he is enrolled a member February 7th, 1653, and his wife July 12th, 1763. In 1669 his name appears on the list of freemen; in 1672 on the list of the eighty-four proprietors. In 1673 h e was one of the preliminary committee who went to view Mattatuck (now Waterbury), as a place for a new settlement. (See History of Waterbury). The same year he was one of the petitioners for liberty of planting ye same. Subsequently he signed the articles, taking the place of Samuel Gridley, but declined joining the new settlement. The early records of Farmington having been destroyed by fire, it has been impossible to trace the relationship of brother to Abraham, who settled in Roxbury, Mass., in 1634, which many claim. He died September 13th, 1689, leaving an estate of £700. His widow died February 24th, 1698. She was remembered in the legacies of Doctor John Olmstead's widow, who was left wealthy, bequeathing £50 to the poor. His house was just at the north part of the village, fronting the Main street, showing much taste in the selection of a building spot. Tradition says an Indian fort was located back of it. ,


"Hartford, Nov. 8M, 1689.

" Whereas, Thomas Newell, of Farmington, lately deceased, died without will, it is mutually agreed between the widow of said Thomas and the children that were present at the County Court when the distribution of said estate was made, viz.:

" The oldest son, John Newell, Samuel Newell, John Stanley, Thomas North, that married two of the daughters, Hester and Hannah ; that what each child had formerly received of their father Thomas shall be reckoned and accounted as part of their portion, and with what the oldest son, John Newell, had already received he is to have a double portion of all the land of his deceased father of all sorts and kinds whatsoever, and after the widow's thirds are taken out of all the personal or movable effects, then the aforesaid eldest son, John Newell, agreed to take up with a single or equal proportion of the personal estate with his younger brothers and sisters ; all which above written the eldest son, John Newell, doth fully accept as his full portion out of his deceased father's estate, relinquishing any farther claim or right he now hath or might have on his deceased father's estate, out of his natural love and affection unto his other brothers and sisters.

"Further, the widow and relict of the said Thomas Newell reserveth the full disposal of her third of all the movable estate for her own maintainance. It is also agreed by the widow and children that Rebeckah Woodford, grandchild of the said Thomas, that hath lived several years with her grandfather and mother, shall have ^"io in movable estate given her out of her grandfather's estate before any other distribution is made.

"Also it is mutually agreed by the sons of the said Thomas Newell that they possess all the lands of their father upon these conditions, that they do pay their sisters so much in current money, for that part of their portion ; that is to say, after that value. If the movable estate will not pay their portion — that is to say, after their value that the land is appraised at — they are to redeem in country pay. Lastly, we have given to the worshipful court the several sums that each of the children have already received, as near as we can, instructing them to make equal distribution of the forementioned estate, according to our agreement, unto all which we have set our hands and seals this eighth of November, 1689.

Signed and sealed in^j Rebeckah Newell,

the presence of John Newell, George Crane, j Samuel. Newell, Caleb Stanly. J John Stanly, Thomas North."

An inventory of his estate taken Nov. 7th, 1689 : Brass, Pewter and Tin, China, Household Ware and Iron, Wooden Ware, .... Bedding and Bedsteads, Wearing Clothing, Linen, Cheeses and other things, Neat Cattle, Hogs, Sheep and Swine, Meadow Land and Upland, . Team Tackling, with other things, and Arms, Provision in the house, Corn, Steelyards, Hooks and other things,

Total, ..... £449 17 06

Appraised by John Stanley and Samuel Cowles. An account of the several sums received before their father's death : John, £34; Thomas, £65; Rebeckah, £30; Mary, £40; Hester, £28; Sarah, £40; Hannah, £28.

Ages of the children when their father died : John, 42; Thom- as, 39; Samuel, 28; Rebeckah Woodford, 46; Mary Bascomb, 44; Hester Stanly, 37; Sarah Smith, 34; Hannah North, 31.


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Rebecca Newell's Timeline

September 15, 1623
Fairstead, Essex, England
January 1643
Age 19
Farmington, Connecticut Colony
March 1645
Age 21
Farmington, Hartford Co, Connecticut
January 1647
Age 23
Farmington, Hartford, CT
March 2, 1650
Age 26
Southington, Hartford, CT
July 1652
Age 28
Farmington, Hartford Co, Connecticut
February 1655
Age 31
Farmington, Hartford, CT
April 11, 1658
Age 34