Richard Church, of Hartford

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Richard Church, of Hartford

Birthdate: (67)
Birthplace: England
Death: Died in Hadley, Hampshire , Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Hadley, Hampshire , Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Church's father and Richard Church's mother
Husband of Anne Church
Father of Deacon Edward Church; Mary Graves (Church); John Church and Samuel Church

Occupation: Carpenter, millwright
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Richard Church, of Hartford

Richard Church, original proprietor of the Hartford Colony, died Dec 16, 1667 at the home of his daughter, Mary Graves, in what was then part of Hadley, Hampshire County, Massachusetts.

Richard's parents and siblings are unknown. His birth is estimated at about year 1600 in England.

He was married to Anne (1600 – 1683). Her origins are also unknown.

Their children were:

  1. Mary (Church) Graves (abt. 1625 – 1695). Married Isaac Graves.
  2. Edward Church (1628 – 1704). Married Mary Hopkins.
  3. Capt Samuel Church I (1636 or before – 1684). Married Mary Churchill.
  4. John Church (1637 or before – 1691). Married Sarah Beckley.



The history of Richard and his family is made murky by fraud: Gustave Anjou created one of his many fraudulent genealogies around this family, exploiting the family's lack of known history.[2][3] The duped descendant, Charles Washburn Church, published the results in 1914.[4] Worse, Anjou birthdates were accepted by many later genealogists, even appearing in Lucius Barbour's Families of Early Hartford, Connecticut.[5]

The wary genealogist of the Richard Church family should look to sources that either predate 1914, or which discuss Anjou genealogy, and which are backed by primary sources.

What is wrong

A page from Charles Washburn Church's defrauded genealogy. Fraudulent information in red, reasonable guesses in green. The rest is accurate, from primary sources.[6] So far as is actually known: He was NOT the son of Richard Church and Alice Vassell [7]; neither he, nor his wife Anne, nor her father, were from Braintree, England (or Braintree, Massachusetts); his wife's last name is unknown, she is NOT the daughter of Edward Marsh.

He was not born Feb. 6, 1610; c. 1600 is more likely, based on Anne's birth year, and on the likely birthdate of their daughter Mary (c. 1625; see below)

He did not come to Hartford with Hooker in 1636: first, no profile in Anderson's Great Migration argues an arrival later than 1636; second, William Deloss Love does not list him among those who came with Hooker, or who came soon after[8]; third, his plot of land shown in the 1640 map of Hartford is very small and to the north[9], both of which indicate a later-comer, also according to Love[10].Benjamin Tinkham Marshall

In fact all of the exact Church family birth and marriage dates prior to 1647 are unknown; the first birth record we have is for Richard and Anne's granddaughter, Mary Graves, born July 5, 1647 in Hartford [11], to Mary (Church) Graves and her husband, Isaac Graves.

What we do know

Here is what know or can deduce from the records: his wife Anne, died in Hatfield, March 10, 1684, in her 84th year[12], so was born about 1600; lacking other evidence, it's reasonable to assign Richard the same birth year. Their son Edward's tombstone gives his age at death as well as his death date: [13] he was 76 in September 1704, so he was in fact born c. 1628.

Son Samuel Church was made freeman in Hartford on May 21, 1657, so was at least 21 on that date; thus was born before May, 1636. [14]

Similarly, son John Church was made freeman, May 20 1658, so was at least 21, and was born before May, 1637.[15]

Daughter Mary (Church) Graves' first child Mary Graves, m. Frary, was born July 5, 1647, according to the Hartford vital records [16]. Mary Graves was also Anne and Richard's first grandchild; Anne would have been 47 when she was born, and it is thus quite possible that both Anne and her daughter Mary Church were about 23 at the birth of their first child -- very typical for the era. A 1625 birthdate for Mary Church seems a reasonable estimate.[17]


Richard Church and his family first appear in Connecticut's records in January 3 1639/40, when he was awarded the right to 12 acres of land[18]; what we know about the family must be deduced from that and later records. (While this is often called "the first division," it was actually a general cleaning-up and regularizing of prior claims and grants, including reclamation of undeveloped plots, by the fledgling Hartford town government.)

[Following needs sourcing from Hartford early records -- Trumbull. And some narrative and background.]

1639 - He drew 12 acres of land in the first division.

1643 - Richard volunteered and served as Sargent in the Pequot Indian War.

1652 - One of the original members of The Church of Hartford.

1658 - Richard was made Freeman in Connecticut.

1659 - Because of a religious squabble withdrew from Conn. with 60 other persons to form the town of Hadley, Massachusetts. One of the original citizens to sign the agreement on Apr 18, 1659 at Goodman Ward's home in Hartford agreeing to settle the area then (or soon) called Hadley, Massachusetts. (This was later divided into Hadley, and Hatfield, South Hadley, Amherst, and Granby. The Church family settled in the portion west of the Connecticut River which became Hatfield in 1670.) (Suspect lack of land was a partial motivation.)

1667 Dec 16 - Richard died at the home of his daughter, Mary Graves, in what was then part of Hadley.

(1670 After much petitioning, Hatfield is allowed to form its own town from the portion of the original Hadley west of the Connecticut River. Suspect this meant they could build their own church and didn't have to cross the Connecticut every Sunday.)

1683/4 Mar 10 - his widow, Ann Marsh, daughter of Edward Marsh, died in Hatfield, Massachusetts, in her 84th year[19].


Richard's parents and siblings are unknown

He was married to Anne Marsh (1600 – 1683)

Their children included:

Edward Church (1628 – 1704) Mary Church Graves (abt. 1625 – 1695) Capt Samuel Church I (1636 or before – 1684) John Church (1637 or before – 1691) Sources

Free of Anjou information

Lesses, Richard; Richard Church of Hartford's Ancestry, posting to soc.genealogy.misc 11/16/1996 Link to record Boltwood, Lucius Manlius; Genealogies of Hadley Families: Embracing the Early Settlers of the Towns of Hatfield, South Hadley, Amherst, and Granby; Metcalf printers, 1862. Judd, Sylvester; History of Hadley, including the early history of Hatfield, South Hadley, Amherst and Granby, Massachusetts; H.R. Hunting and Company. Springfield, Mass. 1905 Love, William DeLoss The Colonial History of Hartford: Gathered from the Original Records; published by the author, Hartford, CT, 1914. At Porter, William S.; Hartford in 1640 prepared from the original records by vote of the town and drawn by William S. Porter Very high-resolution copy at University of CT Trumbull, J. Hammond, ed.;The public records of the Colony of Connecticut, prior to the union with New Haven Colony, May, 1665, transcribed and published under the supervision of the Secretary of State; Hartford: Brown & Parsons, 1850 (Public Records Hartford) At White, Lorraine Cook, Bailey, Christina. The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records: Hartford 1635-1855 Genealogical Publishing Company, 2003 memorial for Deacon Edward Church, (Hill Cemetery, Hatfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts), #15358255 Link to memorial at Findagrave Bartlett, J. Gardiner; Erroneous Pedigrees; Church. The Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 3 (Dec. 1915/Sept. 1916), Boston : Eben Putnam,1905-1917 Compromised by Anjou information

Church, Charles Washburn; Simeon Church of Chester, Connecticut, 1708-1792, and his descendants, by Charles Washburn Church (C.W. Church genealogy); The Mattatuck Press, Waterbury, CT, 1914. Title page. This is the original publication which included the fraudulent Anjou information. Marshall, Benjamin Tinkham; A Modern History of New London County, Connecticut, Volume 2, 1922. This has the bogus genealogy, hook, line & sinker. If you need a summary of the fraudulent genealogy, here it is. Barbour, Lucius; Families of Early Hartford, Connecticut, Doesn't reproduce the fraudulent ancestry, but includes the [fraudulent birthdates and Anne as daughter of Edward Marsh of Braintree.] With other errors

Descendants of Richard Church of Plymouth, Mass., by John Church, Rutland, Vt.: Tuttle Co., 1913. Conflates Richard Church of Hadley with Richard Church of Hingham Footnotes

↑ John A. Church, For an early published genealogy, it is well sourced and refers to original or published records. HOWEVER, it appears it confuses Richard of Hadley with Richard of Hingham! ↑ Lesses ↑ Bartlett, p 192 ↑ C.W. Church genealogy ↑ Barbour ↑ C.W. Church genealogy, p.11, detail, with overdrawing by Patricia J. Hawkins showing fraudulent items ↑ Lesses; Gardiner ↑ Love, p.32 At ↑ Porter; Note that north is to the right on this map at U.Connecticut ↑ Love, p.32 At ↑ Bourbour CT Vital Records, p.178. At ↑ Boltwood p.18; this may be from an old gravemarker, or a town record; I've found no clear source, but several older genealogies repeat it. At ↑ link to photo at findagrave.comEdward Findagrave memorial ↑ Public Records Hartford, p. 297, At ↑ Public Records Hartford, p 315, At ↑ Hartford Vital Records, p.178 At ↑ Like many genealogists, I round estimated birth years to the nearest five; assigning Mary Church a 1625 birth year moves her closer to her brothers' likely birthdates; also Anne and Richard were not a very fertile couple for the era, with only four children, whereas Mary and Isaac Graves proceeded to have ten children, averaging one every 2.5 years until Mary's death, so an earlier first child is likelier for Mary than for Anne. ↑ Love, p.125 At ↑ Boltwood p.18. Several older sources state "in her 84th year" or "AE 84". This may be from a town record, or it may have been a transcription from an old wooden grave marker.



OR GEO. CHURCH mark m. NOT the same as Richard Church, of Plymouth, please don't mix up __________________________________________

Came to Boston in 1630 with Hooker and Stone. Came 1636 to Hartford with relatives John Marsh, Nathaniel Marsh and Isaac Graves, who came from Braintree County, Essex, England. An original properietor of Hartford, 1639-40 received a home lot on what is now North Main St. Held several offices there.He signed the 4/18/1659 agreement to form Hadley and move 1659. Will Dec 13, 1667. Died Hadley Children: Edward, John, Samuel, Mary Sometimes confused with the RIchard Church from London who married Elizabeth Warren


founders of hadley, mass list:


founders of hartford, ct list:


Richard CHURCH 1, 2, 3 was born in 1610 in Braintree, Essex County, England. He was christened on 3 Jun 1608 in Shoreditch, London, England. He died on 27 Dec 1668 in Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts. He was buried in 1668 in Hingham, Suffolk, Massachusetts. He married Anne MARSH (MARCHE) on 18 May 1627 in , Braintree, Essex, England. He had other parents.

Anne MARSH (MARCHE) [Parents] 1 was born on 10 Oct 1600 in Of, Sherford, Devonshire, England. She died on 10 Mar 1684 in Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts. She married Richard CHURCH on 18 May 1627 in , Braintree, Essex, England.

They had the following children:

		M	i	 John CHURCH 1 was born on 9 May 1636 in Hartford, Hartford, Conn. He died on 16 Oct 1691 in Weathersfield, Hartford, Conn. He was buried on 16 Oct 1691 in Hartford, Hartford Co, Connecticut.
		M	ii	 Edward CHURCH 1 was born on 26 Feb 1628 in Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts. He died on 10 Sep 1704 in Hatfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts. He was buried in Sep 1704 in Hill Burying Ground, Hatfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts.
		M	iii	 Samuel CHURCH 1 was born on 3 Mar 1629 in Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts. He died on 13 Apr 1684 in Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts.
		F	iv	 Mary CHURCH

Issac GRAVES [Parents] 1 was born in 1620 in Of, Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts. He was christened in , , , Is. He died on 19 Sep 1677 in Hartford/hadley, , Ma, By Indians. He was buried in , , Ct. He married Mary CHURCH before 1645 in Hartford, Hartford, Ct.

Mary CHURCH [Parents] 1 was born on 2 Nov 1630 in Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts. She died on 16 Oct 1691 in Hadley, Hampshire, Massachusetts. She married Issac GRAVES before 1645 in Hartford, Hartford, Ct.

They had the following children:

		F	i	 Elizabeth GRAVES 1 was born on 16 Mar 1662 in Hatfield, Hampshire, Ma, Ma. She died on 8 Feb 1695 in ?hatfield, Hampshire, Ma.
		F	ii	 Elizabeth GRAVES 1 was born on 6 Dec 1662 in , Hatfield, Hampshire, Ma. She died on 16 Sep 1752 in , Hatfield, Hampshire, Ma ?.
		M	iii	 Samuel Sr GRAVES 1 was born on 1 Oct 1655 in , Weathersfield, Hartford, Connecticut. He was christened in Or, Wethersfield, Hartford, Connecticut. He died on 11 Mar 1731 in , Sunderland, Franklin, Massachusetts. He was buried in Sutherland, , Mass.
		F	iv	 Hannah GRAVES
		F	v	 Mary GRAVES 1 was born on 5 Jul 1647 in , Andover, Essex, Mass.. She died on 8 Apr 1733 in , Hartford, Hartford, Ct. She was buried in , , Massachusetts.
		M	vi	 William WORTHINGTON 1 was born on 1 Oct 1671 in Hatfield, Hampshire, Ma, Ma. He was christened on 23 Jun 1671. He died on 22 May 1753 in Colchester, New London, Ct, Ct.
		M	vii	 Isaac GRAVES 1 was born on 22 Aug 1650 in Hartford, Hartford, Ct, Ma. He died in 1651/1655 in Hatfield, Hampshire Co., Ma.
		F	viii	 Rebecca GRAVES 1 was born on 3 Jul 1652 in Hartford, Hartford, Ct, Ma. She died in 1675 in , Hartford, Ma.
		F	ix	 Sarah GRAVES 1 was born on 27 Apr 1657 in , Hatfield, Hampshire, Ma. She died about 1687 in , Sunderland, Franklin, Ma. She was buried in , Sunderland, Hampshire, Ma ?.
		M	x	 John GRAVES 1 was born in 1664 in Hatfield, Hampshire, Ma, Ma. He died in 1746 in Hatfield, Hampshire, Ma, Mass.
		M	xi	 Jonathan GRAVES 1 was born on 24 Jan 1666 in , Hatfield, Hampshire, Ma. He died on 12 Oct 1737 in , Hatfield, Hampshire, Mass.


Arrived 1630 with John Winthrop.

Landed in Plymouth when he was about 22, was a carpenter and with John Thomson built the first church in Plymouth.

Richard Church, Hartford, 1637, was an original proprietor, and received, in 1639-40, a home-lot on the east side of the road to the Cow Pasture (North Main St.) ; freed from watching and warding, etc. March, 1655 ; chosen chimney-viewer, 1648; surveyor of highways, 1655. Removed to Hadley with "the withdrawers," in 1659; d. there, Dec. 16, 166

1. His widow, Anne, d. March 10, 1684, aged 83.- __________________________

Copy of a portion of: The Warner-Harrington Ancestry of Samuel, Freda and John Warner by Frederick Chester Warner (1866- )

1. John at Church, b.1335 d. 1396, of Great Parndon Parish, Manor of Geround, Co. Essex, England, is the first of this family known. In 1360 he married Catherine, daughter of Richard Winchester. She died 1438. 2. John Chyrch, b. 1365, d. 1450 m. Catherine-----. He was a resident of the city of Leicester, Eng. and held much property. In 1399 he was elected Burgess of Parliament. Was elected again in 1420 and, from 1402 to 1422, was Mayor of Leicester. 3. John Church, married Agnes----. He was a merchant. 4. Reynold Church, Married 1496, Margaret Greene, daughter of Robert Greene of Chester. He owned lands in Leicester, Nautwich and Castell Camps. 5. Robert Church, b. ab. 1505. He was a counsellor-at-law and Steward of the Earl of Oxford. 6. John Church, married about 1547, Catherine Swan. He was of Sanford, Co. Essex and was made freeman 1547. He had an armory. 7. John Church, b. ab. 1548, married Joan Titerell. The distress of the poor during this time was very great and he was appointed by the officers of the church one of "two able persons to be gatherers for the poor". He died before 4 Nov. 1593. 8.Richard Church, b. 9 May 1570, married 15 Dec 1592, by general license in the Bishops Court, London, Alice----, widow of his brother Henry Church. In 1613 he settled in Braintree, County Essex, England. Ref. -Simon Church of Chester, Connecticut, -Charles W. Church, 1914. Children born in England: Alice b. 12 Jan 1603 d.---, m. 18 may l624, Thomas Green of Witham. John b. 17 May 1607, d. 15 July 1638, m. 29 Sept. 1629, Elizabeth Marsh. Henry b. 4 Nov. 1609, d.--- m.----Browne Richard b. 6 Feb. l610,d. 16 Dec 1667 m. Anne, d. 10 Mar. 1684. Arnold b. 23 Mar.1611, d.---- m. Margaret Ward, sister of Nathaniel Ward of Hartford. 9.Richard Church, b. 6 Feb. 1610, England, d. 16 Dec 1667, age 57, Hadley, Mass., m. 18 May 1627, England, Anne----. b. about 1610, d. 10 march 1684, age 83, Hatfield Mass.

Evidently Richard Church came to America with his relatives, John Marsh, Nathaniel Marsh and Isaac Graves, all of whom came from Braintree, County Essex. He probably came in 1636 and went to Hartford, Ct. the same year with the party of Rev. Mr. Hooker. He first appears as an original proprietor of Hartford in 1637. In 1639-40 his homelot was on the east side of what is now North Main street. That year he drew 12 acres of land in the "cow pasture". He was elected chimney-viewer in 1648 and surveyor of highways in 1655. In March 1655 he was freed from watching and warding (military duties). On 18 April 1659 he was one of 60 persons from Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor who met at Nathaniel Ward's house in Hartford and signed an agreement to remove themselves and their families out of Connecticut and into Massachusetts. Soon afterward he settled in what is now Hadley. On 10 July 1660 Richard Church was one of the witnesses to the deed given by the Indians conveying the land in what is now Hatfield to the Hadley planters. In 1663 his 8 acre home lot in Hadley was located on the west side of the street, the seventh lot south from the river and the fourth south of Joseph Baldwin's another ancestor. In March 1663 he was rated at L100 and drew 4 acres, 1 qrs. 33 rods in the first division of land. He died in Hadley in 1667. After his death, his widow Anne moved to Hatfield where her son Samuel had settled and where she died in 1684, in the 84th year of her age.

Note: The Genealogical Magazine, Vol.3, p. 192 states that nothing is known of the place of origin, parentage, or ancestral line of Richard Church of Hartford and that his marriage to Anne Marsh is pure fiction. Ref.- Memorial History of Hartford County, Connecticut History of Hadley,-Syllvester Judd, 1905. Ancestory of Thomas C. Brainerd, 1948.

Children born in England To Richard and Anne Church: Edward b. 26 Feb. 1628, d. 19 Sept 1704, m/----Mary----, b. about 1636, d. 30 Sept. 1690. Samuel b. 3 Mar. 1629, d. 13 april 1684, m.Mary Churchill, b. 24 March 1639, d. 1690. Mary b. 2 Nov1632, d. 9 j 1695, m. about 1648 Isaac Graves, d. 19 Sept 1677, Hatfield. John b. 9 may 1636, d. 1691, m. Oct. 1657, Sarah Beckley, d. 16 Oct 1691. 10. Edward Church, b. 26 Fet. 1628, County Essex, England., died, 19 Sept 1704, age 76, Hatfield, M. Mary---, b. about 1636, died 30 Sept 1690, age 54, Hatfield.

Deacon Edward Church came to America with his parents. The first record found of him here is in 1654 when he was living in Norwalk, Ct. He probably married about that time. He moved to New Haven, Ct. in 1656 and, on 5 August 1656, a court held at New Haven approved the sale by James Clark to Edward Church of 10 acres in the first division. He probably continued to live in New Haven until after 1659. In that year, his father and brother Samuel decided to settle in Hadley and soon afterward Edward moved there also as one of the original proprietors. He drew the 8 acre homelot on the middle highway to the meadows. On 27 Jan. 1663 he was chosen one of the first surveyors of highways. In March of that year he was rated at L80 and drew 3 acres, 2 qurs. 9 rods in the first division of lands. On 19 Feb 1668-9 he signed the protest against the tax in imports into Massachusetts and, in 1671, was elected a selectman. In October 1672 he signed the petition for an additional 8 miles square to be added to the east side of Hadley. This grant included what is now Amherst. Before 1681 Edward church sold his homelot to Joseph and Thomas Selding and moved to Hatfield. He was taxed as a nonresident of Hadley in Jan. 1681-2(12s 7d for building Fort River bridge) and 1686 (11s for town debts). In April 1703 he drew 52-1/2 acres in the division of woodlands in the 8 mile addition. He was a Deacon of the Hatfield church and died in 1704. Ref.-History of Norwalk, Connecticut. New Haven Town Records. History of Hadley,-Sylvester Judd, 1905 Children: 2 born New Haven, Ct., 7 born Hadley: Rebecca born about 1654, d. 9 Je 1726, m.11 Feb. 1677 Joseph Selden, died 14 July 1724, Lyme, Connecticut. Mary born 7 Nov.1656, d. 1 May 1743, Sunderland, Married 25 Dec. 1679, Phillip Russell, died 19 may 1693, Hatfield Massachusetts. John born 1658, died 19 may 1676, killed in Falls fight. Samuel Born 4 april 1662, died 6 May 1662, Hatfield Massachusetts. Naomi born 12 May 1666, died----, Married 1 May 1687, Joseph Bodman, died 8 July 1711, Hatfield Massachusetts. Sarah Born 18 May 1670, died---, married 3 Dec 1697, William Porter of Haddam, Connecticut. Hannah born 1672, died 11 Oct. 1756, Married about 1691, Ebenezer Billings. Richard born 18 Jan. 1675, died 4 april 1763, m 1691, Mary---, Died 22 Dec 1776, Hatfield Massachusetts Hepzibah born 24 Dec. 1678, died 13 Sept 1696, Married 16 Sept. 1696, Samuel Spencer of Bolton, Connecticut.

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Richard Church, of Hartford's Timeline

February 28, 1593
St. Mary, Somerset, London, ENGLAND
June 3, 1608
Age 8
Shoreditch, London, England
June 3, 1608
Age 8
Shoreditch, London, ENG
June 3, 1608
Age 8
Shoreditch, London, England
June 3, 1608
Age 8
June 3, 1608
Age 8
Shoreditch, London, England
June 3, 1608
Age 8
Shoreditch, London, England
June 3, 1608
Age 8
Shoreditch, London, England
June 3, 1608
Age 8
Shoreditch, London, England