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Robert Wade

Birthdate: (63)
Birthplace: Fairsted, Basildon, Essex, England
Death: June 9, 1682 (59-67)
Norwich, New London County, Province of Connecticut, Colonial America
Place of Burial: Norwich, New London, Connecticut, USA
Immediate Family:

Husband of Susanna Wade
Ex-husband of Joane Wade
Father of Elizabeth Wade; Susanna Jennings; Mary Crane Cross and Robert Wade, Jr.

Occupation: Farmer, Original settler of Hartford, Ct
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Robert Wade

Robert Wade

  • Birth: ABT 1603 / 1619 England
  • Death: AFT 1669 Norwich, New London Co, Ct / Probate records dated June 1682

Immigration: BEF 1635 unknown ship, at Dorchester, Ma 1635


Anderson's Great Migration Project has no origins for him.

Parents seen as


  1. Joane abt 1625 in England divorce granted 1657
  2. Susanna, perhaps Birchard

Children listed in the probate records. Further research is needed to determine their ages/mother/birth order. A cursory glance indicates they are children of the second wife Susannah.

  1. Robert Wade Jr. died 1696
  2. Susanna m. Jonathan Ginnings/Jennings. They had children between 1679 and 1699.
  3. Mary m. Peter Cross. They had children between 1679 and 1699.
  4. Elizabeth 2 of 3 wives of Richard Smith.


He was living in Norwich in 1669.[2] He was on a list of freeman[3] taken 9 Oct 1669.[8] Robert Wade is considered an original settler of Norwich. He had six acres; sixteen rods front, next to John Birchard, which he sold, in 1677, to Caleb Abell.[9] His wife was Susanna.[9]

Court action by the heirs of Robert Wade [New London County Court Records 8:133] and two deeds in Saybrook [Saybrook Land Records, 2:96 & 2:402] ... identify the four surviving children of Robert Wade Sr. ie. (1) Robert Wade Jr. m. 11 Mar 1690/1 d. 1696. Had a daughter Susanna m. Aaron Clarke of Lebanon. (2) Mary, m. Peter Cross of Windham; (3) Susanna, m. Jonathan Gennings of Windham; (4) a daughter who was 2nd wife of Richard Smith of Lyme, mother of Daniel Smith.[10]

  • Robert Wade married (1) Joane (__?__) in England. He and Joane (__?__) were divorced on 12 August 1657.1 He married (2) Susannah Birchard, daughter of Thomas Birchard and Mary Robinson, after 1657. He died circa 1682 in Norwich, New London Co., Conn., (internet).
  • Immigration: By 1639 when he is found in Hartford.
  • Freeman: Hartford, 1640; listed as a freeman of Conn. in Norwich, 1669.
  • Founder/Proprietor: Hartford, 1639; Norwich, 1660.
  • Religion/Church: Early member of the 1st Church.

My research on the family of Robert Wade has not been thorough and I offer the following as a suggestion in need of further verification.

We know that Robert Wade, of England, is first found in Hartford in 1639. He had a wife, Joan, who accompanied him but returned to England about 1642. "Families of Early Hartford" and the "Descendants of John Owen" claim he is the father of Rebecca Wade who married John Owen of Windsor in 1650. P How long Robert stayed in Hartford is uncertain and at some point, he accompanied others of Hartford and Windsor who migrated to Saybrook. In 1657, while residing in Saybrook, we find the following in the Colonial Records of Connecticut, under date of 12 August:

"This Court duely & seriously considering what evidence hath bene prsented to them by Robert Wade, of Seabrooke, in reference to his wives unworthy, sinfull, yea, unnaturall carriage towards him the said Robert, her husband, notwithstanding his constant & commendable care & indeavors to gaine fellowship wth her in the bond of marriage, and that either where shee is in England, or for her to live wth him here in New England; all wch being slighted & rejected by her, disowning him & fellowship wth him in that sollemne covenant of God between them, & all this for neare fifteene yeares; They doe hereby declared that Robert Wade is from this time free from Joane Wade, his late wife & that former Covenant of marriage betwene them."

From this we gather that Robert's wife had returned to England about 1642 and not returned. A marriage to Susannah Birchard could explain the reason for his seeking of a divorce which is said to be only the second divorce granted in the colony at that time. If Robert was not intending to remarry, it would not have been necessary to obtain a divorce.

In 1660, the Reverend James Fitch, with the greater part of his church, removed from Saybrook to a plot of land bought of Uncas, the chief of the Mohegans, and called Norwich. We find the name of Robert Wade among the thirty-five Saybrook residents who founded Norwich in 1660, including persons who had been originally of Windsor and Hartford (NEHGR 1(1847):315). While I can't be certain, without further research, that this is the same Robert Wade of Hartford, the migration pattern and persons involved are a feasible scenario.

It appears that Robert Wade married Susannah Birchard at some point after his divorce and apparently had four children. He died in Norwich by 1682 when his estate was inventoried at 82 and distributed to his widow 27 19s, Robert Jr. 22, and 11 each to Susannah, Mary, and Elizabeth (internet).

In 1691, Robert Wade, apparently the son, married Abijah Royce in Norwich. Robert Wade Jr. died about 1696 in Windham when Jonathan Ginnings and Robert Cross, his brother-in-laws, informed the court that Robert died much in debt and appealed to the court to be allowed to sell some of his lands for payment of his debts and to relieve his family (Colonial Records of Connecticut 4:181).

Genealogical Questions

Disputed Origins

John Wade and Ann Wade have been claimed, without source, as Robert's parents. Anderson, in the Great Migration Directory,says that no documentation has been found to confirm Robert's parents.[1]

Disputed Child

Rebecca Owen

Rebecca WADE - d. Dec. 3, 1711, Windsor, CT. Possibly the daughter of Henry WADE and granddaughter of Richard WADE (b. about 1579, Dorestshire, England; d. CT) and Elizabeth (b. about 1574, England). Another source indicates she was the daughter of Robert WADE, probably the brother of Henry. Robert WADE was living at Dorchester, MA in 1635, and moved to Hartford, CT in 1639, and to Norwich, CT in 1660. Robert divorced his wife Joane, then living in England, on Aug. 12, 1657 after a fifteen year separation

See also

Disputed Spouse

Robert Wade and Thomas Birchard were neighbors. Robert Wade married Susanna. Thomas Birchard had a daughter Susanna, who is unaccounted for. This is a possibility, but there is no proof.



From The "Descendants of John Owen of Windsor Connecticut" dated 1941 we have John Owen Married Rebecca Wade of nearby Hartford, the daughter of Robert and Jemima Wade.

The name Robert Wade appears on the Hartford Settlers Monument as one of the 127 original settlers of Hartford in 1639.

From "Annals of Dorchester" we have a land record concerning Robert Wade dated 4 Jan 1635.

In the "Memorial History of Hartford County, Connecticut" the following appears "Robert Wade, Dorchester, 1635, removed soon to Hartford, where he was one of those who received land"

The name of Robert Wade appears in Hartford land records in Feb 1639.

In Aug 1657 Robert Wade was divorced from his wife, Jane or Joan, by the General Court at Hartford on the grounds of her refusal for 15 years to leave England and join him in the colony. (15 years goes back to 1642, which does not align well with the other dates of 1635 and 1639 as being in the colonies. Or perhaps his wife was here and then returned to England in 1642. Other than starting with the same letter the wife's name also does not match up well.)

Probate records dated June 1682 of Robert Wade mentions 3 daughters, but none named Rebecca! (Perhaps we have 2 different Robert Wades creating these records.)

To summarize we have a Robert Wade from England in Dorchester by 1635 and one of the founders of Hartford in 1639. Of much else we cannot be certain.



  1. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Directory, Immigrants to New England 1620-1640, p 353: "Wade, Robert: Unknown; 1639; Harford, Saybrook [HaTR24; HaBOP 157; CCCR 1:46, 301, 2:523; TAG 35:22]."
  2. Savage, James. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692. Vol. I-IV. Boston, MA, USA: 1860-1862. p. 378 Link at Archive
  3. Barbour, Lucius Barnes. Families of Early Hartford, Connecticut. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. , 1977
  4. Hinman, Royal R. A Catalogue of the Names of the Early Puritan Settlers of the Colony of Connecticut; With the Time of their arrival in the Country and Colony... Hartford: Press of Case, Tiffany and Company. 1852. p. at Archive
  5. Historical Catalogue of the First Church in Hartford : 1633-1885.. Hartford, Conn.: The Church, 1885, p 13
  6. Trumbull, J. Hammond. (transcriber). The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut Prior to the Union with New Haven Colony May 1665. Hartford: Brown and Parsons, 1850. AKA Colonial Records of Connecticut. Volume I. 1636-1665 Google Books (freeman p. 46; divorce p. 301
  7. Manwaring, Charles William. A Digest of the Early Connecticut Probate Records.Volume 1. Hartford District 1635-1700. Hartford, Conn., R.S. Peck & Co., Printers, 1904. (p.84 Early land owners before 1653-Hartford) (Inventory p.514
  8. Trumbull, J. Hammond. (transcriber) The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut from 1665 to 1676; with the Journal of the Coucil of War 1675 to 1678... Hartford: F A Brown, 1852. AKA Colonial Records of Connecticut. Vol II.1665-1678. Google Books p. 523
  9. Hurd, Duane Hamilton. History of New London County, Connecticut: With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men. Philadelphia: J.W. Lewis & Company, 1882. p. 316 See also (original prop p.247; plot 248; Susanna p. 264)
  10. "Daniel Smith of Lyme, Conn." by Robert Buell. The American Genealogist 33:151 (1957) [ Link at ($) AmericanAncestors
  11. "Smith-Wade" The American Genealogist 49:209 (1973)Article in support of the name of Robert Smith's wife 2 of 3. New London County Court records "Trials" volumes 4-5-6, in Vol. 4:21 Inventory of Robert Wade exhibited 9 June 1682. Vol 4:56 Court on 23 Nov 1683 Robert's distribution
  12. Charles R. Hale Collection of Connecticut Cemetery Inscriptions.
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Robert Wade's Timeline

Basildon, Essex, England
Age 35
Age 36
Norwich, New London, CT, USA
June 3, 1659
Age 40
Norwich, New London, Connecticut, USA
Age 52
Norwich,New London,Connecticut,USA
June 9, 1682
Age 63
Norwich, New London County, Province of Connecticut, Colonial America