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Robert Wilson

Birthplace: England, United Kingdom
Death: July 21, 1655
Farmington, Hartford County, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of unknown Wilson and unknown Wilson
Husband of Elizabeth Cadwell
Father of Deacon John Wilson and Samuel Wilson

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About Robert Wilson

Robert Wilson, of Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut. Windsor was settled in 1635 by a group of colonists who came with their pastor, the Rev, Mr. Wareham from Roxbury, Massachusetts. They were soon joined by a group which came directly from England and sailed up the Connecticut River to the head of navigation at Windsor. Nowhere in either group do we find mention of the name Wilson.

“Robert Wilson has granted from ye Plantation thirty acres of wood land.” This undated notation, found on page 152 of the first volume of Windsor land records is the earliest mention we have found of this man. On 11 Jan. 1640 Robert exchanged this land for fourteen acres of more desirable land thus establishing that he came to Windsor within five years of its initial settlement. He sold his fourteen acres to James Ennochs on 7 July 1655.

Inasmuch as Robert had to be of age in 1640 to own land we can reasonably assume that he was born in England prior to 1619

In these conveyances there is no mention of a dwelling house or other buildings. Construction of shelter against the harsh New England winters was of paramount importance to the early settlers, the failure of Robert to build upon his land indicates that he must have shared a residence with someone. This conclusion is validated by a conveyance dated 24 June 1647 by which William Thrall and Robert Wilson, “joint purchasers of the land bought of Simon Hoyt” by mutual agreement divided the land and the dwelling house “from the middle of the doors and chimnies” each to own one end of the building with the garden, the well and the wood lot to be owned in common. The land covered by this agreement, amounting to four score acres together with the dwelling house thereon standing was purchased by Thrall on 20 June 1646, the name of Robert Wilson did not appear at that time. This arrangement for divided ownership of the house continued until 28 June 1654 when Wilson, because of his move to Farmington, sold his entire interest to Thrall.

It is interesting to speculate as to why, at a time when timber to build cabins was readily available, Robert chose for the fifteen years he resided in Windsor to share accommodations rather than build upon his own land. Possibly he married a daughter of William Thrall, if so there is no proof of such a relationship, there is no record of the existence of a first wife for Robert and no children survived from such a marriage. William Thrall died at Windsor 3 Aug. 1679, ae. 73 years, his wife having died in 1676. When Robert in 1654 sold his homestead rights in Windsor he had previously acquired considerable land in the nearby town of Farmington where the records note that in January 1653 he owned sixty-six acres of farmland in addition to the ten acres on which stood his dwelling house. It was at this point, with a young and apparently prosperous family that tragedy struck.

Early in July 1655 Robert made a trip to Windsor, probably leaving his wife and their infant children in Farmington. On 7 July 1655 he signed a deed conveying his wood lot in Windsor, his signature thereon was notarized at Windsor. While in Windsor he no doubt took the opportunity to visit relatives and friends. There is no way to know what they had to eat and drink on that hot midsummer day but his sister Ann (Wilson) Weller died on 10 July 1655 and less than two weeks later, on 21 July 1655, Robert’s death was recorded at Farmington.

Only one document, an inventory taken 3 July 1656, remains in the probate file of Robert Wilson. It set the value of his estate at 173 pounds and 7 shillings, a marginal note states that John Wilson is now five years old and Samuel in now Three years old.

Robert Wilson married, probably at Hartford, circa 1649 Elizabeth Stebbing. She was much younger that Robert having been born at Hartford circa 1631, daughter of Dea. Edward and Frances (tough) (Chester) (Smith) Stebbing.

Elizabeth survived her husband and in 1658 married, as his second wife, Thomas Cadwell of Hartford. She was living on 11 Feb. 1691/2 when Cadwell made his will in which he stated that his eldest son, Edward had received a good estate from his grad-father Stebbing, “in the right of my wife, his loving mother, who was the only child of said grandfather living when he deceased.” Elizabeth and Thomas had ten (Cadwell) children; Mary 1659, Edward 1660, Thomas 1662, William 1665, Mathew 1668, Abigail 1670, Elizabeth 1672, Samuel 1675, Hannah 1677 and Mehitable in 1680.

The aforesaid is from Five families from Hartford County, Connecticut

↑ 1.0 1.1 Robert Wilson, in Savage, James. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England: Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692, on the Basis of Farmer's Register. (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co, 1860-1862), 4:588. "Robert (Wilson), Windsor, an early sett. tho. not among the first, m. Eliz. d. of deac. Edward Stebbins, had John, rem. to Farmington, and had Samuel, b. 1653; perhaps no other ch. and d. at F. 21 July 1655. His wid. m. 1658, Thomas Cadwell."

↑ Edward Stebbins, in Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995), 3:1753.

↑ Farmington [CT] Vital Records, in Connecticut, United States. The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records, 179. "Wilson, … Robbed, d. July 21, 1655 [LR2:320]"


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Robert Wilson's Timeline

Hartford, (Present Hartford County), Connecticut Colony
June 24, 1653
Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut
July 21, 1655
Farmington, Hartford County, Connecticut, United States
England, United Kingdom