Sgt. William Cornwall

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William Cornwall

Birthdate: (69)
Birthplace: Terling, Essex, England
Death: Died in Middletown, Hartford County (Present Middlesex County), Connecticut Colony
Place of Burial: Middletown, Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Cornwell, Sr. and Joan Cornwall
Husband of Joan Cornwall and Mary Cornwall
Father of Sgt. John Cornwall; William Cornwall, III; Samuel Cornwall; Jacob Cornwell; Sarah Hubbard and 3 others
Half brother of William Cornwell

Occupation: Sargeant-At-Arms
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Sgt. William Cornwall

Myth of Mary Hyanno

Bearse-Hyanno DNA Project proposal

[] Mary (Unknown) aka Hyanno / Hyannos Wife of William Cornwall (disproved)

The issue here is whether or not Mary 'Hyanno' is the same Mary (Unknown) whom married Sgt. William Cornwall, Jr.

There is no original source, evidence or proof that Mary 'Hyanno' was the same Mary, wife of Sgt. William Cornwall, Jr....

A Careful examination of the children and dates that they were supposedly born proves that it is and was Impossible for Mary 'Hyanno' to be the wife of Sgt. William Cornwall, Jr. but even more impossible for Mary 'Hyanno' to be the mother of the 'Cornwall' children.

Unless she was married to both men at the same time? Nonsense.

CORNWALL CHILDREN ________________________________________

Sgt. John Cornwall 1640-1707

Samuel Cornwall 1642-1728

Sarah Hubbard (Cornwall) 1647-1704

Thomas Cornwall 1648-1702

Mary Bull (Cornwall) 1649-1717

Jacob Cornwall 1649-1708

Elizabeth Hall (Cornwall) 1652-????

Esther Wilcox (Cornwall) 1650-1733

BEARSE CHILDREN _________________________________________

Mary Hallett (Bearse) 1640-1694

Priscilla Hall (Bearse) 1643-1712

Martha Bearse 1642-1643

Sarah Hamblin (Bearse) 1646-1712

Abigail Nichols (twin-Bearse) 1647-1670

Hannah Bearse 1649-1719

Joseph Bearse 1651-1728

Hester Bearse 1653-1723

Lydia Bearse 1655-1725

Rebecca Hunter (Bearse) 1657-1746

James Bearse Sr. 1660-1728

Came to America in early 1630's with his wife Joan

Emigration: To Roxbury, Mass. 1633; to Hartford, Conn., by 1639; to Middletown, Conn. before November 1652.

Sgt in the militia - fought Pequot Indians in 1637

Represented Middletown in colonial legislature

Constable in Middletown

Christened by the brother of Fairsted's incumbent rector, the Rev. Henry Robinson on 25 May 1609 in Terling, Essex, England.

William was one of sixteen Sargeant-At-Arms assigned as body-guards to protect King Charles I.

He was dispatched to 'The New World' (New England Colony) in the 1600's. (All three brothers were dispatched to different areas. William never saw his brother, Charles, again.). William arrived with the Winthrop Fleet aboard the flagship 'Arbella' to help in the settlement of the Massachusetts Bay Colony at Roxbury (Boston) in 1633. He came from England to Boston with his first wife, Joan.

He became a member of Rev. John Eliot's ('the Indian Missionary') church. In the mid 1630's, after Joan was murdered by the Pequots, he spent a winter on Cape Cod where he presumably met 'Little Dove'.

William went as a Cavalier, assigned to protect the Puritan Colonist from marauding Pequot Indians. William served with Capt. John Underhill after joining Capt. Masons' force at Saybrook, CT. for their mass attack on Pequot Indians in their Fort at Mystic, in May of 1637. He fought alongside Chief John Hyanno.

In 1638 he negotiated with John Hyanno for the purchase of Indian lands for the Stratford Colony in CT. After the Pequot Expedition he settled in Hartford (CT.). For his service against the Pequot Indians, he was awarded a lot in "Souldier's Field" in 1639. This land was located at what is now known today as the north end of Village St.

On or about 1650/1651 he removed with the first settlers to Middletown (CT.). This land originally belonged to the Narragansetts. He was the founder of Middletown & a representative in 1654, 1664 & 1665. His land was located at what is known today as the corner of Main & Washington St.

His descendants have been certified as 'Patriots' by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.


  • Cousin Gale Thomas Cornwell 48100 Desert Grove Dr. #12, Indio, CA. 92201 (Gale was a 1st Lieut. in WWII. I have a sketch he completed during the end of the war (June 1945; age 19) in Linz, Austria. Gale is a native of Redwood, Town of Alexandria, N.Y.).
  • Middlefield, CT. History: Kellogg's White Gen., 27; Amer. Ancestry, II, 28: Savage's Gen. Dict., vol. 1, 459.
  • Corp. Austin's R.I. Gen. Dist. 56.
  • Correll. Power's History of Sangamon Co., Ill., 228.
  • From a book whose chapter pg. (50) states, 'The First Meeting House'.
  • Article entitled, 'A Brief Summary of the Cornwell Family'
  • Info from the 'Order of the Honorable Artillery Co., Inc.'
  • Letter from cousin Harry W. Kinsley, Jr., Limerick, Maine.
  • Book whose chapter title is: 'The English Origin of the Cornwell/Cornell Family, pg. 115.

Ben M. Angel notes: This individual was listed as having been buried at the following location:

Ole' Theresa Cemt., Theresa, Connecticut, United States

I was not able to find an Old (or Ole, or Ol') Theresa Cemetery, nor a town of Theresa, CT. Further, there is a profile for William Cornwall (1609-1678) on Find A Grave, but this profile indicates that his burial place is unknown:

Birth: May, 1609 - Harwich, England

Death: Feb. 21, 1677 - Middletown, Middlesex County, Connecticut, USA

Baptized at Terling, Essex, 25 May 1609, son of William Cornwall and Margaret Hayward. Came from Fairsted, Essex to Massachusetts Bay in 1633. First settled in Roxbury; then moved to Hartford, & finally Middletown CT by 1651. Died in Middletown 21 February 1677/8.


  • (1) Fairsted, Essex, 27 September 1632, Joan Ranke; she was admitted to Roxbury church as member #77, immediately following her husband; no further record.
  • (2) By 1640 Mary _____; apparently dead by 2 February 1674[/5?], as not named in husband's will.

The identification of William Cornwall set forth by Prentiss Glazier would make him nephew, through a half-brother, of Thomas Cornwall or Cornell of Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island.

Family links:


  • Joan Ranke Cornwall
  • Mary Cornwall

Burial: Unknown

Created by: Linda Mac

  • Record added: Apr 15, 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 35897053

William was supposedly a direct descendant of King Henry II of England. His current day descendants 37 point DNA matches that of Thomas Cornell of Rhode Island's decendants linked via George Cornell, b. 1545 in Faristead Manor, Terlling, Essex, England. (F-669) William, the immigrant ancestor, is first listed in America in the Reverend John Elio's list of the members of his church in Roxbury, Massachusetts as William Cornewell and Joane Cornewell, the wife of William Cornewell, 1633. By 1636, he joined a group of settlers moving to Connecticut according to a "Commemorative Biographical Records of Middlesex Co., CT. (F-576.8) According to an unamed genealogy on William Cornwell, his parents were William Cornwell and Joan Martyn instead of Margary Hayward and it's source was the Parish Records of Terling. I suspect from other writings that the author was a J. Ferren at The Parish records however, only list his father, William.

In 1639 when the land records began in Hartford, Connecticut, he was already living there at #54, west of South Street, south from the Lane with eight acres of land in the village. He was not an original landowner of Hartford but was still one of it's earliest residents. He is listed on the Needle Statue at Hartford as one of it's founders. Part of his lands were received for his services in the Pequot War.

A land inventory was taken of Hartford in 1639 where he is called "William Cornwell, Sergeant-at-arms". Family tradition according to Edward Cornwall, M.D. in "William Cornwall and his Descendants" in 1901 said that this title comes from the fact that he was a body guard for Charles I before emigrating to the new world, but this has not been proven. All indications from records in England is that he was a farmer, pure and simple. He emigrated to New England about the time he married and became a Puritan. Historian, Christopher Kylin, believes this would have been in the early 1630's. Shortly after his first marriage he traveled to the Americas in search of other opportunities. He is listed as a founder of Hartford in their monument in 1636. He was an Indian Fighter in the territories here, participating in what is now the famous Pequot Massacre of 1637 in Mystic, Connecticut. Under John Mason, he fought along with Sachem Thannough, aka John Hyanno, Chief of the Cummaquid (his future father-in-law) to attack the Pequot Indians. This is where he achieved the rank of Sergeant. He was one of 77 soldiers involved, 58 of them from Hartford, CT under John Mason, and 19 from Massachussets under Capt. John Underhill. It is statistically likely that William had moved to Connecticut by 1637. In any case, he joined up under John Mason as his troops moved through Hartford on his way to Fort Saybrook. In 1638, he helped negotiate the purchase of Indian lands for the Stratford Colony in Connecticut through Chief "John Hyanno". In 1639, he was granted a plot of land in Hartford and was called the "Sgt." in these records. By 1639, he supposedly had married again by the person of Christian name Mary. No marriage record exists for this marriage at a time period when all other Puritan marriages were recorded in Hartford, Connecticut. (E)

United Ancestries, a professional genealogical research group, published on CD-100 that Mary's maiden name was Hyanno. This happens to be the name of an Indian Princess of that time period. This was research done for Sharon L. Dodson and they gave her no sourcing for their work. (F-639) Research by Rosalie Hart states that there is a Massachussetts Bay history which states that William Cornwell lived for a time in an Indian village under information on William Lucas. According to her, Naragansset and Wampanoag tribes records include William Cornwell in their traced lineages. These tribes however, are no longer providing information on this connection as they do not want anyone trying to gain claim to their casino profits. I'm sure that's not the interest any of us have to finding our actual ancestors, so it is sad that it prevents the truth from being known. (E)

They next were found living in Middletown (Mattabeseck Settlement) on the Connecticut River, fifteen miles below Hartford. He could have actually moved to the Mattabeseck settlement by as early as 1642. It appears that William had some land he was renting in Hartford previous to June of 1644, that he sublet out to a William Lewis. William Lewis defaulted on his payments, for which the landlord, Matthew Allen, sued him. The court case mentions the fact that Mr. Lewis had made arrangements with William Cornwall for the rental agreement. William Cornwell is also involved in court cases in Hartford in the Particular Court on Sept. 6, 1649, and the first Thursday of Dec., 1655. I am assuming that he had to return to Hartford to take up issues with the court as evidence indicates that he lived elsewhere by 1648. (F-576.9)

William and Mary moved to the east side of the Connecticut river at Hocanum, an Indian village within the boundaries of Hartford, CT probably years before Mar. 5, 1648. On that date, he indentured his seven year old second son, William, to Susannah Hooker of Hartford, CT for his education. (E)

According to the research of Christopher Kylin, he and his sons helped found Middletown and could have been some of it's earliest settlers around 1650 or 1651. They and their eldest son John lived next to each other near the present day corners of Main and Washington streets. (F-322) He owned 5 acres at the intersection of these streets and ten acres across the street from his home as well as 900 acres in Middletown and "a great lot over the Great River." He was granted 903 acres of this land on Mar 15, 1652, and the deed was recorded for it on Feb. 30, 1657. It is interesting to note that his will indicates that he owns multiple acres on Indian Hill (Indian lands before his ownership of them). (F-576)

William and family joined the church in Middletown on 3 Dec. 1668 shortly after it was founded. William became a representative from Middletown in the Colonial Legislature in 1654, 1664 and 1665. He was also a constable in 1664. A March 26, 1670 tax list gives 52 house holders in Middletown, CT, including him and three of his sons, the other two having stayed behind in Hartford. He was included in this list even though the General Court in 1667 had freed him from paying taxes, probably due to his age. Sons John, Samuel and William Jr. had accompanied him to Middletown. William's house was taxed or worth 160 lbs. at that time. (F-534)

He was 64 when he signed his will in 1674 and he called himself "well stricken in years and much abated in any natural strength." "William Cornwell, Senior, of Midletowne," gave to his son "John Cornwell so much addition to his present house lot out of my house lot as may make up his present house lot the full half of the whole,"..."two acres of the meadow and swap at the riverlet"...and "one half of that wood land in the south division of the land beyond the mill"..the other half of this lot to his daughter Sarah Cornwell, ... to his "son William Cornwell ten acres of of land upon the Indian Hill" as well as "one third part of (his)0 land yet to be divided by the list of 1674 on the east side of the river, the other two thirds of the aforesaid land to (his) sons Samuel and Thomas equally to be divided between them"; to his "son Samuel one hundred acres of my wood lot at the Long Hill, the reminder to go to (his) son Jacob", to his "son Thomas what is aforesaid the remainder of (his) lot at the Indian Hill, the ten acres as above mentioned being taken out of it"; to his "daughter Hester Willcox (his) whole lot lying on the east side of the river"; to his "daughter Elizabeth Hall one parcel of upland lying in the Boggy Meadow Quarter"; to his "loving wife Mary Cornwell (his) house, homestead, all the buildings, household stuff and movables whatsover with the remainder of (his) meadow at the riverlet .. during the term of her widowhood," She was told to maintain their daughter Sarah while she was single; after his wife's decease, he willed the "above mentioned house, household and meadow land at the riverlet to (his) son Jacob Cornwell." Jacob was told to pay his sister, Sarah, "one third part of the valuation of the forementioned housing and land" unless of course his wife remarried. In that case, when she died, their 3 daughters were to have the household stuffs divided amongst them. He signed his name as William Cornell, not Cornwell. In any case, Cornwell in England is pronounced "Cornell".

The inventory of his estate on Feb 22, 1677 included a listing of his lands: The house, barn & 3 acres of land, 5 acres of meadow by the ferry, 10 acres of upland at the Indian Hill, 27 acres joining the other, 395 acres beyond the mill, 250 acres at the Long Hill, 65 acres in the Boggy Meadow Quarter, 24 acres over the Great River, 4 acres of pond and a great lot over the Great River.

He is probably buried in Riverside Cemetery, though no tombstones exist from that date. (F-322, 576) He actually spelled his name Cornell in all the Middletown, CT deeds and records I'm seen from him there.

This William, original immigrant, had a Thomas Cornell follow him shortly after he arrived who settled in Rhode Island. According to a Prentiss Glazier, William is the nephew through a half-brother to this Thomas of MA, NY and Rhode Island . DNA Evidence has now supported this connection. (F-383, 576.6)

An LDS family file says that William was married twice, with his second wife being named Mary Bull. This is a mix-up with their son William who married Mary Bull. 8 15 16 17

William married Joan RANKE on Sep 27, 1632 in Fairstead Parish, Essex, ENG. (Joan RANKE died about 1634-1639 in Roxbury (now Boston), , Massachusetts 18.)

William next married Mary HYANNO, daughter of Chief John HYANNO and Mary NOEPE, about 1639 in Hartford, Hartford, CT, USA. (Mary HYANNO was born in 1618-1624 in Cummaquid, Barnstable, MA 19 and died in 1677-1678 in Middletown Twp, Middlesex, CT, USA 20 21.)

 Marriage Notes: 

This was probably an Indian Ceremony that joined them and would have been considered a common law marriage. It's why his wife was never listed in a couple different census records that included wives.



1 Savage, Albert Wilcox Jr, New England Ancestry of Albert Wilcox Savage, Jr., Savage-Wilcox Lines Vol. I (Gateway Press, Inc.)

2 United Ancestries Linked Pedigrees CD 100 (Automated Archives).

3 "Mrs. Abigail Weller to Linda Coate Dudick Letter, July 25, 1977 at 1325 Cambridge Blvd., Columbus, Ohio 43212."

4 Mr Glazier, English Notes Connecticut Nutmegger V. 9, #3 12/1976 p. 345.

5 Christopher Kylin to Linda Coate Letters dated 1998 at P.O. Box 2071, Middletown, CT 06457.

6 Edward E. Cornwall, M.D, William Cornwall and his Descendants (New Haven: Tuttle, Morehouse and Taylor Co., c1901).

7 Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633,Vol. I, A-F (Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, c1995).

8 Kylan, Christopher, Chronology of William Cornwall's Life (July 1998, Unpublished).

9 Cornwell, Gale Thomas Jr, Descendants of Thomas Cornwell, Lord of Fairstead Manor, Essex, England (forwarded by Gale Cornwell).

10 Cornwell, Gale, "Email dated 2000 + at"

11 Gustafson, Sheryl, Bartlett Gedcom File.

12 Knapp, T.L, Family Chart.

13 Ancestors of William Cornwell, Sgt. as taken from transcripts of Parish Registersfor Terling and Fairstead, Essex Co, England..

14 Vital Records of Middletown, CT housed at the courthouse in Middletown, CT.

15 Bearce, Franklin, Social Security Application dated May 13, 1937.

16 New England Historica Genealogical Society, The Great Migration Begins, William Cornwall (c1995, 2000).

17 Founder's Rock Plaque in Middletown, CT.

18 Cornwell, Gale, Letter dated 2006? (8350 Fair Oaks Blvd., #126, Carmichael, CA 95698).

19 Sullivan, Betty, Email dated 2002 from to Rosalie Hart as forwarded by her from

20 "Sheryl Doud Gustafson to Linda Coate E-mail letter dated July 4, 1997 at in Linda Coate files (F-492, 510)."

21 Cornwell, Gale, Letters dated 2000+ (81641 Ave 48, #89, Indio, CA 92201-6749).

Biographical Summary:

Sargent William Cornwell, Roxbury, 1634; Hartford, 1639, one of the proprietors to whom land was granted "by the courtesie of the town." He removed to Middletown about 1650; deputy from there, 1654, 1664, 1665; died February 21, 1677-8, leaving wife, Mary.

SOURCE: James Hammond Trumbull, editor, The memorial history of Hartford County, Connecticut, 1633-1884, Volume 1 (Boston, Massachusetts: Edward L. Osgood, 1886), page 235. Retrieved: 3 May 2011 from Google Books

first cornwall to come to the new world (america)

Birth: Feb. 21, 1609 Essex, England Death: Feb. 21, 1678 Middletown Middlesex County Connecticut, USA

William Cornwell was in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1633, to Connecticut in 1636 (part of the "Great Removal"), in Hartford from 1637 to 1651, at which time he took up residence in Middlefield.

William Cornwall is an immigrant ancestor who came from England on the ship "Arbella" before 1633. He was one of 77 men whom attacked the Pequot Indians at Mystic in May of 1637. He was an original settler of Hartford, Connecticut and also of Middletown, Connecticut He received lands at Hartford in return for his services against the Indians.

He was acquainted with the Rev. Thomas Hooker. His son William was bound as an indentured servant of the Widow Hooker on March 5, 1648.

Will dated 7 April 1674 in probate records Vol. IV Middletown Connecticut. Witnessed by Nathaniel White and Nathaniel Collins.

The following was provided by Gale Thomas Cornwell:

!Marriage: Terling parish Essex Eng records: to Joan RANKE !The English Origin of the Cornwell/Cornell Family by Prentiss Glazier. !Marriage:2nd to Mary_________ ca 1639 !Will dated 7 Ap 1674 in probate records Vol IV .Middletown Connecticut. Witnessed by Nathaniel White and Nathaniel Collins- ! Church: listed as a member of Rev John Eliot"s church in Roxbury Massachusetts in 1633-"Immigrants to New England 1620-1633" Great Migration Project. !Land: 1639 Hartford Connecticut records list an 8 acre lot," #54, west of South Street and south from the lane"-half of his house lay in "soldier field"-a choice tract divided among veterans of the Pequot War. Believed to be one of 77 soldiers who attacked and all but exterminated Pequot Indians at their fort in Mystic Conn in May 1637. 1638 accompanied Mr Hopkins and Mr Goodwin in an expedition sent by colony of Conn to consummate the purchase of Stratford from the Indians. The Rev. John Higginson was the interpreter and later wrote "William Cornwell of Sebrook-for he was there"-(Probably thought he lived in Saybrook but actually was Middletown then) !William Cornwall and His Descendants" by Dr. Edward Cornwall (New Haven 1909) states Joan died without issue and his second wife Mary was the mother of his nine children, born between 1640 and 1652. Feb 1639 records refer to him as "William Cornwall, Sergeant-at-arms." Children probably all from 2nd wife. March 5, 1648 moved to east side of Conn River at Hocanum. 1650/51 moved with first settlers to Middletown, Connecticut had 5 acres for house + 19 acres across the street in the center of the village. Other land records in area allude to land "laid out in the right of old Sergeant Cornwell" Representative from Middletown in Colonial Legislature 1654,64,and 65. Third of 10th 1668 Sergeant Cornwell joined the recently organized church in Middletown. Various tax assessments recorded. Will April 7, 1674 made and signed with a feeble hand"well stricken in years and much abated in any natural strength" Left son John the house property adjacent to John's giving him 1/2 the total. !Search of English records in Sydney Australia done in Nov 1988 of Essex County England found a record of a christening 25 May 1609 in Terling Parish of Wm Cornwell, father, Wm Cornwell is listed on the records data. Also a marriage of Wm Cornwell to Joan Ranke 27 Sept 1632 in Fairstead Parish which is just next to Terling Par. Also found record of Wm Cornwell arriving in Boston in 1635 having been transported to the Barbados. Oral tradition passed down by David Cornwell who began genealogy compilation in 1824,, ! Wm came from Eng to New Eng in the reign of Charles I accompanied by two brothers-one of whom returned to Eng after first going to Long Island-to recover an estate which had been confiscated. On of them had been an officer in the King's guard. Other versions name 1, 2, or 3 brothers and another that he had a brother who was an Earl(not true says David) unsure whether Wm was a Cavalier or a Puritan. Thomas Cornwall of Long Island may have been his brother.. marriage record in Dutch Reformed Church in New Amsterdam of Thomas Cornelis of Hertfordshire Eng settled at Gravesend Long Island. Bound second son Wm out to Susannah Hooker at age 7 the widow of Thomas Hooker with provision for his education. all needs checking and other info of David already noted in notes.

Inscription: In Memoriam We honor our immigrant ancestor

William Cornwell 1609-1678 Founder Middletown CT

Stanley H Cornwell Bristol RI

Gale T Cornwell Redwood NY

Plaque dedicated Memorial Day 30 May 1997

Burial: Riverside Cemetery Middletown Middlesex County Connecticut, USA


view all 19

Sgt. William Cornwall's Timeline

May 25, 1609
Terling, Essex, England
May 25, 1609
Terling, Essex Co., England
Terling, Essex, England
Age 24
Roxbury, MA
April 1640
Age 31
Hartford, (Present Hartford County), Connecticut Colony, (Present USA)
June 24, 1641
Age 32
Hartford, CT
September 1642
Age 33
Middletown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA
September 16, 1646
Age 37
Middletown, Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States