About William Stanton
PLEASE NOTE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FOLLOWING:
This is one of a number of informative "connectors" in unproven and/or false pedigrees of widely published family records - especially online. These "connectors" are titled as myths of their respective surnames.
In some cases, multiple descendant lines or individuals will be attach ed to this connection with notes for each explaining why the connection is known to be incorrect or is at least unproven and requiring additional research.
In other cases, ancestral connections will be attached to this connection only to save what has been researched, with appropriate notes or disclaimers attesting to the data's validity. Although the ancestral data is n ot proven for a "descendant", it may be very valid in its own family a nd is therefore retained herein only for that value.
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"THOMAS1 STANTON OF CONNECTICUT
AND THE LONGBRIDGE TRADITION
An Old Dogma’s Demise (Again)
By Eugene Cole Zubrinsky
One of early Connecticut’s most important figures, Thomas1 Stanton was a successful trader, cofounder of Hartford (1636) and Stonington (ca. 1650 ), Pequot War combatant; skilled interpreter of native tongues, and distinguished public servant. While Stanton’s accomplishments are well documented, his origin is not. A popular account of his parentage and English home, first published in 1882, was authoritatively refuted in this journal almost seventy years ago. It has nevertheless resurfaced in recent years, regaining if not exceeding its former currency. The 'new evidence' underlying its revival, however, amounts to far less than meets the eye.1
In his influential Stanton genealogy (1891), William A. Stanton presents three possibilities as to Thomas Stanton’s origin—the Welsh, Lancashire, and Longbridge 'traditions'—each 'carefully investigated . . . but . . . none . . . of certified historic value.'2 The so-called Longbridge tradition had originated less than fifteen years earlier with Benjamin I. Stant n, a longtime researcher of New England Stanton families, who '[i]n his search among English records . . . found [in the published records of the 16 19 Visitation of Warwickshire] a Thomas Stanton, born 1616, in Wolverton, Warwickshire, Eng., son of Thomas and Katherine (Washington) Stanton .' 3 The first Thomas Stanton of Wolverton, who purchased the manor there 'in the 18th Elizabeth' [ca. 1576], had come from a wellborn family established at nearby Longbridge (a hamlet in the borough of Warwick).4 William Stanton states that 'Mr. B. I. Stanton thought this might be Thomas1 S tanton of Connecticut'7 and that 'Mr. Baldwin adopted the suggestion and so printed it. It may be true, but it is not proven.'5 William Stanton’s caveat proved futile, however. The Thomas Stanton side of the Stonington founders’ monument, erected in 1895, includes the coat-of-arms of the Longbridge Stantons.6 A popular 1903 Chesebrough genealogy presents with ut qualification the Visitation of Warwickshire’s pedigree of the Longbrid e/Wolverton Stantons as the ancestry of Thomas1 Stanton of Connecticut .7 In a process all too familiar, what had been deemed a possibility was reinterpreted by all but a few as a virtual certainty.8
In 1937 TAG published an article by Clarence Almon Torrey refuting the then prevailing view that Thomas1 Stanton was the son of Thomas and Katherine (Washington) Stanton of Wolverton.9 Torrey points out that the Visitation pedigree records Thomas and Katherine’s two children as Thomas, in his third year in 1619, and Alice, aged six days on 3 September 1619 (the date on which the Stanton lineage was presumably recorded); their father is recorded as being in his twenty-fourth year.10 Torrey presents Oxford matriculation records showing that 'the Thomas Stanton who was in his 24th year in 1619 had previously been a student at Oxford, and that his son, Thomas, Jr., . . . and grandson Thomas, subsequently became students.' 11 Quoting from a John Burke compendium, he further indicates that the Thomas Stanton 'who m. a daughter of Walter Washington . . . had a son . . . Thomas, who wedded Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Cookes, of Pinl ey Abbey in Warwickshire, and in his son this branch became extinct.'12 T orrey concludes 'that Thomas Stanton, son of Thomas and Katherine (Washing ton) Stanton, remained in England; that he entered Oxford, aged 17 years, in 1634; that he married Elizabeth Cookes and had a son Thomas, who w as 17 in 1664, when he was admitted to Oxford. These details make it necessary to abandon the theory that the Stonington, Conn., settler was a s n of Thomas and Katherine (Washington) Stanton.'13 Understandably, Torrey believed his article 'should end the discussion,' and until fairly recently it did.14
The Longbridge tradition’s resuscitation was instigated about fifteen years ago by the Thomas Stanton Society, Inc., cofounder and president Berna rd J. Stanton, whose 1999 newsletter article (following several years of s imilar, informal communications) claims that evidence unavailable to previ ous researchers confirms that Thomas1 Stanton’s parents were, after all, T homas and Katherine (Washington) Stanton of Wolverton.15 The Stanton Soci ety’s newsletter and, more particularly, the Internet have given Mr. Stant on’s pronouncements broad exposure, and judging from the frequency of the ir online repetition, they are widely accepted. He asserts that a Wolverto n-church wall tablet memorializing Thomas1 Stanton, Lord of Wolverton Man or and husband of Elizabeth Cookes, gives his birth year not as 1616 but 1 621. The author takes this five-year discrepancy as evidence of two Thom as Stantons, both surviving sons of Thomas and Katherine (Washington) Stan ton: The younger, born two years after the Visitation, married Elizabeth C ookes, remained in England, and (in his same-named brother’s stead) beca me Lord of Wolverton Manor; the elder, identified in the aforementioned Vi sitation pedigree and Oxford matriculation record, emigrated to Ameri ca in 1634[/5] (see note 5).16
This account gains a measure of plausibility from the fact that the fir st Thomas Stanton of Wolverton (his son Thomas married Katherine Washingto n) was himself a full brother of Thomas Stanton of Longbridge, who succeed ed their father there.17 On the other hand, any scenario in which the fir st son and heir of a landed gentleman forsakes his patrimony is questionab le on that score alone. Also dubious is that such a person, probably not y et 18, would leave England less than six months after entering Oxford. Mo re to the point, the aforementioned memorial inscription does not indica te that its subject was born in 1621; it contains no birth date whatsoever .18 It does, however, include a date of and age at death: “ye 24th d ay of October 1664/ Aetatis 47.”19 The implied birth year (25 October 16 16 to 24 October 1617) matches perfectly the parental marriage date and ba ptismal date (30 July 1616 and 4 May 1617, respectively)20 of Bernard Sta nton’s emigrant Thomas, as it does the respective ages recorded for h im in 1619 and 1634.
What deserves to be the final nail in the coffin of the Longbridge traditi on is evidence that the Thomas Stanton baptized at Wolverton in 1617 was T homas and Katherine (Washington) Stanton’s only surviving son. The father ’s will, dated 18 August 1626 and proved the same year, names son Thomas—o ne only—and daughters Alice and Katherine, all minors, as his principal be neficiaries; there is no reference to an unborn child.21 The testator al so names his mother, Mary, brothers William and Major, and sisters Mary a nd Dorothy; a wife is also mentioned but not by name. The Visitation pedig ree includes all but one of these persons and shows them as having the sa me respective relationships to the husband of Katherine (Washington) Stant on as those, described in the will, to the testator.22
Torrey’s article refuting the Longbridge tradition was wrong only in suppo sing it would be the last word on the subject. It remains to be seen wheth er the current article will accomplish in that regard what Torrey’s shou ld have but did not. One can hope.
Gene Zubrinsky () has contributed over a dozen articl es to the leading genealogical journals and local-history magazines."
1-A future article will challenge the standard version—undisputed for mo re than 150 years—of Thomas1 Stanton’s immigration and initial colonial wh ereabouts.
2-William A. Stanton, A Record, Genealogical, Biographical, Statistica l, of Thomas Stanton, of Connecticut, and His Descendants, 1635–1891 (Alba ny, N.Y., 1891), 52–56 (hereafter cited as Stanton, Record of Thomas Stant on).
3-Stanton, Record of Thomas Stanton, 55, 567.
4-John Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Gr eat Britain and Ireland, 4 vols. (London, 1834–38), 2:587–89, at 588 (here after cited as Burke, Commoners of Great Britain); John Fetherston, ed., T he Visitation of the County of Warwick in the Year 1619, Taken by Willi am Camden, Clarencieux King of Arms, Harleian Society Pubs., 12(London, 18 77): 277 (hereafter cited as Visitation of Warwick, 1619).
5-Stanton, Record of Thomas Stanton, 55. John D. Baldwin, the first to p ublish a statement as to Thomas Stanton’s specific origin, does so witho ut elaboration or attribution and in a tone of near certainty: “THOMAS STA NTON, OF STONINGTON, came to America in 1634. He embarked at London Janua ry 2, 1634, in the ship Bonaventura [sic], and landed in Virginia. It is s upposed, with strong probability, that he was son of Thomas and Katheri ne (Washington) Stanton, of the Longbridge family; that he was born in 161 6; and that he was 18 years old when he embarked for America, althoug h, to be sure of securing a passage in the ship, he professed to be 20” (T homas Stanton of Stonington, Conn.[:] An Incomplete Record of His Descenda nts [Worcester, Mass., 1882], 5). A Thomas Stanton, 20, was listed at Lond on on 2 Jan. 1634[/5] as a passenger on the Virginia-bound Merchant Bonave nture (John Camden Hotten, ed., The Original Lists of Persons of Quali ty . . . [London, 1874], 36). The dubious but nonetheless durable assumpti on that he was the eventual Connecticut man is the basis for Baldwin’s ide ntifying him with the Thomas Stanton of Wolverton whose age was roughly si milar.
6-“Wequetequock Cemetery—in Stonington, Conn.,” online at ; Bernard J. Stanton, letter to the author, 27 Feb. 1995.
7-Anna Chesebrough Wildey, Genealogy of the Descendants of William Chese brough of Boston [and] Rehoboth, Mass. (New York, 1903), 535.
8-It is said that by 1914, William Stanton himself had become “totally c onvinced of the ac¬curacy of the Longbridge tradition” (Bernard J. Stanto n, “Author of Stanton ‘Bible’ Reveals Additional Family History[:] Decad es after His Continued Research, Wm. Stanton’s Notes Are Uncovered,” The T homas Stanton Society Newsletter no. 10[Nov. 2000]:1–2, at 1 [hereafter ci ted as Stanton Newsletter]). Richard Anson Wheeler omits any referen ce to Stanton’s birthplace or parentage from his History of the Town of St onington, . . . Connecticut (New London, 1900), 576.
9-Clarence Almon Torrey, “The Stanton–Washington Ancestry,” TAG 14(1937) :86–87.
10-Torrey, “Stanton–Washington,” TAG 14(1937):86; Visitation of Warwic k, 1619, Harleian Soc. Pubs., 12:277. The Visitation pedigree gives the re spective ages of the elder Thomas Stanton’s sister Maria [Mary] and broth er Maior [Major] as “aetat. 26” and “aetat. 20.” To Thomas’s age and th at of his name¬sake son, by contrast, is added the current year: “aetat. 2 4, 1619” and “aetat. 3 Annoru’ 1619.” This was evidently meant to indica te that neither had yet reached the age given but would do so after 3 Sep t. 1619 (the date to which six-day-old Alice Stanton’s age is pegged) a nd before the end of the Old Style calendar year (i.e., by 24 March 1619 [ 1619/20]). Torrey thus describes father and son not as 24 and 3 b ut as in their 24th and 3rd years. This interpretation of the younger Thom as’s age is consistent with his parents’ marriage date, 30 July 1616, a nd his baptis¬mal date, 4 May 1617, and implies a birth date near the e nd of Old Style calendar year 1616 (i.e., in late 1616/7) (see Richard Sav age, transcr., The Registers of Stratford-on-Avon, . . . Marriages, 1558–1 812 [London, 1898], 28; Wolverton Parish Register, 1614–1700 [Bishop’s Tra nscripts, Diocese of Worcester (Family History Library [FHL], Salt Lake Ci ty, film #246,687, item 5)]).
11-Torrey, “Stanton–Washington,” TAG 14(1937):86–87; Joseph Foster, Alum ni Oxonien¬ses: The Members of the University of Oxford, 1500–1714, 4 vol s. in 2 (Oxford, 1891–92), 4:1412 (hereafter cited as Alumni Oxonienses).
12-Torrey, “Stanton–Washington,” TAG 14(1937):87; Burke, Commoners of Gr eat Britain, 2:588.
13-Torrey, “Stanton–Washington,” TAG 14(1937):87.
14-Torrey, “Stanton–Washington,” TAG 14(1937):86. At least one subsequen tly published gen¬ealogy incorporates Torrey’s findings (see Nora Emma Sno w, The Snow–Estes Ancestry, 2 vols. [Hillburn, N.Y., 1939], 1:425).
15-Bernard Stanton, letter to the author dated 10 Jan. 1995, mentio ns “a question-answer period regarding Wolverton[,] England,” held at t he 1991 Stanton family reunion, in which “no one was able to claim havi ng taken a trip to the ‘Olde Country’ except your writer.” At the author ’s request, Mr. Stanton laid out in a subsequent letter, dated 26 Feb. 199 5, his rationale—later published as “The End of Doubting Thomas,” in Stant on Newsletter no. 4(May 1999):2—for reintroducing the discredited Wolverto n-origin thesis. (In 2002, soon after informing Mr. Stanton of my intenti on to write this article, I e-mailed him several times, inquiring as to wh en he first concluded that Torrey was wrong. He never replied, nor did ano ther Stanton Society officer to whom I put the same question. I am therefo re unable to be any more precise as to when the Longbridge tradition’s reh abilitation began.)
16-Stanton Newsletter no. 4(May 1999):2. The published Oxford records pr esent three Thomas Stantons of Wolverton—father, son, and grandson. The 2 nd Thomas is described as “1 s. of Thomas, of Wolverton, co. Warwick, arm[ iger]. UNIVERSITY COLL., matric. 11 July 1634, aged 17; father of Thomas 1 664” [emphasis added]; the 3rd is depicted as “s. Tho., of Wolverton, c o. War¬wick, gent. ST. EDMUND HALL, matric. 13 July 1664, aged 17” (Alum ni Oxonienses, 4:1412; Torrey, “Stanton–Washington,” TAG 14:87). M r. Stanton refers only obliquely to the itali¬cized phrase above, saying t hat the Thomas who matriculated in 1664 was “the nephew of our Thomas, n ot the son as reported” (Stanton Newsletter no. 4[May 1999]:2). So as to s quare things up, Mr. Stanton, in a subsequent, highly fanciful article, st ates that Thomas1 Stanton of Con¬nec¬ti¬cut attended Oxford for a year [si c] before leaving England (“Thomas Stanton’s 1635 Voyage to America,” Stan ton Newsletter no. 15[Feb. 2002]:1).
17-Burke, Commoners of Great Britain, 588; Visitation of Warwick, 161 9, Harleian Soc. Pubs., 12:277.
18-Like his May 1999 newsletter article, Bernard Stanton’s lett er of 26 Feb. 1995 [note 15] states that the Wolverton church’s memorial “ gives a birth date of 1621.” Mr. Stanton also asserts in the letter (but n ot in the article) that “on page 588 [of Burke’s Commoners of Great Britai n] we find the first Thomas mentioned above with birth date of 1621, marri ed to Elizabeth Cookes and with parents named Thomas and Katherine (Washin gton) Stanton.” As with the memorial inscription, however, the Burke volu me provides no birth date; neither does it furnish death data.
19-Birmingham and Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry, [Monument al Inscrip¬tions,] St. Mary the Virgin Church, Wolverton, Warwickshire (Bi rmingham, England, ca. 1987), 2 [BMSGH microfilm #1,261].
20-See note 10.
21-Wills of the Consistory Court of Worcester, 1626, no. 194 [FHL film # 98,030].
22-Thomas and Katherine (Washington) Stanton’s daughter Katherine was bo rn too late to appear in the Visitation pedigree. But the will of their so n, Thomas, dated in 1664 (as above, the year of his death), names sister K atherine “Gutteridge” (Goodrich) (Wills of the Prerogative Court of Canter bury, 1665, no. 19 [FHL film #92,282]).
Note: 1616 - Thomas STANTON, 3rd (ca.1595), of Langley, co. Warwi ck, England, married 30 July 1616 to Katherine WASHINGTON , dau. of Walter and Alice (MORDEN) WASHINGTON of Radway, E ngland. They had children: Alecia STANTON, b. 3 Sept. 1618 , m. John WAGSTAFFE of Tachbrooke; Thomas STANTON (ca.1616- 1677) m. 1637 Anne LORD; and Walter STANTON. - Wildley, Ann a Chesebrough, GENEALOGY of the DESCENDANTS of WILLIAM CHES EBROUGH (1903), pp.535-36; Stanton, William A., THOMAS STAN TON, OF CONNECTICUT, and HIS DESCENDANTS (1891), p.60; Bert ha Jane Thomas Libby, GENEALOGY OF JANE ELIZABETH WHEELER T HOMAS (1974), pp.177-225.
William Stanton's Timeline
Norfolkshire, England, United Kingdom
Wolverton, Warwickshire, England, United Kingdom
Wolverton Hall, Warwichshire, England
April 21, 1607
Semer, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom
Cambridgeshire, England, United Kingdom
September 3, 1618
Wolverton Hall, Warwickshire, UK
Wolverton, Warwickshire, England, United Kingdom
August 7, 1625