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Founding Families of Stratford, Connecticut

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  • Maj. General David Wooster (Continental Army) (1711 - 1777)
    Profile photo: 1776 mezzotint by Thomas Hart (artist's conception, not made from life)A Patriot of the American Revolution for CONNECTICUT with the rank of BRIGADIER GENERAL. DAR Ancestor #: A130342 Wo...
  • Joshua Judson (1624 - 1661)
    New England families, genealogical and memorial: a record of the ..., Volume 2 edited by William Richard Cutter* Judson, the immigrant ancestor, was born in England, in Yorkshire, according to traditio...
  • Capt. Joseph Hawley (c.1602 - 1690)
    concerns The Hawley Society has conducted extensive research here as well as England and has located no substantial evidence as to Joseph’s parentage. DNA evidence does not yet connect the Hawleys in N...
    Capt. William Curtis (1618 - 1702)
    Capt. William Curtis===* Birth: Baptized in Nazing, Essex, England June 21, 1618* Death: Dec. 21, 1702 Stratford Fairfield County Connecticut, USA* Parents: John Curtis, Elizabeth Hutchins* Married: ...
  • Lt. Israel Curtis (1644 - 1704)
    Israel 3 b. Apr. 3, 1644 (John 2 Widow 1 ) m.c. 1665 Rebecca Beardsley dau. of the emigrant William 1 and Mary Beardsley, she b.c. 1645. She m. 2nd after 1704 when Israel 3 died, James Beebe. This appe...

The following is from this Wikipedia article:

Stratford was founded in 1639 as "the plantation at Pequonnocke",[2] by Puritan leader Reverend Adam Blakeman, William Beardsley, and either 16 families—according to legend—or approximately 35 families—suggested by later research—who had recently arrived in Connecticut from England seeking religious freedom. In 1640 the community was known as Cupheag Plantation. By April 13, 1643, the growing town was known as Stratford, changed to honor Stratford-upon-Avon in England.

Stratford is one of many towns in the northeastern American colonies founded as part of the Great Migration in the 1630s when Puritan families fled an increasingly polarized England in the decade before the civil war between Charles I and Parliament. Some of the Stratford settlers were from families who had first moved from England to the Netherlands to seek religious freedom, like their predecessors on the Mayflower, and decided to come to the New World when their children began to adopt the Dutch culture and language.

Like other Puritan or Pilgrim towns founded during this time, early Stratford was a place where church leadership and town leadership were united under the pastor of the church, in this case Reverend Blakeman. The goal of these communities was to create perfect outposts of religious idealism where the wilderness would separate them from the interference of kings, parliaments, or any other secular authority.

Blakeman ruled Stratford until his death in 1665, but as the second generation of Stratford grew up, many of the children rejected what they perceived as the exceptional austerity of the town's founders. This and later generations sought to change the religious dictums of their elders, and the utopian nature of Stratford and similar communities was gradually replaced with more standard colonial administration. By the late 17th century, the Connecticut government had assumed political control over Stratford.

Many descendants of the original founding Puritan families remain in Stratford today after over 350 years; for centuries they often intermarried within the original small group of 17th century Pilgrim families. Despite its Puritan origins, Stratford was the site of the first Anglican church in Connecticut, founded in 1707 and ministered by the Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson.[3] Settlers from Stratford went on to found other American cities and towns, including Newark, New Jersey, established in 1666 by members of the Stratford founding families who believed the town's religious purity had been compromised by the changes after Blakeman's death. Other towns such as Cambria, New York (now Lockport, New York) were founded or expanded around new churches by Stratford descendants taking part in the westward migration. U.S. President Gerald Ford was a descendant of one of the Stratford founding families, that was led by William Judson.

Towns created from Stratford

Stratford was one of the two principal settlements in southwestern Connecticut, the other being Fairfield. Over time it gave rise to several new towns that broke off and incorporated separately. The following towns were created from parts of Stratford:

  • Shelton (originally Ripton) in 1789. In 1789 Ripton Parish separated from Stratford and became the Town of Huntington.
  • Monroe created from Huntington in 1823
  • Nichols (originally Unity in 1725, then North Stratford in 1744)
  • Long Hill, (merged with Unity to form North Stratford in 1744)
  • Trumbull, North Stratford separated from Stratford and became the town of Trumbull in 1797
  • Bridgeport (also partly from Fairfield) in 1821

Founding Families of Stratford

"The original proprietors of Stratford by tradition are reported to have been 17. The following large list was taken from the town records and probably was made before 1650 as William Burritt died that year."

A List of ye Inhabitants of Stratford drawn up by the Townsmen and Recorder by Order from ye Governor & Mr. Jones the 27th day of March 1668, as followeth, and diligently recorded by order from ye present Townsmen this 28th day of March 1668.

  • Beach, John
  • Bearslye, John
  • Bearslye, Saml.
  • Bearslye, Widow, ye wife of Thomas
  • Bearslye, Widow, ye wife of Wm. Bearslye
  • Birdsey, John, Jr.
  • Birdsey, John, Sen.
  • Blackman, James
  • Blackman, Mrs.
  • Blackman, Saml.
  • Boothe, Richard
  • Bostwick, Arthur
  • Brinsmayd, John, Sen.
  • Burritt, Stephen
  • Butler, Richard
  • Chauncey, Mr.
  • Clark, James
  • Clark, Robert
  • Curtiss, Israell
  • Curtiss, John (see link in list above)
  • Curtiss, Lt. Wm.
  • Fayrechild, Mr.
  • Griffin, Hugh
  • Groves, Elder
  • Hall, Francis
  • Harger, Jabes
  • Harvee, Richard
  • Hawley, Joseph (see link in list above)
  • Hinman, Edward
  • Hull, John
  • Hurd, Adam
  • Hurd, John, Jr.
  • Hurd, John, Sen. (see link in list above)
  • Judson, Jeremiah (see link in list above)
  • Judson, Joseph (see link in list above)
  • Knell, Mr.
  • Lane, Robert
  • Minor, John
  • Mitchell, Mr. David
  • Nickolls, Caleb
  • Nickolls, Isaak
  • Peacock, John
  • Peak, Benjamin
  • Peak, John, Jr.
  • Pickett, John, Jr.
  • Pickett, John, Sen.
  • Porter, Nathaniel
  • Preston, Jehrell
  • Rose, Robert
  • Sherman, Mathew
  • Sherman, Mr.
  • Sherman, Saml.
  • Sherman, Theophilus
  • Sherwood, Thomas's children (see link in list above)
  • Styles, Saml.
  • Styles, Ephraim
  • Tittarton, Daniel
  • Titterton, Widow
  • Tomlyson, Henry
  • Tompson, John, Sr.
  • Tompson, John, Jr.
  • Uffoot, Thomas
  • Walker, Mr.
  • Wakelyn, Henry
  • Wakeman, E.
  • Washborne, Hope
  • Wells, John (see link in list above)
  • Wells, Thomas
  • Wheeler, John
  • Wheeler, Moses
  • Wheeler, Obediah
  • Wilcockson, John
  • Wilcockson, Timothy

Other names between 1654 & 1668 found in town records:

  • Barlow, John
  • Beers, John
  • Bryan, Mr.
  • Foote, Nathaniel
  • Gener, John, 1652
  • Harwood, James
  • Higbee, Edward
  • Judson, Joshua
  • Nichols, Stiles
  • Quenby, Thomas
  • Read, Wm.
  • Young, John

Biographies of Founders of Stratford

Richard Boothe, was born in England in 1607, for in an affidavit, March 15, 1687-8, he describes himself as about 81 years of age. From what part of England he came, or in what year is not fully known, nor is there certain evidence of his immediate ancestors, but his name — Richard —
and those of John and Robert, are family names in the line of the Boothe families of Cheshire, England, an ancient house, connected also by marriage with several families of distinction. If, as is not improbable, Richard, of Stratford, were of that stock, the relationship, it is supposed, would be established through Richard, of Coggshill, and Baron in Cheshire, who was son of Sir William Boothe, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Warburton, and was born about 1570, and died in 1628. Richard Boothe's name and those of his descendants are prominent on Stratford records. His home lot, 29, indicates his settlement there among the earliest, but probably not before his marriage in 1640. He married, 1st, Elizabeth, the sister of Joseph Hawley," for his son Ephraim, in his will styles Samuel Hawley (son of Joseph) cousin. He was one of the proprietors of the township and received divisions of land located in various parts of the town, as did also the other proprietors. He was probably married twice and had eight children. The latest mention of him extant is in March, 1688-9, in his 82nd year.

Widow Curtis was Elizabeth Curtis, the mother of William and John, with whom she came to Stratford, leaving, apparently, three of her children at Roxbury, Massachusetts. The reason for the separation of the members of the family may have been the fact that the father, now deceased, had acquired a considerable property in land at Roxbury which could not readily be disposed of to advantage, and hence three stayed to care for it and three came to Stratford. Widow Curtis's home lot was near or joining Rev. Mr. Blakeman's. She died in June, 1658, and her estate was apprised at , 3s. 6d. (See sketch of \Villiam Curtis.)

Henry Gregory was in Stratford in 1647, when he is described in the New Haven Records as having sons Judah and John and a daughter who was the wife of William Crooker of Stratford. The Probate Court, June 19, 1655, orders administration on Henry Gregorey's estate, giving the eldest son, John, a double portion and making him the distributer of the estate. It mentions the children, but names only John. In 1647 the son John testified that his father was old and that his sight had failed him. The descendants remained in the town many years, but were not numerous.

Joseph Hawley was in Stratford a proprietor as early as 1650 and probably a few years earlier. His home lot was No. 37, which he purchased of Richard Miles in or before the year 1650. The tradition in Stratford has been and is that he married Catharine Birdseye, a niece of John Birdseye, her father residing first in New Haven and then in Wethersfield. He was prominent in the town and a more than usually energetic business man. He purchased of the Indians a large tract of land in Derby, of which that town allowed him to retain the old Indian planting field, and also another tract which joined it, including Great Hill. He was chosen Deputy in 1665 and many times thereafter until near his decease. He made his will in 1689 and died the next year. His descendants are numerous and a genealogy of them is largely collected and nearly ready for publication by Mr. Elias S. Hawley, of Buffalo. N. Y.

Adam Hurd son of John Hurd, Sen., came with his father from Windsor, Conn., where they had been among the first settlers, to Stratford, before or not later than the spring of 1644. Instead of there being two brothers, it is quite evident that there were the father and two sons, and yet it is not certain. A clause in the will of John Thompson, who was brother to Sarah, the wife of John Hurd (1681), represents said John Hurd as having become senior by the death of his father, and if so, his father came to Stratford and was one of the first settlers there. The town records style this John brother of Adam, uncle to Adam's son John, and yet Adam's son John styles him cousin. Adam Hurd had two house lots, Nos. 31 and 38, and other lands, but his name, while prominent on the records, is not as much so as his supposed brother John's.

Sergt. Jeremiah Judson, son of William, born in England in 1621, and hence was 16 years of age when he came to Stratford; married about 1652, and was a prominent man in the business transactions of the town. He died in 1700, aged 79.

Joshua Judson, third son of William Judson, born in England in 1623, came to Stratford with his father; married Ann Porter of Windsor about 1656, and died in i661, aged 38, leaving two sons and a widow, who married John. Hurd, Jr.

Mr. Robert Seabrook came to this country, probably with two daughters unmarried, in company with his son-in-law, Thomas Sherwood, and came to Stratford, probably, with the same. One daughter married Thomas Fairchild, perhaps before they came to Stratford. In 1651 he must have been about 85 years of age, or more. In 1634 his daughter Alice, who was the wife of Thomas Sherwood, was 47 years of age. He was also the father of William Preston's wife, of New Haven, and in his will gave his home lot in Stratford to his grandsons, Jehiel Preston of New Haven and Thomas Fairchild, Jr., of Stratford. He is also supposed to have been the father of Lieut. Thomas Wheeler's wife, who was married, probably, in this country.

Thomas Uffoot came from England in the ship Lion in 1632, with William Curtis ; was made freeman in Boston that same year: may have lived in Roxbury ; came, probably, in 1639 to Stratford, and may have been related to the Curtis family by marriage. His house lot was No. 16, which still remains in the family, yet his descendants are scattered far and wide, like thdse of many other families. He was a juryman at Hartford as early as 1643 and again in 1644; was in Milford in 1646, when he and his wife joined the church there, and is said to have been there in 1654. He died in 1660, and as the inventory of his property is at New Haven, he may have been residing at Milford at his decease.