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"Possibly one of
the incidental
functions of
genealogical study
is to chasten
family pride,
and to make us
more conscious of
the essential unity
of the great
human family."

- Donald Lines Jacobus

Brief sketches of Middletown settlers 1650-1700

Welcome to the brief sketches of Middletown's 23 first settlers ... and a growing selection of sketches of 1654-1700 settlers.
(Scroll down and click on the link to your favorite first settler family.)
Each sketch presents the essential known facts about each family: birth/marriage/death dates & locations, emigration, occupation/public service, and number of children. Whenever possible this information was collected from vital, land, court, and probate records. Secondary sources were consulted to supply genealogical hints in the case of missing records, and/or to add non-vital details. Since many 19th-century compiled genealogies cite no sources, and are known to be riddled with inaccuracies, it is incumbent on each researcher to verify information before accepting it as fact. Verify, verify, verify.

The separate in-depth first settler profiles in the Member Area
include the above information, plus information on parents, children, residence/property location, probate records, estate inventory, burial location, excerpts from compiled genealogies, and further sources. To view a typical in-depth profile in PDF format, click here. Then join us as a member so you can view them all. (Membership Information)

The in-depth first settler profiles of the first 23 Middletown families are also included in the book, Early Families of Middletown, Connecticut - Volume I: 1650-1654, by R.W. Bacon, published by Variety Arts Press.


Below is the abbreviation code to common sources used in both the brief sketches and the in-depth profiles on this web site:
(MVR) Middletown Vital Records (originals at Middletown City Hall, Middletown, Conn.; also available on microfilm at Russell Library, Middletown, Conn.)
(BCVR) The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records (original index at Connecticut State Library, Hartford, Conn.; printed volumes by town available from Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, Md.; digitized statewide index available on CD-Rom as part of The Ricker Compilation of Vital Records of Early Connecticut, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, Md.)
(MLR) Middletown Land Records (originals at Middletown City Hall, Middletown, Conn.; also available on microfilm at Russell Library, Middletown, Conn.)
(MAN) Digest of Connecticut Probate Records, Hartford District (Manwaring, Charles William. A Digest of the Early Connecticut Probate Records. Originally published 1904-1906; reprinted 1995. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1995.)
(CBRMC) Commemorative Biographical Record of Middlesex County, Connecticut, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, and Many of the Early Settled Families. Chicago, Ill.: J.H. Beers & Co., 1903.
(MUH) Middletown Upper Houses (Adams, Charles C. Middletown Upper Houses, A History of the North Society of Middletown, Connecticut from 1650 to 1800 with Genealogical and Biographical Chapters on Early Families. New York, N.Y.: The Grafton Press, 1908.)
(FFS) Frank Farnsworth Starr ("The Settlers of Mattabeseck 1650-1660," Middletown Penny Press, Oct. 11, 1900; also published in the Middletown Tribune 250th Anniversary supplement.)
(CAF) Centennial Address of Rev. David Field. (Field, David D. Centennial Address: With Historical Sketches of Cromwell, Portland, Chatham, Middle Haddam, Middletown, and its Parishes. Middletown, Conn.: W.B. Casey, 1853.)
(GMB) The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633 (Anderson, Robert Charles, FASG. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Vol. I-III. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1996.)
(SAV) Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England (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, Mass.: Little, Brown & Co., 1860-1862.)
(GFHC) Genealogical & Family History of the State of Connecticut (Cutter, William Richard. Genealogical and Family History of the State of Connecticut: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. New York, N.Y.: Lewis Publishing Co., 1911.)
(HMC) The History of Middlesex County. Henry Whittemore, ed. The History of Middlesex County 1635-1885. New York, N.Y.: J.H. Beers & Co., 1884)
(RPCC) Records of the Particular Court of Connecticut, 1639-1663 (Adams, Arthur W., ed. Records of the Particular Court of Connecticut 1639-1663. Hartford, Conn.: Connecticut Historical Society, 1928.)
(HCCM) Hartford County Court Minutes, 1663-1687 (Ullmann, Helen Schatvet, CG, FASG., ed. Hartford County, Conn., County Court Minutes, Vol, 3 & 4, 1663-1687, 1697. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2005.)
(NEHGSR) NEHGS Register (New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Boston, Mass: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847-2007.) (Online database available at NewEnglandAncestors.org)
(TAG) The American Genealogist (articles by Donald Lines Jacobus, ed., 1922-1971) (The American Genealogist. New Haven, Conn.: D.L. Jacobus, 1922-1971)

A note about dates: In both England and in the American colonies, before 1752 the year began on March 25. In New England it was customary to write all dates between January 1 and March 25 in both years, i.e. "February 14, 1703/4."

Compiler's note on occupations & public service: This compiler could accurately list all first settler occupations as "farmer" in the brief sketches, since nearly every family in 17th-century New England worked the land to some degree. Only a few of the first group of settlers have been identified with specific trades: miller, carpenter, house builder, ship builder, mariner, weaver, and minister. Middletown wooed its first blacksmith into town in 1663. Regarding public service, keep in mind that in the earliest years of the town there were only 23 families, and everyone had to participate. As noted in the brief sketches, almost all of the Middletown first settlers worked for the town in some official capacity.


The following passage from David D. Field's 1853 Centennial Address makes a good introduction to the sketches of the first settlers:
"While it is very evident that the early settlers or their parents were from the British Isle, and that they were nearly all of English extraction, there is not a little difficulty in ascertaining who came directly to this place, or almost immediately on landing this side of the Atlantic and respecting others where they lived in Massachusetts and Connecticut before settling here. Dr. Trumbull in his History of Connecticut says, 'that the principal planters were from England, Hartford, and Wethersfield --- that the greatest number were from Hartford, and that there was a considerable accession from Rowley, Chelmsford, and Woburn in Massachusetts.' There were also some planters from Windsor, and from some of the towms in Massachusetts, besides those which he names. Some had lived in several places. Various circumstances may have induced individuals to dwell here and there for a time with relatives, connections, and acquaintances, and to have engaged in one employment and another, even when they did not themselves become possessors of houses and lands."


Click on the links below to view brief sketches
of Middletown's first 23 families*:

(*As listed on "Founders Rock" at Riverside Cemetery, Middletown, Conn.)

Thomas Allen (1650) / Mistress (unknown surname) Allen

Nathaniel Bacon (1650) / Ann (Miller) Bacon

William Blumfield (1650) / Isabel (Pearce)(Sackett) Blumfield

William Cornwell (1650) / Mary (unknown surname) Cornwell

John Hall (1650)

John Hall, Jr. (1650) / Ann (Wilcox) Hall

Richard Hall (1650) / Mary (Anthony) Hall

Samuel Hall (1650) / Elizabeth (Cook) Hall

Giles Hamlin (1650) / Hester/Esther (Crow) Hamlin

Daniel Harris (1653) / Mary (Weld) Harris

William Harris (1650) / Edith (unknown surname) Harris

George Hubbard (1650) / Elizabeth (Watts) Hubbard

John Kirby (1653) / Elizabeth (Hinds) Kirby

John Martin (1650) / Mistress (unknown surname) Martin

Thomas Miller (1650) / Isabel (unknown surname) Miller

John Savage (1650) / Elizabeth (Dubbin) Savage

William Smith (1650) / Elizabeth (Stanley) Smith

Samuel Stocking (1650) / Bethia (Hopkins) Stocking

Samuel Stow (1651) / Hope (Fletcher) Stow

Matthias Treat (1652) / Mary (Smith) Treat

Robert Webster (1650) / Susanna (Treat) Webster

Thomas Wetmore (1650) / Sarah (Hall) Wetmore

Nathaniel White (1650) / Elizabeth (unknown surname) White

Click on the links below to view brief sketches
of more pre-1700 Middletown first settlers:

(This is a work-in-progress. Profiles will be added as they are completed.)

Josiah Adkins

Obadiah Allyn (1670) / Rebecca (Fletcher) Warner

Samuel Bidwell (1672) / Elizabeth (Stow) Bidwell

John Blake (1677)

John Boarn (1677) / Hannah (Bacon) Boarn

Alexander Bow (1660)

William Briggs (1677)

Nathaniel Browne (1654) / Eleanor (Watts) Browne

Thomas Burk (1670)

William Cheney (1655) / Anna (unknown surname)

John Clark (1676) / Elizabeth (White) Clark

Jasper Clements (1660) / Eleanor (Watts) (Browne) Clements

Henry Cole (165?)

Nathaniel Collins (1664) / Mary (Whiting) Collins

Samuel Collins (1665)

Thomas Cooper (1696) / Desire (Lamberton) Cooper

Samuel Cotton (1697)

Samuel Doolittle (1693) / Mary (Cornwell) Doolittle

George Durant (1663)

Samuel Eggleston (1663) / Sarah (Disbrough) Eggleston

John Elton (1671) / Jane (Hall) Elton

Thomas Ferman (1679)

Edward Foster (1670)

Jonathan Gilbert (1672)

John Gill (1676) / Martha (Goodale) Gill

Richard Goodale (1671)

George Graves (165?)

Benjamin Hands (1682) / Sarah (Ward) Hands

Edward Higby (1667)

Thomas Hill (1678)

Thomas Hopewell (1662) / O’Cinne (unknown) Hopewell

John Hulbert (1669) / Mary (Deming) Hulbert

Isaac Johnson (1670) / Mary (Harris) Johnson

Francis Jones (1672)

John Jordan (1678)

Isaac Lane (1664) / Hannah (Browne) Lane

Thomas Lewis (1687)

William Lucas (1667)

Daniel Markham (1677)

Anthony Martin (1661)

John Payne (1676)

George Phillips (1680)

Daniel Pryor (1696) / Sarah (Eggleston) Pryor

Thomas Ranney (1658) / Mary (Hubbard) Ranney

William Roberts (1680)

Joseph Rockwell (1675) / Elizabeth (Foster) Rockwell

Alexander Rollo (1697)

Noadiah Russell (1688) / Mary (Hamlin) Russell

David Sage (1662) / Elizabeth (Kirby) Sage

Arthur Scovill (1671)

Edward Shepard (1687) / Abigail (Savage) Shepard

William Southmayd (1674) / Esther (Hamlin) Southmayd

James Stanclift (1686) / Mary (Tinker) (Waller) Stanclift

Comfort Starr (1673) / Marah (Weld) Starr

John Stow (1667) / Mary (Wetmore) Stow

Nathaniel Stow (1676) / Hannah (Wetmore) Stow

Thomas Stow (1669) / Mary (Griggs) Stow

William Sumner (1687) / Hannah (Henchman) Sumner

James Tappin (1662)

Edward Turner (1665) / Mary (Sanford) Turner

John Ward (1664) / Mary (Harris) Ward

William Ward (1659)

Andrew Warner (1667) / Elizabeth (Sanford) Warner

Robert Warner (1655) / Elizabeth (Grant) Warner

Benjamin West (1698)

Francis Whitmore (1674) / Hannah (Harris) Whitmore

John Wilcox (1654) / Sarah (Wadsworth) Wilcox

James Wright (1690)