Governor John Webster of Hartford, Connecticut
and Hadley, Massachusetts
"...a couple of years ago I visited Hadley and took a photo
of John Webster's grave. It was a clear day ...this was the
only pic with an eery ghostly fog next to the tombstone.
I'm sure it was some sort of glare, but it's rather interesting."
-- John Schultze
Photo by John Schultze
(click on photo view larger)
I'd love to compare notes with you on this family!
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Timeline of the Life of John Webster
(with sometimes conflicting sources of information)
9 Aug 1590 - John Webster born in Cossington, Leicestershire, England to Matthew & Elizabeth (Ashton) WEBSTER ®4
John Webster was born in Glasgow, Scotland and came to America from Warwickshire, England ®169
1608 - married in Cossington, Leicestershire, England to Agnes Smith ®4
early 1630s - John Webster and family from Warwickshire, Engl? to Newtowne (now Cambridge), MA ®171
1630-33 - John Webster and family from Warwickshire, Engl to Massachusetts Bay Colony ®135
1636 - moved from Newtowne (Cambridge, MA) with Rev. Thomas Hooker to Suckiaug (Hartford, CT) and was one of the original proprietors ®135
1637 - became a member of the Hartford CT General Court ®171
1637-1638 - one of the committee who for the first time sat with the Court of Magistrates, Hartford, CT ®145
1638 - member of committee that declared war against the Pequot Indians and was elected to general court ®135
1638 - chosen as a Deputy Commissioner, Hartford CT ®171
1639-1655 - Magistrate ®145
1639 - John Webster's home lot was on the east side of the street now called Governor St. in Hartford, CT ®145
1639 - on committee to confer with New Haven Colony about Indian uprisings ®135
1642 - was one of the Committee who formed the code of criminal laws for the Colony ®145
1654 - was a commissioner for the United Colonies ®145
1655 - was made Deputy Governor of Connecticut Colony ®145 ®135
1656 - was made Governor of Connecticut Colony ®145 ®135
1657 - was Connecticut's First Assistant ®171
1659 - was an influential member of the church in Hartford, took a deep interest in the controversy which agitated that and other churches, was one of the leaders of the Hadley Co., and removed there ®145 ®171
Freeman Massachusetts? ®145
1660 - was made a magistrate of Hadley, MA ®145 ®171
5 Apr 1661 - died in Hadley, MA ®171
15 Apr 1661 - died in Hadley, MA ®145
From James Savage's Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England 1860-1862, Vol. IV:
JOHN WEBSTER, Hartford 1636, but from what place in Mass. he went is uncert. By fam. tradit. he was from Co. Warwick. He was rep. 1 May 1637, a magistr. from 1639 to 1655, when he was made dept.-gov. and next yr. gov. In the gr. contest a c. ch. governm. Hhe took sides with Rev. Mr. Russell of Wethersfield, and that caused his rem. up the riv. to found Hadley in 1659, by our Gen. Ct. was adm. freem. of Mass., and in May 1660 made a magistr. there, d. 5 Apr. 1661. Robert, William, and Thomas, his s. are said to have foll. their f. but tho. the respectab. ref. in Farmer's MS. for this tradit. is made to letter of the late Noah Webster, the grammarian, I doubt his studies had been too long turned in ano. direction to justify unlimt. confidence in all parts of his relat. and that Robert did not foll. but accomp. his f. to Mass. His brot. from Eng. w. Agnes, ch. Matthew, Robert, Ann, Eliz. and Mary; perhaps also, Thomas and William, tho. one or both of the latter may have been b. on our side of the ocean; and fam. tradit. makes William b. 1617. No dates of b. of any of the seven are giv. by the most valua. work of Goodwin, pub. since the d. of the compiler. From the will of 25 June 1659, little is learn. but the names of four s. two ds. Ann Marsh, w. of John, and d. Markham, besides two gr. ch. Jonathan and Mary Hunt. The name of mo. was not ment. and prob. she was oldest d. if not even oldest ch. When or where she m. Hunt, or what even was his bapt. name is unkn. Tradit. in the fam. makes his name John, and hers, Mary; and it may be conject. that both were d.
From Biographies of American and Colonial Governors by Meckler:
WEBSTER, John (Gov. 1656-1657)
Names of parents and dates and place of birth unknown, although he was apparently a native of Warwickshire, England. A Congregationalist. Married while in England to a woman named Agnes; father of Matthew, William, Thomas, Robert, Anne, Elizabeth and Mary.
Immigrated to New England, probably in the early 1630's; moved from Newtowne (now Cambridge), Massachusetts in 1636, and took up residence in what is now Hartford, Connecticut. Became a member of the Connecticut General Court in 1637, and in 1638 was also chosen as a Deputy Commissioner. Served as an Assistant of the colony from 1639 until 1655, when he was named Deputy Governor; elected governor of Connecticut in the spring of 1656.
In the 1650's Connecticut's Hartford and Wethersfield churches were affected by disputes over questions of church order, including a dispute over the eligibility requirements for infant baptism. Although a council met in Hartford to seek a solution to these differences in June 1656, the Hartford minister and his church refused to abide by the council's recommendations, and religious dissension persisted in the troubled colony.
Despite the fact that he had been named Connecticut's First Assistant following his year as governor, Webster in 1659 joined with those members of the Hartford church who had decided to unite with other dissidents and establish a new congregation in Hadley, Massachusetts. After he settled in Hadley, Webster was in May 1660 "commissioned with magistratticall power for the year ensuing" by the Massachusetts General Court, but he died on April 5, 1661, before his term had expired.
Bibliography: George E. Foster, "Pedigree of Jesse W. Foster, in Lines of Foster, Coggin, Farley, Phelps, Burritt, Curtiss, Lord, Smith, Webster, and Allied Families (Ithaca, NY, 1897)
From History & Genealogy of the Gov. John Webster Family of Connecticut, 1915
THE WEBSTER GENEALOGY
Oldest Webster Family
The progenitor of the oldest, and probably the most numerous family in America, bearing the name of Webster, was John Webster of Warwickshire, England. He came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in a year not certainly known, but by tradition, understood to have been about 1630-33. He removed from Newtowne, now Cambridge, Massachusetts, to the present site of Hartford, Connecticut, in 1636, presumably with the Rev. Thomas Hooker and his historic party.
Hartford was then known by its Indian name, Suckiaug, meaning "black earth," possibly from the dark rich soil of its fertile meadows and cultivated fields, portions of the country even then being under the rough tillage of the savages.
The South Side
John Webster located on the south side of Little River, a small stream flowing into the Connecticut from the west, and which, from the founding of the Colony, has divided the town into two unequal parts, the south side never quite equaling the north in population. In the beginning, it formed the boundary between two "plantations" into which the community was divided, and this dual features, with separate meetings, independent books, and recognition in the town votes, continued even after the legal organization of the town was effected.
The North Side
The north side is the older. In the autumn of 1635, "about sixty men, women and little children, went by land toward Connecticut," says Winthrop's Journal, under date of Oct. 5, 1635, "with their cows, horses and swine, and after a tedious and difficult journey arrived safe there."
The Rev. William DeLoss Love, Ph.D., of Hartford, Conn., who is the author and publisher of "The Colonial History of Hartford" (1914), from which we are freely quoting, and hereby acknowledge our indebtedness, identifies the following as a part of that company, and thinks that they were the pioneers who located their house lots on the north side at that time, namely, Elder William Goodwin, John Steele, William Westwood, Thomas Scott, Stephen Hart, William Pantry, John Barnard, William Butler, William Kelsey, Nathaniel Ely, Nicholas Clark, Richard Webb, Richard Goodman, Edward Elmer, Mathew Marvin, Thomas Stanley, sixteen.
He says, "in the judgment of the wise it was necessary for some to go forward to prepare the way, and there was at least a tacit agreement, to which the ministers were a party, that others would follow the next season."
To the above sixteen he thinks that nine more should be added, inasmuch as their house lots are intermingled with the others, as though they were all selected at one and the same time. Since, however, it is known that some, at least, of the nine, accompanied Hooker in his march the next summer, the author holds that, after selecting their lots in the autumn of 1635, they returned to Newtowne in time to accompany their families in their journey at that time through the wilderness to Suckiaug. the nine were Mathew Allyn, John Stone, Timothy Stanley, Edward Stebbins, James Olmsted, Robert Day, John Talcott, William Lewis, Clement Chapin. Two lots were reserved - one each for Rev. Thomas Hooker and Rev. Samuel Stone.
But "the majority of the settlers who came in 1636, settled south of the river and became the South-Side Plantation." (Ibd.)
South Side Disputed Territory
The reason for this is not far to seek. The South Side was disputed territory. The Dutch claimed it. They held their title from the Pequots, a powerful tribe who were already predatory and menacing, and with which a year later, the English were to test their prowess. The English held their Indian titles from the Sequins, the ancient owners, who, however, had recently been conquered by the Pequots and made tributary. Prudence would not permit the premature defiance of these forces, and hence the first lots were chosen on the north side, and the movement to the south side was delayed until the arrival, or the near approach, of Hooker, and the main body of his congregation.
Earliest South Side Lots
It is quite certain, however that in the spring of 1636, after having secured rights through the Warwick patent, lots were actually located on the south side, those of John White and Samuel Wakeman being the first, including, possibly, that of William Hills. Having these titles, both from the Indians and the English, the settlers gave little heed to the Dutch fort called "House of Hope," and even before the arrival of Thomas Hooker and his band of pilgrims, boldly crossed the Little River and staked out their home lots as above shown. But on the arrival of the larger number under Hooker, in June, 1636, the majority of the new comers, either from policy or choice, or both, located on the south side. Among them were John Webster, William Whiting and Thomas Welles (the last from Saybrook) foremost men of the colony. Only five proprietors in the colony owned a larger share of the common, or undivided lands, than John Webster, and only one, William Whiting, as much. Of the seven largest owners of land held in common, four were located on the south side, namely, George Wyllys, Thomas Welles, John Webster, William Whiting.
Whether John Webster and his family came in that group, or later in 1636, he located, as already shown, on the south side of the Little River, on what afterward was and still is known as Governor Street, not far from what became the famous Charter Oak. A monument has been erected to mark the location of the Oak, upon which is this inscription: "Near this spot stood the Charter Oak, memorable in the History of the Colony of Connecticut as the hiding place of the Charter, October 31, 1687. The tree fell, August 21, 1856." The tree itself has been perpetrated by registered propagation.
Governor Street was so named because of the number of men living in that vicinity who became governors: Edward Hopkins, George Wyllys, Thomas Welles, John Webster, and as late as 1850, Thomas H. Seymour. The street extends from Little River, southward, crossing Sheldon Street at the head, and Charter Oak Avenue about midway of its total length. The street ends (1914) at Wyllys Street. On the east side of the street, about half way between Charter Oak Avenue and Wyllys Street, was the home lot of Gov. John Webster.
From an ancient chart in the possession of descendants of Noah Webster, LL.D., the following is set forth as the possible line of Gov. John Webster. "The Websters were settled in Yorkshire at a very early period. They were, according to Burke and Playfair, of Scottish descent, and held the manor of Lockington, Yorkshire, in the time of Richard II (1389-1399). The apparent founder of the family was John Webster of Bolsover, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire, who, in the 12th of Henry VI (1434), was returned into Chancery among the gentlemen of that County who made oath, in behalf of themselves and their retainers, for the observance of the king's laws. From him descended John Webster, who, upon the dissolution of the monasteries, received from Henry VIII, large grants in Cambridgeshire, Essex and Huntingdonshire (1509-1549). From him descended, in the third generation, John Webster who came to Watertown, near Boston, New England, from Warwickshire, England, about 1636."
The line thus established would be: 1330, Webster of Lockington, Esquire, time of Edward III. 1434, John Webster of Bolsover, Esquire, twelfth of Henry VI. John Webster in the time of Henry VIII, 1509-1547. John Webster, b. 1590, fifth governor of the Colony of Connecticut.
Gov. Webster's Position
That John Webster was a man of influence and standing in the Hartford colony is obvious. When the colony was settled at Hartford, a Board of Commissioners from Massachusetts governed the new towns, but a meeting of all the freemen of Hartford, Windsor and Wethersfield, held Jan. 14, 1639, adopted a written constitution, "the first written constitution known to history, that created a government." (Fisk, "Beginnings of New England," p. 127). From that time to 1659 he was chosen to office; from 1639 to 1655, as magistrate, or judge; 1655, deputy governor; 1656, governor; and the three following years, first magistrate, or chief judge. Hinman in his "First Puritan Settlers of Connecticut," says that John Webster's first appearance as an officer of the Court was in April 1637, when he was a member of a committee who for the first time sat with the court of Magistrates for the purpose of declaring war against the Pequot Indians. That same year he was elected to the general court, and also elected as one of the deputy commissioners in 1638. Then followed his election to the court of magistrates at the first general court holden by Gov. Haynes in April 1639 as aforesaid.
His sessions of court held are summarized as follows: 1639, four sessions of the general court; 1640, three; 1641, four; 1642, three; 1643, five; 1644, five; 1645, five; and of the particular court, 1639, five; 1640, four; 1641, two; 1642, two; 1643, six; 1644, five, 1645, six; 1646, four.
In 1640 he was appointed with Mr. Ludlow and Gov. Welles to consult with friends in New Haven respecting Indian murders which had been committed, to learn of them whether they would approve a decree of war. With William Phelps he was appointed to form law against lying, and to hold consultation with elders on the subject. He was also a member of a committee with William Phelps who formed a noted criminal code of law for the colony; reported and approved by the General Court in 1642, several of which remain on the statute book unto this day, with little alteration except in punishment. In 1654 he was appointed a member of the Congress of the united Colonies with Maj. Gen. Mason. He was the first of his name in this country who gave high character for talent in the name of Webster.
Gov. Webster's Public Services
Benjamin Trumbull gives the following summary of his public services: "For twenty years Mr. John Webster had been annually chosen into the magistracy of Connecticut, being elected Governor in 1656. At the election in Hartford, May 17th, 1655, Thomas Welles was elected Governor and John Webster Deputy Governor. At the election in 1656 John Webster was elected Governor and Thomas Welles Deputy Governor. At the election in 1657 John Winthrop was elected Governor, Thomas Welles Deputy Governor, and John Webster Chief Magistrate. This alternating was not a freak of voting, but arose from the law which permitted a governor to hold his office (until after 1660) only one out of two years.
Out of the one hundred and fifth-three original settlers of Hartford, only ten gentlemen besides himself were honored with the imposing prefix Mr. The ordinary title was Goodman or Goodwife, sometimes Goodwoman, and often Goody, or Neighbor. Only men of means and rank in the Colony who had come from England were looked up to with awe and without familiarity, such as clergymen, magistrates, doctors, schoolmasters, and those freemen who had received a second degree at college; eminent merchants, military captains, captains of vessels, and sometimes the mates, were addressed as Mr. and their wives as Mrs.
One has well said of him: "Prior to his election as Governor he was frequently directed by the General Court to decide controversies about boundaries, or arbitrating on lands, distributing estates, auditing the accounts of the treasure and answering petitions. In 1639 he was one of a committee appointed to confer with New Haven in relation to the murderous attacks from the Indians at Middletown, and he bore the banner of war against the haughty and insulting Sowheag, when our sister of Quinnipiac (New Haven) turned her face from it, and her milder counsel prevailed. Ten years later, 1649, the New England Congress employed him "to set forth on the towns" soldiers and ammunition for an expedition against the Indians. At other times he was chosen "to press men and ammunition" or appointed one of the officers with whom the constables of each town were to take advise in the pressing of men." In 1654 he with others was appointed by the General Court to examine and arrange "All particular and several charges of the late war (with the Narragansetts) and for the support of Uncas," of which charges they directed that they should cause the constables of Hartford to bring in a full account. When it was determined to provide a frigate of ten or twelve guns to defend the coast of Long Island against the Dutch and Ninigrate, Mr. Webster was one of the Committee "to treat with the owners of the frigate, and agree with them for the use of the same." Likewise in the matter of the agreement with Mr. Fenwick and the impost duty at the mouth of the river, he was frequently called to act, and also to license the exportation of provisions in times of scarcity. He made journeys as magistrate to the seaside and elsewhere to administer justice. He was employed in drawing up correspondence with friends of the Colony in England. He surveyed the highway from Hartford to Windsor, and overlooked its "amendment." He was one of the Committee which purchased and disposed of Simsbury. Abstracts for grievances to be presented to the New England Congress for its deliberation were at times drawn up by him. The New England Congress of 1654 had before it a new expedition against Ninigrate; the difficulties of New Haven with Delaware Bay; plans for "the better passage of the gospel among the Indians;" for the education of some of the Indians at Cambridge College, including the extension and repair of the buildings of the institution, and he with his fellow members dealt with these early problems of the infant state. To the several letters and sets of instructions growing out of these deliberations, the name of John Webster is in every instance signed, as also to the Swedish Governor of Delaware Bay, which was written in Latin.
The Office of Governor
It is of interest to know that the office of Governor which John Webster reached had some peculiarities not existent now. He had not only to be a freeman, but must have been previously a magistrate, and always a member of some "appointed congregation." His election by ballot was by the greatest number of votes, cast by all who had been admitted freemen and had taken the oath of fidelity, and who "did cohabit with this jurisdiction," the vote being taken the second Thursday in April each year. The convention for this purpose was held in Hartford. The General Court was in session at the same time to chose one or more persons to tell the voters who were sworn "to be faithful therein." Immediately upon his election the Governor-elect appeared before the General Assembly and took the oath of office "by the great and dreadful name of the ever-living God to promote the public good and peace of this jurisdiction according to the best of my skill, and will also maintain all lawful privileges of this Commonwealth, and also that all wholesome laws that are or shall be made by lawful authority here established, be duly executed according to the rule of God's word, so help me god: In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ."
Duties of Governor
His duties were manifold. Through the constables of each town, by himself or his secretary, he called the two General Assemblies. Special meetings might be called upon the advice and with the special consent of a majority of the magistrates, "within fourteen days warning," or shorter notice if necessary, the reasons to be stated in his warrant. When in session the Governor presided over the General Assembly, all the branches sitting in one body. He had power to order the court to give liberty of speech, and to silence unreasonable and disorderly speakings. He put the motions and in case the vote was equal he cast the deciding vote. The Governor was also a magistrate and held, with his colleagues, Particular Courts over which he presided, now in one place and then at another. He managed the chief correspondence of the Colony, served as one of the Commissioners of the United Colonies, acted on important committees and acted as principal adviser in all emergencies. For this Gov. Webster received the munificent sum of 30 pounds a year, this salary having been established in 1647, prior to which time there was no pecuniary compensation, and this was the first office to receive compensation in the Colony.
His Church Relationships
The First Church of Hartford justly stands in the forefront as one of the historic churches of New England. Founded by the learned and beloved Rev. Thomas Hooker who led in person the church through the wilderness from Cambridge to Hartford, he left the stamp and impress of his great personality and teachings upon them when, in 1647, eleven years after their arrival, he passed away. With the most judicious management such a crisis would not be easily passed, but when Rev. Samuel Stone, the assistant, assumed the pastorate with some innovations, some deviation in doctrines, and a new bent in ecclesiastical procedure, it is not surprising that others were quick to resent it, and the little fire of controversy rose to a great conflagration. Out of the imperfect records of the time it is difficult to determine the exact cause or causes of the controversy. It probably involved some questions of church order. Mr. Stone stood for "a speaking aristocracy in the face of a silent democracy."
A minister had spent some time in Hartford and preached on several occasions. It was deemed by many to be wise and courteous to put to vote the question of his call to the pastorate. this Mr. Stone would not allow, and this he acknowledges in a paper draw up in 1657 and concedes that the brethren had the right or liberty to have done what he did not permit, and "that he ought to have left the church to their liberty in voting." William Goodwin was the Ruling Elder, the Moderator at church meetings which it was his duty to call and dismiss; to prepare business for action of the church, superintend the conduct of members, and preach in the absence of the pastor or teacher. (2d Church, p. 17) In these duties or many of them, he was probably thwarted by Mr. Stone the acting pastor, and both being determined men the "conflict between opposite principles of ecclesiastical order," as Dr. Leonard Bacon described it, waxed hot. To this was added a growing demand for an enlargement of baptismal privileges. As taught by Hooker, and original Congregationalism in N.E. only children of members in full communion were proper subjects of baptism, but Mr. Stone espoused to the idea of extending the privilege to those outside the communion and also to extend the voting privilege to non-communicants. (2d Church, p. 20, p. 33, p. 34) These views leading to sharp attrition, a ukase was agreed upon and a council was convened in Hartford in Dine, 1656. The petition for the council was signed by George Steel, Ozias Goodwin, Will Partrigg, John Marsh, Isaac Graves, Benjamin Harbert, William Leawis, Thomas Bunc, John Webster, John Cullick, Nathaniel Ward, Andrew Bacon, Andrew Warner, John White, John Crow, Thomas Standley, John Barnard, Gregory Woolterton, John Arnold, Zachary Fild, Richard Church. The Council was composed of ministers from the Connecticut churches with one or two from the New Haven Colony (2d Church, p. 26, pp. 23, 24, 25). They decided that mutual satisfaction should be given on both sides, each to the other, that in case further differences arose and the dissenting brethren should desire
The Death of Governor Webster
The end was now near at hand. In eleven days, namely April 5, 1661, under circumstances without record now extant, the Puritan and Pilgrim of two hemispheres, the faithful judge, the Deputy Governor and Governor or an incipient American State, the public spirited citizen and public servant, in old age an exile for conscience sake from the infant city which he helped to found, in a new home, but surrounded by neighbors who had suffered with him, he closed his labors, and sleeps with the pioneers who with him blazed the path of empire in the New World. His most eminent descendant, Noah Webster, LL.D., one of the chief lexicographers of the English language, erected in the Old Hadley Cemetery, in 1818, a modest slab upon or near the spot where Gov. Webster was buried, bearing the following inscription:
"To the memory of John Webster, Esq. one of the first settlers of Hartford in Connecticut, who was many years a Magistrate or Assistant, and afterwards Deputy Gov. and Governor of that Colony, and in 1659 with three sons, Robert, William and Thomas, associated with others in the purchase and settlement of Hadley where he died in 1661, this monument is erected in 1818 by his descendant, Noah Webster of Amherst."
Gov. Webster's Will
In the Northampton, Mass., Probate Records, pages 20 and 21 is recorded the following instrument, attested as a true copy of the last Will and Testament of Mr. John Webster, late of Hadley, deceased.
" I John Webster late of Hartford in the jurisdiction of Connecticut being weak of body yett sound of mind and having my perfect understanding doe ordayne this to be my last will and testament in manner following--
"Imprimis. I comitt my soule into the hands of the Almighty and most mercifull hoping to be saved by the alone meritts of the Lord Jesus Christ being washed with his blood and clothed with his righteousness and sanctifyed by the Holy Ghost. Amen.
"My body also I bequeath to ye earth to be interred with comely bureall (if at this time I be taken out of this world) in some part of the New Plantation on ye east side of the river at Northampton. Moreover my worldly goods which the Lord hath blessed me with and left me as a father's portion, I bestow as followeth.
"To my Deare and beloved wife Agnes Webster I give one bed and comely furniture for ye same. As also my house and lands in Hartford all the profitts of the same during her natural life. And upon her decease all shall come into the hands and be at ye disposal of my executor.
"Item, to my son Matthew Webster I give the summ of ten pounds.
"Item, to my son William Webster I give ye summ of seventy pounds.
"Item, to my son Thomas Webster I give ye summ of fifty pounds.
"Item, to my daughter Marsh I give ye summ of twenty pounds.
"Item, to my daughter Markham I give ye summ of forty pounds.
"To my grandchild Jonathan Hunt I give the summ of forty shillings.
"To my grandchild Mary Hunt I give ye summ of ten pounds.
"To all my grandchildren else in N. England I give ten shillings a piece.
"To Mary the wife of William Holton of Northampton in part of recompence for her great love and paynes for me I give forty shillings.
"To my son Robert Webster I give all the remainder of my estate of one kind and another, whom also I doe appoynt and ordayn to be my sole and full executor of this my last will and testament.
"My will further is that the foresaid legacys should be paid within fifteen months after my decease soe farr as my personall estate (that is all my estate besides houses and lands) will reach and the rest within eighteen months after my wives decease.
"Which of the legacys shall be paid first or how much of them I leave to the discretion and faithfulness of my son Robert desiring yet if there appears any difference he would in it take and act by the advise of my loving friends Nathaneell Ward and Andrew Bacon who have beene acquainted with much of my mind herein. Only my just debts I would have first paid before ye legacys as also my funerall expenses.
"My lott at the New Plantation with ye accommodations thereunto belonging and I give to my sons William and Thomas upon condition of their inhabiting there as I myself was engaged to doe which is also my desire they should---
"and soe doing to have it equally divided between them.
"In witness hereof I have sett to my and this present 25 of June 1659.
in the presence of John Russell, Eleazar Mather
Gov. John Webster's widow, Mrs. Agnes Webster, died six years later, probably in Hartford, in the year 1667.
Gov. Webster's Family
Savage says of John Webster who came from Cambridge to Hartford in 1636, "he brought from England his wife Agnes and children Matthew, Robert, Ann, Elizabeth and Mary. Perhaps also Thomas and William, though one or both of the latter may have been born on this side of the ocean. All of these lived to marry, and all left issue except William and Elizabeth.
No date of birth for any of the children of Gov. John and Agnes Webster has, so far as we can learn, been discovered. There exist some conjectures, and so, until something authentic appears, it will be well to await with patience the result of further research. CHILDREN: (Born in England except last two who, according to Savage, may have been born this side of the ocean.) Matthew; William, Robert, Thomas, Anne, Elizabeth, Mary.
Original Settlers of Hartford, Connecticut
Many, if not most, of the descendants of Gov. John Webster, because of early intermarriages, are descendants of one or more of the original settlers of Hartford, and founders of the Colony of Connecticut. For their convenience, we append the full list of early settlers as given in the memorial history of Hartford, page 227.
Adams, Jeremy; Allyn, Matthew; Andrews, Francis; (can't read 3 or 4 listings); Barnes, Thomas (by courtesy); Bartett, Robert; Baysey, John also spelled Baisie; Beal,Thomas; Boarding, Nathaniel, also spelled Burdon; Betts, Widow Mary (by courtesy); Bidwell, John (courtesy) (Biddle); Billing, Richard; Birchwood, Thomas, also spelled Birchard; Blachford, Peter, also spelled Birchard; Blackley, Thomas, also spelled Blathcley and Blacksley; Bliss, Thomas Sr.; Bliss, Thomas Jr.; Blumfield, William; Bridgeman, James, not an original proprietor; Bronson, John (by courtesy) also spelled Brownson and Brunson; Bronson, Richard, a brother; Bull, Captain Thomas; Bunce, Thomas (by courtesy); Burr, Benjamin; Butler, Deacon Richard; Butler, William; Chaplin, Clement, also spelled Chaplain, returned to England; Chester, Mrs. Dorothy, widow of John Chester and sister of Rev. Thomas Hooker; Church, Richard, removed to Hadley with the withdrawers, 1659; Clarke, John; Clark, Nicholas; Cole, James; Cornwall, Sergeant William; Crow, John; Cullick, Captain John; Davis, Philip "the tailor"; Davy, Fulke, removed before 1640; Day, Robert; Desborough, Nicholas (by courtesy), spelled also Disbros, Desbrough, Disbrow, Desbrow; Easton, Deacon Joseph; Edwards, William; Elmer, Edward; Ely, Nathaniel; Ensign, James, also spelled Ensign; Field, Zachary; Fisher, Thomas; Friend, John; Gardiner, Samuel, also spelled Gardner; Garrett, Daniel; Garrett, Samuel, also spelled Garre, Garrard, Garwood; Genning, John, also spelled Ginnings (Nicholas); Gibbons, William (Gibbins); Goodman, Deacon Richard; Goodwin, Elder William; Goodwin, Ozias, a brother; Grant, Seath; Grave, George; Green, Bartholomew, died before arrival; Greenhill, Samuel; Gridley, Thomas (by courtesy); Hale, Samuel, also spelled Hales; Hale, Thomas (John Hale); Hall, John; Hart, Stephen; Hayden, William (Heaton); Haynes, Hon. John; Higginson, Rev. John; Hills, William; Holloway, John; Holton, William, also spelled Holten and Houghton; Hooker, Rev. Thomas; Hopkins, Gov. Edward; Hopkins, John; Hosmer, Thomas; Hubbard, Goerge; Hungerford, Thomas, also spelled Hungerfoot; Hyde, William (Hide); Ince, Jonathan (Jonas); Judd, Thomas; Keeler, Ralph; Kellogg, Nathaniel; Kelsey, William; Lay, Edward (Leary); Lewis, William; Lord, Thomas; Lord, Thomas, Jr.; Lord, Richard; Lyman, Richard; Marsh, John; Marvin, Matthew; Marvin, Reinold (Mann, Benj.); Maynard, John; Moody, John; Morris, John, also spelled Morrice; Munn, Benjamin; Munson, Thomas; Mygatt, Joseph; Olcott, Thomas (Alcott); Olmstead, Dr. John, also spelled Holmstead; Olmstead, Capt. Richard (Jas. Olmstead); Pantry, William, also spelled Peyntre; Parker, William; Peck, Deacon Paul; Pierce, John; Phillips, William; Porter, Thomas; Post, Stephen (Burg Plat); Pratt, John; Pratt, William, supposed to be brothers; Purchas, John, also spelled Purkas; Richards, Nathaniel; Richards, Thomas; Risley, Richard, also spelled Wrisley; Root, Thomas; Ruscoe, William, also spelled Reskoe and Rescue; Ruscoe, Nathaniel; Sable, John, also spelled Savell and Sables; Scott, Thomas; Selden, Thomas; Seymour, Richard (Series, John); Skinner, John; Smith, Arthur; Smith, Giles (by courtesy); Sspencer, Sergeant Thomas; Spencer, William, brothers; Stanley, John; Stanley, Thomas; Stanley, Timothy, brothers; Stanton, Thomas; Stebbins, Deacon Edward, also spelled Stebbin; Steele, George; Steele, John (brothers; Stocking, George; Stone, John; Stone, Rev. Samuel, son of John; Talcott, John; Upson, Thomas; Wade, Nathaniel (Nathaniel Ward); Wadsworth, William; Wakely, Henry, also spelled Walkley; Wakely, James, son of above; Wakeman, Samuel; Warner, Andrew; Warner, John; Watts, Richard (Wm. Watts); Webb, Richard; Webster, Gov. John; Welles, Gov. Thomas; Westley, William; Westwood, William; White, Elder John; Whitehad, Samuel
Whiting, Major William; Wilcock, John, also spelled Wilcox; Woltherton, Gregory, also spelled Wiltherton; Woodford, Thomas; Wyllys, Gov George.
1644, Thomas Catlin
1652, Thomas Cadwell
1657, John Merrill, a tanner, son of Abram Merrill of Newton (Cambridge) and Sarah, dau. of John Watson
1661, Bevil Waters of Wethersfield b. about 1648, died Feb. 14, 1720-30. He was lame. First wife's name, unknown. He m. (2) Dec. 13, 1722, Sarah, the widow of Joseph Mygatt. She was the dau. of Robert Webster and was born June 30, 1655
1669, Richard Case of East Hartford
1672, Stephen Brace or Bracy who came from Swanzey. He died 1692.
1685, Thomas Hill, who came from Middletown
Dr. Love adds the following names to the list of real estate owners, prior to 1640: Hills, John; Hurlbut, Thomas; Latimer, John; Sanford, Robert
On the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the settlement of Hartford, the citizens erected a monument (1836) in memory and honor of its founders. Nearly all of the names in the above list, except the "Later Settlers," appear upon the monument. The monument stands in the cemetery at the rear of the First Church. On one of the faces of the monument the list begins with the names of the early governors, and fifth from the top, to correspond with the number of his term, is the name of John Webster, the Fifth Colonial Governor.
Reference Note 4
LDS IGI/Ancestral Files
Reference Note 135
The History and Genealogy of the Gov. John Webster
Family of Connecticut, Rochester, NY 1915
Reference Note 145
Families of Early Hartford, CT by Lucius Barnes Barbour,
1982, Published by Gen. Pub. Co., Inc.
Reference Note 169
Directory of the Ancestral Heads of New England Families 1620-1700
Compiled by Frank R. Holmes, 1974, Genealogical Publishing Co.
Reference Note 171
Biographies of American & Colonial Governors by Meckler
Reference Note 478
Genealogical Notes First Settlers of Connecticut
and Massachusetts, 1856, Nathaniel Goodwin