Remembering Our Ancestors: Cornelius and Priscilla Gillett

Cornelius and Priscilla Gillett are our 10th (and 11th) great-grandparents in the Andrews-line of the family tree, and early settlers of what was to become Massachussets and Connecticut.  Both were children of English immigrants who came from Somerset, Devon and Essex respectively, with only one unknown parent (Priscilla’s mother) in the mix; they were the first generation of children born in the New World.

Cornelius Gillett was born on January 10, 1634, in Massachusetts, to Jonathan Gillett and Mary Dolbere.  His parents were Puritans and of the company of one hundred and forty Puritans from the counties of Devon, Dorset and Somerset, England, that sailed to the New World with Rev. John Warham and Rev. John Maverick, as pastors, in the ship “Mary and John,” March 20, 1630, and locating at Dorchester, Massachusetts.  They came with Mr. Warham with other Dorchester men to form the settlement at what is now Windsor, Connecticut, about 1636.   Cornelius was born shortly after his parents’ arrival in Massachusetts.

Priscilla Gillett was born as Priscilla Kelsey also on January 10, but one year earlier than Cornelius, in 1633, also in Massachusetts, and her family moved on to Hartford, CT, too.  Her father was also a Puritan immigrant, William Kelsey, who came to Massachusetts with the Rev. Thomas Hooker, just like our 12th great-grandfathers William Andrews.  Small wonder the two families would intermarry eventually!  William Kelsey seems to deserve a post all for himself, but I have to do some more research first.


Cornelius and Priscilla married on January 16, 1658, in Hartford, and seem to have spent their life in Windsor, Hartford, CT.  They had nine children together, and it was one of their daughters, Sara Gillett, who married Stephen Andrews, great-grandson of the above mentioned William, on 29 Mar, 1705.

But back to Cornelius and Priscilla.  Not only were they both born on January 10th, which was yesterday, but they also died in the same year.  Priscilla went first, on June 2, 1711.  Cornelius left 24 days later, on June 26, 1711.

Rest in Peace, Cornelius and Priscilla.


6 Replies to “Remembering Our Ancestors: Cornelius and Priscilla Gillett”

    1. To think of the kind of life these pioneers lived in terms of uncertainties, and how much it must have meant to find someone you are really fond of, and actually grow old together rather than losing a wife or three in childbirth or a husband or two in wars or to wild animals or sickness, that sounds like a whole bunch of blessings!


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