Remembering Our Ancestors: William Andrews

William came with the company of Rev. Thomas Hooker to the colonies in 1624 and started the Andrews family of (what was to become) Hartford, CT.

1595 and London, England:  That should bring at least two things to mind, Shakespeare and the Black Death.  I guess some people think London was plagued by both – not I!

Regardless, our ancestors where there, in and around London during Shakespeare’s time, and surely they were bothered by the plague, among them our 12th and 13th great-grandfather William Andrews who was born in that year, 1595.  19 years later, however, we find our dear William quite far away from London, in the company of Thomas Hooker (as depicted in Frederic Edwin Church’s painting that you see featured, slightly cropped) in the colonies far west of England, and on their way to what would become Hartford, Connecticut.  William Andrews was one of the founders of that town.

founders monument
Founder’s Monument Ancient Cemetery Hartford, Ct

William married in the New World, as far as we know, and sources differ whether he was married once or twice.  It is pretty sure that he married Abigail Graves in 1632, the year our 11th and 12th great-grandfather John Andrews was born also.  Some sources say William also married Mary Savage (which would have been in the old world) and there is conflicting information because they, too, had a son called John, albeit born a good bit before ‘our’ John.  Chances are more than one William Andrews lived in London at the time, and possibly even made it to the colonies before 1700.

Our William and Abigail had eight children together, if we are correctly informed, firmly establishing the Andrews clan in the Hartford area where they stayed for many generations, until the early 19th century.  We have already portrayed several members of this branch of the family; they must have been an interesting and rather hardy bunch.  Eventually, the Andrews branch of our family tree joins the Christman branch with our (2nd) great-grandparents Dallas Christman and Alice Andrews.

William Andrews passed on at the age of 64, on 3 August 1659, this past week 361 years ago.  His wife Abigail lived on for 22 more years, and as far as we know, she married again, one Nathaniel Bearding.

Requiescat in Pace, Great-Grandpa Andrews.  We do not know where exactly they have laid you to rest, but it is believed than you lie in the Ancient Cemetery in Hartford where the above monument bears your name along with those of other founders.

founders bridge plaque
THE FOUNDERS BRIDGE: This plaque and a second one commemorate the men and women who traveled there in 1636 with the Rev. Thomas Hooker to found the City of Hartford.

Remembering Our Ancestors: John Case

John Case, our 10th and 11th great-grandfather in the Snyder line, immigrated to the New World in the first half of the 17th century.

John Case was born on 25 Jul 1616 Aylesham in the Dover District in England, that’s tomorrow 404 years ago.  We don’t know much about his childhood, but the Case family, father, mother and four sons, left Gravesend, England, bound for Boston on the ship Dorset, of the Winthrop fleet, in 1635, when John was 19 years old.  The father William (properly John William Richard) died en route in September of that year, but the rest of the family settled largely in what today is the area of Hartford, CT.

John married Sarah Spencer, whose family had been living in the colonies since the 1630s as well, around 1655, and in 1656 their first daughter Elisabeth was born.  Nine more children were to follow.  In the early years of their marriage, John, Sarah and their children lived in the settlement of Massacoe which had 13 permanent residents in 1669. People appeared to be have been hesitant to settle there in the first years.  John was appointed to the position of constable of the ‘plantation’, this being the first recorded civil office held by residents of the area.  John also appears to have been instrumental in the process of turning the settlement into a town of Connecticut, which happened on 12 May 1670 when the plantation was ordered to be called “Simmsbury“.  The boundaries at that time were Farmington on the south side and Windsor on the east side, with the extent of Simsbury running 10 miles north of Farmington and 10 miles west of Windsor.

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One can surely say the family were American pioneers, and it appears that for most of his life, John played an active role in the community life of his plantation / village / town.

Following Sarah’s death on 3 November 1691, John married Elizabeth Moore, the widow of Nathaniel Loomis, but they had no children together, Elizabeth already having had 14 children by her first husband.

John in turn died on 21 February 1704 in Simsbury and it is believed that he was buried next to Sarah in an unmarked grave on Simsbury Cemetery.

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Requiescat in Pace, Great-Grandpa John.  It’s hard to imagine what life must have been like for your family, setting out into the New World and losing the father before you even got there, and then going on to build a community where there had been uninhabitable wilderness before.  On your shoulders we stand, and we hope to live in such a way that you do not have to be ashamed of us.

Remembering Our Ancestors: Elizabeth and Nathaniel Kellogg

Our 9th (and 10th) great-grandparents appear to have both died on April Fool’s Day, and it’s not a joke!

What happened on 1 April 1762 in East Windsor, CT?  This is one of the mysteries in our family tree, the kind that hobby genealogists know only too well.  The records indicate that our 9th (and 10th) great-grandparents in the Andrews-line, Nathaniel Kellogg and his wife Elizabeth Williams, died both on the same day, so the question is, what happened to them on that day?  We have not been able to find out thus far.

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Elizabeth Williams was born on 13 February 1703, and her later husband Nathaniel Kellogg shortly thereafter on 8 May 1703, both in Colchester, CT, a little speck of a place that only four years previously had been named so, after the port city of Colchester in Essex, England.  In the year of Nathaniel and Elizabeth’s birth, it was ruled that the settlement could organize a church body there, and within a few years, several grist mills and saw mills were built to provide grain and lumber for the settlement.  In 1706, the first street was laid and called Town Street.  By 1714, there were nearly 50 English colonial families in town, among them our Kellogg’s and Williams’ ancestors.

Nathaniel and Elizabeth got married on 1 July 1725 in Colchester, just before Elizabeth’s mother Elizabeth Weeks, wife of Charles Williams, died.  The couple had eight children altogether, their daughter Delight, who married Lt. Robert Andrews, being our 8th (and 9th) great-grandmother.

The family lived in Colchester, CT for many years, but shortly before Nathaniel and Elizabeth died, they moved to East Windsor, CT, possibly with Delight and Robert who were living there by 1756.  Robert’s family was one of the founding families of Hartford, CT and among the first settlers in Windsor as well.

As mentioned, both Nathaniel and Elizabeth died on 1 April 1762, in Windsor, Connecticut.  She was already 59 by that time, and he was still 58.

Requiescat in Pace, Great-Grandparents Kellogg.  Maybe it is for the best that we do not know how you died.

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Remembering Our Ancestors: Elisha Andrews

Remembering Elisha Andrews and his wife Ruth Loveland takes us back to colonial America.

This past Wednesday 270 years ago, our 8th (and 9th) great-grandfather Elisha Andrews passed on in his home village in Glastonbury, Hartford Co., CT.  To the day half a year later, his wife Ruth (née Loveland) followed him.  On his Find-A-Grave memorial, the following is quoted (see also the featured image):

Elisha Andrews, eldest son of Stephen, of Glastonbury, and his wife, Sarah Gillett; record of his birth on the Hartford town books.  He lived in East Glastonbury, and succeeded his father as clerk of the school society; he was both mechanic and farmer, as was common in our early history. He married the 9th February, 1726, Ruth (Loveland).  He was the first of four of the name in as many generations, being great-grand-father of Capt. Elisha, of South Manchester, now, 1867, living at the age of 78.  Rev. A. B. Chapin. D. D., in his History of Glastonbury, says, Elisha Andrews, as clerk from 1743 to 1749, had few peculiarities of spelling, and wrote a respectable hand.  He died the 29th January, 1750, aged 43 years, 7 months. 19 days.  He seems to have been a school-teacher, in 1747.

Quoted from:
Genealogical history of John and Mary Andrews, who settled in Farmington, Conn., 1640: embracing their descendants to 1872; with an introduction of miscellaneous names of Andrews, with their progenitors as far as known; to which is added a list of some of the authors, clergymen, physicians and soldiers of the name.
by Andrews, Alfred, 1797-1876

Said birth took place on 10 Jun 1706, 13 years after Glastonbury was founded; he was the first of four children born to Stephen and Sarah.

Elisha and Ruth in turn had five children, their 4th child and last son Robert being our direct ancestor.  Both Elisha and Ruth died before they reached the age of 50:  He passed on at age 43, and she one day before her 48th birthday, only 6 days after their second son Benjamin had died at the age of 22.  The exact place of their burial is not known, but we assume they all were laid to rest in or around East Glastonbury.  Makes one wonder if smallpox were rampant in Glastonbury at the time since both parents and a son died within 6 months from one other.  After all, smallpox was a leading cause of death in 18th century Europe, and the widespread use of variolation in the North American colonies reduced the impact only during the latter part of the 18th century and mainly among the wealthy classes, too late and possibly not accessible for Elisha, Ruth and their son Benjamin.

Anyway, here we are in pre-revolutionary Connecticut, in a place where the now oldest continually operating ferry in the United States is located, the Rocky Hill – Glastonbury ferry, dating back to 1655.  Today, the trip across the Connecticut River takes approximately 4 minutes, but we assume it took longer back in the day:  Originally the ferry was a raft that was poled across the Connecticut River.  Later, it was powered by a horse on a treadmill before the ferry was upgraded to a steamship in 1876.

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The Rocky Hill to Glastonbury (Connecticut) Ferry in 2007

There is another little historical curiosity concerning our ancestors and Glastonbury, CT:  Our Elisha and his father were succeeded in their teacher-position by a certain Noah Webster, who was born in West Hartford in 1758, eight years after Elisha’s death, and who taught in Glastonbury for “a short time” around 1779, approximately 30 years after Elisha.  The name Noah Webster is nowadays firmly associated with “dictionary”, especially with the modern Merriam-Webster dictionary that was first published in 1828 as “An American Dictionary of the English Language”.  Webster has been called the “Father of American Scholarship and Education”, and his “Blue-backed Speller” books taught five generations of American children how to spell and read.

A_Dictionary_of_the_English_Language_Noah_Webster_title_page

 

 

 

Remembering Our Ancestors: Robert Loveland

The Lovelands are another early American family of Hartford, CT that belongs to our family tree.

Today, we remember our 9th (and 10th) great-grandfather Robert Loveland who passed away on this day 251 years ago, in 1768.

Robert Loveland, son of the English immigrant Thomas Loveland, was born in Wethersfield, Hartford Co., CT in 1673.  Thomas Loveland had immigrated with his parents, his two brothers and one sister in 1639 at the age of 4, but his father died at sea, wherefore his mother was known in the New World as the Widow Loveland.

Farmington church
This is the church that is believed to be the church that the original Lovelands attended. The name of the area is called Farmington, but the names were changed often. The town of Farmington was once a part of Hartford. The First Church of Christ in Farmington has a long and distinguished history that began in 1652.

So Robert Loveland, first-generation American born, grew up in the area around Hartford and on 19 Aug 1697, he married Ruth Kilham in Glastonbury, CT, which is also where his father Thomas was living at that time.  Eventually, the Loveland family settled a little further south-west, in Hebron, CT.

Robert and Ruth had five children together, John, ‘Little’ Ruth, Lot, Robert Jr. and Hannah. When ‘Little’ Ruth was grown up to be ‘Just’ Ruth, she went on to marry our 8th (and 9th) great-grandfather Elisha Andrews, and they were the parents of Lieutenant Robert Andrews who took part in the Battle of Lexington.  Robert Jr. appears to have built the first grist mill in Marlborough, Hartford Co., CT around 1750.

postcard Hebron CT
John Warner Barber, South view of Hebron, CT., ca. 1836 – Connecticut Historical Society

Robert Loveland Sr. died on 6 December 1768 in Hebron, and we assume that he was laid to rest there.  One cannot be sure as times were unsettled in 1768, after all.

HebronGayCityStatePark
Gay City State Park, Hebron: Ruins of Hebron’s industrial past can be found in Gay City State Park, which takes its name from the abandoned mill town that once stood within its boundaries.

Rest in Peace, Great-Grandpa Loveland.

 

Remembering Our Ancestors: Elisabeth Case

Today we remember our 9th (and 10th) great-grandmother Elizabeth in the Snyder line, who was baptized this week 363 years ago in New Amsterdam, but who lived her life on the frontier.

Elizabeth Case, born to a father (John Case) relatively recently immigrated to the new world from Kent in England, and a mother (Sarah Spencer) who was already American-born, lived a frontier life if ever there was one.  Her maternal grandfather had been William Spencer, the eldest of four Spencer brothers that emigrated to New England during the 1630s (William, Thomas, Michael and Gerard), and his name is engraved on the Founder’s Memorial in Hartford, CT, and her father’s name is closely connected with the settlement of Massacoe and the founding of Simsbury, CT.

Elizabeth was baptized in Maspeth Kill (i.e., Maspeth Creek) on Long Island (later called
Newtown, now part of the City of Brooklyn, NY) on 26 November 1656, but the family did not live there at the time.  We know that they stayed there because John sent a letter to “my honored father William Edwards” at Hartford from there.  They lived, instead, much closer to Hartford, in the settlement of Massacoe which had 13 permanent residents in 1669.  People appeared to be hesitant to move settle there.  Her father John Case was appointed to the position of constable of the ‘plantation’, this being the first recorded civil office held by residents of the area.  John Case also appears to have been instrumental in the process of turning the settlement into a town of Connecticut, which happened on 12 May 1670, when the plantation was ordered to be called “Simmsbury“.  The boundaries at that time were Farmington on the south and Windsor on the east, with the extent of Simsbury running 10 miles north of Farmington and 10 miles west of Windsor.  Elizabeth seems to have spent most of her life in that area.  One can surely say the family were American pioneers.

american pioneers
American Pioneers

Elizabeth first married Joseph Lewis on April 30, 1674 when she was only 17.  The two had three children together.  Then, in or before 1685 when she was around 28, she married John Tuller, our 9th (and 10th) great-grandfather, by whom she had five children.  She was John Tuller’s first wife, and a year after Elizabeth’s death, he married again.  Our line continues through Elizabeth and John’s youngest daughter Mehitable, who married into the Chidester/ Chichester family that eventually joined the Snyder line.

Elizabeth died on 9 October 1718, in Simsbury, Connecticut, at the age of 61.  She was laid to rest there in Simsbury Cemetery.

Rest in Peace, Grandma Tuller.  You were among the first to settle a place that is still one of the prettiest places in the country, it seems: 9th best town to live in 2015 in the United States according to Time magazine!

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The Farmington River in Simsbury
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