Alfred Andrews.

Memorial. Genealogy, and ecclesiastical history [of First Church, New Britain, Conn.] To which is added an appendix, with explanatory notes, and a full index online

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Online LibraryAlfred AndrewsMemorial. Genealogy, and ecclesiastical history [of First Church, New Britain, Conn.] To which is added an appendix, with explanatory notes, and a full index → online text (page 1 of 58)
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" The glory of Children are their Fathers." Solomon.

" Those only deserve to be remembered by posterity, who treasure up the history of their Ances-
tors." Bur Ice.

" There is a Moral and Philosophical respect for our Ancestors which elevates the character and
improves the heart." Webster.







WHEN a plain man, more used to the plough than the pen, turns
author, and asks to be read, a preface may be used, either to justify,
apologize, or explain. This can be taken for either of these pur-
poses, as best suits the reader. I think it was during the Spring of
1850, that a gentleman from Ohio, by the name of Andrews, called
on the writer, to inquire after the early settlers of that name, in the
State. I could give him no information on the - subject, having no
history of my ancestors, back of my own grandfather. He passed
on, leaving on my mind this reflection. What! lived more than a
half century, and know scarce a hundred years of your own family
history ? I began by looking over old files of deeds and papers,
searching family, church, town, and probate records, and the State
archives, until I had gathered near four thousand names, and collect-
ed several of the branches, into a regular chain of families, from the
early settlement of the country, to the child now in the cradle. Some
of my friends, knowing what I had done in this line of inquiry, pro-
posed that I take up the subject of an Ecclesiastical History of the
First Church and . Society of New Britain. The subject was intro-
duced at an annual meeting, by the motion that a committee be ap-
pointed, and it was voted at the adjourned annual meeting of the
church, held 28th January, 1859, that Alfred Andrews, Noah W.
Stanley and Timothy W. Stanley, be a committee to secure, (if they
deem it best,) a copy of the records of this church, set in order,
and in a form fitted for preservation. This committee have reported
progress annually, and been reappointed to carry out more fully the



Perhaps no individual then had a thought of doing more than trans-
cribing our incomplete records, scattered in no less than six or seven
small books, into one large manuscript volume, with such facts ap-
pended, in the form of notes, as would explain and illustrate our his-
tory. But after the committee had conferred, and sent a delegation
to Goshen, to see an excellent manuscript history of the First Church
there, by Deacon Lewis M. Norton, and especially after an examina-
tion of a printed history of the First Church in Belchertown, Mass.,
by Hon. Mark Doolittle, it was thought best to make a book for the
public, comprising family genealogy with church history, and what
might be found respecting the early settlement of the place.

It was a favorable circumstance for the production of the following
pages, that there was a continuous, (though imperfect,) record of the
First Church in New Britain, from its first organization, to the pres-
ent time. This ca"n hardly be said of any other church in this vicin-
ity, whose age exceeds a century. Almost every such church has a
break or gap in its history. It is still a mooted question, whether a
record voluntarily begun and continued at the pastor's own expense of
time, care, and stationery, belongs to him and his heirs, or to the
church and their successors. Hence in part the defective church
records of Connecticut, and other States. Heirs-at-law have retained
them as their property, and carried them to parts unknown. In all
the years spent in gathering materials for this work, the compiler ac-
knowledges with gratitude a kind Providence, who has favored him
in every weary step. To say nothing of a few officials, who have
been paid from oce to three dollars for a single letter, it is with
pleasure he remembers favors from Ex- Governor Pond, of Milford,
Deacon Lewis M. Norton, of Goshen, Hon. Tracy Peck, of Bristol,
and Rev. Abner Morse, of Boston, (all gone to their final rest during
the progress of these researches;) by Doctor D. TV. Patterson, of
West Winsted, Edwin Stearnes, Esq., of Middletown, A. S. Kellogg,
Esq., of Vernon, Ali Andrews, Esq., Bridgeport, and not least, by
Gad Andrews, Esq., of Southington. The author takes this opportu-
nity to thank all the clergy in this vicinity, who have kindly given


him access to church records, and otherwise aided and encouraged
him in the work. He has received kindness and courtesy from soci-
ety, town, and probate clerks, and especially from Messrs. Trumbull
and Hoadley, in giving him access to the State archives, as Secretary
of State and State Librarian. By the facilities of correspondence, he
he has been aided in this enterprise, in the exchange of more than a
thousand letters, some from the remote parts of the country, and some
from England. He will never forget the patience of those, (both in
this and other towns,) whom he has annoyed with a thousand and one
questions. Especially is he under obligation to the old people of this
vicinity, not so much for dates, as for connections and locations of the
numerous families. It has been found that less than one-third of the
families have any record of their children, respecting either births or
marriages; and such as are found, are often made from memory, after
the family has become so numerous as to trouble' the parents in re-
calling the several dates. It is found that some of the records thus
made up do not agree with the public journals nor with the truth.

The compiler has spared no tune nor pains to be correct, (for cor
rectness is the chief excellence in all history,) yet where there is so
much of uncertainty, some errors must be expected.

The most valuable part of this work, and that which will be most
appreciated in future years, and which has cost the author the most
labor, is its genealogical department. Few know the amount of time*
patience, and labor expended on such researches. It has been
shrewdly, (if not wisely,) said by a "pedigree hunter," that it was
useless to tell antiquaries anything about the cost of such works, for
they understood it; and it was equally useless to tell others, for they
could not comprehend you. Is there not some danger that families
and family religion will be lost sight of, in the shadow of congrega-
tions, Sunday Schools, and churches ? God, in the days of the Pa-
triarchs, made families the depository of his church, and constituted
the father the priest of the household, making a covenant with Abra-
ham, which was to be an everlasting covenant to him, and his seed
after him; which covenant was confirmed to Isaac and Jacob, and


under the new dispensation to all, even as many as the Lord our God
should call, who should possess like precious faith with Abraham.*
Hence the author, in the following pages, and in the plan of the
work, assumes that the Church of Christ is mainly drawn from fami-
lies in which God is acknowledged. The fact that over eigh'y per
cent, of the First Church in New Britain, were baptized in infancy,
confirms this view of the subject as correct, and that God is far
more mindful of his covenant, than his people. "We prefer no claim
that this work is either complete, or perfect ; indeed, from the condi-
tion of the records, and other sources of information from which it is
compiled, it could not be. If its perusal shall incite one pastor or
church, to give greater attention to their own record ; if it shall lead
one follower of Christ to greater diligence in fulfilling his mission ; if
it shall inspire one child with more love of home and ancestors; or
if it shall expand the contracted brow of a single antiquary in search
of lore; just so far the hopes of the compiler will be realized. If,
as a book of reference, (and this will be its chief use,) it shall afford
those who consult it, a tithe of the satisfaction the author has enjoyed
in its construction, he will be gratified. In commenting on the life
and character of those who have passed away, the author has aimed
in all cases to be impartial. So far as the record of the church
extended, it was, of course, made the guide ; but where there has been
no written history, nor tradition, nor personal acquaintance, the dead
are passed in silence. The compiler is very sensible of the delicacy
of the subject in this respect, and the difficulty of doing justice to
this part of the work, and has aimed to avoid offense on the one
hand, and neglect on the other. Should the reader discover want of
connection in the events related, or in the different parts of the work,
he is reminded that such must necessarily be the case, where so many
of the facts and incidents are entirely disconnected of themselves. In
closing these prefatory remarks, the subscriber deems it proper to say
that he is under great obligations to the committee with whom he is

* Acts 2, 39. " For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all
that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall calL


associated, and to the present pastor of the church, for aid and en-
couragement in his labors, but not in any sense such as to make
either of them responsible for any errors or defects that may appear
in the work. The author hereby assumes all such responsibilities,
and submits the whole to a discerning, yet indulgent public, hoping
that generations to come may be benefited by this humble effort
to perpetuate the memory of those worthy ancestors of ours, who
first settled New Britain and its vicinity.


NEW BRITAIN, 2d May, 1867.


THE Ecclesiastical history of that territory, or part of ancient Farrn-
ington, in Connecticut, lying east of Farmington mountain, bounded east
by Wethersfield and Middletown, south by Wallingford, now Meriden,
and extending north to what we now call ( Clark Hill,) is very difficult to
understand. Previous to the year 1705, the inhabitants belonged to the
parish of Farmington, and attended public worship, and paid their minis-
terial taxes there only. Hence the early history of the few families that
settled on this territory previous to that date, would be mingled with that
of their brethren of the church in Farmington, and the parishioners there.
A brief sketch of the settlement of that town, and the early history of
that church is therefore deemed essential to the right understanding of
subsequent events in their proper order. The first settlers in Farming-
ton were from Hartford, being emigrants from Boston, Newtown, and
Roxbury, Mass. They began the settlement in 1640, being four years
only from the first in Hartford, and were probably attracted by the fine
natural meadows on the (Tunxis) Farmington river. The town was in-
corporated in 1645.* The land was purchased of the Tunxis tribe of
natives, a very numerous and warlike tribe, by a Comt. and in 1672
divided by eighty-four proprietors, to themselves and their heirs accord-

John Haynes Esqr., Gov.

Edward Hopkins, Esqr., Dep.

Capt. Mason

Mr Wolcott

Mr Webster

Mr Whiting

Mr Wells

Mr Trott

Mr Olliston

James Boosey

Jno Demon


December ye first 1645, its ordered that ye plantation
called Tunxis shall be called ffarmington, & that the
bounds thereof shall be as followeth : The eastern

Mr Hull
Mr Stoughton
Mr Steel
Mr Talcot

Bounds shall meet with the western of these plantations which are to
be five miles on this sid ye Great River, & the Northern Bounds shall
be five miles from ye Hill in ye Great Meadow towards Massaco ; &
the Southern Bounds from ye sd Hill shall be five miles ; & they
shall have liberty to improve ten miles further than ye sd five, and
to hinder others from the like, until the Court see fitt otherwise to
dispose of it, and ye s'd plantation are to attend the General Orders,
formerly made by this Court, settled by ye Committee to whom the
same was referred, & other ocasions, as the rest of ye Plantations
upon the River do : & Mr Steel is entreated for the present to be Re-
corder there, until ye Town have one fitt among themselves ; they
allso are to have ye like Libertyes as ye other Towns upon ye River


ing to their respective interests or tax lists. The township at the time of
incorporation was about fifteen miles square. The early church records
were burned,* but the committee subsequently appointed to gather facts
say "they have good reason to believe it was organized about 1645, and
that Rev Roger Newton was then installed its pastor.

A. D. 1654 he was dismissed, and removed to the church in Milford.
Rev. Samuel Hooker, son of the venerable Thomas Hooker, of England,
and Hartford, succeeded Mr. Newton, and was ordained probably in 1655.
He died in 1695." It was during his ministry that the town voted at
their annual meeting, 28th December, 1685, the following " to give 30
for a man to teach Schoole for one year, provided they can have a man
that is so accomplished as to teach Children to read and wright, and teach the
orammer, and also to step into the pulpet to be helpful their, in time of
exegenti, and this Schoole to be a free Schoole for this toun" Such were
the " accomplishments " required of common school teachers in that day,
which shows that our ancestors had a regard for the educational interests
of their children. f The town record shows a similar vote at a later date
as follows, "18 Dec 1693 at the annual town meeting was chosen a com-
mitty to agree with a man to teach Schoole the first 3 months, January,
February and March, and also to treat with a man yt is in capacity to
teach Lattin and English, and in time of Exogency to be help/wff to Mr

for making orders among themselves ; provided they alter not any fundamental agree-
ments settled by ye s'd Committee hitherto attended.

A True copy of ye Record exam'd

by Hez. Wyllys Secret'y

At a General Assembly held at Hartford May llth 1671, This Court Confirme
unto ffarmington theyer Bounds Ten miles towards ye South from ye Round Hill :
provided Capt. Clark injoy his Grant, without those exceptions made in theyer former

/A true copy of Record, exam'd

by Hez. Wyllys Secret'y

* This is happily not true, as supposed, the original record is found, and it gives the
date of the organization of the church at Farmington, the 13th of October, 1652.

t "At a meeting of the inhabitants of the town of Farmington held 27th Dec. 1687,
it was voted by the town, that they would give 20. for the maintenance of a Schoole
for the year insuing for the instrocting of all such children as shall be sent to it, to
learn to read, and wright the English tongue."

"At a meeting of the inhabitants of the town of Farmington held 12th Jany, 1687-8
Whereas the town at a Meeting held 27 Dec 1687 agreed to give twentie pounds, as is
their expresst, to teach all such as shall be sent, by vote, the town declare, that "all
such as shall be sent " is to be understood only Mule Children that are throw their learn-
ing book." (Meaning probably to con syllables. Ed.) "At the same Meeting the
towne voted that they would have a town hous to keep Schoole in, built this yeare, of
18 foot square, besides the Chimney space, with a suitable height for that servis,
which hous is to be built by the touns Charg."


Hooker in the Ministry and to make return to the select-men of what is
attainable in yt matter, yt they maj- speedily acquaint the town with the
same & also in case such a man be not attainable then to agree with a
man to teach Schoole the other 3 months of October, November, and De-
cember, which committy is Left Thos Heart, Sargt Saml Wadsworth, &
Capt John Hart." It also further appears from the same record of like
date, that our forefathers took due care of the manners and morals of the
young people. "At the same meeting, to take care, and have inspection
over the youth, in ye meeting-house, on the Sabbaths, and other days of
pullique Exorcises their was chosen John Norton junr Stephen Lee, &
Thos Bird of James. The following about Indian children in Farmington
is from the State archives. "Oct 1733 On a report made by the Rev.
Saml Whitman of Farmington, relating to the Indians in sd town. This
Assembly do appoint Capt Wm "Wadsworth & Capt Josiah Hart of sd
town to provide for the Dieting of the Indian lads at 4 Shillings pr week
for the time they attend the Schoole in sd town, until the session of the
Assembly in May next, and they then make report thereof. Concurred
in the Upper House Test Geo. Wyllys, Sec. passed in the lower house
Test Jno Russell Clerk."

(Also May 1734) "Whereas this Assembly in Oct. last did order that
the charges of subsisting certain Indian Children at the Schoole at Far.
should be paid out of the public Treas. Whereupon Capt Wm Wads-
worth hath laid before this Assembly an ace of the charges which amount
to the sum of 33, 6. s. which shall be paid out of the public Treas, unto
the sd Wadsworth, who shall answer & pay the several sums to the re-
spective persons mentioned in the ace passed in the Upper House Test.
Geo. Wyllys Sec.

Concurred with in the lower house Test. Jno Russell Clerk."

(Also 1736) "The Colony of Connecticut indebted to sundry persons
in ffarmington for hording Indian boys when at Schoole in Winter seson
1735-1736 to Robert porter 2 boys 18, weaks & 2 days at 4, s. per weak
7-6-0 to Ephraim Smith sen for keeping one boie 13 weaks & a half at
4, s. per weak 2, 14, s. 0, d. To John Wadsworth for hording 2 boise,
18 weaks at 4, s. pr weak 7, 4, s. 0, d. To Thos Cowles for keeping 2
boies 27 weaks each of them at 4, s. per weak 10, 16, 0. 28, 0.

" Whereas this Assembly in Oct. last did order that the charges of sub-
sisting certain Indian Children at the Schoole at Far. should be paid out
of the public Treas. Whereupon Capt Wm Wadsworth hath laid before
this Assembly an ace of sd Charges which amount to the sum of 28
which is hereby ordered to be paid out of the public Treas. unto the said
Capt Wadsworth, who shall pay the several sums, to the respective per-
sons mentioned with sd ace." passed in the Upper house Test. Gao.


Wyllys Secy May 1736. Concurred in the lower house Test. Jno Buck-
ley Clerk.

The above shows that the good people of Farmington were anxious to
substitute Puritan civilization for Paganism among the aborigines of the
town, and that the General Court of the Colony was willing to aid them.
The following farther shows the wise and provident forethought for the
children in general. "An Act for the encouragement and better support-
ing the schools that by Law ought to be kept in the several towns and
parishes in the colony, (May 1733.) Be it enacted &c that the seven
towns lately laid out in the western lands (as commonly called) shall be
disposed of & settled according to such time & regulations as this Assem-
bly shall order, and that the money that shall be given by those that may
be allowed to settle in sd towns for the land there, shall be improved for
the support of the aforesaid Schooles (viz) those schooles as ought to be
kept in those towns that are now settled, and that did make, & complete
Lists of their Polls & Estates in the year last past, and such towns shall
receive sd monies, every town according to the proportion of sd Lists
given in as aforesaid the last year, all which money shall be let out & the
interest thereof improved for the support of the respective Schooles afore-
said forever, & for no other use, & the committee of each parish (or
town where there is but one parish) shall receive the proportion of money
arising as aforesaid, & give a receipt, that they have received such a sum
of money, to be let out and improved for the support of a school in such
town or parish where they are a committee as aforesaid, & that if at any
time the sd money, or interest thereof shall be by order of such town or
parish, or the committee chosen by them, put to or employed by them for
any other use, than for the support of a school there, that then such sum
. shall be returned into the Treas. of the Colony, & the Treas. of the Col-
ony shall upon refusal thereof, recover the same sum of such town or par-
ish, that have misemployed such money shall forever lose the benefit
thereof." past by the upper house Test H<ez. Wyllys Sec'y. Concurred
in the lower house Test Jno Russell, Clerk. The above is introduced
here because in order of time, and will be referred to hereafter.

The ancient church in Farmington was noted for piety, wealth, and in-
fluence, and since no list, or catalogue of the original members (to the
compiler's knowledge,) has ever appeared in print, he takes the liberty to
quote from the original record the following historical facts, only premis-
ing that the church, as well as the town records were kept at that early
date, by that noted man and recorder, Mr. John Steele.



Mr Roger Newton
Stephen Hart
Thomas Judd
John Bronson
John Coll

Thomas Thompson, and
Robert Porter joined in covenant in Farmington, *

About one month after, myself, (meaning John Steele. Ed.)*joined with them
About one month after,
Mrs Newton, the
Wife of Stephen Hart, the
Wife of Thomas Judd, the
Wife of John Cole, and the
Wife of Thomas Thompson, did also join with them.

A little before this
John Loomis was joined to this church.

About the 30th of January 1652 (3)
Nathaniel Kellogg and his wife John Steel John Standley
Thomas Newell, and
Thomas Barnes were also joined to the congregation.

Upon February the 7th
John Lankton was joined to the congregation.

July the 12th 1653
Thomas Newell's wife, and
John Standley's wife, and
Robert Porter's wife, were joined to the congregation.

On July 19, 1653
Thomas Porter and his wife, and

Richard Branson's wife, were joined to the congregation, and
Moses Venires was joined with them the said 19 July 1653.
Joseph Kellogg and his wife, and
Simon Wrotham, and the
Wife of John Hart, and the
Wife of John Wyatt were joined to the Church October the 9th, 1653.

Upon April the 2d 1654
Richard Bronson, and

John Hart were joined to the church. On that day

Samuel Steele, and his daughter Mary Steele about the age of 16 months were
joined to the Church. And on that day

Hannah Woodruff the wife of Matthew Woodruff, and his daughters
Hannah Woodruff age about 5 years, and

Elizabeth Woodruff about the age of 2 years 5 months, were also joined to the

And on that day

Mary Andrews, the wife of John Andrews, and her son
Abraham Andrews, about the age of 6 years, 3 months, and
Daniel Andrews, about the age of 3 years, 10 months, and
Joseph Andrews, about the age of 2 years, 3 months, were joined to the churcf .



Thomas Orton, and his wife were joined to the Church Dec the 22d, 1656.

John Warner, and

William Smith, and the

Widow Stans, and the

Wife of William Lewis, and the

Wife of John North and the

Wife of Samuel Loomis, were joined to the Ch. 15 Mar 1656-7.

On January the 22d 1657-8.
Anthony Howkins, and
William Lewis, were joined to the Church.

On the 9th May 1658^

John Andrews, joined the Church in the covenant.
John Lee, and
William Judd, were joined to the Ch. July the 15th 1660."

Here follows on the record a list of families with children from seven-
teen years to one day old called " Children of the Church " with dates of

We pass over these lists and dates, and come down in the record to 1st
March, 1679-80, when we find a full roll of church members in " full
communion " * in the church in Farmington. This roll or list seems to
be numbered and graded according to rank, standing, or dignity, in the
community, beginning with 1, down to 42 heads of families. It is thought
our fathers in these nice distinctions took for a basis, "age, list, titles, and
whatever else makes a man honorable." Let not the reader be surprised
at this practice in the olden time. It was only a necessary preparation
for the assignment of seats in the meeting house. If you say such com-
parisons would not be tolerated in this age, it might be replied, we have

Online LibraryAlfred AndrewsMemorial. Genealogy, and ecclesiastical history [of First Church, New Britain, Conn.] To which is added an appendix, with explanatory notes, and a full index → online text (page 1 of 58)