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Grant and in several subsequent administrations, a well-to-do New
York merchant; General Nathaniel Lyon, one of the most gallant
soldiers that fought for the Union, and (almost certainly) Mary Lyon,
founder of Holyoke College.

The next immigrants of the Lyon name were the two brothers
(?) Peter and George of Dorchester, Mass. Peter Lyon is mentioned
as a proprietor in Dorchester 1639, was freeman in 1649 and held
public offices 1675-85. The family remained for several generations
in the vicinity of Boston, in Milton, Stoughton. Needham, Newton,
Taunton, etc., extending later into Vermont and Maine, and ultimately,
like the other Lyon families, becoming widely dispersed. It furnish-ed
soldiers in the Colonial and Revolutionary wars. Among the distin-
guished names in its record perhaps the most prominent is that of
Admiral Henry Ware Lyon, U. S. N.

Of George Lyon not very much is known beyond the fact that he
was selectman in Dorchester 1645-7 and perhaps in 1661 and 1672,
his record being probably confused with that of another George who
was probably his son. His descendants lived in Dorchester, and Mil-
ton,, Mass., and in Woodstock, Conn., but they seem to have been
comparatively few in number.

In 1644 Richard Lyon was sent from England to Cambridge by
Sir Henry Mildmay as a tutor for his son William. He, however,
returned soon to England.

About 1648 there appeared in Fairfield Co., Conn, almost simul-
taneously three new immigrants bearing the name Lyon, presumably
brothers. One of these, Thomas, was founder of the family treated of
in the present volume, whose principal seat, in the early days, was in
Westchester, Co., N. Y.



26 EAKLY LYOK IMMIGKAMTS

Henry Lyon, the most enterprising and forceful of the three
"brothers," settled first in Milford, Conn., removed later to Fairfield,
Conn., and finally joined the colony that established in New Jersey the
town on the Pasaic to which the name Newark was afterwards given.
The descendants of Henry Lyon were prominent in the early history of
New Jersey, including several officers in the Revolutionary army.
A branch of the family established itself at an early day in Rhode
Island. Another removed to Ohio and aided in founding the city of
Cincinnati. Still another, Rev. James Lyon, ardent patriot in the Revo-
lution, planted the family name in Machias, Me.

Richard Lyon settled in Fairfield, Conn., about 1648-49, was free-
man there 1664, commissioner for Fairfield 1669 and at his death
in 1678 left an estate valued at £632. His descendants settled in
Fairfield, Redding and neighboring towns, extending gradually north-
ward into Massachusetts and Vermont. In the Revolution they were
mostly loyalists, except those who had removed to Massachusetts and
Vermont. From Vermont some of them found their way to Michigan —
among these Hon. Lucius Lyon who represented the new State of
Michigan as Senator in Congress 1837-39.

The families of Henry and Richard Lyon form the subject of the
second volume of the Lyon memorial "Families of Connecticut and
New Jersey."

The first volume, "Families of Massachusetts," contained the
family histories of William Lyon of Roxbury and Peter and George
Lyon, of Dorchester.

Another early Lyon immigrant, of whom perhaps too little is
known, was Rev. John Lyon from Cork, who came to Taunton, Mass.,
in 1666.

Mention must be made, too, of the statement of Rev. Dr. Burhams
(Churchman's Magazine, 1832) that the Richard Lyon who was the first
churchman in Redding, Conn, was from Ireland. There is a possi-
bility that the Episcopalian and loyalist Lyons of Redding and neigh-
borhood were, after all, descendants of this Irish Richard and not of
Richard of Fairfield.

Among the Lyon immigrants who arrived in the eighteenth cen-
tury, special mention should be made of Matthew Lyon, "the redem-
tioner,"' of whom there is a sketch in the Lyon Memorial "Massachu-
setts Families"; of a Jew Lyon family that came to New York City,
and of John Lyon from Ireland who settled in 1763 in Mifflington,
Pa., and was progenitor of many of the Lyons of Pennsylvania.



ABBREVIATIONS.

Ch. R. — Church or Parish Record.

Fam. R. — ^Family Record.

G. R. — Grave Record; i.e. Cemetery Inscription.

T. R. — ^Town Record.

E. C. M. — ^Early Connecticut Marriages.

E. M. M. — Early Massachusetts Marriages.

Col. Rec. Conn. — Colonial Records of Connecticut.

SYSTEM OF NUMBERING.

Each name has a serial number, printed in full-faced type, fol-
lowed by Roman numeral, whose significance is obvious. Preceding
the names which head the several paragraphs there are three num-
bers, the first the serial number of the person, the second, in Roman
numerals, the number of th-« generation, the third the serial number of
the person's father. By aid of these numerals, it is easy to trace
back the ancestry of any individual mentioned.

An asterisk * preceding a serial number indicates that further
Information is to be found in the next generation.



THOMAS LYON OF RYE



THOMAS LYON "of Rye" was born in England§ about 1621, and
died at Byram Neck, Greenwich, Fairfield Co., Conn, in 1690. He was
buried in the old Lyon family burying ground at Byram Neck. He is
supposed to have come first to the Massachusetts Colony, and thence
to have gone to seek his fortune in the far west of Fairfield County,
Conn., where at about the same time Richard and Henry Lyon, presum-
ably his brothers or cousins.t appeared. His first wife was Martha
Joanna Winthrop, a grand-daughter of Gov. John Winthrop, of Salem,
Mass., and it is to Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, a lineal descendant of the
Governor that we are indebted for nearly all the circumstantial knowl-
edge we have of the life of Thomas Lyon. He made public in a com-
munication to the Massachusetts Historical Society, of which he was
for thirty years president, a number of letters found among the papers
of Governor Winthrop, written by Thomas Lyon, his wife Martha (Win-
throp) Lyon, and other members of the family.

Martha's mother, Elizabeth (Fones) Winthrop remained in England
when her husband, Henry Winthrop came to America. He was
drowned in Salem Harbor, July 2, 1630, the day after his arrival. She,
with her infant daughter, Martha, came to America the following year.
She did not remain long a widow. Her second husband was Robert
Feake (Feeke, Feke, Fekes, Feeck, the name was variously written),
one of the earliest and largest proprietors in Watertown, which he re-
peatedly represented in the Massachusetts General Court. After some
years Mr. Feake removed with his family to Greenwich, Conn., where
in 1640 he, with Capt. Daniel Patrick, purchased of the Indians a large
tract of land. It appears that about this time he developed symptoms



JThe statement which has been often repeated that Thomas Lyon was from
Yorkshire, England, appears to have no foundation. It was probably a m.ere
inference from the association of Thomas Lyon with John Banks, but the history
Indicates that this association was purely accidental. Possibly of more signlfl-
cance was the earlier association of Thomas Lyon with John Winthrop, who was
from Suffolk, but this association may have begun in "Watertown or Dorchester,
Mass.

tThomas Lyon was in Stamford as early as 1647; Henry Lyon in Milford
1649, Fairfield 1652, later in Newark, N. J.; Richard Lyon in Fairfield in 1649.
That the families of Thomas and Klchard were Intimately related Is shown by
the fact that Abigail, daughter of Thomas Lyon married John Banks, Jr., while
Ellxabeth, daughter of Richard Lyon, married Benjamin a brother of John
Banks Jr.



THOMAS LYON OF RYE 29

of a derangement of mind which ended in complete insanity. There
may or may not have been estrangement between man and wife; at all
events Mr. Feake returned to Watertown, leaving his family in charge
of his business partner, Capt. Patrick. The gossips had it that the
relations between Capt. Patrick and Mrs. Feake were more intimate
than business required. However, these relations, whatever may have
their nature, were brought to an abrupt close in 1643 by the death by
assassination of Capt. Patrick. Mrs. Feake and her daughter con-
tinued to live in Connecticut (in the town Stamford), her business
affairs being intrusted now to one William Hallett. At this juncture
Thomas Lyon comes on the stage and assays the difficult role of son-
in-law.

The first of the letters of Thomas Lyon made public by Mr. Win-
throp was written at this time. It is addressed to the "Right Worship-
full Guvernor, Mr. Winthrop, at Boston." (See facsimile reproduction.)

Kind and Louing Granfather, my humble duty remembered unto
you with humble and harty thanks unto you for all your kindness
showne both to me and to my wife. I am sorrow for to heare of that
sad newes of the loss of my granmotherj, but the Lord knoews best
what to doe. The ocasion of my writing is seing the Lord hath
brought me unto this condition as for to mary won of your gran-
ohildren, my desier is for to seeke both for her sole's good and her
body's. Therefore seeing my time is in the Lord's hands (how soone
I may be taken from her I know not) I would prouide as com-
fortable as I could. For her to goe to her Mother If the Lord should
take me Away, is not my deseir, considering her condition, for I
have knowne enough. Therefore I hearing by som since I married
her that there was somthing both giuen her and apoynted to be
gluen her, caused me to write to you intreating you to send me word
how it is. If there bee anything it is better she have her right to
doe her good another day than those that be as strangers or have noe
right at all and as for her Mother, I think if she cannot mary here
(as yet she may not be suffered) she will goe som where else with
the fellow, if he be as willing, soe that my wife has not nor is like to
have litle or noe comfort or helpe of her mother. Soe If there bee
anything by right for my wife I would pray you to consider of her and
send word. I shall bee short but would pray you to speke with
Goodman Lockwood the bearer and he. can satisfie you fully how all



tMargaret, wife of Gov. Winthrop, died June 14, 1647.




Map of Fairfield County, Conn.



THOMAS LYON OF RYE 31

things is, for I tould my mind to him. Thus intreating you to let me
heere by this bearer fully how all things is, I hast. I pray you to
remember my duty to my father Feeke, if he be not departed for
England, and to my kind Unkle John Winthrop and my Aunt with
thankfuUness for all their former kindnesses. I would [have] sent
to him before now but had not an opertunyty. Likewise my love
to all the rest of my friends in generall.

My wife remembers her humble duty unto you and thanks you
for your love and care toward her. Your good exhortation she hopes
she shall not forgit, and she prays you to remember her to her loving
and kind Unkle John and to her Aunt and to her Unkle Adam and all
her Unkles & Aunts & friends. Likewise she would pray you to
remember her duty to her father Feeke. Thus leaving you to the
protection of the Allmighty, I rest

Your dutyfull and obedient grandsonn
Thomas Lion.
From Stamford ye 25 August, 1647.

Endorsed, almost illegibly, "Sonne Lion, Itr. about M. J. her right,
23 (7) 47 [Sept. 23, 1647].

In spite of its conventionalities of form, its crudities of expression,
its occasional obscurities, the letter is a marvel of self-revelation. We
have before us the New England pioneer living in an atmosphere of
obtrusive but sincere piety, surrounded with perils of the wilderness,
inured to hardship and toil, self-reliant, yet with an eye to the main
chance. Commenting on this and the succeeding letters, Mr. R. C.
Winthrop says : "As far as can be ascertained these letters constitute
the earliest existing mention of Thomas Lyon in New England,, but they
afford no clue as to his antecedents, except as showing by his hand
writing, though difficult to read at the present day, that he was an
educated man. On Aug. 25, 1647 he had not long been married, his
means were small, he had acquaintances in Boston and was on good
terms not only with the Winthrop family but with his wife's step-
father Robert Feake." It may be added that they do not necessarily
imply a previous residence in Salem or Boston, although they suggest
the probability of this. The vagaries of spelling found in the letters
are no indication of illiteracy since at that date the English language
had no settled orthography. It need not surprise us at all that he
wrote his own name sometimes "Lyon," sometimes "Lion." His con-
temporary, William Lyon of Roxbury, took even greater liberties with



8S THOMAS LYON OF RYE

the name, writing his signature "Lyon," "Lion" or "Ljon," and neglect-
ing often to capitalize the initial L.

The object of the first letter appears to have been to intimate that
any bequests intended for the grand daughter should be made directly
to her and not to her mother, for reasons easy to understand. In the
succeeding eight months the situation went from bad to worse. Mrs.
Lyon was In delicate health. It seems to have been intimated by
some one that she was not cared for as tenderly as she should have
been by her husband. Mrs. Feake, although not divorced from her
husband, had become the wife of Mr. William Hallett, and complica-
tions had naturally arisen with regard to the disposition of the Feake
estate.

Thomas Lyon to John Winthrop, St.,

From Stamford ye 14 April 1648.

Loving Granfather — 'My humble duty remembered unto you. This
is to aquaint you that I have received your kind token you sent to
my wife as a gowne and petecote and savegards, which I humbly thank
you for. They stand my wife in great sted. For my own part, I
am willing to doe for my wife to the utermost of my power, but she
being is such condition, not able to helpe her selfe, makes me doe
and suffer that which otherwise I might not; but my trust is in the
Lord who had apointed us to com together. He can help and re-
leive those that wayt upon Him, as experiance shows. Although I
am base in degree to you, and poore, yet that you should look upon me
to helpe me the goodness of God is great. As for your good counsell,
I humbly thanke you. The Lord inable [me] to follow it, that soe I
might make my wife's life as comfortable as I can in her condition.
As for my wife she is worse and worse, soe that is a great hindrance
to me, having but little but my labour, and cannot git a helpe for her,
they being all so scarce here.

Concerning my wife's mother, she hath delt very harsh with me,
witholding my right from me in severall cases. The reason as I
conceive and noe other, I shall tell you. When I married first, I
lived in the house with her, because, my fatherf beeing destracted, I
might bee a helpe to her. Whereupon seeing severall carages be-
twene the felow she now hath to be for husband and that the people
allsoe tooke notic of it (which was to her disgrace) which greved me
verie much, — and I can say as the Lord knowes, her fall hath been the



tR«ferrlng to bis wife's step-father, Mr. Feake.



81 THOMAS LYON OF RYE

the name, writing his signature "Lyon," "Lion" or "Ljon," and neglect-
ing often to capitalize the initial L.

The object of the first letter appears to have been to intimate that
any bequests intended for the grand daughter should be made directly
to her and not to her mother, for reasons easy to understand. In the
succeeding eight months the situation went from bad to worse. Mrs.
Lyon was in delicate health. It seems to have been intimated by
some one that she was not cared for as tenderly as she should have
been by her husband. Mrs. Feake, although not divorced from her
husband, had become the wife of Mr. William Hallett, and complica-
tions had naturally arisen with regard to the disposition of the Feake
estate.

Thomas Lyon to John Winthrop, St.,

From Stamford ye 14 April 1648.

Loving Granfather — 'My humble duty remembered unto you. This
is to aquaint you that I have received your kind token you sent to
my wife as a gowne and petecote and savegards, which I humbly thank
you for. They stand my wife in great sted. For my own part, I
am willing to doe for my wife to the utermost of my power, but she
being is such condition, not able to helpe her selfe, makes me doe
and suffer that which otherwise I might not; but my trust is in the
Lord who had apointed us to com together. He can help and re-
leive those that wayt upon Him, as experiance shows. Although I
am base in degree to you, and poore, yet that you should look upon me
to helpe me the goodness of God is great. As for your good counsell,
I humbly thanke you. The Lord inable [me] to follow it, that soe I
might make my wife's life as comfortable as I can in her condition.
As for my wife she is worse and worse, soe that is a great hindrance
to me, having but little but my labour, and cannot git a helpe for her,
they being all so scarce here.

Concerning my wife's mother, she hath delt very harsh with me,
witholding my right from me in severall cases. The reason as I
conceive and noe other, I shall tell you. When I married first, I
lived in the house with her, because, my fatherf beeing destracted, I
might bee a helpe to her. Whereupon seeing severall carages be-
twene the felow she now hath to be for husband and that the people
allsoe tooke notic of it (which was to her disgrace) which greved me
verie much, — and I can say as the Lord knowes, her fall hath been the



tReferring to his wife's step-father, Mr. Feake.



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THOMAS LYON OF RYE 33

greatest greefe and trouble to me that ever com by other, — and after
long time heering and seeing what condition she were in I spake to
her about it privately and after I discovered my dislike, I see her
carage alter toward me.

And haveing profered divers times to the utermost of my power to
help her to take care of her estate, either in the house with her or in
a house by her, haveing soft all menes that were lawfull, both betweene
she and I — allsoe, when nought would prevale, before witnes — ^that soe
she might gaine her name, bring glory to God, and part with the felow ;
yet nothing would pervale, but the more I desired her to part with
the felow, the more I see that she were against mee. But however I
hope I shall have a clere consiance toward her before God that I have
not been the cause in the leest by my neglect, but to relate were tedi-
ous. However, I am sorow for the sad efect she hath brought upon
her selfe in g'eneral, and now more partickquler that none of her for-
mer freinds will scarse look upon her, which I desier the Lord would
lay it open to her if at the last there may be hopes, and I desire my
selfe and others may take notis of her fall that soe it may be gaine to
others. My wife remembers her duty unto you and to all the rest of
her freinds in generall, with thanks to you for your gifts sent to her and
likewise to all her freinds to their kindness. I thought to have writ

to my Uncle John Winthrop, but the time is [torn]

I shall not.

Farther concerning the condition she is in. ;My father Feeke
going away sodingly, having taken no course about the children and
estate, only deseired a friend of his, and I, in case wee see them about
makeing away the estate and to remove, wee should stay it — allsoe
sending a letter to same effect, from Watertown — wee sent for counsell
what wee should do. Wee were advised to stay it according to my
fathers order; whereupon wee sent to the Dutch Governor, and went
allso, that the estate might be stayed according to my father's desier.
My mother and William Hallett coming there, there were som com-
plants made against them, their living together; whereupon the Gov.
ordered that the estate should be preserved for the children and my
father upon his land at Greenwidg. It were farther ordered that my
mother should live with her children having the benyfit of comfortable
to live on, if she continewed there. If she did not stay there, she was
not to carie away any of the estate nor children; likewise William
were to depart the jurisdiction. Btit when they were returned to
(3)



84 THOMAS LYON OF RYE

Greenwidg because the fellow might not live there, my mother in law
came hither with him, bringing away the children and estate, which
we have seized on. Allsoe sence she came here she hath openly con-
fessed she is married to him, is with child by him; and she hath been
at New Haven but could have no comfort nor hopes for present to live
in the jurisdiction, and what will become of her I know not. She is
resolute in her course or else I think if she would leave William, she
might stay here, and for the present they are in an unsettled condition,
not knowing what to doe; and wee have had much trouble concerning
the estate and yet it is not settled, for wee know not how to dispose of
the children, for the estate is sould and wasted by their menes and
charg-es comd on it, soe that it will not be soe good as my father left it
neither will it maintayne the children except they be put forth. I
could desier that my Uncle John would make a voyage hither and see
if hee could settle things for the best, for the children and the estate
spedely. The ocasion of my writing is to informe you of the truth, lest
you might be informed otherwise. If my Uncle John Winthrop would
com, it would be very good. I humbly intreat you to speke with him
about it, for the children and the estate suffer. Or I would intreat
you to send by this bearer your mind what you think will be best.

I intreat your favour to aquaint him, how things are that I could
desier (as the case stands) he would make a jorny hither spedely.
Likewise let me intreat you soe much because I shall not write to him
at this time as to tell him I would intreat him to conseder the state
of the place here and helpe me with a couple of sithes and a sickell or
two against harvest, for here is none to bee got, and I shall send such
pay as the cuntry doth aford, as whete; for if I had such things it
would help me to get much that now I cannot. Oure thoughts are for
the present to see to the Dutch Governor if he will resine the part of
the Estate there in our hands soe wee might have it all improved at
Greenwidg upon the land. I intreat you would be pleased to let me
heere from you spedely, soe in hast I rest

Your dutyfull and obedeant grandsonn

Thomas Lion.

In a postscript, after giving details of the complications that had
arisen about the disposition of the Feake estate he says: "there is
300 acres of land which were given to my wife by my father and Cap-
taine Patrick. I intreat you to write to the Dutch Governor who has
taken the land away, that soe I may not lose my right." [This may



1149621

THOMAS LYON OF RYE 35

have an important bearing on the validity of the claim put in after
his death by his daughter, Mary Wilson],

Letter indorsed by Governor Winthrop "Sonne Lyon, 14 (2) 48"
[April 14, 1648].

Incidentally we see how the conflict of authorities — those of Con-
necticut and New Amsterdam — helped along with the Indians and the
sanctimonious cussedness of Puritan human nature to make life inter-
esting to the frontiersman. The letters from the invalid wife — a
person evidently to whom the hardships of the pioneer life were a new
and overwhelming experience — will be read in this connection with
"pertickquler" interest. It may be noted that they were penned by
an amanuensis.

To John Winthrop, Jr.

Stamford ye 23 March, 1648-9.
Most Loving and Kind Unkell and Aunt: — My humble duty remem-
bered unto you. I haveing an opertunyty thought good to send these
few lines, allthough I have writ many but received none. I humbly
thank you for your great love and care toward me in that you have
sought to know how it is with me. Mr. Eaton being here I have sent
by him playnly and nakedly How it is. I hope he will acquaint you.
For my owne part, I am weaker than ever I was and not able to doe
any thing, scarce to take my owne vitles when it is set by me. I
likewise have a very bad stomack, but the more because of my bred-
ing my stomack very choyse and daynty which causes me to suffer the
more, my husband beeing not able nor at leasure to gitt mee what I
would. Here is noe help to bee got, neither by neiborhood nor ser-
vants, my husband beeing forst to doe all both for himselfe and mee,
which is a great hindrance and loss. I entreat you good unkell con-



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