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Genealogical history of the Redfield family in the United States online

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In 1819, Manning Redfield of Manchester, N. Y., while on a
pilgrimage to the home of his fathers, in Killingworth, Conn.,
instituted some inquiries into the history of his gi-eat grand-
father, Theophilus Redfield, one of the early residents of that
town. The facts thus collected, consisting of some incidents of
personal history, a list of his children, with dates of their birth
and death, and a list of the children of George Redfield, sixth
son of Theophilus, were printed by Lewis H. Redfield of Syra-
cuse, N. Y., in the same year, and by him circulated among
some of the family. This little slip is believed to have been one
of the earliest genealogical publications in this country.

In 1838 a copy of it fell into the hands of my father, William
C. Redfield of New York City. Having always felt an interest
in the early family history, and having already collected many
facts concerning his own branch, he was led (with this slip as
a foundation) to undertake to trace out the connection and
lineage of all the various families bearing the name of Red-
field. In this labor he was much aided by Richard W. Redfield
and Justus S. Redfield, both residents of New York City — and
the result of his active and persevering inquiries, was the pub-
lication in 1839 of a series of genealogical tables showing at a
glance the descent and relationship of the various families of
Redfield in the United States, so far as knowledge of them
could be obtained. That so much information and so complete,
should be collected and analyzed in so short a time, at a day
when genealogical researches were neither common nor appre-
ciated, is surprising, and illustrates that untiring diligence and


that thoroughness of treatment which were still more strongly
manifested in another and higher field of investigation. When
Mr. R. began his work it was supposed that all the Redfields in
the United States were the descendants of Theophilus Redfield
of Killingworth, but, in the course of his inquiries, he met with
several families who traced their origin to a stock in Fairfield,
Conn. He found among them vague traditions of a connection
between the Killingworth and Fairfield stocks, but all his efibrts
to ascertain the nature of this connection failed, and he was
forced to content himself with a suggestion that Theophilus
Redfield of Killingworth might have been a nephew of James
Redfield of Fairfield.

Nearl}' a generation has passed away since the publication of
the Genealogical Tables of 1839. Since that day further
research has not only shown the actual relationship of the two
stocks, but has enabled us to trace the family back still another
generation, to the grandfather of Theophilus. It has also shown
that the brief history of Theophilus, as given in the slip of 1819
and the work of 1839, must be modified in some particulars. In
view of these facts, and actuated by a desire to correct some
errors and supply some material omissions in the work of 1839,
I have felt myself called upon to attempt a thorough revision of
the whole family genealogy in the hopes of ofl'ering it in a more
complete and detailed form which should also include the later
generation. In the prosecution of this work I have had recourse
to all available material. Having in my possession the corres-
pondence on which was based the original tables, I have reexam-
ined it with care and scrutiny . I have transcribed from the town
and ecclesiastical records of Killii)gworth, Clinton and Fairfield,
all the entries referring to the family name — and have consulted
the town and probate records of Cambridge, New London, Say-
brook, New Haven, Guilford and Middletown, for requisite
information. The moss-covered n)emorials of the ancient grave
yards of Clinton, Killingworth, Fairfield and Middletown have
not been neglected. Circulars have been sent as far as practi-
cable to all the scattered representatives of the family, inviting
information, and in many cases, personal inquiries instituted.
The genealogical facts thus brought together are far more com-


plete and specific than I at first permitted mj^self to expect.
The old tables were defective in the enumeration of the descend-
ants of the second and fourth sons of Theophilus. The last
named branch was especially incomplete, and it is believed that
the present work, in a measure, supplies these deficiencies. Yet
I must lament that, notwithstanding all diligence, in the later
generations will be found a few gaps which it has been impossi-
ble to fill. In some cases all clue has been lost by change of
residence; in other instances, those to whom circulars have been
addressed have failed to reply. This failure may perhaps be
ascribed, in part, to an iudifi'erence to the subject, not unusual,
yet I am happy to state, in this connection, that in a great major-
ity of instances the circulars have met a ready response, often-
times at the cost of much labor and time, and often with the
most cheering expression of interest in the success of the under-

While entire accuracy has been aimed at, and while I have
avoided all statements, whether of fact or date, not based on
good authority, lam well aware that errors, especially in regard
to date, will occasionally be found. Only those who have been
engaged in such inquiries can realize the perplexing discrepan-
cies which constantly occur, not only between dates furnished
by different members of the same familj^ but between different
family records, between family and town records, and some-
times between town, ecclesiastical and probate records. In
these cases of discrepancy I have decided, according to the best
judgment I could form, probably not always rightly.

To follow out the descendants of the female lines would be an
endless task, and one which would lead into genealogies pro-
perly belonging to families of other names, thei'efore no attempt
has been made to follow the descendants of daughters beyond
one generation. In other words, wherever the mother was a
born Redfield, her cliildren have been named, though they have
not been designated by reference numbers.

To aid those who may desire to trace back their lineage, both
on father and mother's side, I have, as far as possible, given the
full name of the father and maiden name of the mother of
each individual brought into the family by marriage. This


feature will be serviceable to other genealogists in their labors,
and a complete index of names will, I trust, add to its useful-

It is proper here to make acknowledgment to the various
individuals who have kindly aided me in this task. I am under
special obligations to Miss F. M. Caulkins, the accomplished his-
torian of New London, who, to determine questions of identity
and locality connected with the early history of the family,
reexamined and transcribed all the passages of the original
town records which could have a bearing upon the subject. It
is mainly by her researches that we have been enabled to carry
back the family history two generations beyond the tables of
1838. To the Hon. James Savage of Boston, I am indebted for
many useful suggestions, and it is by a happy thought of his,
confirmed by Francis Jackson, Esq., the historian of Newtown,
Mass., that we have traced our progenitor to his first residence
in the Bay Colony. Thanks are due to Henry Hull, Esq., the
town clerk of Killingworth, for his kind assistance in the
examination of the records of that town, and for important facta
furnishedffrom his personal knowledge. Dr. Alvau Talcott of
Guilford, Conn., has transcribed and placed at my disposal a
large store of genealogical facts gleaned from the records of
Guilford and from other sources. To S. A. Nichols, town clerk
of Fairfield, and to Dr. R. Blakeman, probate judge in the same
town, and a careful antiquarian, I am under obligation for
favors conferred. Finally, to my kinsmen, who have joined nie
in the circular of inquiry, or who have, in other ways, counte-
nanced and aided me with information (oftentimes obtained
and set forth with much pains), and who are too numerous to
name, I present my sincere thanks.

New York, September, 1860.



Introduction, 1

Explanations, ^

First Generation, ^

Second Generation, *^

Third Generation, 12

Fourth Generation:

A. Killingworth Tribe, 15

B. Fairfield do 24

Fifth Generation:

A. Killingworth Tribe;

a. Branch of Daniel, 26

Richard, 29

Ebenezer, 31

Theophilus 2d, 33

Capt. Peleg, 3^

George, - 39

William, 44

Josiah, 4*1

James, 49

B. Fairfield Tribe;

a. Branch of John, 53

b. do James, 54

c. do Ebenezer, 56

Sixth Generation:

A. Killingworth Tribe ;

a. Branch of Daniel, 51

to. do Richard, 66



















c. Branch of Ebenezer of Killingworth, 73

«1. do Theophilus 2d, 74

e. do Capt. Peleg, 83

f. do George, 91

S. do William, 104

li. do Josiah, 110

i. do James, 113

B. Fairfield Tribe;

a. Branch of John, 126

b. do James, 131

Seventh Generation:

A. Killiugworth Tribe;

a. Branch of Daniel, 134

Richard, 149

Ebenezer, 156

Theophilus 2d, 158

Capt. Peleg, 1T6

George, 188

William, 205

Josiah, 213

James, 214

B. Fairfield Tribe;

a. Branch of John, 218

b. do James, 226

Eighth Generation:

A. Killingworth Tribe;

a. Branch of Daniel, 229

b. do Eichard, 248

d. do Theophilus 2d, 248

e. do Capt. Peleg, 257

f. do George, 257

B. Fairfield Tribe;

a. Branch of John, 259

b. do James, 259

Summary 261

Appendix, 275

Index to Redtield names, 299

do names other than Redfield, , 316


















Although the Redfield family in the United States, was nndonhtedly intro-
duced from England at the time of the Puritan emigration, still the name
is very rare in Great Britain at the present day. It is not found in the
London Directory, nor in those of Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Edin-
burgh or Glasgow. Nor have we in our inquiries met with any positive
testimony of its present existence beyond the Atlantic* Yet there is suffi-
cient historical evidence to show that names closely allied in etymological
affinities were formerly to be found in England.

A William Redefeld is mentioned as holding an ecclesiastical position in
1213, in the reign of King John. t

Johannes de Grey de Retherfeld iS named in certain deeds of enfeoffment
of property in O.'cfordshire in the reign of Edward IIL, 1327-1377,1 and his
name is still substantially preserved by a village in Oxfordshire called Roth-
erfield Grays. Rotherfield as a family name now occurs in England.

Roger of Redelingfeld is mentioned in the public records of Great Britain
as holding various messuages in the county of KentJI and the Prioress of Red-
lingfeld or Redyngefeld in Sufl'olk, is often named in old land titles,^ and the
name Redlingfield is still applied to a village in Suffolk.

Passing on to other names perhaps more likely to have relation to the
ancient form of our patronymic, we find a manor in the hundred of Hinok-
ford, county of Essex, which in 1378, bore the name of Redfanne, though
now called Redfants,ir and in Wiltshire, in the time of Edward I, we find a

* Among the papers of thp late \Vm. C. Redtield was fonnd the following rnemorandum,
probably made about 1843 : " I am informed that a Dr. Thomas Redtield and his son resided
at Bcckington, Somersetshire, E ifiland, bnt h:i8 removed to some other place. I tliink a
reference was m:ide toThoimisBiirter, ItiWolcott Pnradp, Batli, as one likely to give inform-
ation. This is the only instance in which I have heard of the name in England, except once
hearing a statement that a Mr. Redfield, lately from Birmint'ham. England, was drowned
soon aftpr his arrival at New York, some thirty years ago." The compiler's etforts to follow
up the clue indicated above, have not been suecossfnl.

f Rotuli Chartarura in turri Londineiisi asservati. Vol. I. Pars I. p. 196.

t Rotulorum orlginalium in curia Scaccharii Abbreviatio, 11. pp. 1^9, 300.

II Rotuli Hundredorum II., 3S0, 3S1.

§Placita de quo warranto, 724.

IT Wright's History of the County of Ejsex. I. t;82.


William de Redefaunde. Rudfyn, Euffyn, and Redfeni are family names
occasionally found in tlie public records.

In Burke's Encyclopedia of Heraldry, the name Redfield does not occur,
but we find the following cognate names :

Redferx. Or, six martlets gules three and three. Crest, A birch tree proper.

Redfix. Argent on a fesse gules three fleurs de lys of the field.

Redfyxe. Argent a fesse gules between three fleurs de lys azure.

Redlefeld. Paly of eight argent and gules : on a chief azure a lion passant
guardant or.

The similarity of the arms above assigned to Redfin and Redfyne, seems to
imply a relation between the two, and they are doubtless but different
forms of the same name. The name Redlefeld naturally suggests that of
Redfield, and hence some of our kindred have too hastily assumed for our
own family the arms assigned above to Redlefield. But we think that the
evidence which will presently be adduced, will show that the ancestor of the
Redlields in the United States was probably not Redlefeld, tut Redfin, and
that the change to Redfield (not easily explained) did not take place till
after the death of the first settler. The fact that this change occurred on tliis
side of the Atlantic may explain the present rarity of the name of Redfield in
England, though Redfin seems now to he quite as uncommon there. Redfern
is not unfrequent now in England, and has some representatives in this
country, but is probably a distinct family, as indicated by the armorial bearings
just quoted.

Thorough research in England would probably contribute to further disco-
veries in relation to the transatlantic history of the family, and it is to be
Loped that some one may yet have the opportunity and the disposition to
perform this task, which has been out of our power.

In the United States, the name Redfield can hardly be called common,
yet it has been borne by more than 1600 individuals, and not less than
500 families of the name now exist, distributed in almost every State and
Territory of the Union, though chiefly in the Northern and Western States.
All these, that liave come to our knowledge, are certainly descended from
James Redfield, who resided in Saybrook in 1676, and we can hariUy doubt that
he was the son of William Redfin, wlio settled near Boston as early as 1639.

In tracing the descent of the family, we assume this William Redfin to be
the ancestor, and take him for the first generation. The grounds of this
position will appear as we i)roceed. Should our conclusions be deemed un-
satislactory by any, the chain of genealogical succession from the second
generation will still be unimpaired ; and if the James Redfield from whom
we all unquestionably descend, be not identical with James, the son of Wil-
liam Redfin, then there is no evidence whatever that the last mentioned
James had any descendauts.


The arrangement lierein adopted is substantially that now in general use
for works of a similar charat-ter. The system of numbering, which is to serve
for a chie through all the affiliations and ramifications of the family tree, is
also that more generally employed. To those who are not familiar with it,
it may be necessary to say, that all bearing the name of Redfield are numbered
in order in the left margin, and where any of them have families, the same
numbers are repeated for them as heads of families, in the same order in the
center of the page. The numbers in parenthesis after heads of families, refer
to preceding heads of families from whence they descend. This system of
notation makes it easy to trace any branch of the family, either in a descend-
ing or ascending line. For instance, William Redfin is numbered 1, and
his son James is numbered 4 in the margin. By looking for 4 in its jiroi^er
order in the body of the page, James Redfield's family history is found,
where his son Theophilus bears No. 8 in the margin. If 8 is sought for in its
proper order in the body of the page, there the history of Theophilus's family
will be found, and so on. Or if we wish to trace any family upwards, the
process is reversed, thus — Amasa Angell Redfield, numbered in the margin
1346, is the son of Luther Redfield, who is numbered 592 in the body of
the page. By running back along the marginal figures to 592, we find Luther
enumerated as son of Luther Redfield, sr., who is numbered 221 in body of
the page. Referring again to the margin for this number, we find the father
of Lutlier Redfield, sr., and continuing the same method soon trace back
to No. 1,

lu reckoning the successive generations the children of the first settler are
called the second generation, and so on. To readily distinguish between in-
dividuals of difl'erent generations, a different type is employed for each gene-
ration, thus :

First Generation, ES^dUam lietlftCllT.

Second Generation, JntneS lUbfielb.


Fourth Generation, Daniel Redfield.

Fifth Generation, Daniel Redfield,,

Sixth Generation, EbeneZer Redfield.

Seventh Generation, WILLIAM H. REDFIELD.

Eighth Generation, Alfred B. Redfield.

Ninth Generation, Caroline Redfield.


In the later generations, subdivisions are employed which will also facili-
tate reference.

Previous to 1752 the English legal year began with 25th March, though the
change to January 1st as the beginning of the year, adopted by Catholic
nations in 1582, had been gradually gaining ground. To prevent confusion
between the two styles, it became usual to write all dates occurring between
January 1 and March 25 with double year, thus : Feb. 22, 173^, meaning
that the year under the old style would still be 1731, while by the new style
it would be 1732.

Under the new style another change also took place, by which ten days
should be added to all dates previous to 1700, and 11 days to those between
1700 and 1752. In this work the dttes are taken as found in the records,
and no attempt has been made to reduce the earlier ones to new style. Those
subsequent to 1752 are of course in new style.

The following abbreviations are occasionally employed :
b. for born. d. for died,

bapt. for baptized. dau. for daughter.

m. for married. eh. for child or children,

unm. for unmarried.


iFic0t CKcncratiow.


3!12^lllinUI liCtlf fn, or Rudfex, or Redfyn, or Redfyne, as it is

variously rendered in the uncertain ortliugrapliy of the early records, was
probably one of llie early emigrants from England to the Colony of Massa-
chusetts. He was a man of moderate means, perhaps master of some
mechanical handicraft, and we may reasonably suppose him to have been one of
that large body of England's yeomanry, who, actuated by the combined
motives of dread of the increasing encroachments of kingly and ecclesi-
astical power, doubt of the issue of the fearful struggle then approaching,
and the hope of bettering their worldly condition, left the Old England
for the New, during the decade of years which followed 1630. The year
of his arrival is unknown, but as early as 1639, and perhaps earlier, he
occupied a house and four acres of laud on the south side of Charles River,
about six miles from Boston. He was one of the first settlers on that side of
the river. The location can be readily identified, and is not far from tiie foot
of Nonantum Hill, on which Eliot, the Indian apostle, a few years later, first
preached the gospel of Christ to the sachem Waubun and his people. It was
near the north-westerly corner of what is now the town of Brighton, sloping
from Nonantum to the meadows of Charles River, and atlorded a fine view
eastward toward Boston and its vicinity. His dwelling house and land
were confirmed to him ou the Records of the Proprietors of Cambridge in
lb42, and the same records show that in Sept., 1646, lie sold his place to
Edward Jackson.* Henceforth his name disappears from Massachusetts.
With Cary Latham* and others of his neighbors, he probably followed the

* Records of the Proprietors of C.imbridge. jHCkson's History of Newtown, pp. 9, 23. la
the hitter work Redfen is erroneously quoted Redfen. Mr. Juckson relied upon Paige's copy
of the Proprietors' records, which is, in this iustaiice, at fault — itie f having b-x-n niietaken
for the lont{ f. The name occurs three or four times in the original records, and ii close
inspection of each instance will leave no doubt that the name intended is Kedfen. See
Appendix A.

* Cary Latham sold his property in Cambridge in Aug., 1646, three weeks before William
Redflri sold his, but had already embarked in the New Loudon eaterprise, and afterwards
became one of the most prominent men of that town.


stream of migration which, under the auspices of the younger Winthrop,
was now directed from Massachusetts towards the fair river and harbor of
Pequot, or as it was afterwards called, New London, in the jurisdiction of the
Connecticut Colony. But though the first settlement in Pequot was made in
1646, we have no positive evidence of William Redfin's presence there till
about 1G53. Jonathan Brewster,* one of the earliest settlers at Pequot, had
established a trading house with the Mohegan Indians, at a point on the east
side of the river, opposite to their principal settlement. At this i)lace (which
is still called by his name, Brewster's Neck, and lies upon the north side of
Poquetannuck Cove, about seven miles north of tlie present city of New Lon-
don, in the present town of Ledyard), Brewster having obtained title from
Uncas, the Mohegan chief, laid out for himself a large farm. Here William
Redfin built himself a house, probably about 1653, at the solicitation, per-
haps, of Brewster himself, for on the 29th May, 1654, Brewster conveyed
to him "ten acres of arable land lying at Muuhegan, of the plane of said
Brewster's land and on the north side thereof, &c., with the ground whereon
the said Redfin hath built a house, with a small garden thei'eto belonging,
already fenced in."

His family at this time consisted of his wife Rebecca, daughters Lydia,
Rebecca and Judith, and sou James. Lydia was married in the following
yeat to Thomas Bayley of New London.

In April, 1657, William Redfin bought of Richard Houghton a parcel of
land, containing four acres, more or less, with a stone house ui^on it. This
was situated on the western side of the river, north of the present city of
New London, west of the present road between New London and Norwich.
To this purchase the town added a grant of six acres in the rear, and he
probably removed to this new location, which was contiguous to the residence
of his son-in-law. His death took place about April or May, 1662, and was
probably not unexpected, for in March of that year he had conveyed his
house to Thomas Roach, who had married his daughter Rebecca, and on the
1st of April he had provided for his son by apprenticing him in the trade of

His widow Rebecca survived him, how many years we know not. In June,
1G63, .she applied to the town for a grant of a certain piece of land contain-
ing six acres, which was made to her in Sejjtember of that year. This land
she sold in December, 1666. The last record of her is in 1667.

We have thus far spoken of this family as bearing the name of Redfin, and
so it is written (though with varying orthography) botli in the records of
Camliridge, and in the records of New London previous to 1662; but while
the family resided in the latter town, the name seems gradually to have

♦Jonalhsm Browsior wat? u boh of Eldor William Brewster, wlio landed at Plynioutli from
the Mayflower in December lf)20. Joiiathan'rt wife Lucretiucanio over with her father-in-
law in the Mayllower, bin her hUKband had remained behind in Holland, and followed them

Online LibraryJohn Howard RedfieldGenealogical history of the Redfield family in the United States → online text (page 1 of 28)