French Family Association
The Official Website of the Surname French
Chart #9, Thomas French, ca. 1615
Charlestown, Suffolk Co., MA
Guilford, New Haven Co., CT
Stratford and Fairfield, CT
This chart updated by Mara French on
11/10/09. Numbers in brackets [ ] refer to the bibliography at the end of this chart. An
asterisk (*) shows continuation of that line. Send any corrections or additions
to this chart to email@example.com.
Revisions: 1990, 2009.
Ref  states that Thomas French was b. in 1615, and that
his father was John
there is no documental proof so far. It further states that John was b. ca.
1585-89 in England, married Rebecca who was b. 1593 in England, and that John
died in England in on 24 Sep 1651. If
this data were proven to be true, Thomas French would have been the first from
this line to immigrate to America.
According to New Haven Colony – Early
Planters , Thomas French arrived in New Haven Colony, CT, in 1642,
leaving Charleston, MA, to where he
immigrated in 163 8. In this
same source on another web
page, it states that Thomas French came to New Haven in the second ship in
July 1639 which contradicts the first statement. In a
paragraph prior to this one, it states that the first ship was the St. John, commanded by Captain Russell,
sailed from England on 20 May 1639, and arrived at New Haven between July
10–15, 1639. The name of the second ship is not mentioned. On this same
page it mentions Thomas French removed to Guilford in 1650 or before, so no
real date has been established. However, his name first appears on town records
of Guilford, CT, on 14 Aug 1645, so
that date is considered the most accurate earliest date. It is known that
Thomas French was not on either of these first two ships sailing from England
to New Haven, because he first sailed to Charleston, MA, several years prior,
then to Guilford, New Haven.
He was among the earliest settlers of Guilford. He lived on 3 ½ acres facing the Green, and on the west to the land of William Chittenden, and in the rear to the lots of Edward Benton, Jacob Sheaffe, and part of William Chittenden, and on the north to the lot of Thomas Stevens, son of John Stevens.
Thomas French came to Guilford either in 1643 or in 1648 (depending on the source), having gone (immigrated) first to Charlestown, MA about 1638. He is named on the 1650 list as a planter, but not a freeman. His home lot of three and one-half acres was next north of Henry Goldham's on Whitfield Street. In addition, he leased some lands and houses from John Caffinch for a period of time.
French had two wives. The first was Mary
Button, and the second is known only by her first name of Deborah. He
had a total of twelve children: Mary, Mercy, Elizabeth, Deliverance, Sarah, John, Martha, Thomas, Ebenezer,
Rebecca, Samuel and Abigail. It is thought that he was one of the poorer
planters. His name appears in the records of the Guilford Court in two lawsuits
against John Evarts for damage to French's crops from Evarts' hogs.
His property, listed above, is directly adjacent the Town Green,
probably the existing site of St. George's Church or close to it. *****
Thomas French was among the earliest settlers of Guilford. His name is not on the plantation covenant. At the commencement of Town Records, Vol. A., page 1, under date August 14, 1645, is the following record. "Mr. Samuel Disbrow (Richard Bristow erased.) "Tho:Betts members of ye church" "Thos:French Planter took their oath." Charged agt. John Stone member of ye church ye particulars which he confest. Savage says: "Thomas French, Charlestown 1638, removed to Guilford 1650 or earlier." He probably came to Guilford about 1643. At the General Court or Meeting held the 20th of February 1649-50, when Mr. Whitfield's reasons were tendered to the church here (at Guilford) for his removal and read in public & enquiry made of every man in particular concerning his ability in paying to the ministers for the present and probability to continue according to ordinary Providence. Thomas French said he should be able to continue his present sum & said further that he was willing to add 6 S. per annum. It is probable that Mr. John Caffinge, when he left Guilford in the latter part of 1643, or beginning of 1644, got Thomas French to occupy his estate at Guilford. Mr. Caffinch sued French, April 1, 1651, at New Haven, for the use of his house, land and cattle at Guilford. Probably French took them when Mr. Caffinch left that place. II New Haven Col. Rec. At a court Feb. 5, Anno 1651-2. Thomas French was called and admonished for saying in a clamourous & scandalizing way "yt he nor his family were not relieved according to their need - nor yt he could get any corn in the town for pay unless he came and offered them half so much more as it was worth, but when he did so, then they had corn enough for him, otherwise not, wherefore he was forced (to) go out of the town to get corn for his family" or words to that effect. To which he acknowledged that this was only true of particular persons. The court out of tenderness to his family pass it over, at present, with an admonition, to take more heed to his carriage reports & speeches. At a court May 3, 1655, he had two suits with John Everts with regard to hoggs, which were eventually arranged. At a town meeting on ye 23d of June 1665 Tho: French propounding in way of Petition to the town to have some relief on account of his daughter who was not wright in her own mind. When the town considered they request, It was put to vote & the vote passed in the negative, - That they did not see themselved engaged either to him or his & therefore did expect he shd. be returned to the place whence he came. And at a Town Meeting August 21, 1665. The town being informed yt notwithstanding Thomas French had been denied entertainment or admittance into this town either for himself or his daughter - yet he had hired lands of Benjn. Wright to settle on, - They did agree by vote as a prevention of him yt whosoever did any longer entertain either of them should give in sufficient security that they should be no damage to the town. These votes are now inexplicable. Thomas French had been a planter for 20 years, had owned lands in the town, and was a man of property. This Thos. French was probably another man, or else the daughter was married to another man. A Terryer of the lands belonging to Thomas French in Guilford as followith vix. 1 Prop. R. fol. 19. Imps. One Home lot containing three acres & a halfe, more or less so allowed ffronting up to the Green by the Pound running back to the land of William Chittenden on the west, along by the rears of the Home lots of Edward Benton, Jaiob Sheaffe & in part of Willm Chittenden on the north the Home lots of Henry Goldam on the south. About 1650 he sold this lot to Thomas Stevens, son of John Stevens, and bought the homelot of Henry Dowde in Crooked Lane, described as follows, I. Prop. R. fol. 7. Imps. One Home lot fronting to the street on the East & rearing back to the Home lot of John Stevens, bounded on the South with the home lot of John Mepham & on the North with the Home lot of Thomas Norton (then of John Norton & William Seward, Thomas dying in 1648) allowed for 2 acres more or less. This last lot had been sold by Henry Dowde to Samuel Blachley about 1647 who sold it to Thomas French who sold it to William Boreman about 1656. Boreman died 1661, and his representatives sold it to Nathan Bradley about 1663, and Bradley sold it to John Chittenden May 20, 1667. See I. Prop. Rec. fol. 19. "Thomas French hath sold and alienated all his houseing and home lot which he bought of Samuel Blatchley as abovesaid unto William Boreman" & I. Prop. Rec. fol. 14. "William Boreman hath with conseut of ye Court bought all Thomas French his houseing and home lot which was late Samuel Blachleys" & also sam fol. Henry Dowde & William Seward & Nathan Bradley (who had bought the whole estate of William Boreman, deceased) have sold and alienated the house & home lot containing about 2 acres unto Nathan Bradley of Guilford Jan. 18, 1663, who sold it to John Chittenden as stated above May 20, 1667/ The following entry is on the last page of I. Prop. R. fol last Feb 14 (55) Thomas French & William Boreman entered an alienation upon an exchange made betwixt them viz. The said French hath given & granted in exchange all his rights in the upland and meadow to be divided at Athammonassock unto the said William Boreman & his heirs etc for & in consideration of the said Boremans now home lot with all his land there adjoining to the said Thomas French & his heirs forever. Item one Home lot bought of Samuel Blachley late the lands of Henry Dowde lying next to the house lot of John Norton on the North & containing & Allowed for two acres. I. Prop. Rec. fol. 9. In a Town meeting February 11th 1673. Thomas French desiring that his son in law John Dudley might be accepted as a planter upon Thomas French engaging to give him 20 acres of land. The Town accepted John Dudley to be a planter.
It might be useful to determine where these neighboring men of Guilford came from in England to perhaps learn a connection to Thomas French’s homestead:
William Chittenden was b. in Mar 1594 in Cranbrook, Kent, England., and d. 1 Feb 1660/61 in Guilford, CT. William arrived in America on 10 Jul 1639 directly to Guilford; therefore, his hometown in Kent is not a clue as to where Thomas lived in England. William and Thomas met in Guilford.
Benton was b. in Feb 1600 in Epping, Essex, England and
Jacob Sheaffe moved from Guilford to Boston on 22 Sep 1648.
Stevens was not yet a freeman of Guilford in 1650, but
remained there until 1665 when he removed to Killingworth, CT. The Stevens and
French families married cousins. Eliakim Stevens, b.
4 Oct 1734 in Guilford, d. 29 Jan 1784 in Guilford, m. 7 Jan 1756 in Guilford
to his cousin Susanna French, daughter of Thomas French and Sarah Graves.
Parmelee family of 1639 in Guilford was from Lewes, Sussex, England. Thomas French’s dau., Sarah, m. Nathaniel Parmelee in 1668.
Henry Goldham was b. in 1605, d. in
1661 in New Haven, CT. He m. Frances ca. 1630.
Thomas French b. in England ca. 1615, place unknown, but most likely from the area around Ockley, near London, where the majority of the Pilgrims came from on the ship “Hector” which sailed to Massachusetts Bay, MA, on 26 Jun 1637. Ockley is in the county of Surrey; others of these Pilgrams came from Kent, the county east of Surrey. The Hector that brought the Davenport party to Massachusetts was a new vessel of 250 tons, which had already made a previous passage to Massachusetts Bay. The records indicate that the ship actually arrived in Massachusetts, but other references mention that the Hector also took the party to Connecticut in late 1637 or 1638. A passenger ship list for the trip from Massachusetts Bay to New Haven, Connecticut has not been located. Thomas French’s name does not appear on this list.
As the immigrants on the ship “Hector” were from Kent and Surrey, they took many pains to find a tract of land resembling that from which they had removed. They therefore finally pitched upon Guilford, which, toward the sea, where they made the principal settlement, was low, moist, rich land, liberal indeed to the husbandman, especially the great plain south of the town. This had been already cleared and enriched by the natives. The vast quantities of shells and manure, which in a course of ages they had brought upon it from the sea, had contributed much to the natural richness of the soil. There were also nearly adjoining to this several necks, or points of land, near the sea, clear, rich, and fertile, prepared for immediate improvement."
Thomas French’s relationship to the other French immigrants is unknown; he did not appear to have any direct contact with any of them. We also note that his DNA does not appear to match that of any of the other early French immigrants of New England. See xref chart. In other words, he does not connect to Thomas French of Ipswich, William French of Billerica, Edward French of Salisbury, John French of Braintree, Richard French of Marshfield, nor Stephen French of Weymouth, MA.
Ref.  believes Thomas French immigrated to the United States in 1639 on the ship “Hector” to Charleston, MA. However, records show that he had arrived by 1638. Wikipedia states that a puritan minister named John Davenport led his flock from exile in the Netherlands back to England and finally to America in the spring of 1637. The group arrived in Boston on the ship “Hector” on June 26, 1637, but decided to strike out on their own, based on their impression that the Massachusetts Bay Colony was lax in its religious observances. That Fall of 1637, Theophilus Eaton led an exploration party south to the north shore of Long Island Sound (in Connecticut) in search of a suitable site. He purchased land from the Indians at the mouth of the Quinnipiac River. In the spring of 1638, the group set out from Boston, and on April 14 they arrived at their “New Haven” on the Connecticut shore. The site seemed ideal for trade with a good port between Boston and New Amsterdam (now New York), and access to the furs of the Connecticut River valley. However, while the colony succeeded as a settlement and religious experiment, its future as a trade center was some years away.
Atwater, Edward, History of the Colony of New Haven; 1880. (pp 46-58) (http://www.quinnipiac.edu/other/abl/etext/colony/colonycomplete.html)
It was a great undertaking for the company
which gradually gathered around Davenport and the Eatons,
to prepare for a voyage across the Atlantic, and a permanent residence in the
New World. The ministers could perhaps embark, with their books and
household-stuff, in a few days; but merchants engaged in foreign commerce
needed several months, after deciding to emigrate, for the conversion of their
capital into money, or into merchandise suitable for the adventure in which
they were engaging. But this company projected something more than emigration.
They were not to scatter themselves, when they disembarked, among the different
settlements already established in New England, but to remain together, and lay
the foundation 'of a new and isolated community. For this reason a more
comprehensive outfit was necessary than if
expected to become incorporated, individually or .
collectively, in communities already planted. In addition to the stores shipped
by individuals, there must be many things provided for the common good, by
persons acting in behalf of the whole company. There is evidence, that, after
the expedition arrived at New Haven, its affairs were managed like those of a
joint-stock association, and therefore some ground for believing, that, from
the beginning, those who agreed to emigrate in this company, or at least some
of them, associated themselves together as partners in the profit and loss of
the adventure. Higginson, some years before, had advised emigrants that "
it were a wise course for those that are of abilities to join together and buy
a ship for the voyage;" alleging as a reason, that transportation was so
dear as five pounds a man, and ten pounds a horse, and commonly three pounds
for every ton of goods. " All that come," he says, " must have
victuals with them for a twelvemonth." Still earlier, Winslow had written
from Plymouth, "Bring good store of clothes and bedding with you. Bring
paper and linseed-oil for your windows, with cotton-yarn for your lamps."
These directions, intended in both cases for emigrants coming to join
communities already established, illustrate the need of studious foresight and
careful cooperation in a company of persons proposing not only to remove to New
England, but to begin a new and independent
plantation. Davenport and Eaton had learned by experience, in fitting out
vessels for the Massachusetts Bay Company, what would be needed in a new
settlement, and were as well qualified, perhaps, as any could be, to prepare a
list of necessary articles. The Abigail, the first ship which
came to ' Salem,
brought ten thousand bricks as ballast; and bricks with " London "
stamped on them were found at the demolition of a very ancient house in New
Haven. It is not certain that the vessel in which Davenport and Eaton embarked,
was, like the Abigail, ballasted with bricks; but the fact that bricks were
sometimes brought from England illustrates the care with which emigrant-ships
were fitted out. The Abigail brought also sea-coals, but all freighters must
have soon learned that it was useless to carry fuel- to a country so well
timbered as New England. An emigrant-ship was further ballasted with iron, steel,
lead, nails, and other heavy articles of utility. The bulk of the cargo
consisted of apparel, bedding, food, tools, arms, ammunition, and seeds.
Neat-cattle and goats were usually taken, and sometimes horses. Th b
Massachusetts Bay Company had a rule, that a ship of two
hundred tons should not carry above one hundred passengers, and other
ships were limited after the same proportion. In the summer of 1636, several
vessels recently arrived from England being in the harbor of Boston, Thomas
Miller, the master's mate of one of them, was apprehended and brought before
the Governor and Council, for saying, to some who came on board, that the
colonists were traitors and rebels because they did not display the king's
colors at the fort. The ship on which this insufferable speech was spoken was
the Hector of London, William Femes, master. Sailing
from Boston in July, she was chartered after her arrival. The writer remembers
to have seen some of these bricks taken from the Atwater house of which Dr.
Dana in his Century Sermon speaks as built by Joshua Atwater, one of the
emigrants. I think, however, that the house was built by a
nephew of Joshua Atwater. Certainly Thomas Att -water
(as he chose to write his name), who in Dr. Dana's time occupied the house, was
not descended from Joshua Atwater, but from his brother David in London by the
company whose origin has been related in the preceding chapter. While they were
preparing her for another voyage to Boston, she was seized by the Lords of the
Admiralty for the king's service, as will appear from the following petition
without date, but indorsed, " Received January, 1637:" - " To
the Right Honorable the Lords and other Commissioners of his Majesty's High
Court of Admiralty :- "The humble petition of the
Owners and Freighters of the good ship called the Hector of London, "
Humbly showeth unto your honors that your petitioners
having contracted for a voyage with the said ship from here to New England for
a plantation there, and from there to divers parts in the Streights,
the freighters have made ready all their provisions and passengers, fitting
both for the said voyage and plantation, and most of them thereupon engaged
their whole estates and paid part of their moneys. Since which agreement and
preparation made, the said ship is impressed for his Majesty's service whereby
she is hindered from proceeding on the said intended voyage. " Their most
humble suit therefore is that in respect of the petitioners' great charges
already arisen before the impressing of the ship, and her not proceeding on her
voyage will tend to the great loss, if not utter undoing of divers of your
honors' suppliants, and for that, if it pleased God the ship do safely returne, the Custom to his Majesty of the goods to be
imported in her from the Streights hither will amount
to .£3000 at the least, your Lordships would be
pleased to give order and warrant for the release of the said ship from her
impression that so she may proceed on her said voyage, " And they as in
duty bound shall daily pray." This petition was supported by the following
certificate, signed by Samuel Hutchinson, Richard Hutchin-son,
and Arthur Hollingworth, who were perhaps the owners
of the Hector:- " We whose names are hereunto
subscribed do hereby certify that the good ship called the Hector of London was
contracted for, for a voyage, and that provision was made and provided before
the said ship was impressed for the king's Majesty's service. In testimony
whereof we have hereunder set our names the nineteenth of January A. D. 1637."
On the 23d of the same month the Secretary of the Admiralty wrote to Sir .William Russell, through whom the petition, with others
of like import, had reached them, as follows : - "Sir,- The Lords
Commissioners for the Admiralty (having perused your letter of the 2ist of this
month touching the merchant ships ordered to be taken up for his Majesty's
service) have commanded me to signify to you that they think it not fit to
release any of the said ships upon the pretences expressed in your letter
(albeit the same may be true) in regard they perceive by your letter that there
are not at present any merchant ships in the Thames fit to send in their
places. But when you shall certify their Lordships that there are other
merchant ships in the river of the like burden and force, fit for his Majesty's
service that may be completely fitted and ready by the 2oth of April next,
their Lordships will consider further of the allegations of the owners of the
four ships mentioned in your said letter and declare their further pleasure
thereupon." Not entirely discouraged by this reply, the captain of the
Hector presented another petition without date, but indorsed, "1637,
February 14:" - " To the Right Honorable the Lords and other
Commissioners of the Admiralty : - "The humble
petition of William Femes, master of the ship called
the Hector, "Humbly showeth that whereas the
petitioner hath been an humble suitor to your honors for the releasing of the
said ship; for that there was a contract and provision was made for a voyage
long before, which tends to the ruin of many, except your honors be pleased to
give order for her discharge; for that there are divers ships come in more fit
and able for his Majesty's service, viz., the Vinty
about 300 tons and 22 pieces of ordnance; the Royal Defence
300 tons and upwards, with 22 pieces of ordnance; the Pleiades 350 tons, 26
ordnance; Prudence 370 tons, 28 pieces ordnance; one whereof Mr. Wise is
master, 350 tons and 24 pieces of ordnance; " His humble suit therefore is
that your honors will please to give order that the said ship called the Hector
may be discharged for the reasons aforesaid, that she may go on in her intended
voyage, " And the petitioner with many others shall pray."
Ultimately, the Hector was released; and from an order of the king in council,
that the Pleiades, with other impressed vessels, should be ready for sea on the
25th of April, it may be inferred that she was substituted for the Hector. The
reader will have noticed that the names of the freighters are withheld in all
these negotiations for the release of their ship. It is alleged that many will
suffer, and perhaps be undone, but there is nothing to call attention to any
individuals as engaged in the enterprise. The lords of the council were not
ignorant that considerable emigration to New England had already taken place,
or that the exodus still continued; but they believed that those who went were
for the most part poor and mean people, who would be of little advantage at
home and might, if colonized, be of use by increasing foreign commerce.
Moreover they were unaware how strongly this emigration was leavened with
Puritanism. If they had known that several wealthy merchants of London,
inclined to non-conformity, had embarked their whole estates in the Hector, and
were intending to go to New England with their families to find there a
permanent residence, they would have found means to frustrate the undertaking.
On the 30th of April proclamation was made, "that the king -being informed
that great numbers of his subjects are yearly transported into those parts of
America which have been granted by patent to several persons, and there settle
themselves, some of them with their families and whole estates, amongst whom
are many idle and refractory humors, whose only or principal end is to live
without the reach of authority - doth command his officers and ministers of the
ports, not to suffer any persons, being subsidy men or of their value, to pass
to any of those plantations without a license from his Majesty's commissioners
for plantations first obtained; nor any under the degree of subsidy men,
without a certificate from two justices of the peace where they lived, that
they have taken the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, and a testimony from the
minister of the parish, of their conformity to the orders and discipline of the
Church of England." As the Hector arrived in Boston on the 26th of June,
we may infer from the date of this proclamation that it was issued immediately
after she had sailed, and that it was occasioned by the discovery of the true
nature of an expedition in which several persons, being subsidy men, or of
their value, had clandestinely left the kingdom and carried away their estates.
If the ship was chartered by a joint-stock association,
it does not follow that only shareholders took passage in her. The
Massachusetts Bay Company had a regular tariff of rates at which they received
all freight that was offered, and all passengers who were approved. Theophilus Eaton owned a sixteenth of the Arbella, which had been purchased expressly for that
company's service; and both he and Davenport, as directors of the
company," had become familiar with its methods. The rates of that company
were five pounds for the passage of an adult, and four pounds for a ton of
goods. The association of adventurers which chartered the
Hector would - naturally adopt similar methods and
similar rates. Having secured accommodation for themselves and their families,
and for the freight which belonged to the association
and to the individuals composing it, they would receive persons not
shareholders, at the regular rates. Some of the emigrants may have been
precluded from taking stock in the association by the expenses of emigration;
but the originators of the enterprise would naturally desire that all who were
of sufficient ability should have a pecuniary interest in its welfare. There
was at least one passenger who did not come as an emigrant. Winthrop writes in
his journal, "In the Hector came also the Lord Leigh, son and heir of the
Earl of Marlborough, being about nineteen years of age, who came only to see
the country. He was of very sober carriage, especially in the ship, where he
was much disrespected and unworthily used by the master, one Femes, and some of the passengers; yet he bore it meekly
and silently."' ' Before the Hector sailed, the company which chartered
her had so increased that it became necessary to hire another vessel to
accompany her on the voyage; but the name of the vessel has not been preserved
to us. This unexpected increase was due to the accession 1 Winthrop perhaps
changed his mind about Lord Leigh, when that youth, having accepted the
governor's invitation to a dinner-party made expressly to honor him, was
persuaded by Harry Vane to absent himself of those who have been mentioned* as
coming from Kent and from Herefordshire. Concerning the latter, we have no
means of determining when Prudden began to negotiate
with Davenport; but the men of Kent appear to have joined the expedition after
the Hector was engaged for the voyage. Their departure
was so hasty that many who. wished
to go were forced to wait for another opportunity, and came out two years
afterward in the first ship which sailed from England direct to the harbor of
New Haven. No documents have yet been found which indicate the day when the
Hector and her consort sailed from London, or the manner in which the officers
of the port discharged their official duty in examining the certificates of the
passengers. Similar requirements to those prescribed by the proclamation of
April 50 had been made by a proclamation issued more than two years earlier,
but were nevertheless insufficient to prevent the emigration of Puritans. Many
found no difficulty in obtaining a bona-fide certificate of conformity, and it does
not appear that any objected to the oaths of allegiance and supremacy. If
unable to obtain a certificate from the minister of the parish where they had
lived, they came, some clandestinely, and some under borrowed names and
corresponding passports. It is said that John Aylmer, Bishop of London in Queen
Elizabeth's time, and an exile for religion in Queen Mary's reign, was so small
of stature, that, when the searchers were clearing the ship in which he made
his escape, the merchant put him into a great wine'-butt that had a partition
in the middle, so that Aylmer was enclosed in the hinder part while the
searchers drank of the wine which they saw drawn out of the head on the other
part.' The Puritans of the seventeenth century were capable of exercising equal
ingenuity when necessary -ginson says, " Our passage was
short and speedy; for whereas we had three thousand miles English to sail from
Old to New England, we performed the same in six weeks and three days." A
passage was indeed sometimes made in less time, but in other instances was
protracted to three months. A vessel made but one round trip in a year, leaving
England in the spring and arriving home in the autumn. Crowded cabins rendered
the passage uncomfortable, even when speedy; but a protracted voyage often
induced not only discomfort, but disease. None of the
passengers in the Hector, or in the vessel which accompanied' her, having
supplied us with his journal, we must avail ourselves of diaries of
contemporary voyages if we would see them in imagination pursuing - their way
down the Thames, through the - A BARQUE OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. Channel,
and over the Atlantic, Sea-sickness reigned supreme as they passed along the
southern coast of their native island; but in the first pleasant weather after
they had gained the open sea, they "fetched out the children and others,
that were sick and lay groaning in the cabins, and, having stretched a rope
from the steerage to the mainmast, made them stand, some on one side and some
on the other, and sway it up and down till they were warm. By this means they
soon grew well and merry." Afterward, "when the ship heaved and set
more than usual, a few were sick, but of these such as came upon deck and
stirred themselves were presently well again; therefore, our captain set our
children and young men to some harmless exercises in which the seamen were very
active, and did our people much good, though they would sometimes play the wags
with them." Once or twice during the voyage the wind blew a gale; and the
passengers being confined to the cabin united in the observance of a fast with
a protracted service of prayer, which, when the wind subsided, was followed by a
service of thanksgiving. " We constantly served God morning and evening,
by reading and expounding a chapter, singing, and prayer; and the sabbath was solemnly kept by
adding to the former, preaching twice, and catechising.
Besides, the shipmaster a'nd his company used every
night to set their eight and twelve o'clock watches with singing a psalm, and
prayer that was not read out of a book." Sometimes one vessel so far outsailed her consort, that she
must take in some sail, and stay for her, lest the two should be entirely
separated for the remainder of the voyage. " Our captain, supposing us now
to be near the coast, fitted on a new mainsail, that was very strong and
double, and would not adventure with his old sails as before, when he had
sea-room enough." " This evening we saw the new moon more than half
an hour after sunset, being much smaller than it is at any time in
England." "About four this morning, we sounded, and had ground at
thirty fathom; and, it being somewhat calm, we put our ship a-stays, and took,
in less than two hours, with a few hooks, sixty-seven codfish, most of them
very great fish. This came very seasonably, for our salt fish was now spent,
and we were taking care for victuals this day, being a fish day." "We
had now fair sunshine weather, and there came a smell off the shore like the
smell of a garden." Four days later, both the ships lay at anchor, and the
weary voyagers, were on shore, some gathering store of fine strawberries, and
others entertained in the houses of friends, who feasted them with "good
venison pasty, and good beer." referencing
a previous work by Isabel MacBeath
Calder entitled Passengers
on the Hector, 1637-38, The New Haven Colony pp.
29-31. Website: http://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/ships/hector1637.shtml
A special thanks goes to Molly Kernan who transcribed this ship's list for The OLIVE TREE and included background information from her own research.
The following is the passenger list for the vessel Hector, which brought the passengers accompanying John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton to Connecticut in 1637. There is another ship called the Hector that brought the first Scottish Highlanders to Nova Scotia in the mid-1700's, but the Hector Heritage Foundation in Nova Scotia states that the ship that brought the Davenport/Eaton party is a different vessel.
The Hector that brought the Davenport party to Massachusetts was a new vessel of 250 tons, which had already made a previous passage to Massachusetts Bay. The records indicate that the ship actually arrived in Massachusetts, but other references mention that the Hector also took the party to Connecticut in late 1637 or 1638. A passenger ship list for the trip from Massachusetts Bay to New Haven, Connecticut has not been located.
Passengers on the Hector sold their belongings in
preparation for the sailing, but then the English government impressed the ship
for the service of the crown. The owners petitioned for its release in January
1637, but the ship was not freed until May. According to the records of John
Winthrop of Massachusetts Bay, the ship arrived in Boston (from London England)
on June 26, 1637. (As you can see, Thomas
French is not among these passengers. If anyone has further
data, please email firstname.lastname@example.org).
wonder on which ship Henry Whitfield came? Other documentation states he was on
John & Elizabeth Davenport
Old Mrs. Eaton, his mother
Anne Eaton, second wife of Theophilus Eaton and daughter of George Loyd Bishop of Chester and widow of Thomas Yale
The children of Anne Eaton by her former marriage
Richard Beach Richard Beckley (If Richard is your ancestor, you can email Molly P Kernan who is also a descendant)
No list of planters is extant bearing an earlier
date than 1650. About that time a catalogue of the freemen was recorded, to
which were appended the names of planters not yet admitted to the right of
suffrage. Two or three names of each of these classes appear to have been added
as late as 1652. The freemen of the plantation were: - Henry Whitfield. Jno. Higginson. George Hubbard. Mr. Samuel
Desborough. Mr. Robert Kitchel. Mr. Wm. Chittenden. Mr. Wm. Leete. Thomas
Jordan. John Hoadley. John Scranton. George Bartlett. Jasper Stillwell.
Alexander Chalker. John Stone. Thomas Jones. William Hall. Thomas Betts. John
Parmelin, sen. Henry Kingsnorth. Thomas Cook. Richard Bristow. John Parmelin,
Jr. John Fowler. Wm. Dudley. Richard Gutridge. Abraham Cruttenden, sen. Edward
Benton. John Evarts. The planters who had not been admitted as freemen were: -
John Johnson. John Sheader. Samuel Blachley. Thomas French. Stephen Bishop. Thomas Stevens. William Boreman.'
Edward Seward. George Highland. Abraham Cruttenden, Jr. John Bishop, sen.
Thomas Chatfield. Francis Bushnell. Henry Dowd. Richard Hughes. George
Chatfield. 'William Stone. John Stevens. 1 Benjamin Wright. John Linsley. The planters of both these classes were at that
time forty-eight in number; of whom four, namely, John Higginson, George
Hubbard, John Fowler, and Thomas Betts, had not been of the company of original
planters. Higginson came from Saybrook, where he had been chaplain for four
years; and the three others removed from Milford. But the plantation had lost
as many or more by removals from it as it had gained by removals to it from
other places; and at least seven proprietors are known to have died before
1650. We have seen how Thomas Nash, who came in the same ship with Whitfield,
was detached from the company. John Caffinge, or Caffinch, one of the six
trustees for purchasing and holding land, and the only one of them who did not
come in the same ship with Whitfield, became a planter at New Haven within two
or three years after the deeds were signed in which he is named as grantee.
Thomas Relf and Thomas Dunk had also removed. In the list of the dead were
Thomas Norton, Thomas Mills, John Mepham, John Jordan, William Somers, William
Plane, and Francis Austin. He resided in Charlestown, MA, in 1638, and removed
to Guilford, CT ca. 1643  , where he was a planter and lived there until
he died ca. 1675 . Thomas married twice. Thomas died ca. 1665.
Sept. 16, 1668 - Thomas French was granted three or four acres of land on this side of Clapboard hill swamp, with part of the swamp, according as the Townsmen viewing it shall judge meets that no highway be prejudiced thereby.
Feb. 11, 1673 - The town granted Thomas French liberty to exchange his land at Clapboard hill swamp, containing five acres and a half, allowing for it fourteen acres beyond East River. ***** Son of John French (source: family tree maker G153) ***** John Mallory Allen email: email@example.com who said that Thomas French married 2nd between 1660-1667 and 2 children Abigail and Samuel were born to Deborah (she says possibly the former wife of Walter Joy of Milford). The Guilford Families book I have did not have a last name for Deborah, the second wife, but it did list Samuel and Abigail were not children of Mary Button, but of Deborah______.
Mary and Deborah Button were the wives of Thomas French and the daughters of John Button. John was b. 1599, d. 1681 in Boston, MA. He was a miller and lived near his windmill on in Boston as early as 1633.
John m1. Grace ca. 1618, and most likely all his children were born before he immigrated to New England. Grace d. 9 Mar 1638/39 in Boston, MA. He m2. Mary, who became John’s widow. Children were (not in any particular order):
Button, b. ca. 1619, christened 23 Feb 1634, d. before 1667
in Guilford, CT. Many genealogists are convinced that Mary, who married Thomas
was the daughter of John Button. In John Hanniford's
will he gives legatees as
daughters Sarah, Hannah, son Samuel,
"children of my sister Mary French: children of sister Rose Marish..." Therefore, one cannot be sure whether Mary
was the sister-in-law of John's daughter Abigail, or referred to by Hanniford
John Button, Jr., b. ca. 1622
Abigail Button, b. ca. 1625
Deborah Button, b. ca. 1628. If Thomas French m. Deborah ca. 1668, she would have been 40 years old when she had 2 children by him. She d. 19 May 1717.
Thomas French m1. ca. 1639 Mary Button, dau. of John and Grace Button of Boston, MA, born in 1619. John Button is said to have been the son of Sir Thomas Button, English navigator (NEHGR v3 p. 92). John Button was b. in 1599 and is believed to have been from Harrold, Bedford Co., England. John was a miller and lived near his windmill on Copp’s Hill in Boston. He d. 1681 in Boston and his wife Grace d. 9 Mar 1638 in Boston. Proof of the Button line is based on Guilford land records mentioned in the Boston Transcript, 1910, that William Stone Sr. & Jr. of Guilford testified that “Hannah, Mercy, Deliverance, Sarah, Martha, & Ebenezer French are the children of Mary French and Thomas French and the reputed daughter of Lieutenant John Button of Boston. Oath was taken Nov 22, 1682.
Many genealogists are convinced that Mary, who married Thomas French was the daughter of John Button. In John Hanniford's will he gives legatees as daughters Sarah, Hannah, son Samuel, "children of my sister Mary French: children of sister Rose Marish..." Therefore, one cannot be sure whether Mary was the sister-in-law of John's daughter Abigail, or referred to by Hanniford affectionately as his sister, though in fact, his sister-in-law. Therefore, Mary and her sister Deborah will be listed as though they were children of John Button, although we do not know that such is proven.
Mary died ca. 1660 in Guilford, New Haven Co., CT; thereafter Thomas m. Deborah Button.
Thomas French m2. by 1667 Deborah Button, sister of Mary Button  . Some reports say she was Deborah Wathen Joy, widow of Walter Joy of Milton, MA. Deborah was the mother of Thomas’ last two children: Samuel and Abigail. Deborah died May 19, 1717.
Joy, Walter. Walter Joy's wife at Milford was treated by Winthrop, 1657. We are unable to connect him with the Hingham family, and no relationship is known to Peter Joy of Salem. He left little record of himself or family, but for reasons which will presently appear we believe that his wife was Deborah and that she m. (2) Thomas French of Guilford, as his second wife. The first link in the chain of evidence is too the brief record of the estate of Isaac Joy, whose Inv. presented 9 June 1675 showed a small property at Milford and Guilford; he left a mother who lived at Guilford; three brothers and one sister related by the father and mother; and there were two children related by the mother only. A study of Guilford families reveals that Thomas French, between 1660 and 1667, acquired a second wife Deborah, by who he had two children, - Samuel 1667, and Abigail 1669. This answers the requirements of the case perfectly. Furthermore, Thomas French and Deborah his wife, of Guilford, conveyed on 10 Mar. 1678 and also on 21 July 1679, to Joseph Joy of Guilford. ... With regard to the half-brother, Samuel French, Talcott's manuscript history of Guilford families states that he d. young, but nothing to substantiate this has been found except that no record of him after his birth appears in Guilford records. The age of death of Sergt. Samuel French of Strafield agrees with the birth of the Guilford Samuel, and patient search has failed to disclose any other Samuel with whom the Stratfield man can be identified. The eldest dau. of Sergt. Samuel French was named Deborah, as was also the eldest dau. of Jacob Joy; and this is what we should expect if Deborah was their mother. We therefore conclude that Walter Joy m. Deborah _____, who m. (2) Thomas French ( Deborah (_____) (Joy) French perhaps m3. John Jordan and d. in 1677. John Jordan and Deborah his wife of Guilford conveyed to John French [stepson of Mrs. Deborah French], 12 Apr. 1677; Jonathan Pitman witnessed the deed, which states that Deborah died before the ensealing and delivery. [Guilford Deeds]).
Joy's wife at Milford was treated by Winthrop, 1657. We are unable
Peter Joy of Salem. He left little record of
himself or family, but for
reasons which will presently
appear we believe that his wife was Deborah and
that she m. (2) Thomas French
of Guilford, as his second wife."
first link in the chain of evidence is the too brief record of the
estate of Isaac Joy, whose Inv.
presented 9 June 1675 showed a small
property at Milford and Guilford;
he left a mother who lived at Guilford;
three brothers and one sister
related by the father and mother; and there
were two children related by
the mother only."
study of Guilford families reveals that Thomas French between 1660 and
xquired a second wife
Deborah, by whom he had two children,--Samuel
1667, and Abigail 1669. This answers the
requirements of the case
perfectly. Furthermore, Thomas
French and Deborah his wife, of Guilford,
conveyed on 10 Mr. 1678 and also on
21 July 1679, to Joseph Joy of
Joy was of Fairfield when he died, and his will, 28 Apr. 1690,
states that he was leaving with
the expedition against the French in Canada;
gave legacies to his cousins
Joseph Bennett, Deborah Joy, and Mary Joy; and
gave the residue of his estate
to Walter Joy, son of
lhis brother Jacob;
brother Jacob and Samuel Hubbell,
Sr., Exec'rs. Inv. 24 Sept. 1690. Jacob
reported deceased, 15 Feb. 1691
[1691/2]; Walter Joy was also dec'd, his
share ordered to his sisters
Deborah wife of Andrew Ward and Mary Joy."
Joy of Fair
lfield, making a voyage to
Boston, left his estate to
his brother Joseph, who
presented the Inv. 16 Aug. 1687; Isaac Wheeler
Joy received a grant from the town of Guilford, 23 Feb. 1669/70, and
soon after removed to
George Chatfield, Rev. Henry Whitfield, Jasper Stillwell, Thomas Chatfield, Thomas Relf, William Plaine, Thomas Betts, John Sheather, Mr. John Jordan, John Stone, Rev. John Higginson, Samuel Desbrough, Richard Hues, Francis Chatfield, Dea. George Bartlett, Henry Goldham, Thomas French, Edward Benton, Mr. John Hoadley, Mr. Jacob Sheafe, Mr. William Chittenden, Gov. William Leete, Robert Kitchel, Francis Bushnell, Jr., Mr. John Caffinch, Francis Bushnell, Sr., William Dudley, John Stevens, Thomas Cook, William Stone, William Barnes, Mr. Abraham Crittenden, Capt. James Frisbie, Miss Kate Hunt, J. Meigs Hand, Mrs. Knowles, George S. Davis, J. S. Elliott, William Kelsey, Elisha Hart, Dr. Alvan Talcott, Lewis Elliott, Capt. William C. Dudley, James Dudley, Frog Pond Cottage, William Isbell, H. W. Chittenden, Miss Lydia D. Chittenden, Edwin Griswold, John Hubbard, S. B. Chittenden, William L. Stone, Mrs. Hannah Brown, George Spencer, Edwin Leete, Dr. G. P. Reynolds, Benjamin West, Dea. Albert Dowd, Douglas Loper, Charles Stone, Guilford Institute, Capt. T3-ler, Thomas Jordan, John Parmelee, John Mepham, Henry Doude, Thomas Norton, William Hall, Henry Kingsnorth, Richard Guttridge, Benjamin Wright, William Love, William Boreman, John Parmelee, Jr., John Scranton, Alexander Chalker, Stephen Bradley, Thomas Jones, John Bishop, Miss Clara Sage, Mrs. Monroe, John Benton, Partridge House, Hinckley House, Grace Starr, Charles Leete, Capt. R. L. Fowler, Miss Harriet Hall, Mrs. Augustus Hall, William Benton, L. L. Rowland, John Benton, Henry Chamberlain, Mrs. L. H. Steiner, Mrs. T. H. Landon.
Listed in the History of Connecticut by Ralph Dunning Smith, the following names of planters are given in the original records, who had not been admitted as freemen: John Bishop Sen., Thomas Chatfield, Francis Bushnell, Henry Dowd, Richard Hues, George Chatfield, William Stone, John Stevens, Benjamin Wright, John Linsley, John Johnson, John Sheader, Samuel Blachley, Thomas French, Stephen Bishop, Thomas Stevens, William Boreman, Edward Sewers, George Highland, Abraham Cruttenden Jr.
Thomas French appears to have been in Guilford as early as 1646 (page 15). John French is listed as a town clerk since the settlement of the town, 1716 to 1717 (page 182). Thomas French is listed as a freeman in 1657 or 1658 (page 24). Thomas French took the oath of fidelity about in 1645, although not among the first settlers, he came very early (page 27). The earliest record was written Aug 14, 1645 in which Thomas French’s name appears as a planter who took oath (page 59).
One home lot containing 3 ½ acres fronting
up to the Green by the Pond running back to the land of William Chittenden on
the west, along by the rears of the home lots of Edward Benton, Jacob Sheaffe
and in part of William Chittenden on the north the home lots of Henry Goldam on
the south. About 1650 he sold this lot to Thomas Stevens, son of John Stevens,
and bought the home lot of Henry Dowde in Crooked Land, bounded by John
Stevens, John Mepham, and Thomas Norton. On Sep 16, 1668 Thomas French was granted 3 or 4
acres of land on the side of Clapboard Hill Swamp. On Feb 11, 1673 the town of
Guilford granted Thomas French liberty to exchange his land at Clapboard Hill
Swamp containing 5 ½ acres, allowing for it 14 acres beyond East River.
These statements are a bit confusing knowing that Thomas French d. 1665.
From Ref. .