Sunday, February 20, 2011

8 Original Settlers of Danbury, Connecticut

THOMAS TAYLOR was also an founder of Norwalk, Ct. The General Assembly of May 1684 "appoynted. .a committee for to order the planting of a Towne above Norwalke or Fayrefeild". In the same year eight families "trekked through Sugar Hollow and over Pandanarum" to settle there. Thomas Taylor’s family was one of those families. He married Rebecca Ketchum, daughter of Edward. He survived all the original settlers, and died in January, 1735, aged 92 yrs. He had 10 children and their average life span was 85 years. Only 3 lived to be less than 80. He was the first representative to the General Assembly from Danbury. His son Nathan was the grandfather of P.T. Barnum. He was the 9th great-grandfather of my mother, Eleanor Fairchild.

JOHN HOYT was born at Windsor, Ct. Five of his children were born in Norwalk, Ct. He lived to a very ripe old age. He owned land in Fairfield and Norwalk, Ct. Before helping to establish Danbury. He and the other founders of Danbury purchased their land directly from the Indian proprietors. He was the 9th great-uncle of my mother, Eleanor Fairchild.

JAMES BENEDICT and SAMUEL BENEDICT were brothers who came from Norwalk, Ct. Their Father, Thomas, was appointed to make a new settlement in 1684 at Paquiage, later named Danbury. His sons, James and Samuel settled the new village. At the session of the General Assembly in May 1702, a patent was granted, giving town-privilages to the inhabitants and proprietors of Danbury. James and his brother John married two Gregory sisters. My mother descends from James Benedict.

JUDAH GREGORY is the ninth great-grandfather of my mother, Eleanor Fairchild, and is the brother of Sarah Gregory, wife of James Benedict.

Francis Bushnell, Thomas Barnum, and James Beebe were also among the 8 original settlers of Danbury Connecticut, but are not directly related to my family.

Philip Gereardy of New Amsterdam

Philip Gereardy was born in Holland. In 1642 he was
in Manhattan, New York, New York, United States of America. He married
Maritje Pollet in Holland. Philip Gereardy was an early
inhabitant of Manhattan, where he
contracted with Juriaen of Osnaburgh for a house. It seems that Juriaen
did not build the house in the time agreed upon, for in the spring of 1641
two witnesses swore to the agreement and Philip obtained a judgment in
his favor on the 13th of June. In a year or two he received a grant of a
house lot on the north side of the first road from the fort to the ferry,
on the present Stone street between Whitehall and Broad streets. This was
known first as " the road," later a part of it as the Brouwer straat; it was
the first street paved with stone, and the place of residence of the
wealthy people of the town, such as Frederick Philipse of Philipse manor. Here
,Philip, his wife Marie Pollet, and their son Jan lived. May 24, 1644 .
Philip received by patent a double lot on the common highway, " on the
east side of Broadway between Beaver Street and Exchange Place, 110
feet front by 230 feet deep" in 1644 at Manhattan, New York, New York,
United States of America.
In 1642 a stone tavern for the accommodation of travellers was erected,fronting
on the East river. It was south of the road to the ferry "in the
present north-west corner of Pearl street and Coenties alley," wrote
Valenthie in 1853. As landlord of this tavern Gereardy became a conspicuous
man in New Amsterdam. Prize money was often left in his hands for
safekeeping. In January, 1642, he was in trouble for selling beer at a
higher rate than that allowed by the ordinance, but was permitted to escape
punishment. Not so three months later when he was again in trouble,
this time for being absent from guard duty without leave. There is a fine
irony in the sentence which couples his two vocations: "To ride the wooden
horse during parade, with a pitcher in one hand and a drawn sword in the
other." Philip had been released from this undesirable position scarcely a
twelve-month when he was seriously wounded while conducting Jan Jansen
Damen home one night— probably after an evening spent at the tavern.
Damen, a wealthy man and part owner of the privateer La Garce, defended
Stuyvesant in Holland in 1649-50, and died upon his return in 1651.
Meanwhile Philip did not always pay his debts, and Augustyn Herrmans
in October, 1644, complained of Philip's lack of attention to bills for
wine.Little by little, however, he prospered; and when the city authorities,
March 13, 1653, drew up a "list of the persons who shall provisionally
contribute tlie following sums for Hie purpose of putting this city in a
state of defence,"he was slated for the moderate tax of fifty guilders. In 1653
the tavern was turned over to the magistracy for a city hall or " stadt
huys"; and October 15, 1653, Peter Wolfertsen van Couwenhoven sold to
Philip the lot " situate where the sign of the While Horse hangs out, right
opposite the Winckel street, New Amsterdam." Van Couwenhoven and
his older brother Jacob were leading brewers. Peter himself was Schepen
for six years, and lieutenant of the militia company, a near neighbor of
the Gereardy family, and a witness at the christening of Philip's
grandchildren. .
This property was no doubt acquired by Philip in order to continue his
business. Philip and his wife were often witnesses at church christenings,
and Philip was in 1646 appointed custodian of an estate and of orphan children
in 1644. He died between 11 Oct 1654 and Jan 1656.

He was the 9th great-grandfather of my mother-in-law, Connie.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

John Bean and the Battle of Worcester, 1651

John was born in Scotland around 1634. In 1651, at the age of sixteen he was a
young soldier in General Monk’s army in 1651 which went forth with the
design to place Charles II as king on the throne which was vacant by the
execution of his father King Charles I. On Septamber 3, 1651, roughly
12,000 Royalist, Scottish troops were holed up in the English town of
Worcester. This battle became known as the "Battle of Worcester". During
the 10 hour battle roughly 3,000 Royalists were killed and 7,000 taken
prisoner. John was captured by English Soldiers led by Oliver Cromwell and
was jailed as a prisoner of war, likely at Tuthill Fields prison in London.
In 1651, he was released from prison on condition that he be deported to
the colonies as an indentured servant. Indentured servitude usually lasted
7 years. John's ship landed in Boston. John worked for Nicholas Lissen in
his sawmill as an indentured servent in Exeter, New Hampshire. Alexander
Gordon also worked for Nicholas Lissen, although not as an indentured
servant.John Bean, Henry Magoon, and Alexander Gordon were lifetime friends
and lived very similar lives, all being captured in battle and marrying the three
daughters of Nicholas Lissen.
In October 10, 1664 he married Nicholas Lissen's daughter, Hannah
Lissen in Exeter, New Hampshire and was given twenty acres of land as dowry
by his father-in-law. Hannah and John had three children. Hannah died in
childbirth of their third child. John eventually married
Margaret and had another 9 children.

John was of the signers of the New Hampshire petition. In
1675 he may have enlisted in the colonists army to help defend the colony
against the Indian chief, King Philip. In 1695, John may again have
enlisted in the army, serving in Capt. Kingsley Hall's company in "King
Williams War". John died in Exeter, New Hampshire in 1717 at the age of 83
and is buried in the Church Yard of the Congrestional Church.
"The tax lists and other sources of information show that Exeter also
profited by this chattel slavery, as Nicholas Lissen of the latter place is
credited with being master of some of the Worcester prisoners."

Bean states that an expatriate Scotsman by the name of Nicholas Lissen "was
operating two lumber mills near Exeter, N.H." in 1651.
Following Stackpole, he states that "the seven men who were indentured to
Nicholas Lissen were: John Bean, John Barber, Alexander Gordon, John
Sinclair, John Hudson, John Thompson, and Walter Jackson. All were to be
lifetime friends of John Bean."

John Bean is the 8th great grandfather of my mother-in-law, Connie.