Sunday, October 2, 2011

Thomas Betts of Norwalk, Connecticut

Thomas Betts, the son of John and Mary (Bigge) Betts, was born in 1618 at  West Peckham, Kent, England.  He emigrated in 1639 and came to New England.  He married Mary, possibly Mary Raymond, daughter of George Raymond and Jane Aylett.  He was one of the founders of Guilford, Connecticut and given a home lot of an acre and a half in the first division of land, one of the most desirable lots in the town, being situated next to that of the minister. He had also seven other tracts of land containing about fifty acres in 1640 at Guilford, New Haven, Connecticut. He took the freeman's oath on 14 Aug 1645. He sold his "out lands" to Henry Kingsnorth, and three days later he sold his home lot to George Highland on 17 Nov 1657.
He lived at Milford, New Haven, Connecticut until 1660. Thomas Betts bought "house and home lot of Ralph Keeler" and Nathaniel Eli on the east side of
the Norwalk river, later selling half of it. He is called a planter circa
1660 at Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut.  He was admitted a freeman and received 
a grant of land on 13 Oct 1664 at Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut.  He was one
of the petitioners for the town pf Wilton, but may have never lived there in 1672.  
He appears in the census as having the largest family in the town in Feb 1672 at Norwalk,
Fairfield, Connecticut. He occupied the "Round seat" in the meeting house. 
His name is prominent in certain church controversies. Appealing to the general 
court to decide for them on the location of the new meeting house, they being unable to
settle the matter, the court recommended that they "solemnly commit the
decision of this controversy to the wise dispose of the Most High, by a
lott" in 1678. 
He left a will on 4 May 1688; "To all Christian people To
whom these prsents shall come Greetings. I Thomas Betts of ye Towne of
Norwalke: aged seventy years or thereabout beinge by ye hands of God at
prsent infirme and weake of body, yet thro the mercy of ye most High: of
prfect understandinge & memory Doe make appoint manifest & declare this to
bee my last will & Testament. Imprimis I doe Comit my soule into ye hands
of God my Creator that hath made it And my Deare Redeemer Jesus Christ that
hath brought it; And my body I bequeath unto ye Dust from whence it was to
be Decently Interred & buried In hopes of a happy & glorious Resurrection
At ye Last Day, And as for ye Temporall Estate which God hath pleased to
bless mee withall I will & dispose as followeth, vizt. I doe will &
bequeath unto Mary Betts my Dearly beloved wife my now dwelling house (viz)
ye south end thereof, halfe my home lott both plowinge Land & pasture Land
And halfe my orchard with all the Immunities as fences & ye like, And also
half my household goods & at her decease to dispose of all her estate unto
her owne Children & her grandchilde Hannah Camp, also I doe give unto her
one Cow & five pound pr Annum, Dureinge ye terme of her Life, which I doe
appoint my Sons to pay equally, unto her Annually, Also I doe give &
bequeath unto my Son Thomas Betts Besides what I have heretofore given him,
my meadow which lies at Charles Creeke, Also all yt my meadow which I have
Lyinge at Sacatock River, also a third pte of my Land at [primpawalke?], As
also pte of my Lot at Calfe pasture from ye Lott of John Beldin, on ye west
side of ye Cart path, to ye narrow of ye Lands betweene ye path & ye
Creeke. Also I doe give & bequeath unto my Son John Betts my second
homelott which lyeth upon Dryhill, Allso my pine hill Lott, which Lyeth
betweene two Lotts of John Bouton Senr. Also my Cove Lott Lyinge betweene
Richard Holmes & Christopher Comstock And my meadow at Rocky Springe. Allso
I doe give and bequeath unto my son Daniell Betts ye rest of my Calfe
pasture Lot not Given to Thomas Betts, also one third pte of my Land at
primpawalke, also my second division of meadow on ye other side of norwalke
river. Allso I doe give and bequeath unto my Sonn Samuel Betts one halfe
halfe of my Gratuety Lott, also my second Division of Six Acres to ye
hundred: also my pasture Lott, also my meadow which Lyeth betweene ye home
lott of Samuel Reeber & ye Cove also a third pte of my Land at primpawalke.
Allso I give & bequeath unto my Son James Betts ye other halfe of my now
dwellinge house & halfe my homelott arrable & pasture Land, also halfe my
orchard not given to my wife also my first Division of meadow on ye other
side of Norwalke river, also all my Land neare Strong Brooke, also halfe my
gratuity Lott, also my Lotts at Sacetock Brooke Lyinge on both ends of
mathias Sention Senr Lott, also one acre & halfe of my Land Lying neare ye
boggy meadow brooke. Also I doe appoint my five sons Thomas John Daniell
Samuel & James to pay to my dearly beloved wife twenty shillings a peice pr
Annum dureinge her widdowhood And also I doe appoint my sons all of them to
provide for & winter my wives Cow & any young Cattle yt shee may have. Also
I doe give and bequeath unto my Daughter Mary ye wife of John Raymond ten
pounds besides what I have given her: which I doe give to her children,
Shee to have ye improvement of it dureinge her life, & at her decease to
returne to her Children. Also I doe will & bequeath unto my daughter Sarah
Betts yt other halfe of my household goods, & ten pounds to bee paid her in
Currant Country pay. Also I doe will & bequeath unto my five sons all my
twenty acres to ye hundred & estate of commonadge equally to bee divided.
Allso I doe make & appoint my dearly beloved wife my whole & sole Executrix
& [administratrix?] of this my last will & Testament and I doe Request my
friends James olmsted & John olmstead to be ye overseers of this my will to
assist & advise in ye distributing. In Confirmation of ye prmises I have
set to my hand & seale this tenth day of may in ye yeare of our Lord one
thousand six hundred eighty & eight And in ye fourth yeare of our Soverain
Lord ye King James ye Second."
He died in 1688; aged seventy years.  His estate was inventoried on
4 Dec 1688; The inventory of the estate, dated 4 December 1688, included: 
"Impprimus one pre of oxen, one Cow & 2 heifers, 2
Calfs one horse, two swine 5 pigs, four Beds with ye Coveringe, 3 Boulsters
pillows & pillow Cases, five pre of sheets & other Linen, wearinge Clothes,
one great brass kettle & 2 kettles & one skillet, two iron potts & one Iron
[Betle?], one warminge pan 2 frying pans, pewter & Spoons, woollen yarne &
flax, Cart Irons Hows [?] [Luispins?] [?] & pin, plow irons & chaines,
wedges & [Betle?] rings & one Ax 3 Augres hand saw, one Tramell Tongs
[fireshise?] bellows, Six bags 3 Candlesticks, one Table one Chest 3 boxes
& Books, 30 bushell of wheate 60 bush of Indian, 12 bushell of pease 8
bushells of oates, Hows Lumber Barrellls & Casks." The total was £45.05.06.
Thomas Betts is my 8th great grandfather on my grandmother Martha Fairchild's 
side throught his son James who married Hannah Bouton.

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