JOHN HALL

OF WALLINGFORD, CONN.

A MONOGRAPH

BY

JAMES SHEPARD

New Britain, Conn.

1902.

Record Press.

 

 

 

JOHN HALL, of New Haven and Wallingford, was one of the after signers, to the New Haven Planters' covenant, June 4, 1639, but the exact date of his signature thereto is not known. His autograph with that of the other after signers may be seen on page 3, first book of the New Haven Colony records, and is the twenty-third autograph there given. The original agreement and names of the first signers are recorded in a uniform hand. This is followed by numerous autographs. From this fact it is thought that the original agreement when first signed, June 4, 1639, was on a loose sheet of paper and that the agreement and the names of the first signers were afterwards transcribed in the book by the clerk who left a blank space for subsequent signers. No date is given for any of these later signers.

John Hall was in New Haven before Jan. 17, 1641, when he received land on Mill River at it meeting held on that date for the purpose of distributing land to the inhabitants by casting lots. He was a soldier in the Pequot war, May and June, 1637, as is shown by it grant of fifty acres of land from the General Court of the Colony of Connecticut, at the October session in 1698, to his son Thomas Hall of Wallingford, "in consideration, of his father's service in the Pequott warre." (C. R. Vol. 4, 276.) From 1641 until his death, 1676, his record is clear and free from doubt, but with the single exception of' the fact that he was in the Pequot war of 1637, all records prior to his signing the New Haven Covenant are liable to be confounded with those of some other John Hall, which was by no means an uncommon name.

In the Hartford division of land of 1639, (so called) one John Hall had six acres of land given him by courtesie of the town. This fact in connection with the grant

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of land from the Colony for services in the Pequot war, would be conclusive that John Hall of New Haven was the original settler of Hartford 1636, who had land in the distribution of 1639, and that he went to the war from Hartford with Captain Mason, were it not for the fact that the Rev. David B. Hall in his Halls of New England, 1883, (and others following him), assert that John Hall of Middletown, Conn., was the original settler of Hartford, while others have published the supposition that John Hall of New Haven went to the Pequot war with General Stoughton's men from Massachusetts. (Genealogical notes by Theo. Parsons Hall, 1886, and Hall Ancestry, by Charles S. Hall, 1896.) Two questions are therefore raised, which can only be answered by a full review of all the facts in connection with the history of the early settlers of Hartford, first, did John Hall live at Hartford or Mass., at the time of his going to the Pequot war, and second was John Hall of New Haven, or John Hall of Middletown, the original settler of Hartford, to whom six acres of land was granted in the division of 1639?

One John Hall was made a freeman at Boston, May 14, 1634. Pope's Pioneers of Mass. says this was John Hall of Charlestown and so also does Savage. Charles S. Hall, Esqr., thinks this was John Hall of New Haven. John Hall of Charlestown signed the Church covenant there Aug. 25, 1630. The list of Freemen at Boston, begins with Oct. 19, 1630. It is not probable that any one would have waited four years after being a resident and a church member, before being made a freeman, and notwithstanding the statement of Pope and Savage, the probability is that this John Hall of Charlestown was made a freeman before 1634, although no record is now found of the same. Rev. Messrs. Hooker and Stone were also made voters on this day, and they came to New England only the September before. In the same list we find the names of Mr. William Brenton, Thomas Hubbard and John Walker and others who were afterwards known to have been friends or associates of John Hall of New Haven and we may assume that his right to be made a, freeman accrued about the same time as that of his companions, whereas the rights of John Hall of Charlestown, to he made freeman had accrued three or more years before.

 

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In the first record of the division of lands in Hartford 1639, we find also the name of John Hall, Messrs. Hooker and Stone and others who were made voters on that same 14th of May in 1634, and the presumption is that this same John Hall belonged either to the Hooker party who came over in 1632, or the later party who came in 1633.

In the absence of any record or proof to the contrary we would presume that the Pequot soldier of 1637, to whose son the colony of Connecticut gave land in compensation for this service, enlisted from Connecticut, and the original settler of Hartford is where we would

naturally expect to find the John Hall of the Hooker party. If he was not from Hartford we may suppose almost with certainty, that he enlisted either from Windsor, Wethersfield, or Saybrook, the only other settlements in the state at that time. There were about twenty men who went to this war from Saybrook, and 130 from the other three towns. In the Colonial records, we find grants of land to only thirty-five persons besides John Hall, for services in the Pequot war, less than one third of the whole number of Connecticut men. Of these thirty-five, all but one are known to have been residents of Connecticut in 1637. That one is Captain Nathaniel Merriman, whose first known location in this Country was New Haven, 1639. No one has ever suggested, so far as we know, that he did not enlist from Connecticut and we firmly believe that he was living in Connecticut before 1637, although we cannot say where. If Hall did not enlist from Connecticut the foregoing record of grants shows that the Hall grant was a notable exception to the general rule. In fact the resumption created by this grant, that he lived in Connecticut in 1637, is so strong that it would be accepted as conclusive, were it not for the suppositions before referred to that he enlisted from Massachusetts. It has also been supposed that he resided at or near Boston from the time he was made a freeman 1634, until we find him in New Haven 1639 or 40; not because any record of him has been found in Boston, but, we suppose, because no record him been found elswhere (sic) that was thought to belong to him. If the Colony of Connecticut granted land for the service of this John Hall under such different circumstances from that of the other

 

 

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grants, the presumption is that something would have appeared in the record of that grant to show some reason for departing from the usual custom of giving Connecticut land only to Connecticut soldiers. If he was living in Connecticut in 1637, what John Hall can establish a better right to be considered as the original settler of Hartford, than John Hall of New Haven who is positively known to have been a Pequot soldier in 1637 and probably a resident of Hartford as early as 1636.

There are no muster rolls of the Pequot soldiers of either Connecticut or Massachusetts excepting that there is a list of the Plymouth men who enlisted but did not get ready to go until after the war was over. The quota for fourteen towns of Massachusetts is given in Savage's Winthrop, p. 265, note, but so far as we can learn no list of the men from Massachusetts has ever been compiled and there is no complete list of the Connecticut men. Several persons have made and published lists from certain towns as taken from land records, Colonial reports, and other sources, but nothing like a complete list has ever been made, and probably the list already made, besides being incomplete, may include some who did not serve. All of the Connecticut men, as found in these various lists, have been compiled and arranged alphabetically by the present writer, together with the authority or authorities from which each name was taken. From all of these sources we find the names of only 89 men out of the 50 that went from Connecticut. The most exhaustive list and the most comprehensive paper ever compiled as to the Hartford men is "The Soldiers Field," by Francis H. Parker of Hartford (U. S. District Attorney for Connecticut) read before the Connecticut Historical Society of Hartford, Jan. 4, 1887, and the supplement thereto dated Feb. 5, 1889. The manuscript is now in the Library of the society. In this paper Mr. Parker puts down John Hall of New Haven and Wallingford as "one of the early settlers of Hartford whose land was forfeited by removal from town." In conversation he stated that this was done with full knowledge of the claim that John Hall of Middletown was one of the early settlers of Hartford, but that he and the late Sherman W. Adams, carefully considered the matter and they found

 

 

 

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evidence conclusive to both of them, that John Hall of New Haven, instead of John Hall of Middletown, was the early settler to whom land was granted by the town.

In 1838 to 40, Wm. S. Porter, Surveyor and Anti quarian, made a map of Hartford as it was in 1640, and in 1842 he published his Historical notices of Hartford. The map was made from an exhaustive study of the land records, such its no other person has ever given. On this map the name of John Hall appears on only two lots. A lot south of present Asylum Street, and west of the rail road is marked "John Hall to Wm. Spencer," and a lot on what is now Bushnell park is marked "Wm. Gibbons bot of John Freind, John Hale bot of Blumfield." The first lot is numbered 88 and the second 93 on Henry F. Smith's reproduction of Porter's 1640 map. Lot No. 88 has a house on it, lot 93 has no house. Porter did not number the lots on his map, but in his notes he gave numbers for convenience of description. The Hall to Spencer lot he designated as No. 77. he also says "The original proprietors who did not settle on their respective lots or who deceased or removed from town before 1640 are included in brackets." Opposite No. 77, he puts John Hall in brackets in a list of "first settlers who were not original proprietors." It will thus be seen that while lot No. 77 of Porter, Smith's No. 88, had once been the home lot of one John Hall, there is no lot on that map with it house on it standing in the name of John Hall.

A few facts about the early settlers of Hartford and their land will be useful in considering the question of John Hall's Hartford land.

With the exception of one entry, Hartford has no record of any kind of a date prior to Feb., 1639. That records is published in Hartford Town Votes page 1, and begins as follows: "Hartford 1635. Its ordered that whosever hat A lott granted in this Towne and Reoues from the same to dewll within ffower years after the granting of such lotts: then the sd lott or Lotts is to returne vnto the hands of the Towne agayne" &c. The prefatory note to the printed edition says that this "record could not have been made at that date, nearly two years before Hartford was named. The conditions, however, upon

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which lands were granted may have been thus established at the beginning of the settlement." The name was changed from Newtowne to "Hartford Towne" Feb. 21, 1636. The list of original proprietors by purchase and by courtesie, is dated 1639. It is called the division of 1639 because it bears that date and there is no record of any earlier division. There must however have been some kind of allotment or division before that date as shown by the prior vote as to forfeiture of lotts granted. Those who came to Hartford in 1635 and 1636 did not wait until 1639 before they know what land they could have to build on. They undoubtedly had land at the start and although no division was recorded until 1639, that division gave them the land that they first occupied, and their right to it was the same as if the division had been made when they first settled on it. In other words the division of 1639 made formal the divisions which had been informally made before that date. It is a common error to suppose that those who had land by courtesie were later comers. The 1639 list includes those that were there as early as 1635 and the list of the original proprietors by purchase, and land owners by courtesie were both entered at the same time, so that one kind of settler was there just as early as the other. We know certainly that several of these owning land by courtesie were Hartford soldiers in the Pequot war in the spring of 1637. They were all original settlers and Porter calls them .111 11first settlers." The only difference between them was, that the original proprietors put money into the general fund for the purchase of the hand and what Porter calls the "first settlers who were not original proprietors" declined to put money into the general fund. While the land by courtesie of the town was in the form of a gift to those who had no legal claim, it was not a gift without consideration. The recipients were in some way a benefit to the town. Is (sic) was a benefit to the town to even add one beneficial person to the pioneer settlement and if that person was an artizan, or a teacher, the benefit, was still greater. No doubt some of the original proprietors may not have settled in Hartford until after 1630, and the same is true of those who had hand by courtesie of the town, but the great majority of both classes were in Hartford in 1636. If there is any difference in time, the probability is that those

 

 

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who put in money as original proprietors may have been admitted of a later date than the last of those who were given land by courtesie. To merely add one person or family to their number was a greater benefit in 1636 than it was in 1639, and therefore if an ordinary person received land by courtesie of the town, it is more than probable that he was there about 1636. Only those of unusual importance would be likely to receive land by courtesie as late as 1639, and men of such importance would probably be men of sufficient means to subscribe to the common funds and become original proprietors. In fact, after 1636 the "emigration grew less and less until 1638, and though large numbers came to Massachusetts that year (1636) very few seem to have come to Connecticut," (Andrew's "River Towns of Conn." p. 139.) The probabilities are that John Hall who received six acres of land by courtesie of the town in the so called division of 1639 was in Hartford as early as 1636.

Turning now to the records: in the Connecticut Historical Society Collections, Vol. VI, Hartford Towne votes, page 20, in the list of inhabitants having lotts at "The townes Courtesie" we find the name of John Hall. On page 24 of the same book we find that there were six acres of land in such "'lotts."

In Hartford land records, Copy of Distributions, 1639 to 1688, page 386, (original p. 382) under the date 1640, Land belonging to William Spencer is recorded as follows-

"One parcell on which his dwelling house now standeth with other out houses yards and gardines tharein being Contayning by estimation two acres more or less weh he bought of John Halles abutting on the little river on the south and on the hyway leading from the mill into the Contre on the East and on the North and on the old pasture on the west."

This was John Hall's home lot on Lord's Hill, now Asylum hill, south of Asylum Street and west of the railway.

Also page 387, "One parcell lying in the Pyne field 4 acres, wch he bought of John Halles."

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This was outside land, north of Asylum St. and south of Albany Ave. The home lot of 2 acres and this outside piece of 4 acres, make six acres, and as no other deeds show an ownership or sale by John Hall of six acres, it is safe to assume that this is the land granted by courtesie of the town. This is further evidenced by the fact that it was customary to give these grants in two pieces, one a home lot in town of two acres and the balance in another piece outside of the porton (sic) set off for home lots.

P. 410 original p. 405. No date but supposed to be the land owned in Feb., 1639.

"Land belonging to John Halles Sinor. viz. One psell on which his dwelling house standeth with other out houses, Yards, gardines tharein being contain by estimation one acre be it more or less which he bought of William Holltten abutting on a highway on the East and on the west and on the North and on Pall Pecks land on the South.

One psell of land wich He bought of William Blumfilld and was a psill of his house lot contain by estima one acre be it more or less, abutting on Ralph Keelers lott or land on the West and on William Bloloumfilldes land on the East and Joseph Migattes land on the south and on the highway leading to the old mill on the north." {Italics added by transcriber}.

The first piece, the house lot, cannot be definitely located. There is no record of Holton's land that is bounded "on three sides by a highway and no record of his land bounded south by Paid Peck except his home lot on Washington street which was certainly not this lot, and there is no record of any other lot of Paul Peck bounded north by William Holten. Holten owned land west of Washington Street and this land was probably there. It was outside of the limits covered by the Porter 1640 Map.

The land he bought of Blumfield was on what is now Bushnell park.

p. 584, original 567, 1680. "Land belonging to John Hale."

 

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One parcell of land on the East side of the great river which he bought of John Dix with a house standing thereon &c. This was in East Hartford.

p. 242, original 238, Feb. 1639. "Land belonging to James Ensign

One pcell on which his dwelling house now standeth con by estima two acres be it more or les part whareof he bought of John Halles and another he bought of widow Richards abutting on the highway leading towed Farmington on the East and on a highway leading to John Beddelles land on the west and on Pall Pecks land and on Benjamin Harbordtts land on the south." {Italics added by transcriber}

This land was probably near Park st. west of Lafayette Street.

p. 283, original 275, Feb. 1639, Land of William Holten.

"One pcell land by Hockanum river 30 acres, part whereof he bought of John Moda and another pt. of John Halles" &c.

This was in East Hartford.

p. 322, original 322, No date. "Land in Hartford morgaged (sic) to Edmond Angermower latt of Cambridg in New England by William Edwards for the paying for the paying of forty & five bush of wheat and twenty bushell of pease at several payments the last whereof is in May One thousand six hundred and fifty.

One parsell one pt,. whereof he bought, of John Halles and another part, of William Bloumfiedl with two tenements standing thereon containing by estima two acres be it more or less abutting on the highway leding to John Willcockes on the East and North and on John Willcock land on the West and on his own land on ye south." {Italics added by Trnascriber}

This includes the land, p. 410. That "John Hall, Sinor" bought of William Blumfield, but no record is found of the deed conveying this land to William Edwards.

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p. 475, original 493, Oct 28, 1653. "Land belonging to Thomas Catling.

One pcell of land wch hee bought of John Hall Senior contaying by estimation three acres be it more or less lying neer the wolf pound abutting upon the highway on the east and on the riveret on the west and upon the land of John Bernard upon the south and Arthur Smith upon the north." {Italics added by transcriber}

The west end of this lot must of (sic) been in the north part of Pope park, between Park Street and Capitol Ave. The foregoing includes every piece of land on record prior to 1688 in connection with which the name of John Hall, or Hale, or similar name, appears as either grantor or grantee.

On page 42, same book of distributions, Feb. 1639, Ralph Keeler enters his house lot as bounded on the east by John Hall's land.

p. 311,1639, William Blumfield enters his house lot is bounded on the west by John Hall's land.

p. 239, No date. John Wilcox enters one piece of land bounded on "John Halles land Senior on the sonth." This land was outside the limits of Porters map, somewhere west of Lafayette Street.

p. 519, Oct. 18, 1655, the above land sold by Wilcox to John Bidwell and bounded "on land belonging to Thomas Bunce or John Hall Senr of Midleton South."

The above entries by Keeler and Blumfield Feb. 1639, show that John Hall senior owned the land on Bushnell park on or before Feb. 1639. This land was originally laid out to John Freind (or at least one-half of it,) who forfeited it by removal from town, although he first illegally sold it to William Gibbons.

In Hartford Town Votes p. 15, under date 14 Jan. 1639, the town agree "that Gibbons shall enjoy the same as given him from the Towne but because he brake an order in Buying same he shall pay" a fine. No record is found wherein Gibbons sold his land to Blumfield, who sold it to John Hall Senior, but by this vote and the Keeler

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and Blumfield entries we find that John Hall senior did not buy this land until sometime after Jan. 14, 1639, and before the last of Feb. 1639. There is nothing to show that he ever owned any land in Hartford before Feb., 1639, and while no date appears in the entry of his land, p. 410, it appears to be entered as land that he owned in Feb., 1639. January and February 1639, under the present style of dating would be 1640, and the earliest possible record in Hartford that any one can claim for John Hall senior is after Jan. 14, 1639-40. All of the first entries in the book of distribution, unless dated subsequently to Feb. 1639, are supposed to be land that the respective owners had at that date. There are a few entries, like the Spencer land, page 386, bearing date 1640, sandwiched in between those dated Feb., 1639, but all in the same style of writing and same kind of ink. It thus appears that these entries dated Feb. 1639, were not all of them recorded until sometime in 1640, but they all were records of land owned on or before Feb. 1639, no matter when they were recorded. Blank spaces were left in which insertions have since been made, but these insertions are easily distinguished in the original book. The six early entries immediately preceding that of John Hall's land, page 405, of the original book, are each dated Feb., 1639, and the date preceding these six entries is 1640. The first date in the same style of writing after page 405, is Mar., 1644, on page 407. Page 410 is evidently a subsquent (sic) insertion and here forty pages are lacking, the next page after 410 being 451. The book has been rebound so that it does not show a gap at the missing pages, but as the date on page 451 is 1645 and no earlier date follows it, we judge that 40 pages containing all records for about one year have been removed and that no mistake was made in numbering the pages. This may account for the fact that certain transfers as to the land we are considering are not found of record. As the book now stands this land of John Hall Senior's on page 405, clearly appears to be the record of the land which he owned in Feb., 1639, and also the very last one of the records of that date. This is certainly correct as to the date of the Blumfield lot on Bushnell park and probably correct as to the date of the home lot which was outside of the thickly settled portion of the town.

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John Hall Senior is easily followed in various records from Feb., 1639, when his land was entered in Hartford, until Oct. 18, 1655, after he had removed to Middletown, Connecticut and therefore it is absolutely certain that all records in Hartford of "John Hall Senior" refer to John Hall of Middletown. Assuming that one John Hall had a house in 1640 on the lot which he sold to William Spencer, we find that before 1640 there were two lots with houses thereon in Hartford under the name of John Hall. This fact alone would indicate to every studious antiquarian that these two home lots belonged to two different persons bearing the same name, because at that early date it was an unusual thing for one person to own at one time two lots with his dwelling house thereon. That these lots were owned by two different persons is further indicated by the fact that one is recorded to plain John Hall and the other to John Hall Senior. John Hall of New Haven was about 21 years younger than John Hall of Middletown, so that senior was the proper designation for the latter. They could however, and ordinarily would have been distinguished from each other by merely designating the younger as Junior, and the fact that this was not done indicates that John Hall Jr. was in Hartford before John Hall, Senr. and his name was entered in the list of inhabitaants as plain John Hall instead of Junior, because at that time he was only John Hall of Hartford and there was no need of any distinguishing affix. On the contrary when John Hall the elder appeared in Hartford, he entered his land under the title of "John Hall Senr." Just as a second comer of the same name would have done in order to distinguish himself from the younger John Hall who was previously of record in Hartford.

Again supposing the division of Jan. 1, 1639, was actually made at that date instead of before, thus bringing the dates of division and purchase much nearer together, it is a significant fact the Hall land in that division is entered under the name of plain John Hall while the land which John Hall of Middletown purchased within about a month of the same time, is entered under the namo of Hall Senior. This further implies that John Hall the original settler and John Hall who purchased land at Hartford in 1639, were two different persons.

 

 

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Savage and D. B. Hall both agree that John Hall of Middletown, came from Roxbury, Mass. The Report of the Record Commissioners, in their Roxbury record p. 4, under date between 1636 and 1640, gives a list of the inhabitants of Roxbury in which is the name of John Hall, having 12 acres of land and 4 persons in the family. His name also appears with the prefix Mr. in Elliott's church records of Roxbury. Ellis's History of Roxbury gives the date of the list of Roxbury inhabitant's as certainly after 1638 and before 1640. Memorial History of Boston p. 407, gives the date for this list as 1639.

We thus find that John Hall of Middletown was Mr. John Hall of Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1638, with no affix, but when he reached Hartford in the same year lie was John Senior. He must have bad some reason for thus changing his name and the most probable reason is that when he arrived in Hartford, he was for the first, time obliged in some way to distinguish himself from a prior inhabitant of the same name. It is true that he had a son John, but this son was only 20 years old in 1639, was not a land holder, and there was no reason why he should take the title Senior to distinguish himself from his son, rather than having his son take the title Junior. These facts clearly point to John Hall of New Haven as the original settler of Hartford rather than John Hall of Middletown, who was evidently a later settler.

Furthermore whatever the date of recording the land of John Hall Senior may have been, it is a record of the land he owned in Feb. 1639. The six acres given by the town were not sold until sometime after March 25, 1640, 1641 present style of dating. If he had owned these six acres in 1639 they would have been included in his land of 1639. He would have done this to make the record complete even if his land record was not entered until after the six acres had been sold. The fact therefore that, the entry of the land belonging to John Hall Senior in 1639, does not include the six acres sold in 1640, is conclusive evidence that John Hall of Middletown never owned the six acres granted by courtesie of the town.

 

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While Mr. Francis H. Parker is no doubt correct in his conclusion that John Hall of New Haven was the original settler of Hartford and therefore went from that place to the Pequot war, he appears to be in error in assuming that he forfeited the said land by removal from town. Mr. Parker did not find any record of such forfeiture but assumed the same under the general rules. Under the first rules of 1635, land was forfeited if the owner removed from the land within four years after it was granted. If the date of the grant should be considered as 1639, the record date of the first division, then Mr. Parker would be right in supposing that John Hall forfeited this land under that rule. On the other hand if the date of the grant be considered as 1635 or 36 when first occupied, then one who had land in Hartford at the start would have a right to sell in 1640 without forfeiture, and this six acres of land was not sold until sometime in 1640. In Hartford town votes, p. 41, under date of Feb. 18, 1640, find this vote, "Its ordered yt euery man yt hath beene an Inhabitant foure years shall haue power to sell all the Lands that be is possessed of."

Under this rule, no matter when the land was granted, John Hall of New Haven would have had full right to sell his land without forfeiture, any time after Feb. 18, 1640, provided he came to Hartford as we suppose he did in 1635 or 6. John Hall of Middletown however, remained in Roxbury, Massachusetts so late that he could not have sold land in Hartford under either rule in the year 1640.

Again the date of this sale points to John Hall of New Haven rather than of Middletown. It is true that, John of Middletown sold land in 1639, but it was not a sale of his home lot, nor a sale of all his land in Hartford. On the contrary the six acres sold in 1640 includes not only the home lot, but all the land of record in Hartford that John Hall of New Haven is supposed to have ever owned. The date also appears to be so nearly the date of his appearance in New Haven, as to clearly indicate a change of residence from Hartford to New Haven, about the time of selling the Hartford land. The clearing out or removal sale of John Hall of Middletown does not appear to have taken place until about 1653.

 

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John Hall of Middletown was a Carpenter and if he had not remained at Roxbury so late we would find in his trade, a benefit to the town such as might be compensated by a courteous grant of land, but it is extremely doubtful that any one who resided at Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1639, should also have been given land in Hartford in that year by courtesie of the town even if he was a desirable artizan. Again he appears to have been a man of some means and to have bought considerable land. He was just such a man as we would expect to find in the list of original purchasers or proprietors, rather than one seeking courtesie, provided he was in Hartford early enough, but the probability is that he came to Hartford too late to be included in the division of 1639 under either head. On the other hand, John Hall of New Haven is not known to have resided in any place other than Hartford between 1636 and 40, excepting as he may have resided temporarily at Wethersfield; he was a young man just starting in life, and all he could expect to do in Hartford was to add one acceptable person to the pioneer settlement. He was in fact, if one of the first comers, the ideal person to receive land by courtesie of the town rather than by purchase. We know that he was a soldier in the Pequot war and probably enlisted from Hartford.

From the foregoing facts, the question as to which of the two John Halls was the original settler of Hartford, can only be answered in favor of John Hall of New Haven. This necessarily answers the other question that he resided at Hartford in 1637, when he enlisted as a soldier in the Pequot war.

The only testimony that can be found showing John Hall of Middletown to have been the original settler of Hartford, is that in Rev. David B. Hall's book, and others who have erroneously adopted his views. Savage, as keen as he was, does not place him in Hartford until 1644, and that with no reference whatever to the original settlers. Savage must have known that one John Hall was early in Hartford, but he did not even so much as venture one of his shrewd guesses as to which John Hall it was, and we find nothing in Rev. David B. Hall's book to indicate that he had any more light on the matter than Savage had.

 

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In order to show how unreliable the testimony of the Rev. Hall is, on this point, we will review some of the statements in his book bearing thereon. On page 1, he says with reference to John Hall of Middletown, that he was Freeman, Boston 1635, probably "joined the Hooker and Stone colony and went to Hartford soon after, but did not remove his family until 1639."

We do not find the slightest thing to indicate that he came to Hartford in advance of his family, or that he ever bad any connection of any kind whatever with the Hooker and Stone party. This statement is probably a conjecture based on the fact that one John Hall was in the division of 1639 and knowing that the family of John Hall of Middletown was in Roxbury until 1639, and if he was with them be would have been too late in removing to Hartford to be included in the division of 1639, it was necessary to invent the theory of big coming in advance of the family, or some other theory, in order to lay a basis for the claim that he was one of the original settlers of Hartford. By saying this, Mr. Hall practically admits what we have herein before claimed, that John Hall of Middletown did not actually remove from Roxbury early enough to be considered an original settler of Hartford.

Again he says on the same page "Mr. Hall drew the home lot No. 77 of six acres on the brow of Lord's hill in 1639. He also bought lands the same year of Wm. Hooker and Wm. Bloomfield." There was no such thing in 1639 as lot No. 77, nor any other number. This number was given the lot in question by Wm.. S. Porter two hundred years after John Hall sold it. D. B. Hall must have taken this lot number from Porter's notes, and these notes tell him plainly that the lot that John Hall drew was not designated by any number. Furthermore the only place in Porter's notes where this number appears

in connection with the name of John Hall, has that name in brackets to indicate that the said lot No. 77 was not John Hall's home lot, in 1640, because the said John Hall

had not settled on the lot, or was dead, or had removed from town. Thus we see that the very source from which he took the lot number told him that it was not John Hall's

home lot in 1640. If he had looked at the records, he would have found out that this lot was a two-acre home lot

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and not a six-acre home lot. As a general rule, the home lots were limited to two acres or less.

The "Wm. Hooker" land is a clerical or typographical error for Wm. Holten, and had Mr. Hall read the record of this land he would have discovered that this Holten lot, instead of lot No. 77, was John Hall's home lot "onwhich his dwelling house standeth."

His statement that John Hall was a "surveyor of highways in Hartford in 1640" should read 1644. (Hartford town votes page 75.)

Again he says "In 1650 having sold his house and home lot to Wm. Spencer he removed with his family to Middletown." The lot before referred to in Hall's book as the home lot, was sold in 1640 instead of 1650 as here implied, and from this error in the Rev. D. B. Hall's book, many descendents of John Hall of Middletown have put it in their family record that the said John Hall lived for ten years on a lot that he never owned, and for ten years after any one by the name of Hall had ever owned that lot. There is no record to show that John Hall of Middletown ever sold a home lot in Hartford, or a lot that had a house on it. Aside from the question of a house or home lot, there is no record of the sale of any land in Hartford by any one bearing the name of John Hall, between 1640 and Oct. 28, 1653, when John Hall, Senior, sold land to Thomas Catting, and thus it does not appear that he sold any land in 1650. This review of these statements shows conclusively that the unsupported statements of author of this book cannot be depended upon in the least, and yet it is believed that all the statements ever published to the effect that John Hall of Middletown was one of the original settlers of Hartford, originated with the apparent errors of the first page of this book. The only fact that could lead any one to suppose that John Hall of Middletown was an original settler of Hartford, is that he was living there from about 1640 to about 1650. This fact is more than offsett (sic) in favor of John Hall of New Haven, by the grant of 50 acres of land by the Colony of Connecticut, to the son of John Hall of New Haven and Wallingford, in consideration of his father's service in the Pequot war of 1637.

 

 

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The same page of "The Halls of New England," says, Sep. 4, 1633, John Hall, John Oldham and two others started for the Connecticut river, where they were reported to be in October." From the context, D. B. Hall is understood as claiming John Hall of Middletown for the companion of Oldham. Charles S. Hall, Esqr., argues with much force that Oldham's companion was John Hall of New Haven. The additional fact not then known, that John Hall of New Haven was the original "first settler" of Hartford, points to him rather than John of Middletown, as the companion of Oldham. They undoubtedly saw Wethersfield on this first expedition and we have one authority besides D. B. Hall as to John Hall being of this party. We may reasonably suppose that the first John Hall to be identified as residing at Hartford is the one who was at Hartford and Wethersfield in the fall of 1633, and, perhaps, again at Wethersfield with Oldham in the fall of 1634) and we have before shown that John Hall of New Haven was the first of the name to reside at Hartford.

"The River Towns of Connecticut," by Charles M. Andrews, pages 10 and 11, says "John Oldham who for many years was a thorn in the flesh for the strait-laced colonists came from England in the Anne in 1623, * * *. In 1631 he became a freeman of the colony, the privilege only of church members, and in 1632 owned a house in Watertown. This was the man who, early in September, 1633, started out from the Bay with John Hall and two other companions to trade in Connecticut. Plunging boldly into the wilderness, so soon to be made historic by a more famous emigration, they pursued a winding itinerary in Order to take advantage of Indian Villages where they might lodge at night."

"That Oldham and his companions penetrated as far South as the then unoccupied sites of Hartfolrd and Windsor is undoubted, and that he was the first white explorer of the lands still farther south, in the present Wethersfield township, further evidence gives good reason to believe. * * * For a month after Oldham's return the bark Blessing, builtat Mystic in 1631, explored the coasts of Connecticut and Long Island, entered the mouth of the river, and

 

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appeared at the Dutch Settlement on the Hudson. But if the reports of Oldham and the sailors of the 'Blessing' were favorable to their purpose, those of Hall, who with a few others made a second exploration of the valley shortly after, must have proved somewhat discouraging."

Page 13, of the same work, says:

"There has long been a tradition that a few Watertown people came in 1634 to Connecticut and passed a hard winter in hastily erected log huts at Pyquag, the Indian name of Wethersfield." The colonial records as to the settlement of Mr. Oldham's estate, show that he was one of these early adventurers at Wethersfield, and there is no other record of this fact. If his companion, John Hall, had also been one of these adventurers, there would be no record to show it, provided he sold his interest at Wethersfield and removed early to Hartford.

We have been unable to find any, early historian that gives the name of John Hall as one of Oldham's companions, or as all early explorer. Andrews is considered an excellent authority, but it is to be regretted that he did not cite his authority as to the name of John Hall. Winthrop and Hubbard appear to be the source from which most writers have drawn their information, but the facts, as given by these two historians, to the early expeditions to Connecticut, have been very confusedly mixed.

Savage's Winthrop, 1853, pp 128-132, under date Sep. 4, 1633 says "The Griffin, a ship of three hundred tons, arrived. * The said 4th of September came in also the ship called the Bird. * * *

About ten days before this time a bark was set forth to Connecticut and those parts to trade.

John Oldham and three with him went over-land to Connecticut to trade. The sachem used them kindly, and gave them some beaver. They brought of the hemp, which grows there in great abundance, and is much better than the English. He accoounted it, to be about one hundred and sixty miles. He brought some black lead, whereof the indians told him there was a whole rock. He lodged at Indian towns all the way." {Italics added by transcriber}

 

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The reference to what they brought back shows that this account was written after their return. Being under the date of Sep. 4, we should consider that as the date the expedition started, were it not for the other statements under the same date. The Griffin no doubt arrived on that day, and it is specifically stated that the Bird arrived "The said 4th of September," while the bark sailed about ten days before. Then follows the account of the Oldham expedition without stating any specific date. We therefore consider the date indefinite. Sep. 4 may have been the date of starting, or of the return, and perhaps Winthrop only knew the facts without knowing the exact dates. It is probable, however, that Sep. 4 was the starting date, as nearly as Winthrop could determine.

On page 146 of the same book, under date Jan. 20, 1633, (1634 new style,) we find the following: "Hall and the two others, who went to Connecticut Nov. 3, come now home, having lost themselves and endured much misery. They informed us that the smallpox was gone as far as any Indian plantation was known to the west, and much people dead of it, by reason whereof they could have no trade."

There is no reference to this expedition in Winthrop in his account of the previous November. These two extracts clearly relate to two different expeditions, and the one of Nov. 3 is undoubtedly the second expedition, referred to by Andrews as discouraging. Andrews' book is the first, and with the exception of 'Hall ancestry," page 88, the only work we have found that treats these accounts as two distinct expeditions. Most writers erroneously consolidate the facts from both accounts into a single expedition. The dates as to the two accounts are different, the names and number of the persons are different, one tells of trade and no small-pox, the other of much small-pox and no trade; in short, aside from going overland, not a single fact in either account corresponds with anything stated as to the other. That the second expedition was over-land may be inferred, although it is not so stated.

Hubbard's History of New England, as printed in the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Vol. V. Second series, pp 169-170, says: "In the begining of Septem

 

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ber, 1633, when the ship Griffin arrived here * * * some were by special providence directed to travel an hundred miles westward into the country as far as the river Connecticut., * * * by Dame John Oldham * * * and Samuel Hall, who died lately about Malden in Essex. scil. about the year 1680, with two others who taking a view of the country discovered many very desirable places upon the same river fit to receive many hundred inhabitants."

The will of this Samuel Hall is published in the N. E. H. & G. Register, Vol. XLVII, p 508, with a note showing that he lived for a time at Ipswich, Mass. Hubbard was the minister at Ipswich, and no doubt identified Samuel Hall as one of the explorers of 1633, by tradition. His account says nothing about the date of return, while the date given for the expedition, and placing Oldham as the leader, clearly points to the first expedition, noted by

Winthrop as the one to which this Samuel Hall belonged. Hubbard has been called a careless writer, and may not have applied his tradition properly to the facts, but it is believed that all subsequent accounts that name Samuel Hall as an explorer of Connecticut have been based upon Hubbard. At the same time some of them contradict Hubbard. Savage's Dictionary Vol. 2, p. 337, clearly places Samuel Hall in the second expedition, while the note to his will by the editor of the Register says he went with Oldham and returned Jan. 20, 1633-34, thereby consolidating the two expeditions in one. Numerous other authorities have the same matter more or less confused.

In Savage's Winthrop, p 210, under Jan., 1635, there is an account of one person going by land to Connecticut and returning safely, thus making three over-land expeditions to Connecticut before the Hooker party.

All accounts agree that John Oldham and others went over-land to Connecticut early in the fall of 1633. Hubbard says one of these "others" was Samuel Hall. Andrews says one wits John Hall. If both of these Halls were of the party there would, according to Winthrop, still he one more whose name is unknown, while one Hall and two others went on the second expedition to Connecticut late in the fall of 1633. Hubbard by assigning Samuel

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Hall to the Oldham expedition, excludes him from the second expedition, although late writers have placed him there. Andrews clearly recognizes the account of the two different expeditions of 1633 as given by Winthrop, and places John Hall in the first expedition, his reference to "Hall" and others in the second expedition, in this connection, implies that the same John Hall was in that expedition also. Everything points to John Hall of New Haven, rather than John Hall of Middletown, as the explorer of 1633. A part of the Hooker Company arrived at Cambridge in 1632 and some who came then were, with John Hall, made freemen at Boston, May 14, 1634. A large number of the passengers of the Griffin and the Bird were also made freemen the same day. We have reason to believe that he came with the advance Hooker party in 1632, or perhaps, on the Griffin or the Bird, Sep. 4, 1633; according to Andrews he was in the first exploring and trading expedition to Hartford and Wethersfield in 1633, perhaps he was also in the second expedition of that year; he came with the advance settlers to Wethersfield in the fall of 1634, or to Hartford in the fall of 1635 ; went to the Pequot war from Hartford in 1637; joined the New Haven Colony in 1639 or 40 ; and finally became one of the founders of Wallingford, Conn., where be died in 1676.

Having sold all his land at Hartford in 1640, we find John Hall removing to New Haven practically at the same time, or so nearly so as to make his selling out at Hartford and planting himself in New Haven, one transaction. His life in New Haven and Wallingford cannot be better told than in the "Hall Ancestry" by Charles S. Hall, Esqr., and its we have compared his account with the New Haven Colonial records and find it correct, we copy therefrom as follows, beginning (sic) with p. 89.

"Having made a permanent settlement in New Haven, John Hall marries there the young English girl, Jeanne Wollen, who, for more than thirty years, made him a true and faithful wife. She was well educated and of good descent, her family being entitled to bear the crest, a demi-lion, between its paws a, cushion, tasselled.' The precise date of the marriage is uncertain. It was before July 3, 1644, for the records of the court of that date show that John Hall demanded three pounds due him from

 

25

Roger Knap in the right of his wife, which he did acknowledge, whereupon it was ordered that be should pay three pounds, only abating fourteen shillings which he hath done in work for John Wollen, brother to the said John Hall's wife.' This John Wollen, who probably came over with Wilkes, was an Indian trader and interpreter in the employ of Captain George Lamberton, with whom he was imprisoned by the Swedes on one of his voyages to Delaware Bay, where the New Haven Colony had considerable trade. The fact that at the meeting of the town in 1641, for casting lots for east meadows and the meadows on Mill river, John Hall drew a lot on the bank side by the West Creek,' would be in point if married men only could hold land, but this was not the case. If he had been married in 1643, his name with the number in his family should have appeared on the list of planters for that year, but the list is not entirely complete. When Jeanne came out with the Wilkes, they not only paid her passage, but promised her an allowance each year and a marriage portion in case she would stay with them for five years, which she agreed to do and had done when they all removed to New Haven. This portion was to have been paid down immediately upon her marriage, and the fact that it was not is some evidence that she was not married until after Mr. Wilkes had gone to England, which Mr. Savage supposes was about 1644, as is known by will of his wife, 12th January, 1646, 'called to go to him but not knowing wether he is living or not.' Upon the settlement of the Wilkes, estate in 1647, Mr. Hall presented a claim in favor of his wife for the amount of this portion, which, after hearing proof, was allowed by the court. Payne testified that the first, time he had heard Mr. Wilkes mention this matter was in Boston ; and Bridget Wilkes, his niece, who probably came out with the family, said that she had beard her uncle, Mr. Wilkes, proimse this portion to Jeanne. Mr. Marsh testified that Mr. Wilkes 'a little before he went to England, declared to him that he had promised Jeanne a portion" and it appears from his further testimony that at, the time he referred to by 'a little before,' Jeanne was still unmarried. These facts seem to point to some time in 1643 or early in 1644 as the time of the marriage, but it may have been earlier."

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"John Hall appears to have continued to make it his home in New Haven up to the time of his removal to Wallingford, a period of about thirty years. He first, appears on the records of the town as a signer of the Planter's Agreement, June 4, 1639. In 1641 he drew a lot on Mill river, and at a subsequent division of lands two lots were assigned him. June 5, 1644, he is recorded as, delivering into court a will and inventory of one John Owens, he being the executor. July 1, 1644, he took the oath of allegiance at the General Court. The game month he had his suit, in which be recovered judgment against Roger Knap. At the General Court, March 16, 1645, he with others, 'upon their requests and their occasions being made known to the Court, had leave to depart the Court.' July 4, 1648, he was complained of, with William Holt, for absence front the General Court ; his answer was that they 'had no warning and went out in the morning before the drum beate and knew of no court. For both the Court passed it without fine.' February 14, 1647, he acquainted the Court that the highway against a lot, he bought of Henry Pecke was worn away with water, that there was no safe passage that way, and propounded to know whether the town will mend it.' But he evidently did not think the lot worth the expenses of repairing the road, for when the Court declared themselves that the order was that every man maintain a sufficient waye two rods from his home lot throughout the town,' after much debate, he resigned the lot to Lieutenant Seely upon condition that he mend and maintain the waye.' In 1647 and1648 he was prosecuting his claim against the estate of William Wilkes. In 1648 he appears as a tenant of the 'Oyster Shell Field.' In 1665, being then in his sixtieth year, he war, 'freed from training.'

"During his thirty years residence in New Haven, John Hall witnessed the evolution of a thriving commercial town from the little colony he had assisted in planting in the midst of an unbroken wilderness. What, he was engaged in during all these years, to provide means for the support and education of his growing family, we do not certainly know, but sons had a money value in those days, and he was fortunate in the possession of so many. He owned lands and, doubtless, with the assistance of his sons

 

27

improved and cultivated them. But he does not seem to have been a large land owner, nor planting to have been his principal employment. From the fact of his name appearing so infrequently upon the records and his not occupying any public position, it would appear that be was absent much of the time from New Haven; for it was only those who settled down upon their lands and interested themselves in the affairs and held the little offices of the town and church that we find very prominent in the early records. One of his sons * * * exchanged his possessions in New Haven for property in New London, a large part of the inhabitants of which were sea-faring men, where he probably became a vessel owner. The probable inference from these facts, is that John Hall was in trade, perhaps with the Indians for furs, and that later on his ventures required his absence much of the time from his home. This accords with the supposition that he explored the Connecticut country with John Oldham, and afterwards conducted a second expedition thither for the purpose of trade, and accounts for his readiness to enlist in the Pequot war, which furnished a fine opportunity for observing the country, and in part for his settling in New Haven, which was founded as a commercial town.

"John Hall was one of the original proprietors of Wallingford, and removed there with three of his sons in 1670. He was then sixty-five years of age and his sons, who accompanied him, John, about twenty-four, Samuel, twenty-two, and Thomas, twenty-one. The first Wallingford planters entered into a written covenant, November 30, 1669, to which are signed the names of John, Samuel, and Thomas. David settled there later and the first we hear of him is in 1689. John and Samuel were married. These two we find, as the time rolls on, becoming very prominent in the affairs of Wallingford. John was the first

deacon of the church, selectman in 1675, and deputy to the General Court in Hartford in 1687. Samuel was captain of the trainband, as military companies were called at that time, a position of great honor and responsibility, open as were these little settlements at all times to raids of hostile bands of Indians. Ill 1671 the little village had 100 inhabitants, consisting of forty-three proprietors and their families. To each of these families, including those of

 

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John, Samuel, and Thomas Hall, were assigned certain wood and meadow lands. In 1689 we hear of John and Samuel as of a committee to call Rev. Samuel Whittelsey as pastor. The only record respecting John Hall, Sen., that we find, excepting that of his appointment as deacon of the church, and selectman of the town in 1675, the year before his death, is where, on the 16th of February, 1675, the town voted 'That there had been consent about establishing a church of Christ in the aforesaid town, and a solemn day set apart and observed by the town, unanimously, to seek God's guidance in so great a work; they have now also actually and unanimously concluded if it be the will of God, that there shall be a church gathered, and to walk according to the Congregational way and have also unanimously left the management of the same in the in the hands of Mr. Moss, Mr. Samuel Street (the first minister), Mr. Brocket, Eliasaph Preston, John Hall, Sen., John

Hall, Jun., Thomas Yale and (six others); that if it be the will of God to incline their hearts, so many of them a may be a competent number for that work, may in his time, lay the foundation.' (A green mound in the sand plain on the west side of the railroad about a mile below Wallingford depot, now marks the spot where the first church in Wallingford was erected.) The establishment of a church was regarded in those days as the most important act which could possibly engage the attention of the town, and for that reason the committee to which the matter was entrusted would be made up of the very best and wisest of the citizens, and their names, according to the universal custom, would be mentioned in the order of their supposed social rank. This custom gives us a hint of the standing of

the Halls in Wallingford at that time. The minister and master have precedence, of course, but Preston and the Halls, both senior and junior, precede the remaining seven

of the Committee. In New England, marriage outside of one's social grade, was then, and ever since has been uncommon. For this reason the marriage connections of a

family have always been taken as an index of its condition in life. Later on we find that Mary Street, the minister's daughter, who from that fact was not regarded as common

clay, married John Hall's grandson, Hon. John Hall; and his granddaughter, Elizabeth, daughter of his son Samuel, married John Moss, the grandson of Mr. Moss of the counuittee."

 

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John Hall's name appears in the appendix to the catalogue of the first church of New Haven as having joined in 1646, while that of his wife is put down as having joined in 1647. His two first children, John and Sarah, are in the church records as baptized Aug. 9, 1646, and the same two children are again entered as baptized May 24, 1647. Savage disbelieves this second record, and it is evidently a mistake. The son John was at least two years old when he was baptized in 1646, as is shown by the fact that Anthony Elcocks and John Hall, Junior, were sued by Francis Browne in the town court at New Haven, March 5, 1666-7, "In an Action of the case for ye loss of a Boats canoe & grapnell * * * to ye Damage of five pounds," and at the same court John Hall Junior brought suit against Wm. Bradley "In an action of the case for unjust delaying of an award given by arbitration," (New Haven Town Records, Votes, &c., Vol. 3, p. 16.) He must have been 21 in order to sue and be sued, and the arbitration shows that he was in litigation some time before, whereby he could not have been less than 22 years old in 1666, and, therefore, was born about 1644. From this we may infer that the date of John Hall's marriage is not far from 1643, and we know that the son John, baptized in 1646, lived to grow up, so that it is not probable that another son of the same name was baptized in 1647, or that the same son was baptized a second time.

Besides the land of John Hall as given in the New Haven Colony records, we find that he applied for "some meddow at the pine river" at a meeting of the Townsmen, Feb. 21, 1651. (Vol. 3, p. 86.) The land records prior to 1679 are without any index, the only record of them being mixed in with town votes, &c., which must be read through by course in order to follow all the land of any one person. Inasmuch as he left New Haven about 1670 to 1674, our record of his land is considered incomplete. He was a "viewer of fences" on Feb. 8, 1664, and again May 1, 1665. (New Haven Records, Vol. 3, pp. 64 and 66.)

 

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It has been thought that he removed to Wallingford with his sons about 1670, and he certainly was one of the original proprietors of Wallingford, but probably he remained in New Haven for a time after having arranged, in 1670, for his removal to Wallingford. On Oct. 4, 1670, his three sons, Thomas, Jonathan, and David, were before the court for the boy-like act of making "a great noyse" in front, of the constables house "in ye night after ye Sabbath." (New Haven Records, Vol. 3, p. 143.) This shows what good children they were to restrain their noisy tendencies until their Sunday was over.

At a New Haven town meeting Dec. 15, 1673, Mr. Jones acquainted ye town that there was no constable that "would accept & take ye oath" and John Gibbs refused to accept. "Then John Hall also being called to know his answr. declared his refusal." (Town Records, Vol. 3, p. 175.) On June 20, 1674, at the New Haven County Court 'Jno Hall Senr. of New Haven appeared to answer for his refusing ye office of constable wn chosen thereunto, there being some of ye members of ye Court gone & others in haste to be gone, it was referred unto another court." (County Court Records, Vol. 1, p. 78.) This Court record evidently refers to the refusal of the year before. No record is found of any further action by the court. Although he practically removed to Wallingford about 1670, and may have resided there a part of the time, these records indicate that he retained a residence in New Haven until about 1674.

The date of John Hall's birth as about 1605, is estimated from the following record of a town meeting at New Haven, Out. 9, 1665. "John Hall Senr. declaring himself to be above sixty years of age & thereupon desired to be freed from trayning, which was, provided that ye law now doe allow it." (Town records Vol. 3, p. 74.) It is not likely that he was then above sixty one years of age, and therefore must have been born after Oct. 8, 1604 and before Oct. 9, 1605.

John Hall died, probably, not long before May 3, 1676, when, the inventory of his estate was taken by Nathll Merriman and Eliasaph Preston, the same amounting to L189. 5. 5.

 

 

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This inventory and his will are recorded in New Haven Probate, Vol. 1, part 2, page 58, the will being as follows --

"John Hall Senr. of Wallingford, his last will nucupative. Testimony of Mr. Samll. Street, Samll. Hall & Mary Hall saith That about ye time Goodm Hall fell sick they heard him say and he said it to them that he doubted not of his wives love & care of his children & therefore he would leave ye dispose of' his whole estate to his wife not questioning but his children would be well Satisiffyed therewith"

Mr. Samuel Street was the minister of Wallingford and Samuel Hall was John Hall's son. Until recently wife of John Hall's son John was the only Mary Hall that could be thought of, and she was supposed to be the third witness to this will, but it now appears that John Hall, senior, had a daughter Mary who was not married in 1676, and it is much more probable that his own unmarried daughter Mary would have been with him in his last sickness, than that his daughter-in-law should have been there; hence we suppose that, his own daughter Mary is the Mary Hall of record its one of the witnesses to this will.

As with all estates between 1666 and 1712, the court orders relating thereto are found in the New Haven County Court records, and not at the Probate Office. In Vol. 1, page 91, under the date June 14, 1676, is this entry: "A writing as the last will & testament nuncupative of John Hall Senr., late of Wallingford deceased exhibited in court and upon oath of the witnesses approved for record. Also an Inventory of the estate of the sd John Hall Exhibited in court & upon oath of the widdow and appraisers approved for record."

The widow, Jane Hall, married John Cooper, Senr., in about three years after Mr. Hall's death. As the sole executrix of her deceased husband's last will and testament (John Hall), she deeds land to Thomas Hogg on the 18th day of Dec., 1678, at which time she signed her name as Jane Hall. The deed was acknowledged March 25, 1679, at which time she is described as "The above said Jane Hall, (now Jane Cooper,)" thus showing that she was

32

married to Mr. Cooper some time between the date of signing the deed, and its acknowledgement. (New Haven Land records, copy, Vol. la page 8.) That her second husband was John Cooper, Senr., is probable from the fact that he was the only Mr. Cooper, known in that vicinity, of a suitable age to have married Mrs. Hall, and also from the fact that she removed to New Haven, where John Cooper, Senr., resided. This is shown by a deed in the Wallingford land records, Vol. 1, p. 25, wherein Jane Cooper of New Haven, gives land in Wallingford, to her son David Hall. This deed was executed at New Haven, Jan. 21, 1680, and witnessed by Thomas Yaile, Senr., and John Cooper, Junior. That her husband was John Cooper, Senr., is also shown by the following County court record, as is also the fact that she was living at New Haven in March 27, 1690. Vol. 1, p. 175.

"An Inventory of the estate of John Cooper Senior late of New Haven deceased intestate exhibited & prooved & soe approved for record. Jane Cooper widdow & reliet of the sd deceased renouncing in court the Administration: this court doe grant the administration unto John Cooper the only son of the deceased: And orders letters of Administration to be given him, he giving in bond according to law.

"The widdow ordered to have the thirds both of the real & personal estate, the real estate only during her natural life & the personal estate her owne to dispose of as she please. And ye widdow was allowed thirty shillings out of the estate in reference to family expenses before ye estate was settled.

"The children seemed to be agreed about ye dividing of the rest of theestate."

This is the last record found of Jane Cooper, alias Hall, alias Woolen. She died some time in the year 1690 between March 27th and Nov. 14, the date of an agreement between her heirs, in which it is distinctly stated that John Hall and Jane Hall were both then deceased. Miss K. A. Prichard, of Waterbury, Conn., a descendant of Henry Cook, first called our attention to this agree-

 

 

 

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ment which is recorded in Vol. 1, p. 486, New Haven land records, and is as follows :--

"This writting made this 14th day of November, Anno, 1690. Witnesseth that we whose names are underwritten being the children and successors of the late John Hall and Jane Hall, late of New Haven & Wallingford do firmly agree and conclude upon the following articles and conclusions referring to the distribution of the estate of the said John Hall and Jane Hall both deceased.

"Imprimis, it is agreed by the said underwritten persons that John, Thomas, Samuel and David Hall being possessed of a certain parcell of meadow which was the property of the said John Hall, our father, that they do still hold and posses the same according to the breadth they now posses all that and next the river which said parcel of meadow is in the boundary of New Haven in that place called the Island in the east meadows and to be and remain to them us and each of us our heirs and assigns.

"Item, that Henry Cook do also hold and posses eleven acres of land be it more or less within the boundary, of Wallingford which was also the Property of the said John Hall which is already in his possession and improvement to lie to him and his heirs and assigns forever, also that John Hall shall have a cow and half a mare in partnership with his brother Samuel with more they are to take in the woods.

"Item. that Samuel have the other half of the said mare.

"Item. that Thomas shall have three sheep, a coverlet, eight yards of cloth already agreed about.

" Item. that Henry Cook shall have a bed and bolster which was our own mother's and a cow, these several lands goods and chattels to be unto each of the said persons in addition to what they have already received without being accountable to us or any other person for the same.

" Item. that William Johnson hold and posses in like manner what he hath now in possession of the estate belonging in any way to our said father or mother he paying the just debts now legally appearing.

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"Item. that Samuel shall have, hold and posses a certain parcel of land also within the boundary of Wallingford which was also belonging to our said father being about thirty-six acres more or less to be unto him his heirs or assigns forever.

"In witness and confirmation of all the above and before written premises we have hereunto put to our hands and seals the day and year before written. Signed, sealed and delivered.

"JOHN HALL

"SAMLL HALL

in the presence "WM. JOHNSON

his (t) mark

"Jeremiah Osborn. "DAVID HALL

"Samll Leek." "HENRY COOK

his (t) mark

"THOMAS HALL"

It is noted that the son, Jonathan, did not sign and is not represented in this agreement, but evidently he had in some way received his share in his father's estate and, as hereinafter shown, his children sell the land in Wallingford that came or might come to them through their grandfather, John Hall. William Johnson and Henry Cook are both treated as sons, but the names of their wives are not mentioned. It is known, however, that William Johnson married John Hall's daughter Sarah, (New Haven Land, Vol. 1, p. 32,) and that Henry Cook's wife was Mary. The facts hereinafter given in connection with this Mary, prove conclusively that she was John Hall's daughter and Henry Cook's first and only wife.

An exhaustive study of the Wallingford land records would no doubt reveal the sale of land from all of John Hall's children or their heirs, that came to them through him and which included land granted to his heirs after his death; in one instance more than fifty years after; viz. Nov. 28, 1728, when "there is layed out for ye Ancient John Hall's heirs, ninteen acres." (Wallingford Land, Book 6, p. 68.) Similar grants were made to such of his

 

 

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sons as resided at Wallingford, for example, the Town granted land to Deacon John Hall in 1671, 1672, 1673, 1683, 1687, 1692, 1694, 1701, and 1704. (Wallingford Land, Book 1, pp. 120, 121, and 182.)

Davis' History of Wallingford, 1870, erroneously gives John Hall a son Richard, born July 11, 1645, but there is no birth or baptism of any such son. There was a Richard Hall at New Haven who died Feb. 3, 1725-6, age 54, leaving a widow Hannah, and children, as stated by Davis, excepting that his son John was born in 1704, instead of 1714. This Richard Hall, however, was not born in 1645, as stated in Davis, but in 1672 as shown by the Middletown records and by his tomb stone which, with that of his wife, Hannah, stands by the west wall in the Grove Street Cemetery at New Haven. (New Haven Historical Society Papers, Vol. iii, p. 526.) He was the son of Captain John3 and Elizabeth (Cornwell) Hall of Middletown, (Richard,2 John.1 ) His first deed of land in New Haven is dated May 7, 1703. In this deed he is described as "Richd Hall of Middletown, * * * now Resident in new haven, marrinr," (New Haven Land, Vol. 2, p. 182.) Captain John Hall of Middletown, father of Richard, bought land in Wallingford, Oct. 2, 1703. (Wallingford Land, Book 1, p. 291.) He gave this land to his grandson, Samuel Hall, the son of his son, Richard, by his will dated Nov. 23, 1711, recorded at Wallingford, 1725). (Land, Book 5, p. 9.) This will and the Middletown records show that the said John Hall also had a son Giles. On Feb. 6, 1718-19, "Richard Hall, marriner of New Haven" deeds land to "his brother Giles Hall of Middletown, Marriner." (Middletown Land, Vol. 4, p. 18.) These facts conclusively prove that Richard Hall of New Haven belongs to the Middletown Halls, and not to the Wallingford Halls. Davis' error was repeated 1883, by Rev. D. B. Hall, in his Halls of New England, and he adds another son. Daniel, of New Haven to the list of John Hall's children. This Daniel Hall married and had children, per New Haven records, as stated by D. B. Hall, (except for errors in the date of birth of the last two children) but there is no record of either the birth or baptism of any such son and not a scrap of evidence is found to connect him with John Hall of New Haven and

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Wallingford, nor with the Middletown family of Halls. His name does not appear at all on the New Haven land records proper, and the only reference found to any land of his land is Nov. 7, 1674, when he asks the town for the grant of a piece of land of "about 18 or 20 feet to set a ware house upon at ye southward of ye warehouse" of his brother, Trowbridge. (Town Records, Vol. 3, p. 180.) About the only fact bearing on his former residence is as follows : "James Russell servant to Jno Tomson of Sowgend dyed ye 27 of July 1674 ; This Russell lately came from Ireland with Danyell Hall. Mr of ye Sarahe Hudgsin." (Vol. 2, p. 69, New Haven Births, Deaths & Marriages.) This record and the failure to connect him with any other Hall family, indicate that he was an independent emigrant who first came to New Haven about 1670, as Master of a ship, and made a home for his family there while he continued his occupation as mariner until he died at Barbadoes, 1675. It is believed that many persons, relying upon the works of Davis and D. B. Hall, have been lead into error as to Richard and Daniel, whose record is here given to enable their descendants to know that they do not belong to John and Jane (Woolen) Hall.