3604. John Gregory

john Gregory

B abt 1615  |  Nottingham, England

D bet 15 August - 9 October 1689  |  Norwalk, CT, USA

M abt 1635-7  |  Nottingham, England



John may have been the man of that name who was in Duxbury, Massachusetts, in 1638. If so, he probably married there. His first three children may have also been born there. The next two have baptisms recorded at New Haven, Connecticut (1646 and 1648). John was described as being from Stratford in depositions in his father's court case in 1647, but there is no other evidence found to place him there. John was admitted a member of the General Court at New Haven on 24 February 1644(/1665?),(1) and he is mentioned at a court session held on 2 March 1646(/1647?). Sarah was the name of John's widow, but it is not yet known if she was the mother of his children. It is unclear if she was Sarah St. John (Sention) or Sarah Benedict.


Photographs


Documents

Map of Ancient Norwalk
Map

Map of Ancient Norwalk

Great map including ancient villiage of Norwalk.

Added by Michael D. Ketchum 12 October 2014
SE View of South Norwalk
Sketch

SE View of South Norwalk

View from the rocks west of the Methodist Church

Added by Michael D. Ketchum 12 October 2014
A Sketch of Norway From the Rocks
Sketch

A Sketch of Norwalk

View from the rocks

Added by Michael D. Ketchum 12 October 2014
A View of Norwalk Harbor
Sketch

A Sketch of Norwalk Harbor

View from the House of L.M. Stevens Esq. on Prospect Hill/p>

Added by Michael D. Ketchum 12 October 2014
Ancestors and Descendants of Henry Gregory (excerpt)  Ancestors and Descendants of Henry Gregory (excerpt)

A page detailing Jachin Gregory, father of Mary Gregory, spouse of Joseph Bouton.

Norwalk by Charles Selleck  Ancestors and Descendants of Henry Gregory

Details of Henry Gregory (excerpt from the Ancestors and Descendants of Henry Gregory

Norwalk by Charles Selleck  Norwalk by Charles Selleck

Bouton - Boughton Family.  Descendants of John Bouton, a Native of France, Who Embarked From Gravesend, Eng., and Landed at Boston in December, 1635, and Settled at Norwalk, CT. by James Boughton 
Bouton - Boughton Family History

Descendants of John Bouton, a Native of France, Who Embarked From Gravesend, Eng., and Landed at Boston in December, 1635, and Settled at Norwalk, CT. by James Boughton

Notes

Summary

John Gregory was born probably in Nottinghamshire about 1612 to 1615. He m. Sarah. At the settlement of his father's estate he was called the eldest "living" son. This implies an older brother, dead. Judah was dead, but the date of Judah's marriage makes it likely that he was younger than John. Perhaps John did not go with his father to Springfield, Mass. He may have been the John Gregory who was a proprietor in Duxbury, Mass., in 1638.'

The Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. I and II, page 109, say:"John Gregory is graunted six acres of land at West end of the New Field, and the next garden place above Robert Paddock." The date is Jan. 7, 1638/39. A Plymouth deed, Vol. I, page 64, dated Oct. 26, 1640, adds that Andrew Ringe bought from Matthew ff uller the garden place in Plymouth and six acres in the New Field which Matthew had lately bought of John Gregory. New Field seems to have been in what is now the town of Barnstable. William Crocker (sometimes Crooker) began in 1639 a long residence in Barnstable. John's sister Anne was soon to marry another William Crooker, No. 7.

The earliest certain mention of John, son of Henry Gregory, is the following from the New Haven Colony records: "At a General Court held at New Haven 24 of ffeb 1644 (1644/45) Jer. Whinill, Thomas James, Robert Martin, John Gregory and John Meggs were admitted members of the Court." This means that they became free burgesses and were church members. That John had not long been in town is indicated by the absence of his name from a list of those who took the oath of fidelity July 1 preceding. He was a shoe manufacturer, tanner and sealer of leather. May 25, 1646, "it was ordered that Bro. Seely & Brother Gregory doe looke that noe hydes come out of the tanners hands but those that are well tanned & that they seal them if they do allow them, & that they have 4 d p hyde for viewing of them." Seely, June 6, 1648, complained of the leather of several tanners, including John Gregory's. At a meeting of the court, Jan. 31,1647/48, it was "propounded" to the shoemakers that as hides were nearly as cheap here as in England shoes might be sold more reasonably in New Haven than they were selling. "John Gregory propounded to the courte that a good while since there was a pare of shooes spake of in courte wch he sould William Paine, of the tenns, French falls, at 5s, 10 d, at wch their was some offence taken, and he condemes himself that he hath let it lye so long uncleared, but now he presented a noat in courte wch showed the perticulers howe they did amount to so much, under two shooemakers hands, but the courte professed they could not see cause shooes should be sould at this rate."8

John lived in the Yorkshire quarter of New Haven, which was northerly from where the old Yale buildings now are.3 There he had a cottage and six acres, acquired probably from John Evance At court, Mar. 2, 1646/47, it was shown that John Meggs, John Gregory and Robert Preston had bought the "proportions of 300 1" from Evance, meaning perhaps a share in a town proprietorship. The "seatings in the meeting house" of Mar. 10, 1646/47, show that John was in the 8th seat on the men's side and S. (Sister or Sarah) Gregory in the 8th on the women's side. One of the men who sat with John was John Meigs. The atmosphere in the pew must have been chillier than usual during the time of the Meigs- Gregory law suit. In that church were christened two of John's sons—Joseph, July 26, 1646, and Thomas, March 19, 1648/49. On Jan. 8, 1648/49: "John Cooper acquainted the court that he finds great difficultie in viewing fences, because some are gone out of towne & others agoeing & leave none to take order about their fences . . . there was mentioned Thomas Fugills lott, Job Hall, John Gregory, Samuel Willson, Thomas James, and some of Millford....the secretary had order to wright to Tho. James & John Hall and those of Millford that have lotts heare, to come and take order about ther fences and rates."4 John sold his house and six acres to Thomas Wheeler. The latter appealed to the court, Nov. 1, 1653, for permission to buy this house, which he then was living in. The court accused him of having already bought the house, in violation of the law. It seems he had "rented" for twenty-one years, paying down six pounds, and was to pay four pounds more. Permission to buy the house was granted June 6, 1654. Between his New Haven and Norwalk, Ct., residences, John Gregory lived in his father's town, Stratford, Ct. On page 60, Vol. I, of the Stratford Land Records is written: "1653 the lands of John peacock which he purchased to him & his heirse for ever. "Purchased of John Gregory: Item two house lotts five acres and a halfe more or less buting east upon the highway and west upon the swampe bounded with Thomas uford on the north and John Hurd on the south. "Purchased of John Gregory: two acres in the old feyld more or less buting north upon the highway and south upon the fresh pound bounded with Richard Booth on the east and John Curtis on the west."

The next mention is of twenty acres and a half on the west side of "neesing-paw reef in the new feyld"—four acres of it bought from Gregory. I went through the early Stratford records word by word and found no other reference in them to John Gregory. The book in which his purchases or grants of land should first have been recorded was burned in 1650. John Peacock went to Stratford probably in 1651. The double homelot of John Gregory was on the west side of Main St., between South Ave., and Birdsey St. The home of P. G. Darling in 1931 stood on it. It was opposite a lot on which William Crooker, John's brother-in-law, lived. Probably his sister Elizabeth, and her husband, Richard Webb, induced John to join in the "planting" of Norwalk, Ct. Webb was one of fourteen men who contracted with Roger Ludlow, June 19, 1650, for the settlement there of not less than thirty families. We first learn of the presence there of John Gregory from the record of a town meeting held Apr. 24, 1654, in which it was "ordered allso that the allotments to beginne to be layed out as following; Videlicett to beginne—at the end of the hither plaine where John Greggory mowed last year." As his home lot was "No 1" and four acres of it was an original grant to him there seems little doubt that his was one of the earliest families that planted the town—in 1651.*

John in Norwalk held office almost continuously. In his force of character he seems to have resembled more his uncle William than his father. On Sept. 12,1660, "Goodman Gregore" was voted "constubull for the Third yer insuing." In Mar., 1656/57, he had been chosen townsman, and this office, under the title of selectman, he likewise held in 1665, 1666 and 1669. To the Colonial court (legislature) at Hartford he was sent as deputy for the May or Oct. term (or both) in 1659, 1662, 1663 (twice), 1665, 1667, 1668, 1669 (twice), 1670, 1671, 1672 (twice), 1674, 1675, 1677, 1679, 1680 and 1681. June 26, 1672, he was sent to a special meeting to consider war with Holland. In 1659 he was official cow herder. This doubtless gave work to his boys. He was appointed, June 1, 1670, on a committee to mark out certain bounds between the Norwalk and "Saketuk" rivers. In 1674 he was sealer of leather.8

John Gregory took a leading part in the movement that resulted in the founding of Newark, N. J., intending to live there. The project was that of his former neighbors of the New Haven Colony, who disliked being ruled from Hartford. The first proposal was that, with the permission of the Dutch authorities, a town should be established on the New Jersey side of Kill van Kull, then called Achter Cull. Fernow's Documents relating to the Colonial History ofN. Y. State. Vol. XIII, page 216, says: "March 11, 1662. John Gregorie arrived here (in New Amsterdam) yesterday from New England, requested further answer to the propositions of some Englishmen . . . The following answer was given to him . . . that there was no fundamental difference in religion between the two and only slight difference in church government and in civil justice. The bearer, your present messenger and agent John Gregorie being not further instructed, we shall break off for the present." Finally, in 1666, Robert Treat (chief of the Newark movement) and John Gregory, after consulting Governor Carteret of New Jersey (then English), selected the site of Newark. It was settled by families from New Haven, Milford, Guilford and Branford, Ct. In a drawing, Feb. 6, 1667, lot 41 (adjoining Treat's) fell to John, "upon consideration that he come with his family to build and inhabit the same about two years, which was the condition of his entertainment with us in our town" (perhaps Milford). This shows that he had not recently dwelt in the same place as the promoters. The town sold his lot, 1668, to Henry Lyon. It also disposed, 1669, of an upland lot "that was formerly laid out to John Gregory, if he had come to town."7 It was a compliment to him that his former neighbors selected him to conduct so historic a negotiation. Isabel MacBeath Calder in her New Haven Colony calls this emissary our Norwalk John Gregory. Another negotiator lived in Stamford, Ct.

In east Norwalk, part of the city of Norwalk, East Ave. runs south and then turns southwest, toward Norwalk river. It was in the obtuse angle so formed that John Gregory lived. To him had been granted a four-acre home lot (called lot No. 1) and Jan. 20, 1665/66, Town Proceedings, Vol. I, page 47, say: "Goodman Greggorie (is) to have liberty to buy the homelot of Stephen Beckwith (four acres), to build a fence across the creek by his house and (two indistinct words) shopp, the fence to have a gate and pair of barrs. ' The description of John's lot is: "bounded east by Town Highway, west by John Raimond's, north by Mr. Haies' lot and John Benedict's lot that was George Abbott's, south by Highway runny by the coafe (cove) bancke, and John Gregory jr's." The father had given one acre, two roods of the eight to this son. The shopp was probably Norwalk's earliest shoe manufactory.8

Two men, Jan. 2, 1670, were chosen to prosecute for the town a case against John Gregorie, sr. "touching the lands he howlds from the right of James the Indyan, eyther by law or otherwise," also as to his right to "Cokkanus Island." As to the island, at least, John won; the town gave him other land for it, so that it, as the other islands, might be common property. In a table of Estates of Lands and Accommodations of 1655 John Griggorie was down for £188-10. This increased to £253-10 in 1671, when his five sons were entered for £50 each. These sums seem to be the par value of their holdings, or shares, as proprietors of Norwalk, which virtually was a joint stock company. John acquired numerous parcels of land, including Gregory's Point, which extended into the harbor, southerly from his home. It was later, for many years, called Dorlon's Point, but now the original name again is used. It is owned by the Norwalk Country Club. Gregory Boulevard runs to it.

The early church records of Norwalk were destroyed by rats, so we do not know much about John's religious activities. On Feb. 3, 1664, was "apportioned" to him "his portion of pay for an addition to the meeting house," and it was recorded that he and John Bow "hath undertaken to lay in 5,000 lb. of good clap-boards for the same." Dec. 24, 1686, the town voted, "that the seating of the meeting house shall be for the generality to be seated according to the lists of estates by which the men paid in defraying the charges about the building and finishing the said house." Next to the deacons' pew the most important place was the round seat. John and seven others occupied that, showing he was a cheerful giver.

In the year of his death, 1689, John gave to his five sons most of his lands by deed. One parcel to Thomas and Jachin was "to equalize them with" John and Joseph. He "sot" his hand to his will Aug. 15, 1689, making a big shaky J. Earlier he had signed his name. His books valued at nearly £5 do not indicate illiteracy. He left all his cattle, chattels and movable goods in house and shop to his wife Sarah "to be hers to dispose of after my death according to her own will and discretion among the children." He gave her his book of accounts and what bills of debt were owing him, also all lands not disposed of by deeds of gift. The remaining land was to be sold and the proceeds given to the two daughters. James Benedict was to have as much as John Benedict, to whom had been deeded land. They were sons-in-law. This trust imposed in his wife indicates that she was the mother of all the children. The will was acknowledged Aug. 21; presented for probate by the widow Oct. 9, 1689.* That latter day she signed with a mark her own short will. "I, Sarah Gregory, widow of John of Norwalk, do choose my beloved friends Mr. Thomas Hanford (the minister) and Sergt. John Plat to distribute to my children according to instruction and directions I have left in their hand as to pertickular movables." As to the rest they had full power. John Fitch and James Betts were witnesses. Nov. 1, 1689, the sons John, "Jakin," Judah, Joseph and Thomas, and John and James "Benedick," signed an agreement and declared themselves satisfied with the "bequeathment" of their mother. The Benedict boys received the seven and a half acres of Gregory's Point. The inventory of Sarah's estate was taken 28 Oct. 1689, by John Platt, sr. and Chris. Comstock. The list follows:

£ s d
20-15-00
03-16-00
1 horse £4, 3 cowes £12, 1 calfe 20s, 3 swine & pigs £3-15
4 sheep 40s, 6 Turkeys 12s, 16 Geese 24s
1 ffether bed, 1 bolster, 2 pillows £4, 2 blankets, 1 coverled
flocks 35s
1 ffether bed, 1 bolster, 4 fether pillowes £8
05-15-00
08-00-00
1 home made Rug40s, 1 bought coverled 40s, 1 Green Rug 10s 04-10-00
2 fether bolsters 50s, 1 flock bed 30s, 2 beds 30s 05-10-00
1 home made coverled 30s, 2 blankets 50s, green Rug, 50s,
2 blankets 20s 07-10-00
1 blanket 10s, 1 bed and bolster 7s 6d, 7 chairs 23s, 11
Quushings 20s 03-00-00
1 Bedstead 20s, Curtains & Vattens 10s, Truckle bed 10s, 5
chests £3 05-00-00
1 Table & Form 20s, 2 boxes 6s, Grindstone 20s, Shop tooles
20s 03-06-00
5 barrells 5s, Pease 20s, 21 pewter dishes, 52 lb. weight, £5-4 06-09-00
2 basons 10s, 2 Candlesticks 13s, 2 Small basons 4s, 10 por-
ringers 10s 01-17-00
2 Salts 3s 6d, 1 Gill bottle, 1 cup 2s 6d, 2 chamber pots 9s,
old Pewter Is 00-16-00
1 Tanker, 1 Pint pot 6s, 10 Glass bottles 7s 6d, 1 Quart pot
3s 00-16-06
1 Brass Kettle £5, 1 lesser kettle 40s, 3 Iron Kettles 28s, 2
Iron potts 22s 09-10-00
2 brass skillets 5s, 1 warming pan 5s, 2 frying pans 7s, 1 Spitt
5s 01-02-00
Cobirons 15s, 2 Tramells 13s, 1 Slice, 1 Tongs 7s, 2 pot
hookes 3s, 1 gridiron 4s 02-02-00
1 hammer, 1 Trowel 5s, hinges and latch 3s, dripping pan 6s,
1 Spade 5s 00-19-00
2 Colters lis, chain & hoaw 6s, 1 chain 8s, pewder and lead
8s 6d 01-13-06
1 Gun 22s, 1 Pistol 10s, 1 Sword 5s, Bandaleers 2s 6d, 1 gun
barrell 5s 02-04-06
(Beware, Savages!)
9 pr and 1 sheets £9-10, 1 Table cloth 10s, 1 Table cloth 5s 10-05-00
Yi pint bottle 2s 6d, 2 Table cloathes 9s, 2 Table cloths 20s 01-11-06
13 Napkins 25s, 5 Cotton Pillowbees 20s, 6 linen Pillowbees
18s 03-03-00
Wheat £5-10, Indian (corn) 12s 6d, 4 barrells, 2 hogsheads
8s 6d 06-11-00
3 Canoo Troughs 10s, 1 Trough, 1 Trey, 2 Sives 8s 6d, hand-
saw 2s 6d 01-01-00
2 Stone jugs 3s 6d, 1 broken jug Is, 1 Cream pot, earthen
pans 5s 6d 00-10-00
3 jars 3s, 1 Tub 2s 6d, barrells in the Seller 12s 00-17-06
1 churne & milk boals 16s, 6 Spoones 3s, Salt meat 25s 02-04-00
2 bills of Credit 29-12-00
Silver 7s, fferret & Cotton Rib; 2s 6d, Sisers, knife, Razor,
Silk 3s 6d 00-13-00
3 Parcells of Land 54-00-00
In Books (a good showing) 04-15-06
Item 2 pair of Cotton shirts 50s, 1 pillow bed 4s 6d 02-14-06
16 lb of flax 12s, a Hetchel 5s, 1 flagon 7s 6d, Spoones 3s 01-07-00
1 Holland Sheet 18s, 8 lb of wool 10s 01-08-00
Totall £215-04-06
Some of the precious "antique" furniture must have been distributed to the children as "pertickular movables" before inventory. The sword suggests that its owner was in the militia or had served in Cromwell's army.

All who have read thus far in this book are probably convinced that John Gregory of New Haven and Norwalk was the son of Henry Gregory. The indication is that Henry made shoes in John's shoe shop in New Haven; Henry's known son John was a shoemaker. In the period between John's New Haven and Norwalk residences no John Gregory was found in Connecticut by me except the one who then owned land in Henry's home town.

With all his activities "John Gregory" is never found (in those days) in two places at one time. Orcutt in his History of Stratford, Vol. I, page 113, says that William Crooker, Henry's son-in-law, in 1654 on his way from Stratford to Long Island probably went to Norwalk. Selleck, the Norwalk historian, told me he had a "record" that the Crookers visited relatives in Norwalk. As the only Gregorys there were John's family and there were no Crookers living there, the relatives surely were John's family. Mr. Selleck likewise told me he had evidence that a Henry Gregory from Stratford went to Norwalk early in the Nineteenth Century and told Gregorys there he had positive knowledge that the Norwalk Gregorys were descended from Henry of Stratford. Many genealogists have called Norwalk John a son of Henry. Judge Henry W. Gregory informed me that his grandfather, Wm. Harvey Gregory, b. 1804, had told him "as a matter of family knowledge" that Henry was father of our John. Likewise it was passed from father to son in the line of James Brewer Gregory, 3100. Henry had a son Judah; so did our John. Thomas was the name of Henry's grandfather and of John's son. Thomas Benedict was a son of William of Nott., says Benjamin L. Benedict, a recent authority. From Long Island Thomas crossed to Norwalk. Perhaps an old Nott. neighbor had induced him to come. Did not an old family tie of this sort help bring about the weddings of two Benedict boys and two Gregory girls? Hinman in his notes for First Settlers of Conn." says: "John Gregory owned real estate at Stratford in its early settlement, and removed to Norwalk."

John's ear mark for his cattle was: "a cropp upon the Topp of the oft ear and a halfe pennie under the same." The ear mark of Samuel, son of John's brother Judah, was: "a halfe pennye on either side of ye nere eare and a halfe pennye on ye under side of ye off eare. Samuel's son Samuel had a half penny on each side of each ear.10 Families frequently had a key part in ear marks. A half penny (often under the off ear) may have been an early Gregory key. It helps to tie John to Henry, who presumably had the half penny. Matthew, 38, had two half pennies on the foreside of right (off) ear. Samuel, 108 or 91, had two half pennies under off ear. See Judah, 13. Other marks were: Daniel, 258, two half pennies under side of off ear. Ezra, 116, half penny and slit foreside of off ear. Samuel II, 175, two half pennies underside of off ear, two half pennies foreside near. Isaiah, 257, half penny foreside off ear. Children of John and prob. of Sarah:

+ 11. John II, b. about 1638 to 1640.


Pedigree of Henry Gregory

George Gregory, grandnephew of Henry and grandson of William, prepared an elaborate chart of his ancestry, presumably to submit to the heralds at their Notts. visitation of 1662. In 1675, bringing it up to date, he evidently gave a copy of it to Dr. Robert Thoroton, who, two years later, printed it in his The Antiquities of Nottinghamshire, extracted out of records, leiger books, other manuscripts and authentic authorities. ... In the rear of his book are hundreds of Nott. arms. The pedigree is provided above.


Abbreviated Summary

John Gregory was born probably in Nottinghamshire about 1612 to 1615. He married Sarah St. John. At the settlement of his father's estate he was called the eldest "living" son. This implies an older brother, dead. Judah was dead, but the date of Judah's marriage makes it likely that he was younger than John. Perhaps John did not go with his father to Springfield, Mass. He may have been the John Gregory who was a proprietor in Duxbury, Mass., in 1638. The Plymouth County Records, Vol I and II say "John Gregory is graunted six acres of land at West end of the New Field, and the next garden place above Robert Paddock." This date is Jan 7, 1838/39. A Plymouth deed dated Oct 26, 1640 adds that Andrew Ringe bought from Matthew ffuller the garden place in Plymouth and six acres in the New Field which Matthew had lately bought of John Gregory. New Field seems to have been in what is now the town of Barnstable. ... The earliest mention of John, son of Henry Gregory, is the following from the New Haven Colony records: "At a General Court held at New Haven 24 of ffeb 1644 (1644/45) Jer. Whinill, Thomas James, Robert Martin, John Gregory and John Meggs were admitted members of the Court." This means that they became free burgesses and were church members. That John had not long been in town is indicated by the absence of his name from a list of those who took the oath of fidelity July 1 preceding. He was a shoe manufacturer, tanner and sealer of leather ... May 35, 1646, June 6, 1848, Jan 31, 1647/48 - court appearances about shoemaking. ... John lived in the Yorkshire quarter of New Haven which was northerly from where the old Yale buildings now are. There had had a cottage and six acres, acquired probably from John Evance ... Mar 2, 1646/47. The "seatings in the meeting house" of March 10 1646/47 show that John was in the 8th seat on the men's side and S. (Sarah) Gregory on the 8th seat on the women's side. ... In that church were christened two of John's sons -- Joseph July 26, 1646 and Thomas, March 19, 1648/49. ... On Jan 8 1648/49 ... complaints about fences gone, mentioning John Gregory and four others. John sold his house and six acres to Thomas Wheeler ... June 6, 1654. Between his New Haven and Norwalk, Ct. residences, John Gregory lived in his father's town, Stratford, Ct. ... land record of 1653. ... The double homelot of John Gregory was on the west side of Main St., between South Ave., and Birdsey St. The home of P. G. Darling in 1931 stood on it. It was opposite a lot on which William Crooker, John's brother-in-law, lived. Probably his sister Elizabeth, and her husand Richard Webb, induced John to join in the "planting" of Norwalk, Ct -- and Sarah's father may well have been one of the Matthew/Matthias Sention names on the same monument (a variation of the St. John spelling). ... We first learn of the presence there of John Gregory from the record of a town meeting held Apr 24, 1654 ... As his home lot was "No 1" and four acres of it was an original grant to him there seems little doubt that his was one of the earliest families that planted the town -- in 1651. John in Norwalk held office almost continuously -- 1660 voted "constubull", 1657 townsman, 1665-66 1669 selectman, 1659 1662-3 1665 1667-72 1674-5 1677 1679-81 deputy of Colonial Court (legislature), 1659 cow herder, 1674 sealer of leather. John Gregory took a leading part in the movement that resulted in the founding of Newark NJ intending to live there ... John acquired numerous parcels of land including Gregory's Point, which extended into the harbor, southerly from his home. It was later, for many years, called Dorlon's Point, but now the original name again is used. It is owned by the Norwalk Country Club. ... The early church records of Norwalk were destroyed by rats; so we do not know much about John's religious activities. ... Next to the deacon's pew the most important place was the round seat. John and seven others occupied that, showing he was a cheerful giver.

In the year of his death, 1689, John gave to his five sons most of his lands by deed. One parcel to Thomas and Jachin was "to equalize them with" John and Joseph. He "sot" his hand to his will Aug 15, 1689, making a big shaky J. Earlier he had signed his name. His books valued at nearly £5 do not indicate illiteracy. He left all his cattle, chaqttels and movable goods in house and shop to his wife Sarah "to be hers to dispose of after my death according to her own will and discretion among the chidlren." He gave her his book of accounts and what bills of debt were owing him, also all lands not disposed of by deeds of gift. The remaining land was to be sold and the proceeds given to the two daughters. James Benedict was to have as much as John Benedict, to whom had been deeded land. They were sons-in-law. This trust imposed in his wife indicates that she was the mother of all the children. The will was acknowledged Aug 21; presented for pobate by the widow Oct 9, 1689. That latter day she signed with a mark her own short will. "I, Sarah Gregory, widow of John of Norwalk, do choose my beloved friends Mr. Thomas Hanford (the minister) and Sergt. John Plat to distribute to my children according to instruction and directions I have left in their hand as to pertickular movables." As to the rest they had full power. John Fitch and James Betts were witnesses. Nov 1 1689, the sons John, "Jakin," Judah, Joseph and Thomas, and John and James "Benedick," signed an agreement and declared themselves satisfied with the "bequeathment" of their mother. The Benedict boys received the seven and a half acres of Gregory's Point. The inventory of Sarah's estate was taken 28 Oct 1689, by John Platt, sr. and Chris. Comstock.

NOTE: East Norwalk is the location of Norwalk's original colonial settlements. The land was purchased from the Norwalke Indians by Roger Ludlow in 1640. Historical markers in the neighborhood include the Roger Ludlow Monument, and the Founder's Stone Monument of 1649. The 31 first settlers listed are: George Abbitt, Robert Beacham, Stephen Beckwith, John Bowton, Matthew Campfield, Nathaniel Eli, Thomas Fitch, John Griggorie, Samuel Hales, Thomas Hales, Walter Haite, Nathaniel Haies, Rev. Thomas Hanford, Richard Homes, Ralph Keiler, Daniel Kellogge, Thomas Lupton, Matthew Marvin, Sen, Matthew Marvin, Jr, Isacke More, Jonathan Marsh, Widow Morgan, Richard Olmsted, Nathaniel Richards, John Ruskoe, Matthias Sention, Sen, Matthias Sention, Jr., Matthew Sention, Thomas Seamer, Richard Webb, Walter Keiler. British forces under General William Tryon arrived on July 10, 1779 at Calf Pasture Beach and almost completely destroyed Norwalk by fire; only six houses were spared. A portion of the Thomas Fitch (governor) house was left standing and in the 1950s it was moved to the Mill Hill Historic Park to make way for the construction of the Connecticut turnpike (I-95). In 1913, East Norwalk combined with the Town of Norwalk, the City (formerly Borough) of Norwalk, and the city of South Norwalk into the present day City of Norwalk. East Norwalk became the new city's third taxing district.

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