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William Backus (1634 - 1721)

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Lieut. William Backus
Born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, Englandmap
Husband of — married 1659 [location unknown]
Husband of — married 1664 in Norwich, New London, Connecticutmap [uncertain]
Descendants descendants
Died in Norwich, New London, Connecticutmap
Profile last modified 22 Apr 2019 | Created 27 May 2011
This page has been accessed 2,335 times.



William was born in 1634. William is the child of William Backus and Elizabeth William passed away in 1721.

William Backus III

"2. Lieut. William Backus was an original proprietor of Norwich and one of its most enterprising settlers. He was also an original proprietor of Windham, being one of the sixteen Norwich legatees of Joshua Uncas. In apportioning the land among the legatees, he received three shares of 1000 acres each. He m. Elizabeth Pratt, probably eldest dau. of Wil- liam, of Saybrook, who d. 1730, aged 87 ; he d. about 1720. Chil.: (3) William, b, 1660, settled in Windham ; (4) John, b. 1661, also settled in Windham; Sarah, b. 1663, m. Edward Culver, one of the proprietors of Lebanon, 1695, had 5 chil. recorded in Lebanon, removed to Litchfield before 1728 ; Samuel, b. 1765 ; Joseph, b. Sept. 6,1667 ; Nathaniel, b. 1669.' Source: History of Ancient Windham, Ct. Genealogy:(book pages transcribed)

Interesting note: Edward Colver ( Colver-1) historical notes say that a chief Unca named his son Joshua after Edward Culver's second son Joshua Culver ( Culver-13)


William, was a yeoman
A proprietor of town of Norwich, CT where he lived. Very prominent person.
Was representative to General Court of CT for many years.
Sargent in militia; then ensign; then deputy form 1680 to 1689; advanced to
lieutenant in 1693.
William Backus Jr. (b.1634) signed as a witness to a Saybrook will 11 Sep 1659.®19: Probate Records: 2: 132.[1]


William Backus III was born 23 Nov 1634, at Sheffield, Yorkshire, England[2]


  • Father: William Backus II (Jr.), b. 1606 at Sheffield, Yorkshire, England
  • Mother: Elizabeth/Ellen Cook (b. 1603, d. February 9, 1642/43


William Backus married twice:

1) Sarah Charles, ca. 1659, daughter of John Charles and Sarah Moss. Apparently by 1659 William Backus had taken as his first wife Sarah Charles, born October 1637, in New Haven, Connecticut, and baptized there in October 1640. She was daughter of John Charles, a resident of New Haven and later Branford. Their first child, William, was born 11 May 1660, probably in Saybrook, the parents awaiting the birth before moving to the new settlement at Mohegan. Two other children, John and Sarah, were born to the couple later, followed soon by Sarah's death, whether from childbirth or other cause is not known.

2) Elizabeth Pratt, b. Feb 1, 1641 at Saybrook, she was dau. of Lt. William and Elizabeth Clark of Saybrook, CT.[3] By 1664, William had taken as his second wife Elizabeth Pratt, daughter of Lt. William Pratt and Elizabeth Clark. Her father was an original proprietor of Hartford, Connecticut, a man of considerable standing, and for years a Deputy to the General Court of the colony. Elizabeth bore her husband six children. Though commonly shown as surviving until 1730, it is more likely that she died in 1703 or thereabouts; this is deduced from details in an acknowledgement by Joseph Backus in 1704/1705 of property deeded him by his father, William Backus, Jr.


Children of William Backus and Sarah Charles identified in William' s will of 1693 as receiving property of their grandfather Charles: [4]

  • William, born 11 May 1660, died 25 January 1742; married first Elizabeth Royce; married second Mary Benton
  • John, born 9 February 1661/1662 at Norwich, Connecticut, died 27 March 1744; married Mary Bingham
  • Sarah, born 14 June 1663 at Norwich, Connecticut; married 15 January 1681/1682 Lt. Edward Culver, born about 1654 at New London, died 7 April 1732 in Litchfield, Litchfield, Co., Connecticut. They moved to Lebanon, Connecticut in 1696, then to Litchfield about 1723.
  • Sarah (Grand daughter), born 1694 in Norwich, Connecticut; married in Lebanon, New London Co., Connecticut, Israel Everett, born 8 April 1681 in Dedham, Norfolk Co., Massachusetts, died 6 February 1751 in Windham, Windham Co., Connecticut

Children of William Backus and Elizabeth Pratt that were identified in Williams will of 1693:[5]

  • Hannah Backus, b. ca. 1660 (will implies dau. of Elizabeth...but date of birth suggests dau. of Sarah Charles
  • Nathaniel Backus b. April 15, 1669 in Norwich, New London, Connecticut
  • Elizabeth Backus, b. about 1670 [uncertain] in Norwich, New London, Connecticut
  • Mary Backus 1693
  • Joseph Backus, b. 1693


William Backus died ca. 1721 at Norwich, New London, Connecticut.

Will of Wiliam Backus of Norwich

William 's will, dated 8 February 1693, long antedated his death, but was never changed. He must have been a sturdy man, for his length of life became noteworthy. In 1702 he was mentioned as one of the few surviving founders of Norwich; he died early in 1721, having outlived all the rest.(147). need date of proof

His will, on file among the Norwich probate records in the Connecticut State Library, is of interest, giving, as Jacobus has noted, the proof that Sarah Charles was his first wife, and not the wife of his father. The major portions read as follows:

"I William Backus of the town of Norwich Being in my perfect understanding and memory doe make this my last will and testament....I give and bequeath unto my deere and Loving Wife Elizabeth one-third part of the profiett of all my Reall part of all my personall Estate to be att her Despose.....unto my son Nathaniell, all my home lott in Norwich with all the houseing upon it....all my Land on the East side of the Street, where his house standeth, ......unto my two Sonns Joseph and Nathaniell...all my Lands within the Bounds of Norwich that I stand possessed of att my Death... as also....all my Land Lyeing neere the Great Pond at the corner of Norwich Grounds, with all my Interest of Land within the township of Saybrook in Pottapauge be Equally Divided between them for quantity and quallety.....unto my Son John andto my Grand Son William....all my Interest of Lands in the Township of Windham to be Equally Divided between them for quantity and Quallety...unto my son John all my Interest of Land which I bought of Mr. James Fitch Senior as may appeare by Deed......unto my Daughter Sarah thirty pounds - with that which she hath already received as may appeare by my Booke...unto my Daughter Elizabeth Thirty pounds....unto my Daughter Hanah Thirty pounds....unto my Daughter Mary Thirty pounds......all that doth remayne of mypersonall Estates, my will is it shall be Divided Equally among all my children, The Reason why in this my will I have not given to my Son William any Lands is because before this I have Given him Lands as may appeare by Deed of gift; and therefore my will is, that with respect unto my two Sonns William and John, and also with respect unto my Daughter Sarah, what I have given them formerly with that which I Doe give them in this my will, shall be the whole of their portions of my Estate, anything that I received of their Grandfather Charles, his Estate notwithstanding, - I Doe ordaine and appoint my Deere and Loveing Wife Elizabeth with my two Sons Joseph and Nathaniell to be Executors, to pay both Debts and Legacies; and to performe all that is contayned in this my will: -

Signed and sealed in presence of us -- Richard Bushnell Elizabeth Bushnell

Further I Do Desire my Trusty and faithfull friends, Solomon Tracy and Richard Bushnell to be overseers with respect to this my will: - And that this the above written is my Declared will in Witness where of I have hereunto sett my hand and Seale this the 8th day of February anno 1693. William Backus".[6]


  • Ancestral File(R) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ancestral File Number: FWRG-49
  • Source: Norwich probate records in the Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT
  • AncestryCom RootsWeb - LEGENDS; BACKUS, c.1612-aft.1723; [1]
  • Thomas Bingham of Connecticut. Source: The Bingham Family in the United States. The Descendants of Thomas Bingham of Connecticut. Copyright © 1996 The Bingham Association. Donna G. Bingham Munger is author of this website: [2]
  • Brainerd, Dwight. Ancestry of Thomas Chalmers Brainerd (Montreal, Quebec, 1948) Page 23-4
  1. Thomas Bingham of Connecticut
  2. Elizabeth/Ellen Cook (b. 1603, d. February 9, 1642/43)
  3. Old Families of Norwich, CT--Backus
  4. probate records in the Connecticut State Library
  5. probate records in the Connecticut State Library
  6. Norwich probate records in the Connecticut State Library
  • New England Marriages to 1700. (Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.)
Sarah CHARLES 1660
Sarah Backus Maiden Name Charles
Birth Year 1637
Marriage Date About 1655 Marriage Place New England, USA
Death Year About 1663
Spouse William Backus
New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
BACKUS, William2 (?1635-1720, 1721) & 1/wf Sarah [CHARLES] (1637-1663?, 1664?); ca 1655, by 1660;
New Haven {McCormick-Hamilton 92; TAG 14:243; Moore Anc. 33; Granberry 163, 194; Brainerd Anc. 22; Backus Anc. 5; Bullard Anc. 164; Bos. Trans. 7 Oct 1912 22

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with William by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with William:

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On 19 Sep 2013 at 16:53 GMT Sandy Culver wrote:

This appears to be a the LNAB profile for this William Backus and I have proposed to help with merges, then this message can disappear.

William is 23 degrees from Lizzie Griffiths, 19 degrees from Fred Rogers and 12 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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