Mathew (Camfield) Canfield

Mathew (Camfield) Canfield (abt. 1604 - aft. 1673)

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Mathew "Matthew" Canfield formerly Camfield aka Campfield
Born about in Harleston, Northamptonshire, Englandmap [uncertain]
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married about in New Haven Colonymap
Descendants descendants
Died after in Newark, Essex County, New Jerseymap
Profile last modified | Created 21 Feb 2011
This page has been accessed 2,071 times.

Categories: Harlestone, Northamptonshire | Signers of the New Haven Fundamental Agreement | New Haven, New Haven Colony | Norwalk, Connecticut | Founders of Norwalk | Newark, New Jersey | Founders of Newark | Puritan Great Migration.

The Puritan Great Migration.
Mathew (Camfield) Canfield migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
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"CHARLES THE SECOND, BY THE GRACE of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, defender of the Faith, &c.; TO ALL to whome this shall come, Greetinge: WHEREAS, by the several Navigacons, discoveryes & successfull Plantacous of diverse of our loveing Subjects of this our Realme of England, Several Lands, Islands, Places, Colonies and Plantacons have byn obtained and settled in that parte of the Continent of America called New England, and thereby the Trade and Commerce there hath byn of late yeares much increased, AND WHEREAS, we have byn informed by the humble Peticon of our Trusty and well beloved John Winthrop, John Mason, Samuel Willis, Henry Clerke, Matthew Allen, John Tappan, Nathan Gold, ** RICHARD TREATE, ** Richard Lord, Henry Woolicott, John Talcott, Daniel Clerke, John Ogden, Thomas Weils, Obedias Brewen, John Clerk, Anthony Hankins, ** John Deming ** and ** MATTHEW CAMFIELD **, being Persons Principally interested in our Colony or Plantacon of Conecticutt in New England, that the same Colony or the greatest parte thereof was purchased and obteyned for greate and valuable Consideracons, And some other parte thereof gained by Conquest, and with much difficulty, and att the only endeavours, expense and Charge of them and their Associates, and those under whome they Clayme, Subdued and improved, and thereby become a consierable enlargement and addicon of our Dominions and interest there, --- NOW KNOW YEA" &c. (C.C. R. 2:3-11.)"




Matthew Canfield, (or Campfield), was the first ancestor in what is now the United States of America.

February 27, 1604 -- Matthew Canfield was baptized at St. Andrew's Church, Newbattle Hundred, Harlestone, Northamptonshire, England. "Mathe[ ]e Calmfield the son of Gregory Calmfield and Joan his wife was baptised the 27th February 1604 (1604/1605) [2]

The will of Matthew Camfield's father, Gregorie Calmfeilde, was probated in 1635.

Probably Matthew came to America soon after his father died in 1635. Tradition claims that three Camfield brothers (John, Matthew, and Nathaniel) came together by ship from England to Plymouth Colony then to New Haven Colony (now the state of Connecticut).

1639 - 1652 NEW HAVEN COLONY

Matthew Camfield settled at New Haven, New Haven Colony before 1637. [3] He first appeared in New Haven Colony records in 1639. He became a member of the Congregational church there in 1642; and signed as "Mathew Camfeld" the New Haven Colony Oath of Fidelity on July 1, 1644.

Matthew was one of the first settlers in the New Haven Colony to become a "freeman" and possess property.

Before 1643, Matthew married in New Haven, Connecticut, Sarah Treat, daughter of Richard Treat and sister of Robert Treat, afterward Governor of the Colony of Connecticut. [4]

Matthew and Sarah had eight [5] or nine children:

  • Samuel - bap. October 19, 1645
  • Sarah - bap. May 23, 1647
  • Ebenezer, born 1649
  • Matthew, born May 9, 1650
  • Hannah, born June 21, 1651
  • Rachel, born July 29, 1652
  • Jonathan, born
  • Mary, born
  • Ruth, born

The first six children (Samuel, Sarah, Ebeneezer, Matthew, Hanah, Rachel) were born at New Haven, New Haven Colony. [6]

He held various positions appointed by the New Haven Colony General Court (the Colony's legislature), including:

-- March 16, 1645, Collector of corn to Yale college; [7]

-- January 4, 1646, member of the Committee to speak to Brother Lampson about his estate and ability to bear the charge of maintaining his wife;

-- 1646 - 1648, Assessor; [8]

-- May 7, 1647, one of two "Viewers" "for the Suburbs onn both sides the Creeks...;"

-- July 5, 1647, one of a nine men Committee to deal with sheep business;

-- May 22, 1648, one of a three men Committee to appraise and value the estate of Anthony Tompson deceased;

-- March 10, 1648, one of a 10 men Committee on tax rates;

-- October 9, 1648, one of a 20 men Committee "to examine the damage done by swine &c, & to examine the fences & report to the next Court;"

-- November 17, 1651, one of a nine men Committee to "consider and carry on the Town Affairs" instead of the Colony's General Court;

-- 1655 - 1660, officer in the calvary troop of the Colony of Connecticut; [9]

-- 1658 - 1660, Surrogate; [10] etc.

On March 10, 1646, the New Haven Colony General Court assigned seat number 7 in the Meeting House to Matthew and five others in the Men's Section. It assigned seat number 8 to "G[oodwife] Camfield" and five others in the Women's Section.

The New Haven Colony General Court also fined Matthew on various occasions for various offenses, including:

-- November 6, 1644, 10 shillings "for neglect of his watch" to guard against attacks by Native Americans;

-- October 9, 1649, 12d "for want of some [gun] powder last viewing day" and 2 shillings 6 pence "for not bringin g his arms to meeting one Lecture day;"

-- July 2, 1650, 2 shillings 6 pence to the Town and 5 shillings to William Basset for failing to warn Basset that he would not hold Watch because he would be away on business in Connecticut. Matthew had told his son to warn Basset, but Matthew's son forgot; etc.

On March 10, 1651, Matthew told the General Court that he would be moving away from New Haven after the next harvest.


On February 1, 1652, at the New Haven Colony's General Court, Matthew sold his house, home lot, and real estate at New Haven Colony to Roottern Thompson.

In 1652 Matthew and his family moved from Nrw Haven, Colony of New Haven to Norwalk, Colony of Connecticut. [11]

At Norwalk, Colony of Connecticut, Matthew Camfield was again prominent, holding the offices of Juryman, Arbitrator, Assistant Magistrate, Representative to the Connecticut Colony General Court (almost continuously from 1654 to 1666), Surrogate, Collector of Customs, and Inspector of Troops.

From circa 1652 -1666, the Colony's freemen elected Matthew to serve on the Colony of Connecticut General Court. [12]

The earliest known reference to Matthew in Norwalk records is December 29, 1653 when the Town meeting appointed him one of a four men Committee to erect a "pound or pinnefold."

He held much land at Norwalk, and conspicuously a pasturage called to this day "Camfield Island."

In April 1654, "Math[ew] Campheild"'s property was valued at £283 10 shillings, making his estate "nearly equal to the richest estate in the town of Norwalk."

On May 18, 1654, the Connecticut Colony General Court made "Mathu Camphile of Norwack" a freeman.

In 1664, Matthew and three others were selected to petition English King Charles II for the Charter of the Colony of Connecticut. He was named in the 1665 Charter as one of the petitioners and grantees. Tradition claims that Matthew is one of the men who hid the Charter in "Charter Oak" at Hartford, Connecticut even though this event occurred in 1687 or 14 years after Matthew's death.

1666 - 1673 NEWARK, NEW JERSEY

In 1666, Matthew was dissatisfied with the union of New Haven Colony and Connecticut Colony so Matthew Campfield (or Canfield), [13] along with around 40 other men and their families moved from Norwalk, Colony of Connecticut to and founded Newark, Province of New Jersey.

Matthew's and Sarah's children moved with them from Norwalk, Connecticut to Newark, Essex County, New Jersey,, but their eldest son Samuel Camfield, returned to Norwalk, Connecticut in 1668.

At Newark, he was one of the few honored with the prefix "Mr." and at once became prominent in the affairs of the town, being Deputy, the Magistrate, etc.

March 19, 1673 -- Mathew Camfield signed his will at Newark, Province of New Jersey.

Mathew Camfield'a original will is on file in the State House Annex at Trenton, New Jersey. [14]

After March 19, 1673 -- Mathew Camfield died at Newark, Province of New Jersey.

Mathew Camfield was buried at the Old Burying Ground, Broad Street, Newark, Essex County, New Jersey.

June 11, 1673 -- Mathew Camfield's will was probated at New Jersey.


  • Un-Recorded Will. State of New Jersey Index to Wills. Volume 3. Page 1419.
  • Northamptonshire Record office, Harlestone Parish Register. Image 75. Available at
  • T. H. Ham. A genealogy of the descendants of Nicholas Harris, M.D., fifth in descent ... Albany, New York. 1904. Page 75.
  • Immigrant Ancestors -- A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America before 1750. Extracted from Volume VII Compendium of American Genealogy. Chicago, 1942. Edited by Frederick Adams Virkus. Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland. 1970. Matthew Canfield, page 18.
  • The Treat Family: A Genealogy of Trott, Tratt, and Treat for Fifteen Generations, and Four Hundred and Fifty Years in England and America, Containing More Than Fifteen Hundred Families in America. With Illustrations, Autographs, and A Map of Somersetshire. John Harvey Treat. The Salem Press Publishing & Printing Company, Salem, Massachusetts. 1893. Pages 28 & 29, 34.
  • Frederick A. Canfield. A History of Thomas Canfield and of Matthew Camfield, With a Genealogy of their Descendants in New Jersey. BiblioLife: Dover, New Jersey. 1897, reprinted. Pages 86 - 94.
  • "Immigrant Ancestors: A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America before 1750. Extracted from Volume VII Compendium of American Genealogy, Chicago, 1942. Frederick Adams Virkus, Editor. Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland. 2009. page 18.


  1. The Treat Family, Pages 28 & 29.
  2. Northamptonshire Record office, Harlestone Parish register viewed on image 75.
  3. Immigrant Ancestors A List, page 18.
  4. Source needed
  5. The Treat Family, page 34.
  6. The Treat Family, page 34.
  7. Immigrant Ancestors A List, page 18.
  8. Immigrant Ancestors A List, page 18.
  9. Immigrant Ancestors A List, page 18.
  10. Immigrant Ancestors A List, page 18.
  11. Immigrant Ancestors A List, page 18.
  12. Immigrant Ancestors A List, page 18.
  13. Immigrant Ancestors A List, page 18.
  14. Un-Recorded Will. State of New Jersey Index to Wills. Volume 3. Page 1419.

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No known carriers of Mathew's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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Images: 1
Honorable Matthew Canfield Image 1
Honorable Matthew Canfield Image 1


On 22 Dec 2017 at 05:27 GMT Darlene (Scott) Kerr wrote:

Since the name has been settled as "Canfield", shouldn't the ID be changed to reflect that?

Mathew is 22 degrees from Yogi Berra, 17 degrees from Carolyn Martin and 15 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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