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John Gregory Sr. (abt. 1613 - bef. 1689)

John Gregory Sr.
Born about in Uxbridge, Middlesex, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married about 1635 in New Englandmap [uncertain]
Descendants descendants
Died before before about age 75 in Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut Colonymap
Profile last modified | Created 14 Sep 2010
This page has been accessed 4,772 times.
The Puritan Great Migration.
John Gregory Sr. migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1621-1640).
Join: Puritan Great Migration Project
Discuss: pgm



John the son of Henry Gregorie was baptized 19 December 1613 at Uxbridge, England.[1][2]

John Gregory, was the only child of Henry Gregory named in his 1655 estate distribution.[3] John’s mother is unknown. He was born about 1612-1615 probably in Nottinghamshire, where the Gregory family lived.[4]

The Gregory family came to New England after 1635 (death of Henry’s child) and before 1639 (Henry’s land was mentioned).

John's wife was Sarah ____. They were probably married in New England. Their oldest child was born say 1640.

Did John go first to Plymouth Colony?

"John Gregory is graunted six acres of Land at west end of the new field, and the next garden place above Robte Paddock.", on 7 Jan 1638/9.[5] This land had passed to other hands by 26 Oct 1640." Mathew Fuller was paid by Andre Ringe of Plymouth for his garden place in Plymouth and six acres of land in the New field which "Mathew lately bought of John Gregory..."[6] Robert Charles Anderson in the Great Migration Directory has not associated this person with the John of New Haven and Norwalk.[7] It would be an unusual move.

New Haven, New Haven Colony

24 Feb 1644/5, John Gregory was admitted a member of the Court at New Haven, giving him the right to vote and hold office and indicating he was a member of the church.[8]

25 May 1646 "It was ordered that brother Seely & brother Gregory doe looke that noe hydes come out of the tanners hands but those that are well tanned, & that they seale them if they doe allowe them, & that they have 41 p hyde for veweing & sealing of them."[8]

2 Mar 1646/7 John and two others bought of Mr. Evance £300 of his "proportions" which were to be settled on them.[8]

10 Mar 1646/7 Seates were assigned in the meeting house. John was assigned the 8th row in the middle seats, a very choice seat. His wife, Sister Gregory, was assigned the equivalent seat on the women’s side.[8]

31 Jan 1647/8. "John Gregory propounded to the courte, that a good while sinc their was a pare of shooes spake of in courte wch he sould William Paine, of the tenns , French falls, at 5s 10d, at wch their was some offenc taken, and he condemes himselfe that he hath lett it lye so longe vncleared, but now he presented a noat in courte wch showed the perticulers howe they did amount to so much, vnder two shooemakers hands, but the court professed they could not see cause shooes should be sould at this rate."[8]

When John Meggs bought Henry Gregory to court in Dec 1647. John testified that Meggs told his father, the bad shoes were good enough, and also the he had cautioned Meggs "because his father was old and his eyesight failed hime, and he durst not imploye hime himeselfe, for he could not doe as he had done." This was not the end of the controversies between John Meggs and John Gregory. 6 Jun 1648, Lt Seely, sealer of leather, said he saw some leather not fit to be sealed, some belonging to Abraham Doolittle, John Chidsey and John Gregory. John Meggs became involved in the controversy accusing Gregory of faulty work, but the court ended up fining Meggs.[8]

8 Jan 1648[/9] It was mentioned that John Gregory and others were no longer residents.[8] John sold his home and six acres in the Yorkshire quarter to Thomas Wheeler.[9]

Stratford, Connecticut

It seems that John spent a few years in Stratford, where his father lived. Early land records in Stratford were burned in 1650. John Peacock purchased two house lots and land from John Gregory before 1653. John’s double home lot was on the west side of Main St. between South Ave and Birdsey St. and across the street from his brother-in-law Crooker.[10]

Norwalk, Connecticut

Founding a town, because of the smaller population, causes people who otherwise might never have become public figures, to step into leadership roles. John is a good example of this.

  • Townsman/selectman Mar 1656/7, 1665, 1666, 1669[4]
  • 1659 cowherder[4]
  • Voted constable in Norwalk 12 Sep 1660 for the third year running.[4]
  • John served as the Deputy from Norwalk to the Connecticut Colony Legislature Oct. 1659, Oct. 1662, May 1663, May 1665, Oct 1667, May 1668, May and Oct 1669, Oct 1670, Oct 1671, May 1672, May 1674, Oct 1675, Oct. 1677, May 1679, Oct 1680, May 1681,[11]
  • 1 Jun 1670, committee to mark boundaries between Norwalk and the "Saketuk" River[4]
  • 26 Jun 1672 sent to meeting concerning War with Holland.[4]
  • 1674 Sealer of Leather.[4]

Newark, New Jersey: In 1667, New Haven and some of the nearby towns, negotiated to create a new settlement, where Newark, New Jersey, is now located. John was one of the main negotiators and was assigned a lot there, which he never occupied.[4]

The early Norwalk church records were destroyed (by rats), but we do know that in 1664, he and John Bow undertook to lay in 5000 lb. of good clapboards for building a meeting house, and that in 1686, he and seven others occupied the prestigious seat next to the deacons seat.[4]

John had a four acre homelot and purchased another four acre lot from Stephen Beckwith to build a shop. He at one time received from James the Indian rights to "Cokkanus Island" which later the town laid claim to, for common property. He also acquired other lots including Gregory’s Point (now a country club). The year he died he gave most of his lands to his sons.[4]

John signed his will 15 Aug 1689, and it was presented to probate by the widow 9 Oct 1689. He gave his wife his cattle and movable goods in house and shop, also his book of accounts and bills of debt owing to him. The land not previously disposed of was to be sold and the money split between his two daughters, mentioning the sons-in-law James and John Benedict.[4]

Sarah signed her will, by mark, the same day, 9 Oct 1689. "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," They were given full power over the rest. The inventory of her estate was taken 28 Oct 1689.[4] Valued at £215. 04.06[4] it shows a comfortable home, and well stocked barn and larder.

1 Nov 1689, sons John, Jakin, Judah, Joseph and Thomas Gregory, and John and James Benedict signed an agreement stating they were satisfied with the bequests of their mother. The Benedict’s received the seven and a half acres of Gregory point.[12]

Memorial Monument

There is a memorial monument to the settlers of Norwalk, including John, in the East Norwalk Historical Cemetery, Norwalk[13]


Children of John and Sarah Gregory:[14]
  1. John m. 18 Oct 1663 New Haven[15] Elizabeth d/o Matthew & Jane Moulthrop. b. 1638[16]
  2. Jachin
  3. Judah, removed to Danbury
  4. Joseph, bapt. 26 July 1646 at the first Congregational in New Haven Colony.[17]
  5. Thomas, bapt. 19 March 1648 at the first Cong. Church New Haven Colony.[17]
  6. Phoebe, m. John Benedict
  7. Sarah, b. 3 December 1652, m. James Benedict


  1. West, Randy A. FASG, "Henry1 Gregory of Springfield, Massachusetts, and Stratford, Connecticiut: His Marriage and the Baptisms of His Elder Children in England." Connecticut Ancestry Vol. 65, No 1, p. 1. (Connecticut Ancestry Society, August 2022).
  2. St. Margaret, Uxbridge, co. Middlesex, chapel register, 1538-1656 (London Metropolitan Archives, DRO/010/001) [London, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 (Borough: Hillingdon) at, images 21 (Thomas), 22 (John), 23 (Persis), 25 (Elishaphat), 26 (Alice), and 27 (Elizabeth).
  3. Abstract of Probate Records at Fairfield, Connecticut, Down to 1721 p. 130
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 Gregory, Grant. Ancestors and descendants of Henry Gregory. (Provincetown, Mass., The Compiler, 1938) pp 43-51
  5. .Shurtleff, Nathaniel B. Records of the colony of New Plymouth in New England : printed by order of the legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Vol.1. (1855) Court orders 1633-1640. P. 109;
  6. Shurtleff, Nathaniel B. Records of the colony of New Plymouth in New England : printed by order of the legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Vol. 12 (1861) Deeds, &c. Vol. 1 1620-1651 & Book of Indian Records for their lands. P. 64
  7. Anderson, Robert Charles. Great Migration Directory (The). Immigrants to New England, 1620-1640. A Concise Compendium. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015.) p. 140
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Hoadly, Charles J, MA. (editor) Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven, From 1638 to 1649. Hartford: Case, Tiffany and Company, 1857. admitted p.154 , leather viewer and sealer242, Evance purchase p. 301 , seats 302, 303, father’s case 352, shoes 358, Sealy accusation 384+, gone 426.
  9. Dexter, Franklin Bowditch (editor) Ancient Town Records Vol 1. New Haven Town Records 1649-1662. (New Haven: New Haven Colony Historical Society, 1917.) pp 190, 215, 293
  10. Grant (p. 45) cites the Stratford Land Records Vol 1 p. 60 Under the lands of John Peacock.
  11. Jacobus, Donald Lines, MA (compiler, editor.) History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield. (Fairfield, Conn.: The Eunice Dennie Burr Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, 1930.) p. 236/7
  12. Grant (p. 48) cites Fairfield Probate 3 265-266 also Abstract of probate records at Fairfield, Connecticut, down to 1721 p. 135
  13. Find A Grave: Memorial #5017
  14. Selleck, Rev. Charles Melbourne. Norwalk, Volume 1. Norwalk, CT: Published by the Author, 1896. Page 82.
  15. Vital Records of New Haven 1649-1850 Part I. (Hartford: The Connecticut Society of the Order of the Founders and Patriots of America, 1917.)p. 20
  16. Connecticut, Church Record Abstracts, 1630-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 2013. Images of Original: Connecticut. Church Records State Library Index. New Haven First Congregational Church. Part 2, J-Z, 1639-1937. (Hartford, Connecticut: Connecticut State Library, 1947.) p. 375 Accessed at Ancestry ($)
  17. 17.0 17.1 Connecticut Church Records Index: New Haven First Congregational Church 1639-1937. Vol. A-I. (Hartford: Connecticut State Library, 1947). p. 232 Accessed at Ancestry ($)

See also:

  • Abstract of Probate Records at Fairfield, Connecticut, Down to 1721, Page 135
  • Gregory, Grant, 1864-. Ancestors And Descendants of Henry Gregory. Provincetown, Mass.: The compiler, 1938. p.43
  • Jacobus, Donald Lines. Families of Old Fairfield. (Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.) Originally published as History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield. Compiled and edited by Donald Lines Jacobus. 2 vols. New Haven: The Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Company, 1930-1932. Vol. 1, pages 236-237.
  • Coddington, John Insley. Some Ancestors of Henry Gregory: Worsley and Parr. The American Genealogist. New Haven, CT: D. L. Jacobus, 1937-. (Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009 - .) Vol. 38 (1962), pages 171-174.

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Comments: 22

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Is there a source for the specific 16 Dec 1615 birth date? The bio says he was born sometime between 1612-1615 but makes no mention of a baptism record or other source for and exact day. I also didn't see any records such as depositions or death records mentioning his age.

Since his estimated marriage date is 1635, we would typically estimate a birth date of 1610.

posted by M Cole
Looks like the date has been there since 2016. I didn't change it when I rewrote the bio and I didn't find anything to support the date.
posted by Anne B
I also think it's time to remove the coat of arms, which may belong to a Gregory family but bears no resemblance to the arms belonging to the ancestors of this Gregory family. Objections? There is a pretty good explanation of the arms belonging to his progenitors (not him) on
posted by Anne B
edited by Anne B
I have added a new, more extensive, biography with inline citations. I suggest deleting the old biography (two unintegrated bios). Everything in the old bios is in the new bios. Objections?
posted by Anne B
In Families of Old Fairfield at , Jacobus has the father Henry Gregory in Springfield by 1643 and this son John an admitted member of the New Haven Court in Feb 1644/5. So it appears that neither John nor his father Henry has a good claim on being a PGM.

Hmm... But in Ancestors and descendants of Henry Gregory, at;view=2up there's a report of a record of Goodman Grigory (assumed to be Henry) in Springfield in January 1638/9

posted by Ellen Smith
The Great Migration Directory " Unknown; 1638: Plymouth (land grant and sale of land only) [Ply. Col Rec. 1:109, 12:64]" So Anderson does not associate the Plymouth guy with the New Haven/Norwalk person, who maybe shouldn't be PGM (unless we can prove John b. 1636 in NE which is 10 years before the know bpts
posted by Anne B
While interesting and fun, I am not sure if the family crest is appropriate here? These were awarded to individuals, not families. Not sure if this line is associated with the original crest holder?
posted by Michael Stills
Son John reportedly born in Connecticut in 1636.
posted by Michael Stills
Well, there ya go. If these sources are correct, after 1635-36 and by 1638. Not 1620-1650.
posted by Michael Stills
The profile says in Plymouth by 1638 citing GM Directory
posted by Chris Hoyt
If he married in 1635, then he likely did not emigrate before then.
posted by Michael Stills
I'm pretty sure that they also had a son Thomas.

Update: I found a profile for Thomas and have added him to this family.

posted by Kenneth Kinman
As part of the PGM this profile should have better sources somewhere.
posted by Michael Stills

Rejected matches › John Gregory (1548-aft.1617)