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Thomas Gridley (1612 - 1655)

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Thomas Gridley
Born in Essex, Englandmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Husband of — married in Hartford, Connecticutmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Farmington, CTmap
Gridley-15 created 13 Sep 2010 | Last modified
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Categories: Puritan Great Migration | Founders of Hartford | Pequot War of 1637.

The Puritan Great Migration.
Thomas Gridley migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
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The Gridley motto was “Devant si je puis” – “ahead, if I can.” The Gridley Coat of Arms appears in Burke's “General Armory,” 1884.

THOMAS GRIDLEY (1612 - 1655)

In 1630 Thomas Gridley, the son of Thomas and Hannah Gridley of Essex, came from Braintree in England to America on the ship "Griffin" and landed at Boston. He remained there until 1636.[citation needed]

He went from Boston to Hartford, Connecticut in 1636 with Rev. Thomas Hooker and became identified with the settlement there. Hooker came to New England in 1633 from Chelmsford, near Braintree. Thomas Gridley went to Windsor in 1637 and returned to Hartford. [1] For a time he was identified with both Hartford and Windsor.

Thomas Gridley was sent from Windsor in 1637 as one of thirty men to the "Pequot Fight" (Pequot War) under Capt. Mason.[2] May of 1637 was a decisive inonth in this Indian War. Gridley is one of fourteen out of thirty men who can be named as coming from Windsor. His heirs received a grant of 120 acres of land for these services on October 12, 1671.[citation needed]

Gridley was fined and convicted in General Court in Hartford on September 5, 1639 for being in Windsor for strong suspicion of drunkedness, for contemptuous words against the orders of the Court, for refusing a watch, and for striking one of Mr. Stiles' servantmen.[citation needed]

He was one of 127 Proprietors at Hartford in 1639 'by courtesie of the town." His home lot, designated on the Map of Hartford 1640, was just north of and adjacent to the Ox Pasture. Just east of his was the lot of John Moody which abutted the road to Wethersfield. Just across that road eastward was the estate of George Wyllys, Esquire. Gridley lived on the south side of Buckingham Street, next lot west to the South Church.[citation needed]

On September 29, 1644 Thomas Gridley married Mary Seymour (1620 - 1689). She was recognized as the most beautiful woman in the colony.

"Thomas Gridla was maryed unto Mary Simmor upon Septm the twenty Nine one thousand six hundreth forty & fower." ("Farmington Church Records," p. 21) Mary may have been the Mary born on 19 December 1619 in Devonshire, the daughter of Richard Seymour and Mercy Rashleigh. She was known to have been of Norman descent, her ancestry tracing back to Seymour, the “Proud Duke of Somerset.”[citation needed]

After his marriage to Mary Seymour, Thomas Gridley sold his home to Thomas Bunch, and established a new home on the "south side of the road from George Stubbs to the South Meadow." Thomas Gridley was a member of the First Church in Hartford. He is known to have been in conflict with John Clark, since John presumably succeeded in securing the most desirable pew of the church which both men attended. This led to an altercation with the law similar to what Thomas Gridley had experienced in Windsor. When Thomas Gridley passed John Clark's servant on the street, he took his wrath out on the servant by publicly whipping him. For this offense Gridley was arrested, tried and convicted. He was to pay a fine arid suffer a term of imprisonment. However, the court record reads: “Fine cancelled and sentence commuted.”[citation needed]

On October 3, 1653 he was present at a Proprietor 5 meeting in Springfield, Mass., indicating that he had an interest in property in Northampton. He apparently left Northampton and returned to the Hartford area at Farmington, Conn. where he died on June 12, 1655. [citation needed]

Three children were born to Thomas and Mary Seymour Gridley:[citation needed]

  • Samuel, b. 25 November 1647;
  • Thomas, b. 1 August 1650, and
  • Mary, b. 29 September 1652, married Thomas Root 7 October 1675.

Will An Inventory dated 12 June 1655 was recorded in Probate Court (Conn. Col. Probate, Vol. 2, p. 60). On December 12, 1655 the Inventory valued his estate at 282# 12s 06p.

The one page Inventory listed items such as: one feather bed with a canvas bed under it, one rug, 2 baskets and a mat, one bedstead, house feather pillows, one trundle bed and bedding for it, one table, two chests and two boxes, one warming pan and basket, one cubbard with clock and 3 chairs, a supply of paper, 6 pillow cases, 3 table cloths and napkins and towels, 4 pairs of sheets and 1 sheet, 3 small remnants of stuff, other remnants, a fine lock piece, a shroud waist and handkerchief.
In the middle of the list was the item: "His wearing apparrell and mony in his purse..”
The continuing list included: a piece of new cloth linen, a candle with some other small things, hogsheads with some other tubbs, a kneading trough, corn measures, a fan with other things, flax and yarn and one blankett, augers and other small things, a supply of corn in the house, pewter and brass and iron pots, vessels of beans and vessels of meat, wheels, corn growing, cart wheels with plow and harrow, yoaks, chaines and irons, a beetle and wedge, axes, with other small implements.
“The house and barn and land to it were valued at 100#, swine at 2#, cattle at 7#. Debts from the estate totaled 7#. [3]
To the record was added on December 20, 1655:
"The children are as followeth: ye beginning of next month Samuell Gridly eight years old: Thomas Gridly was 5 years old about ye latter end of July last. Mary Gridly was 3 uears old about last miheltide.
"The distribution of ye estate on ye other side is as ffolloweth.
'To ye relict eighty pounds.
"To Sam: Gridly ye house Barns etc and Land to it prized at 100# when hee attaines ye Age of twenty one yeares.
"To Thomas Gridly sixty pounds when hee attaines of Age of 21 years.
"To Mary Gridly thirty five pounds when shee attaines ye Age of 18 years.
"John Lanchton is Addinitted Administrator to ye whole estate, and is to pay all Debts; well educate ye children, learning ye sonnes to read and write and ye daughter to read and sow well and to maintaine ye buildings and fences in good repaire till it falls into ye hands of Sam: Gridly or his next heires: The sd. John Lanchton being aliso to putt in good security to ye court in March next for ye payment of ye portions of Sam: and Mary Gridly, and for ye fair full performance of ye whole Administrations when they shall attaine their respective Ages. If ye mother of ye aforesd children shall so long live on to ye court if her death shall swift happen.
It being ye minde of this courte that if any of ye children shall depart this life before they shall attaine ye aforesd respective ages: theire portions shall equally bee devided betwixt ye surviving children, and if ye Relict departs this life before any or all ye children doe attaine their aforesd respective ages, or before their several portions bee paid them, their aforesd severall portions shall att ye death of their mother imediately returne into ye hands of ye courte to bee improved for theire respective Advantage and benef itt of education and otherwise.' [4]

Following Thomas Gridley's death in 1655 Mary Seymour Gridley married Deacon John Langdon of Farmington. Langdon was the man named in the Gridley Probate record as the administrator for the estate for paying off debts of Thomas Gridley and for providing for the education of sons Samuel and Thomas and daughter Mary. After Mary Seymour Gridley married Deacon John Langdon, the family moved from Hartford to Farmington.[citation needed]

As of January 8, 1673 the estates of Thomas' sons Samuel and Thomas Gridley were valued at 44 and 53 pounds respectively. [5]

From Farmington, Connecticut two distinct lineages of Gridleys descended -- the first from Samuel Gridley, the elder son of Thomas Gridley and the second from Thomas Gridley, his younger son. Gridleys proliferated throughout the State of Connecticut throughout the 18th century until many of them towards the close of the 18th century, following the Revolution, moved northward and westward.[citation needed]


  1. FEH & data from Farmington Conn. Historical Society.
  2. Bodge, George M., Soldiers in King Philip's war; being a critical account of that war, with a concise history of the Indian wars of New England from 1620-1677, official lists of the soldiers of Massachusetts colony serving in Philip's war, and sketches of the principal officers, copies of ancient documents and records relating to the war, also lists of the Narraganset grantees of the united colonies, Massachusetts, Plymouth, and Connecticut; with an appendix, 3d ed., Publisher Boston, Mass., Printed for the author
  3. Connecticut Colonial Probate Records, Vol. 2, section 2 - Inventories and Wills, p. 86.
  4. Connecticut Colonial Probate Records,Vol. 2, section 2 -- Inventories and Wills, p. 87.
  5. Conn. State Library, Farmington Ratable List.
  • Information on the English background of the Gridleys came from a genealogy of the Gridley family produced by Mary Gridley Bell of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, daughter of General Asahel Gridley, through the help of a genealogical service in Chicago, Ill. and through a search conducted by the Media Research Bureau of Washington, D.C. sponsored by the family of Rev. Harold Gridley of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Additional Gridleys in New York State, Illinois, California, and Idaho were provided by Mr Kenneth Gridley of San Jose, Ca.
  • The Oneida County Record Center, Utica, New York and the Surrogate Court at Utica.
  • The Columbia County Historical Society of Kinderhook, New York, Old Dutch Reformed Church of Kinderhook, N.Y.
  • The Federal Census of Connecticut for 1790; of New York State for 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830; of Michigan for 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, and 1870.
  • “The New England Historical and Genealogical Register” and the files of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at Family History Centers in Tampa and Largo, Florida.
  • "Lineage Book" of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Vol. Li, 1904, Washington, D.C., 1919 and Vol. LXXII, 1909, Washington, D.C., 1924.
  • "Index of Revolutionary War Pension Applications," Washington,

D.C., 1976.

  • Tailmadge Township Clerk's Office, the Town Clerk's Off ice and Probate Office of Ottawa County in Grand Haven, Michigan, the Town Clerk's Office and Office of Probate for Kent County in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
  • Barbour, Lucius Barnes, "Families of Early Hartford, Conn." Baltimore, 1977.
  • Bickford, Christopher, "Farmington in Connecticut," Canaan, New Hampshire, Second Revised Edition, 1988 (First Edition 1982).
  • Love, William DeLoss, "The Colonial History of Hartford," Hartford, 1974
  • Savage, James, "Genealogical Dictionary of New England," Vol. 2.
  • Stiles, Henry, "History and Genealogy of Ancient Windsor," 2 vols. Vol. 1 - 1895, Vol. 2 – 1892 Hartford, Connecticut.
  • "The Report of the Pioneer Society of the State of Michigan," Vol. III, Lansing, 1881.
  • Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s about Thomas Gridley, Name: Thomas Gridley, Year: 1639, Place: Connecticut, Primary Immigrant: Gridley, Thomas, Source Bibliography: COLKET, MEREDITH B., JR. Founders of Early American Families: Emigrants from Europe, 1607-1657. Cleveland: General Court of the Order of Founders and Patriots of America, 1975. 366p. Page: 128
  • Connecticut, Town Marriage Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) about Thomas Gridley [Thomas Gridla] Marriage Date: 29 Sep 1644 Marriage Location: Hartford, Spouse: Mary Simmor
  • U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 about Thomas Gridley, Gender: Male, Spouse Name: Mary Seymour Spouse Birth Place: En Spouse Birth Year: 1614 Marriage Year: 1644 Number Pages: 1

  • Wikipedia, Founders of Hartford, Connecticut
Here are the 163 men and women listed in the Book of Distribution of Land as being those who settled in Hartford, Connecticut before February 1640. Their names are on a monument in Hartford's Ancient Burying Ground. There are later settlers who lived in Hartford in the 17th century, but are not considered Founders of Hartford.
Adams, Jeremy Allyn, Matthew Andrews, Francis Arnold, John Bacon, Andrew Barnard, John Barnes, Thomas Bartlett, Robert Baysey, John Beals, Thomas Bearding, Nathaniel Betts, Mary Bidwell, John Billing, Richard Birchard, Thomas Blachford, Peter Blatchley, Thomas Bliss, Thomas, Sr Bliss, Thomas, Jr Blumfield, William Bridgeman, James Bronson, John Bull, Thomas Bunce, Thomas Burr, Benjamin Butler, Richard Butler, William Chaplin, Clement Chester, Mrs Dorothy Church, Richard Clarke, John Cole, James Cornwell, William Crow, John Cullick, John Davis, Philip Davy, Fulke Day, Robert Desborough, Nicholas Easton, Joseph Edwards, William Elmer, Edward Ely, Nathaniel Ensign, James Field, Zachary Fisher, Thomas Friend, John Gardner, Samuel Garrett, Daniel Jennings, John Gibbons, William Goodman, Richard Goodwin, Ozias Goodwin, William Grant, Seth Graves, George Greene, Bartholomew Greenhill, Samuel Gridley, Thomas Hale, Samuel Hale, Thomas Hall, John Hart, Stephen Hayden, William Haynes, John Higginson, Rev John Hills, William Holloway, John Holton, William Hooker, Reverend Thomas Hopkins, Edward Hopkins, John Hosmer, Thomas Hubbard, George Hungerford, Thomas Hyde, William Ince, Jonathan Judd, Thomas Keeler, Ralph Kellogg, Nathaniel Kelsey, William Lay, Edward Lewis, William, Sr Lord, Richard Lord, Thomas Lord, Thomas, Jr Lyman, Richard Marsh, John Marvin, Matthew Marvin, Reinold Maynard, John Moody, John Morris, John Munn, Benjamin Munson, Thomas Mygatt, Joseph Olcott, Thomas Olmstead, John Pantry, William Parker, William Peck, Paul Phillips, William Pierce, John Porter, Thomas Post, Stephen Pratt, John Pratt, William Purchase, John Richards, Nathaniel Richards, Thomas Risley, Richard Roote, Thomas Rusco, William Sable, John Scott, Thomas Selden, Thomas Seymour, Richard Skinner, John Smith, Giles Spencer, Thomas Spencer, William Stanley, John Stanley, Thomas Stanley, Timothy Stanton, Thomas Stebbins, Edward Steele, George Steele, John Stone, Rev Samuel Talcott, John Upson, Thomas Wade, Robert Wadsworth, William Wakley, Henry Wakeman, Samuel Ward, Nathaniel Warner, Andrew Warner, John Watts, Richard Webb, Richard Webster, John Welles, Thomas Westley, William Westwood, William White, John Whitehead, Samuel Whiting, William Wilcox, John Wolterton, Gregory Woodford, Thomas Wyllys, George Proof of descendancy from any of these people permits admission in the Society of the Descendants of Hartford, Connecticut, which was started in 1931. Source:,,_Connecticut

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Images: 1
Hartford in 1640 prepared from the original records by vote of the town and drawn by William S. Porter. Image by The Connecticut Historical Society
Hartford in 1640 prepared from the original records by vote of the town and drawn by William S. Porter. Image by The Connecticut Historical Society


On 30 Jan 2017 at 15:53 GMT John Beardsley wrote:

See which documents Media Research Bureau as a fraudulent company which was forced out of business.

On 27 May 2014 at 04:11 GMT Terence Conklin wrote:

Gridley-145 and Gridley-15 appear to represent the same person because: These two John Gridleys are the same but each offers some detail improvement. I propose we merge them.

Thomas is 15 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 14 degrees from Joseph Broussard, 20 degrees from Helmut Jungschaffer and 17 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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