Stephen Hart
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Stephen Hart (bef. 1603 - abt. 1683)

Deacon Stephen Hart
Born before in Braintree, Essex, Englandmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married about 1625 in Englandmap
Husband of — married after 3 Sep 1678 in Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut Colonymap
Descendants descendants
Died about in Farmington, Hartford, Connecticutmap
Profile last modified | Created 30 Aug 2010 | Last significant change: 21 Feb 2021
22:01: M Cole edited the Biography for Stephen Hart (bef.1603-abt.1683). (updated broken link) [Thank M for this | 1 thank-you received]
This page has been accessed 16,548 times.
The Puritan Great Migration.
Stephen Hart migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
Join: Puritan Great Migration Project
Discuss: pgm

Disputed Origins

Robert Charles Anderson in the Great Migration Begins Vol 2 p 872 says there is not enough evidence to identify parents. Ernest Flagg found a baptism record, 25 Jan 1603, (at St. Nicholas, Ipswich, Suffolk) but nothing else and even he didn't claim to identify the parents (Ernest Flag, Genealogical notes on the Founding of New England p 258). The most definitive work on his family was done by Buell Burdett Bassett, Bassett Genealogy p 384-91 and he makes no claims to who his parents may be.

Therefore we have detached Stephen Hart and Mehitable Hart as parents.

Banks suggested Braintree, Essex, and Hartley Whitney, Hampshire as places of origin.[1] Savage suggested that he might be brother of John Hart of Marblehead and Boston or Edmund Hart of Westfield.[2] There is no evidence for any of these suggestions.[3]

Biography

Birth
Stephen Hart was born about 1603, based on the estimated date of his first marriage.[3] There is no proof of his birth or parentage.

Emigration:
It is believed that Stephen arrived in Cambridge, Massachusett about 1632/3 with the group, known as the "Braintree Company," led by the Reverand Thomas Hooker. Land records (see below) and his subsequent move to Hartford with Hooker, makes this a plausible scenario. Stephen was instrumental in the planting of a church in Farmington, Connecticut.

Stephen Hart and His Descendants by Alfred Andrew with Updated by Richard Hart.: Deacon Stephen Hart, Historical Issues #1 by David Hart. This website contains an analysis of ship sailings to try and determine exactly when and on what ship Stephen Hart immigrated.

Marriage;
Stephen Hart's first wife, _____ _____ was unnamed in any New England records. She died at Farmington by 1678.[3]

Stephen's second wife was Margaret ______. They were married after the 1678 death of her second husband. She was the widow of Arthur Smith and Joseph Nash. Margaret survived Deacon Hart, and was admitted to the church in Farmington, March 17th, 1690/1. She died at Farmington between 18 Feb 1691/2 (date of will) and 1 Mar 1693/4 (probate of will)[3] Margaret, left her property to her sons, John and Arthur Smith, and daughter, Elizabeth Thompson. She had grandchildren — Elizabeth, John, and Ann Thompson.[4]

Some totally fictitious?/unsourced wives have been added to his Find a Grave Memorials, which do not have even accurate burial locations.

Death:
Deacon Stephen Hart died in Farmington, March 1682/3, between the 16th (date of his will) and the 31st (date of his inventory.)[5] Ages are sometimes attached to his death, but these are calculated on his estimated birth and were not listed in any contemporary record.


Braintree

In 1632 a company of Essex people had come out with the Rev. Thomas Hooker, afterwards the renowned pastor of the church at Hartford. Winthrop refers to them as "the Braintree company." They first went across the Neponset, where they began a settlement; and then, by order of the General Court, they moved over to Cambridge. When, therefore, eight years later, the place to which they first went was incorporated as a town, a name was given to it, probably at Winthrop's suggestion, connected with that "Braintree company which had begun to sit down at Mount Wollaston.[6]

If Stephen was at Mount Wollaston/Braintree he left no records there to prove it.


Cambridge

He was admitted as a freeman of the Massachusetts Bay Colony on 14 May 1634, along with Thomas Hooker, Samuel Stone, and other Hartford founders.[7]

It should be mentioned that in the time of Stephen Hart's residence the place that was later called Cambridge was called Newe Towne or Newetowne. The early town records (Cambridge), inform us that Stephen was responsible for 8 rods of common fencing. Among the 42 men listed, 577 rods of fence were assigned. 70 rods was the longest assignment and 2 rods was the shortest.[8] This record is dated 7 Jan 1632, but it is believed to have been made up later. He also had several grants of land: 5 Aug 1633 ½ acre cowyardes, 2 Feb 1633/4 2 acres in the planting ground in the neck, 20 Aug 1635 a proportion of two in the Fresh Pond meadow (proportions were between 0 and 6), 8 Feb 1635/6 another 2-acre division.[8][9]

5 Oct 1635, in a general register of lands held, is listed his house with the back side, and about 18 acres in various lots.[10] His house lot was #46 on the map.[11]

7 October 1635, Steven Hearte and his wife sold to Joseph and George Cooke their house and yards and several parcels of land and meadow and everything belonging.[10]


Hartford

Stephen Hart is on the Adventurer's Boulder and the Founder's Monument.

Winthrop noted in his journal, 15 Oct 1635, "About sixty men, women and little children, went by land toward Connecticut with their cows, horses and swine, and, after a tedious and difficult journey, arrived safe there."[12] There is ample reason to believe that Stephen Hart and his family, left Newtowne with this earlier group in advance of the main body that left with Rev. Thomas Hooker in 1636.[13]

There is a family tradition that the town was named for the low stage of Connecticut River, which he discovered and used to cross--Hart's Ford.[4] However the official version is that it was named after the birthplace of Rev. Samuel Stone, Hertford, England.[14]

Stephen owned a lot in the soldier's field, which he sold to William Wadsworth.[15] This ground was given to men who had served in the expedition against the Pequot Indians in 1637.

In February 1639, he had several parcels of land: one parcel containing his dwelling house, outhouses, yard, & gardens, about 2 acres (#30 on the map); one parcel on which his dwelling house once stood, about 2 acres (#16 on the map); and various parcels of meadow, swamp, pasture, and neck, all of which are minutely described in the record[15]


Farmington

Tradition says that Stephen and others while "on a hunting excursion on Talcott Mountain, they discovered the Farmington River Valley, then inhabited by the Tunxis, a powerful tribe of Indians. The meadows were probably then cleared, and waving with grass and Indian corn. Such lands were then much needed and coveted by the settlers..."[4] On 16 Jan 1639 the General Court of Connecticut sent a group of men to "view those parts of Unxus Sepus wch may be suitable for those purposes and make report of their doings... This was for the purpose of some "inlargement of accommodacon."[16] 15 June 1640, the Particular court "is to conclude the conditions for the planting of Tunxis."[16]

Stephen and his first wife, whose name was not mentioned were members of the First Church of Farmington, officially organized Nov. 1652.[4] He was admitted 13 Oct 1652, she 1 month later.[17] Mr. Hart had been deacon of Rev. Thomas Hooker's church at Cambridge, Massachusetts, and at Hartford, Connecticut,[4] Stephen Hart was one of the seven pillars of the Farmington church, and was chosen their first deacon.[4]

Stephen Hart appears to have taken the lead in the settlement among the Indians in Farmington, and purchased a large tract on the border of the present town of Avon, and known to this day by the name of Hart's Farm.[4]

He held the following positions of the Colony: Deputy to Connecticut General Court for Farmington 1647-1655, 1660; War committee from Farmington May 1653;[18] Juryperson 24 May 1647, 20 Feb 1650/1, 7 Dec 1654, 3 March 1658/9, 5 Sep 1661, 9 October 1661[16] Town records for the period were burned.

His house-lot, which was four or five times as large as any other, was on the west side of Main Street, in the village, opposite the meeting-house, and contained fifteen acres, extending, from Mill Lane to the stone store south. This large house-lot was granted to Deacon Stephen Hart as an inducement to erect and continue a mill on the premises, to be perpetuated and kept in motion. The mill was erected originally by the Bronsons, to whom, as a consideration, was granted, viz: a tract of eighty acres, on the Pequabuk River, now known as the "Eighty Acre." The south part of this house-lot he gave to his son John, and the north part to his son Thomas.[4][19]


Will:

Deacon Hart's Will was dated March 16th, 1682 (3). He mentions the farm he formerly gave his three sons, John, Stephen, and Thomas, viz: one-half to John, one-fourth to Steven, and one-fourth to Thomas.
  Item. — I give to my grandson, Thomas Porter, and my son in law, John Cole, my plowing land and meadow and swamp, which was sometimes part of Andrew Warner's farm, and abuts upon my son Steven harts land on the north I did give it to them to be equally divided betwixt them the engagement to my beloved wiffe being fullfilled to them and their heirs(?) forever
  Item. — I doe give to my sons, Steven and Thomas hart that tonn acers of land with I bought of andrew warner that lies in the farm meddow to be equally divided betwixt them the ingagement to my beloved wiffe being fullfilled I give it to them and their heirs(?) forever
  Item. -- I doe give to my sons, Steven and Thomas hart, my daughters, Sarah Porter and Marie Lee, my Swamp Lot in the Great Swamp, and all the rest of my upland divitions devided or undevided to be equally divided betwixt them and their heirs forever.
  Item. — I doe give to my grand child Dorretee Porter, tenn pounds.
  Item. — I doe give to my grandchild John Lee, three pound
  Item. — I doe give to my grandchild John Hart, my eldest son's son, three pound
  Item. — I give my beloved wife, &c.
The Inventory was taken by Thomas Hart, and John Hart, Isaac Moore, and Benjamin Judd, March 31st, 1682/3. Amount, £319. 2s. including House and homestead, £70; land at Nodd, east of river, £4 etc.[5]

Children:

  1. Sarah, born say 1624; married Hartford, 20 Nov 1644, Thomas Porter.[HaVR 606][3]
  2. John, born say 1627; m. by 1652 Sarah _____. He had a daughter, Sarah age 5, treated by John Winthrop Jr. 23 Dec 1657.[WMJ 298][3]
  3. Stephen b. about 1634; died 18 Sep 1689 age 55 [TAG 11:51, citing Farminton gravestone] at the Ancient Burying Ground in Farmington.[20]; married by 1662 Ann Fitch, dtr of Thomas Fitch.[3][21][3]
  4. Mary, born say 1638; married (1) John Lee; married (2) 5 Jan 1691/2, Jedediah Strong.[3]
  5. Thomas, born say 1640; married (1) by 1665 Mary Smith, daughter of Arthur and Margaret (_____) Smith; married (2) Ruth Howkins, daughter of Anthony Howkins.[3]
  6. Rachel (aka Mehitabel) b. about 1642; m. by 1664 John Cole.[3] See Rachel's profile.

Sources

  1. Charles Edward, 1854-1931: Topographical dictionary of 2885 English emigrants to New England, 1620-1650, (Philadelphia, Pa. [The Bertram press], 1937), also by Elijah Ellsworth Brownell (page images at HathiTrust) pp. 41, 60
  2. Savage, James. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May 1692. Vol. I-IV. Boston, MA, USA: 1860-1862. p. 368.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III. (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2010), (Originally Published as: New England Historic Genealogical Society. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III, 3 vols., 1995). https://www.americanancestors.org/DB393/i/12107/871/23895230
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Andrews, Alfred. Genealogical history of Deacon Stephen Hart and his descendants, 1632. 1875: with an introduction of miscellaneous Harts and their progenitors, as far as known; to which is added a list of all the clergy of the name found, all the physicians, all the lawyers, the authors, and soldiers. Hartford, Conn.: The Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co., 1875 pp. 39-41
  5. 5.0 5.1 Connecticut State Library. Probate Files Collection, Early to 1880; (Hartford, Connecticut); Probate Place: Hartford, Connecticut. Probate Packets, Harris, H-Hartford, 1641-1880. Stephan Hart, 1682/3, #2618, Farmington, Hartford Prob. Dist. Accessed at Ancestry.
  6. Adams, Charles Francis. History of Braintree, Massachusetts (1639-1708) : the north precinct of Braintree (1708-1792) and the town of Quincy (1792-1889)Cambridge : Printed at the Riverside Press, 1891. p. 8
  7. Shurtleff, Nathaniel. Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England Vol I 1628-1641. (William White, Boston, 1853-) Vol 1. p 369
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Records of the Town of Cambridge (formerly Newtowne) Massachusetts, 1630-1703 (Cambridge, Mass., 1901)fence p. 4 Land grants pp. 5, 7, 13, 17.
  9. Note: An often repeated statement is that he was one of the fifty four settlers at Cambridge. He seems to be the only settler to have made this statement and there doesn't seem to be a convenient list. Forty-two people were assigned to common fencing. Sixty-four lots were laid out. In 1635, two of those lots didn't have a house (meeting house and market lot). Three were owned by the same person, which makes sixty occupied home lots.
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Register Book of the Lands and Houses in the "New Towne" and the town of Cambridge (Cambridge, Mass., 1896) Registered p. 18/9; sold p. 42
  11. Paige, Lucius R. History of Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1630-1877. With a genealogical register Boston: H.O. Houghton and Co., 1877 p. xv-xvii. https://archive.org/stream/historyofcambrid00paigiala#page/n23/mode/2up
  12. Winthrop, John. Winthrop's Journal 1630-1649 "History of New England." Vol. I (Scribner in New York, 1908) p. 163
  13. Love, William DeLoss. Colonial history of Hartford Gathered from the Original Records. Hartford, Connecticut: By the author, 1914. p. 6 +
  14. HartfordHistory.net "The Founding of Hartford."
  15. 15.0 15.1 Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society. Original Distribution of the Lands in Hartford Among the /Settlers 1639: Hartford, Conn Hist Soc. 1912. 1639 p. 190 Soldier's Field p. 188
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Trumbull, J. Hammond. (transcriber). The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut Prior to the Union with New Haven Colony May 1665. Hartford: Brown and Parsons, 1850. AKA Colonial Records of Connecticut. Volume I. 1636-1665. Tunxis pp 42, 52. jury pp 47, 93 132, 197, 238 240;
  17. Connecticut. Church Records Index. (Vol. 34) Farmington First Congregational 1652-1938. Connecticut State Library, Hartford, Connecticut.
  18. Jacobus, Donald Lines. "List of Official Military and Civil" Published in Families of Ancient New Haven, Vol I-VIII. and Index Vol IX New Haven: 1931. Reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1974, 1981, 1997. p. 983. Originally published as New Haven Genealogical Magazine, Volumes I-VIII. Rome, NY and New Haven, CT 1922-1932.
  19. More detail can be found on Stephen's land holding etc. in One Bassett family in America: with all connections in America and many in Great Britain and France: principally an outline of what the ancestors did to help make America, mainly from original records heretofore unpublished, by Buell Burdett Bassette. Springfield: 1926. p. 384...
  20. Find A Grave: Memorial #20104132
  21. 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. 205

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Comments: 15

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Hannah is not a daughter, have left a message for managers on her profile.
posted by Anne B
I'm working on integrating two bios, putting inline sources etc. into this bio. It's bound to get worse before it gets better. :)
posted by Anne B
Hart-7465 and Hart-69 appear to represent the same person because: These are clearly the same man., The first wife's given name is Unknown, not Sarah or Elizabeth.
posted by Anne B
Hart-7465 and Hart-69 are not ready to be merged because: The two Harts do not have the same wives.
posted by Nova (Anderson) Weller
Hart-7465 and Hart-69 appear to represent the same person because: from the biographies, it is clear these were intended to be the same person
posted by Robin Lee
Hart-8696 and Hart-7465 appear to represent the same person because: same daughter shown, no sources for data on -8696, and birth is clearly incorrect.
posted by Robin Lee
Please add your sources to this profile, Connecticut did not exist in 1599, this data is incorrect. The father of Mary Hart is well documented on Hart-7465
posted by Robin Lee
Hi: Margaret's last name is Farmington who married Stephen Hart in 1678-09-00 in Hartford Co. CT.

Source: Ancestral File: 18ZB-ZC7 Pedigree File: MMW7-Z5Y. Familysearch.org.

posted by Marie Chantigny
I made a third tabel of the inventory.

I am not 100% sure about the costs of the apprising. Maybe the values should each have been one row lower.

posted by Pierre Goolaerts
I made two tables for better readability and deleted some text that was double.
posted by Pierre Goolaerts

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Categories: Puritan Great Migration | Founders of Hartford | Hart Name Study