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Walter Hoyt (abt. 1618 - bef. 1698)

Walter Hoyt aka Hoyte, Haight, Hait,
Born about in West Hatch, Somersetshire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Son of and [uncertain]
Husband of — married 1642 [location unknown]
Husband of — married about 1646 in Windsor or Norwalk, Connecticutmap
Descendants descendants
Died before in Norwalk, Fairfield County, Connecticut Colonymap
Profile last modified | Created 13 Sep 2010 | Last significant change: 11 Jan 2021
04:52: Kathleen Walker replied to a comment on the page for Walter Hoyt (abt.1618-bef.1698) [Thank Kathleen for this]
This page has been accessed 3,647 times.
The Puritan Great Migration.
Walter Hoyt migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
Join: Puritan Great Migration Project
Discuss: pgm
Although Walter and his siblings were baptized as Hoyte, their father was married as Hoyt, another contemporary record. Hoyt is also used by Anderson. Therefore, we are going with Hoyt as last name at birth. -- WikiTree Puritan Great Migration project.



Walter Hoyt was baptized 30 Nov 1618 at West Hatch, Somersetshire, England.[1][2] Now considered erroneous birthdate of June 9, 1616, comes from the The Journal of the Reverend Silas Constant. Any references to his birthplace as Upway/Upwey, Dorset, come from this 1903 source.[3]

Walter made two statements in his life which confirm his birth about this time. In 1684, as witness to the will of John Hoyt of Rye, he stated his age about 65, and in his 1696 will he calls himself age 78.[4]

He emigrated with his parents and oldest siblings in 1629; they settled initially in Charlestown, Massachusetts.[1] By 1633, the family had removed to Dorchester, then by 1635 to Scituate, and by 1639 to Windsor. Walter's father was living at Fairfield by 1649 and at Stamford by 1657.[1]

It was believed for many years that Simon and Family probably came on the "Abigail" in 1628 with other persons from Upway and Dorset, and that his mother was Deborah Stowers. This was based on the same information from The Journal of the Reverend Silas Constant listed above, which has now been supplanted by newer information. Deborah has been detached as his mother. For more detail on his immigration see Immigration of Simon Hoyt and Family on his father's profile.


Walter married twice.

He married first by about 1642, to Unknown Unknown (neither the first name nor maiden name of his wife is known).[1] An earlier version of this profile claimed she was Elizabeth St. John but no source confirms this, so we have detached her.

He married second by about 1652 Rhoda (Tinker) Hobbs Taylor, bp. 16 Jun 1611 as "daughter of Robert Tinker," widow of 1) Thomas Hobbs, 2) John Taylor of Windsor, Conn.[5][6]

NOTE: A previous version of this profile claimed that he had an additional spouse Elizabeth or Susanna St. John and that she was daughter of Matthias Sension/St. John and Mercy Tinker. But a) that couple had no such daughter by either name,[7] and b) there is no evidence Walter Hoyt ever married such a person.[8] She's been detached as his spouse and mother of his daughter Hannah Hoyt Gregory.

Positions and Property

He moved to Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut before 1653.[9]

In Norwalk, Walter was a Deputy to the Connecticut Legislature thirteen times in the years 1658-1681.[4] He was appointed Sergeant of the Train Band of Norwalk May 1659.[4]

Walter Hoyt was a founding settler of Norwalk[10], Connecticut. He served as a deputy of the General Court of the Connecticut Colony from Norwalk between 1658 and 1662, and, when it was renamed, as a deputy of the Connecticut General Assembly between 1662 to 1681. He was a Norwalk selectman in 1672.(Wikipedia)

On 19 May 1659, Walter was confirmed by the General Court of Election at Hartford as Sargent in the local militia; Richard Olmstead was confirmed as Lieutenant.[11]

In May 1672 Walter Hoyt was among those whose names were given to the General Court "for the beginning of a plantation near the backside of Norwalk."
He, along with Ralph Keeler, was contracted by the settlement to cut the timber and build a house for Reverend Thomas Hanford. He voted in the town meetings in Norwalk, and was confirmed by the General Court as one of the proprietors of Norwalk in 1685.
Hoyt's Hill, named after Walter Hoyt, is the historical name of the hill in the Green at the northeast corner of East Avenue and Willow Street. The place name dates back at least as early as 1679.[12]

Death and Legacy

Walter made his will on 11 Feb. 1695/6 and died before 10 Jan 1698, when an inventory of his estate at Norwalk was made. He calls himself aged about 78, and bequeaths his estate to his two sons John of Danbury and Zerrubable.[13][14]

He is listed on the Founders Stone bearing the names of the founding settlers of Norwalk in the East Norwalk Historical Cemetery at Norwalk, Fairfield County, CT.[15]


Children of Walter and his first wife (name unknown):

  1. Elizabeth Hoyt, m. at Norwalk, Samuel St. John in 1663.[4] This may have caused the confusion of his first wife's name.
  2. John Hoyt, b. at Windsor 13 July 1644[4]
  3. Thomas Hoyt,* d by 11 Feb 1695/6 (not incl. in Walter's will)[16]
  4. Hannah Hoyt, m. at Norwalk, 20 Oct. 1664, Judah Gregory[4]
  5. Child of "Hoyt", d. at Windsor 1647[4]

Child of Walter and his second wife, Rhoda (Unknown) Taylor:

  1. Zerubbabel Hoyt, b. (say 1652)[4]

*Thomas is not included by Jacobus, but Prindle identifies evidence for him.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Anderson, Robert Charles, (1995) "Simon Hoyt." Featured name. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Vol. 1-3. Boston, MA: NEHGS, American (Vol 1-3, Pages 1028-1033).
  2. "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 January 2016), Walter Hoyte, 30 Nov 1618; citing WEST HATCH,SOMERSET,ENGLAND, reference ; FHL microfilm 942.38 W5 K29C, 942.38/W5 K29C. -ALSO ANDERSON.
  3. Roebling, Emily Warren, (1903) The Journal of the Reverend Silas Constant, Pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Yorktown, New York ... Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, (Pages 417-18) Caution incorrect.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 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. 295)
  5. Anderson called her Rhoda ______ Taylor, widow of John Taylor in his Great Migration Begins, but subsequent work by Douglas Richardson has shown she was Rhoda (Tinker).
  6. Richardson, Douglas, (1995) "The English Ancestry of the Merwin and Tinker Families of New England [Part Two: John Tinker]." (Vol 149, Pages 412-).
  7. Robert Charles Anderson, Great Migration..., Vol VI R-S, p 231-2
  8. Robert Charles Anderson, Great Migration Begins..., p. 1030: Walter Hoyt, son of Simon Hoyt...
  9. Selleck, Charles M. Norwalk. Norwalk, Conn: The author, 1896. (p.352)
  10. WikiPedia:History of Norwalk, Connecticut#Settlement
  11. Sinclair, Doug, (1998-2005) "Walter Hoyt."
  12. Source: Wikipedia
  13. Connecticut, Fairfield Probate District, Norwalk. Walter Hayt. Date: 1698, No. 3067. Accessed at 1/30/2016, from uploaded to trees documents. Held at the Connecticut State Library.
  14. Transcription: Norwalke : the 11 of february = 1695 or 6
    The last will and testmiant of Walter hayt Aged aboute 78 yearse I the said walter hayt Being ill and weacke apprending I shall not long continow in the land of the living – I will and bequeth my body unto the dust and Deseanst buuriall and my Soull to god that gave it to me -- -- and for that lettell estat that god hath given me be disposed of as folloeth unto my tow Sons namly John hayt of Danbury and my son zaraball hayt that whatt land and medo and comonoges I have within the towne bounds of norwalk be divided equaly to ech of them a like and also whatt other movbabl estat that I shall leav or may be left after my decesce – and that it be to them and there hers and asines adminitur to have and of to hold for ever – and this to be my last will and to conttermany any former and to stand good unto them – after my just detts be discharged – my desiare that my tow sons be eecators unto this my will – and this for to be my last will as witton my hand this day and yeare above Dated & it muste be under stood whatt lands I have not dissposed of before by gifte or Deed
    Wallter Hayte
    Syined in the presence of us willingly
    John Platt Sr, Joseph Sension
    Inventory dated 10 Jan 1698 (£167). Exhibited with the will in the Fairfield probate court 11 April 1699.
  15. Beensker, (28 Jun 2015) Walter Hoyt Find A Grave Memorial# 148419136
  16. Prindle, Paul W., (Oct 1991) "Thomas, Son of Walter Hoyt, of Windsor and Norwalk, Conn." The American Genealogist. NEHGS (Vol 66, Pages 217-18).

See also:

  • Hoyt, David Webster, (1871) A Genealogical History of the Hoyt, Haight, and Hight Families... Providence: Printed for the author by the Providence press, Caution: Contains some errors. (Pages 292-96).
  • The Memorial History of Hartford County, Connecticut, 1633-1884. Online publication - Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data - Trumbull, James Hammond,. The memorial history of Hartford County, Connecticut, 1633-1884. Boston: E.L. Osgood, 1886.
  • Selleck, Charles Melbourne, (1896) Norwalk. Norwalk, CT: (Vol 1, Page 80). Has more information on Walter and his family.
  • Included in David W. Hoyt Book "A Genealogucal History of the Hoyt, Haight and Hight family"

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Comments: 28

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I have a couple of records that show Elizabeth St John as Walters first wife. I don't know if they are trusted sources or not. And I don't know how to link them.

One is "The Hickok genealogy : descendants of William Hickoks of Farmington, Connecticut : with ancestry of Charles Nelson Hickok" Walter Hoyt is said to have married Elizabeth St John in 1643 on page page 369.

Also "The ancestral lines of Mary Lenore Knapp" mentions Walter Hoyt and Elizabeth St John as the parents of John Hoyt b1644.

Then there's the "U.S., New England Marriages Prior to 1700" showing their marriage, albeit with a ?.

Are these documents good enough?

posted by Kathleen Walker
Will a member of the googlegroup Crew please respond to Kathleen about the validity of the sources she mentions? Thank you.
This is a very interesting question which at first glance made me think we were too quick to dismiss the first wife as being Elizabeth St. John. A second look makes me think there are some nuisances to the problem which need a proper investigation. Certainly we need a better discussion about why she is or is not Elizabeth St. John. I will put some research notes on her page as I find time.
posted by Joe Cochoit
Basically, there were very good reasons why the first wife of Walter might have been named Elizabeth St. John. However, it turns out there were reasons why this was wrong and there are better explanations for the facts given in Kathleen's references.
posted by Joe Cochoit
OK, I'm open to whatever the better explanations are, but what are they?
posted by Kathleen Walker
So Cheryl, where is the googlegroup Crew so I can try posting there?
posted by Kathleen Walker
Joe has responded (above) from the group, Kathleen. We're simply a batch of members who keep an eye on activity on the PGM feed.
posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
Joe said there are better explanations but he didnt say what they were. Yes, I know, we're all volunteers. I appreciate that. I'm trying to collaborate rather then just reconnect someone who was disconnected.
posted by Kathleen Walker
Thank you for your collaboration, Kathleen.

Rereading Joe's comment above, I think he is wanting you to do some research on your own, checking the references on this profile.

Cheryl Skordahl PGM Leader

Kathleen, you mentioned the source of "U.S., New England Marriages Prior to 1700." I checked Torrey's New England Marriages Prior to 1700 and found his entry for this couple. He says:
HOYT, Walter (1616-1698) & 1/wf ? ?Elizabeth St. JOHN?; by 1644; Windsor, CT/Fairfield, CT {Mead-Clark 71; Windsor CT 2:410; Norwalk 65; Lyon 3:279; Bissell Anc. 113, 124; Fairfield Fam. 1:295; TAG 11:126; Knapp Anc. 50, 75, 87, 106; Frame-Dana 248}
The items within the {braces} are the sources he checked. It may be useful to follow his trail and see what these sources have to say. The source list is here on and is available to members & non-members: Read the guide to Torrey's source references in PDF format.
If you're not familiar with Torrey's work, there's a good explanation to all the 'shorthand' here: Read the full introduction to Torrey's by David Curtis Dearborn in PDF Format.
posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
edited by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
I feel like you all know something you're not telling me. I give up.

Happy New Year Y'all.

posted by Kathleen Walker
Sorry Kathleen. It has been a busy time of the year, and it sometimes takes a while to collect sources and write a coherent discussion. Please see the 11 sources and discussion I put on the profile of Walter Hoyt's first wife Unknown (Unknown) Hoyt.

Happy New Year

posted by Joe Cochoit
edited by Joe Cochoit
Thank you. I read all that. It is a reason not to take the relationship between Walter Hoyt and Matthew Sension as proof Walter married Elizabeth St John.

I also read the Torrey links. And didn't see anything in there to prove it either way.

No one has explained why the The Hickok genealogy and the ancestral lines of Mary Lenore Knapp should be disregarded.

posted by Kathleen Walker
I think the explanation is on his wife's profile. Basically though, they are out-of-date. They were written before the discovery of the English origins of Mathias Sension which show he had no sister who could have been a wife of Walter Hoyt. And they were written before the discovery of the fact that Walter Hoyt and Mathias Sension married sisters to explain all the known facts.

I would also point out that Knapp doesn't even say that Walter married a sister of Mathias Sension; it says, "The relationship of Elizabeth St. John who m. Walter Hoyt to Mathias St. John is still in dispute. Many believe she was a dau. but there is no evidence to prove or disprove it. "

The Hickok Genealogy gives the circumstantial evidence; however, the conclusion based on that circumstantial evidence we now show to be wrong and has a better explanation.

posted by Joe Cochoit
edited by Joe Cochoit
Thanks so much for your explanation.
posted by Kathleen Walker
Listed as Walter Haite on Founders Monument
posted by Michael Stills
Thanks for your expert abilities, Jillaine. The merge & clean-up would have been overload for me.
Merge completed; inaccurate spouse detached again.
posted by Jillaine Smith
Sheesh; what a mess; I'm working on it.
posted by Jillaine Smith
I revisited this postponed merge today. Both -23 & -266 are PPPd.

I suggest Jillaine work on merge, since she has history with these profiles. See g2g:


Susan, it would be well to make solid, scholarly notations in the bios of these affected Hoyt/Haight profiles. If new writings are produced that indicate two different/non-related families, the notes/arrows are there to follow.

Cooperating with the PGM leaders is a good way to go. I believe they will work to see that your scholarly ideas are incorporated.

Have a nice evening.

After reviewing the notations on this PGM biography I just postponed with an unmerged match Hoyt-23 & Haight-266.

PLEASE NOTE: The unmerged match is going the wrong direction. The final profile should be PGM profile Hoyt-23.

Not merged because of conflicting stats: 1. LNAB should be Hoyt 2. Birth location should be West Hatch 3. wf. of -266 Eliz Senshon (St. John) see bio of Hoyt-23 for explanation. She was b. 1631, 16 years younger than husb. 4. Death location should be Norwalk, Fairfield, CT.

PGM profiles follow Anderson unless more recent writings update his work.

The genetic testing on Simon Haight-265 should be noted in this bio and other familial bios so that future genealogists have that for reference.

Note conclusion/best answer from Jillaine, PGM Leader here:

Post merge, be sure to detach Elizabeth Senshon as spouse. See Hoyt-23 narrative about this non-existent marriage.
posted by Jillaine Smith
Apparently, there were two different Simon Hoyts (see their profiles for details). Both had sons named Walter. The Walter Hoyt who was baptized in Upway appears to have remained in England. The Walter Hoyt baptized in West Hatch emigrated.


posted by Cynthia (Billups) B
Hoyt-23 and Hoyt-3018 appear to represent the same person because: I accidentally created a second profile. I am a direct descendant.
posted by Shelly (Hoyt) Madore

Rejected matches › Walter J. Hitt

H  >  Hoyt  >  Walter Hoyt

Categories: Founders of Norwalk | Puritan Great Migration