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Danbury, Connecticut

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Danbury, the founding.

The area now known as Danbury, Connecticut, was called Pahquioque by the native inhabitants. Eight men (Thomas Taylor, Francis Bushnell, Thomas Barnum, John Hoyt, James Benedict, Samuel Benedict, James Beebe and Judah Gregory) and their families first settled on land purchased from the Indians in 1684.[1]

May 1684. "Mr. Jehu Bur, Mr. John Bur, Mr. Tho. Fitch, Mr. Thom. Benedict, are by this Court appoynted and impowered a committee for to order the planting of a Towne above Norwalke or Fayrefeild, and to receive in inhabitants to plant there; and what they, or any three of them, shall doe in the premises shall be good to all intents and purposes for the planting of Paquiage."[2]

Oct 1684. "This court orders that those of Norwalke whoe were removeing to Paquiag and have left out their persons and sundry of their cattell out of the list of estates, shall pay the one half of rates due, according to law, from the estate left out.[2]

Oct 1687. The petition by the inhabitants had been to name the town "Swamfeild" bounded on the south by Norwalk and Fairfield, the north bounds half way to Weaninucke,[Kent?] the east bounds half way to Stratford River, the west bounds by York line [New York]. There were twenty families living there.[2]

Oct. 1687. "This Court named the new towne at Paquiag, Danbury, and granted them a freedom from county rates for fower yeares from this date; and this Court grants that the bownds of the sayd towne of Danbury shall be six mile square, provided it doe not prejudice any former grant to any perticular person, made by this court. This Court grants that Danbury brand shall be two eyes, as followeth, I I."[2]

May 1702. The State granted the Danbury patent to James Bebee, Thomas Tayler, Samll Benedick, James Benedick, John Hoyt senr, Josiah Starre, and the rest of the proprietors of the township of Danbury. They ordered that the town be eight miles north to south and 6 miles east to west. The current size is 44.19 sq miles.[3]

What happened to the early, before 1777, Danbury Records?

In 1776, the commissioners of the American army chose Danbury to deposit military stores, and food supplies. April 1777, Governor Tryon and two thousand men left New York on a mission to destroy these supplies. The army landed in Fairfield and marched twenty-five miles directly to Danbury. The unarmed Continental troops at Danbury and many of the citizens withdrew from town before the destroyers arrived at 3:00 in the afternoon of April 26. Persons were murdered, including a four persons inside a house they set afire. Only the persons and property of Tories were spared the cruelty. Early on the morning of the 27th they set fire to the town destroying nineteen houses, the meeting house of the New Danbury Society and twenty-two stores and barns. In addition to the devastating losses to the Continental army and the inhabitants of Danbury, the town records were lost.

Danbury Resources.

  • Bailey, James M. and Hill, Susan Benedict. History of Danbury, Conn., 1684-1896. New York : Burr Print. House, 1896. Google Books, Archive.org
  • Barbour Collection of Vital Records, can be searched at Ancestry and American Ancestors. Online at rays-place and dunhamwilcox.net
  • Hale Collection of Connecticut cemetery records. Can be searched at Ancestry or part free online They are probably also at Find a Grave.
  • Probate records are available at Ancestry.com


  1. Bailey, James M. and Hill, Susan Benedict. History of Danbury, Conn., 1684-1896. New York : Burr Print. House, 1896.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut]] Vol. 3, May 1678-1689 (Hartford, Brown & Parsons, 1850) pp 142, 166, 240, footnote 240.
  3. The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut]] Vol. 3, May 1678-1689. Vol. 4 Aug. 1689 - May 1706 (Hartford, Brown & Parsons, 1850) p. 385
  • More about the burning of Danbury. Hotchkiss, Herbert A. "Editorial, Danbury Raid April 1777" Connecticut Nutmeggar 9:482. (1976) Link at AmericanAncestors ($)

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Categories: Danbury, Connecticut