New Haven Colony

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Date: 1637 to 1664
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: new_haven_colony new_haven
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One Place Studies
Worklist Connecticut Project, includes the Signers of the New Haven Fundamental Agreement

This profile is part of the New Haven Colony One Place Study.

Many of our ancestors have previously been added to the New Haven, Connecticut category as well as other town categories. So for the moment it is on the category list.

WikiTree is always a Work in Progress.

To add the One Place Study Template:
{{One Place Study
|place=New Haven Colony
|category=New Haven, New Haven Colony

Background Map used on New Haven Profiles: ABGE-72.jpg
Transcription of the map "squares"
Alphabetical list


What is this place called?

Colony = "1. A group of people who settle in a distant land but remain subject to a parent country. 2. A territory ruled by a distant power. 3. A group of people with similar interests concentrated in one area" for instance an artist's colony.[1]

Politically, New Haven was never a colony subject to the British Government. They had no charter from the King. At first they referred to themselves as English Planters and a Plantation and they called the place Quinnepiac, which was the Indian name. Their Church and the scriptures were their Government even before they formed a government.

Some early records of courts have the following unnamed headings:[2][3]

"A Court holden the 3d of Nouember 1639."
"A Gen Court the 25 of Nouember 1639."

Then "Att a Genrll Court held the 1t of the 7th Moneth 1640."

"This towne now named Newhaven."

The next court the heading is:

"Att a Court held att Newhaven the 2d of 7 m; 1640."

Later many headings appear as:

"At a court of election held at Newhaven for the Jurisdiction the 25th of May, 1653"

Wills are often a source of how people designate the place they live, saying things like I John Smith of the town of Jonesboro, County of Jones, State of Kentucky. A few examples of early wills in New Haven:

Hannah Beecher of New Haven on 13 Jun 1657[4]
Thomas Nash of New Haven Aug 1 1657
"John Parmely of Newhaven" will presented 2 Jan 1659/60
Theophilus Eaton Will of “the Honorable Late Governor of the Colony,” Aug 12 1656. His death is recorded "Theophilus Eaton Efqr The Honord Gouernor of New hauen Colony dyed

By 1653, they are referring to themselves as a colony, when Francis Newman, secretary signs letters "By the Generll Court for Newhaven Colonie"[3]

For this One Place Study, the "plantation of Quinnipiack and the jurisdiction and colony of Newhaven / New Haven are all included. The timeframe is from the first hut of the English in the fall/winter of 1637, until Dec 14, 1664, when New Haven submitted their autonomy to the Colony of Connecticut.


This is AnneB's really brief history of New Haven Colony - to be revised.

In 1637, a bunch of guys sailed to the harbor of the Quinnepiac. They thought it looked like a great place, so they left seven of their fellows there for the winter of 1637/8.

In the spring of 1638, a whole bunch of people got into boats and sailed from Boston to Quinnepiac. They later renamed the place New Haven. They set up a town based on Puritan Christian principles. They purchased land from the Quinnepiacs and added more towns to the Colony of New Haven.

19 May 1643 New Haven joined with Massachusetts, Plimouth, and Connecticut to form The United Colonies of New England largely for aid in defense, should any of the Colonies need such aid.

Through some interesting political maneuvering, New Haven (who never had a charter from the King) was forced to join Connecticut Colony towards the very end of 1664.

1666, just shortly after New Haven became part of Connecticut, men from Branford, Guilford, and Milford, founded and settled Settlement (Newark, New Jersey)

Need More:
Wikipedia Article on New Haven Colony
New Haven Colony at the Society of Colonial Wars
Map showing current Connecticut's past Colonies.

Massachusett's to Quinnipiack

Journal of Gov. John Winthrop, 30 March 1638
"Mr. Davenport and Mr. Prudden, and a brother of Mr. Eaton, (being ministers also,) went by water to Quinepiack; and with them many families removed out of this jurisdiction to plant in those parts, being much taken with the opinion of the fruitfulness of that place, and more safety (as they conceived) from danger of a general governor, who was feared to be sent this summer; which, though it were a great weakening of these parts, yet we expected to see a good providence of God in it, (for all possible means had been used to accommodate them here; Charlestown offered them largely, Newbury their whole town, the court any place which was free,) both for possessing those parts which lay open for an enemy, and for strengthening our friends at Connecticut, and for making room here for many, who were expected out of England this year, and for diverting the thoughts and intentions of such in England as intended evil against us, whose designs might be frustrate by our scatterings so far; and such as were now gone that way were as much in the eye of the state of England as we here."[5]

Towns in the jurisdiction of New Haven Colony

New Haven, Milford, Guilford, Branford, Stamford, and Southold on Long Island.

Branford was first called Totoket. In the spring of 1644, this "small plantation, betwixt New Haven and Guilford," was sold to men from Wethersfield, who agreed to live within the principles of New Haven's "Fundamental Agreement." They were joined by persons from Southhampton (under Connecticut's jurisdiction) along with their minister Abraham Pierson. Space:Branford, New Haven, Connecticut
Milford, first known as Wepowogue, organized its church 22 Aug 1639. This was in preparation to became a new plantation within the colony of New Haven. In 1640, they officially changed the name to Milford. The town was founded by a group of Hertfordshire men, under the leadership of the Rev. Peter Prudden. They were joined by some families from Wethersfield, making a total of fifty-four planters. Milford was southwest of New Haven on the coast, less than 10 miles away.
Stamford First called Rippowam, Capt. Turner purchased the territory from the Indians 1 July 1640. Just a few months later 4 Nov 1640, New Haven sold the property to Andrew Ward and Robert Coe, representatives of 22 families from Wethersfield who wanted to begin a plantation modeled after New Haven. The families settled there in the spring 1641. 6 April 1642, the name became Stamford. See Also: History of Stamford, Conn. ... by E.B. Huntington.

1641 New Haven Demographics[6]

  • About 800 persons
  • 94 Proprietors, 108 heads of families (not included in list of Proprietors)
  • 350 adult householders, 250 children, 200 servants (apprentices and assistants as well as servants.
  • Of 140 males adults, about 70 under 30, 35 aged 31-40, 35 aged 41 or older.
  • 7 ministers, 3 teachers, 16 merchants, 66 tradesmen (included 5 brickmakers, 10 carpenters, 7 ship carpenters, 1 sawyer, 5 leather tanners), 16 known farmers (undoubtedly more), the marshall (Robert Seeley), the town notary, (Thomas Fugill), Indian interpreter (John Clark), town criers (Thomas Lamson & John Benham), drummers (John Benham, Stephen Metcalf and Jarvis Boykin), chimney sweep (Andrew Low & John Cooper, who went on to other things), poundkeepers (Thomas Kimberly, William Thorpe, William Preston). Some of these probably also farmed.
  • Average wealth – 14 merchants £679, 4 ministers £625, 16 farmers £237, 29 tradesmen £110, 3 teachers £107
  • A person called by name with no title was a youth, servant or inconsequential adult. A master workman with greater dignity might be called “Goodman”. Church members were frequently referred to as “Brother” and “Sister.” Military officers and deacons, usually were called by their title. 27 men titled Mr. were considered the top level of local importance and the elite of the town (mostly ministers, teachers and wealthy merchants)


Vital Records

Vital records of New Haven, 1649-1850 Part I. Hartford: Connecticut Society Order of the Founders and Patriots of America, 1917. Encompasses end of 1649 to -- note pp 103 and 104 have 1649 & 50 on them also
Vital records of New Haven, 1649-1850 Part II. Hartford: Connecticut Society Order of the Founders and Patriots of America, 1924. Part II contains Deaths 1821-1849, Marriages 1835-1853, Index.
The vital records are searchable at NEHGS (membership required)

New Haven First Congregational Church Records 1638-1664 Space:New Haven First Congregational Church Records extracted from Connecticut Church Records Index: New Haven First Congregational Church 1639-1937. Vol. A-I. Hartford: Connecticut State Library, 1947. Only "A, B & C" completed.

"List of Baptisms In the Church in New Haven, Conn., during the Ministry of Rev. John Davenport ... New England Historical and Genealogical Register 9:357. Boston: NEHGS, 1855. At AmericanAncestors NEHGS (membership required) At Google Books

"Abstracts of the Early Probate Records of New Haven, Book I, Part I, 1647-1687." New England Historical and Genealogical Register 81:121. Boston: NEHGS, 1927. p 121-135 At AmericanAncestors

Papers of the New Haven Colony Historical Society. Vol III Chapter: Inscriptions on Tombstones in New Haven Prior to 1800, by Franklin B. Dexter. (New Haven, Ct. : Printed for the Society, 1882)

Town and Colony Court Records

Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven, From 1638 to 1649. Hoadly, Charles J, MA. (editor) Hartford: Case, Tiffany and Company, 1857. This is the original printed work at Google Books.
Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven, From 1638 to 1649. Transcribed by Coralynn Brown. At Hathi Trust at

Records of the Colony or Jurisdiction of New Haven, From May 1653 to the Union Together with the New Haven Code of 1656. Hoadly, Charles J, MA. (editor) . Hartford: Case, Tiffany and Company, 1858. At Google Books At Hathi Trust

New Haven town records, Vol I, 1649-1662 edited by Franklin Bowditch Dexter et al. Publ. New Haven: New Haven Hist. Soc. 1917. Or at Google Books At archive

New Haven town records, Vol II, 1662-1684 edited by Franklin Bowditch Dexter et al. Publ. New Haven: New Haven Hist. Soc. 1919. Vol II includes an index beginning at page 445. at Archive


Seats in the Meeting House (Church) were a measure of status and often are the only existing records of an ancestor's existence in early New Haven. Assignments were made in March 1646, Feb 1653/6 and Feb 1661/2. Lists can be found starting on page 542 of Atwater's History

New Haven Meeting House: Seats
Look for where your ancestor sat.

Historical catalogue of the Members of the First Church of Christ in New Haven, Connecticut (Center church) A. D. 1639-1914. Compiled by Franklin Bowditch Dexter. New Haven, 1914. A list of members in the church with additional information.

Simonds, J. Rupert. A history of the First Church and Society of Branford, Connecticut, 1644-1919. New Haven, Conn., The Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Co., 1919

Families of Ancient New Haven

This is a comprehensive genealogical compilation of New Haven Families. It is well sourced and highly accurate. The easiest way to access online is through a subscription to Ancestry or AmericanAncestors.

Some separate issues can be viewed and/or downloaded. See The New Haven Genealogical Magazine and also Space Families of Ancient New Haven


History of the Colony of New Haven to Its Absorption Into Connecticut By Edward Elias Atwater, Lucy M. Hewitt, Bessie E. Beach. Meriden, Connecticut: 1902 & It's earlier 1881 version.

History of the colony of New Haven, before and after the union with Connecticut. Containing a particular description of the towns which composed that government, viz., New Haven, Milford, Guilford, Branford, Stamford, & Southold, L. I., with a notice of the towns which have been set off from "the original six." – Edward Rodolphus Lambert. New Haven: Hitchcock and Stafford, 1838.

The New Haven Colony. by Isabel MacBeath Calder. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1934. At (subscription required)

History and antiquities of New Haven (Conn.) from its earliest settlement to the present time. by Barber, John Warner (compiler). New Haven: J.W. Barber, 1831. at

History and antiquities of New haven, Conn., from its earliest settlement to the present time. by Barber, John Warner, 1798-1885; Punderson, Lemuel Swift, joint author. New Haven: L. S. Punderson and J. W. Barber, 1856 .at

History and Antiquities of New Haven, Conn: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, with Biographical Sketches and Statistical Information of the Public Institutions, &c., &c by John W. Barber and Lemuel Swift Punderson. New Haven: J.W. Barber and L.S. Punderson, 1870. at Google Books


The original town cemetery was on land that is now the New Haven Town Green. Most of the stones that were there were removed to Grove Street Cemetery, where they rest along the stone walls. A transcription of these was done in the 1930s as part of the Hale Collection of Connecticut Cemetery Transcriptions. A list of these is online. Check Find a Grave for photos.

There are some stones within the crypt of the Center Street Church. The list from the Hale Collection can be found here.

Dexter, Franklin Bowditch. Inscriptions on Tombstones in New Haven, Erected Prior to 1800 New Haven: 1882. This has an excellent explanation on the usage and distribution of the two early cemeteries. Plus inscriptions for stones dated prior to 1800.

Grove Street Cemetery was not founded until 1797, so does not contain any of the New Haven Colonists, although it does contain many of their gravestones. List Or, There are frequently photos at Find a Grave.


Freeman a person who is both a planter and a member of an established church. Freemen are the voters. Once a year, last Wednesday of May, all voters are required to come to "Court" in order to elect officials. There was a method for absentee ballots.

Oath of fidelity to be taken by Freemen, planters and inhabitants (males only) as are fit. May 1660 the oath of Fidelity was taken by a group (21) of mostly young men. Of the ones whose bpt. could be verified, they were bpt between 1639 and 1643. Nathaniel Boykin was born Sep 1641 and John Hitchcock was born Feb 1643. Boykin was 18 and Hitchcock 17. First given in 1644, "Itt was further ordered thatt no person or persons shall hereafter be admitted as an inhabitant in this jurisdiction or any of the plantations therein butt he or they shall take the said oath upon his or their admittance."

General Court, at least once a year, directly after elections, and as needed, to deal with matters that affect the entire colony.

See also: Connecticut's Freemen: The First Forty Years. The William and Mary Quarterly Vol. 15, No. 3 (Jul., 1958), pp. 312-333 (22 pages)


Orders for the Artillary Company att Newhaven. This is not the trayned band.

Fence viewers: the position was defined p. 154 of the Records Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven, From 1638 to 1649. Hoadly, Charles J, MA. Persons who were not freeman could hold this position. John Walker held the position in 1645/6 but was not a freeman until 1648.

Haywards first appointed 1647. p. 367 Records Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven, From 1638 to 1649. Hoadly, Charles J, MA.

"Sealers of leather, appointed first in 1646, checked the quality of tanning. Shoemakers were enjoined to mark their leathers so "that the buyer be not deceived" (NHCR I 356-7) [Powers, Zara Jones (editor). Ancient Town Records Vol III. New Haven Town Records 1684-1769. (New Haven, New Haven Colony Historical Society, 1962.) p. 2 footnote]

Helpful Items

Abstracts of Early Probate Records - Article at NEHGS

Papers of the New Haven Colony Historical Society. Volume 3 (New Haven: 1882)


  1. The New American Heritage Dictionary. Based on the Hardcover Second College Edition. Houghton Mifflin, 1983.
  2. Hoadly, Charles J, MA. (editor) Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven, From 1638 to 1649. Hartford: Case, Tiffany and Company, 1857.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hoadly, Charles J, MA. (editor) Records of the Colony or Jurisdiction of New Haven, From May 1653 to the Union.. Hartford: Case, Tiffany and Company, 1858.
  4. Original's not seen. Did the scribe write it New Haven or Newhaven?
  5. Winthrop, John. Winthrop's journal "History of New England", 1630-1649. New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, 1908. [ p. 265
  6. Shumway, Col. Floyd M. “The Founders of New Haven.” The Connecticut Nutmeggar.” 22:580, 1989. Paper dated Nov. 19, 1988. At AmericanAncestors (NEHGS) (Membership Req.)

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New Haven Colony must have been an eye-opening place to settle.

My 10th ggf was Theophilus Eaton who was the governor of the NHC for the first 18 years of its existence - he died about 1657/58. His wife my ancestress was eventually ex-communicated from the NH Church 'run' by Rev. John Davenport. John had been a school friend of Theophilus' even though they were several years apart in age. John D. tried his best to get Ann Lloyd (Yale was her first husband) Eaton to see the error of her ways (in his opinion she was in error) and depart from Ann Hutchinson's views. There was a play about 12 plus years ago 'The Two Anns' - Ann Eaton and Ann Hutchinson. I am in the Deep South so did attend but have read about it. Ann Lloyd Eaton's life was quite a drama. Anyone who reads this and is related to the Yale or Eaton line, please message me. My Wikitree 'handle' is alcott-171. Thanks to everyone who is working on The New Haven Colony One Place Study. I have used Ann's Lloyd line to zig-zag back to her 14th or so great-gf 'big bad' King John of England and one MCS, Robert de Ros/Roos. Interesting post by Gaile Connolly regarding places to visit in New Haven County. Thankyou.

posted by Linda (Alcott) Maples
I "Thanked" you because your 10th ggf gave the lot next to his (intended for his son) to my 9th ggf, James Bishop-184, who went on to become Secretary, Magistrate and Liet. Governor of NH Colony.

posted by Edward Bishop
I have William Ives of course! it will take me awhile to link my fraternal Ethel Florence Ives grandmother to someone who is here already.....I'll get there!.she's from the Meriden Ives..Edgar Van Buren Ives...and back...and all the associated many, many Halls, 2 lines merge...and Yales and Pecks, etc...She would love this..she belonged to the DAR of did my mom, through her side....back to Merrills...
posted by Deborah (Glantz) Hanna
Absolutely fascinating to me, too! My 96-yr old father recently passed away--he was born just a block and a half away (in a birthing home) from our house in which he lived since he was 9 yrs. old. He is from real Yankee rootstock and I loved delving into genealogy to provide him on his 92nd birthday with the skeleton of our family tree. Since then I've slowly added to the trove, but Anne B's research and sourcing (e.g.: Doolittle-165) raises the bar in terms of corroborating facts while providing a plethora of information for anyone else seriously researching. Loved your humorous short form history here, too, Anne. Historian with a sense of humor! Wow, again
posted by Glady Doolittle
This is fascinating to me! I spent most of my adult life on the north shore of Long Island and spent a lot of time exploring Connecticut when one son lived in Enfield and another son went to college in Middletown. I also often flew into Bridgeport and New Haven in small planes. There is a wonderful trolley museum in Branford that I love. I have to really wonder, though, about Southhold, LI being in the colonial jurisdiction ... it is not directly opposite New Haven, plus the Long Island Sound is about 15 miles wide at that point. Also, Stamford is included, but is much farther from New Haven than several other towns that were left out ... Bridgeport and Norwalk, for example. Very, very interesting!!!