Christopher Todd

Christopher Todd (bef. 1617 - 1686)

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Christopher Todd aka Tod
Born before in Pontefract, West Riding, Yorkshire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in New Haven, Connecticut Colony, New Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 13 Sep 2010 | Last significant change: 9 Sep 2018
07:07: Anne B edited the Biography for Christopher Todd. (removed one-place study sticker) [Thank Anne for this]
This page has been accessed 1,881 times.

Categories: New Haven, New Haven Colony | New Haven, Connecticut | Signers of the New Haven Fundamental Agreement | Puritan Great Migration.

The Puritan Great Migration.
Christopher Todd migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
Join: Puritan Great Migration Project
Discuss: pgm

Baptized: Christopher Todd, son of William, was baptized Jan 12, 1617, at Pontefract Parish, West Riding, Yorkshire, England.[1][2] This date is occasionally seen as the 11th of Jan 1617 (starting at Jacobus) and sometimes as 1611. William's wife and Christopher's mother was Katherine Ward(e).

Married: Christopher married Grace Middlebrook.[3]

Died: He died April 23, 1686, in New Haven, Connecticut Colony.[4]

Savage's Genealogical Dictionary says that Christopher was one of the original settlers of New Haven, Connecticut.[5] It is said by John Todd in his “Todd Family...” that the family arrived on the “Hector” with John Davenport. However, Todd does not appear on the passenger list and it is believed by some researchers that he was not a first “comer” to New Haven. He was in New Haven early enough to sign the New Haven Fundamental Covenant (of 1639), but his signature is after the initial sixty-three signers.[6]He was definitely in New Haven by 1641 when he received a land grant. In 1644, he took the oath of fidelity.[7]

Christopher received town land grants in 1641 and 1643,[8] and later in 1680 he was granted 60 acres, had a household of three heads and an estate worth £240.[9] He acquired lots of parcels of land, a home lot, a house, a barn and at least one mill. [10][11]

He served the town as fenceviewer five years between 1645 and 1669.[12][13][14] He was elected constable for the year in Feb 1665/6.[15]

In 1646 he was assigned a side seat in the meeting house, his wife’s seat was in the middle.[16] In Feb 1655/6 his status had improved and he was assigned to the long seats in the middle, as was his wife. [17] In the 1668 seating he had moved up one row, but probably only because he had gotten older and people in front had died.[18]

In 17th Century New Haven there wasn’t a local grocery. In order to get a loaf of bread, you had to plant the grains, harvest them, have them ground into meal or flour, and then make dough and bake it yourself. Probably the husband of the family planted the grains and harvested them and the wife made the dough and baked, but the mill and the miller in the middle was an essential step, unless you yourself wanted to spend all your time grinding by hand.

In 1663, Christopher Todd became part owner of the grist mill, where grains were taken and ground into meal of various consistencies. The town records call the grain “corne” as a catchall term. What we know as corn today, they called indian corn.

The previous mill had recently burned and the town was concerned with having a new mill speedily built. The town had to approve of Christopher Todd as part owner and then they drew up a “contract” with the owners of the mill.

Contract Highlights:

The town gives to the owners use of the stream and the land where the previous mill stood, also the dams, timber, iron works and whatever is left of the old mill that belongs to the town. They are allowed to carry earth, cut timber and take stones (for the building and later repairs) from any town lands, that are not someone else’s property. They are given permission to compel workmen etc. that they need to work rebuilding and repairing the mill because it’s of great benefit to the town. The owners have to pay the workers, but they are required by law to come work. Todd and his partner are granted money from the treasury to speed along the process , and they are granted land nearby for the miller to live. No other public mills shall be allowed unless agreed to by the current owners and the town.

Christopher Todd and William Bradley his partner on their part agree to build a mill or mills sufficient for the grinding of the town’s corn. They will keep the mill, dam and floodgates, etc. repaired and running. They will also maintain a storage place for corn and meal to keep it safe from loss and damage. The owners provide the miller, and if they fail to do so, the town will find one. They are told by the town that they can charge two quarts from every bushel of grain (1/16 of a bushel). Finally if Todd and Bradley decide to sell, they must give the town first refusal and only accepted Town planters may be future owners.

Christopher does quite well as the mill owner and Todd’s Mill is a success. He makes some improvements over the years: changing from undershot (the water flows beneath the wheel) to breast wheels (the water comes from higher on the wheel). He moves the mill to a better location and raises the height of the dam.

In 1674, the mill burns again and Christopher now full owner goes through the process of renegotiating with the town. He asks for a larger cut (1/12 of a bushel) and is refused. They also refuse to grant him money from the town treasury to help speed the process, but they do ask for volunteers to give something, which some do. The town does reiterate that towns people are to bring their grain to the town mill and not some other mill.[19]

Thomas Wheelers cows ate 10 bushels of turnips, belonging to Christopher.[20] Another time pigs ate a large quantity of his corn.[21] All of which is why the job of fenceviewer, although tedious was so important.

He received a fine from the town “for not bringing their waights & measures to be tried upon the day appoynted.”[22] He was called to the Governor’s office for having “put cattell into the quarter contrary to Order.”[23] He was absent from Trayning for a halfe day. Mr Atwater said he had sent Todd to carry goods to a vessel, and Mr Atwater paid the fine.[24] Again he was absent but the court accepted his excuse as valid.[25]

In court, Samuel Hodgkins declared that Christopher Todd slandered him, by reporting that Samuel had taken four bushels of malt, when he claimed to have taken only two. After various testimonies, Hodgkins said that he had “forgotten” the other two barrels and Todd was exonerated.[26]

Christopher Todd complained that Cornelius Williams stole meal from his bake house, which Williams eventually admitted to and had to pay it back double and pay the court cost. [27]

In 1667, Christopher Todd and a partner, co-owners of a vessel, sued for damages to a barrel of rum, which was broken. They won the case.[28]

No town runs without committees. Christopher served on several: about what to do with the pigs running loose in the meadows;[29] regarding repairs to the meeting house;[30] to collect debts owed to the town;[31] to help settle an estate;[32] and a fence committee.[33]

In 1658, New Haven wished to build a passage for water from the dam to the town. It was going through the land of several persons. Chris Todd and others agreed. Mr Tuttill objected because it was going right through his home lot, but the town agreed to pay him for the trouble. [34]

Children of Christopher Todd and Grace (Middlebrook) Todd

  1. John Todd, bpt. Dec 2, 1642.[35]
  2. Samuel Todd, bpt. Apr 20, 1645.[35]
  3. Mary Todd, bpt. Sept 16, 1647.[35]
  4. Grace Todd, born about Dec 15, 1650.[p6][36]. The town record actually says born about...
  5. Michael Todd born June 18, 1653.[p9][36]
  6. Mercy Todd born Feb 1655.[p12][36]. Birth record has Mary, but baptized as Mercy.



  1. Todd: p 16. Cites: Extracts from the register of the Parish Church, Pontefract, West Riding, Yorkshire, England.
  2. Willis
  3. Todd: pg 19
  4. Todd: pg 19
  5. Savage
  6. Hoadly: p. 18
  7. Hoadly: p. 138
  8. Hoadly: p. 50, 94
  9. Dexter: Vol. 2, p 405.
  10. Hoadly: pp 338, 430, 450, .
  11. Dexter: Vol. 1, p 57, 111.
  12. Hoadly: p. 228.
  13. Dexter: Vol. 1, pp 187,188, 241
  14. Dexter: Vol. 2, pp 86, 249 .
  15. Dexter: Vol. 2, p 171,174
  16. Hoadly: p. 303.
  17. Dexter: Vol. 1, p 92.
  18. Dexter: Vol. 2, p 219 .
  19. Dexter: Vol.. 2, pp 58, 138-9, 156-7, 166-8, 296, 298-9, 303, 327-30, 379, 393, 402.
  20. Dexter: In 1650. Vol. 1, p 46.
  21. Dexter: In 1653. Vol. 1, p 198.
  22. Hoadly: In 1647. p. 429.
  23. Dexter: In 1650. Vol. 1, p 47.
  24. Dexter: In 1651. Vol. 1, pp 81, 82.
  25. Dexter: In 1659. Vol. 1, p 404.
  26. Dexter: In 1658. Vol. 1, p 351.
  27. Dexter: Jan. 1665. Vol. 2, p 135.
  28. Dexter: Vol. 2, p 206, 207.
  29. Dexter: In 1651. Vol. 2, p 92.
  30. Dexter: In 1659. Vol. 1, pp 431-433.
  31. Dexter: In 1661. Vol. 1, p 489.
  32. Dexter: Vol. 2, p 59.
  33. Dexter: Vol. 2, p 62, 141.
  34. Dexter: Vol. 2, p 353-358.
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 ”Baptisms in New Haven, Conn. New England Historical and Genealogical Record 9: 363. Boston: NEHGS, 1855.
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 Vital Records of New Haven 1649-1850 Part I. Hartford: The Connecticut Society of the Order of the Founders and Patriots of America, 1917

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Images: 5
Mill Wheel
Mill Wheel

Water Wheel Diagram
Water Wheel Diagram

Grind stone 3
Grind stone 3

Mill Pond & Sluiceway
Mill Pond & Sluiceway

Christopher Todd - Entrepreneur
Christopher Todd - Entrepreneur


On 1 Jul 2014 at 18:09 GMT Anne B wrote:

Re: Abraham Todd. There is no mention of Abraham Todd in the New Haven Records, the compiled Genealogies or in Christopher's will. I have to conclude that he is not a child of Christopher. Hearing no objections, in a reasonable amount of time, I will disconnect him. Aug 1, 2014. Disconnected Abraham Todd-391.

Christopher is 19 degrees from SJ Baty, 18 degrees from Orville Redenbacher and 16 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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