Haddam Connecticut (family founders include Spencer, Shayler and Parents)
In 1660 the Connecticut Colonial Legislature sent Matthew Allyn and Samuel Willys down the Connecticut River from Hartford to purchase land from the Algonquin-speaking Wangunk Indians at the place the English called 'Land of Thirty Mile Island'. (Originally thought to be 30 miles from Long Island Sound, Haddam Island is actually only 17 miles from the mouth of the river at Old Saybrook.)
In May 1662 the Englishmen completed a land purchase of 104 square miles which extended out six miles on each side of the river from the straits at Chester, or Pattyquonck, to the river at Middletown across to East Hampton. The English paid 30 coats (worth $100) for the land from the local Indians who retained some acreage as well as hunting and fishing rights.
Family Foundations at Thirty Mile Island Plantation
The first Haddam settlers of twenty-eight men and their families from Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor included our ancestors:
9th ggf: JOHN PARENTS
10th ggf: GERRARD SPENCER and wife HANNAH (HILLS) with their family including;
-daughter HANNAH and husband Daniel BRAINERD;
-son JOHN and wife Rebecca (Howard);
-daughter 9th ggm:(MARAH) ALICE and 1st husband Thomas BROOKS; and 2nd husband,
9th ggf: THOMAS SHAYLER
Originally there were two small settlements on the west bank of the Connecticut River with each lot of 7-13 acres cut or bounded by a highway running north-south with commons land to the west:
- the Town Plot was laid out along the southern end of what was later named Walkley Hill Road, and extended to the old burying ground.
- The Lower Plantation was settled south of Mill Creek in the area now known as Shailerville (named for the prosperous, closely-knit descendants of Thomas Shayler who acquired much of the village land where they resided).
From "Find A Grave" contributors
Buried at Thirty Mile Island Plantation Burial Ground:
Gerard Spencer (1614-1685)
(Marah) Alice Spencer Shayler (1641-1714)
Hannah Spencer Brainerd (1640-1715)
Generation No. 1
Immigrant GERRARD (ENSIGN) SPENCER was born April 25, 1614 in Stotfold, Bedfordshire, England, and died September 03, 1685 in East Haddam, Middlesex, CT.
He married (1) HANNAH JOANNIS HILLS December 17, 1636 in Lynn, Essex, MA, daughter of William Hills. He married (2) REBECCA PORTER after 1677 in Haddam, Middlesex, CT, daughter of John Porter and Rose White.
It is believed that Gerrard came to America with the first Winthrop Fleet in 1630-32. He was under the leadership of John Winthrop who established the Massachusetts Bay Colony in Cambridge. The first mention of Gerrard is in the Cambridge Town records "in the prime of September 1634, Lots granted one west side River - Gerrad Spencer 4 ackrs." He moved to Lynn, MA with his brother Michael in 1638 and ran the ferry there. The ferry ran from Lynn to Saugus, just south of the now-famous Waldon Pond.
In 1661 he was one of the 28 purchasers of the town of Haddam. Forty years after his arrival in America, Gerrard Spencer was granted freeman status there and served the local militia as ensign following a special session of Court held at Hartford by Governor John Winthrop regarding advice from the King that the colonies make "speedy and effectual provision for their defence against the Dutch." Records also show Gerrard's involvement a few years later as deputy at a General Court by Special Order of the Governor which met on July 9, 1675 to discuss the Indian War in Plymouth Colony and the danger it held for the easternmost Connecticut towns. "The Court being mett, they were acquainted wth the occasion of theire meeting, which was the present trouble of the Indians now risen against the English, spoyleing and destroying of them by fire and sword..." [from Colonial Records of Connecticut, Vol. 2]
Gerard Spencer's Will (from Digest of Early Connecticut Probate Records, compiled by Charles William Manwaring, Vol 1, 1685-1700, p. 364)
"Spencer, Jarrad, Ensign, Haddam.
Invt Pounds: 124-12-00 of Estate not disposed of by Will
Taken 29 June, 1685, by Joseph Arnot & Alexander Rollo
Will dated 17, September, 1683.
The last will of Ensign Jarrad Spencer of Haddam:
I give unto my son William the Land which I bought of Steven Luxford's Estate. How I come by it the Court Record will show.
I give unto my son William 1/3 part of 48 acres lying by that wch was commonly called Welles his Brook.
I give to my son Nathaniel my now Dwelling house with the Lott that was the Houselott, with an Addition lying by the side of it, granted by the Committee.
I give unto my daughter Rebekah that Houselott I bought of Thomas Smith.
Likewise I give unto my daughter Rebeckah 1/3 part of the Lott by Welles his Brook.
I give unto my son Thomas 40 acres on Matchamodus Side.
I give unto my son Thomas his son, Jarrad Spencer by name, my Rapier.
I give unto my son Timothy Spencer the remainder of that 6 score acre lott whereof his 2 brothers had their shares.
The other 6 score thereof I dispose of as followeth: to Grace Spencer, the daughter of my son John Spencer, 40 acres; to Alice Brooks, the daughter of my daughter Brooks, 40 acres; to Grace Spencer, the daughter of my son Samuel Spencer, I give the other 40 acres.
I give unto Jarred Cone, the son of my daughter Cone, my Carbine.
A pewter Flagon and Urim Bason I give to the church at Haddam, if there be one within five years.*
It is my will that my son John Spencer his Children and my son-in-law Daniel Cone his Children have an equal proportion of my Estate with my other Children. It is my Will however my Estate falls out for portions to my Children, that my daughter Ruth Clarke's portion shall be 15 pounds, which was my Covenant with her father at her marriage, which 15 pounds she hath received some part thereof, as my Books will testify; and to son Joseph Clarke I give him 40 acres of land at Matchemodus. It is the humble request of Jarrad Spencer that the honoured Major John Talcott and Capt. John Allyn would be pleased to oversee this his Will. I appoint my two sons Daniel Brainard and William Spencer Adms to the Estate.
Witness: John James, Joseph Arnot
Court Record, Page 111-3, Sept, 1685: Adms to Daniel Braynard and William Spencer, with the Will annexed."
|Article excerpt & photo above from The New York Times, Sunday June 8, 1980|