HALL, John & Esther

Cliff McCarthy, 2017

John Hall, the emigrant ancestor of the Halls of Middletown, was born in the county of Kent, England, 15 June 1584. He married Esther, whose surname is unknown (possibly Willoch) sometime before 1618, in Kent County, England. It is probable that she died before the family emigrated.

John Hall came from the west of England to Boston in 1633, settled first in Cambridge and soon after removed to Roxbury where the prefix of respect Mr. was accorded to him on the records of Mr. Elliot’s church. In those days the prefix of “Mr.” was given to only a very few persons; and generally indicated that such persons were entitled to a coat of arms. John Hall’s name is found in tax records of Roxbury for 1634, in which his family is recorded as consisting of four persons.

On the 4th day of September 1633, John Hall, John Oldham and two other men started for the Connecticut River, arriving in October. They returned to the Massachusetts Bay Colony on the 20th of January 1634 with a favorable report of the rich bottom lands of the Connecticut River valley. That led to migrations from Dorchester to Wethersfield and Windsor, and from Cambridge to Hartford in 1635-6.

Mr. Hall was made freeman in Boston, 1635. He probably joined the Hooker and Stone colony and went to Hartford soon after, but did not relocate his family until 1639. (His name is not on the Founders Monument.) He was a carpenter by trade and was no doubt an efficient aid in constructing the first buildings in Hartford.

Mr. Hall drew the home lot No. 77 of six acres on the brow of Lord’s Hill in Hartford in 1639. That lot is the same as the Sigourney place, and was once occupied by Gov. Catlin. That same year, he also bought lands from William Hooker and William Bloomfield.

middletown_ct_lg

John Hall, Sr. was among the founders of Middletown, CT

John Hall was a surveyor of highways in Hartford, in 1640. In 1650, having sold his house and home lot to William Spencer, he removed with his family to Middletown, then called Matabesick, which had been lately purchased of the great Sachem Sawheag, being one of the original proprietors. This home lot containing five acres was located on the northeast corner of Main street and Washington street of Middletown, running to the ‘Great River’ and adjoined the home lot of his son-in-law, Thomas Wetmore on the north. In fact, he and his sons and son-in-law, Thomas Wetmore, and Thomas Allen, from the same Hartford outfit, took up practically the whole half-mile strip lying between Main street and the deep-water shore of the river. (see Middletown Map, 1654)

Mr. Hall held many offices of honor and trust in the new settlement. He was appointed 19 March 1659, by General Court held at Hartford ‘for the entry and recording such goods as are subject to customs for Middletown.’ A town meeting was held at his house in February 1652, when it was voted to build a meeting house.

He died in Middletown, Connecticut on 26 May 1673, in the 89th year of his age.  His burial location is unknown, but most likely was Riverside Cemetery, Middletown. Some of the earliest graves in this cemetery were moved during mid-19th century railroad right-of-way construction, and his gravestones may not have survived. His will was dated May 14, 1673, in which he stated that he was then nearly 89 years old and that it was the 40th year of his living in New England. It was probated in June 1673 and his estate was valued at 54 pounds.

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Children of John & Esther HALL

JOHN HALL, SR. was born 15 June 1584 in Co. Kent, England, and died 26 May 1673 in Middletown, CT.  He married ESTHER (possibly WILLICKE) Bef. 1618 prob. Kent, England.  She was born Abt. 1590, and died prob. bef. 1633 in Sussex, England. The Children of JOHN HALL and ESTHER are:

i.    JOHN HALL, b. abt. 1619, Kent, England; d. 22 January 1693/94, Middletown, CT; m. (1) ANN WILCOX, 24 June 1651, Middletown, CT; b. Abt. 1618, England; d. 20 July 1673, Middletown, CT; m. (2) MARY (CURTIS) HUBBARD, 1 October 1674, Middletown, CT.
ii.    RICHARD HALL, b. abt. 1620, Kent, England; d. 27 March 1691, Middletown, CT; m. MARY ANTHONY, about 1646 in Hartford, CT; d. 27 March 1691, Middletown, CT.
iii.    SARAH HALL, b. 9 August 1622, Kent, England; d. 7 December 1664 or 1665, Middletown, CT; m. THOMAS WETMORE, 11 December 1645, Hartford, Hartford Co., CT; b. 1615, England; d. 11 December 1681, Middletown, CT.
iv.    SAMUEL HALL, b. Abt. 1626, England; d. 14 March 1689/90, Middletown, CT; m. ELIZABETH COOKE, 3 February 1662/63, Middletown, CT.

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SOURCES:

  • Bacon, Reginald W., Early Families of Middletown, Connecticut, Vol. 1, 1650-1654, (Newburyport, MA: Variety Arts Press, 2012).
  • Barbour, Lucius Barnes, Middletown [CT] Vital Records, (Transcribed by Coralynn Brown, at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~jdevlin/barbour/middletown_barbour_main.htm, 16 September 2005), “Electronic.”
  • Cooper, Agnes Thomson and John Bradley Cooper, Beginnings: Thomas Cooper of Springfield & Some Allied Families, (Gateway Press, Inc.: Baltimore, MD, 1987).
  • Day, Edward Warren, One Thousand Years of Hubbard History, (Harlan Page Hubbard: New York).
  • Hall, Rev. David B., Halls of New England, (Joel Munsell’s Sons; Albany, NY, 1883).
  • “Hartford, Connecticut Probate Records, 1639-1700,” (as published at http://www.Ancestry.com), “Electronic.”
  • “Middletown Householders & Proprietors,” (Transcribed by Coralynn Brown, at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~jdevlin/barbour/middletown_barbour_main.htm), “Electronic.”
  • Wilcox, George, From the Bend of the Little River: A Wilcox Book.
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