Abraham Pratt, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

ABRAHAM1 PRATT, HARTFORD FOUNDER was born abt. 1580 in England, and died 27 Dec 1645 in off coast of Spain enroute back to England, d. s. p.. He married JANE CHARTER 14 Apr 1612 in Amsterdam, Holland. She was born abt. 1578 in Salisbury, England, and died 27 Dec 1645 in off coast of Spain enroute back to England d. s. p..

Abraham Pratt, a surgeon, emigrated from London, England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630, his services having been requested at a General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony held in London on 5 March 1628/29, and, thus hired, he took ship on the “Lions Whelp”. He first first resided in Charlestown, where he requested freeman status 19 October 1630, and where he was admitted as an inhabitant in 1631. He was admitted to the Roxbury church in 1632, but it is uncertain if he ever lived in that town, and was on the List of Charlestown Inhabitants on 9 January 1633/4. He had removed to Cambridge by 5 January 1634/5, when he was granted four acres behind the Pine Swamp, and where he was a member of the Rev. Thomas Hooker’s church.

His name does not appear on the Founders of Hartford Monument in Hartford, but the names of several others are also not on the monument, and should be. Although Abraham Pratt may never have been in Hartford, he had land sequestered for him there: four acres in the South Meadow and two roods in the Neck of Land, both of which were settled on John Moody as cited in the Hartford land inventory of February 1639/40. Bartholomew Greene is considered a Founder of Hartford even though he died before Rev. Hooker’s party went there; Thomas Fisher is also considered a Founder of Hartford although he never went there; and Edward Lay is also considered a Founder, though he may not have been in Hartford before February 1639/40, as having had land sequestered for him that, on 18 February 1640 the town ordered that his lot, which he had forfeited by not building on it, should be returned to him. It is also uncertain whether John Friend and John Higginson, also considered founders of Hartford, ever lived there as well. By these standards, therefore, Abraham Pratt should be defined as a Founder of Hartford.

On 1 July 1636 he was granted two pieces of land in Charlestown and in the Charlestown Book of Possessions in 1638 he held ten parcels. However, by 1645 he had decided that his medical practice was not sufficiently profitable to sustain him into his old age, and determined that he would return to England where surgeons were in great need by virtue of the wars. Therefore he and his wife took ship to England and died in a shipwreck off the coast of Spain on 27 December 1645, dying childless.

Genealogy: not applicable, as Abraham Pratt died childless

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