Captain Thomas Munson, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

THOMAS1 MUNSON, CAPT., HARTFORD FOUNDER (JOHNA) was baptized 13 Sep 1612 in prob Rattlesden, Suffolk, England, and d. 07 Mar 1685/86 in New Haven, CT. He married JOANNA ______. She was born abt. 1611, and d. 13 Dec 1678 in New Haven, CT.

It is unknown what date Thomas Munson emigrated to the American colonies, nor where he first landed. It is certain that he had been in Hartford by 1637, as he was a veteran of the Pequot War of that year. The date and place of his baptism is not completely certain, but is highly probable (see American Genealogist). His house lot in Hartford, comprising two and a half acres, was on the highway leading from the Cow Pasture to Mr. Allen’s land; he also had a lot in the Soldiers Field in recognition of his service in the Pequot War; one parcel lying on the east side of the Great River of approximately two acres; another two acre lot on the Great River on the west side; and a three acre lot lying in the North Meadow. He sold his allotment in the Soldiers Field and forfeited his other lands by removal from Hartford February 1639/40.

Sometime prior to this date he had removed from Hartford to the new settlement at Quinnipiac, later to be known as New Haven, where he was one of the autograph signers of the Fundamental Agreement in that town. He became freeman in New Haven 11 June 1640, was the Sergeant. of the train band in 1642, Sergeant of the artillery company in 1645, and was selectman in 1651. In 1655 Thomas Munson became a leader in the movement to found a new colony at Delaware Bay, however this project had been relinquished by 1656, when he began to invest in more real estate at New Haven. He became selectman again in 1668, 1675, 1681 1682, and 1683.

He was made Ensign in 1661, and as Lieutenant he was put in command of the forces at Saybrook for the security of that place, to defend against attacks by the Narragansett Indians. It is fortunate that the forces with Munson were at Saybrook at this time because on 8 July 1661 Major Andros had come in several vessels attempting to land to take over the colony, but was repelled by the Saybrook forces.

In 1675, King Philip’s War was on, the Narragansetts attacking towns in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and in that year Lieutenant Munson was chosen as Commissary of New Haven, then on February 25, 1675/6 he was appointed Captain of the New Haven County soldiers, and on May 15 the General Court judged it necessary that there be raised 350 men in the colony to be a standing army, of which New Haven County was to furnish 78 and Thomas Munson was chosen Captain for New Haven County.

He was Deputy to the Connecticut General Court from 1662 through 1679, and again in 1681 and 1682. He d. in New Haven 7 May 1685, his inventory taken 12 June 1685.

Recommended genealogy: “The Munson Record: a Genealogical and Biographical Account of Captain Thomas Munson (A Pioneer of Hartford and New Haven) and his Descendants”, Vol.1, Myron A. Munson, New Haven, 1895 (This is an extraordinary genealogy for its era, providing an extensive and detailed biography of Thomas Munson, as well as biographies of his descendants following both male, and in many cases female lines.)

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