Elder John White, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

JOHN1 WHITE, ELDER, HARTFORD FOUNDER (ROBERTA) was born abt. 1597 in Messing, Essex, England, and died bef. 23 Jan 1683/84 in Hartford, CT (inventory). He married MARY LEVIT 26 Dec 1622 in Messing, Essex, England. She was born abt. 1600 in England, and died bef. 17 Dec 1683 in Hartford, CT (not in husband’s will).

John White of Messing, Essex, England was a passenger on the ship “Lyon”, which sailed from England about 22 June 1632 and arrived at Boston 16 September 1632. His sister Mary married in Messing, Joseph Loomis, one of the founders of Windsor, Connecticut, whose children married into the families of Hartford Founders James Olmstead, Thomas Scott, and Thomas Judd. John White settled first at Cambridge, where his home lot was on the street then called Cow-Yard Row. He was admitted a freeman of Massachusetts on 4 March 1633. He was selectman of Cambridge starting February 1635. He probably was in the main body of the company of the Rev. Thomas Hooker in June 1636, removing to Hartford.

In the Hartford land inventory of 1639/40, his home lot of about two acres was on the west side of the road from George Steele’s to the Great Swamp. He owned in addition about forty acres of meadow; about thirty-two acres of upland; ten acres of swamp; and one hundred fifty acres of upland east of the Great River.

He was chosen as selectman of Hartford in 1642, 1646, 1651, and 1656. When controversy arose between William Goodwin and Samuel Stone, John White signed the agreement to remove to Hadley on 18 April 1659. His home lot in Hadley was on the east side of Hadley Street, containing approximately eight acres.

In Hadley he was chosen Selectman in 1662, 1663, and 1665. He also was Deputy to the General Court of Massachusetts in 1664 and 1669. He returned to Hartford after 1670, when the Second Church of Hartford, under the ministry of the Reverend John Whiting, was established. He was ordained Ruling Elder of that church, March 1677

His will was written on 17 December 1683, the inventory of his estate was taken 23 January 1683/4, and his will was proved 6 March 1684.

Recommended genealogy: “Memorials of Elder John White, one of the First Settlers of Hartford, Conn., and of his Descendants”, Allyn S. Kellogg, Hartford, 1860 (Despite being published in 1860, and lacking source citation, this genealogy maintains an excellent reputation.)

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