Elder William Goodwin, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

WILLIAM1 GOODWIN, ELDER, HARTFORD FOUNDER (POSSIBLY OZIASA) was born abt. 1591 in prob Essex County, England, and died 11 Mar 1673/74 in Farmington, CT. He married (1) ELIZABETH WHITE 07 Nov 1616 in Shalford, Essex, England, daughter of ROBERT WHITE and BRIDGET ALGAR. She was born abt. 1595 in Messing, Essex, England, and died bef. Jan 1669/70 in Farmington, CT. He married (2) SUSANNAH GARBRAND, the widow of Hartford Founder Rev. Thomas Hooker, bef. Jan 1669/70 in Farmington, CT. She was born abt. 1600 in England, and died 17 May 1676 in Farmington, CT.

William Goodwin was a sidesman of the church in Braintree, Essex, England in 1622, and churchwarden in 1630 and 1631. He left Braintree and removed to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1632 aboard the ship “Lyon”, first taking up residence in Cambridge, where he was freeman 6 November 1632. He was made Elder of the congregation in Cambridge by 1634, and was Deputy for Cambridge to the Massachusetts General Court 14 May 1635. He was among the so-called “Adventurers Party” of twenty-five men who set out to explore the area that would become Hartford, led by John Steele in October 1635, prior to the departure from Cambridge of the Rev. Hooker’s party in May 1636, and was one of sixteen founders living in Hartford in 1635 prior to the arrival of Hooker’s party.

He was the brother of Hartford Founder Ozias Goodwin.

In the Hartford land inventory of February 1639/40 he held seven parcels which had been granted to him: three acres with a dwelling house, outhouses, yards, gardens on the corner of the highway on the bank of the Little River and the road from the Palisade to Centinel Hill, just west of the house lot of Samuel Stone; one acre, one rood and ten perches in the Little Meadow; thirty acres, three roods and twelve perches of meadow and swamp in the North Meadow; four acres and thirty-four perches on the east side of the Great River; fourteen acres in the Old Oxpasture; eight acres in the Cow Pasture; and twenty-eight acres, three roods and twenty-eight perches on the west side of the Little River. He also acquired by purchase seventeen other parcels of land including one parcel that he owned jointly with his son-in-law John Crow of seven hundred sixty-six acres on the east side of the Great River.

He was the Ruling Elder of the church in Hartford under the Rev. Thomas Hooker, and was the leader of the contingent opposing the ministry of Samuel Stone and who signed the agreement to remove to Hadley, Massachusetts in 1659, to which he did remove in that same year. He had married the widow of the Rev. Thomas Hooker. By 1670 he removed from Hadley to Farmington where he died 11 March 1673/4.


  • “The Goodwins of Hartford, Connecticut: Descendants of William and Ozias Goodwin”, Frank Farnsworth Starr, Hartford, 1891 (this genealogy unfortunately suffers from a lack of citation, and often neglects to state where births, marriages, and deaths occurred, but it was compiled by respected genealogist Frank Farnsworth Starr, who was a frequent contributor to The American Genealogist.)
  • “English Goodwin Family Papers: being material collected in the search for the ancestry of William and Ozias Goodwin,” Frank Farnsworth Starr, Hartford, 1921
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