James Cole, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

JAMES1 COLE, HARTFORD FOUNDER was baptized 25 Jul 1600 in St. Dunstan’s, Stepney, London, England, and died bef. Nov 1652 in Hartford, CT (inventory). He married (1) FRANCES _____ abt. 1620 in England. She was born in England, and died bef. Nov 1623 in England. He married (2) DAMARIS SEABROOK 19 Nov 1623 in St. Botolph’s, Bishopsgate, London, England. She was baptized 25 May 1607 in Eaton Bray, Bedfordshire, England, and died bef. Dec 1625 in England. He married (3) ANNE MUMTER 06 Dec 1625 in St. Dunstan’s, Stepney, London, England. She was born abt. 1604 in England, and died 20 Feb 1679/80 in Hartford, CT (probate record).

The ancestry, origin and when James Cole emigrated to the American colonies is unknown, but he was in Hartford in 1639 as an original proprietor, and in the land inventory of February 1639/40 he held: 3 acres and two roods on which his dwelling house stood with other outhouses, yards, and gardens located on the intersection of the north side of the road from William Hills’ to the Oxpasture and the road from John Moody’s to the Oxpasture; eight acres toward Rocky Hill; and two acres on the east side of Hockanum River. He had another small lot on the east side of Meeting-house Yard, which is where his shop might have been located. He was a cooper by trade (barrel maker). Only one of his children survived to adulthood, his daughter Abigail, who died childless. According to his will, James Cole was the cousin of Henry Cole of Middletown, CT. He was the stepfather of Hartford Founder William Edwards, a son of his wife Anne’s first marriage to the Rev. Richard Edwards. William Edwards came over from England with his stepfather James Cole, and initially lived in the latter’s home in Hartford.

Genealogy: not applicable, as all of his children died young, with the exception of daughter Abigail, who had no children.

“The Ancestry of Franklin Merriam Peabody”, Sydney A. Merriam, 1929, is not valid, as it is based on the descendancy from James Cole to a son John Cole, but the John Cole in question was not the son of James Cole. (See Manwaring's Probate Records, Vol. 1, pg. 49).

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