James Ensign, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs SDFH Genealogist

JAMES1 ENSIGN, HARTFORD FOUNDER (THOMASA) was baptized 01 Jun 1606 in Rye, Sussex, England, and died bef. 23 Dec 1670 in Hartford, CT (inventory). He married SARAH ELSON? before 1631 in England. She was born in England, and died bef. 29 May 1676 in Hartford, CT (inventory).

Thomas Ensign, born in Rye, Sussex, England, emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634, first residing in Cambridge, where he was freeman 4 March 1634/5. He owned two houses in Cambridge, but removed to Hartford probably by 1636, where he had, in the Hartford land inventory of February 1639/40, nineteen parcels: two acres with his dwelling house and other outhouses, yards and gardens located on the south side of the highway; fifteen acres and two roods of upland; four acres, two roods and fifteen perches in the South Meadow; three acres, two roods and twenty-nine perches of meadow lying in Hockanum; two roods in the Little Meadow; six acres and two roods in the Great Swamp; five acres in the swamp by the Great River; two acres and one rood of dry swamp he bought of William Gibbens; three acres, twenty-seven perches in the South Meadow; six acres of swamp on the east side of the Great River; another three acres of swamp on the east side of the Great River; and further properties that he had purchased between 1652 and 1667.

He was on the Connecticut petit jury in 1655, 1656, 1658, and 1661. He was appointed Constable 6 March 1661/2. On 12 February 1669/70 he was seventh in the list of "brethren in full communion," and his wife Sarah was eighth in the list of “sisters in full communion” at the founding of the Second Church in Hartford.

He made his will 23 November 1670 and the inventory of the estate was taken 23 December 1670. Sarah's will was made May 1676, the inventory of her estate taken 9 May 1676, and the will was proved 6 December 1676.

Genealogy: “Record of Descendants of James Ensign and his wife Sarah Elson”, Martha E. E. Nelson, 1960 (Although this genealogy follows the descendants of James Ensign for multiple generations, the title itself is problematic in that it is unproven that the surname of James Ensign’s wife Sarah was Elson. Furthermore, this genealogy is liberally scattered with typographical errors, frequently in the dates of events).

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