John Pratt, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

JOHN1 PRATT, HARTFORD FOUNDER (WILLIAMA) was baptized 29 November 1607 in England, and died 8 Jul 1655 in Hartford, CT. He married ELIZABETH _______ bef. 1633 in England. She was born in England, and died aft. 11 Oct 1654 in Hartford, CT (named in husband’s will).

John Pratt has long been supposed to be the brother of William Pratt, another founder of Hartford, thought to be the sons of Rev. William Pratt of Stevenadge, Hertfordshire, England. Later genealogists objected that the baptismal dates given in prior genealogies of 9 November 1620 was far too late to be the John Pratt of Hartford. However, Matthew J. Grow, in an article in the New England Historical Genealogical Record, Vol. 149, demonstrates that the correct baptismal date for John Pratt is 29 November 1607, and the baptismal date of William was 6 June 1609, making it possible for these sons of the Rev. William Pratt to be the John and William Pratts of Hartford. In the same article he cites a marriage record for a John Pratt in the same county in England in 1626 to Elizabeth Young. The wife of John Pratt was named Elizabeth, her surname unknown. Mr. Grow does not assert that these are the descents of John and William Pratt, but does assert that strong possibility.

John Pratt emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1633, first residing in Cambridge, where he was freeman 14 May 1634. He removed to Hartford in 1636 where, in the land inventory of February 1639/40 he held ten parcels of land: two acres with a dwelling house, outhouses, yards and gardens located on the west side of the road from the Palisade to Centinel Hill; one acre and two roods in the West Field; one acre, one rood and twelve perches in the North Meadow; nine acres, three roods and twenty-eight perches of meadow and swamp in the North Meadow; one acre, two roods and twelve perches on the east side of the Great River; one rood and twenty-nine perches in the Little Field; six acres and twelve perches in the Cow Pasture; nine acres in the Little Oxpasture; three acres and twenty-three perches in the Neck of Land; and two more acres in the Neck of Land.

He was deputy for Hartford to the Connecticut General Court in 1639, 1640, and 1641, was on the petit jury in 1650, 1651 and 1652, and was on the Connecticut grand jury in 1654.

The inventory of his estate was taken 1 September 1655, he having died on 8 July 1655.

Genealogy: “The Ancestry and the Descendants of John Pratt of Hartford, Conn.”, Charles B. Whittelsey, Hartford, 1900 (for the most part this is a fairly competent genealogy, which cites sources, but in which there are numerous errors and contradictions. It also primarily follows the descendants of John2, down multiple generations, but follows the descendants of Daniel2 down only four generations.)

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