John Skinner, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

JOHN1 SKINNER, HARTFORD FOUNDER (JOHNA, WILLIAMB) was baptized 10 Apr 1608 in Braintree, Essex, England, and died bef. 23 Oct 1651 in Windsor, CT (inventory). He married MARY LOOMIS, daughter of JOSEPH LOOMIS and MARY WHITE. She was born abt. 1615 in England, and died 19 Aug 1680 in Windsor, CT.

It is not known when John Skinner removed from Braintree, Essex, England, but it is certain that he was the grandson of William Skinner and Margerie Trotter of Braintree, and that their daughter Anne married John Talcott, father of Hartford Founder John Talcott, whose sister Rachel married Hartford Founder John Steele, and whose sister Sarah married Hartford Founder William Wadsworth. That John Skinner was the son of John, son of William and Margerie, is uncertain. The will of Anne (Skinner) (Talcott) Wall (whose second husband was Moses Wall), shows that her brother Richard had a son John, and that her brother John had a son John. The will of William also specifies that he had a son Richard who had a son John, and that he had a son John who had a son John. It is through the naming pattern of the sons of Hartford Founder John Skinner that the probability of him being son of John arises: His first son was named John, the second Joseph, and the third was Richard. This does not constitute proof, but points in that direction.

It is unknown when he arrived in Hartford but was there by 1639, as in the land inventory of February 1639/40 he held: three acres on which his dwelling house stood located on the intersection of the south side of the road from the Old Oxpasture to the Cow Pasture and the road from the Mill to the Country; four acres in the Pine Field; two acres in the Neck of Land; four acres in the Cow Pasture; four acres on the east side of the Great River; and another four acres on the east side of the Great River. In a Harttford town meeting 11 January 1640 “Itt is further ordered yt ye buring place is appended To be part of Richard Vmsteads lott & for satisfation To Richard Vmstead for ye sayed Burying place & ye fencing abowght it he is To have a persell of ground Lying at ye north midow gatte conntaing abowght a acker & halfe of grownd & ye sayed Richard Vmstead is To Remove mr Alings fence & sett itt p ye high waie angainst ye sayed ground & To inclosse ye end of ye sayed psell of grownd & to safguard ye Long Meadow ye sayed Richard Vmstead is To have peartt of John skinners Loott on wch ye sayed John Skinners howse stand & ye sayed John skinner is To Remove his dwelling howse & John skinner is To have for ye same 3 acers of vpland. & for ye exchange of ground is To have thre acres more wch 6 acres is To be Layed out in his devission in ye Cowe pasture or ox pasture: Richard Vmsteade it T grunsell his howes yt stand vpon ye bring place & then ye Towne is to Remove it To ye lotte ye sayed Richard Vmstead receivs of John skinner.”

He appears to have removed to Windsor at some point, as his inventory was taken there on 23 October 1651.

Genealogy not recommended: “Skinner Kinsmen, Descendants of John Skinner of Hartford” 1939 (this genealogy has numerous errors which Gale Ion Harris meticulously shows in “The American Genealogist”, Vol. 74, article “The Skinner Wives of Robert1 Reeve and John1 Colt of Hartford and Windsor, Connecticut: An Old Mix-up” and “The American Genealogist”, Vol. 80, article “John1 Colt of Hartford and Windsor, Connecticut: Review and Reconciliation”.

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