John Stone, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

JOHN1 STONE, HARTFORD FOUNDER was born abt. 1573 in England, and died aft. 16 Sep 1639 in poss England. He married _______ ROGERS abt. 1598 in prob Hertford, Hertfordshire, England, daughter of RICHARD ROGERS, REV. She was born abt. 1577 in England, and died aft. 26 Apr 1629 in prob England.

John Stone of Hertford, Hertfordshire, England, was among the so-called “Adventurers Party” of twenty-five men who set out to explore the area that would become Hartford, led by Founder John Steele in October 1635, prior to the departure from Cambridge of the Rev. Hooker’s party in May 1636. John Stone is recorded as having fought in the Pequot War of 1637. On 16 September 1639, William Edwards was bound to John Stone as a servant for one year (as recorded by Thomas Lechford in his notebook). In the Hartford land distribution of February 1639/40, it was recorded that “several parcels of land in Hertford upon the River of Conecticot (part) whereof did belong to John Stone & were by him given to [his son, ed.] Samuel Stone & by the said Samuel Stone unto John Marsh of Hertford & and now belongeth to him and his heires for ever”. These were: two acres on which his dwelling house stood with other outhouses, yards, or gardens located on the road from the Little River to the North Meadow; two roods and thirty-one perches in the North Meadow; another five acres, two roods and thirty-four perches in the North Meadow; and three acres in the West Field.

It was stated in “The Original Proprietors” section of the “Memorial history of Hartford County” (1886) by Mary K. Talcott, based on the research of Dr. J. Hammond Trumbull, that John Stone “removed to Guilford, where he was one of the signers of the original compact in 1639”. This is an error, possibly originating in the transcript of Thomas Lechford's notebook, in which the editor, in a footnote, stated that John Stone removed to Guilford, but this is not based on anything within Lechford’s notes. As early as 1888, William L. Stone in “The Family of John Stone... of... Guilford” claimed a different ancestry for the John Stone of Guilford.

The John Stone who settled in Guilford was aboard the ship heading from England to New Haven when he signed the Guilford Planters Covenant on 1 June 1639. Thus he could not have been the John Stone of Hartford.

The most compelling argument that the John Stone of Hartford was the father of the Rev. Samuel Stone, as well as the father of Sarah Stone who married Henry Howard, and Elizabeth Stone who married William Wadsworth, is given in “Hertfordshire in History”, in which it is stated, “... Samuel Stone’s father was an inhabitant of Hertford {i.e., Hertfordshire, England}. He was an assistant Burgess of the Corporation and was deprived of this position in October, 1637 because he had been absent from the Borough for one year. In the Months Court minutes of Hertford there is comment that John Stone had ’lately gone beyond the seas and hath there seated and planted himself and his Familye.’” (p. 136)

Since John Stone apparently left no will, and there is no record of probate of his estate in Hartford (Connecticut), it is possible that he returned to England about 1640, but this is merely conjecture.

Genealogy: no published genealogy known to exist, probably due to the only male child of John Stone, the Rev. Samuel Stone, had himself no male child who survived to adulthood.

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