Nathaniel Browne, Hartford Founder

‹ Back to The Founders

Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

NATHANIEL1 BROWNE, HARTFORD FOUNDER (PERCYA) was born abt. 1622 in England, and died bef. 26 Aug 1658 in Middletown, CT (inventory). He married ELEANOR WATTS 23 Dec 1647 in Hartford, CT, daughter of RICHARD WATTS and ELIZABETH ______. She was born abt. 1627 in England, and died 28 Sep 1703 in Middletown, CT.

The inclusion of Nathaniel Browne as a Founder of Hartford is problematic, given that he would have been 15 years of age in 1640. Thus the question becomes what defines a Founder of Hartford? Ordinarily, the children of founders who were not “of age” by 1640 are not considered founders; however, given that Nathaniel Browne was not a child of a founder, but rather perhaps a servant, he may himself be considered a founder.

In the will of his uncle, Sir Nathaniel Rich, dated to December 1635, he cites Nathaniel Browne “now in New England with Mr. Hooker.” (TAG Vol. 22, pg. 30). This would have been when Thomas Hooker was still in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is by no means clear if Nathaniel Browne came over with Thomas Hooker on the Griffin, but an implication may be made that he came to Hartford with Hooker in the main party and 1636, and that he resided in the home of Thomas Hooker. However, he is not in the voluminous will of Rev. Hooker, indicating no familial affliation.

Nathaniel Browne married Eleanor Watts (daughter of Hartford Founder Richard Watts) on 23 December 1647 in Hartford, and had removed to Springfield, Massachusetts by 2 March 1648/9, but had removed to Middletown, Connecticut by 15 April 1651, when his daughter Hannah was born. He made a return trip to England in 1652, but had returned by at least late 1653, as his second son name Nathaniel was born in Middletown on 15 July 1654.

The inventory of his estate was taken on 26 August 1658 in Middletown, but no will is known to exist.

Genealogy: none known, however Donald Lines Jacobus presented an extensive genealogy of the family in “The American Genealogist” Vols. 21, 22, 23, & 60

‹ Back to The Founders