Peter Blachford, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

PETER1 BLACHFORD, HARTFORD FOUNDER was born in England, and died 01 Sep 1671 in Haddam, CT. He married HANNAH WILLEY abt. 1664 in New London, CT, daughter of ISAAC WILLEY and JOANNA ______. She was baptized 06 May 1642 in Boston, MA, and died abt. 1681 in Haddam, CT.

The ancestry, origin and when and to where in the American colonies Peter Blachford (Blatchford, Blackfield) is unknown, but he was in Hartford by 1637, as he had served in the Pequot War of that year from Hartford, and his heirs received a grant from the General Court of fifty acres in consideration of his service on 12 October 1671.

(Nathaniel Goodwin in “Genealogical Notes...” and F. Phelps Leach in “Additions and Corrections for Thomas Hungerford...” have him aged 46 at his death. This is absurd on the face of it: he would have been born thus about 1625, and a twelve year old boy would not have been a soldier in the Pequot War.)

There is no record of him owning any land in Hartford. He was undoubtedly living in another household. He may have been among the twenty servants and workers sent to Hartford by Hartford founder George Wyllys, but this is mere conjecture as there is no record of who these unknown founding members of the Hartford Colony were.

He was made freeman 20 May 1658, but he had removed to New London after 24 April 1649, when he testified in Court in Hartford, and before 16 February 1649/50, when he was granted land in New London, and where on 22 March 1652/2, he is recorded in town records: “The towne have agreed with Peter Blatchford to bet the drum all sabeth dayes, training dayes, and town publique meetings”, was chosen to draw a petition to the General Court regarding the grievances of the town 31 March 1653, was town constable, was voted to be attorney for the town regarding the minister’s and other town rates on 21 November 1664, and was “...paid for a voyage the the River’s Mouth, about the gunns, 12s”.

He removed from New London to Haddam before May 1669, as he was Deputy to the General Court from that town then, and again in May 1670. He died in Haddam on 1 September 1671. It is to be supposed that his widow kept ties to the New London church, as their children were baptized in New London, Sarah on 7 May 1671 and Hannah, Joanna, and Peter on 5 November 1671.

His descendants are very difficult to trace, given the destruction of many New London records in the attack of and burning of that town during the Revolutionary War by troops under the command of Benedict Arnold, and that his widow and children removed from New London to that part of Haddam that is now East Haddam, located across the Connecticut River from the main town, thus the records of many people living in that section went unrecorded in the Haddam Records. (East Haddam only became its own town in 1734.)

Principal sources:

  • “The American Genealogist”, article “The Four Spencer Brothers, Their Ancestors and Descendants”, by Donald Lines Jacobus, Volume 27
  • “A Digest of the Early Connecticut Probate Records. Hartford District, 3 Volumes, 1635-1750”, Charles W. Manwaring, Hartford, 1904
  • “Thomas Hungerford of Hartford and New London, CT&ddquo;, F. Phelps Leach, 1924
  • “Additions and Corrections for Thomas Hungerford of Hartford and New London, CT”, F. Phelps Leach, 1932
  • “New London First Congregational Church Records, 1670 - 1888” Connecticut State Library, Hartford, 1949
  • “The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut Prior to the Union with New Haven Colony, May, 1665”, J. Hammond Trumbull, Hartford, 1850
  • “The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, 1666 - 1677”, J. Hammond Trumbull, Hartford, 1851
  • “Parkhurst Manuscript of Early Families of New London and Vicinity”, Volume 2, Blatchford family, Volume 21, Pike Family, Connecticut State Library, Hartford, 1938
  • “Spencer Family Record ... Descendants of Garrard Spencer of Haddam, CT”, William H. Spencer, Tobias A. Wright Pub., New York, 1907
  • Vital Records of Hartford, CT, Barbour Collection

Genealogy: none known: he only had one son, who had no known children


  1. SARAH2 BLATCHFORD, b. abt. 1665, New London, CT; d. Bef. Sep 1671, prob New London, CT (not mentioned in father’s probate).
  2. JOANNA BLATCHFORD, b. abt. 1666, New London, CT.
  3. PETER BLATCHFORD, b. abt. 1667, New London, CT; d. Aft. 07 Feb 1703/04, Salem, NJ d. s. p.; m. ANN CURTISE, WIDOW GILL, 03 May 1697, Salem, NJ; d. Bef. 29 Dec 1703, Salem, NJ (will proved).
  4. MARY BLATCHFORD, b. abt. Mar 1669/70, Haddam, CT; d. prob New London, CT; m. JOHN PIKE, Bef. 1690, prob New London, CT; d. 02 Oct 1699, New London, CT.
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