Richard Bronson, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

RICHARD1 BRONSON, HARTFORD FOUNDER (ROGERA BROWNSON) was baptized 23 Jul 1615 in Earl’s Colne, Essex, England, and died bef. 26 Sep 1687 in Farmington, CT (inventory). He married (1) ABIGAIL? WYBORNE abt. 1643 in prob Hartford, CT, daughter of JOHN WYBORNE. She was born abt. 1613 in England, and died bef. 1646 in Hartford, CT. He married (2) ___________ abt. 1647 in prob Hartford, CT. She died abt. 1665 in Farmington, CT. He married (3) ELIZABETH ____ abt. 1666 in Farmington, CT. She was born in England, and died bef. 26 Apr 1694 in Farmington, CT (inventory).

Richard Bronson (Brunson, Brownson) emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635, probably aboard the ship “Defence” with his brother John and sister Mary (who would later marry Nicholas Disborough), but there is no record of him in Massachusetts. This family must have removed to the new settlement at Hartford in May to June 1636. There is no mention of land ownership in the Original Distribution of Land in Hartford. Perhaps he was living in the home of his older brother John on a two acre plot located on the west side of the road to the Neck of Land. The only mention of him in the early records of Connecticut is in Hartford Town Votes, in which it is noted on 9 March 1648/9 that the town owed him 10 shillings.

He seems to have been a land owner in Farmington in 1648/9, and was certainly there when his wife joined the church 19 July 1653.

His will was dated 27 February 1684/5, and his inventory was taken 26 September 1687.

Genealogy: There are several genealogies dealing with Richard Bronson, none of which can be recommended due to numerous confusions between the children of Richard and his brother John, and the maintenance of a myth that the three Bronsons of Hartford were children of a Richard Bronson. The only definitive work on the Bronsons is that of John I. Coddington in “The American Genealogist” Vol. 38 article “The Brownson, Bronson, or Brunson Family of Earl’s Colne, Essex, England, - Connecticut, and South Carolina”. This extraordinary work, which was intended to be continued, ceased after 1963’s Volume 39. In 1987 he had deposited his papers at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston.

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