Richard Church, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

RICHARD1 CHURCH, HARTFORD FOUNDER (RICHARDA) was born 06 Feb 1610/11 in London, England, and died 16 Dec 1667 in Hadley, MA. He married ANNE MARSH 18 May 1627 in England, daughter of EDWARD MARSH. She was born abt. 1600 in England, and died 10 Mar 1684/85 in Hatfield, MA.

Richard Church is first known to be in Hartford in 1637, where he was an original proprietor. Where he was prior to this time, and when and to where he emigrated, is unknown. In the Hartford land inventory of February 1639/40 he originally held: one acre on which stood his dwelling house with outhouses, yards, or gardens located on the east side of the road from Centinel Hill to the Cow Pasture between the properties of Thomas Spencer and Zechariah Field, which was originally granted to Thomas Fisher, was defaulted upon and was granted to Thomas Spencer, who sold it to William Spencer, who sold it again to Richard Church; three acres in the North Meadow; five acres in the Little Oxpasture; one acre and two roods in the North Meadow; three acres on the east side of the Great River; sixteen acres, two roods, and sixteen perches in the Cow Pasture; and eight acres and eight perches also in the Cow Pasture. He later acquired an additional seven parcels of property.

He was appointed chimney viewer in 1647, and surveyor of highways in 1648. He was freed from watching, warding and training by the General Court, 7 March 1654/5. He was one of the sixty persons who “at a meeting of Goodman Ward’s house, 18 April 1659, signed an agreement to remove themselves and families out of Connecticut into Massachusetts, for the purpose of forming the town of Hadley”, which town he removed to in 1661.

Genealogy: Other than “Hale, House and Related Families, Mainly of the Connecticut River Valley”, Donald Lines Jacobus & Edgar F. Waterman, PC, Baltimore, 2001 (which only covers the first three generations); “Simeon Church of Chester, Connecticut – 1708-1792 – and his Descendants”, Charles W. Church, Waterbury, CT, 1914; and “Descendants of Captain Samuel Church of Churchville”, Etta A. Emens, Rochester, 1920 (which latter two cover only limited line), none known comprehensive genealogy of descendants of Richard Church past the first three generations, which are most amply covered by Jacobus and Waterman.

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