Richard Risley, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

RICHARD1 RISLEY, HARTFORD FOUNDER was born in poss Fenny Compton, Warwickshire, England, and died bef. 07 Dec 1648 in Hockanum, CT [later East Hartford] (distribution of estate). He married MARY _____ abt. 1640. She was born in prob England, and died abt. 1655 in Hartford, CT.

The date and place of birth of Richard Risley is unknown, as is when he emigrated to the American colonies. In “The Risley Family History” (Risley 1909) it is stated that he came over aboard the ship “Griffin” in 1633 in the company of Rev. Thomas Hooker, but this is doubtful as Robert Charles Anderson does not include him in “The Great Migration Begins”.

In the Hartford land inventory of February 1639/40 he held: two acres and three roods on which his dwelling house stood with yards and gardens, located on the road from George Steele’s to the Great Swamp; two acres and three roods of upland; four acres on the east side of the Great River. He later acquired two additional parcels of land.

Richard Risley does not appear to have held any public offices. At some time undetermined, he had removed to his property east of the Connecticut River, in the section known as Hockanum, which later became East Hartford (in 1783), which is where he died and his inventory was taken 07 December 1648.

Genealogy: “The Risley Family History”, Edwin H. Risley, New York, 1909 (The English origins of Richard Risley in this genealogy should be ignored as they are unproven, as well as the assertion that he came to the American colonies aboard the ship “Griffin” in 1633. The first three generations of the Risley family are best covered in the two “American Genealogist” articles: “The American Genealogist”, Vol. 23, article “The Risley Family of Connecticut” by Donald Lines Jacobus, “The American Genealogist”, Vol. 70, article “Sarah Risley2, wife of Samuel1 Crooke of East Hartford, Connecticut, and John3 Payne of Southold, Long Island” by Gale Ion Harris above.)

For further descent of Richard2 past the third generation, “The Risley Family History” is useful.

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