Robert Wade, Hartford Founder‹ Back to The Founders
Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist
ROBERT1 WADE, HARTFORD FOUNDER was born abt. 1604 in England, and died bef. 09 Jun 1682 in Norwich, CT (inventory). He married (1) JOANE ____ bef. 1629 in England (divorced 12 Aug 1657). She was born in England, and died aft. 1657 in England. He married (2) SUSANNA BIRCHARD aft. 12 Aug 1657 in Saybrook, CT, daughter of HARTFORD FOUNDER THOMAS BIRCHARD and MARY ROBINSON. She was baptized 22 Jun 1626 in Terling, Essex, England, and died 1686 in Norwich, CT.
The origin, ancestry, and date of arrival in the American colonies of Robert Wade is unknown. In the “Original Proprietors”, he is said to have been in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1635, but no records of him have been found there.
He was one of the Hartford “Inhabitance as were Granted Lotts to haue onely at The Townes Courtesie”, and held in the land inventory of February 1639/40 only three lots: two roods for a house lot (which had been sequestered for John Pierce) located on the east side of the road from Centinel Hill to the Cow Pasture; two acres and two roods in the Pine Field; and four acres of the east side of the Great River.
He had removed to Saybrook by 1657, as on 12 August 1657 he was divorced from his first wife Joane _____ by the General Court at Hartford: “This Court duely and seriously considering what evidence hath bene presented to them by Robert Wade of Seabrooke in reference to his wiues vnworthy, sinfull, yea, unnatural cariage towards him the said Robert, her husband, notwithstanding his constant and comendable care and indeauer to gaine fellowship wth her in the bond of marriage and that either where shee is in England, or for her to liue wth him here in New England; all wch being slighted and rejected by her, disowning him and fellowship wth him in that solemne couenant of marriage betwene them and all this for neare fifteene yeares: They doe hereby declare that Robert Wade is from this time free from Joane Wade his late wife and that former Couvenant of marriage betwene them.”
That he had a daughter Rebecca by this first wife is a matter of controversy, but she is presented herein as his daughter, he being the only Wade known in the area to be her father.
Sometime after August 1657 he married Susanna, daughter of Hartford founder Thomas Birchard, but the state of early vital records of Saybrook and of Norwich are such that no record of the births of their children exists. Though they probably had other children, the only ones known are those named in the inventory of his estate. Their dates of birth are estimated using the formula that Robert Charles Anderson uses in his Great Migration project, based on men marrying about age 25 and women marrying about age 21.
Robert Wade had removed to Norwich, Connecticut among the original settlers by about 1659, where his inventory was taken in June 1682.
Genealogy: no published genealogy known to exist