Stephen Hart, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

STEPHEN1 HART, DEACON, HARTFORD FOUNDER was born bef. 1599 in England, and died bef. 31 Mar 1683 in Farmington, CT (inventory). He married (1) _____ ______ bef. 1624 in England. She was born in England, and died abt. 1678 in Farmington, CT. He married (2) MARGARET ______ aft. 1678 in prob Farmington, CT. She was born abt. 1622 in England, and died bef. 12 Jan 1693/94 in Farmington, CT (inventory).

The origin of Stephen Hart is unknown, but he emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1633, first settling in Cambridge, where he was made freeman 14 May 1634, and where he owned five parcels of land. He was among the so-called “Adventurers Party” of twenty-five men who set out to explore the area that would become Hartford, led by John Steele in October 1635, prior to the departure from Cambridge of the Rev. Hooker’s party in May 1636, and was one of sixteen founders living in Hartford in 1635 prior to the arrival of Hooker’s party. He served in the Pequot War in 1637, for which service he received one hundred and fifty acres of land on 8 May 1673.

In the Hartford land inventory of February 1639/40 he held eleven parcels: two acres with a dwelling house, out houses, yards and gardens located on the west side of the road the Neck; two acres on which his previous house once stood on the road from the Little River to the North Meadow; three roods and seventeen perches in the Little Meadow; three acres and thirty perches of meadow and swamp on the North Meadow; three acres and twenty-four perches on the east side of the Great River; sixteen acres in the Old Oxpasture; eleven acres, one rood and twenty-five perches in the Cow Pasture; twenty acres, one rood and eighteen perches of meadow and swamp in the North Meadow; four acres, two roods and fourteen perches in the Neck of Land; one acre and three roods also in the Neck of Land; and three acres and thirty perches of meadow and swamp the North Meadow.

He had removed to Farmington by 1647, where he was Deputy to the Connecticut General Court from 1647 to 1655 and in 1660. He was on the war committee for Farmington May 1653, and on the jury 1647, 1651, 1654, 1659, and 1661. He was Deacon of the church in Farmington.

One of the difficulties in accurately tracking his family, and others in Farmington, is due to a fire in 1666 of the house of his son John (in which John, his wife, and two of his three children died), as John Hart was the town recorder for Farmington, and the Farmington records were mostly destroyed in the fire (there being no Town Hall, the records were held by whoever was town clerk at the time).

Stephen Hart’s will was dated 16 March 1682/3 and his inventory was taken 31 March 1683.

Genealogy: “Genealogical History of Deacon Stephen Hart and his Descendants”, Alfred Andrews, Hartford, 1875

(The 1970 “Hart Genealogy” is basically a sparse repetition of what is presented in the 1875 genealogy, lacking in citation.)

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