Thomas Bunce, Ensign, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

THOMAS1 BUNCE, ENSIGN, HARTFORD FOUNDER was born abt. 1612 in England, and died bef. 03 Aug 1683 in Hartford, CT (inventory). He married SARAH ______ bef. 1640 in Hartford, CT. She was born abt. 1619 in England, and died Jan 1693/94 in Hartford, CT.

The ancestry, origin, and date of arrival in the American colonies of Thomas Bunce is unknown, but he was in Hartford by 1637, as he served in the Pequot War of that year, and was a proprietor “by courtesie of The Towne”. In the land inventory of February 1639/40 he held: three acres and two roods for a house lot, located on the northeast corner of the road from John Barnard’s to the Little River; three acres of upland; four acres on the east side of the Great River; three roods in the South Meadow. He later purchased multiple pieces of land. He was granted sixty acres for his service in the Pequot War in 1671, and fifty more in 1672.

He was referred to as Ensign by 1650, undoubtedly of the train band. He was a chimney viewer in 1646, Constable in 1648, juror in 1649, selectman in 1653, 1661, 1665, rate and list maker in 1669. He was again chimney viewer in 1670, list maker 1671 – 1673 and was freed from training in September 1672, being than 60 years of age. He and his wife Sarah were original members of the Second Church 12 February 1670, the records of which mention that he had a sister Katherine Clark. She could have been married to one of the Hartford founders Nicholas, William or John, but no records show which, and none of these had a known daughter named Katherine.

He died in July 1683, his inventory was taken 3 August 1683, and his will was proved 6 September 1683

Genealogy: “Genealogy of the Bunce Family of Connecticut”, Anne Kennedy Howard, type script, 1971 (in Connecticut State Library) This genealogy is limited as to descendants, is lacking in specifics of places of birth, marriage, and death, and is short on citation of source material, except insofar as probate documents.

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