Thomas Olcott, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

THOMAS1 OLCOTT, HARTFORD FOUNDER (THOMASA) was baptized 02 Feb 1612/13 in St. Lawrence, Old Jewry, London, England, and died bef. 03 Mar 1653/54 in Hartford, CT (inventory). He married ABIGAIL HOARE?. She was born abt. 1615 in England, and died 26 May 1693 in Hartford, CT.

Although the baptismal date and place, and the parentage of Thomas Olcott (Alcock) is known, when he emigrated to New England, to what place originally, and when he arrived at Hartford is obscure. He was certainly there by 1639 when, as an original proprietor, his home lot of two acres was located on the intersection of the road from the Meetinghouse to the Mill and the road from the Palisade to Centinel Hill, but as this was land which he had bought of Edward Hopkins, he was apparently in Hartford somewhat earlier than 1639. For some unknown reason his properties were not listed in the Hartford land inventory of February 1639/40, but can be determined by references to lands sold by him and abutting him: his original two acre lot located on the north side of the Road from the Mill to the South Meadow, which became the property of George Smith; a parcel of swamp on the east side of the Great River; a parcel in the Neck of Land; a parcel in the Little Meadow; and two acres of upland. He was a merchant/trader, not engaged in agriculture, and he had a small lot located on the east side of the Meetinghouse Square, on which his business was probably located. He was in the practice of taking furs and other items to Virginia, which he would exchange to supply Hartford with tobacco. He was chosen constable in 1640, but apparently held no other public offices.

His will was dated 20 November 1653 and his inventory taken 13 February 1653/4. His widow Abigail carried on his business after his death, buying, leasing, and selling lands; loaning money on mortgage security; and making contracts for delivering goods. She lived 40 years after his death, dying 26 May 1693.


  • “The Descendants of Thomas Olcott, One of the First Settlers of Hartford, Ct.”, Nathaniel Goodwin, Albany, 1874
  • “The Olcutt Family of Hartford Connecticut in the line of Eunice (Olcott) Goodwin”, Frank F. Starr, Hartford, 1899

(Both of these genealogies are quite dated, lacking in detail [places of birth, marriages, and deaths not listed: an assumption seems to be made that these were in Hartford, but that is uncertain], are lacking in citation, and primarily follow male lines, but the 1899 genealogy has extensive documentation of wills and probates.)

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