Thomas Richards, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

THOMAS1 RICHARDS, HARTFORD FOUNDER was born abt. 1605 in England, and died bef. Feb 1639/40 in Hartford, CT (noted deceased in Hartford land inventory). He married PRISCILLA WAKEMAN, HARTFORD FOUNDER 23 Jan 1629/30 in England, daughter of FRANCIS WAKEMAN and ANNE GOODE. She was born abt. 1608 in Bewdley, Worcestershire, England, and died bef. 12 Jun 1671 in Hartford, CT (inventory).

The date and place of birth of Thomas Richards is unknown, as is when and where he arrived in the American colonies. It is also unknown exactly when he arrived in Hartford, but he was there by 14 January 1639/40 when he was voted an inhabitant “onley at The Townes Courtesie wth liberty to fetch wood & keepe Swine or Cowes By proportion on the Common”. He died quite soon after, as properties were granted to his widow. In the Hartford land inventory of February 1639/40 he held four acres and one rood on which his dwelling house stood with other outhouses, yards or gardens located on the west side of the road from John Barnard’s to the Little River; thirteen acres and two roods of upland; and two acres and two roods on the east side of the Great River.

His wife, known only as Widow Richards in Hartford records, was Priscilla Wakeman, sister of Hartford founder Samuel Wakeman, of Esther Wakeman (wife of Hartford founder Thomas Selden), and of John Wakeman, a founder of the New Haven Colony.

Genealogy: “A Genealogical Register of the Descendents of Several Ancient Puritans”, Vol. III, Richards Families, Abner Morris, Boston, 1861 (This genealogy should be approached with caution, as it has confused the identities, spouses, and dates of the earlier generations, thus requiring a multiplicity of sources.)

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