William Gibbons, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

WILLIAM1 GIBBONS, HARTFORD FOUNDER was born abt. 1611 in England, and died bef. 02 Dec 1655 in Hartford, CT (inventory). He married URSULA ______ abt. 1636 in prob Hartford, CT. She was born abt. 1624 in England, and died aft. 02 Sep 1680 in poss Hartford, CT (named alive in son-in-law James Richards’ will).

William Gibbons was the steward of Hartford Founder George Wyllys, and came to Hartford in 1636 with twenty men, to build a house and prepare a garden for his employer. From such a humble beginning, he grew to be a man “of great Wealth and Business”. In the Hartford land inventory of February 1639/40 he had nine parcels: three acres and two roods on which his dwelling house stood with other outhouses, yards and gardens, located on the road from William Hills’s to the Oxpasture, directly across the road from the estate of George Wyllys; six acres and two roods in the South Meadow; twelve acres in the Great Swamp; one acre, one rood and twenty-three perches of meadow lying in Hockanum; six acres of upland abutting on the Oxpasture; another six acres of upland abutting on the Oxpasture; twelve acres of upland abutting on the road from George Steele’s to the Great Swamp; twelve acres on the east side of the Great River; and a house lot of two roods which he bought of John Friend. After 1639 he accumulated another nine parcels of land.

He was juror in Hartford 1643, selectman in 1643 and 1652, Constable in 1647, and surveyor of highways in 1648.

Starting out as a steward, he nonetheless accumulated a large estate, his daughter Sarah married Hon. James Richards of Hartford, one of his granddaughters married Gov. Gurdon Saltonstall, and another granddaughter was the wife of Sir John Davey, Baronet.

His will was dated 26 February 1654/5, his inventory was taken 2 December 1655, and his will was approved 10 March 1654/5. His will does not mention a son William, but Lucius Barnes Barbour claims the relationship in “Families of Early Hartford, CT” (pg. 259), and the set of relations of his daughter Sarah, having married James Richards, Humphrey Davies, and Jonathan Tyng point in the direction of William2 as a son of William1.

Genealogy: none known

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