William Holton, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

WILLIAM1 HOLTON, DEACON, HARTFORD FOUNDER (EDWARDA) was baptized. 20 Oct 1610 in St. Mary’s, Suffolk, England perhaps, and died 2 Aug 1691 in Northampton, MA. He married MARY ______ abt. 1632. She was born in England, and died 16 Nov 1691 in Northampton, MA.

The origin of William Holton, when he emigrated, and when he arrived in Hartford is a matter of debate. “William Haulton”, aged 23, was enrolled at Ipswich, England as a passenger for New England aboard the “Francis” on 30 April 1634. Robert Charles Anderson, in his “Great Migration” article on this passenger does not believe that he is the same as the William Holton of Hartford, however Gary Boyd Roberts and Meredith B. Colket stated that he was. One indicator supporting the proposition that William Holton did come on the “Francis” is that Hartford Founder Nicholas Jennings, of whom there is also no known New England record until he got Hartford, was also aboard the “Francis” in 1634. Gary Boyd Roberts stated that William Holton was perhaps the son of Edward Holton baptized St. Mary’s, Suffolk 20 October 1610, and Meredith B. Colket claimed this with assurance.

In the Hartford land inventory of February 1639/40 (about which Anderson comments that the actual entries were not made until 1652, but this is true of other known Hartford Founders’ entries), William Holton had: two roods on which his dwelling house stood on the corner of the road from George Steele’s to the Great Swamp and the road from George Steele’s to Thomas Richards; four acres of upland abutting the lands of William Andrews, William Blumfield, Richard Risley, and John Barnard; three acres on the east side of the Great River; a one acre parcel for a house lot on the east side of the Great River; and thirty acres by the Hockanum River.

William Holton does not appear to have held any public offices in Hartford. He was one of the first to remove to Northampton, Massachusetts in 1654, where he was ordained the first deacon there and was a member of the first board of magistrates.

His death date of 2 August 1691 in Northampton is incorrectly listed in multiple publications as 12 August 1691, but this mistake was corrected in “The American Genealogist” Vol. 9.

Genealogy: “A Genealogy of the Descendants in America of William Holton (1610-1691) of Hartford, Conn., and Northampton, Mass.” compiled by Edward P. Holton ; arr. and edited by Harriet Scofield, 1965

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