William Pantry, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

WILLIAM1 PANTRY, HARTFORD FOUNDER (THOMASA) was born 31 Jul 1597 in Staplehurst, Kent, England, and died bef. 29 Nov 1649 in Hartford, CT (inventory). He married MARGARET WYBORNE 25 Nov 1619 in Willesborough, Kent, England, daughter of JOHN WYBORNE. She was baptized 07 Jan 1591/92 in Wrotham, Kent, England, and died aft. 12 Sep 1651 in Hartford, CT (her will).

William Pantry emigrated from Kent, England, arriving at Cambridge, Massachusetts in May 1634. There is no record of being him being granted a house lot, but he was granted a cow yard on 05 August 1633, and his home lot was located between the Rev. Thomas Hooker’s and James Olmstead’s, as shown on the Cambridge land records of 5 September 1635. He was made freeman in Cambridge 04 March 1634/5.

He was among the so-called “Adventurers Party” of twenty-five men who set out to explore the area that would become Hartford, led by Founder John Steele in October 1635, prior to the departure from Cambridge of the Rev. Hooker’s party in May 1636, and was one of sixteen founders living in Hartford in 1635 prior to the arrival of Hooker’s party.

His lands in Hartford included: two acres and eight perches on which his dwelling house stood with other outhouses, yards and gardens located between the Meeting-house alley and the road leading from the Little River to the North Meadow, next to the home lot of James Olmstead, who was located just north of the Rev. Thomas Hooker; one acre, three roods and thirty perches in the Little Meadow; six acres and twenty-seven perches of meadow and swamp in the North Meadow; forty acres and eighteen perches of meadow and swamp also in the North Meadow; nine acres, one rood and thirty-two perches on the east side of the Great River; twenty-six acres in the Old Oxpasture; fifteen acres and two roods in the Cow Pasture; two acres, three roods and eight perches in the Venturers Field; twelve acres, two roods and twenty-four perches in the Neck of Land; and thirty-six acres, three roods and eighteen perches in the Cow Pasture. He later purchased nineteen other parcels of land.

William Pantry was a carpenter and joiner. In January 1640 he was appointed to consider a place for the setting of the mill and bridge, and was chosen to order the affairs of the town, and was appointed to supervise the building of a gallery in the Meeting-house in 1644. On 18 February 1640 he was appointed with others to divide the lands on the east side of the Great River; was chosen selectman in 1641 and 1646; served on the jury of the Particular Court from 1639 to 1648, and was chosen Constable 31 January 1648/49.

The date of his death is unknown, but his inventory was taken 16 November 1649. He was one of the wealthiest of the original proprietors of Hartford, his estate amounting to 1011 pounds and 10 shillings.

Genealogy: no published genealogy known

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