William Westwood, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

WILLIAM1 WESTWOOD, HARTFORD FOUNDER was born abt. 1606 in England, and died 09 Apr 1669 in Hadley, MA. He married BRIDGET KERRINGTON 03 Mar 1630/31 in Glensford, Suffolk, England. She was baptized 25 Jan 1602/03 in Glensford, Suffolk, England, and died 12 May 1676 in Hadley, MA.

William Westwood, whose ancestry is unknown, emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634 aboard the ship “Francis”, first residing in Cambridge, where he was made Freeman 4 March 1634/5. He was made Cambridge Selectman on 3 February 1634/5. In the Cambridge land inventory of 4 June 1635 he held eight parcels.

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.

In the Hartford land inventory of February 1639/40 he originally held eleven parcels: three acres on which his dwelling house stood with other outhouses, gardens, and orchards located on the road from the Little River to the North Meadow; one acre, three roods and three perches in the Little Meadow; seven acres, one rood, and sixteen perches on the east side of the Great River; five acres, two roods and thirty-seven perches in the North Meadow; forty-three acres, two roods and twenty-six perches also in the North Meadow; twenty-four acres in the Old Oxpasture; sixteen acres and two roods in the Cow Pasture; two acres, three roods and eight perches in the Venturers’ Field; fourteen acres and thirty-two perches in the Neck of Land; another three roods and thirty-four perches in the Neck of Land and eight acres, three roods and ten perches in the Cow Pasture. He later acquired another eight parcels of land.

On 3 September 1635 he was sworn “constable the plantations at Conecticott till some other be chosen”, was Commissioner for Massachusetts Bay to govern new settlements on the Connecticut 3 March 1635/6 and was Connecticut magistrate in 1636. He was deputy for Hartford to the Connecticut General Court from 1642 to 1656, was on the Connecticut petit jury in 1645, 1649, 1654, 1658, and was on the Grand Jury in 1650. He was Hartford selectman in 1639, 1647, 1653, and was assessor in 1657 and 1658.

He was among those of Hartford who removed to Hadley, Massachusetts in 1661, in which year he was made Commissioner to end small causes on 12 July 1661, and was Hampshire magistrate in 1663.

His will was made on 27 December 1665, he died on 8 April 1669, his inventory was taken 7 May 1669, and his will was proved 28 September 1669.

Genealogy: no genealogy of William Westwood exists, as he had no sons.

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