Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Jonas Weed 1606 - 1676

Most of my ancestors have been Irish. Of my eight great-grandparents, seven of them came to this country from Ireland. My ancestry of my great-grandmother, Sarah Weed, was German and English. Her mother (my 2nd great-grandmother), Mary Hare, was of German ancestry, her family coming to the Mohawk River Valley of New York State in the early 1700's. Her father (my 2nd great-grandfather), Fellows Weed, was of English ancestry, his family came to Massachusetts in the 1600's.

I have written a short report on Jonas Weed, my eighth great-grandfather and the first of the Weeds in America.

Although there is no documented proof, numerous references to the Weed family state that Jonas was the son of Jonas Weed and Mary Jane Davidson of Stanwick, Northhamptonshire in England's East Anglia area and that he was born about 1606. Information from another Weed researcher, citing baptismal records of the parish church for Chelveston in Northhamptonshire at the Public Records Office in Northampton, notes the following baptisms:

Elizabeth Weed, daughter of John Weed, baptised 10 October 1587
Leonard Weed, son of John Weed, baptised 19 January 1589
Ann Weed, daughter of John Weed, baptised 25 May 1593
George Weed, son of John Weed, baptised 2 February 1596
Jonas Weed, son of John Weed, baptised 20 February 1597
Richard Weed, son of John Weed, baptised 1 June 1601

This Jonas Weed, baptised in 1597, seems to be the right age to be the Jonas Weed of Stamford noted by John Winthrop in his medical journal in 1668 as being 70 years old.

Jonas came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the fleet with Sir Richard Saltonstall and Governor Winthrop in 1630. In all, seventeen ships arrived in New England from England that year. The Arbella was one of four in this Winthrop fleet, the others being the Jewel, the Ambrose, and the Talbot. Jonas, and other members of this Puritan group, originally set sail on March 29 of that year and, after some difficulities, finally set sail from Yarmouth at the Isle of Wight and the Arbella reached Massachusetts on June 12, 1630. The Jewell arrived the following day; the Ambrose arrived on June 18; and the Talbot arrived on July 2.

The Arbella left most of its passengers at Salem but Jonas Weed moved on Watertown, MA. It was here that Jonas settled and where he was made a freeman on 18 May 1631. He did not settle long in Watertown, however, as in 1635 he was a first settler in Wethersfield, CT, and later was one of the founders of Stamford, CT in 1641.

In May of 1635 he was one of six dismissed from the Watertown Church to form a new church on the Connecticut River at Wethersfield. Colonial records note than at a Court held at Newton on April 26, 1636:

"Whereas there was a dismission granted by the Church of Watertown in Massachusetts dated 29th of Ma[ ] last to Andrew Ward, Jo: Sherman, Jo: Strickland, Rob'te Coo, Rob'te Reynolds & Jonas Weede, wth intent to forme a newe Ch: Covennte in this River of Connecticut, the sade prties hase soe accordingly done with the publicke allowance of the rest of the members of the saide Churches, as by certificate nowe prduced apprs. It is therefore, in this prsent Cort, ratified & confirmined, they prmising shortlie and publiquely to renewe the saide Covenant vppon notice to the rest of the Churches."

It was in Wethersfield, in 1637, that Jonas married his wife, Mary. Different sources have Jonas' wife as Mary Hoyt and others as Mary Scofield. Neither, however, have been proven. In 1639, Wethersfield along with Windsor and Suckiang (the present day Hartford) joined together to form the Connecticut Colony, and, in that same year, Jonas is listed as a Juror in Wethersfield. Also, Wethersfield was the birthplace of the first three children of Jonas and Mary: Elizabeth, Mary and Dorcas. Jonas Weed's home in Wethersfield was at the extreme northern end of the Eastern side of the present High Street. It's position is indicated by his name on the 1640 map of the town in "The History of Ancient Wethersfield."

In about 1641, Jonas and his family were among the families to found Stamford, CT. Jonas and Mary remained in Stamford and it was here that their remaining six children were born.

His will, dated 26 November 1672, was inventoried on 7 November 1676. Mentioned in his will were: his wife Mary; eldest son John; son Daniel; son Jonas; daughter Mary, wife of George Abbot; daughter Dorcas, wife of James Wright; son Samuel; to John Rockwell, five shillings, and 5 pounds sterling in Daniel's hands for Elizabeth; daughter Sarah, "if she return to the truth"; daughter Hannah, wife of Benjamin Hoit. Executors of his will were wife Mary, and son John.

The will, from the Fairfield Probate Records, is as follows:

The Last Will and testament of Jonas Weed Sr who first doth give up his soul to his Lord Jesus Christ and his Body to an honorable burial and for his outward estate he doth as follows: he doth give and bequeath unto his wife Mary Weed the house she now lives in and the use of the homlot with two acres of meadow and two acres of upland lying in the east field during her lifetime: And [line smudged] all belonging to it: And his [line smudged] pan: and more to [line smudged] of his estate [line smudged].

2ly he doth give and bequeath to his eldest Sonn John Weed Two Acres of Meadowe lying in Rock creek and more to the vallu of five pounds.

3ly he doth give unto his Sonn David Weed the full and Just sum of Ten pounds: for the Said Ten pounds he is to give that peece of Meadowe Lying in the east field in that neck comonly called Mr [Lands?] neck if he with the rest doe agree in the [words smudged] thay may yf Soe much: then he is to have the remainder of my other things.

4ly he doet give unto his Sonn Jonas Weed the Sum of one pounds.

5ly he doth give unto his daughter Mary Abbot the wife of Georg Abbot the Sum of Thirty Shillings.

6ly he doth give unto his Daughter Dorcas: the wife of James wright the sum of ten shillings.

7ly he doth give unto his Sonn Samuel the Sum of Twenty Pounds.

8ly he doth give unto John Rockwell the sum of five shillings and doth leave the vallu of five pounds in Daniels hand for Elizabeth.

9ly he doth give to his daughter Sarah the Sum of five shillings: And in case shee doe returne agayne to the Truth then he doth by will unto her the Sum of five pounds.

10ly he doth give unto his daughter Hannah Benj: Hoits the Sum of Ten pound.

Moreover it is his will that yf his estate doth not amount unto ye Just Sum as above they shallshare out of the above proportionably: And yf his estate [?] [?] to [?] the Sum as above then it is his will that they shall each and every of them advance proportionably to what [?] of them have received : Also he doth by will Impore his wife Mary Weed and his Sonn Daniel and his Sonn Jonas Weed to Administer upon his Estate acording to [will?].

Jonas died in Stamford on 5 June, 1676, and Mary died, also in Stamford, on 10 March 1689.

Children of John and Mary Weed:

  • Elizabeth b. 1637.
  • Mary b. ca. 1639.
  • Dorcas b. ca. 1640.
  • John b. ca. 1643.
  • Jonas b. 1647.
  • Daniel b. 1652.
  • Sarah b. 1654
  • Child b. 1656.

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