The 1639, 1643 and 1646 Lists of Milford Free Planters

by Nancy Tyrrel Theodore, June 2009

There are three distinct lists of “original” free planters for Milford, Connecticut. The first list of names was produced 20 November 1639 by the Milford General Court—forty-four members of the Church (Puritans) and nine non-members. Roger Terrel’s name appears among the non-members.i

The second list, dated 22 November 1643, is titled “Number of acres and homelotts.” ii There are forty-five names, but Roger’s is not included. Changes in the spelling of names on this list, or other notations, are in parentheses “( )” next to the 1639 version of the name in the combined list below.

The third list was made 24 December 1646 when the General Court ordered that a record be made of all land transactions, to clear up boundary confusions and to establish strict guidelines for future transactions. As an outshoot of this ruling, the first map of the town was made showing the location of each homelot, the name of the owner, and the number of the lot. There were sixty-six names on the map, including “Roger Tyrrell”. Name-spelling changes or notations on the list below are shown in parantheses “{ }”. The first number in the 1646 column is the assigned lot number, and the second set is the acreage in acres/roods/poles.iii

The lists of Milford settlers:

#Lot- a/r/p **
Name 1639 1643 1646




Zachariah Whitman X X 32 - 7/2/0
Thomas Welsh {Welch} X X 33 - 4/2/0
Thomas Wheeler X X 34 - 3/0/0
(Mr.) Edmond Tappe (Tapp) X X 35 - 7/2/0
Thomas Buckingham X X 36 - 2/3/0
Richard Miles X X
Richard Platt X X 38 - 4/1/0
Thomas Topping {Tapping} X X 39 - 1/1/20
Mr. Peter Prudden X X 40 - 7/2/0
(Mr.) William Fowler (for the Mill) X X 41 - 7/2/0
John Astwood X X 1 - 7/2/0
Richard Baldwin X X 2 - 3/0/0
Benjamin Fenn (Fen) X X 3 - 2/11/3 **
Samuell Coley {Cooley} X X 4 - 2/1/20
John Peacocke (Peacock) X X 5 - 1/3/0
Henry Stonhill X X 6 - 2/3/20
Nathaniel Baldwin X X 7 - 3/2/0
James Prudden X X 8 - 2/0/0
Thomas Baker X
10 - 3/2/0
George Clarke Senr (Carptr) X X 65 - 4/2/0
George Hubburt (Hubburd) {Hubbard} X X 66 - 4/2/0
. {sold to John Stream}


Jasper (Jesper) Gunn X X 24 - 0/3/0
John Fletcher X X 12 - 3/2/30
Alex: (Alexandr) Bryan X X 23 - 4/0/25
Frances Bolts (Bolt) X X 14 - 2/1/20
Micah (Michael) Tomkins {Tompkins} X X 15 - 2/1/20
John Birdsey (Berdseye) {Birdseye} X X 16 - 2/3/20
Edmond {Edward} Harvy (Harvie) X X 17 - 2/3/0
. {Harvey}


John Lane X X 18 - 2/2/20
William East X X 19 - 2/3/0
Thomas Lawrence (Larrance) X X 20 - 2/0/0
. {sold to Wm. East}


Thomas Lawrence

42 - 1/0/0
Thomas Samford {Sandford} X X 21 - 2/3/0
Timothy Baldwin X X 22 - 4/0/0
Georg Clark(e) Junr (husbandman) X X 43 - 4/1/0
John Burwell X X 44 - 2/0/20
Henry Botsford (Botchford) X X 45 - 2/2/0
Joseph Baldwin X X 52 - 2/1/20
Philip Hatley (hatly) X X 48 - 3/3/20
Nicholas Camp X X 50 - 6/1/20
John Rogers X X 47 - 1/3/20
Thomas Uffott (Uffoot) X X
Nathaniel Briscoe X
62 - 3/0/0
Thomas Tibbulls {Tibbals} X X 53 - 1/2/20
John Sharman (Sherman) X X 9 - 4/0/0
Robert Plum * X
37 - 5/3/0
Roger Terrel * {Tyrrell} X
49 - 2/3/20
Joseph Northrupp * X

John Baldwin * X
13 - 2/1/10
William Slough * X
28 - 3/0/0
Andrew Benton * X
64 - 3/0/0
William Brookes * X
60 - 3/0/0
Robert Treat * X

Henry Lyon * X
26 - 3/0/0
John Smith
X 46 - 1/3/20
John Smith

58 - 4/0/0
John Fowler
X 51 - 1/2/20
{Wid.} Martha Beard
X 54 - 4/1/00
Stephen Freeman

11 - 2/0/0
Thomas Hine

25 - 3/0/0
John Stream

27 - 3/0/0
James Prime

29 - 3/0/0
Thomas Reed

30 - 3/0/0
Robert Denison

31 - 3/0/0
Thomas Campfield

55 - 3/0/0
Thomas Ford

56 - 3/0/0
William Roberts

57 - 3/0/0
Thomas Bailey

59 - 3/0/0
John Brown

61 - 3/0/0
Edward Riggs

63 - 3/0/0

* These nine names were the non-church-members on the 1639 list.

** There are four roods to an acre, and forty poles to a rood. For Fenn’s Lot #3, roods and poles were evidently transposed in the published transcription.

The settlers who would found Milford, but were still living in New Haven, met in council in Robert Newman’s barn on 22 August 1639, and formed the First Church of Milford. The church was not only a dominating first cause for settlement, but also the controllling force in Milford’s new government. “Seven Pillars” were chosen as the governing body: Peter Prudden, Zachariah Whitman, William Fowler, John Astwood, Edmund Tapp, Thomas Welch and Thomas Buckingham.iv These men were also among the first named on the lists above, and they had for the most part the largest homelotts. Prudden, Whitman, Fowler, Astwood and Tapp all had seven or more acres.

[Lambert 1646 map iii.]

The extent of each man’s land was determined by the “rule of persons and estates,” that is, by the relative size of his estate, by the amount he contributed to the initial general expense of the colony, the number of persons in his family and his standing in the community.v

The timing and circumstances of Roger’s entry into the community are not clear-cut. His name appears on the 1639 list, but separate from those who were members of the church, or the “free planters,” which meant he was not a full member of the community, unable to vote or hold office.

Still, including him and the eight other non-church-members in the Milford colony was an unwelcome departure from acceptable practice for the Puritans of the mother New Haven Colony, who strictly held to the principle of absolute union of church and state. When Milford, and then New Haven, finally joined Connecticut by 1665, the ecclesiastical charters of civil government had to be modified so that property, rather than church membership, became the basis for their franchise.vi

It is possible that politics was behind the 1643 list of Milford settlers. Not one of the settlers who were shown as non-church-members in 1639 was included on the 1643 list. Milford’s continuing embrace of these men, and the granting to them of even greater privileges, was a continuing sore point with New Haven. It came to a head in May 1643 when the confederation of the New England colonies was consummated. At this time, Milford was a separate colony, and not a part of the confederation of the Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Haven Colonies. The confederation allowed each colony to keep its separate identity and government, but bound them to help the other colonies in the confederation in case of attack or invasion.

Realizing the benefits of belonging to this confederation, Milford applied for admission, but there were problems. Roger and others, then a total of six persons, had been given full privileges in civil affairs even though they were still not church members. Such shocking liberalism led the Puritans of the New Haven Colony to refuse admission. Milford was told that they had to disfranchise the six non-churchmen. And Milford in turn refused. But a compromise was finally reached…. the six were allowed to keep their civil rights in purely local affairs, and to vote for deputies to the General Court at New Haven, but they were not permitted to vote for magistrates or to hold office. Milford also agreed to admit only church members as freemen in the future. So….. the 22 November 1643 list of “free planters” did not include Roger and the other non-church-members, thus helping, perhaps, to calm the waters over the issue of church supremacy in affairs touching on the New Haven Colony.vii

It is interesting to wonder if Roger’s father-in-law, Thomas Ufford, might have been a “place holder” for Roger on the 1643 list, since his name appears where Roger's is on the 1646 list. In other words, the order of names for 1643 is Philip Hatley, Thomas Uffoot, Nicholas Camp. On the 1646 list, it's Philip Hatley, Roger Tyrrell, Nicholas Camp. Ufford does not appear on the 1646 list. Or, it is possible that Ufford gave or transferred his land to Roger.

Whatever the case, it seems that by 1646 Roger had overstepped his bounds, literally. On 24 December 1646 the General Court of Milford ordered that “Roger Terrell is to give backe againe, that land which is in his possession, which was laid out for Philip Hatley.” While the "againe" is provocative, and suggests repeated transgression, the larger issue was that the court had decided to bring order to their recording of land transactions. In the record immediately following Roger’s wrist-slap, the court ordered that “every part and parcell of every mans land, both upland meadow and house lotts shall be recorded in A book keept for that purpose,” which order was strictly adhered to (on pain of fines), thus leaving a wonderful record for future genealogists and historians to ponder.

Thus we are able to read this record of Roger’s “Home Lott”“Roger Terrill hath two acres three Roods and twenty poles be it more or less, being bounded with a high way to the west, Philip Hatley on the north with other lotts to the East, and Sergeant Camp to the South.”

And, Roger, soon after the 1643 dustup between Milford and New Haven, was admitted to the fellowship of the First Church of Milford, on 25 July 1644… a freeman at last!

References:

i. Milford Land Records, Vol. I, page 1 - LDS film #4918. [Donald Lines Jacobus explains in Vol. 12 of The American Genealogist, page 170 that “This first book of Milford records is now labeled 1 and 2; the second part (paged in reverse) contains deeds; the first part is a partial transcript of the matter contained in the original first two books. These are not extant, having been discarded at the time the transcript was made.” Here is the title page for Volume I.]

ii. “Milford Land Records,” The American Genealogist, Vol. 12, page 172, abstracted by Donald Lines Jacobus from the first book of Milford records. The acerage is not given in Jacobus’s abstraction.

iii. History of Milford Connecticut 1639 – 1939, Federal Writers Project, pages 23, 24, 25, with a map showing acreages inserted between pages 24 & 25. The 1646 inset map in this article is located between pages 92 and 93 in the History of the Colony of New Haven by E. R. Lambert, 1838.

iv. History of Milford Connecticut 1639 - 1939, Federal Writers Project, pages 5, 6 and 7.

v. Ibid. page 11.

vi. Ibid. page 32.

vii. Ibid. pages 16 and 17.