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My 8th great grandfather was part of an unusual settlement in New Haven, Connecticut. He probably arrived in 1638 with a group of Puritans from England:
On April 24, 1638, a company of five-hundred English Puritans led by the Reverend John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton, a wealthy London merchant, sailed into the harbor. They soon discovered that the Quinnipiacks and other local tribes were much distressed by raiding bands of Pequots and Mohawks from surrounding areas. It was for this reason that Momauguin, the sachem of the Quinnipiacks, and other tribe members agreed to sell the tribe’s land to the Puritans. In return, the settlers pledged to protect the natives and to allow them the use of the lands on the east side of the harborNew Haven’s founders not only hoped to create a Christian utopia, they also saw in New Haven’s spacious harbor an opportunity to establish a commercial empire that would control Long Island Sound and possibly the coastline as far south as Delaware Bay. By 1640 a complete government had been established and the settlement, originally called Quinnipiac, was renamed Newhaven. The town plan was based on a grid of nine squares. In accordance with old English custom, the central square, now the Green, was designated a public common. By 1641 New Haven had grown into a community of approximately 800.
Over the next few years, however, the flow of newcomers began to weaken and trade with the outside world shifted more and more to Boston. In an attempt to establish direct trade with England, the settlers managed to assemble enough produce to fill a vessel which would become known as the “Great Shippe.” However, after setting sail in January, 1646, the ship and its crew were never heard from again. This disaster ended the dream of creating an economic empire and over the years New Haven became overshadowed by New Amsterdam and Boston.
Thomas Manchester, the Manchester immigrant ancestor, was born in England, and was a resident of New Haven, Connecticut, in 1639, in the year following the planting of the colony. Afterward, however, he settled at Portsmouth, Rhode Island, where he is first mentioned in the land records, January 25, 1655, when he and his wife sold to Thomas Wood twelve acres of land. He married Margaret, daughter of John Wood.
In the settlement of her father’s estate, it was ordered March 17, 1655, that the son John pay his sister, Margaret Manchester, eight pounds. Eight acres of land were granted at Portsmouth to Thomas Manchester, December 10, 1657, and he sold to Richard Sisson one-three-hundredth right in Canonicut and Dutch Islands. In 1680 he was taxed four shillings. He and his wife testified, June 7, 1686, that they heard and saw Ichabod Sheffield married by William Paulstone. He deeded to his son John. July 9, 1691, his mansion house and lands at Portsmouth, except the place at the lower end of the ground, in possession of his son Thomas, one-half to be his at the death of grantor and the other after the death of grantor’s wife,mother of grantee, provided he pay to the sons Thomas, William and Stephen, ten shillings each, to Job twenty shillings and daughters Mary and Elizabeth ten shillings each. He also gave to John his personal property, including cattle, tools, etc.
Thomas Manchester died in 1691; his wife in 1693. Children: Thomas, born about 1650; William, 1654; John, died in 1708; George, admitted freeman in 1680; Stephen, mentioned in his own biography; Job, died 1713; Mary; Elizabeth.
New England families, genealogical and memorial
By William Richard Cutter (pgs. 853-854)
Thomas Manchester (1620 – 1691)
is my 8th great grandfather
Elizabeth Manchester (1667 – 1727)
daughter of Thomas Manchester
Dr. James Sweet (1686 – 1751)
son of Elizabeth Manchester
Thomas Sweet (1732 – 1813)
son of Dr. James Sweet
Thomas Sweet (1759 – 1844)
son of Thomas Sweet
Valentine Sweet (1791 – 1858)
son of Thomas Sweet
Sarah LaVina Sweet (1840 – 1923)
daughter of Valentine Sweet
Jason A Morse (1862 – 1932)
son of Sarah LaVina Sweet
Ernest Abner Morse (1890 – 1965)
son of Jason A Morse
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Ernest Abner Morse
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse
Thomas Manchester was born in England about 1620, and died at Portsmouth, R.I., about 1691. He was an early pioneer of Quinnipiac, called New Haven after 1640, in the Plantation of Connecticut: since he is found there in 1639, it would seem probable that he was of the company of Yorkshire settlers who in 1638 came to America with Ezekiel Rogers, the famous non-conformist minister, with the view of joining the Quinnipiac Plantation, although many of them eventually settled elsewhere.
The New Haven colony differed very much from other colonies. Many of the colonists put up large houses. As an explanation why this style of building was so general, it may be said that the founders of New Haven were mainly gentlemen and merchants, used to living in superior houses in London and other parts of England. For a period,Thomas continued at Quinnipiac, but removed to Portsmouth, R.I, before 1642.
On February 25/1642 he was appointed to serve on the next jury. From 1674 till his death, he was Town Sergeant. He became a considerable landed proprietor. Prior to 1655 he acquired land on the island of Aquidneck, and on January 25/1655, he made a deed of a tract of 12 acres there to Thomas Wood.
On December 10/1657, he shared in the land division and received eight acres at Portsmouth. He also had sharein Dutch Island and Quononoquet Island, and conveyed his interest in 1/300th right therein to Richard Sisson on July 6/1658. His mansion and homestead was built on his Portsmouth land.
On July 9/1691, Thomas deeded to his son John, his mansion house and all lands at Portsmouth, except the piece at the lower end, which had been theretofore deeded to his son Thomas. According to the deed, half was to be John’s on hisbrother Thomas’ death, and the remaining half upon the death of his Mother, conditioned always that pay to his brothers Thomas, William and Stephen, 10 shillings each, to Job 20/-, and to his sisters Mary and Elizabeth, ten shillings each. John also received from his father his personal property, cattle, chattels, implements, bonds, sums of money, and whatever belonged to him at the time of his death.
Thomas Manchester married, prior to 1650, Margaret Wood, who died about 1693, daughter of John Wood of Portsmouth, R.I., who bequeathed to his daughter Margaret the sum of œ8.