Rev. James FITCH (1622 – 1702) was Alex’s 9th great grandfather, one of 1,024 in this generation of the Miner line. He helped found the towns of Saybrook, Norwich and Lebanon Connecticut and was instrumental in getting Sachem Uncas and the Mohegans, and also the Pequot Indians, to side with the English against King Philip’s the Narragansett tribes in King Philip’s War.
Rev. James Fitch was born 24 Dec 1622 in Bocking, Essex, England. His parents were Thomas FITCHand Anne REEVES. His brother Capt. John FITCH was also our ancestor through the Shaw line. He came to America in 1638 and was the first minister at Norwich. He was ordained as the minister of Saybrook in 1646. He first married Abigail Whitfield on 18 Oct 1648 in Guilford, CT. James and Abigail were, according to legend at least, married by her father in the north end of the living room of the Gilford Stone House on 1 October 1648. This seems unlikely however because the 17th Century congregational church, marriage was not a sacrament, and marriages were generally performed by civil authorities rather than clergy. The marriage was recorded “after the fact” in the Norwich, Connecticut vital records. After Abigail died, he married Priscilla MASON on 2 Oct 1664 in Norwich, CT. James died 18 Nov 1702 in Lebanon, CT.
Grave inscription in Latin reportedly written by James’ son Jabez. ”In Hoc Sepulcro Depositae Sunt Reliquiae Viri Vere Reverendi D: Jacobi Fitch: Natus Fuit Apud Bocking in Comitatu Essexlae in Anglia, Anno Domino 1622 Decembr 24 Qui Post-Quam Linguis Literatis Optime Instructus Fuisset In Novangliam Venit Aetat. 16 Et Deinde Vitam Degit Harteordlae Per Sepennium Sub Institutione Virorum Ceeeberimorum D: Hooker Et D: Stone Postea Mtnere Passorali Functus Est Apud Saybrook Per Annos 14 Illinc Cum Ecckesiae Maiori Parte Norvicum Migravit Et Ibi Ceteros Vitae Annos Transegit In Opere Evangelico In Senectute Vero Prae Corporis Infirmitate Necessario Cessabat Ab Opere Publico : Tandemque Recessit Liberis Apud Lebanon Ubi Semianno Fere Exacto Obdormivit In Iesu Anno 1702 Novebr 18 Etat 80 Vir, Ingenii Acumine, Pondere Judicii, Prudentia Charitate, Sanctis Laboribus, Et Omnimoda Vitae Sanctitate Peritiaquoque Et Vi Concionandi Nulli Secundus.”
Translated “In this grave are deposited the remains of that truley reverend man, Mr. James Fitch. He was born in Bocking, in the County of Essex, in England, the 24th day of December, in the year of our Lord 1622; who after he had been most excellently taught the learned languages came into New England at the age of sixteen, and then spent seven years under the instructions of those very famous men, Mr. Hooker and Mr. Stone. Afterwards he discharged the pastoral office fourteen years at Saybrook. Thence he removed with the major part of his Church to Norwich, where he spent the other years of his life in the work of the gospel.
In his old age indeed he was obliged to cease from his public labors by reason of bodily indisposition and at length retired to his children at Lebanon, where after spending nearly half a year, he slept in Jesus in the year 1702, on the 18th day of November, in the 80th year of his age. He was a man as to the smartness of his genius, the solidity of his judgement, his charity, holy labors, and every kind of purity of life, and also as to his skill and energy of preaching, inferior to none.”
Abigail Whitfield was born 1 Sep 1622 in Ockley, Surry, England. Her parents were Rev. Henry Whitfield and Dorothy Sheaffe. Abigail died 9 Sep 1659 in Saybrook, CT.
Priscilla Mason was born in Oct 1641 in Windsor, CT. Her husband was almost twenty years older than she was. The gap bewtween the oldest and youngest child was 34 years. Her parents were Maj. John MASON and Ann PECK. Priscilla died in 1714 in Norwich, CT.
Children of James and Abigail Whitfield
|1.||Maj. James Fitch||2 Aug 1649
|Elizabeth Mason (Daughter of Maj. John MASON)
8 May 1687 Saybrook, CT
|10 Nov 1727 Canterbury, CT|
|2.||Abigail Fitch||5 Aug 1650
|Capt. John Mason Jr. (Son of Maj. John MASON)
|5 Jul 1687 Wethersfield, Norwich, CT.|
|3.||Elizabeth Fitch||2 Jan 1652||Rev. Edward Taylor
5 Sep 1674
|4.||Hannah Fitch||17 Sep 1653 in Saybrook, Middlesex, CT||Thomas Meeks (Mix)
30 Jun 1679 New Haven, CT
Stonington, New London, CT
|5.||Samuel Fitch||5 Apr 1655 Saybrook, CT||Mary Anne Brewster
28 Nov 1678
|18 Feb 1724/25 Preston, CT|
||16 Apr 1658 Saybrook, New London, CT||Nathaniel Bissell
4 Jul 1683
|28 Jun 1691 Windsor, CT|
Children of James and Priscilla:
|7.||Capt. Daniel Fitch||16 Aug 1665
7 Mar 1697/98
Preston, New London, CT
|3 Jun 1711 Norwich, CT|
|8.||Capt. John Fitch||Jan 1667 Norwich, CT||Elizabeth Waterman
10 Jul 1695 Norwich, CT.
|24 May 1743
|9.||Capt. Jeremiah Fitch||10 Sep 1670 Norwich, CT||Ruth Clara Gifford
4 Jun 1698
|22 May 1736/1756 Coventry, Tolland, CT|
|10.||Rev. Jabez Fitch||Apr 1672||Elizabeth Appleton Ipswich, CT
26 Jul 1704 Ipswich, MA
|22 Nov 1746 Portsmouth, NH|
|11.||Anna Fitch||6 Apr 1675 Norwich, CT||Lt. Joseph Bradford
5 Oct 1698 Lebanon, CT
|17 Oct 1717 Lebanon, CT|
|12.||Capt. Nathaniel FITCH||Oct 1679 Norwich CT||Anne ABELL
10 Dec 1701
|May 1759 Lebanon, CT|
|13.||Joseph Fitch||Nov 1681 Norwich, CT||Sarah Mason
2 Nov 1703
|9 May 1741 Lebanon, CT|
|14.||Deacon Eleazer Fitch||14 May 1683||Martha Brown
|4 Jun 1748|
James Fitch’s father Thomas died when James was only ten years old. James was left money in his fathers’ will, which enabled him to go and study at Cambridge University. During his studies at Cambridge, he was taken under the wing of Rev. Thomas Hooker of Chelmsford, a friend of Thomas Fytche who was also mentioned in the will.
Frederic Edwin Church, 1846
At only sixteen, he sailed to America in 1638 with the Rev. Hooker who had decided to go to America and establish a church there. James finished his theological study in Hartford, Connecticut under the Reverend Hooker and Reverend Samuel Stone, also of Bocking, England. A new Church was built in Saybrook, Connecticut and James Fitch was ordained as its first minister in 1646.
James wrote several important documents which were circulated widely. He struggled to clarify several important points of puritan doctrine,
- He struggled to find grounds for proving the necessity of works without curtailing the absolute freedom of God to chose and reject regardless of man’s achievement
- He wanted to resolve the question of individual assurance, that is how a man might reach some working assurance that he was of the regenerate even though pure knowledge was an inscrutable secret open to God himself
- He wanted to justify God’s ways in concepts meaningful to the human intellect to bring him into line, so to speak, with the more rationale laws of ethics.
James lived near the new meeting house on a two acre lot with a house, a barn and an orchard.
In the early summer of 1647 “an epidemical sickness” swept through parts of New England. Governor Winthrop of Massachusetts reported that it seized the victims “like a cold and light fever with it”. On 7 July James’ mentor, the Reverend Thomas Hooker, died at Hartford, Connecticut.
James was a Founding settler of Norwich and Saybrook, Connecticut and the first minister in those two towns as well. He was ordained Rev. James Fitch, to become the first ordained minister of Saybrook Congregational Church and the First Congregational Church of Norwich. James intervention got Uncas of the Mohegans, and the Pequot Indians, to side with the English against King Philip’s Narragansett tribes. Their fair dealings with the Indians spared these settlers who were on the very frontier at that time.
Uncas (c. 1588 – c. 1683) was a sachem of the Mohegan who through his alliance with the English colonists in New England against other Indian tribes made the Mohegan the leading regional Indian tribe in lower Connecticut.
On Oct 1, 1648, James married Abigail Whitfield (born 08/1622) of nearby Guilford, Connecticut. The ceremony was performed by her father, Reverend Whitfield.
James must have approached his mother, Anna (nee Reeve 1590-1686) and his brothers about settling in America, and in about 1650, Anna Fitch and her sons Thomas, Samuel and Joseph sailed from England, to join James.
In 1659, the congregation at Saybrook received permission to establish a new settlement at Norwich, Connecticut. The nine square miles of land for the town of Norwich was purchased from the Indian Sachems of Mohegan for £70 in Jun 1659. Norwich was settled in the spring of 1660. Rev. James Fitch accompanied them as their leader along with his father-in-law Major John MASON. Just before leaving, Abigail died on September 9, 1659. James and his six children, James II, Abigail, Elizabeth, Hannah, Samuel and Dorothy, went alone to Norwich the following month. James continued as pastor at Norwich until he resigned in 1696. He moved to Lebanon in 1702.
Norwich Falls, oil on canvas, John Trumbull, 1806
Norwich was founded in 1658 by settlers from Old Saybrook led by Major John Mason and Reverend James Fitch. Most of these original proprietors of Norwich came from Saybrook, and East Saybrook (now Lyme). The 35 original proprietors of that town were:
Reverend James FITCH, the first minister
Major John MASON, afterwards Lieut. Gov. of Connecticut
Lieut. Thomas Leflingwell
Lieut. Thomas Tracy and
his eldest son John Tracy
Deacon Thomas Adgate
Christopher Huntington and
his brother, Deacon Simon Huntington
Ensign Thomas Waterman
William Hyde and
his son Samuel Hyde, and
his son-in-law John Post
Lieut. William Backus and
his brother Stephen Backus
Deacon Hugh Calkins (from New London, CT, and
his son John Calkins (from New London, CT) and
his son-in-law Jonathan Royce (from New London, CT)
John Gager (from New London, CT)
Dr. John Olmstead
Nehemiah SMITH (from New London, CT)
John Bradford (from Marshfield, MA)
Robert Allen (from New London, CT)
John Pease (Son of Robert PEASE Sr.) (from New London, CT and Edgartown)
Thomas Smith (from Marshfield, MA)
James Fitch then married Priscilla MASON , daughter of Major John MASON in October of 1664. This marriage produced eight more children, Daniel, John, Jeremiah, Jabez, Ann, Nathaniel, Joseph and Eleazer.
When King Philip’s War began in 1675, Rev. Fitch was instrumental in getting Uncas and the Mohegans, and also the Pequot Indians, to side with the English against King Philip’s Narragansett tribes. Their fair dealings with the Indians spared these settlers who were on the very frontier at that time. Uncas, was the Indian chief made famous by James Fenimore Cooper in ‘The Last of The Mohegans’. He was the chief who sold the lands of Norwich to Fitch and Mason and the others settlers.
Sometime in late 1694, James suffered what we would call a stroke or, in those days a stroke of the palsy. It probably affected his speech, making it difficult to serve as minister.
In 1695 at the age of 74, James founded and settled a new town nearby, Lebanon, Connecticut, where he moved to in 1701 when he retired from the church in Norwich. He remained in Lebanon until his death at age eighty on November 18, 1702. He is buried at the churchyard there and his stone remains in the old cemetery.
The town of Lebanon has its origins with the settlers of Norwich, who wanted to expand beyond the “nine miles square” they had bought from the Mohegan sachem Uncas. In 1663, the first grant in the area was given in to James’ father-in-law Maj. John Mason, deputy governor of the Connecticut colony; the next year, Mason accepted 500 acres northwest of Norwich. This area, known as “Pomakuck” or “Pomocook” by the Mohegans, is now the Goshen Hill area of Lebanon. In 1666, Connecticut granted an additional 120 acres to the Rev. James Fitch, minister of Norwich, adjacent to Maj. Mason’s land which was now known as Cedar Swamp. The Mohegans conferred their blessing on the grants by giving an additional seven-mile strip to Maj. Mason’s son in 1675, who split the land with the Rev. Fitch, his father-in-law. This area is now known as “Fitch and Mason’s Mile,” or just “The Mile.” This page was getting a little long, so you can see details of Mr. Fitch’s Mile here.
Rev. James Fitch’s reputation rests on his missionary work among the Connecticut Indians, particularly the Mohegans. He mastered their language and was particularly useful to the colonists during King Philip’s War.
Birth: Dec. 24, 1622, England Death: Nov. 18, 1702 Lebanon New London County Connecticut, USA Founding settler of Norwich and Saybrook, Connecticut. Rev. James Fitch was the first ordained minister of Saybrook Congregational Church and the First Congregational Church of Norwich. He was instrumental in getting Uncas and the Mohegans and the Pequot Indians to side with the English against King Philip’s Narragansett tribes. Their fair dealings with the Indians spared these settlers who were on the very frontier at that time.
1. Major James Fitch
James first wife Elizabeth Mason was born in Aug 1654 in Saybrook, CT. She was the widow of William Adams of Dedham, Massachusetts. Her parents were Maj. John MASON and Anne PECK. The family relationship was unusual. When James married Elizabeth in 1675, Elizabeth’s older sister Priscilla had been James’ step-mother for over 10 years having married his father in 1664. Elizabeth died 8 Oct 1684 in Norwich, Conn.
James second wife Alice Bradford was born 27 Mar 1661 in Plymouth, Mass. Her parents were William Bradford and Alice Richards. William and Alice lived on the north side of Jones River in Stony Brook, Kingston, in the Plymouth Colony. William Bradford Plymouth Solider (Wiki) was Major Commander-in-chief of the Plymouth forces in the Great Swamp Fight in 1675 where he was severely wounded. He was active in politics. Alice died 10 Mar. 1745/46 Canterbury, Windham, CT
Maj. James Fitch helped to reestablish colonial government after the Revolution of 1689. He served in the military as Company Sergeant Major of New London Company in 1696. He was Assistant in 1690. He also served as Boundary Commissioner and Land Reviser. He led military expeditions, named forts, and guarded the frontier. He exercised jurisdiction over the Mohegans and all their lands and interests.
James was a large landowner and founder of the town in 1697 in Canterbury, Windham County, Connecticut. He dug the first cellar there in 1697, and erected the first permanent habitation. He selected as his residence a neck of land partially enclosed by a bend in the Quenbang River. His home on the neck became a rendezvous for land traders, civil and military officials, and Indians. Here courts were held, military expeditions were organized, and many thousand acres of land were bartered away. It’s doors, the only residence between Norwich and Woodstock, were always open to weary travellers. A road was laid from Windham to his home and connected with the Greenwich path.
James Jr. gave nails and glass for the Yale’s first building, and endowed it with 635 acres of land in Killingworth, Middlesex County, Connecticut.
He supplied money, land and materials to help found a church college in New Haven, Connecticut that was to become Yale College in 1701. Fitch Gateway in the Harkness Quadrangle memorializes James Fitch.
He died on 10 Nov 1727 in Canterbury, Windham County, Connecticut. He is said to have settled in Norwich, but also resided in Preston, Plainfield, and Canterbury as well.
Another view - James Fitch was a land speculator and magistrate. In 1660 his father, Reverend James Fitch (1622-1702), led a group of people to settle the town of Norwich. Raised on the frontier in close contact with Indians, Fitch gained knowledge of the unsettled eastern Connecticut lands and learned to manipulate the Indians who owned them. In 1680 and 1684 Owaneco, chief of the Mohegans, granted Fitch title to a large tract of land, the Quinebaug lands, in northeastern Connecticut. His acquisition and later disposal of Indian lands drew to his side all those who claimed title by native right and who entered the political arena in order to maintain the land they claimed.
Fitch was first elected deputy from Norwich in May 1678 and three years later was chosen to the Connecticut Upper House. Fitch opposed the Dominion of New England, and upon its overthrow in the spring of 1689 he was a leader in the movement to restore charter government. The old rulers of the colony procrastinated, but Fitch aroused the freemen to demand new elections and the reestablishment of the old government. In this effort he was successful, but the old magistrates, most of whom had willingly acquiesced to Governor Andros’ rule, managed to retain their former offices. James Fitch was a powerful and disturbing figure to those who cherished traditional patterns of deference and who opposed his speculations and sale of lands in eastern Connecticut. He might have won control of the government had it not been for Fitz-John Winthrop (1638-1707). Winthrop secured reaffirmation of the Connecticut charter, thereby propelling himself into the governor’s chair and restoring the good image of those who had a decade earlier supported the Dominion of New England.
The enemies of James Fitch quickly went on the offensive. Previously county courts were presided over by a local assistant like Fitch, but new legislation vested all appointive power in the hands of the General Assembly. In the 1698 election Fitch lost his Council seat. Although he was to regain it in 1700, political fortunes tuned against him. He was placed on the defensive and eventually lost control of the Quinebaug lands. He retired to Canterbury where he died in 1727.
James Fitch was for a period of almost twenty years one of the most powerful men in the colony. To his enemies he was “Black James” or the “Great land pirate,” but he led a faction devoted to charter government and native right that helped mark the transition from Puritan commonwealth to provincial Yankee society.
In 1694 and 1695 a group of Ipswich men, Joseph Stafford [son of our ancestor Thomas SAFFORD], Richard Smith, Meshach Farleyh, Matthew Perkins and Samuel Bishop bought from Capt. James Fitch of Norwich of Norwich in the Connecticut colony a tract of eighteen hundren acres which was later called Preston and on which three of Safford’s children settled. Captain Fitch’s title to this land was extremely dubious. After King Philip’s War he held it as a sort of trust for a small local tribe of Indians known as the Shetuckets to whom it had been guaranteed. When Fitch transferred the title to himself there were murmurs of disapproval among the more sensitive of the Norwich settlers, but nothing was actually done to restore what seems to have been, in bald terms. and by 1694 the title was regarded as good. [History of Norwich by Frances Caulkins, edition of 1866]
Children of James and Elizabeth Mason
i. James Fitch III b: Jan 1676/77; d. within the week.
ii. James Fitch III b: 7 Jun 1679; died as a child
iii. Jedediah Fitch b: 17 Apr 1681 in Norwich, CT; d. 20 Nov 1756 in Nantucket, Mass. He moved to Nantucket and there in 1701 married 1701 to Abigail Coffin b: 9 Jul 1683 in Nantucket, Mass.
All his brothers were soldiers fighting Indians and such. As a young teenager, Jed moved to the north shore of Massachusetts and settled in Newbury, and then later went to Nantucket Island off the coast of Massachusetts. Nantucket was a Quaker colony at the time and in 1701 he married into an established Quaker family. His father had been quite friendly with the local Indians, the Mohegans and Pequots, yet fought against other tribes. Perhaps Jedediah became a pacifist and wanted no part of fighting the Indians he grew up with and so left for Nantucket.
iv. Samuel Fitch , Sr. b: 12 Jul 1683 in Norwich, CT; d. 1729 in Lawrenceville, New Jersey; m. Mary Smith b: Sep 1682 in Burlington, New Jersey
Children of James and Alice Bradford
v. Abigail Fitch b: 22 Feb 1686/87 in Norwich, CT; d. 19 May 1759 in Windham, CT; m. John Dyer , Sr., Colonel b: 9 Apr 1692 in Weymouth, Mass.
John Dyer was born in Weymouth, but removed to Winhdam, CT with his brother Thomas. Later he sold out his Windham holdings to Thomas and removed to Canterbury where he settled. He appears a number of times in the Canterbury records:1714: Eight hundred acres of second-division land south of the Mashamoqut and west of Newichewanna Brook were sold by Major FITCH to John Dyer, and by him conveyed to Col. Thomas FITCH of Boston. Dyer for eight hundred acres gave £120. 1723: At the Canterbury land division of 30 Apr 1723, the long contest was over, and John Dyer received one share as a proprietor under patent.1739: The military companies of Plainfield, Canterbury, Pomfret, Killingly and Voluntown were constititued the 11th Connecticut Regiment with John Dyer as its Lt. Col.He was often referred to as “Captain” John Dyer, and the “History of Windham County” once refers to him as “Colonel John Dyer”
vi. Ebenezer Fitch , Sr. b: 10 Jan 1689/90 in Norwich, CT; d. 20 Nov 1724 in Windsor, CT; m. 1712 to Bridget Brown b: 7 Jul 1685. Bridget was previously married to John Perry , Captain and Samuel Hall b: Abt. 1678
vii. Daniel Fitch , Sr. b: Feb 1692/93; d. 1752; m. 1719 to Anna Cook b: 1695
viii. John Fitch , Captain b: 1695; d. 1782
ix. Lucy Fitch b: ABT 1698; m. Henry Cleveland b: 22 DEC 1699 in Chelmsford, Mass. Henry’s uncle, Aaron Cleveland, is the 4th great grandfather of President Grover Cleveland.
x. Jerusha Fitch b: 19 Feb 1698/99 in Canterbury, CT; d. 1780 in Windsor, CT; m. 1718 to Daniel Bissell , Jr. b: 31 Oct 1694 in Windsor, Conn.
xi. Theophilus Fitch , Sr. b: 1701 in Norwich, CT; d. 20 Jul 1751 in Canterbury, CT; m. 15 Dec 1731 to Mary Huntington b: 4 Aug 1707 in Windham, CT; m2. 2 Oct 1734 to Grace Prentice b: Jan 1705/06 in Newton, Mass.
xii. Jabez Fitch , Sr., Colonel b: 30 Jun 1702 in Canterbury, CT; d. 31 Jan 1784; m1. 29 May 1722 to Lydia Gale b: 9 Jul 1699 in Watertown, Mass.; m2. 14 Jan 1754 Elizabeth Darby b: Abt. 1706; m3. 1782 Rebecca Ensworth b: Abt. 1706
Jabez settled on the land which his father gave him, he became captain, colonel, justice of the peace and quorum, and was for many years a Judge of Probate.
2. Abigail Fitch
Abigail’s first husband Captain John Mason, Jr. was born 16 Aug 1646 in Windsor, CT. His parents were Maj. John MASON and Anne PECK. Abigail’s brother married John’s sister Elizabeth and her father married his sister Prescilla. John died of wounds suffered in the Great Swamp Fight on 18 Sep 1676 in New London, CT. Of the 71 Connecticut troops killed in the battle, nine were from John Mason’s 5th Company of Norwich. To the First and Fifth Connecticut Companies were attached Indian Scouting Companies, numbering seventy-five to each, made up mostly of Indians from the Mohegan and Pequod tribes.
This gallant young captain was severely and, as it proved, fatally wounded in the Great swamp fight at Narragansett, Dec. 19, 1675. It is probable that he was brought home from that sanguinary field by his Mohegan warriors on an Indian bier. His wounds never healed. After lingering several months, he died, as is supposed, in the same house where his father expired, and was doubtless laid by his side in the old obliterated graveyard of the first comers. Though scarcely thirty years of age at the time of his death, he stood high in public esteem, both in a civil and military capacity. He had represented the town at three sessions of the Legislature, and was chosen an assistant the year of his decease. In the probate of his estate before the County Court he is called “the worshipful John Mason.” The Rev. Mr. Bradstreet, of New London, records his death in these terms:
“My hon’d and dear Friend Capt. Juo Mason one of ye magistrates of this Colony, and second son of Major Jno Mason, dyed, Sept. 18, 1676.”
Children of Abigail and John Mason
i. John Mason , III, Captain b: 1673 in Stonington, CT; d. 1736; m. 15 Jul 1719 to Anne Sanford b: 1680
ii. Anne Mason b: Abt. 1676 in Stonington, CT; m. 1690 to Captain John Dennison , Jr. b: 1 Jan 1668/69 in Stonington, Conn John died of tuberculosis in 1699, at the age of thirty.
Abigail’s second husband John Buttolph was born 28 Feb 1639/40 in Boston, Mass. John first married Hannah Gardner. John died 14 Jan 1692/93 in Wethersfield, CT.
Children of Abigail and John Buttolph
iii. Abigail Buttolph b: 3 Apr 1683 in Wethersfield, CT; d. 1719; m. Her 2nd cousin Nathaniel Fitch b: 17 Mar 1668/69 in Hartford, Conn.
iv. James Buttolph b: 22 Dec 1684
3. Elizabeth Fitch
Elizabeth’s husband Rev. Edward Taylor was born about 1642 in Skiteby, England. His parents were John Taylor and Rhoda Holt. Edward died 24 Jun 1729 in Westfield, Mass. He was a theology student of her father and later A.B., Harvard, 1671, A.M., 1720;. They were married and then moved to Westfield, Massachusetts. She had eight children, most of whom died young. Elizabeth died in 1689. Edward later remarried with Ruth Wyllis of Hartford, Connecticut. His five daughters all married Connecticut clergymen.
Children of Elizabeth and Edward
i. Samuel Taylor b: 27 Aug 1675 in Westfield, Mass.
ii. Elizabeth Taylor b: 27 Dec 1676 in Westfield, Mass.
iii. James Taylor b: 2 Oct 1678
iv. Abigail Taylor b: 6 Aug 1681
v. Bathsheba Taylor b: 17 Jan 1683/84 in Westfield, Mass.
vi. Elizabeth Taylor b: 5 Feb 1684/85
vii. Mary Taylor b: 3 Jul 1686
viii. Hezekiah Taylor b: 18 Feb 1686/87
4. Hannah Fitch
Hannah’s husband Thomas Meeks (Mix) was born 30 Aug 1645 in New Haven, CT. His parents were Thomas Meeks Sr. and Rebecca Turner. Thomas died 30 Jul 1706 in Stonington, CT.
Children of Hannah and Thomas
i. Daniel Meeks b: 23 Apr 1678 in Norwich, CT; m. Elizabeth Brewster b: 23 Jun 1676 in Norwich, Conn.
ii. Abigail Meeks b: 10 Mar 1679/80 in Norwich, CT; m. Samuel Rockwell b: 30 Sep 1676 in Norwich, Conn.
iii. James Meeks b: 29 Dec 1683
iv. Hannah Meeks b: 13 Mar 1686/87 in Norwich, CT; m. Jonathan Pierce b: Abt. 1681
v. Rebecca Meeks b: 14 Apr 1687 in Norwich, CT; m. John Rockwell b: Dec 1677.
vi. Elizabeth Meeks b: 15 Apr 1689 in Norwich, CT; m. John Pearson (Pierson) b: Abt. 1685
vii. Dorothy Meeks b: 23 Nov 1691 in Norwich, CT; m. Jeremiah Andrews b: Abt. 1689.
viii. Ann Meeks b: 7 May 1694 in Norwich, CT; m. Benjamin Andrews , Sr. b: 13 Apr 1685 in Ipswich, Mass
ix. Zebediah Meeks b: 12 Dec 1697 in Norwich, CT; m. Sarah Cheeseborough b: 1700 in Stonington, CT. Sarah parents were Elihu Cheeseborough and Hannah Miner
They lived in Norwich and had nine children.
5. Samuel Fitch
Samuel’s wife Mary Brewster was descended from the Mayflower Pilgrim William Brewster. Mary was born 10 Dec 1660 in Norwich, CT. Her parents were Benjamin Brewster and Ann Addis. Mary died 2 Dec 1750 in Guilford, CT. They lived in Norwich and Preston, Connecticut.
Children of Samuel and Mary:
i. Mary Fitch b: 10 Mar 1679/80
ii. Samuel Fitch , Jr. b: 5 Oct 1681
iii. Hezikiah Fitch b: 2 Jan 1681/82; m. Anna ? Fitch b: Abt. 1686
iv. Elizabeth Fitch b: 15 Feb 1683/84 in Norwich, CT; m. 1712 to Samuel Mason b: 11 Feb 1685/86 in Stonington, Conn..
v. Abigail Fitch b: 1 Feb 1685/86 in Norwich, CT; m. James Clark , Sr. b: 1688 in Ipswich, Mass.
vi. Samuel Fitch , Jr. b: 28 Nov 1688; d. 1755
vii. Deacon Benjamin Fitch , Sr. b: 29 Mar 1691 in Norwich, CT; d. 10 Oct 1727 in Norwich, CT; m. 17 Nov 1713 to Hannah Reed b: Jul 1688 in Norwich, Conn.
viii. John Fitch b: 17 May 1693;
ix. Jabez Fitch , Sr. b: 3 Jun 1695 in Norwich, CT; d. 28 Mar 1779 in Norwich, CT; m. 1 Aug 1719 to Anna Knowlton b: Abt. 1698.
6. Dorothy Fitch
Dorothy was the second wife of Nathaniel Bissell of Windsor, Connecticut. Nathaniel Bissell was born 24 Sep 1640 in Windsor, CT. His parents were John Bissell and Mindwell Moore. Nathaniel died 12 Mar 1713/14. They had two children. Dorothy died June 28, 1691.
Children of Dorothy and Nathaniel
i. Dorothy Bissell b: 27 Dec 1686
7. Capt. Daniel Fitch
Daniel’s wife Mary Sherwood was born 1674 in Fairfield, CT. She was his cousin. Her parents were Matthew Sherwood and Mary Fitch. After Daniel died, she married 25 Feb 1716 in New London, CT to Joseph Bradford (b. 18 Apr 1675 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Mass. – d. 16 Jan 1747 in New London, CT). Mary died 16 Sep 1752 in Montville, CT.
Joseph Bradford had previously married to Daniel’s sister Anne Fitch on 5 Oct 1698 in Lebanon, New London, CT.
Daniel was active in the Indian Wars and settled near New London, Connecticut at a town called Montville.
Children of Daniel and Mary
i. Adonijah Fitch, b. Apr 1700, Montville; d. 1780 in Montville, CT; m. 1725 to his first cousin Sarah Fitch b: 24 Jan 1705/06 in Stonington, Conn.
ii. Capt and Deacon James Fitch, b. Oct 1702; d. 1789; m. 1728 to Anne Denison, Abt. 1728; b. 1707; d. 1792.
iii. Lemuel Fitch, b. Jan 1704; d. 1757 in Colchester, CT; m. Mary Bigelow.
iv. Mary Fitch, b. Sep 1707; d. 25 Oct 1768.
v. Capt. Daniel Fitch, b. 1709, Montville; d. 12 May 1755 Stratford, CT; m. Sarah Carle b: Abt. 1690
8. Capt. John Fitch
John’s wife Elizabeth Waterman was born 6 Aug 1675 in Norwhich, CT. Her parents were Thomas Waterman and Miriam Tracy. Elizabeth died 25 Jun 1751 in Windham, CT.
John lived in Windham, Connecticut and was active in local government.
John died May 24, 1743 and Elizabeth died June 25, 1751. Children were: Elizabeth, Miriam, Priscilla and John Jr.
Children of John and Elizabeth
i. Elizabeth Fitch b: 1 Jun 1696 in Windham, CT.; d. 1780; m. 1718 to Nathaniel Webb , Sr. b: 10 Feb 1695/96 in Mass.
ii. Miriam Fitch b: 17 Oct 1699 in Windham, CT.; d. 1744; m. 1740 to Hezekiah Ripley b: 10 Jun 1695
iii. Priscilla Fitch b: 5 Feb 1701/02 in Windham, CT.; d. 1782; m. 1732 to Rev. Solomon Paine , Sr., b: 16 May 1698
iv. John Fitch , Jr., Captain b: 1705 in Windham, CT.; d. 19 Feb 1760 in Windham, CT; m. 1731 to Alice Fitch b: 1712
9. Capt. Jeremiah Fitch
Jeremiah’s wife Ruth Clara Gifford was born 30 Dec 1676 in Norwich, CT. Her parents were Stephen Gifford and Hannah Gore. Ruth died in Coventry, CT after 1756.
Jeremiah moved from Lebanon to Coventry, Connecticut about 1703. He was a soldier, surveyor and town official.
Children of Jeremiah and Ruth:
i. Lucy Fitch b: 18 Apr 1699 (Twin); d. 8 Mar 1736 in Lebanon, New London, CT
ii. Ruth Fitch b: 18 Apr 1699 in Lebanon, CT. (Twin) d. 1762; m. 1744 to Daniel Whitmore b: 1702 in Billerica, Mass.
iii. Hannah Fitch b: 1700 in Lebanon, CT.; d. 1785; m. Humphrey Davenport b: 11 Oct 1702 in Hartford, CT.
iv. Jeremiah Fitch , Jr. b: 17 Apr 1701 in Coventry, CT.; d. 8 Jan 1779; m. 1730 to Mercy Porter b: 10 Oct 1708
v. Abner Fitch , Sr. b: 8 Jul 1703 in Lebanon, CT.; d. 23 Jun 1797 in Coventry, CT; m. 1736 to Ruth Rose b: 13 Mar 1715/16 in Wethersfield, Conn.
vi. Gideon Fitch , Sr. b: Abt. 1705 in Lebanon, CT.; m. 1736 to Sarah Calkins b: 6 May 1716 in Norwich, Conn. Sarah’s parents were Phebe Abell and Hugh Calkins and her grandparents were Joshua ABELL and Berthia Gager.
vii. Joseph Fitch b: Abt. 1710;
viii. James Fitch , Sr. b: 24 Jul 1711 in Lebanon, CT.;d. Vermont; m. Oct 1738 to Phebe Meraugh b: 1720 in Coventry, Conn.
ix. Stephen Fitch , Sr. b: Abt. 1712 in Coventry, CT; d. 9 Feb 1806 in Windham, CT; m. 24 Jan 1736/37 to Eleanor Strong b: Abt. 1716
x. Elisha Fitch b: Abt, 1714 in Coventry, CT.; d. 1791; m. 1736 to Priscilla Patton b: Abt. 1718
10. Rev Jabez Fitch
Jabez’ wife Elizabeth Appleton was born 23 Apr 1682. Her parents were John Appleton Jr and Elizabeth Rogers. Elizabeth died 18 Oct 1765 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Jabez graduated from Harvard in 1694. He became a Fellow at Harvard and then was ordained minister in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1703. He took over a church in Portsmouth, New Hampshire (then part of Massachusetts) in 1725 and remained there until his death on November 22, 1746.
Children of Jabez and Elizabeth:
i. Elizabeth Fitch b: 16 Aug 1705 in Ipswich, Mass.; d. 1774 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; m. 1728 to John Wibird , Sr. b: 20 Oct 1705 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
ii. John Fitch , M. D. b: 18 Aug 1709 in Ipswich, Mass.; d. 26 OCT 1736 in Newbury, Mass.
iii. James Fitch b: 19 Jun 1712; d. 1722
iv. Margaret Fitch b: 15 Nov 1715 in Ipswich, Mass.; d. 1742 in Salem, Mass.; m. 1739 to Henry Gibbs , Jr., Librarian b: 13 May 1709 in Watertown, Mass. d. 1759 of measles. After Margaret died, he married Katherine Willard in 1747.
At age seven, Henry lost his mother and seven years later, while a sophomore at Harvard, he lost his father as well. As the only surviving son (he also had two sisters), Henry came into a considerable inheritance from both sides of the family and was able to live comfortably, if not lavishly. Henry graduated with the class of 1726, but remained at college as a resident graduate, earning a second degree in 1729 and serving as college librarian from 1730 to 1734. Leaving Harvard and Boston behind, he sold off his property in the city and relocated to Salem to begin a career as a merchant, never attaining the success of the previous generations of Gibbs. In 1737, he met and began to court Margaret Fitch, daughter of Rev. Jabez Fitch of Portsmouth, a niece of his brother-in-law. The couple wed on January 31, 1739, but the marriage was not to last. Margaret died suddenly only three years later, leaving two daughters, one of whom shortly followed her mother in death.
Henry remarried in 1747, selecting the much younger Katherine Willard, daughter of the Provincial Secretary, for his second wife. This marriage further cemented the prominent place of the Gibbs in Salem society but brought comparatively little lucre, and only the fortunate bequest of £500 from a friend, William Lynde, helped the Gibbs maintain their lifestyle and social obligations. A theological liberal and political supporter of the power of the crown and broad colonial obligations, Gibbs held several important local and provincial offices during the next several years, including justice of the peace (appt. 1753), judge, delegate in the House of Representatives (three terms, beginning in 1753), and Clerk of the House (1755-1759). In February, 1759, at what should have been the peak of his career, he contracted measles, leaving five children and an insolvent estate with a meager 10s allotted to each child.
Among the more important materials in the Gibbs papers are Henry Gibbs’ (1709-1759) copies of 21 of his 27 courtship letters to his first wife, Margaret Fitch, written between December 27th, 1737 and December 19th, 1738 (the first of the letters preserved is numbered “6″, and they continue in unbroken succession until one month before the couple was married). These letters provide an intimate view of the initiation and pursuit of a relationship between members of two of Salem’s elite families. From the beginning, the letters are familiar, affectionate, even flirtatious, becoming ever more so over the course of the year. “I ought to look upon myself as somewhat unreasonable in my desires,” he wrote in letter no. 8 (the third preserved), “when ye more I am with you, ye more Covetous I am of being so, & yt it is with regrett yt I am even now at a distance from you: however, I can’t but regard it as a sure presage yt (if ever it be my happy Lott to live with you) your Company will alwaies be a Source of ye most pleasing entertainment & Delight to me.” Elsewhere (letter 10), he wrote “When I mention ye friendship I have for you, I am far from confining it to a cold, Stoical Approbation of ye good qualities I think you possessed of, but include in it all yt is meant by Love considered as an Affection of ye Soul. Tis this tender passion joined with that regard & esteem which reason and judgement approve of, yt is ye only foundation of ye pleasure yt is ever found in Friendship.” In this correspondence, Henry eloquently describes weddings, a Quaker meeting he attended, the love lives of acquaintances, local gossip, and above all, often at considerable length, his ideas of love. At several crucial junctures in letter 16, Henry resorted to the use of a code to disguise passages dealing with an apparently embarrassing encounter with a newly married friend. The letters are a rich source for the study of views of love and marriage among the upper classes in colonial Massachusetts.
v. Anne Fitch b: 19 Jul 1718 in Ipswich, Mass.;d. 1747; m. 1743 to Nathaniel Gookin , Jr., Reverend b: 1713 in Hampton, New Hampshire
Nathaniel graduated at Harvard in 1731, ordained Oct. 31, 1739, at North Hampton. He first married Judith Coffin, daughter of Capt. Eliphalet Coffin of Exeter, Jan. 1, 1741. After Ann died, he married third a daughter of Joshua Wingate of Hampton.
vi. James Fitch b: 3 Oct 1720
vii. Mary Fitch b: 24 Mar 1722/23 in Ipswich, Mass.’ d. 1756; m. 1745 to Francis Cabot , Sr. b: 22 May 1717
11. Anne Fitch
Anne’s husband Lieut. Joseph Bradford of Plymouth.was born 18 Apr 1675 in Plymouth, Mass. His parents were Major William Bradford and Widow Sarah Griswold Wiswall. After Anne died, he married 25 Feb 1716 in Lebanon, New London, CT to Mary’s sister-in-law. Mary Sherwood (1674 in Fairfield, CT – d. 16 Sep 1752 in Montville, CT. Mary had previously been married to Mary’s brother Capt. Daniel Fitch. Joseph died 16 Jan 1747 in New London, CT.
Joseph’s father, William served in King Phillips as the commander in chief of the Plymouth forces and had the rank of Major. He was shot by a musket at the Narraganset Fort Fight and her carried the ball until his death. His grandfather was William Bradford (1590 – 1657) an English leader of the settlers of the Plymouth Colony who served as governor for over 30 years. Joseph died in 1747.
They settled in Norwich and then Lebanon where she died October 17, 1715
Children of Anne and Joseph
i. Anne Bradford b: 26 Jul 1699 in Lebanon, CT; d. 1747 in Mansfield, Conn.; m. 1723 to Timothy Dimock b: 16 Jul 1698 in Barnstable, Mass.
ii. Joseph Bradford , Jr. b: 9 Apr 1702 in Lebanon, CT. m. Henrietta Swift b: 1701 in New London, Conn.
iii. Priscilla Bradford b: 9 Apr 1702 in Lebanon, CT.; d. 14 May 1778 in Lebanon, CT; m. 1725 to Samuel Hyde III b: 10 Sep 1691 in Windham, Conn.
iv. Alithea Bradford b: 6 Apr 1704; (Twin) died Apr 1704.
v. Irene Bradford b: 6 Apr1704 (Twin) died Apr 1704.
vi. Sarah Bradford b: 21 Sep 1706; m1. c. 1729 to Daniel Tuttle b: Abt. 1703; m2. 1747 to Israel Lathrop , Jr. b: 1 Feb 1686/87 in Norwich, CT.
vii. Hannah Bradford b: 24 May 1709; m. 1730 to Timothy Buell b: 24 Oct 1711
viii. Elizabeth Bradford b: 21 Oct 1712; d. 1808; m. Andrew Lisk b: Abt. 1714
ix. Alithea Bradford b: 19 Sep 1715; m. 1740 to David Hyde b: 22 MAar 1718/19
x. Irene Bradford b: 19 Sep 1715 d. 1785, prob. Brimfield, MAass.; m. Jonathan Janes, 18 Mar 1736, Lebanon, CT
12. Capt. Nathaniel FITCH (See his page)
Nathaniel operated a grist mill and a fulling mill in Lebanon. He married Ann Abel of Norwich on December 10, 1701. After her death in 1726, he married Mindwell Tisdale of Lebanon on September 17, 1729. He died May 4, 1759 at age seventy-nine. The children by Ann were: Anne, Joshua, Nathan, Nehemiah, James, John, Nathaniel, Mehitable, Elizabeth, Rachel, Abel and Caleb. With Mindwell, he had: Jabez, Ezekiel and Isaac.
13. Joseph Fitch
Joseph’s first wife Sarah Mason was born about 1683 in New London, CT. Her parents were Maj. Samuel Mason and Judith Smith. Her grandparents were John MASON and Anne PECK.. Sarah died 9 FEB 1720/21 in Lebanon, New London, Conn. Joseph married Sarah Mason in Saybrook and they lived in Stonington, Connecticut. She died and he married Ann Whiting of Windham in 1729 and they moved to Lebanon. Joseph died in Windham on May 9, 1741 and Ann died there September 18, 1778.
Joseph’s second wife Ann Whiting was born 2 Jan 1698 in Windham, CT. Her parents were Samuel Whiting and Elizabeth Adams. Ann died 18 Sep 1778 in Windham, CT.
Children of Joseph and Sarah
i. Judith Fitch b: 4 Feb 1703/04 in Stonington, CT.; d. Feb 1742/43 in Lebanon, CT; m. 1722 to John Wattles , Sr., Captain b: 28 Jun 1700 in Stonington, Conn.
ii. Sarah Fitch b: 24 Jan 1705/06 in Stonington, CT; d. 05 JAN 1741 in CT; m. 1726 to Capt Adonijah Fitch
iii. Mason Fitch b: 11 Sep 1708 in Stonington, CT; d. 10 Mar 1734 in Connecticut
iv. Joseph Fitch , Jr., Captain b: 14 Jul 1711 – New London, CT; d. 14 Jun 1773 – Lebanon, New London, CT; m. Zerviah Hyde 28 Dec 1738 – Stonington, New London, CT
Joseph’s second wife Ann Whiting was born about 1690. Her parents were Rev. Samuel Whiting and Elizabeth Adams. Ann died 18 SEP 1778 in Windham, CT.
Children of Joseph and Ann:
v. Samuel Fitch b: 16 Jan 1723/24 in Lebanon, CT.; d. 1784 in London, England; m. Mar 1753 to Elizabeth Lloyd b: 20 Jul 1722 in Lloyds Neck, Long Island, New York
vi. Eleazer Fitch b: 29 Aug 1726 in Lebanon, CT; d. 1796 in Canada; m. 1746 to Amy Bowen b: ABT 1727 in Rhode Island
ix. Ann Fitch b: 12 Jul 1737 in Lebanon, CT; d. 1827; m. Dec 1761 to Shem Burbank b: 21 May 1736
x. Thomas Fitch b: 11 Jun 1739; d. 27 FEB 1746
14. Deacon Eleazer Fitch
Eleazer married his cousin Martha Brown of Swanzey (Swansea), Massachusetts and they lived in Lebanon where he died in 1747. He had no children.
Martha Brown was born 20 Nov 1681 in Swansea, Bristol, Mass. Her parents were John Brown and Anne Mason. Three of her grandparents were our ancestors: John BROWN & Lydia Buckland and John MASON & Anne PECK. Martha died 1747 in Lebenon, CT.
Three books are available at Amazon.com about Rev. James Fitch. PURITAN IN THE WILDERNESS: A Biography of the Rev. James Fitch 1622-1702;
History of New London county, Connecticut: with biographical sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Men … edited by Duane Hamilton Hurd 1882
Genealogy of the Fitch Family in North America collected and arranged by John G. Fitch (Olmsted, Ohio: printed for private distribution, 200 copies) 1886.
History of the Fitch family A.D. 1400-1930: a record of the Fitches in England and America, including “pedigree of Fitch” certified by the College of Arms, London, England by Roscoe Conkling Fitch (Haverhill, Massachusetts: Record Pub. Co.) 1930.