John Reynolds

John REYNOLDS (1625 – 1691) was Alex’s 9th great grandfather, one of 1,024 in this generation of the Miner line.

John Reynolds – Coat of Arms

John Reynolds was born 13 May 1625 probably in England.  His parents were  William REYNOLDS and Ester RUTH.  He married Anne HOLBROOK in Weymouth, Mass about 1652.    John died before 14 Jan 1691 in Stonington, CT.

Founders Stone, Norwich, Connecticut. Ancestors on this monument are Major John Mason, Rev James Fitch, John Reynolds and Nehemiah Smith.

Anne Holbrook was born about 1631 in Broadway, Somerset, England.   Her parents were Thomas HOLBROOK and Jane POWYES.   She emigrated with her parents with the Hull Company on the Hopewell on 20 Mar 1635/36 when she was 5 years old. Anne is not mentioned in John’s will.  Anne died at New London, CT, on 3 Jul 1699.

Children of John and Anne:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Thomas Reynolds 1652 Sarah Clark
29 Oct 1683
21 Oct 1723
2. Hannah REYNOLDS 1662
Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island
Joseph WELLS
28 Dec 1681
Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island,
Aft. 1711
Stonington, CT
3. Mary Reynolds 15 Mar 1660
Weymouth, Mass
Benjamin Burdick
4. John Reynolds c. 1662 Abigail [__?__] 13 Apr 1734

John was a carpenter.

John Reynold’s earliest appearance in America at Weymouth, Mass., where he had a grant of five acres of land in the first division of Dec. 14, 1663, numbered the 77th lot from the “Brauntry lyne” and a lot of 15 acres, numbered the 14th, in the second division of the same date. He does not appear in previous divisions of 1636 and 1651/52, though he perhaps lived in the town soon after the latter date, about which time his oldest son, Thomas, was born. But one child, Mary, b. March 15, 1660, is recorded to him and his wife, Anne Holbrook, in Weymouth, though two or three older children may have been born there.

    [Reynolds 127] In Weymouth Mass 14 December 1663, when granted 5 acres. 8 September 1664, JR, carpenter, and Anne his wife sold property in Weymouth. In Westerly RI previous to 1667. Holbrooks are in list of passengers 20 March 1635/36.

8 Sep  1664 – John Renolds, carpenter, and Anne, his wife, “of Weymouth,” sold to Edward Grant of Boston, shipwright, and Sarah, his wife, their property in Weymouth, consisting of a dwelling house, barn and cow-house, with about 20 acres of orchard, and planting land and pasture thereto belonging, together with an acre of meadow and one common lot, “formerly John Osborne’s,” the deed to take effect the succeeding March 31, 1665 (Suffolk Deeds, IV:276).

About the latter date of shortly before, John Reynolds appeared in Westerly, RI, making preparations to settle. This was the same year in which James Reynolds of Kingstown appears in Kingstown, RI, some few score miles away. Westerly was in territory the right to which was being contested between Connecticut and Rhode Island, but especially at the time of John Reynolds’ arrival, when commissioners had just been sent over by the King to settle disputes of this kind between the colonies. John Reynolds had therefore arrived at an unfortunate time and the succeeding period, about two years of his stay in Westerly, was not a peaceable one, his experiences at that time resulting in an appeal to the courts in 1670. It is to the evidence given in the trial which ensued that we are indebted for several important particulars throwing light on him and his family. His case is thus summed up by Dr. J.W. Trumbull, in a note, Colon. Recs. of Conn.: Vol. II:166.

“John Reynolds, some time previous to 1667 came to Misquamicut (Westerly) where he bought a house and lot of James Babcock. In 1667 he was dispossessed by the Constable of Stonington as an intruder on lands belonging to that town and within the charter limits claimed by Connecticut.  Reynolds subsequently submitted to Connecticut authority, became an inhabitant of Stonington, and, as he alleged, hired of Mr. Roger Plaisted the same land he had formerly purchased from James Babcock. In September 1670, he complained to the County Court at New London against Jonathan Armstrong, a Rhode Island man, “for unjust molestation and contemtuous improving of the said Renolds land, etc.” The jury gave a verdict for the plaintiff of £14 and costs, with liberty to the defendant to review at next Court. The Court, June 1671, confirmed the former verdict. Armstrong appealed to the Court of Assistants in October following. The Court of Assistants reduced the damages allowed to Reynolds to £10-15-6, from which  Armstrong  appealed to the next General Assembly.”

The Assembly refused to interfere further in the matter at its next session, expressing its opinion as follows:

“They find it too apparent that the sayd Armstrong as well as others of those people of Squamacuk, have been troublesome, injurious and provoking to this Colony, and their settlement and manageing there is no other but an intrusion and so very offensive which might call for severity, etc.”

Going back to the time of John Reynolds’ arrival in Westerly, we may learn some of the circumstances attending his first settlement there from the testimony of John Osborne, already mentioned:

“This deponent testifieth that when John Renolds came first to Squamecute to settle, being destitute of habitation there, he went to James Badcock, Senior, to see if he could procure a place to be in for the present; and this deponent being present he heard the sayd Badcock offer to sell the above said Renolds his sellar he lived in: and he lett him the land he had then broake up for that yeare: for both which, to witt the purchase of the sellar and hyre of the land he demanded forty-five shillings which sayd should satisfye him full for his paynes the which the Aforesd John Renolds Agreed to give him and this Deponent sawe John Renolds paye partt of the forty-five shillings in cloth unto James Badcock the rest he Ingadged to paye when his wife came up to Squamacut. And this deponent sayth further that the Seller aforementioned is the seller that Jonathan Armstrong afterwards lived in.”

It thus appears that John Reynolds went from Weymouth to Westerly in the early spring of 1665, leaving his wife and children, the oldest then thirteen, to follow as soon as he should have made provision for their reception. As both Weymouth and Westerly were near the sea, their journey is quite likely to have been taken by water, which would furnish the easiest means of transporting them and their goods. With wise caution, to which he was no doubt partly influenced by a knowledge of the unsettled claims to that part of the country, he began by hiring land and procuring a temporary home. The settlers on that side of the Pawcatuck River were divided in their allegiance, some having come from Rhode Island, acknowledging the jurisdiction of that colony, while others, considering themselves as in a part of Stonington, held to Connecticut. John Reynolds, having emigrated from Massachusetts with no bias in favor of Rhode Island, early submitted to the authority of Connecticut and steadily adhered to that colony.

The King’s Commissioners on their arrival in 1665, inclined to the Pawcatuck boundary and John Reynolds could have hardly more than have taken of the land he had leased, before, by their orders, he and others on that side of the river, were dispossessed, but by subsequent arrangement with Mr. Roger Plaisted, the Massachusetts grantee of the land he occupied, he was allowed to remain as his tenant. After about two years, Rhode Island still continuing to assert her authority, John Reynolds was arrested as a Connecticut man and finally compelled to remove his residence to the west side. This, according to the testimony given, was in April 1667. His departure seems to have been a hurried one, for he left behind some of his goods and part of his livestock. It was Jonathan Armstrong’s conduct at that time, throwing down and cutting up the timbers of his “seller,” throwing the goods “oute of Dores,” shutting up the swine, etc. which led to the appeal to the General Court for redress. Thomas Renolds and Hannah Renolds, the two oldest children, the former aged 18, and the latter “17 yeares or thereabouts” testify Sep. 21, 1670:

“Jonathan Armstrong forced our father’s family from five acres of land which he intended to plant,so that we were forced to depart and leave it to him and were exposed to great extremities for want of corne that year and several goods left with him.”

John Badcock, aged 26 years, testifies, Sep. 19, 1670:

“That hee Did heare Ann Renolds wife to John Renolds demand of Jonathan Armstronge one parcell of Swine that the sayde Armestronge had locked up in a cellar as she sayde, but the aforesd Jonathan Armestronge Denied and syde shee should not have them untell such time as shee had payded for some Damadges they had done unto him … further this deponent testifieth that John Renolds was putt to very much trouble by Jonathan Armestrong and greate Damadge, and this Deponent did see the cellar that John Renolds lived in very much demolished and part of the timbers in Jonathan Armestronge’s fence.”

As appears from further testimony, the father went first to the west side, the wife and children remaining “at Osbornes’ till they followed him” to Mr. Thomas Stanton’s house, which seems to have been their first stopping place.

Having thus become an inhabitant in undisputed territory, John Reynolds took immediate steps to secure land and a permanent home, and bought first one hundred acres which had been originally laid out to John Gallup Senior, the deed dated Jan. 28, 1667. This grant lay along the east side of the Mistuckset, a river or brook running into the Sound about two miles east of the Mystic, and was bounded on the north by land of Gov. John Winthrop. This land he retained through life, leaving it to his youngest son, John, together with about two acres, presumably not far distant, which is described as on the west side of Calkins Brook, having on it “a mantion house,” barn and mill, the latter, it may be supposed, a saw-mill used in connection with his business. This house lot is spoken of as bought of Robert Holmes, but the deed is not on record and the time of its purchase does not appear. A census of those in Stonington who were heads of families was taken in 1668. There were forty-three, among them John Ranols. “The mark of John Ranols his chattels and swine is a crop on the near ear right off,” dated June 11, 1668 [Stonington Deeds I:15].

About twelve years after his first recorded purchase in Stonington “John Renalls, senior” received May 25, 1679 a grant of fifty acres, and a year later March 8, 1680, another of 100 acres adjoining it on the east. These lay in a different quarter of the town from his earliest grant, being situated on the north side of the Ashaway River, which formed the southwestern boundary of the fifty-acre lot. This river is in North Stonington, runs south, then southeast, and south again, emptying into the Pawcatuck at the state line. These lots may therefore have been in North Stonington or possibly in what is now Rhode Island. No deed of conveyance of them from John Reynolds Sr. appears and the 150 acres they contain may be supposed to be the double portion given to the oldest son, Thomas, to which the father alludes in his final disposition of his property in 1689-90.

One more grant that had been given to John Reynolds Sr. appears in his last recorded deed of sale, dated Nov. 14, 1690, not long, probably before his death. It is described as “one twelve acre lott which was my grant from the Town of Stonington scituate & lying near to the Meeting house.” It was sold to “Owen McCharta, Taner.” His son, John Reynolds  acknowledged this as “his father’s act and deed” Oct.29, 1692 before Samuel Mason, Assistant. Feb. 15, 1689/90 he had made the final disposal of his estate, before alluded to, by the deed of gift, equivalent to a will, and in it had spoken of his “age and crasie estate.” His wife was evidently at that time dead.

John Reynolds’ name does not appear on the records of Stonington Church, and it is undoubtedly due to Baptist sentiments that the trouble arose and grew whereby the said Jno. Reynolds Sr., the wife of said Reynolds, and Thomas Reynolds were presented to the Court by the Commissioners of Stonington for using profane and irreligious expressions and aspersions cast by him on Mr. James Noyes and some others, for which they are fined. Thomas Reynolds’ alliance with the Clarke family, the founders of the Baptist Church in Newport, helps us to understand the intolerance of the times.

From the records of New London County Court, at Norwich, it appears that the last will and testament of John Rennalds of Stonington, deceased, with his inventory, were exhibited in court, January 14, 1691, when execution was granted to his son, John Reynolds. This will and inventory are not now to be found, and must have been destroyed with the other New London Probate Records when New London was burned by Arnold. John Reynolds Sr. gives deed, Nov. 14, 1690, which fixes the date of his death the last of 1690 or before January 14, 1691. Copy of his will follows:

John Renalls Deed of Gift

Know all men by these presents that I, John Renalls, senior, of the Town of Stonington in the Collony of Connecticut for Divers good causes Reosons me moveing thereunto: in the serious consideration of my own Age & Crasiness and in Consideration yt my younger son and his wife hath & doth & is still free and willing to keep with me & take care of me in this my Age & Crasie Estate. And having formerly Disposed of the Rest of my Children and given them their portions, but especially until my son Thomas Renalls for whome I have Done According to my Abilitie in lands & other wayes for his settlement, Equivalent unto a Doble portion with the Rest & have given him Deeds Accordingly, and having formerly Designed my Now Mantion place for my son John Renalls and did some years since give him a deed thereof which deed hath by some means or other mislaid as that the seal & my Name is torn out & soe that deed made invalled in law; soe that now as the Case is, circumstances, that son who hath showed soe much love & Duty to me in my weak estate & — whome my hope and expectations Are & have been placed for my future comfort is or may bee in A likely waye to Cose both his portion and reward for his love & care for the preventing such & all manner of inconveniencies upon that Account and for the settlement of my past or in future peace when I shall be layed in the Dust. I count it my Duty as I have settled somewhat upon my Son Thomas for now while I have my reason & understanding to do the something upon my son John Renalls for his future Comfort in order whereunto & for the Reasons forementioned, —

These may signifie unto All & All manor of persons Anyways concerned, that I the aforesayd John Renalls, Senior, have & by These Presents Doe give grant enfeofe & Confirm unto my son John Renalls the whole of that hundred Acres of land which I purchased of JohnGallop, senior, as it was bounded layd out & recorded to me in Stonington book of records. As Alsoe a small parcell of land Contayning two Acres more or less, lying on the West side of the Brooke called Calkins his brook, as it is bounded unto me in RobertHolmes his deed of sale, together with my now mantion house, barn, mill with All other buildings, sellers, fences, being or standing upon the said Lands with all orchards, woods, timber, swamps, Runs of water, and all privileges and appurtenances thereunto appertaining: excepting only the lower orchard which is to be, Remayn unto my son Thomas to witt: the fruit thereof untill the year 1691 but after that unto the use and benefitt of my son John Renalls.

Alsoe I doe give unto my son John Renalls the fether bed which I now lodge upon being a bought tiking & not home made with the boulster & all the beding belonging unto it together with the bedstead. Moreover I doe give unto my son John one large iron pott and by bigest brass chettell which hath A seam around itt: as Alsoe one great bible which I doe order my son to leave to his son and my grandchild John Renalls.

I may All and singular the parts and parcel as before expressed my whole right therein and title unto, I doe hereby give, grant make over & Confirm unto my son John Renalls, his heirs, executors administrators & assigns to be to him or them to his or their proper use & behoof for ever, only reserving unto myselfe the use and improvement of the same as I shall have occasion for my own and their comfort during my natural Life; but at what time it shall please God to take me out of this world by death; then this present deed of gift to stand in full force and virtue unto all interests and purposes not only for the Right and title to but to the uses & improvement thereof to be to him the sayd John Renalls his heirs Executors & assigns freely & absolutely to have Hold possess & enjoy to the World’s end without any lett hindrance or molestation by any of my Heirs under any pretentions whatsoever or by any other person or persons whatsoever by from or under me or by any means:

And therefore, for further considerations of this my present Deed of gift unto my son John as above written I have hereunto sett to my hand and seale: in the first yeare of the Reign of their Magesties William and Mary of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, King and Queen, Defenders of the Fayth, and in the yeare of our Lord, one thousand six hundred and eighty-nine or ninety: the 15th day of februarie.

Signed sealed and delivered in
the presence of
William Denison
Thomas Bell
John    X    Renalls
his mark

Norwich was settled in 1660. 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
Thomas 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)
Thomas Bliss
Francis Griswold
John Birchard
Robert Wade
Morgan Bowers
John Gager (from New London, CT)
Thomas Howard
Dr. John Olmstead
Nehemiah SMITH (from New London, CT)
Richard Edgerton
John Elderkin
John Bradford (from Marshfield, MA)
Thomas Bingham
Robert Allen (from New London, CT)
John Baldwin
John Pease (Son of  Robert PEASE Sr.) (from New London, CT and Edgartown)
Thomas Smith (from Marshfield, MA)


All the three children of John Reynolds removed early from Stonington.

1. Thomas Reynolds

Thomas’ wife Sarah Clark was born on 29 Jan 1663 in Newport,Newport,RI. Her parents were Joseph Clark one of the patentees of the Rhode Island Charter of 1663 and Margaret Turner.

Thomas and Sarah settled on the Rhode Island side of the Pawcatuck in Westerly.

Thomas  accompanied his parents, as a boy, to Stonington, CT, perhaps spending some time in Rhode Island.
On Dec. 29, 1670, in a list made by the selectmen of Stonington, his name appears as a holder of 16 acres “on the east side of Pawcatuck River”. This would have been in Westerly, RI and it is probable that this tract was part of the land which John Reynolds mentions as having been already given to his son, Thomas, Feb 15, 1690. For, while on July 1, 1672, Thomas Reynolds “was propounded to be an inhabitant” of Stonington, CT, and on July 24, 1672, Thomas Reynolds was received an inhabitant, he was apparently an inhabitant of Westerly, RI, by the time of his marriage, Oct. 11, 1683, as the event was recorded in the Westerly records, although he was mentioned as son of John Reynolds of Stonington, and his wife as the daughter of Joseph Clarke of Newport, and although the wedding took place at Newport.
On April 6, 1716, Thomas Reynolds deeded land in Westerly, formerly the property of his honored father, John Rennals, to his daughter Margaret, then widow of William Steward. On the same day, he gave to his sons, Joseph & Zaccheus Reynolds, land in Westerly.
Thomas Reynolds died before September 28, 1724, when his widow, Sarah was summoned to appear before the next meeting of the Westerly Town Council in order to be granted letters of administration on her husband’s estate.

Children of Thomas and Sarah

i Zaccheus Reynolds b. about 1689; d. 1778.; m. Susan Maxson.

ii. Desire Reynolds b.  Aug 1706 in Westerly, Kings, RI; d. 27 Feb 1795 in Westerly,Kings, RI; m. Peter Burdick on 1 Apr 1726 in Westerly, Kings, RI

2. Hannah Reynolds (See Joseph WELLS page)

The daughter, Hannah, settled also in Westerly,

3. Mary Reynolds

Mary’s husband Benjamin Burdick was born circa 1666 at Westerly, RI.  His parents were Robert Burdick and Ruth Hubbard. After Mary died, he married Jane [__?__] after 1718. Benjamin died on 23 April 1741 at Westerly, RI.

Children of Mary and Benjamin

i. Mary Burdick b. 26 Jul 1699; m. John Lewis  12 March 1718 at Westerly, RI.

ii. Rachel Burdick b. 5 Jul 1701; m. married Walter Clarke in 1743.

iii. Peter Burdick b. 5 Aug 1703, d. 25 Nov 1800; m. his first cousin married Desire Reynolds, daughter of Thomas Reynolds and Sarah Clarke, on 1 April 1726 at Westerly, RI

iv. Benjamin Burdick b. 25 Nov 1705, d. 1758 Durham, NH.

v. John Burdick b. 24 Mar 1708; m. Rebecca Thompson,  21 Oct 1730 at Westerly, RI.

vi. David Burdick b. 24 Feb 1710

vii. William Burdick b. 12 Jun 1713, d. 8 Jul 1787 at Hopkinton, RI, at age 74.; m. Sarah Edwards,

viii. Elisha Burdick b. 22 Sep 1716; m. Mary Slack on 25 Feb 1739 at Westerly, RI.

4. John Reynolds

John the youngest, not many years after his father’s death removed to Preston, the town next north of Stonington. The name appears once more in Stonington records when Ebenezer, grandson of John Jr., became owner of a farm lying partly in Preston and partly in North Stonington. John Reynolds’ descendants intermarried with those of some of the best-known settlers in that part of Connecticut – those of the present day numbering among their ancestors Capt. George Denison, William Cheesebro, Thomas Stanton, Capt. James Avery, Lieut. Thomas Tracy, William Billings, Walter PALMER, Roger Sterry, and others.

Children of John and Abigail

i. Mary Reynolds b. 1686 in Stonington, New London, CT

ii. John Reynolds b. 30 Jun 1689 in Preston, New London, CT; m. 27 Jun 1715 in Norwich, New London, CT to Mary Rude

iii. Ann Reynolds b. 1692 in Stonington, New London, CT; m1. 29 Oct 1713 in Groton, New London, CT to Thomas Bennett; m2. Ebenezer Bennett

iv. Sarah Reynolds b. 10 Aug 1702 in Stonington, New London, CT; d. 1709


By Mrs. Mary Reynolds Fosdick, founder of the RFA Reynolds Family Association, 1992  Chapter 1 Generation 1

This entry was posted in 11th Generation, Dissenter, Historical Monument, Immigrant - England, Line - Miner, Twins and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to John Reynolds

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  6. John Reynolds says:

    I have been doing exhaustive work to confirm that the father of John Reynolds (and his twin brother, my direct ancestor James Reynolds) were the sons of William Reynolds
    aka William of Providence. Do you have any conclusive information to show strong evidence of proof that these two boys, John and James were the sons of William? I have reviewed many of the internet sources who claim this as fact but have significant doubts since William would have been 65 years old at the time of their birth in 1625.
    I would apreciate any commentary or thoughts or even better evidentiary information
    to either confirm or deny their relationship to William.

    Thank you.

    • markeminer says:


      Thanks for your post. Since I have twin sisters, I am very interested in ancestors who are also twins. I created a William Reynolds page and found that his daughter Katherine is also one of my ancestors.

      If William was indeed the son of Christopher Reynolds, then 1560 is probably his correct birth date. However, that makes him 65 years old when John and James were born in 1665 and 77 years old when he settled in Providence in 1637.

      William’s son William Jr. would have been 24 years old in 1637, but he lived up north in Kennebec, Maine.

      Other researchers have changed his birth date to 1570, 1580, 1590 or 1595 to better fit the later dates. If William was born in 1580 then he could have sired his oldest children and still been under sixty when he arrived in Providence.

      Many sources state that William Reynolds died in Bermuda in 1625.

      If Christopher was indeed his father, William had a set of twin nephews through his brother Richard.

      Cheers!, Mark

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  12. leslie says:

    randomly found this today and I believe it’s my line!

  13. My family tree says:

    Does anybody know where they are buried?
    Peter Burdick b. 5 Aug 1703, d. 25 Nov 1800; m. his first cousin married Desire Reynolds, daughter of Thomas Reynolds and Sarah Clarke, on 1 April 1726 at Westerly, RI

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