Francis Nichols

Francis NICHOLS (1575 – 1651) was Alex’s 13th Grandfather; one of 16,384 in this generation of the Shaw line.

Francis Nichols Coat of Arms

Francis Nichols was baptized  on 25 May 1575 at Sedgeberrow, Worcestershire, England. His parents were John NICHOLS and Joan [_?__]. He married Frances WIMARKE on 24 Jan 1599/1600 at Sedgeberrow England. He settled at Stratford, Connecticut, by 10 Oct 1639, when he was appointed sergeant of the Stratford trainband, and that same year was listed with his three sons (John, Isaac, and Caleb) among the 17 first settlers of Stratford. Francis died before 8 Jan 1650/51. Frances married second 1 Dec 1645 in Southold, Long Island to Anna Wines (b. 1632/1633 in Watertown, Middlesex County, MA

Frances Wimarke (Wilmark, Wymark, Wimark) was baptized 2 Nov 1577 at Sedgeberrow, Worcestershire, England Her parents were Robert WIDMARKE of Sedgeberrow and [__?__]. Frances apparently died before the family’s removed to New England, perhaps in 1634.

Anne Wines was born about 1632 in Watertown, Middlesex, Mass. Her parents were Barnabas Wines and Ann Eddy (bapt. 15 May 1603 in Cranbrook, Kent, England) of Southold, Suffolk County, New York. After Francis died, Anna married second John Elton, 3rd, John Tooker, and 4th, John Youngs Esq., all of Southold. Anne was living on 4 Mar 1693/94.

The name is variously spelled Winds, Wendes, Wines and Wynes, and may have become Winders. Barnabas or Barnaby resided at Watertown Mass, where he was made freeman 6 May 1635. He sold his lands in 1642 and 1644 and removed to Southold, Long Island. He was corporal of a military company at Southold in 1654. In 1662 the Connecticut jurisdiction admitted him as freeman 1662. (Connecticut then claimed Long Island.) He was representative to the General Court at Hartford in 1664.

In July 1670 Barnabus sold his land in Southold to his son Samuel Wines. In 1676, at the time of the Indian Wars, a census was taken; he was rated on L152 for 15 acres of land, 24 cattle, 6 horses, etc. The dates of the deaths of Anna and Barnabas Wines have not been found.

On 30 Apr 1654, John Elton of Southold conveyed cattle to Barnabas Wines for Anna Nichols, daughter of his wife Anna by her former husband Francis Nichols of Stratford, pursuant to an agreement made at marriage. She is mentioned as wife in the will of John Elton dated 19 April 1675, proved 3 June 1675.

On 3 Jun 1686, widow Anna (or Hannah) Elton made a pre-nuptial agreement with widower John Tooker Sr. of Southold. On 31 December 1690, widow Anna (or Hannah) Tooker made a pre-nuptial agreement with widower John Youngs, Esq. of Southold.

In Mar 1693/94, Anna and John Youngs witnessed a deed from Isaac and Sarah Arnold of Southold to Carterett and Mary Gilliam of Southold. Anna is not mentioned in her husband’s will dated 20 Feb 1696/97, proved 28 May 1698, and is presumed to have died before him.

Children of Francis and Frances:

Name Born Married Departed
1 John Nichols bapt.
16 May 1601
Sedgeberrow, England
Sarah [__?__]
Grace [__?__]
1650 in Stratford, Fairfield, Connecticut,
bef. 19 Jun 1655
Fairfield, CT
2. Jane NICHOLS 3 Nov 1603
Sedgeberrow, England
1621 in Worcester, Worcestershire, England
16 Feb 1666/67 in Hempstead, Long Island, New York.
3. Henry Nichols bapt.
19 Nov 1605 Sedgeberrow, England
21 Dec 1606 Sedgeberrow, Worcester, England
4. Anne Nichols bapt.
18 Oct 1606 Sedgeberrow, England
25 Oct 1606 Sedgeberrow, England
5. Margaret Nichols bapt.
4 Jan 1608/09 Sedgeberrow, England
6. Francis Nichols bapt.
25 Aug 1611
Sedgeberrow, England
No further record
7. Joseph Nichols (twin) bapt.
31 Aug 1614
Sedgeberrow, England
2 Sep 1614
8. Jonathan Nichols (twin) bapt.
31 Aug 1614
Sedgeberrow, England
4 Sep 1614
9. Sarah Nichols bapt.
12 Nov 1615
Sedgeberrow, England
Richard Mills
1641 in Wethersfield, Connecticut,
10. Isaac Nichols bapt.
27 Dec 1617
Sedgeberrow, England
Margery [__?__]
25 Feb 1645/46 in Stratford, Fairfield Co., CT
28 Sep 1694 –
5 Nov 1695
Stratford, Fairfield, Connecticut
11. Caleb Nichols ca. 1623  Anne Ward 14 Apr 1690, Woodbury, Litchfield, CT

An article in TAG in October 2000 (Vol. 75) provides the correct information on the family of Francis Nichols of Stratford. A search of English records in other areas has provided two Nichols wills made before the registers of Sedgeberrow, Worcester, and the baptism of all but the youngest of Francis’ children by his first wife recorded at Sedgeberrow.

An earlier article in TAG 36 explored other family relationships: “Daniel Whitehead, Mr. William Washbourn and Francis Nicholls lived in Stratford CT in 1647. They were somehow related, for William Washbourn was evidently brother-in-law to Whitehead, while Isaac2 Nichols (Francis1) was styled ‘uncle’ in the will of John Washbourn (William1) ‘As to Francis Nicholls of Stratford, Conn., he may well have been closely related to that Francis Nicholls of Witch, Worcs., whose administration is dated 1625 [Worcs. Wills]. Witch appears to be Wick by Pershore, some five miles west of Bengeworth, for early the town of Wick by Pershore had been called Wyche’ [Ekwall’s Oxford Dict. of English Place Names].” The article in TAG Vol. 75 proves the nature of that relationship — Isaac’s aunt Jane was married to William Washburn.

Francis Nichols was one of the founders of Stratford in 1639. The Connecticut General Court placed him in charge of military affairs, appointing him Sergeant of the Stratford Trainband in October 1639. It was his responsibility “to train the men and exercise them in military discipline.” Three of his sons — John, Isaac and Caleb — were also among the first 17 settlers of Fairfield.

Francis’ inventory was taken at Stratford 8 Jan 1650/51.   Jacobus gives the date as 1655, which Thompson says appears to be a confusion with the inventory of his son John. He left only a small estate at his death.

Nichols, a historic village in southeastern Trumbull on the Gold Coast (Connecticut) of Fairfield County, was named after Francis’ family who maintained a large farm in its center for almost 300 years The Nichols Farms Historic District, which encompasses part of the village, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nichols was originally settled entirely as a part of the coastal settlement of Stratford, settled in 1639 By the early twentieth century, Nichols became an affluent suburb for the nearby cities of BridgeportStratford and Shelton. The construction of the Merritt Parkway through Nichols Center in 1939, and the closing of local factories, turned the village into a bedroom community for lower Fairfield County.

It is not known exactly when English settlers took up land in Nichols, due to the fact that the first volume of Stratford land records were destroyed in 1650. In 1661, the Stratford selectmen voted to allow all inhabitants the liberty of taking up a whole division of land anywhere they could find fit planting ground as long as it was not within two miles of the town meeting house and they were prohibited from making it their dwelling place without consent. Elder Phillip Groves, Captain William Curtiss and Lt. Joseph Judson, early landowners in Nichols, were named to a committee to lay out the land as they saw fit.

Before 1661, people were free to take up planting grounds anywhere within the township. The common land in Nichols Farms was divided and granted to individuals beginning in 1670 as a part of the three-mile or woods division and continued up to 1800.

Alternative Francis Nichols Genealogy

Another version has Francis being born 19 years later in 1694 and marrying Anne Wines in Hartford himself instead of his son Francis Jr. Evidence against this theory includes the will of Jane Nichols Washburn’s son John Washburn which mentions “my uncle Isaac Nichols.” Jane was born in 1603 when Frances supposedly would have been 11 years old. There are also Sedgeberrow Parish Records which support the earlier baptisms.

In this version  Francis NICHOLS was born 1594 in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, England. He first married about 1610 in London to [__?__].    Francis immigrated to Connecticut with his sons John, Isaac and Caleb. He married again in 1645 to Anne Wines (b 1621 in England – d. 1711 in Suffolk, Long Island, New York) Francis died 16 Jan 1650 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT

FRANCIS NICHOLS was one of the first 17 English settlers of Stratford, Connecticut. The earliest known record in which he is mentioned is a 1639 order of the Connecticut General Court “to assign Sergeant Nicholls for the present time to train the men and exercise them in military discipline.” He was probably a widower when he came to America with his three sons and a daughter. Sgt. Nichols also owned land in Southold, Long Island, New York, where he married in 1645 Anne Wines, daughter of Deacon Barnabas Wines. Francis Nichols died in 1650, probably when in his late 50s, and his personal property inventory was recorded in Stratford in 1655. Francis Nichols’ widow Anne married second John Elton of Southold, third Capt. John Tooker of Setauket, Long Island, and fourth, Col. John Youngs, cousin of her daughter Anna’s husband.

Children of Francis and [__?__]

i. John Nichols b. 1616 England; d. 1695 Stratford, CT; m1. 1636 in Fairfield, CT to Esther [__?__] (b. 1629 in Chelmsford, Essex, England); m2. 1649 in Stratford to Grace [__?__]. No known children

ii. Caleb Nichols (b. 1618 in Sedgeberrow, Worcestershire, England – d. 14 Apr 1690 in Woodbury, Litchfield, CT) m. 1 Mar 1650 Woodbury, Litchfield, CT to Anne Ward (b. 1628 in England – d. 06 Jun 1718 in Woodbury, Litchfield, CT) Caleb and Anne had fourteen children between 1650 and 1675.

iii. Isaac Nichols b. 1620 England; d 1695 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; m. Margaret Washburn (b. 1646 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT – d. 1675 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT) Isaac and Margaret had ten children born between 1652 and 1668 in Stratford, CT.

iv. Daughter Nichols , b. ca. 1622, England

v. Mary Mills Nichols , b. 1627, London , England; m. Richard Mills 1641 in Wethersfield, CT?

vi. Daughter Nichols , b. ca. 1630, England or CT.

Back to Our Francis Nichols

There still exists a large time gap between 1623 (when Caleb was apparently born) and 1639 when Francis Nichols appears in Stratford, CT records. No information has yet been produced which accounts for Francis’ activities during those years.

On 10 Oct 1639 Francis Nichols was appointed sergeant of the Stratford trainband, and that same year was listed with his three sons (John, Isaac, and Caleb) among the 17 first settlers of Stratford.

Stratford, Fairfield, Connecticut

Stratford (formerly known as Cupheag Plantation, and prior to that, Pequonnocke) was founded in 1639 by Puritan leader Reverend Adam Blakeman (pronounced Blackman), William Beardsley, and either 16 families—according to legend—or approximately 35 families—suggested by later research—who had recently arrived in Connecticut from England seeking religious freedom.  Some of the Stratford settlers were from families who had first moved from England to the Netherlands to seek religious freedom, like their predecessors on the Mayflower, and decided to come to the New World when their children began to adopt the Dutch culture and language.

Like other Puritan towns founded during this time, early Stratford was a place where church leadership and town leadership were united under the pastor of the church, in this case Reverend Blakeman. The goal of these communities was to create perfect outposts of religious idealism where the wilderness would separate them from the interference of kings, parliaments, or any other secular authority.

Blakeman ruled Stratford until his death in 1665, but as the second generation of Stratford grew up, many of the children rejected what they perceived as the exceptional austerity of the town’s founders.   By the late 17th century, the Connecticut government had assumed political control over Stratford.

Stratford’s original name was Cupheag, but was later changed to honor Stratford-upon-Avon in England.   Settlers from Stratford went on to found other American cities and towns, including Newark, New Jersey, established in 1666 by members of the Stratford founding families who believed the town’s religious purity had been compromised by the changes after Blakeman’s death.

Stratford Settler Map

The first settlement was made at a place now known as Sandy Hollow, an arm of the Sound or creek, which penetrates a short distance from the Housatonic River, the ancient name of which was Potatuck. 3. Thomas (and then his son John) SHERWOOD 4. Elizabeth BEARDSLEY (widow of ?______ ) 5 and 8. Jeremiah JUDSON 6. John MINOR (Son of Thomas MINER) 7. William BENNETT 9. Nathaniel PORTER 10. David MITCHELL, ancestor of the late Prof. MITCHELL of North Carolina. 11. John HURD 12. Thomas SEABROOK, then 12th to John BIRDSEYE, Jr., 13. Thomas FAIRCHILD, Jr. 14. John PEACOCK, and then to his daughters, Miss Phebe BURGESS and Mrs. Deboarh (James) CLARKE. 15. Henry WAKELYN, now written WAKELEE. 16. Thomas UFFOOT. This property is still in the family. 17. Robert COE. Afterwards exchanged with UFFOOT for a place across the street, which UFFOOT had bought, and where the COES have ever since lived. 18. Samuel SHERMAN; then John PICKET. Mr. SHERMAN seems to have afterwards moved to the western part of Stratford (Pequonnock), and the PICKETS were among the first settlers of DURHAM. 19. Philip GROVES, the first and only ruling elder in Stratford Church. 20. Rev. Adam BLAKEMAN, first minister of Stratford. His descendants are written BLAKEMAN AND BLACKMAN. His only daughter, Mary, married Joshua ATWATER of New Haven and Rev. Thomas HIGGINSON, of Salem, Mass. 21. John BARLOW; then John HURD, then UFFOOT, then COE. 22. Mr. BRYAN bought James HARWOOD (original owner) and sold to Rev. Adam BLAKEMAN, who gae it to his son, Joseph B. Through J. HARWOOD, the BLAKEMANS became acquainted with Joshua SCOTTOW, merchant of Boston, whose daughter, Rebecca, Benjamin BLAKEMAN married. 23. Edward HIGBEE. 24. John JENNER; then John WELLS; then Widow Elizabeth CURTIS, who, with her two sons William and John, originated that name in Stratford. 25. Arthur BOSTWICK. 26. Jeremiah JUDSON. His gravestone yet stands in STRATFORD. 27. Joshua JUDSON (brother of Jeremiah; then John HURD. 28. Thomas FAIRCHILD. 29. Richard BOOTH, whose land extended beyond the lots north and ran northerly to the rocks. 30. Isaac NICHOLS, Sr., west side; Silles (?Stiles or Silas?) NICHOLS, and then Caleb, east side. 31. Adam HURD. 32. Francis NICHOLS; then Caleb NICHOLS. 33. Thomas QUENBY; then Joshua ATWATER; then Henry TOMLINSON. 34. William CURTIS; afterwards west end, Thomas CURTIS, who subsequently went, among the first settlers to Wallingford. 35. Adam HURD’s duplicate lot. 36. John BEACH, ancestor of the WALLINGFORD and STRATFORD name. 37. Joseph HAWLEY’S Original lot. 38. John THOMPSON. 38a. Francis JACOCKES. 39. William READ; then by exchange, Joseph HAWLEY. 40. William CROOKER. 41. Joseph JUDSON; in 1640 William JUDSON, the father. The original stone house stood about four rods from the northeast corner. 42. Rev. Zachariah WALKER’s half of parsonage lot. 43. Rev. Israel CHAUNCEY’s half parsonage lot. 44. Hugh GRIFFIN, then John WHEELER. 45. Richard HARVEY; then John BOSTWICK; then Congregational society for parsonages. 46. Francis HALL 47 and 47a. John BLAKEMAN 48. A strip of lowland, given to widow of Abraham KIMBERLY in 1680. 49. Daniel SHERMAN, son of Samuel, Sr., then Ebenezer SHERMAN. 50. Common or highway, now the west half of B. FAIRCHILD’s lot. It was originally the outlet of a short highway (coeval with the town settlement) that passed from Main Street round the low, wet land, now W. A. BOOTH’s lot and led into the old mill road through No. 60, as above said. Of this road the recent burial-ground lane is all that encroachments have left, from Main Street to the burial-place, through its width, resurveyed and confirmed in 1738, is above four rods. 51. Land of Isaac NICHOLS. 52. House-lot of Samuel SHERMAN, Jr. (now the Roswell JUDSON lot.) 53. The eastern section of the street, of which No. 50 was a portion. 54. John BEERS; then Samuel BEERS; then, after 1700, BURTON, PRINDLE, TOMLINSON, McEWEN. 55. Nathaniel FOOTE; then Benjamin LEWIS; then Congregational parish, for Mr. CUTLER; then Rev. Mr. GOLD. 56. Burial place. 57. Daniel TITTERTON, Jr. 58. Timothy WILLCOXSON 59. Jabez HARGER, who went to Derby at its settlement, 1670. 60. John HULL, ancestor of Commodore Isaac; went to Derby, 1670. 61. John PICKETT; went to Durham. 62. Robert LANE; above him was John COOKE, bounded north by Esek Lane or Street. 63. John YOUNG, who died April 1661, and his lot went to John ROSE; afterwards Robert WALKER. 64. Thomas Wells, above whom James BLAKEMAN owned eight acres. 65. John THOMPSON, who lived on No. 38. 66. John WELLS. 66 a. Daniel TITTERTON, Sr. 66 b. John WILLCOXSON, Sr. 67. John PEAT (sometimes spelled PEAKE). 68. Moses WHEELER; then, very soon, Richard HARVEY; then his sons-in-law. 69. Thomas CURTIS, from his father, John (now Chatfield and Gorham lots). 70. William WILLCOXSON, ancestor of all of that name in and of Stratford. 71. William BEARDSLEE, ancestor of all of that name in and of Stratford. 72. John BRINSMEADE. 73. Nicholas KNELL, whose wife was Gov. Francis NEWMAN’s daughter. 74. Robert RISE; then WHEELER; then Richard BENCH; then Rev. Israel CHAUNCEY. 75. First church edifice and burial-ground. 76. Originally UFFOOT’s, who in 1661 sold to Nicholas GRAY, if he maintain his dam wide enough for a passable cartway. 77. Granted in 1671 by town to N. GRAY, if he maintain his dam wide enough for a passable cartway. 78. Jehiel PRESTON, 1662. 79. Site of the second church edifice, from 1670 to 1743. WHITEFIELD preached in it, October 26, 1740. 80. Site of the third church edifice, from 1743 till burned by lightening in 1785. A. Site of the first church edifice and burying-ground. B. Site of the second church edifice, from 1670 to 1743. Whitefield preached in it October 26, 1740. C. Site of third church edifice, from 1743 till burned by lightening in 1785. D. Site of fourth church edifice, from 1786 to 1850. E. Burial-place, opened 1678. F. Site of first Episcopal church edifice in Connecticut, 1723, with its graveyard, which still occupies the spot. G. Site of second Episcopal church edifice, from 1744 to 1858. Site of present Episcopal church edifice, erected in 1858. H. Methodist Episcopal church. I. Richard Booth’s house-lot. J. Joseph BOOTH’s house-lot K. John BOOTH’s house-lot.


1. John Nichols

John Nichols is identified as a son of Francis Nichols in Samuel Orcott’s 1886 “A History of the old town of Stratford and the city of Bridgeport, Vol. 2” at Google Books .

Orcutt indicates John had 2 wives, the first apparently dying before John m. 2nd, Grace who appeared in Stratford, CT, records when Francis Nichols and his sons first appear in 1639 Stratford, CT records. The Sedgeberrow John would have been 38 at that time. If the Sedgeberrow John Nichols had been unmarried by 1638, that would have been unusual.

John lived in Watertown, Middlesex County, MA, in 1636/1637. He bought land at Fairfield before 1653, perhaps after a temporary stay at Wethersfield.

The inventory of John Nichols of Fairfield was presented 19 June 1655; Isaac Nichols was the overseer.

Children of John and [__?__]

i. Esther Nichols

ii. Elizabeth Nichols

iii. Hannah Nichols

Children of John and Grace:

iv. Isaac Nichols, b. c. 1645 Stafford, Fairfield, CT; 20 Dec 1713, Derby, New Haven, CT; m. 15 Aug 1672 Stafford to Hester Clark (b. 1 Mar 1645 in New Haven County, CT – d. 14 Jan 1714 in Stafford) Hester’s parents were John Clark (b. 1612) and Mary [__?__]. Isaac and Esther had five children born between 1673 and 1686

Orcutt’s History of Stratford contains the following:. He was brought up by his uncle, Isaac Nichols, of Stratford, and therefore was called “Cousin Isaac” (not Issaac Junior, as stated in the Derby History,.) He settled in Derby about 1678 and was one of the first two deacons of the first church in that place. He died Dec. 20, 1713.”

v. Sarah Nichols.

vi. John Nichols; d. 1675 in King Phillip’s War

Some have mistakenly said that he married Mercy Holbridge. John died unmarried according to the “History of Fairfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut”, from Vol 1 by Elizabeth Hubbell, found at It reads, in pertinent part:

“John 2 s of John Nichols 1 of F joined the army in King Philip’s war and died the first year unmarried Savage’s Gen Dic”

The Sanford-Shulsen Family Genealogy says:

“John died in 1676 in King Philip’s war. His inventory was presented 2 May 1676 by brother Isaac Nichols. He had interest in cattle in New London; also his wages due from the Country. A footnote indicates may be possible ancestor of the Nichols family of Westport. 1 2 (emphasis added and citing Savage and Jacobus)

vii. Samuel Nichols b. in 1655/56, Fairfield, Fairfield, CT; d. 1736/37 in Derby, New Haven, CT; m. May 1682 to Mary Bowers ( – d. 9 Dec 1736 in Derby, New Haven, CT) Mary’s parents were John Bowers (b: ~ 1629 in England) and Bridget Thompson (b: in New Haven, New Haven, CT) Died without issue.

Orcutt’s History of Stratford contains the following: “He m. Mary, dau. of Rev. John Bowers of Derby in May 1682 and settled in New Jersey, probably at Newark.” No children listed by Orcutt and the “Hisdtory of Derby.” The will of Samuel Nichols of Derby was dated 3 Sep 1736, proved 7 Feb 1736/37. It mentions cousin John Bowers of Derby, son of Nathaniel Bowers of Newark; cousin Nichols Moss, son of William; cousin Mary, wife of Jonah Tomlinson of Derby.

9. Sarah Nichols,

Both Jacobus and the Patterson genealogy state that a daughter of Francis Nichols married Richard Mills. Torrey gives her name as “?Mary”. The baptismal records at Sedgeberrow indicate Margaret and Sarah as the only logical candidates, and Sarah appears the better age for the marriage

Thompson says only that she is “probably” the heretofore unidentified daughter of Francis Nichols who m., as his 1st wife, Richard Mills of Wethersfield, Stratford, and Stamford, CT.

In 1650 Joseph Hawley bought lands at Stratford from Richard Mills. After 1653 he was at Stamford, and he removed from there in 1663 to Westchester. On 18 June 1663 he was imprisoned in Manhattan because of a dispute between the Dutch authorities at New York and the English authorities at Hartford about juristiction over the town; he was released.

Proof of his marriage is based upon son Samuel referring to his “uncle Caleb Nichols”

10. Isaac Nichols

Isaac’s Bible was discovered in CT with births, baptisms, etc. recorded. We do not yet know if those entries include those of Isaac’s parents and siblings. If so such a listing, if in the Bible, would remove any possible doubt as to Francis’ Sedgeberrow roots.

Isaac was one of the original patentees of Stratford with home lot. Deputy to General Court, May 1662. Mentioned as “Uncle Isaac Nichols” in will of John Washburn, son of William WASHBURN and JANE NICHOLS (Olney, E Our Washburn Heritage p4).

He made the distribution of estate of his eldest brother, John Nichols of Fairfield with Andrew Ward June 9,1655.(Fairfield ct, Old Probate Rec V1:4, 1648-56). Isaac raised Isaac, a minor son of John Nichols his deceased brother, who was apprenticed to Isaac in 1659 after the death of Richard Perry, step father of young Isaac, in 1658 and called “cousin” Isaac thereafter. (Fairfield Land Rec 1659 p191). John Washburn grandson of Jane (Nichols) & William bequeathed the keeping of the “orphant” John Nichols s/o John, to his wife Mary & father in law Richard Butler, Aug 1658. John Washburn s/o John Washburn of Corberry on Long Island, while he was a minor, did receive of his uncle Isaac Nichols of Stratford, Twenty-Two pounds, One shilling and Eight pence in 1676.(Stratford Land Rec V2:512).

His children were born in Stratford (Barbour Collection CT). Isaac died Nov 5 1695 at Stratford Ct. occupation mentioned in will as “Soap Boiler”.

Will dated 28 Sep 1694, Stratford Fairfield Ct, where Margery is listed as “wife Margery”. He gives his lands to his son Benjamin after the decease of his wife, stating that “he had given to all his other children as he was able at their marriages or afterwards”. (Wm Howard Wilcoxin Hist Stratford 1939 p1252). Proved 6 Nov 1695.(Fairfield CT Probate V4:128, 1690-1702). Inventory taken Sept 17,1695 by James Judson, John Willis and Josiah Curtis. It was filed Nov.5,1695.

Probate: NICOLS, Isack, late of Stratford, soap boiler, will dated Sept. 28, 1694, probated Nov. 5, 1695, mentioned his wife Margaret, and children Benjamin, Sarah, Burret, children of son Ephraim, daughters Patience, Temperance, Elizabeth Web, and Margarit, children Isack, a deceased son, and children of Jonathan, a deceased son, and children of daughter Mary Chancey. Executors his wife and son Benjamin, assisted by Isreal Chancy and Richard Blacklach. Witnesses Robert Mekune and Robert Walker, page 128.

Inventory taken Sept. 17, 1695, by James Judson, John Welles and Josiah curtis, and filed Nov. 5, 1695, page 129.

Aug. 15, 1695, Margrit Nichols, a daughter of testator, received her portion. Witnesses Joseph Curtis and Richard Blacklash, page 129.

Isaac was also one of the first settlers, coming from England to Stratford with his father. He was the owner of much real estate, was engaged in a flourishing mercantile business, and was a prominent and substantial citizen of the town. From 1650 to 1680, Jospeh Hawley built vessels at Stratford and also sold foreign cloths, groceries, and other goods, and certain records attest that Isaac Nichols Sr., conducted a like business. He has a homelot of his own next door to his father in Stratford, his house lot running through from Main St. to Elm St., as is now called (1917, Humphrey notes). He was owner of much real estate in Stratford; deputy to the General Court (or Assembly) from Stratford in May 1662 and again in October 1664, and appears to have been a substanial and prominent citizen. (Source: History of Stratford by Wm. Howard Wilcoxson) This is also in History of Stratford by Samuel Orcutt with added note: Isaac was a “soap boiler,” as all men had some trade or definite occupation in those days, but in a broad free and fertile country he and his sons became successful farmers, and the descendants are scattered far and wide in the land of freedom and prosperity.

His will was dated Sep.28,1694 , inventoried Sept.1695 and proved Nov.6,1695; wife Margery; son Benjamin; children of dau. Mary Chauncey; dau. Sarah Burritt; children of son Isaac dec’d; children of son Jonathan dec’d; children of son Ephraim; daus. Patience, Temperance, Elizabeth Webb, Margery. He bequeathed his homestead and lands to Benjamin, after the decease of his wife, stating that he had given to all his other children, as he was able, at their marriage or afterwards. (Jacobus)

It is to Isaac and his Beza Bible (predating the King James version published in 1611) we owe so much, that precious book which he had brought from England with him and which now is kept in the Putney Museum in Stratford. We can be almost certain that his mother would have given it to him as they set out on their precarious journey across the dark seas of the Atlantic, knowing they were leaving home forever. The giver endorsed it “Isaac Nichols, his Book. God give him Grace therein.” The possession of this Bible marks Isaac as a literate man, son of parents who could read, a youngster who would have been in the local village school before leaving England. In this Bible, wife Margery listed the births of her eleven children, ranging in dates from 1647 to 1668. (Gay Nichols Hydrick) Bible dedicated in behalf of the Nichols family in May 2002 in Stratford – 400 yr old book published in Edinburgh by Andro Hart Anno.Dom.1610. It appears that Isaac wrote his own Last Will and Testament on a blank page as well.

FYI: Mr. Thompson, while not a Nichols descendant, has for many years worked with Barbara J. Nichols who authored an April 1993 TAG article proving Sgt. Francis Nichols of Stratford could not be the son of Francis Nicolls and Margaret Bruce (“Francis Nichols of Stratford, Connecticut, Was Not a Brother of Deputy Governor Richard Nicolls of New York.”) Barb and I are descended from The Sergeant’s son John.”

Children of Isaac and Margery:

i. Mary Nichols b. 2 Feb 1648 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 8 Jan 1669 Boston, Suffolk, Mass; m. 8 Jan 1667 in Stratford to Rev. Israel Chauncey ( 1644 in Scituate, Mass. – d. 14 Mar 1703 ) Israel’s parents were  Rev. Charles Chauncey (wiki)  (1592 – 1672) and Catherine Eyre (1604 – 1667). Mary and Israel had four children born between 1668 and 1677.

Israel’s father Charles Chauncey  taught that only baptism by full immersion was valid, which created problems in freezing cold pioneer New England.

Israel's father Charles Chauncy was President of Harvard 1654 – 1672

Israel’s father Charles Chauncy was President of Harvard 1654 – 1672

Charles Chauncy (5 Nov 1592 –  19 Feb 1672) was an Anglo-American clergyman and educator.

He was born at Yardleybury (Ardeley), Hertfordshire, England and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he later was a lecturer in Greek. After serving as a pastor in England at Marston St. Lawrence,Northamptonshire (1633–37), he emigrated to America in 1638. He preached at Plymouth until 1641, then at Scituate where, says Mather, “he remained for three years and three times three years, cultivating the vineyard of the Lord.” He was appointed president of Harvard College in 1654. He held that office until his death in 1672.  Besides a number of sermons, Chauncy published The Doctrine of the Sacrament, with the Right Use Thereof (1642); The Plain Doctrine of the Justification of a Sinner in the Sight of God (1659), a collection of 26 sermons; and Antisynodalia Scripta Americana (1662).

During his time at Plymouth and Scituate, Chauncy got into a heated debate with the religious and secular leaders of the Plymouth Colony over the issue of baptism. Chauncy taught that only baptism by full immersion was valid, while the Separatist Elders taught that sprinkling water over the body was just as valid. The sprinkling method of baptism was much preferred in New England due to its cooler and harsher climate.

The religious leaders of the Plymouth Colony held public debates, trying to convince Chauncy to change his views. When Chauncy still did not change his views, the Pilgrim leaders wrote to congregations in Boston and New Haven soliciting their views, and all the congregations wrote back that both forms of baptism were valid. Still, Chauncy did not change his teachings. It was because of this issue that Chauncy left Plymouth for Scituate in 1641. A year after arriving in Scituate, Chauncy had a chance to practice what he preached, when he publicly baptized his twin sons by full immersion. The plan backfired when one of his sons passed out due to being dunked in the water. The mother of the child who was supposed be baptized at the same event refused to let it happen, and according to John Winthrop, got a hold of Chauncy and “near pulled him into the water”. When Chauncy was hired to be President of Harvard, he had to promise the leaders in Boston that he would keep his views on baptism quiet.

His great-grandson was also named Charles Chauncy (1705–1787), minister of the First Church (Congregational) of Boston 1727–1787, an Old-Light opponent of Jonathan Edwards and the New Light ministers of the Great Awakening, and a precursor of Unitarianism.

Israel had the parson’s lot #42 in Stratford (See above).

Rev. Israell Chauncy Gravestone

Rev. Israell Chauncy Gravestone Old Congregational Burying Ground in Stratford Findagrave # 20834781

Inscription on Israel’s gravestone:
who was minister of ye Gospell in this place upwards of 38 years
in ye 59th year of his age

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ii.Sarah Nichols b. 1 Nov 1649 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 4 Mar 1698  CT; m. 8 Jan 1674 in Stratford to Capt.  Stephen Burritt (b. 1641 in Stratford – d. 24 Jan 1697 burial in Old Congregational Burying Ground  Stratford) Stephen’s parents were William Burritt (1600 Wales – 1651 Stratford, CT) and Elizabeth Jones (1600 – 1681). Sarah and Stephen had eight children born between 1675 and 1696. After Stephen died, Sarah married Capt. Joseph More.

Inscription:”Here lieth the body of Capt. Stephen Burritt, who departed this life in the 57th year of his age. January 24, 1697/8.” Note: This is the oldest surviving gravestone of a member of the Burritt family in North America.

Sarah Nichols Burritt Gravestone

Sarah Nichols Burritt Gravestone — Old Durham Cemetery, Durham, Middlesex, CT

Sarah wife of Capt. Stephen Burrit of Stratford, but died ye widow of Capt. Joseph More of Brighamtown [Bridgehampton] on Long Island, in the 82nd year of her age.

iii. Josiah Nichols b. 29 Jan 1652 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT;

The Hawley Record, compiled and published by Elias Sill Hawley, 1890 Genealogical Note #11, page 441 Hannah Hawley, daughter of Capt. Joseph Hawley (1603 – 1690) married Josiah Nichols, son of Isaac, son of Sergt Francis Nichols, one of the first and most prominent families in Stratford, CT. Josiah Nichols died about twelve years after marriage, and his widow, Hannah, married John Wolcott, of Windsor, CT, the Wolcott family being the most prominent of any in that, one of the first towns in the Colony of Connecticut.

Alternatively, Josiah’s cousin Joseph Nichols (b. 25 Dec 1656 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 25 Jun 1691 Booth Hills, Fairfield, CT), son of Josiah’s Uncle Caleb; m. 13 Dec 1678 in Stratford to Hannah Hawley (b. 26 May 1657 in Stratford – d. 3 Jun 1726 in Windsor, Hartford, CT) Hannah’s parents were Capt. Joseph Hawley (1603 – 1690) and Catherine Birdsey ( – 1692)

iv. Isaac Nichols b. 12 Mar 1654 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 1690 Stratford; m. Sep 1675 in Milford, New Haven, CT to Mary Baldwin (b. 6 Nov 1653 in Milford, New Haven, CT – d. 1690 in Old Lyme, New London, CT) Mary’s parents were Richard Baldwin (1622 – 1665) and Elizabeth Alsop (1625 – 1688). Isaac and Mary had five children born between 1676 and 1690.

After Isaac died, Mary may have married 22 Oct 1711 in Milford, New Haven, CT to Daniel Comstock (b. 12 May 1656 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island – d. 1725 in Lyme, New London, CT)

v. Jonathan Nichols b. 10 Dec 1655 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 1689 Stratford; m. 21 Dec 1681 in Stratford to Hannah Hawkins (b. 1661 in Farmington, Hartford, CT – d. 23 Jul 1698 in Woodbury, Litchfield, CT) Hannah’s parents were Anthony Hawkins (1644 – 1674) and Ann Welles (1619 – 1680). Jonathan and Hannah had two children Hannah (b. 1684) and Jonathan (b. 1687).

After Jonathan died, Hannah married 1695 in Stratford to John Judson (b. 10 Dec 1647 in Fairfield, CT – d. 12 Jan 1709 in Woodbury)

vi. Ephraim Nichols b. 16 Dec 1657 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 1690 Stratford; m. 17 Oct 1682 in Fairfield, Fairfield, CT to Esther Ward (b. 18 Apr 1660 in Fairfield, Fairfield, CT – d. 18 Apr 1732 in Fairfield) Esther first married 19 Apr 1678 Stratford to Ebenezer Hawley (b. 17 Sep 1654 in Stratford – d. 3 Oct 1681 in Fairfield, Fairfield, CT) and had two children Elizabeth (b. 1679) and William (b. 1680). After Ephraim died, she married 20 Jan 1696 Fairfield, Fairfield, CT to Robert Lord (b. 16 August 1651 in Saybrook, Middlesex, CT – d. 1739 in Fairfield, Fairfield, CT) Esther and Robert had five children born between 1696 and 1705.

vii. Patience Nichols b. 2 Feb 1660 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; m1.1680 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT to John Hubbell (b. 1652 in Guilford, New Haven, CT – d.  Apr 1690 on an expedition to Schenectady, Albany, New York-Died of Smallpox). John’s brother Samuel married Patience’s sister Temperance. Their were Richard Hubbell (1626 – ) and Elizabeth Meigs (1635 -1664) Patience and John had three children born between 1681 and 1688.

Patience m2. 2 Mar 1691 in Stratford to Samuel Hawley (b. 1647 in Stratford – d. 24 Aug 1734 in Stratford) Samuel’s parents were Joseph Hawley (1603 – 1690) and Catherine Birdsey ( – 1692) Samuel first married 20 May 1673 in Stratford to Mary Thompson (b. 7 Jun 1653 in Farmington, Hartford, CT – d. 1691 in Stratford. Samuel and Mary had seven children born between 1674 and 1687. Samuel and Patience had six more children between 1693 and 1701.

John B. Hubbell served in King Philip’s War; Received colonial grant of 100 acres, as compensation for loss of a finger. Lieutenant on expedition to Albany, Apr 1690 where he lost his life.

1683 granted lot in Derby formerly granted to Josiah Nichols and afterwards to Jonathan Nichols provided he lived there seven years.  Lived in Derby, but returned to Stratford,

Will: inventory 13 Oct 1690; widow Patience; ages of children: Margery 9, Richard 6, Josiah 2. Josiah Nichols and Samuel Hubbell, Sr, appointed to administer the estate, with the widow, who by 23 Sep 1691 had married Samuel Hawley

viii. Temperance Nichols b. 17 May 1662 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 1714 Stratford; m. 17 Apr 1688 in Stratford to Samuel Hubbell (b. 6 Nov 1657 in Guilford, New Haven, CT – d. 18 Sep 1713 in Stratford) Samuel’s brother John married Temperance’s sister Patience. Their parents were Richard Hubbell (1626 – ) and Elizabeth Meigs (1635 -1664) Samuel first married Elizabeth Wilson who died 20 Jan 1688. Temperance and Samuel had ten children born between 1689 and 1702.

ix. Benjamin Nichols b. 2 Feb 1666 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 1715 Stratford; m. 1700 in Stratford to Abigail [__?__] (b. 1667 – d. 1711)

x. Elizabeth Nichols b. 2 Apr 1668 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 15 Feb 1718 Stratford; m. 9 Jul 1691 in Fairfield, Fairfield, CT to Joseph Webb (b. 10 May 1666 in Boston, Suffolk, Mass. – d. 12 Sep 1732 in Fairfield, Fairfield, CT):

11. Caleb Nichols

Caleb was born about 1623, but apparently baptized at some location other than Sedgeberrow. Thompson’s article says he is the Caleb Nichols who m. Anne Ward and d. at Fairfield Ct.

Caleb’s wife Anne Ware was born about 1620 in England. Her parents were Andrew Ward (1597 – 1660) and Hester Sherman (1606 – 1666). Anne died 6 Jul 1718 in Woodbury, Litchfield, Connecticut.

Caleb and Ann had 13 children.

In Stratford, he was selected a “Townsman,” and in December 1661 Caleb Nichols and two other Townsmen represented the town of Stratford in the purchase of a large tract of land from the Paugussett Indians. Part of this land later became the site of the large “Nichols Farm” owned by his son Abraham, and today it is the village of Nichols just north of Stratford.

Nichols Farms is a historic area within the town of Trumbull, Connecticut. The Nichols Farms Historic District, which encompasses part of the area, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally the area was entirely a part of Stratford (settled in 1639) and was governed by Stratford for eighty six years before a separate village was organized.  Hence, all of Nichols Farms early public records are intermingled with and identified as Stratfordrecords. Nichols was named for the family who maintained a farm in its center. It was first organized as the village of Unity in 1725. The village of Unity (later called North Stratford) continued for seventy two years before the privileges of a town were granted in 1797.

File:Clark's 1867 Map Nichol's Farms.JPG

Clark’s Map of Nichol’s Farms in 1867

The Nichols Farms Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 20 1987,  and included 104 acres , 81 contributing buildings, one contributing site and one contributing object. The buildings listed on the registry are located close to the green with addresses of Center Road, 1681-1944 Huntington Turnpike, 5-34 Priscilla Place and 30-172 Shelton Road. The 81 buildings are mostly private residences situated on two main roads in a village setting and represent all of the periods of Connecticut domestic architecture from the early 18th century to the present.

In 1661, the Stratford selectmen voted to allow all inhabitants the liberty of taking up a whole division of land anywhere they could find fit planting ground as long as it was not within two miles of the town meeting house and they were prohibited from making it their dwelling place without consent. Elder Phillip Groves, Captain William Curtiss and Lt. Joseph Judson, early farmers in Nichols Farms, were named to a committee to lay out the land as they saw fit. The common land in Nichols Farms was divided to individuals beginning in 1670 as a part of the three-mile or woods division and continued up to 1800.

Mischa Hill, located in the geographic center of Nichols Farms, was first called Lt. Joseph Judson’s Farm or Old Farm in the land records and was the first area within Trumbull to be farmed and settled. The first landowners were among the first settlers to arrive at Stratford namely; Richard Booth, Zachariah Bostick, Lt. Paul Brinsmaid, John Curtiss, Benjamin Curtiss, Joseph Curtiss, Captain William Curtiss, Ebenezer Curtiss, Zachariah Curtiss, Joseph Fairchild, Elder Philip Groves, Mr. Joseph Hawley (Captain), Samuel Hawley, Ephraim Hawley, Lt. Joseph Judson, Jeremiah Judson, Isaac Judson, Caleb Nichols, his son Abraham Nichols, Samuel Uffoot and Reverend Zachariah Walker.


Caleb Nichols was involved in the first major conflict between dissident factions in the Stratford church in 1665, siding with a group who favored the “half-way covenant.” The half-way covenant, announced by the fourth Synod in Boston in 1662, would allow children whose parents had not converted to Puritanism to be baptized but not receive communion.

The Stratford Congregational Church, however, held to the original rule that required both parents to convert to Puritanism before their child could be baptized or receive communion.

Caleb’s group split off and formed a new church in 1670, originally called the Second Congregational Church of Stratford.  In 1673, 17 families from the second church moved about 25 miles north and formed the town of Woodbury, but they were forced to return to Stratford two years later for protection during King Philip’s War against the colonists.

By 1676, the Woodbury pioneers began to return with more members, including Caleb Nichols and his family. His youngest child John was baptized there in March 1675/76 . Caleb died there in 1690, age about 66. His will was dated 14 Aug 1690. His widow Anne was nearly 90 when she died in Woodbury in 1718

Children of Caleb and Anne:

i. Esther Nichols b. 18 Feb 1652 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 11 Nov 1682 New London, CT; m. 5 May 1680 in Stratford to John Valentine Prentice (b. 6 May 1628 in Chelmsford, Essex, England – d. 1691 in New London, New London, CT) John’s parents were Valentine Prentice (1599 – 1633) and Alice Bredda (1609 – 1643). Esther and John had one son Valentine (b. 1680)

Another possibility is that Esther was born to an earlier wife of Caleb in 1635 in Fairfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut Colony. It could be they married 1652 in Roxbury, Massachusetts and had twelve children born between 1652 and 1676 including their oldest son John Prenticde, (b. 06 Aug 1652, New London, New London, CT; d. 21 Mar 1714, New London, New London, CT) m1. Esther Nichols (b. 18 Feb 1653); m2. 23 Nov 1675, New London, New London, CT to Sarah Jones (b. 19 Apr 1654, Boston – d.. 14 Apr 1733, New London, New London CT)

ii. Sarah Nichols b. 1 Dec 1651 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 23 Jul 1718 Stratford; m. 20 Oct 1674 in Stratford to Moses Wheeler (b. 5 Jul 1651 in Stratford – d. 30 Jan 1724 in Stratford) Moses’ parents were Moses Wheeler Sr. ( – 1698) and Miriam Hawley (1620 – 1690). Sarah and Moses had eight children born between 1677 and 1687 in Stratford.

iii. Ann Nichols b. 5 Mar 1653 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 1700 Stratford

iv. Joseph Nichols b. 25 Dec 1656 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 25 Jun 1691 Booth Hills, Fairfield, CT; m. 13 Dec 1678 in Stratford to Hannah Hawley (b. 26 May 1657 in Stratford – d. 3 Jun 1726 in Windsor, Hartford, CT) Hannah’s parents were Capt. Joseph Hawley (1603 – 1690) and Catherine Birdsey ( – 1692)

Alternatively, The Hawley Record, compiled and published by Elias Sill Hawley, 1890 Genealogical Note #11, page 441 Hannah Hawley, daughter of Capt. Joseph Hawley (1603 – 1690) married  Joseph’s cousin Josiah Nichols, son of Isaac, son of Sergt Francis Nichols, one of the first and most prominent families in Stratford, CT. Josiah Nichols died about twelve years after marriage, and his widow, Hannah, married John Wolcott, of Windsor, CT, the Wolcott family being the most prominent of any in that, one of the first towns in the Colony of Connecticut.

v. Samuel Nichols b. 29 Mar 1658 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 1691 Woodbury, CT; m1. Mary Bowers (b. 1665 in New Haven, New Haven, CT – d. 9 Jun 1736 in Derby, New Haven, CT); or m1. Susan [__?__] ( – d. 1658); m2. 1685 to Susan Fairchild (1660 – )

Samuel and Susan had two children Josiah (b. 1687) and Andrew (b. 1689)

vi. Andrew Nichols b. 28 Nov 1659 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 1690 or 1704 Woodbury, Litchfield, CT

vii. Abraham Nichols b. 29 Jan 1662 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 1708 Woodbury, Litchfield, CT; m. 3 Dec 1684 in Norwalk, Fairfield, CT to Rachel Kellogg (b. Feb 1663 in Norwalk, Fairfield, Ct – d. 1703 in Nichols Farms, Trumbull, CT); Rachel’s parents were Daniel Kellogg (1630 – ) and Bridget Bouton (1642 – 1689). Abraham and Rachel had nine children born between 1685 and 1703. m2. 1708 to Sarah Rogers (b. 5 Oct 1665 in Milford, New Haven, CT -d. 24 Jun 1735 in Woodbury, Litchfield, CT)

Abraham Nichols was one of the first residences in Trumbell, Fairfield, CT

Abraham Nichols was  tone of the first residences in Trumbell, Fairfield, CT

It was previously thought that Abraham Nichols made the first permanent settlement within Trumbull, Fairfield, CT around 1690 or 1700, depending on the source, and that others soon followed venturing into the wilderness to establish mills, churches, and schools. Abraham Nichols landholdings were said to total 1,000 acres  with much of it remaining in the Nichols family for over two centuries. The last of the line was Florence Nichols who married George Woods in 1903. Soon after their deaths in 1973 and 1972 respectively, the property was deeded to the Nichols Methodist Church from whom the town of Trumbull purchased it in 1974. This tract was then known as the Woods Estate and is now the home of the Trumbull Historical Society Recent research has determined that Nichols holdings actually were around 285 acres of land of which 55 acres remains as open space today.

According to Walter Nicholls, who wrote the History of the Nichols family in 1909, Abraham did not accompany his father to Woodbury in 1673, but remained in Trumbull to oversee the plantation. However, since Abraham was only eleven at the time (born 1662), it is likely that he did remove to Woodbury with his family and returned to Trumbull between 1696 and 1700.

Walter Nicholls colorful description of the Nichols homestead;

About 1700 Abraham Nicholls erected for himself a homestead upon his lordly domain, and which, according to the description vouchsafed by persons now living, who chanced to view it while yet standing in the early part of the nineteenth century, was an immense gambrel-roofed structure of a rambling style of architecture, situated upon an eminence, affording an unobstructed vista of the surrounding landscape and at the southward, about four miles distant, the shimmering bosom of Long Island Sound.There it stood for decades, without a neighboring habitation within a circuit of several miles; while the sepulchral quietude of its surroundings was rarely broken, even by the echo of a sound adequate to dispel the day dreams, or waken the nocturnal slumbers of its peaceful inhabitants, save that of the casual lowing of kine, the appealing cadence of the whop-poor-will at nightfall, or the grewsome howling of wolves. . . .It is a subject of profound regret on the part of many of the descendents of Abraham Nicholls that neither his will nor the inventory of his estate can be found of record.

According to Stratford land records, Abraham Nichols purchased several old farms and large parcels of land in 1696. Nichols exchanged his land for 22 acres  of Lt. Joseph Judsons old farm which had a barn on it, 54 acres   or half the land owned by Jeremiah Judson, and 19 acres   of land from Benjamin Curtiss.  These transactions are described in the land records as being located at or near the Old farmJudson’s farm’s or Lt. Joseph Judson farm. Furthermore, in 1699, Lt. Ebenezer Curtiss recorded 15 acres   of land from the three-mile division that was bounded west with Lt. Joseph Judson’s farm, now belonging to Abraham Nichols. This deed confirms that Nichols purchased Judson’s old farm, established in 1658, and was not the first to settle the area. 

In 1704, Nichols purchased Reverend Zachariah Walker’s entire farm which was 36 acres  in size. In 1708, Nichols bought 5 acres known as Mischa Hill Meadow from Joseph Fairchild and in 1715 he added 1 acre  from Captain John Hawley. These three large farms when combined with Nichols own division land and other parcels, totaled around 285 acres of land. Some of the old farms, about 54 acres , remain as open space today.

viii. Abigail Nichols b. 6 Feb 1664 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 4 Jan 173 Woodbury, Litchfield, CT; m. 25 Jun 1685 in Stratford to William Seaborn Martin (b. 1653 in New Haven, New Haven, CT -d. 4 Jul 1715 in Woodbury, Litchfield, CT) William’s parents were Samuel Martin (1613 – 1683) and Phebe Bisby ( – 1709). Abigail and William had four children born between 1691 and 1704.

ix. Hannah Nichols b. 6 Aug 1666 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 1706

x. Caleb Nichols b. Feb 1668 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT; d. 14 Apr 1706 Woodbury, Fairfield, CT

xi. Phebe Nichols b. 12 Nov 1671 in Woodbury, Litchfield, CT; d. 1732 Milford, New Haven, CT; m1. 28 Dec 1697 in Woodbury to Isaac Knell (b. Feb 1655 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT – d. 2 Nov 1708 in Old Congregational Burying Ground, Stratford) Isaac’s parents were Nicholas Knell (1625 – 1675) and Elizabeth Newman (1623 – 1645)

m2.17 Oct 1712 Age: 40 Milford, New Haven, CT to Ensign George Clark (b. 5 Mar 1648 in Milford, New Haven, CT – d. 19 July 1734 in Milford) George first married Deborah Gold (1660 – 1697) Deborah died four days after the birth of a daughter, Silence. The infant died the same day and they were probably buried together.

Deborah’s father Maj Nathan Gold (1623 – 1694) was the richest inhabitant with the most land in Fairfield by 1670. For many years, he served as assistant to the Governor of the Colony of Conn. & deputy to the General Court in Hartford representing Fairfield. He was one of the nineteen petitioners name in the Charter of Connecticut. On behalf of Fairfield he signed a land grant between the Indians and Fairfield for a tract of land between Fairfield and Stratford. He was a member of the Committee on Defense against the Dutch and was a reprsentative to the First Colonial Congress in New York in 1690.

Deborah’s brother Nathan Gold Jr. (1663 – 1723) served the Connecticut Colony in various offices, becoming Deputy Governor and in 1712 Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.”

Ensign George Clark Bio

Ensign George Clark Bio

xii. Mary Nichols b. 1673 in Woodbury, Litchfield, CT; d. 2 Apr 1733 Derby, New Haven, CT; m. 20 Jan 1691 in Derby, New Haven, CT to Joseph Hull (b. 16 Feb 1669 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT – d. 5 Oct 1744 in Derby) Joseph’s parents were Dr. John Hull (1640 – ) and Mary Beach (1642 -1686). Mary and Joseph had eight children born between 1692 and 1709. After Mary died, John married 17 Nov 1735 in Derby to Hannah Botsford (b. 30 Apr 1674 in Milford, New Haven, CRT -d. 1738 in Derby), widow of John Prindle.

The ancient records of Connecticut show that Joseph served as Ensign, Lieutenant and Captain of the Derby train band, and that for years 1710, 1713 and 1716 he represented said town of Derby in the General Court.

xiii. John Nichols b. 12 Nov 1676 in Woodbury, Litchfield, CT; d. 24 Apr 1727 Woodbury; m. 13 Nov 1705 in Woodbury to Jane Bostwick (b. 13 Apr 1680 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT – d. 1734 in Woodbury) John and Jane had seven children born between 1707 and 1724 in Woodbury, CT.


John Nichols is identified as a son of Francis Nichols in Samuel Orcott’s 1886 History of Stratford. Samuel Orcutt’s 1886 “A History of the old town of Stratford and the city of Bridgeport, Vol. 2” at Google Books

The Nichols Improvement Association, a private trust, established in 1889 to beautify and improve Nichols Farm The green in Nichols Farms, known as Nichols Green or N.I.A. Green.

Hubbell Genealogy  By : Hubbell, Walter Publication: New York, J.H. Hubbell & Co., 1988

History of the Old Town of Stratford and the City of Bridgeport, 1886 By: Rev. Samuel B. Orcutt Fairfield County Historical Society,

History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield  By: Jacobus, Daniel Lines, MA Publication: 1930 

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11 Responses to Francis Nichols

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  6. Mark Nichols says:

    Francis Nichols is my ancestor too…
    My Family tree ended up in Nova Scotia as Loyalists around 1783. This was through Sarah Nichols and her sons who moved to Nova Scotia after her husband died from exposure in New York after trying to flee when captured as a Loyalist.)
    Pretty interesting.

    Mark Nichols

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  8. Mark E. Dixon says:

    Please note that it was Francis, widower of Frances Wilmarke Nichols, who married Ann Wines in 1645 — not Frances, who was dead and a woman. (No same-gender marriage in those days.) Easy mistake to make. I know that you know the difference, but others might become confused on a quick read.

  9. Barb Duff says:

    I am trying to find out who the parents were for a Francis “Fanny” Nichols who married William McFarland at Kars in Queens County, New Brunswick. I would appreciate any information you may have. It is said that she came from Ireland but not positive.

  10. This is a really interesting piece of information. Thank you for sharing this.

  11. tnick82 says:

    My ancestors are Nichols and I have traced them back as far as Cyprian Nichols Sr. who was born 1642 in Essex England and died 1698 in Hartford, Connecticut. But I can’t get farther than him. I’m wondering if he could somehow be apart of the Francis Nichols family.

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