The first Wolcott family in the American colonies was that of Henry Wolcott of Tolland, Somerset, and his wife, Elizabeth Saunders, who emigrated to America in 1630. Henry was the son of John Wolcott, Jr. of Tolland, Somerset, son of John Wolcott of Tolland, son of Thomas Wolcott who was living at Tolland in 1525.
Henry, his wife, and three of their sons sailed from Plymouth on the Mary and John . They arrived in Dorchester MA 31 May 1630. Their two daughters and youngest son arrived a few years later. Henry settled at Windsor CT in 1636. He was a member of the CT House of Delegates in 1637 and years following, and was a member of the House of Magistrates from 1643 until his death. Henry and his wife, Elizabeth Saunders Wolcott, both died in 1665, and are buried in the churchyard of the First Congregational Church at Windsor CT.
From WOLCOTT Family History (http://www.ku.edu/heritage/cousin/wolcott.html)
Source of Info: Wolcott Genealogy by Chandler Wolcott, Rochester, NY, 1912.
Henry Wolcott came to MA during the reign of Charles I; later went to CT to help found Windsor, CT; brought wife and 3 sons, left younger son and 2 daughters in England (with older son?); member of 1st General Assembly of CT 1637; magistrate 1643; resided in Boston 1630. 9th ggf of Gordon Fisher "XV. Henry Wolcott (the emigrant), who conveyed the manor-house to his son Henry." (Somerby's list, Boardman p 312-4. Boardman says, p 312: "Through the researches of Mr. Somerby, of Boston, in the *Herald's* office, among the subsidy rolls, wills, and parish records of England, the genealogy of Henry Wolcott, Esquire (the emigrant), has been traced through fifteen generations. back to Sir John Wolcott, knight, as follows:". Each entry in this list has here been placed in its appropriate place in the tree, with its corresponding Roman numeral. "HENRY WOLCOTT, son of John Wolcott of Tolland, England, and descended from an ancient family of position and wealth, was baptized December 6, 1578, in the Parish of Lydiard St. Laurence. [Footnote: Authorities on the Wolcott family are *The Wolcott Memorial* and Stiles's *History of Windsor*.] He removed to New England with his wife and several children, in March, 1630. He was one of the first twenty-four freemen of Dorchester, Mass., and received grants of land there as early as April, 1633, and probably before; and was Selectman in 1634. He was one of those most interested in the Connecticut settlement, and removed to Windsor in 1636, as one of the original proprietors. In the year following he took an active part in the earliest legistlative proceedings of the new Colony; was elected a Magistrate in 1643, and continued to hold this office until his death, May 30, 1655. Mr. Stiles, the historian of Windsor, says of him:--- "He was probably, after the pastor, the most distinguished man in Windsor." (P) In speaking of the life and public services of Henry Wolcott, Mr. Hollister, in his *History of Connecticut*, says:--- "In the 78th year of his age, but with a judgment unclouded, and his usefulness unimpaired, the venerable Henry Wolcott, one of the principal magistrates and advisers of the colony, quickly followed his comrade (Haynes) to the grave. I cannot help making a brief mention of him, and yet were I to speak at any considerable length of all the bright examples of patriotism and exalted worth that have borne the name of Wolcott in Connecticut, I should find this work extending itself beyond the limits that I have marked out for it." (P) "Henry Wolcott, Esquire, ther ancestor of all the Wolcotts of this State, was of a very ancient family, and the owner of a large estate in Somersetshire. He was born in Tolland, on the 6th of December, 1578, and was the son and heir of John Wolcott of Galdon Manor. The manor-house is still standing, and is of very great antiquity and extent. It was originally a splendid mansion, designed as well for the purposes of defense against the excesses of a lawless age, as for a permanent family residence. It is still richly ornamented with carved work, and if left to itself unassailed by the hand of violence, it will stand for ages. The familiar motto of the family arms, borrowed from the Roman poet, is still to be seen upon the walls of the manor-house, its bold words informing us that the family who have adopted it as their text of life were "accustomed to swear in the words of no master." It is alike in keeping with the independent spirit of an English gentleman of the middle ages, and with that of a Puritan of the 17th century who spurned the dictation of ecclesiastical dominion." (P) "In his early life Henry Wolcott lived after the manner of the landed gentry, at an era when the term "country squire" was synonymous with whatever was bold, athletic, and hardy in the steeplechasing, hospitable days of "merry England." But as the years stole on, and the principles of the Reformation, making little progress at first, began to invade not only the wrestling-ring of the yeoman and the counting-room of the merchant, but the hall of the county-gentleman, Wolcott, among others, was led to direct his thoughts to more serious topics than the pastimes that had engrossed his earlier manhood. While meditations respecting a future state of being occupied his mind, a religious teacher, Mr. Edward Elton, became his guide, and led him to that clear understanding of the doctrines of Christianity, and those firm convictions of its truth, that remained with him to the day of his death. Of an ardent temperament and lively sensibilities, and seeing that much needed to be reformed in the severities practiced upon so many of the best subjects of the realm, he soon became identified with the Puritan party, sold a large estate in lands, including the manor-house, for which he received about eight thousand pounds sterling, probably much less than its value, and made preparations to spend the remainder of his days in America. In 1628 he visited New England to examine the country, and returned. His sympathetic nature could not fail to attach itself inseparably to the self-accusing, though charitable, Wareham, and he sailed with him for the new world in the same ship, and arrived in Massachusetts in May, 1630. Roger Ludlow was of the same party. Wolcott remained in Dorcherster until 1636, when he removed to Windsor upon the Connecticut river. He was, as most of our best inhabitants were, a planter, and was the principal one in Windsor. He was a member of the General Court of Connecticut in 1639." (P) "In 1643 he was chosen into the magistract, and continued to be one of its most safe and immovable pillars till his death in 1655. His monument of imperishable sandstone, built by the same hands that fashioned the one that stands over the Fenwick tomb at Saybrook, has always been a shrine to tempt towards it the feet of his numerous descendants, who have piously guarded it and lovingly adorned it for two hundred years. Time has spared, and the gray moss not obliterated, the quaint and simple epitaph, whose plain lettering tells us that it is the resting place of "Henry Wolcott, some time a magistrate of this jurisdiction." --- William F. J. Boardman, *The Ancestry of William Francis Joseph Boardman, Hartford, Connecticut*, 1906, p 308-311. Boardman lists the children of Henry Wolcott and Elizabeth Saunders as follows (p 312): "I. John, bap. Oct. 1, 1607; d. without issue in Eng. after 1631 and before 1655. II. Anna, m. Oct. 16, 1646, Matthew Griswold of Windsor and Saybrook. III. Henry [see under HENRY (2) WOLCOTT]. IV. George, m. Elizabeth Treat, and d. Feb. 12, 1662. Res. Wethersfield. V. Christopher, d. unm. Sept. 7, 1662. VI. Mary, m. June 25, 1646, Job Drake of Windsor, and d. Sept. 16, 1689. VII. Simon, b. abt. 1625; m. 1st, Mch. 19, 1657, Joanna, dau. of Aaron Cook, who d. Apr. 27, 1657; 2nd, Oct. 17, 1661, Martha Pitkin, who m. 2nd, Daniel Clarke, and d. Oct. 13, 1719, ae. 80. He d. Sept. 11, 1687." "HENRY WOLCOTT (1636), from Dorchester, had a lot granted to him ten rods wide. His children were born in England. Both himself and wife died, 1655. Of his sons, Henry had a lot granted to him twelve rods wide. He married Sarah, daughter of Thomas Newberry, 1641, and had three sons and two daughters. After the death of his brother Christopher he had his father's homestead. He died, 1680. Christopher had a lot granted to him six rods wide. He had no family, and died, 1662. His brother Simon had his place. George removed to Wethersfield. Simon married first a daughter of Aaron Cook in 1657. She died a month after, and he married Martha Pitkin, "late from England." 1661. He had three sons and three daughters. He lived first on the richard Whitehead place; second, on his brother Christopher's place. He removed to Simsbury previous to King Philip's War, and he then removed to the east side of the Great River." --- Jabez H Hayden, "Early Windsor Families," in *THe Memorial History of Hartford County, Connecticut, 1633-1884, ed J Hammond Trumbull, v. 2, 1886, p 560 "The register of the parish of *Lidiard St. Lwrence*, adjoining that of Tolland, contains the following: "HENRY, ye sonne of John Wolcott, was baptized the VI of December, 1578"; and "HENRY Wolcott & Elizabeth Saunders [of Lydiard St. Laurence, b. 1584], were married 19 January, 1606." (P) Henry Wolcott, whose m. and bp. are thus recorded, was the emigrant to Windsor, Conn. As the second son of John Wolcott, of Galdon Manor, Tolland, Co. Somerset, Eng., he held a fair position among the landed gentry, and an estate which placed him in affluent circumstances.
By the decease of his elder bro. Christopher, intestate, 1639, the family estate, including the manor-house, mill, etc., also came into his possession after his removal to America. The earlier portion of his life was passed in the quiet pursuit of a country squire's duties and responsibilities: but, becoming converted under the teaching of the Rev. John Elton, he soon found himself closely identified with the Puritan party in the religious and political revolution which then convulsed England. America presented to him, as to hundreds of others like-minded, the only asylum where civil and religious freedom could be found; and, though then past 52 years of age, and with children of an age when they most needed the social and educational advantages afforded in their native land, --- to emigrate to a new home beyond the ocean. Taking their three sons, and leaving them behind them for a time two daughters and their youngest son (ae. 5), they joined the Warham and Maverick emigration of 1630, on the 19th of October in which yr. we find Henry Wolcott's name as one of the first list of freemen of Boston. He rem. from Dorchester to W. in 1635; in 1637 was elected a member of the lower house of the first Gen'l Assembly of Conn.; in 1640 stands first in a list of the inhabitants of W.; in 1643 was elected to the House of Magistrates (the present Senate) of Conn., and was annually re-elected during life, and was probably, after the pastor, the most distinguished citizen of W.; the younger ch. who had been left behind, rejoined the family between 1631 and 1641. He d. May, 1655; his wid. d. on July 5, same year. His estate was inventoried at #764 [pounds], 8s., 10d., not a large sum for one who is known to have sold about #8,000 worth of estate in Eng. preparatory to removing to America, and illustrating the remark of the historian Trumbull, that "many of the adventurers expended more, in making settlements in Conn., than all the lands and buildings were worth, after all the improvements which they had made upon them." [Hist. Conn., i, 117] Mrs. Wolcott wa adm. to W. Ch. Apl., 1640. ... In the ancient "Family Chronologie" it is recorded of Henry Wolcott and his wife, that "these both dyed in hope and Ly buried under one Tomb in Windsor." Ch.: 1. John, bp. 1 Oct. 1607; living in England 1631; d. without issue, in Eng., previous to date of his father's will, 1655. 2. Anna. came over to Am. between 1631 and 1641; m. 16 Oct. 1646, Matthew Griswold of W., afterwards of Saybrook. 3. Henry, b. 21 Jan., 1610/11. [see under Henry (2) WOLCOTT] 4. George [see under George WOLCOTT], b. --- 5. Christopher, came to Am. with his father, 1630; rec'd by will his father's homestead in W.; d. unmarried 7 Sept., 1662; by his (nuncupative) will, est. divided among his brothers and sisters, Henry being the chief legatee. 6. Mary, m. 25 June, 1646, Job Drake of W.; both d. 16 Sept., 1689. [see under Mary WOLCOTT] 7. Simon, b. betw. 11 Sept., 1684, and 11 Sept., 1635." --- Henry R. Stiles, *Genealogies and Biographies of Ancient Windsor, Connecticut*, vol. 2, 1892, p. 799-800 "[p. 34] HENRY WOLCOTT, who emigrated from England and was the ancestor of the family in this country of which a record is given here, was the second son of John Wolcott of Tolland in Somersetshire, England, and was baptized in the adjoining parish of Lydiard St. Lawrence, Dec 6, 1578. He m. Jan 19, 1606, Elizabeth, dau. of Thomas Saunders, of Lydiard St. Lawrence. She was baptized, Dec. 20, 1584. Children:-- (P) (1) JOHN, bap. Oct. 1, 1607, was living in England in 1631, and apparently never emigrated to this country. He had d. without issue previous to the date of his father's will in 1655. The family record makes no mention of him. (2) ANNA. She came over with her sister and youngest brother after the family had become settled; m. Oct. 16, 1646, Matthew Griswold, of Windsor. (3) HENRY b. Jan. 21, 1610/11 [see under HENRY (2) WOLCOTT]. (4) GEORGE [p. 41-2: came with his parents from England. He was made a freeman by the General Court of Connecticut, May 21, 1657, and settledin Wethersfield. His history is more obscure than that of his brothers. The names of his children are given in the Family Chronology but none of their descendants. We learn from this that he m. --- Treat, and d. at Wethersfield, Feb. 12, 1662; and from the Probate records that the Christian name of his wife was Elizabeth. Children: -- ELIZABETH, b. June 20, 1650; m. Dec. 15, 1686, Gabriel Cornish. GEORGE b Sept. 20, 1652 [p 53] m. Aug. 30, 1691, Elizabeth Curtis who d. Aug. 13, 1741. He lived in Wethersfield and d. July, 1726. [back to p. 42] JOHM. b/ Aig. 5, 1656. Nothing more is known of him except that he was living at the date of his father's death in 1662. MERCY, b. Oct. 4, 1659; was living in 1687 an invalid. [back to p.
34] (5). CHRISTOPHER. He emigrated to America with his parents and two older brothers in 1630. The family homestead in Windsor was bequeathed to him by his father. He d. unm. Sept 7, 1662. ... (6) MARY. She m. June 25, Job Drake of Windsor. She and her husband d. the same day, Sept. 16, 1689. ..... (7) SIMON, b. between Sept. 11, 1624, and Sept. 11, 1625. [p. 42] was but five years old when his father emigrated to America. He remained in England with his two sisters until the family had effected a settlement in this country; they came over within ten years after, but the exact time of their arrival we have not been able to ascertain. He was admitted a freeman in 1654. He m. (1st) March 19, 1657, Joanna, dau. of Aaron Cook, one of the first settlers of Windsor; she was b. Aug. 5, 1638. Her married life was brief; she d. Apr 27, 1657. He m. (2nd) Oct. 17, 1661, Martha Pitkin described in the Windsor Records as "late from England." --- Chandler Wolcott, *Wolcott Genealogy: The Family of Henry Wolcott, One of the First Settlers of Windsor, Connecticut*, Rochester NY (The Genesee Press) 1912 From same, p 16: "The old "Famely Chronologie, 1691," has this entry respecting the parents, Henry and Elizabeth Wolcott: "This happie pair were married About ye year 1606. He came to New England about the year 1628, and in the year 1630 brought over his family, to avoid the persecution of those times against dissenters." There follows a quotation from Macaulay's History of England, vol. I, p 69, 71: "Every corner of the nation was subjected to a constant and minute inspection. Every little congregation of separatists was tracked out and broken up. Even the devotions of private families could not escape the vigilance of spies. And the tribunals afforded no protection to the subjects against the civil and ecclesiastical tyranny of that period. ..... This was the conjuncture at which the liberties of England were in the greatest peril. The opponents of the government began to despair of the destiny of their country; and many looked to the American wilderness as the only asylum in which they could enjoy civil and spiritual freedom. There a few resolute Puritans, who, in the cause of their religion, feared neither the rage of the ocean nor the hardships of uncivilized life; neither the fangs of savage beasts nor the tomahawks of more savage men, --- built, amidst the primeval forest, villages which are now great and opulent cities, but which have, through every change, retained some trace of the character derived from their founders. The government regarded these infant colonies with aversion, and attempted violently to stop the stream of emigration, but could not prevent the population of New England from being largely recruited by stout-hearted and God-fearing men from every part of old England." Chandler Wolcott continues (p 16-18): "It was at this juncture that HENRY WOLCOTT left England; and no one will question his title to the character of "a resolute Puritan, --- a stout-hearted and God-fearing man." He was not an obscure adventurer, but held a fair position among the gentry in England, possessing an estate which yielded him a fair income, and his property was freely devoted to the service of the expedition which he accompanied. ..... The company of which they [he, his wife, and children Henry, George and Christopher --- 3 children were left behind temporarily] were members consisted of one hundred and forty persons; and the historian of Connecticut makes the following mention of them:" Here Chandler Wolcott quotes from Trumbull, *Hist. Conn.*, 1.23: "In one of the first ships which arrived this year  came over the Rev. Mr. John Warham, Mr. John Maverick, Mr. Rossiter, Mr. Ludlow, Mr. Henry Wolcott, and others of Mr. warham's church and congregation, who first settled the town of Windsor, in Connecticut. Mr. Rossiter and Mr. Ludlow, were magistrates. Mr. Wolcott had a fine estate, and was a man of superior abilities. This was an honorable company. Mr. Warham had been a famous minister in Exeter, the capital of the county of Devonshire. The people who came with him were from the three counties of Devonshire, Dorsetshire, and Somersetshire." Chandler Wolcott continues (p 18): "They sailed from Plymouth, in England, on the 20th of March, 1630, in the ship *Mary and John*, of four hundred tons burden, Captain Squeb, master. B4efore their embarkation, after their passage had been engaged, they were allowed the privilege of organizing themselves into an independent church. This is now the First Church in Windsor, --- the oldest in the State of Connecticut. The Barnstable and Plymouth churches, in Massachusetts, had been organized in the same way; and these three, as far as we know, are the only New England churches which had a trans-atlantic origin. (P) They arrived at Nantasket on the Lord's Day, May 30th, 1630, after a voyage of two months and ten days, and landed the next day." "HENRY [WOLCOTT] Came on "Mary and John" 1630 following earlier visit ca 1628, Dorchester (Mass.) 1630, Windsor 1636. d. Windsor 30 May 1655. Deputy. Assistant. *European and American family of Wolcott* (pamph.) 1912, *Wolcott genealogy* 1912; *Henry Wolcott of Windsor, Conn.* 1950." --- Meredith B Colket, *Founders of Early American Families*, Cleveland OH 1985, p 363
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