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Thomas Betts

Male Abt 1618 - Bef 1688  (~ 70 years)


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  • Name Thomas Betts  [1, 2, 3
    Born Abt 1618  England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 4, 5
    Gender Male 
    Died Bef 4 Dec 1688  Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 6, 7
    • date of inventory
    Notes 
    • Thomas Betts, the ancestor of the American family, was born in England in 1618, and coming to America as early as 1639, being then but twenty-one years of age, he became one of the founders of Guilford, in Connecticut. No record has been found of the ship in which he landed.
      The first record of him is also the earliest of any kind in the town records. It is found in Book A, page 1, of 'the "Court Record" in Guilford, under date of August 11th, 1645, where it is said that "Mr. Samuel Disbrow, Richard Bristow and Thomas Betts, members of the church, and Tho. French, planter, took their oath." His wife Mary may have come with him from England, as there is no record of his marriage in this country; but as his first child was born in 1644, and as there were no records kept in Guilford between 1639 and that date, he very likely married during this period.
      The home lot and fifty acres of outland fell to Thomas Betts, "as the lands of Guilford, were first divided, whether by lot, or otherwise upon requests of particular persons." This shows that he was at Guilford at the first division of lands and allocation of house lots in 1640 ; and that he was one of the forty "original planters" who founded the town in 1639. Smith says that he came from Milford in that year; though Lambert says he came from Wethersfield. His name does not appear among the signers of the "Guilford Plantation Covenant," which was made at sea on June 1st, 1639; and he must, therefore, have come overland to join the colonists.
      On November 17th, 1657, he sold his "outlands" to Henry Kingsnorth ; and three days later he sold his "home lot" to George Highland. He resided in Milford, Connecticut, from about this date until 1660. In 1660 he purchased the "home lots" of Nathaniel Eli and of Ralph Keeler, in the town of Norwalk. One half of the land thus purchased from Eli was sold by Mr. Betts to Christopher Comstock on January 27th, 1661. In the records of 1661 he is described as " a planter inhabiting in Norwalke." The General Assembly, on October 13th, 1664, voted to accept him as a freeman of the town in the following May, Thomas Betts first appears on the list of " freemen," or voters, on October 11th, 1669. His taxable estate was valued in 1671 at £146.10s.; and in the following year, February 10th, 1672, he appears in the census with the largest family in the town, consisting of eight children. The name of Thomas Betts appears in May, 1672, at the head of a list of fourteen residents of Norwalk, who petitioned for and received a grant of land " for the beginning of a plantation near the back side of Norwalk." The plantation was afterwards know as Wilton, where many of his descendants lived. The names of those who joined him in this enterprise included Thomas Benedict, Walter Hoyte and Mark Sension (St. John). Mr. Betts, however, still continued his residence in Norwalk.
      Two years before his death, "on December 24th, 1686, the town did vote Thomas Betts, Senr., to be "seated in the Round Seat." The "round seat" was nothing more than a prominent position in church. But the privilege of occupation was conferred by the town upon those esteemed most worthy of respect. In this poor community of "planters," then numbering only about seventy heads of families, of whom our ancestor and his sons and sons-in-law themselves made one-tenth, there was no greater honor to confer. The church was the centre of their life. Further from the home of their childhood, in length and peril of journey, than the utmost corner of the earth now is from us, they had made new homes in the wilderness; and separated for conscience sake from all tho dignities of the world they had deserted, they wisely kept their thoughts and hopes within the narrow horizon of daily life, and conferred their petty dignities with due solemnity.
      Nor were the doings of these men in any sense ignoble. Each one who crossed the ocean to found a city here performed an act of heroism, and is worthy of all honor. Each hamlet along the coast was a post of danger. Every village was a stockade fort, and every man a soldier who mounted guard in turn, and felled the forest or ploughed the field with his arms beside him,
      In 1688, two years alter the event above recorded, " Thomas Betts, planter, of Norwalke," departed this life full of years and honors, " aged seventy years or thereabouts. He was buried in Norwalk. In a power of attorney from Richard Raymond (of Salem, Massachusetts, 1634), dated in 1677, he is named " my well-beloved brother Thomas Betts, of Norwalk.*'
      Mary Betts, the widow of Thomas Betts, survived him many years. No record has been found of her death; but the records show that she survived her husband at least thirty-five years. As her first child was born in 1644, and she was then presumably twenty years of age, she must have reached the ago of one hundred when the last vote of land was made to her by Norwalk in 1724.
      The children of Thomas Betts and Mary his wife, were as follows:
      Thomas Betts, born in Guilford, 1644; died 1717.
      Mary Betts, born in Guilford, 1646.
      John Betts, born in Guilford, June 20,1650; married Sarah___; died about 1730.
      Thomas Betts, born in Guilford, 1644; died 1717.
      Hannah Betts, bom in Guilford, November 22d, 1652 ;
Stephen Botts, born in Guilford, May 10th, 1655; died before 1672.
Daniel Betts, bom in Guilford, October 4th, 1657; died February 8, 1768.
Samuel Betts, bom in Milford, April 4th, 1660 ; died after 1730.
James Betts; bom in Norwalk early in 1663; died July 6, 1753.
      Sarah Betts; married Joseph St. John, March 5th, 1695-6.

      Lived in Guilford, Conn. 1650 and Norwalk, Conn. 1664.

      [Born 3 Dec 1615, West Peckham, Kent, England, died Norwalk, CT] [2, 3, 8]
    Person ID I13408  Mindrum
    Last Modified 21 Aug 2016 

    Family Mary,   b. Abt 1624,   d. Abt 1724, Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 100 years) 
    Children 
     1. Thomas Betts, Jr.,   b. 1644, Guilford, New Haven, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 25 Dec 1717, Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age < 73 years)
     2. Mary Betts,   b. 1646, Guilford, New Haven, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1695, Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 49 years)
     3. John Betts,   b. Jun 1650, Guilford, New Haven, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 3 Jun 1730, Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 79 years)
     4. Hannah Betts,   b. 22 Nov 1652, Guilford, New Haven, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1688  (Age < 35 years)
     5. Stephen Betts,   b. 10 May 1655, Guilford, New Haven, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1655, Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. Daniel Betts,   b. 4 Oct 1657, Guilford, New Haven, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Feb 1758, Wilton, Fairfield, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 100 years)
     7. Samuel Betts,   b. 4 Apr 1660, Milford, New Haven, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 12 Nov 1734  (Age < 74 years)
     8. James Betts,   b. Abt 1663, Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Jul 1753, Wilton, Fairfield, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 90 years)
     9. Sarah Betts,   b. Abt 1664, Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 10 Jul 2015 
    Family ID F9328  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Documents
    Betts, Thomas - Will
    Betts, Thomas - Will

  • Sources 
    1. [S175] Samuel E. Raymond, Raymond Genealogy, Descendants of Richard Raymond, Vol. 1, Part 1, (1969, Seattle, Washington).

    2. [S3761] Alvan Talcott, Families of Early Guilford, Conn., (Genealogical Pub. Co. 1984), p. 73.

    3. [S1704] C. Wyllys Betts, Thomas Betts, of Guilford and Norwalk, and his descendants, (Genealogical Society of Utah, 2007).

    4. [S8492] Thomas Betts Will and Inventory, Fairfield Connecticut Probate Vol. 3, p. 258, 258a, 259, will says aged 70 or thereabout.

    5. [S1704] C. Wyllys Betts, Thomas Betts, of Guilford and Norwalk, and his descendants, (Genealogical Society of Utah, 2007), p. 3.

    6. [S8492] Thomas Betts Will and Inventory, Fairfield Connecticut Probate Vol. 3, p. 258, 258a, 259.

    7. [S1704] C. Wyllys Betts, Thomas Betts, of Guilford and Norwalk, and his descendants, (Genealogical Society of Utah, 2007), p. 14.

    8. [S531] Ancestry Public Tree, Nelson Family Tree, www.ancestry.com.