Our Family Genealogy Pages

Home Page  |  What's New  |  Photos  |  Histories  |  Headstones  |  Reports  |  Surnames


First/Given Name(s):


Last/Surname:



Jeffrey Ferris

Male 1604-1610 - Abt 1666  (56 years)


Personal Information    |    Media    |    Sources    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Jeffrey Ferris  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Born 1604-1610  England Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6
    Gender Male 
    Died Abt 1666  Fairfield Co., Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  [7, 8, 9, 10
    Notes 
    • ORIGIN: Unknown
      MIGRATION: 1634
      FIRST RESIDENCE: Watertown
      REMOVES: Wethersfield 1635, Stamford 1641, Greenwich by 1650, East Town 1655, Greenwich by about 1659
      CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Admission to Watertown church prior to 6 May 1635 implied by freemanship.
      FREEMAN: 6 May 1635 (second in a sequence of eight Watertown men) [MBCR 1:370].
      EDUCATION: Signed his will by mark. His inventory included "one Bible [and] 2 psalm books" valued at 6s.
      OFFICES: Connecticut petit jury, 1639 [CCCR 1:29].
      BIRTH: By about 1604 based on estimated date of marriage.
      DEATH: Greenwich 31 May 1666 [Gillespie Anc 118, Source not cited].
      MARRIAGE: (1) By about 1629 _____ _____. She died at Stamford 31 July 1658 [TAG 10:45, citing Stamford TR 1:20].
      (2) About 1659 Susanna (Norman) Lockwood, daughter of RICHARD NORMAN [GMB 2:1334-36] and widow of ROBERT LOCKWOOD (1634, Watertown} [Fairfield PR 1:65]. She died at Greenwich 23 December 1660 (recorded at Stamford) [TAG 10:118, citing Stamford TR 1:98].
      (3) By about 1662 Judith (Feake) Palmer, daughter of James Feake of London and widow of WILLIAM PALMER [NYGBR 86:211-12, and arguments presented there]. She married (3) John Bowers soon after the death of Jeffrey Ferris, for, on 9 March 1666/7, "|udah Bowers, lately widow Ferris sometimes wife to Jeffery Ferris, do openly acknowledge 1 have received in full satisfaction what was given me by my husband's will" [Fairfield PR 2:21].
      WILL: dated 6 January 1664[/57] and proved 9 March 1666/7
      INVENTORY: " taken 23, 24, 26 and 29 November 1666, totalled ," £493 6-1/4d., of which £170 was real estate: "house and lands," £170 [Fairfield PR 2:29-32].
      ESTATE: On 26 [May?] 1641, "the lands of Jeffery Ferris lying in Wethersfield.
      consisted of eight parcels. In a list of "acres of marsh and upland allowed" at Stamford in 1641, "Jeff[rey] Firries" had ten acres [TAG 10: 41, citing Stamford TR 1:6]. On 25 November 1650, "William Hallet of Grenwich" sold to "Jeffere Ferris & his heirs, all his housing & lands in Grenwich.
      In his will, dated 6 January 1664[/57] and proved 9 March 1666/7. The inventory of the estate of "Jeffrey Ferris, deceased," taken 23, 24, 26 and 29 November 1666, totaled ," £493 6-1/4d., of which £170 was real estate: "house and lands," £170 [Fairfield PR 2:29-32].

      Jeffrey Ferris, made freeman in Boston in 1635, came with the first settlers, is on the list of those who paid for the survey, and received ten acres at the first assignment of land. Savage says he was from Watertown, Mass., where he was made freeman, probably May 6, 1635, whence he came to Wethersfield. He sold his lot in Wethersfield, of 45 acres, to John Deming. He came with the first colony from Wethersfield, and in 1656 is one of the eleven Greenwich men who petitioned to be accepted under the New Haven jurisdiction. His will, found on the probate records at Fairfield, is dated Jan. 6, 1664. He wills to the four boys he brought up, ten pounds sterling a piece, if they live with any of his children until they are eighteen years old, the money then to be put out for them until they are twenty years of age. His will names also his wife Judy, son James, son Jonathan Lockwood, and Mary Lockwood, son Peter's three children, and son Joseph's two. Judy Bowers, his widow, receipts for her widow's portion, Mar. 6, 1667. His marriage contract with his wife Susannah, widow of Robert Lockwood, of date May 28, 1661, pledges certain legacies to the children of Robert Lockwood, deceased, and mortgages his Greenwich lands and "housings." He died in 1666. The name Ferris is from Leicestershire, house of Feriers, from Henry, son of Gualehelme de Feriers, to whom William the Conqueror gave large grants of land in the three shires of Stafford, Derby and Leicester. Tradition invests the emigration of this family to this country with the hues of romantic adventure—the ancestress, high born, following her plebeian lover out into this western world, to share with him here the fortunes which English aristocracy would not allow there.

      Jeffrey Ferris was born in England say about 1610, and died at Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut probably about November 1666. Various reports circulate on the lnternet giving his birthplace in England in an assortment of places, usually Leicestershire, and some of these give his father as one Richard Ferris, born in 1585. None of these reports has been confirmed or substantiated for this present compilation. As recently as 1981, a group of Ferris researchers including Capt. Jim Ferris himself was conducting research in England to determine Jeffrey Ferris' place of origin, but still without any conclusive or even encouraging results.
      He was married (at least) three times, but none of the marriages seem to have been recorded in Connecticut records. The death of his first wife, probably the mother of all of his children, was recorded at Stamford, but her name has not yet been determined. She died at Greenwich on the 31st day, 5th month (July) 1658), during the time of the epidemic of what is thought to have been malaria that claimed so many Stamford lives in that time period. The Stamford record of her death is partially lost because the original page is deteriorated, but Donald L. Jacobus transcribed the entry in 1933 as "[ ]ne wife of Jeffrey Ferris. No further identification or explanation has been found."
      The Rev. Elijah Baldwin Huntington, Stamford's first historian, while not naming Jeffrey's first wife, reported a tradition regarding her that may or may not eventually be confirmed by future researchers:
      "Tradition invests the emigration of this [Jeffrey Ferris] family to this country with the hues of romantic adventure, the ancestress, high born, following her plebian lover out into this western world, to share with him here the fortunes which English aristocracy would not allow there."
      Jeffrey married second, possibly in December 1658, Mrs. Susanna (Norman) Lockwood, born say 1615, the daughter of Richard Norman of Salem, Massachusetts, and widow of Robert Lockwood who died in Fairfield before 11 September 1658 when his inventory was taken. Robert Lockwood was at Watertown during the period 1634-1646, and the couple must have been acquainted at that time and place. She had 11 children from her first marriage, 10 of whom were living in 1658, and many of them were young enough to move to Stamford with her when she married Ferris. Susannah (Norman) (Lockwood) Ferris died at Greenwich on 23 December 1660.
      Jeffrey Ferris' third wife was Judith (Feake) Palmer, daughter of James Feake and widow of Lieutenant William Palmer. She had four young boys with her when she joined Jeffrey's household. His will set aside ten pounds apiece "to her four children that is to say this four boyes which I brought up and kept." After Jeffrey's death in 1666, she married as her third husband, John Bowers, and used his name in 1667 when receipting for her share in the settlement of Jeffrey's estate.
      He was in America by 6 May 1635 when he was made a freeman of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, presumably a resident of Watertown at the time. He joined with other Watertown residents in their establishment of Wethersfield, Connecticut, probably later in that same year of 1635. He recorded his homestead in the Wethersfield land records on 26 April 1641, prior to selling a portion to William Comstock in that same year. He continued to hold land in Wethersfield until 1645, when he disposed of the remainder of his property there to John Deming. An early Glastonbury historian found by analyzing the Wethersfield Land Records that Jeffrey Ferris owned land in the eastern portion of Wethersfield at Naubuc Farms, on the east side of the Connecticut River at what is now Glastonbury.
      In 1640-1641 he joined with those other members of the Watertown / Wethersfield party who went on to become the founders and settlers of Stamford, and his name appears on most of the surviving lists of the earliest Stamford residents. He then purchased land in Greenwich from William Hallett and moved there about 1650. His connections with both Stamford and Greenwich constituted almost a dual citizenship, considering the different jurisdictions that controlled these two towns during their infancy.

      Jeffrey Ferris was born in England about 1610. He married three times. The death of his first and unidentified wife, mother of all his children, is recorded in the Stamford Town Records, 1:20, the edge of the page being worn away so that her name is not revealed. Shortly thereafter Jeffrey married, second, Susanna, widow of Sgt. Robert Lockwood of Stamford, Conn., and daughter of Richard Norman of Salem, Massachusetts Bay Colony. Susanna died 23 Dec 1660 at Greenwich, Conn., and Jeffrey took as his third wife, Judith, widow of Lt. William Palmer of Newtown, Long Island and daughter of James and Audrey (Crompton) Feake of London, England. Jeffrey Ferris died 31 May 1666 and Judith married, third, John Bowers.
      According to "The Story of Jeffrey Ferris," by Charles P. Stautback, Jeffrey Ferris "with the first settlers at Watertown, Mass., in 1630, is on the list of those who paid for the survey and received ten acres of land on the first assignment."
      The name of "Jeffery fferris" appears on a list of freemen of Boston dated 6 May 1635. In that year a group of men from Watertown, Massachusetts Bay Colony, founded a town on the Connecticut River which they also called Watertown, the name being changed in 1636 to Wethersfield. Jeffrey Ferris drew farm No. 26 of 45 acres.
      Church controversies and a growing population in Wethersfield brought about the exodus in 1641 of a group of settlers, led by the Rev. Richard Denton, to a site purchased 1 Jul 1640 from the Indians for £33 by Capt. Nathaniel Turner as agent for the New Haven Colony. On 4 Nov 1640 that colony gave to the Wethersfield group the right to occupy the newly acquired lands provided the £33 expended by the colony was refunded. The new settlement, known first as Toquan, then Rippowam, was renamed Stamford in 1642. For his contribution of 3 bushels, 1 peck of corn toward repayment of the £33, Jeffrey Ferris was allocated 10 of the 276 total acres. He must have settled in that part which was later known as Sound Beach (now old Greenwich), a part of Greenwich. The record of the first allotment of Greenwich lands appears on page five of Greenwich Early Records. "Jeffere feris" drew lot No. 8 of the 19 distributed, no date or acreage being noted.
      By 1655 Jeffrey Ferris had, with a number of other Stamford men, started a settlement in Westchester County which they called East Town, now called Eastchester. How long Jeffrey Ferris remained at East Town before returning to Greenwich is not known. His wife's death was recorded in Stamford in the summer of 1658 and he presumably had returned by then. He was certainly back in Greenwich by 5 Feb 1664 when the "constitution" of that town was adopted.
      The inventory of the estate of Jeffrey Ferris, deceased, was taken and appraised on 23-29 Jul 1666 by Joseph Mead, Angell Husted and John Holly, representing a total value of £493:00:06, a large estate for that period. Jeffrey Ferris made his will on 6 Jan 1664. It was probated 19 Mar 1666/7.
      It is worthy of note that Jeffrey Ferris was one of the known founders of four towns: Watertown, Stamford, Greenwich and East Town (Eastchester); and perhaps also of Wethersfield. He must truly have been imbued with the pioneer spirit, for the difficulties of moving households at that time seem almost insurmountable. Overland journeys by these pioneers, traversing almost pathless woods and bridgeless rivers and streams, required driving before them their sheep and cattle, and of transporting in their crude vehicles their food, household furnishings, and tools for farming and building, not overlooking their Bibles – and their guns.
      Jeffrey Ferris and his first and unidentified wife had five known children: Peter, Joseph, Mary, John and James. [3, 4, 11, 12, 13]
    Person ID I38518  Mindrum
    Last Modified 22 Nov 2016 

    Family 1 Unknown,   d. 31 Jul 1658, Fairfield Co., Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt 1629  [14
    Children 
     1. Peter Ferris,   b. ca 1629-1634,   d. 28 Sep 1706, Fairfield Co., Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 72 years)
     2. Joseph Ferris,   b. ca 1632-1635,   d. Bef 24 Jul 1699  (Age ~ 64 years)
     3. Mary Ferris,   b. Abt 1638,   d. Bef 31 Jan 1707/8, Greenwich, Fairfield, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 70 years)
     4. John Ferris,   b. Abt 1640,   d. 1715-1716  (Age ~ 76 years)
     5. James Ferris,   b. Abt 1642,   d. Abt 1706  (Age ~ 64 years)
    Last Modified 7 Aug 2017 
    Family ID F26274  Group Sheet

    Family 2 Susannah Norman,   b. Abt 1615, Salem, Essex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Dec 1660, Greenwich, Fairfield, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 45 years) 
    Married by Abt 1659  [14, 15
    Last Modified 7 Aug 2017 
    Family ID F27057  Group Sheet

    Family 3 Judith Feake,   d. Dec  
    Married Abt 1662  [16, 17
    Last Modified 7 Aug 2017 
    Family ID F27061  Group Sheet

  • Documents
    Ferris, Jeffrey - Will Transcript
    Ferris, Jeffrey - Will Transcript
    Ferris, Jeffrey - Marriage Contract
    Ferris, Jeffrey - Marriage Contract
    Ferris, Jeffrey - Will
    Ferris, Jeffrey - Will
    Ferris, Jeffrey - Inventory
    Ferris, Jeffrey - Inventory
    Ferris, Jeffrey - Inventory Transcript
    Ferris, Jeffrey - Inventory Transcript

  • Sources 
    1. [S2762] Ancestry of William Weed, Part 13: Ferris, Frederick C. Hart, Jr., p. 2.

    2. [S2759] Robert C. Anderson, (New England Historic Genealogy, 2011), pp. 517-521.

    3. [S3818] E. B. Huntington, (1868), p. 31.

    4. [S4566] Paul W. Prindle, (1976), pp. 118-127.

    5. [S2762] Ancestry of William Weed, Part 13: Ferris, Frederick C. Hart, Jr., p. 2, about 1610.

    6. [S2759] Robert C. Anderson, (New England Historic Genealogy, 2011), p. 520, by about 1604.

    7. [S2762] Ancestry of William Weed, Part 13: Ferris, Frederick C. Hart, Jr., p. 2, prob abt Nov 1666, Stamford.

    8. [S2759] Robert C. Anderson, (New England Historic Genealogy, 2011), p. 520, 31 May 1666, Greenwich.

    9. [S3818] E. B. Huntington, (1868), p. 31, 1666.

    10. [S4566] Paul W. Prindle, (1976), p. 118, 31 May 1666.

    11. [S2759] Robert C. Anderson, (New England Historic Genealogy, 2011), pp. 517-520.

    12. [S2762] Ancestry of William Weed, Part 13: Ferris, Frederick C. Hart, Jr., pp. 2-10.

    13. [S492]

    14. [S2759] Robert C. Anderson, (New England Historic Genealogy, 2011), p. 520.

    15. [S2762] Ancestry of William Weed, Part 13: Ferris, Frederick C. Hart, Jr., p. 3, possibly in Dec 1658.

    16. [S2759] Robert C. Anderson, (New England Historic Genealogy, 2011).

    17. [S4566] Paul W. Prindle, (1976), p. 122, after 1661.