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Henry Botsford

Male Abt 1608 - Bef 1686  (~ 78 years)


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  • Name Henry Botsford  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Born Abt 1608  Chalgrave, Bedfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Gender Male 
    Baptism 15 Jun 1608  Sundon, Bedfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [6, 7
    • baptized as "Harry"
    Died Bef 15 Apr 1686  Milford, New Haven, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  [8, 9, 10
    • date of inventory
    Buried Founders Cemetery, Milford, New Haven, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  [11
    Notes 
    • Henry Botsford and wife Elizabeth came to Milford, Conn. 1638/9; tradition says from Leicestershire, England. He was baptized 1610; she 1614; he died 1685/6 between 1 Feb and 15 Apr; she died 4 Oct 1690/1. Old record says: "Botchford lived to above 90 years old." Children: Elnathan, Elizabeth, Mary, Hannah, Esther (Hester), Ruth.

      Henry Botsford was presumably among the New Haven Colonists of 1638, and belonged to the group that founded Milford. One of the stones in the Memorial Bridge which was dedicated at Milford in 1889, bears the inscription: Henry Botsford, Obit 1686, Elizabeth his wife. Henry Botsford always signed with his mark, a large H, so it may be concluded that he was unable to write.
      The name of Henry Botsford appears in a list of original proprietors of Milford dated November 20, 1639. Neither Henry nor his wife were members of the church in 1639 when he was made freeman. Elizabeth joined the church on October 4, 1640. Henry joined on July 25, 1644.
      A 22 Nov 1643 tax document indicates Henry owned a houselot of 3 acres with 6 acres of upland. Over the years, he made numerous real estate transactions in Milford. It is probable that he served as a non-commissioned officer in the Milford Trainband, the town militia in which every able-bodied man served in some capacity. In 1654, when the colony was threatened with war against the Dutch, a Colony Troop was raised to which Henry Botsford was appointed.
      Henry and Elnathan Bochford appear in a list of Freemen of Milford in 1669. They were two members of the Milford committee of nine men which met a committee from New Haven to establish the bounds between the two towns in 1672.
      In 1678, he gave land to son in law Nathaniel Baldwin, husband of his daughter Hannah. In 1683, he gave land to daughter Mary Sanford and her husband Andrew.
      The "land hunger" which Henry Botsford had brought with him from England had not been appeased by the acquisition of a good landed estate in Milford as he purchased land north of Milford in what became Derby.
      The will of Henry Botsford was dated 1 Feb 1685/6. The inventory of this estate was taken 15 Apr 1686 and totaled £503:02:04. Since some of the children had received advancements towards their portions during his lifetime, it is clear that, without being wealthy, he had managed his affairs with prudence and had acquired what was, in the early colonial days, a fair-sized estate.

      Henry's baptism at Sundon, Bedfordshire, on 15 April 1608, son of Edward and Alice (Prior) Botsford of Chalgrave, Bedfordshire, is known, as is the appearance of his name on the "ship lists" of Bedfordshire in 1637 and 1638 (ibid.). Actually, Henry's name appears on the list of arrears in the payment of ship money, list no. 16, in the parishes of Eggington and Gipson in Mansheade Hundred, as Henry "Bottsworth" and is corrected by a footnote to "Botts-ford" (Bedfordshire Historical Record Society Civil War and Ship Money Papers, 18 [19361: 65). Eggington is located about two miles east of Leighton Buzzard.

      We lack the right to dogmatize as to the motives which brought Henry Botsford from a little hamlet of Bedfordshire to the coast of New England. There is not enough in the records to provide a certain answer. Yet it is interesting to speculate. Others may come to other conclusions; but it seems to this writer that the chief motives were economic. Henry's wife joined the church in Milford in 1640; Henry himself did not join until nearly four years later, notwithstanding the decided advantages which church members enjoyed in New Haven Colony. Before that, he was one of the six men who were admitted as freemen in Milford without being church members. He seems to have been a man of probity and judgment, who minded his own business and minded it well. He was one of the land speculators who opened up the new town of Derby. He built up a good estate, and his children married well. Nothing whatever to his discredit appears in any of the contemporary records, despite the fact that in those days men were hailed before the magistrates for very trivial offenses. He conducted himself with sobriety. [2, 5, 12, 13]
    Person ID I39163  Mindrum
    Last Modified 29 May 2017 

    Father Edward Botsford,   b. Abt 1579, Chalgrave, Bedfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Alice Prior,   d. Dec  
    Married 9 Nov 1606  Sundon, Bedfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Family ID F12902  Group Sheet

    Family Elizabeth,   b. 1614,   d. 1692, Milford, New Haven, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years) 
    Married 26 Jan 1631/2  Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 14
    Children 
     1. Elnathan Botsford,   b. 1636, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Sep 1691  (Age 55 years)
     2. Elizabeth Botsford,   b. Abt 1643, Milford, New Haven, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Mary Botsford,   b. Abt 1643, Milford, New Haven, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. Hannah Botsford,   b. Abt 1645, Milford, New Haven, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location
     5. Esther (Hester) Botsford,   b. Abt 1647, Milford, New Haven, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. Ruth Botsford,   b. Abt 1649, Milford, New Haven, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 20 Oct 2017 
    Family ID F26712  Group Sheet

  • Sources 
    1. [S2857] C. C. Baldwin, (Leader Publishing, 1881), p. 409.

    2. [S5034] Margaret Older, (1931), p. 1.

    3. [S5249] Donald L. Jacobus, (New Haven, 1933).

    4. [S5658] Origins of the Botsford Family, Donald L. Jacobus.

    5. [S5370] The Wife of Henry Botsford of Milford, Connecticut, Raymond D. Wheeler.

    6. [S5370] The Wife of Henry Botsford of Milford, Connecticut, Raymond D. Wheeler, 15 Apr 1608.

    7. [S5658] Origins of the Botsford Family, Donald L. Jacobus, p. 69.

    8. [S8495] Henry Botsford Will and Inventory.

    9. [S5249] Donald L. Jacobus, (New Haven, 1933), p. 21.

    10. [S8648] Connecticut Headstone Inscriptions, p. 163, 1688.

    11. [S8648] Connecticut Headstone Inscriptions, p. 163.

    12. [S5249] Donald L. Jacobus, (New Haven, 1933), pp. 7-21.

    13. [S5658] Origins of the Botsford Family, Donald L. Jacobus, p. 64.

    14. [S5249] Donald L. Jacobus, (New Haven, 1933), p. 21, ca Oct 1640.