Sunday, January 20, 2019

{genealogy} Foote ancestry part 4 - Nathaniel Foote Sr.

Nathaniel Foote Sr.

Heather’s 10th great grandfather

When Nathaniel Foote was born in 1592 in England, his father, Robert, was 39 and his mother, Joan, was 37. He married Elizabeth Deming around the year 1615, in England. They had 7 children during their marriage, the first 6 being born in England, and the 7th probably in Massachusetts. One of those children was my ancestor, Nathaniel Jr. Nathaniel Sr. died in 1644 in Wethersfield, Connecticut, at the age of 52, and was buried there, in the burying ground in the rear of the Meeting House.

He has his own Wikipedia page here:

He is listed as a Puritan in A Catalogue of the Names of the First Puritan Settlers of the Colony of Connecticut, p. 133.

From A Modern History of New London, Connecticut published 1922.

NF being first of New England record at Watertown, Massachusetts, where he took the oath of allegiance in 1633. Later, he became of the first settlers of Wethersfield, Connecticut, where he died in 1644, “an intelligent, pious, and industrious farmer,” and one of the magistrates of the colony of Connecticut.

From The Great Migration:

Origin: Shalford, Essex
Migration: 1634
First Residence: Watertown
Removes: Wethersfield, 1635
Freeman: 3 Sep 1634, Watertown
Offices: Deputy for Wethersfield to Connecticut General Court, 9 Sep 1641, 9 Nov 1641, 5 Jan 1642, Apr 1644. Also served on jury twice.
Estate: Watertown had homestead of 16 acres and marsh of 2 acres. Acquired by Henry Curttris late 1635 or early 1636.

His birth estimated at 1592 based on his apprenticeship record, being age 16 on 21 Sep 1608.

In 1644, there is a reference to him suing Robert Rose and winning. (Robert Rose is also my ancestor.)

From 80 Immigrants, published 1969:

"Nathaniel Foote was one of the first 10 settlers at Wethersfield. They were known as “the adventurers” and he was the largest holder of so-called “Adventurer’s lands”, amounting in all to over 400 acres. His home lot was at the south end of Broad Street, and his name is still perpetuated there by a street known as Foote Path Lane. He died intestate."

(Heather writing:) The word “Adventurer”, though it sounds heroic and dramatic, actually is just derived from the word “venture”. Also, Foote Path Lane still exists at the end of Broad Street in Wethersfield, just as described in 1969.

From Hartford County, Connecticut, Memorial History 1633-1884

"In addition to John Oldham, the few persons known in the Wethersfield records as the “Adventurers” (that is, occupants of land not deriving their title from the town) were, either in person or by representation, the settlers of 1634. Among these were the following, all from Watertown: William Bassum, John Clarke, Abraham Finch, Sgt. John Strickland, Robert Rose, Andrew Ward, William Swayne, Leonard Chester, Nathaniel Foote.

NF had the largest share of adventure-lands, his coming to CT was not the earliest; it having been, according to all indications, in 1635. He was an elderly man, and among his posterity have been some of Connecticut’s most distinguished sons."

From The Great Migration Newsletter, 1993:

"This all may be true, without requiring that the permanent settlement actually began in 1634. The Adventurers may simply have invested financially in the move to Connecticut at an early time, and this would seem very likely for such wealthy men as Nathaniel Foote and Leonard Chester."

From Foote Genealogy Vol 2 by Abram Foote, published 1932:

Abstract of the record of the record of the apprenticeship agreement of our NF from the Court of Rolls of the Borough of Colchester as follows: “NF aged 16 years, son of Robert Foot of Shalford in Com. Essex yeoman doth put himself apprentice to Samuel Croylye of Colchester, aforesaid grocer and Free Burgess from the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel last past for the term of 8 years. Dated 21 Sep V James I (1608). Sealed and delivered in the presence of me Robert Foot and of me George Lumpkin.”

(Heather writing:) A “grocer” at that time was a “grosser”, meaning, a wholesale merchant. Someone who sold big lots of things, by the gross, not by the pound or small quantity. The Foote Family Association also reports that Nathaniel was a grocer himself as of 18 Oct 1619, when he bought a “messuage” from Beatrice Barker, located on East Street, St. James Parish, Colchester, England. A messuage is a dwelling house with outbuildings.

From Foote Genealogy  by Abram Foote, published 1907:

"Nathaniel Foote, one of the first settlers of Wethersfield, Connecticut, belongs, not to that great class of men who fill a large place in the world’s history, because called by some great emergency into positions of power and influence, but to that more meritorious class of pious and excellent persons, who, born to the great inheritance of labor, walk meekly along the paths of common life, perform every duty, public or private, love and help their fellow men, and act always as if in their Great Task Master’s eye. It is to such men that society owes at once its peace, stability, and progress, and yet history takes no note of such, and hence “The world knows nothing of its greatest men.”

His business in life was that of agriculture, necessarily the leading pursuit of New England in its early history.

From all that we can learn, NF came from Shalford, in Colchester, England, and settled in Watertown, Massachusetts. The first mention I find made of his name is in the Records of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, in 1633, when he took the oath of freeman."

Abram Foote goes on to write several pages of flowery language to try to paint a picture of what life in the New World was like for those early colonists.

Inventory taken after Nathaniel's death:

One source says that goats were a rare farm animal at that time.

Following Nathaniel Sr.’s death, his widow Elizabeth married Thomas Welles. When Elizabeth died in 1683, she also remembered her son Nathaniel Jr. as well as her grandson Nathaniel III in her will:

His grave is unmarked, but in 1908 the Foote Family Association placed a marker at the original home lot, now called the Broad Street Green. 

SEPTEMBER 17, 1908

In the foundation, under the base is a sealed copper box, containing a copy of the Foote Genealogy 1908, reports of the first meeting of the association, list of moneys given to the memorial fund, and the members of the association.

Rededication in 2009:

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