Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Early America - John Webster

10th great-grandfather
John WEBSTER Governor - b.1590 / Robert WEBSTER Lt.- b.1619 / Elizabeth WEBSTER- b.1673 / John SEYMOUR- b.1694 / Lucretia SEYMOUR- b.1730 / Isaac ENSIGN- b.1756 / Horace Datus ENSIGN- b.1797 / Martin Luther ENSIGN- b.1831 / Harriett Camilla ENSIGN- b.1859 / George Ensign SMITH- b.1898 / Camilla SMITH- b.1926 / Lark / JR
11th great-grandfather
John WEBSTER Governor -b.1590 / Anne WEBSTER-b.1621 / Samuel MARSH-b.1645 / Ebenezer MARSH-b.1687/ Esther MARSH-b.1714 / Esther SAWYER "GUNN"-b.1739 / Esther REMINGTON-b.1772 / Mary BRONSON-b.1806 / Martin Luther ENSIGN-b.1831 / Harriett Camilla ENSIGN-b.1859 / George Ensign SMITH-b.1898 / Camilla SMITH-b.1926 / Lark / JR

John Webster (Governor of the Colony of Connecticut)

John Webster (August 16, 1590 – April 5, 1661) was governor of the Colony of Connecticut in 1656. Preceded by Thomas Welles (1656). Succeeded by John Winthrop, Jr. (1657).

Born August 9, 1590
Cossington, Leicestershire, England
Died April 5, 1661 (aged 70)
Hadley, Massachusetts
Spouse(s) Agnes Smith
Religion Congregationalist

Webster married Agnes Smith (born 29 August 1585 in Cossington, Leicestershire, England) on 7 November 1609 at Cossington. She died in Hadley, Massachusetts in 1667. They had nine children (five of whom were born in England, and four in the Colony):

  • Matthew (born about 11 February 1608/1609), married Sarah Waterbury and Mary Reeve
  • Margaret (born about 21 February 1609/1610 married William Bolton and Thomas Hunt
  • William (born 26 December 1614) married Mary Reeve
  • Thomas (born 24 November 1616) married Abigail Alexander
  • Robert (born 17 November 1619) married Susanna Treat (daughter of Sir Richard TREAT and Alice GAYLORD.)
  • Anne (born 29 July 1621) married John Marsh (son of John Marsh and Grace BALDWIN.)
  • Elizabeth (born 16 March 1622/1623) married William Markham
  • Mary (born 30 March 1623) married Jonathan Hunt
  • Faith (born 8 April 1627, died 10 days later).

His descendants include lexicographer Noah Webster.

Webster was born in Cossington, Leicestershire, England, the son of Matthew Webster (1548–1623) and his wife, Elizabeth Ashton. He entered the Massachusetts Bay Colony with his wife and five children in the 1630's, settling in the area of Newtown, Massachusetts (which is now known as Cambridge). He left for Hartford, Connecticut in 1636, in all probability with Thomas Hooker and his adherents. His first public office was as a member of a committee that joined with the Court of Magistrates in determining the course of war with the Pequot Indians. According to the records at the time, he was chosen from 1639 to 1655 to be magistrate, in 1655 Colony of Connecticut, governor of the Colony of Connecticut in 1656, and first magistrate from 1657 to 1659.

A split amongst the church members in Hartford grew when the current reverend at the First Church in Hartford, Samuel Stone, declared that the requirement that stated only parents that had both taken communion should be allowed to have a child baptized would be removed, and non-communicants would be allowed to vote. John Webster, among others, were a part of a council that agreed that this was not acceptable. Reverend Stone chose to ignore this sentiment, and the issue was taken up with the General Court in Massachusetts. The Court ruled that although Reverend Stone had been too strict in ignoring the majority of his parishioners, he was right in liberalizing the baptism ritual. It was also found that those who disagreed with the reverend could remove themselves to a location in Massachusetts to practice how they saw fit. This eventual location chosen was Hadley, Massachusetts, and in 1659, a new community was built there. John Webster only enjoyed it for less than two years, for in the year 1661 he contracted a fever and died.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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