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Descendants of William and George Phelps

Excerpted in part from The Phelps Family of America and Their English Ancestors, (Save $201 by ordering through us.) Two volumes. By Judge Oliver Seymour Phelps and Andrew T. Servin. (Eagle Publishing Company of Pittsfield, Mass., 1899). Original spelling and punctuation.

When William Phelps arrived in America, his oldest child William was about 12 years old. While born in England, he and his younger siblings were all raised in the new colony of Windsor.

Numbers in brackets or prefixing names refer to the Phelps & Servin ancestral numbers. The links are to the actual text from the original book.
  1. William Phelps, b. [Crewkerne,] England, about 1620, emigrated to New England with his father, arriving in Massachusetts Bay 30th May, 1630, settled in Dorchester with his father, removing from there to the settling of Windsor, with Rev. Mr. Warham's church, in 1635, where he m. Isabel Wilson, 4th June, 1645, (another authority says 16th June, 1645--the first may be publication of marriage.) She was probably a passenger in the ship Mary and John, of 1630. Says the O. C. R. [Old Church Register?], 15th July, 1674, "now since 29 years married and has had no children."

Isabel Wilson was admitted to the church in Windsor, 11th March, 1654, and died July, 1674, without issue. He m. 2nd, 10th Dec., 1676, Sarah Pinney (the daughter of Humphrey Pinney and his wife, Mary Hull, who were passengers in the ship Mary and John of 1630,) b. Windsor, 19th Nov., bapt. 3rd Dec., 1648, d. 2nd Nov., 1711.

Mr. Phelps settled one-third of his property on her, before marriage. By her he had no issue.

Mr. Phelps's residence in Windsor was a short distance east of his father's homestead, and on land purchased by his father from the Indians. He united with the church 17th Nov., 1639, and was made a freeman at Hartford 29th May, 1677.

His nuncupative will, dated 7th Feb. 1681, gives all his land to his brother Timothy. He died 10th Feb., 1681.

Mr. Phelps was a worthy man, though not as conspicuous a figure as compared with his father.

Mr. Phelps's house was garrisoned in King Philip's war, 1675-1676, by details of Windsor men. He had one of his wife's nephews reside with him, and possibly adopted him, and gave him lands on the opposite side of the road from his own house.

After the death of Mr. Phelps there was a controversy between Mrs. Phelps and adopted son, in connection with the land given her by Mr. Phelps before marriage.

(Note: Humphrey Pinney had several children; of these, Sarah m. referred to above, Mary m. Abraham Phelps, son of George, Nathaniel m. Sarah Griswold, widow of Samuel Phelps.)

  1. Sarah Phelps, b. England about 1623, emigrated to New England with her father, arriving in Massachusetts Bay May 30th, 1630, in Dorchester, with her father, and from therein 1635-6 to Windsor, Ct., where she m. William Wade, of Middletown, Ct., 9th June, 1658.

Says Savage: "She died 10th July, 1650 [sic — compare to marrige date above], without issue, and we can hear no more of her."

  1. Samuel Phelps, b. England, about 1625, emigrated to New England with his father, in ship Mary and John, settling with his father in Dorchester, removing from there to settling of Windsor, Ct., in 1635-6, where he m. Sarah Griswold, 10th Nov., 1650. She was daughter of Edward Griswold, and b. Kenilworth, England, and came to New England with her father in 1639. After the death of Mr. Phelps, she m. 2nd Nathaniel Pinney, 21st July, 1670, and had Nathaniel Pinney b. 11th May, 1671, and Sarah Pinney b. 11th Oct., 1673. Mrs. Pinney died 6th Nov., 1715.

Mr. Phelps bought 1st Oct., 1657, Thomas Orton's house and land south of road separating it from his father's homestead, and brother William's; the house stood on the rear of the lot just opposite his father's house. This lot was of triangular shape, 4 rods on the rivulet, 60 rods on east and west road, 40 rods on Mill road, and 47 rods on the southeast line. The rear of this lot and house he sold to his brother Nathaniel, and removed to Poquonock, where he had received a grant of land, and where he also bought John Bartlett's place east of Stony Creek, and north of Thomas Holcomb's, and running east of the rivulet. Here he died 15th May, 1669. He witnessed a deed of land to his father by the Indians in 1666.

January 8th, 1660, he paid rates for short slips, 7 shillings, highest amount assessed that year.

Town Records--24th May, 1669, "There was a day of training; by reason of the death of Samuel Phelps, voted that Benjamin Holcomb supply his place as Way Warden."

(Note. Edward and Matthew Griswold, two brothers, the latter of whom was the ancestor of the two Govs. Griswold, resided in Kenilworth, England, where they had a third brother, Thomas. These two brothers came to New England in 1639, in a vessel sent out by Mr. William Whitney. Edward b. in England, 1607, settled in that part of Windsor, called Poquonock, m. 1st Margaret, and later settled in Killingworth, Ct., one of the first settlers, and a prominent man. His wife died Aug. 22nd, 1670. (A slab may be seen in the Clinton, Ct., burying ground, 7 in. by 21/2 ft., with inscription M. G. 1670.) Had eleven children all by 1st wife. He m. 2nd Sarah Bemis, daughter of James Bemis, of New London; of his children a daughter Sarah, m. Samuel Phelps, 2nd, m. Nathaniel Pinney. Another daughter, Mary, m. Timothy Phelps son of William the emigrant of 1630.)

Samuel Phelps' children were:

26. I. Samuel, b. Windsor, C., Sept. 5, 1652, d. Simsbury, Ct., Oct. 21, 1741, n1. June 21, 1678, Abigail Williams, b. Windsor, Ct., May 31, 1658, d. -, dau. of John Williams. He 1n. 2nd Widow Sarah (Eno) Holcomb, dau. of James Eno, and widow of Benjamin Holcomb, by whom she had 9 children. No issue.
+27. II. Sarah, b. Windsor, Ct., 16th Mar., 1653, m. Andrew Moore.
+28. III. Timothy, b. Windsor, Ct., 26th Oct., 1656, m. Sarah Gaylord, 2nd, Sarah Pratt.
29. IV. Mary, b. Poquonock, Ct., 26th Oct., 1658, m. Daniel Adams.
30. V. William, b. Poquonock, Ct., 3rd Nov. 166o, m. Hannah Hayden.
31. VI. John, b. Poquonock, Ct., 7th July, 1662, unm., d. 30th April, 1679.
+32. VII. Ephraim, b. Poquonock, Ct., 1st Nov., 1663, m. Mary Daggers.
+33. IX. Abigail, b. Poquonock, Ct., 16th May, 1666, m. David Marshall.
+34. X. Josias, b. Poquonock, Ct., 16th Dec., 1667, m. Sarah Winchell.
  1. Nathaniel Phelps, b. England about 1627, emigrated to New England with his father, settling in Dorchester, Mass., with his father, removing to Windsor, Ct., in 1635-6, where he m. Elizabeth Copley, 17th Sept., 1650 She was an English lady.

Says the Hon. James H. Phelps of Townshend, Vt., a descendant of this family: "A descendant of the family of Elizabeth Copley, in England was the celebrated artist, John Copley, father of Lord Lyndhurst, who on the 30th of April, 1827, became Lord Chancellor of England." Lord Lyndhurst appears to have no knowledge of this connection, as may be seen from his letter herewith attached. As this connection must be traced back over two hundred years, there is no reason to doubt the same. Mrs. Phelps died in Northampton, Mass., 6th Dec., 1712, some ten years after her husband. Her will probated in Northampton, Vol. II, 1678-1716. Reference is made to her sons Nathaniel and William Phelps, who are to have the land her husband left her, to be divided equally between them. Her homestead also to be divided between them, Nathaniel to have the side he lives in, and William the other side. To Abigal 50 pounds; to the children of Matthew and Mary Closson 5 pound each; to her son-in-law, Matthew Closson, 1o shillings; to Thomas Copley 3 pounds; to Samuel and John Lankton 20 shillings each.

Mr. Phelps resided on the Orton place opposite his father's homestead, which he purchased of his brother Samuel. Here he resided up to 1656-7, when he removed with part of his family to Northampton, Mass., one of its first settlers. Says Stiles(2): "He was a pious man of good intellect, and of a sound, discriminating judgment-was one of the first deacons of the N. Church. His homestead was occupied by him for 43 years, and by his descendants until 1835. " His homestead comprised the land which was over fifty years ago occupied by Miss Margaret Dwight's school, and which at a later date was the College Institute of J. J. Dudley, Esq., and which is now Shady Lawn. The old homestead stood a few rods north of that edifice. (Clark's Northampton Antiquity).

Although Mr. Phelps, removed to Northampton in 1656-7, we find him paying slip rent in Windsor 4th Jan., 1659.

Feb. 8th, 1679, Dea. Nathaniel Phelps, with his sons Nathaniel Jr. and William, took the oath of allegiance before Worshipful Maj. Pynchon.

May 11th, 1681, he was made a freeman by the General Court at Boston.

He died in Northampton May 27th, 1702, aged 75 years, honored and respected.

His [Nathaniel Phelps'] children were:

35. I. Mary, b. Windsor, Ct., 21st June, 1651, m. Matthew Closson.
36. II. Nathaniel, b. Windsor, Ct., 2nd June, 1653, m. Grace Martin.
37. III. Abigail, b. Windsor, Ct., 5th April, 1655, d. aged 101 yrs. 4 mos. 11 ds., m. John Alvord. No issue.
38. IV. William, b. Northampton, Mass., 22nd June, 1657, m. Abigail Stebbins.
39. V. Thomas, b. Northampton, Mass., loth May, 1661, d. unmarried.
40. VI. Mercy, b. Northampton, Mass., 16th May, 1662, d. 15th July, 1662.
  1. Joseph Phelps, b. England about 1629, emigrated with his father to New England, settling with his father in Dorchester, Mass., removing to the settling of Windsor, Ct., in 1635-6.

He m. 1st, Hannah Newton 10th Sept., 1660. (Says another authority, 2nd, Sept., 1660; this may be the date of publication.) She d. in Simsbury, 1675.

She was daughter of Roger Newton and sister of Joan Newton, who m. Benedict Alvord. He m. 2nd, Mary Salmon 9th Jan., 1676. She was widow of Thomas Salmon. She d. 16th Jan., 1682 (Northampton Rec.), by her he had no issue.

Mr. Phelps' residence in Windsor was next to his brother William's, on the road running east and crossing the Poquonock road, and near the present Poquonock road.

Says the history of Simsbury in 1666: "The Committee specified terms upon which those who took lands in Massaco (now Simsbury), should have them." The record of the 1st grant was made in 1667 ; of the thirty in all who had grants we find in Weatouge (a district), Joseph Phelps.

In 1669, by order of the Assembly, in a record of the Freeman of each town, we find with others belonging to Massaco (now Simsbury), Joseph Phelps.


King Philip's War

From 1675 to 1676, a war between colonists and Native Americans erupted in New England. It was the result of tensions over the colonist's continued expansionist activities. The bloody war raged up and down the Connecticut River valley in Massachusetts and in the Plymouth and Rhode Island colonies.

By the end of the numerous battles and skirmishes, over 600 English colonials and 3,000 Native Americans had been killed, sometimes savagely, including women and children on both sides. King Philip was the colonist's nickname for Metacomet, chief of the Wampanoags. On August 12, 1676, he was hunted down and killed in a swamp in Rhode Island. This effectively ended the war in southern New England and the independent power of Native Americans in that region. For more details, see the Wikipedia entry for King Philip's War.


The early settlers of Simsbury suffered greatly by the Indians. On 13th March, 1676, it was ordered by the General Court that the people of Simsbury remove to the neighboring settlements or plantations with their cattle and valuables, and soon after their buildings were burned by the Indians. This took place Saturday, 26th March, 1676.

Says Phelps the Historian: "The ruin was complete. Nothing but desolation remained. During all the Indian wars before and since this event, no destruction of an English settlement in New England has taken place, in which the ruin was more extensive or more general than this conflagration."

A neighboring mountain overlooking Simsbury was then called "Phelps Mountain," because Mr. Phelps owned lands on it, and where it is supposed King Philip [an Indian leader] was then encamped, overlooking and gloating in the destruction he had caused.

Early in 1676, the danger being over, most of the settlers returned.

May 4th, 1677, we find Joseph Phelps, with nine others, petitioning the General Assembly for assistance in taxing, on account of loss caused by the Indians, which was partially granted.

May 7th, 1683, we find him with thirty-one others, in all thirty-two (probably the voters of Simsbury at that time), signing a paper, the substance of which was that they not agreeing on a spot for locating their Meeting House, there being two places selected. It was decided to cast lots, and Gov. John Talcott and Capt. John Allyn were chosen to do this. Their action is thus described in the History of Simsbury.

"May 8th, 1683, the above written agreement of ye above sides is well approved by John Talcott, John Allyn."

At a solemn meeting May 24th, 1683, "where as there is two papers putt in ye hatt, one east and ye other for ye west of the River, for ye decision of ye two places formerly mentioned. It is now agreed that ye first paper that is drawn shall be ye last. This voted, the lot that came forth was for ye west side of ye River."

In a deposition taken at Hartford 22nd May, 1677, he is mentioned as being about 46-years old.

Mr. Phelps was made a Freeman in 1664, and died in 1684, aged 55.

His children, all by 1st wife, Hannah Newton, were:

41. I. Joseph, b. Windsor, Ct., 10th, Aug., 1667, bapt. 27th Aug., 1.667, m. 1st, Mary Collier ; 2nd, Sarah Case ; 3rd, Mary Case.
42. II. Hannah, b. Windsor, Ct., 2nd Feb., 1668, d. young.
43. III. Timothy, b. Simsbury, Ct., 18th May, 1671, m. Rachel Moore.
44. IV. Sarah, b. Simsbury, Ct., May, 1672, m. John Hill.
45. V. William, b. Simsbury, Ct., May, 1674, d. unm. Oct 8, 1689.

May 7th, 1682, we find his name in a petition to retain the Rev. Samuel Snow.


(1) From The Phelps Family of America and Their English Ancestors, (Save $201 by ordering through us.) Two volumes. By Judge Oliver Seymour Phelps and Andrew T. Servin. (Eagle Publishing Company of Pittsfield, Mass., 1899)Original spelling and punctuation preserved.) pp 77-89

(2) Henry R. Stiles, A.M., M.D., History of Ancient Windsor, 2 Vols. (Picton Press, Camden, Maine). 1891, 1892.

(3)Trumbull, B. Complete History of Connecticut, Civil and Ecclesiastical. 2 vols. New London,1898.