Friday, September 12, 2014

Allen line: Simon Hoyt, Immigrant 1590-1657

Simon Hoyt is an interesting ancestor.  We don't know for sure why he left England, and we don't know why he moved so frequently after he got here.  He would have needed money or/and invested a lot of manpower for each move.  There seems to be no scandal attached to him, so he didn't leave because he was forced out, and each town in turn accepted him. In fact, he was a founder of some of the places he lived in.  Maybe he was just curious, or accepted each new location as a challenge, to see what he could make of it.  If he felt that he needed a second chance, he certainly got it.  And let us not forget to feel sympathy for his wives, who had to deal with a succession of new homes as well as a succession of children. 

It doesn't appear that genealogists are certain who his wives were, so let's start with what we think is known.  Simon Hoyt was born January 20, 1590 in West Hatch, Somerset, England. His parents were Michael Hoyt and Ruth Smith.  His possibly first marriage was to Jane Stoodley on November 4, 1617 in Marshwood, Dorset, England. I say possibly first because it appears that two children were born before the marriage.  Either these children are wrongly assigned to Simon, or there was an earlier wife, or two children were born before the marriage took place.  Jane  apparently died in England, after the birth of six (or eight) children.  The last child, Agnes, was baptized October 18, 1626, but there is no known death date for Jane.  There is then a gap of nine years, an ocean, and several residences before more children arrive. 

Simon arrived in America in 1629 on the ship Lyon's Whelp. This ship was one of 6 in what was called the Higginson Fleet, and brought colonists, supplies, and ordnance (cannons and other guns and ammunition).  This ship's passengers disembarked at Salem, but Simon didn't stay there.  Shortly after arriving he went to Charlestown, Massachusetts, then some miles from Boston, as one of the first settlers.  We don't know how many children he had with him, or whether he yet had a wife.  In 1632, he was in Dorchester, and was appointed to see to the fences in the east field. 

He definitely was married by 1635, when he and his wife Susanna joined the church at Scituate, where they now lived.  Eight children were born to this marriage, so Simon had a very large family to support.  Soon Simon and Susanna (maiden name not proven) went to Windsor, Connecticut about 1639, and he received a grant of land there on 1640.  He settled here for 8 years, but in 1648 he sold this land and moved to Fairfield, Connecticut, where he is listed as an early founder on the Founders Memorial there. Sometime between 1649 and 1657 he went to Stamford, Connecticut, and died there September 1, 1657. 

His inventory contains the animals and implements usual to a farming operation, including Indian corn, wheat, and tobacco.  He had one gun, three swords, and two barrels, as a freeman was required to maintain arms.  Part of the inventory is missing, so it is possible that there were books in the home, but we don't have evidence of that. There is nothing in the inventory in and of itself to prove that this was a man of wealth, but it doesn't appear that he was dirt poor. Joshua Hoyt apparently bought the land that was given to his five brothers, and the family went their mostly separate ways. 

I've taken most of the information in this post from a blogpost about Simon on "Miner Descent" and from "The Great Migration". 

Our line of descent is: 

Simon Hoyt-Susanna
Benjamin Hoyt-Hannah Weed
Hannah Hoyt-Daniel Scofield
Hannah Scofield-Nathaniel Finch
Jesse Finch-Hannah
Hannah Finch-John Bell
Hannah Bell-Thomas Knott
John W Knott-Harriet Starr
Edith C Knott-Edward F Allen
Vernon, Corinne, Tessora, Edith, Richard Allen
Their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren