Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Allen line: Robert Day Immigrant 1604-1648

Robert Day, another immigrant ancestor in the Allen line, was born in Kilburn, Yorkshire, England on or shortly before July 31, 1604 according to some sources, and origin unknown according to The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, volume II, pages325-329.  I'm going to use The Great Migration as a source for most of this post, but it will be expanded when the other information I've gathered seems likely.

If the Robert Day born in Kilburn, Yorkshire, England in 1604 is our Robert Day, then his parents were Richard Daye and probably Mary Kirby.  The Days had been in Yorkshire for several generations, if you believe undocumented web sites, but were originally from Wales (15th century and before, where the name was spelled Dee).

Robert married Mary before April, 1634 in England, but nothing more is known of her or her origins.  Robert and Mary came to the New World in 1634 on the ship "Elizabeth", and settled first in Newtown, which is now Cambridge, Massachusetts. Robert was made a freeman in 1635, which implies that he was a member of the church there, and also that he had some property.  We don't know what degree of wealth he might have had, but apparently he was not dirt poor.  One site states that he was a brickmaker and mason, and those trades would have been in demand.

He was given land in the part of Cambridge then known as Westfield in 1634, 1635, and possibly 1636.  Sometime during this time period his wife, Mary, died.  We don't know whether it was in childbirth, or of disease, but she was gone.  Robert married Edith Stebbins probably by 1636, the daughter of WIlliam Stebbins and sister to Deacon Edward Stebbins.  His children were born to Editha.

It is possible that the Days went to Hartford, Connecticut with the Thomas Hooker group.  If they didn't go with them, they followed soon after, because Robert Day is listed on the Founder's Monument erected in Hartford.  He had 10 different parcels of land listed in the Hartford land inventroy of February 1639/1640, which indictes he had been a settler long enough to have received these parcels at different times.  Robert and Editha's children, probably all born in Hartford, were Thomas, John, Sarah and Mary. 

I'm not locating information about the rest of Robert's life, which was, like many immigrants, a short life.  He made his will May 20, 1648 and the inventory of his estate was taken October 14, 1648, so it was probably early fall when he died.  His estate was valued at 142 pounds, 13 shillings, 6d., of which half was real estate.  The estate included tools, not identified, and books valued at 1 pound. We know then that he was literate. I'd sure like to know what those books were, and why he chose the books that he chose for his library.

Once again, we have the bare bones outline of an ancestor.  I'm thrilled to have this much information and disappointed not to have more.  I'd like to clarify his occupation, I'd like to know more about his religious beliefs, and I'd like to know why he chose to go to Hartford.  For that matter, once again I'd like to know why he chose to come to America.

The line of descent is:

Robert Day-Editha Stebbins
Mary Day-Samuel Ely
Joseph Ely-Mary Riley
Mary Ely-Thomas Stebbins
Ruth Stebbins-Samuel Hitchcock
Margaret Hitchcock-Richard Falley
Samuel Falley-Ruth Root
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendents