Friday, June 12, 2015

Allen line: Jonas Weed abt 1597-1676 Immigrant

The good news is that there is a lot of information published about Jonas Weed.  The bad news is that some of it is not proven.  What we do know of his life indicates that he was the "typical" New Englander.  He came to the New World in the Winthrop Fleet, and was in Watertown, Massachusetts, and Wethersfield, Connecticut before settling and living out his life in Stamfield, Connecticut.  He was a Puritan and farmed for his living.

It is believed but apparently not proven that Jonas was the son of Jonas Weed and Mary Jane Davidson of Stanwick, Northamptonshire, England.  This was a very small village at the time and life must have been difficult.  (The other possible father would be John Weed, and this Jonas was born in Chelveston in Northamptonshire. However, Jonas didn't name any of his children the same names used in this family, except for John, so I'm thinking that this family is slightly less likely to be correct.  Regardless, Chelveston appears to be a small village, also, so the family background would be similar.

We know nothing of Jonas until he arrived in the Winthrop Fleet in 1630, on the ship Arbella.  He must have been a man with some property and proper Puritan credentials because he was made a freeman at Waterown on May 18,1631.  He along with five other men were dismissed from the Watertown church in May of 1635 in order to form a new church at Wethersfield.  The Newton court gave notice on April 26, 1636 that this had been done.

Jonas married Mary in Wethersfield in 1637.  Again, there don't seem to be records showing the maiden name of his wife.  Hoyt and Scofield are the two surnames most commonly mentioned.  Again, I tend to think it is Hoyt but am open to any documentation that can be found.  Three children were born to Jonas and Mary in Wethersfield, Elizabeth, Mary and Dorcas.

Jonas and Mary left Wethersfield in about 1641, and again helped found the town of Stamford.  This is on the far southwest side of the state and was originally a part of the colony of New Haven.  There were 29 Puritan families who joined to found Stamford.  Jonas's life may have been a little different in Stamford, because this was right on the coast of  Connecticut and maritime trading was possible.  We don't know whether, or to what extent, Jonas might have been involved in this.

In Stamford, the family would stay, Jonas and Mary had 6 more children, John,Samuel, Jonas, Hannah, Daniel and Sarah.  Sarah apparently was a "problem child", for in his will Jonas left her five shillings, but if she "returne agayne to the Truth" then she would get 10 pounds.  There is apparently little reference to Jonas in the town records of Stamford, so we don't know whether he ever served in any public office.  The only guess we have as to education is that he signed his will.

Jonas wrote his will on November 26,1672 and died shortly before June7, 1676, when his estate was inventoried.  He had, in 1671, given his son Jonas two parcels of land and his home lot, which he was to possess upon the death of both Jonas and Mary.  The inventory at his death still included various parcels of land valued at 58 pounds, and other household items to make a total of a little over 116 pounds.

When Mary died three years later, her estate was valued at a little over 23 pounds.  The most interesting item in her inventory, to me, was "paire specticles & case".  Mary needed eyeglasses in order to see, it appears.

The picture I have of Jonas, after looking at his life, is that he was a good Puritan, faithful to his God,  He did not figure prominently in town records and yet he was respected enough to be sent to plant two towns in Connecticut.  If the records are silent regarding his public service, they are also silent regarding any charges made against him in church or in court.  There is one case where he accused a native American of entering his home during meeting hours, and stealing from him.  The native American was sentenced to be whipped and then sold into slavery.   Would Jonas have charged the Indian if he had realized the punishment would be so harsh, or did he make the charges knowing what the outcome was likely to be?

The line of descent is:

Jonas Weed-Mary possibly Hoyt
Hannah Weed-Benjamin Hoyt
Hannah Hoyt-Daniel Scofield
Hannah Scofield-Nathaniel Finch
Jesse Finch-Hannah
Hannah Finch-John Bell
Hannah Bell-Thomas J Knott
John Wilson Knott-Harriet Starr
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendents

Fun fact:  In a Rootsweb listing of the families of Stamford, Ct., there are 17 Jonas Weeds listed up to about 1779..  I'm sure glad ours was the first!