We know a little more about Hugh Calkins than about some of our other immigrant ancestors. Research done by Mr. Roy Edwards in 1998 finally pinpointed his parents' marriage and his christening date. Since they were both in the same location, we are taking Waverton, Cheshire, England, as his hometown, although it is possible that they lived on a farm or in a village even smaller than Waverton. At any rate, the records show that Waverton was an important place in their lives. This area is to the east of the northern part of Wales, so it is not surprising that for a long time it was believed that Hugh was from Wales.
Hugh was the son of Rowland and Ellen Payne Calkin, who were married June 23, 1597 at St. Oswald church in Chester. . He was christened on April 8,1603 at St Peter in Waverton. Brothers William, Hugh, and Peter were baptized there, too.
We don't know his parent's occupation, nor his, but this area has been known for dairy and for sheep raising, so it's possible that Rowland, and later Hugh, were involved in farming, at least to some extent. We don't know when Hugh married, or to whom, although her name is frequently given as Ann, or Sarah Ann, Eaton. Since marriages frequently took place in the bride's church, it is possible that the records still exist somewhere, but they don't seem to be at Waverton. It's estimated that the marriage took place sometime around 1626, since their first known child was born in 1627.
We also don't know when Hugh and Ann became "non-conformists." Were they born into non-conforming families, or did they all become non-conforming over time, or were Hugh and Ann "breakaways" from the family religion? We don't know the answer to that yet, either, but we do know they were non-conformists; one source even terms Hugh "radical". It is believed that Hugh and Ann and their children came to America about 1640, since daughter Deborah was buried at Waverton October 4, 1639. It's possible that Hugh had come earlier and that Ann stayed behind to deliver and then bury their child. They traveled with Rev. Richard Blinman once they were here, so perhaps they came as part of his congregation in 1640.
Hugh and Ann's children were Sarah, Mary, Rebecca, Deborah John, David, and Deborah again. There may also have been a daughter Susan. David and the second Deborah were born in Massachusetts, after the family arrived here. Hugh and family settled first at Green's Harbor in Plymouth Colony, but soon moved to Gloucester with Mr. Blinman. We don't know the whole story, but there was some sort of religious dissension involving his minister and others. He was made a freeman Dec. 27, 1642 at Gloucester, so he owned at least a modest amount of property by then. He was a selectman 1643-1648, and then moved to New London, Connecticut, about 1650, again with Rev. Blinman. He was a selectman and representative there, and was also a town clerk. In 1662 he moved to what would become Norwich, leaving some of his daughters in New London. In Norwich he was the first deacon of the church, and a representative in 1663-1664. He died in 1690, at the age of ninety years. He and son John are listed as founders of Norwich, so the land was wilderness when they arrived.
There is a Calkins Family Association with their own website that has most of this information, and I recommend that you "google" for it and enjoy all the work that has gone into that site. I am so grateful that this work has been done so that we can enjoy knowing a little about our immigrant ancestor.
The line of descent is:
Hugh Calkins-Ann possibly Eaton
Deborah Calkins-Jonathan Royce
John Royce-Sarah Perrigo
John Royce-Hannah Bellamy
Elizabeth Royce-William McCoy
James McCoy-Nancy Lane
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook