Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Allen line: Timothy Ford bt 1611-1684, Immigrant

We know at least a few things about Timothy Ford.  It is quite likely that he came from Devonshire, England.  He may or may not be connected to the Henry and Catherine Drake Ford from that area.  I have it on my tree as fact, but looking at it more closely, he didn't have children named Henry or Catherine so I am a bit skeptical.  Also, Henry was a Sir Henry and Catherine was from a family connected to Sir Francis Drake.  So one would think that he would at least be accorded the title of "Gentleman" and I haven't found him referred to as such.  So maybe they were distant cousins, but Timothy was probably not their child.  (I hope I'm wrong; I like the Francis Drake connection.)

Timothy is believed to have come to New England in 1637 and to have stayed in the Cambridge area for a couple of years before traveling to New Haven.  We don't know whether he went to New Haven for religious reasons or for some other purpose, but it appears that his marriage took place at about this same time.  New Haven was the most Puritan town, and the strictest, in New England so we can hope he went willingly, knowing that life would be different in New Haven than it was in Boston. 

Most sides give his wife's name as Eliza Gordy, but I haven't found any documentation as to that name.  Torrey's New England Marriages doesn't give her even a first name, so I guess the verdict is still out on the name of his wife.  The marriage, however, is supposed to have taken place before 1640, as Samuel Ford was born in that year, and at least five other children were born after that.  Timothy signed his name to the New Haven Covenant in 1639 and received land during the first and second divisions of land there.  He took the "oath of allegiance" in 1644, which basically said he would do what the government (local) said.  215 other men took the oath at the same time, probably all the residents except for perhaps the very sick and those temporarily away from home.

He is believed to have been a farmer, and seems to have been hard pressed for funds in the early years of his marriage, but gradually acquired more land.  He moved to Fairfield, where he owned land before 1650, but was back in New Haven by 1652.  He was fined there, then for a defect in his arms (there were strict rules as to what kind of guns and swords each man must have, and the type and amount of ammunition0 and he tried to excuse himself by saying the requirements were different "where he came from".  Since he was fined, apparently the judge didn't buy the excuse. 

When the meeting house was built, the Fords were assigned seats toward the back of the room, which indicates a low social status, but 25 years later they were in the center of the room, and he was in the 7th row, which may mean he was more prosperous or it may mean simply that age had its privileges. 

His wife, referred to as Goody Ford, died in 1681 and Timothy died August 28, 1684.  He had sold some of his land to one of his sons in 1679, but his estate was still valued at 166 pounds, 17 shillings, and two pence. He had come up in the world. 

Timothy didn't leave a lot or records behind, but apparently he kept out of trouble except for the one arms violation, and that was hard to do in a town like New Haven.  My respects to this gentleman, our ancestor!

The line of descent is:

Timothy Ford-possibly Elizabeth Gordy
Bethiah Ford-Matthew Bellamy
Matthew Bellamy-Mary Johnson
Hannah Bellamy-John Royse
Elizabeth Royse-William McCoy
James McCoy-Nancy Lane
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants