Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Allen line: Daniel Finch 1560-1641

Actually, Daniel's birth date and location are still unrecorded, but 1560 is a guess based on his son Abraham's birth, again not found, of about 1585.  If we go with these dates, then Daniel was really quite an old man when he came to New England in an unknown ship in the Winthrop fleet in 1630.  He and several other Finches (brother John and son Abraham, and possibly others), settled in Watertown, Massachusetts.  To remind ourselves of how difficult life was in the beginning, in a new colony, there are notes that "Old Man Finch, of Watertown, had his wigwam burnt and all his goods", noted on October of 1630 by Winthrop himself  This would presumably been a first home, put up until a more suitable but still modest home could be found or built.  At least it was shelter from the rain, if not the cold winter, and the loss of his home and all his personal property would have been devastating.

Nevertheless, he persevered.  He is serving on a jury in May of 1631 and was made a Freeman on May 18.  He left Watertown before land grants were first recorded in 1636, and was the constable of Wethersfield, Connecticut in April of 1636.  This indicates he probably arrived there in 1635.  Again, by now he was 75 years old if we are working from the birthdate of 1560 or so.  I have seen speculation that Abraham was born as late as 1610, so genealogists could be off in thinking that Daniel was as old as I've represented him here.  Perhaps he was born as late as 1585-he was still 50 when he went to Wethersfield and probably feeling his age, whatever it was.

He stayed in Wethersfield only a few years and then moved on with friends to found Stamford in 1641, and finally to Fairfield, Connecticut.  There he married widow Elizabeth Thompson, who died by 1658, and later married Widow Mary Dickerson.  They had a son named Nathaniel.  Daniel died in Fairfield in March 1666/67, "aged about 81"

It looks like there needs to be more done on this Finch family.  My dates don't correspond with the dates I've used in this blog post.  Apparently I have one too many Finch generations, but I haven't figured out which one is incorrect.  I am going to put the line of descent as I have it in my tree, knowing it may be wrong and hoping a reader will be able to correct me, with documentation that seems to be lacking in what I've found so far.  I'm starting to wonder whether I see the hand of Gustave Anjou or one of his sort in this! 

The line of descent is (or might be)

Daniel Finch-first wife
Abraham Finch-Deborah Moulton
John Finch-Hannah Marsh
John Finch-Hester Davis
John Finch-Sarah
Nathaniel Finch-Hannah Scofield
Jesse Finch-Hannah
Hannah Finch-John Bell
Hannah Bell-Thomas Knott
John Wilson Knott-Harriet Starr
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants