Thanks for posting, Willie.Here is some information you may not have:
On June 22 1632 the Lyon sailed from London, financed by a group of Puritan settlers headed by John Winthrop. It was the first of 13 sailing ships in the Winthrop fleet that embarked to New England that year. John Winthrop (1587-1649) was a wealthy Puritan lawyer and a leading figure in the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the first major settlement in New England after Plymouth Colony.
The Lyon’s passengers became known as the "Braintree Company” because many of them came from that town in Essex. The passageis considered the first of the large Puritan emigrations that comprised the Great Migration. On board the Lyon were three-hundred sixty passengers, all Puritan stock. Many were related or were to become related by marriage. After a voyage of twelve weeks the Lyon arrived at Boston on Sunday evening September 16, 1632. Its passengers first settled at Mount Wollaston (now Quincy, Massachusetts) and shortly thereafter o Cambridge.
Richard Olmstead III was 21 years old when he boarded the Lyon with his brother John 16, and sister Rebecca, 9. No explanation has been found as to why their father did not accompany them. (Their mother Frances had died 1630 and Richard II stayed at Fairsted until he died 1641 at the age of 62.) Rather, the young Olmsteads traveled to the New World with their uncle James Olmstead, 52 (1580-1684) and his sons Nicholas, 21, and Nehemiah 14.
The earliest known ancestor of the Olmstead branch was John de Olmsteade of Halsted, County Essex, England. He was “Master of the Horses” to John de Vere (1516-1562 the Sixteenth Earl of Oxford.The ancestral seat was Olmsted Hall, a moated stone farmhouse by the river Chelmer in the Great Waltham village of Great Leighs, Essex.(Situated now to the northeast of Greater London.) Olmsted Hall wasdeeded to “ John and Martin de Olmestede”by de Vere in1550. The family name gradually was shortened to Homested and later to Olmsted; later in America, to Olmstead.John de Olmsteade was married to Alice Hawkins and their son James was born in 1551. James Olmsted (1551-1595)married Jane Bristow on August 12 1576. Their children were: Thomas, Nicholas, John, Mabel, Elizabeth, Richard(1579-1641) James (1850-?)
Richard Olmsted(March 22 1579 at Great Leighs – November 16 1641)married Frances Slany in 1605 at Great Leighs. Their children were: Joseph(1605) Richard II (1612 – April 20 1687) Mary (1615)John (1617-1686) Sarah (1620-)Rebecca (1624-1698) Joseph (1627)
Richard II Olmsted was born February 20 1612 at Fairsted, a parish in the Witham district of Essex. He married Francis Slacty, daughter of Richard Slacty, circa 1645 He married Mrs. Thomas Smith circa 1670
James was the son of James and Jane (Bristow) Olmsted of Great Leighs and brother to Richard III’s father. He had married sixteen-year old Joyce Cornish (1589)in 1605. Their children were: twins Faith and Frances (1609), Mabel (1610), Nicholas (1612) James (1615) Nehemiah (1618) and Mary (Apri1 18 1621). The Fairsted parish cemetery register tells a sorrowful story:
Francis, aged 12 died February 14 1621; Mabel aged 11 died February 18 1621; Faith, aged 12 died March 3 1621; James aged 6 died March 8, 1621; Joyce Olmstead aged 32 diedApril 21, 1621; Mary, newborn April 18, died April 24 1621.
Family biographer Henry King Olmstead wrote in 1912: “At the age fifty-twohe left a desolated home at Fairsted. In the God's Acre of that " fair place " slept his wife and four of their seven children.”
Thomas Hooker, true to his promise, arrived in Cambridge in the summer of 1636.He learned that his Puritan flock had become dissatisfied with the Massachusetts form of government and desired to relocate.Hooker dispatched James Olmstead to a “pleasant Connecticut Valley” of which they had heard reports, and upon receiving a positive report from him, the small band of immigrant Puritans left Massachusetts, headed for Connecticut:
"… about a hundred people from his congregation along with as many cattletook their departure from Cambridge and travelled more than a hundred miles through a hideous and trackless wilderness. They had no guide but their compasses over mountains,through swamps, thickets, and rivers, which were not passable but with great difficulty. They had no cover but the heavens, nor any lodgings but those which simple nature afforded them. They drove with them a hundred and sixty head of cattle, and by the way, subsisted on the milk of their cows. Mrs. Hooker (who was ill) was bornethrough the wilderness upon a litter. The people generally carried their packs, arms, and some utensils. They were nearly a fortnight on their journey."
The group established a settlement “to thenorth of the Dutch”(In 1623, Dutch settlers had built a fortified trading post called the FortHouse of Good Hope) They originally called their new home “New Towne”, but changed it to Hartford at the suggestion of Thomas Hooker’s principle aide Samuel Stone, who was from the county town of Hertfordshire in England.
There, Thomas Hooker delivered a sermon which inspired the writing of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, a document investing the people with the authority to govern, rather than ceding that authority to a higher power. Hooker’s conception of self-rule embodied in the Fundamental Orders went on to inspire the Connecticut Constitution, and ultimately the U.S. Constitution; hence Connecticut's nickname as the 'Constitution State.'
Abrownstone monument erected in 1837 in the ancient burying ground known as Old Center Cemetery is carved with the names of the original settlers of Hartford. The plaque reads:
In Memory of the Courageous
Who Inspired and Directed by
Thomas Hooker Journeyed Though the
Wilderness from Newton (Cambridge)
in the Massachusetts Bay to
Hartford - October, 1635
Two of the 163 names carved on the monument are Richard Olmstead and his uncle James. Their biographies are maintained by the Society of the Descendants of Hartford: (excerpted and edited for clarity):
“Richard Olmsted, came with his uncle James in the “Lion;” one of the original proprietors of Hartford;his home-lot in 1639 was on the west side of Main Street…andthe buildings north of it. This lot was taken by the town, Jan. 11, 1640 for the burying place, and Olmsted received instead an acre and a half of ground "lying at the north meadow gate."He served in the Pequot War, and was in the Saco fight; Constable, 1647; Fence-viewer, 1650 (inspector offences and settlement of disputes arising from). One of the signers of the agreement for planting Norwalk, June 19, 1650 and was the leading man there “defying the dangers of wild beast and Indian, struck still deeper into the wilderness, and founded with his family and other friends the town of ”Norwalk;” was authorized “to exercise the soldiers” May, 1653; Lieutenant 1659, He was a freeman in 1662; muster-master for Fairfield County; 1673 Deputy, May and many times after; was one of the petitioners in 1672 for a new plantation “neare the back side of Norwalk. He removed from New-towne to Hartford in 1636 with his uncle and shortlyon to Norwalk in 1660; Served as a Surgeon serving the militia in King Philip's War. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Matthew Marvin. Aged about 76 in September 1683. His will was probated September 22 1686 and left most of his large estate to his brother and sister; no children were mentioned in his will and his wife died before he did.”
As the colonial population increased, the New Englanders expanded their settlements along the region's coastal plain and up the Connecticut River valley. They established a few small towns in the interior between Boston and the Connecticut River settlements and towns such as Windsor,Hartford,Springfield, Northampton, andProvidence,progressively encroaching on traditional territories of the several Algonquian-speaking tribes in the region.
The Pequot War was a series of conflicts 1634–1638 between the Pequot tribe against an alliance of the colonies and the Narragansett and Mohegan tribes. At issue were territorial claims and fur trade. The Pequot had ruled the land since around 1500.Underlying these tensions and providing a spark to the war was the active slave trade in Indians and the kidnapping of native women and children who were be transported to Virginia and sold as slaves. One privateer slaver was captured and murdered by the Niantic tribe, which set off a series of events that pitted the Pequot against the colonists and other tribes. The traditional enemies of the Pequot, the Mohegan and the Narragansett, openly sided with the English. A series of attacks by the colonists and their Indian allies was followed by retributive Indian raids in which citizens were attacked and killed. On April 23 1637, the Pequots and their allies the Wongunks killed six men and three women, stole cattle and horses, and kidnapped two young girls who were held for ransom.
On May 26 what is known as The Mystic Massacre occurred. Several hundred Pequot warriors attacked Hartford.Captain John Mason took a force of 400 men – including Richard Olmstead - for an assault on the Pequot palisade at Misistuck. Mason knew that the Pequot warriors who had fought at Hartford had gone into hiding away and that the camp would be populated mostly by women and children. Mason estimated “six or seven hundred” Pequot within; he ordered the enclosure set on fire and ordered his men to kill any Pequot trying to escape. Of the estimated 600 to 700 Pequots at Mystic that day, only seven survived to be taken prisoner and seven more escaped into the woods.Mason later declared that the attack against the Pequot was “an Act of God who laughed at the enemies of his people making a fiery oven…thus did the Lord judge among the Heathen, filling Mystic with dead bodies.”
The result was the virtual elimination of the Pequot, whose few remaining surviving warriors were either hunted down and killed or joined other tribes. An agreement known as the Treaty of Hartford in September 1638 consisted of about 200 Pequot“old men, women and children” surrendering and offering themselves for slavery in exchange for their lives.
King Philip’s War, also known as Metacomet’s War, is named after the main leader of the Algonquins and known to the English as "King Philip." His alliances consisted of about 4,000 Narragansett of western Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut; 2,400 Nipmuck, 2,400 in the Massachusetts and Pawtucket tribes and a few other smaller tribes.They had distinct cultures although they each spoke a language of the Algonquian family. The Indians had adopted steel knives, tomahawks and flintlock muskets as their weapons of choice
After a series of Indian attacks during the summer of 1675 at Middleborough and Dartmouth, Mendon, Brookfield, Lancaster and Saco (referred to above as the Saaco fight’) colonists in their respective militias organized a punitive expedition to hunt down, among others, the Podunk and Nipmuck tribes. On June 28 in Rhode Island they destroyed the Wampanoag village at Mount Hope; in September the colonial force found the Narragansett village at South Kingstown. A combined force of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and Connecticut militia numbering about 1,000 men attacked the Indian fort. The fierce battle that followed is known as the Great Swamp Fight. The militia killed about 300 Narragansett, burned the five-acre village and fort and destroyed most of the tribe's winter stores. Those of the Narragansett warriors and their families who survived escaped into the wilderness.
Throughout the winter of 1675–76, the colonials and the Native Americans continued to attack each other. The Indians determined to destroy frontier settlements in their effort to expel the English colonists, while the colonists formed raiding parties designed to inflict maximum damage in life and property. Soldiers were allowed to keep the possessions of warring Indians and received a bounty on all captives.
King Philip's War joined the Powhatan wars of 1610–1646 in Virginia, the Pequot War of 1637 in Connecticut, the Dutch-Indian war of 1643 along the Hudson River and the Iroquois Beaver Wars of 1650 in a list of ongoing uprisings and conflicts between various Native American tribes and the French, Dutch, and English colonial settlements of Canada, New York, and New England. Chief Metacomet was killed when he was tracked down by Captain Benjamin Church and Captain Josiah Standish (son of Captain Myles Standish) of the Plymouth Colony militia at Mount Hope. He was beheaded, then drawn and quartered.His head was displayed in Plymouth for twenty years. After King Philip's War, most of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island was now nearly completely open to New England's continuing settlement, free ofresistance from the Native Americans.
King Philip’s War was the single greatest calamity to occur in seventeenth-century Puritan New England. In the space of little more than a year, over 600 colonial men (including one-tenth of all men available for military service), women and children were killed, twelve of the region's towns were destroyed and many more damaged, the colony's economy was all but ruined Proportionately, it was one of the bloodiest and costliest wars in the history of North America. The estimate of Native Americans killed ranges from 3,000 to 10,000.In addition, Scarlet Fever and Bubonic plague were native to Europe, and when exposed to it from the settlers the Indians exhibited little immunity because they had no previous exposure. These diseases and others killed thousands more.
The New England colonists emerged victorious. With their successful governments and towns, low death rate, and their extraordinary population growth rate of about 3% a year (doubling every 25 years), they repaired all the damage, replaced their losses, rebuilt the destroyed towns and continued establishing new towns within a few years.The Native Americans who weren’t killed or died of disease dispersed out of New England; some were put on a form of early reservations. Several hundred were tried and executed or enslaved and sold in Bermuda, including Metacom's son and wife.
Richard Olmsted II moved to Norwalk in 1651. His name appears in the deed of the Indian Chiefs dated Feb. 15, 1651, in which the Indians ceded land on which he built his 4-acre homestead "for the consideration of Thirtie Fathum of Wampum, Tenn Kettles, Fifteen Coates, Tenn payr of Stockings, Tenn Knifes, Tenn Hookes, Twenty Pipes, Tenn Muckes, and Tenn needles."
Town records documenthis life in Norwalk:
1653 – May 21, appointed Sergeant of the Norwalk Trainband (civilian soldiers), to raise a company of 65 men for the defense of Norwalk; to exercise (train) them, view their arms, and to make return to the Court.
1653 -appointed Deputy of Norwalk to the General Court at Hartford.
1656 -licensed by the General Court to sell leather.
1657, chosen Townsman (Alderman) in Norwalk.
1659 – May 19, made Captain of Connecticut Colonial Trainband and appointedto settle a difficulty between the towns of Stratford and Fairfield, with the Indians, relative to land
1660 – May 17,appointed Grand Juror for Norwalk.
1660 – October 4, appointed Deputy to the General Court at Hartford.
1665 – October 12, appointed to view the lands appertaining to Hastings and Rye, for a new plantation.
1666 - appointed to run line (survey) between Fairfield and Norwalk.
1667 - was sent to Rye to procure a minister, and hire him for40 pounds a year.
1669 – May 13, for his 1637 service in the Pequot War he was awarded 60 acres if land at Soldier’s Field, Hartford.
1669 - to 1675 Selectman in Norwalk.
1670 - was appointed to survey lands inNorwalk, Stamford, Greenwich and Rye.
1673 – November 26, appointed Muster Master (organizer and inspector for the militia) for Fairfield County.
1675 - was appointed to sign bills for the payment of the soldiers in King Philip's War.
1675- 1676was a Captain of Hartford militia in in King Philip's War
1667 to 1678 wasCommissioner for Norwalk holding magisterial powers over all legal and property matters..
1678 - Appointed Captain of Connecticut State Militia, commissioned for the next 6 years.
Richard died on April 20, 1687 at Norwalk.Excerpts from his will (edited for clarity, with some original spelling intact):
I Richard Olmsted of the towne of Norwalk, in the County of Fairfield, in the Colony of Connecticott, Aged seventy six yeers, or thereabout, being (by the hand of God upon mee) at prsent, infirme & weake of body, yet (through the mercy of the most high) of perfect understanding & memory, doe make appoint manifest & declare, this to bee my last Will and Testament.
I doe comitt my soule into the hande of God, my Creator, that hath made it & of my Deare Redeemr, Jesus Christ that hath bought it, and my body I bequeath unto the dust from whence it was, to bee decently interred & buryed in hopes of a happy & glorious resurrection at the last day. And as for that temporall estate which God hath pleased to endow mee withall, I doe will & dispose as followeth, viz.:
I bequeath unto my son John, my present dwelling house, barne, home lot, orchard to bee him & his hiers forever, to have hold & possess after my decease… providing that my son James, have a joint use of the barne two or three years, with free egresse & regresse, till hee can (if hee doe not before) provide himself of a barne.
Ibequeath to my eldest son James Olmsted, my fruitfull spring lot of meadow, to bee to him & his heirs to have hold possess forever after my decease. I do also bequeath to my son James my cow lot of upland, also three acres of plowing land at Sacatuck Plaine…moreover one acre of my fruitfull spring lott of apple land and my pasture lott;
Ibequeath to my son John Olmsted, one acre of land in my fruitfull spring lott, to bee added to that which is now his, And also the lott called the pine hill lott, as also the remainder of Sacatuk lott, aftr James hath resigned his three acres before expressed; my lott called the house lott, all the afforsayd parcells of land, I doe giue & bequeath to my son John, to have hold possess forever.
Ibequeath unto my two sons James & John, my meadow lott on the other side of Norwalk River, which shall bee equally divided crosswise, providing that hee whose part lyeth lowest, shall have liberty granted by the other of free egresse & regresse;the said parcells of medow so divided to bee to each of my sons; I bequeath unto my sons, James & John all my meadow lying in the great marsh, to each of them an equall share, (as neere as it can bee divided). Moreover I do will unto my sons, James & John, my lott of upland called a gratuity lott, lying upon the hill on the other side of the river, by the land of Thomas Benedick Senior; also my lott at Sticky Plaine; & my lott that lyeth aboue the Sawmill, sixty acres of land, granted mee by the General Court; Also all my right of lands at Pequiog, all these afforesaid parcells of land, Iwill unto my two sons, unto each an equall share by a just distribution.
I bequeath to my son James; one fether bed that is in the chamber; also one flock bed that is now in his hand; Also I do give to my son John; one flock bed to bee his after my decease. It is also my will that the cloaths of my first wife & daughter deceasedbee to my sons & their wiues, by as equall a distribution as may bee.
Ibequeath as a legacy of my love, unto my cousin Nicholas Olmsted of Hartford, the summe of twenty shillings; Ibequeath to my cousin Bazies, his two daughters, viz: Elizabeth Peck; and Lidea Baker, to each of them the summe of twenty shillings, these afforesayd legacyes to bee payd unto them in current pay by my executors & administrators within two yeers aftr my decease.
I bequeath unto Samuell Smith the bed that was my last wifes, also one pillow, & the blew rugge and the great chest, that was my wives.
Finally it is my will that all other my goods not before distributed & mentioned as disposed in this my will; all my chattells, chattel; horse, neat, sheep, swine, comonage of lands, I say it is my will (all just debts, legacyes, funerall charges being first discharged) that all the forementioned goods, bee equally divided betweene my two sons James & John; by the help of my ouerseer.
I havesett to my hand & seale, this fifth day of Septe1mber in the yeare of or Lord, One Thousand, Six Hundred, Eighty and Foure. Olmstead, Richard, son. of Richard.
Bapt. at Fairsted, co. Essex, Eng., 20 Feb. 1612, d. at Norwalk, early in 1687.
Richard’s sister Rebekah, who as a girl of 9 had sailed with the Olmstead party on the Lyon, died February 24, 1679.She married Thomas Newell (1612-1689), a Puritan immigrant of 1634 and had ten children with him. Thomas and Rebekah were among the original twelve settlers of Farmington, Connecticut in 1640. They purchased land from Sequasin, chief of the Tunxis Indians and called the road from Hartford to Farmington “Pilgrim’s Path.”The settlers built theCongregational Church. Fines were levied for those who didn't attend church.
Richard Olmstead II (1612-1684) married Frances Slacty (b.1616 at Fairsted – d. September 10, 1630), daughter of Richard Slacty, about 1645. Their children were Capt. James Olmstead (4/17/1645-4/28/1731) and Lt. John Olmstead (12/30/1649 -?)Richard married Mrs. Thomas Smith around 1670
John Olmstead (b.1649 at Hartford-1704) Jr. He married Mary Benedict (1652-1693) daughter of Lt. Thomas Benedict (1617-1690) and Mary Brigham on November 11, 1670. John and Mary had thirteen children:Mary (1674) twins John and Jane (1677) Eunice (1678) Sarah (1679) Rebecca (1681) Daniel (1682) Elizabeth (1684) Anna (1686) John (1688) Abagail (1680) and Richard (1692) and Deborah (1693)..
Lt. John Olmsted married Elizabeth Pardie or Pardee (b.1660 in Hartford-1707 before 1687.
Ensign December 22 1704
Daniel Olmstead (1682-1749) married Hannah Ketchum () of Norwalk on May 9 1711.She was the daughter of Joseph Ketchum and Mercy Lindall. Their children: Daniel II (1712-1730) Samuel II (1715-1788) Nathan (1717) Richard (1717) Ambrose (17179) Hannah (1721) Jonathan (1723) Elizabeth (1727) and Ezekiel (1730
Samuel II (1715 – b.1788 in Ridgefield - ?).married Abiah Smith (1716-1796) on April 15 1737 in Fairfield County. She was daughter of Ebenezer Smith and Sarah Collins.Their children were: Daniel II? (1738-1814) Abiah (1739-1781) Sarah (1744-1793)) Samuel III (1746-1816)Ebenezer (1748) Hannah (1750-1825) Jared (1753-1825)
Lt. Ebenezer Olmsted (1748-1801) enlisted in the Connecticut militia on January 24 1775. He fought throughout the New York Campaign of 1776 at the battles of Long Island, Harlem Heights and White Plains.He joined the 5th Connecticut Continentals on January 1, 1777 as a Lieutenant and fought on his home ground during the British raid on Ridgefield in April 1777.He was wounded during the battle of Germantown on October 4, 1777.
In January 1779 he was encamped at Redding, eight miles from where Esther Ingersoll lived with her parents. He took leave and married her on January 17th.Tim Abbott, a writer and descendant of Ebenezer’s has written “True,it appears he sired my direct ancestor with the minister's daughter a year before they were legally married, but after all, he did finally make an honest woman of her.”
On December 21, 1780, the town of Ridgefield appointed Lt. Ebenezer Olmsted constable "“to collect the state tax for the year ensuing."“This was a mark of public trust,” Tom Abbot has written, “but it appears that in at least the former case they were sadly misplaced.My ancestor, while very good at collecting taxes, was much worse at forwarding them along to Hartford, and appears to have robbed the town blind.”
On April 10, 1786, The Town Meeting agreed to “accept the resignation of Lt. Ebenezer Olmsted of his office of collector of ye state taxes on ye list of 1780, on conditions of his accounting with and paying to the Select Men the full that he has collected.”And on Sept. 30, 1786 – “Ebenezer Olmsted, late collector of ye state taxes for ye town of Ridgefield, holden under arrest at the town of said Ridgefield, shall be liberated and discharged from said suit, upon condition for the said Olmsted shall fully vest the right”to his property holdings in town. The property includes his 13-acre homestead on Main Street, about 25 acres scattered around town, eight tons of hay, his right to some cows, and “2,258 Continental Dollars.” He is ordered to deliver all to the town treasurer and told to post a 1,000 pound bond to guarantee payment of the owed taxes.
Abbot continues: “On March 12, 1787, the town held a sale of the property of Ebenezer Olmsted, who had pocketed the state tax collections he had made in 1780. The house fetches only 129 pounds – Olmsted had paid 300 pounds for it in 1782. The sale and confiscations are not enough to cover what is owed to the state, however, and the issue drags on.” In 1800, the year before his death, the Congregational Church records that Ebenezer Olmsted still was assigned to the 4th pew.
Between 1780 and 1801 when he died, Ebenezer and Esther Ingersoll Olmsted had at least 12 children. Her once-illegitimate daughter- Francis "Fanny" Eustace moved to St. Louis with her husband, the Reverend Thomas Eustace. Curiously, or not, Fanny’s birth date does not appear on any family records that have yet to be discovered.The truth of her birth status only came to light when Tom Abbot found both evidence of both her birth and her parent’s marriage.
Many of the Olmstead kin served in the Revolutionary War.