| || Notes for Martha Pitkin:|
MARTHA PITKIN, the mother of governor and statesmen. Of the father of Martha Pitkin, little is known. We do know that Martha had a brother William that preceded her in emigration to the American colonies, and, a brother Roger, in London, England, who was an officer in the King's Army. Martha Pitkin followed her brother William to America in 1661, to return with him to England, 'not once supposing he intended to remain in the wilderness,' as she expressed it. Her first greeting on meeting her brother, whom she found feeding his swine, was, 'I left a brother in England serving his king, and find another in America serving his swine.'
Martha Pitkin was a lady endowed with more than ordinary talent, improved by an excellent education. The reception she met with in the colony was most flattering; her comely form and accomplished manner making the colonists anxious to retain her in their country. In the words of the Rev. Thomas Robbins, for many years the pastor of the church she attended, 'this girl put the colony in commotion. If possible she must be detained. The stock was too valuable to be parted with. It became a matter of general consultation what young man was good enough for Miss Pitkin.' Tradition says that so many young men wished to marry the accomplished beauty, that they cast lots for her hand, but fails to say what part Miss Pitkin was to take in the affair. The facts are, that the sons of Henry Wolcott, one of the first settlers of East Windsor, were well pleased with Miss Pitkin, and to avoid all question of strife or jealousy, it is believed it was decided by lot among themselves which one should sue for her hand. The lot fell to Simon Wolcott, the youngest son; at all events, he pressed his suit, and was successful. Her brother favored the match, and she became the wife of Simon Wolcott, and subsequently the mother of Governor Roger Wolcott, grandmother of Governor Oliver Wolcott, and great-grandmother of the second Governor Oliver Wolcott, and of Governor Roger Griswold. Governor Ellsworth was also a lineal descendant, and her granddaughter married Governor Matthew Griswold. It was stated in the funeral sermon of Governor Roger Wolcott, her ninth child, that 'he never went to school, but was educated by his mother in her own dwelling'. (from The Cooley Genealogy and Pitkin Family of America)
After the death of her husband Martha Wolcott became, in 1693, the second wife of Mr. Daniel Clark, one of the first settlers of Windsor. He was the secretary of the colony before the charter, and was one of the magistrates named in that instrument. A man of influence in the colony, an assistant from 1662 to 1664, he was appointed by the town of Windsor to sit "in the great pew which was wainscoted for the magistrate. He died Aug. 12, 1710, aged 88. In the will of William Pitkin she is mentioned as "his sister Clark." She is buried in East Windsor, Conn., the resting place of several of her children. For a more complete history of her descendants, see the "Wolcott Memorial." (Pitkin Genealogy)
Previous to the use of surnames, which were not generally assumed in England until about 1070 A.D., and were then introduced by the Normans under William the Conqueror, the name of the next in kin or generation was designated by an affix to the sire name, as Peter-kin, from Peter, the parent name, which gave birth to a long list of family names by affix and suffix. The following extract from M. A. Lower's "Patronymica Britannica" (2119 d, British Museum), gives the following derivations from the parent name, Peter: Petre, Peters, Peterkin, Pitkin, Peterken, Peterson, Peterham, Pierce, Pierson, Perkin, Perkins, and others. The name of Pitkin is an abbreviation or derivation of Peterkin, which is kin to Peter. The records of Hertfordshire, Eng., bear witness that the name Pitkin is an honorable one, and has been a prominent one from the thirteenth century, a number of the family having held appointments under the several sovereigns. The royal borough of Berkhamsted, St. Peters, Hertfordshire, appears to have been the home of the Pitkins at an early date.