I have found new data on the Comstock family of William Comstock who died in New London prior to 1683.
The origins of his family in England prior to their arrival in New England between 1636 and 1640 have been elusive.There is no documented proof of his wife's surname despite the many places you find it as Elizabeth "Daniel" or "Daniels".It has never been certain she was his only wife - the reference to her as "now wife" has often been misundestood.In early New England "now wife" meant the current wife - whether she was the first or the third - just "wife".There is no documented proof of their arrival in America, and no records had been found regarding the births of their children.
There is a village called Culmstock, East Devon, in England.As many of the English surnames are derivative from geographical locations, the Comstocks have often been assumed to have lived in this area.And that's certainly a possibility; however, there are no actual records of this surname in this place at the time these Comstocks would have been born and then preparing to leave to cross the Atlantic.
The first actual record on this side of the ocean is William Comstock's name on a list of 108 settlers that arrived in Wethersfield, Connecticut between 1636 and 1640.He was not one of the original ten men from Watertown, Massachusetts, who made what is believed to be this first settlement in Connecticut the year before in 1635.The explanation accompanying the list is that these settlers are believed not to have come from Watertown as did the original proprietors and that some of them had come directly from England. This list can be found in "History of Ancient Wethersfield",p.29, which is available on Ancestry.com.In 1641, Comstock was living on a tract purchased from one Richard Mylles [Mills], who is believed to have left Wethersfield about 1637 or 1638.
There is a Baptism at St. Martin in the Fields, London, for a Guilielmus [William] Comstock on this date, 4 Jul 1596.See LDS Microfilm #0845235,Item 2; Publication of the Harleian Society, Volume XXV, "A Register of Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials in the Parish of St. Martin in the Fields In the County of Middlesex,From 1550 to 1619."
There was a burial at St. Martin in the Fields for a Guilielm' Comstock on 20 May 1598 - no age or parents given, so it may or may not be the child born in 1595.There are few Comstocks in these records.In fact the name is found in connection with only four other burials between 1595 and 1603.Although the name may be correct there is room for much doubt but this date is often seen online as the "fact" of William Comstock's birth - others place his birth in the ancient village of Culmstock in Devon.However there are no records there of Comstocks in this time period, although a number of Comstock records can be found in neighboring Somerset.
In the database "London, England, Baptisms, Marriages & Burials, 1538-1812" on Ancestry.com, can be found at Hillingdon, Uxbridge, St Margaret, on the western side of London, the following baptisms.These are digitized images of the original register, not transcriptions.
1624, 21 JulDaniell, sonne to Willm Coomestock and Elizabeth his wife.
1626, 10 SepJohn, sonne to Willm Coomestocke and Elizabeth his wife
1629, 26 AprSamuell, sonne to Willm Coomestock and Elizabeth uxor["uxor" is Latin for wife]
1634, 18 AugAn entry that appears to be incomplete.The child is Christopher - the father's abbreviated first name, may indeed be Wm and the surname does look much like Coomestock in the other entries - it has been indexed as "Cumsters" but it isn't that word at all.
1636, 17 MayA second entry for a son Christo'r, appears several times as an abbreviation apparently for Christopher. The father was William Coomestock. There is an unreadable word following the father's name - almost looks like "and" and doesn't seem to be "wife" or "uxor", the Latin word used often for the wife.
Burials are not listed for Uxbridge St. Margaret until several years later.But it would seem that the above male children match the sons of William Comstock as presumed in America with the possibility of a son Christopher born and died as an infant and the next son given his name.No baptism for Elizabeth Comstock, believed to have been a daughter, but there was an incomplete entry in a year which is curious:
1632, 29 Jun 1632Birth of a child named Elizabeth with NO PARENTS listed at all.
An assumption that this is Elizabeth Comstock should not be made, but there's no question the time of her birth fits neatly between Samuel and the Christopher above.Elizabeth may have been born in New England if she was the youngest child.
It is always possible this is not the family of our immigrant William Comstock, but if it is not, the time frame and names of children would add up to a number of amazing coincidences.And the last baptism in 1636, leaves plenty of time for a voyage across the sea about 1638.
I found something else - a marriage.FamilySearch.org.
A Wm. Camstock married Eliz. Cock, 2 Sep 1623, High Wycombe, Buckingham, England
It can be found in the database:"England, Marriages, 1538–1973 "
Now High Wycombe is about 15 or so miles west of Uxbridge and a bit further out of London, but this is not an impossible distance.The wife is certainly Elizabeth and this marriage takes place some 10 months before the first recorded baptism at St Margaret.
Certainly these records suggest further research in the English records, but it would seem we have specific places to look.