Thomas French, of Guilford, Ct.
Communicated by A. D. Weld French, Esq., of Boston.
Guilford, Conn., July 15, 1890.
Dear Sir, As you requested last winter, I have copied all the notes of my grandfather [Hon. Ralph D. Smith] on the family of Thomas French, and have searched the records to see if anything concerning him had been overlooked. I am glad to have been able to be of service. I am sincerly yours, Bernard C. Steiner.
To A. D. Weld French., Boston, Mass.
Thomas French was among the earliest settlers of Guilford. His name is not on the plantation covenant. At the commencement of Town Records, Vol. A., page 1, under date August 14, 1645, is the following record: 'Mr. Samuel Disbrow.' [Richard Disbrow erased.] 'Tho: Betts members of ye church' 'Thos: French Planter took their oath.' charged agt. John Stone member of ye church ye particulars which he confest.
Savage says: 'Thomas French, Charleston 1638, removed to Guilford 1650 or earlier.' He probably came to Guilford about 1643.
At the General Court or Meeting held the 20th of February 1649-50, when Mr. Whitfield's reasons were tendered to the church here [at Guilford] for his removal and read in public & enquiry made in every man in particular concerning his ability in paying to the ministers for the present and probability to continue according to ordinary Providence. Thomas French said he should be able to continue his present sum and said further he was willing to ass 6 S. per annum.
It is probable that Mr. John Caffinge, when he left Guilford in the latter part of 1643, or beginning of 1644, got Thomas French to occupy his estate. At Guilford. Mr. Caffinch sued French, April 1, 1651, at New Haven, for the use of his house, land and cattle at Guilford. Probably French took them when Mr. Caffinch left that place. II. New Haven Col. Rec.
At a court Feb. 5, Anno 1651-2. Thomas French was called and admonished for saying in a clamourous and scandalizing way 'yt he nor his family were not relieved according to their need - nor yt could he get any corn in the town unless he came and offered them half so much more as it was worth, but when he did so, then they had corn enough for him, otherwise not, wherefore he was forced [to] go out of the town to get corn for his family' - or words to that effect. To which he acknowledged that this was only true of particular persons. The court out of tenderness to his familly pass it over, at present, with an admonition to take more heed of his carriage reports & speeches.
At a court May 3, 1655, he had two suits with John Everts with regard to hoggs, which were eventually arranged.
At a town meeting on ye 23rd of June 1665, Tho: French propounding in way of Petition to the town to have some relief on account of his daughter who was not wright in her own mind. When the town considered the request, It was put to vote & the vote passed in the negative, - That they did not see themselves engaged either to him or his & therefore did expect he shd. be returned to the place whence he came.
At a Town meeting August 21, 1665. The town being informed yt notwithstanding Thomas French had been denied entertainment or admittance into this town either for himself or his daughter - yet he had hired lands of Benj, Wright to settle on, - They did agree by vote as a prevention of him yt whosoever did any longer entertain either of them should give in sufficient security that they should be no damage to the town.
These votes are now inexplicable. Thomas French had been a planter for 20 years, had owned lands in the town, and was a man of property. This Thos. French was probably another man, or else the daughter was married to another man.
A Terryer of the lands belonging to Thomas French in Guilford as followith viz. 1 Prop. R. fol. 19.
Imps. One Home lot containing three acres & a halfe more or less allowed ffronting up to the Green by the Pound running back to the land of William Chittenden on the west, along by the rears of the Home lots of Edward Benton, Jaiob Sheaffe & in part of Willm Chittenden on the north the Home lots of Henry Gordan on the south. About 1650 he sold this lot to Thomas Stevens, son of John Stevens, and bought the homelot of Henry Dowde in Crooked Lane, described as follows, I. Prop. R. fol. 7.
Imps. One Home lot fronting to the street on the East & rearing back to the Home lot of John Stevens, bounded on the south with the home lot of John Mepham & on the Noth with the Home lot of Thomas Norton [then of John Norton & William Seward, Thomas dying in 1648] allowed for 2 acres more or less.
This last lot had been sold by Henry Dowde to Samuel Blachley about 1647 who sold it to Thomas French who sold it to William Boreman about 1656. Boreman died 1661, and his representatives sold it to Nathan Bradley about 1663, and Bradley sold it to John Chittenden May 20, 1667. See I. Prop. Red. fol. 19.
'Thomas French had sold and alienated all his houseing and house lot which he bought from Samuel Blachley as abovesaid unto William Boreman' & I. Prop. Rec. fol. 14.
'William Boremam hath with conseut of ye Court bought all Thomas French his houseing and house lot which was late Samuel Blachley's' & also same fol.
The following entry on the last page of I. Prop. R. fol. last Feb 14 (55) Thomas French & William Boreman entered and alienation upon an exchange made betwixt them viz. The said French hath given & granted in exchange all his rights in the upland and meadow to be divided at Athammonassock unto the said William Boreman & his heirs etc for & in consideration of the said Boremans now home lot with all his land there adjoining to the said Thomas French & his heirs forever.
In a Town meeting February 11th, 1673. Thomas French desiring that his son in law John Dudley might be accepted as a planter upon Thomas French engaging to give him 20 acres of land. The town accepted John Dudley to be a planter.
1 Thomas French, d. about 1665
2 Mary French,
John Everts, Jr., m. Sept. 14, 1665; d. Sept. 2, 1677.
3 Hannah French
4 Mercy French
5 Elizabeth French, m. Nov. 11, 1668.
6 Deliverence French, m. Dec. 21, 1669.
7 Sarah French, b Aug. 25, 1650; m. Oct. 24, 1668
Nathaniel Parmelee, d. in Indian War, 1676.
8 John French, b. July 25, 1652.
9 Martha French, b. Aug. 6, 1664.
John Deadley, m. 1673.
10 Thomas French, b. June 12, 1656; d. Feb. 28, 1659.
11 Ebenezer French, b. April 3, 1658.
12 Rebecca French, b. Jan. 10, 1660; d. Oct. 10, 1660.
13 Samuel French, b. Aug. 21, 1667; d. young.
14 Abigail French, b. March 2, 1669.
Sept. 16, 1668. - Thomas French was granted three or four acres of land on this side of Clapboard hill swamp, with part of the swamp, according to the Townsmen viewing it shall judge meete that no highway be prejudiced thereby.
Feb. 11th, 1673. - The town granted Thomas French liberty to exchange his land at Clapboard hill swamp, containing five acres and a half, allowing for it fourteen acres beyond East River.