06 September 2010

Descendants of John Steele of Farmington

(I) John Steele, immigrant, was born in county Essex, England, and died at Farmington, Connecticut, November 25, 1655. He came to this country when a young man, about 1631-32, and settled first in Cambridge, Massachusetts, then in Hartford, Connecticut, and finally in Farmington. His brother, George Steele, who also came to Hartford, died in 1663, very old. John married (first) Rachel -, in England. She died in 1653. He married (second), soon afterward, Mercy Seymour, sister of Richard Seymour, who survived him. Children: John, married Mercy Warriner, who married (second) Thomas Hill; Lydia, married, March 31, 1657, James Bird; Mary, twin with Lydia, married William Judd, Hannah, born 1655; Sarah, born about 1638, married Lieutenant Thomas Judd, Samuel, mentioned below. The order of birth of the children is not known.

(II) Samuel, son of John and Mercy (Seymour) Steele, was born in England in 1626-27, and came with his parents to America. He was a leading citizen of Farmington, Connecticut; deputy to the general assembly in 1668-69-72-77; lieutenant of the Farmington train band in 1674. He had a grant of land from the general court, May 9, 1672, of two hundred acres. He married Mary, daughter of Hon. James and Alice Boosey; her father was a prominent citizen of Wethersfield. She was born September 10, 1635, died at Farmington, in 1702. Children: James, born August 31, 1644, mentioned below; Mary, December 5, 1652; Rachel, October 30, 1654, lived at Wethersfield, married Jonathan Smith; Sarah, baptized December 29, 1656, died unmarried; Samuel, born March 11, 1658-59, died young; John, baptized December 10, 1661, died unmarried; Hannah, born 1688; Ebenezer, August 13, 1661, married, February 15, 1705, Sarah Hart.

(III) Captain James, son of Samuel and Mary (Boosey) Steele, was born August 31, 1644, died May 15, 1713. He was a merchant in Wethersfield, and captain of the train band. He married, July 19, 1687, Anna, daughter of Captain Samuel and Elizabeth (Hollister) Welles. She was born in 1668, at Wethersfield, and died in 1739, aged seventy-one. She married (second) November 20, 1718, James Judson, of Stratford. Captain Samuel Welles was a magistrate and commissioner, a son of Governor Thomas Welles. Children of Captain James Steele: Samuel, born October 1, 1688, married, June 23, 1714, Anna Williams; Dr. Joseph, September 27, 1690, mentioned below; Prudence, January 17, 1693, married, December 8, 1714, Josiah Deming, of Wethersfield; Hannah, March 18, 1697, married, July 10, 1715, Ephraim Goodrich; Anne, October 28, 1702, married William Hooker; David, June 8, 1706.

(IV) Dr. Joseph Steele, son of Captain James and Anna Welles Steele, was born at Wethersfield, September 27, 1690. He resided in Farmington, in the section now the town of Berlin, Connecticut. He married, February 16, 1715, Elizabeth, daughter of John Jr. and Sarah (Goodrich) Hollister, of Glastonbury. John Hollister, Sr., was one of the first settlers of Wethersfield. Children, born at Farmington: Elizabeth, December 16, 1715; Sarah, July 17, 1717; James, May 18, 1719, mentioned below; Abigail, January 5, 1721, married Nathan Booth, of Berlin, Connecticut; Dr. Samuel, February 24, 1722-23; Anna, January 23, 1724-25, married John Root; Ebenezer, May 18, 1727, married Sarah Middleton; Jonathan, married Bethia Stone; Elizur, 1736, married, November 17, 1765, Mary Rood; Lucy, June 24, 1737, married Jonathan Pitkin, resided at East Hartford.

(V) James, son of Dr. Joseph and Elizabeth (Hollister) Steele, was born May 18, 1719, died July 27, 1775. He married Mercy, daughter of Caleb and Abigail (Woodford) Cowles, granddaughter of Joseph Woodford, son of Thomas Woodford, who came from England to Farmington, aged seventeen, in 1664. She died July 22, 1809. They resided at Berlin, Connecticut. Children, born at Berlin: 1. Mercy, August 15, 1745; married, 1764, Alexander Rhoades, of Wethersfield, Connecticut; died in 1836. 2. James, August 18, 1746; married Lucretia Dibble. 3. Joseph, September 17, 1747-48; married Olive Churchill; resided in Kensington, Connecticut. 4. Elizabeth, August 18, 1752; married Eleazer Aspinwall; she died May 4, 1832. 5. Thomas, July 1755; died November 13, 1761. 6. Elijah, January 22, 1758; mentioned below. 7. Jonathan, November 5, 1761; died August 3, 1848. 8. Chloe, 1764-65; died December, 1776.

(VI) Elijah, son of James and Mercy (Cowles) Steele, was born at Berlin, January 22, 1758, died 1830. He was a soldier in the revolution, in the Fifth Company, under Captain Benedict Arnold, at the siege of Boston, in 1775; later in the campaign in New York; in Captain Thomas Converse's company, Colonel Heman Swift's regiment of the Connecticut Line in the Continental army, 1781-83. He married Hannah, daughter of Ezekiel and Mindwell (Barber) Scovill. Their daughter, Chloe, born October 2, 1780, married, June 30, 1799, James Skilton (see Skilton).

Source: Cutter, William Richard. Genealogical and Family History of the State of Connecticut: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. New York, NY, USA: Lewis Publishing Company, 1911.


  1. I would like to kindly point out an error in the beginning of your article above. John Steele married Mercy (Ruscoe) Seymour on November 25, 1655. He died on November 25, 1665 -- exactly ten years after their marriage.

  2. If you don't believe me, check pages 907-910 of the book "Four Ancestries - White, Griggs, Cowles, Judd, including Haring, Phelps, Denison, Clark, Foote, Coley, Haight, Ayers, and Related Families," compiled by Peter Haring Judd (2008)

  3. You typed, "Samuel, son of John and Mercy (Seymour) Steele, was born in England in 1626-27, and came with his parents to America."

    That is not correct. John and Mercy were married on November 25, 1655. Samuel's parents should be John Steele and Rachel [surname unknown].

  4. May I recommend that you compare all the books you can find on an ancestor such as Richard Seymour, John Steele, William Judd, or the others. Don't just rely on ONE book. The book you used as the source above contains several errors. Personally, when I find errors in a book, I don't use it as one of my sources. I also email people who maintain web sites of their ancestors and ask them whether the info I found is accurate or not. Many of them don't realize the info they have is wrong. I maintain my tree at the Ancestry web site and always include sources for each ancestor so when I am questioned, I can easily refer them to the sources. I am very picky about details in my tree and just cannot absolutely have any mistakes in my tree. Otherwise, my tree would be screwed up BIG TIME. If I am not sure or can't find anything, I leave the info blank like dates, surnames, etc. It's better that way than screwing up your tree to no end :-)

  5. Thanks for your comments and corrections MNICH5 -- the information provided here is from the sources cited. You should never rely on a single source for any genealogical data -- but you should also not discard information from any source. Even erroneous information is based on SOMETHING, and if you can figure out what, then that may help you prove some other point. Why did the author make that particular mistake? Was it confusion of identity -- then get some info on the other person of that name so that you can distinguish them in the records -- probably will turn out to be a cousin anyhow ... No source is perfect, but you may be throwing the baby out with the bathwater if you discard everything if you find any errors. Treat any printed source with caution, question all the facts and weigh all the evidence to arrive at an informed decision.