Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Harts and Wrights in Farmington and Wethersfield
As our family history road trip continues, my sister, my niece and I are staying in Farmington, Connecticut. After my sister booked us two nights here as a base for our travels in Connecticut, I realized that we would be staying in a town which our eight times great grandfather, Deacon Stephen Hart, helped to found. Although we get our surname from another line of Harts, we are still as directly descended from Stephen as we are from Nicholas, the infamous one. As it turns out, Princess Diana and the boys are also directly descended from Stephen on one of her mother's American lines. (Just saying). Stephen also lived in Hartford, Connecticut, and it is said that Hartford is named after him, as there was a ford in the river called "Hart's Ford" which derived its name from him. We were able to locate the site of the Hart Grist Mill yesterday down the road from us in Farmington.
We visited the beautiful and picturesque town of Old Wethersfield (wethersfieldct.com/visitor-information) yesterday, and although some of the historical sites were closed, we were able to wander around and make some wonderful discoveries. It was especially eye-opening for me to visit the Wethersfield Historical Society (www.wethhist.org) and see books on the shelves with the names of so many early Wethersfield families from which we are directly descended, including Wright, Deming, Foote, Welles, and Hurlbut. Charles Wright, my four times great grandfather, mentioned in my previous blogpost, was born in Wethersfield, but his family moved to Goshen, Connecticut, when he a child, before the birth of his brother Freedom. I was struck by what an important place Wethersfield was on my family tree, how the history of the town was so entwined with our own family history, and yet how exotic all this was to me. We really did not know about any of this until a couple of years ago. Oddly enough, my sister and I both mentioned that we felt at "home" and at "peace" here. I hope to write more about my Wethersfield ancestors in future blogposts.
One of our discoveries was a memorial to our nine times great grandfather Nathaniel Foote at the far end of the village green pictured here:
We also visited the cove where our eight times great grand uncle Thomas Deming built the first ship ever built in Connecticut, the Tryall, in 1649:
Today, we wend our way toward Plymouth, Massachusetts, in search of our Mayflower heritage. We hope to stop in at Little Compton, Rhode Island, on the way, where the descendants of Nicholas Hart lived for so long.