John may have been the man of that name who was in Duxbury, Massachusetts, in 1638. If so, he probably married there. His first three children may have also been born there. The next two have baptisms recorded at New Haven, Connecticut (1646 and 1648). John was described as being from Stratford in depositions in his father's court case in 1647, but there is no other evidence found to place him there. John was admitted a member of the General Court at New Haven on 24 February 1644(/1665?),(1) and he is mentioned at a court session held on 2 March 1646(/1647?).(2) A record of the General Court dated 25 May 1646 says that John and another man "doe looke that noe hydes come out of the tanners hands but those that are well tanned, & that they seale them if they doe allowe them, & that they have 4 d p hyde for vieweing & sealing of them."(3) This is a description of the town office of leather sealer. He and his wife are on a list of those seated in the New Haven meetinghouse, dated 10 March 1646(/1647?). By 1 January 1648(/1649?), John is among the absent landowners identified as not tending their fences. This may indicate the family's removal to Norwalk, but perhaps they lived in another town for several years, such as Milford. The enumeration of children born in Norwalk mentioned earlier says only one of John's children was born there. He had three known children very likely born after 1648. The word "absent" may be better clarified by historians for this period. John was involved in a court case similar to his father's, but the wording is obtuse. It concerned a complaint against his duties as leather sealer and his trade as a tanner.(4) It seems that the family did not leave New Haven until 1654. On 6 June of that year, the General Court gave permission to Thomas Wheeler to buy John Gregory's house and 6 acres, with provisions.(5) During an account of Wheeler's estate, a deed to this property (in the "Yorkshire Quarter") was presented, dated 24 November 1654.(6)
John is in the first account of landowners in the Norwalk town records, called the "estate of lands" in 1655. John was a deputy to the General Assembly of Connecticut, at its meeting on 11 May 1665,(7) and again on 14 October 1669.(8) His land was valued at 188 lbs. He and his son John are on a list of Norwalk freeman dated 11 October 1669.(9) John, Sr., is also listed as a selectman. He and 3 others were appointed to mark the boundaries of land between the Norwalk and Saugatuck Rivers, and Indians were to be compensated with "6 cotes at the town's charge."(10) There was a court case in 1670 regarding a claim that John held Cockanoe Island in Norwalk Harbor "from the rights of James the Indian,"(11) and several years later it was ordered that the island be for common use as were the others. The estates of lands of Norwalk dated about 1670 gives the value of John's land as 250 lbs., 10 shillings.(12) John was designated one of three men to be seated on the "round" seat in the new Norwalk meeting house on 24 December 1686-87. The accounting of estates of commonage in 1687 lists John Gregory, Sr.'s, land value at 243 lbs.(13)
Sarah was was the name of John's widow, but it is not yet known if she was the mother of his children.
children of John Gregory and perhaps Sarah:
John b. ca. 1640
Judah b. ca. 1642
Joseph bap. 26 July 1646 (New Haven church rec.)
Thomas bap. 19 March 1648 ( " )
Sarah b. ca. 1655
vital records sources: His will was written 15 August 1689, and by 9 October his wife was referred to as his widow. The estate was settled on 1 November. History of Norwalk, original net yet seen.
1.Charles J. Hoadley, Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven, pg. 154.
2.Ibid, pg. 300.
3.Ibid, pg. 239.
3. Ibid, pg. 384.
4. New Haven Historical Society Records, Series I, Town Records 1649-1662, pg. 215.
5. Ibid, pg. 293.
6. The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, vol. 2, pg. 14.
7. Ibid, pg. 116.
8. Ibid, pg. 522.
9. 1 June 1670, Ancient Records of the Town of Norwalk, pg. 58.
11. Ibid, pg. 61.
13. 3 January 1687. Ibid.
all text and photographs © 1998-2009 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted