ancestral chart father index home


left: Walter's signature from his brother John's will when he was about 66; right: signature from Walter's will when he was about 77; below, from the inventory of Ephraim Lockwood in 1685. David W. Hoyt thought the will signature was "Wallter," but I think he was consistent in using "Walltar."

Walter came with his family to Massachusetts Bay Colony probably in 1629 when he was ten or eleven. They lived in Dorchester first, then Scituate. He came of age about the time the family moved from Scituate, probably joining Rev. Ephraim Huit's company of settlers to Windsor, Connecticut Colony, in August 1639.
     It's possible he married his first wife in Scituate, where she may have had their son Thomas. If so, he was under age - not common at that time and place. The records of the births or marriages of his children make a tight fit if Thomas was born after his father was of age. If Walter married late in 1639 or early in 1640 when he was twenty one, still a bit early for the norm, Thomas could have been born as early as the Summer or Fall of that year in Windsor. His sister Elizabeth was married in September 16631 and the norm for women was to marry at about twenty. Say she was born early in 1642. She must have been followed by Hannah, who married in October of 1664.2 She could have been born in 1643. Her brother John, the only child for whom there is a birth record, was born in July 1644.3 A record of the number of children the early Windsor settlers had in that town says Walter had three.4 This was done in 1677 and can't have been based on town records, so the accuracy has to be in question. Maybe there were baptisms of three children, but Matthew Grant, a Town Clerk of Windsor who compiled this information about townspeople after the fact, also says a Hoyt child died in 1647.5 This must have been Walter's, since there isn't a death record for his wife. There is one for a women I think was his stepmother in 1644, which almost certainly negates this child being his father's.6 I explain this in Simon Hoyt's article. With three children known to have been born in Windsor and two more very likely, Grant's database probably isn't a reliable source.
     A huge downside to gathering biographical material for residents of Windsor, in addition to the loss of the church records, is a lack of dates for many land transactions in the mid 17th century. Matthew Grant compiled a record of land transactions and others that deal with land, some of which were done decades earlier. An initial, dated inventory of real estate grants by the town helps. It was done about the Fall and Winter of 1640/1641. After that, most of the sales and purchases are undated. Inventoried in 28 February 1640/41, his father's primary land grant, which became known as Hoyt's Meadow, includes a portion for Walter:7

...on the north side of the Rivulet [the Farmington River] four score acres, thirty of which is given his son Walter hoyt, from the Town, it Lyes neer the falls in the Rivulet, it is in Length from the River back a Hundred and Twenty rod [1980 ft], in bredth a Hundred Twenty Six rod [2079 ft] bounded every way by the Common"

"Common" land was an area where eligible townspeople had a right to pasture their livestock. Walter never claimed this piece, since Simon sold it, with his separate home lot, to William Thrall in June 1646.

Walter's undated inventory of grants, clearly postdating the 1640-1641 lists, all seem to be in the vicinity of Hoyt's Meadow, and none obviously a homestead:8

Walter Hoyt hath Granted from the Plantation of Land threescoore and four acres more or Less, in bredth seventy three, in length a Hundred and forty bounded East by Nicholas Hoyt West and North by the Commons and South by the Rivulett
Also fifty acres more or Less, opposit John Tinkers farm
[on the opposite side of the river, not an abutting property]. Bounded North and East by the Land of Nicholas Hoyt, Southeast by the Land of William Thrall, and South by the Rivulett
Also Ten acres of Land, in bredth Twenty Rod, in Length four scoore, Bounded West by Nicolas Hoyt, North by Richard Willer, & South by William Thrall

Other lots are shown to have been Walter's by purchase or sale. One of the few dated entries for Walter was on 25 February 1649/50, when he bought all of the real estate sold to John Youngs by William Hulburt in 1641.9 One was the home lot of Hulburt, or so described. When Walter sold, date unknown, it it was "his home lot."

Richard Willer hath purchised of Walter Hoyt his home Lott as it was formerly Recorded to William Hulbert...thirteen Acres, more or less, the bredth Twenty nine rods & half besides a high way that runs through the Length of it, the Length sixty seven rod, Bounded on the North by Luke Hill, on the South by Richard Saxton, on the East and West by high ways

This and abutting property descriptions make it likely this was in the first area settled in Windsor along what is now Palisado Avenue north of the church and cemetery. Walter also bought a home lot on Backer Row near the Palisado, which is described here when Walter sold it, date unknown:

John Denslow hath by Purchas of Walter Hoyt, a homelott and house with all the appurtinances and Comon Priviledges partaining thereto, Twelve acres more or Less, which formerly was Elias Parkmans, the bredth is fourteen rod and half, Bound North by Nicholas Hoyt, South by a way in part, and William Hofford [Hosford] the other part, West by the wood Lott of John Mason, East by the Street.

     Some of the people who settled in the first area didn't feel safe there and the Palisdo was created (surrounded by a palisade). Backer Row was also a later development just north of the Palisado, but not enclosed. It's tempting to think "his" home lot was where he lived and "a" house lot was, perhaps, a rental property, but the imprecise aspect of these deeds doesn't make this obvious. He may have lived in them consecutively or not at all. It's likely Elias Parkman sold the Backer Row lot directly to Hoyt. One of Parkman children died in Windsor in 1645. In 1648 he had a child baptized in Boston while still a member of the Windsor church. He stayed in Boston for years after, so this was probably a transition point for the family. Say Parkman sold the house and lot to Walter about 1648. This predates Walter buying William Hulburt's home lot from John Young in 1650, leaving still the question of where Walter lived before about 1648-50. Also, this lot was sold by Walter and then again before 1655, since Nicholas Hoyt, who died in that year, was the abutter to the north in all of those property descriptions. Early Windsor residents bought and sold each other's properties often. Without dates and better boundary descriptions, it becomes a research quagmire.
     Walter's second wife, as evidence clearly shows, was Rhoda Tinker, the widow of John Taylor.10 Taylor died at sea on a trip to England on a ship that sailed out of New Haven in January 1646. Given the time it would have taken to get to England, do business there and return, John might have been expected back maybe mid 1646. The ship was part of an odd moment in history in June 1646 when it was supposed New Haven residence saw, in their harbor, a God-given spectacle showing the wreck of the ship.11 Some widows were made to wait many years before having their husbands declared legally dead, but this was more to do with protracted sea voyages and disappearances with no known cause. Probate estates for some of those who sailed with John were activated within several years, so in the eyes of the law, they must have been legally dead much sooner than normal. Having four children to take care of and probably being free to remarry within several years of the ship disappearing, it would be no surprise to find Rhoda remarried before 1650, but the evidence suggests otherwise.
     John Taylor wrote a will before he sailed.12 His real and personal estate was to be divided amongst Rhoda and her two sons, and then to them after her death or marriage. He designated property on the east side of the Connecticut River for the use of his (Hobbs) stepdaughters when they came of age. Rhoda sold this and four other lots to Begat Eggleston.13 Matthew Grant lists them as a group with not date. Two of them were grants to John Taylor, including a house and lot in the Palisado section of Windsor, and one bequeathed to the Hobbs daughters. The fourth was likely one he bought. Since they are grouped as purchases from Rhoda and others in the list of Eggleston's grants or purchases are separate from it, it's likely they were sold at the same time. When a Palisado lot next to the Taylor lot was sold in February 1647/48, the Taylor lot, referred to as an abutting property, was in Eggleston's name.14 This probably means Rhoda had sold all of her husband's real estate by then.
     The terms of John's will would make it seem illegal for her to have sold the lots meant for her daughters since they were still children and couldn't legally consent to it. If she had the court's permission to do so, it surely would have been part of an estate probate, but John's will wasn't brought to court until 1694.15 It's possible she waited until they were both of age (about 1655), but then the sale would have been in their names. Also, she was likely remarried to Walter by then and the sale would have involved Walter. Without the actual deed to look at, the Hoyts may have been the grantors and Matthew Grant was summarizing in a vague way in his list of Rhoda's sales to Eggleston. It's also possible both daughters died young. No evidence of them has been found that I'm aware of other than John's will. It's very strange that John's estate didn't go to probate at that time with the usual inventory and distribution. It leads me to think that maybe the will was not made public until she died. This seems a bit nefarious, and whoever witnessed the will would have been aware of it, but I can't think of any other explanation. In any case, John Taylor, Jr., obviously was aware of the will when Rhoda died, or became aware of it maybe after the fact. He didn't live in Norwalk, so this is unlikely. Since the will was never probated or an inventory taken, John may have settled out of court with Zerubbabel. No mention is made of his brother Thomas.
     It's interesting to note that some of the families the Hoyts settled with in Dorchester, and in some cases Scituate, moved to Windsor. They undoubtedly influenced each other in these moves from place to place, although how and why in most cases can only be guessed. A small group of fellow settlers and travellers were connected by the Tinker family. Mathias and Mary (Tinker) Sension, Thomas and Ann (Tinker) Thornton, John and Rhoda (Tinker) Taylor, William and Ellen (Tinker) Hulburt and John Tinker all settled in Windsor by way of Dorchester (double check). Some of their land grants show that there must have been a purposeful arrangement of land because of this connection. When Hurlburt sold three properties in Windsor in 1641, all of them were next to John Taylor's land on the south and two had Thomas Thornton next to them on the north. Hurlburt's lot on the east side of the Connecticut River also had Thornton on the north and Taylor on the south. Thornton and Taylor lived next to each other on Backer Row house lots. It seems that it wasn't coincidence that Walter Hoyt bought Hulburt's lots (by way of John Youngs, to whom I find no family connection) and that he bought a house on Backer's Row that was next to his brother and several lots away from Taylor and Thornton. But only if he married Rhoda by then. Based on other evidence, this isn't a given. Benjamin Newberry, to whom Walter sold a Great Meadow lot, may have been born in Marshwood, where his father lived, and his maternal grandfather was from Upwey, just to add some confusion to the mix, Marshwood being connected with Simon Hoyt of West Hatch and Upwey being connected with Simon Hoyt of Upwey. Benjamin's sister Hannah married Rev. Thomas Hanford, who had land transactions in Norwalk. It seems he must have lived there, maybe briefly, in order for them to have met. He became the minister of the church in Norwalk. Walter and another man had the responsibilty of overseeing the construction of his house, which, as will be seen below, is the first mention of the Hoyts in Norwalk.
     Evidence doesn't help pinpoint when Walter and Rhoda were married, when son Zerubbabel was born or clearly show who his mother was. I have various theories, but they all conflict in some way with the evidence or with logic. I discuss this here.

The first dated record of Walter in Norwalk - this is the second entry in the town's meeting minutes, as transcribed in Hall's history of Norwalk:

Desember the 18th, 1653, agreede by the Townsmen about Mstr. Hanford's house with Ralph Keeiler and Waltar Haite as followeth, viz: Ralph Keeiler is to fell all the Timber, and hewe what is to hewe, and frame all. The timber to be laied by and shinckles to be laied by in [undreadable], and he to raise the house, and to hange the shinckles with pinnes, and [undreadable] them [undreadable] in clay and to make the morter, and [said] house is to be in lenth 26 feete, and bredth 16 and for the saied worke, he is to have in wheate at the marchants price, rest in current pay, and he is to finish by the 10th of Aprill next; and the said [unreadable, but must be Walter] is to do all the worke belonging to the Frame, in such convenent time as may sute Keeiler, for which worke he is to have ye [unreadable] put it in his rates, provide 800 of board, at 7s a hundred for it im uppon further consideration the aforesaid frame is to be 31 foote in lenth, and 18 foote in bredthe, and Ralph Keeiler is to have 20 more; and Math Marvin Jr now hath undertaken to lay in 2000 of good suff[icient?] shinckles at Ralph Keeilers ready to have at...16

     He and Ralph Keeler were chosen fenceviewers "to worke the fence" on 29 March 1655.17 On 22 May 1655 the town records say that "The cowe keeper began to herd the cowes the second Monday in May, being the 8th or 9th day [it was the 10th]; and the dry hearde [other than milk cows] began to be driven out by 3 men to Rooton [now Rowayton], that was Marke Sention, Math. Sention, and Waltar Haite to be allowed 6d. [pence] a turne."18 On 30 May it was ordered that the dry herd be kept on the "other" (west) side of the Norwalk River and that a pound needed to be built there.19 On 21 January 1655/56 Walter made an agreement with the Town of Norwalk to "erect and sett up a good and sufficient gate leading into [the Town's] meadows."20
     Walter is listed among the 1655 landowners of Norwalk (no month and day indicated), and his property value, though obliterated in the record, was probably about £100 to £110.21 Most early Norwalk land records were gathered, without date, in a way similar to Windsor, but without the benefit of dated inventories. His "home lot" in Norwalk was four acres bounded east by the town highway, west by "the common by the bancke of the coafe," north by Mathias Sention, Jr.'s, home lot, south by George Abbott's home lot.22 An 1847 map reconstructing these early lots with owner's names and homeowners in 1847 shows Walter (with a question mark) in what is now East Norwalk, which was the site of the original town center.

An 1847 map showing where the early settlers lived, with property lines.23 Names of 1847 owners and occupants are also shown. My ancestors are starred.

A modern, topographical map overlayed on the 1847 map. This shows how much of the original street layout remains in East Norwalk, although everything else is long gone. All the earliest settlers (including Walter and Rhoda) were buried in what is now called the East Norwalk Cemetery until the Pine Island and Mill Hill Cemeteries were opened.

Walter had many grants and purchases in Norwalk, and most, as in Windsor, are hard to place geographically. I haven't seen the original land books, but David W. Hoyt included some transcriptions in his Hoyt genealogy, including his home lot description abstracted above. I corrected the spelling where letters were transcribed as they appeared rather than how they were intended (J, which is actually capital I; u, which is meant to read v, as in diuision - like people transcribing s as f because it looks similar to an f in old handwriting).

(I used this valuable resource to help convert obsolete geographical names to present day locations in what was Norwalk in the 17 century:

Allso on the plantinge feild called the necke In pinehill division [southeast part of East Norwalk, what is now the Shorehaven Golf Club] twoe pcells of upland, one granted by the plantation, conteininge 2 akers 1 roode more or lesse, bounded on the west with the lower hie way [probably what is now Gregory Blvd.], on the est with the upper hie way [maybe Old Saugatuck Rd.], on the south with Ricchard olmsted division, In the north with Isacke more division ; the second p[ar]cell parchased of Tho Hales, con teininge 1 aker 3 roodes more or lesse, bounded In the est and west with the aforesaied hie wayes, on the north John Griggories division, on the south with math marvin Junr Division.

Allso in the saied plantingfeild in Sokatucke
[Saugatuck, northeast of South Norwalk] plaine Division 2 pcells of uplande, one pcell granted by the plantation, conteininge 2 akers 2 roods more or lesse, bounded on the est with the common and fence, on the west with George Abbotts division, on the south the harbor, on the north the common lands; the second pcell purchased of Tho. Hales, conteininge 2 akers 2 roodes more or lesse, bounded on the est with the hie way, on the west the rockie hill [Sasqua Hill, due east of East Norwalk ] that adjoineth to Rockie springe, on the south with math campfeild division, on the north with mathias Sention senr division that was Richd Seamers.

Allso on ffruitfull Springe
[on the neck of land ending in Calf Pasture Point] Division on the saied necke one pcell of upland, conteininge 2 akers 1 roode more or lesse, bounded In the est with John Griggorie Division, In the west with Robt Beachams Division, In the north with the hie way lyinge by the swamp [probably Marvin St., more or less], on the South with the hie way lyinge by goose marsh.

Allso on the said necke 2 prcells of first division meadowe, one pcell granted by the plantation, conteininge 2 roodes more or losse, bounded In the est with the creeke, In the west with the hie way, in the north Richd Seamers division, In the south with Ralph keeiler division; The second pcell couteininge 1 roode 20 pole more or lesse, purchased of Tho Hales, bounded In the est the creeke, west the hie way, north nath Haies, south Sam Hales Division.

Memorandum that part of the sayed coafe division purchased of math Sention the sayed mathias passeth [ ] from himselfe his heires and assigns unto waltar Haite his heirs and assignes for ever.
Not sure what this means, but it may refer to the marsh south of Hoyt's and Sention's home lots. See note 17 for a possible explanation of "coafe."

Following are more of Walter's holdings, abstracted rather than transcribed by David Hoyt:

Also 9 acres in the neck, upland in cove division, 3 parcels, 1 granted, 2 purchased. This is said to have been on the west side of what is now Gregory Boulevard down to Gregory Point. The "neck" likely refers to the land south of Pine Hill to the Norwalk River, including what is now Calf Pasture, Gregory and Fitch Points. I base this on the following:

Also in said neck, second division meadow, one parcel of 2 roods. Also in the meadow field of the other side, in the best division, one parcel of 2 acres. Presumably different from "coafe division" and to the west. The reference to meadow likely means salt marsh as opposed to the upland in "coafe division," so the distinctions become more vague. There may have been salt "meadow" lining all of the necks of land in this area, including along Charles Creek.

Also in the second division meadow, meadowfield of the other side of the river [Charles Creek?], one parcel of 2 acres, part granted and part purchased.

Also out meadow, so called, in said meadow field, one parcel of 1 acre. Also out meadow purchased lying by Soakatucke
[Saugatuck] river, one parcel of 4 acres.

Also, granted by the plantation, upland in the first plain, in the meadow field of the other side of the river, one parcel of 6 acres.

Also upland on the aforesaid plain, in the aforesaid meadow on the other side of the river, another parcel of 5 acres.

Also 7 acres in the planting field called the necke, in "Stonie hill division"
[said to have been about where Winfield and Triangle Streets meet], two parcels, one granted, the other purchased.

Waltar Haite hath one prcell of upland lyinge upon the heither most plaine of the meadowe feild of the other side of norwake River, 7 acres, adjoining his land, purchased of Thos. Benedict by exchange and acknowledged by Benedict and recorded 3 April, 1678.

Granted by the plantation to Waltar Haite, and laid out in 1673, one parcel on the hill called Roatern
[Roaton, Rooton, Rowayton] Hill, 16 acres.

     Walter was chosen a deputy (representative) of Norwalk to the General Court of Connecticut and served many times between 1658 and 1681.23 He usually served with one other from Norwalk, and they travelled to Hartford for their service. He is said to have been a selectman, which may be in the original town meeting minutes I haven't seen. At the General Court of Election at Hartford, "Mr. Campfield presenting from the Towne of Norwalk, Richrd Olmstead for yr Lieutenant and Walter Hoyt for their sergeant [in the local militia], they are both confirmed by this Court" on 19 May 1659.24 About this time Walter of Norwalk is unexpectedly found selling a piece of the Great Meadow in Windsor.25 The Town of Norwalk granted Walter the home lot of Thomas Barnum at a town meeting in February 1663/64 for the use of either of his sons Thomas and John.26 This and other pieces of real estate were given by Walter to his son John in 1665 when he turned 21.27

The Barnum entry is the only time a son Thomas is mentioned. I include it as transcribed by Paul Prindle with a portion of his published article.28

At the saied meeitinge [19 Feb. 1663/4] voted and granted unto Walter Haite for his sonne, one of them, either Tho. or John, that homelott accomodations and privilidges that was formerlie granted to Thomas Barnam, the saied Thomas Barnam havinge at the saied meetinge resigned the same up to the Towne; the saied Walter Haite hath promised to pay the income mony being 15 s.

'An undated memorandum, presumably written in 1664, reads as follows:'

Memorandum of severall p
[ar]cells of Swampes and upland meadowinge and creekes that the persons here under nominated bought and received of the Towne this yeare; the sayd parties have payed their Severall Somes of mony by way of a Towne Rate and other wise as the Towne appoynted them.

'Then follow twelve entries, including:'

Walt Haite for his twoe Sonnes 01-10

     It's probably not a coincidence that John was given this land when he came of age, but it will never be known if Walter had a choice, since Thomas is known only from the record of the town grant and likely died soon after. The Town lists Thomas first, John second. This may have been arbitrary, but in probate records, lists of children are usually made in order of birth. The open-ended agreement about either of the sons getting the land is odd and seems to override the idea of primogeniture. They weren't twins, since only John's birth in 1644 appears in the Windsor records. Thomas may have been born about 1649-50 to either Walter's first wife or Rhoda, but if he was that young, why wasn't Zerubbabel included in the town grant? That is why I put him as the first born in the discussion above.
     Returning to civic activities, "Walter Haite has undertaken to beate the drumm for meetings when all occasions required, for which he is to have 10 s[hillings]," according to minutes of a town meeting on 24 July 1665.24 This duty was performed again, as recorded on 21 February 1670(/71).25 Beating the drum was done to alert or remind people to go to church and other church-related events like religious "lectures" and to attend town meetings. In Walter's case, it was specified that he would do it for "meetings when all occasions required." This may have included church services and town meetings.
     On 4 December 1668 the Town set apart land to be fenced for a "winter wheat field" stretching from "the house of Goodman Nash" along the road to Stony Hill (somewhere on what is now Winfield Street) to the creek between Canfield Island and Nathaniel Richards' meadow, presumably a salt meadow, which is now part of the outlet of the Saugatuck River.26 Winter wheat was sown in the Fall and the harvest the following year was, or tended to be, more productive and less prone to disease than other wheat production. Walter had a lot in this field. David Hoyt refers to another of Walter's shares in the winter wheat division in 1684.27
     His portion of common land (double check) was valued at £192 in 1671,28 being the ninth highest amount, and he added to it that year sixteen acres measured "six acres to the hundred." Where this was isn't said, but near this time Walter and others petitioned the General Court to create a plantation on the "back side" of Norwalk, also not clearly placed.29 One of the parcels was on "Elie's" (Ely's) Neck, which is, roughly, the southwest part of South Norwalk. He acquired more land at "six acres to the hundred" in 1683 or 84, this time it was six acres on the east side of "Seakautuck Hill" (Saugatuck, near the border with Westport).30
     Walter signed a petition asking the General Court to confirm Norwalk's patent of lands on 14 May 168531 The common land on the west side of the Norwalk River was ordered to be divided and granted to the freeholders, including Walter, on 12 December 1687,32 "three score acres of the same sequestered for the Indians." Another "estates of commonage" list dated 3 January 1687(/88) has Walter's common land valued at £242 - a relatively high amount, and as it was in 1671, the ninth highest in town.33
     In the late 1670s there was cause to build a new meeting house in Norwalk. There was a bitter controversy about it that lasted about a year and a half, but it was ultimately decided to be on "Goodman Hoyt's Hill." The prefix "Goodman" in this case, without any other differentiation, points to Walter rather than his son John. During the debate, a committee was formed to see to the logistics of getting the new church built. More men were added to the committee over time. At a town meeting held 4 October 1679 it was "voted and agreed, that [----] Haite and Robbart Stewart are added unto the committee as committee men for the carrying on the worke of the new meeting house, and to have equall power with the rest of the committee that was formerly chosen for the aforesayed worke."34 Again, the elder Hoyt is the most likely. The Connecticut Colony court session of 13 May 1680, one at which Walter wasn't a deputy, shows that despite many efforts to settle the dispute about siting the new church, including a previous ruling by the court, the issue hadn't died. Walter and several others petitioned the court for their help again, this time with the apparent suggestion that no human be involved in the decision. Instead, it would be decided by a "lot" or lottery. This method of using chance was seen as God's decision. The petition saw it as an approach "in which God's name is invocated." The court agreed, saying the townspeople should "commmitt the decision of this controversy to the wise disspose of the Most High, by a lott, which we hope may be that as will sattisfy and quiet the spirits of all the good people of that place and be a hopefull means to continue and increase their peace and love."35 This had a slightly different tone, or so I think, than the last response to their petition when the court said they "advise that discourses, differences and annimossities that have arisson upon the former controversy about the setleing of the said meeting house be buryed in perpetuall oblivion."36
     Based on the 1847 map, the church was on East Street where the on and off ramps meet it on the south side of Rt. 95 just north of Olmstead Place. The "hill" was widely cleaved when Rt. 95 was built, but there is still high land along Willow Street, Olmstead Place and Raymond Terrace.

Layers of a modern topographical map and an 1892 topographical map showing Hoyt's Hill in relation to the site of the 2nd Meeting House. An insert of the 1847 map shows in more detail where the 2nd meeting house was.

His inventory, taken after his death, is literally dated 10 January 1698.37 As in Windsor and other parts of Connecticut, early Norwalk records generally weren't double-dated to indicate the overlap in the Julian and Gregorian calendars, although it was commonly done elsewhere. The date was 10 January 1698/99. There wasn't normally a long wait for an inventory at that time, pointing to Walter dying about December 1698. The last record mentioning him before this was when he was listed among the eligible voters of Norwalk in 1694.38
     The following is translated from the original estate papers found on microfilm at the Connecticut State Library. It differs slightly from the reading given in David Hoyt's genealogy. The document is written in a very poor hand and spelling errors are numerous. Italics indicate words that are virtually scribbled but intended. Included on Walter's documents is a long section written in shorthand and hasn't been deciphered. Scattered throughout are what look like Biblical chapter and verse references. It would be odd for a minister or even a lay minister, for instance, to write this on a probate document, but was it a eulogy?

Norwalk the 11 of february - 1695 or 6

the last will and testament of Walter hayt aged aboute 78 years. I the said Wallter hayt Being ill and weack apprending I shall not long continow in the land of the living - I will and bequeath my body unto the dust and desceantt bueriall and my soull to god that give it to me - and for that lettell estat that god hath given me be disposed of as folloeth unto my tow sons namly John hayt of Danbury and my son Zarabell hayt that whatt land and medo and comonogs I have within the towne bounds of Norwalk. be devided equally to each of them a like - and also whatt other movbabl estat that I shall leve or may be left after my decese - and that it be to them and there ares and asines administrators to have and to hold for ever - and this to be my last will and to contterman any former and to stand good unto them - after my junst debts be discharged - my desiar that my tow sons be executors unto this my will - and this for to be my last will as witten my hand the day and yeare above dated it must be under stood whatt lands I have not dissposed of before by gift or deed

Walltar hoyte

syined in the presence of us wittness

John Platt, Sr.
Joseph Sension

The will and Inventory of ye Estate of Walter Hoit of Norwalk deceased being exhibited to ye Prerogative Court for fairfeild this 11: April 1699 and the Court do Aprove sd Will and Inventory and do order them to be recorded.

[my notes are in brackets]

Jenewairy the 10: 1698

A true Inventory of the estate of Walter Hayte Norwalk deceased is taken by us whose names are under written
by his waring apparel as linnin and woolen 05
[lbs] - 00[shillings] - 00[pence]
by 2 bedsteeds one chest one cubard 03 - 10 - 00
by old and new iron 00 - 16 - 00
by putter
[pewter] and lanthern and 1 tin pan 00 - 12 - 00
by part of a steer 00 - 15 - 00
by wooden and earthen ware and tow
[two] brase [brass]
[kettles] one scillit 02 - 15 - 00
by one ex
[ax?] one grinston one tramell 00 - 11 - 00
by one pare of pothucks and one fether bed 03 - 02 - 00
by land and medow and out land and
commonnage 150 - 00 - 00

John Raymond
Samuell Betts

The above Inventory attested to Zerubbabell Hoit yt it is a true
Inventory of his decsd fathers estate and if any thing be afterwards found he will cause it to be inserted

[athan] G[ould] C[lerk]

A note about name spelling

     The early generations of the Hoyts in Connecticut and New York used varying spellings of their first and last names, as did clerks or associates recording things that involved them. In some instances there wasn't a spelling concensus within nuclear families. This may indicate they were only partially literate and were finding their way phonetically. Walter consistently spelled his name "Walltar Hoyte," but referring to him that way beyond quotes seems obtuse. Considering how few times it was necessary for people to sign their names or write in an extensive way, commitment to spelling within the norm wasn't a likely priority. Since the spellings among my Hoyt ancestors varies a lot until the late 18th century, I've chosen standard spellings to avoid confusion and kept literal translations confined to contextual quotes.

children of Walter Hoyt and his first wife:

Thomas b. abt 1640
Elizabeth b. abt. 1642 (m. Samuel Sention, September 1663)38
Hannah b. abt. 1643 (m. Judah Gregory, 20 October 1664)39
John b 13 July 1644 (Windsor record)
a Hoyt child d. 1647 (Windsor record)

child of Walter Hoyt and probably Rhoda Tinker:

Zerubbabel b. abt. 1652-55

1. Edwin Hall, The Ancient Historical Records of the Town of Norwalk, Connecticut (hereafter AHRTN) (Norwalk: 1847), 192.
2. Ibid, 187.
3. Henry Reed Stiles, The History of Ancient Windsor, Connecticut (Bloomfield, CT:1859), 671. This presumably is from a town record, original not seen.
4. Ibid, 853.
5. Ibid, 849.
6. Ibid.
7. Windsor Land Grants (hereafter WLG), 1:78a.
8. Ibid, 1:113a.
9. Ibid, 1:56a.
10. For evidence using the connection to the Sention family see Orline St. John Alexander, The St. John Genealogy (New York:1907), 5; for evidence using Tinker research see Richardson, Douglas. 1995. The English Ancestry of the Merwin and Tinker Families of New England (part 2). New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 149:412-413. Richardson apparently wasn't aware of the Sension connection since he doesn't mention it in his supportive evidence. His article predates the discovery of the Hoyt's of West Hatch, so refers to information for the Hoyt's of Upwey.
11. Cotton Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana (Hartford:1853), 84. The ship was supposed to have been seen coming into New Haven harbor in a storm, sailing against the wind and appeared to be "in the air." It then proceeded to break apart and completely disappear fairly close to shore, but no trace of it was found.
12. transcribed at a website, citation needed. Mentioned but not transcribed in Hartford probate records, see note 15.
13. WLG, 1:19a.
14. Ibid, 1:34A.
15. Fairfield County Probate record, 5:73, court session of 6 Sept 1694.
16. AHRTN, 41-41.
17. Ibid, 47.
18. Ibid, 48.
19. Ibid.
20. Ibid, 45.
21. Ibid, 46. The list is in descending order of value. The landowner just above him on the list had land valued at 118 lbs.
22. David W. Hoyt, A Genealogical History of the Hoyt, Haight, and Hight Families (Providence:1871) (hereafter GHHH), 293-4. Some of these are abstracted in AHRTN, 23. Bank surely referred to the edge of the salt "meadow" or marsh; "coafe" maybe meant cove, but it was used to reference areas that were not along a cove. It was actually the reverse, so "cove" may have been a shape reference, i.e. a cove in a ceiling or molding.
23. AHRTN, at the end of the book.
24. The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut (hereafter PRCC), vols. 1-3 (Hartford:1850). Vol. 1: 7 Oct 1658, 323; 13 Oct 661, 372. Vol. 2: 9 May 1667, 58; 10 Oct 1667, 70; 8 Oct 1668, 94; 12 May 1670, 127; 11 May 1671, 147; 9 Oct 1673, 209; 26 Nov 1673, 217; 8 Oct 1674, 236; 11 May 1676, 273. Vol. 3: 9 May 1678, 3; 13 Oct 1681, 86.
25. Ibid, 1:336.
26. AHRTN, 54.
27. Fairfield County deeds (hereafter FCD), 1:85 (Feb. 1665(/66?)).
28. Prindle, Paul W. 1991. Thomas3, son of Walter2 Hoyt of Windsor and Norwalk, Conn. The American Genealogist 66:217-218. Prindle assumes Thomas was named after Walter's brother, but his wife's family may have had a Thomas as well.
29. AHRTN, 52.
30. Ibid, 58.
31. PRCC, 177-178.
32. GHHH, 294.
33. AHRTN, 61.
34. FCD, 1:110; RPCC, 2:176 (9 May 1672).
35. FCD, 1:238 (2 February 1684(/85?).
36. AHRTN, 38.
37. Ibid, 83.
38. Ibid, 84.
39. Ibid, 73.
40. 13 May 1680, RPCC 3:31.
41. Ibid, 3:59.
42. Fairfield County Probate Court; microfilm of original probate packet documents at the CT State Library.
43. AHRTN, 87 (4 December 1694).
44. Ibid, 192.
45. Ibid, 187.

all text and photographs © 1998-2020 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted