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vital records sources

This biography is in the middle of being edited

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(/1645?),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

John's will:

Know all men by these [presents] yt I John Gregry of ye Town of Norwalk in ye County of Fairfield in ye Colony of Conecticut upon right consideration moveing me therunto; de freely give unto my beloved wife Sarah Gregry all my moveable goods hos houlds; cattle; chattels, and all moveables in house and shop.
I do by this my act and do pass over to ye sd Sarah my wife to be actually posesed of
[ym?] moveable estate and to be hers to despose of after my deseace according to her owne will and descretion amongst the children
[do?] also give to my beloved Sarah my book of acct and all debts therein and what bills of debt are oweing me I pass them over by deed of gift to my sd wife provided ye sd Sarah shall see yt what I owe to any upon these account be duly paid wch is not equevalen to wt is [due?] to me
I do also give to my sd wife Sarah all my lands not desposed of by deeds of gifte only shee shall after my deseace either despose ye sd landsor ye prize ans monyes of them amongst my two daughters by an equall proportion to each making ye devition so as by judisius descretion Jams Bennidick my son in law may have so much as to answer ye worth at
[?] as may of that medow given to John Bennidick in consideration of this deed only cautioning my beloved wife to rember the grand children in her diposall of the goods given her
I have set to my hand and seele this fifteenth of Agust in ye yeer of our Lord 1689

John Gregory
his X mark

Sined and seeled &
[delivered?] by us

Thomas Hanford
Thomas Bennidick

John Gregory Senr appeareth before me ye 21 Agust 1689 and acknowlidged ye above deed
[?] and fully & and freely to be his act and deed

Thomas Fitch,

It's not clear why John confirmed his will six days later with Fitch when he had witnesses. This is usually a part of proving the will. No further papers exist for his estate probate, probably because Sarah died so soon after. She was given nearly everything in the will, so her inventory serves as his as well. Sarah was was the name of John's widow, but it isn't certain she was the mother of all his children.

children of John Gregory and perhaps Sarah (baptisms from the New Haven church):

John b. ca1640
Judah b. ca1642
Joseph bap. 26 July 1646
Thomas bap. 19 March 1648(/49?)
Sarah b. ca1655

vital records sources: His will was written 15 August 1689, and was brought to probate on 21 August.

1. Charles J. Hoadley, Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven (Hartford:1857), 154.
2. Ibid, 300.
3. Ibid, 239.
3. Ibid, 384.
4. Ancient Town Records, vol.1, New Haven Town Records 1649-1662 (New Haven Colony Historical Society, New Haven:1917), 215.
5. Ibid, 293.
6. The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, vol. 2 (Hartford:1850), 14.
7. Ibid, 116.
8. Ibid, 522.
9. Edwin Hall, The Ancient Historical Records of the Town of Norwalk (Norwalk:1847), 58.
10. Ibid.
11. Ibid, 61.
12. Ibid.
13. Ibid, 3 January 1687.

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