The Founders of Hartford
Governor George Wyllys, b. at Fenny Compton, Co. Warwick, son of Richard Wyllye,1 Esq., and
Hester, dau. of George Chambers, of Williamscote, Co. Oxford. His pedigree is traced back in England for
several generations. In Camden's Visitation of Warwickshire, in 1619, George Wyllys is described as living at
Fenny Compton, c. 29, with his wife, Bridget, dau. of William Young, of Kingston Hall. The name of the wife he brought
with him to New England was Mary (prob. a second wife). In 1636 lie sent his steward, William Gibbons, with twenty men,
to Hartford, to purchase and prepare for him a farm, erect a dwelling-house, and have everything in readiness for
himself and his family. He had been a partner with Robert Saltonstall and William Whiting in the Dover and
Piscataqua patents (Mass. Rec. i. 324). He was an original proprietor, and it is hardly necessary to Say that his
homelot covered the square now included between Main, Charter Oak, Governor, and Wyllys Sts., and that on it stood
the famous Charter Oak. He came in 1638,2 was chosen magistrate April 11, 1639, again 1640,'43 and '44;
deputy governor, 1641, governor, 1642 ; and Commissioner of the United Colonies. He d. in Hartford, March 9, 1644-5.
His widow, Mary, was living in 1655.-Ch.: i. George, prob. he who was b. in 1611 ; left by his father in England,
in possession of the estate of Fenny Compton. ii. Hester, m. Oct. 17, 1645, as his second wife, Capt. Robert Harding,
of Boston, afterward of Rhode Island ; in Nov. 1646 lie went home to England, and in 1651 was a merchant in London.
iii. Amy, m. Oct. 30, 1645, Hon. John Pynchon, of Springfield ; she d. Jan. 9, 1699. iv. Samuel, b. 1632; grad.
Harvard Coll., 1653; m. (1) 1654, Ruth, dau. of Gov. John Haynes ; chosen magistrate, 1654, and continued in that
office until 1685 ; in the absence of the governor and deputy governor he was repeatedly appointed moderator of the
General Court. In 1661, 1662, 1664, and 1667 he was one of the Connecticut Commissioners for the United Colonies. He
was extensively engaged in trade, and often absent from the Colony. He had an interest in several sugar plantations
at Antigua, in partnership with Richard Lord, and frequently went to the West Indies. His Speculations proved
unprofitable; and as he had borrowed considerable money, his affairs became deeply involved. so that pecuniary
assistante was granted him by the Assembly. This led to his withdrawal from the magistracy, but he retrieved his
affairs, and lie was again Assistant from 1680 to 1693, and also in 1698." His wife, Ruth, was living in 1680 ; but
d. before 1688, when he m. (2) at Berwick, Me., Nov. 28, 1688, Mrs. Mary Love. He d. in Hartford, May 30, 1709. His
only son, Hezekiah was b. April 3, 1672 ; m. May 2, 1704, Elizabeth, dau. of Rev. Jeremiah and Elizabeth (Whiting)
Hobart, of Haddam, Conn. He held many positions of trust; was town clerk of Hartford, 1705-1732; chosen Secretary of
the Colony, 1712, and continued in that office until 1734 ; d. Dec. 24, 1741 ; Mrs. Elizabeth Wyllys d. Sept. 1762.
His only surviving son, Col. George Wyllys, b. Oct. 6, 1710, grad. Yale Coll., 1729; appointed secretary for the
Colony, pro tam. 1730, and in 1734 was regularly appointed secretary, and held the office for the long period of
sixty-six years. He also succeeded his father as town clerk of Hartford, was lieut.-col. of the First Regiment, and
served on many committees of the General Assembly. He m. Mary, dau. of Rev. Timothy Woodbridge, of Simsbury. She d.
Nov. 11, 1774 ; he d. at his mansion or Charter Oak Hill, April 24, 1796. His children were: i. Samuel, bapt. Jan.
7, 1738-9 ; Yale Coll., 1758 ; went to England in 1764, and remained there for six years ; in 1771 he became the
first captain of the first company of Governor's Foot Guard ; in 1774, Col. of the 1st Conn. Regt. ; he served through
the Revolutionary War as colonel of a Connecticut regiment. He m. Feb. 3, 1777, his cousin Ruth, dau. of Thomas and
Ruth (Wyllys) [Lord] Belden, and widow of Capt. John Stoughton. He was town clerk of Hartford, 1796-1805; held other
town offices, and was Major-General of the Connecticut Militia He succeeded his father as Secretary of State in 1796,
and held the office until 1809. Mrs. Ruth Wyllys d. Sept. 2, 1807. He d. June 9, 1823. ii. Mary, bapt. March 7, 1741-2;
m. March 8, 1764, Eleazer Pomeroy, of Hartford ; d. in Middletown, Nov. 14, 1805. iii. William, bapt. Aug. 12, 1744;
d. mum. in Hartford, Jan. 18, 1826. iv. Hezekiah, b. in 1747 ; Yale Coll., 1765 ; colonel of a Connecticut regiment in
the Revolution; m. in 1785, Amelia, widow of Col. Joseph Trumbull, of Lebanon, and dau. of Col. Eliphalet Dyer, of
Windham. She d. Jan. 15, 1818 ; lie d. March 29, 1827, and was the last of the Wyllys name who lived in the old
mansion.' v. Susanna, b. May 13, 1750 ; m. Jan. 22, 1788, Judge Strong, of Litchfield ; d. in Hartford, May 23, 1794
(s. p.). vi. John Palsgrave, bapt. Aug. 11, 1754; Yale Coll., 1773; 'served through the Revolutionary War; brigade major
in 1776 ; in 1781, major in the 3d Conn. Regiment, and distinguished himself by his gallantry. He m. his cousin
Jerushn, dau. of Col. Samuel and Mabel (Wyllys) Talcott, who d. in Hartford, Aug. 9, 1783. In 1785 he was appointed
major of the troops raised for the defence of the frontier. He was killed in the attack on the Miami Towns, Sept. 30,
1790, while serving in Gen. Harmar's expedition against the Indiana. (a. p.) NOTE to page 238. - David Ensign m. (2)
Sarah, dan. of John and Sarah (Wadsworth Wilcox ; settled in the West Division about 1886 ; an original member of the
West Hartford Church, 1713; died Dec. 13, 1727.
1 Of your charite pray for the soul of Richard Wyllys, gentleman lord of the mannour of Fenny
Compton, and one of the King's justices of the Peace in the Co. of Warwick. And Jane his wife, which Richard deceased the
V J I1 day of February in the year of our Lord MDXXXI. Of whose souls Jesu have mercy. Amen. Here lyeth buried the body
of Richard Willis, of Fenny Compton, in the County of Warwick, gentleman son of Ambrose Willis, deceased, which
said Richard had by Hester his wife, five children, that is to say, George, William, Richard Judith, and Mary, all
now living, who deceased the tenth day of June, 1597.
2 April 6, 1638, George Willis, of Fenny Compton, gentu., and Marie his wife, conveyed to
Richard Smarte all their land in Old Stratford Wellcombe, and Bishopton; George Willys, ju 3., one of