Joseph Hawley 1603 - 1690

Photos taken by me in July 2010 (more photos of cemetery in right column).

Joseph Hawley, one of the first of the Hawley family to American, arrived in the American Colonies about 1635. For more on Joseph Hawley visit the Hawley Family Society website.

Joseph Hawley arrived in the American Colonies about 1635, landing in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, possibly near Boston. The Curtiss Genealogy of 1903 states that Hawley sailed to America in the ship Planter in 1635 along with Stratford proprietors Adam Blakeman, William Wilcoxson and William Beardsley. But unlike Thomas Hauley, no mention was made of him in the records of that colony.

Joseph married Katherine Birdseye and settled in Stratford, Connecticut. His home was on lot #372, which he purchased of Richard Mills (or Miles) around 1650 (see image below from Google Books).

Image above: From A history of the old town of Stratford and the city of Bridgeport by Samuel Orcutt

Joseph was a proprietor in the town of Stratford. He became the town's first clerk in 1650, and served in that capacity until 1666. He was a prominent business man and purchased, from the Indians, a large tract of land in Derby, of which that town allowed him to retain the old Indian planting field, and also another tract which joined it, including Great Hill. 1 A man of education and ability, he rose rapidly to a position of prominence in public affairs and represented the town in the Connecticut General Court thirty times in thirty-three years.4

According to the records of Stratford, Joseph became one of the first shipbuilders in Derby and Stratford. The transaction of Joseph buying the 'John and Esther' may be one of the earliest documented sales of a commercial ship built in Connecticut (see image below from Google Books). He became a large landowner or yeoman. It is believed that Hawley owned nearly 5000 acres of land in his lifetime.3

Image above: From A history of the old town of Stratford and the city of Bridgeport by Samuel Orcutt

Image above: From Stratford and the Sea by Lewis G. Knapp

The land grant in the Stratford land records described as "ye springs and white plains" was granted to Joseph. The land was 1/4 mile wide by 1 mile long or 172 acres +/-. The house was built near the springs which are located directly behind the current Ephraim Hawley house and the Curtiss house next door to it. The property ran all the way to the Pequonnock River or white plains area to the west, in 1671, including the present location of the Daniel Hawley home. 5

Photo-right: Joseph Hawley's grave in Stratford, Connecticut, Congressional Burying Place, July 2010. The marker was placed in front of the original stone by the Society of Hawley Family in 1924. Buried next to him are his wife, Catherine Birdseye and Catrin Hawley, a granddaughter that died at the age of 2. In the photo above you can see that the original headstone has a footstone as well. His initials are on it. Next to Joseph's grave (photo below) is the grave of Catrin Hawley, Daughter of Mr. Samuel & Mrs. Patience Hawley, who died in the 2d year of her age, February, 1696 (granddaughter of Joseph).

Joseph Hawley Will

I, Joseph Hawley of Stratford, Yeoman, sometime Justice of the Peace, or commissioner in Stratford, in the Colony of Connecticut and County of Fairfield, retaining the understanding and reason the Lord hath given me, do leave this my last will. My spirit I commit into the hands of Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, my body to a comely burial, and after my debts and funeral expenses are discharged, I do, as hereinafter followeth, dispose of what worldly estate I shall be possessed of at my death, viz:

I do hereby confirm to my children all the lands given them as they are recorded to them, further I give to my son Samuel Hawley, all my lands and buildings in Parwidge in Darbyshire in Old England, to him, his heirs and assigns, after the death of my now wife Katharine Hawley. Moreover I give to him my meadow called the common meadow on the Great Neck, and my meadow at Galep's Gapp, between Porter's children and me.

I give to my son Ephraim Hawley, one acre and a quarter of meadow in ye Great Neck on the east side of the creek, the south side of which is a part of that meadow purchased of Mr. Zacher Walker. All the right of that peace of meadow on the Great Neck, both of the west side of the creek and east, which I purchased of Mr. Walker, I give to my son, John Hawley.
I give to my grandchildren, John Chapman and Joseph Chapman at Seabrook, fifteen pounds to each of them when they come to the age of one and twenty years, in such goods and chattels as my executors are able best to pay them.
I give to Joseph Hawley, my son Samuel's son, besides what is upon record given him, my lot at the field gate called the Stubing lot, the whole of it.

I give to my sons, Ephraim and John Hawley, the two little lots on Claboard Hill and what was laid out to me at the Gallos Creek, also a little lot by Joseph Curtus' lot, purchases of Mr. Ripon, that was laid out to John Wheeler, being above one acre.

I give to my daughter Hannah Nichols, twenty shillings, and to my daughter Mary Coe, twenty shillings. Moreover, I give all my grandchildren five shillings apiece.
Moreover, I appoint my three sons, Samuel Hawley, Ephraim Hawley, and John Hawley, my executors, and do given unto them all my lands in Stratford, Darby and Woodbury equally amongst them, their heirs or assigns forever, also I give unto them all and whatsoever is my estate in debts or otherwise not given, they paying all legacies and debts, and taking care of their mother, my now wife, that she hath whatsoever she needeth during her widowhood; also, I will that my wife Katherine Hawley, shall have the disposing of what household stuff she pleases, and what cows she desires to keep and what corn she shall desire from my said executors or any other needful thing whatsoever wherey her life may be comfortable; and all this I command whilest she remains unmarried.

It is to be understood that what of the above said estate my wife disposes of, it is to be to her children or grandchildren, and if she die and leave households undisposed of, then they are to be divided amongst all my children equally that are living, and such children of mine that are called away by death those children shall have their parts.

I give to Mr. Israel Chancie five pounds, and in case their fail to be an difference amongst my above-named executors, my will is that Mr. Israel Chancie and Capt John Geard shall have the power to put a final issue to any difference. That this is my will I declare by setting my hand and seal this 17 of September, 1689. Joseph Hawley. Memorandum, John Hawley shall have Uriah Mills the remainder of his time and fulfil his indentures.

Signed and Sealed in the presence of Joseph Curtis, Recorder.

Photo-above: Plaque at the entrance of the Old Burying Ground Cemetery in Stratford, Connecticut.

Joseph Hawley Sources
  • Joseph Hawley of Stratford, Connecticut

  • Parentage of Joseph Hawley

  • 2 Stratford, Connecticut, First Settlement Map Joseph Hawley owned #37 and #39

  • 1A history of the old town of Stratford and the city of Bridgeport Volume 1 by Samuel Orcutt

  • A history of the old town of Stratford and the city of Bridgeport Volume 2 by Samuel Orcutt

  • 3 Excerpt from Family History of Western New York Lewis Historical Publishing Company 1912

  • 4 Americana, American Historical Magazine Volume 15 By National American Society (page 90)

  • A genealogy of the Curtiss Family: being a record of the descendants of widow Elizabeth Curtiss, who settled in Stratford, Conn., 1639-1640

  • 5 T. Pieragostini,current owner of the Ephraim Hawley House

  • Stratford and the Sea by Lewis G. Knapp