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John and Naomi (Latimer) Reynolds of Wethersfield, Conn. (1650?-1700)

Edited by Marion H. Reynolds, A.B.
from the Notes of Dr. Henry A. Street

With additions on the family of
William4 Reynolds of Upper Canada
by Donald R. Williamson, 1992
©Reynolds Family Association, 1992

Chapter 1

Geneations 1 and 2

This genealogy of John and Naomi (Latimer) Reynolds was published in the 1929 RFA Annual. Very little additional information about this family was collected by RFA since that publication. It is particularly exciting that the branch of the family that emigrated to Upper Canada has now been so well documented and presented by Donald R. Williamson, of Stoney Creek, Ontario.

The story that John Reynolds, the progenitor of this family, was the son or grandson of John Reynolds of Watertown MA and later Greenwich CT, is still found to persist. There is no extant evidence that there was any connection between the two Johns, other than that they both lived at different times in Wethersfield. In fact, there is more evidence to contradict such a theory. There is no clue to the origins of John Reynolds of Wethersfield, but he is acknowledged as an original immigrant progenitor by RFA. --SRC

The American Founders

This genealogy is an account of John and Naomi (Latimer) Reynolds of Wethersfield, Connecticut, whose known history extends from about 1650 to 1700.

It is said, upon the authority of a letter from the Reverend William T. Reynolds, dated June 4, 1878, to Dr. H.A. Street, that John came from Cheshire or from near Ipswich, England. We know that he was born before 1650, and that he died Nov. 15, 1682, at Wethersfield. His estate was appraised at £121-0-0, and the papers in the settlement of the estate mention his son John, Junior, as aged about ten, and son Jonathan, aged six [Hartford Probate Records; Hinman's Notes, and his Conn. Settlers].

The earliest records of Wethersfield [NEHGR 34:108], now kept in the State Library at Hartford, Conn., do not go back of 1640. There is little mention of John in them. His private earmark appears in the town records of Judge Adams deposited at Hartford:

"1673 - The ear mark which John Rennals gives all his cretures is an half-penny on the foreside the right ear and an half-penny on the under side the same ear."

On the margin of the record, as an index, is written John's name.

In June 1678, John received by gift from his Mother-in-law, widow Ann Latimer, "25 acres of land southeast side of Broad Street, next north of John Betts, and next south of John Latimer."

John was a member of the Wethersfield Church previous to January 12, 1674 and his gravestone is there. He owned the lands where the Connecticut State Penitentiary now stands. This is designated in the town plots as the "Pennywise" Tract. Robert Reynolds also held land in it in 1635.

Another John Reynolds and his kinsman Robert Reynolds came from Watertown and Boston, respectively, in 1635-36, and took up homes in Wethersfield, but both removed within a few years [Descendants of Robert and Mary Reynolds of Boston, p. 17]. That John's home was on High Street, third from the meeting-house and about the center of town, between John Gibbs and Andrew Ward, some 3½ acres. On March 11, Feby. 11, 1640-41, he received a houselot and several other pieces of land. These were all sold to Lieut. John Hollister, recorded May 20, 1644, o.s. [Descendants of John and Sarah Reynolds of Watertown and Greenwich, p. 17; Stiles, History of Wethersfield]. There was also a Robert Reinolds of Wethersfield, who "went to the fort and died in Saybrook in 1662. His children were: Reinold, Mary, and Hannah." Of this latter we have no further knowledge at all.

It is singular that these four different pioneers were all at different times in Wethersfield, two Johns and two Roberts, and that no clue can be found to show relationship or identity. A careful search of the records in Hartford should do much toward clearing that up. It is singular that the last mention of John of Greenwich, then living near Stamford, was in a Greenwich deed 1651, and that the history of John of Wethersfield begins about that time. Yet the first John had sons, John and Jonathan, clearly traced through the history of Greenwich; and the John of Wethersfield likewise had sons John and Jonathan who certainly were not the same two of Greenwich. The brothers of Greenwich were born about 1636 and 1638 and were married in 1656 and 1668; the two of identical name in Wethersfield were born in 1674 and 1677 and were married in 1693 and 1697. Therefore, we must abandon the theory of identity of John and sons John and Jonathan of Greenwich with John and sons John and Jonathan of Wethersfield. There is almost a generation between them.

The wife of John of Wethersfield was Miss Naomi Latimer, born there July 4, 1648, whom he married probably about 1665, probably in that town. She was the daughter of John and Ann Latimer. Her father seems to have died prior to 1678 when the above land was given to John Reynolds.

After the death of John, Naomi married (prior to 1700) Philip Goffe. He was the second son of thirteen children of Philip & Rebecca Goffe (Gough?), and was b. 1653, being about five years younger that Naomi. He died at Wethersfield March 7, 1724. They had a daughter, Naomi, who married Samuel Westcott of Kingstown, R.I.

When John's property was divided up, son John took north side of Highway (13½ acres); Jonathan south side of highway (11½ acres).

The children of John and Naomi Reynolds were born in Wethersfield:
        1 Keziah b. 1667. No more known of her.
        2 Anne b 1669; m. Robert Davis of Providence (and Warwick), R.I. Among their children were:
            1. Robert Davis who married Mary Hopkins.
            2. Keziah Davis m. Peter Greene of the old Greene family of Warwick (See Greene Genealogy). Their daughter, Jerusha Greene m. Sylvanus Westgate (or Westcott) of Warwick; whose daughter Sarah Westgate m. James Rhodes of Warwick; whose son Malachi m. Betsey Sheldon; whose daughter Betsey Rhodes m. Stephen Arnold; whose son Stephen Augustus Arnold m. Anne Sophia Bosworth; whose daughter Frances Bosworth Arnold m. Cyrus Withington Eddy who had Cyrus Tourtellotte Eddy of 210 New York Ave., Providence, R.I. who supplies this information.
        3 Rebina b. 1671; This name is unusual - could it have been Rebecca, misspelled in the old town records? No more known.
      *4 John Jr. b. June 29, 1674; m. Hannah Dix, November 1693
      *5 Jonathan b. 1677 Wethersfield, d. there 1704-5; m. Elizabeth Coleman.

The Second Generation

4 John2 Reynolds (John1) b. Wethersfield, Conn., June 29, 1674; d. Dec. 10 1750 "in his 79th year." He m. Miss Hannah Dix, Nov. 1693, ceremony by Captain John Chester, Commissioner. Hannah was the daughter of Leonard and Sarah Dix of Wethersfield. Marriage entered on Wethersfield records Jany. 3, 1699-1700.

On Jany. 3, 1699-1700 the farm of John's father was divided by a highway in Wethersfield. John chose the northern 13½ acres and his brother, Jonathan, the southern 11½ acres. It seems that none of Jonathan's male children had descendants, so that the Wethersfield Family of Reynoldses is all descended from John2.

Cemetery, First Congregational Church of Wethersfield, Conn.:

"Here lies Interr'd the Body of Mr. John Renalls, who died December ye 10th, 1750. In the 79th year of his age."

"Here lies Interr'd the Body of Mrs. Hannah Renalls, wife of Mr. John Rennals, who died April ye 7th, 1733, in the 65th year of her age."

Births from Wethersfield Records; baptisms are from records of the Reverend Stephen Mix. John reared the children of his son James who died prematurely. Children:
      *41 Hannah b. Aug. 18, 1695; m. Thomas Goodrich Nov. 26, 1719 of Glastonbury, Conn., part of Wethersfield. See Goodwin's Notes.
        42 Freelove b. Feb. 18, 1697-8; died in the summer of 1700, aged two.
      *43 John b. Feb. 8, 1699-1700; m. Mrs. Rebecca (Mann) Lupton
      *44 James b. Oct. 18, 1703, d. March 1731-2; m. Annie Goodrich, 1724
      *45 Jonathan b. March 29, 1707

5 Jonathan2 Reynolds (John1) b. 1677 at Wethersfield, d. there 1704-5. He m. Miss Elizabeth Coleman, Nov. 4, 1697, daughter of John Coleman, deceased. Ceremony by Capt. John Chester, Commissioner. After Jonathan's early death, she m. 2nd, Capt. Stephen Hollister of Wethersfield before 1709. On Feb. 28, 1704-5 letters of Administration were issued to Elizabeth and John Reynolds, as Jonathan died intestate. John Coleman was son of Thomas Coleman (or Coltman) of Newton Harcoate, Weston Co., Leicestershire, England.

On Jan. 3, 1699-1700 the farm of Jonathan's father was divided by a highway and Jonathan took the southern half while John took the northern half.

Jonathan left no male descendants. Children:
      51 Keziah Reynolds b. Dec. 27, 1700, bapt. Dec. 29, 1700 (diary of Rev. Stephen Mix); m. Dec. 3, 1719 David Stoddard who died May 14, 1736. See Stoddard Genealogy. Children, Stoddard:
            1 David b. Sep. 28, 1720
            2 Keziah b. July 17, 1723
            3 Samuel b. Apr. 7, 1726
            4 Jerusha b. March 7, 1730
            5 Stephen b. March 3, 1733
            6 John b. Feb. 10, 1736

      52 Jonathan Reynolds bapt. Aug. 15, 1703 by Rev. Stephen Mix, d. young
      53 Anne Reynolds b. Oct. 16, 1704, bapt. Dec. 1704-5 or 1705.

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