Hugh Calkins & Anne Eaton, My Puritan 10th Great Grandparents
I recently discovered that my 10 x Great Grandparents, Hugh Calkins and Anne Eaton were Puritans and part of the Puritan migration from England to the United States of America.
It seems that the Calkin family was quite well known in New England, and I have been finding many interesting articles about the Calkin family from whom I descend (parternal side).
My 10x Great Grandfather was born in England on April 8, 1603, in Waverton, Cheshire, England - on the border with Wales. He married my 10x Great Grandmother, Anne, in 1622 in Monmouth, England. Several of their children were born in England before Hugh and Anne decided to leave England due to the religious oppression they experienced during the reign of King Charles I.
The following is an excerpt from a biography of Hugh and Anne which I found while researching this branch of the family:
1638-1649: "Hugh Calkin was a radical in religion, a non-conformist, and living in the troublesome time of Charles the First, soon became satisfied that there were safer countries than England and Wales—for men who wished to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences.
Accordingly, he with his wife, Ann, and John, their son, then four years old, joined a body of emigrants called the 'Welsh Company,' and with their pastor, Rev. Richard Blinman [Blynman], embarked and came to America, about 1638 or 1640. They left from Chepstow, Monmouthshire, across the Severn from Bristol.
After landing at Green Harbor in the Plymouth Colony, near what is now Marshfield, Massachusetts, the family settled first at Marshfield, then moved to the rough promontory of Cape Ann Lane, Gloucester, Essex County, Massachusetts; possibly because of a religious conflict with the Pilgrims of the Mayflower Colony.
1650/1651: In the fall of 1650, after eight years of finding the climate too bleak for farming, they moved to Pequot, Colony of Connecticut, now known as New London; following Rev. Blynman, who had been wooed there by Governor Winthrop, along with many others of the "Welsh Company." The first grant to Deacon Hugh was 19 Oct 1650, made by the townsmen of Pequot.
In 1651, the town of Pequot or 'Nameage,' directed Hugh Calkin and Thomas Mynor to state to the court 'that the town's name may be called London.' Three places in New London were fortified in 1652, viz., the mill, the meeting-house, and the house of Hugh Caulkins, near the entrance of Cape Ann Lane, and in case of an alarm, Sergeant Minor's squadron was to repair to Hugh Caulkins' house, &c. Wampassock Neck, of 550 acres of upland, and a small neck adjoining it, were given to Hugh Caulkins, which afterward went into the hands of Mr. Winthrop by purchase, about 1651.
1650-1654: Hugh was a Deputy to the General Court (Legislature) of the Colony and a Representative to the Massachusetts Court from Gloucester from 1650 to 1652. He was "Deputy of the Generall Courte" on 14 Sep 1654 at Hartford, Connecticut.
1654: By order of the general court, held October 3, 1654, Hugh and another were appointed a committee for enlisting men to fight the Naragansett Indians. August 28, 1654, Goodman Calkin with six others, were appointed by the town of New London, and three of Pockatucke and Mistike, to debate and conclude whether Misticke and Pockatucke should be a town, &c. May 21, 1653, Hugh Calkin was appointed by the General Court one of a committee at Pequot, to advise the constables as to pressing men for an expedition then getting up. In Sept., 1654, he was deputy, and in October he and Capt. Denison were appointed, with the constables of Pequot, to press men and necessaries for an expedition, with one drum and one pair "cullers," from Pequot.
1659/1660: On 6 Jun 1659, Hugh, with his son John, and thirty two others founded the town of Norwich in the Colony of Connecticut, now Norwich, New London County, Connecticut. (Just previously a treaty had been concluded, by and between the Major Mason and others with the Mohegan chiefs, by which a tract of land nine miles square around Norwich was ceded to the whites, for the sum of seventy pounds sterling.) He was one of the 35 original proprietors and was several (12) times a representative to the Connecticut Assembly and Legislature from 1663 to 1671. He signed his name with an "H" and was the first deacon of the Norwich Church and called "Deacon Hugh."
1659: Appointed in 1659 with James Morgan and J. Avery, to lay out to Governor WInthrop, 1500 acres of land at the head of Paugatuck Cove on fresh river. [A Catalogue of the Names of the First Puritan Settlers of the Colony of Connecticut, collected from the state and town records by R. R. Hinman, Hartford, 1846, Reprinted Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Company, 1968, p. 122]
1663: Deacon Hugh Calkins--deputy in 1663, two sessions, from New London, with James Rogers.
1663-1671: He was deputy at ten sessions of the legislature, between March, 1663, and October, 1671. 1652-1671: Was Selectman, 1652-1660. His first election to the General Court in Connecticut, was May 20, 1652, also May, 1653, May, 1654, Sept., 1654, May, 1656, Oct., 1656, Oct., 1657, May, 1658, May, 1659, May, 1660, March, 1662-3, May, 1663, August, 1663, May, 1664, May, 1665, May, 1666, Oct., 1666, May, 1669, Oct. elected and absent, Oct., 1671.
1669: Hugh and John Calkins are found in the Norwich list of freemen, Oct. 9, 1669.
At each of the three towns in which he was an early settler and proprietor, he was largely employed in public business, serving on committees for consultation, for fortifying, drafting soldiers, settling difficulties, and surveying lands to determine boundaries. Offices that imply a wide range of information as well as executive ability
1690: Hugh died c1690, at age 90, and Ann died in July 1711, both in Norwich.
I had no idea that I was descended from Puritans and, it turns out, American Revolutionary soldiers, until just this weekend. I guess that is what keeps me going with my ancestry research - it is full of surprises!