According to "The Founders of Saybrook Colony and Their Descendants, 1635-1985", MATTHEW BECKWITH came to New England (possibly from Ponteferact, Yorkshire, England) in 1635, residing first at Saybrook Point, CT. He was in Branford, CT, in 1638 and was among the first settlers of Hartford in 1642. By 1651, he was in East Lyme, having purchased large tracts of land along the Niantic River.
"The Beckwiths", by Paul Beckwith, 1891, mentions a number of items from the Connecticut Records. He is said to have resided in Hartford in 1645, on lot number ten on Main Street. This book points out the possible parents of MATTHEW as Marmaduke Beckwith of Dacre and Clint, North Yorkshire, England, and his wife Anne Dynley. The book traces the ancestry of Marmaduke back to Sir Hugh de Malebisse, who held lands at the time of William the Conqueror. MATTHEW's wife's name is given as Elizabeth (which has since been refuted).
The "Beckwith Notes" discount the parentage of Marmaduke Beckwith, and give the name of MATTHEW's wife as MARY. The notes suggest that MATTHEW was probably born in Essex, England, far from North Yorkshire, Marmaduke's home.
According to the Hartford Public Records, p.29, MATTHEW was in Hartford, Aug. 1, 1639 aboard a pinnace (small schooner) with other members of her crew. MATTHEW was fined ten shillings for unreasonable and immoderate drinking on the pinnace. MATTHEW may have been a trader, as these vessels were commonly used to bring supplies to the Colony and return with beaver skins. He owned a boat, which he kept at Beckwith Cove in Lyme, CT.
In 1645, MATTHEW bought land in Hartford, from William Platt, an original proprietor. In 1650, he bought land in Hartford, from Thomas Porter. In the spring of 1651, he was given a house lot in East Lyme, New London, CT. His wife was at the Hartford Court on May 22, 1665, where she gave her age as 40.
In 1657, the Winthrop Medical Journal, p. 379, Pequot, New London, CT, gave the ages of the children as follows: Mary 14, Matthew 12, ELIZABETH 10, Sarah 7-1/2, Joseph 4. Mary was reported as living at the B. Bernards. She was apparently living with the family of Bartholomew Bernard of Hartford.
MATTHEW was able to give land somewhat liberally to his sons, and it is recorded that, in 1665, thirty acres more were "laid out" to him, all of which he gave his son Joseph.
From Simeon Bradstreet's Memoires (NEHGR vol 9, p. 50), "Octob. 21, 1680, MATTHEW BRECKET Sen. aged about 70, missing his way in a very dark night, fell from a Ledge of rocks about 20 or 30 foot high, and beat out his braines against a stone he fell upon."
Inventory filed June 6, 1682, Est. £339 - Birth about 1612. After the death of MATTHEW, his widow MARY, married Samuel Buckland. She died before 1690. Samuel Buckland married Hannah, widow of Philip Bill in 1690, and died in 1700, at New London.
There is much contradiction about the dates of birth and death of MATTHEW. Records seem to indicate
that he was about age 70 at the time of his accidental death. James Savage gives a date of death of
Oct. 21, 1680. From this, a date of birth of about 1610 is derived. This seems to be the most widely
accepted year of birth. "The Beckwiths" (p. 74) gives a date of birth of Sep. 22, 1610, and a date of
death of Dec. 13, 1681. In his contribution to the "Beckwith Notes" (p.2), Frederick H. Beckwith quotes
a source as giving the time of death as "the spring of 1682." No one source seems to be more reliable than
|first four children probably born in Hartford, Hartford, CT|
husband Samuel Daniels
husband Benjamin Grant
wife Elizabeth Hill
wife Elizabeth Griswold
wife Sarah Starkey
husband Robert Girard
husband JOHN BATES
husband Joshua Grant
|last three children probably born in East Lyme, New London, CT|
wife Susannah Tallman
wife Martha _______
|| -1725 |
wife Prudence Manwaring