Edward Ketcham

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Edward Ketcham, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), was born possibly at Cambridgeshire, England, between 1590 and 1600.1,2 He died before 8 June 1655 when his will was proved at Stratford, Connecticut.3

Edward married (1) Mary Hall at St. Andrew the Great Parish, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, 22 August 1619;4,2,5 he married (2) Sarah (…) before 1640. The ancestry of both wives is unknown (or not traced here).3,5

Most listings of Edward Ketcham's children give him a son Samuel. Seversmith notes that there is no baptism record for him found in England, and the records of him from Long Island appear to be of a younger man, likely the son of John and Susan Ketcham. Samuel does not appear in the earliest records of Ipswich or Shouthold. A published pedigree showing a Samuel as father to Joseph Ketcham of Norwalk is believed to be wrong, and it is most likely Edward never had a son named Samuel.

The maternity of daughter Hannah is unclear. She is mentioned in her father's will of 1655, but otherwise has no other record. Some published accounts conflate her identity with her sister Ann, but Seversmith rejects this as the will mentions both a daughter Hannah, and someone else named Ann mentioned in close proximity to the widow Sarah. Beyond the baptism and record in the will, there's no further record of this woman.6

Edward Ketcham is first found in England with his marriage at St. Andrews, Cambridge. Four children are recorded there in the 1620's and as they match those that can be found in his will, Edward of Cambridge is determined to be the immigrant.

He is not found on any known passenger list, but Savage indicates he was in Ipswich by 1635, but there is no known record to support this. He was made freeman there, 9 March 1636/7 indicating he probably arrived in the previous year. Anderson does not show him as arriving before 1636. He was recorded as a cattle-owner of Ipswich 20 Dec 1638 and again 13 Jun 1639. A deed of Samuel Boreman states that Edward sold land to Boreman about 1640, and Edward was still in Ipswich 3 mar 1639/40 when Hester Ketcham, likely his daughter, was freed from service to John Woolridge.

About this time he disappears from Ipswich records and presumably went to Southold on Long Island. The earliest records there are lost, but those that remain do show his residence there. Of the properties of William Wells listed about 1651, "one piece was separated from the property of Edward Ketcham by the highway." On 8 Aug 1654, Wells purchased eight acres in Southold from Ensign Alexander Bryan of Milford, Connecticut, "which had been the property of Edward Ketcham in Southold." Land holdings of Thomas Mapes, made in 1652, describes one parcel "beginning from Edward Ktcham's meadow." Of the property of Joseph Horton, listed 2 Jan 1653, one parcel is cited as adjoining Edward Ketcham. A year later, in February 1654, mention is made of land "late Edward Ketcham's, now Mrs Wells' lying west." On 5 Dec 1655, Mathias Corwin owned land adjioning Mrs. Wells, which had been the property of Edward Ketcham. From these descriptions, it appears Edward left Southold in the summer or fall of 1653. The sole record of him at Stratford is that of his will.4

Edward Ketcham left a will of unknown date but was proved 8 June 1655.

In 1932, D. L. Jacobus examined the will in the Fairfield probate records for Seversmith and reported:
. . .it is in the badly damaged first volume, and much of it was lost years ago. The part remaining mentions wife Sarah, son John, and daughters Mary, Hannah and Hester. Other children were probably mentioned in the part lost from the top of the page. The top of all these pages were eaten away by chemicals in ink spilled on the volume before 1800, and I do not believe any genealogist can quote the will in full; a brief abstract made in 1841 adds nothing to the above statement.

What can be read of the will was carefully recorded by Phoenix in a footnote to The Whitney Family of Connecticut:
I, Edw . . .perfect . . .God h . . .Sarah . . .and . . .buriall . . .to pay . . .cause to . . .After my decease five shillings . . .to . . .John . . .I give and bequeath to my three dau . . .Mary, Hann . . .Hester, five shillings a peece to be p . . .within six . . .after my decease, the rest after my decease . . .dispose . . .seeth cause for the good of hers . . .and A . . .ne

     Witness the day and year above written
          Thomas Pell.
          Mr. Pell takes oath in  . . .this eighth June 1655 that . . .the last will and testament of Edward Catchem the court approves thereof.
          William Hill Secy.

The inventory, which totaled £90 11s. 6d., was dated 9 June and approved 15 June 1655.7

Family 1

  • Hannah Ketcham3 d. aft. 1655

Family 2

Mary Hall b. abt. 1600, d. abt. 1630
  • Mary Ketcham3 b. 7 May 1620, d. aft. 1655
  • John Ketcham3 b. 8 Sep 1622, d. bef. 17 May 1697
  • Hester Ketcham3 b. 10 Apr 1626, d. aft. 1655
  • Ann Ketcham8 b. 19 Oct 1628, d. aft. 1655

Family 3

Sarah (…) d. aft. 1660
  • Sarah Ketcham3 b. abt. 1639, d. aft. 7 Mar 1699
  • Rebecca Ketcham+3 b. say 1648
  • Joseph Ketcham8 b. abt. 1650, d. bef. 4 May 1730
This person was last edited on25 Sep 2019


  1. [S1941] John Insley Coddington, "Edward Ketcham of Cambridge, co. Cambridge, and Elsewhere in England, Later of Ipswich, Mass., Southold, L.I., and Stratford, Conn.," The American Genealogist 30 (Jan 1954): 2-6, further cited as Coddington, "Edward Ketcham."
  2. [S16] Mary L. Holman, Ancestry of Colonel John Harrington Stevens and His Wife Francis Helen Miller (Concord, New Hampshire: Rumsford Press, 1948), 511, further cited as Holman, Stevens-Miller Genealogy.
  3. [S5] Donald Lines Jacobus, History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield (two vols., New Haven, Connecticut: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, 1930-1932), 1:359, further cited as Jacobus, Families of Old Fairfield.
  4. [S985] Herbert Furman Seversmith, Colonial Families of Long Island, New York and Connecticut: Being the Ancestry and Kindred of Herbert Furman Seversmith, 5 vols (Washington D.C.: p.p., 1939-1958), 4:1729-30, further cited as Seversmith, Colonial Families of Long Island.
  5. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 2:886, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  6. [S985] Seversmith, Colonial Families of Long Island, 4:1733.
  7. [S985] Seversmith, Colonial Families of Long Island, 4:1733-34.
  8. [S985] Seversmith, Colonial Families of Long Island, 4:1730.