Matthew Marvin

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Matthew Marvin, son of Edward Marvin, was born probably shortly before his baptism at Great Bentley, Essex, England, 26 March 1600.1,2 He died at Norwalk, Connecticut, before 13 July 1680.1,3

Matthew married (1) Elizabeth (…), before 1622;1,4,3,5 he married (2), as her 2nd husband, Alice (…) at Hartford, Connecticut, about 1647. The ancestries of both women are unknown (or not traced here).1,3,6

Matthew received from his father the mansion house at Great Bentley. He also received the tracts of land called Harttes and Brocken Heddes on condition that he should pay his mother yearly throughout her life "the fulle sume of Sexe Poundes." There, he was a "sydeman" of St. Mary's Church in 1621, overseer in 1627, and senior warden in 1628. That he should have held such positions at his age shows him to have been a good type of man for, according to a statute of 1536, church wardens were classes "co-equally with Mayors, Governors, and head officers of every city borough and town corporate."

He was still in Great Bentley in August, 1633. In April 1635, he and his family sailed from London on the Increase, in company with the Kilbourn family, John Warner, Isaac Moore, and others of later Connecticut record. They apparently landed early in June. Their names and ages are entered in the passenger list as Marthaw Marvyn, Husbandman 35, his wife Elizabet 31, Elizabeth Marvinn 31 [sic], Mathew Marvynn 8, Marie Marvynn 6, Sara Marynn 3, Hanna Marvynn 6 months.

Almost immediately upon his arrival, Matthew associated himself with the company which was removing to the Connecticut River, and he became an original settler in Hartford in 1635. His name is on the monument as such in that city. His home in that town was on what was in 1886 the corner of Front and Pleasant streets and he held the position of surveyor of highways there in 1639 and 1647. In February 1639, ten different "parcells" of land are shown under his ownership and others were later acquired, for even as late as 1665, he retained his right in the undivided lands in Hartford and in 1666 received an additional ninety acres there in that way. Seven of these different plots were sold to Richard Fellows.

On 9 November 1640, Matthew and another were fined five shillings "for putting ouer of ther hoges ouer the greate riuer [Connecticut] without order...& [were] to pay such damages as wer done by thos sayd hoges." In March, 1641, in an agreement about fencing certain land he was to maintain a "Common gate" to the North Meado and"if any children shal be taken swinging upon the gate by the said Mathew Meruill he shal complayn to ther parents or masters & if they doe not restraine them the second time it shall be lawful for him to [illegible] them & if they brade the gate ther parents or masters shall make it good." In 1648-9 he was voted ten shillings for "killing a wolfe." Evidently these beasts had been a real menace for in September of 1640 it had been voted that one of the inhabitants "shall spend his Time abowght killing of wolfes & for his Incoragmentt he shall haue 4s.6d. a weeke for his bord in casse he kill not a wolfe or a deare in ye weake:but iff he kill a wolfe or a deare he is To pay for his bord himselfe & if he kill a deare we are To have it for 2d. a pound."

Matthew had a lawsuit in 1644 against Peter Bassaker, and another in 1649 against Matthew Beckwith concerning slander against him. He won 50 pounds in damages and the slander was publicly retracted.

Matthew and his brother, Reynold, were evidently considering removing to Farmington for they are listed as having home lots assigned to them in that settlement. While his brother went on with the plan, Matthew sold his land and settled in Norwalk.

He was one of the planters of Norwalk who was named in the Indian deed of 15, February 1651, wherein the transfer of lands was made to the settlers on account of the payment of "Thirtie Fathum of Wampum, Tenn Kettles, Fifteen Coates, Tenn pay Stockings, Tenn Knifes, Tenn Hookes, Twenty Pipes, Tenn Muckes, Tenn Needles."

Both he and his son drew land in Norwalk totaling about four hundred twenty-five acres. Matthew is called "one of the most distinguished of the Norwalk fathers" and "one of the Colonial 'Roll of Honor' men," concerning whom it has been justly said: "They had no model, but they left us one; On their strong lines we base our social health; The man, the home, the town, the commonwealth." This statement of his standing in the community is justified by the fact of his receiving "the home lot of honor," being that next to the meeting house and near the parade ground. His location is said to have been historic in an added way, as marking the "Hollow" where newcomers camped until permanent quarters could be provided them.

The frequent use of the prefix "Mr." in connection with his name in the early records, as well as the fact that his estate was the second largest in the town, and included lands in nearby towns, verifies his stated position of prominence. He served as Deputy for Norwalk to the Connecticut General Court, May 1654. On 19 May 1659, he was freed from watching and training. He is said to have been a Magistrate in 1659, and in a deed in 1674 to "sonne" Samuel Smith, he called himself "wheelwright of Norwake." When the original meeting house was to be enlarged, Matthew was one of a committee to call on inhabitants to assist, to oversee the work, and finally "to provide a luncheon and a barrel of good beans for the help." On October 13, 1664, he, with others, was accepted as a freeman and directed to take the oath the following May and on 11 October 1669, both he and his son were reported as freemen of Norwalk.

In his will dated 20 Dec 1678, he calls himself aged 80 or thereabouts. The inventory of the estate was taken 13 July 1680.2,7,4,3,8

Family 1

Elizabeth (…) b. abt. 1604, d. abt. 1642
  • Elizabeth Marvin1,3 b. 15 Sep 1622
  • Matthew Marvin1,3 b. 8 Nov 1626, d. 1712
  • Mary Marvin1,3 b. 15 Dec 1628, d. 29 Mar 1713
  • Sarah Marvin1,3 b. 27 Dec 1631, d. abt. 1702
  • Hannah Marvin+1,3 b. abt. Oct 1634, d. abt. 1680
  • Abigail Marvin+1,3 b. abt. 1637, d. abt. 1681
  • Rebecca Marvin1,3 b. abt. 1639

Family 2

Alice (…) b. abt. 1610, d. Dec 1680
  • Samuel Marvin1,3 b. 6 Feb 1647/48
  • Rachel Marvin1,3 b. 30 Dec 1649, d. abt. 1687
This person was last edited on1 Jan 2021


  1. [S2053] Robert Charles Anderson, George F. Sanborn Jr. and Melinde Lutz Sanborn, The Great Migration: Immigrants To New England, 1634-1635 (7 vols., Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999-2011), 5:63-71, further cited as Anderson, et al., The Great Migration.
  2. [S118] John Insley Coddington, "Notes on the Ancestry of Reinold and Matthew Marvin," The American Genealogist 18 (Jul 1941): 1-13, further cited as Coddington, "Notes on Reinold and Matthew Marvin."
  3. [S1013] Mary Walton Ferris, Dawes-Gates Ancestral Lines: A Memorial Volume Containing the American Ancestry of Mary Beman (Gates) Dawes: Volume II: Gates and Allied Families (n. p., 1931), 2:575-578, further cited as Ferris, Dawes-Gates II.
  4. [S5] Donald Lines Jacobus, History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield (two vols., New Haven, Connecticut: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, 1930-1932), 402, further cited as Jacobus, Families of Old Fairfield.
  5. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 1006, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  6. [S1872] Torrey, New England Marriages (2011), 1007.
  7. [S119] Donald Lines Jacobus and Edgar Francis Waterman, Hale, House and Related Families, Mainly of the Connecticut River Valley (1952; reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1978), 713-715, further cited as Jacobus and Waterman, Hale/House Families.
  8. [S1492] Peter Wilson Coldham, The Complete Book of Emigrants: 1607-1660: A Comprehensive Listing Compiled from English Public Records of Those Who Took Ship to the Americas for Political, Religious, and Economic Reasons; of Those Who Were Deported for Vagrancy, Roguery, or Non-Conformity; and of Those Who Were Sold to Labour in the New Colonies (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1987), 136, further cited as Coldham, Complete Book of Emigrants, 1607-1660.