John Waterbury

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ChartsAncestors of Edward Ambrose Cooke
John Waterbury, son of William Waterbury and Alice (…), was born probably shortly before his baptism at All Saints, Sudbury, Suffolk, England, 30 December 1621.1 He died at Stamford, Connecticut, 31 July 1658.2,3,4

John married Rose (…), whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), near Watertown, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, about 1641.5,3,4,6,1

John Waterbury is last of record (and it seems to be the only record of him) in Watertown when he sold his house and 8 acres to Robert Pearce, 15 October 1646. There is no record of the means by which John came to own this property.7,8

An undated list in the Stamford Town Records shows John Waterbury had:
(1) One house and home lot containing an acre and a half with the out housing on the said lot bounded by William Potts on the east, Jeremiah Jagger on the west, butting to the highway north and David Nichele south
(2) 14 acres of meadow in the East Field with an acre of upland adjoining to it bounded by David Nichele and Francis Bell on the east, Daniel Scofield "with the rest of those lots in that range" on the west, butting to the highway and William Graves on the north, the sea to the south, with a highway through the said lands also through all those meadows to John Chapman's land
(3) 5 acres of upland in the North Field bounded by John Chapman on the south, William Mead on the north, butting to the highway west, and Elias Bailey on the east
(4) Another 2 acres of upland in the North Field bounded by John Mead to the north, John Chapman on the south, butting to John Chapman on the west and the highway on the east
(5) 12 ½ acres of waste land in the East Field bounded by John Finch or William Potter on the west, Henry Ackerly on the east, butting to the highway south and "the fence" on the north

A second list dated September 1650 shows a completely different list of parcels:
(1) One house with two barns and a home lot containing 6 acres bounded by John Chapman north, George Slason south, butting to the highway west, and the meadow east, with an acre and a rood of meadow bounded by the meadow which was Henry Olinison's on the north, Obadiah Seeley on the south, butting ot the creek east, and the rest of home lots west
(2) 6 acres of meadow in Rocky Neck bounded by Thomas Newman north, Edward Jessup south, butting to the creek and widow Whitmore west, and the upland of Thomas "Hiat" Hyatt as opposed to Hoyt or Hait' on the east
(3) 14 acres of combined upland and meadow in Rocky Neck bounded by the harbor on the west and south, Thomas Hiat on the east
(4) 3 acres of upland in Rocky Neck bounded by John Holly north, the widow Whitmore and Jeffrey Ferris on the south, butting to the rails [fence] west and the highway east
(5) 3 acres of waste land in Rocky Neck "lying with Goodman Hunt" bounded by Thomas Hiat on the north, William Mead and John Holly south, butting to the meadow east and[ west
(6) 7 more acres of waste land in Rocky Neck bounded by Thomas Hiat north, Edward Jessup south, butting to Nicholas Knapp east and Edward Jessup west

He purchased four more parcels, which were also entered in the town records:
(1) 4 acres of meadow plus 5 acres of upland in Rocky Neck bounded by John Waterbury [that is, land already hisP], on the north and south, butting to the highway east and Jeffrey Ferris west, purchased from the widow Johana Whitmore, 10 August 1650
(2) 2 acres in the East Field bounded by Thomas Hunt north, Nicholas Knapp south, to the "cassy" [?] east and John Elliott west, May 1652
(3) 3 acres of upland in the [_____] Field bounded by Francis Bell west, Thomas Stevens east, butting to the highway north [south bounds not given], [also May 1652?]
(4) 2 acres of meadow in Rocky Neck bounded by William Mead north, the meadow of the said John Waterbury south, butting to the highway west, the upland that was William Newman's east, purchased from William Newman [illegible date], recorded in 1654

Also in the town records,
John Bassett sold to John Waterbury "the house and lands he bought of Ellyas Bailly" on 25 October 1651, and the same day, Waterbury reconveyed the property to "Ealse Marshell."

His name does not appear in the indexes to the Stamford land records.

In November 1653, he and John Holly appraised the estate of Vincent Simkins, late of Stamford, deceased. In 1656, John Mead charged Richard Law, constable at Stamford, with, among other things, forging an agreement between John Waterbury and Widow Turner. Counter charges were filed against Mead, and Law was supported in his case by testimony from John Waterbury and others.

On 27 May 1657 the General Court elected him as one of Stamford's three deputies, and re-elected him 26 May 1658, but he would not live to serve out his term.9

The inventory of his stepfather (Gregory Taylor) totaled £48 14s. 06d. and was taken October 1657 by Richard Law and Francis Bell. Later that month, on 21 October, he appealed to the court, when he did not agree with the inventory:
John Waterberey of Stamford desired advice of the court; his father in law and mother are both lately dead at Stamford, and hath left some small estate w'ch they gave to him, as himselfe and his wife can testifye, and he now brought Henry Jackson of Fairfeild, who in writeing declared some thing as a ground why the estate should belong to him, ye said Jno. Waterberey, w'ch writing he had againe; but by all he was told ther is not a full evidenc to cleere the estate to him, though it is likely none may have more or so much right as he; therefore it were best that a true inventorie be taken of the estate, and he may be admitted administrator upon securitie put in, that right may be done, if any appeare w'thin the time lymited by the order, w'ch can show a better tytle then he can.

Several years later, on 14 June 1662, the appraisers testified:
that thes goods above written were presented to them and acknowledged by John Waterberry and his wife to be the estate which the foresaid deceased Gregorye Taylor had in possession and left at the time of his Death; but the s'd Waterberry would not acknowledg that this was all, nor would he and his wife attest it upon oath to be a true Inventory of the whole estate . . . .

Later when John Waterbury's estate was distributed in 1669, Taylor's estate had grown:
whereas ther is an Inventory of Gregory Taylors amoundint to 92 pounds 12 s. 6d. is [sic] Included in the above said Inventory, if ther apears a better proprieter to the estate (within a year and a day after this date) then Waterberry, deceased, Then the above Said widdow [Mrs. Waterbury] and Children to abate each of them proportionable out of ther portions the Said 92 pound 12 s. 6d.  . . . .10
From the History of Stamford there is an account of the confrontation between one of the local Quakers, Mrs. Richard Crabb, and a posse of prominent citizens led by Daniel Scofield, and which included deputy John Waterbury. They were trying to persuade Mrs. Crabb, "a thorn in the side of the local ministry, to abandon her heathen ways and return to the True Church:"
Fastening her sharp eye on goodman Bell, the same who from the first had been a pillar in the Stamford church . . . she continued her bitter invective. "Thou arch traitor and hypocrite, thou villainous liar, God's wrath is on you and shall burn hotter and hotter on your godless children. Out on you! poor priest-ridden fool!"

Springing next upon John Waterbury, who had also accompanied the marshall to aid in the dispensation of justice, she administers to him a similar castigation. Then she tries the force of her cutting reporaches and sharp retorts upon the marshall for selling himself to do the dirty work of the God-Forsaken government at New Haven, and to the over-reaching and heaven-defying, and priest-cursed crew in Stamford. Then she assailed George Slawson, that exemplary member of the church, a peacepmaker, and one whom all delighted to honor, and poured upon him her heaviest abuse . . . .11

He died intestate, and his inventory was taken in April 1659, and totaled £383 1s. comprised of, among other things:
housing and lands, £80
livestock, £183
44 pounds of pewter, £3 06s.
four guns and one pistol, £12 15s.

The estate was not distributed until 1669:
At a Court held at fairfield 2 Novem 1669. Whereas the Inventory of John Waterberry was this day Exhibited to the Courte, which amounts to threehundred eighty three pounds, one shilling, The deceased dying Intestate, the Court enters a devision of the estate to Shee that was the widdowe, now is the wife of Joseph Gernsee, and to the Children, as followeth: the wife of the Said Joseph (that was the widdow of the Deceased), Shee to have a third part of the estate out of the personall estate. The eldest Sonn to have a doubble portion, which amounts to eighty five pounds, Two Shillings and three pence. To the Second Son, Jonathan, forty two pound, eleven Shillings. To David the third Sonn of the deceased, forty two pounds, eleven Shillings; the two Daughters portions, to each of them, forty two pounds, eleven Shillings a peece.

The Land to be devided between the three Sons; The ohouse and one half [of the land] to the eldest Sonn, the other half to be equally Devided between the other two Sons, and what the eldest Sons part is more worth then the other part, he is to allowe out of his portion as Indifferent men Shall apprize. The Said Joseph Gernse is to enjoy the use of the house and home lot During his above Said wifes life and her Continuance in Standford. The Sons are to receive ther portions at Twenty one years of age, and yf any of them Dye before they be of age, the Survivers are to enuoy it. Joseph Garnsee is admitted Administrator on the Said estate and he is enjoyed to give in Secryty to the overseers that the portions Shall be duly payd . . . Mr. Holly and Liut. Bell are apointed overseers fo the Children and ther Disposals & portions.

In 1674, three of his sons, John, Jonathan, and David, conveyed to their stepfather, Joseph Garnsey, a parcel of land then possessed by John Miller.9


Rose (…) b. abt. 1623, d. bt 1684 - 1685
  • Rachel Waterbury5,3,4 b. abt. 1641
  • John Waterbury+5,3,4 b. bt 1647 - 1649, d. 28 Nov 1688
  • Sarah Waterbury5,3,4 b. abt. 1648, d. 2 Sep 1712
  • Jonathan Waterbury5,3,4 b. bt 1649 - 1651, d. 14 Jan 1702
  • David Waterbury+3,5,4 b. abt. 1655, d. 20 Nov 1706
This person was last edited on4 Jun 2022


  1. [S2052] Robert Charles Anderson, The Winthrop Fleet: Massachusetts Bay Company Immigrants to New England 1629-1630 (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2012), 666, further cited as Anderson, The Winthrop Fleet.
  2. [S1184] Lucius B. Barbour and Lorraine Cook White (editor), The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records (55 vols., Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1994-2002), 42:281, further cited as Barbour and White, Barbour Collection.
  3. [S391] Marian G. Banker, "Notes on the Waterbury Family of Stamford, Connecticut," The American Genealogist 27 (January 1951): 241-245, further cited as Banker, "Notes on the Waterbury Family."
  4. [S390] Charles Arthur Hoppin, The Washington Ancestry, and Records of the Mcclain, Johnson, and Forty Other Colonial American Families (Greenfield, Ohio: E. L. McClain, 1932), 479-488, further cited as Hoppin, Washington Ancestry.
  5. [S383] Paul W. Prindle, Ancestry of Elizabeth Barrett Gillespie (Mrs. William Sperry Beinkecke) (New Orleans, Louisiana: Polyanthos, 1976), 493-503, further cited as Prindle, Gillespie Ancestry.
  6. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 1603, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  7. [S390] Hoppin, Washington Ancestry, 481.
  8. [S1911] Robert Charles Anderson, "1646 Migration From Watertown", Great Migration Newsletter: Volumes 1—25 (1990—2016), [Boston]: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2017), 8; originally published: Great Migration Newsletter, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Jan-Mar 1990), 8 , further cited as Anderson, Great Migration Newsletter: Vols 1—25.
  9. [S1910] E. B. Huntington, History of Stamford, Connecticut: From it's Settlement in 1641 to the Present Time Including Darien Which Was One of It's Parishes Until 1820 (Stamford, Connecticut: s.p., 1868), 64, further cited as Huntington, History of Stamford.
  10. [S383] Prindle, Gillespie Ancestry, 497-498.
  11. [S383] Prindle, Gillespie Ancestry, 499-500.