William Parker (early settler)

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William Parker (1618–1686)[1] was an early Puritan settler in the Connecticut Colony and one of the founders of Hartford. He arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the summer of 1635 after sailing from London on May 21, 1635 aboard the ship Mathew. He settled in Newtowne, the community that is now Cambridge, and became one of the members of Thomas Hooker's congregation. He was one of the founders of Hartford, Connecticut.[2][3]

He married Margaret Prichard in 1636, one of five women on board the Mathew.[4]

His home lot in Hartford in 1639 was on the west side of the “road from Seth Grant’s to Centinel Hill” which is now Trumbull Street.[5]

The location of his lot is evidence that he was with Thomas Hooker’s party in 1636. He is also listed as an inhabitant who had a right to undivided lands. He was one of the Hartford settlers who served in the Pequot War and attained the rank of sergeant.

He received 36 acres of land in the division of upland in East Hartford in 1666 that he sold to William Pitkin and William Goodwin. He sold his share of land received in 1674 on the west side of Hartford to Thomas and Samuel Olcott. William Parker’s six acres were sold in 1684 to Joseph Collier.

William Parker fathered ten children by his first wife. Prior to 1682 he married a second wife, Elizabeth Pratt, the widow of Lieutenant William Pratt. His daughter, Margaret, born about 1650, married Joseph Pratt in 1671, who was the son of Lieutenant William Pratt and Elizabeth (Clark) Pratt.

William Parker moved from Hartford to Saybrook in 1649. He was a large landholder and also had land in Hebron that he had acquired from Joshua, the third son of Uncas.[6]

Edward Johnson in his work published in 1654 wrote of him: “Mr. William Parker, a man of pregnant understanding, and very usefull in his place.”[7]

William Parker was Deputy to the General Court at the special session of 1652, at the May sessions in 1679 and 1681, and at the October sessions of 1678, 1679, 1680, and 1681.[8]


  1. ^ Puritan Parker, Historical Narrative of Sergeant William Parker, one of the founders of Hartford, Ct. and a Veteral of the Pequot Indian War of 1637, by Bernard S. Parker, Ph.D. (Charleston, South Carolina, April, 2011)
  2. ^ Names inscribed on the Founders Monument of Hartford
  3. ^ “The Founders of Hartford. Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford.
  4. ^ Our Early Emigrant Ancestors. The Original Lists of Persons of Quality; 1600-1700. ed. by John Camden Hotten, Genealogical Publ. Co., 1968, p.82
  5. ^ “Parker-Pond-Peck, by Rev. Edwin Pond Parker, D.D. Hartford, Conn. 1636-1892. (Hartford, Conn., Press of the Case, Lockwood, and Brainard Company, 1892), pp. 7, 8, 9
  6. ^ The Colonial History of Hartford, by William De Loss Love, Ph.D., Published in Hartford, Conn., 1914. pp. 32, 125, 147
  7. ^ Johnson, Edward. A History of New-England From the English planting in the Yeere 1628 untill the Yeere 1652, p. 110
  8. ^ Parker-Pond-Peck, by Rev. Edwin Pond Parker, D.D. Hartford, Conn. 1636-1892. (Hartford, Conn., Press of the Case, Lockwood, and Brainard Company, 1892), pp. 7, 8, 9

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