The World of Grandpa Don

The Curtis Family Line 


Our Curtis line in America begins with John with his arrival in America in 1632. One of his descendants married into the Munson line of our ancestors who, in turn joined the Doolittle line.

This is their story, as I know it.

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In England

John Curtis was baptized in Nazeing, Essex County, England on September 15, 1577. In Waltham Abbey, Essex County, is the record of his marriage on April 19, 1610 to Elizabeth Hutchins, as well as the baptismal records of their children: John, baptized February 26, 1624; William, baptized June 21, 1618; and Thomas, baptized March 12, 1619/2. Additionally, on the same page as his marriage is found the marriage of William Curtiss, who married Sarah Eliot, the sister of John Eliot the Indian Apostle, and one of the original settlers of Roxbury, Massachusetts. It is quite possible that William and John were brothers or otherwise related.

In America

The ship Mayflower arrived at Plymouth Massachusetts in 1620, the place of the first New England settlement. In 1630 the town of Boston was founded, providing an excellent harbor. Roxbury, now a neighborhood within Boston, Massachusetts was also one of the first towns founded in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630, and became a city in 1846 until annexed to Boston on January 5, 1868

 

Generation 1

John Curtis (1577-1639) & Elizabeth Hutchins (1588-1658)

The Curtis family arrived in Boston, Massachusetts on September 16, 1632 on the ship Lion. They first settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts on fifteen acres of land. In 1639 they removed to Wethersfield, Connecticut. There is no record of John's death, but presumably he died shortly after his arrival in Wethersfield. After the death of her husband, Elizabeth Curtis with her three sons went to Stratford, Connecticut when the town was first founded. "Widow Curtiss", first appears on these records, in a list of property owners about 1650 with her two sons, John and William. Her lot was near or adjoining that of Rev. Adams Blakeman.

Elizabeth died in June, 1658 and her will was proved at Fairfield, Connecticut on November 4, 1658.

The Last Will and Testatment of Elizabeth Curtiss,...being weak yeat perfect in her minde as is...

Inprmis. Unto her two Sonns John Curtiss and William doe give my Mare and Coalt...

It. Unto John Curtiss & Jonathan Curtiss ye Sonnes of my Sonnes John & William my Grandchildren I doe give the coalt that my young Mare hath: And after the sayd young mare hath up her first coalt, Then I doe give ye sayd young mare to the Rest of my Grandchildren, Sonns and Daughters of my aforefd Sonns John & William:

It. I doe give one houfe and Lott to my grandchildren, John Curtiss & Ifrael & Jonathan & Sarah Curtiss ye children of ye said John & William: And they to enjoy it when they come to ye age of twenty:

It. I doe give unto my Grandchilde Mary Curtiss ye daughter of Thomas Curtiss forty shillings & to bee paid unto her by my sonns John & William within a yeare after my defesase:

It. I doe give unto my Sonns John & William Curtiss my two cowss, one hiefer, one bullock and a calf after my decsas; provided yt if my sayd young mare before given to my Grandchildren should miscarry. Then my Will is if my two sonns John and William Curtiss should give foure pounds each of them to there Children yt have no share in my house and Lott to be paid att ye Age of twentie:

It. I doe give my Bible to John Curtiss my Grandchilde the Sonn of John Curtiss allso my desire is yt there be so much of my Corn sould as may buy a bible for Jonathan Curtiss ye Sonn of my Sonn William and given to him:

The Rest of my goods Within ye house that are moveable goods I doe give to me Sonns John & William Curtiss to be equally divided betwixt them.

My two Sonns John Curtiss & William Curtiss I doe make executors: my will is yt John Burdseye, Henry Wakelyn and Joseph Hawly shall bee overseers of this my Last Will and Testament.

Elizabeth Curtiss
In ye presence of
John Brimsmaid
John Washborn

This will is proved by John Curtiss and William Curtiss to bee ye Last Will and Testament of Elizabeth Curtiss of Stratford: And Court ye app

 

Generation 2

John Curtis (1615-1707) & Elizabeth Welles (1619-1681)

John Curtiss, son of John Curtiss of England, was born in England, February 26, 1611, was among the original patentees of Stratford, Connecticut. He was made Freeman in 1658. He was a prominent citizen of Stratford. In 1678, he and his brother, William, were on committee to build a new meeting house. He was a Sergeant of Militia and attained the rank of Ensign as a Soldier in King Philip's War. He held the office of Town Treasurer in 1675.

In about 1641 John married Elizabeth Welles who was born February 26, 1635 in New England, daughter of John Welles (1585-1610) and Mary Holoster (1586- ) both of Nazing, Essex, England. John and Elizabeth parented 11 children; Abigail, Lydia, Nathanial, Samuel, Sarah, John, Israel, Elizabeth, Benjamin, Hannah, and  Thomas,

Elizabeth died May 9, 1681 and John on December 2, 1707, both in Stanford.

 

3rd Generation 

 Thomas Curtis (1648-1736) and Mary Merriman (1657-1733)

Thomas Curtis, the sixth child of John and Elizabeth, was born in Wallingford on January 14, 1648.  He married, date unknown, Mary Merriman, born in New Haven on July 12, 1657, the daughter of  Nathaniel Merriman (1613-1694) and Joan Lines (1628-1709).  Her father was born in London, England and I would assume that her mother was also born in England although several sources have her born in New Haven, CT which is very unlikely given the date of her birth.

Between 1675 and 1701 there were 11 children born to Thomas and Mary; Mary, Nathaniel, Samuel, Elizabeth, Hannah, Thomas, Abigail, Jerimima, Rebecca, John, and Lydia.

Mary is listed by some as having died on August 9, 1733. However, Thomas has her in his will, written August 9, 1733 so her date of death is not known. Thomas date of death is reported to be May 5, 1736, they day after his will was signed and witnessed. The will states:

In the Name of God, Amen, this Ninth Day of Aug in ye year of our Lord A.D. on Thousand Seven hundred & thirty-three, I Thomas Curtiss Senr of Wallingford in ye County of New Haven and Collony of Connecticut in New England aged about 85 years yet of perfect mind and memory, thanks be to God and Calling to mind ye Mortallity of the Body, do make & ordain this my Last Will & Testament that to Say principally & first of all & Recommend my Soul into ye hand of God yt gave it in hopes of his mercy through Jesus Christ and my Body I Commit to ye Earth to be decently buried at ye Discretion of my Executors hereafter named in hopes of a Glorious Resurrection and as Touching Worldly Estate wherewith it has pleased God to Bless me in this Life after my just Debts & Funerall expenses are paid, I Give, Divise & Dispose of ye Same in Ye Manor & form following (viz)

To my beloved Wife Mary, I Give & Bequeath one half of ye House & Home Lott and Six acres of Land in the Plain near Capt. Yales and ye Improvement of all my meadow on ye West side of ye River during her Nattural Life, mly Mare, a cow & heifer and all my Movables in ye house, these Movables Estate I Give unto my Wife to use & Improve & finally to dispose of at her pleasure.

Item. I Give to my Son, Nathaniel Curtiss my Chestnut Ground Lott, four acres near Jeremiah Hulls Home Lott joining to Land of John Ives also four acres at ye Plain field each piece as they are butted & bounded upon Record.

Item. To my Son Samuel Curtiss I Give & Bequeath ye one half of my fourth Division and each end of sd Lott.

Item. To my Son Thomas Curtiss I Give & Bequeath ye other half of my fourth Division which is at West end of sd Lott.

Item. To my Son Joserph Curtiss I Give & Bequeath three acres of Land upon ye Clear Plain near Capt Yales House at his Mothers Disease.

Item. To my Son John Curtiss I Give & Bequeath ye other half of my Home Lott at our Disease with ye Buildings & orchard upon it also ye Remainder of my Plain Lott near Capt Yales at his Mothers Disease.

Item. To my Daughters, namely Mary ye Wife of John Crain, Elizabeth the Wife of Nathaniel Hall, Sarah the Wife of Joseph Parker to my Grandchildren borne of ye Body of my Daughter Abigail Dead, Late Wife to Joseph Holt and Jemima, Wife of Nathan Beech and Rebeckah ye Wife of William Munson to those above mentioned I Give & Bequeath four acres of Meadow & Plain Land on ye West Side of ye River at a place Calld ye horse pasture also my Sixth Division near ye West Rocks as they are Butted & Bounded upon Record all this I Give & Bequeath unto my Daughters & Grandchildren above named to be Divided to each of them in proportion with what I have already given them to make them equal Shares of my estate.

Finally I make Consitute & ordain my Son Nathaniel Curtiss and my Son in Law Joseph Parker Executrs of this my Last Will & Testament hereby revoking & Disannulling & making void all other Wills & Testaments Bequeaths & Executors by me made. Establishing & Confirming this & no other to be my Last Will & Testament in Wittness I have hereunto Sett my hand & Seal signed sealed Published & Declared by this I Thomas Curtis to be his Last Will & Testament in witnes

signed
John Peck
Daniel Hall
Benjamin Hall
(Wittnessess)
Wallingford May ye 4th, day 1736

Thomas Curtis (seal)

John Peck, Daniel & Benjamin Hall all of Wallingford personally appeared and made Solomn Oath that they waw Capt Thomas Curtiss Late of Wallingford Deasd Sign, Seal Publish & declare this Instrument to be his Last Will & Testament and yt they signed in ye presence of ye Testatr as wittnesess and ye Tastatr was of sound mind & memory at ye time thereof.

Certified
Theophilus Yale
Justice of Peace.

 

4th Generation

Rebecca Curtis (1697-1742) & William Munson (1695-1773)

Rebecca Curtis married William Munson joining the Curtis line of our family with the Munson line.  This line can be followed at the Munson Family page. 

 

Postscript:
This
very short Family line in our history, in addition to the Curtis surname ads the family names of Wells, Merriman, and Lines to our genealogy.  These were truly pioneers of this nation. The content of the wills of some of them, in their original spelling and form are also of interest. This family is also connected to the Hall branch of our family through Elizabeth, daughter of  Thomas Curtis (1648-1736) and Mary Merriman (1657-1733), who married Nathaniel Hall (1677-1757)

 

Curtis Relationship Chart
Elizabeth Curtis Pedegree Chart

 

Cousins & Stuff

 The Ancestry.com DNA project discovered a match to a distant cousin. Starting with the name Peter Burr Curtis  in the  B. B. J. family tree (administered by caberkshire1) I found the link to my Curtis family.  My newly found relative known only to me as B. B. J. is a 9th cousin 2X removed. That would place him or her in the same generation with my grandchildren. I invite you to view our Relationship Chart. This cousin is "Double Cousin", also to be linked through my Tuttle ancestors. See http://www.plefka.net/Family/Family61a.htm

Another DNA match is also a 9th cousin 2X removed only known to me as Drmedaniels1. See Daniels Relationship Chart.  He is also a cousin in the Bingham Line and the Beacher Line.

I also have a DNA match to "Tbliss181", an 8th cousin. See Our Relationship Chart. In this instance Ancestry.com was able to diagram the entire match lineage. Our nearest common ancestors are Thomas Curtis (1648-1736) and  Mary Merriman (1657-1733).

There is also a DNA match to my Curtis Family line with lpflodin. Our nearest common ancestors are my 8th great grandparents John Curtis (1615-1707) and Elizabeth Welles (1619-1681) By this line we seem to be 9th cousins. See Relationship Chart.

Jim Seymour
Lydia Curtis (1721-1810) is descended from John Curtis (1577-1639) who is my 9th great grandfather. Apparently in this family line Jim Seymour and I are 10th cousins, once removed. See Relationship Chart.

Grandpa Don Plefka
aka Harry Ronald Cecora
Dec 29, 2009
Rev. Mar 13, 2013

 

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