English Ancestors of Thomas Sanford, 
and the First Generation in America


Richard SANFORD  is the first known ancestor of our immigrant ancestor Thomas, not to be confused with another Richard Sanford, probably a cousin, who died in Much (or Great) Haddam in 1560.  He was born in 1533 and died in Nov 1591 at the age of 58 in Stanstead Mountfichet, Essex, England. He was buried on 16 Nov 1591. 
It is likely that Richard’s ancestors lived in the general area of Stansted, perhaps already working as glovers, as many family members did.  But we have no record of them. 
Amateur genealogists among American Sanfords would like to believe that this Richard -- or his father Richard -- was one of the aristocratic Sandfords in Shropshire, in wetern England near Wales. Unfortunately there is no connection. 
Richard SANFORD and Elizabeth COGGESHALL were married in 1558 in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, England. Elizabeth COGGESHALL was born in 1537 and died in 1600 at age 63.
Richard SANFORD and Elizabeth COGGESHALL had the following children:
+2i.Thomas SANFORD.
+3ii.Richard SANFORD.
+4iii.Elizabeth SANFORD.
 5iv.Robart SANFORD, born in 1562 in Stanstead, died in 1632 at age 70 in N. 
Weald, Essex..
 6v.Henry SANFORD was born in 1564.
 7vi.Robert SANFORD was born about 1566.

Second Generation (Children of Richard)

2.  Thomas SANFORD (Richard-1), grandfather of our immigrant ancestor, was born in 1556 in Stansted, Mountfitchet, Essex, Eng. He died on 6 Apr 1597 at the age of 41 in Much Haddam, Hertfordshire.         
We do not have many documents to indicate what sort of man Thomas was. But we know that the lord of the manor voiced his respect for Thomas Sanford in 1585 by summoning him to the manorial court, which chose him as one of the two constables -- guardians of the peace -- of the town.
     Thomas's very lengthy and detailed will, signed in 1597 (Sanf. pp. 31-34), makes clear that he was a man who thought carefully about his possessions and about the welfare of those around him. Thomas Sanford was not only a successful man, but – as indicated by his will -- a thoughtful, sagacious man, deeply interested in his family's welfare. He wisely educated his children, well knowing they would do the same with their children. His will indicated him to be an active, enterprising citizen, and bore his part in public matters, though he did not achieve distinction in a political way. (Source: Thomas Sanford Genealogy, c., 1911, p. 78)
Thomas SANFORD and Friswith EVE were married on 21 Sep 1581 in Stanstead Mountfichet, Essex.  Friswith (or Ffriswit) EVE was born about 1561. She died on 24 Nov 1581 at the age of 20 in Stanstead, 64 days after marrying. 
It appears that after the sudden death of his wife, Thomas moved to Much Hadham and within three years remarried.  His second wife's maiden name is not recorded, but since he refers to both a John Lewes and a John Mellett as "brother-in-law," it is likely that Mary was either a Lewes or a Mellett. (The rector of the Much Haddam church was the son of the Bishop of London, and appears to have enjoyed the generous salary paid by this sinecure but did not worry much about such responsibilities as recording births, marriages, and deaths of his parishioners -- records for his time in office are very sporadic. The marriage of Thomas and Mary is not recorded.)
         Much Hadham, a parish in the hundred of Edwinstree, was a local center for the trade in fine skins, and Thomas was a glover, a trade that seems to have been shared by many members of his family.  
Thomas SANFORD and Mary LEWES (or Mellett) were married about 1584, probably in Much Haddam. Mary LEWES was born in 1563. She died in 1620 at the age of 57 in Much Haddam. She was buried on 19 Aug 1620 in Much Haddam. 
Thomas SANFORD and Mary LEWES had the following children:
+8i.  Ezechiell (or Ezekiel) SANFORD.
+9ii. Priscilla SANFORD.
10iii.Zachary SANFORD was born on 9 Aug 1590 in Much Hadham. He died on 9 Jan 1678 at the age of 87 in Much Hadham. The only one of Thomas's sons to remain in Much Haddam, he apparently never owned property or had children (since his name never shows up in legal  documents or church records).  He apparently was married: the Much Haddam parish church register says: "1661. Dec. 21st late wife of Zacharia Sandford was buried." and "1677(8) Jan. 9th. Zachary Sampford an old man was buried."
+11iv.Sarah SANFORD.
 12v.Damaris SANFORD was born in 1594 in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire, England. She died on 22 Nov 1616 at the age of 22. Hers is the earliest known occurrence of the name "Damaris," a name which appears a number of times among descendants of her nephews in Connecticut in the next century. Though she died young, she appears somehow to have made a great impression on her brother Ezechiell and his children.

3.  Richard SANFORD (Richard-1) was born in 1560. He died Autumn 1636 in North Weald (Bassett) Essex.  He married Annis ____.

4.  Elizabeth SANFORD (Richard-1) was born in 1562 in Stanstead,.
  She married William WOODLEY.

Third Generation (Children of Thomas)

8.  Ezechiell SANFORD (Thomas-2, Richard-1) was born in Feb 1586 in Much Haddam. He was christened at the church there on 20 Feb 1586. He died after 1635 at the age of 49 probably in Margaretting. Essex.  Ezekiel Sanford was baptized at Much Hadham on 20 Feb 1586-86 as the eldest son of Thomas and Mary Sanford. He married Rose Warner in Hatfield, and they apparently lived there with her parents at least until after the birth of their first sons, Thomas and John. The town, modernly called Hatfield Broad Oak, is about six miles southeast of Much Hadham, over the county line into the shire of Essex. The records of baptisms, marriages and burials in this parish have been lost, prior to 1662, depriving all of the exact date of his marriage and the baptisms of his two eldest sons, Thomas and John, born between 1607 and 1612. It is unknown what his trade or occupation was. (Source: Thomas Sanford Genealogy; c., 1911, pp. 38-39) 
     He probably saw no future for himself in Hatfield.  His father Thomas bequeathed to him three plots of three acres in Stanstead Mountfichet, which had been Ezekiel's grandfather's (Richard's).  So he made the most of it by settling on it. (Sanf.p.43)
     In or just before 1635, he moved to Margaretting, just southwest of Chelmsford, about fifteen miles from Stansted. (Sanf. p. 1399)
Ezechiell SANFORD and Rose WARNER were married in 1607 in Hatfield, Broad Oak, Hertfordshire, England. Rose WARNER, daughter of John WARNER and Mary ___, was born in 1588 in Hatfield. She died in 1707 at the age of 119 in Great Waltham, , Essex,. [This is obviously in error. I am looking for some better information as to when Rose Warner Sanford died. A reasonable guess, though, is that Ezekiel removed to Margaretting after his wife died, so she probably died sometime before 1635.]
Ezechiell SANFORD and Rose WARNER had the following children (five of whom migrated to New England):
+13i.Thomas SANFORD, our ancestor, who settled in Milford CT.
+14ii.John SANFORD.
+15iii.Ezekiel SANFORD.
+16iv.Robert SANFORD, who settled in Hartford CT 
+17v.Andrew SANFORD, who settled in Hartford, then in Milford. 
 18vi.Samuel SANFORD was born on 25 Nov 1619 in Stanstead and died in 10 days.
 19vii.Mary SANFORD was born on 13 Feb 1622 in Stanstead.
 20viii.Jonathan SANFORD was born on 18 Jan 1623 in Stanstead.
+21ix.Zachary\Zachariah SANFORD, who settled Saybrook CT. 
+22x.Nathaniel SANFORD, who settled in Hartford CT. 

9.  Priscilla SANFORD (Thomas-2, Richard-1) was born on 17 Mar 1588 in Much Hadham. She died in Much Hadham.  Priscilla SANFORD and Thomas HOWE were married on 30 Sep 1609. Thomas HOWE was born about 1587.

11.  Sarah SANFORD (Thomas-2, Richard-1) was born on 24 Sep 1592 in Much Hadham. She died in Nov 1616 at the age of 24.  Sarah SANFORD and ___ HOWE (probably a brother of Thomas Howe, who married Priscilla) were married before 1615 in Much Haddam. ___ HOWE was born about 1590.

Fourth Generation (Children of Ezechiell)

13.   Thomas SANFORD of Milford (Ezechiell-3, Thomas-2, Richard-1) was born in 1607 or 1608 in Hatfield, Broad Oaks, Essex, England. He immigrated about Mar 1631 to Dorchester MA on The Arabella.. He died in Oct 1681 at the age of 74 in New Milford, New Haven, CT  (Details of Thomas Sanford’s life are on another page on this website.)

14.  John SANFORD (Ezechiell-3, Thomas-2, Richard-1) was born in 1609 in Hatfield Broad Oak. He died in Sep 1679 at the age of 70 in Stanstead. He was buried on 5 Sep 1679. (He was one of the children who did not emigrate to Connecticut.)  He married Olim OLIN (? -- there is some uncertainty about her name), born about 1609 in Hatfield. She died in Jan 1675 at the age of 66 in Stanstead. She was buried on 16 Jan 1675.
John SANFORD and Olim OLIN had the following children:
+30i.Francis SANFORD.
 31ii.Philip SANFORD was born on 17 May 1656 in Stanstead Mountfichet. He was christened on 6 Jun 1656. He died in Oct 1679 at the age of 23. Philip was buried on 24 Oct 1679 in Stanstead Mountfichet.
32iii.James SANFORD was born on 13 Jun 1658 in Stanstead Mountfichet. He was christened on 25 Jun 1658.
33iv.Ann SANFORD was born on 21 Jul 1661 in Stanstead Mountfichet. She was christened on 24 Aug 1661.

15.  Ezekiel SANFORD (Ezechiell-3, Thomas-2, Richard-1) was born on 26 Dec 1612 in Stanstead. He died on 5 Sep 1678 at the age of 65. He was another who did not emigrate to Connecticut.
Ezekiel SANFORD and Rebecca WIEKLE were married in Apr 1665 in Stansted, Essex, England. Rebecca WIEKLE was born after 1625.
Ezekiel SANFORD and Rebecca WIEKLE had the following child:
34i.Joseph SANFORD was born about 1670.

16.  Robert SANFORD of Hartford (Ezechiell-3, Thomas-2, Richard-1) was born in 1615 in Stanstead. He was christened on 1 Nov 1615. He died in Jun 1676 at the age of 61 in Hartford, Hartford Co., CT. He emigrated from England and settled in Hartford in 1645.  His Hartford house-lot was on the road to the cow-pasture (if you can find that).
Robert SANFORD and Ann ADAMS were married in 1643 in Hartford CT. Ann ADAMS2, daughter of Jeremy ADAMS, was born about 1620. Her children are documented as born starting in early 1640s, suggesting her birthdate as 1620s.
She died on 12 Jul 1682 at the age of 62 in Hartford, Hartford, CT. 
Robert SANFORD and Ann ADAMS had the following children:
+35i.Zachary\Zechariah SANFORD of Hartford.
+36ii.Elizabeth SANFORD.
+37iii.Ezekiel SANFORD of Bridgehampton, Southhampton, Suffolk NY. (He was one of the first to  sail across Long island Sound to Long Island to establish the town of Bridgehampton.) 
+38iv.Mary SANFORD.
+39v.Sarah SANFORD.
+40vi.Hannah SANFORD.
+41vii.Robert SANFORD.
42viii.Abigail SANFORD was born about 1658. She died after 1682 at the age of 24.

17.  Andrew SANFORD of Milford (Ezechiell-3, Thomas-2, Richard-1) was born on 11 Nov 1617 in Stansted. He died on 6 Sep 1684 at the age of 66 in Milford, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. After sailing to New England in 1632 (or perhaps a few years later), Andrew Sanford settled in Hartford, CT., with his uncle Andrew Warner.  
     The first record of him is in Hartford  in 1651. His residence was on what is now lot 74 on Burr St. On May 21, 1657, he was made Freeman and was Chimney Viewer in June, 1662.     It is very likely that he was in Hartford and married as early as 1638 and the first two children born soon thereafter. The records state that Mary, his second child, was of marriageable age in 1667.
     "He and wife certainly got into serious trouble in Hartford. They were both indicted for witchcraft or for holding public meetings other than those prescribed by the elders or for dealings with 'Sathan.' The records show that he was 'accused' June 6, 1662, and very soon after tried in court by a jury; that the verdict of the jury was, 'some thought guilty, some strongly suspected,' result, a disagreement.
     "It further appears that the wife Mary was indicted June 13, 1662, and soon tried, whether with her husband has not been learned. The verdict in her case, it is certain, was 'Guilty,' which of course, meant execution. The actual record of the execution has not been found, but it is morally certain that she was executed. John M. Taylor in his 'Witchcraft Delusion in Colonial Connecticut' states that she was executed. In the preparation of that work, as he states, in a letter to Mr. F. A. Sanford, No. 303 in this family, of Nov. 14, 1910, (to whom the author is indebted for assistance in this matter), he (Taylor) had access to the notes of the late Dr. Charles J. Hoadley who made an exhaustive research some years since on the subject of witchcraft. His vol. of memoranda is now held by Mr. George E. Hoadley of New Haven. For trial of Mrs. Sanford see pg. 151. Andrew's trial will be found in the same volume. See also records of 'Particular Court' vol. 2, pg. 174-5, on file in office of Secretary of State and State Librarian, Hartford, Ct.
   About 1667 he removed to Milford, where he remarried.  We can understand that after the execution of his wife staying in Hartford became increasingly unpleasant; we might wonder why it took him five years to make the move to Milford, where by that time his brother Thomas was well established.  It may have taken some time to be sure that a better life awaited him in Milford and to settle his affairs and make the move.  Perhaps his brothers Robert and Nathaniel, also settled in Hartford, provided what comfort they could, so that he could bear to stay on in Hartford even with the upsetting memories of neighbors who had participated in the condemnation of his wife.
     A recent article (1910) in the New England Historical Magazine refers to the Sanfords of Hartford CT., as being 'All Quakers.' In and under Hartford Colonial law Quakers were classed as and with heretics. Quite a good many Quakers and Heretics were executed in New England in Colonial times. So we need not look upon the case of Mary Sanford as a strange one.
     "On going to Milford in 1667 he and his second wife accepted the situation and joined the Church, Mar. 4, 1671."
     From "Families of Early Milford Connecticut," Compiled by Susan Woodruff Abbott, Reprinted for Clearfield Company, Inc. by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, Maryland 1996:
Andrew SANFORD and Mary ___ were married in 1643 in Hartford, CT. Mary ___ was born about 1620 in England. She died hanged for witchcraft (=Quakerism?) on 13 Jun 1662 at the age of 42 in Hartford, Connecticut, USA.      (Andrew Sr. married a Mary, last name UNKnown.  To confuse genealogists, his son married another Mary, Mary Botsford.  Some genealogists have confused the two Andrews and decided that Andrew Sr.'s wife was in fact Mary Botsford. It took me a while to untangle this confusion. -- CBS)
Andrew SANFORD and Mary ___ had the following children:
+43i.  Andrew SANFORD.
 44ii. Mary SANFORD Unmarried was born about 1646. She died in 1689 at age 43. 
 45iii.Elizabeth SANFORD was born about 1648. She died probably 1661 at age 13. 
+46iv.Ezekiel SANFORD.
 47v.Thomas SANFORD was born about 1658. He died young -- aft 1667.
Andrew SANFORD and Sarah GIBBARD were married about 1667. Sarah GIBBARD, daughter of William GIBBARD and Ann TAPP, was born before 1650.
Andrew SANFORD and Sarah GIBBARD had the following children:
+48i.  Martha SANFORD.
 49ii. Mary SANFORD was born on 16 Nov 1668 in Milford. She died on 25 Aug 1669. 
+50iii.Hannah SANFORD.
 51iv.Samuel SANFORD was born on 17 Mar 1671 in Milford. 
He died on 16 Mar 1698 at the age of 26.
 52v.  Abigail SANFORD was born before 1671.
 53vi. Elizabeth SANFORD was born before 1671 in Milford. She died young.
 54vii.Nathaniel SANFORD was born on 30 Mar 1673 in Milford CT. He died young.
+55viii.       Capt. Andrew SANFORD.
 56ix. Samuel SANFORD was born on 27 Jan 1674. He died young.
+57x.  Elizabeth SANFORD.
+58xi. Sarah SANFORD.
 59xii.Esther SANFORD was born on 6 May 1677 in Milford.
 60xiii.Mercy SANFORD was born on 1 Jul 1679 in Milford.
 61xiv.Ezekiel SANFORD was born on 11 Jul 1683 in Milford. He died young.

21.  Zachary\Zachariah SANFORD of Saybrook (Ezechiell-3, Thomas-2, Richard-1) was born about 1625 in Stansted, Mountfitchet, Essex, England. He died on 23 Dec 1668 at the age of 43 in Saybrook, Middlesex Co., CT. New England families, genealogical and memorial,  by William Richard Cutter pp343-4, refers to Zachary as a cousin of Thomas, not as his brother. Most sources see them as brothers. If he was not a son of Ezechiell, he might have been the son of Ezechiell's brother Zachary.
       In 1651 Zachary settled in Saybrook. (Sanf.p.63)  He was a selectman in Saybrook 1664.[Some sources confuse him with his nephew by the same name, who was born and lived in Hartford.]
Zachary SANFORD and Hannah ROCKWELL were married in 1653 in Saybrook, Middlesex Co., CT. Hannah ROCKWELL, daughter of John ROCKWELL, was born about 1633. (Since the Rockwells were early settlers of Hartford, it is clear that even after settling in Saybrook, Zachary maintained contact with Hartford – where he may have spent some time with his brothers prior to continuing down the Connecticut River to the new Saybrook settlement.)
Zachary SANFORD and Hannah ROCKWELL had the following children:
 62i.Zachary SANFORD was born in 1653. He died young or 1711 (some uncertainty here—see four lines below).
+63ii.Hannah SANFORD.
+64iii.Ruth SANFORD.
 65iv.Ezekiel SANFORD was born in 1663 in Saybrook, Middlesex Co., CT. He died on 8 Nov 1711 at the age of 48 in Saybrook. A typed manuscript entitled "Town Records of Old Saybrook" contains the following listings:
Zachriah Sanford died  Nov. 4, 1711
Ezekiel Sanford    "     Nov. 8, 1711   Is "Zachriah" the elder Zachary (though other sources give his death-date as 1668)? or an otherwise unlisted son?
Is "Ezekiel" this Ezekiel? --Probably so.
+66v. Deborah SANFORD.
 67vi.Sarah SANFORD was born in Nov 1668.
 68vii.Rebecca SANFORD was born on 6 Nov 1668 in Saybrook. She died in 1722 at the age of 54.

22.  Nathaniel SANFORD of Hartford (Ezechiell-3, Thomas-2, Richard-1) was born about 1627 in Stansted. He died in 1687 at the age of 60.  He was in Hartford 1655, Wethersfield Lane.  Chimney viewer 1657; surveyor of highways 1663, 1667
Nathaniel SANFORD and Susannah (Clark) KELLY were married about 1650. Susannah (Clark) KELLY was born after 1630 and died about 1669 (or perhaps later).
Nathaniel SANFORD and Susannah (Clark) KELLY had the following child:
+69i.Mary SANFORD.
Nathaniel SANFORD of Hartford and Hannah ROCKWELL (widow of Nathaniel's brother Zachary) were married after 1669. Hannah ROCKWELL was born about 1633. Did she return to Hartford after her husband died? Or did Nathaniel, also widowed, come to Saybrook to court her?


Though Richard is associated with Stansted, it is known that his (presumed) cousin lived in Much Haddam, and since Richard was married in Much Haddam -- meaning that this was probably Elizabeth Coggeshall's home -- there were apparently ongoing connections between parts of the family in Stansted and parts in Much Haddam.
As other parts of this website have hopefully made clear, almost all the information here about our English ancestors comes from Carlton Sanford's 1911 book, "Thomas Sanford, Emigrant to New England." Sometimes I reference this book with its full title, sometimes as "Sanford," and sometimes more cryptically as "Sanf."
"1677(8) Jan. 9th", more often written 1677/78:  The changeover from Julian to Gregorian calendar lasted from the late 1500's to 1752, and both calendars were in use during the change-over time. On the old calendar, the new year started on March 26 (roughly the vernal equinox). So January 9th was still the old year -- 1677. But on the new calendar -- ours -- January 9th was in the new year -- 1678.  Sometimes for events occurring from January to March, both years appear in legal and church documents; sometimes the document contains just one -- usually the old style (1677) -- and a scholar will insert the new date to make it easier for modern readers. And sometimes we don't know if the date is old style or new style -- if it says 1677, should we write that as 1677/78, of 1676/77?
The more usual spelling of Ezechiell's name would of course be "Ezekiel," and it is more often found in that form.  When dealing with names before about 1800, don't be thrown by variant spellings, William Shakespeare is said to have spelled his own name in at least six different ways: Shaksper, Shaekspere, etc.
"Susannah (Clark) Kelly" -- this form of notation suggests that she was a widow, born a Clark and married to a Kelly.
The full name of Stanstead is Stanstead Mountfichet. The modern spelling is Stansted. A Norman aristocrat -- from Montfichet in France -- acquired large holdings in the town, established a priory, and added "Mountfichet" to the town name, shortly after the Norman conquest in 1066.
As mentioned elsewhere, Rose's brother Andrew traveled with her son Thomas to Massachusetts in about 1632 and became one of the earliest settlers of Hartford, Connecticut.
Return to home page

Return to first page of Sanford Family History

To see where these English Sanfords lived before migrating to the colonies, click here to go to Stansted page

Read about witchcraft in Puritan New England.
Since chimney fires were a major hazard in colonial homes, every community had a chimney-viewer who had the responsibility of inspecting chimneys to be sure they were safe and unlikely to catch fire.