JACOB WATERHOUSE

OF WETHERSFIELD AND NEW LONDON, CONN.,

AND SOME OF HIS DESCENDANTS

Compiled for CHARLES PAYSON BLINN, JR.

By GRACE PRATT BONSALL, S.B., of Quincy, Mass.


The name "Waterhouse" is a place name, there being places by that name in Staffordshire, and in the County of Durham, England. It is an ancient family name in Lincolnshire, this family claiming their descent from Sir Gilbert Waterhouse, of Kirton, living in the reign of Henry III. DeWatenhou was a Notts family name in the 13th century (Hundred Rolls). Another ancient family of Waterhouse lived at Halifax in the West Riding. A branch, to which belonged the vicar of Bradford in the middle of the 17th century, was located at Tooting, Surrey, in the time of James I. (Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, by Guppy, 1890.)

The name Waterhouse in America appears in various spellings, such as Waterous, Watrous, Watriss, Watress, but all are derived from Waterhouse. Savage says: "Of this Connecticut tribe the name has been abbreviated to Watrous, sometimes Waterus."

JACOB WATERHOUSE, the immigrant ancestor with whom this genealogy is concerned, whose English ancestry has not been traced, was in Wethersfield by 1637, when he was one of eighteen men from Wethersfield who fought in the Pequot Indian Campaign 26 May 1637, under the command of Capt. John Mason of Windsor (Bodge, Indian Wars, pp. 1116),

His holdings in Wethersfield consisted of a house and 2 acres of land, extending from Sandy Lane south to Fort Street (now Prison Street) north (Stiles' Ancient Wethersfleld, 1:310). In 1640 his land abutted on Edward Mason in little West Field (Manwaring Digest, 1:24).

In 1645 he removed to New London, then called "Pequot". There are references to the fact that marshes and meadows in the vicinity were mowed that year "at Fog-plain by Cary Latham and Jacob Waterhouse" (Caulkins, History of New London, p. 44).

The Indians troubled the early settlers to such an extent that a petition was drawn up by the Inhabitants of New London to the Commissioners of the United Colonies of New Haven on 15 Sept. 1646, and presented to that body on the following day by William Norton, one of their number. They complained that they "were much Abused and Ronged by the Mohegge Indians" because of their molestations; that "Uncas came from Mohegen in a hostile way with 300 men into the English plantation". A memorandum of John Winthrop, Jr., stated that "they drove away divers of the English cattle almost to monhegen as Jacob waterhouses and William mortons cows which they kept a weeke before they brought them againe which they did by Jacobs urging them being his cattle". (Winthrop Papers, vol. v (16451649); Mass. Historical Society, 1947, pp. 111, 112.)

Jacob Waterhouse was chosen as overseer of the weirs in 1649. He is no. 7 on the list of first planters with the record of their house lots. "Jacob Waterhouse is granted by a general voate and joynt consent of the townsmen of Nameeug to have 6 ackers for an house lot next to John Stubens, be it more or less" (History of New London, pp. 59, 60). He also shared in another grant in January 1648/9 for "a division of lands on the E. side of the Great River of Pequot, north of Mr. Winthrop's lot". (Ibid, p. 61.)

Jacob Waterhouse witnessed a bill of sale of Robert Bartlett of New London to Mr. John Winthrop, also of New London, or "Nameag", on 6 June 1648, using a cross for his mark. Robert Bartlett sold "all my cattle both young and old, bulls cowes oxen steeres heyfers and calves that are upon his Iland called Fishers Iland for 30 in tame cattle and other good pay and John Winthrop is satisfied also for all the damages done to him by the cattle of Robert". (Winthrop Papers, vol. V, p. 228)

The Indians had their complaints, too, for on 25 May 1649, John Haynes, an Indian, sent the following to John Winthrop, Jr.: This Indian in behalf of others at Mohegan complains that a great company of Hoggs, thirty or thereabouts, have destroyed much of their corn, supposedly Jacob Waterhouse's swine , but certainly from your towne please tell J. W. and send two or three to view the harm and make restitution. Hartford 25 May 1649. Jo: Haynes. (Winthrop Papers, V, 347.)

Jacob Waterhouse put in half a day's work in July 1651, according to a list of inhabitants "who wrought at the Mill Dam". (History of New London, p. 74.)

North of the town on the west bank of the river was a long array of grants, and among the most extensive were those of Waterhouse, which covered "the Neck at the Strait's Mouth". (Ibid. p. 95.)

Jacob Waterhouse was a beneficiary under the will of Peter Collins, also a first planter at Pequot (New London), whose will, dated 7 May 1655, mentioned "land on the Neck which Jacob Waterhouse is to have". (Manwaring's Digest, 1:110.)

As he was not liable for military duty in 1665, he must have been over sixty years of age. In 1673 he made the following sworn statement concerning his service in the Pequot War:

"The testimony of Aaron Starke, aged 65 years or thereabouts, testifyeth and sayeth: 'That we being soldiers under Capt. John Mason with many more when we went against the Pequot Indians, we being leaders in the Narragansett country, when many of the Narragansetts came armed and tendered themselves to go with us in that service against the Pequots: wherein they were readily accepted and marched with us through part of the Narragansett country until they came within four or five miles of the Pawcatuck River when we made a halt when the Ninecraft and Miantonomos with many others did declare unto our commander that we were come into the Pequot country and therefore did advise them to be very careful of themselves lest they should be destroyed".

"Aaron Starke and Jacob Waterhouse appeared this 11 day of June 1673 and made oath to what is above written. Before me, John Allen, Justice". (Parkhurst MS.)

One of the grants made to Jacob Waterhouse by the town of New London at Alewife Brook he deeded to his son Abraham on 13 Nov. 1674. (New London Deeds, 5:25.)

He died in 1676, and his nuncupative will was probated on 21 Sept. 1676. (New London County Court Records.) A copy follows of the original record now to be found at the State Library, Hartford, in the Probate Department, New London Probate District 5540a.

"The last will and testament of Jacob Waterhouse, deceased John Stebbins, Sen. and Alexander Pygan being at Jacob Waterhouse's Senr when he was sick, he being in perfect memory so far as we could perceive, he did desire us to bare in mind how he would have his estate disposed of, etc. And first, for my son Isaac, I wish I could give the rest of my children so good a portion as he hath had, but, however, I will him four shillings. And for Abraham, I have given him a peice of land already; for Jacob and John, I will my house and house lot I now live in, with a peice of salt medow at ifoxons and this they to have after my wives decease, and also all the rest of all my lands undisposed of I will to my four sons, namely, Jacob, and Joseph and John and Benjamin only that peice of land now improved for my wife to have the use of it during her life, and also I will to my daughter Elizabeth two cows and five pounds out of the land, if may be, and all the rest of my movables I will to my wife, etc.

"John Stebbings and Alexander Pygan made oath to what is above written. In Court Sept. 21, 1676. As Attest: John Allyn. Above Cogue: Attest: George Denison Clerk of ye Pro. Court N. London May 12th 1702".

Children, first three born in Wethersfleld, the others in New London:

  1. Rebecca, m. about 1655 Thomas Williams, Sr., of Wethersfield, who d. there 5 Feb. 1692. Ten children, born between 1656 and 1680.

  2. Isaac, b. in 1641; d. 7 Oct. 1713, aged 72; m. in Lyme, 20 April 1670, SARAH2 PRATT, b. 11 April 1652, d. 8 Dec. 1725, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Clark) Pratt. They settled in Lyme.

    In the minutes of cases before the Court of Assistants 1664, '65, '66 is the following: "Isaac Waterhouse indicted for throwing the Cart and stocks into the Cove". (Caulkins, p. 248.)

    North of Black Hall "between the rivers", as it is locally called, that is, between Black Hall Creek and Duck Creek, both emptying into the Connecticut River, John Lay and Isaac Waterhouse were probably the earliest settlers. In 1667 Isaac Waterhouse purchased all the lands of Major Mason in Lyme. (Caulkins, p. 177.)

  3. Jacob, d. 3 Jan. 1727/8;

  4. John, soldier in King Philip's War, and present at the Narragansett Fort Fight in December 1676, d. in 1687; m. MARY , and had a son Jacob, an infant in 1687. His widow m. (2) John Hayden of Saybrook.

  5. New London Probate Court Record, 20 March 1704, Jacob Waterhouse, son of John, late of New London, dec'd, who about sixteen years ago chose Lieut. Abraham Waterhouse as guardian.

  6. Joseph, d. s.p. Estate divided in connection with estate of John Waterhouse and Benjamin Waterhouse.

  7. Benjamin, d. at sea, and according to tradition at the hands of pirates.

  8. Administration 4 June 1702. Adm. bond of Oliver Mainwaring, with John Richards as surety, for l00. Account of Oliver Mainwaring, administrator of estate of Benjamin Waterhouse of New London; inventory of l6.05.00.

  9. Elizabeth, bapt. an adult 17 Sept 1693; m. (1) in New London JOHN BAKER; m. (2) in New London, 31 Aug. 1699, PETER HACKLEY, d. in Niantic 12 March 1736.

Another version of Jacob Waterhouse's history.

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