Nathaniel Foote, Sr
b.abt. 1592 Cambridgeshire, England
d.bet 1 Aug 1644 and 20 Nov 1644
m. 18 Jun 1576
m. bef 1618
Facts and Events
Part of Nathaniel's parentage was born at Royston, which straddles the southwest border of Cambridgeshire with adjoining Hertfordshire, less than 5-miles west of the three shire corner of Cambridge, Essex and Hertford. Although the principal location of Royston is on the Hertford side of the two shires, Nathaniel's uncle John Foote, his father's brother and husband of his mother's sister Margaret Brooke, states in his will that he was born in Royston "in Cambridgeshire." His mother Joan Brooke and her eleven siblings were baptized in the parish of Eastcheap in London. Shalford in Essex where Nathaniel's father died in early 1609 is located less than 5-miles north-northwest of Braintree in north central Essex, and is less than three-miles southwest of Weatherfield in Essex. Colchester in Essex is located 15-miles due east of Braintree toward the English coast.
Under the terms of his father's will of 26 January 1608/9, Nathaniel was to receive the sum of £40 on his 24th birthday, which if the reputed date of his baptism is correct, would have been in late 1616. In the interim, on 21 September 1608 Nathaniel was officially apprenticed, after the fact, by his father only months before the latter's death, into one of the family's main occupations, that of grocer:
Nathaniel Foote, aged 16 years, son of Robert Foot of Shalford in Com. Essex yeoman doth put himself apprentice to Samuel Croylye of Colchester, aforesaid grocer and Free Burgess from the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel last past for the term of eight years. Dated 21 Sept. V James I . Sealed and delivered in the presence of me Robert Foot and of me George Lumpkin.
The English system of apprenticing a young son to a trade was to provide the son with a useful occupation, many of which had established guilds that controlled a particular occupation. A grocer was a merchant and would have been associated with many allied occupations, including butchers and yeomen (farmers) from whom "grocery" goods would have been obtained. A grocer may well have been a very capable yeoman, familiar with raising stock (cattle, horses, sheep, swine, etc.) and the growing of commodies.
Apprenticeships were legally binding personal contracts, and apprentices were not permitted to marry until the term of apprenticeship expired. For Nathaniel1, under the terms of his apprenticeship that would have been on 28 September 1615. Thus, the statement that he married in January 1615/6 may well be correct, yet a more likely date would be one year later in early 1617 [eldest child purportedly baptized 14 January 1617/8]. Nonetheless, Nathaniel married Elizabeth Deming, the sister of John Deming, latter the immigrant settler and patriarch of the Deming family of Wethersfield, CT. Apparently, Nathaniel was not the only one of his extended English family to venture to New England, but he was the only one that resided at Wethersfield, CT.
Reportedly on 18 October 1619, Nathaniel bought a messuage from Beatrice Barker, Esq. on East Street in St James Parish, Colchester, where he was called "grocer." Nathaniel and Elizabeth's first two children were purportedly baptized at St. James Church in Colchester, but the place of baptism for the remaining children cannot be found.
Nathaniel Foote "The Settler" - came to New England with his wife Elizabeth. He took the oath of freeman at Watertown, Massachusetts Bay on 3 Sept 1634, which, if typical, was within a year of his arrival in New England. Watertown was the principal place from where many of the early Wethersfield, CT settlers came. Nathaniel soon sold his Watertown lands and as early as 1635 arrived at Wethersfield as one the ten original "adventurers". He was among the first to whom land was distributed at Wethersfield, CT in 1640.Elizabeth was the sister of Mr. John Deming, also one of Wethersfield's first settlers. He was a farmer and eventually owned some 400 acres including ten acres on the east side of Broad Street near the south end.
Following an Indian "massacre" in early 1637 at Wethersfield, in May 1637 the new settlements of Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor along the Connecticut River mobilized under Capt. John Mason for what became the Pequot War. In provisioning Capt. Mason's company, at the General Court in Hartford on 26 June 1637: It is ordered yt [that] there shalbe 1 hogg prvided att Wythersfeild for the designe in hande, wch is conceiued to be [the hog of] Nathaniell Footes...
He was a juryman for the Connecticut Colony's General Court in 1641, 1642 and 1644 and of the Particular Court in June 1643. During the General Court session of August 1644, he was the defendent in an action brought by John Robbins and plaintiff in action against Robert Rose, both cases being decided in his favor.
His initial homestead in Wethersfield was a house and out buildings with 10 acres located on the southeast side of Broad Street, lying between Carpenter's Lane and Jeremiah Jagger's homestead. This setting was on the west side of the Connecticut River, but he also owned one of the "adventurers" plantations on the east side of the Connecticut River, now in Glastonbury, CT. The ten adventurer's plantations on the east side of the river were narrow strips of land, some upwards of 5-miles in depth west to east from the river.
Nathaniel died intestate; the inventory of his moveable (chattel) estate recorded in the early records of the Connecticut Colony's Particular Court. It totaled £380-17-00 taken on 20 November 1644 by Richard Trott [sic, Treat], Samuel Smith, and Nathaniel Dickinson: 
INVENTORY OF THE ESTATE OF NATHANIEL FOOTE:
Mr. Heynes and Mr. Willis are desiered to consider of the estate of Nath: Foote, deceased, and to take in what helpe they please from any of the neighbours to aduise how yt [that] may be disposed of and to report these apprhensions to the next Court [Connecticut Public Records, Vol. I, p. 115].
In dividing the estate, the following was determined
The Children: Nathaniel Foote---about 24 years---to have L 148-00-00 Robert Foote------- -about 17 years---to have L 74-00-00 Frances Foote------about 15 years--- to have L 74-00-00 Sarah Foote----------about 12 years---to haveL 74-00- 00 Rebeckah Foote---about 10 years---to have L 74-00-00 The Wyddow of s d. Nathaniel Foote Adms. her portion 212-00-00
Imprs His purse and apparrell 7-16-00 It. In neat Cattell and in Hay, 93-0 0-00 It. in harsee fleshe, 34-00-00 It. in hoggs, 66-60-00 It. in debts, 2 9-03-04 It. in Englishe Corne, 70-00-00 It. in goats, 3-15-00 It. in Cart s, ploughs, etc. 6-00-00 Ite. Indean Corne, 8-00-00 It. in old Wheat and p ease, 6-06-00 It. for certain things in the chamber, 2-00-00 It. for amuni tion, 5-00-00 Ite. for fouer beds with the furniture, 13-06-08 It. in fy ne lynen, 5-10-00 Ite. 2 table boards, 2 chests, 1Trunke, with other Impl ts. 5-00-00 It. pewter & brasse and other useful vessells, 12-00-00 I t. in husbandry tooles, 3-00-00 It. in beife, butter, and cheese and oth er necessary prvision for the howse, 8-10-00 It. in poultry, 1-00-00 somm: L 380-17-00
In the final distribution, the land was distributed as follows: Land devided to the Wydowe Foote. 4 ac. home lott where her howse is, £20-00-00 The howseing 50-00-00 2 ac. vnsubdued [e.g., uncleared land], 4-00-00 7 ac. plaine broke [e.g., cleared and plantable], 28-00-00 3½ plaine med: [meadow], 20-00-00 14 ac. meadow, 70-00-00 3 ac. plaine not broake vp, 5-00-00 30 ac. vpland in [the] Westfield 15-00-00 Som: £212-00-00 Land devided to the eldest sonne. 3 ac. homelott next her, £15-00-00 2 ac. vnsubdewed, 4-00-00 7 ac. plaine broke vp, 28-00-00 3½ of meadow, 20-00-00 3 ac. in great med: [meadow], 24-00-00 4 ac. in beaver med: [meadow], 4-00-00 27 ac. swampe, 1-10-00 3 ac. not broke vp, 5-00-00 30 ac. vpland west field, 15-00-00 Halfe the east side, [east of the Connecticut River, now in Glastonbury] 10-00-00 £126-10-00 137 No total is shown in the original entry, but shown here for perspective. It does not include another £74 given to each of the two married daughters, Elizabeth and Mary, who are not directly named in the distribution of their father's estate.
Land for the youngest sonne. 3 ac. homelott, £15-00-00 6 ac. med: in the swamp, 30-00-00 21 ac. west field, 10-00-00 halfe on the east [side, east of Connecticut River, now in Glastonbury] 10-00-00 £65-00-00 A debt formerly forgotten wch the said Deceased Nath: Foote did owe, 1-10-00 The age of the 5 children Dwelling with their mother. Nath: ffoote 24 yeares, Rob ffoote about 17. Frances about 15. Sarah about 12. Rebecka about 10.
The wyddowe of the said Nath: Foote is admitted to administer the Estate, and the eldest sonne is to have the lands before mentioned as they are valued at 126£ 10s. wch is to be made vppe [by adding moveables to] 148£ & the youngest sonne the prticuler landes above mentioned for him at 65£, wch is to be made vppe [by adding moveables to] 74£ and the [two] daughters disposed in marriedge [sic] are to have the 30£ a peece wch they have receaued [sic] made vppe [by moveables to] 74£, and the other Children are to have 74£ a peece pruided [provided] it is lefte at the dispose of their mother to detracte from any of them if shee see just cause 5£ of the portion here sett downe, and to adde yt [that] to such of the other as best desearue yt.