Person:William Horsford (1)

Elder William Horsford
b.bef 1595 England
d.aft 23 Aug 1660 England
m. 21 Jan 1620/1
  1. Esther Hosford1621 - aft 1674
  2. Sarah Hosford1623/24 - 1647
  3. John Hosford1627 - 1683
  4. Joanna HosfordAbt 1630 - 1640
  • HElder William Horsfordbef 1595 - aft 1660
  • WJane Unknownbef 1619 - aft 1671
m. aft 20 Aug 1641
Facts and Events
Name[1][2] Elder William Horsford
Gender Male
Birth[1] bef 1595 EnglandEstimate based on date of first marriage.
Marriage 21 Jan 1620/1 Beaminster, Dorset, Englandto Florence Hayward
Emigration[1] 1633
Residence[1] 1633 Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
Other[1] 1 Apr 1634 Admitted freeman of Massachusetts Bay.
Residence[1] 1635 Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Marriage aft 20 Aug 1641 to Jane Unknown
Will[1] 27 Aug 1650 Not proved.
Residence[1] 1653 Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts, United States
Residence[1] 1654 England
Will[1] 6 Sep 1654
Living[4] 23 Aug 1660 Calverleigh, Devon, EnglandReplaced as parish minister on that date.
Death[4] aft 23 Aug 1660 England

He was at Dorchester 1630; freeman there 1634; came to W. early; his wife died... and he married (2) wid. of Henry Fookes, and subscq. ret. to Eng. [A Joanna H. died 18 Sept. 1640 may have been sister (or daughter) of Wm.]

From Ye Horseford Booke

In the spring, on Apr. 16, 1636, a company again started from Dorchester and made permanent settlement at Matianuck. At first the town was called Dorchester but at the court of Feb. 21, 1636-7 Dorchester became Windsor. William Horsford was one of the early settlers. He was Commissioner to the General Court in 1637 and was a ruling elder of the First Church of Christ in Windsor. This church is said to be the oldest evangelical church in America and with exception of the Southwark church of London the oldest orthodox Congregational church in the world.

In 1639 William Horsford was granted a lot 20 rods wide on the east side of the main street or common road quite near the Palisado. The Foulke lot was west of the Palisado and after William Horsford married the widow of Henry Foulke he moved to the Foulke property giving his own lot to his son-in-law, Stephen Taylor. A thoroughfare from the main road to the Foulke place was known as Horsford's Lane.

William Horsford who with John Witchfield and John Banker, the schoolmaster, served the Windsor church as ruling elder was called in 1653 to be minister of the church in Springfield, succeeding Rev. George Moxon. A record in an account book [of John Pynchon] of Springfield under date of Feb. 16, 1653 reads as follows: ffor Mr. Horsford's maintenance50, 00, 00 pounds ffor bringing up Mrs. Horsford's goods 4, 08, 00 pounds

The stay at Springfield was not long. in 1653-54 William returned to England, his wife Jane following him in Aug., 1655. He died at Tiverton, County Devon, Eng., but the date is not known.

The old town records of Dorchester, Mass. have several items relating to William:

  • Dec. 2, 1633. It is ordered that William Hosford shall have one of the Two Great Lotts that were Captain Southcotes.
  • Jan. 6, 1633 It is ordered that the Marsh and Swamp in front of Goodman Hosford and davy Wilton shall be divided among themselves and Symon Hoyt.
  • Sept. 1, 1634 Whereas William Hosseford, desiring to have some medowe next Mr. Williams, which could not be granted, nowe therefore it is graunted that none should have a lott there untill he be heard therein.
  • Nov 3, 1634 It is also ordered that the common gates shall be forthwith made and set up sufficiently with the poles belonging to same, one at Mr. Woolcots, one at..., To be polled betwix William Horseford's lott and the creeke.
  • Dec 29, 1634 The persons appoynted to view the poels are ... for the North field Will Horseford, Roger Clapp.
  • Apr 17, 1635 It is granted to Mr. William Horseford to have four acres of medowe ground, next to goodman Denslowes medow ground.


He made two wills; the first, not witnessed, is dated Aug. 27, 1650. This will is in his own handwriting and is shown in facsimile... It reads as follows:

August 27, 1650

I Will Horsford do mack this as my Last will and testament. I give to my wife Jane Horsford halfe my dwelling house haft my Barn and Half my cow house during the time of her life. I give all so unto my wife that medowe I bought of Elyas Parckman lying in ye lytell, medow, during her life, also I give unto on hoge halfe the apelles that grows in the orched this yeare, 5 bushelles of wheat 10 bushelles of Indyan corne all so she is peaceably to in joye the Lands that wear her ownen be fore my maryag only halfe anacker of the orched which lys by the hie way going into the medow wch is specified on wryting I give to my sonne John Horsford. He I mack my executor and do give unto him all my Lands housing catell goods and debtes. What housing I have given to my wife during her life I do give to my sonn John after my wifes life and all such lands as my wife do in joye during her life which was given to my wife at my marryag, specified on wryting, I do give to my sone John and his ayres after my wifes life and in case my sone dye be fore his mother and I have no children or child either bourne or in the wombe to in joye the sayd lands and housing I do then give yt to my too daughters children equally to be devided; I do give to my daughters ten pounds apece to be payd in 2 yeares time my son is to pay my debtes if he takes the executor shop.

William Horsford (Not witnessed)

A second will is dated 6 September 1654:

I do bequeath unto my son John Horsford all my estate in Windsor. I do appoint him to discharge my Bill into court for Richard Samwais his children, as also a bill under my hand to my wife for about L40 if my wife stays in New England but I hope she will come to me in England.

William Horsford
Recorded 14 July 1660
Witness: Walther Fyler, Jane Fyler

It is probably that this second will was recorded after William's death. The estate was in litigation for some years and was finally settled in 1674.

It has been asserted that the father of William Horsford was Job Horsford; on what authority this rests is not known. William's English family connections have not been determined with certainty.

From the Cooley Genealogy

William Hosford1, Immigrant, in Dorchester, Mass., 1633; Freeman Apr. 1, 1634, when his name is spelled Horseford. (He may have been the son of William Horsford of Dorchester, Co. Dorchester, England, Gentleman, whose will dated June 30, 1621, was proved Jan. 25, 1622, in England; the will contains no genealogical information.) His name, along with that of Henry Wolcott, Esq., appears on the records of 1640 as "the first settlers of Windsor," 5 years after their removal from Dorchester. His first wife, whose name is unknown, d. Aug. 26, 1641, Windsor, Conn.; he m. (2) Jane, the widow of Henry Fowkes, and removed to Springfield, Mass., where he preached from Oct. 1652 to Oct. 1654. After several years he and his wife returned to England, where in 1656 he gave land at Windsor, Conn., to his two children; his wife also gave land to the Church in Windsor, and to her husband's children. In 1671, Jane (Fowkes) Hosford was in Tiverton, Co. Devon, England. The place and date of her death and that of her husband, William Hosford, are not known.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 William Hosford, in Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995), 2:994-97.

    ORIGIN: Beaminster, Dorset.
    CHURCH MEMBERSHIP: Admission to Dorchester church prior to 1 April 1634 implied by freemanship. He would have retained his membership in this church when it moved to Windsor, and in his land inventory entry he is called elder. In 1653 he was called to Springfield to be minister there after the departure of Rev. George Moxon, but he lasted no more than a year [Horsford Gen 13].
    FREEMAN: 1 April 1634 [MBCR 1:368].

  2. Hosford, Henry Hallock. Ye Horseforde Booke: Horsford-Hosford families in the United States of America. (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Cleveland, Ohio: Tower Press, 1936), 17-22.
  3.   Cooley, Mortimer Elwyn. Cooley Genealogy: The Descendants of Ensign Benjamin Cooley: an Early Settler of Springfield and Longmeadow, Massachusettsand other members of the family in America. (Rutland, VT: The Tuttle Publishing Company, Inc., 1941), 530-31.
  4. 4.0 4.1 William Horsford, in Moore, Susan Hardman. Abandoning America: Life-Stories from Early New England. (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2013), 145.

    "On August 23, 1660, Horsford was replaced as parish minister at Caverleigh. … No record has been found of William Horsford's activity after 1660."

Founders of Windsor, CT
Windsor was the first permanent English settlement in Connecticut. Local indians granted Plymouth settlers land at the confluence of the Farmington River and the west side of the Connecticut River, and Plymouth settlers (including Jonathan Brewster, son of William) built a trading post in 1633. But the bulk of the settlement came in 1635, when 60 or more people led by Reverend Warham arrived, having trekked overland from Dorchester, Massachusetts. Most had arrived in the New World five years earlier on the ship "Mary and John" from Plymouth, England. The settlement was first called Dorchester, and was renamed Windsor in 1637.

See: Stiles History of Ancient Windsor - Thistlewaite's Dorset Pilgrims - Wikipedia entry

Loomis homestead, oldest in CT.
Settlers at Windsor by the end of 1640, per the Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor: Abbot - Alford - S. Allen - M. Allyn - Barber - Bartlett - M. (Barrett) (Huntington) Stoughton - Bascomb - Bassett - Benett - Birge - Bissell - Branker - Brewster - Buckland - Buell - Carter - Chappel - D. Clarke - J. Clarke - Cooke - Cooper - Denslow - Dewey - Dibble - Dumbleton - Drake - Dyer - Eels - Eggleston - Filley - Ford - Foulkes - Fyler - Gaylord - Francis Gibbs - William Gilbert - Jere. Gillett - Jon. Gillett - N. Gillett - Grant - Gridley - E. Griswold - M. Griswold - Gunn - Hannum - Hawkes - Hawkins - Hayden - Haynes - Hill - Hillier - Holcombe - Holmes - Holt - Hosford - Hoskins - Hoyte - Hubbard - Huit - Hulbert - Hull - Hurd - Hydes - Loomis - Ludlow - Lush - Marshfield - A. Marshall - T. Marshall - Mason - M. (Merwin) (Tinker) Collins - M. Merwin - Mills - Moore - Newberry - Newell - Oldage - Orton - Osborn - Palmer - Parsons - Parkman - Pattison - Phelps - Phelps - Phillips - Pinney - Pomeroy - Pond - Porter - Preston - Rainend - Randall - Rawlins - Reeves - J. Rockwell - W. Rockwell - B. Rossiter - St. Nicholas - Saltonstall - Samos - M. Sension (St. John) – R. Sension - Sexton - Staires - Starke - F. StilesH. Stiles - J. StilesT. Stiles - Stoughton - Stuckey - Talcott - E. Taylor - J. Taylor - Terry - Thornton - Thrall - Tilley - Tilton - Try - F. (Clark) (Dewey) (Phelps) - Vore - Warham - Weller - Whitehead - A. Williams - J. Williams - R. Williams - Wilton - Winchell - Witchfield - Wolcott - Young
Current Location: Hartford County, Connecticut   Parent Towns: Dorchester, Massachusetts   Daughter Towns: Windsor Locks; South Windsor; East Windsor; Ellington; Bloomfield