Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Journey to Settle Hartford – Richard Lyman

B. 1580 in High Ongar, England
M. before 1611 in England
Wife: Sarah Osborne
D. April 1640 in Hartford, Connecticut
Emigrated: 1631 on the ship Lyon

Richard Lyman came from a family descended from royalty, but he left England to settle in the Puritan colony in America. Richard was born in High Ongar, which is in Essex, in 1580 and was baptized on October 30th of that year. His parents were Henry Lyman and Phillis Scott and he was one of six children. Richard married Sarah Osborne sometime before 1611 and they settled in High Ongar. Between 1611 and 1629, they had nine children, three of whom died as infants.

In the summer of 1631, Richard sold all his land, including “garden, orchard, pasture and meadow,” and left for America with his wife and five of his children. They sailed out of Bristol on the ship Lyon, which also carried among its 60 passengers the wife, son and grandchildren of John Winthrop, governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. When the ship arrived in Boston on November 4th, after ten weeks at sea, it was given a cannon salute. On November 11th, a day of thanksgiving was celebrated in Boston for the arrival of their ship.

Richard first settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts, where he and his wife were admitted to the church as members number 11 and 12. It was said of Richard, "He was an ancient Christian, but weak, yet after some time of trial & quickening he joined to the church."

On October 15, 1635, Richard and his family joined a party of 100 people moving to settle new lands on the Connecticut River. “The journey from Massachusetts was made in about fourteen days time, the distance being more than one hundred miles through a trackless wilderness. They had no guide but their compass, and made their way over mountains, through swamps, thickets and rivers, which were not passable but with the greatest difficulty. They had no cover but the heavens, nor any lodgings but those which simple nature afforded them. They drove with them one hundred sixty head of cattle, and …subsisted in a great measure on the milk of their cows.…The people carried their packs, arms and some utensils.… This adventure was the more remarkable, as many of this company were persons of figure, who had lived in England in honor, affluence and delicacy.”

The place the 100 settlers arrived at became Hartford, Connecticut. As a group, they made a deal for land from the Indians and Richard received a share of it. He suffered the loss of all his cattle on the trip. The rough conditions of travel took a lot out of him, and the first year there he was “sick and melancholy, yet after he had some revivings through God's mercy.”

In April 1640, Richard wrote his will and was dead by September of that year. It was the first will on record for Hartford, and in it he named all five of his children and his wife Sarah, who died in about 1642. The inventory of his will was valued at over £83. Richard's name is inscribed on the Hartford Founders' Monument located in the Ancient Burying Ground.

Famous descendants of Richard Lyman include Franklin Delano Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright, Frederick Law Olmstead, Thomas Dewey, Bess Truman and Helen Hunt.

1. William Lyman – D. Aug 1615, England

2. Phillis Lyman – B. about 1611, High Ongar, England; M. William Hills

3. Richard Lyman – B. about 1613, High Ongar, England; D. young

4. William Lyman – B. about 1616, High Ongar, England; D. Nov 1616, England

5. Richard Lyman – B. about 1617, High Ongar, England; D. 3 Jun 1662, Northampton, Massachusetts; M. Hepzibah Ford (1625-1683), 1640

6. Sarah Lyman – B. about 1620, High Ongar, England

7. Anne Lyman – B. about 1621, High Ongar, England, D. young

8. John Lyman – B. Sep 1623, High Ongar, England; D. 20 Aug 1690, Northampton, Massachusetts; M. Dorcas Plumb (1635-1725), 12 Jan 1654, Branford, Connecticut

9. Robert Lyman – B. Sep 1629, England; M. Hepzibah Bascom, 15 Nov 1662

Genealogy of the Lyman Family in Great Britain and America, Lyman Coleman, 1872
"The Coming of Margaret Winthrop," Edith M. Thomas, The Independent, Volume 53, p. 2824, The Independent Publications, Inc., 1901
The Luzerne Legal Register, Vol. XIII, 5 Sep 1884 – The Lyman Family Website
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]

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