Born: 1647 Connecticut
Died: 24 August 1734, Stratford, Connecticut
Samuel Hawley, son of Joseph the first, was born in 1647 and came to Stratford with his parents as early as 1650, where he always resided, except that he probably made his home in the town of Derby, Connecticut for a short time.
He was a farmer, but dealt mainly in real estate, as the town records of Stratford show, and in 1699, according to a certain list of proprietors, he was the largest owner of undivided lands or commonage, except three in that township. He continued to accumulate land until near the close of his life, yet when he made his will he had previously given it all to his children, who apparently were made quite independent; for one son, Ephraim, received at one time, 172 acres, besides other parcels, as good land there was in town, and as he had eight sons and three daughters to provide for, probably at the same rate, he must have given them about 2,000 acres; land being in those days the best stock in the market.
He was also one of the thirty six proprietors of the township of Newtown, Connecticut which was organized in May, 1708. Most of the other proprietors, including his brother John, were residents of Stratford.
Samuel married first Mary, daughter of Thomas Thompson and his wife Ann Welles of Wethersfield and Farmington. This Ann Welles was the daughter of Governor Thomas Welles, who resided for a time in Stratford and while she visited her father’s family there, probably Samuel Hawley, although quite young, became acquainted with the daughter, Miss Mary Thompson, and afterwards married her.
He secondly married Patience Nichols, widow of Lt John Hubbell of a place called “Old Mill”, which is now a portion of the eastern part of Bridgeport. This place was at first a highway laid out twenty rods wide by order of the Colony of Connecticut, and hence called the King’s Highway, for everything the Colony did was in the name of the King of England. Along this highway, Benjamin Franklin, while Colonial Postmaster-General before the Revolutionary War, set up milestones, it being on the mail route from Philadelphia to Boston; and one of these stones was placed not far from the home of Patience Hubbell, where she lived a number of years-where it still stands, a peculiar monument of olden times and of the locality where Samuel Hawley found his second wife, the mother of his six younger children. The stone rises five feet and is seventeen miles by the Old Post Road to New Haven.
Samuel Hawley was a prominent citizen, member of the church and officer of the town. The year his father, Joseph Hawley, died (1690), he was elected as a Representative of the town to the Colonial Assembly or Legislature, to which office he was afterward elected seven times as follows: October 1695; October 1697; October 1700; May 1708; May 1711; and June 1711. His father had been elected to the same office thirty times during the last thirty three years of his life, then Samuel took it eight times during eighteen years and before he ceased, his youngest brother John, afterwards Capt. John, was first elected in 1702, and he was reelected eighteen times before 1725. So that during sixty six years, some member of the Hawley family from Stratford had been elected to the Assembly fifty seven times.
Samuel Hawley’s Will
The will of Samuel Hawley was proved 24 September 1734. A transcript follows:
In the name of God Amen the 15th day of April, 1734, I, Samuel Hawley, of Stratford, in the county of Fairfield and Colony of Connecticut in New England, being aged and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be given to God therefor; calling to mind the mortality of my body, and knowing it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this, my last will and Testament, it is to say principally and first of all, I give and recommend my body to the Earth to be buried in decent Christian burial at the discretion of my Executors, hereafter named, nothing doubting but at the General Resurrection I shall receive the same again by the almighty power of God. And as touching such worldly estate as it hath pleased God to bless me with here in this Life, my just debts and funeral charges being paid, I give and dispose of the same in the following manner and form: having lived to see my children disposed of in marriage, and given them such portions as I thought convenient, and having no estate left in my possession excepting some movables:
Item. I give unto Patience, my well beloved wife, all my movable estate for her to use and dispose of as she shall think fit, both in life and at death, and I do also hereby constitute and appoint my well beloved wife, Patience, sole Executrix of this my last will and testament, and I do hereby renounce and make null and void all other former wills by me made, ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament.
In witness and confirmation hereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal in Stratford the date above.
As published in THE HAWLEY RECORD, 1890, pg 439-440, note 7. It had been copied from the Probate Records of Fairfield, Connecticut, page 276, vol. 1716-35.