Hometown Tuesday ~ Saybrook, Middlesex County, Connecticut

hometown tuesdayThe English were the first Europeans to establish roots in Saybrook Colony in 1636. It was located at the mouth of the Connecticut River. John Winthrop Jr. was made Governor by the group that claimed possession of the land. A deed for this land was given to the Colony by Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick.

The settlers quickly set to work clearing large tracts of land for Old saybrookfarming. The region’s natural resources. timber and fish were harvested for export to England. The men and the young boys worked the fields tending the crops. The women and young girls took care of the home. They kept the hearth, wove cloth, sewed clothes, and made sure that dinner was on the table. The community was a tightknit one and was centered around the Puritan church and family life. By 1644, with the growth of the surrounding areas, the New Connecticut Colony was formed.

witch-trialIn 1661 there was a witch trial of Saybrook residents, Margaret Jennings and her husband Nicholas. They were accused of causing the deaths of Marie Marvin and others. The trial resulted in a finding that they were probably witches, but there was not enough evidence to execute them.

In 1701 the Collegiate School of Connecticut was chartered in Saybrook. It moved to New Haven in 1716 and was later renamed Yale University.

My 9x Great Grandfather, Robert Lay was born in England in 1617. He immigrated to Lynn County Massachusetts in 1638. He moved to Saybrook, Connecticut in 1645 and married Sarah Fenner (1615-1676) here in 1647. There is only one birth recorded for them, a daughter Phoebe on January 5, 1650. Robert grew tobacco on his sprawling farm and shipped it to England.  He died on July 9, 1689, in Saybrook. It is said that Robert was considered a pioneer of this town.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.




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