Marvin #4018

Matthew Marvin (1600-1678)

Born in England.  Arrived in Massachusetts in 1635 and later settled in Connecticut and

Elizabeth (1604-1681)

Born in England.  Arrived in Massachusetts in 1635 and later settled in Connecticut.

Marvin #4018


St. Stephen’s Church, Ipswich, Suffolk, England

English Origins of the Marvin families of New England

In 1848, Theophilus R. Marvin published preliminary research into the Marvin lines of descent from the first immigrants to this country: Matthew Marvin and his brother Reinold, both of whom migrated from England and settled in Connecticut. This research, along with new investigations into the probable English origins of this family (traced back to about 1430), was expenaded by his son, William T.R. Marvin, in a book he published in 1900.  William published another volume, in collaboration with George Franklin Marvin, in 1904[1]. Records related to Matthew’s probable 3rd g-grandfather, Roger Mervyn, were located in the records of St. Stephen’s Parish, Ipswich, Suffolk, England, with the proposed line of descent as follows:

Roger Mervyn (1430 – 1475), 3rd g-grandfather – John Mervyn (1453 – 1557) – John? Mervyn (1480 – 1533) – Rynalde Marvin (1514 – 1555) – Edward Marvin (1550 – 1615) – Matthew Marvin

Matthew Marvin was born about 1600 and was christened 26 Mar 1600/01 in St. Mary’s Parish, Great Bentley, Essex, England.   He died 20 Dec 1678 in Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut.  About 1622 he married Elizabeth [surname unknown[2]].   She was born about 1604, probably in Essex, England, and died between 1640-47 in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut.  About 1647, Matthew married (2nd) He married (second) Alice, the widow of John Bouton.  Alice was born about 1610 in England and died between 17 Dec 1680 (the date of her will) and 9 Jan 1680/81 (the date of her inventory) at Hartford, Connecticut.  She had come to America with her first husband in 1635 on the ship Assurance.

Matthew Marvin inherited property in Great Bentley from his father Edward Marvin.   It was described as  Edons or Dreybrockes and additional land (20 acres) called Hartles and Brocken Heddes.  It was held conditionally that he paid to his mother during her life, the full sum of 6 pounds.  The house called Edons or Dreybrockes is still standing.  It is located at the location now known as Eden Farms, just east of the village of Great Bentley.  The house was reportedly built in 1593 by a John Marvin of Ramsey and acquired by Edward Marvin who willed it to his son Matthew Marvin.  Eden Farms is located on Weeley Road (North Side) in Great Bentley.  The house is one of the oldest buildings in the area.  It is constructed of lath and plaster on a framework of mighty beams, some of which were once ships’ timbers.  The front part of the Eden farmhouse was rebuilt in 1717.  A chimney at the back of the house is so large that a boy could climb inside and sweep away the soot.  Matthew was only age 15 when his father died and it is possible he stayed with one of his older brothers until he came of age to manage his estates.

Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Great Bentley, Essex – The church dates back to the 11th century and was built by the Normans. The tower was added some 200 years later. The church itself is constructed from stone and flint and still has its original door (the oldest surviving church door in the country), although it is no longer in use.

Matthew Marvin was a wheelwright in Great Bentley (Bentley Magna), Essex, England.  He was a member of St. Mary’s Church there and was a “sydeman” (or sideman – a church officer that was assistant to the Chief warden of a parish) there in 1621, overseer in 1627 and senior warden in 1628.  He was still in Great Bentley in August 1633, probably remaining there to care for his mother.  At some point he adopted the principles of the Puritan faith and decided to leave England for America.  This move had to be for mostly religious reasons, since he seemed to be wealthier than the average commoner in England.  By 15 April 1635 he had taken the oaths of “Allegiance and Supremacy”.  This assured that he was conformable to the Government and discipline of the Church of England[3].  He brought testimony by certificate from the justices and ministers where he lately resided.

Matthew Marvin came to America on the Increase (Robert Lea, Master) in 1635, from London, aged 35.  With him was his wife Elizabeth, aged 31 and their children: Elizabeth, (age 11; the record says age 31, but this is probably a recording error, though some claim this Elizabeth was Matthew’s sister), Matthew (age 8), May (age 6), Sarah (age 3) and Hannah (age 6 months).  Their names were the last on the list of passengers before it sailed in the latter part of April 1635, and it is likely they arrived in America by the first of June.  Matthew was listed as a husbandman on this passenger record that is reported to come from a list at the Augmentation Office in England of persons permitted to embark from London after Christmas 1634.  It is not known if Matthew’s brother, Reinold, joined them on this voyage or if he came before or after.  Neither do we know where in Massachusetts Matthew Marvin and his family resided for the first few months that he spent in New England.

The plaque reads: In Memory of the Courageous Adventurers Who Inspired and Directed by Thomas Hooker Journeyed Though the Wilderness from Newton (Cambridge) in the Massachusetts Bay to Suckiaug (Hartford) – October, 1635

Soon after his arrival in America Matthew Marvin associated himself with a party of “adventurers” in Massachusetts that was planning to move out and settle on the Connecticut River.  The first settlers to Suckiaug (Hartford) settled in Adventurers (Venturer’s) Field, 35 acres on the west side of the present Albany Ave. traversed by Garden St.  More Newtown people arrived in the spring of 1636 and in June of that year, about 100 people came with Rev. Thomas Hooker[4].  The first settlers prepared dugout shelters in the hillside to provide protection for themselves and their livestock.  As one of the advance party, which scouted the location for the Hartford settlement, Stephen’s name is found on the “Adventurers Boulder[5]” plaque, placed in 1935 and located near City Hall (corner of Main and Arch Streets), Hartford, Connecticut.  Matthew Marvin is also one of the original proprietors listed in the Book of Distribution of Land as being those who settled in Hartford before February 1640.  As such, his name appears on the “Founders Monument” in Hartford’s Ancient Burying Ground of the First Congregational Church of that city, presently known as “Center Church”.  His brother Reinold Marvin came to America in 1637 and joined Matthew in Hartford in 1638.

The original brownstone monument erected in 1837 was replaced by this one in 1986. It stands in the Ancient Burying Ground, which is located to the rear of the First Congregational Church at the corner of Main and Gold Streets in Hartford. This cemetery is also known as Old Center Cemetery. It lists the original Founders of Hartford.

Matthew Marvin initially chose a location on a lot at the northeastern end of Hartford at the intersection of the modern Front and Pleasant Streets.  As in most early settlements, food and fodder was probably scarce during the winters.  Fortunately for the settlers of Hartford, the Indians and the nearby Dutch settlers were not initially hostile.  His land was bounded north on the road from “Centinel Hill” to North Meadow Road.  On the west was the lot of William Kelsey[6] lot and on the south was the lot of Stephen Hart[7].  On the east was the road from Windsor to Wethersfield, by North Meadow.  He was definitely living here in 1639.  Matthew’s initial home lot was, however, too close to the Connecticut River, and the spring floods probably inundated his house.  This probably was the reason why Matthew Marvin acquired, at an early date, house lots on the “Road to the Neck”, now Windsor Street.  In an allotment to the proprietors of undivided lands in Hartford in which Matthew had rights, he received at one time, 30 acres, and at another 28 acres.  This division was made according to the proportions payed for the purchases of sayd lands. 
In 1648-49, Matthew Marvin was given ten shillings for killing a wolfe.   At a “Particular Court, 24 Apr 1649, he was the plaintiff in a case against Mathew Beckwith for defamation of character, and recovered damages to the amount of 50 pounds.  The Court remitted this fine on Beckwith’s making a public retraction of the slander.  Matthew Marvin was chosen Surveyor of Highways in 1639 and 1647 in Hartford, Connecticut.  On 9 Nov 1640, Matthew and another man were fined five shllings, for

putting ouer of their hoges ouer the great river [The Connecticut River] without order…& [were] to pay such damages as wer done by thos sayd hoges.

In March of 1641 there was an agreement about fencing land to the corner of John Clark[8]’s lot, in the Souldiers FieldMatthew was to maintain a common gate to the North Meadow and

…if any children shal be taken swinging by the said Mathew Meruill, he shall complain to their parents or masters and if they doe not restraine them the second time it shall be law for him to [illegible] them, & if they brake the gate ther parents or masters shall make it good…

He signed this Mathew MaruenSouldiers Field was west of North Meadow Creek and embraced an area of 60-80 acres.  Matthew Marvin may have thought about moving to Farmington where his brother Reinold had built a house, because he owned land and dwelling house in that town.  If these plans existed they were changed by prospects of settling in the new town of Norwalk, Connecticut.  He sold his land in Farmington to Nathaniel Kellogg.

Matthew Marvin signed the agreement for the “planting” of Norwalk, Connecticut on 19 Jun 1650.  He was one of the original grantees of Norwalk, receiving a deed from the Indian leader, Runckinheage, for about 35 acres, 15 Feb 1651 and settled there in about 1653.  This transfer of lands was made to the settlers on account of the payment of:

…Thirtie Fathum of Wampum, Tenn Kettles, Fifteen Coates, Tenn pay Stockings, Tenn Knifes, Tenn Hookes, Twenty Pipes, Tenn Muckes, Tenn Needles…

He was considered an “adventurer” because he obtained title to land in Norwalk earlier than the town’s legal title.  His home lot at Norwalk was next to the meetinghouse and contained four acres and was on the east side of the Towns Highway.  Adjacent properties included the meetinghouse yard, and lands belonging to Daniel Kellogg, Thomas Fitch[9] and his son Matthew Marvin (Jr.).  Matthew Marvin’s lot was considered one of the most desirable in the town.  Hannah Marvin Seymour lived opposite and a little to the south of Matthew Marvin.  Matthew Marvin (Jr.)’s lot of three acres and two rods was between that of Daniel Kellogg on the west and the “Meeting-house Greene” on the east, running back to his father’s estate, and fronting south on the road to Stamford.  John Bouton, Matthew’s step-son, and later his son-in-law, lived on the south side of the road after it turned westward, and his house was opposite his sister Bridget’s house, who lived next west of Matthew Marvin (Jr.).  In a real sense, Matthew Marvin was literally surrounded by his sons and daughters.

At Norwalk he was always addressed here as Mr., a sign of his status in the town.  The name of Matthew Marvin appears on almost every page of Norwalk’s early history.  He was a Puritan by faith, devout, discreet, calm, sound in judgment and he gained and held the confidence of his fellow citizens.  He also held a number of public offices.  In 1654 he was representative to the General Court from Norwalk, and was assistant deputy at the General Court in 1569.   His name appears in a table of Estates of lands and accommodations in 1655 (which contains the earliest list of inhabitants), where his estate is rated at £314 and is the largest of any of the proprietors.  On 19 May 1659, he was freed from watching (probably sentry duty) and training.  When the Norwalk meeting house was enlarged in 1664 to nearly double its original size, the town appointed Thomas Fitch and Matthew Marvin to call out as many men as they think fit to fell and cut and draw the timber.  When the enlargement was done, Matthew and his associates were instructed

…to provide a luncheon and a barrel of good beans for the help.

In 1678 there was a quarrel within the congregation about changing the location of the meetinghouse.  A new and larger structure was erected on the opposite side of the street and some distance northward.  Matthew did not live to see it occupied.  Records of grants at Norwalk and a list of 9 Feb 1671/72 shows his estate valued at £169 but also indicates that he had given liberal gifts of land to his children even before his will was written.

Matthew Marvin also owned land in villages adjoining Norwalk.  On 11 July 1672, he sold to Peter Clayton or Clapton of Fairfield, a farm at Saukstock, containing about 40 acres and various buildings.  Due to his advanced age he signed the deed with his “mark.”

In his will dated 20 Dec 1678, Matthew Marvin calls himself aged 80 or thereabouts.  He provides for his wife Alice, giving her £20 and use of all of his estate during her lifetime.  He gave his son Matthew of Norwalk all of his right to the division of lands on the east side of the Sagatuck River.  The latter’s son Matthew (the original Matthew Marvin’s grandson) received, after Alice’s death, his grandfather’s dwelling house with half the orchard and home lot that lay next to his fathers dwelling lot.  The grandson Matthew Marvin also received one piece of meadow that lay between his father’s meadow and the meadow of Samuel Campfield near Fruitful Spring.  He also received upland lots at Stony Hill.  Matthew Marvin, in turn had to guarantee my sonn Samuel Smith, access to the barn on the dwelling house lot.  Matthew Marvin (Sr.)’s son Samuel Smith would receive the entire barnyard if ever denied access to the barn.  The will of Mathew Marvin Sr. also provides his  son John Bowton and daughter Abigail his wife a parcel of meadow adjoining that of the said John Bowton at Sagatuck Brook.  His grandson Richard Bushnell received £10.  Francis Bushnell of Norwalk received four acres of a house lot land near Standford Path along with £10.  The will also bequeathed to Rev. Mr. Thomas Handford, Pastor of the church of Norwalk £5.  Matthew’s four daughters, Mary Adgate of Norwich; Hannah Seymour, Abigail Bouton, and Rebecca Clark of Farmington were to receive an equal division of any remainder of the estate.  John Bowton (Matthew’s son-in-law) and John Platt (brother-in-law of Lieutenant Reinold Marvin) were appointed executors and Rev. Thomas Handford and Lieutenant Richard Olmstead[10] were to be the overseers.  The witnesses were Thomas Handford, James Cornish and Christo Cumstocke.  The inventory of Matthew Marvin’s estate was taken 13 July 1680 and after a minor disagreement was settled between some of the heirs it was presented and approved 25 Jan 1680/81.  His estate was valued at £398 12s 8p, including £212 in the value of his lands.  The household items listed were not unusual for that period.  The inventory did not include a parcel of land in Fairfield because it had not yet been valued.  This land had formerly belonged to the estate of Richard Bowton.  A few items that belonged to the widow Alice were also not included.  Alice Marvin did not long survive her husband.  Her will is dated 1 Dec 1680 and the Inventory of her estate was taken this last of January, 1680/81.  Matthew had given much of his land to his children prior to his death, but the remaining estate of Alice Marvin was still valued at £393 12s 8p.  In her will she calls herself aged about seventy.

The children of Matthew Marvin and Elizabeth (first wife) are listed as follows:

  1. Elizabeth, christened 15 Sep 1622 in Great Bentley, Essex, England and died about 1689 (or 1708) in Norwich, New London, Connecticut.   She possibly married (first), before 1643, Thomas Gregory.   She married (second), about 1650, John Olmstead[11].  He was born 16 Feb 1616 in Fairfield, Essex, England and died before 2 Aug 1686 in Norwich, Fairfield, Connecticut.
  2. Matthew, christened 8 Nov 1626 in Great Bentley, Essex, England.  He died 1712 in Norwalk Fairfield, Connecticut.  He married about 1650, probably in Hartford, Connecticut, Mary Brush, born about 1628 and died about 1709 or 1712 in Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut.  He came to New England with his father in 1635 and followed him to both Hartford and Norwalk, Connecticut.  He was one of the original proprietors of Norwalk.  He had six children, including a son Matthew who married Rhoda St. John[12].
  3. Mary, christened 16 Dec 1628 in Great Bentley, Essex, England.   She died 26 Mar 1712/13 in Norwich, New London, Connecticut.  On 11 Oct 1648 she married (1st) Richard Bushnell of Saybrook, Connecticut and in 1659 she married (2nd) Deacon Thomas Adgate of Saybrook, Connecticut.
  4. Sarah, christened 27 Dec 1631 in Great Bentley, Essex, England and died 16 Jan 1702 in Stratford, Fairfield, Connecticut.   She married (1st) William Ensign.  He was born about 1630.  She married (2nd) 4 Oct 1648, William Goodrich (The Younger).  He was born before 13 Feb 1621/22, in or near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England.  He was christened 14 Nov 1623 at St. Mary’s, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England and died before 4 Nov 1676 in Wethersfield, Connecticut.  She married (3rd) William Curtis, who was born about 1630.
  5. Hannah, born Oct 1634 in Great Bentley, Essex, England.  She died 1668 (or after Nov 1680) in Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut.   She married 5 Jan 1653/54, Thomas Seymour of Norwalk.  He was born before 15 Jul 1632 in Sawbridgeworth, England and died 22 Sep 1712 in Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut.
  6. Abigail, born 1637/38 in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut.  She died after Dec 1680 in Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut.  She married 1 Jan 1656/57, John Bouton (Bowton) of Norwalk, Connecticut.  He was born Oct 1636 in Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut.  He died 3 Jan 1703 in Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut.  John Bouton was the son of Matthew Marvin (Sr.)’s second wife.
  7. Rebecca Marvin, born about 1639 in Hartford, Connecticut and died 22 or 23 Nov 1711/12 (or 23 Jan 1712) in Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut.  She married John Clark about 1662 at Hartford, Connecticut.  He was born about 1637 in England (or possibly Scotland, Massachusetts or Connecticut) and died 22 Nov 1712 in Farmington, Connecticut.  Rebecca is believed to be the youngest child of Elizabeth Marvin as she is named in her father’s will, but not in that of his second wife, who only mentioned her own living children.

The children of Matthew Marvin and Alice, widow of John Bouton (second wife), are listed as follows:

  1. Samuel, born 6 Feb 1646/47 in Hartford, Connecticut.  He was baptized 16 Feb 1648 in Hartford, Connecticut and died young.
  2. Lydia, born about 1647 in Norwalk, Connecticut.  She is seldom mentioned, and probably died young.
  3. Rachel, baptized 30 Dec 1649 at Hartford, Connecticut.  She married Samuel Smith, of Norwalk, 1670.  She died about 1687.

The lineage of Rebecca Marvin and John Clark is continued under the heading of John Clark (1637-1712).

[1] T. R. Marvin. Genealogical Notes of the Descendants of Reinhold and Matthew Marvin, who came to New England in 1635 (Boston, Massachusetts: published privately) 1848; William T.R. Marvin. The English Ancestry of Reinold and Matthew Marvin of Hartford, Ct., 1638: Their Homes and Parish Churches (Boston, Massachusetts: published privately) 1900; George Franklin Marvin and William T.R. Marvin. Descendants of Reinhold and Matthew Marvin of Hartford, CT. 1638 and 1635, sons of Edward Marvin of Great Benchley, England (Boston, Massachusetts: T. R. Marvin & Son, Publishers) 1904.

[2] Research Note: It is widely reported that the wife of Matthew Marvin was Elizabeth Gregory, the daughter of Henry Gregory of Nottingham, England and Abigail Goody.  This Elizabeth Gregory was born, however, about 1623, and married, in 1639, after her arrival in America, Richard Webb of Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Richard Webb arrived in New England in 1630, a passenger on Winthrop’s fleet, and he died 15 Mar 1675 in Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut.  Elizabeth Gregory died 24 Jan 1680/81 in Hartford, Connecticut.  If Matthew Marvin did marry an Elizabeth Gregory, it would have to be a different and older person, one probably born around 1603.  There is no documentation that she was actually a Gregory, so this remains unproven.

[3] This was a requirement to leave England for the colonies and was possibly not always the truth for committed Puritans.

[4] This is the so-called “Hooker Party”, led by Rev. Thomas Hooker, discussed under the heading of William Kelsey (1600-1676)

[5] Several of my ancestors are named on the “Adventurers Boulder”: Stephen Hart, William Kelsey, Matthew Marvin and Timothy Stanley.

[6] William Kelsey (1600-1676) is my 9th g-grandfather, discussed under his own heading.

[7] Stephen Hart (1603-1683) is my 10th g-grandfather, discussed under his own heading.

[8] Not the same as and possibly not the father of John Clark (1637-1712), my 8th g-grandfather, who married Rebecca Marvin, daughter of Matthew and Elizabeth.

[9] Thomas Fitch (1612-1704) is the father-in-law of my 9th g-grand uncle, Stephen Hart (1634-1689), the brother of Thomas Hart (1640-1626), MY 9th g-grandfather.

[10] Richard Olmstead (1612-1687) is my 9th g-grand uncle. His sister, Rebeckah Olmstead (1624-1698), is our 10th g-grandmother, discussed under the heading of Thomas Newell (1620-1689).

[11] John’s sister, Rebeckah Olmstead (1624-1698) is my 10th g-grandmother, discussed under the heading of Thomas Newell (1620-1689).

[12] Rhoda’s father, Mark Sension (St. John) (1633-1693), is my 10th g-grandfather, discussed under the heading of Matthias (Matthew) St. John (1604-1669).



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