Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Matthew Allyn

Male Bef 1605 - 1671  (> 65 years)


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  • Name Matthew Allyn  [1, 2
    Born Bef 17 Apr 1605  [3, 4, 5, 6
    Gender Male 
    Baptised 17 Apr 1605  Braunton, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    Died 1 Feb 1671  Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 5, 6, 8
    Person ID I4011  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of DDB, Ancestor of TNH
    Last Modified 21 Sep 2020 

    Father Richard Allyn,   b. Abt 1560,   d. Bef 5 Aug 1651  (Age ~ 91 years) 
    Mother Margaret Wyatt,   d. Bef 10 May 1642, Braunton, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 24 Sep 1583  Braunton, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [6, 7
    Family ID F3418  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Margaret Wyatt,   b. Bef 8 Mar 1595, Braunton, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Sep 1675, Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 80 years) 
    Married 2 Feb 1627  Braunton, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 5, 6
    Children 
    +1. Mary Allyn,   b. Bef 20 Jan 1628, Braunton, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Jul 1689  (Age > 61 years)
    Last Modified 15 May 2020 
    Family ID F2744  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Emigrated 1633. First at Cambridge, then Hartford 1636, Windsor by 1648. Back in England mid-1640; may have made other return trips. His name is on the Founders Monument in downtown Hartford.

      Clearly a man of some education, he held many important offices. According to Stiles he was a representative to the Massachusetts general court, March 1636; representative to the Connecticut general court every year (save 1653) from 1648 to 1658; magistrate of the colony 1657-67; and commissioner for the United Colonies of New England 1660-64. Anderson also notes him as assistant to the Connecticut general court, 1658-66. He is mentioned in Charles II's Royal Charter for Connecticut, 1662.

      According to Anderson, he was "Brother of Thomas Allyn of Barnstable, Plymouth Colony, as may be seen by following carefully the many entries for both Matthew and Thomas in Lechford, especially p. 418 which explicitly links the Barnstable man with Braunton in Devonshire. Thomas Allen of Wethersfield was a different man and not related to this family, nor was Samuel Allen of Windsor any relation. (Matthew Allyn's extensive litigation of 1650 was with his brother Thomas Allyn of Barnstable, and not with Thomas Allen of Wethersfield.)" [Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, volume 1, page 43]

      The "Lechford" referred to by Anderson above is Note-Book Kept by Thomas Lechford, Esq., Lawyer, in Boston, Massachusetts Bay, from June 27, 1638, to July 29, 1641, edited by Edward Everett Hale. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: John Wilson and Son, University Press, 1885.) Here is the passage on page 418 that establishes, according to Anderson, a connection to Braunton, Devonshire, birthplace of Matthew Allyn, for Thomas Allyn of Barnstable in Plymouth Colony:
      Thomas Allen of Barnstable in N E y agreeth wth John Eells1 of Dorchester in N E planter for 70£ in hand payd to convey unto the said John Eells & his heires & assignes for ever one house & garden wth the appurtenances in Barnstable in the County of Devon lying in Bowport streete in the occupation of Phillip Cole & Lewis Grove or their assignes all rents & revenues revertions therof after the lives of the said Phillip A Lewis & all Writings Leases & counterparts. and to be in possession of the rent presently And to make any assurance wthin 7 yeares And to be bound to these articles in 1501, and that he shall receive 20£ due to me at the decease of my ffather-in law John Marke of Bramton in Devon y. of his heires executors &c or of Edward Langdon of Branton in the County aforesaid y & he is to receive the bond of my brother Richard Allen of Branton aforesaid yeoman And a letter of Attorney for the same.
      Timothy Lester Jacobs, genealogist of the Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford, comprehensively disagrees:
      [Matthew Allyn] was the brother of Deacon Thomas Allyn of Wethersfield, later of Middletown, and their relationship was contentious. It is with great reluctance and respect I must differ with Robert Charles Anderson who, in his Great Migration article on Matthew Allyn, states that Thomas was not of Connecticut. The following statements from the "Records of the Colony of Connecticut", volume 1, page 211, listing findings of the Connecticut General Court 12 September 1650 should serve to clarify the matter: "…Thomas Allyn should have his specialties of Matthew Allyn, with 10 s. damage and costs of the Courte: For the 2d which was for vnjust molestation and damage thereupon, which the jury found to bee sixty pounds, this court did finde, and declares that they doe judge that Thomas Allyn was unjustly molested by Matthew Allyn, but cannott judge the damage to be so great as the jury did finde, and therefore doe declare and determine that the dammage should be brought downe to twenty marke and costs of Courte: For the 3d, which was for expences about cattle, this Courte approues of the verdict of the Jury therevpon, which is that the said Matthew Allyn shall pay vnto the said Thomas Allyn, forty fiue pounds and costs of Courte: And this Courte doth further conclude, adiudge, and that Matthew Allyn shall pay vnto to his brother Thomas, the full fiue pounds over and above what was determined by the severall verdict of the Jury, wch fiue pounds is for the said Thomas his charges of trauells." These passages established a clear physical proximity of the litigants, placing Thomas Allyn in Connecticut.
      Timothy Lester Jacobs goes on say, also contra Anderson, that "Matthew Allyn was also the brother of Samuel Allyn of Windsor."

      Donald Lines Jacobus addressed the Samuel-of-Windsor question, and the which-Thomas-is-which question, in 1952, writing (with Edgar Francis Waterman) in Hale, House and Related Families:
      By many writers, Samuel Allen has been placed as brother of Mr. Matthew Allyn of Hartford and Windsor and Deacon Thomas Allen of Middletown, and hence considered an unrecorded son of Richard and Margaret (Wyott) Allen of Braunton, co. Devon. To the present writer, the reasoning leading to this conclusion seems faulty. What are the facts?

      Richard and Margaret (Wyott) Allen had children baptized at Braunton, including Thomas on 24 Dec. 1597 and Matthew on 17 Apr. 1605, as well as a son Richard, but no son Samuel appears in the register. The will of Richard Allen the elder of Braunton, dated 29 Nov. 1647, proved 10 May 1652, named his son Thomas (and Mary daughter of Thomas); son Matthew (and John, Thomas and Mary, children of Matthew); son Richard (and two children of Richard); and other relatives, but no son Samuel.

      In Connecticut records, Matthew Allyn of Windsor had a controversy with Thomas Allyn, called his brother, and Thomas sued Matthew and was awarded damages in 1650. Thomas was given an additional allowance by the General Court, when the case was appealed by Matthew, "wch fiue pounds is for the said Thomas his charges of trauells." This indicates that Thomas lived at a considerable distance. Lechford made entries concerning Matthew and Thomas Allen in which he called Matthew "of Hartford, upon the River of Conecticot, merchant," and "nup. de Bramton in Coun. Devon" (late of Braunton, co. Devon), and Thomas of Barnstable, New England, referring to Thomas Allen's father-in-law John Marke of Braunton, Devon, and brother Richard Allen of Braunton, aforesaid. The registers of Braunton, co. Devon, contain not only the baptism of Thomas Allen in 1597, as above stated, but his marriage on 30 Jan. 1621/2 to Elizabeth Marke.

      It is thus proved that Matthew Allyn of Hartford and Windsor and Thomas Allyn of Barnstable were brothers, and sons of Richard and Margaret (Wyott) Allen of Braunton, co. Devon, and nothing appears of record to indicate that they had a brother Samuel.
      Our view is the same as Jacobus's — far from "establish[ing] a clear physical proximity of the litigants, placing Thomas Allyn in Connecticut", as Jacobs claims, the court statement he quotes actually suggests that they lived a considerable distance from one another. You don't award five pounds (a lot of money in 1650!) for "charges of trauells" when the disputing parties live a mere ten miles apart. Anderson and Jacobus are right. Matthew Allyn's brother was the Thomas Allyn of Barnstable, not the Wethersfield man.

      Further from The Great Migration Begins:

      Matthew Allyn was in some way related to WILLIAM SPENCER of Cambridge and Hartford, or, more probably, to his wife, Agnes Harris. [...]

      Matthew Allyn's first appearance in New England was in the grant of land in Cambridge on 4 November 1633 to seven men, of whom three others (JOHN HAYNES, THOMAS HOOKER and SAMUEL STONE) are known to have arrived 4 September 1633 on the Griffin.

      Matthew Allyn seems out of place in Cambridge, as all others who arrived at about this time were from East Anglia; based on his English origin, one would expect Allyn to have resided first in Dorchester. This unusual residence for Allyn is probably tied up in some way with his relationship with WILLIAM SPENCER.

      Besides being a man who was highly respected and who served society well, Matthew Allyn was a highly contentious man. He had lengthy legal disputes with his brother, and not long after he left Massachusetts he was wanted for "debt and damage" he had left behind [7 October 1641: "It is ordered, that a letter shal be sent to Mr. Haynes & the rest of the magistrates at Connectecot, to send back the prisoner Mathewe Alleyn, or satisfy the debt & damage"]. Further evidence of his litigiousness may be found throughout the Connecticut court records.

  • Sources 
    1. [S696] The Newberry Family of Windsor, Connecticut in the Line of Clarinda (Newberry) Goodwin of Hartford, Connecticut, 1634-1866 by Frank Farnsworth Starr. Hartford, Connecticut: 1898.

    2. [S701] Gary Boyd Roberts, "Notable Kin: New England in Hollywood, Part II: Behind the Scenes." NEXUS, November 1988, published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

    3. [S145] Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis and Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr. 8th edition, William R. Beall & Kaleen E. Beall, eds. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004, 2006, 2008.

    4. [S101] The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Volumes 1-3 and The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England,1634-1635, Volumes 1-7, by Robert Charles Anderson. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1996-2011.

    5. [S142] Royal Ancestry by Douglas Richardson. Kimball G. Everingham, editor. 2013.

    6. [S4162] Theodore M. Sastrom, "Matthew Allyn of Windsor, Conn." The Connecticut Nutmegger 20:34, 1987.

    7. [S698] Douglas Richardson, "Allyn and Wyatt Families of Braunton, Devon." The American Genealogist 57:115, July 1981.

    8. [S705] The History and Genealogies of Ancient Windsor, Connecticut by Henry Reed Stiles. Hartford, Connecticut: 1891-92.