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John Hurd

Town Map of Stratford

Of firm mind. That’s what the Anglo-Saxon word, ‘Hughihard’ means. And the name Hurd derives from that word. It is one of the old names of county Somerset in England and is found in England before the time of the Crusades. The pronunciation had gone from Hugh-ard to Huard, and finally without the "a" becoming Hurd as it is known today.

The early story of the Hurd’s in America is a little hard to pin down. Partly because half of them happened to be named John, and also because early records in Windsor, Connecticut were burned by Indians. John Hurd, who married Isabel (or maybe her name was Susannah, there is no definitive proof), was born in England, probably Somerset. He had two sons (at least), John and Adam. These sons came to America in the very early days of the country. But when? Were they married first? Eventually they both had sons named John. Some have Adam’s son John being born in England in 1632, and then immigrating as an infant with his father. Other sources say he was born in Connecticut in 1639. Did John the father come too?

A John Hurd is listed among the founders of Windsor, Connecticut. Was this the John who was married to Isabel, or was it his son? I tend to think it was the father; otherwise it would seem likely that both brothers would be listed.

We do know that the brothers Adam and John Hurd were early settlers. We do know that they were among the first inhabitants of Windsor, Connecticut in 1635. We also know that in 1639 the two brothers followed their pastor (a common practice in those days) the Rev. Adam Blackman (or Blakeman) to a new settlement named Cupheage. Traditionally it is understood that there were 17 original proprietors of the town that would become Stratford, Connecticut. The original territory of Stratford reached back from the sea 12 miles, and included the present townships of Stratford, Huntington, Monroe, Trumbull, and Bridgeport.

Adam Hurd is listed as the owner of lots 31 and 35 on the original map of Stratford. His brother John has lot 11. Adam’s wife’s name does not appear in any of these early documents. It is possible that her name was Hannah Bartraum -–and perhaps, as some speculate, she died before the immigration. There is only one recorded child for Adam Hurd, and that is John. (Known in some records as John, Jr. in order to distinguish him from his Uncle John, Sr. – of course there is his grandfather John, and presumably cousin John as well – this is why it gets confusing)

Adam’s son John married Hannah (or Joanna), the widow of Joshua Judson. Hannah had married Joshua Judson in 1655 when she was about 23 and they had three children together: Anna, Joshua and Samuel. They lived on lot 27 in Stratford. Then Joshua, her husband, died in 1661, leaving her as a widow. The following year, on December 10, 1662, she married John Hurd in Stratford, and they continued to live in the Hannah’s house lot. They had eight children between 1663 and 1677: Judson, Sarah, Joseph, Benjamin, Ebenezer, Ruth, John and Abraham. (There are some who think that Hannah was Hannah Tuttle, but it does not appear likely, and here is the explanation why.)

In 1678 he moved, with his family to another new settlement. This time to Woodbury, Connecticut where the first settlers had built houses only three years before. He made an agreement to be the town miller. He built a house there in 1681, which has since become the home of the Woodbury Historical Society. The house in the picture had an additional half built on at a later date.

John Hurd died in 1683, Hannah lived until 1695. Many of their descendants moved to Sandgate, Vermont.

The Hurd House in Woodbury, CT

The barn at the Hurd House, possibly the original structure

John Hurd m. Isabel (?)

    Adam Hurd m. Hannah Bartraum

           John Hurd m. Hannah (widow of Joshua Judson)

                   Ebenezer Hurd m. Sarah Pickett Lane

                          Daniel Hurd m. Rachael Smith

                                Mary Hurd m. David Buell

                                        Levi Buell m. Orinda Sharp

                                                 Lucy Marie Buell m. Alfred Burr Howard

                                                          Alfred Burr Howard m. Anna Wheeler Fogg

                                                                   Max Clinton Howard m. Rose Anne Forderkunz

                                                                           Ruth Howard