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William Backus - Timeline

Cutler by Trade
Saybrook, CT Immigrant In Group of Settlers that Purchased Norwich, CT
from the Mohegan Indians

During the course of their lives, England suffered through a Civil War (1640's), a King was beheaded and Oliver Cromwell took over the government (1650), Rembrandt was painting in Europe, Scottish settlers were settling Northern Ireland (beginning 1607), the population of New England grew from around 20-26,000 to 100,000, and Isaac Newton had an apple fall on his head. In the same time period as Norwich was being founded by William Backus and 34 other settlers from Saybrook, Charles II was being restored to the monarchy of England after Cromwell had died. Following is a time-line of William Backus' life:

1603............ King James becomes King of England after the death of Queen Elizabeth. The settlement of Northern Ireland with Scottish settlers begins.

1606............ William Backus is born in England, probably near Sheffield, Yorkshire

Abt 1627..... William married Elizabeth. Last name unknown.

1627............ Completed apprenticeship as cutler. His cutler mark was W over a B.

1630...........  The first Puritan large scale Puritan migration begins with the landing of Winthrop's Fleet.

1628-1641.. Had seven children in England, two died young, baptisms duly recorded in church records there.

1643........... First wife died in Sheffield, Yorkshire.

1644-57...... Notwithstanding some reports that he migrated in 1637, which appears unlikely to me, he more likely migrated to America after his wife's death, with the kids. He headed straight for, and landed in Saybrook, Connecticut.

1657........... Appears on a Town Record of Saybrook, CT. This is the only place in Saybrook town records where his name appears. He probably had not been in the Colony long, as this is the first record of his name in the Colonies.

1659..........  Married Anna Fenton, widow of Thomas Bingham, her son is Thomas Bingham, Jr. Thomas Bingham, Jr. is 18 years old, about the same age as William's youngest child.

1660........... Included in list of original 35 purchasers of Norwich land patent from Chief Uncas of Mohegan Indians.

1663..........  Admitted a freeman - Norwich, CT

1664........... Died - Norwich, CT

1664........... Estate inventory recorded - Norwich, CT. His will named his children and indicated his wife was still living.

Notes & Bibliography:

He and Elizabeth had five children: Sarah, Mary, William,  Lydia, and Stephen, born 1628-1641.

First Settler of Connecticut, CT in 1660: NEHGR, Vol. 1, 1847, Pg. 314-317, Article by .. author of article not shown. The names of both Stephen Backus and William Backus appears on list of the first 35 settlers. The name, William Backus, also appears in a partial list in the land patent from the Colony of Connecticut. The list appearing in the NEGHR shows that William was still living at 1700 and Stephen was not. This probably means the name in the list in the patent is the dad, and the names in the list of early settlers are of his two sons, William, Jr. and Stephen, who came to Norwich with him.

 Related Links:
Return to the Backus index for this web site.

William Backus, and his second wife, Anna Fenton (spelled Stenton in this record in error) appear on this list of founders of the town of Saybrook, Connecticut.  Visit the home page for the Genealogy Guide to Saybrook, Connecticut.

Visit an on-line mapping service: Mapquest

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