Josiah Churchill was born in 1616 in Meston, Dorset, England. He died on Jan
1 1686 in Wethersfield, CT. He was buried in Newington, CT.
NOTE: Josiah Churchill * (or Churchell, as he himself spelled the name) makes his first appearance in Wethersfield, Conn., on the occasion of his marriage. He may have been there some time before that event and probably had been, but we have found no evidence of his presence until then. We have found no evidence of his parent age, birthplace or previous condition. There is no evidence that he was related to either John of Plymouth, who was near his own age, nor William, the ancestor of the New York branch of the family. Some hints or suggestions of a possible solution of the question of his nativity will find mention in the prefatory part of this volume, but since they are purely speculative, we do not place them here. The first entry relating to his real estate in Wethersfield, CT is the following record:
The 2d month & 28th daie 1641 the lands of Josias Churchell lying in Wethersfield on Connecticut River. One pece whereon his howse standeth con; six acrs more or less the ands (the ends) abutt against the hie waie west & great mea: east the sids against the waie into the great mea: south & the howse of John Jessiope(Jessup) north. (town records B pg 204)
The homestead was on the east side of high street, on the north corner of an ancient road leading to the "Great Meadow" and the river. It faced the southern extremity of the common, which stretched north from his house to the river. But he did not reside here all his life, for, under the date December, 1659, we find this entry in the records:
The hom lot of Josias Churchell which he bought of Mr. Tantor (Taintor) which was Gildersleeves formerly living in Wethersfield, on Connecticut River. (town records B pg 205)
This homestead of Richard Gildersleeves was on the west side of High Street, a few doors south of Mr. Churchill's earlier home.
* The old records have the name Churchell for the first three generations, but we have adopted the later, general form, in this and in other names.
It is difficult to glean biographical material from the meagre and matter of fact records of our forefathers. Inn Hinman's genealogical account of the early Connecticut Settlers, he says Josiah Churchill "He was a gentleman of more than a medium estate for the time in which he lived, and of reputation in the colony." He was active and useful in public affairs, though not holding the highest positions. He was a juror of the Particular Court in 1643, 1649 and 1651, at the Quarter Court 1664 and 1665 and at the County Court 1666, 1670 and 1675. He was chosen a Constable in 1657 and 1670, and was elected one of the two town surveyors in 1666 and 1673.
He executed his will on the 17 th of November, 1683 and died before January 1687. The inventory of his estate was taken January 5 1687 by James Treat and John Buttolph, selectmen of Wethersfield, and was found to amount to 618 pounds, 12 shillings and 6 pence. This inventory shoews that at his death he owned two home lots and two hundred and ten acres of land. He left his son Joseph "that house and home lot he now lives on" together with "all other buildings thereon." He left to Joseph also several other pieces of land, and a fifty acre lot, "at ye west end of Wethersfield bounds" in the newly settled tract which later became the parish of Newington. He left to his son Benjamin a number of pieces of land, and the old homestead at the decease of his mother. According to the custom of the times his daughters were given certain shares of "movable estate." Among the items in the inventory are " a great Chist," and "2 bibells and other books." This "great Chist" probably reappears in the inventory of his son Joseph whis specifies a chest with the initials "J. C." as well as a piece of "Turkie work"
Mention is made of his children Joseph, Benjamin, Mary Church, Elizabeth Buck, Anne Rice and Sarah Wickham.
Josiah Churchill, above mentioned, married Elizabeth Foote, daughter of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Deming) (Foote), who died at Wethersfield, Sept, 8, 1700, aged about eighty-four years.
He was married to
Elizabeth Foote (daughter of Nathaniel (1) Foote and Elizabeth Deming) in 1638
in Wethersfield, CT.Elizabeth
Foote was born on Sep 8 1616 in St. James, Colchester, Essex, England. She was
baptized on Jan 14 1617 in Colchester, Essex, England. She died on Sep 8 1700
in Wethersfield, CT. Josiah Churchill and Elizabeth Foote had the following
+2 i. Mary Churchill.
+3 ii. Elizabeth Churchill.
+4 iii. Hannah Churchill.
+5 iv. Ann Churchill.
+6 v. Joseph Churchill.
+7 vi. Lieutenant Benjamin Churchill.
8 vii. Henry Churchill was born about 1659 in Wethersfield, CT. He died about 1660.
+9 viii. Sarah Churchill.