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Biography of Stephen Hart

Stephen Hart, who came to this country from Braintree, Essex county, England, with the company that settled at Braintree, Massachusetts, was the progenitor of the Hart families of Massachusetts and Connecticut. He was one of the fifty-four settlers at Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1632, and married there. In 1634 he was admitted a freeman, there, and was a member and deacon of the church of which the Rev. Thomas Hooker was pastor. He went to Hartford in 1635 with a company led by Mr. Hooker, and was one of the original proprietors of that place. His house lot was on the west side of what is now (1910) Front street, near where Morgan street crosses it, and there is a tradition that the town was called from the ford he discovered and used in crossing the Connecticut river when the water was low, and the transition from Hart’s Ford to Hartford was a simple one. It is also said Mr. Hart with several others discovered the Farmington river valley, which was at that time occupied and cultivated by a powerful tribe of Indians, the Tunxis. An arrangement was made with them by means of which the land was purchased in 1640, and the white men settled there with their cattle. In 1652 the place was incorporated under the name of Farmington, Mr. Hart having been especially active in the settlement, and a man of prominence generally. He bought a large tract of land on the border of the present town of Avon, which was known as Hart’s Farm. His house lot, which was on the west side of Main street, opposite the meeting house, consisted of fifteen acres, this large plot being granted him on condition that he continue to run the mill situated on it, which had originally been erected by the Bumsons. He and his wife were members of the first church of Farmington, of which he was elected the first deacon. He represented the town at the general court for fifteen sessions from 1647 to 1655 and once in 1660, and died in March, 1682, aged seventy-seven, leaving large landed possessions: Children: Sarah. married Thomas Porter; Mary, married (first) John Lee. (second) Jebediah Strong; John, married Sarah–; Stephen, married Mehitable, married John Cole: Thomas, see elsewhere.

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