The First Generation in New England
Genealogical Myths, Mistakes, & Misconceptions
following is a list of the most frequent genealogical myths,
mistakes, and misconceptions related to Aaron Stark [1608-1685]. It
is my ardent hope all of the Aaron Stark Family researchers
present and future will begin to recognize these genealogical
pits falls and discontinue reporting them as factual.
Aaron Stark [1608-1685] the son of parents named Aaron Stark &
genealogical online files report Aaron Stark [1608-1685] was the son
of Aaron Stark and Mary Holt. As discussed in Chapter 2, there was
an encounter between Aaron Stark and Mary Holt that occurred in 1639
well after the birth of Aaron Stark [1608-1685]. Mary Holts
encounter was clearly with Aaron Stark [1608-1685]; not with his
father as reported in these files. These files report the following disputable
data related to a Aaron Stark born about 1608 in New London
Aaron Stark [1608-1685], was the son of Aaron Stark and Mary
Holt, both of his parents born about 1582 in New London County,
These parents, Aaron Stark and Mary Holt, were married in 1604
in New London County, Connecticut.
reports of place and time cannot be supported by historical facts.
Permanent English settlements in New England did not appear
until after the Mayflower landed in 1620. Prior to that year, the
region which much later than 1582 became Connecticut
consisted of a few Dutch outpost trading with the Indians for furs.
files report Aaron and Mary Holt were born in England and were
married there about 1604. While this would be reasonable, it seems
to be more than a coincidence that a Mary Holt born in England
married the father of Aaron [1608-1685]. Clearly, it would seem the
Particular Court of Connecticut appearances of Aaron Stark
[1608-1685] with a women named Mary Holt in 1639 has somehow been
confused with being his parents.
source of this genealogical myth can be found in the Church of
Latter- day Saints of Jesus Christ Ancestral File entitled Aaron
Stark (AFN FS8H-PL). This source is presented in many of the
referenced files presented on web sites. It is most obvious those
who copy the data from this source have not attempted in anyway to
research the historical facts of that time. Therefore, one must
Aaron Stark [1608-1685] was most likely born about 1608, his
probable year of birth confirmed by his 1673 deposition but
his place of birth cannot be stated with certainty.
Historical facts suggest it can be stated with certainty Aaron
Starks place of birth in 1608 could not have been New London
County, Connecticut nor any other place in New England.
Aaron Starks parentage is not known with certainty but
most certainly cannot be as stated in the files I question.
Clearly, from the 1639 Particular Court of Connecticut Records,
it is most unlikely the Mary Holt was the mother of Aaron Stark
[1608-1685] nor could she have been born about 1582.
Latter-day Saints file further reports the mythical parents of Aaron
Stark [1608-1685] had the following children: Unknown Stark (born
about 1616); John Stark (born about 1610); William Stark (born about
1612); Elizabeth Stark (born about 1614); Margaret Stark (born about
1618); Hannah Stark (born about 1620); Stevenson Stark (born about
1622, died 1685); and Aaron Stark, born 1608, died 1685.
LDS file reported all of these children were born in New London, New
London County, Connecticut all but two born before the Mayflower
landed!! Some of these given names agree with children of Aaron
Stark [1608-1685] and his wife, Sarah; their children born from
about 1653 to about 1680. Aaron's name is the only Stark we find in
the Connecticut records beginning in 1639 accept for several
publications which report the name Henry Stark or Starks most
likely an individual named Henry Packs, Perks or Park. Therefore,
the above Ancestral files on the Church of Latter-day Saints of
Jesus Christ web site have apparently created and mixed two
generations one generation being the mythical parents of Aaron
Stark [1608-1685] with several children who were actually children
of Aaron Stark [1608-1685] and his wife, Sarah.
based on the above analysis, one must conclude the files under
discussion are completely without merit on the subject of Aaron
Starks [1608-1685] parentage and place of birth.
Was Henry Stark???
1846, R. R. Hinman published a book entitled, "Catalogue of
the Names of the First Puritan Settlers of the Colony of Connecticut."
On page 75 Hinman reported "Stark, Henry, Hartford, 1640 -
he was a man of worth, and after a few years died, and gave by will,
a clock to the church in Hartford." The next entry on the
same page reported "Starks, Aaron, Hartford, 1639 - (This
case....). He was palced upon the pillary on a lecture day during
the lecture - then tied to the tail of a cart, and whipped in
Hartford..." Who was this man named Henry Stark and could
he have been a relative of Aaron Stark [1608-1685]?
researchers have, on occasion, referred to this publication and
speculated Henry was a brother or the father of Aaron Stark. Hinman
makes another entry on a Henry Starks on page 72 which reports
"Seely, Lieut. Robert - ...He with Major Mason, Stanton,
Adams, Gibbs, Henry Starks, and Tho. Merrick were appointed by the
general Court to treat with the Indians for corn."
of the records, thus far, have not revealed the name Henry Stark in
Hartford in 1640. However, there was a man named Henry Packs, who
Willed a clock to the church in Hartford in 1640. In 1850, J.
Hammond Trumbell published a book entitled, "The Public
Records of the Colony of Connecticut, Prior to the Union With New
Haven Colony." On page 58, Trumbell reported:
the 4th, 1640. Henry Packs (?) his Wyll. It is my Will to bestow
vppon the Church the Clocke that Brother Thorneton had bought,
to Mr. Wichfyeld my best Coate and whoight (?) Cappe, to Mr.
[Blank space in original publication] my best dublets."
would appear to be the same Henry Stark reported by Hinman but
interpreted by J. Hammond Trumbell to have the name Henry Packs.
Which would be correct? Both of these publications appear to be
transcriptions of the original documents. Yet, each seems to have
transcribed the individual who Willed a clock to the Church in
Hartford with a different surname. Trumbell did place a question
mark after the surname Packs. He appears to be letting those using
his book for research know he was uncertain if the surname was
Packs. Hinman doesn't quote the original document but uses phrases
from the original and doesn't let his audience know if he had
difficulty transcribing the original document.
page 17 of Trumbell's publication was the following recorded April
is ordered that there shalbe sixe sent to Warranocke Indians to
declare unto them that wee have a desire to speake wuth them, to
knoe the reasons why they saide they are affraide of vs, and if
they will not come to vu willingly then to compell them to come
by violence, and they may leave 2 of the English as pleadges in
the meane time and to trade with them for Corne if they can. It
is ordered that Captaine Mason, Thomas Stanton, Jeremy Adams,
John Gibbes, Searieante Stares and Thomas Merricke, and if
Thomas Merricke be gone to Aggawam then Captaine Mason to take
another whom he please, shall goe in the said service; and if
hee see cause to leave hostages hee may; if hee see cause to goe
to Aggawam he may."
was clearly the event referenced by Hinman. However, Lieutenant
Seely was not mentioned; but the other six men were recorded by
Trumbell and Hinman's publication places those six men in the same
order. Note Trumbell transcribes the fourth man as Searieante Stares
while Hinman transcribes the name as Henry Starks. Therefore, we
have a contradiction between the two publications. The General Court
records have no entries on a Henry Stark, especially in Volume 1 and
there are no deed records that have surfaced at this date. If there
was a Henry Stark, why are there not deed or probate records?
later references to a clock Willed to the Church in Hartford in 1640
refer to the deceased as Henry Packs or Parks. In a 1986 article
entitled, "Timekeeping: The Lifestyle Of Accuracy,"
Phillip M. Zea reported:
house clock, moving relentlessly in step with the stars, was the
first to cross the Atlantic to the New England colonies. The
earliest known reference to a clock movement in the Connecticut
River valley underscores the community value of timekeeping and
its traditional association with the church. When Henry Packs
(Parks?) died in Hartford, his will of September 4, 1640, "bestow[ed]
uppon the Church the Clocke that Brother Thornton had
bought." The rare clocks of the wealthy were accorded a
prominent place on the wall of the parlor, which was intended for
both public entertainment and family sleeping. When the probate
inventory of Connecticut's founder, Reverend Thomas Hooker
(1586-1647), was taken in 1649, the "new parlor"
contained "3 chaires, 2 stooles, 6 cushions, a clocke, a safe
[probably a wooden cabinet], a table, window curtaines,
&c.," appraised at £ 5."
would appear the above two references, transcribed from the
original, are not in agreement on the surname recorded . Based on no
other existing records with the name Henry Stark, the surname was
probably not Stark but most likely Packs or Parks. Therefore, unless
contrary evidence is found, Henry Stark or Starks (as presented in
the R. R. Hinman publication) will not be considered to have been
the person who Willed a clock to the Hartford Church in 1640 but
will be presumed to have been a man named Henry Packs or Henry
R. Hinman. "Catalogue of the Names of the First
Puritan Settlers of the Colony of Connecticut with the Time
Of Their Arrival In the Colony, and their Standing in
Society, Together With Their Place Of Residence, As Far As
Can Be Discovered By The Records". First published
1846. (Reprinted Baltimore Genealogical Publishing Company,
Hammond Trumbell, "The Public Records of the Colony
of Connecticut, Prior to the Union With New Haven Colony."
Published Hartford Brown & Parsons, 1850. Volume 1.
M. Zea, "Timekeeping The Lifestyle of Accuracy--An
Interpretive Essay for the J. Cheney Wells Collection of New
England Clocks at Old Sturbridge Village."
Aaron Stark [1606-1685] Receive a Voluntown Land Grant for Service
in King Phillip's War???
Charles R. Stark publication entitled, "The Aaron Stark
Family, Seven Generations," on pages 1 and 2 report the
"Aaron Stark (Aaron Stark [1608-1685]) was a volunteer
in King Philip's War, and was given land in Voluntown in
consideration of his service."
"Aaron (Aaron Stark (Junior)) served with his father in
King Philip's War in 1675, and like him received a grant of land
in Voluntown, though it is believed that neither of them ever
lived in that town."
"That he (John Stark [Lieutenant]) served in King
Philip's War is shown by a list of volunteers in that war made
in 1701 in which appears the name of John Stark "deceased."
Stark [1608-1685], Aaron Stark (Junior), and John Stark
[Lieutenant], according to this publication, were all three given
land in Voluntown for their volunteer service in King Philip's War.
October 1696, the Court of Connecticut approved a land grant of six
square miles to be divided among those who fought in King Philip's
War. This land was to be taken from the Indians conquered in that
war. On October 14, 1697, Captain Samuel Mason, Mr. John Gallop, and
Lieutenant James Avery were appointed as a committee to view the
tract and October of 1700 a committee was selected to run the
affairs of the new town named Voluntown.
1, 1701, at a meeting in Stonington Township, the committee chose
Captain Richard Bushnell as clerk. He was given the responsibility
of making a list of the volunteers in King Philip's War. A separate
committee was appointed to review the list of names and vote on
those qualified to be granted a parcel of land in Voluntown. July
2, 1701, the list of names was presented and accepted by the
committee. On the list were the names Aaron Stark, deceased, and
John Stark, deceased. April 17, 1706, the final approval was made
and a drawing of lots was made for those approved to receive grants.
R. Stark, "The Aaron Stark Family, Seven Generations."
Published 1927, Wright and Potter, Boston, Massachusetts.
George M., "Soldiers in King Phillip's War,"
Boston, 1906. "Narragansett Township Granted to
Connecticut Volunteers in the Narraganset War, now Voluntown,
Connecticut." Pages 441-442.
Court orders starting 1696, 1697, 1700, 1701, pages 1 thru
3; 1) Stonington Att a meeting of the volunteers July the
1st 1701, "Captn. Richard Bushnell was chosen Clerk to
make a list of the names of the volunteers, and to make
entrey of all votes as shall be passed by sd Volunteres At
the same Meeting above said the Companey proseeded to the
choice of a committee Who are empowered to pass all those
that shall offer themselves as volunteers and desire theire
names to be entred accordingly, and the Clerk to enter no
persons names as volunteers, without the approbation of the
Committee, hereafter named, or the major part of them, The
persons made choice of to do the above sd work are, Liut.
Thomas Leffingwell, Liut. James Avery, Sarjt. John Frink,
Richard Bushnell and Deacon Caleb Fobes. Voted." 2)
Stonington, att a meeting of the volunteers July 2d 1701,
"The Company Granted to Capt. Samuell Mason an equall
share or interest with them in that Tract of Land Granted to
them by the generall Court. Voted. A list of the names of
the English volunteers in the late Narragansitt Warr as
followeth... [Transcribed by Gwen Boyer Bjorkman. Among the
names were Aaron Stark Deceast, John Stark, Deceast...]
Complete list of names can be found at <http//genconnect.rootsweb.com/gc/USA/Ct/NewLondonDeed/10049>.
3) New London November 14th 1705, " At a meeting of the
volunteers, the sd volunteers being sencible that the tract
of Land formerly granted to them, by the Honoll Generall
Court of Conecticutt to settle a plantation upon is so
broken by the late agreemnt made by the Committees for the
Colonyes of Conecticut and Road Island, that they feare
their intended purpose of settling a plantation so
accomadable for a Christian Society as they desire is
" 4) New London At a Meeting of the
volunteers Aprill the 17th 1706, " The Companey
unanimously agreed (and Declared by their vote) to go on to
draw lotts, upon that part of the Land laid out, which
iswithin the Tract of Land Granted to the said volunteers by
the Genll Court October the 10th 1700.
Att the same
Meeting the Company Granted Samuell Fish Liberty to take his
lott where he hath made emprovement by virture of a grant
from Stonington, the lot being already laid out by the
Committee." (Transcribed by Gwen Boyer Bjorkman)
Stark, deceased, was issued a grant of 122 acres, later described as
Lot #124, for services rendered in King Philip's War while John
Stark, deceased, was issued Lot #126. If it's true Aaron Stark
[1608-1685], Aaron Stark (Junior), and John Stark [Lieutenant] all
fought in this war, as reported in the Charles R. Stark publication,
then why would there not be three Voluntown lots awarded to Stark
family members instead of only two?
London probate records reported Aaron Stark [1608-1685] died in 1685
and the same records reported John Stark [Lieutenant] died in 1689.
Therefore, both of these men were deceased by 1701as reported in the
Voluntown Records and they would most certainly be likely candidates
to be the two men receiving lots posthumously for their service in
King Philip's War. Because there were only two lots issued, then one
must presume the Charles R. Stark publication was mistaken when it
reported Aaron Stark [the younger] received land in Voluntown for
his service in King Philip's War.
this presumption could be a misconception of other possible events.
Suppose Aaron Stark (Junior) was deceased before 1701. Many Stark
family genealogical files report Aaron Stark (Junior) died April 24,
1721. The source of this date of death or approximate date of death
was a New London Deed dated April 24, 1721 which stated "
to fix a deviding lane between mr. William Stark of sd Groton and
his Cozen Aron Stark son to Aron Stark decd ye brother of ye sd
William Stark according to ye last will & testament of Mr. Aron
Stark decd. Father to ye above said Brothers ye boundary..."
Cozen Aron Stark was Aaron Stark [the third]. His father was Aaron
Stark (Junior). The deceased brother of William Stark (Senior) was
Aaron Stark (Junior) and the father of the brothers was Aaron Stark
[1608-1685]. Therefore, this document clearly reports Aaron Stark
(Junior) was deceased by April 24, 1721.
is an earlier deed between Aaron Stark [the third] and his siblings
dated May 29, 1716 which states "received our full parts of
shears of all ye estate that was our father Aaron Starks of Groton
deceased." The siblings named in this deed record were
John Stark, Aabiel Stark, Joseph Collver (spouse of Mary Stark), and
Sarah Stark, all known to be children of Aaron Stark (Junior).
Therefore, this document reports Aaron Stark (Junior) was deceased
before May 29, 1716 at least five years earlier than April
24, 1721. Other genealogists report Aaron Stark (Junior) died in
New Jersey after 1744 because of a Groton deed record between two
men named Aaron Stark, Sr. and Aaron, Jr., both residing in New
Jersey. However, the previously discussed Groton deed record
most certainly reports Aaron Stark (Junior) was deceased before May
of 1716, well before this 1744 deed was made. Would there be earlier
records suggesting how many years before 1716 Aaron Stark (Junior)
may have died.
Stark in a 1937 article entitled, " Aaron Stark Family, Known
Facts & Authorities," reported on page 3:
9, 1707. (Aaron Stark (Junior)) Mentioned as deceased in a petition
by the daughters of his deceased brother John, in regard to their
share of the estate of their grandfather, Aaron 1 (Aaron Stark
source of this document was the New London Probate Records found at
Hartford. This document reports Aaron Stark (Junior) was deceased
before 1707. Based on her research, Helen Stark theorized the
following in her "Facts & Authorities" article:
Stark 2 (Aaron Stark (Junior)), was dead before Groton was set off
from New London in 1705. This seems absolutely certain, because a
study of Groton records proves that the only Aaron Stark appearing
on them in the early years, was not Aaron 2, but his son Aaron 3
(Aaron Stark [the third]). In one record he establishes the bounds
between his property and that of William Stark (William Stark
(Senior)), stating that he had received his from his father,
large tract of land, part of the Aaron Stark (Aaron Stark
[1608-1685]) homestead, was in the family's possession, but in
every case it was already in the earliest records, in the
possession of the children of Aaron 2, not in his own possession -
Therefore, he must have died before these records began. Most of
the children gave receipts to their brother, Aaron (Aaron Stark
[the third]), for their share of their father's estate. And it
must have been Aaron 2, and he alone who fought in King Philip's
war; Aaron 1, was already an old man when that war began, and it
seems much more fitting for Aaron 2 to have been the
for proof, the heirs of John Stark received a lot at Voluntown,
which they sold. The only other grant to a Stark, was lot #124,
about 122 A. granted to "Aaron Stark deceased" in 1696
Because we did not believe that Aaron 2 died until many years
later, we have assumed, I think, that this must have referred to
Aaron 1. But the last time we can know that he was a live was in
1691, and he may easily have been dead in 1696, certainly he was
research agrees with the above information and if her research
revealed Aaron Stark (Junior) was deceased before June 9, 1707, then
he was probably the "Aaron Stark, deceased" awarded a lot
in Voluntown in 1701 for his service in King Philip's War.
Therefore, Aaron Stark [1608-1685] most likely was not the recipient
of a Voluntown lot for his service in King Philip's War, although he
might have served in that conflict. Aaron Stark (Junior) was the
most likely recipient of Lot #124 for his service in King Philip's
#5881 CT New London Co. Voluntown; 1) Page 69, 124th Lot.
"Lands Belonging to Aaron Stark his heires &
assignes one hundred & twenty-two acres, more or less...
Laid out March 1706 Pr James Avery, John Prentts &
Manassah Minor. Entred July 1706.
2) Page 69 126th Lot. "Lands Belonging to John Stark
his heires & assignes one hundred & twenty-six
acres, more or less... Laid out March 1706 Pr James Avery,
John Prentts & Manassah Minor. Entred July 1706."
New London County, Connecticut Deed Records, Book 1, pages
551-552. (Transcribed by Gwen Boyer Bjorkman).
The Aaron Stark Family, page 8.
Stark, "Aaron Stark Family, Known Facts &
Authorities," Unpublished typed manuscript dated 1937.
Archived Connecticut State Library, Hartford, Connecticut.
Call Number 929.2 St 2664 & shelved in archive box.