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Volume 1: The First Three Generations of Aaron Stark's Descendants in New England

Chapter 5: John, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Anna Stark

Part 2: The Second Generation, Children of Aaron Stark [1608-1685]


Page 43


 Chapter 5

John, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Anna Stark


John Stark [ca. 1658-1689] , Elizabeth Packer, and Their Children

An entry in the New London County records for June 3, 1685, informs us John Stark was the son of Aaron Stark (Senior):[62]

"The inventory of the Estate of Aaron Stark, deceased, being exhibited in Court was proved and ordered to be recorded. The last will and testament of Aaron Stark, being exhibited in Court, was proved, approved and ordered to be recorded. Aron Stark, John Stark, and William Stark, sons to Aron Stark, Sr., deceased, appearing in Court and did declare and desire Capt. Samuel Mason might divide the lands left there by their father, and bound the same between them."

Two things help us to estimate John Stark’s year of birth. Based on his service in King Philip’s War (1675-76), he was born no later than 1659. (He had to have been at least 16 years of age to serve in the militia.) And because his brother, Aaron Stark (Junior), was reported to have been a resident of New London on April 11, 1678, while John was not, John may have been under the age of 21 in that year. These two facts suggest that he was born between 1657 and 1659.[63]

There are few surviving records in Connecticut related to John Stark during his lifetime. We know he served in King Philip’s War because he was granted land in Voluntown (on July 2, 1701) for his participation.[64] The records also show that on September 17, 1678, John was fined for being out at night with Samuel Packer, Mary Fish, and Margaret Culver. John was deceased when the inventory of his estate was presented at court on September 16, 1690. As Helen Stark tells us,[65]

The original probate papers state that he [John Stark] was a Lieutenant, and that he died in 1689, also that his widow married John Weeks.

John most likely married Elizabeth Packer about 1684, or perhaps earlier. The Samuel Packer mentioned above was most likely her brother, and the parents of these siblings were probably John Packer and Elizabeth Friend.[66]

An entry in the New London County Court dated February 6, 1693/94, records the following case:]67]

"Richard Christophers contra [means against or more likely the plaintiff] John Weeks deft [means defendant]. Goodes taken up of him by your wife, formerly Widow Stark in the time of her widowhood, 10 pounds coffin, 6 pounds, 18 shillings."

John Stark’s widow, who later married John Weeks, had an unpaid debt to Richard Christophers, apparently for his having constructed the coffin of John Stark. Helen Stark's research also uncovered a New London County Probate Record dated September 20, 1705, which identifies "John Weeks of New London, husband of Elizabeth, late wife of John Stark, late of New London."[68] Thus we can be certain that the given name of John Stark's spouse was Elizabeth.

In 1937, Helen Stark presented a hypothesis that the surname of Elizabeth was Packer. Her argument goes as follows:[69]

"The original probate papers state that he [John Stark] was a Lieutenant, and that he died in 1689, also that his widow married John Weeks. John and Elizabeth Weeks had among six children recorded, Mary Weeks, b. 1695, Joshua Weeks, b. 1697, and Friend Weeks, b. 1703. John Weeks died 1712 and James Packer was bondsman with the widow Elizabeth for his [John Weeks] estate. And in 1739, Friend Weeks, Joshua Weeks and Mary and John Stanton, all of Norwich, released claim to the estate of Richard Packer of Groton. James and Richard Packer were sons of John Packer, Richard probably a son of John Packer's first wife Elizabeth [Friend]. Can it be learned why the children of Elizabeth Weeks had a claim to the estate of Richard Packer? Was it because she was his sister?"


62) Helen Stark, Aaron Stark Family, Known Facts & Authorities, Unpublished typed manuscript dated 1937. Archived Connecticut State Library, Hartford, Connecticut. Call Number 929.2 St. The source and its location was given by Miss Stark as: "County Court Records (?New London County?), formerly at Norwich, now in State Library at Hartford." (Contributor: Pauline Stark Moore.)

63) Ibid. Helen’s source was the New London County Town Records.

64) Bodge, 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.

65) Helen Stark, Aaron Stark Family, Known Facts & Authorities.

66) Author’s estimate of probable year of marriage (marriage to Elizabeth Packer speculated later).

67) New London County Court Records, Volume VII, page 119.

68) Helen Stark, Aaron Stark Family, Known Facts & Authorities.

69) Ibid.




Page 44


We can now flesh out Helen's analysis with additional supporting evidence. The Groton records show that John Weeks and Elizabeth had children named John (born November 5, 1693), Mary (born April 7, 1695), Joshua (born March 19, 1697), Margaret (born May 17, 1699), Lenard (born May 17, 1701), and Friend (born February 17, 1703).[70] The names Friend Weeks and Joshua Weeks were recorded in the 1739 release; Mary Weeks was most likely the spouse of John Stanton.

According to Packer family researchers, Elizabeth Packer was born about 1669 to John Packer and his first wife, Elizabeth Friend. John and Elizabeth (Friend) Packer had other children named John (Junior), Samuel, Richard, Sarah, Tamsen, and Mary (who married Ephraim Culver). If this Packer family research is accurate, then Helen Stark’s hypothesis would seem to be correct.

Assuming this is so, then when did Elizabeth Packer marry John Stark? A Groton, New London County Deed Record dated July 17, 1705, gives us some clues:[71]

"Whereas I have this day Received of my Fathere in law John Weeks, my full part & proportion of Land, housing and orchard, by the advise, consent & influence of my Uncle Samuell Fish, & my uncle Josiah Haines and yeew sheep which are secured to me by a bill signed by my said fathere and in consideration of the Receipt of the above Land housing orchard &c I Doe hereby Acquite & Discharge my said furthere Claimes Interest or demands of me the said Elizabeth Starke to the Estate of my Honnored fathere John Starke Deceased a shaving any further right or Interest in said Estate, & Doe declare my selfe to have full power by age in the Law provided to act In this afaire, and I the said Elizabeth Stark Doe acknowledge the receipt of an Iron Kitle, and a chest, and upon the receipt of all the above mentioned Lands housing orchards &c which I acknowledge the receipt of as above Doe Againe Conferme it by seting hereunto my and & seal.

In New London, Alias Groton, this 17th of July 1705.

Signed: Elizabeth (Her Mark) Stark;

Witnessed by: Nehemiah Smith, John Bayly;

Elesebeth Stark personally appeared and acknowledged the with in writen signature to be her free act and deed before me. Signed: Nehemiah Smith, Justice

The within writen acquittance is guiven Insteed of one signed by the within named Elisabeth Starke, which said Acquitance is lost from John Weeks, as he declares and afermes to whom it was given, upon which this is given.

N. London, July 17 1705

As attest: Nehemiah Smith, Samuell Avery, Samuell Fish, Josiah.."

The "said Elizabeth Stark" recorded in this document was the daughter of John Stark and Elizabeth Packer (proven earlier to be the spouse of John Stark). In this document, Elizabeth Stark declared "my selfe to have full power by age in the Law provided to act In this afaire." To be old enough to act on her own behalf, Elizabeth Stark had to have been twenty-one years of age or older in 1705, which makes her latest year of birth 1684. This suggests that her parents, John Stark and Elizabeth Packer, were married before 1684.

Charles R. Stark's 1927 publication, The Aaron Stark Family, Seven Generations, reported that John Stark and spouse Elizabeth (her surname not given) had daughters named Hannah and Elizabeth:[72]

3. John (Aaron 1), d. prior to 1701; m. Elizabeth.


+15. Hannah, m. Apr. 21, 1707, Isaac Fox. +16. Elizabeth, m. Apr. 5, 1707, John Newbury.

The 1705 Groton deed cited above established John Stark had a daughter named Elizabeth who was born before 1684. According to the Groton Township vital records, Elizabeth Stark married John Newbury on April 5, 1707, and Hannah Stark and Isaac Fox were married a few days later, on April 21, 1707.[73] Were these two women sisters? A deed dated November 20, 1708, may provide the answer:[74]

"John Nuberry of Groton, weaver, for a valuable sum of money paid by Isaack Fox of Groton yeoman, sell, one messuage tenement of land, being in the town of Groton lying by and partly on the hill west of William Starks, be the number of acres, more or less which land came to me by the heirship of my wife formerly Elizabeth Stark daughter to John Stark late of New London, deceased, which land lyes undivided between me and my brother Isaack Fox of Groton aforesd that is to say I John Nubery do sell to Isaack Fox … 20 Nov 1708.Signed: John Newberry, Elizabeth A. Newberry her mark.

Wit: Nehemiah Smith Junr, Andrew Davis.

Ack: 20 Nov 1708 and recd 5 Jan 1708/9."


70) Groton, New London County, Connecticut Deed Records, Book 1, page 843.

71) Charles Dyer Parkhurst, "The Parkhurst Manuscript," Vol. 25(S), page 3e.

72) Charles R. Stark, "The Aaron Stark Family, Seven Generations of the Descendants of Aaron Stark of Groton, Connecticut." (Wright and Potter, Boston, Massachusetts – 1927). Page 2.

73) Groton, New London County Vital Records, Book 1, page 110 & 117.

74) Groton, New London County, Connecticut; First Book of Records, 1705-1723. Church of Latter-day Saints of Jesus Christ Family History Library Film #4293, page 35.




Page 45


This deed shows that John Newbury was married to Elizabeth Stark, daughter of John Stark, deceased. The phrase "undivided between me and my brother Isaac Fox" suggests John Newbury and Isaac Fox were brother-in-laws – suggesting in turn that Isaac’s spouse was Hannah Stark, Elizabeth Stark’s sister. Charles R. Stark provides even more evidence of their relationship:[72]

"Probate records of the District of New London contain the following: ‘July 5, 1705 Distribution ordered of Estate of John Stark.’ From the record we learn that he [John Stark] left a widow Elizabeth and the two daughters named above."

Because Hannah's name was not mentioned in the 1708 deed transaction, can we prove (other than by the marriage record cited) that Isaac Fox’s spouse had the given name Hannah? Fortunately, a deed record dated May 9, 1721, not only includes the given name of Isaac Fox’s spouse but also states that she was the daughter of John Stark.[75]

"Isaac Fox and Hannah Fox of Groton for 400L paid by Aron Stark of Groton, quit claim unto Aron Stark, all right, Lands which of right did formerly belong to our father John Stark late of New London deceased, 9 May 1721.

Signed: Isaac Fox, Hannah Fox.

Wit: Humphry Avery, John Walsworth.

Ack and rec 9 May 1721."

Thus we can determine that Hannah (Stark) Fox was the sister of Elizabeth Stark and that John Newbury and Isaac Fox were brothers-in-law.

In summary, John Stark was the son of Aaron Stark (Senior) and Sarah and was born before 1659 in New London County, Connecticut. He probably married Elizabeth Packer before 1684 and they had daughters named Elizabeth Stark (born ca. 1684) and Hannah Stark (born between 1684 and 1687). John inherited part of Aaron Stark’s (Senior) property in 1685 and died four years later; his widow married John Weeks ca. 1692. In July 1701, John Stark posthumously received a land grant in Voluntown for his service in King Philip’s (1675-1676).

John Stark and Elizabeth Packer’s older daughter, Elizabeth Stark, received a portion of her father’s estate when she attained the age of twenty-one. She married John Newbury on April 5, 1707, in Groton, New London County, Connecticut. Elizabeth and John Newbury sold her share of John Stark's estate to Isaac Fox, husband of Elizabeth’s sister, Hannah Stark. We do not know when Elizabeth Packer died nor the date of death of her daughter, Elizabeth Stark. John Newbury and Elizabeth Stark had seven children born between 1710 and 1727.[76]

Hannah Stark was most likely born before 1687. Just two weeks after her sister Elizabeth married John Newbury, Hannah married Isaac Fox (on April 21, 1707). Hannah and John were in possession of her part of her father's property on November 20, 1708, when Isaac purchased Elizabeth's share of the inherited property from John Newbury. Although Charles R. Stark's publication reports Hannah died on March 11, 1718, the May 9, 1721, deed cited above reveals that Hannah was still living on that date.[74,77] Isaac and Hannah had six children born between 1710 and 1725.[78]


75) Groton, New London County, Connecticut; First Book of Records, 1705-1723. Church of Latter-day Saints of Jesus Christ Family History Library Film #4293, Pages 567 & 568.

76) Stark, Charles Rathbone, "The Aaron Stark Family Seven Generations," page 11. John (Junior), born August 16, 1710; Sarah, born June 3, 1712; Joseph, born March 4, 1713, Nathan, born March 3, 1716, married Sarah Stewart; Elizabeth, born February 4, 1718; James, born March 23, 1720; Trial, born February 25, 1722; Nathaniel, born March 10, 1724; and Hannah, born March 25, 1726/7.

77) Ibid. Page 11.

78) Ibid, Page 11. William F. Fox, "Thomas Fox of Concord & His Descendants." Charles R. Stark reported Isaac and Hannah had the following children: Abigail Fox, born March 6, 1710; Hannah Fox, born March 4, 1712; Sarah Fox, born November 6, 1714. Another source (William F. Fox) reported these same daughters (and the same birth dates) and reported the following additional children: Isaac Fox [the third], born August 4, 1717; Martha Fox, born May 12, 1720; Eliphalet Fox, born March 23, 1723; and Elizabeth Fox, born July 1, 1725. None of these children reported by William F. Fox have been confirmed as children of Isaac Fox and Hannah (Stark) Fox but have been included for completeness.




Page 46


Sarah Stark, Daughter of Aaron Stark [1608-1685]

The tombstone of Sarah Stark reads: "Here lieth ye body of Sarah, wife of Samuel Fish died December 11, 1722, in ye 62nd year."[79] From this tombstone, we know that Sarah was born in the year 1660. But what was her surname before her marriage, and who were her parents?

A marriage record for Sarah and Samuel Fish has not been found among the surviving records. We learn, however, from an action of the New London County probate court on July 17, 1705, that Elizabeth Stark, daughter of John Stark and Elizabeth Packer, received the property of her father, John Stark, deceased, from her step-father John Weeks (referred to as Elizabeth’s father-in-law in the document), on the "advise, consent, and influence of my Uncle Samuel Fish and my Uncle Josiah Haines."[71] Could Samuel Fish be an uncle married to Elizabeth Stark’s aunt with the surname Stark?

Elizabeth Stark, sister of John Stark, married Josiah Haines as her second husband, and documents to be presented later suggest she was a daughter of Aaron Stark [1608-1685]. Would it be probable then, that Uncle Samuel Fish was also married to a sister of John Stark, and the sister’s name was Sarah (Stark) Fish? Would the given name of Sarah Fish further suggest she was a daughter of Aaron Stark [1608-1685] and his wife Sarah (daughter given mother‘s name)? If Samuel Fish was indeed a brother-in-law of John Stark and Josiah Haines, then Samuel’s spouse must have had the surname Stark and was the "wife of Samuel Fish" inscribed on Sarah Fish‘s tombstone. Samuel Fish died on February 27, 1733, and was buried in the same cemetery as Sarah.[79] His parents were John Fish and Martha (Eland) Fish of Stonington.[62] Samuel Fish and Sarah Stark had seven children born between 1684 and 1702.[80] 


Photographs: Samuel Fish & Sarah Fish tombstones taken August 2006. Packer/Burrows Cemetery, New London County, Connecticut. Photos Contributed by Midge Frazel <>.





Sarah (Stark) Fish Tombstone

Here lieth ye body of Sarah, wife of Samuel Fish 

died December 11, 1722, in ye 62nd year.























Samuel Fish Tombstone

Here lieth ye body of Capt. Samuel Fish

died Feb ye 27 1733 in ye 77th year of his age.
















79) See Photographs Samuel Fish & Sarah Fish tombstones.

80) Helen Stark, Aaron Stark Family, Known Facts & Authorities. Helen Stark reported this couple had children named: Samuel Fish (Junior), born in 1684, 2) John Fish, born in 1686, 3) Moses Fish, born in 1688, who married Martha Williams, 4) Abigail Fish, born in 1691 who married first Daniel Eldredge and second Daniel Denison, 5) Aaron Fish, born in 1693 who married Irene Sprague, 6) Nathan Fish, born August 19, 1699 who married first Abigail Havens and second Mary Burrows, and 7) Sarah Fish, born August 2, 1702 who married Hezekiah Lord of Preston.




Page 47


Elizabeth Stark, Daughter of Aaron Stark [1608-1685]

On April 19, 1688, Elizabeth Start and Michael Lambert were married by Samuel Mason, Stonington Justice of the Peace.[81] This marriage record most likely reported the marriage of Elizabeth Stark, the daughter of Aaron Stark [1608-1685] and Sarah. Elizabeth’s probable latest year of birth would have been about 1673 – based on Elizabeth being at least fifteen years of age when she first married – and her earliest year of birth was about 1666 (after her brother, William, born in 1664). She could have been born in either Stonington Township or New London Township (on the Stark homestead). Elizabeth and Michael had one daughter named Michel Lambert, born July 18, 1689, who would marry Peter Williams.[82]

Michael Lambert was a carpenter by trade and was contracted to build the Ministers house for the Preston Congregational Church in North New London County, January 13, 1689/90.[83] Michael was to be compensated with 200 acres of land. During the construction, the couple lived in Preston. Either during or soon after Lambert completed the project, he most likely died, for Elizabeth Lambert married Josiah Haines March 3, 1693.[82] Was the Elizabeth Lambert who married Josiah Haines the same Elizabeth Start who married Michael Lambert?

As we have seen in our discussion of Sarah (Stark) Fish above, a New London County probate court entry dated July 17, 1705, shows that Elizabeth Stark, daughter of John Stark and Elizabeth Packer, received the property of her father, John Stark, deceased, from her step-father John Weeks (referred to as Elizabeth’s father-in-law in the document), on the "advise, consent, and influence of my Uncle Samuel Fish and my Uncle Josiah Haines."[71] This document, by telling us that Elizabeth Stark had an uncle named Josiah Haines – not a brother of her mother but more likely a brother-in-law of Elizabeth Stark’s father (John Stark) – indicates that Elizabeth Haines was a sister of John Stark and thus a daughter of Aaron Stark [1608-1685]. Josiah Haines and Elizabeth Stark had eight children between 1694 and about 1714.[82]

Charles R. Stark’s publication says this about Elizabeth (Stark) Haines.[82]

"Miss Caulkins places Josiah Haines in Pequonnoc in 1696, but from the fact that the births of his first four children are recorded in Preston, we infer that for a time he lived in that town. No record of the birth of Deborah has been found, but in her mother's will she was given most of the household belongings, so we suppose she was single and remained at home. The names of Joshua and Comfort do not appear in the will – probably they had died before their mother."

Elizabeth and Josiah Haines lived in Preston from 1694 to 1701, according to the above account, and are known to have been living in Groton by 1705. Sometime before November 23, 1721, Josiah Haines died, for Elizabeth and her son Josiah Haines (Junior) sold some property where they were recorded as executor and executrix of the estate of the late Josiah Haynes.[84] Elizabeth married Nehemiah Smith September 7, 1724.[82]

Charles R. Stark continues with these comments about Smith:

"The marriage to Justice Nehemiah Smith was an old-age marriage, he being in his seventy-ninth year. He endowed her by jointure agreement with one hundred pounds current bills of credit of New England, payable within one year of the date of the marriage. Justice Smith was prominent in the affairs of New London before Groton became a town, and upon organization of the latter he was chosen third townsman. He also served as town clerk, justice of the peace and in other positions."


81) Church of Latter-day Saints of Jesus Christ Microfilm Film #5593. Stonington, New London, Connecticut Deeds, 1664-1714, Book 1, page 132. "Michall Lambert and Elizabeth Start was married in Stonington Aprill 19th 1688 Pr. Mr. Samuell Mason Justice of the Peace & entered Aprill 28 1688 Pr Mr. John Stanton Recorder."

82) Charles R. Stark, "The Aaron Stark Family." Pages 6 & 7. CRS reports Elizabeth married "Micah Lambert" April 19, 1688. Josiah and Elizabeth (Stark) Haines had children named: Elizabeth Haines, born March 7, 1694, who married Unknown Phillop; Anne Haines, born November 3, 1696, who married Nathaniel Brown; Josiah Haines (Junior), born January 8, 1698/9; Joshua Haines, born August 27, 1701; Caleb Haines, born February 2, 1703; Kaziah Haines, born June 7, 1705, who married Unknown Streat; Comfort Haines, born August 2, 1711; and Deborah Haines.

83) Church of Latter-day Saints of Jesus Christ Family History Library MicroFilm #5381. Connecticut, New London Preston Deed Books 1-3 (1687-1722), Book 1, page 103. "13 Jan 1689: Capt Standish Thomas Parks and Caleb Fobes in the behalf of the Town do covenant with Michkell Lambert to build the ministers house in consideration thereof wee doe ingage to pay or cause to be payed unto the sd Lambard two hundred acres of Land to be Laid out in the Town commons and all so to a---- the sd Lambert an equall proportion in the Town commons."

84) Groton, New London County, Connecticut Deed Records, Book 1, pages 641-642. "Elizabeth Haynes and Josiah Haynes (This was Josiah Haines, Jr.) both of Groton, executor & executrix to ye last will and testament of Josiah Haynes late of Groton Deceased, for 26L, paid by Serjt. John Avery yeoman, sold, all our right to undevided lands that we now have, 23 Nov 1721. Signed: Elisabeth Hayns her A Mark, Josiah Haynes. Wit: Samll. Avery, Thomas Chipman. Ack and recd: 23 Nov 1721."




Page 48


Elizabeth Stark's will was prepared and signed on September 22, 1739. It was probated December 31, 1739, under the name Elizabeth Smith, the name of her third husband, Nehemiah (who had died on August 8, 1727). Therefore, she probably died sometime between these dates in 1739. Her will mentions son Josiah and Caleb, and from this document we can determine that her daughters were Michel (Lambert) Williams, Caziah (Haines) Streat, Elizabeth (Haines) Phillop, Anne (Haines) Brown, and Deborah Haines.[80]

Charles R. Stark includes the will of Elizabeth (Stark) Smith in his publication. It reads as follows:[80]

In the name of God Amen. The 22 day of September Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred thirty-nine I Elizabeth Smith of Groton in the colony of Connecticut in New England being sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto God therefor calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing it is appointed for all persons once to die do make and ordain this my last will and testament that is to say principally and first of all I give and resign my soul into the hands of God who gave it and my body I recommend to the earth to be buried in a decent Christian burial at the discretion of my Excutor nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of the Almighty God and as touching such worldly estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless me in this life I give and devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form;

I give and bequeath unto my loving daughter Michel [Lambert] Williams eighteen pounds & twelve shillings money that is in Jeames Ashbys hands and also one sucking mare colt that now follows my riding mare.

I give and bequeath unto my loving daughter Caziah [Haines] Streat my riding mare and side saddle and bridle.

I give and bequeath unto my loving daughter Elizabeth [Haines] Phillop my chest of drawers that stands in my house and also ten pounds money that is in her husbands hands and also Experance my apprentice maid.

I give and bequeath unto my loving daughter Anne [Haines] Brown one chest of drawers and one round table which shall be bought out of my other estate before distribution.

I give and bequeath unto my loved daughter Deborah Haines two "fether" beds & bolsters that has boughten tickers and two bedsteads and cords and two pair of curtains one pair callicoe and one pair cotton and also one chest of drawers and one round table and one large chest with five drawers and one square table and one small chest and one "bocks" and ten "chears" and also six pewter platters and seven pletes and also three pewter basins and also one quart pot and two pint pots and one warming pan and one firing pan and also my large brass "Cittle" and also one iron kettle and three iron pots and one large stone "judge" and I also give my above named daughter three of my best cows and one "heffer" and one year and vantage horse and also twenty sheep and also two swine fatted with the corn that is now in the field and ten bushels of corn to eat and also one quarter of beef and ten pounds of tallow and colored yarn for two coverlids and half my "flacks" and all my hay below my house in my upper field and also two tramelles and a fire shovel and tongs and two skillets one brass and one iron.

I give and bequeath to my beloved son Josiah Haines my apprentice boy Jonathan Fillops and also my cart "hupes" and boxes and cleves and pin and also houe and axes and also one stack of oats and also order my son Josiah to be my executor.

I give and bequeath to my beloved son Caleb Haines six pounds money that is in his hands and also one pair of plow irons and after my just debts and funeral charges are paid I give my son Josiah Haines and my five daughters equally all the rest of my estate.

Signed: Elizabeth Smith

Witnesses: Nathan Smith, Bethia Rock, Sarah Woodmansee

Probated: December 31, 1739

Anna Stark, Daughter of Aaron Stark [1608-1685]

Helen Stark, in her "Known Facts & Authorities" article, gave this synopsis of what we know about Anna Stark and William Reade:[62]

"Anna Stark married at Norwich May 4, 1699 William? Read. He died 1766, she Nov. 25, 1748. They lived at Lisbon. Their first child was William b. 1700, 2nd child Aaron b. 1702, 4th child and First daughter - Sarah b. 1711."

Anna Stark and William Reade were well documented as residents of Lisbon, located on the neck of land between the two rivers that unite at Norwich to form the Thames. William and Anna had seven children born between 1700 and 1720.[85]

In her article, Helen also commented on the parentage of Anna Stark:

"Who was this Anna Stark? Elizabeth Haynes (Elizabeth Stark, daughter of Aaron Stark (Senior)) lived at Preston, near Norwich and of course Norwich was ‘in the vicinity of’ New London. No other Stark's were in the state so early, as far as is known. And ‘Aaron’ was an uncommon name there; ours the only one in New London, I'm quite sure, and only one or two mentioned in New London records. It seems certain, then, that this Anna Stark was a daughter of either Aaron Stark 1 (Aaron Stark (Senior) or Aaron Stark 2 (Aaron Stark (Junior)). The latter is possible, but I've placed her as daughter of Aaron 1 – perhaps because she had a daughter Sarah, more probably, because apparently there is a better account of the daughters of Aaron 2.

If the widow of Aaron 1 – had been in the service of the Mason's and cordial relations had been kept up during the years, may she not have gone to Norwich after her husband's death, since the Mason's had gone there in 1660?

Perhaps she married again there? At any rate, it would not have been very strange for a Norwich man to marry a New London girl. No where does there seem to be any record connecting any of the daughters of Aaron Stark 1 with his sons in any way. But Sarah (Stark) Fish also had a son Aaron, if you remember."




Page 49


Since we cannot locate another Stark family in this area of Connecticut during this time frame, we presume Anna was either a daughter or granddaughter of Aaron Stark (Senior). We know we can rule out certain other Starks. John Stark had two daughters, Elizabeth and Hannah, and they are identified as the only heirs to John's estate. Likewise, the children of William Stark are well documented, and there is no mention of an Anna Stark or William Reade in William Stark’s will. That leaves us with Aaron Stark (Junior) and his father, Aaron Stark (Senior), both of who were alive during the 1670s when Anna (born during that decade if she was of marrying age in 1699) was born.

Aaron Stark (Junior) married Mehitable Shaw on November 28, 1676. If Anna was born in 1677, she would have been 22 years of age when she married William Reade. Thus Aaron (Junior) is a plausible candidate to be Anna’s father. But if Anna was born before 1677, she had to have been the daughter of Aaron (Senior) and Sarah Stark. Therefore, Anna’s age at her marriage in 1699 is the decisive factor in determining her parentage.

Anna gave birth to her first known child in 1700 and to her last known child in 1720.[85] If we suppose that a woman at that time might have borne children as late as age forty-six, then Anna would have been born by 1674. But if Anna was much younger when she was married – say, only fifteen in 1699, she could have been born as late as 1684. Within this ten-year range, do the surviving records help us any in identifying which Aaron Stark was her father?

The date of marriage of Aaron Stark (Senior) to Sarah is not known with certainty. If we again suppose the upper child-bearing age for Sarah was forty-six, she would have been born in 1638 if she was the mother of a child (Anna) born in 1684; this would make her between sixteen and twenty when we believe Aaron (Senior) married Sarah – between 1653, the year of the first Thomas Minor diary entry, and 1657, the latest probable year of birth of Aaron (Junior). Using the same assumptions, if Sarah was forty-six in 1674, she would have been born in 1628 if she was the mother of a child born in that year; this would make her between twenty-six and thirty when she married Aaron. Thus Sarah certainly could have been the mother of Anna Stark.

This said, we have to observe that it is more probable that Mehitable Shaw was Anna’s mother, since Mehitable was in her prime child-bearing years between 1677 and 1684 whereas Sarah was in her final child-bearing years at that time. If Anna was born before August of 1677, soon after Aaron Stark (Junior) married Mehitable, then we must conclude that she was the daughter of Aaron Stark (Senior) and Sarah.

Although there is no surviving documentation to link Anna to Aaron Stark (Junior) and Mehitable Shaw, mathematical probabilities do favor them as the most likely candidates to have been her parents. However, we note that Anna (Stark) Reade named her oldest daughter Sarah and second daughter Anna – a naming pattern, commonly used then, that suggests the two children were named, in order, first after a grandparent and then after a parent. This could favor Aaron Stark (Senior) and Sarah as the parents of Anna.

For the purpose of providing Anna with an identity within the Stark family, her parents (with considerable reservation) will be presented as Aaron Stark (Junior) and Mehitable Shaw. This is done because mathematical probabilities do favor them as the most likely candidates to have been her parents.



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Other than that work created by other acknowledged contributors or sources, the articles and genealogical data presented in this publication were derived from the research of Clovis LaFleur; Copyright © 2007. All rights are reserved. The use of any material on these pages by others will be discouraged if the named contributors, sources, or Clovis LaFleur have not been acknowledged.


This publication and the data presented is the work of Clovis LaFleur. However, some of the content presented has been derived from the research and publicly available information of others and may not have been verified. You are responsible for the validation of all data and sources reported and should not presume the material presented is correct or complete.


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