By Jared L. Olar
Updated May 2013
HOYT is a not uncommon English surname, said to derive from the Middle English word hoit, "long stick," a word that apparently was used in medieval times as an appellative or nickname for tall or skinny men. Due to various ways the name has been pronounced in different English dialects and accents down through the ages, "Hoyt" also appears as "Hoyte," "Hayte," "Hait," "Haite," "Haight," "Hite," and sometimes even "Hyatt." There are several unrelated Hoyt families of English origin, and in England the surname has been more usually spelled "Hoyte" (whereas the spelling "Haight" seems to have arisen in America). Our Hoyt ancestry commences with Walter and John, two sons of an Englishman named Simon Hoyt who came to Massachusetts from Somersetshire in 1629. Simon's father was very probably Michael Hoyt, a tenant on a manor in West Hatch, Somerset, whose father in turn may have been Thomas Hoyt, with whom the account of the Hoyt family commences below. The standard source for this family's history is David W. Hoyt's A Genealogical History of the Hoyt, Haight, and Hight Families (Boston, 1871), often referred to as the Hoyt Genealogy. However, while David W. Hoyt's work is generally a reliable and very helpful source, like many older genealogical works it contains several errors, and even includes some spurious and apparently forged or fictitious parish records that incorrectly trace the origin of the Simon Hoyt family to "Upway" (Upwey), Dorsetshire. As Hoyt researcher Doug Sinclair explains:
In 1995 a researcher in England named Robin Bush looked in records there for evidence of Simon. One would have expected to find corroboration of the claim in David Hoyt's book that Simon married Deborah Stowers and had four children baptized in Upway (correct spelling "Upwey"), Dorsetshire. Instead it became apparent that marriage and baptism records have not been available for Upwey before 1654 since at least 1831. In any case they are not known to exist today and cannot be consulted. Robin Bush found records at West Hatch, Somersetshire, of the baptisms of four children of Simon Hoyt. Walter and Nicholas are among them and the immigrant Simon is known to have had sons with these names. The supposed Upwey family also had sons Walter and Nicholas. Further investigation into the background of Massachusetts Bay immigrant Nicholas Stowers, who supposedly lived near Upwey, might prove interesting. Bush says that the baptism dates for Walter and Nicholas correspond to the ages of Walter and Nicholas of MA/CT.
Unfortunately, as Doug Sinclair says, many Hoyt descendants have been misled by imaginary information in David W. Hoyt's book. "Many amateur genealogists have understandably taken such published information as fact and have republished it and have spread it across the internet. The body of knowledge of the Simon Hoyt family has suffered greatly from this," Sinclair writes. This account of the Hoyt-Haight genealogy is greatly indebted to the work of Hoyt researchers Doug Sinclair and John E. Hoyt. The other chief sources for this account include the Descendants of Simon Hoyt website, The Great Migration Begins, Lori Luke's Families of Early Ulster County, New York database, the Faella-McKiel Family Tree database, and the "Legends" genealogy website.
Even before evidence was discovered linking the Simon Hoyt family to Somersetshire, the prevailing belief had long been that this family came from the general area of the Cornish peninsula, which includes the counties of Somerset, Dorset, Devon, and Cornwall. The 1871 Hoyt Genealogy contains information on several English Hoyte families, including three Somersetshire families (from Seavington St. Mary, Curry Rivel, and Glastonbury) and some families in Devonshire and in Truro, Cornwall. The Simon Hoyt family is most likely a branch of the Seavington St. Mary Hoytes, from whom the later Curry Rivel Hoytes were descended.
Hoyt researcher John E. Hoyt has been involved in DNA testing as an aid in sorting out the ancestry of the various Hoyt families, and DNA tests have confirmed that the Cornwall Hoytes from Truro are unrelated to the Simon Hoyt family. Another Hoyt researcher, Patricia Monk Schofield, whose mother was a Hoyte, is a descendant of the Hoytes of Curry Rivel. Her mother's genealogy traces back to Thomas Hoyte the Younger, son of Thomas and Isabel Hoyte of Seavington St. Mary (see below). Simon Hoyt was likely a younger nephew of Thomas Hoyte the Younger, and at this time Patricia Schofield is looking for a male Hoyte cousin so a DNA test can be conducted to see if the Simon Hoyt family was indeed, as seems likely, a branch of the Seavington St. Mary/Curry Rivel family. Hopefully in the near future a Y-Chromosome test will be able to confirm this probable identification.
But in the meantime, Hoyt researcher John E. Hoyt reports that DNA testing has identified the Simon Hoyt family's "haplogroup" as E3b1c1 (E-M123/M34), a genetic marker that is rather rare not only in England but throughout Europe, but is more common in North Africa and the Near East. E3b1c1 occurs in Europe only at a rate of 1.7 percent, and in Europe is more usually found in places like Spain, Portugal, Sicily and Corsica. In Italy, E3b1c1 occurs at a frequency of 2 to 7 percent. In the Near East it has a frequency of 2 to 8 percent, and among Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews it appears at a rate of 10 to 12 percent. The M123 and M34 genetic mutations point to a link with Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Pakistan. These DNA results suggest that the Simon Hoyt family could be descended from ancient traders or merchants of African, Iberian, Carthaginian/Canaanite or even Jewish origin. In the distant past, migration and trade was common among the peoples of North Africa, Spain, Ireland, and Cornwall, so it could be that in the far off past the ancestors of the Simon Hoyt family were originally Celts with some Iberian or Carthaginian admixture. It is also possible that this family is descended from a Muslim or a Jew who converted to Christianity during the Middle Ages. But in the absence of historical records, we can do nothing more than guess at how, when, and why the Simon Hoyt family inherited genetic markers that point to places like Spain, Italy, North Africa, and the Near East.
In the 1871 Hoyt Genealogy (p.275), the earliest known record of a Hoyt family in England is associated with Somersetshire during the reign of King Henry V in the early 1400s:
At the residence of William W. Munckton, Coroner, of Curry Rivel, Somersetshire, the author was allowed to examine various old manuscripts collected by that gentleman. . . . . Mr. Munckton has since written that he has found in the court roll of Curry Rivel, 4 and 5 Henry V., 1417, and 1418, the name of John Hoyt, of Curry Rivel, who appears to have been a baker. This is the earliest mention of the name that we have yet been able to find.
It is probable that the Seavington St. Mary Hoytes were previously residents of Curry Rivel, which means this John Hoyt in the early 1400s is likely the earliest known ancestor of the Simon Hoyt family. (I do not know if any records of earlier English Hoyts have since been discovered.) Genealogical research in Curry Rivel is hindered by the fact that the parish register "does not run back of 1642, with the exception of one page of baptisms, dated 1637" (Hoyt Genealogy, p.275). From that point on, however, parish records show members of the Hoyte family of Curry Rivel through the late 1700s, after which the family moved away from and/or died out in Curry Rivel. One branch of this family moved to Ireland. "The Hoytes formerly held quite an amount of property in the parish," writes David W. Hoyt (p.276).
Another early historical record that mentions a Hoyt is found on pages 276-77 of the Hoyt Genealogy, where there is a discussion of the family of John Rocke Hoyte, born 1791, "a gentleman now living in Glastonbury, Somerset," who "stated he had always supposed his family and that of Curry Rivel to have a common ancestry; but he could find no proof."
"By an extract from an ancient document furnished by this gentleman, it appears that Thomas Hoyt was one of those who accompanied the Abbot of Glaston in a 'Progress made about the Liberty of the 12 Hydes of Glaston, in the County of Somerset,' on the 16th of July, 1503. It is worthy of notice that the spelling Hoyt is used in the two oldest records of the name yet discovered."
It is also noted on page 277 of the Hoyt Genealogy that in 1860, John George Lawrence Bulleid gave a lecture in 1860 at Glastonbury town hall, entitled, English Surnames, their origin and derivations, with especial reference to the names of the inhabitants of Glastonbury and neighboring parishes. In his lecture, Bulleid said, "Hoyte is one of our oldest families," and proposed an etymology of the surname "from Anglo-Saxon 'higt' [hight], hopeful, joyful, full of mirth." In support of that etymology, David W. Hoyt writes (p.276):
"There is now  no person bearing the surname of Hoyte living in Curry Rivel, though there are some descendants bearing other names. The old people of the parish say that the Hoytes were very much noted for ball playing, 'cudgel playing,' boxing, wrestling, and all athletic sports. Their fame is preserved by tradition, for stories of their strength, endurance, and love of manly sports are still current in the parish. This strikingly tends to confirm our hypothesis respecting the origin of the name."
On the contrary, it is all but impossible that local folklore current in the 1800s would have accurately preserved the memory of the character of a family living in the early 1400s. Such folklore would hearken back to the 1700s and possibly the 1600s, but not the 1400s or earlier when this family first acquired the surname of Hoyt. In any case, it is true that there is an archaic English word hoit, meaning a boisterous and foolish person, but it is unlikely that a family would adopt such an uncouth surname for themselves, and the earliest known Hoyt in Curry Rivel lived well before "hoit"="fool" seems to have become current in English. It is more likely that, as mentioned above, the surname comes from the Middle English word hoit, meaning a long stick, apparently used as an appellative or nickname for tall and slender men.
The Hoyt Genealogy's discussion of the Hoyt surname in England concludes with this comment on page 281:
"Rev. William Hoyte, of Ireland, and Rev. F. J. Hoyte, of England, both think that the ancestors of the American Hoyts may have been of the Somerset branch; and it seems quite probable that at least one of these ancestors may have been of that stock. Both also speak of a tradition that the English family is of German origin."
As it turns out, the American Hoyts did indeed come from Somerset, and may well be related to the Curry Rivel branch. As for the tradition of a German origin for the Hoyts, there is no basis for that apart from the fact that the English people originated mainly from the Anglo-Saxons, who were German tribes. One can say that the Hoytes were of "German" origin, but that would really be no more than to say that the Hoytes are English, which is to say nothing more than we know already. It is not impossible, of course, that certain English Hoyte families were founded by German immigrants to England during the late Middle Ages or Renaissance, but such would be unlikely in the case of the Seavington St. Mary/Curry Rivel Hoytes.
Even so, in some earlier publications (such as the Historical and Genealogical Record, Dutchess and Putnam Counties, New York, 1912) we find the claim that the Simon Hoyt family was not only of German descent, but was descended from German nobility. The story goes that the Hoyts (or Haights) were sprung from a certain Baron Johannes Von Haight, who was supposedly the Master of the Hunt in the Bohemian forests for the Holy Roman Emperor during the 1200s or 1300s A.D. Due to unspecified religious persecution, Baron Johannes Von Haight allegedly fled to Normandy and then to England. However, this remarkable story probably has no basis in fact, being the sort of "origin legend" that American and English families in the 1800s liked to invent about themselves. For one thing, as we have seen, the Simon Hoyt DNA certainly doesn't point to Germany. Also, the surname "Haight" seems to have arisen in America, and is not found in England during those earlier centuries. There is also no record of the Hoyt/Haight family ever being named "Von Haight" (or "de Hoyett" as it presumably would have appeared in English records). "Von" means "of" or "from," which suggests that Hoyt/Haight was supposedly a placename, something that was not the case. It is likely that there never was a German baron named Johannes von Haight.
1. THOMAS HOYTE of Seavington St. Mary, Somersetshire, England, born circa 1520, has been identified by English researcher Robin Bush and others as possible ancestor of the Simon Hoyt family. Simon Hoyt was the son of Michael Hoyte of South Petherton and West Hatch, Somersetshire. Seavington St. Mary is about nine miles from West Hatch and about two and a half miles from South Petherton, where Michael's daughter Thomasine was baptized. The name Michael is found among the children named in the 10 Nov. 1576 will of Thomas Hoyte and in the 1587 will of Thomas' wife ISABEL. Thomas' will mentions several of his grandchildren, but none by Michael, whereas Isabel's will does mention that Michael had children. That suggests that Michael began to have children in or about 1580. Hopefully further records pertaining to Thomas and Isabel, and to Michael and his children, will be located so this identification of Simon Hoyt's grandparents might be confirmed. The 1871 Hoyt Genealogy, p.274, describes the will of Thomas in this way:
"Two copies of the will of Thomas Hoyett, of 'Sevington Marye' (now Seavington St. Mary), county of Somerset, dated Nov. 10, 1576, are found at Wells. In it he mentions his wife Isabell; his sons, John, Roberte, Thomas the elder, Thomas the younger, Roger, and Michael; and his daughters, Mary and Christian, both of whom are unmarried. He also mentions his grandchildren, Joane or Johan, daughter of his son John; John, son of his son Thomas the elder; William, son of his son Thomas the younger; and Roger, son of his son Roger. He gives ground in [Kayles?] to his son Roger, and, besides disposing of sheep, cows, etc., gives silver spoons to most of the sons, and after their death to their children, as named above. He also makes a bequest to the poor and the church of that parish. Thomas Hoyett the elder was one of the two witnesses. In the probate record his name is spelled Hoite, and his relict, Isabelle Hoite, is appointed executrix."This brief description of the 1587 will of Isabel Hoyte is found on p.275 of the 1871 Hoyt Genealogy:
"The will of Isabell Hoyett, widow, of 'Sevington Mary,' dated April, 1587, is also found at Wells. In it she mentions nearly the same children as are given above, son John, children of Thomas Hoett the elder, children of Thomas Hoyett the younger, children of Roger Hoyett, children of Michael Hoett, etc."The known children of Thomas and Isabel Hoyte of Seavington St. Mary are:
-- JOHN HOYTE, born circa 1540. -- ROBERT HOYTE, born circa 1542, married Elizabeth (NN). -- THOMAS HOYTE the Elder, born circa 1552, md. Agnes King. -- THOMAS HOYTE the Younger, born circa 1554. -- ROGER HOYTE, born circa 1556, married Elizabeth (NN). 2. MICHAEL HOYTE, born perhaps about 1560 (?). -- MARY HOYTE, born circa 1558-1562. -- CHRISTIAN HOYTE, born circa 1560-1564. -- RICHARD HOYTE, born circa 1565. -- ANNE HOYTE, born circa 1570, married John Clark.
2. MICHAEL HOYTE, born perhaps about 1560 in England; died 29 Jan. 1623/24 in West Hatch, Somersetshire; is possibly the Michael Hoyte, son of Thomas and Isabel Hoyte of Seavington St. Mary, Somersetshire. Michael first appears in a Manor Court record dated 18 July 1599 that pertains to his occupation of rented land, apparently in West Hatch, Somersetshire. This document refers to "the customary rent and services and works of scouring and ditching the lords' rivers" connected with the tenancy of Michael Hoyte and his family. The record also names his children Richard, Simon, Anne, Thomasine ("Thamazine"), and Elizabeth. Another son, John, is mentioned in a Hundred Court record of 1620, which says the court ordered Richard Hoyt to bring his brother John to be sworn to the assize, something that was usually done when a boy reached the age of 12. Because the 1599 Manor Court record was the earliest appearance of this Hoyte family in this part of Somersetshire, English researcher Robin Bush believes they had only recently arrived in West Hatch, presumably from the area of Seavington St. Mary. Michael later occupied other properties and also served town offices. For example, from 1606 to 1620 he was a juryman and often foreman of the homage jury in the Hallimote Court and Manor Court. Hallimote Court records show that in 1612/13 Michael was a Reeve, or keeper of animals on behalf of the town. In 1613 he had five stray sheep in his custody. He was elected a "tythingman" or tax collector at West Hatch in 1614, but that year he also served as a Reeve, as records shown that he was holding a horse that was to be given to the lords as fee for someone's tenancy. In Hallimote Court records, Michael stated that in 1617 he surrended his 1599 rental lands to the use of his son Simon. Manor Court records say that Michael and Simon both served on the homage jury in 1619.
Michael's wife at the time of his death was probably AGNES, who was possibly the mother of most if not all of Michael's known children. The West Hatch Manor Court refers to Agnes as a widow who was holding a tenement of the same description as Michael's, and that she was to pay a fee to the lords in 1628 with Richard Hoyt, name of the oldest son of Michael, serving as one of her pledges. Daughters named Agnes were born to Simon and Richard Hoyt in West Hatch, perhaps named after Simon and Richard's probable mother. In any case, no marriage records have been found for Michael, and his wife is not named in the 1581/82 baptismal record of his daughter Thomasine. Robin Bush suggests that Michael's son John was born to a second wife about 1608, but it is also possible that John was born about 1603 or 1604 and that all of Michael's children were born of the same mother.
-- ANNE HOYT, born perhaps about 1580 (?). -- THOMASINE HOYT, baptised 1581/82 in South Petherton, Somersetshire. -- ELIZABETH HOYT -- RICHARD HOYT 3. SIMON HOYT, born circa 1593. -- JOHN HOYT, born circa 1603/4 or 1608 (?).
3. SIMON HOYT ("Hoyte"), son of Michael Hoyte, born circa 1593, probably in West Hatch, Somersetshire, England; died 1 Sept. 1657, Stamford, Connecticut. Simon married on 4 Nov. 1617 in Marshwood, Dorsetshire, England, to JANE STOODLIE, with whom he had five sons and one daughter, all born in West Hatch. An illegitimate child named Christopher Hoyt, identified in the West Hatch parish records as a "supposed son of Simon Hoyte," died and was buried in West Hatch in Aug. 1618. English researcher Robin Bush identifies Christopher as a child of Simon and Jane born before they were married. Jane apparently died in England circa 1627, and a few years later Simon remarried, either in England or in Massachusetts, where he had seven or eight more children. (Records ascribed to Mr. Rowland give the death in 1647 of a child of "Hoyte," but it is uncertain who that child might have been -- the child may have belonged to Simon's son Walter.) As for the place where the marriage of Simon Hoyt and Jane Stoodlie took place, Marshwood is about 10 miles from West Hatch, which is where all other relevant English documents place Simon Hoyt. According to Hoyt researcher Doug Sinclair, "Marshwood records reveal only that there were Stoodley (variously spelled) baptisms in the early 17th century, indicating that Jane's family probably was established in the area when she was married. John Stoodley was among the free tenants of Marshwood manor in 1626-41 and Walter "Stoodleigh" was a member of the homage jury for Whitchurch Hundred, near Marshwood, in 1626. Given the appearance of (the name) Walter among Simon's children, perhaps Walter Stoodleigh was Jane's father or brother." There was also a Stoodley family at Hawkchurch, Dorsetshire (now in Devonshire), with living descendants in America. Marshwood is within walking distance of Hawkchurch, so it is likely that Jane Stoodlie was related to the Hawkchurch Stoodleys.
The research of Robin Bush determined that Simon Hoyt "made default of the suit of court" in 1616, 1618 and twice in 1620. Michael Hoyte surrendered his 1599 rental lands to the use of his son Simon in 1617, according to Hallimote Court records. Manor Court records show that Michael and Simon were both on the homage jury in 1619 and again in 1620. While an homage juryman in 1619, says Doug Sinclair, "Simon acknowledged to his fellow jurymen and the court that he cut down six oak trees on his land and sold them outside the manor, which was against custom. On his father's pledge Simon paid a 20 shilling fine at the next meeting of the court." In addition, Robin Bush quotes Hallimote Court records showing that, "A view was taken between the land of Alexander Hearne called Barleidge and the land of Simon Hoyte called 'Long Medow.' It was found that the boundary was 'an old ditch.' Simon Hoyte was ordered to make a sufficient fence between his meadow called 'Long Medow' and the land of Walter Curry before 28 Oct. on pain of 5 s."
Account rolls for the manor tything of West Hatch mention Simon Hoyt's payments to the manor for new grants of tenements through 1631, but by 1632/33 his name had been crossed out and replaced by someone else's name. Simon had acquired two tenements in 1627/28, which would have been not long before he probably left England. As Doug Sinclair writes, if the immigrant Simon Hoyt of Massachusetts "is the same as West Hatch Simon, he would have signed away the properties when he was in either Charlestown or Dorchester, MA. He had become a freeman in 1631, so he may have felt sufficiently established in the Massachusetts Colony to undo his real estate ties in England." There is little doubt that West Hatch Simon is the immigrant Simon. It has been commonly reported that the Simon Hoyt family came over to Massachusetts on the ship "Abigail" in 1628. However, no ship passenger list is extant for that sailing of the Abigail, nor is there any evidence that the Hoyts were passengers on the Abigail in 1628. Simon Hoyt appears on a list (along with Nicholas Stowers and the Sprague family) of those who were the first settlers in Charlestown, Suffolk County, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The date given for the list, which appears in the town records, is 1628, but scholars are confident that the document was made somewhat later. Some if not most of the people on that list came over on the Higginson Fleet of ships, which sailed in the spring and summer of 1629, and it is likely that the Hoyt family, as well as the Spragues, arrived in that year on those ships. John E. Hoyt reports that Simon Hoyt and his family arrived on 25 April 1629 aboard the Lyon's Whelp from Graveshead, England, to Salem, Massachusetts.
The Simon Hoyt family apparently did not remain long in Charlestown. Simon's name is on the first list of "Names of such as tooke the Oath of Freemen" of Massachusetts Bay Colony, dated 18 May 1631. At that time he is presumed to have been in Dorchester, but the first record of Simon in that town does not appear for another two years. Doug Sinclair writes:
"On 3 April 1633 Dorchester town records state that a double-rail fence with mortices in the posts was ordered to be put up by the cow-owners of the town, 20 feet of length per cow. Simon's fencing was to be 40 feet. On 8 October of the same year he was appointed a fenceviewer for the 'east field.' On 6 January of the following year he was included in a division of 'marsh and swamp.' He was elected a fenceviewer for the 'north field' on 24 May 1634. On 2 June he was in another division of marsh and swamp, a parcel of about 8 acres on the north side of the 'neck.' On 10 February 1634/35 he was ordered to keep one bull with the heifers on the "neck of land," for which he was to be paid. This action surely was taken to make calves and that Simon was to oversee the process. The last mention of Simon as a Dorchester resident was on 17 February 1634 (or 1635?), when it was ordered that 'the lott of medow that was Symon Hoytes next to boston side Joyning to John Witchfield shall be devided betwixt Mr. Rodger Williams and Gyles Gibbes.'"
It was probably around March 1635 that Simon and his family moved to Scituate, Massachusetts. Simon and his second wife SUSANNAH joined the church there on 19 April 1635. He and Susannah probably married circa 1630, perhaps in England or perhaps in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Susannah's maiden name is unknown, and there is no evidence that her maiden name was Smith, as has previously been claimed. Dean's history of Scituate indicates that "Goodman Hoyt" was granted land in the "Greenfield" section of Scituate during the spring or early summer of 1635. A few years later, probably in 1639, Simon and his family left Massachusetts and settled in Windsor, Connecticut. In 1677 Matthew Grant recorded that there were two children born to Simon in Windsor. Groups of settlers from Massachusetts Bay, including a party headed by Rev. Huit, are known to have gone to Windsor in 1639, and the Hoyts may have been in Rev. Huit's party. In any case, Simon was certainly in Windsor by 7 May 1640, when the Particular Court of Connecticut ordered that "Simon Hoyette and his family are to be freed fro watch & ward until there be further Order taken by the Courte." In Windsor, Simon was granted 80 acres of upland and meadow and the same amount on the north side of the "rivulet" (probably the Farmington River), with 30 of those acres on the north side designated for his son Walter. Simon's land became known as Hoyt's Meadow, and it was far enough away from the main settlement -- called "the Palisado" -- that Simon and Walter were excused from guard duty ("watch and ward"). A record of Jan. 1659/60 says Simon, by then deceased, had a "long seat" in the Windsor Church for which he had paid a pew rental of 6 shillings.
After living at Windsor for a few years, Simon and his family moved to Fairfield, Connecticut. It is supposed that Simon sold his homestead lot in Hoyt's Meadow in 1646. An inventory for the town of Fairfield dated 6 March 1648 (or 1649?) says that Simon owned a house lot and two and half acres bordering the common in Fairfield; 5 acres at "Sascoe Neck" on "Hoit's Island," and land purchased from John Green. Simon may have bought some of his Fairfield land around the time that he sold his Windsor land, and therefore probably moved in 1646. His final move was to Stamford, Connecticut, where his death is recorded as having occurred on the first day of the seventh month in 1657, which translates to 1 Sept. 1657. An inventory of his estate was taken on 9 Oct. 1657. His widow Susannah later remarried, probably to ROBERT BATES of Stamford, Connecticut. She died sometime before 1 Feb. 1674, on which date her children came to an agreement regarding the distribution of her estate -- in that agreement she is referred to as "our deceased mother Susanna Bates."
The known and putative children of Simon Hoyt and his two wives are:
-- CHRISTOPHER HOYT, buried 22 Aug. 1618 in West Hatch. 4A. WALTER HOYT, baptised 29 or 30 Nov. 1618. -- NICHOLAS HOYT, baptised 7 May 1620. -- ALEXANDER HOYT, baptised 28 Dec. 1623. 4B. JOHN HOYT, born perhaps circa 1625 in West Hatch. -- AGNES HOYT, baptised 18 Oct. 1626 in West Hatch. -- MARY HOYT, born circa 1630 in Charlestown, Mass., md. Thomas Lyon. -- MOSES HOYT, born circa 1634, married Elizabeth (NN). -- JOSHUA HOYT, born circa 1639, married Mary (Bell?). -- MIRIAM HOYT, born circa 1641, married Samuel Firman (Forman?). -- SAMUEL HOYT, born circa 1643, married twice. -- BENJAMIN HOYT, born 2 Feb. 1643/44, married Hannah Weed. -- SARAH HOYT, born circa 1646, married Samuel Finch. ?? (NN) HOYT, a stillborn child, born circa 1647.
NOTE: As mentioned above, our Hoyt ancestry traces back to two of the sons of Simon Hoyt -- Walter and John. Our descent from Walter, Line A, passes through two sisters; but the descent from John, Line B, proceeds through five generations in the male line until it terminates with a daughter who married her fifth cousin once removed, a man who was descended from Walter through the two sisters in Line A. This account continues with the descent from Walter down to the two sisters, after which the descent from John will be traced. (See also Connecticut Intermarriages.)
4A. WALTER HOYT, son of Simon and Jane Hoyt, baptised 29 or 30 Nov. 1618 in West Hatch, Somersetshire, England; died in Norwalk, Fairfield County, Connecticut, probably in late February or early March 1699. Three signatures of Walter are extant, showing that he spelled his name "Waltar Hoyte." Walter came to Massachusetts with his father and siblings in 1629. His mother Jane most likely had died by that time, and the family may also have sailed with his stepmother Susannah, unless Simon and Susannah married within a year of the Hoyt family's arrival in Charlestown. Walter probably came of age in Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut, and it was probably there, circa 1641, that he married his first wife, (NN). (She was not Elizabeth St. John as claimed in earlier writings on this family.) Walter had two daughters and one son from his first marriage. He married secondly circa 1651 in Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut, to RHODA, widow of John Taylor, most likely the Rhoda Tinker who was baptised 16 June 1611 in New Windsor, Berkshire, England, daughter of Robert Tinker and Mary Merwin. In the will of Mathias St. John ("Sention") of Norwalk, who was the same generation as Walter, there is a reference to his "brother and sister Hoyt," and the most probable interpretation of that reference is that Mathias' wife Mary Tinker was the sister of Rhoda, wife of Walter Hoyt. Walter's wife Rhoda died Nov. 1694 in Norwalk, Fairfield County, Connecticut. She and Walter had a son and, some say, a daughter.
Hoyt researcher Doug Sinclair is very skeptical about the marriage of Walter and Rhoda, but gives the mistaken impression that published genealogies had claimed that Rhoda was Walter's first or only wife and mother of all of his children. Sinclair is correct that it would be extremely unlikely that the widow Rhoda would be Walter's first or only wife. But The Great Migration Begins (1995) and Descendants of Simon Hoyt show Walter with two wives, the first being of unknown name, and the second being Rhoda Tinker Hobbs Taylor. The sources cited in support of the marriage of Walter and Rhoda are The American Genealogist (1991) 66:217-18; New England Historical and Genealogical Register (1995) 149:412-13; and Donald Lines Jacobus' old 1930 History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield 1:295. Jacobus' work is not current, but the TAG and NEHGR articles are recent, and both of those journals have very high standards of scholarship. Sinclair's arguments do not address the article in The American Genealogist, and in any case they are not pertinent to the way Walter's marriages have been presented in The Great Migration Begins and other published sources, but only address an unlikely scenario in which Rhoda was Walter's first or only wife. Responding to Sinclair's skepticism, Mary Stewart Kyritsis opined on 6 Oct. 2002, "I think it's clear enough that Rhoda (--) Taylor married Walter, it's the Tinker bit that's speculation at its best." Speaking of Douglas Richardson's article in NEHGR 149, Kyritsis comments, "Henry Hoff, at that time still with [The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society], but who is now the Editor of the Register, is a demon when it comes to sources and he is given special thanks by the author of this piece (note on p. 401). . . (but) I wonder how much of that Henry Hoff actually vetted." In light of these considerations, unless better arguments to the contrary are advanced, the marriage of Walter and Rhoda should be accepted.
Thirty acres in Windsor, Connecticut, were set aside for Walter from his father's grant on 28 Feb. 1640/41. Early Windsor land records describe Walter's grant as, "yt lyes neere the falls in the rivulett [probably the Farmington River]; it is in length from the river back a hundred and twenty rodd, in breadth a hundred twenty six rodd, bounded every way by the Common." Walter is also supposed to have purchased a house lot in Backer Row in "the Palisado," the fortified heart of the settlement of Windsor. His brother Nicholas also lived there. Other early records describe other Windsor land transactions involving Walter Hoyt, such as:
"Walter Hoyt hath Granted from the Plantation of Land, threescore and four acres more or Less, in bredth seventy-three, in Length a Hundred and forty, Bounded East by Nicholas Hoyt, West and North by the Commons, and South by the Rivulett; Also fifty acres more or Less, opposite John Tinkers farm, Bounded North and East by the Land of Nicholas Hoyt, Southeast by the Land of William Thrall, and South by the Rivulett; also Ten acres of Land, in bredth Twenty Rod, in Length four score, Bounded west by Nicolas Hoyt, North by Richard Willer, & South by William Thrall."and:
"John Denslow hath by Purchas of Walter Hoyt, a homelott and house with all the appurtenances and Common Priviledges pertaining thereto, Twelve acres more or Less, which formerly was Elias Parkmans, the bredth is fourteen rod and half, Bound North by Nicholas Hoyt, South by a way in part, and William Hofford the other part, West by the wood Lott of John Mason, East by the Sreet."
Walter moved to Norwalk, Connecticut, by 18 Dec. 1653, at which time he and Ralph Keeler entered into an agreement with the town to build or oversee the construction of a house for Rev. Hanford. On 29 March 1655, he and Ralph Keeler were chosen fenceviewers "to worke the fence." On 22 May 1655 Walter, Matthias St. John ("Sention") and Matthias' brother Mark were reported to have driven the "dry" herd of cows to "Rooton" and were to receive 6 pence "a turne." In the same year he is listed among the landowners of Norwalk, with a property value probably around 100 to 110 pounds. He was chosen a deputy to the General Court of Connecticut in 1658/59, 1661, and 1667, and he is also reported to have served as a selectman. At the General Court of Election at Hartford confirmed Walter as a sergeant in Norwalk's local militia on 19 May 1659. Norwalk town records show that on 24 July 1665 "Walter Haite" agreed to "beate the drumm for meetings when all occasions required," for which service he was paid 10 shillings. He performed that duty again on 21 Feb. 1670. Walter's estate continued to grow in size and value during his years at Norwalk, being valued at 192 pounds in 1670. He made out a written will on 11 Feb. 1675/76, when he was about 78 years old, about 20 years before his death. Walter was one of the signatories of the Norwalk charter of 8 July 1686. The following year, he is listed among the men having "estates of commonage," with an estated valued at 242 pounds. The exact location of his residence is not known, but it is said to have been in the old village of Norwalk, in the area that is now East Norwalk, on land east of the cemetery and bordering in part on the harbor.
The date of Walter's death is unknown, but on 13 Aug. 1695 he was involved in a confirmation of property ownership with Samuel Camfield. An inventory of his estate was taken after his death, and the date on the inventory is given as "Jenewairy the 10: 1698," which probably translates to 10 March 1699. That would indicate that Walter died in late February or early March 1699. Doug Sinclair writes, "Walter's will bequeaths his land to John and Zerubbabel, and his inventory indicates that he had no other assets to speak of, material or financial, to give to daughters or their children." In Matthew Grant's 1677 list of heads of households in Windsor in this early period, Walter is said to have had three children born in Windsor. Records ascribed to Mr. Rowland give the death in 1647 of a child of "Hoyte," but it is uncertain who that child might have been (see possible stillborn child of Simon Hoyt above). Walter certainly had four, and perhaps five, children:
-- ELIZABETH HOYT, born circa 1643, md. Samuel St. John ("Sention"). -- JOHN HOYT, born 13 July 1644 in Windsor, Connecticut. -- HANNAH HOYT, born circa 1645, married Judah Gregory. ?? RHODA HOYT, born and died young in Windsor, Connecticut. 5A. ZERUBBABEL HOYT, born circa 1649 or 1652 in Windsor or Norwalk.
5A. Deacon ZERUBBABEL HOYT, son of Walter Hoyt; born circa 1649 in Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut, or circa 1652 in Norwalk, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; died before 25 Jan. 1738/39 at Clapboard Hill, Norwalk, Connecticut. It is uncertain which of Walter Hoyt's wives was the mother of Zerubbabel. He may have been the son of Walter's first wife whose name is unknown, in which case he would have been born circa 1649 in Windsor; but he could likely have been the son of Walter's second wife Rhoda (which would account for Zerubbabel naming a daughter Rhoda), in which case he would have been born circa 1652 in Norwalk. Zerubbabel married at least twice and possibly three times. The name of his first wife (or first two wives?) is unknown, but it could have been Hannah, as Zerubbabel named one of his daughters Hannah (our ancestress). An early history of Norwalk is apparently the source of the widespread belief that Zerubbabel's first wife was Hannah Knapp, but no source is cited for that claim and there is no actual evidence to support it. Hannah Knapp is last mentioned in her father's will on 15 April 1670, at which time she was still unmarried. Zerubbabel's first wife was probably born in the early 1650's, and they probably married in the early 1670's. Zerubbabel's second (or third?) wife, whom he apparently married in Norwalk about May 1720, was MEHITABEL ROCKWELL, widow of John Keeler and daughter of John and Elizabeth Rockwell. Zerubbabel and Mehitabel had no children together -- all six of Zerubbabel's children were born in Norwalk of his first marriage (or first two marriages). Some of Mehitabel's Keeler children intermarried with the children and grandchildren of their stepfather Zerubbabel. Those were the first of numerous tangled intermarriages among the Connecticut families of Hoyt/Haight, Whitney, Keeler, Rockwell, Benedict, and Riggs.
Hoyt researcher Doug Sinclair has compiled a number of historical references to Zerubbabel in original Norwalk documents. For example, the records of a Norwalk town meeting on 28 Dec. 1680 state, "Zerubbabel Hoyt hath undertaken to beate ye drumme for publick meetings, and also for such stray horses as are brought on to be sold, for which he is to have fourteen shillings." In 1686 he was chosen for this service again, in addition to sweeping the meeting house. As noted above, his father Walter had previously served as drummer to summon people to town meetings. Later, after a belfry was built on the meeting house in 1709, Zerubbabel was responsible for ringing the bell every night. Records state that in Dec. 1713, "Ye town grants to Zorubabbel Hoyt twenty six shillings in pay or two thirds money for his ringing ye bell at nine-o'clock at night for ye yeare ensueing sd. [said] engages [agrees] to perform ye same."
In those early times, much of New England was still wilderness, and wolves would be regularly caught in wolf-pits and killed to protect the colonists' livestock. In Dec. 1701, the Town of Norwalk paid Zerubbabel 5 shillings for half a wolf. ("One wonders under what circumstances a person would bring in only half a wolf," Doug Sinclair comments, adding, "Some men brought in even less portions of wolves.") Also in Dec. 1701, Zerubbabel was paid 18 pence for "burning the islands," presumably to assist in the maintenance of farmland. He was also chosen to be a hogward "for to pound [i.e. impound] all swine that are on the comons of the towne after the 1st of March next ensueing: not sufficiently yoked and ringed."
He was on a nine-person committee chosen by the General Court of Connecticut in May 1697 "to purchase of the Indians a certain tract of land lying about fourteen miles northward of the Town of Norwalk to settle a plantation there." A few years later, he served on a committee that assigned seating in the meeting house, "they to have respect to age, quality, and the estates of persons in the publique list," and another that created a cemetery for the residents on the west side of the Norwalk River with John Benedict, Sr. That cemetery was likely what is now known as Pine Island Cemetery, where John Benedict, Sr., is known to have been buried.
In 1687, Zerubbabel's "estate of commonage" was valued at 50 pounds. He purchased various pieces of property in Norwalk between 1692 and 1717. In 1700 and 1710, the Town of Norwalk granted him land at Canoe Hill in what is now New Canaan. He gave much of that land to his sons before he died. There is no record of his death nor probate records of his estate. Doug Sinclair writes:
"He was certainly the Deacon Zerubbabel Hoyt who purchased land from Ebenezer St. John in April 1717, and part of that same transaction seems to appear again in a deed in January 1722/23. Zerubbabel's second or third wife was Mehitabel Rockwell, whose first husband was John Keeler. Although there isn't a record of the marriage, John's heirs deeded land to their mother in January of 1724/25, and she is referred to as the wife of Deacon Zerubbabel -- Zerubbabel is not referred to as deceased. His grandson Zerubbabel was 21 at that time, so differentiating between the two men needs further consideration. However, the 1723 deed very likely involved the elder Zerubbabel. It was very likely the younger man who bought land from Joseph Hitchcock in 1733. The elder Zerubbabel was certainly dead by 25 January 1738/39, when an agreement among his heirs was reached regarding his land holdings."
Six children of Zerubbabel are known, all born of his first wife (or first two wives, if he married three times rather than two times). It isn't known whether or not Abigail was his firstborn child, but she is the earliest recorded child of Zerubabbel.
-- ABIGAIL HAIGHT, born 2 Feb. 1675/76, married John Ferris. -- JOSEPH HOYT, born 1676 (?), married Sarah Pickett. -- DANIEL HOYT, born 1 Jan. 1680/81, married twice. 6A. HANNAH HOYT, born circa 1684. -- CALEB HOYT, born circa 1686, married Mehitable Keeler. -- RHODA HOYT, born circa 1689, married John Keeler, Jr.
6A. HANNAH HOYT, daughter of Deacon Zerubbabel Hoyt, born circa 1684 in Norwalk, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; died about 1740 in Norwalk, Fairfield Co., Connecticut. Hannah married on 6 July 1704 in Norwalk to JOSEPH WHITNEY, born 1 March 1679 in Norwalk, Connecticut; died 1741 in Norwalk, Connecticut; son of John and Elizabeth Whitney. Hannah and Joseph had seven children, all born in Norwalk:
-- HEZEKIAH WHITNEY, born 10 April 1705, md. Margaret Harris. -- HANNAH WHITNEY, born 5 Nov. 1707, married DANIEL KEELER. -- JOSEPH WHITNEY, born 6 Dec. 1710, married Mary Coit. -- THANKFUL WHITNEY, born 1 March 1713/4, md. Ebenezer Benedict. -- ELIZABETH WHITNEY, born 1717, married MILES RIGGS. -- DAVID WHITNEY, born 24 June 1721, md. Elizabeth Hyatt. -- ABRAHAM WHITNEY, born 23 Feb. 1724, md. Anne Plumb.
NOTE: Here we conclude the account of Hoyt Line A. The sisters Hannah Whitney and Elizabeth Whitney, daughters of Joseph Whitney and Hannah Hoyt, were the mothers (respectively) of Mary Keeler and Joseph Riggs, who married 4 Aug. 1761 in New Canaan, Connecticut. Our line of descent is traced from Joseph Riggs and Mary Keeler, as shown in The Riggs Genealogy. We now turn to Hoyt Line B, the descent from Simon Hoyt's younger son John.
4B. JOHN HOYT, son of Simon and Jane Hoyt, born in West Hatch, Somersetshire, England, perhaps circa 1625; died in late August or early September of 1684 in Rye, Westchester County, Connecticut (now New York). John's name first appears in the colonial records of Connecticut as a resident of Fairfield in 1650, 1651, and 1664. He is mentioned in the Fairfield town records in the boundaries of land in 1656, 1658, 1660, 1661, etc. A document dated 24 Jan. 1683 records Peter Clapham's purchase from "John Hoit" of a parcel of land containing 21 acres, "being his home lot in Fairfeild, with his dwelling house and barn." Presumably the actual purchase had taken place in 1665, since John Hoyt left Fairfield in 1665 and moved to Eastchester, Westchester County, New York. The Historical and Genealogical Record, Dutchess and Putnam Counties, New York, 1912 - Part 2, says John "lived for some years in Fairfield County, Conn., and in 1665, removed with his family to Westchester County, N.Y., purchasing a large strip of land from Thomas Pell, whose name is perpetuated in the naming of the town of Pelham in Westchester County" (pp.452-453).
"John Hoitt" signed third on the list of the original articles of a 1665 agreement between the inhabitants of Eastchester in 1665. His name also was among the patentees of Eastchester in 1666. "John hoyte" was a witness to the signature of MOSES HOYTE (John's brother) in a 1666 document relating to the settlement of his father's estate, recorded at Stamford, Connecticut. At the "Commanders and Honorable Council of War" that was held 30 Aug. 1673, "John Hoit" was elected magistrate for the hamlet of Eastchester. From Eastchester, John moved to Rye, Westchester County, New York, in March 1675/6. In 1682, there is a reference to land in Eastchester that was "formerly of John Hoite." John appears in the Rye records as early as 1678, when he was living "on Apawamis, Budd's or Rye neck, probably toward the southern end of the neck."
John married on 14 Oct. 1658 (or circa 1659) in Fairfield, Connecticut, to MARY ELIZABETH BRUNDAGE, widow of Francis Purdy who had died in 1658. Mary, daughter of John and Rachel Brundage, was born 10 Dec. 1628 in St. Mary-at-the-Elm, Ipswich, Suffolk County, England, and died after 1710 in Rye, Westchester County. Mary may have been John's second wife, since it is unlikely (though not impossible, of course) that he had remained unmarried until he was in his 30s, and some genealogists think it is probable that John's daughters MARY HOYT and RACHEL HOYT were born of John's putative first wife. For example, Donald Lines Jacobus in his "History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield ," 1930-1932, vol I., p.294, says John "Married (2) at Fairfield abt. 1659, Mary, widow of Francis Purdy, and dau. of John Brundish." Again, Martha J. Burke in her Townsends: Dutchess County, New York, Part II, iv, says (emphasis added):
JOHN, b. say 1625; m. (1) by about 1650 _____ _____; m. (2) about 1659 Mary (Brundish) Purdy, widow of Francis Purdy. (John Hoyt's daughters, Mary, who probably married Hachaliah Brown, and Rachel, who married John Horton [not Norton], were apparently born in the early 1650s, as they married men born in the 1640s; we know that the widow of Francis Purdy had married John Hoyt because her daughter-in-law, Elizabeth (Brown) Purdy, in 1678 asked that "my father John Hoit and my brother Thomas Browne might stand overseers, or my brother Hacaliah Browne," but Francis Purdy died in 1658 [FOOF 1:495-96].).
It does seem more probable that John's daughters Mary and Rachel were born at least a few years before John's marriage to Mary Brundage Purdy. Besides the two daughters, John is also known to have had two sons, JOHN HOYT and SIMON HOYT, who judging from their apparent ages must have been born of John's marriage with Mary Brundage Purdy.
It is perhaps unsurprising that there are conflicting accounts of the number and names of John Hoyt's children. Some of that conflict stems from earlier genealogists' confusion of our John Hoyt, of Fairfield, Connecticut, who died in 1684 in Rye, Westchester County, Connecticut (now New York), with Sgt. John Hoyt of Salisbury, Massachusetts, who died 28 Feb. 1688 in Amesbury, Essex County, Massachusetts. These same-named colonists lived and died around the same time, but lived in different places, married different women, and had different children. (In addition, DNA testing has established that Sgt. John Hoyt of Sailsbury was not related to the Simon Hoyt family of which John Hoyt of Fairfield was a member.)
Thus, in the Historical and Genealogical Record, Dutchess and Putnam Counties, New York, 1912 - Part 2, pp.452-453, it says, "John Haight married Mary, daughter of John Budd (sic), and their children were: Samuel, Mary, Rachel, John and Simon." Again, in Donald Lines Jacobus' History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield, 1930-1932, vol I., p.294, John's children are listed as Samuel, Mary, m. [Hachaliah?] Brown, Rachel, m. ---- Norton, John, and Simon. This enumeration of John's children is derived from John's will, which explicitly names Mary, Rachel, John, and Simon as John's children. His will also appoints a SAMUEL HOYT as one of the overseers of his estate, and it seems that some earlier writers presumed that Samuel was another son of John. However, the will does not describe Samuel as one of John's children, nor was Samuel given any portion of John's estate, so almost certainly he was not John's son, but rather was a close relative.
In comparison, the Faella/McKiel Family Tree database names but four children, Rachel (born 1662), John (born 1665), Walter, and Simon (born 1669) -- omitting John's daughter Mary and including a son named Walter. Presumably that Walter is the WALTER HOYT who witnessed John's will, but of course that was John's older brother, not one of his sons. Lorraine Luke's Ulster County, New York Genealogies database names just two children, a daughter Mary (born circa 1645 -- a speculative date that is almost certainly too early) and a son John (born circa 1664). The Martine's Genealogy website mixes in a few of the children of Sgt. John Hoyt of Salisbury, naming six children of John and Mary: Rachel (born 1662), Thomas (born 1662), Sarah (born 1663), Frances (born 1664), John (born 1665), and Simon (born 1669). "The Pumpkin's Roots" website lists four children: Samuel, Rachel, John, and Simon. Susan's Family Genealogy lists the same four children in a slightly different order and with these dates of birth: Rachel (born circa 1660), Samuel (born before 1663), John Jr. (born 1664), and Simon (born between 1665 and 1680). Finally, in an email of 15 July 2001, Judith Herbert says John and Mary had only a daughter, Rachel, and two sons, John (born circa 1664) and Simon. Rachel, John, and Simon were undoubtedly children of John Hoyt, who also had a daughter named Mary, but it is at best uncertain that any of the other children named in these various sources were really theirs (and certainly Thomas, Sarah, and Frances were not).
John made his will on 29 August 1684 at Rye, Westchester County, New York. The text of the will is as follows (emphasis added):
THE last will and Testament of John Hoit of Rye who Committs his body to the Grave and his spirit to God who Gave itt and for my outward substance which God of his goodness hath Given me I dispose of as ffolloweth FIRST I will and bequeathe unto my Loveing wife Mary Hoit On third parte of all my moveables she to have Her choice of them and my house and orchard and four acres of Land Lyeing below the Orchard and on acre of Salt Meadow Iyeing by the bridge this abovemenconed house orchard & lands I give to my wife dureing her life and then to Returne to my two youngest sons John Hoitt and Simon Hoit and if my wife Remain a widdow and need Require I Give her full power to sell some of this said Land for her Comfort ALSOE, I doe will and bequeath unto my two sons John Hoit and Simon Hoit all my Lands and Right In Lands In Rye their mothers Right only Excepted ALSOE I doe will and bequeath Unto my two daughters Mary Brown and Rachell Norton the two thirds of all my moveables Each of them One third Only the abovesaid Rachell Norton hath Receaved Six pownds which six pounds Is to bee discounted of of her third part and an Equall distribution to bee made between them and for my depts I order to bee paid out of the moveables FURTHERMORE It is my will if Either of my two youngest sons John or Simon should dye In their nonage the surviveing to have all the Lands. * I appoynt my Loveing wife to be my sole Executrix of this my will and Joshua Hoit and Sam'. Hoitt and John Bondig overseers. John Hoit [seal] * Signed and sealed In the presence of Us. Walter Hoitt, Thomas Betts senr.
It should be noted that, as mentioned above, John's daughter Rachel was married to a man named Horton, not Norton. John's will misspells his son-in-law's surname.
John died not many days after making his will, as his will inventory is dated 15 Sept. 1684. The inventory of John's estate lists about 80 items, including articles of clothing, household goods, tools, furniture, eight books (including a "Commentary on the Revelation" and "Christian's Watchfulness"), as well as horses and cattle. His brother, "Moses Hoyett" was a witness to the signing of the bond by his wife, Mary Hoyt.
The known children of John Hoyt are:
-- MARY HOYT, born circa 1652, or born 1660, md. Hachaliah Brown -- RACHEL HOYT, born circa 1654, or born 1662, md. John Horton. 5B. JOHN HOYT (John Haight) -- SIMON HOYT, born 1669.
5B. JOHN HOYT (John Haight), son of John and Mary Hoyt, born 1664 or 1665 in East Chester, Westchester County, New York (others say he was born in Fairfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut); died Feb. 1722 (others say he died 1723, others 1727, still others between 1723 and 1726) in Rye, Westchester County, New York. John married circa 1683 in Rye, Westchester County, to ELIZABETH SHERWOOD, born circa 1668 in Stratford, Fairfield County, Connecticut; died in Rye, Westchester County, New York. Earlier sources incorrectly identify John's wife as Elizabeth "Purdy," daughter of Daniel Purdy, but Daniel died young and could not have had any children, and other researchers identify Elizabeth as a member of the Sherwood family. The Historical and Genealogical Record, Dutchess and Putnam Counties, New York, 1912 - Part 2, page 453, provides this biography of John Haight:
"John Haight, fourth child of John and Mary Haight, was born in East Chester, N.Y., in 1665. He took an active part in the public affairs in Westchester County and in 1696 was chosen town clerk of Rye, N.Y. He served as constable in 1702, and as Supervisor in 1711. He was elected member of Assembly in 1712, and re-elected in the years '13, '14 and '15. He subsequently was re-elected town Supervisor, and in 1719 was chosen church warden of Grace church at Rye, N.Y. In 1712 he obtained from King George II Royal Letters of Patent to the Charter of White Plains. He married Elizabeth Purdy (sic), daughter of Daniel Purdy (sic), who also had received letters patent to some 1500 acres in Westchester County."
John and Elizabeth Haight had five sons and three daughters:
-- JOHN HAIGHT -- SAMUEL HAIGHT -- JONATHAN HAIGHT -- JOSEPH HAIGHT 6B. DANIEL HAIGHT, born circa 1688. -- ELIZABETH HAIGHT -- EUNICE HAIGHT, born circa 1706, md. Joseph Close Jr. -- MARY HAIGHT
6B. DANIEL HAIGHT, son of John and Elizabeth Haight, born circa 1688 in Rye, Westchester County, New York; died 1772 in Yorktown, Westchester County, New York. He married in 1718 to ELIZABETH NORTON, born 29 Sept. 1687 (or circa 1690), daughter of Joseph Norton. The Historical and Genealogical Record, Dutchess and Putnam Counties, New York, 1912 - Part 2, page 453, provides this biography of Daniel Haight:
"Daniel Haight, fifth child of John and Elizabeth Haight, was born at Rye, N.Y., in 1688, and died at Yorktown, N.Y., in 1772. He purchased in 1748 a tract of land on the water lot of the Philips patent in what was at that time a part of Dutchess County. He married in 1718 Elizabeth, daughter of Joseph Norton, and had nine children . . . ."
The nine children of Daniel and Elizabeth are as follows:
7B. JOSEPH HAIGHT, born circa 1709-1719. -- JAMES HAIGHT -- WILLIAM HAIGHT -- DANIEL HAIGHT -- JONATHAN HAIGHT -- RACHEL HAIGHT -- JEMIMAH HAIGHT -- ELIZABETH HAIGHT -- CHARITY HAIGHT
7B. JOSEPH HAIGHT, son of Daniel and Elizabeth Haight, born circa 1709, or circa 1712-1719, in Yorktown, Westchester County, New York; died 30 July 1776 in Highland, Dutchess County, New York. He married HANNAH WRIGHT, born circa 1712, died 30 July 1776 in Dutchess County, New York, daughter of John and Sarah Wright of Yorktown. The Faella/McKiel Family Tree database provides the following biographical details about Joseph and Hannah:
"In 1751, Joseph and his wife Hannah Wright moved from Rye to Phillipstown (Putnam County, New York) and erected a log house by the old Indian path on the west side of Clove Creek. In 1765, he built the first frame house on the east side of the creek, all of the material being made on the farm. The farm contained a saw mill and a carpenter shop. Joseph and two of his sons were carpenters. Joseph and his wife Hannah died of smallpox on the same day, an hour and forty-eight minutes apart."
In addition, the Historical and Genealogical Record, Dutchess and Putnam Counties, New York, 1912 - Part 2, pages 403, 453-454, provides these biographical notes regarding Joseph Haight:
"Joseph, in 1751, came to Philipstown, Putnam county, and erected a log house by the old Indian path on the west side of Clove creek. In 1765 he built from materials made on the farm, in the saw mill, blacksmith and carpenter shop, the first frame house erected on the east side of Clove creek. Joseph was the progenitor of the Haight families of Putnam and Dutchess counties. He was born in 1719 and married Hannah Wright, and had twelve children of whom the eighth, Beverly, born 1763, married Charity Hustis, and had eight children the third of whom, Joshua, was Albert Haight's grandfather."
"Joseph Haight, the eldest son, who continues this line, was born at Yorktown, Westchester County in 1719, and died at Philipstown (sic), in what is now Putnam County, N.Y., July 30, 1776. He removed from Rye, N.Y., to Philipstown in 1751, where he occupied a strip of land given to him by his father in 1750. He was a carpenter by trade and built the first frame house on the east side of Clove Creek, obtaining all the lumber from his farm. He married Hannah, daughter of John Wright of Yorktown, N. Y. . . . ."
Joseph and Hannah had the following children:
-- DANIEL HAIGHT, born 1732 in the Highlands area of Dutchess Co. -- MARY HAIGHT, born circa 1739/40, md. Justus Nelson -- CAPT. JOHN HAIGHT, born 18 Aug. 1743 in Rye, N.Y. -- JOSEPH HAIGHT -- SYLVANUS HAIGHT -- STEPHEN HAIGHT -- WILLIAM HAIGHT, born circa 1751 in Philipstown, N.Y. 8B. BEVERLY HAIGHT, born circa 1763 in Brinkerhoffville, N.Y. -- HANNAH HAIGHT -- PHEBE HAIGHT, born in Philipstown, md. Col. Zebrilou Butler -- ESTHER HAIGHT, born in Philipstown, N.Y. -- MARTHA HAIGHT, twin sister of Esther, married John McKeel.
8B. BEVERLY HAIGHT, son of Joseph and Hannah Haight, born circa 1763 at Brinkerhoffville in Fishkill, Dutchess County, New York. On 4 Feb. 1789 in Putnam County, N.Y., Beverly married CHARITY ROGERS, daughter of John and Hester Rogers, widow of CALEB HUESTIS. Charity was born in Continentville, Putnam County, and died in Putnam County, being buried in North Highland, Putnam County. Earlier writers mistakenly identified her as a member of the Huestis (Hustis, Husted) family. For example, the Historical and Genealogical Record, Dutchess and Putnam Counties, New York, 1912 - Part 2, page 454, calls her "Charity daughter of Joseph and Sarah [Larrabee] Hustis." Beverly and his wife Charity lived at Fishkill, where they had eight children:
9B. ELIZABETH HAIGHT, born 5 Jan. 1790. -- JOSEPH HAIGHT -- JOSHUA HAIGHT -- MARY HAIGHT -- DAVID HAIGHT -- ESTHER HAIGHT -- BEVERLY HAIGHT JR., born 30 March 1802 in Fishkill. -- JOHN HAIGHT
9B. ELIZABETH HAIGHT, daughter of Beverly and Charity Haight, born 5 Jan. 1790 in Fishkill, Dutchess County, New York; died at Fishkill Landing on 13 Dec. 1849; buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery, Matteawan, New York. On 16 Jan. 1811 in Fishkill, Elizabeth married SAMUEL RIGGS, a teacher, born 20 May 1785 in Ridgefield, Connecticut; died 2 Feb. 1834 in St. Andrew's, New York; buried at the church of Berea, about two miles from St. Andrew's; son of Daniel and Susanna Riggs. Through Samuel's Whitney and Hoyt ancestors, Samuel was Elizabeth's fifth cousin once removed. Samuel and Elizabeth settled in Philipstown, New York, near the north line, on the road leading from Cold Spring Landing to Fishkill Village, where the division of the county in 1812 left them in the new county of Putnam. Their nine children were born in Philipstown, but in 1830 they moved to St. Andrew's where Samuel died.
-- DANIEL RIGGS, born 23 Dec. 1811, md. Hannah Nelson. -- DAVID RIGGS, born 3 Nov. 1813, never married. 11. ALBERT RIGGS, born 9 Dec. 1815. -- ISAAC RIGGS, born 31 Jan. 1818, md. Maria Haight. -- JOHN RIGGS, born 20 June 1820, m1. Mary Henry, m2. Hannah Peck. -- SAMUEL SMITH RIGGS, born 22 July 1822, lost at sea. -- WILLIAM RIGGS, born 16 May 1824, m1. Frances Henry, m2. Melissa Mead. -- SUSAN RIGGS, born 11 July 1826, never married. -- MARY ELIZABETH RIGGS, born 10 Feb. 1833, md. William Thurston Valentine.
Hoyt Genealogy Resources:
Descendants of Simon Hoyt
Doug Sinclair's Archives (Hoyt researcher)
Hoyt Genealogy (John E. Hoyt's comprehensive Hoyt genealogy website)
The Great Migration Begins (Simon Hoyt)
Families of Early Ulster County, New York (Lorraine Luke's database)
Faella-McKiel Family Tree (Haight ancestry)
"Legends" (Zerubbabel Hoyt line)