Matthew Moulthrop, Sr., immigrant
  b: Feb-Mar/1607(1608) - Bridlington, East Riding, Yorkshire, England - bp: 6/Mar/1607(1608)
  d: 22/Dec/1668 - East Haven, New Haven Co., CT

Father: John Mowthrop
Mother: Elizabeth Hardie

Spouse: Jane Nicholl
  m: 13/May/1633 - Wrawby, Lincolnshire, England

Child-1: Matthew, Jr.
          2: Dorothy - bp: 20/Nov/1635 - Wrawby, Lincolnshire, England
          3: Elizabeth - b: 1638
                              m: John Gregory - 18/Oct/1663 - New Haven Twp., Conn. Col.
          4: Mary - b: 1641 - New Haven Col.

Biographical Details:

The surname "Moulthrop" is quite uncommon, both in the United States and the United Kingdom.  Moreover, several variant spellings occur in historical records, which, obviously, may also cause confusion.  Within this context, Mr. Samuel Parker Moulthrop has identified the family and, hence, the name as being of Danish origin.1  As a consequence, he and others have assumed that the immigrant, Matthew Moulthrop or, perhaps, his father or grandfather, originally came to England from Denmark, not long before the family immigrated to North America.  This is quite unlikely and in all probability the family had lived in England for many generations.  First of all, in Denmark as in the rest of Scandinavia, patronymic naming customs persisted well into the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (and continue in Iceland even to the present day).  Consequently, family surnames were not used and, accordingly, there is no credible reason to attribute the surname "Moulthrop" to sixteenth or seventeenth century Denmark.  Moreover, recent work published by Patricia Law Hatcher in The American Genealogist identifies Matthew Moulthrop, immigrant of the New Haven Colony, with Mathew Mowthrop or Mouthrop affirmed by parish records of Wrawby, Lincolnshire, England.2  Furthermore, it would seem that the addition of an intrusive "l" to the name occurs only in American records.  This can be understood if one realizes that there was considerable difference in the sounds of English spoken in different parts of Britain (which still continues to the present).  Indeed, the North American colonies were settled by individuals from many different localities in the mother country.  Therefore, one might suppose that a colonial town clerk originating in the south of England could have heard the sound of "l" in an name like "Mowthrop" and written it accordingly.  Furthermore, spellings of names, even common ones, were not nearly as fixed in the seventeenth century as at present and one can frequently find variant spellings for the name of the same individual in civil records.  Accordingly, the name "Mowthrop" seems more likely to have originated farther north in Yorkshire.  Within this context, it is likely that Mathew Mowthrop of Wrawby and later immigrant of New Haven, was the son of John and Elizabeth Hardie Mowthrop of Bridlington in the East Riding of Yorkshire.  It has been reported that he was baptized on March 6, 1607 (1608 N. S.).  This implies that he, with or without his parents, moved southward into Lincolnshire sometime before his marriage to Jane Nicholl in 1633, however, no details are known.  At the birth of his son, parish records indicate his occupation as glover.

There is good evidence that Matthew Moulthrop, Sr., with his wife and son, traveled from England in the ship "Hector" with Rev. John Davenport and Mr. Theophilus Eaton, landing in Boston in June or July of 1637.3  Davenport and Eaton were religious dissenters and had left England with a group of like minded individuals to establish a "plantation" in the new world.  Although the motivation for early colonization of America was undoubtedly the desire for economic opportunity, it was also driven by the desire for religious freedom, particularly in New England.  Therefore, it seems safe to presume that Matthew Moulthrop, Sr., and his wife were convinced Puritans.  In the spring of 1638, the group led by Davenport and Eaton left Massachusetts and settled at the mouth of the Quinnipiac River on Long Island Sound.  The colony was later named New Haven and on June 4, 1639, Matthew Moulthrop became one of the fifty-four original signers of the Fundamental Agreement of the Colony of New Haven, i.e., the original "Colony Constitution".4  This has been further affirmed by Dodd who indicated sixty-three rather than fifty-four original signers.5  Likewise, both Savage and Holmes stated that Matthew Moulthrop was present at New Haven in 1639.6,7  Subsequently, according to Atwater's History of the Colony of New Haven, Matthew Moulthrop received property in the first division of the land in 1640; however, an exact amount was apparently not recorded, which may indicate that he never received a complete title.8  Nevertheless, his name appears on Atwater's map of the "original nine squares", which indicates that Matthew Moulthrop owned a small lot "in the suburb on the west side of the West Creek", which would now lie within the modern city of New Haven somewhere along South Church Street just north of its intersection with Columbus Avenue.  Matthew and Jane Moulthrop were admitted as members of the First Church of Christ in New Haven in 1642.  In following years, Matthew was a party to several land conveyances such as that reported in court records for February 6, 1648 (1649 N. S.), which noted that, "Richard Beech passeth ouer to Mathew Moulthrop one acr & a half of meddow lying, 1 acr of it in ye west meddow on this sid ye river, fronts vpon Mr. Lambertons vpland, ye reare to ye river, a highway through ye meddow to ye north, Mathew Molthrop on ye south, 1/2 acr in Sollatary Cove not laid out."  It has been further reported that in 1651 Matthew Moulthrop was granted fourteen acres in East Haven in the "fresh meadow" and that he bought sixteen acres from Jasper Crayne on September 7, 1652.  Moreover, consistent with his status as an original proprietor of the colony, at a general court (i.e., town meeting) held on February 11, 1655 (1656 N. S.), Matthew Moulthrop was assigned a place in the sixth seat in the center of the meetinghouse.  Likewise, six years later on February 20, 1661 (1662 N. S.), he sat in the fifth seat.  Within this context, Dodd has further stated that Matthew Moulthrop, Sr., with, presumably, his family, relocated from New Haven to "Stoney" River (now called Farm River) in 1662.  Subsequently, he bought property at Fowler's Cove from Anna Andrews, widow of William Andrews, in 1667.  Matthew Moulthrop, Sr., died December 22, 1668, presumably in the township of East Haven.  His estate was probated the following year and an abstract of his will has been published in the New England Genealogical and Historical Register.

Dodd has recorded one additional detail which might give some indication as to the character of the immigrant, Matthew Moulthrop.  It would seem that in the late 1650's or early 1660's he was appointed "conservator of the morals of the people about the Iron works".  As noted above, irrespective of religious motivation, English colonization of North America was also motivated by economic factors.  Accordingly, in addition to agriculture, colonists often sought to establish industry that could provide trade goods as well as supply local demand.  In the New Haven Colony this took the form of a furnace and forges for the smelting and working of "bog iron".  These iron works were established in the late 1650's "beyond the farmes at Stoney River, which is considered will be for a publique good".  However, it seems that the industry attracted "foreigners and strangers", i.e., non-Puritan workers, probably, indentured servants working off their passages, who were "so immoral and vicious as to require the frequent interposition of the civil authority."  As one might imagine, this situation was of considerable concern to the Puritan colonists who imposed the orders and laws of the colony on the workers.  Therefore, the role of Matthew Moulthrop, Sr., as "conservator of morals" was probably that of a peace officer or policeman, which would indicate that he was probably considered to be a man of some personal force and stature within the colony.  This conclusion is further supported by civil records which stated that on February 18, 1666 (1667 N. S.) Matthew Moulthrop was appointed "Constable for ye yeare ensueing in reference to ye iron-workers".

Source Notes and Citations:
1.  Samuel Parker Moulthrop, The Moulthrop Family of Connecticut: Direct Line of Descent of Colonel Samuel Parker Moulthrop and Family of Rochester, New York, privately published, Rochester, NY, 1925: pg. 2.  (LDS Family History Library microfilm: roll #1402838, Salt Lake City, UT, 2004)
     "The family name is thought to be of Danish origin and it seems probable that the family came from Denmark through England.  The name is spelled variously in existing historical records as Moulthrop, Molthrop, Moultrop, Moulltrop, Moltroup, Moultroup, Moultrep, Moulthropp and the latter would seem to be the original form."
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2. Patricia Law Hatcher, "Research and Red Herrings: The Wives of William Luddington and Matthew Moulthrop of New Haven, Connecticut with their English Origins", The American Genealogist, Vol. 74, pgs. 81-96 & 222-3, 1999.
     Extract of parish records from Wrawby, Lincolnshire:
"Mathew Mowthrop and Jana Nicholl m. 13 May 1633."
"Mathew Mouthrop son of Mathew Mouthrop, glover, bp 24 Feb 1633/4."
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3. James Kendall Hosmer (ed.), Winthrop's Journal, "History of New England," 1630-1649, C. Scribner's Sons, New York, NY, 1908.
     Exerpt from Winthrop's Journal dated June 26, 1637:  "There arrived two ships from London, the Hector and the ____"  Among the members of the group were ... "Mathew Moulthrop ..."
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4. K. Blake Tyner, "Founders of the New Haven Colony",, 2004.
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5a. Stephen Dodd, The East-Haven Register, T. G. Woodward and Co., print., A.H. Maltby, distrib., New Haven, CT, 1824: pgs. 10-2, 14, 26, 137 & 162.  (It should be noted that in this work, with few exceptions, the author intentionally treats all years uniformly as beginning on January 1, irrespective of whether the dates are Julian or Gregorian, i.e., he uses the so-called Scottish dating convention.)
      "On the 4th June 1639, all the free planters of Quinipiack convened in a large barn of Mr. Newman's, and formed their Constitution.  Sixty-three names were subscribed to it on that day, and about fifty more were added soon after.  Among the subscribers who settled in East-Haven, or were concerned in that settlement, were William Andrews, Jasper Crayne, Thomas Gregson, William Touttle or Tuttle, Garvis Boykim, John Potter, Matthew Moulthrop, Matthias Hitchcock, and Edward Patterson.  To these were added Thomas Morris and John Thompson."
      "Jasper Crayne sold his farm of 16 acres, to Matthew Moulthrop, 7th Sept. 1652, and removed to Totokett"
      "Anna, widow of William Andrews, sold to Matthew Moulthrop, sen. a piece of land at Fowler's Cove, 1667."
      "And as a further check to these increasing evils, Matthew Moulthrop, sen. was appointed conservator of the morals of the people about the Iron works."

b. "MATTHEW married Jane -----.  They removed from New-Haven to Stoney River, 1662.  They had Matthew; Elisabeth, who married John Gregory, 1663; Mary."

c. "1668 ... Dec. 22, Matthew Moulthrop, the father of this name."
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6. James Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England - Vols. 1-4, Little, Brown and Co., Boston, MA, 1860-1862: Vol. 3, pg. 248.  (Reprint available from Genealogical Publishing Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD, 21202-3897)
      "MATTHEW, New Haven 1639, by w. Jane had Matthew, Elizabeth and Mary, perhaps the first two b. in Eng. certain. Elizabeth b. in 1638; and Mary, in 1641, were b. in 1642. He d. 22 Dec. 1668, and his wid. d. May 1672.  Elizabeth m. 1663, John Gregory"
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7. Frank R. Holmes (comp.), Directory of the Ancestral Heads of New England Families, 1620-1700, The Amer. Hist. Soc., Inc., New York, NY, 1923.
      "MOULTHROP, MOULTROP, Matthew, resident of New Haven, Conn. 1639"
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8. Edward E. Atwater, History of the Colony of New Haven to its absorption into Connecticut, privately published, New Haven, CT, 1881: pgs. 110, 151, 545, & 550.
      "These three are all of the lots in the suburb on the west side of the West Creek that can be located.  The other proprietors in this suburb were Matthew Moulthrop, Anthony Thompson, John Reeder, Robert Cogswell, Matthias Hitchcock, Francis Hall, Richard Osborne, William Potter, James Clark, Edward Patteson, and Andrew Hull.
      As the schedule assigns nothing to Matthew Moulthrop, it is doubtful whether he ever acquired a complete title to a lot in this quarter."  (Anonymous, "History of New Haven Colony",, 2004.)
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Additional Citations:

9. Vital Records of New Haven, 1649-1850, pub. by Connecticut Society of the Order of the Founders and Patriots of America, Hartford, CT, 1917-1924: Vol. 1, pg. 37.  (cited by Steven Curtis Perkins, "Ancestry of Jabez Perkins",, 1989-2001.)

10. Franklin Bowditch Dexter (comp.), Historical Catalogue of the Members of the First Church of Christ in New Haven, Connecticut (Center Church) A. D. 1639-1914, privately published, New Haven, CT, 1914.

11. Charles J. Hoadly (ed.), Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven, from 1638 to 1649, Case, Tiffany and Co., Hartford, CT, 1857: pgs. 10 & 430-1.

12. Franklin Bowditch Dexter with Zara Jones Powers (ed. v. 3), New Haven Town Records - Vols 1-3, New Haven Colony Historical Society, New Haven, CT, 1917-1962: Vol. 2 (1662-1684), pg. 199.

13. Donald Lines Jacobus, Families of Ancient New Haven - Vols. 1-9, Printed by Clarence D. Smith, Rome, NY, 1923 & 1929: Vol. 5, pg. 1234;  also appeared as "New Haven Genealogical Magazine", Vols. I-VIII, 1922-1932.  (Reprint available from Genealogical Publishing Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD, 21202-3897)

14. Probate Bk. 1, New Haven Co., CT,  pgs. 143-4.

15. New England Genealogical and Historical Register, Vol. 81, pg. 129, 1927.

16. op. cit. (Dodd): pgs. 23-6.

17. Sarah E. Hughes, History of East Haven, The Tuttle, Morehouse and Taylor Press, New Haven, CT, 1908: pg. 27.

18. Sidney Augustus Merriam, The Ancestry of Franklin Merriam Peabody, Newcomb & Gauss Co., print., Salem, MA, 1929: pg. 118.

19. Ancestral File: PCRL-J3 & 14FG-4DQ, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, UT, continuously updated.

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