Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pratt Stories - The Burr Family II

Continuing about our immigrant ancestor Jehue Burr. Much of this comes from a 1902  book about the Burr family, "A General History of  the Burr Family", by  Charles Burr Todd. There were other editions dated 1891 and  earlier.
Jehue did not long remain in Roxbury. There opportunities for rising in the world were much too limited to suit one of his enterprising turn (a little puffery for our ancestor) and, in company with several other enterprising spirits, he early determined on a further emigration. The settlers had often heard from friendly Indians of the rich valley lands of the Connecticut River several day's journey west, and in the early spring of 1636, William Pynchon, Jehue Burr, and six other young men "of good spirits and sound bodies", with their families and effects, set out on a journey through the wilderness to this land of promise. The women and children performed the trip on horseback, the men on foot. They followed a blazed path through the forest that led them over wooded heights, through romantic glades, and across foaming torrents; now skirting the shores of an acient lake... (etc etc etc) ...until at last they issued from the forest, upon the banks of the Connecticut. (I'll bet that trip was a lot less pleasant than author Todd makes it sound).Here they built their village, which they called Agawam, and which in our day has expanded to the flourishing city of Springfield, Massachusetts (home of the Basketball Hall of Fame).

Jehue only stayed in Springfield about eight years  While he was there he was, among other things, chief tax collector. Maybe that's why he moved to Fairfield....Just kidding. He also served two terms in the Connecticut Legislature.
Back to author Todd's book:  He removed for the third and last time to Fairfield* (Connecticut), which had been discovered a few years before during the famous pursuit of the Pequots, and which with its level lands and warm, productive soil was very attractive to settlers. He seems to have taken a high rank at Fairfield from the first. The next year after his removal in 1645, he represented Fairfield in the General Court, and again in1646 and for several succeeding sessions prior to the union of Hartford and New Haven Colonies.
His name appears quite often in the records of the colony, in some cases hard to be ditinguished from his son, Jehue. He received numerous appointments including one as commissioner to set levies for the support of "poore scollers" at Cambridge College (Harvard). His death date and burial place is not known. There is at least one opinion tthat he returned to England and died there.
* I wish there was an account of the trip from Springfield (Agawam) to Fairfield. I speculate that it would have been by watercraft down the Connecticut River to Long Island Sound and then coasting westerly to Fairfield.

Emailed Sept. 17

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