Many queries have been posted to this forum regarding John Mason of Hartford. I have spent several weeks researching John Mason and I believe I have successfully deduced his true identity.
John Mason was one of the "later settlers" in Hartford arriving in 1678. He received 10 acres from the town. Several researchers indicate that John came from Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts and was the son of John Mason and Mary Eaton. His grandparents were Robert Mason and Marie Wise who emigrated from Sudbury, Suffolk, England. Robert and Marie were probably a members of John Winthrop's Company which settled the town of Roxbury in 1630. Robert Mason left Roxbury with his three sons John, Robert and Thomas sometime after the death of Marie in April 1637. He settled in Dedham where he was an original landholder in 1642.
John Mason was born in Sudbury, Suffolk, England in 1625 and married Mary Eaton on 5 May 1651 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts. They had the following children:
i. Mary MASON was born on 27 Oct 1651 in Dedham, Norfolk, MA. She died on 4 Dec 1651 in Dedham, Norfolk, MA.
ii. Daniel MASON was born on 1 Jul 1652 in Dedham, Norfolk, MA. He died on 28 Jun 1737 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut.
iii. Hannah MASON, born on 4 Jul 1655, Dedham, Norfolk, MA; died in 1695.
iv. John MASON, born on 6 Jun 1657, Dedham, Norfolk, MA; married Hannah HAWES, on 5 Jan 1677, Dedham, Norfolk, MA; died on 19 Feb 1697/98, Hartford, Hartford, CT.
v. Abigail MASON, born on 6 Nov 1659, Dedham, Norfolk, MA; died on 23 Jan 1704, Dedham, Norfolk, MA.
vi. Rebecca MASON was born on 22 Aug 1661 in Dedham, Norfolk, MA. She died on 21 Feb 1717 in Dedham, Norfolk, MA.
vii. Elizabeth MASON was born on 26 Dec 1666 in Dedham, Norfolk, MA.
viii. Judith MASON was born in 1670 in Hingham, Plymouth, MA. She died on 28 May 1696 in Rehoboth, Bristol, MA.
John Mason was born in Dedham in 1657 and married Hannah Hawes, daughter of Edward Hawes and Eliony Lombard, on 5 Jan 1677 in Dedham. Hannah was born 1 Feb 1655 in Dedham. Their first child, Mary was born in September 1677 in Dedham. John and Hannah probably departed Dedham shortly thereafter on their journey to Hartford a distance of 100 miles. John and Hannah had the following children:
i. Mary MASON, born in Sep 1677, Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts; married Nathaniel ANDREWS, on 10 Jun 1698, Hartford, CT; died between 1706 and 1714, Hartford, Hartford, CT.
ii. Hannah MASON was born in Jan 1680/81 in Hartford, Hartford, CT. She died in 1681.
iii. John MASON was born in Jan 1684/85 in Hartford, Hartford, CT.
iv. Joseph MASON, born in Mar 1688, Hartford, Hartford, CT; married Mary CARTER, before 1715, Hartford, CT; died in 1773, Litchfield, Litchfield, CT.
v. Abigail MASON was born in Oct 1690 in Hartford, CT.
vi. Jonathan MASON was born in Nov 1693 in Hartford, CT.
vii. Deborah MASON was born on 3 Dec 1693 in Hartford, CT. She died before 1698.
viii. Lydia MASON, born in Jul 1696, Hartford, CT; married John SEYMOUR III, on 25 Jun 1718, Hartford, CT.
Mary Mason married Nathaniel Andrews, son of Samuel Andrews and Elizabeth Spencer, on 10 Jun 1698 in Hartford. Nathaniel was the grandson of William Andrews one of the original proprietors and the first school of Hartford. Nathaniel Andrews and Mary Mason had the following children:
i. Deborah ANDREWS, born in 1698/99, Hartford County, CT; married Joseph DAY, on 28 Mar 1737/38, Hartford, CT; died on 11 Dec 1755, Hartford, CT.
ii. Timothy ANDREWS was baptized on 9 Mar 1701 in Hartford, CT. He was born in 1700/1 in Hartford, Hartford, CT. He died on 8 Oct 1756 in Hartford, CT.
iii. Mary ANDREWS was born in 1702 in Hartford, Hartford, CT. She was baptized on 6 Dec 1702 in Hartford, CT. Mary is not mentioned in his father's will of 1742. She probably died before this date.
iv. Nathaniel ANDREWS was born in 1704 in Hartford, Hartford, CT. He was baptized on 8 Oct 1704 in Hartford, Hartford, CT. Nathaniel may have moved from Hartford to Newark, NY
v. William ANDREWS, born in 1706, Hartford, CT; married Sarah WHITE, on 14 Sep 1731, Hartford, CT; died about 1778, New Hartford, Litchfield, CT.
William Andrews was my fifth great grandfather.
Many researchers have concluded that Hannah, the wife of John Mason, was the daughter of Daniel Arnold and his wife Elizabeth Osborne. This error is probably based on the fact that there are pencil notations of Daniel Arnold's record in "Early Families of Hartford, Connecticut." Vol. I, by Lucius Barnes Barbour that indicate Daniel's daughter, Hannah, born 1647, married John Mason and that a daughter, Elizabeth, age 37 in 1692, married Benoni Brown. These notations are probably incorrect.
A court record made after Daniel Arnold's death (probably in 1692) refers to "John Mason aged about 40 years and his wife Hannah, aged about 37 years and of Elizabeth Arnold aged about 45 years." The latter is certainly Daniel's widow who was in fact born in 1647. Hannah Hawes was in fact born in 1655. Thus, there is no way that Hannah could be the daughter of Daniel Arnold and Elizabeth Osborne. This document also leads us to conclude that John Mason was born in 1652. However our information on John Mason of Dedham clearly indicates he was christened on 6 Sep 1657.
The exact relationship between John Mason (or Hannah Hawes) and the family of Daniel Arnold and Elizabeth Osborne remains a mystery. After John Mason's death on 9 Feb 1697/98, Nathaniel Arnold, on 15 Jan 1708, quit-claimed property to John Mason's heirs. The only relationship may have been real estate.
Later Settlers, Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford (http://www.foundersofhartford.org/founders/later_settlers.htm : accessed 6 Feb 2012)
William L. Mason, ed., A Record of the Descendants of Robert Mason of Roxbury, Mass., (Milwaukee: Burdrick, Armitage and Allen, 1891), 9.
George W. Mason, Ancestors and Descendants of Elisha Mason Litchfield, Connecticut 1759-1858 and his wife Lucretia Webster 1766-1853, (Waterbury, CT: The Mattatuck Press, 1911), 9-13. This excellent piece of research is available at http://www.archive.org/details/ancestorsdescend00maso as well as at Ancestry.com.
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