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Coles of colonial Hartford connected to Coles of Plymouth?? evidence presented

Coles of colonial Hartford connected to Coles of Plymouth?? evidence presented

Steven Bird (View posts)
Posted: 1120051093000
Classification: Query
I have been researching Thomas Bird of Hartford, CT, who died there in August 1662, for some time. The inventory to his estate was taken by Thomas Bunce and John "Coale."

It has been generally assumed that this particular John Cole is the same one who died in Hartford CT in 1685. He was a close neighbor of Thomas Bird on the Hartford-Wethersfield road in August 1662. His grandson, Nathaniel, who married Elizabeth Woodford, was brother-in-law to four of Thomas Bird's grandsons (three Birds and a North). So far so good.

At the very bottom of Thomas Bird's original inventory record, there is a notation (among several others) added by John Coale in his own handwriting: "Sold - a mare to Ryder". I've known of this notation for several years, but was unable to connect it with anyone named Ryder who lived in Hartford. Imagine my surprise when I found that the "other" John Cole, from Plymouth, MA, was married to Elizabeth RYDER of Yarmouth, MA in Nov 1667!

The most logical explanation behind the inventory note by John Coale is that he had sold a horse on behalf of the estate to someone else in Hartford, and the note was added to the original inventory document later. This action would not have been unusual in itself. The fact that he sold it to a person who apparently lived on Cape Cod at the time (and not necessarily Elizabeth, in fact more likely a brother or her father,) strikes me as more than just coincidence.

Moreover, the sale of 1662 or 1663 took place well before the marriage of John Cole (of Mass) to Elizabeth Ryder in 1667. That suggests a much more long term connection between the families of Hartford and Plymouth.

There are four possible explanations for this entry:

A. John Coale of Hartford is somehow related to John Cole of Plymouth; he therefore sold the mare to a family in Yarmouth associated with John Cole of Plymouth.

B. John Cole of Plymouth was the person who actually took the inventory of 1662.

C. It was a mere coincidence that John Cole of Hartford sold a horse to the Ryder family of Yarmouth, a family who lived more than 150 miles away, for unknown reasons.

D. There was another, hitherto unknown Ryder family in Hartford in 1662, unrelated to the family in Yarmouth.

Applying Occam's razor to the problem, the probability of C. or D. seems too far-fetched to entertain, although they are not impossible. B. is not very likely, because John Cole of Yarmouth would have been a bit too young at the time (IMO) to have been entrusted with this job, and there is no evidence that he ever lived in Hartford. Besides, there is too much other evidence that points to John Coale of Hartford as the person who took the inventory along with Thomas Bunce.

We are left then with the "A." scenario; that there is a hitherto unknown family connection between the Cole family of Hartford and the Cole family of Plymouth.

Thoughts, comments, etc.?

Re: Coles of colonial Hartford connected to Coles of Plymouth?? evidence presented

Posted: 1120283260000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Cole
This is very interesting! I have never run across a connection between the Hartford and Plymouth Coles before. The information on the Hartford Coles that E.B. Cole included at the end of his 1908 book says that the John Cole who d. in 1685 was b. in England, and that his father was James Cole of Essex.

James Cole of Plymouth married his wife Mary Tibbes in Devon, on the opposite side of the country from Essex. Since we don't know anything about James Cole of Plymouth before his marriage, it is possible that he had family in Essex.

However, it seems unlikely that the only contact between the Coles of Plymouth and the Coles of Hartford would be this horse sale if they were related.

E.B. Cole also has an the end-of-the-book section on Eastham Coles. In Eastham, also on Cape Cod, there was the other well-known colonial Cole family: the 3 brothers, Daniel, Job, and John, who d. unmarried in 1637. Perhaps the Hartford John Cole is related to these Eastham Coles.

--Pam Thompson, revising and updating E.B. Cole's book, The Descendants of James Cole of Plymouth

Re: Coles of colonial Hartford connected to Coles of Plymouth?? evidence presented

Steven Bird (View posts)
Posted: 1120312846000
Classification: Query
Dear Pam,

Thank you for your reply. You have put your finger directly on the main problem. There is no other evidence presently of a link between the Coles of Hartford and Plymouth. Nevertheless, the link cannot be dismissed outright, because there is no record of anyone in Hartford named Ryder during this period. Therefore the inventory record entry in John Cole's handwriting remains a puzzle that must be addressed.

Do you happen to have the death date and location for Elizabeth (Ryder) Cole, the wife of John Cole of Plymouth, from a primary or reliable secondary record? I have seen one unsourced internet record that stated her death occurred in Hartford. If that were true, it would greatly strengthen the theory that the families were interconnected.

I am somewhat familiar with the problem of John Cole of Hartford and his alleged father James Cole. There is enough circumstantial evidence at this point to tentatively identify John as his son, although well short of proof. If James Cole of Hartford were from Essex, England originally, that would fit in nicely with the origins of just about everyone else from Hartford and Farmington.

John Cole of Hartford did have a son named Job in England at the time of his death (1685). I will investigate the possible connection to the Eastham Cole family.

I appreciate your insights; any comments are welcome!

Steven Bird
a descendant of Thomas Bird of Hartford, CT

Re: Coles of colonial Hartford connected to Coles of Plymouth?? evidence presented

Posted: 1121867436000
Classification: Query

I don't have death information on Elizabeth. After John's death, she m. Thomas Boardman [Davis, Ancient Landmarks, p. 29--not a very reliable source, by the way]. I can't find any further info on this couple.


Re: Coles of colonial Hartford connected to Coles of Plymouth?? evidence presented

Posted: 1355071457000
Classification: Query
i am descendedent of james cole hartford conn. born essex england 1590. had son john ,son of ist wife francais married before 1621. 2nd wife demaris seabrook, married bishopsgate london 1623, died young, 3rd wife ann edwards married 1625,accompanied james to colonies 1633 in wynthrup fleet as part of Hookers group to colonize conn. per funding by mass. bay company). i believe they landed somewhere near plymuth and struck out for conn. the following year . there is a painting of this by one of the hudson valley painters. his name escapes me at portrays the hookers group striking out in the wilderness for conn. area. james cole of conn. not the same as james cole of plymuth the inkeeper. however , they could be connected back in england. my information comes mainly from family geneology traced by my gr grandfater in 1890,s. i would be much interested to find evidence of james coles ancesters in england. is there a connection from london to devon? thanks jerane cole mckinstry
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