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Robert Reeve

Male - 1681

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  • Name Robert Reeve 
    Born of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died Feb 1680/1681  of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I2334  Petersen-de Lanskoy
    Last Modified 5 Jan 2015 

    Family Ann Skinner,   b. 1635, Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 10 Mar 1667/1668, Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age < 33 years) 
    Married From 24 Jun 1659 to 13 Dec 1659  of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 22 Oct 2015 
    Family ID F1198  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
      1. TAG 74(1999):97-100, article "THE SKINNER WIVES of Robert1 REEVE and JOHN1 COLT of HARTFORD and Windsor, CONNECTICUT; An Old Mix-Up," by Gale Jon Harris, FASG:
      "The inventory of the estate of John1 Skinner of Windsor, Connecticut, taken on 23 October 1651, lists daughters Mary, aged 18, Ann, aged 16, and three younger sons: John, Joseph, and Richard.[1] Records of the sporadic probate proceedings at Hartford on Skinner's estate over the following two decades mention sums of money to be paid to each of these sons and include two undated receipts for the daughters' portions. The first receipt, signed by Robert Reeve, lists house-hold items "delivered to Robert Reeve's wife," and the second, signed by John Coalt [sic], lists similar items "delivered to John Coalt's wife."[2] The obvious im­plication is that Reeve had married one of the Skinner sisters and Colt the other, but these records do not explicitly state which sister in either case.
      Nonetheless, standard printed compilations for Hartford and Windsor families state that Reeve married the older sister, Mary, and that Colt married the younger sister, Ann.[3] These statements apparently were based on the undocumented "Skinner Family" section in Elias Loomis's genealogy of the Loomis family of Windsor.[4]
      While preparing a 1991 article on the Edwards family of Wethersfield, Connecticut, which presents evidence that John Colt married in 1665, as his second wife, Hester2 Edwards (John1), I saw no reason to question the repeated asser­tions that his former wife had been Ann Skinner and that her sister Mary had become Robert Reeve's first wife.[5] But I had not fully deciphered previously un­published records that definitely associate these sisters by their given names with these men.
      Based on prescription entries in the medical records of John Winthrop Jr. of Hartford, it was shown in that article that John1 Colt and the Skinner sisters, while still single, had been employed in prominent households at Hartford in the period 1658-1660. Relevant entries from that article are:[6]
      Jan. 1657/8[7] Skinner Ann, servant to Mr J: Allin ... again Jan. 8
      Feb. 1658/9 Colt John, Servant to Mr Megat speck on Ey. ...
      April 1659 Skinner Anne: 20 y [sic], serv[an]t to Mr J Allin ... againe April 14 ... againe June 24
      April 1659 Skinner Mary [blank] y: at Mr Megats ... [again] April 21
      Dec. 1659 Skinner [Ann? Record obscured, possibly "John"]
      Aug. 1660 Skinner Mary at Mr Megatts...
      The second, fourth, and sixth entries place John Colt and Mary Skinner in the home of Joseph Mygatt, who had been licensed by the General Court in 1656 "to sell strong lyquors by retaile"[8] and who in February 1659[/60] was chosen at a town meeting as townsman for Hartford's "south side."[9] The first and third entries place Ann[e] Skinner in the home of John Allyn, who was chosen at the same meeting as townsman for the "north side" and who subsequently, after 1663, became the well-known Secretary of the Colony of Connecticut.[10]
      Based on the birth date of his first child in about 1661,[11] John Colt must have married one of these Skinner sisters during or soon after the period of these pre­scription entries. But which one-Ann, as generally supposed, who was employed in the Allyn home on the north side of Hartford, or Mary who, with John, was employed in the Mygatt household on the south side in 1659? The answer is provided by a closer examination of Winthrop's December 1659 entry, the fifth one in the list above.
      The entry appears in Winthrop's notes as the last two lines on page 175, headed "Hart[ford]: Dec [10?] 1659." These lines and many others on that page are partially obscured by reversed script caused by his neglect to use a blotter or by ink bleed-through from the back of the page.[12] A closer study of the microfilm, including examination in mirror image, shows that the given name in this entry should be read as "An[-]" and that the earlier possible reading, "John," is clearly eliminated. Certainly, it is not "Mary."
      More importantly, the examination reveals that a significant detail of the pre­scription note had been overlooked in the general clutter of the page. Extending below, downward, and to the left of the patient's name is a line apparently added after the rest of the entry had been completed. The line extends to the left margin of the page and partially encloses a small note in Winthrop's hand: "Reves R his wife." The full entry on 13 December 1659 is reproduced below from a photograph of the original, which is considerably clearer than the microfilm version:[13]
      [Image of record.]
      It reads: Skinner Anne [bleed-through] had a fall of[f] an horse 6 weekes Since & Reves R [inserted: "his wife"]in small off Back.
      Thus Winthrop explicitly identified Ann[e] Skinner as R[obert] Reeve's wife. The full sequence of entries above shows that her sister, Mary Skinner, was still single and still residing in the Mygatt home eight months after that entry.
      Winthrop's December 1659 entry probably marks closely the date of Robert Reeve's unrecorded marriage to Ann Skinner. The chronology indicates that she was the mother of his first two known children, Sarah and Mary, born in Decem­ber 1663 and July 1665, but not of his seven later children born from December 1668 to March 1679/80.[14] Ann had died before 10 March 1667[/8], when Winthrop entered a prescription for "Reeves Eliz: [blank] th[e] wife of Robert Reeves of Hartford," and added that he had also seen her on 5 June 1666, "then Eliz: Nott."[15]
      This note, with Winthrop's subsequent entry in August 1660, also shows that John1 Colt's first wife had to be Mary Skinner and that they did not marry until sometime after that August. It cannot have been long, however, as their sons John2 and Joseph2 Colt were born about 1661 and about 1663, respectively.[16] Through these sons, Mary had many descendants, including Colonel Samuel Colt (1814-1862), inventor of the famed revolver.[17]
      The last known record of Mary (Skinner) Colt is dated 14 July 1663, when Winthrop noted a prescription for "Colt John at Hartford his wife."[18] She had died by the summer of 1665, when John married Hester Edwards, with whom he had at least seven more Children.[19]
      Gale Ion Harris (1312 Basswood Circle, East Lansing MI 48823) is Coeditor of The Genealogist.
      1. Charles William Manwaring, A Digest of the Early Connecticut Probate Records: Hartford District, 3 vols. (Hartford, 1904-b), I:150 (hereafter cited as Manwaring, Conn. Probate Rec­ords). A few years later, on 18 Jan. 1655[/6], these children were again listed, with the same stated ages, in the record of a Court of Magistrates at Hartford ordering payment of debts and a distribution of the remaining estate to them and to the relict, "now the wife of Owin Trudor [sic] of Wyndsor" (Records of the Particular Court of Connecticut, 1639-1663, Conn. Hist. Soc. Coll., 22[Hartford, 1928]:l58-59); the surname of the widow's second husband is an error for Tudor in the original or the published transcript (see Henry R. Stiles, The History and Genealogies of Ancient Windsor, Connecticut, 2 vols. [Hartford, 1892], 2:767 [hereafter cited as Stiles, History of Windsor]).
      2. Manwaring, Conn. Probate Records, 1:150-51.
      3. Lucius Barnes Barbour, Families of Early Hartford, Connecticut (Baltimore, 1982), 192, 474, 533 (hereafter cited as Barbour, Families of Early Hartford); Stiles, History of Windsor, 2:687.
      4. Elias Loomis, The Descendants [by the Female Branches] of Joseph Loomis... Who Settled in Windsor, Connecticut, in 1639, 2 vols. (New Haven, 1880), 1:108-28, at 108.
      5. Gale Ion Harris, "John Edwards of Wethersfield, Connecticut," The New England Histori­cal and Genealogical Register [NEHGR] 145(1991):317-41, at 326-29. For further discussion of John1 Colt's wives, see Gale Ion Harris, "The children of Captain Joseph1 and Mary (Stone) Fitch of Hartford and Windsor, Connecticut," TAG 68(1993):1-10, 95-105, at 5-10, where it is shown that Colt did not marry a daughter of Joseph Fitch named Mary or Lydia, as is sometimes stated.
      6. Harris, "John Edwards of Wethersfield," NEHGR 145(1991):328, citing "Medical Records of John Winthrop," MS, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, 78, 139, 155, 175, 216 (hereafter cited as Winthrop Medical Records).
      7. Corrected here from Dec. 1657.
      8. The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, 15 vols. (Hartford, 1850-90), 1:283 (hereafter cited as Public Records of Conn.).
      9. Hartford Town Votes, 1635-1716, Conn. Hist. Soc. Coll., 6(Hartford, 1897):129.
      10. Hartford Town Votes, Conn. Hist. Soc. Coll., 6:129; Public Records of Conn., 1:406. For Joseph Mygatt and John Allyn, see also Barbour, Families of Early Hanford, 6-7, 411-12.
      11. The inscription for his son, Capt. John Coult, in Duck River Cemetery at Old Lyme, Conn., states that he died on 2 Jan. 1751, aged 90 years ("Inscriptions from Gravestones at Old Lyme, Conn.," NEHGR 77(l923): 194-213, at 198), thus born about 1661.
      12. Also, as explained by his biographer, Winthrop's "handwriting was not a thing of beauty [and] constantly reflected a fast-racing mind which usually was well in advance of the words being written... [T]oo often his irregular calligraphy was rendered still worse by a failure to shar­pen his quill" (Robert C. Black III, The Younger John Winthrop [New York and London, 1966], 391, n. 23).
      13. Winthrop Medical Records, 175 (photograph courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society). A figure "13" about a third of the way up the left margin of the page probably indicates that this note and four others preceding it were entered on 13 Dec. 1659.
      14. Names and dates for Robert Reeve's nine children are given in his Feb. 1680/1 inventory (Manwaring, Conn. Probate Records, 1:353-54). His 1680 will and that of John Nott of Wethers­field in 1679 (Manwaring, Conn. Probate Records, 1:342) show that Reeve had married secondly Nott's daughter Elizabeth.
      15. Winthrop Medical Records, 792. On 5 June 1666, Winthrop prescribed for "Nott Eliz: 21y: Mrs Lords maid" (Winthrop Medical Records, 659).
      16. Harris, "John Edwards of Wethersfield," NEHGR 145(1991):329.
      17. Elisha Scott Loomis, Descendants of Joseph Loomis in America and His Antecedents in the Old World([Berea?], Ohio, 1908), 126-27.
      18. Winthrop Medical Records, 513.
      19. Harris, "John Edwards of Wethersfield," NEHGR 145(1991):326-33, with additions and corrections in Harris, "Joseph Fitch," TAG 68(1993):6-l0, and NEHGR 150(1996):215-16."

      2. The book "Families of Early Hartford, Connecticut," Lucius Barnes Barbour, 1982 ed.: "Robert Reeve died Feb 1680-1 mar/1 Mary Skinner dau of John Skinner and Mary Loomis. Mar/2 Elizabeth Nott dau. of John Nott of Weth. Children:
      Sarah, b. Dec. 25, 1663 m. Tixhall Ainsworth (L/R).
      Mary, b. July 31, 1665 m. John White (L/R).
      Elizabeth, b. Dec 1668 m. Samuel Webster.
      Hannah, b. Oct 1670.
      Nathaniel, b. Oct 1672, d. bef 1683.
      Robert, b. Apl 1675, m. Sarah Adkins.
      Ann, b. Apl 1675, d. bef 1683.
      Abraham, b. Sept. 1677.
      Mehitable, b. Mch 1680, m. John Peck.
      Hartford 1655; freeman 1658; chimney viewer, 1661; surveyor of highways 1667; constable 1671."