The Clear Day. Richard First.

-Image courtesy of the Internet Archive, MSN, Allen County Public Library, “Platt lineage; a genealogical research and record,” by George Lewis Platt, 189
-Image courtesy of the Internet Archive, MSN, Allen County Public Library, “Platt lineage; a genealogical research and record,” by George Lewis Platt, 189
-Image courtesy of the Internet Archive, MSN, Allen County Public Library, “Platt lineage; a genealogical research and record,” by George Lewis Platt, 189
-Image courtesy of the Internet Archive, MSN, Allen County Public Library, “Platt lineage; a genealogical research and record,” by George Lewis Platt, 189

“Richard Platt was quite probably the first immigrant of his surname to come to America, and as such has become the progenitor of more Platts of the present day than any other of his name who followed from the old country to the new. The place and date of Richard’s birth, as well as his ancestry, have been matters for debate and conjecture among those who have heretofore assembled the record of his descendants.   In the October 1954 issue of the quarterly journal ‘The American Genealogist,’ under the title ‘Richard Platt of Ware, County Hertford, England, and Milford, Connecticut,’ there appeared at long last a true account of Richard’s birthplace and parentage. This article, by John Insley Coddington, of Washington, D.C., a descendant of Richard Platt, is based upon the  research of Miss Freda Podmore and Miss Helen Thacker of London. A verbatim quotation of Mr. Coddington’s summary paragraphs will best set the record down: 

‘Richard Platt was baptised at Ware, County Hertford, England, on 6 May 1604, and died at Milford, Conn., shortly before 13 Feb. 1684/5, when the inventory of his estate was taken. He was the third of the five children of George Platt of Ware, tailor, by Mary his wife (whose maiden surname has not yet been found), and grandson of Simon Platt of Ware, also a tailor, by Elizabeth his wife. Richard Platt was married at Roydon, County Essex (a village four miles southeast of Ware, just across the Essex-Hertfordshire boundary) on 26 Jan. 1628/9 to Mary Wood, who was baptised at Roydon on 10 Nov. 1605, daughter of John Wood of Roydon, yeoman. The eldest child of Richard and Mary (Wood) Platt, named Mary after the mother, was  evidently born in the Wood family home and was baptised at Roydon on 11 Nov. 1629 as Mary daughter of Richard Platt of Ware. The next four children, John, Isaac, Samuel, and Sarah, were baptized at Ware —   Richard and Mary — disposed of their houses and lands at Ware by a final concord signed at Westminster on 25 April 14 Charles I (1638) — The Platt family came to America in the latter half of 1638 or the first half of 1639, for they were in New Haven by August 1639, and on 22 August 1639 Richard Platt was one of the 66 men who formed themselves into a church society at New Haven, under the leadership of the Rev. Peter Prudden, which group later settled in the new plantation of Milford.’

Authorities are agreed that two groups of English immigrants, one led by the Rev. John Davenport, the other by the Rev. Peter Prudden, arrived at the new settlement of Quinnipiac on Long Island Sound (later re-named New Haven) in April 1638. Whether Richard Platt reached New Haven with one of these groups, or came shortly later and joined them, is a question which has never been satisfactorily resolved. It is a matter of record, however, that Richard was a land-owner in New Haven in its earliest years, for the ‘Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven, 1638 – 1649’ (edited in 1857 by Charles J. Hoadly), lists among the heads of families of 1640 ‘Rich: Platt – an estate worth 200 pence twenty acres in the First   Division — four acres in the Neck — twelve acres of meadow — forty eight acres in the Second Division.’ 

His house plot was, writes Alrick Man, ‘on the southwest side of what is now Chapel Street, New Haven, facing the present grounds of Yale College and extending in the rear to land allotted to Rev. Peter Prudden.’ Richard is said to have built a house on this plot before his move to Milford, and, though he gradually disposed of his New Haven holdings after he relocated, he continued to own land in New Haven for a number of years. 

Although the Davenport and Prudden groups were on friendly terms, John Insley Coddington states that ‘it was the intention of Prudden and his friends to leave Quinnipiac and found a new settlement as soon as circumstances should permit. In preparation for this, the Prudden group formed itself into a church on 22 Aug. 1639 while still at New Haven.’ Richard Platt, as already stated, became one of the members of this new church society, and as such one of 66 founders of the new settlement at Milford. His name, says Alrick Man, ‘appears in a list headed Nov. 20, 1639 — The following allowed to the free planters,’ this being the first entry in Vol. I of the Land Records of Milford; and he was admitted as a freeman of Connecticut in 1646.’ There have been Platts in Milford continuously since the year of its founding. Today… while other descendants of Richard have migrated to more than thirty states, there remains a hard core of ‘stay-at-homes’ still comfortably in possession of parts of Richard’s original Milford land-holdings. These are Ninth and Tenth Generation Milfordians… From all the far-flung progeny of Richard Platt… a salute to those few who still have roots where he had his!” -Excerpt courtesy of the Internet Archive, Contributor Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center, “Platt genealogy in America, from the arrival of Richard Platt in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1638,” by Charles Platt, 1963. (top) Image courtesy of the Internet Archive, MSN, Allen County Public Library, “Platt lineage; a genealogical research and record,” by George Lewis Platt, 1891

-Image courtesy of the Internet Archive, Boston Library Consortium, University of Connecticut, “History of Milford, Connecticut, 1639-1939,” by Federal Writer’s Project for the State of Connecticut; Milford (Conn.), Tercentenary Committee, 1939
-Image courtesy of the Internet Archive, Boston Library Consortium, University of Connecticut, “History of Milford, Connecticut, 1639-1939,” by Federal Writer’s Project for the State of Connecticut; Milford (Conn.), Tercentenary Committee, 1939
-Image courtesy of the Internet Archive, Boston Library Consortium, University of Connecticut, “History of Milford, Connecticut, 1639-1939,” by Federal Writer’s Project for the State of Connecticut; Milford (Conn.), Tercentenary Committee, 1939
-Image courtesy of the Internet Archive, Boston Public Library, “Marks-Platt Ancestry,” by Eliza J. Lines, 1902
-Image courtesy of the Internet Archive, Boston Public Library, “Marks-Platt Ancestry,” by Eliza J. Lines, 1902
-Image courtesy of the Internet Archive, MSN, Allen County Public Library, “Platt lineage; a genealogical research and record,” by George Lewis Platt, 1891
-Image courtesy of the Internet Archive, MSN, Allen County Public Library, “Platt lineage; a genealogical research and record,” by George Lewis Platt, 1891
-Image courtesy of the Internet Archive, MSN, Allen County Public Library, “Platt lineage; a genealogical research and record,” by George Lewis Platt, 1891

“My 11th great-grandfather, Richard Platt, was baptized on May 6, 1604, in Ware, Hertfordshire, England. He was a son of George and Mary Platt. Like his father, Richard was a tailor.

Richard sailed from London to Boston, arriving in June 1637, with a group from Hertfordshire headed by Reverend Peter Prudden. Richard’s wife, Mary (Wood), and his four children at the time, Mary, John, Isaac, and Sarah, accompanied him. By 1638 he owned several acres of land on the south side of Chapel Street near College Street in New Haven where his property adjoined that of Peter Prudden. Under the leadership of Rev. Prudden a group of 66 men formed a church society that settled in Milford. Richard Platt was part of that group, and he was one of Milford’s first settlers in 1639. He is honored as a founder at the Memorial Bridge in Milford.

By 1641 Richard owned house lot #38 that included four acres, one rod of land. That lot is located on the corner of present day Cherry and West Main Streets. Richard was chosen a deacon of the first Milford Church in 1669. 

Richard and Mary had another four children after settling in Milford — Epenetus, Hannah (my tenth great-grandmother), Josiah, and Joseph. Richard was buried in 1684 in Milford. He signed a will on August 4, 1683, and his estate was inventoried February 13, 1684/5. His burial place is not known.

Today I took a drive to Milford to see the Memorial Bridge over the Wepawaug River, built in 1889, that has the memorial stone honoring Richard and Mary Platt. I also saw the location of his house lot.” -Excerpt courtesy of Mountain Laurel Chronicle, “Richard Platt (1603 – 1684),” Tuesday, June 3, 2014

-Image courtesy of Mountain Laurel Chronicle, “Richard Platt (1603 – 1684),” Tuesday, June 3, 2014
-Image courtesy of Mountain Laurel Chronicle, “Richard Platt (1603 – 1684),” Tuesday, June 3, 2014
“A view looking south from the Memorial Bridge.” -Image courtesy of Mountain Laurel Chronicle, “Richard Platt (1603 – 1684),” Tuesday, June 3, 2014
-Image courtesy of the Internet Archive, MSN, Allen County Public Library, “Platt lineage; a genealogical research and record,” by George Lewis Platt, 1891

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s