THE EDWARD LACY FAMILY OF CONNECTICUT
and some problems with some information Revised September, 1997.
By Sheila Ann Johnson
The earliest known members of the Lacy family of Fairfield, CT are: EDWARD LACY, Sr. Date and place of birth not known. Death date is not known but probably after the deed dated November, 1701 between son Edward Lacy who is specifically refered to as junior and James Bennet Attorney for Ephraim Wheeler. It would seem not necessary to refer to a junior if the senior were not living. SARAH ______, wife of Edward Lacy, Sr. Her surname is sometimes given as Jackson, but to the best of my knowledge, there is nothing to substantiate this.
Their known children (not necessarily in birth order):
EDWARD LACY, Jr. m. (1) ABIGAIL GREGORY (2) HANNAH BEARDSLEY (3 ) REBECCA GREY. Children by (1): Ebenezer, Abigail, Rebecca.
JOHN LACY m. RUTH WAKELEE. Children: John, Edward, David, Ephraim, Eunice, Sarah, unamed child. Will dated 31 May 1754; proved 3 Mar 1761 includes names of 2 daughters and four sons and a grandaughter, Abiah.
SARAH LACY m. (1) SAMUEL TROWBRIDGE (2) EDWARD T READWELL. Children by (1): Sarah (died infancy), Samuel, John, Elizabeth, Hannah , Sarah. HENRY LACY m. HANNAH MOREHOUSE. Children: Joseph, David, Sarah, Rebecc a, Abraham, Hannah, Mary, Prudence. Will dated 8 Sep 1765; proved 16 July 1768.
MARY LACY m. JONATHAN HALL. Children: William, Kezia, Charity, Mary, Ichabod.
ELIZABETH LACY. No further information about Elizabeth.
The children were baptized 20 January 1694/5 at the First Congregational Church of Christ in Fairfield, CT. Sarah Lacy, wife of Edward Lacy, Sr. was admitted to full communion on January 13, 1694/5. There does not appear to be any record of Edward Lacy, Sr. being a member of the church. (The children of non-communicants who accepted the church covenant before the congregation, were baptized. This was not a practice accepted by all congregations.)
The International Genealogical Index (IGI) shows the children of Edward Lacy, Sr. and wife, Sarah, as being born in Salem, Essex Co., MA all on the same day, 20 June 1694. The placement of the CT family in Salem and the supposed identity of parents for Edward Lacy Sr. can be traced to three sources.
One is the article in "American Ancestry" regarding the family of Rowland Bradley Lacey, "...the Lacey family is evidently of Norman origin and migrated to Eng. in the time of or prior to the period of the commonwealth, and later many of them passed over to the North of Ireland, and from there they came to New England, landing at Salem or on the coast of N.H., and came into the vicinity of Boston, abt. 1690, and while sojourning there the aged parent John Lacy d. suddenly at the age of 104 yrs., and it is probable that he may have been the progenitor of the Fairfield family, among whom the name of John is of frequence (sic) occurrence, while other members settled in Mass., and still others in New Jersey and further south."
The second is included in "The Roll of the House of Lacy". "John Lacy of England, first settler in America, died near Boston and was then aged 104 years; his son, Edward (Sr.), was born in 1655-1656 and married Sarah [this part was quoted by Philip S. Lacy in his book, "The Lacy Family From F airfield Connecticut"] ....... In 1692 Mary de Lacy, wife of John, together with Mary daughter of Edward Lacy (Jr.), witnessed against witchcraft; the latter, who was born at Salem 1672, was tried but not executed...." The family involved in the Salem Witch Trials was that of Laurence Lacy of Andover, Essex Co., MA. His wife, Mary Lacy, his mother-in-law Ann Foster and daughter Mary Lacy, Jr. were convicted but not executed although Ann Foster died in prison. There is a great deal of documentation about the Salem Trials and the information in "The Roll" is absolutely incorrect. The date stated for the younger Mary Lacy's birth should have been a clue that there was a problem with this information.
The third source is from DAR Bible Records found in the NY State Library Vol. 6 pp135-8, "Lacey Family of Fairfield, CT and Laceyville, PA" submitted by Miss Mayme A. Spring of Syracuse NY March, 1925. Page 135: "The Lacey Family is evidently of Norman origin and migrated to New England. Our ancestors came direct from England to New England.....no line of descent can be traced until we come to John Lacey whose wife was Mary. He died suddently at the age of one hundred and four in the vicinity of Boston. Through his son Edward we trace our line descent. A fact worthy of note is that Mary Lacey, September 8, 1692 in Salem witnessed against witchcraft while her grand-daughter also called Mary Lacey nine days later was tried for witchcraft but not executed..." Page 136: "John - _________ Sarah eldest born 1580. Elizabeth, Thomas, Edward born 1655 or 6, settled in Fairfield, Connecticut about 1693. His wife, Sarah, was admitted to church of Fairfield January 13, 1694. He purchased land in Fairfield in 1704." This statement is followed by descendant information for Edward Lacy, Jr. It is very possible that the father of Edward Lacy, Sr. was named John but to my knowledge nothing has surfaced yet to prove that. Edward Lacy, Sr. is known only by his name being shown on the church records and by implication of his son being referred to as a junior in the1701 deed. Philip S. Lacy stated, "JOHN LACY, first American settler, was born in England, probably in Nottingham. He came with his wife, Mary, to America, landing at Salem or on the coast of New Hampshire, in which vicinities they lived at unascertained places and periods. He died in 1690 at the age of 104 years.
Due to lack of record proofs, the foregoing statement must rest on family tradition and such corroborating circumstantial evidence as is available." In the "History of the Old Town of Stratford..." there is a statement on p. 543 in a brief biography of John Lacey, grandson of Edward Lacy, Sr. and wife Sarah, "The first settler is said to have come from Nottingham, England". This information and that in the "American Ancestry" article can most likely be attributed to Rowland Bradley Lacey who was the president of the Fairfield County Historical Society 1881 -1892. At this time it is anybody's guess as to what prompted the idea that the family came from Nottinghamshire. This could be correct but, the family could have come from just about any other county in England. And, the family may have been any number of places in America before settling in CT. If they had been in anyplace in New England other than where they are first found in CT it would seem that there would be some record of them given the extensive records available. To my knowledge nothing has been found.
Sources: "The Lacy Family From Fairfield Connecticut" compiled by Philip S. Lacy, 1973 LDS film No. 1036670. "History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield" Vol. II, Donald Lines Jacobus "The History of Fairfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut" by Mrs. Elizabeth Hubbell Schenck, Vol. I, LDS film No. 1 035766. Register of Deeds, Vol. 2, 1692-1714, p. 88, Fairfield, CT. LDS fim No. 0004273.Fairfield, CT Probate District records deposited in the Connecticut State Library. LDS film No. 1018762. Barbour Collection. LDS film No. 0002931. "American Ancestry: .." Vol. VIII 1893, Originally Pub. by Joel Munsell's Sons; 1968 reprint by Genealogical Publishing Co. pp 115-6. "Burying Places of Stratford, Connecticutt" extracti on from "A History of the Old Town of Stratford and the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut" by Rev. Samuel Orcutt, Part I, Pub. under he auspices of the Fairfield County Historical Society, 1886. NJ Calendar of Wills. "The Roll of the House of Lacy" compiled by De Lacy-Bellingari, Baltimore, 1928. appendix, pp 363-4 "A History of the Old Town of Stratford and the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut" Rev. Samuel Orcutt, Part II, published under the auspices of the Fairfield County Historical Society, 1886. "History of Andover from Its Settlement to 1829" by Abiel Abbot, Pub. 1829. LDS film No. 874364. "Salem Witchcraft Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables" by Enders A. Robinson, Heritage Books, Inc. 1992 Records, Essex Co., MA Town Hall. LDS film No. 767599.