Benjamin Burr was born in 1610 in England and died on March 31, 1681 in Hartford, CT. He first appeared as one of the original settlers of Hartford in 1635. His name in the land division of Hartford in 1639 as an original proprietor and settler is the first evidence we have of his presence in America; but, as the first settlers of Hartford were collected from Watertown, Newton and other places near Boston, it is certain that he was in Massachusetts some time before his appearance in Hartford.
He married Ann or Hannah (____) in England ca 1637. She survived him and died on August 31, 1683.
Benjamin seems to have been an active, energetic, thorough businessman, and mingled but little in public affairs; hence but brief mention is made of him in the records of the colony. He was the first of the Burr name in Connecticut, and was admitted a freeman in 1658. His allotment in the land division of Hartford in 1639 was six acres. He also drew eighteen acres in the land division of East Hartford in 1666. On June 9, 1666 Edward Messenger and Job Drake also sold 24 acres of their jointly-owned Greenfield land to Benjamin Burr of Hartford. His house-lot in Hartford in 1640 was bounded northeast on Stephen Hart, northwest on John Warner, southwest by the road to the cow pasture, and southeast on Samuel Hale's lot. Benjamin appears to have been a thrifty, well-to-do settler, as he owned another house-lot in the northwest part of the village, besides houses and lands at Greenfield in Windsor. In an old plan of the city of Hartford a Burr Street appears, probably named in his honor; it ran northwest from Main, at the corner of Village and Magon, to Albany, and is now a portion of Main Street.
Benjamin was a solider in the Pequot War. He died at Hartford 31 Mar 1681, and was buried probably in some one of the hillside cemeteries long since obliterated, in which rests the dust of so many of Hartford's early settlers. A monument to his memory, in common with the other original settlers of Hartford, was erected in the cemetery of the Central Congregational Church, by the Ancient Burying-Ground Association of that city. Few vestiges of Benjamin Burr remain to the present time. The name of Benjamin Burr of Hartford is inscribed on the monument erected by the Ancient Burying Ground Association in the yard of Central Congregational Church.
His will is dated January 2, 1677, four years before his death, and reads as follows:
In the name of God, Amen. I, Benjamin Burre, of Hartford, in New England, being feeble in body but of good sense and understanding, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in the manner following: Imprimis. I give and bequeath my soule into the hands of God, and my body after my decease to comely Christian burial. Also, my will is that my just debts and funeral expenses be paid out of my estate, and as for the rest of my wordly goods, I dispose of them as follows:
Item. I give unto my beloved wife, Anna Burre, my whole estate during the term of her natural life excepting only what I doe by this my following will appoynt to be payed before her death.
Item. I give unto my son, Samuel Burre, and his heirs forever, after my wife's decease, all my land at Greenfield, with all the buildings thereon, and doe also give him whatsoever he hath already received from me.
Item. I give unto my son, Thomas Burre, and his heirs forever, all my housing and lands whatsoever, in the township of Hartford, after my wife's decease; and my team, that is, two oxen and a horse, also all the utensils to the team belonging, as cart, plow, and such like, to be his after my decease, and my will is that he doe with the team and utensils doe all the work for my wife while she liveth that is to be done with a team.
Item. I give unto my daughter, Hannah Burre, after my decease, a bed and furniture, with so much other household stuff as will amount to ten pounds at the inventoried price. Also I give to my said daughter one-third part of all my other household goods, to be delivered after her mother's decease.
Item. I give unto my daughter, Mary Crowe, twenty shillings, and it is to what she hath already received from me to be paid after my decease.
Item. I give unto my grandchild, Mary Crowe, ten pounds after my wife's decease, upon condition that she live with and serve her grandmother until her marriage or the age of eighteen years.
Item. I give ten pounds to be at the disposal of my beloved wife at her will to such of her children as by their duteous behavior shall in her judgment best deserve the same; also if there be any overplus of my estate when the afore-mentioned legacies are paid, I bequeath it to the disposal of my said wife.
Item. I doe moreover give ten pounds more to my daughter Hannah, to be paid to her by my son, Thomas, after his mother's decease, besides what is before mentioned.
Item. My will is that my son Thomas shall take care of his mother while they live together in this world, to supply her wants in all respects, so far as the estate left to that end will do it.
Item. I make my wife, Anna Burre, and my son, Thomas Burre, joint and only executors of this my last will and testament. Benjamin Burre.
The inventory was £32, 12s.10d.
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