_UPD: 09 MAR 2011 16:37:23 GMT-5
Name: !*Aaron STARK
Given Name: !*Aaron
RIN: MH:IF20228 ABT 1608 in England or Scotland
RIN: MH:IF20229 BEF JUN 1685 in Stonington, New London Co., CT 1
Kinship to Author: 9th great-grandfather
Boston Transcript, 9 april 1906, Genealogical Column: Enlisted under Captain Mason in 1637 in the Pequot Indian War.
"who fought under General John Mason during the Pequot War, and who was living in Stonington, CT as early as 1653;" and "As one of the early settlers in Connecticut, it is not too difficult to find accounts of Aaron Stark's life, although there is a limited amount of information that is known about him. In The Aaron Stark Family, C. R. Stark relates the following:
Aaron Stark, the first settler of that name, died in that part of New London that is now Groton in 1685. The place and date of his birth have never been discovered. The name of his wife is also unknown. A deposition given by him in the boundary dispute between Connecticut and Rhode Island found in the Stonington Town Records, June 11, 1673, gives us a clue to his age:
The testimony of Aaron Stark aged sixty-five years or thereabouts testifieth and sayeth, that we being
soldiers under Capt. John Mason with many more when we went against the Pequot Indians, we being
landed in the Narragansett country when many of the Narragansetts came armed and tendered
themselves to go with us in that service against the Pequots wherein they were readily accepted and
marched with us through part of the Narragansett country until they came within four or five miles of
the Pawcatuck River where we made a halt when Ninicraft and Miantonomo with many others did
declare unto our commander that we were come into the Pequot country and did then advise them to
be very careful of themselves lest they should be destroyed.
Aaron Stark and Jacob Waterhouse appeared this eleventh day of June 1673 and made oath to what is
above written before me.
New England Families, Genealogies and Memorials, Vol II, p 694:
"William Stark, father of Christopher, was a son of the immigrant ancestor , who was in Windsor, Connecticut, in 1643, in Mystic in 1653. Aaron Stark took the freeman's oath in Stonington, Connecticut, in May 1666, and in 1669 was a freeman of New London, Connecticut, where he died in 1685."
More information from my own research:
The family of Stark is of ancient Scot origin. The ancestry of the Scot family is traced to Murhead, in Bothwick, in 1100. In 1347, his lineal descendant Murhead was created lord of Lacrope. In 1480, John Murhead, son of the lord of Lacrope, was named John Stark, signifying great strength.
Aaron Stark, the immigrant ancestor, was settled at Hartford as early as 1639, and was of Windsor in 1643, finally locating at New London. His name is found in Mystic as early as 1650, being among the Stoningtonmen who took the freeman's oath in 1666. He bought a farm near the head of the Mystic river of William Thompson, the Pequot missionar, and was included within the boundaries of New London. Neither or children are found on the vital records, but the probate records show that he had sons: Aaron, John, and William, and that his daughters married John Fish and Josiah Haynes. His wife was probably Mary Holt. He was a soldier in King Philip's war, and recieved a grant of land at Volunton, Conneticut, for his services. He died in 1685. His descendant have been numerous at Mystic, Conneticut, and vicinity.
(I) Daniel Stark, a descendant of Aaron, was born, lived and died at Mystic, Conneticut. He married Elizabeth Frank. He was a quiet, earnest and upright man, deacon at the Baptist church and a prosperous farmer in Mystic all his active life.
(II) Jonathan, son of Daniel Stark, was born in Mystic. He was a farmer in his native town, highly respected in the community. He was deacon of the Baptist church. He married Betsey Reed. Children: Eliza, Emily, Julia, J. Russell (mentioned below), and William.
(III) James Russell, son of Jonathan Stark, was born at Mystic, Conn. and attended the public schools there. He learned the trade of carpenter and followed it for a number of years. He became a builder and contractor in his native town. He was a successful man of business, and commanded the respect and confidence of his townsmen. He was always interestedin politic, and was a prominent Democrat, but never sought or held office. He was a member of the Baptist church, generous in charity and popular among all classes of men. He married Mary A. Williams, daughter of Philo and Amittai (Blake) Williams. Two children reached maturity: 1. James Ellis, married Caroline North Murphy, and had Lloyd Rider and Whitney Williams. 2. Mary Amittai, married Albert Barnard Crafts. She is a member of Rhode Island Independence Chapter, Daughters of American Revolution, and of the National Society of Sons and Daughters of Pilgrims, being a direct descendent on maternal side of Myles Standish, John Alden, and Priscilla Mullins.
---- Unknown Source
Change Date: 26 Mar 2007 at 19:56:04
No record of marriage for Aaron Stark, Sr., has been found nor seems likely to be found, but it is thought the name of his bride was Sarah: a Sarah Stark was one of the witnesses to a deed of sale made by Aaron in 1670, the year (as we will learn later) he sold his Stonington land grant to Robert Fleming.
We can only speculate, too, about Sarah’s given name and her family. Since she bore children well into the 1660s, she was evidently considerably younger than Aaron, who was about 45 in 1653. Could she have been the daughter of one of Mason's servants, and was their marriage one of convenience? One can easily imagine that Aaron's reputation (reinforced by his scar) would have made it difficult for him to find in the Connecticut communities a woman who would willingly marry him. Mason, charged with responsibility for Aaron's behavior, could have arranged a marriage with a young woman also in his employ. In Mason’s view, such a marriage might help to encourage Aaron’s proper behavior while he was living some distance from Mason in Saybrook.
On May 10, 1666, the Connecticut Court announced their approval of men who were to become freemen. The record states: "And to these of Stonington (approved to become freemen); — Nehe: Palmer, Tho: Shaw, Thomas Stanton Junr, John Stanton, Moses Palmer, Benjam: Palmer, Gershom Palmer, Ephraim Minor, Joseph Minor, Aaron Start, James York Senr, Mr. Noice, Nathll Chesborough, Elisha Chesborough. Mr. Thomas Stanton is to administer the fremns oath to those, and ye oath of Fidelity to such in Stonington as haue not taken it."
Why had it taken so long for Aaron to become a freeman? Sydney E. Ahlstrom, in discussing the experience of a group of Connecticut settlers, points out that "Once established, the Connecticut colony did not categorically require freemen to be church members." The Connecticut Colony did have certain other requirements, though. At its March 9, 1658/59, meeting, the Connecticut court ordered: "that for the future it shalbe presented to be made freemen in this Jurisdiction, or haue the priuilidge of freedome conferd vpon them, vntil they haue fulfild the age of twenty one years and haue 30£. Of personal estate, or haue borne office in the Como wealth; such persons qualified as before, and being men of an honest and peaceable conversation, shalbe presented in an orderly way at the General Court in October, yearly, to prevent tumult and trouble at the Court Election."
At this time, we know Aaron did not own real property and most likely did not have a personal estate valued at 30£, so he would not have been eligible to become a freeman. On October 9, 1662, however, the court modified the requirements as follows: "This assembly doth order, that for ye future, such as desire to be admitted freeman of this Corporation shal prsent themselues with a certificate vnder ye maior part  of the Townesmen where they liue, that they are prsons of civill, peaceable and honest conversation, and that they attained the age of twenty one yeares and haue 20£. Estate, besides their person, in the List of estate; and that such persons, soe qualified to ye Courts approbation, shalbe presented at October Court yearly, or some adjourned Court, and admitted after ye Election at ye Assembly in May. And in case any freeman shal walke scandalously or commit any scandalous offence, and be legally convicted thereof, he shalbe disfranchised by any of or civill Courts." But in 1662, Aaron still did not meet the property value of 20£.
Three years later, on April 20, 1665, the court made yet another revision to the requirements, which was presented to them as a proposition from "his Majesties Honourable Comrs," Sir Robert Carr, Colonel George Cartwright, and Samuel Maverick: "2d. Propos: That all men of competent estates and of ciuill conversation, though of different judgments, may be admitted to be freemen, and haue liberty to chuse or to be chosen officers, both military and civill. To the 2d, our order for admission of freemen is consonant wth that proposition." Proposition 1 required all inhabitant households to take the oath of allegiance in the name of the King and Proposition 3 stated: "That all persons of civill liues freely injoy the liberty of their consciences, and the worship of God in that way which they thinks best, provided that this liberty tend not to the disturbance of the publique, or to the hindrance of the mayntenance of ministers regularly chosen in each respective parish or township."
By the date of this third change, Aaron Stark owned not only the 150 acres in Stonington but the Thompson property, which by itself was most likely worth more than the required 20£. Based on the procedure the 1662 revision laid out, Aaron Stark’s certificate of approval from the townsmen of Stonington must have been presented to the court at its meeting in October 1665, because he was officially designated a Freeman of Connecticut at its meeting on May 10, 1666. Hence, because a majority of the townsmen of Stonington considered Aaron worthy of becoming a freeman, he had finally earned the respect of his community and was considered to be one of the "prsons of civill, peaceable and honest conversation…"
Minor's diary had two more entries about Aaron before he moved to the Thompson property. One of them, in March 1665/66, states: "The tenth moneth is December … Thursday the 13 day mr Richerson came to my house to swear Aron Start."
Soon after Aaron became a freeman, Aaron and Sarah evidently moved to the Thompson property, within the jurisdiction of New London, for Aaron is on the minister's tax list at New London on December 2, 1667. On October 14, 1669, he was accepted as a freeman in New London. Aaron had not been on the New London minister's tax list in 1664, which supports the conclusion that he moved to New London from Stonington only after May 10, 1666, when the court approved his petition to become a freeman. Henceforth, he would reside in New London, and our next section will discuss his life there.
Aaron and Sarah's New London Homestead
At the time Aaron and Sarah moved to New London, they still owned a land grant in Stonington; however, Aaron had not recorded its boundaries as originally laid out. On March 1, 1669/70, therefore, the Stonington town surveyors, Thomas Stanton and John Gallop, surveyed the property and entered the description in the town records. This was most likely done in anticipation of Aaron’s sale of the property to Robert Fleming of Stonington on September 26, 1670, in a transaction that was witnessed by Sarah Stark, presumably the wife of Aaron. The town records tell us that:
(page 118)…upon the 22 of March 1664 Land Layed out for Aron Stark as Followeth beginning att a Black Oake in a Swamppie pond and so runeing east south east neerest in line Score? Rod to a stooping white oake and ? runeing south southeast nearest a hundred rod to a tree… out blacke Oake nohirh? was dead marked on ffouer sides and so runeing west north west norwest five ???? score? rod to a greate white oake tree marked on ffouer sides, and so winding north north east nearest a hundred rod to the affore said blacke oake in the swamp= pie pond, all nohirh? land above spesiffied amounteting to A hundred and fittie Ackers, highways excepted.
Tho. Stanton, John Gallop, Towne Sirvayors
For as much as Aron Start hath bin remis in not recording his paper of the boundaries of this land above mentioned, we have veiwed his bound markes and reained? them Exactly as they were then layed out and have recorded them againe for him as you may goe above only the day then if not layd out we cannot remember but re?? it to the Towne booke of records: this first of March 1669/70 the day ?hen this was first Layd out is as above written the 22 of March 1664: as apeares in the second leafe of the Towne booke Tho. Stanton John Gallop his wart of land above written was Recorded the 13th of July 1670 Pr me Thomas Minor Recorder.
With this survey in place, Aaron could then sell the property, as the following deed documents:
"(Page 123) Know all men by these presents that I Aron Starke of New London heare by sell ------ Allinate pass away and make over unto Robert Flemen of Stoneington my whole right in my tract of Land in Stoneington ------- tract of Land being one hundred and fifty ackers as according to grant and bounded as in the Records in the booke of Records in Stoneington the said Tract of Land with all Privledges appurtenances belongeing there unto and binde my selfe, heiers, & Excutors, Administrators, assignes that the sayd Robert Flemen he his heiers Executors, Administrators, Assigns shall quietly and peaceably Improve, poses and Injoy the sayd bargained premises with out molestation from me or any other maner of person or persons whatsoever as Desposting Title unto whith deed of sale & sett to my hand and subscribe in the day and yeare as followeth September the 26 1670.
Signed: The marke of Aron A Starke.
Witness: John Fish, Sarah Starke S her marke
This deed was owned and delivered by these (to) Mr. Thomas Minor Comr. (Commissioner) 21 November 1670. Sealed and delivered In the Prsense of the witnesses. A testing This deed above written was Recorded the 22: Day of November: 1670: Pr me Thomas Minor, Recorder."
This mystery is, as we have seen, only one of many that Aaron Stark left behind. There are limits to what we can say with assurance. That Aaron was a soldier before 1637 may be disputed, but we do know that he was one in the Pequot War and probably afterwards. We cannot fix in time when he arrived in New England, nor with whom he came, and we can only guess at what Aaron was doing before the Pequot War. On the other hand, Minor’s diary and other documents do give us invaluable glimpses of Aaron over the space of many years — including some through the eyes of a person who knew him well, and that is quite rare.
Some historians have treated Aaron's character harshly, based on the three cases that came before the Particular Court of Connecticut. We cannot say with certainty that Aaron was innocent of any wrongdoing, but we can reasonably question the circumstances of those events and balance them against what we know about the later stages of his life. That balance actually seems to favor Aaron Stark:
• Because he soon took responsibility for Mason’s Stonington land grants in 1653, we know he had become, and remained, a trusted servant of the Major.
• Aaron married, became a father, successfully raised children who went on to lead responsible lives, and survived to the age of 77 — in itself quite an achievement in such a hostile environment.
• While looking after Mason’s interest in Stonington, Aaron earned the respect of his neighbors, the majority of whom signed a certificate in October of 1665 recommending he become a freeman of that township — an action the Connecticut General Court took on May 10, 1666.
• When Aaron moved to New London Township in 1669, he was accepted there as a freeman.
• Aaron was awarded land grants by both Stonington Township (1664) and New London Township (1670) — presumably in recognition of his contributions to those communities and to Connecticut.
• All of these things occurred despite Aaron’s having a scar that could not help but remind his neighbors and acquaintances of his youthful lack of discretion and choice of companions.
These documented events in Aaron’s life certainly suggest Aaron was a man whose behavior and reputation evolved in a positive way. From being regarded as an unpromising youth; he became a man respected by his peers and community. We should give some credit to John Mason and Sarah for having influenced Aaron’s behavior, to be sure, but Aaron himself had to have had the will to change, and that requires some strength of character.
With these observations, we leave Aaron and Sarah, the first generation of our Stark Ancestors in the New World. Grateful that he and his family survived a difficult and dangerous time in colonial New England, we turn now to how his children fared during the next era of our country’s history.
!*Sarah b: BET 1630 AND 1638
- Change Date:
26 Mar 2007
in Saybrook, Connecticut
- *Sarah STARK b: ABT 1660 in Stonington, New London Co., CT
- Aaron Stark b: FROM 1654 TO 1657 in Stonington, New London Co., CT
- John Stark b: BET 1656 AND 1659 in Stonington, New London Co., CT
- William STARK b: 1664 in Stonington, New London Co., CT
- Elizabeth Stark b: BEF 1673 in New London, CT
- Anna Stark b: BEF 1684 in New London, CT
- Title: Internet
Date: 26 Mar 2007
- Title: Rootsweb.com
Date: 26 Mar 2007
- Title: Rootsweb.com
Date: 26 Mar 2007