Thomas¹ Munson was born in 1612, Suffolk England, and was baptized in Rattlesden St. Nicholas Church, Suffolk that same year. He emigrated to America, and his presence is first documented in Hartford colony in 1637 at age 25. His wife’s name was Joanna¹ Munson. Her maiden name is unknown, and there is no record of their marriage date and location. Interestingly, Hotten’s Lists of Emigrants, page 279 (as recounted by Myron Andrews⁹ Munson in Volume I of The Munson Record), gives the names and ages of all the passengers who were on-board the sailing vessel Elizabeth of Ipswich, England, and that was bound for the New England colonies in April 1634. Among the passengers is a Susan Munson, age 25. This Susan, three years older than Thomas¹, may have been his wife. If this was the case, they were married in England and emigrated to America together, and further, it is unknown how or why, if she was Thomas¹’s wife, she became known as Joanna Munson.
Together, Thomas¹ and Joanna¹ had three children. The first child was Elisabeth² Munson. Her birth-date and birth-location are unknown. It is probable that she was born during Thomas¹’s time in Hartford (1637-1639) or during his migration from Hartford through Quinnipiac to New Haven arriving before summer of 1639. Her birth and baptism are not recorded in the First Church of New Haven as are those of her two younger siblings who were born in New Haven. Samuel² Munson was born August 7, 1643 and sister Hannah² Munson was born June 11, 1648. The births of Samuel² and Hannah² occurred when Thomas¹ and Joanna¹ were living on the “planters” lot between the north banks of the West Creek and George St, in the New Haven Colony.
The Munson Record Volume I author, Myron Andrews⁹ Munson writes in the Annals of Thomas¹ Munson mostly about Thomas¹’s endeavors. Not much is written about the activities of the women in Thomas¹’s life. Just the births, marriages, and deaths are accounted in the writings for Joanna¹, his wife, and Elisabeth ² and Hannah ², his daughters. Myron Andrews⁹ writes a lengthy biography on the life of son Samuel².
Elisabeth² Munson married Timothy Cooper of Springfield Colony on October 19, 1664, probably when she was in her early 20’s and most likely moved to the Springfield area, some 75 miles north from New Haven. Together, they had one son, John³ Cooper. His birth-date and birth location are unknown, and little is known of his life. Husband Timothy Cooper died sometime before September 30, 1679. Widow Elisabeth² moved back to New Haven and was a documented resident as of 1689. She married Richard Higinbothom of Stamford, and took up new residence there. Stamford is about 40 miles southwest from New Haven. The marriage date is unknown. Elisabeth² and Richard had three children: Rebekah³, born October 12, 1682 (note Elisabeth² would have been in her early 40’s at this time); Richard³ Jr, and Hannah³. Birth-dates for Richard³ Jr and Hannah³ are unknown. Both are documented to have married and had children in Stamford. Elizabeth² died December 18, 1706 in Stamford at age 66 or 67 years, but little is known about her life.
Samuel² Munson was born August 7, 1643 in New Haven while the family lived on the “planters” lot near the north banks of the West Creek, New Haven. He became a shoemaker and tanner by trade. He also participated in local government. He married Marth Bradley October 26, 1665 at age 22, and settled in New Haven. Together they had ten children: Martha³ born May 6, 1667; Samuel³ born February 28, 1669; Thomas³ born March 12, 1671; John³ born January 28, 1673; Theophilus³ born September 1, 1675; Joseph³ born November 1, 1677; Stephen³ born December 5, 1679; Caleb³ born November 19, 1682; Joshua³ born February 7, 1684; and Israel³ born March 6, 1686 (died June 18, 1697 at age 11). Samuel² died the winter of 1693 in New Haven at age 50.
Hannah² Munson was born June 11, 1648 in New Haven, also in the home on the “planters lot” near the north banks of West Creek, New Haven. She married Joseph Tuttle May 2, 1667 at age 18, and they settled in the area that today is East Haven, CT. Together they had nine children: Joseph³ born March 18, 1667; Samuel³ born July 15, 1670, Stephen³ born May 20, 1673; Johanna³ born December 30, 1675; Timothy³ born September 30, 1678 (died November 21, 1678); Susanna³ born February 20, 1680; Elisabeth³ born July 12, 1683; Hannah³ born May 14, 1685 (presumed died at birth); Hannah³ born February 26, 1686. Four years after the death of her husband Joseph Tuttle in September of 1690, she married Nathan Bradley of Guilford on August 21, 1694. They had no children together. Hannah² died November 30, 1695 at age 47.
Thomas¹ and Joanna¹ raised their young children at the “planter’s lot” on the north banks of West Creek until 1640. When Elisabeth² was about 12 years old, Samuel² 8 years and Hannah² 3 years, Thomas¹ and Joanna¹, left the planters lot and moved around a bit, until they settled into the home on the corner of Elm and Church Streets in the New Haven Town Square in 1656. By that time Elisabeth² was about 16 years old, Samuel² was 13, and Hannah² was 8. They resided at that home for six years. Then as their children grew older, Thomas¹ age 50 years and Joanna¹ age approximated at 53 years, moved to the home on Grove St between College and Church Streets in 1662 where they lived the rest of their lives. By the time they relocated to the Grove Street home, Elisabeth² was about 22 years old, Samuel² was 19 years old, and Hannah² was 14 years.
Within five years of moving into the Groves Street home, all three children were married and moved out: Elisabeth² in 1664 at about age 24 or 25 years; Samuel² in 1665 at age 21; and Hannah² in 1667 at age 18.
Elisabeth² relocated to Springfield, 75 miles north of New Haven, and little is known about her life and how much she visited New Haven with her family. However, Samuel² settled in New Haven and Hannah² moved to East Haven, less than five miles away. Both Samuel² and Hannah² began their families soon after marrying. Within the following 19 years (1667 – 1686), combined, they provided Thomas¹ and Joanna¹ with eighteen grandchildren. Joanna¹ died in December 1675, and only was able to enjoy 11 of these 18 grandchildren. Thomas¹ died in May 1685, the same month Hannah² most likely lost her baby Hannah³. Two more grandchildren were born in 1686, after Thomas¹’s death. It is unknown whether or not Thomas¹ knew any of Elisabeth²’s children, since she lived quite far away from New Haven. Certainly, Joanna¹ did not know any of Elisabeth²’s children with Richard Higinbothom since she died before Rebekah³ and her brothers were born.
Thomas¹ and Joanna¹ died before any 4th-generation descendant great-grandchildren were born and that are the ancestors for which the Thomas¹ Munson Clans are named. The first great-grandchild was Solomon⁴ Munson, born February 18, 1689 to Samuel³ of Wallingford (CT), 2nd child and 1st son of Samuel² of New Haven, only son of Thomas¹. In total, Thomas¹ and Joanna¹ had 3 2nd-generation children, 23 3rd-grandchildren (3 of whom died before adulthood), and 99 4th-generation great-grand children that are documented. There may be more because so little is known of Elisabeth²’s children and because only birthdates are known for Hannah²’s youngest two daughters. Amazingly, Samuel² had 75 documented 4th-generation grandchildren. To-date the 24 Munson clans are derived from a subset of Thomas¹ and Joanna¹’s 99 great-grandchildren.