Hyde/Hide William ( ?? -1681) – Norwich, CT

William Hyde or Hide was born in England, most likely between 1600-1615. His first documented appearance was in 1636, as one of the founders and original proprietors of Hartford, CT.


It is probable that William came from Essex, England, approximately 40 miles northeast of London. William was a follower of Rev Thomas Hooker, a controversial and charismatic leader whose political views tended to run afoul of the establishment. Beginning in 1631, on the ship Lyon, several groups of Congregationalists, calling themselves the Braintree Company, left the Braintree and Chelmsford areas of Essex to settle in Mount Wollaston, aka the notorious “Merrymount”, now known as Quincy, MA. Some of the colonists are listed as coming from Devonshire, England, several of whom had sold their properties and moved to London in preparation for the trip to America. The Braintree colonists were relocated sometime around 1633 to Newtowne, MA by order of the General Court, ostensibly because of a gap in the defenses of the new colony. On Sept 4, 1633, their pastor, Rev Thomas Hooker and his assistant, Rev Samuel Stone arrived in Boston on the ship Griffin. Hooker had been a pastor and teacher at Chelmsford between 1626-29 before being forced to retire to nearby Little Baddow, then fleeing to Rotterdam in 1631. Almost from the moment he arrived at Newtowne (later Cambridge, MA), Hooker was at odds with the local governing body.


In 1636, Hooker and his followers traveled nearly 100 miles through wilderness to Suckiag, which they renamed Hartford, CT. William Hyde was one of the first landholders there, in 1639 his home lot was on the south side of the road “from George Steele’s to the South Meadow” (old Buckingham St.) and he was chosen surveyor of the highways in 1641. He is honored, along with Hooker and his other followers, on several monuments.


Hooker’s death in 1647 created a leadership vacuum in Hartford, with his successor, Rev Samuel Stone, at odds with others over control of the colony. It is not known precisely when William removed to Saybrook, CT, but it can be said that many left Hartford around this time. Later, in 1659 or ’60 William became one of the original proprietors of Norwich, CT. He was well respected among the settlers, frequently elected as a representative or selectman. He died 6 January 1681 at Norwich Village (New London), CT.


He is sometimes said to have married Hester Trott in England, but there is no evidence to date of his wife’s first name or maiden name. Late in life, William Hyde married again, 4 June 1667, Mrs. Joanna/Johanna (—) Abell/Abel, widow of Robert Abell of Rehoboth, Connecticut. She and William had no children. She had eight children from her previous marriage to Robert. Note that Robert’s father George Abell attended Oxford, Bracenose College; also note Robert’s mother Frances Cotton’s descent: “Abell-Cotton-Mainwaring: Maternal Ancestry of Robert Abell of Weymouth and Rehoboth, Mass.,” TG 5 (1984):158-71. Joanna made a will and legal arrangements that clearly designated her property and lands and provided exclusively for the children of her first marriage upon her death, which occurred after 1682. There was a legal dispute over William’s properties which broke out among his heirs around the same time, but this did not involve Joanna’s property as her arrangements were contracted with William prior to their marriage.


William and his as-yet unnamed wife had the following children: Esther or Hester and Samuel.



Esther or Hester Hyde, most likely born in England approx 1627-29, married John Post in Saybrook, CT 31 March 1652 [Town and Misc Records of Saybrook, CT]. John was baptised in Otham, Kent, England 13 September 1629, parents Stephen Post and Elinor Panton [NEHGR 160:33]. I found an old typewritten copy of the Saybrook Records, which shows a curious insertion after the main index. Between Vol 1 pages 16 and 20 there’s an entry for “Vol Q, pg QU” which states “John Post was married the last of March…1652. Margrit was born the 25th of Feb…1652. (The new year started on March 25th, so this was technically Feb of 1653.) Elizabeth was born the 22 of Feb…1654. John Post was born 12 of April…1657. Jasan Post was born the 6 of Nov…1659.” Jasan, a male or female name from the Greek “to heal, healer”, may or may not have been a misreading of “Sarah”, most likely the reading is correct. It would not be unusual at the time for a girl to be named Jasan and have preferred being called Sarah.


Reuben Hyde Walworth wrote the seminal genealogy book, “Hyde Genealogy…from William Hyde of Norwich” the full text of which can be found in our books section (link below). In it, he mentions that the first four children were born in Saybrooke, then in 1660 the couple moved to Norwich, where their remaining children were born. Walworth chooses to list the children males first rather than chronologically, as follows:


13. John, b. 12 April, 1657, at Saybrook, m. Sarah Reynolds.
14. Samuel, b. 8 March, 1668, at Norwich, m. Ruth Lathrop.
15. Margaret, b. 21 Feb., 1653, at Saybrook, m.. Caleb Abel.
16. Elizabeth, b. 22 Feb., 1655, at Saybrook. I have not been able to trace her further. 8he probably died unmarried.
17. Sarah, b. 6 Nov., 1659, at Saybrook, m. Capt. John Hough.
18. Mary, b. , 1662, at Norwich, m. Nathaniel Rudd.
19. Abigail, b. 6 Nov., 1664, at Norwich, d. in April, 1676.
20. Hannah, b. Oct., 1671, at Norwich. She probably died unm.
21. Lydia, b. 11 March, 1674, at Norwich. She m., 1, Abel Moore of New London, and 2, Joseph Harris of New London, and probably died without issue


Samuel Hyde b. 1637 at Hartford, CT, died 1677 at Norwich; married June 1659 Jane Lee, daughter of Thomas and Phoebe (Brown) Lee. Their children, all born in Norwich, were:


1. Elizabeth b. Aug 1660, married Lt Richard Lord.
2. Phebe b. Jan 1662 married Matthew Griswold.
3. Samuel b. May 1665 married Elizabeth Calkins.
4. John b. Dec 1667 married Experience Abel.
5. William b. Jan 1669/70 married Anne Bushnell.
6. Thomas b. July 1672 married Mary Backus.
7. Sara b. 1675, died the same year.
8. Jabez b May 1677 married Elizabeth Bushnell.


After Samuel died, John Birchard/Burchard (b. Jan 1627/8 Terling, Essex, numerous spellings of the surname) became the guardian of his children, marrying Jane Hyde by 1680 [Great Migration Vol 1, p 296].


William Hyde was an incredibly common name in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Unsourced online trees often try to shoehorn him in as the son of minor nobility or gentry, descending from the likes of William Hyde and Eleanor Molyneux, or George Hyde and Elizabeth Keyt, or Robert Hyde and Beatrice Caverly/Calverley. These Hyde lines are well documented and do not include William or any of the other early Hyde settlers in MA and CT. William Hyde of CT is also sometimes given as the husband of Ellen Stubbs (she born circa 1586-1589 per baptism records). While it’s true that a man named William Hyde married Ellen Stubbs at Prestbury, Cheshire on 21 July 1609, this William appears to have died in England and appears not to have had a son named William.


The Hyde DNA Project has male Y-DNA from several of William’s descendants. The results are consistent and show that William was not related to any of the other Puritan Hide/Hyde settlers, such as Samuel or Jonathan of MA and Humphrey of CT.


Hyde Genealogy of the Descendants, in the female as well as in the male lines from William Hyde, of Norwich by Reuben H. Walworth, J. Munsell Company, Albany, NY, 1864, 1446 pages, two volumes available on-line: http://archive.org/details/hydegenealogyord01walw and http://archive.org/details/hydegenealogyord02walw

If you are a descendant of William and have further information to share, please contact us.


  • I am a Hyde descendant from William Hyde. I have him as born 24 June 1597 Stockport Cheshire England, married 1630 to Hester Frances Trott, born 1609 London Middlesex England, died 1682 Saybrook Middlesex Connecticut.
    William was the son of Robert Hyde born March 25 1543 Norbury Cheshire England, died 22 March 1614, Stockport Cheshire England, and his wife Beatrice Calvery born 1547 Calverly Yorkshire, died 21 Dec 1624 Stockport Cheshire England

  • Jean, thanks for this information, it may help us find evidence for William’s birth and marriage. As you probably know, his descendants are documented in the book by Reuben Walworth – a link to the full text is in our Book Titles section. There are a number of people given as his parents on the internet (some referring back to the Walworth book as proof of parentage, although the book did not actually name his parents). So far, we know of no records of the time that show Robert and Beatrice were the parents of this particular William. Also we know of no documentation to show that his wife’s name was Hester Trott, other than a marriage record of the name of his eldest daughter being either Esther or Hester. If you know of any such records, we would appreciate knowing of them. The specific dates and places that you have provided will help greatly in the search and are much appreciated. Any other details that you are able to provide would be welcome. The problem with Elizabethan-era records is that they are often difficult to read, and when we’re dealing with conflicting data, it helps to have as many details as possible.

  • After the helpful comments from Ann Sterling and some searching through my own material and information I can access on the internet. I now think that the parents of William Hyde are not likely as I proposed. I am also thinking that Hester Trott as first wife has been confused with Hester Trott, wife of Bernard Hyde of England. It seems that many of us are recanting the same sources and when we look back in detail, the validation is just not there. Any feedback would be helpful. I do know though, that through my own family documentation that I am a descendant of the William Hyde through his family that moved into Canada via Quebec. The eventually ended up in Oxford County Ontario.

  • I’m also a Hyde descendent (through Samuel and down the line through Jedediah and down to Udney Hay Hyde. I struggled a few years ago to come up with confirmation of parentage of William in England and came up empty in this same way.

  • Andrew, thanks for your response. It’s not known if William Hyde was a member of the Braintree Company or if he ever resided in the Netherlands, but his association with Hooker increases the odds that more information about his family will eventually come to light.

  • I’m a descendant of Wm Hyde of Norwich. One of our ancestors left us a written family tree, but I’m not sure it went as far back as the ancestry in England. Various trees on Ancestry.com trace the line back into the middle ages, but the documentation appears scarce. Thrilled to find other Hydes interested in genealogy; I’ll have to let my aunt know about this site.

    B Hyde

  • Descendant of William Hyde through Samuel and Jane Lee, down to William Hyde and Anne Bushnell to Anne Hyde who married John Waterman. I am proud of my Hyde family. All my information comes from the “Hyde Genealogy.” Is there anything else I should read?

    • Marlene, that depends on your interests. While Walworth’s is the most comprehensive genealogy book on the lines that begin with William, there are many other books that make genealogical references to this line, several in a more historical or religious context. Email me at ann.sterling@gmail.com and I would be happy to share these with you. We also have a reference and books section in the top menu bar. Thanks for your query!


  • I am a descendant of William Hyde of Norbury, Cheshire England, down to Abel P. Hyde. I was just doing a google search for William Hyde family and came across this site. It is interesting to find what people put out there to make connections.

    Yesterday I was at the Oshkosh Public Library here in Oshkosh, WI which I now live. I came across a Welcome Hyde who is a son of Eli Hyde, grandson of Eliakim Hyde both of whom were natives of Connecticut.

    The emigrant ancestor of the Hyde “Hide” family in America settled to New England in about the year 1645, and was one of the colonists of that era who came of aristocratic lineage. A native of England, he belonged to the famous old family from which sprang Sir Edward Hyde, the English historian and statesman, who was Earl of Clarendon by King Charles II. in 1661. His daughter, Ann Hyde, became the wife of the Duke of York, afterwards King James II., and was the mother of Mary and Anna, both of whom became queens of Great Britain. Welcome Hyde’s mother was Mary “Polly” Campbell.

    This is what is said about William Hyde:

    William Hyde came to America from Chestershire (Cheshire), Eng. He descended from de Warrene, Stanley and Ferrers familih e Duke of York, who became King James II. The ancestry of William Hyde is traced to Emperor Charlemagne through the Bat d e Clare, Henry de Bohun and Robert de Vere.

    • Yep that would be us except there were two william Hydes. The son came to US and was a founder of Norwich CT, his son was Samuel hyde are both listed on a monument in the old cematary, in Norwich

  • Sheila, there’s a lot of faulty data out there, much of it created during the Victorian era. To give you some background, I recommend reading my co-editor Dan Hyde’s work in Vol 1, issue #1 of our newsletter, “Where’s Your Portion of the $350 Million Hyde Estate?”. Your help is always welcome, and I’m in the process of replying to your email message.

    • I am descended from William Hyde of Norwich CT.

      What would you like to know ? Alexander Gram Bell wrote a Huge volume on this branch of the Hyde ! About the Longevitiy of life !

      My Great Grand Father was Charles Levitt Hyde, you can still get his book on amazon.com

      Pioneir Days, I think ? I have a copy somewhere

      I know I am not spelling this correctly, but my grandfater was Charles Lee Hyde and he was famous as well !
      I am having difficulty seeing my email

      For a bit of a teaser google charles hyde and wounded knee south dakota ! That would be Charles Levitt not Charles Lee

      We have lots of data, send me an email for more data ! I can’t really see what I am typing ?


      Scott Hyde

      • Hi Scott,

        I can’t afford to pay for the Hyde Genealogy association to have advantage of having access like members. So here is my personal email address sosheilarae7@gmail.com.

        Sorry that you have trouble seeing, I have trouble hearing,so we kinda ride the same boat.


  • Thank you Ann for replying it is much appreciated. I have seen that Samuel Hyde born of 1637 has a mother who married his father in 1667, which I totally disagree with. I strongly agree with you about faulty info out there. I will take your advice about Dan Hyde if I can find it. Thank you so much. Sheila

  • As mentioned previously, I am a descendant of William Hyde, through Samuel and down through Jedediah, Udney Hay Hyde, Russell Hyde and from there Russell’s daughter Olive (Ollie). Much history on this branch. Glad to know you all and learn about the many historic branches of Hyde genealogy. I am a member on 23andMe, and through that service I have some genetic proof of the connection through Samuel – one cousin who shares a small segment of DNA with my mother and who shares Hyde ancestry through to Samuel. It’s pretty cool.

    • My father went to a cemetery in Norwich CT and found the grave of Samuel Hyde, I’m pretty sure it was Samuel son of William Hyde ! The tomb stones had fallen over Face down which is good as they were very legible ! ( less freeze-thaw degradation of the stone ??) anyway he got some rubbings, so they were really good for being that old ! Remarkably, there is a large monument in the cemetery that documents that Both William and Samuel were founders of the Town ! He send money to keep the graves cleaned up !


      Scott Hyde, Son of Richard, Son of Charles Lee, son of Charles Levitt Hyde !!

  • I found this web site today and logged in for free ? At Least no one has asked for money or credit card !

    Now that I have your email I can send you some data ! Things you may not know.

    Alexander Gram Bell ( yep the famous guy) wrote a very large book on the longevity of man ! He selected the William Hyde family descendants to study. Them and nobody else ! The book is full of all manner of charts etc. I don’t think there are any names and I don’t know why he selected our family ? I have a condensed, partial copy of that book, new copy from the library !

    I also have a copy of our genealogy that was done by my great grandfather Charles Levitt Hyde, Pierre South Dakota. This links us directly to William Hyde and back to England ! I have the original book that he had made ! He was extremely wealthy and could afford such things !

    Charles Levitt Hyde wrote a book that is still available on amazon today ! I’m sure one could have one sent to the locate library ! It’s called Pioneer Days. By Charles Levitt Hyde. It has some pictures of him half naked at age 60, he looks like a US Marine !! Amazing man in all respects and well worth the read ! He talks about my dad at age 3 and predicts that he will become a doctor ? Well he did but became a PhD level Immunologist and taught medical students for 50 + years !!

    Please let me know how I can help you, I have lots of data ! P.S at the top of this they talk about william hyde coming over with Rev Hooker ? While I do think that the father, William Hyde knew and was good friends with Rev Hooker from college, I don’t think that William Hyde left England, But his son also named William Hyde did !!

    I have seen the ships manifest of the fleet that brought Rev Hooker to the US and could not find any Hyde listed ? Which seems odd if He was on the ship and was important to any degree. This may explain the son presence but not the Father ? I found the manifest on the internet some years ago !

    Anyway, I got to get to sleep ? Please let me know how I can help you ?

    I can forward some pictures that will amaze you !


    Scott Hyde

    Sent from my iPad

  • Scott and Sheila – Here’s some clarification concerning some of the things that you’ve mentioned. This is a free site, the research, contents and upkeep are all done by volunteers, and we don’t ask for money. You might want to look at the “About Us” portion of our web site for further information.

    We also have a “Book Titles” section that references the two books you mention, “Pioneer Days, the Story of an Adventurous and Active Life” By Charles Leavitt Hyde, and “The Duration of Life and Conditions Associated with Longevity: A study of the Hyde Genealogy” By Alexander Graham Bell. We also list the genealogy book that Bell’s study was based on, “Hyde Genealogy of the Descendants in the female as well as in the male lines from William Hyde, of Norwich” by Reuben H. Walworth. Bell chose to study Hyde genealogy primarily because Walworth traced both patrilineal and matrilineal lines, emphasis on the latter being unusual for genealogy publications of the time.

    Again, I’m going to mention that we don’t know William Hyde’s parentage, and I’m not sure why this issue keeps coming up. If you have records or other information concerning his parentage that you would like to share, that would be appreciated. Scott, if your grandfather solved the mystery, it would be great if we could review his sources. As I mentioned to Sheila, there are many assertions out there concerning his parentage, and to date, none of them hold up under scrutiny. Feel free to email me directly at ann.sterling@gmail.com

  • HYDE, Hamon `Hamnet` son HYDE, Thomas son Hyde, Robert son Hyde, Hamnet son Hyde, Robert, Sr son Hyde, Robert son Hyde, Planter William Founders of Hartford son Hyde, Samuel daughter Hyde, Phoebe daughter Griswold, Elizabeth son Knox, John, Sr son Knox, Planter James, Sr. son Knox, Planter James, Jr. son Knox, James III son Knox, Samuel daughter Knox, Mary Virginia son Deason, Edward Adelbert son Deason, Sydney Doyle daughter Deason, Barbara Gail daughter Thigpen, Barbara Kim

  • Hi Robert,

    Supposedly William Hyde came from England aboard the ship Griffin. The Griffin is known to have made the crossing at least a couple of times and I believe Hyde came across during the same voyage as Reverend Thomas Hooker in 1633. A 1634 crossing has a passenger list that includes Anne Hutchinson. There does not seem to be an available listing of passengers for the 1633 voyage. I found someone online a couple of years ago who claimed to have a list for that voyage but he would not share it (or did not respond to requests.)


  • Thanks, Andrew! If I ever get to make a field trip to the Allen Co. (Indiana) Public Library genealogy center, I’ll see if I can find a ship list for 1633 Griffin crossing. I also need to document the chain of people between my wife and him. Right now it is just fun that she’s descended from a puritan. One of these days I need to pursue my New England families and see if they connect.

  • Came across this just now, as you sparked my curiosity on this point once more:


    I had gathered at some point some information about William Hyde to the effect that he may have been living for some time in Denmark or somewhere as a dissident before connecting with Hooker and arranging to go to the Colonies. This is very likely why no passenger list was preserved for this voyage – they may all have refused to sign the oath.

  • Sorry, my blockquote was formatted incorrectly. Here:

    We know that many ships sailed from Bristol, among others Tlte Angel
    Gabriel and TJie James, conveying the Revd. Richard Mather and the
    Revd. Daniel Maude, but no records of departures from that port remain.
    Again, who were the companions who sailed in 1633 m the The Griffin,
    with John Haynes and the Revd. Thomas Hooker ? Where are the lists
    of Tlte Arabella, and other ships, in which John Winthrop and the foun-
    ders of Massachusetts embarked ? Who went out with the Revd. Ezekiel
    Rogers from Rowley, and with Fenwick, and the Revd. Henry Whitfield ?
    These are but a few instances, to show how very imperfect are our records
    of the early settlers.

    Further, it should be borne in mind that only the names of those
    were taken who legally left the shores of England. At page 142, for
    example, and elsewhere throughout the book, we find that the passengers
    were examined by the minister touching their conformity to the church
    discipline of England, and that they had taken the oaths of allegiance
    and supremacy ; elsewhere (p. 106, &c.) we find it certified that they are
    no subsidy men, that is, men liable to the payment of a subsidy to the
    crown. Among the thousands who emigrated to New England, it can-
    not be doubted but that a very large number left to avoid payment of
    the hateful subsidy, and that they would not take the oaths of allegiance
    and supremacy. These, therefore, must have left secretly, and of such
    no record would exist.

    • Denmark was a refuge for my Hyde ancestors. Basis religious persecutions. He may have been one of many stowed away in a hogs barrel. On an undocumented trip to the Americas.

  • I descend from Capt. Matthew Hyde and Hannah Pember to Gustavus & Mary (Collar) Hyde to David & Dulina (Hyde) Parks to John H. & Francis (Parks) Condit to John W. & Delia (Parks, 1st cousin) Condit to Sheldon & Lucy (Ray) Condit to myself. Capt. Matthew Hyde is my 4th Great Grandfather.

  • William Hyde is my 9th great grandfather. I’m descended from him through Samuel Hyde, all the way down to my father. So proud to be a Hyde, and glad I came across this site! I really wish we could find the names if Williams parents!
    For anyone descended from William, the Hyde Genealogy by Walworth is amazing!

  • William Hyde born in Denton England 1565. Father was Robert Hyde born 1543 died March 22, 1614 at age of 70. Mother was Beatrice Calverley. William was my 10 times great grandfather. See Shakesperes play. YORKSHIRE TREGEDIES. THE STORY of Calverley family line.

  • Robert Hyde and Beatrice Calverley are often cited as the parents of several early Hyde immigrants as they had a large number of children, however, to date, there is no evidence that any of their children came to America.

    • They did have one son named William, but he lived and died in England. Their son William’s wives are said to have been Ellen Stubbs and/or Elinor Molyneux but I will have to go back through my notes as even this may be in error. There is an assertion that this William had a son William who came to America, however, I believe I reviewed this in the past and found that the dates could not possibly line up, and when I try to track down references from Burke and Ormerod, I find that they are quite different from what is quoted. As for William of CT, he is said to have married a Hester Trott, but again, there is no evidence to support this being correct. So the question of William’s parentage is still open.

  • Placed on my tree by a family member was a second wife in Conn. And his death in America. No details. Fun mystery………

  • My Co-Editor Dan Hyde wrote an article in our first newsletter, “Where’s Your Portion of the $350 Million Dollar Hyde Estate?” which focused on Victorian-era scams. Many Hydes in America have trees that go back to nobility or landed gentry, and the majority (not all, but nearly all) of these are based on nothing more than imagination, with a liberal sprinkling of fairy dust. To make a long story short, a common tactic of British bill collectors was to place an advertisement in a newspaper suggesting that a particular individual had a large sum of money coming to them and if they presented themselves at such and such a place, they could collect. When the individuals presented themselves expecting to claim their fortune, they were instead forced to either pay their debt or packed off to prison. This collection tactic set the stage for what was to become a rather large swindle involving fake genealogical trees and a great deal of wishful thinking. As a direct result, there’s a lot of erroneous or entirely made-up data on many American trees.

  • Linda, your comments are greatly appreciated. We have updated William’s page with information concerning his 2nd wife. This has also led to the start of a long overdue revision of Matthew de Hyde’s page, which coincides with work on the origins of the surname and the slow addition of a tremendous amount of information from Great Britain. Expect updates to begin to appear over the next several weeks and coincide with the publication of our Fall 2015 newsletter.

  • I too am an ancestor of William Hyde being the 8xg/son – through Simeon Hyde, who moved to New York about 1815. One of his sons moved to England c.1840 and joined our line. Would be interested to hear from others in the Hyde family – tony.efh@fsmail.net.

  • Tony, this must be Thomas Spencer Hyde, who married Anne Ready? There are a number of Hydes who moved back to England at various times, some quite early on. I’d love to know more about those connections.

    • Nice to hear from you. Yes this is the one. He was born in New York 1815, even though on the English censuses he states 1817. This confused me at first, but I know that 1815 is correct. His occupation is given as “fancy goods importer”. He was my g/g/grandfather. Anne was a milliner and was born, and they married 1846, in Croydon. They lived for their early married life in Hackney, East London in an upmarket area on the main road of Mare Street. It didn’t stop this being a very unhealthy area and they lost 5 of their 8 children under the age of 15 due to common disease.
      If you want to e-mail me direct I can give you loads more info. Where do you fit in?

  • I am an ancestor of William Hyde also. My mom was a Hyde and we have known quite a bit about the Hyde ancestry. This is my first time seeing this though and my daughter, who is the the family historian now is unaware of this (I think!).

  • I am seeking to determine the relationship, if any, between William Hyde and Richard Risley both original proprietors of Hartford CT in 1636. It seems that Anne Hyde of Stockport, Cheshire married a Richard Risley. Some say they had a son Richard Risley who migrated to America.

  • Oh, if I had a dollar for everyone supposedly connected to Robert Hyde and Beatrice Calverley! 🙂 Just for the record, several of their Catholic grandchildren did settle in Maryland, but that’s the only connection between those particular Hydes and anyone in the US. The Richard Risley who married Anne Hyde did not have a son Richard, although he did have a grandson by that name who unfortunately died as an infant. https://books.google.com/books?id=hCQFAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA274&lpg=PA274&dq=anne+hyde+richard+risley&source=bl&ots=BXEPmm5TM0&sig=r2C1DYdWVlLk63iNZYyWNobN59s&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCcQ6AEwBGoVChMIyMHqhf3ayAIVBjs-Ch3aFgxV#v=onepage&q=anne%20hyde%20richard%20risley&f=false

    Records for the Risley family in England can be found in both Lancashire and Cheshire, and I suspect it’s a situation very similar to what we find in Cheshire for the Hydes, in that there were a great many people who adopted the surname over the centuries.

    There is no connection between William Hyde and Richard Risley that runs through Anne Hyde of Norbury. William and Richard are connected in the sense that they were both followers of Hooker – it’s noted that Richard and his family came over on the Griffin – so they did share similar religious and political beliefs, if not ancestry. Note that William Hyde is not related to the Cheshire gentry either (more on William after I finish the writeup on Humphrey and we get the newsletter out. I had no idea what sort of bear I was taking on when I started to expand Humphrey).

    The Connecticut State Archives in Hartford http://ctstatelibrary.org/RG074_054.html has files on Hyde, Risley and other families in their Special Collections. If anyone is able to get up there and take a look through these, that would be appreciated by a great many people.

  • Hello Ann,

    Thank you for your response. I agree what you are saying has been the prevailing data.
    I should explain that I am the president-genealogist for The Risley Family Ass’n (1889). For over 30 years I have been the national historian for that group. New information is now coming in that makes us re-evaluate the pedigree. My FTDNA Y-DNA results shows the American Risleys come from the Risley family of Winwick, Lancs. We know that Richard and Mary Risley came to Boston MA in June 1635 and were original proprietors of Hartford CT. We know there is a connection between the Risley-Hyde families in England. It seems more than just a coincidence that William Hyde is also an original proprietor of Hartford CT in 1636. We are still searching for the answer.

  • There seems to be some confusion that William Hyde was born in Gravesend, Essex in England. He was actually born 1597 in a small village called Gravesend (now absorbed) in Cheshire, near Hyde in Lancashire, England. Try “Descendants of Hamnet Hyde of Norbury” in Google.

    • Tony, there is no confusion. Robert Hyde and Beatrice Calverley did not have a son William, or a grandson William. They had fewer male children than they are often credited with having. See top of page 132 https://books.google.com/books?id=Q_wUAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA131&lpg=PA131&dq=Pleyley+Giles+Hide&source=bl&ots=96wRS7EyDQ&sig=-j2l39-vLg_HDbUr1y5aMScNB00&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCgQ6AEwA2oVChMIiOTI-cvZyAIVy1g-Ch1iTw-X#v=onepage&q=Pleyley%20Giles%20Hide&f=false


      Also see near top of page 238 https://books.google.com/books?id=DG5KAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA238&lpg=PA238&dq=%22humfridus+hide%22&source=bl&ots=eosUB53VIP&sig=tfAx0C37UdYWbeP3rX7P9Gvg1tg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAGoVChMI4p-Ep6_YxgIVAVmICh3J9wHr#v=onepage&q=%22humfridus%20hide%22&f=false


      I understand why so many people believe that William had something or other to do with the Hydes of Norbury and Cheshire, because it was Bernard Burke who first started this nonsense in his “American Families with British Ancestry: The Lineages of 1,600 Families of British Origin Now Resident in the United States of America”. Burke was wrong about William Hyde and I believe some of his own earlier work directly contradicts what he put forth in this volume and is in agreement with the links above (I’ve only shown you the two, but there are others).


      William’s personal possessions were largely utilitarian, his books were few, and he is not mentioned in surviving correspondence/records of either Peter Bulkeley or the Hydes of Norbury and Cheshire. The William Hyde who married Ellen Stubbs did live in the vicinity, but if you review the Cheshire parish records, he’s from one of the families in the town. Many Hydes lived in Cheshire and environs but not all Hydes were nobility or gentry.


      Unfortunately for us, “William Hyde” was a very common name. Many, many spellings and abbreviations for people named William Hyde appeared on records during that time period. To my mind, as a follower of Hooker, it makes sense for us to look first for him in the vicinity of Chelmsford, Essex and East Hertfordshire, near William Stone. There were several Hyde families in these areas. I think what’s kept us from finding him all these years was bad information.

      • Hello, Ann. I am one of the legions descended from William. I’ve found it interesting that none of the people who actually knew William Hyde seem to have written anything down. Somebody would have noticed. As a litigation attorney I’ve commonly found that sometimes it’s the missing evidence, the dog that did not bark, that is rather more interesting than given evidence, especially when it’s all sixth hand or worse hearsay.

        But do not give up the ship! Richard and Elizabeth Church Warren (also in my genetic woodpile) have finally been identified in England after 200 years of nosing about. Turns out they were from Hertfordshire, about the only place nobody expected to find them.

        William Hyde, or whoever he was, may tumble out of a Fibber McGhee closet into the daylight yet. My thoroughly unsubstantiated idea, based on my experiences with human nature, but looking hard at the Hydes from Norbury Moor is that he may well have been one of those Cheshire non-comformists, but merely from the wrong side of the sheets. Beat feet to get out of the crossfire. Common as clay. Regards, RHJ Athens, Ga.

          • Richard, I’m hoping that we can find a direct male descendant of William interested in taking a DNA test, as I think that may help. Hyde and variants were a relatively common surname, and William was an extremely popular forename, so there were many individuals with similar names born in England around the same time. We’re going to need some fairly substantial information to connect him with family in England. You’re correct that he was a Congregationalist, as were Jonathan and Samuel of MA and Humphrey of CT. We have only recently discovered through DNA that Humphrey was a cousin to brothers Samuel and Jonathan, although just how close remains to be seen. At first I thought there must be some mistake in the paper trail because, from a purely statistical standpoint, Humphrey is genetically close enough to have been a brother, although this is unlikely. More on that soon. It would be interesting if William was also part of this same group.

          • Ann, I am not a direct male descendent of William Hyde, (my grandmother was Dorothy Hyde of Bath, Me) but have living cousins who are. Several of them will attend a reunion 13 months hence in Williamsburg. I’d bet you could score DNA from that lot.

            Another tickle: William Hyde did not sign his will. “His mark,” was used. He was illiterate or perhaps disabled. Not hanging about colleges in Essex, I’d suppose.


          • Richard, I’m replying to your email of May 31, below. (We need to take a look at this reply feature and see if anybody has a fix.) Signing with his mark wouldn’t necessarily mean he was illiterate, since reading was taught before penmanship. If memory serves, his possessions were inventoried and there were approx a half dozen books, and now I find myself wondering what the titles were. It would be great if your relatives were interested in Y-DNA testing, as that could potentially help us locate family in England, as well as help others with their brick walls.

  • William Hyde of Norwich, CT is my 10th great grandfather. My line goes through his son Samuel then grandson Samuel and on down to me. Pretty cool stuff. I live close to CT. I wouldn’t mind visiting and potentially get more info. My line pretty much has roots in two places – CT and NW PA.

  • I am interested in knowing about the Hyde family created by William Henry Hyde and/or Willis Hyde, who was located in the Glenwood Mills County, Iowa.

  • Ann, I’ll ask them if they are interested in DNA testing. What would be involved? I have heard of this but am not conversant. Assume a cheek swab? Costs? We descend from Zina H of Norwich CT. (Got my Mayflower gunk around here somewhere.) Part of he family, two brothers, relocated to Bath, ME. Our brother was Johnathan of Hyde Windlass. The other brother, also Zina, descendants include the Bath Iron Works founder Thomas Worcester H. I’d have to go look that up to be more specific.

    As to that X, yes. As a rural attorney I have had a few clients who function pretty well but are, for various reasons, unable to read or write. We’ve used the X, notarized. They are “without letters” or illiterate as I use it. As an old man it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if he were blind, or incapacitated. Reduced to using that X. Getting there myself.

  • Greetings.

    Just stumbled upon your web site. Thanks to all who have created and maintained it.

    I am (according to the records in the family) a direct ancestor of the William Hyde with the frustratingly hard-to-pin-down ancestry, mysteriously meeting with Hooker in New England without showing up on any boat’s list of passengers. I did the Ancestry.com DNA test. When I have a few more moments will read how to share that.


  • Following up on my earlier note above from June 30: First, I am certainly no ancestor of that William! I am honored to be a descendant, tho.

    Second, just to let the group know, I have submitted my Y-DNA and so that is under way.

    Third, I came across a letter written by an ancestor about 100 years ago in which she said William was from Norwich, England. (We know how accurate family lore can sometimes be.) However, it was a center of protestant beliefs which saw religious uprisings as early as the mid-16th century. There also was extensive trade with the continent across the channel and thus much contact with like-minded persons. To me that suggests a possibility that he arrived “here” via Europe or merely as a stow-away.

    Bill Hyde

  • William Hyde is my 8th great grandfather and down through Samuel Hyde. Just confirmed by the Society of the Descendants of Hartford. I am now a member of this society. Had to document my lineage to their genealogist.

    I started my journey on Ancestry about 1 1/2 years ago. Enjoying the journey.

    I discovered the Hyde line through England back to 1100.

  • By the way, I did the DNA test through Ancestry. Requires spitting into a tube. That’s all.

    Surprised with the results. Got the step-granddaughter to do it and waiting on the results.

    I don’t work for Ancestry by the way.

    • Mark, I don’t work for Ancestry or Family Tree DNA, but if you have the old Ancestry format DNA test, that can be converted to align with our Hyde Y-DNA Project, to compare your results with others. At present we’re waiting on FTDNA test results for 1 or 2 descendants of William. The newer Ancestry autosomal format is currently not compatible with FT. As far as the Hyde line back to 1100, we run into that a lot. There’s no proof that William of Norwich was related to the Cheshire/Denchworth Hydes. Burke’s “Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry including American Families with British Ancestry, Sixteenth Edition” was published in 1939 and compiled primarily by L.G Pine. If you read closely what he says about William, you’ll see that he does a bit of backtracking when he asserts that William “is said to be identical with, but was more probably the father of” William Hyde of Norwich, because the dates are impossible and the son of Robert Hyde and Beatrice Calverley died in England.
      The first recorded use of Hyde as something of a surname occurs around 1217, when Roger de Hyde and members of his family are called upon to assist William Marshal, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, with the King’s business in Ireland. Roger was a seneschal to the first Earl, and we are trying to find out more about his family. This was around the time that war with France was looming and a sort of English national fervor began to take hold in the way the Norman nobility self-identified. “Hyde” is regarded as an Anglo-Saxon word although its roots lie deeper in the proto-Germanic language base – but that’s a long story for another time. So when you see those trees that go back well past the 13th century or assert anything about Canute, just be aware that these were made up in a later era. On the other hand, if anybody finds any references to actual (Medieval Latin, Norman, Flemish) documents involving people calling themselves de Hyde/Hide/Hyda prior to Roger, please let me know.

        • If you look through the various Visitations and Bishops Transcripts, Robert Hyde and Beatrice Calverley do not appear to have had a son named William. I would be grateful if someone could provide us with records concerning the additional children they are said to have had, namely William, Thomas, Urian/Uriah and John. Possibly something in Inquisitions Post Mortem? The same source that asserts William as the 4th son of Robert and Beatrice apparently goes on to say that he matriculated at Christ’s College, Cambridge in 1597, see here However, his brother Thomas, listed on same page, was actually one of the sons of Robert Hyde and Jane Davenport, who were the parents of Robert Hyde. So *IF* there was a connection between that William and that Thomas, they were the brothers, not the sons, of the Robert Hyde who married Beatrice Calverley. Further, there are death records for two William Hydes listed as sons of Robert, buried at St Mary’s Stockport, Cheshire, in 1635 and 1641 respectively. Even so, without more information we can’t assume that their father was either of the Roberts mentioned as they could easily have belonged to any of several Hyde families in the town. So there’s really nothing out there to suggest that William of Norwich was the son of Robert and Beatrice.

  • Thanks for you reply. My Ancestry DNA shows 72% West Europe, 15% Irish, 5% English. This was a surprise given my research back to Merry Old England. So, your info on my Hyde line makes a great deal of sense.

    How do I find out if I could participate in the Hyde T-DNA project.

    Thanks again for this info.

    Mark Bailey

    • Mark, technically the UK is part of Western Europe, so it’s not clear to me how Ancestry is framing this, but let’s just say that ideas about migration routes based on DNA are continuing to evolve.

      • Ancestry shows England, Ireland DNA “zones”(my word) as well as West Europe. In the explanation of their findings, they indicate that migration is a strong influence on the DNA results.

  • I just found this site as I am working to update what my great aunt had started in two books tracing some of the ancestry of Amy Denison Butler my great-grandmother. Her Grandmother was Caroline Hyde Butler who carried as her middle name that of her ancestor – and mine – William Hyde who is noted above.

    I have found Ancestry.come to be fraught with inaccuracies with some family trees contaminated with like names but no relationship to the ancestry they contain. This page is insightful and I appreciate it.
    I don’t have much to add to this other than the heritage that follows from William Hyde, his son Samuel to his son WIlliam , Rev. Jedidiah Hyde to Diadema and down the line to me with the Butler name attached.
    Great to see such informational comments from my relatives!

  • My line descends from William – Samuel – Lt Samuel – David – Elizabeth – Lucy Hinckley – Olive Hale – Lucy Churchill – Jessie Hemenway – Mabel Royce. So, it daughtered out when David Hyde married Althea Bradford. They did have a bunch of boys, though. I have seen all the connections in ancestry.com to the supposed parents of William Hyde and wondered. There did not seem to be much actual documentation, just information passed from one tree to another. I am one of those who relies on documentation (otherwise I find that if you are not careful you will find yourself tracing back to Adam via those ancestry trees!). I am happy to have found this site/discussion and have learned so much by just reading through all the posts. Thank you for being so willing to share your information and knowledge on this family. At 74 you would think I was finished “stumbling” onto information, but not so! If I come across anything to share I certainly will. I have taken the mtDNA and Autosomal DNA tests and some of my matches are with people with Hyde ancestors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *