Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Roots Of The Family Tree December 24, 2016


I am currently researching the Bushnell family.   My 14th Great Grandparents were born and died in Tilehurst.


Genealogy Route From John Hollister, Builder of the Oldest House in Glastonbury Connecticut, My 9th Great Grandfather December 16, 2016

The oldest house in Glastonbury Connecticut, built by Lt. John Hollister


My 9th Great Grandfather Lt. John Hollister 1612-1665

My 8th Great Grandmother  Mary Hollister 1650-1713

My 7th Great Grandfather  Capt. John Welles 1676-1735

My 6th Great Grandmother  Phebe Welles  1707-1770

My 5th Great Grandmother  Sarah Ufford 1728-1804

My 4th Great Grandfather Stiles Curtiss 1761-1827

My 3rd Great Grandmother Betsey Curtiss Wooton 1791-1877

My 2nd Great Grandfather Henry W. Warner 1815-1859

My Great Grandmother Lucy Anna Warner 1843-1878

My Grandmother Mary Elizabeth Murdoch 1863-1954

My father Joseph Buckingham Miller 1891-1949

Me Janet Willis Miller 1936-


From Glastonbury September 30, 2016

IMG_0463   This is a photo from 3 months ago, late June, when Ian and I and the other grandparents visited our son David and family in Glastonbury  Connecticut.  The picture was actually taken in Mystic Connecticut after a festive lunch.  Coincidentally we are about to gather again, minus one – Ian will have to participate via Skype or some such device.

I am here visiting before attending my 62nd high school reunion up in the Boston area and the other grandparents are winging their way to Hartford on the Aer Lingus inaugural direct flight from Dublin.

So here I am enjoying a quick few days doing my usual round of our favorite places and some new ones as well.  The weather has been on the cool side and the famous Fall foliage is just beginning.  We had a nice trip down to Mystic and this time we had lunch in a new (to me) restaurant called Red 39 – the number is that of a navigation buoy.  Nice setting right on the river and delicious fish of course.

After a quick stop in the yarn store, lunch, a purchase in Mystic Knotworks, we went to Old Mystic Seaport which was the real objective of the trip that day.  Fascinating.  I just love it. We just ambled around absorbing the atmosphere of that recreated village of yesteryear.  My favorites I think were the big scaled model of the former village and the timeline in the whaling museum building.  (Pictures to show when I get back to Seattle and can sync my camera with my computer – current technology! – the equivalent I suppose of waiting to get a film developed.)

The Museum Store has a large bookshop section – was I in Heaven?  One of my purchases was of course a history cum genealogy book very pertinent to my ongoing reading and research.

…….to be continued


Hereditary Order July 4, 2016

Hereditary Descendants Governors

a list I found on Ancestry.com

As I travelled in southern Connecticut this past week we passed near many town centers = and cemeteries – I wondered if I was treading the ground of some of my ancestors.  Will I ever have the chance to wander through some of these cemeteries or will we always be en route to do something more pressing in the present – e.g. visiting family while we and  they are still alive!


Foote Document June 19, 2016

Foote document   Researching my genealogy and reading Nathaniel Philbrick’s latest book about the American Revolutionary War can lead me in all sorts of directions.   This is fascinating.  Waterbury Connecticut to Clinton New York at the very western edge of the American frontier – they were my ancestors.  And really not all that long ago. Brave frontier men and women creating and carving the American dream out of the wilderness.


An Immigrant Ship February 3, 2016

Andrea Doria  An Immigrant Ship

I’m working on my genealogy and trying to identify the ancestors who came to America.  They are among the earliest settlers. So far I have Hannah Mead who was born in England in 1580 and came to America in the 1630’s.  She was an early settler in New Haven Connecticut.  She was my 11th great-grandmother on my father’s side.

Hannah’s husband, my 11th great-grandfather, was John Potter, 1580-


The Willis Ancestors In Connecticut August 3, 2015

Save to my tree

Governor of the Colony of Connecticut 1642

George Wyllys Governor of the Colony of Connecticut 1642Born: 1590 at the manor of Fenny Compton, Warwick, England
College: Attended several universities in England.
Political Party: None
Offices: Assistant to the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony 1634, 1635, 1636
Assistant to the General Court of the Colony of Connecticut 1639, 1640, 1643, 1644
Deputy Governor of the Colony of Connecticut 1641
Governor of the Colony of Connecticut 1642
Died: March 9, 1645 in Hartford, CTGeorge Wyllys was born 1589 or 1590 at the manor of Fenny Compton, Warwickshire, England, the son of Richard and Hester (Chambers) Willis. His family was an old one, of considerable wealth. He attended several universities in England, but biographers make no mention of him graduating. His main focus in any training would have been to gain the necessary experiences and background to take his father’s place as one of the landed gentry. It was probably during his university years or shortly thereafter that George Wyllys became a Puritan.

On November 2, 1609, he married Bridget Young at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-on-Avon. The couple had three children before she died in 1629. In 1631 he married Mrs. Mary Brisbey, widow of Alexander Bisbey and daughter of Francis and Alice (Ferneley) Smith, and they had one son.

George and Mary Wyllys and the children immigrated to New England early in the 1630’s. By 1634 he had been appointed an Assistant to the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

In 1636 he sent his steward, William Gibbons, along with twenty domestics and indentured servants, to Hartford to purchase lands and oversee building of a house. He had the largest home lot of any of the early Hartford settlers, and one of the largest homes in Connecticut. The famous Charter Oak stood on his property. Governors Wyllys, Webster, Welles, and Hopkins all built homes along the same street, which was called Governor Street until, in more recent times, its name was changed to Popieluszko Court.

He and Mary and the children arrived in Hartford in 1638. He was elected as one of six Assistants to the General Court in 1639-41 and 1643-44.

Wyllys’ one-year term as governor contained a number of important events. There was a continuing rumor that the Narragansetts were going to form an alliance with several other Indian tribes, and try to destroy the English settlers. Connecticut had to keep itself in a state of military readiness. Wyllys and the General Court sent John Haynes and Edward Hopkins as their delegates to a meeting in Boston which eventually resulted in the Articles of Confederation between the colonies of Massachusetts Bay, New Haven, and Connecticut, answering a long-standing need for cooperation between the New England colonies. In December of 1642, the General Court created and passed the first penal code in Connecticut, naming twelve capital crimes.

After his term as governor expired, Wyllys served as an Assistant to the General Court of the Colony of Connecticut and was also chosen to be a Commissioner from Connecticut to The United Colonies of New England in 1643. He died in Hartford, Connecticut on March 9, 1644/5. His estate at the time of his death, which included slaves, was greater than any Connecticut resident’s until 1680. He is buried in the Hartford’s Ancient Burying Ground and his name appears on the Founders Monument.

Governor Wyllys’ home in Hartford stood until 1827, when it was torn down. Wyllys Street in Hartford is named after him.

National Cyclopedia of American Biography. New York: J.T. White, 1898- , s.v. “George Wyllys” [CSL call number E176 .N27].Norton, Frederick Calvin. The Governors of Connecticut. Hartford: Connecticut Magazine Co., 1905 [CSL call number HistRef F93 .N 88 1905].

Raimo, John W. Biographical Directory of American Colonial and Revolutionary Governors 1607-1789. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1980 [CSL call number E 187.5 .R34].

Talcott, Mary Kingsley. The Original Proprietors. Reprint. [Hartford?]: Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford, Inc., 1986 [CSL call number HistRef F 104 .H353 A26 1986].

Wyllys, George. The Wyllys Papers: Correspondence and Documents Chiefly of Descendants of Gov. George Wyllys of Connecticut, 1590-1796. Hartford: Connecticut Historical Society, 1924 [CSL call number HistRef F 91 .C7 v. 21].

There is no known portrait of George Wyllys.Prepared by the History and Genealogy Unit, Connecticut State Library, April 1999.

Connectic ut State Library231 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106860-757-6500 * Toll-free 866-886-4478