Friday, February 14, 2014

Joshua Holcomb and the Simsbury, Connecticut Settlement

Site of the first home in
what is today
Simsbury, CT
It is known that Joshua Holcomb was residing in the Massaco Plantation, Connecticut in 1667 . At that time,
the Massaco, a band of indigenous people from the Wappinger tribe, primarily inhabited the Massaco Plantation. The area was referred to as an “appendix to the towne of Windsor.” Windsor settlers forested and farmed the Massaco Plantation, and began building homes along the Farmington River, on what is today called Terry’s Plain. A survey conducted in 1669 showed that there were 13 permanent residents on the Massaco Plantation. Joshua Holcomb was among these. The area became incorporated on 12 May 1670, and was then called Simmsbury (the name has since been shortened to Simsbury).
King Philip

In June 1675, Native American chief, Metacomet, known to the English as King Philip, coordinated with tribal alliances to push the English settlers off the land the English had taken from the Native American people. This conflict became known as King Philip’s War. In March 1676, Native Americans burned the town of Simsbury to the ground, causing most of the settlers to return to Windsor. Many returned to rebuild in Simsbury a year later. It is unknown what Joshua Holcomb did during this time, but it is known that he was still residing in Simbsbury 23 Apr 1627 when he received land grant from King Charles II for “property east of the Farmington River near present day Terry’s Plain.”

Joshua Holcomb married Ruth Sherwood on 04 Jun 1663 in Windsor, Connecticut. They had at least ten children:

1. Ruth Holcomb was born on 26 May 1664
2. Thomas Holcomb was born on 30 March 1666
3. Sarah Holcomb was born on 23 June 1668
4. Elizabeth Holcomb was born on 4 Apr 1670
5. Joshua Holcomb II was born on 18 Sep 1672
6. Deborah Holcomb was born on 10 Feb 1675
7. Mary Holcomb was born on 25 Oct 1675/6
8. Mindwell was born in 1678
9. Hannah Holcomb was born in 1680
10. Moses Holcomb was born on 4 Jul 1686 and died on 16 Feb 1699

Joshua Holcomb died on 1 Sep 1690 in Simsbury, Connecticut. According to the Simsbury Historical Society, Joshua was “known to be "one of the sound, substantial men of his time;" he was active in both civic and religious affairs until his death.”

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