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Organization of the Church in Windsor

Excerpted and adapted from The Phelps Family of America and Their English Ancestors, (Save $200 by ordering through us.) By Oliver S. Phelps and Andrew T. Servin. (Get a free, updated index here.). Original spelling and punctuation preserved. Vol. I, p 80-81 Strikethrough indicates facts that have since been disproven.

For a thorough list of research sources related to Windsor, see Windsor Genealogy.

"William Phelps had been a member of Reverend John Warham's church in Tewkesbury Crewkerne, England. Warham had been a minister since 1614,

The church in Windsor, with which our ancestor, Mr. William Phelps, and his associates were connected, was, it would appear, organized by them and their associates in Plymonth, old England, early in 1630.

The call of these emigrants of their first pastors, the Rev. Mr. Warham and Rev. Mr. Mayerick, their acceptance of same, and their installment, by the Rev. John White, in the New Hospital, Plymouth, England, the Sunday before sailing; settling in Dorchester, Mass., and from there to Windsor, Connecticut, in 1635-6, all of which have been mentioned before.

Organize First Parish Church of Dorchester

The new immigrants to New England founded the First Parish Church of Dorchester in 1631, which exists today as the Unitarian-Universalist church on Meetinghouse Hill, being the oldest religious organization in present-day Boston. The first church building was a simple log cabin with a thatched roof. The settlers held their first town meeting at the church, and they set their laws in open and frequent discussion. In all of this they were inspired by the ideal of the Kingdom of God on earth and the attempt to realize this in England in the time of the Rev. John White. The church is referred to as a 'Foundation Stone of the Nation".

This church held its 250th. anniversary in 1880. Many of the descendants of Mr. William Phelps still worship there. This church has had since its organization the following Pastors: Rev. John Warham, John Maverick, Ephraim Nathaniel Chauncey, Samuel Mather, Jonathan Marsh, William Russell, David S. Rowland, Benjamin Parsons, and Gowan C. Wilson—an average pastorate of about eighteen years.

"Roll back the curtain of the years and let our eyes behold the distant times, the ancient ways, the stirring men of old, across the stormy deeps they came, the forest wild they trod to find a name for liberty—a temple for their God."

Says Stiles(2) History of Windsor: "Many of the prominent men of the colony dealt largely in real estate."

In 1637 the Windsor Company purchased land from Plymouth Company, who had originally purchased it from the Indians, was the first land owned by the English in Windsor.

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A map of Indian land purchases by the settlers of Windsor and Simsbury(1). View larger image

(1) From The Phelps Family of America and Their English Ancestors, (Save $200 by ordering through us.) By Oliver S. Phelps and Andrew T. Servin. (Get a free, updated index here.)Original spelling and punctuation preserved.) Vol. I, p 77-89

(2) Henry R. Stiles, A.M., M.D., The History and Genealogies of Ancient Windsor, 2 Vols. (Picton Press, Camden, Maine). 1891, 1892.

(3)Trumbull, B. A Complete History of Connecticut, Civil and Ecclesiastical, From the Emigration of its First Planters From England, Civil and Ecclesiastical. 2 vols. New London,1898.