One Branch of the Josiah Willard Family of Wethersfield

The information herewith was taken from the book DESCENDANTS OF JOSIAH-2

The motto on the shield translates to “Patience Rejoices in Hardships”.
One Branch of the Josiah Willard FamilyWillard Coat of Arms 001-thumb-320x495-329-thumb-160x247-330.jpg
Major Simon Willard, progenitor of the New England Willard Family, was baptized April 7,  1605 in St. Margaret’s Church, which was built in Horsmonden, Kent, England in 1343. He married first, Mary Sharpe, who was baptized in the same church October 16, 1614. After Mary died in England, Simon came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony (Cambridge) in May of 1634, the same year Wethersfield was settled. Simon married second, Elizabeth, sister to Henry Dunster, first president of Harvard College, Cambridge. She died within a year and he married third, Mary Dunster, cousin to Elizabeth.

Simon and Mary removed with twelve other families to found the Town of Concord, Massachusetts in 1635. Their first son Josiah was born in Concord that same year, perhaps the first Caucasian birth in that Town. Also in the first group of settlers was the Reverend Peter Bulkeley. Peter’s son, Gershom Bulkeley, was born a year later and Gershom and Josiah grew up together in Concord.

Josiah Willard came to Hartford and married Hannah Hosmer in March of 1657, she was  18 and he was 22. Hannah was the daughter of Thomas and Frances (Bushnell) Hosmer who had migrated to Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1632 from Hawkhurst, Kent, England, a village near Horsmondon. The Hosmers then came to Hartford with Reverend Thomas Hooker in June of 1636.

In 1661 the young couple bought a three acre home lot on the west side of Broad Street in Wethersfield, from Samuel and Phoebe Martin, which today encompasses the properties from 35 to 65 Broad, extending west past Bell Lane (Main Street). This original deed is still in the Willard Family and was the first to be recorded in the Town of Wethersfield. One of the witnesses signing the deed was Josiah’s brother, Samuel Willard, who went on to become Minister of Old South Church in Boston, in which he baptized Benjamin Franklin while simultaneously Vice President of Harvard College. Thus Josiah and Hannah Willard were the first of that name to live in Town and all Wethersfield Willards down to the present are descended from that marriage.

Josiah Willard was one of the town’s earliest schoolmasters (1655), a surveyor and a farmer. He removed to West Farms and his descendant and namesake in the fifth generation was the first to call it Newington Parish. He probably died there in 1674. When Reverend Gershom Bulkeley was called to be Minister in Wethersfield, it is no surprise that First Church sent his childhood friend, Josiah Willard, to bring him here from Second Church in New London.

One Branch of the Josiah Willard Familywillard_stephen-thumb-320x363-331.jpgWhen Josiah moved to Newington Parish, a part of the Broad Street property stayed in the Willard Family for over three hundred years. Josiah’s-2 son Stephen-3 (1667-1742) lived there next. His is the oldest known Willard tombstone in the Wethersfield Cemetery. “Here lies interr’d / the body of Mr. / Stephen Willard / who deceased July / ye 28th 1741 / 74th Year of his / Age” He was a blacksmith and wealthy for his day, bequeathing his property to his nephew Ephraim-4 (1707-1766) Willard, son of his brother Simon-3.

One Branch of the Josiah Willard Familywillard_epjraim-thumb-320x341-333.jpgEphraim was a cabinetmaker and joyner in Wethersfield and Newington. His son Stephen-5 (1740-1817) built the brick house at 35 Broad Street in 1798 from the clay deposit where the skating pond is now and left it to his son William-6 (1783-1832). William’s daughter, Julia Ann-7 (1815-1871) married Chauncy Adams (1808-1883) October 10th, 1845.

The brick Stephen Willard House continued on in the Adams Family into the 20th Century and the northern part of the original Josiah and Hannah Hosmer Willard three acre parcel continued in the Willard Family well into the 20th Century.

Rachel Margaret Bugella, Granddaughter to Buz and Peg Willard, is the 11th generation Willard to live in Wethersfield.

Major Simon-1 Willard  1605-1676
Mary Dunster

Josiah-2 Willard              1635-1674
Hannah Hosmer

Stephen-3 Willard           1667-1741    (no issue)

Ephraim-4 Willard           1707-1766   (son of Stephen’s-3 brother Simon-3 Willard 1660-1726
Lydia Griswold                                                                                 Mary Gilbert

Stephen-5 Willard            1740-1817   (built brick house at 35 Broad Street, 1798)
Ann (a) Harris

William-6 Willard            1783-1832
Hannah Wolcott

Julia Ann-7 Willard          1815-1871
Chauncy Adams                1808-1883

William-7 Willard             1818-1870   (Warden of the Conn. State Prison in Wethersfield)
Jane Griswold                    1818-1885
William Leslie-8 Willard   1852-1935   (Warner and Willard Co. Men’s Clothing, Htfd., Ct.)
Martha Southworth            1853-1917

Howard Arnold-9 Willard  1888-1957   (Auctioneer, appraiser and dealer in fine antiques)
Virginia McCray Miller     

Howard A.-10 Willard, Jr.  1937-           (Restorer of Historic Structures)
Margaret Louise Leahy &nb

sp;     1938-

Heather Stephanie-11 Willard  1961-
Marcus Bugella

Rachel Margaret-12 Bugella     2000-

One Branch of the Josiah Willard FamilyBuz_stephen Willard House at 35 Broad Street-thumb-320x262-335.jpg(Willard Family House at 35 Broad Street)


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