Generation 1
JAMES OLMSTEAD I (mar. Alice Hawkyns)
The Colonist

Generation 2
JAMES OLMSTEAD II (mar. Jane Bristow)

Generation 3
JAMES OLMSTEAD III (mar. Joyce Cornish)
The Colonist

Generation 4

Generation 5
ELIZABETH OLMSTEAD (mar. Samuel Butler)

Early Generations

RICHARD OLMSTED, born about 1430, seems to be the earliest documented direct ancestor our Olmstead family. The Olmstead genealogy by Olmstead, is the primary source I have used in preparing this web page and my Olmstead genealogy

In Essex County, England, there are two parish registeres: Fairsted and Great Leighs, that contain information about our Olmsted family.

The Fairsted register proved to contain the record of the baptism of the children of one JAMES OLMSTED, the record of the burials of several of his children, and that of his wife, Joyce. This, without any doubt, is the record of the family of the JAMES OLMSTED who emigrated to New England in 1632.

In Great Leighs Olmstead, citing the church records of Fairsted and Great Leighs, in Essex County, England, came to the conclusion that Richard was the earliest documented ancestor for the family. He spelled out a lengthy case for this conclusion in the front matter of the genealogy (see pp. x-xi).

It is most likely there were at least a few other generations between Richard and the next verifiable ancestor, the Colonist James Olmstead. Mr. Olmstead's genealogy puts it this way:

Richard's "descendant James married Alice, and had three sons, of whom James Jr., born about 1550, by his wife Jane Bristow, was the father of ...,"

and goes on from there.

In the front matter, pp. x-xi, it is detailed that the likely candidates for those generations would be:

  • John Olmstead, born in 1460. He married in 1497, Alice Hankey (b. 1478)

  • James Olmstead I, born in 1500. He married in 1519, Beatrice (-). This one is suspect, see footnote on p. x.

  • James Olmstead II, born about 1550. He married Jane Bristow.

If Richard were born about 1430, and generations running between 20 and 40 years apart, it is very likely that, prior to the Colonist James's birth in 1550, there were two generations, John born in 1460, and James born in 1500, between Richard and himself.

At any rate, we will leave off earlier generations in favor of getting to the Colonist, James Olmstead, the direct ancestor about whom we know the most.

Generation 1

JAMES OLMSTEAD I – was born about 1520 at Great Waltham, in Essex County, England. The family’s original seat was Olmsted Hall, Great Waltham, County Essex. A rendering of the Hall exists in the Olmsted genealogy, see Primary Refernces below.

James married ALICE SORRELL or HAWKYNS about 1549. One undocumented, old, hand-written one-page lineage states that Alice Hawkly was the wife’s name. Both the Hawkyns/Hawkly and Sorell families lived near the Olmstead family in Great Waltham. Alice was born in 1522 and died in 1553.

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James Olmstead II died about 1550 at Great Waltham. Question: If he died in 1550, how is it we have a child born to him in 1552?


  1. William b. about 1548 at Essex, England. He married Mary Barker in 1573 at Sisted Parish, Essex England.

  2. JAMES OLMSTEAD II was born about 1550 at Great Waltham, Essex, England. He married 12 Aug 1576, Jane Bristow.

  3. John Olmstead, b. about 1552 at Great Waltham, Essex, England.

Generation 2

JAMES OLMSTEAD II was born in England about 1550.

The Great Leighs Parish records state that on 12 August 1576, James Olmsted III married JANE BRISTOW, the daughter of James Bristow Jr. She was born about 1554.

James Olmsted II died at Great Leighs and was buried on 2 Dec 1595.

(All christened at Great Leighs, England)

  1. Thomas Olmstead was baptized on 7 Jun 1577; married at Great Leighs, Margaret Sache, 4 Feb 1599. Had several children.

  2. Richard Olmstead was baptized on 22 Mar 1579; married about 1620 Frances Slany. He was buried at Fairsted on 16 Nov 1641 and Frances was buried there on 10 Sept 1630. Some of their children, if not all, became Colonists in America, when they accompanied their Uncle James on the ship "Lyon" in 1632. These children were Richard, John, and Rebecca, and were, of course, cousins of James’s children.

  3. JAMES OLMSTEAD III, Colonist, was baptized on 4 December 1580. He married Joyce Cornish at Great Leighs, on 26 October 1605. He died 18 September 1640 at Hartford, CT.

  4. Elizabeth Olmstead was baptized on 2 September 1582; was buried on 19 December 1582.

  5. Nicholas Olmstead was baptized 24 November 1583. He mar. 1613 Mrs. Rachel Graves (widow of Thomas Graves of Stansted Abbot, Hertford, England). His will was dated 19 May 1627 and proved 7 Mar 1627/28.

  6. Mary Olmstead was baptized on 10 October 1585; was buried at Great Leighs on 22 December 1594.

  7. Mabell Olmstead was baptized on 16 July 1587.

  8. Elizabeth Olmstead was baptized on 2 November 1589.

  9. John Olmstead was baptized on 20 February 1592/93. He married 25 Apr 1623, at Fairsted, Deborah Robinson.

  10. Mary Olmstead (twin) was baptized on 15 December 1593. May have died as infant 22 Dec 1594.

  11. Thomas (twin) was baptized on 15 December 1593. May have died as infant 22 Dec 1594.

Generation 3
The Colonist

JAMES OLMSTEAD III was baptized at Great Leighs, on 4 December 1580.

James married, on 26 October 1605, at Great Leighs, JOYCE CORNISH. Her lineage is unknown.

When James left his home at Fairsted, he left in its burying place his wife and four of their seven children. Joyce was buried there on 21 April 1621.

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James Olmsted, together with two sons, Nicholas and Nehemiah, two nephews, Richard and John, and a niece, Rebecca, came to New England in the ship "Lyon," under Capt. William Pierce, Master. The ship sailed from London on 22 June and arrived at Boston on the Lord's Day 16 September 1632, after a voyage of twelve weeks.

Gov. John Winthrop’s Journal (Vol. 1, pg. 92) states about Capt. Pierce: “He brought one hundred and twenty three passengers, whereof fifty children, all in health. They had been twelve weeks aboard and eight weeks from Land’s End.”

The Olmstead family soon settled at Mount Wollaston, now Quincy, near Boston, but in the course of a year, they removed to New Town, now known as Cambridge, Massachusetts.

James was made a Freeman 6 November 1632 and was chosen by a popular vote 3 November 1634 to be the Constable.


James Olmstead removed to Hartford, Connecticut, in June of 1636, where he was an original Proprietor. His name appears on the face of the Founders' Monument in Hartford, Connecticut.

The City of Hartford maintains a monument in honor of the Original Proprietors called the "Founders' Monument". It sits in a place of honor on the grounds of the Ancient Burying Ground behind the "Center" Church. It is the second such monument, the first having deteriorated beyond repair.

Founders' Monument, Hartford, Connecticut

All James Olmstead descendants are eligible to be members of the Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford.

Richard Olmstead's name also appears on the monument. This probably a nephew, as James's brother, Richard, died in England.

James received 70 acres in the distribution of 1639; his home-lot was on the highway now Front St.


His will is dated 28 September 1640. The Inventory amounted to £397.19.2. He died before November of 1640.

The Rev. Mr. Hooker mentions James's death in a letter, "slept sweetly in the Lord, having carried himself gratiously in his sickness."

In 1986, a memorial consisting of a maple tree and granite marker was placed in the Center Church Cemetery (Ancient Burying Ground) in Hartford, in honor of James Olmsted and his brother Richard.



  1. Faith Olmstead, born at Great Leighs, Essex, England; buried 3 Mar 1627.

  2. Frances Olsmstead, born at Fairsted, Essex, England.

  3. Mabel Olmstead, born at Fairsted, Essex, England; buried 18 Feb 1621.

  4. NICHOLAS OLMSTEAD, born 1612/13 at Fairstead, Essex, England. He married Sarah Loomis on 28 Sep 1640 at Fairstead, Essex, England. He died 31 Aug 1684 at Hartford, Hartford Co, CT.

  5. James Olmstead, born at Fairsted, Essex, England.

  6. Nehemiah Olmsted was baptized at Fairsted, 10 November 1618. He emigrated with father, settled in Fairfield CT in 1649. He married Elizabeth Burr, the dtr. of Jehu Burr Sr. His will was probated 2 Oct 1657. He left one child. His widow remarried (2) Obadiah Gilbert of Fairfield CT; had children Obadiah, Benjamin, and Josiah Gilbert. He died 1 October 1726. She died after 7 March 1727.

  7. Mary Olmsted, buried 24 Apr 1621.

Generation 4

NICHOLAS OLMSTEAD was baptized 15 Feb 1612 (born about 1619), the son of James Olmstead.


Nicholas Olmstead came to Boston and to Hartford with his father, his brother Nehemiah, and some cousins, in the “Lion,” arriving at Boston, Massachusetts, on 16 September 1632.


On 28 September 1640, Nicholas married SARAH LOOMIS. She was born in 1617 at Messing, England, the daughter of Joseph & Mary (White) Loomis* of Windsor.

Sarah had sailed with her parents and siblings, in 1638, aboard the ship “Susan and Ellen”, arriving at Boston.


* JOSEPH LOOMIS was born about 1590 at Braintree, Essex, England. He was the son of John Loomis and Agnes Lynwood. He was a woolen draper.

Joseph married at Shalford, in Essex County, England, on 30 June 1614. His bride was MARY WHITE. Mary was baptized on 24 August 1590, at Shalford, Essex County, England, the daughter of Robert and Bridget (Allgar) White**. She died 23 Aug 1652 at Connecticut.

Joseph and his family sailed to America on the ship "Susan and Ellen" in 1638, arriving at Boston.

They settled at Windsor, Connecticut, in 1639.

Joseph Loomis died on 25 November 1658 at Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut.


** A well documented presentation of the ancestry of Robert White is desired. Until it is obtained, the brief outline included, from undocumented sources, should be used with caution.


ROBERT WHITE was said to be the son of Robert White (born at South Pemerton; died 1600) and Alice. His grand-parents were Richard White (born Hillariance; died May 6, 1578) who married Helen (1523-1580). And his great-grandparents were Thomas White (born Meriot) and Agnes Richards.

Robert White as buried on 17 June 1617, at Messing, Essex, England.


Robert White's will was dated May 27, 1617, and indicates he lived for considerable time in the parish and was quite wealthy. He gave to support the poor of Messing, and to Rev. Richard Rogers (a non-conformist) and Rev. Bartholomew Scrivener (an established church minister).

The will names Robert's wife and all his children.

  • Executors: Son Daniel White*** and wife, Bridget.

  • Witnesses: John Christmas Sr. and William Levett were witnesses.

People named in the will include the following:

  • James Boutwell (son-in-law - mar. to Sarah White)

  • Joseph Loomis (son-in-law - mar. to Mary White)

  • William Goodwin (son-in-law - mar. to Elizabeth White)

  • Ralph Bett (“my kinsman and servant”)

  • Joseph Digbie (“my servant”)

  • Bridget (unmarried child) - bequeathed 100 marks on the condition that she obtain the consent of her mother and of Joseph Loomis and William Goodwin before marriage

  • Anna (unmarried child) - bequeathed 100 marks on the condition that she obtain the consent of her mother and of Joseph Loomis and William Goodwin before marriage.<

  • John (unmarried child) - bequeathed 200 marks on the condition that he obtain the consent of his mother and of Joseph Loomis and William Goodwin before marriage. (This name John may be incorrect; my source states the unmarried, and only, son's name was Nathaniel White.)

*** It is possible that Daniel was the son of a first wife, prior to Robert’s marriage to Bridget on June 24, 1585 at Shalford, Essex.

BRIDGET ALLGAR (or ALGER) was baptized 11 March 1562, at Shalford, Essex, England. She was the daughter of William Allgar (buried 2 August 1575, at Shalford, Essex), and sister of Mary, who married “Ralfe Bette”; John, who died in infancy; John; and Elizabeth.

From the website of: http://kinnexions.com/smlawson/crow.htm#White.

Go to


Nicholas’s Olmstead’s house lot, and the house built by him, was in Front Street, now Nos. 30-32 and 34 near the Little or Park River. The house was taken down in or about 1835. Nicholas received half of his father’s estate.


Nicholas Olmstead served in the Pequot War, 1637.

He became a Lieutenant in 1673. In 1675, he was appointed Capt. of a company and was sent to New London. And was in active service in King Philip's War in 1675. The Connecticut Society Colonial Dames (1907, p. 272), states Nicholas was Captain of Dragoons raised in Hartford for active service in King Philip’s war, while the Loomis genealogy states he served as Captain, First Connecticut Cavalry. At any event, Nicholas's descendants qualify for membership in the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America.


He was surveyor of highways, 1647; townsman, 1654, 1658, 1667; list and rate maker, 1669; freeman, 1669; deputy, 1672-3; townsman, 1671, 1679, 1683; . His second wife was Mary, widow of Dr. Thomas Lord. He d. Aug. 31, 1684.


Nicholas Olmstead died on 31 August 1684.


The original of Nicholas’s Will is preserved in the probate records of Hartford, Conn (see Olmsted Genealogy, pp. 14-15).

“Widdow” Sarah Loomis Olmstead to receive 5 pounds a year during hir widdow hood, and 4 pounds per year after her marriage during her natural life; also one cow as her own proper estate and two swine and some poultry and to have access to his “yardes” to keep them in. Also the use of Nicholas’s parlor and the chamber over the parlor with what sellerage she may want, also the use of his ovens and the well. Son Samuel to get the dwelling house in Hartford. Mentioned also are dtr. Sarah Gates, dtr. Rebecah Biglo, and dtr. Mabell Butler, dtr. Butler. He was concerned about his sons’ treatment of Sarah, his wife, when he wrote: “I do order [them all to] carefully performe what I haue respektiuely giune vnto my louing wife as itt is aboue expressed.”

Mentioned also as a bequest to his son Sam, are lands purchased from Joshua, son of Vncas [Uncas] by the towne of Harttford on the east side of the great river. A footnote about this states: “In the will of Joshua Uncas, son of Uncas, ‘Sachem of Monheag,’ dated 29 Feb 1675, there is bequeathed to Nicholas Olmstead and some 14 other Englishmen ... land lying from the mountains, in sight of Hartford, Northward, to a pond called Shemipipie east to Willimantucke river, south by said river, west by Hartford bounds”.

N. E. Hist. and Gen. Reg. (Vol. 13) p. 235.

His widow, Sarah, died at Hartford, Connecticut, on 28 August 1689, age 71.

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  1. Saral Olmsted, 1641 at Hartford CT; died 7 Nov 1709 at E. Haddam, Middlesex Co, CT. She married 1661/62 Capt. George Gates. Both are buried in Cove Burial Ground, E. Haddam, CT.

  2. ELIZABETH OLMSTED was born on 20 Nov 1642 at Hartford, Hartford Co CT. She d. 12 Oct 1681 at Wethersfield, Hartford Co CT. She married by 1665, Samuel Butler.

  3. Mabel Olmsted was born ca. 1645 at Hartford. Her father's will dated 20 Aug 1683 and proved 25 Nov 1684, names "son Samuel Butler" and "daughter Mabel Butler". She mar. 1 Sgt. Daniel Butler (d. 28 Mar 1692), son of Richard Butler and Elizabeth Bigelow; and 2 at Windsor, Hartford Co CT on 26 Aug 1697, Michael Taintor.

  4. Mary Olmsted was born 20 Nov 1646 at Hartford. Died there before year's end.

  5. Rebecca Olmsted was born 12 Mar 1647/48 at Hartford. Mar. John Bigelow (b. 27 Oct 1643) the son of John Bigelow and Mary Warren. No known children.

  6. John Olmsted was bapt. 3 Feb 1649/50 at Hartford. He died young.

  7. Samuel Olmsted was born in 1653 at Hartford, Hartford Co, CT. He died 13 Jan 1726 at E. Haddam, Middlesex Co, CT, and was buried in Old Cove Burial Ground. He mar. Mary LORD (b. May 1649 at Saybrook CT; she d. 14 Sep 1736), was the dtr. of William Lord and Dorothy; granddaughter of Thomas Lord and Dorothy Bird.

  8. Joseph Olmsted Sr. was born in 1654 at Hartford. He died. 5 Oct 1726 at E. Haddam, Middlesex Co, CT. Was Deacon. He married Elizabeth Butler (b. about 1651; d. 28 Apr 1729 at age of 78), the dtr. of Richard Butler and Elizabeth Bigelow. His grave marker reads: "HERE LIETH THE BODY OF DEC JOSEPH OLMSTEED WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE OCTOBER THE 5 ANNON DOM 1726 IN THE 73 YEAR OF HIS AGE". Her grave marker reads: HERE LIES THE BODY OF LIESEABETH THE WIFE OF DEACON JOSEPH OLMSTED WHO DIED 28 APRIL IN THE 78 OF HER AGE 1729."

  9. Thomas Olmsted was born 25 June 1657 at Hartford, Hartford Co, CT. He died 1741 at W. Hartford, Hartford Co, CT.

Generation 5

ELIZABETH OLMSTEAD was born, the daughter of Nicholas and Sarah (Loomis) Olmstead.

Move to


Hopkins, Timothy. John Hopkins of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1634, and Some of His Descendants. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1932.

The Olmstead Family Genealogy, by Henry K. Olmsted (New York: A. T. de la Mare Printing, 1912) pg. xi.
Google Book -- Olmstead Family Genealogy

Henry King Olmsted & George K. Ward. 1912. Genealogy of the Olmsted family in America: Embracing the Descendants of James and Richard Olmsted and Covering a Period of Nearly Three Centuries, 1631-1912. A.T. de la Mare Printing & Publ. Co. Ltd., NY. Available to read on Google Books.

Wilmes, Debra F., comp. The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.) “Wethersfield 1634 - 1868”. For birthdate of Elizabeth and Mary Olmstead.


Descendants of Nicholas Olmstead are qualified for membership in the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America.
See http://www.renderplus.com/hartgen/htm/olmstead. htm for Olmstead genealogy.
See http://www.renderplus.com/hartgen/htm/loomis.htm for Loomis.

White, Robert. The will (dated Junii 1617) was transcribed from The Goodwins of Hartford, by James J. Goodwin and Frank F. Starr (1891) as published in the NEHGR 55 (1901) pp. 29-31.

Hosley, William, and Shepherd M. Holcombe. By Their Markers Ye Shall Know Them: a chronicle of the history and restorations of Hartford's ancient burying ground (Hartford, CT: 1994). Memorial marker for James and Richard Olmsted in the Center Church Cemetery (Ancient Burying Ground) at Hartford, CT. At the Salt Lake City, Utah, Family History Library, Call No. 974.63 V3h.


Historic Sites at Hartford, Connecticut, on the website of The Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford, Connecticut. Click here for their Home Page.


Richard Butler-Elizabeth Bieglow Page. Webmaster: Diana Gale Matthiesen.
This website also states that Elizabeth Olmstead was the wife of Samuel Butler, and gives her birth as 20 Nov 1642 at Hartford.

Loomis Family Genealogy. See Our Folk. Webmaster: Albert D. Hart.

Olmstead Family Genealogy. See Our Folk. Webmaster: Albert D. Hart.

Olmsted/Olmstead genealogy. Webmaster: Terry Morgan.
This website does not document the data under the Olmstead name.

White Family Genealogy. See Our Folk. Webmaster: Albert D. Hart.

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Hopkins-River and Related Families

This is the Olmstead Family Page

Joann River
Bountiful, Utah

Much material paraphrased from sources.
Presentation © 2007 Joann River
Last Updated - 26 January 2015

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