Peter FERRIS

Male Abt 1633 - 1706  (~ 73 years)


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  • Name Peter FERRIS  [1, 2
    • "Connecticut Ancestry": Peter Ferris and his brother Joseph and brother-in-law Jonathan Reynolds were among the 12 Greenwich residents who decided to place themselves under the jurisdiction of the New Haven Colony on 6 October 1656. The exact nature of this transaction is not clear, since the Colony noted that "They are to fall in with Stamford, and be accepted a part thereof." Apparently there was some kind of a split within the Greenwich community, and it may be presumed that there wre others still resident in that town who preferred to remain under the prevailing Dutch control. No boundary changes seem to have resulted from this event.

      It does appear, however, that Peter Ferris was a resident of Stamford for most of his career. He held several positions of responsibility in that town over the years, including being named deputy (representative) to Connecticut General Court (Assembly) in 1667. All other references to Peter Ferris in Greenwich appear to relate to his son, Peter Ferris Jr.

      The names of the children in this family have been confusing for researchers, at least partly because of incompleteness in the records. One of the boundaries in determining Peter's children has been his father Jeffrey's mention in his will, made on 6 January 1664, of "my sonn Peter Fferris his three children." On the surface, this seems to include Joseph, Peter Jr., and either Mary or the second Elizabeth, who was only 4 years old when Jeffrey made his will. The first Elizabeth is known to have died in infancy.

      Another boundary on the identification of Peter's children is his making of two deeds of gift to his loving grandson Jeremiah Jagger on 24 May 1698 and 27 September 1706 (the latter was on the day before Peter died.) this Jeremiah Jagger was not yet 21 years old in 1698, and was therefore the third generation Jeremiah Jagger, born to Jeremiah Jagger and a daughter of Peter Ferris. Peter Ferris and Abraham Ambler administered the estate of Jeremiah Jagger in 1690, and Elisha Holly, Daniel Scofield and Peter Ferris took the inventory. The estate's largest debt (L30) was to Peter Ferris, and Jagger's heirs were named as (his children) Sarah age 13, Elizabeth age 11, Mary age 7 and Jeremiah age 5. Therefore the grandson Jeremiah had been born in about 1684, and his oldest sister Sarah had been born in about 1676. Their mother must have been born before say 1656 or so, assuming she was at 20 when her first child was born. This means (on the basis of age) she could not have been either Mary, born in 1662 or the second Elizabeth, born in 1664. Paul Prindle could only resolve this situation by postulating an earlier, first child for Peter Ferris, born perhaps as early as 1655, and perhaps called Sarah, since she gave her eldest child that name. This daughter would have been living at least as late as 1684 (when Jeremiah Jagger was born) and was therefore very much alive when Jeffrey Ferris made his will (in 1664) numbering only 3 children for his son Peter. Prindle solved THIS problem by supposing that Elizabeth (b. 1664) was not the third child named in her grandfather's will after all, and that the discrepancy could be explained either by Jeffrey's being unaware of a new grandchild born just 4 days before he made his will, or more likely, that it was due to a specific effect of old style dating, and that Elizabeth had not yet been born. This compilation accepts that arrangement, since this specific case was in the direct line of Prindle's client's ancestry, and he would have been sure to place the highest importance on getting it right. Capt. Jim Ferris was apparently unaware of this line of reasoning, and did not consider a possible additional daughter for Peter Ferris, born say bout 1655. His solution was to place the second Elizabeth as the wife of Jeremiah jagger and make her the mother of the four jagger grandchildren, and in the process he actually telescoped the first two Jeremiah Jaggers into one person. In addition to its misunderstanding of the Jagger family, this proposal is not viable since it requires the improbable situation that Elizabeth (b. 1664/65) was only about 12 years old when the oldest Jagger grandchild was born.

      We now turn to the Hannah Ferris who married Capt. John Knapp at Stamford on 10 June 1692. She must have been born before about 1674, assuming she was at least 18 years old when married. She was the subject of queries to the "Hartford Times" and the "Boston Transcript", but apparently no one has yet conclusively proven her identity. In the only positive answer to these newspaper inquiries, H.S.C. gave the following statement," Hannah Ferris, daughter of Peter and Elizabeth (Reynolds) Ferris, married John Knapp June 10, 1692. She died afterwards, leaving two children, Samuel and John." Actually she left at least 7 children, Samuel, John, Hannah, Peter, charles, Deborah, and Moses. But the real problem here is that S.P Mead's History does not give this identity for Hannah at all, and as a matter of fact does not even list a Hannah Ferris as a daughter of Peter and Elizabeth.

      Other writers have also included Hannah as a daughter of Peter Ferris, but without any real support. Nevertheless, it does seem reasonable to place Hannah here in this family, probably born sometime after Jeffrey Ferris died in 1666/67. In another "Boston Transcript" query, M.S.R.S. put the issue quite clearly as follows," She (Hannah) must have been of the third generation of Jeffrey Ferris' family. Was she the daughter of Peter or of Joseph Ferris? Mead's "Greenwich" gives Joseph a daughter Hannah, but as wife of Jonathan Austin. John Ferris and his family lived too far fro Stamford, and James Ferris was married too late. This seems to leave Peter Ferris as the only possible father for (the) above Hannah." Capt. Jim Ferris also placed Hannah in this family, but again without any supporting documentation.

      There is some important additional evidence that tends to confirm that Hannah Ferris, wife of John Knapp, belongs in this family. First, it is probably significant that they named a child Peter, since the name Peter does not appear earlier in the Knapp line and this may therefore have been in honor of her father. Secondly, on 2 April 1712, the brothers Joseph and Peter Ferris, "sons of Peter Ferris late of Stamford deceased" ( and therefore Hannah's brothers if she were indeed a part of this family) sold a three-acre home lot in Stamford to John Knapp. it is significant that this land was described as "...whereon Standeth ye new Dwelling house and barn of sd John Knap." the fact that John Knapp had built his new house and barn on this land while it was still owned by this branch of the Ferris family is strong circumstantial evidence that he had indeed married a daughter of Peter Ferris Sr.

      A letter in the Edich Vicks Papers at the Stamford Historical Society claims that the late Virginia Olson (co-author of "Stamford's Soldiers" and former genealogist of the Stamford Genealogical Society) had told the writer that "Peter and Elizabeth were the parents of Hannah. She (Mrs Olson) states, 'Hannah proved by deeds as the daughter of Peter but birth not recorded; married John Knapp 10 June 1692. She died 27 Sep 1724.' Mrs. Olson also quotes the "Hartford Times 12/28/1940 as giving reference to the relationship."

      Although an excellent circumstantial case may be made for Hannah's placement in this family, it is not yet felt to be conclusive, and she must be paced here in this present compilation want the qualifier, "probably". [1]
    Born Abt 1633  Watertown, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Died 28 Sep 1706  Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Person ID I21949  Main Tree
    Last Modified 19 Nov 2015 

    Father Jeffrey FERRIS,   b. Abt 1610, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 May 1666, Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 56 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Mary ?,   b. Abt 1612,   d. 31 Jul 1658, Greenwich, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 46 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Family ID F09240  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Elizabeth REYNOLDS,   b. Abt 1636,   d. 1703, Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 67 years) 
    Married 15 Jul 1654  Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Children 
     1. Sarah FERRIS,   b. Abt 1655, Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1690, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 34 years)  [Natural]
     2. Joseph FERRIS,   b. 20 Aug 1657, Greenwich, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 07 Apr 1733, Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
     3. Elizabeth FERRIS,   b. 28 Feb 1659/60, Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Apr 1660, Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
     4. Peter FERRIS, Jr.,   b. 20 Jun 1660, Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Between 02 Jan 1736 and 1737, Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)  [Birth]
     5. Mary FERRIS,   b. 02 May 1662, Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1664  (Age 1 years)
     6. Elizabeth FERRIS,   b. 2 Jan 1664, Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Young Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. Hannah FERRIS,   b. 1666, Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Sep 1724, Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 58 years)
    Last Modified 16 Aug 2012 
    Family ID F09091  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Ruth UNKNOWN,   d. 01 Apr 1714 
    Married 25 Jul 1705  [1
    Last Modified 16 Aug 2012 
    Family ID F27836  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S4920] Connecticut Ancestry 2008 August Vol. 51 No. 1 .

    2. [S03262] RootsWeb: World Connect - Stamford, CT Familes (1641-1935) by Barbara Kaye.

    3. [S03428] The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records: Stamford.