Sarah (?)1

F, b. 1600, d. before 20 November 1669
     Sarah was born in 1600 in Buckinghamshire, England. Sarah married Sylvester Baldwin, son of Sylvester Baldwin and Jane Wells, circa 1620 in the Parish of Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire, England. She and Sylvester were blessed with 9 children. Sarah, Sylvester, their two sons and four daughters left England on the ship "Martin" in the late spring of 1638. Alexander Bryan, John Baldwin, Francis Bolt, the James Weeden family of Chesham, the Chad Brown family and others from Hertfordshire & Buckinghamshire were also on board. It is believed that John Baldwin of Norwich, then a young. orphaned child, accompanied Sylvester's family and that he lived with the family until his marriage. Another close family member, probably cousin of Sylvester, John Baldwin was also aboard the ship & witnessed Sylvester's will. At one time there were five of the name of "John Baldwin: resiging in Milford. In 1643, Sarah was listed on the New Haven records with a family of five - herself & 4 children.2,3,4 In 1638, Sarah & her husband, Sylvester, left England aboard the ship, "Martin", |They arrived at the Boston Harbor sometime before the 13th of July..5 Her husband, Sylvester died while on their voyage to New England on 21 June 1638, leaving her a widow. She and her children landed in Massachuetts Bay Colony, but shortly after arrival moved with others of the company to the New Haven Colony, settling in Milford. She was listed as one of the first planters there at Milford, and she was soon granted land and at this time was described as being valued at 300 pounds plus certain lands. Sarah married 2nd John Astwood circa 1644 in Milford, New Haven County, Connecticut. By the time of this marriage, she was thought to be one of the wealthest of Milford as her worth had increased substantially to 800 pounds and several pieces of land.6 Sarah's husband, an unknown person , died in 1654 in London, County Middlesex, England, leaving her a widow. He had gone over to London on business for the New Haven Colony and for some personal business concerning the death of his brother. It is not sure whether she accompanied her husband, if she did, she returned to New England for the remainder of her life.7 In 1666, Sarah passed land in England to Sylvester's cousin Edward Baldwin, being described as a cottage and a close that Sylvester had inherited from his uncle Richard Baldwin. It is interesting to note that prior to this transfer, a few years earlier, in 1663, Alexander Bryan had been involved in a transaction transferring land that his wife Ann had inherited in Wendover Parish, Buckinghamshire from the same Richard Baldwin to the same Edward.8 Sarah made her will 9 November 1669 and died shortly after.

I Sarah Astwood , being in perfect memory, tho weake in body, doe now make my last will and testament in manner and form as followeth:
Imprimis, I give unto my daughter-in-law Hannah ffreeman, wife of Stephen ffreeman, one payre of fine sheets, with seamings, that was formerly Capt. Astwood’s
Item: I give onto my grandchild, John Baldwin, my cow and half ye calf which is at Pangassett, and one pewter pot marked lB on the handle, and five yellow curtains, and ye valance, and there iron rods and two pillow cases. Item: I give unto my grandchild, Mary Woodruff, besides ye linen which she hath already, fifteen pounds, which she shall have liberty to choose of what she pleaseth, which is not in particular given to any other. Item: I give unto ye Reverend pastor, Mr. Roger Newton, twenty shillings. Item: I give unto my grandchild, Silvanus Baldwin, ye table and form that is at his mother’s home. Item: I give unto my grandchild, Sarah Burwell five shillings. Item: I give unto my grandchild, Martha Newton, five shillings. Item: I give unto my daughter, Elizabeth Baldwin, widdow, all my things which are at her home, not otherwise disposed of, and one silver spoon. Item: I give unto my grandchild Matthew Woodruff, my great bible. Item: I give unto my son John Baldwin, twenty shillings. Item: I give unto my grandchild, Sarah Riggs, one pewter platter, marked with S. B. Item: I give unto my grandchild, Temperance Baldwin, my best hatt. Item: I give unto my grandchild, Mary Baldwin, my greenish ( ) petticoats. Item: I give unto my great grandchild, Sarah Burwell, one pewter platter, marked with S. Item: I give unto my dearly-beloved daughter, Mary Plumb, one booke, called “The Soule’s Conflict”, with all the rest of my goods and chattels, whom I make my whole and sole executrix; and I also desire and appoint my beloved brothers, Richard Platt and Thomas Wheeler, to be the overseers, to see this my will fulfilled.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 9th day of November, 1669. Sarah Astwood
Sealed, signed and delivered in ye presence of us.
     Richard Platt
     Thomas Wheeler
     Samuel Eels.9

Her will was probated on 20 November 1669. In reflecting on the Sarah's life, the harhness and severity of the times is reinforced. Considering that from the time of her marriage to 1620 to the time of her departure to the new world in 1638, she had given birth to 9 children and had to bury 3 of them. Religious strife around her home added to the strife of living and then the adventure of the move. This trip would have been grueling and miserable enough without a family, but Sarah and her husband had their large family of six children to contend with as well. As stated, on the voyage she lost her husband and before her own death, had lost another husband and four more of her children. This all going on while she was an early pioneer in a new town in a young colony. Her physical, mental, and emotional strength had to be exceptional. Additional Notes:

Sarah’s maiden name is, at this time, unknown. From records, she herself refers to Alexander Bryan as a kinsman, but as pointed out by Seversmith, this does in no way mean that she is a Bryan or a sister of Alexander. The will of Thomas Bryan, the father of Alexander, does not list a daughter by the name of Sarah, nor is there any other record that so indicates. Alexander’s wife was Ann Baldwin, a cousin of Sarah’s first husband, Sylvester Baldwin. Thus, Alexander would be a “kinsman”. Sarah also mentions Thomas Wheeler and Richard Platt as “beloved brothers”. But again Thomas’ wife has been said to be a Bryan, and a sister of Sarah, but there is no mention of a Joan or Jane in the will of Thomas Bryan. Seversmith in his analysis shows that it is quite possible that Sarah’s maiden name is Grover of a family in Buckinghamshire in the same area as the seat of the Baldwin family. Richard Platt was married to a Mary Grover daughter of Richard Platt and Rose [Windsor] Platt of Chesham, Buckinghamshire. Sarah is quite probably another daughter and thus Richard becomes a “brother.”.10

SARAH BALDWIN (widow of) SYLVESTER. Obit 1669.
This woman was evidently wealthy for the times, and in 1640 married Captain John Astwood, one of the seven pillars and judges of Milford. Captain Astwood went to London on business for the Colony and died there about 1653. His widow in her will gives her daughter " Mary " above, one book called " The Soule's Conflict," with most of her goods and chattels, and calls Richard Platt her brother. (How; was his wife a Bryan ?)
Judge C. C. Baldwin contributes this inscription also.11

Family 1

Sylvester Baldwin b. c 1598, d. 21 Jun 1638

Family 2

John Astwood b. 1609, d. 1654


  1. [S655] English Origins of New England Families 1500-1800 - Articles from the New England Genealogical & Biographical Record

    , Series 2, Volume I: Notes On the Ancestry of Sylvester Baldwin, pages -

  2. [S138] Charles Candee Baldwin, The Baldwin Genealody from 1500-1881, Page 41 - At a Court of Assistants, held at Boston, the 4th of the 7th month, 1638, (4 Sept., 1638.)
    “The will of Silvester Bauldwin was p’sented unto the Court, and his wife Sarah and sonne Rich’d were allowed executors according to the will.” (Mass. Records, Vol. 1, p. 23, inarg. 226.)
    page 42 - …The widow went with the emigrants to New Haven, and was the widow Baldwin enrolled among the first planters there, five in her family, and L300 in the list , and lots were afterward drawn in her right. She married, 1640, John Astwood, of Milford, Connecticut, when her property was valued at L800, besides several parcels of land.
  3. [S152] Assistant Professor of History in Wells College Isabel MacBeath Calder, The New Haven Colony
    , pages 73-74 - The small group headed by Peter Prudden that had coalesced with the Davenport Company in Massachusetts Bay and migrated with them to Quinnipiac drew toward the plantation on Long Island Sound Sarah [Bryan] Baldwin, widow of Sylvester Baldwin of Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire, who in the summer of 1638 died on board the Martin on his way to New England; her two sons and four daughters; Alexander Bryan, a native of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, kinsman of Sarah Baldwin; John Baldwin, Francis Bolt, and others from Hertfordshire & Buckinghamshire.
  4. [S698] Honorable John D. Baldwin, John Baldwin of Stonington & Other John Baldwin's of Early Colonial Times, In a list of. the New Haven "planters," made in 1643, she appears as “the Widow Baldwin," with a family consisting of five persons. The Widow Baldwin's family included herself and four children. But, at that time, she had with her only three of her own children, the other three having married and left her; Sarah in 1638, Mary in 1640, and Richard in 1642. Who was this additional child?
    - Remembering that old Bible and its record,
    and remembering, also, the statement in a letter of the Hon. Simeon Baldwin, that, according to the traditions of the Norwich family to which he belonged, "John, the father of the Norwich family, came to this country with a respectable connection of the family, when a boy," I believe, without very serious hesitation, that it was John Baldwin, of Norwich.
  5. [S708] Ship List for the ship "Martin": 1638 to Massachusetts at the Boston Harbor before 13 July 1638 - only known of because of the death of one of its passengers, Sylvester Baldwin.
  6. [S119] Herbert Furman Seversmith, Colonial Families of Long Island, New York & Connecticut, page 231 - She married 2, in 1640 to John Astwood of Stanstead Abbey, Hertfordshire, born in 1609, died in 1653; he was an immigrant on the Hopewell, and at Milford, Connecticut in 1639.
  7. [S637] John Warner Barber, Connecticut Historical Collections, page 231 - John Astwood went to England as agent for the Court of Commissioners of the United Colonies, and died in London in 1654.
  8. [S115] Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Showing Three Generations Of Those Who Came Before May, 1692, On The Basis Of Farmer's Registar, Page 105 - …Where his [Sylvester’s] f. by will of 18 Feb. 1632, had given him a cottage and close, wh. His wid. (wh. had m. John Astwood, and was then his wid.) gave on 1 Oct. 1666 to Edward Baldwin of Guilford, Co. Surrey, call. him “kinsman.” [note: Savage has erroneously assigned Sylveser as a child of Richard. Richard was the uncle of Sylvester. KLM]
    Page 105 – …After sometime liv. at New Haven, and Milford, she m. 1640, Capt John Astwood of M. when her prop. Was valu. at £800, beside sev. parcels of ld. She long outlive. him, and her will of 9, pro. 20 Nov 1669, ….
  9. [S138] Charles Candee Baldwin, The Baldwin Genealody from 1500-1881, page 43-44 - The will of Sarah Baldwin Astwood.
  10. [S119] Herbert Furman Seversmith, Colonial Families of Long Island, New York & Connecticut, Page 230 - Ralph D. Smyth, the historian of Guilford, Connecticut had stated that the maiden name of the wife of Silvester Baldwin was Sarah Bryan, but he could not give Charles C Baldwin proof. Since then it has been alleged that she was the sister of Alexander Bryan of Milford, Connecticut, which is absolutely untrue.
    Page 471 - In C. C. Baldwin’s monograph, previously referred to, there is included an indenture made 20 July, 1663 by Alexander Bryan and his son Richard, conveying property in Wendover, Buckinghamshire to Edward Baldwin of Beaconfields in the same shire. This deed was bought by the late Judge Baldwin, and was one of the discoveries leading to the determination of the ancestry of Alexander Bryan.
    Page 231 – We cannot disprove Mr Ralph D Smyth’s assertion, but it would seem quite possible that he might have confused the marriage of Samuel Baldwin with Amy Bryan … …From a study of the connections of Richard Platt, who is undoubtedly the one who married Mary Grover…it may be supposed that Sarah was either his sister and a daughter of Richard and Rose (Windsor) Platt; or a sister of his wife and hence born Sarah Grover. It is improbable that her name was Platt, but she may well have been a member of the Grover family of Chesam, Buckinghamshire.
  11. [S704] Nathan G. Pond, The Story of the Memorial in Honor of the Founders of the Town of Milford

    , In 1888, in celebration of its 250th Anniversary, the towns people of Milford had a bridge & tower of stone errected over the river upon whose banks the first habitations were placed and near the spot where the first mill was erected.
    Along the sides of the bridge individual memorial stones where placed honoring the original settlers and prominent persons in the history of Milford. The tower, bridge and memorials were dedicated on 28 August 1889. The memorial stones were all by private donation.