Robert Treat1,2,3

M, b. before 25 February 1624/25, d. 12 July 1710
FatherRichard Treat b. b 28 Aug 1584, d. 14 Feb 1668
MotherAlice Gaylord b. 10 May 1594
Robert Treat's home in Milford, Connecticut (from "Newark" by John T. Cunningham, published by the New Jersey Historical Society, Newark, NJ in 1966)
     Robert was born before 25 February 1624/25 in the Hamlet of Trendle, Pitminster Parish., Somersetshire, England. On 25 February 1624/25, he was christened in Pitminster Parish, Somersetshire, England, at St. Andrew & St. Mary Church. In 1637, Robert immigrated with his parents; they settled in Wethersfield, Connecticut. Robert remained there until moving to Milford.4 Robert married Jane Tapp, daughter of Edmund Tapp and Anna (?), during the evening of Christmas 1647, at a spinning bee in the Tapp family home in Milford, New Haven County, Connecticut.5 The couple lived in Milford and raised their family there. Robert was a highly respected member of the colony earning the title of "Mr." early in his career. He was heavily involved in the affairs of the colony and was strongly against the union of the New Haven colony with the colony of Connecticut. So much so that in 1666, he led a group of dissidents to New Jersey where Robert was one of the founders of Newark. He eventually moved back to Milford and became Governor of the colony after the death of John Winthrop. The respect given to him is evident in the nunber of weddings he presided over during his career as a public official.4 He and Jane were blessed with 10 children. Robert's wife, Jane, died on 31 October 1703 in New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, leaving him a widower. Robert married 2nd Elizabeth Powell on 24 October 1705. Elizabeth was 1st married to Richard Hollingsworth and 2nd to Richard Bryan.6 Robert's wife, Elizabeth, died on 10 January 1706 in Milford, New Haven County, Connecticut, leaving him a widower.7 Robert made his will on 5 January 1708 at Milford, New Haven County, Connecticut. He mentions 7 children: Samuel, John, Mary, Robert, Hannah, Joseph & Abigail. Robert departed this life on Saturday, 12 July 1710 in New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut. He was buried at Milford, New Haven County, Connecticut, in the Milford Cemetery. The inscription on his stone reads: "HERE LYETH INTERRED THE BODY OF COLL ROBERT TREAT ESQ. WHO FAITHFULLY SERVD THIS COLONY IN THE POST OF GOVERNOUR AND DEPUTY GOVERNOUR NEAR Ye SPACE OF THIRTY YEARS AND ATT. Ye AGE OF FOUR SCORE AND EIGHT YEARS EXCHANGED THIS LIFE FOR A BETTER JULY 12 ANNO DOM: 1710".8

Additional Notes:

Robert immigrated to New England in 1638 arriving in Watertown; by the next year he had moved to Wethersfield and by November of that same year, 1639, he had moved again to Milford. At the very young age of 16, he was given the responsibility of one of the town' people designated to survey lands. After the survey work, he moved back to Wethersfield and was there elected ratemaker, a term for tax collector, still another highly responsible position for a young man in his low 20's. After his marriage to Jane, he is again found in Milford where he became known as a person talented in the areas of settling disputes between people, especially those concerning boundaries. During the decade of the 1650's, Robert held many high offices in the New Haven Colony, both military and civil. For the rest of his life, Robert became a very significant part of the history of what would become the state of Connecticut. For that reason, it is important to give a little background of the history of the state and then Robert's role in it.
In the early 1660's, after the restoration of Charles II to the throne, the two settlements of Connecticut and New Haven, both of which had come into existence without charters because of the political unrest in England, became concerned about not being legally recognized by the parent country. In 1662, Connecticut took the initiative and sent a very skilled diplomat, John Winthrop, to England to obtain a charter. New Haven sent no one. The King listened to Winthrop and granted a charter to Connecticut, but included the New Haven Colony in the Connecticut charter.
This merger of course was a surprise to the inhabitants of New Haven and they, of course were upset with the situation, including Robert. He did, however, continue to serve as magistrate for another 4 years. In 1666, Robert with a group of other dissidents, moved to New Jersey where they purchased land and founded the town of Newark. Here, Robert served as a delegate to the New Jersey colonial legislature from 1667 to 1672.
At this time, Robert moved back to Milford and the New Haven Colony and was immediately made second in command of the New Haven forces. New Haven was at this time, preparing to go to war with the Dutch. From 1673 to 1676, he was elected Assistant to the General Court. In 1675, during King Philip's war, Robert was made Major and Commander in Chief of the Connecticut forces and is credited with saving the town of Springfield from destruction. With the death of King Philip, the war ended in 1676, and Robert was then elected Deputy Governor, a post he held until 1683, when at the death of the Governor, William Leete, he moved into the office of Governor, which he was then elected to each year for the next 15 years.
It was during his tenure as Governor that King James came to the throne of England and soon had appointed Edmund Andros as Governor of New York and New Jersey and had every intent to merge all of the colonies into one under Andros' leadership. During this time, Andros had made a demand that the Connecticut charter be turned over to him. As Governor, Robert went about delaying proceedings as long as he could within legal and diplomatic circles. This lasted for many months, but eventually in October of 1687, Andros made a trip to Hartford to personally take custody of the charter. At an afternoon session of the legislature with Andros in attendance, Robert took the opportunity to go into a long oration of how the Connecticut Colony had been built and how the hard work of the inhabitants had made it a success. The speech, in a day when such speeches were common to be long, ran into the evening and candles had to be lit. Suddenly a door opened and a burst of wind blew the candles out. When light was restored the charter, which had been on the table was gone. It had found a hiding place in an oak tree which was to become known as the Charter Oak. Andros never had possession of the charter, but did forcibly take control of Connecticut, Robert remaining on as an advisor, doing what he could to help the colony. Andros did not remain in power long though, as King James was disposed in 1688 and Andros thrown out of power the next year. Robert resumed his role as Governor and remained in that position until 1692 when he stepped down, and Fitz-John Winthrop became governor. Robert, though was not done with serving the colony as he continued on as Deputy Governor until his death.4

Family 1

Jane Tapp b. c 1628, d. 31 Oct 1703

Family 2

Elizabeth Powell b. 16 Jun 1641, d. 10 Jan 1706


  1. [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, Volume IV: page 327 - ROBERT, Milford, s. of the first Richard, b. in Eng. had liv. with his f. at Wethersfield, and was not, as oft. said, an early sett, at M. certain, not bef. 1647, was an Assist, of the New Haven Col. 1659, wh. rank of course, was not contin. aft. the union with Conn, where, tho. on withdi'aw. of his f. from that office in the older Col. 1665, he was put in nominat. but did not gain the
    honor until 1673, yet had the compliments of being a capt. and rep. under the new admin, in Philip's war, was command.-in-chief, and in 1676, when Leete was chos. Gov. aft. d. of Winthrop, he was made
    Dept. Gov. was oft. a commissnr. of the Unit. Col. of N. E. and aft. d. of Leete 1683, succeed, him as Gov. By the royal constitution of Sir Edmund Andros, to be head of all the Northern provinces, T. was nam. one of his council, and tho. he did not resist, but acquiesced, he was hailed Gov. on the overthr. In that place he serv. 15 yrs. retir. from old age, and d. 12 July 1710, aged 88. Lambert marks his d. 1712.
    He had two ws. Jane, only d. of Edmund Tapp, wh. d. 8 Apr. 1703; and he m. 22 Oct. 1705, a wid. Eliz. Bryan, wh. d. 10 Jan. 1706. It is said he had 21 ch. (and very glad should I be to prove above half of the
    tradit. num.) but ten only have been heard of by me; viz. Samuel, bapt. 3 Sept. 1648, H. C. 1669; John, 20 Oct. 1650; Mary, 23 May, not 28 (as my correspond, writes), 1652, bec. this was Friday, and ch. in our country, without except, in that age, were bapt. on Sunday only; Robert, b. 14 Aug. 1654; Sarah, 9 Oct. 1656; Hannah, 1 Jan. 1660, wh. m. Rev. Samuel Mather of Windsor; Joseph, a. 1662; Abigail, wh. m. Rev. Samuel Andrew of Milford; beside Jane, and Ann, wh. d. bef. their f. If any respect for tradit. would solicit explana. of its giv. twentyone ch. to the Gov. it may be guessed to have sprung from the fact, that his ch. add. to the ten of the first w. of s. Samuel made up the desired number. Being above 83 yrs. old, when he took his sec. w. none by her was expect. Very observa. is it that in Goodwin's Geneal. Notes, 229, after the heading, " Descend, in the line of Robert," not one is giv. wh. must be regard, as a misfortune attending Goodwin's d. bef. one eighth of the vol. was print, for he was not the man to be frightened by such a mythical host. On p. 328 the list that was intend, to be insert, and may perhaps now seem imperfect, is found, and some error is seen, if the Milford rec. be correct. The Gov. in his will of 5 Jan. 1708, names only these seven ch. Samuel, John, Mary, Robert, Hannah, Joseph, and Abigail. No doubt the other three were d. and prob. the date of Abigail's b. in Goodwin is wrong.
  2. [S954] Nathaniel Goodwin, Contributions to the Family History of Some of the First Settlers of Connecticut and Massachusetts

    , page 227 - [He settled in Milford. He married Jane Tapp, of Milford. She died April 8,1703. He married again. Gov. Treat died July 12,1710, in his 89th year, born 1621.] page 229 - ROBERT TREAT, Esq., of Milford, Conn., was twice married. 1. To Jane Tapp, only daughter of Edmund Tapp, Esq., one of the first settlers of Milford. She died April 8, 1703. 2. To Elizabeth Bryan, widow of Bryan, of Milford, and daughter of ____ - October 22, 1705. Mrs. Elizabeth Treat, alias Bryan, died January 10, 1706, aged --. Hon. Robert Treat died July 12, 1710, in his 89th year. [Monument, Milford burying ground.]
  3. [S1203] Robert Treat, Robert Treat (February 23, 1622- July 12, 1710) was an American colonial leader, militia officer and governor of the Connecticut Colony between 1683 and 1698.
    Treat was born in Pitminster, Somerset, England, but was brought to Massachusetts as a child. His father was Richard Treat and his mother was Alice Gaylord. His family were early settlers at Wethersfield, Connecticut. He settled in Milford, Connecticut in 1639 and became one of the leaders of the New Haven Colony, serving in the General Court as its assembly was known.
    On Christmas Day, December 25, 1647 he married Jane Tapp in Milford, with whom he had eight children. Their great-grandson, Robert Treat Paine, signed the Declaration of Independence.
    When the Connecticut Charter of 1662 forced the New Haven Colony to merge with Connecticut in 1665, Treat led a group of dissidents who left the colony. They moved to New Jersey in 1666 where they were joined by other dissidents from Branford, Connecticut, another part of the former New Haven Colony. The dissidents from Branford were led by the Rev. Abraham Pierson, Sr. Robert Treat wanted the new community to be named Milford, New Jersey. Pierson, a devout Puritan, preferred the name New Ark, and this place is now known as Newark. Robert himself returned to Milford, Connecticut in 1672 and lived there the rest of his life.
    Treat headed the colony's militia for several years, principally against the Narragansett Indians. This included participating in King Philip's War in 1676. He served on the Governor's Council continuously from 1676 to 1708. He was first elected Governor in 1683.
    Sir Edmund Andros supplanted him in 1687, making Connecticut part of the Dominion of New England. Treat is credited with having a role in concealing the state's charter in the Charter Oak, and resumed his job as governor when the dominion scheme fell apart in 1689. He was re-elected annually until being defeated by Fitz-John Winthrop in 1698. Robert died in Milford.
  4. [S1205] The History & Genealogy Unit of the Connecticut State Library, Robert Treat.
  5. [S1205] The History & Genealogy Unit of the Connecticut State Library, Robert Treat, According to tradition, they were married at the Tapp house at a spinning bee on Christmas night. However, no record of the marriage appears in the State Library's Barbour Collection of Connecticut Vital Records or Church Records Index.
  6. [S80] Donald Lines Jacobus, History and Genealogy of The Families of Old Fairfield, page 289 - Richard Hollingsworth, s. of Richard.
    Born in England about 1630, d. at Milford in 1683; m. at Boston, 23 Aug. 1659, Elizabeth Powell, dau. of "Elder" Michael, b. at Boston, 16 June 1641, d. at Milford, 10 Jan. 1706 ae. 68( ?) (g. s.). She m. (2) Richard Bryan of Milford, and (3) 24 Oct. 1705, Gov. Robert Treat.
    He was a mariner, of Salem, Mass., and Milford, Conn.
    Inv. 7 Sept. 1683; small estate, but included Latin and English books.
    Adm'n on Est. of Mrs. Elizabeth Treat late Hollingsworth of Milford was granted, 2 Mar. 1705/6, to dau. Mrs. Abigail Beard and her husband Mr. John Beard, the son Richard declining. Distribution was ordered to the three children. On the Est. of Mrs. Elizabeth Treat sometime Hollingsworth of Milford, a quietus est was granted, Nov. 1711, to Mrs. Abigail Beard. Caleb and Richard Hollingsworth of Milford gave receipt, 3 Apr. 1711, to sister Mrs. Abigail Beard for share from mother's Est.
    Children, recorded at Salem, Mass.:
    Richard, b. 9 Aug. 1661, d. Aug. 1662.
    Benjamin, b. 28 June 1663, d. y.
    John, b. 12 May 1665, d. y.
    Abigail, b. 1 Mar. 1667/8; m. 15 Mar. 1704/5, John Beard, of Milford. Joseph, b. 4 May 1670, d. at Milford in Apr. 1698, unm.; Inv. 26 Apr. 1698, exhibited by his mother Mrs. Elizabeth Bryan. His sister Abigail Hollingworlh, ae. abt. 29, testified to Joseph's nuncupative will, dated 9 Apr. 1698, mentioning his mother and bro. Richard.
    Caleb, b. 22 Dec. 1673, d. abt. 1731, unm. Adm'n granted, 28 Apr. 1731, to Richard Hollingsworth.
  7. [S80] Donald Lines Jacobus, History and Genealogy of The Families of Old Fairfield, page 289 -.
  8. [S953] Find a grave: -