Gabriel Leggett1,2,3

M, b. 2 May 1637, d. before 30 July 1700
FatherVersion I Leggett
MotherVersion II Leggett
     Gabriel was born on Saturday, 2 May 1637 in England. As to his ancestry, there are no definite answers. Mr. A. Hatfield Jr. In his book, The History of West Farms, Westchester County, New York which came from the manuscript record of the Rev. Theodore A. Leggett, believes that Gabriel was born in Essex County, England & was the son of the John Leggett, the Immigrant who first settled in Barbados before coming to America. Dorothy Wertz in her manuscript, The Leggetts of Ely, believes him to be the son of Gabriel & Susan [Kilbourne] Leggett. She found this Gabriel having been born 2nd May 1737 & christened on the 7th of May 1737 in Ely, Cambridgeshire, England. In 1657, this Gabriel received twenty pounds in his father's will. No further mention of him has been found in the Ely records. After the Restoration of Charles II in 1661, many who had benefited from the Commonwealth and who were likely to be punished by reinstated Bishop Wren, sought greater economic opportunity in America and avoidance of punishment. It is possible that this is the same Gabriel that came to America and was in Westchester in 1661 but it is also possible that Gabriel was the son of John Leggett who removed to Barbados, before coming to the American mainland. But it must be noted that in 1760, there was a document signed by his sons, Gabriel & William Leggett that was sealed by a seal ring showing a lion rampant, same as shown on the coat of arms of Sir Helmingius Legate, the High Sheriff of Essex County, England in the early 1400's. This shows that Gabriel was connected with the Essex Leggetts. There is nothing saying that the Leggetts of Ely did not come from that same family. Gabriel married Elizabeth Richardson, daughter of John Richardson and Martha Mead, in 1676 in West Farms, Westchester County, New York. Gabriel came to America in about 1661. It is probable that he settled on land originally purchased by John Richbell, who may have imported Gabriel to America. Through his father-in-law, Gabriel was an original patentee of West Farms as of 1676. As well as a land owner of extensive lands, [thousands of acres] he was also a merchant. There is much written of this man in public records. These records make it clear that his distinctive features were personal courage and a very spirited personality. He had very definite convictions, especially in politics, and was never afraid to speak out, this being the cause of many of his problems and the reason for many of the entries of his name into public record.

Gabriel made his will on 16 April 1697 at West Farms, Westchester County, New York.

In the name of God, Amen, the 16th day of April in the yeare of our Lord God 1697, I Gabriel Leggett of the West Farms of Westchester, in the County of Westchester, and Province of New York, being very sick and weak in body but perfect mind and memory, do make and ordain this my last will and testament, that is to say, principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it, and for my body I commend it to the earth to be buried in a christian like manner att the discretion of my Exetutrix nothing doubting butt att the General resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mightly power of God and as touching such worldly estate where with it hathe pleased God to bless me in this life, I give, devise and dispose of the same in the following and manner and forme. Imprimius, I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Elizabeth all my household goods.
Item. I will that all my debts which are justly due from me to any person or persons whatsoever be first paid out of my living stock of creatures of what kind so ever. Item. I will, give and bequeath unto my son John Leggatt my house and outhouses, orchards, land and meadow in the Planting Neck and meadow by the yard side, and is that messuage or tenement that Thomas Williams dwells upon, and was formerly my ffather-in-law John Richardson's, together with fifty acres of woodland, to him, his heirs, and assignes forever.
Item. I will and bequeath unto my son Thomas Leggatt my now dwelling house and orchard and outhouses, with the land and meadow which I bought of John ffergesen, Sr. and Robert Manning together with fifty acres of woodland lying within the bounds of the said patent, and is the one moyty or half of one hundred acres with his brother John, to my said son Thomas [I say] to him, his hears, and assigns forever. Item. I give and bequeath unto my son William Leggatt one hundred acres of woodland and fifty acres of meadow lying behind the field within the bounds of our patent together with all the undivided meadow which shall fall to my sheir as also my house and home lot with an orchard thereon lying in the town of Westchester aforesaid to him, his heirs and assignes forever and i will, order and ordaine that after my decease the aforesaid house and outhouse, lands and meadows with all and singular the appertenances before mentioned shal be entered into and upon by my three sons as aforesaid after the decease of my wife but not sooner, unless in case of her remarriage as is here after provided and I do declare my beloved wife Elizabeth Leggatt to be sole executrix of this my last will and testamentand to succeed me in possession of all and singular the house and housing, lands and meadows before expressed for and in the behalf of my three sons, John, Thomas, and William Leggatt.
I give and bequeath unto my daughter Martha Leggett my little negro boy. Item. I give and bequeath unto my daughter Sarah Leggett twenty pounds. I give and bequeath unto my daughter Alice Leggett twenty pounds. I give and bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Leggett twenty pounds, wh is in all eighty pounds to be paid out of my living, provided that if any of my daughters should dye then her legacy shall fall to her serviving sisters, equally to be divided between them.
Item. It is my will and pleasure, and I do so order and appoint that not withstanding what is herein before exprest that no legacies shall be paid nor any alteration be made in my estate during my said wife's natural life, but that all things continue in the same condition in her possession and enjoyment for her necessary subsistance whilst she lives, and may take into the house with her or putt into the other messuage or tenements which of my said children she please for the better management of her affairs, always provided due care be taken that nothing be wasted or embezled of my estate by whom she admits into any or either of the said houses. But if my said wife shall marry after my decease, that then and for such case my three sons shall enter and each possess what I have before bequeathed without further delay. Lastly, I devise, authoriize, and appoint my trusty and well beloved friends Samuel Haight of fflushing and Samuel Palmer to be my executors in trust to see that my last will and testament be punctually performed and fulfilled. In witness whereof I, the said Gabriel Leggatt have hereunto put my hand and seal the day and year above written.
I also will and bequeath unto my son John Leggett my thirty acres of pasture land adjoining to the orchard which I bequeathed to him above.
Gabriel Leggatt
Witnesses: William Barnes, Joseph Haviland, Edward Collier. [New York Surrogate's Office, Wills: Liber II, page 25]4

1698, Gabriel and his wife Elizabeth were listed on the Westchester Town Census. Enumerated in this household were Gabriel Leaggatt, wife Elesebath, John, Thomas, William, Martha, mary, sarah, alice, eleasabath. Gabriel departed this life before 30 July 1700 in West Farms, Westchester County, New York. He was probably buried in the Leggett Family Plot at Hunt's Point, Bronx, New York now called Drake Park. His will was probated before 30 July 1700. [Note: exact date is unknown - the will recorded just before Gabriel's was recorded 28 June 1700 & the will after was recorded July 1700 making Gabriel's recorded between those dates - klm]


Elizabeth Richardson b. c 1656, d. 1721


  1. [S77] Copied from the manuscript record of the late Rev. Theodore A. Leggett by A. Hatfield Jr., Early Settlers of West Farms, Westchester County, New York [Copied from the manuscript record of the late Rev, Theodore A. Leggett], pages 27-28.
  2. [S319] David John Leggett, Leggett's of Ely, Gabriel Leggett, s/o Gabriel.
  3. [S321] Ph.D. Boston University, School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts:1985 and compiled by Rev. John Milton Leggett, Trinity Episcopal Church, Washington, Pennsylvania: 1986 Dorothy Corbett Wertz, The English Orgins of the Gabriel Leggett Family.
  4. [S30] New York Historical Society, Collections of the New York Historical Society Abstract of Wills, Volume 25: page 93 - Will of Gabriel Leggett dated: 16 April 1697.