tors of that place. His house-lot was on the west side of what is now called Front Street, near where Morgan Street crosses it, and there is a tradition that the town was called from the ford he discovered and used in crossing the Connecticut River at a low stage of the water, and so from Hart's Ford it soon became Hartford, from a natural and easy transition. Tradition further says that as he and others were on a hunting excursion on Talcott Mountain, they discovered the Farmington River Valley, then inhabited by the Tunxis, a powerful tribe of Indians. The meadows were probably then cleared, and waving with grass and Indian corn. Such lands were then much needed and coveted by the settlers, who soon - probably as soon as 1640 - made a bargain with the Indians, and settled among them with their cattle. They still continued, however, connected with the settlement at Hartford, attended public worship, and prehaps wintered there. until about 1645, when the town was incorporated by the name of Farmington, from the excellent farms there.* About this time Mr. Roger Newton, a student in theology with Rev. Thomas Hooker, whose daughter he married, began to preach for them, and in 1652 was ordained their pastor. Stephen Hart was one of the seven pillars of the church, and was chosen their first deacon. The other pillars were Rev. Roger Newton, pastor, John Cole (Cowles), John Bronson, Robert Porter, Thomas Judd, and Thomas Thompson.
[ The following is from an email message from David E. Taylor (Nov. 21, 2003):
[ The following gives the modern, and better accepted story of how Hartford was named. This was sent to me by Kathleen Baker.
This is from a talk by Dr. Albert E. Van Dusen given at a meeting of the Connecticut Genealogy Society,
20 Jun 1970, and printed by the Society in their Ct Nutmegger, Vol 3 pg 355-373. Rev Thomas Hooker and Thomas Stone lead a group
from Massachusetts Bay Colony to Ct "with a purpose to settle upon the delightful banks of Connecticut River."
They had about 100 people in the party and 160 head of cattle, plus goats and swine. "There exist several theories about where
they crossed the Ct River". "They called their settlement Newtown on the Connecticut River and then later changed it to Hartford.
We think this was done because Thomas Stone, who was Hooker's second in command had come from Hertford, England (pronounced
just the way we do Hartford)". Hartford was the last of 3 original towns settled, Windsor was first, then Wethersfield, and Hartford in 1636.
Saybrook was considered a seperate Colony from the others. There were chosen 8 men to serve as officals of Hartford; Roger Ludlow,
William Phelps, John Steele, William Westwood, Andrew Ward, William Pynchon, Henry Smith, and William Swain. Pynchon also
established a small settlement up river at Springfield as part of the Ct settlement, but separated from the Hartford group, they didn't like
the way he traded with the natives.
* The principal leaders in this settlement were John Steele,
William Lewis, Stephen Hart, Thomas Judd, John Bronson, John Warner, Nathaniel
Kellogg, Thomas Barnes, Richard Seymour, and Thomas Gridley.