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In 1646, Savage says Vincent Stilson was "of Milford, Connecticut." Stilson is called one of the "Principal after Planters" of Milford from 1646 to 1660 (see Sherman). Vincent Stilson is first noted in Essex County, Massachusetts, in records found of Marblehead between 1668 and 1674. These Essex County court records show that he was in Marblehead in 1676 but on September 17, 1687 he was in Milford, on which date he drew up his will and where he remained until his death in 1690. Many of the Planters of Milford were from Essex County, according to Mrs. Sherman (NOTE: "After Planters" may refer to those early immigrants who arrived after the Pilgrims, who were considered the "Planters.")

Savage also gives the following information in his Dictionary of New England: "Stilson, Vincent, Milford 1646, d. 1690, but more than half that interval, lived away from Milford and at Marblehead as seen 1668-74."

Mrs. Sherman also notes, "It is thought that many of the Milford settlers may have come with the John Davenport group, but as there are no lists of his followers, this cannot be proved. Most of the planters of Milford were from Essex County and York County, Massachusetts. Many of the first group were from Weathersfield, Connecticut although little is known of Vincent Stilson. Every planter was compelled to bear his proportion of the expense of settling and laying out lots and received land in proportion to the amount he had contributed."

According to genealogist Donald L. Jacobus (In William Stillson), Vincent was the only early settler of the Stilson name found in New England in his research. (It was previously thought that an early immigrant named William Stilson was the father of Vincent, but that was later disproved, especially when it appeared that his name was actually William Stetson.) Jacobus also states "I suppose it would be hard to find his English origin without undertaking expensive research abroad. I have seen no evidence that he held commissioned rank, though he is probably the person referred to as Sergt. Stilson in Essex County Court Records. I have not seen evidence that Vincent was ever in Milford until about 1680." He is also referred to as Lieutenant Vincent Stilson in the New York Genealogical & Biographical Record.

There is also the excerpt from a letter to William Charles Stillson from a William Earl Stilson, written February 2, 1927, in which William Earl Stilson writes: "I looked up the family history a few years ago, but have lost track of my notes. Vincent came to America in 1648, settled in Malden, Massachusetts, and was a smithy by trade. He had some sons and by the time of the Revoluntionary War there were a number of Stilsons who served in the American Army. I believe all the Stilson are of the same original stock, though of course I have no real proof. The names Amos, Anson, Frank, William and David are all family names."3,4,5,6

In June 1676 in Essex County, Connecticut <pd1.htm>, there are two pages of testimony in a defamation suit in which Vincent (Vincon or Vinson) Stilson, the son of Vincent, became involved. From this testimony it is evident that Vincent, the father, was a shoemaker. Grace Stilson, wife of Vincent and mother of the son Vincent involved in the suit, also testified at the trial (her age was given as "about 37").7

Vincent Stilson left a will on 17 September 1687 at Milford, New Haven County, Connecticut <pd1.htm>. In his will, Vincent gives "to my daughter Barly [Mary], wife of George Barly [or Barlow], the sum of five shillings." He also mentions his "loveing wfie, Mary Stilson," his sons "Vincent, James, Hugh, Charls[sic], and Moses," and another "daughter Agnes Hawkins." The will is signed by the mark "S." Also, below the will is shown the inventory taken at his death on 13 May 1690. "The total value was £161:01:02. The house and homelot were appraised at 50 pounds. No other realty.8,3"

Given names Surname Sosa Birth Place Death Age Place Last change
Vincent Stilson
398 Herfordshire, England
1 May 13, 1690
332 65 Milford, Connecticut, USA
Thursday, March 31, 2011 10:21 AM
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