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Matthias St John and Mary Tinker

Matthias ST JOHN. (Sension)(Sention)(Senchon).
The name is originally spelled Sension. His will uses the spelling Sention, and this spelling is used on other documents apparently signed by family members. Senchon is another spelling found in original documents. The St. John version of the name is not used until about the early 1700's.

It is not clear who are the parents of Matthias St. John.
Oliver ST. JOHN and Sarah BULKELEY. This family was from New Windsor, Berkshire, England
or: Christopher ST. JOHN and Joyce Pryce. This family was from St. Nicholas Cole Abbey parish in London.
A third possibility is said to be of St. Botolph, Bishops Gate, London, England.

There were apparently two separate people with the name, Matthias Sension, living in London at the same time.
One Matthias St John was christened on 9 August 1601 at St Olave, Silver Street, London, England. He is said to be the son of Christopher St. John. (S7,S13).
If of the London family, being christened on 9 August 1601 at St Olave, Silver Street, London, England; his parents and family would be:
Father: Christopher St John. Born 1581 Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. Died 17 June 1629 St. Olave, Silver Street Parish, London, England
Mother: Joane Pryce 1579-1654

It is known that Matthias was the one who was living in St. Nicholas Cole Abby, a chandler (candle maker/seller), who married to MARY TINKER (married November 1, 1627), and had two sons baptized there, Thomas on 24 October 1631, and Marke on 10 June 1633. There were no more baptisms after this which would be consistent with the presence of Matthias of Dorchester, Massachusetts. (S9). This would inidcate that the family of St. Nicholas Cole Abby is definitely the correct family.
There are a couple of complications with this scenario. The first is that Matthias St. John and Mary Tinker were married on 1 November 1627 in New Windsor, Berkshire, England. The second complication is that their first son, also named Matthias, was christed on 30 November 1628 at New Windsor, Berkshire, England (S12). They are said to have moved after this to London. This complicates the issue of there being two separate St. John families, the one of Berkshire and the other of London.

The family of Christian St. John is also problematic. As Christian Sankten (abt 1575-1629), he is said to have emigrated to London about 1582 from Antwerp with his father – Mathias Sankten (b abt 1550). They lived on Silver Street in London, where William Shakespeare also resided, and were found in a list of “Strangers” (a type of census taken to list foreigners who had settled in England). Christian married an “English” woman Joan, by 1601 and they had twelve children, with only three surviving to adulthood, including Matthias, christened 9 August 1601; and Nicholas, christened 1 January 1617. [Source:Jerome Lafayette Santken, "Origins of Mathias and Nicholas Sension Determined," New England Historical and Genealogical Register (New England Historic Genealogical Society), Vol. 167 (April 2013): p 93]. (S11).
He is also said to have come from Glamorgan, Walesl; and to be the son of Thomas St John.

Matthias St John, said to be the son of Sir Oliver St. John and Sarah Bulkley, was apparently born (in February 1603-S6)(about 1604-S5). in Berkshire, England.
Virkus states that Matthias was the son of Sir Oliver St. John and Sarah Bulkley. Evidence for this is not given. Matthias is not mentioned in the will of Oliver. It has been speculated that perhaps his marriage to Mary Tinker was below his station, and that this may have been the reason he was not mentioned in the will. (S3). However, Oliver wrote his will in 1625, and Matthias did not marrry until 1627. Another more plausible theory is that by the time of the will he had embraced unpopular religious beliefs, and so was not included in the will. As stated though, there is no direct evidence given for him being the son of Oliver.

Thus while it is not clear if he was of the New Windsor family in Berkshire or of the St. Nicholas Cole Abbey family in London; it appears most likely that he was of the London family. This is especially indicated by the christening of sons Thomas and Mark in London.

It has been said that Matthias had a brother by the name of James SENSION, who remained in England, and lived at the St. Nicholas Cole Abby parish site until at least 1652 - when his last child was baptized. This James Sension was also a chandler, as was Matthias. (S12). Matthias married Mary TINKER (before 1630-S2)(on 1 November 1627-S5) at New Windsor, Berkshire, England.

Matthias' occupation was a chandler. (S9). This is usually referred to as merchants of candles and other small wares and groceries. It could be, however, that he served as a ship chandler. Sir William St. John is said to be his great uncle, who was a member of the Virginia Company of London and recorded in the early census records of Virginia. Sir William was back and forth between London and Colonial America. He was a Vice Admiral in the English Royal Navy and had his own ships. Matthias' occupation as a chandler likely refers to ship chandler, a service he probably provided for his great uncle. (S9).

A ship chandler is a retail dealer who specialises in supplies or equipment for ships, known as ship's stores. For traditional sailing ships, items that could be found in a chandlery might include sail-cloth, rosin, turpentine, tar, pitch, linseed oil, whale oil, tallow, lard, varnish, twine, rope and cordage, hemp, oakum, tools, brooms, mops, galley supplies, leather goods, and paper. (wikipedia).

The parish registers of St. Nicholas Cole Abbey, London, record the baptisms of children of Matthias Sension and his wife Mary and of James Sension and his wife Anne. There are no further mention of Matthias and his family in England after the christening of son Mark in 1633, and shortly after the records in New England start. So, tentatively, this family can be identified as the immigrants.

Matthias and Mary He and his wife came to New England (in 1631)(in 1632-S9(about 1633-1634)(after 10 June 1633, but before September 1634). [Note that Mark, said to be his son, was christened in London in 1633].

They settled first at Dorchester, Massachusetts. He was made a freeman there on 3 September 1634. He received a grant of twenty acres on land there on 14 January 1635. (S9).

He sold his Hose in Dorchester to Mr. Withington in 1638. In 1639 he sold his land in Dorchester to Mr. Withington also. (S9).

They moved to Windsor, Connecticut, (about 1638-1640-S1)(in 1640-S2,S9).

He was granted a home-lot and land containing ten rods wide and 18 rods deep adjacent to the palisades (the protective fence of the settlement). (S9). Ancient Windsor Connecticutt" lists Matthias St. John's residence at N-No of Rods 24. Matthias St. John, E 3 m.; bd. N. by Joshua Carter; St.by John Stiles Vol. 4, pg. 775.

The Tinker, Merwin, and Sention families migrated together to New England, and it is no coincidence that their joint settlement was named Windsor (Connecticut) in honor of their home city. (S?).

He was made a member of the Grand Jury for 19 November 1643 and December 1644. (S9).

They moved to Wethersfield, Connecticut (before 1648)(as early as 1648-S9)(about 1648).

Jonas Weede, who had moved to Stamford, sold Matthias his land in Wethersfield in 1640. On several occasions he served on a jury, and was also himself challenged in court in Hartford. In some cases, the issue was either a debt owed of or to him. On one occasion, he was brought before the court accused of selling syder to Indians by which they was Drunke. On another occasion he won a judgment against Stephen Beckwith for defamation. In February 1658, Thomas Wickham bought Matthias' land in Wethersfield. (S9).

In 1654 they moved to Norwalk, Connecticut. He is listed on the Founders Stone bearing the names of the founding settlers of Norwalk in the East Norwalk Historical Cemetery. (S9).

In 1657, he is recorded as working with Isacke More, and Edward Nash to make and provide a good and sufficient wolfe-pit. (S9).

The record states that Matthias was chosen in 1660 as a townsman to act and agitate all such affairs and occasions as the orders of the court authoriseth and that for the Yere ensuinge. (S9).

On April 26, 1664, John Steele sold all of his land in Norwalk to Matthis Sention. He, along with his sons, Mathias Jr. & Matthew Sention, were on the list of the first settlers of Norwalk in 1655. He received lot #10 in the first division of land. (S9).

His will was made on 19 October 1669 in Norwalk, Connecticut (S9), and where it was recorded on 10 March 1669. The will mentions his wife, but does not name her.

In his will he mentions "Brother & Sister Hoyt." See the will of Mathias St. John, published in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register in October 1995. It has been a puzzle as to who they were, but this article indicates that "Walter Hoyt’s third wife was probably Rhoda (Tinker) sister of Mary Tinker wife of Mathias St. John." (S4).

His will mentions his youngest son, James; his wife; his mother -- Mother Seele (Selle) one cow and one ewe; sons: Samuel Sension, Mathias Sension, and Mark Sension; and son-in-law, Ephraim Lockwood. He left 205 shillings each to his beloved brother & sister Hoit [may be Walter Hoit] as a token of love. (S9).

His will, from the Fairfield Probate Records, vol. 1665-75, p. 47:
The Last will and testament fo Mathias Sension Senior of Norwocke made this 19th of October 1669: Revoking all former will: I being at this present in perfect understandting and memorie but weak in body expecting my change suddenly in hope of a Joyfull Reusrection at the Last day; thorowe the vertu of the resurection of may alone Saveour & blessed Redemer: The estate of the lord of his bounty hath given me and blessed me withall: I doe by these presents will and bequeath: my Just Debts to be faythfully discharged: my body decently Interred---It. I will and bequeath unto my youngest sonn Janes Sention my now dwelling house and houses belonging to the same with the orchyard yards homelot with alsoe the half part of all my upland and meadowe belonging to my acomodations in Norwocke excepting that upper parcell of meadowe lying upon Sagatuck River; my sonn James paying faythfully and carefully the sum of five pounds yearly unto my beloved wife his mother and that in such current pay as may best sute for her supply my sonn James to enter upon his said houses and lands in or upon the last of March next ensuing. It. I will and bequeath unto my beloved wife: as the five pounds yearly to be payd by my sonn James unto my sayd wife during her natural life: soe alsoe I will and bequeath unto my sayd wife the other half part of my accomodations of Upland and meadow during her life and at her decease I will and bequeath then the same unto my sonn James he paying the sum of Ten pounds unto my overseers. It. I will and bequeath unto my sonn James the half of my household goods and alsoe two working oxen two cowes one horse Twelve sheep: And to be set out and apointed unto him between the date hearof and the last of next of March: My son James continuing and faythfully attending the threshing of the corn and wintering the cattell, the said goods and cattell to be set out by my overseers. It. I will and bequeath unto my marther selle one cowe and one ewe to be delivered and payd her between the date hearof and the last of March next -- It. I will and bequeath unto my sonn Samuel Sention and Epraim Lockwood that parcell of meadow upon Sagatock River called the upper parcell they to enter upon the same Imediatly after my Decease. It. I will and bequeath unot my beloved wife the other half part of my household goods the sayd part to be set as may best sute my wife and that by my overseers: Alsoe I will and bequeath unto my sayd wife all the rest of my estate unbequeathed during her life shee to have the comfort and benefit of the same, and the said estate to be ordered byt my overseers unto that end---and my mind and will is that after the Decease of my wife what estate is left and is in being should be taken by my overseers and vallued: and alsoe that parcell of meadowe bequeathed to Samuell Sention and Epraim: to be vallued and then all divided into five parts my sonn Mathis to have two parts; and my sonne Marke one part; and my sonn Samuell Sention and Epraim the other two parts---they acounting the meadowe in part of the same. --It. My will and mind is that yf my sonn James Sention should decease this life before he comes to posses the house homelot and the half of the acomodations and the goods and stock of cattell bequeathed that then the same I give and bequeath unto the rest of my children---only my sonn Mathias to have a duble part to the rest: I will and bequeath unto my Dearly beloved brother and sister Hoit Twenty shillings a peece as a token of my love and they to lay it out in what they please and keep as a remembrance; It. I doe desire constitute ordayn and apoint my beloved brother Hoit and my sonn Mathias and my sonn Marke Sention overseers of this my will and Testament desiring them to have and contnue a speciall care of my wife and to this my will and testament I have set to my hand the day and year above written in the presence of
Thomas ffitch Seniour Ralph R. Keler
At a Court held a ffairfeild the 10 March 1669 the Court approves of teh aboesaid will and order it to be Recorded
William Hill, Clarke. (S9).

He died (about JAN-S5)(OCT)(NOV-S2) (1669)(1669-1670-S5) at Norwalk, Fairfield County, Connecticut.

He was buried in the East Norwalk Historical Cemetery, Norwalk Fairfield County. Connecticut. No tombstone remains. (S9).

His will was probated on 10 March 1670. His estate was inventoried and totalled 189 pounds. (S9).

The Fairfield Probate Records, vol. 1665-75, p. 48, read: A Inventory of the estates of Mathias Sension Senr late of Norwocke deceased Taken in January last 1669 by three select men of the aforesaid towne whose names are under subscribed the said estate being vallued and apprized & is as followeth
Imprimis in bedding 09 - 16 - 00
It. in ruges blankets coverled curtains 05-15-08
It in sheets and pillow beers 05 - 00 - 00
It in Table linning 00-14-06
It in new peces of linning 01 - 05 - 06
It in movables of brass 02 - 18 - 00
It in movables of Pewter 02 - 16 - 00
It in wooden movables 04 - 04 - 03
It in movables of Iron 02-11-06
It in ammunition 03 - 02 - 00
It a pair of Stilliards beam scales weights 01 - 10 - 03
It in earthen ware 00 - 04 - 06
It in hops salt candles cards & sacking 01-19-08
It in husbendry Tooles 01 - 05 - 00
It in cart wheels & Iron belonging 02 - 08 - 00
It in plowes plow Irons yoke & chaines 02 - 08 - 00
It in a cart, rope traces & a saddle 01 - 02 - 00
It in cattell small and great. 49-10-00
It in sheep 06 - 00 - 00
It in swine fatted & lean 18-12-00
It in horses old and yonge 29 - 00 - 00
It in hay in the barn and yards 06 - 00 - 00
It in wheat in the barn 10 - 00 - 00
It in Pease and oats 03 - 00 - 00
It in Indian corn 05 - 00 - 00
It in wampam Penge 01 - 04 - 00
It in debts due to the estate 13 - 10 - 06
It in houses and Lands 100 - 00 - 00
It in his wearing clothes 08 - 14 - 00
It in four Iron hoopes 09 - 00 - 00
Totall sum 300 - 00 - 04
Richard Omsteed
Thomas ffitch Senr
Thomas Bennedick Senr
At a Courte held at ffairfield the 10th March 1669 Mathias Sention makes oath that this is a true Inventory acording to the best of his knowledge.
Willm Hill, Clarke. State of Connecticut, SS
Probate Court, District of Fairfield. Fairfield, June 7th, 1895. This may certify that the above and foregoing is a true copy of Page 48 Vol. 1665-75 of the probate records of the District of Fairfield. Attest,
Elmore S. Banks,Clerk. (L. S.) (S9).

Mary TINKER. (Tinkham) [PC M2-12].
Born about August 1606 at New Windsor, Berkshire, England; daughter of Robert TINKER and Mary MERWIN. Mary Tinker was christened 6 August 1606 at the parish of New Windsor, in the town of Windsor, Berkshire, England. (S12).

The Will of 1623 of Robert Tinker, father of Mary Tinker Sension, and her sister Ellen, states that they were to share the legacy of a house in Winkfield, Berkshire, England, following their mother's death or remarriage. (S12).

She married Matthias ST JOHN on 1 November 1627 at New Windsor, Berkshire, England.

She died after 1669.

CHILDREN of Matthias ST JOHN and Mary TINKER:
  1. Matthias ST JOHN. Born probably in 1630 in England. (S10). He was christened on 30 November 1628 at New Windsor, Berkshire, England (S12). He married Elizabeth (SEELEY-S5) in 1658. He died in December 1728 in Norwalk, Fairfield County, Connecticut.
  2. Thomas ST JOHN. Christened on 24 October 1631 in the parish of St. Nicholas Cole Abbey, London, England.
  3. Mark ST. JOHN. Born probably in June 1633 in London. He was christened on 10 June 1633 in the parish of St. Nicholas Cole Abbey, London, England. He married (1) Elizabeth STANLEY about 1655 in Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut. They had children born in Norwalk: Elizabeth Sention, born December 6, 1656 and Sarah Sention, born January 18, 1659. He married (2) Dorothy SMITH on 21 Jan 1692 (marriage contract) in Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut. He died on 12 Aug 1693 in Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut. His estate was probated on 7 Nov 1693 in Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut.
  4. Samuel ST JOHN. Born in (1637)(1640) at Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut. He married Elizabeth HOYT (HOITE, HOYTE), who died in 1706, in SEP 1663 at Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut. He died 14 Jan 1685. Mercy ST JOHN. Married Ephraim LOCKWOOD on 8 JUN 1665 at Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
  5. James ST JOHN. Born in 1649 at Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut. He died 9 May 1684. Married Rebecca PICKETT on 31 DEC 1673 at Stratford, Fairfield, Connecticut. Died without issue on 9 MAY 1684.
  6. Mercy St John. Born in Norwalk, Connecticut. She married Ephraim Lockwood, son of Robert Lockwood, on 8 June 1665. (S8).


Matthis St John and Mary Tinker
Matthias St John and Elizabeth (Seeley?)
Thomas Hyatt and Mary St John
Sarah Hyatt and James Benedict
(Elder) James Benedict and Mary Blackman
John Newberry and Jemima Benedict
James Abraham Nerwberryl and Mary Smith
George Morris and Hannah Maria Newberry
James Newberry Morris and Harriett Louisa Elliott
Tina Matilda Kunzler and  Eli Ray Morris 
LeGrand Elliott Morris and Dorothea Berta Ernestina Kersten
Rodney Allen Morris and Deborah Lee Handy