Josiah Owen, I

  • Birth 8 Sep 1651 Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA
  • Death 11 Sep 1722 Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA
  • Burial Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA
  • Memorial ID 103140108

Josiah Owen was the first American born child of the immigrant John Owen, also of Windsor, but originally from Oswestry, Shropshire, England.

1st - Mary Osborn (b. 16 Apr. 1655; d. 6 Aug.1689; ceremony performed on 2 or 22 Oct. 1674; she was the daughter of John Osborn and Ann Oldage);
2nd - Sarah

Children of Josiah and Mary:
Josiah, II (b. June 6, 1675);
Isaac (b. born June 4, 1678);
Mary (b. February 15, 1679/80);
Esther (probably died young);
Lt. John Owen;

Josiah I was raised in Windsor, CT. He is likely to have served in King Philip's War in 1675-7 since the town had only 1,000 inhabitants but contributed between 100 and 125 men to fight, mostly as dargoons. As a married adult he moved to Simsbury by 1682 which he might have seen during the war when it was attacked and burned by the Native Americans. He returned to Windsor about 1697, and when his father died the following year, all the siblings consented to let their mother have all of their father's personal property.

After Josiah's death, his second wife Sarah married a second time at Simsbury, CT on 17 Jan. 1722/3 to Nathaniel Holcomb (son of Thomas and Elizabeth).

According to researchers concerning his children, Josiah was born June 6, 1675; Isaac, born June 4, 1678 (but Stiles, 731, is very different); Mary, February 15, 1679/80; and Elizabeth. Parsons did not list the daughter Elizabeth. Mary was listed in her father John's will and her mother Ann's probate. In Ann's probate she was listed as Mary Owen. Undocumented data states that she married (1) Joseph Owen and (2) Josiah (Joshua) Owen October 22, 1674.

The place of Josiah's burial in Windsor is not recorded, but undoubtedly he was laid to rest there, and a likely place was in the Palisado Cemetery where his father was laid to rest.


What follows below is a brief biography of Josiah's father John Owen who was the great, great, great grandfather of John Brown (see the Isaac Owen's children below).

John first came to Massachusetts and then arrived in Windsor ca, 1641-2.

Birth: Dec. 25, 1624, Oswestry, Shropshire, England
Death: Feb. 18 (or 1?), 1698/9, Windsor, CT
Married: 3 Oct. 1650 at Windsor, Rebecca Wade of Hartford (d. 3 Dec. 1711), the daughter of Robert and Jemima Wade.

- Josiah, I (b. Sept. 8 1651);
- John (b. 5 Nov. 1652, died as an infant);
- John (b. April 23, 1654; d. Jan 15 1670);
- Nathan (b. Aug. 9, 1656);
- Daniel (b. March 28, 1658);
- Joseph (Oct. 23, 1660);
- Mary (b. Dec. 5, 1662);
- Benjamin (b. Sept 20, 1664; d. May 26 1665);
- Rebecca (b. March 28, 1666);
- Obadiah (b. Dec 12, 1667);
- Isaac (b. May 27, 1670 Windsor, CT; d. Jun. 13, 1736, Simsbury, CT. He married on Dec. 20, 1694 Sarah Holcomb (b. Feb. 1, 1673; d. Jan. 22, 1763), daughter of Benajah Holcomb and Sarah Eno.
---- Children of Isaac and Sarah Owen:
---- Sarah married Ephraim Phelps, Jr.;
---- Eunice;
---- Deborah married James Eno IV;
---- Rebecca possibly married Matthew Copley, Jr.;
---- Ann(a) married David Higley, son of Brewster Higley and Esther Holcomb;
---- Ens. Isaac married Mary Ellsworth;
---- Elijah married Hannah Higley, daughter of Brewster Higley and Esther Holcomb (Elijah and Hannah's daughter Hannah married Capt. John BROWN and became grandmother of JOHN BROWN of Harpers Ferry fame).

Owen is a traditional Welsh name, and Oswestry, John's apparent hometown, is close to the border with Wales, and thus has had a long tradition of Welsh and English influence with both languages spoken in the town. The Battle of Maserfield was thought to have been contested there in 642, between the Anglo-Saxon kings Penda and Oswald. Oswald was killed in the melee and was dismembered, and the legend is that one of his arms was carried to an ash tree by an eagle. Miracles were subsequently attributed to the tree (Oswald was revered as a saint), and so it is believed that the name of the site derived from "Oswald's Tree" and the nearby Oswald's Well. Offa's Dyke can be found to the west.

After the Norman Conquest and the death of the local lord Ernoulf de Hesdin who was killed at Antioch, Syria while on crusade, the area was assigned by Henry I to a Norman lord, Alan FitzFlaad (d. ca. 1114). For centuries after the town was fought over by Welsh and English lords exerting their claims. At one point it was called "Pentrepoeth" (Burnt Town) from the repeated devastation.

John's gravestone in the Palisado Cemetery of the Congregational Church in Windsor reads "John Owen / Aged 76 years / Dyed February / ye 18th 1698." However, Windsor town records indicate he was born 25 Dec. 1624, and died 1 Feb. 1698/9. John may have emigrated from England to New Haven, CT in 1642, but was certainly at Windsor in 1650 when he purchased a lot 12 rods by 29 rods (about 200 by 500 feet), and married. The property was on the south side of the road leading west from the town palisade up to Hosford Lane (west of and parallel to the railroad tracks in 1941). The family resided here for 20 years.

As a respected member of the community, John was given supervision of Nicholas Wilson in 1656 "... so he live orderly with him"(he was apparently a new, single male in the in the town who had to live with a member of the community until his character was established).
He signed a petition to establish the town of Killingworth in 1663 (and his son Josiah's future father-in-law John Osborn also signed, apparently both having land interests in the Hammonosett area). He was made the sexton of the meeting house in 1666, but Nathaniel Cook was appointed the next year as sexton, yet the town fathers evidently felt that John was owed something for this change, so the odd entry in the meeting records is that "John Owen shall have part of the pay with Nathaniel Cook, though he did not of the work."

John was paid for clapboarding the meeting house in 1668, and soon after in 1670 the family took up a new residence on the Farmington River opposite Poquonok. The family is likely to have taken refuge in Windsor during King Philip's War in which it is likely his sons Josiah and Nathaniel served as the town contributed somewhere between 100 and 125 troops, mostly as dragoons (perhaps nearly all its able-bodied young men since the total number of inhabitants in 1677 was about 1,000). The war with the Native Americans was a terrible event for New England with both sides suffering. An Indian fort was stormed by forces led by Governor Josiah Winslow of Plymouth and a gurellia war ensued with the loss of some 250 for the tribes. In a reversal of fortune, the town of Simsbury was attacked and burned. In all some 600 colonists were killed and a dozen settlements lost in the conflict, but the number of Native American dead must have far exceeded this. The news of the disaster motivated those in Europe to send assistance to the colonists, and the Protestants in Ireland raised money for their brethren. The people of Connecticut refused the money and raised funds among themselves to help those who were impoverished by the war. The people of Windsor collected for devastated Simsbury, and John is on record as contributing a shilling 1676.

By 1680 John had moved again, this time to the east side of the Great River and was among those who petitioned the colony's General Court to grant them a new township.

Before he died, John conveyed some property in 1695 and 1697 to sons Obediah and Isaac. At the time of his death he must have distributed all his property since the records of his estate on April 5, 1699 show only personal property of L 29 which the children allowed their mother to retain. This included four coats, for pairs of breeches, a powdering barrel, books and bottles, a pewter platter, dishes, spoons and ladle, brass cast skillet and brass kettle, table cloths and a dozen napkins.

One source reports he was the son of Richard OWEN and Johanna PITT. He married Rebecca WADE (b. 3 October 1650, d. Dec. 3, 1711, Windsor, CT.) She is possibly the daughter of Henry WADE and granddaughter of Richard WADE (b. about 1579, Dorestshire, England; d. CT) and Elizabeth (b. about 1574, England). However, another source indicates she was the daughter of Jemima Rebecca and Robert Wade, probably the brother of Henry. Robert Wade was living at Dorchester, MA in 1635, and moved to Hartford, CT in 1639, and to Norwich, CT in 1660. Robert divorced his wife Joane, then living in England, on Aug. 12, 1657 after a fifteen year separation.

The possible ancestry of John Owen follows.

- David Owen (b. 1320 Oswestry, Shropshire, Eng.)
- Owen Owen (b. 1350 Oswestry)
- Cadwalleder Owen ( b. 1375 Oswestry)
- Cadwalleder Owen (b. 1402 Oswestry)
- Owen Owen (b. 1427 Oswestry)
- John Owen (b. 1455 Oswestry)
- David Owen (b. 1500 Oswestry)

From this point there is more confidence in the line:
- David Lloyd Owen (b. ca. 1526 Oswestry)
- Edward Owen (b. 1565 Oswestry – married Sarah Oreley / Oteley, b. ca. 1569 in Oswestry)
- Richard Owen (b. 1595 Oswestry – married ca. 1622 Sarah / Johanna Pitt, b. ca. 1599). These were the parents of John Owen.

Family Members






  • Created by: Steven Showers
  • Added: 5 Jan 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 103140108
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Josiah Owen, I (8 Sep 1651–11 Sep 1722), Find A Grave Memorial no. 103140108, citing Palisado Cemetery, Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA ; Maintained by Steven Showers (contributor 47715988) .