The son of THOMAS ENSIGN who died 1632 in England, James left England with his wife, SARAH (ELSON) ENSIGN and perhaps his oldest child for America between 1632 and 1634. He was made a freeman on March 4, 1634/5 in Newtown (Cambridge) in the Mass. Bay Colony.
He may have been associated with Rev. Thomas Hooker's company since the family soon removed to Hartford and his name is on the Founder's Monument pictured at right.
He was an early proprietor being alloted a tract of land on the south side of Hartford. Being civic minded, he served a constable, chimney-viewer, townsman, and surveyer. On April 18, 1659, he was one of a number of the inhabitants of Hartford who signed an agreement to remove to Hadley, Mass, something that he never actually did, staying in Hartford.
His occupation was that of a cooper. At a hearing on September 4, 1662, it was decided that the son of William "Eares" (Ayers) would be assigned to James Ensign as an apprentice until he is 21 years of age to be instructed in the are of trade of a cooper. On March 3, 1674/5, John "Eares" appeared before the court acknowledging that he had received full satisfaction from his Master in being taught his trade.
James & his wife, Sarah, together with thirty others separated from the First Church and formed the South or Second Church of Hartford on Feb. 12, 1670.
He died some time between the writing of his will on November 23, 1670 and the taking of his inventory on December 23, 1670. His son-in-law & my ancestor, JOSEPH EASTON, was a witness to his will.
1. Sarah m. John Rockwell
2. David m. (1) Mehitabel Gunn, (2) Sarah Wileys
3. Mary m. Samuel Smith
4. Hannah m. Joseph Easton
5. Lydia bpt. Aug 19, 1649