I am a direct descendant of William Backus, Sr., who was likely born around 1606 and came from England to settle in Old Saybrook, Middlesex, CT by as early as 1637 according to some researchers, or as late as 1657, according to others. He died in 1661, in Norwich, New London, CT, soon after moving there with his children, including my ancestor, William, Jr.. Although it is accurate to consider him one of the founders of Norwich, William, Sr. died soon after moving there, leaving his land to his son, Stephen. For this reason, his name does not appear in the records of the original proprietors of Norwich and it is not engraved on the Mason, or "Founders" Monument located there, nor is there any record of his actual burial place. The names of his sons, Ensign William and Stephen Backus, are found on the Founders Monument, although there is also no documented proof that either is buried in the Founders Cemetery. The Find A Grave memorials I created for the two sons are therefore marked as cenotaphs. Although we have clues cited in genealogies filed in the archives of the NEHGS suggesting the early years of William Backus, Sr. in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, including the name of his first wife and references to his first children, who died there, we do not have copies of the purported documents to support the claims. We hope to eventually resolve this deficit in order to make the claims official, by locating and copying these records.
My mother's paternal ancestral line descends from James Pike, who was settled in Charlestown, Middlesex, MA by 1647 and later moved to Reading, Middlesex, MA.. Part of the ongoing research on this line includes participation in the Pike Surname DNA Project.
My direct ancestral surnames include (but are not limited to): Abbe, Allen, Atkins, Backus/Backhouse, Bailey, Bassett, Benton, Brown, Buelow, Bumpas, Caswell, Chaffn, Charles, Chase, Clement, Cram, Cross, Damon, Decato, Eaton, Engleshie, Farley, Gard, Garnzey, Giguere, Hale, Hallet, Hayward, Heath, Hebard, Howard, Huntoon, Johnson, Lapham, McCowen, Merrifield, Palmer, Pierce, Pike, Pitkin, Priest, Ross, Story, Stresemann/Stressman, Thurber, Towne, Webster, Wheelock, White, Willis, Wright and Young.
With few exceptions, the memorials found in this contributor account were created for members of my direct family but they are part of our extensive genealogy project, which includes many more Find A Grave Memorials. We are family genealogists and our Find A Grave work is driven primarily by our project, but due to the scope of this project, we know that our managed memorials are benefiting thousands of visitors to Find A Grave who are searching for information about their family members. We also make contributions to Find A Grave outside of our genealogy project. We sincerely thank all of the Find A Grave contributors who have helped us.
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