Back T.C. Munger Home Next
[page xiv]
NICHOLAS MUNGER. Of Nicholas Munger, the progenitor of most of the name in America, little is known. Some authorities state that he came from England with the Whitfield colony, being an apprentice to William Chittenden, one of that company, and whose name appears on the covenant drawn up and signed on shipboard during the voyage to America. The name of Nicholas Munger does not appear on the records of the voyage in any way as far as known. He is said to have been about sixteen years (?) of age at the time of the settlement of the Guilford colony.

By other authorities he is said to have been son-in-law (i. e. stepson) of Henry Goldham or Goldam, an early settler at New Haven and Guilford. "Henry Goldham, freed from training (military service) from weakness in 1645, had only Susanna, who married the 2d John Bishop. In his will of 9th of July, 1661, gives some land to Nicholas Munger, called son-in-law; probably son of his (Goldham's) wife Frances." (Savage: vol. ii, p. 269.)

In his will Goldham gives to Nicholas Munger "All my land in the Neck, paying myself, if demanded during my lifetime, one barley corn by the year by way of acknowledgement, and after my death, if my wife shall survive and shall demand the same the sum of five bushels of whete by the year, but if she miss demanding in or at the very expiring of the year, then to be free from any payment that present year, and at the death of my fore said wife, to be to him fully and freely and to his heirs forever."

The land left Nicholas Munger was situated on the north bank of the Neck river and on the public road, and he settled thereon as early as 1651. Mr. George B. Munger of East River, Conn., says: "I live within a mile of where Nicholas built the first Munger house in America. Mr. Arthur D. Munger now lives in a house on the same site, although the property has not been continuously in the Munger name."

In addition to the land in the Neck, Nicholas Munger "bought from George Hiland the home lot containing an acre and a half bought by Hiland from Thomas Betts, lying in the Plaine fronting up to the street near ag't Mr. Whitfield's rearing back to the swamp, the lands of the sd Mr. Whitfield lying next on the South."

This latter land is situated in the village, of Guilford, south of the common. An old plan of lots in the Stone House museum shows two other pieces owned by Nicholas in the vicinity of the common. The land bequeathed him by Goldham lay in the East Parish of Guilford, now the town of Madison.

"A terrior of land belonging to Nicholas Munger deceased this 30th day of March, Ano: 1670 as followeth: --? his home lott at the Neck containing and allowed for 3 akers more or less fronting upon the highway going into the Neck on the North rearing back to the beach South bounded [page xv] by the land of Steven Bishop west by the common land East from a parsell of upland lying in the Neck containing thirty-two acres more or less allowed for seaventene running crosse from the Neck river on the North to the Sea on the South past the land of Daniell Benton past the lands of Steven Bishop on the cast a way being allowed crosse the said lotts as in all the rest of the lotts there." (Town Records.)

Nicholas Munger took the "Oath of Fidelity" and became a "Freeman" in 1652. The qualifications of a "Freeman" were that he should be of age, of sober and peaceable conversation, Orthodox in religion, and possessed of a ratable estate of at least 2O.

In regard to William Chittenden, with whose family it has been said Nicholas Munger came to America; he (Chittenden) was one of a company of Pilgrims who sailed (?) from Cranbrook, County Kent, England, in May, 1639, and after about seven weeks arrived at the New Haven Colony, about the 10th of July.

When hardly out of sight of their native land, they gathered in the cabin of their vessel, and under the guidance of Elder Whitfield, drew up a compact agreeing to certain rules and conditions for the government of their colony, when they should arrive on the far distant shores of America.

To this compact they made oath and signed their names. The name of Chittenden appears among the signers. This oath was called the "Oath of Fidelity" and was required of all settlers within the bounds of their settlement. The members of this colony were for the most part yeomen from the counties of Surrey and Kent, with some few from adjacent counties. It would appear that most of the settlers were from County Surrey, as the settlement was called Guilford, which is the name of the shire town of County Surrey, England, although the settlement was at first known by the Indian name of "Menunkatuck."

That Nicholas Munger came to this country with William Chittenden, is traditionary; that he was here in company with Henry Goldam and family of New Haven Colony, seems proven by documentary evidence. His stepfather, Goldam, was one of the prominent men of Guilford Colony, though not one of the original proprietors. "Munger was one of the poorer planters," says the History of Guilford. "None of the settlers were rich, and none were poor, and few had servants." All seem to have been comfortably situated and self-supporting.

The date of the birth of Nicholas is not definitely known. At the time when he became a "Freeman" he was at least 21 years old, and on September 3, this same year (1652), he with John Rossiter, a son of a prominent citizen, and six young women were examined "Upon a common fame or report of some miscarryings by night meetings, unnecessary familiarity, and unfit company keeping," and the court adjudged all more or less guilty of the offences charged, which were probably nothing more than what are now [page xvi] called flirtations, and ordered them to make "A public acknowledgment of their evills." Without much doubt he was a young man when he committed this heinous (?) offense.

Nicholas Munger was born in England, probably in County Surrey, and about the year 1630 or '31. Hitherto the writer has said that his birth was about 1623, figuring from the unreliable statement that he came to Guilford with William Chittenden, in 1639, at the age of about 16 years. From later facts this position is untenable.

He m. Sarah Hall, dau. of William and Esther (-) Hall, at Guilford, Conn., June 2, 1659. He d. at the East Parish of Guilford, Oct. 16, 1668. His widow m. (2d) Dennis Crampton. She d. Jan. 31, 1689.

CHILDREN (2d Generation).

John   b. East Parish of Guilford, Apr. 26, 1660.
Samuel "  "    "      "  "                  1662-5.?.

Back T.C. Munger Home Next