The Cowdery/Cowdrey Family - Kay's Family History and Genealogy

Kay's Family History and Genealogy

The Cowdery/Cowdrey Family of England, Essex and Middlesex Counties Massachusetts, Hartford County, Connecticut, and Trumbull County, Ohio

Deacon William Cowdrey (1602-1687) was born 1602 in England, and died 1687 in Reading, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. He married Joanna License April 17, 1626 in Buckingham Parish, England. Joanna, died in 1666. He settled first by 1630 at Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts and removed to Reading, Middlesex County, Massachusetts in 1642. He lived on the site of the late "Quannapowitt House" on the Common, was deacon, clerk of the writs, town clerk, selectman, and representative, and was for a long time a most influential, and useful citizen. He willed "half of homestead to son Nathaniel and half to grandson Nathaniel; also, to son Nathaniel what he lives on.

Children of William and Joanna (License) Cowdrey are:
Nathaniel , Matthias and Bethia.

Nathaniel Cowdrey (1629-1690) son of Deacon William and (License) Cowdery was born about 1629 at Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts. He married 1st in Reading, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, November 21, 1654, Elizabeth (___), she died 1659. He married 2nd in 1660, Mary Bachelder daughter of John and Rebecca Bachelder. He died in1690 and Mary died February 27, 1729 aged 94. He settled on Cowdrey's Hill, in Reading, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, (named for him) on a farm, a portion of which was owned in 1874 and occupied by Jonas Cowdrey, his descendant. He was town clerk and selectman.

Children of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Cowdrey are:
Samuel and Elizabeth.

Children of Nathaniel and Mary (Bachelder) Cowdrey are:
Nathaniel, Rebecca, William, Mary, Joanna, Susanna, Nathaniel and Elizabeth

Samuel Cowdrey (1657-) was born May 16, 1657 in Reading, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. He married, November 17, 1685 in Reading, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Elizabeth Parker, born June 1668, daughter of Hananiah Parker and Elizabeth Browne.

Children of Samuel and Elizabeth (Parker) Cowdrey are:
Ruth, Mary, Nathaniel and Martha.

Nathaniel Cowdery (1691-1751) was born November 20, 1691 in Charlestown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and died April 03, 1751 in Hadley, Hampshire County, Massachusetts. He married September 16, 1718 in Charlestown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Mehitable Damon born November 20, 1699 in Reading, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, daughter of Thomas Damon and Lucian Emerson. Mehitable died November 09, 1763, East Haddam, Middlesex County, Connecticut.

Nathaniel and Mehitable Cowdery lived in Reading, Massachusetts, and Charlestown, Massachusetts, moving later to Hadley, Massachusetts. At one time they had a home in Sunderland of 150 acres. They emigrated to Montague, on the Connecticut River, but were obliged to leave on account of trouble with the Indians, and finally settled in East Haddam, Connecticut. Almost all the descendants of this Nathaniel spell the name Cowdery .

Children of Nathaniel and Mehitable (Damon) Cowdery are:
Nathaniel, Jacob, Edward, Lydia, Mehitable, Thomas, Thomas, Lydia, Moses , Huldah, William, Jabez.

Moses Cowdery (1731-1813) was born October 1731 in Charlestown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and died December 17, 1813 in West Hartland, Hartford County, Connecticut. He married 1st about 1757 in Connecticut, Martha Bushnell born November 11, 1731, Saybrook, Middlesex County, Connecticut, daughter of Josiah Bushnell and Martha Jones. Martha died January 29, 1803, at Hartland, Hartford County, Connecticut. He married 2nd, in Oct. 1806, Lydia Baldwin.

Moses Cowdrey moved from East Haddam in 1756, and after several changes finally settled in the Northeast district in the East Parish of Hartland, Hartford County, Connecticut. He came to Hartland, Hartford County, Connecticut about 1769 and joined the church March 10, 1771. In about 1772 he erected a log house, and another in 1780 which he sold to his son Moses in 1797. In 1837 Moses sold it to his son Lester, who later built another which continued in the family as late as 1896. The first two of their children were born in East Haddam, Middlesex County, Connecticut. The others in Hartland, and when the 1790 Census was taken there were two males over 16 and 5 females in his family. He left no will at his death, nor was his estate probated.

Children of Moses and Martha (Bushnell) Cowdery are:
Asa, Olive Ann, Ambrose , Mehitable, Martha, Damaris, Elizabeth, Moses, and Huldah.

Ambrose Cowdrey (1762-1838) was born January 01, 1762 in Hartland, Hartford County, Connecticut, and died January 02, 1838 in Hartland, Hartford County, Connecticut. He married 1st, August 18, 1784 in Hartland, Hartford County, Connecticut, Mary Jane or Reed, daughter of Benjamin and Hannah Reed. He married 2nd, before 1801 in Hartland, Hartford County, Connecticut, Lucretia Wright. He married 3rd, after 1810 in Hartford County, Connecticut, Ursula Chloras Mills, daughter of Ezekiel Mills and Ursula Phelps and who was the widow of Daniel Hitchcock and the mother-in-law of Ambroses daughter Mary "Polly"Cowdery.

Ambrose Cowdry (1762-1838) served as private in Capt. Oliver Bates' company, Col. Joseph Hoit's regiment in the Revolutionary War and was placed on the pension roll, in 1833, from Hartland, Connecticut.

In his will dated May 1, 1834, he named his children, Ambrose, Almond, Sally Paine, Polly Hitchcock, Desmonda Giddings, Vashti Messenger, Edmond, William Wright, Edith Banning, Martha Banning, Cordelia, Lucretia, and Lyman Wright, the latter having two thirds of the property if he support his father and mother during their natural lives.

Children of Ambrose and Mary Jane ( Reed) Cowdery are:
Ambrose, Almon, Lyman, Linus, Sally, Mary "Polly," Desdamona and Vashti.

Children of Ambrose and Lucretia (Wright) Cowdery are:
Edith, Bariah, Edmond, Philo, William Wright, John Flavel, Edith, Martha Bushnell, Cordelia, Lucretis and Lyman Wright.

Mary "Polly" Cowdery (1796- 1870) daughter of Ambrose and Mary (Reed) Cowdery, Connecticut married in Hartland, August 10, 1819, Tidal Hitchcock (1796-1865), son of Daniel and Chloras (Mills) Hitchcock. Soon after their marriage they moved in an ox wagon to Franklin, Pa. They had one horse, which the young bride rode. After a short stay in Pennsylvania, they moved to Vernon, Trumbull Co., Ohio. Please see The Hitchcock Family page for their family and descendants.

Cowdery Surname in Trumbull County, Ohio

Quite a few of Mary's Brothers and Half Brothers came to Trumbull County, Ohio, and resided in Mecca, among them: Ambrose and his wife Dency Coe; Almon and his wives (1) Mary Norton (2) Lovina Beach; John Flavel and his wife Almerine Benson. I have more information on these Trumbull County families, if you have a connection, Contact me.


  1. Eaton, Lilley, Hon., Genealogical History of the town of Reading, Mass., including the present towns of Wakefield, Reading, and North Reading , (Boston, 1874).
  2. Savage, James, Genealogical Dictionary of New England , (1800)
  3. Reading, Middlesex Co. MA, Vital Records
  4. Early Massachusetts Marriages Prior to 1800, (Ancestry Library, Available at:
  5. Jacobus, Donald Lines, M.A., The Bulkeley Genealogy , (New Haven, Connecticut, 1933)
  6. "The New England Historical and Genealogical Register," New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, MA: 79, 106.
  7. Barbour Index to Connecticut Vital Records
  8. Bushnell, George Eleazer, Bushnell Family Genealogy, Ancestry and Posterity of Francis Bushnell (1580- 1646) of Horsham, England and Guilford, Connecticut , (Nashville, Tennessee, 1945)
  9. . Trumbull, J. Hammond LLD, The Memorial History of Hartford County Connecticut 1633-1884 , (Boston, Edward Osgood Publisher, 1886)
  10. Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Patriot Index , (Washington D.C.: 1966).
  11. Hitchcock, Mrs. Edward Sr., The Genealogy of the Hitchcock Family who are Descended from Matthias Hitchcock of East Haven, CT and Luke Hitchcock of Wethersfield CT , (Amherst Mass., 1894)
  12. Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Lineage Books , (Ancestry Library, Available at:
  13. Hartland Vital Records, (Hartland, Hartford Co. CT)

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by Kay Starr Schaney