BUNNELL, William - I33686
The name BUNNELL is said to be a corruption of Bonhill, a parish in the county of Dumbarton, Scotland. In the early records of this country, it is often spelled Bonnell or Bunnill.
The Bunnell family dates back to Normandy, France, where they were called La Bunnell. When they came to England is not known, but a Bunnell historian visited England from Connecticut many years ago, and traced the family back to the 11th century, when William La Bunnell came to England from Normandy, as an aide-de-camp on the staff of William the Conqueror in 1066.
The ancestry is traced from three brothers, William, Solomon, and Benjamin, who came from Cheshire, England, in 1638, and settled in New Haven. When the first census was taken, in 1790, in the thirteen colonies, there were Bunnells recorded in every State, and their descendants are widespread.
Beginning with the first at New Haven, historians wrote of them as "being without exception men of character and piety, who used every opportunity to promote education and religion, and were the first in all history to adopt a written constitution, and to refuse compensation for public service."
F.B. Lee places the coming of the immigrant ancestry to these shores at a much earlier date than the above, stating he came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony prior to 28 September 1630.
By trade he was a tanner, and also operated a large farm in West Haven. In the records of one of the national patriotic societies he is called General, probably because of service rendered in connection with the local "train bands" usual to that period.
His wife's death occurred before May 1654, and soon thereafter William Bunnell returned to England. It is thought he was one of the passengers who died at Barbadoes in 1671, en route for America on his return trip. When his father-in-law, Benjamin Wilmot, made his will on 7 August 1669, he mentions four children of his daughter who were to "stand in the place of their parents."
CHILDREN The order of birth of the known children is given differently by different writers.
- Benjamin, born 1642; married (1) Rebecca MALLORY; married (2) Widow Elizabeth SPERRY.
- Nathaniel, born 1644; married 3 January 1665, Susanna, daughter of Isaac Whitehead. They removed to New Jersey, where he died soon after 1696, at Elizabeth Town.
- Lydia married 10 April 1661, at Milford, Connecticut, Francis, (born 1625 in England; died 14 February 1691 at Derby, Connecticut), son of William French, of Billerica, "author of the famous tract Strength Out of Weakness, published in London." Lydia died in Derby, 1 April 1708, having been the mother of seven daughters and two sons.
- Mary, born 4 May 1650; married 31 October 1671, Eleazer, son of Henry Peck, of New Haven. She died in 1724
- Ebenezer, born 28 August 1653; died soon.
Benjamin BUNNELL, born 1642 in New Haven, was there baptized in 1650. He became a freeman in 1670. He married (1) Rebecca, daughter of Peter and Mary (Preston) MALLORY, of New Haven, born 18 March 1649. She died 12 March 1691, and he married (2) Elizabeth, daughter of John and Hester Post, and widow of John Sperry. She was born 22 February 1655, at Saybrook, Connecticut. After the death of Benjamin Bunnell, she married (3) 19 September 1700, Edmunc dorman, and died in 1715.
Benjamin Bunnell is listed among the proprietors of New Haven in 1685, and the births of the following children are there recorded. He died about 1696.
CHILDREN (New Haven Vital Records):
- Rebecca, born 19 February 1667; died 26 January 1667.
- Rebecca, born 11 February 1668.
- Judith, born 13 April 1672; married THOMAS HODGE.
- Benjamin, born 4 January 1675; died 8 January 1675.
- Benjamin, born 29 November 1679; died 20 August 1749; married Hannah Plumb, born 1667; died 16 November 1716.
- Rachel, born 16 December 1683.
Judith BUNNELL, born at New Haven, 13 April 1672, married about 1693, Thomas HODGE.
- Dictionary of Ancestral Heads of New England Families, F.R. Holmes, xxvii
- New England Genealogies, Cutter, 1:65.
- New Jersey Genealogies, F.B. Lee, 4:1553
- Lineage Book 12:24, Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America
- Boston Transcript, 19 March 1924; 12 May 1926
- Genealogical Distionary of New England, James Savage, 4:580
- New England Historical and Genealogical Register 59:67
- New Jersey Genealogies, F.B. Lee, 4:1553
- Ancestry of Arthur Orison Dillon. 1937, 16
- Boston Transcript, 19 March 1924
- Boston Transcript, 12 May 1926
- New Haven Vital Records, printed, 1:1
- New England Genealogies, Cutter, 4:1783
- Daughters of founders and Patriots of America, Lineage Book 17:5