tors of that place. His house-lot was on the west side of what is now called Front Street, near where Morgan Street crosses it, and there is a tradition that the town was called from the ford he discovered and used in crossing the Connecticut River at a low stage of the water, and so from Hart's Ford it soon became Hartford, from a natural and easy transition. Tradition further says that as he and others were on a hunting excursion on Talcott Mountain, they discovered the Farmington River Valley, then inhabited by the Tunxis, a powerful tribe of Indians. The meadows were probably then cleared, and waving with grass and Indian corn. Such lands were then much needed and coveted by the settlers, who soon - probably as soon as 1640 - made a bargain with the Indians, and settled among them with their cattle. They still continued, however, connected with the settlement at Hartford, attended public worship, and prehaps wintered there. until about 1645, when the town was incorporated by the name of Farmington, from the excellent farms there.* About this time Mr. Roger Newton, a student in theology with Rev. Thomas Hooker, whose daughter he married, began to preach for them, and in 1652 was ordained their pastor. Stephen Hart was one of the seven pillars of the church, and was chosen their first deacon. The other pillars were Rev. Roger Newton, pastor, John Cole (Cowles), John Bronson, Robert Porter, Thomas Judd, and Thomas Thompson.

[ The following is from an email message from David E. Taylor (Nov. 21, 2003):

The first English came to Connecticut in 1633 - to Windsor. The first English in Hartford came in the fall of 1635, and the remainder of Rev. Thomas Hooker's Church came to Hartford from Newtown (later renamed Cambridge), Massachusetts Bay in the spring of 1636. Stephen Hart was one of sixteen men who spent the winter of 1635-1636 at the site of current downtown Hartford. ]

[ The following gives the modern, and better accepted story of how Hartford was named. This was sent to me by Kathleen Baker.

This is from a talk by Dr. Albert E. Van Dusen given at a meeting of the Connecticut Genealogy Society, 20 Jun 1970, and printed by the Society in their Ct Nutmegger, Vol 3 pg 355-373. Rev Thomas Hooker and Thomas Stone lead a group from Massachusetts Bay Colony to Ct "with a purpose to settle upon the delightful banks of Connecticut River." They had about 100 people in the party and 160 head of cattle, plus goats and swine. "There exist several theories about where they crossed the Ct River". "They called their settlement Newtown on the Connecticut River and then later changed it to Hartford. We think this was done because Thomas Stone, who was Hooker's second in command had come from Hertford, England (pronounced just the way we do Hartford)". Hartford was the last of 3 original towns settled, Windsor was first, then Wethersfield, and Hartford in 1636. Saybrook was considered a seperate Colony from the others. There were chosen 8 men to serve as officals of Hartford; Roger Ludlow, William Phelps, John Steele, William Westwood, Andrew Ward, William Pynchon, Henry Smith, and William Swain. Pynchon also established a small settlement up river at Springfield as part of the Ct settlement, but separated from the Hartford group, they didn't like the way he traded with the natives.
Dr Van Dusen is author of the book entitled, "Connecticut", published in 1961, a fully illustrated history of the state from the seventeenth century to the present, as well as of numerous articles and book reviews. ]

Stephen Hart appears to have taken the lead in the settlement among the Indians in Farmington, and purchased a large tract on the boarder of the present town of Avon, and known to this day by the name of Hart's Farm.** He was one of the first representatives in 1647, and continued, with one exception, for fifteen sessions, until 1655, and once in 1660. In short, no man in the town was more active, influential, and useful. His house-lot, which was four or five times as large as any other, was on the west side of Main Street, in the village, opposite the meeting-house, and contained fifteen acres, extending from Mill Lane to the stone store south. This large house-lot was granted to Deacon Stephen Hart as an inducement to erect and continue a mill on the premises, to be perpetuated and kept in motion. The mill was erected originally by the Bronsons, to whom, as a consideration, was granted, viz: a tract of eighty acres, on the Pequabuk River, now known as the "Eighty Acre." The south part of this house-lot he gave to his son John, and the north part to his son Thomas. Thomas

* The principal leaders in this settlement were John Steele, William Lewis, Stephen Hart, Thomas Judd, John Bronson, John Warner, Nathaniel Kellogg, Thomas Barnes, Richard Seymour, and Thomas Gridley.
** Probably located at or near what is now called Cider Brook, on the east side of the river, and near the bridge, some three miles north of Farmington Village.