The surname Webster, meaning female weaver, was a trade name of ancient English origin. With the Anglo-Saxons the termination er in trade was masculine, that of ster was feminine.
Websters are entitled by descent to wear coat of armor. The arms reproduced is "argent", a fesse gules between 3 cross-crosslets-fitsschu azure". Crest- "the sun rising out of the seas proper". Motto- "I come up". The sun is an heraldic emblem of glory and splendor and of absolute authority. "Fides et justitia" (Faith and Justice) is another family motto, and the lion, dragon, leopard and the swan are emblems used in different branches.
The Websters were settled in Yorkshire at a very early period, of Scottish descent, and held the manor of Lockington, Yorkshire in the time of Richard II (1389-1399).
Founder of family was John Webster of Bolsover, Derbyshire, who in the 12th of Henry VI (1434) was returned to chancery among the gentlemen of that country, who made oath in behalf of themselves and their retainers for the observance of the king's laws.
From him descended John Webster, who upon dissolution of the monasteries, received from Henry VIII large grants in Cambridgeshire, Essex and Huntingtonshire (1509-1547).
From him descended in 3rd generation John Webster, who came to Watertown, New England from Warwickshire about 1636. The line thus established-
- Webster of Lockington, Esquire, time of Edward III
1434-- John Webster, of Bolsover, Esquire
1509- 1547 - John Webster, time of Henry VIII
1590 -- b. John Webster, 5th governor of Colony of Connecticut
John Webster, b. 1590, of Warwickshire, England, came to Massachusetts Bay Colony about 1630-1633 with the Reverend Thomas Hooker and his historic party. He located on the south side of Little River, at Hartford Conn., moving there from Newtown, Mass (Cambridge) in 1636. He held these offices:
1639-1655 Magistrate or judge
1655 5th governor of Colony of Connecticut
1656-1659 Chief Judge
Out of 153 original settlers of Hartford only 10 gentlemen besides himself were honored with the imposing prefix "Mr." The ordinary title was Goodman or Goodwife, often Goody or Neighbor.
Only men of means or rank were called Mr.
To be governor he had not only to be a freeman but also previously a magistrate and a member of some "appointed congregation".
He was a member of the First Church of Hartford. He served in deciding controversies, in expeditions, committee on defenses, surveyor. He died in Hadley 4/5/1661and was buried there.
His descendant was Noah Webster LLD, the lexicographer, b. 10/16/1758, who married Rebecca Greenleaf.
Noah erected in the old Hadley cemetery in 1818, a slab where Governor John was buried- with this inscription:
"To the memory of John Webster, Esquire, one of the first settlers of Hartford, Conn., who was many years a Magistrate or Assistant and afterwards Deputy Governor and Governor of that colony and in 1659 with 3 sons, Robert, William, and Thomas, associated with others in the purchase and settlement of Hadley, where he d. in 1661, this monument is erected in 1818 by his descendant, Noah Webster of Amherst."
It is not certain the birth order of Gov. John's children.
Moved from Hartford to Glastonbury 1713 and in 1730 was a resident of Wrights Island. He d. 9/18/1758 - she d. 12/22/1782 (92 yrs)
married 2/1730 to Mabel Risley, dau. of John & Mary (Arnold) Risley, family were original settlers of Hartford. d. Glastonbury, CT 11/14/1781 - she d. 1/2/1781 .
married 5/5/1760 to Hanna Price (b. 1744) d.- prior to 1800 at Gill, MA- she d. 1810. Served in French & Indian War 1758- 1759. Moved to MA. Owned a tavern on Connecticut River at Truner's Falls, MA.
Lydia Maria Webster, dau. of Robert. b.- 1/3/1821 in Townsend, Windham Co., VT.
She married at Stamford, VT 2/21/1836 (at age 15) to John Aldrich Pratt b. 3/16/1816 in Clarksburg, MA. They moved to Wauconda, ILL in 1854. She d.- 6/25/1898 (77 yrs) at Wauconda- he d. 5/13/1894 at Wauconda. Both are buried in Wauconda cemetery (Lake Co., IL).
Lydia Maria Webster and Silas Washington Webster were the only children of Robert and Lydia (Pettee).
Silas b. 9/26/1824 and was in 1882 a surveyor at Stamford, Vt. From age of 21-48 he taught school.
Silas held office from the age of 21 years. He was Justice of Peace for 30 yrs and Town Clerk for 15yrs.He also served as Superintendent of Schools for 6 or 7 years and Lister 15yrs. Was selectman for many years and Representative in Vermont Legislature. Was a Spiritualist.
Silas married 2/25/1848 at Woodford, Vt (at age 23) to Emily Rhoda, dau. of Josiah and Caroline (Field) Cutler. They had an adopted son, Herbert Walker.
Lydia was a close student and great reader. She commenced her education in the old time district schools of the Green Mountain state. The schoolhouse was built of logs, the benches were made of slabs with 4 pegs serving to support them and were arranged around the sides of the room., the dimensions of which were about 18 X 20. An immense fireplace occupied almost one entire end of the building and in the back part of the schoolroom a large desk was arranged "for the big boys & girls".
The punishment at that time consisted of a dunce cap, dunce block and the dreaded birchen rod which was drawn through hot embers to toughen it and was then ready for any unruly pupil who should be detected in the act of disobeying.
Lydia showed marked ability for her studies and soon had mastered those taught in the district schools. She then attended school in Stamford, where she admirably fitted for the profession of teaching, which she successfully followed. Her diligent study always placed her at the head of her classes and never but once was she punished for misdemeanor. She taught her first term of school when only 13 years of age and when a maiden of 15 had a school of 37 pupils.
Amusements of that day consisted of "apple parin",taffy pulls, "huskin" bees and "quilting frolics" together with old fashioned dances such as the Virginia Reel, Money Musk & 2 Sisters. She was but 7 yrs old when she danced her 1st set.
(This is from the Lake County Portrait & Biographical Album).
Brothers and sisters of Robert Webster:
- Dorothy Webster - b.7/1/1787
- Asahel Webster-b. 9/15/1789
- Francis Webster - b. 7/26/1794 farmer & mill owner married 4/5/1818 Edith Goldwaith at New Salem, MA d. 7/26/1856 at Montague, MA- she d. 4/27/1855.
Their children were:
Robert Warren, Asahel Munroe, Emeline Lois, Huldah Amelia and Orvilla Wiswell
- Lucy Webster b. 5/21/1797 married Melvin Mayhew- lived in Ohio
- Betsey Webster b. 5/21/1805 married Enos Colledge - lived in Montague, MA. She d. 6/13/1807
- Jonathan b. 6/5/1807
- Waite Webster b. 11/5/1809 married Nathan Stuart- lived at Erving, Franklin Co, Mass. had 6 sons & 5 daughters 1 son died in WWI.
- Harriet Webster b. 4/5/1812 married Joseph Parents a Frenchman. She d. 5/20/1842 at Amherst, MA- he d. 1858 at Prescott, MA- had 2 or 3 children
I own a copy of the History & Genealogy of the Gov. John Webster family where most of the Webster information came from. I do NOT need additional information on this family other than that of Calno Webster buried in Wauconda Cemetery as there appears to be conflicting info in the above book.
Links to related families to be added on their respective pages as I get a chance to do so.
Many of the Pratt family & other families are buried in Wauconda Cemetery. I've uploaded photos I've taken over the years to find-a- grave.
This page and some of the others here were created for another website years ago.