George Gates was born circa 1634 in Essex, England and died 12 November 1724 East Haddam, Middlesex County, Connecticut of unspecified causes. He married Sarah Olmstead (1641-1709) 1660 in East Haddam, Middlesex County, Connecticut.


Early Years/Immigrant

George Gates was born about 1634 in England, came to New England as a youth and settled in Hartford, Connecticut under the care of Captain Capt. Nicholas Olmstead of Hartford, Connecticut. According to tradition he came to this country with an older brother, Thomas, who died at an early age, unmarried. George lived in Hartford for eleven years, from about 1652 to 1662, and was reared among the parishioners of Thomas Hooker, the prominent Puritan leader, and he was an active member of the church throughout his entire life.

George married, about 1660, Sarah Olmsted, daughter of Capt. Nicholas Olmsted and Sarah Loomis. Nicholas Olmsted was a leading man in the town of Hartford.

Hartford Civic Duties

In the early town records of Hartford, CT the name of George Gates appears, in 1661, as chimney viewer, elected to this office at a town meeting in February of that year. Chimney-viewer is the ancient name for a fire-inspector or marshall charged with the responsibility for periodically inspecting chimneys to see that the established regulations as to construction and safety were observed.

Haddam Settlement

A new settlement at Haddam was first considered in 1660 when the Connecticut General Assembly appointed a committee to survey the area and, if found suitable, to buy land there from the Indians.

At first, all of the settlers located in a series of adjacent lots on the west side of the Connecticut River. Each family had a home lot facing the river plus an additional lot to the west, on the other side of the common highway. George Gates's home lot contained four acres and his western lot, five acres.

George Gates was closely associated with the Haddam church from its inception. He was on the committee that authorized the establishment of a church, or "meeting house" as it was called, and he and Daniel Brainerd were chosen to go to New London to ask Mr. John James to be their minister.

East Haddam Settlement

Between 1670 and 1685, several Haddam families, including George Gates and his family, moved east of the river and built homes in what was first called Creek Row and later, East Haddam. Other early residents of Creek Row were the Bates, Cone, Brainerd, Ackley, and Spencer families.

The East Haddam residents remained members of the Haddam church and crossed the river for church services each Sunday. In 1697 George Gates, his eldest son Joseph Gates, and Samuel Olmsted petitioned the Connecticut General Assembly for permission to establish an ecclesiastical society separate from that of Haddam. This was in protest against the settling of Rev. Jeremiah Hobart as pastor of the Haddam church.

George Gates appeared in court to plead his case, but he was unsuccessful, and the two groups of settlers remained as one religious society until shortly after 1700 when those on the east side of the river were finally permitted to establish their own separate ecclesiastical society. The first meeting house in East Haddam, built in 1705 to accommodate the first few families, was only thirty-two square feet in size. In May 1734, Haddam was officially divided into two separate towns--Haddam and East Haddam--conforming to the separation of the religious societies. Until the separation of church and state in 1794, the churches served both as town meeting halls and as places of worship.

George Gates was of great service to his community. Between 1668 and 1702, he attended at least fifty-two sessions of the Connecticut General Assembly as a representative for Haddam, from 1690 to 1698 was commissioner from that place, in 1698 was town clerk, and in 1701-4 was a Justice of the Peace for Hartford County. In 1688, he was appointed Ensign in command of the 9th Company of the militia. In 1689, he was appointed lieutenant of the Haddam train-band, and, in 1692, was commissioned captain, holding that position until October 14, 1697, when upon his own request, "in consideration of age and infirmities of body" he was "discharged of his Captainship."

Final Estate

The most prominent man of early Haddam, he and his descendants were town clerks for eighty-three years. He outlived all the other original Haddam settlers, dying November 12, 1724, at the age of ninety, with an estate of nearly 1500 pounds, a very large property at that time. Mrs. Sarah (Olmsted) Gates died, November 7, 1709, in East Haddam. She and her husband are buried in unmarked graves in Cove Burial Ground.


Offspring of Sarah Olmstead Gates and George Gates (1634-1724)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Joseph Gates (1662-1711)
Thomas Gates (1664-1734)
John Gates (1668-1742)
Sarah Gates (1670-1712)
Mary Gates (1674-1742)
Daniel Gates (1680-1761) 4 May 1680 Haddam, Middlesex County, Connecticut 4 November 1761 Haddam, Middlesex County, Connecticut Rebecca Dutton (1683-1749)
Samuel Gates (1683-1737)
George Gates (1705-1756)


Research Notes

Not Related to Thomas Gates

Parents have never been proven; but some list his father has Sir Thomas Gates - Captain & one of the 1st settlers of Jamestown Va.

Arrival Hartford, Connecticut Arrived with his older brother, Thomas, who died unmarried at a young age. George lived in Hartford from 1652 to 1662 in the home of Captain Nicholas Olmstead (his future father-in-law). Also one of the 1st settlers of East Haddam (across the river). Was 1 of the 1st members of the 1st church in E Haddam; son Thomas was 1st deacon.


Footnotes (including sources)


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