Church records for Tenterden, Kent, England (a few miles southwest of Ashford), may have answered the question of where, and from whom, the "Hartford" Stanley line is descended.
Robart Standley was a glazier who moved from Tonbridge to Tenterden about 1590, probably to take advantage of the flourishing iron trade there. Tenterden had a population of 357 in 1663, so it was probably about the same size, or smaller, six decades earlier. Robart was a yeoman and doing rather well. When he died (31 May 1605) the inventory of his goods alone had a value of 51 Pounds. He had a servant, Thomas Glover, and small "whete" farm (which, with his work place, were not incuded in the 51 Pounds).
The farm had hens and geese, swine, sheep, three kine and a calf. The shop had iron and steel, a pair of bellows and an anvil. In Tenterden he was a "whitesmith." This is defined as "a worker in white iron (tin-plate), a tinsmith, or, one who polishes or finishes metal goods, as distinguished from one who forges them."
Robart married Ruthe Garland, and they had John, Thomas, Timothy (the brother's who emigrated to America, two of whom were among the founders of Hartford, CT.), Patience, Robart, William and Ruthe. On 16 September 1605, just four months after Robarts death, Ruthe married one Humphrie Uredge.
John, who was just six at the time of his mothers second marriage, later apparently married Humphrie's daughter, step-daughter or other relative, Elysabeth Uredge, on 14 October 1623 at Benenden (about five miles from Tenterden), (not unlike his son, John (the third "Hartford" Stanley founder), who, orphaned at ten during the voyage to America, grew up with Sara Scott next door and married her when they both came of age - proximity was apparently a door to affection). The church records from Tenterden also carry a burial of Elizabeth, wife of John Stanley on 12 Dec 1632. (*)
Other Standleys are cited in local records as having children in the 1564-1580 period. So far their relationship to our family is unknown, although the reoccurring names of Robart, John and Tymothy do suggest a familial tie-in.
(*) This information gratefully provided by Roy Morgan Stanley II.
Ms. Elizabeth A. Finn, Research Archivist, Centre for Kentish Studies.
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