Owen Tudor

Owen Tudor (d.1690) m. Mary Loomis Skinner (d.1680)


Samuel Tudor (1652-1727) m. Abigail Bissell (1679-1707)


Rev. Samuel Tudor (1704-1757) m. Mary Smith (1709-1785)


Dr. Elihu Tudor (1732-1826) m. Lucretia Brewster (1747-1801)


Capt. Owen Tudor (1777-1818) m. Theodosia (Dosha) Bancroft (1779-1816)

Born on 23 March 1777 to Dr. Elihu Tudor and Lucretia Brewster of East Windsor, CT, in the hamlet that was to become South Windsor in 1845.  If one takes an Ancestry.com file at face value, Elihu and Lucretia had twelve children of which Owen was child #6.  Owen was the great-great-grandson of the Owen Tudor who came to Windsor, CT from England, married Mary Loomis Skinner, and had died in 1690.  There are a few genealogical pages that touch briefly on Owen (1777) and state that he had been born in Middletown, Middlesex County, Connecticut; this is down river from East Windsor and there is no evidence that I have seen to support this assertion.  I wonder if someone had mixed their transcribing of historical records and has thereafter considered the authoritative for as yet no primary source has come to light to contest the greater likelihood that Owen was born to his mother Lucretia in their home in what is now South Windsor, Connecticut.

Midshipman (at age 22) in the new US Navy from 1799, serving aboard the USS Connecticut under Capt. Moses Tryon until 12 Nov 1800, then Capt. Richard Derby until he was discharged on 20 July 1801 under the P.E.A.  In September of 1799, while the ship was still in New London, Midshipman Tudor was sent off to search for two missing crewmembers, returning with one; t’other was never recovered. On 8 Dec, 1799, Midshipman Tudor was put as prize captain aboard a ship captured from the enemy and ordered to sail her into Basseterre, St-Kitts. In May 1800 Owen was given a temporary rank to Sailing Master of the Connecticut.  When Richard Derby assumes command in Nov. 1800, Owen Tudor was returned to midshipman rank, never having become a lieutenant much less a captain in the Navy despite the claim of a few genealogical records from the late 19th/early 20 centuries; never a Captain in the US Navy… Do not confuse a merchant ship master or captain with the actual rank of Captain in the Navy. This is a mistake made by genealogists for at least 150 years!

But Owen did go on to become a merchant vessel captain, or “ship’s master”, sailing often to the West Indies.  In 1802 he was the master of the sloop Matilda, of Hartford, which was owned by Gurdon and Daniel Buck (Wethersfield Bucks but set up their shipping business in Manhattan), and sailed to first to Portugal and then to Jamaica, bringing back his vessel filled with rum and molasses for the Bucks and for a John Patrick.  In 1803 Owen was the master of the vessel Warrington of Boston, and then later this year of the brig Hetty of Middletown, CTIn 1804 he sailed the sloop China down to Edenton, North Carolina, then back to NYC bringing naval stores.  Later, in September 1804, while in Martinique, West Indies, a gale or hurricane cast many ships on shore including the brig Sally Hubbard, of which Owen had been the master of. In 1810 Owen was the master of the full ship Annawan of New York of 300 ton burthen (the presumed weight of maximum cargo that could be held based on the size and dimensions of the hold, which in turn gave an idea of the size of the ship’s hull), carrying such things as quantities of flaxseed and barrel staves to Eastport, Massachusetts, and thence possibly to Ireland.

Owen married Theodosia (called Dosha) Bancroft on 25 January 1803 in East Windsor in the part now called South Windsor, in the First Congregational Church. Dosha was a daughter of Samuel Bancroft (RevWar veteran, marched to Lexington in 1777) and Jerusha Foote, born 24 May 1779… Dosha is buried at the Congo Church as are Owen’s parents, but Owen is not.  According to a vague record, Owen seems to have died in 1818 at sea… One finds this conclusion amongst the records held by Familysearch.org but the source cited is “private” and no corroborating evidence has yet come to light.*  So I think he died in 1818 but proof and circumstances are yet to be had.  Dosha died on 1 March 1816 – a couple of years before Owen.  I did put up a memorial page for Owen with his wife and father.

[* I recently found a copy of The Brewster Genealogy: 1566-1907 by Emma C Brewster Jones, publ. 1908, The Grafton Press in which page 150 cites “Capt. Owen (Tudor)… d. abt. 1818.”  This text does not provide a source for that – no obit or family bible cited.]

The census of 1810 shows Owen Tudor as head of household and one female of age 22-44; there is no evidence of they having had children, so any papers or artifacts that would have survived are at the mercy of peripheral family; any of their nieces or nephews. I have the usual dates of Birth/Marriage/Children/Death used as foundations for any genealogical record but I have records of his naval service, a few of ships he mastered as a merchant captain, and a letter he had written to his Captain Moses Tryon while serving aboard the USS Connecticut, but I hope for more personal data.  Even, perhaps, a portrait??


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