US History


The first member of the Close family to arrive in America was Phettiplace Close, who went to Virginia in the ship “Star” in 1608 (twelve years before the Mayflower) with the second expedition under Sir Walter Raleigh. He was one of the first burgesses of the colony. His descendants have not been traced. However, there is a theory that Phettiplace Clouse was actually German, so take this at your peril.

John “Goodman” Close, of Grinton, Yorkshire was an English yeoman, who came with his wife Elizabeth and five children, and became one of the first settlers of Fairfield, Connecticut, where he died some time prior to 1654. His widow, Elizabeth Close ; and four of her five children moved to Stamford, Connecticut, where she married one George Stuckey. From her son, Thomas Close, one of the earliest settlers of Greenwich, Connecticut, descended most of those who bear the name of Close in the United States.

The family was prominent in Greenwich and vicinity, intermarrying with many of the leading families, and its descendants are numerous there to this day. Gradually, beginning in about the middle of the eighteenth century, the family spread northward through Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties of New York, following the course of the old Albany post road, settling in Saratoga and Montgomery counties shortly after the close of the revolution. From there the family spread westward.

Thomas Close of Greenwich had four sons and four daughters. One of the sons, Benjamin Close, had a son, Reuben Close, who settled in Millerton, Dutchess county, New York, where he was one of the founders of the Millerton Baptist church.

One of his sons, Abel Close, settled in Minaville, Montgomery county, New York, where he married Mary McConkey, daughter of William McConkey, the owner of McConkey’s ferry across the Delaware river, nine miles above Trenton, New Jersey, at the time it was made famous as the place of Washington’s crossing, December 25, 1776, just prior to the battle of Trenton. The McConkey house, which is still standing, was used by Washington as his headquarters on that memorable occasion, and there he and his staff were entertained by the McConkeys, both before and after the battle.

 Posted by at 8:11 pm