Confirmation of this Pettit Arms was received by William Petyt and his brother, Sylvester Petyt, 27 May 1690, descendants of Gilbert Petyt, who died 10 September 1470.
Gilbert, and his brother Michael, were sons of Sir John Pettit [of similar Arms], and his wife Margareta, daughter and co-heir of Thomas Carminow.
Sir John Pettit was a seventh generation descendant of Sir Otes Pettit, Knight, who came into England with William the Conqueror, became lord of Ardover, and married Matilda, daughter and heir of Simomis FitzFues.
ARMS- Argent a lion gules, on a canton azure a pheon or.
CREST- On a wreath argent and gules a stork argent, holding in its dexter claw a pellet.
MOTTO- Qui s'estime petit deviendra grand.
(Who thinks himself small, shall become great)
My grandfather, who compiled this information, had requested that people contribute Pettit lineages for the purpose of forming a more complete genealogy of the Pettit families. Although he passed away with another volume of his series in progress and not yet completed, I have not yet reviewed his manuscript or notes for further information on these lines.
My earliest named Pettit ancestor was Thomas Pettit, an ardent Puritan whose parentage is not known [yet] , born at Widford, England, about 1609. It is not known [yet] whether he is descended from Valentine de Pettit of co. Kent, or from Sir Otes Pettit, or from some other old English line, or whether he was descended from one of the several families named Pettit who, among many Huguenot refugees, were forced to flee france under the terrible persecution of the Protestants, as on St. Bartholemew's Day in 1572, when the slaughter continued for a month and 30,000 persons were murdered.
My ancestor Thomas Pettit is said to have married Christian Mellowes (daughter of Abraham Mellowes and Martha Bulkeley) in co. Essex, England, in November 1629, five months before they sailed on the ship "Talbot," which left England in March 1629/30 and after three months at sea landed at Charlestown (Cambridge) 2 July 1630, 20 days after the flagship "Arabella" landed at Salem.
"CHRISTIAN MELLOWES married in England 1629 Thomas Pettit, born in England about 1609, died at Newtown, L. I., before October 1668, who on 8 January 1737/8 in Boston was granted a house-plot "over toward the new mill" where the Capitol now stands. Between this lot and that of Oliver Mellows (a manufacturer of cloth) John Hancock later built the finest mansion in New England. It was unfortunately torn down about 1856; a bronze plate marks its location.
Consistently a non-conformist, Thomas Pettit, with many others in 1637, sided with Mrs. Anne Hutchinson, and her brother-in-law, Rev. John Wheelwright, in their controversy with the Massachusetts Bay Colony. During the trial, 7th of 1st mo. (April?) [March] 1638, Thomas Pettit, was arrested on suspicion of slander, insubordination and inciting a riot. He was convicted and sentenced to receive thirty lashes and to be held in gaol. As the church and state were then one, they were all arrested, but were later released upon their agreeing to leave the colony within ten days. Mrs. Hutchinson went to the Rhode Island Plantation of Roger Williams, while Thomas Pettit went to the Falls of the Piscataqua in New Hampshire with Rev. John Wheelwright and thirty-three others and, on a tract called Winnicomette obtained from the Indians, they founded the town of Exeter, and in 1638 established the Congregational Church. In the founding he received six acres and thirty poles as his share of Exeter upland. On 4 July 1639 they joined in signing the Exeter Combination, a Declaration of Independence. Although half of the 35 signers made their mark, the signature of Thomas Pettit is seen in excellent handwriting. He became in 1647 chief military man and Inspector of Staves. He served as Selectman of Exeter from 1652 to 1655.
The Duke of York, brother of Charles II, granted to the Massachusetts Bay Colony all the land east of the earlier Connecticut grant. This enabled the Bay Colony to surround the settlement at Exeter, making it economically necessary for it, in order to survive, to be reinstated with the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Thomas Pettit, unwilling to be again under its jurisdiction, sold his property and, with his wife and eight children and other settlers, came in 1655 to Long Island and petitioned Governor Stuyvesant, who granted them the right to settle. They named the place Newtown (now, since 1895, Elmhurst, Queens County (Mespat) and formerly called Mittleburg) which the Dutch had settled in 1644.
Soon after his arrival on Long Island the Town Marshal, one Elias Bailey, was voted out of office by the townspeople for exercising the duties of his office in an objectionable manner, and Thomas Pettit was elected 8 May 1657 to fill the office. This rather complicated matters, for his son, Nathaniel 1st, had fallen in love with the deposed Marshal's daughter, Mary Bailey.
On 4 December 1666 Thomas Pettit's name was on the list of freeholders, and in 1708 he was one of the first eight members of the Presbyterian Church in Newtown, L. I. Christian his wife (Asahel Pettit says her name was Catherine) became a member about five years later. The names Bailey and Furman occur frequently on the Church roll.
Thomas Pettit 1st, born about 1609, was living as late as March 1668 and died in Newtown before October 1668.
THOMAS PETTIT 1st and his wife Christian Mellowes had at least eight children; the exact order of their birth is not known.
1. Thomas Pettit 2d, born in Salem Harbor 1630.
2. Sarah Pettit, born at Boston 1634 (?).
3. Joseph Pettit, born at Boston 1636.
4. Elizabeth Pettit, born at Exeter 1637 (?).
5. John Pettit, born at Exeter 1638.
6. Mary Pettit, born at Exeter 1640 (?)
7. Nathaniel Pettit, born at Exeter 1645.
8. Hannah Pettit, born at Exeter 1647.
1. THOMAS PETTIT 2d was born 25 June 1630 on the "Talbot" in Salem Harbor, before the ship proceeded to Charlestown. He owned land in Exeter in 1644 or 1652 "and one had to be at least 14 years of age to own land in New England at that time." His name is on the Charter from Governor Dongan in 1686 with his brother Nathaniel. He was an elder of the Presbyterian Church in 1708. He married Hannah, widow of John Moore of Newtown, L. I. His son
Thomas Pettit 3d was born at Newtown in 1666. He purchased in the year 1715 a farm of 400 acres at New Rochelle, N. Y., took possession in the early spring and died there in the summer of 1715. He married first Mary Bond of Hempstead (or May Hallock of Hallock's Cove) and by her had two children Thomas 4th (who had settled in Jamaica, L. I. and was conservator of his father's estate) and Christian, born 2 February 1710, who married Daniel Baruch.
Thomas 3d married second Catherine La Broche (La Brenche) of New Rochelle and had Benjamin (a Loyalist, born 24 March 1701), Joshua (an ardent Patriot, born 24 February 1702, who married Sarah, daughter of Increase Carpenter), Samuel (a Loyalist, born 29 October 1704), Bartholomew, born 2 February 1706/7, and Nathan, born 3 February 1709/10. all mentioned in their father's Will, dated 24 July 1715, and probated 13 September 1715.
Joshua and Sarah, above, had Increase Pettit, born at Hempstead 1726, from whom is descended the late Francis Pettit of Hollis, L. I.
2. SARAH PETTIT, daughter of Thomas and Christian, born at Boston about 1634, married an English soldier named Skidmore after 1663, the date the English occupied New Netherland. They have descendants in Somerset County, N. J.
3. JOSEPH PETTIT, born at Exeter, N. H., 1636, received in 1657 or 1658 a grant of a lot, as did his brother John, at Hempstead, L. I., was the Town Clerk of Hempstead 1680 to 1700, and Justice of the Peace. The last entry in the Hempstead town book says he sold in 1725 (he would then be aged 89) a lot "at the beach called Rock-a-way." He married Margaret German (Germaine). Their children were: Margaret, Sarah, Martha, Joseph, Mary and John.
4. ELIZABETH PETTIT, born at Exeter about 1637 (?), died in 1730 (?). She married first Thomas Reed and second, after 1665, John Burroughs of Newtown, L. I., born 1617, died 1678, and had John Burroughs, Jr. In her Will dated 1678 she leaves her clothing to her sister Hannah.
5. JOHN PETTIT, son of Thomas and Christian, born at Exeter in 1638, whose testimony at the Newtown Court on 16 April 1669 was corroborated by his brother Nathaniel. He received in 1657 or 1658 a grant of land at Hempstead, L. I., as did his brother Joseph. His name is on the Dongan Charter of 1686, with his brother Thomas. John Pettit was an assessor from 1687 until his death in 1690. John married first a Miss Moore and second a Miss Osborn. He was the father of:
William Pettit 1st, born about 1690, whose Will at Jamaica, L. I., dated 1714, was probated 1726, and who married in 1716 (?) at Newtown Church, Catherine Van Velsey.
6. MARY PETTIT, daughter of Thomas and Christian, was born at Exeter about 1640 (?). She married at Newtown, L. I., after 1660, John Furman (Forman). After her father's death in October 1668 they were paid a small sum for caring for him in his last illness. John Furman received Thomas Pettit's sword.
We think her too young (age 13?) to have been the same Mary Pettit who, with a Thomas Pettit, witnessed a Deed to John Gilman at Exeter, N. H., in 1653/54. It is not clear who these persons were. In a Will at Newtown, L. I., in 1659, a lady devised an apple tree to her friend Mary Pettit.
7. Nathaniel Pettit 1st, of whom below
8. Hannah PETTIT, "youngest child" of Thomas and Christian, was born at Exeter, 1 February 1647, daughter of "Goodman" Pettit and "Christian" Pettit (Town Record). Hannah is mentioned in 1678 in the Will of her sister Elizabeth.
Web site database of Jim Pettit, Descendants of Henri Pettit (said to be father of Thomas above).
Web site database of Teri Pettit containing about 1200 Pettit/Petitt persons of this family and probable descendants of/near western PA and KY, etc.
Web site database of Dr. Tricia Pettit, With her husband Morris' Petitt line and cousins descended from William Petitt of Virginia.
Back to Heraldry Page