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Main Index to the Fordham Surname Database
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Reverend Robert Fordham abt 1603, Puritan Founder of Hempstead, LI, New York
In 1631 on the ship "Lion", came John Eliot, the wife of Governor Winthrop, the Reverend Robert Fordham, and many Puritans.

From the History of Hempstead - Hempstead was settled in 1643 by a band of Puritans who sailed across the Long Island Sound from Stamford, Connecticut in search of a place where they could more freely express their particular brand of Protestantism. They were led by the Rev. Robert Fordham and John Carman, both disciples of the Rev. Richard Denton, the leader of their sect. They landed on Long Island at what is now called Roslyn village and trekked southward across a great prairie where they stopped between two fresh water streams and several small ponds. They bargained for the land with the leaders of the local native tribes and made an agreement that allowed them to establish a "town spot" at what is now the Village of Hempstead as well as establishing property rights to what are now known as the Towns of Hempstead and North Hempstead.
     The Rev. Robert Fordham, the pioneer of Hempstead, succeeded Pierson in the ministry of Southampton, and concerning that Dr. W. Wallace Tooker, in an unpublished monograph says:
"His arrival and locating at Southampton undoubtedly gave a boom to that weak colony, then to a great extent disorganized by the departure of Minister Pierson and the few who agreed with him, as well as by the dissensions that occasioned it. The best and most influential townsmen, however, remained to welcome 'the well-beloved servant of the Lord, Mr. Fordham,' as they expressed it, in April, 1649, in their contract with him as their minister. Before his coming to Southampton the townsmen had become dissatisfied with their 'old' town site, which possessed many disadvantages unseen and unthought of in the haste of laying out the first settlement, and after his arrival they began to lay out and to build upon the new, now represented by the present wide and beautiful main street of Southampton village. So, with Fordham's ministry, the town of Southampton entered upon a different order of things, as well as upon a new era of prosperity, which has continued until the present day. Under Mr. Fodham a new church building was erected in 1651. This church stood until 1707, when a third structure was erected, which was occupied by the congregation until 1845, when it was replaced by a more commodious structure."
     Mr. Fordham continued to act as minister until his death in 1674, and long before that he enjoyed the reputation of being the wealthiest man in Southampton. Yet his stipend never seems to have exceeded 80lb, so he must have largely engaged in mercantile affairs and been a good business man.

New York City Wills, 1665-1707
Page 188.--"Whereas ROBERT FORDHAM, of Southampton in the East Riding of Yorkshire, upon Long Island, minister, dyed in or about the month of November, 1674, leaving no formal will in writing, yet as a nuncupative will before sufficient testimony did declare his will to bee that Joseph, his son, should have his House and Land, at Southampton. After which an Agreement was made by said Joseph Fordham and his mother Elizabeth, on one part, and the rest of the brothers and sisters, on the other part, by which each has quietly possessed his proportion, and proof of the said nuncupative will having been made at last Court of Sessions held at Southampton, March 8 last, the said Joseph and Elizabeth Fordham are confirmed as administrators. March 25, 1678/9. By order of Council. Matthias Nicoll, Sec."
Page 189.--The deposition of Captain John Howell, aged about forty-eight years, being deposed saith, "that three or four days before Mr. Robert Fordham died, being sent for to Mr. Robert Fordham's house, hee went into Mr. Fordham's new room. Mr. Fordham lay sick upon ye bed, this deponent asking him how he did. Mr. Fordham answered hee was ill. This deponent thereupon moved him to set his house in order, and used some arguments to persuade him. Mrs. James being present did persuade him to the same purpose, and finding that nothing would prevail, Mrs. Fordham being present desired this deponent to ask Mr. Fordham who should have his house and land. He answered, Joseph. Then this deponent asked him what hee would doe for his son Jonah, and Mr. Fordham answered, a small matter, Twenty pounds. This deponent told him it was a small matter, indeed, and said hee was his son. Said Mr. Fordham, a rebelious son, and said hee had given him many twenty pounds and he had wasted them, and he was not bound to give to rebelious children. And further mention being made about his son John, Mr. Fordham asked who it was best John should be left withal, and this deponent answered he thought with Joseph, and Mr. Fordham said hee thought soe too. Mrs. Katharine James attests to the truth of what is above mentioned (only as to the many 20 pounds given Jonah) and they both testify that to their apprehensions Mr. Fordham was in his right mind." 
Taken upon oath the 27th November, 1674, before me. John Youngs. 
[NOTE.--The lands mentioned in the foregoing documents are all in the town of Southampton, and for their location the reader is referred to the Printed Town Records. Mrs. Katharine James was the wife of Rev. Thomas James, of East Hampton, W. S. P.] 


Elijah Fordham March 8, 1798
Wellsville Cemetery, Wellsville, Cache co., Utah
ELIJAH FORDHAM )Engraving of a wagon pulled by two oxen] BORN MARCH 8, 1798 IN NEW YORK DIED SEPT. 9, 1879 IN WELLSVILLE, UTAH
THE SON OF GEORGE & MARY BAKER FORDHAM, HE JOINED THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS IN 1833.  HE CROSSED THE PLAINS IN [“Faith in Every Footstep” emblem of Utah Pioneers] ERECTED TO THE MEMORY OF ELIJAH FORDHAM.  AN IMPORTANT CHARACTER IN EARLY CHURCH HISTORY, HE WAS ASSOCIATED WITH THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH, WAS A CARPENTER BY TRADE AND CARVED THE OXEN FOR THE BAPTISMAL FONT IN THE NAUVOO TEMPLE.  ON JULY 22, 1839, HE WAS MIRACULOUSLY HEALED OF MALARIA FEVER BY THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH PROPHET AND OTHERS ADMINISTERING TO THE SICK.  HE WAS ACTIVE IN THE CHURCH ALL HIS LIFE. THIS MEMORIAL ERECTED MAY 30, 1947.


Joseph Fordham Abt. 1642
His will, dated August 28, 1688, was proved at a Court of Sessions held at Southold, New York on October 16 & 17, 1688. New York City Wills, 1665-1707
Page 185.--"Agreement made this 26 November, 1674, between Mr. Joseph Fordham, and his mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Fordham, of the one part, and Mr. Jonah Fordham by his agent, Lieutenant Edward Howell, and Edward Howell himself and wife Mary, and respecting John Fordham and Mrs. Hannah Clarke, daughter of Mr. Robert Fordham, deceased. Which Agreement is a Total and final Conclusion. 
"First. That Mr. Joseph Fordham with his mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Fordham, shall bee lawfully possessed as executors of the estate of said Mr. Robert Fordham. 
"Second. That the said Mrs. Elizabeth Fordham shall have one third of the movable goods as appraized. 
"Third. That the said Mr. Joseph Fordham shall have for him and his heirs the ?250 alotment now in his possession, and part of his father's accommodations in this Towne, with two-thirds of the movables. 
"Fourth. That John Fordham shall have 45 acres of land which were his father's, and is lying at Meaccocks within fence, with a Home Lot in the Town Plot adjoining to Mr. Robert Fordham's home accommodations commonly called Jonas his lot, being 3 acres. Also ?75 in current pay. 
"Fifth. Jonah Fordham shall have ?100 of the living stocks which is of his deceased father's estate. Also the books bequeathed to him by his father in his life time. Also 50 acres of land formerly laid out to Mr. Robert Fordham, lying against the mill path between the Towne and the Hollow commonly called Littleworth, and ?50 of commonage. Also a little parcel of land, 3 acres, lying in Captains Neck between John Woodruff and Ellis Cook. Also 4 1/2 acres of land in the Little Plain and one Home Lot, 3 acres, which Mr. Robert Fordham bought of Mr. Browne. "Sixth. Lieut. Edward Howell and wife Mary shall have 40 acres of land at Meacocks unfenced or not yet layed out, and 20 acres in the next division, where Mrs. Elizabeth Fordham shall appoint, and a ?50 right of commonage. Also 2 lotments of meadow in Shinecock neck, and ?40 of the living stock. 
"Seventh. Mrs. Elizabeth Fordham shall satisfy her daughter, Mrs. Hannah Clarke, for what is due her, out of her third of the estate. 
"Eighth. If John Fordham become chargeable to them with whom he may dwell, it shall be made up out of his estate. Elizabeth Fordham, Joseph Fordham, Edward Howell, Mary Howell. 
"Witnesses, John Howell, John Youngs, Henry Pierson." 


Rev Jonah Fordham abt 1638
-- The deposition of Captain John Howell, aged about forty-eight years, being deposed saith, ''that three or four days before Mr. Robert Fordham died, being sent for to Mr. Robert Fordham's house, hee went into Mr. Fordham's new room. Mr Fordham lay sick upon ye bed, this deponent asked him how he did. Mr. Fordham answered hee was ill. This deponent thereupon moved him to set his house in order, and used some arguments to persuade him. Mrs. James being present did persuade him to the same purpose, and finding that nothing would prevail, Mrs. Fordham being present desired this deponent to ask Mr. Fordham who should have his house and land. He answered, Joseph. Then this deponent asked him what hee would doe for son Jonah, and Mr. Fordham answered, a small matter, twenty pounds. This deponent told him it was a small matter, indeed, and hee was his son. Said Mr. Fordham, a rebelious son, and hee had given him many twenty pounds and he had wasted them and he was not bound to give to rebelious children. And further mention being made about his son John, Mr. Fordham asked who it was best John should be left withal and this deponent answered he thought with Joseph, and Mr. Fordham said hee thought soe too. Mrs. Katharine James attests to the truth of what is above mentioned (only as to the many 20 pounds given Jonah) and they both testify that to their apprehensions Mr. Fordham was in his right mind.'' Taken upon oath the 27th November, 1674, before me. John Youngs.     Note. -- The Lands mentioned in the foregoing documents are all in the town of Southampton and for their location the reader is referred to the Printed Town Records.   Mrs. Katherine James was the wife of Rev. Thomas James, of East Hampton. W.S.P.

HISTORY AND VITAL RECORDS OF CHRIST'S FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF HEMPSTEAD, LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK. -   The second minister to be installed here was the Rev. Jonah Fordham, a young man, son of Robert Fordham, whose name heads the list of grantees in the Kieft patent. The Rev. Jonah had probably spent some of his boyhood days in Hempstead.   He was graduated at Harvard College in 1658, and was settled here as minister in 166o. His ministry was uneventful, if we may judge from the Town Records. Like his father, he seems to have had an inclination for practical affairs, for business and trade.   He remained in Hempstead until the death of his father in Southampton in 1674, when he removed there, becoming his father's successor as the minister of the Southampton Church, and also the inheritor of his father's considerable worldly possessions.


Nathan Fordham abt 1695
Page 248.--In the name of God, Amen. I. NATHAN FORDHAM, of the town of Southampton, in Suffolk County, being weak in body. I leave to my wife Abigail my best bed and furniture, with the curtains; Also my Large Iron Kettle, and six pewter plates, 4 pewter basons, one two-quart bason, four common chairs, and my Great chair, and my chest with drawers, Looking glass, my woolen wheel and my best Dutch wheel, and all my sheets, and all my provisions. I leave to my daughter, Sarah Bowdich, "my bed now at Daniel Sayres." All my movable estate is to be sold, and all debts paid, and the rest to my children. I make my wife Abigail and David Gelston, executors.
Dated January 9, 1772. Witnesses, Matthew Halsey, Josiah Cooper, Hannah Sayre. Proved, December 8, 1774. (Names of children not given.)
[NOTE.--Nathan Fordham lived at Bridge Hampton, and was probably the owner of the cleared tract of land on the road to Sag Harbor, known as "the Old Farm."--W. S. P.]


Abigail White, abt 1701 spouse of  Nathan Fordham (above)
NOTE: Sarah Herrick White mother of Abigail names three Fordham grandchildren in her Will.
Page 147.--In the name of God, Amen. I, SARAH WHITE, widow of Captain Ephraim White, of Southampton, in Suffolk County, being sick...... To my grand daughters, Anne, Charity, and Sarah Fordham, ?35 when 18.  
Dated October 1, 1756. Witnesses, Samuel Huntting, shopkeeper, Elias Pelletreau, goldsmith, John Mackie, doctor. Proved, October 20, 1756. 
[NOTE.--The testatrix was a daughter of James Herrick. She died October 12, 1756, aged 74. Her homestead was in the centre of Southampton village, and lately owned by Edwin C. Halsey, deceased.--W. S. P.] 











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