IMMIGRATION: Betty Paulsen of Menan, Idaho believes the following refers to this John, but has offered no evidence to support her assumption. However, it is apparent that John raised tobacco for profit. Perhaps head rights were granted for the passenger below. If he was indentured to a Virginia planter and learned to grow tobacco, it is possible that he came to Connecticut to grow tobacco there. Since CT and New Haven Colonies both banned tobacco in 1650, that could explain his abandoning his property in New London and removing to Greenwich, believing it to be in New Netherland, which it actually was. See the history of the Oblong ceded by CT to NY in exchange for Greenwich, Stamford, etc.
Ships from England to Virginia in 1635
Elizabeth of London to Virginia 1 Aug. 1635
Primo de Augusti 1635
These under written names are to be transported to Virginea imbarqued in the Elizabeth de Lo: [London] Christopher Browne Master examined by the Minister of Gravesend touching their conformities to the order and discipline of the Church of England the men have taken Oaths of Allege & Supremacie.
First Name ; Surname ; Age
...Jo: Austin 24...
LIFE IN NEW ENGLAND: 1647 - New London, CT (EAM, pp. 0,1,2). After 1651: Greenwich Ct. (EAM, pp. 0,1,2)
Later: Stamford, CT (EAM, pp 0,1,2) 6 Oct 1656: John Austin was one of eleven Greenwich men who acknowledged allegiance to New Haven Jurisdiction to constitute Stamford, Conn. Colony.
TOWN HISTORY: Greenwich during the 1650s was posing problems of its own. As we have seen, the residents there were divided in their loyalties. Some had depended on the Dutch; others, such as Richard Crab and Robert Husted, had considered themselves part of the Stamford community. There was no defining boundary between Stamford and Greenwich so that in the records there sometimes appears a phrase defining a man's home as near or in one or the other. One man's home so referred to was Abraham Frost's, which was despoiled by the Indians and his family kidnapped.16 Greenwich was not a well-knit community. In the eyes of the Stamford people, those settlers were an undisciplined lot. No doubt some men did move there from Stamford seeking a measure of freedom from public scrutiny. It was claimed that runaways were sheltered in Greenwich, drunkenness and illegal marriages were reported, and the righteous men of Stamford complained that the men of Greenwich pastured their animals as they pleased on the commons of Stamford.17 The deputies, Law and Bell, presented their grievances to the New Haven court, whose members agreed that Greenwich must be brought to heel. A letter was prepared, which Bell and Law delivered; it demanded a list of the male citizens. After ignoring the letter for as long as possible, the Greenwich men bowed to the inevitable, sent in their list in October 1656, and thereafter grudgingly accepted the fact that they were a part of Stamford and under New Haven's jurisdiction. [The Early Settlement of Stamford, Connecticut; 1641-1700; FHL Book #: 974.69/Sl.H2m PG:41.]
LAND: May 23, 1673, granted four acres of land at Clapboard Hill, or somewhere on the east side of the Mianus River.
OCCUPATION: Both Henry Ackerley and John Austin were carpenters, judging by the number of woodworking tools in their inventories. They lived in Greenwich, John Austin was not so well off as Ackerley, his estate totaling only seventy-eight pounds. He had a wife Katherine (or "Catern"), a son Samuel, who died a month after his father, and probably two other sons and a daughter. No furniture except for bedding and three chests is listed; so presumably Catherine had brought some of her possessions to the household. It looks as though John supplied the community with tobacco as he had not only a number of hogsheads of tobacco but also a tobacco wheel with bowls and trays. He also had one odd item: an otter skin.
DEATH: Barbour Collection of Connecticut Vital Records
ESTATE: It appears that John Austin was one of twelve men who died (from a Malaria epidemic?) in 1657 and 1658, leaving twelve widows in a female-deprived colony, nine of whom remarried, including Katherine Austin who married William Hubbard of Greenwich. The inventory of the estate of John Austin was taken by Richard Law and Angel Huested on 5 Sep, 1657. It was presented to the court on May 13, 1658 at Stamford by his Widow Katherine, May 13, 1658, amounting to 78 pounds, 8 shillings and 4 pence. The estate owed John Green and Richard Webb, William Hubbard declared to Mr. Law and John Holly that he had paid a debt of John Austin to Daniel Law, p 72. (Fairfield, CT Probate records: Vol 2 1665-1675 p13. Vol 5 1702-1750 pp 72, 218. Vol 3 1675-1690 p42.)
His wife remarried William Hubbard (Hubbert) and died about 1683. His property was then divided among his children in 1683/4.
In 1683 John Austin, Thomas Austin and Elizabeth (Austin) Finch, all of Greenwich, gave receipts for having received from their father-in-law (Step-father) William Hubbard, their portion of their deceased father's estate. As John Austin died in 1657 and his children received their portions in 1683, it is evident that she held possession of the property during her life time. P. 572  Austen-Hubbert. John Austen, Thomas Austen, Josiah Finch and Elizabeth his wife, give a receipt in full for their share of their father's estate, John Austen, deceased, late of Greenwich, Conn; to William Hubbert, their father-in-law, 8 July 1684. The document is witnessed by John Bowers. [Greenwich Land Records, 1640-1754]
INVENTORY: Text of Will (Inventory?) of John Austin FHL Film #: 899,939; PG:25/26 PG:74/75: 
of Jo. As____,taken by Rich Law & ________ xth; L. S. D. ( ) house & land .12. 0. .0 ( ) a Matteke, 3 axes, 3 hammers 2 hows.01. 0. 0 ( )3 augers, wry bit a narrow chisle.00. 5. 0 It. a plaine pancers, a ke tines & small iron.00. 4. 6 It. A tobaca wheele, bowls & traice.00. 9. 0 It. 2 old sithes, one ring; one nib; small cros cut sa .06. 8. 6 It 3 base cittles, a iron pot & hookes .00. 17. 8. It A fowling peace & rapier.02. 00. 0 It 3 chests .00. 12. 0 It Bed g .03. 00. 0 It Pueter.00. 15. 0 It Cle , sute & too hats .03. 05. 0 ( ) too old books, an otter skin.00. 14. 0 ( ) .00. 06. 0 ( )ask 4 hogsheads.00. 19. 0 ( ) & flax .01. 10. 0 ( ) lbs wheat.00. 13. 6 ( ) heads tobaca .04. 00. 0 ( ) xu stuff .00. 10. 0 ( ) cows .10. 00. 0 ( )heffers.08. 00. 0 ( )yearling & one more yearling.03. 10. 0 ( )x steer .04. 10. 0 ( )bushells wheat.05. 12. 6 ( ) bushells pease.02. 02. 0 ( )swine .06. 00. 0 ( )tobaca .05. 00. 0 ( )pe stockings, horses & shot.00. 04. 0 ( )tin, Debtors & Astin, Creditor L.S.D./ ( )ngell Husted 1.1.0 /p Jo. Green 0. 11. 0 /p. Rich Webb 1. 00. 0 ( )win upon other by ( )ddow} Caterin Astin ( )May 1658 r } ( )ill Hubberd declared to Goodman Law & ( )olly (May ye 21) yt he had oayed a debt of ( ) astines unt, Daniell Lane to Ye values ( ) thirteen pounds or thereabout.
LIFE IN STAMFORD: How Inventory Reflects on Life in Stamford, CT [Sources: Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut; VR PG:110; FHL Film #: 899,934  PG:48:]
When one notices the close groupings of the death dates, one does suspect an epidemic. Also eight of the twelve men were in their thirties and forties, really in their prime. Malaria is not an inevitably fatal disease, but it is a devastating one. A community stricken by it would be sadly debilitated for a considerable period of time. Those people who were laid low but recovered would be subject to recurrent attacks and left with lingering weakness.
The inventories for the twelve men who died serve both collectively and individually to reveal many aspects of the lives of these early settlers. Collectively they give us an understanding of their economy, based as it was principally on farming. The relative values of land, livestock, and produce are presented. Also, a clear list of what was essential both to the home and to the farm can be deduced. The estates ranged in value from Jeremiah Jagger's L472 and John Waterbury's L383 to John Austin's and Gregory Taylors' L78 and L45, respectively.34 In each man's inventory a house and land were accounted for. Land for obvious reasons was not expensive, nor was a house. The average was thirty pounds.
Next in importance was a man's livestock. Every one of these men had cattle, and they were carefully judged as to value. Most cows were worth three pounds, but some were as high as five: steers ranged in value from two to five pounds; and helfers were two or three pounds and yearlings only a pound each. A single bull was listed (worth three pounds). These twelve men had a total of one hundred and thirteen cattle.
Horses and oxen were not very plentiful. The best horse was worth ten pounds.. One would judge, therefore, that these men did not travel much by land anyway. Oxen for pulling the plows, hauling wood, and carrying out the heavy work of farming were of great worth, each mature ox being valued at seven pounds.
Pigs were common to every household and were a cheap provider of various forms of meat, lard, and even skin and hair. They were reasonably peaceful and demanded little care. In Stamford they roamed at large where in the woods they could live on mast, young shoots, etc. On the village thoroughfares they served as garbage collectors, eating almost anything left from the garden produce and the dinner table. They reproduced prolifically so that each man on his list had a viable number, ranging from four to twenty-six. They were worth less than a pound apiece. One hesitates to imagine what a walk along Stamford's wandering roadways might have entailed! At this time sheep were not widely owned.
The only other asset listed of similar nature was bees, which were easy to care for and produced both honey and wax.
If one may be allowed to judge from what one sees today of the early life in Plymouth, one can be pretty safe in stating that each household had its share of chickens--so common that they are ignored entirely on the inventories.
When one considers the major crops used in a community, wheat, corn, and peas were the essentials. In a listing of twelve men's assets only, the supplies of grain given are not really indicative of anything since so much would depend on the time of the year in which a man died. Wheat was valued at four and a half shillings a bushel, peas at three and a half, and Indian corn (often listed as "india corn" or even "indy corn" but never as "corn") at two and a half shillings. Other forms of produce listed as flax (for linen), hemp (for rope), and tobacco or "tobacca." Only four men were growing flax; John Austin had considerable supplies of tobacco.
What is very interesting to learn is what equipment was needed in farming life. It certainly seems primitive in the light of today's massive machinery. These were the essentials: Plow and irons, yoke, cart and wheels, chain, hoe, rope, scythe, saw, sickle, axe and/or hatchet, shovel and spade, wedges, fork, beetle rings, peas hook, hammer.
Other tools, ect. that these men owned were as follows. These marked with a #symbol ere found on only one man's list. stillyards, tow combs, scales, tubs, hogsheads, casks, seed box or lip, barrels, bolts and shackles, bags, wheelbarrow#, horse lock and fetters#, trowel#, bridle, pick, saddle, scissors#.
Several men, such as Henry Ackerley, John Austin, and Simon Hoyt, were carpenters, or furniture makers, or coopers. They owned such tools as: chisels, compasses, augurs, cotters, adzes, wimbles, mallets, rabetting plow#, gimlets, nails, persers(piercers), bits, gouges, pincers, planes. Aside from farm equipment, a man's prize possessions were, of course, his gun and sword, which no man went without. The men of Stamford had musket, carbines, fowling guns, and John Austin had a rapier. Accessories were powder and powder horns, bullets, lead, and bullet molds.
The home furnishings were still very sparse in spite of the passing of ten years. Cooking and eating articles in all households ranged from a few pieces of pewter (ranging in value from ten shillings to forty-four pounds) to the common woodenware and earthenware. There were some brass pots and kettles in addition to the usual iron ones. Frying pans and skillets were vital as were spoons, bowls, platters, trays, meat troughs, sieves, and a basket or two. Most homes had trammels to hang pots on, fire tongs, and a peel to pull the bread from the oven.
One finds very few pieces of apparel on the list. Most men owned a cloth suit, a hat, a long coat, and a leather jacket. Other items mentioned were a pair of boots, a pair of shoes, one or two pairs of stockings, britches, a shirt or two, and some shirtbands. Of course, each man would normally would have been buried in his good set of clothes. As mentioned earlier, one does get brief insights into the lives and personalities of these men from their inventories. What one gleans from them along with what one sees of the men in the records can be pulled together into rather interesting little pictures.
Both Henry Ackerley and John Austin were carpenters, judging by the number of woodworking tools in their inventories. They lived in Greenwich, John Austin was not so well off as Ackerley, his estate totaling only seventy-eight pounds. He had a wife Katherine (or "Catern"), a son Samuel, who died a month after his father, and probably two other sons and a daughter. No furniture except for bedding and three chests is listed; so presumably Catherine had brought some of her possessions to the household. It looks as though John supplied the community with tobacco as he had not only a number of hogsheads of tobacco but also a tobacco wheel with bowls and trays. He also had one odd item: an otter skin.
To conclude this study of the twelve men who died in 1657 and 1658, a fascinating situation concerning the women who were widowed should be noted. It has often been recognized that women were at a premium in this new land. In the first place, many more young men migrated than did young women. Secondly, childbirth took its toll on women so that family men were most eager to find new wives to run the households and care for what children were in them. In the two years of 1657 and 1658 twelve women were suddenly deprived of their mates, but they were not left without support for very long. From today's standpoint, they were remarried all too quickly, but from both the man's and the woman's points of view, marriage was a necessity. Another factor that played a part in the remarriage of widows was economic. A widow normally received a dower of one third of her husband's estate; this often could prove a valuable asset to a man on the look-out for a wife of means. Of these twelve women all but three were remarried. Katherine Austin married William Hubbard of Greenwich.