James Avery (American colonist)

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James Avery
James avery bust.jpg
Bust of James Avery
Born 1620 (1620)
Died April 18, 1700 (aged 79–80)
Spouse(s) Joanna Greenslade (1622–1697)

James Avery (b. 1620 – April 18, 1700) was an American colonial landowner, legislator, and a military commander in King Philip's War.

Early life

Avery was born in Cornwall, England and emigrated to Massachusetts Bay Colony as a child with his parents.[1] As an adult he received several land grants in the vicinity of New London, in Connecticut.


Avery was among Stonington, Connecticut’s early settlers, for whom Avery Point is named. A monument stands on the location of his 1656 home in Groton, called The Hive of the Averys. The home burned down in a fire started from an ember of a passing train on July 20, 1894.

Home of James Avery built in 1656

General Assembly

He was Deputy to the General Court 12 times from 1656 to 1680.[2] He also served for 20 years as a town selectman.

Military service

Avery was a captain in the colonial militia. In the Great Swamp Fight, a battle at Kingston, Rhode Island on December 19, 1675, Avery commanded a group of allied Pequot Indians.

Avery served as a captain in command of forty Englishmen from Stonington, Lyme, and New London in 1676. He also served as captain of one of four companies which protected the frontier.[1]


Avery has millions of living descendants. Among his descendants are John D. Rockefeller, Sr., Governor and Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, Senator Jay Rockefeller, Academy Award-winning screenwriter & director Roger Avary.


  1. ^ a b Benjamin Tinkham Marshall (1922). A Modern History of New London County, Connecticut. Lewis Historical Printing Company.
  2. ^ Avery, Elroy McKendree (1893). The Groton Averys, Christopher and James. pp. 9–10.

External links

  • Harris, William (1882). The Battle of Groton Heights. New London, CT: Charles Alyn. pp. 256–257.
  • John Frederic Randall, Member of...
  • More About Capt. James Avery
  • Biography of Captain James Avery...
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