Yale rector


Reverend Samuel Andrew

Samuel Andrew or Andrews (1656 to 1738), my ninth great grandfather, was a founder of Yale College.  He was born in Cambridge, MA, and graduated from Harvard in 1675.  He was made a fellow and tutor there. In his twenties, he served as acting president of Harvard when the president was absent.  A few of his students, James Pierpont, Noadiah Russell, and Joseph Webb, would later join him as charter trustees of Yale College.


First Meetinghouse in Milford, 1600’s; later the First United Church of Christ

He was ordained as a Congregational minister on Nov. 18, 1685, and served as pastor of the First United Church of Christ (current name) in Milford CT for over 50 yrs. He was  leading minister in the Connecticut Colony.   In 1686, Andrew married Abigail Treat (1660 to 1727), a daughter of Connecticut Governor Robert Treat.

Andrew was mostly a scholar, always in his study.  In October 1701, a group of men met at Branford CT to start a college.  Andrew was one of the original trustees.  When the rector of the college died, Andrew, at age 51, stepped in as rector pro tempore. He took charge of the Senior class, which now met at Milford. Other students met at Saybrook.  The College soon went into decline and by 1710,only two or three students graduated annually.The College eventually split into three separate campuses.  Finally in 1716, the decision was made to move the college with its collection of books to a permanent building in New Haven. 

Yale Charter

Yale Charter

In 1718, the Puritan minister Cotton Mather, a graduate of Harvard, wrote to Elihu Yale, a wealthy London merchant of the East India Company and a former Governor of Fort St. George at Madras, India.  Mather proposed that if Yale made a large donation, the college in Connecticut would be named after him.  By 1718, Yale College was named.

Until his death on January 24, 1738, at age 82, Andrew continued to study and teach. His oldest daughter Abigail (1686 to 1724) became the third (out of five) wife of Connecticut Governor Jonathan Law.  Family members from the 1700s to the 20th C attended Yale University, Yale Medical School, and Yale Law School. 


The Reverend Samuel Andrews house at 124 North Street in Milford, CT, has been dated from 1685 to 1801. It is said to have been built by Governor Treat for Abigail, his daughter and wife to Samuel Andrew.

Andrew’s gravestone reads…


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One Response to Yale rector

  1. vahughes17 says:

    I think you received a great education at Kenyon. No need to bemown not going to Yale. I am convinced that you don’t have any run of the mill unknown ancestors!

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