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The Lineage of Happy Osborn Wakeman MatherA Genealogical Look at Stephen Mather’s Grandmother

We all have family trees. In the case of Happy Osborn Wakeman Mather, it is more like a forest.

Happy was the second wife of Joseph Mather whose first wife, Sarah Jarvis, died within the first months of their marriage. Joseph and Happy were the grandparents of Stephen Tyng Mather.

Happy Osborn Wakeman Mather’s connections to New England notables are varied and extensive. Among them are:

John Wakeman. John Wakeman (c. 1601-1661) is Happy’s great grandfather. He signed the New Haven Compact in 1638, was a deacon of the First Congregational Church of New Haven, served as treasurer of the Colony of New Haven, and was Captain of the New Haven trainband. In 1641 he was appointed magistrate of the court at New Haven.

John Osborne. Capt. John Osborne (c. 1652-1709) is Happy’s great grandfather. On land granted to his father for services in the Pequot War, Capt. Osborne built his home in Fairfield in c. 1673. The house was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1987 (21 years after the Mather Homestead was similarly designated.) It is considered the oldest house in Fairfield.

Rev. Peter Bulkley. Rev. Peter Bulkley (1583-1659) is Happy’s great grandfather. He was an influential early Puritan minister arriving in America on the Susan and Ellen in 1635. In commemorating Rev. Bulkley’s life, Cotton Mather wrote: “And the observance which his own people had for him was also paid him from all sorts of people throughout the land; but especially the ministers of the country, who would still address him as a father, a prophet, a counselor, on all occasions.”

Of note, 1635 was also the year that the Rev. Richard Mather arrived in America on the James of Bristol with his wife and four sons.


Happy O. Mather’s grave, Mather Cemetery

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