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Biography of Abel Child

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Benjamin Child emigrated from Great Britain to America in 1630, and became the head of most of the families of that name. A type of character patriarchal in the best sense, earnest in purpose, and in the promotion of that Puritanic stamp of piety for which the Massachusetts settlers were distinguished, he was one of the thirty who contributed toward the erection of the first church in Roxbury. Bearing the name of the youngest son of the head of the Israelites, like that patriarch, ” in the land wherein he was a stranger,” he became the father of twelve children, three of whom were baptized by the renowned John Eliot, their pastor.

Benjamin, the second son of Benjamin and Mary Child, married in 1683, Grace, daughter of Deacon Edward and Grace Bett Morris, Mr. Morris being one of the projectors and an early settler of the town of Woodstock. Their eldest son Ephraim, married in 1710, Priscilla Harris, of Brookline, Mass. The second son by the latter union was Daniel, who married Ruth Curtis, and became the’ father of Abel Child, whose wife was Rebecca Allard. Stephen, one of the sons by the latter marriage, was united to Abigail Carter, of Dudley, Mass., and had seven children, of whom Elizabeth married Reverend Lucian Burleigh, of Plainfield; Caroline married William Chandler, of Woodstock; Abby became Mrs. Ashley Mills, of Thompson, and Harriet married Harris May, of Woodstock. Mrs. Stephen Child died in her ninety-seventh year, with her mental faculties but slightly impaired. Though for several years entirely blind, her patience and cheerfulness never deserted her. She possessed a strong mind, remarkable executive ability, and was for more than sixty years a member of the church and highly esteemed for her consistent life. Stephen Child was one of those citizens of East Woodstock who vigorously advocated temperance principles and banished from his home all alcoholic drinks. A man of strict integrity, his word was proverbially as good as his bond.

His son, Abel Child, was born in East Woodstock, July 27th, 1521, where he has during his life been an influential and useful citizen of the town, and foremost in all projects tending to its advancement. A member of the First Congregational church of Woodstock, he was chosen a deacon in 1862, and still holds that office. An earnest patron of education, he has long been a trustee of the Woodstock Academy, and for many years chairman of the board. Together with Mr. Henry C. Bowen he personally solicited subscriptions for a large part of the endowment fund of the academy, and in 1872 for the present building. Mr. Child cast his first vote with the free soil party, being one of twenty-four who thus cast their ballots. He has since affiliated with the republican party, and represented his town in the Connecticut legislature, besides filling various less important offices. He is now president and superintendent of the Woodstock Creamery.

Mr. Child married, April 2d, 1851, Ellen M., daughter of Hezekiah Bugbee and Jemima Harding, and a descendant of Edward Bugbee, of Roxbury, Mass., and John Holmes, one of the earliest settlers in the town. Their children are: Clarence Harding, born May 14th, 1855; Charles Carter, whose birth occurred September 30th, 1861, and his death September 12th, 1866; Ellen Maria, born May 16th, 1866; and Herbert Chauncey, born December 18th, 1868, who died March 12th, 1872. Clarence Harding Child married on the 25th of May, 1881, Carrie I., daughter of James I. Slade, of Pomfret. They have two sons: Chauncey Slade, born February 1st, 1885, and Spencer Holmes, whose birth occurred November 5th, 1886. These children represent the ninth generation in both the Child and Bugbees families, and the seventh now living on the Bugbee ancestral land, which has been deeded only in the direct line of descent.


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