Samuel Todd4, (Samuel3, Samuel2, Christopher1) born March 6, 1716-17, died June 10, 1789, married Aug. 31, 1739, Mercy, daughter of Rev. Peter Evans, of Northfield (Mass.?). He graduated from Yale college in 1734; ordained May 7, 1740, as the first minister at Waterbury, Conn., Northbury Parish; dismissed Aug., 1764; installed pastor at Plymouth, 1766; removed to Lanesborough, Mass., remaining there two years; organized First Church at Adams, Mass. and remained there as pastor until 1778; Moved to Orford, N. H. where he died.
“He possessed a mind of more than ordinary strength, and great decision of character. His religious sentiments and feelings were strictly evangelical. The revivals of 1740, he warmly approved and exerted himself to promote.”
From the History of Berkshire County, Mass.
It was his approval of these revivals which led to his dismissal from Northbury. His church became Episcopalian.
“He was a clergyman of much note. I shall not forget how he used to shake his large white wig, when any of my good mothers little flock made a mistake in the old Westminister Catechism.”
From The Foote Genealogy, by Erastus Foote.
After repeated attempts and failures, the people of Plymouth were at last successful in being separated from Waterbury, by the October session of the General Court, 1739, to be known and called the Parish of Northbury. The society thus formed, at once set about settling a minister, and at a meeting of the society, Rev. Samuel Todd was selected, being ordained on the 7th day of May 1740. It is probable that Mr. Todd united with the North Haven, Ct. church during the pastorate of Rev. Isaac Stiles, father of President Stiles, of Yale. His family were of a religious character, as is proved by preserved relations or memorials of its members, in the days when each church member wrote out his or her confession of faith; that of his sister Susannah, afterwards wife of Caleb Humaston, recounts the wickedness of her rebellion against God, and how, when awakened to the sense of her sin, the counsels of Rev. Mr. Stiles and the death of an aunt were blessed to her conversion.
Mr. Todd graduated at Yale, under President Williams, in 1734, at the age of seventeen, six of the fourteen in his class becoming ministers. A lately discovered document shows that he received and rejected a call to another church before he was ordained at Northbury, May 7, 1740. He brought his wife on a pillion behind him, or possibly on another horse, into this wilderness, where there was a small, feeble, scattered, but devoted flock, situated somewhat similiar to the first Pilgrims at Plymouth, Mass. There were only bridle-paths through the woods then, and the streams had to be forded, the first cart bridge across the Naugatuck, at Thomaston, not being built till after 1747.
Mr. Todd’s promised house was not begun on his arrival, and he set up house on Town Hill, where the cellar hole is now seen in the lot near Jason Fenn’s, and where three old apple trees lately stood of an orchard set out by him; this was near his good deacon Moses Blakeslee, who had lately arrived from New Haven with his fourteen children. A spring flows near the old cellar hole, where tradition says Mr. Todd’s first child, little Alathea, was drowned; near the tombstone of her sister Lucy, who died June 9, 1752, is an unmarked grave which is doubtless that of little Alathea, said to be the first person buried there. After two or three years delay, the society built Mr. Todd a house in Thomaston, which stood on the top of the hill where Mrs. Williams built later, on the road running north, which turned off from the river road at Mr. Grilley’s corner. It is not known how long he lived there but he moved over to Plymouth Hill when the church was there and the people lived here; he had moved before 1746-47. His house was in the garden near Riley Ives’ house, and is remembered by the old people as the Evans House, where Eli Terry, the father of clock-making, began house-keeping with one chair apiece for himself and wife, and one cup and saucer.
The great revival under President Edwards roused the New England churches from the cold formalism that grew out of the union of the church and the state and other causes, and Mr. Todd went to study it at Stock-bridge, probably by the advise of Joseph Bellamy, settled two years before at Bethlehem, a great friend of Edwards, and then in the midst of a religious revival, in which every man, woman, and child in the parish was under more or less religious concern. When Mr. Todd returned, established prayer meetings, and labored with souls, many of his congregation rebelled against him, and abandoned his preaching. There was almost temporal trouble. The secession weakened the society, leaving half the number to do the work, to build Mr. Todd’s house and a meeting house; there were only a handful of members left, and they were poor, just building their own houses and clearing their farms. But they did not break down under their heavy burden, and established the society on firm foundations.
Rev. Mr. Todd’s house was built slowly, and in his first year he gave in twenty pounds of his salary towards it; but it was finished by December, 1742.
From the History of Plymouth, Conn. by Francis Atwater.
His name appears among those of the first proprietors of East Hoosac, which was, a year after the surrender of the British at Saratoga, incorporated Adams, in honor of Samuel Adams, the “Father of the American Revolution,” on October 15, 1778. At the first townmeeting, the Baptist and Quaker vote won the day and Rev. Mr. Todd of the First Congregational Church received a minority. He was requested to relinquish his rights to the minister’s lot 48, granted to him for life in 1766 by the General Court. However, he did not give up his rights to his farm, and this resulted in religious and political controversies between the settlers of the South Village and the North Village until the town was divided.
From The Hoosac Valley, by Grace Greylock Niles.
147. Alathea, b. Dec. 7, 1740, drowned 1741, in a spring located near the house where she lived in Plymouth, Conn.
*148. Mary, b. Sept. 11, 1742.
*149. Irene, b. Oct. 25, 1744, m. Wm. Southmayd.
*150. Eliel, b. Feb. 20, 1746.
151. Alathea, b. March 8, 1748, m. Dea. Isreal Jones Jr. who was one of the first settlers of East Hoosac, afterwards named Adams, Mass. He afterwards removed to Williamstown, Mass. where he died.
152. Lucy, b. Feb. 6, 1750, d. June 9, 1752.
*153. Samuel, b. Nov. 19, 1752.
154. Lucy, b. Aug. 7, 1756, d. Jan. 9, 1757.
155. Chloe, b. Aug. 7, 1756.