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Biography of Abel Curtis

In the abundance of able men that adorned the first twenty-five years of the history of the town, there is no more brilliant name than that of Abel Curtis. He was a son of Simeon Curtis and came with his father from Lebanon, Conn., where he was born June 13, 1755. The son graduated from Dartmouth College in the class of 1776, being the first graduate from this town, one year earlier than the Rev. Asa Burton. Abel Curtis is first mentioned in connection with town affairs in November, 1778, when he was chosen delegate to the Cornish convention of December following, in company with Peter Olcott and Nathaniel Brown. From this time until his death in 1783, a period full of important events shaping the future of state and country, he was prominent in all the transactions of the town, representative for three years in the legislature; serving on many committees; delegate to Congress in 1782, with Ira Allen and Jonas Fay; assistant judge of the county court in 1782; delegate to the Charlestown convention of January, 1781, sitting at Windsor, by the joint action of which with the legislature of Vermont, the second union of New Hampshire towns was effected on the 22nd of February, following; delegate to the Thetford convention of June 1782, by which he was commissioned agent of the towns of Hartford, Norwich, Bradford, and Newbury to carry to the Government of New Hampshire a memorial, drawn up by himself, proposing to place said towns under the jurisdiction of that state, in certain contingencies. The last public service he performed for the state was...

Prominent White Men among the Chickasaws

At an early day a few white men of culture and of good morals, fascinated with the wild and romantic freedom and simplicity of the Chickasaw life, cast their lot among that brave and patriotic nation of people. I read an article published in Mississippi a few years ago, which stated that a man by the name of McIntosh, commissioned by British authorities to visit the Chickasaw Nation and endeavor to keep up its ancient hostility to the French, was so delighted with the customs and manners of that brave, free and hospitable people that, after the accomplishment of his mission, he remained among them; then marrying a Chickasaw woman he became identified with the tribe; that he became an influential character among the Chickasaws; that he found the whole Nation living in one large village in the “Chickasaw Old Fields”; that he persuaded them to scatter, take possession of the most fertile and watered lands, and live where game was more plentiful; that he planted a colony at a place called Tokshish (corruption of Takshi-pro. Tark-shih, and sig. Bashful) several miles south of Pontotoc; that this colony became the favorite residence of the white renegades, etc. All of which is without even a shadow of truth. True, a man by the name of McIntosh once visited the Chickasaw Nation as stated; but after his diplomacy was accomplished, departed and returned no more. There never was a McIntosh identified in any way with the Chickasaws at that early day, nor has there been one from that day to this. The only white men adopted and identified with the Chickasaws at that early...

Biography of Paul Brigham

Hon. Paul Brigham, son of Paul and Catharine (Turner) Brigham, born in Coventry, Connecticut, January 17, 1746; married, October 3, 1767, Lydia Sawyer, of Hebron, Connecticut; came to Norwich from Coventry, in the spring of 1782, bringing his family with him, all of his children having been born in Connecticut. In 1788, he built the house on ”Brigham Hill,” for many years occupied by his great-granddaughter, the late Miss Louisa D. Brigham. The farm had been previously owned and occupied by Elihu Baxter. In what esteem Mr. Brigham was held by the people of his adopted state and town, is shown under appropriate heads in other places in this volume. Captain Paul Brigham in the Revolutionary Army, June-August 1777. Mr. Brigham served four years as Captain in the Continental Army in a Connecticut regiment commanded, first, by Colonel Chandler and afterwards by Colonel Isaac Sherman. He entered the Army January 1, 1777, and was discharged April 22, 1781. A portion of the time he served under the immediate command of Washington, and was engaged in the important battles of Germantown, Monmouth, and Fort Mifflin. He was enlisted by General McDougal from Coventry, Conn., and his regiment seems to have been largely composed of men from that section of the State. We have been privileged to read a fragment of a diary kept by Captain Brigham during a part of his army service above the “Highlands,” which does not cover the time when any of the above named battles were fought (at that time the portion of the army to which he was attached was serving on the Hudson River), and...

Free Masonry in Norwich Vermont

It does not appear that any Masonic Lodge has ever existed in Norwich. Quite a number of our citizens, however, as might be expected, have at different times belonged to lodges in adjacent towns. In the list of members of Franklin Lodge, established at Hanover, N. H., in 1796, we find the names of the following Norwich men, with the year of their admission: Reuben Hatch, Freegrace Leavitt (1798), William Sumner (1799), Thomas Brigham, Erastus Leavitt, and Moses Hayward (1800), Reuben Partridge, Andrew Dewey, William Little, Levi Richards, Aaron West (1801-1807), Lyman Lewis, Elijah Slafter, Simon Baldwin, Enos Lewis, Jasper Johnson, Noah Lewis (1808), Charles Hutchins, Sewell Gleason (1809), Ephraim Hall, George Olds, Jr., and Pierce Burton (1810), Manly G. Woodbury, Silas Morse, Ammi B. Allen, and Barzilla Bush, Jr. (1813-1820). The roll probably bears other Norwich names that we do not now recognize. The Franklin Lodge was moved to Lebanon in 1821, where it still flourishes. In 1807 and 1808, Doctor Thomas Brigham of Norwich was master of the lodge, who, on his sudden departure from town and abandonment of his family, was promptly expelled therefrom by notice published in the Vermont Journal at Windsor, in April, 1809, ”for immoral conduct unworthy a Mason and a gentleman.” Other Norwich Masons of that time, not of the Franklin Lodge, were Captain Calvin Seaver, Jeremiah Bissell, Ebenezer Spear, 2nd, Lyman Baldwin, and William Leconte. At the height of the Anti-Masonic agitation, about 1830, a great commotion was raised in the North Congregational Church, growing out of the refusal of the majority of the church, led by Deacon Israel Newton, to...

Postmasters and Postal Service in Norwich Vermont

It was fifteen years after the admission of Vermont into the Federal Union, and forty years after the settlement of the town, before Norwich had a post office. The first post office was established at Norwich Plain, July 1, 1805, and Jacob Burton was appointed postmaster. Postmaster Burton kept the office in his harness shop on the main street of the village, nearly opposite the present residence of Mrs. William E. Lewis. Probably the duties of the office were not so great as to interfere much with the prosecution of his trade. It is doubtful if Mr. Burton had more than two mails per week to distribute, and these were much smaller in bulk than either of the three daily mails now received at the village office. It is certain that less mail matter was then handled here in the course of a year than now in a week, although the territory accommodated at the office and the population of the town itself were each considerably greater than at present. It is safe to say, moreover, that the people now living in Norwich receive more letters and miscellaneous mail matter every year than did all the 150,000 inhabitants of Vermont in the year 1805. The post office is essentially a modern institution, whose importance and value increases year by year with cheaper postage and the general diffusion of cheap printed matter among the people. At the time of the admission of Vermont into the Union, in 1791, there were only five post offices in the State (at Brattleboro, Windsor, and Newbury on the Connecticut River, and at Bennington and...

Church History of Norwich Vermont

The great achievement of the first generation of Norwich settlers was the building of a meeting house. More than any other event of the time, with the possible exception of the accomplishment of the national independence, this was an undertaking that enlisted the energies and taxed the resources of our forefathers. The building of a meeting house in a New England frontier settlement a century ago was regarded a matter of public concern, to be supported by the whole community without regard to sect or party, like the opening of roads or any other public charge. In less than ten years from the time the first clearing was made in Norwich, the preliminary steps were taken to provide a meeting house to be used for the accommodation of the whole people in the public worship of God. The question of the location of this building was sharply agitated, re-resulting in a keen competition between different sections of the town for the coveted distinction, inasmuch as the location of the house was supposed to fix the site of a possible future village where much of the business of the town would be transacted. When it became apparent that no agreement could be reached, a locating committee of three men from out of town was chosen and summoned upon the ground to decide where the meeting house should stand. The formal report of this Committee as made at the time has recently been found among the papers of the late W. H. Duncan, Esq., of Hanover, N. H., and by the kindness of Honorable Frederick Chase has been furnished to the...

History of the Baptist Church at Norwich Vermont

In Norwich, as elsewhere, the Baptists were the first of the dissenting sects to contest the ground with the dominant New England orthodoxy. Soon after the settlement of the town we find mention made of Baptists here, and it is probable that a few of the very earliest settlers were of that faith. The following documents are transcribed from the town records: Willington [Ct.] October ye 6, 1780. “This may Certify all Persons whom it may Concern that Calvin Johnsen of Wellington is of the Baptist Persuasion and is one of the society of the Baptist Church in said Willington and is ready to help to support the gospel in that order. “Andrew Main, Clerk” “Willington, September 24, 1784. This may certify that James Johnsen belonged to the Baptist society and his father and mother are Baptist. Signed in behalf of the Church, “Andrew Main, Church Clerk” The above certificates were doubtless procured and lodged in the town clerk’s office by the persons whose names they bear, with a view to exempt themselves from taxation for the support of the Rev. Mr. Potter, the settled minister of “the standing order” in the town at that time, as well as to relieve them from expenses for the building of the first meeting-house then in progress. A law of the state early made taxation for these purposes compulsory on all taxpayers who did not thus prove their connection with some other church organization differing in religious sentiments from the majority of the town. This law, called the “ministerial act,” continued in force till the year 1801, when it received important modifications...

1894 Michigan State Census – Eaton County

United States Soldiers of the Civil War Residing in Michigan, June 1, 1894 [ Names within brackets are reported in letters. ] Eaton County Bellevue Township. – Elias Stewart, Frank F. Hughes, Edwin J. Wood, Samuel Van Orman, John D. Conklin, Martin V. Moon. Mitchell Drollett, Levi Evans, William Fisher, William E. Pixley, William Henry Luscomb, George Carroll, Collins S. Lewis, David Crowell, Aaron Skeggs, Thomas Bailey, Andrew Day, L. G. Showerman, Hulbert Parmer, Fletcher Campbell, Lorenzo D. Fall, William Farlin, Francis Beecraft, William Caton, Servitus Tucker, William Shipp, Theodore Davis. Village of Bellevue. – William H. Latta, Thomas B. Williams, Hugh McGinn, Samuel Davis, William Reid, Charles B. Wood, Marion J. Willison, Herbert Dilno, Jerry Davidson, Edward Campbell, John Markham, Jason B. Johnson, Josiah A. Birchard, Richard S. Briggs, John Ewing, George Crowell, Henry Legge, James W. Johnston, Luther Tubbs, Oscar Munroe, John W. Manzer, Henry E. Hart, Leander B. Cook, Cyrus L. Higgins, Martin Avery, John M. Anson, Washington Wade, George P. Stevens, James Driscoll, Alexander A. Clark, Antoine Edwards, George Kocher, Charles W. Beers, Lester C. Spaulding, George Martin, Griffen Wilson, Sr., Amos W. Bowen, Josiah G. Stocking, Charles A. Turner, Levi 0. Johnson, Sullivan W. Gibson, Alonzo Chittenden. Benton Township. – Oliver P. Edman, Charles T. Ford, Emanuel Ream, Samuel Bradenberry, Isaac Mosher, Ezra W. Griffith, Joshua Wright, Michael Lynn, Mitchell Chalender, Luther Johnson, George A. Godsmark, George Wigent, Daniel Place, John J. DeWitt, Jay Henderson, William H. Barr, Josephus Sanborn, John C. Thomas, Michael Hamill, William Mitchell, Henry Thrall, William Motter, George Upright, Thomas J. Hitchcock, Asa Goodrich, Charles Albright, George Hoag, David Wise,...

List of the Drummond Island Voyageurs

In 1828 the transfer of the British garrison from Drummond Island to Penetanguishene commenced. A list of voyageurs who resided on Drummond Island at the time of the transfer. In many cases a brief biographical sketch is contained which may provide clues to their ethnicity, family relationships, and the location where they or their ancestors settled.

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