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The death of Zebina Coit at Norwich, September 28, 1886, aged eighty-one years, removed another of the ancient landmarks of the town. Mr. Coit was a son of Captain Samuel Coit, who emigrated to Norwich from the town of the same name in Connecticut over one hundred years ago, and who married Mary Burton, sister of Pierce Burton, Esq., and Henry Burton, at Norwich in 1788.
The ancient seat of the Coit family, a family historic in the annals of Connecticut, was in and around New London. Captain Coit, at that time a youth of nineteen, was present as a soldier at the burning of that town by the British under the traitor Benedict Arnold, and the bloody massacre of the garrison of Fort Griswold on Groton Heights, on the opposite bank of the river, at the same time. He died at Norwich in 1851 in his eighty-ninth year.
Zebina Coit, born in 1805, lived all his days on the paternal homestead, situated on the height of land in the northwest part of the town near the town lines of Strafford and Sharon. Here Captain Coit kept for many years a well known hostelry, in the old times of stage coaches and travel over the turnpike road laid through town from Chelsea court house, and thence to Montpelier in the year 1807.
By reason of the great longevity of his father and himself, Zebina Coit, was, so far as known to the writer, the only surviving representative of the second generation of Norwich inhabitants, the children of the first settlers of the town. One by one the old families that settled up the town and have been more or less identified with its history for a century or more are passing away. In common with all rural New England, the process of depletion of its population by removal of its young men and women from town to the West and to the cities has long been going on. For more than one hundred years now there has been one constant, unbroken stream of emigration going out from us. Probably there is not a state or a territory in the Union where may not be found natives of Norwich or descendants of these.
With the death of Mr. Coit the family name becomes extinct in town.