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Hutchinson Family of Norwich Vermont
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Hutchinson is an old and numerous family in Norwich, as well as in other parts of the country. They were among the early settlers of Massachusetts and were in Lynn and Salem in that colony as early as 1628, or 1629. A descendant of these early colonists, named Abijah, who was a tailor, removed from Salem to Windham early in the eighteenth century. His son Samuel, born about 1719, in company with his son, John, came to Norwich in 1765. They cleared an island in the Connecticut River, opposite the present residency of John W. Loveland, and planted it with corn. In the fall of that year they returned to Connecticut, and in company with a younger son, Samuel, returned in the spring of 1766, and made a permanent settlement. The elder Samuel spent the remainder of his life in the town, and died February 8, 1809. His wife was Jemina Dunham; she died January 12, 1798. Besides the two sons named above, he had three daughters: Sarah, married Francis Smalley; Tabitha, married Jonathan Delano; Jerusha, married Nathan Roberts. They all died young,’ soon after marriage.
Hutchinson, John, son of Samuel, was born in 1741, in Windham, Connecticut, and married Mary Wilson, who was born in Ashford, Connecticut, in August, 1744. He enlisted in the Continental Army, and died at Philadelphia, June 22, 1778. His widow afterwards married Solomon Strong. His children were:
Hutchinson, Jerome, son of John, was born in Ashford, Connecticut, March 2, 1763, and married Content Smith. Jerome died, 1849. Their children were:
Hutchinson, William, son of Jerome, was born in Norwich, Vermont, May 2, 1807, and married, January 8, 1832, Eliza, daughter of James and Mary (Bartlett) Crary; she was born April 2, 1807. Of their six children three died in infancy. The others are:
Hutchinson, Samuel, son of Samuel, was born in Connecticut, September 6, 1751, and married August 16, 1779, Hannah Burr; she was born March 5, 1761. Samuel Jr., died September 30, 1839; his wife November 11, 1826. They had fourteen children:
Hutchinson, Samuel, son of Samuel, Jr., was born in Norwich, April 12, 1786, and died February 3, 1845. He married, February 26, 1818, Sarah Boardman; who was born May 6, 1792, and died February 14, 1847. Their children were:
Hutchinson, Samuel, son of Samuel, 2d., was born in Norwich, March 28, 1826, and married Parthenia Blodgett. They had four children:
The following interesting account of the advent of this family into Norwich, is a statement made by Jerome Hutchinson to Reverend Charles Hutchinson of New Albany, Indiana, in 1846:
“I was born in Ashford, Connecticut, March 2, 1763. Was two and one-half years old in August, 1765, when our family started for Vermont. My father, John Hutchinson, in company with his father, Samuel, had been up that season and cleared the island opposite the David Loveland farm, cutting down the trees so that the spring flood swept the island, when they planted it with corn brought from Charleston, New Hampshire. But the seed failed and it was necessary for Mr. Hutchinson to make the journey on foot to Charleston again for a fresh supply. After planting the second time they returned to Ashford and did their haying, after which John and family set out for Norwich. My grand-father was to move with us. We had only two horses. There were no roads for wagons. Part of their furniture was put on the horse with his mother, with John, the baby, five months old, and the rest on the horse he himself rode. Fell off only once, where a large pine log lay across the path in Lebanon. Arrived at the bank of the Connecticut, where Hanover Bridge now is about sundown. Mrs. Nathan Messenger, the only woman in Norwich, heard from the cabin the cry of a baby on the east side of the river. ‘It was the sweetest cry I ever heard,’ was her expression ever after.
“Of our passage of the river, the only thing I can remember is the white face of our cow as she swam after the canoe. There were not two acres of cleared land in town at that time.
“The first winter we passed in a log hut in the meadow ten or twelve rods south of the bridge. Our food was mainly the frost-bitten corn raised on the island the previous summer. Major Murdock, at work near us in the spring following, brought us some potatoes to roast for his dinner, and gave me and John, each, one, tasted good!
“Next summer (1776) my father built a house on the hill back of the Lewis place, and lived there two or three years. He owned one hundred acres on the Brown Hill, now (1846) owned by Cloud and E. B. Brown. Cleared up eight or ten acres and lived on it three or four years. Then swapped for the ‘Hopson farm, ‘ but before moving swapped again for one hundred acres on Marshall brook. Here we built a frame house which was burned in January and soon replaced by a log one. The cellar of this house is now (1846) visible by the side of the road, below the Huggett place. As wood grew scarce we moved to the hill [where C. C. Sawyer lately lived] where they could make sugar.
“At the time of my father’s death at Valley Forge, June 22, 1778, our family were living on the Johnson place, nearly in front of the brick schoolhouse in what is called the river district.”
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