Location: Chelsea Vermont

Biography of Honorable Reuben Hatch

Reuben Hatch was born at Preston, Connecticut, July 7, 1763, and came to Norwich at an early age with his father, Joseph Hatch. He entered Dartmouth College in 1782, but was unable to complete his course of studies there by reason of ill health. Afterwards he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits and became a successful farmer; residing at different times at Tunbridge, Chelsea and Weathersfield. From “Life and Times of William Jarvis” we make the following extracts: “Mr. Reuben Hatch came from Norwich to Weathersfield Bow and bought the large brick house built by a Mr. Jennison, and considerable other property. He had a large family of sons and daughters. * * * Mr. Hatch also bought” (soon after, probably) “Mr. George Lyman‘s house, tavern and store,” (at the Bow) “and Mr. Lyman returned to Hartford, Conn.” “In 1801 or ’02 Mr. Francis Goodhue bought all of Mr. Hatch’s property except the Lyman house and a small store. Mr. Hatch then returned to Norwich,” [another account says he returned to Norwich in 1808.] Mr. Hatch represented Tunbridge in the General Assembly in 1792, ’93 and ’95, Chelsea in 1797, ’98 and 1801; was councilor in 1808. He was candidate for town representative from Norwich, but was defeated by Pierce Burton, and again defeated for the same office in 1812 by Dr. Israel Newton. Mr. Hatch was married to...

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Biography of Honorable Daniel Azro Ashley Buck

Daniel Azro Ashley Buck, the eldest son of Honorable Daniel and Content (Ashley) Buck, was born at Norwich, Vt, April 19, 1789. He received a collegiate education, graduating at Middlebury in 1807, in the same class with William Slade and Stephen Royce, a class which is said to have contained more eminent men in proportion to its numbers than can be matched in the record of any American college. The following year he graduated from West Point Military Academy, and was appointed second lieutenant of engineers, to date from January 25, 1808. Oliver G. Burton, a native of Norwich but at that time a resident of Irasburg, was also a graduate from West Point of the same year. D. A. A. Buck served on the northern frontier during the second war with England. He was commissioned a captain in the Thirty-first Regiment of United States Infantry, an organization composed wholly of Vermonters, April 30, 1813, raised for one year’s service. Ethan Burnap of Norwich was captain of a company of the Thirty-first and his brother, Calvin Burnap, lieutenant. At other times during the war, Mr. Buck served as an officer of artillery, and in November, 1812, was appointed major in a volunteer corps by the Vermont legislature, though it is doubtful if he ever accepted this appointment. At the close of the war he left the military profession, studied...

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Biography of Honorable Daniel Buck

Daniel Buck came to Norwich in 1784 or ’85, and opened the first lawyer’s office in town, on the hill near the old center meeting house, then just being completed and there continued to live and transact business for twenty-five years, or until he removed to Chelsea in 1809. Norwich then contained probably about one thousand inhabitants, but no village, there being at that time not over three or four dwellings where Norwich village now stands. But little is known of Mr. Buck previous to his coming to Norwich. He was born at Hebron, Conn., November 9, 1753, and was the second son and child of Thomas and Jane Buck of that town. He had been a soldier in the Revolution, and had lost an arm at the battle of Bennington. He had also lived some time in Thetford, which was settled largely by people from Hebron, and perhaps also in Hanover, N. H. He acted as secretary to the council in June, 1785, when the Vermont legislature assembled at Norwich, having been assistant secretary of the same body during their session at Rutland the preceding October. He seems to have been a householder at Norwich at this time, as by a resolution of the council on June 17, the treasurer of the State was directed “to pay Daniel Buck twenty shillings hard money for the use of his...

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Migration of Families out of Norwich VT

At the first enumeration of the inhabitants of eastern Vermont, as made by the authority of New York in 1771, Norwich was found to be the most populous of all the towns of Windsor County, having forty families and 206 inhabitants. Windsor followed with 203, and Hartford was third with 190. The aggregate population of the county (ten towns reported) was then but 1,205, mostly confined to the first and second tiers of towns west of the Connecticut River. Twenty years later, in 1791, Hartland led all the towns of the county with 1,652 inhabitants, Woodstock and Windsor coming next with 1,605 and 1,542 respectively. Exceptional causes made the little town of Guilford (now numbering scarcely more than one thousand inhabitants), till after the year 1800, the most populous town in the state. In Norwich, the great falling off in the size of families in recent years is seen in the fact, that in the year 1800, the number of children of school age was 604, out of a total population of 1,486, while in 1880 with a nearly equal population (1,471) it was but 390. In the removal of large numbers of the native-born inhabitants by emigration, we must find the principal cause of the decline of our rural population. Preeminently is this true of Norwich. The outflow of people began very early and now for more than...

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Biography of Matthew Hale

MATTHEW HALE A MAN of fine legal attainments and of high personal character, who has been a steady resident of Albany for the past twenty-two years is the Hon. Matthew Hale, On the 20th of June, 1829, in the little town of Chelsea, in the state of Vermont, this well-known jurist first saw the light of day. His ancestry is in every respect a notable one – including admirable combinations of intellectual, moral and religious principles. His father, Harry Hale, was a descendant of one Thomas Hale, an English yeoman, who immigrated to this country in 1638, and settled in Newbury, Mass. Harry Hale was a leading citizen in his day, and a man of great excellence of character. He was born in 1780, and when about twenty years of age formed a partnership with his brother Nathan, and became a country merchant, first at Windsor and afterward at West Windsor, Vt. He removed to Chelsea, Vt., where he still carried on a country store under the firm-name of Hale & Dickinson. A few years before the birth of his son Matthew, he retired from trade and devoted himself to the management of a grist mill and to farming. He was a captain of the militia, held various town offices; and in 1828, ’32, and ’36, represented Chelsea in the Vermont legislature. He was also for several years county...

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