Location: Grafton County NH

Biographical Sketch of General Lewis S. Partridge

General Lewis S. Partridge, son of Abel and Alpa (Lewis) Partridge, was born in Norwich, Vt., in 1818, a year prolific in the birth of sons in town. In early life he served in clerkships in mercantile business in Norwich, and in Hanover and Claremont, New Hampshire. He became a cadet at Norwich University in 1833, remaining there until 1836. Later on he entered into mercantile business on his own account in his native town. He was at one time proprietor of the “Union Hotel,” at Norwich. From early life Mr. Partridge took an active part in politics and...

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Olcott Family of Norwich Vermont

Hon. Peter Olcott was born at Bolton, Connecticut, April 25, 1733; married Sarah, daughter of Peletiah Mills, Esq., of Windsor, Conn., October 11, 1759, and removed to that place in 1772. That year or the following one he came to Norwich, Vermont. He was the oldest of his parents’ four children (two sons and two daughters), and the only one of them to come to Norwich to reside. Mr. Olcott‘s name first appears in the town records of Norwich in 1773, when he was chosen one of the overseers of the poor, at the annual March meeting. He early took a leading part in public affairs in his new home. He was elected to the most important town offices, and soon came to be regarded as one of the leading men of the place. It is probable that he was a man of considerable means when he came to Norwich, which, united with his superior talents, gave him a commanding influence in the community. The next year (1774) the annual town meeting was held at his house, and such meetings continued to be so held until 1779, after which they were held at the meeting house, except in severe winter weather. Probably his influence was potent in fixing the location of the first meeting house very near to his residence and upon land which he gave for a site....

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Loveland Family of Norwich Vermont

One of the farms in Norwich still (1904) owned and occupied by descendants bearing the name of the original settlers, belongs in the Loveland family. Joseph Loveland was born in 1747, in Connecticut; moving from that state to Dartmouth College, Hanover township, New Hampshire, where he enlisted to reinforce the Continental Army at Ticonderoga. In 1778 he settled on a now fertile farm, about a mile and a half from Norwich village, building a home a little off the river road. Ten of his thirteen children were born in town, and six of them made, during most of their...

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Hutchinson Family of Norwich Vermont

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...

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Biographical Sketch of Moses Davis

The records in the U. S. Pension Office show that Mr. Davis married Sarah Sawyer, at Dracut, Mass., April 6, 1785. He came to Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1806 or ’07, and from there to Norwich in 1813 or ’14. He was a soldier at the Battle of Lexington and it is supposed that he was in the Battle of Bunker Hill. In 1777 he served at Fishkill on the Hudson and the next year at Valley Forge. He was one of the guards over the spy, Major Andre, one or two nights before he was executed. The aggregate of Mr. Davis‘ service in the army was over two...

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Cushman Family of Norwich Vermont

The Cushman family in New England dates from the year 1621, the first after the landing of the Pilgrims from the Mayflower, when Robert Cushman, who was a prominent leader and organizer of the Plymouth Colony, brought from England the earliest recruits and supplies to the wasted and famishing settlement. A century and a half later Solomon Cushman, a descendant of Robert, in the sixth generation, born at Plympton, Mass., in 1745, having married Sarah Curtis, daughter of Simeon Curtis, at Lebanon, Conn., in 1768, removed to Norwich, probably in company with the Curtis family. Solomon Cushman (afterward known as Captain Solomon) was in those days a famous hunter and marksman, the terror of bears and catamounts. He once shot and killed a deer at a distance of seventy-two rods 11166 feet. In the war of the Revolution he served three years as lieutenant in the Norwich militia in the campaign of 1777 against Burgoyne, and the following two years on the northern frontier as captain of a company of Rangers in the regiment of Colonel Timothy Bedel of Haverhill, N. H. His health was much broken as a result of his service in the army. In 1784 he removed to Tunbridge, Vt., where he died in 1799, at the age of fifty-four. His son, Benjamin H. Cushman, born in Norwich, recently died at Tunbridge, upwards of ninety years...

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The Bush Family of Norwich Vermont

Captain Timothy Bush, the progenitor of this family in town, came to Norwich in the early days of its settlement (from what place is not known). He married Deborah House, and they had ten children (five of whom were born in Norwich), viz., John Bush, married Abigail Marvin and had at least one son: George Bush. Barzilla Bush. Timothy Bush. Fairbanks Bush. Alexander Bush. Bela Bush. Harry Bush. Nathaniel Bush. Mary Bush, who married Nathaniel Seaver. Lavina Bush, who married Doctor Hamilton of Lyme, New Hampshire. Captain Bush appears as a voter in town in 1772, and March 9, 1799, he was chosen one of the board of five selectmen. He was prominent in town affairs till about the time he removed to the State of New York (about 1809), where, it is reported, he died in 1815. It is current with some persons that he ended his days here in Norwich and that he was buried in the old graveyard near the mouth of Pompanoosuc River, but no gravestone can be found to indicate his burial there. When Captain Bush located in Norwich it was in the Pompanoosuc section of the town, where he became an extensive landowner. He was one of the original proprietors of the town of Orange, Vermont, chartered by the state in August, 1781. His son, John, with Paul Brigham, Nathaniel Seaver, John Hibbard, Elihu White, and John White, were other...

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Biography of Prof. George Bush

George Bush, one of the most eminent Biblical scholars and Orientalists of his time in America, was born in Norwich, Vt., June 12, 1796, a son of John and Abigal (Marvin) Bush, and grandson of Capt. Timothy Bush. The boyhood of George Bush was mostly passed in Hanover, New Hampshire, whither his father removed when he was quite young. The son gave early indications of superior intelligence. His eldest sister says “he had a ravishing love of books from her first remembrance of him.” He frequented the College library at Hanover and would bring home ponderous volumes, almost as large as he could carry. Old residents remember him riding to mill on horseback with his face hidden in the pages of an open book that he held before him. At the age of nineteen he entered Dartmouth College, graduating in 1818 with the valedictory and the highest honors of his class, which was of more than average ability, containing among others such scholars as Professor William Chamberlain of Dartmouth College, and the late Professor Thomas C. Upham of Bowdoin College. During a part of his college course, Mr. Bush was a private tutor in the family of Honorable Mills Olcott, and there probably was formed an intimate friendship between himself and Rufus Choate of the class of 1819. The two young men chummed together during the college course, and...

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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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Baxter Family of Norwich Vermont

The Baxters of this town came here from Norwich, Connecticut, a town which their ancestors with others from Norwich, England, assisted in founding about the year 1632. Elihu Baxter, with his young wife, Tryphena Taylor, to whom he was married October 24, 1777, arrived in Norwich the same year, and here fifteen children (six daughters and nine sons) were born to them, twelve of whom lived to grow up and have families of their own. Mr. Baxter settled on the farm that subsequently became the home of Hon. Paul Brigham. He later removed to the farm where Orson Sargent lives, and there built himself a frame house, a part of which is now in use by the present owner of the property. Of his children: William Baxter, the eldest, born August 3, 1778, studied law with Hon. Daniel A. Buck of Norwich, and removed to Bennington, Vt., where he soon became the leading lawyer in that part of the state, and received many honors from his town and county. He married Lydia Ashley of Norwich, August 17, 1779, and died at Bennington October 1, 1826, aged forty nine years. Hiram Baxter settled in Bennington a little after 1800. Elihu Baxter, Jr., the third child, born in 1781, died at Portland, Me., in 1863, where he had been in the practice of medicine for many years. Chester Baxter, born in...

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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...

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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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History of the Bridges Between Hanover NH and Norwich VT

The earliest form of transportation across the Connecticut River between Norwich and Hanover of which we have any information was the canoe of Nathan Messenger, who sometime in the summer of the year 1765 established a hunting camp near the bank of the river, a few rods south of where the west end of Hanover bridge now is. In this canoe the family and household goods of John Hutchinson were brought over from the Hanover side in the late fall of the same year, at the completion of their long journey from Ashford, Conn., to their new home. This...

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Norwich Vermont and Dartmouth College

Notwithstanding the fact that Norwich had for many years within its borders a collegiate institution of its own, founded and directed by its most distinguished son, the relations of their people towards Dartmouth College on the opposite bank of the Connecticut were always intimate and friendly.

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First Settlements in Norwich Vermont

Having glanced thus briefly at the action of the Norwich proprietors in opening a way to reach their new township in the wilderness, and in dividing up a portion of its surface into lots suitable to become the homesteads of future settlers, let us pause a moment and see what had meantime been done in the work of actual settlement. I am indebted to Rev. Edmund F. Slafter of Boston for an interesting account of what was unquestionably the first attempt at settlement made within the limits of the town. I quote from the Slafter Memorial: “Samuel Slafter [of Mansfield, Connecticut], the father of John Slafter, being an original proprietor, and being at the first meeting chosen treasurer of the corporation, took a deep interest in the settlement of the town. At his suggestion, his son John made a journey through the forests of New Hampshire in 1762, to examine the territory and report upon the advantages it might offer as a place of settlement. He found it pleasantly situated on the western banks of the Connecticut, with a good soil, but for the most part of an uneven, hilly surface. He reported it well watered, not only by the Connecticut but by several small, clear streams, and by one more important one called the Ompompanoosuc, an Indian name signifying ‘the place of very white stones’ whose waters emptied...

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