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Location: Orange County VT

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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Lord Family of Norwich Vermont

Jonathan Lord, Jr., and David Lord, the first of the name to locate in Norwich, came from Colchester, Connecticut, (in what year is not definitely known, probably about 1773). They were two of several children born to Jonathan and Ruth Lord of that place. Jonathan, Jr., was born February 17, 1752; was a voter in Norwich in 1784. He married, in October, 1782, Mary Smith, and their children were: Porter Lord. Russell Lord. John Lord. Polly Lord. Lydia Lord. John Proctor Lord Rachel Lord. Mr. Lord died at Norwich February 27, 1821. David Lord was born at Colchester August 4, 1756, and died at Norwich January 25, 1803. He married Hannah Hanks, by whom he had eight children: Asa Lord, born in Norwich, October 14, 1783, married (first) Ruth Howe, and their children were: Ira Lord, who died in Thetford, Vermont. Lyman Lord (deceased). Abigail Lord (deceased), married William Cummings. Laura Lord (deceased), married Tarbell Senter. Gideon Lord, born in Norwich, Sept. 8, 1814, and died here Apr. 9, 1898, married Belisant Clough. Amasa C. Lord, removed to Illinois, after graduating from Dartmouth College in 1843, and died at Somonauk, that state. Laura Lord ( deceased), married Jonathan S. Lord. Mills A. Lord, married Livia Seaver of Norwich, daughter of Captain Calvin Seaver. Asa Lord married (second) Amelia Root of Norwich and their children were: Frances Amelia Lord Abel Lord Emma A....

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Biography of Doctor Horace Hatch

The son of Honorable Reuben and Eunice (Dennison) Hatch, was born at Tunbridge, Vermont, May 23, 1788. He was educated at Dartmouth College, where he graduated in 1814, and studied medicine at the same institution, receiving the degree of M. D. in 1817. He settled in the practice of his profession at Norwich the same year, where he pursued the active and laborious duties of a country physician for twenty years. He married January 9, 1821, Mary Yates, daughter of Thomas Smith. His children were born here. In the year, he built upon nearly the same ground where Captain Joseph Hatch had first fixed his abode, the brick dwelling house, now the residence of Mrs. Converse, widow of Doctor Shubael Converse, who in 1837 purchased the property and succeeded to the business of Doctor Hatch; the latter removing to Burlington, Vermont, where he prosecuted his profession for another period of twenty years. In 1861 Doctor Hatch accepted an appointment in the Treasury department at Washington where he continued about four years. While thus employed he rendered valuable service in visiting and relieving many sick and wounded Vermont soldiers in hospitals in and about Washington, whose days and nights of suffering were cheered by his kindly sympathy and by delicacies and comforts provided from his generous purse. In 1865 he became a resident of New York City, where he died...

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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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Dutton Family of Norwich Vermont

The progenitor of this family in Norwich was Samuel Dutton, a lineal descendant of Thomas Dutton of Washington, Connecticut. Samuel Dutton was born March 1, 1707, and married Abigail Merriam, May 6, 1729. He died in Royalton, Vermont, in 1802, and his wife April 6, 1799. Mr. Dutton came from Washington, Connecticut, to Hartford, Vermont, and from the latter place to Norwich, locating on what is called Dutton hill, a little west of Norwich village. The original farm, with later additions, is now occupied by Otis Metcalf, son-in-law of the late Deacon John Dutton. Mr. Samuel Dutton married (first) Johanna Root in 1764; and (second) Rachel Benedict, in 1772, to whom were born eight children. Mr. Dutton died Feb. 22, 1813, and his wife died July 1, 1828. Daniel Benedict Dutton, son of Samuel and Rachel Dutton, was born August 22, 1773, and died at Norwich September 1, 1849, aged seventy-six years. His wife, Lorana (Smith), to whom he was married December 5, 1796 (born February 15, 1779), died September 15, 1857. From Norwich he removed to Stowe, Vermont, and remained there until just before his father’s decease, when he returned to Norwich for a short time, then returned to Stowe. In 1834 he again came to Norwich, and here died. The late Deacon John Dutton, son of Daniel B. and Lorana (born at Stowe, Vermont, August 23, 1818),...

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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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Biography of Doctor Shubael Converse

The son of Shubael and Phoebe Converse was born at Randolph, Vt., September 7, 1805. He studied his profession with Doctor R. D. Mussey of Hanover, N. H., and at Dartmouth College, graduating at that institution in 1828. Soon after he settled in Strafford, where he resided in the practice of medicine until 1837, when he purchased the business and homestead of Doctor Horace Hatch at the southern border of Norwich village, and removing there was engaged in the active pursuit of his professional duties for a period of thirty years, until his sudden decease August 6, 1867. Doctor Converse possessed in a high degree the respect and confidence of the community, both as a citizen and a physician. A man of enlightened views and much public spirit, he was especially interested in the cause of popular education. He was superintendent of schools in Norwich from 1846 to 1854, and again in 1855 and 1856. After the removal of Norwich University to Northfield in 1866, he was prominent in establishing the Norwich Classical and English Boarding School the following year. He represented the town in the legislature in 1845 and 1846 and was chosen a Senator from Windsor County in 1855 and 1856. Among other young men who pursued medical studies with Doctor Converse at Norwich were Doctor Henry Baxter of Highgate and Doctor Charles D. Lewis of Kentucky....

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Curtis Family of Norwich Vermont

Simeon Curtis came to Norwich from Lebanon, Connecticut, as early as the year 1773, in which year he was elected one of the town assessors, and located near the south line of the town, on the farm where Henry S. Goddard now lives. Mr. Curtis died in 1779 at the age of fifty-eight years, and his grave is found in the old cemetery at Norwich village among the graves of other early settlers and near that of his gifted son, Abel Curtis, who survived his father only four years. But little is now known of the Curtis family, as its last representatives seem to have disappeared from town more than half a century ago. The maiden name of Mrs. Simeon Curtis was Sarah Hutchinson, and the home of the family was at ”Lebanon Crank” as it was called, or that part of Lebanon which is now Columbia, Conn., and which was the immediate locality of Moor’s Indian Charity School founded by Doctor Eleazer Wheelock, out of which grew Dartmouth College. Captain Solomon Cushman, who came to Norwich the same year with Simeon Curtis, had married in 1768, at Lebanon Crank, Sarah Curtis, probably a daughter of Simeon Curtis. He removed to Tunbridge, Vt., in 1784, where he was preceded several years by Elias Curtis, another son of Simeon, who had previously lived in Norwich, and where two or more...

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Cook Family of Norwich Vermont

Three brothers, Samuel, Francis, and Lyman, with their two sisters, (children of Jonathan and Lydia [Aldrich] Cook), ran away from the Shaker settlement at Lancaster, Mass., where they had been placed by their parents before 1800, and came to this vicinity at an early day. Samuel settled in Norwich, and married Anna Pratt, by whom he had nine children. From Samuel the later generations of Cooks in town were descended. Francis also located in Norwich, on the farm now occupied by David Sargent, and there he lived and died. He was never married. Lyman Cook settled in Thetford. Another brother, Washington Cook, settled in New York State, and himself and his son were made prisoners by the Indians, and taken to Canada, but were subsequently released from captivity. Seventeen acres of the farm where Samuel Cook located were bought by him at auction when they were sold for taxes, and fifty acres were purchased at private sale from Stephen Percival. Leonard Cook, son of Samuel, died at Norwich, on the paternal acres, May 13, 1886, aged seventy-seven years. He was the last surviving child of his parents’ nine children, all of whom lived to have children of their own, sixty, all told. Mr. Cook‘s son, Royal E., now resides in Norwich Village, having removed from the ancestral home several years since, leaving it in the possession of his son,...

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Biography of Fairbanks Bush

It is probable that Fairbanks Bush, son of Captain Timothy Bush, came to Norwich with his father when the latter settled in town. His place of birth is not known to us. He first appears as a voter in town in 1807. He married Amy Yeomans. Previous to 1796 he removed to Orange, Vt., but later returned to Norwich, where he died February 24, 1873, lacking but twelve hours of having rounded out a life period of one hundred years. Fairbanks Bush was Norwich’s minstrel poet. We are told that the spirit of our modern age is unfavorable to poetry. However that may be, the poetical temperament and endowment are still found among men, the poet is still born in the world. Among our own townsmen, Mr. Fairbanks Bush was endowed in some degree with the poetic gift. As being a natural musician also, his poetry for the most part took a lyrical shape, which is everywhere the earliest and simplest artificial form of poetical composition. “Lyric poetry is made to be sung, and is song in its nature and essence, Mr. Bush was accustomed to sing his own verses very often from memory. Many that he composed and sung were never committed to writing, and consequently have been lost beyond recall. We give in the latter part of this book a few specimens of the style and scope of...

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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 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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Burton Family of Norwich Vermont

Jacob Burton It is quite impossible to indulge in even a brief review of Mr. Burton‘s advent into Norwich from Preston, Conn., without repeating something of what is said of him in other places in this volume. Mr. Burton came to Norwich, to reside, in the latter part of 1765, bringing with him his sons, Elisha, John, Josiah, Isaac, and Asa, and his eldest daughter, Anna, who, soon after, married Simeon Carpenter. For some time she was the only young lady in town. Before locating in town, Mr. Burton had purchased two one hundred acre lots of land, which embraced the greater part of the present Norwich village, and built his dwelling-house (the first one erected in town) on the southern and eastern part of his purchase, and tradition has it that it was built directly over a large pine stump, which protruded through the floor, and its top having been smoothed off and recesses made in its sides for cupboards, it was used as the family table. Elisha, one of the sons, built the house where Samuel A. Armstrong resides, and John, another son, built the house now the home of Thos. A. Hazen. Mr. Burton‘s political record is given under its appropriate head in another part of the book. 1See: Political Parties in Norwich Vermont Of Mr. Burton it may be said that he was literally and...

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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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