MIDDLETOWN UPPER HOUSES
a history of the north society of Middletown, Ct.
from 1650 to 1800
with genealogical and biographical chapters
on early families.
Charles Collard Adams
New York: Grafton Press, 1908.
THE GRIDLEY FAMILY
[transcribed by Coralynn Brown ]
Thomas'. Gridley was one of the one hundred and twenty-seven landholders in Hartford in 1639 ; m. Sept. 29, 1644, Mary Seymour, clan. of Richard Seymour. He served in the 1637 Pequot War. He was a blacksmith and d. about 1655.
Thomas2 Gridley, b. 1650, Hartford, Conn. ; m. Dec. 25, 1673, Elizabeth Clark. Rem. to Farmington, where he d. 1742 ; she d. 1696. Of their ten children the fifth was:
Lieut. Samuel3 Gridley, b. Mar., 1686; m. (1) Aug. 22, 1723, Abigail Hough, who d. Jan. 3, 1725; m. (2) Dec. 12, 1727, Rebecca Chamberlain, d. 1772. He was 2d. Lieut., 1st Reg. Conn. forces in French-Indian War, 1759. He resided in Kensington Society of Farmington, where he " d. 1772, aged 84," wrote his grandson.
Lieut. Samuel Gridley3, b. Mar 1686; m. (1) Aug 22, 1723, Abigail Hough, who d. 3 Jan, 1725; m. (2) Dec 12, 1727, Rebecca Chamberlain, d. 1722. He was 2d Lieut., 1st Reg. Conn. forces in French-Indian War, 1759. He resided in Kensington Society of Farmington, where he "d. 1772 aged 84," wrote his grandson.
Samuel Gridley4, b. 1724; m. (1) Oct. 3, 1753, Deborah Jones, b. 1730, New Haven, dau. of Timothy Jones, prominently connected with Yale, and who d. 1780, aged eighty-five. She d. Aug. 18, 1764, Kensington. He rem. to Salisbury, Conn., where he d. 1804. His record is given in his own handwriting :Isaacs Gridley, b. July 7, 1754, Kensington Society of Farmington, was largely prepared for college in New Haven while in the family of his grandfather, Timothy Jones, who was a very prosperous merchant, and in the family of the Rev. Frederick W. Hotchkiss of Saybrook, who had married his aunt Jones. Timothy Jones had m. the dau. of John and Susanna Harris of Middletown and was the son of Isaac Jones and Deborah Clark.
Isaac Gridley was the roommate of Nathan Hale in Yale and was in a small boat with him when a storm came up. When there was danger Hale said, " I will never be drowned, I am to be hung," as he pointed to a wart on his neck. Mr. Gridley came to the Upper Houses as a teacher and lived a long life here. He purchased the Riley homestead, including the house built by Joseph, son of Nathaniel. The two daughters of Nathaniel were privileged by the contract to occupy the old Riley house and both did so till their deaths at the age of one hundred years. Mr. Gridley dealt largely in real estate and as justice of the peace he was for more than a generation the writer of, and witness to, deeds. He never left off wearing short clothes, and till the time of his death he was a noted figure on the streets. As a tything man he would go into the street on Sunday to stop a traveller, but instead of arresting him would invite him to spend the night as his guest. He was considered " the gentleman " of the community. His account books show his methodical methods and his moderate charges, many an item being six and one-fourth cents for a signature. He left a will in which he stated he had expended $4,000 in the education of his only son. He married Sept. 26, 1784, Elizabeth' Smith, dau. of Capt. John4 Smith. His arm-chair is in the possession of Mrs. C. Collard Adams, a descendant. He d. Nov. 18, 1836. The widow was blind for eight years, being cared for for some years in the old homestead by her widowed daughter, Elizabeth (Gridley) L'Hommedieu. She d. Aug. 27, 1851.
Timothy Jones, b. Nov. 11, 1788; grad. Yale, settled in Amherst, Mass. ; m.. clan. of Gen. Mattoon of Rev. fame. Was an eminent physician and surgeon.
Elizabeth6 Gridley (dau. of Isaac), b. June 6, 1785; m. May 20, 1804, Joseph L'Hommedieu, b. Dec. 30, 1780; d. Jan. 24, 1834, of an injury, son of Grover of Norwich, Conn., a descendant of the celebrated Huguenot family, which early settled on Long Island. She d. June 4, 1869.