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.


[transcribed by Coralynn Brown ]

Stow is a Saxon word meaning a "Place." John Stow, b. abt. 1525, a famous antiquary, wrote the " Chronicles of England and Survey of London," having devoted 45 years to this work. He was called " Honest John Stow." He also published the names on the "Roll of Battell Abbey." Tuttle Genealogy says it is thought that our John Stow was a grandson of the antiquary's brother Thomas, who was a tallow-chandler in London.

  • 1. Johns Stow1, b. abt. 1595, came from Hawkhurst, Co. Kent, England, embarking on the ship Elizabeth, Apr. 9, 1634, and arriving in New England May 17. He brought his wife, Elizabeth Bigg, his six children, and her mother, Rachel Bigg. He settled in Roxbury, where he was made a freeman Sept. 3, 1634, was in 1638 a member of the Artillery Company of Boston, and in 1639 was twice elected to the General Court. Apostle Eliot wrote : "He was a Kentish man. . . . Elizabeth Stow, the wife of John Stow, she was a godly matron, a blessing note only her family but to all the church & when she had lead a Christian conversation a few years among us, she dyed & left a good savor behind her." She d. Aug., 1638. He died Oct. 26, 1643.
    • 2. Thomas2 Stow (John1) , b. abt. 1617, came with his father ; m. Dec. 4, 1639, Mary Griggs, who d. Aug. 21, 1680, in Middletown, Conn. He rem., 1648, to Concord, Mass. ; freeman 1653. Rem. 1669 to Middletown, his brother Samuel having come as early as 1652, preached for some years without a church being organized and gave lands for schools, dying in 1704. Thomas was received to the church by letter from Concord, Nov. 14, 1669. "Being the Lord's Day Mr. Thomas Stow & Mary his wife with all theirs being recommended to us by letter from ch. of X at Concord." He died Feb. 1684.

      • 3. Thomas3 Stow, b. abt. 1650 ; in. Oct. 16, 1675, Bethiah3 Stocking (Samuel2, George1) . " Mar. 17, 1678-9, there was granted to Thomas Stow, Jr.. a piece of land," etc., now a part of the cemetery of 1713, which he did not " improve," but sold Dart to Samuel Gibson and part to Samuel Wilcox. Deacon Stocking built for them on land granted to him and situated on the main road, east side, to Hartford, and where the Wallace Pierson house stands. He was recorded" to the old church, Apr. 29, 1676, having been previously admitted, " but not recorded." By his will he gave the Rev. Joseph Smith twenty shillings. In 1713 he had been granted four acres, being one of the eight house lots, "for his son Thomas." In 1720 he deeded the house and lot to his son Thomas. He d. Mar. 30, 1730 ; she d. Nov. 6, 1732.
        • Bethiah, b. Apr. 6, 1678; d. young.
        • 4. Samuel4, bapt. Oct., 1681.
        • Mary, b. Aug., 1688 ; m.; was a widow in 1730.
        • 5. Thomas4, b. May 7, 1691.
        • Hannah, b. Feb. 11, 1696; m. Mar. 3, 1718, John3 Kirby.
        • 6. Joseph4, b. Aug. 3, 1703.

        • 4. Samuel4 Stow (Thomas, Thomas, John ), bapt. Oct., 1681; m. Feb. 8, 1704-5, Esther Mould, of New London, dau. of Hugh Mould and Martha Coit. A sister of Esther m. William2 Savage. Two other sisters m. Daniel and Joseph White. The mother of these four girls m. Capt. Nathaniel White for his second wife and she is buried next to Esther, while he is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Middletown, by the side of his first wife, there being no cemetery in Upper Houses at his death in 1711. Samuel Stow was a deacon, a shoemaker, and Lieut. in training band. He gave the half of his "homelott " to his son Jerediah, "to be taken off the north side, makeing a crooked line between that north part and that on the south part so as to leave out the tan house and tan vats." To his son Jonathan he gave half the homelott, "to be taken on the south side, with all the buildings thereon (except one-third of the barn), with the tan house and tan vats; also the cyder mill and press . . . all my husbandry tools; also all my tanning and shoemaker's tools" Jonathan was to pay all his father's debts and funeral charges and "also to make up to his two sisters, Abigail and Lucia, what shall be wanting of £110 after my wife has spared what she can out of the utensils of the house; and further, that he shall find his mother her firewood during her widowhood." The widow had been given the west part of the house. Reference is made to " Woolph (Wolf) Pitt Hill," which is the hill opposite the new cemetery. He provides for his daughters, Esther Ranney, Bethia Morton, Abigail Shaler and Lucy Warren, and for his granddaughter, Submit, only heir of his son Samuel, deceased. He d. Sept. 28, 1740. Widow d. July 21, 1750. Of their Children:
          • Esther, b. Feb. 20, 1705-6; m. Daniels Ranney. (See the Ranney Family.)
          • Martha, b. Aug. 30, 1712 ; m. Nathaniel Eells. He m. (2) Alice White.
          • 7. Jonathan5, b. June 27, 1719.
          • 8. Abigail5, b. Nov., 1721; m. Capt. Reuben Shailer.

        • 5. Thomas4 Stow (brother to Samuel), b. May 7, 1691; m. Jan. 24, 1717, Martha White, b. Dec. 6, 1693, dau. of Joseph White and Mary Mould. His father deeded to him in 1720, a four-acre lot with house thereon, which house is well preserved (1908). The foundation of the chimney is over twelve feet square with two arches therein, capable of holding a farm's produce of potatoes. He d. Nov. 9, 1778.

          Of their Children:
          • Mary, b. Nov. 30, 1717; m. Apr. 29, 1736, Jeremiah Wilcox.
          • Jerusha, b. Aug. 6, 1719; m. Oct. 14, 1736, Joseph Stevens, of Glastonbury.
          • Martha, b. May 6, 1721; m. Jeremiah Ranney. (See the Ranney Family.)

        [STEVENS LINEAGE—Johns Stevens, b. 1607, Caversham, England ; m. Elizabeth ______ ; came, 1638, in the Confidence to Newburyport, Mass.; rem. 1640, to Andover, Mass.; d. Apr. 11, 1662. She d. May 1, 1694, aged eighty years.
        • Timothy2 Stevens, b. Sept. 23, 1641, Newbury, Mass.; d. Jan. 31, 1708, Roxbury, Mass.; m. Mar. 12, 1665, Sarah Davis, dau. of Tobias Davis and Sarah Morrill. Was feoffee to Roxbury free school, 1684; was a deacon there.
          • Rev. Timothy3 Stevens, b. Jan. 28, 1666, Roxbury, Mass.; grad. 1687, Harvard, ordained 1693, "first orthodox minister," of Glastonbury, to his death. Married May 19, 1701, Alice Whiting, dau. of Joseph Cook, of Cambridge. Will dated 1726.
            • Joseph4 Stevens, b. Aug. 15, 1711; m. (2) Oct. 14, 1736, Jerushas Stow. Fourteen children, eight of whom served in the War of the Revolution.
              • Elisha5 Stevens, b. Oct. 1, 1748, Glastonbury, Conn.; m. Dec. 10, 1780, Agnes Kimberly, b. 1755, So. Britain, Conn.; d. Apr. 28, 1837. He d. Mar. 8, 1813, Naugatuck. Conn. Had served five years in Rev. War.
                • Ashbel6 Stevens, b. Dec. 13, 1783, Naugatuck, Conn.; m. Aug. 18, 1814, Mary Mead, dau of Elisha Mead, of Salem, N.Y. (a Rev. soldier) and Elizabeth Koehler. He d. Feb. 18, 1826, Naugatuck, Conn.
                  • Ashbel Mead7 Stevens, b. Aug. 10, 1823, Naugatuck, Conn. ; m. Oct. 8, 1850, Amanda Lorton, of English descent on father's side and of an old Virginia family on mother's side. He was a prominent physician in Cincinnati, 0., where he d. Aug. 28, 1860.
                    • Charles Avery8 Stevens, b. Apr. 1, 1854, Cincinnati, O.; Asst. Cashier and Director of Merchants National Bank, F. & A. M., 32°; m. Mar. 28, 1894, Carrie Bonfoey, dau, of Watson Bonfoey of Higganum, Conn., and Washington, D. C.
                      Children :
                      • Dorothy Scovil, b. July 13, 1895.
                      • Walter Bonfoey, b. Aug. 19, 1898.
                      • Charles Ashbel, b. July 31, 1902.
                      • Harvey Blakemore, b. July 9, 1904.

                • Oliver6 Stevens, m. Huldah Clark.
                  • Sally Maria.7 Stevens, m. Samuel Wheeler Upson.
                    • Emeline M.8 Upson, m. Franklin Downes, of Bristol, Conn.
                      • Florence Emlyn9 Downes, b. May 22, 1851; m. May 22, 1873, Adrian James Muzzy, of Bristol, Conn.; State Senator, merchant, Pres. State Bus. Men's Assn. Mrs. Muzzy is mem. Ver. CoL Dames, Life Member, D. A. R., organizing regent Katherine Gaylord Chapter, D. A. R., author of D. A. R. historical prize essay, "Katherine Gaylord, Heroine," " Shades of New England," of sketches, " New England Childhood," " Log of a Forty Niner," "The Cliff Dwellers." Res. Bristol, Conn.
                        • Adrian Florences10 Muzzy, b. Apr. 19, 1885; grad. 1905, Wellesley; teacher, mem. Katherine Gaylord Chapter, D. A. R.]

          6. Joseph4 Stow (brother to Samuel), b. Aug. 3, 1703; d. Nov. 6, 1776; m. Mar. 14, 1733, Sarah Bulkeley, b. Feb. 8, 1706-7 (Capt. Edward, Rev. Dr. Gershom, Rev. Peter) ; d. Apr. 6, 1785.
          Of their Children:
          • Rebecca, b. Jan. 31, 1735; m. Oct. 16, 1755, Daniel Russell, son of Rev. Daniel Russell, of Rocky Hill.
          • Sarah, b. Aug., 1737; m. July 13, 1758, Capt. Josiah Savage. (See the Savage Family.)
          • 9. Zebulon5, bapt. June 28, 1747.

          • 7. Jonathan5 Stow (Samuel4), b. June 27, 1719, d. Sept. 6, 1797; m. Mar. 25, 1742, Abiah Sage (John, John David).
            • Samuel, b. Aug. 13, 1744; m. Apr. 28, 1768, Naomi Olmsted. Killed on the privater _____, Apr. 12, 1780, by the British ship Guernsey.
            • Jonathan, b. Mar. 27, 1744; m. Aug. 20, 1772, Abigail Eells. Was a soldier in Rev. War; d. 1777. She m. (2) William White; m. (3) Capt. Wm. Sage. (See the Sage Family.)
            • Mary, bapt. Apr. 5, 1752 ; m. Oct. 25, 1772, Nathaniel Savage, who escaped from a British prison ship and fled on the ice. He is buried there.
            • William, bapt. Sept. 29, 1754; served in Rev. War, and was killed Oct. 12, 1780. The letters he wrote home are given here :

              ROXBURY, June 23, A. D., 1775.
              DEAR PARENTS.
                      I have an opportunity to write to let you know that I am well and in high spirits as I hope these lines will find you the same. All those, the scurmage which I wrote to you before the certainty of which, were killed, we cannot tell as yet, but 'tis reported there is about 1,700 of the Regulars, killed and wounded. There was about seventy officers, some colonels. On our side particulars we have not, but it is supposed about sixty or seventy billed and taken prisoners. So no more at present. I remain your loving son till death.
                      WILLIAM STOW.
              Don't forget to send that sealing wax and thread.

              July the 2d, A. D., 1775.
                      I take this opportunity to let you know that through the kind providence of God I am well and in high spirits as I hope these lines will find you. Saturday, the 1st of July, we got fortified upon a hill and placed two twenty-four pounders. They fired twice, the first struck about eight rods from their breastworks, the second went over among their tents. Sunday morning following they began and fired very fast. They fired and sot one house afire. They also threw but hurt no person.
              N. B.—The particulars of the captives the regulars took we have had letters from them that they have thirty, amongst them one Colonel. 0 that we had known how it was with them, for 'tis supposed that all the regulars went out except the guard and the town was obliged to stand sentries, for this we had from Liberty men that came out that night. Some of the town's next neighbors got leave to come. I have nothing to write, only how we have fresh beef three times a week and a pint of milk a day and butter, also chocolate and molasses. We want for nothing. I have a little more to write which was transacted this day. We took a barge with eleven men in it. First we fired upon them and killed four, the rest surrendered up to us.
              So I remain your loving son till death shall part us.
                      WILLIAM STOW.
              P. S.—I have received the thread and sealing wax by Edward Eells, Jr.

          • 8. Abigail5 Stow (sister to Jonathan), b. Nov., 1721; m. Nov. 12, 1741, Capt. Reuben Shaler, b. Dec. 14, 1711, Haddam. He was master of the King George, a brigantine of seventy-two tons, with a crew of fourteen men. When he sailed in 1746 from Barba-does to London, he filed with the custom house a list of the officers and men, which list included Benjamin Butler, Stephen Stow, Ebenezer Stocking and Daniel Curby (Kirby), of the Upper Houses. The brig and the captain were lost in 1749 and as Benjamin Butler was lost about that time he may have been on board. In 1746 Ebenezer Stocking was only eighteen years of age. He d. Sept. 20; 1762. Stephen Stow was brother to Mrs. Abigail Shaler. Daniel Kirby, b. 1724; d. 1796, was son of John3 Kirby and Hannah4 Stow (Thomas, Thomas, John).
                    Capt. Reuben Shailer resided in the house still standing next south of the Episcopal church on Main street, Middletown. His widow kept a hotel. In 1771 John Adams took a horseback ride from Braintree, Mass., to Stafford Springs, Conn., to try the then famous water of the spring, and continued his journey as far as Middletown. He had dined on Saturday, June 8, in Wethersfield. His diary reads:

                    " Rode to Middletown and put up for the Sabbath at Shalers, near the court house. Middletown, I think, is the most beautiful town of all. When I first came into the town, which was upon the top of a hill (Prospect Hill of Cromwell), there opened before me the most beautiful prospect of the river, and the intervals and improvements on each side of it, and the mountains, at about ten miles distant, both on the east and on the west side of the river, and of the main body of the town at a distance. I went down this hill and into a great gate [down Meadow street, then a " laminas way "], which led me to the very banks of the river; and on the right hand is a fine level tract of interval land, as rich as the soil of Egypt. The lots are divided by no fence, but here are strips running back at right angles from the river; on one is Indian corn; on another, parallel to it, is rye ; on another, barley on another, flag ; on another a rich burden of clover and other English grasses. And after riding in this enchanting meadow for some time, you come to another gate which lets you into the body of the town [at " Stone bridge," north of present quarry dock], which is ornamented as is the meadow I just mentioned, with fine rows of trees and appears to me as populous, as compact and as polite as Hartford."
                    He describes the books he found at Widow Shailer's, her cooking, etc., laments that her only son (Nathaniel), was only a bookkeeper with no higher ambition, thanks God that he is not an only son, and on the Sabbath he went to church, "tumbled into the first pew," and heard a "Yalensian sermon " (Dr. Enoch Huntington) ; met a college classmate (Dr. Eliot Rawson), who was a physician and went home with him and had a " picked up " dinner, which he " did not enjoy."
                    Mrs. Shailer's son Nathaniel was born in 1747. As he was but fourteen years of age when John Adams, afterwards President of the United States, lamented that Nathaniel was content to be a bookkeeper, he was prematurely judging. His fine monument in Riverside Cemetery, Middletown, indicates the standing he acquired. His daughter Lucy, born in 1790, m. Commodore Macdonough, and d. Aug. 9, 1825. The Commodore is buried in the Shailer lot.

            9. Zebulon5 Stow (Joseph, Thomas, Thomas, John), bapt. June 28, 1747; m. Apr. 22, 1773, Rosetta Riley (Nathaniel), who d. Jan. 7, 1792 ; he m. (2) Hannah Warner of Rocky Hill, who d. June 10, 1831, aged eighty-four. Capt. Zebulon Stow was a sea captain and local merchant. In 1797 he purchased the other interests in the Thomas3 and Bethiah (Stocking) Stow house, which in 1802 he sold to the Rev. Gershom Bulkeley. Then he purchased the Thomas Johnson, Jr., house* and in time this became the property of his son, Capt: Thomas Stow.
            • Zebulon, bapt. Oct. 30, 1774; rem. to Stockbridge, N. Y.
            • William, b. Jan. 28, 1776; m. Margaret Gaylord, sister to Samuel and Jonathan, and with them rem. to Stow, Ohio, in 1809. His son, Albert Cheney, d. in 1907, nearly one hundred years of age.
            • 10. Thomas6, b. May, 1778.

            • 10. Capt. Thomas Stow6, b. May, 1778; m. Sept., 1800, Phebe Stanley. He first learned the printer's art, but did not follow it. He became a merchant in the Upper Houses, of the firm of Dewey and Stow. His health failing him he went to sea as supercargo for his father and then became captain. He made many voyages to various foreign ports, and suffered several shipwrecks. For several years he commanded the river steamboat, Oliver Ellsworth, then took charge of towing barges on the Hudson river.
              Later he was employed by the United States government in removing the Seminole Indians from Florida. His last sea voyage was in 1839 to Malaga. He and his wife became members of the Congregational ch. in Aug., 1827. In 1840 he circulated among children, even of tender years, a temperance pledge and guided the hand of some who could not write their own names. He d. Aug. 14, 1845, much lamented by some who remember him and recall his loving spirit.
              • Caroline Rozetta, b. June 26, 1801; m. Jonathan Paddock.
              • Thomas, b. Apr. 14, 1806 ; d. Mar., 1807.
              • Jane Stanley, b. Dec. 13, 1811; m. 1841, Rev. I. P. Warren, D. D., a noted Methodist divine.
              • Anna North, b. Apr. 18, 1816 ; m. 1836, James Stanley,founder of the great Stanley Works of New Britain.

    * The Thomas Johnson, Jr., " Deacon " Johnson, house was purchased in 1780 by Ezra L'Hommedieu of Southold, Long Island, a graduate of Yale, and distinguished lawyer and patriot The Great and General Court of Connecticut had voted to send a vessel to bring Mr. L'Hommedieu " and his effects," from the Tory region of Eastern Long Island. He was a member of the Continental Congress, representing New York, and attended the meetings in Hartford of the Committee of Safety. His mother and slaves are buried here. In 1784 he with Capt. Hugh White and two others purchased 6000 acres in Central New York (the Sadehada Patent). He represented his State in 1788 in making a treaty at Fort Stanwix (Rome, N. Y.), with the Indians, had supervision of the Indians in that region, and in many ways was a very prominent citizen of New York. In 1784 he sold the Johnson house and returned to Southold to reside.

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