MIDDLETOWN UPPER HOUSES
Rev. Joshua Williams
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 WILLIAMS FAMILY
[transcribed by Coralynn Brown ]
1. Thomas1 Williams as early as 1661 received a grant of land in the Stepney part of Wethersfield, it being on the Connecticut River, near the "Landing," and he had as an adjacent neighbor, Joseph Smith, who for a few years had resided-in the Upper Houses, and then returned to Stepney.
"Died at Wethersfield (Rocky Hill) on the 5th inst. Capt. Elias Williams, in the 81st year of his age. A widow, six children, and fifty-four grandchildren and great-grandchildren are left to bemoan their loss. The funeral was attended on Friday last, when a large concourse of neighbors and acquaintances by their solemnity and affection testified their respect and esteem. His extensive beneficence and private virtues have long since entitled him to the character of a useful citizen and a good man."
5a. Rev. Joshua5 Williams (Capt. Elias), b. Feb. 3, 1761; m. Oct. 24, 1781, Mary Webb, b. Sept. 2, 1760, dau. of David Webb and Mary Williams. He grad. 1780, Yale; licensed. Oct., 1782, by the Hartford South Association, to preach as a candidate. Invited to settle in Southampton, Long Island, where he was ordained and instituted May 25, 1785. His salary was £70 a year, and forty cords of wood to be delivered at his door yearly; resigned Apr. 1, 1789. The history of that place states that he received four hundred and eighty-six members into the church. He was installed in Harwinton Ch., Litchfield Co., Conn., Mar. 3, 1790. The present church was erected in 1808 at a cost of $8,000. He left a memorandum stating that for seven years his salary of $350 was sufficient; but that then the expense of living was nearly doubled. In Nov. of 1820, worn down by the labors of a revival, he was attacked by a disease which confined him 77 days in the house; - he petitioned for a release, and in May, 1822, the people gave him $1,000, and he was dismissed in June, 1822. He rem. to Bethlehem to pass the remainder of his days with his youngest son, " but Providence ordained otherwise." This son died Sept. 28, 1831, aged 31, having grad. at Yale, and practiced medicine. He ret. to Harwinton and interested himself in temperance work, but very soon rem. to the Upper Houses "to enjoy the affection of my oldest son in my old age, but here again I was disappointed after twenty months. He' was called from his labor and his oldest child, in Yale, aged 17, died and was interred in the one grave Jan. 1, 1833. In 1830 the husband of my youngest daughter, Dr. Conant Catlin, died and was interred in Bethlehem. I have had 24 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. "He was a delegate June 10, 1809, to assist in ordaining his son, the pastor at the Upper Houses, whom he survived for several years, and continued his residence here.
Rev. Noah Porter; of Farmington, wrote an obituary notice which was published in the Connecticut Observer, March 5, 1836. Describing his personal appearance he says:
" Of a statue not above the medium he was in neither body or mind, but in both agile.
"Confessedly a man not perfect in piety, his religion was sincere and like his temperament, ardent.
"As a minister of Christ, both in South Hampton and in Harwinton, he had been wise to win souls. Though not distinguished either as a scholar or an orator, he was more than either, for he was a good man and full of faith and of the Holy Ghost and much people were added to the Lord."
The Harwinton church record for Feb. 7, 1815 contains this entry : "conversed on the subject of a monthly prayer meeting for missions." He remarked to a grandson that he with the neighboring ministers were about the first in the world to set up and establish the monthly concert of prayer for missions.
The tombstone bears this inscription
Feb. 8, 1886,
died May 16, 1888
Rev. Joshua Williams