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 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.

  • 2. Capt. Jacob2 Williams, b. Mar. 7, 1665; d. Sept. 26, 1712; m. Dec. 10, 1685, Sarah Gilbert, b. Dec. 1, 1661, dau. of Josiah and Elizabeth (______) Gilbert. He was a fence viewer in 1688, and a sea captam.

    • 3. Ephraim3 Williams (Capt. Jacob2), b. Jan. 10, 1691; d. July 23, 1761; m. Feb. 24, 1715, Elizabeth Russell, b. May 12, 1695, d. Oct. 11, 1766, dau. of Sergeant Johns Russell (Philip, John) and Martha Grave. Hayward in 1711; large merchant. His account books, 1748-1761, show that he was extensively engaged in shipping "onyons " from Stepney to New York City, and in importing sea coal " and other West Indies products. He lived in Wethersfield proper.

    • 4. Stephen3 Williams (Capt. Jacob2) , b. Mar. 19, 1693; d. Jan. 17, 1747; m. before 1719, Abigail Butler. On Jan. 12, 1749, Jehiel, a minor son, 15 years of age, chose his uncle Jacob to be his guardian.

      Child:
      • 6. Jehiel4, b. abt. 1734.
      • 5. Capt. Elias4 Williams (Ephraim) , b. 1718 ; m. Prudence Robbins, great-granddau. of Esq. John Robbins. She d. Jan. 12, 1799, in the 77th year of her age. There were eleven children borne to them. Capt. Elias, abt. 1750, removed to the Stepney Society (Rocky Hill), of Wethersfield. Before and during the Rev. War he was a man of much prominence, being one of the wealthiest citizens of the town, and part owner of the schooner Industry. In May, 1769, he was app. Lieut. of 9th Co., 6th Regt. of Militia; Capt. in May, 1772. At a meeting held June 17, 1774, he was app. on a corn. of seven to receive and send to Boston contributions for the relief of those distressed by the operation of the Boston Port Bill, and at a meeting held Dec. 12, 1774, to approve the articles of association adopted by the Continental Congress, he was one of thirteen to exercise surveillance over suspected citizens. He was a justice of the peace, 1778-79. In June, 1778, while in camp at White Plains, he gave freedom to his negro slave, Caesar Freeman, on condition of his serving in the army. The Connecticut Courant of Dec. 17, 1798, said of him:
                "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

          Rev. Joshua Williams
          died
          Feb. 8, 1886,
          Ae 75
          Mary Williams
          died May 16, 1888
          Ae77

          Children:
          • 5b. Orinda, b. Feb. 25, 1783; m. Abijah Catlm.
          • 5c. Joshua Lewis, b. Jan. 21, 1785
          • Mary, b. Sept. 3, 1786.
          • William, b. Oct. 6, 1788.
          • Prudence, b. Dec. 15, 1790.
          • Harriet, b. Oct. 2, 1792.
          • Elias, b. Sept. 16, 1797.

          • 5b. Orinda6 Williams (Rev. Joshua5), b. Feb. 25, 1783 ; m. Feb. 6, 1799, Abijah Catlin, b. Feb. 6, 1799 ; she d. Nov. 18, 1860.
            Children:
            • Harriet, b. July 4, 1801.
            • Adeline, b. Mar. 28, 1803.
            • Abijah, b. Apr. 1, 1805; grad. 1825, Yale.
            • David Webb, b. Dec. 22, 1806.
            • Orinda, b. Mar. 6, 1809.
            • Julia, b. Feb. 14, 1811.
            • 5d. Caroline, b. Nov. 19, 1815; m. Oct. 9, 1839, Anson Hungerford.
            • Huldah Ann, b. Nov. 11, 1817; m. Gen. Joseph Newman of Ohio.

          • 5c. Rev. Joshua Lewis6 Williams (Rev. Joshua), b. Jan. 21, 1785, Wethersfield, Conn.; m. Nov. 30, 1813, Catherine Mix, b. Dec. 1, 1787, Farmington, Conn. Grad. 1805, Yale. He was ordained and instituted pastor of the Congregational ch. in the Upper Houses, June 10, 1809; organized the " Friendly Association," was its first president, and active in its support through his life. He was spoken of locally as "priest Williams" In 1825 he was scribe at Litchfield, of the General Association of Connecticut. He owned the house built by the Rev. Gershom Bulkeley, now known as the "Joseph Edwards " House. He d. Dec. 29, 1832. His son at Yale died the next day and both were buried in the same grave, according to a written statement of the Rev. Joshua L. Williams made at this time. They have however separate head-stones. The widow d. Oct. 23, 1863.
            Children:
            • John Mix, b. May 6, 1816; d. Dec. 30, 1832, while student at Yale.
            • Joshua, b. May 28, 1820 ; d. Aug. 22, 1845.<
            • Elizabeth Ann7, b. Mar. 14, 1824; d. Apr. 29, 1854; m. June 3, 1845, Rev. S. S. Thomson of Crawfordsville, Ind., who d. 1885, having been for forty years professor of Latin in Wabash College, Crawfordsville. Child:
              • Katherine Williams8, b. Dec. 28, 1848, Crawfordsville, Ind. ; m. Dec. 28, 1869, Theodore Harmon Restine, b. Jan. 8, 1845, Crawfordsville ; Presby., G. A. It., professor in Wabash College. Res. Crawfordsville. Children:
                • Elizabeth Williams9, b. Apr. 8, 1872; m. Sept. 6, 1898, William Edgar Olive. Res. Brookings, S. D. Children:
                  • Theodore Ristine10, b. Sept. 19, 1901.
                  • Martin Lawrence, b. June 18, 1907.
                • Harley Thomson9, b. Apr. 8, 1882; unm. ; lawyer. Res. Crawfordsville, Ind.
                • Frank Humphrey, b. Apr. 11, 1884; student Columbia University.
              • Catherine Hooker, b. July 26, 1826 ; d. Oct. 4, 1901; m. Sept. 1, 1846, John Deming of Farmington, Conn. Children:
                • Harry Deming, Brooklyn, N. Y.
                • Elizabeth T. Deming, Brooklyn, N. Y.
                • Edward Deming, Farmington, Conn.
                • Mrs. T. R. Ennis, Hoboken, N. J.

            • 5d. Caroline Catlin7 (Orinda Williams), b. Nov. 19, 1815; m. Oct. 9, 1839, Anson Hungerford, who resided in Monticello, Ga., and Hartford, Conn., where he died.
              Children:
              • Caroline Medora, b. Jan. 17, 1843 ; d. Mar. 25, 1843, Monticello, Ga.
              • Clarence Catlin, b. Oct. 2, 1844, Harwinton, Conn.; d.. May 2, 1899, Hartford, Conn.
              • Newman, b. May 14, 1849, Monticello, Ga.; m. Dec. 7, 1892, Hartford, Conn., Helen Dotha Wilson, b. June 4, 1863, Harwinton, Conn.; d. Sept. 4, 1898, Hartford, Conn. ; res. Hartford, Conn.
              • Florence Ann, b. Dec. 12, 1850; d. Mar. 31, 1851.

        • 6. Jehiel4 Williams (Stephen3), b. abt. 1734, Wethersfield, Conn.; m. Jan. 16, 1757, Anna Edwards, bapt. 1735, dau. of David Edwards and Mary Butler. He was a resident of Wethersfield, May 1, 1761, when he sold part of his paternal estate to Gershom Bulkeley, and on Nov. 4, 1762, he was "then of Middletown " selling other parts of his paternal estate to Gershom Bulkeley. He purchased land in Upper Houses, and built thereon the house now (1908) owned and occupied by Deacon George W. Stevens. He d. June 12, 1810. She d. Nov. 18, 1810. Of their
          Children:
          • Stephen, b. 1758, Wethersfield; m. Feb. 18, 1780, Elizabeth Churchill. He d. May. 18, 1781, falling into the hold of a brig. She m. (2) Dec. 25, 1783, Joseph Riley (see the Riley Family)
          • 7. John, b. 1759-60, Wethersfield.
          • Anna, bapt. Sept. 19, 1762; m. June 27, 1788, Solomon Sage (see the Sage Family).

          • 7. John5 Williams (Jehiel4), b. abt. ____, Wethersfield, Conn. ; m. May 6, 1787, Jerusha Stow, dau. of Jonathan Stow and Abiah Sage (see the Stow Family). He built the house known later as the Oliver Smith house on Pleasant Street, sold it, and built on the lot deeded to him by his father-in-law, Jonathan Stow. This gambrel-roofed house is seen in the " View of Middletown," 1835, in this volume, and stood where the present A. N. Pierson house stands. M. 1795. He d. Mar. 11, 1812. She d. July 12, 1810.
            Children:
            • Joseph, bapt. June 21, 1787; m. Sally Stocking. Dau. Sarah m. John N. Camp. Their dau. m. Prof. E. H. Sneath of Yale University.
            • William, bapt. Aug. 29, 1790; d. Mar. 29, 1873; m. Oct. 14, 1824, Caroline Kirby (Elisha, Jonathan, John, Joseph, John), b. Aug. 9, 1801, Upper Houses; d. Oct. 31, 1838. A prominent business man, doing much business in the drawing of legal papers, and served as clerk of the church.
              Children:
              • 8. Martha Spencer, b. May 18, 1827; m. Isaac H. Warner.
              • Henry Martyn, b. Aug. 5, 1829; d. Nov. 8, 1830.
              • Henry M., b. Aug. 29, 1831; d. Aug. 18, 1858.
              • 9. Charles Keyes, b. Nov. 19, 1833.
              • Mary Elizabeth, b. Dec. 17, 1835; d. Mar. 12, 1849.
              • 10. John Keyes, b. Sept. 18, 1837.

              • 8. Martha Spencer Williams, b. May 18, 1827; d. Dec. 29, 1867 ; m. Sept. 12, 1850, Isaac H. Warner, mfr. of hammers in West Cromwell, who d. Dec. 19, 1884.
                Children:
                • Mary Elizabeth, b. Aug. 9, 1851; m. Jan. 23, 1882, Jonathan Brooks, Asst. Paymaster U. S. N. Res. Indian Head Proving Station, Md. Children:
                  • Marion Alice, b. Dec. 25, 1882.
                  • Ruth Warner, b. Dec. 25, 1887.
                  • Caroline M., b. Jan. 4, 1853; d. Jan. 1, 1868.
                  • Herbert Isaac, b. Sept. 20, 1861; d. Jan. 4, 1868.

              • 9. Charles Keyes Williams, b. Nov. 19. 1833. Served in First Conn. H. A., May 22, 1861óMay 21, 1864. Res. Middletown, Conn.

              • 10. John Keyes Williams, b. Sept. 18, 1837; m. Oct. 3, 1864, Abigail9 White, b. July 28, 1840, Chatham, now Portland (Evelyn, David, David, Ebenezer, Joseph, Daniel, Nathaniel, John) . Druggist. Bd. of School Visitors of Hartford, Conn. First Lieut. Co. B, 22d Reg. Conn. Vol. Inf.; Capt. Co. H, same regiment, till regiment was mustered out July 7, 1863. City Clerk of Hartford, 1864-66. Capt. of Battery D, Conn. Nat. Guard, 1863-69 ; adjutant of First Reg. C. N. G., 1879-84. Res. Hartford, Conn.

                Children:
                • Clara Louise, b. Oct. 21, 1866; artist, unm. Res. Hartford, Conn.
                • Henry White, b. Aug. 1, 1868.



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