Miscellaneous Data Extracted From
Barkhamsted, Conn., & Its Centennial
To Which is Added A Historical Appendix

[Transcribed by Jane Devlin]

The First Memorial

Israel JONES, whose name heads the first memorial, was the second white man who made settlement in Barkhamsted. He was a grandson of Benjamin JONES, the first settler of Somers, and came from Enfield in 1759, fixing his home on East Mountain upon a farm, which for the first ten years he rented or leased. This farm is now, by regular descent, the property of his great grandson, Deacon Edwin P. Jones.

This Israel JONES (Captain) was the father of Samuel & Thomas JONES, whose names appear among the signers of the memorial, and of Colonel Israel JONES, who was the first Town Clerk, and for many years Justice of the Pease, and in whose handwriting the memorial is drawn. Many other of the twenty three names signed to the memorial were prominent in their day, thier descendants continuing to dwell in the town. As this memorial was negatived by both houses of the General Assembly, and Barkhamsted was incorporated five years later, there may have been another petition to the legislature, though a search among the records does not bring it to light.

The Document

To the Honorable, the General Assembly of the Colony of Connecticut to be holden at Hartford on the twelvth day of January, instant.

The memorial of Israel JONES and other inhabitants of the town of Berkhamstead, in the town of Berkhamstead, in the county of Litchfield, humbly shows, That wereas we, the inhabitants of Berkhamstead, not being incorporated, and not having town privileges, as the election of town officers, &c., we are sujbected to various inconveniences and disadvantages, as for instance : We cannot in our present situation give proper encouragement for the support of ye Gospel Ministry among us; as also schools and the education of our childern is too much neglected, and Public Highways not properly regarded, which if attened to would prove advantageous to strangers and commodious to ourselves, nor is it under our circumstances possible to duly promote morality and justice, and suppress vice and immorality, all with which many more ill consequences, we humbly conceive, attends our not being incorporated and having privileges as aforesaid. As as the number of persons that are heads of families are about fourty, besides sundry young men that are Freeholders that reside among us, we therefore humbly request that your honors would take our case under your wise consideration, and that you enact that we should be incorporated and have Town Privileges, and have power to elect Town Officers and be enabled to make such orders, rules and constitution as may legally concern the welfare of said Town. If your honors comply with our request, we imagine we have good grounds to hope that it will much conduce to our advantage and emolument and prove detrimental to no individual; and we, the subscribers, memorialists, as in duty bound shall ever pray.

Dated at Berkhamstead the 10th day of January, Anno Domini, 1774

We, ye subscribers are inhabitants of ye Town of Berkhamstead and subscribe and annex our names to ye within memorial and request.

      Phillip LILLY
      Samuel MERRILL
      Aaron SWIFT, jr.
      John MERRILL
      Phillip PRIEST
      William AUSTIN
      Jonathan KING
      Samuel JONES
      Thomas JONES
      John Ja. IVES
      Charles LEWIS
      Elijah CASE
      Abner CASE
      John NORTON
      Benoni JONES
      Stephen RICHARDSON
      Joshua ELWELL
      William AUSTIN, jr.
      Nathaniel COLLINS
      James AUSTIN
      Job LARKSON
      George SHEPARD
      Israel JONES

In the Upper House the prayer of this memorial is unanimously negatived. Test -- George WYLLYS, Secy
In the Lower House the prayer of this memorial is unanimously negatived. Test -- Wm. WILLIAMS, Clerk

An Old Subscription List

An old subscription list which was circulated among the inhabitants of this town, to raise means with which to complete the meeting house will be read with interest by many. The church was commenced about 1784 and completed about 1792:

"Whereas our meeting house in Barkhamsted society, not being at this present time as yet not comfortable to meet in for divine worship, and it being in the minds of some of the inhabitants to forward the furtherance towards the completion of said house by subscription. Therefore, we, whose names are hereunto set dow with the number, quantity or measure of each particular species annexed to his name -- weatherboards, clapboards, window frames, glass, nails, hinges. It is always to be understood the timber to be taken from the minister's lost, so called, on which the house standeth. And we and each of us, as our names are set down with the specie annexed, there to do upon the truth, fidelity and turst of a faithful mind, promise to deliver the particular specie, as annexed to our names, at the said meeting house, to the satisfaction of the committee appointed for that purpose, by the first day of July next coming.

Dated at Barkhamsted, 12 Nov A. D. 1792.

      Israel JONES, 4 pound, 10 shillings
      Solomon NEWELL, 4 pounds, 10 shillings
      Pelatiah ALLEN 2 pounds, 10 shilling (in boards)
      Ephraim MUNSON, 2 pounds, 10 shilling (in boards)
      Asa JONES, 2 pounds
      Josiah H. HART, 2 pounds, 10 shilling (in sashes)
      Joel REXFORD, 2 pounds, 10 shilling (in boards)
      Benjamin JONES, 2 pounds (in boards)
      Aaron HART, 1 pound, 10 shilling (in boards)
      John MERRELL, 2 pounds (hooks, nails, etc.)
      Jonathan WILDER, 1 pound (in labor
      Caleb HOUGH, 1 pound, 10 shilling (in labor)
      Jehial WILCOX, 10 shilling (labor)
      Richard ADAMS, 10 shilling (labor)
      Amos ALLEN, 4 pounds, 10 shilling (labor)
      John ROCKWELL, 6 shilling (labor)
      Wait MUNSON, 3 pounds (in team work)
      Nathaniel COLLINS, 1 pound (in labor)
      Charles PRESTON, 3 pounds (in sawing)
      Charles TUTTLE, 1 pound (in labor)
      Jonathan JOHNSON, 1 pound (in labor)
      John IVES, 2 pounds (in neat cattle)
      Levi TIFFANY, 2 pounds (in team work)
      Ezra CASE, 2 pounds

An Historic Letter

The following letter from REv. Ozias EELLS, the first minister of the Gospel in Barkhamsted, and who preached there from 1787 until his death in 1813, was written at the request of Dr. TRUMBELL, the historian, who in prepration of his History of Connecticut depended for town sketches wholly upon the information which he could obtain by correspondence with ministers and other intellegent gentlemen, who would spend their time to make inquiries of the old people relative to their recollections, and the traditions of the earliest local events. That this letter was written after careful inquiry and thought is evident from the length of time taken (more than two months) and the minuteness of detail with which the facts are given. Dr. TRUMBULL made use of but little of the information contained in the letter, upon which he endorsed the following :-- "This does not come within the ____ embraced by my history." He must have received information concerning Barkhamstead from other sources, as he gives facts not mentioned in this letter. Pelatiah ALLYN, who Mr. EELLS states came to Barkhamsted from Old Windsor in 1748 or '49, was a resident of New Hartford for several years before he made his home in Barkhamstead, as the tax list of 1743 shows that he paid a tax on "one head," in that town, and from that time to 1755 he paid poll & land taxes in New Hartford, where he married Sarah MOODY, 23 May 1750.

Barkhamsted, 30 Dec 1805

Reverend Sir:-- Sickness in my family has prevented me from so speedily attending to your letter, dated October 22nd, as I could have wished. I have made the most important inquiries, and am able to transmit to you, I believe, a correct account of most of the inquiries to which you desire an answer.

The first man that came to this town to make a settlement was Pelatiah ALLYN, Jr., from Old Windsor. His father was Pelatiah ALLYN of that place, who was descended from Matthew ALLYN, the first of the family that came into this country from England. This Pelatiah ALLYN, Jr., settled in the southwest part of the society called Barkhamsted, contiguous to New Hartford, in the year 1748 or 1749. At the time of his settlement there was considerable disturbance from the Indians, then residing in New Hartford and other places around, few having ever gained much settlement in this town. The alarm was so great that at the north end of New Hartford they had a house that was Forted in, and all the inhabitants, with their families, lodged in the Fort for some time, and went in companies with their arms when they went to their fields. This Mr. ALLYN went and lodged with them several times, but found he must be alone in the day time, or leave his place, he concluded to secure himself as well as he could. He had built him a House with one large Room and a small Room for his bed. Just before the door that lead to his Bed room, about one small stip, he had a trap door that lead into his cellar. At night he used to lay things around his outside door that a noise might be made if any one came to get into the house, and then shutt his bed room, and raised his Trap Door, w opened from the bed room door, that if they entered there they must fall into the cellar. And in this manner he lived for some years, unmarried, and never met with any disturbance from the Indians.

There were several came into this part of the town, but gained no residence for any considerable time. The Chief Residents were Israel JONES, from Enfield, who settled in the North East part of the town. A Mr. William AUSTIN, from Suffield, Amos CASE, from Simsbury, John IVES, from North Haven, & Daniel REXFORD and his two brothers, William & Gad, from New Haven. These all settled in a few years of one another, in the North part of the town called Centre Hill. The other inhabitants came from Southington, Wallingford & Northford. They were thinly scattered, and but few, for some years. In the North East part of the Town there was built a Stone house, a part of which remains to this day, by some Huntsmen that used to frequent the Town, to secure them from wolves and Bears at night.

It was not before the year 1774 they had gained such a settlement as to be called upon for military duty. The first military company was formed October 1774, and Mr. Pelatiah ALLYN was chosen Captain and Israel JONES Lieut. This was before the town was incorporated. The incorporation of the town took place in October 1779. When the Society was formed I can find no proper and correct account.

There is but one society in the town -- about half of Winsted society, and about a mile and a half or two miles square set off the East Hartland Society. The first church that was formed in the town was in Barkhamsted. That was April 20, 1781.

The first minister that was ordained in the town was myself, January 24th, 1787. There has been no Sectaries ever ordained in this town. The Church of Christ in Winsted was formed in the winter 1783. The Revd. Aaron WOODWORTH was ordained to the Pastoral charge of that Church in January 8th, 1792, and in six years for that Day he was dismissed, and preached his Farwell sermon. They were mutually agreed in the dismission, and the cause assigned was they were not able to support him.

There is in Barkhamsted society 155 Heads of families, or rate-able persons, as taken from the list, who are Congregationalists, 37 Churchmen, 10 Methodists, and 5 Baptists. There is but one Meeting House. In Winstead there are the same denominations, but quite a few Churchmen -- more Methodists and Baptists. The exact number of either I am not able ot learn from my informant. But there are more in this than any other part of the town.

There is publick Library in Barkhamsted, consisting of 75 volumes, and formed in the year 1797. There is another in Winstead society, but as that belongs to Winchester society, I thought it must probably come into the account for Winchester.

There are ten school districts in the town, and part of two more: one in East Hartland part, 2 and 2 halves in Winstead part, and 7 in Barkhamsted.

There is no academy in the town. One or two Indians remain, but there were never but a few here.

I am informed a Mr. BEACH, a candidate for the ministry from Torrington, is to be ordained in Winstead society the first day of January next, 1806. I believe now that I have answered your chief inquiries as far as I am able to ascertain them. Wishing, sir, success to your design and blessing to yourself and family, I take pleasure to subscribe myself your affectionate Friend and humble servant.


To Revd. Benjamin TRUMBULL, D.D., North Haven

The Court of Probate

In 1779, the town of Barkhamsted, then being a part of Farmington District, was annexed to Simsbury Probate Court. In the year 1825, the towns of New Hartford & Barkhamsted were taken from the Simsbury Probate District, and constituted the Probate District of New Hartford.

Barkhamsted becames a separate Probate District in 1833. By direction of the General Assembly of 1834, the records of the Probate District of New Hartford; for the period when this district comprised New Hartford and Barkhamsted, viz., from 1825 to 1833 inclusive; are to be kept in the Probate office for the District of Barkhamsted.

      Since this town has constituted a Probate District, the following Judges have presided over it's Court, viz., all inclusive:
      • From 1833 to 1835, Launcelot PHELPS
      • From 1836 to 1837, Amos BEECHER, Jr.
      • From 1838 to 1845, Jesse IVES
      • For 1846, Amos BEECHER, 2nd
      • For 1847, Hiram GOODWIN
      • From 1848 to 1849, Lester LOOMIS
      • For 1850, Amos BEECHER
      • From 1851 to 1853, James EGGLESTON
      • From 1854 to 1859, George MERRILL
      • From 1857 to 1860, Daniel YOUNGS
      • From 1861 to 1862, James TIFFANY
      • For 1863, Daniel YOUNGS
      • From 1864 to 1865, Merlin MERRILL
      • From 1866 to 1869, Edward J. YOUNGS
      • From 1870 to present time, 1881, Daniel YOUNGS

The First Memorial

    Dr. Launcelott PHELPS, of Riverton, represented the Fourth Connecticut District in Congress from 1835 to 1839 inclusive.

    The Fifteenth Senatorial District of Connecticut has been represended by Barkhamsted men as follows:
    • Hon. Lambert HITCHCOCK, 1840, 1841
    • Hon. Warren PHELPS, 1852
    • Hon. Hiram GOODWIN, 1860, 1862
    • Hon. Henry JONES (son of Colonel Israel), 1861

    Barkhamsted was first represented in the General Assembly in 1769, October term, when the representives were Mr. Israel JONES, Jr., & Mr. Pelatiah ALLYN.

    May Session

    • 1797, Israel Jones, Jr., Pelatiah ALLYN
    • 1798, Joseph WILDE, Pelatiah ALLYN
    • 1799, Israel JONES, Pelatiah ALLYN
    • 1800, Israel JONES, Ephriam MUNSON
    • 1801, Ephraim MUNSON, Pelatiah ALLYN
    • 1802, Israel JONES, Pelatiah ALLYN
    • 1803, Pelatiah ALLYN, Israel JONES
    • 1804, Pelatiah ALLYN, Israel JONES
    • 1805, Pelatiah ALLYN, Israel JONES
    • 1806, Israel JONES, Pelatiah ALLYN
    • 1807, Pelatiah ALLYN, Robert WILLCOX
    • 1808, Pelatiah ALLYN, Israel JONES
    • 1809, Pelatiah ALLYN, Medad MUNSON
    • 1810, Robert WILLCOX, Pelatiah ALLYN
    • 1811, Robert WILLCOX, Gideon MILLS, Jr.
    • 1812, John MERRILL, Moses HAYDEN
    • 1813, John MERRILL, Josiah H. HART
    • 1814, Pelatiah ALLYN, Moses HAYDEN
    • 1815, Luke LOOMIS, Moses HAYDEN
    • 1816, Josiah H. HART, John MERRILL
    • 1817, Moses HAYDEN, Oliver MILLS
    • 1818, John MERRILL, Oliver MILLS
    • 1819, Zophar CASE, Salmon HOWD

    October Session

    • Joseph MILLS, Samuel HAYDEN
    • Israel JONES, Pelatiah ALLYN
    • Israel JONES, Pelatiah ALLYN
    • Israel JONES, Ephraim MUNSON
    • Pelatiah ALLYN, Calvin CONE
    • Ephraim MUNSON, Israel JONES
    • Pelatiah ALLYN, Israel JONES
    • Pelatiah ALLYN, Israel JONES
    • John MERRILL, Israel JONES
    • Pelatiah ALLYN, Israel JONES
    • Robert WILLCOX, Robert WHITFORD
    • Pelatiah ALLYN, Israel JONES
    • Pelatiah ALLYN, Medad MUNSON
    • Robert WILLCOX, Gidegon MILLS, Jr.
    • Robert WILLCOX, Samuel MUNSON
    • John MERRILL, Moses HAYDEN
    • John MERRILL, Moses HAYDEN
    • John MERRILL, William TAYLOR
    • Oliver MILLS, Samuel HAYDEN
    • Moses HAYDEN, Oliver MILLS
    • Samuel MUNSON, Amos BEECHER
    • Zopher CASE, Salmon HOWD

    After the adoption of the Constitution in 1819, the regular October session was despensed with.

    List of Representatives from Barkhamsted Continued

    • 1820, John MERRILL, Josiah SMITH
    • 1821, John MERRILL, Elijah JONES
    • 1822, Salmon HOWD, Samuel MUNSON
    • 1823, Samuel MUNSON, Elijah JONES
    • 1824, Jesse IVES, Elijah JONES
    • 1825, Jesse IVES, Elijah JONES
    • 1826, Samuel MUNSON, Zophar CASE
    • 1827, Jesse IVES, Amos BEECHER
    • 1828, Henry ALLEN, Lester LOOMIS
    • 1829, Elijah JONES< Matthew ALLEN
    • 1830, Matthew ALLEN, George MERRILL
    • 1831, Matthew ALLEN, George MERRILL
    • 1832, Lester LOOMIS, Joel TIFFANY
    • 1833, Matthew ALLEN, Joel TIFFANY
    • 1834, Matthew ALLEN, Lambert HITCHCOCK
    • 1835, Elijah JONES, Chester WENTWORTH
    • 1836, Hiram GOODWIN, Elijah JONES
    • 1837, Hiram GOODWIN, Daniel SANFORD
    • 1838, Daniel SANFORD, Merlin MERRILL
    • 1839, Merlin MERRILL, Garry UPSON
    • 1840, Gary UPSON, George CORNISH
    • 1841, Alex. CLEAVELAND, Timothy HAYES
    • 1842, Jehiel CASE, ANson WHEELER
    • 1343, Warren PHELPS, Rich'd A. DOOLITTLE
    • 1844, Warren PHELPS, Daniel YOUNGS
    • 1845, (not represented)
    • 1846, Sanford ALLEN, Hiram BURNHAM
    • 1847, Samuel W. PINE, Linus BLISS
    • 1848, Edward CAMP, Salmon HOWD
    • 1849, Alex. P. CLEAVELAND, Abiel CASE
    • 1850, Hira CASE, Arba ALFORD
    • 1851, Orville JONES, Ezekiel HAYES
    • 1852, Constant YOUNGS, Alfred ALFORD
    • 1853, George MERRILL, James TIFFANY
    • 1854, Lauren SMITH, Emerson S. CORNISH
    • 1855, Edward J. YOUNGS, George KELLOGG
    • 1856, Cornwall DOOLITTLE, E. N. RANSOM
    • 1857, Benj. W. JOHNSON, Horace CASE
    • 1858, Abner SLADE, Geo. Webster MERRILL
    • 1859, Chester DOWD, Owen CASE
    • 1860, Hart DOOLITTLE, Philemon PERRY
    • 1861, Ruel O. WHITE, Watson GIDDINGS
    • 1862, Rufus CLEAVELAND, M. Hoyt HAYES
    • 1863, Jesse DUTTON, Asa L. DEMING
    • 1864, Geo. D. DEMING, J. W. ATWATER
    • 1865, Rev. H. N. GATES, Lem'l RICHARDSON
    • 1866, Lauren SMITH, Ruel S. RICE
    • 1867, Chas. B. STEVENS, Edwin P. JONES
    • 1868, Albert BAKER, Sheldon MERRILL
    • 1869, Dr. A. E. MERRILL, Calvin ALDRICH
    • 1870, Harvey B. STANNARD, Wm. H. PAYNE
    • 1871, Lemuel HURLBUT, Hiram C. BROWN
    • 1872, Dwight S. CASE, Abram KILBOURN
    • 1873, Augustus SMITH, Samuel H. CASE
    • 1874, Elisha PAYNE, Monroe HART
    • 1875, Delos H. STEPHENS, Frank A. CASE
    • 1876, Ruel S. RICE, Frank M. BUTLER
    • 1877, William E. HOWD, Edwin E. CASE
    • 1878, William TIFFANY, Bryon O. HAWLEY
    • 1879, Arba ALFORD, Frank A. CASE
    • 1880, Correll U. TIFFANY, Henry P. LANE
    • 1881, Leander PLANT, George O. CLARK

    Town Clerks

    At the first called meeting of the Proprietors of bark, held in Windsor, January 1st 1732-3, Henry ALLYN was chosen clerk, and although the records of subsequent meeting do not announce the clerk by name, the handwriting indicates that he continued in that capacity until 1795, when Matthew ALLYN apparently succeeded to the office. The first record of a Town Clerk was in 1790, when Israel JONES, Jr., was chosen, and continued until 1811, having died the following year.

    • 1811 to 1824, John MERRILL
    • 1824 to 1830, Joseph WILDER
    • 1830 to 1835, Amos BEECHER
    • 1835 to 1851, Merlin MERRILL
    • 1851 to 1853, E. N. RANSOM
    • 1853 to 1855, James TIFFANY
    • 1855 to 1860, E. N. RANSOM
    • 1860 to 1868, Sheldon MERRILL
    • 1869 to 1872, Dwight S. CAST
    • 1872 to 1880, Wm. E. HOWD
    • For 1881, now in office, Sheldon MERRILL

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