A catalogue of the names of the first Puritan settlers of the colony of Connecticut;
with the time of their arrival in the colony and their standing in society,
together with their place of residence, as far as can be discovered by the records.
&c collected from the state and town records by R.R. Hinman,
Hartford. Printed by E. Gleason, 1846,
[Transcribed by Dave Swerdfeger]
CATALOGUE OF THE NAMES OF THE FIRST PURITAN SETTLERS OF CONNECTICUT. CONTINUED
[Hon. William Wadsworth's Family, of Hartford, 1636.]
It is not known whether Captain Christopher Wadsworth , an early settler at Duxbury, or Captain Samuel, of Milton, who was killed by the Indians in 1676, or Rev. Benjamin, his son, of Boston, Mass., were allied by consanguinity, to William Wadsworth, who first settled at Cambridge, and in 1636 removed to Hartford, Conn. From the character of the men, their lofty bearing, and the family names, it may appear that they might have originated from the same common ancestor in England. It appears from Farmer, that William was at Cambridge in 1632, and he is found at Hartford, a member of Mr. Hooker's church in 1636, and holding the office of collector at Hartford, in 1637. Mr. Wadsworth probably was one of the band of pioneers who accompanied Mr. Hooker through the wilderness to Hartford in 1636. In what part of England he was born, or emigrated from, to New England, is yet doubtful. In the Farmer's. Journal, giving the biography of Hon. James Wadsworth, of Geneseo, N.Y., he (James) is described as having descended from a native of the County Palatine, of Durham in England. Other places have been designated as the birth-place of William Wadsworth, and his residence in England. Rev. Thomas Hooker was born at Marfield, in Leicestershire, and preached at Chelmsford, England, before he fled to Holland, and had a church at Chelmsford, of which he had the pastoral charge. At this time, or a few years previous, Chelmsford, or this Hundred, contained thirty Parishes; from which of these Parishes Mr. Hooker and his church were, may be somewhat unsettled. In the reign of Edward the Confessor, Chelmsford was a part of the possessions of the Bishops of London. The Manor which the Bishops of London possessed, was then called the Manor of the Bishops'-Hall or Chelmsford. In whichever Parish Mr. Hooker and his church might have been located, is perhaps immaterial, except as a fact in the history of the Puritans. His church were fervently attached to him, and after the arrival of his members at Cambridge, they solicited Mr. Hooker to come to this country, and continue to be their minister—with which request he complied. Whether Mr. Wadsworth was one of his members either in England or at Cambridge, is not known to the writer, but as he was a member in 1636, at Hartford, it is conjectured that he had been so previously, and emigrated from Essex county with other members of his church. When Mr. Hooker and his church removed to Hartford, in 1636, from Cambridge, Mr. Wadsworth, from many circumstances, is supposed to have been one of the company. Mr. Wadsworth had probably been married, and was a widower, when he came to Hartford in 1636, as he had a son John, and either a daughter or sister Sarah, who married John Milrock—but as she was not mentioned in the will of Mr. Wadsworth, it is supposed to have been his sister. He gave his son John only £10 in his will, which shows that his son John had received his share of his father's estate before the execution of his father's will. Mr. Wadsworth was in middle life in 1636. On the 2d day of July, 1644, he married Elizabeth Stone, a sister of the Rev. Samuel Stone, of Hartford. He was an original proprietor of Hartford, and in the land division of the town in 1639. He held several important offices in the town and colony, sustained a high rank with the best Puritan families of Hartford, both in character and wealth. His estate was £1677:13:9. The children of Mr. Wadsworth, by his marriage with Miss Stone were, Samuel, Joseph, Thomas, Elizabeth, Sarah, Rebecca, and perhaps Mary. He had by his first wife, a son John, and perhaps Sarah. John settled at Farmington before the death of his father. Mr. Wadsworth died at Hartford in 1675—his widow Elizabeth survived him, and died in 16S1-2. His eldest daughter, Elizabeth, was b. May 17, 1645. She m. John Terry, son of Stephen, of Windsor, in 1662, and had children, Elizabeth, Stephen, Sarah, John, Rebecca, Mary and Solomon. His daughter Sarah was bap. in 1649, and m. Jonathan Ashley, son of Robert, of Springfield, Ms. Jonathan settled at Hartford, and d. there in 1704, and left five children, viz. Jonathan, Joseph, Samuel, Sarah and Rebecca. I find John Milrock, of Hartford, m. Sarah Wadsworth, of Hartford, on the 17th of Sept. 1646—she was probably the daughter of William, by his first wife, or his sister who came with him from England, as his was the only family by the name in the colony in the early settlement. Sarah had a daughter Sarah, b. Oct. 3, 1648, and d. soon after; and on the 18th of Jan. 1649, Mr. Milrock was again m. to Miss Stoughton. Rebecca, another daughter of Mr. Wadsworth m. a Mr. Stoughton. Little is known of this branch of the family, only that the Stoughton family were among the best families of Windsor. Mr. Wadsworth, in his will, notices his grand daughter Long. It is supposed he had a daughter Mary, who m. Thomas Long, sen'r., who d. in 1711—he left a son Samuel, and other children. Thomas Wadsworth, son of William, sen'r., was provided for in his father's will, by giving him all his lands located east of Connecticut river, with a barn then building upon it. It is therefore presumed that Thomas settled in East Hartford. His children were, John, Thomas, jr., Sarah and Elizabeth. Thomas, jr. m. Sarah, who was his executrix, after his decease, in 1717—he d. before his father, and it is not known whether he left children. John, the son of Thomas and his sister Elizabeth, neither of them being married, left no children; they resided together in Hartford, in the present old brown house directly in the rear of the dwelling house of Doctor Sumner, where they both died in old age, about 1776. She was known as Aunt Betty, for many years previous to her death. Her sister Sarah m. Mr. Burr, of Hartford, and had several children—these children inherited the estate of John and Aunt Betty; the two last are now distinctly recollected by Mr. Jonathan Olcott, of Hartford, aged 90 years. Thomas d. in 1726.
Samuel Wadsworth son of Hon. William, was b. Oct. 25, 1646, and d. in 1682. He left neither a widow or children, and gave his estate, (£1108) to his brothers and sisters and his cousin William; to his brother Thomas particularly, he gave his man servant, for life, and some other property. It will be discovered in this place that hereafter the name is sustained only by John, Joseph and Thomas, and their male heirs. I shall first trace the branch from John, the eldest of the sons of William, and by his first marriage.
Wadsworth, John son of William, m. Sarah, daughter of Thomas Stanley, of Hartford, in 1662, and early removed and settled at Farmington, where he resided until his death, in 1689. His widow, Sarah survived him. His children at his decease were, viz. Sarah, wife of Stephen Root, b. 1657, aged 31; Samuel b. 1660, aged 29; John b. 1662; Mary b. 1665—she d. before her father; William b. 1671, aged 18—had sons, William, Asahel and Gad; Nathaniel b. 1674; James b. 1677—settled at Durham; Thomas b. 1680, aged 9 years; Hezekiah b. 1683—had no children. John left an estate of £1398. He gave his widow £100 at her disposal, and the use of his dwelling houses, barns, out-houses, homelot and his negro man, with £12 annually, during her life. His widow, Sarah, d. in 1718. She gave by will, "all her old England money, silver and gold," to her eight children then living. At the decease of John, in 1689, his daughter Root had a son Timothy, 8 years old, and a son John, 4 years old. Mr. Wadsworth was a leading and important man in Farmington. Mr. Wadsworth was a member of what is now the State Senate at the time his brother Joseph seized the Charter and secreted it in the oak tree, in this city. (In this place I trace the branch of Hon. James, who settled at Durham.)
Wadsworth, Hon. James son of John, sen'r., of Farmington, and grandson of Hon. William, sen'r., of Hartford. In 1708, Maj. James Wadsworth and 34 others, obtained a patent, confirming to them the proprietors of the lands in Durham. Maj. Wadsworth had resided there previous to this time. He is familiarly known as "Col. Wadsworth." He was by profession a lawyer, and enjoyed by his ability and qualifications, as many of the responsible offices of the town of Durham as he desired, and received several appointments of trust and honor from the colony. He was the first military captain, the first justice of the peace, and the first town clerk of Durham.- In 1739 he was appointed colonel of the 10th regiment of militia—was a justice of the quorum for some time in New Haven county—and an assistant for many years. In 1724, he with others, were appointed to decide all matters of equity and error which came before the General Assembly by petition, and was for a time a judge of the Superior Court of the colony. Colonel Wadsworth was an important man in the colony. He died in 1756, aged 78 years. He left two sons and one daughter, viz. sons, John Noyes and James. John N. was a farmer in Durham, and the father of John N., Gen. William, and James, grandsons of Col. James, who first settled at Durham. James, the son of Col. James, graduated at Yale College in 1748, and settled in his native town (Durham.) He soon became a gentleman of importance in the colony, and was advanced in military rank. During the war of the Revolution, viz. in 1775, Mr. Wadsworth, who was at this time a colonel, was appointed with Erastus Wolcott and others, a committee to provide for the officers and soldiers and their families, who were prisoners of war at Hartford. In 1776 he was made brigadier general of the battalion of militia raised to reinforce the continental army at N. York. In 1777 be was appointed second major general in the place of Maj. Gen. _4Iuntington. He was one session a member of the Continental Congress. In 1777 he was one of an important committee appointed to revise the militia laws of the State, for the more effectual defence and safety of the country. In 1778 Gen. Wadsworth was again appointed with Cols. Pitkin and Chester, to adjust all accounts of the managers of the lead mines at Middletown. In 1777, upon the passage of the Ten Regiment Bill, Gen. Wadsworth was appointed to command them as brigadier general. He declined marching to Peekskill with the 2000 troops, and Gen. Erastus Wolcott was designated in his stead. In May, 1777, Gen. Wadsworth was ordered to march one-fourth of his brigade, properly officered by his own appointments, to New Haven, to defend the coast. In April, 1778, the Council of Safety directed him to enquire into the state of the guards at New Haven, and to dismiss the militia there in whole or part, at his discretion, &c. I might cite many other instances of public confidence in favor of Gen. Wadsworth during the eventful struggle of the Revolution. He was also for a time a member of the Council of Safety. He was Comptroller of Public Accounts for the State. He was also a prominent member of the Governor's Council. Dr. Field says, in 1789 or '90, he became conscientious about the oath of fidelity to the Constitution of the U.S., and retired from public business. He died in Sept. 1816, aged 87 years. He left no children—he had had two, both of whom died in infancy.
Wadsworth, John Noyes, sen'r. and John, jr., were both farmers, and remained at Durham, where several of the family reside.
Wadsworth, Gen. William and Hon. James cast their fortunes in unison in early life. They were brothers, the sons of John N. sen'r., and grandsons of Hon. James, of Durham, through the Farmington branch of Hon. William Wadsworth, of Hartford. They were both born at Durham. Hon. James was born April 20, 1768, and graduated at Yale College in 1787. During his collegiate life his father died, and his estate was distributed to his three children, which though a fair estate, was not a competency for each; but their enterprise proved to them far more valuable than a patrimonial fortune, in which they might have spent their lives in idleness, or have become politicians and a blot on the escutcheon of their family shield. The ambition of these two brothers induced them to look farther into the future at that day, than most young men of their age in Connecticut. In 1790 or previous, Col. Jeremiah Wadsworth, of Hartford, a relative of their's, and a gentleman of great wealth, became interested largely in the wild and uncultivated lands in Western New York. In these lands, Col. J. Wadsworth proposed to William and James to become interested, by purchasing so much of them as they might feel enabled, and of the balance to become his agents in that (then) distant wilderness. Gen. William, who was a farmer, might not have been so much startled at the bold proposition of Col. Wadsworth, but to Hon. James, who had been liberally educated, and knew little or nothing of the hardships of a wilderness or a laboring life, must have been terror-stricken at the idea of abandoning the home of so honorable an ancestry, for the many deprivations of a life in the wilderness. Yet looking to the future alone, they started in 1790, full of courage, to reach their purchase on the eastern bank of the Genesee river, where Geneseo is now located. At this time a few detatched pieces of land were cleared west of Little Falls, N.Y. The remainder of the west through which they had to pass was a solitary wilderness, endangered only by wild beasts, or what was worse, the Five Nations of Indians instigated by English traders. They took with them several laborers from Connecticut, to clear away the timber, erect log-houses, and prepare some land to raise crops for the next year. Their provisions for the little band of adventurers had all to be transported, with their implements of husbandry, through the trackless wilderness. They ascended the Hudson—then to Schenectady, through the woods—then in boats upon the Mohawk river, the land but little cleared on either side, until they found a settlement, where they purchased their cattle, and some other necessaries for their future support and for stock. At this point the party divided, and Gen. William with some of his men, took the stock they had purchased, through the forest, while James and his party followed the streams, probably with most of his provisions and implements of husbandry. They again met in safety in an open field, a prarie, near where Geneseo now is. After a long, dangerous and tedious journey they had now arrived to their new home, with their cattle, tools and provisions. The first object was to build a house to shelter them, which they soon did with no other tools than their axes and perhaps an augur. They then attacked the forest, and soon got their crops into the ground. But the fever and ague of the new country, in the autumn, seized their axe men, which hurried them back to their old settlements in Connecticut; but the Wadsworths yet remained there, and in the following spring they replenished their axe men, and continued their clearing. The corn they had raised the first year could now be used by cracking in a rough mortar cut in the stump of an oak, with as rough a pestle—as no mills had yet been built in that section of the State; but within a few years after they erected a grist and saw-mills at Geneseo. The lands in that region being in market, and the duties of the agency of lands and oversight of the farm having been the duty of both, and as the business of both increased, they divided their labors—James took upon himself the duties of the land office, while William attended to the agricultural labors. The raising of cattle purchased at the east when young, grown and fattened at Geneseo, and then taken to some distant market for sale, was the principal source of profit arising from the farm; and no market could be obtained for many years for grain or other articles, which had to be transported upon wheels. At this time the Wadsworths were in the far West, and though Hon. James was a most efficient agent, he found it extremely difficult to sell and settle his wild lands, as had been the case with other land companies in that region, and in 1796, Mr. James Wadsworth was solicited by those in interest in western lands, to go to England to interest the capitalists of that country in the lands in Western New York. Being a gentleman tall in stature, a noble countenance and gentlemanly appearance, he was an honor to his birth-place in the best English society, and perhaps the best selection that could have been made for the mission. The immense tract of country held by the two brothers, could not all be cultivated for many years. A part of it was improved by themselves, much of it was leased for years for a small consideration, and other parts cultivated on shares yearly. The great farm upon the Genesee flat adjoining the river, containing over 2000 acres, was cultivated and improved as the homested of the Wadsworths. The Messrs. Wadsworths have been, probably, the largest sheep and wool growers in the United States, and ranked with Gen. Wade Hampton, of S.C., as being at the head of all agricultural pursuits in the country; while Gen. Hampton produced his results by slave labor, Gen. William Wadsworth and James from theirs alone by free labor, on a farm constantly improving. As has been before remarked, Gen. William was never married, but Hon. James, in 1804, returned to the land of his birth and married Miss Naomi Wolcott, the daughter of Samuel Wolcott, of East Windsor, in this State. In his marriage he was most fortunate.
By this connection they had several children, three of whom are now living, viz. James S. Wadsworth, Esq., who is married, and has children; Elizabeth yet unmarried; William, who was named in honor of the first Hon. William, of Hartford, is also married, and has one child; and the unfortunate and accomplished daughter, who married Hon. Martin Brimmer, former mayor of Boston, died many years since.
Wadsworth, Hon. James by the death of his wife, his brother, Gen. William, and an affectionate daughter, was greatly afflicted for several of the closing years of his life—his whose whole life had been one of industry and care. After the sore afflictions in his family in his old age, he continued his general oversight of his plantations and interests. He differed from most men of great fortune—though he was economical in all his acts, yet he was uniformly the poor man's friend, where industry and merit recommended his wants to Mr. Wadsworth. He was a gentleman of general science, and was unlike most men whose elementary education closed in a collegiate degree, if their attention in after life should by chance be turned to agricultural, mercantile or any other than literary pursuits. He was, strictly speaking, a scientific planter. No man probably in the United States contributed more largely with his pen, his influence, and his purse, towards common schools than did Mr. Wadsworth, for several years previous to his death. His contributions so often bestowed for erecting school houses and churches, paying lecturers to instruct the people in his vicinity upon literary subjects, publishing books, &c., and forming libraries, must have in so long and fortunate a life been an item in his expenses of no inconsiderable amount. He was modest and unostentatious as a public benefactor. Politically, Mr. Wadsworth was in former days a federalist, but after the political parties abandoned their principles, for office, and the name of party became synonymous with office, he took no farther interest in political parties. Professor Renwick, speaking of Mr. Wadsworth as an improver of the breed of cattle and sheep, remarks:—"His attention to fine-wooled sheep was governed by practical and judicious views. He had no share in the mania, under the influence of which Merino rams were sought for at the price of thousands of dollars; but, no sooner did the price fall to reasonable limits, than he became the possessor of the largest flock in the State; and he did not condemn it to the butcher when the unreasonable expectations of sudden and enormous profits, which others entertained, were proved to be fallacious. "Besides neat-cattle and sheep, the breeding of mules formed for several years an object of his attention. "It might have been expected that with such extensive concerns to manage as a land agent and landlord, not to mention the great extent of his own farm, cultivation on a small scale could have created but little interest in his breast. But this was not so, for he delighted in directing the culture of his garden, and in propagating the finest descriptions of fruit adapted to the climate, although he eschewed the costly luxury of the forcing-house. "One peculiarity marks and distinguishes his possessions not only from those of small proprietors, but from those of the greater part of large landholders. This is, the manner in which they are studded with trees, isolated and in clumps, or surrounded and divided by belts. In this respect their aspect is that of the most admired portions of England, with this difference in their favor—that the trees are not planted by the hand of man, but continue to exhibit the grandeur of form and dimensions which they had acquired in the premeval forest. In England, according to his own statement, he learned to love trees, ere it was too late to prevent their entire destruction on his own domains by the unsparing axe of the pioneer of cultivation. He moreover was taught that a time is finally reached in the progress of population when timber is of more value than any other product, even of the most fertile arable soils. With this love of the beauty of trees as a mere object of sight, and sense of their prospective value, he willingly encountered the prejudice which represents them as injuring the meadows, whether for the scythe or for pasture, by their shade. To his surprise he found no diminution in the product of hay in his sheltered savannah, while to his stock, in the summer of our climate, the umbrageous shelter proved of incalculable benefit. More particularly his rich alluvial land, extended in the form of a peninsula from a narrow isthmus, has been protected from encroachment, and from the wash of the river by the native belt of wood which surrounds it. "Few as are the events which mark epochs in the quiet and successfully,- industrious life of Mr. Wadsworth, it would be possible to dilate at great length upon these and other points in which his example and experience might be of great value to the proprietor and cultivator land. "In 1843, Mr. Wadsworth became sensible of a decline in his health. His disorder soon exhibited symptoms which demonstrated its probable incurable nature. The certainty of his dissolution at no distant day became apparent to him, and although he yielded to the wishes of his friends and children, by trying a change of scene and air, he was himself aware how fruitless must be the attempt. The slow and gradual approach of death he awaited with equanimity and fortitude, and although he no longer manifested his accustomed interest in his favorite active pursuits, his intercourse with his friends was not devoid of its usual cheerfulness, which was damped rather by their anxieties than by his own. Returning to his residence at Geneseo, he there died on the 7th of June, 1844."
Wadsworth, Gen. William a brother of Hon. James, was educated a farmer in early life, and pursued it in an easy manner, after a few of his first years, at Geneseo. What is ever unfortunate for all men and the country, fell to his lot—he died a bachelor, in 1833. He was a major general in the war of 1812, and was taken prisoner by the British troops at the battle at Queenstown. He gave his large estate to the children of his brother James—which increased the immense estate they received on the decease of their honored father.
Wadsworth, John N., jr. son of John Noyes Wadsworth, sen'r., and great grandson of Col. James the first, of Durham, was a farmer, and settled at Durham. His children were, John N. and Wedworth. John N., jr. died in 1814, aged 55 years. John, the eldest of the sons, was educated at Williams College, and graduated in 1802. He became by profession a lawyer, and settled in New York. He had three children, viz. John W., William M., and Susan Wadsworth. The two sons, John and William M., are deceased. Their father died in 1815, aged 35 years.
Wedworth Wadsworth son of John N., jr., and grandson of John Noyes, sen'r., now resides at Durham. He has been a member of the General Assembly, and held other places of trust in the State. His children now living, are—Noyes W., Wedworth, Abraham S., William and James; all farmers except James, who graduated at Yale College in 1841, and is now a lawyer in Buffalo, N.Y. Each of these sons are married and have families, except William. The three eldest are settled as farmers in the State of Michigan. William remains at Durham, and is the present town clerk there.
Wadsworth, Dea. John, jr. grandson of William, sen'r., of Hartford, was born in 1662, and d. in 1718. His brother William was executor of his will. In 1696 he m. Elizabeth Stanley, dau. of John; she d. in 1713, and in 1714 he m. for his 2d wife Mrs. Mary Gridley. (maiden name Humphries,) who survived him as his widow. His children were, Sarah b. 1697; Elizabeth b. 1700; John b. 1702; Daniel, (Rev.) b. 1704; Lydia b. 1706; Ruth b. 1711; Mary b. 1713—by his first wife. No children found by his last wife. His daughter Sarah m. Mr. Cowles. Mary and Elizabeth probably died before their father, not being noticed in his will. He requested his brother William to act as guardian for his son John—his brother Hezekiah to act as guardian for his son Daniel—his brother James, of Durham, to act for his daughter Lydia, and his brother Thomas to act for his daughter Ruth. In 1718, James the son of John, sen'r., resided at Durham, as he had done some years previous, and was appointed guardian by the court for his niece Lydia, in 1718. At the same court, Thomas was appointed guardian for Ruth. His estate was £857:4.
(I here introduce the family branch of Rev. Daniel, son of Dea. John Wadsworth, jr., of Farmington, who settled at Hartford.)
Wadsworth, Rev. Daniel son of Dea. John Wadsworth, of Farmington, grandson of John, and great grandson of William, sen'r., of Hartford, was b. in 1704, graduated at Yale College in 1726, and was a member of the corporation of that institution from 1743 until his death. He prepared for the ministry, and was settled in the First Society in Hartford, upon the 28th day of Sept. 1732, and became the successor of Rev. Timothy Woodbridge, who d. April 30, 1732. On the 28th day of Feb. 1733-4, he m. Miss Abigail Talcott, daughter of Gov. Talcott, and had children, viz. Abigail b. Jan. 28, 1734-5; Daniel b. June 21, 1741; Eunice b. Aug. 31, 1736; Elizabeth b. July 19, 1738; Ruth b. 1746; and Jeremiah b. July 12, 1743. Ruth d. Dec. 27, 1750; Elizabeth d. Nov. 15, 1810, aged 72 years; Daniel, jr. d. Nov. 3, 1750, aged 9 years; Jeremiah d. April 30, 1804, aged 61 years; Eunice d. duly 23, 1825, aged 89, years.— Tomb Stones. Rev. Daniel died in the prime of life, Nov. 12, 1747, aged 43 years, and left a handsome estate to his family. He had made a will, dated Dec. 19, 1746, and appointed his wife sole executrix. His widow died June 24, 1773, aged 66 years.— Tomb Stones. Neither of his daughters were married. Eunice and Elizabeth were living at the decease of their brother, Col. Jeremiah, in 1804. Col. James, who settled at Durham, was an uncle of Rev. Daniel. This branch of the Farmington Wadsworths, has consisted on the male side, of those who arrived to manhood, only of Rev. Daniel and his son Col. Jeremiah and his grandson Daniel, Esq., now living in Hartford. In 1765 the property of Rev. Daniel was divided by the heirs. Col. Jeremiah, Eunice and Elizabeth took the mansion house and lot of one acre on which it stood, in equal proportions—which has ever remained in the possession of the family, until a part of it was so liberally bestowed, in 1842, by Daniel Wadsworth, Esq., for the purpose of erecting, what is now called "Wadsworth Atheneum."
Wadsworth, Col. Jeremiah son of Rev. Daniel, of Hartford, was b. in 1743. His father d. when Col. Jeremiah was a child; he was soon after placed by his mother in charge of her brother, Matthew Talcott, Esq., at Middletown, where he continued to reside until after his marriage. When about 17 or 18 years of age he bled at his lungs, and his friends feared his illness might result in consumption. Mr. Talcott being largely concerned in navigation, young Wadsworth was advised by his friends to try a voyage at sea, to improve his health; he therefore shipped before the mast, as a sailor, in one of his uncle's vessels—his health soon improved, and he continued a sea-faring life for several years, first as a sailor, and afterwards as mate and captain. In the mean time he married Miss Mehetabel Russell, born Nov. 19, 1734, daughter of Rev. William Russell, and grand daughter of Rev. Noadiah Russell, and had three children, viz. Daniel, Catherine, and Harriet. Harriet was a most interesting, elegant and accomplished young lady. She d. at the Island of Bermuda, where she was visiting for her health, previous to the death of her father. After the death of his mother, in 1773, he removed his family to Hartford, where he resided the remainder of his life. His daughter, Catherine, married Gen. Nathaniel Terry, of Hartford, who became an eminent lawyer and member of Congress. He d. in 1844; his amiable wife d. Oct. 26, 1841, aged 67. They left children, four sons and three daughters. Col. Wadsworth d. April 30, 1804, aged 61. His widow Mehetabel, survived him, but d. in 1817, aged 82 years. He made a will, and afterwards a codicil, and appointed his wife, his son-in-law Gen. Terry, and his only son Daniel, Esq., executors. He gave to his sisters, Eunice and Elizabeth, a liberal share of his estate during their lives. He provided liberally and kindly for his widow. He gave a handsome sum to his relative, Maj. Decius Wadsworth, of Farmington. Also a conditional sum to the First Congregational Society in Hartford. Also to his cousin Eunice, of Farmington, for her life, the use of the house and land he purchased of Ezekiel Scott; after her decease to descend to his cousin, Daniel W. Lewis, of Litchfield. The remainder of his large estate he gave to his son Daniel, Esq., and his daughter, Mrs. Terry, his only surviving children at his decease. Col. Wadsworth became a very important man to the State and country during the War of the Revolution. Upon the raising of the six first regiments in Connecticut, in 1775, Mr. Wadsworth and others were appointed commissaries, to supply all necessary stores and provisions for the troops to be raised on a previous order of the General Assembly. In 1776, Mr. Wadsworth with others, were appointed a committee to purchase 5,000 pairs of yarn stockings for the army, in Canada. The same year he was a committee to procure £1800 in specie in exchange for bills, for the use of the Northern army, on request of Congress. The same year Mr. Wadsworth and Col. Fitch were empowered by the Legislature forthwith to furnish a sufficient number of kettles for the use of two battalions then to be raised for New York. The same year the Legislature apprehending there would be large demands for pork, and that great quantities might be clandestinely conveyed to the enemy or engrossed by individuals, which might distress the public and the poor of the colony, therefore the Legislature appointed Mr. Wadsworth and others, to purchase all the pork in the colony at the market price, to be kept in stores for public use, as should be required for the army. Also in 1776 he was appointed commissary of supplies, to receive and deliver over for the troops, then or afterwards to be raised in the colony, all such articles of clothing, refreshments or necessaries purchased and delivered to him by order of the Assembly, and at such places as were ordered by a Resolution of October, 1776. In 1775, the brig Minerva was ordered upon a cruise of six months, by Congress, and Mr. Wadsworth was directed to supply the brig with provisions and warlike stores for the cruise, and to provide 600 pounds of powder for the use of the brig. The prisoners in Hartford having become difficult to manage, and four of the committee being absent in the army—B. Payne and Col. Wadsworth were added to the committee to oversee the prisoners. In 1777 sixteen bales of cloth were forwarded to Mr. Wadsworth to be transported to the clothier general. In 1778 Congress sent an express to Col. Wadsworth and requested his immediate attendance before their Body at Yorktown, on business of great importance to the U.S., and he was advised by the Governor and Council to repair there as soon as possible. It appears from these facts that Col. Wadsworth not only officiated as commissary, but was frequently called upon for any and all purposes that the public interest demanded, and even that Congress held his opinions in high estimation. After the arrival in this country of Gen. de Rochambeau, with the French army, he soon found great difficulty in having a French commissary to purchase provisions for his troops—being neither familiar with our language or country—the high standing of Col. Wadsworth at once recommended him to the French general as a proper man for this purpose; and he being applied to by the General, at once assumed upon himself the duty and responsibility of acting commissary for the French army during the war; in which duty he gave the most perfect satisfaction to the French government, when his account was presented in person in 1783, which was freely and liberally accepted and paid. After which Col. Wadsworth, with his son, visited England, where they remained some time. They then visited Ireland, and made an excursion for a few weeks. Col. Wadsworth was known as an intimate friend of Gen. Washington, and whenever the General visited Hartford during the war, he made the hospitable mansion of Col. Wadsworth his home, during his stay. History says, that Gen. Washington with Count de Rochambeau, were enjoying the hospitalities of his liberal board when Gen. Arnold was committing treason against his country at West Point, and that Gen. Washington returned there to take a hasty breakfast at Arnold's table, an hour after he had left, immediately before his guilt was discovered. On the removal of the mansion-house of the Wadsworths, Mrs. Sigourney wrote the following lines, complimentary of the hospitality of Col. Wadsworth :"Fallen dome—beloved so well, Thou could'st many a legend tell Of the Chiefs of ancient fame, Who, to share thy shelter, came Rochambean and La Fayette Round thy plenteous board have met. With Columbia's mightier son, Great and glorious Washington. Here, with kindred minds, they plann'd Rescue for an infant land; While the British lion's roar Echo'd round the leagued shore." So high did Col. Wadsworth stand in the estimation of his fellow citizens, that at the time the Constitution of the United States was referred to the several States for their approval or rejection, Col. Wadsworth was chosen a member of the Convention of Connecticut, for this purpose and proved himself an efficient and firm friend of the Constitution. After this important event, he became a member of the First Congress, and was re-elected to the 2d and 3d Congress; he continued six years in succession in that body, faithfully giving construction and support to the Constitution he had rendered so efficient aid in approving. In May, 1795, he was elected in his native town, a representative to the Geneal Assembly, and also a member of the Council. He took his seat in the Council, where he remained by reelection until 1801, when he declined farther honors. He was a gentleman of great vivacity of spirits—honest in all his motives and purposes—kind to the meritorious poor, and a true friend to his tried friends. Col. Humphreys said of him, "He was always the protector and guardian of the widow, the fatherless and the distressed." His talents for, and dispatch of business, were unrivalled. A French traveller in this country, in 1788, (M. de Marville,) thus speaks of him: " Hartford is the residence of one of the most respectable men in the United/States—Col. Wadsworth; universally known for the service he rendered the American and French armies during the war; generally esteemed and beloved for his great virtues; he crowns all his qualities by an amiable and singular modesty. Thus you cannot fail to love him as soon as you see him."In 1796 he received honorary degrees from Dartmouth and Yale Colleges, for the interest he had taken in the literary institutions in the country. "His services at some periods of the war were incalculable."
Wadsworth, Elizabeth daughter of Rev. Daniel, of Hartford, died Nov. 15, 1810, aged 72 years. Hon. Nathaniel Terry, executor of her will. She gave all her estate to her maiden sister Eunice for life, and after the decease of her sister, to descend to her nephew, Daniel Wadsworth, Esq., and her niece, Mrs. Catherine Terry, with a provision that the mansion-house and lot on which it was located, should go into the ownership and possession of her nephew, Daniel Wadsworth, Esq. She was a most amiable woman, and a devoted Christian.
Wadsworth, Eunice daughter of Rev. Daniel, of Hartford, was born Aug. 31, 1736, and died July 23, 1825, aged 89 years. She survived the whole family of Rev. Daniel, and died sincerely lamented by all who had the pleasure of her acquaintance, and particularly the widows and fatherless poor.
Wadsworth, Daniel, Esq. of Hartford, son of Hon. Jeremiah, and grandson of Rev. Daniel, in early life married Miss Faith Trumbull, the eldest daughter of the second Governor Trumbull. She was born in Feb. 1769, and died Oct. 19, 1846. She left no issue. Upon the decease of Mr. Wadsworth, the name in this branch of the family will terminate, as he is the only male heir of the descendants of Rev. Daniel, by the name of Wadsworth now living. He has from his childhood been in feeble health. When he was about twelve years of age he accompanied his father in his tour through France, England, and Ireland, near the close of the Revolution, in 1783, to improve his health, but with little benefit, as he has ever since continued feeble. Few gentlemen in Connecticut have more wealth than Mr. Wadsworth; and none have improved this gift of Providence so constantly for the relief of the needy and distressed. Indeed he has uniformly used his estate as though he was fully aware that it was a gift of Providence to him for his wise distribution for great and good purposes; and this community will endorse him as having been a most trusty and faithful agent. Among the many great and good deeds of his, was the grant of his father's birth-place, where had stood the family mansion-house for three generations—for the purpose of erecting upon it the beautiful stone edifice, now occupying the west part of the lot, adjoining Main-street, since named "Wadsworth Atheneum;" an edifice 100 feet long by 70 feet broad. It is probable that the grant of the land, and other grants by Mr. Wadsworth including the lot and towards finishing the building, would not be estimated at less than 20,000. Mr. Wadsworth, to carry his views fully into effect, made a grant in trust to Hon. Messrs. Thomas S. Williams and Alfred Smith, of Hartford, of the land (on which a building has been erected,) about 172 feet in length and 121 1/2 in breadth, for the erection of a building upon it, to be constructed and maintained in three principal divisions, separated from each other by substantial partition walls, extending from the foundation to the roof, as a protection from fire. The central division appropriated for a Gallery of Fine Arts. The north division for a Library, Reading Room, and other accommodations of the Hartford Young Men's Institute. The south division for the Connecticut Historical Society—with authority to said Society to grant room in their division for the use of the Natural History Society of Hartford. Deed dated March 18, 1842. Messrs. Williams and Smith on the 25th of Nov. 1842, quit-claimed the premises to "Wadsworth Atheneum," and their successors, subject to the conditions and restrictions contained in their conveyance from Mr. Wadsworth to them, March 18, 1842. I take the liberty of saying, that no Historical Society in the United States has a better suit of rooms for their accommodation than the Connecticut Historical Society. This act of Mr. Wadsworth, for the Antiquities of Connecticut, the Natural History, and the general Literature of the State, is worthy of himself. No other gentleman in the State has done as much. Small acts in a man's life picture to the world his generosity, his amiability, and his goodness of heart, far more clearly than a single great and benevolent deed; and small favors show the liberality, even of men of great wealth, and their kindness of heart. Some years since, the son of a deacon in moderate circumstances, about thirteen years of age, and of a peculiar genius for invention of machinery, procured a small room between two stores in North Main-street, where by his ingenuity and industry, he invented a small machine for twisting and making fish-lines. The lines when finished cost the boy one cent and five mills each, and were sold for six cents. By his industry in this small business, he soon collected a trifling sum, which he employed in getting other small articles to add to his stock in trade on which he could get a profit. The industry of so small and young a lad attracted the attention of Mr. Wadsworth, and, as he often passed his shop, and saw this little pattern of industry at work there, curiosity induced him to go in and see him. At this time he had finished a machine for another purpose, perhaps at an expense of one dollar. Mr. Wadsworth was much pleased with the ingenuity of the child as well as his industry exhibited in the execution of the work, and to encourage him in well-doing, requested him to make for him a like machine, which he agreed to do. In a few weeks after Mr. Wadsworth called for the machine, and found it completed, and greatly improved, compared with that he had before seen. Mr. Wadsworth opened his pocket book and handed the boy a bill of twenty dollars for the machine. The lad stood astonished at seeing so much money, and remarked, he could not change so large a bill. Mr. Wadsworth replied, I want no change; I give it all for the machine, and as a reward of your industry and ingenuity—take it! With joy he received it, and replenished his little shop with trifling articles upon which he could make a small profit. That twenty dollars was the foundation of his present fortune; for he is now numbered with the wealthy men of Hartford. Several years after, when he had grown to manhood, never forgetful of the favor, and being in New York, he found two pairs of splendid China silk bed spreads, the expense of which might cover the twenty dollars and interest, which he purchased and sent to Mr. Wadsworth without even a reference to his early favor. Mr. Wadsworth replied to him—Sir, you have proved yourself the man I thought you would, when a child, in the little shop in Burr-street.— Had all the favors Mr. Wadsworth has in a long life bestowed upon his friends in charity and for good objects, been as well requited as this by this poor boy, his generous disposition would have been fully satisfied. Many similar cases might be related—and should Sully speak of his youthful days, he would or should attribute much of his celebrity as a painter to his kindness.—Here closes the branch of Rev. Daniel Wadsworth.
Wadsworth, Hezekiah of Farmington, son of John, sen'r., and grandson of William, sen'r. was born in 1682, and there is no evidence found that he was ever married. He d. in 1740. His brother Thomas was executor of his will, to whom he gave all his real and personal estate, except the lot and buildings which had been owned by his brother, deacon John, where Thomas then lived. He also gave Thomas the use of this farm during his life. After the decease of Thomas, he gave the farm to his nephew, Rev. Daniel Wadsworth, of Hartford. He left a good estate.
Wadsworth, Thomas son of John, sen'r., and grandson of William, sen'r. was born in 1680. In 1745 he married Miriam Beckley, who died in 1759, aged 52. He d. in 1771, aged 92. He left no family.
Wadsworth, Lieut. Samuel , son of John, sen'r., and grandson of William, sen'r. was born in 1660. In 1689 he m. Hannah Judson, of Woodbury, who d. in 1732, aged 75 years. He d. in 1731, and left an estate of £500, and children, Hannah b. 1694, Sarah b. 1695, and Samuel b. 1698.
Wadsworth, Samuel son of Samuel, and grandson of John, sen'r., of Farmington, m. Susannah Fenn, of Milford, in 1728. She d. in 1732, aged 36; and in 1733 he m. Rebecca Porter, grand daughter of Doct. Daniel Porter, who d. in Hartford, 1757. They had children, James b. 1729; Samuel b. 1732; Asa b. 1735; Hannah b. 1736. Samuel and Asa removed to Tyringham; Hannah m. Asahel Burnham, of Tyringham; Samuel, jr. d. in 1745, aged 47.
Wadsworth, James, son of Samuel, jr. d. in 1773, aged 44. He m. in 1749, Abigail, dau. of Daniel Lewis, of Farmington, who d. 1816, aged 85. Their children were, Fenn b. 1752; Luke b. 1754, d. 1759; Amos b. 1750, d. 1775; 2d Luke b. 1759; Susannah b. 1764, d. 1768; Orange b. 1766; Susannah b. 1768, d. 1777; Lucy b. 1772. Amos and Fenn, sons of James, and grandsons of Samuel, jr., were merchants. Fenn was an accurate accountant, and was the principal business man in the Pay Table Office at Hartford, and by his constant attention to business, his health became impaired, and he died unmarried, in 1785. Luke, the son of James, of Farmington, m. Abigail Coles, dau. of James. (her mother was Abigail Hooker.) Their children were, Sukey, who d. single in 1814, aged 31; James C., Amos, Catherine, of Geneva, N.Y., single, Laura b. 1791, d. 1808, aged 17, Fenn b. 1793, d. 1795, Harriet and Eliza. James and Amos were merchants at Litchfield. James C. m. a sister of Mr. Delavan for his first wife. Harriet m. Fisher Gay, and d. in 1828, aged 32. Eliza m. Peter Curtiss, of Buffalo. Orange, dau. of James, the son of Samuel, m. Rev. Mr. Osgood, of Gardiner. Lucy m. Amon Langdon, who d. at sea; he was captain of the vessel in which he died, and his widow now lives with her son Amon L. at Geneva, N.Y.
Wadsworth, Sarah daughter of Dea. John, of Farmington, m. Samuel Cowles, of Kensington, in 1716, and d. in 1786. John, son of Dea. John, d. in 1760. He m. Eunice Porter, dau. of Samuel, is 1734, and had children, Thomas; Lydia b. 1736, d. 1813; Ruth b. 1750, d. 1818, aged 64-both single. Thomas, son of John, m. Miss Gridley, and was unfortunate in his family-he d. poor. His children were, Horace, Abigail (m. David Wright, of New Britain,) and John. John, the son of Thomas, had children, Lewis b. 1797, and d. 1798; Eli T., d. aged 25, stage driver in New York; Thomas b. 1799, d. 1810.
Wadsworth, William, Esq. of Farmington, son of John, sen'r., died in 1751, aged 81. He m. Abigail Lewis, dau. of William, in 1696; she d. in 1707, and in 1709 he m. Sarah Bunce, dau. of Dea. Thomas, of Hartford; she d. in 1748, aged 78. He had children, William b. 1697, d. 1699; Mary or Sarah b. 1700, d. 1722; Hannah b. 1701, m. Joseph Root, 1726, she d. 1741, aged 41; Abigail b. 1702, m. John Smith, 1728, d. 1729; Ezekiel b. 1704, d. 1712; William b. 1709. William, Esq. was an active and leading man in Farmington, for many years. His son William d. in 1769, aged 61. He m. in 1740, Ruth, the dau. of Thomas Hart, Esq., brother of Rev. John, of Guilford, father of Rev. William, of Saybrook, (she afterwards m. Solomon Whitman, Esq. He had children, William b. 1742; Asahel b. 1743; Ezekiel b. 1746, d. 1748, and Gad. Gad moved away. William, the son of William, and grandson of William, Esq., d. 1816, and left an estate of 17,708. He m. Mercy or Mary Clark, dau. of John, who d. 1714, aged 71. He had children, Decius b. 1768; Romeo b. 1769; George; William b. 1781, d. 1807, aged 26; Sidney. Decius was educated at Yale College, and graduated in 1785-was a colonel in the ordnance department in the army, and died in 1821, unmarried. Romeo and George resided in the State of New York. Col. Sidney, in 1812, m. Clarissa Buck, and had two children, who died before him. He d. in 1845, aged 59. Asahel, son of William, and grandson of William, Esq., d. in 1817, aged 74. In 1769 he m. Mercy Woodruff, who died, and in 1811 he m. Hannah Wadsworth, dau. of Nathaniel, jr., who d. in 1818, aged 61. His children were, Manna b. 1769; Ruth, who m. Mr. Washburn, of Vermont; and Thomas Hart. Manna, son of Asahel, d. 1796, aged 26, and left a son Frederick M., b. 1796. Thomas H., son of Asahel, of Farmington, m. Sarah North, dau. of Samuel, who d. in 1800, aged 30; he then in 1812, m. Elizabeth Rowe. His children were, Anna Deming, d. in 1809, aged 4 years; Marcus North b. 1805; Lucy b. 1808; Winthrop M.; Adrian R., Esq.; and Elizabeth A. b. 1821, and an infant who d. in 1817.
Wadsworth, Nathaniel son of John, sen'r., and grandson of William, sen'r., d. in 1761. In 1705 he m. Dorothy Ball, of New Haven, and had children, Eunice b. 1706; Timothy b. 1709, d.; Esther b. 1713; Sarah b. 1717; Nathaniel b. 1718; Mary b. 1720; Hezekiah b. 1722; Timothy, b. 1727. Eunice, dau. of Nathaniel first, m. Samuel Bird, in 1730. Esther, dau. of Nathaniel, m. Jonathan Root, of Southington. Sarah, dau. of Nathaniel m. Samuel Gridley, in 1746—he d. in 1764 and left no issue; she then in 1765, m. Thomas Stanley, of New Britain. Nathaniel, son of Nathaniel, d. in 1789, aged 72 years. He m. Hannah Gridley, a sister of the above Samuel Gridley, who d. in 1750, aged 28 years. He m. Esther, who d. in 1775, aged 52. They had children, Eliphalet b. 1747; Abel (died 1756); Hannah b. 1757, d. 1818; Anna b. 1761, d. 1810, and Esther, who d. in 1806, aged 42. All unmarried except Hannah, who m. Ashbel Wadsworth in 1811, at the age of 54.
Wadsworth, Nathaniel son of Nathaniel, jr., d. in 1823, aged 75, and left two daughters. He had m. Mary Youngs, who d. in 1802, aged 50; he then m. Mary Hart, of Berlin. Mary, dau. of Nathaniel, m. Elisha Deming; Hezekiah, son of Nathaniel, m. Lois Judd, dau. of William, who d. in 1801, aged 77 years. He had children, Hezekiah and Elisha (d. young); Huldah d. of small pox, unmarried; Lois m. Israel Jones, of Barkhamsted; Seth b. 1754; Ruth m. Abner Whittlesey, and d. in 1830, aged 80; Sarah d. single. Hezekiah the father, died in 1810, aged 86 years.
Wadsworth, Seth son of Hezekiah, had two wives; the first died in 1804, aged 50—the 2d d. in 1822, aged 66—he d. in 1830, aged 83 years. His children were, Hezekiah, Elisha Strong, Edwin, Tertius, Timothy and Daniel. Hezekiah, son of Seth, m. Hannah Eells, of Barkhamsted; he d. at New Hartford, in 1813, aged 31, and left one son. Elisha S., son of Seth, d. at Palmyra, N.Y. Edwin m. Livia Judd, and now resides in the State of New York. Tertius, son Seth, resides at New Hartford, and is a gentleman of wealth. He has been twice married. His sons, Elisha and Julius, are extensive merchants at Chicago, Illinois. Mary. Timothy, his son, m. Mary Gillett, and had a large family, and his eldest son John is now of age. Timothy d. in 1841, aged 40 years.
Wadsworth, Daniel son of Seth, has been a judge in Ohio.
Wadsworth, Timothy son of Nathaniel first, m. Mary Cowles, of Southington, in 1750, who d. in 1755, aged 26; he then in 1758, m. Heppy Kilbourn. They had children, Theodore b. 1753; Rhoda b. 1755; Elijah b. 1759, d. 1763; Ebenezer b. 1760: Esther b. 1762; Mary b. 1768; Elijah b. 1765; Dorothy b. 1769. He lived in Canaan in 1788, and afterwards settled at Tinmouth, Vt.
Wadsworth, Theodore son of Timothy, was a physician, and in 1777 was appointed surgeon's mate in Col. Douglass' regiment, in the place of Doct. Todd, who had resigned continental service. He settled at Southington, and m. Betsey ----—, who d. in 1806, aged 49; in 1808 he m. widow Asenath Clark, and d. the same year. He lost infants in 1783 and 1796. Daniel died. Theodore, jr. d. in 1804, at Hartford. Nancy (m. Chester Whittlesey, Esq., of Southington, in 1808,) and Harry.
Wadsworth, Harry son of Doct. Theodore, d. in Farmington. He was a physician, and in 1807, he m. Anna Mix, dau. of Judge John Mix—she d. in 1824. They had children, Theodore b. 1807, d. 1808; Betsey Mix, died; Theodore H., b. in 1806, and d. a physician, at Austinburgh, Ohio, in 1843, unmarried.
Wadsworth, Rhoda daughter of Timothy, in 1771, m. Mr. Stanley. [The following facts are added, not having been received in time to enter them in their proper places in the preceding pages.]
Wadsworth, Rev. Daniel father of Col. Jeremiah, represented the town of Farmington in the General Assembly before he was ordained at Hartford. Ruth, the sister of Rev. Daniel, m. Elisha Lewis, a merchant, and d. in 1776, aged 66.
Wadsworth, James C. who m. a sister of Mr. Delavan, of Albany, has had children, Harriet, James, William, Cornelia (died,) George, Henry and Cornelia.
Wadsworth, Amos of Litchfield, has children, Charles and Lewis.
Wadsworth, John who d. in 1760, left a daughter Eunice, who was living at Hartland, unmarried, in 1824.
Wadsworth, Asahel's brother Gad, purchased Avon Springs, N.Y., died wealthy, and left four children, viz. Ezekiel, Richard, Betsey (m. Mr. Newberry,) and Henry.
Wadsworth, Manna son of Asahel, was a merchant at Pittsfield, Mass. His son, Frederick Manna, d. single—was a lawyer at Little York, Penn.
Wadsworth, Thomas Hart son of Asahel, was b. 1771; Winthrop M. b. 1812; and Adrian R. b. 1815—is now judge of probate at Farmington. Asahel lost two children in infancy, William and Susannah. William, who died in 1816, aged 75, lost several children in their infancy.
Wadsworth, Col. Decius died in 1821, aged 53 years. A most complimentary eulogy of him was published in the National Intelligencer, after his decease.
Wadsworth, Romeo resided in the city of New York. His children were, Juliette, m. Doct. Scott, of Montreal; William, now resides in N.Y.
Wadsworth, George it is supposed is living at Burlington, Vt., and has a family.
Wadsworth, Samuel who removed to Tyringham, had children, Reuben, Silas, Ezekiel, James, Amos, Susannah, Sarah, Thankful and Elizabeth.
Wadsworth, Reuben son of Samuel, has children, Sylvester, Archibald, Electa, Olive and Samuel.
Wadsworth, Silas has a son Calvin.
Wadsworth, Ezekiel has George, Louisa, Hiram and Horace.
Wadsworth, Asa left a son Enos, who has children, John, Asa and Betsey.
(This closes the descendants of the branch of the Hon. John Wadsworth, of Farmington.)