Archive:The History of the Town of Marlborough, Vermont

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Newton, Rev. Ephraim H., The History of the Town of Marlborough, Windham County, Vermont (Montpelier, VT: Vermont Historical Society, 1930, pp. 260-271.


WHITNEY, Samuel; of Weston, Mass., m. Elizabeth Hastings, of Watertown, April 7, 1735, and went to Shrewsbury, about the year 1743, where they united with the Congregational Church in 1761. He d. in Shrewsbury, Aug. 2, 1788, aged 77. His widow survived him several years, and went to her children in Marlborough, Vt. When living in the family of her son, Deacon Jonas Whitney, she died, Oct.

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23, 1800, aged 84. Children: Samuel, Jr., m. Phebe Harrington, of Grafton, in 1762; Elizabeth, m. Joseph Mixer, Jr., 1754; Lucy; b. Aug. 27, 1744, m. Asaph Sherman, of Grafton, July 14, 1762; Lydia, b. June 1, 1746, m. William Britten, of Rutland, Nov. 3, 1764; Susannah, b. Feb. 26, 1748, m. Jobn Bellows, Jr., of Southboro, Oct. 4, 1768; Nathaniel, b. May 30, 1749, m. Mary Houghton, of Lancaster, Jan. 21, 1771; Jonas, b. June 14, 1751, m. Tamar Houghton; of Lancaster, sister of his brother's wife, Jan. 11, 1773; Sarah, m. John-Fisher Lyon, in 1777; Eliphalet, m. Lois Houghton, sister of his brothers' wives, Aug. 12,. 1771. (The three last named sons, with their wives, moved to Marlborough, Vt.). Susanna Whitney, probably sistrer of Samuel, Sr., m. John Guilford, of Leicester, June 26, 1750. Hannah Whitney, m. Joseph Bellows, of Southboro, Feb.17, 1785, brother of John Bellows, of Shrewsbury.

WHITNEY, Samuel, Jr., was the eldest son of Samuel, of Shrewsbury, Mass., who in company with his brother Nathaniel, came to Marlborough, Nov., 1769. In March, 1770, he made a quantity of maple sugar, then removed from the east to the west part of the tewn, and coinmencedr anew on the premises now owned and improved by Ira Adams, Esq. In that year, 1770, he opened the forest and put up a log house, in the raising of which he invited his brorthers Nathaniel and Jonas, and James Ball, to assist him. They complied with his request, and returned home to the east part of the town in the evening. The woods were so dense and dark, that with much difficulty, they were enabled to feel their way back by marked trees. In 1772, probably in March, he moved his family, consisting of his wife and four children, from Shrewsbury to Marlborough. He was enterprising, laborious, and persevering, bold, resolute, and fearless, bravely surmounting the trials of a pioneer. He had a peculiar voice, better fitted for the sternness of authority, than the smooth modulations, of flattery. He erected buildings, and opened a public house which he kept till the close of life. Since then the property has passed through several hands, and is now owned by Ira Adams, Esq., who by several purchases has increased the former

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dimensions of the farm, demolished the former buildings, much decayed with age, and erected others upon the same site, much improved in size and architecture. The West Marlborough P.O. is kept there, but no tavern.

Mr. Whitney was a great hunter. His dogs would tree a bear, and with his gun he was sure of his prey. In one instance on Center Mountain, his dogs had pursued a bear into a sort of a den among the rocks. He ventured to look in, and when he saw the glaring eye balls of the animal very near him, started back, at which the bear sprang upon him, and they took a fair back hug and rolled off the rocks down the hill together. In the struggle, the bear seized his leg, and held it fast between his jaws, and made a frightful wound. His two sons, Moses and Guilford, mere lads at the time, witnessed the struggle and saw the perilous and distressing condition of their father, but dared not fire because they feared they might shoot him and not the bear. In this dilemma they put on the dogs and urged them to the combat. The bear left his hold, and they shot and killed it, thus saving their father, who was disabled a long time by the wound, the scar of which he carried to his grave. In 1762, he m. Phebe Harrington, of Grafton, Mass., and moved to Marlborough in the spring of 1772. He d. Feb. 1, 1811, aged 71 yrs, 4 mos., and 8 days. She d. March 16, 1812, aged 71 yrs., 9 mos., and 20 days. Both were buried in the graveyard near their house. Children: Catherine, called Katy, b. May 5, 1763, m. Samuel Pratt; Elizabeth, called Betty, b. Aug.26, 1764, m. Alvan Pratt; Moses, b. Oct.20, 1765, d. Dec.14, 1765; Moses, b. Jan. 26, 1767; Guilford, b. Jan. 2, 1769. The above named children were born in Shrewsbury, Mass., and the following in Marlborough: Samuel, Jr., b. April 18, 1772; Mariam, b. June 10, 1776, m. Lyman Brown, s. of Jethro; Zenas, b. March 14, 1779; Simei, b. April 10, 1781; Phebe, b. Jan. 19, 1786, m. Roswell Paddleford; Russell, b. July 27, 1789, d. May 3, 1790. This last child was born when his mother was in her 50th year. In the autumn of 1777, Capt. Whitney was taken sick with a fever, and was confined many weeks. During his sickness his family became out of fuel. Help was scarce and as a last resort his daughter Betty, 13 years

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of age, put on her father's leathern apron; yoked up their small yoke of oxen, went into the woods, cut down trees, snaked them to the house, and chopped them up into fire wood. That this was the custom with the hardy child for a long time, was narrated by her sister, Mrs. Brown, now (1862) living in her 85th year.

WHITNEY, Moses (s. of Samuel, Jr.), m. Berenice Locke, from PeIham, Mass., May 4, 1789. She was b. April 11, 1768; d. Nov.28, 1855. When he was passing from Bennington to Hoosic, N.Y., with a span of horses and a loaded wagon, along the banks of the Walloomsic, the wagon slid off the icy road, down a steep bank. He was thrown from his seat, and so badly injured that he survived only 36 hours, and died in Hoosic, N.Y., Jan. 19, 1834. His son Zenas was with him, and rendered every possible assistance for his relief, but in vain. He returned to Marlborough with his father's remains, for interment. Children: William, b. Jan. 22, 1790; Russell, b. May 17, 1792, m. Polly, dau. of Maj. Joel Lamb, April 12, 1814, moved to Jackson, Penn., and there both have died; Torrey, b. July 1, 1794, m. Betsey, dau. of Maj. Joel Lamb, and settled in Jackson, Penn.; Stephen, b. July 26, 1796; Barnard, b. Feb. 5, 1799; Moses-Allis, b. June 11, 1802; Brittania, b. Oct. 18, 1805, m. Dr. Waters Gillet, of Wilmington, June 28, 1832, and settled in Whitingham; Berenice, b. May 11, 1808, d. June 10, 1824; Zenas-Harrington, b. Jan. 12, 1812.

WHITNEY, William (s. of Moses), m. Cynthia Merrill, of Rowe, Mass. She d. March 12, 1853, aged 87. He resides at Sheldon Falls, Mass. They had one son, David-Merrill.

WHITNEY, Stephen (s. of Moses), m. Annis dau. of Joseph Winchester, Jan. 18, 1819. Children: Joseph-Winchester, b. March 26, 1820; Annis-Sabrina, b. Feb. 11, 1822, m. William Halladay, s. of Oliver; Stephen-Velasco-Allis, b. Oct. 19, 1828, d. Aug. 23, 1840; Carley-Prescott, b. Sept. 9, 1834, m. Olive-Rosella, dau. of Cotton Mather, Esq., Dec. 3, 1857.

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WHITNEY, Joseph-Winchester (s. of Stephen), m. Lucia, dau. of Oliver Halladay, Dec. 22, 1845. Child: Stephen-Velasco, b. July 10, 1848.

WHITNEY, Bernard (s. of Moses), m. Lydia, dau. of Daniel Buel, of Wilmington, Sept. 11, 1828. He d. Sept. 15, 1853. Children: Amaretta, b. July 15, 1829, m. Timothy-Mather Adams, s. of Capt. Simeon, Dec. 15, 1858; Letitia-Elvira, b. April 7, 1832, d. Oct. 6, 1847; Electa-Bernice, b. Jan. 26, 1835; Frank-Barnard, b. Oct. 20, 1837.; Mary-Letitia, b. Dec. 10, 1847.

WHITNEY, Moses-Allis, (s. of Moses), m. Amanda, dau. of Oliver Morgan, of Wilmington, Oct. 25, 1837. He d. Sept. 19, 1848. Children: Allis-Locke, b. Sept. 26, 1833, d. Sept. 1, 1856; Jobn-Morgan, b. Oct. 1, 1835.

WHITNEY, Zenas-Harrington (s. of Moses), m. Polly, dau. of Deacon Jonathan Ingram, July 9, 1839. She d. Dec. 6, 1853. Children: Porter-Ingram, b. Aug. 27, 1840; Volitia-Ann, b. June 27, 1843; William-Harrington, b. June 26, 1845; Henry-F., b. June 9, 1849; Frederick, b. Jan. 2, 1852, d. March 10, 1862.

WHITNEY, Simei, b. April 10, 1781 (s. of Samuel), m. Silence, of Shrewsbury, Mass., dau. of Daniel Tucker. She was b. April 9, 1785, d. Dec. 2, 1846. He d. Sept. 10, 1847. Children: Annis, m. Apollos Halladay, s. of Daniel, Sept. 15; 1825; Barilla, m. Nathan Jacobs, Jr., July 8, 1823; Samuel-Noyes; Miranda, m. Guilford Seaver; Martin, b. Aug. 16, 1810; Henry, m. Maria, dau. of Daniel Buel, of Wilmington; Dan, d. Jan. 30, 1829, aged 14 yrs.; Mary-Ann, m. Myrtle Rice, of Cavendish; Cynthia-Bernice, m. Henry Allen, of Shrewsbury, Mass.

WHITNEY, Martin (s. of Simei), m. Electa, dau. of Daniel Buel, of Wilmington, April 3, 1833, and settled in Cambridgeport, Mass. Children: Frances-Ellen, m. Charles-M. Stratton, of Cambridgeport, Mass.; Sarah-Maria, b. Jan. 18, 1842.

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WHITNEY, Capt. Nathaniel (s. of Samuel, of Shrewsbury, Mass.), when a young man 20 years of age, with his brother, Samuel, Jr., several years older than himself, was induced by the invitation of Col. William Williams to visit Marlborough for the first time, in Nov., 1769. After spending a few days in the examination of the place, he returned to his parents, arriving at home on Thanksgiving Day. There for the first time he made acquaintance with the young lady to whom he was afterwards married, with whom he lived in harmony and affection for more than half a century, and from whom he was separated only by death, leaving her a widow well provided for, who survived him several years.

In March, 1770, their father carried his sons, Samuel, Jr., and Nathaniel, to Marlborough, left them, and returned with his sleigh and horses to Shrewsbury, Mass. That spring, on land in the easterly part of the town, they made their first attempt at making maple sugar, and were qulte successful in the enterprise. In the same spring, on the 4th of April, 1770, these two brothers, Samuel, Jr., and Nathaniel Whitney, purchased of "Charles Phelps, Esq., of New Marlboro, in the County of Cumberland, and Province of New York, for fifty-five pounds lawful money, the whole of Right No.21, drawn to the Right of Gov. Wentworth." Samuel was to have the north half of the Right, and Nathaniel the south half, which embraced the land on which the first Congregational meeting house was built, and which has smce been called the Granger Lot. It was on this last mentioned part of his purchase, that Capt. Nathaniel Whitney put him up a log camp in the woods and commenced clearing his new farm. In this camp he spent the next two summers, ambitious and toilsome in his new field of labor. At his request, Mrs. Col. Williams cooked for him a week's provision at a time, and he returned to his camp and spent the week in hard labor upon its nourishment. His principal living was pork and peas and beans, with a comfortable supply of bread, and occasionally with the additional luxury of trout and wild game. For his bread he brought the meal upon his back from Brattleboro, Colerain, or Greenfield, distances of 10, 15, and 20 miles.

On these premises, Captain Whitney built the first framed

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dwelling house erected in town, which he occupied for a few years, and then sold his possessions for continental paper money which depreciated so much in value that he suffered almost a total loss of his sale. In this impoverished condition he began anew by purchasing of Charles Pheips, Esq., the whole of Right No.23, which is marked on the town plot as the original Right of Job Strong, and contained by measurement 472½ acres of land, the deed of which is dated the 28th of March, 1777. It is supposed he sold the western half of this purchase to his brother Eliphalet, retained the eastern half of the Right to himself, and added thereto lands adjoining, purchased of Perez Stockwell, by deed bearing date the 12th day of June, 1777. On these last purchases he commenced anew; again settled, became a thriving farmer and an influential and highly esteemed citizen. Here he spent the remainder of his days.

In the adventures of Capt. Whitney as one of the early settlers of the town there are incidents not whlly devoid of interest, which may justify a brief notice. As a hunter, no one in town excelled him. As a trapper, he was artful, and seldom failed of success. As an angler, he was sly and not unfrequently would find himself heavily laden with a fine string of trout. With his gun he was cautious, and with untiring patience would he pursue game with his dogs to a favorable issue. We mention an instance as taken from notes penned some 40 years ago; of one of his adventures as then narrated by himself. His statement was nearly as follows: "In the autumn of 1773," he said "brother Samuel and myself agreed to go out a hunting at the first suitable fall of snow. In the month of November a few inches of snow had fallen, when I repaired to my brothers and found him very unwell, feeling himself too feeble to engage in the chase. In the morning I took my brother's dog with my own, and went into the woods. Bear tracks were plenty; the dogs took one. But at night I returned to my brother, and found him more unwell. In the morning I again took his dog and entered the forest. At that time all was a howling wilderness to the west and northwest as far as the western ubase of the Green Mountains, without a single settler. I took a westerly course and saw a monstrous

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track of a bear, larger than I ever before saw. I returned to the house and persuaded brother Samuel to go and see it. We were both exceedingly surprised. We pursued it nearly to the top of the hill in the west part of the town near Wilmington line. I let the dogs go. In a few minutes they entered a thicket and roared tremendously. I flung off my pack and pursued with all speed down the hill, near Wilmington pond to Deerfield River. The bear and dogs had crossed. By taking some pains, I found a tree which had fallen across the stream, on which I found a safe passage, and soon discovered that Samuel's dog had treed the bear. I then levelled my gun and fired directly at his head. He dodged a little, came down, struck brother Samuel's dog with his paw, laid him stiff, and again ascended the tree. I fired the 2nd time at his body. He instantly slid down the tree and moved off with two streams of blood flowing, one on each side. I shot at him the 3rd time and put the ball through his body. I shot the 4th ball through his middle. I shot the 5th through his head and the bear then yielded. Enormous Creature!! The bear was so heavy that in ascending and descending the tree he tore his nails off to the very quick. The next day I succeeded in obtaining help in dressing the animal and carrying him home. In so doing I found an ounce ball which had been hammered--of such I had none--lodged against the fore shoulder, and the flesh completely sound about it. After being dressed and carried home, the meat weighed 466 lbs. This was the first bear I ever killed and probably the largest ever killed in Vermont."

Capt. Whitney continued to cherish his peculiar attachment to the exciting scenes of the hunter's life, even until his hair was whitened by the frosts of advanced age. In recounting his success as a sportsman, he said he thought, but could not tell exactly, that he had killed not less than 100 bears, 100 deer, 1 moose, and 14 wolves, to say nothing of the multitude of lighter game.

In 1777, Mr. Gershom C. Lyman, then a candidate for the ministry, in the vigor of his youthful manhood, accompanied Capt. Whitney on a hunting excursion and fortunately killed a fawn. Young Lyman started in the

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morning, full of life, but before night was much exhausted by his long chase and the fatigue of the day. The facetious Captain asked his young minister what is meant in holy writ by a "Cunning hunter?" Mr. Lyman promptly replied, "he thought it must be one who did not hunt too much."

Capt. Whitney was a staunch whig, and took a decided stand in favor of the American Revolution. On hearing of the Battle of Lexington, which occurred on the 19th of April, 1775, Capt. Whitney and Capt. Jonathan Warren shouldered their muskets and hastened forward to offer their services as volunteers in defence of the Colonies. Capt. Whitney also reached Bennington on the eve of Aug. 16, 1777, and was placed as a guard over the captured enemy. At the close of the campaign he returned to his family and his farm, a laborious citizen, taking a lively interest in the growth amd prosperity of the town, and in the spiritual advance of the Congregational Church, of which for many years he was a worthy member. He reared a large family, whose voices in the choir are long to be remembered. His family has heen widely dispersed, and only a few of their descendants remain to cherish their memory.

Capt. Nathaniel was b. May 30, 1749, m. Mary Houghton of Lancaster, Mass., Jan. 21, 1771, and moved to Marlborough in the winter of 1772. She was b. June, 1751 d. Sept. 27, 1844, aged 93. He d. June 4, 1829, aged 80. Children: Nathaniel, b. in Shrewsbury, Sept. 15, 1771, d. Dec. 1, 1771, before the removal. The following were b. in Marlborough, viz.: Molly, b. Sept. 10, 1772, d. Dec. 10, 1774, and her remains were the first that were buried in the grave yard in the woods, noticed in the history as Grave Yard No. 2; Dolly, b. July 29, 1774, m. Henry Sawtell at the age of 15; Molly, b. March, 1776, d. Sept., 1783 aged 7 yrs.; Luther, b. Oct. 2, 1777, of whom no recent information has been received; Nathaniel, Jr., b. May 24, 1779; Solomon, b. March 7, 1781; Chloe, b. May 4, 1783, d. Sept. 12, 1803; Charlotte, b. April 4, 1785, m. (1) Eli Higley, 1806, settled in Whitingham, and after his death May 3, 1845, she m. (2) Jabez Smith, of Wilmington; Rhoda, b. July 9, 1787, m. William-D. Merrill, settled in Burlington,

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d. 1848; Zilpah, b. June 8, 1789, m. Elisha Putnam, from Buckland, Mass., b. May 18, 1786, d. at Shelburne Falls, Mass., Dec. 24, 1859; Betsey, b. Aug. 22, 1791, m. Asa Jacobs, of Guilford, and moved to Norwalk, Ohio; Clark, b. April 8, 1794, d. Feb. 13, 1814, aged 20.

WHITNEY, Nathaniel, Jr. (s. of Nathaniel), m. (1) Sally, dau. of Gen. John Stewart, of Brattleboro, 1802. She was b. Sept. 19, 1778, d. April 18, 1847. He m. (2) Lucy, dau. of Philemon Houghton, widow of Ezra Hatch, Nov. 30, 1848, d. July 27, 1852. Children: Charles, b. July 2, 1803, d. Aug. 5, 1805; Emory-Stewart, b. Feb. 28, 1805; Harriet-Maria, b. Feb. 27, 1807, d. Nov. 5, 1812; Lurissa-Newton, b. Jan. 17, 1809, m. Henry Goodnow, s. of Joseph, of Whitingham, May 9, 1837, and there settled; Charles-Stewart, b. April 5, 1811, m. Cynthia Cronk, of Waterford, N. Y., March 25, 1837, and resides in Adrian, Mich.; Harriet-Maria, b. March 28, 1813; George-Washington, b. May 2, 1815, m. Mehitable Cronk, of Waterford, N. Y., March 17, 1840, settled in Whitingham, and there d. Feb. 18, 1843; Infant son, d. July 16, 1817; Jobn-Stewart, b. Oct. 12, 1818, m. Ann White, of Townshend, June 12, 1850, and settled in Whitingham; Nathaniel-Richard, b. March 18, 1821, settled on the homestead with his parents.

WHITNEY, Emory (s. of Nathaniel, Jr.), m. Serepta, dau. of Joseph Hale, of Brattleboro, Oct. 25, 1827. She was b. Oct. 12, 1804. Children: Willard-Newton, b. Sept. 3, 1828, m. Georgianna, dau. of Cotton Mather, Esq., May 15, 1855, settled in Brattleboro, and had one child, George, b. Dec. 3, 1857; Charles-Stewart, b. May 29, 1831, d. Sept. 6, 1835; Frederick-Monzo, b. June 28, 1833, m. Eveline, dau. of Emory Mason, of Putney, Feb. 19, 1855, and settled in Brattleboro; Brutus-Merrill, b. Dec. 9, 1835, m. Sylvia-A., dau. of Col. Ezra Thayer, Jan. 1, 1857; Harriet-Maria, b. Dec. 10, 1839. Emory Whitney, d. June 21, 1839, aged 34, and his widow m. Jacob White, Sept.18, 1842.

WHITNEY, Luther (s. of Capt. Nathaniel), whose wife was Jerusha, had children: Pamela, d. Nov. 20, 1803; Chloe; Cooley, d. a young man; Edson, d. a young man, dirked

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by a Spaniard in St. Louis, Mo.; Delia; Horace. When last heard from Mr. Luther Whitney was at Whitney's Grove, Hancock County, Ill.

WHITNEY, Solomon (s. of Capt Nathaniel), m. (1) Lucy, dau. of Rev. Gershom-C. Lyman, D. D., Dec. 9,1805. Children: Emily, b. Oct. 3, 1806, m. Henry Closson, Esq., June 1, 1830; Diana, b. Feb. 20, 1808, d. Dec. 20, 1812; Lucy-Lyman, b. Nov. 18, 1809, m. Milo-R. Crosby, of Wilmington, May, 1831, and there d., May 21, 1848; Electa, b. May 31, 1812, m. Enoch Jacobs, s. of Nathan, June 22, 1831; Lyman-Hubbard, b. July 2, 1814; Henry, b. July 12, 1817, d. at Springfield, Mass., March 28, 1828; Fran:, b. June 25, 1822, d. April 22, 1831; Jane-Matilda, b. Dec. 15, 1823, d. Sept. 14, 1847; Julianne, b. Jan. 17, 1827, d. Jan. 18, 1827. Lucy, wife of Solomon Whitney, d. in Springfield, Mass., March 1, 1829, and he m. (2) Sybil, widow of William Goodnow, June 17, 1829. Children: Ann-Ross, b. March 18, 1830; Solomon, Jr., b. March 10, 1832. Solomon, Sr., d. Feb.18, 1856, at Whitingham.

WHITNEY, Lyman-Hubbard (s. of Solomon), m. Emeline, dau. of Maj. William Goodnow, of Whitingham, and there settled. Children: Albert; Lucy.

WHITNEY, Solomon, Jr. (s. of Solomon), m. -----, lives in Little Compton, R.I., and has four children.

WHITNEY, Nathaniel-Richard (s. of Nathaniel, Jr.), with his sister Maria, housekeeper, occupy the old family homestead. They received into their family, at the age of 7 yrs., Jennie Taylor, b. in Philadelphia, Penn., Aug. 23, 1842, who has assumed the name of Jennie-T. Whitney, and continues a member of their family.

WHITNEY, Deacon Jonas (s. of Samuel, of Shrewsbury, Mass.), m. Tamar Houghton, of Lancaster, Mass., Jan. 11, 1773, and settled in Marlborough. She was b. June 8, 1754, d. March 31, 1831, aged 77. She was one of the eleven children of her parents, and hers was the first death which had

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occurred among their number. The youngest of the family aged fifty-five, was present at her funeral. He was b. in Shrewsbury, Mass., June 14, 1751, and d. in Strongsville, Ohio, April 28, 1842, aged 91. Children: Sally, b. Aug. 10, 1774, m. Joseph Olds, Esq., s. of Benjamin, Esq., and d. in Circleville, Ohio, in 1840; Cinda, b. April 18, 1776, m. Nathan Briton; Lucy, b. Jan. 22, 1778, m. Gen. Jonathan Smith, s. of Jonas, June 23, 1809, d. April 9, 1836; Tamar, b. July 9, 1779, m. Jobn-S. Strong; Jonas, b. March 16, 1781, d. April 4, 1781; Julia, b. Sept. 10, 1782, d. Aug. 27, 1786; Irene, b. July 9, 1784, m. Elijah Lyman, s. of Rev. Gershom-Clark, D.D., July 22, 1802, d. in Strongsville, Ohio, Sept. 27, 1820; Roxy, b. May 10, 1786, m. Rev. Ira-M. Olds, s. of Capt. Thaddeus, Sept. 25, 1808, d. Jan. 26, 1813; Julia, b. April 21, 1788, m. Rev. Gamaliel-S. Olds, s. of Benjamin, Esq., April 27, 1811, d. in Circleville, O.; Jonas, Jr., b. June 20, 1791, m. Lovicy, dau. of Capt. Nahum Houghton, Dec. 6, 1812; Lyman, b. Dec. 2, 1793, graduate of Middlebury College, 1817, and of the Andover Theological Seminary, 1821; was ordained a Congregational Minister in Columbia, Conn., 1821, d. a Domestic Missionary, in Asheville, Buncombe County, N. C., May 20, 1826; Dewey, b. Oct. 3, 1796.

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