Archive:History of Westminster, Heywood, C

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Heywood, William Sweetzer, History of Westminster, Massashusetts (First named Narragansett No. 2), From the date of the original grant of the township to the present time, 1728-1893, with a Biographic-Genealogical Register of its Principal Families, (Vox Populi Press: S.W. Huse & Co., Lowell, Mass.: 1893); New England Historic Genealogical Society Call No. F/74/W72/H6.


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[p. 590-593] COWEE

1. Cowee, James1, or Cohee, according to his own orthography, an early res. of W., was b. in the old world in 1726 or '27, of an unknown parentage. He was the ancestor of all those distinguished by that name in this vicinity, if not in the entire country. While yet a lad, as the story goes, his mother died. A step-mother coming into the family did not take kindly to him and his brother Bartholomew, but neglected and abused them. Whereupon the father, as they grew towards manhood, conceived the idea of sending them to America, to seek their fortune and work out their destiny. He accordingly made an arrangement with the captain of a vessel about to sail thither - a personal friend of his - to take the youths with him, paying him liberally for their passage and entrusting him with additional funds to be given them when they should disembark, as a means of getting a start in the land of their adoption. During the voyage, Bartholomew, the younger of the brothers, died, which was a sad misfortune to the survivor. Besides, the captain of the ship proved recreant to his trust, betraying the confidence of a friend and cheating an innocent, destitute, and needy young man - a stranger among strangers - out of his rightful due. He not only withheld from the inexperienced lad what he had received from the father for theri sons' special use and benefit, to be duly paid upon landing here, but actually sold him into temporary service, as the custom sometimes was in those days, for the second payment of the passage money across the sea.

The term of the young man's servitude expiring, he worked his way back into the country among the new settlements, tarrying here and there as he could find employment and a chance to earn something for the supply of his personal needs. Arriving at length, in his desultory wanderings, at Chocksett (now Sterling) he remained there awhile, but ere long came to Narragansett No. 2, where, Oct. 1, 1750, he bought of Rev. Elisha Marsh lot No. 96, in the north part of town, now owned by Isaac N. Smith. He at once set himself to work in making improvements, having cleared six acres, erected "a good cellar house," set out an orchard, and gotten things well under way before the first of the following July. The site of this first house on the premises may still be seen near the road, a few rods below the present large, commodious one in which Mr. Smith resides. Mr. Cowee was an industrious, skilful, prosperous farmer - a man of much independence and force of character - becoming one of the largest landowners of the town, and having one of the most valuable residences at the time of the levying of the general U. S. tax in 1798. While living at Chocksett he became acquainted with Mary, prob. dau. of John Pearson of Rowley, whom he m. March 3, 1757, and by whom he had a large family. He d. April 29, 1801, a. 74. His wife d. March 11, 1823, a. 83. [12 children listed, not transcribed].

[13.] Cowee, Farwell3, son of David and Millicent (Jackson) Cowee [b. 1790?], m. 1817, Abigail (88), dau. Nathan and Abigail (Holden) Merriam. He was an active, enterprising, public spirited man, but unsuccessful as a business manager in W. He started in trade on the No. Common, going thence to the Center and forming a partnership with Timothy Doty. They built the so-called Doty store and run it for some years. Dissolving this connection, Mr. C. went into company with his bro.-in-law, Ebenezer Jones, under the style of "Cowee & Jones." They engaged largely in the business of transportation, running stages, and otherwise serving the public, with an appearance of wealth and prosperity which won the confidence of the people at large and secured for them abundant means for carrying their inflated purposes and plans into effect. All this resulted in the most unexpected and disastrous business catastrophe the town ever experienced. Many of the citizens lost heavily, several of the more forehanded and honorable of them being so deeply involved as to be financially ruined. Mr. Cowee left the place for Troy, N. Y., where he engaged in hotel keeping and where he d. in March, 1837. His w. Abigail d. Sept. 15, 1830, and he m. (2) Eliza Dole in 1832. By the first he had 5 chn. and by the last 2, as follows:
41. David4, b. W., June 16, 1818; m. Elizabeth Young; res. Troy; 5 chn.; d. Nov. 22, 1887. A prosperous merchant and much-esteemed citizen.
42. Farwell M.4, b. W., Jan. 8, 1820; m. Sarah E. Godfrey; res. Berlin, N. Y.; 7 chn.; living.
43. Milicent4, b. W., June 22, 1822; m. James Pierpont; res. Troy; 3 chn.; d. Aug. 25, 1856.
44. Abigail4, b. T., April 24, 1824; d. April 6, 1830.
45. Ann Eliza4, b. T., July 19, 1829; m. Daniel Judson; res. Lansingburgh, N. Y.; 4 chn.; living.
46. George R. 4, b. T., 1833; d. Albany, 1862.
47. Mary4, b. T. 1835; m. Edgar T. Wait; res. Troy; 2 chn; d. Nov. 27, 1887.

[p. 599-601] CUTTING

Richard Cutting1, a lad eleven years of age, came to this country from Ipswich, Eng., with an older brother, William, in the ship Elizabeth, in the year 1634. He settled at Watertown, where he carried on the trade of a wheelwright as an occupation and means of subsistence. He d. March 21, 1695-6, leaving several children, among whom was John2, a soldier in the war with King Philip, and as such entitled to a right, with other Watertown men who had been engaged in the same service, in the township designated as Narragansett No. 2. But having died before that township was established, by a grant of the Gnl. Ct. his claim was represented by his son John3, known as Lieut. John, who in the first division of lots, drew No. 45, and therewith all the subsequent divisions of upland and meadow belonging to it. Lieut. John Cutting3 had but one child, a dau., who m. John Clark, and became the mother of a long line of worthy descendants. He had, however, a brother George3, whose son Josiah was a favorite of his, as appears from the phraseology of certain title-deeds conveying lands to him, and from repeated acts indicative of kindly interest and special regard.

Whether or not the Josiah Cutting who settled upon lot No. 45, and who became the ancestor of all the W. Cuttings, was the "beloved son" of George3, as Lieut. John calls his nephew, has been a matter of much doubt. Bond, the eminent genealogist, in his "History of the Watertown Families" states that Josiah Cutting, son of George, m. Persis ----, and settled in the town of Shrewsbury. That there was a Josiah in that place, a contemporary of Josiah of Narragansett, is undoubtedly true. But the writer of this sketch is persuaded that Bond is in error respecting the ancestry of the Shrewsbury settler, ascribing to him a parentage belonging to his namesake of the neighboring township, and giving him a place in the family line to which he has no rightful claim. The reason for this conclusion thus indicated seems to him convincing and satisfactory. It is a matter of record that Lieut. John Cutting3, one of the grantees of Narragansett No. 2, sold all the after drafts of Lot No. 45 to Josiah Cutting4, the "beloved son" of his brother George3. It is also of record that after the death of Josiah of Narrangasett (then Westminster), in 1775, his heirs conveyed certain portions of those same after drafts (3d and 4th Div. lots), to Nathan Cutting and John Fessenden respectively. It is altogether probable that the Josiah Cutting who received the lands in question in 1750, and the Josiah Cutting whose heirs disposed of those same lands in 1775, were one and the same person. Moreover, in an old deed, dated 1770, Josiah Cutting of W. refers to "our late gd.f., Capt. John Cutting of Waltham." On the strength of such evidence it is the writer's judgment that the descent of the Westminster Cuttings, from Richard1 of Watertown, was as follows: John2, George3, Josiah4, etc.

1. Cutting, Josiah4, s. of George3 and Mary (Brown) Cutting, was b. April 21, 1727. He m. Lydia, dau. of Thomas and Tabitha (Stone) Merriam of Lexington, the sister of Nathan, Thomas, and Samuel (70) Merriam who set. in the south part of town. He was in the place as early as 1751, when he had cleared 4 acres and was building a ho. His lot, No. 45, was the northwesterly portion of the present farm of George W. (49) Whitney, and the site of his dwelling was a little way over the summit of the hill in the direction named from Mr. Whitney's residence. He was a well-to-do citizen, worthy of respect and honor which were cheerfully accorded him. He held the office of Selectman in 1772, and filled other places of public trust. He d. April 18, 1775, a. 48; his w. d. ab. a yr. bef., April 21, 1774, a. 46. Their chn. were:
2. Lydia5, b. Aug. 19, 175; m. Samuel (8) Miller; res. W.; 8 chn.; d. Dec. 18, 1793.
3. Mary5, b. May 15, 1757; m. Peletiah Everett; res. W.; 7 chn.; d. April 18, 1800.
4. Eunice5, b. Dec. 1, 1758; prob. d. young.
5. John5, b. Feb. 22, 1761; d. Aug. 17, 1778?.
6. Josiah5, b. Nov. 11, 1762; taxed 1784, but soon disappeared.
7. Nathan5, b. May 7, 1765; res. Pn. and Hub.; d. April 3, 1803.
8. Asa5, b. Oct. 16, 1767; in town till 1802.
9. Abraham5, b. June 13, 1700; m. Phebe Howard; res. Pn.; 9 chn.; d. Nov. 14, 1811.
[9.] Cutting, Abraham5, s. of Josiah and Lydia (Merriam) Cutting, m. Phebe [b. Dec. 16, 1770] [p. 713], dau. of Nathan and Phebe (Lynde) Howard, May 8, 1794, and set. in Pn. near the line of W., where he spent in agricultural pursuits the brief yrs. of his uneventful life, dying Nov. 14, 1811, in the 42d yr. of his a. His w. survived him less than 2 yrs., her death, caused by a cancer, occurring Sept. 13, 1813, a. 42. Inasmuch as their 9 chn. were well kn. in W., the rec. of them is given here:
10. Abraham6, b. May 2, 1795; m. (1) Emily Rawson, (2) ----; res. Worc.; 1 chd.
11. Phebe6, b. May 1, 1797; m. Abijah Jones, Temp; 5 chn.; d. April 1, 1872.
12. Jonas6, b. June 8, 1799; m. Elvira Jackson; res. W.
13. Flavel6, b. June 14, 1801; m. Lydia Mirick; res. W; no chn.; physician
14. Asa6, b. July 17, 1803; m. Lydia Miller; res. W.
15. N. Howard6, b. May 29, 1805; m. Mary R.(99) Whitney; res.W. and Worc.
16. Leonard6, b. Feb. 22, 1807; d. Feb. 17, 1808.
17. Marianne6, b. April 25, 1809; m. Chas. (56) Harrington; res. Pn.; d. Jan. 2, 1833.
18. Lydia Lynde6, b. Sept. 28, 1811; d. unm. Jan. 13, 1833.
[15.] Cutting, Nathan Howard6, m. Feb. 11, 1830, Mary Reed (99), dau. of Nathan and Eunice (Puffer) Whitney; res. in the village till late in life, when he rem. to Worc., where he d. July 16, 1884, a. 79. His w. d. May 25, 1882, a. 76. While in W. he was associated with his bro. Jonas in the trade of cabinetmaking; in Worc. he succeeded his older bro., Abraham, in the manufacture of trusses. An excellent workman and a worthy member of society, active in chh. affairs and interested in questions of religion, philanthropy, and reform, having an earnest sympathizer in his w., who was a most exemplary Christian woman. Loving in life, and in death not long divided. Chn.:
30. Franklin Howard7, b. Oct. 30, 1832; d. Nov. 6, 1835.
31. Ann Maria7, b. Feb. 1, 1836; m. Jos. O. Adams; res. Worc.; no chn.; living.
32. Susan Louisa7, b. Aug. 29, 1838; m. Edward Whitney; res. Worc.; 4 chn.; d. Jan. 1, 1880.
33. Charles Howard7, b. Sept. 1, 1841; d. Newburn, N.C., June 24, 1863. [p. 415] Enl. in Co. F, 51st Regt., at Worcester, where he resided, Oct. 14, 1862, and served as corp. during his brief military career. Was in the battles of Kinston, White Hall, and Goldsborough, N.C. Many privations and weary marches soon told upon his sensitive constitution and he fell a victim to diseases incident to army life. He was sent to the hosp. at Newbern, where he d. Jan 24, 1863. [snip]
34. William Jones7, b. Nov. 12, 1845.
35. Frank Whitney7, b. Dec. 10, 1851; res. Worc.; unm.; clerk, Mechanics' Savings Bank.

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