Ebenezer Hall and Matinicus Island

By Kathryn Hall | July 31, 2010

Dear Visitors: In honor of having recently connected through the miracle of DNA research with another cousin who is a descendant of the Halls of Maine I am dipping into my archives and posting this excerpt from Gems of the Ocean which relays an old version of the story of Ebenezer Hall of Matinicus Island. Note I said version. After reading this I encourage you to read notes from the non-profit organization Nedoba which documents the early history of the Abenaki People of Interior New England and their version of this story adds details omitted below. We might never know the actual details, but anyone searching the Halls of Maine invariably stumble upon Ebenezer Hall’s story in one form or another. If you have more (well researched) notes, please share below in comments section. Thank you! KH
Footnote: Here’s another link:

The following is an excerpt from Gems of the Ocean, Robert B. Fillmore (1914)

Very little has been written concerning the early history
of the island. The first records show that in 1728, William
Vaughn, one of the most prominent merchants of New England,
then residing at Damariscotta, came to Matinicus and established
a fishing station, employing several vessels. There are still
landmarks on the island, said to be the place where his build-
ings once stood, also the remains of an old wharf, the scene of
the early activities. These fishing stations were abandoned
and we can learn nothing more relating to the local history until
the year when Ebenezer Hall, the first settler, removed from
Portland to Matinicus. Following is the full account of his
massacre by the Indians, with genealogy of the family.

Early Mantinicus History

EBENEZER Hall lived at what is called the Back Cove, Port-
land, Me. There he raised three children, two daughters and
one son Ebenezer by name. The girls married. One wedded a
man by the name of Proctor, the other a man by the name of
Allen and moved back into the country in the town of Fal-

Shortly after this the mother died and Mr. Hall married a
widow by the name of Green. She had three children, one
son by the name of Daniel and two daughters. The boy was 14
years of age and the girls 9 and 7. Mr Hall then with his family
moved to the Island of Matinicus, it being at the close of the
French and English war, at which time the English took the
Canadas and Nova Scotia from the French. He then built a
stone house which he could use as a fort for protection from the
Indians. The French, who were allied with the Indians, of-
fered a bounty for the scalp of every white man they killed,
whereupon a band of six Indians went to the Island and camped
about thirty feet south of the house between two granite ledges,
on a plat of grass about eight feet wide.

Then they besieged the dwelling. Mr Hall barred the door
to keep them out and was obliged to stay there nearly a week,
surrounded by them. In their determination to capture him
and his family, they sent fire arrows into the roof and burned
it. As fast as it took fire Mr. Hall would take a pole and push
off the burning rafters so they would not fall within the walls of

the house and at the same time his son shooting with a gun
whenever an opportunity offered. At last the ammunition of
the Indians was nearly exhausted and in their desire to lengthen
out their supply, they cut their lead bullets in two and as a decoy
one of the Indians, who had in his gun the last half bullet, went
up back of the house and took a position overlooking it and
prepared to discharge his gun at Mr. Hall whenever he should
show his head above the wall of the house. The other Indians
made what noise they could, walking over the pebbly shore and
hauling their canoe after them. Mr. Hall hearing the noise
that they were making and thinking that they had given up
their hope and were leaving the island, climbed up and looked
over the side of the house facing the shore, when the Indian
back of the house brought his gun to his shoulder and shot him
through the head and he fell back into the room dead. When
his wife realized that he was killed and she left without a pro-
tector, she screamed for quarter and the Indians hearing her,
rushed up from the beach and said “Your Sannah (being in-
terpreted husband) will not give any quarter.” She said ”my
husband is dead.” They immediately broke in the door and
proceeded to bind the mother and the two girls, removing the
scalp of Mr. Hall. The boy Daniel had escaped by the back
window and hidden in the woods back of the house in the under-
brush. The Indians took the mother and the two girls in their
canoes and after sinking one of the fishing boats that lay in the
harbor proceeded to Canada. The boy after remaining hidden
several hours and feeling satisfied that the Indians had given
up the hunt for him and had gone emerged from his hiding place
and looking around upon the situation, espied a fishing vessel
lying at anchor off in the bay. Finding half a canoe he paddled
off from the shore and when he had proceeded a proper distance
from the shore, he took his paddle and placing his coat upon it,
signalled to the vessel. Seeing him they came to his aid and
ascertaining his wants, came on shore and helped him bury his

father. He then returned to the schooner and sailed to the
Fox Islands, where the schooner belonged.

The evening previous to the final attack the Indians built
a fire just below the house and proceeded to get their supper.
They took some corn and pounded it in a mortar and then
cooked it. They then emptied it out of the kettle into a large
dish and seated themselves around it and with their spoons all
ate from the dish. Mr. Hall seeing them all busy eating, wanted
to take Daniel and three good guns they had loaded and creed
out of the back window to where he could get in range of them.
There he thought he could kill them all, but his wife in terror
seized him and would not let him go. At the first opportunity
Mrs. Hall made her escape from the Indians and returned to
the Island and later married in Boston. Her two daughters
were still held by the Indians but years afterwards were seen
with them in one of their visits to the island and being recognized
by their brother, he sought an interview, but they had become
so accustomed to the wild life of the forest they declined to take
but little notice of him. The next day he went to have a second
talk with them, hoping to induce them to return to civilized
life but it was of no avail.

In subsequent years Daniel took up and settled on what
is now known as Green Island, lying south of Carver’s Harbor.
He married a Miss Young of Old York, a sister of Susannah
Young of the same place. At the time of this murder and the
committing of these outrages by the Indians, Mr. Hall’s son
Ebenezer, was away fishing in one of his father’s boats
in the vicinity of Halifax, N. S. When he returned he found
his father was dead and the island forsaken. He then proceeded
to Boston with his fare of fish and on the passage up he put
into Old York for a harbor. There he formed the acquaintance
of Susannah Young, whom he afterwards married. They came
to Pemaquid and lived in the block house instead of returning
to Matinicus on account of the French and Indian war and the

hostilities against the whites. While there Mrs. Hall and
another woman while driving cows from the pasture were fol-
lowed by the Indians and barely escaped death from the bullets.

After peace was declared Mr. Hall and wife returned to
Matinicus and lived there many years and raised fifteen children
their names being: Hannah, born September 11, 1759; Mary,
born August 25, 1761; Susannah, born May 10, 1763; Jane, born
March 4, 1765; Ebenezer, born February 15, 1767; Margret,
born March 9, 1769; Patience, born February 14, 1771; Sally,
born February 9, 1773; Charity, born December 1, 1775; James,
born January 26, 1777; John, born December 25, 1778; Abigail,
born March 6, 1781; George, born May 3, 1783; David, born
January 30, 1786; Betsey, born May 30, 1788. Ebenezer Hall,
3d, born March 19, 1735, died February 14, 1813, buried on
Matinicus; Susannah Young Hall, his wife, born March 9,
1724, died December 9, 1831. After the death of her husband
she came to live with her son John Hall and is buried in the old
cemetery at the ”Head of the Bay” South Thomaston.

Capt. Hiram Hall is the owner of an iron kettle that was
left on Matinicus in 1757 by his great great grandfather Ebene-
zer Hall, who was killed by the Indians.

Ebenezer Hall, 3d, died February 14, 1814, age 78 years,
11 months, 9 days. His father Ebenezer, 2d, was killed by the
Indians on Matinicus in 1757. His wife, Mrs. Hall, a lady of
remarkable beauty and many accomplishments, was captured
with her two daughters, after her husband had been killed. They
were carried to Canada, where they were separated. Mrs. Hall
was eventually ransomed. But this unhappy woman, notwith-
standing her life long endeavors, could never obtain the least
knowledge of her children or their fate. The father of the above
Ebenezer was probably one of three brothers that came from
England. He was a lieutenant in the English army and was
present in the battle of Mines at the siege of Louisburg and was
wounded and died at Annapolis, Nova Scotia.

The above was taken from Abbott’s History of Maine. [Editor’s note: The History of Maine by John Stevens Cabot Abbott]

When Ebenezer Hall lived on Matinicus, a great many
years ago, there lived in the family a girl by the name of Dorcas
Young, a sister to Hall’s wife. Joseph Greene was paying his
addresses to Dorcas at the time. One night Hall invited some
fishermen up to the house, so he said to Greene, “Joe, don’t you
and Dorcas want to get married?” “I don’t know,” says Joe.
He started for the cow yard where Dorcas was milking the cows,
and asked her if she thought they had better get married, that
night. “Why Joe,” says Dorcas, “I have not got any wed-
ding gown.” “Never mind the gown,” says Joe, so they went
into the house, Dorcas washed herself, put on a clean apron,
stood up, and they were married, there being a justice of the
peace among the crowd.

The descendants of Ebenezer Hall, who was killed by the
Indians, formed a reunion association in 1906 and have raised
money and purchased a bronze tablet, which will be set in the
rock at or near the spot where Mr. Hall was killed, near what
is now Henry Young and Company’s store. The stone which
formed the base of the chimney of Hall’s house is located in
front of the store and the ledge behind which the Indians were
concealed is but a few yards distant.

The tablet bears the following inscription:

”Ebenezer Hall. The first white settler on Matinicus Isle,
Maine, killed by the Indians, June 6, 1757.”

Topics: Book Corner | 12 Comments »

DNA Match of Ichabod Hall to George Hall of Taunton

By Kathryn Hall | June 5, 2010

Editor’s note: The 67 marker DNA results for a descendant of Ichabod Hall are now in. This is excellent news for all researchers who believe they might be a descendant of this family. Here’s the DNA panel you will want to consult:

Most importantly this DNA panel reveals a match between a descendant of Ichabod Hall of Enfield and two proven descendants of George Hall of Taunton. Here are the DNA results of one of the descendants of George Hall and of Ichabod Hall.

And these results can be compared to previous DNA test results posted for my father and the same descendant of George Hall (an exact match).

Note that in the DNA test results for Ichabod and the George Hall descendant, there are four mutations, in the following markers: DYS439, DYS449, DYS570, CDY b. Each of these markers is where one would most expect mutations to appear, i.e, these fast-moving markers are where change/mutations ordinarily are found over time. This is an excellent and important discovery that undoes many errors and wrong speculations from the past, and that places Ichabod and his descendants correctly with the George Hall of Taunton family.

Ancestry of Ichabod Hall (—d. 1787) of Somers and Enfield, CT

In 1846, R.R. Hinman published his Catalogue of the First Puritan Settlers of the Colony of Connecticut (Hartford, E..E. Gleason). In the section “List of First Settlers who have few or no Descendents in Enfield” Hinman describes “Hall, Ichabod, Nicholas and John- three brothers who were early settlers in the east part of Enfield…Ichabod settled on the Somers Road, had three sons, Ebenezer, b. 1730, went to Tyringham, Moses, b. 1732, Elisha, b.1751.” (p. 178). Hinman makes no mention of the parentage of the three brothers. Samuel Hall is not mentioned in the work, nor does Hinman give a source for linking the three brothers.

In 1883, David B. Hall published The Halls of New England and used Hinman as a source to place Ichabod as a child of Samuel Hall and Elizabeth Bourne.(p 696) Because he placed Samuel and Elizabeth in the family of Edward Hall of Rehoboth, he guaranteed confusion for future researchers.
In 1929, James Kibbe published his manuscript which stated that because Ichabod did not appear in the list of children born to Samuel and Elizabeth in Taunton MA,, he was probably not of that family. There was no evidence linking Ichabod to Edward Hall, either, once the wives and Samuels were disentangled.
In fact, to date no records have yet been found to link Ichabod of Somers to any other Hall families in the areas of Taunton, MA, or Suffield, Somers or Enfield. – no vital records, probate documents or land records. A land record in Enfield, CT, dated March 5, 1765, records Ichabod Hall selling a parcel of land to Samuel Hall of Somers, but no familial connection is noted.
Ichabod Hall’s link to Samuel and thus to George Hall has consisted of the unsourced comment of Hinman, who merely links Ichabod to Nicholas and John, both of whom were proven sons of Samuel. That is, until now.
In May, 2010, Family Tree DNA test results revealed a match between Ichabod and two of a proven descendants of George Hall of Taunton. The Ichabod descendant is an eighth generation grandson of Ichabod, with a solid paper trail consisting of vital records, probate documents, Bible entries, obituaries, family letters and published genealogies.
The results showed a close match to the proven tester descended from George Hall of Taunton. There are 4 markers with a one point difference in markers 1 through 37. These markers are the ones where mutations are likely to occur. For markers 38 through 67, the stable, unchanging range, the match is perfect.
The matching testers for George are descendents of Samuel. In addition, Samuel was the only one of George’s descendents to emigrate to the Somers-Enfield area, where Ichabod lived. The test results and the close proximity of Ichabod to Samuel’s family allow us to know that Ichabod was indeed a son of Samuel and Elizabeth.

EGL & MHB, descendents of Ichabod Hall of Enfield

Topics: Regarding DNA | No Comments »

Ichabod Hall of Enfield, CT

By Kathryn Hall | March 25, 2010

The following guest post written by two descendants of Ichabod Hall clarifies, corrects and expands the notes we find in The Kibbe Manuscript on Halls of Taunton. My deepest gratitude is here expressed to these fine researchers in sharing their well documented family history. ~KH

Although the ancestry of Ichabod Hall of Enfield, CT is uncertain, his life from the time of his marriage to Lois Kibbe until his death is documented. He is mentioned numerous times in all three volumes of History of Enfield: Compiled from all the public records known to exist, covering from the beginning to 1850, by Francis Allen Olcott; Lancaster, PA; Wickerson Printing Co., 1901. Most of the information that follows is taken from that work, with the exception of two land records and a few vital records, which are noted separately. Spellings from the original documents were repeated in Allen’s work, and are thus repeated here.

The earliest record for Ichabod Hall in Enfield, CT is an intention of marriage published May 31, 1730, for Ichabod Hall and Lois Kibbe (Allen, Vol. 2, “Intentions of Marriages” p.1756). The marriage itself took place June 25, 1730 (Allen, Vol. 2, “Marriages”, p. 1770; Vital Records of Enfield, CT., Town Book 1, 1682-1789, p. 52).

Ichabod and Lois had 10 children between the years of 1730 and 1751: Ebenezer, b. Nov. 9, 1730, (Allen, Vol. 2, Births, p. 1629 and Town Book 1, p. 37); Moses, b. Oct. 8, 1732; Lois, b. Mar. 10, 1735/6; Hannah, b. Mar. 10, 1736/7, Elizabeth, b. Mar. 15, 1738/9; Eunice, a twin, the other child, male, stillborn, Mar. 26, 1741; Miriam, b. Apr. 4, 1745; Mary, b. Sept.23, 1748 (Allen, p. 1629) Elisha, b. Nov. 22, 1751 (Allen, p. 1629 and Town Book, 1, 1682-1789, p.83).

Elisha’s birth year has been given as both 1751 (R.R. Hinman, Catalogue of the Names of the First Puritan Settlers of the Colony of CT, printed by E. Gleason, Hartford, 1846, p. 178) and 1761 (Allen, p. 1629). A certified copy of the record, made May 22, 2009 from the vital record above, has a note that the birth year is not discernable, and has attached a photocopy of the original record. The year could be either 1751 or 1761. To clarify that the year is 1751, it is necessary to look at the record of births for Elisha’s children (the eldest, Samuel, b. Apr. 22, 1773, New Marlborough, MA, Births, 1734-1858, vol. 1,p. 24) and his own death record, May 6, 1842, age 91, (New Marlborough, MA, Old Records, Book 2nd, Births and Deaths, 1797, p.10).

While Ichabod was raising his large family, he was also active in the town. He was chosen to serve as one of the Hog Reeves for the years 1731 (Allen, Vol. 1, Town Meetings, p. 359), 1735 (pp. 371-372) and 1737 (pp. 378-379).

On December 18th, 1744, a vote at Town Meeting freed Ichabod Hall “of his town & minister Rates for this Present year—” (Allen, p. 401). No reason is given.

Ichabod is known to have owned property as early as 1733. In Vol. 1, “Land Grants”, pp. 230-231, a parcel of land is described as, “laid out to the Estate of Deacon Isaac Pease, late Decsd…Bounded….west on Ichabod Hall’s Land, entered May 15th, 1733…” Ichabod is mentioned again, on p. 277: “hath laide out 25 acres of land lying at Brook meadow…Entered March 22nd, 1737”. In Volume1, “Commoners Book A”, on Oct. 2, 1754, a parcel of land is “Surveyed and Laid out to Ichabod Hall, twelve acres and one quarter of land in Somers…” (Allen, p.775). Ichabod is also listed in “A Table of Common Rights” on page 776. Three more parcels, laid out in January, 1757 are described in the Commoners Book, on pp. 868, 869 and 891. The parcels of land are in Somers, one for nine acres, one for thirty acres and one for twenty, respectively.

Ichabod is named twice in Volume 3, “Town Records”. On p. 2483, it is noted that on “June 26, 1753, Ichabod hall Entered his mark which is a Crop off of the Left Ear and two half pennys the und Side of the Same Ear.” A few pages later, under “Estrays, Etc.”, it is noted: “Taken up By Ichabod hall November 3rd 1761 a Red white faced heifer year old past marked with a Crop in the near Ear and a slit in the Crop.” (Allen, p. 2499).

In Volume 3, “Enfield and Somers Soldiers in the Colonial Wars” Ichabod mustered into the 1st Regiment, 9th Co., April 16, 1759. “That year’s Expedition was engaged in the reduction of Fort Louis at Oswego and the capture of Montreal.” (Allen, p.2640) Ichabod served again in the same regiment and company from March 25-Nov.25, 1760. “This year’s expedition was engaged in the reduction of Canada.” (Allen, pp. 2640-2641).

Ichabod is mentioned several times in Vol. 2 ,“Treasurer’s Book”. This is described as the “Enfield Book for Town Accounts to be keept (sic) in Feby. 22, 1714/15. From 1741 to 1805.” (p.913). The first entry for Ichabod, on p. 913, is undated, but is just prior to entries dated 1743/44. The entry is the third one in a series, and reads “by Ichabod Hall 0-18-11”. This amount is part of a final tally a few entries later. Other entries for Ichabod are: Nov. 8th, 1751, “Paid Ichabod Hall per order 08-05-02”; (p. 936), December 12th, 1752, “By Crossing Ichabod halls Rate in part, 1-12-00”; (p.937); Sept. 6th, 1761, “order to pay Ichabod Hall 0-02-01” (p.950); March 24, 1763, “by an order returned on which you paid Ichabod Hall 00-02-01” (p. 950). An additional entry on p. 986 , dated Sept. 6th, 1762 is “to order to pay Ichabod Hall 00-02-01.” The reason for the payment is not given.

The last pertinent records for Ichabod Hall in Enfield are for the sale of two parcels of land. A record dated February 24, 1764, states that Ichabod is of Hartford County (Land Records of Enfield, CT, 1760-1773, Book 3, pp. 155-156.) In a subsequent sale, dated March 5, 1765, Ichabod is recorded as” being in the county of Berkshire, in the colony of Massachusetts Bay” (Land Records of Enfield CT, 1760-1773, Book 3, p. 248.) The land sold in 1765 was purchased by Samuel Hall of Somers.

It appears from an examination of the original records that Ichabod was illiterate. His name is recorded in both documents in the handwriting of the clerk; beside Ichabod’s name is a circle, with the word “Seal” inside.

Ichabod and Lois moved to New Marlborough, MA, after their son Ebenezer Hall, Sr. and his wife Anna Pease Hall settled there. Ebenezer and Anna married in Enfield, CT. May 27, 1753 (Enfield Town Book, 1, 1682-1789, p. 198) and were in New Marlborough by 1760, when their daughter Susannah was born July 19. (Record of Marriages, Births and Deaths in New Marlborough, MA, by Otis Lombard, 1860, p. 268.)

Land records of New Marlborough may indicate that at least one daughter, Lois, married to Daniel Winchell of Suffield, had also moved to New Marlborough prior to Ichabod and Lois, but further research is needed to verify this. A search of these records would also yield further information on Ichabod and Ebenezer.

The deaths of Ichabod Hall and Lois (Kibbe) Hall are recorded in the vital records of New Marlborough, MA. Ichabod died February 4, 1787; Lois died November 6th, 1796. (Old Records, Book 2nd, Births and Deaths, 1797, p.10). Their burial places are unknown.

~EGL & MHB, Descendents of Ichabod Hall of Enfield, CT.

Topics: Guest Posts | 6 Comments »

Tracing mtDNA: The Seven Daughters of Eve

By Kathryn Hall | March 1, 2010

While the extraordinary book The Seven Daughters of Eve by Oxford University professor of genetics Bryan Sykes was published ten years ago, it has just recently come to my attention. I suppose it was inevitable, or at least organic that when I found, at last, an exact 37 marker DNA match to my father, proving my many years of research, that my focus would turn to include the maternal counterpart, mtDNA.

I will not assume that all readers will know that DNA is the genetic material passed from father to son. But most doing research are aware that most of genealogy, to date, is built almost purely upon a patriarchal paradigm, following the data of the lives of fathers and sons. Indeed, when a particular family line “ends” with only daughters the research often comes to a screeching halt, and the line, it is declared has “daughtered out.”

But then there are the mothers, who are much more work to trace, due to the current and longtime practice of women surrendering their “maiden” names and trading for their husbands’ and thus obscuring their histories forever.

Except for this: mtDNA. For the mothers, in fact, pass along mtDNA to both their sons and daughters. And their daughters, in turn pass along to their sons and daughters. But only their daughters will pass along mtDNA to their sons and daughters. And so it is the daughter line that determines the fate of the history of a family if that is the lens through which we choose to look.

And an interesting fact about mtDNA. It really is much more stable. Over time it is not subject to the many mutations we find in DNA.

“..although the mitochondrial mutation rate seems incredibly slow, it is fortunately just about right for studying human evolution over the last hundred thousand years–which is when most of the action happened.” ~Bryan Sykes

And why would this be of interest? Because through the slow changing mtDNA of mothers, passed along to their children, we have the magical possibility of determining a history that even ten years ago seemed an impossibility. We can discover through a relatively unchanging mtDNA of an individual the geographic likelihood of where an individual’s ancestors came from. More than that, we can discover their tribe, their clan, their original human family. The Clan Mother.

“I slowly realized that we held in our hands the power to reconstruct the maternal genealogy of the whole world.” ~Bryan Sykes

And for those of us with other histories, perhaps just as dramatic and difficult, through mtDNA we can trace our early early roots, back to the earliest common ancestor whose lines did not become extinct. Author Bryan Sykes, Oxford geneticist, has identified seven women who did live on planet Earth, whose lines not only survived through the passage of mtDNA to their daughters (who passed it along), who are the source mothers of a profoundly large number of those with European roots.

Researching this book I’ve discovered there are folks out there who actually criticized Sykes’ spinning stories around each of these women, who, again, really did exist. But I for one thought it was both creative and authentic that he carefully constructs a story for each woman based on what was known about the cultures of the women when they lived on planet Earth, i.e, through anthropological and archeological discoveries of those particular times. I found that tactic infinitely more interesting than a more than likely dry boring description of the pertinent culture at hand. Thus we get passages like this:

Helena spent her childhood in this landscape, helping her mother comb the woods for wild mushrooms and toadstools, or wading in the brackish lagoons in search of oysters. Her father patrolled the woods alone, on the lookout for small dear and other mammals.


Xenia was born in the wind and snow of late spring. Even though it was already April, the snow that covered the land in winter was still on all but the lowest ground and lay in a thick and filthy slush around the campsite. Xenia herself was born in a round hut, about three metres in diameter, whose frame was constructed almost entirely of mammoth bones.

These are hardly passages one would expect to read in a book about mtDNA, and therefore I think Sykes, obviously a fine writer, made a good choice for both himself and his readers. Bravo.

I highly recommend The Seven Daughters of Eve, a fascinating introduction to mtDNA. My prediction is that you will not be able to put the book down and you will walk away unexpectedly enriched and wanting more.


Topics: Book Corner | 5 Comments »

John J. Steadman of Iowa

By Kathryn Hall | February 12, 2010

John J. Steadman (1849-1941)

The following is an excerpt from Biographies and Portraits of the Progressive Men of Iowa: Leaders in Business, Politics and the Professions (Benjamin Gue and Benjamin Franklin Shambaugh, 1899). I am including because John J. Steadman is the son of Reverend John Judson Steadman, a founding Methodist Episcopalian minister, mentioned in previous post. Current posts are dedicated to unlocking the mystery of Mercy Stedman/Steadman’s background. KH

Steadman, John J. of Council Bluffs, wa bron in Ashtabula county, Ohio, April 4, 1849. He is the son of Rev. John J. Steadman, who was during his lifetime one of the most distinguished divines of the Methodist church. A preacher of great ability, a debater of renown, he became famous during the discussion of the slavery question that agitated the country more than half a century ago. In Ohio and Pennsylvania, he and Rev. Hiram Kinsley met on the forum the most pronounced advocates of slavery, and history records that in all their public debates not once where they vanquished. As a promulgator of the doctrines of the Methodist Episcopal church, no man of his time excelled him. His public discussions with Alexander Campbell, the founder of the Christian Church, are referred to in Ohio today as the most interesting and beneficial to the cause of Methodism. He belonged to a type of stalwart theologians not today much in evidence, because of the changed condition of public sentiment on matters of religion and the rights of men.

Mr. Steadman’s mother’s maiden name was Lydia Reader. She was well educated for the times in which she lived, and possessed mental qualities and Christian graces that made her one of the forceful women of her day. Born and reared in Ohio, she naturally acquired strong anti-slavery ideas, and during the days preceeding the war sought to impress upon her children–two daughters and three sons–an ardent love of country, due regard for the rights of all men and firm religious convictions as the safe anchor for success in life.

John J. Steadman was scarcely three years old when his father died, in 1851. As is usually the case with Methodist ministers of early date, not much of worldly wealth was left the wife on which to rear and educate her five children. To obtain an education was Mr. Steadman’s great ambition. It is related of him by the citizens of West Farmington, Ohio, where he was brought up, that he did odd chores to pay his tuition’ that he worked on the farm in vacation, and, in fact, did whatever he could find to do in order to obtain the means to complete a course of study at Western Reserve Seminary at West Farmington, Ohio, from which he was graduated with honors at the age of nineteen years, in both classical and scientific courses. After his graduation from the seminary he taught school in the city of Niles, Ohio, one year, and then entered Mt. Union College, at Alliance, Ohio, from which he graduated in 1869.

During his school days at Farmington the War of Rebellion broke out. Young Steadman became impressed with the idea he ought to join the army, and after two or three trials succeeded, by the aid of friends, in being accepted as a drummer in the One Hundred and Seventy-first Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He served with his regiment until the war closed. Before he enlisted his services were much in demand on the Western Reserve as an orator at war meetings, when recruiting officers were enlisting men for the army.

After his graduation from Mt. Union College Mr. Steadman was elected principal of West Springfield Academy in Pennsylvania, a school of considerable standing and large membership of students. During this time he was married to Miss Darcie Garretson, of Mt. Union, Ohio, a member of his class, who graduated with class honors and subsequently became a teacher of mathematics in the institution over which her husband presided. A successful period at this academy opened the way to a higher call, and Mr. and Mrs. Steadman went to Carrier Seminary and Normal School in Clarion, Pennsylvania. They remained in charge of this institution of learning for three years, until, health demanding a change of work for both, they turned their faces toward Iowa, the state of their adoption, and in 1873 Mr. Steadman bought the Osceola Sentinel, which he edited until he purchased the Creston Gazette in 1877. During his connection with the Osceola Sentinel, he was elected district delegate from the Seventh Congressional district to the Republican National Convention, which met in Cincinnati in 1876.

He owned and edited the Creston Gazette for seven years, and during that time founded the Daily Gazette. The Creston Daily and Weekly Gazette, under his management, developed into one of the most prosperous newspaper plants in the state and obtained a prestige among editors which it has ever since maintained. In 1884 Mr. Steadman purchased an interest in the Council Bluffs Nonpareil. This paper he edited for several years, retiring only when forced to do so by impaired health. During the years he was connected with the Osceola Sentinel, the Creston Gazette and the Council Bluffs Nonpariel, he was actively engaged on the stump in every political campaign, both national and state. His active work as a member of the Grand Army of the Republic made him a popular candidate for Department Commander of that great organization. In 1892 he was elected to this high responsible office, and so efficiently did he discharge his duties that a double testimonial was bestowed upon him, one by his comrades and one by the state encampment. In 1892 Mr. Steadman was appointed clerk of the United States district court for the southern district of Iowa. Mr. Steadman has always been a republican, prominent in the councils of the party and honored because of his ability to defend its principles, both in the newspaper and on the stump. He has prospered financially and today ranks among the solid and successful business men in Iowa.

~published in 1899

Topics: Brick Wall: Mercy Stedman | 2 Comments »

History of Erie Conference–excerpt

By Kathryn Hall | February 10, 2010

The following is an excerpt from History of Erie Conference (1907) by Jason Nelson Fradenburgh. I am posting as part of my research in determining the background of Mercy Steadman, wife of Luke Hall. She is here alluded to, but not by name. She is surrounded by people who are most likely part of her Steadman family, but I have yet to determine how.
It has been projected that she was part of the Oliver Steadman family in Lee, Berkshire, Massachusetts and it has been projected that she is related to the Joseph Steadman family, father of Dennis Steadman. Indeed, that family has a Perry connection, and family lore maintains that Mercy had a connection to the Perry family. But, then, so does Oliver Steadman in MA. Another clue might be in the emergence of John Judson Steadman, who was reportedly from Cattaraugus County, NY. A future post will add more detail to the life of John Judson Steadman, who in 1831 was appointed third preacher of the Euclid and Cleveland Circuit, after being “converted under the labors of B.O. Plimpton in 1824-25.”
(History of Erie Conference, Fradenburgh)

Classes Organized at Aurora and Charlestown, O

Billings O. [Otis] Plimpton formed a class in Aurora, Ohio, in 1824, the momebers of which included Dudley Hollister and wife, Reuben Henry and wife, and Maria Ferguson.

In 1824 Ira Eddy and Billings O. Plimpton, traveling the Deerfield Circuit, formed a class in the town of Charlestown, Portage, Ohio. The following were the pioneer members. Claudius Coe and wife, Adna C. Coe and wife. Sarah C. Coe. Alpheus Baldwin, Luke Hall and wife, John Judson Steadman and Edward Steadman. Others were soon added, among whom are named: Dennis Steadman, Watson Steadman, Diodama Steadman and the two Misses Hall. In January 1825, Charles Elliott, the Presiding Elder, came to hold a quarterly meeting, and was refused the use of the little school house because the “Congregational minister, having the oldest right, claimed it.” Mr. Elliott accepted the offer of a barn. The floor was seated and made comfortable for the women, and a few bundles of straw were scattered on the ground in front of the door upon which men could stand. The meeting was duly held, and Mr. Elliott preached a crushing sermon against Calvinism. It was determined to build a church, and five trustees were appointed for that purpose. They obtained a lot and erected a neat brick church which was occupied by the society for many years. By the close of the year they numbered between thirty and forty members. (Gregg, History of Methodism, Erie Conference, Vol I, pp. 219-220)

The following is a corresponding excerpt from The History of Methodism Within the Boundaries of the Erie Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Vol I (1873) by Samuel Gregg (1810-1877)

Rev. Messrs. Eddy and Plimpton, on the Deerfield Circuit, established an appointment in the town of Charlestown, Portage, Ohio where a Congregational Church, organized in Massachusetts and thence emigrated to this town, held almost unlimited sway, and were determined to keep the Methodists our anyhow. Soon a revival of religion commenced, which continued through the winter, and resulted in the formation of a class consisting of Claudius Coe and wife, Luke Hall and wife, Sarah C. Coe, John Judson Steadman, Edward Steadman, and to this little band others were soon added, among them Diodama Steadman and two young ladies by the name of Hall…

After much difficulty they succeeded in getting a lot at the south-west corner of the square, on which they erected a neat little brick church…”

Editor’s notes:

*Dennis Steadman/Stedman married Matilda Worden. Interestingly, their children included Henry Plimpton Stedman (b. 31 Aug 1834).

*Alpheus Baldwin married Polly Stedman, sister of Dennis Stedman. Polly Stedman is documented as being from MA.

*Watson Stedman was the brother of Dennis Stedman.

Mrs. Adna C. Coe is Prudence Hall, both from MA.

Topics: Brick Wall: Mercy Stedman | 2 Comments »

Guest Post: Alpheus Hall

By Kathryn Hall | February 7, 2010

cherry dresser of Alpheus Hall

Alpheus Hall6 (Josiah5, Josiah4, Samuel3, Samuel2, George) was the son of Josiah Hall and Elizabeth Russel and great grandson of Samuel Hall and Sarah Rising. He was born in Somers, Connecticut, on July 28, 1766. On September 7, 1789, in Somers he married Anna Sikes, daughter of Reuben Sikes and Thankful Buell. Anna was born 3 Aug. 1769, so she married just a month after her 20th birthday. [VR's of Somers, CT, Barbour Collection]

By 1798 Alpheus had moved his young family from Somers to Chenango County, New York, where he was made Overseer of Highways and, where he later purchased 80 acres on the west side of the Chenango River in the Town of Sherburne, now the Town of Smyrna. He was a farmer. Family tradition says that the above cherry dresser came from Connecticut with Alpheus and his family. When it was given to me I had it appraised for insurance and verified that it’s typical of Connecticut furniture of that period.

Alpheus and Anna had 7 children; 6 girls and a boy. They remained in Smyrna for the rest of their lives and died there. Anna died on July 11, 1825 and Alpheus on July 12, 1832. They are buried in the Earlville Village Cemetery.

When I began searching for my family roots in 1985, I didn’t know much about genealogy research so I drove to the cemetery in Earlville on a whim because I knew that some of my Hall ancestors had lived there. I parked my car and walked straight to the graves of Alpheus and Anna and their son Solomon, from whom I’m descended! Do you think our ancestors give us clues so we can find them? (Conversely, we all know that some ancestors hide all traces of themselves.)


Topics: Guest Posts | 1 Comment »

George Hall DNA and Edward Hall DNA

By Kathryn Hall | January 10, 2010

Dear Readers,

In the last decade I approached my father and asked him to participate in the brand new HALL DNA Project. Knowing how important my research was to the family he immediately agreed. Thus my father became the first participant in this project. Because DNA science was in its infancy I made a determination to remove those results from the project two or three years ago until some semblance of agreement could be found among those exploring this new important science.

This last year my beloved father left this earthly plane and therefore I feel it is not only appropriate but historically vital to all those researching the George Hall of Taunton and Edward Hall of Rehoboth lines to publish the following results, most especially because an exact 67 marker match has very recently been found and brought to my attention. Hopefully the publishing of these results, which I do with permission, and the accompanying links to public sites will inspire and motivate those who believe they are descendants of one of these two families to look within their families and approach male Halls who might be tested thereby validating their research, or, conversely, making it obvious that further research or documentation is necessary.

In the nearly two decades I have conducted this research, beginning with a lifetime of amazingly accurate notes passed on by my now deceased aunt, I have come to realize that not everyone will aspire to the high standards that I would hope would be the guidelines adhered to in researching one’s family. There is also the seduction of the printed word. If it’s in a book, or on the Net, or in a church record, it must be so, right? And thus errors get passed along generation after generation, so engrained in the mythologies of families that rectifying these errors becomes nigh onto impossible. The human mind is indeed a stubborn thing. We do not like change. But change is all there is.

For the record my guiding precepts for genealogy are the same as for all of my life:

to show up
to pay attention
to tell the truth
and to not be attached to outcome

By adhering to the principle of always seeking the truth and to speak up to power when the truth is not set forth are cornerstones of all of my research. This is coupled with the ability and commitment to change records where necessary, because they are revealed to be incorrect. I will say here, however, that it is never my style to set forth “theories,” hoping or assuming someone someday will come along and challenge my projections or suspicions. Anyone practicing that “methodology” fails to understand the Internet, fails to understand their own power and the power of the written word, and fails to understand how these “theories” will become viral, become accepted and will take years to unscramble, if ever.

Having set forth these tenets, I am here presenting you with the correct DNA results of the descendants of George Hall of Taunton and the correct DNA results of the descendants of Edward Hall of Rehoboth. Please see accompanying links for further information.

Male descendants of George Hall of Taunton will find their DNA results look like this:

For exact 67 marker match go here and view Tester #15183, indicating tester is a descendant of George, bef. 1615, MA. It should be noted that the paper trail of the immediate family of this tester is well documented and published.

The haplogroup for George Hall is J2.

Male descendants of Edward Hall of Rehoboth will find their DNA results look like this:

For further information go here and view results for Family 6. You may also go here and view information for tester MGS2N.

The haplogroup for Edward Hall is R1b.

For those of you asking if the results must be a perfect match, please review information on mutations. If you have an exact match, rejoice.

I wish you blessings upon your research. I firmly believe that the nature of this work is sacred in its nature and duty and that the ancestors benefit greatly as do we. Good searching!


Topics: Regarding DNA | 3 Comments »

Generations 1-3

By Kathryn Hall | January 2, 2010

Dear Readers:

Following are the details of the first three generations of my family, beginning with my earliest known ancestor, George Hall of Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. I expect that in spite of monumental efforts there will be adjustments to be made. Fortunately the fluidity of blogs allows precisely that!

Note that bold lettering of male names indicates my immediate line. The skeletal version is:

George (1603-1669)
Samuel (1644-1689)
Samuel (1664-1733)
Samuel (1710-1790)
Luke (1773-c.1843)
Luke (1794/5-c.1879)
Nelson Wesley (1836-1903)
John Wesley (1860-1940)
Nelson Wesley (1921-2009)

Emphasis is on information related to direct lines.

Next posts will complete the now proven, through the science and magic of DNA testing, ancestry.
(For further information see Family Tree DNA link.)

Thank you for visiting and for whatever comments you deem worthy!


Editor’s note: for researchers still untangling the various Samuel Halls, please see the excellent post at www.fourhallcousins in Marsha Hoffman Rising’s article in National Genealogical Society Quarterly and on this blog, here. Further, recent DNA discoveries will solve this mystery and confusion once and for all. Stay tuned!

First generation

George Hall, Born c. 1603 in Devonshire, England. Died 30 October 1669 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. Married Mary c. 1630 in England. Died c. 1680 (?) in Taunton, Bristol, MA. [Mary's ancestry not yet known.] It is believed George and Mary emigrated from Devonshire Co, England in 1636-37. Last will and testament of George Hall found here.

Children of George [1] and Mary:
i. John
ii. Joseph
iii. Samuel
iv. Charity
v. Sarah
vi. Mary [See Kibbe manuscript]

Second generation

John [2] Hall (George [1]) Born 1640 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. Died 1693 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. Married Hannah Penniman 4 February 1670/1 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. [VR Taunton, p. 216] Born 26 March 1648, in Braintree, Norfolk Co., MA. Died 14 April 1726 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA.

Joseph [2] Hall (George [1]). Born 1642 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. Died 17 April 1705, in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. (VR Taunton, p. 95) Burial 1705 in Neck of Land Cemetery. No Raynham, MA.

Neck of Land Cemetery National Register of Historic Places Site # 85001530

Joseph married Mary Bell on 19 July 1669. Born 1645 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. (VR Taunton, p. 569) Mary was the daughter of James Bell. Died 1718 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA.

Samuel [2] Hall (George [1]) Born 11 December 1644 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. Died 14 March 1689 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. In 1664 married Elizabeth White, daughter of Nicholas White and Susanna Humphrey, in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. Elizabeth was born 9 June 1643 in Dorchester, Suffolk Co., MA. Elizabeth died in 1707 (age 63) in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA.

Children of Samuel [2] and Elizabeth:

i. Samuel
ii. John
iii. Nicholas
iv. Elizabeth
v. Mary
vi. Sarah
vii. Ebenezer
viii. Sarah
ix. George
v. Hannah

Third generation

John [3] Hall (John [2] George [1]). Born 27 June 1672 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. Died 1768 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA.

James [3] Hall (John [2] George [1]) Born 8 December 1675 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. Died 4 September 1735.

Jacob [3] Hall (John [2] George [1]) Born 14 February 1679/0 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. Died 1769 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA.

Joseph [3] Hall (Joseph [2] George [1]) Born 1694 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. Died 9 November 1773 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. (VR Taunton, p. 95)

Nathaniel [3] Hall (Joseph [2] George [1]) Born 1702 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA Died 1780 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA.

Nehemiah [3] Hall (Joseph [2] George [1]) Born 1704 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. Died 1775.

Samuel [3] Hall (Samuel [2] George [1]) Born 11 December 1664 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. Samuel died 7 May 1733 in Enfield, CT. Married Elizabeth Bourne in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA 7 April 1686 (NGSQ 81:19) Elizabeth was born 7 April 1658. We have no death or burial records for Elizabeth to date, though we know she died before 1708, when Samuel marries Sarah Rising. [See below.]

Children of Samuel [3] and Elizabeth:

i. Elizabeth
ii. Remember
iii. Nicholas
iv. Mary
v. Nathaniel
vi. Mehitabel
vii. Enoch
viii. Hannah
ix. Ichabod

Notes on children from the [Kibbe manuscript [sic]]
[Roman numeralization mine for continuity. KH]

i. Elizabeth, b. Taunton March 20, 1687 m. in Suffield Sept. 15, 1714 Richard Woolworth. She joined Suffield Ch. By letter from Ch. In Taunton June 1716. See Suffield church records. This fact alone identifies the Suffield Halls as belonging to the Taunton Halls. She died in 1760. Her husband 1732. Had children.

ii. Remember b. Taunton Febry 15, 1689 m. in Suffield Apr. 24, 1712 Benj. King who removed with his father-in-law to Stafford where he died and his widow Remember m. Nov. 7 1734 Benj. Thomas of Somers.

iii. Nicholas b. Taunton Jan. 23 1690 went with his father from Suffield to Stafford and thence to Enfield near Somers line where he had an Iron Forge near what is now known as Forge Bridge. He and his son Joseph were admitted to the Somers church Jan. 3, 1742. He is mention in deeds in land records of Suffield, Stafford and Enfield. He m. twice and had several children but no descendants are now known. Most if not all his children died early. His death record is not found.

iv. Mary b. Taunton Oct. 3, 1692 m. in Suffield Nov. 29, 1716 Samuel Roe. He d. 1732.

v. Nathaniel b. Taunton May 18, 1695 m. Mable Winchell in Suffield date not found, published Dec. 9, 1716. She d. June 8, 1768, had several ch. All recorded in Suffield. He was a “cordwainer”. Resided near Conn. River and near west end of present railroad bridge spanning that stream.

vi. Mehitabel b. Taunton Dec. 1, 1697. No record further.

vii. Enoch b. Taunton Apr. 13, 1699 lived in Enfield. M. Martha Wright of Northfield, Mass. where records show he lived several years. Afterwards removed. Had children.

viii. Hannah b. no birth record, not known to be of this family, m. Joseph Rising, pub. Sept. 5, 1729 in Suffield and lived there.

xi. Ichabod b. no birth record, may not belong to this family m. Enfield June 25, 1730 Lois Kibbe of Enfield, had a numerous family and many descendants. He moved to Vermont or New Hampshire in middle life.
[Note in margin says, “not in Taunton list with others”, beside Hannah and Ichabod.]

Samuel [3] marries (2) Sarah Rising in 1708 in Suffield, Hartford, CT. Sarah was born 15 November 1685 in Suffield, Hartford, CT. She was the daughter of John Rising and Sarah Hale.

Children of Samuel [3] and Sarah:

i. Sarah
ii. Samuel
iii. Mercy
iv. Bethiah
v. Abigail
vi. Eunice [Abigail and Eunice were twins.]
vii. John
viii. Josiah
ix. Charity

Notes on children:

i. Sarah Hall, b. 3 Oct 1709, Suffield, Hartford Co., CT. Marries Jeremiah Markham. Sarah dies 30 March 1787 in Middletown, Middlesex Co., CT.
ii. Samuel Hall, b. 2 Dec 1710, Suffield, Hartford Co., CT. Marries Hannah Parsons 1 October 1741.
iii. Mercy Hall, b. 3 Jan 1712, Suffield, Hartford Co., CT.
iv. Bethiah Hall, b. 9 Sep 1713, Suffield, Hartford Co., CT. Marries William Holton. Bethiah dies 10 April 1773 in Northfield, Franklin Co., MA.


v. Abigail Hall, b. 28 Apr 1715, Suffield, Hartford Co., CT. Marries Samuel Hayden 17 November 1737.
vi. Eunice Hall, b. 28 Apr 1715, Suffield, Hartford Co., CT. Marries Samuel Cravath 31 October 1741.

vii. John Hall, b. 31 May 1719, Enfield, CT; m. Hannah Guild.
viii. Josiah Hall, b. 16 Mar 1722, Stafford, Hartford Co., CT; m. Sarah Bush.
ix. Charity Hall, b. 18 Aug 1723, Stafford, Hartford Co., CT; m. Isaac Davis 21 Feb. 1744/45. (Vital Statistics of Sheffield, MA Marriages 1773-1797 Vol I, p. 43) [Notes: Helped found Lee, Berkshire, MA]

Notes from Kibbe manuscript on these children follow:

Sarah b. Suffield Oct. 3, 1709, first child of second marriage (Sarah Rising)

Samuel b. Suffield Dec. 2, 1710 m. Oct. 1, 1741 Hannah Parson, said to be of Somers. He was a prominent citizen of Somers and had children.

Marcy b. Suffield June 3, 1712. From Suffield records she seemed to have lived there with her half sister Mary (Hall) Roe.

Bethia b. Suffield Sept. 9, 1713 seems from Suffield records to have been cared for by half sisters

Elizabeth Woolworth and Mary Rowe and half brother Nathaniel Hall. She m. May 25, 1736 Wm. Holten of Northfield, Mass., the home of her half brother Enoch Hall.

Abigal b. Suffield April 8, 1717. She m. in Somers Samuel Hayden of Windsor (Hayden Station) Nov. 17, 1737.

Eunice b. Suffield Apr. 8, 1717 (Twin with Abigal) m. in Somers Samuel Cravath of Middletown, Conn. Aug. 31, 1741.

John b. Stafford May 31, 1719 m. Hannah Guild of Somers, He was then of Enfield. Marriage record not. published in Enfield Feb. 25, 1741/1 pub. In Somers Feb. 28, 1741. They lived in Enfield and had children. He has been recorded among the probable children of Samuel and Sarah Hall but he was SURELY their child.

Josiah b. Stafford March 16, 1722 m. Sarah Bush of Somers.

Charity b. Stafford Aug. 18, 1723 admitted to Somers church Apr. 25, 1742.

NOTE: The above items are taken from the records indicated and are correct to the best of my knowledge and ability.

John [3] Hall (Samuel [2] George [1]) Born 19 October 1666 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA (VR Taunton, p. 194) Died 1738 (?) in Norton, Bristol Co., MA. Married Esther Bell 14 December 1692 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA.

Elizabeth [3] Hall (Samuel [2] George [1]) Born 28 October 1670 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. Died 4 November 1739 in Norton, Bristol Co., MA.

Mary [3] Hall (Samuel [2] George [1]) Born 3 October 1672 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA.

Ebenezer [3] Hall (Samuel [2] George [1]) Born 19 March 1676 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. Died July 1747 in Falmouth, York Co., Maine. Ebenezer married Jane Bumpus 22 June 1704.

Sarah [3] Hall (Samuel [2] George [1]) Born 2 march 1678 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA Died Feb. 1769.

George [3] Hall (Samuel [2] George [1]) Born 25 January 1680/1 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA. Died after 1760. Burial in Layville Cemetery, Lyne, CT.

Hannah [3] Hall (Samuel [2] George [1]) Born 8 April 1683 in Taunton, Bristol Co., MA.

Topics: Massachusetts | 14 Comments »

The Hall Family at Church in Smyrna

By Kathryn Hall | February 1, 2009

The following excerpt is from History of Chenango and Madison Counties, New York by James H. Smith, published in 1880. These notes shed light not only on the religious interests of Luke Hall and his wife, Ruby (Pease) Hall and on their son, Erastus Gilbert Hall, and also provide a tiny glimpse into the general climate and concerns of the times. It is through such vehicles as these notes that we begin to shed light into the lives of our early ancestors, whereupon they begin to transcend the strictly factual data so often associated with genealogical research. KH

Reproduction of the Old West Hill Meeting House, Sherburne

CHURCHES.—The First Congregational Church in Smyrna.—The first religious meetings in Smyrna were held in a school-house that stood near the site of the present Congregational church. In the year 1816 there was a powerful revival of religion in connection with these school-house meetings. Preaching was obtained for the few weeks of the revival interest. A better school-house was built in which, June 26, 1824, the First Congregational church in Smyrna was organized. The original members were as follows, viz: Marsena Allen, John Strew, Julius Wood, George J. Hammond, Chester Hammond, Elihu Pettis, Deborah Pettis, Rodger Case, Mercy Case, John Percival, Ruth Percival, John Percival, Jr., Lois Youngs, Timothy Leonard, Asenath Leonard, Satira Hammond, George Hammond, Elijah Sexton, Rhoda Sexton, Deborah F. Pettis, Fanny Hammond, Asenath Wood, Reuby Hall, Bersheba Carver, Miranda Strew and Mary Packard. These, except the last one mentioned, came from the Second Congregational church in Sherburne, located on West Hill. At the formation of the church, Rev. Samuel Manning, of Sherburne, presided as moderator, and Rev. Nathaniel Latham, of Hamilton, preached the sermon. John Percival and Timothy Leonard were chosen to serve as deacons for the first communion, and Chester Hammond was chosen clerk of the church. At the first communion season Sarah Hunt, Sally Hunt, Mary Talcott, Polly Sutliff and Hannah G. Allen were received by letter from the West Hill church. Having no minister, John Percival was chosen as standing moderator of all church meetings. All the meetings were held in the district school-house till a house of worship could be built. In August, 1826, the frame for a meeting house was raised, and the house was completed in the following year. In December, 1827, the funeral of Mr. John Munson, one of those who contributed toward the building of the house of worship, was held in the unfinished building. January 20, 1828, the house was dedicated, Rev. Lyman Rexford, of Sherburne, preaching the sermon on the occasion.

The church has numbered 521 communicants on its roll of members.

The first deacons of this church were Chester Hammond and Marsena Allen. Succeeding these were Isaac Foote, Jr., William W. Chapman, Amasa Foote, Gardiner J. Kenyon and Julius Wood.

The present deacons are Levi B. Collins and Nathaniel T. Ferris.

The following is a list of the pastors and their term of service:—

Ezra Woodworth, Aug. 1824, to May, 1825.
Luther Clark, April, 1826, to April, 1828.
Charles E. Avery, May, 1828, to Aug. 1830.
Samuel Manning, April, 1831, to Feb., 1832.
Elias Childs, Nov., 1832, to Sept., 1834.
Sidney Mills, Oct., 1834, to April, 1839.
Lemuel Pomeroy, Feb., 1840, to April, 1852.
David F. Judson, April, 1853, to May, 1857.
M. C. Bronson, Nov., 1857, to April, 1860.
Andrew Huntington, June, 1860, to Sept., 1861.
Charles Barstow, Feb., 1862, to Sept., 1862.
Archibald Crawford, Dec., 1862, to March, 1863.
John H. Nason, Oct., 1863, to March, 1866.
Seneca M. Keeler, June, 1866, to Sept., 1870.
Henry M. Grant, Nov., 1870, to Oct., 1871.
Henry Carpenter, Feb., 1872, to April, 1873.

Charles C. Johnson is the present pastor. He began his labors with this church Jan. 3d, 1874.

During the pastorate of Mr. Keeler, the society enlarged and remodeled their house of worship at a cost of $3,500. During the ministry of Mr. Grant the manse was freed from debt and presented to the society. In 1873 the society repaired and reseated their chapel. In the summer of 1879 the church edifice was thoroughly renovated, calcimined and painted. The society keep out of debt and pay their pastor’s salary promptly.

H. M. Dixon is superintendent of the Sabbath School, and has superintended a mission Sunday School at Central Smyrna for the past 25 years. Deacon N. T. Ferris is Superintendent of the South Smyrna Sabbath School. 11

Following are notes from the Minutes of the Annual Meeting by General Association of the State of New York, Presbyterian Church, September, 1865.

The General Association of the Congregational Churches of the State of New York, held its Thirty-second Annual Meeting with the Congregational Church of Oswego, commencing on Tuesday, September 19th, 1865 at 10 o’clock, A. M.

The meeting was called to order by the Register, and was organized by the choice of Rev. Milton Badger, D.D., of New York as Moderator…The Moderator opened the meeting with prayer…The Roll was made out as follows…

Delegates from Churches
Smyrna–Bro. Erastus G. Hall

Ministers Associated with General Association


J. H. Nason–ordained Sept. 10, 1862–Smyrna, Chenango Co, occupation–Stated Supply.

Report from the Oneida Association

This Association numbers, on the Annual Record, 24 Churches; two of which it is said belong not to the Accociation; and seven or eight others are without preaching; and several of them have only a nominal existence. There is not settled Pastor within the bounds of this Association.

No revivals are reported to have occurred within the Association; but the Sabbath Schools are for the most part flourishing. The Register concludes his Report thus: “War news is more attractive than any other. Efforts to relieve hardships and sufferings of our soldiers, share very general attention. Our country’s wrongs and our country’s woes, take a deep hold on the feelings of the community, and much indignation is felt at the course of treason and rebel sympathy in our midst. Yet, we expect our covenant God will bring us safely through the furnace into which we are cast, and at the termination of this struggle, we shall see religion more properous than ever.”

Topics: New York | No Comments »

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