1. Nicholas ACKLEY1,2,3 was born about 1635 in Shalford, Essex, England.4,5,6,7,8 Birth records: United States/Europe 900-1880 has England as birth place others have birth place as Wales
GEOGRAPHICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE.
This town lies upon the Connecticut River, and is the only township in the State that is bi-sected by that water. Salmon River forming a part of its eastern boundary, it includes what is known as Haddam Neck upon the east side of the Connecticut. The town is bounded on the north my Middletown and Chatham; on the east by East Haddam; on the south by Chester and Killingworth; and on the west by Killingworth and Durham. Its location is central in the county, and the county is central in the State.
The town contains four railroad stations, on the Connecticut Valley Railroad, viz.: Higganum, Haddam, Arnold's and Goodspeeds; four post offices: Haddam, Higganum, Haddam Neck, and Tylerville; eight churches; and fourteen school districts.
Extensive flats of natural meadow of apparently exhaustless fertility skirt the river at Haddam, on the west side, and opposite Shailerville and Higganum on the east side. The town contains about 30,000 acres. That part of it lying on the west side of the river was formerly called Haddam Society, that on the east side Haddam Neck, and a section in the northwest part, which has since been joined to Durham, Haddam Quarter.
The surface of this town on both sides of the river rises into hills, which, with the intervening valleys, form a succession of varying undulations. The elevations reach from 200 to 300 feet in height, though their average is less. The "Strait Hills" run across the northwestern part, and another range runs nearly parallel with them. "Long Hill" lies back of the hills near the river, below Mill Creek, and stretches away toward "Turkey Hill," in the southern part of the town. These ranges of hills, in a general way, extend nearly north and south. The rocks of this town have yielded valuable specimens of the precious minerals. Among these are beryl, garnet, black tourmaline or schorl, pyrites, and quartz crystals. Many rich specimens from here have been secured for the museum of Yale College and private collections without number.
The surface of the town is traversed by a number of small streams. The largest of these is Higganum River, called in the early days of the settlement "Tom Hegganumpos." It has three branches: the northern branch, called the Shopboard Brook, the middle or west branch, called also the Candlewood Hill Brook, and the south or Ponsett Stream. The first rises in Middletown, the second in the northeastern part of Killingworth, and the third in the western part of this town. Just below the junction of the three branches the water has a very abrupt descent of 30 feet, through a rocky gorge less than 30 rods in length.
Mill River is another considerable stream, which rises in the southern part of the town and after receiving the waters of Beaver Brook flows eastward into the Connecticut. This stream takes its name from the fact that upon it was erected the first corn mill in the town.
The soil of this town is generally good, but the surface is for the most part too hilly and rocky for cultivation. The southern part of the town is sandy, especially in the neighborhood of the river. In some of the intervals along the streams there are tracts of level and productive land.
One of the most remarkable rocks in the town is that known by the singular name of Shopboard rock. It is about half a mile above the village of Higganum. The rock presents a bare, worn, and sloping surface about 60 feet high and 75 feet across. Tradition says that the name was derived from the circumstance that a tailor once cut a suit of clothes on it for a customer whom he met at the place, and the stream flowing by it was names Shopboard Brook.
From the fact that the name appears on the records as early as 1713, the event in which it originated must have taken place at a very early date.
Two islands lie in the middle of the river opposite this town. These are Lord's Island, called by the early settlers Twenty Mile Island, from the fact that it was supposed to be 20 miles from the river's mouth, and Haddam Island, in the same way called Thirty Mile Island. The first is on the line between this town and Chester, only the upper end of it being abreast of this town. The second lies between Haddam Centre and Higganum. The distances suggested by their names are considerably in excess of the truth, and they are not 10 miles apart. Haddam Island, which is entirely within the limits of this town, was for many years one of the most valuable fishing stations on the river. The water upon the east side of the island was deep and much frequented by fish, and being narrow, was easily swept with a seine. Two fishing companies, one at either end, occupy it for this purpose. Legends exist that some of KIDD's fabulous treasurer were deposited on this island, and many seekers after hidden wealth have dug for it here.
The following turnpikes have been in operation in this town: The Middlesex Turnpike, along the river, chartered in 1802, and abandoned since the completion of the railroad; the Haddam and Durham Turnpike, running from Higganum to Durham, chartered in 1815, abandoned nearly 50 years ago; the Haddam & Killingworth Turnpike, chartered in 1813, from Higganum to Killingworth; and a branch of the latter, diverging from it in the Burr District, and running to Haddam Centre through Beaver Meadow, granted in 1815. All these have been abandoned for several years.
The town is remarkably healthy, as shown by its mortuary records, though it has been visited by several severe and fatal epidemics.
The latest grand levy shows the town to contain 480 houses; 21,890 ¾ acres of land; 31 mills, stores, etc.; 192 horses; 1,012 neat cattle; sheep valued at $557; 39 carriages and wagons subject to tax; clocks and watches valued at $840; musical instruments to the value of $2,825; bank, insurance, and manufacturing stock held to the amount of $81,917; railroad and other corporation bonds, $6,600, etc. During the previous year the amount expended on roads and bridges was $2,789.09.
The first purchase or occupancy of any of the land within the limits of this town by Englishmen, of which there is any account, was about 1652, when Captain John CULLICK, who had for some time been secretary of the colony of Connecticut, having extinguished the Indian title, obtained a confirmatory grant for what was then called Twenty Mile Island, now LORD's Island, and a tract on the east side of the river near it, the dimensions of which are not given. CULLICK had probably made little or no improvement upon his land previous to the settlement of Haddam.
The locality and afterward the newly organized town, took its name from Thirty Mile Island. Individuals contemplated making a settlement here as early as 1660, and in October of that year the Legislature accordingly appointed a committee to purchase the lands from the Indians. For some unknown reason the negotiation was not consummated until nearly two years later. The desired purchase was finally made on the 20th of May 1662, when the committee above referred to, consisting of Matthew ALLYN and Samuel WILLYS, obtained from four kings and two queens of the Indian tribes that occupied them a deed for these lands. The value of the articles given in payment would probably not exceed $100. The territory extended from "Mattabeseck mill river," a stream afterward called Miller's Brook or Sumner's Creek, substantially on the line between the subsequent towns of Chatham and Haddam on the north, down to "Pattaquounk" Meadow, which is now called the Cove Meadow, at Chester.
Soon after this purchase, a company of 28 men from Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield, in whose behalf the purchase had been made, entered upon the land and commenced improvement. These men were: Nicholas ACKLEY, Joseph ARNOLD, Daniel BRAINERD, Thomas BROOKS, Daniel CONE, George GATES, Thomas SHAILER, Gerrard SPENCER, John SPENCER, William VENTRES, John BAILEY, William CLARKE, Simon SMITH, James WELLS, James BATES, Samuel BUTLER, William CORBEE, Abraham DIBBLE, Samuel GANES, John HANNISON, Richard JONES, Stephen LUXFORD, John PARENTS, Richard PIPER, Thomas SMITH, Joseph STANNARD, John WEBB, and John WYATT. The first 10 as here named are known to have come from Hartford, while the places whence the others severally came are not definitely known.
They are supposed to have been mostly young men, many of whom were just married. They paid back the expense of the purchase of installments as they were able. Some part of the amount seems to have remained unpaid for several years. March 13th 1669, the town voted to pay to James INSIGNE, of Hartford, 38 shillings, 6 pence, which the record says was part of the purchase money of the plantation. The whole number of those whose names appear as the founders of the settlement did not come here at once, but remained at some other place, where, perhaps, business or some other attraction detained them for a greater or less period of time. Indeed, it is possible that a few of them never settled here at all, but sold out their interest to others; and of those who did settle there were some who remained but a short time. Some of them were so slow in improving their rights here that the action of the society appeared necessary to prompt them. Nicholas ACKLEY, for example, was so far delinquent that the little colony took such action in his case that resulted in obtaining the following covenant from him to assure them that he would in fact become one of them:
"This writing made ye eight off november 1666 bindeth me niklis AKLEY of Hartford to come with fy ffamely to setle att thirte mille Iland by ye twenty ninth of october next inseuing date hereof, ealso to have my part of fence up yt belong to my home lot by he Last of --- nexst inseuing as of failing hereof to forfit ten pound to ye inhabitant of thirte mile Iland as wines my hand and Seall.
It is probable that the settlement progressed but slowly and no formal or systematic organization of the society was effected within three or four years from the date of the purchase. If anything was done in this direction no record of it remains. One of the earliest scraps of evidence extant in regard to organizing the settlement on a basis looking toward the establishment of permanent homes for individuals is the following"
"may sixty-six --- whom it may consearne --- ---- ----- written was apyntted by the Gennarl Corte of Connecticut a Committee to Plant the Plantasion at thirty mile Island or to order the planting of the sayde Plantasion and accordingly we did Promote the planting of the sayd Place what in us lay, and in order thearto we did make a purchase of the Indians of such Lands as we thought convenient for the Peopell that should inhabit the said p'antasion and that land which we did intend for thirty mile Island Plantasion ----- that land from Midleton boundes to the sowth [towards] the end of the purchas which if we mistake not runnes to the brooke belowe Pattaquonch meadows we say all that Land we did grant ot he sayd Plantasion for we did not intent any of it for Saybrook or any other Plantasion, Judging it might be but a competency for that plantasion upon which purchas of the sayd Land for that place the peopell nowe inhabiting at thirty mile Island weare encouraged to setell themselves and ffammilyes at the sayd thirty mile Island Plantasion.
"Samuel WILLIS. "Matthew ALLYN. "Wm. WADESWORTH. "Samuel CORMEN."
Soon after the "settling of the plantation" others joined the settlers. Among the first of these were Richard WALKLEY from Hartford, John BATES, and William SCOVIL. In October 1668, the town was invested with privileges as such, and about that time the name Haddam was given to it, as it is supposed out of respect to Haddam or Hadham in England.
Desirable persons were admitted by vote of the town to the privileges of inhabitants and were granted accordingly shares in the common proprietorship and allotments of land to their individual use. All lands held in individual fee were taxes on a fixed scale of valuations, which varied from 5 to 20 shillings per acre according to the availability and situation of the land. The character of those who proposed to join their society, or indeed who frequented it, was subject to rigid scrutiny, and a remarkable degree of candor was evinced in their expressions of disapproval when an undesirable person lingered in their society, as the following extracts will show. April 10th 1673, it was "agreed by voate that John SLED and his wife should not be entertained in the town as inhabitants or resedence and also Goodman CORBE was forwarned not to reseave him into his hows becose they weare not persones qualified according to Law." Again, January 1st 1683, the townsmen were ordered "to warne Frederick ELIES and his wife to departe the towne by the next march inseueing."
On the 11th of February 1686, a patent was granted by the Assembly to the inhabitants for all the lands of their town that had previously been granted them and confirming those grants with all their appurtenances and privileges to them and their heirs and assigns forever. THE SETTLERS AND THEIR HOMES.
At the first, or at the least as soon as some degree of order could be established, the settlers opened a highway running substantially where the old country road from the court house to the foot of Walkley Hill now does. Why they chose such a rough spot of ground it is hard to understand, but the evidences prove beyond a doubt that here they laid out the "town plot" and built their houses. Some of the cellars remained visible until within the memory of persons now living. Nineteen home lots were laid out here, and houses were probably built on the most of them. For the greater part the lots were nearly uniform, being about four acres each, and extended from the highway to the river, a distance of from 80 to 125 rods. Each man also had a lot of about three acres on the opposite side of the highway from his four acre lot. These lots must have been seven or eight rods in width on the highway. Those on the east side of the road are all bounded on the northeast by the "Great River." From data gleaned from the records, and carefully compared and verified, the writer has arranged a map of the original town plot. While it is impossible to assert anything in regard to the definite shapes of the lots, their relative position in regard to each other, and to other objects specified, is accurate and can be abundantly verified by the records. Some objects then existing remain to the present time, and help to locate the whole plot by fixing certain points. The burying ground, without a doubt, remains where it was then provided for, adjoining the lot of Joseph ARNOLD. The "highway that leads into the woods" is probably the road that starts back of the court house and runs westerly up the hill. The other "highway into the woods" is the road that runs from the old road up the hill past the residence of Mr. Zachariah BRAINERD and the Methodist church. Wells' Brook still runs through its primitive gorge. [transcribers note: Map on accompanying page lists the following names: J. BATES, A. J. HANNISON, J. PARENTS, A. DEIBLE, John WIATT, Richard JONES, Wm VENTROUS, Wm. CORBEE, Thos. RICHESON, James BATES, John HANNISON, John PARENTS, Abram DEIBLE; Nicholas ACKLY. N. ACKLEY, Tho's. SHALLER, John HENERSON, T. B., S. L., SMITH, MINISTER, Parsonage, G. S., T. S., J. B., D. B., D. C., J. S., S. S., W. C., G. G., J. ARNOLD, R. P., James WELLS, Samuel BUTLER, John SPENCER, James WELLS, Tho's. BROOKS, Stephen LUXFORD, Blacksmith sold to John ELDERKIN, First Minister, Parsonage forever, Gerrard SPENCER, Tho's. SMITH, John BALIE, Daniel BRAINERD, Daniel CONE, Joseph STANNARD, Simon SMITH, William CLARKE, Geo GATES, Reserved for Burying Ground and Meeting House, Joseph ARNOLD, Richard PIPER, R. PIPER's home meadow.]
Besides the town plot another settlement was made about a mile southeast. This was called the Lower Plantation, or sometimes the Lower Town Plot. It extended along a highway from Mill River southward. A very early record, the date of which, however, has been lost, states that seven men were at first assigned to this settlement. Their names were James BATES, William VENTROUS, Abram DEIBLE, Richard JONES, John HANNISON, Samuel GAINES, and John PARENTS. If these all actually settled here, but a short time elapsed before changes were made. The accompanying map, carefully compiled from the earliest existing records, exhibits a few differences. Richard JONES' lot, for example, was soon in the possession of John CHAPELL, who sold it to Thomas SPENCER in 1671. The six acre lot of Thomas SHAILER was sold to John BATE in 1672. Samuel GAINES probably sold his lot at a very early date, to one of the others, whose name appears on the map, but not on the list. Of these, there are four: John WYATT, William CORBEE, Thomas RICHESON, and Nicholas ACKLY. A landing was early established at the mouth of Mill River, and a road was reserved to go to it across John WYATT's lot.
Returning to the Town Plot, a few facts may be suggested. The home lot of Samuel BUTLER was soon afterward sold to Richard WALKLEY. The lot was first laid out for a blacksmith, was given to John ELDERKIN in consideration of his building a mill. The lot marked for the "First Minister" was probably given to the gospel messenger who answered to the terms of the reservation. The "Parsonage forever" lot has been held by the First Ecclesiastical Society, of Haddam, down to a recent date. The highway that goes to the meadow and to the river, runs between that lot and the first minister's lot. This parsonage lot, owning to the conditions of the reservation, could not be old outright, but was leased by the trustees of the society holding it, August 12th 1859, to William and James BRAINERD for a term of 999 years. The lot is now owned by Zachariah BRAINERD. Tradition says that the first blacksmith shop was on the opposite side from the residence of the late Blinn BRAINERD, and that the name of the blacksmith was BROOKS.
It has already been seen that the first settlements were made on the river. The reasons for this are obvious. Some 30 or 40 years later, the people began to push inland. In the interior and western part of this town, the families of DICKINSON, HUBBARD, and RAY established themselves. They were followed by the founders of families bearing the names, LEWIS, HAZELTON, TYLER, HIGGINS, THOMAS, KNOWLES, BURR, and others. The plain at Cockaponsit presented attractive field for the settler, and about 1694. Nathaniel SPENCER, John BALY sen., and Ephraim BALY each had a house lot of eight acres there, besides other parcels of land. Stephen SMITH, and John, Nathaniel, and Joseph SUTLIFF settled in Haddam Quarter, which, in 1773, was joined to Durham.
The following extract tells something of the conditions under which title to their houses were obtained.
"Ordered that every inhabitant of this plantation shall personally inhabit here upon his land four years from the time of his first comeing hither before he shall have liberty to sell his land."
The settlers made no extensive divisions of the land at first, but held their cultivated fields, their pastures, and their timber lands in common, and divided to each individual a home lot, and a few other small parcels of land, mostly meadows, that seemed most desirable to hold for individual use. The lots that were distributed in these small allotments were of nearly uniform size. There were seven of these small divisions, and nearly every settler had a lot in them all.
The Home Lots in the Town Plot contained about four acres, and those in the Lower Plantation about eight acres each.
Additional Lots in the Town Plot lay on the opposite side of the highway, and contained about three acres each.
The Home Meadow lots varied in size from two to five acres, and lay between the river on the northeast and a common fence on the southwest. The Upper Division of the Upper Meadow was on the east side of the river, and lay between the "great rocke" on the northeast and the river on the southwest. The lots varied in size from three to seven acres.
The Lower Division of the Upper Meadow lay on the east side of the river between the same bounds on the northeast and southwest as the division last mentioned. These lots contained two acres or a little more.
The Cove Meadow lay on the east side of the river, between the "great rocke" on the northeast and the river on the southwest. The lots were about four acres each.
The Equal Division lay on the east side of the river, between the "great rocke" on the northeast and the river on the southwest, the lots containing uniformly three acres each, from which circumstance doubtless it took its name.
The "great rocke" so often mentioned in the boundaries of the meadows was the ledge or rock-ribbed hill that rises from the inner edge of the meadows. In these seven divisions the settlers participated, with perhaps an occasional exception in some of them. Other grants were soon after given for small parcels of land in Machimoodus and Heganumpos.
Small parcels of the common land were granted to individuals from time to time as their needs and the favor of the town afforded occasion. Out of the numerous records of the kind a single example here will suffice to illustrate:
"At a towne meeting February 7th 1667, it was Agreed the Joseph STANNARD shal have six acres of land given him out of ye Comon land abutting one the mil river southeast one his owne swamp northeast one ye Common highway southwest on ye Common land nor'-west, provided that the water passage w'thin the swamp shall be free for ye touns use."
February 1669, it was ordered that whenever any land was to be given to any individual, every one should have notice of the proposed grant, and it should not issue unless every inhabitant assented to it. This resolution appears to have been too strong for practical application and it was repealed February 5th 1673.
The division of the common land was under discussion at an early day, and this was resolved upon at a meeting December 11th 1670. Then it was decided that land should be laid out to individuals so as to make the distribution equal among the householders. At this time a tract of common land extending one and a half miles inland from the river was reserved to be held in common forever, but this reservation was relinquished by action of the town, March 13th 1671. The decision to lay out all undivided land was confirmed February 7th 1671. Allotments of land were made according to the valued property of householders.
June 13th 1671, it was decided that a division should be made in which there should be twenty acres laid out to every hundred pounds valuation. In this division lots were chosen by individuals as their names were drawn by lot. Simon SMITH and George GATES were chosen to appraise all the buildings that had been erected since the first appraisement, and to make a new list of the estate of each individual as a basis upon which he was to take up land. The choice of location was drawn in order as follows: "Mr. BATE, George GATES, Thomas BROOKS, parsonage lot, Daniel BRAINERD, John BALY, WAITES lot, Garird SPENSER, Tho. SPENSER, Steven LUXFORD, John HENSSON, Joseph STANDRD, Samuell SPENSER, James WELLES, widow BLACHFORD, Thomas SHAILLER, William CORBE, Mr. NOYES, John BATE, William VENTROUS, Goodman ACKLEY, Thyme SPENSER, Thomas SMITH, Goodman DYBELL, Dainell CONE, William CLARK, John PARANES." This was the first general division of common land on the west side of the river, and it was probably not laid out in a body, but each man in the order in which his choice occurred was allowed to select twenty acres to every hundred pounds of his valued estate, wherever he desired to locate it upon land that was not already taken.
In 1686, the town decided that no more land should be taken up by individuals on the west side of the river within two and a half miles of the river. This established a line which is afterward mentioned in records as the "two mile and a half line."
The "Third Division of Outlands" was ordered by vote of the town January 27th 1707. It covered a tract of land one mile and sixty rods square, in the northwest corner of the town, adjoining Durham on the west and Middletown on the north. It was laid out in thirty lots with the dividing lines running north and south and a highway running across them from east to west. The lots were numbered beginning at the east corner. The number of proprietors had now reached thirty. The survey of this tract seems to have been so carelessly done that when about seven years later the lots were remeasured more accurately the whole tract was found to be two miles, 152 rods, two feet, five inches long instead of one mile and 60 rods.
The "Fifth Division" was ordered by vote of the town, March 13th 1716. It was to include the land encompassed by the northern and southern bounds of the town and the "two mile and a half line" on the west and a line running parallel with it one mile from it to the east. The scale upon which this division was made was fifty acres to the hundred pounds. It was to be laid out in no regular order, but as the individual selections should determine. There were 36 drawers.
January 14th 1719, the people in town meeting decided that in the future division of land every inhabitant, whether he had been a proprietor or not, should be entitled to a lot according to the appraisement of his estate on the public list. The list of the estates in this society for that year was as follows:
Capt. James WELLS, £130, 7s.; Elijah BRAINERD, 77, 11; Benjamin BAILY, 43, 2; Joseph RAY, 3; Daniel HUBBARD, 79; Joseph CLARK, 42; Daniel SPENCER, 30; Benjamin TOWNER, 49; Gerrard SPENCER, 140, 10; John FISKE, 40, 10; Samuel INGRAM, 36; Thomas SELDEN, 69, 5; John BAILY jun'r, 47, 12; Mr. Simon SMITH, 101, 15; Ens. Moses VENTROUS, 118, 14; Timothy SHALER, 85; Daniel CLARK, 64, 5; John VENTROUS, 66, 10; James RAY, Sen'r, 43; John SPENCER, 19; Azariah DICKISON, 54, 18; James RAY Jun'r, 38; John CLARK, 50, 2, 6; Dea. Thomas BROOKS, 54, 13, 6; Hezekiah BRAINERD, 116, 15; Benjamin SMITH, 100, 15; John BAILY, 58, 10; Lt. James BRAINERD, 121, 5; Richard WALKLY, 54; Solomon BATE, 62; John BATE, 28, 5; Jonathan BATE, 19, 15; David ARNOLD, 29; Deacon Joseph ARNOLD, 116, 5; Nathaniel BAILY, 52; Ebenezer ARNOLD, 73, 7, 6; Isaac TYLER, 41, 2, 6; Nathaniel SPENCER, 41, 3; Lieut. Thomas CLARK, 115, 15; John COE, 42; Caleb CONE, 70, 13; Widow BATE, 49; Nathaniel SMITH, 22, 2, 6; William CLARK, 84, 15; Jonathan ARNOLD, 94; Timothy SPENCER, 60, 10; Caleb BRAINERD, 108, 16; Serg't Thomas SHALER, 105; Joshua ARNOLD, 45, 12; John ARNOLD, 39, 18, 6; Ephraim BAILY, 25, 17, 6; Joseph SMITH, 81, 1; William SMITH, 39, 16, 6; Isaac BARTLETT, 18; Timothy WALTERS, 39, 2; Simon SMITH jr., 38; Jonathan SMITH, 18; James BRAINERD jr., 24; Thomas BROOKS jr., 24; Mr. Phineas FISKE, 64, 11, 6.
A division of land beyond the "two mile and a half line" was ordered February 29th 1720. This was distributed on the scale of 60 acres to the 100 pounds. There were 100 who drew lots in this division.
Another division, based on the ratio of 10, 20, or 30 acres to the 100 pounds, according to location of lots, was determined on in 1723, to be laid out by the 1st of March of that year. There were 100 who drew lots in this distribution.
The lands granted to the settlers of this town by the Indian deed were not all confirmed to them. It is overlapped on the north some of the land that had already been confirmed to Middletown, and this of course had to be relinquished. But the greatest conflict of claims was with Saybrook and Lyme on the south. The claim of these two towns was based upon a grant of the Legislature to the old town of Saybrook when it included the territory of the other to extend its borders four miles further north, making the north line of that town twelve miles from the sea. This encroached heavily upon the land that Haddam had bought of the Indians, by the authority of the Legislature. However, the claims of Thirty Mile Island appear to precede those of Saybrook yet the question caused much dispute and its final settlement looked more the decision of superior forces than of impartial justice. Committees were frequently appointed to meet the representatives of the other towns to negotiate a settlement, and the case was carried to the General Court, where it received its final decision. February 9th 1667, the town sent Abram DEIBLE "to goe to Sea-Brooke to treat with them for a meeting to agree about ye bounds betweene our townes." Some arrangement was undoubtedly made for on the 27th of the same month the town appointed Gerrard SPENCER, Abram DEIBLE, and Samuel BUTLER "to treat with Sea Brooke men about ye bounds." On the 10th of March following the townsmen were directed to send a letter to the committee to give them a hearing. A hearing was gained, and in May 1668 the General Court appointed a committee to labor with these plantations" to gayne a compliance betweene them" &c., before the October meeting of the court.
June 3d, this town appointed Abram DEIBLE and Richard PIPER to go to Hartford to meet the committee in behalf of the town. The committee reported and the General Court accordingly recommended that the line be settled according to the proposition of Saybrook men, which was a compromise making the north line of Saybrook and Lyme ten miles from the sea instead of twelve miles as they claimed, or eight miles as Thirty Mile Island contended they were only entitled to. A committee was now, October 20th, appointed to join with Saybrook in conference, the result of which seems to have been an agreement, however reluctant the committee of this town may have been to consent to it. In the following May the matter was again before the General Court, the town having on the 5th appointed William CLARK, to represent them before that body, and if need be to employ counsel. The court now gave its decision in accordance with the plan already mentioned. At the same time it granted that the bounds of Haddam should run from the river on the west six miles in to the wilderness provided it did not interfere with any other grant previously made. November 31st 1669, the town appointed a committee of four men to measure the town lines according to the recent decision of the court. Several attempts were made before this could satisfactorily accomplished, and we find the town appointing committees at different times to lay out the bounds. Finally, April 5th 1671, the committees of the two towns, Haddam and Saybrook, met and ran the line from a point on the river two miles south of the marked tree that stood twelve miles from the sea, west into the woods. This point on the river was then near the lower end of Twenty Mile Island.
The controversy with Lyme was nearly the same as that with Saybrook, and the decision of the General Court had an equal application to it. But a longer time seems to have been used in obtaining a full settlement of the line. Committees were appointed at different times in 1669, 1670, and 1673, to accomplish this, and they finally, May 7th 1673, agreed upon the boundary in the following language: "that the devident line betwixt our townes shall run from the Great river beginning in the midel way betwixt the lower point of Mr. CHAPMAN's meadow and the upper side of the mouth of the Cove above the major LEUERET's farme hows and so to run east the extent of the bounds of haddam and that the above sayd devident Line shall e and Continue notwithstanding grantes and Agreements whatever the diuiding line betwixt our boundes ffor euer."
The line between this town and Killingworth had been an unsettled one until May 1669, when the General Court decreed that the north line of Killingworth as far as Haddam extended westward, should be a continuation of the line between Haddam and Saybrook. In December 1704, some disturbance appears to have arisen over this matter, which was placed in the hands of a committee, and thus, no doubt, satisfactorily disposed of. The bounds of Haddam, though by the circumstances narrated they were contracted on the south, were enlarged on the east by a grant of the General Court in May 1674, which made the east line of the town a north line from the southeast corner, which was six miles from the river. A condition that accompanied this extension, was that the town should grant Mr. Robert CHAPMAN, fifty acres of land by his house to the northward of his meadow abutting on the river, and 300 acres besides to be located by the discretion of a committee named in the grant, in consideration of which Mr. CHAPMAN was to relinquish whatever claim he had on any other land in the town limits.
In 1675, the General Court appointed Mr. Nathaniel WHITE and Deacon John HALL to lay out the bounds of Haddam, both east and west, according to the grants.
In 1705, September 12th, the bounds of Haddam were run by Caleb STANLY along the Middletown line six miles from the river westward, thence south 38 degrees easterly, being a course nearest parallel with the river, to a point on the south line of Haddam six miles from the river. This parallel line then formed the dividing line between this town and Durham. Its course was afterward changed for the northern part by the annexation of what was called the Haddam Quarter to Durham, which was done in October 1773.
About the year 1685, a settlement was begun on the east side of the river, below Salmon River, which increased until it became strong enough to be made a separate town by the name of East Haddam.
The history of the town under this caption is necessarily a history of the First Ecclesiastical Society of Haddam, now represented by the Congregational church at Haddam Centre. In preparing this sketch the works of Dr. FIELD and Rev. E. E. LEWIS have been drawn upon for a considerable part of the substance incorporated in it.
The movements of the settlers for the first few years are enveloped in much obscurity, but there is evidence to show that the worship of God was one of the first matters to which they gave attention, and it is without doubt that the observance of public worship began with this settlement. A private house was used for this purpose for 10 or 12 years. As has already been seen the proprietors in all their divisions of land set apart one share for the benefit of the parsonage, and another share for whoever should be their first minister. It appears that the Rev. Jonathan WILLOWBY was employed here for a time, but though the first minister of whom there is any account, he was probably not fully settled, and therefore did not receive the share that had been set apart for the first minister. The Rev. Nicholas NOYES succeeded him, and answered the conditions sufficiently to receive the share referred to. This share, including all the additions that were from time to time made to it, amounted to over 500 acres, though it is not probable that Mr. NOYES received all this. Parts of it were held and afterward given to other ministers.
There is a tradition that the first meeting house was built on a site about thirty rods below the present county jail, and on the opposite side of the street.
In February 1667, Joseph ARNOLD gave a part of his home lot for the site of a house for Mr. WILLOWBY. Documentary evidence uniformly associates the home lot of Joseph ARNOLD with the burying ground and church site. Before or soon after completion of his house, Mr. WILLOWBY left, and the house naturally fell into the possession of the town. Having no other use for it, and having no meeting house, they used it for that purpose. December 7th 1667, the town arrived at the following decision, and this is the first record that has been found touching the subject of building a meeting house:
At the same metting it was a Greed and notted by the in habytantes that the settled plas whear the meting houes shall be bilt is at the frunt of the minestryes Lote in the Litell mdowe Lying a gainest the eand o the hom lote of Joseph ARNULD, that now he swelles in."
The minister's lot here spoken of was probably that whereon Mr. WILLOWBY's house had been begun, which, as it has been seen, was taken from the home lot of Joseph ARNOLD. This house was used for the meetings of the tow, and without doubt for meetings for worship. November 11th 1669, the town voted that Mr. NOYES should have liberty to take the parsonage for his own use, but before he did so he should give the town sufficient notice to allow them time to secure another place to meet in. February 7th 1670, Mr. NOYES accordingly gave the town "warning to provid themselves a place fit to meet in by this time come two yeare." The town, November 21st 1670, voted to build a meeting house, and appointed a committee to attend to it with power to call out the inhabitants to work upon it in proportion to their several estates as should be decided by the discretion of the committee. But little if anything was done until February 1673, when a rate of forty pounds was ordered to be paid in labor or money for the building of the meeting house, and in March the town contracted with John CLARKE to frame the building. It was to be 28 feet long, 24 feet wide, and 13 feet between joints, and in its sides were to be eight windows. May 15th 1674, the townsmen were ordered to go forward with the work of building, and buy shingles, clapboards and nails to finish the building.
It was probably completed sufficiently to admit being used during that year, though it remained in an unfinished condition for several years longer.
Rev. Nicholas NOYES came here in 1668, on a salary of £40, an the use of the minister's lot, the salary to be paid, "one half in wheat and Pease, and the other half in Porke and Indian Corne." Several years later this salary was increased somewhat. By remaining for a term of four years he became entitled to the lot that had been set apart for the first minister, and afterward received other parcels of ground. He appears to have been held in high esteem by the people, who made efforts to retain him longer in this field, but he withdrew about the year 1682.
About this time the town paid Goodman HENERSON ten shillings for sweeping the meeting house, and Joseph ARNOLD eight shillings for drumming. This was for the year 1682.
In January 1683, a committee was sent to New London to solicit Mr. John JAMES to become minister here. Though but little is known regarding his ministry here, it is supposed that he came soon after that time and remained several years, perhaps till 1691.
In the summer of 1691, Rev. Jeremiah HOBART, from Hempstead, Long island, came here and entered upon the work of the ministry. The town offered him £ salary, and firewood, besides the parsonage lands on both sides of the river, and a lot of four and a half acres, on which they agreed to build a house for him. This house was to be 40 feet in length by 18 feet in breadth, and 10 feet in height of posts. The town went forward with the work of building, and as they progressed, the item of nails was provided for by selling 20 acres of land at Moodus to Thomas HUNGERFORD. Mr. HOBART thus became settled as pastor of this people, though not formally installed. Some difficulties afterward arose, by which the people became dissatisfied, and in April 1695 they refused to acknowledge him as their pastor, and applied to the Assembly to be organized into a church according to the accepted form, which was done in 1796 [transcribers note: This seems to be an error; date probably should read 1696.]
Their relations with Mr. HOBART, however, were not settled by this action, and after the mater had occasioned considerable trouble, the Assembly, in 1698, appointed a committee to investigate and determine the controversy. That committee met in November, and after deliberating for some time upon the matter, declared that the agreement that had at first been entered into was still binding upon each party. This decision was accepted and acted upon, and Mr. HOBART was accordingly installed as pastor of the newly organized church, in November 1700, he being then 70 years of age. From that time forward, neither he nor the people seem to have been fully satisfied. His salary remained at £40 a year and firewood, which was to be cut by the people, every male person in the town between the ages of 16 and 60 years being required to cut wood one day in the year for him. In 1705, the quantity allowed him for the year was 80 loads, and it was to be brought in by the 10th of November. In 1709, he was allowed 40 cords for the year. There was probably a large faction in the society that was opposed to Mr. HOBART, and in consequence his salary and the other obligations of the people to him were not promptly fulfilled; and this annoyed and irritated the aged minister, whose manner was probably not as conciliatory as might have been expedient under the circumstances.
In connection with this subject, a glimpse of the records of the town affords an interesting illustration. In the last end of the first book of town records, a leaf has been torn out, and the pages that precede it contain a long account of a difficulty between Mr. HOBART and the town with reference to his engagement here, in which the decision of a committee of the General Court of Connecticut was required to adjust the matter. Following the torn leaf is this curious record, which explains itself:
"Haddam, March ye 6th 1706/7."
"At a meeting of the Towne in Generall both west & east side inhabitants; Convened together to consider that may be thought adviseable to be done in order to the unuseall & unthought difficulty which arises in s'd Town Respecting the Reverend Mr. Jerimiah HOBBARTS tearing out a part of a leaf out of the ancient Towne book, and for the repairing of the foresaid breach wee doe unanimously make choice of Cap'tn John CHAPOMAN, Deacon Thomas GATES, deacon Daniell CONE, Lieut. James WELLS and deacon Thomas BROOKS: who are hereby Impowered and desired to take all moderate & reliable Methods that the fore s'd Town book may be made valid and Sufficient to all persons that now are or ever after Shall be Concerned withs'd Town book. The fore said Inhabitants do oblige themselves to defray all necessary Charges that the fore s'd Committee shall be att in prosecuting the above said designe."
The committee report that if the copy of what was torn out can be found and duly recorded again it shall be valid, or if Mr. HOBART would deliver up all papers having reference to the record torn out, and would agree not to give any further trouble to the town or any one in regard to the matters therein contained, then with Mr. HOBART's acquiescence the town book was to be valid to all intents and purposes. Mr. HOBART, in his answer, dated March 12th 1706/7, complies with the arrangement of the committee "in real delf-deniall for peace & loues sake," and agrees to suppress and destroy all papers that he has that might give him any advantage over the town to make them any trouble for the lack of the missing record.
After a period of 24 years' labor with this people Mr. HOBART died at the age of 85 years, having been assisted for a little more than a year by a colleague. He attended public worship in the forenoon of Sunday, November 6th 1815, and partook of the sacrament, and during the intermission between services died suddenly while sitting in his chair.
The ecclesiastical society comprehended the whole people of the town, on both sides of the river. But toward the close of the century the people of East Haddam were incorporated as a separate society.
But little is known of the positions occupied in church sittings by different individuals, nor what difference was paid to wealth, age, or rank, but that the matter of orderly seating was not ignored may be seen from the following paragraph, from the minutes of a town meeting in December 1714:
"Capt. James WELLS, Lft, Thomas CLARK, Simon SMITH, Thomas BROOKS, and Joseph ARNOLD were Chosen a Committee to order where persons should sett in the meeting hous for the future."
The Rev. Phineas FISK, a graduate of Yale College, was ordained as colleague of Mr. HOBART, January 27th 1714. The people, in their call to him, which was acted upon in town meeting, November 15th 1712, enumerated the following inducements in case he would be their minister until "providentially and inevitably removed or prevented:" a home lot of six acres; 40 acres on the neck; 20 acres of timber land; 30 acres from the commons; a hone-hundred-and fifty-pound (?) right in all the common land; a new house to be built for him, 42 by 19 feet and 16 feet between joints, with a lean-to 10 feet wide the whole length of the house, a stone cellar and a "stack of chimneys with three smoakes below and two above in the chamber."-Mr. FISK however to find nails and glass;--the use of the parsonage lands; one day's work annually from all the hands and teams in town within a distance of two and a half miles of him; and in addition to all this a salary of 35 pounds the first year, 45 the second year and so on to increase until it amounted to 70 pounds a year. The pastorate of Mr. FISK was a long and pleasant one, harmony prevailing between him and his people. This salary was increased until in 1736 it reached as high as 110 pounds.
In 1718, the town decided to build a new meeting house. A period of prosperity seemed to be smiling upon the society, and a house of larger dimensions was needed. This was to be 36 by 44 feet on the ground and 20 feet between joints, and it was to be located at "the most convenient place adjoining to the burying lot." A building committee was appointed in 1819, and a tax of four pence on the pound was laid upon the list to provide funds for the work. The house was completed about September 1721. The roof was covered with shingles two feet long and averaging five inches wide which cost 25 shillings a thousand; the clap-boards for the sides were four and one-half feet long and six inches wide, and for them was paid seven shillings a hundred. That the inside was plastered is probable from the fact that 300 bushels of shells and 4,000 cedar lath were ordered, the shells doubtless being burned into lime. The church was seated with pews, and had galleries. Additional pews were afterward put in at different times to accommodate the wants of an increasing congregation.
The ministry of Mr. FISK closed suddenly by his death, October 17th 1738, when at the age of 55 and in the midst of a career of usefulness and successful labor.
It was during his pastorate that we find one of the earliest suggestions of that custom that prevailed in many New England towns, the observance of an "Election Sermon." It was considered by the town ecclesiastical as a very proper thing to have religious services and a sermon connected with the annual election of officer and transaction of important town business. The election sermon was preached in 1726 by Mr. FISK.
The town very soon appointed a committee to secure the services of another minister. The Rev. Aaron CLEVELAND was chosen, and negotiations having terminated satisfactory, he was ordained as pastor of this society on the second Wednesday of July 1739. He was to receive for settlement, £500 and a yearly salary of £150, which should be increased £10 every year until it reached £200. Through the depreciation of currency the salary of Mr. CLEVELAND a few year later became so small that he could barely subsist upon it, and on his own motion he was dismissed in 1746.
The house in which Mr. CLEVELAND lived stood at the top of "Jail Hill" in the corner field on the north side of the Beaver Meadow road and west side of the road from the school house that intersects the other here. The remains of a cellar, beneath an apple tree a few rods from the bars, mark the site of the house.
At the time Mr. CLEVELAND became pastor a change seems to have been made in the organization of the society. It became more distinct as such, and perhaps less an integral part of the town political. The society was organized more perfectly according to law, and its records ere kept subsequently more distinct from those of the town generally, though still the body politic maintained its guardianship over the interests of the body ecclesiastic Nicholas Lewis Historical Pub. Co. in 1926 in New York, United States.20 TOWN AND CITY OF NORTHAMPTON
Northampton, the county seat of Hampshire County, was first settled by the white race in 1654. It was established as a town May 14, 1656 from common land called Nonotuck. June 4, 1685 bounds between Northampton and Springfield established. June 4, 1701 a strip of common land divided between Northampton and Westfield. November 12, 1720 bounds between Northampton and Hatfield established. January 5, 1753 part established as Southhampton. September 29, 1778 part established as Westhampton. September 29, 1778 part annexed as Southampton. June 17, 1785 part included in the new district of Easthampton, April 15, 1850 part of Hadley annexed. March 12, 1872 bounds between Northampton and Westhampton established. June 23, 1883, Northámpton incorporated as a city. September 5, 1909 part annexed to Holyoke. April 21, 1914 bounds between Northampton and East-Hampton established. This city is about five and one-half miles wide (north and south) by six and one-half miles east and west. Its area is 25.5 square miles equal to 22,720 acres. Its population in 1920 was 21,951. Net bonded indebtedness at close of 1924 was $512,000. Tax-rate, $28.10.
The Beginnings-There appears little doubt that the real projectors of the scheme that finally gave the organization of North-Hampton was John Pynchon, son of William Pynchon, the founder of Roxbury and Springfield, Elizur Holyoke, son-in-law of John Pynchon, and Samuel Chapin. Without wearying the reader with a long original petition, asking for this grant of land, it may be said that a second petition supplemented the first and this last one, signed by John Pynchon, Elizur Holyoke and Samuel Chapin, asked that the original prayer be heard, and stated that twenty-five families at least, were desirous of forming a new settlement, “many of them,” to use their own words, “of considerable quality for estates and fit matter for a church when it shall please God to give opportunity that way ;“ and further on it is stated that “the inducement to us in these desires is not any sinister respect of our own, but that we, being alone, by this means may have some more neighborhood in your jurisdiction.”
It is a somewhat singular fact that of the twenty-four petitioners for the settlement of Non-o-tuck only eight settled here, viz., Edward Elmore, William Miller, Thomas Root, William Clark, William Holton, Robert Bartlett, John Webb, and William Janes.
The difficulty with the Indians in later years-the King Philip's war and later conflicts are treated elsewhere in this work, hence omitted here. Nicholas may have been one of several young men brought over to America by William Wadsworth. Daniel Brainerd and Nicholas were pioneers of Haddam CT.
WILLIAM SPENCER, of East-Haddam, Conn., was married to Sarah Ackley, daughter of Nicholas Ackley, of Haddam, one of the first settlers of that town.
ACKLEY, NICHOLAS, was located on lot No. 42 Trumbull street, in Hartford, in 1665, and was chimney viewer in Hartford in 1662--he for a time lived at 30 Mile Island, at the lower end of the Cove, and had a 6 acre lot toward Saybrook.
the sons of Nicholas, settled east of the Connecticut river
Nicholas Ackley was located on lot No. 42, Trumbull Street, Hartford, CT., in 1665. In 1662 he was chimney viewer in Hartford.
Nicholas ACKLEY and Hannah Ford MITCHEL were married about 1656 in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, United States.3,5,6,7,8,10,14 LDS has Ca 1655
Nicholas ACKLEY-1 and Hannah Ford MITCHEL-2 had the following children:
Nicholas ACKLEY and Miriam MOORE were married in 1680 in Haddam, Middlesex, Connecticut, United States.5,6,9,10 LDS has marriage date of ca 1656 Miriam MOORE was born about 1630 in East Hartford, Hartford , Connecticut.5 one source puts birth as 8 Nov 1653 in CT