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In adding this work to the long list of
family histories already published, it is felt
that a duty to coming generations has been
fairly accomplished. As the years go on,
more or less of the old time records are
gradually being destroyed, and the aged
amongst us, who were closely allied to the
familiar figures of Revolutionary days,
are now but few, and must, ere long, have
passed away, thus closing to the world this
valuable source of knowledge of the facts of
history, and of the heroes of the latter years
of the eighteenth century.

The contents of these pages are from
family and church records — old papers,
tombstones, public documents and the early
history of our country, etc.; and from in-
formation derived from members of the
family, on whom personal calls were made


in many and widely distant parts of the
country. The work was begun three years
ago for the personal gratification of a mem-
ber of the family. It is but lately com-
pleted, and only that it may be preserved
in some of the great libraries of the country,
a small edition has been published.




The original settlers of Guilford, Conn.,
among whom was John Shethar, came from
Kent, Surrey and Sussex Counties, Eng-
land, in 1639, landing first at New Haven
and Hartford, Conn.

John Shethar belonged to an influential
and educated family. He had a large estate
for a man of his times, and was a frequent
purchaser of lands in Guilford, Conn., and
surrounding towns. He came to Guilford
with the first settlers, although as he would
not conform to church rules fully, it was
1650, before, under a slight change of law,
he was eligible to be a Freeman.

(To be a Freeman each person was re-
quired to become a member of some Con-


gregational Churcli, and none but a Free-
man could hold office; however in 1664, this
was fully altered by royal decree so as to
permit persons who could not obtain cer-
tificates of conformity to the required doc-
trines, to become Freemen.)

In the "allotment of the General Inhab-
itants of Hammonascit" afterwards the
town of Killingworth, on page 1 of the town
records, John Shethar appears an accepted
citizen, he buying part of the grant to Jon-
athan Durin. This town was ordered set-
tled by the General Court, Oct., 1663.

1. JOHN SHETHAR is recorded as be-
ing one of the earliest planters at Guilford,
Conn., in 1639. Another authority names
him as being there in 1645; and another as
there in 1650, and also in a list of Freemen
in 1657; and we find him in a list of Free-
men at Killingworth, Sept. 24, 1669. In
1648 at Guilford, he buys 3 acre home lot


of Alexander Chalker who moved to Say-
brook, Conn. At a general court held Feb.
20, 1649, at Guilford in regard to paying
the minister's salary, each member was
questioned minutely as to his ability to
pay — John Shethar's answer was, "that he
was willing and hoped he should be able to
continue to do what at present was laid
upon him, but no farther." In 1662 he
signs a petition to Gov. Leete, and another
Feb. 16, 1663. On June 23, 1665, he is on
committee to audit towns, ministers and
accounts about the mill at Guilford. On
Dec. 11, 1667, he was on a committee chosen
by the town to take charge of the mill at
Guilford. In 1651 he was granted from the
town, "rates wages of Herdsman for 2 cows
of his, coming from Milford, about mid-
summer, seeing he could not put 'ym' in
before he had 'ym' nor could the herds-
man's bill now be altered." At a general
assembly for elections held at Hartford,


Conn., May 11, 1665, the records show this
entry, "The court for the present sees cause
to defer the administration of the Free-
man's oath to John Shethar and others,
until some further opportunity,"

He married Susanna and he died

June 1, 1670, and in May, 1677, his widow
Susanna is authorized by the court to sell
the lands he had bargained away before his
death and give title thereto. (See petition
of Susanna Shethar and testimonies in Priv.
Contro. I., 149, 151, at State Library, Hart-
ford.) They had children as follows:

2. JOHN, b. Aug. 15, 1651, d. 1721,

m. Jan. 9, 1679, Elizabeth Well-

3. SAMUEL, b. Jan. 3, 1657, m. Mary

Durant. He d. a few years after

4. Susanna, b. ; no further record.

5. HANNAH, b. 1666.


2. JOHN. He was born Aug, 15, 1661,
lived at Killing worth, Conn., and died 1721,
married Jan. 9, 1679, to Elizabeth Well-
man, daughter of William Wellman, for-
merly of New London, Conn., but then of
Killingworth, Conn. William Wellman
had another daughter, Martha, who married
1674, Clement Minor who was a son of
Thomas Minor, born 1607, died 1690, who
was a Deacon oi the Church and Ensign and
Lieutenant in the Indian wars. Martha
died July 5. 1681. William Wellman came
from Gloucester, Mass., and settled in New-
London, Conn., in 1651.

Killingworth was settled in 1663, 1664,
largely by settlers from Guilford, and at
about the same time others went to Say-

About 1750, several moved from Guilford
to Litchfield, Washington, Goshen, Salis-
bury and Caanan in Litchfield County.

In 1760, many from Guilford settled at


Richmond and Stock bridge in Berkshire
Co., Mass,

In 1764, Gfiiilford, Vt., was settled from
Guilford, Conn., and also Chittenden Co.,

Claremont and Charleston, N. H., were
also settled from Guilford, Conn., in 1786,
and some same year went to Greenville,
N. Y.; more recently some have settled at
Paris, Westmoreland, and Verona, N. Y.,
and in the Conn. Western Reserve, Ohio,
still more recently in Fairfield and other
parts of Illinois.

John's estate was administered on by his
son John, No. 10, Aug. 1, 1721. On May
21, 1688, the town of Killingworth voted to
give six acres of land to each of her soldiers
who were out in the Indian wars, one of
whom was this John Shethar. The children
of John and Elizabeth Wellman Shethar
were as follows:


6. Elizabeth, b. Nov. 20, 1679. No rec- ^

7. Hannah, b. Nov. 25, 1681. No rec-

ords. ^^ • y^^ - ^ yi/^U^-yu^,^^

8. Rachel, b. -— -, 1687. J^o records.

9. Susanna, b. — ^^ — , 1689. No records.

10. JOHN, b. March 23, 1685, m. Dor-

cas . He d. 1752.

3. SAMUEL, born Jan. 3, 1657, mar-
ried Mary Durant, (whose father Edward
Durant was a son of George Durant who
settled in Middletown in 1659). Tradition
says they had three children. He died a
few years after 1688, and his widow married
Robert Chapman, Jr., of Saybrook, Conn.,
Oct. 29, 1694, and bore him four children,
two of whom have numerous descendants,
' ' many of whom have been persons of
standing and influence in the learned pro-



fessions and eminent as members of the
household of faith."

On May 21, 1688, the town of Killing-
worth voted to give each of her soldiers who
were out in the Indian wars six acres of
land, one of whom was this Samuel Shethar.

On March 16, 1687, he appears in the
records as paying £0.10.0 as his share for
land in dispute with Saybrook, Conn.

If children were born to this Samuel
Shethar and his wife Mary Durant, no
trace of them has been found.

He lived in the town of Lyme, Conn.,
Aug. 27, 1688, and is taxed for

House and land and i of Sawmill £3.00.0
3 Cows, 1 Mare, 2 Hogs, 16.00.0

i Yearling, 2.00.0

Total £21.00.0
Rate 1 penny to a £=£0.01.9.

10. JOHN married Dorcas . He

was born March 23, 1685. He died June 17.


1751, in the 66th year of his age. She was
born 1692, died Nov. 7, 1748, in the 56th
year of her age. In May, 1728, he was a
constable of Killingworth. At a general
assembly holden at Hartford in May, 1731,
John Shethar of Killingworth was ap-
pointed and confirmed as Ensign of the first
company or trainband in the town of Kil-
lingworth, and ordered that he be commis-
sioned accordingly.

In March, 1740, he gets judgment against
Jeremiah Phinny of Bristol, County of
Bristol, Province of Massachusetts Bay,
£450,00.0 and costs. He was administrator
of his father's estate Aug. 1, 1721, and his
own will was proved Jan. 29, 1752, and he
names children as herewith given:

11. John, bap. 1718, d. Sept. 19, 1750,

age 32 years, m. Mary . His

estate was administered on March
26, 1751, by Mary , his widow.


12. SAMUEL, bap. April 30, 1726, m.

Aug. 1, 1750, Sarah Jones. He d.
Sept. 28, 1816, at Nushwan, Conn.

13. Deborah, bap. 1734. Married


12. SAMUEL, born April 30, 1726,
married Aug. 1, 1750, Sarah Jones, born
Feb. 25, 1729, died Nov. 26, 1810. Lived in
Litchfield, Conn., 1782-1789. The father
of Sarah Jones was born in Saybrook,
Conn., March 18, 1704, old style, and was
married 2d time June 27, 1787. At a town
meeting of Killingworth held June 22d,
1775, this Samuel Shethar was on the Town
Committee on correspondence in regard to
affairs of the Revolution.

"At a meeting of the Governor and
Council of Safety at Hartford, Conn., June
6, 1776, voted to pay, and order drawn by
Capt. Jno. Ely in favor of Samuel Shethar,
for the sum of £30.0.00 for so much bor-


rowed of him by said Ely, for the use of
his said Ely's Company, and to be account-
ed for by said Ely on the Company's pay
roll," The above mentioned Ely was Dr.
Jno. Ely of Lyme, Conn. Lyme was first
known as Nahantick. In Kilbourne's His-
tory of the Town of Litchfield, Conn., pub-
lished 1849, it reads: "On May 9, 1789, was
formed what is supposed to be the first
Temperance Society in the world." One of
the 36 signers is Samuel Shethar, No. 12.
In a parade given Aug. 6, 1806, we find
Light Infantry Co. commanded by Capt.
John Shethar, page 255. Samuel Shethar,
No. 12, was a lister or rate maker in 1782,
page 226. Their children were:

14. John, b. May 6, 1750, d. July 24,

15. JOHN, b. Dec. 14, 1752.
16. Samuel, b. April 6, 1765, d. April


7, 1791, m. Hannah Lasher Oct.
11, 1785.

17. James, b. March 17, 1757, d. May
28, 1759.

18. SARAH, b. Feb. 26, 1761, m. John

Phelps Sept. 24, 1780. He was b.
March 3, 1756.

19. LYDIA, b. April 8, 1764.

20. RACHEL, b. March 16, 1768.

21. Polly, b. Sept. 15, 1769, d. Dec. 21.


22. Betsey, b. March 10, 1774, d. Sept.

23, 1803, in. Wm. Croswell.

15. JOHN, born Dec. 14, 1752, died
June 19, 1835, in his 84th year. Married
Jan. 27, 1773, Sarah Smith, born May 4,
1749. She died Feb. 17, 1796, and he mar-
ried for his second wife Nancy (Nelson)
Drake, widow of MaJ. Joshua Drake, March


6, 1800. She was born April 23, 1760, died
June 12, 1815, at Troy, N. Y. Sarah Smith,
his first wife, born May 4, 1749, was a
daughter of Joshua Smith who married
Mary Stoddard Jan. 25, 1732, and died
April 30, 1787. He was a son of Nathaniel
Smith of Scituate, Mass., whose estate was
administered on May 11, 1725, at Litchfield,
Conn. She was the youngest of eight child-
ren. Cajjt. John was married to his second
wife, Joan, commonly called Nancy Drake,
at the Highlands, N. Y., March 6, 1800. She
was a daughter of Joshua Nelson and his
wife Sarah Mandeville, who was a daughter
of Jacob Mandeville, born 1709, d. Aug. 27,
1784, aged 75 years, and his wife Sarah

, who died May 18, 1782. They lived at

Garrisons, N. Y., on the Hudson River.

Capt. John Shethar, when he enlisted,
lived at Litchfield, Conn. He was made a
Sergeant in Capt. Seymour's Company, Nov.
20, 1776, of a regiment of Connecticut Light


Horse Cavalry, aud was on the marcb
through New Jersey with Washington in
1776. He was made Lieutenant 2d Contin-
ental Dragoons, Dec, 31, 1776, and Captain
Oct. 11, 1777. This was the 2d Regiment
raised agreeable to a resolve of Congress of
Dec. 12, 1776, but by another resolve of
June 14, 1777, takes rank from Nov. 25th,
1776. Thus it seems "he served from the
beginning of the war and obtained promo-
tion for his gallant bravery. ' ' By his active
efficiency at the battle of Brandywine, he
greatly distinguished himself, and this com-
ing under the personal observation of Gen.
Washington, he immediately after the bat-
tle, presented Capt. Shethar with a sword
and highly commended him for his judic-
ious acts.

This sword, with his chapeau and a por-
tion of his military dress and many memen-
toes of the War of the Revolution, have
always been treasured in the family and


are now in the possession of Edwin H.
Shetliar of New York City. Towards the
close of the war, March 6, 1780, being so
badly wounded as to preclude further active
service for a long time, Capt. Shethar felt
constrained to resign his commission. His
dress sword he presented to Ark Lodge,
No. 33, F. & A. M., Geneva, N, Y., and is
yet in possession of these Masonic brethren.
In an encounter with the Indians, he came
near being captured by the Mohawk Chief,
Capt. Joseph Brandt.

Statement written by Mary Osborn Hog-
arth, Nov. 27, 1864, living in 1904 at 550
Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, N. Y. :

"My mother, Mary Jane (Shethar) Hog-
arth, was born in the village of Hammonds-
port, Steuben Co., N. Y., Sept. 3, 1805.
Her father, Capt. John Shethar, died June
19, 1835, aged 84. Her mother Johanna
Nelson was born in Phillipstown, Dutchess
County, N. Y., died at Troy, N. Y., 1815,


aged 50. My grandfather Sliethar owned a
very large and valuable farm in the valley
in which Hanimondsport is situated. He
became security for a Mr. William Root of
Albany, and lost all his property. With a
wagon load of household goods, fifty dol-
lars in money and two little girls, one of
them my Aunt Betsey, then four, and her
sister, my mother, two years old, Grand-
father and Grandmother Shethar, started
for my grandfather Nelson's in Phillips-
town. There Grandfather Shethar was laid
up with rheumatism for six months, could
walk only with crutches. As soon as he
was able he went to Albany, rented a house
and took boarders; there my mother's first
recollections of herself begin. When she
was six years old. Grandfather Shethar
moved to Troy, N. Y. After about four
years' residence in that city, her mother
died and was buried there, where also her
Aunt Martha Haight died in April, and in


the September following Grandfather Sheth-
ar moved to Alexandria, Ya., to reside with
his son, my mother's half brother, James
Smith Shethar, who was very much my
mother's senior. His son James Shethar
(son of James S.) was two years older than
my mother and they were always more like
brother and sister than cousins. When my
grandfather and mother went to Alexandria,
Aunt Betsey went to Bath to live with Aunt
Faulkner, the daughter of my grandmother
Shethar by a former marriage with Major
Joshua Drake. They stayed in Alexandria
four years, when my half-uncle left them to
reside in Charleston, S. C. They came
'across the country to Bath, N. Y., in a
one horse wagon.' My mother speaks of
this as a very interesting journey. She
took her first horseback ride, five miles, be-
hind her father. They remained in Bath,
N. Y., six months and then went to Geneva,
N. Y. Mrs. James Shethar after her hus-


band's death also removed to Geneva. My
mother spent a part of the time with Aunt
Faulkner at the hotel and part with Mrs.
James Shethar. For a short time before her
marriage, she kept house for her father."

Narrated by Miss Elizabeth Hogarth now
living in 1904, at 560 Washington Avenue,
Brooklyn, N. Y., who had the facts direct
from Captain Shethar, her grandfather:

*' During the Revolutionary War, Capt.
John Shethar was arrested as a spy, taken
to New York at a time when the English
held only N. Y. He was examined before
Admiral Digby who a short time previous
had arrived with Prince William, Duke of
Clarence, then 17 years of age, who was
afterwards William IV, the King, who pre-
ceded Queen Victoria. Prince William was
present at the examination before Admiral
Digby. Capt. Shethar when committed for
trial said, ' As a soldier I have no favors to
ask, but as a gentleman. Sir, I have one ! '


Well, what is it? 'That my guardsmen be
British ofScers, Sir, not American refugees
who have iled from their country's altar.'
Then the young Prince said, ' Well, young
man, when this disgraceful affair is settled,
I intend to make a tour of this continent and
would like to have you for a travelling com-
panion,' to which Capt. Shethar replied,
' Well, Sir, if our circumference was no larger
than yours, (referring to occupation of New
York), we could soon make a tour of it.'
Then Admiral Digby said, 'I guess your
Highness has got it now,' to which Capt.
Shethar replied, ' We do not now in our
country pay that deference to royalty that
you do in yours.' "

" Capt. Shethar once had for a prisoner a
Capt. Williamson, of the British Army, who
after he was released, returned to New York
and told his wife of the good treatment he
had received at the hands of Capt. Shethar.
So pleased was she, that while Capt. Sheth-


ar was a prisoner, she arranged matters and
gave him a grand dinner, and ever after-
wards, he was, through this influence, treat-
ed well. He was visited every day by the
young Prince William who admired his
sturdy manhood. When released Capt.
Shethar called on the Prince."

Elizabeth, daughter of Capt. John, lived
in Geneva, N. Y., and kept house for him.
She never married; before this she lived
with her brother James, who lived in Alex-
andria, District of Columbia, then went to
Seneca and Geneva, N. Y.

Capt. Shethar was a member of St. Paul
Lodge, F. & A. M. of Litchfield, Conn., and
afterwards of Ark Lodge of Geneva, N. Y.
Demit and Apron of Capt. Shethar were
sent to Ark Lodge, by Miss Elizabeth Ho-
garth, some years ago.

Capt. John Shethar was a pensioner in
1818 and was living at that time in Alex-
andria, Va. Shethar Street in Hammonds-


port, N. Y. was named for him, he having

been granted about one-tenth of the original


Their children were:

By first wife:

23. Sarah S., b. April 20, 1774, d. April

16, 1776.

24. James, b. Aug. 8, 1775, d. Sept. 30,


25. JAMES, b. March 26, 1777.

26. Sarah S., b. April 23, 1781, d. Jan.

22, 1791.

By second wife:

27. A daughter, b. May 12, 1801, d.

same day.

28. Elizabeth C, b. Aug. 5, 1803, d. Oct.

23, 1873, unmarried, in Sheffield,

29. MARY JANE, b. Sept. 3, 1805, m.

John S. Hogarth Aug. 21, 1823.


25. JAMES, born March 26, 1777, died
July 27, 1820, in his 44th year, at the Cross
Key Tavern in North Carolina, near Dan-
ville, Virginia, while on his way from
Charlston, S. C, to the District of Colum-
bia. Married Mary Collins Aug. 3, 1797,
born June 5, 1774. She died Sept. 29, 1830.
[Mary Collins was a descendant of Rev.
Timothy Collins of Guilford, who was a son
of John Collins. Rev. Timothy Collins
married Elizabeth Hide, Jan. 16, 1723.]

Their children were:

30. JOHN, b. May 18, 1798, d. Dec. 9,

31. Samuel, b. May 15, 1800, d. 1819, in
South Carolina; he was in the 20th
year of his age and his grandfather
in the family bible records, says,
''A very promising young man."

32. JAMES S., b. Jan. 11, 1804, d.
June 27, 1859.


30. JOHN, born May 18, 1798, died
Dec. 9, 1837. Married Sarah Ainsworth,
born March 8, 1797, died Nov. 9, 1833, bur-
ied at Rochester, N. Y. Married (2) Aug.
(1, 1834, Melinda Millard, born April 28,

Melinda Millard Shethar after the death

of her husband, John Shethar, married

Bushnell, father of Hopkins Bushnell who
married Jane Nicholas Shethar, daughter of
James S. Shethar, No. 32, and his wife Ann

John Shethar was a warden of Trinity
Church, Seneca Falls, N. Y. He was at
the laying of the corner-stone of this
church Nov. 18, 1833, and one of the build-
ing committee at time of death. He was an
influential, prosperous man.

By first wife:

33. Samuel, b. Dec. 22, 1823, d. 1825.


34. Sarah, b. Sept. 14, 1826, d. May 2,

35. SAMUEL, b. March 26, 1827, m.
Frances T. Coffin.

36. James, b. June 7, 1829, d. 1829.

37. George W. E., b. Nov. 20, 1832, d.

1863, at Battle of New Orleans;
member of a N. Y. regiment.

38. Sarah, b. Oct. 30, 1833, d. 1834, bap.

Nov. 8, 1833.

By second wife:

39. Edmund L., b. Aug. 8, 1835, d. 1835.

40. John, b. July 24, 1836, bap. Dec. 25,

1836, d. at Danbury, Conn., un-

41. MaryM., b. Feb. 18, 1838, m.

Clapsattle of Lockport, N. Y.

35. SAMUEL, born March 26, 1827,
died March 11, 1897, married Frances T.


Coffin. Samuel Shethar was born at Geneva,
N. Y., and died at New York City. He ar-
rived in New York City when quite a young
man, and became one of its most prominent
merchants. He was an honest and con-
scientious man, devoted to his family and
and noted for his many charitable acts. In
May, 1883, the use of the brick house, No.
48 Palisade Avenue, was by the owner,
Samuel Shethar, given to the Yonkers Free
Library for a term of years. In a marked
degree he had the love and confidence of
his employees, and at his decease was sin-
cerely mourned by all.

Their children were:
42. EDWIN H., b. March 25, 1858.

43. Prentice, b. Jan. 19, 1867, lives at

New Rochelle, N. Y.

44. Norman, b. 1852, d. July 4, 1876.

45. Merriam, b. 1856, d. Jan., 1871.


46. FRANK.

47. MAUD.

42. EDWIN H., born March 25, 1858,
married Agnes F. Nesmith. He is a mer-
chant in New York City. Resides at Great
Neck, L. I., N. Y.

The ancestry of Agnes F. Nesmith is as

Michael Nasmyth of Scotland is the first
of record, and was chamberlain of the Arch-
bishop of St. Andrews. He married Eliza-
beth Baird about 1554, and was granted a
charter under the great seals, of half the
lands of Posso, with the house, garden and
orchard of the same. He fought in the bat-
tle of Langside, 1568, when Queen Mary was
defeated and he was banished. He had four
sons. He died 1609. His third son, Thom-
as, married Johanna Veitch; their eldest
son, James succeeded in 1611, married Agnes
Burnet of Barns in 1610, whose second son


married 1656, to Isabella Murray (through
the Murrays the descent is traced from Rob-
ert Bruce and Edward I, King of England,
as is hereafter shown), whose son, James,
went to Ireland in 1690, and married Eliza-
beth McKean, where their eldest son was
born in 1692, and father and son emigrated
to America in 1718, settling in 1719, at Lon-
donberry, N. H. Among the sons of the
emigrant James Nesmith was Benjamin
Nesmith from whom are descended the
Nesmiths of Brooklyn and New York.
This Benjamin was born in 1734, and was
one of the founders of Belfast, Maine. He
married Agnes Gilmore (daughter of Col.
James Gilmore). She was born 1740, died
1814, married 1763, and son James was born
1764, married Nancy Gilmore (daughter of
Col. James Gilmore), Sept 1, 1795. He died


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