William Richard Cutter.

Genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of the state of Massachusetts; (Volume 3) online

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honorably and so faithfully. Chester W. Chapin
married, June 1, 1825, Dorcas Chapin, born
April 11, 1801, youngest daughter of Col. Abel
and Dorcas Chapin. She was a woman of
rare worth and of great usefulness in the com-
munity, her benefactions extending to most of
the successful charities of Springfield. Four
children were born of this marriage, who
attained maturity. Abel D. ; Margaret C. who
married William Bliss (see Bliss VIII) ; Anna
C. married James A. Rumrill, of Springfield;
and Chester W.

(For preceding generations see Thomas Bliss 1).

(VI) Ebenezer, eldest son of
BLISS Jedediah and Miriam (Hitchcock)

Bliss, was born June 26, 1750, in
Springfield, and died there February 26, 1826.
He married (first) about 1774, Anna Nevins,
who died August 3, 1788. Children: Anna,
Mary, Hubbard, Parmela, David and James.
He married (second) in 1790, Sarah Ferree,
who died October 21, 1848. aged eighty-nine.
Children : Sally, Luther, Eunice, Ebenezer.
Lois Ferree, David and Anna.

(VII) Luther, eldest son of Ebenezer and
Sarah (Ferree) Bliss, was born in Springfield.
June 19, 1792, died at his home, 640 Main
street, Springfield, May 23, 1886, being within
a month of ninety-four years of age. He was
brought up to his father's trade, shoemaking.
but afterward conducted the tannery that the
father had built for a younger son. While
conducting the tannery his health failed and
he was compelled to surrender the business.
After trying the retail boot and shoe trade on
State street for awhile he drifted into real
estate transactions, from which he amassed
a comfortable property. About 1836. in part-
nership with his cousin, Harvey Bliss, he
opened William street through his home lot
and laid out lots on each side. A newspaper



account of Mr. Bliss says: "He was bred to
the tanner's trade and had a tannery at the
South end and also a shoe shop on Main street
in the Center. He had a farm on South Main
street that stretched to the river and through
it later on opened William street. He was a
shrewd, clever man in business and keen and
bright in conversation. Always liberal-minded
he espoused the abolition cause heartily, scorn-
ing its unpopularity ; he also was ready to wel-
come the newly- founded Baptist and Methodist
churches in the city when others were looking
askance at them. By diligence and ability he
r.massed a comfortable property of perhaps
$50,000, largely invested in real estate here-
about." Another account says : "Mr. Bliss's
anti-slavery convictions were of the strongest
type. It is believed that he was the first to
seriously suggest the organization of an inde-
pendent anti-slavery political party in Massa-
chusetts. While entertaining a party of Aboli-
tionists who were here to address a convention,
he said to them : 'Gentlemen, you can never
make this movement a success until you start
an independent political party, whose chief
object shall be the abolition of slavery.' They
exclaimed that that would ruin them. 'We
are weak and our opponents would swallow
us.' 'Not at all,' replied Mr. Bliss, 'Such men
as Dr. Osgood of the first church and Dr.
Hawes of Hartford cannot be swallowed up
by any political opponents.' The more the
suggestion was thought of the sounder it
seemed, and the next year it was acted on, an
anti-slavery ticket being put in the field, and
from that day on the Abolitionist party grew
in strength and numbers until its final triumph."
Mr. Bliss never held public office, but took a
deep interest in politics, reading the news-
papers closely, and in his last days having them
read to him, and so kept abreast of current
events. In 1820 Mr. Bliss built the house in
which he resided the remainder of his life.
This was on a lot which formed a part of the
land apportioned to his ancestors a few years
after the settlement of the town, and here he
was born. In 1827 Mr. Bliss and his wife
became members of the First Church, but left
with the colony which formed the South
Church in 1856. Of this he was for some time
the oldest member. His religious career was
one of happy faith, pure and consistent. He
was often urged to accept some office in the
church, but always declined. At the time of
his death Mr. Bliss was the oldest native-born
resident of Springfield. He retained his mental
faculties to a remarkable degree until about

the time of his death. Living with him and
keeping house for him was the widow of his
son James H., who with great kindness during
his declining years took the best of care of
him, three of which he was in almost complete
helplessness. Luther Bliss married, September
30, 1819, Rebecca, daughter of Moses and
Jerusha (Easton) Ferree. She was born at
Hartford, Connecticut, April 17, 1792, and
died July 1, 1866. Children: Jerusha E.,
Luther, Ebenezer, James H., James Ferree
(died young), James and Homer.

(VIII) James Henry, son of Luther and
Rebecca (Ferree) Bliss, was born in Spring-
field, October 22, 1830, and died September 6,
1867. He was engaged in the retail grocery
business in Springfield. He married, at Lyme,
Connecticut, October 22, 1863, Annie Louise,
daughter of John G. and Julia Ann»(Bill)
Hughes. She was born March 23, 1837, and
since her marriage has resided at the old Bliss
homestead, now a period of forty-six years.
Mrs. Bliss is held in highest esteem by a large
circle of friends. She is noted for her prac-
tical sense, and is the inventor of the Bliss
charcoal stove, which has been widely used.
The issue of his marriage was one child, Annie
Rebecca, the subject of the next paragraph.

(IX) Annie Rebecca, only child of James
H. and Annie Louise (Hughes) Bliss, was
born in Springfield, September 25, 1864, died
July 25, 1904. She was educated and always
resided in Springfield. She was an active
worker in Mercy Warren Chapter of the
Daughters of the American Revolution, and
was for three years corresponding secretary
of the chapter. She was a charter member of
Faith Church and was one of the most earnest
workers in the days when Rev. Dr. S. G. Buck-
ingham first started his branch chapel from
the parent South Church, of which she was a
member. Miss Bliss had a large circle of
friends, to whom her beautiful character was
an inspiration. She died of bronchitis, which
developed from a severe cold she took at
Easter preceding her death.

(The Bill Line).

Bill is numbered among the oldest surnames
in England, being directly traceable in a single
county, that of Shropshire, for a period of
over five hundred years. Dr. Thomas Bill,
born in Bedfordshire, about 1490, was one of
(he physicians of Henry VIII and Edward VI,
and an attendant of the Princess Elizabeth.
William Bill, LL. D., born in Hertfordshire,
about 1505, held at the same time the import-

I53- 2


ant positions of Master of Trinity College.
Provost of Eton College, and Dean of the
Westminster. Charles Bill, born about 1550,
believed to be a son of the preceding, was
recommended in 1609 to succeed Sir Thomas
Smith as Latin secretary to King James I,
John Bill, baptized in 1576. was publisher to
King James I, in 161 3. In America several
of the name have attained honorable positions.
The name is claimed to have first been assumed
by one of the class of soldiers who were armed
with the bill, a sort of battle-ax.

(I) John Bill is assumed to be the first of
the name in this country, and in the records
of Boston is found this statement : "John Bill
died 10 mo., 1638." A month later, January
21, 1639, Richard Tuttell became responsible
to the town of Boston for "one Dorothie Bill,
widdowe, a sojourner in his house," and "for
anything about her." Dorothy Bill is believed
to have been the widow of John Bill, deceased,
and sister of the Richard Tuttell in whose
house she was a "sojourner;" and the last
clause of the quotation used above, means that
her brother engaged to meet any expense which
might arise on account of her and her children.
She had at this time at least one son, James
Bill, who was then twenty-three years old.
There is no record of the arrival of John and
Dorothy Bill in America, but it is assumed that
they came over before 1635. In the latter
year a boy named John Bill, aged thirteen,
came in the ship "Hopewell ;" and about the
same time a girl, Mary Bill, aged eleven, came
in the ship "Planter," both supposed to be
children of John and Dorothy. The name of
Marv Bill immediately follows the names of
the Tuttells, who came in the "Planter," and
she is thought to have come as one of their
family. The relations the members of the
two families sustained to each other thereafter
imply relationship. From what can now be
karned it seems that John and Dorothy Bill
were husband and wife, and that they had
children: James, Thomas, Philip, John and

(II) Philip Bill, as stated above, is believed
to have been a son of John and Dorothy Bill,
to have been born in England about 1620, and
to have been a grandson of the King's printer,
John Bill. Philip Bill is first found at Pulling
Point, then forming a part of Boston, near
James Bill, who had settled there some years
previously. Philip appears in 1660 as debtor
to the estate of William Burnell, of Pulling
Point. He seems to have moved to Ipswich
soon after that time. May 11, 1663, according

to the court record, Philip Fowler, Sen., of
Ipswich, puts into the hands of Philip Bill two
young heifers for seven years. After a few
years residence in Ipswich Philip Bill probably-
thought he could profit by removing, for his
name appears among those of the arrivals in
New London, Connecticut, "about 1668."
Philip Bill settled on the east side of the
Thames river, in that portion of the township
of New London that in 1705 was incorporated
as the town of Groton. Philip Bill settled near
Robert Allyn and George Geer, probably at or
near Allyn's Point, now in the town of Ledyard.
As is shown by the part of the New London
records still extant, he became possessed of con-
siderable real estate. In 1677 he sold one
hundred acres of land to Richard Lord, and
in 1707 or thereabouts devised other real estate
to his children. Philip Bill died July 8, 1689,
of a fatal throat distemper, which prevailed
that summer, and his daughter Margaret died
the same day of the same disease. He left a
widow Hannah, who afterward married
Samuel Bucknall, of Buckland, of New Lon-
don, and died in 1709. Children, the last two
born in Connecticut : Philip, Mary, Margaret,
Samuel, John, Elizabeth, Jonathan, and Joshua,
next mentioned.

(Ill) Joshua, youngest child of Philip and
Hannah Bill, was born in New London, Con-
necticut, October 16, 1675, baptized March 29,
1676, and died in 1735. He was a blacksmith
and seems to have been a man of much more
than ordinary education. February 11, 1707,
Joshua Bill, of Groton, mortgaged eighty acres
of land to Jonathan Bill, of Boston. January
17, 1 72 1, Joshua Bill was granted three hun-
dred acres of land by John Pelton. He appears
as a party to other deeds. Through an old
Bible, printed by Charles Bill, of London,
about 1660, which became the property of
Joshua Bill, and in which he wrote with his
own hand the family record, and which Bible
and record afterward fell into the hands of
Ledyard Bill, the compiler of the "History of
the Bill Family," the family records of Joshua
and others of the Bill family were obtained.
Joshua Bill was selectman for many years, and
was also one of the town committee from 1719
to 1730. April 16, 1719, he was moderator of
the town meeting held to consider the propriety
of dividing the town commons. A committee
was appointed, of which he was one, to take
such action as was deemed best, and the lands
were afterwards divided and disposed of by
the committee. The same committee granted
six hundred acres of land to the Pequot Indians



for their use, March 20, 1721. Joshua Bill was
also one of those who laid out in 1773 what
is now the main traveled road between Groton
and Preston, and divides the town of Led-
yard nearly in halves. Joshua Bill married
( first ) November 1, 1699, Joanna Potts, daugh-
ter of William Potts, of New London. She
was born in May, 1679, was admitted to the
church at New London, May 9, 1701, and died
November 3, 1718. He married (second)
October 4, 1719, Hannah Swodel, born in
December, 1697, daughter of William Swodel,
of Groton. The children by wife Joanna were:
A son (died young), Joshua, Edward, Benajah
and Mary; by wife Hannah: Phineas, Naomi,
Orpah, Hannah, Sarah, Esther, Joanna and
1 'hebe.

(IV) Phineas, eldest son of Joshua and
Hannah (Swodel) Bill, was born September
3, 1720, in what is now Ledyard. He was a
cooper and resided in the southwestern part
of the town, about midway between Unionville
and Allyn's Point, probably in what has been
known for more than a century and a half to
the neighboring inhabitants as the "Phineas
Bill House." He died of cancer while a mem-
ber of the family of his son Phineas, February,
1780. aged sixty years. December 25, 1784
his widow was allowed £ 18 out of his estate.
He married Mehitable Woodworth, who sur-
vived him many years, and died in Groton
(Ledyard) July, 1813, aged ninety. Children:
Phineas, Mehitable, Mary, Benajah, Joshua.
Gurdon and a daughter.

(V) Benajah, second son of Phineas and
Mehitable (Woodworth) Bill, was born in
Groton, June 29, 1760, died in Lyme, May 22,
1842. In the earlier part of his life he resided
on what is now known as "Meeting-House
Hill," in Ledyard. Like his father and
brothers, he was a cooper. Later in life he
removed to Lyme and became a farmer. He
married. January 17, 1782, Content Park, born
February 4, 1761, died May 27, 1845. Chil-
dren : Polly, Lodowick, Eunice Park, Alex-
ander Tullius Franklin, Sarah, Elisha Satter-
lee, Nelson Horatius. Park Allyn, Lyman
Edgecomb, and a child (died young).

(VI) Judge Lodowick, eldest son of Bena-
jah and Content (Park) Bill, was born in what
is now Ledyard, October 9, 1784, and died in
advanced years. He was a farmer, but for
many years dealt extensively in wool. After
his marriage he resided in Lyme. He was a
man of marked traits of character, being
upright in business, social in his intercourse
with people, and eminently practical in his

iii— 28

affairs. He began life poor, but by frugality
and industry he brought together an ample
fortune. His business ability was recognized
by his fellow citizens and he was called to fill
various public offices. He was constable,
deputy sheriff, justice of the peace, judge of
probate, and member of the legislature. He
held the office of judge of probate until dis-
qualified by age. He married, October 20,
1805, Betsey Gower, of Ledyard,. a descendant
of Rev. John Wight, a clergyman of some
distinction. He and his wife lived to see the
semi-centennial of their married life, when
they had more than forty grandchildren and
great-grandchildren living within one-half a
mile of them. Children : Eliza, Julia Ann,
Polly, Hiram Geer, John Wight, Benajah
Park, James Alexander, Ellen Jane, Lucy
Stark, and Gilbert La Fayette.

( VII) Julia Ann, second child of Lodowick
and Betsey (Geer) Bill, was born in Ledyard.
October 20, 1807, died 1869. She married.
January 20. 1824. John G. Hughes, of Lyme,
Connecticut (see Hughes II).

(The Hughes Line).

The name Hughes is probably of Welsh
origin and of comparatively recent arrival in
America. The family tradition supports this
theory and the fact that no record can be
found preceding Captain John Hughes, of
Lyme. Connecticut, further supports the idea.

( I ) Captain John Hughes first appears in
the records of Lyme, Connecticut, January 7.
1788, when he was there married to Jemimah.
daughter of Josiah Burnham of that town
He was the commander of a vessel and made
several purchases of land in Lyme. The first
was in August, 1794, when he bought a house
and garden in that portion of Lyme known as
Mathers Neck. It is probable that the house
now standing on the land is one which he then
purchased. In executing the power of attorney
in New York, December 19, 1797, he refers to
himself of Lyme "master of the brig Prudence
now lying in the port of New York but bound
for New Orleans." In other documents he is
referred to as John Hughes, mariner, and
always "of Lyme." He had children : Joseph
Higgins. born March 31, 1794; Polly, March.
1797; John Gordon, mentioned below; Betsey.
February 29, 1808.

(II) John Gordon, younger son of Captain
John and Jemimah (Burnham) Hughes, was
born January 1, 1802, in Lyme. The family
tradition states that he was born in England,
and this is quite possible as his father was



frequently a visitor to that country and might
have been accompanied by his wife on a voy-
age on which occasion the birth of the son
occurred. The record of the four children in
Lyme was evidently made at one time and does
not specify whether any of them were born in
Lyme or elsewhere. He resided in Lyme,
where he was a man of substance and lived
to an advanced age. John G. Hughes married,
January 20, 1824, in Lyme. Julia Ann, daughter
of Lodowick Bill, of that town (see Bill VII).
Children : Mary Seldon, Charles Gordon,
Alfred Smith, Hiram Geer, John Wight, Annie
Louise, Jennie Eliza, Elizabeth Maria, Fannie
Emeline, Ellen Burnham and Julia Emma.

( III) Annie Louise, second daughter of
John G. and Julia Ann (Bill) Hughes, mar-
ried, October 22, 1863, James H. Bliss (see
Bliss VIII).

John Cowing, a Scotchman
COWING from Edinburgh, appeared in

Scituate in Plymouth Colony in
1656. He purchased a tract of land in Cohas-
sett, north of Sweet Swamp, and east of the
Michael Pierce farm, and on it he erected a
house which occupied the site on which the
house of Stephen Litchfield stood in 1830.
John and Rebecca (Man) Cowing lived in the
house on Man Hill, occupied by Richard and
Rebecca Man, up to the time Richard was
drowned, and Rebecca married John Cowing.
His Scottish spirits did not desert him in his
new home as is evidence in the Colony records
of 1670 as follows : "John Cowen appeared
in court to answer for contemptible words
against Royal Authority ; to wit : that he
scorned to be in subjection to an Englishman —
and that there never was any King of England
that was an Englishman, save one crooked
back'd Richard — a crooked Rogue just like
such an one, (naming a well known hunch
back)." He was cleared of the offence, how-
ever. He married, in 1656, Rebecca, widow
of Richard Man. Richard Man was a "May-
flower" passenger, 1620, a planter; came as a
youth in Elder Brewster's family, was one of
the partners in the Cohassett purchase in
1(140, and he had children: Nathaniel, born
1646; Thomas, 1651 ; Richard, 1652; Josiah,
1654. We find no record of the date of death
of either John Cowing or his wife Rebecca.
John and Rebecca Cowing had five children
born in Scituate, as follows: 1. Joseph, 1657,
was killed in the Rehoboth battle, King
Philip's war, 1676. 2. Mary, 1659. 3. John.
1662, married Deborah Litchfield, 1687, and

his children were: i. Sarah, born 1688; ii.
Joseph, 1690; iii. John, 1692, married Desire,

, who died February 8, 1723-4; iv.

Joshua, 1694; v. Caleb, 1696, married and had
two children : James, 1740, and Samuel, 1742 ;
vi. Israel, 1701 ; vii. Mary, 1705. 4. Israel,
1664 (q. v.). 5. Rebecca, 1666, married Oba-
diah Holmes, of Dorchester.

(II) Israel, third sort and fourth child of
John and Rebecca (Man) Cowing, was born
in Scituate, Massachusetts. 1664, died Januarv
15, 1717. He married Rebecca, daughter of
James Wade, in 1689. His children were: 1.
Alary, born 1691. 2. Hannah, 1694. 3. Eliz-
abeth, 1697. 4. Israel, 1699 (q. v.). 5. Jonah,
1704, died young. 6. Gethelus, 1708, married
Mary Gill, of Hingham, 1735, and left sons
David and John. 7. Job, 1713, was called Cap-
tain Job, and had son Job, 1742, who died in
Scituate and had no sons ; Gethelus and Israel,
1750, who left sons: Israel, Charles and
others. 8. Joseph, 171 5, removed to Bridge-
water and married Howland in 1736.

9. Sarah, 171 7.

(III) Israel (2), eldest son of Israel (1)
ami Rebecca (Wade) Cowing, was born in
Scituate, Plymouth county, Massachusetts, in
1699. He married Howland, of Pem-
broke, in Plymouth county, about 1722, and
they removed to Weymouth after his sons
Joseph, Israel and Balch were born as follows:
1. Joseph, probably early in 1723, married
Jane, daughter of Samuel Keith, in 1744, and
they had: Joseph, 1745, Hannah, 1747, Word,
1755. 2. Israel, 1724. 3. Balch (q. v.).

(IV) Balch, youngest son of Israel (2).

and (Howland) Cowing, was born in

Scituate, Plymouth county, Massachusetts, in
1728. He removed with his father and the
other members of the family to Weymouth,
Norfolk county, Massachusetts, which was
just over the border from Plymouth county,
where he married and had children : Balch.
Cornelius, Howland, Rachel, Sarah, married
Peleg Jordan.

(V) Balch (2), eldest son of Balch (1)
Cowing, was born in Scituate, Massachusetts,
about 1750. He was brought up in Weymouth
and followed the sea in his younger days. He
became master of the packet brig "Volasute,"
owned at one time by Peter Lane, and which
sailed from Boston and had accommodations
for passengers as well as freight. Later in
life he retired and worked a small farm in
Weymouth, which employment occupied his
declining years. He was married, about 1775,
to Cynthia Bates, of Weymouth, and by this



marriage eight children were born as follows :
r. Joshua Bates (q. v.). 2. Francis. 3. Lucre-
tia. 4. Maria, the only one now living, married
Henry Willie. He died in March, 1907. leav-
ing one son, Theodore Parker, who was named
for the famous minister by that name. This
sop. was a man of more than ordinary ability
as a mechanic, doing some very fine work in
this direction and was also an accomplished
musician ; he died at thirty-eight years of age.
5. Henry B., whose son Henry was- a soldier in
the Thirteenth Massachusetts Regiment in the
war 1861-65. 6. Sarah H. 7. Susan H. 8.
William B.

(VI) Joshua Bates, eldest child of Balch
(2) and Cynthia (Bates) Cowing, was born
in Weymouth, Massachusetts, about 1800. He
was married in Batestown, Weymouth, Mass-
achusetts, to Deborah dishing, and they had
eight children as follows: 1. Francis Henry,
born and died in 1831. 2. Francis Henry (2)
(q. v.). 3. Mary C, married Edward H.
French : they reside in East Weymouth. 4.
Helen M., married Ezra Wilder, of Hingham.

5. Charles G., deceased; was a soldier in the
United States army, married Etta Nickerson,
of East Weymouth, where she now resides.

6. George, deceased, married and had children
Helen and George Cowing. 7. Elizabeth, mar-
ried Charles Hayward ; resides in East Wey-
mouth. 8. Edward, married Jessie Cain, of

(VII) Francis Henry, second son of Joshua
Bates and Deborah (Gushing) Cowing, was
born in Weymouth, Massachusetts, December
17, 1834. He attended the Weymouth dis-
trict school, and was a clerk in a store and in
business on his own account up to 1857, when
he accepted a position with the Old Colony
Railroad Company as station agent at East
Weymouth, and remained in the service of
that corporation up to 1893, when he resigned,
being nearly three score years of age. He
served as assessor of the town of Weymouth
from 1895 till 1906, and as a trustee of the
Weymouth Savings Bank, one of the board of
investment, and its vice-president, which offices
he still holds. He never married. In 1841 he
purchased for a home the fine residence which
Samuel Arnold had built in 1803, and where
Mr. Cowing still resides. Mr. Cowing attends
the Universalist church, is a Republican in
political belief, and has always been held in
high esteem by the people of Weymouth, all
of whom are counted as his friends. As he
approaches the seventy-fifth milestone in his
journey through life's years, he treads with a

light foot and unfaltering step, bidding fair to
mark many more milestones to the credit of a
well spent life.

( For preceding generations see John Johnson i ).

(Ill) Nathaniel Johnson, son
JOHNSON of Humphrey Johnson, was

baptized at Hingham, Massa-
chusetts, 1666. He married Abigail ,

and settled about 1695 m Sherborn, Mass-
achusetts. He had a lot assigned to him
there March 8, 1696. The history of Sher-
born and various other authorities have con-
fused him with Nathaniel Johnson, son of his
uncle. Isaac Johnson, of Roxbury. Both
branches lived in this section and in Connecti-

Online LibraryWilliam Richard CutterGenealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of the state of Massachusetts; (Volume 3) → online text (page 33 of 145)