W. C. (William Carvosso) Sharpe.

History of Oxford online

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Copyii^IitN^.



COPYRIGHT DEPOSIT.



HISTORY



OF



OXFORD.



/ ::■• I



PART FIRST,

CHURCH RECORDS, BIRTHS, MARRIAGES, DEATHS. ETC.



BY W. C. SHARPE,

AUTHOR OF THE HISTORY OF SEYMOUR, Etc.



ed according to act of Congress, in the year 1885, by W. C. Sharpe, in the office of the
Librarian of Congress, at Washington.



RECORD PRINT, SEYMOUR, CONN.

1885.



PREFACE TO PART FIRST.



Two or three memories may sometimes reach back a hundred and fifty
or two hundred years, but the aged sires and matrons whose fathers told them
what their grandsires saw and did a century and a half ago are fast passing
away. Even the old records, brown and brittle with age, are crumbling and
disappearing. Three of the closely written leaves of the oldest volume of
Oxford records, which evidently gave the earliest vital statistics of the
parish, are gone, while others are so worn as not to be fully decipherable.
Old documents are destroyed by accident or scattered far and wide by the
migration of families. In view of this, and to bring these matters into
convenient form for reference and preservation, the following pages have
been compiled.

The original parish records are in two volumes, one of which was kept
by the pastor and contained a record of such matters as came under his
direction, and the other by the clerk of the society, containing a record of
the society meetings and of such business as the laws of the colony reserved
to laymen.

Many names were found of which it is difficult to determine the exact
spelling, and others in which the spelling is evidently incorrect. Kno^ving
that the value of such records depends upon their reliability, great care has
been taken to make a correct copy.'

The figures on the right of pages 23 to 27 and 34 to 53 are in the
original record and were evidently intended to show at a glance the number
of the event recorded.

The incompleteness of the town record of deaths, pages 76 to 70, is to
be regretted, yet even as it is they will be of great value. It will be seen
that on these pages the children are mostly omitted, the registrar evidently
entertaining the strange idea that it was unnecessary to record the deaths of
the little ones.

Those who may be able are requested to furnish any information, old
papers, etc., which may aid in making the remainder of the work more
complete and interesting.



HISTORY OF OXFORD.

THE ECCLESIASTICAL SOCIETY.

The town of Oxford comprises an area in the honored Commonwealth of
Connecticut which has had its full share in the development of those forms of
government which secure so much of civil and religious liberty. Its sons and
daughters faithfully toiled to lay the foundations of present prosperity and
sacrificed much that justice and freedom should triumph.

iNTot incorporated as a town until 1798, yet clothed with the powers of an
independent parish in 1741, it is to the parish records we must look for most
of the details of more than half a century, and in the minutia of the aifairs of
the ecclesiastical society so carefully preserved, we find a key to many incidents
of pioneer life.

The history of a church is, to a great extent, the history of the people of
the people of the parish, and in many cases, is about the only available record
which gives any details of the earlier inhabitants, whose descendants have
left their impress on the society and institutions of the country from the
Atlantic to the Pacific, and fi'om British America to the Gulf of Mexico.

The first petition for the setting apart of Oxford as a separate parish was
made to the General Assembly in May, 1740, and on the 7th of May, 1741, the
petition was granted in the following words :

"Whereas upon the memorial of Timothy Worster, John Twitchel and
John Towner, &c., dwelling in the and northwest part of the township of
Derby, Isaac Trowbridge, John Weed, Jonas Weed, Joseph Weed, Thomas
and Joseph Osborn, dwelling in the southwest part of Waterbury woods, in
the old society in said Waterbury, and Isaac Knowles, Joseph Towner,
Eliphalet Bristol, John Tift, and Aaron Bristol, dwelling in the southeast
part of the township of W^oodberry woods in the parish of Southberry, mov-
ing to the General Assembly holden at Hartford, May, anno Dom. 1740,
that they might become one entire, ecclesiastical society, and praying for a
committee, &c.-, the said General Assembly did appoint a committee, who
accordingly making their report to the General Assembly at New Haven in
October last, and the same not being accepted ; and the said General Assem-
bly in October last appointing another committee, Colo. Benjamin Hall, Capt.
Isaac Dickerman and Capt. John Fowler, to view and report, &c.: And
whereas the said last mentioned committee have to this Assembly made their



G IlISTOKY OF OXFORD.

report that according to the direction of said Assembly they have repaired to
the abovesaid places, &c., and find and are of opinion, that it is necessary and
best that the said inhabitants be made a distinct, separate ecclesiastical society,
and that their bounds and limits be as followeth : Beginning at the mouth of
the four mile brook in Derby bounds, where the brook emptieth itself into
the great river, and to run as said brook runneth by said brook unto the bridge
that is between the dwelling houses of Abel Gun and John Holbrook; and
from said bridge by the highway that runneth between the land commonly
called the Camp's Mortgage and the land called Quakers Farm Purchase,
unto the river called the Little river; and thence as the Little river runneth to
Naugatuck river; and thence northerly, by said Naugatuck river, that
being the east bounds of said society, imtil it comes to the dividing
line between the towns of Derby and Waterbury ; thence turning westerly
and running as the line runneth between the towns of Derby and Water-
bury, as aforesaid, until it comes to the southeasterly boundary of Thomas
and Joseph Osborn's Farm in the bounds of Derby ; and from thence to run
northerly to the northeast corner boundary of Jos. Weed's farm in Waterbury
town bounds ; and from thence a northwesterly line to the northeast corner
boundary of Isaac Trowbridge's farm, in said Waterbury town bounds : and
from thence to run westerly, in the line of said Trowbridge's farm, about sixty
rods, to Woodberry town line ; and thence to the northwest corner of Isaac
Knowles' farm in the township of Woodberry; and from the northwest cor-
ner of said Knowles' farm a west line to the eight mile brook, in the bounds
of Woodberry; and then by the said brook, until it comes to the dividing line
between the towns of Woodberry and Derby; and thence to run westerly in
the line that divideth between the said towns of Woodberry and Derby,
unto the great river ; thence by the river southerly to the first mentioned
boundary, the mouth of four mile brook ; as by said report on file, dated
May the 7th, anno Dom. 1741."

'■'■It is thereupon resolved by this Assembly, That the above said memori-
alists, inhabitants of Derby, Waterberry and Woodberry, situate and living
within the bounds and limits above described, be and become together one
entire, separate aad distinct ecclesiatical society or parish, subsisting and
known by the name of the parish of Oxford, and endowed with all powers
and privileges wherewith other parishes within this government are by law
endowed."

The first meeting of the society was held June 30, 1741. The following
is an exact copy of the record :

Att a meetting of the Parrish or society of oxford, in the Colony of Con
necticut, on the thirtieth Day of June, 1741, being Lawfully warned and held
att the house of ""'Samuel Twitchels. Isaac Trowbridge, of said Parrish, by
a major vote was chosen Clerk of the same, and the oath by Law provided for
a society Clerk was to him administered in said meeting pr Sam" Bassit,
Esquir, Justice of peace.



THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. 7

Att said meeting "•'Isaac Knowles by a major vote was chosen modderator
for said meeting.

Voted and Past in said meeting that ™''Caleb Perry, "''Ebenezer Riggs,
"'•■John Luram to be a committee for said society to take care of the pruden-
tials of s"^ society.

Voted and past in said meeting to bier a minister for this Present year.

Voted and Past in said meeting that "''John Towner, ""abial Fairchield
and ™''Sam" Twitchel to be a minister committee for this Present year, and
to hier a minister upon probation.

Voted and Past in said meetting that thear shall be a rate made of five
pence upon the pound upon the list in the year 1740, in order to Defray the
Charges of hiering '"'"Birdsey. this vote the inhabitants on Rock house
hill are exempted from paying and Charges there of.

Voted and past in said meeting that ""Ephraim Washband shall be a
Collector and Treasurer and to collect and gather s^^ five peney Rate by the
first day of September next Ensuing.

Voted and Past in said meeting that '"'John Towner and m' Sam^^
Wostor shall be in with the first committee in order to take care of the pru-
dentials of said society.

test pr me,
ISAAC TROWBRIDGE.
Society Clerk.

At a society meeting held Oct. 6th, 1741, it was voted to build a
meeting house and to ask the General Assembly at their next session to
appoint a commission to decide where the meeting house should be built.
Mr. Ebenezer Riggs was appointed agent for the society to present the matter
to the General Assembly. The following is the order of the Assembly :

"Upon the report of Capt. Isaac Dickerman, Mr. James Talmadge and
Mr. John Hitchcock, appomted by this Assembly to affix the place for
the inhabitants of the parish of Oxford to build their meeting house upon,
&c., the said committee having viewed their circumstances, and have set
down a stake and laid stones to the same, at the south end of the hill, com-
monly called Jack's Hill, and near the highway that runs on the east side
the Little river, on land belonging to Ephraim Wasbbourn, which said place
the said committee report to be the most convenient place for the said in-
habitants to build a meeting house upon ; Resolved by this Assembly, that
the abovesaid place be the place for the said inhabitants to build their meeting
house upon ; and the said inhabitants are hereby ordered to build a meeting
house at the said place accordingly."

At the meeting of Oct. Oth, which was held at the house of John
Twitchel, John Chatfield moderator, it was voted "to disannul that vote that
was past to hier a minister upon probation," and to lay a tax of one penny on
the pound to defray the charges of a court committee. Sergeant Timothy
Wooster and Mr. James Wheeler were appointed a committee to hire a min-
ister for that year. It was also voted that the places to post notices of society
meetings should be at the houses of John Lum, Jonathan Griffin, Joseph
Lewis, Isaac Knowles, Joseph Davis and Joseph Wood, and that the meet-
ings on the Sabbath be held at the house of Samuel Twitchell "till y^ year be
ended."



HISTORY or OXFOIID.



ADMISSIONS TO CHURCH FELLOWSHIP.



1764:.

Mary Hawkins, wife of Zacliariah Haw-
kins, June 3.
Hannah Guun, Aug;. 5.
Joseph Osborn and his wife Rebecca,

Sept. 6.
Abijah Hide, by letter from church at

Ripton, Oct. 7.
Samuel Chatfleld, Jr., and his wife

Joanna, Dec. 3.

1765.
Zerviah Chatfield, Lewis Wheler and

Rachel Towner, Feb. 3.
Deborah, wife of Eleazer Wooster, and

Esther, wife David Woodruff, June 2.
"Anna, my spouse" (written by Rev.

David Bronson), and David Wood-
ruff, Aug. 4.
Mamie Ward, Sept. 1.
Edward Riggs and Joel Northrop, Oct. 3.
Zerviah, wife of Oliver Chatfield, Oct. 6.

1766.
Daniel Osborn, Jr., and wife Mary,

Jan. 26.
Oliver Chatfield, April 6.
Sarah, wife of Arthur Wooster, Apr. 6,

by letter from the church at Newtown.
Lois, wife of Nathan Fairchild, Apr. 26.
John Holbrook and Eunice, his wife,

Aug. 24.

1767.
Caleb Caudee, Jr., and Anna, his wife.

Mar. 8.
Zerviah, wife of Abiah Fairchild, Aug. 2.
David Graves and his wife Hannah,

Oct. 4, by letter from Norfolk.
1768.
Eunice Riggs and Eunice Peck, Apr. 3.
Lieut. Daniel Chatfield and Prudence,

his wife, Apr. 24.
Joanna, wife of Daniel Wilniot, Aug. 7,

by letter from Woodbury.
1769.
JeremialiJohnson audHannaJi, his wife,
Gershom Lake, Feb. 12. [Jan 15.

Abigail Lyman, June 11.
Joseph Russel and Elizabotli, his wife,

July 30.
Eleazer Bartholewmy and Abigail, his

wife, Oct. 1.



1770.

Merriara Washband, Mar. 27.

Naomi, wife of Ensign John Bassett,

Apr. 1.
Thankful, wife of Ebenzer Johnson,

June 3.
Sarah, wife of Samuel Tucker, June 3.
Jeremiah Riggs and Anna, his wife,

July 1.
Jabez Riggs and Sarah, his wife, July 8.

Abraham Beecher, 2.

177S.
Deborah, wife of David Fabrick, Apr. 5.
Isaac Trowbridge and Judith, his wife,

July 26.

Noah Russell Lyman and Comfort, his

wife. Mar. 21, 1773.
Capt. Ebenezer Clark of West Haven,

Apr. 11, 1773.
Josiah Perry, Tabitha Perry and Anna

Hawkins, Oct. 10, 1773.
Lieut. John Bassit, Dec. 5, 1773.
Isaac Beecher, Apr. 9, 1774.
Desire, wife of Abraham Beecher, July

24, 1774.
Elizabeth, wife of John Trumbull, Dec.

11, 1774.
Hannah, wife of Isaac Beecher, Feb. 5,

1775.
Joseph Towner, Jr., and Mary, his wife,

May 12, 1776.
Dinah, wife of Lieut. John Griffin, frons

N. Cheshire, Apr. 6, 1777.
Joseph Riggs and Anne, his wife, May

11, 1777.
Mable, wife of Samuel Cande, April 5,

1778.
Eunice, wife of Justus Cande, March

19, 17—.
Dr. Osee Dutton, June 24, 1781.
John Towner and Racliel Iiis wife, Aug.

26, 1781.
Elizabetii Whitmore, Oct. 28, 1781.
Lois, wife of Reuben Perkins, Dec.

30, 1781.
Sarah Wooster, July, 14, 1782.
Abial Fairchild and wife, by letter from

Watevbury, Apr. 27, 1783."



THE CONGREGATIONAL CHUBCH:



1784-
April 18'^ Joseph Osborn, Jr., & Sar.ah

his wife, receiv'' to special ordinauces.
April 18*, Levi Trowbridge & Hannah

his wife, receiv^ to special ordinauces.
May 16"', Nehemiah Cande & Content

his wife, receiv^ to communion.
June 30"', Asenath, wife to Amos Hine, c.
June 27"', Elizabeth, wife to Dr. Osee

Button, receiv'^ to communion.
1785.
April 24"', Ethiel Perkins, receiv^ &c.
Ocf 18"', Abigail Johnson.

1786.
April 30"', Gael Bristol, Jn - .

10"', Abijah Hide, Jn^

1787.
, Mary, wife of Jesse Scoot, by

letter from Ripton.
, M'^^ Anna Brownson, consort to

Rev


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Online LibraryW. C. (William Carvosso) SharpeHistory of Oxford → online text (page 1 of 16)