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Genealogy Club of Newtown, Connecticut

25 Main Street
Newtown, CT 06470
203 426 4533 (information)

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Harlan R. Jessup

 For preservation and ease of access the early land records of Newtown, Connecticut, have been photocopied, and a compiled index has been prepared for the years 1707 to 1948.  But these modern indexes omit the references to race shown in the original indexes and are too voluminous to search for slave emancipations. Further, the photocopied deed books exclude all but the deeds themselves, omitting the original indexes, cautions against the recording of certain conveyances, some vital records, and other items of interest. And access to the dusty original volumes, now on high shelves, requires an improvised ladder.

 A survey of these volumes 9 through 30, about 1766 to 1813, reveals emancipations and other matters relating to slaves and free negroes (the term usually applied). As required by state law, each emancipation is accompanied by an application and certificate stating that the slave desired freedom, was in good health, and was between 25 and 45 years of age. Freed slaves sometimes used Freeman or Freedom as a surname and sometimes used the surname of a current or former owner. Thus they are perhaps best recognized initially by their given names.

 Much more detail on the lives of most of these slaves and free blacks may be found in a short book by Daniel Cruson, Newtown's Slaves: A Case Study in Early Connecticut Rural Black History, Newtown Historical Society, 1994, 92 pp.







18 Aug 1784

Cato Freedom

Deed from Marcy Tousey of Woodbury for 1/10/0, 1/2 acre near Ditchlot in the Farm called Zoar, reserving the watercourse through said land.


11 Jun 1778

Thomas Freeman

Deed from Abel Morehouse of New Ashford, Berkshire Co., MA, to Thomas Freeman, negro, formerly belonging to Stephen Morehouse, late of Redding, dec'd, for 43, 2 1/2 acres in Redding where Thomas's house now stands and 5 acres in Newtown.


9 May 1791


about 30 yrs. of age, emancipated by Nehemiah Curtis. Application and certificate on 11 Apr 1791 [16:299].


25 Mar 1791


Negro man Sampson purchased for 30 by Josiah Curtis from Abraham Baldwin, "to serve in all respects as a faithful and obedient servant and is to make up all lost time for four years from Date except six Days every year to be allowed for recreation in consideration of which at the end of four years he is to discharge and emancipate said servant."


6 Jan 1794

Eleck or Alexander

aged 26 on 3 Feb 1793, emancipated by Capt. Solomon Glover.


14 Jan 1794


negro girl about 21, emancipated by Stephen Crofut.


11 Apr 1794

Ned or Ned Booth

about 39 yrs. of age, emancipated by Abraham Booth.


9 May 1796

Zephaniah and Peggy (Booth)

both aged 25 to 45, emancipation by Mr. Daniel Booth.


30 Jul 1796

Cesar or Julius Cesar

aged 25 to 45, emancipation by Mr. Ebenezer Beers.


17 Feb 1796

Ellick or Alexander Brisco

Deed /s/ Ellxeandrea Brisco (not by mark) for 16 to Allexander Deforest for 14 rods at Deep Brook.


12 Nov 1795

Lem or Lem Peters

age 30 on 5 Nov. instant, emancipation by Ezra Booth.


27 Nov 1795


negro girl who was 26 on 24 June last, emancipation by Peter Nichols.


4 Jan 1796


Certificate by Daniel Clark of Southbury who this day purchased Sampson of Elijah Nichols, engaging to free sd. Sampson after he has served "an adequate number of years to sufficiently compensate me for what I gave for him."


23 Mar 1797

Harry Hill

age 27 on 17 May 1797, by John Beach, power of atty. for his mother, Mrs. Phebe Beach.


9 Oct 1797

Ned Booth

Deed from Judson Fairman to Ned Booth, a free Black-man or Negro, for $167, 2 acres at Sluts Hill.


24 Feb 1798

Zephaniah Booth

Negro emancipated by David Booth. Deed from David Oakley for 27/10/0, 1/2 of a tenement and adjoining land at northern end of the Town Street.


30 Apr 1798

Philip or Philip Brisco

age 27 on 25 October last past, emancipation by Caleb Baldwin.


18 Jun 1798

Nancy or Nancy Bush

age 33 on 14 Aug last past, emancipation by Solomon Sanford


7 Jan 1799


female negro servant. Emancipation by James Glover.


28 Feb 1799

Cato Freeman

Deed from Moses Platt of Huntington for $15, 1 acre at Zoar.


19 Feb 1799

Cesar Freeman or Cesar Bellamy

Deed from William Hill Fairchild for $50, 1 acre at Pearse lot.


19 Feb 1799

Cesar Freeman or Cesar Bellamy

Mortgage deed to William Hill Fairchild for $50, 1 acre at Pearse lot.


17 Sep 1799


age about 37, emancipation by Reuben and David Booth, executors of est. of Jonathan Booth, dec'd.


11 Nov 1799


age about 29, emancipation by John Lott and David Beers.


6 Jan 1800


age 25 on 6 Sep 1799, emancipation by Philo Tousey.


6 Oct 1801


age 32 in June last, emancipation by Elijah Nichols.


19 Nov 1802


age about 32, emancipation by Wid. Phebe Beach.


22 Oct 1803

Dinar, wife to Boston Jennings Freeman

Deed from Samuel Beers and Samuel Beers, Jr., for $63, 30 rods with dwelling house on Reading Rd. about 1/2 mile southwest of the church.


16 May 1803

Cato Freeman

Quitclaim by Thomas Hays for $104 to Cato Freeman of Huntington rights to dwelling house erected by Elijah Jordan on land belonging to Henry Tomlinson in S.E. part of Zoar.


8 Apr 1803


age about 30, emancipation by Elijah Nichols.


12 Dec 1803

Prince or Prince Booth

age 26 last October, emancipation by Widow Mary Booth.


5 Dec 1805

Cato Freeman

Quitclaim by Cato Freeman for 25 shillings to Town of Newtown, rights to 20 rods of land for road leading from Elijah Sherman to Good Hill.


20 Feb 1804

Alexander Brisco

a free negro. Quitclaim by Philo Booth for $1, rights to 1/4 acre with dwelling house near the plains.


1 Mar 1804


negro girl about 31 yrs. Sale by Sarah Nichols for $50 to Titus, a free Negro of the Town of Fairfield.


10 Oct 1804

Gilbert or Gilbert Platt

age 29, emancipation by Jarvis Platt.


7 Jan 1805

Tobias Freedom

a free Negro. Judgment in favor of Caleb Baldwin, exec. of estate of Caleb Baldwin, dec'd, for $100.26 plus costs. Execution by seizure of 15 rods with dwelling at Walnut Tree Hill, appraised at $19.


5 Sep 1805

Primus Hill

Quitclaim by Moss K. Botsford for $70, 1/4 acre with dwelling house near north end of Newtown Street.


30 Mar 1806


Bill of freedom from Shelton Beach, executor of est. of Hezekiah Beach, agreeing to free Amos on condition he pay $40 on 1 Sept next and 1 Sept in following year. Receipt of $40 by note of Birdsey Glover on 26 Sep 1806, and receipt of $40 by Joseph Nichols on 38 Nov 1807.


29 Oct 1806

Ned Hill

age about 37, emancipation by John Botsford and Moss K. Botsford.


12 Jan 1809

Zephaniah Booth Freeman

Mortgage deed for $50 to Samuel Beers, Jr., the westerly half of a house where I now live near head of main Town Street which I purchased of David Oakley.


7 Mar 1809

Primus Hill

Quitclaim by Primus Hill for $75, house and 1/2 acre near head of Town Street .


15 Jan 1810

Pegge Hall, wife to Levi Hall

Deed from Philip Nichols of Huntington for $40, 1/2 acre at pine swamp hill.


5 Nov 1811

Amos Beach

of New Haven (Negro in index). Mortgage deed for $100 to Samuel Beers, Jr., 1/2 acre with dwelling house a little west of head of Town Street.


26 Sep 1812

Harry Hill or Harry Beach

free negro of Newtown. Mortgage deed for $80 to Joseph Nichols, Samuel Beers, Jr., and Marcus Botsford, 2/3 acre with house which is my homestead about 2 mi. east of the church.


3 Aug 1812

Cesar Freeman

age 25 to 45, emancipation by Cyrenius Hard.


27 Nov 1813

Cesar Freeman

Deed from Thomas H. Green for $180, 2 parcels at Zoar.

For slaves in Fairfield see:  Chatfield, Priscilla A., "Emancipation and Sale of Slaves in Fairfield, Connecticut: From the Index of Fairfield, CT, Land Records." Connecticut Ancestry 42 (May 2000).  For Greenwich see:  Mead, Jeffrey B., Chains Unbound: Slave Emancipations in the Town of Greenwich, CT, 1995, paperback (available from the Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich).

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Last updated: 03/24/2014