Harrington Family of Lee, MA
by: Renné Harrington Blocker, November 2003.
or Johnathon, Harrington was born 25 July 1804 in Barre, Massachusetts.
According to his death certificate issued by the state of Vermont,
Jonathan's father was Samuel Harrington and his mother was only
listed as "S." Jonathan Harrington married Louisa
Reniff, of Buckland, Massachusetts on 8 January 1827. Louisa was
born on 28 Jan 1811 to George Reniff and Elizabeth Cook. Jonathan
Harrington was issued a certificate of Denomination for the Methodist
Episcopal Society of Lee, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, in
April of 1833. The evidence of his Certificate of Denomination
was published in the Berkshire Family History Association’s Berkshire
Genealogist, Volume 16 #2, Spring, June, 1995.
As of 2003 the Harrington family has not discovered where
Jonathan and Louisa Harrington were married. The Harrington
family Bible is the source of the marriage date. Buckland had
all of its records destroyed twice by fire, so they may have been
married there with no marriage on record.
They spent the majority of the years between 1830 and
1860 living in various towns of Berkshire County, Ma.
had a total of ten children; three were born in New York, three
in Vermont, one in Canada, and three were born in Massachusetts.
Jonathan and Louisa were always listed in Berkshire County censuses
from 1830-1860, so it can be surmised that Louisa was visiting
relatives when she had her children that were not born in Massachusetts.
The Harrington family is found in the Berkshire county
censuses for Monterey, Great Barrington, Adams, North Adams, and
Lee. Jonathan Harrington is always listed as an overseer or laborer
in a cotton factory.
Jonathan and Louisa Harrington had their first son, Dexter Valvord,
on 3 Jan 1829. He died 22 Feb 1830. Their
second child they named Dexter Valvord in honor of their deceased
son and he was born 2 Sep 1831 in Battenville, Washington County,
New York. It is unclear why their second child was born
in New York. Their third child, George W. Harrington, was born 27 June 1833.
Sarah Harrington was born 17 October 1835, and she died on her
first birthday 17 Oct 1836.
Their second daughter, Frances Harrington, was born 20
August 1837. Their sixth child, James Bushnell Harrington, was
born 28 Sep 1839. Jonathon Harrington Jr. was born 9 Jan 1842
and he died in action, in the Civil War, on 25 May 1863 at Port
Hudson, La. Sarah Ellen, named after her deceased sister
Sarah, was born 11 March 1843. She died at the young age of 18,
on 28 January 1862. Henry Royal Harrington was born 7 January
1846. Susan Sophia Harrington was the youngest and she was born
25 Jan 1849. Their
two sons named Dexter, as well as George, were born in N.Y.
Sarah, Frances, and James were born in MA.
Jonathan Harrington Jr., Sarah Ellen, and Susan Sophia
were born in Vermont Henry Royal Harrington was born in Canada.
V, Jonathan Jr., and Henry Royal Harrington all served in Infantry
from Lee, MA during the Civil War. Jonathan Jr. was killed
in action at a battle at Port Hudson, La. His body was never
recovered. His fourth grand niece, Renné Harrington Blocker,
in conjunction with Veteran's Affairs, had a Civil War Memorial
Marker installed at Fairmont Cemetery, Lee, Berkshire County,
Massachusetts (next to his mother's grave) in gratitude of his
service to his country. It was installed on August 6, 2003. His
name also appears on the town of Lee's "Wall Of Honor."
Dexter was wounded at Port Hudson, LA in the same battle his brother
Jonathan Harrington Jr. was killed in. He was shot in the leg
and declared a cripple, but Henry suffered no injuries. After
the war, Dexter returned to Berkshire County, MA. He, as well
as a son, Fred, is listed in Directories of North Adams, MA from
1871-1891 as “shoemakers.”
George W. Harrington married Fannie Goodrich from Lee, MA. They
moved to Brandon, Vermont.
George was born in 1833 and died at age 50. Fannie Z. Goodrich
was born 2 Oct. 1851 and died 8 Nov 1875, at the age of 24 in
Brandon, Vt. It is not known when George and Fannie moved from
Lee, MA to Brandon, VT. The couple had no children.
married Ellen McCormick whose family also resided in Berkshire
County. The McCormick family is on pg. 72 of the Great Barrington,
MA census of 1850. Out of all of the children it is believed Dexter
is the only one that remained in Berkshire County. He raised six
children in Berkshire County and is buried with his wife and son,
Walter, and Walter’s wife, Florence, in Southview Cemetery, North
Adams. Dexter and
Ellen were married 1 April 1849. They had George, Mary, and Edwin
before Dexter went to war.
After the war they had three more children: Walter, Fred and Tessie.
Harrington married Benona Wheeler (from Vermont) on 28 Nov 1854
and they lived in Brandon, Vermont. Benona was a day laborer and
worked in Berkshire County, MA when he met Frances. They returned
to his native Vermont as soon as they were married. They had a
baby that died and Stella Louisa born 31 May1866—she died at the
age of 13 in 1879. They had Sarah (Linnie) Wheeler born about
1867. “Linnie” is listed with her parents in an 1880 census of
Brandon, Rutland County, VT as being 14 and occupation-servant.
It is not known when Sarah, “Linnie” Wheeler died. Buried in the
same row of Forestdale Cemetery, Brandon VT are Frances, Benona,
“BABY”, Stella Wheeler, George W., Fannie (Goodrich) Harrington,
and Jonathan Harrington.
moved to Oregon where he received a Civil War Pension. Ancestry.com
has Henry’s Civil War Pension record. He is listed as having fought
with the 49th Infantry from Lee, MA. There is no spouse
or children listed on Henry’s pension record. Henry applied for
his pension in Oregon on 27 June 1892.
second Sarah, Sarah Ellen, married at 15, but died at the age
18. Sarah married Henry Wood 14 March 1858. She died 28 Jan 1862.
It is not known why she married or died so young.
Bushnell Harrington married Sarah Daniels from Elizabethtown,
Essex County, N.Y. and settled there with her in 1859. They were
married 22 Jan 1859. Sarah Daniels
born about 1839 to Chalian Daniels and Samantha Call. James and
Sarah had the following children: they had a daughter Frances
born in 1859. In 1863 they had William
Harrington. They had Herbert Jan 1866 and Emma in 1871. They remained
County, N.Y. and James Bushnell died at the home of his son, William
Henry Harrington, in Keeseville, N.Y. He died 26 May 1897 at the
age of 57 of throat cancer.
Harrington Blocker has James’s death certificate.
only child of Jonathan Sr. and Louisa that is not accounted for
is Susan Sophia. She would have been about 10 when Louisa died
and about 18 when Jonathan died. She was
only child at home when Louisa died as her sister, Sarah, had
married in 1858. It is presumed that she probably lived with Jonathan
or one of her siblings.
the ten children, the first Dexter, the two Sarah's, and Jonathan
Jr., died young. George and Frances married and moved to Vermont.
Henry lived in Oregon; James lived in New York. Dexter remained
in Berkshire County, and thus far it is not known what happened
to Susan Sophia.
Louisa Reniff Harrington died 29 Jan 1860 at the age of 49 and
she is buried in the Fairmount Cemetery, Lee, Berkshire County,
Massachusetts. After Louisa died, Jonathan is found living first
with Dexter and then with James.
Eventually he moved to Vermont and died on 25 October
1867 in Goshen, Vermont. Goshen is a few miles from where
his daughter Frances and son George lived with their families.
is not known why Jonathan was not sent back to be buried next
to Louisa in Lee, Ma.
were hard and Jonathan was a laborer when he died. His son-in-law,
day worker, so it is believed that there simply was not enough
money to send him back to Lee at that time.
Harrington’s great-great-great granddaughter, Renné Harrington
Blocker, of Manlius, N.Y, (suburb of Syracuse) continues to research
this Harrington branch. She has
information on James Bushnell Harrington and Dexter Harrington’s
families from their births through to present-day generations.