Lake County Ohio GenWeb

Seymour Gill 1784-1841

Contributed by Joseph C. Hager, Ph.D., & Mary Susan Spence, MSN, 4th great-grandchildren of Seymour Gill and Eunice Ely

Seymour Gill was born February 4, 1784, near New Haven, Connecticut. Seymour Gill's father, Samuel Gill (1758-1851), was a young patriot during the American Revolution who enlisted for service in multiple actions. Seymour Gill's grandfather, John Gill (c.1724-1807) of New Haven, Connecticut, was a soldier in five musters during the French and Indian Wars between 1757 to 1762, and, according to DAR lineage books, he also served the patriot cause for three years during the Revolutionary War as Ensign in a Connecticut militia. Seymour Gill descends on his father's side from early colonial families of Massachusetts and Connecticut, including those of Cooper, Mansfield, Potter, Thomas, and Thompson. Seymour's mother, nicknamed Bede or Beechy Bradley (c.1769-c.1835), was a daughter of Joseph Bradley (1743-1809) and Mabel Goodyear (1743-1835), both descendants of many of the original families that comprised the ancient New Haven Colony, including the families of Gilbert, Heaton, Ives, Peck, Sperry, Street, and Yale. Bede Gill was an inspirational member of the West Springfield community and one of the founding members of the Baptist church in the "Ireland Parish" in 1803.

Seymour Gill's westward movement began in his early childhood when his father, Samuel Gill, moved his family in June, 1785, from the New Haven area to West Springfield, Hampden county, Massachusetts, where this family appears in the 1790, 1800, 1810, and 1820 United States Federal Censuses. Other Connecticut Gill households also moved west in the post-Revolutionary War era, so that few remained in Connecticut after 1800. Seymour spent most of his youth in West Springfield, helped his father with the family farm, and matured to adulthood. In 1806, Seymour Gill married Eunice Ely (1783-1847), daughter of the Revolutionary War officer Colonel Benjamin Ely (1730-1802) and his wife Esther Backus (1739-1820) of Springfield, Massachusetts. Eunice's parents were descendants of several notable early families of the Massachusetts Colony, including those of Downing, Edwards, Huntington, Leonard, Stoddard, Tuthill (Tuttle), and Warham. Her ancestors were among the founders of many New England communities, which are cities today, or were the original proprietors in many colonial locales.

According to the obituary of his son, Charles Austin Gill, that appeared in the Painesville Telegraph (September 30, 1896, p. 3), Seymour Gill served as a soldier during the War of 1812, but no records of his service under Federal, Massachusetts, or Pennsylvania authority have been found in the standard sources, so it is difficult to verify this statement.

Seymour Gill moved from Massachusetts to western Pennsylvania before 1820, appearing in the Federal Censuses of 1820 and 1830 in Cussewago township, Crawford county. Several of Seymour's siblings also moved westward to Pennsylvania during the period 1810 to 1830. Their parents, Samuel and Bede Gill, moved from West Springfield, Massachusetts, to Le Boueff township, Erie county, Pennsylvania, in October, 1821, and resided near at least three of their sons, Warren, Elias, and Samuel Jr., not far from Seymour's residence in Cussewago township. These westward movements of Gill families left no Gill heads of households remaining in Hampshire (Hampden) county, Massachusetts, in the 1830 Federal Census. Seymour's brothers Warren Gill and Elias Gill owned a number of parcels of land in Crawford county. No record of Seymour Gill owning land in Crawford or Erie county has been found, so he may have farmed on lands owned by his siblings and other relatives in Crawford county. Land in this area during the early times was sometimes obtained by purchase in the coastal states, and the deeds may not have been recorded. Seymour and Eunice completed their family and raised their children in Cussewago township.

Seymour Gill moved westward one last time, to Madison, Lake county, Ohio, about 1833 and appears there in the 1840 Federal Census. Seymour resumed his farming in Madison, and his list of taxable personal property in 1840 shows that he owned a horse and four cattle. Records of Seymour's land ownership have not been found. He probably farmed on or near land owned by his son John Seymour Gill located south of the Grand River in tract 11 lot 7, an area administered by Thompson in Geauga county before 1840. Seymour's brother, Elias Gill, also owned land and lived in Thompson at this time.

Seymour Gill and Eunice Ely had seven children, the first five born near West Springfield, Massachusetts, and the others in Cussewago township, Pennsylvania. Charles Austin Gill (1807-1896) married Eliza Ann Chamberlin (1812-1891); John Seymour Gill (1808-1855) married Harriet Trumbull (1815-1885); Nancy Bradley Gill (1811-1842) married Thomas A. Tisdel (1809-1852); Benjamin Ely Gill (1813-1888) married Mary Campbell (1824-?) and resided in Geneva, Wisconsin; Elias Leonard Gill (1816-1841) died unmarried; Lois Day Gill (1820-1852) married her brother-in-law, Thomas Tisdel, after her sister Nancy's death; and Elihu Backus Gill (1823-1895) married Laurie Ann Frisbie (1820-bef.1880). The choice of given names for the Gill children reflects their parents' awareness of their family heritage. Seymour and Eunice's offspring also moved west with their parents to reside in or near Madison, Ohio, and eventually, some moved even further westward. Many families in Lake county are their descendants. 

Seymour Gill died in Madison, Ohio, on January 18, 1841, and, according to the Descendants of Nathaniel Ely (by Heman Ely) on the same day as his son, Elias. A second verification of their deaths or explanation of their coincidence has not been found. Eunice (Ely) Gill died August 26, 1847 in Madison, Ohio. Their burial sites have not been located.

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Last updated 20 Sep 2005

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