Erie County (PA) Genealogy

Family Histories & Biographies

The Russells of Belle Valley

Contributed by Susan Smith


Site visitor Susan Smith provided the family history below. It is being posted at this time. Several members of the Russell family settled in Erie County prior to 1800. Any questions or comments concerning this family history should be sent directly to Susan Smith.


The Russells who settled in Erie county had been in New England for five generations. Their emigrant ancestor William, born in England, had come to New Haven Conn. in 1639. His son, their great-grandfather was Rev. Noadiah Russell, one of the ten ministers to found Yale College in 1700. Their grandfather Daniel was also a minister, their father Nathaniel, a farmer, was a soldier in the Revolution with Washington at Valley Forge. Nathaniel and his wife Elizabeth Willard had eight children, who all but the oldest, came to Erie Co.: Daniel b. 1768, John Willard b. 1770, Benjamin b.1772, Giles b. 1775, Elizabeth b. 1778, Hamlin b. 1781, George Stillman, b. 1783, and Mary, b. 1787

Their home was Winsted, town of Winchester, Litchfield county in northwestern Connecticut. Emigration westward had seriously depleted the population there in the years after the revolution. It was remembered as the time of the Great Exodus. The frontiers of New York state had opened up through the Mohawk valley, easily reached through the Appalachians from northwestern Connecticut and western Massachusetts. As new and improved roads were projected westward along the Mohawk to Utica and beyond, men from Winchester and neighboring towns contracted to build them. The laborers and teamsters, young men and middle-aged farmers, went on a service not unlike a military expedition. Comparing the fertile lands they found to the west with their rocky, unproductive New England soil, spurred them to emigrate and others followed.

Daniel and John were the first to leave home. Daniel Russell may have been on one of the road building crews. He is said to have been the first permanent settler in the town of Williamson, Wayne county New York by 1794. John after finishing his education, went to sea for a time. Then in 1793 he was in Claremont, New Hampshire as he told his father in a letter dated September 23, 1793. Next he is in Erie. A newspaper clipping from about 1882 in the Russell Collection says he went to Erie in 1795, there meeting Captain Bissell at Presque Isle, who was also from Connecticut. Bissell recommended settling there and John took a tract of land 3 miles from Presque Isle. He returned to his parents home in Connecticut that winter. The following spring, he returned to Erie with his brother Benjamin.

In 1796, three Russell brothers left their home in Connecticut for the west. Daniel, then 28 years old, had returned from Williamson to marry Lucy Wright in Feb 1796. In May, John, 26 years old, with Benjamin, 24 years old, started out for Erie Co. Daniel and his wife also went west in 1796 returning to his land in Wayne county New York It is likely they all traveled west together that spring.

Daniel remained in Wayne county the rest of his life. He and Lucy had nine children. She died in 1814 and a year and a half later he married Lucy Aldrich also from Connecticut. Eight more children were born. Daniel died in Williamson in 1849 at 81 years old.

John and Benjamin arrived in Erie County on July 4, 1796. According to the History of Belle Valley Presbyterian Church 1841-1966, they built a cabin on 1,000 acres of land in Belle Valley, Mill Creek township. John wrote their father:
"We are pleased with our situation - are clearing land slowly and expect to sow some wheat. There are many people at Presque Isle, but from various causes this year the settlement will be small. The Connecticut Company are on their reserve only 22 miles beyond us, and all are healthy and in good spirits."

The life of a frontiersman was hard work and the prospects were not always promising. John was not cut out to be a successful frontiersman. In 1797, leaving Benjamin behind to work the land, John is in Virginia embarking on the first voyage of a seafaring career which was to continue the rest of his life. He again wrote his father on March 22nd, 1798:
“My brother Benjamin has heard nothing of me since I sailed for the West Indies. Poor Lad! How he has fared in that western country, I know not. Had I made a successful voyage it would have laid the foundation of a fortune for him and me too. I have much anxiety for his situation. But my own misfortunes have wellnigh distracted me…."

They seem to have struck a pact whereby Benjamin took care of the land while John would try to gain a fortune for them both by sea. But John never made a fortune at sea. He settled in Bristol, RI where he married Nancy Smith of that city in 1802. He had a varied career as a sea captain in the employ of the De Wolfs, shipping merchants of Bristol. His ship and crew were captured by a French privateer on his first voyage. On another voyage he captained a slave ship which was much to his disliking and never repeated. He lost ships and cargo (part of which he owned) to the French more than once among many other troubles. He spent many years trading in the Caribbean and West Indies but fortune always eluded him. His wife died in 1810 a few months after the birth of their fourth child and only son. In next few years before the War of 1812, with the shipping trade severely hampered by the British, his career prospects were further diminished. At the age of 44, he died in 1814, leaving four small children. His sister Elizabeth, “Betsey” stepped in to care for his family after Nancy’s death and is presumed to have continued after 1814.

In 1802 Hamlin came of age. He left home with a knapsack and walked to join Benjamin in June that year. He bought 150 acres from Benjamin in Millcreek. Hamlin lived and farmed there the rest of his life. In 1811 he married Sarah Norcross, a native of New Jersey who had come a few years earlier. They had six children. Sarah died in 1831 and in 1834 Hamlin married Rachel Cook, younger sister of Giles’ wife Lois.

George Russell came of age in Oct 1804 and probably joined his brothers in Erie soon after. He was a member of the Erie Light Infantry when it was organized in 1806. When the war of 1812 was declared, the company offered their services to President Madison and they were accepted. They spent the winter of 1812-13 at Buffalo. George died the following summer July 14, 1813. No mention is made whether his death was related to the war or not.

Benjamin persevered on the land in Erie but times were hard especially right before and after the War of 1812. On Dec. 11th, 1811, John, at home in Bristol, wrote to brother Giles in Winsted:
“I need not tell you what Pleasure I received from the unexpected visit of my Brother Benjamin. My Satisfaction was much enhanced on receiving his Letter, when leaving you, in which he informs me that he returns prepared as he hopes to save his farm. I wish you to write me the particulars.”

Writing again to Giles from Bristol, Nov. 9th, 1813, John says:
“this would be no time to sell any, on account of the great scarcity of money, and the peculiar pressure of the times, which is already severely felt in a place situated like this - when corn-meal is scarce at $1.50 per bushel; and flour from $12 to 13 per bbl.; when the common labourer, who would always through the season, have his six dollars every Saturday night for his week's work, and has now probably not earned 10 dollars in the summer; when the crop of onions, which has usually sold for $60,000 in a year is now worth 0…”

For the citizens of Erie, in addition to the “great scarcity of money, and the peculiar pressure of the times” there was the added burden of the war at their doorstep. Their village on the southern shore of Lake Erie was a strategic point on the western frontier. Perry’s fleet was built here to gain control of the Lakes from the British. Every able bodied man and boy was called out to help build the fleet and provide defense for the town. Many of the Russell family were in the habit of keeping an account of every day events in a diary or journal. An excerpt from Hamlin’s journal during the War of 1812, included in the 1894 Erie history, gives an idea of the settlers’ lives during this time:

June, 1812 - Gen. Kelso ordered Captain Foot to call out his company of infantry for the defense of Erie. (Hamlin Russel volunteered).

6th - On duty. This day the general dismissed our company; so, for the present, myself and a number of my neighbors have volunteered to keep sentry at the head of the peninsula, three by rotation to stand a tour of twenty-four hours; my tour will commence on the eighth instant.

August 25 - Expresses were sent through the county to call out the militia - a number of vessels being seen, apprehensions were entertained that a descent would be made at this place. I went to town, as did all the country; there heard the disagreeable information that General Hull had surrendered himself and army prisoners to the British, together with the post of Detroit. The general voice pronounces Hull a traitor.

May 15, 1813 - Go to town; a great alarm; 600 or 700 British and Indians land on the peninsula under cover of a thick fog, and go off again without being seen by any one.

July 20, P. M - Our harbor closely blockaded by the British vessels; the militia of this county are ordered out en masse.

December 31 - Thus ends the year 1813, in which the war has been carried on in a manner becoming Democracy; Wilkinson's army is defeated and driven out of Canada, and likely to starve this winter; Fort George is evacuated; the enemy have burned Lewistown and Schlosser, surprised and taken Fort Niagara without the loss of a man, and still retain possession of it. Hurrah for Democracy!

January 1, 1814 - Go to town; there learn that Thursday last the British crossed at Black Rock, drove the militia before them to the village of Buffalo, and then drove them out of the village, which they reduced to ashes. Report says that the enemy, 3,000 strong, are eight miles in advance of Buffalo, on the march for this place; the citizens of Erie are sending off their families and effects as fast as possible. Come home; make preparations to send off my wife and babes, should worst come to worst.

Sunday, 2 - Find that it is not true that the enemy are advancing to this, but in all probability they will be here, or attempt to come, before spring (on the ice); expresses sent off in every direction to call in the militia.

3d - Receive orders from Lieutenant-Colonel J. C. Wallace to appear immediately at, Erie to perform the duties of my office in the regiment.

February 7 - Receive my discharge from my tour and come home, having been engaged thirty-four days, during which I have been at home but seldom, and never but a few hours at a time, and expect now to be ordered out again shortly.

May 18, 1815 - Went to Martin Strong's to the battalion review; 200 or 300 bludgeoniers met; hawed and geed about under as brave officers as ever raised potatoes. Hurrah for the militia of Pennsylvania! [At this early day militiamen practiced with broomsticks, handspikes, etc., the proper weapons often not being obtainable.]

The war concluded and the peace treaty was ratified in 1815. Recovery was slow and nature compounded it with a volcanic eruption in Indonesia with worldwide effects. The eruptions in April 1815 caused a drop in temperatures by as much as 3 degrees celsius. There were cold summers through 1817 but it was the worst in 1816. It was called the year without a summer. Temperatures fell below freezing in June and there were snow and ice storms as far south as the Carolinas. Crop failures caused famine worldwide. For Erie times were bad as well but it also caused the start of a migration westward from the New England states that brought new settlers and prospects of better times.

Benjamin saved his farm and prospered but it took a long time. One history says that after settling in 1796 he “went largely into lands, made great improvements on them.” Like other early arrivals he claimed land for speculation. After the war with the influx of new settlers he sold his land on land contract. After his death in 1829 many of these contracts were still outstanding. In settling the estate, those purchasers with outstanding balances continued to make payments to the estate but had to apply to the court to obtain their deeds when the balance was paid - “that no sufficient provision for the performance of the said contract appears to have been made by the decedent in his lifetime. Your petitioners therefore pray the court will be pleased to receive proof of the due execution of the article of agreement in order for the completing of the title.” His personal holdings on the 1819 Millcreek Tax List show him with 200 acres on tract 338, 100 acres on tract 339, 105 acres on the Gore, 3 horses, 3 oxen and 2 cows. This land remained in the family until late in the century.

Benjamin married Maria, daughter of George Buehler, in 1807. They had no children. When his brother John’s son, John was eleven, he came to live in Millcreek and was adopted by Benjamin and Maria. Benjamin died June 10, 1827.

Made 1 Mar. 1825; rec. 25 June 1829
To my "bros. Giles Russell and Hamlin Russell, and to my sister Betsy Russell, ea. $100 "as a small testimony of my esteem."
To Charles Russell, $100.
To Henry Beuhler, Eliasa (sic) Beuhler, William 0. Beuhler, Peter Beuhler, and James R. Beuhler, the ch. of George Beuhler, deceased, I give "what lots are in my possession at the time of my decease, which were formerly the prop'y, of their father," numbering about 30, lying in Boro of Erie, which were sold by sheriff of Erie Co. at suit of Oliver Ormsby.
Income of my real and personal prop'y to be applied, at discretion of my Exrs. to maintenance of my wife Maria Catharine, my sister Mary, and my nephew John Russell, the son of my deceased bro John Russell, "these now constituting my family."

At decease of my wife, estate to "be div'd. equally "between my sister Mary and my nephew John, if they survive her. If my sis. Mary should not survive my wife, her share to be div'd. equally between my 2 bros. Giles and Hamlin.  If my nephew John should not survive his aunt, his share to be inherited by his 3 sisters (not named.)
Exrs: George A. Elliott, Esqr., of Boro of Erie, and my bro. Hamlin Russell Benjamin Russell (Seal)
His signature sworn by Rufus S. Reed, Judah Colt, and Thomas Wilkins, 25 June 1829.
Sworn by George A. Elliott, Esqr., and Hamlin Russell, 25 June 1829

It wasn’t until 1825 or shortly after that the rest of the Russells moved to Erie. With travel by road difficult, the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 provided an easier means of transporting goods and products from the interior of the country eastward and bringing more people westward. Giles had remained at home caring for his parents after the other brothers had left. Nathaniel died in 1810 and Elizabeth in 1819. Giles and Lois Cook married in 1803 and by 1825 they had a family of nine ranging in age from 21 to 3. The two sisters, Elizabeth “Betsey” and Mary “Polly” who never married, had also remained. They were likely the custodians of John’s children, Elizabeth, Parnell, Nancy and John, after their brother’s death. The girls married and remained in New England. John had moved to Erie and been adopted by Benjamin. With children growing up and their parents gone, the opening of the canal was a spur to pack up and move west. Giles and his sisters settled adjoining Benjamin and Hamlin.

By the 1830’s abolitionism was becoming a major national movement. Abolitionists were not only arousing the North against the South but trying also to stir up the slaves to revolt and smuggling them out of the South by means of the Underground Railroad. The sentiment in Erie county was known to be anti-slavery. Coming from a long line of Congregational ministers, Hamlin and Giles were known to be abolitionists. When the first anti-slavery society in the county was formed in 1836, they were among its members. Erie became an important stop on the Underground Railroad. Numerous routes to freedom in Canada for escaping slaves passed through Erie county. Giles died in 1842, probably too soon to have participated much, but Hamlin Russell’s place in Belle Valley, was the last station on the route through Union City before reaching Erie. From there arrangements would be made to either get them on a boat to cross to Canada or to continue toward Buffalo and the crossings from there. The "underground railroad," chief "station agents," as they were jokingly called in Erie County, were William Gray, Stephen C. Lee, Hamlin Russell and William Himrod.

Settling along Mill Creek, the Russells are said to have named the area Belle Valley. They had built their houses where the corners of their farms came together and a small village eventually grew up there. After years of driving the four miles into Erie to attend church services, the community organized the Millcreek Church in 1841. In 1862 the name of the church was changed to the Belle Valley Presbyterian Church. The Russell families were among the 37 founding members. Giles’ son Edward was one the young men from the congregation to enter the ministry. His 1851 diary giving a synopsis of the preceding 9 years of his life describes his decision.

July 24, 1842
I was 21 years of age in the spring preceding & I attended a series of religious meetings held in Erie, Pa, conducted by the Rev Wm. Clark a revivalist of more than ordinary powers; the meeting was held in the Presbyterian Church then as now under the pastoral care of Geo. A. Lyon. I believe that at that time through the mercy of God I experienced a change of heart…

That fall he began attending Grand River Institute at Austinburg, Ohio to prepare for the ministry. He was ordained in 1851 after which he preached in southern and western Wisconsin until retiring in 1892.

After Hamlin died in 1852, only the two sisters Elizabeth and Mary remained of their generation. Mary died in May 1863 and Elizabeth in May 1864. Of the next generation in Erie, the children of Hamlin, Giles and John’s son John, a few remained while others moved further west with the growth of the country.

Those that remained in Erie were:

John Russell b. May 25, 1810; was adopted by his uncle Benjamin Russell. He married Charlotte Coit (daughter of Joseph M. Coit) on October 20, 1834 in Bristol, RI. After John died she continued to live in Erie with her son John Lewis. She died June 22, 1886 in Millcreek Twp.
Children: Lewis A, b. Aug 7, 1835, d. Jan 9, 1845; Anna, b. Feb 26, 1837, d. July 28, 1846; Benjamin, b. Dec 29, 1839 d. Dec 2, 1851; Charlotte E, b. Feb 3, 1841, d Nov 29, 1841; John Lewis, b. July 6, 1846, married Louise Renner Nov 1876 in Knoxville TN. By 1880 he was living in Brooklyn NY.

Mary Elizabeth Russell, b. March 18, 1805; m. John Cook Millcreek, Erie Co. Children Louisa b. 1841, wife of C. Wood; Giles R b. 1843, a soldier in the Civil War, died of his wounds; John C. b. 1844, a soldier in the Civil War, d. Jan 1870; Mary E b. 1848.

George Stillman Russell, b. March 6, 1812, d. Sept 20, 1893; m. June 3, 1843, Jane Healey from Ashtabula OH. He was a carpenter and lived in Erie all his life. Children: Eugene b. 1844; Giles H. b. 1847; Harriet b. 1849, d. 1852.

Nathaniel Willard Russell, b. March 11, 1812. In 1836 he left for Harrisburg, Penn., where he had obtained a position as clerk and barkeeper in Buehler's Hotel. Later he was appointed a conductor on the railroad between Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and promoted to U. S. Mail Agent. He was also Capt. of a packet boat between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia for 4 seasons. After 1843 he returned to Erie and farming. He purchased and moved on the tract of land where he was born, residing there until he died in 1889. Beginning in 1870, he authored a weekly column on the "History of Erie County" for the Erie Gazette. It was this material along with that of Benjamin Whitman, a cousin, who wrote a series of articles for the Observer under the heading of "County Jaunts," that was the basis for the 1884 History of Erie County by Samuel P. Bates. Married Eleanor Osborn, Frances Hubbel, and Emily Davidson. Children Henry Buehler July 1844, Eleanor Francis May 1853

George Jacob Russell, b. February 24, 1824. George went overland in 1850 to CA. Leaving from Independence MO on May 27, 1850, he reached the gold mines in Nevada Co., CA on Sept 27, 1850. He remained in CA until June 1853, returning home via San Francisco to New York. He arrived in Erie PA July 29, 1853 and bought a fine farm. He married January 26, 1854, Amanda J. Hayes. Children: Minnie M. b. Oct. 10, 1856; Lester Hayes b. Oct. 7, 1864; George Benjamin b. Jun 27 1866.

James Cochran Russell, b. May 12 1827 a farmer; married February 7, 1856, Octavene A. Chambers. Children: James Lewis, b. October 15, 1860; d. October 2, 1862; Albert Louis b. Apr. 13, 1863; Ruth b. 1864; died March 22, 1900 in Belle Valley.

___________________________________________________

Nathaniel Russell, of Winchester, married, December 25, 1766, Elizabeth Willard, born Wethersfield, April 26, 1741, daughter of Ephraim and Lydia (Griswold) Willard. He died December 10, 1810, in his 70th year, and she died February 26, 1819, in her 78th year.

Children:
I. Daniel, b. January 18, 1768
II. John Willard, b. April 8, 1770
III. Benjamin b. November 26, 1772
IV. Giles, b. July 27, 1775
V. Elizabeth, b. November 23, 1778; unm
VI. Hamlin, b. March 5, 1781
VII. George Stillman, b. Oct. 21, 1783; d. unm July 14, 1813, at Mill Creek, PA
VIII. Mary, b. July 28, 1787; unm

Daniel Russell, came with his father to Winsted, whence he emigrated about 1794, to the Genesee Valley, and settled in Williamson, Wayne Co., NY, as a farmer, and died in 1852. He married, 1792, Lucy Wright, of Colebrook. He married (2d) Lucy Aldridge. Children by first wife: Emma, m Stephen Sanford, Daniel W, John, unm., Judah, Nathaniel, m. March 20, 1834, Rachel Prescott, Moses, George, Lucy; Children by second wife: Mary, Ann, Louisa, Caroline, Alfred, Hamlin.

John Willard Russell, was a sea captain in the employ of the De Wolfs, of Bristol, RI. He settled at Bristol, where he died August 20, 1814. He married, June 1, 1802, Nancy Smith; she died September 5, 1810, aged 35.

Children:
I. Elizabeth B., b. September 11, 1803; m. Rev. Royal Robbins.
II. Parnell T. b. October 18, 1805; unm.
III. Nancy Smith, b. October 15, 1807; m. Henry Felix.
IV. John, see above

Benjamin Russell, emigrated in 1796 from Winsted to Mill creek, Erie Co., Penn., and married, September 29, 1807, Maria Buchler. He died June 10, 1829, and his wife died March 16, 1841, aged 67.

Giles Russell lived with his parents until their death, and removed, in 1825, to Erie Co., Penn., where he died March 16, 1842, aged 67 years. He was for many years a successful teacher; a man literary taste and culture; a member of the General Assembly in 1810 and 1816; a selectman of the town, and sheriff's deputy for many years. Returning to Winsted on a visit and finding the old cemetery in a neglected condition, he collected money enough to pay for clearing the ground, setting out the trees, and fencing the cemetery. He married, July3, 1803, Lois, daughter of Urijah and Submit Cook. She died October 17, 1852.

Children:
I. Louisa Lauretta, b. in Winsted, January 9, 1804; m. A. E. Austin, of Austinburg, Ohio; she d. April 5, 1855. They had 4 children.
II. Mary Elizabeth, see above
III. Caroline Matilda, b. February 27, 1807; m. 1835, Thos. G. Hurlbut. They were living in Detroit MI when she died in 1836.
IV. Julia Ann Rhoda, b. July 24, 1809; m. May 7, 1831, David Smith Venango Twp., Erie Co., PA. They lived in Mill creek until 1840 when they moved to Illinois and then Wisconsin. They had 11 children.
V. George Stillman, see above
VI. Sarah Sophia, b. October 23, 1814; m. January 15, 1844, Jason R. Orton, MD. Lived in Binghamton, and Brooklyn, New York. They had 5 children.
VII. Giles Willard, b. November 16, 1817; d. unm. August 4, 1846 in Fennimore, Grant Co., WI.
VIII. Benjamin Cook, b. August 31, 1820; He married Sophia Parker April 13, 1849, in Erie, prior to going to Grant Co. WI that spring with his brother Edward. In 1850 he was a supervisor in Fennimore. Benjamin died in 1854. Martha then moved back to Erie to live. Their daughter Effie married in Erie, Winfield S. Riblet in 1872.
IX. Rev. Edward Bradford, b. in Winsted, July 24, 1822; m. May 25, 1853, Mary Woods; she d. January 27, 1855; and he m. (2d) March 7, 1857, Mary E. Cable. He attended Grand River Institute at Austinburg, Ohio, 1842-4, teaching school winters, ordained in Methodist church, 1851, preached in southern and western Wisconsin until his health failed, 1892, then moved to Great Falls MT. He had 5 children.

Hamlin Russell, removed from Winsted to Erie Co., Penn., in June, 1802, where he was a farmer. He married May 29, 1811, Sarah Norcross, born December 22, 1788, in New Jersey. She died February 11, 1831; he married (2d) November 4, 1834, Rachel, daughter of Urijah and Submit Cook, who was living in 1862. He died September 19, 1852, aged 71 years.

Children:
I. Nathaniel Willard, see above
II. Polly Isabel, b. July 14, 1813; m. Johnston Laird. In 1843 they moved to IL and then to Fremont Co., IA. They had 13 children.
III. Nancy Fleming, b. December 31, 1815; m. Samuel Christy, MD. In 1838 they left Erie county living in a number of Illinois towns before finally settling in Glenwood Iowa. They had 9 children.
IV. Benjamin Stillman, b. January 5, 1822. 1836 went to Philadelphia worked in a wholesale hardware store. 1843 teller and bookkeeper in a Harrisburg bank. 1850 formed a partnership for a bank of his own in Towanda, Pa., 1865 he sold out his business and moved to Philadelphia, taking a general agency of a life insurance company with the banking house 1871, moved to Duluth, Minn., as a partner of a branch house of that firm, and a director of the Lake Superior & Mississippi later St. Paul & Duluth RR. 1873 one of the commissioners to settle the controversy existing between Wisconsin and Minnesota concerning the entrance of the Bay of Superior, secured a large body of land in Dakota - now the state of North Dakota - and in 1879 went there to dispose of it. He settled first at Spiritwood. He sold the land within two years and removed to Jamestown North Dakota and engaged in real estate business. He married May 20, 1827, Mary Gaskill from Philadelphia, Penn. Children: Sarah Norcross, b. May 7, 1848; d. July 12, 1848; Edgar Fielding, b. September 5, 1849; d. March 31, 1851; Hamlin, b. May 30, 1852; Edmund Gaskill, b. March 23, 1854; Mary Elizabeth, b. September 18, 11856; Samuel Wagner, b. September 27, 1857; Benjamin Douglass, b. April 8, 1861; Rebecca Gaskill, b. May 11, 1852.
V. George Jacob, see above.
VI. James Cochran, see above.

 

Sources:

The History of Ancient Wethersfield, Connecticut: comprising the present towns of Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, and Newington : and of Glastonbury prior to its incorporation in 1693, from date of earliest settlement until the present time, Adams, Sherman W. 1836-1898. Stiles, Henry Reed, New York, Grafton Press, 1904

Annals and Family Records of Winchester, Conn.: with exercises of the centennial celebration, on the 16th and 17th days of August 1871, John Boyd, Hartford: Press of Case, Lockwood & Brainard, 1873, 651 pgs.

Wethersfield, CT Vital Records 1634 – 1868, From the Barbour Collection as found at the CT State Library

The Romance of an Old time Shipmaster, edited by Ralph D. Paine, New York. The Outing Publishing Company. 1907 [Written from the letters and journals of Captain John Willard Russell, that were in the possession of his great nephew, Hamlin Russell of Newark, NJ.]

Historical Atlas Erie County Pennsylvania Illustrated, Everts, Ensign and Everts, 714 & 716 Filbert St. Philadelphia, 1876 (Reprinted 2000 by the Erie Society For Genealogical Research)

History of Erie County, Pennsylvania, Samuel P. Bates, Warner, Beers & Co.: Chicago, 1884

The History of Erie County, Pennsylvania: from its first settlement, Laura G.Sanford, 1894, 468 pgs.

Nelson’s Biographical Dictionary and Historical Reference Book of Erie County, Pennsylvania, S.B. Nelson, Publisher, Erie, PA, 1896 (Reprinted 1987 for the Erie County Historical Society)

A Twentieth Century History of Erie County, Pennsylvania: a narrative account of its historical progress, its people and its principal interests, John Miller, Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co. 1909, 1710 pgs

The Russell Collection, Erie County Historical Society, a small collection of papers pertaining to the history and ancestry of the Russell Family of Belle Valley, Millcreek Township, Erie Co., PA. Taken from ESGR Keystone Kuzzins 12-3-068

History of Belle Valley Presbyterian Church, (United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.) Erie, Pennsylvania Presbytery of Lake Erie Synod of Pennsylvania, Historical facts were procured from Session Records, Erie County Histories, and miscellaneous sources and have been repeated as accurately as possible, 1841-1966 History Program

Edward Russell Diary June 1851-Dec 1851, original in possession of his descendants.

 


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