Josiah Sr. son of Charles and Rebecca Keen Josselyn was born August
21, 1778 in Pembroke, Mass, the eldest of six children. He married Ruth
Howland daughter of Robert and Ruth Crocker Howland about 1798 in Pembroke,
Mass. In his early years he was a shoemaker and carried on merchandising
in Pembroke before moving to Vermont.
According to a passage in The History of Windsor County Vermont
published by D. Mason & Company in 1891 the family moved to Bridgewater
when Josiah Jr. was sixteen. Josiah purchased a farm in the southwest part
of Bridgewater from Josiah Crocker about 1815 where he and Ruth raised
their children Josiah Jr., Jairus, Lewis, Ruth Howland Josselyn and Robert.
Josiah Sr. died April 30, 1864 at the home of his son Jarius in
Tyson. He and Ruth are buried beside each other (Ruth died August 16,
1848) in Bridgewater.
The Josselyn men had always been very active in politics with Josiah
Sr. serving in the Legislature in 1855 and Josiah Jr. following in his
father's foots steps; both as life long Democrats. Josiah Jr. filled
many important offices and represented the town of Bridgewater for two
terms in the Legislature and as selectman during his second term. He built
the “finest Grange hall in the State, known as the "Josselyn Hall." (Taken
from The History of Windsor County Vermont.) After more than
100 years it is still used as a grange hall. It is located at Bridgewater
Corners and is a couple of houses from the home place, which is now a Mennonite
An ambitious young man, Josiah Jr. was a peddler in Vermont and
New Hampshire and learned the "clothier" trade from Elihu Smith. “Starting,
and with nothing but credit he closed his peddling career $2,000 ahead.”
On October 16, 1825 he married Ann Topliff born November 19, 1803,
daughter of James and Abigail Dimick Topliff. In 1827, Josiah and
Ann purchased the Topliff farm where they lived and raised their sons Andrew
Jackson (my great grandfather), Calvin Topliff and Lewis E.
Andrew married Ruth Shattuck and owned a farm near his parents.
Their children were Lewis E., Charles H. and Arthur A. (Arthur, my grandfather
married Hallie Perkins and they in lived in Grafton and Ludlow all of their
lives). Many of Josiah’s descendants still live in the area.
Calvin married Ellen Walker on October 6, 1859, daughter of Charles
and Arminda (Fales) Walker and were the parents of Iney May, born May 29,
1861, Horatio Seymour born May 13,
1863, Chandos Fales, born October 20, 1867, AnnA. born August 21, 1869;
Charles Josiah, born March 23, 1877 and Nellie, born May 13, 1879. The
family operated the farm next to his father for many years.
From the early days in England and France the Josselyn men were
active in politics and Calvin pursued the political arena representing
Bridgewater in the State Legislature in 1876. He was active in education
and served as superintendent of schools for two years and taught in Bridgewater
and neighboring towns for about twenty years.
Ann died in Bridgewater on October 3, 1876 and Josiah lived to be
about 93 and died January 27, 1892. Josiah and Ann are buried beside each
other in Bridgewater.
son of Josiah Sr., returned to Lynn, Mass and became the publisher of Lynn’s
Bay State, a weekly publication. In 1855 he started the Josselyn Lynn’s
Daily News, while Robert followed other ambitions and became a lawyer in
Virginia and served as secretary to Jefferson Davis.
how beautiful this day of view,
away the breeze rolls past.
seems of virtue true,
know not how long it will last,
where on earth a more beautiful spot,
in this good town of B.
entertain a sacred thought,
which to shape a memory?"
by: Heratio Seymour Josselyn
taken from the "History of Windsor County 1891,
of Hanover Mass" by John S. Barry
information received from Judi Cole and Ruth Fluery.
information is available from Joyce Josselyn Grady
this photo and biographical sketch.
says that the JOSSELYN family line goes back to Charlemagne.