Pittsfield, Rutland County, Vermont History <-> Genealogy

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HISTORY


Pittsfield Early History
Military History

GENEALOGY



Vital Records
Cemeteries
Census1810
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Genealogy
Vital Records + Cemeteries + Other Resources and Links

 


Vital Records

Pittsfield Town Clerk

Patricia S. Haskins    
   P.O Box 556
   Pittsfield, VT 05762
   Phone: (802) 746-8170
   E-mail: townofpittsfield@verizon.net

To request birth, marriage and death records, contact the Pittsfield Town Clerk.  (Check for current fees.)


Pittsfield Village Cemetery, Pittsfield, Vermont

Pittsfield Cemeteries

  • Pittsfield Village Cemetery:  Est. 1788


   The Pittsfield Village Cemetery is located within the village.  A photograph of this cemetery is included above.
 

  • Parmeter Family Graveyard: Est. 1858 


Published resources for cemetery inscription:
Chittenden, Mendon, Pittsfield and Sherburne Cemetery Inscriptions, Rutland County, Vermont, recorded summer 1991, by Margaret R. Jenks.  Hagerstown, Md. : M.R. Jenks, c1992. 

 


Other Resources, Contacts and Links


    P.O. Box 808
    Pittsfield, VT 05762
    Phone: (802) 746-8147
    E-mail:  <lfifield@netscape.com>
 

         The Pittsfield Inn site includes ca. 1864 and 1875 pictures of the Pittsfield and a brief history

Printed resources for Pittsfield, VT research include:
 


 


Abby Maria Hemenway (1828-1890). White River Junction VT : White River Paper Co., 1882.
 


 


 


 


History

Pittsfield Early History + Military History

 


Military History and Resource Links

 


The Vermont Historical Gazetteer:  A Magazine, Embracing A History of Each Town, Civil, Ecclesiastical, Biographical and Military, (Vol. III), edited by Abby Maria Hemenway, published Claremont, N. H. : The Claremont Manufacturing Company, 1877.  (pp. 935-938)

PITTSFIELD.
By Rev. W. R. Blossom.

     The township of Pittsfield is a gore of land lying between Stockbridge, on the east, Rochester on the north, and chittenden on the west, and, in a triangular form, the most southern point cornering on the town of Sherburne.  It was represented to contain land equal in amount to a township and a half, and was chartered July 29, 1781, by Thomas CHITTENDEN, the then Governor of Vermont, to Samuel WILCOX, Daniel KINNE and Josiah WRIGHT and their associates, being about 130 in numbr; mostly or all in the States of Massachusetts and Connecticut.

     The first proprietors' meeting was holden at Danby in December, 1781, and Daniel KINNE was their first moderator, and Solomon STODDARD proprietors' clerk; at which time, also, a committee was appointed to lay out and allot the township:  who accordingly laid out 52 1/2 acres to each proprietor, and a like number of acres to each of the public reservations, agreeably to the charter, which they called the first division.

     In 1787 they made another allotment of 40 acres to each proprietor, whereupon they discovered that by reason of the towns of Stockbridge and Chittenden overreaching their charter bounds, their gore did not exceed a half township, and that they were suffering great loss as to territory.  At a meeting holden Sept. 25, 1787, they appointed Asa WHITCOMB, Esq. and Charles GOODRICH, Esq. as their agents to obtain redress from the Legislature for the loss of their lands by the encroachments of the towns of Stockbridge and Chittenden:  but all the satisfaction they obtained was, that the land was there, and they must look it up-- whereupon suits were commenced, and much litigation ensued for years; and they were finally defeated and lost their land.

     The first settlements were commenced about the year 1786, by Daniel and Jacob BOW, in the southern part of the town.  Daniel BOW commenced on the farm where now (1869) David AVERY lives, and Jacob where Isaac TAGGART now lives.  They both emigrated from Middletown or Chatham, Ct.

     Thomas HODGKINS commenced settlements in the northeast part of the town the same year, on the farm now owned by Royal TAPPER, known a the Tupper farm; and George MARTIN on the farm now owned by Granville FAREWELL: which farms have been set off to Rochester.

     The first mills in town were built by Charles GOODRICH of Pittsfield, Mass., who received of the proprietors a right of land for building them.  They also gave him the privilege of naming the town, which he died after the town in which he lived.  He therefore built a saw and gristmill on the same location where the mills now stand, owned by Joseph SEGAR and E. ATWOOD.  He also put up a convenient framed house, (the first in town) for the accommodation of his miller, and a part of which was used for several years for holding town and religious meetings; also for schools in the winter season.

     Among the first settlers were Lucius KIBBE, where Mr. BISHOP now lives, John GAIUS, where Roswell RANNEY, --Dr. TUCKER, where Mrs. FRENCH, and Ira HOLT and Woodward TUCKER, where Widow PATCH now lives.

     David WALLER commenced the farm now owned by Alden PINNEY; Alba DURKEE commenced the farm where Douglas LONG now lives and Timothy DURKEE that part of Joel ELLIS' farm known as the Gibbs farm, --and Amos JONES where Joseph DURKEE lives--Zacheus BLOSSOM on Arlow LAMB's place.  David DALY commenced farming and shoemaking near the end of the bridge, below the mill where Guilford PARMENTER now lives.  Nathaniel EDDY commenced the farm now owned by H. O. GIBBS.

    The first inhabitant in what is now the village was Uzziah GREEN, in a poor log-house between the school house and Congregational parsonage.  Jonas STONE first began where Andrew ELLIS lives and Ebb DURKEE where Jonathan and Joel RANNEY now are, and David DURKEE where R. GUERNSEY now lives.  Those above mentioned were the first settlers in town.

     In the year 1796, on the 4th of March Benjamin BLOSSOM came into town.  He tended GOODRICH's mills 10 years, and occupied the house built for that purpose.  He then moved on to the place now owned by Gad SEGAR, where he lived until he died.

     A branch of White River, called the Tweed, runs through the east part of the town, a part of which comes from the south--the other part, the one that the mill stands on, comes from the west, and is called the West Branch.  It takes its rise in Chittenden.  The two branches form a junction a few rods below the mills.  These streams were well stocked with fish, principally trout, which was a benefit to the early settlers.  To supply their tables it was an easy matter to go out, and in a half hour catch enough for a family an abundant meal.  Many were caught that would weigh from 1 to 3 lbs. each.  They have now become scarce and small; although fishermen come from other towns--from Rutland, Woodstock, Royalton, Bethel, &c., and spend much time in fishing, and take and carry off a few diminutive ones.

     Deer were also caught in abundance, by going but a short distance on the hills.  Bears and wolves made frequent depredations upon the sheep and young cattle.

     The most elevated and noted hill in the town is Wilcox's Peak--a name given it by Samuel WILCOX, one of the original proprietors, who attempted to ascend its summit, but failed on account of weariness, and christened it after himself.

     The first town-meeting was held at the house of Daniel ATKINS, (he then living in the house at the mills, and tending the same for Charles GOODRICH) on the 26th day of ___, 1793, and George MARTIN was chosen moderator; Thomas HODGKINS town clerk; George MARTIN, Stephen HOLT and Joseph ADAMS, selectmen; Daniel BOW, treasurer; Anthony WHITCOMB, first constable; Daniel ATKINS, sealer of leather; Stephen HOLT and William DAVIS, grand jurymen; Daniel ATKINS, pound-keeper; Jonas STONE and Asa CALL, tythingmen; David DALY, Jacob JEFFERSON and Ebb DURKEE, haywards; Daniel BOW, fence-viewer; Ebb DURKEE, Jacob JEFFERSON, and Jacob BOW, highway surveyors; Daniel BOW, sealer of weights and measures.

     At a meeting held at the house of Thomas HODGKINS, March 3, 1794, it was voted to hold the town-meetings, for the future, at the mills two-thirds of the time, and at the house of Thomas HODGKINS the other third.

     In March, 1797, it was voted to hold the town-meeting "at the house of David DURKEE, where he now lives" --it being where Reuben GUERNSEY now (1869) lives.

     Until the year 1800, there was but one school-district in town, and the town built a large school-house near where Joel RANNEY now lives, which was used for schools, town-house and meeting-house for a number of years.

A CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

     Was formed Sept. 17, 1803, by the Rev. Martin FULLER of Royalton, consisting of 16 members, viz. Nath'l STONE, Nathan STONE, Levi PARTRIDGE, Asa GILBERT, Isaac EDDY, Betsy EDDY, John GAIUS, Ruth GAIUS, Dan'l BOW, Rhoda STONE, Molly BLOSSOM, Hanah GILBERT, Molly BOW, Elizabeth DURKEE, Rebecca STONE and Lydia HAYDEN, being inhabitants of Stockbridge and Pittsfield  They chose Nathan'l STONE for their moderator, and Isaac EDDY, scribe: which church was supplied with preaching by various ministers from abroad; some by voluntary service, others being hired for longer or shorter periods, as they could provide means--among whome were: Archibald CAMPBELL, Elder RICH, a very corpulent man, who could walk with his staff from Pittsford, a distance of 12 miles across the Green Mountain, through the woods, when the road was barely cut out, and not much worked.

     The church was composed of members both in Stockbridge and Pittsfield, and was for many years called "the church of Stockbridge and Pittsfield."

     In July, 1810, a powerful revival of religion commenced under the preaching of the Rev. Phinehas RANDALL, and continued until 56 new members were added to the church--53 in one day--others soon after.  The church ws supplied with different ministers, among whom was the noted Lemuel HAYNES of West Rutland, until 1813, when Rev. Justin PARSONS moved into Pittsfield, and was installed pastor over said church, and remained their minister until about the year 1831, when his relationship with the church was dissolved.

     After Rev. Mr. PARSONS was dismissed, Rev. John SUDDARD was hired to preach 20 weeks.  Rev. Daniel O. MORTON preached also, occasionally about this time.  Rev. Daniel ROCKWELL was their next minister for one year; after which Rev. Joel DAVIS of Barnard was employed for a short term, who was succeeded by Rev. Mr. FISK.  In 1838 Rev. Asa PUTNEY became the minister for one year.

     On the 7th of March, 1838, a protracted meeting was commenced and holden one week, conducted by Rev. Calvin NOBLE of Rochester, the fruit of which was about 30 new members first added to the church, and some 20 more a short time after.

     The Rev. Samuel SPARHAWK was ordained and commenced his labors as pastor here on the 3d Sabbath of May, 1838.  On the 30th day of September, 1841, the pastoral relation between Mr. SPARHAWK and his church was dissolved, and he was dismissed as the result of a council called for that purpose.  Rev. John BECKWITH was the next minister for one year, and then left.  Rev. Benjamin ABBOT commenced his ministerial labors with this people the first Sabbath in January, 1843.  Feb. 1, 1844, a protracted meeting was commenced, assisted by Rev. Brothers SCALES, HUBBARD and SPARHAWK, which continued one week, and some sinners were converted.

     JAn. 18, 1846, Mr. ABBOT closed his labors with the church, and left the place.  In March, 1847, the Rev. J. B. CLARK became their minister, and labored with them 4 years; after which the Rev. Mr. DUNCAN labored with them one year.  In Oct. 26, 1851, the Rev. Mr. DUNCAN was hired and preached one year.  In 1853 the Rev. Abel PATTEN was hired to preach for one year, and continued as acting pastor two years.  March, 1862, Rev. A. W. WELD became their minister for one year. 

     About this time deacon S. S. KNOWLTON, a worthy and efficient officer in the church, committed suicide by hanging himself with a rope in his barn, and brother Joseph SEGAR was chosen deacon in his stead.

      After the Rev. Mr. WELD's time expired, Rev. A. S. SWIFT preached one year.  Mr. SPARHAWK, after an absence of some years, returned and became the acting pastor for a year or two.  Walking in the street, near his residence, he fell and died before any one could reach him.  After Mr. SPARHAWK's death, Rev. J. B. CLARK, our former minister, came into town and purchased a farm which he cultivates, and is the present acting pastor of the church [ca. 1873].

     In 1820 the church and society built a nice and convenient little meetinghouse at a cost of $1,000, which they occupied until the year 1859, when, through the influence and exertions of the Rev. Mr. SCOTT, their then minister, they repaired the house--raised it up, put a vestry under it; built a belfry, in which they put a nice bell, and newly arranged the inside, by converting the pews into modern slips, which renders it a convenient house of worship.  The church had previously procured a convenient house and lot for a parsonage--the church is small and poor, and have to receive aid from the Domestic Missionary Society to support preaching.

     The Sabbath School is small--about 40 scholars--but well attended, under the superintendence of H. O. GIBBS, Esq.  Four young men* raised here are ministers of the Gospel in different parts of the country, and two teachers in seminaries.
*Four young men, members of the Congregational church have become Congregational ministers, viz:  Levi PARSONS, missionary to Palestine, died while a young man; S. W. SEGAR, Stephen KNOWLTON, and J. C. McCOLLOME.

METHODISTS AND CHRISTIANS.

     For want of access to records of the MEthodist church, the following facts are stated from the recollection of the writer:

     About the year 1805 or 6, one Joseph CRAWFORD came into town and preached the first MEthodist sermon ever preached in town.  He was a very smart, eloquent speaker, and soon drew together a large audience, for so small a town, and soon after organized a Methodist church, which increased and flourished for a time, and was supplied with preachers (whose names are not recollected) holding their meetings in private houses, until one Edward ROLLINS, a Christian preacher, came into town and drew almost the whole Methodist church after him.  He formed a Christian church, and a large part of the Methodist church joined with them; insomuch that it was supposed that the Methodist was broken up, and would not again organize : but in a few years the Christian excitement abated, and the Methodists returned to their former church, and built them a meetinghouse, which they occupied until the year 1859, when the old house was sold and moved to another location--bought by the town and converted into a town-hall, and is now so occupied.  The Methodist church and society then erected a nice house on the site of the old one, furnished with a bell and chandelier, and which is, perhaps, as fine a house of its size, as any of the denomination in the State.  They are supplied from year to year with preachers sent to them by the Methodist conference.  Their house was built mostly through the patronage and agency of the Rev. Ira BEARD, who was then a resident of the town.

TOWN CLERKS

     Thomas HODGKINS, town clerk from 1793 to 1806; Nathan EDDY, from March, 1806 to '09; Asa GAIUS, from 1809 to 1817; William R. BLOSSOM, from 1817 to '33; Levi RIX, from 1833 to '41; Asa GAIUS, 2d, from 1841 to '42; F. T. MATTHEWS, from 1842 to '45; Amos HOLT, from 1845 to '50; Ortan HATCH, from 1850 to '52; Ira BEARD, from 1852 to '53; E. F. UPHAM, from 1853 to '59; Loren READ, from 1859 to '62; C. W. BRIGHAM, from 1862 to the present time.  (1873.)

 

SOLDIERS' RECORD


     The town furnished 32 as their quota of soldiers in the late war.  Lester BARD was killed at Gettysburg; Freeman BROWN at Fredericksburg; Frank SWAN and John SHANNON missing since Sheridan's fight in the Shenandoah valley; ____ BLANCHARD died in hospital near Washington; Francis A. GIBBS died in a rebel prison, at Florence, S. C.  The town have paid their expenses of the war, and are clear of debt.*
*Pittsfield paid large war bounties; some of our last volunteers receiving $1,000; yet at the close of the war the town was out of debt, and had $600 in the treasury.

     There are now no soldiers of the Revolution, nor of the war of 1812, living, except the writer of this, who is in his 84th year.  [Rev. W. R. BLOSSOM]

     The records and material for furnishing this article+ being very imperfect and obscure, it is the best that I, an old man, could hastily collect and note down.     W. R. B.
+[Being disappointed in obtaining the history from the party who had first, and for a long time promised the same, this very good paper has been kindly furnished by our venerable friend, at a very short notice...Ed.]

 

LEVI PARSONS.
By Rev. P. M. WHITE.
[Biography written ca. 1873; transcribed below]

     Levi PARSONS, son of Rev. Justin and Electa PARSONS, was born in Goshen, Mass., July 18, 1792.  His father subsequently became the first pastor of the Congregational church in Pittsfield.  At the age of sixteen he united with his father's church.  He was graduated at Andover Theological Seminary in 1817--was licenced by the Salem (Mass.) Association in April of that year, and having decided to become a foreign missionary, was ordained at Boston Sept. 3, 1817.  Rev. Lyman BEECHER preached the sermon.  He spent a year in the service of the Vermont Domestic Missionary Society, preaching in towns where there was no stated ministry.  In some instances he secured very valuable results.  This was especially the case in Troy and Westfield, in neither of which towns he found more than one or two religious persons; but after a few months preaching a thorough reform took place, and a church was organized in each town.

     He acted as agent for the American Board in the State of New York for 8 months, making deep impressions on his audiences, and awakening great interest in the cause of missions.--One of his hearers gives the following account of the circumstances attending one of his sermons:

     "He was the first missionary to the Old World we had ever seen.  Jerusalem, the place of his destination, was among our dreams, save when we read of it in the Bible; and then alone it assumed reality.  After a modest look over his audience, as if to rally from the excitement of the moment, he opened and read from the Acts of the Apostles the following words:  'And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there,' which he announced as his text.  At this moment many who had not been accustomed to weep gave utterance to their emotion by the falling tear.  Another look upon the almost breathless audience, and the young missionary, with tremulous voice, broke the silence in the following words, or nearly:  'O Jerusalem!  Jerusalem!  what evil betides thee, that we are this day to sever the tenderest ties which bind us to our country and our kindred, and go to thy relief?'
"At this opening of the sermon, old and young began to bend towards Jerusalem, and all saw and felt that the city over which the Saviour wept, and the people who inhabited the old Desolations, were needing the help which the young missionary was set apart to render them.  Speaking of the uncertainty of his mission,--referred to by St. Paul, and contained in the last clause of the text:  'not knowing the things that shall befall me there,'--he said, pointing to the tavern across the way :  'In front of yonder house hangs a sign inviting the weary traveler to its hospitalities and safe repose; but Jerusalem is without promis of hospitality or protection.'"

     He sailed for Smyrna Nov. 3, 1819, and arrived there Jan. 15, 1820.  On the island of Smyrna and Scio he labored as a missionary nearly a year, and then sailed for Jerusalem, where he arrived Fe. 12, 1821.  Here he remained about 3 months, occupied mainly in making arrangements for a permanent missionary establishment.  He then returned to Smyrna, encountering on the way many perils by sea and land.

     It now appeared that disease had taken such strong hold of his constitution, as to render it necessary to give immediate attention to his health.  By advice of a physician he took a voyage to Egypt, but without benefit; and, after lingering some months, he died of consumption at Alexandria, Feb. 11, 1822.

     Mr. PARSON's mind was not one of great power or brilliancy, but his judgment was sound, and his faculties well balanced; and he was not only an acceptable preacher, but a great favorite in the churches which he visited.  This resulted not from the intellectual ability, originality of thought, or cultivated taste displayed in his sermons, but rather from a plain, simple, judicious presentation of the truth, with tenderness, gentleness and love.

     His only publication was "The Dereliction and Restoration of the Jews: a sermon preached in Pearl Street Church, Boston, October 31, 1819, just before the departure of the Palestine Mission."  pp. 39.  His memoirs, by his brother-in-law, Daniel O. MORTON, (M. C., 1812) were published in 1824, by Smith & Shute of Poultney, Vt., in a duodecimo volume of 431 pages.  The poet BRAINARD wrote a tribute to his memory, commencing--
     Green as Machpelah's honoured field,
          Where Jacob and where Leah lie,
     Where Sharon's shrubs their roses yield,
           And Carmel's brances wave on high;
     So honored, so adorned, so green,
     Young martyr! shall thy grave be seen.


CENSUS
1810 Pittsfield
familysearch.org - 1880 Census Index



1810 U. S. Census Population Schedules for
Pittsfield, Rutland County, Vermont, (pp. 344-345)
Abstracted by Ann McRoden Mensch, 2003.

1810

males

males

males

males

males

females

females

females

females

females

Name

under 10 yrs.

10 to 16 yrs

16 to 26 yrs

26 to 45 yrs

45 yrs & up

under 10 yrs

10 to 16 yrs

16 to 26 yrs

26 to 45 yrs

45 yrs & up

Elias Greenleef

1

0

0

1

0

3

0

0

1

0

Wm. White

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

Asa Gains

1

1

0

1

0

[1]

0

1

0

0

Joseph Lamb

1

0

0

0

1

0

1

1

0

1

Luther Fairbanks

0

1

1

0

1

0

0

1

1

1

[Osmon] Jones

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

2

0

1

Isaac Eddy

4

0

1

1

0

1

2

1

0

0

Oliver Lamb

0

0

1

0

0

2

0

0

1

0

Benjn. Blossem

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

1

0

1

Joshua Hatch

2

0

1

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

Amos Densmore

0

0

3

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

James De[en]

3

0

1

0

0

1

0

3

0

0

Peter Keyes

1

0

1

0

0

1

0

2

0

0

David Jones

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

Anson De[en]

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Abel Townsend

2

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

1

0

John Blandin

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Zebede Densmore

1

0

0

0

1

2

[2]

0

0

1

[Ebr. ?]

3

1

0

1

0

3

1

0

2

0

Saml. Larkin

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

1

1

0

Bartlet B. Clark

0

0

[0]

1

0

2

1

0

1

0

Uzziah Green

0

2

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

1

[Ruper] Peek

0

1

0

1

1

2

0

1

1

1

Jedediah Bugby

1

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

Nathan Bugby

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

John Terry

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

1

Wm. Pelick

0

1

0

1

0

3

0

0

1

0

Robt. Crossmon

1

0

0

1

0

3

0

0

1

0

Warner Durkey

1

0

0

1

1

2

0

0

1

0

Enock Sergents

0

0

0

1

0

4

1

0

1

0

David Durkey

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

Ebr. Durkey

2

1

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

1

Naham Green

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

1

Jonas Stone

0

0

1

1

1

3

0

0

2

1

John Davis

2

0

0

1

0

3

0

0

1

0

Joseph Safford

1

1

0

0

1

2

1

0

0

1

Joseph Baker

1

1

0

1

0

2

0

0

1

0

David Darley

1

0

1

0

1

2

3

1

1

0

Nathan Abbot

2

0

0

1

0

2

0

0

1

0

Daniel Bois

1

1

1

0

1

1

1

2

0

1

John Gains

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

Thos. Wolcott

1

0

1

1

0

0

1

0

1

0

Joshua Atwood

2

0

0

0

1

3

1

0

1

0

Nathan Townsend

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 


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