Free People of Color in Cornwall

Free People of Color Living in Cornwall, 1787 through 1870

by Ann Schillinger and Ryan Bachman

No slaves appear in any Cornwall Federal Census later than 1800, and no Federal census was taken prior to 1790. In 1790, nineteen slaves were recorded; in 1800, only four. According to “An Account of the Inhabitants of the Town of Cornwall,” a local census in September, 1776, there were eleven unnamed African Americans in the town, enumerated for color with no reference to whether they were enslaved or free; these unidentified people were:

2 males under 20
2 females under 20
5 males above 20
2 females above 20

Cornwall’s proximity to Warren and Kent, and in particular to Sharon, creates some confusion in the records. In the Calhoun cemetery in Cornwall Bridge there are buried people from Sharon, where a community of people of color grew up in the Guinea Road neighborhood in the 19th century. A similar community existed in Cornwall Bridge. Sharon’s Starrs and Cambridges sometimes held jobs in Cornwall and occasionally moved there and/or were married or registered the birth of a baby in the town.

The Town of Cornwall was obligated by law to take care of its indigent and needy residents regardless or color. It paid a stipend to householders to care for elderly persons and children without relatives. Extra funds to buy liquor for such tenants were sometimes recorded. The Hotchkiss household was referred to as the “Town Hotel” in the 1860 Census when the two minor Hazard children were living there.

In this database, in cases where an identification as enslaved or free cannot yet be made, names are marked with ‡. The database includes Cornwall’s Native Americans in this period.

ABBREVIATIONS FOR SOURCES are as follows. [Further research in these and other records may produce further information.]

An Account of the Inhabitants if the Town of Cornwall, 9/1776

TCVR=Town of Cornwall Vital Records:

BMD 1740-1854

BMD 1828-1854

BMD 1852-1867 (no pagination)

CC1&2 =18th and 19th Century Baptism, Marriage, Death and Membership Records of the Church of Christ/First Congregational Church and of the Second Congregational Church of Cornwall, Connecticut, 1755-1902*

TCLR =Town of Cornwall Land Records

TCGL = Town of Cornwall Grand Lists**

TCAR = Town of Cornwall Assessment Records

TCSA = Town of Cornwall Selectmen’s Accounts by year

TCVR = Town of Cornwall Vital Records

USC = United States Census (“own household” refers to occupancy, not ownership).

LCAANAC = Court Records, Litchfield County African Americans and Native Americans Collection, CT State Library

TCPPA = Town of Cornwall, Paupers/Poor Accounts in Annual Report (by year) *****

BAB = Bonney account book, general store in Cornwall Bridge

BBN = Dr. B. B. North and Hopkins & North account books, 1864-1875

K = Kellogg’s store account book (the Society owns fifteen volumes) ****

CICo = Edmund Howe’s shop at Cornwall Iron Company in the Bridge (company was in town from 1833-1897).

E/JC = Elnathan and Jedediah Calhoun account book,1805-1824 (Calhoun Loan Collection, archives)

EDP = Ezra D. Pratt’s Book, 1/1/1849 (earlier Miner Pratt;s Book, 1833) (Not same as Pratt & Foster)

GH = George Harrison’s ledger, general merchandise

HCIW=’s Hale Cemetery Inscriptions Warren, CT (Old Cemetery) & Springfield, MA

Index = Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of Connecticut (Pub. # M535) on

RBBR = Rufus Bunker butter records, 1838-1853

SMAB = Select Men Account Book, 1795-1809

Starr = A History of Cornwall, Connecticut, Rev. E. C. Starr, 1926

Gold = Historical Records of the Town of Cornwall, 1877

CI = Calhoun Index of Cornwall cemetery burials, 2013

INT= Internet research

SMAB = Select Men Account Book 1792

IND. = Indian

HSSR = Heman Swift’s Size Rolls, Box 1, Folder 9 of Military Collection, CHS Archives

PPC = Personal Papers Collection, CHS Archives

UC = Undertaker’s Certificate, CHS Archives

See Additional Information below: The Additional Information contains full accounts of land or other transactions


‡__________: “a Negro child, north part of town, about six months old,” d. 3/10/1800 (CC1, p. 106).

‡___________: b. Sharon, res. Cornwall, d. age 31 days 4/28/1849 of consumption, (TCVR 1828-1854, pp. 106-7).

ADAMS, JOHN J.: b. Cornwall, c. 1838, res. Cornwall; age 20 m. Sophmina (Daphmina?) H. Owens. age 18, b. Sharon, res. Sharon,1/30/1858 by David Marsh, Cornwall Bridge (TCVR 1852-1867). Son (not named in record) born July 7, 1857 (TCVR 1728-1854, Vol. 3, p. 114-115). Son (not named in record) born 9/10/1867 (TCVR 1852-67).

ADAMS, JOHN J. (JR.) – b. 9/10/1867 (TCVR 1852-1867, Vol. 3, pp. 114/115).

ADAMS, SOPHMINA (DAPHMINA?) – – b. Sharon, res. Sharon, age 18 m. John J. Adams (which see), b. Cornwall, res. Cornwall, age 20 1/30/1858 by Rev. David Marsh, Cornwall Bridge. Son (not named in record) born July 7, 1857 (TCVR 1728-1854, Vol. 3, p .114-115). Son (not named in record) born 9/10/1867 (TCVR 1852-67).

ANTHONY, CANDENCE – res. Cornwall, m. to William Walley, farmer, res. Cornwall 3/19/1848, by Lewis Gunn. Place of birth “unknown.” (TCVR, 1828-1854, pp. 80 and 90); see also Walley, William.

BERRY, ADELINE A.: b. CT c. 1849; age 11 in household of Robert Miner with teacher Lucretia V. Miner of Common School (USC 1860 # 46, p.6).

BIGRAFT, JACOB: Farm laborer, b. CT c. 1851, res. Cornwall 1870 in household Riley Rexford or Edmund Hart (USC 1870 #132 p. 15).

BRAZIER, HENRY: – Farm laborer, illiterate, b. Smithtown, Long Island, NY c. 1817; held Seaman’s Protection Certificate (1792-1869) as seaman, 11/5/1839, Port of New York City ( Living in Cornwall in household Wm. C. Rogers (USC 1860, p. 85) and later in household Ralph I. Scoville (USC 1880, p. 35). Quarreled with Scoville family at one time and left; returned without explanation, and remained. Died 11/3/1882 of “dropsy,” (abnormal accumulation of fluid in tissues) (TCVR), possibly resulting from fall down stairs in horse barn (according to Scoville family story, Thalia Scoville, 7/28/2015). Buried in Scoville plot, North Cornwall Cem., gravestone with sole inscription, “Henry.” (Other elements of the “Henry” story circulating among Scoville family branches appear to be myths. He could not have been bought as a slave for $1.00; he was not deaf or dumb (US Census 1860, 1880).

‡BRISTOL, THOMAS: – “a negro 70 or 71 years old,” d. 1801 (1Ch, V. 1, p. 106)

BROWN, CHARLES – Farmer, b. NY c. 1806 res. Cornwall in household Miles Cummings 1870 (USC 1870 #123 p;. 14).

BUE, LOUIE: — Laborer, living in household Didy Penford (sp,??) (USC 1850 #329, p. 40a).

BUNKER FAMILY: “as laboring men, they were always in demand … They were highly respected, temperate, and honest, and some were church members.” (Gold, p. 361)

BUNKER, BENJAMIN, IND (name properly KIDDER? Starr, p. 402): laborer, b. Cornwall c, 1802; d. 7/9/1849, aged 40 (TCVR 1828-1854, Vol.3, pp. 106-107), from d_____ pneumonia. Married Emily Maria Watson of Glastonbury, 2/9/1842 by Rev. Timothy Stone (TCVR Vol. 3, p. 64). According to Starr (p. 402), died age 40 of DT’s, 7/19/1848.

BUNKER, DANIEL, IND: Buys at Kellogg’s, store, cash, handkerchief ((Kellogg, 1830-1833). 9/26/32 pork paid for by Town of Cornwall (Kellogg Book G, 1830-33). Helps pay for shawl (for Martha?) with Eli and Homer (GH4/24/1835, . 377. Buys cravats and hat (GH 9/13/1834, p.1110); trades skin for 4 fish hooks (GH 54/11/1835, P. 361); more purchases (GH 4/6/1835, .355; buys cloth, cotton, thread (GH 1229/1834, p. 252). Sells 40 bushels coal for credit @ $2.00 (GH 12/15/34, p. 242); sells 3 days labor (GH 12/6/1834, p. 231).

BUNKER, ELI, IND: b. Cornwall, res. Cornwall; m. to Fanny Maria Watson, (b. Glastonbury, res. Glastonbury) 2/9/1842 by Rev. Timothy Stone (BMD Vol. 3, p.106-7; Starr, p. 441); marriage also noted on 7/19/1849 in Vol. 3, p. 64. D. 7/19/1849, age 40 (TCVR 1828-1854, Vol. 3, p. 64). Helps pay for shawl (“for Martha”?) with Homer and Daniel (GH 4/24/1835); sells two corn baskets for credit, buys comforter, other items (GH 1/10/1835, p. 272).

BUNKER, GEORGE, IND: b. CT, living age 19 in household Jacob Scoville (USC 1850 #336, p. 42).

BUNKER, HOMER, IND: b. Cornwall, res. Cornwall. Buys powder/shot (GH 9/8/1834, p. 104); helps pay for shawl (for Martha?) with Eli and Daniel (GH 4/24/1835, p. 377). Purchase (GH 3/28/35, p. 346). Sells basket for credit (GH 1/15/1835, p. 279). Claimed victim of assault by Nathan and Adonijah Coxel, June, 1833 (LCAANAC)

BUNKER, ROXA – married Rufus Bunker (which see) ; made and sold baskets (Gold, p. 361).

BUNKER, RUFUS, IND: – Had comfortable house and farm of 50 acres on Bunker Hill, which was named after him (Gold, p. 361). M. Roxa, white woman (Starr, p. 402). At Kellogg’s store, basket for credit, buys nails (K 1830-33, p. 217). Purchases at George Harrison’s general store (GH 1/8/1835, p. 269). Conducted a butter business extending as far as Poughkeepsie, 1838-1853 (RBBR, CHS). Noted as “Indian” in record, sold “more or less an acre” for $30 to Daniel Bunker (not noted as “Indian”), 10/23/1840 (TCLR Vol. 14, p. 275); purchased land from Samuel Sterling on same day (TCLR 1740-1854, Vol, 4, p. 274).

BURKE, MARY A. – , b. NY, res. Sharon; m. age 27 to Henry E. Western, b. Sharon, res. Sharon, age 24, 7/29/1865 (TCVR 1852-1867). See also Henry E. Western.

CABLE(S), AMOS: Laborer, b. MA c.1803; age 45, with wife Diantha (46) and children Sherman (16), Maria (12), Lewis (8) and Marilla 1 year), own household (?) in Cornwall Bridge next door to Orrin Cables (USC 1850 # 307, p.38); living in Wolcottville, Torrington age 67 with wife Diantha and George, age 13 (USC 1870).

CABLE(S), CHAUNCY or CHANCY; Child of Orrin and Margret Cables. In family’s own household, age 15 (USC 1850 #311, p. 39). D. 5/28/1857, age 22 (HCIW). See Additional Information below.

CABLE(S), DIANTHA: married to Amos Cables, living in own household with husband and children Sherman (16), Maria (12), Lewis (8) and William (1 year) (UCS 1850 #307, p. 38).

CABLE(S), LEWIS: Son of Amos and Diantha Cables, which see. Age 8 in UCS 1850 # 307, p. 38.

CABLES, LUCINDA: Child of Orrin and Margret Cables. See Additional Information below.

CABLES, LOUISA H.: Second wife of Orrin Cables, b. CT c. 1820. Res. Cornwall, age 50 (USC 1870 # 305, p. 38), listed as white with Orrin and Rosa Cables (no age given; probably Rosalinda Richardson, which see, daughter Margaret Richardson Cables).

CABLE(S), MARGARET OR MARGRET – wife of Orrin Cables (which see); age 60 in Cornwall with own home and land worth $1800 (USC 1860 #312, p. 39); In Warren Old Cemetery: Margaret, wife of Orrin, d. 9/22/1868, age 72 (Hale Cemetery Records, CT)

CABLES, MARGRET L or S. (RICHARDSON). – daughter of Orrin Cables (q.v.), b. Cornwall; m. to William N. Richardson (q.v.), b. Cornwall, farmer, in Cornwall, 6/30/1852 (TCVR 1852-67); son, George L. Richardson, b 3/25/1855, and daughter, Laura L. Richardson, b. 6/21/1859 (TCVR 1852-1867, p. 1). Living with parents and children George L., Georganna Richardson, Laura, and Rosalinda Richardson at age 41 (USC 1860 #312, p. 39). As Margaret Richardson, age 52, living Kent, CT in Brewster household (USC 1870).

CABLE(S), MARIA: Daughter of Amos and Diantha Cables, which see. Cornwall resident, age 12 in USC 1850 #307, p. 38. D. 9/14/1842, Thomaston, CT (Connecticut, Find A Grave Index, 1626-2013).

CABLE(S), MARILLA: Daughter of Amos and Diantha Cables, which see, Cornwall resident, b. CT c. 1849 (USC1850 #307, p. 38C).

CABLE(S), NANCY: res. Cornwall, b. VT c. 1831, daughter of Orrin and Margaret Cables (age 19, USC 1850 #311, p. 39A); d. 8/25/1859, Springfield, MA, age c. 28 (MA Death Records, 1851-1915).

CABLE(S), ORRIN: b. CT, laborer, res. Warren, head of household (36-54) of 6 free colored persons, 2 employed in agriculture, 1840 (USC 1840, p. 39). 9/11/1834: Elijah Hayes was paid for boarding Orrin Cables and family (TCSA 1834). Benjamin Carter was paid for “furnishing provisions for Orrin Cables and family (TCSA 1838). Res. Cornwall, age 45, living on own property (real estate value $400) with Margaret (age 46), b. CT, Nancy (age 19), b. CT, [son] (age 15), b. CT (USC 1850, #311, p. 39). Farmer, b. Massachusetts, res. Cornwall, age 60 living on own property (est. real estate value $1800) with wife Margret, age 60, daughter Margret L. Richardson, b. CT, age 41, George L. Richardson, b. CT, age 18, Georganna Richardson, b. CT, age 15, Rosalinda Richardson, b. CT, age 1 (USC 1860, #312, p. 39). Wife Margaret Cables (which see), d. age 72 1868, buried Old Cemetery, Warren (, Connecticut Hale Cemetery Inscriptions, 1675-1934). At age 70 with second wife Louisa H., age 50, and “Rosa Cables, age 11” (his granddaughter Rosalinda Richardson) Cornwall (USC 1870, #295/#305), listed as white). Deaths of his children in young adulthood of interest: daughter Nancy Cables age 28 8/25/1859, Springfield, MA; son Chancey Cables d. age 22 5/28/1867, Old Cemetery, Warren; daughter Lucinda Cables d. age 20 6/25 or 29/1842, Old Cemetery, Warren; son Orren Cables d. age 18 8/26/1845. Old Cemetery, Warren.; daughter Margaret Richardson, age 52 living Kent, CT in Brewster household (USC 1870). O.C. on town’s pauper list, 1875: goods from Cornwall Bridge Iron Co. paid for (TCPPA 1876). See Ryan Bachman’s Additional Information below.

See also Richardson, William H. and Richardson, Margret

CABLES, ORRIN (JR.): child of Orrin and Margret Cables. For death, see Additional Information below.

CABLE(S), ROSA: b. CT, actually daughter of Margaret and William Richardson; so enumerated at age 11 in household of grandfather Orrin Cables and second wife Louisa (listed as white). See Richardson, Rosalinda.

CABLE(S), SHERMAN: oldest child of Amos and Diantha Cables, which see; b c. 1844. Age 16 in 1850 (UCS 1850# 307, p. 38). Appears in Litchfield Census in 1860, b. CT, farm laborer, age 26 (USC 1860 #580, p. 93) with Lewis, Lucinda, Mary and Helen. Living in Torrington, Ct with wife Mary. J., Ida Wells (14); in Winsted in 1889, 1890; business name G. F. Farnham, occupation, “emp.” (USC 1880); 1900, Torrington, widowed, age 70 (USC 1900).

CAMBRIDGE, CAROLINE: b. Sharon as Caroline Starr, m. age 18 in Cornwall to Charles Cambridge age 18, 10/26/1847 by Rev. Lewis Gunn (TCVR 1740-1854, Vol. 3, pp. 90-91). In own household, age given as 19, with Charles and one-year-old William (USC 1850, # 282, p. 35A).

CAMBRIDGE, CHARLES: farmer, b. Milford, c. 1821 (Barbour Collection, Connecticut Town Birth Records), res. Cornwall, m. age 26 Caroline Starr, age 18, b. Sharon, 10/26/1847 by Rev. Lewis Gunn (TCVR 1740-1854, Vol. 3, pp. 90-91). Laborer, b. CT, age 28 with own household, with Caroline, age 19, and William, age 1 (USC 1850, #282, p. 35 A & C).

CAMBRIDGE, CHARLES (JR).: son to Charles and Caroline Cambridge, b. 4/26/1856 (TCVR 1852-1857). In Ward 3, Hartford, CT age 13, in 1870 with Charles, 45, and Caroline, 36 (USC 1870).

CAMBRIDGE, CHARLOTTE; b. CT c. 1843; in Rouse household age 17 with Edgar L. Cambridge, age 8, in 1860 (USC 1860 #309, p. 39).

CAMBRIDGE, EDGAR L.: b. CT c. 1852; in Rouse household age 8 with Charlotte Cambridge, age 17, in 1860 (USC 1860 #309, p. 39).

CAMBRIDGE, JULIA: (see also David Patcham) b. Sharon, m. age 23 to David Patcham (which see) by Rev. Lewis Gunn, 10/26, 1847 (TCVR 1828-185, Vol. 3, pp. 100-1). (See also Charlotte Patcham)

CAMBRIDGE, WILLIAM HENRY: b. 11/25/1849 to Charles Cambridge, farmer, 27, and Caroline Cambridge, 18 (TCVR 1828-1854, p. 100). At age 1, with parents in Cornwall in own household (USC 1850), # 282, p. 35C).

CAMBRIDGE, _____: son (not named in record) born to Charles, farmer, age 33 and Caroline Cambridge, age 25, 4/26/1856 (TCVR 1852-1867). In 1870, living in Ward 3, Hartford, CT with Charles and Caroline (USC 1870).

CHICKENS, ELIZA or WARRUPS MOWEE, ELIZA: Thirty acres saved for her “where the Grange Hall stands.” Her heirs were three sons fathered by three men: Jeremiah Coggswell (which see), Rufus Bunker (which see) and Peter Mowee or Mawhews (which see) (Starr, p. 401).

COGSWELL or COXEL, ADONIJAH, IND – Ordered oats (GH, 4/7/1835, p. 357), bought 15 yards calico (GH 3/25/35, p. 344). Charged with assault with Nathan Coxel against Homer Bunker, 1833 (LCAANAC)

COGSWELL, ELIZA (IND>): Appears in EDP buying shoes, sewing items and wool in 1836, 1841 (Vol. 1, pp. 19, 54

COXEL, HERBERT, IND: – b. CT c. 1845, res. Cornwall, age 5 in household Whately (?) Coggswell (USC 1850 #366, p. 45). Report made to Litchfield court of accounts of care for, 1852. (LCAANAC)

COGSWELL or COXEL, JEREMIAH, IND: – Member of Scatacook tribe (Gold p. 224); cooper (Gold, pp. 238, 361); bought food from Cornwall Iron Co. shop. 2/1/1843 (CICo p. 115). Cheese purchase Harrison (GH 4/15/1835, p. 365), tea & fabric (GH 3/24/1835, p.343). Appears in EDP 1842, paying for purchases by haying, hoeing corn, setting hoops, mending baskets, EDP 1842, Vol. 1 pp. 64/5.

COGSWELL or COXEL, MARIA, IND: b. CT c. 1824, in household age 26 with Whately (?) Coggswell (USC 1850 #356, p.45).

COGSWELL or COXEL, MELISSA: wife of Nathan Coggswell (maiden name Price). Starr, p. 402), b, CT c. 1820, age 34, with two children (USC 1870 #140, p.17).

COGSWELL or COXEL, MELISSA, IND (not same as Melissa, above): b. CT c. 1816, wife of Nathan Cogswell, in household with two children, age 55 (USC 1850 # 357, p. 45).

COGSWELL or COXEL, NATHAN G., IND: Day laborer, b. CT c. 1805. Son of Jeremiah Cogswell, m. to Melissa (Price) Cogswell. Skilled wall builder (Gold, pp. 224, 361), notably at North Cornwall cemetery and top of Rattlesnake Road. Living in own home, value real estate $150, in 1870 (USC 1870 #357, p. 45).; his house appears on Fagan’s 1854 map on north side of Cogswell Road. Bought land for $25 to add to his lot with dwelling house, 4/19/1853 (TCLR Vol. 17, p. 164); sold much of same lot to son Newton for $100 on 4/26/1862 (TCLR Vol. 19, p. 195). Established credit at Cornwall Bridge Iron Co. shop by laying 6 rods stone wall (CICo, 5/18/1845, pp. 129-130), cellar wall (CIC0 5/18), plowing (CICo 7/3/1845), and bought from this credit. Food purchases (CICo p. 134-6). Similarly for EDP in 1846, three days’ labor @ $1.00 a day, mostly building and repairing stone walls (EDP, Vol. 1 p. 95/6); 1851, worked for EDP for $22 a month; 1852, butchering beef. Charged with Adonijah Coxel with assault against Homer Bunker, 1833 (LCAANAC)

COGSWELL or COXEL, NEWTON W., IND: – b. Cornwall, younger son of Nathan and Melissa Cogswell, living in their household age 9 (USC 1850 # 357, p. 45); m. age 28 to Pauline M. Hoffman, 23, res. Cornwall, b. NYC 12/14/1867 by Rev. Jesse Brush (TCVR 1740-1854). Civil War: Co. B, 2nd Battery, Heavy Artillery, in as Pvt., out as Pvt. (Index, 1861-1866) Purchased clothing, boots ($20.00) from Ezra D. Pratt (EDP Vol 2, 1851, pp. 15, 27). Bought a cow from EDP for $20, 1852 (EDP, pp. 41 and 43). Paid Dr. B. B. North for visit to wife, 7/25/1868 (B.B. North, 1864-1875). Shot his wife, then took poison (Starr, p. 402). Died 1876, buried Calhoun Cem (CI #3700). Click here for brief biography.

COGSWELL, RILEY, IND. : – Listed as a “hand” working through the Cornwall Iron Company 2/1849 (p. 155); rented horse in Cornwall Bridge to ride home (CICo 1835, p.33 #1); works chopping apple bush, 2/7/1849, buys food (CICo p. 157).

COGSWELL or COXEL, ROSETTA, IND: – b. Cornwall c. 1828, res. Cornwall, in household age 22 with Whately (?) Coggswell (USC 1850 #356, p.45a), m. to William Peters, laborer, b. Norwich, res. Norwich, 3/23/1859 by Rev. William B. Clark (TCVR, 1740-1854) – see also William Peters.

COGSWELL or COXEL, SARAH, IND: – b. Cornwall, res. Cornwall; age 14 in household of Riley Penford (?) (USC 1850 #334, p. 42).

COGSWELL or COXEL, STEPHEN, IND: b. CT c. 1844, age c. 6, in household with Whately (?) Coggswell (USC 1850 #356, p. 45a).

COGSWELL or COXEL, WHATELY (?), IND: age 66 (USC 1850 #356, p. 45) with four minor children, next door to Nathan and Melissa with two minor children.

COGSWELL or COXEL, WILLIAM H., IND: – b. Cornwall 7/1839, elder son of Nathan and Melissa Cogswell, grandson of Jeremiah. In 1850 Census, listed twice: age 12 living in household of Jasper Brewster, (USC 1850 # 324, p. 40) and age 12 in household with Nathan and Melissa Cogswell (USC 1850 #357, p. 45). Noted runner at local fairs (Starr, p. 402). Worked five days for Ezra D, Pratt @ $1.00, 1852 (EDP p. 55). Enlisted 6/22/1861 in Fifth Regiment Colored Volunteers, Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, first Indian to volunteer in the Civil War, and was promoted for “gallant services”, 9/11/1862; “as a soldier, one of ten thousand” (Starr, p. 402). Battles: Peaked Mountain, Winchester, Cedar Mountain, Cold Harbor; d. 9/2/1864 from wounds at Opequan 9/23/1864. (Gold, p. 361, obit p. 223) Buried Calhoun Cem (CI #3701). Click here for brief biography and photograph.

COWLES, JULIUS: Farm laborer, b. CT, appears age 19 in 1870 (USC 1870 #243, p. 30).


DICKERSON, JOSEPHINE: b. West Indies, b. c. 1824 (USC 1850 #20, p. 3), occupation illegible.

DIBBLE, LYDIA: b. Cornwall, res. Cornwall, m. Zephaniah Wix, Ind., which see (TCLR, Vol. 1, p. 45 et seq.). Eleven children born between 1750 and 1772 (TCVR 1740-1854, Vol. 3, p.18). After husband’s death sold property to members of Dibble family.

EDWARDS, JAMES: ‘Farmer/Laborer, b. NY c 1780, res. Cornwall, m. age 27 to Amelia Jackson, b. Litchfield, res. Litchfield, age 25, 3/19/1857 (BMD 1852-1867) by Rev. Ira Pettibone. Appears in 1850, age 70 living in Benjamin Bell household (USC 1850 #205 p. 27).

FORD, HARVEY: – “Colored,” buried in unmarked grave in Sedgwick Cemetery. (Gold’s “Historical Records, p. 223).

FOX, JAMES: Farm laborer, b. VA c. 1840, in household Elias B. Hart(1870 # 157, p. 19a).

FREEDOM, JACK: served as private in Capt. Weed’s Company, 2nd CT Regiment, Jan.-Dec. 1781, Heman Swift, Colo. Comd, Connecticut.Line (Starr, p. 193) (in 1777, the State of Connecticut allowed slaves to enlist in the army).

Elisha Swift sold eleven-year-old Jack to Heman Swift of Kent on April 9, 1769 for 78 pounds, New York money. Jabez Swift, Heman’s son, remembered Jack fondly, noting that he considered him a brother. Jack was Heman Swiift’s body servant during the Revolution, and worked for him for several years afterwards. (PPC, Box 6, Folder 81)

In Box 1, Folder 9, Military Collections, CHS vault, as of 1/1/1782, the following: Jack was already known as Jack Freedom, implying that he was already emancipated by Heman Swift by that time. Birth place: Guinea. He was 25 years old, making his birth year c. 1757-1758 (likely abducted by slave traders as a child, endured the Atlantic crossing before being sold to the Swifts) and was listed as a farmer in 1782, again suggesting that he was free by that time. Served for the duration of the Revolutionary War, from 1776 onwards.

Land Purchase: “For … 40 pounds lawful money” on 6/1/1787 bought “30 acres of land lying in the Town of Cornwall … near mast swamp, so called.” from Heman Swift (6/1/1787, TCLR Vol. .5, p. 130); does not appear on next two Grand Lists; listed as landowner 1790 U.S.A. Census with household of 4 non-white free people (USC, 1790); fourfold tax assessment*** for his heirs in 1791, £100. (TCGL) Land purchase: 30 acres “near mast swamp, so called,” for “40 pounds lawful money” from Heman Swift, 6/1/1787 (TCLR Vol. 5, p. 130). Is probably the “Jack Negro” noted inside back cover of the Bonney account book, Cornwall Bridge, 1788. Died c. 1790 or 91 (TCGL); fourfold assessment of heirs due to failure to report assets: £100, 1791 (TCAR 1791). Widow Lily Freedom (which see) married Robert Starr, res. Sharon, date unknown (deed TCLR Vol, 8, p. 312); heirs left with huge debt to Town.

FREEDOM, LILLY: wife of Jack Freedom, in 1790 appears to be one of the four free blacks in his household (USC 1790). Widowed c.1791, inherited 30 acres belonging to husband, married Robert Starr (which see) of Sharon, and struggled to pay in installments the £100 fourfold punitive assessment of 1791 (TCAR 1791), turning over land for highway to town to reduce debt (SMAB); at length sold remaining property back to Heman Swift in 1809 (TCLR, Vol. 8, p 312). The Starrs also kept a poor family for the town to help reduce their debt (SMAB 3/26/1798).

FREEMAN, CHLOE: b. CT c. 1810, second wife of Luman Freeman, living in own household with Luman, John age 10 and John H. age 4 (USC 1850 #243, P. 30).

‡FREEMAN, CUFFEE: Worked for Jedediah Calhoun for $8.00 per month ( E/JC, 3rd page from back), April, 1824.

FREEMAN, EBEN: – bought brandy from Harrison (GH 2/17/1835, pp. 310, 311), shoes (GH 2/9/1835, 302). 9/14/1865, p. 37).

FREEMAN, JOHN: b. CT c. 1840, son of Luman and first wife Sarah Ann, brother of John H.; age 10 in 1850 in family’s own household with parents, brother of John H. (which see), age 4 (USC 1850 # 243, p. 30).

FREEMAN, JULLIET: b. Sharon c. 1831, res. Cornwall, m. John Golden (which see), 5/2/1851 by Myron Harrison (TCVR).

FREEMAN, JOHN H.: b. CT c.1846, probably son of Luman Freeman and first wife Sarah Ann, brother of John (which see); age 4 in 1850 in family’s own household (USC 1780 #243, p. 30.; age 13 in household of Jedidiah Calhoun (USC 1860 #345, p. 43).

FREEMAN, LUMAN: laborer, b. CT c. 1805, m. Sarah Ann Weston, 10/23/1836, by Rev. Horatio Smith; later m. Chloe Ann Weston, b. Cornwall, 12/16/1847 on 10/23/1851 by Rev. Lewis Gunn (TCVR 1740-1854). Worked 3 1/2 days haying, July 1/2 1845, Jedediah Calhoun’s Day Book, Nov., 1845. Appears in 1850 in own household with Chloe, John age 10, John H. age 4 (USC 1850 #243, p. 30).

FREEMAN, NAOMI CAIN : Adopted by John Sedgwick 10/5/1801 (Adoption, Black Girl TCLR, Vol. 7, p. 501),m. Obadiah Freeman, Canaan 4/6/1826 by Rev. Elbert Osborne, Methodist Episc. (Town of Canaan Vital Records). Purchased one acre with house, 1826. Daughter Sarah born c. 1830 (USC 1830, USC 1850 #214, p. 27A). Appears in Kellogg account books. Treated by Dr. B. B. North on 3/9/1856 and 3/13/1856, visit to doctor, self and meds, (Hopkins & North ledger, 1838 on, 2nd listing, p. 10); buys pig, $3, pays for three visits to “child” by Dr. B. B. North @ .75, 9/22, 24, and 26, 1854 (ibid., p.283). Probably buried above her husband (which see), but neither record nor surviving marker. See Additional Information below.

FREEMAN, OBADIAH: born c. 1778 (USC 1850); emancipated as Obed in Cornwall, 1805, by Ebenenezer Birdsey (TCLR Vol. 7, p. 501; m. age c. 48 Naomi Cain, age c. 28, b. VT (?) c. 1794, res. Cornwall, in Canaan 4/6/1826 by Rev. Elbert Osborne, Methodist Episc. (Town of Canaan Vital Records). Daughter Sarah born c. 1830 (USC 1830, USC 1850 #214, p. 27A). Died 1/25/1853, buried in cemetery on Cemetery HIll (CCI #634, record, but no surviving marker) between George O. Vaill (d. 1841, CCI #633) and Silas Dean (d. 1835, CCI #635). See Additional Information below.

FREEMAN, SARAH: daughter of Obadiah and Naomi Freeman (which see), b. c. 1830 in Cornwall to Naomi and Obadiah Freeman, appears in 1850 Census (USC 1850, #214, p. 27A); m. aged 24 to James West, age 31 (which see), 10/15/1853 (TCVR 1852-1867, no pag.). Son (no name in record until 1860 in Litchfield) b. same day,10/15/1853 (TCVR 1852-1867, no pag.). See also Sarah West.

GOLDEN, JOHN: Day laborer, b. Sharon c. 1827, res. Cornwall, m. age 23; m. Juliett Freeman, age 18 b. Sharon c. 1831, 5/2 or 4/1851 by Myron Harrison (TCVR 1740-1854, Vol. 3, p. 118-119).

GREEN, ANDREW J.: Farm laborer, b. CT c. 1840. Age 8, living in household of Peter and Hulda Hull (which see) (USC 1850 #270, p.34). 1860, age 20 living in household of Mills J. Pierce, farmer (USC 1860 #35, p. 5).

GREEN, GEORGE HENRY: Civil War, 29th Colored Infantry, Co. F (Gold, p. 329), died in service (Starr, p. 210).

GREEN, HENRY: Farm laborer, b. CT c. 1844, age 6 living with older brother (?) Andrew, age 8 in household of Hulda Hull (USC 1850 #270, p.34); age 16 living in household of John P. Stone (USC 1860 #87, p. 11 ).

GREEN, JAMES: 1795, earned store credit by work on “the old shaft’ for Cornwall Iron Co. (CICo, 3/25/1795, p. 238).

GREAN or GREEN, SAMUEL, SR.: with son Samuel Green Jr., appears working 1792 for Cornwall Iron Co. (CICo, 1792, p. 58) ; d. age 75, 7/17/1794, (1Ch. V. 1, p. 102).

“WIFE OF SAM GREAN” (SR.): aged between 70 and 80, died 6/14/1794 (1Ch. V. 1, p. 102).

GREEN, SAMUEL, JR.: With father, Samuel Green Sr., appears working 1792 for Cornwall Iron Co. (CICo, 1792, p. 58).

HAZARD or HAZZARD, CELIA: – b. CT c. 1839, res. Cornwall. Living age 11 with younger brother (?) Homer Hazard, age 8, In “Town Hotel” – appears to have been household maintained by town for abandoned children, the elderly and/or the indigent, run by George and Ellen Hotchkiss (USC 1860 #11, p. 2). Town paid $5 for her care in 1895 (TCPPA 1895).

HAZARD or HAZZARD, HOMER: – b. CT c. 1842, res. Cornwall. Living age 8 with older sister (?) Celia Hazard, age 11, in “Town Hotel” – appears to have been household maintained by town for abandoned children, the needy and/or the indigent, run by George and Ellen Hotchkiss (USC 1860 #11, p. 2).

HAZZARD, WILLIAM: laborer, b. Rhode Island c. 1811; married; d. age 46, 11/20/1857 of scrofula (TCVR 1852, no pag.). Probable father of Celia and Homer, above.

HECTOR or HICTOR, DAVID: laborer, res. Sharon, m. age 18 to Julia Cambridge, res. Cornwall, age 18, 1847; daughter born (not named in record) 3/28/1849 or 11/20/1849 (TCVR 1828-1854, Vol. 3, p. 100-101). Served in Company D, 31st Regiment, U.S. Colored Infantry; buried in Calhoun Cemetery. 11/20/1849, p. 100 Civil War , Died 10/15/1881, buried Calhoun Cemetery, #3341 (CI). Widow applied as Sharon resident for his military pension, 6/28/1886.

HECTOR, JULIA CAMBRIDGE: res. Sharon, m. age 18 to David Hector, age 18 (which see), 1847 (TCVR 1740-1854). Applied, 6/28/1886, as Sharon resident for military widow’s pension. Daughter, not named in record, born 1849 (see Hector, below).

HECTOR, ________: daughter of David and Julia, b. 3/28/1849 (not named in record) (TCVR 1740-1854, Vol. 3, p. 100-101).

HOFFMAN, PAULINE- see Newton Coggswell

HOWARD, PETER: served in Civil War, 29th Colored Infantry. Enlisted 11/17/1863, died in service 12/12/1863 (Starr, p. 211), unassigned (probably by disease or accident).

HENRY, “OLD HEN”: (bur. North Cornwall Cem.), see Brazier, Henry

HULL, FLORA: res. Cornwall, m. to Timothy Jourdan, res. Sharon, 11/29/1849 (TCVR 1828-1854, p. 82.

HULL, HULDAH: b. CT, age 65 (USC 1850, #270, p. 34); housekeeper, b. Watertown, VT; res. Cornwall; d. age 56, 2/16/1856 of cholera infantum or consumption (TCVR 1852-1867), wife of Peter Hull.

HULL, PETER: farmer or laborer, b. Derby CT, res. Cornwall; age 65 with wife and two Green boys (Andrew and Henry) in household (USC 1850, #270, p.34); widower, d. age 80, 7/9/1857 of “heart affection” (TCVR 1852-1867).

INDIAN, JIM: Purchased brandy and bottle from Kellogg’s, 6/14/1823, p. 154 (K 24-26); 4/29/1823; 6/14/1823, p 154 (K23-25); p. 86, 23-25; Rufus Bunker owed him money,4/29/1823, p. 123; brandy, (K 1 823-24,12/9/1823, p. 86). A dozen eggs (K1830-1833), p.152) and large crackers (p. 155) .

JACKSON, AMELIA: – m. to James Edwards (which see),

JENKINS, FRANCIS G., P., or B.: female b. Salisbury or Cornwall, res. Cornwall, d. 6/8/1856 of phrenitis age 3 yrs., 2 mos. (TCVR 1852-1867).

JENKINS, WILLIAM: blacksmith, res. Cornwall, m. to Ann Jenkins; son born in May, 1851 (TCVR 1828-1854, p. 114-115).

JENKINS, daughter (not named) of William and Ann Jenkins, b. 8/8/1856 (TCVR 1852-1867).

JENKINS, son (not named) of William and Ann Jenkins, b. May, 1851 (TCVR 1828-1854, pp. 114-115).

JENKINS: son (not named) of William and Ann Jenkins, b. 8/8/1856 (TCVR 1852-1867, no pag.)

KELLY, MYRON: age 40, household Ira Frink (USC 1850, #278, p. 3

LEE, HANNAH: Servant, b. VA c, 1860, age 10 in household of H. Milton Hart (USC 1870 #156, p. 19).

LEPYON, JOHN: farm laborer, b. c. 1832 CT, res. Cornwall, in household of Charlotte Bierce (USC 1850, p. 44).

LEWIS, JOHN: purchases at Kellogg’s store, 42-44, 1839, p. 429. Rum, tobacco (8/9/31, p, 203), cash, pork (p. 219, 1831), shot (p. 222, 1831); purchases brandy or rum (Kellogg’s 5/1/30, 5/3/30, 5/4/30, 5/7/30); received .25 through Frederick Kellogg for cleaning cellar (6/17/1830).

MAWHEWS. MOWEE or MAUWWEHU, IND: Child of Peter and Elizabeth Mawhews, burnt, age three or four years (Ch.1, Vol. 1, p. 103) d. 12/15/1796, Starr p. 401). See also Chickens.

MAWEHU, BENJAMIN (IND.): buried in Cemetery on Cemetery Hill (Starr, p. 418).

MAY, ALMIRA: Daughter Jeremiah and Marietta May, b. CT c. 1860, res. Cornwall age 10 (USC 1870 #315, p 39C).

MAY, CHARLIE: Son Jeremiah and Marietta May, b. CT c. 1865. Res. Cornwall, age 5, USC 1870 #315, p. 39c).

MAY, HENRIETTA: Daughter Jeremiah and Marietta May. b. CT c. 1862. Res. Cornwall, Age 8 (USC 1870 #315, p. 40 c).

MAY, HENRY: Town pays $18.00 for his care (TCPPA 1897). (No evident connection with Jeremiah May and family.)

MAY, JEREMIAH: day laborer, according to death certificate in CHS vault (4/7/1914), was stone mason; b. Dutchess County, NY, 3/9/1831 to Thomas and Susan May; died 4/6/1897 in Goshen of nephritis and paralysis, aged 66.
Own household (USC 1860). M. to Marietta (b. 1838, res. Cornwall). Wall layer, age 41 (USC 1870 #315, p. 39-40C). Drafted age 34, 8/28/1863, occupation waiter, 11th U.S. Colored, Heavy Artillery, Co. B; enlisted 7/28/1863; promoted Corporal 9/14/1863 ( U.S., Colored Troops Military Service Records, 1861-1865): “The only black artillery regiment raised north of the Mason-Dixon Line was the 11th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery, which began its service as the 14th Rhode Island Colored Heavy Artillery and served out the war in Louisiana” http://www.history,army,mil/html/bookshelves/civilwar/articles/article from AH58w.pdf. Applied for pension as invalid, #880200: B, 14 R. I. H. A., and B, 11 U. S. C. H. A. (, Civil War Pension Index). Children: see Marietta, Timothy, Henrietta L., Charles H., Mallia, Susan E., Frederick F., Charlotte M., Almira, Walter. Town paid $42 (TCPPA 1895), and $15 to J. E. St. John (TCPA 1896) for his care as indigent. Died a widower, 4/6/1897, buried in Calhoun Cemetery, Cornwall Bridge (CCI #3378). Click here for brief biography.

MAY, JOHN: son Jeremiah and Marietta May, which see, b. CT, c. 1859. Res. Cornwall, age 11 (USC 1870 #315, p. 39C).

MAY, MALIA: daughter Jeremiah and Marietta May (which see) (possibly born after 1770 Census).

MAY, MARIETTA: b. CT c. 1835, res. Cornwall. M. to Jeremiah Way (which see). Keeping house, age 22 (USC 1860, #313, p. 39A);1870 #315, p. 39C., age 32, keeping house in own household with husband and six children.

MAY, SUSAN E.: Daughter Jeremiah and Marietta May b. CT c. 1870. Res. Cornwall, age 4 months (USC 1870, #315, 40c).

MAY, TIMOTHY: b. CT, age not given (USC 1860 #313, p. 39c), in household with Jeremiah and Marietta May. No further mention.

MAY, WALTER: Son Jeremiah and Marietta May, b. CT c. 1867. Res. Cornwall age 3 (USC 1870 #315, p. 40c).

MOORE, GEORGE: res. Cornwall ; served in Civil War, enlisted in Co. H, 14th C.V 8/10/1863, mustered same date. Rank: Private. Captured, place and date not shown; paroled prisoner at Annapolis, MD. Transferred to Co. C, 2nd CV II A 5/30/65.Record of service of Connecticut men in the army and navy of the United States during the War of the Rebellion, 1889.

‡“NEGRO” – purchases 1/19/18244 (K 1823-24, p. 106). Same name took out cash on Ketchel Birdsey’s account (K 1835-26,12/29/1829, p. 373).

‡“NEGRO, ABRAM”: Laborer. Purchased goods and took out cash at Kellogg’s store (K30-33, 11/24/1832, pp. 154, 361;) (K 1831, p. 152; (K 1830-33, p. 155), p. 208, 1 pint gin. Sundry foods (K1830-1833, 3/16/1833, p. ); (K 4/1/1830, p. 154); sheeting, tobacco, bale of cotton (K 1833-1834, p. 154), received payment from Pierce J. Clark, 2/4/1834 (K ibid., p. 59) ; rifle, p. 197 (7/29/1831), rum, brandy, p. 202 and 207 (8/9/31 and 31); snuff jar (K ibid, 1/4/1834, p. 47).

NEGRO, CAESAR: Possibly the “sevt. to Mr. Peter Joslyn, baptized First Church“ in Lancaster, MA 4/20/1766 (Massachusetts Town & Vital Records 1620-1988). Registered with a U.S. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant application Files, 11800=1900). “A free negro man from Litchfield,” m. “Peg, a negro woman,” 1/29/1792, p. 62 (CC1&2). Defendant in case of $40.00 debt to Canfield & Griswold of Sharon, dry goods. 11/26/1799 (LCAANAC). Appears in SMAB, for “removing a poor family per order” to reduce a debt to the town. and Town Order No. 16 on 3/26/1798.

‡“NEGRO, ELKA”: Purchased goods at Kelloggs’ store (K30-33, p. 131)

‡“NEGRO, ESSEX”: brought “Negro servant” Peter to be baptized, 1st Church of Christ, 6/6/1779 (CC1&2, p. 7).

‡“NEGRO, GEORGE”: Purchased at Kellogg’s store (K30-33, p. 313)

‡“NEGRO, JACOB”: purchased at Kellogg’s store, p. 313) (K30-33) p. 207, 1 pint wine; .211, 1/2 pint gin; debts paid to him. p. 248, w. Capt. John Miles, p. 284, by Steven Gold, p. 289, by John Miles) purchased rum, pp. 196 (7/29/1831), 200 (twice on 8/9/31), and tobacco, pp. 202, 201 and rum, pp. 204 and 206 (K 1830-1833).

‡“NEGRO, JOHN”: Kellogg’s Book H, pp. 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 24, 26, 29, 49, 74, 83, 84, 113

NEGRO, PEG: see Negro, Caesar. Emancipated by J. Wakeman Gold, heir to Joseph Gold, Cornwall.(TCLR Vol. 6, p. 391(a) – signed 11/22/1792; recorded 11/27/1792). Married to Caesar Negro, 11/1792 (Starr, p. 400). See also Peg Barber.

NOSTINE, ANN: b. NY c. 1845, wife of George Nostine, keeping house in own household, age 25, with child Emma (USC 1870, #121, p. 13).

NOSTINE, EMMA: Daughter of George and Ann Nostine, b. NY c. 1869, res, Cornwall age 1 (USC 1870 #121, p.13).

NOSTINE, GEORGE: Farm laborer, b. NY c. 1840, res. Cornwall age 30 with wife Ann, daughter Emma (USC 1870 # 121, p.13).

OVER, MARK: – “a negro aged 28 years,” d. 5/17/1797 (CC1&2, p.104)

OWENS, SAPHMINA (?): – see also John J. Adams

PATCHAM, CHARLOTTE I. or J.: b. to Julia Patcham age 23, and David Patcham, Laborer, 39, 8/8/1848 (TCVR, 1828-1854, Vol. 3, pp. 84/5).

PATCHAM, DAVID: Laborer, b. Sharon, res. Cornwall; age 31, m. to Julia Cambridge (which see), b. Sharon, age 23; by Rev. Lewis Gunn, 10/26/1847 (TCVR 1828-1854, p. 90/91).

PERKINS, WILLIAM: blacksmith, daughter (no name given) born to him at 42 and wife, age 31, 8/8/1856 (TCVR 1852-1867).

PETERS, ROSETTA: see Coggswell, Rosetta

PETERS, WILLIAM: Laborer, b, Norwich, res. Cornwall, age 27, m. to Rosetta Coggswell, b. Cornwall, age c. 31, res. Cornwall 3/23/1859 by Wm. B. Clark (TCVR 1852-1867, no pag.).

POHANUS, ROLAND: res. Canaan, m. to Sarah Reaby, res. Cornwall, 1/31/1841 by Rev. Ebenezer Washburn (TCVR 1740-1854, Vil. 3, p. 61).

POHANUS, SARAH (REABY, SARAH): res. Cornwall, m. to Roland Pohanus, res. Canaan, 1/3/1841 by Rev. Ebenezer Washburn (TCVR 1740-1854, Vol. 3, pp. 61).

GEORGE ALINSON PRESTON: b. Cornwall, res. Cornwall, d. age 6 mos., 9/17/1856, cholera infantum.

“MR. READ”: – “Colored,” buried in unmarked grave in Sedgwick Cemetery. (Gold’s “Historical Records,” p. 223).

RICHARDSON, GEORGANNA: b. CT, daughter of Margret and William Richardson (which see), granddaughter of Orrin (which see) and Margret Cables (which see); age 15 (USC 1860 #312, p. 39).

RICHARDSON, GEORGE L.: Day Laborer, b. CT, age 18 in household of Orrin Cables (which see), grandfather, with mother Margaret Richardson and siblings (USC 1860, #312, p 39).

RICHARDSON, LAURA: b. CT, daughter of Margret S. and William Richardson (which see), granddaughter of Orrin Cables. Age unknown in 1860, living in household Orrin Cables (USC 1860 #312, p. 39).

RICHARDSON, MARGRET L. or S.: see Cables, Margaret L. or S..

RICHARDSON, ROSALINDA: Daughter of Margret S. Richardson (which see)c and granddaughter of Orrin Cables (which see). In Cables household, age 1 year (USC 1860 #313, p. 39A). Appears as “Rosa Cable” in 1870 Census, designated as white. In household of grandfather Orrin Cables with second wife, Louisa H. Cables (US Census 1870, #295, p.305, listed as white).

RICHARDSON, WILLIAM N.: farmer, b. Cornwall, res. Cornwall, m. to Margret L. [Cables] (which see) 6/30/1842 (TCVR 1852-1867)

RIDDER, CHARLES: Laborer, 40, m. to Martha Ridder, 34 (TCVR 1852-1867). Daughter (not named in record) born 7/9/1854; another daughter (not named in record) born, 7/9/1855 (TCVR s1852-1867 (no pag.).

RIDDER, MARTHA: m. to Charles Ridder, laborer, (TCVR 1852-1867 – no pag.). Daughter (not named in record) born 7/19/1854, another daughter (not named in record) born 7/9/1855 (TCVR 1852-1867 – no pag.).

RIDDER, _________: daughter of Charles and Martha Ridder, aged 40 and 34; b. 7/9/1854 (TCVR BMD 1852-1857).

ROBBINS, WILLIAM: day laborer, b. MA c. 1828; age 32 in household Jeremiah May (1860 #313, p. 39).

ROGERS, A. S.: res. New Milford, m. to Emily Coggswell, res. Cornwall, 4/17/1850 TCVR 1828-1854, p. 83).

SMITH, EMMA: b. MD, servant age 15 in household of Stephen J. Gold in 1870 (USC 1870 #222, p. 27).

STARR, CAROLINE: – see also Charles Cambridge

STARR, LUCY TREADWELL: b. CT c. 1849, res. Cornwall, servant in household Henry Swift, age 21 (USC 1870 #309, p. 39). (Could this be Treadway?) Buried in Calhoun Cemetery (CCI #2849), “granddaughter of Abel” Starr, Calhoun Cemetery, d. age 90, 3/6/1881 (CCI #2848, stone broken).

STARR, ROBERT: res. Sharon, defendant in case of $22.82 debt note (dated 5/28/1812) to plaintiff George Wheaton of Cornwall, 9/9/1812 (LCAANAC), Oliver Burnham, JP, John Calhoun, Sherriff. Second husband of Lilly Freedom, widow of Jack Freedom (which see); with her, struggled to pay off her inherited debt of £100 to the town.

STEVENS, SUSAN: b. Milford, res. Cornwall, d. 3/31/1848; reported cause: childbirth (TCVR 1852-1867).

TREADWAY, LYMAN: b.i c. 1856 , living in Fenn household ,with John and Julia Watson (which see) and others (USC 1870 #319, p. 40A); living in New Milford, CT at age 75 (USC 1930). (Could this be Treadwell?)

_____________: baby girl, b. Sharon (no family information), res. Cornwall, d. age 31 days from consumption, 4/28/1849 (TCVR 1828-1854, p.114-115).

VANALSTINE, CHARLES: b. CT c. 1848, son of Elias and Mary M. (which see), age 12 (USC 1860, #233, p. 30).

VANALSTINE, ELIAS: Day laborer, b. NY c. 1805, res. Cornwall age 55, living in own household, personal estate $5; m. to Mary M., b. MA, 8 minor children b. CT (USC 1860, #233, p. 30). Appears previously living in Salsbury, CT (USC 1850) with four older children (Lucy, Francis, Elias, William). In 1860 age 55 living in own household with wife Mary M. (which see) and eight minor children: Milo, George, Charles, Mary A., Marie, Nancy, Francis (f.), Martha (USC 1860 #233, p. 30/31). After Cornwall, living in Pleasant Valley, Dutchess, NY (USC 1870) and Poughkeepsie, Dutchess, NY (USC 1880), spelled Vanalstein.

VANALSTINE, FRANCIS: b. CT c. 1858, daughter of Elias and Mary M. Vanalstine (which see), age two (USC 1860 #233, p. 30/31).

VANALSTINE, GEORGE: b. CT c. 1846, son of Elias and Mary M. Vanalstine (which see); age 14 (USC 1860 #233, p.30/31)

VANALSTINE, MARIE: b. CT c. 1854, daughter of Elias and Mary M. Vanalstine (which see); age 6 (USC 1860 #233, p. 31).

VANALSTINE, MARTHA: b. CT c. 1860, daughter of Elias and Mary M. Vanalstine (which see); age 4 months (USC 1860 #233, p. 31),

VANALSTINE, MARY A.: b.CT c. 1852, daughter of Elias and Mary M. Vanalstine (which see); age 8 (USC 1860 #233, p. 31).

VANALSTINE, MARY M.: b. MA c. 1817, wife of Elias Vanalstine (which see). Age 43, living in own household with eight minor children (USC 1860 #233, p. 30). Appears previously living in Salsbury, CT (USC 1850) with four older children (Lucy, Francis, Elias, William). In 1860, living in own household with husband and eight minor children: Milo, George, Charles,, Mary A., Marie, Nancy, Francis (f.), Martha (USC 1860 #233, p. 30/31). After Cornwall, living in Pleasant Valley, Dutchess, NY (USC 1870) and Poughkeepsie, Dutchess, NY (USC 1880), spelled Vanalstein.

VANALSTINE, MILO: b. CT c. 1844, son of Elias and Mary M. Vanalstine (which see); age 16 (USC 1860 # 233, p. 31)

VANALSTINE, NANCY: b. CT c. 1856, daughter of Elias and Mary M. Vanalstine (which see); age 4 (USC 1860 #233, p. 30/31).

WALLEY, CANDANCE: “Place of birth unknown” res. Cornwall, m. to William Walley, 3/19/1848 by Rev. Lewis Gunn (TVVR, 1828-1854, Vol. 3, pp.90/91).

WALEY, JOEL: b. CT, laborer, age 26, in household of Obediah Bierce (USC 1850 #255, p. 32).

WALLEY, WILLIAM: Farmer; “place of birth unknown”; res. Cornwall, m. to Cadence Anthony, res. Cornwall, 3/19/1848 by Rev. Lewis Gunn (TCVR 1828-1854, Vol. 3, pp. 90/91).

WARRUPS or WALLUPS, THOMAS, IND: – Schaticoke tribe; Revolutionary War, enlisted 3/23/1777 in company commanded by Edward Rogers in Swift’s 7th Connecticut Line; deserted 11/1778; rejoined 1/1779; deserted 3/17/1781 (Starr, p. 201, Gold, p. 24;). Lived at Hindman’s, Cornwall, and quarreled with his negro Heth, or Hesse (Starr, p. 201), d. Cornwall. Wartime anecdotes, “noble old Indian warrior” (Gold, p. 24). In Dibble’s Company, 1761, received 200 stripes for stealing; repeatedly deserted (Starr, p. 183).

WATSON, JOHN T.: Day laborer, b. CT c. 1837. U.S. Colored Infantry. 29th Regiment, Enlisted 12/3/1863. Assigned to Company F on 3/8/1864. Promoted to Full Private on 5/1/1865 reduced in rank. Mustered out 10/24/1865. Living aged 33 in Henry Fenn family with wife Julia and Lyman Treadway (which see) (USC 1870 #3129, p. 40).

WATSON, JULIA: b. CT c. 1838, age 32 in 1870 in Henry Fenn family with husband John and Lyman Treadway (which see) (USC 1870 # 319, p. 40).

WEST, JAMES: Laborer, b. NY c. 1838, m. age 31 to Sarah [Freeman] age 24, res. Cornwall, 10/15/1853 (TCVR 1852-1867). Son Samuel (not named in record) born same day, 10/15/1853 (TCVR 1852-1867, no pag.). Living in Litchfield age 32 with wife Sarah and son Samuel West (USC 1860).

WEST, SARAH: b. Cornwall, res. Cornwall, daughter of Obediah and Naomi Freeman (USC 1850) (which see; see also Freeman, Sarah); m. age 24 to James West, age 31, laborer, 10/15/1853 (TCVR 1852-1867, no pag.). Son Samuel (not named in record until USC 1860), born same day, 10/15/1853 (TCVR 1852-1867, no pag.).

WEST, SAMUEL: b. Cornwall, residence Cornwall, b. to Sarah and James West (which see) 10/15/1853 (TCVR 1852-1867, no pag.).

WESTERN, CHARLES S.: Civil War, Pvt., Co. H, 11th Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops, Heavy Artillery. Buried 1879 in Calhoun (Cornwall Bridge) Cemetery (CI #1452).

WESTERN, HENRY E.: Sharon man married in Cornwall, b. Sharon, res. Sharon, m. age 24 to Mary A. Burke, age 27, b NY, res. Sharon, 7/29/1865 by Rev. James A. Wilson (TCVR 1852-1867).

WESTON, JOHN: b. CT c. 1834, age 16 in household Augustus Swift (USC 1850 #272, p. 34). (See below before asterisks.)

WILL (SURNAME UNKNOWN): one of two boys, one under 14, the between ages 4 and 26, “free coloured persons” in household Joel Wright (USC 1820, 5th name from end of tally); unnamed; a “Wright’s Negro” in Kellogg’s 1822 account book.

WILSON, CHARLES: b. CT, laborer, age 13 in household of Jedediah Calhoun (USC 1850, #266, p 34).

WIX FAMILY,: Children of Zephaniah and his wife Lydiah (Dibble) Wix, whose names are spelled variously. All but Joseph in Town of Cornwall’s index to Vital Records:

Ezekiel, son, b.1/15/1750 (Vol.1, p.38); died 4/30/1762 (Vol.1, p. 46)

Uriah, b. 10/17/1753 (Vol. 1, p 38)

Deborah, b. 4/5/1757 (Vol. 1, p. 82; d. 4/6/1757 (Vol. 1, p. 75

Betty, b. 7/20/1757 (Vol. 1, p. 38)

Lucy, b. 1/25/1759 (Vol. 1, p. 38)

Anna, b.11/28/1761 (Vo. 1, p. 45); d. 3/17/1762 (Vol. 1, p. 46)

Lydiah, b.8/18/1763 (Vol.. 1, p. 61)

Zadock, b. 6/14/1765 (Vol. 1, p. 62)

Mary, b.2/9/1769 (Vol. 1, p. 84)

Shubael, b. 6/14/1765 (Vol. 1, p. 62)

Joseph, b. 3/7/1774 (TCLR, Vol. 3, p. 6)

WIX, HORRIS, IND: b. Cornwall, res. Cornwall, b. about 1796. 6/8/1814. Died age 18, buried in cemetery on Cemetery Hill (Starr, p. 418), “son of Zephaniah and Hannah” (CCI #141).

WIX or WEEKS, URIAH, IND: b. Cornwall 10/17/1753, res. Cornwall; son of Zephaniah and Lydiah Wix (Gold, p. 201). Private, Revolutionary War (Roll. 13)

WIX or WEEKS, ZEPHANIAH, IND: b. Cornwall, res. Cornwall, m. Lydiah Dibble (which see) (TCLR 1740-1854, Vol. 1, p. 45 et seq.). Eleven (according to TCVR, fourteen) children between 1750 and 1774 (TCVR 1740-1854, Vol. 3, p. 18) (see Wix Family above). Father of Uriah (which see). Added to town tax list in 1748 (Starr, p. 39). Had an account at Pierce’s store; paid for purchases there and elsewhere by by working (planting, hoeing, splitting rails, digging potatoes, mowing, building walls, butchering, building wall etc. ( ). Military: enlisted 1758 in 9th Co., 4th Reg. (Starr, p.182); enlisted 4/13/1759 in “Whitney’s Co., Ind.” (Starr, p. 182); ; 1761, in Dibble’s Company 1st Regiment (Starr, p. 183), 184). Died 1777 after return from captivity in Ft. Washington, New York (Starr, pp. 85, 202). “… [A] respectable Indian with a white wife. The house [Valley Road] … was in the Pines where the clay was dug for an iron furnace” (Starr, p. 238, 402, 202). After Zephaniah’s death his widow sold land to Dibble relatives, 1779 and 1782.

WRIGHT, AMANDA: b. Cornwall, single. Live-in servant to John P. Stone, with Lucy Bonney (USC, 1850, p. 26). Note, 8/4/1859: “Making wine and going 3 times to do it, $1.00”, 8/4/1859 Visits and medicine Dr. B. B. North, 1852-1859, debt $40.51, pp. 309,372 (Hopkins & North ledger,1852 on). Died of dropsy, 9/11/1859, age. 61+ (TCVR 1852-1867, no pag.).

[Possible people of color: Hannah Gawson (m. Samuel Weston in Cornwall, 1831, Barbour Collection); Edward Gawson (had an account in Kellogg’s store, 1822, daughter bought on his account.)

* published by the Cornwall Historical Society, 2006
** published by the Cornwall Historical Society, 2003
*** Persons who were found by listers of the Town not to have declared all of their ratable property were subject to “fourfold assessments” on the omissions. (Cornwall Grand Lists and Census, 1742-1820, p. viii)
**** Kellogg’s account books in the possession of the Cornwall Historical Society run from 18XX to 18XX and record credits (items brought in for the store to sell, taking its cut) as well as debits (purchases). The store also held cash for its customers which they could withdraw. The name of the account is noted, with the person who bought, sold, or took out cash on it; the article(s); their price or value.
***** Connecticut law required that indigent persons receiving support from their towns be named

Ann Schillinger

Last amended: August 26, 2015


CABLES, ORRIN, LAND TRANSACTIONS: Orrin Cables carried out several confusing land transactions during his lifetime. It appears that Cables may have originally been from Massachusetts, and if that is the case, was probably born free. Amos Cables, who lived with Orrin for a time in Cornwall, may have been his brother, and if that is true, Orrin would have been the son of a respected free African American stable keeper from Blandford, Massachusetts.

– April 28, 1841: Orrin Cables first appeared in the Cornwall land records at this date. In the deed, he was described as being, “of Warren”, and bought about 13 ¼ acres from Benjamin and Justus Sackett that was located on the border of Cornwall and Warren. That same day, Cables also mortgaged that land back to the Sacketts—according to the specifics of that deed, Cables was in debt to the Sacketts, and had one year to repay his debt; otherwise the Sacketts would get the land they had sold him back. It almost appears that Cables pawned his land as credit while he saved up enough money to repay his debt. Cable succeeded in paying off his debt and keeping his land (Cornwall Land Records, Volume 15, 34).

– December 27, 1842: Cables again “pawned” his land, this time to his neighbor, Burton Gilbert. Cables was in debt to Gilbert, and used his land as collateral until he could save up enough to pay the debt off—again, he succeeded in keeping his land (Volume 15, 35).

– June 20, 1848: Cables made an identical agreement with Gilbert, again. This was the first deed where Cables was referred to as being “of Cornwall”. Cables again kept his land (Volume 16, 116).

– June 16, 1849: Cables once again used his land to handle a debt he had with Edmund and Orlando Swift. He had a year to repay his debt to them; otherwise they got his land, which for the first time, included buildings (Volume 16, 208). Prior to this point, Cables may have lived elsewhere in Cornwall or Warren, and just used his property as collateral, no buildings were mentioned prior to 1849. Again, he repaid his debt before losing his land.

– December 28, 1853: Cables bought a three-acre parcel of land from Myron Hine for $35 (Volume 18, 54).

– November 3, 1854: A year later, Cables again purchased land, this time from Burton Gilbert. Gilbert sold Cables a two-acre piece of land with a barn and a house that bordered Cables’ existing property (Volume 18, 55). For a time, Cables’ relative Amos was listed as living near him. He may have lived in one of the two homes Cables owned by 1854.

– November 4, 1854: Cables carried out a mortgage-type deal with Gilbert involving the two-acre piece of land he bought the day before (Volume 17, 705).

– April 19, 1856: Cables gave his daughter Margaret, who had experienced a failed marriage, the three acres of land he had bought from Myron Hine, under the condition that he could retain access to the land during his natural life (Volume 17, 497).

-July 2, 1861: Cables sold Margaret’s land to Walstein C. Wadhams—no reference was made to Margaret’s fate, or how Orrin obtained ownership of the land he gave to her five years earlier (Volume 19, 153).

– March 14, 1864: Cables sold about fifteen acres, the 13 ¼ plot he bought back in 1841, plus the two acres he had purchased in 1854 to Burton Gilbert. Cables specified that buildings were standing on the property, including the home where he was currently living (Volume 19, 287).

– April 12, 1869: Gilbert sold the former Cables property, with buildings standing, to Clark Swift of Warren (Volume 20, 320). Cables had been living in the dwelling house as of 1864, and it is unknown where he went after that time. However, sadly, there is evidence that Cables became a pauper in later life and a ward of the town.

– After the 1869 sale, the property changed hands again in 1873, 1876, 1883, and 1887 before disappearing in the land records.

– During the course of his life in Cornwall, Orrin Cables purchased a cumulative amount of roughly 18-acres of land near the town border with Warren. Three of these acres were given to his daughter Margaret, although under unknown circumstances, Orrin regained control of that property and sold it in 1861. His remaining 15 acres were sold to his neighbor in 1864, and were subsequently bought and sold by different landowners over the next several decades. Debt was clearly an issue that Cables was often faced with, and his practice of routinely mortgaging off his property to creditors was a way for him to put up a type of collateral while saving up money to pay off his debts. (Ryan Bachman update, 12/2013)

Ryan Bachman

CABLES, ORRIN, CHILDREN: The following graves are in the Old Cemetery, Warren, CT (HCIW & S)

Lucinda Cables, daughter of Orrin and Margaret, d. 6/25 (or 29?) /1842, age 20
Orren Cables, son of Orrin and Margaret, d. 8/26/1845, age 18
Chancey Cables, son of Orrin and Margaret, d. 5/28/1857, age 22
Nancy Cables, daughter of Orrin and Margaret, d. 8/25/1859, Springfield MA, age 28.

(See also Margret Cables)


For the first twenty-five years of his life, Obadiah Freeman was known only as Obed. According to his deed of emancipation, and the data from the 1850 United States Census, Obed was born into slavery in Connecticut around 1780. The names of his parents are unknown, but by 1789, he was owned by Ebenezer Birdseye of Cornwall. Birdseye worked as a laborer and teamster in Cornwall, and Obed likely managed his large farm while he was away working in the community during the day. From Birdseye’s account book, there is also record of Birdseye “renting” Obed out to neighboring farms in East Cornwall.

Obed was born about four years too early to qualify for Connecticut’s gradual emancipation law of 1784, but he was emancipated by Birdseye on September 17, 1805, when he was about twenty-five years old. Following his emancipation, Obed changed his name to Obadiah, and worked for Birdseye as a paid laborer for one and a half years. In 1807, Birdseye recorded in his account book that he helped Obadiah pay for a stagecoach ticket, and Obadiah left Cornwall. The next time Obadiah appeared in any historical records was in June 1818, when he was doing business with Birdseye’s son, Victory Birdseye, in Pompey, Oneida County, New York. The exact nature of the business was not specified, but Obed may have been living in the area at that time; the 1820 U.S. Census recorded an African American man named Obed Freeman living in the nearby town of Augusta, New York, but at this time, it is unknown for sure if this was Obed Freeman of Cornwall.

Naomi Cain was born in April 1794, possibly in the area around Bennington, Vermont. By the time she was two years old, she was in the household of the Reverend Job and Mary Ann Swift in Bennington. The names of Naomi’s birth parents are unknown, as is how she came to be with the Swifts. In January 1797, Abigail Sedgwick of Cornwall Hollow visited her sister-in-law Mary Ann Swift and returned to Cornwall with Naomi, who was called “Omia” when John Sedgwick registered her adoption in the town’s property records in October 1801. The source of her last name is unknown: she may have brought it with her to Cornwall, the Sedgwicks may have given it to her, or she may have given it to herself. Naomi grew up in Cornwall Hollow on a large farm, populated by dozens of paid laborers, which spread into the three adjoining towns of Norfolk, Goshen, and Canaan.

From probate records, it is known that she had a good relationship with her adopted family. Her sister Sarah, who was chronically ill during the course of her life, specifically commended Naomi in her will. Naomi later named her daughter Sarah, possibly in honor of her sister. Several years later, Naomi’s adopted father composed his will, and left his daughter a bed, furniture, several religious books, and a cow. From John Sedgwick’s probate, it appears that Naomi was literate, and had an interest in religion. Her ownership of a cow later played a large role in the economic status of her family.

On April 6, 1826, Obadiah Freeman, who had returned to Cornwall, and Naomi Cain were married in Canaan by a Methodist circuit rider named Elbert Osborn. Two years later, Naomi purchased an acre of land and a roughly thirty-year-old farmhouse in East Cornwall for $100. This raises the question of how she may have earned that amount of money. Due to the fact that her father owed her money at the time of his death, she may have worked for her adopted parents on the farm as an adult. From general store records, it is known that Naomi did occasionally do work for people in Cornwall, but not the specific nature of that work. She oftentimes bought large amounts of fabric, so she may have worked as a seamstress. In 1830, Sarah Freeman was born to Obadiah and Naomi, and records throughout the 1830s show a definite upward mobility in their socioeconomic status. Unlike the vast majority of laborers at this time, the Freemans owned their own land, and their own livestock. This gave them access to crops, dairy products, and meat for both their own consumption and to trade for other goods at the general store. In 1835, Obadiah became a property owner in Cornwall when he purchased a two-acre tract of land down the street from his home; he purchased another two-acre parcel in 1850.

Obadiah Freeman died in January 1853 and was buried in the Cornwall Cemetery on Cemetery Hill; his death record noted that he was about 75 years old. About ten months later, his daughter Sarah married an African American laborer from New York living in Cornwall, named James West. The same day that Sarah and James’ marriage was recorded, the town clerk also noted the birth of their son. Later records indicated that he was named Samuel Obadiah West. The Wests lived with Naomi in her house, until she became ill in March 1856. Naomi likely passed away at around this time; the next April, Sarah and James sold the house and specified that Naomi was deceased. Following the sale of the property, the Wests removed to Litchfield, and then to New Haven. Naomi was likely laid to rest beside her husband on Cemetery Hill, where they currently lie in an unmarked grave near the woods line of the burial ground.

Ryan Bachman, 4/17/2014