My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Killingworth, Connecticut

Killingworth, Connecticut has one of the largest concentration of my direct ancestors, and a custom report revealed that I had 34 direct line couples married there. I have 753 source citations from the Vital Records of Killingworth!

What is special about Killingworth? When I first began the hobby, I became familiar with the name; often misspelled Killingsworth, and confused with the other town, Killingly. My mother's DAR patriot, Asher Wright, died there, and my DAR patriot, Jonathan Kilborn was married there (I was happy to find a new patriot, so I didn't have to share hers.)

I was hooked on this town when I inquired about records, then soon received quite a packet from the Killingworth town hall. A employee made copies of selected original records for me. Soon I was planning a visit, and when I went, it became my first cemetery trip, (about 2.5 hours away).

Of all the direct surnames, there are many with multiple generations, the families are:
Crane (3);
Davis (5);
Farnham (4);
Griffin (4);
Hayton (3);
Hull (4);
Kelsey (8);
Kilborn (2);
Steevens (2);
Turner (3);
Wilcoxson (3)
Wright (5)

Fortunately, there are many records for this area, and family genealogies as well. Almost every early family is related to somebody in the Hull, Kelsey or Steevens family. Knowing where your ancestors lived can help in doing research, and it helped me even solve a brick wall. There are three genealogies I constantly used:

1.  Hull, Robert E., The Ancestors & Descendants of George Hull and Thamzen Mitchell,  (Baltimore: Gateway Press, Inc., 1994).

 Page 36 "The following 'Allotment of the several inhabitants of Hammonascitt' is from page 1 of the Town Records of Killingworth.
'Thomas Smith, William Barber, Henry Farnam, William Wellman, George Chatfield, Thomas Stevens, Edward Griswold, William Heyton, Samuel Buell, John Kelsey, Robert Williams, granted, John Nuthton, granted, -- Turney, purchase John Rositer by agreement, John Miggs, granted John Shether, purchase of Jonathan Dunnin, George Sanders, granted William Stevens, Josiah Hull, Senr., Eliezer Isbel, granted, Isaac Griswold, purchase Jonathan Dunnin'"
     In 1669 the following list of freeman of the 'Town of Killingworth' is recorded: Mr. John Woodbridge, Mr. Edward Griswold, Josiah Hull, John Wilcockson, Samuel Buell, Jonas Westover, Eliazer Isbel, William Stevens, Nathaniel Parmerly, William Barver, John Miggs, Sr., Andrew Wards, William Kulsey, William Wellman, George Chatfield, Thomas Stevens, John Kielsey, John Muggs, Jr., Josiah Hull, John Rosseter, townsmen; George Chatfield, Constable."

2.  Claypool, Edward and Azalea Clizbee, A Genealogy of the Descendants of William Kelsey, Vol. I, (Pub. Tuttle, Morehouse and Taylor Co., 1928).

3.  Barlow, Claude Willis, John Steevens of Guilford, Connecticut,  (Rochester, NY: John M. Stephens, 1976).

Several bloggers have written about towns they have felt connected to. For me, it is Killingworth.  For some reason, I've always traveled to the town in early April, just before spring. So all my photos look like fall with huge ugly brown oak leaves on the cemetery grounds. I am hoping to go again, but in early May. When I looked at Google's images for Killingworth, there a few scrolled pages down, I couldn't believe my own picture, one being my flower logo, a click pulled my blog of December 11, 2010 for my Kelsey line, and then the logo for My Heritage Award had my Davis line post.  Both Kelsey and Davis were from Killingworth. You just don't know where your information is going to show up!

(Photo by Mary Frances Studzinski of Killingworth, used with her permission.)


Heather Rojo said...

Barbara, this was a great post. I've never been to Killingworth, but it was fun to learn about it. For me Ipswich is my similar type town, from the 1600s until 1935 when my Mom was born there! You are so correct when you say it is good to know the local history and how it can help with brickwalls. It is also good to be on a first name basis with someone at the local historical society, because you'll be contacting them over and over!

Greta Koehl said...

You describe an interesting phenomenon - I think this is how I have begun to feel about Greenville, SC. I wonder how many of us have a "special town:?

Barbara Poole said...

I changed the first para. because I felt it was awkward reading. Heather, we have our towns, you and I are very connected to Ipswich. And, Greta, I thought of you when I wrote this! Thanks to both of you for your comments.

Nolichucky Roots said...

Such a good post! There are spots that welcomed and harbored our families for generations that still speak to us. Getting to know them advances our knowledge - sometimes in ways we don't expect. For me knowing the topography, rivers and streams of East TN is vital. It has pointed me to families associated with my ancestors that I would not have examined had I not known their lands lay near to one another.

Barbara Poole said...

Nolichucky, many thanks for your eye-opening comment. We need to find and follow our families. I was very lucky with Killingworth, CT.

Janeen said...

We share DNA on 23 and me and I also have a large group of ancestors from Killingworth, CT., now, to find our closest match. I have Wilcoxson, Hull, Stevens, Griswold, Kelsey, Loomis, all on my parental side. My Wilcox family ended up in Indiana about 1880's. All these ancestors are from my great grandma that was a Wilcox.

Barbara Poole said...

Janeen, Great news. I just saw your email, and will be in touch with you. Thanks for writing!