back Berkshire Pioneers back
It was pioneer great-grandchildren of our Pilgrim Parents who yielded to inducements to settle in disputed Berkshire lands in the 1730s and to create Sandisfield and later Colebrook. I made warmly-remembered friends there in the early years of this century and harvested wonderful insights into our Revolutionary-era Smith, Snow, Hurd, and Stillman lines. They’re stacked in the garners I’ve labeled “MayflowerDescendants” and “Sandisfield-Colebrook.” That they be not wasted, quoi.
My research into these lines hasn’t extended much beyond the exciting segments my Mayflower Society membership required me to document. In particular, what I’ve seen of the Stillman and Hurd histories in southern Connecticut and the Hartford area titillate my loving curiosity; maybe you’ll be moved to look into them further.
back Connecticut Pioneers back
Our prickly, charismatic, far-sighted 8GGF Reverend Thomas Hooker leaves us the story of the contentious founding of the Connecticut Colony out of the earliest struggles of our beloved home town, Cambridge. It was 4GGF Lieutenant John Stillman*, a descendant of those pioneers in Hartford and Wethersfield, who was instrumental in inducing (let’s not call it bribing) our Mayflower-line ancestors to remove to the Berkshires. In all our New England years, passing through Hartford (and occasionally getting lost) scores of times, Valerie and I got to the Ancient Center Church Burying Ground only once.**
The obelisk there that remembers the names of the founders who accompanied Hooker to Hartford bears these surnames—each a researchable line of ours—that I can already trace back to direct ancestors in Hartford’s early years:
  • Butler
  • Hooker
  • Olmsted
  • Ruscoe
  • Seymour
  • Stanley
*on the strength of whose participation in the Continental Army I hold membership in the Sons of the American Revolution.
**And came away with a rather wonderful little book full of our people: By Their Markers Ye Shall Know Them, by William Hosley and Shepherd M Holcombe, Sr. I do pray that whoever inherits that volume will incorporate its relevant content into a later version of this work.
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