The History of Ancient Wethersfield, Connecticut, Comprising the Present Towns of Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, and Newington; and of Glastonbury Prior to its Incorporation in 1693, from the Date of Earliest Settlement until the Present Time, based upon the manuscript collections of the Sherman W. Adams, recast, enlarged and edited by Henry R. Stiles. (New York, 1904). Volume One, History, 955 pages; Volume Two, Genealogies and Biographies, 928 pages; a consolidated index for both volumes, 182 pages; and 267 images (illustrations and autographs). This Digital Edition (published on CD-ROM) © August 2006
Wethersfield was one of the first, and most likely THE first settlement of English stock in Connecticut. As such it deserved the monumental history that Henry Stiles put together from manuscripts and notes assembled by Judge Sherman W. Adams. For erudition, balance, and readability, we (Digital Editions) consider this the best (along with Memorials of Hartford) of the "local histories" we have published as of August 2006.
The first volume, nearly a thousand pages, is largely the work of Mr. Adams. Stiles wrote: "A love of antiquarian studies, especially those relating to his native town, Wethersfield, led [Adams], during many years of his life, to make her history his special study; and his intimate acquaintance with the town and its inhabitants, combined with his legal training, rare industry and tact in the pursuit of facts, had enabled him to collect an immense amount of valuable matter, which could scarcely have been so completely gathered by another hand."
Mr. Adams died before completing his work, but Mr. Stiles, upon learning of Mr. Adams death, "felt at once an earnest desire to take up the work where he had left it." A most judicious historian and genealogist, Mr. Stiles put together Adams' manuscripts and notes and (with a few additions of his own) created a marvelous, comprehensive account of one of Connecticut's most historic towns.
The second volume, also nearly a thousand pages, contains the genealogies of Wethersfield families. It is almost entirely the work of Mr. Stiles, who believed that "no history of a town can be fully and satisfactorily written, unless it contain, in a greater or lesser degree the genealogies of the families and the biographies of the individuals, whose lives and acts have been, in fact, the vital essence of its corporate existence." Though we do not dispute Mr. Stiles' opinion, we would add our own: that we cannot fully appreciate the lives of our ancestors -- in Wethersfield or elsewhere -- if we do not understand the environments that shaped their lives.
Among the families that figure most prominently in the history of Wethersfield, we find the following:
In the first volume: ADAMS, ANDRUS, BECKLEY, BELDEN, BLINN, BOARDMAN, BUCK, BULKELEY, BUTLER, CHESTER, CHURCHILL, CUMMINGS, DEMING, DICKINSON, FRANCIS, GOODRICH, GRISWOLD, HALE, HOLLISTER, HUBBARD, HURLBUT, KELLOGG, KILBOURN, LATIMER, RILEY, ROBBINS, RUSSELL, SMITH, STILLMAN, STODDARD, TALCOTT, TREAT, TRYON, WARNER, WEBB, WELLES, WILLIAMS, WOLCOTT, and WRIGHT.
In the second volume, in addition to the names listed for the first: ALLEN, ANDREWS, BENTON, BIDWELL, BROWN, CAMP, CLARK, COLE, COLEMAN, COLLINS, COOK, CRANE, CURTIS, DIX, EDWARDS, FOOTE, FOX, GILBERT, HALL, HANMER, HARRIS, HART, HOLMES, JOHNSON, JONES, LOVELAND, MILLER, MITCHELL, MORGAN, NORTON, NOTT, PORTER, REYNOLDS, ROSE, SAGE, SEYMOUR, STEPHENS, STRONG, TAYLOR, THOMPSON, WARD, WHITE, WILCOX, and WILLARD.
The complete index of this publication is on line.
The Digital Edition: Complete with four text files (8.8 Mb) and 194 image files (21.5 Mb)
Enhancements: "Quick Links" to help with navigation and access to image files; lineage-tracking hyperlinks in the second ("Genealogy") volume.
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Of related interest: the Digital Editions of The Memorial History of Hartford, History of Hadley, Memorials of Elder John White, Descendants of Andrew Warner, Descendants of Josiah Willard. and Connecticut During the Revolution.
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