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Cleaning Up The New England Paynes, Grimes, Carnes, and Williams Families


Nehemiah Smedley House, Williamstown, MA “…whence on one occasion they adjourned to the house of Nehemiah Smedley…were..John Smedley, Ephraim Selye, Samuel Payn” The place of founder’s meetings from 1763 (then West Hoosac) when voting on the necessities of bridges, the outline of lots, and, of course, money to “Sport the Gospel”. (From Origins of Williamstown Pg 464)

This week I’ve focused on the cleanup and reorganization of the family sheets for the ancestors who lived in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont. This includes family names Payne, Little, Grimes, Carnes, and Williams. The New England reward for family historians is the wealth of church and town records; the draw back is the dearth of tax and land records. Most of what appears in these sheets is based on church and town records. Find them here. new-haven-family-sheets-2017 And if the Payne family descendants interest you, check out more posts by hitting the link to the Payne family found to the left of the post on my website.

As always, the impact of place intrigues me, so I put together a brief outline of the migratory pattern (or lack thereof) of these families. I found it particularly interesting because some of these people are the fictitious characters for my just finished book and the one percolating in my mind.

  • 1635-1785 New Haven Colony/Connecticut was home to the William Payne, Richard Little/Joan Walker, Thomas Carnes, John Payne/Mary Little, and William Payne/Ester Carnes families
  • 1645-1712 Hartford, Wethersfield, Connecticut was home to the Henry Grimes, Josheph Grimes, Abraham William/Eunice Boardman Families
  • Before 1739 Goshen, Connecticut became the first major migration destination when Christoper Grimes/Abigail Williams move northwest from Wethersfield, CT
  • The two families centered in New Haven and Wethersfield joined when Samuel Payne of New Haven and Abigail Grimes born in Wethersfield, now living in Goshen married. They moved often:
    • 1758 “the nine partners” in Dutchess County, New York just west of Goshen, CT
    • 1761 back to New Haven for the birth of a child while Samuel negotiated a purchase in
    • June, 1761 in Williamstown, Massachusetts
    • Between 1773 and 1778 moved to Bennington County, Vermont (then disputed country)
    • 1790-1800 lived in Panton, Addison County, Vermont
    • After 1810 likely moved to Ohio with sons Zerah and Amasa

I always considered the moves of Christoper Grimes’s family to Goshen, CT. I was wrong. Christoper brought his family to Goshen at its formation by 1739 and according to the History of the Town of Goshen, 1897 by Rev. Hubbard, “…there was no road open either north or west in in 1745; but all was forest…” (Pg 57)

Samuel Payne’s moves to Williamstown and Bennington County were equally adventuresome. The map below shows the country at the time of Lt. General Burgoyne’s campaign in the country during his Revolutionary War campaign of 1777, the time of the Battle of Bennington.(From the Library of Congress by William Faden pub. 1780. It would not allow me to crop but look closely and find Williamstown and Bennington near the bottom left of the map.)vt_1780_military_burgoyne_web

About croywright

The author, a writer of history and historical fiction, always yearned to go back in time.

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