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The following is a letter, dated February 26, 1795 from Thomas Cotton to Bibye S. Cotton (The document I have is a May 12, 1858 copy of the original letter.)


Hartland Feb. 26, 1795

Sir,

According to your request I will give you as good an account of our ancestors as I am capable of. Mr. John Cotton was born in England, his father was bred to the law, his son had a learned education, and was a Church Minister in Boston England, but not being willing to conform to all the ceremonies, was persecuted by the Bishops, he with his family came to Boston in New England about 1630 and was their Minister as long as he lived, and to an old age. He had a son born coming over which he named Sea Born. He had a liberal Education and was Minister at Hampton in New Hamshire for a number of years, and had several sons and daughters, his son John, my Grandfather was also brought up to learning, and after his father's death was settled in the same place. He married Anne Lake, daughter of Thomas Lake, a wealthy merchant, at Ronsick on Kennebec river. He was killed by the Indians, not an old man. She had one brother Bibye Lake who went back to England again. Mr. John Cotton had two sons and three daughters, his oldest daughter married Mr. Whiting, minister of Concord, his second daughter married Mr. Goodin minister at Hampton after my Grandfather, the youngest died at Boston about 50 years of age. My father was born 1695, his brother younger died about 9 or 10 years old, his name Simon. My Grandfather died in March 1710. In 1712 my father and his mother came down to Brooklyn1 where he had a good farm left to him by his father. On the 14th of April 1725 he was married to Martha Williams of Roxbury daughter of Mr. Samuel Williams, a credible and ancient family. My father and mother had 5 sons and four daughters, his oldest son Lake born August 7th, 1726, John born August 13, 1727, Thomas born April 30th, 1730, Sarah born Feb. 9th, 1732, Samuel born Dec. 24th, 1733, Anne born March 14th, 1736, Elizabeth born Feb. 15th, 1737 and died 26th of April 1737. My Grandmother died March 29th, 1737. October 29th, 1739 Simon was born. In May my father and family moved from Brooklyn to Pomfret.2 Martha was born June 11th 1742. My mother died May 11th, 1744, Anne died the 2nd of June, 1746. Lake died Sept. 2nd, 1751 aged 25, Samuel died in June 1770. My honored father died the next Sept. I suppose you do not remember much of your Grandfather. Doubtless you have heard often of his being a very religious man and much beloved by all that were acquainted with him. May his children and Grandchildren be followers of him, as he was of the blessed Redeemer that we may all be happy with him to all eternity.

Your friend and kinsman,
Thomas Cotton

NB the above dates to 1750 are old style.

1 Probably Brookline, Massachusetts.
2 Pomfret, Connecticut


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