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Abel Edgerton, son of Elisha and Zerviah (Abell) Edgerton.

 

born:

September 16, 1760; Norwich, New London Co., CT.  (VRp I:285)

died:

April 4, 1833; Tolland, Tolland Co., CT.  (VR 3:2) (GI)

buried:

South Yard Cemetery; Tolland, Tolland Co., CT.  (GI)

 

married:

May 16, 1782; Norwich, New London Co., CT.  (VRp I:468) (Franklin Cong. ChR 1:384)

 

Mehitable Tracy, daughter of Josiah and Esther (Richards) Tracy.

 

born:

October 28, 1765; Norwich, New London Co., CT.  (VRp I:370-371)

died:

August 2, 1813; Coventry, Tolland Co., CT.  (GI) (OB Windham Herald  8/19/1813)

buried:

Old Andover Cemetery; Andover, Tolland Co., CT.  (GI)

 

Children:

  1. Jabez, b. November 11, 1782; Norwich, New London Co., CT.
  2. Anna, b. June 27, 1785; Franklin, New London Co., CT.
  3. Experience, b. June 1787; Franklin, New London Co., CT.
  4. Jabez, b. December 16, 1788; Franklin, New London Co., CT.
  5. Abel Tracy, b. June 1794; Franklin, New London Co., CT.
  6. Harriet, b. August 6, 1799; Coventry, Tolland Co., CT.
  7. Sophronia, b. 1810, Coventry, Tolland Co., CT.

 


Abel Edgerton (aka. “Abell Edgerton”) was born September 16, 1760 in Norwich, Connecticut, the second son and youngest child of Capt. Elisha and Zerviah (Abell) Edgerton.  He was raised in Norwich and earned his living as a farmer and blacksmith.  In 1783, through his father’s will, he inherited a blacksmith shop and tools. 

 

Abel Edgerton was married on May 16, 1782 at the Franklin Congregational Church to Mehitable Tracy.  The marriage was recorded in the Vital Records of Norwich (VRp I:468), as well as in the records of the Franklin Congregational Church (ChR 1:384).  Mehitable was the daughter of Josiah Tracy and his second wife, Mrs. Esther (Richards) Pride, widow of Micajah Pride.  She was born in Norwich on October 28, 1765, and was descended from several of the founding families of Norwich – ie. Tracy, Hyde, Leffingwell, Abell.

 

The entry of Abel and Mehitable’s family in the Norwich Vital Records includes only one child – a son, Jabez, who was born November 11, 1782, and died February 20, 1784.  Later census records, however, indicate that Abel and Mehitable had additional children who have not yet been conclusively documented.  The family lived in the district of Norwich which became the separate township of Franklin in 1786.  This would explain why only the eldest son was recorded at Norwich; and the fact that the family removed from Franklin prior to 1800 may account for the lack of any family record at Franklin.  (See below for information on the probable children of Abel and Mehitable Edgerton.)

 

The household of Abel Edgerton was recorded in the 1790 Federal Census of New London County, Connecticut (pg. 176), with the following enumeration:

 

1 male “of 16 years and upward”  (Abel);

1 male “under 16 years”  (son Jabez 2nd); and,

4 females  (wife Mehitable and daughters Anna and Experience).

 

At the time of this census, Abel was residing adjacent to his elder brother, Elisha Edgerton, whose household was enumerated just previously on the New London County Census Roll.  Also recorded nearby were his cousin, Hezekiah Edgerton, Hezekiah’s son, Hezekiah Edgerton Jun., and numerous Tracy households.

 

Abel Edgerton later removed to Tolland County, Connecticut, where he resided variously in the towns of Coventry, Andover and Tolland.  The household of Abel Edgerton was recorded in the 1800 Federal Census of Coventry, Tolland County, Connecticut (pg. 660), with the following enumeration:

 

1 male “of 26 and under 45”  (Abel);

1 male “of 10 and under 16”  (son Jabez 2nd);

1 male “under 10 years of age”  (son Abel T.);

1 female “of 26 and under 45”  (wife Mehitable);

2 females “of 10 and under 16”  (daughters Anna and Experience); and,

1 female “under 10 years of age”  (daughter Harriet).

 

The household of Abel Edgerton was recorded in the 1810 Federal Census of Coventry, Tolland County, Connecticut (pg. 312), with the following enumeration:

 

1 male “of 45 years and upwards”  (Abel);

1 male “under 10 years of age”  (son ?);

1 female “of 45 years and upwards”  (wife Mehitable); and,

1 female “under 10 years of age”  (daughter Harriet or Sophronia).

 

Mrs. Mehitable (Tracy) Edgerton died at Coventry, Connecticut on August 2, 1813.  A notice of her death was printed in the Windham Herald on August 19, 1813, stating that she died in Coventry, aged 47 years.  Mehitable was buried at the Old Andover Cemetery, where her headstone was inscribed:  “Mehitable, wife of Abel Edgerton, died August 2, 1813, aged 46”.

 

Abel Edgerton served during the Revolution in the Connecticut and Continental lines.  In 1777, he was listed in Capt. Benajah Leffingwell’s Company from Norwich (see The Record of Connecticut Men of the Military and Naval Service, War of the Revolution, 1775 – 1783).  On August 2, 1832, Abel applied for a Revolutionary War Pension.  According to the Pension File (#S10613), he was a resident of Tolland, Tolland County, Connecticut, aged 71, and had enlisted from Norwich, Connecticut.  The file also confirms that Abel was born in Norwich (“in the part of town which is now Franklin”) on September 16, 1760.

 

Abel Edgerton died at Tolland, Connecticut on April 4, 1833 and was buried at the South Yard Cemetery there.  His headstone was inscribed:  “In memory of Abel Edgerton who died April 4, 1833. Aged 72 years”.  Abel’s death was also recorded in the Vital Records of Tolland (Book 3, page 2).

 

Abel Edgerton had died intestate.  The only probate record found on his estate was a bond of administration (in the amount of one hundred dollars) executed on April 8, 1833 at Tolland, Connecticut by “Ralph Dimock as principal and Harry Cogswell as surety both of the town of Tolland and County of Tolland in Connecticut”.  Unfortunately, no subsequent reports of administration or distribution were filed with the probate court.

 

To date, there has been little progress in documenting the children of Abel and Mehitable (Tracy) Edgerton.  The aforementioned census enumerations indicate that they had a family of approximately three sons and possibly four daughters.  Apart from the infant son Jabez, only one child has been conclusively identified – the youngest daughter, Sophronia, who was married first to Levi Sweetland and second to Jabez Barrows.  The announcement of Sophronia’s first marriage in The Hartford Courant (August 3, 1850) lists her as “Miss Sophrone, daughter of the late Abel Edgerton, Esq”.  The following are also believed to be children of Abel and Mehitable (Tracy) Edgerton:

 

Anna Edgerton (1785 – 1855) was married circa 1800 to Miner Jewett (1780 – 1833) of Coventry, Connecticut.  According to History and Genealogy of the Jewetts of America (Theodore Victor Herrmann, Alicia Crane Williams and Frederic Clarke Jewett; Published by Jewett Family of America, 1995), Anna was the daughter of “Abel and Mehitable (Tracey) Edgerton.”  Following her husband’s death, Anna removed to Volney, Oswego County, New York, where she died in 1855.  She was buried at the Volney Center Cemetery.

 

Experience Edgerton (1787 – 1863) “of Tolland”.  This would coincide nicely with the fact that Abel Edgerton had a sister and grandmother named Experience.  According to the age at death reported in her death record (Tolland VR 4:193), Experience was born in June 1787.  She was married to Ralph Dimock on November 28, 1815 at Tolland, Connecticut (VR 3:151).  The fact that Experience’s husband, Ralph Dimock, served as administrator on Abel Edgerton’s estate (as aforementioned) also supplies strong – albeit circumstantial – evidence of her parentage.  Experience and Ralph Dimock both died in Tolland in the year 1863.  They were buried at the South Yard Cemetery, nearby the plot where Abel Edgerton was buried.

 

Jabez Edgerton (1788 – 1857) “of Coventry, Conn.”, who was born December 16, 1788 and later removed to Hudson, Columbia County, New York.  He was probably the eldest surviving son indicated in the 1790 and 1800 Federal Censuses.  Abel and Mehitable’s eldest son, Jabez, having died in infancy, it seems quite conceivable that they would have named their next male child after him.

 

Abel Tracy Edgerton (1794 – 1868) of New York City, New York was probably the son “under 10” listed in the 1800 Census.  According to various census records and his death certificate, Abel Tracy Edgerton was born in Connecticut in June 1794.  Further credence is given to this theory by the fact that Abel T. Edgerton’s middle name (as shown on his death certificate) was Tracy – presumably after his mother.

 

Harriet Edgerton (1799 – 1849) who married Rev. Ezra Withey at Griswold, Connecticut on September 9, 1833 was also probably one of Abel and Mehitable (Tracy) Edgerton daughters.  According to the marriage announcement in the Norwich Republican (September 25, 1833), Harriet was “of Norwich”.  Harriet died in New York City, New York on February 13, 1849 and was buried two days later at Greenwood Cemetery, in the plot owned by Abel Tracy Edgerton (her presumed brother).  According to her death record (New York City Vital Records, Register of Deaths, Volume 16, unnumbered), Harriet was aged 49 years, 6 months, 7 days, and had been born in Connecticut.