Abel Edgerton, son of John and Freelove (Armstrong) Edgerton.
Ruth Baldwin, daughter of Ebenezer and Ruth (Swift) Baldwin.
Abel Edgerton was born at Norwich, Connecticut on April 28, 1763, the second son of John and Freelove (Armstrong) Edgerton. He was presumably named after his paternal grandmother, Margaret Abell.
Abel was raised in Norwich. Circa 1784, he removed, along with his father and siblings, from Norwich to Mansfield in Tolland County (then Windham County), Connecticut. He was married there on June 5, 1785 to Ruth Baldwin, the daughter of Ebenezer and Ruth (Swift) Baldwin. Ruth was born in Mansfield on July 1, 1765. Abel and Ruth had a family of three children: a daughter, Ruth, and two sons, John and Asa Baldwin. The family was fully recorded in the early vital records of Mansfield.
In 1786, Abel Edgerton was deeded a small parcel of land in Mansfield (15 acres) by his father, John. In the deed, John cited the “the love and affection I have and bear for my son, Abel Edgerton”. The deed was executed on April 14, 1786 and recorded on August 21, 1786 (Mansfield LR 11:300).
Abel Edgerton was listed as a head of household in the 1790 Federal Census of Mansfield, Tolland County, Connecticut (pg. 256). His household was enumerated with the following individuals:
1 male “of 16 years and over” (Abel); and,
2 females (wife Ruth and daughter Ruth).
Abel Edgerton’s household was also recorded in the 1800 Federal Census of Mansfield, Tolland County (at the time recorded as Windham County), Connecticut (pg. 718). The family was enumerated with the following individuals:
1 male “of 26 and under 45” (Abel);
1 male “under 10 years of age” (son John);
1 female “of 26 and under 45” (wife Ruth); and,
1 female “of 10 and under 16” (daughter Ruth).
At the time of this census, Abel was residing adjacent to his father-in-law, Ebenezer Baldwin, whose household was enumerated just previously on the census roll.
Abel Edgerton deserted his wife in 1807. He may have moved for a time to Orange County, Vermont, where his elder brother, David, was residing at the time. A warning out order was issued in Brookfield, Orange County, Vermont to Abel Edgerton (among others) on June 20, 1807.
Mrs. Ruth Edgerton was excommunicated from the First Congregational Church of Mansfield on September 3, 1809 (ChR 2:88). On December 15, 1812, Ruth filed a petition for divorce. The petition listed her residence as Mansfield, and stated that she had married Abel Edgerton on June 5, 1785, and that he had deserted her in 1807(see Knox, Grace Louise and Barbara B. Ferris (comp.); Connecticut Divorces – Superior Court Records for the Counties of New London, Tolland and Windham, 1719 – 1910; Heritage Books, Inc.; Bowie, Maryland, 1987).
Ruth (Baldwin) Edgerton was probably the “Mrs. Ruth Edgerton” who married Peter Aspinwall on February 5, 1813. Peter lived not far from Abel Edgerton, as he was listed only four houses away from him in the 1800 Federal Census of Mansfield. Ruth was divorced by her second husband on December 21, 1818 – for adultery. There is no further record of Ruth subsequent to her second divorce.
Abel Edgerton died at Mansfield, Connecticut on February 19, 1840, “aged 76 years”. His death was recorded in the private records of Martin Phillips, with the note that Abel was the “town pauper”. A “Mrs. Polly Edgerton” who died in the Mansfield Poor house on October 8, 1842, aged 84 (also recorded in the records of Martin Phillips) may have been a second wife of Abel Edgerton.
There is no further record of Abel and Ruth’s only daughter, Ruth. The two sons, John and Asa B., both resided in Mansfield, where they married and raised families. The younger son, Asa Baldwin, was married three times (his first marriage ending in divorce) and resided for a time in Columbia, Connecticut.
Original Source Documents:
1790 Federal Census – household of Abel Edgerton; Mansfield, Tolland Co., CT.
1800 Federal Census – household of Abel Edgerton; Mansfield, Tolland Co., CT.