From the

History of Tolland County, Connecticut

By J. R. Cole

New York: W.W. Preston and Co., 1888

Pages 372 - 375 and more to add later...

...The following are matters of town record: "Henry Woodward of Coventry was killed by the Indians between the half-moon and fort Mass. on the 26th day of June 1756 in the 36th year of his age. Simon Groves died at Fort Edward of Small pox in Oct. 1757

Ebenezer Root, Jr., died of fever in the old French war near Lake George, in October, 1758, in the 27th year of his age. Lieutenant Solomon Grant was ambushed and killed by the Indians in this war. He left a legacy by will for the schools in the Second parish of this town (Coventry, CT) and entailed his landed property to Noah Grant's heirs. This entailment had to be settled by Royal Wales, Esq., about 1825. It was the house, store and land in the Second Society center. The place was occupied by Captain Harvey Kingsbury previous to his death. There were two train bands established in Coventry by act of the town board of officers, June 27th 1728. Samuel Parker was captain of the first company and John Bissell was captain of the second company.

The names of the first settlers [of Coventry, CT] are the following: David Lee, Nathaniel Rust, Thomas Root, Samuel Gurley, Ebenezer Searl, Joseph Petty, Benjamin James, Benjamin Carpenter; four others from Northhampton, Mass., and two from Reading, Mass. The township was allotted out to the several proprietors and by them to others who settled in the town. The first colony of settlers, consisting of eleven families, came in 1709. It is supposed they purchased from the Hartford and Windsor proprietors. At later dates settlers came from Hartford, Stonington, Killingworth and Windham, and also from Reading and Lancaster, Mass.

The first residences were built on lands at present considered of little value. There were no houses along the line of the present village now denominated Mill Brook. The southwest part along Hop river and that part called Flanders, were more generally settled than the north or east sections. From the Hale monument east to Willimantic river there were a number of settlers where now but few houses occupy the same ground. Land was not so plenty and cheap at that time as to prevent lawsuits and it was long and ably contested, a distinguished lawyer from Boston being employed on the case. Both parties lost their money, and one of them, Captain Fitch, too stubborn to abide the decision of the courts, was jailed at Hartford. Many of the settlers occupied lands under the same tenor as Captain Fitch and to settle the matter a number of them banded together, went to Hartford and demanded the release of the captive. The jailor refused, whereupon he was liberated by force. This trouble was the cause of legislation on the subject of land titles.

Dr. Porter says: "Ebenezer Carpenter was the first male child born in the town, above referred to, and many of his descendants are still living in the town. It is said the islands in the pond were given him. The first death on the records (of Coventry) is that of Margaret Rust, daughter of Nathaniel Rust. This event occurred September 12th, 1718. Mr. Meacham was the first preacher, and the first church was gathered in October, 1714, containing ten male members."

The act of incorporation of the town of Coventry reads as follows: "May Session of General Court Hartford May 9th, 1706. Wm. Pitkin, Wm. Whiting Joseph Talcott, Richard Lord, and Nathaniel Rust, or any three of them, appointed a committee to lay out the town, admit inhabitants, etc... SEE Public Record of the Colony of Connecticut, 1711

"We whose names are underwritten appointed by the General Court of Connecticut a committ. to layout the town of Coventry of the contents of six miles square in a greater tract or parcel of land given by Attawanhood in his last will, to certain men in and about Hartford. We have accordingly laid out the bounds of sd. town as followeth, viz.: "To butt or be bounded by Willimantic river on the E. partly on the bounds of Hebron, and partly on lands given by Joshua, Sachem in his last will to his children on the south etc. is bounded N. & W. by lands given to Hartford gentlemen by sd. Joshua. The sd. town bounded beginning at Willimantic river at a stake & stones set in a field or small enclosure of land made by Samuel Burchard joining the sd. river and thence runs west by the needle of the compass 6 1/2 miles to a heap of stones between two hills; & from that heap of stones it runs N. by the needle to 6 3/4 & 20 1/2 rods to a heap of stones made on the N. side of a cedar Swamp commonly called Windsor cedar swamp; the sd. heap of stones it runs east by compass to Willimantic River.

Wm. Pitkin
Joseph Talcott
Wm. Whiting
Nathaniel Rust

In the colony records we find the following:
"Petition to the General Court. Whereas we the Inhabitants now settled at Coventry being about sixteen families, and having been there sometime without a minister, and now by the order of the General Assembly in Oct. last have a minister amongst us, but not being able of ourselves without a tax being laid on the lands which the projectors yet hold to these lands, and do not either sell themselves, or sell to such as will sell, that thereby we may be enabled to settle and maintain the worship of God amongst us.

"We thereby humbly pray the honorable Assembly to take the matter into their consideration and cause such tax to be laid in sd. Coventry on the sd. lands as with our persons and personal estate shall be sufficient to enable us, and such as may settle with us, to carry out that so good and necessary work and also to grant us the posers and privileges of a town.
"Timothy Alcott in the name of the rest."

The following is the record of the first town meeting for choice of town officers for the next year, September 5th, 1714:

"Ofesers choos att a Legall Town meeting for the year 1715. for selectmen - Nathan Rust, Timothy allcott, samill parker, david Lea pike. Thomas Root, Town cleark. Ebenezer allenander......john crane, ebenezer edwards - Listors. Benjamin carpenter, william Long inspectors. nathaniel Rust tavern keeper."

First entry in the records:

"att a Legall Town meating in coventry june 2 1712, the town then choos benjamin carpenter, nathaniel Rust, Peter Buell david Lea, Ebenezer searls a committy to agre with som man about setting up and maintaining a mill to agre in behalf of the town and any 3 of this com'y shall have power to agree with a man in this matter."

At a legal town meeting held in Coventry February 10th, 1726-7:

"Voted that ye Representatives next may shall lay before the general assembly ye sercomstances of ye school Lott and pray for liberty to dispos of it for ye use of ye school."

"Voted and appointed Mr Natha. Rust, Mr. Beni carpenter & Leu Peter Buell to inspect and collect sartin sums of money due to ye town upon and acount whatsoever."

"Voted that hogs should run at Large without yoke or rings for ye year insuing ye owners of ye swine paying no damage except the fence viewrs find ye fence Incefetiant & not according to Law."

The town officers in 1887 were: Selectmen, George M. Clark, D. C. Talbot, J. B. Carman; clerk, treasurer and registrar, J. S. Morgan; assessors, Henry C. Walker, Henry Albro; board of relief, John R. Wheeler, Samuel L. French, William F. Judd; school visitors, John Brown, Charles R. Hall; grand jurors, Charles Loomis, M. Parker, Andrew Kingsbury, John Brown, Austin Boynton, Norman Durham; constables, Rollin S. Lee, Franklin P. Andrews, William P. Rose, Arnold Warren, John Freeman, William A. Lathrop; registrars of voters, John Brown, Frank E. Hall; agent and treasurer of town deposit fund, J. S. Morgan; sextons, Francis Thayer, D. Brigham, John Payner; pound keepers, Royal Rose, J. H. Gardner; haywards, H. A. Brewster, Watson Ricer, John R. Wheeler, Martin Parker; sealer of weights and measures, J. Stanley; agent, John B. Carman; auditors, Andrew Kingsbury, P.L. Lathrop.

Revolutionary War: pages 376-7

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