One of the interesting things I learned when researching my Freeman ancestors in Mansfield, Connecticut was there responsibility for the Proprietorship and settlement of the town of Hanover, NH. These individuals were descendants of Edmund Freeman of Pulborough, Sussex and proprietor of Sandwich, Barnstable County, Massachusetts. At the DAR Library in Washington, I looked at two books, The Records of The Town of Hanover, NH 1761-1818 by Herbert Darling Foster and  Hanover A Bicentennial Book 1761-1961 by Francis Lane Childs.

Here is a list of Freemans who in the names of Grantees of Hanover, NH, chartered July 4th 1761:

Edmond Freeman junr


Edmond Freeman tertius





Nathaniel Jr.


Rufsell (Russell)

I learned about Hanover’s first settler, my first cousin seven times removed, Edmund Freeman III, born 29 April 1737 in Yarmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts. He settled in Hanover with his wife and two children  in May of 1765. His father, Edmund Freeman Jr., was the town clerk when Hanover town meetings were held in Mansfield, Connecticut. Edmund Freeman III was the town clerk of mansfield from March 1767 to March 1778. Other Freemans held the town clerk position well into the 19th century.

During the French-Indian War,  New Hampshire and the Connecticut River were a hot spot for combat, making it unable to settle for normal civilians. When the war ended, land in New Hampshire got bought up quickly.  The proprietors and grantees of land in Hanover had no intention of going up there, the weather was too bad, they were only in it for financial gain. Edmund Freeman was brave in being the first permanent settler of Hanover. He was one of the better informed of the proprietors, having helped his father (the leading figure of the propreitorship0, with surveying operations there, and was responsible in creating and paving roads.

Edmund Freeman and his wife Sarah had a son 25 May 1767, first child in Hanover. In August 1775, Edmund Freeman formed a company of infantry in the east section of the town. Hanover soldiers fought valiantly in the Revolutionary War, serving at the battle of White Plains, Trenton, and Princeton in 1776. They fought during Saratoga in 1777-1778 and in Bennington. An interesting anecdote involving General George Washington the book was reported from the New Hampshire troops at Princeton.

“What troops are these” George Washington is reported to have asked.

General John Sullivan Replied “Full-Blooded Yankees Sir, From New Hampshire.”

Edmund Freeman III’s son, Edmund Freeman, was a captain of Hanover and New Hampshire troops in 1813 during the War of 1812. I have his service records from NARA.


Copyright (c) 2009 by Jake Fletcher