On Sunday, I drove down to Mansfield, Connecticut to meet with Ann, director of the Mansfield Historical Society and Museum. My Freeman ancestors lived on Spring Hill in Mansfield, which is about a mile south of the University of Connecticut in Storrs.
She provided a large folder of loose leaf documents. A lot of them were not in my direct line, most distant cousins, but very interesting nonetheless. In due time, I will upload all the original documents and process the information. There were a lot of manuscripts and their transcriptions of the early Freeman family history and genealogy. Some of it simply confirmed data I had researched at NEHGS, but some gave some interesting stories. I was also given a book to look in called Listen To The Echoes by Roberta K. Smith, which explains the history of Spring Hill in Mansfield. There is much mention to the Freemans and I will make a page dedicated to this section of my Freeman history since it is now so rich.
Fig 1. Descendants of Skiff Freeman, b 1723 Sandwich, MA died 1809 Mansfield, CT, son of Edmund Freeman b 1683 Sandwich, MA, d. 1766 Mansfield, CT. Courtesy of Mansfield Historical Society.
The genealogy tree focuses on descendants of Skiff who lived in Mansfield. Other documents included correspondence between family members, wills, deeds, and photographs of the houses they owned. The most interesting items from the collections were the original paintings of George Freeman (1789-1868), who was an accomplished painter and miniaturist from Mansfield. Some of these paintings appeared in the Freeman genealogy, however these are the originals. He is the great-grandson of Edmund Freeman (1683-1766).
Fig 2. Edmund Freeman, uncle of George Freeman and his wife, Hannah (Dimmock) Freeman. Originally done around 1814. Courtesy of Mansfield Historical Society.
Fig 3 . Painting of Shubael Freeman, George’s brother. Courtesy of Mansfield Historical Society.
There were a few more, which I will post when I make a Freeman photo album.
After looking through the loose leaf documents, the society director gave me a list of Freemans buried in Mansfield from a gravestone transcription project completed by the WPA in the 1930s when they transcribed all the gravestones. She also gave me a list of houses of Freemans in Mansfield which are still standing. I spent an hour at the Old Storrs Cemetery, which is in the backyard of the Storrs Congregational Church. It’s a small cemetery, so I found some of the graves pretty quickly. Some were inlegible, but a good portion of them I could read clearly.
Fig 4. Old Storrs Congregational Church, taken by author.
Fig 5. Here Lyeth Interred Ye Body of Mr Edmund Freeman Born at Sandwich Mass Aug 30th 1683 Departed This Life June 1st 1766. This grave had been reset in 1831, which is why it is so new in appearance.
Fig 6. Gravestone of Kezia Freeman, who died 20th Apr 1764. Only the name was legible to me. It was noted she was the Consort of Edmund, which means girlfriend.
Fig 7. Gravestone of Sylvanus Freeman died May 29th 1776 at the age of 59, my 6th Great-Grandfather
Fig 8. Gravestone of Deacon Edmund Freeman, who died 11th Feb 1800 in his 89th year. He was a graduate of Harvard in 1733.
Fig 9. Gravestone of Alpheus and Lucius Freeman, sons of Skiff and Mary Freeman. Alpheus died 27 Aug 1796 at the age of 3 years 19 days and Lucius died Aug 22 1796 at the age of 3 years and 14 days.
Fig 10. Largest gravestone in the whole site. The following lie here:
Edmund & Hannah Freeman
Anna S & Dwight Freeman
Fig 11. Tertius Freeman, died Dec 24 1851, aged 72.
Fig 12. Frederick Freeman, Died 19 June 1818, 63 years old. Revolutionary War Marker next to his grave.
This is a quick update, like I said more information will be posted. I learned a lot and it was a most worthwhile visit.
Copyright © 2009 by Jake Fletcher