Last weekend, my dad and I drove up to Norwich, Vermont to look at some land records I had found in the index which i ordered from the Family History Library. It was a beautiful day and was a 2 hour drive up to the town hall in Norwich, VT. I already had the page numbers, so I just went into the vault to look at the land records. Overall, there were no major breakthroughs and everything in terms of land transactions back in that period were pretty standard. However, every record helps and it presents many clues to tracing the nature of Freeman connection to the Waterman/Bartlett families that I am related to.

The first record I found was the one I was most excited about. It was a deed from Gershom Bartlett to Elisha Freeman. Gershom Bartlett is most likely Elisha’s father-in-law, but I need proof! The land transaction was made March 4 1776, a year after he married Lucy Bartlett. It is important not to overlook small details. What I read in the town book is a transcription made in 1787 from the original sale in 1776. At the time of the original sale Norwich, Windsor County, Vermont was Norwich, Gloucester County, New York. Territory disputes over Vermont in the 1760s and 1770s must be recognized in order to effectively research these families  Elisha stated his residence  in Hanover, Grafton County, New Hampshire across the Connecticut River. It involved a parcel on the Northeast Corner in the Samuel Waterman estate, son of Daniel Waterman and town selectman. The Watermans settled in the Pompanoosuc District (infact there is Waterman cemetery up there which I need to check out next time!) The record does not mention Elisha being married to Lucy or her name at all.




  ” Know all men by these presents that I Gershom Bartlett of Norwich in the County of Gloucester in the province of New York, tradesman for in consideration of the sum of forty pounds LM to me in hand paid before the delivery hereof by Elisha Freeman of Hanover in the County of Graft, Province of New Hampshire, yeoman. The receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge have given granted bargained sold & convey and by there presents do grant bargain sell convey & confirm to him the said Elisha Freeman his heirs and cosigns a certain piece of land lying and being within said Norwich Township and [?] and bounded as follows [viz]: Beginning at the northwest corner of Samuel Waterman’s lot then running northeast of John Barnaps hundred acre lot one hundred and eight rods to the NE corner bound of said Barnaps lot thence the same course on James Waterman’s lot to the River, called Pomponoosauck then running down said river according to the several turns excepting about two acres and one half of interval and one acre and one half on the [?]int of the hill where Cole Heaths mill stood to a stake and heap of stones on the bank of said river. Then south 40o West 46 rods to said Samuel Watermans line to a stake and stones from thence to the first bound mentioned containing about forty eight acres and one quarter excepting a six rod highway running on the west end of said lot to have and to hold the said granted premises with the appurtenances thereof to him the said Elisha Freeman his heirs and assigns to his and their proper up benefit and behoof forever hereby engaging to warrant and defend the said granted premises from all claims or demand of any person or persons claiming by from or under one or the original grantee – In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 5th day of March 1776

                                                                                                                                           Gershom Bartlett

Signed and sealed in the Presence of

John Hatch

Saml Brown Jr.                                                                                          State of Vermont

                                                                                                            Windsor                                 Norwich May 14th 1787

                                    Personally appeared Gershom Bartlett signed and sealed to the foregoing instrument acknowledged the same to be his voluntary act of deed      

Before Abel Curtis Justice Peace [1]


Through all of these land records, I was able to track this parcel of land and how it was handled by Elisha. It was involved with a man named Abijah Wheeler. [2]


These records were recorded with the latest date being 1803, so I can say with assurance that Elisha Freeman was alive up until this point.

I then looked at land record of Elisha’s son, David Freeman. I wanted to use land records to determine when he left Norwich for Westville, New York. The latest one was a deed from David Freeman to William Swett?, dated 18 Oct 1831. [3] He was noted as living in Westville, so based on the records he moved between 1830 and 1831. He sold land also to Thomas Emerson in 1830. However, in that same year he was deeded land from Seth Hall and Israel Pierce.

David Freeman had many land records with his name. I will need to do more analyzing to pick up more clues, perhaps a trip to the NEHGS would help.

For fun, here are some pictures of my trip up to Norwich and Hanover, including Dartmouth College. My ancestors gave land to this school, scholarship maybe?

An Old Inn in Norwich

Me hard at work in Norwich Town Clerk office.

Pictures of the Quad on Dartmouth College.

[1] Gershom Bartlett to Elisha Freeman (14 May 1776, entered 14 May 1787)  Norwich, Vermont Deeds, 1: 27.

[2] Norwich, Vermont Deeds, 2:168; Norwich, Vermont Deeds, 2: 203; Norwich, Vermont Deeds 2:241.

[3] Deed, David Freeman to William Sweatt (18 Oct 1831), Norwich, Vermont Deeds, Town Clerk Bounds Volumes, Book 7, page 168.

Copyright (c) 2015 by Jake Fletcher