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 better shows the 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. Elisha said he lived in Hanover, NH 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.
Source: Norwich, Vermont Deeds, 1: 27.
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. Here are citations for the land records:
Norwich, Vermont Deeds, 2:168.
Norwich, Vermont Deeds, 2: 203.
Norwich, Vermont Deeds 2:241.
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. 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. Why did he get all of this land before he left?
Source: Norwich, Vermont Deeds, 7:168.
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.
Copyright (c) 2009 by Jake Fletcher