Churchill was born on Apr 27 1721 in Newington Parish, CT. He died in Jan
1801 in Hubbardton, VT.
NOTE:Born in the West Parish of Wethersfield, now Newington, April 27, 1721. He settled first in Sheffield, Mass., about 1746, where he married next year, and labored industriously at his farm as well as occasionally at the making of shoes. Here he remained until his family had increased to ten children, six sons and four daughters, when he removed to Vermont. The story of his subsequent career in the new home and his stirring adventures in the border warfare in the Revolution has been published many years ago by his grandson, Amos Churchill, son of Joseph, in sketches of the history of Hubbardton, Vt. (the sketches were published first in the "Vermont Historical Gazetteer," Vol III.) We quote the account from the time of the removal from Sheffield.
My grandfather having a large family, most of them boys, and some married
and beginning to have families, he was anxious to provide for them farms if
possible. And, as land was cheap in the then new state of Vermont, he sold his
farm in Sheffield, estimated at three thousand dollars($3,000), to a man by
the name of Hickok (who pretended to own a larrge quantity oof land in the
town of Hubbardton, Rutland County , Vt.), and took a quitclaim deed of
three thousand (3,000) acres of land lying in Hubbardton aforesaid. He had
previously been through the town with Hickok and others. The next season he
came on with his surveyor, and located his three thousand (3,000) acres in a
different part of the town, chose his place of residence, cleared a piece of
land, built a log house, and moved on in the spring of 1775, and went to
clearing up his farm. He had been in possesion for a little more than two
years, and was still attending to his business, when a detatchment of soldiers
arrived on the morning of the 7th of July 1777, warning him of danger, and
advising him to escape. They were two miles north of Warren's encampment.
Upon recieving the information they started off as fast as possible, the women
and children mounted on three horses and the men on foot. They had gone
but a little on their way when the firing commenced. They all pushed on as
fast as possible until they were among the bullets, and two of their horses
were wounded. The old lady, when she saw that her horse was wounded,
jumped from his back, exclaiming, "I wish I had a gun, I would give them
what they want." They all retreated except John and Silas who were in the
battle. Silas was taken prisoner, but John made his escape and went back to
their house. Here they were all surprised, and were taken prisoners by a Tory
Captain named Sherwood, with a party of painted Tories and Indians who
had been lurking on the hills east of the house during the battle. After
plundering the house of all the provisions, most of the clothing, and
everything else that they could make use of, the barbarous wretch ordered the
woman and children to leave the house or he would burn the whole together;
at any rate the house should be burnt. One of the young women taking her
bed in her arms proceeded with a heavy heart to the door, let it fall, saying, "
You have taken all our men prisioners, and all our provisions, and now how
can you be so cruel as to burn our house?"So saying she fainted. This, with
the tears and entreaties of the others, so softened his savage heart that he left
them their shelter, but deprived them of their provisions and much of their
clothing. My grandfather was taken some distance from the house into the
woods by the Indians and tied to a tree and dry brush piled around him, they
often saying to him, "Tell us where your flour is, you old rebel." Sherwood
suspected that he had some concealed which thay had not yet found. After
keeping him here for two or three hours, questioning him about his flour,
threatening and taunting him, and he constantly asserting that he had none,
that they had taken it all, etc., and while in the act of setting fire to the brush,
Sherwood came forward and ordered them to desist, being thoroughly
convinced that he had none. His cattle and hogs were all killed and all such
parts as they could use were taken, each one being ordered to take as much as
he could carry. Willeam was lame, having cut his foot a few days before, and
could not travel, and they released him. Ezekiel being a small boy, they sent
him back. The others were marched off to Ticonderoga. The prisoners,
inhabitants of Hubbardton, were Samuel Churchill, the father, John and Silas,
his sons, Messrs. Uriah Hickok, Henry Keeler, and Elijah Kellogg. The
women and children being left destitute of provisions could not remain there.
The British Tories and Indians being south, they feared to take a southern
direction. One of their horses became lame from the wound he had received,
could not travel. They, with what clothing they had left, started off as well as
they could with their two horses. The company consisted of four women , two
boys (one thirteen years old being lame, and the other eleven years old), two
small children (one three years old, and the other but a few months). Those
who could not walk were mounted on the two horses with what baggage they
had. Thus equipped, this desolate family started off on their drery and
wearisome journey for the place of their former residence in Sheffield. But,
instead of taking a southern direction through Bennington, etc., which they
feared to do on account of the enemy, they took an eastern direction through
the wilderness, across the Green Mountains to the Connecticut River at No.4,
now Charlestown, N H; then down the river south to Springfield, then across
the mountains again to Sheffield, and the place of their former residence, a
distance as they travelled of more than three hundred and fifty (350) miles.
Most of the way there were no roads, and but few inhabitants. Their progress
was slow and distressing, but the old lady, being a resolute woman, generaled
the expedition with much fortitude and perseverance. The first night they
stopped at Col. Benjamin Cooley's, in Pittsford. He was very kind, and
refreshed them with such as his log house afforded. The second day they
arrived at the fort in Rutland. Here they were furnished with some provisions.
The third night they encamped in the woods on the mountain. The fourth
night they arrived at Captain Coffin's, in Cavendish. Here they stopped two
days, and were the recipients of his hospitality. And so on, from place to
place, until in about three weeks they arrived safely at the place of destination,
among their friends in Sheffield.
The men, prisoners at Ticonderoga, were put to work in the daytime where
they could be with safety, at night were confined in cells. My grandfather and
Mr. Hickok were set to boating wood across the lake. At first, for a while, a
number of British soldiers would go with them, but they, working faithfully
and manifesting no discontent, were at lenght sent off with but one soldier.
They persuaded him to go with them, and fastening thier boat on the eastern
shore of the lake they all left. My grandfather and Mr. Hickok went to their
places of residence in Hubbardton. Here they found nothing but desolation
and putrefaction. On the floor if Mr. Hickok's house lay the putrid body of a
dead man. That they buried, and then, proceeding over the battle-ground, they
could discover nothing but a promiscuous mass of scattered fragments of
men, clothing, firearms, and direful desolation. Proceeding still futher to the
place of my grandfather's house where he had left his family, and all that he
held dear on earth, what a heart-rendering scene did he behold! Nothing was
to be seen but death, desolation, and destruction. Here, where a few weeks before was a happy family, and all in health and prosperity, now no living creature could be found. The carcasses of his animals were lying here and there in a state of putrefaction; his harvest had ripened and was perishing; and nothing was left but what was heart-sickening to the sensitive feelings of two escaped, hungry, weary, and desponding searchers of consolation. The whole town was searched, and not a solitary being was left of whom to inquire. They left this dreary, heart-sickening scene, and proceeded to Castleton. Here Mr. Hicock found his family, but my grandfather, not finding his, and gaining no intelligence of them, wended his weary way, on foot and alone, to the south, one hundred and thirty(130) long miles, through dangers that beset him on every side, to the place from which he had formerly moved. Here he found, with a grateful heart, that they had arrived some days before, safe and all in good health. His two sons, John and Silas, remained prisoners until October, when Silas was retaken by Colonel Brown. In the fall, after the capture of Burgoyne, my grandfather moved his family back to Castleton, ten miles from his home. He saved some of his corn and potatoes, cut and laid up some poor hay for his horses, and in the winter moved to his place. Here he remained without interruption until the close of the war. When the town began to be infested with land claimants almost as destructive as the Tories and Indians, on examining his title, he found it worthless, as the man of whom he bought it had no good title to any land in the town. He had given his children each a lot of one hundred(100) acres, and on ten lots they had made a beginning. These were held by the "quieting act." Six more he bought the second time. The rest were given up. He built the first frame barn and the second frame house. The boards for the barn were drawn twelve and one-half miles on an ox sled, and the nails were picked up from the ruins of Fort Ticonderoga after it was burnt. His children, all but one, settled in the town, where they all lived until after his death, except Samuel, who died before. After settling his children, he retired from business and lived a number of years, enjoying a competence, to the advanced age of eighty years.
He was married
to Thankful (Hewit) Seager (daughter of Thomas Hewitt and Persis Cleveland)
on Nov 19 1747 in Sheffield, MA. Thankful
(Hewit) Seager was born on Aug 20 1722 in Stonington, CT. She died in Sep 1801
in Hubbardton, VT. Samuel Churchill and Thankful (Hewit) Seager had the following
+170 i. Martha Churchill.
+171 ii. Joseph Churchill.
+172 iii. Lydia Churchill.
+173 iv. Lois Churchill.
174 v. Thankful Churchill was born on Mar 7 1755 in Sheffield, MA.
NOTE:Died unmarried at great age.
+175 vi. Samuel Churchill.
+176 vii. John Churchill.
+177 viii. Silas Churchill.
+178 ix. William Churchill.
+179 x. Ezekiel Churchill.