Charles Churchill was born on Dec 31 1723 in Newington Parish, CT. He died
on Oct 29 1802.
NOTE:Born in Newington Parish, Dec. 31, 1723, and died there Oct. 29, 1802. A detailed sketch of the life of Capt. Charles Churchill would be almost the same as a history of the Newington Parish for the last half of the eighteenth century. He was notably a leading citizen in the parish, of high patriotic spirit and excellent abilities. For thirteen years in succession he was a member of the Newington Society Committee, and after 1781 he was the presiding officer until 1801, the year before his death. To many public offices of trust and resposibility was added that of Deacon of the church, to which he was chosen Aug. 31, 1786. At the session of the General Assembly, May, 1762, he was appointed captain of the Tenth Company or "trainband," in the Sixth Connecticut Regiment, which office he filled for twenty years.
At the beginning of the Revolutioary War he was on the first committee appointed at the town meeting convened June 16, 1774, to consider the resolution passed by the Colonial House of Representatives, on the second Thursday of May preceding, concerning the impending war.
In all the stirring events following, he was among the foremost of the citizens in his unselfish endeavors and sacrifices for the good of the people and country. The records of the town, and traditions in the family, show that he was untiring in his efforts to raise men for the service and to procure food and clothing for them, and for their families while they were in the field.
It is related that he several times entertained his company at his fine old house, and on these occasions the five great baking ovens were kept going at once, and that in the largest oven, in the cellar, they roasted a whole ox.
In the "Record of Connecticut Men in the War of the Revolution" he is listed as Captain of one of the militia companies which turned out to repel Tryon's invasion of New Haven, July 5, 1779, and he also appears in his office as captain in active service in the Sixth Regiment, but unfortunately we have no other particulars of his service in the field, evidently much of his time in active service. It is related that at one time when he was in camp with three of his sons, his wife wrote him of the difficulty she found in carrying on the farm without their aid. "But," answered the captain, "I have left you Joseph and Benjamin," meaning his youngest sons, Silas and Solomon, and showing the spirit of the loyal patriot.
During the last twenty years of his life, his name appears on the records of the Society with the title "Esquire," showing that he had taken up the dignity and duties of a justice of the peace, in place of his military duties. He collected a library of law books as a neccessary adjunct to his practice, some of which are still in existence. His will, a document of considerable length, is entirely in his own hand. His estate was appraised at $3,834.80, by Abel Andrus and Lemuel Whitlesey. Besides managing a farm of one hundred and twenty acres, Captain Churchill conducted a tannery, which in the tax lists was liberally assessed as a "faculty," or trade.
It is to be regretted that there are no portraits of Captain Charles or of his wife. Enough is known of him, however, to give the picture of a strong, brave, and manly life, forceful and efficient in all that made for a free and righteous government. The place he made for himself in the community of his day, the family he reared, the good name he left, and the things he accomplished, make his general character portrait, while the details may in part be filled in by hints here and there of peculiar or eccentric tendencies, the touch of humor in likening his sons to Jacob's, in the answer to his wife quoted above, and the tradition that in his family devotions he always prayed standing in front of the "bowfat" cupboard, in the north room, as the wainscotted parlor in his house was called. Of his wife, Mr. George D. Seymour, a descendant, writes:
Some leaves sewed into a little book, found with other papers in Samuel Churchill's house, contain the followin entry which, in a way, takes the place of other portraiture. I do not identify the handwriting, and the entry is incomplete, but from the context I feel sure that these tributes were written by one of Samuel Churchill's children:
"March 25, 1805. Feb. 10, Sunday, Grandmother came over to our house, said she did not feel very well & wanted that I should make her some tea, most of the family had gone to meeting. I was very glad to please her in anything that she required, because that she was always so very good to us all-she drank some tea, thanked me for my trouble and went home. I think that was the last time that ever she came into our house; she was taken sick pretty soon after; she died March 19. She never spoke after Sunday afternoon till she died, Tuesday night (three o'clock) but was in the utmost distress that could be. Grandmother had six children 39 grandchildren and great grandchildren when she died. Oh may all follow her pious example, and walk in the paths of virtue as she walked, whose loss we mourn. O what a kind, kind mother we have lost. I think she was a tender of her grandchildren as own mothers are. Oh how often have I experienced her goodness, but not only me but all of her dear offspring Oh how often has she spoken kindly to me, -and took my hand and told me, that I was born to hard fortune. (She said my hands indicated hard labor.) I think I shall never forget my dear Grandmother, nor my Grandfather neither, -I think of him many times, - and particularly I have heard read, and in his prayers - he used to have that passage "Man Loveth Darkness rather than light because his deeds are evil," and many more passages, when I hear mentioned brings my Grandfather to mind. Oh that his children were as good, as kind, as Charitable to the poor as their parents were. It is striking that they had six children living at their death, & only one that ever made any public profession of Religion, that one a minister, altho a minister he will not save his brethren from,"
The writing here breaks off. The Minister referred to was the Rev. Silas. the imtimation of the grandmother's interest in palmistry gives a natural touch to this simple and affectionate picture of her last days.
Captain Charles Churchill married, Nov. 19, 1747, Lydia Belden, born May 1, 1730, daughter of Josiah and Mabel (Wright) Belden, and a lineal descendant of Richard Belden, of Wethersfield, the emigrant, while her paternal grandmother was Dorothy Willard, a descendant of Major Simon Willard, one of the founders of Concord, Mass., and notable as a magistrate, and a military officer, in the early annals of the Colony of Massachusetts. They were married as above, by the Rev. Joshua Belden, a kinsman of hers, of Newington. She died March 19, 1805.
He was married
to Lydia Belden on Nov 19 1747. Captain Charles Churchill and Lydia Belden had
the following children:
180 i. Hannah Churchill was born on Jan 11 1749 in Newington, CT. She died on Jan 14 1749 in Newington, CT.
+181 ii. Levi Churchill.
182 iii. Mary Churchill was born on Sep 22 1753 in Newington, CT. She died on Sep 27 1753 in Newington, CT.
+183 iv. Charles Jr Churchill.
+184 v. Samuel Churchill.
+185 vi. Hannah Churchill.
+186 vii. Solomon Churchill.
+187 viii. Rev Silas Churchill.