Author: Nora
•Friday, October 31, 2014
It has taken me more time than on other posts to write this one on my 5th great grandfather, Ebenezer Bishop.  He was the fourth generation of this Bishop line in America; and because he left such a wealth of documentation behind, I wanted to do justice to his ‘thoughtfulness’ to his descendants.  So please bear with me – this will be somewhat full of details and not as fleshed out or anecdotal as I would wish.  I’ll post this timeline in two parts

Part One ~ Birth to 1740 ~ About age 32

Ebenezer Bishop was born in Pomfret, Connecticut Colony to David Bishop and Rebeckah Hubbard on 25 March 1708.  At that time, Pomfret was also known as Mashamoquet.

21 December 1725 Appointment of Samuel Bishop, Ebenezer’s uncle, as guardian for Ebenezer’s interest in the share of an inheritance in the estates of grandparents Edward and Sarah Bishop, of Rehoboth, Bristol County, Province of Massachusetts Bay.  He was said to be above the age of 14 and one of the “children of David Bishop late of Ashford” (Connecticut).

Probate Records - Bristol County, Massachusetts (click to enlarge)

24 January 1735/6 Purchased 7 acres from his brother David Bishop, land in Woodstock* (Connecticut – see note below) – Worcester County, Mass. deed book 13, page 25

29 October 1737 Declared his intention of marriage to Lydia Parker of Needham, Massachusetts.  Recorded in Woodstock* records

27 December 1737 Married in Needham, Massachusetts to Lydia Parker of Needham

28 March 1738 Purchased 80 acres in Sturbridge, Massachusetts from Josiah Ellice – Worcester County, Mass. deed book 11, page 184

30 August 1738 Sold 80 acres in Sturbridge, Massachusetts to his brother David.  Deed states that Ebenezer was “of Woodstock” and his occupation was “cooper” – Worcester County, Mass. deed book 11, page 183

6 November 1738 Birth of a son, William, to Ebenezer by his wife Lydia

30 September 1739 Admitted to First Congregational Church of Woodstock*, Connecticut, along with his wife

30 September 1739 Baptism of William, son of Ebenezer, in Woodstock*

20 March 1740 Baptism of Katherine, daughter of Ebenezer, in Woodstock*

28 March 1740 Death of Ebenezer’s daughter Katherine, aged about three weeks, in Woodstock*

3 March 1739/40 Sold 7 acres in Woodstock to Ebenezer Chapman.  Deed mentions brother David Bishop “of whom I purchased ye premises” – Worcester County, Mass. deed book 13, page 47

26 May 1740 Purchased 159 acres, 28 rods in Brimfield, Massachusetts, from Peter Haynes – Hampden County, Massachusetts (formerly Hampshire County), deed book M, pages 216-217

*Note:  It wasn’t until the year 1749 that Woodstock became part of Connecticut.  Until then it was under the jurisdiction of the county of Worcester, Province of Massachusetts Bay.  Because of this fortunate historical fact, I was easily able to search the Woodstock land records – since has Massachusetts deeds on line!

Part Two ~ 1740 to 1798 ~ age 32 to age 90

I doubt if Ebenezer ever acquired great wealth during his lifetime, but I do think he lived comfortably, buying and selling land in Brimfield (later called South Brimfield) from 1740 until about 1785.  He and his wife Lydia also became members of the First Congregational Church of Brimfield, and they had several children baptised there.  Five were found in the Brimfield Church records, but I’ve found evidence of three more children who weren’t in the Brimfield church records.  In all, I can find evidence of 10 children, the first two born in Woodstock, Connecticut and the other 8 probably in Brimfield, which was then in Hampshire County, Massachusetts.

  1. William born 6 November 1738
  2. Katherine born about the first week of September 1740; died 28 September 1740
  3. Ebenezer, Jr born about 1742
  4. Lydia born 10 August 1743
  5. Peter born about 1747; died 2 February 1805, Northeast Twp., Dutchess County, New York
  6. Elisha bapt. 9 April 1749; died August ?,1754
  7. Lucretia bapt. 6 January 1751
  8. Asa bapt. 23 August 1752; died 8 September 1813, Olive, Ulster County, New York
  9. Rebecca bapt. May 1756
  10. Maria bapt. 4 September 1757

An intriguing deed in 1743 has “Ebenezer Bishop of Needham in the county of Suffolk in the Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England, Cooper” acting as “administrator of the estate of my father-in-law John Parker, late of Needham, husbandman, deceased”.  The land in Needham was sold to Nathaniel Dewing (Suffolk County, Mass. deed book 102, pages 64-65).

Could it be that Ebenezer took up residence in Needham for awhile so that he could better take care of his deceased father-in-law’s affairs?

In 1755, Ebenezer Bishop was among those from Brimfield who took part in the French and Indian War (1754-1763), serving in Captain Daniel Burt’s Company.  His son William was on the Brimfield list in 1760 under Captain Trustrum Davis.

And then there came the years 1762-1765, when newly-formed South Brimfield divided into two opposing camps, disputing the location for their new church building and whether it was fair for those who lived furthest from the location to have to pay taxes for it to be built and to hire its minister.  The divisions came to be called the west parish and the east parish.  I won’t keep you in suspense:  the east parishioners won, and the church was built in a place most convenient to those living there. Ebenezer Bishop and his family lived in the west parish, the part of South Brimfield which was finally given the name of Wales in 1828.

But during the years 1762 to 1765, there were four petitions – two from each side in the dispute – which were signed and presented to the General Court in Massachusetts Bay for consideration by the legislators there.  Signing the west siders’ petitions were Ebenezer Bishop, Ebenezer Bishop, Jr and William Bishop.  Among the east siders signing their peitions were John Bishop and John Bishop, Jr. The east side/east parish was soon after given the name of Holland.

Also in 1762, Ebenezer seemed to decide it was time to sell his oldest son William some of his farmland.  William was probably either newly married or about to be married then.

Ebenezer’s name appears in court records up to the year 1773, but I believe he resided in South Brimfield until about 1783, when he moved to Dutchess County, New York, where his sons Peter and Asa were living.

Although Ebenezer apparently didn’t leave a will, he and Lydia were both mentioned in Peter Bishop’s will dated 14 February 1792 in which Peter directed that his “honoured Father and Mother Ebenezer Bishop and Lydia his wife be decently supported out of my estate during their natural lives and at their decease to have a decent Christian burial”… (Dutchess County Wills, Book B, pages 506-507, proved 22 February 1805).

For Ebenezer Bishop, death came on January 22, 1798, at the age of 90.  The death of his wife Lydia Bishop followed his seven years later on March 17, 1805, at the age of 92  Both were buried in Winchell Mountain Burying Ground in Millerton, Dutchess County, New York.  (See Burying Grounds of Sharon, Connecticut, Amenia and North East, New York; Walsh, Griffen & Hoysradt, Printers, 1983; also see

As I said, a long, full life.

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