An Inheritance of Ghosts

James Mattocks and Sarah —–

Posted in James Mattocks, Sarah (-----) Mattocks, Sarah ----- by Gregg Mattocks on 8 March 2009

James Mattocks [128]

Father: James Mattocks [256]

Mother: Sarah Peirce [257]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

Sarah —– [129]

Father: unknown [258]

Mother: unknown [259]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry


James Mattocks [128] was born perhaps in 1737, and certainly between about 1734 and 1739.  It seems probable that he was born before his parents removed from Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, to Middletown, Middlesex County, Connecticut.  The baptism record of James’ younger brother Samuel stated that father James was still a member of the North Church in Boston when Samuel was born at Middletown, suggesting that the family had but recently arrived in Connecticut.

James married first, about 1756, Sarah —— [129].  It has been speculated that Sarah was born about 1741 at Litchfield, Litchfield County, Connecticut, though I have found nothing to support the assertion of this birthplace, and it seems fairly clear that James and Sarah were married at Middletown.  Nothing is known of Sarah’s ancestry.

James served with Connecticut regiments in three successive campaigns (1756-1758) during the French and Indian War.

The colony [of Connecticut], of course, much preferred recruitment of volunteers to impressment, and to encourage men to come forward the General Assembly offered bounties.  At the start of the French and Indian War thirty shillings lawful money went to each soldier who enlisted, besides allowances for weapons and blankets that the militiaman furnished himself.  In 1757, the bounty was raised to forty-two shillings, and in 1758, 1759, and 1760 to four pounds, with greater sums going to those who had had previous service.  In 1761 and 1762 the bounty went up again, to seven pounds for a soldier without previous experience.  Other inducements were proffered as well ── exemption from poll taxes in 1758, for example, and occasionally releases from prison for those criminals willing to serve in the campaigns.  Private persons of some means also offered sums to enlistees, fearful lest too few volunteers might result in their having to go off to war themselves.

During the Campaign of 1756 James served from 2 April to 4 November in the Third Company of the Second Regiment und Major and Captain Jehosaphat Starr of Middletown.  A muster roll of the Third Company was dated 13 October 1756, and found the soldiers at the Camp at Fort William Henry.  Major Starr’s unit, including James, was also one of ten companies that served under Massachusetts Colonel Joseph Thatcher in 1756.

In the Campaign of 1756 some New England recruits were sent to Oswego to reinforce that fort on Lake Ontario.  Thousands of provincial troops massed at Fort Edward and Fort William Henry in Washington County, N.Y. in preparation for an attack on Ticonderoga ── an attack which did not occur.  The militia record above places James Mattocks at Fort William Henry in October, 1756.  One can only conjecture where he served during the spring and summer.

Under the Earl of Loudoun in 1756 and again in 1757, Connecticut men formed over a third of the colonial armies collected to attack the French fort at Crown Point.  In July 1756, when Loudoun arrived, the season was too far advanced for a campaign, and news of the French capture of Oswego only added to the gloom; but Connecticut responded to Loudoun’s call for reinforcements by promising to send an additional 800 men.  No serious campaigning in that sector took place in 1756, however.  The following year Connecticut raised even more troops than it had promised to Loudoun.

In the Campaign of 1757, James served from 28 March to 1 December under Captain Eliphalet Whittlesey in the Tenth Company in Colonel Phineas Lyman’s Regiment.  It is worth noting that two of the officers in Whittlesey’s Company, First-Lieutenant Timothy Hierlihy and Ensign John Sumner, had both been officers in James Mattocks’ company the preceding year under Major Starr.  Hierlihy, like James, was from Middletown and it may be to him that James owed his true allegiance.

Published records of the General Orders of Phineas Lyman in 1757 give us some idea, not only of James’ whereabouts during this campaign, but also of some of the activities he may have witnessed or been involved in.  These Orders show Lyman’s Regiment to have been at Claverack, New York, in early May 1757.


By Phinehas Lyman Esqr., Majr. Genll. and Colonel of the Troops Raised by ye Colony of Connecticut To act in Conjunction with His Majesty’s Regular Troops, Under the command of His Excelency ye Earl of Loudoun, ye Next Campaign.


That the Two Companys Quartered By ye River Mount a Guard to consist of one Subaltern Two Sergeants 2 Corporals 1 Drumr. & Forty Private men To Keep out ten Sentinels To be Relieved Every Two Hours.

That the Two Companys Quartered at or near Hogaboom̓s Do ye Same.

That Capt. Putnam’s Company Mount a Guard To Consist of one Serjt. one Corpl. & Twenty Men To Keep out Five Senterys to Be Relieved as Above.

All ye guards to Be Relieved at ye Beat of the Troop at 9 o’Clock in ye Morning.

That ye Drums all Beat ye Reveille at Half After Four oclock in ye Morning & Every Company Turn out immediately & Parade on ye Places of Rendezvous where ye officers are to Meet and Call them over & See that ye Men are all clean & well Dress’d & to Note Every Defect, & that Every man Dress Neat & Clean when on Duty.

That ye Commanding officers of Each company See that their Men are Exercised from ten to twelve oClock A.M. and from Four to Six P:M:, that the Places of Parad are Kept clean and Neat.

That the Drums Beat ye Tattoo at Seven oClock at Night & Every Company to turn out on ye Paraid.  The officers to Meet em and call em over & as soon as Dismised Every man to Return to His Quarters & Not to Be Absent without Leave & to Keep still & Behave Orderly.

That No officer or Souldier Goes out of Town without leave from ye Commanding officer.

That ye officers Take care to Be Punctual to the Exact time of Performing Every order, & to see That ye Souldiers Do ye Same, & By No Means To Get into a Loose way of Doing Duty.

That a Return Be Made this Day of Each Company Arrived at Claverack.

That for Every Breach of order ye Offender Be Confined & a Report thereof to Be Made By ye officer of ye Guard as Soon as Relieved.

Given Under My Hand at Fondie̓s in Claverack ye 2nd Day of May 1757

P. Lyman

Fondies in Claverack May 3rd 1757

A Regimental Court Martial to set Tomorrow morning at Hogabooms at 8 oClock Consisting of ye following Officers (viz) Capt: Whitteley President.

A couple of weeks later, on 16 May 1757, Lyman’s Regiment was at Vanantwerp, New York.  From 23 to 25 May 1757, the regiment was at Saratoga, New York.  From 28 May to 18 November 1757, James Mattocks and his Tenth Company were with Lyman’s troops at Fort Edward, New York.

During the eighteenth century wars, Fort Edward was one of the most important military posts between Albany and Canada.  The general area of the fort was called the First, Long, or Great Carrying Place.  It was the first and nearest point on the Hudson River where troops and military stores were landed for portage to and from the southern end of Lake Champlain (today’s Whitehall)….

[William] Johnson renamed it Fort Edward “in Honour to Our Young Prince,” the Duke of York and Albany, eldest son of George II and brother of the future George III.  The fourth and last [fort at this site], in 1757, came as a result of an accidental fire that destroyed the barracks in 1756.

During the French and Indian War, Fort Edward was a base for Robert Roger’s Rangers and British troops marching to Canada.  The fort was also intended to guard nearly adjacent Rogers Island in the river that contained barracks, at least one redoubt, and other military structures.  Constructed of timber and earth, the fort’s walls were 16 feet high and 22 inches thick, with a 1,569-foot perimeter.  It was defended by 8 brass and iron cannon emplaced on its ramparts, in addition to about 20 mortars.  Its barracks, both on the mainland and the island, could garrison 500 troops.

Fort Edward was evacuated in 1766 and ordered razed on July 15, 1775, by the Albany Committee of Safety to prevent its use by the British.  It was the site of Major General Philip Schuyler’s headquarters in 1777 during the attempt to block General John Burgoyne’s advance southward from Ticonderoga.  Today, due to changes in the Hudson’s course, most of the camp and fort sites are located on Rogers Island, linked to the mainland by S.R. 197.  The actual site of 40-acre Fort Edward, privately owned, is located approximately in the center of the island.

Fort Edward was located about 16 miles from Fort William Henry which was home at this time to about 2140 troops.

The month of August, 1757 saw the fall of Fort William Henry, situated at the southern end of Lake George.  Occupied by British and Colonial troops and family members, the fort was ill-prepared to withstand a siege by superior French and Indian forces under Montcalm.  After the surrender, Montcalm’s Indian allies attacked the disarmed troops and their families.  This event, known in colonial history as the Fort William Henry Massacre, is described in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans and in Francis Parkman, Montcalm and Wolfe (1884), Ch. XV in France and England in North America, Vol. II. New York: The Library of America, 1893.

According to the journal of [Colonel James Montressor], the British knew of the French buildup as early as 1 July.  Captain Israel Putnam, the pugnacious Ranger, was in an ambush position at South Bay, Lake Champlain on that date.  a party of Hurons estimated at 200-300 in strength came within range.  The Rangers fired, wounding and killing several.  The Hurons landed, attempted to surround the Rangers and walked into a second volley after which Captain Putnam made a tactical withdrawal.

General Webb, upon receipt of Major Putnam’s message about the ambush, dispatched General Lyman and Ensign Brown with 36 members of the Otways [35th] and 300 others as a screening party.  Major Putnam came into Fort Edward the night of 1 July having left 15 men to protect three wounded.  It was never noted if the 18 made it to Fort Edward.

On 3 July, four German deserters came into Fort Edward from Fort Carillon.  Interrogation developed that Montcalm was in Montreal planning a march to Carillon with the battalions of Languedoc, LaSarre, Bearn and Rousillon (all regular army), 150 marines and 500 Indians and 500 Canadians (coureurs de bois).  He was bringing cannon and mortar from Canada and Crown Point, and would have some 80 cannon and an unknown number of mortars for his attack.  There was no mention of the locus of the attack.

General Lyman returned to Fort Edward on 4 July not having seen any Huron.  He did find the scalped and badly mutilated body of one of Major Putnam’s men.

During the late evening hours of 6 July a Rhode Island militiaman on his way back from the latrine was accosted by a French officer within the picket lines of Fort Edward.  The officer asked about the number of personnel and artillery at Fort Edward.  He first offered money and then threatened him.  The trooper pointed out that all he had to do was yell and help was at hand.  The officer left.  From the description of the officer’s uniform, this was in all likelihood Lieutenant Marin, Robert Rogers’ French counterpart.

On Sunday 10 July, General Johnson’s Mohawks brought in a French prisoner from Crown Point.  Interrogation developed that Montcalm was moving south with six battalions, 300 vessels and all the cannon taken on the Ohio and at Oswego.

A dispatch arrived at Fort Edward from Fort William Henry on 11 July advising that a party from the fort had been ambushed by an estimated 200 enemy and retreated to the fort with the loss of several personnel and a lieutenant killed.

It was quiet until 21 July when a Ranger from a party of 40 Rangers and one lieutenant came into Fort Edward.  He reported an ambush near South Bay.  The lieutenant and three others were killed.  The balance of the party returned before the day was over.

A message from Fort William Henry was received that day advising that Captain McGinnis and two of his party wounded and had killed four of the enemy.  He was still on patrol.

Fort Edward received the attention of the French and Indians on 23 July.  A party of woodcutters and their protective screen were attacked.  The result was several wounded, plus several killed and scalped, including a sergeant, a corporal and ten others.  Captain Putnam went in pursuit and reported back the next day and there was a large encampment near the remains of old Fort Anne consisting of an estimated 500-600 men.

A message from Fort William Henry on the 24th of July advised that New Jersey Militia Colonel Parker had gone on a waterborne patrol toward Fort Carillon with some 300 men.  They had been attacked by French and Indians from both water and land.  They lost several officers and 250 of the 300 men in the patrol as well as 24 whaleboats.

On the morning of 25 July, General Webb and his staff and Colonel Montressor left Fort Edward with an escort at 0600 hours proceeding to Fort William Henry, arriving at 1530 hours.

This was a planned staff visit.  A routine inspection was done on the 26th.

A council of war was called on the 27th of July, predicated on the fact that the enemy had been seen in small groups on the west side of the lake, although the major activity had been on the east side of the lake, the French and Indians using Wood Creek as their line of travel.  It was known Montcalm had scouts down both sides of the lake.  What was not known at the time was that Lévis and his troops were using the old Indian trail on the west side of the lake to move down to Sabbath Day Point to make junction with Montcalm’s waterborne force.

Those at the meeting were Major General Webb, Militia Colonel-Brevet General Lyman, Major Fletcher, Militia Colonel Glazier, Militia Colonel Angel, Captain Ord, Engineer Colonel Montressor, and Engineer Harry Gordon.  [Reportedly] missing was Lieutenant Colonel Monro, Commander of Fort William Henry….

The council decided there were not enough boats to prevent a landing by the French.  It was determined it would take 2,000 men to defend the fort, along with an artillery train of two 12-pounders, two 6-pounders, and two 8-pounders.  This appears to have been in addition to the artillery in place at the fort….

[The following memo concerning Lieutenant Colonel Monro’s queries of General Webb] was contained within the papers of Colonel Monro to Lord Loudon, but gives no indication as to the writer.  The language and phrasing is strongly indicative that the writer was the colonel, after the fact.

Query:          In case Fort Edward should be attack’d by the enemy, the signals given & understood of it’s being invested, what part am I to act.

Answer:       To be sure to march to it’s relief, leaving 300 men in the fort as soon as we hear you ingage’d, with the enemy, upon the road, we will sent out a strong detachment, to your assistance.

Query:          Whether, of the two forts, is most likely to be attack’d by the enemy?  (referring to Fort Edward)

Answer:       That was out of the question, for there was no probability, and hardly a possibility, of their attacking Fort Edward with cannon.

Answer:       If so, I think Ft. Wm. Henry ought to have as great a number of men, as can possibly be spar’d, because if they are repuls’d in their attempt, upon Fort Wm. Henry, the affair will be over; but if they take it; I won’t say the taking of Fort Edward will be the consequence, but I think, it will be a great step towards it, as they will then have, a road, to bring their cannon.  The General said as to the number of men to reinforce Fort Wm. Henry, the most he could spare, was one thousand, one hundred, of them, to be of the RA, before this reinforcement arrived, we had, at Fort Wm. Henry, about 1100 men, fit for duty.  The reinforcement of the 1000 men from Fort Edward, were to have been with us, that Saturday to have help’d us, to finish our breastwork but they did not come till it was dark Tuesday night, the next morning being the 3th of August, the enemy attack’d us, and our breast-work, not near finished….

General Webb and his party departed Fort William Henry for Fort Edward on 29 July….

Montressor is not specific in his journal, but sometime between 30 July and 1 August, General Webb dispatched 1,000 men and some artillery to Fort William Henry under command of Colonel Young.

Nothing appears in the journal until 4 August when Montressor notes a messenger arrived from Fort William Henry appraising General Webb of the attack.  Colonel Monro clearly and politely stated the situation and asked for help.  Montressor’s journal reflects only that the note appraised of the attack.  Webb sat on his hands and finally sent the response which resulted in the eventual surrender of the fort.

General Webb definitely knew of the attack and siege by 3 August.  Two Rangers brought in a French deserter on that date.  The deserter advised that the French had some 300 boats, a large artillery train, 4,000 militia, 4,500 Indians, 4,000 Canadians (coureurs de bois) and 3,500 regulars and had invested the fort.

This confirmed a report by other Rangers that at 0500 hours that morning they counted some 300 boats on Lake George.  That number of boats would have been unusual enough, but the boats were planked together by twos and carrying cannon.  They were firing on the fort with no apparent effect as the range was too great.

Two men from Fort William Henry came in on 3 August.  They had been out on patrol.  They reported a large encampment on the west side of Lake George about six miles from Fort William Henry, or approximately in the vicinity of what is now Bolton’s Landing, although the area was never named.  They had also seen the Otways (35th) pull back into the fort.

The report of the camp is at odds to what is known.  The French were camped almost on top of Fort William Henry, within a mile.  As to the second report, it was confirmed later at the Board of Inquiry into the loss of the fort that Colonel Monro put out a skirmish line to penetrate the French positions on two occasions and failed both times.

General Webb called a staff meeting at Fort Edward on 5 August.  Attending were Colonel Lyman, Major Fletcher, Colonel Glazier, Colonel Angel, Captain Ord, Engineer Montressor and Engineer Gordon.  Three questions were raised by the general.

1.  In view of the information received from a captured French lieutenant and the patrols; was it practicable to go to the assistance of Fort William Henry?  There was no question but what Colonel Monro’s message of the 4th added emphasis to the situation.

ANSWER: Not practicable.

2.  That given the enemys’ estimated strength and Fort Edward’s present situation (having additional construction done); was it proper to remain at Fort Edward?

ANSWER: That it was proper to retreat and meet up with militia known to be on the way in response to Webb’s messages and make a stand as soon as possible.

3.  In case of a retreat from Fort Edward was it proper to leave a holding force?

No answer was ever given for his question.

As the meeting broke up, General Webb directed his staff to keep themselves ready to march at a minute’s warning and that if there was any carriage it should be divided as equally as possible.

Militia from Albany and Schenectady estimated at 1,500 strong arrived at Fort Edward on 6 August along with Sir William Johnson and his Mohawks.  Montressor noted that the individual cannon shots from both sides engaging each other at Fort William Henry could be heard and counted.

On 7 August, Montressor asked for any changes to orders as issued by Webb on the 5th and there were none.

At approximately 2000 hours on the 9th of August, a man who had escaped from Fort William Henry came into Fort Edward and advised that Fort William Henry had capitulated at 0700 hours that morning.

Sometime during the day of 10 August, two French officers who had deserted Montcalm at Fort William Henry came into Fort Edward.  They advised some of the fort personnel did get escort, but they were at the head of the column.  A detachment was sent out from Fort Edward to escort them.  The personnel from Fort William Henry consisted of three officers and the color bearers.  General Webb ordered out a relief force under Major Putnam.  Indications are that it was an all Ranger force.  It would arrive at Fort William Henry on the 11th.

On 11 August, smoke from the burning Fort William Henry could be seen at Fort Edward.  More French deserters arrived at Fort Edward.  They indicated that Montcalm had the fort burned and the Hurons were not happy.  Colonel Frye of the Massachusetts militia and Captain MacLeod came into Fort Edward.

Montressor notes that on 16 August, the last of the survivors arrived at Fort Edward.  The day also saw a general court martial for a lieutenant of the Massachusetts militia for inciting desertion.  The results were not noted….

Fort Edward was now the frontier post on the northern border.  The French held undisputed possession of the lakes and portages; and their savage allies swept the forest trails and border hamlets, resistless and merciless; capturing prisoners at the very gate of the palisades and block-houses; carrying dismay to the scattering settlements along the New England boundary, and making the military highway through the town of Queensbury, [New York,] a continuous scene of carnage, in which the fearful stories of Indian cruelty, the legends of Blind rock, and numerous tales of hair breadth escapes, mingle in a confused horror, a night-mare of history, whose facts are not wholly susceptible of proof, whose traditions cannot be denied as improbable.

The capture of the posts at Lake George, and the strength of Montcalm’s army, threw the northern provinces into consternation, and the loss of Fort Edward was expected to follow; and Montcalm would penetrate to Albany, if not to other points in the interior.  On the first landing of the French army at Fort William Henry, General Webb called on the governments of New York and Massachusetts, for reinforcements of militia, and those of New York were soon in motion. Ruggles’s and Chandler’s regiments, in the county of Worcester, and Williams’s and Worthington’s in the county of Hampshire in Massachusetts, commenced their march for Fort Edward; but previous to their arrival, Montcalm had returned down Lake George, to his strong post at Ticonderoga.

Early in October 1757, the Tenth Company’s Timothy Hierlihy, acting as adjutant, recorded the following orders to the troops:

Fort Edward Oct. 3rd 1757.

Parole Malden.

G.O. Field Offr for tomorrow Majr Prevo.

Adjt. for ye Regulars ye Inniskilling Regt. Adjt. for ye Provensials ye Connecticutt Regt.

Field Offr for ye Provensials Majr Pason.

A Detachment of two Capts Six Subs 7 Searjts 8 Corpls & 192 men to Peraid tomorrow morning at Gun firing with Arms.  Mr. Lesley A.D.Q.M. Genll will give them their directions.  they are to be Relieved by ye like number of Offrs & men at 12 oClock who are to Remain upon yt work till Evening & ye Offrs are to be allowed only a Piqt Duty in ye Genll Roster. — The Provensial Troops are Likewise to Peraid tomorrow morning on ye Island at ye Same time one Sub: 2 Searjts. 2 Corpls & 50 men with arms who are to be provided with falling Axes.  yt Party is likewise to receive their Directions from Mr. Lesley.

As Soon as ye Adjts have got ye Detail of ye Number yt Each Each of their Corps are to furnish, they are to Acquaint their Quarter Master Searjts who are to apply this afternoon to Mr. Lesley for Tools which are to be DD out to them upon their Regimental Peraid tomorrow morning.

Genll Lymans orders.  That all ye Falling Axes in Each of ye Provensial Regrs be Emediately Returned to ye Comdg Offrs of Regts who are to appoint some person as they Shall think Sutable to se yt they are all Ground up & prepaired for Service & to Detach a Sutable number of men for that porpose & all Persons yt have any Axes in their possession & Do not Return them as above are to be Punished as Embaslers of ye Kings stors.  P. Lyman

R.O.  The Commdg Offr of Each Compy in ye Connecticutt Regt are forthwith to give in a Muster Roll of their Companys Specifying in Diferent Colems those yt are Dead by Sickness, Kild by ye Enimy, Captivated, Deserted, Never joind, with ye Day of ye Month.

By ye Genlls order Timothy Hierlihy Adjutant.

In 1758 James Mattocks served from March 28 to December 6 in the First Regiment, Sixth Company under Captain Samuel Gaylord of Middletown under the command of Major General James Abercrombie, Commander-in-Chief of the King’s Forces in North America.

In 1758 and 1759 Connecticut responded to general calls for colonial troops issuing from William Pitt, who sacked Loudoun in favor first of General James Abercromby and then of General Jeffrey Amherst.  In the first of these years Connecticut agreed to raise 5,000 men, who were supposed to be part of a total provincial force of 20,000, but the actual force amounted to only 9,000.  These, joined with 6,000 regulars, mounted a frontal assault on Fort Ticonderoga in July only to fail miserably and to suffer 2,000 casualties.  Abercromby showed himself to be wholly inept.

In the Campaign of 1758, British and provincial forces took the fortress at Louisbourg in July.  The same month another British and provincial force with General James Ambercrombie at its head attempted and failed to take Ticonderoga in a poorly-executed and disastrous effort.  In August, Fort Frontenac at the head of the St. Lawrence River was wrested from the French, as was Fort Duquesne in November, 1758.  Undoubtedly James Mattocks was part of the failed attempt under Ambercrombie in the attempt to take Ticonderoga.

Probably after his war service, James and Sarah removed to Litchfield, Connecticut.  They were certainly there by 1762 when daughter Lucy was born.  The town of Litchfield had been established in 1719.

In August 1766 Nathaniel Woodruff conveyed to James Mattocks two and one-half acres adjoining the highway running from the Court House to the Church in Litchfield (Deeds 6:174). Then on Oct. 7, 1767 James sold for 13 pounds the same property, two and one-half acres with a dwelling house, to his brother Samuel Mattocks of Hartford County (8:24).    Samuel Mattocks later deeded back the property to James, who sold it for eighty pounds on March 1, 1784. (10:191, 11:426).

The property sold on 1 March 1784 contained a house, shop, and barn.  James’ wife Sarah died about this time.

James married second, as her second husband, perhaps in 1787, the widow Mehitabel (Smith) Smith.  Mehitabel was born 16 January 1741/42 at Litchfield County, Connecticut, the daughter of Abiel and Joanna (Goodwin) Smith.  Mehitabel had married first, about 1761, John Smith.  John was born 1 November 1735 at Litchfield County, Connecticut, the son of Josiah and Abigail (Stoddard) Smith.  John was a lieutenant.  He owned a sawmill.  John died in early 1786, probably at Litchfield, where his will was admitted to the court on 9 May 1786.  His estate was valued in pounds at 125-7-0, including 57 acres of land.  One-third of the estate was to go to Mehitabel and, upon her death, was to be divided between the four sons of the marriage, “namely, Wait, Freind, Anson and John.”  In addition, Friend was left 12-1/2 acres of land.  Daughter Matilda, wife of Lambert Johnson, received seven acres of land.  Two unidentified daughters were bequeathed personal effects from a personal property inventory valued at 23 pounds, 15 shillings, 2 pence, less debts of 4 shillings 11 pence.  Alleged son Warren was not mentioned in John’s will.

On May 17, 1790 James and Mehitabel Mattocks and [Mehitabel’s son] Wait Smith quitclaimed their interest in three-fourths acre in Litchfield to David Kilborn, the property belonging to Mehitabel, being part of the estate of Mehitabel’s late husband, John Smith (13-363).

James’ sister Sarah had married Jesse Kilbourne, probably a relative of the David Kilborn who was deeded this Litchfield property.

On 28 July 1793, James and Mehitabel signed separation papers, “effectively ending their marriage,” an agreement which involved Mehitabel’s son Friend:

This indenture made the 28th day of July in the year of our Lord 1793 between James Mattock of Litchfield in the County of Litchfield and the State of Connecticut of the one part; Mehitabel, his wife of the second part, and Freind (sic) Smith of Bethlem in the County and State aforesaid of the third part.

Witnesseth that it is hereby covenanted and agreed by and between the [said] James and Mehitabel that from this day and henceforth they will and do separate and will continued during their lives to live separate to all intents and purposes and will no more live together and cohabit as man and wife in any way whatsoever, and the said James doth hereby absolutely renounce all rights, privileges and authorities over in and unto government services of the said Mehitabel by law vested in him as her husband.  The said Friend on his part in consideration of a grant hereafter made by the said James to him doth covenant for himself, his heirs, executors and administrators to and with the said James, his executors and administrators that the said Friend will save him, the said James harmless of and indemnifying him from all debts, dues and demands due and owing from any contracts by the said Mehitabel before her intermarriage with the said James for which the said James is by law liable and also of and from all debts and which the said Mehitabel may hereinafter contract and from all costs, claims and changes for which the said James may by law hereinafter become liable for or on her account.  And the said James for himself, his heirs, executors and administrators and assigns doth hereby in consideration of the covenant aforesaid gives, grants, bargains, sells, assigns, conveys and quit claims to the said Friend and his executors, administrators and assigns all his rights, titles and interest in and unto all of the land, tenements, hereto and assets in trust and estate which the said James had, hath and holds in right of his said wife, Mehitabel and also in and unto all the Articles of Personal Estate which came or may come to him, the said James in virtue and consequence of the intermarriage aforesaid to have and to hold to him, the said Friend, his heirs and to thereafter and trusts and subject to the provisions and conditions herreinafter mentioned.  That is to say the said Friend shall and may take into his possession and keeping all of the said Personal Estate to be his own for the purposes of satisfying the said debt, the whole or in part and account therefore with the said Mehitabel and he may and shall also take the said land and tenaments into his indicated use and possession and the same hold and occupy until out of the rent, profits and improvements he hath received and obtained wherewith shall to satisfy and pay all of the said debts and demands now due and owing on account of contracts by the said Mehitabel made before her said intermarriage.  No longer after which the said Friend his heirs and assigns shall hold the said land and tenaments in trust for and to the use and benefit of her the said Mehitabel during the joint lives of said James and Mehitabel.  Provided nevertheless and it is understood by all parties hereto that so soon as the said James shall be legally, compelled and obliged to pay and discharge any debts, charge or claims on account of the said Mehitabel as aforesaid or shall be so compelled to contribute to her support maintenance that then this aforesaid grant and conveyance to the said Friend and every part or part thereof shall cease and become utterly void and of no effect.  And it is also covenanted and understood and provided that if after the satisfaction of said debts and claims now due and owing aforesaid, the said Friend shall in virtue of the foregoing covenants become liable or become compelled to pay and satisfy any debts or charges on account of the Mehitabel that then the said Friend shall and may take the said land and tenaments into his own immediate use or improvements until out of the rent and profits thereof he shall beneficially reimburse the same the foregoing trust and declaration of the wife thereof notwithstanding.  The foregoing notwithstanding it is understood that the said Friend will not dispose and sell any of said Articles of Personal Estate that are or may be necessary for use of the said Mehitabel for the remainder of her life. In witness whereof we herewith set our hands the day and date aforesaid.

Signed James Mattocks, Mehitabel Mattocks, Friend Smith

Witnesses to the subscription of said James and Friend: John Allen, El Nathan Holly

Witnesses to the said Mehitabel: Lambert Johnson and Warren Smith (son-in-law and son of Mehitabel) County of Litchfield July 28, 1793.  Litchfield, CT

Personally appeared James Mattocks the signer above written and acknowledged this to be his full act and deed before me.  Signed Abraham Bradley, Justice of the Peace.  Recorded March 27, 1793 by Moses Seymour, Registrar of Deeds.

Of the witnesses to the agreement, Elnathan Holley was James’ son-in-law, Lambert Johnson was Mehitabel’s son-in-law, and Warren Smith was reportedly Mehitabel’s son.

On 20 January 1796, Mehitabel’s sons Friend and Anson, both of Litchfield, made the following indenture:

That it is agreed that in consideration of the covenant and conveyances hereinafter by the said Friend made the said Anson will and doth hereby covenant to and with the said Friend his heirs, executors and administrators he will in all aspects support, maintain and uphold his mother, Mrs. Mehitabel Mattock of said Litchfield and will pay all debts by her necessarily contracted hereafter and will save the said Friend harmless of and from all claims and demands and damages arising from her contracting of any debts as aforesaid and from his support and maintenance and will also save all other the heirs of our father of and from the support of mother said Mehitabel and in consideration of the promises the said Friend doth hereby for. . . .

According to family historian Alfred Little, Mehitabel remained in Litchfield where she was residing in 1807 and 1809 when she quitclaimed her interest in property from the estate of her first husband, John Smith.  However, family historians Glen Allen and Maxine Hobble found that court records showed that Mehitabel was at Suffield, Hartford County, Connecticut, during this period.  Glen or Maxine wrote that “[t]here are 2 transactions between Benjamin Owens of Suffield and Mehitable.”  Benjamin was almost certainly Benajah Owen, husband of Mehitabel’s daughter Anna.

Mehitabel died about 1813 at Amherst, Hampshire County, Massachusetts.

In 1790, Litchfield’s population had swelled to 20,342, with 3,361 heads of families.  In that year, James was living at Litchfield in a household containing three males of 16 years of age or more, and two females.  Apparently, James’ unmarried children, James, Ichabod, Edna, and Theodosia, were living with their father at this time.

Of James’ children, family historians John and Walter Mattocks wrote that most of them “removed west, and have descendants scattered … throughout Western New York and Pa. and Ohio and Illinois.”  In 1792, according to the Mattocks Memorial Package (1989), (but I think perhaps after July 1793), James, with his sons John, James, and Ichabod, migrated to Washington County, New York, near Lake George.

The New Englanders had no Moses to lead them through the wilderness, they didn’t need him.  They were level-headed Yankees who knew how to take care of themselves.  At the close of the Revolutionary War, the western-most counties in Massachusetts and Connecticut served as a great funnel through which hoards of land-seeking young families passed on their ways north and west.  A better life beckoned beyond.  Much of the land in New England is sterile and their newly cleared farms on the hillsides of Southern Vermont or New Hampshire were not productive, so a generation or so later, many of these families were again on the move to the great western areas in New York or Ohio.

From the Connecticut shore … the Housatonic River forms a remarkable valley route running northward parallel with the Hudson River, through the Berkshires as far as Pittsfield.  From Pittsfield there is but a short land pass to the Hoosic River which can be followed northward to above Bennington, Vermont.  From this point a short land passage leads directly to the Batten Kill which can be followed northward past Arlington and Manchester to Otter Creek. This completes the linkage of streams and valleys that must have provided an important direct northward migration route to and between the valleys of the Hudson and Connecticut Rivers in the colonial period.  From this migration route, families often settled in the immediately adjoining westward areas of New York and the Hudson Valley.

The choice of Washington County as a new residence after a failed marriage appears to have been a logical one.  James Mattocks was no stranger to Washington Co.; as a young man he had served there for three campaigns during the French and Indian War.  Also, James’ brother, Samuel, had settled in Rutland Co., Vt., which adjoins Washington County to the east.

The area of New York James Mattocks chose to settle in was in the midst of wilderness, and the early settlers were ravaged by wolves, rattlesnakes, and panthers.  For nearly fifty years after the settlement of the area, a bounty of five to twenty dollars was offered for each wolf killed.  “The rattlesnakes were slowly but surely exterminated by the hogs that ran half wild among the unfenced commons on the borders of the settlement.”  James was certainly a resident of Washington County by 4 May 1796 when he visited his former home of Litchfield “to execute for 37 pounds a quitclaim of his interest in one-quarter acre of land in Litchfield.”  The property in question was deeded to James’ son-in-law, Elnathan Holley, husband of James’ daughter Anne.

The name of James Mattocks, farmer, appeared on a Washington County list of “Proper Persons to Serve as Jurors for the Town of Kingsbury Pursuant to a Law Passed April 3, 1798.”  Kingsbury had received its patent 18 May 1762, and was recognized as a town 23 March 1786.  “Meetings were held by Protestant Episcopal and Baptist Churches as early as 1795.”  Though little is known of James’ new hometown at this time, a description of nearby Argyle for this era probably holds true for Kingsbury as well:

Soon after the close of the Revolution, new settlers flocked into Argyle and the neighboring towns, although the development of Argyle was comparatively slow because of the difficulty in obtaining good titles to the lands, largely abandoned by the original grantees.  Squatters settled upon much of the acreage.  Their doubtful title tended to a slack and wasteful development of the land.  Many of the newcomers were also Scotch or Scotch-Irish, but there was a sprinkling of colonial Dutch, of Palatinate Germans, and a larger number of New England Methodists.  But the Scotch Covenanter was predominant and it was his culture and his rigid brand of Protestantism which gave the town that distinctive character which, though modified, has endured to this day.

In 1794, a town ordinance provided severe penalties for Sabbath breaking.  It had the support of all the prominent citizens of the town.  Salem and Cambridge had similar ordinances, and out of the serious effort to strictly enforce these ordinances grew much trouble, for into the towns had drifted, or had grown up in them, a considerable minority much given to drinking and other ribald ways.

By 1800, about one-quarter of the land had been cleared.  Wheat, oats and rye were the principal crops.  Cattle were guarded from the wolves which were not wholly exterminated in the county until 1812.  The surplus grain and the pot and pearl ashes, recovered from the burned timber, were marketed in Montreal.  The transportation was tedious, being largely in winter on sleighs through Whitehall and Lake Champlain.  There were but few wheeled vehicles and, such as there were, were lumber wagons or ox carts, the latter being the favorite means of transporting the family to church.  Log houses and barns still prevailed.

A 1799 land sale by James Mattocks of Kingsbury, Washington County, deeding one acre of land in the Village of Sandy Hill, part of Lot 25, for the sum of 200 pounds was recorded on April 25, 1800. (D:386).  [Sandy Hill is the former name of the present Village of Hudson Falls, probably only five miles from Fort Edward.  The identity of the seller of the land, whether father or son, remains uncertain, although the considerable sum involved suggests James Mattocks, senior].

This appears to be the same tract mentioned in Fred Q. Bowman’s Landholders of Northeastern New York 1739-1802, where James Mattocks, of Kingsbury, by contract signed 10 August 1799, granted land at Kingsbury.  Apparently, James then moved to the nearby town of Queensbury in Washington County.  Queensbury, located in present-day Warren County, New York, was patented 20 May 1762, and was recognized as a town 13 March 1786.  Its population in 1800 was 1435.

[F]or the U.S. Census of 1800, Town of Queensbury, three Mattocks families are enumerated: the James Matticks household; two males under ten, two males 26-45; 1 female under 10, 1 female 16-26 living side-by-side with the John Matticks household with two males under 10, one male 26-45, and one male over 45; one female under 10, one female 16-26.  Nearby is the John Mattox household with three males under 10, one 26-45 and one over 45 and two females under 10, one 16-26, living next door to the Clark Burlingim family.  Possibly one of the over-45 males living in the John Matticks or the John Mattox household is James (5), the father of John, James, and Ichabod.  Ichabod himself may well be the second adult male, age 26-45 living in the James Matticks household, not far from the Burlingame family where [Ichabod’s future wife] Eunice [Burlingame] resided.

On 31 May 1806, the town clerk of Queensbury, Washington County, compiled a “List of persons … either Removed out of this town or otherwise not competent to serve as jurors.”  James Mattocks was listed as having “Removed.”

According to the Mattocks Memorial Package, about 1804 James moved with his son John to Monroe County, New York.  James is said to have been recorded as living there in the 1810 census.  I think this assertion must be in error, and I have not found the Mattocks family in Monroe County at this time.

James reportedly died about 1804 or 1810.  According to family historian M. Wozniak and the Mattocks Memorial Package, James was buried at Monroe County, New York, but again, I do not think this was likely.

Children of James and Sarah (——) Mattocks:

+    128.1.  James, born in 1758.
+    128.2.  John, born perhaps in 1760.
+    128.3.  Lucy, born 30 January 1762.
+    128.4..  Anne, born 5 December 1763.
+    128.5.  Sarah “Sally”, born 29 June 1765.
+    128.6.  Edna [A.?], born 16 September 1767.
+    128.7.  James, born 27 July 1770.
+    128.8.  John, allegedly born in 1771.
+    128.9.  Ichabod [64], born 23 December 1773.
+    128.10.  Theodosia.


  • 1800 United States Census, Washington County, New York, pages 398, 401 (M32-26).
  • —, “Connecticut Towns and Their Establishment,” Connecticut Nutmegger 18[?]:30-33.
  • —, “Genealogy Page: Queries,” Hartford Times [17 August 1940, microfilm].
  • —, “Genealogy Page: Queries,” Hartford Times [13 June 1942, microfilm].
  • —, “Kilbourne Genealogy,” at, accessed 30 May 2001.
  • —, “Queries,” Connecticut Nutmegger 22[1990]:678.
  • —, “Some Interesting Facts About the Origin of Washington County and its Towns,” New England Exodus (July 1965), page 90.
  • —, “To Daniel Shepherd, Clerk of the County of Washington. . . ,” The Patents 18[1999]:100.
  • —, “To the Cleark [sic]of the County of Washington . . .,” The Patents 18[1999]:78-79.
  • —, “[Untitled],” New England Exodus (July 1964), page 27.
  • —, Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, Volume 9, Rolls of Connecticut Men in the French and Indian War 1755-1762, Volume 1, 1755-1757 (Hartford: Connecticut Historical Society, 1903), pages 114-16, 185, 187.
  • —, Litchfield, Connecticut, Land Records, Volume 15, pages 701-02, transcribed, with notes, by Maxine Hobble and Glen Allen.  The document ends abruptly, as page 703 was not transcribed.
  • —, Mattocks Memorial Package, a genealogical report prepared for Carl Kenneth Mattocks by an unidentified genealogist (circa 1989), (some pages contain the heading “Birchwood – Simsbury Printery”).
  • Glen Allen, “[Query],” Connecticut Nutmegger [?]:165.
  • Fred Q. Bowman, Landholders of Northeastern New York 1739-1802 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1987), pages 123, 211-12.
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, “Family Search Internet Genealogy Service,” at, submitted, at least in part, by Mary Fran Downey, accessed 22 February 2000.
  • Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of the Census, Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790: Connecticut (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1908), pages 9, 65.
  • Edward J. Dodge, Relief is Greatly Wanted: The Battle of Fort William Henry (Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, 1998), pages 57-58, 80-85.
  • Islay V.H. Gill, History of Washington County, N.Y., A History of the Argyle Patent (Washington County Historical Society, 1956), pages 52-53.
  • Donald R. Harrington, “Abiel Smith – Joanna Goodwin,” at, created 6 July 2003.
  • Donald R. Harrington, “John Smith – Mehitable Smith,” at, created 6 July 2003.
  • A.W. Holden, A History of the Town of Queensbury, in the State of New York . . . (Albany: Joel Munsell, 1874), pages 312-13, 501-02.
  • Paul E. Huey and Ralph D. Phillips, “The Migration of a Connecticut Family to Eastern New York in the Eighteenth Century,” Connecticut Nutmegger 13[1980]:390.
  • Donald Kilburn, “RootsWeb Message Boards – Message [Cattaraugus],” at; posted 5 January 2000.
  • Alfred W. Little, Records of the Emigrant James Mattocks Who Settled in Boston, Massachusetts, in the 1600s and Some of His Descendants Who Migrated to Chautauqua County, New York (Silver Springs, Maryland: manuscript, 1996), pages 6-10.
  • Phineas Lyman, John Campbell (Earl of Loudoun), and Worthington Chauncey Ford, General Orders of 1757 Issued by the Earl of Loudoun and Phineas Lyman in the Campaign Against the French (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1899) [from a photocopy provided by Alfred W. Little], pages 1-3, 100-02.
  • Carl Kenneth Mattocks, genealogical information from the research of Carl Kenneth Mattocks.
  • John and Walter Mattocks, Mattocks (Chicago: unpublished manuscript, 1885), page 2.
  • Robert B. Roberts, Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1988), pages 549-50.
  • Robert J. Taylor, Colonial Connecticut: A History (Millwood, New York: KTO Press, 1979), pages 216-17.
  • Debra F. Wilmes, compiler, Lorraine Cook White, editor, The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records, Volume 23, Litchfield, 1719-1854 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2000[?]), page 158.
  • George C. Woodruff, A Genealogical Register of the Inhabitants of the Town of Litchfield, Conn. (Hartford: Hartford Press, The Case Lockwood and Brainard Company, 1900 [originally published in 1845]), pages 148, 201.
  • M. Wozniak, “RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project: Coit-Wozniak-Wojciechowski – Buffalo NY,” at, created 22 August 2005.