Monday, March 28, 2016

Connecticut Connections

I grew up in the Florida panhandle, and from about 1900 on, all my ancestors have lived in either Florida or south Georgia (not to be confused with South Georgia Island!).  Only one or two of my male ancestors from the period of the Civil War remain unaccounted for, and it is virtually certain that all of them, if they were able to fight, fought for the Confederacy -- with the exception of the turncoat Peter Pelt, who is anyway a collateral ancestor, not a direct ancestor.  It comes as something of a surprise, then, to find that one of my mother's ancestors was practically a neighbor of one of my father's ancestors in the mid-1600's in Connecticut.

I have already mentioned that Samuel Hine(s), the father of Charles Wesley Hines, came from Milford, CT.  The first of this line was Thomas Hine (also spelled "Hind" and "Hinde"), who, as recorded in Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to Families of the State of Massachusetts, by William Richard Cutter and William Frederick Adams, was in residence at Milford by 28 Jan 1646.

Thomas Hine was particularly noteworthy for his good relations with the local American Indians.  In particular, he gained the gratitude of the Mohawks by rescuing one of their warriors who had been left tied to a stake to die of exposure; this had been his punishment by the Pequots for being part of a failed attempt to ambush them. What is more,
Not only did the act of being a good Samaritan impress the Mohawks but the Pequot tribe held Hine in high regard and promised to him and his descendants, that when the time came for them to die, the Great Spirit would take them to the big Wigwam. But until that time the Great Spirit would watch over them.
Thomas Hine had a son named Samuel (b 26 Jan 1659-60), who had a son named Samuel (baptized 9 Jan 1703-4), who had a son named Samuel (b 9 Nov 1743), who had a son named Samuel (b 8 Nov 1770), who had a son named Samuel (baptized 15 Oct 1797), who moved to Georgia and was the father of Charles Wesley Hines.

That is five generations of "Samuel Hine" -- and there were also, apparently side branches which also had men named "Samuel Hine"!  This, naturally enough, gives ample opportunity for confusion.  The account by Cutter and Adams, for example, appears to omit altogether the Samuel born in 1770.  (I say "appears" to omit because the 1743 Samuel seems to be the one called "Samuel Hine, Jr." -- at least, the numbering system does not indicate an intermediate between the 1743 Samuel and the "Samuel, born at Derby, removed to Georgia".)  On the other hand, Families of Early Milford, Connecticut by Susan Emma Woodruff Abbott notes of the 1743 Samuel that "He is confused with his son Samuel," and it gives this son Samuel (our 1770 Samuel) as the father of the Samuel that "Hine gen says went to Ga?"  (There is no doubt of this fact.  In the 1850 census, Samuel Hine(s), by then living in Georgia, gives his place of birth as Connecticut.)  Even Abbott does not give the year of his birth, but only the date of his death:  28 Mar 1800.  The 1770 date of birth comes from, on what basis I am not sure, though it fits and is reasonable.

Regardless, it is agreed that it was the 1743 Samuel who served one year with Captain John Prudden and Captain Benjamin Hine's company in the Revolutionary War, and who shortly before his death (in 1843) received a pension on that basis.  In fact the records are again a bit confusing, as there was another Samuel Hine from the same general area who also served in the Revolutionary War, but this could not have been the 1743 Samuel, because he would have added that information to his pension application.

On my mother's side, the wife of David Adam Edmondson was born Martha Ann Gertrude Todd.  The Todd family also traces back to Connecticut, as recounted in The Todd Family in America, or the Descendants of Christopher Todd, by John Edwards Todd.  Christopher Todd, born in Pontefract, West Riding, Yorkshire, in 1617, moved to New Haven, CT, in 1639, becoming a wealthy miller.  This put him in the same county that would shortly be occupied by Thomas Hine, who probably came by way of New Haven; note also that the distance between New Haven and Milford is less than a dozen miles.

Once again, there are a lot of Samuels in this story.  Christopher Todd was the father of Samuel Todd (b. 1645), who was the father of Samuel Bradley Todd (b. 1672), who was the father of Rev. Samuel Todd (b. 1716), who was the father of Dr. Eliel Todd (b. 1746), who moved to Vermont and was the father of Samuel Bryant Todd (b. 1783), who was the father of Samuel Bryan Todd (b. 1814), who moved to Georgia and was the father of Martha Ann Gertrude Todd.

Dr. Eliel Todd "was a lieutenant in the Revolution.  He died in 1793, from poison accidentally taken," according to History of Rutland County, Vermont, with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers, by H. P. Smith.  He appears to have been a well-liked and respected physician, so this does not seem particularly suspicious, but its is still odd.  Most likely it was due to sloppy or careless labeling.  Sadly, it took many such accidents for the pharmaceutical practices we have today to develop.

EDIT:  I should add that Mary Todd, who married Abraham Lincoln, was apparently descended from an Irish family named Todd.  All the Todds are believed to ultimately have come from Scotland, but the name itself refers to a profession or avocation -- specifically, to one who hunts foxes.  As a result, there may be multiple independent origins of "Todd" families.  One way or the other, Mary Todd Lincoln is at most a distant relative.


  1. I am a descendant of the original Thomas Hine as well

    1. Nice to hear from you, cousin! What part of the country are you in?