Monday, September 5, 2016

Notes From My Grandmother | Potwin Lineage and Genealogy, Part 4

Somehow, much of my grandmother's hand written and (badly) typed notes and research wound up in my possession. Traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles and back to Chicago again. It sat, in the dark of my mother's closet, until my dad passed and my mom decided to begin her great purge. Knowing I had picked up the torch, the next generation to pursue the Greatest Hobby on Earth, the papers came to live with me. Unsure for many years on just what to do with them, I have decided to bring them out and share them with you - transcribed, of course - no one can read my grandmother's handwriting! But in her own words; mistakes, rambling sentences, and all. I think she will be pleased her work and her writing are once again out in the light.


Thomas Potwine, the first son of the three children born to Reverend Thomas Potwine and Abigail Moseley, 1756. This Thomas married Martha Stiles, both lived in Connecticut - East Windsor - 1776. Thomas had seven brothers and sisters by his father's second marriage. It is through Thomas and Martha Potwine that my lineage continues to this generation (children of my marriage - E.T.P.T. and R.W.T. - 1923)

A Potwine homestead was built at this period in history; it is now almost 200 years old (if it is yet standing). It was located neat the Connecticut river 'big river' as spoken of by the Indians. There were tribes (families) of friendly Indians who were happy to have the settlers come to this land. No land was 'taken' from them, it was obtained by barter or gifted. Often the Chiefs would give their friends land extending "a day's walk" into the wilderness, west of the 'big river'. This colony of settlers was most fortunate. Three generations of Potwins lived in the old 'homestead' in East Windsor until 1963. Today the Connecticut river is but a mile from the Potwine homestead.

One Potwine (John 2) settled in Hartford CT, the rest settled around their Protestant church, which is now East Windsor. It is to Dorchester Colony on Massachusetts Bay that a clear line of ancestry can be traced and verified for the Potwin family in America. Governor Bradford (Mass.) made trips to the Conn. river; then called the "Great River" and found it a fine place. In 1631 there were many small tribes of Indian, most friendly and asked the white man to establish settlements in their territory. The Indians wanted rifles; so Governor Winthrop and Governor Bradford having no desire to fight Indian battles agreed. But later on the people wanted to move farther west, venturing into wilderness so the Plymouth Colony and the Massachusetts Bay Colony decided to move to Connecticut. In 1635 there were neighbors in Hartford and other settlements; so the move west was begun as more and more settlements on the east coast became towns and cities of the future United Stated of America.


Thomas Potwine Jr b. 1756
                                  d. 1824
                                  m. 1776 Martha Stiles
                                                b. 1760
                                                d. 1822

Martha b. 10/9/1779 d. UNK - m. Simon Barker of East Windsor, CT
Thomas b. 1/17/1784 d. 2/24/1869 - m. 1828 Sarah Stoughton, East Windsor, CT
                                                           m. 1899 Margaret Bartlett, East Windsor, CT
Israel b. 3/23/1786 d. 5/14/1864 - m. 1825/28 Mary F Potwine
John b. 8/17/1787 d. 5/7/1859 - m. 1811 Mary Benton of Tolland, CT
BENJAMIN b. 7/24/1788 d. 8/16/1852 - m. 1816 Cornelia Curtis (Custus)
Abigail b. 9/24/1790 d. 4/24/1872 - m. Dr Allen Porter, East Windsor, CT
Lydia b. 11/9/1792 d. 9/9/1826 - m. Wm Wright, Troy, NY
William b. 2/1/1795 d.4/17/1877 - m. 1825 Amelia Speer of Ellington, NY
Nathaniel b. 1/4/1798 d. 4/18/1854 - m. Sophia Clark of East Windsor, CT
 (Sarah b. 1800 d. 1825 - from find a grave)
Ann b. 12/10/1802 d. UNK - m. Orrin Clark of Somers, CT

About the 'e' in Potwin, some dropped it. Stephen (Part 3) went so far as to have it legally taken off and recorded with the Town Clerk. Another had it added when he became interested in genealogy. Some of his children kept it, others dropped it.

END of Part 4

(editor's note: Thomas Potwine is a recognized patriot - DAR #A091875)

©2016 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved
©1980 Elizabeth Twining Potwin Thomas - private collection

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