Luke Hitchcock

 Luke Hitchcock was born on 15 Oct 1753 in Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts, USA, the second to last of six children of Luke Hitchcock, 1706-1785 , and Abigail Norton, 1716-1758. He was the only son. Their children were: Tabitha, 1745-1746, Abigail, 1747-?, Achsah, 1749-?, Cloe, 1751-1843, Luke, 1753-c1839 and another Tabitha, 1756-?. Luke was baptized on 28 Oct 1753 in First Church, Springfield. His mother, Abigail Norton, died 12 Sep 1758 in Springfield at the age of 42. Her children were 11, 9, 7, 5, with the youngest child only 36 months old. We do not know if Luke Hitchcock Sr remarried.

 

According to The Genealogy of the Hitchcock Family Who Are Descended From Matthias Hitchcock of East Haven, Conn., and Luke Hitchcock of Wethersfield, Conn., p. 222, Luke Hitchcock Sr moved with his children to Greenwich, Hampshire, Massachusetts, USA about 1762.  He was a selectman of Greenwich from 1764-1767. He became Deacon of the church in 1771. From Greenwich records, " At a meeting of proprietors of Narragansett township No. four, lying partly at Greenwich and partly west of and adjoining Hatfield, voted that Capt. Luke Hitchcock and Nathan Fiske be a committee to survey the grantees first fifty acres which never were recorded." We do not know how Luke Hitchcock Sr became a captain. 

  

 

1775 Minutemen (Uniforms of the American Revolution)                                                      1777 Massachusetts Infantry (Uniforms)

 

Luke Hitchcock Jr was a minuteman and a revolutionary soldier. This is an account of his service taken from his war pension application.

 

 “ That he entered the service of the United States in the year 1775, in the month of April. The night following Lexington Battle, he was called upon to march being a minute man, marched with others the ensuing morning from Greenwich, Mass, and arrived at Cambridge near Boston on the 3rd day after they left; there served in a company of Militia about one month. In the month of May same year he enlisted into the company commanded by Capt Packard, Col David Brewer’s Regiment, Mass Line, marched immediate for Roxbury, there stationed and served the term of his enlistment & dismissed at the close of eight months for which he engaged.

Again in the month of June or July 1776, enlisted at Greenwich, his place of residence, for five months under Capt Merriam, Col Ruggles Woodbridge Regt as a sergeant, marched from Greenwich to Charlestown Fort, State of New Hampshire and from thence to Ticonderoga. There stationed and served the term of his enlistment, discharged in the month of December 1776 - well recollects the engagement between the two fleets on Lake Champlain, but not in action, served as a sergeant.

That previous to leaving Ticonderoga Fort he received from the government of the United States an appointment in the Army of the Revolution & on being discharged as aforesaid he immediately repaired to his place of residence at Greenwich, Mass and commenced the recruiting service & continued in that business till the forepart of the summer 1777, then gained the Regt having previously received his commission as Ensign, in the camp commanded by Capt Patrick, Lieut Thorp, 2nd Lieut Billing, attached to the 9th Mass Regt under Col Ichabod Alden, marched from Boston in May or June to Worcester, Mass from thence to Springfield & from thence to Albany, joined the main Army at Van Schaick Is. Mohawk Sprouts, there stationed a short time, then moved with the Army to Stillwater, there stationed until after the surrender of Burgoyne then moved back to Albany, where the Regt and camp to which he belonged was stationed until the spring following, except himself being detached soon after his return to Albany, to take charge of a company of 20 or 22 men to guard the provisions and stores left at Stillwater, stayed there till spring, and then returned with guard and stores to Albany, there stationed a short time when he received intelligence that his Father was ill in consequence of Paralytic shock requesting the applicant to return home, upon which he resigned his commission and received permission from General Lafayette to leave the Army, having served about 17 or 18 months in the last campaign after he received his appointment.

Luke Hitchcock - Revolutionary War map

This account was corroborated by affidavits by Thomas Powers, aged 80 years, and Stephen Powers, aged 70 years, Benjamin Turner, aged 79 years, and Ebenezer Cutter, aged 74 years, all of whom were from Greenwich, Massachusetts. Luke Hitchcock's sister, Cloe Newton, aged 82 years, in her affidavit about his military service, dated 23 July 1833, finished her statement saying "... he returned home to our family in Greenwich."

 

 Since 1938, Greenwich, Massachusetts no longer exists. It lies under the Quabbin Reservoir.

Luke Hitchcock returned to Greenwich to his ailing father in the spring of 1778. No death entry has been found but if Luke Hitchcock Sr was buried in or near Greenwich, his remains would be among the 7,561 graves, including 500 unmarked, moved from 34 cemeteries in the Swift River Valley to Quabbin Park Cemetery in Ware, Hampshire, Massachusetts, USA before the flooding.

Also in Luke Hitchcock's war pension application filed from Vermont, dated 1833, was a list of where he resided: " He was a resident of Greenwich, Mass. when he entered the service where he remained until after the close of his campaign. He removed from thence to Rockingham, from thence to Littleton, from thence to Alburgh, from thence to Georgia, in Vermont, from thence to Stanbridge, Lower Canada, from thence to Highgate, his now place of residence.

In the Vermont Early Census Index for 1778, there is an entry for petitioner, Luke Hitchcock Jr, in Windham County.

On 3 Mar 1778, Luke Hitchcock Jr attended a meeting discussing the formation of the state of Vermont. The History of the Town of Rockingham, Vermont 1907, p. 83

In the vital records for Conway, Franklin, Massachusetts, USA, there is an intent to marry dated 1 April 1779 between Luke Hitchcock, Jr of Greenwich and Jerusha Printice of Conway. In the vital records for New Salem, Franklin, Massachusetts, USA, there is a marriage entry dated May 1779 between Ensign Luke Hitchcock and Mrs Jerusha Printace. The same entry is in the records of First Parish Church, New Salem. In The History and Genealogy of the Prentice, or Prentiss Family : in New England, Etc., From 1631 to 1883, p. 81, " Jerusha Prentice, dau. of Henry and Mary ; m., May 27, 1779, Luke Hitchcock, a Revolutionary soldier." Jerusha Prentice was born 17 Oct 1757 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA, one of 5 children and the only daughter of Henry Prentice and Mary Walker.

In The History of the Town of Rockingham, Vermont 1907, p. 224, Luke Hitchcock Jr was a member of the militia who, on 17 Oct 1780, responded to an "Alarm" for the burning of Royalton, Vermont.

 In the Vermont Early Census Index for 1781, there is an entry for Luke Hitchcock and an entry for Luke Hitchcock Jr in Rockingham, Windham County. Luke Sr may have survived and moved with his son.

In The Records of the First Church of Rockingham, Vermont, p. 48, there is a death entry dated 5 Jan 1785 for Deacon Luke Hitchcock. If this is  Luke Hitchcock Sr, he would have been 78 years old.

We believe that Luke Hitchcock remained with his daughter-in-law, Jerusha Prentice, in Rockingham where she gave birth to Barnabas Hitchcock on 21 Feb 1785 while Luke Jr went to Littleton, New Hampshire. He is known as Luke.

In History of Littleton,  New Hampshire : Annals, Vol I, 1905, p. 189, we find that  " ... Luke Hitchcock [arrived] the same year [1782] ... He remained in town but a few years, and all attempts to trace him have failed."  According to The Gazetteer of Grafton County, N. H., 1709-1886, Town of Littleton, p. 463, " Luke Hitchcock came into town in 1783 " and, in 1784, his was one of eight families in Littleton.

At the annual town meeting held on 17 Mar 1788, Luke Hitchcock was chosen " Pound Keeper and Fence Viewer ". History of Littleton,  New Hampshire : Annals, Vol I, 1905, p. 196.

In 1789, Luke Hitchcock was appointed to a committee " to settle and adjust the selectmen's accounts. " History of Littleton,  New Hampshire : Annals, Vol I, 1905, p. 198.

We find this in Exercises At the Centennial Celebration of the Incorporation of the Town of Littleton [New Hampshire], July 4th, 1884, Published by the Town, 1887, p. 69, " I had proposed to speak of...Luke Hitchcock...and others, who are entitled to the honor of position among the pioneers... ".

Detail of Holland's Map of New Hampshire 1784 from History of Littleton,  New Hampshire : Annals, Vol I, 1905, p. 148.

 

 

Map of Town of Littleton, as chartered, from History of Littleton,  New Hampshire : Annals, Vol I, 1905, p. 188.

 

According to The History and Genealogy of the Prentice, or Prentiss Family : in New England, Etc., From 1631 to 1883, p. 81, Luke and Jerusha had 7 children: Sally 1780-bef 1877, Cynthia 1781-1834, Luke 1783-aft 1877, Barnabas 1785-1864, Catherine 1787- , Prentice 1788-1849, Lovina 1795- . We have no birth or baptism records for them. In 1813, Barnabas declared he was born in Rockingham, New Hampshire Grants (now Vermont). 

Luke Hitchcock was in Swanton, Chittenden, Vermont in the 1790 U.S. Federal Census which was actually taken in 1791 after Vermont became a state on 4 March 1791, with a family of 3 males under 16 (sons Luke 8, Barnabas 6, Prentice 3), 1 male over 16 (Luke 38), 3 females. There should be 4 females (daughters Sally 11, Cynthia 10, Catherine 4 and his wife Jerusha 34).

1785  Republic of Vermont (partial)

 

On 22 September 1795, Luke Hitchcock took the Oath of Allegiance at Missisquoi Bay (today Philipsburg, Quebec, Canada) as part of a group of associates to obtain land grants in the Eastern Townships of Lower Canada.

 This is an example of an oath from A Sketch Of The Life Of Captain John Savage J.P. ; First Settler in Shefford County, 1792, p. 19.  

 This passage from History of Littleton,  New Hampshire : Annals, Vol I, 1905, p. 186, helps explain this action, " ...and when [the settlers] saw an opportunity to better their condition by removing elsewhere, they had little to abandon, and many of them, a few years later, broke the loose ties which bound them...and emigrated to the [E]astern [T]ownships of Canada, where they obtained...a title to rich agricultural lands..."

On 1 September 1801, Luke Hitchcock was granted 1000 acres of land in the Township of Stanbridge, Missisquoi County.

 

 Unto the said Luke Hitchcock, his Heirs and Assigns for ever, the Lot Number Four in the Ninth Range and the Lots Numbers Twenty, Twenty two, Twenty three and Twenty four in the Fourth Range.

 The Hitchcock family lived on the 9th Range. We have no information about what became of the lots on the 4th Range.

Click on the image below and click again to enlarge and move about the map. The ranges are in Roman numerals located along the horizontal border between the Township of Stanbridge and the Seigneurie St Armand. The lots are the vertical numbers between I and X.

 

 On 18 March 1818, the U.S. congress passed the Revolutionary War Pension Act which granted lifetime pensions to soldiers having served  a minimum of 9 months and who were in need of public assistance. On 20 August 1818, Luke Hitchcock made his first declaration for a survivor's pension. He received a pension certificate as Ensign dated 23 June 1820, No 17563. He was paid $490.32. 

On 1 May 1820, the U.S. Congress enacted remedial legislation which resulted in thousands of soldiers being dropped from the roll including Luke Hitchcock.

 

Luke Hitchcock was listed in the 1820 U.S. Census in Highgate, Franklin, Vermont with a family of 4, 1 male 26-44, 1 female under 10, 1 female 10-15, 1 female 26-44. This is Luke Hitchcock and Jerusha Prentice's son, Luke 37, his wife Thankful Barber and daughters, Paulina and Julia 9.

In History of Franklin and Grand Isle Counties, Vermont 1891, p. 608, " Luke Hitchcock and wife " were among the first members of the Methodist church of Highgate Center, organized in 1822. Which Luke Hitchcock, father or son, we don't know.

On 1 March 1823, the U.S. Congress passed a statute that restored pension benefits to soldiers who were dropped in 1820 as long as they proved their need for assistance. Luke Hitchcock 70 reappeared in Probate Court for the Georgia District, State of Vermont on 8 May 1823 declaring: " It was stated in my first declaration that I resided a short time with my son who lives in Canada about 5 miles from the American Line - but I consider that expression too strong. It is true I went on a visit to my son in Canada and being unable to labor I stayed with him two or three months which happened about the time of the passing of the act aforesaid but my residence was then & for a long time before had been & has ever since been and still is in the town of Highgate in the State of Vermont, and my stay in Canada was only on a visit to my son as before stated. As I have been in the habit of visiting my children wherever they lived and sometimes made long visits as I could do nothing at home."

The following schedule was annexed to the file: " An old house, 2 cows, 2 calves, ten sheep, 2 old tables, 4 old chairs, 1 iron pot, 1 bake pan, 1 tea kettle, 1 pair fire dogs, 1 old chest, 6 old knives and forks, 1 old fire shovel and tongs. No changes have been made in my property since the exhibition of my first schedule. I am by occupation a farmer but am unable by reason of age and infirmity to do any work. I have no family depending on me for support except for my wife Jerusha  aged 66 who has for twenty two years past been laid up with a fever so as not able to take care of herself a great part of the time, but is a continual expense and it is impossible for us to support ourselves without private or public charity." 

There were personnel changes at the county court due to deaths. Luke Hitchcock's application seems to have been accepted but we do not find a payment stub in the file. On 15 May 1823, the U.S. Congress passed another act which gave full benefits for life.

Luke Hitchcock was in the 1825 District of Bedford Census for the Township of Stanbridge with a family of 3, 1 married male 60 and over (Luke 72), 1 single female between 14 and 45 (Lovina 30) and 1 married female 45 and over (Jerusha 68). Luke and Jerusha's sons, Prentis 37 and Barnabas 40, were neighbours living with their families.

Luke Hitchcock Jr (Luke and Jerusha's son as he signed) appeared before the Highgate Justice of the Peace, Edward C. Haskin, on 20 Oct 1827, for a transaction regarding " a certain parcel of land located ... beginning on the west line of the highway running through Marvin's Gore ", present-day Gore Road near the Canadian border. We believe that Luke Hitchcock (father) lived here or near here, also.

 Luke Hitchcock appeared in the 1830 U.S. Census in Highgate, Franklin, Vermont with a family of 4, 1 male 40-49, 1 female 15-19, 1 female 20-29, 1 female 40-49. Again, this is Luke and Jerusha's son, Luke 47, his wife Thankful Barber and daughters, Paulina and Julia 19.

Luke Hitchcock, farmer & proprietor, was in the 1831 District of Bedford Census for the Township of Stanbridge in Concession (Range) 9 with a family of 3, 1 married male 60 and over (Luke 78), 1 single female between 14 and 45 (Lovina 36) and 1 married female 45 and over (Jerusha 74). Luke and Jerusha's son, Printice 43 and family, also lived in Concession 9. Their son, Barnabas, was not listed.

On 21 March 1832, Luke Hitchcock was present and signed the register at the marriage of his daughter, Lovina, & Lewis Snyder in the Methodist Church, St Armand, Quebec, Canada.

On 7 June 1832, the U.S. Congress passed another pension act that removed the requirement to demonstrate need and extended payments due from 1832 to the death of the veteran to the widow and children. Luke Hitchcock reappeared in Probate Court for the District of Georgia, State of Vermont on 22 August 1832 and 6 July 1833. The following payment receipt was in the file.

 

The Genealogy of the Hitchcock Family Who Are Descended From Matthias Hitchcock of East Haven, Conn., and Luke Hitchcock of Wethersfield, Conn., p. 246, had Luke Hitchcock dying in 1836 at the age of 82. We question this. He was not in the 1836 register of the Methodist Church, St Armand, Lower Canada. His death was not noted in his military pension file and there was no widow's benefits application in Luke Hitchcock's pension file. More importantly, when Jerusha Prentice died, the minister wrote wife and not widow, (see below). We have no record of Luke Hitchcock's death in Franklin County, Vermont.

In the register of the Methodist Church, St Armand, Lower Canada, Jerusha Prentiss 81, wife of Luke Hitchcock of Stanbridge, Yeoman, died 7 August 1839 and was buried 8 August 1839 in the presence of the subscribing witnesses: William Squire, Minister, Lovina Snyder, daughter, and Marion Dalgliesh.  We do not know what cemetery. 

This is the information we have on Luke and Jerusha's children:

Sally Hitchcock was born 12 May 1780, probably in Rockingham, Windham, New Hampshire Grants, (now Vermont), USA. She married Robert Partlow and they lived in Canada.

Cynthia Hitchcock was born 20 May 1781, probably in Rockingham, Windham, New Hampshire Grants (now Vermont), USA. She married Isaac Hyatt and they had 2 sons, Jacob and Horace. Cynthia died 27 April 1834 and was buried 29 April 1834 from the Methodist Church, Shefford, Brome, Quebec, Canada. She was 52. 

Luke Hitchcock was born 8 March 1783, probably in Rockingham, Windham, New Hampshire Grants (now Vermont), USA. He married Thankful Barber and they had 2 daughters, Paulina and Julia. Luke and Thankful lived in Highgate, Franklin, Vermont, USA in the 1840 U.S. Census. He was 88, widowed and living with his daughter Julia and family in Granby, Shefford, Quebec, Canada in the 1871 Canada Census. 

Barnabas Hitchcock was born 21 February 1785, in Rockingham, Windham, New Hampshire Grants (now Vermont), USA.  Barnabas became a Methodist minister. He married Jane McKinney in 1804 and they had 6 children: Luke, Peter, Edward, Prentice, Barnabas and Jane. Barnabas died 12 October 1864 and was buried 15 October 1864 from the Methodist Church, St Armand, Missisquoi, Quebec, Canada and interred in the Protestant Cemetery, Philipsburg, Missisquoi, Quebec, Canada. He was 79.

 Catherine Hitchcock was born 6 March 1787, probably in Littleton, Grafton, New Hampshire, USA. There is a Catherine Hitchcock in the 1850 U.S. Census in Georgia, Franklin, Vermont, aged 66.

Prentice Hitchcock was born 27 March 1788, probably in Littleton, Grafton, New Hampshire, USA. He married Belinda Brace in 1807. They had 4 children: Laura, Chester, Jeremiah and Cynthia. Prentice died 4 July 1849 and was buried 6 July 1849 from the Methodist Church, St Armand, Missisquoi, Quebec, Canada and was interred in Morgan's Corner Mapledale Cemetery, Stanbridge Station, Missisquoi, Quebec, Canada. He was 61.

Lovina Hitchcock was born 19 September 1795 in either Vermont or Quebec. She married Lewis Snyder on 21 March 1832 in the Methodist Church, St Armand, Missisquoi, Quebec, Canada. They had no children. She died about 1870. She would have been 75.