The spelling of the family name with one or two“t’s” has been the subject of a mild controversy for at least a hundred years. The compilers of the 1847 register used the single “t” entirely and justifiedtheir doing so by quoting some classical rules for spelling and citing suchother names as Cabot, Talbot, etc. The early records of Andover show the namewith both one and two “t’s” and also as Abbet, the variant spellings probablydepending on the fancy of the clerk who made the entry. In signing his willon December 12, 1681, twelve days before his death, George Abbott used two “t’s”and on the recorded copy the name appears as Abbutt, probably due to the factthat his enfeebled hand had failed to close the top of the o. The third generationAbbotts, who in 1727 moved from Andover to “Penacook”, New Hampshire, to foundthe town that later became concord, used the double “t” unanimously, as a facsimileof a petition signed by the inhabitants of “Ye Town of Rumford” 1744, bearsthe signatures of six of them, including William from whom our branch is descended. Members of the family who have remained in the vicinity of Andover generallyprefer the one “t”, if for no other reason than that they find it quaint. Withthe chance finding of the old English records with the name always spelled withthe two “t’s”, (Abbott), there no longer appears to be a question.(jw)
In 1847, a committee headed by the ReverendAbiel Abbott and the Reverend Ephraim Abbot published A Genealogical Registerof the Descendants of George Abbot of Andover, George Abbot of Rowley, ThomasAbbot of Andover, Arthur Abbot of Ipswich, Robert Abbot of Branford, Ct, andGeorge Abbot of Norwalk, Ct. The section devoted to the descendants of George,Sr. of Andover, is the most voluminous and is probably complete down throughthe fifth and sixth generations. The reason for the inclusion of the otherfamilies was given as the fact that they had asked to be included and that therehad been considerable intermarriage.(jw)
The one error which the compilers ofthis register made was the belief, founded on tradition, that George Abbotthad emigrated to America from Yorkshire. The fact that they said in the prefacethat George “is believed to have emigrated from Yorkshire about 1640”. Showsthat some of the earliest records had become lost or destroyed by then.(jw)
It was not until the 1920’s that anAmerican genealogist by the name of J. Gardner Bartlett, in making a study of old church and court records in England, came upon the evidence in St. Michael’sParish, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts, or Hertfordshire, that the family of ourGeorge Abbott had lived there for at least five generations prior; the recordextending back to William Abbott, born there in 1470.(jw).
Bishop’s Stortford, County Herts, thehome of our Abbott family, is an old town located about 25 miles north of theheart of London. It has been known by that name for centuries as the Stortfordmanor and has been owned by the Bishops of London since before the Norman Invasion.(jw)
I. WILLIAM ABBOTT of Bishop’s Stortford,born about 1470, known to have been living as late as November 25, 1532. Heis first found in the records in 1509 when he was a church warden. Also heldoffice in 1527 and 1528 . Records show him to have been a member of a juryon St. Catherine’s Day, November 25, 1532. The name of his wife is unknown.
II. JOHN ABBOTT, son of William was bornabout 1495, living as late as 1545. His wife’s name has not been found in therecords. John’s name appears on various tax rolls down to 1545.
III.WILLIAM ABBOTT, son of John, was bornabout 1525 and died in March of 1569. He was described as a yeoman and a manof good estate. He married a woman named Margaret in about 1550. His nameappears on the church warden’s accounts and n tax rolls. His will on record,dated March 12, 1568/69, left his property to his widow for the support of herselfand four minor children, George, John, Robert and Thomas.
IV. GEORGE ABBOTT, son of William and Margaret,was born about 1550. He married Bridget Miller about 1576. George succeededto the homestead of his father according to the latter’s will. He is also mentionedin various court records. He was buried on January 11, 1619/20. His will,dated October 12, 1619, disposed of his property to his wife and eight children. Bridget was buried on August 13, 1625.
V. GEORGE ABBOTT, eldest son of Georgeand Bridget, was baptized at Stortford on May 28, 1587. He was living as lateas 1628 when his son, Christopher was baptized. No will has been found. Hewas considered well-to-do. He married Elizabeth about 1615. Children of recordare George, Edward, John and Christopher.
VI. GEORGE ABBOTT, son of George and Elizabeth,was born about 1615/16 in Hertfordshire, England. He was baptized at St. Michael’sBishop’s Stortford, May 22, 1617. In 1637, it is believed that he emigratedto America with the family of William Chandler, also of Stortford, his familyhaving a history extending back four generations to Thomas Chandler of the sametown.
William Chandler was born October 12, 1595 in Englandand died November 26, 1641. Annis Bayford was born June 12, 1603 in England,and died March 15, 1683. They had four children, one of them, a girl namedHannah, seven or eight years old when the emigrated, who was to become George’swife ten years later. The Chandlers and George Abbott lived in Roxbury, MA.George was married December 12, 1646 in Roxbury, Massachusetts to Hannah Chandler. Hannah was born about 1628 in England, daughter of William Chandler and AnnisBayford. George Abbott died on December 24, 1681 in Andover, Massachusetts. Hannah Chandler died on March 11, 1711 in Andover, Massachusetts.(jw)
George and his bride went to live in a house inAndover, which had been originally called Cochichawiche. The house was builtof rough hand-hewn, or sawed logs that George had spent two years in building. Old records indicate that the house stood on a plot of about four acres on theeast side of what is now Court Street, North Andover, a short distance northof the old burial place and meeting house. In this area, the houses were builtclose together to afford protection for each other in case of Indian attacks.(jw)
Later, George and Hanna lived in a garrison houseon their farm land, two or three miles to the southwest on what is now CentralStreet in Andover. This house was built of heavy hewn or sawed logs with thecorners securely fastened, the eaves extending out over the walls by two feetor more, so that in case of attack, the defenders could fire down upon theenemy or pour water to put out a fire if started.(jw)
George and Hannah had thirteen children, eight sonsand five daughters. Their first child, John was born March 2, 1648. The secondchild, also a son, Joseph, died when little more than a year old. This wasthe first recorded death in the town of Andover. Eleven survived to maturity.
The fourth child, also named Joseph, was the firstsettler at Andover to be killed by Indians. He and a younger brother, Timothy,were at work in the fields when the Indians attacked one morning in April, 1676during what is now known as King Philip’s War. The brothers defended themselveswith firearms but were overwhelmed before they could reach the safety of thegarrison house. Joseph was killed and Timothy, a boy of eleven, was carriedoff as a prisoner. After suffering great hardships at the hands of his captors,he was returned some months later near the point of starvation. (jw)
The garrison house was the home of the family until1704 when it was replaced by a structure which later became known as “The OldRed House.” This stood until 1858 when it was torn down to be replaced withthe first section of a fine, large house which is still occupied by Abbottsdescended from George’s eldest son, John.(jw)
No picture or physical description of George Abbotthas been handed down. He was a man of some education; a deeply religious Puritan;and a successful businessman and farmer. At his death on December 24, 1681,at the age of 66, his estate was appraised at 587 pounds, besides the giftsof land that he had already made to his sons. His will, dated December 12,1681, twelve days before his death, is on record at the Essex County Court Houseat Salem. He left all of his estate to his wife, Hannah and paid her a remarkablytender tribute; “Considering the great love and affection I bear unto my lovingwife Hannah Abbott and also considering her tender love and respect she hathhad to me and also considering her care and diligence in helping to get andsave what God hath blessed us withal and also prudence in management of thesame, I do therefore leave my whole estate to her and for her use during thetime of her natural life and at her death my will is that my overseers shalldispose of my estate that her necessity doth not enforce her to spend amongmy children.” It was also his will that “If any of the sons should be guiltyof disobedient carriage toward their mother, they shall be cut short in theirportions.” The overseers were “My loving brothers Thomas and William Chandlerand my loving friend John Barker.”(jw)
At the time of her husband’s death, Hannah was fifty-two,had been married thirty-five years and borne thirteen children, four of whomwere still under age. Nine years later she married the pastor of the church,the Reverend Francis Dane, a widower, likewise somewhat older than herself. He died in 1697, and she survived him by fourteen years, passing away June 11,1711 at the age of 81 years. George and Hannah, as well as the Reverend Dane,undoubtedly were buried in the “old burial place” at North Andover Center. Time and the elements, with some help from vandals, have completely obliteratedall markers in the older part of the cemetery; so, their actual resting placesare unknown. Hannah’s will, dated February 10, 1707, is also on record and isconsidered as remarkable since it is said to be the only will of the time onrecord in which a woman alone conveys real estate after the death of her husband.(jw)
VII WILLIAM ABBOTT, son of George and Hannahwas born November 18, 1657 in Andover, Massachusetts. He was married on June2, 1682 in Roxbury, Massachusetts to Elizabeth Gray. Elizabeth Gray was bornon July 10, 1661 in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Their farm was where Andover Villageis now. William Abbott died on October 12, 1713 in Andover, and Elizabeth diedthere on November 26, 1712. They had ten sons and two daughters.
VIII JAMES ABBOTT, son of William and Elizabeth,was born on February 12, 1695 in Andover, and was married January 6, 1714 toAbigail Farnum, daughter of Ralph Farnum (1662-1685), and Sarah Sterling (daughterof William and Elizabeth Sterling). Abigail was born on May 3, 1692 in Andover. James Abbott died on December 27, in Concord, New Hampshire. James and Abigailhad 15 children, seven sons and eight daughters.
IX JAMES ABBOTT, son of James and Abigail,was born on June 12, 1717 in Andover. On April 1, 1742, he married Sarah Bancroftin Concord. Sarah was born on February 6, 1719 in Reading, Massachusetts, daughterof Samuel Bancroft and Sarah Lampson (see Bancroft). James and Sarah livedin Concord for a while, and later removed to Newbury, Vermont . They had twelvechildren. Some records say 10, but two died too young to be named. (ElizabethAbbott Barrett). James died in 1802 in Newbury, Massachusetts. Sarah diedFebruary 6, 1720 in Reading.
X WILLIAM ABBOTT, son of James and Sarah,was born on April 24, 1755 in Concord, New Hampshire. He came to Newbury, Vt.with his parents. He served in the Revolutionary War.
From the pension records of William Abbott, we learnthat at the time of the outbreak of the revolution, William was a resident ofHaverhill, Grafton, NH. He enlisted in the company of Captain Francis Osgoodin Colonel James Bedell’s Regiment, NH State Troops. He went to Canada in theyear 1775 and served in the same company as a private from July 13 to December31, 1775. He was discharged in Canada and re-enlisted into Col. James Bedell’sRegiment about April 1, 1778. He served as a private and was with this unitduring the Burning of Royalton in 1780. (Pension Application made by Moses Abbott,January 3, 1851)
He was married on December 9, 1777 to Mabel Whittlesey,daughter of Josiah Whittlesey (see WHITTELSEY) and Elizabeth Jackson. Mabelwas born on June 25, 1757 in Guilford, Connecticut, and lived in Newbury, NH.They settled in Bath, NH, where William died on June 14, 1807 in Bath, NewHampshire. William and Mabel had thirteen children; Moses, Jacob, Amos, William,Knight, Sarah, Abigail, Ann (m. Samuel Knight, brother of Betsey), Lois, Elizabeth,Mehitable, Mary, and an unnamed infant.
Mabel remarried to Mr. Wesson. Mabel died on November2, 1836 in Bath, NH.
XI AMOS WHITTLESEY ABBOTT, son of WilliamAbbott and Mabel Whittlesey, was born on September 3, 1790, in Haverhill, NewHampshire. He was married on February 17, 1814 in Ryegate, VT to Elizabeth(Betsey) Knight, daughter of Nathaniel Knight (see KNIGHT), and Hannah LaughlinSmith, daughter of Benjamin Smith and Sarah Hoyt. They were married by theReverend L. Worcester. They lived in Haverhill and Bath for two years and thenbought land from Nathaniel Knight in Ryegate, Vermont in 1818. They lived therefor 20 years, and all of their children were born there. Then they bought landfrom Moses Hadley in Barnet, where they lived until she died. They had twelvechildren, who were all listed in their family Bible. They were members of theBarnet Center Church. Amos died on December 19, 1875 in Barnet, Vermont, at85 years of age (from gravestone). Betsey Knight died on April 26, 1871 inBarnet, Vermont at 80 years of age (from gravestone). They were buried in theWalter Harvey Cemetery.
Information from Abbott Family Cousins givento Jennie Ada Badger Winters Woodbury, Vermont Genealogical Society:
“An Abbott Bible was found in an old farm houseattic in 1975. It was purchased by Gwen Hagen’s daughter and husband near Peacham,Vermont. Seems the family have been writing poetry for a long time. To thisday in 1981, many write fluent poetry.”
And, From the Bible:
I’ve shut the door on yesterday, its sorrows andmistakes
I’ve locked within its gloomy walls past failuresand mistakes
Now I throw the key away to seek another room
I’ll furnish it with hope and smiles and every springtimebloom
No thought shall enter this abode that has a hintof pain
Neither malice or distrust shall ever there in reign
I’ve shut the door on yesterday and thrown the keyaway
Tomorrow holds no doubts for me since I have foundtoday.
Children of Amos and Elizabeth Knight Abbott;
1. a son born March 21, 1815. Died same day
2. Nathaniel Knight born Nov., 12, 1816. DiedFeb. 14, 1818
3. Mary Jane born July 26, 1818 died June24, 1833
4. William L. born Sept. 26, 1820
5. Lucy Knight born Nov. 24, 1822 Died Aug.26, 1823
6. Nathaniel K born March 11, 1825, m. SarahC. Johnson
7. Lucy K. born July 11, 1827
8. Julia A. born July 11, 1829 Died July 13,1833
9. Amos W. born June 18, 1831 Died July 16,1833
10. Amos W. born Nov. 29, 1833
11. Julia born Dec. 7, 1835
12. Betsy Jane born Sept. 22, 1837 Died April26, 1875
(end of Bible entry)
We learned that the first baby’s namewas William (Elizabeth Abbott Barrett) No. 4 was William Smith (in those daysan “S” could easily be mistaken for an “L”. Only six of these children livedto grow up. Three died in 1833, believed to be in scarlet fever epidemic. Surviving children included: 1) Lucy, who married James Smith. Their daughterJulia Smith married George Marshall. Both were missionaries in China.2)AmosWhittelsey Abbott Jr. who married Elizabeth Livingston. They had eleven children.Their son, Charles was killed in Montana when he fell off a scaffold while buildingan icehouse for the Northern pacific Railroad.3)William married Luella Austenof Landaff, NH. They had two daughters.4)Nathaniel Knight who married SarahCowden Johnson 5)Betsey Jane who married John Gibson. One daughter. 6)MaryJane, lived to be 15.
XII NATHANIEL KNIGHT ABBOTT, sixth childof Amos and Betsey was born March 11, 1825 in Ryegate, Vermont. (JSB). He wasmarried on April 6, 1852 in Peacham, Vermont to Sarah Cowden Johnson, daughterof Captain Ziba Leonard Johnson (see JOHNSON) and Betsey Merrill, daughterof Jessie Merrill (see MERRILL) and Priscilla Hazen Kimball, daughter of RichardKimball and Sarah Harriman (see KIMBALL).
Sarah Johnson wrote this letter to her beloved Nathanielfrom Littleton, NH on August 10, 1851.
My Beloved Knight,
I need not say with how much pleasureI received your letter last eve. Now no, no, dear Knight, we shall never bestrangers again nor try to act like one either I hope. I am very glad you havebeen to Cabot and I am feeling quite serious to hear the details of the visitbut “guess” I can wait till I see you. I am glad too that you have anotherdun from Charley - I think he is worthy of your friendship. There is no goingman (yourself excepted of course) who has a larger share of my esteem than thatsame Charley and I value his friendship though I could never feel towardhim as I do toward you, if I wanted to ever so bad and I don’t at all. I hopeyou will write to him soon.
I had a letter from Lucy a week or two ago. She was well and just finishing her school. She was mourning over the lossof her brother. Knight said it seems as if he and she had no sympathies orinterests in common now. I guess I shall laugh at her some when I answer it.
I am thinking almost constantly of my visit home. I have some cousins there which I am very anxious to see though when I thinkof going home my first thoughts are not of cousins, parents or sisters but ofyou. We are expecting cousin Hannah home Tuesday or Wednesday and I can thendecide when to go home.
I fear she will not return much if any improvedin health. I am well and get along as well as usual. Yesterday Lizzie wentto Lancaster with Mr. Carpenter to return tomorrow so today I have a doubleshare of care and labor. Went to meeting this P.M., heard a very good sermonfrom the Rev. Mr. Barnard of Lancaster.
What lovely evenings we have now last night howbright the moon shown. I looked at it and felt almost sure that you too werelooking at it and thinking of me. It seemed a good deal like the night of ourride to Wells River.
Thank you for the stamps enclosed in your letter. I intended to have supplied myself before mailing my last but had no good oppertunity. Good night - Heven preserve thee from ills and dangers.
I have just got the children safe in bed. Lizzie’sgone down street so I being alone seat myself to say a few words to you. Ido indeed think of you every night it seems as natural as to close my eyes tosleep. I don’t know as I can date the time I contracted this habit quiteas far back as you do but then I think I have made up lost time since I feltthat I had a right. These thoughts have been to me under all circumstancesan inexhuastable source of pleasure without them life would indeed bea blank. I have found a bit of poetry which I think very good, here it is --
It is not is world can give
With all it’s subtle act
And gold and gems are not the things
To satisfy the heart
But Oh, if those who cluster round
The alter and the hearth
Have gentle words and loving smiles
How beautiful is earth.
I have just read over what I have written (athink which I seldom do) and I declare I can hardly read it myself, I have gota very bad habit of scribbling, if I don’t write as fast as I can I should notget much written, and now I have about come to the conclusion that when I leaveLittleton I shall leave for good. I am tired of the life I have lived here. I am willing to work but I am not willing to exhaust all my energiesand have no time left for reading or enjoying the society of friends unlessit be as I did during your last two visits, with one child in my arms and halfa dozen hanging on to me. Cousin Hannah has returned improved in health andshe can find someone else that will answer her purposes as well as I and I nowthink that I wont stay much longer I don’t know but I may alter my mind. Asto the time when I can best go home I can’t really tell but think I had notbetter go untill week after next, as the time engaged to stay will expire thenhowever if you get ready to come before just drop a line the first of the weekand let me know when it will be most convenient for you to come.
Prepare yourself for some news by the time youget this I shall be at home!! You are surprised and so am I. Come and seeme Friday or Saturday eve and hear the particulars, all right. in haste Sarah
On their wedding day they settled onthe farm in Cabot which was their home until they died. In 1990 this farm wasstill being operated by a member of the family, a great grandson, Walter Goodrich.
In 1856, Nathaniel and Sarah belongedto the Congregational Church where he served as Deacon for 20 years. He servedin the State Legislature, 1875-6, served as a justice for 25 years and as aselectman and lister. They were the parents of eight children;
1)Mary Priscilla, b. September 7, 1854, Cabot,m. September 16, 1875 to William Chester Walker and had seven children, d. December5, 1928.
2)Elizabeth Merrill, (Lizzie), b. September 7,1855 Cabot, m. Orill Barrett on March 18, 1884. d. in 1952 at 98 years, sixchildren
3)Charles Knight, b. May 10, 1857, d. July 3, 1864.(died at 6 of diphtheria).
4)William Semple, b. July 5, 1859, Cabot, m. MaryE. Badger,( sister of Charles Albert)on December 25, 1885, d. January 19, 1916.
5)Jane Sarah (born Sarah Jane VVR), b. March 14,1862, Cabot, m, January 29, 181 to Charles Albert Badger in St. Johnsbury, VT.d January 22, 1947 in Williamstown.
6)Scott L, b. October 22, 1865, Cabot. (died thesame day he was born).
7)Lester Knight, b. October 22, 1865, Cabot, m.June 22, 1890 to Ellen Louise Griswold (daughter of John Albert Griswold andAnnette Ainsworth Lyman), d. August 1, 1904. Son, Harold Griswold Abbott, b.March 15, 1893 in VT. did much research on the Abbott family.
8)Walter Irving , b. June 8, 1869, Cabot, m. July3, 1895 to Flora M. Read
Nathaniel Knight Abbott died on Sept. 20, 1899in Cabot, Vermont. Sarah died on December 22, 1900 in Cabot.
XIII JANE SARAH ABBOTT, daughter of Nathanieland Sarah, was born Sarah Jane Abbott on March 14, 1862 in Cabot, Vermont. She married Charles Albert Badger (see BADGER) on January 20, 1881. She diedon January 22, 1947 at the home of her son, Ernest in Williamstown, Vermont.
When Jane, known as “Jennie” Abbott was fifteenyears old, she wrote this letter to her mother, Sarah Cowden Johnson Abbott.
East Cabot, Vt., April 1, 1877
I felt so tired that I thought Iwouldn’t go to church today so Lester and Father have gone and I have got thework done and “beans agoin’. I will improve the chance to write a letter toyou. Will says I should think the road would slump but that train seems togo all right (April fool). Walter said he Apriled Seth seven times before theygot up this morning. Last night Gene Glidden and Johnnie Alston were here andnight before James Bouldry and Joe Garney, so you see I have been having somearistocratic company lately.
I went down to Mrs. Flowers lastnight a little while and that is about all I have been out side of the housesince you went away. It was stormy part of the time and I have had enoughto keep myself busy anyhow. Father and Will went up in the sugar place yesterdayafternoon and tapped. I had an invitation to a sugaring off up to Mr. Gliddenslast night but I couldn’t get there very well so didn’t go. It was warm andpleasant yesterday afternoon and I got everything I could get hold of, caughta washtub full of snow water so I have something to commence on tomorrow morning.
I believe I shall take it easierthis time. We begin to talk of your coming home as we shall expect you nextweek anyway if not before, if May gets along alright. I think I am gettingalong pretty well with the housework, although I haven’t done much else butmend. You thought Lester’s pants wouldn’t need mending till you gothome but they did badley. I don’t generally get around to sit down any in theforenoon. I have to bake or mop most every day, it is impossible to keep thisfloor clean if I mop every day. I have splendid luck with my bread. I guessif we had waited till the last you made got ate up I shouldn’t have had to makeany. But father thought I had better feed it to the hens for punishment.
The thaw we had Tuesday and Wednesdaytook off about all of the snow and then it turned and snowed. About a footarrived so we have had good sleighing for a day or two. It was clear this AMbut is clouding up and I guess we will have a storm. I got a letter from LizzieWilliam and that is all I have had since you went away. Walter wants to writeso will close. Love to all your affec. Daughter. J.S.A.
I think that you might write toome. We get four eggs a day. We have got one little lamb. Walter Ibb
Walter started to write without an A and he saidhe had wrote enough so he didn’t try any more.
One of the clusters on the Salmon Geranium hasbegun to blossom, it is deeper and darker than last year and is just as handsomeas can be. The white one is coming on slowly. If we could have a little moresunshine they would be covered with blossoms.
Research and Compilation by JABWW, Edited by SFWS.
Abbott, Jane Sarah, Letters and Papers in possessionof Jennie Ada Badger Winters (JSA)
Abbott, Jane Sarah, Jane Sarah’s Birthday Book.(JSABB).
Abbott, Rev. Abiel, D.D., and Rev. Ephraim Abbott,Boston, Genealogical Register of the Descendants of George Abbot of Andover,George Abbot of Rowley, Thomas Abbot of Andover, Arthur Abbot of Ipswich, RobertAbbot of Branford, Ct., and George Abbot of Norwalk, Ct. Boston, JamesMonroe and Co., Boston, 1847.
Barrett, Elizabeth Abbott, Personal Record Book.
Bartlett, J. Gardner, Church and Court Records ofSt. Michael’s Parish, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, England, The AbbottFamily.
US Pension records ofWilliam Abbott.
Copyrighted by Susan Winters Smith, 115 BrainardRoad, Enfield, CT. 06082