Deerfield — Leading Men Of The Permanent Settlement, 1683

Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.

      John Catlin, son of John, of Wethersfield, was born about 1642, and married, in 1662, Mary, daughter of Joseph Baldwin. He was with the colony which went from Branford, Conn., to Newark, N. J., about 1667, where he was prominent in town affairs. He returned about 1683, and settled here the next year on lot No. 30, drawn by Isaac Bullard, now the Chapin lot. He bore the title of "Mr.," and was called to many places of trust and honor. In 1704 his house was burned, be and two sons were killed, and four children captured,—two of them killed on the march. His grandson, John, born in 1704, was a noted partisan officer in the border wars, serving through Father Rasle's war and both the French-and-Indian wars. He died at Burk's Fort, Bernardston, in 1758.
      Thomas French, son of John, of Northampton, was born in 1651. He married, 1683, Mary, daughter of John Catlin, and settled on lot No. 31, drawn by Robert Hinsdale, now the Orthodox parsonage lot. He was a blacksmith; his shop stood in the Street, in front of his house, the remains of which are still to be seen. He was town clerk eleven years, and treasurer many years after. With wife and six children he was captured in 1704. One child and the mother were killed on the march. Mr. French with one son was redeemed; the rest never came back. In 1709 he married Hannah, widow of Benoni Stebbins, and died in 1733.
      John Hawks, brother of Eleazer, was born 1643. He married, 1667, Elizabeth, daughter of Joseph Baldwin, of Hadley. He settled in Hadley, and was active as a soldier in Philip's war; was in the Falls fight, and one of the twenty-five who crossed the Connecticut to succor Hatfield when attacked, May 30, 1676, and wounded in the meadow. Removed here, and was living in the lane south of the Dickinson Academy, Feb. 29, 1704. He had married a second wife, Alice, widow of Samuel Allis, in 1696, and his family consisted of wife, a daughter, Elizabeth, a son, John; with his wife and four children. Of this family, John, Sr., only escaped. The rest were "smothered in the cellar" of the burning house. In his old age he removed to Connecticut to live with a married daughter, his only surviving child, where he died in 1744.
      Eleazer Hawks, son of John, of Hadley, was born in 1655. He married, 1689, Judith, daughter of William Smead, and settled on lot No. 18, drawn by John Farrington, where C. A. Stebbins now lives. He was under Turner in the Falls fight, and with all his family escaped harm in 1704. He was useful is town affairs; sixteen years selectman, and a long time clerk of the market. He was the ancestor of the Hawks families of Franklin Co. He died in 1729.
      David Hoyt, son of Nicholas, of Windsor, was born in 1651. He married, 1673, Mary, sister of Lieut. Thomas Wells; (2d) 1678, Sarah Wilson; (3d) 1697, Abigail, widow of Joshua Pomeroy, deacon and lieutenant in King William's war, and often in town office. He settled on lot No. 7, drawn by Timothy Dwight, now occupied by John H. Stebbins. In 1704 his oldest son was killed, and the rest of the family taken captive. He was starved to death before reaching Canada, and one child was killed on the march and one remained in Canada. Mrs. Hoyt and two children were redeemed. David was ancestor of all the Hoyts hereabouts.
      Godfrey Nims was first known as a lad at Northampton. He married, 1677, Widow Mary Williams; (2d) 1692, Widow Mehitable Hull; the lot on which he settled, covering No. 27, drawn by John Chickering, and No. 28, by John Haward, is the one now owned by a descendant, on the corner of the "Street" and Memorial Lane. His house was burned in 1693, when a son of his second wife perished in the flames. He was the first constable of Deerfield, then an office of importance; was a selectman, and held other offices. He was a brave man, and through his coolness Joseph Barnard escaped the scalping-knife when wounded at Indian Bridge. His son John was taken captive in 1703. In 1704 four children were killed, his house burned, and his wife and two children captured. Mrs. Nims was killed on the march. One child never returned from Canada. He died within a year after this disaster. He was probably the ancestor of all of the name in the country.

These pages are © Laurel O'Donnell, 2005, all rights reserved
and cannot be reproduced in any format without permission
This page was last updated on
03 Aug 2005