The Trowbridge Family of Pomfret, CT

Extracted from Historic Homes & Institutions and Personal Memoirs of Worcester, County, Massachusetts. Prepared under the Editorial Supervision of Ellery Bicknell Crane, and Published by the Lewis Publishing Company, 1907. VOL. # II pages 385-387

CHARLES E. TROWBRIDGE. The name of Trowbridge is of high antiquity in England as persons bearing the name are found to have lived during the reign of William the Conqueror. The first of the name are found in Trowbridge, a market town and parish in Wiltshire, England, which town received its name from that of one of the family, being their residence for many centuries and the property of one of the name in the reign of Edward I. The name of Trowbridge first appears in the Doomsday book. Trowbridge formerly had a castle but no trace now remains. It was besieged by Stephen about A. D. 1135. A younger branch of the Trowbridges settled in Somersetshire as early as 1541. They resided at Taunton in that county and from this branch sprang the Trowbridges of America. That the Taunton family descended from that of Wiltshire is sufficiently proven by their arms, precisely the same as those seen in the stained glass window of the chancel of St. James Church, Taunton, England. (Copied from "History of Woodbury, Connecticut") John Trowbridge, the grand father of the first settler in America, lived at Hutton, Somerset county, England, and died there in 1575. In his will, dated February 17, 1575, he names two sons, Thomas and Edmund, the former being remembered to this day for his bequest to the poor, the income of which is annually distributed in the parish church of St. Mary Magdalen, at Taunton,England. The latter, Edmund, was the father of the emigrant ancestor, Thomas. John Trowbridge's will named as executor his two brothers, both named Thomas and designated as Thomas, Sr., and Thomas Jr., after an idiotic custom of out English forefathers. These cases of two sons of the same name living at the same time are great sources of grief to the genealogists of the present day. Edmund Trowbridge was given five silver spoons and a gold ring by his father.
(I) Thomas Trowbridge, son of Edmund Trowbridge, mentioned above, was born in England, about 1610. He came from Taunton, Somersetshire, England, and settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts Bay Colony, as early as 1636. His wife joined the church there in 1636, and their son was born there that year. He drew a lot of land January 2, 1637, and at various times after that. Later in 1638 or early in 1639, however, he removed to New Haven. He was in the foreign shipping business and he continued in business, making voyages between the Barbadoes and England. He owned a house and lot in New Haven as early as 1639, but was apparently not living there. He and his wife and three children were living there in 1643 and he was rated as one of the richest men of the colony, paying taxes on five hundred pounds. In 1644 Mr. Cheever, the celebrated pedagogue, received payment for teaching Trowbridge's children; evidently the children were well educated for their day. He went to England in 1644, leaving his three sons and all his American property in charge of Henry Gibbons, who proved unfaithful to his trust. Sergeant Thomas Jeffries took the boys into his own family. Thomas Trowbridge wrote often from England to have Gibbons brought to account, but without avail. Even a power of attorney to his sons was not effective. Thomas Trowbridge died in Taunton, England, February 7, 1672, and soon afterward Gibbons gave to the sons a deed of everything he had, even to the bed he slept on, in an endeavor to make good the property of the family. When Gibbons died in 1686 Thomas Trowbridge was appointed his administrator and recovered all there was left of his father's estate in New Haven. The sons of Thomas Trowbridge (1), were: Thomas, born 1632, at Taunton, England; William, born 1634; James, born 1636, at Dorchester, Massachusetts, see forward.
(II) Deacon James Trowbridge, third and youngest son of Thomas Trowbridge (1), was born at Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1636, and baptized two years later. In 1641 he removed with his father to New Haven, Connecticut. He lived in New Haven until nearly twenty-one years old, when he returned to Dorchester and occupied the land his father had owned before removing to New Haven. He removed in 1664 to Cambridge Village, now Newton, Massachusetts. His wife Margaret, Thomas Wiswan, Goodman Kinwright, were dismissed by the Dorchester church, July II, 1664, to the church gathered at Cambridge Village. James Trowbridge was elected deacon to succeed his father-in-law, in 1675, and held that office forty-two consecutive years. In 1675 he bought of Deputy-Governor Danforth a farm of eighty-five acres with house and other buildings where the governor had lived several years, adjoining his farm, and the descendants of James Trowbridge have ever since kept in their possession a considerable part of the original homestead in Newton. In the seventh generation the place was owned by Nathan Trowbridge. He was selectman on the very first hoard, elected August 27, 1679, and served nine years. He was clerk of writs 1692-93, lieutenant of the military company, deputy to the general court from 1700 to 1703. He made his will in 1709 and added a codicil in 1715; it was proved June, 17l7. He mentions his rights in land at Dorchester received from his father, Thomas Trowbridge. The estate amounted to two hundred and forty pounds and seven shillings. He married Margaret Atherton, daughter of Major-General Humphrey Atherton, December 30, 1659, and had seven children. She died August 17, 1672. He married (second) Margaret Jackson, daughter of Deacon John Jackson, January 30, 1674. She died September 16, 1727, aged seventy- eight years. Children of James and Margaret (Atherton) Trowbridge were: Elizabeth, born October 12, 166o, married John Myrick; Mindwell, born June 20, 1662, married Jonathan Fuller; John, born May 22, 1664, married Sarah Wilson; Margaret, born April 30, 1666, married Hon. Ebenezer Stone; Thankful, born March 4, 1668, married Deacon R. Ward; Hannah, born June 15, 1672, married John Greenwood. Children of James and Hannah (Jackson) Trowbridge were: Experience, born November 1, 1675, married Samuel Wilson; Thomas, born December 4, 1677, married (second) Mary Goffe; (third) Susanna _____ ; Deliverance, born December 31, 1679, married Eleazer Ward; James, see forward; William, born November 19, 1684, married Sarah Ann Ward and (second) Sarah Fullam; Abigail, born April 11, 1687, probably never married; Caleb, born November 9, 1692, married Sarah Oliver and (second) Hannah Walter.
(111) James Trowbridge, son of James Trowbridge (2), was born at Dorchester, Massachusetts, September 20, 1682, died August 21, 1714, aged thirty-two years. His father deeded to him his dwelling house and land, ninety acres, situated between land of Joshua Fuller and John Mirick. His estate was valued in the inventory at seven hundred and thirty-six pounds, fourteen shillings and sixpence. He married, January 6, 1709, Hannah Bacon; (second), 1712, Hannah Jackson. The children of the first wife were: Margaret, born October 29, 1709, married Nathaniel Stowell; Daniel, born April 6, 1711, see forward. The children by the second wife were Hannah, born 1713, married Daniel Robbins; Jemima, received a bequest in will of grandfather, Abraham Jackson.
(IV) Daniel Trowbridge, son of Jomes Trowbridge (3), was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, April 6, 1711, died there October 1, 1795. He settled at Pomfret, Connecticut, and was a farmer. He married Hannah Spring, at Newton, October 8, 1733. She was the daughter of Ensign John Spring, of Watertown. She died June 26, 1763. He married (second), April 15, 1767, Jerusha Bowen, widow, who died June 27, 1791. Children of Daniel and Hannah Trowbridge, born at Pomfret, were: Daniel Jr., born June 18, I734, died 1744; Joanna, born May 3,1736, died August 5, 1741; Daniel, born July 30,1738; James, born February 15, 1740; John, born April 11, 1742; Ephraim, born June 10, 1744; Hannah, born August 19, 1746, died October 19, 1748; William, born May 1, 1748; Hannah, born February 19, 1752, married Philip Pearl, of Hampton; Caleb, born December 27, 1754, see forward; Elisha, born October 23, 1756.
(V) Caleb Trowbridge, son of Daniel Trowbridge (4), was born at Pomfret, Connecticut, December 27, 1754. His farm adjoined that of his father. He died September 9, 1830. He married Zylphia Barrows, who died October 3, 1863, aged ninety-seven years, six months, one day. Their children were: Artemas, born December 7, 1789; born May 28, 1792, married Jerome Pike; Susannah born August 14, 1794, died December 4, 1805; George, born August 11, 1798, see forward; Charles, born 1801.
(VI) George Trowbridge, son of Caleb Trowbridge (5), was born at Pomfret, Connecticut, August 11, 1798. He was educated and brought up in his native town. Before his marriage he entered the mercantile business with his brother Artemas at Camden, New York, where he lived the remainder of his days. He married, September 29, 1829, Julianna AlIin, of Pomfret. Their children were: I. Charles Edward, see forward. 2. Julia Allen, born at Camden, New York, January 20, 1833, married William W. Chubbuck, of Hamilton, New York, who was the youngest brother of Emily C. Judson, the wife of Rev. Dr. Adoniram Judson, Baptist missionary to Burmah, India. Mrs. Judson was an authoress, and while employed as a teacher in the Utica Female Seminary acquired a wide reputation under the name of Fanny Forester. Mr. Chubbuck died suddenly of heart disease at Utica in 1861. In I873 Mrs. Chubbuck was appointed a clerk in the inquiry branch of the New York postoffice by Postmaster Thomas L. James, and has served thirty-three years continuously under the administrations of Postmasters James, Pearson, Van Cott, Dayton and Wil cox. Mrs. Chubbuck's employment was in deciphering illegible addresses arriving at the New York postoffice and largely foreign letters, and millions of people in the United States are indebted to her skill and remarkable intuition, so that letters almost illegible were sent to those for whom they were intended and who otherwise would never have received them. She died February 21, 1906. 3. William Henry) born at Camden, January 4, 1836, is a farmer at Camden; was a soldier in the civil war and participated in the battles of Ball's Bluff and Chickamauga. 4. Elizabeth Pearce, born November 17, 1837, married Jerome Pike and resides at Camden, New York; she was one of the compilers the "Pioneer History of Camden, New York, a valuable reference book. 5. George Frederick, born June 7, 1846, died June 25, 1871.
(VII) Charles Edward Trowbridge, son George Trowbridge (6), was born in Pomfret, Connecticut, February 3, 1831. He was educated in Pomfret, where his younger days were spent with his grandparents. He learned the trade of machinist at Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He was promoted from place to place until he became the master mechanic of the Whitinsville Cotton Company. In 1872 he made his first important invention. We quote a sketch of it. "In 1872 Charles E. Trowbridge, master mechanic of the Whitinsville Cotton Mill, and Arthur F. Whitin, who was then employed in the repair shop, perfected and patented special tools for making rings for spinning and twisting.; They began the manufacture of rings in 1873, under the firm name of the Whitinsville Spinning Ring Company. By their improved methods and tools superior work is secured, and a great saving of labor is effected. With the old method the ring is passed through several hands and numerous operations, and the ring was not of such uniform excellence or finish. The company began the manufacture of rings for the cotton mills of Whitinsville and vicinity, but the fame of their superiority soon spread and arrangements had to be made for increased production. The ringshave been sent all over the country and many have been exported. The business has increased sixfold since 1878, ,but it’s growth has been a natural one. Arthur F. Whitin is treasurer; Charles E. Trowbridge is agent and George E. Trowbridge is superintendent. Mr. Trowbridge has secured a number of patents on rings and ring holders and has recently patented a new process of producing a metallic ring, which effects a great saving of travelers, on new rings, a much better yarn is produced by the consequent saving of breakage. The company began the manufacture of the adjustable ring in 1886 and now produces all varieties of rings known to the trade. The work began in the repair shop of the mill. In 1884, needing more room, it was moved to the old cotton mill built in 1886, on the south side of the stream, and occupied the basement and first story. In 1887 an enlargement of twenty by sixty-five feet was made and a new building erected with a furnace chimney for hardening and annealing. The success of this concern has been due in a large measure to the inventions of Mr. Trowbridge and his business ability. Mr. Trowbridge has always been a progressive man as to village and up-to-date improvements. He was greatly interested in electrical improvements of the place, being the first to install electric lights and telephone in his home. He is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Whitinsville, and a liberal supporter of that denomination; a member for nearly fifty years, filling several of the important offices as trustee and steward. Much of the credit is due him for the successful movement to pay off the Methodist Episcopal Church debt at Webster Square, Worcester, Massachusetts. The occasion of the burning of the church mortgage, December 22, 1905, was one of great joy and satisfaction to the people of this church and due credit is given Mr. Trowbridge and the others who brought about the payment of the debt. Mr. Trowbridge is a member of no clubs or secret orders. He has always divided his time between business and home. He is a Republican but has never held public office. He married, September 29, 1850, Jane E. Brayton, who died December 18, 1904. She was a native of Pomfret, Connecticut. Their children are: George E., see forward; Lizzie Jane, born October 23, 1859, at Whitinsville..
(VIII) George E. Trowbridge, son of Charles E. Trowbridge (7), was born at Pomfret, Connecticut, December 25, 1857. He was educated in the public schools of Whitinsville and in the English & Classical high school of Providence, Rhode Island. He entered the shop of the Spinning Ring Company and early learned the business, and in a few years became manager of the plant, a position he still holds. In February, 1887, he married Ella J Johnston, of Whitinsville, daughter of James Johnston. Previous to this he built a home in North Uxbridge, where their two children were born Clara Fern, October 22, 1891, Ruth Elsbeth, July 18, 1894. In 1900 he built his present residence on Maple street, North Uxbridge. He is independent in politics and active in municipal affairs, having been on various committees of the town, trustee of the Thayer Memorial Library, trustee of the Whitinsville Savings Bank, member, trustee, and treasurer of the Whitinsville Methodist Episcopal Church. A man of high character, public spirit and business ability.