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Seth Hoyt

Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
Death 6 Jul 1831 (aged 71–72)
Addison County, Vermont, USA
Burial New Haven, Addison County, Vermont, USA
Memorial ID 177508868 · View Source
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Notes for Nine Children (at wife's page)

His stone is gone. The baptismal records at his birth town went up in flames.

People often report a very wrong 1857 for his death. Their source would be an old 1871 book by David Webster Hoyt (unrelated) that, otherwise very good, perhaps confused this Seth with his son Seth Jr. The book lost its main contributor for this family, who had been Seth's son Gould. Gould R. died in 1866, not there to fill in all the blanks and proof-read. Nor could he add the witty stories seen in the obituary he wrote for Seth's wife in 1845, out in Pennsylvania, where most of Seth's children had moved (obituary found by the modern family historian on his wife's side, Cindy Walcott, seen at RobleesOnline). We know 1857 is decades too late as: (1) Seth's widow left CT much earlier, to live with adult children in Pennsylvania. (2) As Catharine Hoyt, she then applied for a widow's pension that began in Mar. 1836. She was eligible due to his revolutionary service. Her pension continued until her death in 1845. Seth's own pension application was in 1819. He must have been ill, at about age 60, and run through savings by then. Neediness was a pension criterion in his era, not just service.

Birth dates given for him can vary from 1753 to 1760, but 1759 or 1760 is generally used (better fit to ages seen for siblings?). 1760 is a round number, signals it's an estimation. Either one puts him in the right generation, keeps his younger brothers Uriah, Ezra and Seymour below in birth order. He is otherwise expected to be the eldest son, since Seth married in 1787, then arrived first to New Haven, before the rest, his arrival said to be in 1790.

If his stone is found under rubble or dirt, its dates should be used. This gravepage should then be transferred to the photographer.

How much earlier than 1836 did he die? What is the source of the 1831 death date?

Family trees aware of pension and DAR lineage records agree he died on July 6 of 1831. The Ross-A-Heacock tree at used DAR records, but lamented the DAR applicants not giving paper sources. There is no discussion of the Norwalk fires, cited by DW Hoyt, nor that the stone must have been missing early. It was missing by the time of DW's 1871 book, hence its error of posing a far too-late death (confusing the many Seths?).

Seth's reasonable death year of 1831 followed a big flood on July 26 of 1830, which killed fourteen locals immediately and stressed more. It damaged crops and destroyed many bridges, caused more young to leave.

Gould, writing as "G.R. Hoyt" for his mother's obituary in 1845, out in Pennsylvania, had told witty stories giving both the scare-filled and funny sides of the Revolutionary War. He mentioned how congenial Hessians were happy their capture had been kind, distorting their dialect as he tried to mimic it. The social contact as indentured Hessians decided to stay in Lanesborough, where his family last lived before moving to Vermont, accounts for one of Seth's nephews having the name Otto (from northern Germany, the part close to Scandinavia, both places Lutheran).

The "Genealogical History" for 1871 mentioned Gould R. several times, almost as if asking why no one else stepped forward?. Everything had to be hand-delivered or done through the emerging post office system. However, the author, DW Hoyt, and his backing committee, out East, very possibly sent Gould's follow-up letters to the wrong place. They considered his family address to be the nearest town large enough to be a steamboat stop on the Mississippi River, Lake City, instead of his rural family's actual post office, a tiny thing reached by horse and saddle on an unincorporated rural corner called Oak Center, about 10 miles southerly of Lake City, though both were in the same county, Wabasha.

This Seth was:

*A father of nine known children, a mix of business people and the deep-minded, almost all moved to Penn. A deep-minded one there early would be Seth's son William, a teacher and then a doctor, having his first children in NY, then off to PA by 1819 or 1820, most likely arriving with brothers Gould R. and Orris, as bounty land was involved, so they could farm near each other.

*Said by family trees to have died in New Haven, no records for him seen in other towns after having moved there, post-Revolution.

*As a child, pre-Revolution, brought by his parents from their hometown of Norwalk, CT, to Lanesborough, Mass. Moving out of Norwalk early was a good choice, as presumed cousin Jonathan Hoyt, left behind in New Canaan, CT, remembered being "led by the hand" to a hilltop, then shown Norwalk "in flames" six miles below. (Tryon brought British troops in from the sea, to attack the port cities of Norwalk, New Haven and Fairfield, Connnecticut.)

*A veteran of the American Revolution, enlisted in July 1778, while single, in Lanesborough, Mass. His war service allowed three sons to claim bounty land in the Penfield, PA area (researched by Ross Heacock).

*Spouse to Keturah, met and married in Lanesborough. She was of a family extra-erratic in spelling its surname, due to coming from the multi-cultural place of rural NY, near or in the area once called New Amsterdam. Her side's historian, Cindy Walcott, called her maiden family the Robblees, noted Keturah was better known as Catharine, matching her mother's names, and found Seth's pension papers. Son Gould called Keturah/Catherine a "mother of the revolution", spoke of a young woman seeing the congenial Hessians marched through Lanesborough, MA, their being grateful for a kind capture.

*Part of a large family group that, over a decade's time, relocated to Addison County, Vermont, his entrance there in 1790 considered to be the first among his brothers.

*Of a "band of brothers", three cited in a "History of Addison County" as living on a road called Lanesboro Street, namely, himself, Seymour(youngest, later to Michigan) and Ezra (the judge, noted for turning his house on the street over for a church parsonage, then co-founding a church on the street that merged two congregations, and producing children involved in the ministry). The Addison County history did not say if the two congregations were equally excited about their merger. Other sources said Presbyterians were there, even though the church would be called Congregational (denominations were declared once past the "meeting house" stage that combined town-and-church into one building. (No denomination declared, that was typically called "First Church", with a "Second Church" or "Third Church" added as the net one or two generations stayed and then moved out to the undeveloped edges to find their own farms.)

*The road called Lanesboro, named after their old town of Lanesborough, led north out of town, so, to the tier of towns just above.
-----Northwesterly (to New Haven) were Monkton and, next to that, Vergennes, a city by a waterway/canal leading to Lake Champlain, with shipping and trading jobs at Vergennes connected to trade with Quebec, making money and jobs so long as the canal there was economically competitive (railroads found later they could not climb up the fall line, so bypassed Vergennes, pushing its canal into recreational use only).
-----Easterly (of New Haven) was Bristol, with a scenic pass in the Green Mountains, prone to severe flooding and rattlesnakes.

*He had no clear history in the towns to the north, but some brothers did and his widowed mother-in-law did, the latter marrying his distant cousin Stepehen Haight, a Quaker, buried in Monkton.

*There may have been an estrangement with brother Uriah, who lived some decades in Bristol, apart from the other brothers. His family with first wife Permelia had been in Monkton at the time of the War of 1812, maybe working the iron forge business. "Judge Ezra" was in Monkton earlier. The evidence? three children found in a non-Quaker cemetery of Monkton, with early death dates. Two deaths close together in 1813 were Uriah's and Permelia's sons.


They were--
*Both from large families.
*Of the right era for siblings in big families to be raised as another's "best buddy".

This was seen in two ways, possibly marred by an estrangement:
--FIRST, they raised their children amidst his "band of brothers" on Lanesboro Street in New Haven.
--SECOND, while still back in Lanesborough, Mass., Seth and a different Hoyt brother, Uriah, the one to live apart, to be buried in Bristol, not New Haven, married "Robblee" women. (They were not sisters, presumably cousins. Only Keturah and her known siblings were in the will of Keturah's father William. Permelia was instead the presumed daughter of William's brother Reuben, making Permelia's brother the Philip Rublee seen in Bristol, long living near Uriah.)

That made the children of Seth and brother Uriah double-relatives. In the "big family" era of the past, doubly-related children grew up as "best buddies", much as at least two parents had been when siblings. At least some from such sets moved to some of the same places when adults. That usual thing did not happen here.

Seth had military service that entitled three sons to take advantage of land opening for settlement in Pennsylvania. around 1820. Uriah did not.

Why might that be? Story time. Gould remarked in his obituary that Keturah had renounced Presbyterianism for a belief that God wanted all with him in Heaven, not just a preordained few. "Reading between the lines", that meant she switched from the Hoyt's Calvinism to Methodism. That was the faith of her and Seth's son Orris when out in Penn. The Robblee historian Cindy Walcott noted that Keturah was buried in Centre Cemetery (previously known as Centre Methodist?), where son Orris id buried. Placed on the first site of Orris's Methodist church in Huston Township, there was no pretense that the old cemetery belonged to the whole town. The first lot buyers had been sought from the church membership.

THE STEPHEN HAIGHTS. Long-term in Monkton, apparently there before the Hoyts came clearly to New Haven in 1790, were distant cousins named Stephen Haight, the elder and his son the Jr., whose migration path brought them out of what was old Dutchess County, NY. They were of record simultaneously in Monkton, side by side, BOTH named, one as Jr., most clear for the 1820 U.S. Census. Stephen Jr's son out in Wisconsin wrote a biography.

They were in contact, as widowed senior married Seth's widowed mother-in-law, at FindaGrave as Keturah Baker Haight, perhaps having known each other as children back in Dutchess County, NY.

BEWARE. The Haights of Addison County are sometimes confused with a Stephens/Stephen Hoyt buried in Kalamazoo County, Michigan. Stephen had his own census in 1820, separate, "out west" in Logan County, Ohio, so was not the same man. Their surnames had become stable in spelling by 1820.

Three Hoyt children would marry in Logan County, which had marriage records in that era, but not much else. Father Stephen would travel to Michigan with at least two married children, his married son Ransford and a daughter who married a "Calhoon" (Calhoun?).

Did someone advise him there was a Stephen Haight in Vermont with whom he might be confused? His Michigan paperwork would, multiple times, show him now as "Stephens Hoyt". In that way, he appeared to join a family group in this era using mothers' maiden names. His brother and then his own son were both named Ransford Hoyt, so the Ranford name or a variation should be found in some maternal ancestor. Puritan-favored names from the Old Testament, such as Seth, Ezra and Uriah, began to fade away. His children wrote Stephen for him later. The daughter and spouse moved elsewhere, but her husband had a biography in a book that tells of Stephen Hoyt.

There could/would have been contact in Michigan between Stephen's family and Seth's closer kin. The two sets both moved to Kalamazoo County, in small towns within 10-15 miles of Kalamazoo the city

Stephen's set farmed at Prairie du Ronde, so were buried in nearby Schoolcraft. Seth's kin, buried to the northeast, in Richland, included brother Seymour Hoyt, who filed for homestead land. Nephew Rev. Ova Phelps Smith, son to brother Ezra (the Judge), was made pastor of a Richland church around 1840, then put in charge of foreign missions at varied churches that extended southward past Schoolcraft, into Elkhart, Indiana. He later retired at Richland, after an "itinerant" (traveling) life, so wives were buried elsewhere.


The mother's surnames used in Michigan included, not just Ransford (and possibly Stephens) but Seymour, for Sarah Seymour, Seth's mother, and Phelps, for Jerusha Phelps, Ova's mother.

Elsewhere, the name Seth chose for his wittily writing son, Gould R. is hard to decipher, unless you assume R. was for his mother Keturah's maiden surname, Robbee/Roblea/Rublee/Ruble, however spelled. With the middle name doing the maternal honoring, Gould may not have been for a direct maternal ancestor, but someone else. The first Gould Hoyt was one whose mother's name was earlier seen spelled as Gold (Martha Gold? wife of which Hoyt?). This name was sometimes sounded out as Goold. Many must have admired someone named Gould/Gold, as there were many Gould and Goold Hoyts not closely related. Seth's son was to be the only one in this line.

NOTE: Stephens Hoyt was presumed brother, then known father, to two men named Ransford Hoyt. His migration path clearly included two legs, each with just one of the Ransford Hoyts. The first leg, with likely brother Ransford, left the Scranton area of Pennsylvania for Ohio, where Stephen would be for the 1820 Census and where son Ransford was born and later marriages included that of son Ransford and two of his sisters. For the second leg of the migration path, much later than the first, Stephen went with son Ransford and a married daughter, from Ohio, to the newer state of Michigan.

About the first leg-- The PA to OH move can be thought of as hiding a longer CT to OH move.

Stephen and the elder Ransford had come from that part of Penn. also claimed by old CT, pre-Revolution and after the Revolution. The "Pennamite Wars" were resolved in favor of Penn. as the Union formed and judged its own disputes. The border skirmishes between expanding colonies were no longer a problem for the British king to resolve. Parts of the newest state, Ohio were given to CT as a "make-up" for its losses. These were called the Western Reserve and the Firelands, the first making up for the loss of Connecticut's settlements and road investments in current Pennsylvania and also for Connecticut's port cities' destruction, its residents suffering in the literal flames of the Revolutionary War.

Connecticut chose to sell off much of the Western Reserve land to investors, opening up settlements around Painesville at the mouth of the Grand River, so nearer Buffalo, NY, extending to baby Cleveland at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, so nearer future Toledo and Detroit which was then still a fort and a fur trading post.
Connecticut put the money from selling Western Reserve to developers into its schools fund, while the "Connecticut sufferers" were possibly(?) given land in the Firelands region outright. Multiple towns in the Firelands given Connecticut names included Norwalk, Ohio, after war-ruined Norwalk, CT.

Known to have gone from a disputed part of Penn. to Ohio, it's likely Stephen's deep ancestry lay in the burnt baptismal records of one of three port cities "put to the torch" by the British commander Tryon, namely, Norwalk, Fairfield and New Haven, Connecticut.

MISTAKEN IDENTITIES. When people give the Stephen Hoyt buried in Schoolcraft a birthplace of Dutchess County, NY, or Addison County, VT, that's a pre-internet error that needs be corrected. They have mistaken him for some other Stephen, but with

*a consistently different spelling of the last name (Haight),

*a different religious history (Quaker parentage),

*a different family (wife named Anah, just two children, daughter Mary to marry a political man named Phelps, son named John, not Ransford), and

*a different migration path (born in Dutchess County, NY; moved with father as a child to Monkton, Addison County, Vermont; served in public office for Monkton, then died in Washington DC as Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate, his body returned to VT, not Michigan.)

*the migration path ending at different cemeteries and different futures for adult children (buried in Bennington County, Vermont, personal biography given in political newspapers, multiple generations described by son John Haight in his biography as a dairy farmer and attorney out in Wisconsin, buried there.)

That there were three Stephens with similar names, so room for confusion, is clear in the 1820 US Census. The two Haights, Stephen the elder, with Jr next-door, were side by side, in Monkton in 1820. Stephen Hoyt was "out west" in Logan County, Ohio. (Stephen's uniquely named son, Ransford Hoyt, was not in his own house yet, so not named. He would named in the same county in a marriage record in a few years. Two daughters of Stephen were also named there via marriage marrying a Peter "Waggoner" and a Clahoon/Calhoun, with the latter husband having a biography that outlines the Ohio-to-Michigan migration path and then that couple's later move away from Michigan)

====Trash bin
Two Ransford Hoyts. Stephen with presumed brother ransford were seen together in early land records for Providence Twp(now the Scranton part of PA). There was also a mention in "Orphans Court" regarding another Hoyt, presumed a deceased father or other male relative acting as guardian. There was a sale of land (to a Truman Monroe check for name) before leaving Penn.

Haights and Quakers in Monkton. Stephen Sr. had their era's version of a mixed marriage with Keturah Baker, as she did not convert to Quakerism, but joined brother-in-law Ezra's church as "Katherine Hait" (in 1802? check). They are thus buried in separate cemeteries, she, with the Calvinist Hoyts at Evergreen in New Haven, he, in the Friends Cemetery in Monkton.

Note that (1) the Monkton Friends rotated with Ferrisburgh Friends as to which town's name headed the group, making old records, which should be detailed, hard to find, and (2), as Quakerism and the Methodists had too few members left in rural areas to justify separate congregations, the Monkton sets ultimately joined hands with the Methodists who had attended Quaker services and found them compatible. The result was a Friends Methodist Church in Monkton that still exists (2017) (3)Simon Hoyt/Hoyte had been the Hoyt-Haight shared immigrant ancestor, many generations ago, with male DNA tests now offered for those unsure if they belong to this set versus the unrelated New Hampshire Hoyts, versus one of the later-arriving German-speaking immigrants whose surnames very sound similar.


Much is still legible on the stones of those Hoyts with children who stayed longest or summered there through the 1900s. These are buried family-like in Evergreen Cemetery.

With clear stones, some stones appear re-carved, some replaced, easier for them to notice the need for repair, as their two sets of survivors were around a lot longer.

*The varied Ezra Hoyts, one his brother, another their father, the eldest of the Ezras buried at Evergreen, coming out of Norwalk, CT, married to Sarah Seymour. Who kept their stones up? Perhaps Seth's nephew, Rev. Otto Seymour Hoyt, able to minister locally, even though other jobs and thus their jobholders left. His brother, Rev. Ova Phelps Hoyt, traveled through NY, Ohio, Mich., and Indiana, but, like Seth's son Gould, died too early to assist much with the book.

*The varied Jonathan Hoyts. They were pretty clearly some sort of cousin, but of a mysterious sort, able to leave CT later than did Ezra's set, with their records, kept in New Canaan's church, not at Norwalk, did not burn. Their Eliza Hoyt Meacham was their contributor, still living for the big 1871' book's writing, though DW Hoyt, book author, said she'd gone off to Europe.

If Eliza's long-lived father did not keep up their family stones, then she did. Eliza's married brother Lucius would have his name carved, even though his original stone was/still is back in Niles, Michigan. Is it now the cenotaph or does it still mark his body? Moving bodies of family was something her family did do. Eliza's youngest brother, J. Mills Hoyt, was apparently brought back from Cleveland after he died there, not yet 20, while visiting "other family". (Only Seth's nephew Uriah Hoyt was there that early, technically in Newburg/Newburgh and Orange Township, before their annexation by Cleveland, before moving to farm at Chagrin Falls. We will call him Uriah II, merely to separate him from Seth's brother Uriah, buried "next-door" in Bristol. Uriah I's children also left, but his second wife's family perhaps stayed local.)

Among the Ezra-descended Hoyts in New Haven, Rev. Otto (Hessian name, so Germanic and Lutheran) was Congregational in faith and local in jurisdiction, with indications the Presbyterians attended the same church, the one co-founded by his father Judge Ezra. Rev. Ova was Presbyterian, though not rigidly so, but one of his newspapers done as a young man called itself "New Light Presbyterian". Many of the "Old Lights" in churches that once followed the old Mather tradition felt the New Light view was too dark and condemning, with emotional, hypnotic speech. Rev. Ova himself was not that way, his own sermons were described as "instructive" and not "raptures".

Was there an estrangement of some sort? caused by Permelia dying so much sooner than Keturah, so, if "best buds", no longer encouraging each other's family to go in the same religious direction? Uriah lived at least a decade beyond Seth. He and Permelia's son, Uriah the Jr, had gone solo to Cleveland, alone unless Rev. Ova's presence there churchwise is counted 1836-1840 and J. Mills Hoyts visit in 1835 and subsequent death from Brights is counted. Uriah II's son, Henry Seymour Hoyt noted that Uriah II was (1) very pro-education, so like the rest, had (2) switched from Whig to Republican, like many, not all as the Republicans were abolitionist and (3) had converted religiously and joined the Disciples. That was a surprise. maybe religious experimentation was the new era, maybe some old faiths had stopped doing what they used to, taking care of the poor, providing care for the sick, etc., opening opportunities for new religions

--It does not appear that Seth's stone was moved elsewhere.

Other cemeteries have been checked, but there is no sign that his stone was moved elsewhere, no cenotaph "in memory of". Should a stone be resurrected (for example, found under an old pile of flood rubble or buried under tossed grave dirt), then that stone's death date should be substituted. His granddaughter Annabel Hoyt, a toddler dying in 1865, had a resurrected stone, giving an idea of what to expect (photo). Permission is given to transfer this page to the finder/photographer of his stone.

--March of 1836 marked the beginning of widow's pension benefits for his spouse, born Keturah, but calling herself Catharine/Catherine for the pension roll. Neediness was required to earn a widow's pension, not just widowhood, and it took time to deplete savings, so she did not apply immediately.

Moving in with an adult child might be considered a sign that need would soon increase. Keturah was said to have moved out-of-state to live with son Gould R. Hoyt by 1832, when he lived in Clearfield County, Penn, in the Penfield area. That fits a death date of 1831 given for Seth in family trees and histories aware of his pension documents.

--In July of 1831 was massive, unprecedented flooding that affected the whole county ("The Torrent", Lemuel Eldridge). Said to be especially damaged were New Haven, where Seth was always mentioned as living, after coming to Vermont. Heavily damaged, maybe more so, due to gathered rain rushing down, sliding off of mountains was, Bristol, in the next tier of towns northward, where his brother Uriah had moved.

Uriah's son, II, turned to the Disciples. Had Uriah I already made a change? Were any of them pacifists? Did Uriah not serve in the revolution, so his children did not get the war bounty lands granted in Penn to Seth's sons? Or?

Of his brothers,
*Uriah moved to Bristol, remarried, buried there with second wife, a Pettibone (Petitbon?). Keturah's presumed cousin, his first wife, was buried in New Haven, her stone and daughter's now gone, but still viewable for a pre-WW I walk to gather "death records" gathered buy the state;

*Seymour, the youngest, moved to Richland, Michigan, where he filed for homestead land, so was buried there;

*Ezra "Judge" Hoyt, stayed local.

*Was there possibly another, named Thaddeus?
Notes for Children at Keturah' page

Copyright by JBrown, Julia Brown, Austin, TX, 2017. Permission given to Findagrave for use at this page. Descendants of people named here may use whole paragraphs in private materials for family.

Family Members





  • Created by: JBrown, IA, MN, Calif, AustinTX
  • Added: 18 Mar 2017
  • Find A Grave Memorial 177508868
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Seth Hoyt (1759–6 Jul 1831), Find A Grave Memorial no. 177508868, citing Evergreen Cemetery, New Haven, Addison County, Vermont, USA ; Maintained by JBrown, IA, MN, Calif, AustinTX (contributor 48697180) .