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 Molly <I>Barber</I> Chagum

Photo added by William Brackett

Molly Barber Chagum

  • Birth 1714
  • Death 16 Feb 1818 Barkhamsted, Litchfield County, Connecticut, USA
  • Burial Barkhamsted, Litchfield County, Connecticut, USA
  • Memorial ID 25053399

The Lighthouse cemetery is the burial ground for the Chagum family and their descendants. Archeologists have concluded that there are at least fifty burials here. Some family members say there are about two hundred. Some of the graves are marked with stones but none of the stones are inscribed. To understand this village you should read the following two books and remember our ancestors. They relate the story of Barkhamsted,Ct Lighthouse and our ancestors who lived there.
The book, Legends of The Barkhamsted Lighthouse and Satan's Kingdom in New Hartford, by Lewis Sprauge Mills and published in 1961, by the Shoe String Press, 2nd Ed., describes some of our ancestors from Connecticut. This book is a long poem similar to Hiawatha. It romanticizes the story and descendants of James and Molly (Barber)Chagum.
In Mill's book you can read:
"Molly Barber and James Chaugham
Dead and Buried-gone forever:
Scattered now are their descendants.
Some are in the Town of Woodbury
Busy digging graves and hunting;
Some in Riverton and Colebrook
Some in Harwinton and Winsted,
Some in Michigan are living.
… Generations speeding onward
In an ever widening circle,
Carry far the blood of Chaugham
And his spouse, brave Molly Barber,
Down the years with Adams, Hobson,
Jacklin, Lawrence, Barber, Elwell,
Webster, Doty, Berry, Cochran,
And the thousands yet to follow.
Through the ages still they journey,
Ever more and more descendants,
From that Ragged Mountain cabin,
Home of fearless Molly Barber
And her spouse, the Honest Chaugham.
Onward now, and ever onward
Shall they go, all through the ages
To Eternity's last borders-
Sent by Peter Barber's anger
And his daughter's resolution.
Had she yielded to her father
Other souls would journey onward,
Who is there to judge between them?"

The book, A Village of Outcasts, by Ken Feder and published by Mayfield Publishing Company in 1994, explores the archaeology of the Barkhamsted Tribe. It also explores the genealogy of this family group.

The following records are sparse. This is due to the early dates but also because this was a "Village of Outcasts". Their records were not maintained in the way the "White Population" maintained their records. Native American groups passed on an oral history and these were not often written down. Until the 1850 census even the names of individuals were not recorded,just heads of households. Many of these people are believed to be buried in an old cemetery located in the Peoples State Forest next to the site where the Barkhamsted Lighthouse stood. It is known as the Lighthouse Cemetery and is the Chagum family burial ground.

James Chagum, "A Narragansett Indian" married Molly Barber, "a white woman" about 1740. James Chagum was from Block Island in Rhode Island. Molly Barber's given name was Mary Barber. James Chagum would have been born about 1710-20. James Chagum died in Riverton, Connecticut about 1800. Mary (Barber) Chagum died on 06 Feb 1818 and was reportedly 104 years of age. Mary Barber would have been born about 1714. The record of her estate can be found in Barkhamsted records and is dated 10 Feb 1821 and it reads:An inventory of the Estate of Mary Chogum late of Barkhamsted decd-appraised by the subscribers on the 29th day of Jany 1821
1 iron kettle 1.25
1 small Do. .50
1 old chest of Drawers .50
14 acres of land @ 10$ 140
Total 142.25
We certify the above to be a true apprisal of all the Estate exhibited to us.
Judah Roberts Apprisor Jossa Ives on oath Recd in Court Feby 10, 1821 accepted, ordered to be recorded & kept on file Solomon Everet Judge a true record attest William Stone Clerk

Mary(Barber)Chagum owed the town of Barkhamsted $284.97 in back taxes and legal fees. Her land was sold to her son-in-law, William Wilson for $100.00 and the town cut their losses. The story goes that Mary/Molly's parents disapproved of this marriage and therefore the couple left the area. There is some indication that Mary Barber was "from Wethersfield"? James and Molly Chagum settled in Barkhamsted, Connecticut and established the "Barkhamsted Lighthouse Tribe". This group consisted of Native Americans, whites, mixed bloods and some African Americans. There is an indication of other Native Americans in this area. James's father's name was Samuel and his mother's name may have been Priscilla. Mary's father's name is believed to have been Peter Barber. The Chagum name is also seen spelled as Chogum, Chaugham, Chogam, Chaughom and Choggum. James and Molly (Barber) had at least eight children:
Sally Chagum
Samuel Chagum married Miss Green
Solomon Chagum married Miss Hayes
Meribah or Mary Chagum married Samuel Lawrence
Hannah Chagum b. abt. 1754 married Reuben Barber
Mercy Chagum b. abt. 1757 married Isaac Jacklyn
Mary or Polly Chagum b. abt 1758 married William Wilson
Elizabeth Chagum b. abt 1760

For further info please contact Coni Dubois - Leading genealogist on this line at
Also have a Facebook Group for the Barkhamsted Lighthouse which can be found at:
And my Blog at:

Family Members






  • Maintained by: Coni Dubois
  • Originally Created by: William Brackett
  • Added: 4 Mar 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 25053399
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Molly Barber Chagum (1714–16 Feb 1818), Find A Grave Memorial no. 25053399, citing Barkhamsted Lighthouse Cemetery, Barkhamsted, Litchfield County, Connecticut, USA ; Maintained by Coni Dubois (contributor 47396830) .