Early Tankerhoosen Families
Walking through the early cemeteries we see the names of people and families who are unfamiliar to us today. Sometimes they seem to have been large families, other times they have roads named after them. Who were they, where and when did they live and what was there place in the community.
This is a short biography of some of the people who were prominent in their day - primarily in the Tankerhoosen Valley, but the families were often not just farmers but were involved with the development of Rockville's mills.
Allis, Nathaniel (1685-1751) - Nathaniel was one of the 50 proprietors who received 100 acre Bolton Homelots in the 1720's. Initially his Homelot was in the southern part of Bolton, but he soon traded it for Joseph Collyer's Homelot on Bolton Road bordering the Cedar Swamp (Bolton Lake), near today's Bolton/Vernon line. As Bolton continued to distribute land through 12 divisions Nathaniel obtained his shares in the Eastern part of town. The Seventh Division in 17?? was for 10 acres at the corner of Bamforth Road and Baker Road, the site of the Hubbard Kellogg house which is still lived in. He was married to Mercy Dudley and had ?? children. When he died at age 66 Nathaniel left a will detailing his properties He is buried in Bolton's Quarryville Cemetery.
Allis, David (1720-1789) - David was Nathaniel's oldest son and inherited most of Nathaniel's property. He was one of the most important members of the community holding many positions in town and was instrumental in the creation of the North Bolton Parish and building its church. Early services and planning meetings were held in his home. His name is on the house at Lanz Corner, but there is a question as to whether he really lived there.
Around 1750 David built and operated two mills on the Tankerhoosen River just South of Fish & Game Road. One was a grist mill and the other a saw mill. He was married first to Sarah Pendall and second, in 1783, to Keziah Dewey. He had no sons and six daughters, many of whom married and moved out of town. He bought and sold many properties during his lifetime accumulating a large estate. When he died at age 69 he left no will but his estate was probated documenting how it was distributed. His daughters would sell off their portions breaking up his holding but many would become part of today's Tankerhoosen Wildlife Management Area. He is buried in the North Bolton Cemetery.
The Blinn family built the Tunnel Road mill around 1850 and had a large farm on Warren and Maple Avenues from Tunnel Road to the Dobson/Phoenix mills. At times they also owned farm land on the East side of Tunnel Road on Valley Falls.
Blinn, James (-1885) - James seems to have been the builder of the Tunnel Road mill. We have James will dated 1883 leaving 89 acres, mostly on Warren Avenue to his wife Annie and sons James Butler, Henry Edwin, Chancy W., Isaac N. and daughter Dilia Ann Little. He apparently had sold the house on Tunnel Road and mill by then. This would break up the family land holdings.
Blinn, Charles H. (1849-1928)
Blinn, Henry E. (1832-1905)
Deacon John Chapman (1714-1774) was a farmer buying a large section of land at the Bamforth Road and Hartford Turnpike corner during the mid 1700's. He is buried in the North Bolton Burial Ground. A neighbor of Allis and Kellogg he played a role as the first Parish Clerk when North Bolton was formed in 1760. He was also on the Meeting House building committee and likely played a role in the church location. He was married to Hannah Kingsbury in 1738. Son Phineas and daughter Hannah.
Other Chapman's buried in the North Bolton Burying Ground are George, Hannah, Joel, Jonathan, Lucy, Mary, Phineas, Rebekay, Sally, and Thomas. James and Aaron Chapman of Ellington were involved in early mills on the Tankerhoosen.
Peter Dobson built the first cotton mill in the area around which grew up the village of Dobsonville. He is also known for his ideas on glacial movement.
» Go to Dobson Family history
Rev. Ebenezer Kellogg was hired as the first minister at the Meeting House in 1763 where he would spend his 55 year career. Over this period he also farmed, acquired land and established a family who would make significant contributions to Vernon and Rockville for over a century. The family has its own webpage. Go to Kellogg Family.
August Kneeland ( - 1896) lived on the east side of Tunnel Road near Hartford Turnpike where his barns were located. He owned several pieces of land in the Tankerhoosen Valley including along Valley Falls Road. He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.
Charles Kneeland (1858 - 1940), the son of August inherited his father's farm in 1889 at age 31. He farmed for nearly 40 years selling 30 acres to Frederick Belding in 1930 during the depression. At this time he was 72 and ready to retire.
Christian Sharps was best known as the inventor of the Sharps rifle, considered one of the finest carried by Union Soldiers during the Civil War. Towards the end of his life he came to Vernon and built a trout farm at Valley Falls.
» Go to Christian Sharps Trout Farm
The Talcott presence and influence on Vernon has been enormous and consists of several branches descending from the proprietor Benjamin Talcott.
Talcott, Deacon Phineas (1758-1835) - Deacon Phineas, son of Deacon Benjamin Talcott, was a farmer with his Dwelling House, as their homes were called, near the corner of today's Clark Road and Bolton Road. He was also very active in town and church affairs, was representative in the State Legislature for many sessions and was one of the delegates who formed the State Constitution of 1818. He owned a large farm straddling Bolton Road extending to Valley Falls Road. Bolton Road was a significant highway and his Dwelling House is often referenced in deeds and surveys. The Southern route to the Old Meeting House went through his property and past his house. He was married to Hannah Kellogg, daughter of Rev. Ebenezer Kellogg. They had 8 children including 5 sons.
Talcott, Allyn (1800-1863) - Allyn, son of Deacon Phineas, inherited his father's farm on Bolton Road. His Eastern property line followed the Southern road to the Old Meeting House to Valley Falls Road. Besides farming he was engaged i the manufacture of cloth in Rockville in partnership with his brothers Phineas and Ralph. He was married to Martha Robbins and had 6 children, with 3 sons. He sold his farm to Frederick Little and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.
The Thrall's were one of the first families in the Tankerhoosen Valley and were involved in much of the activity in the middle section. Moses Thrall gave the land for the Old North Bolton Burying Ground and their family owned much of what is today the Belding Wild Life Management Area. The family has its own webpage. Go to Thrall Family.