Ephraim Child, Woodstock Hill Cemetery, Woodstock, Windham, Connecticut, USA
Chapter 8 - Lieutenant Ephraim Child Sr. -- 1683-1759 (76 Years Old)
Ephraim Child Sr. was born on December 18, 1683 in the village of Jamaica Plains, Roxbury Township, Suffolk County, Massachusetts. Ephraim was the first of twelve children born to Benjamin III and Grace Morris Child. Being the eldest child, Ephraim would have learned at an early stage in his life the responsibilities of caring for siblings and setting an example for them. Although he had seven brothers and four sisters, all born in a twenty-three year time span (1683-1706), Ephraim was closest to his brother Benjamin IV, who was a year and a half younger. These brothers were raised on their father's farm, about one mile northwest of the village of Jamaica Plains, where they learned many of the valuable lessons of life from their father while assisting him maintain the land and livestock.
Ephraim and his siblings worshipped at the Congregational Church in the center of Roxbury, which was located about four miles southeast of the family farm in Jamaica Plains. Their pastor, Reverend John Eliot, was a close friend of Ephraim's grandfather Benjamin II, who baptized almost all of his descendants in the township of Roxbury. At the death of this dynamic minister in 1690, the Eliot School was established and endowed on 75 acres of his land in the village of Jamaica Plains.
|Eliot School build in 1690|
Jamaica Plains, Massachusetts
|Map of Child Migrations in New England|
1709 Roxbury to Woodstock
|Original Allotments of NE Woodstock|
Yellow = 136 Acres Ephraim Sr.
|Map of Ancestral Locations in Woodstock|
linked to Ephraim Child Sr.
For the next twenty-five years, the residents of Roxbury settled the southern part of Woodstock, which is commonly referred to as Woodstock Hill. A burying ground and Congregational Church were established, along with civic organizations that were similar to those in Roxbury. While the section of Woodstock that was settled was south of the Old Connecticut Path, which basically ran through the center of Woodstock, the northern section had yet to be settled. However, by 1709, Ephraim Child and his brothers were the first immigrants to settle the northeastern region, which was formally named at a later time as East Woodstock.
|19th Century Map of NE Woodstock|
showing original Child Homesteads
The reasons why Ephraim decided to leave the family estate and begin a new life in the wilderness may never be known. Ephraim was the eldest son of Benjamin III, which meant that he was the heir to his father's established homestead in Roxbury. It is possible that the large number of younger siblings that would not be leaving home for the next fifteen years discouraged Ephraim from staying because of possible motives to move on with his life or desires of independence. However, it is most likely that the driving force behind the Child brothers' migration was just the thrill of trekking into the unknown wilderness, along with the challenges of surviving along the frontier. This was the second time that a restless spirit of migratory exploration had fallen upon this particular lineage that descended from Wolstone Childe. As a result, a recurring pattern of settlement emerged for the first generation that was allowed by prosperity for the second generation, which repeated itself at least four times in the Child bloodline.
Ephraim Child's unique relationship of growing up with his uncle John came back to bless him later in life. Although Ephraim was strong and smart enough to start a new life in the wilderness at the age of twenty-five, the added experience of his uncle John, who was thirty-seven years old at the time, would greatly benefit him and his brothers. In 1699, Ephraim's uncle John purchased a farm and homestead in the center of the southern region of Woodstock, which had been laid out as an orderly community. As a result, Lieutenant John Child had already been established for ten years in Woodstock before Ephraim and his brothers arrived in 1709.
There is no doubt that Lieutenant John Child helped Ephraim out by allowing the three brothers to stay at his house and use it as a base of operation until they could get on their own feet. To get established required them to have crops in the ground and a roof over their heads. This signified that they had to travel every day to the northeast sector of Woodstock that was still vacant and uncultivated, and carry out the backbreaking work of felling trees with their axes. The trail that they cut into the northern forest from the south later became known as Child Hill Road.
|Ephraim Child Sr. Homestead and 100-acre Farm|
|Child Brothers' Dam and Sawmill Foundation|
East Woodstock, Connecticut
Lt. Ephraim Sr. and Priscilla Harris Child
|Ephraim Child Sr. Mansion Home built in 1735|
East Woodstock, Connecticut
|Ephraim Child Sr. Manion Home build in 1735|
East Woodstock, Connecticut
|Academy and Administrative Common|
of Woodstock Hill, Connecticut
|Woodstock Hill Cemetery, Connecticut|
Burial Ground of Ephraim Child Sr.
|Left: Woodstock Hill Cemetery|
Right: East Woodstock Cemetery
Ephraim military service and characteristics
Mr. Ephraim Child was a prominent man of his day. He was intelligent, patriotic, enterprising, generous and self-sacrificing. His patriotism was kindled by the stirring incidents of the times, and he was among the first of the early defenders of colonial interests. In 1753 he held a commission as Lieutenant in Company 17, in 11th Regiment of Infantry, in Connecticut, and was active in the revolutionary struggles for independence. He was a man of broad views, of a warm and sympathetic nature, living for others quite as much as for himself. Earnest in efforts for the public good, he drew around him men less brave, who shared in his sympathies and profited by his counsels. In church affairs he was conscientious, steadfast and reliable, a leader whose integrity and wisdom secured the confidence of his Christian brethren, and rendered him a fit man to transmit to posterity, attractive and valuable characteristics.
mfredlund74added this on 10 Jun 2011
From: Genealogy of the Child, Childs and Childe Families, of the Past and present in the United States and the Canadas, from 1630 to 1881, Volume 1 By Elias Child 1946
Ephraim Child, first child of Benjamin and Grace Morris Child, born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, December 18, 1683, married 1710, Priscilla Harris, daughter of Dan'l Harris of Brookline, Massachusetts. He died November 22, 1759. She was born June 4, 1684. She died June 26, 1780, at 96.
Ephraim Child was the eldest of the seven brothers who migrated from Roxbury, Massachusetts to "New Roxbury," Connecticut (afterwards called Woodstock). He removed shortly before or immediately after his marriage, in 1710, and settled in that part of the town now called East Woodstock (anciently known as Muddi Brook), erecting for himself a house, which, with some additions, had been retained in the line of his male descendants till the present time, 1880, covering a period of quite 170 years. Its enlargement, at a somewhat early period, made it as it now stands, a commodious and attractive home. Its site is in a beautiful vale, about half a mile east of East Woodstock village. It is probably at his house where occurred the amusing incident on a Thanksgiving occasion, which is found recorded in the early part of his chapter. Many pleasant memories cluster around this ancient home. It has been the birthplace of sons and daughters, whose history, with that of a long line of descendants, is is pleasant to trace. In this house hospitalities for many generations have been liberally dispensed to kindred and aliens, particularly on the Sabbath, when, in the interval between the morning and afternoon religious service, numbers of worshippers living remote from the place of worship, accepted as an accorded right, a hearty meal of boiled meats and vegetables, or a soporific lunch of hasty pudding and milk; this latter being the favorite repast; particularly of one, who could not resist the luxury of a quiet nap under the afternoon sermon.
These were the good old times which the elder men of the present age like to recall, and which link them to the memory of uncles, aunts, grandfathers and grandmothers.
|Home built by Ephraim Child|
Mr. Ephraim Child was a prominent man of his day. He was intelligent, patriotic, enterprising, generous and self-sacrificing. His patriotism was kindled by the stirring incidents of the times, and he was among the first of the early defenders of colonial interests. In 1753 he held a commission as Lieutenant in Company 17, in 11th Regiment of Infantry, in Connecticut, and was active in the revolutionary struggles for independence. he was a man of broad views, of a warm and sympathetic nature, living for others good, he drew around him men less brave, who shared in his sympathies and profited by his counsels. In church affairs he was conscientious, steadfast and reliable, a leader whose integrity and wisdom secured the confidence of his Christian brethren, and rendered him a fit man to transmit to posterity, attractive and valuable characteristics.
Histories of Child, Rawson, Coffin and Holtzclaw Families