Gregory Seeley

Personal

Gender: Male

Date of Birth: May 14, 1799

Date of Death: January 28, 1867

Birth Place: Easton, Fairfield County, CT

Death Place: Washington, Litchfield County

GREGORY SEELEY. Three brothers by the name of Seeley emigrated from Wales, in what year perhaps no record can be found, and settled in Fairfield Co., Conn., near Long Island Sound, one in Stamford, one in Newfield (now Bridgeport), and the other in West Stratford. Samuel Seeley, a descendant, lived in Stratfield parish, and had a family of about twelve children, one of whom, Ezra, lived in Fairfield, Stratfield parish, and married Mary Sherwood. They had six children, viz.: Anna, Elijah, Aaron, Ezra, Eunice, and Sherwood. Their son, Elijah, born Nov. 27, 1769, and Patience Gregory, born March 17, 1774, were married March 3, 1793. He died at his home in Easton, Fairfield Co., March 9, 1851. His wife died at the same place, Feb. 2, 1863. Their children were Paulina, born Dec. 18, 1794 (now deceased, and was the wife of Benjamin Nichols, of Southeast, Putnam Co., N.Y.); Eunice, born Jan. 8, 1797, died May 9, 1861; Gregory (who is the subject of this sketch, and whose portrait may here be seen) was born in the town of Easton, Fairfield Co., May 14, 1799, and died in the town of Washington, Litchfield Co., Jan. 28, 1867; Elijah, Jr., born Jan. 27, 1803, died Oct. 5, 1815; Calvin, born Jan. 13, 1806, and now living in Sandy Creek, Oswego Co., N.Y.; Harriet (wife of Titus A. Bryan, of Washington), born Oct. 19, 1814, died Feb. 19, 1836.

Gregory Seeley, born as above stated, and Polly Sherwood, born Dec. 24, 1803 (daughter of Walker Sherwood, Esq., of Easton), were married Nov. 28, 1820. In the spring of 1821 they commenced housekeeping in their native town, where their eldest son, Walker Sherwood, was born Aug. 27, 1821 (now a farmer residing in Woodbury, Conn.).

In the spring of 1822, Mr. Seeley, with his family, removed to a farm which he had purchased in the town of Southeast, Putnam Co., N.Y. Here they lived for thirteen years, during which time five of their children were born, viz.: Jane Ann, born April 22, 1823, died Oct. 8, 1860 (wife of Daniel S. Baker, of Washington); Calvin, born Sept. 15, 1825, died Dec. 15, 1842; Marriette, born May 31, 1828, died March 12, 1878 (wife of Ethiel S. Green, of New Milford); Henry Warner, born Feb. 13, 1830, now a farmer, living in the town of Washington; Sarah Elizabeth, born Feb. 3, 1833 (wife of Richard A. Bryan, of Washington).

During the thirteen years that Mr. Seeley had lived in Southeast with his family he had been engaged, more or less, in the droving business, and had frequently gone in the southwestern portion of Litchfield Co., Conn., to purchase stock, where the cheapness of the land and its adaptation to grazing purposes led him to believe that he could better his lot by selling his farm in New York, and buying in Connecticut. This he accordingly did, moving his family in the spring of 1835 to Washington, locating on a farm of nearly four hundred acres which he had purchased.

Here he commenced a system of farming altogether new in this section of country, and pursued it till his death. He devoted his farm especially to grazing purposes, and discovering that plaster was exactly suited to the soil he used it plentifully, and was bountifully rewarded.

As an omen of success, in the fall of 1835 (November 1st) there was added to the family a pair of twin boys, named Edwin Gregory and Edson Elijah, the former, a farmer, now living in Roxbury, Conn.; the latter, a farmer, living in Washington. Benjamin Nichols, the youngest son, was born April 24, 1839, and now owns and occupies the farm first purchased by his father in Washington. Harriet Bryan, the tenth and youngest child, was born Jan. 13, 1845, and is the wife of Andrew G. Barnes, of New Milford.

As a man, Gregory Seeley was highly respected, being social and genial in his nature, and noted for his hospitality, his “latch-string being always out.”

As a farmer, he was energetic, persevering, and practical, consequently successful. He believed that to be a good farmer was as much of a trade or profession as any other, and required as good judgment and close application. Often told his boys that “the theologian, physician, and lawyer could consult their books, the mechanic his square compass, but the farmer must weigh and measure with his eye.”

His sons all became farmers, and his daughters all became farmers’ wives. Soon after his removal to Washington, he purchased a small farm adjoining his land, and lying on the main road from Washington to Woodbury, repaired the buildings, and made it his home while he lived. His widow owns and occupies the old homestead, and around the old hearthstone a large and happy group of children and grandchildren meet from time to time as the years roll by.

“The History of Litchfield County, Connecticut”, published: Philadelphia, J.W. Lewis & Co. 1881.

[Gregory is SGS# 2022 – Gregory;, Elijah; Ezra; Nathaniel; Nathaniel; Nathaniel; Nathaniel; Robert]