LOOSE ROCKS AND COLD TRAILS: SOME EARLY ROCKWELLS OF
KNOWN ANCESTRY WHO MAY HAVE LIVING DESCENDANTS, PLUS SOME UNCLASSIFIED
All ancestor-hunters run up against that problem individual whom they have
trouble further tracing, not knowing where to look. "They just showed up"
in a given locality, from parts unknown. This situation usually leads the
researcher to post a query in various online and print forums, hoping to
find a match with a child born to known parents in a previously undiscovered
This web page is a sort of "reverse query" board. Here I hope to
collect in one place notes on Rockwells whose ancestors are known but not
some of their descendants. That is, there is evidence for children of a
given couple, with no further details on them. The children may have died
young; that's the simple solution. On the other hand, the parents may
have moved to a new area with poor documentation, and their children are
the first generation to make it into the records. Possibly the people on
this list are those for whom a descendant working backward in time is looking.
Just maybe, this list can provide answers, clues, or new ideas for where
As an example there was a Thomas Rockwell, who lived in Franklin Co.,
Pennsylvania and Medina Co., Ohio, and thought by descendants to have
been born ca. 1784, possibly in Massachusetts. Could he be one of the
children listed in the 1790 Census at Lanesborough, Mass., a son of
Elijah Rockwell? Or did he come out of the Robert line from Maryland? Or
was he of a more recent immigration, as some descendants have claimed?
In addition, I include a list of individual Rockwells born by 1800 who cannot be
fit into the large known Rockwell families, i.e., their ancestors (and
often their descendants) are unknown. Finally, I'll list some problem
cases of the past for whom recent research has produced answers, or at
least likely solutions.
Early Rockwell lines whose trails have grown cold: known ancestry,
(arranged roughly chronologically)
- James Rockwell, bapt. 17 June 1707, son of Samuel and Abigail (Mix)
Rockwell of Norwich, CT. He is mentioned in his father's will of 1742 as
having left for parts unknown; 5 shillings is reserved for him should he
ever return. Arlene Bell, in her book Some of the descendants of
Josiah Rockwell of Norwich, Connecticut (pub. 1989) notes that a James
Rockwell married 28 June 1734 to Lois Porter of Windsor, according to an
IGI report. "This may or may not be James son of Samuel and Abigail." (Bell, p. 9)
- Ebenezer Rockwell, 5 Jan 1717/18 Windsor, Hartford, CT, son of John
and Anne (Skinner) Rockwell. Ebenezer died after 14 MAY 1772 since a deed
recorded in East Windsor on May 14, 1772 from Daniel Rockwell, Ebenezer
Rockwell, Joel Rockwell of East Windsor, and David Rockwell of
Springfield, Hampshire County strongly suggests that these four sons of
John were all still living in 1772. The families of the brothers Daniel,
Joel, and David are all well-documented, but no sign of the other brother
Ebenezer can be found. (contributed by Mark Rockwell, Fairfax Co.,
- Elihu Rockwell, b. ca. 1736 at Wilton, son of Jonah and Dorothy Rockwell.
No further information, so possibly died young.
- Amos Rockwell, b. ca. 1738 at Wilton, son of Jonah and Dorothy Rockwell.
No further information, so possibly died young.
- Stephen Rockwell, b. 14 Jan. 1739, prob. at Ridgefield, son of
Benjamin and Rebecca (Wilson) Rockwell. He is probably the one who lived
at Southeast, Dutchess (later Putnam) Co., NY, from ca. 1758 to the 1780s,
after which he moved his family to Providence, Saratoga Co., NY. Only one
son, Jonah, is known for certain from the existing records, but Sylvester's
History of Saratoga County states that there was also an older
son who served in the U.S. Naval forces in the Revolution and was never
heard from again. In addition, there is a probate record for one "Stephen
Rockwell the younger" back in Dutchess County; on 21 May 1793,
administration of his estate was granted to David Crosley, Jr., a farmer
at Frederickstown, Dutchess County. (Dutchess Co. Surrogate Court record,
Book A, p. 138, LDS film 913694) Perhaps this Stephen was another son of
the Stephen who went to Saratoga County.
- Joseph Rockwell, son of Simeon and Lydia Rockwell of Kent, Conn.
Born ca. 1740, probably in Dutchess County, N.Y., he is probably the
Joseph Rockwell found in the Dutchess County tax lists in Southern
Precinct from June of 1762 to 1765. By 1768 he was living in Kent,
Litchfield Co., Conn., just to the east of Dutchess County. In 1792 his
father Simeon Rockwell gave him land at Kent. What became of this
individual? Did he marry, move away, and have descendants?
- Elijah Rockwell, b. 30 Mar. 1745 at Ridgefield, moved to Lanesborough,
Berkshire Co., Mass. His listing in Boughton is quite spare; Boughton
sketches his life thus: "born Ridgefield March 30, 1745; married at
Ridgefield, Nov. 18, 1767, Eunice Gray, who died soon after, June 2, 1769.
His father gave him a part of his homestead in Mopoos Bogs Feb. 26, 1772,
but he went to Lanesborough, Mass., and at an advanced age, about 1820,
visited Ridgebury, which was the last account of him."
From this cursory account, one might think Elijah had no further family
to report and that his line dies out, but there is evidence to the
contrary. The first mention of Elijah Rockwell in Berkshire County is
in the Lanesborough vital records (LDS film 1901559), p. 61: "Descendants
of Elijah Rockwell and Rebecca: Eunice Rockwell, b. 1 Sept. 1774. This
record shows that at some point Elijah had remarried. No further children
are listed, but by 1790 the first U.S. Census shows Elijah Rockwell in
Lanesborough as head of a household consisting of 1 male over 16 (no
doubt himself), 3 males under 16, and 3 females. A substantial family--but
what became of them?
There is a final mention of Elijah in the area: in the town records of
Hancock. This rural community occupies a long valley in the Taconic Range
northwest of Lanesborough, next to the New York border. The record is for
another marriage, on 22 April 1796: "Mr. Elijah Rockwell of Lanesborough
and Della Jones of Hancock," officiated by Clark Rogers, Elder."
In 1798, Massachusetts had a statewide census taken for tax purposes.
Among the heads of families in Lanesborough, or elsewhere in the county,
no Elijah Rockwell is listed. My belief is that Elijah, his children and
his new wife left the area. Somewhere evidence of him may turn up, and
we may learn of his children.
- Samuel Rockwell, b. 3 Dec. 1746 in Colchester, CT, son of Adonijah and
Sarah (Newton) Rockwell. He is probably the one who married Zipporah Thomas,
daughter of Aaron Thomas, and received land in the settlement of Aaron Thomas'
estate in 1779. (Bell, p. 20) Bell believes it likely that they had children,
but no record has yet surfaced of it. Did they move elsewhere?
- Amasa Rockwell, baptized 16 Oct 1748 at West Springfield, Hampden Co.,
Mass., son of a Josiah Rockwell. Two different Amasas are later found
in Berkshire Co., Mass., but thought to have other origins. Did this
one live to maturity?
- Daniel Rockwell, bapt. 3 Sept. 1757 at South Salem, N.Y., son of
Benjamin and Mary (Osborn) Rockwell of South Salem (J17): no further
- Ebenezer, bapt. 14 Jan. 1759 at South Salem, N.Y., son of Benjamin
and Mary (Osborn) Rockwell of South Salem (J17): no further information.
- Benjamin, bapt. 19 Oct. 1760 at South Salem, N.Y., son of Benjamin
and Mary (Osborn) Rockwell of South Salem: no further information.
- Timothy, b. ca. 1790 at Hancock, Mass., son of Timothy (1760-1840) and
Phebe (Chase) Rockwell. Boughton reports that he went to California and
became wealthy. If this was during the Gold Rush, early records in
California are hard to come by.
- Silas Rockwell, b. 30 Aug. 1760 at Ridgefield, son of Daniel and
Abigail (Smith) of Ridgefield, was a Revolutionary War soldier. He married
20 Dec. 1781 at Ridgefield to Hannah Olmstead. They lived after 1796 at
Greenville, [now in Greene Co.], N.Y. She died by 1799, when he
married, secondly, another Olmstead, at Wilton, Conn. Silas had 3 children by his first
wife, who are listed in Boughton: (1) Lewis, b. 17 June 1782; (2) Chloe, b. 2 Apr. 1784; (3) Eunice, b. 7 Apr. 1786. These aren't followed up on by Boughton. What happened to them? A fourth child, Abigail, married Martin Gage. Silas also had a son Daniel, born ca. 1800 by a second wife, who has numerous descendants. He lived at Champion, Jefferson Co., NY, by 1820, and Silas moved here after 1833. We'd like to hear from any descendants of the first three children.
- Nehemiah Rockwell, son of Benjamin and Mary (Osborn) Rockwell, was
born 4 Aug. 1765 at South Salem, Westchester Co., NY. He married on
1 Apr. 1784 at South Salem to Rhuah Bouton. The 1790 census indicates
children, but what became of them is unknown. Nehemiah probably died by 1795.
- Joseph Rockwell, b. 4 Oct. 176(1?) at Ridgefield, son of David and
Mary (Atherton) Rockwell of Ridgebury. (J25) He is probably that Joseph Rockwell whose death is noted in the Ridgebury church records for 19 Mar. 1804 "in his 43rd year. If so, his birth year would be 1761. He may also be the Joseph Rockwell who married at Ridgebury on 22 Oct. 1789 to Chloe Webb of Upper [i.e. North] Salem, N.Y
- John Rockwell, bapt. 7 Jan. 1762 at Wilton, son of Thomas and
Abigail (Belden) Rockwell: According to Gaylord Rockwell, he married
Betty Marvin in Ballston Center, Saratoga Co., N.Y., on 18 Oct. 1788.
A John Rockwell (born ca. 1798) who married at Saratoga Springs to Esther Foote on 5 April 1820 may be their son.
- Jared Rockwell, b. 7 Mar 1773 at Ridgefield, son of Josiah and Mary
(Scott) Rockwell. Further details unknown.
- Justus Rockwell, bapt. 29 March 1774, son of Jonah and Mary (Higgins) Rockwell of Weston, Conn. (J43) Mentioned as an heir in the estate of Samuel Higgins, he received land at Weston, signing his name "Justus." On 24 March 1796 he sold his land to Mordicai Bedient [husband of his cousin Molly/Mary]. (Index of deeds, Weston, CT, LDS Film 6230) After this he disappears from the local records. Perhaps he is the Justus Rockwell found by Mark Rockwell in 1799 tax rolls of Tioga Co., PA. He may have married and had a son Justice, who married ca. 1814 in the Stamford area to Lucinda Westcott (b. 3 Nov. 1795 in Providence, R.I.) This couple had a son Justus, b. 18 Jan. 1815. Is he the one who later appears in Medina Co., Ohio (marrying Emeline BECKWITH September 16, 1839) and then in Summit counties, Ohio?
- Reuben Rockwell, b. 11 Oct. 1778 and baptized at Ridgebury Church Jan. 1789, son of Ebenezer and Abigail (Smith Worden) Rockwell. Boughton says he married a Stebbins and settled in "western New York." This is likely the Reuben who lived at North Salem ca. 1808 [according to a mortgage record in which he loaned money to Reuben Smith]. That Reuben moved to Galway, Saratoga Co., NY, by the 1810 census, and is there in 1812 when he authorized the sale of Smith's land, received due to a default of the mortgage. Was he also the one found at Enfield, Tompkins Co., NY by 1817? (See next section, below)
- William Rockwell, b. 20 Sept. 1780 and baptized (as "Billy") at Ridgebury on 29 Oct. 1780, son of Ebenezer and Abigail (Smith Worden) Rockwell. Boughton says he married a Smith of North Salem and died there. He is probably the William found in "Summers Town" (Somers, next to North Salem), Westchester Co., NY, in the 1810 census. The household includes 1 son under 10 and 3 daughters under 10.
- Wells ROCKWELL, b. 3 Feb. 1784, son of Henry and Desire (CONE) Rockwell. He settled in Seneca Co., NY, first at Covert and then at Lodi, from 1827-1847. His wife (called Sally in the land records) died ca. 1846 and he moved to nearby Hector, Tompkins (now Schuyler) County. In 1840, his household consists of 1 male 40-50, 1 female 40-50, 2 males 15-19, 2 females 10-14, 2 males 5-9, 2 females 5-9, 1 male <5, and 1 female < 5. This would suggest that he has descendants. Strangely, after his move to Hector, we find him in the 1850 census with new wife Rebecca and NO children. What happened to them?
- Jacob Rockwell, b. ca. 1784, was in Oxford, New Haven Co., CT in 1824, and
at Brooklyn, NY, in the 1850 census. Sons Benjmain Franklin, Henry, and Francis
were born at Oxford. Mark Rockwell has reason to believe that this family had
some connection to Canada.
- A Samuel Rockwell enlisted in the Coast Guard at Guilford, New Haven
County, CT in 1785. --reported by Gaylord Rockwell. (He wonders, "Could he be the child of Stephen who was never heard from again?" Hard to say.)
- Amasa Rockwell, reported by Mark Rockwell as an heir in the will of
Joel Rockwell (b. 1718) of East Windsor, Conn., recorded 11 Jun 1792. "There are a few baptisms of the children of an Amasa and Esther Rockwell in the records of First Church of Christ in East Windsor who are listed as being 'of Becket' which I believe is probably a reference to Becket, Berkshire County, MA, but I believe that I am missing records for one or more of his (probable) children; and I have no record of Amasa after the baptisms
of these children in the 1790s at East Windsor, CT." This Amasa may have
himself settled at Becket, Berkshire Co., MA. Probable son Joseph
Whitfield Rockwell, who volunteered for War of 1812 military service at
Pittsfield, Berkshire, MA and was married at Tyringham, Berkshire, MA
(both facts from his pension file) which are near Becket. This Joseph
later lived in Pennsylvania and Ohio. What of the other children of
- Isaac Rockwell, son of David and Mary (Atherton) Rockwell of
Ridgebury, married Phebe Hempstead in 1787. In the 1790 census, there is
a male in Isaac's household under 5 years of age. No birth record can be found in the Ridgefield vital records or the Ridgebury church records. May have died young, but...
The family later lived at Southeast, Putnam Co., NY; at Pompey, Onondaga Co., NY in 1806, and maybe in Niagara Co., NY, by 1820; in Chautaqua Co., NY by 1822.
- Six children of Jonathan and Hannah (Bennett) Rockwell of Ridgefield,
Conn.; Orange Co., NY; and Chemung Co., N.Y., are reported by Weeden R.
Nichols, but further details are needed. Their names: Hannah, Esther,
Jonathan, Benjamin, William B., and Sarah.
- David Rockwell, b. 11 Dec. 1796 at Tolland, CT, son of Jabez and Irene
(Porter) Rockwell; married 13 May 1819 at Hartford to Olive Grant, according
to Bell (p. 35) Children unknown if any.
Early Rockwells not yet classified
- Ebenezer ROCKWELL of Charlestown, Mass., 1640s: Jerry Eakle posted
a query on the Rockwell Family Forum (GenForum) website, "looking for
ancestors and siblings of other children of Ebenezer Rockwell, b. abt.
1616 and Rebecca Kent who had Hannah Rockwell b. 1642, Charlestown,
Mass." Nothing further is known about this family.
- John Rockwell, "Boatman," mentioned in the early records of Newark,
New Jersey. One John Rockwell is allotted some land at a town meeting of
6 Feb. 1667/68. Then on 30 Mar. 1668/69, the records offer riverside
land on condition "that he doth this very Spring season come and settle
here in our town and maintain this or such like sufficient boat for the
use of the town or articular persons in the town..." A similar offer was
later made to another individual, so this John Rockwell probably failed to
actually settle in Newark. He was possibly John Rockwell of Stamford,
who moved to Rye, N.Y. in 1669. Perhaps Newark was an alternative he
was looking into.
- Joseph ROCKWELL, prob. born by 1730: in 1746 served in Capt. Sayer's
Co. in Rhode Island - King George's War; and in 1755 served in Capt.
Babcock's Co. in Rhode Island - Old French & Indian War. Source:
Rhode Island Colonial War Servicemen, 1740-1762
--reported by Janis Townsend.
- Mary ROCKWELL married Benoni Gray of Southeast, NY. According to the
book Grays of Ulster County, New York, they had 8 children, including
Thaddeus Gray, b. 6 Apr. 1766, and Jessie Gray, b. 6 June 1778. Mary
Gray died 27 Apr. 1810, aged 68 years, according her headstone at
Greenfield Methodist Burying Grounds at Wawarsing, Ulster Co., NY
(Poucher and Terwilliger, Old Granvestones of Ulster Co., NY). Thanks
for this to John Ben Urban, who wonders if Mary is the daughter of x
and x Rockwell of Ridgefield, born 1736/37. If so, the age at death on
the headstone would be off by about 5 years.
- --------- ROCKWELL, a silversmith, on June 1765 Dutchess Co. tax
list in Poughkeepsie District, NY. [Dutchess Co. Supervisors Records
v. H] Was this Rockwell possibly named Benjamin? Weeden R. Nichols
comments: "A number of years ago, in one of the museums of the Smithsonian, probably the Museum of American History, I saw an exhibit of the work of silversmith Benjamin Rockwell -- trays, bowls, teapots, etc. The work, as I recall, was dated roughly in the time frame of the American Revolution. Very fine work -- obviously master silversmithing."
- Stephen ROCKWELL, age 9, died 15 Feb. 1768 at South Salem, Westchester Co., NY. [NYGB33:1:40] There were several Rockwell families in this town, but documentation is lacking that would identify this child's parents.
- Reuben Rockwell of Enfield, Tompkins Co., NY: He was b. ca. 1773/74
in Rhode Island, according to his listing at Enfield in the 1860 U.S.
Census. He may be the one who resided at Galway, Saratoga Co., NY in 1810
and North Salem, Westchester Co., NY, in 1808. He purchased land in
Tompkins Co. in 1817. A grave in Rolfe Cemetery reads, "Urania, wife of Reuben,
died 28 July 1829, ae. 56 yrs." Probable children were Heber, b. 1801 in
Connecticut; Benjamin C., b. 1804 in New York; Elizabeth, b. ca. 1806
in NY, who married Ephraim Rolf; and Eleazer (b. ca. 1807), found in the
1850 census. (Mark's idea on last one) Reuben's age and birthplace do not match
up with other known Reubens, and Rockwells are not known to have been in
Rhode Island before the American Revolution. If the census details are
wrong, however, and Reuben was only 71-72 and born in Connecticut, the
obvious identification would be with Reuben, son of Ebenezer and Abigail
of Ridgefield (see first section, above).
- Samuel Rockwell of The Highlands in Orange Co., NY: mentioned in a
County history as one of the residents refusing to sign a document in
support of the Revolution. Where he came from is unknown; again, the
local land records don't tell us. Perhaps he left for Canada.
Simeon Rockwell, found in Stillwater, Albany (now Saratoga) County, NY in
the 1790 U.S. census. The household had 2 males 16 or older and 4 females,
probably a man and wife with 3 daughters and a teenage son. Possibly he
could be a son of that Simeon Rockwell who lived in Kent, Litchfield Co.,
Conn., not far away, but it would have to be by his first wife, as that Simeon
had a son Simeon by his 2nd wife, who would be too young to be this one.
- Mary ROCKWELL of South Salem, NY, who married there on 30 June 1791
to Abraham Chittester. [NYGB31:3:241] She might be a daughter of Benjamin
and Mary (OSBORN) Rockwell of South Salem.
- Martha ROCKWELL, who married at South Salem, NY, on 21 Sept. 1794 to
Malachi Foot. Boughton has Patty ROCKWELL, bapt. 10 Aug. 1775 at South
Salem, daughter of Nathan and Sarah (HULL) Rockwell.
- Silas ROCKWELL, b. ca. 1799 in NY (perhaps in Orange Co., where he is
found in the U.S. Census of 18xx. Possibly he is related to Abel, found in
1800 Orange Co. (next listing)
- Abel ROCKWELL, in Orange Co., NY, for 1800 census, with household
also including 1 female, and 1 male under 10. Possibly the child is Silas
(previous listing), and Abel may be related to Samuel of the Highlands (above).
- Above ROCKWELL, listed in Tioga Co., NY for 1800 census.
- Eber ROCKWELL, listed in Oneida Co., NY for 1800 census
- Nathaniel ROCKWELL, listed in Orange Co., NY, for 1800 census
- Valentine ROCKWELL, listed in Saratoga Co., NY for 1800 census.
- Abram ROCKWELL, in Washington Co., Maryland for 1800 census.
Household includes 2 males under 10, 1 male 26-44, 1 female under 10, 1
female 10-15, 1 female 26-44, and 9 slaves.
- Thomas ROCKWELL, in Washington Co., Maryland for 1800 census.
Household includes 1 male under 10, 2 males 10-15, 2 males 16-25, 1 male
45 , 1 female under 10, 2 females 10-15, and 1 female 45 .
- William ROCKWELL, in Washington Co., Maryland for 1800 census.
Household includes 1 male under 10, 2 males 16-25, 2 females under 10,
and 1 female 16-25.
- Charles ROCKWELL, in Harford Co., Maryland for 1800 census.
Household includes 2 males under 10, 1 male 26-44, 1 female under 10,
1 female 26-44, and 2 slaves.
- Bazel ROCKWELL, in Fayette Co., Pennsylvania for 1800 census.
Household includes 1 male under 10, 1 male 10-15, 1 male 45 , 1 female
under 10, 1 female 16-25, and 1 female 45 .
- Jesse ROCKWELL, in Berkeley Co., VA, for 1810 census.
- Ruel or Reuel Rockwell, b. 1792/93, m. Mary Haloway, and d. 16 Jul 1859,
buried Beach Plain Cemetery, Sandisfield, Mass.
- Abraham Rockwell, known only from this stray reference in the Pittsfield
Sun (Berkshire Co., MA) on 23 Aug. 1806: "Married at Richmond, Aug. 10: Mr.
Abraham Rockwell of New Canaan, to Miss Mary Ackley, of former place." This
from Vital abstracts from Berkshire Co. newspapers, from the Rollin H.
Cooke collection. Richmond is a town near Pittsfield in Berkshire Co.,
MA; but there's no New Canaan in Massachusetts, so where was this? Three possiblilities: Canaan, Litchfield Co., CT (there were lots of border-crossings between Litchfield and Berkshire, as demonstrated by the Colebrook clan); New Canaan, way down in Fairfield Co., CT (which would point to an unidentified John-liner, but why would it be reported in Pittsfield?); or--most likely--Canaan, Columbia Co., NY, which is just west of Richmond, Mass. [Thanks to Cornelia Andrus, who informs me that Canaan, NY, was once known as New Canaan and has often been confused with the other two places.]
- Abraham ROCKWELL, found in Catherine, Tioga (now Schuyler) Co., NY, in the
1830 census. No other reference to this name has been found in the local records,
though there are several other individuals who may be sons. Weeden R. Nichols
cites the following:
Again, we wonder if this could be the one noted above who married at Richmond, Mass., or a hypothetical son of Abraham of Ridgebury, Conn.
- Benjamin, listed at age 20-30 in 1830 Census of Catharine, Tioga County.
- Samuel, listed at age 30-40 in 1840 Census of Catharine, Tioga County. Household listed in 1850 Census of Catharine, Chemung Co., as Samuel, 38, farmer; Sarah, 34; Francis J, 10; James H, 7; Corpins (???), male, 1.
- Livingston, listed at age 20-30 in 1830 Census of Catharine, Tioga Co., New York. Weeden has reference to a Livingston Rockwell who lived at Columbia, Van Buren, MI. Livingston died 18 June 1863.
- Nathaniel, listed at age 30-40 in 1840 Census of Catharine, Tioga Co., New York, also moved to Columbia, Van Buren, MI, where he d. 18 Aug. 1870.
- James, listed at age 28 (b New York) in 1850 Census (page 79) of Catharine, Tioga Co., NY. James is listed as a sawyer owning $50 worth of personal property. His
household is listed as Sarah J. (25, b. NY), Herman (5), Nathan (3), and Sarah J. (2). Presumed brother Samuel is next door.
James bought land in Columbia Township, Van Buren Co., MI, on 24 July 1856. The 1860 Census in Columbia Twp. [village of Breedsville] shows James H. (age 39, born NY, sawyer), wife Sarah J. (age 36, born NY), and children Carman (male, age 14, born NY), Nathan (male, age 13, born NY), Sarah J (female age 11, born NY), and Whalan (male, age 8, born NY). James is listed at page 10 of the 1870 Census of Columbia Twp. James' second marriage, to Metoria F. Bennett, age 36, on 9 Feb 1867, is listed in Van Buren County Marriages."
Thomas Rockwell, found in Franklin Co., Pennsylvania and Medina Co., Ohio,
and thought by descendants to have been born ca. 1784. Various places of
birth have been suggested for him, from Massachusetts, to Pennsylvania, to
Scotland. (Some descendants think his line immigrated more recently than
the old lines.) Samples from 3 descendants are in the 2002 DNA Project,
which may point to Thomas' background.
Some solved (or likely-solved) cases
- Elisha Rockwell of Stonington, New London Co., Connecticut. He
married Esther PALMER on 30 Nov. 1752 at Stonington, New London Co.,
Connecticut. Both were called "of Stonington." Officiating was Samuel
Prentice, Justice of the Peace. A check of the town land records shows
no Rockwell purchasers or seller during this time period. Given the
location, it is reasonable to suspect Elisha is a descendant of Josiah
of Norwich (Js1). The only reference to an Elisha found in the area is
in the will of John Rockwell of Norwich, a mariner who died in 1753,
probable son of Josiah of Norwich. This looks like a good solution to
this case, but further proof is certainly desireable.
Children of Elisha and Esther Rockwell, according to the town vital
record, v.3, p. 99 and 127:
- 1. John ROCKWELL, b. 11 or 12 Sept. 1753 [2 listings]
- 2. Rebecca ROCKWELL, b. 23 Dec. 1754.
- 3. Ebenezer ROCKWELL, b. 20 June 1756.
- 4. Amasa ROCKWELL, b. 7 Feb. 1758. He served in the Revolutionary
War and then went to Berkshire Co., Mass., living at Partridgefield
(renamed Peru). One of his children, Amasa, returned to New London County,
settling at Groton and marrying Sarah Newbury on 22 Oct. 1848.
- 5. Simeon ROCKWELL, b. 14 Oct. 1759.
- 6. Esther ROCKWELL, b. 3 Aug. 1761.
- Rachel Rockwell married Thomas Hungerford ca. 1778 in Lanesborough, Berkshire
Co., Mass. The likeliest solution for her identity is as the daughter of
John Rockwell of Lanesborough, who came from Ridgefield, Fairfield Co.,
Conn. The Ridgefield Vital Records state that he and wife Hannah (Scott)
had a daughter Rachel born in 1762. The Phoenix and Boughton compilations
say that she "probably died young," but this may simply mean they had no
further record of her.
- Simmons Rockwell, born in Connecticut ca. 1770, who lived in Roxbury,
Delaware Co., NY, and in Chautaugua County, NY. The reason no Rockwell
ancestry could be found for him is
that he is the first of his line! Descendants, including John W. Rockwell
and Gail Howell, found record of a child Simmons Monroe, son of Elizabeth Monroe, baptized at
the Green Farms Congregational Church in Westport on 28 Jan. 1775. In
1778 his mother married Jonah Rockwell, then a lieutenant in the
Revolutionary militia, at Norfield Congregational Church. Jonah apparently
adopted the boy, and a fourth line of Rockwells out of Connecticut was
born. By 1820 Simmons is found at Roxbury, Delaware Co., NY
he is at Mina, Chautaugua County.
still alive there in 1850.
- Julius Rockwell of (Franklin Co., VT?), sometimes said to be the son
of Benjamin and Hannah (Welch) Rockwell: Paul J. Clark has found him to have
been born ca. 1834 in Canada as Julien Durocher, son of Jean Bte. Desrochers
and Fransoise Lanoue. He married Adeline Adams, and the name changed to
Rockwell when they came to the U.S. He died in 1859.