THE FOURTH GENERATION
CALEB 2 ORCUTT was born in Stafford, Connecticut, August 8, 1743, the third child of Caleb and Mehitable Orcutt.(1)(2) His father died when he was 15 years old, and, two months later, on January 14, 1759, he chose Isaac Pinney to be his guardian.(3)
He married CHLOE PARKER on October 30, 1766, in Willington, Connecticut, about 10 miles from Stafford. Chloe was born in Willington on June 26, 1746. Her parents were NEHEMIAH PARKER and BETHIA BASSETT.(2) Like so many of the Orcutt wives, she brought a rich family heritage.
The Bassett Family
Accorrding to W.J. Saxton’s history of the Bassett family, “there is authority for saying that the Bassetts descended from the gentle blood of the Norman nobility, there being one little record which has survived the lapse of eight centuries to prove this statement…It is the roll of Battle Abbey, the earliest record of the names of those Norman chiefs who came over with William the Conqueror, and is still looked upon as the means by which to prove the nobility, or at all events the gentle blood of those who were amongst the invaders of England, 1066…Dugdale, the historian, has found a record in Utica, Normandy, of one Osmond Basset agreeing to the building of the Abbey of St. Ebralph, 1050. This at once stamps the family as being of good social standing as it points to the fact of Osmond being the lord of the manor, the bishop of the diocese or the owner of the land…it is fair to assume that…Osmond was the father of Thurstine. Dugdale states that, ‘Thurstine was the paternal ancestor of all the Bassetts of England who rose to power and distinction shortly after the conquest…’
“The following are the names of some of the most prominent members of the Basset family in England: Osmond, 1050; Thurstine, Grand Falconer to William the Conqueror, 1066; Ralph, Justice of all England, 1100; Thomas, Justice of all England, 1100; Richard, Judge, 1121; Ralph, Judge, 1127; William, Judge, 1163; Simon, Judge, 1184; Ralph, Judge, 1248; Simon, Judge, 1294; Alan, Judge, 1232; Gelbert, Judge 1241;… (and many more!)
“…the most ancient lineage is that which they have from the wife of Richard Basset (Maud Ridel), for she was a direct descendant of Wulgrinces, a relative of King Charles the Bald, and who created him Duke of Angolene and Perigord as far back as A.D. 886.”(4)
Chloe Parker’s 3rd-great-grandfather WILLIAM 1 BASSETT came to America in 1621 on the ship Fortune. He was a landowner, blacksmith–serving as the gunsmith of Plymouth (5)–and, by the time of his death, he had a library of more than 20 books. He married ELIZABETH (UNKNOWN) by 1623, and their children were WILLIAM 2 BASSETT, ELIZABETH BASSETT BURGESS, SARAH BASSETT WHITE, NATHANIEL BASSETT, JOSEPH BASSETT, and RUTH BASSETT SPRAGUE. He lived first in Plymouth, then by 1637 in Duxbury, and by 1656 in Bridgewater. (6)
William 2 Bassett was born about 1624 and married MARY RAINSFORD/RAYNESFORD by about 1652. (5, 9) They made their home in Sandwich, Barnstable County, Massachusetts. Their children were MARY BASSETT REDDING, WILLIAM 3 BASSETT, THOMAS BASSETT, SARAH BASSETT LEWIS, RICHARD BASSETT, and NATHAN BASSETT. (7) William was a yeoman and innkeeper, “licensed to draw wines.” He died June 10, 1670, leaving Mary with children ranging in age from 3 to 16. (8) She married JAMES PERCIVAL in Sandwich in June 1671?. (9) They had a son, also named JAMES PERCIVAL, and a daughter ELIZABETH PERCIVAL ASHLEY. Mary died April 12, 1694 in Falmouth, Barnstable, Massachusetts. (10)
William 3 Bassett was born about 1656 and married RACHEL WILLISON of Taunton on October 9, 1675 in Sandwich. He was known as Colonel and was in Benjamin Church’s small army which participated in Plymouth’s 1689 expedition to Maine in the French & Indian War. He served as Chief Marshall of Plymouth Colony from 1689 to 1692, Judge of Common Pleas, and Registrar of Probate. (7) William and Rachel’s children were MARY BASSETT BOURNE and RACHEL BASSETT FOSTER. Birth records for the remainder of their children have been lost, but it is widely agreed that they included JONATHAN BASSETT (died December 13, 1683), WILLIAM BASSETT, NATHAN BASSETT, THANKFUL BASSETT ELLIS, and JONATHAN BASSETT (born December 31, 1683). (11, 12) William died September 29, 1721, in Sandwich. (5)
Jonathan Bassett, named after his recently deceased brother, was born December 31, 1683, in Sandwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts. (12) He married Mary Gale in Sandwich on May 14, 1708. (13) Their children were JONATHAN BASSETT, born September 10, 1709, and BETHIA BASSETT PARKER, born March 10, 1710. (14) Jonathan, Sr. died in 1710 in Sandwich. He was 27 years old. (12) It is not known how Mary spent the remainder of her days.
The marriage of Bethia and Nehemiah Parker is recorded as May 24, 1729, in the Barnstable, Massachusetts, records and as May 30, 1729 in the Woodstock, Windham County, Connecticut records. (14, 15) Their first daughters, MARY PARKER (November 18, 1730) and HANNAH PARKER (May 16, 1732) were baptized in the Woodstock Congregational Church. The Parker’s soon moved to the newer town of Willington, part of Massachusetts until 1749 and then Connecticut. (16) Children born here were BETHIA PARKER (June 24, 1734), JONATHAN PARKER (April 26, 1736), REBECKAH PARKER (February 19, 1737/38, THANKFULL PARKER WESTON (February 3, 1740/41), MARCY PARKER WOODWORTH (April 5, 1742), DANIEL PARKER (April 14, 1744), and our Chloe Parker (June 26, 1746.) (17) Bethia is presumed to have died before June 4, 1750, because she did not sign her name to a quitclaim deed of that date. (16) Nehemiah died in Willington on January 10, 1789. (17)
Caleb and Chloe Build Their Family
Caleb and Chloe’s first two children were born in Stafford, Connecticut, Caleb’s home town.
ELEANOR ORCUTT was born October 19, 1767. (2) In July, 1789, Jared was “born by Elenor Orcut.” (18) Eleanor married JOSEPH SPARKS on December 24, 1789. (2) The boy Jared became the famous historian, educator, and Unitarian minister JARED SPARKS, who served as the first pastor of the newly organized (1817) First Independent Church of Baltimore and the President of Harvard College (1849-1853.) He was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society; he edited the North American Review; and he was the author of many books and articles. (18, 19)
MEHITOBEL ORCUTT was born January 17, 1769. (2) On January 1, 1789, she married ISAAC HOLT in Sharon, Vermont. (20)
The family moved to Chloe’s home town of Willington, Connecticut, in 1769 or 1770, and the remainder of their children were born there.
CHLOE ORCUTT was born September 6, 1770. She married EBENEZER ELDREDGE in Willington on April 11, 1793. (2)
ROXCA ORCUTT was born March 5, 1772. She died in Willington on October 28, 1782. (2)
BETHIAH/BETHIER ORCUTT was born February 23, 1774. (2) She married ELISHA SCOTT of Tolland, Connecticut, on November 8, 1797. (21) Elisha was the brother of Reuben Scott, who was married to Bethiah’s sister, Rebeckah.
Eleanor, Mahetabel, Roxe, Bethia, and Chloe were baptized at the Willington First Congregational Church in October 1774. (18)
DANIEL ORCUTT was born December 14, 1775, and died December 27, 1775. (2)
REBECKAH ORCUTT was born April 10, 1779. (2) She was admitted to membership in the Willington First Congregational Church on June 10, 1792. (18) She married REUBEN SCOTT, brother of Elisha Scott, of Tolland on February 10, 1797. (21)
BASSETT ORCUTT, no doubt named to honor his mother’s Bassett heritage, was born September 27, 1782. (2) Read more about him in the fifth generation, Bassett Orcutt and Patience Little.
The American Revolution
The events leading up to the Revolutionary War surely impacted the life of this young family. To pay for the costs of the French and Indian War, which concluded in 1763, the British imposed new taxes on its American colonists. The first was the Stamp Act of 1765–a tax on newspapers, playing cards, and legal documents. The Townsend Duties, enacted in 1767, imposed taxes on paint, paper, and tea, as well as other items. The Americans were livid about these taxes, and Committees of Correspondence were formed in 1772 to formulate a response to the British policies. In 1774, the British passed the Coercive Acts (called the Intolerable Acts in America), closing the port of Boston and housing British soldiers in taverns and vacant buildings. (22)
The first shots of the revolution were fired at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, and, like so many colonists, Caleb was prompt to volunteer. He enlisted on May 8, 1775, serving as a private in Wyllys’ (2) Regiment of Connecticut, Capt. Solomon Willes’ Co., Continental 33 Regiment of Foot commanded by Col. Samuel Wyllys. Caleb’s name appears only on the muster roll for May 1775. (23)
He enlisted or was appointed again on March 1, 1777, for the term of the war. He served as a sergeant in Captain Jonathan Parker’s Company, 2nd Connecticut Regiment, Charles Webb Colonel. (Jonathan Parker was probably Chloe’s older brother.) This company was designated at various times as Captain Jonathan Parker’s, Captain Roger Alden’s, and 8th Company. During this time, Caleb was on furlough January and February 1778, sick in camp in June and July 1778, on furlough/sick at Willington November 1778 through September 1779. He was on guard in Litchfield from October 1779 until he was transferred to the Corps of Invalids on April 8, 1781. (23)
British General Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia, on October 19, 1781, winding down the battles.
Caleb continued to serve in the Corps of Invalids until his discharge April 23, 1783. This Corps was composed of older soldiers used to guard cities, arsenals, and hospitals and to drill new recruits. (24) The war officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783.
During the war years, the children continued to be born (and to die) and to grow up. Chloe must have managed the family largely alone, all the while fearing for the health and safety of her husband and the future of her country.
The Later Years
In the post-war years, Caleb and Chloe saw their children marry and begin families of their own.
On October 9, 1804, “being on the decline of life and labouring under infirmity of body but of sound mind and memory, thanks be given to god therefor, and calling to mind the frailty of human nature that it is appointed for all men once to die,” Caleb wrote his will. He died November 7, 1804, in Willington, at 61 years of age. (25) He is buried in the Old Willington Hill Cemetery. (26)
An inventory of his goods showed a total value of $412.11. He left each of his living daughters (Eleanor, Mehitabel, Chloe, Bethiah and Rebeckah) 84 cents each, payable a year from his death, “in addition to what they have heretofor received being their equal proportion of my estate.” Son Bassett received all of Caleb’s joining tools and clothing along with $30 to be paid two years after Caleb’s death. Everything else was left to his “well beloved wife Chloe.” Chloe and son-in-law Reuben Scott were named executors. (25)
From the details of the will, we can assume that Chloe lived beyond 1804. No death record for her has been found.
(1) Michigan Bible Records and Genealogical Notes 1935-1936. Compiled and Indexed by Vivian Lyon Moore, State Chairman Genealogical Records, D.A.R. of Michigan. http://www.Ancestry.com.
(2) Connecticut Vital Records to 1870 (Online Database:,New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011.) From original typescripts, Lucius Barnes Barbour Collection, 1928.
(3) Connecticut Nutmegger, Vol. 38, p. 257.
(4) Bassett, Wheeler A. A Basset book, containing early history and genealogy of the Bassett family together with a biography and genealogy of Lemuel Bassett and his descendants. Interlaken, N.Y., 1928, quoting from W.J. Saxton’s history of the Bassett family.
(5) http://www.findagrave.com. Record for Col. William Bassett, III. Accessed 1/18/2016.
(6) Ancestry.com. New England, The Great Migration and The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1635 (database online). Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. Original data: Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Volumes 1-3; The Great Migration: Immigrants to new England, 1634-1635, Volumes 1-6. Boston: New England historical and Genealogical Society, 1996-2011.
(7) Our Line of William Bassetts <1600-1664. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb. ancestry.com /bart/ BASSETT. htm.
(8) www.findagrave.com. Record for William Bassett, II. Accessed 1/26/2016.
(9) Ancestry.com. U.S., New England Marriages Prior to 1700 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2012. Original data: Torry, Clarence A. New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2004.
(10) http://www.findagrave.com. Record for Mary Rainsford Bassett Pervival. Accessed 1/26/2016.
(11) Ancestry.com. The history of Cape Cod : annals of thirteen towns of Barnstable County (database online.) Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Freeman, Frederick. The history of Cape Cod : annals of thirteen towns of Barnstable County. Boston. W.H. Piper & Co., 1869, c1862.
(12), Edmund West, comp. Family Data Collection – Births (Provo, UT, USA. Ancestry.com Operations Inc. 2001. Ancestry.com. Record for Jonathan Bassett.
(13) “Massachusetts Marriages, 1695-1910,” database, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FC96-LWT : accessed 30 January 2016), Jonathan Bassett and Mary Gale, 14 May 1708 ; citing reference ; FHL microfilm 904,579.
(14) Ancestry.com. Massachusetts. Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 (database online), Provo, UT, USA : Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. 2011. Original data: Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Vital and Town Records, Provo, UT : Holbrook Research Institute (Jay and Derlene Holbrook).
(15) Vital Records of Woodstock, Connecticut, 1686-1854. (Online database. NewEnglandAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009.) Originally published as: Vital records of Woodstock, 1686-1854. Hartford: The Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co. 1914.
(16) Vital Records from The NEHGS Register. Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (Compiled from articles originally published in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register.)
(17) Ancestry.com. Connecticut Town Death Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) (database online.) Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc. 2006. Original data: White, Lorraine Cook, ed. The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records. Vol. 1-55. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994-2002.
(18) Ancestry.com. Connecticut Church Record Abstracts, 1630-1920 (database online.) Provo, UT, USA, 2013. Original data: Connecticut Church Records Index. Connecticut State Library, Hartford, Connecticut.
(19) http://www.wikipedia.com. Record for Jared Sparks. Accessed 3/26/2016.
(20) Ancestry.com. Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. Original data: State of Vermont. Vermont Vital Records through 1870. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.
(21) Ancestry.com. Connecticut, Marriage Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) (database online.) Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, 2006. Original data: White, Lorraine Cook, ed. The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records. Vol. 1-55. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994-2002.
(22) http://www.nps.gov. The American Revolution. Accessed 3/27/2016.
(23) Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War. NARA. Catalog ID: 570910. Accessed from Fold3 3/27/2016.
(24) Ancestry.com. Genealogies of the following families, Baker family, Steel family, Sturges family, Shepard family, Hall family, Lytle family [database on-line]. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: Baker, Francis A.. Genealogies of the following families, Baker family, Steel family, Sturges family, Shepard family, Hall family, Lytle family. Minneapolis, Minn.: unknown, 1909.
(25) Probate Files Collection, Early to 1880; Author: Connecticut State Library (Hartford, Connecticut); Probate Place: Hartford, Connecticut. Source: Ancestry.com. Connecticut, Wills and Probate- Records, 1609-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Connecticut County, District and Probate Courts.
(26) http://www.hale-collection.com. Hale Collection of Connecticut Cemetery Records. Old Willington Hill Cemetery, Willington, Tolland Co., Connecticut. Extracted from The Hale Collection. Transcribed by Gary Nilson of Wallingford, CT. Accessed 3/29/2016.