Milo Grow’s Ancestors
From John Grow of Ipswich, by George W. Davis, 1913.
John and Hannah Grow
The first known Grow, John Grow, appears in the official records of Ipswich, Massachusetts. Ipswich is a historical town located about 20 miles northeast of Boston, up the estuary from the coast. Interestingly, Ipswich, England, is located in a similar geographic position, on an estuary, northeast of London. The place names near Ipswich, Massachusetts, sund like the place names near Ipswich, England–Cambridge, Lynn, Chelmsford, etc.–which suggests that the area around Ipswich, Mass., was settled by emigrants from the area around Ipswich, England.
The original town hall and church still stand in Ipswich and are wonderful places to visit. The town hall is a large, dark wood building that looks like something out of Hawthorne’s tales. Inside, you can leaf through reprints of the original town records and find records on the Grows.
From the yard outside Town Hall, you can see the hillside where the original Grow house stood. The street is still there, and we know the Grow lot was near a stream.
John Grow was probably born in 1636. He died in Ipswich, Massachusetts, Jan. 9, 1727, “aged upwards of 90 years.” He married Dec. 15, 1669 at Ipswich, to Hannah Lord. She died at Ipswich Nov. 16, 1728, and was the daughter of Robert and Mary (Waite) Lord.
Robert Lord was born in 1602 in England, married Nov. 11, 1630 in Filchingfeld, Suffolk County, England, to Mary Waite, of Wethersfield, England. They emigrated to America and settled in Ipswich, Mass. before 1635. he was a “freeman” in 1636, Clerk of the Writs, Register of Deeds and Probate from 1635 to 1683, the latter being the date of his death. He left an estate of some 785 British pounds.
Mary Waite’s mother was Mary Ward, daughter of Rev. John M. Ward, a preacher at Ipswich, Suffolk County, England, and sister of the Rev. Nathaniel Ward, the eminent minister, legislator, and author of “The Simple Cobbler of Agawan,” of Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts.
In 1664, John Grow was one of the 203 inhabitants of Ipswich who paying certain taxes, was entitled to three acres of the Common Lands in Plum Island, Hogg Island, and Castle Neck.” Also in 1664, there is a record that John Grow “had liberty of fire wood and one cow on the common.”
Other Ipswich records are as follows:
1672–“Granted to John Grow the like privilege of the commonage as other tradesmen, as John Knowlton and Obidah Bridges.”
Oct. 13, 1686–John Grow received payment of six shillings, apparently for helping build a bridge.
Feb. 21, 1721-2–John Grow, weaver, “in consideration that our son Joseph Grow by the hand of God is deprived of his sight, and therefore rendered incapable of labor for a livelihood as otherwood he could have done,” conveyed to Joseph the southernmost end of his home lot, on Hogg Lane, now Brook Street, about one and a quarter acres. (Source: Waters’ “Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Vol I, p. 392).
There is also a record of a petition presented July 22, 1722, to the town by Dr. Thomas Berry asking the right to construct a bath house that used the water of a spring or brook that crossed Hogg Lane “near the land of John Grow.” The franchise was granted, provided no part of the bath house “come within 24 feet of Grow’s wall, and if three of the neighbors make complaint, he shall open the spring directly.”
April 10, 1712–John Grow, parent, and his sons Joseph, Samuel, Thomas, and William, all of Ipswich, bought from John Andrews a wood lot in Jeffries Neck and then swapped him another lot in Chebacco to complete the payment.
Sept. 14, 1721–John Grow, weaver, Ipswich, deeded wood lot in Chebacco to Stephen Kinsman. There are signatures on this document of John and Hannah Grow. “Memmo. Joseph Grow being a blind person, this deed is distinctly and truly read to him, who freely thereupon signed it as above written.”
“William Grow of York in the County of York, cordwainer, son of John Grow of Ipswich, to aged parents John and Hannah, to provide for their maintenance and comfortable subsistence the better to enable my brother Joseph Grow, who hath had years past and now hath ye care of my said parents, and by his prudent care and industry are provided for, etc., quit claims, Jan. 4, 1724, to Joseph his interest in the homestead, etc., which said estate was given by Robert Lord, formerly of Ipswich in his last will, Jan. 28, 1683, to his daughter ‘Hannah Grow and her children.'”
March 18, 1724–Joseph Grow deeded land in Ipswich to John Kimball (tailor), Nathaniel Lord, Jr., and Philip Lord (joiners). So did John and Hannah Grow.
June 28, 1725–Thomas Grow of Andover (maltster) son of John Grow of Ipswich, quit-claimed to his brother Joseph his interest in the estate bequeathed to his mother Hannah and children” so as to enable Joseph to care for their parents in old age.”
There are three later records of land sales by John, Hannah,or Joseph, the last in 1730.
Children of John and Hannah Grow
i. John Grow, b. 1670, d. 1671.
ii. Samuel Grow, b. Dec. 31, 1671, Ipswich.
iii. John Grow, b. Dec. 16, 1673, Ipswich; perhaps living in Andover in 1716.
iv. Joseph Grow, b. Sept. 1677. Probably never married.. When the provision was made for Josph’s blindness, he was 44 years old. It seems tht the loss of vision occurred after he reached maturity. He cared for parents in their old age. In 1733, Oct. 27, or five years after his father’s death, Joseph deeded the homestead on Hogg Lane, where his father had lived, to Nathanial Jones. He died Oct. 1, 1748, at Ipswich.
v. Hannah Grow, born Jan. 3, 1679. No further record.
vi. Nathaniel Grow, b. Sept. 17, 1682. Possibly living in Andover in 1732.
vii. Thomas Grow [Milo’s direct ancestor], b. Feb. 20, 1684.
viii. William Grow, b. Nov 22, 1690.
Of these children, Thomas’ and William’s descendants can be followed and located with certainty. Some of those of Samuel can without much doubt, be located, but we have no clear evidence to guide us in placing the issue of any of the other direct descendants of John and Hannah Grow. A family tradition in effect that the first two Grows in America were John and William, the former settling in Ipswich and the latter “to the eastward,” has no record support. There were many Grows in Greenland, New Hampshire, after 1722. They were probably descendants of John of Ipswich, but it is barely possible that they were descendants of some other of the same name, though there are no records.
Second Generation: Thomas and Rebecca Grow
Thomas Grow, son of John and Hannah, was b. Oct. 20, 1684, at Ipswich, Massachusetts. He married in Andover, Mass., June 8, 1710. Rebecca Holt (probably daughter of James and Hannah Allen Holt) b. at Andover, March 29, 1688. She died at Pomfret, Conn., Nov. 9, 1762. He died at Pomfret Jan. 13, 1753.
At Andover and Lynn, Mass., Thomas Grow is mentioned as a “maltster” he processed barley and other grains so they could be used to brew beer. (It was apparently a lucrative profession.) After he married, he seems to have lived for a year or so in Lynn, Mass., for he bought a house there from Widow Nicks, and sold it May 6, 1715. On May 24 and April 13, 1715, he bought land in Andover. In 1721 and 1722, he received by deed from the proprietors of that town three parcels of land. On Jan. 19 and March 30, 1730-1, Thomas and Hannah Grow sold land in Andover. The tax books of Andover also show that he paid taxes there for several years and was also assessed for church improvements. About 1731 he moved with his family of seven children to Pomfret, Connecticut.
On Jan. 27, 1730-1, “Thomas Grow of Andover” bought 100 acres of land in Pomfret for £230 (230 British pounds), and later several other tracts, the whole as per records valued at £1,071. His land sales of record, not including several gifts to his children, had a value of £1,430. He was a farmer, his home being located about half a mile west of the Pomfret railroad station [which is now, in 1990,] the Community Health and HomeCare building].
He was one of the original members of the Congregational Church of Abington Parrish, Pomfret, which was organized in 1743, but all his descendants in Connecticut appear to have been Baptists. He apparently died intestate and no record of the administration of his considerable estate can be found; but among the Land Records of Pomfret appears a quit-claim deed by Ruth (Grow) Williams, Thomas Grow, James Grow, Rebecca (Grow) Ingalls, and Hannah (Grow) Barker, “all of Pomfret and heirs to estate of Thomas Grow, late of Pomfret, deceased,” in favor of “Joseph Grow, an heir also to said estate,” in consideration of certain payments “for our right to the tract of land that the said Thomas Grow died possessed of.” Widow not referred to; she died in 1762. Deed is dated Oct. 3, 1755. No record of will of widow Rebecca Grow, nor of any administration of her estate.
From these–Thomas the Rebecca Grow–have descended a great many of the name, now scattered all over the United States. Both were buried about a half-mile north of the Pomfret railroad station [Community Health and HomeCare]. Their farm was a few rods further north [which seems to be across the road and near the 1990 Pomfret Volunteer Fire Department.]
Children of Thomas and Rebecca Grow
i. Rebecca Grow, 1712-1762
ii. Thomas Grow, 1714-1824. One of the founders of the Baptist Church that first met in the house he built in 1743 (still standing and now known as the Elmer Stone House). The Grow Baptist Church–the foundations of which may still be visible south of the Grow Hill Cemetery–prospered for more than a century. Thomas Grow is mentioned in Folklore and Firesides, a history of the Pomfret area: “Deacon Thomas Grow, whom our grandsires remembered as furnishing doughnuts and gingerbread, made his home a favorite haven in the cold seasons; the meetinghouse, as were all early houses of worship, was unheated or very poorly heated. His son William was the first ordained pastor of the Grow Church in 1776” (but William had a turbulent relationship with several churches). James Grow, Thomas’ cousin, was pastor of the nearby Hampton Grow Church and he traveled on horseback to hold services in nearby villages. Thomas’ son, Ebenezer, served under Gen. Israel Putnam in the Revolutionary War. Ebenezer’s home was at the top of the hill at the town line between Hampton and Pomfret–near the Grow Cemetery.
A grandson of Deacon Thomas Grow, Thomas Wales Grow, visited the old Grow homestead in 1883 and left this description:
“It contained 180 acres, and is situated on a high hill-top, called then and now ‘Grow Hill.’ It is on the road from Hampton to Pomfret, about four miles from Hampton Center, but near the Pomfret line. The neighborhood is called Abington. The home dwelling stood on the south side of the road, but about 1831 it was pulled down and another erected by his son Thomas [III] who upon the death of his father came into possession of the place. The oldest remaining building is the one that was used as a country store by Dea. Grow. The land north is level, south are orchards, and still further sout and east is a very high hill said to be the highest land in Windham Co. There is a burying ground at one corner of the farm where several Grows are buried He died June 5, 1824, aged 81 years. [Deacon Thomas Grow, Jr.,] was of a very daring and wide-awake nature, which did not diminish with old age. While driving an unbroken colt he was thrown from the buggy upon a pile of stones and killed. Hon. Chauncey Fitch Cleaveland of Hampton, who helped to settle the estate, said that ‘Deacon Grow was the best business man he had ever known.'”
iii. Joseph Grow, 1717-1782. Moved to Hartland, Vt., then Newbury.
iv. Hannah Grow, b. 1731. Married Ephraim Barker and had five children.
v. James Grow
Third Generation: James and Anne Grow
James Grow was born Oct. 25, 1727 at Andover, Mass. He moved with his parents to Pomfret, Conn., about 1731 and died at Norwich, Vermont, October 29, 1799. On March 6, 1754, James married Anne Adams, who was born Jan. 9, 1735 and died at the home of her son Marvin, in Greensboro, Vt., on Feb. 11, 1813.
James and Anne lived in Abington Parrish, Pomfret, Conn., until about 1760, when them moved to nearby Monson, Hampden County, Mass., where he was one of the original 12 members of the Congregational Church established there about 1760, under the ministrations of Elder Abisha Sabin of Woodstock, Conn. The Hampden Co., Mass., land records show that on July 7, 1766, James Grow bought of the tax collector of Monson, Mass., 50 acres of land, and another 2 acres in 1765. The family of James Grow moved from Monson to Tolland, Conn., in 1776. In 1784, they moved to Norwich, Vermont, where on March 2, 1784, he purchased 100 acres of wild land and made a home [note that he was 57 years old at the time of this move]. Their daughter Susanna and son Timothy having preceded them, one to Norwich and the other to Hartland, Vermont.
Children of James and Anne Grow
i. Timothy Grow— b. Pomfret, Conn., 1755. d. 1842, Hartland, Vt.
ii. Anne Grow, b. Abington, 1757; d. Monson, Mass., 1765.
iii. Susannah Grow–b. Abington 1759; m. Joel Stimson. Moved to Norwich, Vt about 1780.
iv. Dalinda Grow–b. Monson, Mass., 1762. d. Oct. 12, 1765.
v. Silas Grow–b. 1764, Monson. d. Oct. 13, 1765. [Notice that two young children died a day apart. There must have been an epidemic.]
vi. Abisha Grow–b. Monson, Feb. 1, 1767; Moved to Norwich, Vt. Married 1793 to Olive Phelps. Died 1807. She died as the widow of Abel Wilder of Norwich. Farmer.
vii. James Grow–b. Monson, 1769. Married (1) Elizabeth Edmunds of Dudley, Mass. (1763-1835), then (2) Mrs. Betsey Elliott of Thompson, Conn. (d. 1856). He died in 1859. School teacher, farmer, and prominent Baptist minister:
“In his day Elder James Grow was a very marked and widely useful man and gospel minister. In physical stature he was large and commanding, with a massive, well-shaped head, and a noble, honest, open countenance. He had a resonant voice and an interesting manner. The power of his sermons, however, lay in their great spiritual unction and fervor. He was plain, persuasive, winnning, and convincing. He touched the heart and the conscience and made men realize the value and need of personal surrender and devotion to God.”
viii. Sarah Grow–b. Monson, 1772. Around 1798, Sarah married Royal Hatch of Straffort, Vermont, where they lived. After his death in 1804, she married Frederick Smith, Jr, who was County Judge. He d. 1867. She d. 1857. She had nine children.
ix. Marvin Grow, b. Monson, 1776. Moved with parents to Vermont, residing in Norwich. Married Hope Whipple in 1800. A Baptist minister at Hardwick and Greensboro, Vt. Died at Hardwick, 1851. Two children.
Fourth Generation: Timothy and Phalle Grow
Timothy Grow was born in Abington Parrish, Pomfret, Conn., May 2, 1755. Married in Somers, Conn., Jan. 25, 1781, to Phalle Richardson of Coventry, Conn. She was born at Coventry July 6, 1763. Timothy died in Hartland, Vermont, May 17, 1842. She died at Hartland Dec. 29, 1828, after a long and lingering illness.
They lived for a short time at Somers, Conn., but about 1782 moved to Hartland, Vt., and there cleared up a farm in the wilderness.
Timothy Grow became a Baptist deacon, then a minister, and preached for many years at Hartford and at Hartland, Vermont. He continued preaching after he became blind, which was several years before his death.
Timothy was a member of several church councils.
When Timothy and Phalle moved to Vermont, their worldly possessions consisted of a horse, a cow, and what goods could be packed in two small chests. The first calf was devoured by wolves or bears.
Fifth Generation: Silas and Lamoille Grow
Silas was born March 12, 1795, at Hartland, Vt. Married March 10, 1822, to Lamoile Wallbridge, of Cambridge, Vermont. Moved that year to Craftsburt, Vt., where he and his brother Dustin settled and built up a village called Growsville in Craftsbury, where he owned much land. Moved to St. Johnsbury, Vt., where he died. Widow died at the same place, 1862. [But according to Mila’s letter, Silas’ wife was alive and ill in 1868].
Their children, all born in Craftsbury, Vt.:
i. Milo Walbridge Grow.
ii. David Richardson Grow, b. June 2, 1829. Married at Chicago, Ill, 1866, Caroline Frances Fay Windsor, daughter of James Augustus and Caroline Curtis Davis Windsor of Scituate, R.I., where she was born Dec. 15, 1836. David died at Maywood, Il, Sept. 16, 1879. In 1913 his widow lived in Chicago, where she was “Secretary of the Anti-Cigarette League, 1119, Womans Temple, Chicago.”
For several years, David was General Agent of the Jerome Clock Co. in New York; was much of his time in Europe with the Fairbanks Greenleaf Scale Company, and Manager of the Waterbury Clock in New York; was much of his time in Europe as agent of the company for the western states. They had two daughters, Alice Walbridge (b. 1868) and Caroline Windsor (b. 1874). In 1913, Caroline was Art Editor of the temperance paper “Union Signal” and editor of “The Young Crusader” of Evanston, Ill.
iii. Lamoile (Mila) Grow. b. in Craftsbury, Vt. Feb. 27, 1871. Married Feb. 27, 1871, Charles Woodbury Thrasher (who was born in Cornish, N.H.). They settled in Springfield, Missouri, where he died in 1901. In 1913, Mila and her daughter lived in Florence, Italy. Mr Thrasher graduated from Dartmouth, class of 1856, and practiced law. He rose to Colonel in the Civil War. Was nominated for Congress in Missouri, but was defeated.
They had one child, Alice Lamoille, b. Sept. 10, 1876. In 1913, she was unmarried.
To the 10th Generation
Members of this family including the 10th generation in America met at Thanksgiving 2000 for a reunion, at Lake Seminole State Park, Georgia.