• Maggie Meahl

Wading Through the 18th-Century Hannah Huntingtons of Norwich, CT

Updated: Aug 8

Warning: Studying New England Puritan/Yankee families requires extreme patience due to the repetitive use of the same given names up, down, and sideways!

Lothrup-Huntington House, Norwichtown, CT
Hannah Perkins Huntington Lynde Lathrop (1701-1788) lived here from roughly 1739-1746 and then later at times. Eventually the house was willed to her grandson Andrew Huntington (1745-1824).

There were certainly a lot of "Hannahs" attending "meeting" at the First Church in eighteenth-century Norwich, CT. It was a popular girls' name beginning with the third generation (born in the late seventeenth-century). The name picked up steam, for awhile, as the generations multiplied, matrilineal naming patterns held on, and intermarriages occurred. Patrilineal names also were repeated all the time.


One of the reasons names carried on so much was to honor the dead--and death was omnipresent. Also, to honor parents.


Hannah is a Biblical name and means "grace or favor." It was associated with fertility. The Huntingtons were possibly the most fertile family in Norwich, CT history based on my non-scientific hypothesis (gravestones, records, indexes, city directories, etc.) and thus the name multiplied.


Two of them are sometimes mistaken for each other in geneaology sources, particularly on-line databases: Hannah Perkins Huntington Lynde Lathrop (HPHLL) and Hannah Frink Huntington (1701-1746) (HFH). This is understandable since they both married Huntington men and were born at roughly the same time. Also, the amount of incorrect information posted on family tree websites is something to always watch out for.


Hannah Frink Huntington (HFH) was married to Colonel Hezekiah Huntington (1696-1773), a descendent of Christopher Huntington (1624-1691).

Letter from HFH to the Reverend Eleazar Wheelock. Hannah was upset about her soul in the midst of the turmoil of the Great Awakening. She died five years later. Originally, I thought this letter was written by HPHLL. Letter is property of Dartmouth College.

This spring, I stumbled upon new information that led me to the fact that HPHLL married two more times after the early death of Joshua. Bingo! A whole new world for that chapter in my book opened up.


HPHLL is mentioned a few times in the records: birth, marriage to Joshua, his will, Samuel Lynde's will, Samuel Lynde inventory papers, her own will (1784), and finally one measly sentence in the Norwich Packet mentioning her death in November of 1788. No obituary or gravestone can be found. Of course, she was named for her mother: Hannah La-Lothrop Perkins (1677-1721)!*


Co-executor of her second husband Samuel Lynde's estate, signed by HPHLL (1701-1788). I do not believe she wrote it, only signed it. It doesn't mean she could not write. Wonder what word was inked out?

HPHLL's creaky 83-year-old signature from her own will dated 1784, four years before her death and three years after Captain Ebenezer La-Lothrop's death. She signed the will in front of her grandson Andrew--they might have been living in the same house, the one she had gifted him (use of) upon his marriage to Lucy Coit in 1766. She did not use a title.

Thus, my main girl, the co-star of my Chapter Four, Hannah Perkins Huntington Lynde Lathrop, had to keep track of the other Hannahs in her orbit during her whole life: Her daughter-in law: Hannah Williams Huntington (1726-1807), her little granddaughter Hannah Huntington (1753-1761), and two of her grandsons' wives: Hannah Huntington Huntington (1750-1815) and Hannah Phelps Huntington (1760-1833). There also were two Hannah Bills, named for grandmother HPHLL, keeping the name going in the Bill family line.


Parlor or Hall hearth at the Bradford-Huntington home in Norwichtown, CT. All of the Hannah Huntington's visited or lived in this home during the 18th century.

I'm sure there are more Hannah Huntingtons from the past, but for now, I am just focusing on HPHLL.


*The La-Lothrop family name is spelled many different ways but are all the same family in Norwich.


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