New Horizons Genealogy

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Addison County Vermont Biographies
Town of Bristol

Town of Bristol, Vermont biographies copied from the Vermont Historical Gazetteer, by Abby Maria Hemenway.

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SAMUEL STEWART, the first permanent settler of Pocock, (now Bristol,) was a soldier of the Revolution, in the battle of' Bunker Hill; went to Quebec with Ar­nold in his detachment, that penetrated the wil­derness by the way of the Kennebec River; was at the assault on Quebec, and after the fall of Montgomery, his term of service having expired, he returned home. He was soon after married to Miss Elizabeth Abbot, of Pawlet, and removed to Salem, N. Y.; from thence to Scheensboro'; and from thence to Bristol, in June, 1786, where he continued to reside until the fall of 1817, when he removed to Royalton with an ox team, being 51 days on his journey. He was one of the first Board of Selectmen in Bristol, — had twelve children, — was a bold and resolute man, and died at Royalton, Aug. 27, 1827, aged 78.

BENJAMIN GRISWOLD came from Westfield, N. Y. and was the third person with a family who settled in town. He located on what is called Bristol Flats, built a log-house and occupied the same a few years, when he removed to Cambridge, Lamoil county.

CAPTAIN CYPRIAN EASTMAN was born in Norwich, Conn. in 1749. He was the second son of Jonathan Eastman, of Rupert, deceased. He married Rosannah Nelson, of Rupert, by whom he had ten children. In 1787 he settled on Bristol Flats, and was one of the first selectmen. In June, 1791, a militia com­pany being organized, he was chosen captain, and was also appointed one of the committee to lay out the first division lots of land and roads in said town. The Captain was a good citizen, and well esteemed. In the spring of 1798 he went to Montreal, where he took the smallpox, of which he died on the 23d of May, aged 49 years.

ROBERT DUNSHEE was born in New Hampshire, and emigrated to Bristol in 1787. He commenced a settlement at the extreme south part of the town, and after­wards sold and removed to Bristol Flats, where he built a two-story house, afterwards used as a tav­ern. He followed the business of a saddle and harness maker many years. Again he sold out and removed on to the mountain road to the Little Notch. He, too, was one of the first se­lectmen. He was twice married. After the death of his first wife, by whom he had one child, he married Bershabe Eastman, a daughter of Capt. Cyprian Eastman, by whom he had sev­eral children. He was an industrious man, and a good citizen. He died from the effects of a cancer.

HENRY McLAUGHLIN, ESQ. was born in Ireland, and served as a drummer in the army of Burgoyne, till he (Burgoyne) left Ticonderoga for Scheensboro', when he left his army and went to Williamstown, Mass., where he employed his time in teaching school a few years. He married Miss Mary Dunton, of Dor­set, a sister of Gen. Dunton, of Bristol, and soon after, in March, 1787, removed to the latter place. The snow being very deep, he removed his goods from Middlebury on a hand-sled. He was our first town clerk, and afterwards constable; and five times one of the selectmen. He surveyed many of our roads, and was the proprietors' clerk. He thrice represented the town, and was ten years an acting justice of the peace. He commenced a settlement at the four corners, west of the village, where he built a brick house and kept a tavern many years. In 1805 he removed to Hopkinton, N. Y., where he kept a public house until February, 1812, when he and his wife for the first time returned to Bristol for a visit, and were taken sick and died within one week of each other. Their death was much lamented.

CAPTAIN GURDON MUNSILL, a soldier of the Revolutionary war, was born in Windsor, Conn., Oct. 28, 1760. He married Miss Olive Carver, of Bolton, Conn., by whom he had eight children. He emigrated to Bristol, where he arrived March 21, 1789. He had been in town the previous year, and made some im­provements. He was appointed by the Legislature, in 1788, collector of a land tax in Bristol; represented the town in 1796; was two years justice of the peace; and seven years one of the selectmen. He was appointed captain of a militia company in Bristol, in 1795, which office he held several years, and died Nov. 15, 1807, aged 47.

GENERAL EZEKIEL DUNTON was born in Dorset. He married Miss Comfort Kellogg, and removed to Bristol at an early day, where he continued to reside until his death, Feb. 13, 1824, aged 56. He was a good farmer and a much respected citizen. In 1794 he was chosen one of the selectmen, and was ten times re-elected. He was twice chosen constable and collector; represented the town in 1806, '08, and '13; was fifteen years a justice of the peace; and was ap­pointed brigadier-general of the 2d Regiment, 1st Brigade, and 3d Division of the militia of Vermont. Holding that office at the invasion of Plattsburgh by the British, he took the com­mand of a volunteer company as their captain, and was in the battle of Plattsburgh. He left four children, two sons and two daughters.

JONATHAN EASTMAN, ESQ. was born at Norwich, Conn., in 1753, and was third son of Jonathan Eastman, late of Rupert, deceased. He married a Miss Haynes for his first wife, by whom he had one daughter; and a Miss Ruth Dean for his second, by whom he had five children. He removed from Rupert to Bris­tol in 1791. He was a worthy citizen, and our first representative in 1792, and again in 1795; four years one of the selectmen; eleven years town clerk; and seventeen years a justice of the peace. He died Dec. 16, 1816, aged 63.