Danby, Rutland, VT
Genealogy & History

Original Settlers of Danby

From The History of Danby, Vermont, by J. C. Williams, 1869

The names of the original grantees of the township of Danby are as follows:

Jonathan Willard

William T. Barton, Jr.

Samuel Rose

John Partilow

Mathew Ford

Joseph Alger

Lawrence Willse

Hugh Hall Wentworth

Benjamin Palmer

Samuel Alger

James Baker

Jonathan Weller

Jonathan Ormsby

Lucius Palmer

Joseph Soper

Ephraim Reynolds

William Willard

John Downing

Joseph Marks

Capt. John Chamberlin

Daniel Miller

Moses Kellogg

Daniel Dunham

Reuben Knapp

John Nelson

David Willoughby

Aaron Buck

Isaac Finch

Asa Alger

William Barton

Joseph Brown

Gideon Ormsby

John Sutherland, Jr.

John Willard

Joseph Brown, Jr.

Samuel Hunt, Jr.

Thomas Brown

Eliakim Weller

Jeremiah Palmer

Noah Gillett

Benjamin Hammond

Col. Ebenezer Kendall

William Blunt

Samuel Hunt

Israel Weller

Nathan Weller

Benjamin Finch

William Kennedy

Noah Pettibone

Nathan Fellows

Samuel Shepard

Lamson Sheah

John Weller

John Edmunds

David Weller

Daniel Ford

Nehemiah Reynolds

Richard Joslin

Jonathan Palmer

William Shaw

Upon the back of the Charter, and following the names, is the following
reservation, viz:

"His Excellency, Benning Wentworth, Esq., a tract of land containing five hundred acres, as marked B. W. in the plan, which is to be accounted two of the within shares; one whole share for the incorporated society for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts; one share for a Glebe, for the Church of England, as by law established; one share for the first settled Minister of the Gospel; one share for the benefit of a School in said town.

Province of N. H., August 27th, 1761.
THEODORE ATKINSON, Secretary."

It will be seen that this grant was accompanied by very easy conditions. The rent of one ear of Indian corn only at Christmas for ten years, was merely nominal, and the one shilling Proclamation money was to pay for the Charter. The reservation of "all the white and other pine trees, suitable for masting the Royal Navy," shows that the English Nation paid great attention to the Navy.

By the Charter 250 acres were called a share, and the proprietors were to have equal shares in making divisions. It will be seen hereafter that all these rights were fairly located, but the five hundred acres which were for the Governor, fell upon the mountain in the south-western part of the town, which land still bears the name of "Governor's Right."

The provisions of the Charter were all nulified by the war which followed a few years after the settlement of the town, but the grantees retained their rights, although but few of them settled here. They donated some of the land to actual settlers.

As the Charter directed, the proprietors of the township of Danby, held their first meeting at the Great Nine Partners, Cromelbow Precinct, Dutchess County, Sept. 22d, 1761, and Jonathan Willard was moderator, agreeable to the charter. Jonathan Ormsby was appointed proprietor's clerk. As this was the first meeting under the Charter, we will give below a copy of the doings which will no doubt be interesting at this time.

Voted that Jonathan Ormsby be Clerk

Voted that Samuel Shepard be Constable

Voted that Mr. Aaron Buck be Treasurer

Voted that The first division of land be 100 acres to each right

Voted that Mr. Jonathan Willard be 1st Committee

Voted that Mr. Jonathan Ormsby " 2d "

Voted that Mr. Somuel Rose " 3d "

Voted that Mr. Nehimiah Reynolds 4th "

Voted that Mr. Moses Kelly " 5th "

Voted that Mr. Daniel Dunham " 6th "

Voted that Mr. Stephen Videto " 7th "


"That the above committee set out from home the third Monday in October next, in order to proceed on said business, and make division of land, &c. Voted that the first hundred acre division lots be laid out and seized by
the surveyor and committee.

Voted that one dollar be paid by each proprietor, to enable said committee to proceed on their business and make division."

The above meeting was adjourned until the 8th of October following, but for some reason was not held at that time, it being again adjourned to the 12th of January, 1762, at the house of Roswell Hopkins, Esq., Nine Partners. It was then voted that the proprietors pay to Jonathan Willard, two dollars each for obtaining the grant.

The first annual meeting was held by the proprietors, at the house of Jonathan Reynolds, inn-holder at Nine Partners, on the second Tuesday of March, 1762. Samuel Shepard was moderator, and Jonathan Ormsby was elected clerk for the year ensuing. The report of the committee showed that a part of the first division lots had been laid out, but the shares not distributed. The number of committee were reduced from seven to three at this meeting, who were to finish laying out the lots. Jonathan Ormsby, Samuel Rose and Lewis Barton were chosen assessors, to examine the accounts of the property. The proprietors had as yet made no attempts at settling the land, for no one knew where his share was to be located, and would not until after the surveys were completed. The first committee appointed had surveyed out the townships of Danby and Harwick, and seized them by virtue of the grant.

Sometime in April following the proprietors again met, and voted to pay the committee appointed to lay out the land, eleven shillings per day. This committee was engaged during the summer of 1762, in making the surveys, and on the 5th of October following another meeting was held at the Inn of Lewis Delavargue, to hear a report of their proceedings. This report showed that the work was not wholly completed, and would have to be delayed until another spring.

Meetings continued to be held at the house of Jonathan Reynold, and others at Nine Partners, until the spring of 1763, when we find that on the 12th day of April, the proprietors met and appointed a new committee, consisting of Darius Lobdel, Aaron Buck, Jonathan Palmer and Zephaniah Buck, who were instructed to proceed at once and finish laying out the land.

The surveys in the first division were completed during the summer of 1763, and each one numbered, being according to the Charter sixty-eight shares, which the proprietors had voted, to be 100 acres each, in the first division. The sixty-eight town lots, of the contents of one acre each for a "town plot" had also been laid out and numbered. We have been unable to learn the exact locality of these town lots, as the book containing a record of them was burned. But as near as can be ascertained they were located east of Danby Four Corners, on the farms now owned by J. E. Nichols and Howell Dillingham. According to the Charter, the lots were to be laid out as near the centre of the township as possible. (p. 13)

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