A Tillotson Coat-of-arms

Samuel Tillotson and Sarah Partridge


Samuel Tillotson, son of Joseph Tillotson and Theodosia Youngs, was born in Farmington, Connecticut on October 4, 1759. Samuel's birth year appears in some sources as 1758, but the town records say 1759. This makes sense since Samuel would have been born a little over nine months after Joseph and Theodosia's marriage.

Samuel served as a private in Captain Ezra Whittlesey's Company, Colonel John Brown's detachment, in the Revolutionary War. Samuel entered service on Sept 7, 1777 and was discharged Sept 30, 1777. Whittlesey's Company was raised in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Samuel later served again as a Private in Captain John Collar's Company, Colonel John Ashley's (Berkshire County) Regiment. Samuel entered service July 19, 1779, and was discharged Aug 27, 1779 after serving one month, nine days. The company marched to Connecticut under command of Lieutenant Colonel Powel.

Samuel married Sarah Partridge on March 16, 1786. Sarah was born May 15, 1769 in Tyringham, Berkshire, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Silas Partridge and Abigail Rawson. Sarah and Samuel produced fourteen children. The first three died in infancy, but the remainder lived long enough to marry and produce children.

Solomon Harvey, James Stearns and Henry Parker were the first settlers in Brunswick, Ohio in October and November of 1815. Shortly afterwards in that same year, Samuel Tillotson brought his wife Sarah and younger children to Brunswick. Samuel built a farm on land he purchased from the State of Connecticut. (In those days the District of Ohio was considered an extension of Connecticut.) That farm remained in the Tillotson for four generations until the final owner, Grant Eugene Tillotson, sold it to the Eyssen family in 1927.

In 1817 the residents of Brunswick organized a Methodist Church. Samuel and Sarah Tillotson were among its original members.

The first school house was a log cabin erected on the West line of Brunswick to accommodate families living in the neighboring Liverpool township. Sarah Tillotson (Samuel and Sarah's daughter) became the first teacher at the young age of seventeen. Sarah had 16 students in 1817.

Samuel Tillotson lived to the ripe old age of 89. He died in Brunswick on December 3, 1848. His wife Sarah had died on April 11, 1846, reaching the age of 77. They are both buried in Westview Cemetery in Brunswick.

The following memoir by Samuel's great-grandson Grant Eugene Tillotson offers more information about Samuel and Sarah.

"Sarah Partridge was a staunch Methodist, and the first religious meetings in Brunswick, both prayer and preaching, were held at Samuel's home. Both their names are among the founders of the first church in Brunswick -- Methodist of course.

"Sally or Sarah as she became known taught the first school in Brunswick, while her mother, being quite adept with herbs, travelled for miles to alleviate the sick before the advent of a physician. Sarah, the daughter and not the mother, as one might think from the name, was the teacher.

"Samuel Tillotson (1758) came to Brunswick, Medina Co, Ohio, in the fall of 1815, bringing with him his wife Sarah Partridge, his five sons and five daughters, and one daughter-in-law, Susan Caroline Rogers, who had married Zadock in August.

"Two wagons furnished the transportation, one drawn by a yoke of oxen and the other by a span of horses. The men walked and the others either walked or rode as seemed expedient. They brought along a fresh cow that furnished milk and butter for daily use. The cow was milked morning and evening, and the unused portion put in the churn on the wagon, and the rocking and jolting of the wagon churned the milk, so a small bit of butter was found each evening at stopping time. When they went through Cleveland there were only twelve houses, and one of them was a block-house compound, or means of defense.

"They came first to the house of Timothy Doan in Columbia township. The day after arriving at Mr. Doan's, Samuel and the boys all came on into Brunswick, locating their claims, and Samuel cut the first tree to build the first house in Brunswick. Only Samuel returned to Mr. Doan's, he going and coming each day to bring food. The boys remained in the woods until the house was completed.

"On returning to Mr. Doan's the first night, Samuel found that a Mr. Harvey had arrived there with a large family, making nearly 20 people to sleep in a one-room log house. They slept heads out and heels in. Mr. Harvey's people came right on into Brunswick, and completed cutting logs for a house also. They turned in and helped Samuel "roll up" his house one day and Mr. Harvey's the next. It was a saying afterward that Samuel Tillotson built the first house but that Solomon Harvey (Sol) rolled the first wheels in Brunswick.

"When they returned to Mr. Doan's they found Zadock's wife sick with the measles, which delayed their moving in. They finally came on with the Harveys."

Women of the Western Reserve (p. 715) says this about Samuel and Sarah:

Brunswick Township is situated in the northern part of Medina County, twenty miles southwest from Cleveland. No railroad has ever invaded this peaceful hamlet. In October, 1815, the families of Samuel Tillotson and Solomon Harvey came to the unbroken wilderness of Brunswick, which up this time had been the undisputed habitation of Indians and wild beasts.

Sarah Partridge became the wife of Samuel Tillotson in 1785, at the age of sixteen. She left her home in Lee, Massachusetts, together with her husband and ten children, the latter part of August, 1815. There was a bonnie bride in the little company, for Susan C, Rogers was married to Zadoc, one of the sons, just before the family started on the long tedious journey. Susan was a sweet singer, and the life and joy of those around her.

The journey was made with two yoke of oxen, a span of horses, and large covered wagons, and occupied six weeks. A cow was tied behind one of the wagons, and after a few days was given her liberty to follow. The journey from Cleveland to Timothy Doan's, in Columbia, occupied three days, the father and sons being obliged to use their axes in many places to clear the way through the wilderness; here the family remained until their own house in Brunswick was ready to receive them. This was the first house erected in the town, and was built of logs, in the most primitive style. Mrs. Tillotson was the mother of eight sons and six daughters. She was a good nurse and the only physician in the township for two years. She was often called to neighboring towns to attend the sick; with a bag or herbs, and simple remedies, she mounted a horse, and sometimes was absent from home several days on her mission of mercy.

Polly Stearns was the wife of Solomon Harvey. To her belongs the honor of being the mother of the first white child born in Brunswick, and the child was named "George." Mrs. Sarah Partridge Tillotson was the attending physician. The Harvey family came from Massachusetts, and arrived at Timothy Doan's, in Columbia, the next day after the arrival of Samuel Tillotson's family. Their log house was rolled up the next day after the completion of Mr. Tillotson's house, by the same set of hands, and they had the distinction of moving into town and occupying their house one day before Mr. Tillotson's family came.

Measles broke out in Mr. Tillotson's family and they were delayed one day, but the next morning the sick one was wrapped up, and the family came to Brunswick, and moved into their new home.


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Last modified by pib on September 26, 2010.