Whatley, Massachusetts

+2 votes
Somehow I got sucked into looking at folks in this town.  The more I look, the more connections I see to Groton/Pepperell Mass.  Kind of odd that there are so many connections so far away.
in The Tree House by Jack Parker G2G2 (2.8k points)
edited by Ellen Smith

1 Answer

+2 votes
Not entirely surprising when you look at Massachusetts/New England settlement patterns. It was quite common for a group of people from one town to move together to a new settlement. Once established, other friends and relatives start showing up.  I've seen this in other places as well. One key is to look at any land records. That is frequently the driving factor.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (415k points)
The other thing to look at is where in the family lineup they were. I suspect most were not first born sons and weren't getting family land. Also, the land there is very good farmland. The floodplain of the Connecticut River is a great place for farming.
It was a conversational gambit.  You're right, it's not too surprising, but then I've been following the families of Middlesex county for a while, I've watched them onesey-twosey set up shop one town away, form a new town, gradually spread from Chelmsford and Groton west and north.  Then to suddenly find a block of them popping up 70 miles away - that was a little suprising.  It may indicate some larger land deal.
I found similar just a bit further north. A large number of families moved from the Middleborough, Mass area to the Stockbridge/Barnard area in Vermont. These were mostly just after the Revolution and the land became available. You may well find that someone acquired the land for establishing the town and recruited settlers.

Have you read through the town record books for Whatley? A lot about the families can be found out in those records. Sometimes the original patent is discussed and maps of the early lots sold will be there. Not always, but sometimes.
Good suggestion (read the history).  Clan migration after the revolution - oh yes, all over the place, especially north up the Conn river valley (and across upstate NY).  Although I'm used to seeing folks from Connecticut do that, while the Middlesex crowd tend to "bleed" up NW, through hilly country.  It's also my myopia, the two families I've been looking at (Parker and Sanderson) are both from Groton - the rest of the townspeople, not so much.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Whatley split from Hatfield so early records could be there. Later, the county was split and Hatfield stayed in Hampshire and Whatley in the new Franklin county.

I agree on the Middlesex crowd mostly bleeding/creeping north and west. I'm currently researching some of those that either moved westward to Worcester area or north into Hillsborough County, NH. This is a cousin's line. My own did the bigger jumps from Plymouth County, MA to Windsor County, VT.

Big jumps with Rev War land grants. Also some with 1812.

FamilySearch has Hatfield and Whatley town records digitized in the Catalog.

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