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Falsehood and hypocrisy

Bush Hill Road Historic Area, Brooklyn, CT

William Barrett (1751-1838) and Lucy Adams (1753-1834)

Generation Five Family 561

WILLIAM BARRETT (Elizabeth Phelps Barrett4, Elizabeth Abbott Phelps3, William2, George1), b. at Pomfret, 12 Apr 1751 son of Benoni and Elizabeth (Phelps) Barrett; d. at Brooklyn, CT, 7 Mar 1838; m. 26 Feb 1778, LUCY ADAMS, b. at Pomfret, 25 May 1753 daughter of Paul and Mary (Hubbard) Adams; Lucy d. 4 Apr 1834.

William Barrett and Lucy Adams began their family in Pomfret but relocated to Brooklyn, Connecticut where their youngest children were born. William was a moderately successful farmer.

William Barrett enlisted in 1776 as a private in Captain Joseph Abbott’s company. He had two other enlistments, for a month in 1777 under Captain Grosvenor and for two months in 1779 under Captain Lyons.

Most often, wills are written in a matter-of-fact manner, but occasionally a will is used as a vehicle to express deeply held feelings and the will of William Barrett is one such will. He wrote his will 25 Mar 1834 and it was proved 18 April 1838. Beloved wife Lucy is to have comfortable support during her natural life to be provided by son Joseph. Son William Barrett receives twenty-five dollars. Daughter Molly Allerton receives twenty-five dollars. Daughter Lucy Barrett receives the east bedroom with the cupboard near the stairs "and as to other property she has charged me so hardily with falsehood and hypocrisy and with acts of her insolence. . . that she has forfeited her claim as child. I am under no obligation to give her more than three dollars unless she becomes a pauper and if so that her brother Joseph P. take her and keep to the expense of fifty dollars which is my will (and my prayer to God is that he will change her heart and make her a child (of) grace). Son Ebenezer receives three dollars, and his best coat and pantaloons. The remainder of the property goes to son Joseph P. Barrett. The total value of the estate was $3,110.35 which included a 70-acre house lot valued at $1,820.00.

At the time William Barrett wrote his will, daughter Lucy was 54 years old. It is difficult to imagine what behavior a middle-aged single woman who lived at home was engaging in that warranted that level of animus from her father. In any case, Lucy died in 1836 and so was deceased at the time of the probate of her father’s will. She left an estate of $435, so was not a pauper.

Most of William Barrett’s heirs died between the time he wrote his will and the final settlement of his estate in 1840. His wife Lucy died just two weeks after the will was written. His son Joseph Phelps Barrett died in 1836 and Joseph’s widow Nancy L. W. Converse Barrett assumed administration of the estate. William’s daughter Molly died about four months after her father but before the settlement of the estate. Only sons William and Ebenezer were living at the time of the settlement.

William and Lucy Barrett had eight children.

1. MOLLY BARRETT, b. at Pomfret, 24 Dec 1778; d. at Brooklyn, CT, 4 Jul 1838; m. at Brooklyn, 10 Apr 1810, JOHN ALLERTON, b. at Coventry, RI, 13 Feb 1764 son of John and Rosanna (Burlingame) Allerton; John d. 3 Jan 1839.

2. LUCY BARRETT, b. at Pomfret, 2 Jul 1780; d. at Brooklyn, CT, 25 Jun 1836. Lucy did not marry.

3. WILLIAM BARRETT (twin), b. at Pomfret, 18 Jul 1782; d. at Hartland, VT, 7 May 1872; m. at Hartland, VT, 13 Feb 1809, ANNA BOREDELL DENISON, b. at Stonington, CT, 2 Dec 1785 daughter of George and Theoda (Brown) Denison. Anna likely died in the early 1850’s (living at the 1850 census but William living with a different wife in 1860). After Anna’s death, William married Mehitable.

4. JAMES BARRETT (twin), b. at Pomfret, 18 Jul 1782; d. at Brooklyn, CT, 20 Sep 1799.

5. PHILENA BARRETT, b. at Pomfret, 16 May 1784; d. at Brooklyn, CT, 28 Feb 1799.

6. JOSEPH PHELPS BARRETT, b. perhaps at Brooklyn, CT, 9 Nov 1789; d. at Brooklyn, 23 Oct 1836; m. 11 Jun 1820, NANCY LAURA WHIPPLE CONVERSE, b. 11 Feb 1797 daughter of Jonathan and Esther (Whipple) Converse; Nancy d. 20 May 1878.

7. EBENEZER BARRETT, b. at Brooklyn, CT, about 1793; d. at Beardstown, IL, 1861; m. at Brooklyn, CT, 3 Mar 1825, ABIGAIL “ABBY” BAKER, b. in Connecticut, 22 Feb 1799 daughter of Jared and Abigail (Withie) Baker; Abby d. at Worcester, MA, 1882. Ebenezer and Abby had their four children in Connecticut and then relocated to Grafton, MA where Abby’s parents also relocated. One of their children (Maria Barrett Meriam) relocated to Beardstown and Ebenezer was there with her family when he died. Abby afterwards lived in Worcester and her son J. Prescott Barrett lived there with her until his marriage about 1870.

8. HARVEY BARRETT, b. at Brooklyn, CT, 13 Apr 1796; d. 2 Jan 1817.


Connecticut, Hale Collection of Cemetery Inscriptions and Newspaper Notices, 1629-1934

Connecticut Town Birth Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection)

Connecticut, Town Marriage Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection)

Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999, will and probate of William Barrett

Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999, probate of Lucy Barrett

National Archives, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, application of William Barrett, 1832.

New England Historic Genealogical Society; Boston, Massachusetts; Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911

U.S., Newspaper Extractions from the Northeast, 1704-1930

Year: 1850; Census Place: Grafton, Worcester, Massachusetts; Roll: M432_344; Page: 443B; Image: 220

Year: 1870; Census Place: Hartland, Windsor, Vermont; Roll: M593_1628; Page: 380B; Family History Library Film: 553127

Year: 1870; Census Place: Beardstown Ward 2, Cass, Illinois; Roll: M593_192; Page: 351B; Family History Library Film: 545691

Family sheet for William Barrett and Lucy Adams:


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