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Northrop Genealogy ~~~ Southport, Connecticut ~~~ Keeler

The Keeler Tavern Museum occupies Lott II of the original 1708 Main Street plan of the Proprietors of Ridgefield. By about 1713 Benjamin Hoyt had built the home where he and his wife raised their family. In 1769 Timothy Keeler, Benjamin’s grandson, purchased the property from his Uncle David. Timothy and his wife Esther turned the building into T. Keeler’s Inn in 1772.

On April 27. 1777 after the Battle of Ridgefield during the Revolutionary War, the Tavern was fired on by British troops proceeding south on Main Street. Timothy, a patriot, was making musket balls in the basement. One British cannonball was imbedded in a corner post where it remains today.

William Keeler inherited from his father in 1815 and ran the now W. Keeler’s Hotel with his sister Anna, who inherited the property upon the unmarried William’s death in 1827. Timothy Keeler had become 3rd Postmaster of Ridgefield in 1803, and upon his death William took his father's place. After William died neighbor and cousin Thaddeus Keeler became Postmaster with the Post Office remaining in the Keeler Tavern.

Anna Keeler married Abijah Resseguie in 1829 and the hotel name was changed to Resseguie Hotel. Anna Marie, Anna and Abijah’s only child, born in 1830, and her father ran the hotel after Anna’s death in 1862 with the help of Phillis Dubois, a free black woman who spent her life as a member of the Resseguie family.

for Lewis Burr Jennings and family see Jennings Page Lewis Burr Jennings b. 1828            
            Samuel Keeler Samuel KEELER b: ABT. 1655 in Norwalk Fairfield Co CT
          Joseph Keeler Joseph KEELER b: 1683 in Norwalk, Fairfield Co, CT  
            Sarah St. John Sarah St. John b: 1659 in Norwalk, Fairfield Co., CT
        Elijah Keeler Elijah KEELER b: 17 MAR 1726/27 in Ridgfield, Fairfield Co, CT    
            John Whitney John Whitney b: ABT 1644 in Southold, Suffolk Co., NY
          Eliz Whitney  (John Whitney2, Henry Whitney1)Elizabeth Whitney b: ABT 1684 in Norwalk, Fairfield Co., CT
Older sister of Richard Whitney and Aunt of Samuel Whitney h/o Amy Northrop Whitney Greenfield
 
            Eliz Elizabeth Smith b: ABT 1656
Estella Frances Keeler Jennings Northrop    
Levi Keeler Levi KEELER b: 3 APR 1758 in Ridgefield, Fairfield Co, CT
Death: 6 MAY 1812 in Ridgefield, Fairfield Co, CT
     
      1776 Gamaliel Northrop's company included Levi Keeler June 3, 1778 David Olmstead's company prob son Jeremiah Keeler, who was born in Ridgefield, April 4, 1760, and enlisted May 28, 1777, was with the Connecticut lines three years. in February 1780 was promoted to corporal. He was selected by baron Steuben as a member of the Light Infantry commanded by Gen. Lafayette. on July 14, 1780, he was assigned to the post of Orderly Sergeant by the French General. On account of his bravery, intelligence and excellent judgement he was often chosen for duty where these characteristics were most essential. He was present at the Battles of Jamestown and Monmouth and at the siege of Yorktown. We read that he was one of the first to scale the breastworks in the face of a murderous fire. For his galantry at Yorktown, General Lafayette preseted him with a sword. Sergeant Keeler remained with the army until mustered out in 1783.    
             
             
        Sarah Sarah ? b: ABT 1727    
             
             
    Jeremiah Keeler d.7-3-1861 Jeremiah Keeler, b. in Ridgefield, Conn., 7 Aug. 1786; a shoemaker; married Catharine Smith, who was born in Ridgefield, 24 March 1787, dau. of Daniel and Rachel (Perlee) Smith. They settled in Ridgefield, where she died 15 May 1814. He married (2d), Hannah Smith, born in Norwalk, Conn., 10 March 1798, dau. of Hutton Smith. He died in Ridgefield, 3 July. 1861, aged 75 years. She died in Cheshire, Conn., 12 July 1870, aet. 72. They were buried in Titicus Cemetery, where a substantial brown-stone monument has been erected to their memory. His home in Ridgefield was on the main street, opposite where Niram Dykeman kept a hotel in 1875. The town-record says that his wife, "Kitty," died 14 May 1814, and calls him at that time "Jeremiah Keeler, 2d."       John Smith c: 27 Aug 1646 in Milford, New Haven Colony
          Thomas Smith b: 17 Mar 1677 in Milford, New Haven County, Connecticut  
            Phebe Canfield b: 8 May 1656 in Milford, New Haven Colony
        Thomas Smith Thomas Smith b: ABT 1734    
            Samuel Camp b: 13 Sep 1645 in Milford, New Haven Colony c: 15 Sep 1655 in Milford, New Haven Colony
          Hannah Camp b: 31 Jan 1677 in Milford, New Haven County, Connecticut  
            Hannah Betts b: 22 Nov 1652 in Guilford, New Haven Colony
      Dorcas Smith
Dorcas SMITH b.
Aug 31, 1760
     
            Zerubbabel Hoyt b: 1652 in Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut
          Caleb Hay t b: 1683 in Norwalk, Fairfield County, Connecticut  
            Mother: [--?--] [--?--]
  Mary Keeler 9-30-1833 from Aunt Emma's bible.     Adah Hoyt Adah Hayt b: 1722-1723 in of Ridgefield, Fairfield County, Connecticut    
            John Keeler b: 9 Feb 1654 in Norwalk, Connecticut Colony
          Mehitable Keeler b: 1685 in Norwalk, Fairfield County, Connecticut Hayt was second marriage  
            Mehitable Rockwell b: 1660 in Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut
             
      Hutton Smith Norwalk and Ridgefield      
             
             
             
             
             
             
    Hannah (Smith) Keeler b. march 10, 1798 d. 7-12-70 Second marriage first to Catherine(Kate). d 2-19-98.       ?THOMAS HYATT Baptism: 20 SEP 1618 Upway, co.Dorcest, England Death: 9 SEP 1656 in Stamford, Fairfield Co., Ct

father

SIMON HOYT Name: HOIT \HOIGHT \HAITE \HAYTE \HITT \HYATT occupation: yeoman Birth: 20 JAN 1590 in Dorchester, Dorsetshire, England Death: 1 SEP 1657 in Stamford, Fairfield Co., Ct

mother DEBORAH STOWERS Baptism: 1 MAY 1593 Dorchester, Dorsetshire, England Death: C1634 in Ma/Ct

          ? CALEB HYATT Birth: 1645/6 in Stamford, CtDeath: C 1687 in Rye, NY  
           

ELIZABETH RUSSELL Birth: in England Death: in pr Stamford., Ct
father

THOMAS RUSSELL Death: in of Chalfont,St Gyles,Bucks,England

        ? Caleb HYATT Birth: in Westchester Co., NY Death: 1748/59    
            ? JOHN THOMPKINS
          ? HANNAH THOMPKINS  
            ??
             
      ? Phebe Hyatt ~ 1775?      
             
        ? Sarah ?    
             
             
             
             

from http://worldturndupsidedown.blogspot.com/2012/08/soldier-letter-from-antietam.html

August 23, 2012

Soldier Letter from Antietam

loc
"Federal buried, Confederate unburied" LOC

 Army of the Potomac, October 6th 1862

Dear Brother--I was surprised to hear of the death of Henry. I had heard that he was wounded, and got a furlough of two days to go and find him. Starting when your letter came to me, I wandered all day over the field at Antietam. I kept going for miles and miles, looking at every grave I saw, and was about to give up the search from fatigue and hunger (for I had already gone over twenty-five miles), but I kept on till dark, and just as I was about to lie down for the night, I saw a few graves under an apple-tree, a few rods off, and there I found the grave of our dear brother. It was a solemn time for me as I sat by the grave. 

I found a person who watched with him, and was present at his burial. He was shot in the early part of the action. He died without a struggle. It will be a hard struggle for mother. To think he was taken away in so short a time after leaving home, while I have been engaged in six or seven battles! But the thought of his dying so peacefully  (and no one can doubt his Christian character or fitness to meet his Maker), will lessen the grief of our mother, and brothers and sisters. We have lost him; but this we know, he was a Christian, and showed a Christian spirit in all his actions. It seems like a dream. As I look from the "heights" [Bolivar], I can see the rebel army, and a battle is expected in a few days. I am willing to meet them, no matter how hard the battle, or how long the forced marches are, if we can only finish the war, or make a beginning to an end. I may too, like Henry be shot down. If I die, I die in the faith of Christ, and have no fears as to what awaits me. I am happy wherever I am. I can lie down with as much ease, and rest for the night within range of the enemy's guns, knowing that at dawn we may meet face to face, as I could at home upon my bed. It is near midnight, and I must close.

SERGEANT S.P. KEELER

Letter from: Soldiers' Letters from Camp, Battlefield and Prison edited by Lydia Minturnin Post in 1865.

loc2
93rd New York at Antietam, LOC

Henry Keeler was a corporal in the 14th Connecticut Co. C . He was 23 years old when he died at Antietam on September 17, 1862. He had only been in he army since early August. The 14th Connecticut is remembered for fighting near Bloody Lane.

 According to Anna Resseguie's (a distant relation) diary, Henry’s grave was marked by a wooden board. Silas Keeler, the author of the above letter, was 21 years old and a Sergeant with the 8th Connecticut, Co. E. One of Silas' sisters sent his letter to be included in a book of letters published by the U.S. Sanitary commission in 1865. With the letter, she notes that Henry's body had been retrieved and re-interred at home. His funeral took place on November 2, 1862. She also notes at the time of her sending the letter that she had two wounded brothers in the army.

Anna 's family owned a tavern in Ridgefield, Connecticut which amazingly, you can visit today. Once called the Keeler Tavern and later the Resseguie Hotel, the Keeler Tavern Museum and Garden House  is now open to the public. Anna Resseguie's wartime diary can be read as View from the Inn.  She details a lot of the goings on in the town, including weather, festivities and tragedies. She even writes of one local who died after sticking his hand near a lion's cage when a menagerie came to the town.  

It's rare that there is so much wartime information from one family but it is fantastic that you can read about their lives in the form or letters and diaries and visit a site that they would have spent a lot of time in. The Inn has a very unique history of its own, it hosted action during the Revolutionary War. It is also speculated that Alexander Gardner stayed there a few years before the Civil War. 

The above letter seems cold at first but when you realize that it is the youngest brother in the family writing to an older one, it seems likely that his emotions were subdued. This letter also brings up the custom of retrieving dead for a burial closer to home. For many men, this was not an option.

References:

Boughton, Gary. "Henry Keeler." Find a Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=keeler&GSfn=henry&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=41766850&df=all& (accessed August 23, 2012).
 
Keeler Tavern Preservation Society. "Keeler Tavern Museum and Garden House." http://keelertavernmuseum.org/ (accessed August 23, 2012).

Penkenier, Charles. Ridgefield Fights the Civil War. Worthy Shorts, 2011.  


 

 

This home on Pequot Avenue, Southport, Connecticut is a recently restored example of the Northrop Brothers fine carpentry and building in the Southport-Greeens Farms area.

Image Courtesy of David Parker Associates