John Eells (1703 - 1785)

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Birthplace: Milford, New Haven, Connecticut
Death: Died in New Canaan, Fairfield, CT, USA
Occupation: Congregational Minister (1732-1741), farmer
Managed by: Lizzie Keitel
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About John Eells

Christening: 11 APR 1703 First Church, Milford, New Haven Co., Connecticut.

John lived in New Canaan, Fairfield Co., Connecticut at the time of his marriage to Abigail Comstock in September 1737.

Burial: Old Parade Ground Cemetery, New Canaan, Fairfield Co., Connecticut.

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John Eells studied theology at Yale and gradutated in 1724, and in May, 1732, began to preach in the parish which had been constituted a year before, in the town of New Canann, Ct. He was forced to resign in 1741 and remained in New Canaan as a farmer.

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June 20, 1733

Having pressed north from Norwalk and Stamford to establish the ecclesiastical society of Canaan Parish in 1731, 24 Puritan settlers covenant to found the Congregational Church of Canaan Parish. Their first minister was a recent Yale College graduate, the Rev. John Eells (1733-1741) of Milford. The church’s first meeting house was a modest 30-foot by 30-foot structure.

Source: The Congregational Church of New Canaan

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   'Ells, Eells, Eels, Rust & Allied Families': Anon, NY -- E.E. Rust 1954
   REV. JOHN (2) EELLS, son of Colonel Samuel (2) and Martha Whiting-Bryan
   Eells, was baptized at Milford, Connecticut, April 11, 1703, and died in
   New Canaan, Connecticut, October 15, 1785, in his eighty-third year.
   He was graduated from Yale College in 1724, and became a Congregational
   minister and the first pastor of the newly organized Congregational
   Church in New Canaan, beginning his ministry there in June, 1733. His
   residence was on Clapboard Hill. Although he was noted for his "ability,
   learning, and piety," and the parish prospered under his charge, "certain
   eccentricities deemed inconsistent in a minister of the Gospel," made him
   the subject of criticism, as a consequence of which he resigned in 1740.
   He continued to reside in New Canaan until his death, many years later.
   It is evident that the so-called eccentricities were of no importance,
   for in a memorial booklet of the New Canaan Church published in 1883, it
   is written:
   Judging from the records we should expect Mr. Eells to occupy the first
   pulpits in the land had he lived in our day . . . . . Let us, today, go
   back into that blessed old sanctuary and drop an unfailing tribute of
   respect to the memory of the first of these holy men of God, who took the
   church on the day of its birth and watched over it until its numbers were
   quadrupled, and then sacrificed ability, learning and piety on the altar
   of his eccentricities, because the people demanded it. Then as a dead
   minister but a living man, he was a citizen of the town forty-four years,
   and has not left in the traditions of the town a single eccentricity
   which stains his character or scars his cherished memory. One tradition
   does remain . . . . . A couple came in a thunder storm to the house of
   Priest Eells to be married. It was late in the evening and the minister
   had retired. From the window he asked who they were and what they wanted.
   The man told his errand, and Mr. Eells said: "Come around under this
   window here and I'll marry you." Of course they came, and this was the
   formula which he used:
   "Under this window in stormy weather I join this man and woman together,
   Let none but Him who made this thunder, E'er part these married two
   asunder."
   Rev. John (2) Eells married (first), January 11, 1727-28, Ann Beard.
   (Beard IV.) He married (second), in September, 1737, Abigail Comstock,
   who was born in 1717 and died in January, 1789, daughter of Moses and
   Abigail (Brinsmaid) Comstock.

Children of the first marriage to Anna Beard, baptized in New Canaan, Connecticut:

  1. Anna, born at Milford, Connecticut, May 1, 1729; baptized June 24,1733, died in 1761; married, in 1751, Captain Samuel Trowbridge, who was born in 1726, at New Haven, Connecticut, and died in Bedford New York, in November, 1771, son of James and Susannah (Blakesly) Trowbridge.
  2. Jeremiah Beard, of whom further.
  3. Martha, born in 1736, baptized May 9, 1736, died in Bedford, New York, September 28, 1811; married (first), in 1759, Stephen Hayt, who was born in 1730 and died in 1770, son of Zerubbebel and Dorothy (Holmes) Hayt; married (second), in 1775, Nathaniel Newman.

Child of the second marriage to Abigail Comstock:

  1. Moses Comstock born in 1743, baptized in New Canaan, December 16,1744, died there November 23, 1807; married, January 4, 1769, Abigail Reed. who was born June 2, 1750, and died June 23, 1820, daughter of William and Rachel (Kellogg) Reed.
   (William Applebie Daniel Eardeley: New Canaan, Fairfield County,
   Connecticut, Congregational Church Records, 1733-1850, Vol. I, p. 7; Vol.
   II, pp. 82-85, in New York Public Library.)

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From his father's will:

Item. I Give to my Son. John Eells besides what I have already given him, my Gunn & Silver Watch & one hundred & fourty pounds old Tenor out of my Estate : also I give him my Jack & Spit to him & his Heirs for ever.

...the Reft of my Estate to be equally divided between my three Sons Sam": Eells, John Eells, Nath": Eells, & that my Ex'": receive & pay my juft Debts : and I do hereby appoint my three Sons Sam":, John & Nath": to be the Ex: of this my laft Will & Testam*: In witnefs y' this is my laft Will & Testam*: I have hereunto set my Hand & Seal in Miford Ocf: 28"": 1752. new Stile

Source:"The Eells family of Dorchester, Massachusetts : in the line of Nathaniel Eells of Middleton, Connecticut, 1633-1821 : with notes on the Lenthall family"

http://archive.org/stream/eellsfamilyofdor1903star/eellsfamilyofdor1903star_djvu.txt

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Eells Family Genealogy: http://hartgen.renderplus.com/htm/eells.htm#name8154

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Reverend John Eells's Timeline

1703
April 11, 1703
Milford, New Haven, Connecticut
1727
January 11, 1727
Age 23
1732
December 21, 1732
Age 29
New Canaan, Fairfield, Connecticut
1737
September, 1737
Age 34
1744
December 16, 1744
Age 41
New Canaan, Fairfield, Connecticut
1785
October 15, 1785
Age 82
New Canaan, Fairfield, CT, USA
????
Parade Hill Cemetery, New Canaan, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA