Rev. Jonathan Russell

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Rev. Jonathan Russell

Birthdate: (54)
Birthplace: Wethersfield, Hartford County, Connecticut, United States
Death: February 21, 1710 (54)
Barnstable, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States
Place of Burial: Barnstable, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Russell, II and Rebecca Russell
Husband of Martha Collins Russell
Father of Rebecca Allen; Martha Russell; John Russell; Abigail Otis; Rev. Jonathan Russell and 8 others
Brother of Rev. Samuel Russell; Eleazar Russell; Daniel Russell and John Russell
Half brother of John Russell

Occupation: Minister
Managed by: Nancy D. Coon
Last Updated:

About Rev. Jonathan Russell

Son with wife Mary Talcott Russell. Birth: Sep 18 1655 - Wethersfield, Hartford, Connecticut Death: Feb 2 1711 - Barnstable, Barnstable, Massachusetts Parents: John Russell, Rebecca Russell (born Newberry) Siblings: Samuel Russell, Eleazer Russell, Daniel Russell Wife: Martha Russell (born Moody)

Jonathan I was a graduate of Harvard and the son of Rev. John Russell, a pastor of the church in Hadley, Mass. He was know by his contemporaries in the ministry and others who knew him best as a pious and learned Devine. During his pastorate, which extended from 1683 to 1712, 171 members were added and 452 were baptized.

Jonathan II was the first pastor of West Parish. When the Parish of Barnstable chose to split into east and west parishes in 1717, Jonathan II chose to go with West Parish. The Russell and the Otis families were closely tied together by marriage in both generations. Jonathan II was a brother in law to Col. James Otis Sr., a lawyer, merchant, farmer, politician, and colonel of the Barnstable Militia and probably the most influential man in town. This connection is thought by some to have influenced Rev. Russell’s decision to join with West Parish. In doing so, he brought with him the ancient communion ware. This caused some upset in later years and was resolved by returning a share to East Parish. (Their share was lost in a recent burglary.)

In the book, The Otis Family by John J. Waters, Rev. Russell is described as a clergyman of orthodox views befitting his Yale education. Under him, West Parish remained almost untouched by the emotional currents of enthusiasm of the Great Awakening so strong in other communities of the time. Yet, his congregation was mindful of its Christian obligations and empowered its deacons to relieve the poor out of the church stock, which it entrusted to Col. Otis to manage. West Parish is described as an unshaken rock in a little self-contained world of unshifting fundamental values, which was re-echoed in its conservative church. (Sounds like Dullsville but it really wasn’t.)

Rev. Russell was well known as a learned scholar and is reported to have had a library of over 200 books, which was considered an extensive collection for his time. He tutored his nephew James Otis Jr. to prepare him for his entrance into Harvard (see previous issue) and included James’ sister Mercy in the bargain. Therefore, she received an education above that offered the women of her time and went on to achieve fame as a poet, playwright, historian, and political pamphleteer.

Rev. Russell during his long pastorate in West Parish that extended from 1712 to 1759 baptized 563 and added 256 members to the church.

Father and son baptized 1015 and added 427 to the membership of the church – what a record! Unfortunately, the author can’t claim them as ancestors unless there is some connection in Normandy around 1066.

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Rev. Jonathan Russell's Timeline

September 18, 1655
Wethersfield, Hartford County, Connecticut, United States
July 7, 1681
Age 25
Hadley, Hampshire County, Massachusetts
Age 27
Age 29
October 2, 1687
Age 32
Andover, Essex County, Dominion of New England
February 24, 1689
Age 33
Barnstable, Barnstable County, New Plymouth Colony
Age 36
Age 38
Age 40
Barnstable, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States