Robert Boltwood



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Robert Boltwood Immigrant Ancestor see FAMILY TREE
Married: 1650 Hadley, Hampshire, MA


Died: 06 Apr 1684 Hadley, Hampshire, MA    


Mary Gernor


1. Sarah Boltwood

2. Martha Boltwood

3. Mary Boltwood

4. Samuel Boltwood

5. Lydia Boltwood

Robert Boltwood was a sergeant in the militia, wolf hunter, sawyer, carpenter and miller. His first known date of arrival in Connecticut is 1648. In 1662 he was given liberty by the town to build a sawmill on Mill River where North Hadley is today. Before this mill was completed, all boards were sawed by hand and all clapboards were split out with wedges. These men were also given permission to log all pine and oak trees for their timber in the Great Swamp area. The mill itself was completed in 1664. Five years later, Thomas Meekins built a sawmill on the Hatfield side of the river, when Hatfield split from Hadley.

In 1665 he bought from the Pynchon Trading Post 4 yards of lace and 2 silk laces. (Sarah would have been 16. She married Isaac Warner the next year.)

In 1667 Robert Boltwood sued Benjamin Waite, saying he'd sold a servant of Boltwood's without consent, and he wanted 20 pounds damages. However the two men settled their differences before the jury reached a verdict, and were permitted to go their ways.

At the same court, Boltwood was in a case v. Indians. Indians had complained that cattle belonging to Boltwood and Timothy Nash had damaged their corn crop, but no Indians showed up in Court to press their charges, and the case was dropped.

In 1668 Boltwood was appointed Constable for the year. He got paid for one wolf.

In 1677 the Indians raided on both sides of the river. Hatfield had several houses and barns burned and may people taken prisoner and taken off to Canada. The grist mill in North Hadley was burned. Also burned was a house, a farm barn, and fences. These had belonged to Hopkins Academy and had been sold to the town for 10 pounds, and had been rented by Boltwood. Two months later Boltwood was granted the mill-place and the remains of the dam. He said he was not afraid to rebuild.

He must have done many expansions on the mill, but eventually the court demanded that he return all land and the mill to the school. (The Hopkins Academy Quarrel) He was repaid what he had spent on the mill.

From "Historic Hadley" by Alice Morehouse Walker, "Robert Boltwood, an influential Hadley pioneer, cast longing glances at the water power going to waste at the ruined dam of the school mill, and taking advantage of the decline of the grammar school interest among the people boldly declared he was not afraid of Indians, and offered the town 10 pounds for the site and remains of the dam. The bargain was completed, and in 1678 Boltwood built his mill, and equipped it with millstones of red sandstone brought from the brow of Mr. Tom. Parson Russell's plea that the mill ought to belong to the school was presented with so much eloquence that the court decided that it should 'not allow of so great a wrong' and ordered that the town should pay Boltwood what he had spent in rebuilding, and restore the mill to the trustees. In 1682 the exchange had not been made. In 1683 Robert Boltwood agreed to give up the mill for 138 pounds in grain and pork. Then Robert died and Samuel his son would not fulfill his father's bargain."