Descendants of Edward Jesup

of Wilton, Connecticut

To: Index Contact: Joe Crouch

Blackleach Jesup 4 (Edward Jesup 3, Edward Jessup 2, Edward Jesup 1)  was born in Green's Farms, Conn., the 14 Dec., 1735, but lived the greater part of his life in Wilton, where he died 22 March 1816, [1] at the house of his granddaughter Lydica (Mrs. John Dunning), while there on a visit. [2].  He was three times married, and the father of a patriarchal family of nineteen children.  According to the provisions of his father's will (cited above), the portion of the landed estate inherited by himself and his younger brother Ebenezer, was not divided until 1762, when the latter had reached  the age designated, that of twenty-three, --- his college course having been completed in 1760, and his professional studies during the years that followed.  The elder brother then, as directed in the will, divided the property into two portions, and the choice, as stipulated, was offered to the younger brother.  Ebenezer preferring the homestead, Blackleach took the Wilton farm, and about the same time removed there with his family.  He may have done so in 1761, as the baptism of his second child is recorded there at that date.  The eldest child was baptized in Green's Farms in 1759, the parents, according to custom, having "received covenant" the same year.  Wilton was then  a parish in the town of Norwalk, having been organized in 1725.  In 1802 it became a distinct town.

The farm of Blackleach was finely located on the high ground in the eastern part of the parish, which still retains its original name, Harry's Ridge [3].  An old resident [4] there told the writer in 1880 that it was so named for "Harry", the negro-servant, who with his squad was sent in advance to make the first clearing, and prepare for the first occupation of the land.  Here he established himself on his six hundred acres, cultivated by his African slaves, and lived much as he did the other farmers, his neighbors, --- "planters" they were called.  As his children began life for themselves, he gave to each a negro.  One, named Tom, is still remembered, who once belonged to his son Joseph.  After the New York act of emancipation, he went to Saratoga Springs as waiter in one of the fashionable hotels, was prospered, and was known as "Thomas S. Jesup."

Blackleach, like his father, was interested in the West India trade, and in similar business enterprises, his vessels sailing from Norwalk.  The Wilton homestead has now passed entirely into other hands, his numerous descendants having, for the most part, removed to other portions of the country.  One field, however, is still known as the "Jesup Lot."

Blackleach Jesup was one of the most prominent men in his portion of the town.  During the war for Independence, he took the patriot side, requiring not a little decision of character in a section of country where a great diversity of sentiment prevailed, and within fifty miles of New York city, the headquarters of the British army.  Wilton and its vicinity being a hilly region, distant eight to ten miles from the coast-line, was a refuge for many who fled from the border warfare between Whig and Tory that raged throughout Westchester County in the adjoining State, and which made it also often necessary, on the approach of the enemy by sea, to withdraw from the shore inland.  To all such, the house and home of Blackleach Jesup offered protection.

When the Continental Congress of 1775 proposed the policy of non-intercourse with the mother country, Norwalk appointed a committee to see that this policy was carried out, and Blackleach Jesup was one of this committee.  He was also one of the committee of inspection, whose business it was to see that the arms and military equipments of the citizens were in order in case of any emergency; and in 1778 his name was added to the committee chosen to supply the wants of the families of the soldiers absent in the Continental army.

Several of his living grandchildren (1884) are quite positive that he at one time thought of removing to Jessup's Landing on the upper waters of the Hudson, where his Loyalist cousins were living just before the Revolution, but changed his plan because he was not please with the country.  His change of plan is explained by others on account of annoyance received, when he reached there, from the Indians.  The Land Papers, in the office of the Secretary of State of New York at Albany, show that in 1774 he purchased a tract of land of his cousin, Joseph Jessup, Jun., in what is now Warren County, Joseph giving a bond in the sum of 120 Pounds to deliver a patent for the same, so soon as paid for.   As two years only elapsed before the loyalists fled to Canada, it is probable the bargain never closed; and this may explain, in part at least, the story of removal.  In April, 1794, he purchased of John Townsend, for 840 Pounds, one hundred and forty acres of land in Fredrickstown (afterward Franklin, now Patterson), in Putnam County, N.Y. and removed there from Connecticut with his family.  In 1803, he and Mary his wife (Mrs. Mary Sturges), mortgage this property for $850 to Samuel Towner, and in 1805 he buys another home of one Abraham A. Van Valkenburgh in the town of Schodack, Rensselaer County, and near the Hudson River [5].  This house is still standing (1884).  A portion of this property he conveyed to his son Henry in 1806, and in 1808 both joined in a deed, together with their wives, in conveyance of all their property to Thomas Hitchcock [6].  This son lived in Schodack until he removed to Michigan, in 1840, and it is probable that his father spent the few remaining years of his life with him.

Blackleach married, 1st, Sarah Stebbins, of Ridgefield, 23 Feb., 1757, who died 9 May, 1768, aged 32.  He had by her six children, the last four, and possibly the last five, born in Wilton: - 

1.       Joseph Jesup, born 9 Feb. (bap.9 July), 1759, in Green's Farms.

2.       Sarah Jesup, born 15 Feb. (bap. 22 Mar.), 1761; d. 30 April 1765 [7].

3.       James Edward Jesup [8], born 25 Oct (bap. 5 Dec.), 1762.

4        Blackleach Jesup, Jr., born 4 Aug. (bap. 23 Sept.), 1764.

5.       Benjamin Jesup, born 19 May (bap. 22 June), 1766

6.       Ebenezer Jesup, born 8 May, 1768; went to sea when fourteen as cabin boy, becoming in time the captain of a schooner trading between Norwalk and the West Indies, of which his father was half-owner.  "He was a bright, jovial man, usually leaving home in high spirits.  As he left on his last voyage it is remembered that he turned back and remarked, with unusual seriousness, that if he but owned a good farm, he would never go to sea again."  Neither he nor his vessel ever returned.  Both were lost about March, 1794, on the return voyage from Jamaica to New York.  It is said, also, that he visited the Ease Indies, as indicated by various articles of curiosity still in possession of the family, and which he brought home with him.

Blackleach Jesup married 2nd, Mary Kellogg, of Wilton, 3 Nov., 1768.  They were married by Rev. Isaac Lewis, pastor of the church, and both were received as members in 1770.  She died 3 Feb. 1796.

They had thirteen children, all born in Wilton:

7.       Mary Jesup, born 9 Dec., 1769

8.       Samuel Jesup, born 22 April, 1771; died 7 July 1775.

9.       Sarah Jesup, born 22 Jan., 1773

10.     Ann Jesup, born 14 Dec., 1774; died 22 July 1775

11.     Ann Jesup [9], born 11 May, 1776; died 28 Oct. 1790

12.     Esther Jesup, born 2 Nov., 1777.

13.     Samuel Jesup, born 11 July, 1779; died in Illinois, as the result of an accident.

14.     Richard Jesup [10], born 28 Jan., 1781; died 30 Jan., 1781

15.     Richard Jesup, born 9 April, 1782; was a sailor, left home when quite young, and was lost at sea, time and place not certainly known. 

16.     Henry Jesup, born 29 Feb. 1784.

17.     Elizabeth Jesup, born 5 Feb. 1786; died 24 May, 1794. [11]

18.     Isaac Jesup, born 2 Oct., 1787.

19.     George Jesup, born 9 Dec. 1790; died in Steuben County, N.Y. killed by the fall of a stick of timber.

Blackleach Jesup married, 3rd, about the year 1798, Mrs. Mary Sturges, [12] widow of Thaddeus Sturges, of Ridgefield, Conn., born 1 Sept. 1744.  She was the daughter of Deacon Nathan Comstock, of Wilton, and sister of Major Samuel Comstock, of the Revolutionary army.  It was not long before this marriage, or soon after it, that he removed from Wilton to the adjoining state of New York.  The latter years of her life were spent at the house of her son, Strong Sturges, 47 Rutgers Street, New York City, where she died after a short illness, 9 March, 1831, aged 87 years and six months.


[1]       Family Bible of Benjamin Jesup, of Schodack, N.Y.

[2]       Statement of a great-grandson, Richard Dunning, of North Wilton.

[3]       So named in the inventory of his father's estate.  In Norwalk Records wrongly called "Harris's Ridge."

[4]       Mrs. Isaac Sterling.

[5]       Land Records, Dutchess Co. N.Y.

[6]       Land Records, Rensselaer Col, N.Y.

[7]       Another family record says: b. 16 Feb.; d. 13 April

[8]       In the Wilton Church Records, the name is "Edward."

[9]       Another Record says 9 May.

[10]     Another record says 31 Jan 

[11]     Another record says 21 May, 1790

[12]     She married her first husband in April 1762, by whom she had six children: Anna Sturges ( Mrs. Judge Watts, of Carmel, N.Y.); Mary Sturges (Mrs. Eben. of Palmer, of Patterson); Laura Sturges (Mrs. Faraday, of Troy); Sally Sturges, who never married, and died at the house of her brother-in-law, Mr. Palmer;  William Sturges, who lived in North Salem, and died there, in 1859; and Strong Sturges, who lived in New York city, and died there, of cholera, in 1832 and whose children now (1883) reside in Brooklyn and the State of Wisconsin.

If you are a descendant of Blackleach Jesup, have information different, or in addition to what's shown above (birth information, baptistery info, marriage bonds/certificates, wills, obituaries, deeds, court records, etc..) please forward to Joe Crouch and I will edit and or add it to this site.