Tuesday, June 28, 2011


[Ancestral Link: Harold William Miller, son of Edward Emerson Miller, son of Anna Hull (Miller), daughter of William Hull, son of Anna Hyde (Hull), daughter of Mehitable Marvin (Hyde), daughter of Benjamin Marvin, son of John Marvin, son of Reinhold Marvin.]

Entrance to Duck River Cemetery, Old Lyme, New London County, Connecticut; there's no sign at the entrance because "everyone knows what it is"!!

Marvin, Lieut Reinhold 2007, Duck's River Cemetery, Lyme, Connecticut
Reinhold Marvin original 1676 gravestone in the Sill Family plot Duck's River Cemetery, Lyme next to his wife Sarah Clark (Marvin Sill).

Reinold Marvin 1631, Duck River Cemetery, Old Lyme, New London County, Connecticut

Birth: unknown, England
Death: August 4, 1676, Lyme, New London County, Connecticut, USA

Lieutenant Marvin was born in England and baptized in St. Mary's Church, Great Bentley, December 20, 1631. He came to New England with his father, Reinold Marvin, and was admitted a freeman at Saybrook, May 30, 1658. He married Sarah Clark who was baptized February 8, 1643-44 in Milford, Connecticut, the daughter of George Jr. and Sarah Clark. Sarah died February 1, 1716.

Lieutenant Reinold Marvin owned much land in Lyme and Saybrook; he was deputy to the general court from Lyme in 1670, and again from 1682 until his death. He was on the committee to divide the town of Saybrook, and he was a town surveyor; he served as selectman twice, and as constable once.
found on findagrave.com

Great Bentley sign in UK
Great Bentley sign at edge of town. From Wikipedia website.

Marvin[MARVIN FAMILY.] The first family of the name of Marvin, who came to New England, consisted of two brothers, Reinold and Matthew, and one sister, Elizabeth. It is not known which of the brothers was the oldest, nor in what year Reinold Marvin came to New England. Matthew, and his family, with his sister Elizabeth, came over from England in 1635, as will be sees by the following statement: During the summer months of 1842, James Savage, Esq., of Boston, Mass., who was on a visit to England, was chiefly occupied with searching for materials to illustrate the early annals of New England. He was richly compensated for his toil. The result of his investiations was published in the 8th Vol. Mass. Hist. Coll., 3d series, p. 243, and onward, under the title of "Gleanings for New England History.' From this article I extract the following items: "Perhaps the acquisition most valuable, in the opinion of our local antiquaries, is my, copious extracts from a MS. volume in folio, at the Augmentation Office, (so called,) where the Rev. Joseph Hunter, one of the Record Commissioners, presides, in Rolls Court, Westminster Hall. It contains the names of persons, permitted to embark, at the port of London, after Christmas 1634, to the same period in the following year, kept generally in regular succession. This was found a few months since, and may not have been seen by more than two or three persons for two hundred years." Under date of "15th April," 1635, is the following entry: "Theis parties hereafter expressed, are to be transported to New England, imbarqued in the Increase, Robert Lea, master, having taken the oath of allegiance and supremacy, as also being conformable, and whereof they brought testimony per certif. from the Justices and ministers where there abodes have lately been."

Source: A catalogue of the names of the first Puritan settlers of the colony of Connecticut; with the time of their arrival in the colony and their standing in society, together with their place of residence, as far as can be discovered by the records and collected from the state and town records by R.R. Hinman,Hartford. Printed by E. Gleason, 1846, The following names are included in the list above referred to: "husbandman Matthew Marvyn, ae 35 years uxor Elizabeth Marvyn, 31Elizabeth Marvin, 31Matthew Marvyn, 8Marie Marvyn, 6Sara Marvyn, 3Hanna Marvy 1/2" The common ancestor probably resided in Essex, County England
His children were,
1. Reinold,(This name is spelled in different ways—Reginold, Reinold, Renold, Reynold. I have used Reinold, in this work, as it is generally so spelt on the Colony Record of Connecticut) who came to New England about 1635.
2. Matthew, born about 1600, married Elizabeth ---, came to New England in 1635.
3. Elizabeth, born about 1604, came to New England in 1635, married John Olmsted, of Hartford, and afterwards of Saybrook. She died without issue, at Norwich.

These brothers were among the original settlers of Hartford, Connecticut, and both were proprietors of land in that ancient town. Reinold removed to Saybrook before 1639; and died in that town in 1662 or 1663. Matthew resided on the corner of Village and Front streets, Hartford, for some years. He was among the pioneers in the settlement of Norwalk, which town he represented in the General Court in 1654. Matthew, his son or grandson, represented that town in 1694 and 1697; Samuel in 1718; and John in 1734 and 1738. Reinold Marvin was among the original proprietors of Hartford, Connecticut He removed to Saybrook before 1639. He died in Saybrook in 1662 or 1663. He had two children, Reinold and Mary, and probably other daughters. Sarah Marvin, who married Captain Joseph Sill, of Lyme, February 12, 1657, may have been his daughter. A copy of his will is extant, the first clause of which bestows his house and lands on his son Reinold, and the second clause provides that to each of his grand children(The grand children referred to in the will may have been the children of Mary, or of some other daughter. They were not the children of Reinold, as his oldest child was not born until 1665.) "there be provided and given a Bible, as soon as they are capable useing of them." After which he disposes of his personal property. It is not ascertained at what time, or to whom his son Reinold was married. His daughter Mary married William Waller, of Saybrook, who was a large landed proprietor, as numerous deeds are on record, of conveyances of land by his widow, after his decease. No record of her children found. Reinold Marvin, (son of the preceding,) was b. about 1634. He is known on the town records as Lieutenant Reinold Marvin. He represented Lyme in the General Court from 1670 to 1676. He was one of a Committee appointed to divide the town of Saybrook, in the year 1665. That part of the town lying east of Connecticut river, was named Lyme, from Lyme Regis, in the south-west of England, the native place of the Griswold family, who were large land proprietors in this part of Saybrook. Lieut. Marvin was also a large landholder, and a prominent man in the town.
He had three sons,—John, born 1664-5; Reinold born 1669; and Samuel born 1671. He died in 1676, aged 42 years. His remains were interred in the old burial ground in Lyme village—grave about the centre of the burial ground. The following is the inscription on his grave stone: "1676. Lieut. Reinold Marvin." John Marvin, first son of Lieut. Reinold, born in Lyme, 1664-5, married Sarah Graham, daughter of Henry Graham, (or Grimes,) of Hartford, May 7, 1691; died December 11, 1711, aged 47. His wife died the relict of Richard Sears, in Lyme, December 14, 1760, aged 91. Their children were, Sarah, Mary, John, Elizabeth, Joseph, Benjamin, Mehitabel and Jernima.—Uriah Marvin, John Mahan, and Alexander Marvin, merchants in Albany, New York, are descendants of John Marvin; as is also Rev. Uriah Marvin. Edward C. Delavan, Esq. of Ballston, New York., and Prof. John Pitkin Norton, of Yale College, married female descendants in this family. Reinold Marvin, second son of Lieut. Reinold, was born in 1669. He was famous as "Lyme's Captain." He was a deacon in the Congregational church. He represented Lyme in the General Court from 1701 to 1728. He was first m. in 1695, to Phebe ----; she died October 21, 1707; married the second time in 1708, to Martha Waterman, daughter of Thomas Waterman, of Norwich; she died November 1753, aged 73. He died October 18, 1737, aged 68, and was interred in the burial ground in Lyme village. The following is inscribed on his tomb-stone: "This Deacon, aged sixty-eight, Is freed on earth from serving; May for a crown no longer wait, Lyme's Captain, Reinold Marvin." The above inscription, as also that on the grave stone of his first wife, was executed by an illiterate artist, and with bad spelling, and the effects of time, is now (1848) rather obscure. The children of "Lyme's Captain," are as follows: Phebe, Reinold, Lydia, Esther, (by 2d wife,) Martha, Elisha, (died in childhood,) James, Sarah, Elisha, and Miriam. Reinold Marvin, first son of Captain Reinold, was known and spoken of as Deacon Marvin. A great many anecdotes are related concerning "Deacon Marvin"—which have generally been attributed to "Captain Reinold." It is undoubtedly the fact, from a full investigation of the matter, that they all belong to his son Reinold; both being Deacons, and both having the same Christian name, the mistake could easily be made. This son Reinold was unquestionably the poet who composed the epitaphs on his father's and mother's tomb-stones, and the odd genius of whom a multitude of anecdotes and queer sayings and rhymes, are still related;—the most of them are positively known to apply only to the son of Captain Reinold. An aged descendant of this deacon, as also other aged persons now living in the vicinity, insist that this is the fact. Mr. Barber, in his "Historical Collections of Connecticut," has published some of these anecdotes, and attributes them, undoubtedly from hearsay, to "Lyme's Captain." It is to be hoped that in future editions of his work, he may correct the mistake. The following are some of the descendants of Captain Reinold Marvin: Gen. Elihu Marvin, who resided in Norwich, and died there in 1798. Richard P. Marvin, now a Judge of the Supreme Court in the State of New York, and formerly a Member of Congress. William Marvin, now a District Judge of the U.S. Court for the District of Florida. Dudley Marvin, now a Member of Congress, and formerly for several years a member of the same body. Rev. Elihu P. Marvin, and Rev. Abijah P. Marvin. William Marvin, Esq., of Lyme, for some time Judge of Probate. Samuel Marvin third son of Lieut. Reinold Marvin, was born in Lyme, 1671; married Susannah Graham, of Hartford, May 5, 1699, died March 15, 1743, aged 72 years. He represented Lyme in the General Court in 1711 and 1722. Children, Samuel, Zechariah, Thomas, Matthew, Abigail, Elizabeth, Nathan, Nehemiah, Mary and a son, twins, who died in infancy. Henry M. Waite a Judge of the Supreme Court of Connecticut, is a descendant of Samuel Marvin. Matthew Marvin (first) came to New England in 1635, as is stated on page 285. His children were, Matthew, born in England about 1627; Mary born in England about 1629, married Richard Bushnell, of Saybrook, in 1648; Sarah born in England about 1632; Hannah born in England about 1634, married Thomas Seymour in 1653; Abigail born at Hartford, married J. Bouton; Samuel baptized February 6, 1647-8; Rachel baptized December. 30, 1649. He removed with his family, to Norwalk, where he died at an advanced age, in 1680. Matthew Marvin (second,) son of the foregoing, came to New England with his father in 1635, and was then eight years of age. He was one of the original proprietors of Norwalk, to which place he went with his father. He had six children; the order or date of birth has not been ascertained, viz. Matthew, who married Rhoda St. John, and died without leaving issue; Sarah, who married Thomas Betts, of Norwalk, in January 1680; Samuel; Hannah, who married Epenetus Platt; Elizabeth, who married Joseph Platt, November 6, 1700; John born September 2, 1678. (It is very difficult to reconcile the records of the families of the first and second Matthew.) Elizabeth Marvin the sister of Matthew, sen'r., aged 31 years when she came with him to this country, in 1635, married John Olmsted, and died in advanced age, at Norwich; the same John Holmsted, (as spelt on the Norwich records,) who first settled at Hartford, as early as 1639. Mary Marvin daughter of Matthew, sen'r., m. Richard Bushnell, of Saybrook, in 1648. Their children were, Joseph, Richard, Mary, and Maria, all born in Saybrook. She was married the second time, in 1680, to Deacon Thomas Adgate, of Saybrook, and was his 2d wife. Their children were, Abigail, Sarah, Rebecca, and Thomas—all born in Norwich. Deacon Adgate was one of the original proprietors of Norwich, and died at that place in 1707, at an advanced age. Sarah Marvin daughter of Matthew, sen'r., married William Goodrich, of Wethersfield, in October 1648. Had sons, John, William, Ephraim, and David; and daughters, who married Robert Wells, Thomas Fitch, Joseph Butler, and ----- Hollister-some of the best families. Hannah Marvin daughter of Matthew, sen'r., married Thomas Seymour, of Norwalk, in January 1653, and had children, Hannah born December 12, 1654, who married Francis Bushnell, October 12, 1675; Abigail born January 1655; Mary and Sarah, twins, born September 1658; Thomas born 1660; Marie born November 1666; Matthew born May, 1669; Elizabeth born December 1673, and Rebecca born January 1675. Abigail Marvin daughter of Matthew, sen'r., married John Bouton, of Norwalk, January 1656, and had children, John, Matthew, Rachel, Abigail, and Mary. John, his son, had two sons, Jakin and Joseph-perhaps others. Rachel Marvin daughter of Matthew, sen'r., married Samuel Smith, of Norwalk, and had children, Rachel, who married Thomas Benedict, and Lydia, who married James Lockwood. The descendants of the first and second Matthew Marvin, are very numerous; but owing to a defect in the early records, it is not easy to trace the descendants of any except those of John, who is supposed to be the Youngest son of the second Matthew. Samuel, son of the second Matthew, was probably the father of Matthew, (fourth of the name,) who was born October 1702, and who was the ancestor of Hon. Charles Marvin, of Wilton, who has repeatedly been Representative and Senator in the State Legislature of Connecticut. John Marvin youngest son of Matthew Marvin, (second) was born September 2, 1678, and died in 1774, at the advanced age of 96. His first wife was Mary Bears, daughter of James, married March 22, 1704, died April 17, 1720. His 2d wife was Rachel St. John, daughter of Matthias, married April 27, 1721. His children were, John, Jr. born July 22, 1705; Nathan born March 4, 1707; Seth born July 13, 1709; David born August 24, 1711; Elizabet born October. 23, 1713; Mary born December. 29, 1716; Elihu born October 10, 1719. (By 2d wife,) Hannah born December 4, 1722; Joseph born May 29, 1724; Rachel born December 24, 1725, (she died an infant); Benjamin born March 14, 1727-8, (died an infant); a second Rachel born March 27, 1728-9; Sarah born May 18, 1733, and soon died; Ann born September 7, 1741. By T. R. Martin, of Boston.
found on ancestry.com

Reinold MarvinReinold Marvin, immigrant, was a proprietor of Hartford. His name is on the Founder's Monument in the Old Center Church Yard in Hartford.He removed to Saybrook before 1639. Reinold and his son, Reinold, Jr. were freemen in 1658. In May 17, 1660, The court summoned Reynold Marvin to appear before the court in March to answer to the parties (WILLIAM PARKER and William Waller) for losing Mr. Parkers mare and foal into the woods and to prevent him from meddling with other horses.
His children were Reinold, Jr., Hannah (married Francis Barnerd), Sarah (married William Goodrich), and Mary (married Richard Bushnell).His will bestowed the house and land to his son, Reinold, and a Bible to each of his grand children.
His inventory was taken October 28, 1662 was worth over 800 pounds.
found on ancestry.com

History of Duck River Cemetery 1676 - 17351676-1735, Old Lyme, Connecticut
Duck River Cemetery 1676 - 1735
Dr. John Pfeiffer
History is based primarily upon the interpretation of written records.
For our particular town of Lyme or Old Lyme these can take various forms.
Housed in our public repositories are town and church records, land or more accurately property records, tax records, treasurers’ ledgers, estate inventory and probate records, and court records. There are also personal diaries or journals, business ledgers, ships’ logs, and sometimes personal letters either in the possession of relatives, or maintained in public archives. Of equal importance to the aforementioned, are the artifacts carved in stone and erected in our cemeteries. These are gravestones.

This paper investigates and attempts to place into historical perspective the first half century of use for the Duck River cemetery. This investigation represents an initial inquiry, fully recognizing my own limitations as well as the diverse nature of the relevant documentation.

The first written document that relates directly to the Duck River cemetery is dated from March 6, 1720 when “at a town meeting it was
voated that Thomas Enis shall have 4 pounds for clearing the land for the burying place by Duck River” (Burr,1968). However, it is clear that there are already a significant number of burials within the burying ground as attested to by various dated gravestones. Therefore, it is unknown at this time whether or not there is written reference to the initial and formal establishment of the burial ground at Duck River.

The Renold Marvin headstone is the oldest dated monument in the Duck River cemetery. It is situated in the ancient portion of the Duck River cemetery on a subtle rise near the river. The gravestone marking Marvin’s place of burial is nestled in with the later burials of Joseph Sill and Sill’s wife Sarah as well as other members of the Sill family.

The Marvin Family genealogy states the date of death as August 4, 1676, however, on June 22, 1676, a month and a half earlier, the Lyme society is already discussing the distribution of his estate. The document in the society records (Burr, 1968) states: “At a towne meeting it was agreed that 30 akers of land wch is due to the estate of R. Marvin”. Clearly, Renold Marvin had passed away prior to the writing of both documents.

The gravestone does not clarify the question as the precise date is not evidenced. At this point in the research we will have to settle for the stone documenting an interment in all likelihood for the first half of 1676. The records for Renold Marvin also indicate that he left behind his second wife Sarah Marvin who he had married in 1663.

In the same year as Renold Marvin’s death, John Huntley passed away. The will of John Huntley was recorded in Lyme on November 16, 1676. In it he called himself “very sick and weak of body” (Burr, 1968). Both men had dwellings at “Sunkapog” or Duck River and we know that Marvin who died earlier was buried at the Duck River cemetery.  I would suspect that Huntley is also buried at the Duck River cemetery, however, a headstone for him is unknown. During the early period in the Puritan colonies, it was not common to pay much attention to the individual. Rather, it was the congregation that mattered. Burial was not usually elaborated and marking of the site of interment was often inconsequential.

It is highly probable that Renold Marvin’s grave was at the time of interment inconsequential as well, therefore, unmarked. Upon research it was discovered that the headstone for Renold Marvin was produced by the stone carver James Stanclift. At the time of Marvin’s death, Stanclift was still in England. He didn’t start making headstones until 1684 when he came to East Saybrook or Lyme. Marvin’s gravestone is therefore postdated and was made at least 8 years after his death, thus supporting the inconsequential nature of his initial interment.

The gravestone was undoubtedly placed there by Marvin’s family. As noted before, Renold Marvin’s stone is adjacent to Joseph Sill and Sill’s wife Sarah who died in 1715. Upon further research it was determined that Sarah was the wife that Renold Marvin left behind and referred to as “relict” in the Marvin estate document. She subsequently married the famous Indian fighter of King Phillip’s War, Joseph Sill. The inclusion of Renold Marvin’s grave within the Sill family burial plot of the Duck River cemetery was a result of Renold being interred next to his wife.

The Marvin gravestone also likely marks the end of the most rigorous and conservative period of Puritanism in Lyme. In the beginning years of Puritan settlement across New England most of those who came over were totally devoted to the “ society” or congregation. Their own welfare and importance was insignificant in comparison to that of the corporate group.

Settlers were part on a religious community that could only function if everyone lived, worked, and prayed together. The Puritan New England colonies were organized around a combination of church and state. Nonconformity was an unthinkable crime and those who dared to attempt to live outside the norms of Puritan society were unmercifully harassed and punished. The Individual was virtually inconsequential. As a result there was little tolerance of self expression. Those of the congregation, dressed alike, wore no personal adornment or jewelry, and had no private lives. Dwellings were one open room accessible to everyone. Those in the household ate, slept, and lived together beneath the watchful eyes of God. Even in death those who had passed away were viewed as being
unimportant. They were interred reverently but without attention to their individual lives. Therefore, grave markers were not erected. John Huntley’s 1676 burial is probably a good example of this at Duck River cemetery.

This repressive and strict cultural lifestyle begins to break down in the mid-1680’s. Important families from this point in time onward begin to engage stone cutters to make gravestones for their deceased relatives. Gravestone design at Duck River continue to document the gradual change of society’s view of the individual. In the latter years of the 17th century an dearly decades of the 18th century the individual becomes more important and as a result gravestone design as well as domestic architecture becomes more personalized and embellished. Gravestones that illustrate the first period or stylistic phase of design are those of Renold Marvin postdated to 1676, Ruth Noyes 1690, Joseph Sill 1696, and Phebe Marvil 1707. These clearly represent the style of stone cutter James Stanclift. His stones are distinguishable by the peculiar elongate roof-like line (tented) that he placed at the top of his letter “A.” He carved in large capital letters on stones that usually have evenly rounded tops rather than lateral “shoulders” so characteristic of most New England gravestones (Slater, 1987).

The Stanclifts were one of the earliest and most influential of the carving families of the lower Connecticut River Valley. Their work extends from the late 1600s into the nineteenth century and includes five generations of carvers. The various Stanclifts worked in a red – brown Triassic sandstone that came from their quarry in Portland. James Stanclift was apprenticed as a mason in the West Indies before
arriving in Lyme, Connecticut about 1684. He received permission from the selectmen of Lyme, to make " a clamp of bricks" on town land along side the River at a Town Meeting on February 1, 1686. At the same Town Meeting it was ordered that the " land of William Waller Jur being the 21 Lott, was to be laid out near to the Jeames Stanclift farme" (Burr,1968). This farm was at the North End of “The Great Pond” or to what we now refer as Rogers Lake. On October 10, 1689 James Stanclift conveyed to Joseph Rogers of New
London, New London County, Connecticut for the sum of £40-00-00 a parcel of land in Lyme (LLR: book 2,p.460). Soon after that Stanclift moved from Lyme to the eastern shore of the Great River across from Middletown in what was referred to as Chatham, now Portland. He worked as a mason and stone cutter there until his death in 1712 (Stanclift and Stanclift, 1995).

His eldest son carried on the tradition of stone cutting and William Stanclift’s work is evidenced at both Duck River and Meeting House Hill cemeteries. There is a period when both cutters are working jointly on gravestones. In Duck River cemetery the Walston  rockway’s stone of 1707 is in the overall rounded top form of James, however, the lettering is probably that of William. The tent over the A is missing. This is the same case for the John (1696) and Sarah (1702) Lay’s stones at Meeting House Hill cemetery. After his father’s death William establishes his own style which still employs the lettering to be done in Upper Case letters. However, the stone itself has three arches at the top, the large central arch flanked at the shoulder by two lower and narrower arches. A precursor to this overall form may be the Ruth Noyes gravestone of 1690 with the more developed style being witnessed in William’s Sarah Sill’s 1715 stone. William’s later works illustrate the placement of a rosette in each of the shoulder arches and occasionally a stylized death’s head. John Lay junior’s 1723 gravestone at Meetinghouse Hill exemplifies this approach. However, the Duck River cemetery’s Alger plot of, John 1735, Mary 1729 and Temperance 1727 are very stylized and strikingly individualized. Clearly, the stone cutter is accentuating the significance of the individual.

In conclusion Lyme’s Duck River cemetery shows an evolution of early American colonial thought. At its inception the cemetery is a
reflection of how Puritan values and morality tempered everyday life, and death. In the beginning with the passing of members of the society in Lyme there were no markers indicating the placement or significance of those deceased. It was the congregation not the individual that mattered. This was a time of corporate living. All aspects of life centered about the church and the congregation. The church and state were intricately intertwined.The center of the community or society was the meetinghouse. It was the social, economic, and ideological foundation of colonial life. While burying grounds appear immediately upon settlement, by the mid 1680’s gravestones start to appear. Their design, while plain, begin to identify and recognize the individual who has passed away. This is followed in the early 18th century by progressively more elaborate and stylized gravestone forms and equally individualized epitaphs. Simultaneously, colonial America begins to shift away from an ultraconservativee cultural stance. During the early 18th century society begins to acknowledge the importance and value of the individual. Over the course of the ensuing centuries this trend has continued and has helped create a nation that today prides itself as a haven for individual rights, thought, and initiative.

Burr, Jean Chandler, Lyme Records 1667-1730, Pequot Press
Stonington, Connecticut.
LLR - Lyme land Records Lyme Town Hall Lyme, Connecticut.
1987Slater, James A. The Colonial Burying Grounds of Eastern Connecticut
and the Men Who Made Them. Memoirs of the Connecticut Academy ofArts and Sciences, vol. 21. Hamden, Connecticut: Archon Books.
Sherry Smith Stancliff and Robert C. Stancliff, "THE
Research, Library of Congress No. 95-78956.
found on ancestry.com


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  3. This article defines the Marvins who connect my life (Janice R Cramer) to that of Barbara Bush, 41st First Lady of the US. Fascinating.