Lemuel Williams b 14 November, 1727

Lemuel Williams was born 14 November 1727 in Plainfield, CT. The town of Plainfield was incorporated in May 1699. The Congregational Church was organized in 1705. The record of the church shows that Lemuel Williams married Sarah Lawrence on 1 November 1759.

Lemuel became a proprietor of Plainfield NH by purchase and was one of the first seventeen who came to town in the summer of 1763 and cleared land and assisted in building houses.  He was granted 100 acres of land. He was chosen a member of the first board of selectmen elected at the last proprietors meeting in Connecticut held in March 1765.  He  was reelected a selectman at the first town meeting held in Plainfield NH  Mar 11, 1766.  He was an active proprietor and town officer, and is considered one of the four leading founders of Plainfield NH.

The Constitution for the State of New Hampshire was passed into law on 28 June 1783. All citizens had to take an oath of allegiance. A high state tax was levied to help pay for the war with England. Lemuel would not pay his tax so a state officer seized one cow and a yoke of oxen from him in 1785 for unpaid taxes.

Lemuel performed many duties for Plainfield.  In 1770 he was the tithing man.  As such, it would have been his responsibility to enforce the rules related to the Sabbath day.  He would have gone from house to house on Sunday to make sure everyone was at church.  Anyone skipping church or traveling on Sunday could be fined.  The tithing man also made sure that no one fell asleep during church.  He used a stick to hit the men or children on the head if they were sleeping or misbehaving.  He also would have collected the taxes for the church. 

From 1777-1783 he was the Town Clerk.  In 1787 and 1790 he was the pound keeper.  This was the person chosen to take possession of livestock found at large.  He would feed and care for the strays until the claimants proved ownership and payed a fee.  This duty often overlapped with that of fence viewer, a job Lemuel held in 1801.   That job involved inspecting fences and settling disputes arising from trespassing livestock.  In 1783 and 1790 he was surveyor of highways.

Lemuel and Sarah had 10 children, all born in Plainfield NH.  The 1790 census lists the household in Plainfield as having 2 males, 4 females.  In the 1800 census, there were 3 people in the household. Sarah died 1 October 1806.  I was not able to locate Lemuel in 1810, but there was a name abbreviated as Sm or Lm Williams, in Plainfield. He died in 1813.

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2 Comments

  1. Roger Laber said,

    November 19, 2010 at 13:06

    Excellent write up. Do you think his children should be listed in the bio instead of males and females?

  2. sooze471 said,

    November 20, 2010 at 09:10

    People researching the name will be able to find the children’s names on-line. I think I will stick more to the stories like the tax collecto info, rather than family group sheet information.


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