born:05-07-1637 Hingham, MA
marr:11-18-1662 Northampton, MA
died:05-22-1733 Coventry, CT
bapt:07-    -1642 Dorchester, MA
marr:11-18-1662 Northampton, MA
died:05-17-1681 Northampton, MA


JEDEDIAH STRONG was born in Hingham, Plymouth, MA, on May 7, 1637, and baptized in Taunton, Bristol, MA, Apr. 14, 1639. He was a farmer at Northampton until 1710, at which time he moved with his family to Coventry, Tolland, CT, where 24 years later he died. FREEDOM WOODWARD was born in Dorchester, Suffolk, MA in 1642. She married JEDEDIAH STRONG on Nov. 18, 1662 in Northampton. She died May 17, 1681 in Northampton, one week after the birth of their 14th child.

He married second Dec. 28, 1681, Abigail (Bartlett) Stebbins, widow and 2nd wife of John Stebbins of Northampton. Abigail was the daughter of Robert Bartlett and Ann Warriner of Northampton, born Sep. 6, 1636. She was the mother of 11 children by John Stebbins and probably brought some of those children with her when she married JEDEDIAH. Eventually four of her children married into the Strong family, but none to JEDEDIAH's children. Abigail died Jul. 15, 1689

JEDEDIAH married third Jan 5, 1691/92 in Windsor, Hartford, CT, Mary (Hart) Lee, widow of John Lee of Farmington, Hartford, CT. She was the daughter of Stephen Hart of Farmington, born in 1640, and died Oct. 10, 1710 from an injury she received the previous day, from the fall of the horse she was riding (on a pillion behind her husband), when they had just started their journey to Coventry, CT, to visit their children. The record read thus at Northampton: "Oct. 9, 1710, JEDEDIAH and his wife set out early in the morning to visit their children at Coventry, when they came against the falls at South Hadley, among the smooth stones, the horse's feet slipped and fell flat on the off side and by the fall killed the woman, though she was not quite dead then, but had life in her until the next morning, yet never spoke a word."

Mary was the mother of 6 children by John Lee and brought her two youngest children with her when she married JEDEDIAH. These two children, David and Tabitha, married two of JEDEDIAH's children, Lydia and Preserved. As some of his children had earlier moved to the Coventry or Lebanon, Tolland, CT area, he too moved there in 1710. He first went to Lebanon where land records are recorded in his name dating from 1699 and where his will is recorded. Sometime after 1726 he went to Coventry where he died May 22, 1733. He was not only the father of 14 children but the step-father to 17 additional children.

JEDEDIAH had originally come to Northampton with his father, ELDER JOHN STRONG, in 1659, and in 1661 was granted home lot #8 (as shown on James Trumbull's early map of Northampton). He disposed of this lot in 1667 to Samuel Smith, at which time he acquired lot #10 from Increase Turner. He disposed of this lot in 1707 to his son, Preserved. THOMAS FORD, JEDEDIAH's grandfather, gave him a parcel of land lying within the common fence containing 70 acres. He transferred this to Jonathan Hunt, who transferred to him a parcel up the Mill River bounded by Mill River on the east and the commons on the west and bordering on land of Medad Pomeroy south and land of Henry Woodward north containing 19 acres. On Mar. 16, 1702, JEDEDIAH transferred these two parcels to his son, Preserved.

His father-in-law, HENRY WOODWARD, gave him a parcel of land next to the commons on the west, Mill River east and the sides bordering on land of JEDEDIAH south and John Taylor north containing about 5 acres. JEDEDIAH bought from Increase Turner a parcel of land being a home lot with a dwelling house. He gave this to Preserved on Apr. 17, 1707.

ELDER JOHN STRONG transferred a parcel to JEDEDIAH deeded Mar. 26, 1678 located in Great Rainbow and bounded east and west by the highway, bordering on land of Nehemiah Allyn north and the land of Thomas Strong south containing more than 3 acres. Another parcel from ELDER JOHN was bounded on the east and west by the highways, and bordering on the land of Thomas Strong north and William Hulberd, Sr. south containing more than 3 acres. This land was transferred to Preserved on Apr. 16, 1707. Another parcel from ELDER JOHN was in the same field on Middle Meadow Hill bounded on the highway east and west, on the highway south and on land of Thomas Strong containing over 5 acres. This parcel was also transferred to Preserved on Apr. 16, 1707.

JEDEDIAH bought from Walter Filer, attorney in behalf of George Filer, land in the Northampton Town, bounded on the highway south and north, bordering land of Joshua Punery east, and on the west land of Jonathan Hunt containing more than 6 acres. This deed was dated Feb. 20, 1677 and transferred to Preserved in 1707.

Another parcel of land was granted first to Jedediah Strong Jr., and later granted to JEDEDIAH STRONG, Sr. This lot was abutting the commons north and south and to the rear of another division of home lots east and to Mark Warner's land above containing over 4 acres. JEDEDIAH, Sr. was granted a parcel of land adjoining the above home lot and bounded on the north by said lot, on the south by the land of Samuel Smith, the commons on the west and east against the rear of the other division of home lots containing more than 4 acres. On Apr. 16, 1707 this land was transferred to Preserved.

JEDEDIAH had received a good quantity of land from his father and bought from others in Northampton, but he was attracted to the land available in Lebanon, CT. The town in the late 1600's consisted of several distinct parcels of land purchased by different persons at different times, but united into a single town. Settlement began in 1695. The early settlers came from Norwich, New London, New Haven, Windsor, CT, and Northampton, Hatfield and Martha's Vineyard, MA. The locality was named Lebanon in 1697 because a swamp of cedars reminded Rev. James Fitch of the biblical cedars of Lebanon.

The first evidence of JEDEDIAH's land in Lebanon states that JEDEDIAH STRONG of Northampton bought from Josiah Dewey and William Clark of Lebanon a parcel in Lebanon Village. The boundaries were as follows: on the street west and on Dewey and Clark's land on the east, lying against the lot of John Clark of Northampton on the south and on John Woodard's land on the north being 35 acres, four of which are for a home lot. This was recorded on Dec. 13, 1701. Another deed that was recorded on Mar. 6, 1701/02, states that JEDEDIAH STRONG of Northampton granted to his son, John Strong, 35 acres that he had obtained from Dewey and Clark. Preserved Strong was a witness to the signing of the deed which took place in Northampton. John Strong died on Apr. 21, 1699, and the land reverted to JEDEDIAH. A summary of JEDEDIAH's land in Lebanon appears in the Lebanon Proprietor's Records.

When JEDEDIAH was 89 years of age he wrote his will while still living in Lebanon bequeathing various sums of money to his surviving children and grandchildren. It was not long afterward he went with his son, Preserved, to live in Coventry. The origin of the name Jedediah is semetic and means friend or beloved of the lord. It appears in the Old Testament when the name was given by the Prophet Nathan to Solomon. The was introduced by the Puritans in the 17th century.

In Coventry, the Coventry Historical Society credits him and Preserved with building a house at 2382 South St. The house is built like a duplex, each half separated and almost identical to each other. The house ultimately passed on to the Porter family and was restored by George Dudley during the 1930's. The present owner calls the house "The Northampton House" to memorialize a small group of settlers (including the Strongs) who came to Coventry from Northampton. A short distance to the south and across the road is the boyhood home of Nathan Hale, the spy martyr of the Revolution, and a great-great grandson of JEDEDIAH. Both homes are open at selected times for public visitation.

JEDEDIAH died May 22, 1733. Where he is buried in Coventry is not known. A guess would be the Hale Cemetery, located nearby where many early Strongs and Hales are buried.

[Source: Strong Family History Update of Descendants of Jedediah Strong, Vol 1, 1989, pp. 1-3.]

Two Anecdotes from Northampton

1. On May 31, 1674, Martin Smith of Pocumtuck, was fined 20 shillings for trying to kiss FREEDOM on the street. She was 32 at the time and the mother of 8 children. However, Martin was to experience worse trouble in his life. In 1693, he was captured by Indians and taken to Canada. While he was away, his wife, Sarah, entered a complaint against John Evans, for "attempting to force an unclean act upon her".
When Martin returned from captivity, in 1698, after 5 years, he found his wife under a death sentence for murdering her illegitimate baby. Three judges, with an escort of 26 troops, took her to the court in Springfield. A grand jury, headed by John Holyoke, charged that on Jan. 11, 1697, in Deerfield MS, between 1:00 and 5:00 in the afternoon, in Daniel Wells' house, a bastard child was born. Led by the instigation of the devil, withholding her natural affection, she refused all necessary help to preserve the life of the child, and with the intent to conceal her lewdness, she strangled the baby. She pleaded innocent, but she was found guilty and was hung, Apr. 25, 1698, in Springfield. According to tradition, the house in which the murder occurred was afterwards haunted and ghosts were seen there. The final chapter of Martin Smith's life occurred on Feb. 29, 1704, when the French and Indians launched there attack on Deerfield. Martin was smothered in a cellar with the family of John Hawk's, Jr., after the Indians set the house afire.

2. During the years from 1677 to 1679 JEDEDIAH was paid 18 shillings a year for blowing his trumpet to summon the people to meetings, since the town had no bell.
[Source: Search for the Passengers of the Mary & John 1630, Volume 8.]



  born marr died
  husband Ebenezer Wright
  husband Thomas King
  wife Abiah Ingersoll
Ford 09-02-1668        11-01-1668     
Joseph 10-11-1669        -1669     
  husband Thomas Root, Jr.
John III 11-15-1673        11-    -1673     
  husband Thomas Cushman III
  husband David Lee
Mary 05-    -1677        infancy     
Experience 08-19-1678        09-16-1678     
  wife Tabitha Lee
John 05-10-1681        04-21-1699     
children of JEDEDIAH STRONG and Abigail Stebbins
  husband Ebenezer Pixley