Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Working on Wednesday: John Lippitt (About 1740 - 1823), Storekeeper and Rebel

Not only does history give us a choice of how to spell this maternal sixth great grandfather (Lipit, Lippit, Lippett), since both his father and one of his sons were also named John* it can get pretty confusing sorting out exactly which John Lippett is being referred to in records.

[Maps from Carey's American Pocket Atlas; Containing The Following Maps... With A Concise Description Of Each State. Philadelphia: Printed For Mathew Carey, By Lang and Ustick, 1796. Source: David Rumsey Historical Map Collection]

We think John was born about 1740 in Scituate, Providence County, Rhode Island and was around 27 when he joined other Rhode Islanders who moved to Berkshire County in western Massachusetts around 1767, by which time he had married Mary Aldrich (1741-1820) and the couple had at least two daughters including my direct ancestor Orinda** born in 1762. (John and Mary eventually had six children that we know of.)
[A history of the county of Berkshire, Massachusetts, in two parts, the first being a general view of the county, the second, an account of the several townsy Field, David D. (David Dudley), 1781-1867; Dewey, Chester, 1784-1867; Berkshire association of Congregational ministers (Berkshire County, Mass.) 1829. Source: Internet Archive, original source: Allen County Public Library]

The next information we have about John comes from a September 9, 1959, article in the North Adams Transcript from which we learn that the house that he built in 1767 was still standing at that date.***
[ North Adams Transcript (North Adams, Massachusetts) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006. Original data: North Adams Transcript. North Adams, MA, USA. Database created from microfilm copies of the newspaper.]

Our ancestor served only nine days according to published records. Another of our ancestors Peter Worden also served at the same time, so there must have been an emergency which called men out for such a short period.
[Massachusetts soldiers and sailors of the Revolutionary War, Massachusetts. Office of the Secretary of State, Wright and Potter Printing Co., State Printers, 1902. Source: Google Books .]

In the first Federal Census in 1790, the list is in alphabetical order so we don't know who John's neighbors were.
[ 1790 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: First Census of the United States, 1790 (NARA microfilm publication M637, 12 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.]

The 1800 U.S. Census appears to be enumerated household by household and you can see that Peter Worden lives fairly close by.
[ 1800 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Second Census of the United States, 1800. NARA microfilm publication M32 (52 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. ]

With the 1810 U.S. Census, we're back to seeing records that are alphabetized. We don't know if the only John Lippitt listed as the head of household is the father or the son.

John doesn't appear in the 1820 U.S. Census, perhaps because Mary died early in that year and he may have been living with a married daughter. He died on November 15, 1823 and is buried in a cemetery near Adams in Berkshire County.

*There's also reason to believe that his grandfather and great grandfather (and possibly several more generations) were John Lippetts too.
**In 1782 Orinda married Richmond Worden, the son of the local Baptist minister.
***The house is described in a 1938 article in the same paper as "a large square structure, now considerably changed."

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.


  1. I'm researching Hezekiah Lippitt, born about 1772. I just found your blog today (1/26/2017). This blog contains the first original source I've seen that links Hezekiah to John. All the online genealogies say that Hezekiah is John (b. 1740)'s son. The news article above would seem to indicate that John also had a brother Hezekiah. Do you have any suggestions on how to find out if my Hezekiah b. 1772 is actually John's son?
    Thanks. Charlotte Marek

    1. Hi Charlotte,

      I think your best bet might be to look at what county records are available, perhaps reaching out to the local historical society and/or the library. Also, since we know that my ancestor Elder Peter Worden/Werden married Hezekiah Lippett and Phebe Whipple in 1791, you might try looking through the typewritten transcript "Records of the First Baptist Church in Cheshire (formerly New Providence)" which is available free online here:

      Unfortunately the NEHGS research project "Western Massachusetts Families in 1790" hasn't yet written a separate entry for the Lippetts.

      Good luck in your search,
      Pat Hartley

    2. Thanks, Pat! I found a transcription for their marriage on, with a source of "Record of Marriages, 1786, Town of Adams" but I'll go see if shows more information than I already have, since it's the church record.