My third great-grandmother, Sarah Hunt was born March 7, 1788 in Columbia, Tolland County, Connecticut to Joseph Hunt – a veteran of the French & Indian Wars and a supporter of the American Revolution & Mary “Molly” Fuller. She was the ninth child and fifth daughter – with one more child – a daughter – born two years after Sarah.
On June 21, 1810, Sally married Elijah Eldredge in Willington, Connecticut. She was 22 and Elijah was 32. She was Elijah’s second wife, his first one, Clarissa Crane, dying in 1809 in childbirth, just three years after they were wed – leaving him with two little girls – Clarissa (1808) and Esther (1809). Elijah and Sally’s first child was born in March of 1811 – Elijah Jr. Followed by Sally in 1813, Elam in 1815, Abigail in 1817, twins Joseph and Mary in 1819, David in 1821, Daniel in 1824, William Hunt (my 2x great grandfather) in 1826, Lucius in 1829 and Lucy in 1832.
They lived on a farm in Willington and raised their children and contributed to their community. Elijah was a deacon in the church and Sally was respected and admired in the community.
In an article found in an old scrapbook kept by Mary “Mamie” Eldridge, Sally wrote a letter dated Jan 13, 1855 to Charles Preston, then the correspondent for the Tolland Press, in which she said:
Dear Sir: In reading your album I see that some have given the names of their parents, grandparents, and the number of their children and grandchildren. I am the mother of eleven children, all living. The oldest is 44, and the youngest is 22. I have six grandchildren now living. My father’s name was Joseph Hunt of Columbia. My mother’s name was Mary Fuller, daughter of the Rev. Daniel Fuller, the first minister in Willington. His father was the son of Mr. Edward Fuller, who came to this country with his father in the Mayflower, in the year 1620. With this I send you a piece of bed curtain which was brought over in the Mayflower. I am the youngest but one of ten children. I was born in Columbia March 1, 1788 and am in the sixty-seventh year of my age. Sally H. Eldredge
*In this letter, Sally was incorrect about one thing – Daniel Fuller was not descended from Mayflower passengers – but her mother was descended from Governor Bradford, so she was correct in that she was a Mayflower descendant – just not the correct lineage.
Mrs. Sallie Eldridge of Willington, now in the 82nd year of her age, has just completed a ‘honey comb’ bed quilt, composed of 3,520 pieces of cloth, all the work of her own hands.
This appeared in the Tolland County Press in November of 1869.
Her obituary was printed in the Tolland County Press dated February 1881 as follows:
Mrs. Sarah Eldredge died the 4th inst. aged nearly 94 years. She was the mother of 11 children; and at her death she had living 13 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren, while all her own children are still living, the youngest being 48 years of age. She died a Christian, having been a member of the Congregational church in Willington 56 years. She was a descendant of the first pastor of this church, the Rev. Daniel Fuller.
The Eldredge homestead was her abiding place for the seventy-two years of her married and widowed life.
*photos are from “The Eldredge Chronicles” by Isabel B. Weigold 2004