According to some sources, the Pellett name traces to Sussex, England but possibly has French roots. The root word “pel” means skin in French, and Pellett could translate to a person who deals in furs or skins. The Pellett family are among the earliest European settlers of New England likely having arrived in the decade after the pilgrims came to the New World on the ship the Mayflower.
We don’t yet have definitive information about the progenitor of the Pellett name in the New World, but are certain that our branch of Pelletts were among the founders of the town of Concord, Massachusetts in the 1630s. They were also part of the first wave of settlers of Canterbury, Connecticut beginning in the early 1700s and remained in that town for some six generations.
Our direct line descendants are highlighted in purple text below.
It remains unclear whether Thomas is the progenitor of the Pellett family in the United States. A birth record has not been located, but many accounts note that he was born in 1635 in Concord, Massachusetts. According to the History of Concord, Massachusetts, by Alfred Hudson, “Joseph Dane and Thomas Pellet occupied one homestead on the Billerica Road.” Hudson further notes that “Thomas Pellet and Joseph Dean owned 7 lots, 244 acres in the East Quarter of town.” Several sources note that Thomas was a farmer and the town’s first grave digger.
On March 5, 1659 he married Mary Dean, and they had 11 children together:
Thomas, born April 18, 1661 in Concord
Mary, born August 27, 1662 in Concord, married Benjamin Blodgett
Sarah, born September 5, 1665 in Concord
David, born August 1, 1668 in Concord
Samuel, born November 28, 1671 in Concord
Richard, born April 23, 1673 in Concord, married Anne Brooks
John, born November 9, 1675 in Concord
Eliza, born April 8, 1679 in Concord
Jonathan, born April 18, 1682 in Concord
Sarah, born September 5, 1685 in Concord, married Josiah Gillett
Susannah, born January 18, 1690 in Concord, married John Wickham
The Thomas Pellet house in Concord is one of the oldest homes in Massachusetts. The oldest part of the house is the rear ell, built by Thomas Pellet, which dates from the 1670s.
Thomas died on December 1, 1694 in Concord.
Richard Pellett (Thomas1)
Richard was born April 23, 1673 in Concord. He was the first of our Pellett line to settle in the state of Connecticut. The New England Register Volume 34 published in 1880 notes that: “Richard Pellet married Anne Brooks April 2, 1703, the year that town [Canterbury] was incorporated, and while it had but few inhabitants. The first town meeting, on record, was held on December 10, 1717, 14 years after the town organization. Samuel Adams was elected constable; Joseph Adams town clerk, and Richard Pellet tavern keeper.” It further notes that on April 30, 1723, “the long contested Canterbury land was equally distributed.” Richard Pellett was “among the first settlers and planters who received one and a half shares.”
Per Canterbury historical records, the Pellett family began acquiring land in the northwest quadrant of Canterbury before 1710 and remained important members of the local community for more than two centuries.
Richard and Anne had nine children together:
Jonathan, born March 2, 1704 in Concord, married Jerusha Bradford
Thomas, born September 9, 1706 in Concord, married Martha Tibbets
Samuel, born March 7, 1709 in Concord
Hezekiah, born April 28, 1712 in Concord, married Abigail Brown
John, born April 4, 1715 in Concord, married Elizabeth Fattan
Ephraim, born June 21, 1718 in Concord, married Hanna Underwood
Patience, born unknown
Anne, born unknown
Phyllis, born about 1725 in Canterbury
Richard died on June 15, 1758 in Canterbury, Connecticut.
Hezekiah Pellett (Thomas1 Richard2)
Hezekiah was born April 28, 1712 in Canterbury.
He married Abigail Brown on March 5, 1739. At a Canterbury town meeting in 1761, Hezekiah was chosen as one of four tithingmen, a parish officer elected annually to preserve good order in the church during divine service, to make complaint of any disorderly conduct, and to enforce the observance of the Sabbath.
Hezekiah and Abigail had eight children together:
Abigail, born March 20, 1740 in Canterbury, died November 5, 1756
Phebe, born June 28, 1742 in Canterbury
Hezekiah, born December 22, 1746 in Canterbury, died October 4, 1752
Asa, born November 11, 1751 in Canterbury, died October 31, 1756
Jeremiah, born March 3, 1754 in Canterbury, died October 28, 1756
Anne, born July 6, 1756 in Canterbury
Sarah, born 1758 in Canterbury
Jesse, born August 26, 1760 in Canterbury, married Anna Parks
He died on September 8, 1791 in Canterbury. Hezekiah appointed his youngest son, as the executor of the estate, for which notice was posted in the Norwich Packet newspaper in September 1791.
Jesse Pellett (Thomas1 Richard2 Hezekiah3)
Jesse was born on August 26, 1760 in Canterbury. He married Anna Parks on October 17, 1786. Jesse owned a home farm in Canterbury containing approximately 100 acres including his house and barn farm, where he raised horses, cattle, hogs, and sheep.
Jesse is listed in the 1800 U.S. Federal Census living in Canterbury Connecticut.
Jesse and Anne had three children together:
Anna, born June 28, 1787 in Canterbury
Amasa, born December 9, 1788 in Canterbury, married Lydia Bingham
Hezekiah, born October 21, 1796 in Canterbury
In his last will and testament dated March 30, 1808, Jesse willed three lots of land, totaling 57 acres, to his eldest son, Amasa.
Jesse died on July 4, 1808 in Canterbury and is buried at the Cleveland family cemetery.
Amasa Pellett (Thomas1 Richard2 Hezekiah3 Jesse4)
Amasa was born December 9, 1788 in Canterbury.
He married Lydia Bingham in April 1811. He was a farmer and a member of the first Congregational Church of Canterbury. His is listed in the 1830 U.S. Federal Census living in Canterbury.
Amasa and Lydia had seven children together:
Caroline, born December 26, 1811 in Canterbury
Nelson, born June 26, 1814 in Canterbury, married Harriet Elizabeth Treat
Edwin, born April 9, 1817 in Canterbury, married Lydia Hall
Lucinda, born November 12, 1819, married Rowland Gardiner
Lydia, born May 30, 1823, married Francis Young
Lucretia, born August 14, 1825, married Henry Hiscox
John Dennis, born December 30, 1832, married Harriet Robbins
He died January 14, 1846 in Canterbury and is buried in the Cleveland family cemetery.
John Dennis Pellett (Thomas1 Richard2 Hezekiah3 Jesse4 Amasa5)
John was born December 30, 1832 in Canterbury. He married Harriet Robbins on November 8, 1852. John owned 100 acres of land in Canterbury where he grew corn and wheat. Livestock on the farm included sheep, cattle, milch cows, horses, and working oxen.
John enlisted with the the Connecticut infantry in June 1863 and held the rank of Private. According to military census records, he served six years in the infantry and likely saw action for the Union in the U.S. Civil War. The 1863 draft record listing John as a volunteer from Griswold, Connecticut is below.
John is listed with his wife, Harriet, and their three oldest children living in Canterbury in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census. John continued his record of service to his community following the Civil War. He was listed in 1887, 1892, and 1893 as one of the two members of the town of Canterbury’s Registrars of Voters. The registrars were responsible for the administration of all local, state and national elections; the registration of all eligible voters; and the conduct of primaries and referendums.
John and Harriet had six children together:
Charles Herbert, born June 28, 1855 in Jewett City, married Flora Alma Smith
Lydia, born August 31, 1857 in Jewett City, married Luman Bennett
Ella, born January 31, 1859 in Jewett City, died July 21, 1859
Bertha, born February 4, 1863 in Jewett City, married Elmer Bennett
Willis, born June 9, 1873 in Jewett City
Albert, born November 15, 1874 in Jewett City, married Susie Hopkins
John died on May 19, 1917 at the house of his daughter Lydia Bennet in Plainfield, Connecticut. He is buried at the family lot at Pachaug Cemetery in Griswold.
Charles Herbert Pellett (Thomas1 Richard2 Hezekiah3 Jesse4 Amasa5 John Dennis6)
Charles was born June 28, 1855 in Jewett City, Connecticut. He was a member of the first class of Killingly High School, graduating in 1875. Charles married Flora Alma Smith on January 30, 1877. He owned land in Canterbury and was a farmer in the years after he graduated from high school. Eventually he moved down the road to Danielson where became a businessman of some local renown.
Around the turn of the century, Charles operated a livery, feed, and sale stable in central Danielson. He then became a pioneer of the automobile industry in New England. Per the Norwich Bulletin, he was one of the first residents of northeastern Connecticut to own a car, purchasing his first vehicle in 1903. He owned more than 15 different makes of cars by 1912, and drove more than 300,000 miles in his first decade as an automobile owner. By 1906 Charles opened an automobile livery (vehicle for hire) service and later was proprietor of the Danielson Garage, located at a building he owned known as the Pellett Building, which provided vehicle maintenance and repair services. According to the book, Killingly Revisited, he also sold new automobiles from the garage.
Charles also owned the Pellett bus service, which ran from the Pellett building in Danielson. Buses left from the Danielson town center, northward to other towns in northeastern Connecticut, including Brooklyn, Putnam, Central Village, Wauregan, Moosup, and East Killingly. In addition, Charles operated a touring car service from the Pellett building.
Charles and Flora had six children together:
Clinton Forrest, born October 26, 1877 in Canterbury, married Helen Tillinghast
Ella May, born December 16, 1879 in Canterbury, married Frank Lathop
Ray Walter, born July 18, 1882 in Canterbury
Helen Susan, born November 21, 1886 in Canterbury, married Hosea Edwin Greene
Myrtice Alma, born August 31, 1890 in Canterbury
Everett Clayton, born August 6, 1896 in Canterbury
Charles and Flora are listed in the 1923 city directory for Danielson. He is shown as the owner of the Hudson and Essex automobile sales and service, located on Main Street.
Charles died on May 16, 1924 in Killingly and is buried at the Westfield Cemetery.
Helen Susan (Thomas1 Richard2 Hezekiah3 Jesse4 Amasa5 John Dennis6 Charles Herbert7)
Helen was born November 21, 1886 in Canterbury, Connecticut, the fourth of six siblings. Per oral history, she was a strong willed personality, very intelligent, and enjoyed playing sports, particularly basketball. Helen was a good student, and following in the footsteps of her father, she attended Killingly High School, in Killingly, Connecticut. She graduated in June 1905 with a focus on English studies. During her senior year (at least), Helen was a member of the girl’s basketball team.
She married Hosea Edwin Greene on April 2, 1906 and they had six children together:
Doris Anora, born on April 14, 1908 in Killingly, Connecticut, died August 6, 1912 in Killingly, Connecticut.
Russell Kenneth, born on September 13, 1911 in Killingly, Connecticut, married Marjorie Lindner.
Shirley Weston, born on August 1, 1913 in Killingly, Connecticut, married Loretta Despatie.
Lawrence Stanley, born on August 29, 1918 in Killingly, Connecticut, married Clara Spiewak.
Helen Virginia, born on May 12, 1922 in Killingly, Connecticut, married Kenneth Spaulding.
Robert Edwin, born on May 11, 1925 in Killingly, Connecticut, married Doris Blanchette.
Hosea and Helen were well respected residents of Killingly. Hosea was a Spanish-American War veteran, a town constable, and a federal letter carrier, which meant he was very engaged in civil matters of the town. Helen was at his side at the numerous social gatherings they attended. Summer vacations often were spent at Oakland Beach on the Narragansett Bay in Warwick, Rhode Island
When Helen’s husband, Hosea, died suddenly in 1935, Helen had to continue raising the family on her own. Her resolute personality and strong religious convictions greatly aided her during this difficult period of her life. Helen is listed in the 1940 U.S. Federal Census, living at a residence she owned on Frances Street in Danielson with her three youngest children. The census notes that Helen worked part time performing housework in a private home.
Helen died on July 11, 1967 in Alexandria, Virginia while visiting with family. The main cause of death was a dissecting aneurysm of the aorta and is buried beside her husband, Hosea, in the Westfield Cemetery in Danielson.