ROBERT MONTGOMERY b. 1738/1739
Lived in Blandford, MA - Land deeds: 1762-1787, Blandford, MA.
One book, "Taverns and Turnpikes of Blandford, MA 1733-1833", in describing the early settlement of Blandford, MA, explains the following about a very early Blandford road / rood / turnpike, “The road had been originally laid out coincident with the division line between the two tiers of first division home lots, but had to be shifted somewhat irregularly to the westward in order to avoid the ravine and brook running through it. The road is now spoken of sometimes as Falls road. A very early town lay-out of the road was on this wise: "Put to voat to see if the Town will establish the Road South of the meeting hous beginning at the Northwest Corner of the Rev. Mr. mortons ortcherd as the road now goes to the west of the widoe Hamiltons House from thence as the road now Goes through widow Provans Land from thence as the Road now gos through the Land of James Campbls from thence through James and Robert M' Gomarys Land Said Rood to be three Roods wid.
In 1771, this road was somewhat minutely described in a county lay-out. On the course from Granville, after crossing "Pebbles Brook", it (the turnpike) was described as extending to a great rock in the middle of the River. Then climbing the steep hill, it ran by Robert Montgomery's fence to a heap of stones near a path in the field about 7 rods west of Montgomery's house, then north 42 perch (perch = 5-1/2 yards) to a great red oak six rods west of James Montgomery's.
The first Montgomery (Robert) lived on the Lot first owned by Hugh Black (known in 1908 as the Osborne place). James occupied the next lot to the north. Not long after this, Robert Montgomery sold out his possessions there and moved up to Beech Hill, where he was living in the eighties (1780's) and carried on a retail license (after his Revolutionary War service**, 1779-1782?). James Montgomery had bought his lot of 1761 of Samuel Stewart who had an innholder's license . . ." Many times in these early records the surname was spelled "Mt Gomery" and "Mongumery", etc.
**Revolutionary War - Tythingman (Counstable - Civil Service), Blandford, MA:
Robert's father, James Montgomery, died only five months after his son began Tythingman service during the Revolutionary War.
At about the age of 40, in the late 1780's, moved his family to Harpersfield, Harpersfield Township, Delaware County, NY. Lived in Harpersfield,
1790-1799. U.S. 1790 Census shows the following:
Lot No. 39, Harpersfield, NY:
Head of Household - Robert Montgomery
- Free white males 16 and older: 2
- Free white males under 16: 4
Robert, at age 60, and wife, Mary White, at age 59, moved the family to the Connecticut Western Reserve in about 1800, a year after his second son, Thomas, had moved there and had become the first permanent settler of the Connecticut Western Reserve.
Salem Township No. 13 is in the upper right corner of the Connecticut Western Reserve Map, shown at right. >
1820 Map of Salem Township, Twp No. 13, showing Lot of Robert Montgomery
(shaded in yellow). >
City Cemetery in Conneaut, OH = blue circle >
The Montgomery family helped found the town of Salem, later called Conneaut, Ashtabula County, OH, with the following sons' families, daughters' families, and grandchildren, in 1799:
- (Capt.) James Montgomery - age 35, together with wife, Mary, and 3 small children. 6 more children born in Ohio.
- (Thomas Montgomery - age 32, had already moved in 1798, with wife, Rebecca, and 4 small children. 10 more children born in Ohio.)
- (The son Rev. Robert Montgomery, age 28, later came to Ohio, ca 1815-1817.)
- Sarah (Sally) Montgomery - age 27, together with husband, Capt. James Harper, and 4 children. 5 more children born in Ohio.
- Henry Montgomery - age 25, married 1813 (in NY?)
- John Montgomery - age 24, together with wife, Rhoda
- Levi Montgomery - age 20, married in 1803, in Ohio
- Marian Montgomery - age 17, married 1813, in Ohio
- Abigail Montgomery - age 15, married 1802, in Ohio
- Anna Montgomery - age 13, married 12 Mar 1800, to Aaron Wright - first marriage in Western Reserve
- Eli Montgomery - age 11 - not known if he married
- Calvin Montgomery - age 3
. . . a total of 20 people, joining Thomas and his family of 6.
The Congregational Church of Conneaut, OH, had its birth in Plymouth Massachusetts, in 1620. The Conneaut Congregational Church started in the home of Robert Montgomery in 1819. Congregationalism flourished in this area because of Rev. Joseph Badger who came as a missionary in 1801 and started many churches in the Western Reserve. (See Thomas Montgomery's 1814 Baptism by Badger.)
From the History of Ashtabula County, 1894:
THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH of CONNEAUT:
"The Congregational Church of Conneaut was organized April 14, 1819, at the house of Robert Montgomery. The services were conducted by Revs. Joseph Badger, Giles H. Cowles, and Ephraim T. Woodruff. The first members were Ebenezer Buck, Ada Buck, Robert Montgomery, Stephen Webb, Luther Jones, Mary Jones, Sarah Sanford, Mrs. Montgomery, Mrs. Julia Kennedy, and Miss Laura Buck.
The church was organized on the union plan of government, Congregational and Presbyterian. It was a Congregational church joined to a presbytery. It was changed into a Presbyterian church in 1835, and remained such until December 30, 1847, when it was unanimously voted to make its government purely Congregational.
The first church edifice -- the old brick church on Liberty Street -- was commenced in 1826, seven years after the church was organized.
WRITER'S NOTE: On September 9, 1999, John and William Montgomery, 5g-grandsons of Robert, discovered the grave of this Robert Montgomery at the City Cemetery in Conneaut, Ohio, burial site C 03 96. An American flag was standing next to the grave to commemorate Robert's Revolutionary War service in the New York Militia.
To the north of Robert is buried his daughter, Sally (Harper). To the immediate south of Robert is buried his wife, Mary, and then his son, Eli.
^ "Big Red" Maple Tree, City Cemetery,
"The graves of Robert and Mary lie in the shadow of "Big Red", a red maple that in 1993 was designated Conneaut's first landmark tree by the Conneaut City Council. The tree's proximity to the graves of early settlers helped it earn landmark status." (Star-Beacon, October 27, 1995)
Curiously, Robert and Eli died on the same day, October 15, 1822. Mary died October 1, 1804, the first woman to die in the Western Reserve, as inscribed on her headstone. (photo at right >)
Robert and Mary had the following children, all born in Blandford, Hampden County, MA:
- Thomas MONTGOMERY b: 1767
- Robert, Jr. MONTGOMERY b: 1771
- Sarah (Sally) MONTGOMERY b: 10 Feb 1773
- Levi MONTGOMERY b: Jul 1780
- Marian MONTGOMERY b: 1783
- Abigail MONTGOMERY b: 13 Oct 1785
- Anna MONTGOMERY b: 13 Aug 1786
- Calvin MONTGOMERY b: 5 Feb 1797