Table of Contents
A Guide to the collection at the Connecticut Historical Society
Jonathan Bull (1649-1702) was born in Hartford, Connecticut shortly after that city’s settlement. He went by the title Captain and/or Major. He and his wife Sarah Whiting Bull had eight children. Their oldest son, Jonathan (1696-1765) trained and worked as a physician and married Hannah Beach, with whom he had two children, Jonathan and Hannah.
Jonathan Bull (1746-1825) was the fourth generation of his family to live in Hartford. He was a distinguished lawyer and judge, having graduated from Yale in 1765. In 1810 Thomas Jefferson appointed him Commissioner of Loans for Connecticut. He married Delia Seymour, the daughter of Jerred and Deliverance Skinner Seymour. Their surviving children included Delia, who married Thomas Tisdall as his second wife, Elizabeth who married James Dodd as his second wife in 1834, Charles, and Cornelia, who married James Dodd as his first wife in 1815.
Hartford Postmaster John Dodd (1745-1809) with his first wife had children John, Henry, and Sally. He married as his second wife Mary Steel, daughter of James and Mary Skinner Steel and they had one child, James (b. 1786) who married Cornelia Bull and then her sister, Elizabeth Bull. Son John died one day after his father in 1809.
The collection primarily consists of deeds for land in Hartford, specifically South Meadow, to members of the Bull family. Some of these deeds represent the earliest Hartford deeds in the CHS collection. All three Jonathan Bull’s bought and sold property.
Of interest in the deeds of Jonathan Bull (1649-1702) is a deed signed by Thomas Hooker (not the founder of Hartford) and one signed by a woman, Sarah Wells. The papers of Jonathan Bull (1746-1825) include letters written to him as Commissioner of Loans from the Treasury of the United States. One of the signatories was Albert Gallatin. Jonathan’s appointments as Commissioner are signed by Thomas Jefferson, President, and Secretary of State James Madison. Other Bull family members, namely Jonathan (1746-1825), and his grandchildren Elizabeth, Hannah, Charles and Henry, are represented by estate inventories, deeds, correspondence, and memorial poems to Hannah, which were published in the newspaper at her death in 1809.
A separate file of Hartford Land Records was created (Folder 10) to hold documents with no obvious direct tie to the Bull family. These include deeds, and several hand drawn maps of Hartford, none of which are dated.
Significant among John Dodd’s papers are a multi-paged inventory of his estate taken at the time of his death in 1809. A letter to G. Granger notifies him of Dodd’s death and the need to appoint a new person to the post. John Dodd, his wife Mary and their son John all died within a week of each other from spotted fever. James Dodd is represented by deeds, financial records, and incoming correspondence.
Zebulon Seymour (1709-1765), the husband of Keziah Bull and a Hartford joiner, has papers included in this collection. They consist of orders for payment and other financial correspondence, 1765-1790, and a 1779 certificate giving Seymour permission to build a dam, gristmill, and saw mill on the Little River in Hartford. In other Seymour family papers is an account of ordnance tuned into store at Hartford January 1, 1777, for use of the State Guard under the command of Israel Seymour, signed by Oliver Ellsworth.
Also in this collection are several newspaper clippings and an 1819 letter written by artist Sarah Goodridge (1788-1853).
Among the unidentified items are what appear to be a series of letters from a person (E.W.?) on board a vessel traveling the Erie Canal from Rochester to Albany, NY. The genealogical notes are on the Bull, Stee(e), Dodd and Tisdale families.
There are no restrictions on access to the collection.
Use of the material requires compliance with the Connecticut Historical Society's Research Center regulations.
Bull, Jonathan, 1649-1702.
Seymour, Zebulon, 1709-1765.
Deeds -- Connecticut -- Hartford.
Item, Collection Title, Collection number (Box #, Folder #). Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut.
EAD Finding Aid created July 2012.