The Gallup Family

The Gallup family are linked to the story of the slave Derrick Oxford.


In 1630 John Gollop (sic) arrived from England and settled in the Boston area where he became a trader and navigator. He reportedly took part in the unsuccessful attempt to capture the pirate ‘Dixie Bull’ who was famed for his brazen attack on the settlement of Pemaquid (now known as Bristol, Maine) in 1632. In 1633 John sent for his wife, Christobel, and four children who had remained behind in England. The family became members of the First Church (the Old South) and in his will John made a generous contribution to the building fund. John, along with his sons John and William, assisted in the capture of John Oldham’s vessel off Block Island in 1636 after Oldham had been murdered and his ship looted by Narragansett-allied Native Americans. According to a history of Block Island “in 1636, John Gallup came across the boat of trader John Oldham…..’,  The death of John Oldham is considered one of the reasons for the Pequot War (1636-1637).

The oldest of John Gollop’s sons, born around 1615 and also named John, married Hannah Lake in 1643 and they moved to Stonington, Connecticut. It was around this time that the surname Gollop became Americanized as Gallup. According to a history of the Gallup family, John was responsible for building the Whitehall Mansion in Stonington, a house that still exists, currently run as a hotel. (Other sources, however, say that the mansion was built by a Dr. Dudley Woodbridge on land that he purchased from John Gallup). The mansion was actually moved in the 1960’s when a road development threatened the need for demolition.

John served as a captain of the 1st Company in the Connecticut Regiment during King Philip’s War. He died in 1675 during the Narragansett Swamp Fight (Great Swamp Massacre) in Rhode Island.

John and Hannah’s fourth child, Benadam, was the grandfather of the Gallups that so influenced Hartland. He and his wife Esther Prentice had five daughters and two sons. One of these sons, Joseph, born in 1695, married Eunice Williams in 1720. They had four sons and four daughters and it was two of these sons, William and Elisha, that settled in Hartland.

William and his wife Lucy arrived here with their seven children in 1775 and built a house on the land opposite what is now White’s Dairy Supplies on Rt.5 in N. Hartland. There they went on to have another four children. William’s brother Elisha came to Hartland in 1778 with his wife Marcy and their ten children. They built a house in the Weed district. Both William and Elisha served the town in various official capacities.

Whilst some of their children moved away from this area, others remained. William’s eldest son Oliver became a lawyer. He too settled in Hartland and served in various official roles. William’s son Joseph became a doctor in 1790 and was reportedly the first to use Jenner’s smallpox vaccination. He also founded a medical school in Woodstock. Joseph married Abigail Willard from Hartland and they spent much of their lives residing in Woodstock. Another son, Elias, studied law and worked in British Guinana (sic). William’s 2nd son, Perez, settled in N. Hartland and was responsible for building the Sumner Falls canal and sawmill both of which were later sold to David Sumner.

One of Elsiha’s great grandchildren was to become the grandmother of Max Crosby. Another of his great grandchildren, James Gallup Morgan, owned ‘Appledore’. Elisha’s 4th daughter Eunice married John Dunbar in 1783. According to the Gallup family history John Dunbar was the first recorded owner of Garvin Hill, the highest point in Hartland. John and Eunice’s son Joseph had two sons, Norman and Henry. Both Norman and Henry settled on farms in N. Hartland. According to a family history Henry invented air brakes for locomotives (although I was unable to confirm this). An engineer, Henry also had the round barn built on his farm in N.Hartland.



Note: There are some fascinating documents in the Yale Indian Papers Project which are written or signed by various members of the Gallup family. These include ‘Grand Jury Indictment against Cuppocosson’ from 1705 signed by John Gallup, a ‘Deposition of John Gallup and John Stanton’ from 1669, and the ‘Indenture of Abraham Mazzean’ signed by Benadam Gallup in 1762. Both the original documents and transcripts can be viewed online.


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