Netflix is currently running a series called TURN – Washington’s Spies. If you get an opportunity to watch it you should. The show clearly depicts the sentiment of the time with neighbor turning against neighbor, shop owners and farmers turning into spies as they watch their rights and freedoms slipping away with British military occupation after the initial Boston rebellion. This blog #27-Independence, highlights the Scofield family, founding fathers of Stamford, Connecticut, a state that played a pivotal role in George Washington’s military success. Connecticut also played a very important role in early declaration of banning Tories and providing food and other provisions for the colonial army.
To help you understand the family connection, Scofield’s are the ancestors of Mary Frances Foreman Hancock, my grandmother. Her mother Grace Irene Squires Foreman, her father Edwin Squires, his mother Sabrina Scofield Squires, her father Neazer Scofield, and her mother Thankful Scofield.
And to add to any confusion Neazer Scofield married Thankful Scofield, his first cousin. Neazer’s father Samuel Scofield and her father Sylvanus Scofield were brothers. Boy does that screw up a family tree chart!
Neazer Scofield was born 22 May 1754 in Stamford Connecticut, British Colonial America. He married Thankful Scofield on 17 August 1775 at age 21.
The first military record for Neazer is for March 1775 when he is listed as a private in a company of militia as substitute for Ebenezer Weed, serving under Capt. Betts of Norwalk, for 115 days, and was a volunteer in June 1775 at Stamford under Capt Simeon Selleck for twelve days.
In July 1776 he served in a militia company under Capt. Jesse Bell at New York for two months. In February 1777 Neazer was drafted into a militia company of Town Guards at Stamford and Stanwich Connecticut. He enlisted 20 June 1777 as a private under Capt. Reuben Scofield for six months. In the summer of 1778 he served in the militia at White Plains for six or seven days, and in the same year under Capt. Benjamin Weed for the same period.
Neazer’s father Samuel was reputed to have a wooden leg possibly as a result of service in the French and Indian War. The Encyclopedia of Connecticut Biography: Genealogical Memorial (Vol 4, Page 29) mentions that Samuel “served in the American Army”. This is substantiated in the Adjutants-General’s ‘Record Service of Connecticut Men’ (1889). “Samuel Scofield, 3d” is listed in the “Men that served at home but did not go to the Saw Pits or West Chester”. He was discharged on Jan 28, 1777 and served 1 Month and 4 days. He would have been 60 years old.
Samuel Scofield’s wife Elizabeth Ambler, mother to Neazer and his other children died in 1767 and Samuel married Deborah Bell Weed, a widow. Interesting that Neazer Scofield served as a substitute for Ebenezer Weed and served under the command of Capt. Jesse Bell and Capt. Reuben Scofield as well as Capt. Benjamin Weed.
So, from the time of the immigrant Daniel Scofield, who invested 25 pounds sterling to invest in property in the town of Stamford, Connecticut through the French and Indian War with Samuel Scofield and the American Revolution with Neazer Scofield, you can be proud to say the Scofield’s actively served to make America free.
Other Revolutionary War soldiers in our family were Elijah Brace – Litchfield, Connecticut; Joel Brigham – Marlboro, Massachusetts; Benjamin West – New York; William Goodell – Massachusetts; Ebenezer Sprague, Rhode Island. There are more, I just haven’t finished the research.