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Thomas Bull and Martha A. Smith

Thomas BULL.
Born 31 March 1737 at Dover [is this the same as Dover Plains?], Dutchess County, New York [or South Kingstown, Washington County, Rhode Island]; son of Isaac BULL and Rebecca BROWNING. He married Martha A. SMITH at Manchester, Bennington County, Vermont.

Martha A. SMITH.
Born in 1744; possibly the daughter of John SMITH and Elizabeth LIBBY. [Some say the daughter of Josiah Smith and Mary Oviatt].

She married Thomas BULL at Manchester, Vermont.

Martha is believed to be John Smith's (b:1745) sister. She met Thomas Bull near Quaker Hill, New York where John and Mary Bull met, (Thomas & Mary were siblings.) They married and joined the trek to the Manchester, Vermont area, to live and farm next to Mary and John Smith.

John Smith married Mary Bull 1748-1847 of Dutchess county, New York. Her brother Thomas Bull married John's sister Martha Smith and they all emigrated to the new settlement called Manchester in Vermont. He was elected to a public office called Pathmaster, charged with laying out roadways. There they cleared the forest and began farming, raising stock, building a family and defending their property as well as their country during the Revolutionary War. John and his neighbors were part of the "Bennington Mob" and Militia fighting in the Battle of Bennington which became a turning point in defeating the attacking British forces. Prominent Manchester and Bennington monuments document his and brother in law Thomas's service to the militia. John was also remembered in a lauditory obituary for his service to community and state.

The Vermont Migration-
Native Americans, collectively called Abenaki tribes, were occupying what became called New England. The Mahican tribe had a sibling like relationship with the Mohawk... sometimes being allies, other times bitter enemies. The Mahican's ancient capital called Shodac, was just opposite from today's Albany on the Hudson river, near the Hoosic river. Settlers no doubt saw remnants of the native nations as they occupied their historical lands. Dutch traders (Henry Hudson) comprised the 'first contact' with these tribes. In the 16th and 17th centuries, European diseases decimated their numbers by 75%. The survivors melted into the Canadian landscape as the Colonists pushed ever westward. New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth, chartered the town of Manchester in 1761. The grant was to sixty-four grantees, none of which settled the area. They exercised their option to sell their rights to twenty-four "proprietors" from Amenia in the Nine Partners Patent, next to The Oblong. Many settlers were not content to be a tenant and decided to leave.There must have been excited conversations in the small Quaker Hill community as the Bulls, Smiths and other families prepared to move "lock, stock and barrel" to a tract of woods to be called Manchester, Bennington county, Vermont (or New York depending on ones affiliation). This was a good opportunity for the families to become landowners (yeomen), and take control of their religion and future; something they could never accomplish in the United Kingdom or in the Oblong/Quaker Hill area. The family migration began about 1764 with Thomas and Martha Bull moving up the Hudson, then east up the Hoosic river and on to a trail through the woods to the site of the proposed village. It is likely that our subject John Smith, helped his sister and brother-in-law make the trek. It wasnít long before John was bitten by the bug and smitten by Thomasís sister, Mary. They were wed to the adventure and each other about 1770. Although the particulars of the ceremony are lost in time, there is a high probability they were married by an itinerant Baptist minister. There is no record of there ever being a Quaker society in Manchester (Mary belonged to the Oblong Meeting before their marriage) and no record of John or Mary has yet been retrieved from the Baptist church record. The church was organized in 1781 and had its first Manchester meeting in 1784 with Thomas Bull and Major Nathan Smith in attendance.

Nathan Smith, lot 14, was the first Smith working the land in July, 1765. He MAY have been John's father, a.k.a. Captain Nathan Smith).

She died in October 1810. Inscription: Martha Smith, wife of Thomas Bull Esq, died October 1810, age 66 y'rs. Burial: Factory Point Cemetery Manchester Center Bennington County Vermont.

CHILDREN of Thomas BULL and Martha A. SMITH:
  1. Smith BULL. Born 8 September 1772 at Manchester, Bennington County, Vermont. He married Sarah BURR. He died 16 APR 1841.