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Obed and Rose Lindsley

Obed and Rose Lindsley (also spelled Linsley) were both born in Connecticut. According to census data, Obed was born in 1774 and Rose in 1772; according to a transcription of Rose's gravestone, she was born in 1769. Obed's death record has not yet been found.

Obed and his family first appear in Watertown in the 1810 census. Rose became a member of Watertown's First Congregational Church in 1819, and in April of that year she and her children, William, Mariah, Anna (Emma) and Caroline, were baptized. The Lindsleys owned a farm on Echo Lake Road in Watertown. Their nearest neighbor was Pollard Freeman, whose farm was a short distance down the road.

By 1850 Obed, still head of household, was listed in the census as a day laborer; his real estate was valued at $1000. Two of the Lindsley's daughters lived with them: Emma Lindsley, age 36; and Caroline Smith, age 33.

Emma Lindsley may have been working as a household servant for a Waterbury family in the 1840s. The 1840 census lists several young African American women living with white families, and, in 1843, Emma became a member of Waterbury's First Congregational Church.

Also living with the Lindsleys in 1850 were Caroline, her husband, Eli Smith, and their two sons, William and George. Eli, a day laborer, was 33; his sons were ages 3 and 1. They had two more children, Walter and Louisa, in the following years. The Smiths inherited the Lindsley farm in the late 1850s and lived there until the 1870s.

Rose died August 3, 1855 when she was 86 years old. A transcription of her gravestone from the early 20th century reads "In Memory of Rosanna, wife of Obed Lindsley, Aug. 3, 1855, AEt. 86." She is buried in the Old Burying Ground in Watertown. Her grave marker is now gone.

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Map of Watertown (detail) - 1859
Detail of Clark's Map of Litchfield County. Obed Lindsley's farm is highlighted. It was located on what is now Echo Lake Road near Adams Road.

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