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Clarendon VT Begets Clarendon NY

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Clarendon VT Begets Clarendon NY
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12/18/2018 10:18:34 AM
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Robert Underhill
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The first person to settle in what is now the town of Clarendon, NY out in the western part of the State between Rochester and Buffalo was Eldredge Farwell (1770 - 1843) in 1810.  He had accidentally come upon a site suitable for a water powered mill and made that his new home.  Other settlers followed and the community was initially known as Farwell's Mills.  The community grew and in 1821 was incorporated, Eldredge Farwell having named the town Clarendon after Clarendon, VT.

Why he did this was not recorded.  Clearly he had a connection of some sort to Clarendon, VT, but what was it?  There were clusters of Farwells in nearby Mt. Holly and Poultney headed by two of Eldredge's 2nd cousins but whether he knew those cousins or not is not known.  Even if he did what was the connection to Clarendon, VT?  To date none of the early settlers of Farwell's Mill have been determined to be from or have a connection to Clarendon, VT either. 

Eldredge was born in Charlestown, NH and the family lived for a period in Windsor, VT.  He married his 1st wife Polly Richardson (1782 - 1821) in Fairfield, VT and lived there for a period but all of their 6 children were born in NY.  He married his 2nd wife Submit Lee (1791 - 1874) in Barre, NY which is not far from Clarendon, NY.  What was the connection then to Clarendon, VT?  Were there relatives here?  Did he just happen through Clarendon at some point in his youth?  Did he learn how to built and operate his water powered mill from mills already in existence in Clarendon?  Whatever the reason, he saw something in Clarendon, VT he thought worthy of honoring by naming his new community after it.