The following is from The Ancestors and Descendants of Julius E. Farr by Mileta Farr Kilroy:
The Farr family played an important part in the history of Cummington, Hampshire County, Massachusetts from 1771 until almost 1840. In all the research put into this family history, there is, in Cummington, a greater concentration of family data than at any other place in the United States prior to 1900. In the vital statistics in the town records of that time period, we find twenty-four Farr births, seven marriages, and thirteen deaths. Also in the county court house in Northampton are found numerous land records, probates and wills. All of these are proven relatives of Julius E. Farr.
This was a period of great change in the young colonies, and many families were trying to find a better location to build their homes and raise their children. The migration from the East pushed through Cummington and on to New York, thence into Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. And, of course, as will be shown later, the seven sons of Julius E. Farr eventually all reached California and lived out their lives there.
Cummington became a town in 1779, and at that time, the population reached 850. By 1830, the population had climbed to 1261. Although many of the original families were farmers, it was not too long before the new settlers began to utilize the many surrounding rivers and brooks to build saw mills, flour mills, and other factories. By 1840, when the Farrs were almost all gone from Cummington, the population started a slow decline, and by 1900, it was below what it had been in 1790.
Jacob Farr and Martha Russell, both of Plantation No. 5 in Cummington, were married on 23 May 1771 in the nearby town of Chesterfield, Massachusetts. The Reverend Benjamin Mills officiated at the ceremony. Martha was originally from Killingly, in Windham County, Connecticut, and was the daughter of Stephen Russell and Lucy Carter. Stephen Russell's father was David Russell who married a Mrs. Suzanna Lawrence, probably as his second wife, so she may not have been Stephen's mother.2
The children of Jacob Farr and Martha Russell were: 3
1. Anselm Farr b 20 Jul 1772 d 12 Feb 1808 m Polly Lincoln
2. Archibald Farr b 27 Apr 1774
3. Martha (Patty) Farr b 22 Apr 1776 m 13 Apr 1795 William Cole
4. Mary (Folly) Farr b 27 Sep 1778 m 27 Dec 1796 Edward Bartlett
5. Electa Farr b 11 Apr 1780
6. Lucenda Farr b 11 Jun 1782
7. Cynthia Farr b 5 May 1784 m 3 Feb 1805 John Fox
8. Lydia Farr b 15 Apr 1786
Jacob and Martha Farr both died in Cummington, and are buried in the Bryant Cemetery on Row 15, lots No. 2 and 3. Jacob died at age 64, and Martha died on 28 April 1822 at age 79. A diagram of the cemetery can be found on page 41.
In July, 1984, the writer and her husband visited Cummington, and were delighted with the town and its inhabitants. Such charming, friendly and helpful people! The population of the town is now approximately 650, and it seemed that most of that number are dedicated to the preservation of the local history. Although the museum was not open the day of the visit, a stop at the Community House on Main Street of the town soon put them in touch with the Bates sisters, Barbara and Mildred, whose parents were very early Cummington residents. The visitors were soon given a delightful guided tour of the museum by Mildred. While there, the books, Only One Cummington by Helen Foster and William Streeter, and The Vital Records of Cummington, Massachusetts 1762-1900 by Daphne Morris and William Streeter were purchased, and have proved to be a great help in tracing the Farr history. It was noted in the first book that “Jacob Farr.. ,willed property to his son, Anseim.” This was an exciting discovery, for until that moment, the writer had not been aware that such a will existed! This resulted in a telephone call to Mr. Streeter, and he readily offered to send a copy of the will. Imagine the elation of the writer when she returned to California, to find the packet from Mr. Streeter contained not only Jacob's will, but also the wills of his father, Joseph, and his son, Anselm!
The will of Jacob Farr is handwritten, and a copy of the original will, as well as a typewritten transcription will be found on page 42 through 45.4
The Bryant cemetery, where the graves of Jacob and Martha are located is a lovely spot on a hill overlooking the town of Cummington. The cemetery is very small, rectangular in shape, and is surrounded by virgin forest.
THE WILL OF JACOB FARR
In the name of God, Amen
I, Jacob Farr, of Cummington, County of Hampshire, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, yeoman, being in usual state of health and of perfect mind and memory, thanks to God, but calling to mind the mortality of my body, and knowing that 'tis appointed for all men once to die: do make and ordain this my last will and testament. That is to say, principally and first I give and recommend my soule into the hand of the Almighty Cod, who gave it, and my body to the Earth to be buried in a decent Christian burial at the discretion of my Executor, nothing doubting but at the resurrection I shall revive the same again by the mighty power of God. And as touching my worldly estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless me in this Life:
I give, demise and dispose of the same in the following manner
First, I give and bequeath unto Martha my well beloved wife the improvement of one third part of all my improved lands and buildings, and sufficient quantity of timber to be taken off my unimproved land for the support of necessary Firs in such parts of my house as they shall occupy and for the repairing of the above said part of the building and fences. Also the use of two cows and the use of a horse when desired. The above to be given her during the term of her natural life. And all my household furniture except such articles as shall be hereafter mentioned.
Secondly, I give and bequeath unto my son Archeable Farr five Dollars.
Thirdly, I give and bequeath unto my son in law Aaron Lyon two Dollars.
Fourthly, I give and bequeath to my daughter, Mary Bartlett, fifty seven Dollars.
Fifthly, I give and bequeath to my daughter, Lecty Knapp, seventy Dollars.
Sixthly, I give and bequeath to my daughter, Lucinda Farr all necessary support during the time of her being unable to support herself; but if contrary to speculation, she should recover her health or marry, fifty Dollars.
Seventhly, I give and bequeath to my Daughter Cynthia Farr fifty Dollars. Eighthly, I give and bequeath to my Daughter Lydia Farr ninety Dollars.
the above specified sums of money given and bequeathed unto my children above named to be paid unto them by my Executor hereafter named in Next Stock in one year after my decease.5
Ninthly, I give and bequeath unto my son Anselm Farr whom I hereby ordain my sole Executor to this my last Will and Testament all my Real and Personal Estate Except the household Furniture and such things given tony wife, out of which I give him the said Anselm Farr my Shugar Kitties, Cidar Barrels, Hogshead, Casters and grain Chests.
And I do hereby utterly disallow revoke, disanul all and every other dormer Will and testament Legacy bequeaths and [a crease in the paper makes illegible] and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament.
Witness whereas I have hereunto set my hand and seal this fifteenth day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and five.
Signed sealed and published pronounced and delivered by the said Jacob Farr as his last Will and Testament in presence of us who in his presence
and in the presence of each other have thereunto set our names.
[Signature] Jacob Farr
1William Streeter and Daphne Morris, The Vital Records of Cummingtom, Massachusetts 1762-1900, 1979, Hartford, CT
2Genealogies of Connecticut Families, Vol. III, Genealogical Pub. Co.,
1983, pp. 259 through 263
3The Vital Records of Cummington, MA
4The original will is in the courthouse in Northampton, MA, Box 55
Docket 17, 1807
5The writer is not sure of the two words “Next Stock.”