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Reverend Elnathan Phelps and Eleanor Bridgman

Excerpted from The Phelps Family of America and Their English Ancestors, (Save $200 by ordering through us.) By Oliver S. Phelps and Andrew T. Servin. (Get a free, updated index here.)p. 189

Reverend Elnathan Phelps was born about 1734 in Northampton, MA. In 1757 he married his second cousin, Eleanor Bridgman, the granddaughter of Nathaniel Phelps, Jr., the brother of Elnathan's grandfather, William. Elnathan, at the age of 21 years, served in the Fourth French and Indian War, in 1755, from September 15 to December 10, in the company by Captain William Lyman and was wounded in the sanguinary engagement.

In the Revolutionary War, he served as a private in Captain John Strong's Company, Colonel John Brown's (Berkshire Co.), regiment; entered service June 30, 1777; discharged July 26, 1777; service 26 days, in northern department; also, list of men who marched from Pittsfield to Port Ann, June 30, 1777, under the command of Captain John Strong, and were dismissed July 26, 1777; service 3 weeks, 5 days; also, Lieutenant James Hubbard's Co., Lieutenant Colonel David Rossiter's detachment of militia; entered service, August 17; discharged August 22, 1777; service 4 days, Company marched on an alarm at Bennington, VT. His name is on the Honor Rolls of the U.S., D.A.R.

Reverend Phelps was a Baptist preacher and organizer of churches in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York.

In 1761, after his brother, William, settled there, and after the births of their first two children, Elnathan and Eleanor moved to Pittsfield, MA where seven more children were born and where Eleanor died, on or shortly after, May 2, 1774, when the ninth child Eleanor Phelps, was born. He, William, and six others, one of whom, also, was a Phelps, were the founders of the First Church of Pittsfield, September 7, 1764, referred to in the Pittsfield records in 1781. He served on a committee of five to examine into the sect of Shakers who were exceeding the bounds of Baptist toleration. Soon thereafter, he began preaching and, at the same time, organizing Baptist churches.

In 1774, his wife Eleanor died, and in 1776, Elnathan remarried Mrs. Sarah Elenthorp, widow of Jacob, who was born in Boston in 1743. They had three children, all of whom where born in Pittsfield, MA.

In 1788, he removed to Orwell, VT and was the first Baptist preacher in that state. He was also the organizer of several congregations in various parts of Vermont, and at least one in New York state. Elnathan died in 1813, aged 79 years, at Pownal, VT, while on his way to Pittsfield, MA, to visit a son residing there. Grandmother Eleanor Phelps was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in May 1774, and moved to Orwell early in life with her father, Rev. Elnathan Phelps.