Chester, Charles, 1757 - 1829

Charles Chester was born in 1757, the son of Thomas and Sarah Chester.  Little is known of the first half of his life, but by 1800 he and his wife, Lydia, were living in Groton, CT.  By 1814, and perhaps even earlier, he was providing goods and services to members of the Mashantucket Pequot community.  In addition to supplying food and cloth, Chester cut and delivered firewood and plowed gardens.  His interaction with the community was closer than arm’s length, as evidenced by one late February 1819 entry in the accounts of the State appointed overseer. In it, Chester sought reimbursement for his role in the burial of a Pequot child.  He supplied the burial shroud, dug the grave, and retrieved the coffin, bringing to the tribe.  A year later, he hosted the tribe at his house for a meal while they met with the overseer.
Charles Chester was a farmer and his success in that occupation was integrally linked to the Mashantucket Pequot community.  It was, after all, their land that he lived on and farmed. Beginning in 1814, Chester and his family leased a house and adjoining parcel of land, known as the Manuel Simons Place.  He offset the expense of renting this land in several ways.  As per the lease agreement with the tribe’s overseer, he received credit for improvements made to the property.  Usually these “betterments” were in the form of labor, often the building of stonewalls to serve as property boundaries or as animal enclosures or exclosures.   Records indicate that Chester rented this property until April 1827.  Given their advanced ages, it is likely that he and Lydia were assisted by the two young men, possibly sons or grandsons, living in the household.  And as previously stated, Wilcox also provided goods and services to members of the tribe.  These “necessaries” were weighed as credit against his account.  
Charles’ wife, Lydia, died in Groton on August 20, 1829, at age 72, followed three days later by Charles Chester, himself, at age 73. Connecticut, U.S., Church Record Abstracts, 1630-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 2013; 1800 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch; CHS, Ms 27960 Geer & Morgan Families Papers, 1717-1850, Folder 19 ; Worthpoint Auction,,  1820 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch; Connecticut, U.S., Hale Collection of Cemetery Inscriptions and Newspaper Notices, 1629-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.
Sources for this biography also come from the Related Digital Heritage Items listed below.
c. 1757
August 23, 1829