The Immigrants
Woodstock, Connecticut
The Move to Royalton
Skinners Multiply
Calvin & Sally's Family
Lewis Skinner Family
John Calvin Skinner
Lewis & Olive Ann
Other Skinner Towns
Cheat Sheet

Luther Skinner
  Luther Skinner was one of the very early settlers of Royalton. He was the brother of Capt. Isaac Skinner and Calvin, who died at Valley Forge, and was raised in Woodstock, CT. On October 28, 1782, at the age of 22, Luther bought plot 18 on the town map but apparently did not keep it long. Soon after, he bought two parcels, lots 17 and 25 in the Town Plots on the town plot map. He married Temperence Dewey in Royalton in 1788. Luther was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and was pensioned. One son, also named Calvin, later took over the family farm in Royalton.

Capt. Issac Skinner
  Isaac was a Revolutionary War soldier who bought his first land in Royalton in 1784, plot 54 in the Town Plot section of the original town map. He was 25 years old at the time. Isaac was a farmer and land speculator on the side, buying plots at tax sales and reselling them later. He was town selectman for 13 terms and he at one time held the town office of "Brander of Horses". The first meeting to consider a lottery for a bridge over the White River that would connect North and South Royalton was held at his house on February 5, 1787. Lotteries were often used to generate funds for public works.

More and More Skinners
  In the mid-1780's there were approximately a half dozen Skinners in Royalton. By the early 1800s, due to the tradition of large families, there were over 50 related Skinners in Royalton. The orignal Skinner settlers (Isaac, Luther, and Calvin's children Sally and Calvin) were joined by two other Skinners families, Harvey and Baxter Skinner. Baxter and Harvey grew up in Woodstock, CT as did the other Skinners in Royalton, so they were probably drawn to Royalton by positive reports from their first cousins, Isaac and Luther. The chart below shows the relationship between Isaac, Luther, Baxter and Harvey.

Harvey Skinner first appears in town records in 1792 (he would have been 22 years old). He married a Royalton girl, Hannah Searle in 1793. Their children are shown on the chart below. Harvey was a blacksmith and lived in the village. At some point, he bought farmland in Royalton and at the time of his death he owned what was known as plots 27 and 28 Dutch on the town plot map. Son James Searle Skinner eventually became a physician. The family farm was deeded to son Harvey Searle Skinner, who sold it in 1826 and apparently left Royalton.

Baxter Skinner, brother of Harvey, first appears in town records in 1796. In 1811, he purchased an interest in a "carding and fulling mill" (for processing wool) on the First Branch River. Baxter married Miriam Prouty and one of their sons, Otis Ainsworth, is noteworthy--both he and his son Otis Streeter Skinner became noted Universalist ministers. An obituary for Otis Ainsworth Skinner appears on the 'Obits' link. A note about Rev. Otis Skinner can be found at the web site of the Elgin, IL Unitarian Church at Another son of Baxter and Miriam, Benjamin Harvey Skinner became a hotel operator in Chicago. Other children of Baxter and Miriam are shown below.

The Families of Calvin, Luther and Isaac
  By the 1800s, Calvin Skinner (raised by Zebulon Lyon) has a wife, Sally (her formal name is Sarah) Billings, and a family. The chart below lists all the children of the original Skinner settlers of Royalton. Some notes on specific children: Martin Tullar Skinner was named after Martin Tullar, a local minister and one of the early settlers of Royalton. Eleanor Porter Skinner was named after her paternal grandmother, Eleanor Porter. Josiah Kilborn Skinner was named after another Royalton settler, Josiah Kilborn. Rodolphus Dewey's middle name came from his mother's maiden name. Daniel Havens Skinner, who became a doctor, was named after a Royalton settler, Daniel Havens. One of the Havens family, Robert, was the very first settler of Royalton. He came from nearby Sharon, VT to land in Royalton in 1771, prior to the land grant. In essence, he was a squatter at the time he moved. He does appear as the owner of several allotments on the original plot of Royalton. Another of the Havens family was killed in the Raid of 1780. One of the cemeteries in Royalton sits on the land of the original Haven settlers whose house was burned in the raid. There is a commemorative plaque on the cemetery property noting the location of the house. Finally, Calvin and Sally's son Lewis was probably named after Hannah Lewis, an ancestor. This Lewis is the paternal grandfather of Lewis Bailey Skinner.

Skinners and the Founder of the Mormon Church
  Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church, grew up on a farm on the outskirts of North Royalton (just off Vermont State Highway 110) and attended a school located on Dewey Hill. Dewey Hill was named after the Dewey family, of which Temperance Dewey (Luther Skinner's wife) was a member. Temperance Skinner, a daughter of Luther and Temperance Skinner married Deacon Jonathan Kinney, who, as schoolmaster of the school on Dewey Hill, taught Joseph Smith the 4 Rs.

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(c) Jerry Gottsacker, 2008