An Illustrious Hand from Madison, Connecticut - namesake of
Hand Academy and Daniel Hand High School in Madison.
While Daniel is not my Hand relative, hopefully he is related to you, and a relative for which
you can be quite proud. For those that would like more information, there is a 60 page soft cover,
perfect bound, booklet on Daniel Hand available for $3.95 plus $1.55 P&H (USA), that I'd be
happy to forward to anyone interested, upon receipt of a check or money order.
Happy Hunting! Bob Mohr
The Old Madison General Store
Eight Pine Ridge, Madison, Connecticut 06443-2005
Bob & Gail Mohr, Storekeepers.
Daniel Hand of Madison, Connecticut
Daniel Hand - Born 16 July 1801 - at his parents home - Woods District of
East Guilford (Now Madison) Connecticut.
His Father was also Daniel, a farmer and public spirited citizen and active churchman.
His Grandfather, Captain Daniel Hand, was a distinguished Revolutionary Veteran who commanded a company of 102 men in the disastrous Long Island sound Campaign.
Deep rooted in New England, the first John Hand came from Maidstone, Kent - England to Lynn,
Massachusetts in 1635, and hence to Southampton, Long Island, New York. In 1644 they purchased
a tract of land for L30.
One of John Hand's children, Joseph, moved to Guilford, Connecticut - within the jurisdiction
of New Haven about 1662 and settled on extensive lands at Hammonassett. He apparently was a
shipwright for in 1696 he petitioned the town fathers to allow him the privilege of taking up the
bridge over the Hammonassett River that he might bring his vessel down (to Long Island Sound).
Daniel was the seventh of thirteen children in his family, all of whom survived. His Mother was
Artemesia Meigs from an old and distinguished Guilford Family. She died in 1812 when Daniel was
eleven years old, probably of chloe. Daniel' father died at fifty-nine in 1821. Family work was carried
on by his oldest sister then 21 and Siba then sixteen. DanielÂ’s three younger brothers were Jehiel Meigs
Hand, George Edward Hand (who became a judge in Detroit, MI), and John, His older brother was
In 1818 Daniel left home an accepted a position with his Uncle Daniel Meigs's wholesale grocery
store in Augusta, Georgia. While he frequently returned to Madison during summer, his next forty five years were spent as a Southerner.
In 1859 Daniel married a first cousin Elizabeth Ward of Rochester, NY, daughter of Dr. Levi Ward
and Mehitable (Hand) Ward, pioneer settlers of the Genesee area of Western NY. The HandÂ’s moved
to Augusta, Georgia where Daniel was now proprietor of the Wholesale Grocery Business. In
February 1830 they had a daughter Elizabeth Augusta Hand. Elizabeth was baptized the following
August in Madison, Connecticut. A son was later born and died in infancy. After only ten years of
marriage, Elizabeth August died of Yellow fever, in an epidemic that struck August, in March 1839.
Their daughter, Elizabeth August Hand was sent to her grandparents in Rochester, NY for care and
schooling. Elizabeth died there in December 1841 of scarlet fever. She was eleven years old.
During the Civil War Daniel Hand moved back to Madison, Connecticut and entrusted his
business and financial assets to his partner George Williams, a lifelong friend. Following the war,
Williams turned over vast financial resources which he had cultivated for Hand amounting to close
to $2,000,000. Hand donated over a million and a half, the largest single donation to a benevolent
society ever made, and estab-lished Â“The Daniel Hand Educational fund for Colored People,Â” of the
Southern states, and especially for the education of school teachers. Hand died 17 December 1891.
While there appears to be no direct descendents of Daniel Hand, there are several relatives that
may have an interest and several related family names: Among them, Daniel Hand Wilcox - Nephew,
Mehitable Ward - Mother of Elizabeth, Artemesia Meigs, Daniel, Frank, & Jonathan Meigs- Uncle of Daniel Hand, William Munger, Levi Ward - ElizabethÂ’s Grandfather, rd Smith, William Hand - brother of Daniel,
Siba Hand - sister of Daniel, Daniel Wilcox, Jehiel Hand - brother of Daniel, Elizabeth Hand - wife of
Jehiel, Elizabeth Ward Hand - wife of Daniel, John Hand of Lynn, MA., and settler of
Many of Daniel HandÂ’s papers may be found at the Madison, Connecticut Historical Society.
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