The historic the Willis Doolittle House is a property in Woodbridge currently owned by the South Central CT Regional Water Authority (RWA). According to the CT Trust for Historic Preservation, the house is “facing demolition” (see the listing on their website). The house is located on a 436.9 acre parcel at 2040 Litchfield Turnpike.
The Willis Doolittle House was included in the book Historic Woodbridge: An Historic and Architectural Resource Survey (for details, see the entry listed on the Amity & Woodbridge Historical Society website).
The Doolittle family trace their ancestry to Abraham Doolittle who was “one of the earliest settlers of New Haven, owning a house there as early as 1642, and was prominent in the affairs of the then new settlement. He died August 11, 1690 aged 69, and his wife, Abigail Moss, died November 5, 1710″ according to Bethany Sketches and Records (published 1908 by W.C. Sharpe).
Members of the Doolittle family came from Hamden to live in Woodbridge between 1837 and 1847, as the sons of Reuben and Rhoda (Wooding) Doolittle married daughters of some of the prominent original families in Woodbridge. Reuben and Rhoda’s 11 children were:
- Isaac – married Ursula Hoadley & lived in Bethany
- Willis – married Abigail Hitchcock & lived in Woodbridge
- Lauren – married Ann E. Parker & lived in Woodbridge
According to The History of New Haven, Chapter VI (published in 1892);
“Willis Doolittle, born in Hamden in 1810, is a son of Reuben and grandson of Caleb Doolittle. Caleb married Hannah Merriman. Reuben Doolittle married Rhoda, daughter of John Wooding. Their children were: Alfred, Isaac, Alma, Ana, Seymour, Wealthy, Reuben, Willis, Lucius, Huldah, Lauren and Burnett. Willis Doolittle settled in Woodbridge in 1837, and married, the same year, Abigail, daughter of Phineas Hitchcock. Mr. Doolittle has held the office of justice of the peace.
Lauren Doolittle, born in Hamden in 1819, is a son of Reuben and grandson of Caleb. Lauren Doolittle settled in Woodbridge in 1847, and married Ann E. Parker. Their children are: Sarah, who married Francis Gorham; Frank, who married Hattie Beecher; Grace, who married Burnet Dorman; Herbert, married Kate Hotchkiss; George, married Ida Hotchkiss; and Willie. Mrs. Doolittle’s father was Ebenezer P. Parker, son of Ebenezer. Her mother’s maiden name was Huldah Sperry.”
Here is a Descendent Chart for the family of Reuben Doolittle and Rhoda Wooding: