I am a descendant of Nathaniel Messenger of Granby. I have a copy of his estate distribution dated 04 April 1801, and nowhere in it is Rufus mentioned. Nathaniel left his house and barn on the family farm to his nine children, each receiving 1/9 part. The 1800 census shows Rufus residing in Hartland, Hartford, CT, which borders Granby and Barkhamsted. Perhaps that he was gone by the time Nathaniel died, he was not listed in the distribution. There is no way to know.
I have done extensive research on the Nathaniel line, and have yet to find a Rufus born about the time as your Rufus.
You may want to consider the possiblity that Rufus may have been a descendant of the Isaac Messenger line, as a few of his sons resided in Barkhamsted.
Also, another brother of Nathaniel, Jehiel Messenger (1715-1761) resided in the Granby section of Simsbury and fathered three sons (Jehiel Jr., Uriah, and Ezekial all born abt. 1749-51). Jehiel Jr died 1790 and resided in Granby before moving to Southwick, MA (another border town of Granby). Perhaps one of them could be Rufus' father. As I have not done much research on Jehiel's line, so I cannot be of much help there.
East Granby, CT
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