Elisha Gilberts in Rev War, CT-MA-VT-NY

Identifying the Various Elisha Gilberts from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New York, and their Revolutionary War Records

After finding the Middletown, Vermont, records and in 1994 identifying my ancestor, Elisha Gilbert, as a son of Henry and Sarah (Domer) Gilbert, I next immediately started searching for Revolutionary War service.

I knew these facts:

o      Elisha was born in Brookfield, Worcester County, Massachusetts, and his family moved first to Ware, and later to Partridgefield [now Peru], Berkshire Co Massachusetts.

o      He resided in the area that became Middletown, Vermont, at least from before 1781 until 1785, since he appears in at least four lists there.

o      By 1776, he was married, possibly in the location of the future town where the marriage date was recorded (over a decade later), or prior to arriving there.

I obtained all available service records for men named Elisha Gilbert. Several with that name appeared in Revolutionary War documents, and several of them appeared in more than one State.[1] Interestingly, not one of the Elisha Gilberts applied for a pension; some died before 1818, and probably others were financially secure, but one who had been a New York militia officer signed or was mentioned by name in many pension applications.[2]

One colony led me to another and I eventually collected personal data, service records and censuses for all men with this name from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New York.

State compilations of Revolutionary War soldiers were my starting point; in this case there were sixteen records including duplicates. Then I located parallel records at Footnote.com (now Fold3.com[3]); there are service records at that site for most of these men; at least one record of civilian service does not correspond to service in the state publications. At least two men of this name were at Valley Forge, one freezing to death there. One man, an ensign, is mentioned in George Washington’s correspondence. Three have been accepted as Patriot Ancestors by the NSDAR.

Brainard, Gilbert and Torrey in The Gilbert Family and Brainard and Torrey in an additional Gilbert volume[4] list eight Elisha Gilberts born between 1717 and 1766.[5] At least one Dighton, Bristol Co MA or Rhode Island man of that name is not listed in those books; the only known records for him are his 1779 marriage and 1790 and 1800 censuses and his probable military service (see below). All seven Elisha Gilberts in the 1790 US Census are among these nine men.[6]

It appears that there were no other Elisha Gilberts during the Revolutionary War than these men.

I also located two men listed on occasions as “Elisha Gilbert,” when in reality they were Elisha Gillet[7] of Bridgewater, Windsor County, Vermont, and Elijah Gillard[8] of Massachusetts. Spellings of Gilbort, Gilbord, Gillberts, Guilbert, Gilbirt and Gilburt have been found.[9]

I have included clear and probable service records of my ancestor on pages 19-22 of Section IV of this document. These records will be labeled F in this insert.

The signatures of three men named Elisha Gilbert, that I found in the Revolutionary War images, are distinctly different: my ancestor’s signature is at Fold3.com image #12219965; the Otis, Massachusetts, Elisha Gilbert’s signature is at Fold3.com/image/#1193226; and the Stock-bride/Dighton, Massachusetts, Elisha’s signature is at Fold3.com/image/#11405065.

For the service record of “my” Elisha Gilbert, who is labeled F, see http://alvispat.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/evidence-for-the-connection-between-harriet-dickinson-light-and-elisha-gilbert/

Primary and Military Sources

Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution, Vol. 6, especially page 410.[10]

1.    Gilbert, Elisha. From town of Otis, also called Loudon. Private.             [A]

a.     Lt. Nathaniel Wood’s detachment of minutemen, 8 days starting 3 April 1775;

b.     Capt. Daniel Whiting’s company, Col. Jonathan Brewster’s regiment, 15 May 1775, served two months, 22 days;

c.     Capt. William Cannon’s company, Col. David Leonard’s regiment, 5 May 1777-14 July 1777, 70 days, marched to Ticonderoga;

d.     Capt. John Carpenter’s company, Col. Ezra Wood’s regiment, 3 July 1778-27 Jan 1779, 7 months, 12 days, reported sick and did not report for muster.

2.              Gilbert, Elisha, From Stockbridge, 1775. Private.             [B]

a.     Capt. William Goodrich’s company of minutemen, Col. John Patterson’s regiment, 22 April 1775, thirteen days;

b.     Capt. William Goodrich’s company, Col. John Patterson’s regiment, enlisted 5 May 1775, served 3 months, 4 days.

3.             Gilbert, Elisha, Stockbridge, Private, Sergeant Major, Ensign.             [B]

a.     Continental Army, Capt. Isaac Marsh’s 1st Stockbridge unit, “year not given”;

b.     Capt. Moses Ashley’s company, Col. Joseph Vose’s regiment for the term of the war, pay accounts cover 1 January 1777-4 November 1777, as ensign 4 November 1777-31 December 1779;

c.     Various muster rolls during these years, including Valley Forge, and under Capt. Abraham Hunt.

4.             Gilbard, Elisha. Capt. Daniel Whiting’s co., Col. Jonathan Brewer’s regt.; order for bounty coat or its equivalent in money dated Cambridge Camp, Oct. 26, 1775.             [A]

5.             Gilbartt, Elisha. Order on Lieut. John Potter for wages, dated Loudon, June 7, 1779.             [A]

6.             Gilbort, Elisha, Loudon. Private, Capt. Daniel Whiting’s co., Col. Jonathan Brewer’s regt.; company return dated Oct. 6, 1775.             [A]

7.             Gilbort, Elisha, Williamstown. Private, Capt. Samuel Sloane’s co. of Minute-men; enlisted April 22, 1775; discharged May 5, 1775; service, 14 days.            [F]

8.             Gillbert, Elisha. Private, Capt. Samuel Thrall’s co.; enlisted Aug. 21, 1781; discharged Nov. 9, 1781; service, 2 mos. 29 days, travel included, under Col. Marinus Willet “on Mohawk river;” company raised for 3 months.             [possibly F]

9.             Guilbert, Elisha. Private, Capt. Adam Kasson’s co., Col. Israel Chapen’s (3d) regt.; enlisted Oct. 18, 1779; discharged Nov. 21, 1779; service, 1 mo. 8 days, travel included, at Claverack; regiment raised for 3 months.             [A]

Connecticut Men in Revolutionary War[11]

10.          Gilbert, Elisha, Fairfield Co, Sergeant, Col. Philip Burr Bradley’s Fifth Connecticut, 26 May 1777-6 Jan 1778. Died at Valley Forge.             [C]

11.          Gilbart, Elisha. Minute Men and Volunteers, Capt. James Peck’s Company, Col. Roger Enos’s Battalion, 17 Sep 1777.             [C?]

Vermont Men in the Revolutionary War[12]

12.          Gilbert, Elisha, Corporal, Lt David Pixley’s Company of NH, MA and VT Militia. Corporal, 1775 to Ticonderoga [pages 659-660]             [B]

13.          Gilbert, Elisha, enlisted man in Col. Seth Allen’s Green Mountain Boys, some of whom went to Quebec, 1775-1776. [pages 831-832]             [B]

14.  “Gilburd,” Elisha, Pawlet, 6-11 Nov 1778, Capt Parmalee Allen’s Co [page 141]      [F]

15.          “Gilbord,” Elisha, Capt. Zebediah Dewey’s Company of Militia, Oct 1780 [page 236]            [F]

16.          Gilbert, Elisha, Capt. Jacob Wood’s Company, Col. Thomas Lee’s reg’t, June 1781 [p381]            [F]

New York Military in the Revolution[13]

17.          Gilbert, Elisha. One of the Green Mountain Boys possibly at Quebec, 1775. Same names and units as in #12, above.             [B]

18.          Gilbert, Elisha, Captain, Albany County Militia.             [D]

Miscellaneous Revolutionary Documents of New Hampshire[14]

19.          Gilbert, Elisha. One of the Green Mountain Boys at Quebec, 1775. Same as #11, above.             [B]

Fold3.com

20.          Gilbirt, Elisha. Civilian employed as a carter. Receipt for pay from Capt. Ezekiel Blair, probably at Ticonderoga or Ft George. Image #12219965.[15]            [F]

Washington’s correspondence[16]

21.          From Headquarters, 31 December 1779, requesting that Ensigns Gilbert and Porter be given honorable discharges.[17]             [B]

DAR Patriot Ancestors[18]

22.          Gilbert, Elisha, Ancestor #: A045092, Sgt, “1736 CT-1778”; wrong dates and service for these descendants.             [A]

23.          DAR Patriot Ancestors: Gilbert, Elisha, Ancestor #: A045094, Capt 1747 CT-1823 NY             [D]

24.          DAR Patriot Ancestors: Gilbert, Elisha, Ancestor #: A045093, 1717 CT-1796 NY, “Applicant must prove correct service”             [E]

The Fold3.com Internet site has the National Archives service records for several of these men, while others appear only on actual rolls. Comparing dates of service, compiled records from the National Archives, and other references, it appears that at least five men served in the military during the War of Independence. Four are clearly identifiable from Gilbert genealogies as distinct men, including my ancestor; the fifth man. Only one man, an officer’s origin [B] is unknown.

Following is my summary of the Elisha Gilberts in New England during the War:

A.             Elisha Gilbert, 18 May 1743-aft 1820 census, married Submit Glazier.[19]

This man can be clearly identified by his service records, his residence in Otis (sometimes called Loudon) and his age at the time of his service. (NSDAR Patriot Ancestor #A045092[20]). He was resident in Loudon (also called Otis), Massachusetts, in 1790. His marriage took place on 16 Nov 1768 in Mansfield, Connecticut. They had six children;[21] Elisha was over 45, living alone in 1820 in Chenango Co NY, next door to one of the sons, David Yeomans Gilbert.[22] Among their sons was another Elisha Gilbert, who married Mary Messenger. To date, all approved applications to NSDAR using this man (with national numbers ranging from 216212 to 830315) trace the member’s lineage to Elisha and Submit’s son Noah, who married Betsy Messenger.

A chronology of Elisha’s life and military service is as follows:

1743      Birth in Canterbury CT, son of Noah

1768      Marriage to Submit Glazier in Mansfield, Tolland Co CT[23]

1770      7 Sep, birth of Elisha Jr (later married Mary Messenger)

1773            Jan, birth of Noah (later married Betsey Messenger)

1775      2 Apr, birth of David Yeomans in Otis MA

1775      21 Apr, Enlisted at Otis, Lt Nath’l Wood, under Major Baldwin

1775            15 May, enlisted for 3 years, Capt. Dan’l Whiting, Col. Jonathan Brewer[24]

1775            26 Oct, Capt. Daniel Whiting’s co., Col. Jonathan Brewer’s regt

1775            14 Nov, sick or wounded in hospital, age 32

1777            Apr, birth, and Dec, death of son Joseph at Otis

1777            6 May, marched to Ticonderoga

1778            3 Jul, 10 Sep, Capt John Carpenter, Col Ezra Wood; May-Dec  payroll

1778            Sep, birth of Amos at Otis

1779            27 Jan, discharged; June 7, payment for military service, Lt John Potter

1779            13 Oct-21 Nov, Capt. Adam Kasson’s co., Col. Israel Chapen’s (3d) regt.

1781      Oct, birth of William at Otis

1790            Census, Loudon (Otis) MA

1800      Census, Chenango Co NY, adjacent to Elisha Jr and David Gilbert

1820      Census at Chenango Co NY, next door to David Yeomans Gilbert

1925            Descendant Lillian Newland enters DAR, with wrong service (Nat’l no. 216212)

My study of this Elisha Gilbert began with the biographical notice in Brainerd and Torrey (in reverse order of the earliest analysis of my own Elisha Gilbert); but I was able to verify the facts in that book, using census records, the NSDAR web site, and Fold3.com, and to identify the Revolutionary War service of the Elisha in question. Like many men, he served immediately after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and then re-enlisted almost yearly after that. I have assigned to him the letter A. See Revolutionary War service records #1, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 22, above, for this soldier.

B.  Elisha Gilbert, unidentified.

An Elisha Gilbert was resident in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, when he enlisted immediately after the battles of Lexington and Concord. His family is not known.

Among other Stockbridge residents who served in 1775 is Lt. David Pixley, whose unit included a corporal named Elisha Gilbert. This is the man listed as one of Ethan Allen Green Mopuntain Boys, who may have traveled to Quebec, and who rose to become first a Sergeant Major and then an Ensign. In the latter capacity, he signed his unit’s payrolls.

It is probable that this is the Elisha Gilbert who married Anna Talbot in Providence, Rhode Island (where his unit was stationed in that year), November 1779. According to Talbot family trees online—none of which trace his family—he was later the Elisha Gilbert in Dighton, Bristol County, Massachusetts, in the 1790 census, next door to his wife’s half-brother, Jedidiah Talbot, who had five people in his household. By 1800, Elisha and Anna Gilbert are no longer listed, while Jedidiah is in the same location, but with his family reduced to one son 10-15.

In 1775 he was in western Massachusetts, but during the War years, he married and settled near his wife’s family in Bristol County, Massachusetts, near the Rhode Island border.

This Elisha’s military service is as follows:

1775      22 Apr, 13 days, Capt Wm Goodrich, Col John Patterson

(This unit included many Native Americans)

1775            5 May, enlisted for 3months 4 days, same officers

1775      4 Jul, Lt David Pixley’s list of troops submitted to Provincial Congress of NY[25]

1776      some of the men listed above were in Quebec, but not necessarily all[26]

1776     Elisha Gilbert was a corporal

?            Capt Isaac Marsh’s 1st Stockbridge co. [not at Fold3.com][27]

1777            1 Jan-4 Nov, Sgt Major, Capt. Moses Ashley, Col Joseph Vose, MA 1st Regt

1777            17 Sep, Battle of Saratoga

1777            Dec, camped near Valley Forge[28]

1777                4 Nov, ensign, same officers, later Capt. Abr’m Hunt, he signed payroll, undated

1779            Feb, Mar and Apr, at Providence stationed in Providence

1779            July, payroll of Capt. Abraham Hunt’s unit

1779            Nov, marriage to Anna Talbot in Providence Rhode Island[29]

1779            31 Dec, finishes term of enlistment

1780            14 Jan, resigned, see Washington’s correspondence, 31 Dec 1779

1790            census at Dighton, Bristol County, Massachusetts, with wife, one male under 16

The service records at Fold3.com for this man include 20 pages of payroll slips, dated January 1778 through 1 January 1780, showing a rise in rank from Sergeant Major to Ensign and throughout service in Col. Joseph Vose’s regiment.,[30] before resigning in January 1780.[31] He resigned his officer status within a month after his marriage.

He was mentioned in George Washington’s correspondence: To Major General William Heath, Head Quarters, Morristown, December 31, 1779. “Dear Sir: I have received your favs. of the 21st. and 26th. Inst. Certificates from the paymasters of the 1st. and 15th. Massachusetts Regiments setting forth that Ensigns Gilbert and Porter have settled their regimental accounts are necessary before those Gentlemen can obtain discharges.”[32]

By 1790, there were no Gilberts in Stockbridge and that town’s vital records have not been transcribed. The only Gilberts I have located in Stockbridge at any time near the 1770s were the parents of Elisha Gilbert A, above. In 1758, Jeremiah Olmstead sold land between West Stockbridge and the New York State line to Noah Gilbert of Ware River Parish; in 1763 Noah and his wife Sarah sold the same land to Isaac Magoon.[33]

The History of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, Volume I, lists three Elisha Gilberts as having served in the Revolutionary War, that is, one from Otis [A], one from Stockbridge [B] and one from Williamstown [mine].[34] I have assigned this soldier the letter B.

C.             Elisha Gilbert, 4 May 1737 -6 January 1778 at Valley Forge, married Hannah —.[35]

This man’s birth record at Ridgefield, Connecticut, and the death of his widow there in 1825 are the only mentions in the town’s vital records for this couple.. [36] Elisha served with British troops during the French and Indian War.[37] On March 3, 1778,[38] the Town Meeting of Norwalk, Fairfield Co CT, voted to spent money to care for the family of Sgt. Elisha Gilbert, a Continental soldier who froze to death at Valley Forge that winter. No children have been identified for this couple.

I have assigned the Elisha the letter C. See Revolutionary War service record #10 and possibly 11, above.[39]

Although Brainard and Torrey were of the opinion that a service record of Elisha Gilbert, dated 7 June to September 1777, [40] could not refer to this man, Captain James Peck was a resident of Newtown, Fairfield County, Connecticut, and I find no trace of another Elisha Gilbert in Fairfield County. This second service record is not given at Fold3.com or at Ancestry.com.

D.             Elisha Gilbert, 20 Feb 1745/6-12 Jan 1823, married Sarah Wheeler.[41]

This is the most well known man of the name, NSDAR Patriot Ancestor #A045094, above, resident in Canaan, Columbia County, New York, in 1790. He was a Captain of the Albany County Militia throughout the war.[42] Many images at Fold3.com show him as a reference in other men’s pension applications; he served in the militia during most of the Revolution, as these documents demonstrate.[43] He lived in the Elisha Gilbert House,[44] and was a noted Freemason and supporter of foreign missions organizations of the time. Eight approved NSDAR applications, with national numbers from 4264 to 819364, have the right man, all through one child, another Elisha Gilbert, who married Ellen Vanderpool, and used the correct military record.[45] I have assigned to him the letter D.

E.                Elisha Gilbert, 10 Dec 1717-23 Jul 1796, married (1) Abigail Curtis, (2) Hannah Adams.[46]

This man was the father of D, above. He is NSDAR Patriot Ancestor #A045093, but the NSDAR research website says, “Applicants must prove correct service.” This is appropriate, since I also have found no service records for him. Since he was alive and fairly well to do, it should be possible to find support for the American cause in local records. The service originally claimed for him was that of his son; the lone approved application, national number 171897, is through a daughter, Abigail, who married John Thorpe. Said to have been an “enlister,” although his son may have been meant, according to Brainard et al.[47]

Although he and his son Elisha Jr were both in Columbia County, New York, in 1790, there is only one household listed in the census that year. I have assigned to him the letter E.

Other Elisha Gilberts of that era:

Elisha Gilbert, 13 July 1762-after 1813, married Hannah Haskell.[48]

He, like my ancestor, his cousin, was born in Brookfield, Massachusetts, but did not move to Vermont until 1789, just prior to marrying there. No service found. He was in the 1790-1810 censuses in Weathersfield, Windsor County, Vermont. He is not the man who married Anna Talbot in 1779, since both men are in the 1790 census.

Elisha Gilbert, 3 Jul 1758-1812, married Sarah Bradley.[49] No service found. If the service in James Peck’s company was not the Fairfield County man, this man is most likely. He was in Litchfield County, Connecticut, in 1790.

Elisha Gilbert, 16 May 1766-31 Mar 1846, married Chloe Crosby.[50] A Quaker and very young during the Revolutionary War, probably never served in the military, resident of Hartford, Connecticut, his whole life. I have not located him in the 1790 census there.

© 2013, Kathy Alvis Patterson


[1] For example, one Elisha Gilbert registered his first two children in Connecticut, then four more in Massachusetts, served in Massachusetts units in the Revolutionary War, and moved to Chenango County, New York, where he appears in the 1820 census. See below.

[2] There are 251 matches for Elisha + Gilbert Revolutionary War pensions at Fold3.com, accessed 28 December 2012, but none are applications for a man named Elisha Gilbert (http://www.fold3.com/s.php#s_given_name=Elisha&s_surname=Gilbert&t=467&p_place_usa=CT,NY,MA,VT,RI). Matches include pension documents where one Elisha Gilbert is named or signed an affadavit, or where the applicant is either an Elisha or a Gilbert and the other name appears somewhere in the paperwork.

[3] Some citations are left here as Footnote.com, since I printed the images when the site used that name. Newer copies will say Fold3.com.

[4] Homer W. Brainard and Clarence A. Torrey, Gilberts of New England, 1959.

[5] Also, two infants in Brainard’s books who died young. Three of these Elisha Gilberts are not known to have served in any capacity during the Revoltuionary War.

[6] Ancestry.com search results for Elisha Gilbert in 1790 US Census.

[7] This error is probably due to Proceedings of the Vermont Historical Society (1901), page 191 (GoogleBooks), which lists Elisha Gilbert in Bridgewater; either Elisha Gillet, a resident of that town, was intended, or the residence of a real Elisha Gilbert in Weathersfield, in the same county, is mistakenly given as Bridgewater. A recent publication not authorized by the state of Vermont, Carleton Fisher and Sue G. Fisher, Soldiers, Sailors, and Patriots of the Revolutionary War—Vermont, 1992, includes “Gilbert, Elisha. Service not identified, buried in Bridgewater.” Searches of military records and censuses have not located any Gilberts living in that town. There was, however, an Elisha Gillett who resided there and is found from 1790 to 1830. Elisha Gillet Jr is found from 1830 and thereafter.

[8] Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution. Vol. 6, page 406: “Gillard, Elijah. Private, Capt. John Collar’s co., Col. John Ashly’s (Berkshire Co.) regt.; enlisted July 19, 1779; discharged Aug. 27, 1779; service, 1 mo. 9 days; company marched to Connecticut under command of Lieut. Col. Powel. [See Elisha Gilbard.]”

[9] Note that two different Elisha Gilberts served under officers named Whiting and two at different times under officers named Wood.

[10] Secretary of the Commonwealth. Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution. Vol. I-XVII. Boston, MA, USA: Wright and Potter Printing Co., 1896, 410-411, note this page was photocopied in 1996, evidence of how long I have researching these records. Other pages cited here are available at Ancestry.com and can be printed and submitted if necessary.

[11] Johnston, Henry P., ed. The Record of Connecticut Men in the Military and Naval Service During the War of the Revolution 1775-1783. Vol. I-III. Hartford, CT, USA: 1889, pages 194, 615.

[12] Goodrich, John E., ed.. The State of Vermont. Rolls of the Soldiers in the Revolutionary War 1775 to 1783. Rutland, VT, USA: Tuttle, 190. Pages 141, 236, 381,  659-660, 831-832. These may refer to two men.

[13] New York in the Revolution as Colony and State, Vol. II, originally published in 1897, pages 48-49, 380.

[14] Albert Stillman Batchellor, Miscellaneous Revolutionary Documents of New Hampshire: Including the Association Test, the Pension Rolls, and Other Important Papers, 1910, page 446. The pages are identical to the same pages in Goodrich, John E., ed.. The State of Vermont. Rolls of the Soldiers in the Revolutionary War 1775 to 1783, pages 659-660.

[15] Fold3.com image #12219965, Blair, Ezekiel. Clark, Elizabeth. Pension Number: W. 23,822,.

[16] Collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1878, page 147.

[17] This letter illustrates the attention George Washington paid to the minutia of day-to-day military duties, as well as the formality and patience of his correspondence. This letter preceeded by less than a month the resignation of Elisha Gilbert from General Heath’s command, according to Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution. Vol. 6, page 410.

[18] NSDAR emembership site, Ancestor Search results for Elisha Gilbert.

[19] Gilberts of New England, II: 424.

[20] Dates given at the NSDAR web site are for another man, E. below, who died three years before the birth of the actual soldier’s last child.

[21] The two oldest were registered at Mansfield, Tolland County, Connecticut, and the other four at Otis, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, Vital Records. See Mansfield CT VR 85 and Otis MA VR 18.

[22] 1820 Chenango Co NY.

[23] Mansfield CT VR 242.

[24] Fold3.com images #17899437 (note the age of the soldier), #11993633, #1193226, #10115497 and others, plus Footnote.com images #11993226 and #10115497.

[25] Footnote.com image #10124792.

[26] Vermont Men in the Revolutionary War, 831-832.

[27] See Document above.

[28] Footnote.com image 11405062. Although not stated on this page, this is the muster roll of Capt. Wood’s Regiment of Massachusetts Militia.

[29] Rhode Island Vital Records, 1636–1850. (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2002), Originally Published as: Vital record of Rhode Island 1636-1850: First Series: births, marriages and deaths: a family register for the people, by James N. Arnold. Providence, RI: Narragansett Historical Publishing Company, page 88013.

[30] Footnote.com image 7657124. Muster roll of Capt. Samuel Hait’s company, Col. Philip B. Bradley’s Regiment, dated 1 August 1777. Other images include #17513674, 17513691, 17513683 and 11405065.

[31] Another source is Alphabetical List of Officers of the Continental Army, page 247. “Gilbert, Elisha (Mass). Sergeant 15th Continental Infantry, 1st January to 31st December, 1776; Sergeant-Major 1st Massachusetts, 1st January, 1777; Ensign, 1st September, 1778; resigned 1st January, 1780.”

[32] Document given above.

[33] George Kemp Ward, Genealogy of the Olmsted Family in America: Embracing the Descendants of James and Richard Olmsted and Covering a Period of Nearly Three Centuries, 1632-1912, A.T. De La Mare Print. and Publishing Company, 1912, page 393.

[34] History of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, Vol. 1, 1885, pages 201, 209, and 212. GoogleBooks.

[35] Gilberts of New England, II: 392.

[36] Ridgefield, Connecticut VR, 36.

[37] Connecticut Historical Society, The Fitch Papers: Correspondence and Documents During Thomas Fitch’s Governorship of the Colony of Connecticut, 1754-1766, 1920, page 37. Google eBook.

[38] Ridgefield Town Meeting, March 3, 1778 – The Town Meeting votes to spent money to care for the family of Sgt. Elisha Gilbert, a Continental soldier who froze to death at Valley Forge that winter. http://jackfsanders.tripod.com/1700s.htm.

[39] Footnote.com image 7657124 and Fold3.com images #15585207, #15585241, and #15585365, the last citing the soldier’s death.

[40] Record of Connecticut Men in the Military and Naval Service During the War of the Revolution page 615.

[41] Gilbert Family, 222.

[42] Fold3.com image #20780486; Footnote.com image #10197340. See Columbia County, New York, history reference at http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ny/county/columbia/newleb/settlmnt.htm.

[43] Fold3.com image #21418790, pension application for George G Scott, citing service in Capt. Elisha Gilbert’s Company of Infantry of the militia of New York State, New Lebanon, Columbia County, New York, with references to fall 1776, the summer of 1777, August and November 1778, “during the year 1779 and into 1780,” and 1781. “Capt. Elisha Gilbert… having been Engaged the most of his time on active duty, or as a member of the General Committee.”

[45] His will naming wife Sarah is abstracted at the New England Historical and Genealogical Society web site, http://www.americanancestors.org/PageDetail.aspx?recordId=416210.

[46] Gilbert Family, 140.

[47] He is a good candidate for the recently formed Lineage Research Committee initiative, Cold Closed Cases Project.

[48] Gilbert Family, 269.

[49] Gilberts of New England, II: 405. Also Donald Lines Jacobus, “Gilbert Family,” Families of Ancient New Haven, (Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1997), I-III, 649.

[50] Gilbert Family, 284.

Published in: on August 7, 2008 at 10:33 pm  Comments (4)  

The Importance of Naming Patterns in Determining Early Alvis Families

It appears that all Alvis families in early Virginia descend from George Alvis and his only known son David, who was born ca 1714. Records from 1761 through 1790 reveal nine adult men: JOHN, GEORGE, FORESTER, DAVID, ASHLEY, SHADRACH, STANLEY, ELIJAH, ZACHARIAH. For clarity in this document, I will use capital letters to indicate these men. From 1786 another generation is documented, including three men who filed Revolutionary War pension applications: Jesse, Henry Harris (whose birth in 1769 is recorded in the Douglas Register), and John.

If Elizabeth Stanley was the mother of all of David Sr’s children, the couple followed this naming pattern: the first two sons, JOHN and GEORGE, were named for the couple’s fathers, John Stanley and George Alvis, FORESTER came from an unknown source, DAVID was for the husband, ASHLEY, SHADRACH and STANLEY were names in the Stanley family, and ELIJAH and ZACHARIAH were Old Testament names, perhaps reflecting a religious trend which reached this couple in the late 1750s.

It is also possible that the first three or even four sons had a different mother. No records we have found list the children of Elizabeth (Stanley) Alvis, although the three sons with Stanley-related names certainly seem unquestionable. If the oldest three sons had a different mother, then JOHN was not named for John Stanley, and FORESTER might be that first wife’s maiden name.

The first three sons were often in Hanover County, and the other six were usually in Goochland County. Even more suggestive that the nine men can be separated into two groups are the names they gave their sons.

The nine sons whose names were repeated among the brothers are DAVID, also the father’s name of course, ASHLEY, SHADRACH, STANLEY, ELIJAH and ZACHARIAH. These five are also the men who used these names. Neither JOHN, GEORGE nor FORESTER had known sons or grandsons with any of these five names, except David. Only GEORGE had a son or grandson named George, excepting one George Washington Alvis.

Among the other sons, ASHLEY had Ashley Jr, Shadrach and Elijah. I believe his son Charles had sons named Zachariah and possibly Stanley. Even two generations later John S Alvis, son of Shadrach, the son of ASHLEY, had sons named Zachariah and Shadrach. The sons of Ashley Sr’s second marriage, Ashley and Elijah, each named a son for the other; that is, Ashley Jr had Elijah and Elijah had Ashley Nolan.

ELIJAH had David, Ashley, Shadrach, and Stanley. Elijah’s son William E Alvis had a Stanley and a Shadrach Ashley.

ZACHARIAH had Shadrach and Elijah.

DAVID had David Jr and probably Zachariah. David’s oldest son Henry Harris Alvis also had a Shadrach.

James M Alvis of Vigo Co IN had a son Zachariah. I am still puzzling over where to place this man and need to study him more closely. Although his second son was named Zachariah, he does not fit as a son in the census record of ZACHARIAH Sr. He was not named as a son of ELIJAH. It is possible he might be SHADRACH Sr’s son Major (Shadrach’s wife was Judith, the daughter of Major Hancocke), since other men with two names used them interchangeably: Major is named once and not seen again after the 1814 tax list, and James M was in KY by ca 1818, when he married Lucy. In addition, SHADRACH Sr’s other sons were Henry Franklin, who named his first son Julian James, and Robert. James M named one of his sons Robert.

Other names show up from the fourth generation, such as Meredith, Spencer and Woodson, which may come from neighbors or a source unknown to us. William, Charles, Henry and Robert were also popular names in all branches of the family and probably only indicate popular boys’ names.

There was never another FORESTER Alvis. No one named a son Forester. And none of FORESTER’s sons named a son Forester.

I have no clear proof of any of the sons of JOHN Alvis Sr, other than Matthew who was listed with him in the 1791 tax list. It is clear, however, from tax lists that a new generation appearing in the 1790s included men who were his sons. He probably had Jesse, John, Robert, Charles Dabney, and David. None of the sons I have placed in his family used the typical Alvis names discussed above. It also appears that when they used the name John, they were naming their sons for John Jr, or in the case of Charles Dabney’s son John M Alvis, for someone we can’t identify. I also believe Mary Ann Alvis named her “natural sons” by Joseph Woodson for her brothers and their father: Matthew Woodson Alvis, John Woodson Alvis, and Robert Woodson Alvis.

Many Alvis researchers are descended from Charles Dabney Alvis or from Jesse Alvis. It is significant to me that neither of these men named sons Shadrach, Ashley, Stanley, Elijah or Zachariah. Neither did any of their sons.

This is a principal reason I stopped considering Jesse a younger son of David Sr. If he had been born, say, between ELIJAH and ZACHARIAH, why did he not use the names they used, and why did none of them have a Jesse?

Charles Dabney Alvis used unique names for his sons. Not only is he among the oldest Alvises who himself had two given names, he gave all of his sons two names. He was named for a neighbor and Revolutionary War officer under whom some of the Alvises served. Two were named for famous men, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. A third had the middle name Jackson. Too bad no one knows the names behind the initials of his sons Joseph H and John M. None of his sons seem named for other members of the Alvis family, with the possible exception of William Anderson Alvis or Elias Henry, but I think his daughter Mary Ann Susan was named for his sister Mary Ann and his wife’s sister, later his second wife, Susan.

Migration Patterns

There are three patterns of residence or migration in the Alvis family, or any family. The family can all stay in one place, the sons can move together, or the sons can move to different places. We find that FORESTER’s sons stayed in Chesterfield Co VA, although one grandson went to Iowa.

Following the second pattern, ASHLEY Sr and probably his brother DAVID went west to Buckingham Co VA; one or two sons stayed in the area; most went on to Tennessee; some went on to Mississippi, Alabama and Texas.

ELIJAH Sr’s children are examples of the third pattern. One went to Georgia, one to Missouri, one to the part of Virginia that became West Virginia. Three sons stayed in Goochland County.

Placing Charles Dabney Alvis in a family needs a startegy that uses all of these clues—names, residence, migration. He was too old to be a son of STANLEY (see the 1782 tax list), ZACHARIAH or SHADRACH’s second marriage. He is not named in the list of ELIJAH’s children or among the children of SHADRACH’s first marriage. ASHLEY had a probable son Charles in 1798 in Buckingham Co and later in Smith Co TN; Charles Dabney was still in Hanover Co VA in 1810. All of FORESTER’s children seem to be in Chesterfield County by 1810. This leaves JOHN and GEORGE as possible fathers. Charles Dabney would be among the younger children of JOHN. GEORGE had five people in his household in 1782, which leaves room for Charles Dabney, who appears on the Hanover Co VA tax list for the first tiime in 1805. Also listed were JOHN Sr and GEORGE, as well as James (possibly a son of FORESTER), Robert and John Jr. After 1810, Charles Dabney went to Hawkins Co TN. GEORGE’s two likely sons, Henry and David, went to Louisa and Campbell Counties in VA. One of JOHN’s sons, Robert, stayed in Hanover County; others went to Kentucky and possibly Iindiana. If Charles Dabney was the youngest son, he went in a different direction from his brothers.

War of 1812 pay roll and muster roll lists show the following: MR #649 included Charles D Alvis, Lemuel, and Robert. Lemuel is otherwise unknown; Charles D and a Robert were in Hanover Co VA. PR #349 included Shadrach Jr and Shadrach Sr, Stanley, Cpl Thomas, and William. Thomas is unknown; all of the others were from Goochland County. Woodford and Zephaniah were on MR #360, and they were from Chesterfield County.

The fact that there were two Alvises in Kentucky by 1810, John and Jesse, lends a bit of weight to the theory that they were brothers, sons of John Sr.  Both had sons named William.

© Kathy Alvis Patterson  2008

Published in: on August 5, 2008 at 9:44 pm  Comments (3)  
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Armstrongs of Princeton NJ and Geneva NY and other Armstrong Families in Western NY

When I first discovered genealogy as a hobby, my grandfather, Mansel Grant Armstrong (1897-1977), had among his papers an original clipping entitled “Mother Coulson Celebrates Eightieth Birthday, Friday,” La Harper, LaHarpe IL, 22 Nov 1940. This article, edited by Alice (Armstrong) Coulson’s son, gives details on all 15 children of John Armstrong Jr., as well as his two wives, his mother and her family. It was written during the lifetime of Mansel’s father, John Franklin Armstrong, and saved in the family. It stated that John Franklin Armstrong’s great-grandmother was Mary Barron of Geneva NY; her parents’ names and origin in Northumberland, England, were also known. Since we were living in Buffalo NY at that time, when genealogy was a new hobby for us, we drove over to Geneva NY in 1966. We found one Armstrong family buried in a cemetery there; I still remember clearly the broken headstones and the look of the cemetery, the very first one we ever visited in this pursuit.

Later, we found this reference to the marriage of John Armstrong, Sr., and Mary Barron: Marriage & Death Notices from Early Geneva Newspapers has the following from Geneva Gazette, 12 March 1817: “MARRIED – On the 9th inst., Mr. John Armstrong to Miss Mary Barron, both of Seneca.”

A county history which mentions their son, John Jr., gave us his county of origin; History of Harrison and Mercer Counties, Missouri (1888; reprint, Princeton MO: Mercer County Historical Society, Inc., 1972), 604-605, states that John Armstrong Jr “was born Dec. 31, 1819 in Livingston Co NJ [sic] and moved to Fulton Co IL in 1838 and from there came to Harrison Co MO in 1860. A year later he returned to IL, but in 1866 settled upon his present farm in Harrison Co MO. This farm contains 260 acres of well improved land, which is the result of Mr. Armstrong’s own labor, as he started in life a poor man. In 1852 [sic] he married Miss Susannah Moran, a native of Baltimore Co MD, by whom three children were born, Mary M., wife of James Dilts; Margery Ann, wife of S. S. Parsons; and Susannah, wife of Percy Prune [sic]. Mrs. Armstrong died June 1, 1851, and Mr. Armstrong was married December 15, 1852 to Miss Morris,  a native of Adams Co OH and daughter of George and Elizabeth (Hurd) Morris, by whom 12 children have been born. Mr. Armstrong is a Republican and has served both as assessor and register. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.”

With this information we found the 1850 census which showed that my earliest proven Armstrong ancestor is John Armstrong, whose age in the 1850 census is probably 62. His wife Mary was listed as 52, born in NY.

These are the known censuses of John Armstrong, Sr.:

1820, Genesee Co NY, Caledonia Twp, page 105: John Armstrong, 100010/101000/1 [i.e., b 1775-1795]

1830, Livingston Co NY, Caledonia Twp, p 175: John Armstrong, 001001…/212001… [b 1790-1800]

1840, Fulton Co IL, p 259: John Armstrong , 01001001…/0113001… [b 1780-1790]

1850, Fulton Co IL, town of Canton, page 14, lines 1-10. David Johnson 53 NY farmer $4000 married within the year, Lucy 54 VT married within the year, Herman J Saunders 29 NY farmer $800 married within the year, Matilda 25 NY married within the year, John F 7 IL, Mary V 5 IL, Henry 2 IL, John Armstrong 62 farmer $250 NJ, Mary Armstrong 52 f NY, William R Armstrong, 18 m farmer NY. 

The fact that John was born in New Jersey, which is hard to read in the 1850 census, appeared on the Internet from the 1886 Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County (IL), page 625:  “Mrs. Mary A. Lowrey. This lady, the widow of Shaftoe Lowrey, deceased – who was the seventh son in a family of nine children, seven sons and two daughters – is known as one of the most energetic and enterprising women of Cedar Township, and possesses a large business capability, and is endowed with more than ordinarily financial acuteness and foresight. She was born in Geneva, New York, 8 December 1817, and is the daughter of John and Mary (Barron) Armstrong. The former was of Scotch lineage and blood, but was American born, claiming the State of New Jersey as his birthplace. The mother was of English ancestry. Mr. Armstrong died of pneumonia, in 1852, while visiting in Canada, and his wife, in 1879, in Iowa. They were the parents of seven children, as follows: John lives in Missouri; he married Miss Nancy Morrison [sic] who died, when he again married [sic]; Harriet married William Tracy and lives in San Francisco, California; Matilda married H.J. Sanders, and lives in Abingdon [sic]; William A. died in California, in 1850; Rebecca is married and lives in Minneapolis; Margery married G.H. Flanders; and the subject of our sketch…”

With this data for the daughters of John and Mary (Barron) Armstrong, I was able to check 1870 and 1880 censuses, which made clear that John was indeed born in New Jersey, not Scotland, as I earlier thought.

Next I went back to my files and started again looking for Armstrongs in New Jersey, searching for any Armstrongs who moved to western NY. I was amazed to find that the first Armstrongs whose graves my family and I visited in 1966 in Geneva NY when we lived in Buffalo were from New Jersey! 

We have two clues to the parentage of John Armstrong: his birth in NJ and his marriage announcement from the Geneva Gazette, which states he was  “of Seneca,” as Geneva was called then. The village did not legally become separate from Seneca Twp in Ontario Co until 1872.

 

Seneca Township, Ontario Co NY Armstrongs

The head of this family was James Armstrong, now believed to be an uncle of our ancestor. The Ontario Co NY genweb site has the following; brackets are annotations from my 1966 notes: 

Washington Street Cemetery, City of Geneva – Ontario County NY. 

ARMSTRONG 

Charlotte E.; 1873-1926; [this headstone was not seen by me]

James, born near Princeton NJ May 4 1763; died Mar 25 1852; 

Elizabeth, consort of James; born near Princeton NJ 1772; died May 8 1834; 

Cornelia, dau of James and Elizabeth; born Aug 23 1807; died Sep 6 1838; 

E. Berrien; 1844-1919; 

Elizabeth Allen Smith, wife of William; died June 23 1871; ae 62 yrs; 

George; born Sep 25 1799; died Jan 10 1856; 

James A.; died Mar 17 1871; ae 75 yrs; [not seen by me]

Nancy McPherson, wife of James A.; died Apr 19 1899; ae 95-8-17; 

Mary Jane; died June 13 1888; ae 62 yr 6 mos [15 days]; 

Sarah; died Sep 2 1894; ae 86 yrs; 

Sarah A ; died Aug 28 1918 ae 87 yrs; 

William; died Oct 27 1856; ae 59 yrs; 

[William Warren Armstrong]

[Rebecca Wagener Armstrong Thrasher]

Old Section No. 9 Cemetery, Town of Seneca – Ontario County NY

ARMSTRONG, Martin, son of James A. & Nancy; died Aug 14 1825; ae 1 yr 8 mos. 

“Early Settlers of Ontario County NY,” excerpted from the History of Ontario County (NY); compiled by Lewis Cass Aldrich; edited by George S. Conover; 1893, states that: 

“The Town of Geneva was set off from the original town of Seneca Oct. 11, 1872. Among the pioneers of the town is Jerome Loomis, whose settlement in the northwest portion was made in 1788. He was a survivor of the Revolution and a man of influence in the new country. About the same time came … [among others…] James Armstrong…”

 

From Ontario Messenger 31 March 1852, 

“Death of a Revolutionary Soldier – James Armstrong, the father of William and Geo. Armstrong, died at his residence in this town on the 25th, at the advanced age of 90 years. Mr. A. served some time in the war of the Revolution. He was among the first settlers of this town, having emigrated to this locality prior to the year 1800. Geneva Gazette.”

Marriage & Death Notices from Early Geneva Newspapers, has the following from Geneva Gazette:

12 March 1817: “MARRIED – On the 9th inst., Mr. John Armstrong to Miss Mary Barron, both of Seneca.”

2 January 1822: “MARRIED – In Milo, by the Rev. Mr. Axtell, Mr. John Armstrong of Seneca to Miss Sarah Embree of Milo.” 

29 January 1823: “MARRIED – In Seneca, on Thursday evening last, by the Rev. Mr. Axtell, Mr. James A. Armstrong to Miss Nancy McPherson.”

There were obviously at least two young men named John Armstrong who resided in Geneva NY 1817-1822. Since it is known that Sarah Embree’s husband was a son of James Armstrong (see below), we need to look elsewhere for our John Armstrong’s father. This family in Geneva NY is the only family we have found in western NY from New Jersey. So, the next question was whether James Armstrong had brothers, who might have had a son named John, b 1781-1789.

First, I will review what is known about James Armstrong and his family.

Seneca, Ontario Co NY, 1800: 41001/00001 [a few houses away from William Ansley, see below]

Seneca, Ontario Co NY, 1810: 12201/30010

Seneca, Ontario Co NY, 1820: 000311/02101

Seneca, Ontario Co NY, 1830: 000120001/00102001

Seneca, Ontario Co NY, 1840: 0000020001/000001

Seneca, Ontario Co NY, 1850: James “Amstrong,” 87, w/George 35, Sarah, 30

 

James had 5 males in his household in 1800 and 1810. Four sons were still at home in 1820. These would have included John (who married Sarah Embree in 1822) and James A; James’s death notice mentioned his sons George and William. The fifth son is possibly Henry Armstrong, who witnessed two deeds in 1816 and is next found living in the county in 1870.

Cemetery and other records indicate the following children for James Armstrong:

John, b ca 1794 NJ per 1850 census; m Sarah Embree

James A., b ca 1796 (calculated); died Mar 17 1871, ae 75 yrs; m Nancy McPherson, wife of James A.; died Apr 19 1899; ae 95-8-17; 1870 census says b ca 1794 NJ

William, b ca 1797 (calculated); died Oct 27 1856, ae 59 yrs; m Elizabeth Allen Smith; she died June 23 1871, ae 62 yrs

George, born Sep 25 1799; died Jan 10 1856

Cornelia, dau of James and Elizabeth; born Aug 23 1807; died Sep 6 1838

James’s father is named in History and directory of Yates County: containing a sketch of its original settlement by the Public Universal Friends …  Cleveland, 1873, page 1_740:

“John Amstrong of Milo, was a son of James Armstrong, who emigrated at an early period from Somerset Co., New Jersey, where their family were first established in this country by the emigration of Martin Armstrong from Dublin, Ireland. They were Irish of Scotch descent. James Armstrong was a brother of Alexander Armstrong, the father of the family of Armstrongs that settled in East Benton, on the ‘Ridge Road,’’ now in Torrey. James Armstrong purchased the land, now the homestead of his son John Armstrong, on lot 12, in 1793. Coming the next year with his family, he purchased other land and settled in the town of Seneca, on the Gore in the neighborhood of William Ansley. John Armstrong, oldest son of James was the only one of the family who settled within the boundaries of Yates county. he married Sarah, daughter of Rowland Embree, in 1822, and settled on one hundred and thirty acres, the east part of lot 12, which his father had purchased twenty-nine years before, but which was still in its wild estate. They still reside on the same premises. He was born in New Jersey in 1793, and his wife at Stillwater, N.Y., in 1799.…” [Note: the reference to the family of Alexander Armstrong is difficult. Could it be in error? See below. KP]

In 1870 Seneca Twp, Ontario Co NY, a household was comprised of Sarah Armstrong, 50 NY, James Armstrong 27 NY, and a 76-yr-old named Henry Armstrong, b NJ. The presence of a man born in NJ is the same time frame as my John was immediately interesting to me. But searches using the census indices at Ancestry.com revealed no Henry Armstrong of anywhere close to this age resident in this part of NY State at any time, and also no Armstrong other than John and James, mnetioned above, by any name with this approximate age and birthplace. Henry might, however, be the man, probably of that age and birthplace, who signed two family deeds in 1816. 

This household was next door to that of Elizabeth (Smith) Armstrong, widowed daughter-in-law of James Armstrong of Geneva NY—she and her children are among those buried in Geneva, above.

Recently acquired deeds include one which shows that a Henry Armstrong witnessed the 1816 deed transferring property from Daniel Agnew of Maidenhead, Hunterdon Co NJ to John Arm-strong of Seneca Twp, Ontario Co NY; Henry Armstrong personally knew both parties to this deed. So, the Henry is likely the fifth son of James Armstrong of Geneva NY. 

John and Sarah (Embree) Armstrong named their only son Henry, b ca 1824.

There was one Alexander Armstrong in every Seneca or Geneva, Ontario Co NY, census in 1800, 1810 and 1820. Were there two men with the same name in the same village? One Alexander Armstrong is on the same page of the census in 1820 as William Barron. When I attempted to locate the “Ridge Road” Armstrongs, I found a totally different Alexander Armstrong and eventually decided that most likely the Yates County book was simply mistaken and James Armstrong had no brother in this part of NY State; he may have had a brother named Alexander, but he did not live in this area or have a family of children.  

1800 Seneca, Ontario Co NY, p 500: Alexander Armstrong, 10001/10201, same page as James Armstrong.

1810 Seneca Twp, Ontario Co NY,  00001/00000. 

Was this man, the brother of James, the same as Alexander Armstrong, a Revolutionary War veteran from Pennsylvania, with a documented much younger, second wife, Grissel Chapman, who died in Washtenaw Co MI? If his stated birthdate is correct, he could not have been a brother of James Armstrong of Geneva NY, since both were born in 1763. Based on county of origin in PA, it is probable this man was a brother of the Benton NY family. At first glance, this was one man,  in Seneca Twp in 1800 with a young son and older daughters, alone in 1810, but remarried before 1820 and was rejoined at that time by two sons 16-26. But I now think these census records refer to the man from PA. See below for more details. 

The Geneva Gazette, 20 Apr 1814, 2: 1, reported a sheriff’s sale of the goods of Alexander Armstrong, which may indicate the death of James’s brother.

After studying the Armstrongs in this area for some time and pondering this question, I reached a tentative conclusion that the statement in the Yates Co History was a mistake by the author. James had a brother Alexander, but the Armstrongs in East Benton NY, who also had a brother Alexander, had a different origin, which follows.

Scotch-Irish Armstrongs from Eastern Pennsylvania

In 1987, I corresponded with Carol Anders of Fountain Valley CA. Carol sent a FGS which gave the dates for her George Armstrong as b 1759, d 21 Mar 1842 Sandusky Co OH. His wife, Elizabeth Ardery, died on 17 Aug 1831 and is buried in Mt Pleasant Cemetery, Benton NY. Their children were Sarah (ca 1790), James (ca 1791 PA), John E (1796) and Alexander (1798).

Carol wrote,

 “George Armstrong was drafted into the Revolutionary War at the age of seventeen. He was a resident of the town of Juniata, Cumberland Co PA [Juniata Twp was founded in 1793-KP] when he entered the service on 25 Dec 1776. He served as a sergeant in the company of militia commanded by Capt James Gibson. He marched to Philadelphia and from there to Trenton and Princeton in New Jersey where he was under the command of Gen Israel Putnam. This was about the time that the Hessians were captured at Trenton. George served for two months, fifteen days and was discharged and returned to Juniata.

“In 1778, he was again drafted, this time in Capt Matier’s Co, Col Smith’s Regt, Gen Lacy’s Brigade of Militia. He went to Crooked Billet near Philadelphia, served two months and was discharged.

“In 1780, George was drafted for the third time, in the Co of Capt Hurl, under Maj Elliot, was on duty principally in Northumberland Co for two months and then was honorably discharged.

“After the war ca 1793, George and his family went by boat to Ontario Co NY where he purchased a farm in Benton. He and his wife Elizabeth had at least four children [above]. In 1832 George applied for a pension, which was granted for the amount of $28.33 per annum.

“George applied for a transfer of his pension to Sandusky Co OH in 1834, stating that his reason for removing to the State of Ohio was to live with his children. In his will dated Feb 1836 he gives $1000 to his daughter, Sarah Chapman; to his son James all his personal property; and to James and John E all of his real estate to be equally divided. George died on 21 Mar 1842 and is buried in Wickwire cemetery, Bellevue OH.” 

George was part of a family of probable brothers John and George, with a sister Sarah, all of whom resided in Jerusalem Twp, Ontario Co NY, in 1800 and Benton in ca 1809 and also 1810. George was born before 1755, John and Sarah between 1755 and 1775. There are indications they were siblings of the Alexander Armstrong who moved to MI, including the Chapman family connection. Living within a few miles of each other were, supposedly, two families of Armstrongs, each with these names John, James, George and Alexander. But the men of this family are pretty much the same age as the James and George Armstrong from Somerset Co NJ. And there are no references at all to NJ in this family; they seem to have been in PA as late as the 1790s. 

Alexander Armstrong, a Revolutionary War veteran from Pennsylvania, who married Grissel Chapman and died in Washtenaw Co MI, was, based on county of origin in PA, probably a brother of the Benton NY family. This Alexander in 1820 was in the same town where another Armstrong family resided, with a wife, two sons 16-26, one daughter 10-16, and two new babies, a girl and a boy. Washtenaw Co and Ionia Co MI histories indicate he had a total of seven children, including a probable oldest son, John D Armstrong.

Carol Anders wrote me that William S Armstrong, of the Armstrong Clan, listed the children of her family’s Alexander as Martin Nailor (1801), Elizabeth (1803), Sarah (1805), George (1807) and Alexander McLean (1809). This does not match the family of Alexander, later of Washtenaw Co MI. These individuals are currently unplaced. 

1820 Seneca Twp, Ontario Co NY, 100201/11010

1830 Seneca Twp, Ontario Co NY, 111010001/1010001

1840 Freedom Twp, Washtenaw Co MI, 0011100001/00100001

2 houses away: John D Armstrong: 0100001/211001

1850 Lodi Two, Washtenaw Co MI, 87 b PA, w/Grissel, 60, George, 34 NY, Alexander, 20 NY. 

Alexander and Grissel had a daughter Elizabeth. From Pioneer Ancestors, Salt Lake City Chapter SUP, at Ancestry.com:  “Elizabeth Armstrong Born 2 Apr. 1819 in Seneca Castle, Ontario County, New York Arrived in Salt Lake Valley in 1851. Elizabeth Armstrong was the daughter of Alexander Armstrong and Grissel Chapman. A number of residents in the Ontario County area of New York state went in a body to Michigan and took up land there. Records of the First Presbyterian Church in Saline, Michigan, show a petition to the New York Church by some of the departing church members for permission to start a branch of the church in Michigan. Alexander and Grissel Armstrong are listed as members of the First Presbyterian Church in Saline, Michigan. The Armstrongs settled in Lodi, Washtenaw Co MI, and Alexander Armstrong is shown as one of the first persons to apply for land there.” Elizabeth and her husband Hiram Mace, became Mormons and moved to Utah.

A short biography of son George Armstrong in History of Washtenaw County, Michigan, 1881, page 1187, at Ancestry.com, reads: “George Armstrong (deceased) was born near Geneva, N.Y., and in his youth followed agricultural pursuits. He came to this county, and settled in Lodi tp., where he bought a farm of 200 acres, residing on this property until his death, which occurred in 1868. He is buried on Lodi Plains. Mrs Armstrong, who still survives, is a resident of Ypsilanti tp., and the mother of four children—Frank, who was born in 1856, and in 1877 purchased the “McBain farm” of 87 acres; Clara, born in 1859; Emma, born in 1862, and Georgia, who was born in 1868.”

Another daughter was Emily J, who married an Armstrong, but not apparently a close family member: Portrait and biographical album of Ionia and Montcalm Counties, Mich,  1891, accessed at Ancestry.com, page 771: “The wife of Mr Wurster was born in Ontario county, N.Y., March 22, 1828 [questionable-KP], and is a daughter of Alexander and Grizle (Chapman) Armstrong. He father was a native of Pennsylvania and her mother of Connecticut, and the paternal ancestors were Scotch. Her mother’s father was a Revolutionary War soldier. She remained in her native State until she was eight years old, when she came with her parents to Washnetaw County where Mr. and mrs. Armstrong died. Mr Armstrong had been twice married and was the father of seven children but two of whom are now living: Elizabeth, wife of Hiram Mace, in Utah, and Emily J., wife of our subject. The latter grew to maturity in this State and in 1850 was married to M.M. Armstrong, who died in 1859, leaving her with four children.” 

Returning to this family in what became Yates Co NY, we find The Centennial Record, First Presbyterian Church, Penn Yan, NY lists the three men and their wives as founding members, as does History of Yates Co NY: with illustrations and biographical sketches…, by Lewis Cass Aldrich 1892: 

“The original members were … John and Susannah Armstrong, … George and Elizabeth Armstrong, John and Sarah McLean….” 

Since George’s wife was Elizabeth, he is not the George who married Hannah Riggs and settled in Seneca (see Cleveland, 1873). There were clearly two different Georges in 1800. 

1800, Ontario Co NY, Jerusalem Twp: George Armstrong, 30001/11010.  [b bef 1755]

John “McClain,” 02201/11010

John Armstrong, 00010/10010 [b 1755-75]

George Armstrong was in the following censuses:

1810, Ontario Co, Benton Twp: Geo Armstrong, 01111/10101 [b bef 1765]

Jno Armstrong, 20010/30010 [b 1765-1785]

John McLean, 00301/01001

1820, Ontario Co , Benton Twp: George Armstrong, 010112/00401 [2 men b 1780-1790]

next door, James Armstrong, 300010/00010

James had four children, as given above, two of whom married Chapmans.

1825, State census, Yates Co NY

George Armstrong: 2 [males] 3 [females] 0 [subject to military service] 1 [male voters] 0 [married females under 45] 1 [unmarried females 16-45] 1 [females under 16] 0 [marriages preceding yr] 0 [births preceding yr]  0 [deaths preceding yr]  70 [acres improved land] 12  [cattle] 2  [horses] 25  [sheep] 13  [hogs]  10 [yds cloth manufactured domestically]12 [flannel]  24 [linen, cotton]

James Armstrong: 6 [males] 2 [females] 1 [subject to military service] 1 [male voters] 1 [married females under 45] 0 [unmarried females 16-45] 1 [females under 16] 0 [marriages preceding yr] 1 [births preceding yr]  0 [deaths preceding yr]  0 [acres improved land] 5  [cattle] 3  [horses] 20  [sheep] 2  [hogs]  12 [yds cloth manufactured domestically ] 30 [flannel ] 24 [linen, cotton]

1835, State census, Yates Co NY [Who were David and Milton?]

George Armstrong: 1 [males] 3 [females] 1 [subject to military service] 1 [male voters] 2 [married females under 45] 1 [unmarried females 16-45] 0 [females under 16] 0 

David Armstrong: 3 [males] 3 [females] 1 [subject to military service] 1 [male voters] 0 [married females under 45] 0 [unmarried females 16-45] 0 [females under 16] 

John Armstrong: 2 [males] 2 [females] 0 [subject to military service] 1 [male voters] 0 [married females under 45] 0 [unmarried females 16-45] 0 [females under 16] 0 

Milton Armstrong: 5 [males] 2 [females] 1 [subject to military service] 1 [male voters] 0 [married females under 45] 0 [unmarried females 16-45] 0 [females under 16] 

Milton Armstrong was in Starkey, Yates Co NY in 1850, b ca 1796 NY, laborer, with the Thomas and Alvira Curtis family. Rebecca, b ca 1795, with Ostin, 18, with Ira and Carolina Naples family. He was also in Reading Twp, Steuben Co NY in 1820 and in 1825.

What happened to this John Armstrong after 1810 is not clear. There was a couple named John and Susannah Armstrong in nearby Livonia Twp, Livingston Co NY, from 1830 until her death after 1850. But other evidence indicates this John was a son of Matthew Armstrong of Lycoming Co PA

Ancestry.com also has a gedcom which lists the children of John and Susanna Armstrong, with the claim that John was born in Bucks Co PA. It is possible that this gedcom conflates two families into one.

Children:

1.  John ARMSTRONG  b 1801 in PA 

2.  Elizabeth ARMSTRONG  b ca 1812

3.  Matthew ARMSTRONG  b 28 SEP 1812 in NY

4.  Maria ARMSTRONG  b 1820

5.  James ARMSTRONG  b 1822 Lima, Livingston Co NY

6. Thomas ARMSTRONG b Livonia, Livingston Co NY [census = b 1822]

1830 John Armstrong Livonia, Livingston Co NY 01022/0012201  

1840 Anna Armstrong Livonia, Livingston Co NY 0001/0000201 image 30

1840 Susannah Armstrong Livonia, Livingston Co NY 00002/000020001 image 28

1840 John Armstrong Livonia, Livingston Co NY 100011/20001 image 20

1850, Livingston Co NY, Livonia Twp: Susanna Armstrong, 71 PA living in home of Thomas, w/several children and grandchildren; son John was three houses away.

Ancestry.com also has this:

John S MCLEAN, b 11 Jun 1748 in County Antrim, Northern Ireland; d 9 Aug 1841 in Benton, Yates Co NY; Bur West Dresden, Yates Co NY; m Sarah ARMSTRONG, b 15 Jun 1753, m 31 Aug 1779 in Pennsylvania, d 3 Sep 1841 in Benton; 10 children.

From Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice, 1883 Tioga County PA History: “Captain James Goodrich… married Deborah Armstrong McLean at Benton Centre, then Ontario County, N.Y., January 24th 1815. Her father was a Scotch-Irishman, born at Antrim, county Antrim, Ireland, about 1748; who, leaving his widowed mother, Elizabeth Fleming McLean, and a sister, came to America, landing at the city of Philadelphia, after a three months’ voyage, in the year 1775. His intention was to see the country, and, if satisfied with it, return the following year and bring his mother and sister; but the embargo on commercial intercourse between the two countries, ensuing on the opening of hostilities that intervened, prevented; and, with that instinct that usually arrays Irishmen against the British government–which influenced many prominent men of that nation, residents in this country at that period, for which a lasting gratitude should be due–he joined the patriot forces as a private. He served three years, enduring much hardship and passing through the battles of Long Island, White Plains and Brandywine, the encampments of Valley Forge and White Marsh, the battles of Germantown, Trenton and Monmouth, and was present at the execution of Major Andre, at Tappan. At the close of his service he married Sarah Armstrong, daughter of James Armstrong, likewise of Scotch-Irish descent, but early settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. His first place of residence after marriage was at Mifflin, on the Juniata River, where five children were born–James, William, John, Alexander, and Elizabeth. In 1796 the family removed to Geneva, N.Y., the house hold effects and a part of the family ascending the Susquehanna in a bateau while the farm stock was driven by the way of Williamsport and the Williamson road. Settlement was first made at the Castle farm, three miles from Geneva, where was born Red Jacket, the celebrated Indian chief of the Seneca tribe. Here George McLean and his sister Deborah were born. Subsequently the family moved to Benton Centre, three miles from West Dresden and one and a half miles west of Seneca Lake, and settled on a farm purchased of the Pulteney estate. Here John McLean died August 9th 1841, aged 93 years; and Sarah, his wife, September 8th 1841, aged 88 years; and their remains now lie in the Dresden Cemetery, which overlooks the lake.”

If this article is corrent, Sarah, John, George and probably Alexander Armstrong were the children of James from Pennsylvania, not Martin from New Jersey. It appears at this time that there were two Armstrong families in Ontario Co [and the part that is now Yates Co] NY, and both of them may have had brothers named Alexander Armstrong.

Back to My New Jersey Armstrongs

Based on the evidence cited above and following, we can assume that these men in the 1800 census were brothers:

1800 Seneca, Ontario Co NY, p 500: James Armstrong, 41001/00001

1800 Seneca, Ontario Co NY, p 504: George Armstrong, 10010/12010

A source at Ancestry.com says James was named as witness in his brother George’s Revolutionary War pension application; George served in the Somerset militia. This led to a search for George Armstrong of Somerset Co NJ and Ontario Co NY.

History and directory of Yates County : containing a sketch of its original settlement by the Public Universal Friends … , Stafford Canning Cleveland, 1873, p 220, states George Armstrong married Hannah Riggs and that they resided in Seneca NY. 

The Honeyman family (Honeyman, Honyman, Hunneman, etc.) in Scotland and America, 1548-1908, A. Van Doren Honeyman,  Plainfield, NJ: Honeyman’s Pub. House, 1909, page 216 has the following:

“MARGARET [Honeyman], of Bedminster township, Somerset Co., N.J., b 1767; d. Jan. 31, 1821; m. (1) Jan. 10, 1799, William Henry, farmer, who was b. Sept. 7, 1765, and d. Aug. 25, 1807; (2) Dec. 28, 1810, George Armstrong, who was b. Apr. 21, 1761 and d. Jan. 7, 1848. William Henry lived at the head of “Homeyman’s Lane,” his residence being close to that of his father-in-law. George Armstrong had previously married, May 17, 1799 Hannah Riggs, who d. June 19, 1808, and by whom he had three children: (1) Martin, b. May 26, 1800; d. Feb. 1814. (2) George Riggs, b. Apr. 5, 1804; d. Feb.. 11, 1812. (3) Mary Riggs, b. Sept. 26, 1806.” Page 117 of the same book reads, “Margaret, as the wife of William Henry, lived in the vicinity of Lamington, but had  various reisdences as Mrs. Armstrong.” 

George and Margaret had one child, John Honeyman Armstrong, of near Peapack, NJ, b 3 Aug 1812, d Cincinnati Feb 1874. These sources combine to show that George Armstrong went from NJ possibly to KY then to Ontario Co NY and back to NJ. Postings at Ancestry.com agree with this. 

Nancy Corman wrote that:

“Martin ARMSTRONG’s grandsons Martin and Daniel McCOY of Bourbon County, KY filed documents (found in the Lexington County Courthouse) stating that their uncle George ARMSTRONG was then (1810) living on land in NY (exact location not given) that they had inherited from their grandfather Martin ARMSTRONG of Somerset, NJ. I don’t mean to accuse anyone of duplicitous actions, just that the property was divided among the heirs in advance of Martin ARMSTRONG’s death. Uncle George had been living in Lexington KY for a while. He moved back to NY by 1810 and lived in NJ for many years after that.”

And in an email, she added that,

“Since the Lexington, KY papers said George was living on the land promised to Daniel and Martin McCoy, it might have been part of a larger parcel originally bought by Martin Armstrong. Another possibility is that Martin Armstrong took over some land held by his BROTHER John. There were some records of Martin Armstrong’s brother, John, who lived in the county adjacent to Somerset.  I think he had some financial problems that were recorded so that there were records. He died before Martin and I may have seen a will or land documents. There seemed to have been much more to look at regarding John than Martin. I’ll check my files.

I believe it was the Agnew cousin through whom I knew of James because he had written to the government as witness to his brother George’s service in the Somerset Regiment and George wanted to qualify for a pension. It was denied because he did not serve as a soldier (they had riots for back-pay, so I think that his brothers-in-arms are the best judge of who served and who did not.) George was a long-time active member of the Somerset Rev. War Veterans Assn. Anyhow. George and James were among those listed in the Regiment Muster Rolls. (You probably knew that).

I found George Armstrong listed among the residents of Lexington, KY in the post-Revolutionary census records. He may have come with the large group of veterans who settled there and sold off part of their land acquired as remuneration for service. There were many lawsuits over a long period between the settlers and those who were granted the land that had been squatted upon with respect to who had more right to hold it. The squatters lost.”

Although George’s Revolutionary War pension application was rejected (Ancestry.com. “American Revolutionary War Rejected Pensions Record, Name: George Armstrong, State: New Jersey, Location: –, Somerset, Reason: Team service.”), his grave is marked as that of a Revolutionary War veteran (Ancestry.com. “Reference: Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots, Vol.1, p.  Serial: 12625; Volume: 4. George ARMSTRONG, Cemetery: Lamington Presbyterian Cemetery, Location: Somerset Co NJ 63.”). 

The question now is whether George was married before Hannah. If his birthdate of 1761 is correct, he was 38 when he married in 1799. And who were the 3 female children in his household in 1800? At any rate, like his brother James, he had a known son named John (b 1812), so is probably not the father of our John (b 1781-88). The Ancestry.com researcher stated George never married, which we might take to mean he married late, and one branch of the family didn’t know about it.

By 1810, George had likely returned to NJ, since he is not in the NY census and the NJ census is not extant.

 

Somerset Co NJ Armstrongs

So, this Ontario Co NY family points back to Somerset Co NJ and a Scotch-Irish immigrant named Martin.

These are the Armstrongs in that county in tax lists at Ancestry.com:

JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bedminster 1775 

JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bedminster Twp 1784 

JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County W Precinct 1785 

JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1787 

JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1788 

JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1789 

JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1789 

JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards 1793 

JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1793 

JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1796 

JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Kingston 1812 

MARTIN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bedminster 1775 

MARTEN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1784 

MARTIN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1786 

MARTIN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1787 

MARTIN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1788 

MARTEN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1789 

MARTINE* ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1790 

MARTEN* ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1791 

MARTEN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1792 

MARTEN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1793 

MARTIN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1793 

MARTIN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1794 

MARTIN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1795 

GEORGE ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bedminster Twp 1778 

GEORGE ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1786 

GEORGE ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1791 

GEORGE ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1792 

JAMES ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1786 

JAMES ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1788 

JAMES ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1791 

JAMES ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1792 

JAMES ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1793 

JAMES ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1793 

JAMES ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1794 

THOMAS ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bridgewater Twp Se 1786 

THOMAS ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bridgewater Twp 1791 

THOMAS ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bridgewater Twp 1792 

THOMAS ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bridgewater 1793 

THOMAS ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bridgewater Twp 1802 

THOMAS ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bridgewater Twptx 1808  

DAVID ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1788 

DAVID ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1789 

DAVID ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1790 

ABRAHAM ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1790 

ABRAHAM ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards 1793 

ABRAHAM ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twptx 1803 

ALEXANDER ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1790 

ALEX ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1791 

ALEXANDER ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1792 

If these men comprise the same Martin Armstrong, his potential brother John and their sons, we can see that the latter included Abraham, Alexander, David, George, James, John, and Thomas. The earliest names are Martin and John in 1775; the other names all appear in the 1780s. James disappears from these lists exactly when the Yates Co NY book says he moved to western NY. George and Alexander were also gone after 1792. David was not listed after 1790. John in 1812 must be a different man. Thomas was still in Somerset Co in 1808, Abraham in 1803.

Martin’s will and/or contested estate papers were filed in 1806 In Franklin Twp, Somerset Co NJ.

Son John’s will was dated 5 Feb 1808 in Maidenhead Twp, Hunterdon Co NJ, and mentions the estate of his father, Martin Armstrong. Also, John mentions his son, John Armstrong (son of Barsheba Moore), real and residue of personal estate. Said son to be educated and Dr. James Agnew, his Guardian. Inventory was made by James Coleman and William Baker. John Armstrong (s/o John Armstrong, s/o Martin Armstrong) was also the son of Barsheba Moore whose father, John Coleman, mentioned John Armstrong, both father and son, in his ca 1803 will. Barsheba/Bathsheba Coleman married Nathaniel Moore. Deeds concerning Daniel Agnew, Martin Armstrong, and John Armstrong of Ontario Co NY have turned up some interesting results.

Interesting confirmation of some parts of this family’s history was published in an issue of Armstrong Bulletin Board, #863, p 8, published by Fred W. Field, Fullerton CA. Not copyrighted.

 

PIONEER FAMILIES OF NORTHWESTERN NEW JERSEY 

Beginning in Feb 1934, William C. Armstrong of Blairstown, New Jersey, published a series of weekly articles with the title shown above. They appeared in the Hackettstown Gazette and ran for 94 installments, two installments being devoted to Armstrong. William C. Armstrong died in June, 1936. Later, in 1979, the articles were gathered and republished by Hunterdon House, Lambertville, New Jersey, (same title as above). Mr. Thomas B. Wilson edited the articles for book form and prepared en index and preface. 

We recently were successful in contacting Mr. Armstrong’s granddaughter, Margaret Armstrong Berry and she very graciously gave ABB the family’s permission to reprint the two Armstrong-related articles. These will be published in installments. In the preface Mr. Wilson notes that not all the material was original work but that Mr. Armstrong had drawn freely on material published by others (standard procedure in genealogical research). According to information received by Mrs. Berry, Mrs. Armstrong’s GGG-F was Nathan Armstrong, the subject of the first article. The second article seems to have been compiled from correspondence and other sources. It is quite likely that most of the information in the two articles is not available elsewhere.

(First Article: realted to a Nathan Armstrong-not copied here)

The second article was published in issue #864, page 6ff. 

George Armstrong of Rocky Hill–Little is known of the George Armstrong whose name heads this article. His parentage has not been ascertained.

We list here three children of an Armstrong household that lived in later colonial times in the lower part of Somerset Co., New Jersey:

i. George Armstrong whose name heads this article. He is said to have been a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He died January 7, 1848 in his 87th year, and this would place his birth year about 1762. No further record. [Same date of death as in Honeyman family history.-KP]

ii. James Armstrong, who is always mentioned after his brother and is hence thought to have been younger. He also is said to have been a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He lived to be an old man. No further record. [James lived to be almost 90 and died in Geneva NY.-KP]

iii. Amy Armstrong, born Apr. 12, 1765, died Apr. 2, 1861, at Franklin Park, New Jersey, aged 96 years. In 1776 and 1777 she was living with a Williamson family. Not far away lived a Scott family, whose son, William Scott, then fifteen years of age, afterward married Amy Armstrong. They were married April 12, 1791; William was born June 11, 1762 and died March 6, 1816, aged 54 years.

The record of the descendants of William and Amy Scott is fairly complete and with a little work and patience could be brought up to date; but we will not at this time take up their genealogy. Our present purpose is merely to preserve some traditions of that far away period.

We now give in full a letter written by Adrian A. Williamson of Oregon, later of Oakland, CA, addressed to Miss Mary E. Fisher, who at that time, was living at New Brunswick, New Jersey. The former Miss Fisher is now Mrs. Coburn of Fitchburg, MA.

 

To: Miss Mary E. Fisher

New Brunswick, New Jersey

My Dear Niece: Your letter of a remote date was duly rec’d and its contents noted. In reply I would say that so far as the Williamson genealogy is concerned I know almost nothing. I remember hearing my father Abram Williamson telling my mother in the presence of the whole family that his ancestors came originally of a good Dutch family from Holland long prior to the American revolutionary war, that the sons had fought under Generals Israel Putnam and Anthony Wayne, but where and when I never heard him say.…

I was married at Portland, Oregon on May 5, 1862.… [His 1910 census shows him born ca 1836.-KP]

I know a great deal more about my mother’s branch of our house than about my father’s. I learned these facts when my wife and I were back in New Brunswick in 1867.

Mother’s family, especially the Armstrongs, were of good old English and Scotch extraction, having come to America in the early 1700’s sometime.

My great-uncles. George Armstrong and James Armstrong, fought in the Revolution under Washington at Princeton, New Jersey, only a few miles from where their father lived at Upper Rock Hill.

I have been over the place once or twice when a small boy. The stone milk-house was still there as it was when the Hessians, a part of them, retreated across New Jersey, after being defeated at Trenton and Princeton, soon, I believe, after New Year’s.

Great Uncle George Armstrong was 18; James was 16. Both were over 6 feet high. I saw them at our house at Millstone twice, visiting us there. [I surmise this visit, which must have happened after 1830 or so was when James tried to help his brother obtain a Revolutionary War pension.-KP]

Amy Armstrong, my grandmother (my mother’s mother) was living with us. She died at my mother’s house in Franklin Park, 96 years of age, which would have been about 1861.

When the battle of Princeton was fought (January 1777), Amy Armstrong was a small girl, say 9 or 10 years of age: she lived with us. [This and much that follows must be from the memories of Amy Armstrong.-KP] William Scott, (her future husband), a boy 15 years old, and who lived a short distance away, was visiting us that forenoon.

Well, my great-grandmother Armstrong was frying doughnuts when the boom of the first gun announced the beginning of the battle. As it was cold they put on their overcoats and shawls and ran up to the top of the highest hill and saw the fighting. Of course it goes without saying, that they had their pockets full of doughnuts.

Well, they soon saw that one army was retreating; and in about half an hour they saw it was the Hessians running down the Kingston road to Rock Hill and away down the Millstone River, through Kingston and over the river towards Plainfield, New Jersey.

They passed directly through my great-great-grandfather’s place [doesn’t he mean great-grandfather?-KP], tramped down his garden vines, went into the house, stole everything they could carry off, drank up all the milk in the milkhouse, carried off all the butter, vegetables and everything they could lay their hands on and stole all the pigs and hogs on the place.

They imprisoned my great-great-grandfather in his own cellar until rescued in a short time by a British officer.

I got all this information from my grandmother and her brothers, George and James Armstrong (my great-uncles).

It was mighty interesting to me to see those 6-foot-3-inchers march up and down the long entry in the old homestead carrying their guns on their shoulders and telling of their exploits under Washington. They were at Valley Forge that terrible winter, and they simply worshipped the name of George Washington.

My grandfather Scott…

With best wishes,

A.A. Williamson

 

I [that is, the author of this book] have before me another letter, dated May 30, 1911, and written at Oakland CA by Adrian A. Williamson, a few years later than his other letter.…

I now relate an anecdote which has been preserved in an old family letter. The place is between Princeton and Rocky HIll, and the time is immediately after the battle of Princeton. By a night march, Washington had outwitted the British at Trenton, had slipped around them, had struck and routed another British force at Princeton and was now withdrawing his victorious troops to Morristown by way of Pluckamin.

The country folks were at the roadside to see the troops. Mr. Armstrong took his daughter, Amey, out to see the sight and they saw Washington ride by. Amey was seven years of age and she always remembered that sight. That is the setting of the story; now comes the story itself. Sometime late when Mr. Armstrong went to feed his horses, they were all gone, startling discovery.

He chased Washington’s army nearly to Pluckamin, reaching headquarters and demanding to see Washington, he was debarred by the guard at the door. Dodging under the guard’s arms, he rushed in.

Washington granted him an audience. The result was that Washington gave him a carte blanche to take his horses wherever he found them.

On the way home he saw a negro leading two horses to water at a ford on the Millstone River. He recognized them as his own. He claimed them, but the negro refused to give them up declaring that his master had bought them from a soldier. Pushing the negro off, Armstrong mounted and rode home.

 

A Scottish Armstrong Family

In the mid-1980s, we found pieces of the Armstrong puzzle that made it appear our John Armstrong was a son of William Armstrong, both of whom were in Caledonia Twp, Genesee [later Livingston] Co NY in 1820.

In 1820 John was on the same page of the census with a William Armstrong:

1820, Genesee Co NY, Caledonia Twp, page 105: John Armstrong, 100010/101000/1 [i.e., b 1775-1795]

1820, Genesee Co NY, Caledonia Twp, p 105: William Armstrong, 010201/00201/4

In 1830, John was still in Livingston County, but William had apparently died. Later I found evidence showed this to be true. In 1810, William had a male living in this household who was the right age to be our John:

1810, Genesee Co NY, Caledonia Twp, p 113: William Armstrong 32210/02010

We also had a notation of a land record seemed to complete the picture nicely. It stated that William Barron and William Armstrong both deeded land in Caledonia Twp to John Armstrong in the 1820s, but when I wrote the county in 2004, their answer was that the only deed was from William Barron, none at all from William Armstrong. So this was a copier’s mistake, a false connection; the only real evidence was the census.

William and his family were Presbyterians, as seen in James H. Smith. History of Livingston Co NY, Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. 1881, p 449: Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. William Armstrong along with John McVean and Peter Farquherson were elected elders of this church  in 1810.

Livingston County histories state that William came directly from Scotland to that area, ca 1804. History of Livingston Co NY, by Edward E Doty, 1876, p 511, adds: 

“William Armstrong was one of the most influential of the early settlers. He was a native of Falkirk, and came here, it is believed, in 1807. Being a Lowlander he was regarded by his clannish Highland neighbors as a speckled bird, and they were not disposed to resepct him much at first. By his generous liberality, however, to all who were straitened, his strong common sense, and especially by his deep and consistent piety, he won very soon a position of great esteem and influence among them. He died in 1829, after a lingering and painful illness. His loss was very greatly felt in the settlement.”

The will of William Armstrong (probably the same man) was probated in 1830: William Armstrong, Book A, p. 709; dated May 10, 1828; probated Jan. 7, 1830; mentions wife Betsey, Andrew, Simon, George, Thomas Armstrong, Betsey Watson, Isabel McNeel, Margaret Campbell; sons William & Archibald; Executors sons; Witnesses Donald McPherson, James Rutherford. Previous to finding this will, I believed the sons of William Armstrong included Andrew, who died in 1831, Thomas and William. Thomas may have moved to Niagara Co by the 1840 census. Only William was still in Livingston Co NY after 1840.

Margaret Rutherford Davis wrote, “My ggggreat aunt Elizabeth Rutherford m William Armstrong.  I think he was from Wheatland, Monroe Co (which is the next town a few miles away). They had several children Mary, John, Isabell, Margaret, James, Catherine, and maybe Archibald.   I have only just started working on the Armstrongs, because I wanted to know what happened to Elizabeth’s children. I do know she was born in Caledonia 1812, m before 1837 and died 1 Apr 1850 (buried in Mumford Rural Ceme, her name listed on Wm’s gravestone, also on a stone at Caledonia Un Presb Church). Also, her sister Mary moved in with the family after Eliz. died so she could care for the children. Mary died at the home of her nephew, Archibald Armstrong (d 1894).”

Yorker Armstrongs

In 1790, there were two Armstrongs in Montgomery Co NY, which comprised all of western NY.

1790, Montgomery Co NY, Whites Twp: Archibald Armstrong, 222 [father of the Ontario Co man]

1790, Montgomery Co NY, German Flatts Twp: John Armstrong, 121 [probably the oldest brother, who went to Canada]

Archibald Armstrong is easy to identify from later records in Italy Hollow, Yates Co NY.  History and directory of Yates County: containing a sketch of its original settlement by the Public Universal Friends …  Cleveland, 1873, contains two sketches of this Archibald Armstrong. Page 385: 

“Archibald Armstrong settled in this hollowin 1794, on lot No. 11 of the North Survey, or northeast section, and resided there until 1817, when he sold to Philander Woodworth, and moved to Middlesex. He belonged to the advance guard of civilization1 , and was in some respects a rough character. Owing to his great physical strength, he was seldom worsted in his pugilitic conquests, which were very frequent, and gave him the name of the “Old algerine.” His brother-in-law, Alexander Porter, was however sometimes able to thrash him very soundly, and no doubt with salutary effect. Armstrong was of Scotch descent, and was very familiar with the Indians, understanding their language perfectly, and speaking it fluently. His wife was buried in the orchard on the farm on which he settled in Italy Hollow, and her grave is still enclosed with a picket fence….John Armstrong, cousin of Archibald, settled on lot No. 3, North Survey, in 1795, remaining there until 1806.” 

And on page 594: 

“Cornelius Sawyer Jr. married… Esther Henry, widow…born in Italy in 1804…the daughter of Alexander Porter, who settled about a mile east of Middlesex Center in 1804. He first settled in Flint Creek Hollow in 1798, near Archibald Armstrong, the first settler in that hollow… Armstrong was a celebrated drummer, and served through the war of the Revolution with three brothers. The following incident is related on good authority: a hostile Indian was killed and skinned and his hide given to Uncle Arch., as he was called. He tanned and made a drum-head of it, and on Lafayette’s visit to this country in 1825, Uncle arch. took his drum to Canandaiga, and showed it to him. The General recollected the circumstance, and at once recognized Mr. Armstrong, with whom he was acquainted in the army.

“Alexander Porter was a brother-in-law of Armstrong—having married his sister Catherine on the German flats near Rome, N.Y. Both Porter and armstrong were of Irish origin. Porter came to this country at the age of fourteen, about the close of the Revolutionary War, and married his wife, who was born in America, and had been taken prisoner near Fort Stanwix, now Rome, and was in the hands of the Indians during the Revolution. She was taken to Canada, and there redeemed by a relative who was a British officer and knew her. After her release and return, she and other prisoners were provided with a dinner by General Washington, while on a visit at Albany. This was at or after the close of the war, for she had been retained in Canada nearly three years…”

Their son’s reminiscences were published in the Ontario Repository and Messenger, 29 January 1868: 

“The friends of Henry Porter, Naples, were assembled at his house Jan. 15th, to commemorate his golden wedding. …. Mr. Porter gave his history, from memory, mostly, which we subjoin below:

“This occasion requires that I should give a short history of my ancestry, and having no family record in full, I shall depend somewhat upon my memory. My grandfather was of Irish descent, and emigrated to this country about the year 1776, and settled on the Delaware river, in Penn. He died in the year 1812. My grandmother died about the same time. My father,  Alexander Porter, came to this country at the age of fourteen and settled in Oneida county, this State. He had one brother who settled near Albany, N. Y., and one sister who settled in Philadelphia. In the year 1797, my father moved to Flint Creek Hollow (now the north part of Italy Hollow.) This whole section was then a howling, unbroken wilderness, and my father the third family that settled. It was infested with panthers, bears and wolves, that prowled about filling the woods with hideous yells. The wolves were so ravenous that they killed yearling cattle in daylight, and at night were kept from the cabins by fire-brands. The bears were very numerous and troublesome, carrying off pigs and even hogs. One hog weighing 200 lbs., was taken from the pen in the daytime, and carried by the bear bodily, walking on his hind feet, fifty rods, and was shot while dragging his victim through a brush fence. We suffered much for help, so scarce were settlers and no teams. The trees were felled in slashes, across each other, suffered to lay one year, and then burned, and our corn was planted between the logs. When it was ripe, was cut up, a great fire built of the logs, and the settlers invited to the husking. The men carried the bundles and the women husked till midnight. This was done with each other until all were served. My father moved to Middlesex, adjoining this town, where he lived several years, when he moved to this town and died here at the advanced age of 89 years.

“My mother was American born and her maiden name was Catherine Armstrong. While she was a child, living with her father at Fort Stanwix, (now Rome, Oneida Co.), she was one day picking wild cherries about one-fourth of a mile from the Fort, accompanied by another girl, and was taken prisoner by the Indians. The girls tried to elude them and the other girl succeeded, but as my mother was climbing a fence, she was taken. She was shown then, the scalps of seven neighboring women, fresh and dripping, and was in great fear. She saw her mother at evening when she went out to milk, but was told if she made a loud noise, her’s would be there too. She was a prisoner among the Indians two years and nine months, and was then ransomed by her uncle, for five guineas and several gallons of rum. After the ransom she was sent to Albany with other prisoners, and there Gen’l Washington conversed with them about their hardships, and giving them their dinner and a crown each, sent them home. She died here at the age of 76.”

1800, Ontario Co NY, Middletown Twp: Archibald Armstrong, 10010/00010

next door: Alexander Porter, 22010/30110

1810, Ontario Co NY, Naples Twp: Archd Armstrong, 21010/20010

1820, Ontario Co NY, Gorham Twp: Archibald Armstrong, 110201/010101

       previous page: George Armstrong, 200110/111000, probably the brother who married Anna Hilton and died in Kalamazoo MI.

1830 Ontario Co NY, Groham Twp: Archibald Armstrong, 000100001/00000011

1840, Washtenaw Co MI, Saline Twp: Archibald Armstrong, 00000000001/010000001

A history of Herkimer County: including the Upper Mohawk Valley: from the earliest period to the present time, p 72, (Ancestry.com) shows his father as a First Lieutenant during the Revolutionary War. Ancestry.com has this family and data for Archibald Armstrong: 

b 1762 in German Flats, Herkimer Co NY; d 29 JAN 1847 in Pittsfield, Washtenaw Co MI; bur Oakwood; died from effects of rattlesnake bite; was a friend of Gen. Lafayette. Chapter Four of “Armstrong Family” by Frank H. Armstrong (Draft copy March, 2001) pages 2 and 3, provides extensive information about Archibald II, his parentage, his military service, his wives, children, and grandchildren. Also refers to a living descendant, Charles Stratton, 424 Highview, Dearborn, Michigan 48128-1555 (313) 562 3134, email: Charles Stratton@umich.edu. 2nd draft copy of the same reference [4/01] from Revolutionary War records: Enlisted in Jan 1779 and served until June 1783 under Captains Hicks and Parsons and Colonel Van Schaick. Was a drummer boy at the execution of Major Andre and was in the Battle of Yorktown (Capture of Cornwallis).The reference includes he was a drummer boy in the battles of Monmouth NJ 28 June 1778 and Germantown PA 4 Oct 1777. He was at the battle of Cowpens SC 17 Jan 1781 (Michigan Heritage Vol. 1 No. 2)

Father: Archibald ARMSTRONG b 1727 in Tyrone, Ireland 

Mother: Elizabeth STAHRING b ca 1741 in Palatine, Montgomery Co NY

Marriage 2 Lydia –

Children

1.  Elisabeth ARMSTRONG b: 25 MAY 1795

2.  Lydia ARMSTRONG

3.  Cuyler ARMSTRONG b: ABT. 1800 [res Washtenaw Co MI 1840]

Marriage 2 Ruth, b 1780

Children

1.  Lydia ARMSTRONG

2.  Stephen ARMSTRONG b: ABT. 1805

3.  Elizabeth ARMSTRONG b: ABT. 1809 in probably in New York state

4.  Cameron ARMSTRONG b: ABT. 1812 in probably in New York state

5.  Archibald ARMSTRONG b: 1816 in German Flats, New York [sic]

6.  Nicholas ARMSTRONG b: 1818

Marriage 3 Sabra PRITCHARD, 1774 in Pittsfield, Michigan

Married: 1839

His father was Archibald Armstrong Sr, for whom this summary was found at Donald Armstrong’s Ancestry.com gedcom:

“Born 1727 in Tyrone, Ireland; d 1792 in W. Rome, Oneida Co NY. Archibald first appeared at German Flats in 1760 on the Church Records at Stone Arabia. This was for the Christening of his son Johannes with his wife Elizabeth Staring. The record states that he was a soldier in the 46th Regiment. These were British troops that were stationed there due to the French and Indian War. There seems to be some question of when the marriage took place. Not much else was known except by family tradition that he was ‘from Pennsylavania, came up the Hudson Valley to the Mohawk River valley.’

“Recent research in England at the Military History Library found the record of one of the Companies of that Regiment, Captain Francis Legge Company of Foot, dated June 1, 1762 at New York Harbor. It is known that many Militia troops were drawn from Pennsylvania at the time of this war. An Archibald Armstrong as Sergeant in a Militia Company fits the picture but it remains for the future to determine if they are the same.

“Archibald later served in Militia companies at Stone Arabia as a second Lieutenant in the early part of the American Revolution and later as a Private, when the Companies were reorganized. He had three sons, Archibald, John, and Adam who served in the 1st New York Regiment which was attached to General Washington Headquarters. Archibald was a Drummer and the other two were fifers. They were at the hanging of Andre and again at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. Adam’s discharge (at the national Archives) was signed by Washington. It is assumed that the others were but they were lost over time. 

“Before and after the Revolution, Archibald was an Indian Trader at the junction of Wood and Canada Creek, near present day Rome, New York This was known to his descendants and the location was often pointed out to them. Archealogical research was done in the 1950′s and verified the site. 

“The New York Archives contains a Note: For value Received I promise to pay on demand to Friederich fox or his______ the sum of Three pound ten shillings and ten pence New York Currency with _______ full interest from the date_______of until paid as_____ my hand. German Flats February the 4th 1788 with_______Archibald Armstrong Wit: Wilhelm Dygert. 

Marriage 1 Elizabeth STAHRING b ca 1741 in German Flats; m 1761 in German Flats, Herkimer, NY

Children

1.  John Johannes ARMSTRONG , Sr b: 11 JAN 1760 in German Flats, Herkimer, NY 

Record of Birth & Baptism From Records of the Reformed Dutch Church of Stone Arabia in the town of Palantine, Montgomery Co NY: Transcribed by The NY Genealogical and Biographical Society, Vol. 1: Elisabetha, Johann Nicel Starings leichtferetige Tochter ein Kind in Hurerey erziehlet und giebt zum Vatter and Aerdchi Armstrang ein Soldat unter dem 46ten Regiment, welcher sie auch nach der Zeit geheurathet.”

1778 Feb 28-Nov 30: Copy of actual payroll, listing service of John, Archibald, and others in Revolutionary War; “A payroll of Capt. Michael Ittig’s Company of Col. Peter Bellinger’s Regiment of Militia of German Flatts in the County of Tryon, and the State of New York, being in service at sundry times from February the 28th to November the 30th, 1778 inclusive.”

1779 Mar : “New York in the Revolution” New York State Archives, by Berthold Fernow, Vol. 1: includes several references to John and other family members, including “The New York Line; Second Company” p. 176: “Armstrong, John; 1st mustered March ’79; to end of war. M R”

This [no clear antecedent-KP] is the first time we have had a clue on his whereabouts since early 1800 when family knew he went to Canada. His wife’s name is Mary Chichester, who was from New Jersey. John was in the American troops during the Revolutionary War.

Information from Robert Armstrong, January 27th, 2000: “Enlisted at Rome New York in the New York line for the Revolutionary War. His pension number S44553 was filed in Cayuga Co NY in 1820. At that he gave his age 58, indicating birth in 1762, although the church record says 1760. Service was in 3rd company of Captain Graham, enlisting in March 1779 to the end of the war. Roster of Captain Michael Ittig’s Company of Colonel Peter Bellinger’s Regiment of Militia as Drummer, February 1778 to November 30th of 1778. After the war he went to Cayuga County and later to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.”

Frank H. Armstrong, in the rough draft of his “Armstrong Family”, pg 8, shows “John Armstrong, who on church records is named Johannes, was born 11 January 1761 out of wedlock. He was at the Battle of Oriskany in August 1777. Later. he enlisted in the continentals (First NY Regiment) and was in other battles.”

After the war, Johannes and Mary Armstrong moved to Hamilton, Ontario (Western tip of Lake Ontario). Another source refers to Erin Village in Wellington County, 35 miles north of Hamilton. Johannes and Mary had three sons….. including John (Johannes) ARMSTRONG , Jr b 19 MAR 1784 in German Flats, New York; d 1 MAR 1865 in Delaware Twp, Sanilac Co MI.

2.  Maria ARMSTRONG b: 5 MAY 1764

3.  Adam ARMSTRONG b: ABT. 1765 in German Flats, Herkimer, NY [Death: 27 AUG 1843 in Lee, Oneida Co NY; m Sara H. SARJE m 2 DEC 1793 in Herkimer, NY. Four children, no John.]

4.  Catherine ARMSTRONG b: 26 APR 1765 in German Flats, Herkimer, NY

5.  Archibald ARMSTRONG b: ABT. 1765 in German Flats, Herkimer, NY [above]

6.  Anna ARMSTRONG b: 27 JUN 1766 in German Flats, Herkimer, NY

7.  Elizabeth ARMSTRONG b: 11 AUG 1767 in German Flats, Herkimer, NY

8.  Henry ARMSTRONG b: 24 SEP 1768 in Stone Arabia, Herkimer, NY [m Dorothy Bauman, four children, no John]

9.  Maria ARMSTRONG b: 8 APR 1777 in German Flats, Herkimer, NY

10.  Nicholas ARMSTRONG b: 24 JUN 1778 in Herkimer, Herkimer, NY [d 19 MAY 1823 Annsville Twp, Oneida Co NY; bur William Armstrong Farm, Meadows Road, Taberg NY; m Eva CUNNINGHAM 27 JUL 1798 in Utica, Oneida Co NY, nine children, including a John, not ours.]

11.  Margareta ARMSTRONG b: 11 SEP 1779 in German Flats, Herkimer, NY

12. George Armstrong was born in the early 1780′s. He married Anna Hilton, settled in Kalamazoo MI.]

Marriage 2 Elizabeth Crim EISENLORD, m 11 MAR 1784 in German Flats, Herkimer, NY

Children 1.  Gertrude ARMSTRONG b: 20 JUL 1788

The “cousin John” mentioned in the Yates Co book is unclear, as is the relative who ransomed Catherine Armstrong from the Indians. “John” was possibly a lapse on the part of the author, thinking of George or his brother John, who lived there in 1820 and was not related to this family.

 

Misc. Families

There was a Hiram Armstrong in Milo, Yates Co NY. His 1880 census shows he was born in NY, both parents b Scotland. His relation to the Geneva family is unknown. From Geneva Advertiser 21 April 1903, “Hiram Armstrong died very suddenly at the International Hotel last Thursday afternoon at one o’clock, while sitting at the dinner table. He had given his order for the meal, and then his head was seen to droop forward, he began to slide out of the chair, when he was caught and the few boarders assembled saw that he was dead. Coroner Weyburn was summoned and pronounced it valvular disease of the heart. His age was 69 years. He had been employed for six years at the hotel as clerk and assistant, worked there for his living. Before going there, he was bookkeeper at J. W. Smith & Co. His early home was at Oaks Corners where he has a brother living. He was married, but he and his wife had separated. While at J. W. Smith & Co. he had plenty of money, but his looks were to the contrary.” This man is buried in Phelps cemetery, Ontario Co NY: 

ARMSTRONG 

Hiram Jr.; 1838-1903; 

Hiram; born June 8 1799; died Nov 14 1884; 

Mary Bosworth, his wife; died Apr 21 1891; ae 84 yrs

Armstrongs of Steuben Co NY and other Counties South of Ontario Co NY

Nathan Armstrong was born in Dover, Dutchess Co, NY, 7 Feb 1757, enlisted from Renssalaer Co and died in Steuben Co NY in 1839. DAR records show his wife as Hannah Coville and children including Jonathan, Martin, and James. He was in the 1790 Washington Co NY, 1800 Montgomery Co NY, and 1820 Steuben Co census; on the same page in 1820 and prettty close together I found Martin Armstrong, a Joseph Armstrong, and sons-in-law, Nathaniel Elliott, Zephman Flint and, also, Aaron Dewey, who was the father of Timothy Dewey and Horace who married Nathan’s granddaughters Sally and Hannah Flint and Gabriel Dusenbury/g who probably married a daughter of Martin.

Among other Steuben Co Armstrongs were Melvin (b NY; d MI; m Mary (–?–), dt Angelina Maria, b 21 Jan 1825, Steuben Co NY); and Leonard (b 1798, Elsdon, Northumberland; christened in Simonburn; d 2 Jun 1876, Bath, Steuben Co NY; m Margaret Brusenbeck RUTHERFORD b: 1801 in Northumberland, England; Children: Elizabeth ARMSTRONG b ca 1824, Mary Ann ARMSTRONG b 1826, William ARMSTRONG b 1829, Edward Jackson ARMSTRONG b 1831, Jane ARMSTRONG b:1833, Margaret ARMSTRONG b 1839, Joseph P. ARMSTRONG b Jun 1842, Wesley LESLIE Armstrong b 1845, Marie (Maria) ARMSTRONG b 1836, all in Bath,Steuben Co NY). Landmarks of Steuben County, New York, p  304, states “They came from England in 1819 and settled in Eagle Valley, town of Bath, where he died in 1876 and she in 1871” and gives more details about their son Joseph P Armstrong.

Benoni Armstrong, mentioned above, was probably too old to be the man mentioned in Landmarks of Steuben County, New York, pages 4 and 5: “Armstrong, James E., the present highway commissioner, was born in Schuyler county in 1839, the son of Benoni and Hannah Armstrong,  who came to Steuben county in 1844, locating where Mr. Armstrong has since lived.  The father was a lumberman and died in 1886, aged eighty-five years. Mr. Armstrong is the youngest of five children.  In 1867 he married Emma Hendryx of Potter county, Pa., who died in 1884….”

The same book on page 328 states that George Armstrong was “born in Prattsburg, June 1825. Josiah Armstrong, his father, was born in the town of Junius, Seneca county, in 1799. He was an only child, and his father died when he was quite young, but his mother lived to be ninety-five years of age. In 1820 he came to Prattsburg and built a log house, cleared a farm, and accumulated a large property. He married Lydia Redield of Ontario county, by whom he had four children: George, Margaret L, Lydia  A, and Rhoda M…”

One English and Several Connecticut Armstrongs in Genesee and Monroe Counties NY

While trying to identify the Armstrongs in Ontario Co NY in 1810, my research led me to the Monroe Co area on Lake Ontario. Boyle Township in present-day Monroe Co NY was originally formed as the Town of Northfield. April 6, 1796. Name changed to Boyle, April 6, 1808. Penfield taken off in 1810. Perinton taken off in 1812. Name changed to Smallwood, March 25, 1813. Smallwood was split March 25, 1814 into the Towns of Brighton and Pittsford. “The first marriage [ca 1791] was that of N. [probably Joseph] Armstrong and Miss E. Cole.” 

1810, Ontario Co NY, Boyle Twp: Jno Armstrong, 22201/11001

1810, Ontario Co NY, Boyle Twp: Jno Armstrong Jr, 10100/00100

1810, Ontario Co NY, Boyle Twp: Wm Armstrong, 10100/00100

This was John Armstrong, b 9 FEB 1760 in Loughborough, Leicertershire, England, d 24 AUG 1812 in Pittsford, [now] Monroe, New York; s/o John Armstrong & Elizabeth Landers; m Mary Simonds 15 APR 1784 in Loughborough, Leicertershire, England; Children

1. Thomas Simons Armstrong b: 22 FEB 1786

2. John Armstrong b: 23 MAY 1788 

3. William Armstrong b: 1 OCT 1790

4. Joseph Armstrong b: 17 JUL 1792 

5. Joshua Armstrong b: 24 SEP 1794 

6. Matthew Armstrong b: 28 OCT 1796

7. Sarah Armstrong b: 8 OCT 1798 

8. James Armstrong b: 5 NOV 1800 in Loughborough, Leicertershire, England

9. Mary Ann Armstrong b: 3 APR 1803 in Loughborough, Leicertershire, England

10. Richard Armstrong b: 1806 in Pittsford, Monroe, New York

In 1820 there were Armstrong families in Genesee Co NY, many of whom come to that area from New London CT.

John Armstrong Alexander,Genesee,NY 1820 

Eber Armstrong Batavia,Genesee,NY 1820 [probably Ebenezer ARMSTRONG , b ca 1790 in prob Norwich, New London, CT; d prob Batavia, Genesee Co NY; s/o Ebenezer ARMSTRONG b 6 Feb 1758 Norwich, New London Co CT; m Nancy DOUGHERTY b 28 Apr 1813 prob Norwich, New London Co CT; Children: Amaziah ARMSTRONG b 10 Oct 1822 Batavia, Genesee Co NY]

 

Calvin Armstrong Caledonia, Genesee Co NY in 1820 [b 24 NOV 1780 in Franklin, New London Co CT; d 14 JUN 1854 in Wheatland, Monroe Co NY; s/o Amos Armstrong (b 24 NOV 1757 in Norwich, New London Co CT) & Mary Smith (6 MAR 1756 in Colchester, New London Co CT); m Clarissa Armstrong b 10 MAY 1781 in Franklin, New London Co CT, a second cousin, d/o Lee and Ednah (Smith) Armstrong; children: Mary, Edna, Ira Armstrong b ca 1802.

 

Calvin Armstrong Caledonia,Genesee,NY 1820 

John Armstrong Caledonia,Genesee,NY 1820 [ours]

William Armstrong Caledonia,Genesee,NY 1820 [from Scotland]

Samuel Armstrong Clarkson,Genesee,NY 1820 

Bela Armstrong Leicester,Genesee,NY in 1820 [Capt.; b 3 NOV 1754  Norwich, New London Co CT; d 27 APR 1842  Wyoming Co NY; bur Hope Cemetery, Perry, Wyoming Co NY; m Bethiah Sanford, 19 DEC 1775 in Franklin, New London Co CT. 

New York Military Pensioners, Livingston Co. 

Name: Bela Armstrong

Rank: Private

Annual Allowance: 73 33

Sums Received: 219 99

Description of service: New York militia

When placed on the pension roll: December 20, 1833

Commencement of pension: March 4, 1831

Age: 78

 

Enlisted several times during the Rev. War, taking part in the battles of Bunker Hill and Saratoga. In 1817 he moved to Leicester, Livingston Co NY, and in 1832 to Perry, Wyo. Co NY. He trained soldiers in the War of 1812 & was called Captain. 

"Abstracts of Reb. War Pension Files" Bela, S22625, NY Line (CT), appl 25 Sep 1832 Livingston Co., NY, aged 77, enl Norwich, New London Co., CT b 3 Nov 1754 Norwich, CT & in 1817 moved to Leicester in Livingston Co., NY. 

Father: William Armstrong b: 11 OCT 1718 in Norwich, New London Co CT

Mother: Mary Pitcher b: ABT 1723, m 1743

Children

1. Asher Armstrong b: 8 FEB 1776 in Taunton, Bristol Co MA

2. Reuben Armstrong b: 28 APR 1778 in Franklin, New London Co CT

3. Prosper Armstrong b: 8 DEC 1779 in Franklin, New London Co CT

4. Bethiah Armstrong b: 18 JUL 1783 in Franklin, New London Co CT

5. Lura Armstrong b: 6 SEP 1785 in Franklin, New London Co CT

6. Sanford Armstrong b: 26 MAR 1788 in Franklin, New London Co CT

7. Bela Armstrong , Jr. b: 30 APR 1790 in Franklin, New London Co CT

8. Laurens Armstrong b: 7 MAY 1792 in Franklin, New London Co CT

9. Gates Armstrong b: 29 SEP 1795 in Franklin, New London Co CT

10. Fitch Armstrong b: 27 FEB 1798 in Franklin, New London Co CT

11. Polly Armstrong b: 1800 in Franklin, New London Co CT]

 

Bela Armstrong Leicester,Genesee,NY [b 30 APR 1790 in Franklin, New London Co CT; d Oakland, Michigan; m Mary Palmer]

Gates Armstrong Leicester,Genesee,NY[s/o Bela]

Andrew Armstrong Middleburry,Genesee,NY  

Thomas Armstrong Middleburry,Genesee,NY  

Stephen Armstrong Parma,Genesee,NY [b 15 MAR 1790 in Franklin, New London Co CT; d 12 APR 1843 in Milford, Oakland Co MI; War 1812 Vet; s/o Lee ARMSTRONG b 8 JUN 1746 in Norwich, New London, CT & Ednah SMITH b 3 JAN 1757 in Norwich, New London, CT; m 1 Eunice PECK 17 FEB 1811 in Franklin, New London Co CT; 4 children; m 2 Orpha CLARK 4 NOV 1841 in Milford, Oakland Co MI; Partnership ABT. 1830 in Parma, Monroe Co NY; 6 children b Monroe Co NY, 1830s]

 

Ire Armstrong Riga,Genesee,NY [s/o Calvin?]

Lawrance Armstrong Riga,Genesee,NY [s/o Bela]

Thomas Armstrong Shelby,Genesee,NY

Andrew Armstrong Stafford,Genesee,NY  

Gurdon Armstrong Warsaw,Genesee,NY

 

The following Armstrongs were still living in Wheatland, Monroe Co NY in 1830: ARMSTRONG, Calvin – - – page 324

ARMSTRONG, John – - – page 325

ARMSTRONG, Lawrence – - – page 325

ARMSTRONG, Polley – - – page 323

ARMSTRONG, William – - – page 319

Town of Gates: ARMSTRONG, George – - – page 241

 

25 Jan. 1820, Rochester Telegraph : MARRIED – Mr. Lemuel Allen, to Miss Mary Ann Armstrong, both of Pittsford. 

21 Nov. 1820, Rochester Telegraph : Married, at Pittsford, Mr. James Armstrong to Miss Olive Ann Kimball.

26 Dec. 1820, Rochester Gazette : MARRIED – On the 14th instant, at the house of James Young near the Seneca village, on the Buffalo Reservation, by the rev. Step N. Rowan, President of the N. Y. Missionary Society, Tho’s Armstrong interpreter to the Seneca mission, to Rebecca Hemperfrman.… Thomas Armstrong and Rebecca Hempferman are both whites, who were taken by the Senecas at the close of the revolutionary war, from their cradles, & are now identified with the Indians by their parties are native Senecas.

     This is the first occasion on which marriage has ever been solemnized in this tribe according to the Christian institution; and it is hoped this will be an example for future imitation, as the rights were solemnized in the presence of a number of the principal Chiefs and Warriors in the nation. – Geneva Gazette

 

Pioneer Burial Ground of Pittsford NY has these graves listed:

ARMSTRONG [Captain] John; d Aug. 24, 1812 [of epidemic] æ 52y

Mary, wife of John; d July 22, 1835 æ 69y

Richard, son of John & Mary; d Aug. 6, 1821 in the 15th yr of his age

John; a native of Leicestershire, Eng.; d Feb. 4, 1841 æ 52y 8m 19d

Ann Parker, relict of John; b Nov. 22, 1780, Eng.; d Nov. 15, 1857 æ 76y 11m

Ann Eliza, dau. of John & Ann; d Jan. 27, 1864 æ 48y 11m 22d

Joseph; d Apr. 18, 1862 æ 69y 9m

Esther, wife of Joseph; d July 5, 1831 æ 35y [ancestry.com calls her Esther Cole]

Ann; wife of Joseph; d July 28, 1867 æ 52y

Sally Mary, dau. of Joseph & Esther; d Dec. 15, 1817 in the 2nd yr. of his age

Josephine, dau. of Joseph & Ann; d June 16, 1822 æ 7y

Joshua J., son of Joseph & Ann; d Aug. 30, 1833 æ 7m

Verginia E., dau. of Joseph & Ann; d Oct. 17, 1849 æ 15y

Dorinda H.; d June 9, 1853 æ 26y [not found in 2000]

Thomas; d Sept. 11, 1828 æ 12y

William Parker; d Jan. 5, 1852 æ 28y

These veterans were buried in  Wheatland NY cemeteries:

Name Armstrong, John

Cemetery Pioneer, Sec. Q, lot 5

1st Enlisted Oct. 11, 1780 (served 8 days)

2nd Enlisted Oct. 13, 1781 (served 8 days)

Unit Capt. William Hutchins’ Co., Co. Ebenr. Walbridge’s Regt.; Revolutionary War

Died Aug. 24, 1812 aged 52 [b ca 1760]

 

Name Armstrong, Calvin

Cemetery Wheatland Baptist, Sec. M, lot 17

Born Nov. 24, 1780

Enlisted Dec. 20, 1813 Discharged March 25, 1814

Rank Private

Unit Captain Daniel Kelsey’s Co.; Col. Daniel Davis’ Regiment; War of 1812

Died June 14, 1854 aged 73

 

Name Armstrong, Ira

Cemetery Wheatland Baptist, Sec. R, lot 14

Unit War of 1812

Died May 3, 1862 aged 68 [b ca 1794]

 

Name Armstrong, Archibald

Cemetery Mumford Rural, Sec. A, lot 70, N.W. corner

Born 1801

Unit Co. L, 8th Cavalry; Civil War

Discharged 1861

Died 1861 aged 60

Notes (killed in action)

 

Name Armstrong, Edwin J.

Cemetery Pittsford, lot 171 E. 1/2

Enlisted May 22, 1861 Elmira,  NY Discharged June 2, 1863 Geneva, NY

Rank Corporal – Sergeant

Unit Co. A, 33rd NY Infantry; Civil War

Died Nov. 30, 1868 aged 29 [b ca 1839]

 

Name Armstrong, Donald

Cemetery Mumford Rural, Sec. A, lot 70 N7E

Born 1841 Discharged April 6, 1863

Enlisted Aug. 14, 1862 Rochester, NY

Rank Private

Unit Co. K, 8th NY Cavalry; Civil War

Died Aug. 14, 1863 aged 22

Notes (died of wounds)

 

This family probably came to western NY directly from Leicestershire England, including

 

Joshua Armstrong, b 24 SEP 1794 in Loughborough, Leicestershire, England; d 6 JUN 1868 in Waldo, Marion, Ohio; Served in War of 1812; Emigration: 1803; s/o John Armstrong & Mary Simonds; m Phoebe Stearns m 1816 in Pittsford NY; 8 children.

 

DILLON CEMETERY aka GREENHOUSE CEMETERY Town of Hopewell – Ontario County NY: Matthew, son of George & Phoebe; died Oct 14 1814; ae 1 yr; 

 

Early Tax Rolls, Town of Benton, Ontario Co NY, 1813 

Names Description Amount Amount Total Tax 

of possessors of real estate of real estate of personal real & to be paid 

estate personal estate thereon

Armstrong George House & 150 a 2250 250 2500 1.80

Armstrong James North 1⁄2 Lot 798 798 .56

No 12 In town No 7 136 a

 

 

Early Tax Rolls, Town of Benton, Ontario Co NY, 1816 

Armstrong George House & lot 150a  2250 198 2448 8.85

Armstrong Robert House & lot 187a  2600 2600 9.40

 

Early Tax Rolls, Town of Benton, Ontario Co NY, 1821 

Armstrong James 20 240 240 .73

Armstrong John E 25 250 250 .77

Armstrong George 110 1320 1320 4.04

 

 

1820 CENSUS ONTARIO AND STEUBEN COUNTIES (PART)

 

The following index lists all heads of households in the Ontario County towns of Benton, Italy, Jerusalem, Middlesex and Milo; and the Steuben County towns of Reading and Wayne. Italy and Jerusalem had the same boundaries as the modern towns of the same name; Benton and Milo included between them the modern towns plus the modern town of Torrey; Middlesex comprised modern Middlesex and Potter. These five original towns were split off from Ontario County in 1823 to form Yates. Reading in 1820 included the modern town, which is now in Schuyler County, and also theYates County town of Starkey; Wayne included the modern town, still in Steuben County, plus the Yates County town of Barrington. Thus in 1820, many households listed in Reading and Wayne would not have been living in the parts of those towns now included within Yates County’s boundaries. 

ARMSTRONG GEORGE 263 BEN 

ARMSTRONG ISAAC 259 BEN 

ARMSTRONG JAMES 263 BEN 

ARMSTRONG MILTON 136a REA 

ARMSTRONG ROBERT 130 WAY

 

1835 CENSUS: YATES COUNTY NY

The following index includes all the towns in Yates County: Barrington, Benton, Italy, Jerusalem, Middlesex, Milo, Potter and Starkey. Torrey was the only town yet unorganized; everyone living in what is now Torrey will be found either in Milo or in Benton. 

ARMSTRONG DANIEL 48 MIL

ARMSTRONG JAMES 25 BEN

ARMSTRONG JOHN 54 MIL

ARMSTRONG MERVIL 40 BEN

ARMSTRONG MILTON 8 STA

ARMSTRONG [        ] 36 MIL

 

Yates County NY, Deeds Transmitted from Ontario County 1788 – 1823, Grantee from Grantor Index A – B

Armstrong Alexander // Robert Armstrong // 2 // 171

Armstrong Archibald // Philander Woodworth // 3 // 450

Armstrong Archibald // Robert Troup // 3 // 187

Armstrong James &c // Alexander Coventry // 5 // 566

Armstrong James // Charles Williamson // 1 // 346

Armstrong John &c // Alexander Coventry // 5 // 566

Armstrong John N // James Pulteney (by Attorney) // 3 // 80

Armstrong Martin // Enos Tubbs // 2 // 47

Armstrong Martin // Nicholas Low // 2 // 48

Armstrong Robert // John N Armstrong // 2 // 170

 

Yates County NY, Transmitted Deeds from Ontario Co, Grantor to Grantee Index A-C

Armstrong Alexander // Bates William // 2 // 172

Armstrong Archibald (by Sheriff) // Stewart George D & Samuel // 3 // 593

Armstrong Archibald // Woodworth Philander // 3 // 451

Armstrong John N // Armstrong Robert // 2 // 170

Armstrong John N // Bates Orrin // 3 // 543

Armstrong John N // Bates William // 3 // 542

Armstrong John N // Howard Thomas // 3 // 64

Armstrong John N // Lain John M // 3 // 63

Armstrong Martin // Howell Christopher // 2 // 50 

Armstrong Martin // Pattison Mathew // 2 // 52

Armstrong Martin // Scott William // 2 // 54

Armstrong Robert // Armstrong Alexander // 2 // 171

Armstrong Robert // Gardner Mary // 4 // 305

 

Yates County NY, Mortgages Transmitted from Ontario County 1788 – 1823, Grantee from Grantor Index I – Z

Woodworth Philander // Archibald Armstrong // 301

Yates County NY, Deeds Transmitted from Steuben County 1796 – 1826, Grantee from Grantor Index A – D

Armstrong James &c // Abigail Williamson // 1 // 104

 

 

Livonia Twp Armstrongs

History of Livingston Co NY, Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. 1881, p 364, has this about the family of Matthew Armstrong, residing there from 1805 through at least 1850:

“Matthew Armstrong [nd others] were also early settlers and men of no inconsiderable prominence. Matthew Armstrong, with his sons John and William, and his daughter Margaret, came to Livonia in 1805 from Lycoming county, Penn., and settled on the farm now owned by John Armstrong. 

Matthew Armstrong was one of the first assessors of the town. He died in 1829.

John, when a lad of four or five years playing before his cabin door, was severly bitten by a mad wolf, and still bears the scars of the wound. The wolf was killed by the pursuing neighbors, but not until it had bitten numerous animals that afterward died from the poisonous effects of its fangs.”

 

Ancestry.com also has a gedcom which lists the children of John and Susanna Armstrong, with the claim that John was born in Bucks Co PA.

Children

1.  Thomas ARMSTRONG b: in Livonia, Livingston Co NY [census = b 1822]

2.  John ARMSTRONG b: 1801 in PA 

3.  Elizabeth ARMSTRONG b: ABT. 1812

4.  Matthew ARMSTRONG b: 28 SEP 1812 in NY

5.  Maria ARMSTRONG b: 1820

6.  James ARMSTRONG b: 1822 in Lima, Livingston Co NY

 

1810 Matthew Armstrong Livonia, Ontario NY 20010/20010

1820 Matthew Armstrong Livonia, Ontario NY 301201/32010

There was also a Hamilton Armstrong in the township that year, but he appears on no other censuses; he was possibly Milton Armstrong, later of Reading and Starkey NY. Son William is not listed in any census, although there are adult males in all years through 1840.

1830 John Armstrong Livonia, Livingston Co NY 01022/0012201  [Matthew had died.]

1840 Anna Armstrong Livonia, Livingston Co NY 0001/0000201 image 30

1840 Susannah Armstrong Livonia, Livingston Co NY 00002/000020001 image 28

1840 John Armstrong Livonia, Livingston Co NY 100011/20001 image 20

1850, Livingston Co NY, Livonia Twp: Susanna Armstrong, 71 PA living in home of Thomas, w/several children and grandchildren; son John was three houses away.

 

The Armstrongs of Penn Yan NY

Gary Ross had information on Robert Armstrong of Penn Yan NY, which solves part of this puzzle:

“Thanks for the interest in the Penn Yan Armstrong’s. I have a whole lot of material…What started it was, I will try to be brief and not get to excited, was my purchase of 2 oil portraits from the Katherine Ketcham Estate.

“You see I live in San Francisco but was born and raised outside of Syracuse, New York so I am very familiar with the Finger Lakes area.

“This may sound weird but for some reason I feel a connection with the the sitters in the portrait, even more so. I had the paintings dated by the conservator of textiles at the Deyoung Museum here and they are circa 1840. My friend is one of the paintings conservators at they are presently being restored and thru the museum I have had the frames conserved too.

“My goal was to find everything there was/is about these people and their families. I have come far but still feel like there is something missing.

“Here is the lineage starting from 1995 and going back in time.

“Katherine Ketcham (1912-1995) her parents were

“Oliver E and Ann Lawrence Armstrong (1876-1963) of Penn Yan, her parents were

“Fred Stanley Armstrong (1849-1885) and Mary Kate Ross (1848-1911) of Penn Yan, his parents..

“James Armstrong (1816-1871) and Mary Jane Townsend (1817-1898) of Penn Yan. Thru my research I found her will that listed the portraits. Thru the process of elimination and the the dates and ages of the sitters they are probably more than likely James Armstrong’s parents who were….Plus I had a confirmation from a neighbor of Katherine Ketcham that saw them hanging in her house and remembers being told who they were.

“Robert Armstrong (1788-1848) and Betsy Walling Armstrong (1795-1853) they were married in 1810 and had two other children in addition to James, Walling and Fanny.

“They all lived in Penn Yan but James stayed. Robert, Betsy, Walling and Fanny ended up in Canadice Corners and Livona, Springwater…There is actually a lot on the web about this part of the family.

“I have seen James Armstrong’s house, mansion, in Penn Yan on Main St. I have traveled thru Canadice Corners and found the headstones of Robert and Betsy. Sort of came to a dead end with Walling and Fanny but do know they had some children.

“Robert Armstrong’s parents were….

“James (1762-1825) of Warwick, Orange, NY and Martha Halstead (1764-1831). His parents were…

“Robert Armstrong (1730-1780) of Florida, Orange, NY and Margaret Thompson (1759-). Other sons were Moses, Benoni, Robert, and William. His parents were…

“Francis Jr (1659-1783) born in Ulster,Londonderry, Ireland and died in Warwick, NY. His 1st wife was Deborah Lattimore(1695-1720) and remarried with Martha Thompson. I actually found his last will and testament so I know I am pretty much on track thus far.

“His father was Francis (1648-) and his father was Edward (1604-1650) of Gilnockie, Scotland. His father was William (1565-1649), his father was Christopher (1526-1606) and his father was John, aka Johnnie of Gilnockie, (1480-1530)….

“So as you can see I have done a fair bit….The one thread I need to make is for the famous Armstrong’s in NYC. David Maitland Armstrong and his ancestors. I know they were descendents of Johnnie of Gilnockie but I can’t connect them with the Armstrong’s of Penn Yan though Francis living in Florida and Warwick, NY were close to the NYC Armstrong from Newburg…

“Any help you can add or if I can answer any questions please ask. I do have a more complete lineage for the Armstrong of Penn Yan, Ann’s siblings and so forth…if you should want.

“Do you happen to live in Penn Yan?

“I did contact relatives of the late Katherine Ketcham, probably the ones who sold the paintings. That would have been the great, great grandchildren of Robert and Betsy. They could dd nothing more saying that Katherine was somewhat of a hermit and never shared anything with them, her nieces. Whether this is true or not is a mystery but I find it odd that they would sell their ancestors off but who knows….”

And in a second email:

“…now my Robert and Betsy Armstrong of the portraits had three kids as I mentioned.

James Armstrong b. 1816, Penn Yan, d. 1871 Penn Yan

Walling Armstrong b. 1810, Livingston, NY, d. 1892

Fanny Armstrong b 1822, Canadice, NY, d 1883

now Walling had 2 sons, Oliver C, b 1825 and  and Oliver C had 2 daughters Hattie and Mary Elenoa

The above James of Penn Yan married Mary Jane Townsend whose will I discovered. They had 4 children but only 2 survived Fred Stanley Armstrong and Hatley Kendig Armstrong

Fred Stanley had 4 daughters Anne, Helen Caroline, Mary Louise and Agnes Ross. Anne married Oliver E Ketcham

Hatley Kendig Armstrong married Sarah Fletcher Sheppard and they had a son Lawrence Sheppard Armstrong

Most of the Armstrongs of James and Mary Jane are buried at the Lakeview Cemetery in Penn Yan.”

 

Previously, I had found references to Robert Armstrong, Walling Armstrong, and James Armstrong, but I had not connected them. Robert looked like a likely candidate as the son of James Armstrong’s brother Alexander, mentioned in the Yates Co history book as the father of a family of Armstrong living near Penn Yan, especially given the next door residence in 1870 of two otherwise unrelated Armstrong families. Now it is known that he is, as far as I know, the only descendant of Francis and Deborah (Lattimore) Armstrong in this area.

Robert’s father James Armstrong, members of the Walling family and members of the Kuykendall family were all present in Minisink Twp, Orange Co NY in 1790.

Robert was  listed in the Early Tax Rolls, Town of Benton, Ontario Co NY, 1816, and in the 1820 census for Wayne Twp, Steuben Co [but not located by me in the index.-KP]. When Yates Co was formed from Ontario Co in 1823, these deeds were among those transferred:

Grantee from Grantor Index A – B

Armstrong Alexander // Robert Armstrong // 2 // 171

Armstrong Robert // John N Armstrong // 2 // 170

 

Grantor to Grantee Index A – B

Armstrong Robert // Gardner Mary // 4 // 305

 

1830 Barrington Twp, Yates Co NY: Robert Armstrong, 0011001/010001

1840 Canadice Twp, Ontario Co NY: Robert Armstrong, 00000001/0001001

2 houses away: Walling Armstrong, 10001/00001

 

The marriage of son James Armstrong to Mary Jane Townsend, daughter of Henry and Anna (Lawrence) Townsend and widow of Merritt Boyd, is given in History and directory of Yates County: containing a sketch of its original settlement by the Public Universal Friends …  Cleveland, 1873, page, p 273.

A death notice from 1885 has: “DIED – In Livonia, Saturday, Dec. 5, Mrs. Ann Armstrong, formerly of Canandaigua and mother of Dist. Attorney Armstrong, aged 72 years.” Oliver C. Armstrong was elected District Attorney of Ontario Co in 1880.

The District Attorney was Oliver C Armstrong of Canadice, b 1837 NY, s/o Walling & Ann Armstrong. In 1850 census they were near Henry Cuykendall, with a brother James 6.

 

Unidentified

There was a Robert Armstrong of Pultneyville whose death was reported in the Geneva Gazette, 10 Oct 1810. Pultneyville is on the shore of Lake Ontario, east of Rochester and north of Geneva, in present-day Wayne Co, formed 1828. This is the most likely Robert Armstrong from the 1800 census: Robert Armstrong, Ulysses, Cayuga, NY, since this is the closest location to Pultneyville, and there was no Robert in that county in 1820.

Conclusion

My ancestor, John Armstrong of NJ, Geneva NY, Caledonia Twp, Livingston Co NY, and Fulton Co IL, who died at Grand River, Ontario in 1852, was the son of Barsheba (Coleman) Moore and John Armstrong, a son of Martin Armstrong of Somerset Co NJ, who immigrated to this country from Ireland in the mid-1700s.

© Kathy Alvis Patterson  2008

Published in: on August 5, 2008 at 12:07 am  Comments (15)  
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Evidence for the Ancestry of David Dickinson of Leicester NY, Pomfret NY, Steuben Co NY and Clermont Co OH

I. Facts relating to David Dickinson

My ancestor Harriet Dickinson was married in 1821 to David Light; she has been linked to David and Anna (Gilbert) Dickinson of Clermont Co OH, whose family moved to that county in 1816 from Steuben Co NY.

Appearances of Our David in Western NY Records

Our David Dickinson is first clearly seen in these early NY records:

1. 1795 Ontario Co NY deed, from Elisha Gilbert. David was presumably already married to Anna. In 1790 Elisha was already in western NY, a resident of Chemung Twp, Montgomery Co NY (later Chemung Co) and by 1791 of Middlebury (later called Addison), Ontario Co NY (later Steuben Co), so it appears David must have been in that area when he met his future wife.

2. 1800 Ontario Co NY, Northampton Twp, p 322: David Dickinson, 10010/10100. Abel “Cleaveland,” who was an associate of David’s in that county and then in Chautauqua Co, was only a few pages away. David was in the 26-45 age group, i.e., born 1755-74.

3. He was probably the David Dickinson who served as an ensign in the Genesee Co NY militia in 1803. See Military minutes of the Council of Appointment of the State of New York, 1783-1821, p 692. Resolved G Wheeler in the same unit was from a CT family, not Persis Wheeler’s.

4. History of the Pioneer Settlement of Phelps and Gorham’s Purchase…, by O. Turner, 1851, pp 353. Among the town officers in 1803 of the newly formed town of Leicester NY were David Dickinson and Abel “Cleavland.” Reference is made to Leicester in relation to Wyoming, Allegany and the south part of Erie. (attachment 4) Harriet (Dickinson) Light’s 1850 census gave her birthplace as Wyoming NY.

5. Pomfret, Chautauqua Co NY, in partnership with Abel Cleveland as founders of Silver Creek and earliest settlers of the area. History of Chautauqua County, New York, from its first settlement to the present time; with numerous biographical and family sketches, by Andrew W. Young, 1875, has three passages referring to David. “Abel Cleveland and David Dickinson bought where the village of Silver Creek now stands. The land was taken up in 1803 or 1804 (p 76)…” A traveler in the area stayed with the David Dickinson family. David was an innovator who brought a new kind of “corn-cracker” to the mill he built (p 89).

Other Chautauqua County books also refer to David. History of Chautauqua County, New York, by Obed Edson, 1894, on page 168, gives more details about the partnership of Abel Cleveland and David Dickinson and states that Dickinson and Cleveland were natives of Berkshire Co MA.

6. David Dickinson was first shown buying land in Steuben Co NY in 1809, as a resident of Pomfret, Niagara Co (later Chautauqua Co) NY. This deed was filed and recorded the same day as the 1795 deed.

When he sold this land in 1816, he was shown as a resident of Clermont Co OH, where he first bought land in 1819. See also WW Clayton, History of Steuben County, New York. Philadelphia: Lewis, Peck & Co, 1879, pp 138-140, 228.

7. 1810 Steuben Co NY, page 64: David “Dickerson,” 21110/31010, next door to Elisha Gilbert. Additional records demonstrate David’s relationship to the family of Elisha Gilbert. David was in the 26-45 age group, i.e., born 1765-84.

David in Western NY Records

1820 Clermont Co OH, Ohio Twp: David Dickinson, 110101/12201/3; 1830, Clermont Co OH David Dickison,[1] p 214: 000110000000/000210010000. The father is missing from this record, but was still alive.

David Dickinson made four deeds giving land to his unmarried children in 1832, in which he mentioned without giving last names Nancy and Harriet and also Jacob Light, who was Harriet’s father-in-law, and D Light, her husband. Jacob and David Light’s land, like Harriet’s, adjoined David Dickinson’s. See the Harriet Dickinson packet for the deeds and other documents that identify David’s family. Most significant for the purposes of this study is the son David W Dickinson, who was born 1800-1805 in NY and married in 1833 in Clermont Co OH. I used to wonder if his middle name might have been Wheeler, after the possible mother of David Dickinson, as explained below. I did discover that he had a grandson named David Wheeler Dickinson, as explained below.

 

The Absence of Other Dickinson Connections

Although other Dickinsons can be found in some proximity to our David, it has been puzzling that none appear to have had contact with him, and that there is no place for David in any of their families. These include Elias Dickinson, who moved to Phelps Twp, Ontario Co NY, with sons Cotton and Augustus, about the time David appeared some miles west of them in Leicester NY; several Dickinson families who resided in Chautauqua Co NY after David’s brief stay there; three or four sons of Arnall (or Arnold) Dickinson who came to Steuben Co NY from New Jersey after David moved to Clermont Co OH; and the families of Morgan Dickinson, William Dickson and Abner Dickeson in Clermont Co.

At least one family genealogy available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City links our David’s son David W Dickinson to a branch of the Oyster Bay family which came to Clermont Co at a later date. This book is Notes on the Dickinson family of New York, Massachusetts, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, by Norris M. Whiston, typescript dated 1976, donated by the author to the FHL. This connection is easily discounted due to internal inconsistencies; the book states that David W Dickinson was born in 1805 and the man claimed to be his father, Townsend Dickinson, was born in 1795.

 

David Dickinson of Ashburnham and Shelburne MA

Studies of all Dickinson families in New England show no place for David Dickinson, born 1765-1775, in the following:

·      Descendants of Nathaniel Dickinson and his many sons, who lived in the Connecticut River valley, especially in Hatfield, Hadley, Deerfield and Amherst MA. Neither published genealogies of this family nor Dickinson Family Organization researchers place him in this group of Dickinsons. Since one Chautauqua Co NY source, #6 above,  stated David was from Berkshire Co MA, I made a point to identify all nine families from the 1790 census; he is not a son of any of them, and none of these families had any later connection to western NY. In this branch of Dickinsons there are virtually no unknown families or gaps in families and certainly no unclaimed Davids.

·      The Oyster Bay, Long Island, family, descended from John and Elizabeth (Howland) Dickinson.

·      The Southold, Long Island, family of Philemon Dickerson.

·      The Rhode Island family of Charles and Philip (Greene) Dickinson.

All of these families had branches in the Hudson River valley about the time of the Revolutionary War, but I did not find a David of the right age, who might have gone to western NY at the time ours did. I have published my Dickinson gedcom at Ancestry.com under the name “New England Dickinsons.”

Along with these families, I studied a smaller New England Dickinson group, the Rowley MA family of Thomas and Jennet (–?–) Dickinson, found in George Brainard Blodgette and Amos Everett Jewett, Early Settlers of Rowley, Massachusetts, 1981, pages 94, 95, 98. One man listed in this book, David Dickinson, bp 18 Oct 1741, is known from other sources to have had a son, David Dickinson, born in 1769, who has not been identified in records after his birth; he apparently had a stepmother and could have left home before age 21 for that reason. More significantly, he had known close family connections in Steuben Co NY and other places in western NY. No death record has been found for him.

There are indications that this David may be the same man as our David:

1. Age = Birth record. David Dickinson Sr married Persis Wheeler, 16 Jul 1767, Bolton MA, “both of Ashburnham.” Two children are listed in History of Ashburnham, Massachusetts, from the Grant of Dorchester-Canada to the Present Time, 1734-1886, with a Genealogical Register of Ashburnham Families, by Ezra R Stearns, 1887, p 681: David born 1769 and Sally born 1771. The book errs when it says Persis was the daughter of Seth Wheeler of New Ipswich [NH], when she was his sister, the oldest child of Jonas Wheeler Sr and his wife Persis Brooks. Wheeler records do not usually show Persis’s marriage or her death. Stearns says that in Ashburnham records the family used Dickinson and Dickerson about equally.

Persis’s death was recorded at Carlisle MA on 1782.

This David Dickinson Sr was a son of George Dickinson Jr and his wife Sarah Spofford, who had:

Jeremiah, b 16 Dec 1736

Daniel, b 14 Jun 1739

David, b 7 Oct 1741

Amos, b 14 Mar 1743

Francis, b 20 Sep 1746

No further records are known for Daniel and Jeremiah; Amos, David and Francis are all in later censuses. Note the existence of men named Francis in this family.

2. Proximity to Berkshire County = Family in Shelburne MA. History of Ashburnham states that David Sr moved to Shelburne MA in 1779; he actually was there as early as 1777, but no Dickinsons by any spelling were found in that town in 1790. David Jr could have gone to Berkshire Co after his mother’s death, or Shelburne might be considered as in the Berkshire mountains. Shelburne is about half a county away from the Berkshire Co line.

3. Father’s war record. Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution, p 740: “Dickerson, David. Receipt dated Shelburne, Sept. 22, 1777, for mileage, etc., from Shelburne to Stillwater, paid said Dickerson and others by the Selectmen of Shelburne; Capt. John Wells certifies that the men whose names appear upon the receipt went out of town with him.” David’s brother Amos is listed on pages 734, “Amos Dickason,” 735, “Amos Dickenson,” and 743, “Amos Dickinson,” all three times as a Lieutenant for Ashburnham or Worcester Co MA or with the same captain. Any references in this source for Daniel or Francis appear to be different men, from Hatfield or Hampshire Co, not David and Amos’s brothers, and there is no Jeremiah under any spelling.

This point confirms that David Dickinson Sr was in Shelburne; before finding the Stearns reference, I had been unable to place the David of this record.

4. Lack of known connections to other Dickinsons = his father’s apparent remarriage in Ashburnham. Lydia Hapgood married Abraham Munroe, 4 Apr 1775, in Harvard, Worcester Co MA. A daughter Lydia was born in 1776. According to The Hapgood Family: Descendants of Shadrach 1656-1898, by Warren Hapgood, and Genealogy of John Wetherbee of Stow and Marlboro, MA, by Ethel Wetherbee Mazza, Lydia later married David Dickinson, on 25 Feb 1784, in Ashburnham, where their two sons, Abraham and William, were born. This is the same David previously married to Persis Wheeler, since Stearns and the Hapgood-Wetherbee writers all give him the same birthdate. Stearns gives David Jr’s birth and that of his sister Sally; the other writers name Lydia’s sons.

1790 census, Harvard, Worcester Co MA: 142. Either 20-year-old David was listed as 16 and under, or he was not with the family. This household is near Lydia’s father, Shadrach Hapgood.

1800 census, Harvard, Worcester Co MA: “David Dickinson”; the father lived until 1809, although only the wife and children are listed, 02000/00010.

1810 Keene, Cheshire Co NH: Abraham Dickinson, 00100/10100; Wm Dickinson, 00200/20101. Note that Lydia is with son William here. There is a Joel Dickinson in the same town: 00101/02110; he is Joel Dickinson, who married Eunice Holton, from the Nathaniel Dickinson family—no relation.

1820 Keene, Cheshire Co NH: Lydia Dickinson: 000000/00001; Abraham Dickinson: 200010/21010; William Dickinson: 200010/12010. These names are listed together.

5. Lack of known connections to other Dickinsons = the lack of other closely related Dickinsons.  There were numerous Dickinsons in Rowley MA, since most of the family stayed in eastern Massachusetts. George Dickinson Sr and his wife, Martha Nelson, had one son, George Jr, and three daughters. This George Jr and his wife, Sarah Spofford, went to Worcester County where only three sons appear to have lived to adulthood. Amos had  one son, who died in infancy. David Dickinson Sr, as has been seen, had David Jr, Calvin, and the two half-brothers. Francis was in later Ashburnham censuses with Paul and Samuel Dickinson and may be the father of John, named in Stearns.

My conclusion here is that David Jr of Ashburnham had very few close relatives named Dickinson. Any close Dickinson relatives stayed in New England: his half-brothers moved with their mother to NH and two or three cousins stayed in Ashburnham.

6. Where was this David in 1790 and earlier? No death record for David Jr has been found in MA. David Jr may or may not have been with his father in 1790. David certainly was not with the family in 1800. By then, our David has been found in western NY.

7. Steuben Co NY and other western Wheelers. Persis (Wheeler) Dickinson had the following family, according to The Genealogical and Encyclopedic History of the Wheeler Family in America, Albert Gallatin Wheeler Jr, Boston MA, 1914: Jonas Wheeler, son of Timothy and Abigail (Munroe) Wheeler was born at Concord MA, 18 May 1720, and died at New Ipswich, New Hampshire, 1815. He was married at Concord, 13 Oct 1743, to Persis Brooks, who died in 1816, at 87 years of age. She was the daughter of Benjamin Brooks and Sarah (Heywood) Brooks. Jonas lived in the east part of New Ipswich, New Hampshire, near Hoar Pond, in 1758. Jonas’s children, all b at Concord MA:

Persis Wheeler 23 Aug 1744, m David Dickinson, d 15 Jan 1782, Carlisle MA. (above)

Jonas Wheeler 25 Jan 1746, d in Wheeler, Steuben Co NY.

Dorothy Wheeler 16 Mar 1748. She married Benjamin Prescott, 1790 Cheshire NH.

Seth Wheeler 25 May 1750, d 1822, New Ipswich NH.

Silas Wheeler March 7, 1752, d 25 Nov 1827 in Wheeler, Steuben Co NY.

Isaac Wheeler, baptized 14 Apr 1754, d 26 Feb 1833 Charleston, Tioga Co PA (just across state line from Steuben Co NY).

Amos Wheeler 28 Jul 1756, d 1839 Brookfield, Madison Co NY.

Abigail Wheeler 23 Jul 1760, m Isaac Stratton, poss 1790 Rutland VT.

Noah Wheeler, baptized 26 Jul 1763, d Hancock NH.

8. Geographical situation of this family. The Dickinson family studied here moved west in a clear trajectory ending in western NY. The Dickinsons first lived in Rowley, Essex Co MA, then one son, George Jr, moved west to Harvard and later Ashburnham MA, then one of George’s sons, David Sr, continued the western move to Shelburne MA. David Jr may or may not have returned with his father to Ashburnham before moving to western NY, where he was found in Ontario Co in 1795 and 1800, Leicester NY (present-day Livingston Co) in 1803, and Pomfret, Chautauqua Co NY in 1804.

Reasons this could be our David:

1. Age: He was born when we expect to find our David, in the right time and general area.

2. Solitary state: He was one of two known sons of his parents, and the remarriage of his father would explain his being alone and unconnected to other Dickinson families from the time he moved to western NY and after he left Steuben Co NY for Clermont Co OH. This has always been a fact for our David, the lack of other Dickinson kin nearby. When Dickinsons are located, such as Morgan Dickinson in Ohio or Arnall Dickinson, who came to Steuben Co after David left, they do not seem connected at all to our family.

3. Location: Two members of his mother’s family, uncles Jonas Jr and Silas Wheeler, died in Steuben Co NY, and another, Isaac Wheeler, died in nearby Tioga Co PA.

4. Name: Like the family of George Dickinson in Ashburnham MA, our David, especially in Steuben Co NY records, used the names Dickinson and Dickerson interchangeably and about equally.

5. The use of the name Wheeler.  About a year after I determined the David Dickinson of Ashburnham MA was the most lkely father of my David, I found a biography from Ancestry.com: Nebraska, The Land and the People, Vol. 3, which confirmed my belief that David Jr’s son, David W Dickinson may have been David Wheeler Dickinson.

My comments on this article: the statement that the family was from England has to be true, but I think they were in America long before Charles T Dickinson even knew. This Nebraska article was written ca 1925, when Charles was almost 80. The actual author of the article was either his son, a grandchild, or a local who took notes. That person seems to have done a great job with facts within Charles’s memory, but probably confused generations. David W was his father not his great-grandfather.

David W Dickinson, born either 1800 or 1805, had a brother Charles and a brother William F. The name Francis Dickinson occurs several times among the children of David Dickinson (1769-ca 1830s), but I don’t find a Daniel at all.

I can add that in my researches, I found no family with sons named David W, Charles and Daniel, ca mid-to-late 1700s. Charles Thaddeus Dickinson’s father, David W. Dickinson was about 50 when Charles was born, his own father David [Jr] had probably been dead about 30 years, and he had never known the grandfather, David Sr of Ashburnham. The Clermont Co OH family is distinctive in its lack of Connection to other branches of the Dickinson family. It is reasonable that David W Dickinson named his son Charles for his own presumed brother, and that Charles Thaddeus named his son for his own father.

6. The use of the name Francis Dickinson. David Dickinson of Clermont County, Ohio, had a son named William F, possibly Francis, and several descendants in the next two generations continued the use of this name. David W[heeler?] had a son named Francis; Harriet (Dickinson) Light named a son Charles Dickinson, presumably for her brother, and two of her sons named children Francis Dickinson Light.

I therefore conclude that my David Dickinson was David Jr; his son David W Dickinson was the third generation with this name. The W probably stands for Wheeler, as his grandson’s name confirms. My conclusion that my ancestor David Dickinson was the son of David and Persis (Wheeler) Dickinson received validation when I discovered that the name Wheeler was used among David’s descendants.

© Kathy Alvis Patterson  2008


[1] Throughout early records including marriages and censuses, the names Dickinson, Dickerson and Dickson are used interchangeably. Spellings such as Dickenson, Dickeson and Dickison are also found.

 

Published in: on August 4, 2008 at 10:55 am  Comments (1)  
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