JOY, David, of Windham Co VT, Chautauqua Co NY and Cass Co MI

David Joy was born in Rehoboth, Bristol County, Massachusetts, before 1 Apr 1764, possibly as early as 1761, the son of Obadiah and Elizabeth (Doyle) Joy.[1] He died in Cass County, Michigan, 1 Apr 1844, and is buried in the Cass-Union Cemetery in that county. He was age 80, according to his gravestone.[2]

David had moved with his family to Putney, Windham County, Vermont, where he married 25 Apr 1785,[3] Mary Dickinson. Mary was born at Westminster, Windham County, Vermont, 14 Dec 1761, the daughter of Azariah and Temperance (Shipman) Dickinson. She died at Portland, Chautauqua County, New York, 1 Jun 1831.[4]

Several of David’s older brothers have clearly documented Revolutionary War service. Either David was too young to be recorded, or the records have not yet been located. Earlier NSDAR records accepted him as Patriot #063200,[5] but the four successful applications have since been discovered to have been based on the service records of his first cousin, another David Joy, but of Guildford, Windham Co VT. The NSDAR research site (not open to the public) states “the only service proof is his tombstone.” This statement was made in Aug 1998.

Possibly he served in Massachusetts, some researchers claiming he was a Private, 8th Massachusetts Regiment,[6] or possibly he served in New York State, of which Vermont was a part during the War. Possibly he was never officially enlisted, but participated enough during the War to consider himself a soldier. His children claimed, when they erected his gravestone, that he was a veteran, and he was called “Captain” Joy during his lifetime. Based on the gravestone, the Michigan DAR listed him in a volume of Revolutionary War soldiers buried in their State[7]; then based in part on that book, two Vermont historians listed him in their book.[8]

            David Joy doubtless fought for his new nation, but it is unlikely that we will locate his name on a valid military roster. For now, it is assumed he was a young man who accompanied the troops, rendered aid, but did not formally join any unit or get his name on a muster list.

            Two decades after the end of the war, the family was uprooted and tracked west.

Historical Sketches of the Town of Portland, by HC Taylor, MD, 1873, pages 319-321, gives many details of David’s move from Putney VT to western NY. DAVID JOY- “Old Capt. Joy” came to P. from Vermont in 1810. He built a log shanty in the woods near where the house of M.J. Munson now stands, on pt of lot 33, T. 5. He left this claim the next year, and returned to Vermont. Early in 1812, having removed his family to P. he rented the log tavern house of Wm. Berry, standing near where the house of Lincoln Fay now stands, on lot 25, T. 5, and continued the tavern. Within the next two or three months the house was burned, but a frame house was at once built and a public house continued. Early in 1814, Mr. Joy and his son Moses erected a large frame building, on pt of lot 19, T. 5, where the house of W. W. Pettit now stands, and opened it as a tavern. It was sold to Wm. Harris, sen., in 1817, and a double log house built on the N. pt of the lot, where the house of H.A.S. Thompson now stands, and opened a tavern. [See Taverns] Sometime previous to 1831 the house now on the farm was built. In 1831 the farm was sold, and the farm now owned by Linus Burton, S. of Brocton, S. pt lot 13, T. 5., purchased. In 1837 Mr. J. removed to Michigan, where he d. many years since. Mrs. Joy d. in P. June 1st, 1831, aged 69. Mr. Joy’s aged father d. in P. about 1816. As before hinted, Mr. Joy left his family in their home in VT until he could prepare for them a place in the wilderness. After building his shanty on lot 33, as stated, he furnished it with a bed of straw in one corner on the bare earth, a brown earthen pan or two, a bowl of the same material, and one wooden spoon. Chairs or stools were of no account, and were not used, a block of wood answering every purpose. A fireplace was built of two or three bowlders, in one corner, and an old blanket was hung up at the doorway. The inventory of cooking utensils was not large, including but one iron kettle. He purchased a small cow and turned her into the woods to browse; a half bushel of corn meal and a pound or two of salt. After the labors of the day he would drive home his cow, secure her milk, and cook mush sufficient for his supper and two meals the next day. The mush and milk thus prepared and eaten from his brown bowl with his wooden spoon he described as delicious. On a certain occasion while at his work, his faithful cow came about the cabin, and finding the door easy of removal, pushed it aside and made her way into the best apartment the cabin afforded. A slight exploration discovered to her the mush kettle, and claiming an interest in the property of her master, she soon cleared it of its entire contents; then going to the bed of Mr Joy very complacently laid herself down in it. When Mr Joy came in for his dinner he was not a little surprised to find his mush kettle empty, and the intruder very quietly chewing her cud in his bed. He had not the heart to eject her rudely, but quietly drove her out, and took good care that she did not again thus deprive him of “his bed and board.”

            In 1790, David Joy was in Windham Co VT, Putney, p 53: 1/2/3. In 1800, David’s family was in Windham Co VT, Putney. David Joy: 22011/11110. Moses Joy: 000010/10100; in 1810, the family was still in Putney, Windham Co VT, David Joy: 11211/01001/40/50. In 1820 they were in Chautauqua Co NY, Portland Twp, p 125. David Joy, 110011/00011/01[9]; and in 1830 they were still there, David and Mary living with son Moses: Chautauqua Co NY, Portland Twp, p 430. Moses Joy: 210102001/31010001. David moved to Michigan after the death of his wife and was listed with his son in 1840: Cass Co MI, p 223, Moses Joy: 01210011001/101101.

            Although he didn’t know all their names, Taylor lists these children for David and Mary (Dickinson) Joy:

i. Isaac Joy was born 9 Oct 1786, and his birth registered in Putney, Windham Co VT. Isaac died in Brandon, Franklin Co NY, on 8 Jan 1850. On 19 Nov 1808 when Isaac was 22, he married Nancy TAFT in Putney, Windham Co VT. Born on 10 Aug 1786 in Putney, Windham Co VT, Nancy died in Brandon, Franklin Co NY, in 1834. They had the following children:

                        i.            Emily (1809-)

                        ii.            Nancy (1811-)

                        iii.            Mary Dickerson (1817-)

                        iv.            Rachel Altern (1819-)

                        v.            Isaac (1821-)


ii.              Moses Joy was born in Putney VT in 1793 and died at Union Twp, Cass Co MI, 1 Mar 1854; he marrried Patty Hill; settled in Putney; but removed to Michigan in 1837, where he d. some years since. Patty HILL was born in 1801 in VT. They had the following children:

                        i.            Emaline (ca1819-)

                        ii.            (son) (1820-)

                        iii.            Alonzo (1821-)

                        iv.            Obadiah (1825-)

                        v.            Wellington (1829-)

                        vi.            Nelson (1832-)

                        vii.            Deanthe (1838-)

                        viii.            Alice (1843-)


               iii.              Ezra Joy was born in 1787/1794 in VT; married Lucy Wilder; for some time lived on N. pt lot 25, T. 5; afterward removed west. In 1820 his census read Chautauqua Co NY, Portland Twp, p 125: 200010/20010. 1820 census: Chautauqua Co NY, Portland Twp, p 125: 200010/20010. Was he in Ashtabula OH in 1830? E Joy, 011001/00001. If this is Ezra, several of his older children had died. Those surviving fit the ages of Elias W and Obadiah. This was the only Joy family in Ashtabula County; there were no Joys there in 1840. They had the following children:

                        i.            Elias Wilder (1819-)

                        ii.            Obadiah (ca1824-)


iv.                 Dorrell Joy; never married; went west with the family in 1837. His name was probably the fmily’s understanding of his paternal grandmother’s name, Elizabeth (Doyle) Joy, found as Dorrill.


v.             Anna Joy. Born in 1795 in Putney, Windham Co VT. Anna died in Fosterberg, Madison Co IL, in 1845/1848. Buried in Brooks Cemetery, Madison Co IL. In 1815/1818 when Anna was 20, she married Asa BROOKS, son of Michael BROOKS & Elizabeth BOUTON, in NY. Born in 1792 in area outside of Buffalo NY. Asa died in Fosterburg, Madison Co IL, on 6 Feb 1849. They had the following children:

                        i.            Barton (1817-ca1848) [Probably his name was meant to be Bouton.]

                        ii.            Mary (1819-)

                        iii.            Charles Hiram (1821-1861)

                        iv.            David J[oy] (1823-1867)

                        v.            Joshua P (1824-)

                        vi.            Harriett M (1825-<1867)

                        vii.            Sylvanus (1827-)

                        viii.            (son) (1828-<1849)

                        ix.            Lucy Ann (1830-)

                        x.            (daughter) (1832-<1849)

                        xi.            (daughter) (1834-<1849)

                        xii.            Elias Fort (1835-1907)

                        xiii.            Frances (1837-1917)

                        xiv.            Hannah Foster (1839-)

                        xv.            Permelia (1840-)

                        xvi.            Asa (1843-1880)


vi.             Roxalana Joy. Born ca 1788 in Putney, Windham Co VT. Roxalana died in Macoupin Co IL, on 6 Oct 1867. On 13 Aug 1809 when Roxalana was 21, she married James WILDER in Dummerston, Windham Co VT. Born in 1786. James died in 1859; he was 73. They were divorced or separated before 1839 in Madison Co IL. They had the following children:

                        i.            Elias Davis (1824-)

                        ii.            Marilla (1810-)

                        iii.            George (ca1812-)

                        iv.            Abigail (ca1815-)

                        v.            Joshua (ca1817-)

                        vi.            Anna (ca1819-)

                        vii.            Jane (ca1821-)

                        viii.            Maria M (ca1823-)

                        ix.            Lucy (ca1827-)

x.              Henry B (1833-)


            vii. Polly Joy; married William Miller. Taylor said “Polly died in Indiana,” although this has not been verified. She appears to have been in Steuben Co IN in 1850, 50 NY, with 6 children, plus a daughter-in-law and granddaughter. Most children were born in MI. Polly Miller, 50 NY, William, 25 VT (were mother and son’s birthplaces switched?), Amanda, 20 MI, Mary A, 3 weeks IN, Isaac, 22 VT, Sally, 20 MI, James, 18 MI, Adeline, 15 MI, Jane, 8 MI.


viii. Obadiah Joy. He was born in Putney in 1803, lived there for some years; eventually removing west. Obadiah died in Cass Co MI. He married Sophia Everden ca 1828 in NY. She was born ca 1805 in NY and died in Bloomingdale, Van Buren Co MI, aft 1870. They had the following children:

                        i.            Roxana (1832-)

                        ii.            Polly (1832-)

                        iii.            May J (1834-)

                        iv.            Andrew (1839-)

                        v.            Elias W (1843-)

                        vi.            Oscar (1846-)

                        vii.            Harmon (1849-)


© 2008, Kathy Alvis Patterson


[1] The Joy Genealogy, by Helen Bourne Joy Lee, passim. Lineage application of Katherine Alvis Patterson, national no. 60585, Society of Mayflower Descendants, approved 1994. No contemporary record of his birth is known. He was over 45 at the time of the 1800 census, and over 80 in the 1840 census. His claim of Revolutionary War service argues for an age of at least 15 or 16 before 1781.

[2] David Joy tombstone, Cass Union Cemetery, Cass Co MI, visited and photographed Aug 1996 by Art and Evelynne Alvis. In addition to photos of the cemetery, I have a photo of the Joy house, which is next to the cemetery and a local newspaper article.

[3] Putney VT VR.

[4] Historical Sketches of the Town of Portland (NY), by H.C. Taylor, 1873, pp 319-321.


[7] Historical record of the Michigan Daughters of the American Revolution, 1893-1930 [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: Historical record of the Michigan Daughters of the American Revolution, 1893-1930. Michigan: D.A.R., 1930, 1: 153. His grave was marked in 1928 by the Samuel Felt Chapter, NSDAR. The information given on 2: 113 refers to his cousin. The ladies listed there are not the ones who joined DAR based on our David’s supposed service.

[8] Carleton Edward Fisher, and Sue Gray Fisher. Soldiers, Sailors, and Patriots of the Revolutionary War—Vermont. Camden MA: Picton Press, 1992, p 298. “Joy, David, VT; b 1763; r Guilford; Guilford’s 1st co 1775; d 1884; m Polly; CL-8, 2:118; G-5a, p 135.” The military service refers to David’s first cousin David Joy of Guilford (see Lee, p 80).

[9] Strikethroughs in original seen at

Published on August 7, 2008 at 10:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

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