Bible of Elijah and Susannah (Leachman) Willoughby

Pages from a Bible owned by Della Melissa (Hutson) Norwood, restored and preserved for Michelle Pierce, 2005 by Bob Inge, Lake City Co, who reported: “many tears, pieces missing, holes, much information missing or faded.”


[Page one:] This book was purchased Anno Domini 180–

By David Rice   Greene [County, Tennessee]


Job Comes T Willou… born Dec the 18th 1847

Job Comes Willoughby w… the 18th 1847 1847

Job C. T. Willoughby was born December the 18th 1847


[Page two: The first column is almost totally destroyed. The name Willoughby can be read four or five times plus the years 1840, 1842, [illegible], 14th day of [missing month, known from another page to have been February] 1846.


The second column was probably written first and contains numbered births, as follows:

Missing, a few letters only visible]

–) Elijah Berryman Willoughby was born June the 4th 1832

3) Mary-ann Elizabeth Willoughby was born March 15th 1834

4) Margaret Eeveline Willoughby was born April [xx][xx] 1836. [This is a different ink, smeared and faded, but possibly says the 21st or 23rd.]

5) Benjamin Franklin Willoughby, Born January 31st 1838 ~ 1838


[Page three: written in a more modern hand, possibly in pencil:]


Job Combs Willoughby Dec 18, 1847.

Mary Jane Florence Smith March 22, 1858.

John Wesley Hutson Oct 2, 1869.

Edith Melissa WilloughbyAug 10, 1880.

Leslie Willoughby Hutson May 15, 1905

Otto Albert Hutson April 21, 1913.



Job Combs Willoughby and Mary Jane Florence Smith were married Aug 22 ‘79

John Wesley Hutson and Edith Melissa Willoughby were married October 11, 1896.



Job Combs Willoughby July 24, 1886.

Mary Jane Florence Willoughby (Reeves) March 13, 1905.


[Page four: This appears to be practice writing similar to page one. There are also drawings of two women or dolls, one large and one small.]

Job Comes tomas was born J. Combs the 18th  1847

Willoughby Emily Willoughby


J[illegible] Sister

Job Combs


Benjamin Franklin Jeffers[off page]

Willoughby was born January the 31st day Adomin 1838


[Page five:} Nelson M Brown and Sarah J Willoughby was mar[r]ied Dec the 29 1859


[Page six, the first column has:]

Benjamin Jefferson Willoughby son of Elijah Willoughby was born December 7th 1810

Katharine Rusel James daughter of Berryman James was born Dec 22nd 1810

Benjamin Willoughby and Katharine James was married October 15th 1829

— — — —

Nelson M Brown and Sarah J Willoughby was Maried Dec the [illeg.] 185[?]

Nelson Brown son of [illegible] Brown was Born February the 11 183[?]


[Second column]

Benjamin Willoughby

— — — —

Robert Parker and Polly Richey was married Decr 31st 1836[1]

Samuel M Stewart and Elizabeth See W[as married?] March 24, 1850[2]

— — — —

William P Willoughby and Nancy Howard was married December the 30th 1852 = 1805 a 1852

Robert Sarchet and Margaret Willoughby was married April the 8th 1855 = 1855


[Page seven:]

David Rice born September the 1st Anno Domini 1775[3]  [This birth is in a very different hand from the rest of these notes.


At least half of the column headed Births is missing. The second column, with the same heading, starts:]

5 Susannah Willoughby was born Jan 31th anno domin 1795

6 Sarah Willoughby was born Sep the 15 Anno Domini 1800

7 Elijah Willoughby was born March 12th ano domin 1802

8 George Willoughby [the rest of the page is missing, except a fragment along the right margin, probably George’s birth year —04 or —06 and —hby De <end of line> thirty first –ear of his age —ty seven. Did George die in 1837, when he was 31?]


[Page eight starts with more practice writing in the first column:] Benjamin [next line] Biermann

Elijah Willoughby and Susanna Leachman was Maried Oct[o]ber the 23 day anno domini 1787   1787 [The writer copied over some of the words, possibly helping to preserve them, There is no “h” on Susannah, and “Anno Domini” is not copied over, but very faint.]

Enoch Willoughby [remainder of this marriage record is missing. Very large writing.


Second column, more practice words:] Mary

Martha Willoughby [This is written in large, dark letters, almost over the faint record below.

Very faint:] Rhoda Willoughby and Moreland was married Sep 4 Anno Domine 1804.

Polly Willoughby and James Richey was married May the 20 Anno Dom…[4]


[Page nine, across the top of the page:] The war for the [Come   enas — commenced?  —Comberland?] in the year Eighteen and Sisety 1860 and they are still fiting yet and this is the years 1865

[Along the side of the page:] 1860 Abraham Lincoln President


[Page ten, hand-drawn lines on an originally blank page. At the bottom of the page are initials, MW:]


9 Benjamin Jefferson Willoughby was born December the 7 – 1810

Elijah Beneman Willoughby son of Benjamin J Willoughby was born June the 4 1839

Martha E Willoughby was born February the 14 1846



Benjamin Jeffers Willoughby died August 30th 184[? Probably 9]

Elijah Berman Willoughby died June the 6 1846


[There are also two pages of a Clay Co IN deed, apparently made in 1830, between Berryman James and Benjamin Willoughby. It is only in occasional spots where the reader can distinguish a few words, conventional language for a deed. James’s daughter married Willoughby’s son.]


Internal evidence suggests the Bible was purchased before 1810 by David Rice of Greene Co TN. At some time the Bible was acquired by the Willoughby family.

The earliest Wiloughby notations were made in now-faded ink of events from 1787 through the death of a 31-year-old in 1837. Many portions of this record are missing, including the exact birth date of my ancestor, Elizabeth, ca 1813.

Possibly after the marriage of Benjamin Jefferson Willoughby and Katharine James in 1829, a new hand wrote the family events, including the children of Benjamin and Katharine.

The latest event in this hand is the birth of Martha Willoughby 14 Feb 1846. A child or young woman, probably Martha, used the Bible for copying. She particularly enjoyed making copies of her younger brother Job Combs Thomas Willoughby’s birth record; it is only from this writing that we know he had a third given name. Martha died in 1927 in Walla Walla WA. There are no records in the Bible after 1860. It is tempting to think she was married then and left the Bible at home.

The Bible must have passed to Job’s family, since a new hand, possibly using a pencil, wrote the events in the life of Job and his wife, through 21 April 1913. This was probably Edith Melissa (Willoughby) Hutson, since her mother’s death is recorded here, and she likely wrote everything on one occasion.

Della Melissa (Hutson) Norwood was the granddaughter of Edith Melissa (Willoughy) Hutson. After her death in 1991, the Bible was given to Michelle Pierce of Lake City CO, who writes,  “It was in a paper grocery bag and smelled very musty. It had no binder and the pages were very water damaged. It didn’t take long to figure out what a treasure I had. Although I was broken hearted to see what was lost on torn and missing pages, I was thrilled by the remaining information.”

[1] The marriages of two granddaughters are listed here, Polly, daughter of Polly (Willoughby) and James Ritchey, and Elizabeth, daughter of Sara Eveline (Willoughby) and George See. Polly Ritchey, sometimes written as Richey, married Robert David Parker, the brother of her aunt Elizabeth (Willoughby) Parker’s husband, Greenberry.

[2] “Rootsweb Tree Zimmerman” at identifies her as a daughter of George and Sarah (Willoughby) See.

[3] “East Tennessee Hicks, Bowmans and Cooks” at has a David Wilson Rice born in Bedford Co VA this exact day and died in Greene Co TN in 1864, having outlived three of his four wives. He was in Greene Co TN, the same county as the Willoughbys, which makes me guess the Bible was acquired second hand by the Willoughby family.

[4] Jefferson Co TN Marriages give a date of 16 May 1812 for this marriage. Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008.Original data – Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002. Nashville, TN, USA: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Microfilm.


Published in: on December 6, 2008 at 1:33 am  Comments (9)  

The Smith family of Northampton Co MA in 1850

Evidence that my 2003 (approx.) finding that John H Smith was a son of this couple was located in 2011 at the web site Lenawee Bibles and Bible Records at has the following:

Miss Lillian Wilcox’s Bible Record

Found at the Lenawee County Historical Society Museum Archives in a Hollinger box.

Henry [sic] Smith and Lucy Bates were m. Nov. 25, 1824

Their children were,

Eunice Judd Smith m. 28 Oct. 1845 to Henry H. Wilcox

Lucy Ann Smith, m. 18 Nov. 1848 to Merriam Allen

Eveleen Jane Smith, m. 31 June 1857 to Julius W. Munson

Catharine A. Smith, m. Feb. 2, 1859 to Titus S. Ingraham

John H. Smith, m. 3 July 1859 to Theodora Bemen

George I. Smith, m. 30 Aug. 1866 to Ada Stickney

Marian E. Smith, m. 1 May 1867 to E. Renssalaer Crafts

E. Jerome Smith, m. 8 June 1868 to Ann B. Hartney

Gertrude Maria Smith, m. 1st Chas. V. Smith, 2d Edgar A. Price, 1863


Eunice Smith b. 28 Sep. 1825

Eunice Judd Smith, b. 28 Sep. 1825 at Smith’s Ferry, Mass., m.

Henry Hamilton Wilcox, 28 Oct. 1845; d.

Henry Hamilton Wilcox, b. 28 Oct. 1822 at Bergen, N.Y., d.

at Adrian, 9 Oct. 1896; she d. 6 Feb. 1902

Children of Henry & Lucy (Bates) Smith:

Inf. Son b. Feb. 2, 1827

Catharine Elizabeth Smith b. Sep. 23, 1828

Lucy Ann Smith b. Sep. 3, 1830

Eveleen Jane Smith b. Aug. 2, 1832

Catharine Amelia Smith b. Aug. 10, 1834

John Henry [sic?] Smith b. July 12, 1836

Emerson Jerome Smith b. Apr. 30, 1838

Mary Ellen Smith b. May 22, 1840

Gertrude Maria Smith b. May 8, 1842

George Irvine Smith b. July 7, 1845

Marian Estella Smith b. Aug. 10, 1847

Wilcox, Miss Lillian, dau Henry Hamilton Wilcox & his wife,

Eunice Smith d. Apr. 11, 1942 ae 88 yrs

b. Bergen, N.Y. d. Adrian, Mich. Came Mich., 1860

Austin, son same, b. July 24, 1856 d. Mar. 17, 1939

Nellie Palmer (probably) m. Austin b. Aug. 9, 1859 d. May 12, 1944

Northampton, Hampshire Co MA, 1850, p 115

David L Smith, 31

Mary L Smith, 32

Eliza G Smith, 9

Adell Smith, 7

Juliaette Smith, 5

Ellen A Smith, 3


Milo J Smith, 41

Sally Smith, 42

Milo J Smith, 18

J L Smith, 17

Josephine Smith, 12


Chester Smith, 59

Clara Smith, 52

Chester W Smith, 29

Theodotia Smith, 27

Eliza Smith, 19


Harvy Smith, 52

Lucy Smith, 46

Everline F Smith, 18

Catharine A Smith, 16

John Smith, 14

Emmerson Smith, 12     [another census implies Jerome Emerson or Emerson A]

Gertrude Smith, 8         [the John I’m looking for had a daughter Gertrude]

George Smith, 4

Marion Smith, 2            [the John I’m looking for had a daughter Marian]

Charles H Smith, 39

Sophia Smith, 34

Martha Smith, 12

Clementine Smith, 9


Lewis Smith, 18

Wells Smith, 14


Hervey had an older daughter, Eunice J, b 28 Sep 1825, Northampton MA, m 1845 Henry Hamilton Wilcox, d aft 1900 Adrian, Lewanee Co MI.

Published in: on November 7, 2008 at 6:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Children of Elizabeth (Sprague) (Doyle) Wilson

Several of Elizabeth (Sprague) (Doyle) Wilson’s descendants were in Putney, Windham County, Vermont, in the 1770s and after. Elizabeth’s only child by her first husband, Bartholomew Doyle, was Elizabeth, married 26 Mar 1749, Rehoboth, Bristol County, Massachusetts, to Obadiah Joy.[1] They had a large family, and together with most of their children, they moved to Putney VT before 1777. An individual — Joy, no first name given, died there in 1777, possibly Elizabeth. Obadiah Joy, “of Putney,” was married 31 Oct 1798, Marlboro, Windham Co VT, to Molly Park.[2]

Sometime after the death of Bartholomew Doyle and the death of the first wife of Benjamin Wilson, the mother of Elizabeth (Doyle) Joy, Elizabeth (Sprague) Doyle, married Benjamin Wilson or Willson, Sr. There is confusion in the records concerning events which should have followed clearly in sequence, but as recorded, did not.

·      Elizabeth, the first wife of Benjamin Wilson, died in Rehoboth MA, 10 Jul 1731.[3]

·      Benjamin Willson “of England” married Elizabeth “Sprague” 15 Dec 1730,[4] that is, before the death of the first wife.

·      The first child of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Sprague) (Doyle) Wilson was Nathaniel, who died in West Stockbridge, MA, 21 Apr 1821, “in his 89th yr.” His birth is thus between 22 Apr 1731 and 21 Apr 1732; since James Blanding’s Rehoboth records say Nathaniel was born 10 Jun 1733, it has been posited that his most likely date of birth was 10 Jun 1731,[5] also before the death of the first wife.

·      The next child of Benjamin and his second wife Elizabeth was John, born 29 Oct 1733 in Rehoboth.

·      The couple also had six additional children, born regularly from 1735 to 1746.

·      Reports to the Wilson Association, USA, published in 1866, states on page 24 that Elizabeth Sprague Darryl [sic] married, as his second wife, Benjamin Willson, and had seven sons and one daughter: Nathaniel, John, Lucas, Ammi, Benjamin, Jonathan, Ezekiel, and Chloe. This book affirms that he married the Widow Darril, whose maiden name was Sprague. Genealogists in Massachusetts, in cooperation with Dr. William Alexander McAuslan, Historian General of Mayflower Society apparently in the 1930s, accepted this Benjamin Willson and Elizabeth Sprague Darril (or Doyle) Willson as the parents of Benjamin Willson, born Rehoboth, MA, 11 Apr 1739, married 1762 Sarah Saben. But the General Society of Mayflower Descendants has since rejected the Willson children as line carriers, while accepting Elizabeth’s daughter from her first marriage, Elizabeth (Doyle) Joy.[6]

The problem with acceptance of the lineage of descendants of Benjamin Wilson (or Willson) and Elizabeth (Sprague) (Doyle) Wilson lies in the faulty chronology of the vital records of Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, along with the fact that some records were added decades later than the events.

Theory that makes Nathaniel a son of the first wife

Ken Stevens, Wilsons From New England, Vol “J” Descendants of John Wilson of Woburn, Massachusetts, n.d.[7], states on page 44 that Nathaniel was the last child of Benjamin’s first wife, born probably 10 Jun 1731, a month before that lady’s death on 10 Jul 1731. Stevens passes over the errors in Benjamin’s second marriage record: Benjamin was from Woburn not England, and the second Elizabeth was the widow Doyle, no longer Elizabeth Sprague. So it appears to be of no moment when he transfers the year of the marriage from 1730, when the first wife was still living, to Dec 1731 or 1732.

Stevens’s rationale is that the second marriage and the birth of Nathaniel were added to the other Willson records in Rehoboth after Mar 1812, almost a century after the events. This town clerk was Josiah Blanding, a nephew of Lucy Blanding, the wife of Jonathan Wilson, one of Benjamin and the second Elizabeth’s sons. At the instigation of Jonathan, these delayed entries changed Benjamin’s origin to England. The reason was an attempt to acquire a potential British fortune.[8] [9]

Theory that there were four couples named Benjamin and Elizabeth

In The New England Historical and Genealogical Record, Vol 135, p 302, Kenneth C Stevens continues his discussion of the issue in an article entitled “Must the Circle Stay Unbroken [sic]? Three Benjamin Wilsons of Rehoboth MA.” Here Stevens starts with the clear facts that a marriage existed between Benjamin Willson and Elizabeth, a descendant of Richard Warren of the Mayflower, and that this marriage produced seven or eight children. Stevens previously adjusted facts until they fit an acceptable pattern; this time, the same writer accepts each fact as written and allows no mistakes in the records; enough characters and marriages must be created to cover all events.

Stevens lists four women named Elizabeth in Rehoboth who were married to men named Benjamin Wilson.

1.      Benjamin Wilson Sr (1670-1750) is buried in Ashford CT where he died. He married Elizabeth, ca 1693, who died in Ashford in 1766. This couple moved from Woburn to Rehoboth ca 1697, and there joined his brother Francis. He moved to Connecticut about 1733.

2.      This couple’s son Benjamin Jr (1695-living 1772) had a first wife Elizabeth, possibly Ross or Roff, with whom he lived some years in Woodbridge, Middlesex Co NJ. They move to Rehoboth by 1727, and Elizabeth died there by 10 Jul 1731, after having at least one child, Sarah.

3.      A different Benjamin Wilson “of England” married an Elizabeth Sprague. They became the parents of Nathaniel on 10 Jun 1733. But that date means they could not have been the parents of  John Willson born 29 Oct 1733.

4.      Since Stevens requires another Benjamin and Elizabeth to be the parents of seven additional children born in Rehoboth, he accepted Ebenezer J Ormsbee’s family records, published in H. O. Smith’s Reports to the Wilson Association, USA, 1866, and states straightforwardly that Benjamin Wilson had a first wife, Elizabeth [Roff?] by whom he had three sons in NJ, then he married the widow Darril, maiden name Sprague, by who he had seven sons and one daughter.

       Stevens admitted that his two theories cannot both be true. Either the town records or the family records, kept carefully somewhere, possibly in a Bible, were mistaken.[10]

Theory that Benjamin Wilson had two families at the same time

In another article a few years later, “Benjamin Wilson of Rehoboth: Further Clues,” in NEHGR Vol 140, p 264, the same Kenneth C Stevens cites Robert S Trim of Rehoboth, who brought forth the facts that James Blanding, the town clerk who recorded the two questionable facts, Benjamin’s second marriage, and son Nathanial’s birth, would not have had any personal evidence when he inserted the missing dates into the Vital Records. Prior to Blanding’s term in office, the records contained only the death of the first wife, 10 Jul 1731, and the births of all the children of Benjamin and the second Elizabeth which took place after 1733, sufficient time since the death of the first wife as to appear respectable. Fueled by tales of English wealth, Jonathan Wilson and his nephew Blanding added a marriage date and birth date for the first child. Doubtless, Benjamin and his second Elizabeth did not marry in Dec 1730; that would have been bigamy. But when their first boy Nathaniel made his appearance in Jun 1731, a wedding in the previous year must have become part of the “Established Wilson Family Tradition.” This is only guessing, but Blanding wrote “of England” to tie Benjamin to the treasure, he wrote “Sprague” instead of Doyle to seem more British and less Irish, and he added two years to Nathaniel’s birthday, since 1733 might make things look even better.

Mayflower Families Reasons for Rejecting the Willsons

Mayflower Families, Vol 18: 2, the Richard Warren volume, with descendants of his daughter, Mary Bartlett, concluded: “The data on the purported marriage [of Elizabeth (Sprague) Doyle] to Benjamin Wilson is so flawed it cannot be accepted as proof.”

I claim that the problem, as stated earlier, is really how to place Nathaniel. Robert S Wakefield posits that either

·      Nathaniel was a son of the first wife.

·      Nathaniel was an illegitimate child of Benjamin Wilson and Elizabeth Doyle.[11]

·      Or, the death date of the first wife is wrong by a year or more.

Given the evidence I will present of continuing relationships between some of the children of Elizabeth’s Joy and Wilson descendants, I see no reason to continue denying Mayflower Society membership to the seven younger children of Benjamin and Elizabeth.

First, the family of Elizabeth Sprague’s first daughter, Elizabeth Doyle and her husband Obadiah Joy—documented descendants eligible for the Mayflower Society— was:

1. Obadiah JOY was born on 18 Jan 1726/1727 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA. Obadiah died in Chautauqua Co NY, in 1816. On 26 Mar 1749 when Obadiah was 23, he first married Elizabeth DOYLE, daughter of Bartholomew DOYLE & Elizabeth SPRAGUE, in Rehoboth MA, Born ca 1730 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Elizabeth died probably about 1777, possibly in Putney VT. On 31 Oct 1798 when Obadiah was 72, he second married Mary PARK in Marlboro, Windham Co VT. 1790 census: Windham Co CT, Putney, p 53, Obediah Joy: 1/0/2. They had the following children:

                         i.    Major Moses (1749-1816)

                        ii.  Huldah (1751-1813)

                        iii.  Relief (1753-1832)

                        iv.   Joshua (1755-)

                        v.   Joseph (1757-1837)

                        vi.   Mary (1759-)

                        vii.   Capt Amos (1761-1837)

                        viii.    Betsey (1763-1855)

                        ix.  David (<1764-1844)

                        x.    Obadiah Jr (1767-1846)

Second Generation

2. Major Moses JOY. Born in Dec 1749 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Moses died in Putney, Windham Co VT, on 30 Nov 1816. On 23 Nov 1775, he first married Lydia BURR in Rehoboth. She was born on 24 Jun 1754 in Rehoboth. On 9 Feb 1790, Moses second married Hannah TAFT in Putney, Windham Co VT.  1790 census: Windham Co CT, Putney, p 53, Moses Joy: 3/4/4.  Moses and Lydia had the following children:

                        i.  Cromwell (1778-)

                        ii.   Joshua (1782-)

                        iii.  Moses (1787-)

Moses and Hannah had one child:

                        i.  Lydia Burr (1791-)

3. Huldah JOY was born in 1751 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA. She died in Putney, Windham Co VT, on 13 Mar 1813. On 27 Mar 1773, Huldah married Abiah FULLER in Rehoboth, who was born there on 11 Jan 1748/9.  1790, Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, p 508: 1/3/4. They had the following children:

                        i.  Bethiah (1774-)

                        ii.  Abiah (1775-)

                        iii. Susannah (1776-)

                        iv.  Sally (1780-)

                        v.  Abel (1783-)

                        vi.  Joshua (1785-)

                        vii.  Nancy (1787-)

4. Relief JOY was born in 1753 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA. Relief died in Royalston, Worcester Co MA, on 7 Aug 1832. Relief married Daniel PECK. Born on 17 May 1741 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Daniel died in Royalston, on 27 Nov 1814. 1790, Royalston, Worcester Co MA, p 497:  3/3/5. They had the following children:

                        i.  Daniel (1772-)

                        ii.   Ichabod (1774-)

                        iii.   Sally (1775-<1781)

                        iv.  Solomon (1776-)

                        v.  Royal (1778-)

                        vi.  Calvin (1779-)

                        vii.  Sally (1781-)

                        viii.  Moses (1783-)

                        ix.  Rebekah (1785-)

                        x.   Charlotte (1787-)

                        xi.   Lydia Burr (1789-)

                        xii.  Leaffee (1792-)

                        xiii.  Huldah (1794-)

5. Joshua JOY. Born in 1755, on 9 Sep 1786, he married Sarah SMITH in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA. She was born on 22 Dec 1760 in Rehoboth. They have not been located in the 1790 census.

6. Joseph JOY. Born in 1757 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Joseph died in Putney, Windham Co VT, on 28 May 1837. In Mar 1779 when Joseph was 22, he first married Millicent CLAY in Putney. Going against his father’s Toryist views, he was an officer in the Revolutionary War.[12] 1810, Putney, Windham Co VT, p 453, Joseph Joy: 02101/01201. On 15 May 1781 Joseph second married Hepsibah DICKINSON, daughter of Azariah DICKINSON & Temperance SHIPMAN, in Putney, Windham Co VT. She was born on 25 Jun 1760 in Westminster, Windham Co VT. On 11 Mar 1819, he third married Lucinda DUTTON in Dummerston, Windham Co VT. Joseph and Millicent had the following children:

                        i.  David (1778-)

                        ii.  Polly (1780-)

Joseph and Hepsibah had the following children:

                        i.  Huldah (1788-)

                        ii. Joseph (1794-)

                        iii. Temperance (1797-1886)

7. Mary JOY was born in 1759. In Apr 1778 when Mary was 19, she married Richard HARDEN (also written Harding) in Putney, Windham Co VT. 1790, Putney, Windham Co VT, Richard Harden: 1/1/6. Born in say 1750s, Richard was from Topsham, Orange Co VT.

8. Capt Amos JOY. Born on 27 May 1761 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Amos died in Putney, Windham Co VT, on 14 Jun 1837. 1790 census: Windham Co CT, Putney, p 53, Amos Joy Jun: 1/3/2. On 16 Apr 1787 when Amos was 25, he married Rachel FLETCHER in Putney, Windham Co VT. She was born on 28 Oct 1765 in Dunstable, Middlesex Co MA. They had the following children:

                        i.  Wilder (1789-)

                        ii.  Francis Fletcher (1791-)

                        iii.   Rachel (1793-<1807)

                        iv.  Elizabeth (1795-)

                        v.   Lucinda (1797-)

                        vi.  Martha (1799-)

                        vii.  Rebecca S (1800-)

                        viii.  Nathaniel Cummings (1803-)

                        ix.  Thomas (1804-)

                        x.  Rachel (1807-)

                        xi.  Amariah (1809-)

9. Elizabeth JOY. Born on 29 Nov 1763 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Betsey died in Deruyter, Madison Co NY, on 20 Mar 1855. On 2 Sep 1777 when Betsey was 13, she married Charles JONES in Putney, Windham Co VT. 1790, Putney, Windham Co VT, p 110: 1/4/2.

10. David JOY. Born before 1 Apr 1764 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, David died in Cass Co MI, on 1 Apr 1844; he was 80. On 25 Apr 1785 when David was 21, he married Mary DICKINSON, daughter of Azariah DICKINSON & Temperance SHIPMAN, in Putney, Windham Co VT. Born on 14 Dec 1761 in Westminster, Windham Co VT, Mary died in Chautauqua Co NY, on 1 Jun 1831. 1790 census: Windham Co VT, Putney, p 53: 1/2/3. 1800 census: Windham Co VT, Putney. David Joy: 22011/11110. 1810 census: Windham Co VT, Putney. David Joy: 11211/01001/40/50. 1820 census: Chautauqua Co NY, Portland Twp, p 125. David Joy, 110011/00011/01. 1830 census: Chautauqua Co NY, Portland Twp, p 430. Moses Joy: 210102001/31010001. 1840 census: Cass Co MI, p 223. Moses Joy, 01210011001/101101. They had the following children:

                        i.   Isaac (1786-1850)

                        ii.  Moses (1793-1854)

                        iii.  Ezra (1787-)

                        iv.  Dorrill (1790-)

                        v.  Polly (1774-)

                        vi.  Roxalana (<1790-1867)

                        vii. Anna (1795-1845)

                        viii.  Obadiah (1803-)

11. Obadiah JOY Jr. Born in 1767 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Obadiah died in Putney, Windham Co VT, on 11 Dec 1846. On 21 Sep 1788[13] Obadiah married Content HOVEY in Putney VT. Born on 10 Mar 1772 in Oxford, Worcester Co MA. Content died in Putney, Windham Co VT, on 15 Jan 1841. 1790 census: Windham Co CT, Putney, p 53, Obediah Joy Jun: 1/1/1. They had the following children:

                        i.  Comfort (1788-)

                        ii.  Daniel (<1799-)

                        iii.  Waterman (<1799-)

                        iv.  Abigail (<1799-)

                        v.   Solomon (1799-)

                        vi.  Angelina (1803-)

                        vii.  Joshua (ca1805-)

                        viii.  Royal Dire (ca1807-)

                        ix.  Sabra (ca1810-)

                         x.  Lura (ca1815-)

The grandmother of this Joy family was Elizabeth SPRAGUE, born on 15 Aug 1704 in Hingham, Plymouth Co MA. Elizabeth died after 9 Nov 1772. On 1 Jan 1727/8 Elizabeth first married Bartholomew DOYLE in Hingham. Bartholomew died in Hingham, about 1730. They had one child, Elizabeth (ca1730-ca1776). On 15 Dec 1730 when Elizabeth was 26, she second married Benjamin WILSON (often spelled Willson) in Rehoboth MA.[14] Born on 21 Nov 1695 in Woburn, Middlesex Co MA, Benjamin died in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, after 9 Nov 1772. They had the following children:

                        i.  Nathaniel (ca1731-1821), probably

                        ii.  John (1733-1826)

                        iii.  Lucas (1735-1818)

                        iv.  Ammi (1737-1812)

                        v.   Benjamin (ca1739-1821)

                        vi.  Jonathan (1741-1830)

                        vii. Ezekiel (1744-1830)

                        viii.  Chloe (1746->1801)

The children of Elizabeth (Sprague) (Doyle) Wilson and her second husband Benjamin Wilson, that is, the younger half-brothers and sisters of Elizabeth (Doyle) Joy had the following families:

1, probably. Nathaniel WILSON. He was born ca 10 Jun 1731 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, that is, one month before the death of his father’s first wife. Nathaniel died in West Stockbridge, Bristol Co MA, on 21 Apr 1821. He married first Jemima Turner, 10 Jun 1756, Rehoboth MA; and second Mehitable Cone, about 1775, Rehoboth MA. Jemima was the aunt of Thomas and Sarah Turner; she was a daughter of David and Sarah (Howard) Turner, who were the parents of Thomas Turner Sr. 1790, West Stockbridge, Bristol Co MA, p 699, Nathaniel Willson: 3/4/3. He had eight children with his first wife and two with the second; one of his sons was named Fairing, born 28 Feb 1768 in Rehoboth.[15]

2. John WILSON. Born on 29 Oct 1733 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA. John died in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, in Oct 1826. 1790, Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, p 506, John Wilson: 1/1/2.

3. Lucas WILSON. Born on 10 Aug 1735 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA. Lucas died in Putney, Windham Co VT, in 1818. On 29 Mar 1759 Lucas married Sarah CORBIN in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA. Born before 28 Jun 1741 in Woodstock, Windham Co CT. 1790, Putney, Windham Co VT, p 111, Lucas Wilson: 2/1/5. In addition to an infant who died in Mar 1779 and another infant who also died in 1779, they had the following children:

                        i. Lydia (1760-)

                        ii.  John (1762-)

                        iii. Sarah (1764-)

                        iv.  Lucas Jr (1767-)

4. Ammi WILSON. Born on 26 Apr 1737 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Ammi died in Windsor, Windsor Co VT, in Aug 1812. 1790, Windsor, Windsor Co VT, p 62, Ami Wilson: 2/2/5. He married Anna MUNRO, ca 1771; children born in Sullivan Co NH:

                       i.  Joseph, 10 Aug 1772

                      ii. Chloe, 16 Jun 1777

                      iii. Sarah, 6 Apr 1779.

5. Benjamin WILSON was born ca 11 Apr 1739 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA. Benjamin died in Oshawa, Durham Co, Ontario, on 5 Mar 1821. Occupation: Surveyor of highways, Putney VT. Benjamin married Sarah SABIN. Born ca 1740, Sarah died in Putney, Windham Co VT, on 12 Aug 1803. He was on a 1771 census in Putney, but not found in later census records in that town.[16] In 1785 Benjamin had problems with the town fathers, when he left his wife and children and ran away with a prostitute; they immediately “took into custody” all his estate for the support of his family. Benjamin and Sarah had these children, all recorded in Putney VT:

                       i.  Abigail, born 12 Dec 1762, Putney VT.

                       ii.  Moses, born 14 Oct 1764, Putney VT.

                       iii.  Benjamin, born 27 Feb 1767, Putney VT.

                      iv.  Sarah, born 7 Mar 1770, Putney VT.

                      v.  Joseph, born 29 Feb 1772, Putney VT.

                      vi.   Moly, born 14 Mar 1774, Putney VT.

                      vii.  Chloe, born 15 Sep 1776, Putney VT.

                      viii. Otis, born 16 Nov 1784

6. Jonathan WILSON. Born on 7 Apr 1741 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Jonathan died in Shoreham, Addison Co VT, on 9 Apr 1830. He married Lucy BLANDING, 29 Nov 1764, Rehoboth MA. Son Jonathan born 8 Feb 1766 Rehoboth, died 26 Aug 1838. 1790, Shoreham, Addison Co VT, Jonath: Wilson: 1/0/1.

7. Ezekiel WILSON was born on 11 May 1744 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA. Ezekiel died in Putney, Windham Co VT, on 6 Jun 1830. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and married Sarah TURNER, daughter of Thomas and Hannah (Wheaton) Turner, sister of Thomas Turner who married Ezekiel’s sister Chloe. 1790, Putney, Windham Co VT, p 111, Ezek’l Wilson: 2/5/5. They had nine children, including Fairing, born 9 Feb 1772.[17]

8. Chloe WILSON. Born on 23 Jun 1746 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, Chloe died in Rehoboth, Bristol Co MA, after 1801. She married Thomas TURNER, son of Thomas and Hannah (Wheaton) Turner, sister of Sarah Turner who married Ezekiel Wilson. They were possibly in Freetown, Bristol Co MA in 1790, 1/0/3.

        Two of Obadiah and Elizabeth (Doyle) Joy’s sons married sisters: Joseph married as his second wife, Hepsibah Dickinson 15 May 1781, in Putney, Windham Co VT, and David married Mary “Moly” Dickinson 25 Apr 1785, in Putney. Hepsibah and Mary were daughters of Azariah Dickinson and his wife Temperance Shipman. Another daughter, Lucy Dickinson, married Lucas Wilson Jr, 15 Nov 1787, Windham Co VT, a son of one of Elizabeth Sprague’s children from her second marriage to Benjamin Wilson.[18] Thus, the three sisters married two brothers and a cousin once removed.

       Of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Sprague) (Doyle) Wilson’s children, it appears that Lucas, Benjamin, and Ezekiel went with their older half-sister to Putney VT. Although the families may not have actually traveled together, they did end up living in the same town and having dealings together. Other sons, Ammi and Jonathan, went to other parts of Vermont.

        At a town meeting Putney VT, 13 May 1777, Lucas Willson[19] was named one of the Commissioners of Highways and Moses Joy was named one of the Surveyors of Highways. Lt. Lucas Willson was also named to both the County Committee and the Town Committee. On 12 May 1778, Obadiah Joy was named a Surveyor of the Highways. A list of freemen who took an oath “In the State of Vermont” is on pages 461 and following of the “Book of Putney,” and while the date or dates the oath was given are not given, it clearly includes the names, in the order listed, Lucas Willson, Moses Joy, Richard Harding, “Obediah” Joy, Ezekiel Willson, Joseph Joy, Thomas Turner, Charles Jones, David Joy, Lucas Wilson Jr, and Obediah Joy Jr.

         On 27 Dec 1785, an indenture was drawn between Lewis Allyn of Putney and Moses Joy of Putney. For 40 pounds Allyn conveyed to Moses Joy “all that parcel of land” which he owned in north Putney. Witnesses were Lucas Willson and David Joy.[20]

         The continuing relationship between Willsons and Joys in Putney VT reinforce the vital records of Rehoboth which show kinship since the 1730s when the widow Elizabeth (Sprague) Doyle probably married the widower Benjamin Wilson. They may have had a child before an actual marriage took place, if it ever did. But by far the most obvious conclusion is that all of Benjamin Wilson’s children born after Sarah in early 1730 were children of his second wife, they were half-brothers and a half-sister of Elizabeth (Doyle) Joy, and they were grandchildren of Elizabeth (Fearing) Sprague.

         Doubt about Nathaniel’s parentage may still exist, but this should not cloud the parentage of the other sons and daughter.

© 2008, Kathy Alvis Patterson

[1] Rehoboth VR.

[2] Possibly a daughter of Amariah and Mary (Brigham) Park, who were resident in Marlboro when their son Josiah was born Mar 1781. They had a daughter Mary born 23 Aug 1765 in Grafton, Worcester Co MA.

[3] Rehoboth VR, 801.

[4] Rehoboth VR, 406. This record was added by Town Clerk, James Blanding, between Mar 1812 and Mar 1836.

[5] According to the Rehoboth VR, 783, he was born 10 Jun 1733.

[6] Lineage application of Katherine Alvis Patterson, national no. 60585, Society of Mayflower Descendants, approved 1994.

[7] But probably before 1984 when his first comments appeared in NEHGR.

[8] Stevens also discounts the existence of the three sons of the first marriage. Wife #1 had Sarah and Nathaniel. Wife #2 had six sons and a daughter.

[9] Stevens ignored the fact that Nathanial and his brother, or half-brother, Ezekiel each named a son Fairing, an obvious reference to the second wife, Elizabeth (Sprague) (Doyle) Willson;s mother, Elizabeth (Fearing) Sprague.

[10] As an English teacher, I have striven to understand Stevens’s title. We cannot adequately connect the dots, or tie the threads, that link this family together. According to his metaphor, we have an “unbroken circle” which we must strive to untangle. What will we get then? Loose threads? A broken circle? Don’t we actually have a broken circle now which we would like to be able to tie up neatly, with all the threads in place? The goal is an unbroken family circle.

[11] This could explain why he was not originally listed with the other children’s births and also show that Nathaniel named a son Fairing for his grandmother, Elizabeth (Fearing) Sprague.

[12] Joseph Joy, MA, NY, Sea Service Private, Sergeant, Lieutenant. 7 Aug 1832, Windham County, VT, Anthony Mason, guardian for Joseph Joy, resident of Putney, non compos, at age 76. …In 2nd year of the Revolutionary War Joseph in May or June at Rehoboth MA enlisted under Capt. Bliss, for 6 months, “and this while a minor and contrary to the wishes of his father, who at that time was infected with Toryism, but he knows of no living witness by whom he can prove said service, excepting Obadiah Joy, whose affidavit is herewith transmitted. … approx. September of 1777 or 1778 he enlisted as a sergeant for 3 months under Capt. David Hill. …The said Joseph Joy in the year 1780 [very poorly written or overwritten] in the town now called Putney…mid June of that year and mustered at Brattleboro, to Fort Stanwix, then Fort Hunter, discharged in November and returned home. 2 Aug 1832, affidavit of Obadiah Joy of Putney, age 64. In the 2nd year of the Revolutionary War he and Joseph Joy now of Putney lived at Rehoboth, Mass., and in May or June Joseph enlisted as a private…”The company commander I think was Capt. Bliss,” and marched to Roxbury and Dorchester and served 6 months, that his father was inclined to be a Tory and opposed the said Joseph Joy going into the army and particularly did not like him to go under Capt. Bliss. …About the middle of June 1780 Joseph went from Windham County, Vermont into the service as a lieutenant and mustered at Col. John Sargent’s horse in Brattleboro…Captain’s name was Blakeley… Lieutenant commission for Joseph Joy, State of New York, appointed 1 Jul 1780, recorded 11 Sep 1780.

[13] This Obadiah Joy cannot be the man who married Molly Park in 1798, as he had a living wife.

[14] As noted above, the dates of the second marriage, Benjamin’s first wife’s death, and son Nathaniel’s birth are in conflict.

[15] If Nathaniel’s mother was Elizabeth (Sprague) (Doyle) Wilson, as his birth record in Rehoboth states, Fairing was probably have been named for his maternal great-grandmother, Elizabeth (Fearing) Sprague.

[16] See John Duffy, ed., Early Vermont Braodsides, University Press of New England, 1975, p 37, where Benjamin Willson of Putney is described as refusing the muster call of the Governor of New York. Nearly 100 men of Putney tried to hide their cows and some emigrated to Canada. This is probably why Obadiah Joy was accused of being a Toryist. In a deed dated 2 Feb 1789, for a consideration of £100 he quitclaimed all land in Putney. Putney Deeds, 2:145. Note that after his wife’s death, Benjamin did move to Canada where he died.

[17] See note 14, above.

[18] All in Putney VR.

[19] In these records the family name is always spelled Willson.

[20] Putney, Windham Co VT Land Records, 1770-1805, Vol 1, pp 270-271. Also, Vol. 3, p 103: Lucas Willson to Moses Joy; Vol 4, p 358, Lucas Willson to Lucas Willson Jr.

Published in: on October 17, 2008 at 5:42 pm  Comments (6)  

Col. Abraham Penn’s Muster Roll, Henry Co VA, March 1781


© Kathy Alvis Patterson  2008

The purpose of this list is to illustrate how many of the men from the Guilford Courthouse Militia were still in Henry Co VA six years later, and also how often Col. Penn’s list does not show the same spelling as the tax list. At times, the man’s name may not appear on the tax list, but his family may have still been in the county.

Col. Penn’s list/ those names also found in 1787 spelling in tax list, if different

Abraham Penn

George Waller

David Lanier

Jonathan Hamby /Jonathan Hanby

George Hairston

Edward Tatum

Josiah Shaw

Jesse Corn

Hamon Critz/ Haman Critz

Charles Dotson/ Charles Dodson

William Dotson/ William Dodson

Deverix Gilliam

William Going/ Wm. Gowing

William Smith

Thomas Hollinsworth/ Thomas Hollandworth

Samuel Packwood

Daniel Smith

William Cox

John Davis

Thomas Edwards

Richard Gilley

Archie Murphy/ Archebald Murphy

William Moore

John Pharis/ [xxx] Farriss

John Rea

Brice Martin

John Burchell/ [xxx] Burchel

John Cox

Thomas Jones

John Pyrtle

Joseph Piper/ Joseph Phifer

John Pursell/ John Parsley

Michael Rowland

John Kelly

William Bohanon

John Brammer

John Stanley/ John Standley

John Alexander

Joseph Anglin/ [xxx] Anglen

John Bowling

John East

William Hays

_____ Joyce/ Alexander Joyce

David Mays

John Richardson

Lewis Bradberry/ Lewis Bradbury

Aristophus Baughn/ [xxx] Vaughn

John Crouch

Jesse Elkins

John Jones

John Jamerson

John Kitchen

Richard Parsley

Thomas Hambleton

Morris Humphreys/ Morriss Humphris

James Roberts

Bartlett Reynolds

John Taylor

Samuel Luttrell/ [xxx] Littrul

John Fontaine/ John Fountaine

William Graves

Stephen King

Thomas Leak

George Pool/ George Poor

James Rea

Joseph Rice

Thomas Smith

George Bowles/ [xxx] Bowls

William Bowling

Nathan Jones

John Nance

Joseph Peregoy/ Joseph Pedegau 

Joseph Pearson/ [xxx] Pierson

John Burch/ John Burchfield

Charles Dickerson

John Doyal/ [xxx] Doyall

William Elkins

Joseph Gravely

Edward Smith

Michael Barker

John Branham

William Branham

James Crawley/ James Croley

John Edwards

George Folly/ [xxx] Foley

John Gibson/ [xxx] Gipson

Joseph Hurt

Joel Harbour

Elephas Shelton/ Eliphaz Shelton

Jacob Adams

John Barrat/ John Barrott

Francis Barrat/ Francis Barrott

Shadrack Barrat/ Shadrack Barrott

Thomas Hudson

Joanthan Hanby

Nelson Donothan/ Nelson Donathan

Dudley Stephens/ Dudley Stevens

Joshua Stephens/ Joshua Stevens

James Poteet/ James Poteete

Peter Bays

Aquilla Black/ Aquila Blackley

Ben Hubbard/ Benjamin Hubbard

Charles Hibbert/ Charles Hibbitt

Ambrose Mullins

George Nevil/ [xxx] Nevill

Richard Potson/ Richard Pilson

Ninon Prater/ Ning Prater

Thomas Tinson/ Thomas Tenison

Peter Tittle

John Ratford/ John Radford

Joseph Walden/ Joseph Waldon

William Dellingham/ [xxx] Dillingham

William Bartee

                    Additional last names from Col. Penn’s list still represented in Henry Co in 1787: Cloud, Watson, Belcher, Lockhart, Cunningham, Turner, Webster, Hall, Hurd/Hurt/Heard, Robertson, Gray, Wilson, Barker, Mitchell, Rogers, Dunn, Harris, Massey, Mullins, Allen, Evey/Ivie, Johnson, Dillard, DePriest, Fee, Sims, Witt, Bennett, Haile/Hale, Anderson, Cook, Payne, Burnett, Pratt, Stewart, Brown, Bryant, Small, Harris, Bowman, Chandler, Hensley, Howell, Street, Hill, McGuire, Woods, Thompson, Graves. Although many spelling differences are seen to be minor, there are times the initial letter is changed from F to PH, or PH is changed to P, three times a syllable is dropped, and several times consonants or vowels are changed. 

Conclusion: Col. Penn was not accurate in the spelling of the names of men in his militia.

Analysis and compilation by Kathy Alvis Patterson, using a Col. Penn’s autograph muster list, the transcribed list in Pedigo, History of Patirck and Henry Cos VA,  and Schreiner-Yantis, Personal Property Tax Lists for 1787, Henry Co VA (1987)  @2008

Published in: on September 8, 2008 at 3:47 am  Leave a Comment  

My Dorsey Research

My grandmother remembered well her grandfather, Augustus Dorsey, of Conway Springs KS. If you’ve ever driven up I-35 from Oklahoma toward Wichita, you were about a mile from his farmhouse and the cemetery where he’s buried, near the first Kansas Turnpike tollbooth. My grandmother gave me copies of his obituary, proud facts about his Civil war service, including Andersonville Prison, and the knowledge that he was a native of Somerset Co PA. I wrote her uncle, a son of Augustus’s second marriage, and he filled in small details, such as descendants, and what looked like great information, but which I now know to be incorrect, that Augustus’s father was named Patrick Dorsey.

So I wrote the Somerset Co PA Genealogy Society and asked about Augustus, son of Patrick. Their longtime head genealogist, Eber Cockley, mailed me a list of Dorsey data, which later appeared in a 1971 article in exactly the same words, in the Laurel Messenger, their genealogy society newsletter. I was pleased to see confirmation that there was a Pat Dorsey and he had a son Augustus. It took me about 20 years and a lot of genealogy experience to realize that Mr Cockley had used me as his source for that relationship. I spent that 20 years searching for Pat.

By the late 1980s, I knew Augustus’s father was more likely a member of William C Dorsey’s family, and I was concentrating on finding out who this man was. In 1987 I found Augustus’s second marriage license which showed his parents as Loyd Dorsey and Sarah (Moser) Dorsey.

The Dorsey Dreams newsletter published by Lois Bennington, mentioned in one issue several Hancock Co OH Dorseys, whose names corresponded to some of the children of William C Dorsey. The Genealogy Society there forwarded my letter to Kim Carles-Hammer. This gave the names of all of William C’s children, and his wife as Mary Black.

The NSDAR Library in DC has a chart put together by Montgomery Cumming ca 1900 and a typed manuscript by Edith L Burrell of Findlay OH. The chart is similar to what Edith used in her book. Kim also had access to a notebook, which shows that Loyd and Lloyd Dorsey are the same, and that Augustus and his father Lloyd were son and grandson of William Cumming and Mary (Black) Dorsey.

I have not been able to obtain a copy of the entire notebook or a statement from Tom Dorsey, who has the notebook, giving its provenance. 

Edith Burrell corresponded with Montgomery Cumming and Jean Muir Dorsey, who wrote a large book in 1947 about the Maryland Dorsey family. Too bad Mr Cumming wasn’t more specific about his sources; no one apparently has ever been able to find them.

Jean Dorsey’s letter to Edith was dated after the publication of her book and contradicts people who say “she didn’t extend the line of Edward and Sarah (Cumming) Dorsey; therefore, she must have agreed they had no children.” 

Recently DNA studies of descendants of William C Dorsey and of his brother Richard Dorsey of Washington Co KY demonstrate that they were members of the Maryland family.

© Kathy Alvis Patterson  2008

Published in: on August 21, 2008 at 11:22 am  Comments (5)  

The Atwell Family in early North Carolina Censuses

Most of what I know about John Atwell of Green Co KY comes from his census record. His son, my ancestor, Benjamin Atwell, consistently gave his birth as 1807 in NC.

Census History of John ATWELL Jr:

  •      1810 Caswell Co NC, page 461: 31010/20010
  •      1820 Green Co KY, page 061: 320101/10210
  •      1830 Green Co KY, page 047: 01111001/0001001  [son Thomas Atwell was in Hart Co]
  •      1840 his widow Sally, Green Co KY, p 169: 00011/0001001 [same page as a young Richard Atwell]

Compare the census history of John’s brother Richard Atwell:

  •      1810 [not found]
  •      1820 Hart Co KY, p 152: 421111/21011
  •      1830 Barren Co KY: 0111001/0001001;  same page as William Atwell
  •      1840 Barren Co KY, Richard Atwell Sr: 00010001/01000001 [also in the area, Benjamin, Ignatius, John T, Richard H, William; at least one of these is John’s son, not Richard’s]
  •      1850 Barren Co, p 440, Richard and wife Sarah, both 67, with others

These are other Atwells  in NC:

  • 1790 Sampson Co NC, Fayette Dist, p 51. John Atwell, 1/2/1/0/1
  •      also Sampson Co NC, Benjamin Atwell: 2/2/1/1 slave
  • 1800 Person Co NC, p 210, John Atwell: 10010/10200
  •      Eliphalet Atwell (00100/00100) in Bladen Co
  •      Benjamin Atwell (2001/4001) in Pendleton Dist SC [6 children under 10!]
  • 1810 Bladen Co NC, Eliphalet: 10100/51100
  •      Person Co NC, p 419, John Atwell: 11010/01010
  •      Guilford Co NC, p 969: J Atwell, 10010/11010
  • Caswell Co NC, all p 463:
  •      John Atwell Sr: 00001/00110
  •      John Atwell Jr: 31010/20010
  •      Lock Atwell: 20110/00100
  • 1820 Sampson Co NC, p 282 Benjamin Atwell: 011001/00010
  •      Sampson Co NC, p 312, James Atwell: 000100/10100
  •      Iredell Co NC, p 247, John Atwell: 200010/20010
  •      Rowan Co NC, p 264: Lock Atwell: 320011/10020
Published in: on August 21, 2008 at 11:05 am  Comments (1)  

Evidence and Errors in Light Family Research

There are at least five constantly recurring errors in my branch of the Light family, that is, the New Richmond, Ohio, family. I would like to call attention to each of these, present evidence to settle the issues and bury the mistakes. 

Before looking at these mistakes, we should distinguish the Caernarvon Twp., Lancaster Co PA-New Richmond OH Light family from another Light family living at the same time in Lebanon Twp., Lancaster Co, later Lebanon Co PA. This other family was the object of Moses Light’s 1896 book The Light Family in America and the recent publication of an updated manuscript by the late Rev. J. G. Francis, History and Genealogy of Early Pioneer Families of Lebanon Co PA.

These are the errors commonly found or repeated in the New Richmond branch of the Light family. 

1) That the wife of our John Light (1724-1822) was Marget.

2) That our family is closely connected or even the same as the Lebanon Co PA Light family. Confusion exists over which Jacob Light adopted two sons of his brother John Light, over the parentage of the various John and Jacob Lights, and over which John or Jacob was in which PA county at what time.

3) That Catherine Britzius was the wife of either John Light (1724-1822) or his son Jacob Light (1757-1831).

4) That a Sir Henry Light of German origin was the immigrant ancestor of this whole family.

5) That Mrs Susannah Ashburn was a sister of Jacob Light.


I will discuss these issues one by one.

1) According to Mary Kemmerle’s 1986 book Jacob Light of Caernarvon Township and Some of His Descendants, p 7, the identification of Marget Light (see a photo of her headstone in SearchLight, IV-4, p 2) as the wife of our John Light was made in 1930 by the above mentioned Rev. J. G. Francis in his “Light Family History.” Mary writes: “Rev. Francis, while writing the history, investigated other Light families and apparently was trying to establish whether there was any relationship between the families. In his book (p. 508), he included some information which he attributed to the Caernarvon Twp. family of [our] history. Although no source or proof was given, this information has been generally accepted as fact by others researching this family. This information has now been proven incorrect. Rev. Francis stated that John lived in the vicinity of Valley Forge and helped gather supplies for the Army during their encampment there. He went on to say that John’s wife, Marget, died while they were living there, and that she was buried at the Coventry Brethren Church cemetery. Marget Light’s head-stone, still in good condition in 1983, shows that she died 4 May 1787. A recently discovered deed, dated 1773, shows that John’s wife was Catharine—not Marget. A John Light, born in New York State and later a resident of Lancaster Co PA was very active in military service during the Revolution, and was probably the one noted at Valley Forge.” See #3 below for more on this NY John Light.

No one has yet determined where this Marget Light fits into any Light family. 

The reference for the deed mentioned by Mrs Kemmerle is Chester Co PA deeds, Vol B-2, p 308, Apr 28 1773, when John and Catherine sold land. They went immediately to Berkeley Co VA and purchased land there on Jun 30 of the same year. See Mrs Kemmerle’s book and SearchLight, V-4, p 2, for evidence that this is the same John Light (1724-1822). 

2) SearchLight, IV-4, p 3, corrects the error made by Moses Light in 1896, concerning two brothers John and Jacob. John was rich in sons; Jacob was rich in this world’s goods, but childless, so he adopted the two youngest of his brother’s children, Samuel and Martin. My great-great-grandfather Oliver Perry Light, writing in the 1890s, still had family records which showed the brothers Samuel and Martin to be children of our John, not the John Light of Lebanon Twp (SearchLight, pp 242-243).

Moses Light’s John Light was the 1738 immigrant on the Winter Galley, the builder of the “Old Fort,” and the father of sons John, Martin, Jacob and Henry, plus a daughter Anna. There are various mistakes in the Moses Light book, including the date of immigration and the identification of several men with the same names. Some of these mistakes have been cleared up in different issues of SearchLight.

3) There was indeed a John Light who married a Catherine Britzius. As with everything else I am writing here, the facts have already appeared in SearchLight, but have been ignored by some researchers. Their marriage record is given on p 235: Dec 2 1782, in Lancaster PA. His Revolutionary War pension papers are copied on the same page. These demonstrate that he was born on Dec 25 1754 in Westchester Co NY and died Jul 2 1834. Catherine Britzius (at times written Bridges) Light died on Jan 27 1846 leaving one surviving daughter, Mrs Sarah Adams. SearchLight on p 254 gives added information about this family, namely their 1790 census in Lancaster PA, with neighbors named Britzius, and data from the will of Isaac Britzius mentioning his sister Catherine, the wife of John Light. They always lived from the time of their marriage in Lancaster PA. This was the John Light at Valley Forge.

Obviously, this cannot be Catherine, the wife of our John Light (1724-1822), or the wife of his son Jacob (1757-1831), whose wife Catherine Harmon was born in 1764 and died in 1833. The mistake was perpetuated by a DAR marker in the Ohio cemetery where John was buried, stating his wife was Catherine Britzius. An earlier DAR Patriot Index, p 415, has Catherine Britzius as the wife of our Jacob Light. 

Catherine Britzius has no part in our ancestry, except for a footnote and an explanation of why she shows up so often. 

4) One of the most common errors in genealogy is the assumption that if “it’s the same name, it must be the same man.” The most common occurrences of this tendency in our Light family have to do with Catherine Britzius, who without doubt did marry a John Light (see above), but another example may be found on the page 459 of SearchLight; What is there to prove that the John Light who lived in Montgomery Co PA was the same John Light whose son Jacob married Catherine Harmon? Our John can be followed pretty well throughout his entire life, and I do not see him ever in Montgomery Co. The submission on p 393 gives an accurate example of comparing two men with the same name in the same place, but not considering them the same man.

An example of the extremes caused by this kind of mistake may be seen on p 408 of SearchLight, where Catherine Britzius is stated to have been born in 1763, married in 1782 and the mother of Peter, born in 1746. All this because more than one man was named John Light, and the submitter assumed they were one man. 

This page also gives our John and Catherine (—) Light a son David and no son Martin. David is questionable, as is a son Benjamin, but neither is mentioned in their uncle Jacob’s 1808 will. There was certainly a son Martin.

The excerpts entitled “Going Over the Mountain” on pages 445, 459, and 460 of SearchLight have two major problems that I can see: first, it is not clear which portions of the data given were compiled by S H Light of Ansonia OH in 1911, and which were added in 1991 by William Charles Light of Greenville OH, and what sources were used for the newer data. Did S H Light believe, as shown at the bottom of the first column on p 459, that our John’s wife was Catherine Britzius, or did William Charles Light find that mistake on p 201 of  SearchLight (see reference given) and add it as though proven? Keeping track of sources is the first step for all genealogy; combining two men’s records and forgetting who said what first should not be done.

Second, what are the sources for the families given? This article gives three German brothers: William, Benjamin and Sir Henry (How would a German say “Sir Henry” anyway?); second generation, Henry Jr; third generation, John, Martin, Benjamin and Jacob; fourth generation, Jacob, Daniel, Peter, David and Barbara; fifth generation, the proven children of our Jacob Light (1757-1831). What are the sources for this data?

By contrast, in SearchLight, V-2, p 7, we can see references to original documents demonstrating that our Jacob Light Sr (d ca 1763) had the following children: Jacob, John, Peter, Benjamin, Christian, Elizabeth, Barbara and Ann. The children of the second generation John Light (1724-1822) are given in a 1808 will (SearchLight, IV-4, p 7; V-2, p 7): Peter, Daniel, Jacob, Barbara, Samuel and Martin. As stated above, there may have been a David and a Benjamin. 

John, the father of our Jacob Light, had the brothers and sisters given in the 1763 deed and the 1808 will, and was the son of Jacob Light. It has yet to be proven if two Henry Lights fit into this family. Evidence from the 1700s has not been shown to prove these Henrys existed.


5)  Early sources do not mention a relationship between the two founders of New Richmond, Jacob Light and Thomas Ashburn. See History of Clermont Co OH, Louis H Everts (1880), pp 406 and 407; and an article in the Clermont Sun, Jun 30 1966. The families appear totally separate. A reference to Jacob Light’s nephew (unidentified, possibly a son of his brother Daniel) in Everts may be the origin of this mistake.

The source of the claim that Mrs Thomas Ashburn was a sister of Jacob Light’s seems to be a 1975 article in the Cincinnati News (SearchLight, I-2, p 5). I have not seen this claim made before 1975 and I have seen it made several times since, probably referring back to the Cincinnati article.

Jacob Light did have a daughter Susanna, who married Timothy Conner. The children of Jacob’s father John Light are given above; there was no known daughter Susannah. 


Newsletters like SearchLight reprint articles and data submitted by others. The mistakes belong to the submitters, not to the editor. Note that true facts for all of the above have appeared in SearchLight and all that needs to be done is study the material printed using some basic criteria: who says so? how does he know? is that really the same man? are the dates consistent? The articles to follow are those which refer to contemporary documents, and which answer the above questions.

What is known about our branch of the Light family is due to the painstaking efforts of Bertha Minnick, Mary Kemmerle and Betty Light Behr. Thanks to the three of you for hours and years of pleasant reading.

© Kathy Alvis Patterson  2008

Published in: on August 21, 2008 at 10:57 am  Comments (5)  

Elisha Gilberts in the Revolutionary War, CT-MA-VT-NY

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

After finding records in Middletown, Vermont, and in 1994 identifying my ancestor, Elisha Gilbert, as a son of Henry and Sarah (Domer) Gilbert, I 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 men 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 (now[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. Four have now 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 in New England 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]

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 image #12219965; the Otis, Massachusetts, Elisha Gilbert’s signature is at; and the Stockbridge/Dighton, Massachusetts, Elisha’s signature is at

For the service record of “my” Elisha Gilbert, who is labeled F, see

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]

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

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

25.          Gilbert, Elisha, Ancestor #: A209328, 1752 MA-bef 4-18-1818 [F]

The 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, 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][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 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 or at

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 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, accessed 28 December 2012, but none are applications for a man named Elisha Gilbert (,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, since I printed the images when the site used that name. Newer copies will say

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

[25] image #10124792.

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

[27] See Document above.

[28] 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:, 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] 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.

[39] image 7657124 and 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] image #20780486; image #10197340. See Columbia County, New York, history reference at

[43] 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,

[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 revival 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 six sons whose names were repeated by the brothers are DAVID, also the father’s name of course, ASHLEY, SHADRACH, STANLEY, ELIJAH and ZACHARIAH; they  each used at least some of these names for their sons. 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 six sons mentioned, 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 of that ime with two given 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 Robert and Henry Franklin, who named his first son Julian James. 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 indicate popular boys’ names or neighbors.

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.

I also considered that the suggested sons of JOHN Alvis, Sr, all moved away from other Alvis families.

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 Alvis, 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 strategy 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 time 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 Indiana. If Charles Dabney was the youngest son, he went in a different direction from his brothers.

War of 1812 payroll 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 (11)  

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.


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 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  “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, 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, 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 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.


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

1840Anna ArmstrongLivonia, Livingston Co NY0001/0000201image 30

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

1840John ArmstrongLivonia, Livingston Co NY 100011/20001image 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. 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 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 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 ( “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 ( “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 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

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.


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: related 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, ( shows his father as a First Lieutenant during the Revolutionary War. 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 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 —


1.  Elisabeth ARMSTRONG b: 25 MAY 1795


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

Marriage 2 Ruth, b 1780



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 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


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:


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


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 ArmstrongWarsaw,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 [ 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

estatepersonal estatethereon

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


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.







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


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.]

1840Anna ArmstrongLivonia, Livingston Co NY0001/0000201image 30

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

1840John ArmstrongLivonia, Livingston Co NY 100011/20001image 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 Armstrongs. 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.


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.


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)