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 Ancestry.com revealed no Henry Armstrong of anywhere close to this age resident in this part of NY State at any time, and also no Armstrong other than John and James, mnetioned above, by any name with this approximate age and birthplace. Henry might, however, be the man, probably of that age and birthplace, who signed two family deeds in 1816.
This household was next door to that of Elizabeth (Smith) Armstrong, widowed daughter-in-law of James Armstrong of Geneva NY—she and her children are among those buried in Geneva, above.
Recently acquired deeds include one which shows that a Henry Armstrong witnessed the 1816 deed transferring property from Daniel Agnew of Maidenhead, Hunterdon Co NJ to John Arm-strong of Seneca Twp, Ontario Co NY; Henry Armstrong personally knew both parties to this deed. So, the Henry is likely the fifth son of James Armstrong of Geneva NY.
John and Sarah (Embree) Armstrong named their only son Henry, b ca 1824.
There was one Alexander Armstrong in every Seneca or Geneva, Ontario Co NY, census in 1800, 1810 and 1820. Were there two men with the same name in the same village? One Alexander Armstrong is on the same page of the census in 1820 as William Barron. When I attempted to locate the “Ridge Road” Armstrongs, I found a totally different Alexander Armstrong and eventually decided that most likely the Yates County book was simply mistaken and James Armstrong had no brother in this part of NY State; he may have had a brother named Alexander, but he did not live in this area or have a family of children.
1800 Seneca, Ontario Co NY, p 500: Alexander Armstrong, 10001/10201, same page as James Armstrong.
1810 Seneca Twp, Ontario Co NY, 00001/00000.
Was this man, the brother of James, the same as Alexander Armstrong, a Revolutionary War veteran from Pennsylvania, with a documented much younger, second wife, Grissel Chapman, who died in Washtenaw Co MI? If his stated birthdate is correct, he could not have been a brother of James Armstrong of Geneva NY, since both were born in 1763. Based on county of origin in PA, it is probable this man was a brother of the Benton NY family. At first glance, this was one man, in Seneca Twp in 1800 with a young son and older daughters, alone in 1810, but remarried before 1820 and was rejoined at that time by two sons 16-26. But I now think these census records refer to the man from PA. See below for more details.
The Geneva Gazette, 20 Apr 1814, 2: 1, reported a sheriff’s sale of the goods of Alexander Armstrong, which may indicate the death of James’s brother.
After studying the Armstrongs in this area for some time and pondering this question, I reached a tentative conclusion that the statement in the Yates Co History was a mistake by the author. James had a brother Alexander, but the Armstrongs in East Benton NY, who also had a brother Alexander, had a different origin, which follows.
Scotch-Irish Armstrongs from Eastern Pennsylvania
In 1987, I corresponded with Carol Anders of Fountain Valley CA. Carol sent a FGS which gave the dates for her George Armstrong as b 1759, d 21 Mar 1842 Sandusky Co OH. His wife, Elizabeth Ardery, died on 17 Aug 1831 and is buried in Mt Pleasant Cemetery, Benton NY. Their children were Sarah (ca 1790), James (ca 1791 PA), John E (1796) and Alexander (1798).
“George Armstrong was drafted into the Revolutionary War at the age of seventeen. He was a resident of the town of Juniata, Cumberland Co PA [Juniata Twp was founded in 1793-KP] when he entered the service on 25 Dec 1776. He served as a sergeant in the company of militia commanded by Capt James Gibson. He marched to Philadelphia and from there to Trenton and Princeton in New Jersey where he was under the command of Gen Israel Putnam. This was about the time that the Hessians were captured at Trenton. George served for two months, fifteen days and was discharged and returned to Juniata.
“In 1778, he was again drafted, this time in Capt Matier’s Co, Col Smith’s Regt, Gen Lacy’s Brigade of Militia. He went to Crooked Billet near Philadelphia, served two months and was discharged.
“In 1780, George was drafted for the third time, in the Co of Capt Hurl, under Maj Elliot, was on duty principally in Northumberland Co for two months and then was honorably discharged.
“After the war ca 1793, George and his family went by boat to Ontario Co NY where he purchased a farm in Benton. He and his wife Elizabeth had at least four children [above]. In 1832 George applied for a pension, which was granted for the amount of $28.33 per annum.
“George applied for a transfer of his pension to Sandusky Co OH in 1834, stating that his reason for removing to the State of Ohio was to live with his children. In his will dated Feb 1836 he gives $1000 to his daughter, Sarah Chapman; to his son James all his personal property; and to James and John E all of his real estate to be equally divided. George died on 21 Mar 1842 and is buried in Wickwire cemetery, Bellevue OH.”
George was part of a family of probable brothers John and George, with a sister Sarah, all of whom resided in Jerusalem Twp, Ontario Co NY, in 1800 and Benton in ca 1809 and also 1810. George was born before 1755, John and Sarah between 1755 and 1775. There are indications they were siblings of the Alexander Armstrong who moved to MI, including the Chapman family connection. Living within a few miles of each other were, supposedly, two families of Armstrongs, each with these names John, James, George and Alexander. But the men of this family are pretty much the same age as the James and George Armstrong from Somerset Co NJ. And there are no references at all to NJ in this family; they seem to have been in PA as late as the 1790s.
Alexander Armstrong, a Revolutionary War veteran from Pennsylvania, who married Grissel Chapman and died in Washtenaw Co MI, was, based on county of origin in PA, probably a brother of the Benton NY family. This Alexander in 1820 was in the same town where another Armstrong family resided, with a wife, two sons 16-26, one daughter 10-16, and two new babies, a girl and a boy. Washtenaw Co and Ionia Co MI histories indicate he had a total of seven children, including a probable oldest son, John D Armstrong.
Carol Anders wrote me that William S Armstrong, of the Armstrong Clan, listed the children of her family’s Alexander as Martin Nailor (1801), Elizabeth (1803), Sarah (1805), George (1807) and Alexander McLean (1809). This does not match the family of Alexander, later of Washtenaw Co MI. These individuals are currently unplaced.
1820 Seneca Twp, Ontario Co NY, 100201/11010
1830 Seneca Twp, Ontario Co NY, 111010001/1010001
1840 Freedom Twp, Washtenaw Co MI, 0011100001/00100001
2 houses away: John D Armstrong: 0100001/211001
1850 Lodi Two, Washtenaw Co MI, 87 b PA, w/Grissel, 60, George, 34 NY, Alexander, 20 NY.
Alexander and Grissel had a daughter Elizabeth. From Pioneer Ancestors, Salt Lake City Chapter SUP, at Ancestry.com: “Elizabeth Armstrong Born 2 Apr. 1819 in Seneca Castle, Ontario County, New York Arrived in Salt Lake Valley in 1851. Elizabeth Armstrong was the daughter of Alexander Armstrong and Grissel Chapman. A number of residents in the Ontario County area of New York state went in a body to Michigan and took up land there. Records of the First Presbyterian Church in Saline, Michigan, show a petition to the New York Church by some of the departing church members for permission to start a branch of the church in Michigan. Alexander and Grissel Armstrong are listed as members of the First Presbyterian Church in Saline, Michigan. The Armstrongs settled in Lodi, Washtenaw Co MI, and Alexander Armstrong is shown as one of the first persons to apply for land there.” Elizabeth and her husband Hiram Mace, became Mormons and moved to Utah.
A short biography of son George Armstrong in History of Washtenaw County, Michigan, 1881, page 1187, at Ancestry.com, reads: “George Armstrong (deceased) was born near Geneva, N.Y., and in his youth followed agricultural pursuits. He came to this county, and settled in Lodi tp., where he bought a farm of 200 acres, residing on this property until his death, which occurred in 1868. He is buried on Lodi Plains. Mrs Armstrong, who still survives, is a resident of Ypsilanti tp., and the mother of four children—Frank, who was born in 1856, and in 1877 purchased the “McBain farm” of 87 acres; Clara, born in 1859; Emma, born in 1862, and Georgia, who was born in 1868.”
Another daughter was Emily J, who married an Armstrong, but not apparently a close family member: Portrait and biographical album of Ionia and Montcalm Counties, Mich, 1891, accessed at Ancestry.com, page 771: “The wife of Mr Wurster was born in Ontario county, N.Y., March 22, 1828 [questionable-KP], and is a daughter of Alexander and Grizle (Chapman) Armstrong. He father was a native of Pennsylvania and her mother of Connecticut, and the paternal ancestors were Scotch. Her mother’s father was a Revolutionary War soldier. She remained in her native State until she was eight years old, when she came with her parents to Washnetaw County where Mr. and mrs. Armstrong died. Mr Armstrong had been twice married and was the father of seven children but two of whom are now living: Elizabeth, wife of Hiram Mace, in Utah, and Emily J., wife of our subject. The latter grew to maturity in this State and in 1850 was married to M.M. Armstrong, who died in 1859, leaving her with four children.”
Returning to this family in what became Yates Co NY, we find The Centennial Record, First Presbyterian Church, Penn Yan, NY lists the three men and their wives as founding members, as does History of Yates Co NY: with illustrations and biographical sketches…, by Lewis Cass Aldrich 1892:
“The original members were … John and Susannah Armstrong, … George and Elizabeth Armstrong, John and Sarah McLean….”
Since George’s wife was Elizabeth, he is not the George who married Hannah Riggs and settled in Seneca (see Cleveland, 1873). There were clearly two different Georges in 1800.
1800, Ontario Co NY, Jerusalem Twp: George Armstrong, 30001/11010. [b bef 1755]
John “McClain,” 02201/11010
John Armstrong, 00010/10010 [b 1755-75]
George Armstrong was in the following censuses:
1810, Ontario Co, Benton Twp: Geo Armstrong, 01111/10101 [b bef 1765]
Jno Armstrong, 20010/30010 [b 1765-1785]
John McLean, 00301/01001
1820, Ontario Co , Benton Twp: George Armstrong, 010112/00401 [2 men b 1780-1790]
next door, James Armstrong, 300010/00010
James had four children, as given above, two of whom married Chapmans.
1825, State census, Yates Co NY
George Armstrong: 2 [males] 3 [females] 0 [subject to military service] 1 [male voters] 0 [married females under 45] 1 [unmarried females 16-45] 1 [females under 16] 0 [marriages preceding yr] 0 [births preceding yr] 0 [deaths preceding yr] 70 [acres improved land] 12 [cattle] 2 [horses] 25 [sheep] 13 [hogs] 10 [yds cloth manufactured domestically]12 [flannel] 24 [linen, cotton]
James Armstrong: 6 [males] 2 [females] 1 [subject to military service] 1 [male voters] 1 [married females under 45] 0 [unmarried females 16-45] 1 [females under 16] 0 [marriages preceding yr] 1 [births preceding yr] 0 [deaths preceding yr] 0 [acres improved land] 5 [cattle] 3 [horses] 20 [sheep] 2 [hogs] 12 [yds cloth manufactured domestically ] 30 [flannel ] 24 [linen, cotton]
1835, State census, Yates Co NY [Who were David and Milton?]
George Armstrong: 1 [males] 3 [females] 1 [subject to military service] 1 [male voters] 2 [married females under 45] 1 [unmarried females 16-45] 0 [females under 16] 0
David Armstrong: 3 [males] 3 [females] 1 [subject to military service] 1 [male voters] 0 [married females under 45] 0 [unmarried females 16-45] 0 [females under 16]
John Armstrong: 2 [males] 2 [females] 0 [subject to military service] 1 [male voters] 0 [married females under 45] 0 [unmarried females 16-45] 0 [females under 16] 0
Milton Armstrong: 5 [males] 2 [females] 1 [subject to military service] 1 [male voters] 0 [married females under 45] 0 [unmarried females 16-45] 0 [females under 16]
Milton Armstrong was in Starkey, Yates Co NY in 1850, b ca 1796 NY, laborer, with the Thomas and Alvira Curtis family. Rebecca, b ca 1795, with Ostin, 18, with Ira and Carolina Naples family. He was also in Reading Twp, Steuben Co NY in 1820 and in 1825.
What happened to this John Armstrong after 1810 is not clear. There was a couple named John and Susannah Armstrong in nearby Livonia Twp, Livingston Co NY, from 1830 until her death after 1850. But other evidence indicates this John was a son of Matthew Armstrong of Lycoming Co PA
Ancestry.com also has a gedcom which lists the children of John and Susanna Armstrong, with the claim that John was born in Bucks Co PA. It is possible that this gedcom conflates two families into one.
1. John ARMSTRONG b 1801 in PA
2. Elizabeth ARMSTRONG b ca 1812
3. Matthew ARMSTRONG b 28 SEP 1812 in NY
4. Maria ARMSTRONG b 1820
5. James ARMSTRONG b 1822 Lima, Livingston Co NY
6. Thomas ARMSTRONG b Livonia, Livingston Co NY [census = b 1822]
1830 John Armstrong Livonia, Livingston Co NY 01022/0012201
1840 Anna Armstrong Livonia, Livingston Co NY 0001/0000201 image 30
1840 Susannah Armstrong Livonia, Livingston Co NY 00002/000020001 image 28
1840 John Armstrong Livonia, Livingston Co NY 100011/20001 image 20
1850, Livingston Co NY, Livonia Twp: Susanna Armstrong, 71 PA living in home of Thomas, w/several children and grandchildren; son John was three houses away.
Ancestry.com also has this:
John S MCLEAN, b 11 Jun 1748 in County Antrim, Northern Ireland; d 9 Aug 1841 in Benton, Yates Co NY; Bur West Dresden, Yates Co NY; m Sarah ARMSTRONG, b 15 Jun 1753, m 31 Aug 1779 in Pennsylvania, d 3 Sep 1841 in Benton; 10 children.
From Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice, 1883 Tioga County PA History: “Captain James Goodrich… married Deborah Armstrong McLean at Benton Centre, then Ontario County, N.Y., January 24th 1815. Her father was a Scotch-Irishman, born at Antrim, county Antrim, Ireland, about 1748; who, leaving his widowed mother, Elizabeth Fleming McLean, and a sister, came to America, landing at the city of Philadelphia, after a three months’ voyage, in the year 1775. His intention was to see the country, and, if satisfied with it, return the following year and bring his mother and sister; but the embargo on commercial intercourse between the two countries, ensuing on the opening of hostilities that intervened, prevented; and, with that instinct that usually arrays Irishmen against the British government–which influenced many prominent men of that nation, residents in this country at that period, for which a lasting gratitude should be due–he joined the patriot forces as a private. He served three years, enduring much hardship and passing through the battles of Long Island, White Plains and Brandywine, the encampments of Valley Forge and White Marsh, the battles of Germantown, Trenton and Monmouth, and was present at the execution of Major Andre, at Tappan. At the close of his service he married Sarah Armstrong, daughter of James Armstrong, likewise of Scotch-Irish descent, but early settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. His first place of residence after marriage was at Mifflin, on the Juniata River, where five children were born–James, William, John, Alexander, and Elizabeth. In 1796 the family removed to Geneva, N.Y., the house hold effects and a part of the family ascending the Susquehanna in a bateau while the farm stock was driven by the way of Williamsport and the Williamson road. Settlement was first made at the Castle farm, three miles from Geneva, where was born Red Jacket, the celebrated Indian chief of the Seneca tribe. Here George McLean and his sister Deborah were born. Subsequently the family moved to Benton Centre, three miles from West Dresden and one and a half miles west of Seneca Lake, and settled on a farm purchased of the Pulteney estate. Here John McLean died August 9th 1841, aged 93 years; and Sarah, his wife, September 8th 1841, aged 88 years; and their remains now lie in the Dresden Cemetery, which overlooks the lake.”
If this article is corrent, Sarah, John, George and probably Alexander Armstrong were the children of James from Pennsylvania, not Martin from New Jersey. It appears at this time that there were two Armstrong families in Ontario Co [and the part that is now Yates Co] NY, and both of them may have had brothers named Alexander Armstrong.
Back to My New Jersey Armstrongs
Based on the evidence cited above and following, we can assume that these men in the 1800 census were brothers:
1800 Seneca, Ontario Co NY, p 500: James Armstrong, 41001/00001
1800 Seneca, Ontario Co NY, p 504: George Armstrong, 10010/12010
A source at Ancestry.com says James was named as witness in his brother George’s Revolutionary War pension application; George served in the Somerset militia. This led to a search for George Armstrong of Somerset Co NJ and Ontario Co NY.
History and directory of Yates County : containing a sketch of its original settlement by the Public Universal Friends … , Stafford Canning Cleveland, 1873, p 220, states George Armstrong married Hannah Riggs and that they resided in Seneca NY.
The Honeyman family (Honeyman, Honyman, Hunneman, etc.) in Scotland and America, 1548-1908, A. Van Doren Honeyman, Plainfield, NJ: Honeyman’s Pub. House, 1909, page 216 has the following:
“MARGARET [Honeyman], of Bedminster township, Somerset Co., N.J., b 1767; d. Jan. 31, 1821; m. (1) Jan. 10, 1799, William Henry, farmer, who was b. Sept. 7, 1765, and d. Aug. 25, 1807; (2) Dec. 28, 1810, George Armstrong, who was b. Apr. 21, 1761 and d. Jan. 7, 1848. William Henry lived at the head of “Homeyman’s Lane,” his residence being close to that of his father-in-law. George Armstrong had previously married, May 17, 1799 Hannah Riggs, who d. June 19, 1808, and by whom he had three children: (1) Martin, b. May 26, 1800; d. Feb. 1814. (2) George Riggs, b. Apr. 5, 1804; d. Feb.. 11, 1812. (3) Mary Riggs, b. Sept. 26, 1806.” Page 117 of the same book reads, “Margaret, as the wife of William Henry, lived in the vicinity of Lamington, but had various reisdences as Mrs. Armstrong.”
George and Margaret had one child, John Honeyman Armstrong, of near Peapack, NJ, b 3 Aug 1812, d Cincinnati Feb 1874. These sources combine to show that George Armstrong went from NJ possibly to KY then to Ontario Co NY and back to NJ. Postings at Ancestry.com agree with this.
Nancy Corman wrote that:
“Martin ARMSTRONG’s grandsons Martin and Daniel McCOY of Bourbon County, KY filed documents (found in the Lexington County Courthouse) stating that their uncle George ARMSTRONG was then (1810) living on land in NY (exact location not given) that they had inherited from their grandfather Martin ARMSTRONG of Somerset, NJ. I don’t mean to accuse anyone of duplicitous actions, just that the property was divided among the heirs in advance of Martin ARMSTRONG’s death. Uncle George had been living in Lexington KY for a while. He moved back to NY by 1810 and lived in NJ for many years after that.”
And in an email, she added that,
“Since the Lexington, KY papers said George was living on the land promised to Daniel and Martin McCoy, it might have been part of a larger parcel originally bought by Martin Armstrong. Another possibility is that Martin Armstrong took over some land held by his BROTHER John. There were some records of Martin Armstrong’s brother, John, who lived in the county adjacent to Somerset. I think he had some financial problems that were recorded so that there were records. He died before Martin and I may have seen a will or land documents. There seemed to have been much more to look at regarding John than Martin. I’ll check my files.
I believe it was the Agnew cousin through whom I knew of James because he had written to the government as witness to his brother George’s service in the Somerset Regiment and George wanted to qualify for a pension. It was denied because he did not serve as a soldier (they had riots for back-pay, so I think that his brothers-in-arms are the best judge of who served and who did not.) George was a long-time active member of the Somerset Rev. War Veterans Assn. Anyhow. George and James were among those listed in the Regiment Muster Rolls. (You probably knew that).
I found George Armstrong listed among the residents of Lexington, KY in the post-Revolutionary census records. He may have come with the large group of veterans who settled there and sold off part of their land acquired as remuneration for service. There were many lawsuits over a long period between the settlers and those who were granted the land that had been squatted upon with respect to who had more right to hold it. The squatters lost.”
Although George’s Revolutionary War pension application was rejected (Ancestry.com. “American Revolutionary War Rejected Pensions Record, Name: George Armstrong, State: New Jersey, Location: –, Somerset, Reason: Team service.”), his grave is marked as that of a Revolutionary War veteran (Ancestry.com. “Reference: Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots, Vol.1, p. Serial: 12625; Volume: 4. George ARMSTRONG, Cemetery: Lamington Presbyterian Cemetery, Location: Somerset Co NJ 63.”).
The question now is whether George was married before Hannah. If his birthdate of 1761 is correct, he was 38 when he married in 1799. And who were the 3 female children in his household in 1800? At any rate, like his brother James, he had a known son named John (b 1812), so is probably not the father of our John (b 1781-88). The Ancestry.com researcher stated George never married, which we might take to mean he married late, and one branch of the family didn’t know about it.
By 1810, George had likely returned to NJ, since he is not in the NY census and the NJ census is not extant.
Somerset Co NJ Armstrongs
So, this Ontario Co NY family points back to Somerset Co NJ and a Scotch-Irish immigrant named Martin.
These are the Armstrongs in that county in tax lists at Ancestry.com:
JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bedminster 1775
JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bedminster Twp 1784
JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County W Precinct 1785
JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1787
JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1788
JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1789
JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1789
JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards 1793
JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1793
JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1796
JOHN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Kingston 1812
MARTIN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bedminster 1775
MARTEN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1784
MARTIN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1786
MARTIN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1787
MARTIN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1788
MARTEN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1789
MARTINE* ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1790
MARTEN* ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1791
MARTEN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1792
MARTEN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1793
MARTIN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1793
MARTIN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1794
MARTIN ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1795
GEORGE ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bedminster Twp 1778
GEORGE ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1786
GEORGE ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1791
GEORGE ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1792
JAMES ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1786
JAMES ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1788
JAMES ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1791
JAMES ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1792
JAMES ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1793
JAMES ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1793
JAMES ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County E Precinct 1794
THOMAS ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bridgewater Twp Se 1786
THOMAS ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bridgewater Twp 1791
THOMAS ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bridgewater Twp 1792
THOMAS ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bridgewater 1793
THOMAS ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bridgewater Twp 1802
THOMAS ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bridgewater Twptx 1808
DAVID ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1788
DAVID ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1789
DAVID ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1790
ABRAHAM ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1790
ABRAHAM ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards 1793
ABRAHAM ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twptx 1803
ALEXANDER ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1790
ALEX ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1791
ALEXANDER ARMSTRONG NJ Somerset County Bernards Twp 1792
If these men comprise the same Martin Armstrong, his potential brother John and their sons, we can see that the latter included Abraham, Alexander, David, George, James, John, and Thomas. The earliest names are Martin and John in 1775; the other names all appear in the 1780s. James disappears from these lists exactly when the Yates Co NY book says he moved to western NY. George and Alexander were also gone after 1792. David was not listed after 1790. John in 1812 must be a different man. Thomas was still in Somerset Co in 1808, Abraham in 1803.
Martin’s will and/or contested estate papers were filed in 1806 In Franklin Twp, Somerset Co NJ.
Son John’s will was dated 5 Feb 1808 in Maidenhead Twp, Hunterdon Co NJ, and mentions the estate of his father, Martin Armstrong. Also, John mentions his son, John Armstrong (son of Barsheba Moore), real and residue of personal estate. Said son to be educated and Dr. James Agnew, his Guardian. Inventory was made by James Coleman and William Baker. John Armstrong (s/o John Armstrong, s/o Martin Armstrong) was also the son of Barsheba Moore whose father, John Coleman, mentioned John Armstrong, both father and son, in his ca 1803 will. Barsheba/Bathsheba Coleman married Nathaniel Moore. Deeds concerning Daniel Agnew, Martin Armstrong, and John Armstrong of Ontario Co NY have turned up some interesting results.
Interesting confirmation of some parts of this family’s history was published in an issue of Armstrong Bulletin Board, #863, p 8, published by Fred W. Field, Fullerton CA. Not copyrighted.
PIONEER FAMILIES OF NORTHWESTERN NEW JERSEY
Beginning in Feb 1934, William C. Armstrong of Blairstown, New Jersey, published a series of weekly articles with the title shown above. They appeared in the Hackettstown Gazette and ran for 94 installments, two installments being devoted to Armstrong. William C. Armstrong died in June, 1936. Later, in 1979, the articles were gathered and republished by Hunterdon House, Lambertville, New Jersey, (same title as above). Mr. Thomas B. Wilson edited the articles for book form and prepared en index and preface.
We recently were successful in contacting Mr. Armstrong’s granddaughter, Margaret Armstrong Berry and she very graciously gave ABB the family’s permission to reprint the two Armstrong-related articles. These will be published in installments. In the preface Mr. Wilson notes that not all the material was original work but that Mr. Armstrong had drawn freely on material published by others (standard procedure in genealogical research). According to information received by Mrs. Berry, Mrs. Armstrong’s GGG-F was Nathan Armstrong, the subject of the first article. The second article seems to have been compiled from correspondence and other sources. It is quite likely that most of the information in the two articles is not available elsewhere.
(First Article: realted to a Nathan Armstrong-not copied here)
The second article was published in issue #864, page 6ff.
George Armstrong of Rocky Hill–Little is known of the George Armstrong whose name heads this article. His parentage has not been ascertained.
We list here three children of an Armstrong household that lived in later colonial times in the lower part of Somerset Co., New Jersey:
i. George Armstrong whose name heads this article. He is said to have been a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He died January 7, 1848 in his 87th year, and this would place his birth year about 1762. No further record. [Same date of death as in Honeyman family history.-KP]
ii. James Armstrong, who is always mentioned after his brother and is hence thought to have been younger. He also is said to have been a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He lived to be an old man. No further record. [James lived to be almost 90 and died in Geneva NY.-KP]
iii. Amy Armstrong, born Apr. 12, 1765, died Apr. 2, 1861, at Franklin Park, New Jersey, aged 96 years. In 1776 and 1777 she was living with a Williamson family. Not far away lived a Scott family, whose son, William Scott, then fifteen years of age, afterward married Amy Armstrong. They were married April 12, 1791; William was born June 11, 1762 and died March 6, 1816, aged 54 years.
The record of the descendants of William and Amy Scott is fairly complete and with a little work and patience could be brought up to date; but we will not at this time take up their genealogy. Our present purpose is merely to preserve some traditions of that far away period.
We now give in full a letter written by Adrian A. Williamson of Oregon, later of Oakland, CA, addressed to Miss Mary E. Fisher, who at that time, was living at New Brunswick, New Jersey. The former Miss Fisher is now Mrs. Coburn of Fitchburg, MA.
To: Miss Mary E. Fisher
New Brunswick, New Jersey
My Dear Niece: Your letter of a remote date was duly rec’d and its contents noted. In reply I would say that so far as the Williamson genealogy is concerned I know almost nothing. I remember hearing my father Abram Williamson telling my mother in the presence of the whole family that his ancestors came originally of a good Dutch family from Holland long prior to the American revolutionary war, that the sons had fought under Generals Israel Putnam and Anthony Wayne, but where and when I never heard him say.…
I was married at Portland, Oregon on May 5, 1862.… [His 1910 census shows him born ca 1836.-KP]
I know a great deal more about my mother’s branch of our house than about my father’s. I learned these facts when my wife and I were back in New Brunswick in 1867.
Mother’s family, especially the Armstrongs, were of good old English and Scotch extraction, having come to America in the early 1700’s sometime.
My great-uncles. George Armstrong and James Armstrong, fought in the Revolution under Washington at Princeton, New Jersey, only a few miles from where their father lived at Upper Rock Hill.
I have been over the place once or twice when a small boy. The stone milk-house was still there as it was when the Hessians, a part of them, retreated across New Jersey, after being defeated at Trenton and Princeton, soon, I believe, after New Year’s.
Great Uncle George Armstrong was 18; James was 16. Both were over 6 feet high. I saw them at our house at Millstone twice, visiting us there. [I surmise this visit, which must have happened after 1830 or so was when James tried to help his brother obtain a Revolutionary War pension.-KP]
Amy Armstrong, my grandmother (my mother’s mother) was living with us. She died at my mother’s house in Franklin Park, 96 years of age, which would have been about 1861.
When the battle of Princeton was fought (January 1777), Amy Armstrong was a small girl, say 9 or 10 years of age: she lived with us. [This and much that follows must be from the memories of Amy Armstrong.-KP] William Scott, (her future husband), a boy 15 years old, and who lived a short distance away, was visiting us that forenoon.
Well, my great-grandmother Armstrong was frying doughnuts when the boom of the first gun announced the beginning of the battle. As it was cold they put on their overcoats and shawls and ran up to the top of the highest hill and saw the fighting. Of course it goes without saying, that they had their pockets full of doughnuts.
Well, they soon saw that one army was retreating; and in about half an hour they saw it was the Hessians running down the Kingston road to Rock Hill and away down the Millstone River, through Kingston and over the river towards Plainfield, New Jersey.
They passed directly through my great-great-grandfather’s place [doesn’t he mean great-grandfather?-KP], tramped down his garden vines, went into the house, stole everything they could carry off, drank up all the milk in the milkhouse, carried off all the butter, vegetables and everything they could lay their hands on and stole all the pigs and hogs on the place.
They imprisoned my great-great-grandfather in his own cellar until rescued in a short time by a British officer.
I got all this information from my grandmother and her brothers, George and James Armstrong (my great-uncles).
It was mighty interesting to me to see those 6-foot-3-inchers march up and down the long entry in the old homestead carrying their guns on their shoulders and telling of their exploits under Washington. They were at Valley Forge that terrible winter, and they simply worshipped the name of George Washington.
My grandfather Scott…
With best wishes,
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).”
In 1790, there were two Armstrongs in Montgomery Co NY, which comprised all of western NY.
1790, Montgomery Co NY, Whites Twp: Archibald Armstrong, 222 [father of the Ontario Co man]
1790, Montgomery Co NY, German Flatts Twp: John Armstrong, 121 [probably the oldest brother, who went to Canada]
Archibald Armstrong is easy to identify from later records in Italy Hollow, Yates Co NY. History and directory of Yates County: containing a sketch of its original settlement by the Public Universal Friends … Cleveland, 1873, contains two sketches of this Archibald Armstrong. Page 385:
“Archibald Armstrong settled in this hollowin 1794, on lot No. 11 of the North Survey, or northeast section, and resided there until 1817, when he sold to Philander Woodworth, and moved to Middlesex. He belonged to the advance guard of civilization1 , and was in some respects a rough character. Owing to his great physical strength, he was seldom worsted in his pugilitic conquests, which were very frequent, and gave him the name of the “Old algerine.” His brother-in-law, Alexander Porter, was however sometimes able to thrash him very soundly, and no doubt with salutary effect. Armstrong was of Scotch descent, and was very familiar with the Indians, understanding their language perfectly, and speaking it fluently. His wife was buried in the orchard on the farm on which he settled in Italy Hollow, and her grave is still enclosed with a picket fence….John Armstrong, cousin of Archibald, settled on lot No. 3, North Survey, in 1795, remaining there until 1806.”
And on page 594:
“Cornelius Sawyer Jr. married… Esther Henry, widow…born in Italy in 1804…the daughter of Alexander Porter, who settled about a mile east of Middlesex Center in 1804. He first settled in Flint Creek Hollow in 1798, near Archibald Armstrong, the first settler in that hollow… Armstrong was a celebrated drummer, and served through the war of the Revolution with three brothers. The following incident is related on good authority: a hostile Indian was killed and skinned and his hide given to Uncle Arch., as he was called. He tanned and made a drum-head of it, and on Lafayette’s visit to this country in 1825, Uncle arch. took his drum to Canandaiga, and showed it to him. The General recollected the circumstance, and at once recognized Mr. Armstrong, with whom he was acquainted in the army.
“Alexander Porter was a brother-in-law of Armstrong—having married his sister Catherine on the German flats near Rome, N.Y. Both Porter and armstrong were of Irish origin. Porter came to this country at the age of fourteen, about the close of the Revolutionary War, and married his wife, who was born in America, and had been taken prisoner near Fort Stanwix, now Rome, and was in the hands of the Indians during the Revolution. She was taken to Canada, and there redeemed by a relative who was a British officer and knew her. After her release and return, she and other prisoners were provided with a dinner by General Washington, while on a visit at Albany. This was at or after the close of the war, for she had been retained in Canada nearly three years…”
Their son’s reminiscences were published in the Ontario Repository and Messenger, 29 January 1868:
“The friends of Henry Porter, Naples, were assembled at his house Jan. 15th, to commemorate his golden wedding. …. Mr. Porter gave his history, from memory, mostly, which we subjoin below:
“This occasion requires that I should give a short history of my ancestry, and having no family record in full, I shall depend somewhat upon my memory. My grandfather was of Irish descent, and emigrated to this country about the year 1776, and settled on the Delaware river, in Penn. He died in the year 1812. My grandmother died about the same time. My father, Alexander Porter, came to this country at the age of fourteen and settled in Oneida county, this State. He had one brother who settled near Albany, N. Y., and one sister who settled in Philadelphia. In the year 1797, my father moved to Flint Creek Hollow (now the north part of Italy Hollow.) This whole section was then a howling, unbroken wilderness, and my father the third family that settled. It was infested with panthers, bears and wolves, that prowled about filling the woods with hideous yells. The wolves were so ravenous that they killed yearling cattle in daylight, and at night were kept from the cabins by fire-brands. The bears were very numerous and troublesome, carrying off pigs and even hogs. One hog weighing 200 lbs., was taken from the pen in the daytime, and carried by the bear bodily, walking on his hind feet, fifty rods, and was shot while dragging his victim through a brush fence. We suffered much for help, so scarce were settlers and no teams. The trees were felled in slashes, across each other, suffered to lay one year, and then burned, and our corn was planted between the logs. When it was ripe, was cut up, a great fire built of the logs, and the settlers invited to the husking. The men carried the bundles and the women husked till midnight. This was done with each other until all were served. My father moved to Middlesex, adjoining this town, where he lived several years, when he moved to this town and died here at the advanced age of 89 years.
“My mother was American born and her maiden name was Catherine Armstrong. While she was a child, living with her father at Fort Stanwix, (now Rome, Oneida Co.), she was one day picking wild cherries about one-fourth of a mile from the Fort, accompanied by another girl, and was taken prisoner by the Indians. The girls tried to elude them and the other girl succeeded, but as my mother was climbing a fence, she was taken. She was shown then, the scalps of seven neighboring women, fresh and dripping, and was in great fear. She saw her mother at evening when she went out to milk, but was told if she made a loud noise, her’s would be there too. She was a prisoner among the Indians two years and nine months, and was then ransomed by her uncle, for five guineas and several gallons of rum. After the ransom she was sent to Albany with other prisoners, and there Gen’l Washington conversed with them about their hardships, and giving them their dinner and a crown each, sent them home. She died here at the age of 76.”
1800, Ontario Co NY, Middletown Twp: Archibald Armstrong, 10010/00010
next door: Alexander Porter, 22010/30110
1810, Ontario Co NY, Naples Twp: Archd Armstrong, 21010/20010
1820, Ontario Co NY, Gorham Twp: Archibald Armstrong, 110201/010101
previous page: George Armstrong, 200110/111000, probably the brother who married Anna Hilton and died in Kalamazoo MI.
1830 Ontario Co NY, Groham Twp: Archibald Armstrong, 000100001/00000011
1840, Washtenaw Co MI, Saline Twp: Archibald Armstrong, 00000000001/010000001
A history of Herkimer County: including the Upper Mohawk Valley: from the earliest period to the present time, p 72, (Ancestry.com) shows his father as a First Lieutenant during the Revolutionary War. Ancestry.com has this family and data for Archibald Armstrong:
b 1762 in German Flats, Herkimer Co NY; d 29 JAN 1847 in Pittsfield, Washtenaw Co MI; bur Oakwood; died from effects of rattlesnake bite; was a friend of Gen. Lafayette. Chapter Four of “Armstrong Family” by Frank H. Armstrong (Draft copy March, 2001) pages 2 and 3, provides extensive information about Archibald II, his parentage, his military service, his wives, children, and grandchildren. Also refers to a living descendant, Charles Stratton, 424 Highview, Dearborn, Michigan 48128-1555 (313) 562 3134, email: Charles Stratton@umich.edu. 2nd draft copy of the same reference [4/01] from Revolutionary War records: Enlisted in Jan 1779 and served until June 1783 under Captains Hicks and Parsons and Colonel Van Schaick. Was a drummer boy at the execution of Major Andre and was in the Battle of Yorktown (Capture of Cornwallis).The reference includes he was a drummer boy in the battles of Monmouth NJ 28 June 1778 and Germantown PA 4 Oct 1777. He was at the battle of Cowpens SC 17 Jan 1781 (Michigan Heritage Vol. 1 No. 2)
Father: Archibald ARMSTRONG b 1727 in Tyrone, Ireland
Mother: Elizabeth STAHRING b ca 1741 in Palatine, Montgomery Co NY
Marriage 2 Lydia —
1. Elisabeth ARMSTRONG b: 25 MAY 1795
2. Lydia ARMSTRONG
3. Cuyler ARMSTRONG b: ABT. 1800 [res Washtenaw Co MI 1840]
Marriage 2 Ruth, b 1780
1. Lydia ARMSTRONG
2. Stephen ARMSTRONG b: ABT. 1805
3. Elizabeth ARMSTRONG b: ABT. 1809 in probably in New York state
4. Cameron ARMSTRONG b: ABT. 1812 in probably in New York state
5. Archibald ARMSTRONG b: 1816 in German Flats, New York [sic]
6. Nicholas ARMSTRONG b: 1818
Marriage 3 Sabra PRITCHARD, 1774 in Pittsfield, Michigan
His father was Archibald Armstrong Sr, for whom this summary was found at Donald Armstrong’s Ancestry.com gedcom:
“Born 1727 in Tyrone, Ireland; d 1792 in W. Rome, Oneida Co NY. Archibald first appeared at German Flats in 1760 on the Church Records at Stone Arabia. This was for the Christening of his son Johannes with his wife Elizabeth Staring. The record states that he was a soldier in the 46th Regiment. These were British troops that were stationed there due to the French and Indian War. There seems to be some question of when the marriage took place. Not much else was known except by family tradition that he was ‘from Pennsylavania, came up the Hudson Valley to the Mohawk River valley.’
“Recent research in England at the Military History Library found the record of one of the Companies of that Regiment, Captain Francis Legge Company of Foot, dated June 1, 1762 at New York Harbor. It is known that many Militia troops were drawn from Pennsylvania at the time of this war. An Archibald Armstrong as Sergeant in a Militia Company fits the picture but it remains for the future to determine if they are the same.
“Archibald later served in Militia companies at Stone Arabia as a second Lieutenant in the early part of the American Revolution and later as a Private, when the Companies were reorganized. He had three sons, Archibald, John, and Adam who served in the 1st New York Regiment which was attached to General Washington Headquarters. Archibald was a Drummer and the other two were fifers. They were at the hanging of Andre and again at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. Adam’s discharge (at the national Archives) was signed by Washington. It is assumed that the others were but they were lost over time.
“Before and after the Revolution, Archibald was an Indian Trader at the junction of Wood and Canada Creek, near present day Rome, New York This was known to his descendants and the location was often pointed out to them. Archealogical research was done in the 1950’s and verified the site.
“The New York Archives contains a Note: For value Received I promise to pay on demand to Friederich fox or his______ the sum of Three pound ten shillings and ten pence New York Currency with _______ full interest from the date_______of until paid as_____ my hand. German Flats February the 4th 1788 with_______Archibald Armstrong Wit: Wilhelm Dygert.
Marriage 1 Elizabeth STAHRING b ca 1741 in German Flats; m 1761 in German Flats, Herkimer, NY
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.
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
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
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 Armstrong Warsaw,Genesee,NY
The following Armstrongs were still living in Wheatland, Monroe Co NY in 1830: ARMSTRONG, Calvin – – – page 324
ARMSTRONG, John – – – page 325
ARMSTRONG, Lawrence – – – page 325
ARMSTRONG, Polley – – – page 323
ARMSTRONG, William – – – page 319
Town of Gates: ARMSTRONG, George – – – page 241
25 Jan. 1820, Rochester Telegraph : MARRIED – Mr. Lemuel Allen, to Miss Mary Ann Armstrong, both of Pittsford.
21 Nov. 1820, Rochester Telegraph : Married, at Pittsford, Mr. James Armstrong to Miss Olive Ann Kimball.
26 Dec. 1820, Rochester Gazette : MARRIED – On the 14th instant, at the house of James Young near the Seneca village, on the Buffalo Reservation, by the rev. Step N. Rowan, President of the N. Y. Missionary Society, Tho’s Armstrong interpreter to the Seneca mission, to Rebecca Hemperfrman.… Thomas Armstrong and Rebecca Hempferman are both whites, who were taken by the Senecas at the close of the revolutionary war, from their cradles, & are now identified with the Indians by their parties are native Senecas.
This is the first occasion on which marriage has ever been solemnized in this tribe according to the Christian institution; and it is hoped this will be an example for future imitation, as the rights were solemnized in the presence of a number of the principal Chiefs and Warriors in the nation. – Geneva Gazette.
Pioneer Burial Ground of Pittsford NY has these graves listed:
ARMSTRONG [Captain] John; d Aug. 24, 1812 [of epidemic] æ 52y
Mary, wife of John; d July 22, 1835 æ 69y
Richard, son of John & Mary; d Aug. 6, 1821 in the 15th yr of his age
John; a native of Leicestershire, Eng.; d Feb. 4, 1841 æ 52y 8m 19d
Ann Parker, relict of John; b Nov. 22, 1780, Eng.; d Nov. 15, 1857 æ 76y 11m
Ann Eliza, dau. of John & Ann; d Jan. 27, 1864 æ 48y 11m 22d
Joseph; d Apr. 18, 1862 æ 69y 9m
Esther, wife of Joseph; d July 5, 1831 æ 35y [ancestry.com calls her Esther Cole]
Ann; wife of Joseph; d July 28, 1867 æ 52y
Sally Mary, dau. of Joseph & Esther; d Dec. 15, 1817 in the 2nd yr. of his age
Josephine, dau. of Joseph & Ann; d June 16, 1822 æ 7y
Joshua J., son of Joseph & Ann; d Aug. 30, 1833 æ 7m
Verginia E., dau. of Joseph & Ann; d Oct. 17, 1849 æ 15y
Dorinda H.; d June 9, 1853 æ 26y [not found in 2000]
Thomas; d Sept. 11, 1828 æ 12y
William Parker; d Jan. 5, 1852 æ 28y
These veterans were buried in Wheatland NY cemeteries:
Name Armstrong, John
Cemetery Pioneer, Sec. Q, lot 5
1st Enlisted Oct. 11, 1780 (served 8 days)
2nd Enlisted Oct. 13, 1781 (served 8 days)
Unit Capt. William Hutchins’ Co., Co. Ebenr. Walbridge’s Regt.; Revolutionary War
Died Aug. 24, 1812 aged 52 [b ca 1760]
Name Armstrong, Calvin
Cemetery Wheatland Baptist, Sec. M, lot 17
Born Nov. 24, 1780
Enlisted Dec. 20, 1813 Discharged March 25, 1814
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
Unit Co. L, 8th Cavalry; Civil War
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
Unit Co. K, 8th NY Cavalry; Civil War
Died Aug. 14, 1863 aged 22
Notes (died of wounds)
This family probably came to western NY directly from Leicestershire England, including
Joshua Armstrong, b 24 SEP 1794 in Loughborough, Leicestershire, England; d 6 JUN 1868 in Waldo, Marion, Ohio; Served in War of 1812; Emigration: 1803; s/o John Armstrong & Mary Simonds; m Phoebe Stearns m 1816 in Pittsford NY; 8 children.
DILLON CEMETERY aka GREENHOUSE CEMETERY Town of Hopewell – Ontario County NY: Matthew, son of George & Phoebe; died Oct 14 1814; ae 1 yr;
Early Tax Rolls, Town of Benton, Ontario Co NY, 1813
Names Description Amount Amount Total Tax
of possessors of real estate of real estate of personal real & to be paid
estate personal estate thereon
Armstrong George House & 150 a 2250 250 2500 1.80
Armstrong James North 1⁄2 Lot 798 798 .56
No 12 In town No 7 136 a
Early Tax Rolls, Town of Benton, Ontario Co NY, 1816
Armstrong George House & lot 150a 2250 198 2448 8.85
Armstrong Robert House & lot 187a 2600 2600 9.40
Early Tax Rolls, Town of Benton, Ontario Co NY, 1821
Armstrong James 20 240 240 .73
Armstrong John E 25 250 250 .77
Armstrong George 110 1320 1320 4.04
1820 CENSUS ONTARIO AND STEUBEN COUNTIES (PART)
The following index lists all heads of households in the Ontario County towns of Benton, Italy, Jerusalem, Middlesex and Milo; and the Steuben County towns of Reading and Wayne. Italy and Jerusalem had the same boundaries as the modern towns of the same name; Benton and Milo included between them the modern towns plus the modern town of Torrey; Middlesex comprised modern Middlesex and Potter. These five original towns were split off from Ontario County in 1823 to form Yates. Reading in 1820 included the modern town, which is now in Schuyler County, and also theYates County town of Starkey; Wayne included the modern town, still in Steuben County, plus the Yates County town of Barrington. Thus in 1820, many households listed in Reading and Wayne would not have been living in the parts of those towns now included within Yates County’s boundaries.
ARMSTRONG GEORGE 263 BEN
ARMSTRONG ISAAC 259 BEN
ARMSTRONG JAMES 263 BEN
ARMSTRONG MILTON 136a REA
ARMSTRONG ROBERT 130 WAY
1835 CENSUS: YATES COUNTY NY
The following index includes all the towns in Yates County: Barrington, Benton, Italy, Jerusalem, Middlesex, Milo, Potter and Starkey. Torrey was the only town yet unorganized; everyone living in what is now Torrey will be found either in Milo or in Benton.
ARMSTRONG DANIEL 48 MIL
ARMSTRONG JAMES 25 BEN
ARMSTRONG JOHN 54 MIL
ARMSTRONG MERVIL 40 BEN
ARMSTRONG MILTON 8 STA
ARMSTRONG [ ] 36 MIL
Yates County NY, Deeds Transmitted from Ontario County 1788 – 1823, Grantee from Grantor Index A – B
Armstrong Alexander // Robert Armstrong // 2 // 171
Armstrong Archibald // Philander Woodworth // 3 // 450
Armstrong Archibald // Robert Troup // 3 // 187
Armstrong James &c // Alexander Coventry // 5 // 566
Armstrong James // Charles Williamson // 1 // 346
Armstrong John &c // Alexander Coventry // 5 // 566
Armstrong John N // James Pulteney (by Attorney) // 3 // 80
Armstrong Martin // Enos Tubbs // 2 // 47
Armstrong Martin // Nicholas Low // 2 // 48
Armstrong Robert // John N Armstrong // 2 // 170
Yates County NY, Transmitted Deeds from Ontario Co, Grantor to Grantee Index A-C
Armstrong Alexander // Bates William // 2 // 172
Armstrong Archibald (by Sheriff) // Stewart George D & Samuel // 3 // 593
Armstrong Archibald // Woodworth Philander // 3 // 451
Armstrong John N // Armstrong Robert // 2 // 170
Armstrong John N // Bates Orrin // 3 // 543
Armstrong John N // Bates William // 3 // 542
Armstrong John N // Howard Thomas // 3 // 64
Armstrong John N // Lain John M // 3 // 63
Armstrong Martin // Howell Christopher // 2 // 50
Armstrong Martin // Pattison Mathew // 2 // 52
Armstrong Martin // Scott William // 2 // 54
Armstrong Robert // Armstrong Alexander // 2 // 171
Armstrong Robert // Gardner Mary // 4 // 305
Yates County NY, Mortgages Transmitted from Ontario County 1788 – 1823, Grantee from Grantor Index I – Z
Woodworth Philander // Archibald Armstrong // 301
Yates County NY, Deeds Transmitted from Steuben County 1796 – 1826, Grantee from Grantor Index A – D
Armstrong James &c // Abigail Williamson // 1 // 104
Livonia Twp Armstrongs
History of Livingston Co NY, Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. 1881, p 364, has this about the family of Matthew Armstrong, residing there from 1805 through at least 1850:
“Matthew Armstrong [nd others] were also early settlers and men of no inconsiderable prominence. Matthew Armstrong, with his sons John and William, and his daughter Margaret, came to Livonia in 1805 from Lycoming county, Penn., and settled on the farm now owned by John Armstrong.
Matthew Armstrong was one of the first assessors of the town. He died in 1829.
John, when a lad of four or five years playing before his cabin door, was severly bitten by a mad wolf, and still bears the scars of the wound. The wolf was killed by the pursuing neighbors, but not until it had bitten numerous animals that afterward died from the poisonous effects of its fangs.”
Ancestry.com also has a gedcom which lists the children of John and Susanna Armstrong, with the claim that John was born in Bucks Co PA.
1. Thomas ARMSTRONG b: in Livonia, Livingston Co NY [census = b 1822]
2. John ARMSTRONG b: 1801 in PA
3. Elizabeth ARMSTRONG b: ABT. 1812
4. Matthew ARMSTRONG b: 28 SEP 1812 in NY
5. Maria ARMSTRONG b: 1820
6. James ARMSTRONG b: 1822 in Lima, Livingston Co NY
1810 Matthew Armstrong Livonia, Ontario NY 20010/20010
1820 Matthew Armstrong Livonia, Ontario NY 301201/32010
There was also a Hamilton Armstrong in the township that year, but he appears on no other censuses; he was possibly Milton Armstrong, later of Reading and Starkey NY. Son William is not listed in any census, although there are adult males in all years through 1840.
1830 John Armstrong Livonia, Livingston Co NY 01022/0012201 [Matthew had died.]
1840 Anna Armstrong Livonia, Livingston Co NY 0001/0000201 image 30
1840 Susannah Armstrong Livonia, Livingston Co NY 00002/000020001 image 28
1840 John Armstrong Livonia, Livingston Co NY 100011/20001 image 20
1850, Livingston Co NY, Livonia Twp: Susanna Armstrong, 71 PA living in home of Thomas, w/several children and grandchildren; son John was three houses away.
The Armstrongs of Penn Yan NY
Gary Ross had information on Robert Armstrong of Penn Yan NY, which solves part of this puzzle:
“Thanks for the interest in the Penn Yan Armstrong’s. I have a whole lot of material…What started it was, I will try to be brief and not get to excited, was my purchase of 2 oil portraits from the Katherine Ketcham Estate.
“You see I live in San Francisco but was born and raised outside of Syracuse, New York so I am very familiar with the Finger Lakes area.
“This may sound weird but for some reason I feel a connection with the the sitters in the portrait, even more so. I had the paintings dated by the conservator of textiles at the Deyoung Museum here and they are circa 1840. My friend is one of the paintings conservators at they are presently being restored and thru the museum I have had the frames conserved too.
“My goal was to find everything there was/is about these people and their families. I have come far but still feel like there is something missing.
“Here is the lineage starting from 1995 and going back in time.
“Katherine Ketcham (1912-1995) her parents were
“Oliver E and Ann Lawrence Armstrong (1876-1963) of Penn Yan, her parents were
“Fred Stanley Armstrong (1849-1885) and Mary Kate Ross (1848-1911) of Penn Yan, his parents..
“James Armstrong (1816-1871) and Mary Jane Townsend (1817-1898) of Penn Yan. Thru my research I found her will that listed the portraits. Thru the process of elimination and the the dates and ages of the sitters they are probably more than likely James Armstrong’s parents who were….Plus I had a confirmation from a neighbor of Katherine Ketcham that saw them hanging in her house and remembers being told who they were.
“Robert Armstrong (1788-1848) and Betsy Walling Armstrong (1795-1853) they were married in 1810 and had two other children in addition to James, Walling and Fanny.
“They all lived in Penn Yan but James stayed. Robert, Betsy, Walling and Fanny ended up in Canadice Corners and Livona, Springwater…There is actually a lot on the web about this part of the family.
“I have seen James Armstrong’s house, mansion, in Penn Yan on Main St. I have traveled thru Canadice Corners and found the headstones of Robert and Betsy. Sort of came to a dead end with Walling and Fanny but do know they had some children.
“Robert Armstrong’s parents were….
“James (1762-1825) of Warwick, Orange, NY and Martha Halstead (1764-1831). His parents were…
“Robert Armstrong (1730-1780) of Florida, Orange, NY and Margaret Thompson (1759-). Other sons were Moses, Benoni, Robert, and William. His parents were…
“Francis Jr (1659-1783) born in Ulster,Londonderry, Ireland and died in Warwick, NY. His 1st wife was Deborah Lattimore(1695-1720) and remarried with Martha Thompson. I actually found his last will and testament so I know I am pretty much on track thus far.
“His father was Francis (1648-) and his father was Edward (1604-1650) of Gilnockie, Scotland. His father was William (1565-1649), his father was Christopher (1526-1606) and his father was John, aka Johnnie of Gilnockie, (1480-1530)….
“So as you can see I have done a fair bit….The one thread I need to make is for the famous Armstrong’s in NYC. David Maitland Armstrong and his ancestors. I know they were descendents of Johnnie of Gilnockie but I can’t connect them with the Armstrong’s of Penn Yan though Francis living in Florida and Warwick, NY were close to the NYC Armstrong from Newburg…
“Any help you can add or if I can answer any questions please ask. I do have a more complete lineage for the Armstrong of Penn Yan, Ann’s siblings and so forth…if you should want.
“Do you happen to live in Penn Yan?
“I did contact relatives of the late Katherine Ketcham, probably the ones who sold the paintings. That would have been the great, great grandchildren of Robert and Betsy. They could dd nothing more saying that Katherine was somewhat of a hermit and never shared anything with them, her nieces. Whether this is true or not is a mystery but I find it odd that they would sell their ancestors off but who knows….”
And in a second email:
“…now my Robert and Betsy Armstrong of the portraits had three kids as I mentioned.
James Armstrong b. 1816, Penn Yan, d. 1871 Penn Yan
Walling Armstrong b. 1810, Livingston, NY, d. 1892
Fanny Armstrong b 1822, Canadice, NY, d 1883
now Walling had 2 sons, Oliver C, b 1825 and and Oliver C had 2 daughters Hattie and Mary Elenoa
The above James of Penn Yan married Mary Jane Townsend whose will I discovered. They had 4 children but only 2 survived Fred Stanley Armstrong and Hatley Kendig Armstrong
Fred Stanley had 4 daughters Anne, Helen Caroline, Mary Louise and Agnes Ross. Anne married Oliver E Ketcham
Hatley Kendig Armstrong married Sarah Fletcher Sheppard and they had a son Lawrence Sheppard Armstrong
Most of the Armstrongs of James and Mary Jane are buried at the Lakeview Cemetery in Penn Yan.”
Previously, I had found references to Robert Armstrong, Walling Armstrong, and James Armstrong, but I had not connected them. Robert looked like a likely candidate as the son of James Armstrong’s brother Alexander, mentioned in the Yates Co history book as the father of a family of Armstrong living near Penn Yan, especially given the next door residence in 1870 of two otherwise unrelated Armstrong families. Now it is known that he is, as far as I know, the only descendant of Francis and Deborah (Lattimore) Armstrong in this area.
Robert’s father James Armstrong, members of the Walling family and members of the Kuykendall family were all present in Minisink Twp, Orange Co NY in 1790.
Robert was listed in the Early Tax Rolls, Town of Benton, Ontario Co NY, 1816, and in the 1820 census for Wayne Twp, Steuben Co [but not located by me in the index.-KP]. When Yates Co was formed from Ontario Co in 1823, these deeds were among those transferred:
Grantee from Grantor Index A – B
Armstrong Alexander // Robert Armstrong // 2 // 171
Armstrong Robert // John N Armstrong // 2 // 170
Grantor to Grantee Index A – B
Armstrong Robert // Gardner Mary // 4 // 305
1830 Barrington Twp, Yates Co NY: Robert Armstrong, 0011001/010001
1840 Canadice Twp, Ontario Co NY: Robert Armstrong, 00000001/0001001
2 houses away: Walling Armstrong, 10001/00001
The marriage of son James Armstrong to Mary Jane Townsend, daughter of Henry and Anna (Lawrence) Townsend and widow of Merritt Boyd, is given in History and directory of Yates County: containing a sketch of its original settlement by the Public Universal Friends … Cleveland, 1873, page, p 273.
A death notice from 1885 has: “DIED – In Livonia, Saturday, Dec. 5, Mrs. Ann Armstrong, formerly of Canandaigua and mother of Dist. Attorney Armstrong, aged 72 years.” Oliver C. Armstrong was elected District Attorney of Ontario Co in 1880.
The District Attorney was Oliver C Armstrong of Canadice, b 1837 NY, s/o Walling & Ann Armstrong. In 1850 census they were near Henry Cuykendall, with a brother James 6.
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