The following family group descriptions are adapted from Hamilton Child's "Gazetteer of Jefferson County, N.Y.", published in 1890. The families are arranged alphabetically by township, and wherever possible, a link has been made to a Jefferson County Pioneer. We welcome any corrections and additions to the information presented.
This project has only been made possible through the efforts of several volunteers, directed by Shirley Farone, who has been a behind-the-scenes participant in this website from the very beginning. The original idea came from Sharon Patchett, who is also giving her time to the project. Sisters Marcia Alary and Barbara Britt, both of whom have been volunteering on other projects for the website, are also working on this, and the newest volunteer, Gary Roe, was one of the first to get his work in. We are grateful to each of them for making this material so easily available.
Note: In this file, the highlighted name clicks will take you to the pioneer group sheet associated with the name.
Sinesa Ball was born in 1791. He removed from Connecticut to this county and located in the town of Rutland. He married Charlotte Town, and they had born to them 10 children, two of whom died in infancy and eight grew to adult age, viz.: Warren, Edward, Egbert, Willis, Charles, Emeline, Chauncy, and Wilson F.. Mr. Ball removed with his family to this town in 1817, and purchased a farm on road 33, near Irving Cooper's cheese factory, the price paid being about $2.50 per acre. He built a log house in this wilderness, and subsequently erected one on road 34, known as Military road. His son Egbert was educated in the common schools and worked on his father's farm until he was 19 years of age. In 1845 he married Caroline, daughter of William Howell, who was born in the town of Champion. At the time of his marriage Mr. Ball resided in Rutland, as did also his wife; but the same year they removed to this town and located on road 16, where they have since resided. They have had one son and three daughters, Viz.: Harriet A., who married, first, William Whitaker, by whom she had two children, and second, Oren Barnes; Mary F. who died in 1876, aged 25 years; George H., who died in 1885, in his 24th year; and Ellen M., who married DeElton Bauter, of Alexandria, by whom she has a daughter, Grace M. They reside on the homestead.
Sylvester Bodman was born in Williamsburg, Mass., about 1781. February 10, 1810, he married Relief, daughter of Martin Burt, and they had born to them while in Williamsburg five children, namely: Miranda, Martin Luther, Martin B., Sophronia, and Sylvester. In 1820 they removed to this town, where their youngest son, Atwood R., was born, near where is now the village of Theresa, then a wilderness country. Atwood R. tells of frequently seeing herds of wild deer, while on his way to school through the woods, near the present residences of Edward Cook, Curtis Thwing, and Byron Worsley. Mrs Bodman, Atwood R.'s mother, attained the extreme age of 104 years, and died in this town on road 43. In 1858 Atwood R. married Fanny, daughter of Jacob Chrysler, of Theresa, and the same year built a new residence on the old homestead farm, where they have since resided. Five sons and four daughters have been born to them, viz.: Sylvester B., Atwood R., Jr., Hannah (deceased). William (deceased), Sophronia, Hattie, Henry M., Fanny, and one who died in infancy. In 1882 Sylvester B. married Mary C., daughter of Nelson E. Simons, of Theresa, and they have two sons, Edwin D. and Harry B. Atwood R., Jr., married Hattie G., daughter of Allen Ostrander in 1887. Atwood R., Sr., has been a member of the Presbyterian Church for 47 years, and ruling elder for 28 years.
William K. Butterfield, a native of the town of Rutland, married Mary Thomas, by whom he had two children, Mary E. and Julius F. The latter, at the age of 15 years enlisted in Co. D, 35th N.Y. Vols. After the war he removed to Ottawa, La Salle County, Ill., where he learned the tinsmiths' trade and worked in the same shop for 15 years. He married Amelia M. daughter of Lewis Barrett, of Theresa, and they again located in the West and remained nine years. Three sons is the result of this union, namely: Lewis W., Charles H., and Allen C. Mr. Butterfield now resides in this town on road 58.
Osmyn Caswell, son of Jonathan, came from Exeter, Otsego County, to Theresa, about 1832, and settled on the line of Le Ray. He married, first, Lydia House, by whom he had six children, four of whom, Mrs. J.P. Brownell, Maria, Osmyn, and Austin, are living, two sons Osmyn H. and Austin, in Carthage. By his second wife, Saloma Southworth, he had three children. He was a well-known resident of the county, served as justice of the peace, and was a member of the M.E. Church for many years.
Dudley Chapman came from Deerfield, Mass., in 1818, and located in this town on road 42, near A.R. Bodman's farm. He married Sophronia Peck, and they had five children, one of whom died in infancy, and four survive, namely; Mary, Martha, Simeon, and William D. The later received a good common school education, and at the age of 17 years was dependent upon his own exertions for support. He had a natural aptitude for mechanical pursuits, and has been successful as a jeweler and manufacturer of fishing tackle. He married Mary Ryan, of Thereas, by whom he has had six children, of whom the eldest. Mary J., died at the age of 15 years, and George B. at the age of three years. Four survive, namely: Ada A., Ellen (Mrs. E.R. Stockwell), Byron W., and Lottie A. (Mrs. E.D. Perrine). Byron W. married Belle Simons, of Medina, N.Y., and they have one son and a daughter, Jesse and Mary A. Ada A. married Jason C. Morrow, and they also have a son and a daughter- William D. and Florence.
Jesse S. Doolittle was born in Watertown in 1805, and in 1819 removed to this town (then Alexandria) and located on road 24. He married Maria Cummings of Rutland and they had four sons and one daughter, of whom one son Jesse died February 19, 1864, aged 19 years and seven months, and four survive, viz.: Mary M. and Charles T., who reside on road 42, in this town; Liberty C., of Watertown; and Edwin A., of Clayton. In the summer Mary M. and Charles T. occupy their summer hotel on road 20 1/2. Their mother died in 1860, aged 47 years, and their father in 1885, aged 80 years.
William W. Folts came to this town from Herkimer County in 1862. He married Margaret Albertson, and they have five sons and two daughters, namely: Mat S., William J., Georgianna, Agnes, Adson H. and Albert (twins), and Edward H. When Mr. Folts located in this town, in 1862, the place where his residence now stands was an unbroken forest of pine trees. He now has 75 acres of cleared land.
William D. Frizzell was born in the village of Dexter, in the town of Hounsfield, September 11, 1842. When 10 years old his parents removed to Antwerp, where he worked in the saw-mills on Indian River for four years. They then removed to Alexandria and bought the farm near Plessis now occupied by his mother. In 1876 he married Hattie Cummings, of Pamelia, by whom he has a son, Eugene, aged 11 years. He now resides in Watertown.
Chauncey Fults was born in the town of Orleans, where he attended school, at Orleans Four Corners, and worked on his father's farm until he attained his majority. In 1857 he married Sylvia M., daughter of Roswell Holdridge, of Sackets Harbor, by whom he had six children. One son died in infancy, and five survive, namely: Frank W., Estella M., Nellie M., Perley A., and Freedie W. Mr. Fults died April 6, 1882, aged 56 years. Frank W. is clerk for John Reed & Co., off road 52, in the Reed settlement.
Conrad Giltz married Dorothy Rapp, of Hesse- Darmstadt, Germany, and in 1853 they immigrated to this country and located in Redwood, in the town of Alexandria. Two sons and two daughters were born to them, namely: Christopher, Leonard, Christina, and Elizabeth. Christopher learned the trade of mason and plasterer. He married Susan, daughter of John Eckert, of La Fargeville, by whom he has had eight children, three of whom died young, and five survive, viz: Libbie, George, Edward, Eva D., and Charles H. In 1886 Libbie Giltz was married to Jacob Rodewick, of Theresa, and they have a daughter Bertha.
Samuel Hinman was born in 1758, and in 1786 married Hannah Seeley, with whom he removed from Connnecticut and located in Milton, Saratoga County, N.Y. Alvah, son of Samuel, was born in 1789. He served in the War of 1812, and participated in the battles of Sackets Harbor and Lake Champlain. He married Lydia Johnson, of Milton, Saratoga County, in 1824, and soon after located in the town of Philadelphia, where they resided for six years, when they removed to Theresa and purchased a farm on road 57. Four sons and three daughters have been born to them, viz.: Hannah, Mary, Samuel, William R., Joseph, Rebecca, and James. Joseph served in the late war and was killed at Culpepper Court House, Va. James M. died at the age of 18 years, and Margaret in infancy. William R. resides in this town and cares for his aged mother, who, at the age of 92 years, retains all her mental faculties to a remarkable degree.
Albert Howland was born in Delhi, Delaware County. His mother died when he was 12 days old, and subsequently lived with Samuel Ralph, who moved to the town of Rodman. In 1830, at the age of 26 years, he married Lucy Herrick and removed to Rutland, where he bought a farm. His children were George, Avis, Albert, and Joseph, the last named of whom is the only survivor. In 1846 Mr. Howland removed with his family to Theresa. Joseph Howland attended school winters and worked on the farm summers until he attained the age of 18 years. He married Edith S., daughter of Linal Pierce, of this town. Of his children, Mary died at the age of five years, and six survive, viz.: Ella A. (Mrs. Fred Cheeseman), Joseph E., May E., Albert L., Fred A., and Arthur D. In 1862 Mr. Howland enlisted in Co. F, 10th N.Y.H.A., as a private, was promoted to corporal, and served until the close of the war, receiving his discharge July 1, 1865.
Henry Hubbard married Alvira Lockwood, in 1833, and their children were Orsimus, Amelia, Elisha, Marvin, Julia, Henry, Jr., and John. Mr. Hubbard died in 1850, and in 1852 Mrs. Hubbard married Amos Benson, by whom she had one son and three daughters, viz.: Annette and Josette (twins), Charles, and Rachel. Henry Hubbard, Jr., was born in this town October 3, 1848. He lived in the town of Alexandria and attended the public schools of Theresa until he arrived at the age of 16 years. He worked on the home farm until he attained his majority, after which time he worked out by the month, following the same occupation. He married Maria, daughter of Nathan Plato, of Plessis, by whom he has three sons and three daughters, namely: Fred, Jesse, Cora, John, Mason, and Maggie, the last two named being twins.
Agar Jarvis was born near London, Eng., in 1816, and when 17 years of age immigrated to the United States, and first located near Watertown, on what is known as "Dry Hill," and there worked on a farm for Charles Simmons. In 1842 he married Rhoda Clark, of Pillar Point, by whom he has four children, two sons and two daughters, of whom a daughter died in infancy, and Annis M., Agar J., and George D. survive. In 1852 they removed to Brownville. Agar J. attended common schools until he was 16 years old. He then he worked at the machinists' trade in Syracuse until the breaking out of the war, when he enlisted in Co. F. 18th N.Y. Cav., served two years and six months, and was discharged May 31, 1866. He then returned to Brownville and learned the molders' trade, at which he worked until the fall of 1871, when he removed to this town. He married Nancy Finucan, of Brownville, by whom he has two sons, John F. and Bertie E.
Alfred Lafave was born in Constantine, Canada, and when quite young came to this county and located in Rutland. He was married, in Watertown, to Locada Benway, of Canada, and they resided in Rutland. Of their six children, one died in infancy and five survive, namely: Alonzo S., Joseph B., Amelia, Nettie, and Fred C.. Alonzo S. received a practical education, worked on the farm, and subsequently learned cheesemaking. In 1875 he married Fanny, daughter of Alanson Cole, of Theresa, by whom he has three sons and one daughter, viz.: Locada B., Jesse A.and Jasper A. (twins), and Raymond.
Francis C. Lawton, a native of Herkimer County, married Esther Gage, granddaughter of General Gage, and a sister of Judge Gage, of Wayne County, N.Y.. They had four sons and five daughters, of whom Edward, Manilus, and Diantha are deceased, and six survive, viz.: Maryvellette, Julia, Lucina, Jane, Alonzo, and Edward C. Mr. Lawton died in Theresa in 1883. He was a member of the Baptist Church, and in politics a staunch Democrat. His wife was born in Herkimer County, was also a member of the Baptist Church, and died at the residence of her son Edward C., in 1884. Edward C. Lawton attended school and worked upon the farm until he arrived at his majority. At the age of 26 years he married Esther D., daughter of Samuel S. Kelsey, of Galesburg, Ill., and they have four daughters, viz.: Minnie E., Bertha V., Frances J., and Ettie E. They reside in this town.
James Lawton, a native of Vermont, served in the War of 1812 from the beginning to the close, and was a member of the Pioneer Corps. He married Polly Kennedy, of Brookfield, N.Y., by whom he had three sons and six daughters, viz.; Mary Esther, Ann P., James P., Warren R., Marion, George W., Margaret, Martha A., and Phebe S. Of this numerous family two sons and two daughters survive. George W. received a good common school education, worked at lumbering, and subsequently learned the carpenters' trade. At the age of 22 years he married Mercy H., daughter of Amos Story, of Brier Hill, St. Lawrence County. They had four sons and five daughters, namely: Fiorence A. (Mrs. Frank Burnham), Elizabeth A., George W., James A., Martha A., Ruth A., Polly G., Amos C., and William W. Mr. Lawton served three years in the late war, and now resides in Watertown.
John Miller, a native of Quebec, was a school teacher by profession, and was subsequently employed by the Canadian government. He married Louisa Thibodeau, who bore him four children, viz.: Louisa, who died at the age of 24 years, Caroline, who died at the age of 10 years, and Georgiana and John B., who survive. The latter attended school in Canada until he was 16 years of age. He married Mrs. Rosetta (Cheney) Snell, of this town, where they now reside. By her first husband Mrs. Miller had one daughter, Hattie, who married Charles M. Walter and has two children, Eva S. and Willis.
Franklin Parker was born in Watertown in 1816, and in 1838 located in this town. July 1, 1841, he married Clarinda Wells, of Theresa. Mr. Parker worked in a saw-mill and subsequently taught the village school. March 7, 1842, he engaged in merchantile persuits, and did a successful business for about 28 years, when he sold out to Jason Morrow and a few years later removed to his farm, where he remained 10 years. He then returned to the village and retired from active business. He has held all the offices in the gift of his townsmen, and has also been a member of the Assembly. When the town of Theresa was bonded for the railroad Mr. Parker was selected to visit the property owners and obtain their consent to the project.
James Pearce was a native of Rhode Island, whence he removed to this state and located in Schoharie County. He married Thankful Woodruff, and soon after located in Jefferson County. Their children were seven sons and one daughter. The sons were Benjamin, Edward, James B., William H., Barton, George, and Charles. The latter was born in Pamelia. He married Mary Merrill, of Sandy Creek, Oswego County. He enlisted in the late war, reenlisted as a veteran, served nearly four years, and was discharged at the close of the war. He is now a resident of Theresa.
Eden Phillips came from Massachusetts and located in the town of Pamelia in 1822. He married Sally Dresser, also a native of Massachusetts, and they had five sons and two daughters, namely: Orrel, Obed, Marian, John N., Jason, Sarah, and Freeman. The latter enlisted in the late war when 20 years of age, and served three years and 11 months. While home on a furlough, in 1864, he married Emily J., daughter of Lauren L. Soper, of Theresa, by whom he has had two sons and four daughters, viz.: Frank L., Abbie L., Jennie P., Maud L., Fay L., and Freddie, who died in infancy. Frank L. married Emogene House. Abigail Soper, widow of Lauren L., at the age of 88 years, resides with her daughter, Mrs. Truman Phillips.
John Phillips, Jr. was born in Herkimer County in 1806, and when quite young removed with his father to this county and located in the town of Lyme. In 1826 he married Sarah McCombs, of Lyme, by whom he has had 12 children, of whom Cordelia (Mrs. Leroy Gray) died in 1875, and 11 survive, namely: George W., John C., Edward, Egbert, Gustavus C., William D., Lewis F., Tyler D., Phineas F., Jasper W., and Sarah C.. William D. Phillips was educated in the common schools and helped his father on the farm until he attained his majority. He then worked three years for David Foster, of Theresa, and January 6, 1862, married Emmoretta V., daughter of David Foster, and they have had five children, one of whom, Ada, died in infancy, and four survive, viz.: David f., Weston D., Ethel G. and John H. August 12, 1862, Mr. Phillips enlisted in Co. F, 10th N.Y.H.A., and served until October 17, 1865.
Zalmon Pool was born in Russia, Herkimer County, in 1793. He married Harriet Prindle in 1815, by whom he had 11 children, four of whom died in infancy and seven attained maturity, viz.: Freeman J. (deceased), Charles, Betsey E., Zalmon, 3d, Harriet, Zerviah (deceased) and Clarissa. Mr. Pool, about two years after his marriage, in 1817, moved from Trenton, Oneida County, to this town, and built a log cabin on a farm on road 22, near Moon Lake, which farm is now in the possession of his desendants. Charles Pool married Mary Ann Timerman, of Le Ray, and they have had two daughters, Ada L., who died at the age of 13 years, and Mary.
Eliza Rodenhurst came with her father, Richard, from Shropshire, England, in 1834, and first located near Utica, and subsequently in Westmoreland, Oneida County. January 1, 1848, Miss Rodenhurst married Philemon S. McAlister, and they had three children-- a son who died in infancy, a daughter, Lavina, who died at the age of six years, and a son James R. In 1862 Mrs. McAlister married, for her second husband, Joseph Sadler, who came from England in 1875, and died leaving no issue. Her son James R. married Nellie D., daughter of William and Jane Kesson, of Theresa in 1879, and they have two sons and two daughters, namely: Cora E., Gertrude, Edgar, and Wade H. They reside with his mother, off road 21.
Richard Rodenhurst immigrated from Whitchurch, Shropshire, England, and first located in Utica, subsequently removing to Westmoreland, Oneida County. Before coming to this country he married Mary Ashton, by whom he had seven children, six of whom were born in England, and a daughter in Oneida county. Their names are Eliza, Emma, James, Richard, Jr., Lavina, Mary Ann, and Margaret. Richard, Jr., attended the public schools and finished his education at DeLancey Institute, in the town of Westmoreland. For three years he worked at cabinetmaking, when for many years he worked on the canal, occupying the various positions from driver to captain. Mr. Rodenhurst was twice married, first, to Sarah Ann Knickerbocker, of Eaton, Madison County, who bore him two sons, Dewitt C. and Fred S., and second Emma Fish, of Evans Mills, by whom he has one daughter, Belle Ives, who was named by Belle, a daughter of George and Emma Ives, of Marlboro, Mass., who was run over and killed by the steamer Rothsay, at Point Vivian, on the St. Lawrence River, a few years since. Dewitt C. Rodenhurst married Mattie Pool, of Theresa, and is a prominent physician in the town of Philadelphia. Fred S. and Belle I. reside at the home of their father, who is a successful hardware merchant in Theresa village.
Peter Schwarz was born in Germany in 1822, and in 1853 immigrated to America, and soon after engaged in the manufacture of Limburger cheese in the town of Rodman, subsequently removing to New York city, where he remained until 1854. In this year he located in Theresa and again commenced the manufacture of Limburger cheese. In 1856 he married Hannah, daughter of Ebenezer Avery, of Ontario, Canada, and removed to the town of Antwerp. In 1857 he again located in Theresa, where he now resides. One of his children, Sylvester D. and Mary Ann died in December, 1861; and George P., Charles A., Emma J., and Lena E. reside at home with their parents. Mr. Schwarz has retired from active business.
John Seymour was born in Plattsburgh, Clinton County, in 1845. He was educated in the common schools, and learned the trade of stone mason and plasterer, at which he worked until the breaking out of the Rebellion. August 2, 1862, he enlisted in Co. A, 10th N.Y.H.A., and was discharged June 23, 1865, at Petersburg, Va. He again located in Theresa, and commenced working at his trade. He married Eliza, daughter of George P. Fox, of this town, in 1865, and they have three children, namely: Albert, Adelaide, and Maggie. Adelaide married Clarence A. Payne, of Orleans, in 1883, and they have a son and a daughter, Jesse and Frank.
John Sheley was born in Montgomery County in 1805. In 1828 he married Angelica Hanson, and they had six children, one of whom died in infancy and five survive, namely: Abraham, Barney H., Mary, John H., and Sarah. In 1836 Mr. Sheley came to Jefferson County and located in Theresa, in which town his youngest two children were born. Barney Hanson, grandfather of Mrs. John Sheley, served in the Revolutionary War, and was taken prisoner and suffered many privations. Mrs. Sheley resides on East Mill street in Theresa, with her son Abraham, at the advanced age of 86 years.
Rodney Simons, who served in the War of 1812, was born in Hartford, Conn., in 1794. He was married twice, first to a Miss Smith, by whom he had two children, William and Mary Ann. In 1828 he married Polly P., daughter of Rev. William Bogart, who was born in Canada in 1808. At the time of their marriage they lived in the town of Alexandria, and their first home was established at Brown's Corners. Five sons and two daughters were born to them, namely: Rodney I., Sarah J., Nelson E., John H., Henry C., Demane E., and Hattie C. They moved serveral times, first locating in Alexandria Bay, then in Proctor Bay, and again in Alexandria Bay. Nelson E. was born in Proctor Bay, August 11, 1834. Soon after this the family removed to this town and located near Red Lake, in the then wilderness country. Nelson E. now owns the old homestead on the island in Red Lake, and occupies with his family the log house built by his father. In those early days the settlers depended a great deal upon their hunting, and fur bearing animals and wild game were successfully trapped and hunted. Nelson E. Simons married Ann, daughter of Thomas and Mary Pittson, by whom he has had six daughters and one son, namely: Mary C., Cora A., Helen E., Sarah J., Tacie M., Clara E., and Mark E. The latter died at the age of seven years. Mary C. married Sylvester Bodman. Helen E. married Arthur A. Nash, and resides near the home of her father, at Red Lake.
George F. Timerman was born in the town of Manheim, Herkimer County, in 1813. In 1834 he removed to Jefferson County and located in the town of Orleans, where he married Rosina, daughter of Henry Walrath, by whom he has had six sons and four daughters, of whom two sons died in infancy. Alice J. married Thomas Lee, Jr., of Stone Mills, and died at the age of 31 years. Six survive, namely: Clarinda E., Mary J., Martha A., Fayette A., George H., and Frederick D. George H. attended the public schools and worked on his father's farm until he was 23 years of age. He then married Mida R., daughter of Philip Heyl, of Adams, and in 1882 they removed to this town and purchased a farm on road 33, where they now reside.
Sylvester Van Tassell was born in the village of Rossie, St. Lawrence County, in 1820. He received a good common school education, and at the age of 21 years married Sally A. Gerad, of Brownville, and they have had six sons and three daughters, viz.: George, Byron, William, Jerome, Eugene, Charlotte A., Hattie, Alice, and Henry. Byron died in 1862, Jerome in 1869, and Eugene in 1871. Mr. Van Tassell died in 1876. His widow resides near the village of Redwood.
Godfrey Walradt was born in Allegany County, in 1816, whence he removed to Cherry Valley, Otsego County, where he married Maria Walradt, by whom he had two sons and one daughter, namely: Dorman, William, and Helen M. (Mrs. Loren F. Shurtleff), of Theresa. William married Emma Parkhurst, and Dorman married Nancy Shurtleff, both of this town. Dorman has two sons, George D. and James H. George D. married Ida L., daughter of Frank M. Peck, of Theresa.
Alanson West was born in Lee, Mass., in 1787. When he was young his parents removed to Oneida County, N.Y., and in 1810 he located in Jefferson County. He served in the War of 1812, and participated in the battle of Sackets Harbor. He married Harriet, daughter of Amos Barnes, in 1815, and they had two sons and three daughters, of whom two daughters died in infancy; Adaline C. died at the age of 57 years; and Edwin S. and William L. survive. The latter received a good common school education, and taught school four winters. In 1854 he married Angeline E., daughter of Frederick Bauter, of Orleans, and they have had five children-- a son and a daughter deceased, and Alanson, Arthur, and Mary A., who reside with their parents in this town.
Henry Zeller was born in Montgomery County. He married Laura Freer, of Ulster County, and in 1838 they removed with their five children to this town. They had eight children (three of whom were born in Theresa), namely: David, Peggy Ann, Nancy, Daniel, John J., Rachel, Benjamin and Elizabeth. The later married Andrew Peck, and occupies the old homestead on road 49; Daniel married Margaret Maybee; Peggy Ann married Levi Klock, of Orleans; Benjamin married Charlotte Thornton, of Brockville, Canada; David died in 1887; Nancy, Rachel, and John J. occupy the old homestead.
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