Jefferson County, NY Pioneers


PIONEER SENECAL FAMILY



1. ETIENNE (STEPHEN) SENECAL was born in Chambly, Quebec, Canada in 1789. For family details, see below.

He married in 1809 at Chambly
EUPHROSINE (Alphonsine) MONTY. She was also born in Quebec, in 1790.

Children, SENECAL:

2 i STEPHEN SENECAL married ESTHER PHENEUF

3 ii MARIE SENECAL

4 iii MATILDE SENECAL

5 iv HYACHINTHE SENECAL

6 v JOSEPH SENECAL married CATHERINE WEAVER

7 vi WILLIAM SENECAL married MARY GRAPPOTTE

8 vii MARIE FLAVIE SENECAL

9 viii MARY SENECAL married JOHN LaDUE

10 ix PETER SENECAL married ELIZABETH (---)

11 x LEON SENECAL married FRANCES GRAPPOTTE

Stephen (1811), Marie(1812), Matilde (1814), Hyacinthe (1815), Joseph (1817), William (1818), Marie Flavie (1820), Mary (1823), Peter(1826), and Leon(1829). The Senecal-Irish-Sheehan family heritage has early and extensive ties to New York State. The earliest Senecal came to North America in 1670. Adrian had left Rouen, Normandy, France for the New World at 51 years of age and with two grown children, a girl,21, and a boy, 16. He settled on land now part of Canada. A tailor by occupation, he was to marry a second time in 1670 and have two more children, a boy and girl. He died in 1688; his second wife in 1694. Before Adrian's arrival, some sixty-two years earlier, Samuel de Champlain had founded Quebec in 1608.

Some four generations later, in the early 1800's, Etienne (Stephen) Senecal settled in Redwood, Town of Alexandria, Jefferson County, NY. It was here that the Senecals first became involved in the glass industry, which was to be the livelihood for four succeeding generations of Senecal craftsmen, both in Redwood and Cleveland, NY, as well as numerous other places, both in and out of New York State. For the youngest Senecal-Irish-Sheehan family members in 1998, they are eleven generations removed from 1670 and Adrian Senecal's arrival in the New World.

A brief profile of Etienne Senecal, the founding father in New York State, indicates that he was born in Chambly, Quebec in 1789. He was a farmer. In 1809, he married Euphrosine (Alphonsine) Monty in Chambly. She was also born in Quebec, in 1790. They had ten children--five boys, five girls--with the first nine being born in Quebec: Stephen (1811), Marie(1812), Matilde (1814), Hyacinthe (1815), Joseph (1817), William (1818), Marie Flavie (1820), Mary (1823), Peter(1826), and Leon (1829), who was born in Burlington, VT., after the family had moved to the US. They later moved to Redwood, where they married and also had families. William, who had five children, entered the army at age 44 and served with a NY Heavy Field Artillery Regiment for three years during the Civil War. Leon, who was a glass blower and carpenter, married Frances Grappotte in 1851 in Redwood. She was born in France in 1831 and came to upstate NY with her parents in 1836. Leon and Frances had fourteen children, eight survived. Peter Leon Senecal, the youngest, was born in Redwood in 1873. In 1879, the family moved to Cleveland, Oswego County, NY., the location of a number of glass factories. Peter was married here to Jeanette M. Schmidt in 1897. She was born in Cleveland in 1876, the daughter of Casper and Louise Best Schmidt. Peter was employed as a glass blower. They had seven children. Ethel Agnes Senecal, the third oldest, was born in Cleveland in 1902. She married an Irish and was my mother.

The year, place of death and burial for Etienne Senecal and his wife, Euphrosine, are unknown to me. In 1860, they are listed in the Federal Census for Redwood. Their ages in that year were 71 and 70. They are not listed in the Federal Census for 1870. Leon Senecal died in 1910, his wife Frances, in 1907. Both are buried in Cleveland. They left eight children, forty grandchildren, and thirteen great grandchildren.

The earliest Irish and Sheehan forefathers in New York had a number of things in common. In addition to settling in upstate New York, they were both natives of Ireland, each the father of fourteen children, and were able to successfully establish strong roots in a new land at a time when success was not a given but a struggle.


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