Jefferson County, NY Pioneers



1. The Russell story of Jefferson Co. NY must open with SAMUEL RUSSELL, who was born 1 April 1716 in Reading, MA (his marriage record states that he was born in Boston) and died February 1780 in Windsor, CT.

He married MARETJE HOF/HOFF on 18 August 1745 in Kingston, Ulster Co., NY where both were residents at Livingston Manor. Maretje was born in 1723 in Esopus, Ulster Co. NY.

Children of Samuel and Maretje Russell:

2    i      JACOB RUSSELL b 15 April 1746 at Kingston, Ulster Co., NY and d 29 August 1821.

  3   ii      STEPHEN RUSSELL b 22 Jan 1748 and d 18 Sept 1820 in NY; married ELEANORE FOWLER on 17 October 1771

  4    iii      CORNELIUS RUSSELL b 18 April 1750 d 3 Aug 1823 and married HULDAH PEMBER

  5    iv      ELIZABETH RUSSELL b 27 June 1752 and died before 1758

  6    v     RACHEL RUSSELL b 11 Aug 1758

7    vi      JOHN RUSSELL b 11 Dec 1761 d 22 June 1844 at Rodman, Jefferson Co., NY

2.  JACOB RUSSELL b 15 April 1746 at Kingston, Ulster Co., NY and d 29 August 1821 at Warrensville, Ohio. Before 1811, two men—ELIJAH and RETURN RUSSELL—purchased land at Rodman, Jefferson Co. These men were the sons of JACOB RUSSELL (born 1746 above).

JACOB RUSSELL married on 28 May 1772.
ESTHER DUNHAM of Hebron, CT JACOB and ESTHER had 11 children and migrated to Ohio in 1812. Jacob saw service in the Revolutionary War.


  8    i     ELIJAH RUSSELL b 18 July 1777 d 1856 at 83 yrs

  9    ii     ESTHER RUSSELL b 23 Oct 1774

  10   iii     JERUSHA RUSSELL b 7 July 1776

11   iv     RETURN RUSSELL b 1 March 1778

  12    v     ELISHA RUSSELL b 14 Nov 1779 d 15 Oct 1862 , wife Lydia (1775-1839)

  13   vi     SAMUEL RUSSELL b 15 Jan 1783

  14   vii     JERUSHA RUSSELL (2nd) b 24 Feb 1785

  15  viii     CONTENT RUSSELL b 7 May 1787

  16    ix     RALPH RUSSELL b 3 Aug 1789 d 28 Dec 1866

  17    x     ROXANNA RUSSELL b 10 Mar 1792

  19   xi     OBEDIENCE RUSSELL b 23 May 1794

  20   xii     RODNEY RUSSELL b 15 May 1796 d 1880

7.  JOHN RUSSELL was born 11 Dec 1761 and died 22 June 1844 at Rodman, Jefferson Co., NY. It is John Russell's family that plays a prominent role in the early days of Jefferson County, and also some of his nephews, who are identified at the end of the lineage information.

He married MARTHA THRALL, who was also known as “Patty”, on 20 July 1784 at Windsor, Hartford Co., CT. Martha was born 17 Sept 1760 at Windsor and died 28 May 1834 in Jefferson Co., NY. She was the daughter of DAVID THRALL and JANE BARBER of Windsor, CT John's grave is identified but to date, none has been found for Martha.

In May of 1778, John went to Springfield and Wilbraham, MA to visit relatives. While at Wilbraham, he enlisted in June of 1778 in the Revolutionary War as a private in the service for nine months. He joined the Continental Army at West Point, NY and served in Watson's Company, the 9th MA Regiment, Gen. Barnard's Brigade and saw action at Fishkill, White Plains and West Point as well as other locations. John was discharged at Fishkill on 1 Mar 1779, but on 1 July 1780 he reenlisted for six months and was discharged 2 Dec. 1780 at the Highlands, North River, NY. He served three additional tours of duty of two months each in the CT State Militia during the War.

JOHN married MARTHA at 19 and they remained at Windsor until May of 1799. They then moved to an area near Troy in Renssalaer Co., NY and in 1806 moved to Lorraine in Jefferson Co. In 1838, being in poor health, he removed to Rodman to live with his son-in-law. By occupation, he was a joiner and carpenter. Brothers JACOB, STEPHEN and CORNELIUS all served in the Revolutionary War.


21    i      CLARINDA RUSSELL b 23 Dec. 1781 at Lebanon, CT and d 12 Oct 1855 at Crawford Co, PA She married 9 Mar 1800 at Lebanon Ct. to NATHANIEL HILLS who was born 21 Aug 1773 at Middlesex Co, Ct. They were the parents of 11 children.

22   ii      MELINDA RUSSELL b 8 Jan 1784 d 13 May 1855 and buried Fairview Cem., Rodman. She married 30 Nov 1802 to WILLIAM FLINT who was born 7 July 1776 and d 16 Feb 1871. Buried Fairview Cem. At Rodman. See the family of WILLIAM A. FLINT for further information.

23    iii  ORMACINDA RUSSELL b 20 Jan 1786 d 19 March 1866 at 80 years. She married THOMAS HUNGERFORD, who was born in MA 1776 and d 9 April 1862 at Rodman, Jefferson Co., NY at 86 years. Ormacinda and Thomas are buried in the now-abandoned Fassetts Cem. At Rodman. Thomas left a will which was probated 14 May 1862 in Jefferson Co.; he named his wife, Ormacinda, and daughter MELINDA H. KITTS, wife of GILES F. KITTS, of Rodman and also named his son, GEORGE W. HUNGERFORD of New York City. Giles Kitts was a Captain in the Civil War and at that time was from Rodman. Thomas Hungerford left shares of capital stock of the Union Bank at Watertown in his will, which suggested a vested interest in that bank.

24    iv    LORENZO RUSSELL born 8 June 1789 d 9 May 1794

25    v     ALLENZO RUSSELL born 16 June 1791 d 13 May 1794

26   vi      ALANSON RUSSELL born 22 April 1793 and d 20 May 1838

27   vii      HEZEKIAH RUSSELL born 26 Nov 1796 d 9 Sep 1859

28   viii      JOHN RUSSELL b 8 Mar 1798 d 25 Aug 1799

29   ix      ELIZABETH RUSSELL b 3 Jan 1800 d 5 Jan 1800

30   x      JOHN (2nd) RUSSELL b 22 Jan 1802 d 18 Aug 1815

31   xi      LORENZO (2nd) RUSSELL b 30 Apr 1804 d 9 Apr 1831

11. RETURN RUSSELL, son of Jacob, was born in W. Windsor, CT on 1 March 1778 and died 5 Oct 1834. One of RETURN RUSSELL'S sons was LUTHER, who came to Rodman as a child with his parents, the eldest of 11 children. Another son of RETURN was SAMUEL who was born 14 May 1807 at Rodman. The children were very fond of their father, who, physically, was large and well developed. He was genial, intelligent and agreeable. He died October 5, 1834. They also reverenced their gentle and loving mother, who died March 23, 1854, having lived a life of self-sacrifice. Of the members of the family who joined the Shakers only two remain with the Society, the other members of the family living in different States, excepting Mrs. NELSON PHILLIPS, of Cleveland, and SAMUEL S. RUSSELL of Mantua.

He married
JERUSHA OSBORN, who was born 20 Dec 1780 in CT, and died 23 Mar 1854.

32    i      LUTHER RUSSELL, b 9 Nov 1801.

33    ii      SAMUEL RUSSELL, b 14 May 1807 at Rodman. September 15, 1840, he was chosen by the Shaker Society Presiding Elder, which position he filled satisfactorily until August 19, 1858, when he withdrew, leaving a prosperous membership of about 200. The interest he still maintains and the affection and confidence the society has in him, are manifested by the many pressing invitations to return. In 1867 he became a resident of Mantua, where he still survives, a worthy and respected citizen. His estimable wife died December 26, 1883.

26.  ALANSON RUSSELL born 22 April 1793 and d 20 may 1838 in Cuyahoga Co., Ohio at 45 years.

He married on 1 Sep 1813 in Sharon, CT
NANCY CAULKINS. Nancy was born 5 Mar 1794 in Sharon, Litchfield Co, CT and died 22 Sept 1865 in Ohio. Her parents were JOEL CALKINS, b 7 Feb 1760 at Sharon and her mother, BETHIA BARROWS, born 5 Sep 1764.

ALANSON RUSSELLand JOHN CAULKINS opened a store at Lorraine in 1815 but it burned to the ground in 1825. Alanson's name appears on the 1820 census for Jefferson Co., NY at Lorraine.



35   ii      EMELINE RUSSELL (1814-1877)

36   iii      GEORGE RUSSELL (1817-1888)

37   iv      CLARINDA RUSSELL (b 1820)

32. LUTHER RUSSELL, son of RETURN and JERUSHA (OSBORN) RUSSELL, was born b 9 Nov 1801in West Windsor, Conn. He was descended from William Russell, who early emigrated from England. They left their Connecticut home when our subject was a child and settled in Rodman, Jefferson Co., N.Y., whence they removed to Ohio in 1822. They soon joined the Shaker Society near Cleveland and here lived, died and were buried. Luther, the eldest of eleven children, remained in Rodman to settle up his father’s business. In June, 1823, Luther Russell came to Ohio

In 1830 Luther, with his wife, located on a farm in Streetsboro Township, this county, where they lived, toiled and endured such hardships as befall the early settlers of a new country, and in after years they took pleasure in relating to their children many incidents of pioneer life. In his early life our subject was deprived of elaborate educational advantages, but during his mature years he devoted considerable time to study. In politics he was a life-long Democrat, and took a deep interest in public affairs. In 1845-46 he represented the county in the State Legislature. For many years he filled the office of Justice of the Peace, acceptably not only to his own political party, but to the entire township. In all his acts he aimed to be true to his convictions of truth and right. Not finding satisfaction in the orthodox faith, he espoused the cause of Spiritualism and was firm in the belief that this life would continue after death. Happy in this belief he died August 5, 1878, after an illness of fourteen months, during which he received the most devoted care at the hands of his family.

He married March 13, 1828
POLLY RUSSELL of Aurora Township, Portage Co., Ohio, born March 25, 1806, in Chester, Mass., daughter of SAMUEL RUSSELL, born January 14, 1781, in West Windsor, Conn., and HEPSABETH (ELLSWORTH) RUSSELL, born August 30, 1785. Her parents came to Aurora Township, this county, in 1811, after a long and toilsome journey on foot, horseback and in cart, and they were soon settled and contented in their new home in the Western Reserve. Here they died, the father June 8, 1863, and the mother February 6, 1837.


38         iv      MARTIN L. RUSSELL b 29 Dec 1829, d 2 July 1855

39         iv      CYNTHIA M. RUSSELL b 22 mAY 1832, d 25 Dec 1834

40         iv      SARAH E. RUSSELL b 3 June 1834

41         iv      MARION B. RUSSELL b 10 Nov 1837; d 18 Jan 1879

42         iv      HELEN M. RUSSELL b 16 November 1841; d 18 Nov 1881; m JOHNSON J. SADLER d 19 May 1882. (their daughter Nellie Agnes, born September 24, 1874, now resides with her grandmother, the widow of Luther Russell).

33. SAMUEL RUSSELL, son of RETURN and JERUSHA (OSBORN) RUSSELL, was born May 14, 1807, in Jefferson County, N.Y

He married April 1, 1860,
ADELINE H., daughter of ELIJAH RUSSELL who died December 26, 1883, without issue

They adopted GEORGE S. RUSSELL, a photographer, married to LOVETTA KYLE, by whom he has two children.

From the History of Portage County, Ohio published by Warner, Beers & Co., Chicago, 1885:
SAMUEL S. RUSSELL, retired coal dealer, Mantua, was born May 14, 1807, in Jefferson County, N.Y.; son of RETURN and JERUSHA (OSBORN) RUSSELL, natives of West Windsor, Conn., who removed to New York at an early day, thence to near Cleveland, in Warnersville Township, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, in 1822, where they lived and died. They were parents of eleven children, seven of whom are still living: EDWARD A., SAMUELl S.; RACHEL A. (a maiden lady residing with the society of Shakers); ROBERT E., in Iowa; MARY A. (Mrs. Philips), in Glenville; WILLIAM H., in California; SANFORD H. (a widower). Our subject was married April 1, 1860, to ADELINE H., daughter of ELIJAH RUSSELL, who died December 26, 1883, without issue. Mr. Russell was formerly a Shaker, and filled all the prominent offices in that society. He removed to this county in 1866, and is now one of the leading citizens of Mantua. He has an adopted son, GEORGE S. RUSSELL, a photographer, married to LOVETTA KYLE, by whom he has two children. Our subject is a Republican in politics, and cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln.


In 1812 there was a mass migration of approximately 20 families with the Russell surname, from Connecticut. Many went to Ohio where some helped found a Shaker colony at Warrensville. For additional information on this sect, see the History of Warrensville. There is no doubt that many family members moved freely from Ohio to New York and stayed for periods of time in Jefferson Co. as they appear and disappear on the census records. The Shaker community in Ohio flourished for a time but then its popularity waned; various Russell family members withdrew from the community and drifted to other parts of Ohio. Some, as in the record of Samuel who was born in 1807 at Rodman, was an early member of the sect but withdrew and drifted to Jefferson Co. The joiner and carpentry skills of many of the Russell men were undoubtedly in high demand wherever they settled and many of the earliest buildings in Jefferson County bore both carpentry and masonry skills of these craftsmen.

NOTE: Chester N., son of Newell Russell, was another orphan who found a home with Mr. Russell. He was brought from Quincy, Ill., April 28, 1864, at the age of nine years. His father served in the late war and at the death of the mother, Laura Lola and Charles H. were brought to the same happy home of their brother - Chester N. Laura Lola married Walter A. Folger, of Akron, Ohio. Her sister Agnes V. is now Mrs. J.H. Seaton, residing in Omaha, Neb., and her eldest brother, Frank P., is a physician in Suffield Township, this county.

Pension records of Rev. War; RUSSELL-FLINT-KEELER Bible records; census records, cemetery records; DAR and SAR records; church records in CT and NY; biographical information on the life and times of the Shaker families of Ohio; records of Ulster Co., NY; Vital records of NY, CT, Child's Gazetteer, History of Portage County, Ohio published by Warner, Beers & Co., Chicago, 1885

For further information, contact: MSapienza

Return to Jefferson County Genweb Page

Return to Town of Lorraine

Copyright 2010 Jefferson County NYGenWeb — a member of the NYGenWeb Project

Copyright 2017 Jefferson County NYGenWeb — a member of the NYGenWeb Project

If you have any questions or comments about this page, please contact,
County Co-Coordinator Nancy Dixon or
Co-Coordinator Bruce Coyne.

Return to Jefferson County Genweb Page