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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Churchill

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 876-878 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The name Churchill is historical. John Churchill was raised to the peerage by his grateful sovereign for distinguished military service with the Duke of Marlborough, and other members of the family attained high rank in England.

(I) The American ancestor, Josias (Josiah) Churchill, was an early settler at Wethersfield, Connecticut, perhaps coming there from Watertown, Massachusetts, as did most of the early settlers of that town. He drew eighteen acres of land in the division of 1670. He was a juror in 1643-49, and held other offices of trust in the town. He possessed more than a medium estate and was of good reputation in the colony. He married, in 1638, Elizabeth, daughter of Nathan Foot, of Wethersfield. Children:

  1. Mary, born March 24, 1639. In his will her father calls her "My daughter Church."
  2. Elizabeth, born May 15, 1642; married Henry Buck.
  3. Hannah, born November 1, 1644; not named in father's will.
  4. Ann, born 1647; called "Rice" in father's will.
  5. Joseph, of whom further.
  6. Benjamin, born May 16, 1652; married Mary ———— in 1678.
  7. Sarah, born November 11, 1657; married, June, 1673, Thomas Wickham.

Josiah Churchill made his will dated November 17, 1683, which was probated in court at Hartford, 1686-87. He appointed his wife, Elizabeth, executrix and gave her the use of the property during her lifetime. She died September 8, 1700, an old lady over eighty years of age.

(II) Joseph, son of Josias (Josiah) and Elizabeth (Foot) Churchill, was born December 2, 1649, died December, 1701. He resided in Wethersfield, where he married, May 13, 1674, Mary ————. Children, living at the time of his death:

  1. Mary, born April 6, 1675.
  2. Nathaniel, of whom further.
  3. Samuel, "Ensign Samuel, died July 21, 1767."
  4. Joseph.
  5. Jonathan.
  6. Mary, married ———— Edwards.
  7. Elizabeth, married Richard Butler.
  8. Dinah.

(III) Nathaniel, son of Joseph and Mary Churchill, was born July, 1677. He settled at Middletown, Connecticut, about 1719. Some of his sons and grandsons settled at Berlin (New Britain and Meriden). At Churchill's shipyard or landing several armed vessels have been built since 1794, two by the name of "Holker," "Macedonian" and the "Boxer," the latter two having figured prominently in the war of 1812-14. He married, October 9, 1701, Mary, daughter of John Hurlbut, of Middletown. Children:

  1. Nathaniel (2), of whom further.
  2. John, born January 19, 1706.
  3. Daniel, November 3, 1710.
  4. Josiah.
  5. Stephen.
  6. Solomon.

(IV) Nathaniel (2), son of Nathaniel (1) and Mary (Hurlbut) Churchill, was born 1703. He married Rebecca Griswold; children:

  1. Abigail, born September 28, 1727.
  2. Mary, August 22, 1729.
  3. Nathaniel (3), June 25, 1731.
  4. Rebecca, February 10, 1734.
  5. Lucy, May 3, 1736.
  6. Jannah, February 20, 1738.
  7. Josiah, having no children, adopted his brother Jannah's son, Josiah, who afterward settled in Genessee county, New York, and was for several sessions a member of the New York legislature.
  8. Amos, of whom further.

(V) Amos, son of Nathaniel (2) and Rebecca (Griswold) Churchill, was born March 5, 1743, at Wethersfield, Connecticut. He settled first at Middletown and later in Broadalbin, Fulton county, New York, where he engaged in farming. He married Lydia Cowles, of Meriden, Connecticut, and after his removal to Middletown was a justice of the peace and a deacon of the church. He changed his views on baptism and later united with the Baptist church. Children:

  1. Lydia, married Elijah Robert and removed to Mayfield, Fulton county, New York.
  2. Huldah, married Elijah Bacon and removed to Mayfield.
  3. Amos (2), married Olive Wilcox and removed to Broadalbin, New York; children: Olive, Dr. Amos, Harriet, Charles, Giles and Elijah.
  4. Roswell, married (first) Abijah Roberts and moved to Mayfield, New York; married (second) Abigail Covel.
  5. Lucy, married Isaac Cornwall and removed to Mayfield.
  6. Jesse, of whom further.

(VI) Jesse, son of Amos and Lydia (Cowles) Churchill, died March 29, 1842. He married Catherine Smith, of Middletown, Connecticut; she was a great-great-granddaughter of John Elliott, the great friend of the Indians. Children:

  1. William Elliott, married (first) a daughter of Major E. A. Cowles; (second) Louisa Terry.
  2. Henry, of whom further.
  3. Timothy, married Patience Lawrence.
  4. Mary Ann, married Seth Smith.
  5. Lucy Maria.
  6. Jane E., married George Root.
  7. Allen C., married Caroline C. Warner.
  8. Charles, married Carrie Smith.

(VII) Henry, son of Jesse and Catherine (Smith) Churchill, was born in Middletown, Connecticut, February 17, 1807, died September 3, 1868. Early in life he came with his parents to Broadalbin, Fulton county, New York. He was educated in the public schools. and at an early age was thrown upon his own resources, developing into a strong, self-reliant man. From his twelfth to his twentieth year he was engaged in mechanical employment and mercantile life. For several years he was clerk in a store in Albany, where he acquired a thorough knowledge of merchandising methods and principles. He then located in Gloversville, New York, where he opened a store and prospered. For several years Churchill's store was the only one in Gloversville; he was the first postmaster of Gloversville. In the year of financial disaster, 1840, by the unexpected and heavy failures of those to whom he had entrusted his means, he lost everything he had accumulated in his years of prosperity. He had, however, the confidence of his fellow townsmen and large advances were made to him which enabled him to again start in business. In a short time he had paid off all his indebtedness and was firmly established in a large and prosperous business. From this point his career was one of unbroken success. He bought a large tract of land then near but later in the very heart of Gloversville and almost entirely covered with buildings. It extended from what is now Pine street to the "Fork in the road," and in 1851 this was all planted in corn. When he had completed the plans for such a residence as he desired, he sent men into the woods, who cut the lumber required. In the middle of his growing cornfield (now South Main street, and the center of Gloversville) he began his foundations, proceeded with the erection of his house, into which he moved in 1860. The first meeting preliminary to the organization of the Fulton County Bank was held in this house and was attended by the McLarens, Judsons, Messrs. McNab, Wells, Carson and others, well-known citizens. When the organization was completed, Henry Churchill was elected its first president. He was also president of the board of trustees of Gloversville Seminary, and an efficient promoter of the interests of his village.

He was a man of stately, imposing form, of dignified address and demeanor, and a popular, highly respected citizen. He was a Democrat in politics, but when slavery bebecame an issue he allied with the younger and weaker party purely from principle. He was twice a candidate of the Republican party, first for the assembly and later for the state senate. He was unsuccessful, not for the want of personal popularity, but because his cause was the weaker, unpopular one in the country. He was always prominent in the party and wielded a powerful influence. He was especially strong as a man of large business affairs; had a clear perception and a sound judgment, with great executive ability. He was an attendant of the Baptist church and took an active part in the erection of two churches in Gloversville.

Henry Churchill married Selina Burr, born May 15, 1808, died March 13, 1851, daughter of James and Amaryllis (Mills) Burr, and granddaughter of Nathaniel and Abigail Burr. Nathaniel Burr came from Connecticut, settled in Kingsboro, Fulton county, New York, where he died in 1822. James Burr, son of Nathaniel Burr, was born December 12, 1779; married Amaryllis Mills and had children: Carolina, Horatio L., Selina, James H., Francis, William H. and David M. Children of Henry and Selina (Burr) Churchill:

  1. William Scott, born March 28, 1831; drowned at age of four years.
  2. Helen, born January 12, 1837; married George Root, of Hartford, Connecticut, and had a daughter Julia, born March 15, 1861.
  3. Alice, born February 8, 1839; married Henry D. Moore; children:
    1. Harry C., born August 18, 1866;
    2. Carlos, born March 28, 1869.
  4. Caroline, born July 10, 1841; married Warner Miller; children: Max, Burr, Guy and Augusta.
  5. Henry (2), born June 15, 1844; married Ella Sunderland; children: May and Alice.

Henry Churchill married (second) in Albany, New York, January 1, 1852, Sibyl Elizabeth Roberts, born in Saratoga, New York, January 26, 1827. She was a teacher in Gloversville and founded the school later known as the Gloversville Seminary, which stood on the site of the present high school building. Children:

  1. Selina Burr, born September 22, 1855, died March 21, 1875.
  2. Jessie, born June 24, 1857; married Frank Egelston; children:
    1. Pauline, born December 4, 1882, and
    2. Elizabeth Roberts, September 24, 1887.
  3. Cora Roberts, born March 31, 1859, died November 5, 1906; married Dr. William Biddle; children:
    1. Henry Churchill, born August 22, 1888, and
    2. William Hassett, December 30, 1892.

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