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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Collin

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1116-1117 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 Rev. Mr. Scudder, in his historical comments on the French nation, says: "The prodigious exodus of the French people which followed the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes constitutes one of the most important historical events of the seventeenth century. Many of the French people were driven to expatriate themselves in the persecution of 1715, 1724 and 1744. They settled in nearly all the countries of Europe, and there was not a country which received them that they did not enrich. They were skilled, intelligent and laborious, and they were the most virtuous people of the world." Among those whom persecution drove to expatriation was Paul Collin, who emigrated to America in 1686 and settled in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and there is a record that he was in New York temporarily in 1721. The name is that of an ancient Huguenot family of the province of Poitou, in France. Sebastian Collin, an eminent medical writer and practitioner of the sixteenth century, illustrates the quality of the Collin family. Paul Collin had brothers who also emigrated; one of them, Peter Collin, settled in South Carolina, in 1695. Paul Collin was a son of Jean Collen, and his mother's maiden name was Judith Vallean, of the Isle de Re, a part of the province of Poitou. Paul Collin stood sponsor at the baptism of a child of Pierre Vallean, in New York, July 19, 1721. This was no doubt a kinsman of his mother. He married and had issue.

(II) John, son of Paul and Judith (Vallean) Collin, was born in Narragansett, Rhode Island, 1706. Having learned navigation and the handling of a vessel through service at sea in subordinate positions, he was placed in command of the sloop "Swan," belongin to John Merwen, of Milford, Connecticut, whose daughter Hannah he afterward married. He continued in command of the "Swan" for sixteen years. In 1746 he sailed from Milford Haven for the West Indies an was never again heard from — ship, master and crew were all lost at sea. His papers and books, preserved by his kinsmen, show that he was an excellent penman and a good scholar. A monument has been erected to his memory in the grounds of the Hillsdale Rural Cemetery. He married Hannah, daughter John Merwen, of Milford, Connecticut. Children:

  1. John, see forward.
  2. David, born February 18, 1734; married (first) Lucy Smith, of Dutchess county, New York, February 19, 1764; (second) Esther Gellett.
  3. James, born 1736, died in infancy.

(III) John (2), son of John (1) and Hannah (Merwen) Collin, was born in Milford, Connecticut, July 15, 1732. Having lost his father in his infancy, he was reared by his maternal grandfather, John Merwen, who brought him up to habits of industry, morality and prudence. He removed to Dutchess county, New York, where, in 1773, he received a captain's commission from Governor Tryon of New York, the British colonial governor, and in 1777 received a captain's commission from Governor Clinton. He possessed physical strength and mechanical ingenuity, and was prominently connected with enterprises of the day. He was the friend of some of the noted men of his time — Alexander Hamilton, William W. Van Ness, Elisha Williams and Jacob Rulsen Van Rensselaer — as shown by his papers. He was baptized when four years of age, May 16, 1736, in the Congregational church of Milford, and was ever steadfast in his church obligations. was also connected with the Masonic order. He married, September 16, 1758, Sarah Arnold, of Dutchess county. Children:

  1. Anthony, born February 24, 1760; soldier of the revolution, was captured by the British, October 16, 1777, and died in captivity the following December.
  2. Hannah, born June 7, 1763, married Thomas Truesdale, October 8, 1781, died June 26, 1817; six children.
  3. John (see forward).

(IV) John (3), son of John (2) and Sarah (Arnold) Collin, was born in Dutchess county, New York, September 19, 1772. He married, October 23, 1798, Ruth Holman Johnson. He died in Hillsdale, Columbia county, New York, December 28, 1883. Children:

  1. James, born January 16, 1800 (see forward).
  2. John Francis, April 30, 1802; married (first) Pamelia Jane Tullar; (second) Jane, daughter of Philip and Elizabeth (De Grof) Becker, a noted public man of his day, member of congress in 1844.
  3. Sarah Amanda, born April 21, 1804; married, February 20, 1828, Rodney Hill, of Hillsdale; died 1867; two children.
  4. Jane Miranda, born February 14, 1807; married, June 2, 1830, Rev. Hiram H. White, of Canton, Connecticut; died August, 1879.
  5. Hannah, born December 19, 1809; married, April 16, 1833, Lewis Wright, of Xenia, Ohio; child,
    1. Melinda T., born March 27, 1834.
  6. Ruth Maria, born March 1, 1813, died June, 1838.
  7. Henry Augustus, died at age of six years.
  8. William Quincy, died at age of three years.
  9. Cynthia A., died aged six years.

(V) James, eldest son of John (3) and Ruth (Holman) Collin, was born January 16, 1800. He engaged early in life in commercial business in North Egremont, Massachusetts, subsequently at Lenox, Massachusetts, in the furnace business, and later in the manufacture of plate glass, which he continued until his death, December 16, 1861. He was an able business man, noted for his industry, integrity and attractive social qualities. He married (first) Jane B. Hunt, of Lenox, Massachusetts, May 5, 1822; she died February 25, 1827, leaving three children. He married, (second), March 17, 1828, Velona Hill, of Hillsdale, who died August 11, 1846, leaving six children. He married (third), September 7, 1847, Chastine Wolverton, of Albany, New York, by whom he had six children. Children of first marriage:

  1. James Hunt, born March 21, 1823;
  2. Jane Sophia, November 27, 1824;
  3. John Francis, died in infancy.

Children of second marriage:

  1. Ellen H., born September 29, 1829;
  2. Charles R., March 1, 1832;
  3. Louis E., August 10, 1833;
  4. John H., February 25, 1835;
  5. Mary C., March 15, 1838;
  6. William M. (see forward).

Children of third marriage:

  1. Edwin M., born September 19, 1849;
  2. Mortimer and
  3. Monteath (twins), December 9, 1852;
  4. George W., December 13, 1855;
  5. Hattie May, May 1, 1858;
  6. Lizzie A., March 12, 1860.

(VI) William M., son of James and his and wife, Velona (Hill) Collin, was born Lenox, Massachusetts, March 23, 1842, died 1878. He received a good education, went west, and in 1861 was clerk in the office of the secretary of the Milwaukee chamber of commerce. At the call for volunteers he enlisted as a private in the Fifth Wisconsin Infantry, being then nineteen years of age. He was with the Army of the Potomac during the seven days' fight and retreat to the James. While guarding a hospital tent he fell into the hands of the enemy, and was for several months a prisoner in Libby Prison, Richmond, and at Belle Island, where he underwent privation and suffering that brought full fruit in later years. After being exchanged he returned home, a mere shadow of his former self. He underwent medical treatment for his affected lungs that completely wrecked his nervous system. He became teller of the Lee (Massachusetts) National Bank, and later removed to Sandy Hill, Washington county, New York, where he was cashier of the bank in that village. July 4, 1868, the bank was entered by robbers and the safe blown up and shattered, but not opened. The door was so badly injured that it could not be opened, and Mr. Collin drove to Troy to obtain the services of an expert to open the safe. The heat was intense, and, with the unusual excitement of the robbery, completely prostrated him. After five weeks of illness he resumed work at the bank, but his old trouble soon reasserted itself and compelled him to resort to a New York specialist. After his return home insomnia, suffering, and a complete breakdown of his nervous system unsettled his mind to the extent that it hastened his end. He was an able, upright business man, the soul of honor, admired for every virtue and possessed of an unblemished reputation. He loved his neighbor and delighted in kindly deeds. He was a member and trustee of the Presbyterian church of Sandy Hill, and treasurer of the village corporation, a position to which he had been elected consecutively ever since becoming a resident. His accounts with bank, church and village, and all his personal affairs, were left in the most correct form, and perfect condition. He was devoted to his family, and with them enjoyed his greatest pleasure. He married, October 5, 1869, Clara, daughter of Hon. Charles Rogers, of Washington county. Children:

  1. Jennie Robbins, born January 7, 1875, died November 23, 1893;
  2. James Rogers, born 1870, married Jennie Durkee.

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