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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Culver

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 531-534 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 family name of Culver is said to signify a pigeon or a dove. The progenitor of this family in America was Edward Culver, who emigrated from Groton, England, in 1635, and, settled first in the valley of the Connecticut river. He may rightfully be considered as one of the founders of Connecticut, and his deeds have the true ring of valor, at a time when the settler had to protect his family and his town from the savage.

(I) Edward Culver was born in the year 1600, in England, and died in 1685. His name is found early in the oldest records of the ancient town of Dedham, Massachusetts, where he married Ann Ellis in 1638, and where their first three children were born, between 1640 and 1645, after which he removed to Roxbury, Massachusetts, where at least two other children are known to have been baptized, and doubtless they were also born there, between 1648 and 1651. He seems to have removed to Pequot, Connecticut, about the time of this latter date, in order to enjoy the use of about six hundred acres of land acquired there in 1653, as a reward for services rendered in the Pequot war, 1636-38. He purchased the house lot of Robert Burrows, becoming baker and brewer. for New London, Connecticut. On November 20, 1652, or 1653, he had a land grant of farming tract at Mystic, Connecticut, and a house lot in the town, the Indians calling his farm Chepadaso, and he located thereon in 1664, and was then a "wheel-right of Mystic." That year he released his homestead to his oldest son John, and removed to a place near the head of the Mystic river, in New London. In February, 1661-62, a small grant of a portion of the water side, next south of the fort land, was made to John Culver. May 7, 1663, John was elected to drum on Sabbath days for the meetings, that instrument being employed instead of church bells in summoning the people to worship. He resided in New Haven some time, where his daughter, Abigail, was born, in 1676, and James, in 1679; but John returned to Mystic, and in 1695 confirmed to Thomas Lamb the land sold by his parents to John Lamb, his father. Edward Culver was a noted soldier in King Philip's war (Hartford). In 1675 the council "ordered John Stedman and Edward Culver, with som of the Indians, to goe forth upon the scout betwixt this and Springfield, to make what discovery they could upon the enemie to the eastward of the river," and he had considerable influence with them. He is spoken of as "Edward the Senior" because from the name it is believed that Edward Culver, living in Norwich, Connecticut, in 1680, was born in New London after his father removed there.

Edward Culver Sr. married, in Dedham, Massachusetts, in 1638, Ann Ellis. Children:

  1. John, born in Dedham, Massachusetts, April 15, 1640.
  2. Joshua, born in Dedham, Massachusetts, January 12, 1643; married, December 23, 1676, Elizabeth Ford, of New Haven, Connecticut.
  3. Samuel, born in Dedham, Massachusetts, January 9, 1644-45; married (by elopement) the wife of John Fish, about 1674.
  4. Gershom, born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, December 3, 1648; see forward; there also seems to be an entry under the name Joseph at about the same time, which is thought to be the result of a mistake on the part of some one in writing of the name of the child last mentioned.
  5. Hannah, born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, April 11, 1651; married, December 14, 1670, John Burrows.
  6. Edward, born in New London, Connecticut.

(II) Gershom, son of Edward and Ann (Ellis) Culver, was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, December 3, 1648, died in 1716. He married Mary Howell, and by her had a son named David.

(III) David, son of Gershom and Mary (Howell) Culver, was born in 1680. He had a son named after him.

(IV) David (2), son of David (1) Culver, was born in 1736, died August 3, 1814. He married Mary Youngs, and by her had a son who was named after him, and the same name as his father before him. He lived in Northampton, L. I., and moved to Hebron, Conn.; he was in the battle of Germantown.

(V) David (3), son of David (2) and Mary (Youngs) Culver, was born in Hebron, Tolland county, Connecticut, September 1, 1758, died in Pottersville, New York, March 4, 1848. He married Abigail E. M. Curtice, and by her had a child named James. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary war.

(VI) James, son of David (3) and Abigail E. M. (Curtice) Culver, was born in Hebron, New York, September 11, 1796, died in Sandy Hill, New York, April 15, 1872. He married, in Sandy Hill, June 19, 1823, Kezia Lee, born May 12, 1803, died May 23, 1886, daughter of Colonel Stephen and Mary (Little) Lee. Her father, born November 7, 1773, died August 23, 1856, was the tenth child and sixth son of Thomas and Mary (DeWolf) Lee, and was counted a man of ability, was energetic and influential both as a magistrate and military officer at Lyme and New London, Connecticut. His ancestry is traced through his father, Captain Thomas Lee, born August 26, 1734; married Mehitable Peck, July 14, 1757; son of Colonel Stephen Lee, born Lyme, Connecticut, January 19, 1699, died New London, May 21, 1783; married Abigail Lord, December 24, 1719; son of Lieutenant Thomas Lee, born in England, died December 5, 1704, the first of the name in Lyme, Connecticut, an owner of one-eighth of that town, and was ensign of the train band; son of Thomas Lee, who died in 1641, and who was the progenitor of that family in America. [from Addenda and Errata in Vol. IV, p. xlvii: Stephen Lee was a great-grandson of Thomas Lee.] Another interesting fact in this ancestry is also included in the Lee line. Colonel Stephen Lee's wife, Abigail (Lord) Lee, born in Lyme, Connecticut, in 1700, died September 19, 1742, was the daughter of Richard Lord, born in Saybrook, May, 1647, died, Lyme, August 20, 1727, whose grandfather, Thomas Lord, was born in England in 1583, and as progenitor of his family, settled in Newton, Massachusetts, and became an original proprietor and settler of Hartford, Connecticut. Kezia Lee traces ancestry of her grandmother, Mehitable Peck, born January 12, 1738, married Capt. Thomas Lee, July 24, 1757, and three other generations (Benjamin, born March 6, 1711; Samuel, born July 29, 1678; Joseph, born New Haven, Connecticut, January, 1641) to William Peck, who was born in England in 1601, and was a founder of New Haven, signed the fundamental agreement or Constitution, June 4, 1639, and where he died in 1684. Children, born in Sandy Hill, New York:

  1. Cyrus Lee, March 29, 1824, died in Albany, New York, January 23, 1899; married, in Hudson, New York, April 12, 1855, Mary Ann Bullock, by whom one child, Dr. Charles Mortimer.
  2. Charles David, April 5, 1826, died in New York, New York,. March 7, 1886; married, Sandy Hill, December 28, 1858, Louisa A. Bellamy, born June 9, 1833; died Denver, Colorado, August 10, 1903, by whom one child, Charles Bellamy, born in New York City, March 10, 1864; married Caroline Smith.
  3. Emily Kezia, October 12, 1828, died February 10, 1829.
  4. John Oscar, May 2, 1830; married, in Burlington, Wisconsin, May 2, 1860, Minnie Bliss, by whom five children:
    1. William Lee Bliss, born March 17, 1861; married, in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, August 6, 1885, Margaret Amelia Day;
    2. Paul Bliss, January 18, 1865;
    3. Julia Louise Bliss, June 3, 1868;
    4. Richard Keith Bliss, January 21, 1873;
    5. George Bliss, January 21, 1873.
  5. James Lee, November 30, 1832, died in Fort Edward, New York, August 8, 1890.
  6. George Bradley, January 16, 1836, died in New York City, December 6, 1908; married, in Comstock Landing, New York, December 23, 1869, Lucy Comstock Baker, daughter of Isaac V. and Laura (Comstock) Baker, born September 21, 1840, died September 17, 1900, by whom one child, Laura Baker, born in North Granville, New York, September 8, 1872, died October 17, 1901; married, Lake George, New York, June 3, 1901, Frederick William Aldous.
  7. Mary Eliza, May 21, 1838; married, Sandy Hill, September 24, 1857, Eber Richards, born May 6, 1836, son of Orson and Julia Ann (Fisk) Richards, by whom four children, all born in Sandy Hill, New York:
    1. Caroline Berry Richards, born July 23, 1858, died October 2, 1890;
    2. Nelson James Richards, December 14, 1861, died May 5, 1862;
    3. Frederick Barnard Richards, August 1, 1865; married, in Granville, New York, June 12, 1895, Constance Emily Zorn, born in Jamaica, West Indies, April 1, 1873, daughter of Rev. Joseph Theophilus and Anna Rosina (Liebfreid) Zorn, to whom were born, at Ticonderoga, New York, three children:
      1. Dorothy Richards, born August 14, 1896;
      2. Constance Richards, August 12, 1899;
      3. William Lee Richards, February 15, 1901;
    4. Orson Culver Richards, born June 7, 1873; married, Sandy Hill, April 25, 1900, Mabel McLaren, born in Sandy Hill, August 22, 1875, daughter of William McLaren and Mary Caroline Barkley.
  8. Stephen Berry, July 19, 1841, died in New York City, January 20, 1902; married, in Port Chester, New York, September 20, 1887, Georgianna Peck, who died March 16, 1901, and by whom two children:
    1. Mary Richards, born in New York City, June 11, 1889;
    2. Edward Peck, born in Mt. Vernon, New York, November 4, 1892.
  9. Thomas Lee, May 31, 1844; married, in Fort Miller, New York, June 3, 1885, Anna De Garmo, born September 15, 1862, died August 30, 1892, by whom two children:
    1. Stewart Lee, born in New York City, August 9, 1887, died July 13, 1889;
    2. James Lee, born in Jersey City Heights, New Jersey, March 25, 1891, died April 8, 1892.
  10. William Lee, September 24, 1846, drowned in the Hudson river at Sandy Hill, August 1, 1860.

(VII) Cyrus Lee, son of James and Kezia (Lee) Culver, was born in Sandy Hill, New York, March 29, 1824, died in Albany, New York, January 23, 1899. He received his education at Sandy Hill (in 1910 called Hudson Falls), Washington county, New York. He was not famous nor did he seek fame. Those who knew him best knew the high standard of conduct he exemplified. Harrison E. Webster, president of Union College, said that Cyrus L. Culver was one of the best Christians of his (Webster's) acquaintance. Clinton Meneely, of Liberty Bell renown, said that if there were ever an unselfish man, Cyrus L. Culver was that man. Eber Richards declared that "Cy was as good a friend as anybody ever had." His school education ended when he was but thirteen years of age. It was to him, however, that Mr. John Spicer, of Troy (himself a collegian and cultured) referred when he said: "I don't go to the expense of keeping an encyclopedia up to date; when I want to know anything, I go over and ask Culver!" He read much of the best literature and remembered an astonishing amount of the best that he read. Dr. Joseph Culver, of Jersey City, the heir of the four hundred acres, near New London, Connecticut, that were granted to Edward Culver for his valorous part in Queen Anne's and the Pequot wars, said that Cyrus Lee Culver's researches in the New York State Library had contributed some of the most valuable of the data requisite for the actual extent of the family genealogy. Cyrus Lee Culver married, in Hudson, New York, April 12, 1855, Mary Ann Bullock; born in Hillsdale, New York, September 18, 1833. Her father was Major Mead Bullock, born March 20, 1805, and her mother was Sally Ann (Rodman) Bullock. Major Bullock's ancestry is to be traced through Comfort Bullock, born in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, March 9, 1762; Comfort Bullock, born April 4, 1741; Isaac; John, born May 19, 1664, to Richard Bullock, born in England in 1622, died Rehoboth, Massachusetts, November 22, 1677, and was a landowner in Middlebury, Long Island, being taxed in 1656. The mother of Mary Ann Bullock, who was Sally Ann Rodman, traces her ancestry through six generations, ending with John Rodman, born in England and banished to the Barbadoes for his Quaker principles, where he died about 1686. One child was born to Cyrus Lee and Mary Ann (Bullock) Culver, Dr. Charles Mortimer Culver, see forward.

(VIII) Dr. Charles Mortimer Culver, son of Cyrus Lee and Mary Ann (Bullock) Culver, was born in West Troy, New York, later known as Watervliet, September 28, 1856. His elementary education was acquired at the public schools in Hillsdale, Sandy Hill and Troy, after which he attended the Troy high school, Claverack College, Hudson River Institute, and the Rensselaerville Academy. He entered Union College, and was graduated with the degree of A. B., in 1878, in 1881 receiving the degree of A.M. from his alma mater. He next studied at the Albany Medical College of Union University, and was graduated in 1881, following which he devoted two years to serious study abroad, at the Friedrich Wilhelm University of Berlin, Prussia, and at the Sorbonne, of Paris. When he returned to this country, in 1883, he confined his practice to the eye, and from 1892 to 1905 was the ophthalmic surgeon to the Albany Orphan Asylum, all the time progressing in skill and acquiring a reputation as among the foremost practitioners in his specialty for this part of the country. He has received a number of appointments, among them trustee of Union University, 1888-92; first vice-president of the American Academy of Medicine, 1900-01; United States pension examining surgeon, 1887-1911; member of the surgical staff of the Albany Orphan Asylum, 1892-1905; member of the council of the American Academy of Medicine, 1901-04; historian of the Philip Livingston Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, 1896-1900. He is a member of the Albany County Medical Society, New York State Medical Society, American Ophthalmological Society, Albany County Medical Association, New York State Medical Association, American Academy of Medicine, of the Psi Upsilon, Theta Nu Epsilon and Phi Beta Kappa fraternal societies, and a member of the Albany Institute and Historical and Art Society. He has written and translated a number of works, among which may be cited his translation of Landolt's Refraction and Accommodation, 1886; Landolt's Modern Treatment of Cataract, 1893; and "Anomalies of the Motor Apparatus of the Eyes," 1900, in Norris and Oliver's System of Diseases of the Eye.

Dr. Culver has been a "Mugwump" since the presidential election of 1884, and has figured prominently in the work of the Albany Civic League, of which he was one of the principal founders and has been one of its most aggressive spirits in the endeavor to better affairs in Albany. He is a member of the Second Presbyterian Church. He is an agreeable companion, but his manifold duties absorb most of his time. His residence for some years prior to 1910 was at No. 36 Eagle street, Albany.

He married, in Albany, May 10, 1887, Jessie Munsell, born in Albany, January 2, 1859, daughter of Joel and Mary A. (Reid) Munsell. Her father was born in Northfield, Massachusetts, April 14, 1808, died in Albany, January 15, 1880, son of Joel and Cynthia (Paine) Munsell, and was one of a family of several children. He gained fame as a publisher of histories, as a genealogist and the author of Annals of Albany and other historical works. (See Munsell VII.) Mrs. Culver was educated at the Albany Female Academy and is a member of a number of local organizations, among them the Albany Musical Association, the Gansevoort Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Albany Female Academy Alumnae Association, and the Albany Institute and Historic and Art Society, and is a member of the Second Presbyterian Church. She is a person of cultivated tastes and always ready to co-operate with those seeking to uplift humanity. Children:

  1. Cyrus Lee, born in Schodack, New York, May 26, 1888;
  2. Mary, born in Albany, New York, January 29, 1895.

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