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SCHENECTADY DIGITAL HISTORY ARCHIVE

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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Derby

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1294-1295 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 Derby is derived from the shire of England of that name, "from doire, a forest, a woody hilly country abounding in deer; or it may be Deerby, the town of deer." (Arthur's "Derivation of Names.") [possibly William Arthur, Etymological dictionary of family and Christian names. With an essay on their derivation and import.] "Names ending in by, such as Bixby, Derby, are of Lincolnshire." (New England Gen. Register, vol. 22, p. 30). The first of the name in America was Roger Derby, born in Devonshire, England, in 1643; arrived in Boston, 1671; settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts. The early Derbys were nonconformists and affiliated with the Quakers. The family in Washington county herein recorded descend from John Derby, a later arrival. Whether he was a relative of Roger Derby does not appear.

(I) John Derby came to this country about the year 1696, and settled at Dunstable, Massachusetts, where he had lands granted him by the proprietors. He later removed to Groton. He married Mary Blanchard, whose grandfather, Thomas Blanchard, came from London in the "Jonathan" in 1639. John Derby is sometimes called Derbyshire. Butler's "History of Groton," [i.e., Caleb Butler, History of the Town of Groton] in recording the births of his children, in one case has Derby, in another Derbyshire. Children:

  1. William, born August 14, 1698;
  2. James, April 30, 1702;
  3. Mary, January 3, 1705-06;
  4. Oliver, December 8, 1708.

(II) James, second son of John and Mary (Blanchard) Derby, was born April 30, 1702, at Dunstable, Massachusetts. He married Eleanor Shepard, daughter of Samuel Shepard and Eleanor Whitney, her first ancestors in this country being Ralph Shepard, John Whitney, Baptist Smedley and Thomas Tarbell. Children:

  1. James, born 1724;
  2. Samuel, 1727;
  3. Eleazer, 1731;
  4. Jesse, mentioned below.

(III) Jesse, youngest son of James and Eleanor Shepard Derby, was born in 1738. He married Lydia, daughter of Daniel and Lydia (Libby) Meachem. Her early ancestors were Jeremiah Meachem, John Brown Thomas Makepeace, Henry Silsbe, John Marsh and Rev. Samuel Skelton. Children:

  1. Hannah, born 1763;
  2. Benjamin, mentioned below;
  3. Lydia, 1767;
  4. Samuel, 1769;
  5. Eli, 1772;
  6. Daniel, 1774;
  7. Lucy.

(IV) Benjamin, second son of Jesse and Lydia (Meachem) Derby, was born in 1765. He married Constant Hamilton, daughter of Daniel and Hannah (Sparrow) Hamilton. Her early ancestors were Daniel Hamilton, Nicholas Snow, Elder William Brewster, Stephen Hopkins, and John Doane. Benjamin Derby served through three enlistments in the revolutionary war. He was first a drummer, and afterwards a soldier. His widow received a pension for his services. Children: Lyman, John, Jessie, Benjamin, Warren, Seba, Hiram, Lefie, Almina and Polly.

(V) John, second son of Benjamin and Constant (Hamilton) Derby, married Annis Ferris, daughter of James and Mary (Caulkins) Ferris. The ancestors of Annis Ferris are Zachariah Ferris, Eleazer Beacher, John Tripp, Anthony Paine, Thomas Cook and Richard Borden. John Derby was born in Hebron, Washington county, New York. He removed to Glens Falls, New York, where he became a well-known business man, and was prominent in Masonic circles. He married Annis Ferris, of that place, whose grandfather, Reed Ferris, was one of the original owners of the town of Queensbury. John Derby died at the early age of thirty-eight. Children:

  1. Alexander Hamilton,
  2. Betsy Ferris,
  3. George Ferris,
  4. Mary Hamilton.

(VI) George Ferris, son of John and Annis (Ferris) Derby, was born at Glens Falls, New York. He married Jane F. Howland, daughter of Stephen and Susan Macumber Howland. Her early ancestors were Henry Rowland, William Macumber, Francis Cook, Richard Warren, John Taber and George Soule. George F. Derby was a successful railway contractor and builder. He built a portion of the Hudson river railroad, the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern, Canandaigua and Niagara Falls, Dubuque and Sioux City, also many other railroads.

(VII) John Hamilton, only child of George and Jane (Howland) Derby, was born June 20, 1845, at Sandy Hill, New York. He married, September 6, 1870, Margaret Forster, daughter of Archibald and Rebecca (Reynolds) Steuart. Her early ancestors were Edward Fuller, Rev. John Lathrop, John Forster, Deacon John Dunham, Moses Dickey, Thomas Stewart, William Reynolds, Reignoir Pyatt. John H. Derby, as a young man, was associated with his father in railroad construction work. Later he engaged in the manufacture of paper at Sandy Hill, New York. He was a member of the firm of Howland & Company, and the Howland Paper Company for twenty-five years, and when the latter firm was merged with the Union Bag & Paper Company he was made one of its directors, and for some years was its vice-president. He has taken an active part in the affairs of his native village, serving as trustee, and president for several years. He was elected supervisor for three terms, the last term being chairman of the board. He is prominent in educational work, being a member of the board of education for twenty-five years and serving as president a greater part of the time. He served the state as senator, being elected in 1891 from the sixteenth district, comprising the counties of Washington and Rensselaer. He has long been a member of the Presbyterian church, and for some years an elder. As a successful business man he holds many prominent positions, among which are the following: Vice-president of Sandy Hill National Bank, vice-president of Sandy Hill Iron & Brass Company, vice-president of Progressive Pulp & Paper Company, the Lake Champlain Pulp & Paper Company, and the American Live Stock and Loan Company of Denver, Colorado. He is also a director in the Pressed Prism Plate Glass Company of West Virginia, the Union Bag & Paper Company of New York, and the Merritt Island Canal and Transportation Company, Florida. Their children, all born at Sandy Hill, New York, are:

  1. George Hamilton, born July 31, 1875. died in infancy.
  2. Archibald S., born November 5, 1876; graduated Ph. B., Union College, 1896, Harvard Law School, LL. B., 1899, and is a practicing lawyer of Hudson Falls: he married, June 14, 1900, Mary Franklin, daughter of John W. and Mary A. (Warnick) Wait. They have two children:
    1. Mary Hamilton, born September 1, 1901;
    2. Margaret Wait, August 8, 1906.
  3. Anna Louise, born July 29, 1879; married, September 24, 1906, Andrew Bartlett O'Hara, son of Bartlett and Ella M. (Keyes) O'Hara.
  4. John Hamilton; born February 18, 1886; he was graduated Ph. B, Yale, 1907, and was given M. S., 1909, by same university; married, June 24, 1909, Ruth Parks, daughter of Egbert W. and Julia (Parks) West. They have one daughter,
    1. Dorothy Louise, born April 27, 1910.

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