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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Dix

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1409-1412 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 Dix is of the same significance as the name Dicks or Dickens, the letter "s" being a contraction of "son," meaning the son of Dick or of Richard. Dick, the familiar abbreviation of Richard, is thought to be derived from the Dutch word "Dyck" or "Dijck," a bank, or dike (also dyke), mound or ditch, of earth, sand or stones reinforced, thrown up to prevent low land in Holland from being inundated by the sea or river. The reason for including the meaning "ditch" in connection with "mound" is because in the act of creating a barrier, or diking, a ditch is created at the selfsame time; but the intention being to create a wall of earth, chief thought is therefore directed to that meaning of the word. Based accordingly on this idea of the significance of the name's derivation, the conclusion cannot be otherwise that this family, before coming over to America, dwelt near a dyke in Holland, in the lowlands as they are called, undoubtedly along the coast.

The name is therefore found in the spellings Dix, Dikx, Diks, Dicks, Dyck, Dyk, Dijck and Dyke, and some families in America show that they came originally from such a locality in Holland by employing the prefix "van" or "von," as Van Dyke.

The Dix coat-of-arms, of the Amsterdam branch, was as follows: D'azur à trotis têtes et cols de cygne d'argent, accompagne de deux roses d'or en flancs. That of the Harlem line was as follows: D'or à la fasce d'azur, accompagne de trois corneilles de sable, souvent écarteié de gules au chevron, accompagne en chef de deux étoiles et en pointe d'un croissant tourné, le tout d'or. Crest: Une corneille de sable entre un vol d'or et d'azur.

Four distinct branches of the Dix family were started in America in early times. These were the lines instituted by Leonard Dix, of Wethersfield, Connecticut; Anthony Dix, of Plymouth, Massachusetts; Edward Dix, of Watertown, Massachusetts, and the Dix family of Accomac county in Virginia. It is not known that anybody has been able to demonstrate the relationship reliably. Undoubtedly they were connected by the generation just previous to any one of them coming to America.

Edward Dix and his wife, Deborah, came from England and settled at Watertown, Massachusetts. They were in the fleet with Governor Winthrop, in 1630. He appears to have died at that place, prior to the removal of his immediate family into Connecticut, leaving a widow and three children. The widow, Deborah, married (second) October 16, 1667, Richard Barnes, of Marlboro, Massachusetts, by whom she had five children, between 1669 and 1683, according to certain published records; but the dates seem somewhat averse to the fact. Children:

  1. Leonard, see forward.
  2. John, who was in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1676; was taxed there in 1683; sold his house and land in 1686; owned land in Hoccanum, near the mouth of the river bearing that name, in 1679; joined the Second Church of Hartford, September 10, 1686; married Mary Bidwell; children: Sarah, John, Margaret, Daniel, Elizabeth, Susanna and Joseph.
  3. William, died in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1676.

(II) Leonard, son of Edward and Deborah Dix, was known to be in Wethersfield, Connecticut, after which he was in Branford, Connecticut, where he received a grant of land; soon afterwards was again at Wethersfield, where he also had grants of very good land and a lot in the village on which he resided from about 1650 until the time of his death. He was a prominent man of the place, constable in 1672, and surveyor of highways in 1684. On his death he left considerable land on the east side of the Great River, "being the Indian Purchase," a horse, two cows, a heifer, swine, agricultural implements, mechanical tools, a "great musket," a long fowling-piece, swords, belts, etc., appraised at fifty-three English pounds. He died December 7, 1696, and his will bore date March 24, 1696-97. His wife was named Sarah, and she died in 1709. Children:

  1. Sarah, born 1658, died April 3, 1682, married, February 10, 1680, John Francis;
  2. John, born in 1661, see forward;
  3. Mercy, died, December 20, 1711, married, 1687, Moses Goff;
  4. William, married ————
  5. Vincent;
  6. Hannah, died April 7, 1733, married, November, 1693, John Rennals, or Reynolds;
  7. Samuel;
  8. Elizabeth.

(III) John, son of Leonard and Sarah Dix, was born at Wethersfield, Connecticut, in 1661. He was hayward in 1686, and surveyor of highways in 1704. He died November 2, 1711, and his sons, John and Leonard, were administrators, who inventoried his estate, reporting on January 27, 1711-12, that it amounted to eighty-three dollars. His wife was named Rebecca, and she died November 17, 1711, aged sixty years. Children:

  1. John, born February 17, 1684, see forward;
  2. Rebecca, March 17, 1686-87;
  3. Leonard, January 27, 1688;
  4. Elizabeth, April 3, 1691.

(IV) John (2), son of John (1) and Rebecca Dix, was born February 17, 1684. He married, June 9, 1709, Sarah, daughter of John Waddams. Children:

  1. Samuel, born February 28, 1710-11;
  2. John, August 6, 1713;
  3. Sarah, March 30, 1721, married, December 2, 1741, Joseph Smith;
  4. Moses, March 15, 1723-24, see forward;
  5. Benjamin, May 27, 1729, died September 4, 1755.

(V) Moses, son of John (2) and Sarah (Waddams) Dix, was born March 15, 1723-24, died September 25, 1798. Letters of administration on his estate were issued to his son Moses, of Farmington, Connecticut. He married, September 1, 1744, Hannah Dickinson. Children:

  1. Jerusha, born November 11, 1745;
  2. Rhoda, August 13, 1746, married, December 19, 1764, ———— Rhodes;
  3. John, September 26, 1748;
  4. Ozias, December 6, 1750, see forward;
  5. Hannah, May 26, 1753, died September 30, 1753;
  6. Hannah, December 3, 1754;
  7. Rebecca, baptized September 23, 1759;
  8. Mary, baptized May 9, 1762;
  9. a son, buried October 23, 1776, aged twelve years;
  10. a daughter (probably named Mary), buried December 3, 1776, aged thirteen years;
  11. Moses, married Ruth Crane, November 7, 1792.

(VI) Ozias, son of Moses and Hannah (Dickinson) Dix, was born December 6, 1750, in Wethersfield, Connecticut. He was a soldier in the revolution, and later removed to Brattleboro, Vermont. He married, October 22, 1771, Lucy Hatch, born May 6, 1753. The baptisms of their first five children were recorded at Wethersfield. Children:

  1. ———— born March 25, 1773, baptized May 1, 1774;
  2. Ozias, baptized May 1, 1774, died September 8, 1775 (family record, died October 7, 1775);
  3. Lydia (Lucy), born July 18, 1776, baptized July 21, 1776;
  4. John, born July 5, 1778, baptized July 19, 1778;
  5. Samuel, born February 23, 1781, see forward;
  6. Ozias, born October 15, 1783, died October 17, 1783;
  7. Jerusha, born October 23, 1784, baptized, Wethersfield, February 13, 1785;
  8. Mary, born February 23, 1787;
  9. Zephanah, born May 10, 1789;
  10. Ozias, born May 6, 1791;
  11. Daniel, born February 16, 1796;
  12. Moses, born February 12, 1798;
  13. Justice, born November 9, 1802.

(VII) Samuel, son of Ozias and Lucy (Hatch) Dix, was born at Wethersfield, Connecticut, February 23, 1781, baptized there March 11, 1781. He died at Glens Falls, New York, July 4, 1857. He married, at Wilmington, Vermont, December 1, 1814, Mersylvia, born May 25, 1788, died September 8, 1853, daughter of Israel Lawton, born January 30, 1758, died September 26, 1844, and Dolly (Billings) Lawton, born January 8, 1764, died February 12, 1816. Israel Lawton and Dolly Billings were married August 14, 1783. Children of Mr. and Mrs. Dix:

  1. James Lawton, see forward;
  2. Samuel Billings, born at Moreau, New York, February 16, 1819, died, unmarried, at Glens Falls, New York, September 25, 1898;
  3. Harriet, born at Glens Falls, April 12, 1821, died at Glens Falls, July 25, 1826.

(VIII) James Lawton, son of Samuel and Mersylvia (Lawton) Dix, was born at Moreau, New York, September 19, 1816, died at Glens Falls, New York, May 17, 1888. He received his education at Easton, New York, and afterwards engaged in farming in northern New York. He was a member of the Methodist church, and in politics acted with the Democratic party.

He married, at Schenectady, New York, June 25, 1857, Laura Ann, daughter of Lewis and Katharine (Fort) Stevens, the latter born at Schaghticoke, November 21, 1800, where they were also married. Children:

  1. Walter Lewis, born at Glens Falls, New York, August 8, 1858; married, at Glens Falls, April 12, 1882, Julia Ann Wheaton; children:
    1. Lawton Allen Dix, born April 9, 1885;
    2. Howard Wheaton Dix, born September 3, 1887;
    3. Gertrude Alice, born September 22, 1890;
    4. Marion, born July 25, 1892.
  2. Anna Mersylvia, born at Glens Falls, New York, November 25, 1859; married, Glens Falls, December 21, 1882, Henry Wing, son of Sanford and Catherine (Wing) Coffin; children:
    1. John Dix Coffin, born June 15, 1884;
    2. Fenwick, born March 26, 1889;
    3. Laura, born December 8, 1892;
    4. Margaret, born August 1, 1895; all at Glens Falls, New York.
  3. John Alden, see forward.
  4. Charles Billings, born at Glens Falls, August 5, 1863; married, Glens Falls, December 29, 1892, Mary Lydia, daughter of George and Mahala (Sherman) Rugg; no children.

(IX) John Alden Dix, son of James Lawton and Laura Ann (Stevens) Dix, was born at Glens Falls, New York, December 25, 1860. He studied at the Glens Falls Academy, graduating in 1879, and then entered Cornell University, graduating in 1883. He began the practical duties of life by working first as a farm hand and then in the machine shops of his native town, thereby securing a valuable experience which benefited him in his later career. He then engaged in the lumber business with Lemon Thomson, of Albany, at Thomson, New York, under the firm name of Thomson & Dix. On the death of the senior partner, in February, 1897, the firm was dissolved, and Mr. Dix was appointed executor of his deceased partner's estate. He purchased the latter's interest and developed a paper mill at Thomson, where his chief business is centered, gradually building up one of the most efficient wall-paper plants in the country, and at the same time turned his attention to the conservation of natural resources. Mr. Dix realized that much of New York's wealth lay in her trees, and to protect himself he acquired a tract of seventeen thousand acres for his own mills, and made it a rule that for every tree which was cut down another should be planted. His relations with his workmen have always been happy, owing to the fact that he shows some consideration for their welfare; his factories have always been built with the utmost regard for hygiene, and he has given his workmen a half-holiday every week during the months of July and August. As a business man he is scrupulously honorable in all his dealings, bearing a reputation for integrity, and as a banker he has achieved the increase of the rate which the state earns on its deposits. A stockholder in the Exchange and the First National Bank, he brought about the amalgamation of the two and became first vice-president of the enlarged First National Bank. In addition he is serving as president of the Iroquois Paper Company, vice-president of the Blandy Paper Company, treasurer of the American Woodboard Company, manager of the Moose River Lumber Company, and director of the National Bank of Schuylerville.

In politics Mr. Dix is a Democrat, adhering to the sound and long-tried principles of Democracy of which the Nation has need in the direction of its affairs. At the National Convention at St. Louis Mr. Dix met and became acquainted with many of the leading men of the Democratic party. In 1906 he was a candidate for the gubernatorial nomination at Buffalo, New York; in the fall of 1908 was placed on the ticket as lieutenant-governor; in the spring of 1910 was chosen chairman of the state Democratic committee, and in the fall of 1910 became the Democratic nominee for governor and was elected. His method in discharging the chairmanship of the state Democratic committee was the method of a man of conscience and right intentions, seriously desiring to ascertain what was best for those who had placed their trust in him. He called in conference the leading men of his party, and in the summer he made a tour by automobile for the purpose of holding a series of conferences in as many counties as he could visit, to which he invited members of every faction with the object of coming to a complete understanding of the situation. He has inspired his party with a new feeling, has put new life into it, and has won the respect and confidence of those whom he has consulted of the mass of Democratic voters. Upon public questions Mr. Dix has made declarations which show him to be in accord with the principles of the platform upon which he stands. He is an advocate of an honest revision of the tariff, of a reasonable and conservative, not a destructive revision, of a revision that will strip the unworthy beneficiaries of the protective tariff law of privileges of extortion of which no men, and least of all they, should have the enjoyment, a revision that will, so far as possible, tend to reduce the present high cost of living. He is an advocate of an economical administration of the affairs of the state, and of a cutting off of the useless expenditures which have so multiplied during the past years. Mr. Dix is in the best sense a representative of the intelligent, active, sober-minded, conservative and successful citizenship of the Empire State. He is a man to whom his fellow-citizens would readily turn for counsel, to whom they would with confidence intrust the conduct of affairs demanding foresight, sound judgment, ability and uprightness. He was one of the founders of the Democratic League and as such stands for personal freedom, National and State economy, the revision of the tariff and revenue laws, and the abolition of protection for gigantic "infant industries."

Mr. Dix is a warden of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church of Schuylerville, and a member of Glens Falls Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, Theta Delta Chi fraternity, Albany Country Club, Fort Orange Club, Albany Institute and Historical and Art Society. His city residence, No. 491 State street, Albany, is an attractive one, where he and his wife entertain many friends, but his summer residence on the bank of the Hudson river and the Battenkill creek, at Thomson, is a charming place, and he is accustomed to making weekly trips between the two places in his automobile.

Mr. Dix married, at Albany, New York, April 24, 1889, Gertrude Alden Thomson, born at Albany, third child of Lemon and Abby Galusha (Sherman) Thomson. Lemon Thomson was born at Athol, Warren county, New York, January 22, 1822; graduated from Union College in 1850, and then engaged in the lumber business, establishing the firm of L. Thomson & Company, which became known all over the country; removed to Albany in 1855, and died at Thomson, New York, February 24, 1897. His wife, Abby Galusha (Sherman) Thomson, was born September 9, 1828, died in New York City, June 13, 1896, daughter of Augustus Sherman, of Glens Falls, New York, a descendant of Roger Sherman, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Lemon Thomson was son of Charles C. Thomson, grandson of Charles Thomson, and great-grandson of Benjamin Thomson, the emigrant ancestor of the family, coming to this country from Scotland. Charles C. Thomson was born at Elizabeth, New Jersey, July 8, 1788, died at Johnsonburg, New York, March 1, 1860; married, about 1819, Susanna Harris Williams, daughter of Joseph Williams, a revolutionary soldier.

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