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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:

Index to All Families | Index to Families by County: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, Washington

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1483-1485 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.]

There is historic propriety in preserving the memory of the services and name of Gilbert, as no one is more honorably or intimately connected with American discoveries and early history. It stands conspicuous among suchnames as Raleigh, Drake and Cavendish, to whom the Gilberts were joined by lineage. The name is Saxon, and is written in the Roll of Battle Abbey and in the Book of Domesday. Richard Fitz-Gilbert was a kinsman of the Conqueror. Sir Humphrey Gilbert devoted his life to geographical discovery, principally in North America. He was the first Englishman who projected settlements in America, in attempting which he lost his life. He projected the settlements later perfected by Sir Walter Raleigh. These men laid the foundations of the trade and naval power of Great Britain. Sir Humphrey was also an eminent scientific authority in "Computation astronomical and cosmographical" and "a man both valiant and experienced in martial affairs." In 1758 Queen Elizabeth granted letters patent to Sir Humphrey "to discover and take possession of all remote and barbarous lands, unoccupied by any Christian prince or people." On August 5, 1582, "he took Seizen of New Foundland and the adjacent territories for the Crown of England." The Gilberts of New England came from Devonshire, England. They settled in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maryland, some of the name also going to Virginia.

(I) John Gilbert was at Dorchester, Massachusetts, as early as 1636. About 1640 four brothers, Jonathan, Thomas, Obadiah, and Josiah Gilbert, were living in Connecticut. Matthew Gilbert, one of the first colonists of New Haven, was the progenitor of the Gilbert families of Hamden, Connecticut. He is numbered among the first principal settlers of New Haven. He was one of the persons chosen in 1639 for the seven pillars of the church and one of the first magistrates of the colony and deputy-governor. He left two sons, Matthew and Samuel.

(II) Matthew, son of Governor John Gilbert, died in 1711, leaving a son, Daniel.

(III) Daniel, son of Matthew Gilbert, died in 1753. He was a settler in that part of New Haven called Hamden. He left five sons, Matthew, Solomon, Michael, Caleb and John. Michael and John were killed when the British troops invaded New Haven, July 5, 1779. John was captain of the Uptown militia. He met the British troops at the head of his company and was killed with five of his men.

(IV) Captain John was the grandfather of William and the progenitor of the Albany county Gilberts.

(V) A son of Captain John Gilbert, (record wanting).

(VI) William, grandson of Captain John Gilbert, of New Haven, Connecticut, was born about 1795. He removed to Albany county, New York, where he settled in the town of Bethlehem. He purchased a tract of land and followed the life of a farmer. He served in the American army during the war of 1812. He was a Whig in politics. He married (first) Ora Hart, daughter of one of the early families of the town. Children: Glazie, Noah, Elkanah, Maria, Laura, Ann, Bradley, Alvin and Calvin (twins); Prudence and William (2). He married (second) Charity Barber. Children: Eliza, Rachel Ann, Joseph and Elisha.

(VII) William (2), son of William (1) and Ora (Hart) Gilbert, was born in Bethlehem, Albany county, New York, April 1, 1823, died September, 1893. He settled on a farm in New Scotland which he cultivated until 1856, then purchased a farm in the town of Guilderland, where he resided until 1865. In the latter year he sold his Guilderland farm and removed to Glenville, Schenectady county, where he purchased an estate on which he resided until his death. He married, December, 1843, Hannah Houghton, born in New Scotland, April 4, 1821, died there January 19, 1895, daughter of David and Anna (Bryant) Houghton. David Houghton was born in Massachusetts, January 24, 1778, died August 18, 1836. Anna Bryant, born February 2, 1777, in Massachusetts, died January 18, 1859, daughter of John and Dorcas (Lawrence) Bryant, both of Massachusetts, but later of New Scotland, Albany county, New York, where they settled on a farm and died. The Bryants and Houghtons are of the oldest and best New England families. Children of David and Anna (Bryant) Houghton:

  1. Mary (Polly), born December 4, 1798, died April 11, 1858; married Joseph Phillips.
  2. Lucy, born July 4, 1801, died February 20, 1881; married James Hallenbeck: children: Rachel, Katie, Ann, Sarah, William, Silas.
  3. John, born March 21, 1803, died December 26, 1859; children: John, David, James, Henry, Mary, Kate, Ann Margaret.
  4. Silas, born November 13, 1804, died November 25, 1848; left no issue.
  5. Eli, born May 21, 1808, died April 16, 1882; married Laura Gilbert, sister of William Gilbert; children: William, David, Calvin, George, John, Henry, Charles, Hannah, Harriet, Sarah; Calvin and George served in the civil war, now deceased.
  6. Catherine, born September 25, 1811, died March 13, 1883; married James Patrick; children:
    1. Robert,
    2. James,
    3. George,
    4. Anna,
    5. Mary,
    6. Clarissa,
    7. Charlotte,
    8. Lydia,
    9. Jennie;
    10. Mary, married Alexander Lloyd, she is deceased, but he is living at the present time (1910) aged nearly ninety years; children:
      1. Brigadier-General James H. Lloyd, of Troy, New York, prominent in state militia, assistant chief of Troy fire department, thirty-third degree Mason and flag bearer;
      2. William, deceased;
      3. Emma and
      4. Alexander.
  7. Smith, born September 14, 1814, died at age of eighty-five years: married Catherine Wetherwax; children: James, Eli, David, Daniel, Andrew, William, Jane Ann, Sarah, Dorcas.
  8. Sarah (Sally), born November 1, 1816, died February 18, 1876; married John Hart; children:
    1. David;
    2. Eli, veteran of civil war;
    3. Alexander, veteran of civil war; all living;
    4. Margaret, deceased, and
    5. Mary.
  9. Hannah, born April 4, 1821; married William Gilbert; child, Henry S.
  10. Jane Ann, born October 7, 1823, died March 3, 1883; married Henry Retallick; no issue; by first marriage to Kate Ann Houghton, Henry Retallick had children: Maria, Martha, Henry.

Hannah, aforementioned as the wife of William (2) Gilbert, was the last survivor of the Houghton children.

(VIII) Henry Smith, only son and child of William (2) and Hannah (Houghton) Gilbert, was born near the village of New Salem, town of New Scotland, Albany county, New York, March 5, 1846. He was educated in the public schools and rapidly developed a strong, robust physique. His early interest in political life was shown when at the semicentennial of old Fremont political veteran's reunion at Saratoga, New York, in 1906, he was an invited guest, and won a badge made especially for the occasion. Among his treasures is the badge that was worn on that occasion. He remained with his father until the latter's death. He inherited the homestead in Glenville which he sold in spring of 1874, and purchased his present one hundred acre estate at Fullers, to which he removed in 1875. His specialties are fine horses and cows and dairy farming. In 1889-90 he engaged in mercantile life at Fullers where he was also postmaster, holding the office under President Harrison. Not finding merchandising a congenial business, he disposed of his store interest and returned to his farm. He has been actively engaged in the sale of agricultural machinery for many years, and is director, stockholder and vice-president of the Altamont Driving Park and Fair Association, also a prominent exhibitor. From the days of the organization of the Republican party he has retained the liveliest interest in political life. To his early education he has added from wide experience and well-chosen reading, and has risen to the front rank as a leader in his town party. He is a pleasing, forceful speaker, and at county and state conventions is often heard. He impresses his audience with his sound, clear reasoning and earnestness. He fights all his battles in the open, and is intensely loyal to party mandates as expressed in convention. He is one of the Old Guard, but never uses the knife to revenge convention defeats. He is truly a "lifelong" Republican. He is a member and a liberal supporter of the Methodist church of Guilderland. Mr. Gilbert is decidedly temperate in his tastes, never having tasted any kind of liquor and smoking but little. He married, January 6, 1867, in Glenville, Schenectady county, Helen C. Weaver, born November 12, 1850, daughter of Benjamin and Hannah (Closson) Weaver. Children:

  1. William W., born January 14, 1868, educated in the public schools, now in flour, feed and produce commission business at Voorheesville, New York; a Republican in politics, member of Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Voorheesville; he married Hattie L. Main; children: Ethel and Florence.
  2. Burton H., born April 29, 1876, educated in the public schools; he is now operating his father's farm, and resides at home; a Republican in politics, member of Blue Lodge, of Masons at Altamont; he married Floy Brown, born October 31, 1879.

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