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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Palin

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 915-916 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 Palin family, for many generations natives of Canada, descend from the family of Palin De Lebonville, in France. The family was founded in Cohoes, New York, by the present generation in 1878 and have attained a high standing in that city.

(I) Pierre Palin, the first of the family of whom we have record, was born in the province of Quebec, where he lived and died. He married and reared a family.

(II) Pierre (2), son of Pierre (1) Palin, was born in province of Quebec, Canada, 1831, died in Cohoes, New York, 1897. He was a farmer and followed that occupation in Canada until 1883, when he joined his son Wilfred in Cohoes. He was an ardent Catholic and an active worker in the parish of St. Joseph's church, Cohoes. He married (first) in Canada, Marceline Thibodeau, born 1831, died 1870. Children:

  1. Marie, deceased;
  2. Napoleon, deceased;
  3. Melina, deceased;
  4. Gustave, deceased, three children who died in infancy;
  5. Stephanie, married Theophile Nolin;
  6. Wilfred, see forward.

Pierre Palin married (second) Adeline Lucier. Children:

  1. Ernest, deceased;
  2. Sister Narcisse, an inmate of Gray Convent, Toledo, Ohio;
  3. Zephir, a resident of Greenfield, Massachusetts;
  4. ————, a resident of Greenfield, Massachusetts;
  5. Alida, married Peter Giroux;
  6. Amanda, unmarried, resides in Cohoes, New York.

The mother of these children died in 1903.

(III) Wilfred, son of Pierre (2) and Marceline (Thibodeau) Palin, was born at Napierville, province of Quebec, Canada, May 4, 1858. He attended the parochial schools until attaining the age of twelve years, and from then until twenty years of age was kept at work on the farm with his father. In 1878 he left home and made his way to the United States, finally locating in Cohoes, New York, where he found employment in a cotton mill. His tastes were all for a commercial life, and after six months in the mill he obtained a position in a meat market, remaining for a year and a half. His ambition was for a business of his own, and after passing the following six months clerking in a grocery store, he opened in 1880 a small grocery store at Congress and White streets, Cohoes, and began his remarkably successful business career. His entire capital at the time of starting his first independent business venture was very small. The enterprise was successful from the start, necessitating very soon new and larger quarters, and in 1890 he erected a three-story brick building on Congress street, where he remained until 1903. In that year he bought his present location at 45-47 Congress street, where the largest grocery business in the city is conducted, under the firm name of The Palin and Son Company (Incorporated), Mr. Palin, Sr., being president and treasurer. The company has the highest commercial standing, and the store has for its watchword, "Honest Dealing." By his own honorable exertions and moral attributes, he has carved out for himself friends, affluence and position, and by the strength and force of his own character has overcome obstacles which to others less hopeful and less courageous would seem unsurmountable. Success in mercantile life is not all that Mr. Palin has achieved. He has the confidence and respect of his townsmen who have honored him with public offices of trust, and his associates in financial life have entrusted him with responsible positions. He is regarded among the French population of the city as a safe counsellor and his advice is constantly sought by them in important matters. He is serving in the capacity of trustee of the Mechanics' Savings Bank, treasurer of the Chamber of Commerce of Cohoes, of which he was a charter member, and is heavily interested in Cohoes real estate. Politically he is a Republican. He has served one term as school commissioner, three terms as county supervisor, was six years a member on the board of water commissioners, served as delegate to the state and local conventions of his party, and in January, 1910, was appointed city chamberlain or city treasurer of Cohoes, having the distinction and honor of being the first native of France to hold that important office in Cohoes. He has been frequently requested by his friends and citizens of Cohoes to allow his name to be used for the office of mayor, but has declined the honor. He is an active member of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic church, honorary president of the Society of St. Jean Baptiste, having served in that capacity for three terms, member of St. Vincent De Paul, Modern Woodmen, and president of the Grocers' Association of Cohoes. Few men can take a mental retrospective view of their past lives with greater satisfaction. Less than thirty years ago a poor boy, unknown, today honored and respected, with ample means, established business, with sons to maintain and still further advance the family name. Scrupulously honorable in all his dealings with mankind, he bears a reputation for public and private integrity second to no one in his adopted city. Sociable and genial, his friends are as legion, composed of all classes of society, and he wields an influence for good throughout the community.

Mr. Palin married, in Cohoes, February 4, 1883, Josephine, daughter of Joseph and Judith (Finisterer) Boissonneault. Her father was born in Quebec, Canada, November 10, 1831, died in Cohoes, January 19, 1900; he was a farmer and later a foundryman in Cohoes, a devoted Catholic and active church worker. His wife was born in the same province of Canada, November 15, 1839, survives him and resides in Cohoes. Children of Wilfred and Josephine Palin:

  1. Wilfred C., born in Cohoes, November 3, 1873; educated in the parochial schools of Cohoes, Montreal College, La Salle Institute, Troy. He was admitted to the business of his father and when the incorporation was effected became secretary of the company; he is a member of the Society of St. Jean Baptiste, the League of Sacred Heart, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Modern Woodmen and the Albany Automobile Club.
  2. Stephanie.
  3. Homer, born July 23, 1881; graduate of St. Joseph's Parochial School; now engaged in the business of The Palin and Son Company (Incorporated).

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