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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Peck

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 728-729 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 American ancestor of the Pecks of Cohoes, New York, is Deacon Paul Peck, of Hartford, Connecticut, who is believed to have been born in Essex county, England. The family name is of very ancient origin and great antiquity. There are various theories as to its original meaning or signification, and to those who first bore it Pek, Peek, Pecke, Peke, Peak and Peake are found in the different works on heraldry, but Peck and Peak are doubtless distinct names. The family was seated in Belton, Yorkshire, England, at a very early date.

(I) "Deacon" Paul Peck came to America in the ship "Defence" in 1635, remained in or near Boston, Massachusetts, until 1636, and then removed to Hartford, Connecticut, with the Rev. Thomas Hooker and his colony. His name is on the list of the proprietors of Hartford in 1639. From the records of the town it appears that he was one of the leading citizens. He was deacon of the Congregational church from 1681 until his death, December 23, 1695. His residence appears to have been upon what is now Washington street, and was long known among the older persons as the "Peck lot." His will dated June 25, 1695, proved January 15, 1696, is quite lengthy and full of interest in its details and description of his property. His estate inventoried £536. 5s. He makes bequests to wife Mary, sons Paul and Joseph, daughters Martha Cornwall, Mary Andrew, Sarah Clark, and Elizabeth How, grandsons, Paul and Samuel, and to his son-in-law, John Shepherd. He also names his granddaughter, Ruth Beach, and son-in-law, Joseph Bonton. He had nine children. As only two are mentioned, his children John, Samuel and Hannah were probably dead.

(II) Paul (2), second eldest child of Deacon Paul (1) and Mary Peck, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1639. He resided in West Hartford, Connecticut, where he died in 1725, aged eighty-six years. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John Baisey. Children:

  1. Paul, born 1666, who had a son Paul Peck, who was killed in the revolution.
  2. John, born 1672.
  3. Martha, born 1676; married Samuel Hubbard, of Middletown, Connecticut, now Berlin.
  4. Samuel, born 1686; settled in Middletown.
  5. Hannah, born 1681; married (first) Joseph Hopkins; (second), John Porter; she resided in Waterbury, Connecticut.
  6. William, born 1686.
  7. Ruth, born 1688; married (first) Samuel Sedgwick; (second) Samuel Culver, of Wallingford.

(III) John, second child of Paul (2) and Elizabeth (Baisey) Peck, was born in West Hartford, Connecticut, 1672. He married Mehitable Reeve, of Hartford, November 9, 1707, and removed to Litchfield, Connecticut, in 1720. Children:

  1. John, born November 3, 1708; settled in Vermont at an early date.
  2. Abraham, born November 15, 1710.
  3. Isaac, married Ruth Tomlinson and moved to Canaan, Connecticut.
  4. Jacob, died in early life.
  5. A daughter, died in infancy.
  6. Reeve, born March 3, 1723.
  7. Lydia, married Elisha Peck, a kinsman; she died at the residence of her son Asa, in Litchfield, aged ninety-six years.

(IV) Abraham, son of John and Mehitable (Reeve) Peck, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, November 15, 1710. He lived in Litchfield, where he died August, 1801, in his ninety-first year. He married Hannah ————. Children: Abraham; Sybel, born August 9, 1765. There were most likely other children, perhaps another wife, but the records do not mention them.

(V) Abraham (2), second son of Abraham (1) and Hannah Peck, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, November 15, 1763. He removed to Cornwall, Vermont, 1802. He married Honor De Wolf. Children:

  1. Hannah, born April 22, 1788.
  2. Alanson, February 4, 1790.
  3. Epaphroditus, July 6, 1791.
  4. David, December 8, 1794, died 1796.
  5. Mary, March 6, 1796.
  6. Lucretia, April 22, 1798.
  7. Isaac, July 27, 1800.
  8. Frederick, March 12, 1803.
  9. Sibyl, December 14, 1805.
  10. Electra, August 22, 1807.

(VI) Alanson, second child of Abraham (2) and Honor (De Wolf) Peck, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, February 4, 1790. He removed with his parents to Cornwall, Vermont, in 1802. He was a school teacher and farmer. He married Nancy De Lano. Children: Benjamin R., Mary V., Henry G., Lydia.

(VII) Benjamin R., eldest child of Alanson and Nancy (De Lano) Peck, was born July 31, 1819, in Cornwall, Vermont, died April 24, 1896. He followed the occupation of teaching and later engaged in the manufacture of sash and blinds in Cohoes, New York, continuing during the remainder of his active life. He was a Presbyterian in religion. He married Elizabeth Griffin, who died February 20, 1908. Children: Frank Bayard and Mary Adelaide.

(VIII) Frank Bayard, son of Benjamin R. and Elizabeth (Griffin) Peck, was born in Cohoes, New York, August 1, 1853. He obtained his education in the common schools of Cohoes, Egbert high school, public school at Fort Edward, and Cornell Business College, Troy, New York. He entered business life with A. J. Griffin, continuing with him as bookkeeper for about eight years. In 1880 he began business on his own account. He established a coal yard in Waterford, and has had a long successful career as a retail dealer in coal and wood. He was very successful, and in 1901 extended his field by opening a similar business in Cohoes. He conducted both yards, retaining sole ownership and control until January 13, 1907, and in that year The Frank B. Peck Coal Company was incorporated with Mr. Peck as president and treasurer. The company took over his entire private coal and wood business and continues both yards, with Thomas J. Mulhern as manager. Mr. Peck is also interested in the ice business at Coveville, New York. The company has modern, well-equipped yards with hoisting machinery for elevating the coal some sixty feet into pockets, from which wagons are loaded. They have a large patronage, which is well served by their perfect equipment in both yard and office. Mr. Peck was formerly very active in politics. He is a Republican, and has given much of his time and ability to the public service. He was postmaster of Waterford for five and one-half years, appointed by President Harrison; superintendent of northern division of the Champlain canal, appointed by State Superintendent of Public Works Aldridge; he held this position for ten years, resigning on account of ill health; highway commissioner; chairman of Saratoga county Republican committee for eighteen years, and filling other local offices. Mr. Peck was instrumental in inaugurating the present water system, and upon the erection of the fire and hose building it was named the F. B. Peck Hose Company in his honor. He attends the Presbyterian church of Cohoes. Mr. Peck is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, holding membership in Lodge, Chapter, Commandery and Shrine, and is also an Elk, and member of the Waterford Country Club.

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