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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Peck

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 729-734 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 Peck family of Troy herein considered was William Peck, who was among the first of the early settlers of New England. Others of the name arrived at about the same time, but apparently were not related. They were the progenitors of a numerous posterity, and the name is a distinguished one in the United States.

(I) William Peck was born in or near the city of London, England, in 1601, and married there about the year 1622. His son Jeremiah was the only English-born child. William Peck, with wife Elizabeth and son Jeremiah, emigrated from England to America, coming in the company with Governor Eaton, Rev. John Davenport and others in the ship "Hector," arriving at Boston from London, June 26, 1637. This company, consisting largely of merchants and farmers, had suffered much from the intolerance and persecutions of the reign of King Charles I, and their object in coming to America was to secure unmolested enjoyment of civil and religious liberty. William Peck was one of the original proprietors of New Haven, Connecticut, his autograph signature being affixed to the agreement or constitution, dated June 4, 1639, for the government of the infant colony (this is said to be "one of the first examples in history of a written constitution organizing a government and defining its powers" ). He was admitted a freeman of the colony, October 20, 1640; was a merchant, and a trustee, treasurer and general business agent of the Colony Collegiate School, established on the basis of the Hopkins' fund. He is usually named in the records with the title of "Mr.," then a prefix of respect and distinction. From 1659 until his death he was a deacon of the church in New Haven. His home lot of about an acre, his house and store were on Church street, the front of which is now covered by the Connecticut Savings Bank building. His grave is now covered by the Center Church in New Haven. He died October 4, 1694, aged ninety-three years. His will, dated March 9, 1688-89, probated October 13, 1694, is recorded in the probate records of New Haven (Book II, p. 176). His wife Elizabeth died December 5, 1683. He married (second) Sarah, widow of William Molt. His children, all by first wife, survived him, as did his second wife, and are all named in his will.

  1. Jeremiah, see forward.
  2. John, removed to Wallingford, Connecticut; called "lieutenant" in the records.
  3. Joseph, settled in East Saybrook (later Lynn), Connecticut, where he was surveyor, recorder, justice of the peace and deacon of the church.
  4. Elizabeth, married Samuel Andrews.

(II) Jeremiah, eldest son of William and Elizabeth Peck, was born in or near London, England, in 1623, and was brought to America by his parents in 1637. He is said by Cotton Mather to have been a student at Harvard, and undoubtedly was, as he was possessed of a good education. His name does not, however, appear in the catalogue of graduates of any year. He was for a time of Guilford, Connecticut, preaching or teaching until 1660, when he removed to New Haven in response to an invitation to take charge of the Collegiate school, which had been instituted in New Haven by the general court in 1659. He was in charge of the school until the summer of 1661, when it was temporarily suspended for lack of support. After a few years it was revived and flourishes now under the name of the Johns Hopkins Grammar School. In the fall of 1661 he was invited to preach at Saybrook, Connecticut, where he is supposed to have been ordained, as he settled there as a minister, dating from September 25, 1661. He remained in Saybrook until 1666, when he removed to Guilford. Difficulties arose in the Synod, which decided Ihim to leave Connecticut. He removed later in 1666 to Newark, New Jersey, where he resided on the corner of Market and Mulberry streets. He preached in the neighboring towns, but not in Newark. In 1669, or 1670, he settled as the minister of Elizabethtown, New Jersey, declining calls to other churches until 1678, when he became the first settled minister of the church in Greenwich, Connecticut. He remained here until 1689 and in 1691 became the first settled minister of the church at Waterbury, Connecticut, continuing here, discharging most of his official duties until his death, June 7, 1699. He was a man of much usefulness, both as a teacher and a minister on the frontier settlements among the early colonists. He married Johannah Kitchell, November 12, 1656, daughter of Robert Kitchell, one of the first planters of Guilford, Connecticut. She survived him until 1711, dying in Waterbury. His will and that of his wife are recorded in the Waterbury land records (Deeds of Gift, p. 6 & 103 of vol I). Children:

  1. Samuel, see forward.
  2. Ruth, married Jonathan Atwater.
  3. Caleb, no record of marriage.
  4. Anne, married Thomas, son of Captain Stanley, of Farmington, Connecticut.
  5. Jeremiah (2), deputy to the general court of Connecticut; constable, and one of the first deacons of the Northbury Church in Waterbury.
  6. Joshua, died unmarried.

(III) Samuel, eldest son of Rev. Jeremiah and Johannah (Kitchell) Peck, was born in Guilford, Connecticut, January 18, 1659, died.April 28, 1746; was well educated, came to Greenwich, Connecticut, with his father in 1678, where he was a man of wealth, and justice of the peace for fifty years, holding other important offices until his death. He married, November 27, 1686, Ruth, daughter of Peter, granddaughter of Jeffrey Ferris, of Stamford, Connecticut. She died September 17, 1745, aged eighty-three years. Their gravestones are in the old Greenwich cemetery. Children, all born in Greenwich, Connecticut:

  1. Samuel (2), see forward.
  2. Jeremiah (3), farmer of Greenwich.
  3. Joseph, died unmarried.
  4. David, a farmer of Greenwich, Connecticut, later of North Castle, Westchester county, New York.
  5. Nathaniel, justice of the peace in Greenwich for many years, and a prominent man.
  6. Eliphalet, a farmer of Old Greenwich.
  7. Theophilius, a large land owner of Greenwich.
  8. Peter, of Greenwich.
  9. Robert, of Greenwich.

(IV) Samuel (2), eldest son of Samuel (1), and Ruth (Ferris) Peck, was born in March, 1688, and died in Old Greenwich, December, 1733. He was a carpenter by trade and owned a farm in that part of the town called "Old Greenwich," where he lived. He married Elizabeth ———— in 1715. She survived him, and married (second) John Clogston. Children, all born in Greenwich, Connecticut:

  1. Mary, died unmarried.
  2. John, see forward.
  3. Samuel (3), of great energy and decision of character; deacon of the First Congregational Church in Greenwich.
  4. Ruth, married Nehemiah Haight.

(V) John, eldest son of Samuel (2) and Elizabeth Peck, was born in 1718, and died in Greenwich, September, 1771. He lived in Old Greenwich on a small farm near the shore of Long Island sound. He married, in 1741, Sarah, daughter of John Adams, who died in Clifton Park, New York, January 11, 1814, aged ninety-five years. Children, all born in Greenwich, Connecticut:

  1. John, see forward.
  2. Heath, married Rachel Roselle. He was a soldier of the revolution, but retired from the service in 1780. He led numerous scouting parties against the Tories after his return, and while out with one of them in October, 1780, was shot from the outside through a window and killed.
  3. Nathan, unmarried; drowned while attempting a rescue of several others, two of whom he saved before giving up his own life.
  4. Sarah, married Wilson Northrup.
  5. Ruth, married William Kinch; removed to Hampden, New York; died at Lodi, same state.
  6. Abijah, born April 3, 1758; was a soldier of the revolutionary war, entering the continental army in January, 1776; was under arms when the Declaration of Independence was read to the American army, and one of the sentinels on duty when it evacuated the city of New York. He served in several compaigns, and was in the battle at White Plains. After the war he resided in North Salem, New York, and there married, November 18, 1784, Mindwell, daughter of Solomon Close, Jr., and shortly afterwards went to Galway, New York, where he resided until 1794, and then removed to and resided in Clifton Park, New York, until his decease there, November 12, 1848. His wife was born March 27, 1763, and died April 4, 1816. He married (second) in November, 1821, Widow Lydia Montgomery, who died January 22, 1846. After his removal to Clifton Park, he became a Baptist minister, and was ordained as such March 12, 1801. He statedly preached to the church at Clifton Park, with few intervals, and as his age permitted, until his death. He had a fluent diction, a strong, well-balanced mind, and was a man of great influence and extensive usefulness both as a citizen and a Christian minister. His children: Abigail, Ruth, Nathan, Solomon C., Sarah, Abijah, Elizabeth, John.
  7. Abigail, married Alexander Baird.
  8. Elizabeth, married Joseph Youngs; removed to Ballston, New York, from thence to Amsterdam, thence to Otego, New York. She had sixteen children, seven sons and nine daughters, all of whom married and settled in Broome, Chenango and Otsego counties, New York.

(VI) John (2), son of John (1) and Sarah (Adams) Peck, was born November 12, 1742, died September 19, 1819. In 1775, when but thirty-two years of age, he was a veteran of a long war and accustomed to a military life. He had served in the army for four years during the then recent French war, and subsequently became an active member of the militia. He enlisted in the Eighth Company, Captain Thomas Lee, Fifth Regiment of the New York Line, Colonel Lewis Dubois, December 26, 1776, for three years or during the war and was mustered out, January, 1782. He appears to have served part of his enlistment, from February 10, 1777, to May, 1779, in the First Company, Captain Rosekrans, of the same regiment. Subsequent to the expiration of his first three years of service he was in the winter of 1780 a member of the Light Company of the same Fifth Regiment. He served in the battle at White Plains. Colonel Dubois was in command of his regiment at the capture of Fort Montgomery, October 6, 1777, and his lieutenant-colonel and major were taken prisoners, and in this battle John Peck was serving. He was reported missing October 6, 1777, with a large number of others of that company. There is complete evidence, both direct and circumstantial, that John Peck was not only a revolutionary soldier for upwards of six years, but was during all that time a continental soldier of the war. In 1772 John Peck removed to Great Nine Partners, in that part now Stanford, Dutchess county, New York. In 1780 he moved to Little Nine Partners, in that part now Milan, same county, where he remained until 1788, then returned to Stanford, and in 1792 removed west of the Hudson river to what is now Hunter, Greene county, New York. In February, 1795, he settled in Sherburne, Chenango county, New York, where he resided until his death. He was a man of superior natural talents, great firmness and energy, one of the enterprising valuable pioneers in the settlement of New York state.

He married, in October, 1764, Sarah, daughter of Nathan Northrup, of North Salem, New York. She was born there, October 28, 1746, and died in Smyrna, New York, November 11, 1830. She was a granddaughter of Daniel and Sarah Northrup, of Milford, Connecticut, and a great-granddaughter of Joseph Northrup, of Yorkshire, England, and his wife Mary, daughter of Francis Norton, of Milford, Connecticut, who came there with Rev. Peter Pruden, and died September 11, 1669. Children:

  1. Samuel, died in infancy.
  2. Joel, an early settler of Norwich, Chenango county, New York.
  3. Sarah, married (first) Daniel Fisher; (second) William Yerrington; (third) Peter Cole.
  4. Mary, married David Wilbur.
  5. Phebe, married Job Loper.
  6. Stephen, died in infancy.
  7. Stephen Northrup, one of the first settlers of Solon, New York, where he died in his ninety-seventh year.
  8. John (3), see forward.
  9. Nathan, ordained a minister of the Baptist church in July, 1814.
  10. Betsey, married John Nash.

(VII) John (3), eighth child of John (2), and Sarah (Northrup) Peck, was born in Stanford, New York, September 11, 1780, died December 15, 1849, in New York City, being there on a temporary visit. He moved with his father to the Chenango Valley in 1795. He studied for the ministry and early commenced preaching. In 1804 he settled at Cazenovia, New York, as pastor of the Baptist church, continuing until his death. He was a distinguished minister of the Baptist church, and eminent for his devotion to pastoral duty, his fervid eloquence and his conservative theological tendencies. He married, August 20, 1801, Sarah Ferris, at Norwich, New York, born May 7, 1784, died in Cazenovia, New York, September 21, 1847. She was a daughter of Israel Ferris, born at Greenwich, New York, October 25, 1751, died at Whitewater, Wisconsin, January 2, 1844. He served in the revolution in Captain Abraham Mead's company, Ninth Regular Company Militia, Colonel John Mead, of Greenwich. He appears by the payroll to have been discharged from service, January 11, 1777 (Connecticut Men in the Revolution) [Perhaps Record of Service of Connecticut Men in the War of the Revolution — War of 1812 — Mexican War?]. He resided after the war in Dutchess, Chenango and Yates counties, New York. He married, about 1775, Ruth Meade, born May 27, 1757, daughter of Jonathan and Sarah Meade, of the town of North East, Dutchess county, New York. Jonathan Meade was first lieutenant in Captain Huested's company, Sixth Regiment (Charlotte Precinct), Dutchess county militia, Colonel David Sutherland (Archives, page 282). He was an early signer of the Association. Israel Ferris was a son of Japhet and Hannah (Peck) Ferris, granddaughter of Samuel Peck (see generation III), who was thus the great-great-grandfather of both Rev. John Peck and his wife, Sarah Ferris. Israel and Ruth (Meade) Ferris were the parents of thirteen children, some of whom rose to eminence, namely: Jonathan, Israel, Reuben, Sarah, Sarah (2), Abraham, Stephen Gano, Thompson, Israel Hubbard, Thompson (2), Ruth, Jesse and Ambrose Lattin. Children of Rev. John and Sarah (Ferris) Peck:

  1. Darius, see forward.
  2. Mary, married John Fiske, of Cazenovia, New York.
  3. John, died in infancy.
  4. Rev. Philetus B., graduate of Hamilton Literary and Theological Institute (now Colgate University); ordained a minister of the Baptist church in 1839; settled pastor of the Baptist congregation at Owego, Tioga county, New York, continuing until 1847, when he suddenly died October 6. He married Nancy Morse.
  5. Julia, married Rev. William M. Pratt.
  6. Rev. Linus M., entered Hamilton College in 1838, graduated with highest honors in 1841; teacher, lawyer and preacher; was settled over the church at Hamilton, New York, until July, 1847, when he was suddenly carried off at Cazenovia, New York, by the same malignant disease that proved fatal to his brother, Philetus B. Peck. They died within a few hours, both had the same funeral obsequies and were borne together to their last resting place. He married Cordelia C. Kendrick, of Hamilton, New York.

(VIII) Judge Darius, eldest son of Rev. John (3) and Sarah (Ferris) Peck, was born in Norwich, Chenango county, New York, June 5, 1802, died October 27, 1870. He prepared for college under Rev. Daniel Hascall and Zenas Morse, principal of Hamilton Academy, New York. In October, 1822, he entered the sophomore class of Hamilton College, New York, by which he was graduated in August, 1825; studied law with Hon. Ambrose L. Jordan and William Slosson, in the cities of Hudson and New York; was admitted to the bar of the supreme court of the state of New York in August, 1828, and in 1829 began the practice of law in Hudson, New York, where he continued until his death. In February, 1833, he was appointed by the governor, and confirmed by the senate of the state of New York, recorder of the city of Hudson, then a judicial officer as well as a member of the common council of that city, which office he held until April, 1843. For several years he was superintendent of schools and master in chancery. In April, 1843, he was appointed by the governor and senate a judge of the court of common pleas of Columbia county, New York, and in November, 1855, was elected county judge of that county, and in 1863 and 1867 re-elected, presiding over the courts of Columbia county for a term of twelve years. He was a learned lawyer and an able, impartial judge. His associates of the bar respected him, and when called to preside over them held their friendship and highest esteem. Judge Peck was deeply interested in the collection and preservation of family history. He compiled and published in 1887 A Genealogical Account of the Descendants in the Male Line of William Peck. He spent the leisure part of several years on the work, and it is largely from this work that this record is compiled. "Tho dead he speaketh."

Judge Peck married, September 12, 1836, Harriet M. Hudson, of Troy, New York, born November 17, 1813, died April 18, 1863. Children, all born in the city of Hudson, New York:

  1. John Hudson, see forward.
  2. Horace Robinson, born December 9, 1839; graduated from Hamilton College in 1859; admitted to the New York bar in 1863, settled in Hudson, New York, where he continued in the practice of his profession until his death, April 29, 1907. Married, November 17, 1867, Anna Van Deusen, of Greenport, New York. Child: Bayard Livingston, born August 16, 1869.
  3. Sarah Lucretia, born March 19, 1842, died October 25, 1876; educated at Troy Female Seminary; married October 19, 1859, Martin Hoffman Philip, of Claverack, New York. Children:
    1. Katherine Maud, born September 13, 1860;
    2. Harry Van Ness, born August 9, 1862, an attorney of New York City;
    3. Laura Johnson, born December 10, 1863.
  4. Willard, born March 2, 1844; graduate of Hamilton College in 1864; admitted to the New York state bar in 1867, settled in Hudson, New York, where he continues the practice of his profession. He married, June 16, 1869, Mary Langford Curran, of Utica, New York. Children:
    1. Harriet Hudson, born April 2, 1870, died April 5, 1870;
    2. Philip Curran, February 7, 1874; an attorney in New York city;
    3. Darius, May 5, 1877; an attorney of New York City;
    4. Mary Langford, November 29, 1881.
  5. Nora, September 16, 1846; educated at Troy Female Seminary, married, June 18, 1873, Frederick Folger Thomas, of San Francisco, California, where she resided; children:
    1. William Shepard, born March 23, 1874, now a mining engineer of California;
    2. Maud Angeline, February 10, 1876;
    3. John Hudson, July 16, 1878, now a practicing architect of San Francisco;
    4. Nora, September 22, 1880;
    5. Frederick F., October 26, 1885, a lawyer of Berkeley, California.
  6. Theodosia, October 24, 1848, died August 23, 1849.
  7. Emma Willard, May 9, 1852; educated at Troy Female Seminary; married, February 1, 1897, Justice Samuel Edwards, of the supreme court, born April 24, 1839.

(IX) John Hudson, eldest son and child of Judge Darius and Harriet M. (Hudson) Peck, was born in the city of Hudson, New York, February 7, 1838; graduated from Hamilton College, class of 1859. He was admitted to the bar of the supreme court of New York state at Albany, December, 1861. He located in Troy, New York, when he began, and has since (1910) continued the practice of his profession. He is a successful practitioner, learned in the law and skillful in the conduct of his cases. Much responsibility has fallen upon Dr. Peck, Trusts, public, private and corporate, have been committed to his care. He has fulfilled all the obligations of a citizen and borne well his part during his years of activity. In 1883 he became a trustee of the Troy Female Seminary. From 1888 to 1901 he was president of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, New York. In 1889 Hamilton College conferred upon him the honorary degree of LL.D. In 1894 he was a member of the constitutional convention of the state of New York, and was one of the trustees for the erection of the Hart Memorial Library, and chairman of the commission for the erection of a new court house in Rensselaer county. He was one of the organizers and incorporators of "The Scenic and Historic Preservation Society" of New York state. He is a member of the Society of Colonial Wars, and Sons of the Revolution. His college fraternities are Phi Beta Kappa and Chi Psi. He is also a member of the Troy Club. His religious connection is with the Protestant Epscopal church, and for many years he has been a member and treasurer of the trustees of the diocese of Albany. Dr. Peck has given time and research to genealogical history, and has supplemented his father's work in important points, notably the revolutionary record of John Peck (see Peck VI). He is a both pleasing and instructive writer with a fine sense of humor and true pathos. While he is strong in debate, the gentle side of his nature predominates and he delights more in the pleasures of friendship than in the conflicts of men. He was appointed by the trustees of Hamilton College annalist of the college class of 1859. His "Annalist's Letter" read before the Alumni Association, June 23, 1909, was received with great enjoyment by the association and was most complimentarily criticised. None the less pleasing is he as an advocate and platform speaker. His review of the history of Troy during its early period delivered during "Old Home Week" in 1908, when as one of the orators of the day be addressed its citizens, was one of the features of the celebration. Dr. Peck married August 7, 1883, Mercy Plum Mann, born December 23, 1843, of Milton, Saratoga county, New York, daughter of Nathaniel and Sally Frances (Slocum) Mann. She is a direct descendant of Richard Man [Mann?], an original settler of Scituate, Massachusetts.

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