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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Sammons

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 987-990 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.]

This family name is one assumed arbitrarily by the second generation in America.

(I) Johannes Thomasen Sammons (j. m. Van Amsterdam) married, October 31, 1677, Aechtje Jacobs (j. d. Van N. Amersfort), both then living at Sappondam (Greenwich, Manhattan Island). At the baptism of their first child, her name is written Aerhtje, at the others Aefje Jacobs, while his is given in each instance, Johannes Thomasen. Their children adopted the surname Sammans, Samman, Sammons. (See New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, vol. VII, p. 121.) Children:

  1. Gretie, baptized August 17, 1678; married, May 16, 1701, Elias Brevort.
  2. Jeanetje, baptized February 18, 1680; married, May 5, 1702, Adriaen Van Schaick.
  3. Jacob, see forward.
  4. Thomas, baptized January 3, 1686. He was sponsor May 18, 1718, at the baptism of Margarietje, daughter of Christoffel Van Nes, which is the last notice of him. He probably died without issue.
  5. Rachel, born July 11, 1691; married, June 24, 1717, Stoffel (Christoffel) Van Nes, and had Margarietje, baptized May 18, 1718.

(II) Jacob, son of Johannes Thomasen and Aechtje (Jacobs) Sammons, was baptized June 11, 1683. He married, May 27, 1706, Catalyntje Bensen. She is believed to have been the daughter of Johannes and Lysbet (Mattheuse) Bensen, of Albany. Children, and dates of baptism:

  1. Aegje, January 14, 1708;
  2. Aegje, February 12, 1710;
  3. Johannes, March 9, 1712;
  4. Thomas, June 13, 1716;
  5. Elizabeth, September 28, 1718;
  6. Sampson, see forward;
  7. Dirk, March 17, 1724;
  8. Margarietje, May 4, 1726.

(III) Sampson, son of Jacob and Catalyntje (Bensen) Sammons, was born in Greenwich, New York (now a part of New York City), December 7, 1721, died October 17, 1795, and is buried in the old Sammons cemetery on the Sammons homestead farm, south of Johnstown, Fulton county, New York. When a young man he moved to Ulster county, New York, where he married. In 1769 he moved to Montgomery county, New York (then Tryon county). He was one of the most active of the patriots of that famous region. He was one of the Tryon county committee in charge of the military movements in the state of New York. He held the distinction of having been the first man west of the Hudson at whom a shot was fired in the revolution. This was at the Pickens tavern in Johnstown. Sampson was of a party who demanded of Sheriff White the release of John Fonda, a patriot. The sheriff fired a shot at Sampson, the ball lodging in the door sill. Although exempt from military duty on account of age, he was made lieutenant of the Exempt Home Guards, organized to protect mothers and wives from the Tory foe. Both Sampson Sammons and his son Jacob are on the roll of those who fought at the battle of Oriskany. In 1780 he was taken prisoner, together with three of his sons. Sir John Johnson released the father and the youngest son Thomas, but the other two sons, Jacob and Frederick, were marched away captives to Canada. After the Johnson raid on the Mohawk Valley was ended, Sampson Sammons was lessee and occupant of Johnson Hall, under the committee of sequestration, paying an annual rent of three hundred pounds. He entertained at the "Hall" the council held March 9, 1779, and at which Generals Schuyler and Lafayette were present. He also became the owner by purchase, of William, Sir John Johnson's favorite slave, who assisted in burying Sir John's plate when he was obliged to leave hurriedly for Canada. He kept the secret of its burial place until 1780, when it was uncovered and restored to its owner. He was a wealthy man for his day, and both he and his son rendered the patriot cause great service. Jacob, in his narrative of his sufferings while a prisoner, states that he was at Oriskany, and says: "I and two others shot them all (Indians) and it so happened I fired the last shot." This was the last shot of that bloody battle. Sampson Sammons married, in Ulster county, Rachel Schoonmaker, baptized January 16, 1726, died December 5, 1822. She was of the fourth generation of the Schoonmakers in America, descended from Hendrick Jochemson Schoonmaker, a native of Hamburg, Germany. They had three sons, Jacob, Frederick and Thomas, and seven daughters, all of whom married men who had fought in the revolutionary war.

(IV) Frederick, second son of Lieutenant Sampson Sammons, was born in Ulster county, New York, July 4, 1760. He came to the Mohawk Valley with his father, and was an officer in the revolutionary army. He was taken prisoner and his sufferings were most terrible. He was a witness to the murder of old Douw Fonda in 1780 when Johnson raided the valley, a tragedy that was vivid in his memory until the last. He was a member of the state legislature, and in 1836 a presidential elector. He received a revolutionary pension, and also a special pension for his severe injuries. He died May 22, 1838, aged seventy-eight years, and is buried in the Sammons cemetery. He married and had two sons and ten daughters. His eldest son, Jacob, was lieutenant in the war of 1812, and signalized himself by his bravery.

(IV) Major Thomas, youngest son of Lieutenant Sampson Sammons, was born in Ulster county, New York, about 1762 (or in Tryon county), died November 20, 1838, and is buried in the family cemetery on the Sammons homestead farm, on the plank road south of Johnstown. He spent his life largely in the public service, and was one of the foremost men of his time. He held different military commissions under several governors of New York, and was a member of the "council of appointment." In 1803 he was elected to represent his district (Tryon county) in congress, and was re-elected in 1805-09-11. He held many other offices of public honor and esteem. Sixty-four years after his congressional labors ended the district was represented by his grandson, Commodore John H. Starin. He married, December 16, 1792, Mary Wood, born February 23, 1773, died December 15, 1851, daughter of William Wood, a soldier of the revolution, and brother of Simeon Wood, a soldier of the war of 1812. Children:

  1. Sampson, born November 3, 1793; married Nellie Fonda.
  2. Sarah, October 27, 1795.
  3. Rachel, September 1, 1797; married, March 22, 1816, Myndert Starin, and was left a widow with eight children, among them the well-known Commodore John H. Starin, and the transportation magnate of New York City.
  4. William T., March 5, 1800; married (first) Julia Shuler; (second) Rebecca Sadler; (third) Emmeline R. Steele.
  5. Jacob, born May 29, 1802; married (first) Peggy Vrooman; (second) Emma Marshall.
  6. Thomas, April 24, 1806; married Anna Krotzenberg.
  7. Lydia, May 22, 1807; married Adam D. Fonda.
  8. Frederick T., March 6, 1809; married Laurane Howell Yost.
  9. Simeon, see forward.
  10. Stephen, November 5, 1815; married Hannah M. Caldwell.

(V) Colonel Simeon, son of Lieutenant Thomas and Mary (Wood) Sammons, was born on the Sammons homestead farm, near Johnstown, New York, May 23, 1811. He was educated in the district school, and for a year and a half attended Johnstown Academy. After leaving school, he returned to the farm and was engaged the remainder of his life in its management, except when occupied in the public service and when away during the civil war. He was not lacking in the military ardor of his ancestors. At the age of eighteen years he enlisted in the Thirty-seventh Regiment, Eleventh Brigade, Fourteenth Division, New York Infantry, as ensign, appointed by Governor Throop, March 3, 1829, was promoted lieutenant, then captain, and Governor Marcy commissioned him major, August 23, 1837, and the same year lieutenant-colonel. Governor Seward appointed him colonel of the same regiment. He was the means of effecting several important reforms in the service. In 1841 he resigned, but his wishes were refused. He continued his farming operations uninterruptedly until July 9, 1862, when he received a colonel's commission from Governor Morgan, with orders to establish a camp at Fonda, New York. Before sunset thirty men were engaged in the erection of barracks, and the next day officers were enlisting and examining recruits. August 29, 1862, the One Hundred and Fifteenth Regiment, with full ranks under command of Colonel Sammons, was marching toward the seat of war. They were at once brought face to face with war's stern realities. Dr. Sutton, the surgeon, wrote: "In thirty days the 115th Regiment have slept on their arms ten nights; under the open Heaven 16; six nights in the cars and six in tents." For three days our command of one thousand and twenty-two men performed picket duty on twenty-one miles of railroad; had four or five skirmishes with rebel cavalry; fought one day behind breastworks; endured a siege of four days, and finally surrendered to Stonewall Jackson and were paroled. We marched one thousand five hundred miles in thirty days with the loss of but one man. The regiment saved its flag, and a year later vindicated their honor and proved their worth at the battle of Olustee, Florida, February 20, 1864. Colonel Sammons' regiment was posted on the right and bore the brunt of battle, suffering terribly in killed and wounded. Captain Vanderveer, whose body was returned to Fultonville, New York, was a victim. Captains Ballou, French and Smith were wounded. First Lieutenant James H. Clark was wounded, and on his return from the war wrote the history of the "Iron Hearted Regiment." Colonel Sammons, mounted on a fine horse, recently presented to him by the non-commissioned officers and privates of the regiment, was wounded in the ankle. General Seymour, the Union commander, wrote: "Colonel Sammons behaved like one of the heroes of old and he has my respect forever." His wound, not properly treated until sixteen days later in New York, caused his return to his home, where it soon healed under proper care. He returned to his regiment, which was with the Army of the Potomac under General Grant, and engaged in the siege of Petersburg. After the explosion of Burnside's mine, the regiment bore a prominent part in the battle of Cemetery Hill, where he was shot through the body. The wound was not fatal, but ended his military career. He retired to the old farm, where he died March 19, 1881. Colonel Sammons was a Democrat, and frequently called to public office. He was supervisor of the town several years. He represented Montgomery county in the legislature in 1865; was chairman of the Montgomery county Democratic committee; delegate to National Union convention in Philadelphia, and to Democratic National convention in New York in 1868. In 1870 he was appointed harbor master of the port of New York, serving two years. While in the legislature he championed the bill making free the bridge across the Mohawk river at Fonda. He was frequently president of the Montgomery County Agricultural Society, and gave freely of his time and means to all public enterprises. He married Barbara, daughter of Henry and Magdalene (Cline) Gross. He was a heavy contractor and builder and built the reservoir on Mt. Royal, above the city of Montreal, Canada. Children:

  1. Mary Elizabeth;
  2. Henry Gross, see forward;
  3. Magdalene, died in childhood;
  4. Jane Emma, died at age of nineteen years;
  5. Lydia, married Isaiah Fonda.

(VI) Henry Gross, only son of Colonel Simeon and Barbara (Gross) Sammons, was born May 31, 1839. He is a farmer, a Democrat, and an attendant of the Dutch Reformed church. He married (first), February 21, 1860, Mary Jane Noyes, born May 31, 1835, died September 22, 1875. Children: Simeon J., born 1861, died in infancy; Grace Magdalene, see forward. He married (second) Sarah Lillian Sands. Children:

  1. Barbara, married Stewart Dockstader;
  2. Martha, died in infancy;
  3. Mary Charlotte, born April 20, 1866, married, April 20, 1909, Edward Decker Argersinger;
  4. Simeon Starin, died in infancy.

(VII) Grace Magdalene, only daughter of Henry Gross and Mary Jane (Noyes) Sammons, was born January 2, 1862. She married, September 21, 1887, Jay Schuyler Wilson. She is a member of the Reformed church of Fonda, and charter member of Caughnawaga Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, of which she has been treasurer since organization.

(The Wilson Line)

Jacob (2) Wilson, son of Jacob (1) Wilson, is the first ancestor of Jay S. Wilson, of whom we have knowledge. He married Ann Schenck.

(II) Ira, son of Jacob (2) and Ann (Schenck) Wilson, married Sarah Jane Schuyler, daughter of Richard and Catharine (McMasters) Schuyler, of Mohawk township, Montgomery county, New York. Children of Ira and Sarah J. Wilson:

  1. Winfield, married Elizabeth Wemple; no issue.
  2. Jacob, married Margarette Scovil, and has a son Schuyler.
  3. Richard, married (first) Lillian Black; (second) Lillian Touhey.
  4. Catherine.
  5. Lydia Ann, married Adam Z. Wemple; children:
    1. Harvey, married Florence Selmser, and has a son, Henry W.;
    2. Florence N., married Sedgwick Clark;
    3. Robert;
    4. J. Schuyler, died aged nine years;
    5. Howard W.
  6. Jay S., see forward.
  7. Frank, died in infancy.
  8. Elmer Ellsworth, married Jerusha Dockstader, and has a son, Edward C.

(III) Jay S., fourth son of Ira and Sarah Jane (Schuyler) Wilson, was born December 26, 1861. He was educated in the public schools and at Cazenovia Seminary. In 1885 he became clerk in a dry goods store, where he remained until he withdrew and started business on his own account, continuing several years, when he disposed of his mercantile interests. He is now proprietor of the Berryville Flour and Feed Mills at Berryville. He is also one of the firm in the Cayudutta Generating Company, furnishing electricity to the twin villages, Fonda and Fultonville, New York. He is a Republican in politics, and has served several terms as auditor of the town of Mohawk, and is a member of the Fonda board of trade. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Fultonville Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; also to the Improved Order of Red Men and the Royal Arcanum. His club is the Colonial of Johnstown, and he is a member and trustee of the Dutch Reformed church of Fonda. He married Grace Magdalene Sammons (see Sammons VII). Child, Ira Sammons Wilson, born December 6, 1898. He is of the eighth Sammons generation.

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