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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Upham

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 633-635 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 was a common name in England as early as 1200, and is supposed to be of Saxon origin. The first to bear the name who arrived in America was John Upham, who is buried at Chelsea, Massachusetts, beneath a monument on which is engraved: "Here Lys ye body of John Upham, aged 84 years, Died Feb. 25, 1681." He was born in England, it is thought in Somersetshire. He came to America with the Hull colony consisting of twenty-one families numbering one hundred and five souls, that sailed from Weymouth, in old Dorset, England, March 20, 1635, for the lands of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, arriving in Boston after a passage of forty-six days. They settled at Weymouth, Massachusetts, where a small settlement already existed, called Wessaquscus. The following shows the Uphams who came over with the Hull colony as taken from the records. The relationship can be readily inferred: John Upham, aged thirty-five years; Elizabeth Upham, aged thirty-two years; Sarah Upham, aged twenty-four years; John Upham, Jr., aged seven years; Nathaniel Upham, aged five years; Elizabeth Upham, aged three years.

Sarah Upham is believed to have been sister of John Upham. He was a resident of Weymouth at least thirteen years. He was selectman; commissioner to treat with the Indians; court officer with power to try small causes in Weymouth, and held other town offices. In 1648 he removed to Malden, where he was selectman and commissioner of the supreme court. He was frequently called to settle estates and manage the affairs of widows and orphans. He was an earnest Christian and for over twenty-five years was a deacon of the church. He was a man of vigorous constitution, and at the age of eighty-three, only a short time before his death presided as moderator. His first wife was Elizabeth Webb, whom he married in England, and was the mother of all his children. In 1671, book 7, p. 224, Suffolk Deeds, has the following record: "John Upham, Know all whom it may concern that whereas there is a consummation of marriage between me John Upham Sen, of Malden in New England, and Katherine Hollard, widow and relict of Angell Hollard, late deceased. I, the said John Upham do hereby wholly disclaim and utterly refuse to receive and take any goods, estate or appurtenances anyway whatsoever belonging to the said Katherine, and especially any money, goods, estates or movables whatsoever that have been formerly or now are anyways belonging to the estate of her former husband Angell Hollard: signed John Upham," and seal. The marriage was actually consummated, as the record shows, in August 1671, O. S. Children:

  1. John Jr., left no issue.
  2. Nathaniel, married Elizabeth Steadman, March 5, 1651-2; he became a minister of the gospel; no issue.
  3. Elizabeth, married Thomas Welch; had thirteen children.
  4. Lieutenant Phineas (see forward).
  5. Mary, married John Whittemore.
  6. Priscilla, was wife of Thomas Crosswell, and died a widow, having twelve children.

There was in the family of Deacon John Upham an adopted son, John Upham, whom he reared. He died November 25, 1677.

(II) Lieutenant Phineas, son of John and Elizabeth (Webb) Upham, was the only son of the founders who left posterity. He was born at Weymouth, Massachusetts, in 1635, as on December 21, 1671, he made oath that he was "thirty-six years old." He died October, 1676. He became a very important man in the new community in civil and military life. He had several land grants from the town, was selectman, constable, appraiser, and served on important committees, transacting town business. He was a lieutenant of militia and served in the Indian wars (King Philip's). At the battle of "The Great Swamp" he was wounded during the assault on Fort Canonicus. He was sent to Rhode Island to convalesce, but never recovered from his wound, dying in Boston, August, 1676, aged forty-one years. He evidently did not leave much property, for soon after his death the court "judgeth it meet to order that all bills of surgeons and doctors * * * be payed by the treasurer of the county, and in consideration of the good and long services of her husband for the country, and great loss the widow sustains by his death, being left with seven small children * * * for the support of herself and family do hereby order the treasurer of the county to pay unto the said widow, ten pounds." (Court Records.) He married, February 14, 1658, Ruth Wood, who died January 18, 1696, aged sixty years. Children: Phineas (2), Nathaniel, Ruth, John, see forward, Elizabeth Thomas and Richard.

(III) John, fourth child of Lieutenant Phineas and Ruth (Wood) Upham, was born at Malden, Massachusetts, December 9, 1666, and died there January 19, 1723. He married (first) Abigail Hayward, who died August 23, 1717, daughter of Samuel Hayward. He married (second) Tamzen Ong. Children by first wife: John, Samuel (see forward), Abigail, Ezekiel, and David. By second wife, Jacob, who died in infancy.

(IV) Samuel, second child of John and Abigail (Hayward) Upham, was born in Malden, Massachusetts, in 1691. His will, made at Leicester, Massachusetts, to which place he removed from Malden, is dated February 1, 1741. He married, in 1714, Mary, daughter of Lazarus Grover. Children: Mary, Abigail, Mercy, Samuel, Jonathan; Ebenezer, a lieutenant in the revolution; Jacob (see forward), Phebe, John and William.

(V) Jacob, seventh child of Samuel and Mary (Grover) Upham, was born at Malden, Massachusetts, 1729. He was killed by a fall from his horse, April 15, 1786. He married, in 1751, Sarah Stower, who died April, 1758. He married (second) April 1758, Zuriah (Pulnann) Smith, widow of James Smith. Children by first wife: Phebe, Jacob and Abigail. By second wife: Sarah, James, see forward, Mary, Lucy, Esther, Elizabeth, Jacob (2), and William.

(VI) James, fifth child of Jacob and Sarah (Stower) Upham, was born at Spencer, Massachusetts, October 6, 1761, died in Putney, Vermont, March 8, 1833. He was a soldier of the revolution, enlisting at the age of sixteen, and served through several enlistments. He was always known as Major Upham, but his youth would indicate that the title was not for revolutionary service. His granddaughter, Miss Sarah Upham, treasures as a priceless relic the sword he carried. He married Rhoda Spaulding, born June 22, 1764, died July 12, 1825. Children:

  1. James, born October 30, 1794, died in Georgia, September 20, 1829.
  2. Lucius, see forward.
  3. Jacob, born May 4, 1806, died in Cohoes, 1859.
  4. William, born in Westminster, Vermont, January 11, 1810, died September 26, 1871, at Cohoes; married Angeline Shattuck, born December 22, 1827, died December 23, 1898, who bore him seven children — James, William (2), Mary Jane, Joseph F., a lieutenant of the Twenty-sixth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, during the civil war, Angelina, Harriet Ann, and William Harry.

(VII) Lucius, second son of James and Rhoda (Spaulding) Upham, was born in Westminster, Vermont, May 9, 1798, died at Cohoes, New York, September 1, 1879. He was a successful business man of Cohoes, to which city he removed in 1848. He employed many men and teams in his business of teamster and contractor. He was a Republican in politics, and an attendant of the Methodist church, contributing liberally to its support. When advancing years came his eyesight failed him, but fifteen years preceding his decease he received his second sight and could read the finest print with the unaided eye.* [* The editor is advised that this was a really remarkable instance of sight recovery after the case was deemed hopeless.] He married, April 12, 1827, Sarah Harding, born at Putney, Vermont, January 26, 1802, died at Cohoes, December 4, 1884, daughter of Henry and Polly (Minott) Harding. Children, four of whom died in infancy:

  1. Rhoda Jane, born at Putney, Vermont, December 30, 1827; married November 1, 1852, Timothy P. Hildreth, born August 26, 1823, died November 14, 1894, at Cohoes. He was highly educated, and for many years was a furniture dealer, also engaged in the undertaking business in Cohoes. He disposed of the latter branch and continued the former until his death. He was prosperous in his business, and a business block in the city bears his name. Children:
    1. Sarah, died in infancy.
    2. Prescott T., died December, 1906, aged fifty-one years.
    3. Nellie J., married Robert Mott, and had a daughter Bertha H. Mott, who married, September 27, 1890, Thomas H. Sprague, born December 14, 1879; children: Raymond H., Robert A., Thomas P., and Helen E. Sprague.
    4. Albert H., married (first) Josy Teirny; (second) Katherine Teirny; children by first wife: Howard P., and Frances M.
  2. Willard H., only son of Lucius Upham, born November 18, 1828, died February 2, 1891; married, November 12, 1868, Maria Theresa Hyde. He was a veteran of the civil war, in Company K, Ninety-first Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry, and serving until the end of the war.
  3. Sarah A., a resident of Cohoes.
  4. Lucy E., born January 31, 1839, at Bennington, Vermont; married, March 28, 1871, George Rockwood, who died December 24, 1889; she survives him and resides in Bennington, Vermont, where she has a son, Arthur W. Rockwood, proprietor of the knitting mill formerly owned and operated by his father, George Rockwood. Four other children died in infancy.

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