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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Isabel Stewart Judson

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 256-257 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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The Stewarts are of Norman blood. Alan Stewart accompanied William the Conqueror into Scotland, and obtained by his gift the lands and castle of Stropshire, with the title of Lord Oswestry. His eldest son, William, became the ancestor of the Earle of Arundel. His second son went to Scotland and became prominent in the service of King David and was titled the Baron of Renfrew, and held the office of steward of Scotland. James Stewart, the progenitor of the Stewart family in Fulton county, descended from the Scotland line of Stewarts, and was the father of Hon. John Stewart, the father of Isabel Stewart Judson.

Catherine Wells Stewart, the mother of Isabel Stewart Judson, was born at Sir William Johnson Hall, Johnstown. She was a descendant from Hugh Wells of Connecticut. The name is an old and honored one in England, where it dates from 1120. Adam Wells was the first Baron Wells. There are only four English peerages older than this now in existence. Elezer Wells, the maternal grandfather of Isabel Stewart Judson, was of the seventh generation succeeding Hugh Wells. Isabel Stewart was the youngest child of Hon. John Stewart and Catherine Wells Stewart; was married to John Brown Judson on September 19, 1882; died on January 12, 1921.

Although never a prominent figure in public organizations, when her death occurred a Gloversville newspaper devoted a column editorial to her memory, and an excerpt from the Morning Herald would best portray her reputation as an outstanding woman of Fulton county:

"The passing of Isabel Stewart, wife of John B. Judson, marks the rending of ties binding two distinguished families — one of Johnstown and the other of Gloversville — but each equally prominent in the earlier history of the Glove Cities. No names are held higher in local history than the Stewarts or the Judsons and it seemed to have been particularly fitting that their names should have been linked in closer family relation. Mrs. Judson possessed those elements of character and personality that not only attracted those about her, but retained the friendship of those who had the privilege of a better acquaintance. She had developed the charm of friendliness to a marked degree and her good nature and good fellowship were characteristics envied by hosts of friends and acquaintances. In her home she was the ideal mother and companion; she had kept so closely in step with her children that they never thought of their mother except as a young woman still possessing all the elements that bespoke that wonderful youth and vitality which had been such predominant features of her life."

When she was thirty years of age, she was pronounced by many strangers, who saw her in Albany, New York, and Washington, one of the most strikingly beautiful women in New York state. The history of the ancestry of Mrs. Judson shows that she was "to the manor born"; that she was of royal blood on both sides. Even a strong-blooded family raises such a superior woman but once in a century.

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