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3 1833 03576 4320 

APR 2 3 1901 


1 8 and 20 Rose St., New York, July, 1895. 

My father, Edward Everett Orvis, took great pleasure 
in collecting data relating to the history of the Orvis family, 
but was unfortunate in losing his manuscript once or twice. 
The following is all I have been able to find relating to the 
subject, among his effects. 

With the idea in view of printing a more extended 
history, at some future time, I will be pleased to receive any 
information concerning the family history that its members 

and friends may send me. 

Francis W. Orvis. 


Jfaforp of t$t £)rtns $&mify 

Fur many years I have been endeavoring to collect ma- 
terials for a history of the Qrvis Family in America. A 
vast number of letters, and a vast amount of interesting in- 
formation has accumulated upon my hands. But I am 
not prepared to give anything like a connected history. 
The following brief synopsis is now published for three pur- 
poses : ist. As a convenient mode of communicating to 
my numerous relatives the leading facts which I have already 
obtained. 2d. To indicate wherein my information is defect- 
ive, so that those who are able to do so may supply those 
deficiencies. 3d. So that if my information in any respect is 
incorrect, it may be corrected by those who have the means of 
doing so. 



It is well known that must family names are significant 
of something noteworthy in the early progenitors of the fam- 
ily. It is often very difficult to ascertain the precise circum- 
stance which has gi\en rise to some of these names; and 
such is the case in regard to our name. Bin it is probably 
derived from the Latin Ok, a contract of v/r, a man, and is 
ot frequent occurrence as a termination to Latin nouns, and 
vis, force or power. If this is the correct derivation of the 
name, it was probably first applied to some one of our early 
ancestors who was distinguished for great physical strength; 
and hence came to be the family name of his descendants. 


It is universally conceded that the Orvis Family is of 
Welsh descent; and that our ancestors emigrated to this 
country, either directly from Wales, or from Wales to Eng- 
land, and from England to this count iy. There are many 
persons of the name of Orvis still in Wales, some in England, 
and some on the Island of Guernsey. But from the probable 


origin of the name, and from other circumstances which need 
not now be mentioned, it is probable that the family might 
be traced to Italy, and to a point not very far from the city 
of Rome. 

Some time between the years 1675 and 1700 three 
brothers, to wit: Geerge, William and Samuel Orvis, emi- 
grated to what was then the British Colony of Massachusetts 
bay, and settled on the Connecticut River, in what is now 
the town of Hadley, opposite to Northampton. Of these 
brothers, Samuel was never married; but George and Wil- 
liam both married and raised families. 

1. I once had much information concerning the de- 
scendants of William Orvis — furnished by \V. b. Orvis, a 
Presbyterian preacher of Ohio, and J. LI. Orvis, now Presi- 
dent of the Ninth National Bank of New York City — both 
descendants of William Orvis; but by a misfortune which 
occurred to me a few years ago this has been nearly all lost. 
But this family, like that of Ceorge Orvis, removed from 
Hadley to Farmington, Conn. From this place some of them 
went to Brattleboro, Vt., one to Charleston, S. C, and one to 


Troy, N. Y., from which points they have emigrated to many 
other parts of the United States. The line of descent from 
William Orvis to W. B Orvis is as follows: i. William, 2. 
Gad, 3. Gad, Jr., 4. William, 5. Waitstell, 6. Malachi, 
7. W. B. 

2. Of the family of George Orvis — my own ancestor — 
my information, though by no means very full, is much more 
so than in regard to the other branch of the family. George 
Orvis married a lady by the name of Gailord, by whom he 
had one son, named Roger Orvis. Whether or not he had 
other sons, or any daughters, is not known. 

Roger Orvis — Son of George Orvis — distinguished him- 
self for his bravery and skill in the various Indian wars, in 
the early settlement of New England. For these services he 
was presented with a sword and cane by direction of the 
King of England. R. S. Orvis, now living at Prattsburg, 
Steuben Co., N. Y., says that he has seen both the sword 
and the cane. The latter is still in existence, and in the pos- 
session of Silas Orvis, Whitby, Province of Ontario, (formerly 
Canada West.) Of this cane Dr. Abram Orvis, of Roches- 


ter, N. Y., says : "The cane body was bamboo, or reed- 
cane, mounted with an ivory head, and a heavy silver chain, 
which was fastened to the cane by a silver eye ; but the or- 
naments have disappeared many years since." Samuel 
Orvis, of Champion, Jefferson Co., says : " It was rather a 
plain looking affair. The head was of ivory; and it had 
three silver bands upon it, with names, dates, and so on." 

Roger Orvis married a scotch lady by the name of 
Handison, and removed to Farmington, Ct. He had three 
sons. One of these, whose name was not known, settled 
high up Connecticut River, at a place called Coos. The 
other son, David Orvis, lived and died at farmington. 

David Orvis — son of Roger, and grandson of Ceorge — 
was twice married; first to Ruth Hungerford, and secondly 
to a Miss Hawley, (a sister of Elisha Hawley's father.) by 
his first marriage, David Orvis had four children, to wit : 

i st. A son (whose name is not known.) This son of 
David Orvis was married and had a son named Ebenezer 
Orvis, who was a lieutenant in the Colonial army, in the old 


French war of 1756. He married a Miss Root, and had one 
son whose name was Zadoc Orvis, who was very wealthy, own- 
ing several farms in Farmington. Zadoc Orvis had no sons ; 
but he had several daughters. One of these daughters mar- 
ried a man by the name of Alvord, who served in the Revo- 
lutionary army in the New York line. They had four sons, to 
wit: Thomas, Elisha, Diocletian, and another whose name 
is not known. Diocletian Alvord married a daughter of 
John J. Mang, a learned and talented German, and class- 
mate of Schiller, the distinguished German tragic writer. 
He had several sons ; the name of one of them was Jacob 
Alvord. Elisha Alvord married a sister of Diric C. Lansing. 
Thomas J. Alvord, a son of Elisha, has been twice Speaker 
of the New York House of Assembly, and twice Lieutenant 
Governor of the State. 

2d. David Orvis' second child was a daughter, who 
married a man by the name o\ Smith, whose son, Captain 
Samuel Smith, lived and died at Glastonbury, Ct. 

3d. David Orvis' third child was Elea/.er Orvis, my 


great-grandfather, whose family will be more particularly 
described hereafter. 

4th. His fourth and last child by his first wife, was a 
son, named David, after his father, snd who died at about 
the age of thirteen. 

By his second wife he had — 

5th. A son, who was not burn until shortly after the 
death of David, and he also named him David. The hist 
David — half brother of Eleazer — was born in the year 1745. 
He settled in New Windsor, Yt. He had three sons, to wit : 
Uriel H. Orvis, (lad Orvis, and Frederick Orris. A son of 
Uriel H. Orvis, Joseph Orvis, lives at Massena, St. Lawrence 
Co., N. Y., where his father lived and died. David A. 
Orvis, son of Frederick Orvis, lives in New York City. Cad 
had a large family of daughters, who married in the vicinity 
of Boston, Mass. 


Elea/.er Orvis — son of David, grandson of Roger, and 
great-grandson of George Orvis — was born in larmington, 


Ct., February, 1805. When a boy he went to live with a 
Dr. Porter, with whom he lived until he was seventeen years 
of age, when he was apprenticed to learn the trade of a car- 
penter. He was married to Hannah North, about the 
month of June, 1742, by whom he had seven sons and seven 
daughters, besides one son that died in infancy. He was a 
man of more than ordinary intelligence, for the time in which 
he lived ; and was particularly noted for his wit, and quick- 
ness of repartee. He was a pious and consistent member of 
the Presbyterian church. His children were as follows: 

1. Reuben, born March 20, 1743. He was twice 
married ; first to Ruth Picket, and after her death to Thank- 
ful Bowles; but he never had any children. He lived and 
died in Hartford, Ct. 

2. Roger, born January 24, 1745, and died in 1829. 
He married Ruth How. Their family was numerous ; but 

I am not able to give it in detail. Samuel Orvis, the only 
living son of Roger, lives at Champion, Jefferson Co., N. Y. 
His grandchildren and great grandchildren are scattered 


through the Eastern, Northern and Western States, and in 
Canada West. 

3. David Orvis, born January, 1747, married Molly 
Turner. I have no accurate information of his descendants. 

4. Eleazer Orvis, Jr., born March, 1749, married Phebe 
Knapp. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and 
died of disease contracted in the service, leaving his wife 

andchildren ' 2032981 

5. Hannah Orvis, born April 15, 1750, married Nathan 
Fellows, died April 9, 1813. 

6. Phebe Orvis, born March 21, 1753, married Russell 

7. Samuel Orvis, born March 6, 1755, married Sep- 
tember 16, 1783, to Caroline Seward. R. S. Orvis and 
other descendants live at Prattsburg, N. Y. He was a Rev- 
olutionary soldier, and died November 4, 1852. 

8. Margaret Orvis, born February 7, 1757, married 
Elisha Hawley. 


(j. Joseph Orvis, born February 7, 1759, married Susan 
Turner, and after her death he married Mabel, or Mehitabel 
Butler for his second wife. Two of his sons, Timothy 15. 
Orvis and James R. Orvis, were recently living at Batavia, 
Kane Co., 111. Others of the descendants reside in Western 
Pennsylvania, in Ohio, and in other Western States. 

10. Ruth Orvis, born January, 1761, died April 16, 
1846, was never married. 

n. Lydia Orvis, born March 20, 1764, married to 
Russell Rose, died June 3, 1857. Descendants reside in 
Tioga Co., Pa. 

12. Huldah Orvis, born January 1766, married Jona- 
than Webster. Her descendants reside in Tioga Co., Pa. 

13. Eunice Orvis, born October 13, 1770, married 
William Turner. 

14. Jessie Orvis, born June 11, 177 2, married Susan 
Holden, died May 28, 1858. His children were Alvah, 
Prudence, Lavina, Jesse, Eleazer and Almond, all of whom 
were married and raised families, except Alvah, who died 


young; the rest arc living, except Eleazer. Prudence mar- 
ried to Amaziah Warner, lives in C'hcnmng Co , X. V. 
Lavina, married to Eathan Ashley, lives in Sullivan, Tioga 
Co., Pa. Jessie (my father) and Almond, live in Wisconsin. 

Of these fourteen children of Eleazer Orvis 1 have been 

personally acquainted with but four, Samuel, |esse, Lydia, 
and Ruth. I have some acquaintance with nearly all the 
children of Samuel, with all the children, and most of the 
grandchildren of Jessie (my grandfather;) and with many of 
the descendants of Roger, David, Joseph, Hannah, Lydia, 
and Huldah. 

In conclusion oi this brief and imperfect sketch, I have 
only to repeat the request that any person who can, will cor- 
rect any error which may be discovered in the foregoing, and 
supply me with any additional information which they may 
possess in regard to the history of the family.