Skip to main content

Full text of "Thomas Steel of Boston and some of his descendants, 1664-1905; also including the family and American ancestry of Samuel and Olive (Pierce) Steele, pioneers of Koshkonong, Wis., 1842. Also the families of Laura J. and Louise L. (Pierce) Arkins, of Denver, Colorado"

See other formats


Book . , 















Thomas Steel 

of Boston 

and Some of His Descendants 


Also including the Family and American Ancestry 

of Samuel and Olive (Pierce) Steele, Pioneers of 

Koshkonong, Wis., 1842. Also the Families 

of Laura J. and Louisa L. (Pierce) 

Arkins, of Denver, Colorado. 

Prepared and Published by George W. Steele 

Times-Mirror Printing and Binding House 

Los Aageies, California 









Allen, Ann 20 

Elizabeth 9, IQ 

Jane 9 

Joseph 20 

Samuel 9, IQ 

Thomas -20 

AlHne, Jane ^ 9 

Almy, Ann 52 

Arkins, Abigail 45 

Carol 43 

Clarence 45 

Charles T 44 

Edwin G 45 

Estelle 43 

Francis J 43 

Grace 45 

Harry 45 

John 42. 45, 47 

Joseph 42, 47 

Laura J 40, 42, -| 7 

Louisa L 42, 45, 47 

Lucille 43 

Margaret T 44 

William 45 

William M 43 

Winona J 43 

Armstrong, Sarah 28 

Arnold, Joana 37 

iv Index. 


Bartlctt. Sarali 33 

Bower. Nellie P. 28 

James W -28 

Bowman, Mary 20. 21 

Nathaniel -i 

Bridge. Anna -21 

Elizabeth 21 

John 21 

Mathew 21 

Brigham, Mercy 23 

Briggs, Wesson 39- 4' 

William 4° 

Bullock. Thankful 38 

Brown. Rev. Chad 47 

Elisha 47. 4^. 5° 

Patience 47 

Waite 38. 47 

Capt. Daniel 38. 48. 50 

Darius 5' 

Bumstead, Jeremiah 2 

Campbell, Rev. John 12 

Canonchct 35 

Coggcshall, Elizabeth 52 

Joshua 52 

Sarah 52 

Gary, Col. Simeon 39 

Carpenter, Capt. Nathaniel .\0 

Clcaland, James 3. '2 

Coleman, J<jhn 2 

Rev. Benjamin ' . 3. 9 

C<x)()cr, Rev. Wm 9 

'•r, John ' 

v_ I. Ill (1.1 II, Amelia J 30 

Index. v 


Curtis, Lorissa E 30 

Mary JO 

William 30 

Gushing, Judge John i6 

Mary 15, 16 

Nathaniel 16 

Danforth, Anna 21 

Nicholas 21 

Davis, Sarah 39 

Dixie, Elizabeth 16 

Thomas 16 

Douglass, Dr. Wm 12 

Dowse, Jane 12, 14 

Jonathan 14 

Joseph 12, 14 

Katherine 14 

Margaret 14 

Dudley, Gov. Joseph 2 

Eames, Anthony 36 

Elhs, Juda il 

Judith 2>7, 47 

Mary 37 

Thomas iy 

vi Indkx. 


Klliott. John 7 

Edmunds, Patience 47 

Fellows. Gen. John 39 

Fitz. Sarah T 31 

Folsom, Ivorissa E 30 

Fry, Thomas 53 

Mary 53 

W'clthian 53 

Garfield. Anna 20. 21 

Capt. Benjamin 21 

Edward 20, 21 

Elizabeth 21 

Prcs. James A 21 

Mary 20, _M 

Mehitabcl 21 

Nathaniel 21 

Rebecca 21 

Samuel 20, 21 

George. John - 

Godfrey, Elizabeth 8 

Greene, Aiidn-y 52 

Ann 52 

John 52 

Gen. Nathaniel 52 

Susannah 52 

VVelthian 53 

Index. "^'^ 


Haight, Ann ^^ 

John T ^g 

Hamilton, Ella 

Herbert O ^^ 

T ' u 29 

Jessie B 

J 29 


:Mary Lottie ^ 

Oscar T 


Sarah L " 


Thomas S ^^ 

Hallows, Mary 

Hall, Hiram ^'^ 

Harvey, Alice E -^g 


Harris, Wm 

Henry, Ann Eliza 

Edw -^^ 

Mabel ^^ 

Herndeen, Sarah ^^ 

Nathan -^^ 

Hitchcock, Caleb 


Holbrook, Elizabeth ^ 

Hannah ^^ 

Capt. John 3^ 


Hobart, Rev. Peter ^ 

Honeywood, Elizabeth ^9 

Henry ^9 

Dr. John '~' "^ 

St. John • ]9 


TT TV 40» 41 

House, Julia 

viii Index. 

James, Annah 36 

King, Deborah 15 

Isaac 15 

Kitcherell, Martha 54 

Samuel 54 

Lauchlan, Anna l^ 

Samuel l^ 

Thomas 12 

Lcland, Rev. John 48. 49 

Dr. A. G 48 

Leach, Amos 54 

Mary 53. 54 

Lewis, Esiellc 43 

Lyon, Mary IQ 

Nathaniel 19 

Locke. Arabella 31 

I/jbtlell, Anna 54 

Lciw. Anthony 37 

John 37 

Mary 37 

MarHhall. Sarah 16 

Alice 16 

TIk mja* 16 

Index. ix 


Martin, Daniel ^° 

Ephraim ^ 

John 38 

Lydia ^^ 

Richard ^^ 

Thankful 38 

IMasters. Alma O ^^ 

Eschylus ^ 

Sarah T -^J 

Hellish, Mary ^^ 

]MilIer, Joseph E -^^ 

^label H ^^ 

Miles, Rev. Sam 9 

Mitchell, Julia 42 

Capt. T 42 

Moore, Beatrix 4 

Morey, Elizabeth ^^ 

^Morrison, James 4, 

T 8 


Janet "^' 

Mary 4 

Thomas 4, » 

Muck, Adam "^ 

Elizabeth "^ 

Katherine ^ 

Mundell, Capt. J4 

Myrick, Deborah 

Nelson, John 9- 

Margaret ^ 

Thomas 45 

Newcomb, Deborah 54 

Elizabeth ^4 

Simon ^4 

X Index. 


Newman, Rev. Noah 36 

Nicholson, Gen. Francis 2 

Page. Grace -45 

Joseph B A5 

Cicn. Nelson 45 

Thomas N 45 

John R 45 

Parkhiirst, Abigail 45 

Pemberton, Benjamin 16 

Rev. Hbenczcr 15. 16 

Eli/al)fth 16 

James 16 

Jane 16 

Mary 14. '5. 16 

Sarah 16 

Pierce, Annah 36 

Benjamin -'4. .'5. 3S, 39. 4' • 53. 54 

Clarissa 24, J5. 40 

Cromwell 3 ) 

Elisha 40. 4J 

K|ihraim 36. ^7 

Fre<lerick C 36 

(•eorge 4 J 

Hannah 36 

1 1 e/rkiah 38, 39. 48 

Jane 34. 4J 

J".in 34 

Jn'iith 37. 47 

Julia A U' 

l.ydia 3S, ,V) 

' J. 4^ 

1 4.* 

Index. ^' 


Pierce, Marv ^'^ 

Mial -^7,47 

Capt. Michael ^4- 34 


Rev. Nathan 
Capt. Nathan 

38, 40 


Ontario ^ ' 4- 

Phebe -^^'^^ 




Capt. William 


Pounder, Ann 


George H 

Hattie B 

Hattie M ^^ 


Randolph, John 

Rawson, Benjamin P 



Margaret S 


Ranney, Daniel 

Emma A 

Fidelia H. 

Ray, Polly 

Rice, Anna ^^ 

Antipas ^-^' ^^ 

Charles ^^ 

Edmund ■^■^ 



xii Index. 

Rice, Mary 33 

-^'•-•'■cy 23. 3i 

KaclicI ;^;^ 

Solomon ^^ 

Thankful 23. t^ 

Thomas 33 

Tamazine ^^ 

Thomasine ^i 

Ricker, Sarah 42 

Rider. Lydia 3^ 

Rebecca 34 

Samuel ;i;^ 

Sarah 33 

Thankful 23. ^ij; 

Rhodes, Joana 37 

-'^'aO' 37 

Zachariah 37 

Rolph. John 34 

Jane 34 

Royce, Hyron P 3 

Harrictte A 1^2 

Hattie B 7^2 

I Icnry S ^2 

Rugglcs, Gen 18 


Sargent, Anna jo 

John S 18 

Nathaniel 20 

Sawyer. Fidelia H 28 

Saxe, Kmnia F 2y 

Shaw, Margaret T 44 

Sherman, M rs. Richard 2 

Shove, Francis 29 

Jane A 29 

Mary 29 

Index. ^m 


Silversparre, Winona J 43 

Simonds, Col. Benjamin ^^ 

Smith, Mary A 4° 

Snyder. Charlotte 40 

Cornell 40 

Emma 4 

Georgiana 4 

John 40 

Washington 4° 

William 40 

Spencer, Audrey 5-. 53 

Charles ^^ 

Clarissa 4i. S3, 54 

Elizabeth -'"' 

Gerard ^ 

Jarrard ^ 

John 51, 52, 53 

Mary 53 

Michael 5i 

Pgjgg 41, 52, S3, 54 

R. C 52 

Robert ^2 

Sarah 4i, 53 

Susannah 5 

Thomas 5i 

William 51 

Zerviah 53 

Sperry, Mary ^° 

Standish, Capt. Myles 34 

Stanley, Clarissa 4 

Stanton, Avis 47 

Mary 47 

Robert 47 

Steele, Aaron ^4 

Ahce E 30 

Allen 9, II, 12, 15 

xiv Indkx. 


Steele, Alma 31 

Amelia J 30 

Ann 20, 23 

Ann Eliza 32 

Anna 20, 21 

Anna B 25. 28, 31 

Andrew ^ 24 

Andrew J 27, 30 

Arabella 31 

Archer B 30 

Arthur H 30 

Alley G 28 

Benjamin 8, 22 

Charles W 27, 29 

Charles F ^2 

Charles M 3.2 

Clara J 28 

David 14 

Deborah 15 

Hdward F 32 

Eleanor A 31 

Eliza 23 

Elizabeth 8, i _>. 13, i g 

Emma A 28 

EiiKi-ne 31 

Everett R 28 

Frank P 28. 31 

4. 7 

: W 27. 29. 31 

(k-ofKe R 32 

■■ M 32 

■ 23 

I loward A .... 30 

Ida 32 

James S 5 

Jane 8. g. 12. 14. 20 

Jane A 29 

Janet v ; >'. 12 

Jessie A 30 

Index. xv 

» Page 

Steele, Jessie E 29 

John 4, 5, 9, n, I5 

Capt. John 3. 4- 5. 10 

Dr. John H 6, 7. 8, 21, 22 

Katherine 29 

Lois F 31 

Lorissa E 30 

Mabel H 31 

Margaret 3, 9. 10, 12, 20 

Mary 8, 15, 18, 19, 20, 22 

Martha G 32 

Mercy 23 

Mercy R 27, 30 

Morris S 29 

Nellie B 28 

Olive 24, 25, 26, 41 

Ohve H 28 

Polly 22, 24 

Prince Albert 31 

Richard 7. 8 

Sir Richard 7 

Samuel 4. n- 12, 14, 20, 22, 2^,, 24, 26, 32, 2,2. 42 

Sarah 20, 32 

Sarah L 27, 28 

Solomon 22 

Solomon Spencer 27, 28 

Thomas . i, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19 

Dr. Thomas 5 

Timothy 23, 31 

Warren 23 

William 6, 7, 8 

Sunderland, Mary 15 

xvi Indi-.x. 


Taylor. Mary -•-' 

Terry. Anna 54 

Rebecca 54 

Samuel 54 

Thayer. E. F 29 

Emma F 29 

Herman 29 

Jessie E 29 

Tibbitts, George 48 

Henry 47 

John 38. 39. 40. 41. 47. 4S 

Judith 47 

Mar)- 47 

Phebe 38. 4^ 

Rebecca 47 

Waite 38. 47, 48 

WilUam 47 

Tildcn, Lydia 3i 

Todd, Cc»l. Andrew 4 

Beatrix 4 

Mary 4 

Toune, Jane 42 

Tyler. Mary 4 

Royal 4 

Ty ley. Samuel '3 

Tyng. John 13 

Vans, Hugh '6 

Mary 16 

Vetch. Col 2 

S'inccnt, Sarah 29 

Index. xvii 


Watkyns, Walter K i6 

Warner, Capt t,;^ 

Col. Seth 39 

Wheeler, Isaac U !..> 29 

Mary Lottie \.'y 29 

Rachael 36 

Sarah 29 

Wight, 'Slaty ;^y 

Thomas 37 

Willard, J 13 

Williams, Roger 48, 52 

Winslow, Gov. Edward 34 

Kenelm 34 

Rebecca 34 

Woodrow, Rev. Mr I 

Worden, Peter 34 

Wright, Abel 54 

Ebenezer 53, 54 

Elizabeth 54 

Mary 53, 54 

Martha 54 

Rebecca 54 

Samuel 54 

Sarah 41, 53, 54 

Rev. Stephen 53, 54 

Thomas 54 

Zerviah 53 

Wyllis, Capt. Edwd 2 


This record is designed to cover, in the main, only the 
Hnes of descent of our own family; not following out the 
lines of the collateral branches. 

A more extended work would have been desirable, so 
as to cover as far as possible all the descendants of Thomas 
Steel of Boston; but the writer has not the time for such 
an undertaking. The work of Mr. Daniel Steele Durrie, so 
far as it relates to this family, while it is of inestimable value, 
is only incidental, and aside from his main purpose, which 
was directed to the Connecticut families. Such statements 
as came to him in relation to the family of Thomas Steel 
he set down with the care and efficiency which was char- 
acteristic of his work; but he neither promised nor attempted 
a full and accurate record of others than the families of 
John and George Steele. It was inevitable that such a record 
must be incomplete, and it was likely to be, and in some 
particulars is, erroneous and misleading. Wherever such has 
seemed to be the case it is indicated in this work, and the 
proper correction or omission supplied when possible, either 
from personal knowledge or family or public records. 

It is hoped that a general account and record of the de- 
scendants of Thomas Steel may be included in the work on 
the Steele families in this country, now understood to be in 
preparation by Mr. F. B. King, of Albany, N. Y. 

The many families of our ancestral lines, both paternal 
and maternal, all run back well into the 17th century in 
this country. The family names and approximate dates of 
settlement in New England arc, mainly, as follows, viz. : In 



the paternal line, Steele, 1690; Allen. ; Pembcrton, 1630 ; 

Garfield, 1635; Rice, 1638; Rider, 1639; Bowman. 1630; Dixie, 
i6j9; Marshall. 1650; Bridge, 1634; Wheeler, 1654. In the 
maternal line: Pierce. 1645: Eaines. 1634; Holbrook, 1643; 
Kuw. before 1653; Ellis. 1653". Martin, 1665; Tibbitts. 1670; 
SlKMu-er, 1668; Wright. 1654; Brown, 1636; Bullock, before 
\uy); Greene. 1635; Almy, 1655; Fry, 1650; Coggeshall, 1645; 
Stanton, 1670; Leach. 1679; Lobdcll. 1659; Newcomb, 1693; 
Terry, before 1691; Kitcherell. 1634; Rhodes, before 1697. 
In preparing this work, many authorities have been con- 
sulted, and sjKJcial acknowledgment is due to the following: 
Durrie's Steele families; Washburn's History of Leicester, 
Mass.: Records of the church in Brattle Square; Paige's His- 
tory of Hardwick; Pierce Families, by F. C. Pierce; Dean's 
History of Scituate; Vital Statistics of Rehoboth; Austin's 
Historical and Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island; Vital 
Records of Coventry, and the New England Historical and 
Genealogical Register. Thanks are due to L H. Bradley. 
Librarian of the State Historical Society, Madison. Wis., and 
his assiMants; Mary A. Smith, of the Albany. N. V., His- 
torical Library; Miss S. B. Kidder. Boston; Mrs. Andrew 
Ross, of Vergennes. Vt. ; Katherine M. Stevens, Newport, 
R. L; John S. Sargent, of Chicago. 111.; Geo. H. Pounder, 
of Ft. Atkinson, Wis.; Mrs. Rhoda Spencer Fairbairn, of 
Spenccrville, Canada, and to numbers of the family., Cai.., June. 1905. 


Thomas Steel, the first nf the family in America, was born 
in 1664. His birthplace was probably in the Parish of East- 
wood. Renfrewshire, Scotland, which was partly within the 
suburbs of Glasgow. The parish embraced the towns of 
Pollockshaws and Thornliebank, and part of Shawlands. It 
is said in the "Americana Heraldica," page 179, that Thomas 
was "born in vScotland in 1664." 

He was a man of intelligence and education and of sterling 
character. According to the Heraldic Journal, 2-20, it was 
said of him by the eminent Boston minister, Rev. Benjamin 
Coleman, that he was "an Honour to the Kingdom and 
Church of Scotland, where he was born and educated, and 
to the University which adorned him with Letters." 

]\Ir. Coleman further says that his father was "a Gentle- 
man of superior Wisdom and Virtue, of whom I had a very 
high character sent me by the late Rev. Mr. Woodrow of 
Eastwood, near Glasgow.'" 

Mr. Coleman was the first pastor of the Church in Brattle 
Square, Boston, and is said to have preached a funeral dis- 
course upon Thomas Steel at his death in 1735, also one at 
the funeral of his first wife in 1723. 

The first name of the father of Thomas Steel is not given, 
nor anv particulars as to his nationality, but it would seem, 
from the above, that Thomas was a Scotchman and a grad- 
uate of Glasgow or Edinburg University. He followed the 
business of merchant, and at his death had large property 
and business interests, both on land and sea. 

At what time Thomas came to this country, is not cer- 
tainly known. The first record of his presence in Boston, 
is found in the Probate Records of Suffolk county, 8-61, 
where he appears as' a witness to the will of John Cordoner, 
(a Glasgow man) dated August 26, 1691. 

In 1692, as related in the "History and Antiquities of Bos- 
ton," page 493, Thomas Steel, Esq., with two others, returned 


from Port Royal, Jamaica, and brought news of tlic greit 
earthquake tlicrc, which destroyed upwards of 2000 lives. 

It is said in Washburn's "History of Leicester," that he 
was. at one time, appointed a special judge with three others 
to sit in the Common Pleas Court of Suffolk Co. when the 
regular judge was unable to act. Also was called on to act 
in a judicial capacity at other times. 

In the New England Hist, and Genealogical Register. Vol. 
30, page 199. is published a report of Commissioners signed 
by Thomas Steel with others, as follows : 

"Pursuant to an order Directed to us from his Excellcy. 
Joseph Dudley, esq., Capt. Genl. and Governr. in Chief of 
Hr. Maj.tys. Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New 
England &c, and the Hon. ble Francis Nicholson Esqr. Genl. 
of Her Maj.tys. Forces in the Late Expedition to Nova 
Scotia, we have examined the within account, and allow 
fifteen hundred and forty-two pounds, eight shillings, sterl- 
ing, a just charge, and due according to ye Resolve of ye 
Council of Warn 

Witness our hands at Boston, July 21, 171 1. 

John Gkorce. 
Thos. Stkeu 
John Cokeman. 
Wm H.\rris." 

In the "Memorial History of Boston." Vol. j, page XXVI, 
is given a plan f>r plat. No. 23, of a lot granted in 1637 to 
1' ' ' in's wife, at the corner of Winter & Tremont 

:'^n, and it is said that this forncr was, later, 

owned by Capt. Edward Wyllis. was bought of his heirs by 
Col. Vetch, who sold it, in 1713, to Cai>t. Thomas Steel. 
(Sewall PajHrs in -10.) 
\\-i,..l,pr ,|,i,i place was occupied l)y Thomas Steel as a 
c, docs not appear, but, according to his will, he 
was living in Hanover street at the time of his death, in 


T' s in the New ' 'ual and Genea- 

!■ " r 15-306, a di... . . .;,; .....ih Bumslead, of 

iich i-i tile following: "1725, Dec. 11. On 


Tuesday last arrived here, Capt. Steel, in 7 weeks from Lon- 
don, in whom came our agent, ye Honorable Elias Cooke esq.'' 
Whether this refers to Capt. Steel in person, or to a ship 
of that name, may not be quite clear. It may also be that 
it refers to another person, a Capt. John Steel, then living 
in Boston, who has been mistakenly supposed, by some 
authorities, to have been a son of Thomas, but was not so. 
Thomas is, at times, mentioned by the title of Captain, but 
I have not been able to learn the origin of the title, or 
whether it was military or maritime. He is usually spoken 
of as Thomas Steel, esq. 

From 1728 until his death, he was President of the Scots' 
Charitable Society in New England. (Drake, History and 
Antiquities of Boston, 455.) Lie was a member of the Church 
in Brattle Square, the earliest of the Congregational churches 
in Boston, where religious affairs were then largely dominated 
by the Mathers and others of the strictest Presbyterian creed. 
Violent controversies raged over this, first of the lil^eral 
orthodox churches, but the ability and moderation of its 
founders, and especially of its first pastor, the Rev. Benjamin 
Coleman, won a complete and early success; and Mr. Cole- 
man, before his death, was even elected to the Presidency 
of Harvard College, though the opposition succeeded in pre- 
venting his confirmation. 

Thomas Steel joined this church in 171 1, and was made 
a member of the governing committee and so remained. 

The baptisms of his children are recorded in the church 
records and the marriages of some of them. 

From the above reference to the Church of Scotland, it 
would seem that the family, there, were Presbyterians. The 
only other reference to the family in Scotland, is found in 
the will of Thomas, which directs his executors to remit 
twelve pounds, sterling, to his nephew, James Clealand of 
GlasgoV, to be divided among the children of his two de- 
ceased sisters, Margaret and Jannet. From this, apparently, 
one sister had been married to a Clealand. The married 
name of the other is not known, but a possible clue to this 
is found in the statement, in the N. E. Reg. 51-491. that 

4 STI'KI. r\Mn N- 

Col. Andrew Todd, born in Ireland, came to New Hamp- 
shire in ijx and was married to Beatrix Moore, and that 
their daughter Mary, born July 31. 1728, married Thomas 
^for^ison. bom May 15. 1724, "son of James and Janet (Steel) 
Morrison." This Thomas Morrison would have been eleven 
years old at the death of Thomas Steel, and may have been 
one of the Glasgow nephews, and his descendents may be 
numbered among the numerous Scotch-Irish Morrisons of 
New Hampshire. 

I have not been able, as yet, to gain any further record 
proofs as to the origin of the family. It was l)elieved by 
our father. Samuel Steel, that they were of English ancestry. 
It is said in Durrie's Steele Families, that some have sup- 
posed Thomas of Boston to have been a brother of John 
and George Steele, eminent among the founders of Hartford, 
Conn., but this could not have been possible, as Thomas 
must have been some fifty years younger than they. I have 
found no evidence of relationship. 

Some of the authorities are also in error as to the rela- 
tionship between Thomas Steel and the Capt. Jnhn Steel 
above mentioned. This Capt. John is .said by .Vmericana 
Heraldica, and The Heraldic Journal, in (Vol. 2, Page 20) 
to have been the son of Thomas. The statement is made 
in discussing the tombstone bearing the Steel arms, and- 
inscril>ed Capt. John Steel, found in the northeast corner 
of the King's Chapel burial ground in Bost<Mi. It is supposcil 
to have iKrIongcd to the Capt. John Steel who rlit-d in ijf^, 
and it is said he was undoubtedly the son of Thomas. 

The John who died in 1768, however, was not a son of 
Thomas. Thomas had a son. John, born Nov. 24, 1720. He 
would have been, at the death of Capt. John. 1768, only 

■' ' ifs old. which wtMild not .igree with Capt. 

on of himself in his will, which says he was 
"far advanced in years." .Again, "Capt. Tohn S'eel" ar>ivars 
in the list of '■«Ts to Prince's Chronology in, or be- 

fore, I7.^<. wh<n J ■im. son of Th<»mas, was only sixteen years 
old. Tlie will of Capt John also speaks of his only stir- 
viving chiM, Mary, as married to Uoyal Tyler. This mar- 
riaKe. as shown l>y Bosl<in records, imik place in 1747, when 


John, the son of Thomas, would have been only twenty-seven 
years old, and could not have had a marriageable daughter. 

This Capt. John Steel is said to have been a merchant, and 
Capt. of the North Battery. Whether the tomb in King's 
Chapel belonged to him, or wdnether he was any relation of 
Thomas, I have not been able to determine. If Thomas, or 
any of his family bore or claimed the Steel arms, I have not 
found, thus far. any reliable record of the fact. If it should 
so appear, it might assist in tracing the ancestry of the family, 
as coats of arms were then a valued family distinction. 

That Thomas held a high social position, there is no doubt, 
as his usual title of esquire, at that time, indicated. It is 
also of record, that his son Thotnas, who was a Harvard 
graduate, was fourth in social rank, or "family dignity," of 
all the members of his class, the son of Chief Justice Oliver 
being first. 

It seems that up to about 1772, the Harvard grad- 
uates were listed, not in alphabetical order, but in the order 
of "family dignity" or rank ; the sons of Royal Governors 
and King's Counselors coming first, then sons of ministers 
and magistrates, &c. As Thomas Steel, esq., was only a 
private citizen, so far as appears, his family must, probably, 
have been esteemed such as to justify the high rank of his 
son in the class. The old distinctions of rank have been 
so long done away with, in this country, that they seem 
strange to us, but they were then very real, and very much 
in evidence. This same coat of arms, known as the Steele 
arms, is still claimed by a Steel family of Scotland, whose 
head is now James Strang Steel, esq., of Selkirk. He, how- 
ever, traces his ancestry back only about to the time of 
Thomas Steel, and no relationship appears. 

The same arms are also borne by several Steele families 
of the north of Ireland, and were the arms of a Dr. I'homas 
Steel, who was a surgeon in the British army in our Revolu- 
tionary war, but remained in this country and died in New 
Jersey in 1813. (Amer. His. Reg., 2-820.) I give a de- 
scription of the arms, though making no claim that they 
belonged to our ancestor. 


Blazoning : Argent, a bend, checqny sable and ermine, be- 
tween two lions' heads erased, gules. In a chief, azure, three 
billets or; crest, a lion's head erased, gules. 


As bearing u|)on the family ancestry, I find, in a volume 
of "Reminiscences of Saratoga," a biographical sketch of Dr. 
John Iloneywood Steele, our great uncle, who was a noted 
l>hysician and scientist of Saratnga Springs. N. Y., and died 
in iHjH, in which it is slated that he claimed descent from 
the Cheshire family of prominence among the Independents 
in the civil war in England, some nf whose members held 
high oflices under the Commonweallh, both in E.ngland and 
Ireland. William Steel, claimed by Dr. Steel as our an- 
cestor, was an eminent lawyer, having been one of the four 
counsel for the Conunonweallh on the trial of King Charles 1., 
but not pn-sent at the trial «»n account of sickness. He was, 

■•' triN, Ki-c<.r<ler of London, Chief Haron of the E..\- 

I and Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Ou the death 
of Oliver Cromwell, he returned to England, by which, as 
one wt the afTatrs of Ireland »iufTered much, he 

' . • ! t<» l)e a man ' real prudence 

After the <1 . n (if the long 

parliament, he was nanted as a member of the Council of 


Safety, but he declined to act, advising that the government 
be left to parliament. On the restoration of Charles IL, he 
retired to Holland, but was allowed to return and reside 
in England, where he died in 1680. In religion he was a firm 
Independent or Congregationalist. He was president of the 
London Society for Propagating the Gospel in New Eng- 
land, under whose auspices John Elliott, the apostle to the 
Indians, carried on his work. Interesting correspondence be- 
tween him and Elliott is published in Vol. 36, of the New 
England Register. 

It is stated in the "History of Saratoga County," 1878, and 
in another "History of Saratoga County," 1899, that Dr. John 
H. Steel was a lineal descendent of William Steel, the Lord 
Chancellor. There is no doubt that Dr. Steele believed this 
to be the fact, but I have not been able to fully verify it 
by any record. A partial pedigree of the Cheshire family 
is given in Aitkins' Life of Sir Richard Steele, the essayist, 
who has been thought, by some, to have been a grandson 
of the Lord Chancellor, as our Thomas Steel perhaps was. 

Sir Richard Steel is said to have been very reticent as 
to his ancestors, only declaring that they were gentlemen. 
It should be remembered that, in his time, so soon after the 
fall of the Commonwealth, when Cromwell and all his works 
were held in deepest execration by the governing authorities, 
it would not have been a thing to boast of or widely pub- 
lish, that one's ancestors had been among his chief supporters ; 
and this would have been especially true of Sir Richard 
Steel, who was a constant seeker after court favor. His 
father died in Ireland while he was quite young. His 
mother is said to have been an Irish lady of distinction, 
riamed Gascoine. The Cheshire family was quite numerous 
in the time of the Commonwealth, and descended from 
Thomas Steel of Weston, Cheshire, whose son, Richard, of 
Sandbach, Cheshire, was the father of William, the Lord 
Chancellor. Another son, Thomas, was Governor of Beeston 
Castle, and is said to have been shot in 1643, for surrendering 
the fortress to the King's forces. A third son, George, left a 
numerous family, some of whom settled in Ireland. Accord- 


ing to the pedigree given by Aitkins, William loft three sons: 
Richard, by his first wife. Ehzabcth Ciodfrey, of Kent, Eng. ; 
and Wilham and Benjamin, by his second wife, Mary (Mel- 
lish) Harvey. Of these sons, Benjamin died in England, 
1705, leaving but one child, a daughter. Richard was "living 
in 1707."' Of William, Jr., there is no further account. If 
our family is of this line, it must have been through either 
Richard, born about 163Q. or William, Jr., the date of whose 
birth is not known, but was after 1640. A.^ our ancestor, 
Thomas Steel, was born in iW)4, in Scotland, it might be 
that Richard, or possibly William, Jr., married and settled 
at Glasgow, prior to that date. 

The will of William Steel, senior, 1680, slates that Richard 
had "already received," the share of the estate intended lor 
him. It also gives the homestead to his surviving widow, and 
makes her sole executri.x; all of which indicated that Richard, 
the eldest son. was settled elsewhere. One authority says 
that Richard settled in Ireland; and if so, it was, no doubt, 
near Dublin, where his father Hived many years as Lord 
Chancellor. Dublin and Glasgow are on opposite sides of 
the channel, and there was much migration between the two 
places. One instance of such, was James, the 
father of Thomas Morrison, above mentioned, as probably 
nephew of our Thomas Steel. James was known in New 
Hampshire as "Charter James," being one of the first set- 
tlers. He is said to have been born in the north of Ireland, 
of Scotch parents, an<I to have removed to Glasgow and 
married, for his first wife, Jane Steel, and his second wife, 
Janet Steel. It is probable enough that Richard Steel, or 
William, Jr.. may have gtme from Dublin to Glasgow and 
married and .settled there, before the birth of our Thomas 
in i6f»4 If, however, Dr. John H. Steel had proof 
that such was the fact, I have not found the proof, and can 
only say that, so far as the record B<jes. our great, great, 
great y "' l•l^ Steel, es«|., was a Scotchman. 

His fatii. . I in Scotland, and his ntother was, 

proliably, « by the nan>es given the two 



On July 2nd, 1708, Thomas Steel, Esq., was married, in 
Boston, by Rev. Sam. Miles (Presbyterian), to Jane Allen. 
The name is spelled AUine in the Report of Record 
Commissioners, but probably that is an error, as one of their 
sons was named Allen Steel, and early records often spell 
the name different ways. Her ancestry, I have not been 
able to trace.* The records of the Church in Brattle Square 
show that Thomas Steel was admitted to the church June 
3rd, 171 1, and was afterward elected a member of the church 
committee and so continued. These records also show the 
baptisms of his children. The last child. John, was born in 
1720, and the mother died in 1723, as appears from an entry 
in Rev. Wm. Cooper's diary, given in N. E. Reg., Vol. 30, 
page 436, as follows: "1723, Jany. 30. At Madam Steel's 
funeral." The Heraldic Journal also says Mr. Coleman 
preached her funeral sermon at that date, and that she died 
at the age of forty-two years. 

The public record also shows that Thomas Steel, Esq., re- 
married in Boston, May 19, 1724, Margaret Nelson, Mr. Sam. 
Miles (Pres.) officiating. This Margaret Nelson (his second 
wife) was a daughter of that John Nelson who was promi- 
nent in Colonial affairs about the end of the 17th century, 
and who commanded the troops which took the usurping 
Gov. Andros prisoner. The will of Thomas Steel fully set- 
tles the question of her parentage. It is also stated in the 
Memorial History of Boston, 2-541, that this John Nelson's 
daughter married Capt. Thomas Steel. 

Thomas Steel died in Boston Jan. 8, 1735-36, aged 71 years. 
The date Jan. 8, is given in the Heraldic Journal, which says 
the funeral discourse by Mr. Coleman was "dedicated to the 
widow," which would imply that it was published, but I have 
not been able to find a copy. The Journal gives the first 
wife's name as IMary, which is an error, her name being Jane. 

♦Although the evidence is lacking', I am of the opinion that 
Jane Allen was a daughter of Gov. iSamuel Allen of .New Hampshire, 
who died in 1705, and whose widow, Elizabeth, was living in Charles- 
town, Mass., in 1708, probably with her two unmarried daughters, 
mentioned by Savage, who says it was not known to him whom they 


Another curious error in relation to Thomas Steel appears 
on page lo. Vol. 2, of the Heraldic Journal. In describing 
the coat of arms known as the Eells" arms, viz. : "three eels 
across the field, crest, a visor or head piece of armor, closed;"' 
it is said that this seal "appears on the will of Thomas Steel." 
This seemed so improbable, that an e.xamination was recently 
made of the original will, which is still preserved in the 
files in the Probate court of Suffolk county. It was found 
that no device or coat of arms appears upon the will, and 
no seal e.xcept the usual one following the signature of the 
testator, which seal consists of a small square or lozenge 
of paper fastened to the will by some adhesive substance, and 
hearing no markings or device whatever, so far as can be 
discerned. The same is true of the will of the above named 
Capt. John Steel. 


l.N THE \.\MK OF GoD, A.MKN. Tnis FiiTH Day of January, 
in the Year of our Lord One Thousand .seven hundred and 
thirty-five, I, Thomas Steel, of lioston, in the County of 
Suffolk, in New England I''sfir.. being advanced in years and 
in a weak and Low Condition, Do make this my Last Will 
& Testament, as follows, vi/. : 

Tirst & Principally. I commit my Soul into the hands ai 

Almighty dod, my Creator, hoping in his mercy thro' the 

Merits, Death &• Passion & prevailing Intercession of Jesus 

Christ, my I^inl & Savior, and my Mody I <lesire may be 

' '1, at ye di - ■' of my IvxeciMors hereafter 

1) fif the 1< :i<-n of it at the Day. 

And as touching such Tem|)oral Kslatc as dod hath be- 

truslcd Mc with, (after my just Dibls & funeral Charges are 

p.-ii<|». I '• ■ ■ ' ||,j. j;;,„,j. ;,,. Follows; That is to 

- X !• . , A be<|ueath unto my beloved Wife 

. tbr Stnii of One thousand five hundred 

I'.ir.nd-.. New i ' Currency. Inchuling the Sum of Three 

hundred & fifty ii'uiixls left us by her Father, ' " 


Esqr., & his Wife by their Testament. I also give her my 
negro Man named Bass, during the term of her natural Life, 
and the use and Improvement of One half of my present 
Dwelling House & Land with the Appurces. during her Con- 
tinuing my Widow, rent free if she shall incline so long 
to live therein, but not otherwise. Itkm : I give & devise to 
my Eldest Son Thomas Steel, all that, my Farm situate in 
Leicester, in the County of Worcester, containing, by estima- 
tion, five hundred acres more or less, with the Housing, Edi- 
fices, Buildings, fences. Stock & Utensils thereto belonging, 
in ye present Tenure & occupation of the Widow Gill & her 
Children. To Have and to Hold the said farm & premises, 
with the Appurces. unto him, the said Thomas Steel, his 
Heirs, Executrs. Adminrs. and Assigns forever. Item : I 
give and Devise unto my Son Samuel Steel, all that, my 
Farm, Situate in Leicester aforesaid, on the South & West 
Sides of the Meeting House, in the present Tenure & Occupa- 
tion of John Wassum, containing^ by Estimation, two hun- 
dred & thirty-seven Acres, more or less. Together with the 
Housing, Fences, Stock, Utensils & Appurces. thereto belong- 
ing; and also another Tract of Land in the said Township 
of Leicester, containing, by Estimation, One hundred Acres 
more or less, lying on Chestnut Hill, so called. To Have and 
TO Hoed the said Farm Lands & Premises, with the Appur- 
tenances, unto him, the said Samuel Steel, his heirs, Executrs. 
Adminrs. & Assigns forever. Item : I give & devise unto 
my Son Allen Steel, my Bakehouse & Land in Hanover 
Street, in Boston, in the possession of Thomas Pearson, with 
the Warehouse Adjoj-ning North Easterly on the House & 
Land of Dr. Douglass ; and also my Land & Garden behind 
the said Bakehouse and Warehouse. To Have & to Hoed 
the said Bakehouse & Warehouse Lands & Premises, with 
the appurces, unto him, the said Allen Steel, his Heirs 
Adminrs. & Assigns forever. Item : I give & Devise unto 
my Son John Steel, my present Dwelling House, situate in 
Hanover Street, in Boston Aforesaid, with Land, Stable, fence 
& appurces. thereto belonging, fronting on the said Street, 
bounded Westerly on Land in possession of Mr.s. Walker 


and others, in the rear by Land of Samuel Waldo, on tlie 
Northeast by my Bakehouse in the said Pearson's possession. 
To Havk and to Hold the said Dwelling house, l^nd & 
Prenics., with the Appurces. (reserving to my wife as above 
expressed, one half thereof during her widowhood), unto 
him, the said John Steel, his Heirs & Assigns forever. 
1tk.m : 1 give to my Daughter Jane, (now wife of Mr. Joseph 
Dowse), the Sum of Nine hundred & fifty pounds, over & 
above the Siim of Five Hundred & eighty pounds wch. I have 
advanced to her, in Plate, Money & Goods, upon her mar- 
riage with said Dowse. Itkm : I give & bequeath to my 
Daughter Elizabeth Steel, the Sum of fifteen hundred pounds, 
this Currency to be disposed of as She pleaseth, the Money 
to be reserved by my E.xecutrs. till she arrives to full age, 
or till the Day of her marriage which shall first happen. 
Item : I give to my Son Samuel Steel the Sum 
of Two Hundred pounds. New England Currency, to 
enable him to buy Stock & Sers-ants to put upon the Farm, 
before given him. Itkm : I give and bequeath to my Son 
.Mien Steel, the sum of Four hundred pounds. New England 
Currency. Item : I give and bequeath to Anna Lauchlan, 
Widow of Thomas Lauchlan deccd. Twenty pounds, and to 
their two Sons Thomas Lauchlan & Samuel Lauchlan, Fifty 
pounds apiece, New England Currency. Item : I will & de- 
sire my Executors, hereafter named, to remit Twelve pounds 
Sterling, to my Nephew, Mr. James Clealand, Malster at 
Glasgow, to be by him divided Equally to & among the chil- 
<lren of my two Sisters, Margaret & Jannet. both deed., which 
1 give them as a Token of my love to them. Item : I Do 
hereby nominate, desire & appoint, my beloved Wife, Margaret 
Steel, my Son in Law, Joseph Dowse & Jane his Wife, my 
very g<«id fricn<ls, Doctor William Douglass of Boston. & 
ye Kcvd. Mr. John Campbell, of Oxford, to be Executors of 
thin, my Unst Will & Testament, and Do hereby fully im- 
powcr them, (or a Major fiart of them), to Sell all my 
Houses, Lands Kighls oi Lands an<l Real Estate, lying 
within the Colony c»f Connecticut, in New ICngland. and to 
pass & .Execute a good Deed or Deeds in the V".- *'■■'■ 'h** 


Same ; and I do also desire & Impower my said Executors to 
Sell my Merchandizes, Effects & Interest in Vessells, to the 
most Advantage & to Collect & gather in my Debts, as Soon 
as may be, and to Improve my Children's portions of my 
Personal Estate, during their minority, at Interest upon good 
security; — and I Do hereby give to Each of my executors, 
the Sum of Twenty pounds, New England Currency. Lastly 
I Give, devise & bequeath all the Residue & Remainder of my 
Estate unto my Six children, before named, to be divided 
between them in manner following, viz. : Two seventh por- 
tion, a Double portion thereof, unto my eldest Son TITomas 
Steel, and to Each of my other children, a Single Share or 
one seventh part thereof. To Have and to Hold the same, 
to them their Several & respective Heirs, Execrs. Adminrs. 
& Assigns forever. 

In Testimony Whereof I, the said Thomas Steel, have 
hereunto set my hand & seal, the Day & Year first herein 
before written, Thos. Steel (& a Seal). Signed, Sealed & 
Delivd. in presence of us, by the said Thomas Steel, & by 
him declared to be his Last Will & Testament, 

John Tyng. Joseph Leoyd. Same Tyeey. 

Exmd. John Boydell. Reg. 

Suffolk ss — By the Honbe. Josiah Willard Esqr. Judge of 
Probate &c. The within written Will, being presented for 
probate by the Executors therein named, John Tyng, Joseph 
Lloyd & Samuel Tyley made Oath that they Saw Thomas 
Steel Esar. the Subscriber to this Instrument, Sign & Seal 
& heard him publish & declare the same to be his Last Will 
& Testament, and that, when he so did, he was of sound, 
disposing mind & memory, according to these deponents best 
discerning, and that they set their hands as Witnesses thereof, 
in the said testators presence. 

Boston, January 19th, 1735. J. Wielard. 


John Boydell, Reg. 




1. Jane.2 born Apr. 20th, 1709, baptized Apr. 24. Married 

in King's Chapel, Dec. 14th, 1734, to Joseph Dowse. 
Her children were Margaret. Kathekink and Jona- 

2. (IL) Thomas,- burn May 4lh, 1711, baptized May Oih. 

(He was our ancestor. His history, &c, appears 
later herein.) 

3. Samuel.- born Jany. 5th, 1713. baptized Jany. nth. 

Some uncertainty has arisen in regard to this Samuel.''^ 
There seems to be no further record of him in Boston, 
except in his father's will, from which it would seem 
he was a farmer and settled in Leicester, as he is given 
£200 by a special bequest, with which to "buy stock & 
servants to put upon the farm." 

Durrie, in his "Steel Families," surmised that he 
might be our progenitor, who married a Pemberton. 
But I find undoubted proof that it was his brother 
Thomas- above named, who married Mary Pemberton, 
(Mrs. Gushing), and was our ancestor. This will ap- 
pear in the account of Thomas immediately following. 

There is reason to believe that this Samuel" is 
the same who settled in Hardwick, Worcester Co., 
Mass., in that part later incorporated as New Brain- 
tree, and near Leicester. Paige's "History of Hard- 
wick," 506, gives his wife's name as .\Lirgaret. and his 
children, David, baptized Nov. 13. 1745; Thomas, same 
date; Wii.i.iam. baptized Oct. 7. 1750: Aaron, baptized 
I'cb. 6, 1753, Paige also says that a Sanmel Steel of 
Hardwick, was a corporal in Capt. Mundell's Company, 
on the expedition to Crown Point, in 1756. The sou 
Aaron may l»e the same who served in the Continental 
army from MasN. in the Revolutionary War. 

4. Daviu.' Umi May i6th, 1714, baptized May 16, age one 

week. (So in record.) No further account is found 


of him; but from the fact that he is not mentioned in 
his father's will, it is believed he died before his 

5. Elizabeth, 2 born July 17, 1716, baptized July 22. No 

further account is found except in her father's will, 
where she is given iisoo and a share in the residue. 

6. Allen,- born April 3rd, 1719, baptized Apr. 5th, age one 

week. Married Nov. 17, 1741, to Deborah Myrick. A 
will of Allen Steel appears of record 1748; and, among 
"Intentions of Marriage," 1749, appear the names of 
Deborah Steel and Isaac King. 

7. J0HN,2 born Nov. 24, 1720, baptized Nov. 27th, one week. 

Given the homestead in his father's will. The name 
appears later as a well-known merchant and Selectman 
in Boston, but as there was another of the same name, 
then living there, he has not been fully identified. It 
is believed he is the same who, on May 23, 1745, was 
married to Mary Sunderland in Boston. 

II. Thom.\s,2 Steele (Thomas^), born in Boston, May 
4, 171 1. Married, Aug. 22d, 1736, to Mrs. Mary 
(Pemberton) Gushing, by Rev. Benj. Coleman, 
D.D. Goncerning this marriage, several errors have 
crept into the family record. In Durrie's "Steel 
Families" it is said that Thos. Steel- married "Mary 
Gushing," and it so appears in the Report of Rec- 
ord Gomms. of Boston. But in the record of the 
church in Brattle Square, page 244, the name ap- 
pears as Mrs. Mary Gushing. Durrie is further 
misled by the bride's name, to suppose that it 
was some unidentified member of the Steel family, 
— (he thinks, possibly, Samuel,"^ brother of 
Thomas-), who married "a daughter of Rev. 
Ebenezer Pembleton" and was the head of our 
branch of the family, as given by him. The min- 
ister intended to be referred to, is Rev. Ebenezer 
Pemberton, 3rd pastor of the Old South Ghurch. 
It seems that it was not his daughter, but his niece. 


Mary Pcmberton, who is our ancestress, and she 
was married first. Oct. 23, 1729, to Nathaniel Gush- 
ing, a son of Judge John Gushing of Scituate. 
Nathaniel, who was a graduate of Harvard Gol- 
lege, died one month after the marriage, and the 
widow married Thomas Steel,- as above stated. 
Mary Pemberlon was born .\ug. lOth, 1707, daugh- 
ter of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Dixie) Pemberlon. 
Her father was elder brother of the Rev. Ebenezer 
Pemberlon, and son of James and Sarah ( Mar- 
shall ) Pemberlon, of Boston. Her mother was 
probably granddaughter of Thomas Dixie, who 
came over in 1637. 

James Pemberlon was one of the founders of 
the Old South Ghurch, and is said to have come 
from England with Winthrop. when only 8 years 
of age, in 16.30. Sarah Marshall was a daughter 
of Thomas and .Mice Marshall. The Rev. Ebenezer 
Pemberlon had a daughter Mary, but she mar- 
ried Hugh Vans. His only oiher daughter was 
Jane, who died young. The similarity in name may 
be responsible for ihe statement that our ancestor 
married a daughter of the minister. The above 
facts are fully shown by the Report of Record Goni- 
missioners, the Gushing Family genealogy, and N. 
E. Hist. & Gen. Register, 46-393. "Pemberlon 
Family" by Walter K. W.ntkins. 

A record of interest ajjjjearing in the above 
reports is that of "Intention of marriage" Aug. 14th, 
1732. by Thomas Steel and Elizabeth Morey. For 
some reason, apparently, the marriage did not take 
place. Four years afterwards. Thomas'- was mar- 
ried to Mrs. Mary Pemberlon Gushing, as above. 
Thomas' was graduated A. \i. at Harvard Gollcge 
in 17.^0, and received his degree of A. M. 
in 17.34. He removed to I-eicester, Worcester Go, 
Mas<«., and engaged in the business of merchant. 
He wa» town clerk and Sclcctmaii during a great 


part of his residence there. He was a Representa- 
tive to the Gen. Court of Massachussetts Bay 
Province, from 1752 to i755- In 1756 he became 
Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, of Wor- 
cester Co., and so continued until shortly before 
his death, in 1776, when the Court was superseded 
by the Revolutionary Committee. He seems to 
have been an able and careful official, and most 
useful in the Community. 

Washburn, in his History of Leicester, says, 
"Everything we can gather relative to Judge Steel, 
leads us to believe that he was a man of high 
respectability of character, who possessed the con- 
fidence of his fellow citizens, through differing 
from them in his political sentiments." 

He is said to have been a firm loyalist in his 
feelings and opinions, though not offensive in their 
expression, but standing, with his three associate 
judges, in favor of the existing government and 
laws. When, with his fellow judges, he had joined 
in a friendly address to the British authorities in 
Boston, at the beginning of the revolutionary 
troubles, he was the one to apologize therefor at 
the call of the Revolutionary Committee. H he 
had lived, he would, as Washburn has said, most 
likely have sided with his country, especially as 
two of his daughters were married to influential 
patriots; one of whom. Dr. John Honeywood, died 
in the Revolutionary Army at Ticonderoga. 

According to Washburn, Judge Steele had a large 
property when he came to Leicester, but was not 
a good business manager and lost much of it be- 
fore his death. He is said to have lived, first, at 
the place since owned by the Henshaw family, then 
in the large old house (which he built) at the foot 
of Meeting House Hill, corner of Flip Lane and 
the Great Road. At the time of his death, he was 
living in the Rawson house, on the Great Road, just 


cast of the Town Meadow lirook. He died of apo- 
plexy, July i8lh, 1776. his wife having died Jan. 
28th, 1768. His daugliter Mary died in Leicester 
in 1828, "the last of the family residing in that 

The engraving in front of this hook is from a photograph 
of the residence of Judge Steele in I^icester, since known 
as the Stcele-Henshaw house. The front yard had been the 
site of the fort or block house for refuge from hostile Indians. 

For the original photograph I am indebted to the kindness 
of John S. Sargent, of Chicago, 111., who is of the Leicester 
family of that name, and whose great grandmother remem- 
bered being often taken into the fort at night, during the 
Indian troubles. 


1. Mary,-' born 1737, died soon. 

2. Thoxias.3 born 1738. He is, probably, the same who. ac- 

cording to Washburn's Leicester, page 213. was Sur- 
geons Mate in Gen. Rugglcs' regiment, in the French 
war — 1757. Concerning him the account in Durrie's 
Steele Families is, no doubt, erroneous. 

He is, there, said to have married and lived in Salem, 
Mass., and had children, who removed to Salem, Wash- 
ington Co., N. Y.; and the names are given for sev- 
eral generations. It seems, however, that the Salem 
family did not In-long to our line. 

Washburn's Leicester, pagi- 180. says that our 
Thomas^ died in 1768, unmarried. The Vital Records 
of Leicester, alstj show that Thomas Steele, son of 
Thomas and Mary, died Aug. loih, 1767. 

In further looking up this (|uestion. I find it stated 
in Johnson's History of Washington Co., N. Y., p.ige 
190, that the family given by Durrie as belonging to 


our Thomas,^ were descendents of a Thomas Steel who 
came from Ireland, before the Revolutionary War, and 
settled in Salem, N. Y. 
Elizabeth.^ born Nov. 2, 1740; m. 1761, Dr. John Honey- 
wood, an English physician of high rank and reputa- 
tion. He became a surgeon in the Contmental army, 
and died, at Ticonderoga, in 17/6. 

Their children were: 

St John, b. Feb. 7. 1/63; graduate of Yale College, 
teacher, attorney at law, writer and poet of some 
note, lived hi Salem, N. Y. Died Sept. ist, 1798, 
aged 35. He was married but left no child surviv- 
ing him. 

M\RY, b. 1766; m. Nathaniel Lyon. 

Euz/beth b^ r-69; n,. San,.,el Allen, Esq.. treasurer 
of Worcester Co. 

Henry, b. 1771- . , , ., , „.^_- 

The mother. Elizabeth. ^ died while the children ^^ere 
quite voung. St. John Honeywood, although he died 
at the age of 35. had already exhibited talents wh.h 
had his life been prolonged, would, perhaps, have won 
for him high rank, both in politics and literature. He 
worked his way through college, being left an orphan 
without means, at an early age. He was an esteem d 
pupil and friend of Dr. Stiles, then President of Yale, 
in whose family he lived for a time. He taught school 
read law, and practiced at Salem. N. Y. He was one 
of the presidential electors at the election of John 
Adams, and held the offices of Master in Chancery 
and clerk of the county. His name is included ma 
list of the promising younger poets of the time. Dy 
William CuUen Bryant. A small volume containmg 
his poems, was published after his death, in 1801. 
have a copy of the book. 

It shows a constructive and lyrical ability which 
should have won general recognition, if he had lived. 
It was published by subscription, and. among the sub- 


scribcrs, appear ilic names of many public men of the 
time, and curiously, among the rest, those of Aaron 
Hurr and Alexander Hamilton. 

4 Mary.-"" b. Nov. 26. 1741 ; <iicd at Leicester, in 1828. 

5. J.\NF..' b. Jan. 17. 1744; no further record appears. 

6. NL\RC.\RKT.-^ b. April 24, 1745; married, about 1776. Dr. 

Edward Rawson, of Leicester. 

Children : 

Marv. b. 1779. 

Benjamin Pembf.rton. h. 17S1. Removed to Hudson. 

N. V. 
Marcarkt S.. b. 1784; died soon. 

The mother. Margarrt,^ died 1784; the father. 1786. 

7. Sarah.-"' b. Oct. 17, 1746; married Caleb Hitchcock of 

West Brookfield. .Aug. 21, 17S2. 

8. (UL) Samvel."" b. June 24. 1749. He was our ancestor. 

His history is given below. 

9. An.v,' b. April 22, 1751 ; married, 1772, Hon. Joseph 

Allen of LePcestcr; died May 10, 1775. One child. 

Thomas, died soon. 
HI. Samikl."' Stkei.e. {Thomas- Thomas^), eighth 
child of Judge Thomas Steele; bom at Leicester. 
June 24th. 1740; married, in Leicester. June 301b, 
1775. Mrs. Anna (Garfield) Sargent, widow of 
Nathaniel Sargent, deceased, of Leicester, and 
daughter of Samuel and Mary (Bowman) GarficKT 
of Watertown, Mass., and later of Leicester, and, 
perhaps, in that part set off and incon>orated a^ 

She was bom at Watertown, Mass., N'ov. 5. 17.^5. 
anti baptized Nov. <;, 17.??. She married, first, 
Nathaniel Sargent, Sept. 2. 175.^, and, by him. had 
six cliiUIrcn. He <lieil between 1770 and 1775. 
She was a desccndent of Ivlward C.arlield of 
Watertown, Mass., 1635. The line of descent, as 
shown in Bond's Watertown, is as follows: 


Edward'^ Garfield; Edivard^- of Watertown, 1635; 
wife, Rebecca; Capt. Benjamin;^ whose ist wife 
was Mehitable Hawkins; 2nd wife, Elizabeth 
Bridge, daughter of Mathew and Anna (Danforth) 
Bridge, and granddaughter of John Bridge of Cam- 
bridge, Mass., and of Nicholas Danforth, of a 
noted English family. Samuel* Garfield, son of 
Benjamin^ and Elizabeth, born Sept. 3, 1690; mar- 
ried Mary Bowman about 1714- Anna-" born Nov. 
5, 1735; baptized Nov. 9, i735- The researches 
of Senator Hoar and Rev. Air. Porter, made to fix 
the pedigree of President Garfield, who was a de- 
scendent of Edzvard and Capt. Benjamin, are said 
to have proven that there was but one Edward 
Garfield of Watertown, instead of two (father and 
son) as given by Bond, which would make Anna, 
4th in descent. It appears from Worcester records 
that Samuel Garfield was Selectman in 1745, and 
that three brothers of Anna, named Benjamin, 
Samuel and Nathaniel were married there in 1750-2. 
Mary (Bowman) Garfield, mother of Anna, was 
probably a descendent, in the 4th generation, of 
Nathaniel Bowman of Watertown, Mass., who came 
from England, probably with Winthrop, in 1630. 
"Anna Sargent (widow) was married to Samuel 
Steele in Leicester, June .30. i775." as shown by 
the public records. 

After their marriage they lived in the town of 
Sutton, Worcester Co., Mass., where their three 
children were born. Their son. Dr. John H. Steele, 
who was born in 1780, and who left home at an 
early age, relates that their home was distant from 
neighbors, and they were often annoyed by 
troublesome, though not hostile, Indians, and that, 
one dav, his mother, who was making soap, became 
so annoyed that she drove them away with a dipper 
of hot soap— a glimpse of the troubles of pioneer 
life m those times. 


Later, the family moved to \'ermont, settling 
in or near Brandon, Rutland Co. The dale of re- 
moval to Vt. is not known, but was about 1799, as a 
deed to Benjamin Steel, of Brandon, of date Nov. 
I. I799f is of record. 

Sami'EI/'' died in Pittsford (or Brandon) in 1816, 
and his wife, Anna, died, 1808. 

Their children were: 

1. Benjamin.* born 1776. Sutton. Mass. Married 1804, 

Polly Ray. of Wilmington. \'t. Died 1838 at Hubbard- 
ton. Vt. An account of his descendants, to some ex- 
tent, as well as those of his brother. Dr. John H. Steele, 
may be found in Durrie's Steele Families, page 94 and 

The memorandum, however, of Benjamin's children, 
on page 156 of that work, is an error. Those there 
named as his children, were the children of his brother 
Samuel, as correctly given on page 94. of the same 

2. (IV.) Saml-ki..'' born 1778, Sutton, Mass. (our grand- 

father, subsequent history below). 

X John Honkvwood.* born 1780, Sutti>n. Mass. Married 
Dec. 23, 1817, Mary Taylor; died 1838. He was an 
able and widely known physician, scientist and public 
man of Saratoga Springs, N. V. .A biographical sketch 
of his life may be found in a volume entitled Remin- 
iscences of Saratoga, Win. L. Stone. 1875. 

Also in Histories of Saratoga County, 1878 and 1899. 
He was president of ilu- .\\w York State Medical 
Society, Surgeon of the 4lh rt-Kiment of ca\-alry in 1812, 
and Assistant Surgeon in the L'. S. Navy, and was 
present at the siege of Algiers. He was a prominent 
Masun, was a member of the Albany Lyceum of Nat- 
ural History and of many Scientific and Historical 
Sr>cicties in this cotmlry and luirope. 

He avoided iK)litics. I)ui was once postmaster, and 
judge of county court. IN- publishetl several scientific 


works, and was widely known as the "model physician." 
The citizens of Saratoga Springs, at his death, held 
a public meeting in his honor, and erected a stone to 
his memory. Our father, Samuel Steele, nephew of 
Dr. Steele, visited him at Saratoga Springs about 1830, 
and often spoke of his great ability as a physician, and 
his wide popularity. 

IV. S.'KMUEi.* Steele. (Samuel,'' Thomas.- Thomas''-), 
born in Sutton, Worcester Co., Mass., 1778, mar- 
ried about 1803, Mercy Rice, daughter of Antipas 
and Thankful (Rider) Rice of Hardwick, Mass. 
(Mercy Rice's pedigree is given later herein.) 
They lived, first, on a farm in Sudbury, Vt., then 
in the town of Pittsford, where he died in 1837. 
She continued to reside in Pittsford until her death, 
Dec. 26th, 1867. 

Their children were : 

1. Ann,-'' born 1804; died Jany. 30, 1858, Pittsford, 

2. Solomon,^ born 1806; died about 1824, Pittsford, Vt. 

3. HoMER,^ born 1808; died June 25, 1878, Pittsford, 

4. (V.) Samuel,^ born Sept. 30, 1809. Married Sept. 

22, 1833, at Madrid, N. Y., Olive Pierce. He died 
Dec. 31, 1885. She died Feb. 10, 1902, Whitewater, 
Wis. Their descendants are given, and her family 
pedigree, subsequently, herein. 

5. Eliza,5 born 181 1 ; died Feb. 6, 1883, at Pittsford, 

6. TiM0THY,5 born 1814, Pittsford, Vt. Died 1893 at 
Island City, Oregon. (See subsequent page for his 

7. Warren, 5 born 1816; died about i860. 


8. Andrkw." I>urn Mch.. iS.'O. Was a suh'^tantial and 
respected farmer. Remained with his mother until 
her death. Also made a home for sisters, at Pitts- 
ford. \'t. Unmarried; died Dec. 24. 1896. 

Q. Polly," born Oct., 1822; resides at Brandon, Vt. 


V. Samuel Steele'* (Samuel* Samurl.^ Thomas.^ 
Thomas^) of Koshkonong and Whitewater. Wis., the 5th in 
hne of descent in this conntrj' from Thomas Steel. Esq. (Cafl. 
Thomas Steel) of Boston, Mass., was born in the town of 
Pittsford, Rutland County, Vt., Sept. 30th, 180Q. Reared on 
a farm among the hills, he received only the limited common 
school education then attainable, a lack which he always felt, 
and was anxious, as far as possible, to assist his children 
in providing against. He was a farmer, and continued to 
follow agricultural pursuits up to the last year of his life. 

He was married Sept. 22. i8.u at Lisbon. St. Lawrence 
County, N. Y., to Olive Pierce (8th in line of descent from 
Captain Michael Pierce of Scituate. Mass.), who was bom 
Jany. ist., 181O. IKr ancestry is shown later herein. They 
first resided in Madrid, St Lawrence County, New York, but 
removed 3l)out 1840 10 the town of Chili, Monroe County. N. 
Y., six miles west of Ro<.hcster. Two years later, in July, 
1842, they came to Wisconsin, accompanied by her parents, 
Benjamin and Clarissa Pierce. They traveled by railway to 
Buffalo, then the western liniit of railroad construction, and 
from there by way of the lakes on one of the early steam- 
ships known as propellers. They landed at Racine. Wis., and 
came from there by ox team to South Koshkonong. Jefferson 
Cotmty. where ihcy met with a hospitable welcome from an 
old New York neiglilwir. Hiram Hall, and others of his 
family who had then recently settled there. 
He look «p land on Sections .13 and 34 in Koshkonong, 


where he built a log house, which was the early home of the 
family in Wisconsin. This house was about 40 rods west 
of the present highway and on a ridge just north of the spring 
pond, now dried up, which furnished soft water for the 
household use. He also took up 80 acres adjoining in the 
town of Lima. 

This farm, wooded with burr oaks, he cleared up and im- 
proved, as well as doing considerable work for the neighbors. 
For some years he kept a breaking team of five or six yoke 
of oxen and did breaking for others; also a blacksmith shop, 
doing repair work for farming tools. 

This was before the days of machinery or manufacturing, 
and most of the things needed on the farm or in the house, 
had to be made or repaired there. Clothing and bedding 
were made from wool, feathers and flax raised on the farm. 
Grandmother Clarissa Pierce and our mother, were skillful 
spinners and weavers, both of wool and flax. The flax 
was broken and heckled by grandfather Benj. Pierce, who 
was also a very good amateur cobbler and did the family 
shoemaking and gardening, as well as capturing and tending 
a large colony of wild bees. 

About 1855, after the death of grandfather and grand- 
mother, this farm was sold and father purchased, and remov- 
ed to, the farm half a mile east, then known as the Henry 
or Price Hall Farm, which was also on the county line, 
the house being in the town of Lima. Here he lived until 
1868, but in the meantime, spent two or three years in Cali- 
fornia, hoping to better his fortunes, but with only moderate 
success. In 1868 he sold the farm to his son Charles and 
removed to a smaller place near the city of Whitewater, 
removing in 1871 to that city, where he resided until his 
death, December 31, 1885, from weakness of old age. His 
widow, Olive Steele, continued to live at their home on 
Highland Street, Whitewater, with their daughter, Anna 
B. Steele, until the mother's death, February loth, 1902, also 
from old age. Father and mother are buried on the family 
lot in South Koshkonong cemetery, with her father and 
mother and our sister Mercy, who died in 1865. They had 
nine children, of whom seven are now living, in 1905. 



Feb. 10, 1902. 

Mrs. Olive Steele, whose maiden name was Olive Pierce, 
was bom in St. Lawrence County. N. Y., January 1, 1816. 
Here she grew to womanhood, and in 1833 was married 
to Samuel Steele of Brandon. Vermont. For the bettering 
of their condition they came, later, in 1842, to Wisconsin, 
traveling by way of canals and lakes to Racine, from whence 
they came by ox team to Koshkonong, where Mr. Steele 
bought a farm and where she shared with him for many 
years the hard life of the pioneer, yet finding time always 
in the midst of her own arduous labors to give a sick neigh- 
bor the care that was needed; and there are those still living 
who will remember well her kindly ministrations. Here grew 
up the eight children who were born to Mr. and Mrs. Steele, 
all of whom have been more or less identified with the 
growth and interests of Whitewater, and all but one of 
whom are still living, the daughter. Mercy, having entered 
the l)etter life in the year 1865, when but twenty-one years 
of age. 

In the year 1868 Mr. Steele sold the home farm to his 
son Charles, who still f>wns it, and moved to a small farm 
about two miles from Whitewater. Here they remained but 
a few years, finally coming to Whitewater to the home on 
Highland Street, where they lived together until the year 
1885. when Mr. Steele entered into rest. Since then 
Mrs. Steele has lived in this home with her youngest daugh- 
ter, Anna, where, as the infirmities of years increased, she 
has been tcn<Ierly cared for until on the morning of February 
10 rclca«.c came early and painlessly, and she left those who 
love her here to join the many who love her there. 

Mrs. Steele was of a happy, cheerful disposition, and kei>t 
an interest in nil that was happening, not only in her own 
locality hut in the great worbj itself, lentil the last weeks 
of her life she read the papers and was always anxious for 
their cominK, that she might know of the world's doings. 


She was converted when a girl of sixteen and has been far 
nearly seventy years a faithful member of the Methodist 
church. Her religion was never obtrusive, but always posi- 
tive and practical, and her great joy was the church and 
its services, where she was to be found as long as it was 
possible for her to get there. She will be missed by the 
church, as well as by the circle of neighbors and friends, 
some of whom are friends of a lifetime and who will remem- 
ber always the kindly words and deeds which have made 
Grandma Steele so greatly beloved. Hands of sons and 
grandsons laid her gently to rest on the afternoon of February 
12 by the side of husband, daughter and the father and 
mother who so long ago preceded her to the better land ; 
and as long as they live children and grandchildren shall 
rise up and call her blessed. 

"The change has come and mother sleeps- — 

Not sleeps ; but wakes to greater deeps 

Of wisdom, glory, truth and light. 

Than ever blessed her seeking sight 

In this low, long, lethargic night — 
Worn out with strife 
Which men call life." 



I. Solomon Spencer, born June 13, 1834, Madrid, St. 
Lawrence County. N. Y. 

2. Sarah L., born Feb. ist, 1836, IMadrid, N. Y. 

3. Ch.\rles W., born July 6th, 18.38, Madrid, N. Y. 

4. George W., born Feb. i6th. 1841, Chili, Monroe County, 

N. Y. 

5. Mercy R., born Feb. 15th, 1844, Koshkonong, Wis. Died 

Dec. 5th, 1865, Lima, Wis. 

6. Andrew J., born July 2nd, 1846, Koshkonong, Wis. 

7. A son, born March i8th, 1848. Died the same day. 


8. Anna B.. born Feb. 71b, 1850. Kosbkonong, Wis. 

9. Frank Pierce, born .\ug. 25tb, 1852. Kosbkonong, Wis. 

I. S. Spencer Steele" (Sainuci;^ Samuel * Samuel,^ 

Thomas,- Thomas^), born June I3tli, i8^v^ 
at Madrid, N. Y. Teacher; ^L E. minister, retir- 
ed; architect and builder. Resides at Whitewater, 
Wis. Married .\iig. 25tli. 1862, Emma A. Ranney, 
born May 13th, 1838, daughter of Daniel and 
Fidelia H. (Sawyer) Ranney. 

Children : 

1. Clara Jej^tina." bom July 6ih, 1864; resides, 
Whitewater, Wis. 

2. Atley George.^ bom July 23rd, 1866. Died Feb. 
4th, 1869. 

3. EvrjiETT Ranney,'' bom June 23rd. 1868. Painter 
and Decorator. Resides, Whitewater. Wis. 

4. Nelliv Bridce.^ bom December 3rd, 187 1. ^L•lr- 
ried Sept. 12th. 1897, James W. Bower. Resides, 
Chicago, 111. 

5. Olive Ha.milton," born Nov. 27, iSSo. Resides 
Whitewater, Wis. 

II. Sakaii L. Steele"- Hamilton iSamut'l.'^ Samuel,* 

Samut'l,^ Thomas,' 'I'homas^), born Feb., 
1836. Madrid. X. Y. Married at Lima. Wis., Mar. 
5, 1856. Oscar T. Hamilton, born May 4. 1830, son 
of Thomas and Sarah (Armstrong) Mamiltdn of 
(»roton, i\. \'. He was a famicr and teacher and 
a justice of ihc peace of Whitewater, Wis. He 
died Nov. 10, n>X). They had four chihiren. all 
born at NN'hilcwaicr, Wis. 

Children : 

I. Ella Afr.fSTA.' born JaiL 20, 1857. Gra(hiate of 
State Normal School, Whitewater, Wis. Teacher. 
Librarian of Wliitcwatcr Public Library. 


2. Jessie Belle/ born July 3, 1863. Died Aug 20, 

3. Thomas Samuel/ born April 4, 1867. Died May 
12, 1870. 

4. Herbert Oscar/ born April 14, 1872. Attorney at 
law, Whitewater. Wis. District Attorney, Walworth 
Co., 1898-9. Alarried Oct. 6, 1897, Mary Lottie 
Wheeler of Whitewater, born May 4, 1873, daughter 
of Isaac U. and Sarah (Vincent) Wheeler. 

Their children are: 
Laura, born July 8, i8g8. 
Herbert Oscar, born Aug. 26, 1899. 

III. Charles W. Steele'' {Samuel,^ Samuel,'*^ Samuel,^ 

Tliuniasr Thomas'^), born July 6, 1838, Madrid, 
N. Y. Farmer and merchant, retired. Served 
through war, 1861 to 1865. Capt. Co. A. 4th Wis. 
Cav., Past Com. Curtice Post, G. A. R., and Past 
Jr. V. C. Dept., Wis. Resides, Whitewater, Wis. 
Married, first, Nov. 18, 1868, Jane A. Shove, of 
Waukau, Wis., daughter of Francis and Mary 
(Hallows) Shove, born Jany. 2, 1847. Died Sept. 
19, 1886. He married, second, Sept. 6th, 1898, 
Katherine Muck, born April 4, 1865, daughter of 
Adam and Elizabeth Muck of Jefiferson, Wis. 

Children by first wife; born, Lima, Wis.: 

1. Jessie Edna," born Nov. 2, 1869. Married Oct. 
29, 1894, to Herman Thayer, son of E. F. and Emma 
(Saxe)__ TBayer, of Whitewater, Wis. He died Nov. 

9, 1900. She resides, Whitewater, Wis. Kinder- 
garten teacher. Graduate. 

2. Morris Shove,'^ born ]\Ich. 29. 1872. Merchant. 
Resides. Berwyn, 111. 

3. Charles Wilmer,'^ born ]\Iay 12, 1876; died soon. 

IV. George W. Steele" {Samnelp Samuel,^ Samuel,^ 

Thomas r Thomas'^), bom at Chili, Monroe Co., 


N. v., Feb. 16, 1841. Attorney at I^w, U. S. Cir- 
cuit Court Commissioner. Mayor, city of White- 
water, i8gi-2. Served through war, iSOi to 1865. 
Capt. Co. K., 13 Wis. Inf. Author of Dcirdre, a 
voUmie of poems. .Member G. A. R. Married at 
Iowa Falls, la., Nov. 19, 1873, Mrs. IvOrissa (Cur- 
tis) Folsom, bom Dec. 31, 1843, at Hannibal, Os- 
wego Co., N. Y., daughter of William and Marj* 
(Sperry) Curtis. One child: Archer Benjamin,^ 
bom at Whitewater, Wis., July 15. 1877. Died 
Aug. 15, 1878. 

V. Mercy Rick Stkele" (Sannirt,^ Samuel* Samuel.^ 

Thomas,- Thomas^), born at Ko.shkonong. Wis., 
Feb. 15, 1844. Died Dec. 5. 1865. Of blessed 

VI. .Andkkw J. Steele" (Samuel.'' Samui-t* Samuel,^ 

Thomas.- Thomas'^), born at Koshkonong, Wis., 
July 2, 1846. Graduate of State N'omial School, 
Whitewater, Wis. President of LeMoyne Normal 
School, Memphis, Teiin. Served in war, 1864-5, 
Co. L.. 8 111. Cav. .Member, G. A. R. Adjutant 
Cenl. Dept. of Tennes.see. Married, first, .Amelia 
J. Crandall, of Milton, Wis., l)orn June 3. 1848. 
Separation decreed by Second Circuit Court, Mem- 
phis, Tenn., Jany. 3. l8(;g, for insanity of wife, ex- 
isting i)rior to marriage. He married, second, .Mice 
1". Harvey of Paw Paw, Mich., June 20, 1899. She 
was born Dec. 17. 1859, C^nmty Barry, .Mich. 

Chilclrcn by first wife; 

1. JisslK .'\.,^ born, .Memphis. Tenn., .Apr. 27. 1874. 
Died June 13, 1874. 

2. U«iv '■'■ ^ • 1 ' —i, Whitewater, Wis., Aug. 9, 1876. 
In 1 >iiK. Wash. 

Children l»y sccon<I wife: 

3. .'XRTllt'R llAKvrv ' liiiiu, Menniliis, Tinn , Iiiiii- 20. 


4. Eleanor Alice,' born, Bay View, Mich., July 24, 

VIL Anna B. Steele,'' {Saimiel,^ Samuel* Sam- 
uel,^ Thomas,'^ Thomas^), born, Koshkonong, Wis., 
Feb. 7, 1850. Resides, Whitewater, Wis. 

VIIL Frank Pierce Steele^ (Samuel,^ Samuel,-*^ Sam- 
uel,^ Thomas,^ Thomas'^), born, Koshkonong, Wis., 
Aug. 25, 1852. Photographic artist, retired. Re- 
sides, Whitewater, Wis. Married Apr. 19, 1878, 
Alma O. Masters, born June 24, 1859, Waterloo, 
Wis., daughter of Eschuylus and Sarah T. (Fitz) 

Children : 

1. AIabel Hamilton," born Calumet, INIich., Aug. 24, 
1881 ; married Nov. 22, 1899, to Joseph Miller of 
Chicago, 111. ; now of Whitewater, Wis. 

2. George Warren,'^ born Blue Hill. Neb., Sept. 23, 
1884. Died Whitewater, Wis., Sept. 8, 1902. 

3. Lois Fitz,^ born Blue Hill, Neb., Oct. 16, 1885. 
Died Jany. 4. 1902. 

4. Prince Albert,'^ born Blue Hill, Neb., Dec. 6, 1888. 

5. Eugene,' born Apr. 23, 1892. 


He was born in Pittsford, Vt., about 1814. Came west 
about 1841, first to Mich., where he was married, about 1842, 
to Arabella Locke. They removed to Wis. about 1845, set- 
tling on a farm some four miles south of Ft. Atkinson, one- 
half mile east of the River Road. Later, he removed to 
Ft. Atkinson, where he resided until a few years before his 
death, when he went to join his children in Oregon. He 
died at Island City, Oregon, 1893. Wife died at Ft. Atkin- 
son, Wis., 1875. 


Children : 

1. Sarah,"* born Apr. 30, 1843. Died .May 3rd, 1848. 

2. Hattie Maria," boni in the town of Koslikonung, 
Wis., Oct 26. 1845. She married Mch. 17, 1870, 
George Henry Pounder, of Ft. Atkinson, Wis., me- 
chanic and manufacturer. They resided at Ft. At- 
kinson. She died Aug. 16, 1873, leaving two chil- 
dren, flattie Belle Pounder, born Jany. 29, 1871 ; 
George Pounder, born June 25, 1873. Died Aug. 23, 
1873. Their daughter Hattie Belle was married Sept. 
14, 1893. to Henrj- Southworth Royce, of Ft. Atkin- 
son, Wis., now a prominent business man of Tacoma, 
Wash. They have two children: Byron Pounder 
Royce, born Sept. 28, 1894, and Ilarriettc .\nn Royce, 
born June 14, 1896. Mr. Pounder subsequently mar- 
ried Miss .^nn Haight, daughter of Hon. and Mrs. 
John T. Haiyht, prominent among the earliest set- 
tlers of South Koshkonong. 

3. Edwapd F." born Sept. 6, 1848; died Mch. 6. 1851. 

4. CnARi.ES M." born Aug. 3, 1850; died Jany. 3. 1854. 

5. F.o born Mch. 3, 1855; died Mch. 30, 1855. 

6. .Martha G." born July, 1857; died Sept. 20, 1858. 

7. Geokoe R.** born Dec. 9, 1863; died Se|)t. 14. 1865. 
Three children of Timothy'^ and And)ella (Locke) 

Steele are now living : 
Mrs. Ann Ei.iza" Henry, widow of Edw. Henry. One 

child. .Mabel. 
Iha' Steele, of Ft. Atkinson. Wis 
Sami'EI.' Steele, of Spokane, Wasli. 

The fa!--'- ■- ■iiie, Steele, is said by Bardsley, in his I')ic- 
tifJiiary > '■ -h and Welsh Surnames, to be of Scandi- 

navian origin and ihc same as the Danish Staal, and Ice- 
landic Stal. He finds it appearing first in ihe year 1275. "" 
ll,' ' coast of England, where it probably came from 


The original spelling was Steel, without the final e, and 
that is the correct form in our family, as it appears in all 
the earlier names, and as our father, Samuel, often said. 
The final e, seems to have been very generally adopted by 
those of the name, though the Scotch family, of Selkirk, still 
retains the original form. 

Edmund Rice^ came to Mass. in 1638 or 1639, from Berk- 
hampstead, England, and settled in Sudbury, Mass. (N. E. 
Register, 53-35C). ) On page 383 of "Pioneers of Mass.," it 
is said that he was Deputy from Sudbury in 1643, that his 
first wife's name was Tamazine (given in Savage as Thomas- 
ine), and that she died June 13, 1654, and he was remarried 
Alch. 1st, 1655, to Mercy Brigham. He died May 3rd, 1663, 
at Marlboro, Mass. He had eleven children. Reference is 
had to Paige's History of Hardwick for a genealogy of fils 
family, which was a prominent and influential one in that 
part of Mass. His third son, Thomas, 2 lived at Marlboro, 
and his wife's name was Mary. Their son, Thomas/ 
was born June 30, 1654. His first wife died soon, and he 
married his cousin, Anna Rice, who was mother of his chil- 
dren. Their son Charles* was born July 7, 1684, and mar- 
ried Rachel Wheeler of Marlboro, Apr. 26. 171 1. Solomon/ 
born Sept. i, 1713; wife's name Anna. He removed from 
Westbury to Hardwick in 1749; was a soldier in the French 
war, 1757; "^'^d Mch. 11, 1802. His son, Antipas," was born 
1744; married Oct. 27, 1774, Thankful Rider, and died Feb. 
10, 1802. He was First Lieut, in Capt. Warner's Company 
of Mass. militia in Hardwick, 1783. His fifth child. Mercy/ 
born about 1782, married about 1803. Samuel* Steele, and 
died at Pittsford, Vt., Dec. 26, 1867. Her mother, Thankful 
Rider Rice, is believed to have been a descendant of Capt. 
Samuel^ Rider of Yarmouth, 1643, and Sarah Bartlett, his 
wife, through Samuel^ Rider and Lydia Tilden, Samuel' 


RiUKR and Rebecca W'inslow, ilic last named being a de- 
scendant of IVter Worden of Yarmouth and Kenelm Wins- 
low, a brother of Gov. Edw. Winslow. 




I. C.MT. MicHAKi. PiEPCE. the first of the family in this 
country, was born about 1615, probably in London, Eng. He 
had a brother. Capt. William Pierce, of London, and later of 
Boston, who was "one of the most active shipmasters of the 
time of the Pilgrims, and brought over many of the Puritan 
Settlers." Capt. \\'illiam Pierce, who seems to be identical 
with the above, had a grant of 1700 acres of land near 
Mulberry Island, Virginia, which he colonized l>cfore 1624, 
bringing over a large retinue of servants, workmen, animals, 
etc. He commanded the ships Lion, Desire, and other noted 
vessels; also in 1639 published an Almanac for New England. 
From 1620 to 1634 his home seems to have been in Virginia, 
where he was granted, at different times, several thousand acres 
of land near the James River. He was a magistrate and 
member of the C(»imcil of the Colony of Virginia. His wife's 
name was Joan. Their daughter Jane, after the death of 
Pocahontas, married her surviving husband. John Rolfe. 
(U'aters' "Cienfral Gleanings in England.") .About 1634, 
Capt William seems to have removed to Boston, but con- 
tinued to follow the seas. He is said by Winthrop to have 
been killed at the Bahama Islands in 1641. 

Michael Pierce, with his family, came over in 1645. The 
ancestry of ihr brothi-rs is not known. .Michael went, first, 
to Hinghatn, Mass., but soon settled in Scituate, Mass 
Whether he had previously had a military' record is not known, 
but he soon became an oflTicer, and at one time served as an 
Ensign under Capt. Myles Standish. In iCrfu) he was made 
Captain, anci had command of the forces in that part of the 
Province. He was active in of the settlements 
against the Indiana, and in many public services. Deane's 


History of Scituate says of him : "Capt. MicHael has left 
evidence on record in the town of his usefuhiess in public 
affairs, but his memory is to be forever honored for the 
brave manner in which he fell in defense of his country." 
This was in King Phillip's War. He was engaged in the 
Narragansett fight in Dec. 1675. In the following spring the 
Indians invaded that part of the colony in force, killing and 
burning. Capt. Pierce went out against them, having 63 
white men and some 20 friendly Indians. In the direction of 
Rehoboth he met some of the hostiles and drove them back, 
and next morning, ]\Iarch 26, 1676, renewed the fight, since 
known in history as Pierce's Eight, or the Battle of the Plain. 
The Indians were not supposed to be in great force, but as 
the fight progressed. Pierce fonnd he was overmatched, and 
sent for reinforcements. The message was delayed, it is said, 
by the stupidity of the bearer, who waited for church serv- 
ices to close before delivering it. Probably any available help 
would have been insufficient. The Indians are said to have 
brought ten or twelve hundred warriors into the fight, under 
the command of Canonchet, their greatest fighting chief; and 
Pierce, seeing the desperate nature of the conflict, and that it 
was a fight to the death or a disastrous rout, formed his 
remaining men in a circle and stood his ground, fighting until 
all were slain. The enemy also lost heavily — about 140, it 
is said- — but carried off their dead and wounded. The 
friendly Indians with Pierce, some 20 in number, fought well, 
and many were killed. 

Out of 63 whites in the Company 52, or, according to some 
accounts, 55 were killed. Such of their names as have been 
preserved are here given as worthy of perpetual remembrance : 

From Scituate — Capt. Michael Pierce, John Lathrop, Thomas 
Savery, Jeremiah Barstow, Joseph Perry, Samuel Russell, 
Gershom Dodson, Joseph Wade, John Ensign, John Rowse, 
Benjamin Chittenden, Samuel Pratt, William Wilcome, 
Joseph Cowen. 

From MansHcld—Thos. Little, John Burrows, John Low, 

John Eams, Joseph Phillips, More , Joseph White, Saml. 

Bump, John Brance. 



Frotii Duxbury — John Sprapuc. Henj. Ton I, Josluia Forbes, 
Tlios. Hunt. 

From Sandxi'icli—Bcn'). Nye, John Gibhs. Daniel Bessey, 
Caleb Blake, Stephen Wing. 

Prom Barnstable — Lieutenant Samuel Fuller. Samuel Lin- 
nett, John Lewis, Samuel Childs, Eleazcr Clapp, Samuel 

From Yarmouth — John Matthew;^, John Cage, Henry Gage, 
\Vm. Gage. Henry Gold. 

From Fastham — Joseph Nesscfield, John Walker, John 
M . 

From Rchoboth — John Fitts, Jr.. John Miller. Jr. 

The list was preserved by Rev. Noah Newman of Rcho- 
both. who gave an early and full account of the disaster. 

The name of Capt. Michael Pierce's first wife, who was 
the mother, probably, of all his children, was long unknown. 
Liite researches show that she was a daughter of .-Xnthony 
F.ames or F.mmes. who came to Charlestown in 1634. ^^'•1^ 
made Freeman, i6.v, and lived in Hingham and Marshficld. 
He was a representative to the General Court. 1653 to 1661, 
and a Lieut, in the military forces. Mrs. Pierce's given name 
is net known. Her death is recorded in the journal of Rev. 
Peter Hobart : '•Dec. 31st, 1662, Michacll Perce's wife dyed." 
(New England Hist, and Gen. Reg.. ny02. page 409.) He 
afterwards married Mrs. .Annah James, who survived Iiim. 
He lud ten children. For an account of liis descendants in 
general, reference is had to the Pierce Family Genealogj- by 
Frederick C. Pierce. 

IF. His fourth child. F.phriam- {Michael^), born about 
1650, married Hannah Holhrook, daughter of Capt. John 
an«l I''li/al»eth (or Sarah) Ilolbrook of Weymouth. .Mass. He 
lived at Rehol)oih and Swansea, Mass., and the neighboring 
settlement of Provi<lence, Rhmle Island. 

In \('77, be lioujjht (^ acres in Providence. In i(i88 he 
was constable. It is recorded that in ifKji, he and his wife 
had "a diflfercncc." and he gave notice that he had been 
"over pcrsuatied" to sign an agreement which might give 
hrr the disposal of his estate, and he forl)ids the same. 


It does not appear to have been a very serious difference, 
as they continued to live together, and to buy and sell prop- 
erty together. Two years later, in the year 1693, they sold 
out in Providence, and removed to the neighboring town of 
Swansea, Mass. 

In the History of Barrington, by Bicknell, page 594. it is 
said that Ephraim Pierce of Swansea was, in 1700 to 1705, and 
in 1709-1710 and 1713, Representative to the Great and Gen- 
eral Court of Massachusetts Bay Province; but whether this 
was Ephriam^ or his son Ephriam." then past 26 years of 
age, is not known. It was, undoubtedly, one or the other. 

Ephraim- died Sept. 14. 1719, and his wife died the same 
year. The inventory of his personal estate was £198, 5s,. in- 
cluding "one negro woman and child, £50." 

III. His second son, Ephraim.^ (Ephraim^ Michael^) was 
born 1674, and lived at Rehoboth and Swansea, Mass. He 
married, April 16, 1692, ^lary Low, daughter of John and 
J^Iarv (Rhodes) Low. Her father. John Low, was a son of 
Anthony, who was a son of John Low of Boston, wheelwnght, 
who died in 1653. John Low, her father, is believed to be 
the same who fell in Pierce's fight. Her mother was a 
daughter of Zachariah and Joanna (Arnold) Rhodes. 

EphrtamS is said to have died at Gloucester, R. L, in 177^. 
ninety-eight years of age. 

IV His son ^IiAL* (Ephraim^ Ephraim:^ Michael was 
born April 24, 1693, and married Judith Ellis, who was born 
1686, and died Oct. 6, 1744- She is said, in "Pierce Families, 
to have been "daughter of Judge Ellis." Her father was un- 
doubtedly Thomas Ellis of Medfield, who is said by Savage to 
have married Mary, daughter of Thomas Wight, of Dedham, 
and had a daughter called Juda in her grandfathers will. 
Thomas Ellis is thought to have come from Wrentham, Eng., 
where the record of his baptism appears Dec. 13, 1629- 
(Savage 2- 114.) 

MiAL* was a deacon in the Baptist church, and lived at 
Warwick, R. L. and Swansea and Rehoboth, :^Iass. He died 
Oct. 24, 1786, being then 93 years old. 


\' His son, Nathan! (Mial* F.phraim,^ Ephraim.^ 
Micltaein. was born Feb. 21. 1716. He was a Baptist min- 
ister, and preached for forty years in one church, known as 
Pierce's meeting house. Bliss, in his History of Rehoboth, 
says Pierce's church was in the southeast part of the town 
of Rehoboth, and was founded by some thirty persons from 
the Second Baptist church in Swansea. Daniel Martin was 
the first pastor, and Pierce was soon after ordained with him 
and succeeded him. 

Rev. Nathan'^ was married Oct. -6. 17^). to I.ydia Martin, 
bom July 17. 1716, daughter of Ephraim and Thankful (Bul- 
lock) Martin. Bicknell's History of Barrington. R. I., says 
the Martins "held a high rank among the families of Barring- 
ton, and descended from John Martin, son of Richard, who 
settled in Swansea in 1668." They were from Swansea, in 
Wales. Lydia is said to have been "a remarkably smart 
woman; of short stature, round face and black eyes; noted 
for learning and for tlTb as.sistance she gave her husband." 
It is .said he had a preference for spelling his name Perce, 
hut she spelled it Pierce. This notion of Elder Nathan's may 
explain why our grandfather, Benjamin Pierce, used to say 
the name ought to be spelled Perce. His grandmother, Lydia, 
knew better. Some of Rev. Nathan's desccncbnts, however.' 
have taken the name Perce. Rev. Nathan died April 19. l"')-', 
and it is recorded that his son. Preserved, succeeded him in 
the ministry. His widow. Lydia. died Dec. 21. 1796. Tliey 
had fifteen children. 

VI. HkzEkiah* (Nalhati:- Srial,* Ilphraim,'' I'.phraiui.- 
Stichaet^). was the eighth child, and was Inirn Jan. 25. 1755. 
He married, about 1777. Fhebe Tibl)its. born in Warwick. R. 
I.. Feb 10. 1761, daughter of John and Waite (Brown) Tib- 
bitK. whose pedigree is given later herein. Tlir e.xaci date 
and place of njarriage is n«.t known. They lived in Cheshire, 
Berkshire Co., .Mass . in 1778. In 1780 he was a Revolutionary 
soldier, a cori>oral in the l^incsboro Company of Capt. Daniel 
Brown. Col. Benjamin Simonds' reginH-nt. of Massachusetts. 
He may also have served earlier with the Green Mountain 


Boys, as his older brother, Nathan Pierce, also of Cheshire. 
was a Captain in Col. Seth Warner's regiment, in the expedi- 
tion to Canada in 1776. 

The military record of Capt. Nathan Pierce is a pathetic 
one and is given briefly as follows: "In Feb., 1776. had 
left with his company for Montreal. Feb. 19, ordered to 
Quebec, arriving 26th, all except two sick with smallpox, he 
havine partially recovered. May 4th, 1776, before Quebec. 
Capt. Pierce reported sick. Died May 19th, 1776, on the Island 
of Three Sisters, near Quebec." Some faint echo of this 
disastrous winter campaign may have found expression in a 
song grandfather Benjamin Pierce used to sing, to the tune 
of "Barbara Allen," beginning: 

"We are marching forward toward Quebec, 
And the British have retreated." 
On Aug. 16, 1776, a deed of lands in pursuance of a contract 
with Capt. Nathan Pierce, was given by John Tibbits of 
Lanesboro, to the widow, Sarah (Davis) Pierce, and children, 
Nathan, Lydia and Cromwell, then very young. The widow 
afterward married Nathan Herndeen. 

In the published records of Revolutionary soldiers of Massa- 
chusetts, in a list of names of men stationed at New^ York 
and White Plains, for five months, and discharged Dec. ist, 
1776, the name of Hezekiah Pierce appears, as a private m 
Capt. Nathaniel Carpenter's Company, Col. Simeon Cary's 
Regiment, Gen. John Fellows' brigade. It is believed that this 
was our ancestor, who wonld then have been 21 years old, 
but I have no present means of verifying this belief. 

Hezekiah may have lived for a time in Vermont, as there 
appears in a history of the town of Woodford, Bennington 
Co., Vt., which is not far from Cheshire, Mass., a statement 
that on March loth, 1792. Hezekiah Pierce, with others, took 
the Freeman's oath at town meeting. (Vt. Hist. Mag. I-248.) 
He removed, in 1801, to Lisbon, St. Lawrence Co., N. ¥., 
along with his father-in-law, John Tibbits, and brothers-in-law 
Wesson Briggs and John Tibbits, Jr. Here he built a house, 
"the largest in the town," which is still standing, and known 
as "the big house." 


Acconiing ,o ,he recollccfion of Mrs. Julia Pierce H,.u.e of Hezekiah. he lived in Lisbon nnlil his 
death and was buried in a family vault there, with his wife, 
who had d,ed before him. Our mother's recollection was that 
he removed to Schenectady before his death. The onlv account 
of He/ek.ah given in the "Pierce Family Genealogi-" i^ the 

Iron, R !"?'\'"^V ''''""'"' "^'' '^^ '■^'"^^'^d to Vermont 
from Rehoboth. Mass., where his father, Rev. Xathan Pierce 
lived and died. Cheshire. Mass.. where he .settled, is near the 
Vennont Ime. It seems to have been settled largeiv by 
former residents of Rehoboth. Mass., and parts of Rhode 
I<^ and. adjommg:. among whom were his father-in-law. John 
T.bbus. and the Brown families; Mrs. Tibbits l>eing a Brown 
The mterruption and loss of family, church and public records 
common to most families of the time of the Revolutionary 
\Nar. has made it difficult, if not impossible, to fully ,race 
the history or the family of He.ekiah. His son Beniamin. our 
grandfather, was the eldest child. Through the kindness of 
Mar>' A. of the N. Y. Historical Library, of whom I 
was makmg .nquiries. I learned of another descendant, who 
was also mqu.ring in regard to the satne matter, and was 
placed m communication with her. She is Mrs J -.ura T 
Arkm.s of Denver. Colo. From her I learn that she is' a great 
Pranddaughter of He.ekiah Pierce, her father. Elisha Pierce 
bemg a son of Ontario Pierce, the youngest son of He.ekiah' 
Her family pedigree is given l>elow. Her aunt. Clarissa Pierce 
Stanley, now living in Oregon, was named after ot,r grand- 
nK.ther, Clarissa (Spencer) Pierce. 

H^.w many children Hezekiah had is not known. There 
were at least two daughters, one of whom marrie.l W'm 
Bnggs. and one married J.-hn Sny.ler of Lisl..n. whose two 
sons. Cornell Snyder and Washington Snvder. came in Wis- 
consin. a,rncl| Snyder's chiMren were Charlotte. William 
Emma and Ccorgiana. Souk- of the Briggs family also came 
to \<.ns,n. but their present residence is not known 

In .80,. when the Tibbits. Pierce au<l Briggs fau,ilies re- 
moved to Si. Liwrence county. N. Y.. that region was a 
w.Mcrnes,. John Tibbits. in 17.A ha.l bought of Alexander 


McComb 9500 acres of land there, and from this, in 1801, the 
town of Lisbon was formed, on petition of our grandfather, 
Benjamin Pierce, and others. It is related in the "History 
of St. Lawrence County" that John Tibbitts, Sr., and his 
son-in-law. Wesson Briggs, with their families and goods, 
came to Lisbon from Schenectady by boat, by way of Mohawk 
River, Indian Creek, Oswego River and Lake Ontario, and 
that they were five weeks in making this journey. The same 
authority says that the new settlers suffered many hard- 
ships, and were greatly assisted by neighbors across the 
river, in Canada, who had come there from New England, 
during the Revolutionary War. The marriage of Grandfather 
Benjamin Pierce to Clarissa Spencer was, no doubt, one of 
the moving causes in this. 

Benjamin had, probably, come to that section some time 
before the others, as he was married to Clarissa Spencer in 
October, 1800. The Spencers and Wrights were settled at 
Johnstown and Spencerville, Canada, just across the St. 
Lawrence River from Lisbon, and being well to do, were able 
to be of material assistance to their old neighbors from 
Rhode Island and :\rassachusetts. It is probable that Heze- 
kiah lived some years after 1829, as Mrs. Julia Pierce House, 
the granddaughter above named, who was born in that year, 
remembers him well. The date of his death is not known. 

VII. His son, Benjamin"^ (Hc::ckialiS' Nathan.'^ Mial,^ 
Ephraim,^ Bprhaim,^ Michael^), was born in Cheshire, Berk- 
shire county, Mass., Nov. 5, 1778; married Oct. 12, 1800, at 
Johnstown, Canada, Clarissa Spencer; born April 16, 1785, 
daughter of Peleg and Sarah (Wright) Spencer, both of 
New England ancestry. Their family pedigrees are given 
later herein. Benjamin engaged in the milling business, also 
farming. His mill burned down, and they later removed 
with their daughter, Olive (Pierce) Steele, to Koshkonong, 
Jefferson Co., Wis., where he died Nov. 4, 1849, and his wife 
died :\Iarch 11, 1854. Both are buried in South Koshkonong 

VIII. Olh'E^ {Benjamin,'' Hesekiah,^ Nathan,^ Mial,'^ Eph- 


raim,^ Ephriiim,- Michafl^), born January i, 1816; married 
St'pt. 22, 1833, at Lislx)n, N. Y., Samuel Steele. She died 
Feb. 10, 1902, at Whitewater, Wis. 


Prepared by Mrs. Laura J. .\rkins. 

Ontario^ Pikrce (Hccckiah,*^ Nathan.'- Mial* EpUraim,^ 
Ephraim,- Michael^), youngest son of Hczckiali^ Pierce, b. 
1798, Schenectady, N. Y. When a babe, his father, Hezekiah, 
moved to Lisbon, and when he came to Lake Ontario, was 
so impressed that he named the child Ontario. Ontario mar- 
ried Jane Toune, of Albany, X. Y. They lived on a farm 
belonging to .Aaron Burr, near Ogdensburg, where all of 
their children were born. 

Elisha" Pierce (Ontario,'' Hccehiah.^ Nathan,^ Mial,* 
Eplvaim,^ Ephraim,- Michael^), eldest son of Ontario;'' 
b. July I, 1820; m. Sarah Ricker, Nov. 22, 1S40. Elisha died, 
1849, at Cleveland, Ohio, of cholera. His widow died at 
Benton Harbor. Mich., Nov. 28, if)Oi. 

Their children were : 

1. William," b. /Vug. \(\ 1841 ; <i.. Cleveland. Ohio, 
July 22, 1845. 

2. r,|.;(iRc,E,o b. at Cleveland, Oct. 22, 1842; d. .May 30, 

3. Lalka Ja.vk," b. C)ct. lU, 1X45, Cleveland. Ohio; m. 
Josepli Arkins, June 29, 18^)4, Chicago, 111. Joseph 
y\rkiiis died Feb. 25. 1883. 

4. Loiisa L.." b. Nov. 22. 1847: m. John .'\rkins, May 
28, 1867, at Chicago. III. Jose|)h and John were 

5. Jfi.iA Ann," b. Apr. 13. 1848. at Cleveland. Ohio; 
m. Capt. T. .Milch«-ll, at Chicago, 111. Julia died at 
Benton Harbor, Micli.. 1890. 



I. Francis Joseph Arkins,, born April 2, 1866, in St. 
Louis, Mo., learned the printer's trade, and worked as journey- 
man in Denver, Colorado, and later became a reporter on 
the Rocky Mountain News, being advanced to an executive 
position, and for several years was telegraph editor of that 
publication. August 13, 1897, went to Cripple Creek, Colo., 
where he assumed the editorship of the Morning Times, in 
which capacity he served for five years, where he entered 
politics, and gained a state-wide reputation for fearlessness 
in waging incessant warfare on the gambling fraternity, never 
ceasing efforts in this direction until gambling in all froms 
was completely suppressed, his work being carried on in 
the face of threats as to his personal safety through violence. 
In 1902, he went on an important mining mission to Old Mex- 
ico, and in November of the same year became editor of 
a technical mining publication, known as Ores and Metals, at 
Denver, Colo. 

In religious matters, Francis Joseph followed in the foot- 
steps of his ancestors, many of whom were Baptist min- 
isters, being baptized and joining the First Baptist Church 
of Denver. Colo., before the age of twenty. He married 
Winona Juanita Silversparre, in Chicago, III, July 19, 1894, 
and their children, Carol and Lucille, were born, respectively, 
April 14, 189s, and Feb. 5, 1897, in Denver, Colo. 

II. William jMaurice Arkins, born July 16, 1868, in 
Chicago, 111. William received a liberal education in tlie 
public schools of Chicago and Denver, Colo., and later at- 
tended St. Francis College near Milwaukee, Wis., where he 
was baptized in the Catholic faith and joined the church of 
that denomination. Was associated with his brother Francis, 
in Cripple Creek, in the capacity of mining editor of the 
Morning Times, engaging later in general newspaper work. 
Married Estelle Lewis. Cripple Creek, Colo., October 7, 1903, 
making Cripple Creek their residence. 


III. Charles Thomas Arkins, born Dec i8, 1870, in New 
Orelans, La. Educated in Denver public schools; afterwards 
was in the service of the Denver, Texas and Fort Worth 
railroad as locomotive fireman, resigning to engage in the 
L'tc Indian War in tin- western part of Colorado, going to 
the front as a private in Troop C, First Colorado Cavalry. 
Later took a full four years' course at the Colorado School 
of Mines, leaving that institution in 1897 to engage in active 
practice as a mining engineer and metallurgist, becoming 
identified quite prominently in the management of metal- 
lurgical plants for the treatment of ores in California, Colo- 
rado, South Dakota, Missouri and elsewhere. Was superin- 
tendent for the Federal Lead Company, one of the largest 
and most important enterprises in the lead mining indu>ir>' 
in the world, situated in Missouri. Also served in the Re- 
public of Mexico as metallurgical expert for a large manu- 
facturing company of mining and metallurgical machinery. 
At <<ne time was County Surveyor of JefTerson County, Colo. 
Married Margaret Tilton Shaw of Louisville, Kentucky, at 
Denver, October J7, iQoo. In 1904, in company with his wife, 
sailed from San Francisco for Western Australia, whither 
he went at the call of the Golden Horseshoe Mining Estates 
Company, Limited, to act in the advisory capacity of metal- 
lurgical engineer, at the conclusion of which engagement he 
sailed for Europe by way of Ceylon, Suez Canal, and Naples. 
After extensive travel through Italy an<I France he entered 
the service of the Broken Hill Proprietary Comp.'iny, Limited, 
(owners «if tlic largest silver producing mines in the world, 
situated in Australia), attaining distinction as an expert metal- 
lurgist before the King's Hench of the Royal Courts of 
Justice, London, subsequently com|)leling the journey around 
the world, resuming metallurgical practice in the United 

Is a Master Mason, also Royal .'\rch Mason, belonging .it 
Coldcn, Colorarlo, as well as a member of the Scottish Rite 
Masonic bodies of the Valley of Denver, where he received 
the thirty-second degree. 


IV. Gr,\ce Arkins, born October 6, 1S73, in Chicago, III. 
Was raised and educated in Denver, Colo., where she achieved 
great popularity through her charmingly sweet manners and 
her talent as an elocutionist and pianist. Is a writer of con- 
siderable ability, though too modest to follow that line. Is 
the only niece of the late lamented John Arkins. Married 
Joseph Bryan Page, a Virginian, at Denver, Colo. 

Mr. Page is a chemist and assayer of high merit, and is 
a cousin of Thomas Nelson Page, the author, and a descend- 
ant of John Randolph, of Roanoke, also of General Nelson 
Page, the hero of Yorktown ; also of Thomas Nelson, signer 
of Declaration of Independence Is a son of Dr. John Ran- 
dolph Page, late of the faculty of the University of Virginia, 
where Joseph received his education. Resides at Victor, Colo. 

V. Harry Arkins, born September 3, 1880, in Chicago, 
III, died February 22,, 1883, in Denver, Colo. 


Louisa L.'' Pierce, daughter of Elisha^ Pierce, married John 
Arkins, May, 1867. in Chicago, 111. Two children, Edwin 
George, married Abigail Parkhurst, December, 1903. and re- 
sides in New York City, N. Y., and Clarence, died in infancy. 

The following sketch of John Arkins is taken from news- 
paper notices at the time of his death. "John Arkins was 
born at Cumberland, ]\Id., in 1842, Feb. 14, the family re- 
moving later to Redwing, Minn., where John learned the 
printer's trade, and at the outbreak of the war of the rebel- 
lion, enlisted in Company A., Fifth Minn. Infantry, of which 
company his brother William was captain. He stood the fire 
of many a hot engagement, among them being the battles 
of Shiloh, Vicksburg, and others, concluding his career as 
a soldier after the battle of Nashville, before which time 
he was promoted to the rank of first sergeant ; altogether, 
braving the hardships and dangers of twenty-one battles, 
emerging untouched by lead. The experience gained in the 


army loaned siicfi strength to his character as to make his 
subsequent courage ahiiost reckless in its aggressiveness. He 
went to Colorado in 1873, where he pursued his trade as 
printer, serving usually as a foreinan. When the e.xcite- 
ment attendant with the discovery of ore in Leadville became 
feverish, he migrated to the city of the clouds, where he, 
in company with two other gentlemen, established the Even- 
ing Chronicle, and soon after, his ability as an editor won 
him state-wide fame. Later he sold the Chronicle and pur- 
chased an interest in the Rocky Mountain News of Denver, 
in 1880, assuming the editorship of this paper, in which he 
soon attained a national reputation. 

His eflforts promoted the interests of the publication to 
the extent that it became one of the most potent factors 
in the upbuilding of the vast west, ever moulding public 
opinion in the interests of civilization. In collaboration with 
others, he was instrumental in bringing together the first bi- 
metallic convention in the interest of the free coining of 
silver. He was soon acknowledged a political leader of note, 
being at the head and front of everj'thing Democratic. His 
character is thus summarized in a recent sketch : As a friend 
he was warm-hearted and faithful — as an enemy he was hot- 
heatk'd and aggressive — but always ready to acknowledge his 
faults and forgive the faults of others. As a companion he 
was convivial, entertaining, jovial and generous, loveil by 
his friends and feared by his enemies, respected by his as- 
sociates, and popular with the people. As an editorial writer, 
he was practical, strong, fearless and forceful, autocratic and 
successful. As a journalist, he was recognized throughout 
the country as a man of talent and excellent business saga- 
city. He used the coliunns f>f his journal without fear or 
favor in battling with the transgressors of the law, and 
especially the saloon clement, which insisted on conducting 
bp«iiness contrary to law, and lived to view with salisfartion 
1' ' idid results of his efTort*^ in this direction. He died 

1: ' r, .August 18, iS<xj. Ijis funeral being the largi-st 

ever known in Colf)rado; tluuisands of people, and all the 
I' ' ' ■ ■ ' Hare he had earnestly striven 

t' •, the ministers being overcome 


with sorrow and emotion during the several eulogies de- 
livered, while the floral contributions reflected the high 
esteem in which he was held by the people at large. 
His funeral was conducted under the auspices of the Grand 
Army of the Republic. He acquired the title of Colonel 
through his connection with the governor's staff, and did 
much to promote the interests of the National Guard. He 
was survived by his wife and son, to whom he bequeathed 
a fortune. He had two brothers, Joseph, husband of Laura 
Jane (Pierce) Arkins, (sister of Louisa L. [Pierce] Arkins), 
and Maurice, with both of whom he was associated in the 
ownership of the News, together with U. S. Senator Thomas 
M. Paterson. Both of these brothers are deceased. 




I. Henry Tibbits, of Kingstown or Warwick, R. I., about 
1670; was constable, conservator of peace and deputy. He 
is said to have come from Warwickshire, Eng., and was 
among the earliest settlers of the western shore of Provi- 
dence Bay, his place being known as Tibbits" Point, and 
being in the town of Warwick. His wife was Mary Stanton, 
daughter of Robert and Avis Stanton. He died in 1713, 
she in 1708. 

II. HENRy2 (Henry'^), of Warwick; wife's name was Re- 
becca."^ He died Dec. 27, 1702, she died June 10, 17^2. 

III. Wiu.iAM" (Hcnryr Henry'^), born about i/OO, mar- 
ried April 26, 1736, Judith Pierce, born Oct. 21. 1720, daugh- 
ter of Dea. Mial and Judith (Ellis) Pierce, of Rehoboth. 

IV. John* (William,^ Henry,- Hcnry'^), born Sept. 25, 
^727, Warwick, R. I. ; married Jany. 7. 1760, Waite Brown, 
born 1741, daughter of Elisha and Patience (Edmunds) 
Brown of Warwick, and probably the descendant in the 5th 
generation, of Rev. Chad Brown of Providence in 1638, who 
was an Elder in First Baptist Church, and the successor 

>y^u- iu^..4A^^ 


of Roger Williams. John* Tibbits removed to Lanesboro, 
Berkshire Co., Mass., where they lived until 1780. when they 
are said to have removed to Lansingburgh, N. Y. This is 
doubtful, though their son George then went there. 

In 1801, according to the History of Rensselaer Co.. they 
removed with their son John to Lisbon, N. Y.. "where both 
father and son were prominent in the early history of the 
town." Their eldest son, George, was a prominent public man 
of northern New York, and became a member of Cortgress 
and Mayor of the city of Troy. 

John* died at Lisbon. 1817; Waile, his wife, died, 181 1. 
They had ten children, the oldest being : 

\'. PHIRF..5 bom at Warwick, R. 1.. Feb. 10. 1761 ; mar- 
ried about 1777, Hezckiah Pierce, (son of Rev. Nathan and 
Lydia). died at Lisbon, N. Y. \ 

It will be ob.scr\ed that Phebc Tibbits and Hezekiah Pierce 
were distant cousins; her grandmother, Judith, wife of Wil- 
liam Tibbits, being a daughter of MiaM Pierce, who was 
also He/ekiah's grandfather. 

Waite Brown, the mother of Phcbe, wris of one of the 
most noted families of Rhode Island, having large influence 
in the Haptist Church, and as the principal patrons of Brown 
University of Providence, founded in 1764. - 

The Tibbits families and Hezekiah Pierce were, ixrhaps, 
living in Cheshire at the time of the making of the great 
cheese, presented t<i President Thomas JefTersoii in 1801. 
Elisha Brown, our ancestor above named, was concerned 
in the matter, as it appears from pul)lished accounts that \ 
his cider mill was used for pressing the cheese. 

Whether Capt. Daniel Brown was of the same family as 
Elisha, does not appear. It was in Capt. Daniel Brown's 
Coni|»any, however, that our great grandfather, Hezekiah 
Pierce, served as a n«'n-c<tmmisv,i<(iied olVicer in the Revolu- 
tiunary War. EKIer John Lelancl was a great uncle of Dr. 
A. Ci. Lclan<l. of Whitewater. Wi>. It has been asserted by 
.some, th;it the freight on the big cheese, from Hudson to 
Washington, though not S4> big as the cheese, was a pretty 
I.-" 1. and that the President was presented with the 

bi, . . and paid it. 


The following account is given in the Springfield Republi- 
can : 



Nearly Every One in Town Contributed Curd, and Elder 
John Leland Bossed the Job — The Fofmal Presenta- 
tion at the White House. 

The story of the great cheese made at Cheshire in 1801 
and sent the following winter to President Jefferson as a 
Nev/ Year's present, has been told in prose and verse many, but is worthy of repetition as an interesting bit of 
local history, showing, as it does, the patriotic spirit by which 
the good people of Cheshire were moved, and the novel 
manner they chose for its expression. 

In those days Cheshire was famous for three things^ — 
its exceptionally fine dairying interests and products, the 
wellnigh universal adhesion of the voting population to the 
Democratic party and Elder John Leland, an able, eccentric 
and witty Baptist divine, whose fame is a part of the history 
of Cheshire. Elder Leland and most of the other people 
of the town were ardent admirers of Thomas Jefferson, and 
when he v.'as elected president of the United States, their 
joy was unbounded. 

It was finally decided that it would be proper to give 
their esteem a tangible expression in the form of a mam- 
moth cheese, which should show to the president the quality 
of their material resources and something of the extent of 
their admiration for him. 

The announcement of this plan was made by Elder Leland 
from his pulpit one Sunday morning, and was received with 
pleasure by the people. 

July 20, 1801. was the date set for the making of the 
cheese, and the plan was to have all the owners of cows 
in town, with the exception of the few federalists there 
were, to make their curd and carry it to a central place for 
pressing. Of course there was no cheese press large enough 


for the pressing of sucli a cheese as was proposed, and 
Elisha Brown's cider press was consequently selected for the 

When the day came for making the cheese the people 
gathered from all parts of the town. Those who had curd 
to contrihiite brought it witli them, some in large quantities 
and some in small, but all extremely proud to contribute 
to the monster cheese that was to l)e sent to the president. 
Besides being a busy day it was also a gala day for the 
inhabitants of Cheshire. The farmers and their wives and 
families turned out en masse to witness the construction ot 
what proved to be the most famous cheese in all history, 
for, though a still larger cheese was made in the town at 
a later date, this was the president's cheese, and the great 
Elder I. eland, who in the estimation of the people of 
Cheshire was second in importance only to President Jeffer- 
son himself, was leading and directing the Most 
of those present were arrayed in their Sunday best, though 
the women who superintended the mixing of the curd were 
obliged to wear protecting aprons. 

The hoop in which the cheese was pressed was made for 
the occasion. It was four feet in diameter and eighteen 
inches deep, antl was secured with strong bands of iron to 
enable it to stand the pressure. When all of the curd had 
been mixed and salted it was placed in this hoop, a fol- 
lower which had also l)een made especially for the purpose 
was placed upon it, and the p<inderous wooden screws of the 
obi cider mill were turned down dm tlie most precious body 
they had ever compressed. After all was done a hynui, lined 
off by Elder I.eland, was sung by the assemblage, and the 
people separated for their homes, highly satisfied with and 
very proud of their day's work. Some days after it was 
made the cheese was taken to Caj)!. Daniel Brown's cheese 
house to Ixr cured. Its weiubt one month from the time it 
was pressed was 1,235 poimds. The moving of the cheese 
from the cider press to Captain Brown's was made a great 
occasion. The people turned out again, and the cheese was 
followed by a liig procession. Moses Wolcott, who kept the 


"tavern," gave a feast to all present, and thereby linked 
his name to this part of the town's history. 

The following December the great cheese was sent to 
Washington in charge of Elder Leland and Darius Brown. 
There were no railroads in those days, and it was drawn 
on a sled to Hudson, N. Y., and shipped from there by water. 
The presentation of the cheese to the president was an event 
of moment in Washington. The presentation was made at 
the White House in the presence of the cabinet, foreign 
diplomats and other notables, Elder Leland serving as 
spokesman and assuring the president in suitable terms of 
the great esteem in which he was held by the people from 
whom the gift had come. 



I. JoHNi SpKnckr was Freeman at Newport, Rhode Island, 
1668. He was first among the founders of East Greenwich, 
1677, and became town clerk, conservator of the peace and 
deputy. His wife's name was Susannah. He died in 1684, 
and she Apr. 12, 1719. John^ is supposed by Austin, in his 
"Rhode Island," to have been a son of Michael Spencer, of 
Cambridge. Mass., 1634, and possibly the same John who was 
made heir to his uncle John Spencer, by will proved, 1648, 
in Salem, Mass. Probably neither supposition is correct. 

This nephew, John, it seems, died a bachelor, about 1656, 
as his estate was then settled in England. (N. E. Reg., Vol. 
46, page 45.) 

It also seems doubtful if John.i of East Greenwich, was 
a son of Michael, or either of Michael's brothers. The 
English records show that Michael, William, Thomas and 
Jarrard (or Gerrard) Spencer, were brothers; the sons of 
Jarrard Spencer, deed.; probably, of London. (N. E. Reg., 
Vol. 45, page iJf*r> They came over about 1634. 

Savage names only two children of Michael, viz. : Susannah 
and Michael; and he expresses the opinion that John^ of 

STEF.f ^^M!!V 

East Greenwich, came from England about ilie time of ihe 
Restoration of Charles Second, 1660. lie thinks, also, that 
John's wife, Snsannah, may have been a daughter of John 
Greene.- but in this he is probably mistaken, as Susannah 
Greene appears, from public records, to have married an- 
other. I have not been able to learn Susannah Spencer's 
family name. 

It appears from a small volume, published by R. C. 
Spencer of Milwaukee, that some of the descendants of 
John' have believed that he was a younger son of Sir Robert 
Spencer of England, mainly from an escutcheon, or coat of arms, 
still existing, which, it is said, belonged to John.' and has 
written upon it. in John's handwriting, the name of Sir 
Robert. So far. however, no one has been able to trace his 
English ancestry, convincingly. He had nine children born 
between 1665 and 1684. The eldest was John.- and the young- 
est was Peleg,- through both of whom we trace our de- 

II. Pf.i.kc- (Joliii^), was born Dec. 4. 1683, in East Green- 
wich, R. I.; died Sept. 13, 176.^; married Jnly, 1708, Eliza- 
beth Coggeshall. born Mch. g, 1686, daughter of Joshua and 
Sarah Coggeshall. Peleg- was a weaver, and was deputy 
in 1709, 171 1, 1716 and 1728. His son: 

III. Pkiix" (Pi'Iegr John*), was born Feb. 23. 1717. 

Joiin2 Spenckik (Jiilin^), was born Apr. J2, 1666; died 
•743; married Audrey Greene, who was born Dec. 27, 1667; 
died Apr. 17, 1733. She was a daughter of Jnhn (Ireene," 
and Auu '/\lmy) Greene. 

The first (if the (jreene family. Audrey's grandfather. J<>lm 
Greene,' a physician, was of a Quaker family and came 
from Salisbury. Ivng.. in 1635. "" account of religi«uts perse- 
cution. He was compelled to leave Ma.s.sachusetis fur the 
same reaM»n, and was one of the thirteen who, witli Roger 
Williams, settled in Rhode Island. His son, John- Greene, 
father of Audrey, was a memi)er of the Cotmcil of Gov. 
Andros, a ma'or in the military, and was Deptity Governor, 
I^rjo to I7cx>. Gen. Nathaniel (Vcene of the Revolutionary 
War was a descendant of John Greene.' 


John^ Spencer was, by occupation, a cordwainer, and was 
justice of the peace, a deputy for many years, and Speaker 
of the House of Deputies from 1712 to 1729. His son : 

John'5 Spencer (John,- Johii^), was born June 24, 1693; 
died 1746; married Sept. 13, 1716, Mary Fry, born June 10, 
1693; died 1744; daughter of Thomas and Welthian (Greene) 

AuDRY* Spencer, daughter of John^ and Mary, was born 
Dec. I, 1720. 

Peleg^ Spencer and Audry* Spencer were married in 
Coventry, R. L, Oct. 27, 1737, by John Spencer, J. P. (grand- 
father of Audry.) Their son, 

IV. PelEG* Spencer (Peleg,^ Peleg,^ John'*-), was born in 
Coventry, R. I. Jan. 23, 1756; married in 1783, at Shaftsbury, 
Vt., Sarah Wright, born Sept. 3, 1768, daughter of Ebenezer 
and Mary (Leach) Wright. He died at Johnstown, Canada, 
1834; she died Jan. 2, 1844. Their daughter, 

V. Clarissa^ Spencer {Peleg,-^ Peleg.^ Peleg,- John^), 
was born at Johnstown, Canada, April 16, 1785; married 
Benjamin Pierce, Oct. 12, 1800; diedi at Koshkonong, Wis., 
March 11, 1854. 

The exact time or cause of the removal of the WrigTit 
family and Peleg* Spencer to Canada is not known. It 
was probably some time before the marriage of Peleg and 
Sarah, although they were married in Vennont. Our mother's 
understanding, in the case of her grandfather, Peleg, was 
that he was dissatisfied with the conscription or draft, as 
enforced in Vermont, and removed to Canada. His brother 
Charles, however, who married Zerviah Wright, his wife's 
sister, was a Revolutionary soldier. 




This pedigree is taken from an article by Rev. Stephen 


Wripht. of Glens Falls. N. Y.. 1881, in N. E. Hist. & Gencal. 
Register, \'oI. 35, page 74: 

I. LiEL-T. Adel Wright' was living in Springfield, Mass., 
in 1655, being then 24 years old. He may have been a nephew 
of Thomas of Wethcrsficld and Dea. Samuel of Springfield, 

On December ist., 1657, he married >Lartha. daughter of 
F^amuel and Martha Kitchcrell, of Hartford. Conn. He was 
representative to Gen. Court, 1696, and Lieutenant in the 
military. His wife was scalped by Indians. Oct. 19. 1708, and 
died of her injuries. 

H. Ensign Abf.i.^ (Abcn), born Sept. 25. 1664: married 
Sept. 16. 1691, Rebecca, daughter of Samuel and .\nna (Lob- 
dellj Terr)', of Springfield, i\Lass. 

HL Ebenezer"' f.-/M.^ Abcin, born Feb. 22. 1701, at 
Lel»anon. married April 20, 1721. Elizalx'th. daughter of Simon 
and Deliorah Newcomb. She died 1727, he April 22. 1786. 

I\'. Ebenezer* {Ehcnrzcr.^ Abel? Abrl^), bom Jan. 2, 
1727. at Windham: married March 11. 1751, Mary, daughter 
of Amos Ix-ach. He was a fanner, and lived in Mansfield 
and New Fairfield, Conn. Went t(^ Newton, Sussex Co.. N. 
J., but returned and settled in Shaftesbury. Vt.. 1763. Re- 
moved to Johnstown, Canada, during the Revolutionary W^ar; 
died July 18, 1809. She died May 13, 1801. 

V. Sar.\h« inhntczcr* I'.hcticzcr-'^ Abel- Abetn, born 
Sept. 3. 176S; married. 1783. Peleg Spencer.* She died at 
Johnstown, Can., Jan. 2, 1844. He died alwut 18.^4. 

Clarissa Spencer. lK)rn April 16. 1785. .Married Benjamin 

;M,Air. ,,( 


021 392 172 1