Friday, January 16, 2009

“Family Record – Congdon – Kingsley 1912”

Originally Prepared by Frances Kingsley Congdon (FKC) and Edna Emily Congdon Peck (ECP) 1912
Notes by Ivan Clyde Speed (ICS) 1960s
Transcription and Edits by Sean Rockwell Ryan (SRR) 2008

[Page 1 and 2 missing] (anyone have these?)

[Page 3: FKC]

In the Hartford, Conn. State Library is a history of Thompson County where James Converse was born. Mention is made of Asa Converse and two sons, showing that James probably went to Stafford, Conn. (where he was twice married) early in life, consequently was not identified with the history of Thompson County.

[Thompson is a township in Windham County, not a county itself - SRR]

Asa Converse and two of his sons are mentioned in "History of Thompson, Conn. His son, James, went to Stafford, Conn. and probably lived there until he came to Pittsford, N.Y.

James' daughter, Polly (Mary) ,was born in 1791 and married Seth Kingsley of Pittsford, N.Y. She died March 23,1843 at Pittsford and was buried in the "Old Meeting House Cemetery"

Kingsley Family

______ Kingsley moved from Northampton, Mass. to Pittsford, N. Y. His children, Seth, Susan K. Welch, Betse K. Ray, Subnah K. Ray (wives of Dr. John Ray) are buried at Pittsford.

Seth Kingsley born 1788, died at Pittsford, buried in "Old Meeting House Cemetery". Married Polly (Mary) Converse.

Daniel Kingsley born Aug.13,1826 in Mendon, N.Y. Died Sept.18, 1886 at Pittsford, N.Y. Married Anna Maria Brown. April 1, 1846 at Pittsford, N.Y.

Frances Anna Kingsley born Feb. 27, 1849 at Pittsford, N.Y.

Congdon Family

Thomas Congdon born in Hartford, Washington Co., N.Y. Nov.11,1792. Died Aug. 9,1874 at Marion, N.Y. Served in War of 1812. Married Cynthia Spring born Apr. 6, 1793 in Washington Co., died Jan.11, 1851 at Marion, N.Y. [headstone indicates her death year as 1841, same day-SRR]

Phineas Spring Congdon born June 1816 at Hartford, N.Y. Died April 16,1876 at Lima, N.Y. Married Julia Ette Thatcher in Oct.1839.

LaFayette Congdon born Oct.21 ,1845 at Ellington, N.Y. Married Frances Anna Kingsley at Pittsford, N.Y. on Sept. 20,1871.

[Page 4: FKC]

The Children of LaFayette and Frances Anna Kingsley Congdon

FAYETTE KINGSLEY CONGDON · born at Walworth, N.Y on Sept.9, 1872. Died at Northampton, Mass. Married Mildred Ingrahm at Corfu, N.Y. on July 5,1899.

DANIEL EDGAR CONGDON born at Geneseo, N.Y. on Jan.23,1874. Died at Pittsford, N.Y. on Jan.24,1875.

EDNA EMILY CONGDON, born at Lima, N.Y. on Nov.17,1875. Died at Batavia, N.Y. on Oct.8, 1948. Married Charles Bickford Peck at Batavia, N.Y. on June 28,1902.

RANDOLPH THATCHER CONGDON born at Pittsford, N. Y. on Aug. 30, 1877. Died at Winter Park, Fla. On Sept. 7, 1967 , age 90 years. Married Marion Diefendorf at Canajoharie, N.Y. on June 30,1908.

EDGAR DAVIDSON CONGDON born at Newark, N.Y. on April 25,1879. Died at Babylon, N.Y. on May 2,1965. Married Edith Dana Jones in Vienna, Austria on July 19, 1911.

WESLEY BENTON CONGDON born at Newark, N.Y .on Nov. 9,1880. Died at Newark, N.Y. on August 1881.

CLARICE CONGDON born at Syracuse, N.Y. on Sept. 27,1886. Died at Thousand Island Park on Aug. 11,1888.

WRAY HOLLOWELL CONGDON born at Bradford, Pa. on July 29, 1892. Died at Bethlehem, Pa. Married Anna May Stuart at Kuling, China on July 29, 1918.

Note- LaFayette Congdon was a Methodist minister and he and his family had to move very frequently; at about two year intervals. Most of the churches which he served were in the western half of New York state. His last church was at Batavia N.Y. where he began the pastorate about the year 1900. After Batavia he served several years as superintendent of Genessee Wesleyan Seminary at Lima, N.Y. He and his wife retired to Batavia where they bought a home overlooking the State Park and celebrated their 50th anniversary. Their last years were in the home of their daughter, Edna Peck, in· Batavia. I.C.S. (Ivan Congdon Speed)

[Page 5: FKC]


Thatcher Family

Eliakim Thatcher born March 30, 1763 in New Lebanon, Mass. He served in the Revolution. Married Dorothy Tupper.

Charles Thatcher born in 1793 in Ellington, Tolland Co., Conn. Died in 1862 in Marion, N.Y. Married Lydia Smith in Wayne Co., N.Y. She was born in 1797 in Mulberry, Mass. and died at Marion, N.Y. in 1849.

The father of Lydia Smith was Samuel Smith born Dec. 4, 1768 and died Nov.14,1828. He married Lydia Wickes who was born on July 14, 1775 and died in June of 1842.

Julia Ette Thatcher, daughter of Charles Thatcher ,married Phineas Spring Congdon. She was born at Ontario, N.Y. on June 7,1820 and died in Feb, of 1893 at Bradford, Pa.

Brown Family

Francis Brown was born at Otselic or Eaton, Madison Co., N.Y. on Dec. 12,1791. Married Anna Gillett who was born at Eaton, N.Y. on Apr. 1798 and died 1882 Or 1883 on Ridge Road, Niagara Co., N.Y. After the marriage the couple left Madison Co. Francis lived in Henrietta, N.Y. for a few years. Then went to Somerset, N.Y. where he died on July 12,1842.

Anna Gillett was the daughter of Simeon Gillett Jr. who was born on Sept.16,1769. He married Hannah Ruse who was born in 1792. This was the first marriage of Simeon who died at Harrison, Ind. in June 1818.

Simeon Gillett Sr. was born in 1744 and died in 1796. In 1762 he married Rebecca Andrews who was born in 1746 and died in 1826.

Anna Maria Brown, the daughter of Francis Brown, Married Daniel Kingsley. She was born at Henrietta, N.Y. on Dec.4, 1827 and died at Pittsford, N.Y. on Sept.18, 1886. [this date is in error, it is (almost) Daniel's death date, she died in 1877 - SRR]

Gillett Family

A Gillett genealogical chart was made by Rev. Samuel Trumbell Gillett of Indianapolis, Ind. He was half brother of my mother's mother, Anna Gillett Brown.

Jonathan Gillett and his brother, Nathan, came to America from England in 1630 in the ship "Mary and John" and settled in Dorchester, Mass. (not the present Dorchester but territory now included in the city of Boston) In 1635 he removed to Windsor, Conn. One of his sons Jonathon Gillett Jr. married Mary Kelsey. One of their sons was Thomas Gillett born 1678, Married Hannah Clark in 1704. One of their sons was Jonah Gillett 1708 in Windsor, Conn. He married _________ Haskins. Died 1782. Buried in Wintonburg now Bloomfield,Conn.

Simeon Gillett was born in Bloomfield, Conn.1744. He married Rebecca Andrews in 1762. Died in Eaton, N.Y. 1796. Their son, Simeon Gillett Jr. was born Sept.15, 1769. He married Hannah Ruse who was born 1772. He died at Fort Harrison, Ind. 1818. (one of their children was Anna Gillett Brown, my mother's mother. F.K.C.)

[Page 6: FKC]

Simeon Gillett Jr., father of Anna Gillett Brown, and Rev. Samuel Trumbell Gillett, was married a second time to Salome Smith Palmer. Rev. S.I. Gillett was their son and thus half brother to Anna Gillett Brown.

The Rev. S.I. Gillett in a letter to the Gillett-Ruse reunion held at or near Earlville, Madison Co., N.Y., each year since 1872, gives some personal history of his father.

“Simeon Gillett Jr. left Eaton, Madison Co., N.Y. in 1817. Before leaving I heard a man ask him, "Where are you going, Esquire Gillett?" He replied, ”I am going to find my grave."

The family spent the winter in Western N.Y., took water at Olean Point in a float boat and passing into the Ohio floated down to the mouth of the Wabash River during the spring of 1818 and by hand power propelled the boat against the current of that stream up to Fort Harrison, twenty three miles above the city of Terra Haute, Ind., then a small log village.

On landing my father sprang to the shore to greet the Indians that lined the bank. Standing too long with them in the wind, he contracted a severe cold and in ten days was lying a corpse in the "dead house" of the fort. He was buried in the old cemetery of Terra Haute on the east bank of the Wabash. He died June 1818.

In another letter read at the reunion of 1889, he gives some more recollections of his father: "My father, Simeon Gillett Jr. was a member of the Baptist church and active in all church interests. He had a saw mill and a powder mill on the banks of a small stream which ran between his house and Eaton. Across this a dam was thrown making quite a mill pond. In this pond I saw my sisters, Anna and Salome, baptized. The congregation moved in a procession with vocal music from the place of worship in Eaton to the water's edge. My father also had an interest in a fulling mill located on the road between his residence and the town ______________.

As to my father's politics I have no data, only one circumstance is remembered as indicating his views. On a visit to N. B. Palmer living in Potter Co., Penna. he spent a fourth of July at a village on the Susquehanna and at a dinner at the principal hotel at which toasts were given in the old style, he stood me on the table and gave me a toast which I
Announced, “Democrats the salt of the earth”. The sentiment was responded to by the firing of cannon aswere others. What it meant in the year 1817 I have no means of knowing.

He was always something of a musician. When the court house in Hamilton N.Y. was finished he stood on top of the cupola and sang a piece. He taught singing school using patent or buckwheat notes as they were sometimes called. The round note system not being common then in Central N.Y.


Nearly all of these first six pages of this manuscript have been copied from the small booklet titled "Family Record--Congdon--Kingsley 1912". It was prepared by Frances Anna Kingsley Congdon and is written in ink and in her own hand. She was the grandmother of Frances Peck Speed. I have taken the liberty of changing the arrangement and sequence of some parts, of adding some dates and places of deaths, of adding more data concerning the Huguenots to clear up a possible mistaken idea that Roger de Coigners may have been a Huguenot. Also the coats of arms of the Coigner’s and Gillett families have been omitted.

[Page 7: ECP]

The descriptions of the coats of arms can-be - found in the following publications;
Baronets of England - London -- 1729
Dictionaire de la Navarre Nobliase France et Navarre
Burkes General Armory

LaFayette Congdon kept a diary for the year he spent as a soldier during the last year of the Civil War. Julia Congdon Spring, the great-grand daughter of LaFayette, has made copies and she has his letters of the same period. It is not being copied here.

Edna Emily Congdon Peck wrote a few recollections of her family. They are reproduced below. Ivan C. Speed

Father enlisted in the Union Army, Aug. 31,1864, becoming a member of Co K-21st N.Y. Cavalry. He then lacked two months of being nineteen. His parents objected because he was their only child and also under age. He was large and strong and no questions were asked about his age- at that time recruits were much needed. His mother wrote to ----- Draper to use influence to have him kept in Elmira as a company clerk. In a letter he expresses chagrin at being kept back.

He was never in a battle, but he suffered from exposure, poor food, filth especially at camp at Elmira.

There is considerable difference in the contents of his diary and the letters he wrote home. He was anxious about the welfare of his father and mother. Many times in his diary (about) the Elmira camp he speaks of not being able to eat the food, and of feeling unwell. Food was hard to get the last months and he suffered the rest of his life from almost unbroken diet of hard tack and black coffee. He had an aversion to coffee therafter.

[some illegible notes]

Anna [Gillett] Brown's family were staunch Baptists and there were some Bap. ministers among them. She was very fond of her grand daughter, Frances Kingsley, but when Frances married Lafayette Congdon she said she "might as well marry a tin peddler.” referring to the frequent moves required of a Methodist minister- at that time every two years.

She visited the young people in their home. When attending church during communion service, she remained seated stiffly, in her pew and would not commune.

One of my vague early recollections is being taken to visit her when mother was on one of her frequent visits to Pittsford. I remember a large old woman wearing a cap.

Frances Anna Kingsley was born in Pittsford, N.Y. She was named for her maternal grandparents ,Francis and Anna Brown. I remember visiting a brick house on Ridge Road near Somerset, where they lived, and Maria Brown was married. A few years ago an old house was standing, back in the grove at Olcott Beach, where mother was taken, when a child, with her grand parents, to visit friends.

[Page 8: ECP]

She was the eldest of four children, the others, Willis, Edmund and George. A sister, Alice died at two years. Edmund never married and died at middle age. At the time he owned and ran a meat market in Pittsford. George was very sick with scarlet fever when a child and became deaf. His health was never robust. His father sent him west to work on a ranch when he was twenty. His health improved somewhat.

Frances was a beautiful girl as all her pictures show. When about sixteen she became enrolled at Mrs. Nicholl's school for girls in Rochester. She went to the home of Mrs. Emily T. Randolph to board during school days. There she met the young college student from Springwater who was to become her husband. After finishing Mrs. Nicholl’s school, she taught a district school, which until recently stood near the farm of Uncle George Kingsley.

Aunt Louise Kingsley (wife of Willis) told me that she was the belle of that section. Added to her natural attractions was the fact that her father was prosperous, owning three farms on the Clover road not far from Rochester, and buildings in Pittsford. She always had beautiful clothes and everything she wanted. She was devoted to her parents She used to make frequent trips home after her mother's death to see her father. I was often taken along and have vague recollections of meeting one of my uncles at the Whitcomb House in Rochester, having dinner there and a long often cold tiresome buggy ride to grandfather's. He then lived in the house later owned by Uncle Will.

Daniel Kingsley's grandfather came from Northampton, Mass. Daniel's father died when he was a young boy and he was the eldest of several children. He must have been a very industrious hard working boy.

He was a prosperous farmer and was active in Republican politics in Monroe County. He held county offices at different times and was well known. He was a very charitable person and helped poor families as long, as he lived. The attendance at his funeral was largest and procession of carriages the longest.

He had a sister, Susan Welch, who lived in the neighborhood. There was an estrangement between the families. He rarely mentioned them. At the time of mother's marriage they needed a desk and grandfather suggested they see "Seth Kingsley's old desk stored in the corn crib." That desk was the --- of years of study and hard work and was moved from parish to parish. Now Randolph has it, beautifully restored.

Note. When Randolph retired to live in Florida, he gave the desk to Wray in Bethlehem, Pa. After Wray's death, it probably went to June. I.C.S.

I remember grandmother, Julia Ette Thatcher, mostly sitting in· a high back rocker in her room reading. Having lived through the Civil War she read many books on that. I remember "Memoirs of U.S. Grant”, "Nurse and Spy" rather lurid. History of U.S. by Bancroft.

[Page 9: ECP]

Julia Ette Thatcher came from a large family, Ramanzo, Charlotte, Julia Ette, Belinda, Elvira, Samuel, Sophia and Salem. and Emily. Aunt Emily was a frequent visitor at our house and I remember Samuel, Sophia and Salem visiting us in Syracuse, also Romain and Edith Saxton, children of Charlotte Thatcher who lived in Wisconsin. Sophia was Mrs. James Partridge of Jamestown, N.Y. They had no children.

When Aunt Sophia visited us in Syracuse, there was excitement among the children of the parsonage. Faye, of course. We smelled a very unusual odor of tobacco and it was traced to Sophia who was in an outhouse connected with the shed, smoking a pipe. When young she was taught on the sly by her brothers and continued to smoke a pipe as long as she lived.

In 1894 I visited at her home in Jamestown and at Samuel’s , at Mrs. Iddo Sykes, daughter of Belinda, and ·at Daniel Wilcox, son of Elvira, all living at Kennedy, near Jamestown - Mrs. Walter Jones - "Cousin Emma” of Buffalo was a daughter of Elvira. After her mother's death she lived with Aunt Emily for many years. Aunt Emily had two daughters, Anna and Etta, who both died at middle age. Anna was a school teacher and later married a M-minister by the name of Watson.

Alice Sykes' daughter, Edith , Mrs. Frank Vining is living in Castile, N.Y. Salem and Viola Thatcher lived in Erie, Pa. They had no children.

Grandmother told me that the great event in her childhood occurred in the summer, when her grandfather, Eliakim Thatcher and wife, Dorothy Tupper Thatcher, started on their annual trip to Albany, to collect his pension for service in the Revolution. He had been shot through the abdomen and a fistula formed. He lived to an old age. All the family
gathered to see them start . They sat in chairs, placed in an ox-cart. They had baskets of food and great-great grandmother took quantities of yarn to knit into socks for the next winter.

Grandfather Phineas Spring Congdon was a modest, gentle person and loveable. I think father probably inherited many of his traits. He married his wife in Marion, N.Y. and he owned a farm there when he and grandmother gave up their home to live with their son I think father kept the farm for a time. I remember sorghum and other food being sent to us while we lived in Syracuse. Mother loved grandfather Congdon and sincerely mourned his death.

There was a cousin of father's, Lyman Congdon, who was a pharmacist in Tarrytown, N.Y. Also another by the name of Farnsworth, who had an improved method of evaporating apples and shipped all his output to England, Mr. F. visited us in Syracuse. His home was in Marion N.Y. They are the only Congdon relatives I have known.

[end of document: transcribed by Sean Ryan 9/10/2008]