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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:

Index to All Families | Index to Families by County: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, Washington

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1232-1233 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The Arthurs of Cohoes trace their descent through unbroken lines of male ancestry far into the early history of Scotland. Only two generations of the family have lived in the United States, but the family in Scotland is a numerous one. The founder in the United States of the branch under consideration is John Arthur, son of William Arthur, who was born at Bridgewier, Scotland, where he lived and died. He was a mill operative, engaged in cotton manufacturing. He married Elizabeth Blair, who lived and died in Bridgewier.

(I) John, son of William and Elizabeth (Blair) Arthur, was born in Bridgewier, Scotland, 1808, died in Cohoes, New York, May 16, 1857. He came to the United States in 1846, with his wife and children, settling at Hoosick Falls, New York, from there going to Paterson, New Jersey, finally locating at Cohoes, where he died. He was employed in the cotton mills as a mule spinner, operating hand machines before automatic machines did away with hand labor. He was a member of the Presbyterian church, and affiliated with the Republican party. He married, in Scotland, March 3, 1833, Mary Bailey, born April 11, 1808, died in Cohoes, May 15, 1888, daughter of Alexander Bailey, born in Scotland, 1780, died in Paterson, New Jersey, 1857. In Scotland he was a weaver, but in the United States he did not engage in any occupation, living retired. Children of John and Mary (Bailey) Arthur, all born in Scotland:

  1. William, 1834, died March, 1858.
  2. Mary, 1836, died August 27, 1906; married Alexander Gray and had three sons: John, Alexander and Richard Gray, all of New York City.
  3. Joseph, died in infancy.
  4. Alexander, see forward.
  5. Helena, May 17, 1843, died December 24, 1895; married William Ferguson and had three children:
    1. Mary, married William Hollis and has sons, William and Alexander Hollis, of Troy;
    2. Agnes;
    3. Helena, married Henry Rosier, of Bennington, New York.
  6. Elizabeth, June 18, 1845; married John Robertson, who was born in 1845 and died August 9, 1869; of their four children two died in infancy; the others were:
    1. Mary Robertson, born November 29, 1867, died March 29, 1897; married Joseph Briley and had three children: Alexander, James and Helena Briley;
    2. Christina Robertson, married William Wells and had seven children: Anna May, died in infancy, Mattie, Edward, Vida, Grace, Margaret and Mildred, twins.
  7. Maria, married George Shearer and left three children:
    1. John, born December 14, 1883;
    2. George, July 5, 1889;
    3. William, died in infancy.

(II) Alexander, third son and fourth child of John and Mary (Bailey) Arthur, was born in Bridgewier, Scotland, November 31, 1839. He was a lad of seven years when his parents brought him to the United States. His education began in the schools of Hoosick Falls where they first settled, and was continued in the schools of Paterson, New Jersey, where they later removed. After the family came to Cohoes, Alexander began work in the Harmony Mills as a twister and remained with that corporation for fifty years, when he retired from active life. During those fifty years he operated many different machines used in the preparation of the yarns and threads for the use of the weavers. He saw the progress of invention as shown in the improved machines introduced and installed in the mills. Only one who has seen the gradual development as he saw it from the cumbrous hand machinery and crude methods of manufacture, an improvement here and another there, tracing step by step the progress toward perfection, can understand how the present marvelous, automatic, almost human machinery and machines could possibly have been conceived, made, installed and compelled to produce their product. Mr. Arthur kept pace with the improvements and was considered a most excellent and trustworthy man, having the entire confidence and utmost respect of those officials above him and the friendship of his fellow workmen, the latter of whom found in him those staunch qualities which, while not obtrusive, are yet the most enduring. He stood high in the city and filled important public offices. He was an active and loyal Republican, and was twice elected alderman from the fifth ward of Cohoes, serving four years. In 1902 and again in 1904 he was elected a supervisor of Albany county, serving faithfully and well on the important committees of that body. He was a familiar figure in the city and county conventions of his party, which for years he attended as delegate. He was a member of the Presbyterian church, together with his family. He served many years as a volunteer fireman and was a member of the Exempt Firemen's Association and of the Order of Sons of Scotia.

Mr. Arthur died August 29, 1910. His death removed from Cohoes one of her best citizens, a man of strong, wholesome views and genial temperament. He is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Elizabeth Robertson and Mrs. Robert Paterson.

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