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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Ayres

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1317-1319 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.]

Captain John Ayres, immigrant ancestor, was born in England, and settled as early as 1648 at Ipswich, Massachusetts. He was accompanied by two brothers-in-law, William Lamson and William Fellows, who married his sisters. Ayres married Susanna, daughter of Mark Symonds, of Ipswich. Mark Symonds was born in 1584 in England and died April 28, 1659, leaving wife Joanna and daughters, Susanna Ayres, Abigail, wife of Robert Pierce; Priscilla, wife of John Warner and had Mary, wife of Edward Chapman, who died before her father. John Ayres removed to Brookfield, Massachusetts, when the settlement of that town was begun in November, 1672; sold all his rights in Ipswich, including those "belonging to my father-in-law Mark Symonds and used by me while I was a tenant upon Mr. John Norton's farm." He was killed August 3, 1675, with seven others at the fight at Brookfield with the Indians in King Philip's war. Though he received large grants of land at Brookfield, some two thousand acres, his family undoubtedly returned to Ipswich when Brookfield was abandoned. His widow presented an inventory of his estate, now recorded at Salem, on which she wrote, "I have seven sons and one daughter." Although the births of these children are not all recorded, they are all known. Susanna, widow of John Ayres, died at Ipswich, February 8, 1682-83. In October previous Rebecca Symonds had given her a portion of a fund sent to be distributed among the sufferers from fires and Indians. A petition to the general court tells much of the family history.

"A petition of Thomas Ayres, Joseph Ayres, Mark Ayres, Natt'll Ayres and Edward Ayres, Sons & Heirs heretofore of Quaboag alias Brookfield, Dec'd Intestate, Shewing that in or about the Year 1660, the Petitioners Father with others bought & purchased of the Indian Natives a Tract of Land of about Eight Miles square then known & called by the name of Quaboag, After which, Viz. in the year 1673, the General Court erected the said Land into a Township by the Name of Brookfield, That in the Year 1675, A War broke out with the Indians, who kill'd Petitioners Father & several other Inhabitants, And the Rest being drawn off by Order of the Government, the whole Town was left desolate, and all the Houses burnt Down by the Enemy, After Which, about, 1690, the said Town of Brookfield was in a likely Way to be settled. And in the Year 1703 the Petitioners having obtained Administration on the Fathers Estate lying in Brookfield aforesaid, petitioned the Gen'll Court that a Committee might be appointed to make enquiry & cause a Record to be made of the Lots Rights & Proprieties of Land within the said Plantation belonging to the ancient Settlers thereof, the so the Petitioners might have & enjoy what belong'd to them in Right of the Father, W'ch Prayer of the Petitioners was accordinly granted, & Sam'll Patridge Esq'r & others appointed a Comm'tee were ordered to make Enquiry & Cause a Record to be made of the said Lots, Rights and Proprieties, But the said Committee neglecting that Service, the Petitioners renewed their Petition to the Gen'll Court, who appointed a Hearing thereon; However the Petitioners withdrew their Petition at the Request of the said Committee, & upon their Promise that they would forthwith proceed to settle with the Petitioners in their Rights, Which accordingly they did to the Satisfaction of the Petitioners, who were at the Expence of One Hundred and Fifty Pounds at least in Obtaining the said Settlement, But after all the Committee did in March last declare all their Proceedings in the Premises to be null and void under no other Pretence, but that the said Lands were not improved by the Petitioners, And the very Lots that the Petitioners Father died posess'd of, particularly his Home Lot which he defended against the Indians to the Loss of his Life are granted by the said Committee to other Persons very unjustly & contrary to the Order of the Gen'll Assembly, By all w'ch the Petitioners are kept out of the Possession of the Fathers Estate.

"Upon the Whole the Petitioners pray the Hon'ble Court will confirm to them the Lands which the said Committee have laid out to them Containing by estimation no more than Fifteen or Sixteen Hundred Cares, Altho' they have heard their Father & many others say That he had Two Thousand Acres of Land in Brookfield. With which Land so laid out by said Committee they shall rest satisfied & contented, Unless the Court shall please to make them some further Consideration".

Children:

  1. John;
  2. Samuel, mentioned below;
  3. Thomas;
  4. Joseph;
  5. Edward, born February 12, 1658, at Ipswich;
  6. Mark, December 14, 1661;
  7. Nathaniel, July 6, 1664;
  8. Susanna.

(II) Samuel, son of Captain John Ayres, married, at Ipswich, April 16, 1677, Abigail, daughter of William Fellows. He died prior to October, 1717, and his widow after 1722. Children:

  1. Mary, born January 13, 1678;
  2. John, March 16, 1679;
  3. William, January 26, 1681-82;
  4. Ephraim, February 13, 1686-87;
  5. Stephen, March 13, 1688-89;
  6. Jabez, mentioned below;
  7. Samuel;
  8. Joseph;
  9. Ebenezer, and
  10. Edward.

(III) Jabez, son of Samuel Ayres, was born at Newbury, Massachusetts, December 27, 1690. He removed to Brookfield, having sold the land he owned in Essex county, by deed dated June 5, 1721. He married, December 8, 1718, Rebecca, daughter of Henry Kimball, who was of Haverhill. Children, born at Brookfield:

  1. Stephen, August 3, 1719, died young;
  2. Eliphalet, March 4, 1722-23;
  3. William, February 28, 1723-24;
  4. Micajah, September 24, 1729;
  5. Onesiphorus, April 7, 1733;
  6. Stephen, February 4, 1734-35, died young;
  7. Jabez, mentioned below.

(IV) Jabez (2), son of Jabez (1) Ayres, was born at Brookfield, April 26, 1737. He married Persis Stewart. They settled in New Braintree. He was a soldier in the French and Indian war and in the revolution. He served in Captain Thomas Whipple's company of guards at Rutland, April 20 to December 20, 1780. Children, born at New Braintree:

  1. Ebenezer, 1767, died unmarried at Manheim;
  2. Stephen, 1770;
  3. Alexander, 1772, died unmarried at Salisbury;
  4. Henry, mentioned below;
  5. Elijah, 1778;
  6. Silvanus, April, 1780;
  7. Mary, 1782, married Alvin Case and Comfort Eaton;
  8. Daniel, May 17, 1787.

(V) Henry, son of Jabez (2) Ayres, was born at New Braintree, 1774, died at the age of eighty-four years. He settled in Manheim, New York, and afterward at Allensville, Switzerland county, Indiana. He had a farm of four hundred acres in Salisbury. He was a Presbyterian in religion and a Democrat in politics. He married Abigail Bean. Children:

  1. Alexander, mentioned below;
  2. Adeline, born in 1813, married George Platt;
  3. Horace M., 1815;
  4. Maria, 1818, married James R. Fisher;
  5. Charles, 1820, died unmarried in 1838;
  6. Julia, 1822, married ———— Edwards;
  7. Henry, 1825;
  8. Roxanna, 1828, married Stephen Peabody;
  9. Edwin, 1833, lived at Champaign, Illinois.

(VI) Dr. Alexander Ayres, son of Henry Ayres, was born in 1811, died in 1886. He was educated in the public schools, and at the age of eighteen years began to teach school at Little Falls, New York. He attended Old Fairfield College and received an honorary degree from the Medical School at Burlington, Vermont. He graduated from Castleton Medical College in the class of 1842 with the degree of M. D. and began to practice at Pontiac, Michigan. From 1849 to 1857 he was in practice at East Creek. From that time until 1886 he was located at Fort Plain, Montgomery county, New York, in active practice. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge at Fort Plain; of the Royal Arch Chapter of Canajoharie, New York, and of the Council, Royal and Select Masters, of Utica. He was also a member of the Montgomery County Medical Society and of the New York State Medical Society. He was active in public affairs and was elected supervisor of the town and coroner of the county. In religion he was an Episcopalian. He married Harriet, born 1812, died 1886; daughter of Asa and Sarah (Conklin) Farr. Her brother Walter died in Michigan; her brother Wallace died in Washington, D. C., and her sister died at Fort Plain. Children:

  1. Sarah Helen, born 1838, died 1840;
  2. Walter, 1839, died in 1909, married Flora Connor; children:
    1. Mabel, married ———— Richmond;
    2. Ada, married ———— Pilgrim;
  3. Douglas, August 20, 1842, mentioned below;
  4. Albert, 1845, died May 14, 1893, married Rose McMullen; child,
    1. Fanny, born November 14, 1875, married Harry J. Edgerly, and had Helen Elizabeth Edgerly, 1906;
  5. Harriet, 1847;
  6. Alexander, 1850;
  7. Helen M., 1853.

(VII) Dr. Douglas Ayres, son of Dr. Alexander Ayres, was born at East Creek, Montgomery county, New York, August 20, 1842. He attended the public schools and the select school at Greene, Fort Plain and Fairfield. He studied his profession at the Albany Medical School and was graduated with the degree of M. D. in 1865. He was associated in practice with his father until the latter died, and since then has been in practice in Fort Plain. He has taken high rank in his profession. He was formerly president of the Montgomery County Medical Society and of the New York State Medical Society. He is a member of Fort Plain Lodge, No. 433, Free and Accepted Masons. He is senior warden of the Protestant Episcopal church of Fort Plain. In politics he is a Democrat. Dr. Ayres is a gentleman of the old school, of delightful manners and attractive personality, and he enjoys the respect and esteem of the community to a remarkable degree. He married, in September, 1898, Anna C., only daughter of Professor Moses and Ellen Maria (Adams) Marston, granddaughter of Asa and Hannah (Davenport) Marston and of Samuel and Calista (French) Adams. Her father had the chair of English literature of the University of Minnesota. They have one child,

  1. Douglas, Jr., born September 24, 1902.

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