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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. II, pp. 538-541 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 family name, Cameron, is believed to have been derived from the Gaelic and Welsh word "Cam," meaning crooked or winding, combined with the word "sron," nose, therefore, a crooked or hooked nose, which was doubtless a characteristic of those who were first given the name.

(I) James Cameron, the first of this family line to come to this country from the Scottish Highlands settled at once in the "highlands" of New York state, or the Adirondacks, the particular locality now included in Warren county, where he acquired land and commenced lumbering in the forest wilds.

(II) Rev. John Cameron, son of James Cameron, entered the ministry, and officiated in the northern part of New York. He married Julia Hodgson, and had a son named James.

(III) Hon. James (2) Cameron, son of Rev. John and Julia (Hodgson) Cameron, was born near Warrensburg, New York, October 8, 1794, died at the same place, July 10, 1858. He married, September 27, 1818, Dinah Coman, of Warrensburg, born there, August 30, 1800, died at that place,April 6, 1892. Her father was Isaac Coman, and her mother was Dinah (Rice) Coman. Children:

  1. Mary Ann, born November 12, 1819, died February 20, 1896;
  2. John A., born November 14, 1821;
  3. Charles R., born June 5, 1824;
  4. Silas H., born December 25, 1826; died September 16, 1893;
  5. James W., born February 13, 1829, died June 2, 1903;
  6. Truman Daniel, born January 9, 1832, see forward;
  7. Martha, born April 8, 1834;
  8. Adelia, born January 8, 1837, died June 26, 1903;
  9. Helena, born February 27, 1839;
  10. Madison, born October 27, 1841;
  11. Arabella Louisa, born November 14, 1845.

(IV) Truman Daniel, son of Hon. James (2) and Dinah (Coman) Cameron, was born near Warrensburg, Warren county, New York, January 9, 1832, died, Albany, February 20, 1898, his late place of residence being "Noremac," situated on the Western Turnpike but a short distance to the west of the city of Albany. He stood among the prominent business men of the city where he had spent the greater part of his life, and which became the home of his family and descendants of the three last generations. He came to Albany in his boyhood in order to obtain an education superior to that of his native place, and entered the State Normal College. After his graduation, he was appointed an instructor in the Albany Academy, as the acquisition of knowledge and again bestowing it upon others had a fascination for him. Here he gave instruction in fitting youths for college throughout seventeen years, and many are the prominent citizens of Albany who owe a degree of their ability in the professions to his proverbial thoroughness. The close confinement of the schoolroom impaired his health, and he consequently resigned in 1867 to found what in time developed through his energy into an extensive and prosperous lumber business, both wholesale and retail, which he conducted in the western part of the city, then growing rapidly, with an office located at the corner of Lexington and Washington avenues, rather than among the scores of dealers in the northern end of the city, known as the famous "Lumber District." The outdoor life did much to strengthen his physique, and having purchased a beautiful country place, "Noremac," on property formerly owned by Mr. Billings P. Learned, he obtained great enjoyment there, in view of the Helderbergs, and recovered his health. He was a devout attendant of the First Presbyterian Church, of which for many years he was a ruling elder, and was a most thorough Bible scholar, devout not alone in his way of living at home, but actively giving instruction in the Sunday school. In every religious work of his congregation he was enthusiastically diligent, and took considerable pleasure in frequent attendance upon the sick of his circle of acquaintances and of the church, in fact, he led a practical Christian life, living day by day what many another would simply preach. He was generous, kind and affectionate, and on all worthy occasions most helpful to his fellowmen. Mr. Cameron married, at Albany, April 20, 1854, Elizabeth Flagler, born in Cherry Valley, New York, March 27, 1830, daughter of Daniel Flagler, born in Dutchess county, New York, 1780, died in Grovenor Corners, Schoharie county, New York, 1854, and Sarah (Ward) Flagler, born in Dutchess county, died in Grovenor Corners, Schoharie county, New York, 1842. Children:

  1. Emma Elizabeth, born Albany, September 21, 1857.
  2. Frederick W., born in Albany, June 1, 1859, see forward.
  3. Livia Griffin, born in Albany, December 11, 1861; married Dr. Reuben D. Clark, secretary New York state board of agriculture, April 18, 1892; one child, Reuben D. Jr., born Albany, June 3, 1894.
  4. Edward Madison, born in Albany, October 7, 1864, see forward.
  5. Leroy Learned, born in Albany, January 19, 1869, died in Albany, August 4, 1896.

(V) Frederick W., son of Truman D. and Elizabeth (Flagler) Cameron, was born in Albany, June 1, 1859. His earliest education was received at the Albany Academy, following which very complete preparatory course he entered Union College, from which he was graduated A. B., class of 1881, taking highest honors. During these years he devoted particular attention to the sciences, taking extra courses in chemistry, electricity, physics and mechanical arts, with the wise forethought of qualifying himself, when he should become a lawyer, with the capacity to handle patent cases advantageously. So in earnest was he, that his vacations were spent studying in law offices. He entered the Albany Law School of Union University, and received his degree of LL.B. in 1882. He was admitted as attorney and counsellor of the supreme court in May, 1882. Shortly afterward he formed a partnership with Walter E. Ward, which continued for nearly twenty-five years, after which Mr. Cameron opened a suite of offices in the new building of the First National Bank, at Nos. 35-37 State street, where he was located in 1910. He has always made a distinct specialty of the law of patents, trademarks and corporations, although he has had many important cases in the state courts and carries on a general law practice. He has been engaged in a large number of very important cases both in this and foreign countries, prosecuting both in Canada and England, before the privy council of the latter country on appeal from the highest court of Canada. He was appointed United States commissioner in 1892, which office he resigned in 1907. He is a Democrat in his politics. He and his family attend the First Presbyterian Church, of which he is a trustee, a faith he and his ancestors followed ever since their arrival in this country. He is a trustee of Union College; a trustee of the Albany Law School; a trustee of the Chamber of Commerce; a director of the First National Bank of Albany; a trustee of the Fairview Home for Orphan Children; a trustee of the Albany City Mission, and of the Homeopathic Hospital of Albany, New York. In affairs of his alma mater, he has continued his interest, and has been the president of its Alumni Association of Northeastern New York, as well as a member of the board of trustees for several years. Mr. Cameron is also a member of the Fort Orange Club, University Club, Albany Country Club, Burns Club, of The Albany Institute and Historical and Art Society, New York State Historical Association, University Club of New York City, the Delta Phi Society, Jefferson Club, New York State Bar Association, Albany County Bar Association, of the American Bar Association, the Patent Law Association of Washington, D. C., and a member of Temple Lodge, No. 14, F. and A. M.

He married,in Albany, April 2, 1891, Jeannie Armsby, born in Albany, June 27, 1860, youngest daughter of Hon. Amos Dean, LL.D., and his wife, Eliza Joanna (Davis) Dean. She was educated at the Albany Girls' Academy; is a member of the Albany Girls' Academy Alumnae; Mohawk Chapter, D. A. R.; Albany Country Club, and the The Albany Institute and Historical and Art Society. Children, born in Albany, New York:

  1. Jeanne Elizabeth, January 10, 1893;
  2. Josephine Dean, June 7, 1895;
  3. Fredericka, June 1, 1898.

The father of Mrs. Frederick W. Cameron was the Hon. Amos Dean, LL.D., and no one in the city of Albany ever gained a higher position of respect and merited popularity than he. Amos Dean was born in Barnard, Vermont, January 16, 1803, died in Albany, New York, at his residence, No. 31 Elk street, January 26, 1868. His father was Nathaniel Dean and his mother was Rhoda (Hammond) Dean. Like many other prominent lawyers and jurists who found prominence in the state, Amos Dean acquired his early education in the common schools, at which he fitted himself with the idea of teaching. He supported himself while pursuing his academic course preparatory to entering college, and went to Union in 1823, from which he was graduated in 1826. His uncle, Jabez D. Hammond, was at this time a distinguished lawyer and writer, in partnership with Judge Alfred Conkling. It was in their office that he began studying law, where he was most diligent and enjoyed the nice distinctions and philosophy of law as a science. To him the study had a fascination, and he was remarkably well prepared when admitted in 1829. During the early years of his practice he was associated with Azor Tabor, then an eminent counsellor. He never assumed to attain celebrity as an advocate before juries, where, in those days, a lawyer usually made his mark in the world at large, by publicity, although he possessed marked abilities as an orator. His amiability of disposition, his natural reserve, his kindly nature, his guilelessness and his overflowing charity repelled him from the theatre of professional strife and conflict, and he was particularly adapted to the duties of the office and the counsel room. It was there he displayed fine traits of wisdom, prudence and sagacity. Having a character of unimpeachable integrity, he readily won clients, success and fame.

The great benefit he had obtained by his own endeavors to pursue courses of study when young, caused him to appreciate the necessity for furnishing advantages for others, and impelled by this idea he conceived the plan of establishing associations for the mental improvement of young men. On December 10, 1833, he gathered about him a few of his young friends and expounded to them his project. No sooner was the matter made public than seven hundred and fifty young men enrolled, and on December 13 he was elected president of the organization which had assumed the title "Young Men's Association for Mutual Improvement in the City of Albany." It was incorporated March 12, 1835, for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a library, reading-room, literary and scientific lectures, and other means of promoting both moral and intellectual improvement. It continued a debating society many years and acquired a collection of paintings. From this beginning hundreds of kindred institutions have started and have been a blessing to the country. Mr. Dean was associated with Doctors March and Armsby in 1833, in establishing the Albany Medical College, which later was to be a department of Union University. From the day of opening until 1859 he was its professor of medical jurisprudence, and when the law department of the University was established, he was appropriately chosen one of its professors, in which sphere his talents shone most brightly.

He became even better known as an author, and in that field wielded a wide influence. He took a keen interest in the developing science of phrenology, when little had been done in that line, delivering a series of lectures which were after incorporated in a book and made him known as an authority on that interesting subject. He was, when young, the author of a Manual of Law, which was of great service to business men; but he never lived to see the publication of his chief literary undertaking, A History of Civilization, which consisted of seven large volumes of about six hundred pages each, printed by Joel Munsell in 1868. His Philosophy of Human Life was published by Marsh, Capen, Lyon & Webb, of Boston, in 1839, and Dean's Lectures on Phrenology, by the same house in 1835.

He spoke frequently before public gatherings on occasions other than his lectures, delivering the annual address before the Albany Institute in 1833, the annual address before the Senate of Union College, and a eulogy upon the death of Jesse Buel before the State Agricultural Society. His industrious research and native ability were abundant reason to attract attention to whatever he undertook. For his virtues in private life that eminent journalist, Thurlow Weed, spoke in warmly glowing terms on his demise, saying "herein, if possible, his character was higher and nobler than in any other walk of life. To the qualities which we have described, he united a pleasing address, a quiet demeanor, a generosity of sentiment and an absence of guile that endeared him strongly to the circle of his companionship."

Amos Dean married, June 15, 1842, Eliza Joanna Davis, born at Uxbridge, Massachusetts, September, 1819, died at Bloomfield, New Jersey, December 3, 1888. Children, born at Albany, New York:

  1. Amos Hammond Dean, June 16, 1843; married Sarah Treadwell, of Albany; died at Eureka Springs, February 12, 1903.
  2. James Armsby Dean, December 11, 1849, died in infancy.
  3. Henry Sage Dean, died in infancy.
  4. Frederick Augustus Dean, married Mary C. Lake, of Indiana, November 12, 1894.
  5. Josephine Davis Dean, July 14, 1856; married, April 9, 1884, Theodore Palmer, of Newark, New Jersey.
  6. Joanna Armsby Dean, June 27, 1860; married, at Albany, April 2, 1891, Frederick W. Cameron.

(V) Edward Madison, son of Truman Daniel and Elizabeth (Flagler) Cameron, was born in Albany, New York, October 7, 1864. His education was begun in the public schools of his native city, and in 1880-83 continued at the Albany Boys' Academy. After this preparation he entered Union College, where he received the degrees of A. B. and C. E. in 1887, and the degree of A. M. in 1891. Upon leaving college he became associated with his father in the lumber business in Albany, which connection continued from 1887 until 1890, when he succeeded to the business and formed a partnership with Orra G. Hawn the following year. His business led him to take an interest in the manufacture of lumber and iron, and he likewise accomplished considerable in real estate. He is a Democrat in politics, but has never sought or occupied an office. He attends the Presbyterian church, and is a member of the Union College Alumni Association and of the Albany Academy Alumni Association, the Delta Phi fraternity, the Engineering Society of Eastern New York, and the Society of the Second War with Great Britain; also is a member of the Sigma Xi Society and of Masters Lodge, F. and A. M. Mr. Cameron married, at Albany, September 14, 1881, Ella, daughter of William K. and Susan Maria (Townsend) Sloan. Children:

  1. Dorothy Bissell, born May 14, 1893, died May 14, 1893;
  2. Truman David, born January 27, 1896;
  3. Edward Madison, born November 3, 1897;
  4. Sloan, born December 12, 1899, died December 19, 1899;
  5. Charles Bissell, born October 4, 1901;
  6. Douglas Sloan, born January 2, 1909.

All the children were born in Albany, New York.

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