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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Chase

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[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 462-467 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 Chase family is of ancient English origin, the name being derived, no doubt, from the French word "chasser," to hunt. The family seat of the branch from which the American one now considered is descended, was at Chesham, Buckinghamshire, through which runs the river Chess, giving its name to the town. The Chase arms are: Gules: four crosses patance argent, two and two, on a canton azure, a lion passant or.

(I) Thomas Chase, of Chesham, a descendant of the ancient family.

(II) John, son of Thomas Chase, was also, of Chesham.

(III) Matthew, son of John Chase, was of Chesham; married Elizabeth Bould, daughter of Robert Bould.

(IV) Thomas, son of Matthew Chase, was of Hundrech parish, Chesham.

(V) Richard, son of Thomas Chase, was born in Hundrech, Chesham, England, baptized August 3, 1542, married Joan Bishop, at Chesham, April 16, 1564. They had ten children, two of whom, Aquila and Thomas, came to America, and with William Chase (not a brother so far as any proof can be shown) are the ancestors of nearly all of the name in America who claim early descent.

(VI) Thomas, eighth child and sixth son of Richard and Joan (Bishop) Chase, born in Hundrech parish, Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England, was baptized July 18, 1585. He is the American ancestor of Judge Emory A. Chase, whose line of descent follows: Thomas came to America about the year 1636. In 1639 he was one of the early settlers of Hampton, New Hampshire, as was Aquila Chase, his brother, who remained until 1646, when he returned to Newburyport, Massachusetts, where he died in 1670. Thomas lived hereafter in Hampton, where he died in 1652. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Philbrick, in 1642, who survived him, and married (second), August 26, 1653, John Garland, whom she also survived, and married (third), February 19, 1677, Judge Henry Roby. Children:

  1. Thomas, born 1643, died in Hampton, unmarried.
  2. Joseph, born 1645, resided in Hampton; was taken prisoner in the assault on Major Waldron's, June 27, 1689; married, January 31, 1671, Rachael Partridge, of Salisbury.
  3. Isaac, of whom further.
  4. James, born 1649; married, September 2, 1675, Elizabeth Green.
  5. Abraham, born August 6, 1651; "was killed in ye Wares," in 1676.

(VII) Lieutenant Isaac, son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Philbrick) Chase, was born in Hampton, New Hampshire, April 1, 1647, died in Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, May 19, 1727. He is buried in the old cemetery on the hill overlooking the harbor at the village of Vineyard Haven, where his tombstone is yet to be found, though not wholly legible. It records that "Here lies the body of Isaac Chase, who died May ye 19, 1727." He married (first), February 20, 1673, Mary Perkins; (second), October 5, 1675, Mary Tilton, who survived him until 1746, aged eighty-eight years. Children:

  1. Thomas, born November 19, 1677; married, February 21, 1704, Jean Smith.
  2. Rachel, born October 25, 1679; married July 19, 1700, Samuel Knight.
  3. Isaac, born February 21, 168I; married, April 3, 1702, Mary Pease.
  4. Abraham, born January 10, 1683; married (first) Abigail Barnard (second), March 5, 1732, Mercy Nickerson.
  5. James, born January 15, 1685, married Rachel Brown.
  6. Mary, born January 17, 1687; married, June 14, 1704, Beniah Weeks.
  7. Joseph, of whom further.
  8. Jonathan, born December 28, 1691; married Mehitable ————.
  9. Hannah, born November 25, 1693; married, December 31, 1712, Nathan Pease.
  10. Sarah, born October 15, 1695; married, June 27, 1716, Samuel Cobb.
  11. Priscilla, born November 12, 1697; married, November 18, 1718, Nathaniel Folger.
  12. Elizabeth, born September 7, 1703, died unmarried, 1719.

(VIII) Joseph, son of Lieutenant Isaac and Mary (Tilton) Chase, was born February 26, 1689, and died May ——, 1749. He married Lydia Coffin, of Nantucket, September 16, 1714. She was a great-granddaughter of Tristram Coffin (Trustee), of Nantucket. She died July 17, 1749. Children:

  1. Abel, of whom further.
  2. Mary, born February 9, 1721; married, October 4, 1748, David Dunham.
  3. Priscilla, married, March 17, 1741, Henry Smith.
  4. Demaris, born May 12, 1724; married Peter Ripley.
  5. Lydia, married Shuball Dunham.
  6. Rachel, married, July 9, 1769, Thomas Gwin.
  7. Joseph, supposed to be drowned.
  8. Thomas, married (first) Anna Fields; (second) Elizabeth Collins.
  9. Sarah, born April 7, 1735; married, October 1, 1755, Seth Pease.
  10. Benjamin, born May 14, 1737.

(IX) Abel, son of Joseph and Lydia (Coffin) Chase, was born October 9, 1719, died January 25, 1808. He married, February 14, 1744, Mercy Mayhew, born February 23, 1725, died February 25, 1807. A few years before their death they spent with their son Zephaniah, and were buried on the farm in the Chase cemetery, hereinafter mentioned. Children:

  1. Benjamin, born December 23, 1745, died at Hudson, New York, November 3, 1816; married, February 27, 1768, Elizabeth Bronk, born April 22, 1746, died October 25, 1801.
  2. Zephaniah, of whom further.
  3. Henry, born October 5, 1756, died unmarried, July 8, 1832.

(X) Zephaniah, son of Abel and Mercy (Mayhew) Chase, was born in Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, March 14, 1748. He married (first), October 10, 1772, Abigail Skiff, born at Chillmark, Martha's Vineyard, July 4, 1748, died at Chillmark, March 27, 1784, daughter of Joseph and Remember (Gibbs) Skiff. He married (second), January 16, 1785, Widow Love (West) Skiff; born October 5, 1756, at Tisbury, Martha's Vineyard, died July 8, 1832, at Jewett Center, New York. Children of first marriage:

  1. Benjamin, of whom further.
  2. Elizabeth, twin of Benjamin, who died when eighteen days old.
  3. Joseph, born December 2, 1775, and died July 2, 1831; married, November 10, 1805, Jemima, daughter of Lambert Howk; children, John, Samuel and Isaac.
  4. Thomas, born October 18, 1777, died, unmarried, in Hudson, New York, January 22, 1821.

Children of second marriage:

  1. David, born March 1, 1786, died August 27, 1871; married (first), October 13, 1818, Abigail Pratt, (second) February 13, 1850, Charlotte Johnson; children, all, by first marriage: Eunice, Emmeline, Harriet, David Nobel, Polly, Lucy Ann, Charles Pratt, and Abigail.
  2. West, the first child born after the removal to New York, January 25, 1788, died September 7, 1792.
  3. Charles, born September 9, 1790, died April 24, 1844; married, November 30, 1809, Nellie (or Eleanor) Howk, born October 3, 1789, died June 10, 1868. Children: Cynthia, Electa, Almira, Levisa, Esther, Lucy, Eliza, Manley, Charles Wesley, D. Fletcher, Horace W. and Lambert Charles.
  4. Abigail, born October 28, 1792, died December 15, 1848; married, May 23, 1811, Jared Johnson, born July 1, 1786, died November 18, 1851; children: Tamesiu, Betsey, Abigail, Orra and Orvilla.
  5. Elizabeth, born February 23, 1795; married, March 17, 1814, Anson Bushnell; children: Alvin, Horace, Eunice, Mary Etta, and Lewis.
  6. West (2) born May 30, 1797, died May 22, 1880; married, September 30, 1817, Julia M. Newton, born May 5, 1800, died November 29, 1879; children: Newton, Eunice, Laura (died in infancy), Laura Elizabeth, Phidelia Ann, Caroline and Jane Estelle.
  7. Peter, born January 18, 1799, died July 6, 1799.
  8. Rebecca, twin of Peter, died at Hunter, New York, April 15, 1863. She preserved some of the personal articles of her father, Zephaniah, which she handed down to her children and grandchildren, among them a pocketbook now the property of Judge Emory A. Chase, given him by Dr. Frank Baldwin, of Brooklyn, New York, her grandchild. She married, November 15, 1818, Richard Howk, born July 10, 1792, died at Hunter, New York, May 6, 1874, son of Lambert Howk. He served in the war of 1812 under Colonel Robinson. Children: Abi and Ann.

Zephaniah's brother Benjamin was a sea captain, and he had been on several whaling voyages, with him, although he was a joiner or cabinet-maker by trade. Seeing no prospect for his boys but a seafaring life, he determined to find a place where land was cheaper and rear his boys on a farm. One of his relatives owned a large tract of land near Binghamton, New York, and offered to give him a farm if he would begin a settlement there. He owned some real property at Vineyard Haven, on Martha's Vineyard, which he sold for two hundred and fifty dollars preparatory to his seeking a home in the western wilds. With the proceeds of his property he took his second wife, Love, and their son David, then a little more than a year old, and his sons by his first wife, Benjamin, aged thirteen, Joseph, aged eleven, and Thomas, aged nine, and started on his long and dangerous journey. He reached Hudson, New York, probably by means of a slow sailing sloop from Martha's Vineyard. From a document in the possession of Judge Emory A. Chase, it appears that they were in Hudson, August 1, 1787. At Hudson they learned that the difficult part of the journey lay before them, a journey through forests infested with bears, wolves, panthers and other wild animals, and that there was only a crude road through the forest. Indians yet roamed the forests of eastern and southern New York. Zephaniah purchased a yoke of oxen and a lumber wagon and started on his journey to Binghamton, taking his wife and children and such tools and personal property as he had with him in the primitive conveyance. How he crossed the Hudson river, tradition does not disclose, but it was probably by boarding some sailing vessel and landing at Catskill, New York. From Catskill to Binghamton the road led over the Catskill mountains, and the entire journey was through an almost unbroken forest, with only a few settlers' cabins along the way. They proceeded to the valley of Batavia-kill, west of the eastern range of the Catskills, and, while resting near a well-known high rock, standing within what is now the village of Windham, at a cabin built against said rock, in which lived an early settler, a man who had come from Binghamton on foot informed them that, owing to an unusual wind, many trees were blown across the road, and that it would be impossible to get through with a wagon. While waiting, somewhat undetermined what to do, he met one Thomas Harriot, who offered to sell him his farm situated on the Schoharie-kill at a point ten miles up that stream from the junction of the Batavia-kill with it at a point ten miles below where they were at what is now Prattsville. He concluded to buy this farm and agreed to give, upon reaching the farm, the oxen as part payment for the same. How they reached the farm is told hereinafter. The house the settlers found was only two logs high, covered with bark, but a blockhouse was in course of erection, and this Zephaniah and his sons finished before the cold of winter, and here shortly afterwards their son West was born, the first Chase born in the Catskills. There was no saw mill within twenty miles of the farm at which logs could be sawed into material adapted for use in completing the house and from which to make furniture, so all such materials were made by Zephaniah and his sons by hewing the logs into blocks or splitting them and shaving or planing them into boards by the use of axes and other tools brought from Martha's Vineyard. Some of the furniture made by Zephaniah is in the possession of his descendants. The deed from Thomas Harriot is dated August 19, 1787. Here the family continued to live, and they cleared away the forest which covered the valley, as well as the high lands, and here all of the children of the second marriage, except David, were born. Zephaniah subsequently built a more pretentious house, which is still standing. The homestead farm in 1787 was in the town of Woodstock, Ulster county, New York. It was subsequently included in the new town of Windham and in Greene county. In subsequent divisions of the territory it became successively a part of the town of Lexington and of Jewett. It is now a part of the town of Jewett, Greene county, and the postoffice is Jewett Center, New York. Zephaniah was a Baptist, but few of his descendants are of that faith, many being Methodists or Presbyterians. He was a soldier in the revolutionary war. In the record of revolutionary soldiers for the state of Massachusetts in the state library at Albany is the following: "Chase, Zephaniah, private, Captain Smith's (Seacoast Company), service from September 1, 1776, to November 21, 1776, two months and twenty days." He died in Lexington, New York, May 30, 1828, in his eighty-first year, and is buried in the family burial plot in the cemetery on the hill north of the house which he built and which is known as the "Chase Cemetery."

(XI) Benjamin, eldest child of Zephaniah and Abigail (Skiff) Chase, was born at Holmes Hole, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, January 21, 1774, and died at Jewett Center, New York, February 28, 1862. When Zephaniah and his family on their westward journey reached the point on the Batavia-kill mentioned, where the farm was purchased, Benjamin (then a lad of eleven years) was sent with the oxen and goods down the Batavia-kill, ten miles, until he reached the Schoharie-kill, and he was directed to then follow that stream easterly ten miles to the farm that was to be their future home. Zephaniah took his wife and the three youngest children, including David, the baby, and crossed the mountain range on foot through what is now Jewett Heights, a much shorter route, being guided to his destination by marked trees described to him by the man from whose cabin they started. The physical and mental character of Benjamin is shown in his willingness to undertake and ability to direct and consummate the hard and dangerous journey. The father knew what he could expect of him, or he would not have entrusted the boy's personal safety and the safety of the property in such an undertaking. He made the trip in safety and the family was reunited at the designated spot. His life was spent at the homestead farm and a farm near it which he purchased; he engaged in farming, lumbering and tanning, and was also an officer in the local militia. He lived to be eighty-eight years old.

He married, August 4, 1799, Lydia Skiff, who died January 12, 1829, aged forty-nine years, a daughter of his stepmother, Love (West) Skiff, by her first husband. Children:

  1. Elizabeth, born March 14, 1800, died July 5, 1883; married, September 17, 1820, Luman Whitcomb; children: Louisa, Horace, Lucy, Almira, Lydia, Mary, Ogden, Newton, Lewis M. and Augusta.
  2. Lydia, born July 22, 1802; married, March 31, 1822, Orrin Burgess; children: Alvin, Caroline, Harriet, Sayres, Charles W. Dwight and Addison.
  3. Benjamin, born February 1, 1804, died July 13, 1895; married, May 6, 1827, Elizabeth Burgess, born May 27, 1803, died July 15, 1889; children: Ann Eliza, Mary Elizabeth, Cyrus W. and Martha.
  4. Abigail, born March 17, 1807, died January 21, 1821.
  5. William, born June 17, 1809, died at Fitchville, Ohio, June 17, 1888; married (first), October 27, 1836, Parmalia Wolcott, born January 28, 1817, died August 15, 1849; married (second), February 28, 1850, Elizabeth A. Jump, born March 22, 1817, died at Fitchville, July 28, 1893. Children of first marriage: Alvin Bushnell, Mary Francis, Watson Dwight; children of second wife: Ella Euretha and Sarah Libbie.
  6. Lucinda, born March 26, 1811, died October 31, 1878; married, March 30, 1830, Matthias H. Chittenden, born May 1, 1807, died February 9, 1881; children: Mary Jane, Alanson H., Albert W., Sarah R., and Edward B.
  7. Mary, born April 9, 1813, died March 25, 1879; married, September 9, 1835, Samuel W. Cook, born April 1, 1881, died June 29, 1893; children: Julia H., Gideon J., Mary, Laura J. and Elizabeth.
  8. Sarah, born June 28, 1816, died at Hopkins, Michigan, May 17, 1879; married, May 30, 1841, Peleg W. Chamberlain, born July 16, 1812, died April 17, 1879; children: Albert P., West C., Helen A., Lydia A., Mary J., Emerson H., Edward A. and Julia H.
  9. Albert, of whom further.
  10. Ira, born October 23, 1821, died January 29, 1901; married, May 20, 1850, Esther Chase, a kinswoman; children: Alvin, Theodore and Minnie.

(XII) Albert, son of Benjamin and Lydia (Skiff) Chase, was born at Lexington, New York, January 4, 1819. He lived with his parents on the old homestead until the death of his mother, January 12, 1829, after which he went to live in the family of his uncle, Charles Chase, on a farm two miles below what is now the village of Hunter. He attended the district schools, and when twenty years old returned to Lexington and learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed for twenty-five years, becoming one of the largest contractors in that part of the county. He married, September 1, 1844, at the Methodist Episcopal Church in East Jewett, Laura Orinda Woodworth, daughter of Abner and Betsey (Judson) Woodworth, born April 7, 1822, died at Hensonville, June 2, 1906. After their marriage they resided for about one year in the town of Lexington, when they moved to Hensonville (1845) and he there carried on an extensive lumber and contracting business for many years. Subsequently he purchased a large farm in the outskirts of the village, and after erecting new buildings thereon made it his home for the rest of his life. He died there October 13, 1902. He was a Republican in politics, and held the office of justice of the peace of the town. He was an active supporter of the Methodist church at Hensonville, and for twenty-six years the superintendent of its Sunday-school. The children of Albert and Laura O. Chase were all born at Hensonville, New York:

  1. Saphrona E., born June 2, 1845, died January 7, 1862.
  2. Lydia Augusta, born April 4, 1847, died March 31, 1880; married, January 4, 1871, Cyrus E. Bloodgood; child: Albert Chase, born November 23, 1871, now a lawyer and resident of Catskill, New York, married Annie Howland.
  3. Abner, born October 19, 1848, died September 25, 1850.
  4. Emory Albert, of whom further.
  5. Demont L., born March 4, 1860, now a resident and business man of Hensonville, New York; married, November 16, 1881, Josie A. Osborn, born November 23, 1860; children: Leona L. and Elbert Osborn.

(XIII) Judge Emory Albert Chase, son of Albert and Laura Orinda (Woodworth) Chase, was born at Hensonville, Greene county, New York, August 31, 1854. He was educated at the village school and at Fort Edward Collegiate Institute, after which he taught school for several years, in the meantime preparing for the legal profession. On March 27, 1877, he entered the law offices of King & Hallock, at Catskill, New York, and after a thorough course of preparation was admitted to the bar May 6, 1880. In that year Mr. King retired and a new legal firm was formed by Mr. Hallock and W. Irving Jennings under the name of Hallock & Jennings. Mr. Chase was given an interest in the business, but his name could not appear as a member of the firm, as at that time he had not been admitted as an attorney-at-law. The firm name was afterwards and in 1882 changed to Hallock, Jennings & Chase. On September 22, 1890, Mr. Hallock retired, but the firm continuing in the name of Jennings & Chase. They became well known as able, conscientious lawyers, and had a very large and profitable clientage. Mr. Chase was successively admitted to the United States district and circuit courts and the United States supreme court. His practice frequently took him before the state and Federal courts, and he was everywhere recognized as a successful lawyer and a man of the highest character.

In 1880, the year he was admitted to the bar, he was the candidate of his party for district attorney of Greene county, but although he ran far ahead of his ticket he was defeated by 211 votes. In 1882 he was elected a member of the Catskill board of education and served continually in such board until 1896, the last five years being as president. He also served one term as supervisor of the town of Catskill, and for many years was the village counsel. In 1896 Mr. Chase, who had now been in active political and professional life since 1880, was nominated by the Third Judicial District Republican Convention for justice of the supreme court of New York. He was opposed by the Democratic candidate, Frank H. Osborn. At the election following he received a majority of 12,680 votes, and was the second supreme court judge ever elected by the Republican party in that judicial district. Before assuming the duties of his office he retired from the law firm of Jennings & Chase, his place being taken by his opponent for the judgeship, Frank H. Osborn. Judge Chase made his first appearance on the bench at the January trial term of 1897, at Schoharie, and at the close of his first trial term received an engrossed copy of complimentary resolutions adopted by the Schoharie County Bar. As he went from county to county in the Third District he won the highest encomiums from the lawyers and the press for his fair, impartial rulings, his unfailing courtesy and rapid methods of disposing of business. January 8, 1900, he was designated an associate justice of the appellate division, third department, by Governor Odell; December 31, 1905, he was designated as an associate judge of the Court of Appeals under the constitutional amendment of 1899, by Governor Higgins. At the expiration of his term of fourteen years in 1910, Judge Chase was unanimously renominated by the Republican convention of the Third District held October 5, 1910. At the Democratic convention, held a few days later, he was paid the high and unusual compliment of a unanimous nomination by his political opponents, the nominating speech being made by the unsuccessful candidate of fourteen years earlier, Frank H. Osborn. He said in part: "He is a man of irreproachable character, an able lawyer and an ideal judge." During that part of his term in which he was engaged as a trial justice he frequently by invitation presided over terms of court in New York City and other parts of the state, and many noted cases were tried before him. While he has been a justice of the Appellate Division and a judge of the Court of Appeals, hundreds of opinions have been written by him which appear in the law reports and make a part of the judicial history of the state. The New York State Bar Association, in endorsing his renomination, said

"His judicial career, both in trial and appellate courts, and especially as a member, by designation, of the Court of Appeals, is and has been distinguished for, and characterized by such eminent judicial qualifications and great legal learning and ability as to make it most fitting and desirable that his services be retained by the public. Therefore, the New York State Bar Association, by its duly authorized committee, hereby urges the unanimous renomination and election of Mr. Justice Chase, irrespective of party, to the end that the judiciary may, as far as possible, be kept free from politics, that the public may retain the services of a tried, upright and most worthy judge, and, as we hope, if not expect, if re-elected, he may continue to adorn the bench of the Court of Appeals as one of its appointed members."

At the election on November 8, 1910, Judge Chase received the vote of the two great political parties and was re-elected for another term of fourteen years. When Governor-elect Dix became governor on January 1, 1911, his first act was to re-designate Judge Chase, together with his former associate, Judge Frank H. Hiscock, to the Court of Appeals, pursuant to said amendment to the constitution adopted in 1899. Judge Chase is now engaged in the performance of his duties as a judge of that court. Soon after judge Chase took office as a justice of the supreme court, January 1, 1897, he resigned from most of the trust and business enterprises in which he was interested. He has retained his position as vicepresident of the Catskill Savings Bank, and a director of the Tanner's National Bank. He is a member and a trustee of Christ Presbyterian Church of Catskill, and a liberal supporter of all good causes in his home town. He is deeply interested in historical and genealogical matters and has given much time to the preservation of his own family history. He is a vice-president of the Chase-Chace Family Association, which held its first reunion in the historic meeting house of the First Religious Society in Newburyport, Massachusetts, August 30, 1900. This society embraces the descendants of William, Thomas and Aquila Chase, the latter being the progenitor of Judge Salmon P. Chase, everywhere known as the "Great Secretary of the Treasury" and the "Father of the Greenback."

Judge Chase married, at Prattsville, New York, June 30, 1885, Mary E. Churchill, daughter of Addison J. and Elizabeth (Houghtaling) Churchill, born October 23, 1861. Children:

  1. Jessie Churchill Chase; she is a graduate of the Catskill high school, and (1909) of Smith's College, with the degree of A. B.
  2. Albert Woodworth Chase; he graduated at Phillips Andover Academy, and is now a sophomore at Yale University.

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