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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Christie

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1240-1241 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.]

In his "Scottish Dictionary" Dr. Jamieson [i.e., John Jamieson, Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language] conjectures that the Scottish word "cristie" is derived from the Danish, while Dr. Ferguson is of the opinion that the English prefix "crist" may be the Frankish form of the Teutonic "brist," to brandish a sword. It is more probable that the surname Christie and Christison are derived from the Danish baptismal name Christian. A few families of the Isle of Man distinctly claim a Norse or Danish origin. As a surname Christy, or Christie, appears in Scotland as early as the twelfth century. The family has produced more than an ordinary share of notable members, several of whom have occupied useful and important posts in the public service of Scotland and England. They figured prominently in the English reduction of Canada, and were soldiers of rank in other English wars. They were merchants of Edinburgh and Sterling, farmers, scholars and divines.

The American history of this branch of the Christies in America begins with John Christie, born in the suburbs of Edinburgh, Scotland, June 7, 1799, died in New Jersey, July 21, 1890, at the great age of ninety-one years. He was a paper manufacturer, also owner of a linseed oil mill. He came to the United States in 1832 on account of his health, and settled in Troy where he was engaged in business for several years. He was a silent partner of the wholesale grocery firm of Crandell, Peck & Dimock, and also was a manufacturer of, cigars, tobacco and snuff. In 1848 he removed to Waybridge, Vermont, where he bought a paper mill which he operated for fifteen years. He was also engaged In the manufacture of linseed oil. In 1863 he disposed of his Vermont interests and removed to town of Ancora, Monmouth county, New Jersey, and lived the retired life of a country gentleman. He had a fine fruit farm in good bearing, including four acres of cranberries, which he often referred to as his "bank" so profitably did they produce. Here he ended his long, active, busy life, passed on two continents. He was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church in Troy, Vermont and New Jersey. He was a class leader and member of the State Street Church while in Troy, and retained an active connection with the Ancora, New Jersey, church until his death. He was a Democrat in politics, and a man held in high esteem everywhere he was known. While in Troy he was a member of one of the volunteer fire companies. He married, in Edinburgh, Scotland, December 16, 1820, Margaret, born in that city, January 20, 1798, died at Ancora, New Jersey, August 12, 1875, daughter of Thomas Robertson, of Edinburgh. Children:

  1. Smith, born August 7, 1830, died 1831.
  2. Agnes A., now (1910) living in Allendale, New Jersey; she married, in Troy, December 25, 1844, James Robertson and has children:
    1. James T.;
    2. Euphemia, married Joseph H. Ware, of Allendale, and has one child.
  3. Margaret, died in infancy.
  4. Margery, born in Scotland, died in Vermont, unmarried.
  5. John Thomas, see forward.
  6. George Truman, born in Troy, January 28, 1838, died there February 28, 1840.

(II) John Thomas, son of John and Margaret (Robertson) Christie, was born in Troy, New York, October 28, 1835. He was educated in the public schools, and in the private schools taught by Philander Perry and Rev. Smith, of Troy. In 1850 he entered Troy Conference Seminary of the Methodist Episcopal church at Poultney, Vermont, and later returned to his father's home, then in Waybridge, Vermont. After some years spent in western travel and prospecting, he located in Troy and engaged in the insurance business with the firm of Peck & Hillman. He remained with that firm until 1864, when in association with Rev. Stephen Parks he engaged in the same business under the firm name of Parks & Christie. In 1865 they obtained the general agency of the state of New York (outside New York City and Long Island) for the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York. The firm prospered and had the largest fire and life insurance agency in the city until 1881, when he left the insurance business and purchased an interest in the Ludlow Valve Manufacturing Company of Troy, and was elected a director of the corporation and practically performed the duties of secretary. In 1891 the company was reincorporated with slight change of name, and capitalists from New York City became interested in the company, now one of the largest manufacturers of straightway valves and fire hydrants in the world. After the reorganization, Mr. Christie was elected president, continuing the efficient head of the company until July 28, 1909, when he retired, James H. Caldwell succeeding to the presidency. During Mr. Christie's incumbency of the office the business of the company more than doubled. Since vacating the president's chair, he has served as chairman of the board of directors. He was one of the organizers of the Rensselaer Telephone & Telegraph Company, and served as president, 1899-1908. He was vice-president of the Central Bank of Troy, until its consolidation with the National City Bank of Troy. Since its incorporation in 1903, he has served as a director of the Troy Trust Company, and serves the Samaritan Hospital of Troy as trustee. He is a member of the congregation of Second Street Presbyterian Church, and politically a Republican. He has retired from his clubs and societies, retaining only membership in the Pafraets Dael Club. He married, April 13, 1858, at Middlebury, Vermont, Sophia McMillan. Child:

  1. Margery Josephine, married James Henry Caldwell.

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