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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Clements

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 851-853 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 of Clements were landed proprietors resident in counties Cavan and Leitrim, Ireland. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, county Leitrim was formed and named from the town of Leitrim. This was in 1565. In 1584 county Cavan was formed: and called Cavan from its chief town, Cavan, and was later added to Ulster, and Leitrim was left to Connaught. The family of Clements was raised to the peerage with the title of Earls of Leitrim. The Earls of Leitrim also had seats in Kildare. It is from the Earl of Leitrim that the Clements family of Schenectady descend through the line, Robert Clements, a younger son of the reigning earl. The family were Protestant, worshipping under the forms of the regular established Church of England.

(II) Colonel Robert Clements, son of the Earl of Leitrim, was born on the family estate in county Leitrim, Ireland, and after finishing his education entered the English army,. rising to the rank of colonel. In the campaign against Napoleon he was killed in Holland at the battle of Bergermozoor. He married and had issue.

(III) John, son of Colonel Robert Clements, was born in Belfast, Ireland, spent his, life and died there. He was a wealthy Irishh gentleman and lived the life of luxury and ease common to his class. He married Jane Boyd, of the aristocracy, granddaughter of General Stewart, who served on Lord Wellington's staff. They had issue.

(IV) Robert, son of John and Jane (Boyd) Clements, was born in Belfast, Ireland, in 1826. After a preparatory education, he entered Queens College, Belfast, where he was graduated. He inherited a fortune from his mother, and lived in Belfast following the life of a gentleman of means until about 1849. Whether the family fortunes had become impaired, or whether there was a lack of harmony, does not appear, but in 1849 he sailed for the United States with his wife and three children, landing in New York City. He there became connected with a gas company in an office capacity. In 1859 his company obtained a franchise and established a plant in Schenectady. Mr. Clements had so proved his ability that he was sent to that city to. superintend the erection of the plant, and when finished he was placed in full charge of its operation as general manager and superintendent He had acquired an interest in the company as a stockholder, which he increased as opportunity offered until he was the owner of one-third of the capital stock. He also began acquiring real estate, and became the owner of a large landed estate. He continued as superintendent of the gas company until his death, March 4, 1883. He was an active, capable business man, and an infallible judge of real estate values. He was a man of learning, well-read and of unusual mental capacity. He was a recognized authority, and the arbitrator of many disputes over questions of fact. He was a strong supporter of the Democratic party, but always refused public office, although it was often tendered him when party success was in no sense doubtful. He is buried in Vale cemetery.

He married, in Belfast, Ireland, Agnes Harvey, born in that city in 1824, died in Schenectady, New York, April, 1898, and is buried in Vale cemetery. Children, first three born in Belfast:

  1. John, born February 12, 1844; he was under nine years of age when his parents came to the United States and settled in Schenectady, where he was educated in the public schools. He entered business life in Schenectady and has continued until the present time; he is in the grocery business, and is now one of the oldest grocers in the city. He was always prominent in city public life, served in many capacities on many commissions, and on the board of education. He was a member of every board of excise commissions, serving in different positions, including president of the board. He married, in 1868, Anna Harvey, born in Glasgow, Scotland, February 10, 1839, daughter of David and Janet (Munro) Harvey, and granddaughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Harvey, of the famous "Black Watch" regiment. Her parents came to Schenectady when she was a small child. She has an unmarried sister, Elizabeth, who resides in Schenectady. The Harveys were all adherents of the Presbyterian faith. Children of John and Anna (Harvey) Clements:
    1. Rev. Robert, born July 9, 1870, was graduated from Union University, A.B., class of 1890, and Auburn Theological Seminary; he was ordained a minister of the Presbyterian church, and is now pastor of one of the prominent churches of Erie, Pennsylvania. He married Edith Wennett, of a leading family of Toronto, Canada, and has two children, Ellen and John;
    2. Rev. Harvey, born September 2, 1874, in Schenectady; graduated from Union University, A.B., class of 1895, and Auburn Theological Seminary; attended a special course at Berlin University, and graduated at Oxford, England, 1906. He entered the ministry, and is pastor of the leading Presbyterian church of Rochester, New York. He married Jane Wait, of Auburn, New York, and has a son William.
  2. William, born in Belfast, Ireland; educated in Schenectady, and was a prominent retired citizen of Ballston Spa, New York; died July, 1910. He married and has issue.
  3. Elizabeth Ann, born in Belfast, Ireland; married Fred H. Weston; both deceased, leaving two sons, Fred H. and James.
  4. Joseph Harvey, see forward.
  5. Jane, married James A. Goodrich, a prominent attorney of Schenectady; no issue.
  6. Robert, died in childhood.
  7. Agnes, unmarried, resides in Schenectady.
  8. Mary E., married J. Trumbul Lyon, a leading pharmacist and business man of Schenectady.
  9. Maggie D., died in childhood.
  10. Abel S., born in Schenectady, where he resides unmarried. For many years he was a bookkeeper in the Schenectady Savings Bank.

(V) Joseph Harvey, son of Robert and Agnes (Harvey) Clements, was born in New York City, October 5, 1849. He was quite young when his parents removed to Schenectady, where he was educated. He owned and conducted a dry goods store for some four years. He was early associated with his father in the operation of the gas plant and remained with him several years. After the death of his father he became superintendent of the gas plant. He then secured a franchise from the city, which he sold to what is now the Mohawk Gas Company. He later began contracting the building of sewers and the installation of water systems and works in connection, a business he has since followed in different parts of the country. He has been very successful, and has contracted with many cities for both sewers and water works. During his twenty-four years as a contractor of his class of construction, he has laid over sixty miles of water pipe and miles of sewers in the city of Schenectady alone. He has acquired considerable real estate, much of which he has improved. He is an active, useful member of the Presbyterian church of Schenectady, which he has served as deacon and now as trustee and elder. His interest in the work of the Young Men's Christian Association has continued over a period of twenty years, during the entire period he has been a director of the Schenectady branch. Politically he is a Democrat. He married (first) in Schenectady, Margaret McMillian, who died in that city, 1883, daughter of James and Ann (Gifford) McMillian, born in New York state of Scotch forbears, died in Princetown, Schenectady county, New York. James McMillian was a farmer of Schenectady county, served as sheriff and supervisor of the county. and was a member of the Presbyterian church. He married (second) Mary K. Fuller, born in Schenectady, daughter of James Fuller, attorney. She is a woman of education and refinement, prominent in the social circles of the city. By his first marriage he had two children:

  1. Joseph H., a graduate of Union College, class of 1901, degree of A.B., since which time has been associated with his father; has traveled extensively; married Bertha Platt, of New Brittain, New York; they have one child, McMillian.
  2. Edith, educated in the high school; resides at home.

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