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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Collins

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1255-1256 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 Collins family of Scotia, Schenectady county, New York, descend from John Collins, born in Kilrea, county Derry, Ireland, where he lived and died. He was a cattle drover and known throughout his section of Ireland as "Honest John Collins," so pronounced was his integrity. He was a devout Catholic, and used his influence for good. His children were:

  1. James, born 1798; came to the United States in 1825; settled near Princeton, New Jersey, where he was first employed by Commodore Stockton; later became one of the famous contractors of his day in company with his younger brother, Charles. He married and had two children who survived childhood:
    1. Susan, married John McGlynn, and
    2. Kate, unmarried.
  2. Charles, see forward.
  3. John.
  4. Susan.
  5. Catherine.

(II) Charles, second son of John and Susan Collins, was born in Kilrea, Ireland, in 1800, died in Scotia, Schenectady county, New York, in 1871. He came to the United States in 1828, making the voyage in seven weeks. He joined his brother in Princeton, New Jersey, where they began contracting on a section of the Delaware and Raritan canal, then in the course of construction. They were very successful, and for many years there were very few large public works they were not competitors in building. They secured many large contracts from railroad and canal companies for construction work, built bridges, culverts, roads, tunnels, sewers, water works and all kinds of heavy work, much of it difficult and expensive. The firm of Collins Brothers became well known. They changed the incline plane from Schenectady to Albany. In 1842, while engaged on a Schenectady contract, Charles purchased a fine farm in Scotia, just across the river from Schenectady, which is yet the family home. The old Dutch house on the property still remains the family house, and there he died in 1871. He was a man of great force and energy, knew no such word as fail, and reaped a rich reward for his years of energetic endeavor. While building a section of the Boston and Albany railroad, he made his headquarters at Middlefield, Massachusetts, where he married, February 7, 1842, Electa Root, born in that town in 1807, died at the Scotia homestead, October 26, 1882, daughter of Daniel and Electa (Wardwell) Root, of English ancestry. Children:

  1. James, died in infancy.
  2. Susan, born in Rotterdam, died unmarried.
  3. Annie E., born in Holyoke, Massachusetts; now resides in Scotia, is devoted to the interests and welfare of her church, St. John's Roman Catholic.
  4. Catherine, born in Templeton, Massachusetts; constitutes with her sister Annie E., the surviving family, of Charles and Electa (Root) Collins.
  5. James, the only son to survive infancy, was born in Montague, Massachusetts, in 1849, died at Scotia, New York, July 21, 1905. He married, October 7, 1886, Catherine, daughter of Thomas Sausse, of Troy, New York. She died April 11, 1904, without issue.

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