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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Deane

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1695-1698 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 name Den or Dene, which is the ancient way of spelling what is now written Deane, makes its appearance in England soon after the introduction of surnames. John and Walter Deane, who are the progenitors of many of those now bearing the name Deane and Dean in the United States, came to this country about 1637. After stopping in Boston a year they settled at Taunton, Massachusetts. It has been a tradition in the family that John and Walter Deane came from Taunton, England, but an authority states they were from Chard near Taunton. Another tradition is that a younger brother of theirs came to this country after them and settled in Connecticut, and that from him, Hon. Silas Deane, of Connecticut, descended. (This is the line of the Deanes of Catskill, New York). There was a Thomas Deane in Connecticut in 1643 who possibly may have been the brother referred to. (See "Hinman's First Puritan Settlers," p. 21 [i.e., Royal Ralph Hinman, A Catalogue of the Names of the First Puritan Settlers of the Colony of Connecticut]). The earliest ancestor of Hon. Silas Deane, who is probably the most prominent public character of the Deane family, is his great grandfather, James Deane, of Stonington, Connecticut, who may have been a son of Thomas Deane, the emigrant, 1643, to whom Hinman refers. There is, however, abundant evidence that James Deane, of Stonington, was a son of Walter Deane, of Taunton, Massachusetts. This evidence is so convincing that Arthur D. Dean, compiler of a history of the descendants of Ezra Dean, of Plainfield, Connecticut, so places him in that work.

(I) Walter Deane was born in Chard, England, between 1615 and 1620. He took the freeman's oath in Massachusetts, December 4, 1638. He settled in Taunton, Massachusetts, was deputy 1640, and selectman of Taunton 1679-86. He was by trade a farmer. He married Eleanor, daughter of Richard Strong, of Taunton, England. Children: Joseph, Ezra, Benjamin, James, perhaps two others.

(II) James, son of Walter and Eleanor (Strong) Deane, was a blacksmith and iron worker at Taunton, later of Scituate, Massachusetts. February 26, 1676, the town of Stonington, Connecticut, at a town meeting voted to donate a home lot of twenty-four acres of land to James Deane to induce him to settle there and follow his trade of blacksmith. One hundred acres of farm land was also included in the offer. He accepted and followed his trade in Stonington until 1698, when he removed to Plainfield, Connecticut. There he was elected the first town clerk in 1699, filling that office many years. He was a large land owner in Plainfield and in Voluntown. He died at Plainfield, May 29, 1725, his wife, April 26, 1726. Children:

  1. James, born October 31, 1674;
  2. Sarah, September 4, 1676;
  3. John, of further mention;
  4. Onecephorus (twin), died in infancy;
  5. Mary (twin), born March 28, 1680, married Thomas Thatcher;
  6. Francis, September 8, 1682;
  7. William, died young;
  8. Hannah, baptized April 4, 1686;
  9. William, born September 12, 1689;
  10. Nathaniel, baptized April 2, 1693, married Joanna Fisher;
  11. Jonathan, baptized April 22, 1695, married Sarah Douglas.

(III) John, son of James Deane, of Stonington and Plainfield, Connecticut, was born May 15, 1678. He married Lydia Thatcher, June 10, 1708.

(IV) Silas, son of John and Lydia (Thatcher) Deane, married, and among his children was Silas.

(V) Hon. Silas (2), son of Silas (1) Deane, was born at Groton, Connecticut, December 24, 1737, died at Deal, England, August 23, 1789. He was graduated with high honors at Yale College in 1758, when twenty-one years of age. He entered public life, was an ardent patriot and skillful diplomat. He took a prominent part in equipping naval forces, and was elected a member of the first continental congress in 1774 and was regarded as an able member. He was sent by congress to France as political and financial agent of the government. He arrived at Paris in June, 1776, with instructions to ascertain the temper of the French government concerning the rupture with Great Britain, and to obtain military support and supplies. When in September it was determined to send ministers to negotiate treaties, Franklin and Arthur Lee were commissioned to join him in Paris. He assisted them in the negotiation of the important treaties with France, and enlisted the sympathies of Lafayette. In consequence of the extravagant contracts he had entered into, not authorized by his instructions, he was recalled November 21, 1777, John Adams being appointed in his place. He left Paris, April 1, 1778, and returned to America. On his return he was called before congress and required to give an account of his contracts with foreign officers and to make a detailed statement of financial transactions on the floor of the house. He evaded a complete explanation and disclosure of his accounts on the ground that his papers were in Europe. He memorialized congress, but did not succeed in removing the suspicion from himself of having overstepped his authority and of having misappropriated the public money. He returned to France, but the French government declining to receive him he went to Holland, where he spent his entire private fortune in procuring proofs and in preparing an address backed by irrefutable evidence that none of the public money had been appropriated to his own use. This was published in 1784, but he had so bitterly attacked congress and his fellow commissioners, for the suspicion they had thrown around him, that they refused him justice and would do nothing to right the wrong they had done him. He had said he would vindicate himself if it took every dollar and it did. He returned to England, where he died in poverty. He was the soul of honor, as is shown by the testimonials from his neighbors and acquaintances. Says the historian, Hildreth: "No proof appears that he had been dishonest, or had employed the public money in speculations of his own, but he had occupied the unfortunate position of having large sums of public money pass through his hands before any proper system of vouchers and accounting had been established, and he fell before the same spirit of malignant accusation which presently assaulted Wadsworth, Greene, Morris, and even Franklin himself, but which they had better means of warding off." In 1842 congress at last adjusted Deane's accounts and paid to his heirs about $37,000. Yale College conferred the degree of A. M. in 1763. He is the author of "Paris Papers, or Mr. Silas Deane's late intercepted letters to his brother and other friends and published in his own defence" (1751); "An address to the Free and Independent Citizens of the United States of North America" (1784). He married and had issue.

(VI) Zephaniah, son of Hon. Silas (2) Deane, settled first in Pennsylvania, where he owned a large farm of four hundred acres. This he sold to a syndicate who later opened upon it one of the first coal mines. Other members of his wife's family (Abbott), holding smaller areas of land, leased their coal lands on a royalty that made them very wealthy. After selling his Pennsylvania lands he settled in New York on the shores of Lake Skaneateles on a farm, now the site of a large papermaking plant. He later settled in Coxsackie, Greene county, New York, and still later in Connecticut, where he died. He married Catherine Abbott, of Brooklyn, New York. They had sons, Zephaniah and Silas.

(VII) Silas (3), son of Zephaniah and Catherine (Abbott) Deane, was born July 24, 1798, died at Athens, Greene county, New York, August 24, 1849, from Asiatic cholera. He was a carpenter and contractor, and settled in Coxsackie, New York. He was the first "square rule" carpenter in Greene county. He made the screw hay presses that were used in this country. He traveled south in the winter time and erected sugar ginns and other farm machinery. He married Eleanor Salisbury, born October 8, 1804, died December 20, 1884, daughter of Francis and Persis (Wright) Salisbury, of Leeds, Greene county, New York. Children:

  1. Phoebe Ann, born October 12, 1823, died September 3, 1907;
  2. Francis William, June 26, 1825;
  3. Jeremiah, April 3, 1829;
  4. Elvira, June 3, 1831, died May 18, 1887;
  5. Hannah, October 30, 1833, died January 24, 1901;
  6. Mary, December 9, 1834;
  7. Emmeline, September 10, 1837, died November 16, 1871;
  8. James A., of further mention;
  9. Eleanor D., November 8, 1843, died February 13, 1870;
  10. Louisa, November 1, 1846;
  11. Silas Wright, February 20, 1849, died in 1880.

Eleanor (Salisbury) Deane was a direct descendant of Silvester Salisbury, born about 1629, in England or Wales, came to New Netherlands in 1664. His will was probated March 24, 1680. He married Elizabeth Beck. (For an extended account of Silvester Salisbury and descendants, see Salisbury family in this work). Francis, son of Silvester and Elizabeth (Beck) Salisbury, was born 1679, died about 1755. He married Maria Van Gaasbeck and had eight children. William, son of Francis and Maria (Van Gaasbeck) Salisbury, was baptized at Kingston, New York, December 25, 1714, died 1801; married, March 27, 1740, Teuntje (Eunice) Staats, daughter of Barent and Neeltje Garritse (Van Denberg) Staats, and had eleven children. Sylvester, son of William and Eunice (Staats) Salisbury, was baptized in Albany, January 27, 1741, died 1815 or 1816 at the home of his brother Abraham at Leeds, Greene county, New York. He married, in 1764, Neeltje Staats and had eleven children. Francis, sixth child and fifth son of Sylvester and Neeltje (Staats) Salisbury, was born December 5, 1775, died May 23, 1823. He married Persis Wright, who survived him until December 10, 1860. Children:

  1. Sylvester, born April 3, 1802, died September 8, 1840;
  2. Sophia, born July 14, 1803; married Jeremiah Gay;
  3. Eleanor, born October 8, 1804, married Silas Deane;
  4. Ruth, born November 11, 1805, married Casper Van Hoesen;
  5. John, August 31, 1807;
  6. Eunice, born February 3, 1809, died December 23, 1851, married Casper Spoor;
  7. Elizabeth, born February 2, 1811, married Michael Hallenbeck;
  8. Ann, March 15, 1812, married Madison Parker;
  9. Melinda, March 3, 1814, died December 21, 1897, married Warren Howland;
  10. Mary, born July 9, 1815, married William Beatty;
  11. Lydia, February 19, 1817, died October 31, 1898, married Reuben Coffin;
  12. Catherine, April 7, 1820, died August 2, 1849, married Evens Backus;
  13. Emmeline, born March 27, 1823, married William H. Shaw.

(VIII) Dr. James A. Deane, son of Silas (3) and Eleanor (Salisbury) Deane, was born at Coxsackie, Greene county, New York, November 26, 1840. He was educated in the public schools, prepared for college at Coeymans Academy and Claverack Institute, entered Rutgers College at New Brunswick, New Jersey, but failing health compelled him to quit college. He later regained his health and chose the profession of medicine, studying with Dr. Mackey, of Catskill, New York. He entered Bellevue Medical College of New York City, where he was graduated M. D., class of 1865. He practiced his profession in Catskill for a time, then removed to Battle Creek, Michigan, where he practiced for seven years. In 1873 he returned to Catskill, where he again entered active practice, continuing until 1898, when he retired to private life. His home is the famous Rip Van Winkle farm. He attained high rank in his profession, and holds membership in the leading medical societies, holding the office of president of the Greene County Society. He served three terms as coroner of Greene county and was on the staff of hospitals and institutions. He is a member of the Dutch Reformed church of Catskill, and a Democrat in politics. He married (first) Selena Post, of Saugerties, New York, who died November 5, 1888. He married (second) Ellen M. Osborne, who died July 21, 1895; married (third) June 12, 1899, Helene, daughter of Charles A. and Amelia (Raeder) Vedder, of Leeds, New York. No issue by any of the marriages.

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