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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Flack

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1020-1023 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.]

[Editorial note: Rod Davis of the Little Nine Partners Historical Society points out that Pleasant Valley was part of the Great (or Lower) Nine Partners Patent of 1697 rather than the Little (or Upper) Nine Partners Patent of 1706. The entries which referred to Little Nine Partners have thus been changed to read Lower Nine Partners.]

This is one of the old families of St. Lawrence county, New York, intermarried with one still older in New England. James Flack, a soldier of the war of 1812, was one of the early settlers of the town of Lisbon, St. Lawrence county. Andrew Newcomb is of record in Boston, Massachusetts, as early as 1663. The alliance between the two families was formed about 1850, when two brothers, descendants of James Flack, married sisters, descendants of Andrew Newcomb. Both families have produced many men eminent in the professions and in business. They have been valiant in war and no less useful in times of peace. There have been noted scientists in the family, skilled physicians, ministers of the Gospel and famous agriculturists.

(I) James Flack, probably son of Richard Flack, was born in January, 1755, in Washington county, New York, died 1839. He was a resident of the town of Lisbon, St. Lawrence county, New York, prior to the war of 1812. Richard and John Flack settled there shortly after 1802. When James came, or the relationship existing between them, is not shown. He was married and had a child four months of age at the time he entered the army. His wife, feeling unsafe in her home so near the scene of hostilities, mounted a horse and, taking her baby, rode to Plattsburg and thence to Hebron, Washington county, New York. James became an extensive lumberman of the county. In 1818, when the turnpike was built from Ogdensburg to Parishville, Thomas Craig built a hotel at a point on the load that soon became the business center of the town of Lisbon. A post-office was established, two churches built, an ashery, a store and a carriage shop. James Flack bought and enlarged the hotel which so improved the town that it was named in his honor, Flackville. He married Margaret McCarter, born in Washington county, New York, 1751, died 1835. Children: Richard, John, James, Robert, see forward; Samuel, Nancy, Martha, Jane and Mary.

(II) Robert, son of James and Margaret (McCarter) Flack, was born in Hebron, Washington county, New York, 1791, died in Syracuse, New York, 1857. He was a farmer all his active days in Lisbon, St. Lawrence county, but late in life removed to Syracuse, where some of his children were in business. He married Martha Lytle, born in Hebron, New York, 1792, died in Syracuse, July 16, 1832. Children:

  1. David H., born in Hebron, September 19, 1818, died in Troy, New York; he was one of the leading business men of Lansingburg and Troy, and was associated with his brothers in business; married Sarah Newcomb, who bore him seven children, one of whom, Clarence, was of the firm of Roehmer & Flack, manufacturers of Troy, New York.
  2. William Adam, see forward.
  3. Isaac G., July 4, 1830, of whom further.
  4. James.
  5. John.
  6. Maria.
  7. Sophia, who married Samuel Burrett.

(III) William Adam, son of Robert and Martha (Lytle) Flack, was born in Lisbon, St. Lawrence county, New York, August 10, 1824, died in Lansingburg, Rensselaer county, New York, December 29, 1901. He was educated in the district schools, and worked with his father until 1843, when he went to Syracuse, New York, where he engaged in the manufacture of salt, continuing here until August, 1846, when he removed to Lansingburg, New York, where he was in the grocery business. In March, 1850, he removed to Albany, New York, where, in company with George H. Newcomb, he opened a grocery store at the corner of Broadway and Columbia street. The firm was Flack & Newcomb. In 1851 he sold his interest and returned to Lansingburg, where with his brother, David H., he formed the grocery firm of W. A. Flack & Company. In 1852 he purchased his brother's interest, and in 1856, in company with Samuel Dauchey, under the firm name of Dauchey & Flack, established a wholesale produce and seed business in Troy, New York. In 1859 he sold his interest and gave his entire attention to his grocery business in Lansingburg, which he had retained in connection with his business in Troy. In 1864 he again engaged in the wholesale and retail grocery and seed business in Troy, with David H. Flack. There were some later changes in personnel of the firm, but William A. remained active in business until within a few years of his death. In 1862 he was elected director of the Farmers' Bank. He was a Republican and held the office of village trustee in Lansingburg from March, 1859, till March, 1866; was re-elected again in 1870, and again in 1872; was elected supervisor in March, 1866, and served one year. He was a Methodist in religious connection, and served the Lansingburg church as trustee. He married, April 19, 1852, in Pittstown, Louisa, born in North Pittstown, Rensselaer county, New York, January 26, 1830, daughter of Dr. Simon Newcomb. (See Newcomb VI) Children:

  1. William Simon, born December 3, 1853, died in Lansingburg, 1898, unmarried.
  2. Mary, Louise, October 24, 1855, died September 17, 1860.
  3. Elizabeth Helen, April 15, 1859, unmarried.
  4. Charles Edward, March 15, 1861, died October 29, 1865.
  5. Anna Louise, January 23, 1863; married Herbert Marshall Caswell, and has a daughter, Barbara Flack Caswell.
  6. John Edward, April 19, 1868; married Harriet Hines, and has a daughter, Eleanor, born 1900.

Mrs. William A. Flack survives her husband and resides in Lansingburg, where she enjoys the friendship and esteem of her large circle of acquaintances. She rejoices in the companionship of her children and grandchildren, who are the comfort and solace of her declining years.

(III) Isaac G., third son of Robert and Martha (Lytle) Flack, was born in Lisbon, St. Lawrence county, New York, July 4, 1830, and died in Lansingburg, New York, October 26, 1899. He was educated in the district schools and for a few years worked in various positions for others. He later went to Syracuse, New York, where he was engaged with his brother, William A., in the salt business. Not finding that line entirely congenial he returned to Troy and with his brother David was engaged in the manufacture of brushes. Later he was of the wholesale grocery and seed firm formed by the Flack brothers, and continued in active business until his death, although there were changes in the personnel of the firm. He was president of the village of Lansingburg and held numerous town offices. He was very popular with his townsmen and served them well in the different places of trust to which their partiality elected him. He was a very generous, warm-hearted man, and no appeal for aid was ever made to him in vain. His leading characteristic perhaps was his intense love for home and family. He was essentially a home man, and when freed from business and official cares was always to be found there. He early became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and always was a loyal, consistent member. He married (first) Mary E. Abrams, born in Lansingburg, in 1835, died there in 1873. Children:

  1. George A., now living in Troy;
  2. Emma S., wife of John E. Inskip, of Troy;
  3. Frank, deceased;
  4. Harry, deceased;
  5. Mary L., unmarried;
  6. Charles I., married Mabel M. Link.

Mr. Flack married (second) Mary S. Wade, born in Washington county, New York, in 1835. She was the mother of Frederick, born and died in 1875. Mrs. Flack survives her husband, and resides in Troy.

(The Newcomb Line)

The name Newcomb is said to be of Saxon origin. The family trace their English ancestry to Hugh Newcombe, of Saltfleetly, county Lincoln (1189-1199). The American ancestor was Captain Andrew Newcomb. The date of his arrival is not known nor the exact place of his birth. That his birthplace was England is quite certain, and that he emigrated from the west of England, probably Devonshire or Wales, all traditions declare. The first mention of him is in Boston, Massachusetts, 1663, where he married his second wife, Grace. He was a sailor and at that time a sea captain, so that may be taken as his occupation from youth. There are numerous documents showing his sailings, etc., the last being in October, 1684. His will was proved two years later. The name of his first wife is not known. His second was Grace, widow of William Ricks. From his occupation it may be inferred that Captain Newcomb was a man of vigor, courage, and enterprise, that he was an educated man the specimens of his handwriting and the character of the documents that still exist abundantly prove. Children by first wife were: Andrew (2), see forward, Susannah; by second wife he had Grace, who was twice married.

(II) Lieutenant Andrew (2), son of Andrew (1) Newcomb and his first wife, was resident of this country as early as July, 1666, when he attended a meeting at the Isles of Shoals, near Portsmouth, New Hampshire, of men engaged in the fisheries for the purpose of fixing the price of fish. Numerous documents attest his residence at Isles of Shoals, Kittery, Maine, and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, where he died between March, 1703-04, and October 22, 1708. He was one of the proprietors of Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard. He held several of the town offices. April 13, 1691, was chosen lieutenant and was in command of the fortifications. He was a merchant in Edgartown, and a large land owner. He married (first) Sarah ————; children: Simeon, Andrew, Simon, see forward, Thomas, Sarah, Mary and Peter, He married (second) Anna Bayes; children: Anna, Elizabeth, Joseph, Emblem, Tabitha, Hannah, Zerviah and Mary.

(III) Simon, son of Lieutenant Andrew (2) and Sarah Newcomb, was born about 1666, probably at Kittery, York county, Maine, but possibly on the Isles of Shoals, which lie a few miles out in the Atlantic Ocean from Portsmouth and Kittery. He died at Lebanon, Connecticut, January 20, 1744-45. He was eight years old when the family removed to Martha's Vineyard, and he lived there until 1713. He acquired a great amount of land in Martha's Vineyard, selling most of it, probably when he removed in 1713 to Lebanon, New London county, Connecticut. He was a wealthy and prominent man in Lebanon, where he held many of the town offices. He gave farms to each of his sons except Simon (2), who received a gift of his homestead. His wife, Deborah, whom he married about 1687 and with whom he lived fifty-eight years, died in Lebanon, June 17, 1756, in her ninety-second year. They are both buried in the old cemetery at Lebanon, Connecticut, where their tombstones may still be found, although the inscriptions are difficult to decipher. Children: John, Thomas, see forward, Hezekiah, Obadiah, Deborah, Sarah, Benjamin, Elizabeth and Simon.

(IV) Thomas, son of Simon and Deborah Newcomb, was born in Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, 1691-92. He settled in Lebanon, Connecticut, 1714, where he remained until 1739, when he removed to Salisbury, Connecticut. He was by trade a "cordwainer," but after his settling in Lebanon was largely engaged in mercantile pursuits. His old book of accounts, commenced in 1735, is still in possession of his descendants, and show three hundred and fifty persons with whom he had business transactions. He was an original proprietor of Salisbury, where he was chosen moderator of the first town meeting, November 9, 1741, and the first chosen selectman. Near the close of the year 1746 he removed to a place called "Lower Nine Partners," Dutchess county, New York. He was one of the "Lower Nine Partners" to a large tract of land granted by the government. He gave to each of his sons a farm, probably by deed, as no settlement of his estate has been found. He resided in what was later called Charlotte Precinct in the town of Pleasant Valley. He married, at Nantucket, Massachusetts, "28th day 10th month" 1712, Eunice, born about 1685, died December 7, 1715, daughter of Dennis and Catherine (Inness) Manning. He married (second) January 17, 1720, Judith, daughter of Benjamin Woodworth, of Lebanon. He is buried in Washington Hollow churchyard, about two and a half miles distant from his former home. No record is preserved of the death of his second wife Judith. His children were all born in Lebanon, Connecticut, and their names are copied from the old family Bible printed in London, England, 1711. This Bible was owned by his grandson, Dr. Simon Newcomb, of Lansingburg, New York. Children of Judith, second wife, were: Cyrenius, born 1721; Azariah, Keziah, Zacheus, Adonijah, Thomas, Judith, Simon, see forward; Deborah. No names are preserved of children of first wife; as she only lived three years after her marriage there was probably no issue.

(V) Simon (2), son of Thomas and Judith (Woodworth) Newcomb, was born in Lebanon, Connecticut, January 9, 1736, died in Pittstown, Rensselaer county, New York, December 26, 1819. He was ten years old when the family removed to Lower Nine Partners, Dutchess county, New York, now Pleasant Valley. He was a farmer all his life, having a good farm of two hundred acres given him by his wealthy father. He married, 1758, Sarah Mead, born 1736, died November 4, 1815, sister of Ruth, who married his brother Adonijah. He resided on his farm in Lower Nine Partners until 1781, when with his wife and children he removed to Pittstown, where they died. Children:

  1. Esther, died in infancy.
  2. Hannah, married Abraham Van Arman, an ensign in the revolutionary war, fighting against his father, Abraham, who was a British officer in the same war.
  3. Thomas, married (first) Abigail Harding; (second) Mary Stilson.
  4. Simon, died young.
  5. Sarah, married William Pratt.
  6. Judith, died young.
  7. Simon, see forward.

(VI) Dr. Simon (3), son of Simon (2) and Sarah (Mead) Newcomb, was born in Lower Nine Partners, Dutchess county, New York, June 5, 1779. To attempt anything like an adequate sketch of Dr. Newcomb's life would be to write a book, for he was prominently identified with professional, financial, political and religious life for over seventy years. He died November 20, 1870, in his ninety-second year. While he was still an infant, his father removed his family to Pittstown, Rensselaer county, New York, and there he spent most of his days. When not quite seventeen he began teaching in the district school. The proceeds of his labor were expended during the next year in attending school. In 1799 he began the study of medicine, and in 1802 he began to practice and arose to eminence in his profession. He married in 1802, and began housekeeping at Tomhannock, town of Pittstown. He was the first postmaster of that village, also at Prospect Hill, now Johnsonville, and held the office consecutively for twenty-seven years. He was justice of the peace twelve years; supervisor three years, United States assessor two years; school commissioner, trustee, overseer of poor, town clerk, commissioner of deeds, master in chancery, class leader, church trustee, merchant and farmer. He volunteered in 1814 under Captain William Knickerbocker for the defense of Plattsburg. Of the one hundred and thirty-nine great-grandchildren of Simon (1), Dr. Newcomb was the last survivor. His social qualities endeared him to old and young. He was a remarkable man. He was older than the nation. He knew Washington, Franklin, and the elder Adams, was familiar with the passing events of our national history from the Declaration of Independence down to the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation. He retained to a wonderful degree his mental faculties, discussing the live issues of the day, in church and state, with the fluency and sagacity of his earlier manhood. For seventy-two years he was a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal church, unflinchingly loyal and true. He was the father of the first church built in Tomhannock, and bore more than his share of its support as well as being class leader and trustee. He was converted in 1798, under the preaching of the eccentric Lorenzo Dow and Timothy Dewey. He at once joined the church and ever remained faithful. He was liberal to the extreme and numerous instances can be cited of his patriotic devotion and practical benevolence extended to the wounded and suffering soldiers of the war of 1812. He married, June 5, 1802, Sarah, daughter of William and Lois (Burnham) Follett, a native of Pittstown, New York, where she died April 6, 1820, in her thirty-eighth year. He married (second) in May, 1821, Hannah, daughter of Martin and Elizabeth (Drake) Stover, born in Pittstown, December 26, 1798, died May 15, 1859. At the time of his death Dr. Newcomb was a resident of Lansingburg, New York, which had been his home for seventeen years previous. There is a portrait of him engraved from a daguerreotype taken in 1856, showing him at the age of seventy-seven; it shows him to have been at that age full of vigor with few evidences of his great age. He lived fourteen years later.

Children of Dr. Newcomb by his first wife, Sarah (Follett) Newcomb, were:

  1. William, born December 28, 1802; was a farmer, merchant, manufacturer and florist; married Emily Taft; their son, Captain Simon Newcomb, was brevetted colonel for brave and valuable services at the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, and North Anna, during the war of the rebellion.
  2. Naomina, born June 16, 1805; married a kinsman, Thomas Wallace Newcomb.
  3. Daniel, born December 13, 1806; was a farmer and merchant of Pittstown; a soldier in the civil war; married Mary A. Taft, sister of Emily.
  4. Dr. Wesley, born October 8, 1808; was a graduate of Vermont Medical Academy, took courses of lectures in New York and Philadelphia, and spent some time in the hospitals of France. He was a close student, and became most eminent in the scientific world. His geological knowledge was acquired through great research, and he was known as the most distinguished conchologist in America. He spent five years in Honolulu, explored in Europe, the West Indies, South and Central America, and Mexico. His vast acquisition of specimens, obtained by dredging employing devices and by personal research on the shores of the different countries, have found a fitting resting place in the museum of Cornell University at Ithaca, New York. The collection occupies two thousand square feet of surface and was purchased by the University for $20,000. He married, February 20, 1838, Mrs. Helen H. Post, daughter of Eliphalet and Hannah (Swift) Wells, born in Manchester, Vermont, November 5, 1812. She accompanied her husband in most of his numerous expeditions, delineating with her pencil delicate and perishable specimens, thus preserving much that otherwise would have been lost. They were the parents of a son Thomas, born May 10, 1843, of literary fame.
  5. David, born October 24, 1810. He became a D.D.S., and practiced at Albany, New York; later at Richmond, Virginia. He married (first) Charlotte N. Hopper; (second) Rhoda A. Bucklin, born in Brunswick, New York, by whom he had issue.
  6. Simon, born May 7, 1812, was a farmer of Saratoga county, New York, until 1869, when he removed to Lansingburg, where he engaged in insurance and real estate brokerage. He married Hannah Miller, born in Pittstown, New York, April 7, 1812, daughter of Anthony and Nancy (Ward) Miller. They had issue.
  7. Sally, died in infancy.

The issue of his second wife, Hannah Stover, was:

  1. Sarah, born December 14, 1822; married David H. Flack, brother of William A. Flack, who married Louisa Newcomb.
  2. Elizabeth, born July 13, 1825, unmarried.
  3. Louisa, (Mrs. William A. Flack) (see Flack III).
  4. Mary, born January 26, 1830, twin with her sister Louisa, unmarried.

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