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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Garrett

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1236-1237 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.]

When the Garretts trace descent to their American ancestor they will find a most interesting and unusual character. They will not find a record of war and strife, or of one high in official life, nor a great lawyer, minister or doctor, but will read of a life spent in making surroundings more beautiful, of causing grass to grow in barren places, of flowers, plants and trees, budding, blossoming and bearing their fruit at his command, of a quiet life spent with nature, and if they will make a pilgrimage to the family shrine, they will find trees that he planted and landscapes that he beautified. If the "true benefactor of the race is he that causeth two blades of grass to grow where before only one grew" then is this little Irish lad, who began his life work at the tender age of ten years, one of the greatest of philanthropists, for in his earth pilgrimage of ninety-seven years he never ceased his efforts.

Thomas Garrett was born in Tipperary, Ireland, in 1812, died in Waterford, New York, May, 1909, son of Thomas and Joanna Garrett. His father died in Ireland, and his mother, born in 1756, came to the United States with her children in 1822, settling in Waterford, New York. She died in Cohoes, New York, in 1837. There were six children of whom Thomas was the youngest. He was ten years of age when he entered the employ of Hugh W. White, of Waterford, and fo thirty-eight years never left him. He went to school and worked in the garden, making himself useful in the many ways a bright and ambitious boy can. He loved his work, learned to know plants and flowers intimately, and grew up to be a famous local authority on all matters pertaining to the garden. He became a landscape gardener as well, and beautified the grounds of his employer so that the attention of other wealthy people was attracted. Mr. White did not demand a monopoly of his services, but allowed him to use his taste and skill for beautifying of other homes whose owners had artistic tastes to gratify. He laid out the grounds on many of the fine estates in the neighborhood and for public institutions as well. The beautiful grounds surrounding St. John's Episcopal Church in Cohoes and St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Church were created by him. He continued his landscape gardening until reaching advanced years he gradually withdrew, and securing the business of a few select estates cared for them as real estate agent. In this way his later years were passed. He took little interest in political matters, but voted with the Democratic party. He was a faithful member of St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Church and died in that faith. His was a well-spent and useful life.

He married, May 20, 1870, at Waterford, New York, Mary McCauley, born in Canada, May 18, 1835, daughter of James McCauley, born in Ireland, died in Canada in 1836, and his wife, Ann (Clark) McCauley, who died in Canada the same year. Children of Thomas and Mary (McCauley) Garrett:

  1. Thomas James, born March 20, 1872, died at Waterford, January 24, 1884.
  2. Margaret, born at Waterford, resides at home.
  3. Joanna, born at Waterford, deceased.
  4. Angus, baptized John Angus, born September, 1876; lives on the old homestead.
  5. Mary, born at Waterford.
  6. Allie, born at Waterford, deceased.
  7. Clara, born at Waterford, deceased.
  8. Elizabeth, born at Waterford, deceased.
  9. Susan, born at Waterford, resides at home.

Mrs. Garrett survives her husband and resides in Waterford, New York.

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