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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 668-670 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.]

Rev. Egbert Charles Lawrence, Ph.D., 36 University Place, Schenectady, clergyman, educator, and author, was born June 25, 1845, in Borodino, New York, on the shore of Skaneateles Lake in Onondaga county. He is the son of Silas Rensselaer and Lucinda (Hull) Lawrence, the grandson of Peter, and Margaret (Robins) Lawrence and of David and Charlotte (Alvord) Hull, and the great-grandson of Joseph and Prudence (Fosdick) Lawrence and of Charles and Eunice (Learning) Alvord. Rev. E. C. Lawrence has not been able to trace all the links in the Lawrence lineage, but he believes he is descended from the Lawrences of Lancashire, England.

Three Lawrence brothers, John, William, and Thomas, came to Long Island through Massachusetts in the year 1643. Thomas, the youngest of these brothers, was born in 1625. He was commissioned major by Governor Leisler in 1698, and died in 1703. The name of his first wife is not given, but Valentine's Manual records the marriage of Thomas Lawrence (widower) and Mary Ferguson, November 9, 1692. He names his wife Mary and five sons in his will. Thomas, the oldest son by his first wife, married Francina, widow of Melancthon Smith. He is called Captain Thomas Lawrence. According to the record in Holland documents his marriage took place in the Dutch Church of Hackensack, New Jersey, in 1704. Captain Lawrence had a son Jacob who is said to be of Westchester. It is believed that he was born about 1710. Jacob had a son Ezekiel, born in 1740, who married Zephrah Sneden and who resided in the township of Clinton, Dutchess county, New York. Here the next two ancestors, Joseph and Peter, were born. In due time Joseph took unto himself a wife from Long Island, bought a farm in Glenville near Schenectady, and there spent the remainder of his days. After marriage Peter removed to Cayuga county which thus became the birthplace of his son, Silas Rensselaer, the last of the line down to Egbert.

Aside from the two military men, the major and the captain above mentioned, the Lawrence ancestors in this country have been industrious and thrifty farmers and they have generally belonged to the Baptist church. By means of the "Alvord Genealogy" published in 1908, Dr. Lawrence can trace his mother's line back to John Alford, of Whitestaunton, county Somerset, England, who was born in the year 1475. The first generation in America is headed by Alexander Alvord, who settled in Windsor, Connecticut, about the year 1640, and moved to Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1661. The Hulls and Alvords are New England people, bred in the pioneer school of hardship and privation; Yankees in activity, curiosity and invention; Puritans, mainly orthodox Congregationalists with the strictest ideas in morals and religion. In confirmation of this swift summary, lack of space forbids much entering into details. A few facts must suffice.

Thomas Gould Alvord, one of Dr. Lawrence's progenitors, served in the French and Indian war when he was under nineteen years of age, and later in company with his eldest son and namesake, he was a soldier in the revolutionary war. They were cannoniers and both were present at the surrender of Cornwallis. At the battle of White Plains, the father was wounded by a musket ball which entered his arm and passing out near the elbow, was picked up by his companion, Luke Wadsworth, who placed the ball in his own gun and fired it back at the enemy. At the battle of Yorktown, Alvord fired a cannon for four hours, and when the balls gave out used old bolts and pieces of log-chain. For his service in the revolution he drew a piece of land from the United States, situated four miles north of Homer, New York. A son of the soldier, the next in the line of Dr. Lawrence's ancestors, Charles Alvord, with his young wife and babe, left Farmington, Connecticut, in February, 1793, travelled on an ox-sled to this tract of land in the unbroken wilderness. From Syracuse, thirty miles distant, his only guide was marked trees with streams to ford and logs to drive over. His first work was to make a shelter by driving crotches into the ground, laying poles across, and spreading hemlock boughs thickly over the whole. This served for a temporary house until he could build a log house and make a clearing to let in the sun. His nearest neighbor was four miles distant. From a brook near by he caught speckled trout, and trapped the mink, muskrat and beaver. Bears, deer, and wild pigeon were plenty and furnished his table with meat. The young babe above mentioned, less than a year old, who came with her parents on this long winter journey, was Charlotte Alvord, who afterwards became the grandmother of Dr. Lawrence. She was the first white child in Homer when the town belonged to Herkimer county, for the date of the Alvord's settlement was one year prior to the formation of Onondaga county, (1794), and fifteen years before the erection of Cortland county (1808). The first death in Homer was that of Mrs. Thomas Gould Alvord in 1795. She was the grandmother of Dr. Lawrence's grandmother, Charlotte Alvord. The Alvords were the first and largest manufacturers of salt in Syracuse. Thomas Gould Alvord, known by the political sobriquet of "Old Salt," during his long service in the legislature, was speaker of assemblies, vice-president of constitutional conventions, and lieutenant-governor of New York.

Egbert Charles Lawrence prepared for college at Owego, New York, Academy; graduated at Union College, A. B., 1869, with the Warner prize cup for best scholarship and character, and the Latin salutatory, the honor for class leadership. He received the degree of A. M. from his alma mater in 1872. After graduation he taught a year in a boarding school on the Hudson at Mechanicsville. Then he was tutor in mathematics in Union College, 1870-72; graduated at Princeton Theological Seminary, 1875; taught a term in Blair Presbyterial Academy at Blairstown, New Jersey; pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, New York, 1875-77, where he assisted Dr. James B. Thomson in the preparation of his series of text books on mathematics. He then took a fourth year of study in theology at Auburn Theological Seminary and at the same time had pastoral charge of Owasco Outlet Reformed Church, 1877-78; pastor of the Second Reformed Church, Schenectady, 1878-80; instructor in Latin and mathematics and adjunct professor of history in Union College, 1878-82; pastor of Reformed Church of Thousand Islands, New York, 1882-86; pastor of Mt. Vernon Church, Utica Presbytery, 1886-90; Dr. Lawrence's last charge was a twelve years' pastorate over the Westhampton Presbyterian, the first of the Hampton churches on the south shore of Long Island. At the close of this term of service he removed to Schenectady, and during the last nine years, as opportunity has offered, he has supplied the pulpits of seventy-four different churches. Dr. Lawrence received the degree of Ph.D. in 1889 from the National University of Chicago, having taken a post-graduate course in physical science under the direction of Syracuse University. He is a member of the Albany Presbytery and of the New York State Historical Association, life director of American Bible Society, director of Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society and treasurer of Schenectady department, treasurer of Schenectady County Historical Society. He is the author of Historical Recreations and of the Early Church History of Schenectady, The Dutch Period. He married (first), at Buffalo, New York, November 27, 1877, Sarah Jean, youngest daughter of the Rev. Arthur Burtis, D.D., who at the time of his death was professof of Greek in Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Mrs. Lawrence died in 1892, and Dr. Lawrence married (second) in 1896, at Setauket, New York, Mary Sylvester, daughter of Dr. Henry Sylvester and Harriet Eliza (Hulse) Dering; granddaughter of General Sylvester Dering and a descendant of Nathaniel Sylvester, who in 1673 was sole owner of Shelter Island, New York, and first resident proprietor of Sylvester Manor where Dr. Dering was born. Mrs. Lawrence is a member of the Society of the Colonial Dames of the State of New York. Dr. Lawrence has three children:

  1. Arthur Burtis, born 1879,
  2. Grace Phillips, born 1881, wife of William C. Yates, and
  3. John Joel, born 1883.

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