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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Magivny

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 901-902 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 progenitor of the Troy family bearing this name was of Scotch birth and ancestry, the name having various spellings, but the above is as it has been handed down to the present generation. Although but three generations in the United States, the family by marriage are connected with the Johnsons of Johnsonville, New York, one of the oldest in the Mohawk region.

(I) John Magivny was born in Scotland and died in Albany, New York, about 1831. When a young man he came to the United States and located at Albany. He was a maker of mill stones and a millwright, a trade he learned in Scotland. Before the introduction of the roller process this was a most lucrative trade, as the mills used several pairs each and they had constantly to be sharpened. He accumulated much property, which unfortunately has been deviated from its intended beneficiaries. He had in addition to his milling business a supply store connected with his plant. He married Mary Bradley, who died in Albany, about 1832. They were parents of two sons, John G. and William. The latter was a cattle-buyer of the county, married and had children: William (2); Flora, a resident of Saratoga Springs; and Jerome.

(II) John G., eldest son of John and Mary (Bradley) Magivny, was born in Albany, New York, January 12, 1823. When he was only about nine years old he lost both father and mother, their death occurring in 1831 and 1832. A guardian was appointed for the two lads and they were placed in a boarding school in the country. The property left by their parents for various reasons never descended to the children. Mr. Magivny worked on a farm until he was about twenty, then went to Albany, where for a time he was in partnership with a Mr. Alexander, buying and shipping cattle. The Erie canal at that time demanded the services of many teams of horses, and he did a good business renting teams and drivers for towing purposes. He next became connected with the Silman Transportation Company of Troy, and continued in their employ some twenty-one years. For some time he was a travelling salesman for Flack Brothers, of Lansingburg, then for fourteen years was in the employ of the Frears of Troy, as collector. Ill health finally forced him to retire from active life. He married, in Troy, 1851, Mary Cornelia, a daughter of William C. Johnson, a merchant of Troy. Their only child is Fanny Cornelia. She was given a musical education, finishing with a course in Germany, after which she returned to Troy, where she is a well known instructor in music. Mary Cornelia Johnson (Mrs. John G. Magivny) is a daughter of William C. and Maria (Fowlett) Johnson, of Johnsonville, town of Pittstown, Rensselaer county, New York, and a granddaughter of William Johnson, the founder of Johnsonville, formerly called "The Lick." When William Johnson first saw the spot there were but five houses, including the tavern, there. He brought his family, which included a daughter who later became the wife of William C. Johnson, son of John. Mr. Johnson had ample means, and in an energetic, businesslike way soon began to improve the town. He built houses; bought the tavern, which he converted into a store; built a large brick grist mill and a saw mill. The village grew rapidly and he was reaping wealth, but the name of the town "The Lick," was not agreeable to him. He painted the name "Johnsonville" across the front of his store and mill, and dated all his letters with the new name, but did not succeed, and it was not until long after his death that the name was first officially used, and the name of William Johnson suitably honored. In 1852 the Troy & Boston railroad painted the name on their new station there, and ever since it has been Johnsonville. William C., son of William, was a merchant of Troy, and married Maria Follett, daughter of Jacob. They both died at and are buried in Johnsonville. Their daughter, Mary Cornelia, married John G. Magivny. The Folletts were early New England settlers and figured prominently in the early colonial and revolutionary wars. The name of Eliphalet is carved upon the monument erected to the victims of the "Wyoming Massacre" and Samuel Follett is mentioned in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register as being the last survivor of the battle of Bunker Hill. He cast his first vote for George Washington for president, when he was thirty-two, and his last for General Scott, when he was ninety-six. Frederick Follett was in receipt of a revolutionary pension at the time of his death. These were all descendants of Robert Follett, of "Salem, Massachusetts," where he married, July 29, 1655, Persis Black. Through the families of Johnson and Follett the Magivnys of the present generation are joint heirs to the richest American traditions. Mr. Magivny and wife are members of the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church, while the daughter is a member of St. John's Episcopal Church, of Troy, New York.

Jacob Follett, grandfather of Mrs. Magivny, was a large slaveholder, and one of the very first to advocate freedom for the slaves, and he headed the list as one to free his slaves, many of which at first refused to be freed, and even two of the former slaves remained in the Follett household, but ever after received compensation for their work.

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