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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Mansfield

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1789-1791 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 Mansfield, "A man in the field," is believed to be of Saxon origin. In Germany the name is Mansfeld; in England, after the Saxons mixed with Normans, Danes, Celts and others, it easily became "Mansfield." The noble family of Mansfeld of Germany is very ancient; traces nearly to the time of Charlemagne, and flourished down to the present time. Exeter, England, the place from which the original Mansfield departed for America, has been a city since the year 1200. There was a Sir John Mansfield mayor of the city a few years prior to the emigration. He was also "Master of the Manories and Queens Surveyor under Queen Elizabeth." The American ancestor and founder of the family in Connecticut, most of them in New York state and in the west and south, was Richard Mansfield, of Exeter, Devonshire, England, and New Haven, Connecticut.

(I) Richard Mansfield with his wife Gillian (maiden name unknown), settled in Quinnipiack (New Haven), Connecticut, in 1639. A deed for land, now the northwest corner of Church and Elm streets, proves this date. In a list of first planters, 1641, he is put down at 400 pounds, thirty acres in the first division, six acres in the "Neck," twenty-two acres of meadow, and eighty-eight acres in the second division. He owned other lands probably by purchase and established his home on his large farm in the second division called the "East farms," some four and one-half miles out on the present North Haven road, which was his home until his death, January 10, 1665. He took the oath of fidelity, July 1, 1644, before Governor Eaton and the general court at New Haven. Gillian, his wife, survived him and married, in 1667, Alexander Field. After the death of her second husband she lived with her son Moses in New Haven. She died 1699. Children: Joseph, see forward, and Moses, born in 1639; married (first) Mercy Glover, (second) Abigail Yale. He was major of militia and in honor of a victory he and his command gained over the Indians, the town of Mansfield was named after him. He was a member of the general court forty-eight sessions (two sessions annually); judge of the probate and of the county court.

(II) Joseph, eldest son of Richard and Gillian Mansfield, is believed to have been born in England in 1636. He took the freeman's oath, February 8, 1657, or as soon as he was of age. He died November 15, 1692. He inherited his father's large farm and had a town lot and house in New Haven, as well as a large amount of land in other parcels, including the grounds now owned and occupied by Yale University buildings. His estate inventoried four hundred pounds. His seat in the "meeting house" was No. 8 in the "long seats for men." He married, about 1657, Mary ————. Children:

  1. Mary, unmarried.
  2. Martha, married, December 16, 1680, Richard Sperry, and had eight children.
  3. Mercy, married ———— Bristol.
  4. Silence, married ———— Chalfield, of Killingworth.
  5. Elizabeth, unmarried.
  6. Comfort, married John Benham.
  7. John, died December 22, 1690, aged nineteen years.
  8. Joseph, see forward.
  9. Ebenezer (changed from Ichabod), married Hannah Bassett; he was very well to do, his estate inventorying 1217 pounds.
  10. Japhet, married Hannah Bradley.

(III) Joseph (2), second son and eighth child of Joseph (1) and Mary Mansfield, was born December 27, 1673. He was admitted to the First Church of New Haven, August 14, 1735, his wife, May 31, 1733. He married Elizabeth Cooper (?), who died March 4, 1763. His gravestone is in the old North Haven burying ground, hers is in the Grove Street cemetery. Children:

  1. Mary, married Daniel Tuttle.
  2. Lydia, unmarried.
  3. John, married Lydia Tuttle, granddaughter of William and Elizabeth Tuttle, who came from England in 1635.
  4. Elizabeth, born October 23, 1706.
  5. Joseph, see forward.
  6. Amos, no record of marriage.
  7. Josiah, married and left issue.
  8. Abigail, married Jacob Turner.
  9. Thomas, married Hannah Goodyear. His name appears in thirty-seven deeds recorded from 1739 to 1786; he left no male descendants as his son Samuel never married.
  10. Ebenezer, died unmarried.

(IV) Joseph (3), second son of Joseph (2) and Elizabeth Mansfield, was born August 17, 1708. He was a large land owner and appears as grantor or grantee in many of the deeds recorded between 1739 and 1761. He married, October 10, 1732, Phebe Bassett, who died 1762. Children:

  1. ————, married Sarah Cooper.
  2. Titus, married Mabel Todd.
  3. Captain Joseph, see forward.
  4. Phebe, married Leman Potter.

(V) Captain Joseph (4) Mansfield, third son of Joseph (3) and Phebe (Bassett) Mansfield, was born April 16, 1737. His home, like those preceding him, was at "Mansfield Farms" where he lived until 1784, and where all his children were born. His gravestone is in Litchfield, Connecticut, where he removed, owned a large farm and died June 6, 1821, aged eighty-four years. When the revolutionary war broke out he enlisted and rose to the rank of captain, serving until the end. He took with him to the war his son Charles, aged fifteen, who played the fife. Captain Mansfield married Hannah Punderson, born October 21, 1740, eldest of the twelve children of David and Thankful (Todd) Punderson. She died August 26, 1826, aged eighty-five years. Children, all born in New Haven:

  1. Charles, married Molly Howard, of Winchester, New Hampshire; he went to the war with his father as a fifer; the fife he used is preserved in the family.
  2. Elisha, removed with his parents to Litchfield, afterward to Canaan; married Rebecca Camp.
  3. Joseph, married and had issue.
  4. Sally, died young.
  5. David, married (first) Louisa Harmon, (second) Melinda Harmon, a younger sister; they settled in Westmoreland, Oneida county, New York; he lived to be ninety-six years of age.
  6. William Punderson, see forward.
  7. John Todd, married Dolly Steele.
  8. Sally, married Lewis Spooner, no issue.
  9. Timothy, married Annie Carter; settled in Pennsylvania, afterward at Castleton, Ontario county, New York.

(VI) William Punderson, fifth son of Captain Joseph (4) and Hannah (Punderson) Mansfield, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, September 6, 1774, died March 16, 1855. He was a merchant of Litchfield, afterward removed to Kent, Connecticut, where he was in business with his father-in-law, Bradley Mills, as Mills & Mansfield. He joined with his son-in-law, Hugh White, in building a flouring mill, later occupied by the Munson Manufacturing Company at Waterford, New York, where he removed in 1833. He married, in 1807, Sally Mills, died February, 1842, daughter of Bradley and Hannah (St. John) Mills, with whom he became acquainted while she was a student at the Morris Academy, Litchfield, Connecticut. Children:

  1. Maria, married Hon. Hugh White, of Oneida county, New York; he was the first manufacturer of hydraulic cement in the United States, and furnished large quantities for the building of the Croton aqueduct, New York City; he was member of congress, 1844, served three terms; graduate of Hamilton College and member of the New York bar, but never practiced law; ten children.
  2. Florilla Punderson, died aged seventeen years.
  3. Bradley Mills, died aged twenty-one years.
  4. Lewis William, see forward.

(VII) Lewis William, second son and youngest child of William Punderson and Sally (Mills) Mansfield, was born in Kent, Litchfield county, Connecticut, May 16, 1816. He prepared for college in the schools of Sharon, Connecticut, Chittenango, Madison county, New York, and at Montgomery, Orange county, New York. He entered the junior class at Union College in 1833, and was graduated 1835. He embarked in business life with his brother-in-law, Hon. Hugh White, in the manufacture of hydraulic cement, continuing for fifteen years with successful results. He had developed an unusual literary talent and on going out of business gave himself up wholly to authorship. He wrote and published "The Morning Watch," a narrative poem, published by G. P. Putnam, 1850; "Up Country Letters," Appleton, 1852; "Country Margins," a joint work with S. H. Hammond, published by J. C. Derby, 1855. In 1855 he engaged again in business in Cohoes, New York, where he had a knitting mill, and continued ten years. During the war, and strictly in reference to the army in the field, he began a daily hour prayer meeting in his mill at the noon hour, and on Sunday afternoons had a union prayer meeting for the same purpose at his home on the north side of the river. This prayer meeting continued at the mill without any interruption for about five hundred days, up to the close of the war, the last meeting being held April 5, when the news came of the taking of Richmond. His health failed him and he again retired from business. The next year, 1866, the mill was sold and he returned to literary pursuits. His first work was "The Outlines of the Mental Plan," followed by, the "Precepts and Doctrines of Christ," published by Phillips & Hunt, 1883, and by E. & T. B. Young, 1884. He is the author of the tracts "My Token," "The Spiritual Bodv," and books "Hymns and Poems," "Looking up the Plan," "Overwork" and "Coming into Form." He was a man of versatile talent, and great ability, whose influence for good cannot be estimated.

He was reared a Congregationalist, but about the time of his first marriage became a member of the Protestant Episcopal church. He continued his literary and religious work up to the year of his death, 1899. He married (first) Carrie M., daughter of Rev. Lewis Bayard, LL. D.; married (second) December 19, 1855, Sarah B., born in [New?] York, New York, 1837, died in Waterford, March 10, 1860, daughter of Samuel and Hannah Lewis, of York, Livingston county, New York; married (third) June 4, 1862, Mary J. Hogan. Children:

  1. William K., see forward.
  2. Joseph Punderson, born November 30, 1858, died September 23, 1859,

both children of his second marriage.

(VIII) William K., eldest son of Lewis William and Sarah B. (Lewis) Mansfield, was born in Waterford, New York, in the old Mansfield home on Saratoga avenue, September 17, 1856. He obtained his primary and preparatory education at St. John's Episcopal School and the public schools of Cohoes. He entered Amherst College where he completed his freshman and sophomore years. He left college and entered the knitting mill with his father, remaining one year. He then took the management of a flouring mill owned by Mr. Mansfield, senior, at Crescent, near Waterford. It was his father's wish that he finish his college course and he hoped to discourage him with business life, so the positions given the young man were not sinecures, but he was determined to succeed in business and stuck to his work so faithfully that the mill property was deeded to him. He remained at the mill seven years, made many improvements and did a prosperous business, disposing of the plant finally at a very advantageous figure. In 1884 he embarked in journalism by purchasing the Cohoes Daily News, of which he was editor and owner for fourteen years. He made the paper a paying property and an influential factor in the politics of the city. He retained control of the editorial page and supported only men and measures that in his judgment made for good government, national, state and local. In 1898 he disposed of his newspaper plant and engaged in brick manufacturing at Crescent, where his yards and kilns are located. This enterprise he still continues. He retains his home at the homestead on Saratoga avenue in Waterford, but designated Cohoes "North Side." His brickmaking plant is a large and modern one, the output being between three and four millions of merchantable brick annually, that find a ready market. Mr. Mansfield has always been an active Republican and has spent much of his time in the public service. In 1878 he was appointed justice of the peace to fill a vacancy in the town of Half Moon, Saratoga county, and was twice elected to the same office, while living in Crescent. On his return to Waterford, Albany [i.e., Saratoga] county, he was elected to the same office, there continuing through four terms of four years each, representing the "North Side." In 1896 he was appointed general committee clerk at Albany by the assembly and was assigned to duty at the desk of the journal clerk during sessions. The following year he was appointed deputy journal clerk, continuing as such by successive appointments until 1901. At the session of 1901-02 he represented his district in the assembly, serving on the insurance, excise and labor committees. In 1903 he was again appointed assistant journal clerk and in 1905 general clerk of the assembly, and has been successively appointed as such up to the present time (1910). He is secretary of the county Republican committee, and a man of influence, experience and ability. He is a member of St. John's Episcopal Church, Cohoes, and affiliated with the Masonic fraternity.

He married, October 30, 1882, Etta C. Clute, born in Crescent, Saratoga county, New York, daughter of Charles F. and Delia (Teachout) Clute, the latter born in Half Moon, died 1900. Charles F. Clute was born in Half Moon, 1834, died 1903. He was a farmer; also interested with his son-in-law, Mr. Mansfield, in the brick business, and nearly his whole life owned and conducted a general store at Crescent. He was a Democrat and served as supervisor of the town of Half Moon several terms.

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