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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:

Index to All Families | Index to Families by County: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, Washington

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1566-1567 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 many forms of spelling this name is confusing when an attempt is made to trace from the present to past generations. It is supposed that Philip, Phillip, Phillips, Philips, Phillipse and Philipps are families all owning a common ancestor. The name Phillips is derived from the Greek and signifies "horse lover." Its use as a surname has continued in Wales and other parts of Great Britain for at least five centuries, perhaps longer. There are many branches of the family in the United States dating from 1630 at Watertown, Massachusetts. "A Phillips crossed the water with John Winthrop and from him descended a long line of ministers, judges, governors and councillors, — a sturdy race, temperate, just, and high-minded." From the address of Dr. Porter at the centennial celebration of the Claverack Church we find that the ancestor of the Phillip family in Columbia county was an early settler of Germantown. He had six sons, four of whom removed to Claverack: George, William, Henry and David. Two sons remained in Germantown. Germantown was settled by the Palatines but not exclusively. In a list of heads of families reported as willing to remain in Germantown, August 26, 1724, is the, name of Hans Peter Phillip. He may be the ancestor referred to by Dr. Porter. The village of Philmont, in the town of Claverack, is named in honor of George P. Phillip, who, was the first to manufacture there on an important scale. A branch of the Philip family settled in Mellenville, where George Philip and Stephen Miller were among the first to engage in trade. They were succeeded by their sons and afterwards by William Phillip, who was long in trade there. Captain George Phillip kept one of the first public houses there, which other members of the family continued. The branch of the family that settled in Ghent, Columbia county, were among the most numerous in that town, where one of the name still owns the old homestead. Mellenville was originally known as "Hard Scrabble," and the Phillip family were among the first settlers. George Phillip was a blacksmith. He served in the revolution and gained the title and rank of captain.

(I) William Phillip was long in trade in Mellenville, (Hardscrabble). He married Rebecca Ostrander, who bore him David, Aaron, (see forward); John, Gertrude, Catherine and Elizabeth Ann.

(II) Aaron, second son of William and Rebecca (Ostrander) Phillip, was born in Claverack, Columbia county, New York in 1819, and died in Mellenville, January 26, 1905. He was quite young when his parents removed to Mellenville, where he obtained his education. His parents were religious people and trained the boy to read and study the Scriptures, which in later life gained him a reputation as a Bible scholar. He learned the carpenter's trade, worked for several years as a journeyman, later became a contractor, and in Claverack and Mellenville erected many buildings and dwellings. He was a most tireless worker in the Dutch Reformed church at Mellenville, and was an elder and superintendent of the Sunday school for many years. He was charitable, generous and ever thoughtful of others. He married Ann Fowler of Mellenville, who survived him four years, dying in August, 1909. Children:

  1. Oscar W.;
  2. Harriet Elizabeth;
  3. Rebecca (see forward);
  4. James E.;
  5. Sarah E., married Frank Horton;
  6. John H., married and has Fred W. and Catherine;
  7. Emma, married Jacob Fassett;
  8. Mary Augusta;
  9. David Franklin;
  10. Gertrude.

(III) Rebecca, third child of Aaron and Ann (Fowler) Phillip, was born in Mellenville, Columbia county, New York, where she received her education. After leaving school she removed to Troy, New York, where she entered the factory of William A. Harden; she was capable and ambitious, soon rising to the position of forewoman, becoming a trusted and valuable employee. She was generously remembered in Mr. Harden's will.

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