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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Rousseau

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1757-1758 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.]

Nicholas Rousseau, the first of the line here under consideration of whom we have knowledge, emigrated to this country from France and landed at Baltimore, Maryland, from whence he removed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and became a dealer in dry goods. He died in the year 1798. He was the father of seven sons, four of whom came to this country, namely: Achille, John, Peter and Alexander. Achille became a farmer and resided in Butternuts, near Auburn, New York. John and Peter went to Montreal. Intercourse between the brothers soon ceased, and little or nothing is known of their descendants.

(II) Alexander, the other son of Nicholas Rousseau to come to this country, was born in Bordeaux, France, May 7, 1766, died in Troy, New York, March 2, 1812. He left his native land for this country and landed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1787. About four years later he made his way up the Hudson river as far as Troy, which was then beginning to shape itself for a village, and was greatly pleased with the place and the prospect for its future growth. There he made the acquaintance of Mary Frear, who was born June 12, 1772, and she became his wife in 1793. She died in Troy, New York, May 16, 1847. Children:

  1. Achille J., born February 3, 1796 (see forward);
  2. John, born February 2, 1799;
  3. Henry, November 12, 1801;
  4. Lewis, September 24, 1804;
  5. Alexander, July 24, 1806;
  6. Benjamin, March 3, 1810;
  7. John, died when thirteen months old.

(III) Achille J., son of Alexander Rousseau, was born February 3, 1796, died March 26, 1858. He was a well-known business man of Troy, New York. On March 5, 1822, he was admitted a partner in the firm of Esaias Warren & Company, continuing after the dissolution of that firm, March 1, 1827, as the senior partner of Rousseau, Richard Company, successors. He was married by the Rev. William Butler, of Troy, New York, January 1, 1823, to Esther Hayden Richards. Children:

  1. Mary Catharine, born November 14, 1824; married, May 14, 1846, Henry King.
  2. Sarah Elizabeth, born September 1, 1826; married, May 1, 1849, Robert Ludington.
  3. Margaret Esther, born June 30, 1828.
  4. Lewis Alexander, born November 17, 1832; married, 1867, Mary Fellows.
  5. Achille John, born November 18, 1833; married, June 16, 1858, Emma L. Whipple (children:
    1. Hannah Elizabeth, born July 24, 1864,
    2. Whipple Hayden, born April 20, 1870);
  6. Helen Frances, born September 8, 1836;
  7. William White (see forward).

(IV) William White, son of Achille J. Rousseau, was born in Troy, New York, September 15, 1838, died in that city January 18, 1897. He was educated in the city schools and for two years was a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He engaged in the insurance and real-estate business in Troy and represented for over twenty-five years a prominent New York brokerage house. He was for many years closely identified in the management of the estate of N. B. Warren & Brothers, later heirs of N. P. Warren, and the estate of George Henry Warren. He was a capable business man, and large interests were committed to his care with the utmost security. In 1862 he enlisted in the United States navy and served until the close of the civil war. He was prominent in musical circles, and the composer of a large amount of sacred music, the greater part of it in use in the services of the Episcopal church. Rev. Dr. John Ireland Tucker, rector of the Church of the Holy Cross, founded by Mary Bouton Warren, widow of Nathan Warren (see Warren family), and Mr. Rousseau collaborated in the composition of Episcopal hymnals that are extensively used throughout the United States. These works were "Parish Hymnals," "The Church Hymnal" and "Hymnals for Sunday Schools." Mr. Rousseau also published (alone) "The Twenty Selections," set to Gregorian tunes, and "The Service Book." He was organist of the Church of the Holy Cross for thirty years, and with Dr. Tucker was instrumental in furthering the introduction of choral music as part of the church service, one of the objects which induced Mrs. Warren to establish the church. The experiment met with a large amount of opposition, but is now firmly established in all Episcopal churches. Mr. Rousseau was a member of the Masonic order, and for many years served as organist of Mt. Zion and Apollo lodges of that order. His political preference was for the Republican party, but he took no active part in political affairs. He was a member and past commander of Griswold Post, No. 338, Grand Army of the Republic.

Mr. Rousseau married, in Troy, October, 1868, Jeanette, daughter of John T. and Martha (Laselle) Parker. Children:

  1. Harry Harwood, born in Troy, New York, April 19, 1870; educated in the public schools, graduated from the high school in 1887, entered Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he was graduated civil engineer, class of 1891. He spent a year in Albany, New York, then took the position of engineer of structural ironwork for the Brooklyn Elevated Railroad Company. Until 1898 he was designing engineer for the Pittsburg Bridge Company. In that year he became a member of the engineer corps of the United States navy, engaged in the construction of buildings, dry docks and similar work. His success in designing a method for deepening and maintaining the channel leading to Mare Island navy yard brought him increased reputation and preferment. In 1906 he was made chief of the bureau of yards and docks, United States navy, with the rank of rear-admiral. In the same year he was appointed a member of the Panama Canal Commission as civil engineer of the commission representing the navy. He is now (1911) stationed at Culebra. He stands very high in the engineering world. He is a member of the Rensselaer Society of Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, Sigma Xi, an honorary society of technical schools, and other prominent societies of his profession. He married, in Panama, April, 1908, Gladys, daughter of Hon. Herbert Squiers, United States minister to Panama.
  2. William White, Jr., born in Troy, New York, April 18, 1873; educated in public schools and Troy Academy, graduated from the high school, 1891, entered Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he was graduated civil engineer, class of 1895. For a year he was engaged with the Delaware & Hudson River railroad as engineer of construction work on the Susquehanna division. Then he was engaged in dyke construction at Corning, New York, for one year, and in 1897 returned to Troy. After the death of his father, he succeeded him in the management of the George Henry Warren and Nathan B. Warren estates. His professional career is continued as assistant professor of geodesy and railroad engineering at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1911), and as superintendent of construction of the Troy Water Works, to which position he was appointed in 1907 by the mayor of the city. He is a member of the real estate and insurance firm of Breese & Rousseau of Troy. He is an active Republican, and a member of the Republican Club, also a member of Mt. Zion Lodge, F. and A. M., No. 311, Troy, New York. He is a member of the Church of the Holy Cross, and is organist and choir master, succeeding his father. The choir is largely composed of girls from the "Mary Warren Free Institute," a school founded and endowed by Mary Warren, founder and donor of the church. He is an associate member of the American Society of Civil Engineers; a member of the Society of Engineers of Eastern New York, also of the Rensselaer Society of Engineers, the Sigmi Xi and the Tau Beta Pi societies, the latter two being honorary societies in technical colleges.

    He married, in Troy, June 5, 1901, Frances, daughter of William D. Hardy, born in Canada, now a retired merchant of Troy, and Ruth (Horton) Hardy. Children:

    1. Carolyn Hardy, born December 31, 1904;
    2. Parker Norton, April 8, 1908.

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