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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Ruff

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1452-1453 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.]

Jonathan Ruff was born in New England in 1759, died May 13, 1804. He took an active part in the war of the revolution. He is credited by tradition with being one of the active participants at the "Boston Tea Party." He served in various commands during the war and ranked as major. Many stories are told of his prowess that records fail to show. Shortly after the war closed Major Ruff removed to New York state, settling at McKinney hill, town of Florida, Montgomery county, finding employment on the farm of Jesse Price, whose daughter he married. After marriage he settled on a farm in the southwest corner of the town, later purchasing an adjacent property upon which he lived until his death. He married Sallie, daughter of Jesse Price, who settled in Florida previous to the revolution. She was noted for her fleetness of foot and never was afraid of Indians, saying she could outrun any red man in the valley. Both Jonathan and Sallie (Price) Ruff are buried in the County Line cemetery. Children: Daniel, Jesse, Jonathan, Jesse (2), Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, twins; Nancy, Priscilla and Sallie.

(II) Benjamin Franklin, twin brother of Jefferson, son of Jonathan and Sallie (Price) Ruff, was born in 1805, died November 5, 1876. He was a farmer of the town of Florida. While engaged with others in the patriotic celebration of July 4, 1826, he lost a portion of both arms by the premature discharge of a cannon, while he was ramming home a charge of powder. Despite this handicap he successfully conducted his affairs and performed farm labor. He was twice married. His first wife was Polly Merry, born in 1808, died October 4, 1830, daughter of an early settler of the county. Children:

  1. William Alonzo, see forward.
  2. Sarah, died June 12, 1895; she married James Vander Pool, who married Louise Groat, of Scotia, Schenectady county. Children: Frank, James, Bessie and Rose Vander Pool.
  3. Joanna, lives in Schenectady, unmarried.

Benjamin F. Ruff married (second) Lavizer Chauncy; children: Albert and Lewis.

(III) William Alonzo, only son of Benjamin F. and Polly (Merry) Ruff, was born in August, 1827, died April 2, 1907. After his marriage he settled on the farm of his grandfather, where he resided until his death, a well known and respected citizen. He was a deacon of the Baptist church for thirty years. He married (first) Mary J. Ladd, born in Duanesburg, Schenectady county, New York, died at the age of sixty-five, daughter of Ephraim Ladd. Children:

  1. William F., see forward, and
  2. Nettie E., born September 29, 1863; married James L. Dusler, pastor of the Baptist church at Springfield Center, New York.

By a second wife William Alonzo Ruff had Jessie, Mabel, William A. and Charlotte.

(IV) William F., son of William Alonzo and Mary J. (Ladd) Ruff, was born November 25, 1853. He received his early education in the town public schools and qualified as an instructor at the State Normal School in Albany, New York. He was engaged in teaching for several years. He had been reared on the farm, and after his years of teaching returned to the pursuit of agriculture, having a fertile farm of one hundred and forty acres near Minaville. Upon it is a substantial brick house built in 1804, that is in perfect condition, giving no indication of having been built one hundred and six years ago. He is actively interested in the affairs of his town and has served repeatedly as supervisor and town clerk. He is a member of the Baptist church, and holds fraternal relations with Welcome Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, of Amsterdam, and Ticonderoga Tribe, No. 176, Red Men, which he has represented in the state council. He married, in Duanesburg, November 22, 1876, Anna B. Filkins, born in the adjoining town of Princetown, November 25, 1850. She was educated in the public schools, Miss Coley's Private Seminary at Albany, and for some time previous to marriage was a teacher. Children:

  1. Lena M., born December 27, 1877; married William G. Ernest, a farmer of Florida; children:
    1. Helen H., born June 15, 1899, and
    2. Robert M., July 7, 1903.
  2. Catherine, born September 2, 1879; married Albertus Van Wie, a merchant and postmaster of Clarksville, Albany county, New York.

Anna B. Filkins (Mrs. William F. Ruff) is a daughter of James and Selina (Holmes) Filkins, of Schenectady county. James Filkins was born in Schenectady in 1823, and died there in 1858; son of Benjamin and Susan (Bond) Filkins. Selina Holmes is the daughter of Thomas Holmes, born August 1, 1788, died June 16, 1866. He married Ann Milner, born August 29, 1792, died April 18, 1881. Thomas Holmes was of English birth, his father being esquire of Staffordshire and of the gentry. Thomas was reared as an English gentleman's son, but he was independent and ambitious to make a name for himself. In 1830 he emigrated to the United States, bringing a wife and eight children. He settled first in Albany county, then in Duanesburg, where he lived until his death, engaged in farming. Children of Thomas and Ann (Milner) Holmes:

  1. Anna, born June 18, 1815, died June 29, 1904; married Alexander Sproul, a Scotchman.
  2. Thomas, November 21, 1816, died March 21, 1885; married Harriet Cooley.
  3. John, June 1, 1818, died March 16, 1887; married Emily C. Darling.
  4. Pamelia E., July 7, 1820, died September 15, 1894; married Henry Quick.
  5. Catherine J., August 1, 1822, died November 6, 1906, unmarried.
  6. William G., April 11, 1824; married Sarepta Schofield.
  7. Ann, December 26, 1825, died September 8, 1849; unmarried.
  8. Selina, April 11, 1826; widow of James Filkins, and mother of Mrs. William F. Ruff, with whom she resides.
  9. Sarah L., June 25, 1831, died August 9, 1832.
  10. Alfred A., March 9, 1834, died May 29, 1905; married Sarah Waite.
  11. Mary E., July 27, 1836; married Thomas Harden, of Loudonville, New York.

Children of James and Selina (Holmes) Filkins, parents of Mrs. William F. Ruff;

  1. Anna B. (Mrs. Ruff), and
  2. Alfred Allen Filkins, born October 7, 1854, died in 1878; married Nettie McCullom.

Both the Holmes and Filkins families like the Ruffs were identified with the Baptist church.

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