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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Senecal

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1135-1137 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 Senecal family of Cohoes, New York, descend in the fifth generation, from French emigrants to the United States and Canada. They have served in all the wars this country has ever waged, from the revolution down to the Spanish-American. The maternal line begins with Paul Light, born in France, who came to the American colonies during the revolution, with the French soldiers and Lafayette. He was a sergeant of the Twelfth regiment and served through the war under Lafayette. After the war was over he settled in Canada, later at Plattsburgh, New York, where he died at the great age of one hundred and three years. By occupation he was a farmer and gardener. He married ———— Roscoe and reared a family of three sons and three daughters, one of whom, Eliza, married Benjamin Senecal, a native-born son of France.

(I) Benjamin Senecal, born in France, came to America, where he settled in Canada and married. Later he came to the United States and located his home in Plattsburgh, New York, where he died at an advanced age, in 1836. He was a farmer in Canada, and was called out for military service in 1836 during a Canadian war. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Paul Light, the revolutionary soldier, and reared a large family.

(II) Louis, eldest child of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Light) Senecal, was born in Canada, and at the age of seven years was brought to Plattsburgh, New York, by his parents. He died there, October 8, 1894, aged sixty-seven years. He was in the Mexican war, accompanying Dr. McFail, of Brooklyn, New York, a surgeon with the army. He married Harriet Minor, of Plattsburgh, New York, and had ten sons and one daughter.

(III) Zeph, eldest son of Louis and Harriet (Minor) Senecal, was born in Plattsburgh, New York, June 4, 1847, and is now a resident of Cohoes, New York. When the civil war was in progress he was very anxious to go to the army and at length — early in 1865 — made an attempt to enlist, but was rejected on account of his age and size. He was told, however, they would overlook his size if he would get the consent of his parents to enlist. This sent the lad home in a hurry but the father would not sign the papers without the mother's consent. Feeling very sure that his mother would not consent, Zeph imposed on his father's confidence by telling him that he had his mother's permission, whereupon the paternal consent was given in writing. The lad hurried to the recruiting station, and exhibiting his father's written statement, was soon an enlisted soldier. His deception caused an intense family scene, but he was forgiven and the week at home was spent in altering his uniform (it being much too large) and getting him ready for the war. He then reported for duty at Troy, was mustered in and sent to Albany. He enlisted March 13, 1865, and was mustered into the service of the United States, April 3, 1865. He was a member of Company O, One Hundred and Ninety-second Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry, and mustered out with that regiment at Cumberland, Maryland, August 28, 1865. Being so small, he was appointed orderly to the general and given special messenger service. The One Hundred and Ninety-second Regiment rendezvoused at Albany, New York, from January, 1865, and was mustered out by companies. Colonel Barent Van Buren commanded the regiment, Salyman G. Hamlin, Major. They were a part of the Second Brigade, General Green B. Raum commanding; third provisional division, army of the Cumberland, General Thomas W. Egan commanding. The army was under the command of General A. T. A. Torbert, General Winfield S. Hancock commanding the department.

The regiment reported at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, March 19, were brigaded with the One Hundred and Ninety-second and One Hundred and Ninety-Fifth Pennsylvania, General Egan's division, marched to Stephenson Station, April 4 and 5, and operated against guerrillas and bushwhackers, stragglers from Lee's army, remaining on duty in the West Virginia department until mustered out at Cumberland, Maryland, August 28, 1865. After the war was over, the lad (not yet eighteen) returned to his home in Plattsburgh, where he learned the cabinetmaker's trade, working at it eleven years. He then took up house carpentering, at which he worked ten years, the entire twenty-one years being spent in Plattsburgh. In 1887 he removed to Cohoes, where he entered the service of the Harmony Mills Company as millwright, and has remained with them until the present (1910), covering a period of twenty-three years. He is a Republican in politics, member of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic church, and Lyons Post [i.e., Lyon], Grand Army of the Republic.

He married, January 4, 1869, Philomena Meron, born in Plattsburgh, New York, daughter of Pascal Meron, died in March 1898, aged seventy-two, and his wife Margaret Theroux, born in Plattsburgh, died in March, 1910, in Cohoes, at the age of eighty-four years. The Meron and Theroux families were among the very first settlers of Plattsburgh, New York, where streets and buildings are named in their honor. Children of Zeph and Philomena (Meron) Senecal:

  1. George, a wood worker of Cohoes; married Agnes Roberts.
  2. Emma, married George Dunson, of Troy; children: Athel, George, Rowley and Earl Dunson.
  3. Charles P., see forward.
  4. Arthur, married Jennie Nolin; children: Yvonne, Rhea, Beatrice, Marcia, Edward, Omar and Claude Senecal.
  5. Lavinia, married James Stafford and has a daughter, Grace Stafford.
  6. Louis, born July 23, 1875; enlisted December 26, 1898, in Company I, Seventeenth United States Infantry; he sailed for the Philippines, January 24, 1899, with the army under General Lawson, arrived at Manilla March 10, and served three years; six months of this time he was in the hospital at Camp McKinley, Sandwich Islands; he went through the Philippine campaigns of Generals Bate and McArthur, engaging in seven battles; he was honorably discharged December 26, 1901; by trade he was a machinist.
  7. ————.
  8. Marceline.
  9. Henry, in business with his brother Charles P.
  10. Lucy.
  11. Stella.
  12. Leon, died in infancy.
  13. Corinne, died in infancy.
  14. Mary, died in infancy.

(IV) Charles P., second son and third child of Zeph and Philomena (Meron) Senecal, was born in Plattsburgh, New York, August 11, 1872. He attended the public schools of Plattsburgh until reaching the age of fourteen years, when he began clerking in a grocery store, keeping up his school work also. In 1887 the family removed to Cohoes, where for a year or more Charles P. worked in the cotton mills, then was clerk in a grocery store until 1901, when he purchased the Roberts grocery business, continuing it for one year. He then entered the employ of E. S. Pierce, a furniture dealer, and remained with him six years, gaining a thorough knowledge of the furniture business. In 1909 he opened his own store at 145-147 Remsen street, Cohoes, with a large and handsome stock of furniture, carpets, and the usual house furnishings, except stoves and hardware. He is succeeding in his undertaking and commanding a good trade. He is an active worker in his home ward, the fourth, president of the Franco-American Republican Club and a frequent delegate to the local conventions of his party. He is a member of St. Joseph's Church, and prominent in the insurance order, Modern Woodmen of America. He is venerable consul of Juliet Camp No. 11009, Cohoes, and for six years previous was advisor (vice-president). He is district deputy of Albany county in charge of organizing new camps and installing new members. He married, April 29, 1900, Clara, daughter of Gideon Adams, born in Canada, 1833, died in Cohoes, 1897, a produce and commission merchant who came to Cohoes in 1860. He married Judic Merchand, born in Canada, October 7, 1830, now living in Cohoes. Charles P. and Clara (Adams) Senecal had a daughter, Corinne Senecal, who died in infancy.

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