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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Simpson

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[This information is from Vol. III, p. 1360 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 Simpson family of Fonda, New York, are of Scotch descent, their ancestors having owned property in Berwick-on-Tweed, Scotland, and in Holy Island, for generations. They were a seafaring family, many of them being masters and owners, trading with the East Indies. John Simpson and his wife, Elizabeth (Baptist) Simpson, were born in Berwick, Scotland, where they died in middle life, leaving four children, Daniel, Elizabeth, Patience and George. Elizabeth married John Cramond and together they came to the United States about 1800, settling in Albany; in 1805 the younger children followed.

(II) George, son of John and Elizabeth (Baptist) Simpson, was born in Berwick, Scotland, 1784, died in Perth, New York, February 22, 1819. Crossing on the vessel with him was Helen Stuart McKay, who later became his wife. She was born near Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, 1789, daughter of Charles and Helen (Stuart) McKay. Charles McKay settled in Perth, New York, where his farm was occupied by his descendants for over one hundred years. Helen S. (McKay) Simpson survived her husband many years and died at the advanced age of eighty-six, leaving three children,

  1. John B.,
  2. Helen, wife of Arthur Smith, and
  3. George C.

(III) George Charles, youngest son of George and Helen S. (McKay) Simpson, was born in the town of Amsterdam, New York, June 10, 1817. He grew up on the farm, where he remained until seventeen years of age, when he went to the then village of Amsterdam and learned the saddlery and harness trade. He opened a shop in Fultonville and later one in Fonda, conducting both places for several years. He finally disposed of the Fultonville business, establishing his home in Fonda in 1854. He also owned and operated a cotton mill at Berryville, together with his partner, I. M. Davis. At fifty he retired from business and henceforth devoted himself to the care of his affairs, and to the improvement of the village of Fonda. For eighteen years he served as trustee of the public school, was loan commissioner for many years, and his services were also greatly sought in the settling and in the care of estates. He was strongly interested in politics. At first a Whig and then a Republican, he was highly esteemed among his political associates, and the leading men of the county. During the rebellion he served on all the war committees for the town of Mohawk and rendered valuable service in filling the quota of men called for, and, with others, insisted that as the large bounties had been voted, they should be collected and paid, so that when the war closed, the town of Mohawk owed no bounty debt. While leaning strongly toward Universalism in his belief, he nevertheless did much in support of other churches, for his creed was as broad as humanity. He was also a radical temperance man, sparing neither time nor money in support of the cause. Of strong convictions and unbending integrity, his life was exemplary and pure. He died March 28, 1891, aged seventy-four years. Mr. Simpson married October 26, 1848, Lucy T. Gardinier, of Fultonville, daughter of Charles and Lucy (Smith) Gardinier. Six children were born to them, three of whom died in infancy. The surviving children were Helen M., John H., and Jean G. Mrs. Simpson died at her home in Fonda, April 25, 1867, and is laid to rest in Maple Avenue Cemetery, Fultonville, which in early colonial times was the family burial place of the Gardiniers. John H. Simpson was for many years an invalid, devoting most of his time to study, he was one of the best informed men in the country, died November 10, 1887, aged thirty-three years. The Misses Simpson, the last of the family, are living at the old home in Fonda.

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