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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Smith

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1169-1172 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 progenitor of the Smith family of Schenectady, New York, of which Gerardus Smith is one of the living representatives, was George Smith, of Edinburgh, Scotland. There is a tradition that his descendants are the heirs to the Baird baronetcy through his wife, Mary Baird, a sister of Sir David Baird, Baronet of Edinburgh; the Scotch family having died out.

(I) George Smith, "of Stockbridge," Scotland, was probably a farmer in his native land and a man of education and good parts. The banns that were published name George Smith, of Stockbridge, and Mary Baird, of Blackford. They were married in St. Cuthbert's Parish in the county of Edinburgh, February 3, 1776. Ten years later they landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 6, 1786. They finally settled in Montgomery county, New York, where they died, leaving issue.

(II) George (2), son of George (1) and Mary (Baird) Smith, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, January 12, 1784, and died on his estate, Fort Johnson, August 28, 1828. He was about nine years of age when the family came to the United States and Montgomery county. He became a man of means and owner of much valuable real estate, including the historic Fort Johnson, built by Sir William Johnson, and still standing in the suburbs of Amsterdam, the property of the Montgomery County Historical Association. He owned a square mile of land surrounding Fort Johnson, and many slaves which he later manumitted. He was a cultured, highly educated man of a scientific, investigating mind, greatly interested in all forms of scientific research and discovery. He married (first) November 4, 1784 [sic], Sarah, born in Florida, Montgomery county, New York, September 30, 1788, died October 4, 1818, third child of David and Anna (Shuler) Cady. (See Cady VI.) She was a sister of General Jay Cady, who came to the United States to look after large English and Scotch land interests. He married (second) Antoinette Page, a sister of Judge Alonzo C. Page, who survived him and married a second husband, Judge Platt Potter. Children by first wife of George Smith (2):

  1. David Cady, mentioned below.
  2. Charlotte, married Dr. Charles Dievendorf, a physician of Amsterdam, New York.

Child by second wife:

  1. Mary, married Frank Potter, a brother of Judge Platt Potter.

(III) David Cady, son of George (2) and Sarah (Cady) Smith, was born at Minaville, town of Florida, Montgomery county, New York, August 23, 1813, died at Schenectady, New York, January 29, 1908. He lived nearly an entire century and in that time saw many marvelous things come to pass. He saw his adopted city, Schenectady, grow from a little Dutch town, sleeping on the banks of the Mohawk, to a busy city of 75,000 and one of the world's electrical and mechanical centers. In the year of his birth, 1813, Buffalo was largely a wilderness, and he lived during four wars waged by his country. When he was born James Madison was president, and he saw twenty-two others assume that exalted station. When he came to Schenectady the Erie canal had been opened eight years and the primitive railroad uniting Schenectady and Albany had been in existence but three years. Jenner's great discovery, vaccination, was made when he was a boy, and he was the first child vaccinated in Montgomery county. A young physician came to Minaville in whom his father took a great interest. He believed in the new discovery and allowed the doctor to operate upon the boy. This had a great deal to do with the general adoption of the preventative in the county, where the disease had annually scourged the settlements. David C. was but a boy when his father died. He was present in 1844 at some of the first tests made by Professor Samuel F. B. Morse, in connection with the electric telegraph, over the wire constructed between Washington and Baltimore. In short, he saw the whole field of useful and wonderful invention pass before his view, like a panorama, such as has been given few men to see. He commenced life for himself by clerking in stores at Port Jackson, Amsterdam and Middleburg. This did not suit the lad, and he determined to have an education and a profession. He attended school at Charlton, Saratoga county, and that famous old school, "Hartwick Seminary." He then entered Troy, now known throughout the world as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, graduating therefrom, class of 1833. At the time of his death he was the oldest living alumnus of that famous institution. Deciding upon the law as his profession, he entered the law office of Judge Alonzo C. Paige and Platt Potter, as a law student. He was admitted to the bar as an attorney and counsellor-at-law, May 17, 1837, opened an office in Schenectady, and for a time practiced alone, later forming a partnership with Judge Thomas B. Mitchell, subsequently with Judge S. W. Jackson, under the firm name of Smith & Jackson, which partnership existed for many years. In 1847 he was appointed surrogate of Schenectady county, by Governor Bouck, and was the last incumbent of that office, holding by appointment. He had many important local cases in charge, and settled many estates; notably, the Eliza Peek estate, that was before the courts for half a century, in which he was finally successful. He settled the estate of Hon. John I. De Graff, which includes property all through New York state. So well did he administer this estate that the De Graff family presented him with a solid silver service, one of the two facsimiles of the one of gold presented by the city of Philadelphia to General Lafayette when he visited the United States. Politically he was a Democrat and served in a public capacity in many ways. He could have been continually in office, but preferred not to surrender his independence. He was a warm admirer of President Lincoln, and supported his policies. After the war his sympathies were with the Republican party, but he was not a strict party man. For a number of years he represented his ward in the common council and for a like long term, chosen by the council, city attorney. These, besides the office of surrogate, were his only public offices. He bore the military title of major, and was for many years on the staff of General Cady. He was fond of athletic and outdoor sports, excelling as a pistol shot. In his younger days he did some newspaper work, editing, during his law student days, a weekly paper called The Reflector. There were few departments of activity in which he did not take a part, not only as a lawyer is he remembered and well known. It is as a banker he will be best remembered. His name and that of his family are inseparably connected with the history of Schenectady's banking institutions. None played a more important part in the financial affairs of the city than he. His first connection with banking began February 26, 1846, when he was elected a trustee of the Schenectady Savings Bank. On March 22, 1875, he was chosen president, continuing until April 20, 1904. He remained a trustee until death ended a connection of sixty-two years. An enduring monument to his memory is this, one of the strongest and best managed savings banks in the state. He. was also a director of the old Schenectady Bank until it was merged into the Schenectady Trust Company. For over half a century he was an active member of St. George's Episcopal Church. On May 9, 1854, he was chosen clerk of the vestry, and at the time of his election as warden, January 3, 1900, he was the oldest vestryman, both in point of years and service, in the church. Besides his liberal support of church institutions he gave generously to all charitable and benevolent causes. On the anniversary of his golden wedding, in 1899, he presented the charitable institutions of the city with substantial gifts. He was one of the founders of the Old Ladies' Home and his interest continued through life. For many years he was a trustee of the Home, but advancing years demanded that some business cares be dropped, and in 1904 he resigned. He was a wonder among men, in that he retained his physical and mental vigor so long past the usual years of decrepitude and decay. His title of "Schenectady's Grand Old Man" is justified by the enduring impress he left on the legal profession, the financial institutions, and the business and philanthropic enterprises of that city.

David Cady Smith married, October 31, 1849, Eleanor Fisher, daughter of Gerardus Q. Carley, of the firm of DeGraff, Walton & Carley, of Schenectady. Children:

  1. Everett, attorney at law, former mayor of Schenectady and ex-commissioner of public safety; president of the Schenectady Savings Bank.
  2. Gerardus, of further mention.
  3. Mary P., married William McCamus; died September 2, 1894.
  4. Ellen.

Mrs. David C. Smith survives her husband and resides in Schenectady.

(IV) Gerardus, son of David Cady and Eleanor F. (Carley) Smith, was born in Schenectady, October 26, 1857. He was educated in the public schools, Phillips Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire, and Union College. He studied law under his father and was admitted to the New York bar in 1879. For four years, until 1884, he was clerk of the surrogate court, appointed by Judge D. C. Beattie. In 1880 he had formed a partnership with his father-in-law and established a coal business. In 1884 he resigned from his position in the surrogate court, taking charge of the coal business, and later organized the "Schenectady Contracting Company" for paving streets and general contracting. For four years he devoted his time to his coal business and the interests of the contracting company. He was interested in the Daily Gazette, and was president and treasurer of the Old Schenectady Printing Company, which was the predecessor of the Daily Gazette Company. Later the Daily was enlarged and a first class printing office established, and the style and title of the company changed to the Schenectady Gazette, edited and published by the Daily Gazette Company, of which company Mr. Smith is president and treasurer. The Gazette is a modern city newspaper and reflects credit upon its management. It is Democratic in politics, and a dominant force in municipal affairs. For many years he was a director of the old Schenectady Bank; after it was merged into the Schenectady Trust Company he remained on the board of directors. September 7, 1907, he was elected president of the Trust Company and still remains the head of that strong, conservative financial institution. He has considerable business outside his newspaper and banking interests, which cover the entire field of business activity in the city. He is secretary and treasurer of Park View Cemetery Association, and holds official connection with many other companies. Politically he is a Democrat, has represented his ward in the common council several years. He was the candidate of his party for mayor in 1895 and only failed of election by eighteen votes, the city normally giving a large Republican majority. He has been delegate to many national conventions of the party; was a delegate to the Chicago convention that nominated Grover Cleveland, and to the Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City conventions that nominated William J. Bryan for president. He is actively interested in the public life of his city, and a potent factor in civic affairs. He is senior warden of St. George's Episcopal Church, filling the place so long occupied by his venerable father. His social clubs are the Mohawk and Golf clubs of Schenectady. In fraternal organizations he is affiliated with the Masonic order through membership in St. George's Lodge, No. 6, Free and Accepted Masons; St. George's Chapter, No. 157, Royal Arch Masons, Bloss Council No. 14, Royal and Select Masters; St. George's Commandery, No. 37, Knights Templar; Albany Consistory, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, thirty-second degree; Oriental Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, the latter of Troy, New York. He also belongs to Schaughnaughtada Tribe No. 123, Improved Order of Red Men; the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Schenectady Lodge, No. 480, and Schenectady Lodge, No. 319, Knights of Pythias.

He married, September 22, 1800, Mary, daughter of James W. Darrow, a coal dealer of Schenectady, born September 12, 1833, died May 21, 1901, and his wife, Susan (Clute) Darrow, born October 11, 1837, died January 21, 1908. Children:

  1. Eleanor Fisher, married John G. Green, of Schenectady, New York.
  2. Anna Cady, educated at the National Cathedral School, Washington, D. C., finishing at Miss Hazen's School, Pelham Manor.
  3. Eleanor, finished at the Pratt School, Utica, New York.

(The Cady-Cade Line)

(I) The American ancestor of Sarah (Cady) Smith, wife of George Smith (2), was David Cady, who came from the west of England or from Wales, with three sons, and settled at Hingham, Massachusetts, in 1635, removed later to Boston with wife Margaret. He had a daughter Mary, born there October 4, 1640. From Boston he removed to Yarmouth. (Savage's General Dictionary [James Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England], Hinman's Puritan Settlers [R. R. Hinman, A Catalogue of the Names of the First Puritan Settlers of the Colony of Connecticut], N. E. Journal Register [probably New England Historical and Genealogical Register], vol. II, p. 250.)

(II) Nicholas Cade, believed to be a son of David Cady, was first known in Boston in 1640. In 1645 he was of Watertown, Massachusetts. About 1648 he married Judith, daughter of William Knapp (1). He was living in Groton, Connecticut, in 1680.

(III) Aaron, ninth child of Nicholas and Judith (Knapp) Cade, married (second) Mercy, daughter of Joshua Miller.

(IV) Aaron Cady, son of Aaron Cade, was born at Canterbury, Massachusetts, December 7, 1718 (Canterbury Records). He was a physician. He was of Plainfield, from whence he removed to Stonington, Connecticut, 1753, at least bought land there February 1, 1753. He married Anna, daughter of Oliver Palmer, of Stonington (Stonington Records).

(V) David, son of Dr. Aaron (2) and Anna (Palmer) Cady, was born at Stonington, December 16, 1756, which conflicts with the date on his monument, which gives the year as 1755; the monument date is probably correct, although the records have it 1756. He died May 12, 1818. He married, in the town of Florida, Montgomery county, New York, November 4, 1784, Anna Shuler, born at Catskill, New York, November 18, 1763, died November 19, 1851. They were the parents of eight children.

(VI) Sarah, third child of David and Anna (Shuler) Cady, was born in Florida, Montgomery county, New York, September 30, 1788, died October 4, 1818. Married, September 29, 1808, George Smith (2), of Fort Johnson (see Smith II). They were the grandparents of Gerardus Smith, of Schenectady, New York.

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