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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 584-586 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.]

Chancellor Reuben Hyde Walworth was of the fourth generation in this country and descended from William Walworth, of Fishers Island, Suffolk county, Long Island, New York. William, who emigrated to America from near London, England, 1689, is the progenitor of all the Walworths of America. He claimed to be a descendant of Sir William Walworth, who was lord mayor of London at the time of the rebellion of Watte Tyler in the reign of Richard II. The arms of the family of London and Suffolk is thus described by Burke: Gules, a bend engrailed argent, between the two gaibs or, Crest: a cubit arm vested or, cuff argent, the arm grasping a dagger sinister imbrued gules pommel and hilt or, Motto: "Strike for the laws." He came to America in 1689, at the special instance of Fitz John Winthrop, then major general, commanding the forces of the colony and afterwards governor. It was Winthrop's desire to introduce upon Fishers Island the English system of farming, with which Walworth was known to be well acquainted. He was the first lessee and settler upon the island. To it he carried his young wife and here most of his children were born. He was the sole citizen and could say, "I am monarch of all I survey." He was above all town meetings, sheriffs, constables and law officers. He made his own roads and mended them. No man unless a Winthrop had a right to hunt there. How long his independence lasted is not known, probably not since the revolution, when New York became a sovereign state. On this island he resided for nine years in safety. The Indian wars of Connecticut did not alarm him. There was some danger from French privateers, but the real danger that finally drove him to the mainland for safety was from the pirate, Captain Kidd. This was about 1699. He settled in Groton on Fort Hill. Here he passed the remainder of his days. He died in 1703. His will and the record of it was burned at the time of the capture of New London by Benedict Arnold. He was a Congregationalist, and he and his wife were baptized at New London, January 14, 1691-92, at which time the record states: "William Walworth and wife owned the Covenant and were baptized with their infant daughter Martha." In 1690 he married Mary Seaton, who came from England on the same ship with him. She was an orphan. She remained a widow forty-nine years, and died January 14, 1752. She was left with seven children. She was a woman of rare wisdom and ability. She increased the value of the estate, and the children all began life with an increased equal share with her of the estate. All the sons were farmers and seem to have had ample means which they freely invested in more land. The daughters married and lived outside Groton with husbands of ample fortune. Children:

  1. William (2), born on Fishers Island, January, 1694, died May 17, 1774; married, January 16, 1720, Mary, daughter of Captain Samuel Avery.
  2. John, see forward.
  3. Thomas, born on Fishers Island, May, 1701; married Phoebe Stark, of Groton.
  4. James, twin of Thomas, died before attaining his majority. Daughters were:
    1. Martha, married, November 10, 1715, John Stark.
    2. Mary, married Abiel Stark.
    3. Joanna, youngest, married and continued to reside in Groton.

(II) John, of Groton, second son of William, of Fishers Island, and Mary (Seaton) Walworth, was born on that island in 1696, died 1748, buried in Wrightman cemetery, as is his wife and several of his children. He was a wealthy farmer and ship builder and owner. His inventory mentions four negro servants, fifty horned cattle, eight hundred and twelve sheep, a stud of thirty-two horses and seventy-seven ounces of wrought silver plate. He was appointed cornet of a troop of dragoons in the Eighth Connecticut Regiment and afterwards captain. In November, 1718, he married Sarah B., only child of Captain Richard Dunn (2); and his wife, Hannah or Elizabeth Bailey, of Newport, Rhode Island. She died November 1, 1778, in her seventieth year. Children:

  1. Samuel, married Hannah Woodbridge.
  2. Sylvester, soldier of the revolution and victim of the Fort Griswold massacre; his name is preserved on the tall monument that overlooks his burial place, Ledyard cemetery, and the scene of the massacre; he married Sarah Holmes, of Stonington.
  3. William, married Sarah Grant, of Stonington.
  4. James, unmarried.
  5. Benjamin, see forward.
  6. Philena, married Joseph Minor, of Groton.
  7. Sarah, married Benjamin Brown.
  8. Abigail, unmarried.

(III) Benjamin, youngest son of John, of Groton, and Sarah (Holmes) Walworth, was born at Groton, Connecticut, November 11, 1746. He was a hatter in early life and worked at that trade at Poughkeepsie and in Minisink, Orange county, New York. He was a merchant later at Nine Partners in company with Philip Hart, of Troy. He also had a store at Schaghticoke, Rensselaer county. He later sold his interest and settled on a farm in Norwich. In 1792 he removed to Hoosick, New York, where he was both farmer and mill owner, and where he was killed by his horse, February 26, 1812. He is buried in Union cemetery, Hoosick Falls. He had a revolutionary career as quartermaster of Colonel Nichol's New York regiment. He was engaged at the battle of White Plains, where he served as adjutant to Colonel Nichol. In 1782 he married Apphia Hyde, of Bozrah, Connecticut, widow of Captain Samuel Cardell, a learned grammarian and author of Jack Halyard the Sailor Boy. She was a daughter of Rev. Jedediah Hyde, great-grandson of William Hyde, one of the original proprietors of Norwich, Connecticut. Her mother was Jerusha, granddaughter of the first John Tracy who married Mary Winslow, daughter of John and Mary (Chilton) Winslow, who came over in the "Fortune," 1621, the latter in the "Mayflower," 1620. Children of Benjamin and Apphia (Hyde) Walworth:

  1. Rosamond, married (first) Oliver Barbour, (second) Benjamin Randall.
  2. John, entered the United States army and was captain of the Sixth Regiment United States Infantry and was at the battles of Little York and Fort George in Canada during the war of 1812-14, where he was wounded; General Pike was killed at his side during the first battle; he attained the rank of major; married (first) Sarah, daughter of Colonel Jonas Simonds, of the army, no issue; married (second) Catherine M., daughter of Judge William Bailey, of Plattsburgh.
  3. James Clinton, removed to Otsego, where for twenty years he was judge of the county court; married (first) Helen Talcott, daughter of Deacon Andrew Sill, of Burlington, New York; (second) Maria M. Haynes, a descendant in the seventh generation of Jonathan Haynes, the first of Newbury, Massachusetts, who came from England in 1635.
  4. Reuben Hyde, of later mention.
  5. Sarah Dunn, married Field Dailee.
  6. Benjamin, was a physician and surgeon of Hoosick and Fredonia, New York, and for many years one of the judges of the court of common pleas of Chautauqua county, New York; married Charlotte Eddy, of Hoosick.
  7. Apphia, married David J. Mattison, of Arlington, Vermont, and later a farmer of Fredonia, New York.
  8. Jedediah, a lawyer, unmarried.
  9. Hiram, who though a mere boy was in the battle of Plattsburgh in the war of 1812, being one of Captain Allen's company of volunteers. He married Delia Arabella, daughter of Judge Jonathan Griffin, of Plattsburgh, New York; he was assistant register of the United States court of chancery succeeding his brother, Major John.
  10. Ann Eliza, married Charles Theodore Platt, then a midshipman, afterward a master and commander in the United States navy; it was said at his burial service, "Under any other government upon the globe an Admiral's insignia instead of a commander's, would have been borne upon his coffin."

(IV) Reuben Hyde, third son of Benjamin and Apphia (Hyde) Walworth, is known as the last chancellor of the state of New York. He was born at Bozrah, Connecticut, October 26, 1788, where the first four years of his life were passed, and died at Saratoga Springs, New York, November 28, 1867. He received his early education in the schools of Hoosick, New York, and where the greater part of his childhood was spent. He began his law studies at Troy, New York, in December, 1806, in the office of John Russell, a noted practitioner of his day. In 1810 he was admitted to the New York bar and began practice in Plattsburgh at once. During the next thirteen years he was successively justice of the peace, master in chancery, supreme court commissioner, colonel of militia and member of congress. In April, 1823, he was appointed circuit judge of the fourth judicial district of the state of New York, and in October of that year removed his residence from Plattsburgh to Albany, where he resided several years, when he removed to Saratoga Springs. He held the office of circuit judge for five years, and in April, 1828, was appointed chancellor of the state of New York. During the war of 1812-14 he was in the United States military service. He was aide to Major General Mooers at the invasion of Plattsburgh by the British army in September, 1814, and at the battles of September 6 and 11 was acting as adjutant general. In 1844-45 he was appointed by President Tyler to the high office of justice of the supreme court of the United States, but the nomination was opposed by several senators, principally by Henry Clay, and the appointment was recalled, Samuel Nelson being substituted and confirmed. In the general election of 1848 he was the Democratic candidate for governor of New York, but was defeated by the defection of Martin Van Buren and other "Free Soilers" from the party. At the breaking out of the civil war Chancellor Walworth, although strongly loyal to the Union, was an earnest advocate of conciliation and a prominent delegate to the so-called peace convention. A speech of his, made on that occasion, was spread throughout the Union. His appeal may have been hopeless and perhaps inopportune, but it was a most touching appeal for peace, and does credit to his humanity and kindliness of spirit. As a jurist he was of the most painstaking and just type as the law reports of his decisions attest. He had literary genius of the highest order and left many writings of value to posterity.

He married (first) January 16, 1812, Maria Ketchum Averill, born December 31, 1795, at Plattsburgh, died at Saratoga Springs, April 24, 1847, daughter and eldest child of Nathan and Mary (Ketchum) Averill. She was a descendant of William Averill, the first who came from Milford Haven, Wales, and settled in Topsfield, Massachusetts, through his son, Isaac Averill, of Kent, Connecticut, who was born about 1685. Daniel, son of Isaac Averill, married Lucy Cogswell, of New London, Connecticut. Children: Nathan, married Rosanna Noble, of Plattsburgh, New York, maternal aunt of Rev. Jeremiah Day, a president of Yale College. Nathan (2), son of Nathan and Rosanna (Noble) Averill, married, and among his children was Maria Ketchum Averill, first wife of Chancellor Walworth. He married (second) April 16, 1851, Sarah Ellen, youngest daughter of Horace Smith, of Locust Grove, Kentucky, and widow of Colonel John J. Hardin, killed February 23, 1847, at the battle of Buena Vista, Mexico. She survived the chancellor several years, dying at Saratoga Springs, July 15, 1874. Children by first marriage:

  1. Mary Elizabeth, married Edgar Jenkins (see Jenkins IV).
  2. Sarah, married John Mason Davison, of Saratoga Springs, ex-register of court of chancery, president and general superintendent of the Saratoga & Whitehall Railroad Company.
  3. Ann Eliza, married Rev. J., Eleazer Trumbull Backus, D. D., LL. D., a descendant of Lieutenant William Backus, one of the thirty-five organized proprietors of Norwich, Connecticut.
  4. Rev. Clarence A., LL. D., entered the priesthood of the Roman Catholic church and spent seventeen years in "Missions" in England and the United States; in 1866 he became rector of St. Mary's parish, Albany; he received the degree of LL. D., from the Regents of the University of the State of New York, July 6, 1887; he is the author of many published works, various sermons and articles contributed to the periodical and daily press; previous to entering the priesthood he graduated from Union College, studied law and was admitted to the New York bar.
  5. Mansfield Tracy, graduated from Union College and was a lawyer, as well as a novelist of high repute; his wife, Ellen Hardin, was an active member of the Saratoga board of education and served for many years as trustee of the Saratoga Monument Association; to her judgment, zeal and energy the public are indebted for the many memorial tablets with which the battle ground from Bemis Heights to Schuylerville has been enriched and illustrated; she is the author of Battles of Saratoga, including a guide to the battle ground, with maps and a history of the Monument Association.
  6. Frances De Lord, died in childhood.

By his second marriage Chancellor Walworth had one child: Reuben Hyde (2), died in infancy. By her marriage with Colonel Hardin, Mrs. Sarah Ellen (Smith-Hardin) Walworth had:

  1. Ellen, married Mansfield Tracy Walworth, fifth child of her stepfather.
  2. Martin D., graduate of West Point, lieutenant in the United States army, 1860; colonel of volunteers in 1862; was dangerously wounded at Second Bull Run, was in the Peninsula battles of 1862, Gettysburg, 1863, and retired at the end of the war.
  3. Lemuel Smith, lawyer and journalist of New York City.
  4. Elizabeth, died in infancy.

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