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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Wiswall

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1802-1804 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.]

Thomas and John Wiswall, both prominent among the early settlers of Dorchester, Massachusetts, came from England, 1635, leaving behind them brothers Adam, Abiel and Jonathan. This record deals with the descendants of Thomas Wiswall. Both were elders of the church, both selectmen and subscribers to the school fund. Thomas, the younger brother, was a subscriber in 1641; selectman from 1644 to 1652. He died December 6, 1683. No monument marks his grave, but that over the grave of Elder John states he was born in 1601, died in 1687, aged eighty-six years, which gives the approximate birth of Elder Thomas Wiswall. His farm of four hundred acres was in the limits of Dorchester, and included a pond that bore his name. His house stood upon the southerly hank of the pond, and is described in his will. On the day Rev. John Eliot (2) was ordained pastor of the Dorchester church, July 20, 1664, Thomas Wiswall was ordained ruling elder and assistant pastor in inspecting and disciplining the flock. He married (first) Elizabeth ————. Children:

  1. Enoch, born 1633.
  2. Esther, 1635.
  3. Ichabod, 1637.
  4. Noah, of further mention.
  5. Mary.
  6. Sarah, baptized 1643.
  7. Ebenezer, 1646.

Elder Wiswall married (second) Isabella Farmer, a widow from Ansley, England. She survived him and died in Billerica, Massachusetts, May, 1686.

(II) Captain Noah Wiswall, son of Elder Thomas and Elizabeth Wiswall, was baptized in Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1638. He was killed in battle with the Indians at Wheelwrights Pond, July 6, 1690. He was a man of education and was employed, 1681, to transcribe the town records, was selectman in 1685, assessor in 1686, and served on important committees. He was captain of the military company. When in 1690 a band of French and Indians were committing depredations Captain Wiswall was slain in a battle with them. Tradition says he had a son John who fell in the same battle. Lands were granted the heirs of Captain Noah Wiswall in 1683 for his patriotic service. He married, December 10, 1664, Theodosia, daughter of John Jackson. Children:

  1. Thomas, of further mention.
  2. Elizabeth, born July 30, 1668; married, December 28, 1693, Rev. Thomas Greenwood, of Rehoboth, Massachusetts.
  3. Caleb.
  4. John (perhaps).
  5. Margaret, born January, 1672; married Nathaniel Parker.
  6. Mary.
  7. Esther, born January 2, 1678.
  8. Sarah, May 11, 1680; married, 1702, Joseph Cheney.

(III) Lieutenant Thomas Wiswall, son of Captain Noah and Theodosia (Jackson) Wiswall, was born February 28, 1666, died 1709. He inherited the homestead of his father, and was highway surveyor, 1694, constable, 1699, selectman, 1706 and 1707. He married, July, 1696, Hannah Cheney, who survived him and married (second) David Newman, of Rehoboth. Children:

  1. Hannah, born October 15, 1697.
  2. Noah, of further mention.
  3. Sarah, born Match 4, 1701; married, 1730, John Newman.
  4. Mary, born October 1, 1702.
  5. Elizabeth, born August 25, 1704; married Nathaniel Longley.
  6. Thomas.
  7. Ichabod.

(IV) Captain Noah (2) Wiswall, son of Lieutenant Thomas and Hannah (Cheney) Wiswall, was born September 7, 1699, died June 13, 1786. He inherited the homestead and in 1744 rebuilt the house. He was selectman three years. He was one of the earliest Baptists in Newton, having been baptized in 1754, and was one of the founders of the Baptist church in Newton in 1780. The first meetings were held in his house, and he gave the land on which their first meeting house was erected. S. F. Smith's life of Rev. Mr. Grafton [i.e., Samuel Francis Smith, Life of the Rev. Joseph Grafton, Late Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Newton, Ms.] states that Captain Noah Wiswall was in the battle of Lexington. Three of his sons and some of his sons-in-law were in the East Newton company, commanded by his son, Captain Jeremiah Wiswall. After the company had marched for Lexington he started on foot and alone to follow them, saying, "I wish to see what the boys are doing." It seems almost impossible that he could have endured the march and the fatigues of the day, as he was then seventy-six years of age, but the roll of the East Newton company in the battle of Lexington, now in the office of the secretary of state of Massachusetts, and sworn to by the captain of that company before Judge Fuller, shows that he was in the company, and also several other aged men were volunteers in the ranks of the company on that day. He married (first) in 1720, Thankful, daughter of Jeremiah Fuller. She died in 1745. Married (second) in 1752, Deliverance, daughter of Ebenezer Kenrick, of Brookline. Children by first wife:

  1. Thomas.
  2. Elizabeth, married, December 17, 1741, William Baldwin.
  3. Jeremiah, born October 27, 1725.
  4. Thankful, born September 1, 1727, died 1728.
  5. John.
  6. Thankful, born August 11, 1729; married, 1750, Ebenezer Gee.
  7. Mary, born April 1, 1731; married, 1752, Samuel Norcross.
  8. Sarah, born December 23, 1734; married, 1761, Dr. John King.
  9. Esther, born December 2, 1737; married, 1768, Benjamin White.
  10. Noah, of further mention.
  11. Samuel.
  12. Ebenezer, born 1742.
  13. Margaret, born February 24, 1744; married, 1766, Thomas Palmer.
  14. Hannah, born March 31, 1745; married, 1769, Ebenezer Richards, of Dedham.

(V) Noah (3), son of Captain Noah (2) and Thankful (Fuller) Wiswall, was born July 7, 1740. He married, December, 1769, Mary Palmer, and settled in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. In 1796 his estate was set off from Fitchburg and annexed to Westminster. Children:

  1. Mary, born April 4, 1770; married ———— White; her only child, Juliet, was left an orphan when an infant and was reared and educated by her uncle, Joseph Wiswall, who married her when seventeen years of age, a sin her Puritan mother never forgave her; they resided in Troy, New York, a few years, then removed to Mobile, Alabama, where she died.
  2. Noah, born October 22, 1772; no authentic record of him is found.
  3. John Palmer, born January 29, 1775; married (first) Melita Green, settled near Burlington, Vermont; married (second) Sarah Thurston; he is buried in Mount Ida cemetery, Troy.
  4. Ebenezer (Eben), a leading business man of Troy.
  5. Jane, born April 5, 1779.
  6. William, born March 11, 1781.
  7. Joseph, born February 2, 1784.
  8. Japheth, born November 18, 1785.
  9. Seth, of further mention.
  10. Sarah, born September 17, 1788.
  11. Howard, born February 18, 1791.
  12. Nancy, born November 16, 1792.

(VI) Seth, ninth child of Noah (3) and Mary (Palmer) Wiswall, was born in Westminster, Massachusetts, May 10, 1787, died in Albany, New York, about 1834. He grew up on the homestead farm and was educated in the town schools. After arriving at mature years he removed to New York state, settling in Albany county. He there purchased a farm overlooking the Hudson which he cultivated for several years, later selling it to his brother Eben (or Ebenezer) who had become heavily interested in ferry and real estate enterprises. Seth, after disposing of his farm (now a part of the corporate limits of West Troy) settled in Albany where he died. He was a man of energy and enterprise, and bore a high reputation in his community. He married, about 1814, Nancy Pendleton, who died in Albany in 1847, a descendant of the Pendleton family of Rhode Island, one of a large family of daughters (eleven) and one son, William Pendleton. Children of Seth Wiswall:

  1. Mary, born about 1815, died 1845, unmarried.
  2. Martha Nancy, born October 26, 1817, see forward.
  3. Two sons, died in infancy.
  4. Angelica Schuyler, born March, 1823; married Thomas Barber.
  5. Elizabeth, twin of Angelica S., died in infancy.

(VII) Martha Nancy, daughter of Seth and Nancy (Pendleton) Wiswall, was born October 26, 1817, died in Albany, August 31, 1880. She married, August 8, 1843, John Henry Van Antwerp, a descendant in direct line from Daniel Janse Van Antwerp and Maritie, daughter of Samuel Groot, both of Holland. Daniel Janse was an early proprietor of Schenectady, where several of his children were killed or taken prisoners to Montreal, when that town was burned by the Indians in 1690. He was a fur trader and a man of means. He was a member of the Dutch church and donated, in 1715, the land on which the Dutch Reformed church of Schenectady now stands. John H. Van Antwerp's grandfather, Daniel Lewis Van Antwerp, 1771 to 1832, was of Schenectady and Albany; was a member of the constitutional convention of 1801, member of the legislature from Saratoga county, 1808-10; district attorney, 1811, for counties of Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Montgomery and Schoharie, being appointed March 9, 1811, by Governor Daniel D. Tompkins. When Albany county was erected into a separate district, April 21, 1818, he was reappointed by Governor De Witt Clinton, June 11, 1818, his commission being in each case unlimited, but continuous during the pleasure of the governor and council. He was brigade-quartermaster in the war of 1812, judge of the court of sessions, 1820. William Van Antwerp, son of Judge Daniel Lewis Van Antwerp, was a prominent lawyer of Albany, 1799-1829. Married Sarah Meadon and had John Henry, William Meadon, Daniel Lewis (2) and a daughter. John Henry, son of William and Sarah (Meadon) Van Antwerp, was born in Albany, October 12, 1823. He was educated in the private schools and began business life as a clerk. He rapidly rose in business affairs and was one of the founders and original trustees of the National Savings Bank of Albany, and in May, 1872, was elected president. His connection with the New York State National Bank began July 17, 1847, as corresponding clerk. January 1, 1856, he was appointed cashier, serving until 1880, when he was elected vice-president. As a financier he was connected with the banking interests of Albany for over half a century, and his rare ability is indicated by the high standing of the institutions with which he was so long connected. He was a member for over eighteen years and vice-president of the New York state board of charities and gave much of his time to this. He was one of the originators of the plan for the creation of Washington Park, Albany, and one of the commissioners named in the act of the legislature creating it, was the first president of the board and served for about twenty-one years during the formation period of the Park, then declining a reappointment by the mayor. Both Mr. Van Antwerp and his wife became members of St. Paul Episcopal Church, Albany, of which he was for many years senior warden. He was a member of the Holland Society, Sons of the Revolution, fellow of the American Geographical Society and of the Albany Institute. His clubs were the Manhattan and St. Nicholas of New York City, the Fort Orange and Country of Albany.

Children of John H. and Martha Nancy (Wiswall) Van Antwerp:

  1. Amelia King, born December 11, 1844; married, November 8, 1866, John McMurray, of New York City; she died May 25, 1867.
  2. Henrietta Wiswall, of further mention.
  3. Rufus King, born July 25, 1849, died May 8, 1888.
  4. Kate Josephine, born June 24, 1859, died June 6, 1907; married, June 14, 1882, Josiah R. Stanton, paymaster in the United States navy; child,
    1. Martha Van Antwerp, born October 10, 1883; married, June 8, 1904, Edward Easton.

(VIII) Henrietta Wiswall, daughter of John Henry and Martha Nancy (Wiswall) Van Antwerp, was born September 2, 1847, and is the only surviving member of her family. She married, October 1, 1873, Major Junius Wilson MacMurray, of Missouri, an officer of the United States regular army. Major MacMurray recruited a company and entered the Union army as its first lieutenant, April 20, 1861; was breveted for bravery at the siege of Corinth, Mississippi; to captain, at the siege of Vicksburg, to major and to lieutenant-colonel for gallant and meritorious services during the war. Children:

  1. Van Antwerp, born September 12, 1874, died November 22, 1875.
  2. Edna Allens, born June 4, 1876, married, June 15, 1900, James Parsons Robinson, captain of Coast Artillery Corps, United States Army.
  3. Ethel, born February 15, 1878.
  4. John Van Antwerp, born October 6, 1881.

Mrs. MacMurray resides in Washington, D. C., and Albany, New York.

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