Miscellaneous Family Sketches

Town of Florida
Montgomery County, NY

Donated by Lisa Slaski

Source: History of Montgomery County : embracing early discoveries, the advance of civilization, the labors and triumphs of Sir William Johnson, the inception and development of manufactures : with town and local records, also military achievements of Montgomery patriots, Syracuse, N.Y.: D. Mason & Co., 1892, 843 pgs.

Archer, Gilbert G., Florida, telegraph operator and agent of the West Shore railroad at Fort Hunter, was born at Constantia, Oswego county, January 22, 1859. He was one of six children of Hugh G. and Margaret (Hoyle) Archer. Hugh G., the father was born in Scotland in 1834, coming to this country when a boy; his wife, Margaret Hoyle, was also born in Scotland in 1838. The early life of Gilbert G. was spent in Kentucky, where he was educated, after which he returned to New York state, and since 1887 has been telegraph operator and agent of the West Shore railroad, having been stationed at Fort Hunter since 1888. In addition to his regular duties he has done a large amount of insurance business in the town. He was married January 20, 1883, to Hattie A. Marsh, one of nine children of P. S. and Lavina (Bly) Marsh of Constantia.

Bowman, John F., Florida, was born in the town of Glen on the 12th day of July 1863. He was the youngest of five children of Frederick and Anna (Newman) Bowman. Frederick Bowman was born in Germany and came to this country about forty-eight years ago, settling in Glen some eight years after. He removed to Florida in 1867 where he has since been engaged in farming. John Bowman was married to Elizabeth Noeltner of Glen on the 21st day of September, 1887. They have one child, Edna M. Bowman, born December 23, 1890.

Devendorf, Dr. Henry A., Florida, was born in Sharon June 30, 1826. He was a son of Abram H. (who was born September 30, 1801, and died January 12, 1872) and Catharine (Ehle) Devendorf, who was born August 12, 1802, and whose ninetieth birthday was celebrated by her descendants in August, 1892. The grandfather was Henry Devendorf, who was born in 1772 and died in 1834. His father was Captain Henry Devendorf, a soldier of the revolution, captain of Company 5, First battalion, Canajoharie, and who was killed at the battle of Oriskany. Henry A. Devendorf married, December 9, 1851, Rachel Pettingill, born April 12, 1835, a daughter of Henry C. (who was born October 18, 1800, and died May 26, 1885,) and Toinettie Ziely, daughter of David and Anna (Newkirk) Ziely. Her grandfather was Cornelius Pettingill, a son of Captain Samuel Pettingill and Elizabeth Cline, the former a soldier in the revolutionary army, and captain of Company 5, Third battalion, Mohawk, who was killed at the battle of Oriskany. Dr. Devendorf and wife have had eight children: Nettie, wife of Willard Selmser of Johnstown; Alvin J., who resides at home; Emma C., wife of Edward Edwards of Glen; De Witt A. of Fort Hunter; Mary, wife of C. B. Meding, M. D., of New York city; Milton of Florida; and two who died in infancy. (Notes from Mrs. Rachel P. Devendorf.) From Germany, Holland and the British Isles they came, so long ago! What tidings from the New World reached them in that far off land, I know but little, and that little I remember when over fifty years ago, as we all sat around the big fire-place, of a long, stormy, winter evening (a fire that always burned brightest when the weather was stormy and cold) some one would say, "Granny, tell us a story about the old country." "Dear child," she would say, "I never lived in the old country, but I did live with my grandfather, Martinus Cline. I went there when I was about thirteen years old. They told me that they heard in that far off land that freedom, peace and great wealth could all be theirs, if they could brave all dangers of that then mysterious great width of waters; and then there was something said which they hardly could believe - that much money could be gathered from many bushes, not knowing how to translate the English in German, which was that much money could be realized from many bushels, not bushes. Martinus Cline was the son of a well-to-do farmer in High Germany. When quite young he went to Holland to seek his fortune. There he married the adopted daughter of a wealthy lady. Their first child's name was Elizabeth; the next was Martinus. He was about ten months old when they left their home in Holland; it was thirteen months before they found a home in America, and it was nearly winter when they dug a place and covered it with boughs, where they lived the first winter, and they afterwards chose that place as a burial lot. It can be plainly seen to this day. Francis Laltz came at the same time; an account of which may be seen in the Illustrated History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties. Just before they left HOlland, the wealthy lady told Elizabeth to come to her money chest and there she filled her little apron with silver pieces. The children found some time to play on an immense stone then lying opposite the barn in Schoharie creek, which even now can be seen. My grandmother Pettingill's mother was a daughter of Martinus Cline. She married John McGraw. The first work the father of John did when he came to this country, was to make mortar for the old stone fort at Fort Hunter (1712). Dr. Samuel Pettingill married Elizabeth, oldest daughter of Martinus Cline. Christine McGraw married a son of Dr. Samuel Pettingill. Did they realize their dream of freedom and great wealth? The frontiersman's story is one and the same, of all our ancestors. Our children were taught to "remember their Creator in the days of their youth," but sometimes a solemn thought oppresses me: If, when we come to the judgment seat, it be said to us, "Where are your children?" we should have to say, "While Thy servants were busy here and there they were gone." We are thankful we may hope this may not be.

Fraser, John T., Florida, was born in Albany, February 24, 1827. His father (Hugh) was born in that city, in the year 1793, but his mother (Julia Ann M'Entee) was a native of Philadelphia. His grandfather, John Fraser, was born in Scotland. He has one sister living, Mrs. Southwick of Albany. John T. married, July 1, 1852, Eleanor Kelley, daughter of Peter and Anna M. (Dougall) Kelley of Scotch Bush, and they have an adopted daughter, Eleanor Fraser. Mr. Fraser is a business man in Albany spending his summers upon his farm in the town of Florida.

Houck, Jacob, Florida, was born in the town of Florida on the 14th of August 1832. He was the son of Isaac Houck, born in Florida in 1802, and Catherine (Enders) Houck, born at Fort Hunter. He was married in 1855 to Adaline, daughter of Peter and Elizabeth Van Horn of Charleston. The grandfather, Jacob Houck, came to Florida from Schoharie county in 1793 and located upon the extensive property which his grandson now occupies. The Houck family trace their ancestry in Holland to a remote period.

Milmine, Alfred J., Florida, one of two children of William M. and Emeline (Wiltsie) Milmine, the other being Lettie A. (Mrs. Geroe Kline), was born in Florida February 1, 1858. William M. Milmine, the father, was born in the town of Florida March 25, 1820. Emeline (Wiltsie) Milmine, the mother, was one of the ten children of JOhn and Maria (Dorn) Wiltsie of Duanesburg. James Milmine, the grandfather, was born in Duanesburg, his wife being Marie Van Vechten. He came to Florida in childhood and lived and died here. John Milmine, the great-grandfather of Alfred J., was born in Scotland, but came to this country in early life and bought the property on which Alfred J. and his father now live.

Schuyler, Albert, Florida, only son of Hiram and Elizabeth (Nare) Schuyler, was born in MOhawk November 6, 1850. Hiram (his father) was born in the same town, March 7, 1830, and is one of nine children. January 1, 1849 he married Elizabeth Nare, daughter of Zachariah and Catharine (Necker) Nare of Mohawk. Richard Schuyler, the grandfather, was born in Florida and moved to Mohawk in early life, his wife being Catharine McMaster of Fonda. In October, 1861, Albert Schuyler married Mary E., daughter of John and Lucretia (Staley) Kelley of Florida. They have four children: Fannie E., Elizabeth, Mary and John. Mr. Schuyler has lived upon the farm which he now occupies since he was six months old. He is at the present time filling the office of town clerk.

Schuyler, Andrew J., Florida, is one of eleven children of Jeremiah and Jemima (Dorn) Schuyler, and was born on the old Schuyler homestead, July 24, 1846. Jeremiah, the father, was born in Florida November 20, 1794, and died at the age of ninety-two. Jemima Dorn (the mother) was born May 19, 1808, on the farm now occupied by our subject. The latter has three brothers living: Jacob, John and Frank, all residents of Amsterdam, one brother being deceased. He has had six sisters: Eleanor, Catharine (Mrs. Hiram Hubbs of Amsterdam), both deceased; Evaline, Harriet (Mrs. James Blood of Amsterdam), Augusta (Mrs. C. J. Hamlin), and Margaret (Mrs. Vander Volgan). Andrew J. Schuyler married, on September 23, 1874, Sarah E., one of ten children of Winslow and Elizabeth (Buchanan) Sterling of Mohawk. The others were as follows: Henrietta (Mrs. A. J. Kline), Emma (Mrs. George Holton), Libbie (Mrs. John Ecker), Stella (Mrs. Simon Putnam), Nettie, John and Winslow, all living; also Mary and James, deceased. Andrew J. and Sarah E. Schuyler have ten children: Jerry Hamlin, Hiram Hubbs, Winslow H., Clarence E., Walter J., Luella, Frank H., Arthur W., Andrew J., jr., and Roy Augustus. Jerry H., the oldest, is living in Vermont, the others are at home upon the farm. Mr. Schuyler has always lived here, and is road commissioner of the town.

Schuyler, Thomas E., Florida, one of three children of William R. and Margaret (Lockwood) Schuyler, was born in Florida, October 26, 1857. His sister, Mrs. Eleanor Brown, resides in Minaville; the other sister, Mrs. Eva Jeanette Schuyler, resides in Amsterdam. Thomas E. was married, May 31, 1882, to Emma Kelly, one of five children of John and Lucretia (Staley) Kelly. Her sister, Mrs. Albert Schuyler, lives in Florida, her two brother and one sister being dead. They have three boys: Willie, Howard and Albert. Mr. Schuyler has lived for ten years upon the farm which he now owns, and which is noted for its very fine apple orchard. His ancestor, thomas Schuyler, came to this town from New Jersey.

Shuler, Freman, Florida, one of three children of Daniel and Catherine (Van Derveer) Shuler, was born in Florida on the 12th of September, 1835. His father, Daniel, was born in Florida in 1803, as was also his grandfather, John Shuler. His great-grandfather, Lawrence Shuler, came from Germany and settled in the town early in its history, selling himself for his passage, as was the custon of many in those days. Freman Shuler was married in the year 1862 to Mary A. Young of the same town. They have two sons, William H. and Daniel, both living at home, and two daughters, Mrs. Carrie A. Jacoby of Amsterdam, and Mrs. Anna E. McClumpha of Florida.

Swart, Cornelius, Florida, was born in Florida June 30, 1814. His fathe, Jellis, was also a native of the town, his mother, Hester (Mabee) Swart, being a native of Rotterdam. His grandfather, Tunis Swart, died in Florida, but his birthplace is not known. Cornelius Swart married, in 1835, Jane Peek of Florida, by whom he had five children. She died in 1846, and he married, in 1848, Jane E., daughter of Robert and Rebecca (Pierce) Casey of Florida, by whom he has three children: George Swart of Hot Springs, Ark.; Hetty, Mrs. James G. Campbell of Charlton; and Alice, living at hoe. Roberty Casey was born in England. His parents came to this coutry when he was seven years of age. He was a soldier in the revolutionary army for seven years and five months. Mrs. Swart was born in Florida on November 6, 1812, and was one of twelve children.

Source: Past and present of Isabella County, Michigan by Fancher, Isaac A., Indianapolis, Ind.: B.F. Bowen & Co., 1911, 743 pgs.

Mr. Fancher is the scion of a prominent old family of sterling worth, and he was born in Florida, Montgomery county, New York, on the old homestead of one hundred and twenty-five acres, on September 30, 1833. He is the son of Jacob S. and Eunice (Alber) Fancher, the father born at Florida, New York, in 1803, died at the place of his birth in 1838; the mother was born in Niskayuna, Saratoga county, New York. They grew to maturity in their native communities, were educated and married there, in fact, spent nearly all their lives there. The son, Isaac A., bought a small house and lot at Braman's Corners for his mother on which she lived for some time, then made her home with him and with a daughter. The following children constituted the family of these parents: Caroline; Richard died at the age of eighteen years; Isaac A. of this review; Orin Schuyler; they are all deceased but the subject.

Isaac A. Fancher grew to maturity on the old homestead, and went to school two or three summers when a child. He was four and one-half years of age when his father died, leaving the family in somewhat strained circumstances. They lived one whole year with no wheat flour in the house, subsisting on barley flour. After the father's death the boys hired a man for seven years who finally married their sister. Isaac A. knew the meaning of hard work very early in life, assisting with the general work on the farm when but a mere lad. When eleven years of age he did all the fall plowing on one hundred and twenty-five acres. Until he was about fourteen years old he attended school during the winter months. His sister lived near a better school on the Western turnpike and when he was sixteen years old he attended that school, boarding with his sister for three months, being compelled at the end of that time to go home and work on the farm. He continued to work on the home place until he was nineteen years of age, then went to Princeton Academy three months, returning to the farm during the summer, and the following fall returned to the academy for five months, then farmed all summer; in the fall he went to Amsterdam Academy for nine months, taking a general course. The next summer he left the farm and started for Wisconsin in September, hiring out at the town of Delton. He also taught school there and traveled during the summer. He then taught two more years, traveling during the summer months, covering the state of Minnesota during the second summer, also Missouri and Iowa. He traveled for the purpose of locating land for other parties. He had long desired to take up the study of law, and he accordingly entered the law office, at Delton, Wisconsin, of Jonathan Bowman, remaining in the same one year, then went to a law school at Albany, New York, for one school year, then returned to Wisconsin and located at Kilbourn City, opening an office alone and remained there until the spring of 1862. He had a very satisfactory start in his profession, but on the last mentioned year he and three companions started across the plains, making the long and somewhat hazardous trip to Nevada. They went over to Snake river, finding upon their arrival there about six hundred wagons that had failed in their attempt to cross the mountains, so Mr. Fancher and his pary turned southward, went through Nevada into the Humbolt mountains, silver having been discovered there just the year previous. They prospected in those mountains about a month and a half, but were unsuccessful, but they located claims. Mr. Fancher took the mules of the party into California that winter and remained there about a month. He fell ill with Panama fever and was sick for several weeks; then after making further arrangements regarding the mules, he went to San Francisco where he remained ten days, then started home by way of the Isthmus of Panama, coming to New York by ship, the trip from the Isthmus requiring ten days. He had the same fever in New York that attacked him in California. He came home and was sick seven weeks. After recovering, he went to Wisconsin where he remained a few months, then came to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. He built a little place and went back home to settle up his business and get his family, whom he loaded in a two-horse wagon and made the return trip by way of Milwaukee, Chicago, Niles and other principal cities, the trip requiring about three weeks. They moved into the house he had built here.

Mr. Fancher was married on June 6, 1860, to Althea Preston, at Java, Wyoming county, New York. This was after he left the law school. They met in Delton, Wisconsin, where she had come when a girl, and during his western trip she returned to her parents in New York. To this union was born Preston S. Fancher, who is at present making his home in Detroit, and is running a mill near Howell, Michigan; Bessie R. married Prof. Tambling, director of athletics at the Central Normal School at Mt. Pleasant; Blanche died in 1873.


Mr. Fancher's first wife died in 1900, and on July 3, 1902, he was married to Mrs. Mattie Doods, daughter of a West Virginia family. She was the mother of one child before her union with Mr. Fancher, Vivian. Isaac Alger, Jr., was born to Mr. and Mrs. Fancher, on September 16, 1904.


[there is more, but it pertains only to his dealings in Indiana]

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