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Genealogy of the
A Tribute to Abel Kendall on his 90th Birthday
prepared by L.S. Kendall, Esq. of Tyrone, Schuyler co., NY
We have met today to celebrate the anniversary of an event that
transpired many years ago.
On the 7th of February, 1792, on one of the bleak hills in the town of Gardner, Worchester co., Mass., a son was born... They were youthful parents, the mother at that time being under twenty years of age, and the father in his twenty-sixth year. The birth of that son perhaps gladdend the hearts of those parents, happening as it did, the day after the first anniversary of their marriage.
Permit me here to say that this son was but the forerunner of the ten more children that mother bore: eight of which lived to grow up and marry, and the time has been when they were all resident of this town [Tyrone].
That mother, in ther 44th year, "fell asleep" and she was the first on to be interred in the Altay cemetery, and in 1825 the father was buried by her side. That son spoken of was Abel, after his father; he grew up to manhood, married, and nearly sixty-seven years ago settled in the town. And here he still resides, and on this 90th anniversary of his birth, we have met him as citizens, neighbors, and friends to congratulate him on the occasion, that he is permitted to celebrate this anniversary.
As has been said, he has been a citizen of this town nearly 67 years, settling here when the country was a wilderness, and none but the pioneers know of the many trials and hardships they have endured. But he has lived to see this wilderness become fruitful fields. School houses and churches have been built where the tall pine tree stood when he settled here. As a citizen you all know him, and have honored him by electing him to various offices of the town, and also to represent this district in the Halls of State. His works are his eulogy. I would say to the youth emulate his example, remembering that life to youth is a fairy tale just opened, to old age a tale read through, ending in death. Be wise in time, that you may be happy in eternity.
Permit us now to turn back the pages of time 172 years prior to
the year first spoken of.
In the year 1620 somewhere in England, a son was born: whether he was the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, we were not informed. His parents' name was Kendall, and he was christened Francis. That same year the Mayflower landed her load of Pilgrims at Plymouth, in Massachusetts. In 1640 we find that son spoken of, now a youth, in Charlestown, near Boston, where he subscribed the town order for the town of Woburn on December 18 of that year, with 31 others, and was taxed among the earliest inhabitants of Woburn in 1645.
Francis Kendall was the common ancestor of all his name in New England. The record of his marriage reads thus: "Francis Kendall, ALIAS Miles and Mary Tedd (Tidd) Maryed 24th of the 12th month, 24th of Dec. 1644" Which lends support to a family tradition, communicated many years ago by Rev. Dr. Kendall, of Weston, that in order to conceal from his parents his intentions to emigrate to this country, he embarked in England under a feigned name.
Could that youthful couple on their wedding day had the panorama of life spread out before them for 238 years, to the present time, most likely they would have said impossible, this cannot be. In that view they would have seen their descendants scattered all over this vast continent, from Maine to the Rio Grande, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean.
They would have seen many towns and some counties bearing their name; they would have seen their progeny with offices in town, county, legislative halls, congress and the cabinet of the United States; they would have seen them as musicians, editors, teachers and presidents of colleges and schools; and lastly but not the least, they would have seen some proclaming a Saviour and Redeemer to the lost world....
Francis Kendall had nine children, viz. John, Thomas, Mary,
Elizabeth, Hannah, Rebekah, Samuel, Jacob, and Abigail.
Mary, wife of Francis, died in 1705.
Francis Kendall died in 1708, when according to testimony given in court in 1700, he must have been 88 years old. He was a gentleman of great respectability and influence in the place of his residence. He served that town, at different times, 18 years on the board of Selectmen, and was often appointed on important committees, especially on one for distributing the common lands of the town in 1664, and on another respecting the erection [of a] house in 1672. Thirteen citizens of Woburn were prosecuted before the Middlesex county Court, in December, 1671, for publicly manifesting contempt for the ordinance of infant baptism as administered in the church of Woburn; among the number is that of Francis Kendall. The record of the court's action in the case is not known. Suffice it to say, the same spirit of contempt for infant baptism has followed, in a great measure, through the different generations to the present time. In his will, dated 9th of May, 1706, when he was stricken in years, he styles himself a miller, and gives one-half of his mill with a proportionate interest in the streams, dams and utensils thereto, belonging to his son John, one-quarter to Thomas, and one quarter to Samuel. The mill has ever since been in the possession of his posterity. Its present owner and occupant, Joseph R. Kendall, a descendant from Thomas, second son of Francis, is the sixth generation from its original proprietor.
Francis Kendall remembers likewise in his will the eight children of his brother Thomas, one of the first settlers of Reading, who were living when he (his said brother) died. It seemed that the brother of Francis, Deacon Thomas Kendall, had ten daughters, but no sons that lived. But these daughters, in order to preserve their maiden name among their posterity, gave their firstborn sons the name of Kendall: as Kendall Pierson, Kendall Boutwell, etc., which gave occasion to the following lines, in a poem written by Lillie Caton, Esq. of South Reading, at the anniversary of the founding of Reading, in mentioning the venerable matron, their mother, he observes:
She had ten daughters and each one,
When married, christened her first son
Kendall, and thus we may infer
Why tis these names so often occur.
Of the nine children of Francis they all married, and if the daughters were as prolific as the sons, they could soon furnish enough to populate their town and some to spare, for we find that John had 11 children; Thomas, nine; Samuel, ten; and Jacob, nineteen--making forty-nine from those four. Descendants from those four brothers who made Woburn their place of residence, were formerly very numerous. Individuals of the name and connection still remain in town, but have much diminished of late in respect to numbers, but multitudes of Kendalls have gone forth from Woburn to replenish other towns of the county, and Athol, Lancaster and Sterling, in Worchester co., have all been more or less indebted to Woburn for her sons and daughters-- Kendalls by name of birth.
We will leave the branches of the other families and trace the lineage from the second son of Francis~
Thomas Kendall was born Jan. 10th, 1648 and was married in
1673. They had nine children, five sons and four daughters. Thomas
Kendall died May 25th, 1730 aged 81 years. Samuel
Kendall was the fourth child and second son of Thomas Kendall, and he
was born in Woburn the 20th Oct 1682. He was a carpenter by
trade, and was known far and wide as Lieutenant Kendall, from
having received his commission from Governor Belcher on the 5th of
Oct. 1732. He was a very active, enterprising, public-spirited
man, often engaged in town business, and much engaged in promoting
both the civil and religious prosperity of Woburn. He was an
original proprietor of Northtown or Townsend. He was also
a principal settler of Athol, in the settlement of which he and
several of his sons suffered from floods and from the
depredation of Indians, during the French war between 1744 and 1760.
Samuel Kendall, by his wife Elizabeth, had 15 children--ten
sons and five daughters. Their names were Samuel, James,
Josiah, Ezekiel, Timothy, Elizabeth, Jonas, Sarah, Susana, Obediah,
Jesse, Seth, Abigail, Ephraim, and Jerusha.
Samuel Kendall died Dec. 13, 1764, aged 82 years. His oldest son Samuel was a graduate of Harvard College and was minister of New Salem, Mass. from 1742 to 1776. He died in 1792 aged 84 years.
Josiah Kendall the third son of Samuel Kendall, was born Sept. 1st, 1712. He married Tabithy Weyman and by her had five children--three sons and two daughters. Their names were Josiah, Heman, Lucy, Ethan, and Esther. Josiah Kendall moved to Lancaster from Woburn in 1742 or 1743; between 1743-6 we find his name among the Selectmen. Again in 1775-6 in the provincial regiment of militia, commanded by Colonel Asa Whitcomb, we find him a First Lieutenant. Josiah Kendall died July 22nd, 1785 aged 73 years.
Heman Kendall, second son of Josiah, was born May 20, 1740 and was married to Mary Fairbanks on Jun 20, 1765 and by her had 11 children--four sons and seven daughters, viz. Abie, Molly, Lucy, Doly, Eunice, Susey, Nathan, Azubah, Heman, Betty, and Peter. Heman Kendall Sr. died June 9th 1800, aged 60 years.
For the foregoing genealogy we are indebted to Oliver Kendall, Esq. of Providence, RI, a great-grandson of Ethan Kendall; and to Heman Prentice Kendall of Sterling Worchester co., Mass. a great-grandson of Heman Kendall.
Abel Kendall, oldest son of Heman Kendall, was born in Westminster, Worchester co., Mass. June 19, 1776. He married Betty Wilder Feb. 6, 1791, and by her he had 11 children--seven sons and four daughters. Eight of the family lived to grow up, three dying in infancy. Their names were: Abel Jr., Betsey, Polly, Lucinda, Silas, Erva, Heman W., and Lyman S. Abel Kendall died May 29, 1825, lacking a few days of being 59 years of age.
As has been said, our friend, neighbor and relative [Abel Kendall--subject of tribute] has lived in this place [Tyrone] 67 years and we have met on this occasion to show our respect for one of the oldest residents of this town. He has been largely instrumental in making our hamlet what it is. Being always public spirited, willing to assist in every enterprise within his reach to advance the interest of the community in which he lived. For 35 years he served the people of this town as magistrate and in 1847 he was elected Supervisor, and in 1848 represented the first Assembly district of Steuben in the Legislature, before the organization of Schuyler . "He was not what the world calls an office-seeker, in each case the office sought the man". As a skilled mechanic, how many of us have been benefitted by his ingenuity and skill. By strict integrity and honesty in business transactions he gained competency in former years, but by misplaced confidence was obliged to pay dearly for one who bore no tie of relationship, whom he had been willing by his name to assist.
As a church it is fitting that we celebrate this anniversary of our brother. No man living has done more for it than has he. In the erection of this house of worship, and all expenses necessary, he always gave with a liberal hand according to his means. It has aways been a privilege for him to attend the appointments of the church. Many of us remember formerly the service he rendered for years in the choir on his musical instrument, before the remodeling of the house of worship. He is now the last constituent member of this church who formed themselves in council by consent of the first church of Reading, Dec. 11, 1824.
Abel Kendall was born in what was then the town of Westminster, Worcester (now Sterling) Worchester co., Mass. June 19, 1766. He was othe oldest of a family of ten children, four sons and six daughters, who were children of Heman and Mary (Fairbanks) Kendall. Abel was brought up as a farmer, to dig among the rocks, as farmers had to do in that country. Feb. 6, 1791 he married Betty Wilder, daughter of Silas and Elizabeth Wilder--she was born July 1772. Her mother's maiden name was Elizabeth Sawyer.
Soon after their marriage they settled on a piece of land in the town of Gardner in the same county, about 2 miles ___ of where the thriving village of Gardner is now situated, but there was no pro___ of a village at that time. On the land on which they settled there were trees(?) enough to fence it into acre lots w__good wall; but on that farm they lived nearly 22 years.
Go back there the year 1812 in the month of December, and we find them preparing to leave the bleak hills of their native country, for a more western climate. They now have 8 children living, 4 sons and 4 daughters. Abel Jr. is in his 21st year; Betsey, 19; Polly, 17; Lucinda, 15; Silas, 13; Erva, 7; Heman W., 4; and Lyman S., about six weeks old. The two older children remained in the county, Abel and Betsey. They loaded their goodies into lumber wagons, and started on their western journey, accompanied by 2 v__men, Ethan Wilder and Cyrus Maynard. Their place of destination is the town of Danby, then Tioga , now Tompkins co., NY. Where the father had been on horseback the season before and sec[ured] a place to stop for the winter. ____ cross the Hoosac Moountain, near where they now have a tunnel through. ___after dragging wearily along for tw___(20?) days, they arrive at their place of destination, where they stopped for the winter. In the summer of 1813, the father set out traveling through where the village of Havana and Watkins are now situated but little or nothing in Watkins then [save] the Mills tavern; he passed on toward the town of Wayne, Steuben co., now Tyrone, Schuyler co., and purchased land whereon to make a home, being the same land on which the ____ the village of Altay is now situated, and where he moved his family in the Sept. following. There were some improvements on the land he bought. The large ____had been girdled and the smaller h____had been cleared off, the land being heavily timbered with white pine, hemlock, maple, &____ .
The country is new and except for a few settlers, here and there, wild animals have held undisturbed control of these valleys, and have for perhaps hundreds of years--the wolves frequently made night dismal by howling and bruin was occasionally around ready to embrace any stray pig snout that came in his way. Deer were in plenty and many settlers depended mostly on their rifles to supply themselves with meat. Soon after settling into the new house, Cyrus Maynard married Polly and bought a place adjoining on the north and settled there. A year or two after came Abel and Betsey, the latter having married Josiah Jackson, into the country he bought land north of Maynard, and they made homes.
Sept. 13th, 1815, the wife and mother died, aged forty-three years. In 1817 Lucinda married Jonathan Hallor___ [probably Halloran] and settled on a farm on the north part of this town, on the same farm where she has lived for over sixty-three years. In 1825 Erva married Eli Sunderlin and for a few years lived in the town of Barrington, but for a number of years lived in this town and owned what is known as the Tyrone Mills where they lived from 1830-1866, when they moved to the city of Rochester, where they still reside. Silas and Heman W. settled in Altay, and Lyman S. in Tyrone village. In 1837 Cyrus Maynard sold his farm, and with his family moved to the state of Indiana.
May 29th, 1825, Abel Kendall died and was buried by the side of his wife in the Altay cemetery, lacking a few days of being 59 years of age. Betsy Jackson died Jan 30, 1852, in her 59th year. Polly Maynard died in Indiana, Jan 11, 1865, aged 70 years. Heman W. died March 19, 1869, lacking a few days of being 61 years. Silas died Nov. 5, 1873, aged 73 years and 10 months. Three now rest in the same cemetery as their parents. Four of the children have now passed away. Abel is fast nearing his 89th birthday. Lucinda has passed her 82nd. Erva is nearing her 76th, and Lyman S. has passed his 68th.
Of the grandchildren that lived to grow up, Abel had nine, Betsey nine, Lucinda 12, Silas 6, Erva 3, Heman W. four, and Lyman S. three, making the total number 55. These are now living in this town--61 of our father's descendants; in the adjoining towns and counties, 33; in Canandaigua, two; in the city of Rochester, ten;--making a total in this state of 106. How many more there are in the western country I cannot say, probably nearly as many more, for many of the grandchildren have gone west, and are scattered in the different states, and are as far west as California, in Los Angeles. Of the grandchildren, four have held the office of Supervisor of this town, and the one that now holds that office is Betsey's youngest child; and one has been county clerk of this county for nine years.
Sixty-seven years and over have passed away since the time of settlement here, and the land is now divested of all the timber that is of much value, and where the wilderness then was, are now cultivated fields. A few more years at most, and the remaining four children will have passed away, and most likely the last resting place of seven out of eight will be within the bounds of this town: four in the cemetery at Altay, and two in the Tyrone Union Cemetery and ___ath the Wayne village cemetery.
April 4th, 1816 Abel Kendall married his second wife, Mrs. Polly Brewster and daughter of George Robinson. She was born in Cheshire, Berkshire county, Mass. Sept. 25, 1778 and by her he had one son, named Elmer. In 1813 he went to Warren, Ohio where he learned the printers trade. In 1837 he was employed by a company to go to Monroe, in Michigan and print a paper called the Monroe Gazette, where he remained for a few years. But his health failing him, he started South, and on the 29th of Nov. 1841, he died on board a steamer near the mouth of the Ohio River and was taken to St. Louis and buried there. His mother died Oct. 30, 1854, in Altay, aged 76 and was buried there. In 1834 the writer visited the native place of his parents. His grandmother Wilder was then living, the rest had passed away. His grandmother gave him several bills of the Continental money: she told him that her father had sold his farm and took it all in that kind of money, and by that means lost every dollar. All have been given away, but one bill, which reads as follows: "No 56, 431. The bearer is entitiled to receive fifty Spanish milled dollars, or any equal sum in gold or silver, according to the resolution of Congress on the 14th of January 1779 Jos Ker J. Watkins." On each end of the bill are printed the words, "North America" and on top and the bottom "United States" on the reversible side are the words "Fifty Dollars, printed by Hall & Sellers, 1779." She also gave him his grandfather's wedding gloves. From what he can learn, it is about 114 years ago that they were used. The gloves were white kid, but have grown some yellow by age. They are stamped on the inside "Hammond & Ellis, London."
Tyrone, Jan. 31, 1881
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