By Jared L. Olar
September 2008-February 2017
Despite a family tradition found in the 1908 History of Kane County, Ill. (by R. Waite Josyln and Frank W. Josyln, vol. II, page 777), that our Pennoyers were French Huguenots, in fact the surname "Pennoyer" indicates an English or Welsh family origin. The name has a number of variant spellings and pronunciations, including "Penoyre," "Penoyer," "Penoyar," "Pennyer," "Penner," and "Poinier," a form that gave rise to the rare spelling "Paneer." Another rare variant is "Pennover." According to Raymond H. Lounsbury's "Pennoyer Brothers: Colonization, Commerce, Charity in the Seventeenth Century," the Pennoyer name apparently originated in Wales, where the spelling reportedly was "Penoyre." Some have said that the name means golden or light-haired (Welsh pen, "head," and oyre "golden"), but whatever the meaning, the name originally was that of a manor at the head of the Golden Vale, the valley through which flows the River Dore from Clifford to Herefordshire, where a landed family known as "Penoyre of the Moor" had settled during the Middle Ages. The family of Pennoyer of the Moor may be related to the American Pennoyer family, but their genealogical relationship, if any, evidently did not involve a common paternal-line origin. Paternal-line descent is ruled out by the fact that, as explained below, the American Pennoyers are descended from a man from the village of Dorstone in Herefordshire, England, on the Welsh borders, who had changed his surname from BUTLER. Not much is known of the ancestry of the Butler family from whom the American Pennoyers are descended, but "Butler" is a medieval occupational surname that means "wine steward," derived from the Old Norman butelier, which corresponds to the Old French botellier, designating the official who had charge of the king's wine bottles. Ancestrally, then, our Pennoyers/Butlers apparently came of an Anglo-Norman family which thus ultimately traced back to Normandy in northern France.
The chief sources for the early history of the American Pennoyers include Winifred Lovering Holman's Oct. 1954 article "Pennoyer and Lounsbury Notes" (reprinted in Genealogies of Connecticut Families: From the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 1, edited by Gary Boyd Roberts, 1998, 2006, pages 99-108) and Peter Wilson Coldham's "English Ancestry of Robert Pennoyer and Walter Butler of Connecticut," which was published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Dec. 1972, vol. 60, no. 4, pages 243-249. These two articles are the basis for the account given below of the first few generations of this family, and are cited as "Holman" and "Coldham." Information on the later generations has been drawn from various genealogy websites, Ancestry.com family trees, and the Mormon International Genealogical Index (IGI) -- some of these sources being better supported than others, though all of them almost unanimously in agreement. The basis for the last three generations in the account are documents and primary sources quoted and cited below, obtained through my own research.
Shown is Arthur's Stone, an ancient megalithic tomb located near the village of Dorstone in the Golden Valley, Herefordshire. Medieval legend says the tomb came to be known as Arthur's Stone when King Arthur fought a giant here. Arthur's Stone is said to have inspired author C. S. Lewis' idea of the Stone Table in "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." The Pennoyer family in America is descended in the male line from an Anglo-Norman family surnamed Butler from Dorstone. Photograph by UKgeofan
1. THOMAS BUTLER, weaver of Dorstone in Herefordshire who lived in the latter half of the 1500s, born perhaps circa 1565. He is attested as "Thomas Butler of Dorston" and "Thomas Butler, weaver," in legal depositions taken in a series of English Chancery Court lawsuits in which the 25 May 1670 will of Thomas' grandson William Pennoyer of London was disputed by several of William's cousins. In the lawsuit Loton vs. Watkins, a group of papers entitled "Depositions and Sayeings of Witnesses taken at the Town Hall of Hay, Brecon, 11th April 1687" provides genealogical information on Thomas Butler of Dorstone and his descendants. (Coldham, p.245) In her deposition in this case, Ann Croys "by her husband's name, but by her maiden name Anne Butler, relict of Richard Croys, late of Dorstone and now of Cusoppe, Herefordshire" says her grandfather Thomas Butler was a weaver of Dorstone who had three sons, Robert, Richard, and John, and that Robert fled from Dorstone to Bristol, Gloucestershire, and changed his surname to Pennoyer. (Coldham, pp.245-246). Thus, the three known children of Thomas Butler are:
2. ROBERT BUTLER, alias ROBERT PENNOYER, born circa 1582 -- RICHARD BUTLER, of Dorstone, Herefordshire -- JOHN BUTLER, of Cusop, Herefordshire
2. ROBERT BUTLER, a.k.a. ROBERT PENNOYER, son of Thomas Butler of Dorston, born circa 1582 in Dorstone, Herefordshire, England. In the abovementioned "Depositions and Sayeings of Witnesses taken at the Town Hall of Hay, Brecon, 11th April 1687" in the case of Loton vs. Watkins, Ann Croys, then aged 80, said she had lived with her first cousin William Pennoyer, Robert's son, in London for a few years. She also says that she saw William's father, Robert Pennoyer of Bristol, at the house of her father Richard Butler. According of her deposition, Robert Pennoyer was her father's older brother, but in those days Robert was known as Robert Butler. The reason he changed his name, Croys says, is because "he happened to be present where a man was killed" and fled to Bristol, where he changed his name to Pennoyer to hide his true identity. In leaving his life in Dorstone behind, Robert considered selling his lands in Dorstone to a stranger, but, Croys says, "by meditation and persuasion of his relations, he waved the first bargaine and sold it absolutely to his brother, Richard Butler . . . the fittest to have it." (See Coldham, pp.245-246) Robert's flight to Bristol probably took place circa 1605-1610, judging from the fact that, according to Croys, before he fled from Dorstone, Robert left one of his sons, Samuel Pennoyer, who was born circa 1605, "att Table and Dyett" with his brother Richard Butler. (Coldham, p.246) Robert's presence at the murder therefore occurred when he was a young married man.
Unfortunately we have no specific details regarding the incident of murder with which Robert Butler was associated, and therefore cannot be sure why his being present at the killing led him to decide to flee. It sounds as if he feared that he could have been charged as an accomplice of some sort. Nor can we tell why he opted for the new surname "Pennoyer" as his alias. Perhaps he chose that surname because the Butlers of Dorstone were related to the gentlemanly family of Pennoyer of the Moor. Robert's eldest son William Pennoyer at least seemed to believe he was related to that family, because the Bristol Archives Office Deeds show that in 1633 William loaned money to "loving cuzen Mr. Thomas Pennoyer of the Moor." (Coldham, p.249) Even so, in the 11 April 1687 depositions taken in the case of Loton vs. Watkins, Simon Brace of Clifford, gentleman, aged 70, a close neighbor of Thomas Pennoyer of the Moor, says he had heard him angrily deny any relationship between himself and William, and William's cousin Ann Croys affirmed that Robert Butler "was never reputed or taken to be the son of Thomas Penoyre gent. of the Moore but the son of Thomas Butler, weaver." (Coldham, p.246)
Robert married firstly to ELIZABETH CHAMBERS, born circa 1585, died 1613. In a legal deposition taken in the 1685 English Chancery Court lawsuit Eedes vs. Loton, Isabell Eedes, daughter and heiress of Samuel Chambers, said her father's only sibling Elizabeth Chambers married Robert Pennoyer, by whom she had two sons, William and Samuel. (Coldham, p.244) After Elizabeth's death, the Bristol Archives Office records that Robert Pennoyer, citizen and glover of Bristol, married at St. Thomas's Church, Bristol, on 13 Feb. 1613/4 to ALICE (NN), by whom Robert had two sons and a daughter.
-- WILLIAM PENNOYER, born 1603-5, died 1671, md. Martha Josselyn (Jostlyn). -- SAMUEL PENNOYER, born circa 1609, died 1654, md. Rose Hobson. 3. ROBERT PENNOYER, baptised 21 Nov. 1614 in Bristol. -- ELEANOR PENNOYER, born circa 1623, living in 1686, md. Thomas Redding (Reading). -- THOMAS PENNOYER, born circa 1625.
3. ROBERT PENNOYER, son of Robert and Alice Pennoyer, baptised 21 Nov. 1614 in St. Nicholas Parish, Bristol, England; died before April 1694 in Mamaroneck, Westchester, New York. Raised in Bristol, when he was 21 years old Robert and his brother Thomas, age 10, left England and came to America on the Hopewell, sailing under Captain Thomas Babb. The passenger list spells their surname "Pennaird." Holman, page 100, says the Hopewell, of London, "sailed about the middle of September and arrived in Boston, Mass., the latter part of November 1635. (Banks: 'Planters of the Commonwealth', 1930.)," but Coldham, page 243, says the Hopewell arrived in America on 8 Sept. 1635. Be that as it may, the social and religious background of Robert and his family was like that of most Massachusetts colonists in those days. All available evidence indicates that the Butlers of Dorstone, the Pennoyers of Bristol, and many of their kin and neighbors in England and Wales were or tended to be "Nonconformists" -- Protestants who avoided the Anglican religion's membership and services. "Here are all the characteristics of a background from which so many New England settlers were drawn." (Coldham, pp.244, 247)
In his 1954 article, "Pennoyer and Lounsbury Notes," Holman provides this sketch of Robert Pennoyer's life based on what was then known:
"Robert Pennoyer, brother of William (the testator of 1670 and benefactor of Harvard College), a turner by trade, born perhaps in 1614, was alive in January 1677, then of Mamaroneck, Westchester Co., N.Y., and resided in Gravesend, Long Island, N.Y., Stamford, Conn., and Rye and Mamaroneck. He married, first, about 1652, an unknown wife, who became the mother of his children, and who died by 6 March 1671; and, secondly, after 1666, and before 6 March 1671, Elizabeth Scofield, widow of Richard Scofield of Stamford." (Holman, p.100)
Subsequent to the publication of Holman's article, it was found that Robert married his first wife on 27 Nov. 1652, and that her name was EALSE MARSHALL (Elsis), born circa 1614, died circa 1666 in Stamford, Connecticut. Robert and Elsis reportedly had four daughters and two sons, including a daughter, Martha, wife of Henry Rich of Stamford, Connecticut. Regarding Robert's daughter Martha, some Pennoyer genealogists formerly misidentified Martha Pennoyer as Martha Corey of Salem, Massachusetts, widow of a Henry Rich, who with her second husband Giles Corey was falsely accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials mass hysteria. Giles was pressed to death 19 Sept. 1692, and three days later Martha was hanged, on 22 Sept. 1692. However, Martha Pennoyer was too young to be Martha Corey, and Martha Pennoyer's husband Henry Rich is known to have been alive in the 1700s, whereas Martha Corey's husband Henry Rich was dead prior to 1692.
After his arrival in 1635, Robert lived in Massachusetts, but by the 1640s he had removed to Gravesend, Long Island, later settling at Stamford in the New Haven Colony (Connecticut), finally removing to Mamaroneck, Westchester, New York. "He was certainly the Robert Pennoyer, of Gravesend, Long Island, in 164-, and again in 1645. (Record, 16:99, 102.) 23 Aug. 1656 we learn that the lands of Robert Pennoyer, et als., at Gravesend were surveyed, from the Calendar of Dutch Ms., 189. (Ibid., 65:242.) 1 Aug. 1670 his daughter, Elizabeth 'Penrye', was married to Richard Lownesbury, from Court of Assizes, 2:572. (O'Callaghan: 'New York Marriages', 1860, 239.) 24 Dec. 1670 John Richbell, of Mamaroneck, with his wife, Ann, sold to Robert 'Penoire', homelots, numbers 2 and 3, there, see Liber 1677-1683 [in Albany?]. (Record, 58:250.) 6 March 1671, the inventory was made or the estate of Richard Scofield, late of Stamford, deceased, filed 16 March 1671, which mentions the widow, now the wife of Robert 'Penoyer'. (Mead: Ms. 'Fairfield Probate', 1:22.)" (Holman, p.100).
On 25 May 1670, Robert's older brother William Pennoyer, a citizen and clothmaker of London, made his will. After his death, William's will was proved 13 Feb. 1671 (Holman, p.99). In his will, William bequeathed £800 "to be sent over to the Corporation for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England," so that the bequest's value in goods and commodities of New England "may upon sale thereof be delivered to Robert Pennoyer of Stamford of New England for the equal use and benefit of himself and each of his children; further to the intent and purpose that what shall be made thereof above the said eight hundred pounds value in the commodities of that country shall be and remain to his sister Elianor Reading and her husband Thomas Reading and all their children equally and indifferently" (Holman, pp.99-100).
Robert's brother William also directed in his will that from the revenue derived from his land and tenements in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, £10 per annum was to be given to the Corporation for Propagation of the Gospel in New England, as well as £34 per annum with which "two fellows and two scholars forever shall be educated maintained and brought up in the college called Cambridge College in New England [NOTE: later called Harvard College], of which I desire one of them, so often as occasion shall present, May be of the line or posterity of the said Robert Pennoyer, if they be capable of it and the other of the colony now or late called Newhaven Colony, if conveniently may be" (Holman, p.100). This is the origin of the William Pennoyer Bequest scholarship at Harvard, which still provides assistance to descendants of Robert Pennoyer who are accepted as students at Harvard University.
A deed recorded at Boston, Massachusetts, on 18 Oct. 1671, shows that upon learning of William's death and being informed of the terms of his brother's will, Robert took action to secure his inheritance:
"I Robert Penoyer Late of Stamford doe ... Ordayne my. . . freind Jonathan Sellick to bee my ... Attourney to demand & receave for mee my full Legacy Left mee by my Brother mr William Penoyer Late of London ... as witnes my hand & scale in Rye this 18th of October 1671 ... Robert Penoire". Wit: John Richman, Miles Okely, and the mark of Nicolas Webster; attested 19 Oct. 1672 by Richman and Webster; recd. 20 April 1672. (Suffolk Deeds, 6:280.)" (Holman, p.100)
Holman's 1954 article summarises and abstracts a few other deeds that provide evidence of the names of Robert Pennoyer's children. (Holman, pp.100-102). These deed abstracts are as follows:
"8 Jan. 1671-72, Robert "Penoyer", of Mamaroneck conveyed property, purchased of Richbell, to his dearly beloved children: William and Thomas Penoyer; the cattle and household goods to be divided between said sons and daughter, Martha Penoyer; Robert was to have full management of all the property during his natural lifetime. Westchester Deeds, B:100. (Record, 58:351.) Another abstract of this deed gives the date as 18 Jan. 1671-72, calls the grantor "Penoyre", recites that he gave to children, William and Thomas, all rights to his estate, real and personal; to eldest son, William, two thirds of the land purchased of said Richbell, and for want of issue to son Thomas; daughter, Martha, also named. Westchester Deeds, B:100. (Ibid., 54:394.)" (Holman, pp.100-101)
"1 Jan. 1677, a statement that William Penoyer did bequeath to Walter Butler, of Greenwich Conn., son of Evan Butler, of Cursonn (sic), in the county of Hereford, the sum of four score pounds, Westchester Deeds, at Albany, 4:26. (Ibid., 58.349.)" (Holman,p.101) [NOTE: This deed in fact refers to Robert's late elder brother William of London, not Robert's son William.]
"Recorded for Mr. George Heathcott, 7 Jan. 1677. "Whereas William Penoyer, Esq., citizen and clothworker of London, did make his last will in writing bearing date the five & twentieth day of May . . . 1670; and among other things ordered that £800 be laid out in merchandise fit for New England & sent over to the Corporation for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England; delivered to Robert Penoyer of Stratford [Stamford] for the benefit of himself & children & did appoint Richard Leton Esq., & Michael Davison, Esq., Executors; . . . the residue to Ellena. Reading & her children. The sd Michael Davison has since died. Now there is no such corporation in New England to which sd goods may be consigned & sold and proceeds divided amongst respective persons; neither can security be taken for children. Robert Penoyer is removed to Mamaroneck in New York State and hath only 4 living children, viz., Elizabeth Pennoyer, aged 24, William Pennoyer, aged 22, Thomas Pennoyer, aged 17, and Martha Pennoyer, aged 11, under age, January 1677. Signed: Robert Pennoyer, Elizabeth Pennoyer, now Lounsbury, Wm. Will Penoyer; Wit: William Dyre, George Kniffon, John Royse, William Hall, and Anthony Buckholm. Westchester Deeds, at Albany, 4:9. (Ibid., 58:349.)" (Holman, p.101)
"29 Jan. 1677, Robert Penoyer, of Mamaroneck, Turner, William Penoyer, of the same place, son of the said Robert, with Richard Lounsbury, of Rye, Conn., and Elizabeth Lounsbury, his wife, oldest daughter of the said Robert, conveyed to Richard Leton, of London, England, and to George Heathcott, of Middlesex Co., England, mariner, by bond. Westchester Deeds, at Albany, 4:23. (Ibid., 58:349.)" (Holman, p.101)
From these deeds and surviving birth records, the names and dates of birth of two sons and four daughters of Robert Pennoyer are known, as shown below. All of Robert's children were born of his first wife Elsis in Stamford, Connecticut. Robert's date of death is unknown, but from a reference in a deed of 2 April 1694 to land formerly in the possession of Robert Pennoyer and now in the possession of an unnamed son of Robert (See Westchester Deeds, B: 177. (Ibid., 54:394.), Holman, p.101), it may be surmised that he was undoubtedly dead by April 1694. The Mormon International Genealogical Index also says Robert's second wife Elizabeth died in April 1694, but that date is unconfirmed and the coincidence with the terminus ad quem of Robert's life is suspicious.
-- ELIZABETH PENNOYER, born circa 1652, md. Richard Lounsbury. -- WILLIAM PENNOYER, born circa 1654, died 1703, md. Mary (NN). 4. THOMAS PENNOYER, born 29 March 1658. -- MARY PENNOYER, born 25 Nov. 1660, died young -- MARTHA PENNOYER, born 26 Sept. 1664, md. Henry Rich. -- ABIGAIL PENNOYER, born 13 Oct. 1666, died young.
4. THOMAS PENNOYER, son of Robert and Elsis (Marshall) Pennoyer, born 29 March 1658 in Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut; died at age 66 on 27 Nov. 1724 in Stamford, Connecticut. Thomas' birth in 1658 is recorded in Stamford, Connecticut, identifying him as "Thomas, born to Robert Penoyr, born ye 29 March, Anno. 1658."
Shown is the 29 March 1658 birth record of Thomas Pennoyer in Stamford, Connecticut.
As noted above, Thomas is mentioned with his brother William as "dearly beloved children" of Robert Pennoyer in a Westchester, New York, deed dated 8 Jan. 1671/2, and also is listed among the four living children of Robert Pennoyer in a Westchester deed dated 7 Jan. 1677. Thomas married on 22 May 1685 in Stamford, Connecticut, to LYDIA KNAPP, born 1668 or 1670 in Stamford, Connecticut, died 9 Feb. 1708/10 in Stamford, Connecticut, daughter of Moses and Abigail (Westcott) Knapp. In his 1954 article on the Pennoyer and Lounsbury families, Holman, page 102, lists Thomas and his wife Lydia as "Thomas. b. 29 March 1658; d. in Stamford 21 Nov. 1723; m. there, 22 May 1685, Lydia Knapp, b. about 1668 d. there 9 Feb. 1709-10, dau. of Moses and Abigail (Westcott) Knapp."
In 1692, the witch scare that afflicted Salem, Massachusetts, spread to Stamford, Connecticut. On 27 May 1692, a court of inquiry in Stamford began investigating the case of a 17-year-old French servant girl named Katherine Branch, who in April of that year falsely accused two women of Stamford named Elizabeth Clauson and Mercy Disborough of using witchcraft to cause her epilepsy. While the Salem Witch hysteria led to a large number of false accusations and executions, the residents of Stamford proved to be far more sensible, with the greater number of them -- including Thomas and Lydia Pennoyer and several of their relatives -- publicly rejecting Branch's superstitious accusations. On 4 June 1692, most of the citizens of Stamford signed an affidavit attesting to their belief in Elizabeth Clauson's good character -- among the signatures or marks ("X") on the affidavit are "Moses Knap and his wife" and "ledy Pennoyer" (i.e., Lydia). During the investigation and trial of Elizabeth Clauson, Thomas Pennoyer testified as a witness on 12 Sept. 1692 in Fairfield, Connecticut. In his testimony, Thomas dismissed the sworn statements of another witness, Mary Newman, saying there was long-standing personal animosity Newman and Clauson that motivated Newman to support Katherine Branch's false accusations of witchcraft against Clauson.
Shown is the 12 Sept. 1692 testimony of Thomas Pennoyer in witchcraft trial of Elizabeth Clauson. This image is from the State Archives at the Connecticut State Library.
Following is a transcription of Thomas Pennoyer's testimony in the Clauson witch trial:
"The Testimony of Thomas Penoir he saith that ye sheep yt mary Newman mentioned/ that dyed which she gives in testimony /as he have\ yt she thought was bewitched to death dyed/ this last spring was four year it being before he went for Ingland: ye next sumer/ after he came whom from Ingland was a contention between godwif clason and/ mary Newman about ye yard taking aples or nuts or graps or sum such things/ out of godman clasons lot: goody clason said to mary newman: as mary/ Newman tould at his house yt if she aloud her children to steal when they was/ young how would they be when they were old: whereby I understood ye contention betwen/ them: Lidda penoir his wife being present at ye same time and can witness/ to all ye above writen: & both are reddy to give oath to ye above written/ testimony when called thareunto/ The above written Thomas Penoir/ appeared this 12th:Septembr 1692: & made/ oath to the above written testimony/ for himselfe before me Jonat [Selleck] comissr/"
Unlike the horror of the Salem Witch Trials in which numerous innocent women and others in Salem lost their lives or suffered unjustly, in Stamford the witch trial of Elizabeth Clauson and Mercy Disborough ended with Clauson being completely exonerated and Disborough, though unjustly convicted, being granted a reprieve due to the finding of technical prosecutorial mistakes in her case. The Massachusetts General Court in May 1693 then issued a report admonishing everyone in the colony never to bring charges of witchcraft against anyone ever again.
Thomas and Abigail had six daughters and three sons, all born in Stamford, Connecticut.
-- ABIGAIL PENNOYER, born 1686. -- MARY PENNOYER, born 1688. -- MILLICENT PENNOYER, born 1691. -- MERCY PENNOYER, born 1693. -- CAPT. SAMUEL PENOYER, born 3 April 1696, died 5 June 1761, md. Theophila Selleck. -- JOHN PENNOYER, born 26 May 1698, died 10 Dec. 1775, md. Abigail Ferris. 5. REUBEN PENNOYER, born 1702. -- MARTHA PENNOYER, born 1706. -- LYDIA PENNOYER, born circa 1709.
5. REUBEN PENNOYER SR., son of Thomas and Lydia (Knapp) Pennoyer, born 1702 in Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut; died post 1763 in Stamford, Connecticut. Reuben married on 6 Nov. 1728 in Stamford, Connecticut, to PENELOPE REYNOLDS, born circa 1708 in Oyster Bay, Long Island, Queens, New York, died post 1754, daughter of David and Penelope (Wright) Reynolds. The marriage of Reuben and Penelope is recorded in Stamford in the Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records. Reynolds Annex: Maud Elise (Reynolds) Bryant Pedigree also mentions "Thomas and Lydia (Knapp) Pennoyer of Stamford, Connecticut, who also had son Reuben Pennoyer, who married Penelope Reynolds, daughter of David Reynolds." Reuben and Penelope and their two eldest sons Thomas and David are named in the 4 May 1750 will of Penelope's father David Reynolds, late of Greenwich, Connecticut, which was probated 6 Nov. 1750 (See "Abstract of Probate Records of the District of Stamford, County of Fairfield, and State of Connecticut, 1729-1802," by Spencer P. Mead, 1919). Reuben and Penelope had seven sons and four daughters, all born in Fairfield County, Connecticut, most if not all born in Greenwich in Stamford District.
-- ELIZABETH PENNOYER, born 27 Oct. 1729, died 1803. -- THOMAS PENNOYER, born 24 July 1732. -- DAVID PENNOYER, born 24 May 1734/5, died 1761/6 Dutchess Co., N.Y., md. Margaret Birdsell. -- PENELOPE PENNOYER, born 10 July 1737, md. Cornelius Turner. -- ZIPPORAH PENNOYER, born 27 Jan. 1739. -- REUBEN PENNOYER JR., born 22 Sept. 1742. -- WILLIAM PENNOYER, born 15 Feb. 1743. -- LYDIA PENNOYER, born 2 June 1747, died 6 Dec. 1820, twice married. -- WRIGHT PENOYER, born 31 May 1750, died 6 June 1807. -- ISAAC PENNOYER, born 10 Aug. 1754, died 9 Dec. 1809, md. Catherine Hyatt. 6. JACOB PENNOYER, born 10 Aug. 1754, twin brother of Isaac.
6. JACOB PENNOYER, son of Reuben and Penelope (Reynolds) Pennoyer, born 10 Aug. 1754 in Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut, died 2 Jan. 1832 in Montgomery, Orange County, New York, buried in Goodwill Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Montgomery, New York. Jacob's wife was named MARTHA MUNSELL (some Ancestry.com family trees give "Weare" as a possible alternative surname, however), born 20 Sept. 1757, died 30 Sept. 1834 in Montgomery, New York, buried in Goodwill Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Montgomery, New York. Jacob and Martha are known to have had six daughters and two sons, but may well have had additional children. Their eldest child Mary was born circa 1782, so they probably married circa 1780, when Jacob was about 25 and Martha was about 22 -- but it is not yet known whether they married in Connecticut or New York.
Though born and raised in the area of Stamford, Connecticut, where the Pennoyers had lived since the 1660s, Jacob decided to seek a new life in New York like his great-grandfather Robert Pennoyer had before him -- only whereas Robert moved only as far as the coastal village of Mamaroneck in Westchester County, Jacob moved even deeper into New York, settling at Montgomery in Orange County far to the northwest of Mamaroneck. It is uncertain when Jacob moved to Montgomery, but he was certainly there by the time of the 1790 U.S. Census, when he and his household were enumerated as residents of Montgomery Township in Ulster County (later Orange County), New York. The census that year shows "Jacob Pioneer" (sic) as the head of a household consisting of one free white male over the age of 16 (i.e., himself), one free white male under the age of 16 (perhaps the "James Penoyer" who died and was buried in 1795 in Goodwill Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Montgomery), and five free white females (including his wife Martha and their oldest daughters Mary and Elizabeth).
U.S. Census records indicate that his son Jacob Jr. was born in New York circa 1792, no doubt in Montgomery. About two years after that, in or around 1794, Jacob and Martha's daughter Mary died at age 12 and was buried in Goodwill Presbyterian Church Cemetery. Then five years later, in 1799 Jacob was registered on Montgomery's property tax rolls as "Penoyre Jacob." In that year, Jacob was the owner of a house and farm valued at $243 and had $2 in personal property, paying 24 cents in taxes. The following year, the 1800 U.S. Census returns for Montgomery, Orange County, New York, show "Jacob Penoyre" as the head of a household consisting of one free white male under age 10 (his son Jacob Jr.), one free white male age 10 to 15, one free white male age 45 or up (i.e., Jacob himself), two free white females under age 10 (his daughters Martha and Mary Jennet), one free white female age 10 to 15, one free white female age 16 to 25 (probably his daughter Elizabeth), one free white female age 26 to 44 (Jacob's wife Martha), and one free white female age 45 or up. On the same page of these Montgomery census returns, Jacob's older brother "Wright Penoyre" is enumerated with his household. (Wright's family is discussed further down this page.)
Around these years, Goodwill Presbyterian Church Cemetery records show that Jacob and Martha suffered the loss of several children. As mentioned above, the James Pennoyer who died in 1795 and was buried in Goodwill Cemetery was probably a son of Jacob and Martha. Again, as noted above, their daughter Mary died at the age of 12 in 1794. The following year, on 22 April 1795, their daughter Jennet died at the age of 1 year, 2 months, and 3 days. In the early summer of 1800, however, Jacob and Martha had a daughter whom they had baptised at Goodwill Presbyterian Church under the name "Mary Jennet" in memory of their two daughters they had lost in 1794 and 1795 ("Pioner, Jacob and Martha -- Mary Jennet, June 7 ," from baptismal records published in Early Settlers of New York State, vol. III, Nov. 1936, no. 5, page 70). Jacob Pennoyer and his family remained active members of Goodwill Presbyterian Church during these years, and church communion records show that their daughters Martha and Elizabeth "Penier" or "Pionier" were "admitted to the Lord's Table" in 1805, while Martha again received Communion in 1809 (Early Settlers of New York State, vol. III, Jan. 1937, no. 7, page 102).
The 1810 U.S. Census returns for Montgomery, Orange County, New York, show "Jacob Penoyer" as the head of a household consisting of one free white male age 10 to 15 (his son Isaac), one free white male age 16 to 25 (his son Jacob Jr.), one free white male age 45 or over (himself), one free white female age 10 to 15 (probably his daughter Martha), three free white females ages 16 to 25 (including his daughter Elizabeth), one free white female age 45 or over (Jacob's wife Martha), with two household members under 16 and two over 25, for a total of eight persons in the household. Jacob and his family were still living in Montgomery 10 years later, as shown by the 1820 U.S. Census returns for Montgomery, which enumerate the households of both "Jacob Penoyer" and his son "Jacob Penoyer Jr". Jacob Sr.'s household in 1820 consisted of one free white male aged 45 or older (i.e., Jacob himself), two free white females aged 16 to 25 (Jacob's daughters Mary Jennet and Hannah), two free white males aged 25 to 44 (perhaps some otherwise unknown sons of Jacob, or perhaps some hired farmhands), and one free white female aged 45 or older (Jacob's wife Martha). Jacob Sr. in 1820 also owned one slave engaged in manufacture and one female slave under the age of 14 -- slavery at that time was disfavored in New York State and was being gradually abolished, such that the 1830 U.S. Census would list only 75 slaves in the entire state, which later rid itself completely of slavery by the time of the 1840 U.S. Census.
Jacob Pennoyer Sr. and his wife Martha are enumerated in the 1830 U.S. Census returns for Montgomery, Orange County, New York, which show "Jacob Penoyer" as the head of a household consisting of one free white male age 5 to 9, one free white male age 70 to 79 (i.e., Jacob himself), one free white female age 5 to 9, one free white female age 20 to 29 (Jacob's youngest daughter Hannah), one free white female age 30 to 39 (Jacob's daughter Martha), one free white female age 40 to 49 (Jacob's daughter Elizabeth), one free white female age 70 to 79 (Jacob's wife Martha), two free whites under age 20, three free whites age 20 to 49, for a total of seven free white persons in the household, who were the only person's in Jacob's household. The boy and girl age 5 to 9 were probably grandchildren of Jacob Sr., but it's uncertain which of the children of Jacob Sr. was their parent. Jacob's daughters Elizabeth, Martha, and Hannah apparently never married and are not known to have ever had any children. In any case, Jacob Sr. died two years later, on 2 Jan. 1832, and was buried in Goodwill Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Montgomery, where several of his children had already been buried. Most remarkably, the cemetery burial records state that Jacob's daughter Elizabeth died on the same day as her father, suggesting that, unless the timing was an unusual coincidence, their deaths may have been unnatural, perhaps due to an accident such as a house fire or some other incident. Jacob's widow Martha survived him by just two years, dying 30 Sept. 1834 and also being buried in Goodwill Presbyterian Church Cemetery.
This photograph, taken by Robert Eager and shared at Find-A-Grave, shows Goodwill Presbyterian Church Cemetery, 2117 State Route 208, Montgomery, New York, the final resting place of Jacob Pennoyer, his wife Martha, his brother Wright Pennoyer, and several of the children of Jacob and Martha.
The known children (and one probable child) of Jacob and Martha Pennoyer were:
?? JAMES PENOYER, died 1795 -- MARY PENOYER, born circa 1782, died 5 Aug. 1794. -- ELIZABETH PENOYER, born circa 1785, died 2 Jan. 1832. 7. JACOB PENNOYER JR., born circa 1792. -- JENNET PENOYER, born 19 Feb. 1794, died 22 April 1795. -- MARTHA PENNOYER, born circa 1797, died 18 Dec. 1867. -- ISAAC PENOYER, born 11 Oct. 1797, died 12 Feb. 1871, twice married. -- MARY JENNET PENNOYER, born 1800, baptised 7 June 1800, died 31 Dec. 1867, md. Christopher Ostrander Russell. -- HANNAH PENNOYER, born circa 1805.
7. JACOB PENNOYER JR., son of Jacob and Martha (Munsell) Pennoyer, born circa 1792 in Montgomery, Ulster County (Orange County after 1798), New York, died May 1867 in Newburgh, Orange County, New York. Jacob was a veteran of the War of 1812. A New York State Militia War of 1812 payroll abstract (Roll No. 2672) shows that "Penoyer, Jacob" received pay in the amount of $40.83 (per John Grant, paymaster) as a militia soldier from 7 Sept. 1814 to 14 Dec. 1814, being promoted from Sergeant to Ensign on 1 Nov. 1814. Ensign Jacob Penoyer served in Colonel Michael Smith's company, under Captain Samuel Webb. The "Index of Awards on Claims of the Soldiers of the War of 1812" (page 15, 186) shows Jacob Pennoyer of Newburgh, New York, as an applicant for the allowed amount of $55 in reimbursement for the cost of his firearms and ammunition.
These records from the War of 1812 show that as early as 1814 Jacob had moved to the village of Newburgh in Orange County, New York, located on the west bank of the Hudson River due east of the old Pennoyer farm in Montgomery. Four years later, on 11 Feb. 1818 at Bethlehem Presbyterian Church in Newburgh, Jacob married MARTHA SCOTT, who was born probably circa 1795, probably in Ulster County, New York. The marriage record of Jacob and Martha was probably entered into the church's register by Rev. Artemas Dean. (See Historical Papers of the Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands, No. VI, 1900, p.21 (n806), marriage record transcribed 17 Dec. 1898 by Miss A. B. Colwell.) Martha's date of death is unknown, but she must have died after the birth of her youngest child Caroline circa 1839 and prior to the 19 July 1860 U.S. Census returns, in which Jacob appears with a daughter and granddaughter but Martha does not appear. Jacob and Martha had four daughters and two sons. The records of the Dutch Reformed Church in Berea, Orange County, New York, show that Jacob and Martha had four of their children -- John S., Jacob Walden, Ann, and Martha Jane -- baptised together on 7 Aug. 1833 at Berea Dutch Reformed Church. Their eldest child, born in 1818 almost exactly nine months after their marriage, was our ancestress Mary Elizabeth Pennoyer and presumably she had already been baptised at Bethel Presbyterian Church where her parents were married.
Within two years of his marriage, Jacob had moved back to Montgomery. It was in 1820 that Jacob was first named in U.S. Census returns -- he is listed that year immediately after his father. The census returns for Montgomery, Orange County, New York, dated 7 Aug. 1820, show "Jacob Penoyer Jr" as the head of a household consisting of two free white males ages 16 to 25, one free white male age 25 to 44 (i.e. Jacob himself), one free white female under age 10, one free white female age 16 to 25 (probably Jacob's wife Martha), three persons engaged in manufacture, two free white persons under age 16, one free white person over age 25, for a total of six free white persons in the household, who were the only persons in Jacob's household. Ten years later, Jacob and his family were still living in Montgomery: the 1830 U.S. Census returns for Montgomery, Orange County, New York, show "Jacob Penoyer" as the head of a household consisting of two males ages 5 to 9 (his sons John and Jacob), one male age 30 to 39 (i.e. Jacob himself), one female under age 5 (his daughter Ann), one female age 10 to 14 (his eldest child Mary), and one female age 30 to 38 (i.e. Jacob's wife Martha Scott Pennoyer).
Information on the lives of Jacob Pennoyer Jr. and his family after the enumeration of the 1830 U.S. Census and prior to the 1860 U.S. Census is somewhat hard to come by, because Jacob has not yet been located in the 1840 and 1850 censuses. It is at least known that he and his children continued to live in Orange County, New York, and that they had moved back to the village of Newburgh on the Hudson River probably at some point prior to 1847. Jacob and Martha also had two more daughters -- Martha Jane in 1832, and Caroline Inolta circa 1839. As mentioned above, by August of 1833 Jacob and Martha had affiliated with Berea Dutch Reformed Church in Berea, near Montgomery and Walden in Orange County, New York, as is attested by the church's records, which show that Jacob and Martha had their children John, Jacob, Ann, and Martha baptised together on 7 Aug. 1833 at Berea Dutch Reformed Church.
It may have been after 1833 that Jacob and his family moved back to Newburgh. They probably were in Newburgh by 1847, for it was about that year that the Newburgh Gazette reported the marriage of Jacob Jr.'s daughter "Pennoyer, Ann" to "John Sharden" in Newburgh. Our Pennoyers also appear in the Newburgh village board minutes around this time. At the 10 May 1847 regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the village of Newburgh held at the Orange Hotel, Jacob's son "Jacob W. Penoyer" is named as one of the village's grocers who had been granted a permit and taken the town excise license (see page 308 of Village of Newburgh 1838-1849 Corporation Minutes, by Solomon Tuthill, clerk, transcribed in 2008 on behalf of the Dutch Reformed Church project). Almost two years later, the minutes of a 15 Jan. 1849 special meeting of the Board of Trustees of the village of Newburgh, also held at the Orange Hotel, mentions a tax assessment that was levied for the improvement of High Street, and "Jacob Penoyer" (either Jacob or his son Jacob Walden Pennoyer) is one of those whose tax bills was referred to the Village Board president (ibid., page 369).
Although Jacob and his household have not been found in the 1850 U.S. Census, most of Jacob's children were certainly living in the vicinity of Newburgh and Montgomery, New York, at that time. For example, the 1850 census returns for Montgomery, New York, show Jacob's sisters "Martha Pennoyer," age 53, and "Hannah Pennoyer," age 51 (sic -- she was actually 45), living together. The census record says Martha then owned $300 of real estate. It's most interesting, however, that Jacob Jr.'s youngest daughter "Caroline Pennoyer," age 11, was then living with them rather than with her parents or any of her siblings. Meanwhile, the U.S. Census returns for Newburgh, dated 24 Sept 1850, show Jacob's son-in-law "John Sherden," 28, shoemaker, John's wife "Ann," 22, daughter "Martha," 2, and John's sister-in-law "Martha Penoer," 20 (sic -- she was actually 17). A short while later, the U.S. Census returns for Newburgh, dated 10 Nov. 1850, show that Jacob Jr.'s son "Jacob Pennoyer," age 23 (sic -- he was actually 25), was then working and living at a Newburgh oyster saloon, boarding with three other unrelated men and an unrelated woman. (No further record of Jacob Walden Pennoyer has been found, and he probably predeceased his father, as is explained further on.) Thus, the 1850 U.S. Census shows Jacob Jr.'s daughters Ann, Martha, and Caroline, as well as his son Jacob Walden, all living in Newburgh or Montgomery. By that year, Jacob Jr.'s eldest child Mary was married with three children and living in New York City, but it is unknown where Jacob's eldest son John was living, nor have Jacob Jr. and his wife Martha yet been found in the 1850 census. It could be that Martha had died by then.
About two years later, the Newburgh Gazette reported the marriage of Jacob and Martha's daughter "Pennoyer, Martha Jane" and "Forsyth, Henry." Henry and Martha Jane had but one daughter, and Henry apparently died prior to the 1860 U.S. Census, as noted below. Three years after Martha Jane's marriage, the 1855 New York State Census shows Martha's sister "Ann," 23, living in Newburgh with her husband "John Sherdin," 34, the head of a household which included their children "Martha," 6, "Harriett," 4, and "John A.," 2, as well as Ann's mother-in-law "Ann Sherdin," 60. It was about two years afterward that Caroline, the youngest sister of Ann and Martha Jane, married a young man of Newburgh named Edward Vredenburgh. Caroline and Edward had one son and five daughters.
Although we have not yet found Jacob Pennoyer in the U.S. Census enumerations of 1840 and 1850, the U.S. Census returns for Newburgh, New York, dated 19 July 1860 show "Jacob Pennoyer," 68, a carpenter, living in Newburgh, N.Y., with his daughter "Martha J. Forsyth," 29, a house keeper, and Martha's daughter "Fanny A. Forsyth," 7, all three born in New York State. The census record says Jacob then owned real estate worth $1,200 and a personal estate worth $250. The absence of Jacob's wife Martha indicates that she had died at some point prior to 19 July 1860. Jacob's son John and Jacob have not been located in the 1860 U.S. Census (and Jacob may already have died by 1860), but the U.S. Census returns for Newburgh, dated 16 July 1860, show Jacob's daughter "Ann," 30, with her husband "John J. Sherden," 38, a "factory operatine" with $100 in personal estate, and their children "Martha J.," 11, "Mary H.," 10, John A.," 7, and "Ida A., 1, all born in New York. The Newburgh census returns for 19 July 1860 also show Jacob's youngest daughter "Caroline Vredenberg," 22, with her husband "Edward Vredenberg," 24, a grocer with $400 in personal property, and their son "Chas. E. Vredenberg, 1, all born in New York. Meanwhile, the 1860 U.S. Census shows that Jacob's eldest child Mary was living in Chenoa Township, McLean County, Illinois, with her husband Albert Riggs and their six children.
Two years later, Jacob's daughter Martha J. (Pennoyer) Forsyth remarried on 19 Feb. 1862 in Newburgh to Clark Brown Colwell, born 24 July 1835 in Shawangunk, Ulster County, New York, died 3 Sept. 1913 in 4 Sept. 1913 in Aurora, Kane County, Illinois, buried in West Aurora Cemetery, Aurora, Illinois. Martha's second husband Clark, who came of an old Scots-Irish family of Ulster and Orange counties in New York, had served in the Union Army during the Civil War as a Lieutenant in Company C of the 98th New York Infantry. Martha and Clark had one son, Charles, and one daughter, Jennie. The 1865 New York State Census for Newburgh shows "Clark B. Colwell, 30, carpenter, usually employed in Newburgh, Martha Colwell, 33, wife, Fannie A. [Colwell - erased, written over] Forsyth, 12, child, Charles Colwell, 1, child; Clark and Martha both twice married; all born in Orange County. In the spring of 1867, Martha and Clark and their children moved to Aurora, Illinois, where they remained for the rest of their lives. (It was probably about the same time that Martha's sister Ann and her husband and family moved to Janesville, Wisconsin, where they too remained for the rest of their lives.) Martha's daughter from her first marriage, Fannie A. Forsyth, who apparently never married, later had her surname changed to Colwell, as shown in the 1870 U.S. Census and in all subsequent census. Biographical and genealogical information about Martha's husband Clark and their son Dr. Charles Esterbrook Colwell of Aurora, Illinois, was published in the 1908 History of Kane County, Ill., by R. Waite Josyln and Frank W. Josyln, vol. II, pages 777-780. However, that source erroneously says Martha "was the youngest child of Jacob and Martha (Scott) Pennoyer" (Caroline was actually their youngest child), and also mistakenly identifies the Pennoyers as French Huguenots.
It was on 18 Oct. 1866 that Jacob made and filed his last will and testament Newburgh. Jacob died in Newburgh in May 1867, and on 31 May 1867 a Surrogate Court session was held in Newburgh in order to begin proceedings to prove Jacob Pennoyer's last will and testament, and to issue citations to his next of kin having an interest in his estate. Jacob's probate file says a citation to the formal reading of his will was issued to "Caroline Vredenburgh of Newburgh, N.Y.," "Martha J. Caldwell of Aurora, Illinois," "Ann Sheridan of Janesville, Wisconsin," "Mary E. Riggs of Chicago, Illinois," and "John Pennoyer of Mobile, Alabama." All of these were Jacob's children. Notably, the fact that his son Jacob Walden Pennoyer was not issued a citation, as well as the fact that his will mentions a lot "which formerly belonged to my son Jacob Pennoyer," indicates that Jacob Walden Pennoyer predeceased his father. It should be noted that Jacob's eldest child, Mary E. Riggs, was no longer living in Chicago in 1867, for by that time she and her husband Albert Riggs had settled in Godfrey, Madison County, Illinois (though they would later return to Chicago in 1882). Similarly, Jacob's son John may or may not have been living in Mobile, Alabama, in 1867. Evidently the last known addresses of Mary and John were Chicago and Mobile.
In any event, on 25 July 1867 Jacob's will was read and proved in Orange County Surrogate Court in Newburgh, in the presence of David A. Scott, surrogate, and Jacob's daughter Caroline Vredenburgh was the only next of kin present at reading of the will. The will not only tells of the real estate and some of the other property Jacob owned when he died, but also testifies to the love and affection he had for his daughters and grandchildren. Jacob made several specific bequests to his children and grandchildren, being especially solicitous for the care and education of his granddaughter Fanny Ann Forsyth -- but it is unknown if anyone besides Caroline actually received their inheritances. Most remarkably, although Jacob's son John was cited to appear for the reading of the will, Jacob left John out of his will altogether, neither bequeathing anything to him nor even naming him. The text of Jacob's will is as follows:
I, Jacob Pennoyer, of the City of Newburgh, in the County of Orange and State of New York, do make, publish and declare this my last will and testament in manner following:
First I direct and empower my Executors hereinafter named to Sell and convey my house and lot twenty five by one hundred feet ( 25 x 100 ) Situate on Washington Street in the City of Newburgh and also the lot in the rear thereof on the west side of the garden twenty five by one hundred feet ( 25 x 100 ) and bounded on the South by Parmenter Street and which formerly belonged to my son Jacob Pennoyer, and out of the proceeds of said real estate and my personal property, first to pay all my just debts, funeral and testamentary expenses and to divide the balance thereof into four equal parts.
One equal fourth part thereof I give and bequeath to each of my daughters, Mary Elizabeth Riggs, Ann Shurden and Martha Jane Caldwell. Of the remaining fourth part I give the sum of One Hundred Dollars to my granddaughter Hannah Elizabeth Vredenburgh, to be paid to her by my Executors, together with the interest thereon when she shall attain the age of twenty-one years, and if she should die before that time leaving no lawful issue, then I give the same to her mother Caroline Vredenburgh, and the remainder of Said fourth part I give and bequeath to my daughter the Said Caroline Vredenburgh.
Second I do also direct and empower my said Executors to sell and convey my two lots each twenty five by one hundred feet ( 25 x 100 ) on the East side of said garden, and bounded on the South by Parmenter Street aforesaid, and out of the proceeds thereof to pay to my granddaughters Corinda P. Riggs and Mary H. Shurden each the Sum of One hundred Dollars, and the remainder thereof to my granddaughter Fanny A. Forsyth.
I give and bequeath to my grandson Charles E. Vredenburgh one Silver Watch with three letters of his name marked thereon, and to my grandson Charles Caldwell my Silver watch now in the possession of his mother.
And lastly I hereby nominate, constitute and appoint Robert Moore and Clark B. Caldwell of Newburgh aforesaid Executors of this my last will and testament, and I do also appoint the said Clark B. Caldwell trustee to receive and take charge of the legacy hereinbefore given to Fanny Ann Forsyth, until she shall attain the age of twenty one years, and to pay over the same or so much thereof as in his discretion may be necessary for the support, education and maintenance of the said Fanny Ann Forsyth.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this eighteenth day of October, Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-six.
The children of Jacob and Martha (Scott) Pennoyer were:
8. MARY ELIZABETH PENNOYER, born 2 Nov. 1818. -- JOHN S. PENNOYER, born 28 Feb. 1823. -- JACOB WALDEN PENNOYER, born 5 Dec. 1824. -- ANN PENNOYER, born 16 Aug. 1827, died 26 July 1898, md. John Isaac Shurden (Sharden or Sheridan). -- MARTHA JANE PENNOYER, born 28 Sept. 1832, died 25 Jan. 1905, twice married. -- CAROLINE INOLTA PENNOYER, born circa 1839, died circa 1878, md. Edward Vredenburgh.
8. MARY ELIZABETH PENNOYER ("Mary Elizabeth Pennover"), eldest child of Jacob and Martha (Scott) Pennoyer, was born 2 Nov. 1818 in Newburgh, Orange County, New York; died at age 89 on 10 May 1908 in Aurora, Kane County, Illinois; buried in Godfrey Cemetery, Godfrey, Madison County, Illinois. In Stephen Whitney Phoenix's Whitney Family of Connecticut (1878), vol. II, and John H. Wallace's 1901 Riggs Genealogy, she is called "Mary Paneer," which is an alternate spelling of the surname "Pennoyer." The 1921 obituary of her son Albert calls her "Mary Elizabeth Pennover." Genealogical researcher Colleen Stutz has supplied the 1925 death record of Mary's her daughter Martha, in which Mary's name is given as "Mary Elizabeth Penoyer," and Mary is said to have been born in Orange County, New York. Mary's obituary and death certificate both affirm that she was born in Newburgh, Orange County, New York. Records show a good deal of uncertainty about her date of birth. Her obituary says she was born 2 Nov. 1815, but the 1900 U.S. Census says Nov. 1817, while her gravestone says 1819 (which is probably an error of arithmetic caused by rounding of her age at death, because 1908 - 89 = 1819). Other censuses, however, indicate she was born circa 1818 or circa 1821. The year 1815 is obviously incorrect, presumably a typographical error -- perhaps the obituary writer meant "1819," or possibly there was confusion with her husband's year of birth, which was 1815. Her obituary and death certificate agree that she died at the age of 89, and the death certificate more specifically gives her age at death as "89 years, 6 months, 8 days," which yields a birth date of 2 Nov. 1818.
According to Phoenix, Mary married in Sept. 1840 to ALBERT RIGGS SR., son of Samuel and Elizabeth Riggs, born 9 Dec. 1815 in Philipstown, New York; died 13 Jan. 1899 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois; buried in Godfrey Cemetery, Madison County, Illinois. Albert was baptised 7 Sept. 1823 at the Presbyterian Church in Rumbout, Dutchess County, New York. He had married firstly on 19 Sept. 1839 to HANNAH KNAPP, but they apparently had no children, and the marriage presumably ended with Hannah's premature death. Albert and his second wife Mary Elizabeth are said to have moved from New York to Davis County, Maryland, afterwards moving to Illinois in the late 1850s, where they and their children lived successively in Chenoa, McLean County; Alton, Madison County; Godfrey, Madison County; and Chicago, Cook County. Riggs family tradition says they also lived at some point in Murrayville, Morgan County, but I suspect that is a confusion of Albert with his same-named son. In the 1850 U.S. Census, Albert Riggs, age 35, a carpenter born in New York, was living in New York Ward 15, Eastern Half, New York City, with his wife Mary, 29, and children David, 8, Martha, 6, and Charles 3, all three reportedly born in New York (though family records indicate it was Davis County, Maryland, a tradition of dubious reliability). In the 1860 U.S. Census, Albert, age 46, a farmer, and his wife Mary Elizabeth, age 43, are shown as residents of Chenoa Township, McLean County, Illinois, with six children: David, 18, Martha E., 16, Charles, 13, Albert, 8, Analaura, 5, and Mary E., 2, all six reportedly born in New York. The 1870 U.S. Census shows Albert, age 50 (sic), a carpenter, living in Monticello (i.e. Godfrey), Madison County, Illinois, with his wife Mary, 56, and children Martha, 25, Charles, 23, Albert, 18, Anna L., 15, born in New York, and Mary E., 12, and Corrindia, 9, both born in Illinois (sic). The 1880 U.S. Census shows Albert, age 64, a carpenter, born in New York, with his wife Mary, age 61, living in Godfrey, Illinois, with their daughters Mary, 21, and Priscilla, 18 (i.e. Corrindia). That brings to seven the total number of known children of Albert and Mary, which agrees with the family's records that they had three sons and four daughters.
After the 1880 U.S. Census, but prior to the 12 March 1884 marriage in their Chicago home of their daughter Mary, Albert and Mary moved to Chicago, where Albert died in early 1899. His death certificate says he died at age 83 on 13 Jan. 1899, which agrees with his known date of birth. His gravestone, however, says he died in 1898, which seems to be a gravestone engraver's error of arithmetic (1815 + 83 = 1898). Mary moved in with her daughter Martha and son Charles in Chicago, later moving to Aurora, Kane County, Illinois, where her daughter Priscilla also lived. The 1900 U.S. Census shows Mary E. Riggs, age 82, born Nov. 1817, as a widow living in Chicago Ward 12, Cook County, Illinois, with her daughter Martha E. Lounsberry, age 50 (sic), born Aug. 1844, a widow, and son Charles Riggs, age 51 (sic), born June 1848, single. The same census says Mary had six children (sic), with six children still living. Mary's death certificate says she died at age 89 at or about 1:30 p.m. on 10 May 1908, at 212 Seminary Ave., Aurora. The cause of death is give as "exhaustion" resulting from the contributory cause of complication of "senile typhoid," from which she had been suffering for 14 days. Both Albert and Mary were buried in Godfrey Cemetery, Madison County, Illinois, where their son Charles and daughters Anna Laura and Mary also are buried. Mary E. (Penoyer) Riggs' date of burial was 12 May 1908. Her death certificate says she had lived in Illinois for 40 years, which apparently is only an estimate or a guess, as the true length of time was at least 50 years.
-- DAVID RIGGS, born circa 1842 in New York. -- MARTHA E. RIGGS, born 13 Aug. 1844, md. Richard Lonsberry (Lonsbery, Lounsbery, Lounsbury). -- CHARLES S. RIGGS, born June 1847 in New York, died 5 Jan. 1914. -- ALBERT RIGGS JR., born 19 Aug. 1852 in New York City. -- ANNA LAURA RIGGS ("Laura"), born 1855 in New York, md. Benjamin Charles Smith. -- MARY E. RIGGS, born 1858 in New York, md. Paul A. Walters. -- PRISCILLA CORRINDIA RIGGS, born 13 June 1861 in Chenoa, Illinois, md. Albert Ulrich.We have only a little information regarding our ancestress MARY ELIZABETH PENOYER, also known as "Mary Elizabeth Pennover" and "Mary Paneer," born 2 Nov. 1818 in Newburgh, Orange County, New York, second wife of Albert Riggs. According to various U.S. censuses, Mary and Albert lived in New York State until about 1860, and Mary's parents were reportedly born in New York while Albert's parents were born in Connecticut. Newburgh in Orange County is in the general vicinity of Philipstown in Putnam County, where Albert was born. There were several branches of the Penoyers in New York State, including a "Penoyar" family in the Rumbout Presbyterian Church in Dutchess County, New York, where Albert Riggs was baptised (see below). Other Penoyers of Orange County are known, but at this time it is unknown how they were related to Mary.
Robert Pennoyer of Stamford had a daughter named ELIZABETH PENNOYER, born 1652, wife of RICHARD LOUNSBERRY (1634-1694). From them came the Lounsberry family in the United States. It is perhaps significant that Mary Elizabeth (Penoyer) Riggs was the mother-in-law of a certain Richard Lounsbery or Lounsbury. The Illinois Statewide Marriage Index (1763-1900) says Martha Riggs and "R. Lounsberg" (sic) married in Madison County on 24 Jan. 1872 (see below). The 1900 U.S. Census says Martha had four children, but all four were deceased by then. Riggs family tradition says one of Martha's children was a son named Charles.
5. WRIGHT PENOYER, son of Reuben and Penelope Pennoyer, born 31 May 1750 in Old Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut; died at age 57 on 6 June 1807 in Montgomery, Orange County, New York. Wright married circa 1772 in Schaghticoke, Albany County, New York, or circa 1775 in Montgomery, Orange County, New York, to SOPHIA KEELER (or "Zerviah Sophia Keeler"), born 15 Feb. 1757 in Montgomery, Orange County, New York, baptised in Wilton, Saratoga County, New York, died 11 Nov. 1801. Wright and Sophia had at least one son.
6. ROBERT MCFADDEN PENOYER, born 13 June 1781.
6. ROBERT MCFADDEN PENOYER, son of Wright and Sophia (Keeler) Penoyer, born 13 June 1781 in Schaghticoke, Albany County, New York; died 3 March 1860 in Clifton, Iroquois County, Illinois; buried in Clifton Cemetery. On 13 May 1815 in New York State, Robert married MARIA VAN BUREN (or "Van Beuren"), born circa 1785 in Flatbush, Long Island, New York, daughter of Henrij and Marij (Cropseij) Van Buren. Robert and Maria were members of the Garden Street Dutch Reformed Church in New York City, where they had four children baptised.
-- MARY ELIZABETH PENOYER, born 27 July 1816, baptised 6 June 1823. -- CATHERINE ANN PENOYER, baptised 6 June 1823. -- ROBERT HENRY PENOYER, baptised 6 June 1823. -- ELENOR BLAIR PENOYER, baptised 7 Sept. 1827.
Robert's eldest child, Mary Elizabeth Penoyer, married WILLIAM ATWATER VIETS (1813-1905). She died 11 March 1853 in New York, but is buried in Clifton Cemetery, Iroquois County, Illinois, where her father Robert McFadden Penoyer also is buried. This Mary Elizabeth (Penoyer) Viets died in 1853 in New York, whereas our Mary Elizabeth (Penoyer) Riggs died in 1908 in Illinois, and therefore cannot be the same woman.
It seems that Robert McFadden Penoyer was the "Robert M. Penoyer" who had a contract with the United States War Department to supply rations to the troops of the U.S. Army on 1 Jan. 1815, within the State of New Jersey, at 16 cents and 8 mills per ration. There also was a "Robert M. Penoyer," apparently the same man, who was a merchant of New York, and who owned a firm called "Robert M. Penoyer & Co." which was party to a lawsuit, Penoyer vs. Watson, that was tried in the New York Supreme Court in April 1818 (See Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of . . . the State of New York, vol. XVI, by William Johnson). "Robert M. Penoyer" is shown as a resident of New York City in the 1820 U.S. Census, and he appears as "R.M. Penoyer," a resident of New York City, in the 1830 U.S. Census. His support for Christian evangelism is shown in the First Annual Report of the American Tract Society (1826), p.44, which lists "Robert M. Penoyer" among the "Directors by Annual Subscription" who lived in New York City. The American Tract Society was founded and based in New York City.
"Robert M. Penoyer" is named in The Condition of Greece, in 1827 and 1828, by Jonathan Peckham Miller, on page 272, in a table showing "The Merchants' Bank of New-York in account with the New-York Executive Greek Committee." The table records $2,770.00 to "Robert M. Penoyer for 500 bbls. flour," dated 6 March 1827. Robert M. Penoyer also was an auctioneer, as appears in The New York Annual Register, by Edwin Williams, in a table of "Statement of Sales at Auction in the City of New-York, for the year ending September 30, 1835." He is the 23rd auctioneer in the list, and reported $134,804.50 in non-dutiable sales, $1,797.71 in dutiable sales, for a total of $136,602.21. The same "Robert M. Penoyer" appears in a list of licensed auctioneers of New York City, appointed by the New York Governor and Senate, found in New York As It Is in 1837, a city directory published by J. Disturnell.
"Robert M. Penoyer" is named in the following notice that was published in a March 1836 edition of the New York N.Y. Evening Post, showing his involvement in politics:
At a meeting of the Democratick Republicans of the 1st Ward, friendly to regular nominations, and to the general and state administrations, held at Castle Garden, pursuant to a recommendation of the General Committee, and a call of the Ward Committee, on Wednesday evening, the 16th of March instant, John Y. Cebra was called to the chair, and Stephen R. Harris and Charles Yates were appointed Secretaries.
The following persons were chosen to nominate a suitable person to be supported for Mayor of this city at the ensuing election, to meet at Tammany Hall, on Friday, the 25th inst., HENRY YATES CHARLES A. JACKSON WM. B. VAN NORTWICK.
And the following persons were chosen to nominate suitable persons to be supported for charter officers of the First Ward at said election:
John Hillyer, Nicholas Diamond, Henry Yates, Jeromus Johnson, Joseph D. Beers, Charles G. Havens, Henry Jones, Daniel Jackson, Chas. A. Jackson, James T. Moore, John H. Hoagland, John Maitland, Robert M. Penoyer,
Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be signed by the Chairman and Secretaries, and published in the New York Times, Evening Post, Jeffersonian, Truth Teller, and Globe. Dated March 16, 1836.
JOHN YATES CEBRA, Chairman. S.R. Harris, Chas. Yates, Secretaries.
Twenty years later, Robert M. Penoyer gave sworn testimony in depositions (dated 26 Sept. 1856 in New York City) in a legal action undertaken by the estate of Elbert Anderson to obtain payment of outstanding debts that the U.S. federal government had owed to Anderson. In the depositions, Penoyer identifies himself as follows: "My name is Robert M. Penoyer; I am a flour dealer, and am seventy years of age; have resided in New York city for the past year; . . . ." (He may have been estimating how old he was, or he was unsure of his age, if the IGI is correct that he was born in 1781.) He says he was acquainted with Elbert Anderson, deceased, of New York City, who was an army contractor from 1811 to 1815 issuing provisions to U.S. troops. "I kept the accounts under him, commencing in the year 1813; I mean the regular abstracts that came into the office from the points or posts where the provisions were issued to the troops; also the abstracts of provisions deposited and received out of deposit."
Because Robert died 3 March 1860, he is not found in the 1860 or later national and state censuses. NOTE: There was another Robert M. Pennoyer (or Robert W. Pennoyer), born circa 1813, living in New York City during the 1800s, but he was obviously a different, younger man, though perhaps related to the elder Robert M. Penoyer.
Because the family of Robert M. Penoyer lived in New York City during the 1820s and apparently later, and because Robert and his parents were from Orange County, New York, it is possible that he was a cousin of our ancestress Mary Elizabeth Penoyer (Paneer). Our Mary and her husband Albert were living in New York City at the time of the 1850 U.S. Census. It's not impossible that Albert Riggs met his second wife Mary through the Presbyterian Church in Rumbout, Dutchess County, New York, where Albert was baptised in 1823. A "Penoyar" family apparently belonged to the Rumbout Presbyterian Church during the 1760s, according to the following entry in the International Genealogical Index:
REUBEN PENOYAR, born 31 Dec. 1761, baptised 2 Aug. 1767 at the Presbyterian Church, Rumbout, Dutchess County, New York, son of DAVID PENOYAR.
Reuben's father David Penoyar (Penoyer) elsewhere appears in the IGI as DAVID PENOYER, born 1733 in Philipstown, New York. This is the David Pennoyer shown above, husband of Margaret Birdsell and son of Reuben and Penelope Pennoyer. The descendants of David's son Reuben spelled their surname "Penner." It may be significant that, like David, Mary Elizabeth Pennover's husband Albert Riggs was born in Philipstown.
The IGI lists yet another REUBEN PENOYER, reportedly born Feb. 1771 in Amenia, Dutchess County, New York, died 17 Jan. 1847, son of JAMES PENOYER and Sarah Doty. This Reuben is said to have married a Polly (or Mary) Gifford on 19 March 1796 in Lee, Berkshire County, Mississippi. This Reuben and his father James could be closely related in some way to the other Penoyers of Dutchess County.
Considering these various clues from the IGI and other sources, perhaps Mary Elizabeth Pennover/Paneer was connected to the Rumbout Penoyar family, or some other Dutchess County Penoyers, rather than to the Schaghticoke/New York City Penoyer branch. Whatever her precise genealogy, most likely Mary Elizabeth Pennover was sixth or seventh in descent from the immigrant Robert Pennoyer.
Penoyer Genealogy Resources:
Pennoyer Surname Message Board Pennoyer Family Genealogy Forum Pennoyer & Lounsberry Notes, by Winifred Lovering Holman, SB, FASG, of Lexington, Mass. Stamford, CT, Families (1641-1935) (Pennoyer, Knapp, Reynolds, etc.) Pennoyer Genealogy Person Sheets Descendants of Dr. Johannes Van Beuren The Pennoyre Family Tree (with errors, including the mistaken Salem Witch Trials connection) William Pennoyer, Esq. (1603-1671), benefactor of Harvard College, founder of Harvard's Pennoyer Aid scholarship fund. Lounsbury Genealogy Tree Orange County, New York, GenWeb Site
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