NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people and the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
The surname Crosby is of very ancient English origin. It is derived from two English words, cross and by (bury, burgh or borough), meaning the town of the cross, and has been in use from the time when surnames were first adopted in England. In time time of Richard III one of the name occupied Crosby House in London, and that city still has a street by the name. It is also embalmed in no less than eight places in England, namely: Crosby-upon-Eden, near Caslisle, in Cumberlandshire; with the villages of High and Low Crosby; another village in the western division of Cumberland; Crosby-Garrett and Crosby-Ravensworth, in Westmoreland; a village in the North Riding of Yorkshire; a village in Lincolnshire; and Great Crosby and Little Crosby, suburbs of Liverpool. Have these webpages helped you?
In 1204 Ode de Corsseby was constable of Tikehall in Yorkshire, and as early as 1220 we find Simon de Corsseby in Lancashire, where he was a landowner. The name Simon has continued in frequent use among his descendants to the present day, and he was undoubtedly the progenitor of the American family. Several settlers named Crosby came to New England early enough to be classed among the pioneers, and from them sprang a hardy race of frontiersmen who were industrious workers in peace and hard fighters in the wars with French and Indians.
Still later generations of Crosbys have been foremost in business and professional life, in philanthropic endeavor and every worthy line of effort. The name has been especially prominent in the medical profession, and has been closely associated with institutions of learning, notably Harvard and Dartmouth.
Having first been used as a place-name, it was easily adopted as a surname by one coming from the "crosstown" or "town built by the cross."
(I) Simon Crosby, perhaps a brother of Thomas of Cambridge and Rowley, embarked from England in the ship "Susan and Ellen," April 13, 1635, being then twenty-six years old, with his wife Ann, aged twenty-five, and infant son Thomas, eight weeks old. He settled in Cambridge, Mass., where he was a husbandman and was a proprietor as early as February 8, 1636. He was admitted a freeman in that year, and served as selectman in 1636 and 1638. He had several grants of land, and his estate, later known as the "Brattle place," passed into the hands of Rev. William Brattle, his residence being at what is now the corner of Brattle street and Brattle square. He died in September, 1639, at the early age of thirty-one years, leaving sons Thomas, born in England; Simon, born in 1637, in Cambridge; and Joseph, 1639, at the same place. The widow married, in 1646, Rev. William Thompson, minister at Braintree, and became the second time a widow at his death, Dec. 10, 1666. She died Oct 8, 1676.
(II) Thomas, eldest son of Simon and Ann Crosby, was prepared for college by his steo-father, and entered Harvard with the latter's son, William. He was born in England, probably in March, 1635, and was reared in Braintree. He graduated from Harvard College in 1653, and was minister of the church at Eastham, Mass. from 1655 to 1670. He subsequently engaged in business, became a successful man of affairs, and died in Boston, June 13, 1702. Nearly all of the name in southeastern Massachusetts are his descendants.
His wife's baptismal name was Sarah, and they had children:
Thomas, born April 7, 1663.
Simon, July 5, 1665.
Sarah, March 24, 1667.
Joseph, Jan. 27, 1669.
John and a twin who died at birth, Feb. 11, 1671.
William, March, 1673.
Ebenezer, March 28, 1674.
Increase (triplets), April 14-15, 1678.
Eleazer, mentioned below.
(III) Eleazer, youngest child of Thomas and Sarah Crosby, was born March 30, 1680. He resided in Harwich, Mass., and his death occurred after October 23, 1759, which is the date affixed to his will.
Oct. 24, 1706, he married Patience, daughter of John Jr. and Sarah (Merrick) Freeman.
Kezia, born May 6, 1708.
Rebecca, May 12, 1709; married Ebenezer Hopkins.
Silvanus, Nov. 15, 1712.
Phebe, Dec. 18, 1714; married a Clark.
Sarah, DEc. 8, 1716, died Jul 31, 1724.
Isaac, Oct. 18, 1719.
Mary, Nov. 28, 1722.
Sarah, March 18, 1725-26; married a Yates.
Patience, Oct. 29, 1728; married a Paine.
Eunice, died Jan. 20, 1731-32.
Mrs. Patience Crosby died Jan. 28, 1731-32. The will of Eleazer Crosby, previously referred to as having been made out Oct. 23, 1759, discloses the fact that he married again; that the baptismal name of his second wife was Esther, and that she bor him one son, Prince. In this document he mentions all of the above named children except Mary and Eunice, who were then dead.
(IV) Captain Prince, only son of Eleazer and Esther Crosby, was probably born in Harwich, but a careful research of all available records relating to this family fails to reveal the date of his birth. Like most of the young men of Cape Cod, he adopted a seafaring life, and, becoming a master mariner, commanded a merchant vessel plying between Massachusetts and Cuba. His death occurred during one of his voyages and he was buried at sea. Information at hand states that Captain Prince Crosby married a beautiful Spanish lady, who after her husband's death went to reside in New Hampshire, and that they had a son Jeremiah. The latter was the first of this branch of the Crosby family to settle in Lewis county, New York.
(V) Jeremiah, son of Captain Prince Crosby, was born in New England and was reared in New Hampshire, whence he removed, in 1800, to Lewis county, New York, where his son was born.
(VI) Hopkins, son of Jeremiah Crosby, was born in Lewis county, N.Y., and there became a successful farmer. He married Mary Porter, of the same vicinity, whose parents also came from New England. Some years after his marriage, Mr. Crosby's health began to fail, and he sought a change of climate. With his wife and four small children he proceded to Tioga county, Pennsylvania, where he began farming on a small scale. Teh change greatly benefited his heatlh, and by industry and self-denial he was able to add to his holdings and achieved success in life.
(VII) Dr. Alexander H., eldest son of Hopkins and Mary (Porter) Crosby, was born Oct. 18, 1836, Martinsburg, Lewis county, N.Y. He was reared on his father's farm, and his early education was obtained mainly at home and by his own efforts. There were few educational advantages in the neighborhood where he lived, but he had a natural taste for learning, and made the most of his opportunities. He was a wide-awake, ambitious youth, and became desirous of studying for the medical profession. This was a brave undertaking, and attended with many difficulties; during most of the time while he was studying medicine, he added to his meagre finances by beginning, at the age of sixteen years, teaching school.
Alexander Crosby ws sent first by his parents to a private school near home, and afterwards attended school at Wallsboro, Pennsylvania, one year; two years at Mansfield Seminary, and the academy at Lowville, N.Y. Afterwards he spent some time in the office of his uncle, Dr. Lyman Buckley, of Oswego county, N.Y., and later in the office of Dr. James T. Peden, an eminent physician and surgeon of Martinsburg, Lewis county. Later he took a course of medical lectures at Albany Medical College, and received a license for the practice of medicine. He began his practice in January, 1862, in Martingsburg, N.Y., the county seat of Lewis county, and in March 1867 he removed to Lowville, which then became the county seat. Dr. Crosby built up a large practice, and won the confidence and esteem of the entire community. He took a high place in his profession, and became well known through his testimony in many murder trials, where his word was taken as conclusive of death in the various cases.
The first case of note in which Dr. Crosby testified was one concerning the murder of a man who was subject to epileptic fits, and, although the defending lawyer contended that his death was the result of epilepsy, there being no fracutre of the skull or blood vessels broke, Dr. Crosby proved to the satifaction of judge and jury that he met death as the result of blows dealt him on the head.
Dr. Crosby always keeps abreast of the times, and made a careful study of new discoveries and theories advance in his profession. His skill in surgery was many times called into use, and he won a reputation throughout the northern part of the state for his knowledge and achievements. He is a man of strong character and inflexible will, and is pre-eminently a self-made man.
Dr. Crosby has for many years belonged to the County Medical Society, in which he has held all the offices, and has served several times as delegate to the State Medical Society. He takes keen interest in public affairs, and espouses the cause of the Democratic party. In 1875 he was elected to the state assembly. During 1877-78 Dr. Crosby represented the second congressional district in the state central and executive committees, and in 1881 he was again chairman of the county committee. He used his influence for the lowering of tolls and all other measures he considered for the best interests of his contituents. As a member of the committee of public health, he worked for the suppression of certain manufactures, and labored hard toward the passage of a bill regulating the location of these obnoxious factories in New York City. In 1879 he again received the nomination of his party for a seat in the assembly, and although defeated he ran several hundred votes ahead of his ticket.
He is a member of Trinity Episcopal Church of Lowville, and for many years served as vestryman. He is a liberal supporter of religious and charitable institutions, and interested in the welfare of the poor. In 1880, upon the appearance of diphtheria in the town of Greig, Dr. Crosby investigated the cause which was purely a local one, and this was the fact that many of the poorer class of people in the town were eating diseased potatoes. This action was greatly appreciated by the authorities, and gained him considerable pretige among his fellow doctors. He was appointed by the state board of charities as a member of the visiting committee for Lewis county, and in this position he did much to better the condition of the inmates of public institutions and the securing of more comfort for these unfortunates.
Dr. Crosby married, Feb. 23, 1864, Addie M., daughter of Nathan Macoy, of Martinsburg. Mrs. Crosby died March 16, 1907, and Dr. Crosby married (second) Nov. 24, 1908, Grace, daughter of Franklin B. Rugg , of Lowville.
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