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.
Of the origin and signification of the name Douglass, one of the most ancient and honored in the annals of Scotland, there is no account which is altogether satisfactory. As no theory yet advanced can be relied upon as absolutely trustworthy, no consideration need be given to any. In regard to the spelling of the name, whether with one s or two, there has also been much discussion, without, however, quite settling the point. Although Douglass is the spelling most universally followed by the Scottish branches as far back as record exist, in certain branches Douglas is sometimes found. Hume, the historian of the family, always spells the name Douglass. In Burke's "Heraldry" the Douglass coat-of-arms is thus described: "Argent a man's heart Gules ensigned with an imperial crown proper; on a chief azure three stars of the first." Have these webpages helped you?
Authentic records of the family go back to William of Douglass and the year 1175. The family was founded in America by Deacon William Douglass, the original emigrant, son of Robert Douglass, who was born in 1588. Ths most conspicuous public character the family has produced in America was the Hon. Stephen Arnodl Douglass, L.L.D., judge, United States senator and leading Democratic statesman of that turbulent period, previous to the civil war. He was the leading rival of Abraham Lincoln for the presidency of the United States, and one of the greatest lawyers and politicians of his day. After his defeat for the presidency by Mr. Lincoln, with the magnanimity of the truly great man, he gave his great rival his hearty support in his efforts to suppress the rebellion.
Judge Douglass was a lineal descendant of Deacon William, the emigrant, and was of the seventh generation in America.
(I) Deacon William Douglass, son of Robert Douglass, was born in Scotland in the year 1610. He married Ann Mattle about 1636, only daughter of Thomas Mattle of Ringstead, Northamptonshire, England, born in 1610. William Douglass emigrated to New England with his wife and two children, Ann and Robert, in 1640. He settled, first, at Gloucester, Mass., but removed the same year to Boston, where he is first mentioned Aug. 31, 1640, as follows: "William Douglass is allowed to be a townesman, he behaving himselfe as becometh a Christian man." He did no long remain in Boston, but removed the following year to Ipswich, where he received a share of the public land, Feb. 28, 1641. He remained in Ipswich four years, returning to Boston in 1645.
He followed the cooper's trade in Boston and bought and sold houses and land. In 1659 he purchased of William Hough of New London, Conn., "the house that was Robert Isbell's in New Street," In 1660 he remvoed to New London with wife and three children, Robert, Sarah and William. He purchased other property and had two farms granted him in remuneration of services to the town. On one of these farms he built his house, which Miss Caulkins describes in 1865, thus: "The house is very ancient and a part of it which has heavy timbers overhead and is propped with rude posts in the area, probablay belongs to the first dwelling built upon the spot, which was before 1670." The farm was inherited by his second son William, and remained in the family in the direct line of his male descendants for over two hundred years.
He became prominent in town affairs, and in 1670 was elected one of the two deacons of the church. He was townsman, recorder, moderator, dealer and packer and on various important committees from year to year. He was chosen deupty to the general court at Hartford in 1672, and once or twice later. He remained active in town and church until the deate of his death, July 26, 1682.
His wife died at New London, about 1685.
1. Ann, born in Scotland in 1637, came to Mass. with her parents in 1640; married, Oct. 14, 1658, Nathaniel Geary of Lynn, Mass., born in England; ten children.
2. Robert, see forward.
3. Elizabeth, born in Ipswich, Mass., Aug. 26, 1641, married Feb. 16, 1658, Deacon John Chandler of Roxbury; eight children.
4. Sarah, born in Ipswich, Mass., April 8, 1643; removed with her parents to New London, Conn., in 1660; married in October, 1661, John Keeney; died Aug. 4, 1689, leaving one child, Susannah Keeney, who married Ezekiel Turner.
5. Deacon William (2), born in Boston, Mass., April 1, 1645. After the death of his father he was chosen deacon, an office he held over fifty years until his death. Hie married (first) Abiah Hughes, (second) Mary Bushnell, who survived him. His eight children, all by his first wife, were born in New London. His son William (3) was also Deacon William.
(II) Robert, eldest son of Deacon William and Ann (Mattle) Douglass, was born in Scotland in 1639. He was one year old when his parents emigrated to America and twenty-one when he removed with them to New London, Conn. Lands were granted him in New London, and he inherited from his father. He was a cooper by trade, learning it from his father, and in turn teaching it to his own son, William. His name occurs frequently on both town and church records. From 1671 he appears to have taken an especial interest in church affairs, and he served on important town committees from time to time.
He died Jan. 15, 1715-16.
He married, Sept. 28, 1665, Mary, daughter of Robert Hempstead of New London. She was the first child of English parents born in the town. Her father was one of the four inhabitants who assisted Winthrop in settling the town. She died Dec. 26, 1711.
Children, all born in New London:
1. William, see forward.
2. Mary, born June 13, 1668; married June 10, 1703, George Chappell.
3. Ann, Dec. 25, 1669; married, aabout 1690, Jacob Waterhouse of New London; children: John, William, Robert, Joseph and Gideon Waterhouse.
4. John, July 17, 1671, died in infancy.
5. Hannah, May 14, 1673, married about 1696, Stephen Hurlburt of New London; children: Stephen, Freelove, Mary, Sarah, John, Captain Titus, a solider of the French and Indian wars and captain of the old fort; Joseph Hurlburt.
6. Sarah, born Dec. 2, 1674, married, June 22, 1699, Samuel Comstock of New London; died April 1, 1704.
7. Elizabeth, born April 26, 1677, married Henry Rowland of Lyme, Conn.
8. Thomas, born May 15, 1679; married Nov. 25, 1703, Hannah Sperry of New Haven, Conn. He held many important town offices and was a leading member of the church; died March 3, 1724 or 1725; children, all born in New London: John, Robert, Thomas, James, Daniel, Mary, Stephen, Nathan and John.
9. Phoebe, born Jan. 20, 1681; married, Jan. 17, 1703, John Baker of New London.
10. Susannah, born about 1683, married, Nov. 4, 1708, Edward De Wolf of Lyme.
11. Ruth, born about 1685, married, Dec. 5, 1711, Isaac Woodworth of Norwich, Conn.
(III) William, eldest child of Robert and Mary (Hempstead) Douglass, was born in New London, Conn., Nov. 11, 1666. In 1724 he sold a large tract of land in New London and removed to Colchester, Conn., settling near the Great Pond. He was a cooper by trade, as were his father and grandfather.
He married Hannah _____, who was received into the New London church, Nov. 13, 1709.
Children, all born in New London:
1. John, see forward.
2. Hannah, born Oct. 23, 1703, married at Colchester, John Bigelow; nine children.
3. Mercy, born Nov. 4, 1705.
4. Joshua, born June 2, 1708; married Sarah Foote and removed to New Jersey, where he died; children: Joshua, Sarah and David.
5. William, born June 29, 1710.
6. Sarah, baptized Sept. 7, 1712.
7. Peter, baptized June 10, 1715; married Lydia Fox of New London, and had issue. He subsequently left New London and disappeared.
8. Jonathan, baptized Sept. 15, 1717, died about 1740.
9. Ann, baptized May 29, 1720.
(IV) John, eldest child of William and Hannah Douglass, was born in New London, Conn., Nov. 4, 1701. He was a farmer of Colchester, and married Elizabeth Gusterfield of that town.
Children, all born in Colchester, Conn.:
1. Mary, born Nov. 29, 1729.
2. John, born Oct. 12, 1731, died July 16, 1734.
3. Elizabeth, born Dec. 5, 1733.
4. David, born Oct. 15, 1735, married Jemima Webb; ws a deacon of the Saybrook Baptist Church; children: John, Daniel, Samuel, David, Lucy, Hannah and Mercy.
5. Israel, see forward.
(V) Deacon Israel, youngest child of John and Elizabeth (Gusterfield) Douglass, was born in Colchester, Conn., Dec. 9, 1742. He settled at Saybrook, now Chester, and was a deacon of the church there until his removal in 1906 to Leyden, New York, whither his sons, Israel (2), Jonathan and Nathan had preceded him. Deacon Douglass and his wife both died at Leyden, he, March 28, 1818. Of his children it was written by one who knew them well: "They were a hardy, thrifty and industrious class, moral and religious in their tendencies; a faithful record of whose lives and experiences would honor the historic name they bore, and they may be pardoned for having a little clannish pride."
Deacon Douglass married, Feb. 26, 1768, Abigal Hull of Clinton, Conn.
1. Israel (2), see forward.
2. Jonathan, born Sept. 21, 1774, married: children: Ansel, Norton, Jonathan and Rachel.
3. Anna, born Oct. 14, 1776; married Abner Richards.
4. Abigail, born May 19, 1780, died unmarried, Feb. 13, 180_.
5. Nathan, born Feb. 18, 1783; married Charlotte Tyler; children: Maria, Nathan S., Eliza, Laura A., Nathan W., Nancy L. and Samuel Tyler.
6. Dr. Salmon, born Feb. 27, 1786. He was a farmer in early life, but afterwards studied medicine and became a successful physician; he married (first) Roxana Hubbard, (second) Prudence Hawley.
Children by first wife:
Marilla, Julia, Roxanna, Lydia L., Dr. David D., Achsah, Dr. Salmon (2).
By second wife:
Homer, Prudence, Charles A., Harriet L., and Francis A.
7. Lydia, born Sept. 13, 1788; married _____ Jones, and had six children. The tombstones mark their graves in South Lyden Hill Cemetery.
(VI) Israel (2), eldest child of Israel (1) and Abigail (Hull) Douglass, was born in Saybrook, Conn., Aug. 17, 1769, died at Leyden New York, March 22, 1855. In early life he was a schoolmaster.
He married (first) Nov. 12, 1793, Ruth, died Dec., 1802, daughter of Thomas Pratt of Saybrook, who bore him five chldren. In 1803 he married (second) Sarah Spencer, widow of Capt. Chatfield, lost at sea, and in 1805 removed to Lyden, New York, where he cleared and improved a large farm. His brother Jonathan followed him to Leyden. A number of relatives settled near, and the street on which they lived was called "Douglass street."
Children by first wife:
1. Ruth, born in Essex, Conn., Oct. 29, 1794; married Alanson Ingham of Saybrook; two children.
2. Anselm, born April 28, 1796, died Aug. 17, 1813.
3. Nancy Anna, born in Winchester, Conn., March 10, 1798; married, in Leyden, N.Y. Feb. 15, 1819, Samuel Allen; they removed to Ohio and from there to Michigan; five children.
4. Elizabeth, born in Leyden, N.Y. April 16, 1800; married, Dec. 7, 1819, Simon Merwin; eight children; she died in Chelsea, Illinois, in 1864.
5. Thomas Pratt, born in Leyden N.Y., Nov. 21, 1802; married March 4, 1829, Eliza Margaret Stephens; children: Adeline, married Ambrose Dewey; Arethusa, married William Brown of Leyden; Emily Eliza, Mary Elizabeth, Israel Byron, James Wallace, Charles Ingham and Nancy Maria.
Children by second wife:
6. Abigail, born in Leyden, July 2, 1804; married Edwin Kendall, brother of John Kendall, who married her sister Prudence; one child.
7. Prudence, born April 17, 1806; married John Kendall.
8. Mary, born June 9, 1808, died unmarried June 7, 1846.
9. John, see forward.
10. Asahel, born May 29, 1814; died June 29, 1869; his widow, Alma, survived him with twin sons, William and Wallace of Momence, Illinois. She died in Illinois.
(VII) John, ninth child of Israel (2) and fourth by his second wife, Sarah (Spencer) Douglass, was born in Leyden, New York, Dec. 9, 1811. He was reared on the home farm and learned the mason's trade following that in connection with farming during his forty years of active life in Lewis county. Later in life he removed to a farm in Stanwix, Oneida county, where he died May 26, 1889.
He married, Feb. 17, 1836, Olive Sage, born in Leyden, Jan. 20, 1814, died Feb. 3, 1894, daughter of Bernard and Hannah (Cone) Sage of Connecticut.
1. Dr. Adelbert J., see forward.
2. Dr. Charles E., see forward.
3. Dr. Allison O., see forward. 4. Alice O., see forward.
(VIII) Adelbert John, eldest son of John and Olive (Sage) Douglass, was born at Leyden, New York, Feb. 24, 1837. His primary and academic eduction was obtained in the common schools, Lowville Academy and Whitestone Seminary. Deciding upon the profession of medicine, he studied under the preceptorship of Dr. William Nelson of Taberg, and attended lectures at the Long Island Medical College and Hospital of Brooklyn, N.Y., graduating in 1872. He began the practice of his profession in Oneida county, N.Y., but in 1875 located in Ilion, Herkimer county, N.Y., where he has since been actively engaged in medical and surgical practice, a period of time equalling one-third of a century. He has a lucrative practice and is recognized as an able, skillful pracitioner. He is closely connected with the county and state medical societies; is one of the staff of the Ilion Hospital, and has the highest regard of the members of the medical profession. In addition to the arduous labors of a successful physician, he has borne his full share of the responsibilities of the good citizen. He has served on the Ilion school board, and for many years was president of the village. Politically he is a Republican, and his church affiliation is with the Baptist demonination. His fraternal membership is with the Masonic order, in both lodge and chapter.
Dr. Douglass married, Oct. 30, 1872, Mary D. Chittenden, born at Westmoreland, Oneida county, N.Y., Nov. 2, 1843, died March 15, 1910, daughter of Truxton and Maria (Harrison) Chittenden. Truxton Chittenden was a son of Asena Douglass, who was a daughter Joshua Douglass, a descendant of Robert of Scotland, the common ancestor.
Child: Dr. Adelbert Chittenden Douglass, born at Clark's Mills, Oneida county, N.Y., Aug. 22, 1874. He was graduated from the Ilion high school, studied medicine with his father, entered Long Island College, his father's alma mater, from which he was graduated in 1899. For one year he practiced in Faxton Hospital at Utica, N.Y.; then located in Ilion, where he is now (1910) in active practice. He has a growing practice that fully occupies his time and promises a prosperous professional future.
He married, April 4, 1908, Frances H. Ellis of Rome, New York, and has a son Charles Raymond Douglass, born Nov. 10, 1909.
(VIII) Charles Eugene, second son of John and Olive (Sage) Douglass, was born in Denmark, N.Y., Jan. 9, 1846. His preparatory education was obtained in the Oneida county schools, and in 1865 he entered the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Later he decided to adopt medicine as his profession, and became a student at the Long Island Medical College and Hospital at Brooklyn, N.Y., from which he was graduated Doctor of Medicine in 1873. In 1881 he took a post-graduate course covering the lectures of one year at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, graduating and securing his degree of Doctor of Medicine from that famed institution in 1882. His previous practice had been in Oneida and Lewis counties, where he returned and has spent his entire professional life. He located in Lowville, where he is still enjoying a lucretive practice, and the highest standing as a physician and surgeon. His reputation as an able, skillful practitioner is not merely local, but extends through the entire northern New York section, where in point of professional eminence he is excelled by none. He has been United States pension examiner and surgeon during his entire professional life, a position he still  holds. He has always been identified with the Lewis County Medical Society, which he served as president. He is also a member of the State Medical Society and the National Association of Pension Examiners. Although advancing in years and having an established reputation, he is still an earnest student, and with the tenacity and earnestness of his Scottish ancestors, still strives for deeper knowledge and greater achievement in his loved profession. He has often been called as an expert witness in criminal trials, where his technical knowledge has materially assisted the jury in rendering their verdict. His specialty is gynecology and general surgery.
He is a member of the Tunis Lodge, No. 184, Free and Accepted Masons, of Tunis, one of the oldest lodges in the state, and of the Baptist church of Boonville, Oneida county. Politically he is a Republican.
Dr. Douglass married (first) Julia A. Brown, daughter of George W. Brown, former sheriff of Oneida county, N.Y. He married (second) Jan. 24, 1869, Esther H. Bacon, daughter of David, born Jan. 30, 1814, and Sarah (Parsons) Bacon of Leyden, New York, and granddaughter of Jonathan Middlefield Bacon, born May 10, 1789, died Oct. 31, 1861, married Nov. 10, 1811, Deborah Tyler, born in Conn., Jan. 9, 1794, died July 17, 1756.
(VIII) Allison O., third son of John and Olive (Sage) Douglass, was born in Ava, N.Y., Jan. 29, 1852. He obtained a good practical education in the public schools, studied medicine with his brother, Dr. Charles L. Douglass, entered Long Island Medical College, where he graduated Doctor of Medicine. He located at Little Falls, N.Y., where he is now  engaged in the successful practice of his profession.
He married (first) Mary Powell, who bore him a daughter, Maud Douglass; (second) Aida (or Ada) Ives of Murray, Herkimer county, N.Y., who also bore him a daughter, Hazel Douglass.
(VIII) Alice O., twin of Dr. Allison O., and only daugheter of John and Olive (Sage) Douglass, is a professional nurse and resides in Ilion, N.Y., unmarried.
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