The surname Gilbert is of great antiquity in England. Sir Humphrey Gilbert, the famous navigator and explorer, lived in Devonshire, England, and died in 1648. He had a son, Raleigh Gilbert, whose son Humphrey was about the same age as the Humphrey Gilbert mentioned below, but it has not been proved that they were related. The similarity of the names, however, seems to show that the immigrant may have been a grandson or nephew of Sir Humphrey. "Beneath this stone, in peaceful slumber, lies
(I) Humphrey Gilbert, immigrant ancestor, was born in England in 1618, died Feb. 13, 1658. He settled in Ipswich, Mass., where he was a husbandman and commoner as early as 1648. He bought a house and land, Feb. 5, 1650, near the Wenham line, and contributed to the fund to support the Indian war in 1643. He was taxed in Wenham in 1655. He deposed in 1654 that he wsas aged about thirty-eight years. His will was dated Feb. 14, 1657-58. He bequeathed to his wife, Elizabeth, to daughter Abigail and four other daughters under age, to Peter Harvey, Richard Palmer and Moses Aborn. The four minor daughters petitioned that their husbands be appointed administrators, Jan. 1657-58. Evidence was given June 27, 1666, that the daughter Hannah had received her share.
His widow Elizabeth married (second), Sept. 24, 1658, William Remer, who died Oct. 26, 1672. She married (third) June 16, 1676, Henry Kimball.
1. Martha, married Oct. 23, 1662, Richard Comer.
2. Hannah, married, Jan. 1670, Peter Harvey.
3. Mary, married Nov. 24, 1672, Richard Palmer.
4. Abigail, married Moses Aborn.
5. John, mentioned below.
(II) Deacon John, son of Humphrey Gilbert, was born about 1656-57, and lived on the homestead in Ipswich. He was a member of the church at Wenham until the formation of the church at Hamlet, of which he was chosen one of the first deacons, Nov. 9, 1714. He died March 17, 1722-23, aged sixty-seven years (gravestone).
He married, Sept. 27, 1677, Elizabeth Kilham, of Ipswich.
1. John, born July 14, 1678; married Martha Dodge and removed to Kettle Cove.
2. Daniel, about 1680; married Elizabeth Porter.
3. Mary, baptized before 1682, died young.
4. Mary, born Jan. 10, 1682, died young.
5. Elizabeth, married, Dec. 23, 1714, John Davis.
6. Mary, married 1706, John Hull.
7. Martha, baptized 1688-89.
8. Joseph (twin), born Feb. 1, 1691.
9. Benjamin (twin), born Feb. 1, 1691, mentioned below.
10. Lydia, baptized 1702.
11. Noah, baptized Nov. 21, 1703; married Sarah Allen.
12. Sarah, married Nathaniel Gott.
(III) Benjamin, son of Deacon John Gilbert, was born Feb. 1, 1691, died at Brookfield, June 24, 1760. He bought land at Brookfield of Jonathan Burk of that town, he being then of Ipswich, Dec. 15, 1747, a farm at Adams Corner. This place was afterward owned by his son Joseph, grandson Daniel and at last accounts was till in the possession of his descendants. . he was a farmer.
He married, Aug. 9, 1716, at Ipswich, Esther Perkins, of Wenham, born Oct. 25, 1695, died at Brookfield, Jan. 20 ,1780. Among their children were:
1. Benjamin, mentioned below.
2. Daniel, born Feb. 15, 1729, captain in the revolution; married, 1754, Lucy Barnes; (second) Elizabeth Gott; (third) Mary (Goddard) Kimbal, widow.
3. Colonel Joseph, born 1733, settled at Brookfield, officer in the revolution.
(IV) Benjamin (2) son of Benjamin (1) Gilbert, ws born about 1720.
(V) Benjamin (3), son or nephew of Benjamin (2) Gilbert, was born at or near Brookfield, about 1741, died Oct. 11, 1825. He was a soldier in the revolution from Brookfield. He was a fifer in Captain Jonatan Barne's company, Colonel Jonathan Warren's regiment; also in Captain Peter Harwood's company, Colonel Ebenezer Larned's regiment, in 1775; also in Captain Asa Danforth's company, Colonel Convere's regiment in 1777: Ensign in Captain George Sytz's company, Colonel Goose Van Schaick's regiment, of New York, 1781; also in Captain Daniel Gilbert's company, Colonel Converse's regiment in 1777; also Captain Morse's (also Captain Shay's) company, Colonel Putnam's regiment, enlisting for three years, ending Jan. 17, 1780; was sergeant-major in Captain Morse's company, Colonel Rufus Putnam's regiment, through the year 1777. He was sergeant nine months, twenty-three days and sergeant-major twenty-five months, twenty-three days, and was quartermaster-sergeant in Captian Daniel Shay's (the famous Shay's) company, Colonel Rufus Putnam's (the founder of Ohio) regiment. He was lieutenant of the Third Massachusetts Regiment, Colonel Michael Jacks, Oct. 31, 1783 (reported sick).
He married, Oct. 27, 1763, Elizabeth Merelton, born 1745, died Feb. 2, 1827.
Children, born at Brookfield (all recorded there except two youngest):
1. Betsey, Aug. 12, 1765, died May 15, 1824.
2. Benjamin, Sept. 3, 1767, died Nov. 5, 1835.
3. Eunice, Dec. 3, 1769.
4. Abigail, March 25, 1772, died Nov. 1852.
5. James, Feb. 13, 1774, mentioned below.
6. Dwight, Feb. 29, 1776, died Nov. 1843.
7. Tanime (Tamsin?), Jan. 11, 1779, died May 12, 1827.
8. Polly, Sept. 26, 1782, died May 5, 1807.
(VI) James, son of Benjamin (3) Gilbert, was born in Brookfield, Feb. 13, 1774, died at Chazy, August 28, 1865. When a young man he went from Brookfield to Grand Isle, Vermont, and engaged in lumbering. He prospered in business and became a leading citizen of the town. He was in later years a farmer of Chazy. He married, Dec. 7, 1800, Ruth Conkey, born Oct. 14, 1800[sic], died Dec. 7, 1841.
Children, all born at Grand Isle:
1. Pamelia, Sept. 15, 1801, died July 1, 1838.
2. Betsey, Nov. 14, 1802, died July 4, 1879.
3. Parthena, June 18, 1804, died July 5, 1806.
4. James M., March 5, 1806, died April 11, 1819.
5. Jacob C., Nov. 2, 1807, died Dec. 16, 1864.
6. Lucinda, March 11, 1810, died May 2, 1889.
7. Mary, July 27, 1813, died Dec. 23, 1868.
8. Andrew, Sept. 1, 1815, died July 28, 1864.
9. Jonas C., Nov. 16, 1817, mentioned below.
10. Prosper L., Oct. 18, 1819, died March 27, 1871.
11. Eunice C., June 12, 1824, died Oct. 10, 1908.
(VII) Jonas C., son of Jamse Gilbert, was born at Grand Isle, Nov. 16, 1817, died Nov. 26, 1883. He was educated in the district schools. He succeeded to the farm on which his father settled in Chazy, New York, after he retired from lumbering. He had an excellent farm and was well-to-do. In addition to agriculture he was engaged in business as a dealer in grain and produce at Chazy.
He married, (first) April 3, 1842, Lauretta L. Ransom, born June 18, 1818, died Feb. 13, 1846. He married (second), Oct. 8, 1846, Miranda Ransom, born Oct. 23, 1823, died Jan. 4, 1909.
Child of first wife:
1. James Fletcher, born Dec. 3, 1845; mentioned below.
Children of second wife:
2. Emma L., born Sept. 15, 1847, died March 16, 1852.
3. Ellen M., March 14, 1849, died Oct. 1, 1902; unmarried.
4. Anna E., Feb. 26, 1851, died March 14, 1868.
5. Emma A., August 28, 1853; married Dec. 1, 1875, George C. Severance. children: Annie Douglas Severence, born May 27, 1877; Harold Craig Severence, July 1, 1879; married Faith Thompson and had one child, Faith Douglas Severence, born Jan. 9, 1909; George M. Severence, born Aug. 5, 1882. Mary Helen Severence, born Dec. 24, 1886. Frederick Duncan Severence, born Jan. 11, 1891. Kate, April 13, 1856; unmarried. Ransom J., June 24, 1858, died July 16, 1862.
(VIII) James Fletcher, son of Jonas C. Gilbert, was born in Chazy, N.Y., Dec. 3, 1845. He attended the public schools of his native town and Plattsburgh Academy at Plattsburgh, N.Y., and the Anthony Classical Institute at Albany, N.Y., where he prepared for college with the expectation of studying medicine. He abandoned his contemplated career as a physician, however, and completed his education in the Bryant & Stratton Business College at Montreal. He engaged in business as a general merchant at Chazy, but sold out at the end of two years. Since then he has been a traveling salesman for various firms. In 1863 he enlisted in the civil war in the Seventeenth United States Regiment (regular army) at Plattsburgh and served five years, being honorably discharged May 3, 1868, at Camp Concord, Texas. He served under General George A. Custer, General Kit Carson and Brigadier-General Carleton. He was in active service in the rebellion and also in the Indian war. He was postmaster at Chazy for five years under President Cleveland. He was commander of McFadden Post, No. 375, Grand Army of the Republic, of Chazy, for five years. On April 1, 1900, he was commissioned by Thomas W. Kay, a delegate to the State Emcampment, as aide-de-camp to the encampment held at Utica. He is a Democrat and has been active in politics. In religion he is a Universalist. He married, Setp. 20, 1870, Juliet, born at Chazy Sept. 29, 1844, daughter of Curtis H. and Sabrina (Fillmore) Buckman. (see Buckman and Fillmore).
After 1645 there were five of this name in or near Hartford, Conn., and soon after one Humphrey Gilbert settled at Ipswich, Mass. It is probable that those in Connecticut were brothers, but there is no documentary evidence to support the supposition. They were: Thomas of Windsor, later of Springfield, Josiah of Wethersfield, Obadiah of Fairfield, and John and Jonathan of Hartford. It is supposed they were from the branch of the English family located in Devonshire. The name is of Saxon origin and very ancient in England. In the Domesday Book it is spelled Gislebert, and in the roll of Battle Abbey it is Gilbard. Many distinguished Englishmen have borne the patronymic, which signifies bright, or a brave pledge.
Richard Fitz-Gilbert was a kinsman of William the Conqueror, and was place in position of honor with large possessions by the latter. His son, Earl Pembroke, died in the eleventh year of King Stephen, 1149, and left a son Richard, surnamed Strong Bow. Down through the ages the name is found in British annals in high places, and one of the most useful and distinguished was Sir Humphrey Gilbert, who made a voyage to the Maine coast in 1607, in the interest of the Plymouth Company. He was a learned astronomer and leader in military affairs.
(I) Jonathan Gilbert was a resident of Hartford in 1645, a man of affairs and leader in Indian matters, being familiar with the native tongues and often employed in negotiations with the savages. He was engaged in trade and coasting in the infant colonies, and became a large owner of lands. He served as collector of customs at Hartford and as marshal of the colony, an office equivalent to high sheriff, and was also deputy to the general court. In March 1658, he was a member of the troop of horse under command of Major John Mason, and in 1661 received from the colony a grant of three hundred acres of upland and fifty acres of meadow. Westfield, Mass. made him a grant and he may have resided there temporarily.
He died Dec. 10, 1682, and his lands in various settlements were divided among his children.
He married, Jan. 29, 1646, Mary, daughter of John and Mary White, early at Hartford and in 1659 at Hatfield, Mass. She was born in England, and died at Hartford in 1650. He married (second) Mary, daughter of Hugh Wells, one of the founders of Hartford and of Hadley in 1659, a brother of Governor Thomas Wells. She was a woman noted for prudence and energy, and was very helpful to her husband in many ways. There were two children of the first wife - Jonathan (mentioned below), and Mary. Children of the second wife:
Sarah, Lydia, Nathaniel, Thomas, Samuel, Ebenezer, Rachel and Hester.
(II) Jonathan (2), eldest child of Jonathan (1) and Mary (White) Gilbert, was born May 11, 1648, in Hartford, and died Feb. 1, 1698, in Middletown, Connecticut. He went to sea in early life and had a somewhat erratic career, residing for some time in the West Indies. He finally settled at Middletown, where he engaged in trade, but was not very successful, his estate being involved at the time of his death. His father's will, made some years before death, left him but a small share of the estate, and he applied to the court for a readjustment which was granted, with the consent of his stepmother.
Jonathan Gilbert married, June 22, 1679, Dorothy, daughter of Rev. Samuel and Hope (Fletcher) Stow, of Middletown. She was born Aug. 1, 1659, in Middletown, where she died July 14, 1699.
Mary, Jonathan (died young), Mehitabel, John, Jonathan, Nathaniel (mentioned below), Sarah and Ebenezer, besides two that died unnamed.
(III) Nathaniel, fourth son of Jonathan (2) and Dorothy (Stow) Gilbert, was born Dec. 27, 1689, in Middletown, Conn., where he was a lieutenant of militia and passed his life, dying April 19, 1756.
He married (first), March 1, 1716, Hannah, daughter of Deacon Thomas and Hannah (Leek) Allen, born March 6, 1699, died Oct. 25, 1724.
Allyn, Hannah, Dorothy and Nathaniel (mentioned below).
He married (second) Dec. 4, 1726, Elizabeth Prout, who died Sept. 1, 1776.
Elizabeth (died young), Eunice, Elizabeth and Ebenezer.
(IV) Nathaniel (2), second son of Nathaniel (1) and Hannah (Allen) Gilbert, was born Dec. 4, 1723, in Middletown, and was, like his father, a lieutenant of the militia. In February, 1685, he removed to New Lebanon, New York, and was accidentally drowned in his own mill pond there March 22, 1687. The following epitaph appears on his tombstone, and is a reflex of the devout spirit of that day:
Gilbert, the just, benevolent and wise,
His dust shall live and its glad spirit join
And rise to life immortal and divine."
He married, in Middletown, Conn., Dec. 26, 1744, Mary Butler, born July 28, 1726, probably daughter of Peter and Phebe (Stow) Butler, who were married Dec. 18, 1723. She died Aug. 28, 1814, having lived a widow more than twenty-seven years.
Children, recorded in Middletown:
Dorothy, Butler (mentioned below), Nathaniel, Thomas, Hannah, Allen, Giles and Molly.
(V) Butler, eldest son of Nathaniel (2) and Mary (Butler) Gilbert, was born Oct. 22, 1747, in Middletown, Conn., and died May 3, 1827, in New Lebanon, N.Y., where he settled.
He married Abigail Woodhouse, born 1753, in Wethersfield, Conn., died 1823 in New Lebanon, N.Y.
Asenath, William, Walker, Floyd, Jay, Levi and Sylvester (mentioned below).
(VI) Sylvester, third son of Butler and Abigail (Woodhouse) Gilbert, was born Sept. 24, 1787, in Otego, Otsego county, N.Y., and died Oct. 25, 1876, in Ogdensburg, N.Y. He received an ordinary education and was a self-made man, esteemed and respected. Soon after attaining his majority he settled at Ogdensburg, where he was a hatter and merchant. Later he engaged in the brokerage business and became president of the Drover's Bank. He acquired valuable real estate in the town and was a man of large affairs. He took an active interest in political matters, being first a Whig and later a Democrat, and was progressive in everything that pertained to the welfare of the nation and his state. He served in the state legislature and was one of the presidential electors that placed William Henry Harrison at the head of the nation.
He was president of the village of Ogdensburg in 1835-6, and again in 1856-7.
He was a vestryman and warden of the Episcopal church, and prominent in the Masonic fraternity, in which he attained the Knight Templar degree.
His heart having become affected, he retired from active life some years before his demise, which was widely mourned.
Mr. Gilbert married (first) Lois Ranney, who bore him one son, William Walter.
He married (secon) Nancy A., daughter of David* and Nancy (Nichols) Seymour, of Springfield, Vermont, born in that town; she was a sister of Mrs. Harriet Seymour Allen of Ogdensburg (see Allen).
Harriet (mentioned below).
Mary Louise, now (1910) living in Ogdensburg.
George Seymour, a retired merchant of Catawissa, Pennsylvania.
Nancy, became wife of Edin M. Holbrook, an attorney and commissioner of claims at Albany, N.Y., both now deceased.
David Butler, a retired broker in New York.
Sarah Sophia, a resident of Ogdensburg.
Laura, deceased wife of William Wheeler.
Sylvester Seward, an expert judge of teas, who spent most of his life in Shanghai, China, now deceased.
Fannie, now deceased.
Isaac Lloyd, beside two who died in infancy.
[*David Seymour was not a nephew of either Gov. Seymour of Connecticut or of Horatio Seymour of New York, both of whom were much younger than himself. He was a son of Captin Israel Seymour, of Hartford, of whom we can find no further record."]
(VII) Harriet, eldest child of Sylvester and Nancy A. (Seymour) Gilbert, was born in Ogdensburg, and became the wife of James G. Averill (q.v.).
James G. Averill, eldest son of James and Lydia (Ambler) Averill, was born Nov. 4, 1818, in Ogdensburg, and died there Aug. 11, 1895. He was a self-educated man, and early gave his attention to business. He became well informed, through a shrewd observation of events and pople, and was respected as a sound and reliable citizen. He engaged in building vessels by contract, two of which were turned out for the United States government, and his product inclueded many fine yachts, employed on the Saint Lawrence River. He also constructed numerous buildings, including the house now (1910) occupied by his widow, and the Episcopal church at Ogdensburg. For some time he was in business at Governeur, N.Y., and was vice-president of the bank in that town, and later president of the Ogdensburg bank.
He was a vestryman of the Episcopal church at Ogdensburg.
He married (first) June 30, 1847, Charlotte Seymour, who died before 1864, and was the mother of four children:
James, Isaac Seymour, Harriet Seymour and William J.
The daughter became the wife of George C. Clark, a banker in New York, and the youngest died in infancy.
Mr. Averill married (second) Sept. 5, 1864, Harriet Gilbert, a cousin of his first wife, daughter of Sylvester A. (Seymour) Gilbert (see Gilbert VI). They had one son, Sylvester Gilbert Averill, born April 27, 1869, in Ogdensburg. He was educated in the schools of that city, in Saint Paul's School at Concord, New Hampshire, and at Cornell University.
He is a mechanical engineer and is unmarried.
"Beneath this stone, in peaceful slumber, lies