The first member of the Hoyt family to emigrate to America was Simon Hoyt, who came from England. There is a belief that the family name was originally "Haight" and that they came into England from Germany, where the name became Hoit.
Simon Hoyt is of earliest mention in Charlestown, Mass., where the records state that "in the summer of 1628 the Spragues and three or four others, with the approval of Governor Endicott, traveled from Salem "through the woods to explore and settle Charlestown, where they found only one English abode, the palisaded and thatched house of Thomas Walford, a Smith." The name of Simon Hoyt is on the list of "these three or four others," next to Spragues, excepting one name. This shows that he was of Salem in 1628, very soon after of Charlestown, where he remained a year or two, settling at Dorchester near the year 1630. He appears on the Dorchester records later than the spring of 1635. He then removed to Scituate, Mass., where "Symeon Hoyte" and his wife joined the church, April 19, 1635, and "Goodman Haites" house was built in that town prior to October 1636.
He next removed to Windsor, Connecticut, where the earliest mention of his name is on the first book of land records, Feb. 28, 1640, where two tracts of eighty acres each are described as being allotted to him. He removed later to Fairfield, Conn., where the first memtion of him is made, also in the land records, March 6, 1649. Later he removed to Stamford, Conn., where the town records give the date of his death as Sept. 1, 1657. From what has been learned of him he must have been born before 1600 and was from thirty to thirty-five years of age on coming to America. He was an early settler of seven different towns, and in most of them one of the first white residents. He was a true pioneer, giving up gladly the comforts of an established home to help subdue a new portion of the wilderness. His sons seemed to have shared the advneturous spirit of their father, for in twenty years after his death no one bearing the name of Hoyt was left in any of the seven towns except in Stamford. He left a widow, Susanna, who afterward married a Bates. It is considered most probable by the family historian, David W. Hoyt, that he had two wives, and that his sons, Walter, Nicholas and John, were sons of the first wife. By second wife: Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Benjamin and three daughters, wives of Thomas Lyon of Fairfield, Samuel Finch and Samuel Firman.
(II) Walter, eldest son of Simon Hoyt, was born in England about 1618, died in Norwalk Conn., 1698. He first appears on the land records of Winslor, Conn., where he had a grant in 1640. He removed from Windsor to become one of the first settlers of Norwalk, Conn., where he was selectman 1672; deputy 1658-59-61-67-70-71-73-74-76-78-81. His name on the court records nearly always appeared with the prefix "Sarj.", he having been sergeant of the Norwalk Compnay or "trainband."
(III) John (2) son of John (1) and mary (Lindall) Hoyt, was born at Norwalk, Conn., June 21, 1669, died March 1746. He married Hannah, daughter of John Drake, of Simsbury. He was of Danbury, Conn., where his will was proved April 22, 1746. He mentions wife Hannaha and nine children:
Lieutenant Daniel, Ensign Jonathan, John (3), Drake, see forward, Hannah, Mary, Rebecca, Eunice and Deborah.
(IV) Drake, son of John (2) and Hannah (Drake) Hoyt, was born 1717, died April, 1805; married Hannah Knapp, born 1720, died June, 1793. Children:
Noah, see foward, and Justus.
(VI) Noah, son of Drake and Hannah (Knapp) Hoyt, was born March 26, 1741. He was a farmer of Pembroke and Danbury, Conn., and met his death from injuries received on this farm, Oct. 13, 1810.
He married (first) Abigail Curtis, Jan. 8, 1760; (second), Oct. 30, 1760, Sarah Comstock; (third) Nov. 1, 1796, Ellen Purdy.
Children by second wife:
Daniel, Moses, Daniel Drake, Noah, Abigail, Jesse, David Picket, Sarah, John Comstock, David Picket (2), Jonathan, see forward, Abigail, Enoch and Phebe.
(VII) Jonathan, eleventh child of Noah and Sarah (Comstock) Hoyt, was born Aug. 13, 1780. He was a farmer of Danbury, Conn., and Lewis county, New York, dying at Collinsville, Lewis county, April 3, 1848.
He married, Aug. 4, 1799, Violetta, died Dec. 20, 1848, daughter of Josiah Rogers, of Branford, Conn.
1. Noah, born July 2, 1800, died Sept. 17, 1840, in Florida, Montgomery county, New York; married Nov. 8, 1826, Almira Butler.
2. E. Willis, see forward.
3. Medab B., July 22, 1804; married (first) Eliza Harris (second) Sophia Sheldon.
4. Sarah A., March 19, 1807, unmarried.
5. Rhoda E., June 9, 1809, unmarried.
6. Adelia E., Feb. 16, 1811; married Noah Phelps.
7. Louisa R., April 9, 1813, unmarried.
8. David P., May 28, 1815, died Dec. 19, 1818.
9. John C., Aug. 13, 1817, died Nov. 27, 1846.
10. Martha C., Aug. 20, 1819, died March 11, 1839.
11. David P., April 13, 1822; married Amanda Reynolds.
12. Eli P., June 5, 1825, married Lydia Wilmot.
13. Homer C., Jan. 29, 1828, died March 7, 1828.
(VIII) E. Willis, second child of Jonathan and Violetta (Rogers) Hoyt, was born in Danbury, Conn., May 10, 1802, died Feb. 4, 1859. He settled in Lewis county, New York, village Collinsville, town of West Turin, where he was proprietor of the hotel. He married, Feb. 25, 1835, Emeline, daughter of Phoedrus Carter, who died Nov. 20, 1888, seventy-six years old. She was born Feb. 19, 1809, died Oct. 14, 1900.
1. Friend, see forward.
2. Milton J., Dec. 30, 1838, died April 9, 1898.
3. Grace E., July 6, 1844; married Robert M. Johnston; has one son, Robert Hoyt.
(IX) Friend, eldest child of E. Willis and Emeline (Carter) Hoyt, was born at Collinsville, Lewis county, N.Y., Feb. 10, 1836. He was educated in the town schools and at Whitestone and Fairfield seminaries. After completing his education he entered into a co-partnership with his brother Milton J., which continued for fifteen years. The brothers opened a general store in Collinsville. When the firm dissolved he removed to a farm in Leyden, and until 1883 engaged in agriculture. In that year he formed a partnership with L. W. Riggs, and for ten years was engaged with him in the haradware business at Port Leyden, New York. His mercantile career has been a successful as well as a busy one. He succeeded his brother, Milton J. Hoyt, in the presidency of the S. C. Thompson Bank of Boonville, New York, continuing to manage that institution until it discontinued business in 1905. He manages his property known as the General Merriam farm, which he runs as a dairy farm, principally. He has always been deeply interested in the welfare and improvement of Port Leyden, where he has built his beautiful home on a hill overlooking the village.
The Van Hoyette Opera House owes its construction to his enterprise and public spirit; he built and owns the same. He has taken his full share of the responsibilties of a citizen; served the town as supervisor, and in 1882 was elected a member of the state legislature. He is a Democrat in politics and an attendant of the Episcopal church.
He married, at Port Leyden, Sept. 11, 1893, Mary A. Ward, of Felt's Mills, N.Y., daughter of Moss K. Ward, a tanner, and his wife Mary (Carter) Ward.
Their other children being: Betsey P. and Moss K. Ward.
Child of Friend and mary A. (Ward) Hoyt:
Ebenezer Willis Ward Hoyt, born March 26, 1885, a graduate of Port Leyden high school and of Hamilton College, class of 1907. He is in business in New York City, with the Clark & Baker Company, dealers in office supplies.
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