John Tefft, immigrant ancestor, settled in Portsmouth, King's Town, Rhode Island, where he became a freeman in 1655. In 1648 William Tefft, of Boston, died, and in his will gave to the eldest child of his brother Tefft, "least stter Calf." William may have been a brother of John.
John Tefft is next mentioned in 1662, Nov. 22, when he and wife Mary sold seven acres of land to Robert Shink, of Newport. May, 1671, his name is recorded as an inhabitant of Pettaquamscott. His will ws dated Nov. 30, 1674, and mentioned son-on-law, Samuel Wilson; wife Mary; sons Samuel and Joshua, and daughter, Tabitha. Jan. 26, 1676, his death is mentioned in a letter from Captain James Oliver (written at the house of Richard Smith in Narragansett). Captain Oliver says first that Joshua Tefft had married a Wamponag squaw, then that he had shot twenty times at the English at Narragansett, and was captured and executed at Providence and declares that he was "a sad wretch, he never heard a sermon but once these fourteen years. His father, going to recall him, lost his head, and lies unburied. (1676)."
Nov. 19, the widow signed in satisfaction of her third, her signature being witnessed by Tabitha Gardiner. She died in 1679.
1. Daughter; married Samuel Wilson.
2. Samuel, born 1644, mentioned below.
3. Joshua, died Jan. 18, 1676, executed by the English.
4. Tabitha, 1653; died 1722.
(II) Samuel, son of John Tefft, was born in 1644, died in 1725. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Joseph and Esther (Ballard) Jencks. She was born in 1658 and died 1740. In 1677, he was admitted a freeman (Providence). May 12, 1679, he was fined twenty shillings for not attending jury, but March 12, 1680, his fine was remitted by the assembly, as he had had no warning by the general sergeant. Sept. 6, 1687, he was an inhabitant of King's Town, and was taxed there. June 28, 1709, he and twenty-six others bought the tract of land called Swamptown, part of the vacant lands of Narragansett. March 20, 1721, he called his age about seventy-seven years, and Oct. 29, 1722, his wife Elizabeth called her age seventy years, though other evidence makes her not quite so old. His will was dated March 16, 1725, and proved Dec. 20, 1725. In it he mentions his wife Elizabeth, sons John, Samuel and Joseph, daughters Elizabeth Carpenter, Esther Mumford, Mary Newton, Susanna Crandall and Mercy Tefft; also children of Sarah Witter, deceased. The inventory was one thousand and ten pounds, two shillings, eight pence. His wife's will was dated July 4, 1738, and proved May 12, 1740.
1. John, mentioned below.
2. Samuel, died 1760.
3. Peter, died 1725.
4. Sarah, married Ebenezer Witter.
5. Elizabeth, died 1750.
6. Esther, died 1726.
7. Mary, married _____ Newton.
8. Tabitha, unmarried.
9. Mercy, unmarried.
10. Susanna, married Peter Crandall.
(III) John (2) son of Samuel Tefft, died in 1762. He married Joanna, daughter of Jonathan and Mehitable (Holbrook) Sprague. He lived in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. June 28, 1709, he was among those engaged in Shannock Purchase. His will was dated Jan. 5, 1754, codicil Dec. 22, 1757, and proved Jan. 21, 1762. He mentioned in it his wife Joanna, sons John, Joseph, Samuel, James and Nathan, daughters Mary Barber, Mercy Rogers, Mehitable Rogers, Tabitha Tefft and Sarah Brown, and six grandchildren. The codicil mentioned the decease of his wife, in 1757, and gave the five hundred pounds formerly left to her to the five daughters. The inventory was six thousand one hundred and forty-eight pounds, sixteen shillings, three pence.
1. John, Dec. 4, 1699.
2. Joseph, mentioned below.
4. James, April 21, 1715.
5. Nathan, mentioned below.
(IV) Joseph, son of John (2) Tefft, was born about 1705, and settled at Richmond, Rhode Island. He married Esther _____.
1. Elizabeth, Dec. 20, 1730.
2. William, Feb. 29, 1732; mentioned below.
3. Joseph, March 19, 1737.
4. Ruth, March 27, 1739.
5. Benjamin, June 3, 1741.
6. Esther, Aug. 6, 1743.
7. Thomas, Nov. 10, 1745; settled in Washington county, New York, and mentioned in the census of 1790.
8. Sarah, Aug. 24, 1747.
9. Samuel, Aug. 29, 1749.
(IV) Nathan, son of John (2) Tefft, settled in South Kingston, Rhode Island; married there Sept. 16, 1742, Isabel Stanton, of Westerly, R.I. (Thomas (3) Joseph (2) Thomas (1).)
Children, born at South Kingston:
1. Statnon, July 9, 1744; was living in Washington county, N.Y. in 1790.
2. Isabel, March 14, 1745.
3. Mercy, Aug. 14, 1749.
4. Nathan, Aug. 28, 1752; was in Washington county, N.Y., 1790.
5. John, March 24, 1756.
6. Mary, May 2, 1758.
7. Sarah, Aug. 1, 1762.
(V) William, son of Joseph Tefft, was born at Richmond, Feb. 29, 1732. He married Mary Kenyon.
Children, born at Richmond:
1. Hezekiah, Dec. 16, 1753.
2. Pardon, Jan. 27, 1755.
3. Thankful, March 21, 1757.
4. David, April 19, 1760.
5. William, May 21, 1763.
6. Mary, March 13, 1766.
7. John, May 18, 1767.
8. Mary, April 22, 1769.
(VI) Oden Tefft, son or nephew of William Tefft, was born in Washington county, N.Y., where at least four of this family settled. He was a successful builder and contractor. He removed from Washington county to Clintonville, Clinton county.
He married _____ Briggs, of Washington county, and had nine children.
(VII) Walter, son of Oden Tefft, was born at Sandy Hill, Washington county, N.Y., where Stanton, Thomas, William and Nathan Tefft were heads of families in 1790. He removed with his father's family to Clintonville, Clinton county, where he was educated in the common schools. He entered the employ of the Peru Steel & Iron Company and learned the trade of bloomer, at which he worked for a period of twenty-two years. Then he came to Mineville, Essex county, N.Y., and settled on a farm, which he bought. He also took contracts for teaming from the mining company there. From 1856 to the time of his death in 1886 he had charge of the mines of Witherbee, Sherman & Company. When he took charge the mines were in their infancy, and he took a prominent part in the development of the property.
He was an honest, capable, useful citizen, respected of all men, bearing heavy responsibilities with credit and performing all the duties of business and citizenship thoroughly. He was for three years an excise commissioner of the town, elected on a high license platform against a low-license ticket. He was a founder and active member of the Presbyterian church at Mineville. He was a member of Morning Sun Lodge, No. 142, Free Masons, of Port Henry.
He died in 1886, aged sixty-three. He married Jane, daughter of Edward Stanton. Her father settled in Plattsburgh, New York, was a solider in the war of 1812.
1. William H., mentioned below.
2. Ella, married Henderson Stone; their daughter Aura is  living in Moriah, New York; he is a farmer at Moriah, N.Y.
(VIII) William H., son of Walter Tefft, was born at Minesville in the town of Moriah, April 7, 1850, died there in 1898. He was educated in the public schools and at Fort Edward Academy. In politics he was a Republican and he held various offices of trust and honor in the town, including that of president of the board of education. He was for many years in partnership with A. J. Stiles, of Moriah, in the firm of Tefft & Stiles, dealers in meats and provisions. After he sold his interests, Mr. Tefft became assistant superintendent of the mines of Witherbee, Sherman & Company, and contineud in this postiion for fourteen years. When his father died in 1886, he succeeded him as superintendent. He resigned in 1892, and signed a contract with the Fort Henry Ore Company to take charge of their mines at Fisher Hill. He held this position until he retired shortly before his death.
He was a member of Morning Sun Lodge, Free Masons, of Port Henry; of Cedar Point Chapter, No. 269; Royal Aarch Masons; of Iron Ore Lodge, No. 582, Odd Fellows, of Mineville, and was a charter member, going to Saratoga to join the order.
In religion he was a Presbyterian. He married, July 4, 1872, Hannah Clydesdale, born at Mineville, in 1858, and is now living there, daughter of Robert and Mary Campbell (Brown) Clydesdale, who were both natives of Scotland.
1. Robert, died in infancy.
2. Nellie, died in infancy.
3. Florence J., born in 1872, lives in Mineville.
4. Walter C., mentioned below.
5. Clara L., born in 1880; married Lewis La Pointe: children: Clydesdale and Stankley La Pointe.
(IX) Walter Clydesdale, son of William H. Tefft, was born at Mineville, April 13, 1875. He attended the public schools of his native town, the Port Henry high school and the Eastman Business College at Poughkeepsie. He entered Cornell University and was graduated there in the class of 1899. After teaching school for a time, he took charge of the Ticonderoga Sentinel in 1903. Upon the death of the owner, William T. Bryan, in 1904, Mr. Tefft purchased the newspaper and printing business and since then has conducted it. The Sentinel is a weekly newspaper of wide influence in this section. Mr. Tefft is a member of Mount Defiance Lodge, Free Masons, of Ticonderoga; Ethan Lodge, Odd Fellows, of Ticonderoga; of the local grange, Patrons of Husbandry. In religion he is a Presbyterian.
He married, Aug. 1, 1900, Mary Ellen, daughter of William T. and Mary A. (Hogle) Bryan.
1. William Robert, born Jan. 16, 1903.
2. John Bryan, Nov. 25, 1906.
[Transcriber's note: since this material was published in 1910, this couple may have more children].