[This post was written for the 47th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene]
Lowville in Lewis County, New York is considered the ancestral hometown in my family. Most of my cousins as well as their parents (my aunts and uncles) remember my great-grandfather John Ralph Austin who was born in Lowville in 1896(1). After the 1900 US Census, Ralph Austin's family would make the move down to The Bronx in New York City(2). Even so, there would continue to be a strong identification with him and Lowville, as well as all his descendants and Lowville.
Lowville is the county seat for Lewis County and was named after Nicholas Low who settled there with his family in 1778. Low, a land developer, was from Middlesex, New Jersey, and of Dutch ancestry, as were many of the residents of Northern New York State at that time. However, settlement of Lowville and the rest of Lewis county really did not commence until 1797(3).
Silas Austin (1753 - 1813)
My 6th great-grandfather, Silas Austin was born in West Greenwich, Rhode Island in 1753(4). He married Sarah Crandall (1754 - 1829) sometime before 1773 in Rhode Island(5). She was a descendant of Elder John Crandall who founded Westerly, Rhode Island in 1661(6).
It is assumed that Silas first arrived in New York near current Dutchess County in what was then called the Beekman Patent.(7)(8) He moved to Harrisburgh, near Lowville, in 1805(9).
Silas Austin, Jr. (1778 - 1852)
The third son of Silas Austin, also named Silas, was born in Westerly, Rhode Island in 1778(10) but may have arrived in Lewis County prior to that of his father in 1805. He married Susanna Albro (1777 - 1836) who was born in Denmark, Lewis County, New York and most likely the wedding was held in or around Denmark.(11) His first son, Ira Austin (see below) was born in Denmark in 1800.(12)
Ira H. Austin (1800 - 1872)
Ira was born in Denmark, Lewis County, and was a tailor by trade(13). Sometime before 1824, he married Pedda Everett (1798 - 1879), a descendant of Richard Everett of Dedham, Massachusetts.(14) Together Ira and Pedda had four children, including their oldest son, Ira H. Austin, Jr.(15)
Ira H. Austin, Jr. (1831 - 1907)
Born in Denmark, Lewis County, Ira Austin Jr. married Hannah Dence (1834 - 1907) in Lowville on July 4, 1862.(16) Ira Jr. was a saddle and harness maker and set up shop in Lowville:(17)(18)
William Dence Austin (1863 - 1932)
The oldest son of Ira Austin, Jr., William Dence was born in Boonville, Oneida County on May 24, 1863(19) and died on March 26, 1932 in the Bronx, New York.(20) He married Catherine O'Keefe (1862 - 1946) of Lowville on May 16, 1888.(21)
Having been a butcher by trade(22), around 1904 he took his family consisting of his wife and five young sons down to live in New York City. But according to various stories in the Lowville Journal Republican, my great-grandfather Ralph and his brothers would make visits by train to see his grand-parents, David O'Keefe and Catherine Sullivan O'Keefe, each summer.(23)
More Information On Lowville
I have several posts here about Lowville, which I have visited several times to do research. To me, it is a step back in time, especially the downtown area along State Street where many of the original buildings from the 1880s still exist. Many of the large homes, as seen in the Souvenirs of Lowville have been converted to large bed and breakfast type guest houses - they are busy in the summer and in the winter host many snowmobile enthusiasts.
(1) Putman, George W., Genealogy of David Putman and His Descendants, (Private publication, 1916), p. 49.
(2) 1910 US Census,(http://www.ancestry.com), accessed accessed March 22, 2008, citing Census Place: Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1018; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 434; Image: 826.
(3) French, J.H., Gazetteer of the State of New York (1860), Reprinted with an Index of Names Compiled by Frank Place, (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1998), p. 374.
(4) Moore, Edith Austin, A Genealogy of the Descendants of Robert Austin of Kingstown, R.I., (St. Petersburg, Florida: 1951), p. 234. "Silas removed to Little Hoosic, MA; thence to Dutchess, NY where he lived several years and reared a family. He moved to Harrisburg, Lewis, NY in 1805 and lived there until his death in 1813. He must have married in RI as the 1790 census gives him the same family there and in Dutchess, NY that year. His wife, Sarah Crandall, had a kind and benevolent disposition and was beloved by all who knew her."
(6) Crandall, John C., Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants, (New Woodstock, New York: 1949), p. 25.
(7) A Genealogy of the Descendants of Robert Austin of Kingstown, R.I., pp. 246, 248.
(8) Doherty, Frank J., The Settlers of the Beekman Patent, Dutchess County, New York, (Pleasant Valley, New York: F.J. Doherty, 1990-2005), p. 246, 248.
(9) A Genealogy of the Descendants of Robert Austin of Kingstown, R.I., p. 248.
(10) Id., p. 234.
(11) Id. [Note: at the time of Susanna Albro's birth, Lewis County was yet to be formed and Denmark was part of Albany County.]
(12) Id., p. 250. [Note: at the time of Ira Austin's birth, Lewis County was yet to be formed and Denmark was then part of Oneida County.]
(13) 1870 US Census,(http://www.ancestry.com), accessed April 12, 2008, citing Census Place: Denmark, Lewis, New York; Roll: M593_964; Page: 350; Image: 87.
(14) Everett, Edward Franklin, Descendants of Richard Everett of Dedham, Massachusetts, (Boston, Massachusetts: 1902 (privately published)), p. 89. [Note: Pedda Everett was born in Massachusetts, and it is likely that Ira Austin met her in Lewis County, New York. Pedda's father, Daniel Everett, had moved from Wrentham, Massachusetts to Keene, New Hampshire in 1802 and then on to Lewis County, New York in 1804.]
(15) 1850 US Census,(http://www.ancestry.com), accessed March 22, 2008, citing Census Place: Denmark, Lewis, New York; Roll: M432_523; Page: 220; Image: 440.
(16) Genealogy of David Putman and His Descendants, p. 49. [Note: This was Ira Jr.'s second marriage, the first being Clarinda Parsons (Abt. 1833 - Bef. 1862), such union producing one daughter, Elizabeth Austin, born in 1854.]
(17) 1870 US Census,(http://www.ancestry.com), accessed March 22, 2008, citing Census Place: Lowville, Lewis, New York; Roll: M593_964; Page: 526; Image: 439.
(18) "The Lowville Journal and Republican," Lowville, New York, December 17, 1873, p. 1.
(19) A Genealogy of the Descendants of Robert Austin of Kingstown, R.I., p. 248.
(22) 1900 US Census, (http://www.ancestry.com), accessed March 22, 2008, citing Census Place: Lowville, Lewis, New York; Roll: T623 1070; Page: 22B; Enumeration District: 63.