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 DeFerriere Cemetery

City of Oneida

History of the DeFerriere Family

ANGEL DeFERRIERE
Born at Niort Department Des Deux
Sevres in France
Died September 17, 1832
AGED
63 years

The man who lies beneath this sod and the shadow of the tall
spire was Colonel of the National Guard of France, and was
present at Versailles when the National Assembly opened for
the last time under the royalty of France.

In memory of
POLLY DeFERRIERE
Consort of
ANGEL DeFERRIERE
Born Mar. 1774
Died Mar. 1853
Ae 79 YRS.
OUR MOTHER


CHARLES J. DeFERRIERE
1804-1890

In Memory of
LUCY
Daughter of Angel & Polly
DeFerriere
(Illegible wd) Died June 3
1814? born Feb.
21?, 1812? aged
1? yr. 3 mo, 13? d.

Transcribed by S. B. Wilsey - 2008

 

DeFerriere Cemetery
City of Oneida, Madison County, NY
	Surrounded by a substantial iron fence in the east lawn of the house that stands on the northwest corner 
of the intersection of Hubbard Place and NYS Route 5, lie the remains of the Frenchman, Angel DeFerriere and 
three members of his family.

	Angel was born near Paris, France on 1/8/1769. Being a member of the French nobility and loyal to King 
Louis XVI, he avoided the fate of the guillotine at the time of the French Revolution by seeking asylum in 
Holland. In 1793 he became an American immigrant, leaving NYC with John Lincklaen to settle in Cazenovia,
where he remained for about a year. During that time Angel became acquainted with the Denny family residing 
in Canaseraga.

	Lewis Denny, remembered as an honorary Oneida Chieftain, was said to be of French descent. Reportedly 
he had been captured by the Mohawks during the French & Indian Wars. He adapted to their lifestyle, marrying 
a Mohawk named Maria. In addition to their sons, Denny and his wife were the parents of a beautiful daughter 
named Polly, who “could ride a horse, use a bow and arrow, shoot a gun, and do all the things which the Indian 
maiden in those days could do.”

	Before 1800 Angel and Polly married, establishing their home in Wampsville along the Great Trail. Angel 
acquired a vast estate, reportedly consisting of 3000 acres. Some accounts state that the $500,000 he brought 
with him from France allowed him to purchase the land, while others insist that the land, or at least a portion 
of it, was a wedding gift given to Angel from Polly’s family.
	
	Angel, along with blacksmith Myndert VonWemple, was one of the earliest settlers in Wampsville. He 
established several businesses, including a saw mill, grist mill, tannery, brewery, and tavern. Hammond’s 
History of Madison County quotes DeWitt Clinton as saying that DeFerriere’s Tavern was the “best on the road.” 
Angel’s investments contributed to the rapid growth and economic development of the village of Wampsville. 
Legends report that for many years the money that circulated in Wampsville consisted primarily of French gold coins.

	Angel and Polly had six children; five grew to adulthood and became prominent local citizens. One daughter, 
Lucy, died as child and is buried with her parents and brother, Charles J. DeFerriere Esq. The burial plot was 
owned by DeFerriere descendents until 1985.

	Angel died in 1832 at the age of 63 during a cholera epidemic. George B. Russel, Esq. claimed in his 1909 
presentation to the Madison County Historical Society, that Angel was initially buried in the old Indian Burial 
Ground of the 1600’s which existed on the hillside near the school, and that later Polly had him interred beside 
Lucy with a memorial befitting his memory. The tall spire that marks his grave site was crafted in Whitestown, and 
transported to Lenox Basin along the Erie Canal. Six yokes of oxen were employed to move it to the family burial plot.

	Polly died in 1853 at the age of 79, while she was residing on the family estate with their son, Charles, who made 
his home in Wampsville following his father’s death. Russell reported, “Her coffin was of a metallic substance made 
after her form with the feet extending the same as a person would naturally lie…” Frederick Spencer’s portrait of 
Polly is a proud possession of the Madison County Historical Society.

	As the carpet of myrtle spreads across their grave site onto the slopes beyond the iron fence, legends of the 
DeFerriere romance, lavish lifestyle, arsenal of weapons, diamonds, and gold perpetuate the memories of this charismatic 
Madison County family.

						Sandra B. Wilsey, 2008

 
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