The Emerson Family History Project



The EMERSONs . . .



The Emersonís Family History in America begins in mid 1600ís . . .



Originally from England, my ancestor Robert, along with brother Michael, and sister Elizabeth EMERSON settled in Haverhill, MA. after emigrating to America during the mid-1600's.

Son of Thomas EMERSON and Margaret FROE of Cadney Parish, Lincolnshire, England, Robert was born 8 November 1629 in Cadney Parish, England.

Robert married Anne GRANT, daughter of Thomas GRANT and Jane HABURNE) on 4 February 1658 in Rowley, Essex, MA. They had the following children:
Elizabeth, born 29 May 1660
Thomas, born 4 June 1662
Sarah, born 23 April 1665
Lydia, born 11 Aug 1667
Joseph, born 26 February 1668/1669
Ephraim, born 11 August 1672
Stephen, born 17 December 1674
Benjamin, born 8 January 1678/1679

Robert was a member of his church and a "freeman" of the colony in April 1668. He was held in high regard by the citizens as he was elected a "selectman" (similar to a city commissioner today) many times. He owned considerable land and was probably a farmer by trade. In 1677 he was the "Supporter of the Poor" and in 1679 he was elected Town Clerk for the Office of the Constable.

Robert died 25 June 1694 in Haverhill, Essex, MA. He bequeathed to his son, Ephraim, his east meadow lands.

Although many of Robert's descendants remained in the Haverhill area, son Ephraim, relocated to Bristol County during the mid-1690's, where he married Elizabeth WALKER, daughter of James WALKER and Bathsheba BROOKS, on 7 January 1695/1696.
Ephraim and Elizabeth had the following children:
Theodotia (aka Ephraim), born 24 December 1696
Elizabeth, born about 1700

The 1700's . . .
According to the Probate Records of Bristol County, MA, Ephraim died 8 April 1706, at the age of 34. After his death, Elizabeth Emerson, married Elisha MAY, and she died between 1750 and 1762. In her will, Elizabeth Emerson May identifies a son, Ephraim (Theodotia) Emerson, another son, Benjamin May, and many grandchildren.

1720 land records of Bristol county show the exchange of land in Dighton owned by the late Ephraim Emerson (Sr) between Theodotia/Ephraim Emerson, Samuel Andrews and his wife Elizabeth, sister of Theodotia/Ephraim of Taunton. In 1740, other land records show Elizabeth Emerson May giving her right of power to her son Theodotia/Ephraim Emerson upon her decease. These land records indicate that Theodotia/Ephraim Emerson lived in Dighton and was a yeoman, by trade.

In 1725, Theodotia/Ephraim Emerson married Elizabeth KING in Taunton, Bristol County, MA, who was born about 1702 and died after 1743. They had the following children:
Mary, born 15 March 1727
Ephraim, born 2 March 1730
Joseph, born 27 November 1732
Benjamin, born 25 July 1735
Elizabeth, born 4 April 1739
Stephen, born 4 January 1740
Mehtiable, born 25 July 1743
Samuel King, born 22 July 1746

In Rehoboth, Bristol, MA in 1759, Joseph Emmerson and Ephraim Emmerson are both listed on the Second List of Polls and Rateable Estates. It is believed that the listed "Ephraim" was Theodotia, and Joseph, was his son. Son Ephraim had died in 1754.

In the early 1760s, Theodotia Emerson, along with his sons, Benjamin, Joseph, and Samuel King , and William Emerson of Rhode Island, pursuing their dreams of acquiring land, headed off to Nova Scotia, Canada. At that time, there was an attempt to reinforce the colonies of Nova Scotia, probably because of the French and Indian Wars, so land grants were offered. Some 350 individuals set sail for Nova Scotia from MA. to clear the land in an effort to partake of this opportunity. Following the Revolutionary War, (probably late 1786-1787) the new settlers of Nova Scotia were asked to pledge allegiance to the King. The EMERSONS refused and thus were driven out and their homes were burned. Setting sail, hidden by the coves at night to avoid pursuit, they escaped Canada. Samuel and his family landed in Mount Desert Island across the bay, while Joseph and Benjamin went back to the Bristol County area of MA. It is believed that Theodotia died in Sackville, Nova Scotia and was buried there (probably around 1780)

Upon their return to Bristol County, Joseph and Benjamin took up residence in Rehoboth. Joseph lived in a home with a tannery along the Palmer River and Benjamin owned a farm along the Old Road. Joseph married Margarett BLISS, daughter of Elisha BLISS and Margarett NEWMAN on 12 February 1759 in Rehoboth, Bristol, MA.

Joseph and Margaret had the following children:
Lydia, born 13 February 1759
John, born 4 October 1760
Joseph, born 26 March 1762
Ephraim, born 14 June 1763
Newman, born 24 March 1764
Sarah, born 7 August 1773
Joshua, born 29 October 1776
Joseph, born 27 September 1783

Joseph served in the military as a Private under Colonel Thomas Carpenter (according to the DAR Records).
Emerson, Joseph. Private, Captain Sylvanus Martin's company., Colonel Thomas Carpenter's regiment; service, 11 days; company marched from Rehoboth to Bristol, R. I., on the alarm of Dec. 8, 1776; roll sworn to at Rehoboth; also, Captain Joseph Willmarth's co., Colonel Thomas Carpenter's regiment; marched Aug. 1, 1780; discharged Aug. 8, 1780; service, 9 days; company marched from Rehoboth to Tiverton, R. I., on the alarm of Aug. 1, 1780, and there did duty under General Heath.

It is believed that Joseph Emerson died after 1783, prior to 1790.

Ephraim Emerson, son of Joseph Emerson, was born on 14June 1763 in Rehoboth, Bristol, MA. When he was only 16, Ephraim enlisted in the troop of Captain John Fuller of Rehoboth to reinforce the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War. In 1780, in the records of the "Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution", Ephraim is described as "age 15 years, stature, 5 ft, complexion light. . ."

After the war, Ephraim returned home to Rehoboth to live. On 14 March 1790, Ephraim and Anne PECK, daughter of Nathan PECK and Susannah MILLER, were married by Elder Jacob Hix in Rehoboth, MA. In 1793, Anne Peck Emerson inherited property from her father, Nathan PECK. Although not indicated in his will, the property which Anne inherited is believed to be in Petersburg, NY.

Ephraim and Anne had the following children:
Nancy, born 29 September 1790
Martin A., born 22 April 1791
Daughter, born between 1791 and 1799
Ephraim P., born 5 May 1792
Ezekiel, born about 1793 - 1794
Joseph, born between 1796 and 1800
Betsey, born 23 October 1798
John, born 1804
Jared, born 15 April 1806

Some time in the late 1790s, Ephraim and Anne and their children left the Rehoboth MA. area and headed to Petersburg, Renssaeler, NY for a new life. There, in the Petersburg/Brookfield area of NY, the EMERSONS remained for a couple of decades before migrating to Allegany and Steuben counties.

The 1800's
Ephraim Emerson's family was identified on the 1800 census records of Renssaeler County. On the 1810 and 1820 census records, Ephraim appears to have returned to Massachusetts. Then, on the 1830 census records, Ephraim and Anne are back in the NY (Allegany County), living next to son Joseph, and very close to son, Jared.

Martin A Emerson was born on 22 April 1791, probably in Petersburg, NY. He married Polly OLDS in 1811 in Petersburg, NY. Martin and Polly were living in Brookfield, NY, when Martin left, on foot with Jabish O'Dell, Russell Davis, and Amos Burdick, to find a new start in Allegany County. By 1816, Martin and Polly were living in the eastern part of Alfred, Allegany County, NY.

On the 1820, 1830, 1840, and 1850 census records, Martin and Polly were living in Alfred, Allegany, NY. Martin was listed as a farmer. On the 1860 and 1870 census records, Martin and Polly are living in Scio, Allegany, NY. Martin died in 1877; Polly died in 1875. Both are buried in the Allentown Cemetery, Alma, Allegany, NY in the cemetery plot of their son, Thomas Rix Emerson and his wife, Jane Reed Emerson.

Martin and Polly had the following children:
Martin Edward, born 1815/1816
Maria, born 1 August 1817
Thomas Rix, born 24 November 1820
Betsey, born between 1820 - 1823
Ephraim, born 20 September 1824
Abel Lewis, born 1827
Barton J., born 29 May 1829
Emaline, born 3 April 1831
Cordelia, born 1833
Vilera, born 1830

Martin Edward Emerson was born 18 April 1816 in Hartsville, Steuben County, NY. In 1836, Martin married Mercy Lovinia BURDICK, daughter of Uriah BURDICK and Charity BURDICK, and remained living in the Hartsville area. Matin and Mercy had the following children:
George Thomas, born 18 July 1842
Orlo D., born 21 April 1844
Charlotte, born 1 May 1846
Olin Martin, born 13 August 1849
Charles P., born 27 June 1856

In 1858, Mercy became ill with cancer, and by December of that year, passed away. By 1860, Martin had remarried. His new wife was Martha SATTERLEE, daughter of David SATTERLEE and Cynthia SAUNDERS of Hornellsville. Martin and Martha had the following children:
Cynthia S., born 22 March 1861
William S., born 23 April 1861
Mary B., born March 1865
Deforest, born November 1867
Eddie F., born 6 April 1868 (died 22 April 1869)
Castello A., born December 1870
Clarence A., born December 1874

Martin and Martha appeared on the census report for the town of Hartsville, Steuben County from 1860 through 1880. Martin died 8 Jul 1880 and Martha died 23 June 1892. Martin, his first wife Mercy, and his second wife Martha, and their infant child are all buried in a single plot in the Alfred Rural Cemetery.

Although many of the children of Martin A Emerson and Polly Olds, as well as the children of Martin E Emerson and his first wife, Mercy, remained in the Alfred area, towards the mid to late 1800's, several of the EMERSON children and their families began migrating. This time moving to Potter county, PA., Alconia county, MI., Wisconsin, and Erie county, NY.
-- Jared Emerson and wife, Nancy ODell, moved to Michigan.
-- Maria Emerson and husband, Joseph Clare, moved to Potter County, PA.
-- Ephraim Emerson and wife, Roxanna Willard, moved to Potter County, PA
-- Cordelia Emerson and husband, Ambrose Ball, moved to Potter County,PA.
-- Deforest Emerson moved to Wisconsin

William S EMERSON, son of Martin E EMERSON and Martha SATTERLEE, was born in Hartsville, Steuben County, NY on 23 April 1861. A farmer like his father and his grandfather, William remained in the Hartsville and Alfred area of NY for most of his entire life.

On 4 June 1886, William and Emma V WEST, daughter of Martin Van Buren WEST and Lucy Ann CORNELIUS were married by the Reverand Cottrell in the Seventh Day Baptist Church in Alfred Station, NY. William and Emma had three children:
Flora, born 28 February 1887
Archie Glenn, born 6 September 1888 (my grandfather)
Florence (Lottie), born 16 August 1895

William died on 1 September 1933 in Eden, Erie County, NY. Emma died on 13 April 1958 in Wellsville, Allegany, NY. Both William and Emma are buried in the Alfred Rural Cemetery, in the family plot of daughter Flora, and son-in-law, John Stives.


If you want to contact me for genealogy research or information, try my e-mail:
Jean M Emerson
Fort Lauderdale, Florida


This information may not be used for profit or reprinted and published with out permission from the authors.
© Copyright 2005 Jean M Emerson. All rights reserved
Revised February 18, 2007

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