The following is a collection of all the recent emails to the Livingston Manor site on the subject of Purvis
This is the article that started it all
Along with the article concerning the Brown-Carr altercation in 1874, written by Sullivan County Historian John Conroy in last Friday's edition of the Sullivan County Democrat, was also included a photograph of the Hotel Sherwood. This building, as noted in earlier discussions, was located, more or less, across from the current Livingston Manor firehouse. Since there is no other wording besides the title - "Hotel Sherwood"- that accompany this picture, we must assume that Mr. Conway is designating this site as the place where the murder took place.
But when we begin to read the article, we see that Mr. Conway says, "Mark Brown shot and killed Sylvester Carr in the barroom of the Sherwood Hotel in Purvis." Could this be just an innocent switching of the words "Sherwood" and "Hotel" with both titles meaning the same location? Or are they really two separate hotels?
One of the proprietors of the Hotel Sherwood was a man named Webster Sherwood. Originally from the Jeffersonville area, the earliest mention of him that could be found in newspaper clippings was dated in the late 1880's, well after the crime. Though I have yet to be unable to unearth a date as far as the construction of this hotel, even if this building existed in 1874, it would not have had the Sherwood name at that time.
As far as the other hotel, two items appear in Jack Sherwood's obituary in January of 1931 that may answer our question. First, the obituary states, "On June 3, 1868, he married Elizabeth Reynolds of Parksville, and in 1870, conducted a hotel in Jacktown - named after the deceased - on the site of the Sherwood homestead, which only last spring passed from Mr. Sherwood's ownership." Jack Sherwood's home was located next to what is now the Robin Hood Diner, and was torn down as recently as about ten years ago.
Second, the obituary continues, "Mr Sherwood was the man who made the arrest in one of Sullivan County's most famous murders and hangings. Matt Brown, a lumberman of that town, shot and killed Sylvester Carr in the early seventies in Sherwood's hotel, and it was Jack Sherwood who placed the murderer under arrest, and turned him over to the authorities." Though this hotel was now owned by Sherwood, in 1874 it was called the Purvis Hotel and is probably more likely to be the location of the Carr murder.
I can't tell you where I got the information, but I heard the first Sherwood Hotel was on the Purvis side of town TOO. evelyn
yes it was. becky sherwood
"A dastardly and cold-blooded murder was committed at the Purvis Hotel, Purvis, Sullivan County, New York, on Saturday evening last.
"Matt Brown and Sylvester Carr quarrelled over a debt due by the former, and as Brown became noisy and abusive, Carr grabbed him by the neck, almost choking him. Brown then left the barroom; so on afterward however, he returned armed with a revolver. He walked up to Carr, who at the time was involved with a conversation with a friend, presented the revolver to his head, saying; "you son of a -----, you won't choke another man." Before Carr could dodge his head, Brown fired, the ball entering his cheek, killing him almost instantly. The assassin was immediately secured and handed over to a constable, who had him conveyed to Monticello, where he is now in close confinement.
"The murdered man was to have been married to-day, Thursday, October 8. He was well known and respected in the Town of Rockland, where he resided. He was 35 years of age."
Sullivan County Record, October 8, 1874
In 1874, the time of the Sylvester Carr shooting, there existed two hotels in our town, according to the 1875 Beer's Atlas of Sullivan County and the listing of merchants on this Atlas' back pages. In Purvis was the Purvis Hotel, owned by John F Sherwood.
At Morsston Station, next to the depot, was the Livingston Hotel, the original home of Edward Livingston, with James W. Davis as its proprietor,
It is this same James W. Davis who would build a hotel across the street from the Livingston Hotel, and called it the Davis Hotel. This hotel would then be passed on to the Mott family, with Cyrus Mott being the owner, in the late 1890's. S.H. Sherwood purchased this flourishing hotel early in the twentieth century, hence the name "Hotel Sherwood".
Finally, on around 1927, T.F. Archer purchased the property and used the building for apartments until he demolished the building in the late fall of 1936.
Therefore the Hotel Sherwood could not have been the place of the 1874 crime for Sherwood would not put his name on this establishment for a good thirty years later.
This also raises another question. Why is the New York State historical marker designating the birthplace of John Mott placed next to the library instead on the Hotel Sherwood site?
Another inconsistancy appears in the historical article by Sullivan County Historian John Conway published in last Friday's Democrat. In Conway's narration of the Purvis Hotel altercation in 1874, he repeatedly alludes to the murderer's name as Mark Brown. In fact, his title for the article is "The Hanging Of Mark Brown".
And like other good historical narratives, Conway carefully intertwines his sources into the story; the first being the book, "Old Monticello", by Edward Curley, and the second, none other than the New York Times. Now, you would figure that with such a stalwart source as the New York Times, there would be no need to question Brown's name, right? Well, the local contemporary writers for that era's tabloids disagreed.
The front page article in the October 8, 1874 edition of the Sullivan County Record, a Jeffersonville newspaper, recites this "dastardly and cold-blooded" crime but names the main villian as Matt Brown. In the same edition, the Purvis correspondent, as noted in the previous message, also uses the name "Matt". Throughout the coverage of the trial, Matt is the preferred name.
The Walton Reporter, in its coverage of the events, also refers to the culprit as Matt, not Mark. In fact, as late as 1931, with the Walton Reporter's obituary of John F. Sherwood, who was a witness to the crime, Brown is still referred to as Matt, not Mark.
Could all of these contemporary writers have gotten the name wrong? Perhaps. Could "Matt" be only a nickname? Possibly. Or was it the New York Times that had it wrong? Could be. Unfortunately, the Conway article adds some uncertainty to what was otherwise an indisbutable, certain story.
I think it is shown on one of the old maps of the area, at least I have one that does (same as the one at the website), and it appears that they had a barn across the road. The hotel itself was about where the Robin Hood is now by the looks of this. Does anyone know if the Debruce road is still unchanged where it meets the old 17 there at the foot of Jacktown hill ? Also, wasn't Jacktown named for Jack Sherwood? evelyn
The "Jack" in Jacktown does indeed come from John Fanton Sherwood's nickname. I wonder how the Purvis family descendants must have felt when their family name, which served as this locality's official name for decades, was usurped not once, but four times.
First, when the New York & Oswego Midland Railroad built the community's first station, instead of the name Purvis, it was called Morsston Depot. Though the community of Morsston was almost two miles to the south of this depot, the community's namesake, Medad T. Morss, perhaps was now the owner of much of the Livingston estate, upon which the building was built. Or maybe he was financially influential enough at the time, before his money troubles, to have his name assigned to the station.
Second, when the Ontario & Western Railroad took over the troubled Midland line, many staion localities' names were changed to save schedule confusion. Liberty Falls became Ferndale; Hancock Junction became Cadosia; Sidney Center became Mayfield; and here in the Manor, Morsston Depot became Livingston Manor, again bypassing the Purvis name.
Third, the locale across the river from Mott's flats was known as Purvis Post Office, that is until the legendary merchant, Alphebet Decker, took over the general store. Today, it is now called Deckertown.
And finally, the final insult; the area where the Purvis homesteads were located would become Jacktown. The coming of the railroad and these migrant entepreneurs one generation removed from our original settlers, have succeeded in overshadowing this family, so much so that the family name is now completely gone from the area.
I recently looked in the Sullivan County phone book for the name Purvis and there were NONE! My great grandmother was a Purvis (Mary Esther), from Livingston Manor but she was dead before I was born so I never knew her. My grandfather, her son, died when I was 12 and I unfortunately do not recall him ever telling any stories about the Purvis family. In later years my cousin sent me a tape of stories told by his mother when in her 80s not long before she died (She would have been my aunt who was Mary Esther's granddaughter). She told about Mary Esther's younger brother John O. Purvis who apparently died a bachelor. He had been scorned by a woman from Livingston Manor and went out west and was not heard from in so many years that all decided he was dead. One day a man appeared at the home of my grandfather in Monticello NY. My uncle, a young boy at the time, answered the door and came back to say that a man was at the door claiming to be a brother of "Grandmother's" . It was the long lost John Purvis who had many a tale to tell and a scar to show ...obtained in a fight with an Indian over a "squaw" . John moved in with my grandfather and his family. (John's sister, Mary Esther also lived in the household) and John was apparently quite a nusiance. His horse wandered about the neighborhood, eating the neighbor's gardens and John's long underwear apparently got to the point where it could stand in the corner by itself. His sister would grab any chance to wash it but John was usually wearing it. He decided to make a living selling medicinal remedies and messed up the kitchen with big pots of digusting smelling concoctions that he mixed and heated up on the cast iron coal stove. I recently came across a small business card of sorts that had apparently been a "hand-out" of John's. It advertised a Pyorrhea Remedy The price was $1.00. John's address was Muskogee Oklahoma. John did leave again for the west and truly never was heard from again.There are many still in Sullivan County who are descendants of the Purvis family. Many of the Purvis women married into the Knapp, Sprague, Gardner, LaBaugh, Decker, Gillette, Bennett, Dodge, Roberts, Jackson and Overton families. Those with the Purvis surname though apparently all left the area, so I guess there would be no Purvises to honor with anything named after them. I have never met anyone by this name yet but we have all probably co-mingled with descendants of this family unknowingly. (Harold Van Aken is one of them!) Better check back there on your family tree! ;-)
My great grandmother was also our last Purvis (Agnes Isabelle). She left LM around 1900 to teach school, later married and lived in Brooklyn. However, she returned to LM for the birth of her two children; her parents Aaron and Mary Jane (Dougherty) Purvis lived in LM until the 1920s. Later they lived with her. I know she always considered LM her home and did research on her Purvis ancestry and before that earlier on some of the female lines. Agnes raised my father after her daughter died at age 24 and he remembered his great grandfather well since Aaron lived to be 98! They used to visit LM to see the old farm, friends and relatives and the Independence Day parades (c.1930-1945) which he really enjoyed. He told me the town was called Purvis but the name was changed on account of a wealthy man who lived there. Aaron Purvis' family was decimated by the Civil War. Both his older brothers served: John E. [143rd] was killed and William W. [101st & 37th] returned but never married. Aaron had six children but four died in childhood. The two surviving children were women. His two daughters married and lived in NYC and PA so there were no sons or sons-in-law to work a farm. Agnes's husband was a chemist. I don't know what the economic situation was in Sullivan County at the turn of the century - maybe other Purvis families moved if there was a general decline in population. Can anyone describe, with reference to a modern map, where 'Jacktown' and 'Jacktown Road' and the old Purvis farms were?
According to a land deed of 1834, the original Purvis farm (owned by settler George and Elizabeth Purvis) was then left by the surviving "Widow Purvis" to three of her children : Jane Purvis (the wife of Isaac Jackson), James Purvis (my great great great grandfather) who was husband of Abigil Jackson (Abigail was the sister of of Isaac Jackson) and Elizabeth Purvis the wife of David Overton (Harold van Aken's ancestors). There were other children still living so it is not clear why just these three inherited it. Jane and her husband lived over in Delaware Co. so it is odd that they were included. Samuel, also presumed to be a sibling, was doing just fine as caretaker for Edward Livingston in the area, so understandable that he might not be part of the farm and Thomas Purvis and Nancy Purvis (Dann) were both married with families in Cortland Co. The land transaction shows that Jane, Elizaberh and James and their spouses then deeded this farm to a nephew, Manley Alexander Purvis, who was the son of another Purvis sibling, William Purvis, husband of Mary 'Polly" Overton- the sister of David Overton. According to my data Manley Alexander Purvis was Janet Mackie's great great grandfather so the original farm went to Janet's line. Then it may have passed on to Manley's son Aaron Royston Purvis, mentioned by Janet. (her great grandfather)
The location of the Purvis farm is described as being "in the Upper Westfield Settlement in the Hardenburgh Patent beginning at a stake five links southerly from a beech corner tree"........ don't think the tree will be of much help! :-) (the rest is hard to decipher...part of left side of page was not included in my xerox copy. ) The original indenture is in the County Clerk's Office in Monticello. It does say that the farm consisted of thirteen and a half acres. Earl Jackson Jr. (another descendant....of Isaac and Jane Purvis Jackson) has done a lot of research on this family and gave me this copy....perhaps he has a better copy). I'll see if I can get more information!
Susan, Does anyone know if Probate records exist for George or Elizabeth? I read there was a fire in the Monticello County building around 1844. If George left a will, the omission of a fair share legacy to a child at date of death could be explained by a clause such as "to my son X, he having already received his portion of my estate, I give the sum of five shillings money" or similar. This was common in those times if the son was an adult at the time of the father's death, especially when the father's land holdings were large as happened with many early settlers. When the sons (and sometimes daughters/sons-in-law) were considered old enough to run a farm, they would receive their share of family land so they could earn their own livelihoods and raise a family. On the other hand, if George died intestate, and his son William predeceased him, William's share would eventually go to Manley, as his legal heir, when he reached adulthood. >From what information there is, probably William was dead before his father George. That could explain why William had only one known child, Manly Alexander, born c.1807, mother Mary/Polly Overton, David's sister and James' daughter (I have the same Mary/Polly information from my great grandmother.) If William died before Manley was of age, probably one of his uncles or aunt's husbands was appointed guardian for his property as usually the mother was not considered suitable in case she remarried. If Probate records exist, Manley's guardianship should be recorded following William's death with periodic inventories, etc. However, I don't know when William died; probably shortly after 1807. Perhaps William or his son ultimately owned the homestead because he was the eldest son or the eldest son with offspring? One scenario could be that George left the homestead in life estate to Elizabeth, upon her death to go to William or his son Manley. Does the deed record whether Manley paid his aunts/uncles for the deed to purchase the homestead, or are the aunts/uncles merely quitclaiming their interest to Manley? Manley was born c. 1807, so he would have been about 27 in 1834. Was it just a coincidence that he was married on June 7, 1834, that same year, to Phoebe Van Benschoten? Perhaps he purchased the homestead from his aunts/uncles for his family. In any event, the deed mentioned is strange in that the land area is 13.5 acres. This would not have been adequate for a farm to sustain a family; it would need to be more than 50 acres, maybe more than 100, depending on the type of soil, farm, etc. Perhaps the land in this deed was part of the widow's thirds, or a life estate. There must have been contiguous parcels or other lands that were farmed by Manly as he and his sons William and Aaron were farmers their entire lives. I have searched the census trying to determine where Manley and his sons William and Aaron lived as I'd like to see the land someday even if it's under Route 17: Assuming the census taker recorded families on the same page for a given road or area,
In 1850, Manley, William & Aaron [farm] lived between George Sprague[farmer] Manley Sprague [farmer] & Peter Hagencamp [blacksmith]
In 1860, Manley, William & Aaron [farm] lived between George Sprague[innkeeper] Thomas Purvis[farmer] Joseph Keene[farmer]three day laborer's families & James Sprague[farmer] Erastus Sprague[farmer]
In 1870, Manley & Aaron [farm] William [lumberman] lived between George Akins[farmer] Phillip Sharon[farmer] the Benjamin Grays[2 farms] & Manley Sprague[works at L..?] William Brown[works in Sawmill]
In 1880, Manley & William [farm] lived between Cornelius Parkes[farmer] Lyman Miner[farmer] & Abram Terbush[turner] Ares Leroy[retired farmer] In 1880 Aaron [married in 1873] is living on a different farm between James Vernooy[farmer] Felix Dougherty [farmer] & David Waters[farmer] John Cotter[farmer]
In 1890 no federal census for Sullivan County
In 1900 (Manley died in 1895) William [farm laborer age 65] is living with his sister Charlotte Bennett and her husband Milton[carpenter]. Able Sprague[farmer] is on the same page, however so is Aaron[farmer] who I thought had moved to Little Ireland by 1880; maybe he moved back to the old farm. I don't know whether the Bennetts lived on the Manley Purvis farm or not...a lot could have happened in the 20 years since the 1880 census. Others listed include Gideon Many[stonecutter] Webster Sherwood [farmer] John Osterhout[livestock dealer].
In 1910 the Milton Bennett[farmer now, age 65] family including William Purvis [farm laborer age 74] as well as the Aaron Purvis[farmer age 70] family are listed living on Jacktown Road, along with Leartus Many[wood turner], Pierre Many[farmer] Russell Cortugles?[farmer and boarding house] John Sherwood[manager turning works] Phoebe ???kins[boarding house] John Haddock[innkeeper].
In 1920 (William died 1917) Aaron[no occupation age 80] seems to be living in the same place but it's called Roscoe Road, near Milton Bennett[dairy farm] Milford Vernooy[dairy farm] John Townsend[dairy farm].
Do these neighbors of Manley Purvis/Milton Bennett shed any light on where the George Purvis farm was? Assuming Manley lived in the homestead described in 1834 deed...since many of his neighbors over the decades were Spragues, perhaps some of their land may also have been part of the farm first owned by George Purvis. Maybe there are some old land grant records or deeds in Ulster County for transactions before 1809? Janet
What struck me about the names you mentioned (the neighbors of Manley Purvis as seen on census records) is that many (maybe even all) appear to be descendants of the settler George Purvis! This leads me to believe that quite a number of George's children did inherit this land and it was divided into many parcels over the generations.
George Sprague - is probably the George Sprague (1802-1879) who married Jane Purvis (1809-1900), settler George's granddaughter who was the daughter of George Purvis Jr and Mary "Polly" Voorhees.
I do not know who Manley Sprague or Peter Hagencamp were but I have many blanks still in this genealogy.
Thomas Purvis is probably Thomas, the son of James and Abigail Jackson Purvis. (James was a son of settler George)
James Sprague was undoubtedly James Emmett Sprague the husband of Samantha Ann Purvis who was the sister of the above Thomas.
Erastus Sprague was likely James' brother Erastus who married Mary Ann Purvis, the daughter of Samuel Purvis. (Samuel was thought to have been a son of George the settler and the one who worked for Edward Livingston)
I don't know who Joseph Keene was.
William Brown may be a son of Phoebe Purvis (1851-1875) and her husband George E. Brown. (Phoebe was ther daughter of Thomas Purvis, granddaughter of James and Abigail Jackson Purvis and great granddaughter of settler George)
I don't know who George Akins, Philip Sharon or Benjamin Gray were.
Cornelius Parks was probably the Cornelius Parks married to Haster Ann Overton, the daughter of James Purvis Overton and granddaughter of David and Elizabeth Purvis Overton. (Elizabeth was the daughter of settler George Purvis)
I don't know who Lyman Miner, Abram Terbush, Ares LeRoy, James Vernooy, David Waters and James Cotter were.
Gideon Many. Might he be the husband of Charlotte Purvis (I show she married a Many but do not have a first name), the daughter of Aaron Purvis, granddaughter of Manley Purvis, great granddaughter of William Purvis and gr. gr. gr granddaughter of settler George.
Do not know who Webster Sherwood or John Haddock were.The later years are too remote to know who these folks were.Perhaps these unknowns are also descendants though.
As I mentioned I have only "parts" of this indenture but I do see the words, "quit claim" and "ninety dollars". I'll see if I can get a better copy from the person who orginally made this copy. Perhaps there was already a portion of the original Purvis farm that belonged to Manley and maybe these aunts and uncles of his now wanted to get rid of this other parcel. ..or it might also have been only part of what his aunts and uncles owned since Thomas Purvis a son of James Purvis (mentioned in the indenture) still seemd to be a neighbor as noted in 1860.....as do many other descendants.
Maybe someone on this list who lives near Monticello could check for wills and other info at the courthouse.
Susan, I knew some of the Spragues were related and you have provided a lot more information on other Purvis descendants. It certainly seems a possibility that these farms were originally the land of George Purvis.
Since one census lists Jacktown Road and another Roscoe Road, if these are the same, it looks to me (but I live in another state) that this road might be old Route 17.
The best map I've seen is the large 1875 map on Harold's website under his Little Ireland link (the third map). However, in looking at it, I can't make much sense of it...some of the mentioned census names are there, but not near each other. For example, the Gray farm and Townsend farm are on the road that goes over Gray Hill to White Roe Lake. The road that goes toward Woolseyville has W. Purvis. E. Sprague is halfway between Purvis and Purvis Post Office. Perhaps a lot of old Purvis was land settled by George Purvis and his family. There must have been some reason it was called Purvis since they weren't rich or famous. Is the house marked W. Purvis on the road to Parkston 1/4 mile from the Beaverkill? The Rev. Quinlan mentions he crossed the Beaverkill and George's cabin was a quarter mile distant. If so, maybe if Manley owned the 'homestead' and later William, perhaps that was the location of George's frontier settlement/farm.
For your genealogical digest: Clarence Many, husband of Charlotte Purvis (Aaron's daughter) was the son of Leartus Many (see 1900 census). They had one child I know of; Clarence, who was b.6-18-1913 New York, d. 10-1984 New Jersey. The family lived in Philadelphia at the 1920 census. Aaron's wife, Mary Jane Dougherty, was born 12-8-1839 in Providence, RI. Her parents, Felix Dougherty and Katherine Montague, were married in Cambridge, MA in September 1838. They had immigrated from Counties Tyrone and Monaghan respectively, Ulster Province (Northern Ireland) in the early 1830s. [MA Archives, Boston] Janet
Regarding descendants of the George Purvis family.........I found an obituary of Orrin Purvis Sprague (Feb 3, 1927) It states that he was" born on the present Fred Decker farm, at Deckertown between Livingston Manor and Roscoe on June 5 1861. The settlement there was then known as Purvis.", it states. Orrin was the son of Mary Ann Purvis and Erastus Sprague, grandson of Samuel Purvis (Livingston's caretaker) and great grandson of settler George Purvis. I wonder if the Decker farm is part of George's original farm.
I also have a copy of Orrin's brother, Stanley Sprague's obituary. (Jan 7 1929) It states he "was born at Deckertown, on July 29 1859. In 1890 he purchased the Sprague farm located about one mile north of Livingston Manor from the estate of his father."
....and I also have a copy of an old map of the Town of Rockland (sounds like the same one Janet referred to) but do not know the date (maybe about 1850-1890). It shows the town called PURVIS and it looks like it is just north of where the town center of Livingston Manor is today. (along and just north of the Willowemoc). Homes noted in this vicinity belong to:
T. Purvis (Probably Thomas Purvis, my great great grandfather) J.G. Purvis (Probably Joseph G. Purvis, Thomas' brother) S. Purvis (right near the M.E. Church) Could be Thomas' brother Samuel Mrs. Purvis (Abigail Jackson Purvis. their mother?) W. Purvis (William brother of Thomas?)
Further up the road going north it says PURVIS P.O. At this location it says:
J.D.W. M. Decker (This is John D.W.M. Decker who interestingly was the husband of Samantha Jane Sprague and Samantha's parents were James Emmett Sprague and Samantha Jane PURVIS!) Samantha Jane Purvis was the daughter of James and Abigail Jackson Purvis. John Decker and his wife Samantha had four children (two sons and two daughters) so there are DECKERS out there who are Purvis descendants as well. There are probably also people with the last name MARTIN and KOHLER who are Purvis descendants since the Decker daughters married Harold M artin and Conrad Kohler.
In this same vicinity there is:
J.E. Sprague L. Sprague C. Dority [Dougherty]
There are no other Purvises mentioned on this map but there are a couple more Spragues up in the Shin Creek area
G. Sprague E.R. Sprague
Also there is this from the Sullivan County Directory 1872-73: (the number listed means number of acres and the town where they reside is in parentheses) These are all either Purvises, descendants of Purvises or married to descendants of Purvises.
These all look like sons of James and Abigail Jackson Purvis, except for Joseph who may be a grandson.
Purvis, James C. (Purvis) farmer 170 (married Katherine Read) Purvis, Joseph (Morrston) farmer 30 (he might be Thomas' son, Joseph H. Purvis who married Lillie French) Purvis, J. G. (Purvis) sawmill and farmer (Joseph G., never married) Purvis Samuel (Morrston) farmer 175 (probably James' son who married Jane Krum) Purvis, Thomas D. (Purvis ) 148 (my gr.gr.grandfather who married Anna Marie Grant)
Overton, James (Purvis) lumberman and farmer 100 (probably James Purvis Overton, son of David and Elizabeth Purvis Overton) Overton, Alexander (Purvis) farmer 115 (also son of David and Eliz. Purvis Overton) Overton, William (Purvis) lumberman and farmer 78 (Don't know who he is)
All of these Spragues (except for Orren Sprague) appear to be the sons of George W. Sprague Sr. and Jane Purvis (Jane was the daughter of George Purvis II and Mary Voorhees)
Sprague, Erastus (Purvis) Joseph Mott & Co farmer 183 Sprague, George W. (Purvis) farmer 65 Sprague, James E. (Purvis) postmaster, lumberman, farmer 155 and with Erastus 240 Sprague, Orren (Purvis) farmer 92 (He may be the son, Orren Purvis Sprague, of Erastus and Mary Ann Purvis Sprague) Sprague, Orren C. (Purvis) lumberman and farmer 43
I just checked to see what all I had in my Purvis database and counted over 60 different surnames (other than Purvis)..... these families would all be descendants of George Purvis. It is very incomplete so there is a good chance that just about everyone with early roots in the Livingston Manor area could conceivably connect back to George Purvis. When I have some more time I may get around to posting the names of these families.
I have a feeling that even today a lot of the current residents of the Town of Rockland are related to the Purvis family! One big happy family up there! :-)
The Stanley Sprague farm would later become the Vantram farm, still later the Silverman farm, and today is known as the Werthiem place, located next to the coverd bridge. On the 1875 map that Janet refers to, it would be the location marked "E. Sprague", Stanley's father.
"On Thursday, the 24th inst., as Bishop Van Gaasbeck was moving a thrashing machine from Erastus Sprague's near Morsston, the horses became frightened by a part of the machine falling off and ran away, down the hill and into the barn of James E. Sprague. The wheels of the wagon struck the sill of the barn with such force that Mr. Gaasbeck was thrown into the barn a distance of about twenty feet, his head striking against a post, bruising him badly, and nearly cutting off his ear. He was picked up bleeding and unconscious. Dr. A. A. Benett was called and dressed his wounds. He was improving at last accounts."
Sullivan County Record, September 30, 1875
I hope you guys don't mind a non-Purvis joining the conversation, but with your clues and a little bit of Quinlan, perhaps more sense can be made out of these early censuses.
In Quinlan's history, on page 495, he states "Overton and others were led to locate in Rockland by John R. Livingston, who offered to sell farm-lots for seventy-five cents per acre, each purchaser to draw a lot." He goes on to tell the story on how James Overton was not happy with the lot that he drew, so he exchanged lots with William Ellis, "which is now owned by Alexander Overton."
These lots that the Livingstons sold would be from their portion of the Hardenburgh Patent. The 1829 Rockland map on the Livingston Manor history site shows these Hardenburgh Patent lots, along with the number system that identified them. The Beers' 1875 map, the map that Janet refers to, not only also shows these numbered lots, but also places residents on them. Alexander Overton, as mentioned by Quinlan, and shown on this map, resides on lot number 71, which would then make it the original James Overton lot. This residence would be probably where the Breiner farm, later the Jones Farm, and today the Hauschild place, is located on the Hazel Road.
But what is interesting about lot 71 on the 1875 map, is that it also includes, on its northern end, the "E. Sprague" residence, which was next to the covered bridge river crossing. My question is did Erastus, or his father, marry into the Overton family, acquiring this farm? Or was it just a land transaction?
The lots on the 1829 map are mostly rectangles. The 1875 map showing the lot lines, with the names included, looks as though the land boundaries had been changed quite a bit as the houses are sometimes grouped several to a lot and elsewhere no house is shown for several lots. Does anyone know whether the original lot lines were still commonly used in 1875 or had those lot boundaries been extensively subdivided/redrawn? What was the average size of these lots? Are records of the original land purchases from the Livingstons available at Monticello or Kingston?
I was trying to compare the 1875 map with the Purvis descendent names to a modern map - specifically the Debruce Road [County Road 81 then 82] - which looks like it follows the Willowemoc Creek. On my modern map there is a big bend in the Willowemoc, about 1/2 mile from the Route 17 exit, where the stream from Lake Nimrod joins it. But on the 1875 Beers map I don't see this large bend in the river; the road curves in lot 117, as it does now, but the river is straight. Did the creek change course since 1875? The 1875 map seems to show Sprague Brook further on, but no stream from Lake Nimrod.
The modern maps show green shading for Catskill State Park north of Willowemoc Creek. How did the state come to own this land? Did the farmers sell the land, did the state take it, or were use restrictions imposed? I found two dates for the founding of Catskill State Park, 1885 and/or 1905 and no information about how and why, except Catskill followed the founding of the Adirondack Park. How has this State Parkland affected the residents' ownership and lives over the past 100 years? This parkland covers a huge area of Livingston Manor. If private ownership is still allowed are there strict rules on how the land can be used? I was wondering what happened to the farms.
This is a great story! These folks are becoming like characters in a novel....except that it's all true! On my map I see that B. Van Gaasbeck, and Erastus and James Sprague were all neighbors....all in the area of the Purvis P.O. and just north of the Decker farm. I guess this would be right in the vicinity of the Deckertown Rd. today? The A. A. Bennett is Asa Bennett MD. (noted in the 1872/3 Directory) I wonder if he is the brother of Abner Bennett who married Mary Jane Purvis, dughter of Manley Purvis?
I WELCOME all of your input. It is wonderful!
I do not have a very complete OVERTON genealogy but you pose an interesting question. Was there some connection between the Spragues and the Overtons?
This has me wondering. As yet we have not learned the surname of Samuel Purvis' wife (Livingston Samuel) I have seen a number of variations on her first name (Satilla, Satella, Estella etc.) Do you suppose she might have been an Overton?? Two of Samuel's siblings married Overtons. The parents of these Overtons were James and Sybilla Ellis Overton. I show five children for them and three of them daughters (Mary/Polly, Rachel and Deborah.) Conceivably there may have been others...maybe born in NY. The names Satilla nd Sybilla are quite similar. Hmmmmmm.
Samuel's daughter Mary Ann Purvis married Erastus Sprague. Mary Ann Purvis and the Alexander Overton you mentioned were first cousins, since Alexander's mother was Elizabeth Purvis, sister of Mary Ann's father, Samuel. Could they have also been double cousins and have both had an Overton parent as well?
We need to find out Samuel Purvis' wife's surname!
On the old map that I have I show a P. Schriver on Hazel Rd in the vicinity of what is now the Catskill Fly Fishing Center. (This would be Philip Schriver my great great great grandfather...the name later permutated to Scriber) . Would anyone know if this is now the site of the Fly Fishing Center? As I recall though the actual road today is on the other side of the Creek and one must cross a bridge to get to the center. I do not recall a road running along the other side of the creek as shown on both my old and newer map. Could someone clear this up for me?
My first cousin, Ray Brown, who is a HS English teacher in S. CA (and a descendant of both the Purvis and Jackson families, as am I) just published a little paperback book of scary short stories for kids ( for about12-16 age range it appears).I just got a copy of this book entitled Enter at Your Own Risk and in one story the character is a 12 year old boy, named Billy Purvis. The setting is a remote town in upstate NY!
Dr Bennett was married to Louisa Rose, if you happen to discover what became of them I'd be interested to hear. I know they were still in the area around 1890 something when they exchanged some property with my great grandmother Rose. Was Asa a brother of Abner ?- the answer can be found in the census records that Harold has put on-line at the Manor website. I do know that the family came here from further out in the western part of New York state. Someone asked about Deeds- the Govenment Center in Monticello would be the place to look. However- years ago, about 20plus- when my sister was researching the family she was in contact with then county historian Lorraine Horback who said some of the very oldest Deeds were located at the Old Courthouse in Bloomingburg on the third floor. In little tin boxes marked with the initials of Livingston. Frankly I don't even know if that building still exists. (you would think they might have been transfered to Monticello, but such was not the case at that time) evelyn
Very interesting Evelyn. I'll check Harold's census records. I don't really have much info on the Bennetts but will keep my eyes out .
AND surprising about the old deeds. Wonder who might know about that. I actually have Lorraine Horbak's email address but maybe there is someone else we could also check with. John Conway?, Alan Barish (Director of Crawford Library)?. Don't really know.
The lots, and their lot lines, that were laid out in the Hardenburgh Patent are still very much in use by our local surveyors. Though these lots have been subdivided many times during the past 200 years, if you took a composite of the total subdivided lots, they would most likely form the original lot.
The original lots in the patent were also uniform in size in most cases. For example, the lots in our area were located in a section known as "Great Lot 4", its northern boundry being the line that runs from Joseclin through DeBruce, and its southern boundry along the town line common with the towns of Callicoon and Liberty. Though most of the lots within this great lot are squarish, a few, especially along the river, are elongated rectangles. But no matter the shape, each original lot would be approximately 160 acres. The P. Schriver lots, numbers 59 and 58, would be two such rectangular lots. The house shown on these lots appears to be in the vicinity of the current Schriber house, now owned by the Brannings, on the Hazel Road.
Hardenburgh lot numbers are also important in the descriptions of individual current deeds. For example, in the pursuit of finding the original Purvis homestead, I was able to look at the deed that, until recently, had a barn on the premises. Though the current deed would be that of the Emory property, the description of the deed states that it was "being part of lots 76 and 77", meaning that these lots were one deeded parcel at one time. Now this is only conjecture, but I'm assuming that these two combined lots were the original Purvis lots, comprising a total of 320 acres. But to verify this assumption, deed research at the County Clerk's office would need to be done.