Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New York Roots

As I got older, I knew the story of Granddad Gage coming out west with his sibling from New York State to Nebraska in 1908.  Their parents had died, and their maternal grandmother wanted them to come and live with her.  Granddad Gage had a genealogy history of his Gage family that showed some surprising information for me.  His paternal family had pretty much been in the same region of New York State for about a 100 years.

Granddad Gage and some of his siblings - Left to Right
Alice, Phebe, Pete, Ora (Granddad) Nellie & Burt.
The first New York Gage was Joseph Gage.  He was born on 3 May 1734 in Freetown, Bristol Co., MA to William Montgomery Gage and Hannah Davis.  Joseph married Mary Jane Huddleston on 13 Sep 1756 in Dartmouth, Bristol Co., MA.  I would love to say that I have a lot more generations preceding Joseph Gage…but that is not the case.  His father, William Montgomery Gage, is the first Gage that we are sure is a direct ancestor.  William Montgomery Gage is thought to have been born around 1696 based on some land documents that he signed.  He served in a militia from Maine for six months in 1722 which I assume involved some war between the Colonists and the Native Americans.  His line of work has been recorded as schoolmaster and any Gages that believe they are descended from the William Gage of Freetown, MA – this is the Gage that they are descended from.  Joseph Gage married a few years after his father’s death in 1756 and within a few years moved to New York State.  According to his second son’s birthplace, he was in Otsego Co., NY in 1759, in Dutchess Co., NY in 1762, and in Duanesburg, Schenectady Co., NY by 1764 which is where he lived the rest of his life.
Joseph and Mary had at least 10 children, nine of whom were sons.  Some of those sons spelled their names Gage and some spelled it Gaige…but they were from the same family.  Joseph died on 23 May 1811 in Duanesburg, NY and Mary died a few years later on 27 Jan 1814.  Their fourth youngest son was William Gage b. 20 Aug 1770 in Duanesburg, NY and d. 18 Jan 1865 in Knox, Albany Co., NY.  He married Ruth Macomber in 1790.  Four Gage siblings married four Macomber siblings which leads me to believe that the families probably lived near each other.  William Gage and Ruth Macomber's fourth son, Potter Gage was born 25 Dec 1798 in Knox, Albany Co., NY.  Potter Gage was my great grandfather’s great grandfather.
To finish up the line…Potter Gage m. Cynthia Swan – their son, Gilbert Gage m. Phoebe Allen, and their grandson, Orlando m. Charity Hotaling and Edith Gallup.  So from about 1759 to 1908 – Granddad Gage’s paternal line had lived in New York State.  His mother’s family (Gallup) had come from Connecticut in 1796.  The Swan’s were in New York by 1800 (they also came from Connecticut), the Allen line had actually been there probably since the early 1700’s (See Palantine Families)  At some point, I expected to find an immigrant who arrived after 1800…but I never found one in Granddad Gage’s family.  His family lines had actually been some of the early settlers of Connecticut and moved westward to New York State.  The family line that I originally had the most information on (Gage) actually turned out to be one of the more difficult lines to locate the immigrant ancestor.  I don’t know if we will ever find the documentary evidence…but I believe that science does offer some hope. 
By the time Granddad had left New York in 1908 – his family had been living in the same area (give or take a few miles) for almost 150 years.  I don’t know how many descendants of Orlando Gage are still in the New York area.  I know that there are a few that I am communicated with that still bear the last name of Gage.  I wonder how many of them know that their family has been there since the mid 1700’s.  That seems quite unique for me as I live in a town that has only been in existence since 1861 and I live in a state that has been a state only since 1890.  (I live in Lewiston, Idaho)  My family has only been in Idaho since the 1920’s (maternal side) and 1930’s (paternal side).  I suppose that it is one of the exciting things about genealogy – it is a lot of fun to try and figure out where your family came from…and how your family ended up where they are.  In my Granddad Gage’s life time – he traveled from New York to Nebraska to Iowa to South Dakota to Idaho and then to Oregon – that is quite a journey for a 98 year lifetime!