Genealogical & Family History of Northern, NY
Pages 386-393

William Richard Cutter, A. M.
Editorial Supervisor

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam


DOUGLASS. Of the origin and signification of the name Douglas, one of the most ancient and honored in the annals of Scotland, there is no account, which is altogether satisfactory. As no theory yet advanced can be relied upon as absolutely trustworthy, no consideration need be given to any. In regard to the spelling of the name, whether

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with one s or two, there has also been much discussion, with, however, quite settling the point. Although Douglass is the spelling most universally followed by the Scotch branches as far back as records exist, in certain branches Douglas is sometimes found. Hume, the historian of the family, always spells the name Douglass. In Burke's "Heraldry" the Douglass coat-of-arms is thus described: "Argent a man's heart Gules ensigned with an imperial crown proper; on a chief azure three stars of the first." Authentic records of the family go back to William of Douglass and the year 1175. The family was founded in American by Deacon William Douglass, the original emigrant, son of Robert Douglass, who was born about 1588. The most conspicuous public character the family has produced in America was the Hon. Stephen Arnold Douglass, LL.D., judge, United States senator and leading Democratic statesman of that turbulent period, previous tot he Civil War. He was the leading rival of Abraham Lincoln for the presidency of the Untied States, and one of the greatest lawyers and politicians of his day. After his defeat for the presidency by Mr. Lincoln, with the magnanimity of the truly great man, he gave his great rival his hearty support in his efforts to suppress the rebellion. Judge Douglass was a lineal descendant of Deacon William, the emigrant, and was of the seventh generation in America.

(I) Deacon William Douglass, son of Robert Douglass, was born in Scotland in the year 1610. He married Ann Mattle about 1636, only daughter of Thomas Mattle of Ringstead, Northamptonshire, England, born in 1610. William Douglass emigrated to New England with his wife and two children, Ann and Robert, in 1640. He settled, first, at Gloucester, Massachusetts, but removed the same year to Boston, where he is first mentioned August 13, 1640, as follows: "William Douglass is allowed to be a townsman, he behaving himselfe as becometh a Christian man." He did not long remain in Boston, but removed the following year to Ipswich, where he received a share of the public land, February 28, 1641. He remained in Ipswich four years, returned to Boston in 1645. He followed the cooper's trade in Boston and bought and sold houses and land. In 1659 he purchased of William Hough of New London, Connecticut, "the house that was Robert Isbell's in New Street." In 1660 He removed to New London with wife and three children, Robert, Sarah and William. He purchased other property and had two farms granted him in remuneration of services to the town. On one of these farms he build his house, which Miss Caulkins describes in 1865 thus: "The house is very ancient and part of it which has heavy timbers overhead and is propped with rude posts in the area, probably belongs to the first dwelling built upon the spot, which was before 1670." This farm was inherited by his second son William, and remained in the family in the direct line of his male descendants for over two hundred years. He became prominent in town affairs, and in 1670 was elected one of the two deacons of the church. He was townsman, recorder, moderator, dealer and on various important committees from year to year. He was chosen deputy to the general court at Hartford in 1672, and once or twice later. He remained active in town and church until the date of his death, July 26, 1682. His wife died at New London about 1685. Children: 1. Ann, born in Scotland in 1637, came to Massachusetts with her parents in 1640; married, October 14, 1658, Nathaniel Geary of Lynn, Massachusetts, born in England; ten children. 2. Robert, see forward. 3. Elizabeth, born in Ipswich, Massachusetts, August 26, 1641, married February 16, 1658, Deacon John Chandler, of Roxbury; eight children. 4. Sarah, born in Ipswich, Massachusetts, April 18, 1643; removed with her parents to New London, Connecticut, in 1660; married, in October, 1661; John Keeney; died August 4, 1689,

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leaving one child, Susannah Keeney, who married Ezekiel Turner. 5. Deacon William (2), born in Boston, Massachusetts, April 1, 1645. After the death of his father he was chosen deacon, an office he held for over fifty years until his death. He married, (first) Abiah Hough, (second) Mary Bushnell, who survived him. His eight children, all by his first wife, were born in New London. His son William (3) was also Deacon William.

(II) Robert, eldest son of Deacon William and Ann (Mattle) Douglass, was born in Scotland in 1639. He was one year old when his parents emigrated to America and twenty-one when he removed with them to New London, Connecticut. Lands were granted him in New London, and he inherited from his father. He was a cooper by trade, learning it from his father, and in turn teaching it to his own son, William. His name occurs frequently on both town and church records. From 1671 he appears to have taken an especial interest in church affairs, and he served on important town committees from time to time. He died January 15, 1715-16. He married, September 28, 1665, Mary, daughter of Robert Hempstead, of New London. She was the first child of English parents born in the town. her father was one of the four inhabitants who assisted Winthrop in settling the town. She died December 26, 1711. Children, all born in New London: 1. William, see forward. 2. Mary, born June 13, 1668; married, June 10, 1703, George Chappell. 3. Ann, December 25, 1669; married, about 1690, Jacob Waterhouse of New London; children: 1. John, 2. William, 3. Robert, 4. Joseph, 5. Gideon Waterhouse. 4. John, July 17, 1671, died in infancy. 5. Hannah, May 14, 1673, married, about 1696, Stephen Hurlburt of New London; children: Stephen, Freelove, Mary, Sarah, John, Captain Titus, a soldier of the French and Indian Wars and Captain of the old fort, Joseph Hurlburt. 6. Sarah, born December 2, 1674; married, June 22, 1699, Samuel Comstock of New London; died April 1, 1704. 7. Elizabeth, born April 26, 1677, married Henry Rowland, of Lyme, Connecticut. 8. Thomas, born May 15, 1679; married, November 25, 1703, Hannah Sperry, of New Haven, Connecticut. He held many important town offices and was a leading member of the church; died March 3, 1724 or 1725; children, all born in New London: i. John, ii. Robert, iii. Thomas, iv. James, v. Daniel. vi. Mary. vii. Stephen, viii. Nathan, and ix. John(2). 9. Phoebe, born January 20, 1681; married, January 17, 1703, John Baker of New London. 10., Susannah, born about 1683, married, November 4, 1708, Edward De Wolf, of Lyme. 11, Ruth, born about 1685, married, December 15, 1711, Isaac Woodworth, of Norwich, Connecticut.

(III) William, eldest child of Robert and Mary (Hempstead) Douglass, was born at New London, Connecticut, November 11, 1666. In 1724 he sold a large tract of land in New London and removed to Colchester, Connecticut, settling hear the Great Pond. He was a cooper by trade, as were his father and grandfather. He married Hannah -------------, who was received into the New London church, November 13, 1709. Children, all born in New London: 1. John, see forward. 2. Hannah, born October 23, 1703, married at Colchester, John Bigelow, nine children. 3. Mercy, born November 4, 1705. 4. Joshua, born June 2, 1708; married Sarah Foote and removed to New Jersey, where he died; children: i. Joshua, ii. Sarah, iii. David. 5. William, born June 29, 1710. 6. Sarah, baptized September 7, 1712. 7. Peter, baptized June 10, 1715; married Lydia Fox, of New London, and had issue. He subsequently left New London and disappeared. 8. Jonathan, baptized September 15, 1717, died about 1740. 9. Ann, baptized May 29, 1720.

(IV) John, eldest child of William and Hannah Douglas, was born in New London, Connecticut, November 4, 1701. He was a farmer of Colchester, and married Elizabeth Gusterfield of that town. Chil-

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dren, all born in Colchester, Connecticut: 1. Mary, born November 29, 1729. 2. John, born October 12, 1731, died July 16, 1734. 3. Elizabeth, born December 5, 1733. 4. Daniel, born October 15, 1735, married Jemima Webb; was a deacon of the Saybrook Baptist Church; children: i. John, ii. Daniel, iii. Samuel, iv. Joshua, v. David, vi. Lucy, vii. Hannah, viii. Mercy. 5. Israel, see foreword.

(V) Deacon Israel, youngest child of John and Elizabeth (Gusterfield) Douglass, was born in Colchester, Connecticut, December 9, 1742. He settled at Saybrook, now Chester, and was a deacon of the church there until his removal in 1806 to Leyden, New York, whither his sons, Israel (2), Jonathan and Nathan had preceded him. Deacon Douglass and his wife both died at Leyden; hem March 28, 1818. Of his children it was written by one who knew them well: "They were a hardy thrifty and industrious class, moral and religious in their tendencies; a faithful record of whose lives and experiences would honor the historic name they bore, and they maybe pardoned for having a little clannish pride." Deacon Douglass married, February 26, 1768, Abigail Hull of Clinton, Connecticut; children: 1. Israel (2), see forward. 2. Jonathan, born September 21, 1774, married; children: i. Ansel, ii. Norton, iii. Jonathan, iv. Rachel. 3. Anna, born October 14, 1776; married Abner Richards. 4. Abigail, born May 19, 1780, died unmarried, February 13, 180-. 5. Nathan, born February 18, 1783; married Charlotte Tyler; children: i. Maria, ii. Nathan S., iii. Eliza, iv. Laura A., v. Nathan W., vi. Nancy L., and vii, Samuel Tyler. 6. Dr. Salmon, born February 27, 1786. He was a farmer in early live, but afterward studied medicine and became a successful physician; he married (first) Roxana Hubbard, (second) Prudence Hawley; children by first wife: i. Marilla. 2. Julia. 3. Roxanna. 4. Lydia L. 5. Dr. David D. 6. Dr. Salmon (2); by second wife: 7. Homer. 8. Prudence. 9. Charles A. 10. Harriet L. 11. Francis A. 7. Lydia, born September 13, 1788; married ----------- Jones, and had six children. The tombstones mark their graves in south Leyden Hill Cemetery.

(VI) Israel (2), eldest child of Israel and Abigail (Hull) Douglass, was born in Saybrook, Connecticut, August 17, 1769, died at Leyden, New York, March 22, 1855. In early life he was a schoolmaster. He married (first) November 12, 1793, Ruth, died December, 1802, daughter of Thomas Pratt of Saybrook, who bore him five children. In 1803, he married Sarah Spencer, widow of Captain Chatfield, lost at sea, and in 1805 removed to Leyden, New York, where he cleared and improved a large farm. His brother Jonathan followed him to Leyden. A number of relatives settled near, and the street on which they lived was called "Douglass Street." Children by first wife: 1. Ruth, born in Essex, Connecticut, October 29, 1794; married Alanson Ingham of Saybrook, two children. 2. Anselm, born august 28, 1796, died August 17, 1813. 3. Nancy Anna, born in Winchester, Connecticut, March 10, 1798; married, in Leyden, New York, February 15, 1819, Samuel Allen; they removed to Ohio, and from there to Michigan; five children. 4. Elizabeth, born in Leyden, New York, April 16, 1800; married, December 7, 1819, Simon Merwin; eight children; she died in Chelsea, Illinois, in 1864. 5. Thomas Pratt, born in Leyden, New York, November 21, 1802; married, March 4, 1829, Eliza Margaret Stephens; children: i. Adeline, married Ambrose Dewey, ii. Arethusa, married William Brown of Leyden, iii. Emily Eliza, iv. Mary Elizabeth, v. Israel Byron, vii. James Wallace, viii. Charles Ingham, ix. Nancy Maria. Children by second wife: 6. Abigail, born in Leyden, July 2, 1804; married Edwin Kendall, brother of John Kendall, who married her sister Prudence, one child. 7. Prudence, born April 17, 1806; married John Kendall. 8. Mary, born June 9, 1808, died unmarried, June 7, 1846. 9. John, see forward. 10. Asahel, born May 29, 1814; died June 29, 1869; his widow, Alma, survived him

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with twin sons, William and Wallace of Momence, Illinois. She died in Illinois.

(VII) John, ninth child of Israel (20 and fourth by his second wife, Sarah (Spencer) Douglass, was born in Leyden, New York, December 9, 1811. He was reared on the home farm and learned the mason's trade following that in connection with farming during his forty years of active life in Lewis County. Later in life he removed to a farm in Stanwix, Oneida county, where he died May 26, 1889. He married, February 17, 1836, Olive Sage, born in Leyden, January 20, 1814, died February 3, 1894, daughter of Bernard and Hannah (Cone ) Sage of Connecticut. Children: 1. Dr. Adelbert J., see forward. 2. Dr. Charles E., see forward. 3. Dr. Allison O., see forward. 4. Alice O.

(VIII) Adelbert John, eldest son of John and Olive (Sage) Douglass, was born at Leyden, New York, February 24, 1837. His primary and academic education was obtained in the common schools, Lowville Academy and Whitestone Seminary. Deciding upon the profession of medicine, he studied under the preceptorship of Dr. William Nelson of Taberg, and attended lectures at the Long Island Medical College and Hospital of Brooklyn, New York, graduating in 1872. He began the practice of his profession in Oneida County, New York, but in 1875 located in Ilion, Herkimer County, New York, where he has since been actively engaged in medical and surgical practice, a period of time equaling one-third of a century. He has a lucrative practice, and is recognized as an able, skillful practitioner. He is closely connected with the county and state medical societies; is one of the staff of the Ilion Hospital, and has the highest regard of them embers of the medical profession. In addition to the arduous labors of a successful physician, he has borne his full share of the responsibilities of the good citizen. He has served on the Ilion school board, and for many years was president of the village. Politically he is a Republican, and his church affiliation is with the Baptist denomination. His fraternal membership is with the Masonic order, in both lodge and chapter.

Dr. Douglass married, October 30, 1872, Mary D. Chittenden, born at Westmoreland, Oneida County, New York, November 2, 1843, died March 15, 1910, daughter of Truxton and Maria (Harrison) Chittenden. Truxton Chittenden was a son of Asena Douglass, who was a daughter of Joshua Douglass, a descendant of Robert of Scotland, the common ancestor. Child: Dr. Aldebert Chittenden Douglass, born at Clark's Mills, Oneida County, New York, August 22, 1874. He was graduated from the Ilion high school, studied medicine with his father, entered Long Island College, his father's alma mater, from which he was graduated in 1899. For one year he practiced in the Faxton Hospital at Utica, New York; then located in Ilion, where he is now (1910) in active practice. He has a growing practice that fully occupies his time and promises a prosperous professional future. He married, April 4, 1908, Frances H. Ellis, of Rome, New York, and has a son, Charles Raymond Douglass, born November 10, 1909.

(VIII) Charles Eugene, second son of John and Olive (Sage) Douglass, was born in Denmark, New York, January 9, 1846. His preparatory education was obtained in the Oneida county schools, and in 1865 he entered the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Later he decided to adopt medicine as his profession, and became a student at the Long Island Medical College and Hospital, at Brooklyn, New York, from which he was graduated Doctor of Medicine in 1873. In 1881 he tool a post-graduate course covering the lectures of one year at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, graduating and securing his degree of Doctor of Medicine from that famed institution in 1882. His previous practice had been in Oneida and Lewis counties, where he returned and has spent his en-

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tire professional life. He located in Lowville, where he is still enjoying a lucrative practice, and the highest standing as a physician and surgeon. His reputation as an able, skillful practitioner is not merely local, but extends through the entire northern New York section, where in point of professional eminence he is excelled by none. He has been United States pension examiner and surgeon during his entire professional life, a position he still holds. He has always been identified with the Lewis county Medical Society, which he served as president. He is also a member of the State Medical Society and the National Association of Pension Examiners. Although advancing in years and having an established reputation, he is still an earnest student, and with the tenacity and earnestness of his Scotch ancestors, still strives for deeper knowledge and greater achievement in his loved profession. He has often been called as an expert witness in criminal trials, where his technical knowledge has materially assisted the jury in rendering their verdict. His specialty is gynecology and general surgery. He is a member of Tunis Lodge, No. 184, Free and Accepted Masons, of Tunis, one of the oldest lodges in the state, and of the Baptist Church of Boonville, Oneida County. Politically he is a Republican.

Dr. Douglass married (first) Julia A. Brown, daughter of George W. Brown, former sheriff of Oneida County, New York. He married (second) January 24, 1869, Esther H. Bacon, daughter of David, born January 30, 1814, and Sarah (Parsons) Bacon of Leyden, New York, and granddaughter of Jonathan Middlefield Bacon, born May 10, 1789, died October 31, 1861, married November 10, 1811, Deborah Tyler, born in Connecticut, January 9, 1794, died July 17, 1756.

(VIII) Allison O., third son of John and Olive (Sage) Douglass, was born in Ava, New York, January 29, 1852. He obtained a good practical education in the public schools, studied medicine with his brother, Dr. Charles L. Douglass, entered Long Island Medical College, where he was graduated Doctor of Medicine. He located at Little Falls, New York, where he is now engaged in the successful practice of his profession (1910). He married (first) Mary Powell, who bore him a daughter, Maud Douglass; (second) Aida (or Ada) Ives of Murray, Herkimer County, New York, who also bore him a daughter; Hazel Douglass.

(VIII) Alice O., twin of Dr. Allison O. and only daughter of John and Olive (Sage) Douglass, is a professional nurse and resides in Ilion , New York, unmarried.

(The Sage Line).

The Sage ancestry of Drs. C. E., and A. J. Douglass, through their mother, Olive Sage, leads beyond the seas to the mountains of Wales, where the American ancestor, David Sage, was born. Excluding those of recent immigration, it has been ascertained that about ninety-four out of every hundred bearing the name in the Untied States are lineal descendants of the same ancestor, David Sage. The family without doubt was of Scandinavian origin, and the name originally was Saga. When the Norsemen conquered Normandy in France they generally softened the final ending a to e, thus making Saga Sage, and added a French suffix to denote landed occupation. So the first Norman Saga or Sage added ville, thus making it Sageville. The name is first found in English history upon the roll of Battle Abbey 1066. This roll was made by William the Conqueror, who erected a magnificent church or abbey upon the battleground of Hastings in commemoration of his victory, and the monks were instructed to prepare the roll of those engaged in the battle, and offer prayer for those who perished there. The name on this roll was Sageville. In addition to the English lands granted by the king, a coat-of-arms was granted.

(I) David Sage, born in Wales in 1639, came to Middletown, Connecticut, in 1652,

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being one of the first settlers. The towns of Middletown originally comprised the present towns of Cromwell, Chatham, Portland, Middlefield, and a large part of Berlin. David's farm and home was in the north-eastern part of the present town of Cromwell and some of his descendants yet reside upon the land. His name first appears upon the town records of Middletown, February 8, 1664, in a deed for land. His marriage to his first wife, Elizabeth Kirby, was about the same time. Hereafter his name is of frequent occurrence. The stone marking his grave is still standing in the riverside Cemetery, Middletown, Connecticut, and gives the date of his death as March, 1703, and his age as sixty-four years. he left a will dated March 27, 1703, which disposed of property, real and personal, inventoried at seven hundred and fifty-nine pounds.

He married, (first) in February, 1664, Elizabeth, daughter of John Kirby; children: 1. David, born in 1665. 2. John, see forward. 3. Elizabeth, 1670. 4. Mary, 1672. He married (second) in 1673, Mary Wilcox; children: 5. Jonathan, 1674. 6. Timothy, 1678. 7. Nathaniel, (twin). 8. Mercy, (twin), 1680.

(II) John, second son of David and Elizabeth (Kirby) Sage, was born in Cromwell, Connecticut, in 1668, died 1751. In the oldest cemetery in the town of Cromwell is a monument erected to John Sage and Hannah, his wife. On the top are inserted two plates, the first reading: "Here lies interred the body of Mr. John Sage, who departed this life Jan, ye 22 A.D., 1750-01, in the 83rd year of his age. He left a virtuous and sorrowful wife with whom he lived 57 years and had 15 children; 12 of them married and increased the family, by repeated marriage, to the number of 29, of these 15 are alive. He had 120 grandchildren, 105 of whom now living, 40 great-grandchildren, 37 of them now living, which makes the number of offspring 189." The second plate reads: "Here lies interred the body of Mrs. Hannah Sage, once the virtuous consort of Mr. John Sage, who both are covered with this stone; and there have been added to the numerous offspring mentioned above, 44 by birth and marriages, which makes the whole number 233. She fell asleep Sept. ye 38, A.D., 1763, in the 83rd year of her age." By the records of the Congregational Society of Cromwell, it appears that the society was organized January, 1714-15, and the tax lists of residents is here given, by which it appears that Mr. John Sage was the second in point of wealth in the society and the amount of his properly subject to taxation about $13,000, a large amount at that date. His wife was Hannah Starr of Cromwell. Children: 1. John (2). 2. David, (twin). 3. Benjamin, (twin). 4. Nathaniel, see forward. 5. Ebenezer. 6. Comfort. 7. Gideon. 8. Hannah. 9. Elizabeth, (twin). 10. Mary, (twin). 11. Elizabeth (2). 12. Ann. 13. Jemima. 14. Prudence. 15. Thankful. John, the eldest, was born in 1696, and Gideon, the youngest, in 1718.

(III) Nathaniel, fourth son of John and Hannah (Starr) Sage, was born in Cromwell, Connecticut, in 1707. He married Rebecca Hart of Cromwell, and had four sons: 1. Samuel, see forward. 2. Jedediah. 3. Hezekiah. 4. Nathaniel; five daughter: 5. Lucia. 6. Rebecca. 7. Thankful. 8. Hepzibah. 9. Hannah. These children were born between the years 1732 and 1755.

(IV) Samuel, the eldest son of Nathaniel and Rebecca (Hart) Sage, was born in Cromwell, Connecticut, in 1732. He married Prudence Hurlburt, and had sons: 1. Enos, a Revolutionary soldier. 2. Elias, see forward. 3. Samuel (2); daughters: 4. Prudence. 5. Mary. 6. Thankful. 7. Chloe 8. Rebecca, born between the years 1755 and 1775.

(V) Elias, second son of Samuel and Prudence (Hurlburt) Sage, as born in 1759. He was of Sandisfield, Massachusetts. He married and a family of eight sons and four daughters, born between the years 1782 and 1809. Sons: 1. Martin. 2. Roswell. 3. Bernard, see forward. 4. Harvey. 5. Elias (2). 6. Norton. 7. Wesley. 8. J. William; daughters; 9. Sally, 10. Hannah. 11. Elizabeth and

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12. Rhoda. Elias, the father, served in the Revolutionary War. At that time there were sixty-four members of the Sage family between the ages of sixteen and forty-five; of these twenty are known to have been in the American Army, and doubtless there were others of whom no record of service is preserved.

(VI) Bernard, third son of Elias Sage, was born in 1786. He married Hannah Cone and had two sons and three daughters: 1. Chauncey E., born 1817. 2. Luther, born in 1830. 3. Nancy, born 1812. 4. Olive, see forward. 5. Amanda, born in 1819.

(VII) Olive, second daughter of Bernard and Hannah (Cone) Sage, was born January 20, 1814. She married John Douglass of Leyden, New York, (see Douglass VII), and was the mother of three sons, who are all eminent physician of New York State, and a daughter who is a professional nurse.


Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1910

This book is owned by Pam Rietsch and is a part of the Mardos Memorial Library

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