Biography of XAVIER COTTET, 

Many thanks to Esther Rancier for sharing her information on the Alexander & Hagar family. Esther is researching in Richland and Mexico the Soul/Soule, Brace and Daniel P. Smith families, and would appreciate hearing from anyone researching these surnames.   Esther Rancier at:

 In Grandvillars, Belfort, France Xavier Cottet was born in 1823.  This area near the Swiss border in the Jura Mountains since 1648 was under the control of French kings, but they allowed cardinals of the Catholic Church to rule. About twelve miles away lay Montbeliard controlled by Protestants to protect them from Catholic persecutions.

 Xavier was buried in a Catholic Cemetery establishing that he was a Catholic.  He came to America arriving before 1848 when his oldest son, Charles, was born probably in Constantia, Oswego Co., NY.  

 Xavier wed Catherine Piguet, daughter of Francis and Mary (Tackley) Piguet, born French born.  This family arrived in Colosse, NY, before 1827.  Catherine was born ca. 1832 in Onondaga County, NY, believe some family members.  The marriage took place likely, at West Monroe, Oswego Co., NY.

 Xavier and Catherine were enumerated in the 1870 Constantia census.  They were 46 and 39 respectively.  Xavier’s name was recorded as “Cuttet, Haver.”  The spelling error made this citation very hard to locate.  The names of his (12) children were given as follows: Charles, age 21; Julius, age 20; Rosanna, age 18; Edward, age 17; Adaline, age 15; Louisa, age 13; Jesse, age 11; Victor, age 9; Sarah, age 7; James, age 4; Hatie [sic], age 2; and Jacob, age 1 month.  

 In 1880, Xavier and Catherine lived in district 1, Hastings, NY.  The older children had left the home, but six were still there.  Xavier continued as a farmer, age 56.  His wife was 48.  Xavier was called “Coltet, Xavier”.  The remaining children were Jesse, age 21; Victor, age 19; James, age 14; Catherine, age 12; Jacob, age 10; and Henry, age 8.

 It was in Hastings that an area evolved called, 'Little France'.  Little France had a post office and a hotel and not much else.  According to Historian John C. Churchill, Little France got its name from a number of French Canadian settlers.  A school district was made for the area also called Little France.  Actual settlers from France arrived later in the 1880’s.  Then a French Catholic church was built. The only Oswego County area, in which French people, not French Canadians, created, was in Mexico, NY at Colosse where both the French Protestants and French Catholics direct from eastern France built their own respective houses of worship in the 1840’s a few miles apart on French Street.  This section of Mexico was also called locally Little France, but its post office was Colosse, NY.

 Xavier died 19 December 1892.  He was buried in St. Francis Cemetery, Hastings.  He used the name 'Jacob', often in America.  Family researchers call him Jacob Xavier and/or Xavier Jacob Cottet.  Catherine died in 1913.  She too was buried at the St. Francis Cemetery without a stone. 
Their oldest son, Charles, in 1920 lived at Hastings, working as a farmer.  He had married Horine, age 65.  They had three children still at home: Clarissa, age 35; Mabel B., age 27; and Lila M., age 23.  Charles died at age 79 in 1927 in Hastings.  His death was reported at the first Cottet family reunion held at Mallory, in 1927.

 Julius Cottet had his own household by 1880 in Constantia.  He was age 30, a laborer.  He had married Harriet Monroe, age 25.  They were the parents of the following: Edward, age 7; Fredie [sic], age 4; Rosie, age 3; and Maggie M., age 8 months.

 Rosanna Cottet had wed ______ Tapley by 1929.  They lived in Syracuse, NY.  Siblings, Edward, Adaline and Louisa, had all died before 1929.  The baby, Jacob, may have also.

 Jesse Cottet by 1930 lived at Throop, Cayuga Co., NY.  He had wed Delila, age 67.  None of their children remained in the household.  In the 1880 census Jesse’s name was spelled Jessie and he was called female, but all other references to him make his status as a male clear.

 Sarah Cottet had married ______ Button and lived in Hastings in 1929.  Nothing further was known of her. She died after 1930.

James Cottet in 1920 resided in Frederick, Brown Co., SD.  Later by 1929 he moved to Ferdinand, ND.  His wife was Maude M., age 52, born in Illinois.  Their daughter, Maude B., age 14, was born in New York State.

Victor Cottet, married on 17 April 1884 Flora Estabrook/ Easterbrook, born 27 April 1864.  They had three children, spending many years living in Diana, Lewis Co., NY.  On 25 June 1889 at West Monroe, NY,  Goldie Carrie Cottet was born.  She later married Clark LeVern Benson of Parish, NY.  This couple had eleven children many of whom are still living.  Goldie died in 1969 at Carthage, NY.  She was laid to rest at Harrisville, NY.  

Victor and Flora had a son Roy C. Cottet, born in February 1893.  In the 1930 Diana census d/o Roy C., age 36, worked as a laborer in a paper mill.  His wife was Blanche A., age 32, who ran the farm they lived on.  Their children were as follows:  Rosanna B., age 14; Jennie F., age 12; and Alberta L., age 6.  Also in the household was an uncle, William Bonney, age 66.  Roy C. died February 1965.  

Roy C. had a sister, Lucy, born in 1900.  She married James Martin, a laborer.  The couple in the 1920 census were living with Diana's parents, Victor, 58, and Flora, 54.  The parents were operating the 'Diana Hotel' with two servants and 18 guests.  

 On 5 September 1929 the Watertown Times carried the obituary for Victor.  The headline read, “VICTOR COTTET, LONG ILL, DIES.”  The obituary went on thusly:  ”Harrisville, Sept. 5 – Victor Cottet, 68, died at his home in Harrisville this morning at 5:45 after an illness of nine years. Death was due to complications.

Mr. Cottet was born in West Monroe, N.Y. Feb. 23, 1861, son of Jacob and Catherine Cottet and spent his early life in West Monroe and Hastings.  He married Miss Flora Estabrook April 17, 1884 and lived for 23 years in that vicinity.  They moved to Harrisville 22 years ago.

 “He was employed for several years in the woods by the late John Bassett and also set up the machinery in connection of the Harrisville paper mill.  He worked as heater engineer for several years in this mill.  Mr. Cottet operated the Diana Hotel, Harrisville, for four years.  

 “He is survived by his widow, three children, Mrs. Goldie Benson, Defariat; Mrs. Lucy Martin and Roy Cottet, Harrisville; six brothers, Charles, Hastings; Henry, Mottville; James, Ferdinand, North Dakota; Richard and Jesse, Auburn; and Julius, Ira Hill; three sisters, Mrs. Sarah Button, Mrs. Katherine Spencer, Hastings; Mrs. Rosanna Tapley, Syracuse; and 13 grandchildren.

“Funeral services will be conducted Saturday afternoon at 1:30 at his home and at the Methodist Episcopal Church at 2, Rev. R. F. Brown officiating.  Burial will be made in Harrisville.” 

Note the Methodist burial service for the son, of Catholic parents.  Methodism had swept through Oswego County while he lived there.  Many of this family seemed to have converted.
In the 1930,  (Town of) Diana census Flora, age 65, still ran a boarding house with only five guests on Pearl St.  The Martins lived alone nearby in Diana.  James worked as a carpenter.  Lucy still had no children.
 A further observation from the obituary quoted above.  A brother, called Richard was included.  Did either brother, Edward or Jacob use the name Richard later in life ,or was Richard the youngest child?  Nothing further is known - (or clarified).

Xavier’s daughter Catherine, wed David Rice and had four children: Lydia F., born 1891; Clinton; Mary; and Jennie I.  After David’s death, she remarried to farmer Martin Spencer.  The Spencer’s resided at Hastings in 1920.  In the household were Martin Spencer, age 63, with his wife, Katie J., age 52, with stepson, Clinton J., age 15.  Katie’s farm home sat next door to brother Charles and his family.

Xavier’s son Henry, age 58, in 1930 had established his home at Skaneateles, NY with his wife Nina, age 48, and son, James, age 26, plus stepson, Roy, age 19.  The three men worked as laborers.  The young James, born 4 April 1903, died in January 1988 near Watertown, NY.
 Julius’ son, Edward, born in 1873, by 1930 resided in Auburn, Cayuga Co., NY.  He was 56 and wed to Mary, 59.  He worked as a blacksmith.  Their daughter, Florence, 18, was employed as a clerk in a factory.  

 Julius’ youngest child, Ivues, was born on 4 September 1891.  On 5 June 1917 Ivues registered for the draft in Pulaski, NY. When asked to name his next of kin he wrote, “mother and father”.  By 1930 he was living at Ira, Cayuga Co., NY with his wife, Mary, 28. Their children were enumerated as Ruth, age 8; Raymond, age 5; Roberta, age 3; and Royce, age 2.  Living with this family was, father Julius Cottet, age 80.

Mary, wife of Julius, born 5 March 1902, died on 10 November 1988.  Ivues died in August 1970.  Their daughter, Ruth, died in 1960.  Raymond died on 9 October 2000 at Cleveland, NY.  Royce died 27 October 2002 in Parish, NY.

Other Cottets lived also in Constantia in the area called Cleveland, NY.  Their origin in France has not been established.  For example, there were many individuals in the family of Franklin Cottet.  He might have been the brother of Xavier, but no proof exists at this time for such an assumption.  The members of Franklin’s household and his descendants can be located in various census records from 1870 to date.   For the 1870 census use the name “Cuttet, Frank”.
 Special thanks are due to family researcher,  Dan at who supplied the 1929 obituary quoted in this sketch.   [also make sure to check NY state census reports starting 1855 and ending in or about 1925.]

Churchill, John C.  Landmarks of Oswego County, New York.  Syracuse: Mason, 1895.
Cottet Family Genealogy Forum. Available [online] [20 March 2004].
 Cottet First Family Reunion at Mallory.  Available [online] l [18 March 2004].
 Obituary for Victor Cottet, Watertown Times, 5 September 1929.
 Social Security Death Index.  Available [online] [20 March 2004].
 U.S. Census, Auburn, Cayuga Co., NY 1930.
 U.S. Census, Ira, Cayuga Co., NY 1930.
 U.S. Census, Throop, Cayuga Co., NY 1930.
 U.S. Census, Diana, Lewis Co., NY 1920 & 1930.
 U.S. Census, Skaneateles, Onondaga Co., NY 1930.
 U.S. Census, Constantia, Oswego Co., NY 1870, 1880, 1910 & 1920.
 U.S. Census, Hastings, Oswego Co., NY 1880, 1920 & 1930.
 U.S. Census, Frederick, Brown Co., SD 1920.
 World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Available [online] [19 March 2004].
World Connect Project.  Available [online] [19 March 2004].

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