Probably after 1842 Jaques
Vernier Bequillard in eastern France gathered his family, sons Louis
and Charles and traveled to America. He may have heard about the
free land of the west, the wonders of the new Erie Canal or knew about
a French family who was doing well in America. He likely came from
Alsace-Lorraine where warring armies marched through too many times.
In his lifetime Jaques had possibly been both a French and a German citizen.
When the group reached Syracuse,
the canal boats were usually met by a person who spoke French with an Alsace-Lorraine
accent. They heard about the wonderful pasturage, the climate much
like home and fair leases for the land. Whether they wanted to settle
in Oswego County or were just tired of the journey remains unknown, but
this Catholic family went to inspect the area.
Whether they arrived before
the Catholic Church at Mexico, NY, St. Ann’s was built in 1845 or later,
they found a population of fellow Catholics primarily from Alsace-Lorraine.
They stayed on content with familiar sights and sounds of home.
Jaques was never recorded in
an U.S. census. His sons and grandsons were not enumerated until
1880. But son Louis enlisted as a private on 4 May 1861 in Co. D,
24th Infantry Regt. NY which established their presence in the county.
The 24th Infantry was called
the Oswego Regiment. They went into battle for the first time on
26 July 1861. Louis must not have cared much for this experience
for her deserted on 18 September 1861 at Arlington, VA. Maybe he
was the smartest man in the unit for he was gone before the group served
at Second Bull Run where 237 men from the 24th were killed and wounded.
On 27 September 1877 Jaques
V. Bequillard wrote his last will and testament. On 12 January
1878 the will was presented to the Surrogate Court for probate.
Jaques’ will said, “In the
name of God Amen. I Jaques Vernier Bequillard, of the town of Mexico,
the County of Oswego and State of New York, of the age of seventy-eight
years and being of sound mind and memory do make, publish and declare this
my last will and testament in manner following, that is, to say:
“I give and bequeath
to my wife Susane[sic] Bequillard the use of the sum of five hundred and
fifty dollars being my property in money during her natural life with the
privilege of using as much out of said property as it may become necessary
to her for her own maintenance and support, I give for her also the remained
of my personal property of whatever nature, it may be and I hereby appoint
my son Charles Bequillard as Executor of my last will and testament hereby
revoking all former will by me made.
The Susan mentioned in the will
was Susan Breed. She was born in France, coming to America with her
husband and sons. Son Charles mentioned in the will was wed to Virginia
also born in France. They were living in the 1880 census in the 1st
Ward of Oswego with their son Albert, age 15. Charles was 46 and
Virginia, 50. Charles worked as a jeweler.
“In witness whereof I have
hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty-seventh day in the year of our
Lord one thousand eight-hundred and seventy-seven.. Jaques Bequillard
“Peter Gray and Georgr Turot witness”
The other Bequillard son Louis
wed Adaline. They were age 43 and 38 respectively in the 1880 Mexico
census. Their children were Rosa, age 17; Charles, age 15; William,
age 11; and Louis, age 3. Louis worked as a tailor. Son William
by 1888 became as coat maker living at Oswego in the Brown’s Hotel.
Another Bequillard family at
Mexico on the 180 census was headed by Charles T., the namesake son of
Charles and Virginia. Young Charles, age 23, married Mary F. Simard,
age 18. They lived with his brother Leon, age 21, a farm hand., and
the grandfather and grandmother of Charles T. and Leon. The grandparents
were Anthony Robert, age 83 and Claud Robert, age 67. Her formal
name was Claudine. The Roberts were Virginia’s parents both born
In 1910 at Mexico there were
two Bequillard families. Charles T. and Mary, married 30 years, lived
with two children: Florence, age 13, and Charles F., age 25. This
group resided on the road from Kenyon School House to Villard School Louse.
Charles’ brother Leon, age
51, and his wife Catherine, age 43, were domiciled with their five children..
The children were Fred R., age 20; Blanche J., age 19; Lilian [sic] M.,
age 16; Grace F., age 14; and Helen C., age 11. Catherine declared
in the 1920 census she had given birth to five children and all were
still surviving. They lived on the Cross Road to Villard School House.
The Robert and Bequillard families
became members of the St. Ann’s Catholic Church on French Street in Mexico.
This small Catholic Church remains in operation in the summers into the
Upon their deaths the families
of Charles and the Roberts were buried at St. Ann’s Cemetery. Jaques
and Susan may also have been buried there, but have no stone at present.
Anthony Robert, 1797-1884, was buried along with his wife, Claudine, 1812-1895.
Claudine maiden name was given as Fofry. Virginia Roberts Bequillard,
1831-1907, born in France, was the wife of Charles F., 1835-1918, also
born in France. Their daughter-in-law Mary F. Simard Bequillard,
1862-1934, and son Charles T., 1857-1948, were buried last.
Louis Bequillard and his family
were laid to rest in the Mexico Village Cemetery . The stones said:
Louis, “1833-1917”; son Louis,”1876-1894”; C. L., “1864-1896”; and Adaline,
‘1842-1920”.C.L. was a son Charles. Another stone noted, “Rose”,
but had no dates.
In the 1920 Mexico census Adaline,
age 73, a widow was listed, living alone. She died later that year.
More of the family was given
in the 1930 Mexico census. There were two Bequillard households.
Charles T., age 72, and Mary F., age 67, lived quietly in the town.
Brother Leon, age 71, had his own home with wife Catherine, age 65, and
children: Frederick, age 29, and Lillian, age 32. This Frederick
had to register for the draft in World War I. He listed his father
as his nearest relative. His birthplace was Mexico, NY and his birthdate
was 2 August 1889. He had brown eyes and hair.
Leon’s daughter Blanche wed
James Earl LaRobardiere. They later lived in Parish, NY. Blanche
died in 1958. Her husband survived to 1970. They were both
buried in the Pleasant Lawn Cemetery in section 8, lot 120. Their
son Leon LaRobardiere, born in 1917, wed Beatrice Bellinger. He died
in 1992 and was buried also in Section 8, lot 120 in Parish.
In the early 21st century no
one with this surname remained in Oswego County.
American Civil War Soldiers.
Available [online] http://ancestry.com
Cemetery Census for the Town
of Mexico, Oswego County, New York. Mexico: Mexico Historical Society,
N.Y. Oswego Co.
Surrogate Ct. Probate, v. N, p. 35-36. (LDS microfilm #0872719).
Pleasant Lawn Cemetery, Parish,
NY. Available [online] http://www.rootsweb.com/~nyoswego/cemeteries/pleasant.html
[22 February 2004].
U.S. Census, Mexico, Oswego
Co., NY 1880, 1910, 1920 & 1930.
U.S. Census, 1st Ward, Oswego
Co., NY 1880.
World War I Draft Registration
Cards, 1917-1918. Available [online] http://ancestry.com
[16 March 2004].
of JOHN BURROWS,
That Mexico, NY actually had
a Civil War Sailor, was unusual situation. In both the North and
South sailors were in short supply. The Army paid bonuses of such
size that sailors joined the Army. There were some exceptions.
The Confederate Navy found easy recruiting for the ships: Alabama, Florida
and Shenandoah which raided commercial ships. These crews were paid
well in gold. The Florida would come to play a roll in the career
of John Burrows.
Although born 20 January 1819
in Middletown, CT John Burrows moved to the Bahamas at three months with
his parents, John and Margaret (Braddock) Burrows. Near Nassau his
father made salt probably on Great Inagua which today in the home of Morton
Salt. This very isolated life had no appeal for young Burrows.
When he was ten, he arranged to go to sea where he enjoyed his new life
as a sailor. He entered the U.S. Naval Service as a private on 7
August 1845 at age 26.
During the Mexican War he served
on the frigate USS Congress. He was present in Monterey, CA when
the first American flag over California was hoisted. On 10 February
1849 he was made an Acting Master’s Mate. President Millard Fillmore signed
his commission to Boatswain on 15 November 1850. He then served on
the sloop USS Germantown.
On 2 February 1851 he married
Eliza McKee of Brooklyn. In 1854 the couple removed to Mexico,
Oswego Co., NY. They came to the scenic small village as a result
of their friendship with T.C. Herbert, a sail maker, who was a boon companion
` Eliza died 17 January 1881.
She was buried in the Mexico Village Cemetery with her two sons, Henry
P. and Theodore H. She was 51 years old, daughter of Irish immigrants.
Her brother, Alexander McKee, lived with her family in 1880. He was
also a sailor.
On 6 September 1882 in Oswego
John married Sarah Shannon Allen in the home of her wealthy brother-in-law,
Leonard Ames. The Rev. D. Tully officiated. She was the fourth
daughter of William and Emily (Chandler) Allen. She was born 27 November
1830 in East Lyme, CT, making her 52 years old at the time of her marriage
With the outbreak of the Civil
War in 1861 he was aboard the sloop USS Hartford. In 1862 he was
transferred to USS Wachusetts, an Iroquois class screw sloop commissioned
in 1862. She saw her first action in Hampton roads in the James River,
VA. Burrows would have been likely been in the attack on the Drewry’s
Bluff fortifications on 15 May. Soon the sloop was the flagship of
the special “Flying Squadron” sent to search for rebel raiders operating
in the Caribbean. On 7 October 1864 the sloop went into the port
of Bahia, Bazil. The USS Wachusetts captured the Confederate cruiser
CSS Florida towing that ship to sea and taking it to the U.S. But
it developed that this action was ruled to be illegal. The career
of Burrows hung in the balance as the case was considered.
Convicted for this illegal undertaking the commander was sentenced to be
dismissed. The crew knew their trials would be next. However,
since the seizure of the Florida was both militarily effective and the
public acclaimed the deed all over the north, the sentence was not carried
out. Burrow’s career continued.
By 1865 Burrows was attached
to the USS Wyoming. After the war he was assigned in 1868 to shore
duty in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, allowing his to move his family to the
20th Ward of Brooklyn where they could be together for two and a half years.
In 1874 he was assigned to
rig out Old Ironsides for the receiving ship Constitution at League Island
Navy Yard. In the next three years he and his family lived in Philadelphia.
But by 1878 he was assigned to service in the Pacific. This work
ended in August 1879 when he returned to Mexico. On 30 January 1881
he was placed on the retired list.
While in Mexico he had been
a member of the Presbyterian Church which he joined on 7 June 1855.
His picture with that of each of his two wives appeared on p. 33
of the “Grip’s” for Mexico.
Sometime during 1868-78 Eliza
had a child who was not buried in Mexico. She had five children,
only 2 of which survived, Addie and Sarah. Neither of these women
married. The sisters are both buried in the Mexico Village Cemetery
with their father. John died 30 June 1900. Also in the cemetery
were their mother and stepmother Sarah who died 18 December 1895.
Children of John and Eliza
1. Theodore Huston Burrows
b. ca. Mexico, NY 1855
2. Addie C. Burrows
b. ca, Mexico, NY 1859; d. 1926.
3. Henry P. Burrows
b. ca. Mexico, NY & d. 1859.
4. Baby b. &
d. between 1868-78 ??
5. Sarah Burrows b.
Mexico, NY 1864; d. 1924.
In 1903 John had a living sister
in the Bahamas.
Cemetery Census of the Town
of Mexico, Oswego County, New York. Mexico: Mexico Historical
“Grip’s Historical Souvenir
of Mexico. Syracuse: 1903.
Naval Historical Center Home
Page. Available [online] [27 December 2002]
Official Records of the Union
and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Ser. 1, v. 3.
Washington: GPO, 1896.
Simpson, Elizabeth M.
Mexico: Mother of Towns. Buffalo: Clement, 1949.
Stoddard, Frances M. Genealogical
History of the Allen Family. Boston: 1891.
U.S. Census Kings Co., NY
U.S. Census Oswego Co., NY
for 1860 & 1880.
Available [online] http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com
[26 December 2002]
of Miles Doolittle & Widow Lucinda Doolittle,
Part 1 – Miles
In early Mexico late in 1799,
there were only 12 families. To have more than half of the men wiped
out in one incident just about caused the end of the settlement.
Luckily new people arrived in 1800, so the village stayed alive.
Even today the crisis has not
been forgotten. Life on the frontier always hung by a hair.
So much could go wrong – and did.
In the fall of 1799 Captain
Geerman needed supplies. He took a helper, 16- year old Welcome Spencer,
and together they sailed north to Canada along the coastline of Lake Ontario
across the St. Lawrence River to Kingston. It was a routine journey
so they thought.
On the trip back the wind and
waves pushed the boat onto the shore rocks. Three weeks went by.
People left at Mexico had no way of learning that the men were dead.
A light was seen out on Strong Island visible from Mexico. Welcome
Spencer’s father was frantic. He believed his son was on Strong Island
starving, hurt, needing aid. He rounded up for more men including
Miles Doolittle and they set off in haste on their mercy errand.
They found no one, no trace
as they went from isle to isle. After they gave up and set sail for
home, a huge wind came up and capsized the boat. All hands drowned.
Seven out of 12 men in a few days were gone. There was despair everywhere.
Many wanted to abandon the place. Before spring, however, oxen drawn
sleds brought new families and renewed hope.
Miles Doolittle had arrived
in 1797. He bought lot 68 and paid taxes on it in 1798. In
a special meeting of the town on 1 June 1798 Miles was elected Collector
and Assessor for the town. Young Miles was unmarried, but planned
to make Mexico his home.
After his death no heirs stepped
forward. In 1806 the town sold lot 68 to Joel Savage. Apparently
not much search was made for Miles’ heirs. His father was still alive
and not too far away.
Without a DNA match it is not
possible to be sure of Miles’ lineage, but here is his likely descent.
In Kidderminster, England two brothers Abraham and John Doolittle were
born and raised ca. 1620. The parents moved to Birmingham where the
boys grew to manhood. The brothers decided to migrate to New England
with their wives. Both were staunch Puritans from all descriptions
and subjected to persecution.
Abraham arrived in Boston by
1640, but by 1642 he removed to New Haven, CT. He was made a chief
executive officer of the New Haven Colony when he was only 25 years old.
Seven times he was chosen as deputy from New Haven to the General Assembly
In 1669 he was one of the first
settlers of Wallingford, CT. In 1673 he was a sergeant in the first
militia which was needed against the Indians. He died 11 August 1690.
He wed in England Joanna Allen/Alling
who died after 1659. She was the mother of six children, about which
On 2 July 1663 at New Haven
Abraham married again Abigail Moss who had seven children. Their
son Theophilus Doolittle, born 28 July 1678, was only 12 when his father
died. He wed on 5 January 1697/98 Thankful Hall.
Their son Theophilus, born
20 June 1709, wed twice. His second wife was Sarah Dorchester.
She had ten children. Their son Elisaph, born 1 June 1750, wed twice.
He wed his second wife, Mabel Potter, on 8 April 1776 at Watertown, CT
just before the outbreak of fighting against the British in Massachusetts.
In spite of the war, they had nine children. Mabel’s oldest son was
Miles Doolittle, born 16 February 1777 at Watertown.
Elisaph settled land at Westmoreland
in Oneida Co., NY, but did not move his family there. In 1802 Elisaph
[Jr.] settled in Camden, Oneida Co., NY. Another son Giles went to nearby
Jefferson Co., NY. It is reasonable to believe that brother Miles,
the older son set off by 1797 and reached Mexico, finding it a beautiful
place on the edge of Lake Ontario with an abundant river of salmon for
Even with the modern search
engines of today no one claims to have found the death dates for this Miles.
His brothers named sons after him, but those Miles’ lives have been documented.
Only Elisaph and Mabel’s Miles still pose a mystery after all these years.
Miles Doolittle who drowned
on the attempted rescue mission in 1799 at Mexico was the likely son of
Elisaph and Mabel (Potter) Doolittle.
Part 2 – Widow Lucinda
Mexico had one more Doolittle
family settle there in the early years. Oddly enough they enjoyed
a similar lineage. Did the new family know about Miles and his relationship
to them? Probably not.
The original Abraham Doolittle
born in England, wed his first wife, Joanne Allen/Alling in England.
After their arrival in Connecticut, she had six children.
Abraham [Jr.] was born 12 February
1648/49 at New Haven.
Young Abraham was reared a
strict Puritan. The family moved to Wallingford before he was twenty.
At that time there was not a fence, road, church, school, or store nearer
than New Haven. There were, however, plenty of wolves that attacked
the cattle and sheep. On 27 May 1672 Abraham was elected Constable.
He married Mary/Mercy Holt on 9 November 1680. She was the daughter
of William and Sarah Holt. For a woman of her time, she was well
educated and industrious. She died on 1688, leaving four children.
Her oldest son John, born 17
August 1681, was only 7 years old when his mother perished. He grew
up hearing stories of England and the local wolves. On 28 February
1704/05 John wed Mary Fredericks. They had eleven children.
John died on December 1746 at Cheshire, CT.
Their oldest son was John,
born 6 February 1711/12. He wed Hannah Royce, settling at Wallingford
also. They had five children when John died in 1747. Hannah
was appointed Administrix of the estate and guardian of the younger children.
Her eldest son Philemon was made the ward of Solomon Royce.
Philemon, born 1 September
1738, wed on 5 January 1757 Lydia Hall. In 1771 they removed to Blanford,
MA. In 1795 they went to what was called “Western, New York,” which
was actually in Oneida County, NY. Philemon and his sons Jared, John
and Jesse were all enumerated in the 1800 Paris, NY census in separate
Son Jesse, born 25 September
1778 at Blanford, wed Lucinda ______. They had nine children.
According to family records these children were the following:
1. Persis L. Doolittle b.
32 August 1800.
2. Keziah L. Doolittle b. 10 September
3. Phebe R. Doolittle b. 31 August
1804; d. 16 July 1806.
4. Prudence Doolittle b. 28 July
5. Lucina Sophia Doolittle b. 9
6. Alta Maria Doolittle b. 15 January
1810; m. Who Mather.
7. Abigail Purna Doolittle b. 22
October 1812; d. 29 December 1830.
8. David Jesse Doolittle b. 20 May
9. Solomon l. Doolittle b. 14 December
Jesse died 23 March 1830 in Clinton,
Oneida Co., NY. Soon after Jesse’s death the Widow Lucinda took her
family and settled them at Mexico, NY. Her daughter Keziah married
Mexico Widower David Goit. Sadly Lucinda died in 1836. She
was buried in Mexico’s Primitive Cemetery. Her daughter Persis died
in 1846. Se also was laid to rest in the Primitive Cemerty.
In the 1850 Mexico census
the household of David Goit showed:
Goit, David –50-miller-NY-$7,000
In the Oswego 1850 census David Doolittle
maintained another household. The enumeration revealed:
Goit, Mary –20 daughter-NY
Goit, Fortis – 20-son-NY
Goit, Mayarette –19-daughter-NY
Goit, Jenette –16-daughter-NY
Doolittle, Solomon –25-grocer-NY
Doolittle, David –31-farmer-NY
David’s wife was Sally Penfield.
Doolittle, Sally –29-wife-NY
Doolittle, Maria –7-daughter-NY
Doolittle, Silva(?) –4-daughter-NY
Doolittle, Henriett [sic] –4-daughter-NY
Doolittle, Daniel – 6 months – son-NY
At the age of 16 Solomon had become
blind. He was considered to be feeble by his family and lived near
kin throughout his life. He wed in March 1853 Maria E. Haskins.
Blind or not, he ran a business which Historian Elizabeth Simpson described
as part “oyster saloon” and sweet shop. He knew his customers by their
voice and step. He flawlessly counted out change for coin money.
Mexico, like many wooden towns, suffered
many fires over the years. The town had just started their own fire
company to try to combat flames more effectively than a bucket brigade
of volunteers. But another huge blaze started on 10 March 1861.
It swept a row of buildings where Solomon did business. No one was
hurt, but the store was lost. Solomon was wiped out. He worked
Sister Keziah Goit died in 1856.
She was buried in the Mexico Village Cemetery. Her sister Prudence
died in 1860. She was buried in the Primitive Cemetery.
In the 1870 Oswego census David Doolittle
still lived near town on his farm.
Doolittle, David –51-farmer-NY-$1500
By 1880 David and Sally (Penfield) Doolittle
lived alone in Oswego. At age 61 David continued to farm. He
died before 1901. On 11 January 1901 the Utica Saturday Globe newspaper
ran the following obituary: “Oswego, Jan. 11 – Mrs. Sally Doolittle, wife
of the late David Doolittle, of Oswego Town, died at the home of her daughter
Mrs. J.B. Millot, the early part of the week. She was born in Oneida
County 80 years ago and moved to this county when a young girl. She
leaves two children, Albert Doolittle, of Minetto, and Mrs. Millot, of
Oswego. She was the sister of Chester Penfield of this city, and
of Mrs. Sidney Goodnow, of Oswego town and Mrs. William, Dundon of Auburn….”
Doolittle, Sally –49-wife-NY
Doolittle, Albert –9-son-NY
In the 1880 Oswego census the household
of John B. Millot was enumerated. John settled in Oswego in 1859.
Born in Jefferson County of a French father and a German mother, he ran
a hotel and brewery on the corner of West Bridge St. & Water.
Millott, John B.
Henrietta’s brother Albert R. Doolittle
wed Elizabeth Furness(?). They lived in Minetto from at least 1901
through 1930. Albert ran a farm. In the 1930 Minetto census
Albert, age 68, and Elizabeth, age 64, had been joined by John R. Furness,
age 84, called a brother-in-law.
Millot, Henrietta –34-wife-NY
Millot, Mabel E. –11-daughter-NY
Millot, Frederick C. –23-brother-NY
In the 1880 Mexico census Solomon.,
age 57, and his wife Maria, age 51, were living with Cora Moore, age 18,
a niece, and Albert C. Moore, age 14, a nephew. The Moore children
were not related through the Doolittles. They were likely Maria’s
kin. Albert C. Moore wed Mary Burgess. He worked on the railroad
in the 1920’s. They lived at 80 W. Niagara St., Oswego.
Solomon died in 1896. His wife
Maria died three years later in 1899. They were both buried in the
Mexico Village Cemetery. Her maiden name was included in her tombstone.
Allen, O.P. Abraham Doolittle and
Some of his Descendants. Newport: Tilley, 1893.
Cemetery Census of the Town of Mexico,
Oswego County, New York. Mexico: Mexico Historical Society, 2002.
Cutter, William Richard. New
England Families Genealogical and Memorial, v.4. Baltimore: Genealogical
International Genealogical Index.
Available [online] http://familysearch.org
[15 April 2004].
Johnson, Crisfield. History
of Oswego County, New York. Philadelphia: Evarts, 1877.
Pike, Elizabeth et al. Pioneer
History of the Town of Camden. 1897.
Obituary of Sally (Penfield) Doolittle,
Utica Saturday Globe, 11 January 1901.
Simpson, Elizabeth. Mexico:
Mother of Towns. Buffalo: Clement, 1949.
U.S. Census, Paris, Oneida Co.,
U.S. Census, Mexico, Oswego Co.,
NY 1850 & 1880.
U.S. Census, Minetto, Oswego Co.,
NY 1920 & 1930.
U.S. Census, Oswego, Oswego Co.,
NY 1850, 1870, 1880 & 1920.
WorldConnect Project. Available
[15 April 2004].