Early France Families
In  Oswego County, N.Y.

        Garret and Henry France, who were sons of David Frantz (1774-1811) and his wife, Maria Nichols (also: Nicholas), were early landowners and residents of Oswego County, New York. Their paternal grandfather, Sebastian Frantz, immigrated to New York State from Württemberg, Germany in 1753. During the American Revolution, Sebastian served on the Committee of Safety of the 3rd Regiment of the Albany County Militia.  He eventually settled in Schoharie County.

Garret France was born about November 16, 1796 in Sharon, Schoharie County, New York. On April 10, 1827, Garret and his wife, Alice (born about 1795), who were then living in Williamstown, Oswego County, deeded 100 acres of Scriba Patent Lot No.98 to Garret Nicholas for $100. On November 16, 1829, they were living in Annsville, Oneida County, when they deeded 50 acres of the above land to Peter McCollum of Williamstown for $190. The following year they conveyed two more parcels in Oswego County. On April 5, 1847, Alice deeded land for $300 in Constantia, Oswego County, to Edwin France. Garret was presumably deceased by 1860, the year Alice was listed on the federal census for Oswego Township.

Henry David France was born about 1795 in Sharon, Schoharie County.  By 1843, he moved with his wife and children to Scriba, where he died between 1850 and 1860. His wife, Catherine, nee Meyer ( born in Sharon about 1795), who survived him, also died there.  After their marriage on April 20, 1818, they had lived in Cherry Valley in Otsego County, and Frankfort in Herkimer County.

In addition to at least one daughter, (Mary), Henry David France had at least six sons who were initially employed as coopers.

 1. Nelson France, who died about 1895, was born December 8, 1818 in Sharon. On October 13, 1862, while living in Scriba, he and his wife, Alvira, deeded land in Volney to his mother. He had at least five children, one of whom, Wilson Francis France, who worked as a cooper on a canal lock tender, served in the 184th New York Infantry Regiment in the Civil War. Nelson died in 1910 in Oswego where he had been a meat dealer on East 10th Street. He is buried with his wife, Julie Ettie Himes (1843-1915) in Peck Cemetery.

2. Garret France was born in September 1821 in Sharon. In 1850 he was living next door to his brother, Nelson, in Scriba. Garret and his wife, Mary Jane, had a daughter, Mary Jane, who married Jacob Angress. By 1900, he was living in Sullivan in Madison County, New York. He died on May 3, 1902 in the Village of Solvay, Onondaga County, New York where he was living with his daughter and her husband. Garret was laid to rest in Chittenango, Madison County, New York.

3. Lawrence France was born about 1823 in Cherry Valley and died about 1906. By 1860 he moved from Scriba to Volney. He later lived with his wife, Sulema (Zulema?), in Hannibal, Oswego County, before moving back to Scriba. Lawrence had at least ten children, one of whom, Lewellyn, was a canal boatman.

4.  Martin France was born about 1824 in Cherry Valley and died on May 23, 1893 in Scriba. His first wife, Margaret Dona (born about 1830 in Decatur, Otsego County, New York), died in 1895 in Scriba. His second wife, Jane (born about 1845 in Ireland), died in Scriba on February 27, 1895. He was laid to rest at Worden Cemetery. He also served in the 184th New York Infantry Regiment in the Civil War.

 5.   Henry France was born either in Frankfort or Cherry Valley, New York in 1830. He died on May 3, 1895 in Oswego where he lived at 117 East Mohawk. He is buried in Whitmore Cemetery. His first wife, Lois Lovina Folts, with whom he lived in Scriba, was a great-great-granddaughter of Melchior Voltz who immigrated in 1710 to New York State from Isenburg in the Palatinate. She probably died giving birth to their daughter, Ida May, in 1864. Henry had two, possibly three wives, and five children. After working as a cooper, he became a traveling medicine man, and later achieved prominence as a psychic whose sťances attracted people from far and wide who, as his obituary states, were "curiously inclined."  

His children by Lois Lovina Folts were Harvey and Ida May France. Ida May married Charles Fawdrey, alias Charles Ward, with whom she had five sons, three of whom were born in Canada and two of whom were born in Cleveland, Ohio. Harvey moved to California where he died. He had two sons and a daughter.

6.   Wellington France, who also lived in Scriba, was born about 1833 either in Frankfort or Cherry Valley. He also served in the 184th New York Infantry Regiment in the Civil War. He married Susan Emeline Borden who was born about 1838 in Oswego County. Wellington had at least five sons and one daughter.


Many thanks to Bob Ward for contributing his France family biography.  Please see the link to his family homepage listed below.

Authors' Note: Detailed information on the above members of the France Family of Oswego County and their descendants is available at my homepage.      Bob Ward,  Cleveland, OH

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