Hamilton families immigrated to North America. Some settled in Massachusetts,
Vermont, Connecticut and Canada. These
groups were not related. Oswego county in the 19th century had many lines of
One of the very earliest settlers in Mexico,
was Reuben Hamilton. He became a powerful
leader. Mexico's famous spy, Silas Towne, died in Reuben's home.
This Hamilton line in Mexico, ended with either Reuben's demise ...
or his abrupt
departure. No one seemed sure what happened in 1808. There
is no evidence to date that this Reuben had any kinship with the Elisha
Hamilton's yet to arrive. Reuben Hamilton in 1800 became a Justice
of the Peace in Oswego County. Justice Hamilton's name was surely
known to all in northern New York, so few settlers were there. So
when the name Reuben Hamilton was bestowed on a baby boy, born ca. 1828,
respect was intended, not a mark of kinship.
Scriba, the holder of Scriba's Patent, began selling land in Mexico after
1795. By 1799, Capt. Reuben Hamilton had purchased
lot 90, land that later was owned by Asa Davis whose descendants owned
it until 1999. On the same sales list of 1799 was the name of Elisha
Hamilton who on 25 June 1798 had purchased lot 44. This list is the
only record believed now existent, that puts the two Hamilton names together.
Elisha never took possession of any land in Mexico, until between 1821/29.
in Oneida County show Elisha in the 1800 census and again in the 1820 census.
Plus, Oneida County took a special census
of land owners in 1814, showing Elisha in Floyd, NY.
Elisha Hamilton married
Olive Cary about 1797 in Oneida Co. She was born 25 July 1776, in
Mansfield, Tolland Co., CT. Olive was the daughter of Jabez Cary born 30
July 1727 Windham, CT. Elisha is believed to have been
born about 1772 in Oneida County. His parents seem to be as yet, unknown.
Olive and Elisha
had a son, Richard, who was born 7 June 1798 in Oneida County.
In 1820, Floyd Richard married Agnes Beecher.
They had 8 children. The four oldest were probably born in Oneida County.
1. Olive Hamilton b.10
March 1822; m. David Wilcox; d. after 1880. Issue: 3 children.
2. James Hamilton b.ca.1824;
m. Maria E. _____ b. ca. 1835 in Ohio. Issue: 1 child - Alice (1859-1860).
Alice is buried in Mexico Village Cemetery.
3. Lydia Hamilton b.16 April
1826; m. (1) George Kingsbury who d.1859; (2) ____Mattison; d. 1862. Issue: 2 children.
4. Reuben Hamilton b.ca. 1828;
m. Amelia C. ______ who d. 1914. Issue: 5 children.
5. Sophia Hamilton b. ca. 1830 Mexico;
d. 1913. Unmarried.
6. Martha Hamilton b.4 September 1832
Mexico; m. Rev. William A. Goodell; d. 1897.
Issue: 3 children: Ella Fidelia Catherine;
Mary Phila Agnes and George William Ellsworth. George became a farmer;
while the sisters taught school.
7. Charles Hamilton b. ca. 1836;
d. 1859. Buried Mexico Village Cemetery.
8. Mary A. Hamilton b. ca .1839 Mexico;
m. David Henry Rider of Mexico; d.1912 at Mexico
Olive and Elisha,
according to the 1820 census, had 4 males and 4 females in their house-hold.
Another child can be identified as Elisha, Jr. born 15 November 1814.
This child was part of Elisha's household in the 1830 census at Mexico.
By 1840 the head of household may have been Elisha, Jr. with his mother
and father living with him. This small household had 2 males, 1 older,
1 younger and 1 female. They lived next door to cousin James Hamilton
In the 1850 Mexico census only one Elisha household was enumerated:
Elisha Hamilton 35 NY
Elisha, Jr. and Jane eventually had 5 children.
1. William H. b. 28
August 1845; m. 19 March 1867, Mary Rose who d. 1938.
2. Charlotte b. 23 July 1848;
m. 21 October 1873 Leverett Newton Eggleston. They lived in Mexico,
but were not recorded in the 1880 census.
b. 17 April 1852; m.
29 December 1869 George E. Cadwell.
4. Fred b. 27 January 1857;
m. after 1880.
5. Harriet b. 18 March 1860
Willard Ward Smith of Mexico. Issue: 2 sons.
wife, Jane was an adopted child of General Bezaleel and Margaret Thayer.
Jane and Elisha married 15 November 1844 and settled
in Mexico where he farmed.
Elisha and Jane still resided in Mexico. Children Fred and Hattie, still
lived at home.
Later Fred, was to marry and by 1903, he was
a deacon at the Mexico First Baptist Church. He died after 1920.
on 10 June 1880 Williard Ward Smith of Mexico. They had two sons:
Hamilton Smith b. ca. 1880 and Guy Malcolm
Smith b. 1900. There are known descendants.
Ada, daughter of Elisha and Jane ,
married George Cadwell, born ca. 1847, who worked at the meat market in
1880. They had one son: George Earl Cadwell.
Elisha and Jane's oldest son married 10 March 1867, Mary Rose. They
lived in Mexico where he was a farmer. They had one child, Cora,
born 21 August 1868. When Richard and Agnes first came into the Mexico
area, they settled about a mile from the village toward Lake Ontario. Richard
had built a frame house. By the time all 8 of the children
were born, the house was crowded. In 1848 he arranged the building
of a cobblestone house with the aid of his sons, James and Reuben. They took the stones from lake Ontario and used an oxcart to move them
3 miles. David Wilcox was Richard's architect and mason. Later
this David Wilcox married Olive Hamilton, the eldest daughter.
portion was built as a square with a wooden ell. Upstairs were 3 big bed-rooms
and one little room.... Downstairs were a parlor; living room, and
two little bedrooms; those rooms were all the cobblestone part.
"In the wooden
part, next to the living room, was a buttery (pantry), Grandpa and Grandma's bedroom was in the back, a dining room
in the front, and a small kitchen on the right-hand end with a door leading to a woodshed.
had a big, brick oven where we did all our own baking. Just outside
in the woodshed, was a cistern which held the rainwater.
We used that for washing. To get water, we had a long pole with a nail on it.
We hung the pail on the nail and tied it to the pole with string.
When we wanted water, we let the pail down
into the cistern and drew it up full...." all of the above was a quote from Lydia's
daughter, Agnes Adelaide Kingsbury, made years ago before her death in
1959 as printed in the Mexico Historical Society's, Mexico Memories.
In a long essay Agnes Kingsbury discussed
living with her grandparents. Her father, George Kingsbury, had died in 1859.
After her mother, Lydia, married again she had a half-sister, Emma
born in 1861. The following spring, Lydia died. The 2 half-sisters
went to live with their grandparents. In the 1880 Mexico census
the Richard Hamilton household was:
Dick Hamilton 81 farmer
Agnes [sic] 50 wife
Agnes [sic] Kingsbury 22
Emma Mattison 19
" " "
Addie Rider 8
" " "
Addie Rider was a daughter of Richard and
Agnes' youngest child, Mary. Addie might have been visiting her grandparents
when the census taker came.
After 1879, Mr. Wilcox who had been living in Syracuse, returned to Mexico and built
the wooden part of the house for his family.
The Wilcox family as given in the 1880 census:
David Wilcox 60 builder
Olive 58 wife
Henritta [sic] 25 daughter
There was another daughter, Mamie, not listed.
In 1882 Richard Hamilton
died, followed by Agnes' death in 1886. They were both buried
in the Mexico Village Cemetery.
The Wilcox family lived for a while in their part of the cobblestone house.
Then Olive and Elisabeth, died. Mamie married. David
could not face being alone, so he went to the Masonic home in Syracuse.
Etta, moved in with
When Sophia Hamilton, who never married, died in 1913, the cobblestone house was
sold. The house was by then in the
town proper on Hamilton Street. The building was still very much frozen in time. The kitchen had
an iron sink with a pump. There was a big wood burning
stove which had a hot water reservoir.
Washdays required a big copper-boiler of water to be hoisted onto the stove.
namesake of the early Justice Reuben Hamilton, married Amelia, born
about 1828. They had 6 children:
1. Frank Hamilton b. ca. 1856
2. Minnie Hamilton b. ca. 1857
3. Clara Hamilton b. ca. 1859
4. Mattie Hamilton b. ca. 1862
5. Eugene Hamilton b. ca. 1864
6. Charles A. Hamilton b. ca. 1871
By 1880 Reuben
and Amelia C. Hamilton resided in Palermo, NY. Eugene and Charles were still living at home.
who married David Rider, resided in Mexico. The couple and their children
were frequent visitors to the old house.
In the 1880 Mexico census the listing for this family:
David Rider 43 Laborer
Their daughter, Addie (Ada Louise) was visiting her grandparents when the census taker
came. She was listed in her grandparents'
household. Lettie died in 1894. Father, David died in
1898. Mary died in 1912. Robert
died in 1913. All died in Mexico, NY
Orla, son of David and Mary Rider, married Ellen Marie Boucher. They
had 9 children. Many of whom are still living.
Agnes Kingsbury died. She was one of the last to know personally
her grandparents, Richard and Agnes, who brought her
up with love and caring. She could recall the 'switchel', a drink of water, ginger and sugar,
a Mexico favorite. She could still visualize her grandparents after
threshing emptying out the straw from the ticks and refilling them with
fresh straw for a comfortable night's rest.
Modern families have loving memories too, but she especially could smell the homemade
soap, pig butchering time, dried apples, featherbeds, candles, curing hams
and so much more. It was wonderful that she shared her memories with