Biography of HENRY KNOWLES GREENE, 
Town of NEW HAVEN, NY

Many thanks to Esther Rancier, for contributing this information on Henry Knowles Greene, his G-G-Grand Niece.  For further information please see the Town Historians or Historical Societies Page. 
 

       Henry Knowles Greene, the brother of Jeffery Greene of Mexico, was also a descendant of Amos Greene and Alice Underwood of Charlestown, RI.  A full description of the early background of this Greene family can be found in the biography of Jeffery Greene.

      When Capt. William Northup and his wife Ann Slocum of North Kingston, removed to Deerfield, Oneida Co., NY sometime about 1800, the family went into unbroken forest, wild savage animals and vast potential.  He was the great grandson of Stephen Northup of Providence, RI who arrived in 1655.  Stephen removed to Kingston between 1662/66.  His son Stephen, born 1660, married Mary Thomas.  Their son Nicholas Northup, born between 1690/1700 in North Kingston, married secondly Freelove Eldred.  Their son William was born 8 December 1732. 

      William’s tombstone at the Baptist Church in Deerfield reads: “Capt. William Northup, formerly of Rhode Island died 27 May 1827, aged 95 years.  A hero of the Revolution.  Ann, wife of Capt. William Northup, born 25 1742, died 6 Dec, 1831, aged 89 years.”

       Very impressive tombstone until his descendants discovered he served in the Revolution primarily as a drummer in 1776-79. The captain title some descents believe came as a result of his being a cargo boat captain in RI after the war.

      Probably his sons, John B. and Remington, were the first to immigrate to Oneida County.  The first Northup deed was filed at Utica 6 September 1796 by John B. and Remington.  William’s first deed was dated 6 September 1800 when William bought 100 acres of lot no. 6 in Cosby’s Manor, north of the Mohawk. 

      Another of William’s sons Stephen married Penelope Greene, daughter of Amos Greene, Jr. of Charlestown RI on 25 May 1806 in Deerfield.  Stephen and Penelope helped to found the first Baptist Church near Utica.  They had 2 children and many grandchildren.  Penelope was also responsible for her half-brother Henry Knowles Greene’s arrival from Charlestown, RI. Later her much younger half brother Jeffery Greene arrived. 

      On 30 December 1813 Henry K. married Joanna B. Northup, a daughter of John B. and Hannah Northup and granddaughter of William and Ann Northup. She was born 12 February 1792 in RI.  Joanna was also the older sister of Abigail Northup who in later years married Jeffery Greene of Mexico, NY.

      Henry K. Greene and his uncle by marriage Stephen Northup plus Stephen’s brother Benjamin on 8 February 1814 paid George W. Murray $1185 to purchase lot no. 7 in Cosby Manor.

      On 26 June 1815 Benjamin Northup, his wife, Henry K. Greene and his wife sold for $50 a portion of lot no. 7 to Stephen Northup.  For unknown reasons this indenture was not recorded until 22 March 1834. 

       Henry K. continued to buy land but in Oswego Co. where he chose to settle at New Haven, NY.  On 10 March 1834 75 acres on the west side of lot #105 were mortgaged.  Henry K. received $550 from Jesse Browning in this deal which was later cancelled.  On 26 February 1844 Henry received $1,000 from Orla H. Whitney for 74 acres on the west side of lot #105.  Joanna signed this mortgage also. Mortgages were often used to transfer property then.

      After the 26th of February 1844 Joanna died.  She had been the mother of 12 children who were:

1. Albert N. Greene b. 6 October 1814; m. Abigail Severance; d. New Haven 1885.  No issue.
2. John Stanton Greene b. 17 November 1815; m. Elizabeth Congdon; d. North West, PA.  1 son: Henry C. Greene of North East, PA.
3. Hannah N. Greene b. 8 September 1817; m. William G. Van Cleef. Resident of Tyre, Seneca Co., NY in 1870.
4. Ann E. Greene b. 27 September 1819; m. 1841 William H. Goit b. Mexico, NY.  Living in Oswego, NY in 1894.  5 children.
5. Harvey Greene b. 17 May 1821; d.y.
6. Mary N. Greene b. 29 July 1823; m. Andrew S. Warner, farmer, of Sandy Creek, NY; d. 1859.  2 sons: Adelbert and Garret.  Both Andrew and Adelbert fought in the Civil War in the 147th NY Infantry.
7. Amos Greene b. 113 May 1825; d.y.
8. Elsie U. Greene b. 19 August 1828; d. unmarried.  Lived in Ithaca, NY.
9. Abbie N. Greene b. 11 September 1828; d. unmarried. Lived in Modesto, Stanislaus Co., CA 
10. Nellie Maria Greene b. 29 May 1830; m. Edward Van Cleef; d. after 1894.  l child: Bertha A. Van Cleef.
11. Helen M. Greene b. 15 April 1832; m. _____ O’Neill; d. after 1894. Lived in Titusville, PA.
12. Theodore Henry Greene b. 11 December 1837; m. 10 April 1858 at Mexico, NY Lucena J. Smith; d. 8 December 1858.  1 son:Theodore Ray
      The 1850 census showed Henry K. remained at New Haven at age 64 in a household with the 4 younger children: Nellie M., age 19; Abbie N., age 23; Elsie U., age 24; and Theodore H., age 12.  After this time Henry’s land deals went poorly.  There are numerous records which show sheriff’s foreclosures on his property.  By 1870 Henry was living with his daughter Hannah Van Cleef and her family at Tyre, Seneca Co., NY.  He died the following year.  No probate has been located to suggest there was an estate of any sort.

       Henry’s daughter Ann E. (Greene) Goit removed to Oswego after 1844.  Her husband William H. Goit owned and operated W. H. Goit & Co., a lumber business at 129 E. 2nd St., Oswego.  Her husband was also an alderman for the 4th Ward 1859-61.  In 1872 Ann served on the Board of Directors for the Home for the Homeless.  They had 3 sons and 2 daughters.  She was widowed in 1888. 

       The widow of Henry K.’s youngest son Theodore H. Greene remarried in 1860 to Samuel Clark Jeffery Greene of Mexico, NY.  He was a nephew of Henry K.’s, the only child of his younger brother Jeffery who had married his wife’s sister Abigail Northup.  Whether or not Henry K. ever saw or visited this grandson Theodore is unclear.  As an adult Theodore never mentioned his grandfather.

      Theodore married 7 February 1883 May Theresa Davis of Mexico.  She was the daughter of Charles Herring and Elvira Van Dressen (Belding) Davis of Mexico.  Her family attended the Mexico Baptist Church and from the days of her grandfather, William Augustus Davis, had been friends with Abby (Northup) (Greene) Wilcox and her son, Samuel. 

      Theodore knew his wife liked to keep a diary.  It appeared that he gave her a new leather bound diary each year for many years as a Christmas present.  In 1882, a year during which they were engaged, she wrote a lot about him in her diary always addressing him as “Dear Theodore” or “Dearest”.  She was only 19, but considering it was in the Victorian Era she pined openly for him.  Again and again “She must see him.”  She admits to sitting on his knee and kissing him. She wanted continually to be alone with him.  In one entry she said, “ Dearest Theodore, it will be nice when I can see my husband every evening.”

       This woman lived a very secluded life.  All her ideas on love and marriage came from first hand observations and messages from the pulpit. Not one pulp novel or torrid movie influenced her. 

 Theodore and May had 5 children: 

1. Henry Ray Greene b. 29 November 1883; m. twice; d. 7 January 1962 in Lansing, MI where he had worked at Sears Roebuck.  No issue.
2. Clarence Davis Greene b. 27 July 1885; m. Rose (Fogg) Vincent; d. unknown.  3 children of whom 2 survived. He has several dozen grandchildren and great grandchildren. 
3. Glen Greene b. 28 May 1897; d. 1 August 1901.  Scalded by hot water after falling into a laundry tub. Buried Mexico Village Cemetery.
4. Helen May Greene b. 9 February 1901; m. 10 June 1930 Almond Rancier, a jeweler from Oswego of Canadian background who d. 27 April 1948; d. 1 September 1981 in Torrance, CA.  Both are buried in Mexico Village Cemetery in plot with May and Glen Greene. 
5. Florence Elvira Greene b. 19 July 1903; m. September 1923 George Counrod Roulstin, son of George A. and Eva (Counrod) Roulstin, who d. 14 October 1961; d. Syracuse, NY 1964. They are both buried in White Chapel Memory Gardens, DeWitt, NY.
       The Greene family left the farm in 1911 and moved into Mexico on Cemetery Street where the girls were delighted to find gas lights and lace curtains.  Theodore went to work for W. P. Gass Furnture Store.   By 1914 the family lived on Spring Street.  May became ill for several months with a kidney problem called Bright’s disease, a then common killer of women.  A nurse stayed in the house who loved strong black coffee.  She kept a pot always boiling on the stove in the kitchen.  In the bedroom above was 13-year old Helen who was also ill with pneumonia, smelling the coffee and listening to the moans of her dying Mother.  May died on 6 April 1914.  Helen was not well enough to attend the funeral.  She never drank coffee the rest of her life.

      Theodore moved his daughters to Syracuse on Park Ave. where he operated a grocery store beginning in the spring of 1917.  He attended the Delaware Baptist church with his daughters who attended Vocational High School where they graduated in 1921.  After the grocery store failed, he became a carpenter for the next 15 years.  He met and married Mrs. Cora Bell, a widow.  They were married for 18 years. 

      By 1941 she was quite befuddled at times.  He fell off a porch at their apartment, 317 Kellogg St. and he broke his hip.  He refused to cooperate at the University Hospital where he spent a month and received two operations.  He developed bilateral broncho-pneumonia.  He died 9 December 1941, two days after Pearl Harbor.  His daughter Florence was present, but the doctor would only record what his wife Cora, age 78, said.  Cora was quite confused and insisted he had been born 1865 in Syracuse, his father was Samuel Greene and his mother was unknown.  Hence the death certificate was very misleading.  He was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Syracuse, far away from his family at Mexico where he had wanted to be buried.  The pallbearers were Earl Reynolds, a relative of Cora’s; George Roulstin, Loren Roulstin and Almond Rancier, his sons-in-law and grandson.

      Theodore and May’s children scattered over the years.  Their families live across the U.S.  None live in Oswego County in 2002.  Their oldest son Henry Ray had no children.  Clarence had two surviving children, Glen and Georgianna whom he deserted never to be heard from again.  Glen, born 21 February 1911 in Oneida, NY, who died at Tarpon Springs, FL on 22 June 1984, had 5 children.  Georgianna, born 23 March 1913, mother of 1 son, Gordon Bellinger; m. 3 times; died Spring Hill, FL on 7 January 1998.  Both Glen and Georgianna have numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Daughter Helen’s only child never married.  Florence had 3 children: 

1. Shirley May Roulstin b. 20 August 1924; m. Donald Edgar Camp of Lysander, NY; d. 18 May 1965 leaving 2 children.  
2.  George Loren Roulstin b. 7 April 1927; m. twice; d. 1995 leaving 3 children. 
3. Rhea Roulstin still living with 6 children and 16 grandchildren.  “Dearest Theodore” and romantic May created quite a family. 
       For more on this group read the biography of Daniel P. Smith and Jeffery Greene


 SOURCES:
 Death Certificate, Onondaga Co., NY #2334 dated 9 December 1941 for Theodore R. Greene.
 Frost, Josephine C. Ancestors of Benjamin Ferris Blakeney and His Wife Stella Peronne Sabin.  1926.
 Greene, Frank L.  Descendants of Joseph Greene of Westerlt, R.I.  Albany: Munsell, 1894.
 Marriage Certificate for Theodore Henry Greene and Lucena J. Smith dated 10 April 1858, Mexico, NY. 
 Mrs. May (Davis) Greene.  Diary, 1882.  Mexico, NY.
 NY.  Oneida Co.  Deeds, liber 4, p. 217-219; liber 38, p. 379-380; liber 63, p. 543-544.
 NY.  Oswego Co.  Mortgages, v. T, p. 410-411; v. F, p. 356-357.
 Theodore R. Greene obituary from Mexico Independent, Mexico, NY,
 U.S. Census for New Haven, Oswego Co., NY, 1850.
 U.S. Census for Tyre, Seneca Co., NY, 1870.
 World Connect Project. Available [online] http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com [11 November 2002] 

 


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