Yates County, New York

Biographies & Family Trees

from History Books  pg 487-524

or Contributed by others



If you would like to submit a biography or Family tree to be posted to this site, please contact me.  Owned, Transcribed and Contributed by Dianne Thomas.


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contributed by Dottie Schmidt  Oct 2004


Eliza A TOWNSEND,  b:1841 Starkey, NY; dau of John H. and Ruth A. TOWNSEND.  (This was taken from her death record).  Father, John H. TOWNSEND,  b: 1796 NJ, mother,  Ruth A. b: NJ 1801.

 Eliza A TOWNSEND married William DICKSON, Hammondsport, NY abt 1856.  William is a son  of George DICKSON, b: 1857 Hammondsport, NY.


Peter B Townsend b: 1825 NJ, son of John and Ruth Townsend.  Peter Townsend was in Schuyler Co, NY married to Ann Raspberry.    John H. Townsend and family moved to Southport, Chemung Co, NY, by 1860 census






from History of Yates Co., by L. C. Aldrich,  Pub. 1892   Pg.  491

UNDERWOOD, Oliver, son of John S. and Abigail (HERRINGTON) UNDERWOOD, and grandson of Samuel C. UNDERWOOD, was born in Kingston, R. I. July 1, 1820.   In March 1821, the family emigrated to the town of Potter,  NY settling on the tract of lined know as the Potter farm, having previously leased this of Judge POTTER.  Within a few miles of this place he spent his entire life, with the exception of a few years� residence in the town of Jerusalem.  Being one of a family of fourteen children, his early advantages were necessarily limited, and his success was chiefly due to self-acquirement, prompted by an indomitable perseverance.  Strictly temperate in all his habits, he possessed both mental and physical strength, which were the secret of much of his success as a farmer, which occupation he followed during his whole life.  Though not aspiring to public office, he creditably served the people as justice of the peace and commissioner of highways for a number of years.  He was an ardent and active supporter of the Republican party.  Being physically disabled to serve his country he demonstrated his hostility to slavery by furnishing a substitute.    He married in 1852 Emily R., daughter of William W., and Mary (PERRINE) HANKINSHON, of this town, who died in 1878.  He was never a member of any church, but having a common interest in the good of his fellow men, he gave alike to all who sought his aid.  He died after an illness of eleven days, of pyamia in 1889, leaving an only daughter, Mrs. Mary A. GOODRICH, hand two grandchildren, Emily M. and Oliver D.


James Vanderpoel VAN ALEN

from History of Yates Co., by L. C. Aldrich,  Pub. 1892   Pg. 513 - 514

VAN ALEN, James Vanderpoel, was born at Stuyversant, NY, February 11, 1819, and was the son of Lucas I. and Elizabeth (VANDERPOEL) VAN ALEN.  He was named for his uncle, James VANDERPOEL, an eminent lawyer of Albany.  After completing his early education he commenced the study of medicine with his uncle, Dr. John VANDERPOEL, but on going to Philadelphia to attend medical lectures, conceived a dislike for a farther prosecution of that study, and left for the West where his elder brother had settled.  Owing to the death of this brother, he returned to his native town, where he studied law, and in 1844 came to Penn Yan, where he completed his studies in the office of Benedict M. FRANKLIN, esq. After remaining in Mr. FRANKLIN�s office two years, he established himself in business at Newark, NY.  His stay was short in Newark; after a residence of six months he received and offer of partnership from Mr. FRANKLIN and returned to Penn Yan.  Mr. VAN ALEN was fort he next ten years partner with Mr. FRANKLIN, and after the dissolution of the firm, practiced law until his death.  In 1853 he married Sarah, daughter of Eben SMITH, and in 1862-63, erected a residence, corner of Clinton and Sheppard streets.  Mr. VAN ALEN�s taste and industry were largely manifested in the beautiful appearance of his elegant and well organized home.  Domestic enjoyment blessed his abode with all that is best in life, except children, of which there was none.  Kind, thoughtful and peerless in generosity, Mr. VAN ALEN was a model husband.  His professional work was chiefly office work.  He never cultivated his powers as an advocate and seemed to shrink from anything of that character as a legal counselor.  He was eminently safe and trustworthy, and documents prepared under his had were found worthy of all confidence and noted for legal accuracy.  He put his conscience into his work as a lawyer, and hence came to be trusted implicitly by a large clientage, who had learned by experience the high value of his advice and services.  A more industrious man was seldom seen; whatever he had to do he did with all his might, and thereby accomplished a large amount of work.  His professional accomplishments were strictly practical and gave him thorough understanding of legal affairs as connected with the ordinary business of life in the present day.  He was the chief legal advisor of nearly all the sheriffs of Yates County for a period of thirty years, and no one was better qualified for such service.  He naturally shunned large professional responsibilities and did not estimate his own legal abilities at their true value.  But for his extreme modesty and timidity of mind he might have filled a much larger sphere in his profession, for he had an excellent legal mind, as well as the energy and ability to achieve real eminence in his chosen walk of life.  Mr. VAN ALEN died at his residence in Penn Yan, April 26, 1877, while yet in the prime of his powers, and his loss was therefore very keenly felt.  His widow survives him, being a resident of Penn Yan.



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