Delaware County NY Genealogy and History Site

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Stephen VanRensselaer Persons
1st wife Susan Mackey and 2nd wife Mary Polly Ellsworth

The following written by Frank George Persons (grandson of Stephen):

Uncle Frank (b. 1872) writes "Rensaler, my grandfather, first married Susan Mackey of Grand Gorge (Mooresville). They were married 3 Nov 1831, had two children, Eli C. and Polly Ann. His first wife, Susan Mackey Persons died 13 Aug 1836. She was born 17 Feb 1810. She is buried at Grand Gorge in the Old Cemetery near the church on Main Street. Rensaler Persons, born 30 Aug 1810, died 27 Oct 1896 buried beside his first wife at Grand Gorge. Polly Ann, their first born, is buried with her father and mother by the old church, and Eli is in the New Cemetery, Grand Gorge. His second wife (my grandmother) was born 16 Mar 1816, died 12 Apr 1902, buried in the Rice Cemetery, Jewitt Heights, Greene Co., NY. She was Polly Elsworth. They were married 6 Aug 1837." "Grandfather and Grandmother Persons first lived there at Grand Gorge, then moved to a farm in Johnston Hollow, know as the Dan Leonard Farm. My father was a small boy at that time, and he loved to speak of that place. From Johnston Hollow they moved to Little Westkill, the last farm at the head of the Hollow. This was quite a large farm. They lived there quite some years, for Father (Hiram) enlisted in the Civil War from that place when he was but 17 years old. This must have been around 1860-1861. Then they bought a smaller farm at Jewitt Center, NY. They must have moved there about 1870; they lived there 'til they died, and the old home passed on to Uncle John, who had never married, and stayed with his father & mother as long as they lived, and after because he owned the place (by arrangements with the other children). When he died, he left to Uncle Daniel's son John, his name sake."

Death Transcript for SVRP

click all images below to view larger

Stephen Van Rensselaer Persons (sitting) and wife Mary (Polly) Ellsworth Persons
Housekeeper standing behind Stephen, and son John Persons to left.

Old Burying Ground in Grand Gorge

Courtesy of Joyce Riedinger, along with background material of Frank George Persons (Joyce's Grand Uncle) - posted to website 8 May 2017

copyright on all materials - please contact us for permission to use



1st born child of Stephen Van Rensselaer Persons and 1st wife Susan Mackey
Born 6 Mar 1833 Town of Roxbury
Died 10 June 1833
Buried in Old Burying Ground, Moresville, Delaware County, NY


1st born son of Stephen Van Rensselaer Persons and 1st wife Susan Mackey
Born 4 Nov 1834 in Roxbury, Delaware Co., New York
Married 15 Aug 1858 to Lucy A. VanDeusen
Died 12 Sept 1900
Buried in Fairview Cemetery, Grand Gorge, Delaware County, NY

Frank Persons, nephew to Eli wrote in 1949 "Eli and Lucy had no children. They first lived on a farm on what is now known as Ferris Hill, then bought the farm first one below and towards Roxbury, of the Railroad Station at Grand Gorge. They owned the land where the railroad station now stands and above it for quite a distance; the large milk bottling plant was built on their land, or was bought off their farm. They lived on this farm for a number of years; then Eli was appointed agent for the D&H Coal Company, shipping coal to the Grand Gorge area. At this point they built a one-family house just back and a short distance up on the Ferris Hill Road. They lived there until their deaths. Eli and Lucy accumulated quite a fortune for their time, and left most of it to their nephew, Dr. Eli S. Persons, who was named after his uncle, and who took good care of them in their old age; and saw to it that they had a nice burial and monument in the new cemetery at Grand Gorge. They did have an adopted daughter, whom I understand was left a small house and a few acres of land. She was a Jessie Mathews. But I do not know much of her background or whatever became of her. She was married, but I do not remember the name".

Note: I, Joyce have discovered that Jessie married Merchant Mathews and they had a daughter Pearl Mathews who is buried on cemetery lot of Eli C. (see gravestone photo below). They are listed in the 1900 Census.

1850 Census Town of Roxbury

1860 Census Town of Roxbury

1865 Census Town of Roxbury

1880 Census Town of Roxbury

1900 Census Town of Roxbury

click photos at right for larger view


1st born of Stephen Van Rensselaer Persons and Mary Polly Ellsworth
Born 5 March 1837, Town of Roxbury, Delaware County, NY
Died 20 April 1919
Buried in Rice Cemetery, Jewitt, Greene County, NY

1850 US Census, Town of Roxbury shows Edgar living with Thomas Dent Family
1860 US Census, Town of Roxbury shows him back home living with his parents
1880 US Census shows him single and living with his parents and also listed with half-brother Eli C.

Uncle Frank( writes in 1949 "Edgar was well educated for his time, and taught school through the winter months and worked at learning the carpenter trade in the summer. He became a very skilled carpenter and millwright. He built some of the largest boarding houses and hotels in the Catskill Mountains. He is buried at Jewitt Heights in the Rice Cemetery with his mother and brother John; up to this date they have no stone or marker of any kind. I have been thinking that perhaps next summer there could something be done about it. It was said that Uncle Edgar was disappointed in a love affair when he was a young man, so he never married, and made his home with my Grandfather & Grandmother (Stephen & Mary Polly), also Uncle John, at Jewitt Center". It was also said that he liked to drink something stronger than water once in awhile and it was reported he had a great sense of humor. He liked to crack jokes and play tricks on friends, of which he had many. It was when he was building the hotel and boarding house at Lexington, New York, for Monroe Van Valkenburg, who wasn't any too prompt with paying his bills. One day while waiting for lumber, etc., he got to taking a few drinks, so he was quite tight. He sat down and went to sleep; the men that worked for him got to talking about what the building would be covered with, meaning the roof, so one of them said, "I will ask Ed." After considerable shaking, he roused up a bit; then the man said, "Ed, what will the hotel be covered with?" Uncle Edgar kind of coughed and said, "What do you want?" They asked again what the building would be covered with. "Well, said Uncle Ed, "I think it will be covered with a big mortgage!" . . .

Further Information:
Greene County Poorhouse Intake Records 1896-1913
Edgar Persons 1052 August 15, 1913 M 76 Single NY Delaware Roxbury Carpenter injury - broken leg - will probably be a cripple and always dependent

I, Joyce Riedinger, (Edgar was my gr-grand uncle) have been unable to verify the following:
Note taken at family member June Cosenza's home Nov 1990 - Edgar - Civil War Veteran - shot in leg


2nd born of Stephen Van Rensselaer Persons and Mary Polly Ellsworth
Born 07 January 1839, Town of Roxbury, Delaware County, NY
Married Phoebe J. Rappleyea
Died 14 Jun 1914

Uncle Frank writes in 1949 "Gilbert and Jane Persons first lived in Little Westkill on a small farm where the children were born. He taught school in the districts around there winters; at that time the school terms were only from late fall 'till early spring. So by work- ing early and late, he could do his farm chores and then teach through the day. After Hiram was grown up and married, Gilbert sold his small farm in Little Westkill and bought a very large one of about 500 acres in Johnston Hollow. This farm was known as the MacIntyre place. The second farm in on the Johnston Hollow Road from the Prattsville and Grand Gorge Turnpike. They kept a very large dairy of cows, as many as 75, that produced a wagon load of milk each day, for at that time everything was done with horses and wagons. They took their milk to Grand Gorge, a distance of about five miles, where it was shipped to New York City. After the Slawsen and Decker Milk Bottling plant was erected at Grand Gorge, their milk went there and later to the Prattsville Creamery. Gilbert was what they called well-to-do and left it to their son Hiram, who, with his wife, lived with them. Gilbert and Jane both died there on the old MacIntyre farm, and are buried in the family plot in the Prattsville Cemetery. They have a very nice monument there, the cemetery plot is large, for Hiram and Ruth, also Will and Clara. Uncle Gilbert possessed a very great personality. He had a type of voice that is very rare - when he was speaking, it sounded like music. I have known but one other man that had that type of voice - that was Stephen Bedgley of Blenheim; but I think Uncle Gilbert's was much finer of the two. Aunt Jane was the daughter of Benona Rappleyea. Her brothers were: Hesekiah, Colvin, Jessie, her sisters were Esther (who their daughter was named for) and Rose. Esther married Norman Wilcox, Rose married a Parker - I do not remember his first name."

Further Information:
Joyce and Tar Riedinger visited with Gilbert W. Persons, Great Grandson of the above Gilbert, at his home on Main Street in Prattsville the summer of 1988. Gilbert remembered hearing his grandfather Hiram Charles say when clouds had settled around the mountain top, "I think it's going to rain, Aunt Salina has got her nightcap on". (Hiram Charles was a nephew to Hiram J. Persons (brother to Gilbert), and husband to Salina Sigsbee.

jbr note: believe the initial L. is for "LaFever"

see descendant chart on this website

JOHN PERSONS (in photo above with parents)

3rd born of Stephen Van Rensselaer Persons and Mary Polly Ellsworth
Born 17 Nov 1840, Town of Roxbury, Delaware County NY
Never Married
Died 05 May 1922
Buried in Frank Rice Cemetery, Jewitt, Greene County NY

1850 US Census, Town of Roxbury - John living with his parents
1855 NYS Census, Town of Roxbury - John living with his parents
1860 & 1870 US Census, Town of Roxbury - living with his parents
1875 NYS Census and 1880 US Census, 1892 Census, Town of Jewitt - living with his parents
1900 US Census, Town of Jewitt - head of family, brother George & Family living with him.
1905 & 1910 Census, Town of Jewitt - living with brother George & Family
1920 US Census, Town of Jewitt - living with brother Daniel

Uncle Frank writes in 1949 "John is buried in the Rice Cemetery, Jewett Heights, in the plot with his Mother and Brother Edgar. Uncle John was a farmer and worked winters between chores in the mountains getting out saw mill lumber and firewood, of which they always had a-plenty, seasoned and nicely piled under the wood shed connected with the farm house, as was the custom those days. He was a member of the Jewett Center Rifle team and was one of the best. This rifle team would shoot at targets and just before Thanksgiving, turkeys were the prize, and he usually got his share. This team had matches with other rifle teams, such as the Grand Gorge, Windham, Stamford, and many others. They would change off from one team range to another and then send their targets to the state range for their awards of honor. The turkey shoot was usually held there at Jewett Center, where turkeys were plentiful and the surrounding farmers would bring in their turkeys to raffle. Uncle John and Frank Rice were hard to beat and it was nip and tuck with them, all in good fun and sportsmanship.Remember, turkeys were never used for targets! They would shoot at large official targets at a specified distance and see who could come nearest the bulls-eye. There was no limit to the number in a team.Sometimes they would choose sides. It was a great sport those days, and it was fun to watch."


4th born of Stephen Van Rensselaer Persons and Mary Polly Ellsworth
Born 29 Jan 1842, Town of Roxbury, Delaware County, NY
Married 22 Feb 1866 Salina Sigsbee at Prattsville, Greene County, NY
Died 13 Jan 1918 at Oneonta, Otsego County, NY
Buried in Oneonta Plains Cemetery

Hiram James Persons and and Salina Sigsbee had 13 children.

see descendant chart on this website


An article "In Search of Old Homesteads" by Joyce Riedinger


5th born of Stephen Van Rensselaer Persons and Mary Polly Ellsworth
Born 14 Apr 1844, Town of Roxbury, Delaware County, NY
Married Floyd Snyder 22 Dec 1861
Died 09 Sep 1908
Buried Maplewood Cemetery, Jewett Center, Greene, NY

Uncle Frank writes in 1949 "Sarah married Floyd Snyder, born in the town of Shandaken, Ulster Co., in 1844. Sarah was born in the town of Roxbury, Delaware County. They were married in 1861. They had one child, a daughter, Ella, born in the town of Lexington, Greene Co. in 1862, died at Kingston, Ulster Co., Dec. 18 1948; buried in the Maplewood Cemetery, South Jewett, beside her husband Peter Joslyn. Florence married Walter Bouck who was a descendant of Governor Bouck of the State of New York. Walter Bouck is buried in the Prospect Hill Cemetery at Guilderland."

1900 Census states that "Mother Polly" is living with Sarah & Floyd.

see descendant chart on this website


6th born of Stephen Van Rensselaer Persons & Mary Polly Ellsworth
Born 9 October 1848, Town of Roxbury, Delaware County, NY
Married Charles Myers in 1869
Died 7 October 1900

Uncle Frank writes in 1949 that they had 3 children.

see descendant chart on this website


7th born of Stephen Van Rensselaer Persons and Mary Polly Ellsworth
Born 03 Feb 1853, Town of Roxbury, Delaware County, NY
Married 21 May 1882 Carrie May Van Valkenburg
Died 14 Dec 1916 Lexington, Greene County, NY

As copied from a letter from his granddaughter Frances Persons Huntley, daughter of Alfred O Persons. .....QUOTE: Addison Harrison Persons was a school teacher in a one room school in Spruceton, NY where he met a student, Carrie Van Valkenburg who went as his wife when he became a teacher at the Jewett Free Academy. He was later Supervisor of the Town of Jewett from the subsistence farm where they raised their family and took in boarders, as immortalized in Manuel Kamroff's "Big City Little Boy". His birthplace was in Fox Hollow, west of Rt. 23, Prattsville-Grand Gorge up the wagon path north of the brook to Buttermilk Falls.)

Extracted from writing of Uncle Frank in 1949: Frances, daughter of Alfred and Hazel Persons, is an M.D. and is with her father who is also an M.D., at Lexington, Greene County, NY.
Note: Alfred Otis Persons was son of Addison

see descendant chart on this website


8th born of Stephen Van Rensselaer Persons and Mary Polly Ellsworth
Born 23 Jan 1855, Town of Roxbury, Delaware County, NY
Married 22 Mar 1881 Augusta Luening North
Died 17 Mar 1927
Buried at Pleasant Valley, Ashland, Greene County, NY

Daniel and Augusta had three children: (click to view larger size)

John, born 15 Sept 1882, who married Pearl Soule in 1927. They had two children: Althea Persons, born 12 Oct 1929, and Donald Frederick Persons, born 22 Feb 1934.

Frederick Wiliam Persons born 20 Jul 1885, married Ethel M. Mulford. - no children

Mary Persons born 24 Sept 1889, married Arthur L. Peck - no children

see descendant chart on this website


9th born of Stephen Van Rensselaer Persons and Mary Polly Ellsworth
Born 24 Dec 1858, Town of Roxbury, Delaware County, NY
Married 27 Jul 1879 Adella Sanford
Died 11 Oct 1938
Buried Fleischmanns, Delaware County, NY

from Ralph H. Persons, Jr. (grandson of Charles Yale Persons: Charles Y. Persons was ninth child of Stephen Van Rensselaer Persons and his wife Mary (Polly) Ellsworth. Charles and his wife Adella resided in Pine Hill for many years. He was in charge of the fire signal station on the summit of Belleyre Mt. about 1908 or 9 for 21 years. His son Walton succeeded him as fire observer for 12 years. Earl Persons served in World War I. Vernon and Ralph moved to Schenectady at an early age., and raised families there. In later years Harold Persons became one of the first employees of the Belleayre Mt. Ski center under the first Superintendent Arthur Draper. From time to time Charles' great great grand children have worked at the ski center, including Harold Persons great granddaughter, great grandson, as well as Ralph Srs. grandchildren. So it is a kind of Persons' mountain.

Charles Yale Persons and wife Adella Sanford - 2nd photo - 50th Wedding Anniversary (click photos for larger view)

Back Row:Kathryn, Hazel, Mrs. Redmond, Clifford, Rev Hewitt, Mrs. Hewitt, Clara, Louise, Lillian, Cora, Kenneth,
Middle Row: Llewellyn, Earl, Aunt Bertha Avery, Vern, Charley Persons, Adella, Ralph, Walton, Roland, Harold, Geraldine,
Front Row: Earl, June, Bobby, Ralph Jr., Ruth, Marjorie, Elizabeth

see descendant chart on this website


10th born of Stephen Van Rensselaer Persons and Mary Polly Ellsworth
Born 14 Oct 1861, Prattsville, Greene County, NY
Married 28 Oct. 1881 Joel Dickerman Pond
Died 04 Sep 1943
Buried Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Ashland, Greene County, NY

Emma Jane Persons and Joel Dickerman Pond had seven children.

Robert b.1882, Francis (Frank) b.1884, Bessie b.1886, Minnie b.1889, Ruth b.1891, Levira b.1894, Helen b.1899

. . . click photo for larger view

Left to right: Emma, Bessie Pond, Paul Pangman, Vira Pond, Leon Johnson, Robert Pond.
Seated: Helen with Angelo Johnson, Ruth Pangman with Olive Louise, Nellie.

see descendant chart on this website


11th born of Stephen Van Rensselaer Persons and Mary Polly Ellsworth
Born 17 Feb 1863, Prattsville, Greene County, NY
Married 1884 Luella C. Fisher
Died 27 May 1960
Buried Maplewood Cemetery, Jewett, Greene County, NY

George Persons and Luella C. Fisher had seven children.

Alice b.1885, Irving b.1886, Maggie b.1888, Elwin b. 1889, Nellie b.1892, Flossie b.1894, Mildred b.1896

. . . click photos to view larger

George Persons Family
Seated: George and Luella abt. 1905
L-R: Flossie, Irving, Mildred, Maggie, Alice, Nellie.

see descendant chart on this website

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