Many counties of NY state had county histories published between the years of 1860 and 1900. Within many of these works are "family sketches". The list below are sketches of families for the township of Russia that were found within the references provided.


1) "History of Herkimer County New York", edited by George A. Hardin, assisted by Frank H. Willard, D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1893, Syracuse, NY, Family Sketches section.

2) "1879 History of Herkimer County", published by Beers

3) "A Memorial of the Village of Cold Brook, Herkimer County, 1776-1976; 200 years of American History,", published by Cold Brook Bicentennial Committee, 1976

Family Sketches:

CARPENTER, Captain L. F., son of Rev. John CARPENTER, jr., was born in 1839. He enlisted in 1861, and July 28th, 1862, was promoted to captain of Company H, 94th N.Y. infantry. He was discharged March 19th, 1863, on account of wounds received in action at Fredericksburg, Va. He was married in 1867 to Olive BACON, of Luzerne, Penn. He is now practicing law in Russia. [ref #2, pg 276-7]

CARPENTER, Loren A., is a dairy farmer. He was born in Ridgeway, N.Y., in 1829. In January, 1859, he was married to Narcissa M., daughter of Amherst COON, and in the same year located in this town. They have one son, Edmund L. Mr. COON was born in this town in 1795, and was in the war of 1812, at Sackett's Harbor, under Colonel WRIGHT. [ref #2, pg 276]

CARUTHERS, Henry, a native of this town. He was born in 1824, and was married in 1850 to Cynthia H. WOODIN. They have four children. Mr. C's father, William, was a native of Scotland. He settled in this town, one and a half miles south of Grant, in 1818. The father of Mrs. CARUTHERS, Isaac WOODIN, Esq., came with his parents from Connecticut in 1813. His widow, Sylvia, who is still living, in the village of Grant, was born in this town in 1796 and is the oldest native resident living. She was the daughter of William COREY, who settled at Cold Brook in the spring of 1796. [ref #2, pg 276]

COUNTRYMAN, J. H., of the firm of Peter Countryman & Son, tanners at Poland village, was born in Herkimer, N.Y., in August, 1834. He located at Poland in 1848, and since then has conducted the tannery for the manufacture of upper leather, which has a capacity of one thousand calf skins per week. He was married in 1857 to Alvira GORTON, of Russia, who died in 1868. He was married in 1869 to miss Eliza BERNER, of this town. [ref #2, pg 276]

EMERY, John, Russia, was born in Ohio, November 23, 1824, a son of Rowland EMERY, born in Charlestown in 1786. He came to Ohio at an early day, one of the pioneer settlers, where he spent most of his life. His wife was Elizabeth JONES, by whom he had two sons and six daughters. His brother, Matthew, was in the War of 1812. Rowland EMERY died in Ohio in 1849, and his wife died in 1842. In 1846 John EMERY married Mary A. CURTIS, born in Schoharie county February 25, 1828, a daughter of Joseph and Amie CURTIS, who about 1838 came from Duanesburg, Schoharie county, and settled in Ohio, where they reared four sons and seven daughters. Mr. EMERY at the age of nineteen years was captain in the militia under Governor BOUCK. He was highly honored in his native town, being excise commissioner for four years, a member of the auditing board for four years, supervisor 1866-67, justice of the peace from 1866 to 1870, and was one of the members who incorporated the M.E. Church in Ohio. He held all the offices in that church in time, and was superintendent of the Sunday-school for fifteen years. He moved from the town of Ohio to the village of Poland, January 1, 1889, where he now lives. His grandfather, Robert EMERY, was born in New York and early in life settled in Montgomery county. He died in Stratford, aged ninety-three. [ref #1, pg 42]

FENNER, Henry, is a retired farmer. He was born March 15th, 1815, in Newport, N.Y., and when a young man was engaged as clerk in the Cold Brook store, and afterwards engaged in farming. He was married in 1852, to Clarrisa PRICHARD, of this town; they have one daughter, Amelia F. His father, Seth, was of Puritan stock. He located with his parents in Newport when nine years of age, and married a daughter of William COREY. He was a millwright, and in 1811 built for himself and others the first grist-mill at Cold Brook. [ref #2, pg 277]

FERRIS, Colonel T. H., of Prospect, Oneida county, N.Y., was born in Norway, N.Y., in 1805, and came to Russia in 1837, where he followed farming until 1877, where he removed to Prospect. He was married in 1830 to Eliza SALISBURY. He was a colonel of the 12th regiment of rifles in the State militia. His father, Sylvanus FERRIS, came from Westchester, N.Y., in 1798, and engaged in cheese making in Norway, N.Y. [ref #2, pg 277]

FORREST, D. J. was born in this town in 1851. His father, Captain William FORREST, was born in this town in 1805. He was a farmer, and died May 20th, 1878. He served his town as commissioner of highways, school inspector and supervisor, and was also a captain of a rifle company. He was married in 1834 to Miss Abigail, daughter of David HUNTER, of Hamilton county, N.Y. They had five children. Captain Forrest's father, John, was born in ireland, and settled here in 1802. [ref #2, pg 277]

HINCKLEY, Gardner. Among the most active and prominent business men of the northern part of Herkimer county was the late Gardner Hinckley. He was born in this town in 1808, and married in 1829 to Miss Elizabeth ATWOOD, of Florence, N.Y. She died in 1874 and Mr. HINCKLEY in 1875. Gardner and Samuel HINCKLEY were sons of Elijah HINCKLEY, and he and his brother Gardner (1st) came to this town (then Norway) in 1797. They had purchased the year before four hundred acres of land described in a deed, still in possession of the family, as the west part of lot number 91, third allotment of the Royal Grant. They were from Pomfret, Conn. Gardner HINCKLEY was largely engaged in the lumber business in the towns of Russia, Wilmurt and Morehouseville. In 1848 he, in company with Mr. BALLOU, of Utica, erected the Gang Mills in this town, the most extensive establishment of the kind in this part of the State. Mr. HINCKLEY's children are Samuel, Carrie (Mrs. J. W. STANTON, Mary E. and S. Helen. [ref #2, pg 277]

HEMSTREET, James, M. D., was born in Ohio, N.Y., in 1826. He studied medicine with his father, Richard I. HEMSTREET, and practiced it in Trenton, Gray, Newport, until he located in Poland village in 1865, where he has since remained. He was married in September, 1850, to Miss M. J. ADAMS, of Cazenovia, N.Y. His grandfather was the first supervisor of the town of Ohio. [ref #2, pg 277]

HEMSTREET, John, Russia, was born in Russia March 13, 1828. His father was Richard I., son of John D. HEMSTREET, a native of Montgomery county, who served in the war of 1812. John D. HEMSTREET came early to Ohio, where he engaged in farming and for many years held the office of justice of the peace. He had four sons and two daughters. Both he and his wife were Methodists. Richard I. HEMSTREET was born in Montgomery county in 1805. He was educated in the common schools of that county, then came to Ohio, where he taught school for several years. He married Sarah, daughter of James CALDWELL, a native of Saratoga and an early settler of Ohio. To Mr. HEMSTREET and wife were born three sons and three daughters, four of whom are living. In 1840 he graduated from the medical course of Fairfield Seminary, and for a short time practiced medicine in Ohio, then went to Cold Brook, where he resided five years. He next went to Poland and practiced his profession until his death in 1865. He was an active Republican, one of the original members of the County Medical Society, and also a member of the I. O. O. F. of Poland. Mrs. Richard I HEMSTREET died in 1876. Subject of sketch (John HEMSTREET) was educated in the public schools and reared on the old homestead, near where he now resides. He assisted in his father's business until the death of the latter. He made a two years' trip to California during the gold excitement. Mr. HEMSTREET is a real estate owner in Herkimer county, and during the last fifteen years has dealt largely in stocks. He is a Democrat, a member of Newport Lodge No. 455, F. & A. M., a stockholder and director of the National Bank of Poland and one of its original members. He is liberal in his religious views. [ref # 1, pg 55]

JAMES, Philip, Russia, was born in South Wales, December 12, 1832, a son of Levi JAMES, a native of Wales, born in 1802. The wife of Levi was Mary EVANS, born in Wales in 1804, and by whom he had nine sons and four daughters. In 1840 Mr. JAMES came to Russia and settled at Prospect. He resided in Oneida county until his death, September 28, 1884. Philip was eight years old when his parents came to Oneida county. For fourteen years he was engaged in the mercantile business at Grant. In 1859 he married Harriet FLANSBURG, a native of Ohio, NY, by whom he had two daughter, Minnie and Harriet. Mrs. JAMES died September 28, 1865, and Mr. JAMES married in 1881 Cynthia M. (RUST) STONE. Her first husband was George STONE, a native of Oneida county. He enlisted in the 117th NY Infantry, Company H. and was killed at the battle before Richmond, September 29, 1864. Mr. STONE and wife had two children: Clarence, who is a farmer in Russia, and Jessie who resides on her farm in Russia. Mrs. JAMES was a daughter of Hiram RUST, whose father, Abel RUST, was born in 1759, in Connecticut. He had eight children. Mr. RUST served seven years in the Revolutionary War. Abel Rust came to Russia in 1818 and settled on the farm now owned by Jessie STONE. He died in 1842, at the age of ninety-three. Hiram RUST was born July 4, 1794, in Kent, Conn. October 11, 1822, he married Mary TAYLOR, by whom he had four sons and four daughters. Hiram RUST was a farmer and geologist. He died February 3, 1886. He married Mary, daughter of Samuel and Cynthia TAYLOR, early settlers in Russia. Mrs. RUST died October 11, 1888. William P. RUST, the son of Hiram, was born in 1827 and was a brother-in-law of Charles WOLCOTT, of the US Geological department at Washigton. He was also a geologist himself, having procured several of the best individual cabinet in Central New York. He sold a fine collection of fossils to the State and has sent a great many specimens to Washington. In politics he was a Republican. He was identified with all movements for the church and was a liberal and ernest Christian. Mr. RUST never married but his niece, Miss Jessie Sone, has been mistress of his home for several years. [ref #1, pg 190-1]

JAMES, Philip, who is a builder and merchant, also proprietor of a saw and planing mill at Grant in this town, was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales, in 1833. He came with his parents to Oneida county in 1840, worked in the Hinckley mills for eleven years and located in Grant in 1868. He was married in 1859 to Hattie FLANSBURGH, of Ohio, who died in 1865. [ref #2, pg 277]

LANKTON, Frank, son of John B. LANKTON, was born in this town in 1841, and was married in 1868 to Hattie, daughter of William G. GRAVES, of Gravesville. He was a clerk in the store of Henry BILLS from 1865 to 1877, when he was appointed postmaster at Gravesville. His grandfather, Elish, located in this county in 1798. [ref #2, pg 277]

MILLINGTON, S. R., M.D., son of Richard and Mathilda MILLINGTON, was born in this town in 1826, and graduated from the Geneva, N.Y., Medical College in 1847. He practiced medicine in Norway, N.Y., for thirteen years; located in Poland village in 1860; gave up the medical practice in 1872; engaged in the banking business, and is now cashier of the Poland National Bank. He was married in January, 1848, to Miss Ada R. WALKER, of Russia. She died in 1852 and he was married in May, 1853 to Miss Harty L. LAMBERSON, of Salisbury, N.Y. They have one son, Charles S., born in March, 1855. Mr. MILLINGTON was member of Assembly in 1860. He has also held most of the town offices, and been surgeon of the 34th regiment, National Guard. [ref #2, pg 277]

MOON, B. B., son of Abner MOON, was born in this town in 1829, graduated at Union College in the class of 1857 and was married in that year to Rosena, daughter of Ackland SALISBURY, of Norway, N.Y. They have one daughter, Mary E. Mr. MOON has taught school four years and held the office of commissioner of schools for one year. He is now a dairy farmer, located on the old Moon homestead, settled by Benajah MOON in 1802. [ref #2, pg 277]

MOON, W. W., youngest son of Jefferson MOON, was born in this town in 1842, and married Alice, daughter of Patrick McVOY, of Russia, in 1866. They have two children, James and Flora. He is the present supervisor of this town and is a farmer and cattle dealer. His former employment was teaching and lumbering, and for several years he was agent for the Cold Brook Union Store. [ref #2, pg 277]

MOORE, Hon. orson, was born in Brookfield, Mass., in August, 1801. He taught school for several years, and located in this town in 1837. He has been supervisor of this town sixteen terms, and one term (1862) member of the Legislature from this county. His wife, Thirza, died in 1842, and in 1843 he was married to Miss Matilda SALISBURY. They were both daughters of Nathaniel SALISBURY, of Norway, N.Y. He has eight children. His grandfather, Thomas MOORE, was a lietenant in the Revolutionary war. [ref #2, pg 277]

NEWBERRY, Harrison Vail. Mary A. CARPENTER was born April 11th, 1830 at Cold Brook, N.Y., and married December 22nd, 1850, to Harrison Vail NEWBERRY, who was born July 1st, 1825, in this town. They have one son, Charles W. NEWBERRY, born October 23d, 1863. Mrs. NEWBERRY's early life was occupied in teaching in the different schools of the town. Mr. NEWBERRY is now proprietor of the Newberry House, at Cold Brook. [ref #2, pg 277]

ODIT, Augustus, Russia, was born in Switzerland, March 29, 1846, a son of Augustus who was a son of Franklin ODIT, a native of Switzerland, who had two sons and four daughters. He died in Switzerland. Augustus ODIT was born in Switzerland in 1812. He married Josephine, a daughter of Nicholas and Mary I. FLORAY, of Switzerland, and they had two sons and three daughters. In 1854 Mr. FLORAY and wife and Mr. ODIT and family came to America. Mr. FLORAY died in 1871 and his wife in 1889. Augustus ODIT was eight years old when he came with his parents to the United States. He has always followed lumbering. In 1877 he married Nellie B. BULLOCK, a native of Norway, born 1854, and a daughter of Ira BULLOCK, born in 1813, who had seven children. During the last six years Mr. ODIT has been engaged in the general mercantile business at Northwood, NY. He is a Democrat and has been postmaster for the last six years. [ref #1, pg 208-9]

ROBENS, William, was born in 1770 and died in 1802. He married Judith BULLOCK and they had 4 children, including Adam and Rosamond. William came in 1792 from Stillwater, NY and purchased land near what is now Cold Brook village. William's son, Adam, was born in 1794 and died 1834. Adam married Polly PAYNE and they had 7 children. Two of these children married: 1) Laura who was born in 1824 and died in 1885, and married to George VICKERY and 2) William who was born in 1817 and died in 1875, was married to Mary PUTNAM. William and Mary had a son William D. Robens who was born in 1874 and died in 1950. [Condensed from Ref #3 - much more detailed information exists in this source]

ROBENS, Reuben, was born in 1779 and died in 1855. He followed his brother, William, to Cold Brook and purchased land near William's. Reuben was married to Laura PAYNE and then to Elizabeth PARISH and had 7 children, including a daughter, Mathilda, who married Richard MILLINGTON, and a son, William, who was born in 1804 and died in 1855 and married Lucretia PARDEE and later Angelina RUSSELL. William had a son, Nelson who moved to Syracuse. [Condensed from Ref #3 - much more detailed information exists in this source]

ROBENS, Esther , married Nathaniel WALTERS and they came to Russia in 1799. William, their son, resided in Cold Brook. [Ref #3]

POPPLE, Roswell H., Russia, was born in Russia, October 29, 1845, a son of James who was a son of William, a native of Rhode Island, born May 18, 1768. The latter married first Rachael FRINK, also a native of Rhode Island, by whom he had eight children: Zachariah, Daniel, Roswell, William, John, Amy, Lydia and Esther. Mr. POPPLE came to Russia about 1800 and settled one mile west of Grant, near the twin rock bridge. He was at one time assessor, and died in Russia, April 13, 1856. He was offered land where Utica now stands (then a vast swamp, with one log cabin on Corn Hill) at $2.50 per acre. His second marriage was with Catherine TOMPKINS, of Norway, by whom he had one child, James. His second wife died June 8, 1852. James POPPLE was born August 20, 1817, and his life was spent on the farm settled by his father. He married Ann Eliza GARLOCK, born in Montgomery county, March 9, 1816, a daughter of Philip GARLOCK. Their children were Ann Elizabeth, Emily, Matilda, Roswell H., Lydia, Louisa, William and Alma Eliza, all now living. Mr. POPPLE followed surveying for many years. In politics he was a Democrat, and for many years was assessor and constable. He died March 13, 1868, and his wife March 24, 1880. Roswell H. is a farmer, a Democrat, and one of the leaders of his party, always taking an active part in elections, and has been inspector, census enumerator, school trustee, and is now secretary of the Grange at Grant, No. 692. For the past five years he has been agent for Listers, of Newark, N.J., the largest manufacturers of fertilizers in the country. February 2, 1882, he married Diana (RATHBURN) GRAY, daughter of William GRAY, an early settler of Remsen, Oneida county. Mr. POPPLE and wife had four children; Annie, Lydia, Willie and Charles. Annie, the only one living was born June 17, 1883. July 2, 1889, Mrs. POPPLE died, and July 30, 1890, he married second, Jennie, daughter of Caleb NICHOLS, a son of Morey NICHOLS, an early settler of Remsen. Caleb married Ellen HUGHES, and had a son and a daughter. They live in Remsen. Mr. POPPLE is a Democrat and has been inspector of elections. He was drafted in the late war, but did not serve on account of disability. He is a member of Grange No. 692 of Grant. The father of the subject, James, was the most reliable surveyor of these parts, and his lines and maps are now eagerly sought for. [ref #1, pg 82]

PUTNAM, J. M., was born in Newport, N.Y., in 1837, and is carriage painter by trade. He went to California in 1857 by the overland route; returned to Washington, D. C., in 1861, and was appointed sutler of the 2nd U.S. cavalry. After the war he returned to this county and is now proprietor of the grist and saw mill at Poland village, having located here in 1873. He wa married in 1865 to miss Emma E., daughter of S. R. VINCENT, of Norway, N.Y. [ref #2, pg 277]

READ, Erastus, was born in Deerfield, N.Y., December 18th, 1808, and located in this town in 1844, since which time he has been engaged in dairy farming. He was married in 1839 to Caroline A., daughter of John RUSSELL, of this town, who located here in 1808. They have four sons, R. E., Daniel G., George C. and John D. [ref #2, pg 277]

RHODES, B. F., was born in Hampshire county, Mass., in 1825, and came to this town in 1876. He is a manufacturer of button molds, in which business he has been engaged for the last eighteen years, consuming 30,000 feet of maple lumber annually. He was one of the Mill River sufferers in Massachusetts, in 1874, and his son-in-law, Mr. Groves COLLINS, by his prompt action at that time saved several hundred lives. [ref #2, pg 277]

RHODES, Thomas T., was born in Chesterfield, Mass., in 1833. In 1866 he purchased of D. P. VINCENT his box factory and put in machinery for the manufacture of saw and plane handles. He employs ten men, and uses 60,000 feet of beech logs annually. His present wife was Miss Ella FRENCH, of Massachusetts. His father, Jacob, was a native of Marblehead, Mass. [ref #2, pg 277]

RUSSELL, John, was born in Greene county, N.Y., in 1811. His early life was spent in Schoharie county as a farmer and merchant. He was married in 1831 to Maria BURCHARD, who died in 1865, leaving him four children. He was married in 1868 to Mrs. Mary LAGRANGE, of Albany county, N.Y. In 1869 he purchased the Trout Pond Hotel in this town which he has conducted since that time. [ref #2, pg 277]

SEAVEY, E., was born in Bradford, Vt., in 1812, and came with his mother and two sisters to this town in 1818. He learned the bridge building and carpenter trade when young, which he still follows. He was married in 1834 to Miss Ann SPERRY, daughter of Stephen SPERRY, of this town. They have two sons, George K. and Jerome L. Mr. SEAVEY was appointed postmaster at Russia village in 1873. [ref 32, pg 278]

SLOCUM, Sidney, was born in Cambridge, N.Y., in 1807, and came with his father, Samuel, to this town in 1809, and located northwest of Russia Corners. He was married in 1836 to Mary A., daughter of Jesse PAYNE. They have eight children. When a young man he worked for W. BURRELL, of Salisbury, for several years. Since 1837 he has followed farming, and also dealt in horses and cattle. [ref #2, pg 278]

SMITH, Allen and Alexander, are farmers, and own four hundred and fifty acres of land. Duncan SMITH came to America in 1824 from Argyleshire, Scotland, and located in Elm Flats in this town. He died in 1871 in the eighty-fourth year of his age. Allen SMITH was born in Scotland in 1822, and Alexander in this town in 1829. Allen has served this town twelve years as commissioner of highways, and four years as assessor. [ref 32, pg 277]

SPERRY, Frederick. Mrs. Sarah J. SPERRY, daughter of Abner MOON, was born in 1836, and married in 1858 to Mr. L. PLUMB, of Lewis county, N.Y. He died October 20th, 1864, leaving her with two sons, Frank S. and Sidney A. She married her present husband, Frederick S. SPERRY, in 1871. He is a son of Pitkin SPERRY, a pioneer of this town. Mr. SPERRY is a sawyer by trade. He served in the army for four years, and returned to Russia in 1869. [ref #2, pg 277]

STILLMAN, Dorsey. Mrs. E. G. STILLMAN, daughter of Daniel GAY, and widow of the late Dorsey STILLMAN, was born in this town. Dorsey STILLMAN was born at Unadilla Forks, N.Y., in 1830. His father, Abel, was born in Rhode Island in 1798, and located in this town in 1836. He was a machinist and inventor, and engaged in the manufacture of "Stillman's patent saw set". In 1864 Dorsey became sole proprietor and conducted the business until his death in 1870, since which his sons, Charles A. and Edgar H., have conducted it. [ref #2, pg 277-8]

SWEZEY, Alanson, was born in this town October 27th, 1833, and is a farmer on Shongum flats. He was in the mining districts of California from 1853 to 1857. He was married in 1862 to Mary, daughter of William CARUTHERS. They have one son, Jerome. Alexander SWEZEY's father, Ahimas, was born in Newport, N.Y., and his grandfather, Richard, was born in Long Island, and located in this town with other pioneers where M. S. SMITH now lives. [ref #2, pg 278]

TAYLOR, Professor J. W., A. M., is a native of Lenox, N.Y., and was born in 1807. In 1841 he received the degree of A. M. from Union College, and in 1845 was appointed by the regents of the university curator of the State cabinet of natural history, which position he held for five years. For several years he gave annual lectures throughtout the State, on geology and natural history. He was married in 1865 to Miss Mary C., daughter of Jenks BENCHLEY, of Russia. They have one son, Gerrie B. TAYLOR. [ref #2, pg 278]

WALTERS, J. N., was born in 1824, and married in 1853 to Mary E. KIESINGER, of Oswego county, N.Y. They have two children, William J. and Charles F. Mr. WALTERS is a millwright by profession; he superintended the construction of the Russia Gang Mills in 1849, and has been general superintendent of the Gang Mills Lumber Company of Hinckley & Ballou. He has served his town as supervisor for four terms. He is also dealer in Iowa and Minnesota lands. His father was one of the pioneers of this town. [ref #2, pg 278]

WHEELER, Ephraim, was born in this town in 1811, and married in 1845 to Almira, daughter of Minden HARRIS, of this town. They have two sons and two daughters. Mr. WHEELER was in early life a school teacher. He has served his town as assessor and supervisor, and is now an enterprising farmer. His father located in the west part of this town in 1808. The WHEELER family were originally from Holland. [ref #2, pg 278]

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Last Updated: 3/20/99
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