Sojourn Through Time...
~ Hyde Family History ~
Updated 3 February 2001
I plan to regularly update this document as new information emerges. My family genealogy elsewhere on this site focuses exclusively on well-documented individuals with all sources cited. A lot of additional information I have doesn’t fit well into a family group sheet or pedigree, however. In addition, I have information regarding other ancestors that I cannot currently provide primary source documentation for. The information is useful, but I am not willing to fill my database up with secondary sources like books, articles and other people’s genealogies. Having said that, I also don’t want all of this information to languish in my notebooks and file folders when it may be interesting to others, and may even supply a useful clue or two. So here is the caveat: If you see a name you are interested in here but cannot find it in my genealogy with source documentation, it means I probably don’t have much in that regard. But if you contact me I will point you in the direction that the information came from – a book, a relative, a photo or wherever. Something of peripheral interest to me may be vitally important to you, and I will help however I can. Just ask.
Edwin Hyde is my third great grandfather. He first appears as a 15-year-old on the 1850 U.S. census in Clayton, Jefferson County, New York. He was born about 1834, either in New York or Vermont. The family structure in the household does little to identify his parentage. The head of household is identified as Noah Hyde, age 85, who could be Edwin’s father or grandfather. A 54-year-old female in the household named Elizabeth Hyde might be his mother. Noah was born in Massachusetts. The remainder of the household, including five year old Clarinda, are all listed as having been born in New York. Note that if Elizabeth is the mother of Clarinda, she would have given birth at age 49.
Also listed in the 1850 census is one other Hyde family in Clayton. This is the family of William Hyde, age 34. His family is listed right next door to Edwin’s family. Others in the household are Maris(?), a 26 year old female, Mary Ann, age 10, Noah, age 8, Elizabeth, age 6, Cyrus, age 4, and Lucy, a 1 year old female. Given the geographic proximity and the repetition of names, these two families are clearly related.
The name Noah Hyde and his birth in Massachusetts offers up some interesting research possibilities. Most of the Massachusetts Hydes originated in the town of Newton in Middlesex County. All of these Hydes descended from two brothers: Samuel Hyde (born abt 1610, died 12 September 1689 at age 79) and his younger brotherJonathan Hyde (born abt 1626, died 5 October 1711 at age 85). Samuel and Jonathan migrated from England to Boston aboard the Jonathan in 1639, and in 1840 became the second settlers in Cambridge Village (later called Newton). Jonathan was a busy man; or at least his wives were. He had 23 children in total; 15 by Mary French and when she died in 1672 (in childbirth with fifteeth child Joseph), another eight by Mary Rediat. He outlived her too. A son named William (b. 12 September 1662) was born to Jonathan Hyde and Mary French. William married Elizabeth Hyde, daughter of his cousin Job Hyde and granddaughter of Samuel Hyde. All children of this couple, therefore, are descendants of both of the original immigrant brothers.
William and Elizabeth's oldest son, also named William, was born 30 October 1690. The younger William married Deliverence, yet another Hyde. Noah was born to this union 26 September 1717. Known as Lieutenant Noah Hyde, he married Ruth Seger on 28 February 1739/40 and their son Noah was born in 1747. The second Noah married Rachel Fay. Their son Noah was born 28 March 1775.
Little is written about this last Noah, but he would have been 75 in the 1850 census, making him 10 years younger than the Noah listed in Edwin’s household. However, the census has been known to be notoriously inaccurate, and if this is the same Noah Hyde, or even another one who ties into the family, they are very well documented back to England in the early 1600s. Since this is the only Massachusetts Hyde line I have ever come across with any Noahs in it at all, it seems very likely that these Hydes do tie in together.
In any event, sometime around 1853, Edwin Hyde married Lucinda Gournell. She was born about 14 December 1837 in Gananoque, Leeds County, Ontario, Canada. Lucinda's surname is definitely in question, and I have based it on the following pieces of evidence: Edwin Hyde's Civil War pension file, Lucinda Hyde’s death certificate, Henry Noah Hyde's death certificate, and an article in Hamilton Child’s "Gazetteer of Jefferson County, N.Y." published in 1890. Lucinda’s death certificate says she was born in Gananoque, and identifies her parents as Henry and Annie Ganrasol (or something similar). Her son Henry Noah Hyde's death certificate names his mother as Lycindia Gurnell. Lucinda's granddaughter Marie was the informant. Edwin Hyde's Civil War pension file provides the best evidence yet uncovered. In his own hand, Edwin identifies his first wife, since deceased, as Lucinda Gournell. The Childs article names a Clayton family headed by John Henry and Annie Gernald. The family apparently moved to Clayton from Gananoque sometime after the death of John Henry. Among the children is a daughter named Lucinda. Phonetically it is easy to see how Gournell, Gurnell, and Gernald could be variations of the same name. Hamilton Child's gazetteer is the only document that identifies Lucinda's mother's maiden name as Fountain. Though a secondary source, it at least provides a good clue.
By 1860, Edwin and Lucinda are living in Clayton with their sons Henry Noah (born 7 June 1854) and Christopher (born 1858). Over the next several years they had several more children: William W. (born abt. 1861), Samuel G. (born 1865), Lyman D. (born 1868), Thomas B. (born 1872) and Dellie A. (born 1876).
On 9 Sep 1861 Edwin Hyde enlisted in Company G, 35th Regiment, New York Volunteers. He mustered into the service as a private at Clayton, New York and mustered out on 5 June 1863 at Elmira, New York. At the time of Edwin's enlistment, Lucinda was left with three small children: Henry Noah had just turned seven years old, Christopher was about three, and William was just a baby.
The 1870 census shows the family no longer in Clayton. In fact, they do not appear in the census index anywhere in New York State. Whether they were simply overlooked or had moved elsewhere and then returned isn’t known, but the 1880 census finds the family back in Jefferson County, New York, in the town of Worth. Edwin and Lucinda are living with their children William, Samuel, Lyman, Thomas and Dellia (Dellie A.). Although they couldn't be found in 1870, it is very likely that they were still in the area. In a deposition for his Civil War pension dated 15 June 1889, Edwin states that he has lived his entire life after military service in Jefferson County, New York, working as a farmer.
In 1890 Edwin appears asEdmond Hyde on the 1890 Civil War Veterans Schedule, one of the few remnants of the U.S. census for that year. Lucinda died on 4 May 1891. Her obituary describes her as "Mrs. Edmond Hyde". It says that she had been an invalid for the five years prior to her death.
About three years after Lucinda's death, on 16 June 1894, Edwin married Mary Simons (nee Chase). She was legally a widow of Newell Simons who had disappeared from his unit in the Civil War and was never heard from again, after 20 years. By New York law he could legally be declared dead after five years, and Mary was free to remarry. Edwin moved to Mary's home in Camden, Oneida County, New York. They lived together until Edwin's death on 11 March 1899.
Children of Edwin & Lucinda Hyde:
Their daughter Dellie A. (Dellia, Della) married Earl Robbins.
Their son Thomas Hyde was a respected lumberman in the town of Worth in Jefferson County. He married Amy Nichols in Gananoque, Ontario, and the couple resided in Worthville. There was a ghost story of sorts involving Thomas and Amy, who claimed to have repeatedly seen what appeared to be a child with a lantern. Thomas followed the child one night and the apparition disappeared into the orchard. It was noted that, "Mr. Hyde was a man of such great integrity that if he said he saw a ghost, he saw a ghost."
Another son, Lyman Hyde, was also known as Barney. He was a lifelong bachelor and spent much of his adult life in the Auburn Correctional Facility in Auburn, New York. He was sentenced to a term of 15 years to Life, on 11 November 1930 as a fourth offender. He was paroled 12 years later on 16 July 1942. He returned to Auburn Prison on 7 June 1946. He was paroled on 6 December 1949 but returned to the prison on February 20, 1950. He was paroled again on 6 February 1952 but returned to prison for the final time on 24 June 1952. In each case his only crimes appeared to be parole violations rather than additional criminal activity. He was a model prisoner and simply seemed to be more comfortable in prison than on the outside. He died on 22 July 1952 in Auburn Correctional Facility at age 83.
H. Noah Hyde
Henry Noah Hyde was the eldest son of Edwin Hyde and Lucinda Gournell. He is my second great grandfather. Throughout his life, he never called himself Henry. He always went by his initials, H.N. Hyde, or his middle name, Noah. Noah was born 7 June 1854. His death certificate places his birth in St. Lawrence County, New York. However, his family was probably living in the town of Clayton in Jefferson County, New York at the time.
In 1873, Noah married Mary Mae Seyton, daughter of William and Abby Seyton. They had at least five children: Lillie M. (born abt. 1874), William E. (born abt. 1877), Charles (born abt. 1878), DeEtta Belle (born 14 August 1880) and Mary Orphia (born 9 April 1882), who later changed her name to Marie.
Noah lived a long and interesting life. He had many careers through the years. In the 1880s he was the captain of the sloop Fred L, based in Fisher’s Landing, New York. By 1890 he was the proprietor of a stage line, making a daily run from Worth Center via Worthville to Lorraine and Adams. Later, he was a blacksmith in the village of Worthville. He was a horse trader as well. Eventually the family moved to New Haven in Oswego County. There, Noah had a blacksmith shop, was a strawberry farmer and eventually ran a general store. He was also a constable. Mary worked at a number of different jobs as well, which was quite unusual for a woman of the time. She worked as a domestic servant, was employed at an apple dryer and worked as a mail carrier. Mary Seyton died on 17 March 1928 in New Haven. A couple of years later Noah married Josephine Green. She was a neighbor of his daughter Marie (Mary Orphia) in Auburn, New York. He died shortly after, on 18 October 1932 in Albion, New York. Mary Seyton and Noah Hyde are buried in North Scriba Cemetery, in Scriba, Oswego County, New York.
Many stories have been passed down through the years regarding Noah. My aunt, Mona Taplin, has written many of them down and shared them with me. I have included them here in her own words.
- Noah…was once the Captain of a sloop called the "Fred L." and sailed the St. Lawrence River and probably the treacherous Lake Ontario. Noah Hyde bore a prominent scar upon his cheek, and often entertained his family by relating the story of how it was acquired. He claimed that during his sailing days his First Mate had a reputation as a sharp shooter. One day the First Mate offered to shoot the tassel off the cap that Noah wore. Noah was more than willing to participate in this demonstration of sharp shooting skill, so the Mate took careful aim and fired. He did indeed shoot the tassel off Noah’s cap, but the bullet shattered the brass brad holding the tassel to the cap. The shattered brass brad embedded in Noah’s cheek leaving a permanent scar, of which Noah was immensely proud.
- …One day Noah Hyde and his son-in-law Thomas Dean saw a huge load of peanut shells being hauled past his store, and Noah wondered where the peanut shells were destined to go and for what purpose. Thomas Dean told Noah with tongue in cheek they were being taken to the Nabisco factory in Niagara Falls to be ground up and packaged as the breakfast cereal Shredded Wheat. From that day forward Noah Hyde flatly refused to carry Shredded Wheat in his store, convinced it was made of peanut shells. He often cautioned people not to eat the product and tried to convince them it was made from peanut shells by wetting a bit of the cereal with water and mashing it up in his hand and insisting that anyone could plainly see the fiber from the peanut shells.
- After moving to New Haven, N.Y., Noah Hyde was appointed Town Constable, a position he abused from time to time according to the stories told by his family. It seems that when he had a bit too much to drink, he would sometimes pull out the little derringer he carried and point to his badge, reminding all in his presence that he was the law and threaten to blow off the head of anyone who disagreed with him on any subject. Fortunately he never pulled the trigger. I doubt if any who came in close contact with his method of enforcing the law were as amused as family members who told this story.
- My father, Lawrence Tilkins, first met Noah Hyde while dating my mother. He said that he had taken mother to visit her aunt and uncle, George Taber and wife "Lilly" at their hotel in Lorraine. Noah was also visiting the Tabers, and when introduced dad politely said "How are you sir?" Noah’s reply was "Young man, I am not feeling a bit well. My heart stopped beating two weeks ago and shows no sign of starting up again." It seems Noah Hyde’s favorite complaint about his health was his heart, which he insisted stopped beating periodically from anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks.
Lillian May Hyde was the oldest child of Noah and Mary, having been born on 15 April 1874. She married George Taber and together they ran a hotel in Lorraine, Jefferson Co., New York for many years. They had two daughters, Leah and Lyla. Leah Taber married Grover Davis and Lyla Taber married Ross Bice.
William E. Hyde was born 21 July 1876. He married a woman named Melva (possibly Perkins). It is possible that he may have married Leah Cooley prior to his marriage to Melva. William and Melva had at least three children, Burnice, Wilford and Walter. William spent a good part of his adult life in Auburn Correctional Facility, where he eventually died.
Charles Henry Hyde was born 20 December 1877. He first married Ethyl Galagher and they had a son named Gerald. After Ethyl died, Charles married a woman named Alice. They had four children: Reta Marie, Anna May, Raymond and Earl. Charles died in 1954 at the home of his sister Ettie in Richland, Oswego County, New York.
De Etta Belle Hyde, known as "Ettie", was born 4 August 1880 in Worth, Jefferson County, New York. She was my great grandmother. She married Deforest DeAlton Wheeler on 4 July 1899 at her parents’ home in Worth, New York. They settled first in New Haven, Oswego County, New York. Around 1919 or so they moved to the nearby village of Richland. Ettie and Deforest had six children: Lillian (born abt. 1900), Doris (born 4 August 1902), Noah (born abt. 1905), Raymond Adelbert (born 1 January 1907), Rosia Mae (my grandmother – born 14 April 1909) and Katherine (born abt. 1917).
Henry Noah Hyde was born 22 July 1884 and died 28 August 1884.
Mary Orphia Hyde was born 9 April 1882 (or 1883). She later changed her name to Marie. She was married to Leon Feldman and later to Thomas Dean. Thomas was afflicted with syphilis, an incurable disease in the days prior to the discovery of penicillin. With his mind slowly eroding, Marie took complete care of him until his death. Marie also contracted syphilis, probably from Thomas, and was eventually institutionalized at Willard State Hospital in Seneca County, New York. She spent many years there until her death on 17 March 1967. She is buried in the hospital cemetery.
The information in this document comes from several sources, including my genealogical records found elsewhere on this site. In addition, and most importantly, the majority of the information included here has come from my two aunts: Mona Taplin of Newark, California and Bea Marsden of Lookout, California. I also referred to the following materials:
Jackson, Francis, A History of the Early Settlement of Newton, County of Middlesex, Massachusetts From 1639 to 1800, With a Genealogical Register of its Inhabitants Prior to 1800. 1854. Reprint, Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, 1987.
Moreton, Orrinda, History of the Town of Worth, 1795-1976. No place, no publisher, 1976.
Moreton, Orrinda, More About Worth (A Continuation of the History of Worth – Published in 1976). No place, no publisher, 1981.
Stowell, William Henry Harrison. "Four Generations of Descendants of Samuel Hyde of Newton, Massachusetts", New England Historical and Genealogical Register, pp. 144-153, volume 71, no. 2 (April 1917)
Stowell, William Henry Harrison. "Four Generations of Descendants of Jonathan Hyde of Newton, Massachusetts", New England Historical and Genealogical Register, pp. 257-271, volume 71, no. 3 (July 1917)
Stowell, William Henry Harrison. "Four Generations of Descendants of Jonathan Hyde of Newton, Massachusetts", New England Historical and Genealogical Register, pp. 342-353, volume 71, no. 4 (October 1917)
© Mike Curtis, 2000
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21 December 2000