William S. (William Smith) Pelletreau.

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and Xewtown. His sons Elias and Francis were very prominent
in our early annals. Francis Doughty married ^largaret, widow
of Kev. John Moore, of Xewtown. She was a daughter of Edward
Howell, whose name must ever be famous as the founder of
Southampton, the first English town in the province of Xew
York, and the ancestor whose descendants may be numbered
by the thousand. Among the children of John and Sarah Em-
bree was a son, John Embree, who married Elizabeth, daughter
of Richard Lawrence and Hannah Bowne. She was born April
15, 1720. Their son, Effingham Embree, was born September
24, 1759, and died December 3, 1817. He married his cousin,
Mai-y Lawrence (daughter of John Lawrence and Ann Burling).
She was born October 17, 1763, and died September 16, 1831.


Tliey were married December 26, 1780. In the early })art of
the last pentnry, few men in New York were better known or
more prominent tliaii " Etitingiiam Embree, Gentleman," as his
name so freqnently occurs in the records of those days. Shortly
after the Revolutionary war he was appointed by congress to
bring u]) the standard of the gold and silver coin then in cir-
culation which has l)een l)adly sweatted and clipped during that
war. In 1817 he purchased a large tract of land in what is now
the heart of the city, but then in the suburbs. This was a part
of the ancient Bayard Farm, and extended from "^leadow
street" (now Grand street) to below "Sugar Loaf" street (now
Franklin street), and from Broadway to the land of Trinity
Church, so famous as the bone of contention with the heirs of
Anneke Jans. By the |)urchase of this tract he became
one of the largest land owners in the city. Its value now is
immense, but it cost then but a few thousand pounds. While
a resident of the city and one of its most prominent citizens, his
country' place was at Flushing, Long Island, and the mansion
Imilt by him yet remains as a very interesting relic of the past.
He was also the owner of many thousand acres of land in Ken-
tucky, Pennsylvania and the northern ))art of Xew York state.
The origin of the name of Effingham will be given in another
l)Iace, and this name has continued in the family for four genera-

The children of Effingham and Mary (Lawrence) Embree
were: 1. John Lawrence, born February '11, 1783, married De-
borah Lawrence, and had a son George W., liorn in 1844. His
son Frank L., is a resident in Xew York. '1. Effingham L., born
October 12, 17i)l, married Eliza Hartman, and had two sons,
George and Edward. The latter lived in Fairtield, Xew Jersey,
and died in li)05. The former is now living in Soutli Carolina.
;>. Lawrence Effingham, born .Inly !t, 17!I4, died November 2,

\ol. 1—31


1849. He inarricMl Sarali Kul)in.sou, daughter ol" Walter Frank-
lin. July 9, 1821. They liad eight children, all of whom died in
iufauey, exrei)t Kohert Cornell Enihree, l)i)rn January 'I'l, 1824,
in the old family mansion at Flushing and died Sei)teml)er 14,
1902, in the same town; ^lary Ann, born January 24, 1829, mar-
ried (."harles Townsend. of a famous J^ong Island family, and
had two daughters. Sarah Franklin, wife of Dr. Kieliard Sea-
man, and ^lary Embree, who died unmarried at an eai'ly age.
4. Jane L., horn Ai)ril 12, 1797, married John Wines. 5. Mar.y
Ann, I)orn duly l."!, 1799, died unmarried in 1824. 6. Hannah,
born February 19, 180G, nuirried Gilbert Hieks.

Robert Cornell Em]>ree married Pliebe Seaman Birdsall.
daughter of James F. Birdsall. July 8, 1852. at Xew York City.
She was born duly 4. 18;')(), and died December 10. 1904. Their
children were: 1. Caroline, born June 1, 1853, died January
o, 18(30. 2. Lawrence Eifiugham, born May 17, 1856. 3. James
Kobert, born May 23, 1859, died March 21, 1892. He was a
graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columl)ia
University, and Clu^rity and Xew York Hosintals, and mitil
about a year before his death was actively engaged in the prac-
tice of liis ijrofession. 4. Cornelia, born July 1, 1861, is now liv-
ing at Flushing. She married Francis J.J. de Kaismes, April
4, 1883, and lias three children, Francis Embree, Robert Embree
and Embree de Raismes. 5. Edith Franklin, born July 11, 1863.

Lawrence Effingham Embree, the present representative
of the name went with his parents to Flushing about the year
1860 and has since that time made that place his residence.
His father, Robert Cornell Embree, began life as a civil engineer,
and heli)ed to build the old Croton reservoir on Fifth avenue, and
was also associated with Captain Blunt on the United States
coast survey. He afterwards studied law in the office of Peter
Augustus day and Hamilton Fish. After the death of ]\Ir. Jay,

Effingham Embree.


and as Mr. Fish had l^een made secretary of state, he formed a
partnership with Walter Rutherford, who was his fellow clerk,
under the firm name of Rutherford and Emhree. This continued
until the death of ^Ir. Rutherford. He was counsel foi- many
distinguished men, and as executor settled many estates of great

His son, Lawrence Effingham Emln-ee, obtained his early
education at the famous Flushing Institute, and later was in the
class of 78 in Columbia College, graduated from the law school
in 1879, and was for some years in the office of ]\roore. Hand
and Bonney, of which the learned genealogist, Charles R. ^loore,
was the head. Tn 1888 he joined his father, their office being at
lo5 Broadway, where he still continues, tlie personnel of the
firm being Finck, Embree iS: Cobb. ^Ir. Embree is a meml^er
of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Xew
York State Bar Association, Queens County Bar Association,
The Cnion (Uub, New York Yacht Club, St. Nicholas Society^
Dwight Alumni Association and Oakland Golf Club of Baysidc,
Long Island. In religion he adheres to the principles of his
Quaker ancestors, and in politics belongs to the Republican

party, but has never been or sought to be what is commonly
known as a |)olitician.

It remains to add a short notice of the lines of descent
from prominent families of the early days.


Captain Thomas Willett was born in England, Kill, died at
P>ari-ington, Alassachusetts, August, 1674. In 1651 he was a mag-
istrate of Plymouth and was the first to inform Governor Peter
Stuyvesant of the coming of the English fleet under Richard
Nicoll in 1664. After the surrendei' on June 12, 1665, he was a])-
pointed the first ma\or of New Y'ork. AMien the Dutch recapt-
ured the city, his ])roperty was confiscated, but was soon restored.


He was l)uri('(l at Heli()l)otli, or Swansea, in the town of Seeconck,
Massarliiisetts. A ])lain tomlistone l)ears this inscrijitinn : "l(i74.
Here lies the Body of ye Honh'' Thomas WiHett, Y.^i[. Wlio
died August ye 4tli in ye G-ith year of liis age. Who was the
First Mayor of New York and twice did sustain ye Pkice."
"1669. Here lyeth the l)ody of the virtuous :\rrs. :\Iary Willett
wife to Thomas Willett Esq. Who died January ye 8 ahout ye
(Joth yeai' of her age Daughter to ye Hon''"' dohn Brown Esij."
Thomas Willett married Mary Brown, July (!, 1 ()."!(). They were
the parents of thirteen cliildren.

Andrew Willett, the twelfth eliild. was horn Octolier 5,
1655, and died in 1712. He married. May 30, 1(582, Ann, daugh-
ter of (xovernor William C'oddington, of Rhode Ishmd, and had
five cliildren. Of these, ^lary Willett married .Foseiih Carjienter,
1711. Their daughter, Phel)e Carpenter, niai-ried Daniel Willets.
Their son, Jacoh W^illets, married Hannah Powell, and tlieir
daughter Phehe W^illets, married Elijali Seaman, a direct
descendant of Ca])tain John Seaman. Their daughter. Avis
Seaman, mari'ied James Ferris Birdsall, wliose daugliter, Phehe
Seaman P>irdsall, nuirried Rohert Cornell Emliree. Mr. Law-
rence Effingham P^mhree is therefore a descendant of the ninth
generation from the first mayor of New York.

Of Jacob Wallets it is said: He died at his homestead in
Islij). He always wore a drab cloth suit, long tailed coat, knee
breeches and buckles on his shoes. In his old age he was blind
and was led by his great-grand(hiughter Phel)e." (Mrs. Robert
C. Embree.)


Governor W^illiam Coddington married Ann Brindley.
Their daughter Ann, born July 26, 166."^, married Andrew
Willett, as above.



A\'illi;uii Lawrence married Elizabeth, daiigliter of Richard
Smith, the patentee and founder of Smitlitown, Long
Ishind. Tlieir oldest son, Josej:)]! Lawrence, married Mary,
daugliter of Sir Hicliard Townley. Tlieir son, Kiehard Law-
rence, married Hannah, (huighter of Samuel Bowne. Their
daughter, Elizabeth Lawrence, married John Embree. Joseph
Lawrence had also a daughter, Dorothy, who married Francis
Howard, who on December 8, 1731, was made first earl of
P^ffingluun. Hence the name Effingham, was assumed by the
I^awrence and Embree families.


Thomas Franklin married, at Westbury meeting liouse, Joth
of 1st inontli, 1703, Mary, daughter of Nathaniel and Martha
Fearsall. Tliey had sons Jolm, Walter and Samuel. They
were all })rominent merchants in New York.

John Franklin had a son, Walter Franklin, born dune lo,
1773. He married Sarali ^Morris, and had three children: Sarah
Kobinson, Walter and Townsend Fudei'liill. Sarali Rolnnson
Franklin was born duly lli, 1798, died January D, 18(54. She
married Effingliam Lawrence Embree, July 9, \S'2\.

Walter Franklin (son of Thomas) was one of tlie committee
of one hundred chosen l)y the freeholders, May 23, 1775. Being
very successful he retired with a large fortune. He married
Hannah, daughter of Daniel Bowne. Their cliildren were:
^larie, wife of (Jovernor \)^' Witt ('linton; Haniinh, wife of
(ieorge ("linton; and Sarah, wife of dolm L. Norton. Walter
Franklin died June 8, 1780. His widow married Hon. Samuel
Osgood. In 17S!», Mr. ( )sg()od and Mr. William Duer (who
m:irrie(l "Lady Kitty," daughter of William, Lord Sterling,
a famous general in the Revolution) were chostMi to select


a house in New York for tlie occupation of President
'\Vasliington. They chose the house of AValter Franklin on
Cherry street. Mrs. Osgood and Mrs. Duer superintended the
furnishing. A letter written at the time by Sarah Robinson, a
niece of Walter Franklin, states "The whole of the first and
second stories are papers, and the floors covered with the richest
kind of Turkey and Wilton carpet." It was one of the finest
houses in New York at that time.


This family of Iln.i;uenot ancesti'y is descended from Kev.
Jacques Sanxay, who was born al)out the middle of the seven-
teenth century at or near Taillebourg in tlie Province of Xain-
tonge, France. He died, a Huguenot exile, at Pjxeter, England,
about 17!i.'). His son, Kev. James Sa.nxay, was born at Exeter,
Xovember 2, KiOO, and died \\)v\\ 2, 17(5S. He married Anna
Badger, daughter of Rev. Edward Badger, Rector of Bedworth,
A^'arwickshire. She died July ."), 175S. They were the parents
of Jolin Sanxay, born Se])tember, 174(). at Tetcott, Devonshire.
P]ngland, died March 10, 1811. He was the first and only one to
emigrate to America, came from England to X^ew York, prior to
]77.'>, and was there married to Sarah He Voe, by Rev. Dr. In-
glis. rector of Trinity Church, February 14, 177'). His wife,
Sarah l)e \"()e ( De Vaux) Sanxay, born December S. 17.'')(), died
February 14, ISOl, belonged to the De A^aux family which Hed
from La Rochelle, France, and went to Manheim, (Jermany,
which was afterward a ])ortion of France. From thence he came
to America and settled at Xew Rochelle. Their son,
Frederic Sanxay. was born in Xew York, ( )ctobev 27,
17!n. and died there, P^'ebruary 7, 1S75. He married Mary
27. 1701. and died there, February 7, 1875. He married Mary
A\'hippl('. March 1."). 1818. She was born February 2, 18(H), and


died June 10, ISi'T. Tlieii- son, Theodore Sanxay. was born at
Cincinnati. Ohio, Marcli 12, 1819, and died December 15, 1892.
He married Hetty Ann Perry. May, 1842. She was born Janu-
ary .■>, 1818, died ^[areh 20, 18!)(). Theii- son. Theodore Freder-
ic Sanxay. was born Marcli 12, 184."). at Iowa City, Iowa.

Theodore Frederic Sanxay, the ])re<ent rei)resentative of
this family, received his early education at private schools ami
at the Cleveland Institute, Cleveland, Ohio. He entered Prince-
ton Univer.sity and graduated as A. B. in the class of 18()l-, and
later received from the said university the degree of A. M., and
the deg:ree of LL. B. from the Cniversity of Albany, where he
had been a law student in the same class with the late William
McKiuley. He connnenced the ])ractice of his profession in
Xew York, and liad an extended ]iractice for several years, when
failing health coni])elled him to relax his etforts. He was at
fir.st connected with the late Sketifington Sanxay, Es(i.. a grand-
son of John Sanxay, whose learning and ability gave him great
distinction at tlie bar, and whose eccenti'icities are recalled by
many stories concerning him. ( )iie of these refers to a certain
case where his oi){)onent was the late K. W. Stoughton, after-
wards Fnited States minister to Kussia. The latter was a large
man of most distinguished ap];earance and lofty bearing, which
was greatly em]iliasized l\v having long curling locks of hair
which stood out with gi'eat profusion al)out a head, large and
massi\-e. ( )n a call of the case in one of the ap])ellate courts. Mr.
Sanxay announced his own readiness to ])roceed, but said that
his opponent, "one Stuffton," as he ))ronounced the name, did
iu)t apiiear to lie in coui't.

^Ir. Sanxay from boyhood had been (leei)Iy interested in
jiolitics. l)ecanie an ardent He])ul4ican, became well known as a
camjiaign speaker, and was a member of the Xew York Repub-
lican County Committee in the earlv seventies, when an attemtit


was made to detaininanyize the party by a reoi-ganizatioii. Tlie
leaderslii]) of the party fell into the liaiids of the late President
Chester A. .Vrtliui', then cojiector of tlu' ixii't, hnt experience as
to the i)ractical side of politics gave him no desire for it as a
])nrsnit. Tlie cliairman of a eam])aign committee, ^Yhen giving
final instrnction as to what he desired, said: "I want to im])ress
it njion all onr sjjeakers, to sjjeak riglit to tlie jiassions of the
l)e()ple. " Ml-. Sanxay. with better judgment, had always tried to
do the opposite. lie has ever been a Kei)nblican, but of the inde-
jxMideiit type, and lias never held or sought political office.

In religious association, 'Sir. Sanxay has ever held to the
faith of his JIuguenot ancestors. His direct affiliations have
l)een with the Presbyterians, though he has sometimes attended
the Dutch Keforined church. In social affairs Mr. Sanxay is
comu^cted with the Inion League Club and the Princeton Uni-
versity. He is a memlier of the New Yoi'k Historical Society, is
one of the Sons of the American Revolution and is one of the di-
rectors of the New York ()i>lithalmic Hospital.

Jacques Sanxay, the ancestor of this honored family, was
the son of a well-to-do mercliant, who lived at Taillebourg
(Xaintouge), France, who belonged to the Sanxay family, which
was so actively identified with the Reformed church at Saintes.
One of the most distinguished members of that family was
Pierre Sanxay, the ]ioet. He was ])astor of the church "De La
l*ai'ole de Dieu" at Saintes from 157(» to 157(i. He was also the
intimate fi'iend of Bernard Palissy, the artist, philosoi)her and
mai'tyr. and wrote the introductory verses to his book, entitled,
"A Receipt Veritable."

As soon as ,Iac(|ues Sanxay was old enough, he was sent to
Madeleine College at Bordeaux, an institution controlled by the
Jesuits, but distinguished foi' its training in the classical lan-
guages. Here he won the prize for ehxiuence, and the Jesuits


songlit liis father's consent to bring liini into their society. His
father thereui)on withdrew him from the college and sent him
to London, where he remained neai-ly two years. His father
having died, he retnrned to France and entered the Protestant
College at Sanmnr, where he graduated with degree of ^l. A.
He became a minister and served the chnrch at St. Jean 1) 'Angle,
and afterwards at Tonnay Boutonne. Xaintonge. T'pon the
Revocation of the Edict of Xantes, he was ordered to close his
church and desist from preaching, which he declined to do.
Dragoons were quartered in his house and he was confined for
six months in ])rison. and was released upon condition of leaving
France. He therefore went to England and became the pastor of
St. Olave's ("hurch, com}josed of large numbers of refugees, at
Exeter, and there he remained until his death. He left two sons,
James and Daniel. Both were graduated from Oxford and be-
came clergymen of the Church of England. James was rector
of Tetcott, where John, his son, who afterwards came to Amer-
ica, was born. The latter was a Loyalist during the Revolution,
and went with his family to Shelburne, Xova Scotia, but re-
turned in ITSii. He was a ^lason and one of the ])etiti()ners foi-
a charter for Trinity Lodge. X'o. 10, organized in 1795.

The family arms are engraved on some of the burial monu-
ments in Euro])e. but have not been used in the Lnited States.


Of the families bearing- this name there are several dis-
tinct branches who came to this country at dii^'erent times, the
oldest of them emigrating prior to 1657 and settling at Kings-
ton. Rhode Island, and their descendants have ever since been
identified with the history of that state.

The first settlers ai)pear to have been three brothers, John,
James and Roger Kenyou. John, the eldest, Avas boru in 1657,


nud died in 17o:2, at Westerly, where the latter part of his life
was spent. He married and his children were: John, married
Filizal»t'th Remington; James, Ensel, Joseph, David and Jona-
than. James, the second l>rotlier, died in Westerly, Rhode
Island, in 1724. He and his wife Ruth were the parents of
seven children, as follows: James, Thomas, Ebenezer, John,
Peter, Sarah and Rntli. Roger, the third 1)rother, died in Xew
Shoreham. By liis marriage to Mary Hay one child was born,
Roger, 1685.

Samuel Kcnyon, prol)al)ly a desi-endaiit nf James Kenyon,
one of the pioneer settlers, was the father of a son, Elijah, who
married Peneloi)e Perry, a member of a family well known in
the annals of our county, and their children were: jjcwis,
Simeon P., Beriali, Perry, Elijah and Samuel. ( )f these chil-
dren Lewis, the eldest, married Xancy Sherman and they were
the parents of eleven children: Al>iel, Lucy, Pamelia, Elijah,
Sarah, Isaac, RandoIi)h, Mary Ann, Hannah, Susan, Charles.
The family resided at Kenyon, Rhode Island. Lewis Kenyon
died in 18o9. Simeon Perry, the second son, bora July 13, 1788,
died July 5, 18B1. He married Sarah Clarke, who bore him the
following children : Simeon, Septeml)er 2(), 1810; Lavinia, March
;](), 181-1; Halsey X., March 25, 1816; Augaista M., September
1, 1817; James Alfred, September 2, 1819, mentioned herein-
after; Mary Ann, August 1, 1821.

James Alfred Kenyon, fifth child of Simeon Perry and
Sarah (Clarke) Kenyon, was born in Clairmout, Columbia coun-
ty, X'^ew York, September 2, 1819. He engaged in business at
Preston-Hollow, Albany county, Xew York. Later he removed
lo Delaware county, Xew York, and there was engaged in manu-
facturing leather up to 1884, after which date he I'esided in
Waverly, X^ew York, where his death occurred July, 1895. He
married (first), April 28, 1847, Olivia II. Devereux, who died


.hiiic !), IS,")!); IK) cliildi'cii. Married (second), dune 7, 18(55,
Hutli Adaline Taiuiei', and their cliildi'en are: .Vddie Olive,
bdrn June 2'2, 18()(i; (leorge Alfred, boi'ii Sei)tenil)er 3, 18G8.
died October 18, LS(i9; James Henry, horn July 9, 1872.

Dr. James Henry Kenyon was l)()rn at C'annonsville. Dela-
ware (•(.unty. Xew \'ork. July i), 1872. His elementary ti'ain-
ing' was a('(|uired in the scliools of ( 'annonsville and Wavei'ly.
In 1888 he entered the i>re]>aratory school at Lawrenceville,
New Jersey, and in 1890 Princeton Tniversity, graduating
from that institution in June. 1894. He mati'iculated at the
College of Physicians and Surgeons in Xew York Oity, and in
June, 1898, graduated from that institution with the degree of
Doctor of Medicine. From -Inly, 1898, to July. 1902, he served
as interne of the New York Hospital. In the fall of 1902 he
engaged in the active i;ractice of his profession in tlie city of
Xew York, and in addition thereto serves in the capacity of
assistant surgeon at Trinity Hos])ital, and as assistant surgeon
of the out-]iatient de]iartment of the Xew York Hos]>ital and al
tlie V^anderhilt Clini". Dr. Kenyon is a menilier of the County
Medical Society, Academy of ]\Iedii'ine, and the Society of the
Alumni of the Xew York Hospital.

Kingstt)wn, which was the original seat of this family, was
erected as the seventh town, in the colony in 1()74. Among the
many interesting relics of the past, with which IJhode Island
abounds, is Coronation Kock n])on which (,)ueen Esther, the last
ruler of the Xarragansett Indians, was crowned in 1770. This
rock, now ])earing a suitable (H)nunemorative tablet, stantls on
the l\en>-on fai'm on the old Peipmt Path in Clarkstown.



Isaac Heudrix, whose name iutroduces this review, be-
longed to a fhiss and type of men who during his day and genera-
tion were leaders in the industrial and commercial affairs of
Xew York City. Isaac Hendrix was born at Piermont, Kock-
land county, New York, January 12, 1813. His parents were
Henry and Maria (Onderdonk) Hendrix, the latter ))eing a de-
scendant from one of the three Onderdonk brothers, who emi-
grated from Holland and settled along the Hudson river during
early colonial days near where Piermont is now located in Rock-
land county, Xew York. The Onderdonk ancestors, who were
among the early colonial settlers along the Hudson river, owned
a large tract of land which, family tradition states, was situated
between Piermont and Xyack, where some of the old homes still
stand in their original form.

hi the Onderdonk family record, in possession of Miss
Emma Hendrix, appears the following record: L Garret J.
Onderdonk, born October 25, 1784. 2. Mary Onderdonk, born
September 2i), 1785. 3. Catharine, born December 29, 1796. 4.
Isaac, born .September 21, 18U1. 5. Fanny, liorn November 26,

Henry Hendrix, father of Isaac Hendrix. was a farmer
by occupation and was a worthy representative of the stui'd}'
yeomanry of his day. He married Mary Onderdonk and there
were born to them two sons and two daughters, as follows:
.lohn and Tiney (twins), born June 12, 1809; Jolm married and
had one son and one daughter, Isaac and Caroline Heudrix;

the latter married Buckhout and now resides at Xyack,

New York. The next in order of birth was Jane, born July 7,
1815, who did not marry. Isaac, see forward.

Isaac Hendrix received his educational training in the
schools of the neighborhood as was the custom among farmer's


\jYjfa^€>tJ^Cenc//'i.\ '■


sons in those days. During- liis early nianliood years lie canie
to New York City and, being possessed of a strong ambition and
desire to succeed in life, applied himself diligently to whatever
he undertook to do, and by perseverance and economy saved
sutificient capital to engage in business. In 1854 he associated
himself with Henry Du Bois and engaged in the dock building
trade under the firm name of Du Bois & Hendrix. Under the
well directed el!:'orts of liotli these gentlemen the interests of
the firm were rapidly advanced, and they soon l)ec*ame well and
favorably known as the leading dock builders of Xew York
harbor. This business arrangement was successfully continued
nj) to 1878, and during this entire period of time the name of
Du Bois iS: Hendrix was everywhere regarded as a synonym for
honorable business metliods.

In addition to his extensive interests in the dock building
trade, Mr. Hendrix was extensively interested in other industrial

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Online LibraryWilliam S. (William Smith) PelletreauHistoric homes and institutions and genealogical and family history of New York (Volume 1) → online text (page 21 of 26)