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Genealogical and family history of southern New York and the Hudson River Valley : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the building of a nation (Volume 2) online

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sional term he resumed the practice of law in
New York, where his ability won for him high
honor at the bar and great respect amongst

his confreres. He was appointed a justice of
the superior court of New York City in 1843,
was re-elected in 1847, 'i''"^ served until Janu-
ary I, 1850, in all for seven years. The first
and second volumes of Sandford's Sup/-¬Ђ


in the office of his cousin, Aaron J. Van der
Poel, at the time of his death. He was an
Episcopahan. and throughout liis hte resided
in New York City.

fohn A. Van der Poel married, in New
York City, May 22. 1865. Emily Caroline
Noyes. She was horn in New York City. June
zi. 1842. and in 1913 was residing at No. 22
Cramercy Park, with summer residence at
Litchfield, Connecticut. She is the daughter
of William Curtis Noyes and Julia Flewwel-
ling Tallmadge. She is a member of and
much interested in the work of the Colonial
Dames of America, of the Connecticut Daugh-
ters of the American Revolution, and of the
National Arts Society, being on the board of
the latter organization. She studied art with
R. Swain Gifford and William Sartain, and
has written "Color Problems", and "The
Chronicles of a Pioneer School". (This im-
mediate line of the family use the name form
of Vanderpoel).

William Curtis Noyes was the son of
George Noyes and Martha Curtis. He was
born at Schodack. New York, August 19.
1805. and died in New York City, December
25, 1864. His line of descent traces through
his father, George Noyes, son of William
Noves and Elizabeth Gillct, who was the son
of William Noyes and Sybil Whiting (through
the latter to \\'illiam Pyncheon. John Alden,
Governor William Bradford and others of
the earliest New England families) ; who was
the son of John Noyes and Mary Gallup; who
was the son of Rev, James Noyes, one of the
founders of Yale College, and Dorothy Stan-
ton : who was the son of Rev. James Noyes
and Sarah Brown, the last paternal ancestor
named having been born in Choulderton, Wilt-
shire, England, came to America in 1634, and
settled in Newbury, Massachusetts.

Mr. Noyes was one of the most successful
lawyers of his times in New York City, and
maintained prominence among professional
and i)hiIantliroi)ic circles of the metropolis.
He was a Republican, and active in the work
of the Union League Club. He was of Pres-
byterian faith, and was a trustee of the Uni-
versity and Tenth Street Church, as well as
one of the founders of the Church of the
Coven.ant. both of New York City. Among
other interests, he was first vice-president of
the New York Law Institute; council of the
University of the City of New York for many

years; counsellor of the New York. New Ha-
ven & Hartford railroad, also of the Pacific
Mutual Insurance Company, and a member of
the Century and Athenaeum clubs.

His career began at the age of fourteen
years with the study of law, and when twenty-
two he was practicing in Rome, New York,
continuing at Utica, and finally removing to
the metropolis in 1838, where it was not long
ere he became eminent among practitioners.
His life was devoted to his profession. His
management of the North American Trust
cases ; his able exposition of the laws of
"Charitable Uses" in the Rose will case, and
his remarkable contest in what is known as
the "Omnibus Suit" of the New York & New
Haven Railroad against Schuyler atid others,
were some of his {)romincnt cases. In the lat-
ter, said the Hon. William M. Evarts at the
meeting of the bar. "speaking literally, Mr.
Noyes was on one side and all the rest of us
(the bar) on the other."

In the proceedings had before the New York
Court of Appeals in memory of Mr. Noyes.
as reported in Volume 32 of the New York
Reports, page 10, the following tribute was
paid to him :

'His experience was various and extensive: his
knowledge of the law and of its history exact and
comprehensive; his apprehension of legal distinc-
tions clear and precise, and he was thoroughly fur-
nished for every trial of strength in those conflicts
of the bar upon which the administration of justice
most intimately depends. His public life was
marked by integrity of character, firmness of pur-
pose and adherence to principle. In his social
walk, virtue and benevolence shed their radiance
upon his way. * * * \Vc entertain great satisfac-
tion and pride in the memory of his wonderful at-
tainments as a legal scholar and thorough lawyer,
the laborious hours he gave voluntarily in the serv-
ice of the State in the discharge of his duty as a
Commissioner of the Code, the munificent spirit ex-
hibited in the complete and splendid libran,- he col-
lected and freely opened to his brethren, the masterly
skill and ability witb which he performed his part
in the profcs,sion he adorned, and the lustre which
he shed as a lawyer upon the Rar of New York.
We recognize among the traits which ennobled his
character his inflexible principle and rectitude of
purpose, his truth as a man and his severity of
conscience, all tempered by courtesy and illumined
by the light of Christianity."

He had a decided taste for general litera-
ture, and collected a large library of law and
miscellaneous books. The former he gave to
Hamilton College, which had honored him
with an LL.D. Descended from Puritan an-

^^. .

(ijUJ. UQ, UYcLAy^



cestry, Mr. Noyes inherited many of their
virtues, was a consistent Presbyterian, and
practiced his beHef. He was charitable as a
habit, giving liberally to good objects and sup-
porting a home missionary for years. He was
on the charity board of the New England
Society, of which he was made president just
before his last illness.

As his father had been a member of the so-
called underground railroad, he imbibed as a
boy an intense love of freedom. He served
as a member of the Peace Commission which
sat in Washington in 1861, and made efforts
to avert civil war. When these were unsuc-
cessful, he unstintedly gave time and money
to support the government. He was early a
member of the Union League Club. In 1857
the legislature of New York appointed him,
with Alexander Bradford and David Dudley
Field, commissioners to prepare a civil code,
Mr. Noyes taking the main charge of the
Penal Code, which was about finished at the
time of his death.

William Curtis Noyes married (first) Anne
Tracy, of Utica, New York. He married
(second), at New York City, October 7, 1841,
Julia Flewwelling Tallmadge, who was born
in New York City, July 5, 1818, and died there
March 9, 1899. She was the daughter of
Frederick Augustus Tallmadge and Elizabeth
Hannah Canfield, -of Sharon, Connecticut.
The latter was the daughter of Judge Judson
Canfield and Mabel Ruggles. Frederick A.
Tallmadge was the son of Colonel Benjamin
Tallmadge, head of the secret service under
General Washington, and Mary Floyd, daugh-
ter of William Floyd. Signer of the Declara-
tion of Independence: who was the son of
Rev. Benjamin Tallmadge and Susanna Smith,
('f Long Island: who was the son of James
Tallmadge and Hannah Harrison; son of John
Tallmadge and Abigail Bishop ; son of Robert
Tallmadge and Sarah Nash, the last-named
paternal ancestor having come to America in
164,^. from Newton .Stacy. England, was a
planter in Connecticut, where he took the oath
of fidelity in 1664.

William Curtis Noyes and his wife, Anne
Tracy, had four children, three dying when
infants, and Rachel Tracy Noyes. their daugh-
ter, born in L^tica, married Charles Edward
Whitehead, died in New York City. The chil-
dren of William Curtis Noyes and Julia Flew-
welling Tallmadge were, born in New York

City: I. Emily Caroline, born June 21, 1842;
married John A. Van der Poel. 2. William
Tracy, born in 1848, died when fourteen
months old. 3. Mary Tallmadge, born in 1852,
died in New York City, in 1856.

(IX) John Arent Van der Poel, son of John
A. and Emily Caroline (Noyes) Van der Poel,
was born in New York City, June 4, 1866,
and died in Boston, Massachusetts, January
18, 1902. He received his early education in
New York, followed by a special course at
Rutgers College, New Brunswick, New Jer-
sey. He resided in New York and Boston, in
the former place joining the National Guard
of New York State and becoming first lieuten-
ant of the Twelfth Regiment. Passing his
summers in Litchfield, Connecticut, in the
home of his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Wil-
liam Curtis Noyes, he built there in her honor,
in 1900, the Noyes Memorial Building, a fire-
proof structure, which houses a public library,
an historical society, and a scientific associa-

John A. Van der Poel married, at Wash-
ington, D. C, January 11, 1888, Elizabeth
Crichton Battelle, who was born May 28, 1862,
dau.ghter of Cornelius Battelle, of Sau.gerties,
New York. Issue : Floyd Lewis, born at
Saugerties, New York, October 16, 1892.

(X) Floyd Lewis Van der Poel, son of
John Arent and Elizabeth Crichton (Battelle)
Van der Poel, was born at Saugerties, New
York, October 16, 1892. He first attended
school in England, the Choate School, in Wal-
lingford, Connecticut, and is now engaged in
electric manufacturing in Bantam. Connecti-

Major George Washington Rains,
RAINS an American soldier and chemist,
was born in Craven county, North
Carolina, in 1817, eighth child of Gabriel and
Esther Rains. His early education was re-
ceived at the Newbern Academy, in Craven
county, and at an early age he went out to the
Indian Territory, then a primitive wilderness
inhabited only by savages, to join his broth-
er. Lieutenant Gabriel J. Rains, at that time
disbursing agent of the LTnited States in that
district. Here he remained more than a year,
and in returning to Alabama made a voyage
of six hundred miles, in a dug-out, down the
Arkansas river, from Fort Gibson to Little



Rock. Ill 1838 he entered West Point Acad-
emy, and having a strong taste for mihtary
life went through the different grades from
corporal to first captain of cadets, with the
highest credit. Me was first in scientific
studies, and in summation of the whole ranked
third in his class. He graduated in 1842. and
having received his commission July ist of that
year, as second lieutenant of engineers, he left
West Point for Boston, where, serving under
Colonel Thayer, he was engaged in the con-
struction of Fort Warren, and it was here that
Lieutenant Rains gained his practical experi-
ence in engineering. Having, however, a pre-
dilection for the parade and excitement of
military life, the quiet and monotony of the
engineer corps hecame irksome to him. and
after a year's experience under Colonel Thay-
er he resolved to apply for an exchange. Gen-
eral Scott, who took a great interest in the
cadets and often visited West Point, had seen
and become acquainted with young Rains, and
used his influence to obtain what had never
been heard of in the army before, the wished-
for exchange from a higher to a lower grade.
Joining the Fourth .Artillery at Fortress Mon-
roe, he reported to General Walbach then in
command, a perfect soldier and the beau ideal
of a bluff old officer. He remained with that
regiment only about a year, when an assistant
professor being required at West Point, Lieu-
tenant Rains, by reason of his brilliant scien-
tific record while at the Acadamy, was chosen
to fill the position. Returning then to West
Point in 1844, as one of the assistant profess-
ors of chemistry, geology and mineralogv. he
remained there until the outbreak of the Mex-
ican war in 1846, when he applied to join his
regiment, and embarked with it for Point
Isabel, at the mouth of the Rio Grande, then
the great depot of the army of Mexico. While
stationed at Point Isabel in 1846. he was made
acting assistant quartermaster and acting com-
missary of subsistence, but tiring of the inac-
tion r)f depot life he wrote to General Scott
that he had left a fine position at West Point
solely that he might be engaged in actual serv-
ice, and begged the general to use his influ-
ence to that end. In the meantime General
Taylor had detailed him as bearer of dis-
patches to the fleet at \'era Cruz. Quite un-
expectedly General Scott with his staff arrived
at the mouth of the Rio Grande, and sending
for him told him that he was going to relieve

him and take him into the field, and that he
should supersede those of General Taylor.
Accordingly, in January, 1847, '^^ sailed for
Vera Cruz, and was the first American officer
who entered that city. \\'hen he returned
General Scott verbally appointed him his aide-
de-camp, but (ieneral Pillow having applied
for him. General Scott decided he must accept
the latter appointment, and he remained on
(ieneral Pillow's staff' during the campaign,
that commenced with the seige of Vera Cruz,
and until the battle of Cerro Gordo when Gen-
eral Pillow was wounded and returned inval-
ided to the United States. He then became
aide to General Scott during (General Pillow's
absence, and was with him during the march
to and occupation of Puebla.

On General Pillow's return. Lieutenant
Rains rejoined him as aide-de-camp and par-
ticipated in all the battles of the valley, receiv-
ing his commission as first lieutenant of the
Fourth Artillery in March, 1847, and as brevet
captain for gallant conduct at the battle of
Contreras and Cherubusco, on the 20th of
.Xugust of the same year. For gallant conduct
at the battle of Chapultepec, Captain Rains
received his commission as brevet major, and
after seven months' residence in Mexico re-
turned with General Pillow to New Orleans.
As the summer advanced they were ordered
to Pascagoula, and after some weeks there
were sent to Florida, the Indians having com-
menced hostilities. His duties here consisted
in making roads, constructing bridges and
building forts, the Indians keeping concealed
in the hammocks after their arrival and never
appearing in the open field, so that no en-
gagement took place. He remained for about
eighteen months in the lower part of Florida,
and in the neighborhood of the Everglades,
when a treaty was made between General
Twiggs and Bowlegs, King of the Seminoles.
In 1830 he was ordered to Fort Hamilton,
where he stayed only a year, and after this,
with but short assignments of duty at each
post he was ordered in succession to Forts
Columbus and Mackinaw, back a.gain to Bos-
ton Harbor, and then once more to Fort Co-
lumbus. In i8,S5 he was made commandant
of recruits at Governor's Island, and it was
while holding this position that he was mar-
ried to Frances Josephine Ramsdell. .Xjiril 2,^.
1856. In October of this year he resigned
from the army and went to Newburg to live.


where he became president and part owner of
the Washington Iron Works in that city.

In 1861, being a son of the south, he re-
ported for duty to Mr. Jefferson Davis, who,
knowing his scientific attainments and being
urgently in need of an officer to take charge
of the manufacture of ammunition, persuaded
liim to accept that position. He was accord-
ingly placed at once on special duty in the
ordnance department and commissioned July
10, 1 861. Gunpowder was most urgently
needed. Carte blanche was given him as to
choice of location, and nature of plant neces-
sary for its manufacture, and the result was
eminently satisfactory. By various energetic
measures the troops were temporarily sup-
plied, pending the erection of the Confederate
Powder Works, and this in the face of almost
insurmountable difficulties, with but primitive
appliances many of them improvised for tlie
occasion, and everything to be commenced de
novo. In seven short months was erected, suf-
ficiently for operation, at Augusta, Georgia,
the largest and most complete powder manu-
factory ever seen on this continent at that

Colonel Rains had also charge of the arsenal
at Augusta, Georgia, from which small arms
and ammunition were turned out in great
quantities, as well as the foundry and ma-
chine shop, from which twelve-pound Na-
poleon guns were made, and shells, hand-
grenades and torpedoes in large quantities.
Nothing could have better illustrated the com-
bination of great scientific knowledge with
marvelous ingenuity in the overcoming of me-
chanical difficulties. In 1865 he was promoted
to tiie rank of brigadier-general. After the
termination of the war, in November, 1866,
he became professor of chemistry in tlie med-
ical department of the University of Georgia,
and from it he received the degree of M.D.,
March i, 1867. The university conferred
upon him the degree of LL.D., June 13, 1880.
He was dean of the Medical College until
1884, when he resigned that position, but re-
mained a member of the faculty until March,
1894, when he retired from active life, and
upon his resignation he was made a professor
emeritus. While living in Augusta he thor-
oughly identified himself with the interests of
that city and took an active part in all things
pertaining to her welfare.

He largely contributed to scientific litera-

ture, his contributions being scattered through
various periodicals. Among his notable pub-
lications are: "Steam Portable Engines"
(i860); "Rudimentary Course of Analytical
and Applied Chemistry" (1872); "Chemical
Qualitative Analysis" (1879) ; and "A History
of the Confederate Powder Works" (1882).
He was a born instructor of youth, having a
clear perception of what he taught, and a
magic way of imparting knowledge to others.

General Rains possessed remarkable origi-
nality of mind with great perceptive and in-
ventive powers : an omnivorous reader, he kept
well abreast of the times in all departments
of scientific knowledge, and in his bold, phil-
osophic deductions from the most recent sci-
entific discoveries was far in advance of his
time. Modest and simple, it seemed almost
strange that so much gentleness and simplicity
of manner could be associated with so much
ability in so many directions and with such
great practical energy. With a mind of the
highest culture, polished manners and fasci-
nating address, he was a great favorite in the
social circle, where his high sense of honor,
sound practical sense, generous nature and
sterling worth endeared him to a host of warm
personal friends.

He married, April 23, 1856, Frances J.,
daughter of Homer Ramsdell, of Newburg,
New York (see Ramsdell VHI). Major Rains
died at Newburg, March 21, 1898.

(The Ramsdell Line.)
It is difificult to determine to what extent the
descendants of the pioneers of New England
are indebted to the political condition that ob-
tained in the mother country during the period
of the settlement of the colonies now constitut-
ing the New England states. There is no
doubt that the intolerant attitude of the Brit-
ish government toward the Puritans drove to
these shores a class of settlers far superior to
what might, and probably would have come
hither, if they had not been oppressed at
home. The intolerance of the Puritans in
New England drove those of the Baptist faith
and the Quakers to settle in remote localities,
so that records on the early generations of
this family have been difificult to obtain. The
ancestor of the Ramsdells, a sturdy character,
came to Massachusetts in the first century of
colonization. His descendants are not numer-
ous, but they have numbered among them


many good men and some leaders. They have
taken part in tlie great events that have oc-
curred in more than two centuries. They were
patriots in the revolution and furnished their
full quota of fighting men. One of the name
fell at the battle of Lexington at the very
outset of the rexolution. From Massachusetts
the familv has spread into many states, where
the position of its members is a very honorable

(I) Joseph Ramsdell, or as it was often
spelled on the old records Ramsden, was born
in England, probably about 1620, and was an
early settler in Plymouth. His name first ap-
pears on the records of Plymouth as owner
of land planted on shares in 1641, and was
on the list of Plymouth men able to bear arms
in 1O43. He married (first) March, 1645,
Rachel Eaton, born 1625, daughter of Francis
Eaton. He married (second) October 16,
1661, Mary Savory. The only child named on
the records and the only one known to gene-
alogists is Daniel, mentioned below.

(Hj Daniel, only child known of Joseph
Ramsdell, was born September 14, 1649, at
Plymouth, Massachusetts. His name appears
on the Plymouth records again in 1665. His
wife bore the name of Sarah. The children
of Daniel Ramsdell, so far as known, were:
Thomas, mentioned below ; Samuel, born
1689-90; Joseph, 1693; Benjamin, 1699; Han-
nah, 1700.

(HI ) Thomas, son of Daniel Ramsdell, was
born about 1680 in the Plymouth colony. He
and his brother Samuel settled in Scituate, in
that part that was set off as Hanover, in 171 1
or 1712. The records of Scituate show that
Thomas Ramsdell married, March 23, 1703,
Sarah, whose surname is not given. She was
born about 1682, died in Hanover, in 1773. at
the advanced age of ninety-one years. Pie
died at Hanover, September 16, 1727, a com-
l)aratively young man. He resided from 1706
to 1 710 in Pembroke, Massachusetts, where
the births of three children are recorded,
namely: Mary, May 9, 1706; Joseph, men-
tioned below; Jeremiah, July 28, 1710. The
children of Thomas and Sarah Ramsdell re-
corded at Hanover were: Gideon, born Sep-
tember 13, 1712; Sarah, July 12. 1715; Mercy,
November 5, 1717, married. March 9, 1738.
Pcleg Stetson; Lydia, September 5, 171^9;
i:iizabeth, married, 1747, Ebenezer Curtis;

Grace, 1725, married, 1744, .Vdam Prouty ;

(IV) Joseph (2), eldest son of Thomas and
Sarah Ramsdell, was born May 29, 170S, in
Pembroke, Massachusetts, died in llanover,
August 22, 1787, in his eightieth year. He
lived during his active life on a farm in that
ICiWn, antl was admitted to the Hanover
church. May 4, 1729. He married (first) in
Hanover, April 23, 1730, Mary Homer, who
died June 1, 1754. She was admitted to the
Hanover church, July 6, 1740. Children of
Joseph and Mary Ramsdell: Mary, born Jan-
uary 6, 1731. married, 1748, William Whiting;
Avis, born July 14, 1732, died December 28,
1740; i'riscilla. baptized September 8, 1734,
married, December 25, 1755, Isaac Prouty;
Nehemiah, born November 13, 1734, married,
December 29, 1757. Rebecca Chamberlain, and
settled in Connecticut ; Thomas, born October
3, 1736, died March 13, 1757; Joseph, born

Online LibraryCuyler ReynoldsGenealogical and family history of southern New York and the Hudson River Valley : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the building of a nation (Volume 2) → online text (page 34 of 95)